I’m Done Hiding

 

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As much as I speak about being authentic and really putting yourself out there in terms of speaking your truth, I realize that with the results of the election, I need to do that.

I used to operate strictly from logic; I¬†had to learn to connect emotionally to myself. I spent years denying how I felt because of how I was raised. I wasn’t raised by horrible people; they just had¬†no self-awareness. They didn‚Äôt understand the difference between logic and emotion‚ÄĒthere was no connecting of the dots. I don‚Äôt blame them for this or believe I‚Äôm a victim; I merely say it to provide context for where I started, and the work I‚Äôve done to move out of my head.

There are a lot of people who voted for somebody, who I still cannot believe is going to be the President of the United States. I don’t need to list all the reasons why, let’s just say my value system is completely opposite of his.

My values do not include the need for somebody to rescue me. No, I‚Äôm responsible for taking care of myself. I’m amazed that people still want someone to do the work for them (to be their big mommy or daddy), who have put their critical thinking skills aside and somehow think another human being is going to come through for them. You have to come through for yourself.

No one is going to rescue you or me. It’s an inside job to evolve, to be happy and to be successful, as in, fulfilled.

If people continue to ignore their inner world, human history will continue to be what it has always been: FEAR-BASED. It will never change. It’s not about the right leader outside of you, its about being the leader inside of you.

I belong to Pantsuit Nation on Facebook. It is really a great reservoir of people with meaningful lives and stories. The thing is it is hidden from public view. It is hidden like everything else people are afraid to actually show when it comes to how they really feel and who they really are. It’s not going to change anything unless ALL OF US stop wearing masks and say what’s real and true for us and our lives–out loud, courageously without BLAME! Admit your shit–it makes you more confident, comfortable in your skin and happier!

To raise the consciousness of this planet and put people in a position of being empowered, we have to stop blaming others for our shit. That means not looking for another person to change your life in a way that you’re not willing to change your own.

This world is abundant; there is so much in it. But if all you see is scarcity, I hate to say you’re barking up the wrong tree because with that mindset nothing is going to change. Nothing is going to get better. Superman and Wonder Woman cannot save the day‚ÄĒit requires a whole change in your perception.

I know this because I’ve lived it, and my life is a reflection of it.

I believe people are disconnected on social media and many draw courage from sitting safely behind the keyboard. I believe that people who are arrogant and say negative things about others are actually very insecure, disconnected, unhappy and weak. These are not signs of strength.

True strength is the ability to admit your insecurities, to admit your humanness and to own the fact that you have to give yourself the oxygen mask first. Strength means you don’t just complain, you do something from the heart‚ÄĒwhere it matters.

Your emotions drive you whether you’re connected to them or not. They are behind every decision you make. And when you are not connected, you make decisions that unfortunately cost you a lot more than you anticipated. Fear is a fucked up way to choose your life.

I know this because every decision I made logically (without knowing I was emotionally driven by fear) ended up making me more miserable. I don’t live that way anymore.

I can’t hide out, I won’t hide out. I will also not be responsible for the emotional state of others, particularly if they get defensive or lash out. We are all responsible for our choices, so own the ones you make. Even doing nothing is a choice.

Use your intuition, instinct and heart, your head will lead you to the same place every time and if that includes the news media, just stop yourself. From Breitbart (which is far right wing journalism in the model of the farcical National Enquirer) to CNN or any of the others, you’re getting someone’s opinion rather than FACTS. You’re being emotionally manipulated without knowing it, seek out sites that are nonpartisan or owned by a company.

Not hiding out means taking responsibility for your decisions as well as how you feel. And my feelings are this: I want to be connected to other people in person, not just online. I want to help raise up to the level of consciousness this planet deserves, which I know is possible with our love and our care.

I am in a place of figuring out on a deep level what I will do. Meanwhile, there’s no hiding out over here. I will speak what is true for me always. Does that mean I’m pointing the finger at anyone? Hell no! It means if I point any finger it’s to myself and how can I take care of myself so that I have something to give.

It means the asinine expectations we have of those in leadership–some warped idea of perfection we believe they must live up to, because who are we to say this when WE can’t in our own lives? Make sense? They are not superhuman, they have lied, and fucked up, but somehow we want to criticize and ground them into being something the cat dragged in, so we don’t have to look at ourselves. So, we ignore our own shit.

Stop today.

Take a look at your life and if you like what you see. Whether it’s yes or no, do you know why you feel the way you do (without blaming anyone or anything)?

A belief system is hard to change. I know because I encounter it all the time in my business. However… it’s certainly not impossible. It just takes work. When you start to see possibilities for yourself that you created, you start to understand that life can be different. Because you FEEL different.

As human beings we want to feel pleasure and happiness, but many of us make decisions that stand in the way of that. We think we have to suffer to feel pleasure, and a lot of the time we don’t even get there because we numb out or distract ourselves. It’s time for us to stop and finally evolve as human beings.

If anybody wants to comment, please do, I’m planning how I can take this and make it into a movement.

And if you have something negative to say, I’m not going to argue with you. That’s your opinion. I have no interest in trying to convert or convince people… because that can only happen if the other person wants to. I have no control over that. If the comment is mean or offensive, however, it will be deleted.

Want to learn about my journey to getting here today? Click here

Have more to say? Would love to hear from you in a kindly manner, so click to email me.

Why Self-Help Books Are Failing You And What You Can Do Today!

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How many times have you read books, searching for strategies to help with some part of your life you’d like to improve, but you see no results? Maybe you’re inspired as you read, connecting with different parts saying, “yes, yes!” in your head, feeling like you’ve finally found some answers. But as much as you want to change, and you actually try to implement the strategies, life happens and you go right back to your same behavior.

You read a leadership book and see exactly where you can improve, but you aren’t able to translate that into the workplace when you’re in the moment. “I need to be more assertive” you say to yourself, but you don’t know how, and you don’t really know why you aren’t assertive to begin with, so you feel defeated.

You read a dating book and say to yourself, “Omg, I totally do that!” but it just sits in your head and the next time you go on a date, everything goes out the window. You’re on autopilot.

Why does that happen? You WANT to change, you’re COMMITTED to change, but you’re not SEEING change.

I’ll tell you why. Reading books is an intellectual pursuit, and change is an emotional endeavor. So if you don’t bring the emotional side into what you’re reading, it stays trapped in the intellect. Sure you may use tactics that work for a short time, but they’ll fade away because you’re operating from your head.

So how do you connect emotionally to a book? Well, it’s tricky to explain because you’re reading this just as you would a book‚Ķ with your head. And as I write this, I’m using my intellectual brain to explain an emotional process. See how that’s hard? But I’m going to give it a try.

Below are steps to help you connect more emotionally with the books you read to affect true and lasting change.

Set Your Intention
Before you even begin reading, tell yourself you want it to have an impact. Say “I want this book to help me with X or help me change X.”

Take It SLOW
Don’t devour the book in a few days. You need to break it up into pieces and digest it slowly. You can do this by only allowing yourself 1-2 chapters per week, or (even better) read until something strikes you and then stop.

Put It Down
Once you stop, set the book down for a week and don’t pick it up again. This is where the intellect-emotion part kicks in.

Sit With It
It’s time to bring that intellectual wisdom into your heart/gut/intuition/emotion. This is the tricky part to explain. Right after you put the book down, close your eyes. Drop your focus down to your heart or your gut, then allow yourself to expand, almost like meditation. Is anything there? Do you FEEL anything? At first the answer may be no because you’re numb and stuck in your head. This takes practice! Lots of practice. Keep sitting, but don’t force it. Are images coming to mind? Are you feeling uncomfortable? Is your body “abuzz”? Again, if you don’t feel anything, don’t worry. Try it again tomorrow. Try it every day for a week.

Look For Triggers
Maybe the book talked about taking things personally, and that resonated with you. You then sat with the feelings. Great! Now it’s time to look for where this shows up in your life. Maybe someone critiques an email you wrote and you notice you’re taking it personally. You’ve now identified a situation in your life that relates to something in the book.

Check In With Your Feelings
When this happens, ask yourself how you feel. Do you feel rejected, not valued, afraid, embarrassed, belittled? Do you want to fight back or turn around and hide? What comes up for you? Also, do you want the feeling to stop? Probably yes! Let yourself feel your feelings!

In What Other Situations Have You Felt This Way?
Let’s say you feel belittled. When have you felt that way in the past? What was the situation? Go back as far as you can remember. Maybe you were in 4th grade and you talked about your summer vacation as part of “show and tell.” The teacher chuckled at your destination, only 10 miles away, saying that’s not a “real” vacation. Your heart sank; you felt unimportant. Remember the keyword here is FEEL. The subconscious operates on images and feelings, not words or linear thinking.

Identify The Belief
Behind these recurring feelings is an old belief. Perhaps these feelings of belittling come from your belief that you have to do something monumental to be important. Small acts don’t count. Nearby vacation spots are worthless. Just being you isn’t enough. The email critique stems from feeling you’re worthless. BINGO. You take things personally because it hits the nerve of you not being good enough. You have now made an emotional connection to something in the book.

Change Your Response
The next time you take something personally, you’ll be able to identify it more quickly and know where it stems from. Now it’s time to change your response and behavior. Ask yourself, “Is this person intentionally belittling me, or is this because of an old pattern?” Yep, it’s almost always the latter and simply ACKNOWLEDGING this can make the feelings dissipate. You’re looking at it through a new lens. He/she isn’t belittling you at all, it was just your interpretation based on events from your past. Understanding this allows you to let go and move on. Each time it comes up in your life, you have the power to challenge the feeling, and when you do, it becomes weaker and weaker.

Repeat!
Go back to the book and read another section until it resonates with you and start the process over again. Yes, it’s a PROCESS and definitely takes time, but this is how you’ll turn an intellectual pursuit into real, actionable change.

Do you have a book on your nightstand now that you can try this with? I’ve put this 10-Step Guide into a free PDF so you can download it and use it with your next book. Reference it each time you repeat the process.

Download Turn Your Books Into Action

*BONUS*
Download this BOOKMARK with the 10 Steps. Then print, cut and put it in your book as a reminder!

As always, I love feedback, so please let me know how this process works for you.

Much abundance,
Tracy

What Do I Have To Be?

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I could ask anyone (friends, family, strangers and those who don’t like me) “What do I have to be?”¬†and get a variety of answers.

Think about it… what would that mean in your life?

Of course you can ask people on Twitter and they will call you a “sweet soul” or say “you’re amazing,” or that they’re¬†“honored to follow you” without even knowing you. Do you¬†have to live up to those words?

What if you’re a pissed-off soul, a sad soul or (shudder) an asshole soul, like me?

I laugh as I write it because we all have our crap:¬†things that aren’t very nice.

Many of us¬†hide ’em to get past our own judgments, opinions and expectations.

I remember asking myself, “What do I have to be?”¬† because it seemed other people were always the answer. Their opinion mattered more than my own. As a kid my parents told¬†me I was unlikeable, so I wanted to hide the fact that¬†I was¬†some kind of “asshole”. (Whatever we think we’re hiding, you can be guaranteed it¬†will come to the surface sooner or later.)

I became a rescuer and a clown. I toned down my intellect and any needs I had. Problems? What problems? I fit on the outside, while the inside just cried and became resentful. Until one by one these facades I created to get validation I was OK were impossible to maintain.

Lying to myself became a non-option.

So the question remains, “What do I have to be?”

  • Successful
  • Beautiful
  • Talented
  • Wealthy
  • Youthful
  • Perfect
  • Nice
  • Smart
  • Lovable
  • Unblemished

And so on, and so on. It’s just stupid.

Ever notice the people on TV or in movies who’ve distorted how they look as they age? Or ruined their bodies trying to achieve “perfection”?

Who are they making happy? Certainly not themselves.

They asked the question, “What do I have to be?” and listened to someone else tell them there’s only one path¬†to¬†success. No one (not them or the person advising them)¬†gave two shits about happiness, peace or personal joy. It’s what happens when you’re missing the keys to your own front door.

Ask one of them if they are happier or if in fact, just more insecure.

If you don’t value yourself, you feel like you could be easily discarded; tossed out like trash. It doesn’t matter how awesome people say you are. Until you value yourself, you’re disposable.

I nicknamed myself “asshole soul” because in my fear¬†I hid the seven-year-old asshole in me, having no idea that my fear-based actions would someday be my undoing. All of it originated¬†in¬†my lack of value, so why did I think others could give me what I couldn’t give myself? I figured¬†I could show up perfectly; I was¬†the rescuer. So when I stopped devaluing myself¬†and started standing my ground, I learned something. ¬†You survive when people stop valuing you. You learn you don’t die.

Even when you’re an asshole soul like me, one thing I came to know is¬†no matter what, people perceive you however they choose; not how I chose for them. So why not¬†start valuing who you are, flaws and all?

How do you do that, you may ask?

Pay attention to your insides screaming NO (and don’t say yes).

Stop pretending. I didn’t realize how much I had been burying my true feelings… so when the end came to a relationship, a job, a business partnership, it held true: I couldn’t pretend that I felt differently or that I could go against myself any longer.¬†

To quite all facades requires an emotional opening, one which weighs into the side of “I can no longer conceal pain or suck it up,” you will feel it emotionally and physically when you’re ready to really step into valuing yourself.

What else?

Take inventory with yourself. For me, I can’t maintain relationships with people who are uncompromising, take NO responsibility, bash me¬†and then pile¬†blame on me. That is non-negotiable. So is inconsistency, and people who say things but their actions say something totally different.

Don’t make fear-based decisions (So what if someone makes a¬†raspberry at you?). They always create pain for all involved. Let me explain this a bit. You¬†can get caught up in processing fear; it can get your brain speeding through multiple scenarios¬†and even convince you¬†to head in a direction based on fear BUT¬†you can stop yourself before a choice is made.

It might make you an asshole soul like me, but I guarantee you’ll be able to live more harmoniously with yourself in honesty. You’ll feel for¬†other humans, contemplating¬†“aw shucks, do I have to be the asshole this time?” ¬†Folks, it doesn’t matter, people are going to think whatever they think.¬†We can’t¬†prevent them, and for those of us who try to be pious¬†or self-righteous, that’s a bunch of bullshit too.

I had a brief exchange with a friend about the presidential race; she was stating one candidate was dirty. Statements backed by emotions, not facts, tend to irritate me.

Pious and self-righteous actions don’t fly with me, so I said to her, “I can go look in the mirror and so can ANY human being, and say I’m dirty.” Perhaps not with intention, but because we’ve all made shitty decisions and horrible mistakes. I said, “Can’t you say that you’ve done less than stellar things, perhaps even ‘dirty’ deeds?” And she¬†said, “yes.”¬†

We condemn so easily, and the question is, “What do I have to be for you to like me or not judge me or to cut me a break? ¬†The answer is ME.

We have to accept ourselves, and stop blaming others, even politicians. They show up the way they do because we create the fear-based battlefield for it to happen (open up a history book and watch how we repeat fearful actions over and over). If we busied ourselves by being who we ARE and not who we think others will accept, then this world would be different.

It would be peaceful because if I’m loving me as asshole soul and you’re loving you as asshole soul, then we would have a love-fest going on and could really love each other because we would be filled with love, and recognize our shared humanity.

It’s not about having a revolution outside of us; it’s about having an evolution inside of us!

Fear is the only thing that asks: What Do I Have To Be?

The Secret We All Share…

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Human beings. We are a funny bunch.

Many of us tend to focus on what makes us different. Not all of us, but when we get pissed or someone believes something contradictory¬†to us or drives their car how we don’t like it….or makes decisions we would never make, we focus on the differences.

We share that as human beings. Is it the secret? No.

We’ve lost a lot of artists in 2016. The latest being Prince. It didn’t really hit me til later, as I remembered my early adult years coming out of high school, as his songs were the theme to my relationships. Prince, 1999 and later Purple Rain. It was an emotional connection. Leading me deeper to include the part of myself who was freer, wilder, daring and edgy, (having Scorpio rising like him and the love of purple was relatable too) especially with his earlier songs. In those years, I’d drive along listening to Head and Sister.

Though to all appearances I probably appeared pretty straight-laced–wrapped tightly.

My point in sharing here isn’t my grief, the connection to his music or the re-living of those times in the past few days, it is that many of us hide out. We hide from ourselves first and the rest of the world secondly. We all share insecurities. We share weirdness, provocations and the fear of accepting those parts of ourselves others may deem unsavory.

Creativity, namely music and even the expression of any art form elicits what is hidden.

Is it the secret? No, I am getting there.

To continue, I thank artists who live on the edge of that space, because deep inside we all do have an edge, for most a hidden edge. When you hear your favorite song, or one you’ve attached meaning to about an emotional situation¬†how do you actually feel? Vulnerable? Or at others times, tough, sensual, sexual, happy and like dancing your ass off? It creates an emotional connection with yourself. Just like a sad song relating to a break up, or how you feel so alone inside or alienated, it can dig it up and bring it to the surface.

As a fan of all sorts of music on loneliness and alienation, from Grunge to the Church, Echo and The Bunnymen….to the 60’s, 70’s and other genres of music–it used to pull up those murky parts of myself that I wanted to hide….and let me feel myself.

The perfect picture many of us carry on the outside rarely relates to what is going on inside. The CEOs and semi-celebs I’ve worked with are never what they appear to be on the outside, even the most creative ones. Truly! Most are used to being someone else too. Real happiness is not found in hiding the other parts…the ones we tuck away in fear of being found out, doing it wrong or having to explain.

Always for me, I never fit in¬†and in many instances I¬†still don’t (but where I do is magical–any more scorpio rising peeps who love the color purple?)….and it’s okay now. Not fitting in¬†isn’t the fault of others, I believe it is a failure to embrace our own quirks. When trying to be somebody else and fit in, it’s impossible to be fulfilled. We will always feel ill at ease. You and I¬†have our own tribes and the only way to attract those people is to be YOU. If you’re always stuck in pretense, all you will attract are pretentious relationships.

Think about it. Like attracts like.

Is it the secret? Almost.

A step toward the secret we all share is as long as I’m connected to me, I feel free. Freedom is¬†what we all desire, in some capacity. Some of us are waiting for something again, outside of us, to set us free.

As you see there are many things we have in common with one another. Including, the deeper desire to share, to be open and embrace who we really are, to express that freedom, love, happiness and inner peace. We have more in common than less. Really we do.

Let’s take those words¬†and bundle them up into a meaningful place inside of us.¬†The true living of such words is a paradox, because of what¬†may matter more to us.

The secret: We all want to belong.

We all want to be connected.

We all want to be our weird ass selves (yes everyone is weird) and be accepted. We all want to come as we are and no matter what (perhaps only in the privacy of our car, shower, bedroom or the company of strangers) be voicing it from the bottom of our lungs.

And back to the artists, does it mean they live in this way, being who they truly are? They’re like the rest of us, some would say yes, others would say no. (They may have a persona to live into that they created)

It is again what they create in their art, it’s an avenue for us to experience ourselves. And it may be the only time we do experience a part of true selves. Listening to those songs, which take us somewhere else deep inside.

Many of us need outside permission to live in full expression of what lies deep inside of us, and many of us deny what is in those depths, because we want to belong so badly. We want to appear to have it all, (we need the validation, attention and admiration) but I am here to tell you….under the skin of every person who appears to have it all perfectly built is a contradiction.

It’s what makes us lonely, feel disconnected and as though the emptiness inside cannot be permanently filled up. For some it is to keep so busy there’s no connection, just go-go-go and for others it is to be immobilized, also afraid to step into who they really are…it’s where we differ.

We distance, even when we look like we’re belonging. We create drama and strife, because it’s easier than the possible rejection for what truly lives in each of us. It is really through our own creativity that we are re-born.

It is when we say yes to ourselves that it becomes ok. And it means accepting the things we do against ourselves (and others), the ways we do hide out, stand with a huge wall, hurry and get pissed off. It means we embrace ourselves in the messes we create and take responsibility.

Oh yeah, to belong may be a physiological wiring, but we have 1000s of ways we do not take responsibility for¬†the reasons we need to show up in a certain way with particular people. We look emotionally from afar, as though they may have the key to our finally feeling¬†we’ve arrived; if only we can belong and again, we feel the unrest. Looks good on the outside, but sucks on the inside.

I was at a dinner party and someone asked what I do, we had a short conversation where I¬†stated a few things I do, including learning to take responsibility without blaming others. He said, “Don’t we all do that?” And I said those of us who want to remain powerless to change our lives and be happy, yes; we stay victims.

In wanting to belong to a tribe, we may not even know why. We may have picked up those are the cool kids over there and I want to belong. Or we may rebel and say screw the cool kids, I am going to hang with the outsiders. Our group may be tied together in our unhappiness at not living a fully expressed, creative life. We cannot imagine what would become of us if we really sought out those we do belong with, that unknown can keep us dangling our entire lives.

What can you do? What are you willing to risk? How creative do you want to get? How free, happy and at peace do you want to be? You have to look deeper to understand your reasons for where you belong and why, you have to get to your beliefs around self-worth.

Every time I write or share it is a risk for me. Yeah, I am intensely private (believe it or not) and a lot of what I did in my younger years was not about love. It was about winning, appearances and self-inflicted pain. I didn’t know any better, most of us don’t.

Who was I? At the time I had no idea, just a bundle of anxiety, unease, analyzation and intellectual hubris….of course covered with a sense of humor, over-doing, over-giving¬†and trying to be the best.

Some¬†think walls are a great idea, and¬†people have to earn something from us that we’re not even willing to give to ourselves. We also think we need to show up a certain way, so we don’t lose the people around us….because we’re afraid who we really are is nothing.

Ugh, right? The judge that lives in and outside of us telling us our worth, setting the stage for who we are and for many it’s based off someone else’s rules for life. We may want to belong ‘somewhere’ so badly….we create castles in the sky. Nothing real just the appearance of it. If we’re cast out, do we vow to instead be more of who we are or more of who we think other people want?

Finding your creativity may not make you into a world famous artist, but it can open you up to the truth of your spirit. It can help you navigate the lonely waters as you sail toward your tribe. It will free you, release you and allow you to touch on inner peace, love and happiness.

Artists when performing and being in that creative state, touch that part of themselves, even if it is only for the moments they perform. I had a client who had a profession she had not chosen, other than it would satisfy her parents. She was really an artist; truly talented. as an exercise she had to visit an art store and purchase a medium which spoke to her, and create something, take a picture and send it to me.

She did…and it was amazing. Even more amazing was how she felt during the time she was creating it, it opened her up to herself and her joy. If she was to continue to do this on a daily basis, she would touch on the hidden parts of herself, letting them surface, perhaps even accepting them. It could set be the start¬†in setting herself free!

Being who you are and belonging is truly an inner journey first. The one into self-acceptance of all the parts you’ve hidden, buried deeply and pretended are non-existent. Being who you are is not a human-made perfection, it is a spiritual perfection.

What Does it Mean to Follow Your Heart?

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I always encourage people to follow their heart, to follow their dreams. And for most, they have no idea what that actually means.

Thinking we know ourselves is different than actually being connected; being in alignment and confident with who we are, what we want and where we’re headed. And so often people cannot even answer what following their heart means to them.

When I encourage people to follow their heart, does that mean it always works out how they would like it to? Nope.

And there are a few reasons why it is not a smooth road.

First of all, when your dream is about external circumstances–rather than how you learn, grow and really embrace who you are–it’s bound to fail. The perfect picture rarely shows up in reality, and when we think our happiness is tied to it, we end up sorely disappointed.

The second¬†part of the equation is having patterns that uphold a negative belief inside you. In venturing out into the land of doing¬†something you think you’ve always¬†wanted to do (perhaps for your entire life), it will bring up questions around value. YOUR value, to be specific.

Feel like you’ve never achieved enough or been “enough”? Maybe you’ve been looked over for promotions, relationships or the volleyball team. Well, going in a new direction that relies completely on you will bring up every sorry-ass belief you’ve held deep inside about your abilities.

The third pothole in the road makes an appearance as you standing in your own way. Not only do you have some crappy beliefs that come up, but you have a certain way of doing things. Perhaps you require a lot of structure and now it is no longer available. Or you have been doing something the same way for years and now you realize it doesn’t bring the results you want, so you think it must be something around you.¬†Newsflash: it’s most likely YOU. We stand in our own way all the time.

Ok, so there are hurdles, but what’s the alternative? Feeling that life isn’t complete at the end of each day?¬†The regrets will be staring you in the face and you won’t be able to do anything about it. Following your heart also means lessons will be learned. You will grow and sometimes that’s scary. It can result in some kind of loss, BUT if you hang with yourself long enough and you ride the wild tiger, there’s a huge payoff!

External rewards are not the fulfilling part of following your heart, so¬†the results¬†will¬†probably look different and that’s¬†okay. The fulfilling part is internal: how you feel doing what you do on the everyday journey.¬†¬†If you want things to change, it starts from the inside out.¬†¬†And it’s not that you become someone else, it’s that you have to let go of these preconceived beliefs that don’t serve you.

Following your heart is an excellent way to let go of the chains that bind you to a false belief system. Otherwise you’re doing things you don’t enjoy and don’t want to do. That’s never fun… and frankly, isn’t life supposed to be fun?

Many of us struggle with the idea of fun. We don’t even know what that is, and when people tell me they want to find their meaning, I have to break it to them that no brick is going to fall on their head. Honestly, how many people are waiting for a¬†lightening bolt moment? A point where the dream becomes visible, or the path opens up, or the perfect conditions present themselves.Those people spend their whole lives waiting.

Life is an experience.

We only know our destiny by living it. From¬†the experience of doing. People who live in their heads, hoping they’re gonna come up with the solution, end up stuck. You’ll never be satisfied if you stay at the level of the mind. Go for the experiences¬†instead of¬†a path of regrets. If we play it safe our whole life and we get to the end, what do we have to show for it?

And for those wanting meaning, the head will never satisfy. The heart is what drives us. Follow it.

Tool For Self-Love

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I created a meditation on self love, you can find it here on YouTube. 

Self-love is a topic most of us do not understand, we associate it with activities rather than understanding how to feel into it. Our feelings appear to fall behind our intellect when we place rules of engagement with life in front of them.

We have strategies for living and sometimes they mimic self-love, but in the end we tend to shortchange ourselves on what we actually deserve. We deserve so much more love than many of us were impressed upon to believe and therefore our value is up for grabs.

We place the value on achievements, validation and living with the rules in our heads. Our hearts can end up buried under all this luggage.

If you have about 18 minutes (that’s how long the meditation is), please listen in and start feeling into “making” space to let love inside. Enjoy! ‚̧

Chasing, Tripping And Falling Down

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Have you ever found yourself running after something? Literally or metaphorically? As in, wanting something so bad, whether it wants you or not?

It’s a single-minded attachment to having that person, place or thing, right?

Often we may hide it. No one really knows what we deeply desire and so we covertly chase after it; wishing, wanting, praying, hoping and putting immense energy to shoving it down, so we seem like we really don’t want it to the rest of the world.

But we do! We want it sooooo bad!

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we at times openly chase something, and at other times ‘act’ like its no big deal, even though we want it just as much?

Because we feel we cannot have it.

We don’t deserve it, aren’t good enough, haven’t proven ourselves, want to appear above it–not needing (or needy), and so these deeply held shiteous beliefs run our lives delivering exactly what that barren desert ending is… the one confirming our worst fears.

Rita felt like everything was always a struggle. Her marriage had been, her kids, work, maintaining the house and the financial responsibility. It always fell on her shoulders. She divorced, moved, and was sorta, kinda, speaking up at work, BUT she still felt stuck.

She also found herself hooked on someone from her past, totally impossible to let go of and it made her crazy!

She wanted a relationship, but nothing in her life reflected one coming to her without major¬†struggle. She felt it was too hard, not¬†enough good men and believed she possessed¬†some deep flaw that kept okay ones¬†at a distance! If you met her, you wouldn’t know any of this, because she appeared to have it together!

Her energy was focused on the past guy, while she longed for a real partnership, she would chase after the old one; send him text messages, call him, ask him out and so on. He would respond once in awhile, but her hard work just didn’t yield the results.

Why did she work so hard for nothing? Chasing, tripping and falling down….and then blaming herself for her fatal flaw.

Andrea is in a relationship with someone who does not share her lifestyle, or too much of her life. He is very attentive to his own life, squeezing her in when he has time. She drops everything when he calls and anytime she brings up the state of their relationship he gets angry that she doesn’t understand where he’s at.

To her, he is better than her ex, they have fun when they are together, but she comes up empty when viewing it as a true partnership. She doesn’t feel heard, or seen and¬†has told herself¬†to work harder, be more available and just be patient.

She has worked at it as though it’s her last hope, embodying¬†everything she feels¬†is expected of her and is afraid to let go.

Both women are committed to¬†struggle, but couldn’t see the pattern clearly. They both didn’t feel they deserved better, even though both repeated the sentiment that they deserved so much more quite often!

What about Sheila? She works hard and is successful in her career; she’s never had a real committed relationship as an adult. To others she appears to not need or want one, but to her, no matter what it seems a relationship is elusive, leaving her feeling lonely, isolated and trying to fix other people. Her deepest desire is to get married and yet she chased after her greatest success:¬†her career.

She only knows how to chase after what she wants and has found herself tripping into a bad ending each time she does it in her personal life.

Some of us are in total denial that we want something different than what our life looks life. Fear of wanting more, keeps us from relaxing by allowing ourselves to believe we will receive what we want. Fear makes us feel greedy or that our desires are unattainable.

Fear leads us to chase.

We chase for a variety of reasons:

  • To purposely¬†fall down, proving to ourselves we really can’t have what we want.
  • Go after¬†the wrong people, places and things:¬†It¬†looks acceptable from¬†the judgment of others, but we don’t really want any of it¬†and¬†don’t trust we can¬†have what we REALLY want. Interestingly enough, when chasing what we don’t want, somehow we find ways (unconsciously) to fail, or if outside validation is extremely important we’ll succeed only to suffer a lack of fulfillment.
  • To stay busy.
  • Thinking it will solve the problem of the void within us.

On top of it–it’s a narrow vision, and it can be exhausting to be wrapped up in the intellectual pursuit of the chase.¬†Keeping it narrow, instead of appearing to want more, gives the impression of remaining stationary, so it doesn’t threaten our relationships.

Nature desires more life everyday–it grows. If humanity didn’t want more, we’d all still be living in a cave.

How do you get more into your life without chasing it?

  1. Admit you want more, perhaps different or scary, because it may mean loss.
  2. Become visible. Most of the time if we’re chasing, we don’t have a connection to our deepest desire (not the emptiness or belief something outside of us can solve the problem), because if we did, it means we’d have to stop hiding out.
  3. Time to be available. Many of us are shut down to wanting more or what seems impossible, so we’re unavailable to actually having it. Notice where you have a wall, shield or act in opposition to the deeper desire.
  4. Relax. It’s not time to eat bonbons, but to release¬†going after things a full time job.
  5. Oh yeah, get rid of plan B, and start living Plan A, when you do take inspired action toward what you actually want–it’s never a chase. It is taking small steps forward, in alignment with your real goal. Totally different energy, totally different outcome.
  6. Give yourself validation by building trust that you can take appropriate action for your aspirations. You can do it!

Want some help in learning what you really want and how to have it without force? Schedule a discovery session to see if we would be a good fit!

The Impact Of Being Honest

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Most of us live in stories.

Heck, as human beings, we love a good story! One we relate to¬†in some fashion, whether it’s our own experiences or something fantastical making the impossible appear¬†real.

The issue¬†with the stories we tell ourselves is their¬†limitations. We may not dare to stretch beyond the confines of it, because it’s scary, or we feel unworthy or somehow undeserving.

And we stay stuck.

I had a multi-nuanced stuck story around dating, just like most of the b.s. we feed ourselves.

I always thought¬†I was different, a bit odd–hard to love. In contrast,¬†even though I was weird, I was special and unique. For years I thought I was perfect (measured¬†in what I gave to others–not because I believed I was amazing), and on the other hand, I felt I was easily discarded and so on.

All the contradiction represents how I had a great deal of it in my self-evaluation. My story stemmed from a place of unworthiness, judging myself harshly (as I used to do); holding everyone and everything to a crazy-ass expectation!

Can you relate?

So… this story around dating.

A deep epiphany: People meet you exactly where you are with yourself.

I saw myself on a past first date. I was engaging, nice, interacting¬† (Hell! I was in sales for years, I know what to ask.) and usually asked out on a second-date. It was my goal. Make it so they liked me…and then I’d hook em’!

Hahahaaaaaa…I laugh at this image now (I sure wasn’t honest back then)!

The b.s. here: I could show up as emotionally unavailable (It’s exactly where I was, ahem!) and lo’ and behold after the guy was done chasing me….it turned out he was emotionally unavailable too! What a surprise! Not.

That epiphany hit home on a very deep level, people meet you exactly where you are, so the next time you want to finger point, put your finger back in your pocket.

My story was based in fear.

The fear of engulfment, rejection, losing independence, not believing I was lovable (prove it!) and so on. Lying kept me stuck in this vicious circle for years.

I didn’t realize I was lying, it was just the story I always told myself. Until I came to realize how lonely, disappointing and draining it was to live and date this way.

Man, I was so scared!

It’s no wonder I talked myself into half-relationships, or soulmate situations with high drama! Staying in this heightened state of pain with few euphoric moments kept me in the biggest lie! The biggest story I could tell myself, so I was the victim and the heroine at the same time…

And the biggest lie was this is all I deserved.

It was¬†unlike a movie with its romantic drama, it didn’t get tied up in a neat little happy ending!

It was an unraveling leading to an amazing awareness!

Until, I started to accept¬†my b.s. stories around “I’m¬†meant to be alone,” or as a friend said to me years ago,”I think you’re here on a spiritual journey and aren’t meant for a relationship.” (Um, our greatest spiritual lessons come from relationships–staying alone actually keeps us stunted in our¬†comfort zone)

Do you get what I’m throwing down? Do you get our lives are based on our choices, our perspective of ourselves and what we deserve?

As I started working with my dating coach last week, I found I’d¬†already moved¬†into deeper awareness. Just the act of hiring her, committing to me, lead to this epiphany, (it was before my first appointment) something I heard a million times, but never really got emotionally.

The impact of being honest about my past way of dating, lead me to the discovery of choice, empowerment and re-weaving of what I thought was possible for me.

As I took more responsibility for my part and how I acted in fear, I could see the contrast of what is now feasible by trusting myself. Trusting the Universe with my conspiring feelings, lead to my visual: anything is truly possible!

Want to be released from the prison of limitation? Commit to changing your story! Find a way. Allow yourself to question everything.

Perhaps, like me, you’re ready to¬†really do it honestly? Deconstructing the story?¬†Scheduling a discovery session with me can give you insight into whether you’re really available to change or you want to stay stuck in your story a little longer.

Click to book a complimentary discovery session.

Being Real Or Being Numb? Why It Matters.

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Do you ever act or speak in ways to be accepted or looked to as someone who has your shit together?

I mean, having the appearance of being ‘real’?¬†Down to Earth?

For years, people said that of me.

I said that of me too.

It wasn’t true.

Being numb can seem like real or¬†calm to the world, it gives the impression that all is well, until, well, it isn’t.

If a crisis happens, or even better, if someone criticizes you….how do you feel?

Do you feel shame? Are you cringing, as though you’ve finally been found out? Do you do a ‘mental’ scramble to get back in auto-pilot,¬†appear¬†in control?

It’s really a sign of being numb. Numb, numb, numb…until a sharpshooter pierces your veil. Unraveling the¬†‘real’ disconnection to yourself.

Insulated, in control of all circumstances (it gives the impression¬†of peace/calm), builds¬†a small world. Even if you travel, move residence, buy or sell a company, a car, get in a relationship….or go to yoga, in other words the appearance looks like¬†action….but you still¬†feel bad.

Appearances aren’t¬†the true story.

Being numb means repetition: buy more, sell more, travel more, work more and so on.

Taking you¬†back and forth between calm and anxiety. Calm when all is under control, and anxious when it appears you can’t trust what is happening.

Yup……..

I know this so well. SO WELL.

I journaled this morning, thinking about my recently hiring two different coaches, for two different areas of my life. And how in the past, when I hired someone, I looked to outsmart them! As though, the issue was to prove I was okay, successful, etc, so I could believe help was useless. To appear evolved was more important than my happiness and well-being.

I went to therapy only to be told I was too evolved.

Really?

No way.

I knew I could intelligently explain what was going on with me, speak psychology, but really…I wouldn’t have been sitting in their offices,¬†had I not been suffering from a shit-ton of anxiety.

Being real was NOT happening, there was NO vulnerability.

I intellectually leveled the playing field, so the therapist had no more knowledge or power than me. Crazy right? If I was feeling inferior and wanted to show I was superior, how the fuck could I get help?

It took me a long time (this scenario was over a decade ago) to get it emotionally. The defensive way I stood ground, proving no one could help me. Oh brother!

I looked calm, in charge and connected. I WAS NUMB. Until something out of my control happened. In the form of a relationship or monetary loss, or some security. Anxiety would pull me a long day after day, while I intellectually tried to solve the problem.

Intellectually trying to resolve feelings or emotions makes¬†you numb…there’s a wall inside of you keeping REAL out. It¬†locks¬†out fulfillment, while¬†protecting¬†your stale belief system.

Your world gets smaller. Being real requires emotional risk. Not actions that just look like risk, like quitting your job and moving to a third world country to help people. It requires emotionally being connected to your WHY, to challenging yourself to break open, to breathe, relax, allow, trust, YOURSELF and life.

By smaller, being unaware¬†that your life is HUGE repetition of last year.¬†It’s¬†familiar, you don’t go deep and act from there. Numbness is preferred. REAL possibility doesn’t exist, because¬†you repeat the past.

How is it real? Being numb matters, because YOU never experience life at the level of inner fulfillment.

Being real means non-attachment to outcomes, being emotionally present and stepping into UNLIMITED possibilities! A numb control freak cannot do it.

For me it’s having help,¬†allowing it.¬†So,¬†if¬†I start disregarding advice… I ask: will this help me if I¬†disprove it? Or will I be more fulfilled, successful, happy and so on, allowing a helping hand….by being real and vulnerable?

It¬†matters¬†to live this way. It sparkles! Being real is a flow, it’s a free ride, because the cost of being numb and rigid to old ways is gone. Every time I say YES to help, to emotional risk and listening to my heart–my external circumstances bring more fulfillment–connection.

Want to break out of the numbness? Want an opportunity to really grab onto a shooting star and FEEL amazing? Schedule a discovery session, we can dive into together!

 

Why Are My Relationships So Hard?

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Once upon a time in a land far far away, there was a fairy princess and her prince (or a princess and a princess,¬†or¬†a prince and a prince–whatever the modern fairy tale would be for you). Point is it seemed like it was easy in the ‘ever after part’ right?

We all figured it would be magical!

And we set our vision on having that magical person enter our life.

But do you remember what it took for these two to hook up? I mean really, besides mythological creatures, there were family members who interfered with the road to the characters’ love and happiness!

It was HARD work!

For¬†most of us we were raised in families, where we learned a lot about relationships being hard. It doesn’t necessarily mean abusive, it just means HARD.

Many of us learned at an early age not to want very much, but to expect a lot from our mate. It was a relationship paradox.

When I was married I wondered¬†why I couldn’t have it all–that deep intimacy or even some of it. Why was it so freakin’ HARD!?

Lotsa reasons. Starting with me.

Our expectations aren’t even in alignment with reality and at the same time we accept far less than we deserve. Some of us are waiting for the other¬†person to turn into our dream prince or princess.

Think I’m kidding?

A client of mine suffered anxiety and an intense yearning for an old love to wake up and smell the coffee. She wanted her past love, a mentally unstable, abusive individual, to seek¬†help, be magically repaired and show up on her doorstep! I¬†said to her, “You do realize that people who are ready for a happy and healthy relationship don’t dream of turning someone who has a lot of emotional dysfunction into their dream mate, right?” And I added, “What would you do if that happened? You only choose partners based on their emotional distance to intimacy. Could you deal with being vulnerable?”

My client, like many others, ended up in relationships, which were just hard.

Some wait years for the payoff,  because there has to be something (usually unidentifiableРjust a feeling of a reward dangling). They watched Mom or Dad waiting, or suffering through hard labor.

I’ve worked with people who have been together for years, listening to one partner complain over and over to me about how the other partner just doesn’t get it! The complainer isn’t doing anything but complaining about something that they don’t even want to change.

Why?

Because it is the level of emotional availability the complainer¬†was used to receiving as a child.¬†We want a list of characteristics from a mate, because we’ve been told to want it, and deep down at our core, we all want emotional intimacy. But the problem in between is we didn’t learn how to be vulnerable and unguarded. In many cases we attracted someone where their ability to get close is limited too. We match each other.

Many of us are used to working too hard for emotional connection.

The ‘how’¬†in¬†getting¬†emotionally close to another human being can be a challenge, so we purposely choose partners where the focus is on the arduous¬†journey to claw our way¬†to intimacy (and rarely get there). We look for complicated, hard and tortuous opportunities¬†to prove ourselves (and at times be superior to the other person). Be¬†careful what you wish for, because if it were actually to come true, you may not¬†know what to do with yourself.

We end up with hard, because we come from scarcity.

Scarcity means there’s not enough love, not enough good ones and perhaps, we don’t feel we’re good enough to deserve¬†what we want. And so we settle for less and doing HARD¬†labor.

Obviously, some don’t go down this road, but I am speaking to those people who feel relationships are hard. Yes, staying together¬†takes commitment and work, but not the kind of work hard relationships represent.

Forget¬†perfection or somebody to wait on you hand and foot, I’m talking someone to be emotionally intimate with you. Many married couples have no emotional intimacy, it’s not¬†just a single person thing. Scarcity of love, of believing you deserve to have intimacy and then being able to handle it takes a lot of self-awareness, confidence and openness.

Vulnerability is hard to maintain for many long-term relationships, when one or both partners don’t want to be vulnerable because they might lose their stance. Over time, some fall into:¬†“I’m right, you’re wrong,” and it’s a hard way to live.

Having a partner who is in a state of resistance to you, no matter what you seek, is tiring… and HARD.¬†Nagging, whining or the silent treatment are wonderful ways to never get close to your partner. And for singles¬†who seem to have someone they cannot get over, because they’re still waiting for the reward or the validation of what they didn’t get in that¬†relationship, it is just as hard.

Alison was still married, desiring an ex-boyfriend from high school who also was still married. Alison wanted a divorce, and felt this electrical connection to her old ex-mate. He couldn’t offer much in his current situation, but he felt he was offering enough just by communicating and having clandestine meetings with her. He kept promising her he would leave his wife too. Alison found she couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat and spent a lot of time fantasizing about what it would be like to finally be with her high school sweetheart! She was trying to escape her current reality. The heightened emotional state she had with her boyfriend made her feel they had true intimacy, but all they really shared was a desire to avoid their current lives. In both relationships, there was no intimacy.

Real intimacy requires commitment.

What can you do?

  • Stop looking for things to be hard, find the ease.
  • Learn to love yourself and be intimate with you first.
  • Surrender, take down those useless walls that keep love out.
  • Look at how you come from a lack mentality–see where scarcity plays a part and shift it.
  • Finally commit to yourself that vulnerability, openness and ease are your goals in the relationship with yourself… and then others.

Do you see the difference between commitment towards intimacy and vulnerability vs. staying in a difficult relationship based on scarcity?