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?

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Chasing Life

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Life is a journey, right?

Sometimes it comes easy and at other times it feels like we’re out there rock climbing without a rope.

I come from a place of being a doer.

I am all about taking action.

I often talk about mental masturbation as a place we can get stuck for eons, and talk ourselves right out of taking action toward what we really want.

I’ve taken action for a multitude of reasons in my life; motivated by excitement or motivated by fear. Many times I also took action, because it was “my pattern, my way, of operating without much thought, because action was on autopilot.

My discovery was the action I took in “autopilot” sprouted from this fear, that if I don’t go after it, then it’ll not be there. It pushed me out there; I thought no one would know me or find me, so my job was to tell others to need me in certain situations.

I had to sell myself and show my value, so I wouldn’t starve or be forgotten.

Sigh–so tiring, right?

I recently found I was still doing it in places. In fact, I had a dream, where I kept asking people in the dream for attention, for what I wanted and give them no room or space to figure it out on their own.

I, physically, felt how I was going against myself and my gut. I knew that in the rapid-fire way of asking someone to give me attention, I was feeling worse and worse about myself in this dream.

When I woke, I thought of my recent “lightbulb moments.” They were connected. I had always been chasing life, perhaps not as overtly or often as I used to, but when it came to my basic needs there definitely was still the fear driving me.

I’ve been without a home, without food and when I was a lot younger, I lived in my car for a bit of time (more out of stubbornness than necessity) too.

I realized my lack of trust was still there; I didn’t believe things would work out for me. I didn’t trust my value, and I was so focused on a pattern (a major one) repeating in my life, apparently against my will, that I was disconnecting from me and my truth.

Confusion is the sign of a lesson.

Clarity has been uneven for the past 6 months. I have spent time really searching inside myself for clarity, for the karma in my life that apparently is standing in the way of where I intuitively feel I am supposed to be.

What am I talking about?

When we are on a path, paying attention to our inner calling, it’s not alway clear that life will fall into place. Often it does not and we can take it as a sign to jump off the path or stay with the course. Clarity often comes last.

I must continue the course. Intuitively, I know it’s where I’m headed. When we stay on the challenging path, it’s where our karma lies to be balanced, to teach us, so we grow. For me, it’s been either action or allowing. Desiring to be in alignment and accepting circumstances as they are instead of trying to change them all the time. What is my lesson?

Make sense?

I’ve come to clarity with more to come.

First,  there’s no purpose in exhausting ourselves to chase life.

Second, the lack of trust in ourselves and the Universe can cause us to get stuck in the same pattern over and over, trying to teach us what will actually simplify our lives.

Third, if we keep turning events and our reactions to our inner wisdom, clues do show up and one day we have an epiphany telling us the path we’re on is purposeful. Our perspective shifts and we start to see the opportunity rather than the challenges.

Fourth, the recognition of our own value comes from connecting and re-connecting (no one is connected to themselves 24/7) to our truth and staying with it, no matter what the path looks like ahead.

Fifth, no one else can offer proper judgment on our karma. We’re here to grow and learn. We are not on our own timetable, there is no rushing and chasing that needs to happen. We can relax and have faith that our challenges will give way to enlightenment and success.

 

 

 

Transformation. What’s the Cost?

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Many of us say we want things to be different in our lives, but the loss of the familiar is way too scary.

We can stay stuck for years in non-movement, making excuses and feeling crappy. The main reason we stay there, beyond losing the familiar is we don’t know how to proceed. What’s the best course? Is there a course?

There is and it’s in our hearts. We have the map RIGHT THERE. We just have to listen and follow it, rather than analyzing, agonizing and getting stuck in our heads.

We are SO AFRAID of change, we create a life of regret. How many people stay stuck in jobs and relationships, which make them miserable? Perhaps, they’ve compartmentalized themselves so much that they block out the misery and are just numb!

Whatever bulls**t we tell ourselves, is so we can remain in the same place, never growing, expanding and really loving ourselves. The key is to be afraid, very afraid and do it anyway.

Often, we think we can walk away and close a door to someone or a situation without really allowing ourselves to feel. For some of us, we pack it away and say, “I am gonna push my way through or be SO strong that I overpower all of my emotions!”

That ain’t strength and it isn’t authentic and it leads us further away from transformation.

Transformation requires surrender, it means to stop the struggle. Yet, as people walk the ring of fire in transformation they struggle to maintain the old; the familiar. 

I know from all parts of my life what transformation really does: it’s letting go of what we grasp. Letting a new process or new way of being, becomes the way for us to expand.

In my business, I’ve struggled with finding the right coach for me. I’m a straight shooter and I find in my industry that quite a few people (not all) follow a pattern of sales, which is disturbing to me. Often, it doesn’t allow you to get what the coach really offers….there’s a promise of transformation, but it isn’t clear on how they help you. It’s hard to get intimate enough to know if it’s a solid fit.

It requires me to know two things, first I have to open myself to knowing that hiring a coach is scary, it means transformation, so I have to be aware of any possible resistance that I’m unaware of on my part (what excuses do I have to not hire them) and secondly, what’s the cost to me if I don’t hire someone to help me, to shine a light on my blind spots, so I get where I need to go?

It’s the same thing when it comes to love.

First, we have to trust ourselves to honor our boundaries and not try to please or manipulate to get what we want….and secondly, it means to become vulnerable and allow someone else to see all parts to us, because when we do, we’ve accomplished transformation. Otherwise, to remain cut off, invulnerable and being stuck in a non-loving position creates ailments across the board….and it begs the question, what is the cost to us, if we don’t allow?

None of this is as easy as writing it, because our old beliefs would like us to stay with the familiar (even if it sucks) will keep us stuck, trying to convince us to remain as we are….

Clarity in our motivation and understanding along with desire creating action to transform–is AWARENESS and the seeds to TRANSFORM. Forget talking, it’s about dancing with the unknown, stepping out of our way and embracing all that we are and will become.

Recently, I had anxiety, something which has become totally unfamiliar to me. I woke up on my birthday with it and after being in the theater watching Gravity (becoming claustrophobic, experiencing motion sickness), I had to walk out and get air. I had a friend mention all the change I was creating in my life…and I said, “yeah,” as though that wasn’t it. It wasn’t til I woke the next day feeling crazy, thinking I was losing my mind that it hit me. I wrote down all the overwhelm and my fears with change… I realized my thoughts were trying to sabotage me. My subconscious was trying to keep me stuck and unable to go forth…

Why do I share, because fear is insidious and when you’re prepared to transform, your mind will throw everything it can in the way of changing the familiar.

If you want help with transforming your life to one of pleasure, peace, happiness and overall acceptance…call me or join my newest program, I love helping others to gain the awareness/strength to LIVE THEIR DREAMS!

 

Tripping off the Pedestal

Why do we hold others to expectations that are truly impossible to fulfill?

Do we enjoy disappointment?

What part of placing someone in a “light of perfection” do we actually think is a happy and healthy place for anyone to live ? And what about being the one placed on the pedestal trying to live up to some unfathomable expectation?

I have encountered in the past couple of months (make that years), personally and professionally, quite a few situations in which I am on both the giving and receiving end of this wonderful phenomenon. Even better, what about the expectations you place on yourself? (This is a great starting place for seeking inner peace)

By others placing me in this position of their own entitlement or expectation rather than appreciation or just letting me be who I am, it taught me how I have done this with someone in my life.

My expectations hit me square between the eyes. Thankfully, by the time I understood how I had done this with him, I had stopped to a large degree. My expectations are not for someone else to absorb and throw on their back.

Dig Deep and what do you find? Gold or coal?

I have found that relationships with people in my life rate as most important alongside my relationship with me.

I want to hold everyone in a place of love.

It just makes it easier for others and myself. When I start “holding people accountable” in a way that is detrimental to the relationship, I have to ask myself why I want to sabotage the situation, especially if I care about the person.

We can hold others accountable, but remember the goal. If you are to hold another accountable, it must be clear, concise and understood by both parties as to what is expected from each other in terms of action or words. It is simple, because even if someone does not come through it is discussed and resolved.

Instead, when it is unclear and assumed (assumptions are the gateway to hell), all hell can break loose.

There are times, someone may just fail, not come through or disappoint us even though everything was clearly laid out.

First, we have to show compassion for our own self and the other.

It’s okay to f—k up, we all do. And if it is not, then the relationship does not have a healthy, honest and trusting foundation.

The greatest gift we give each other is acceptance. Accepting of who someone is and where they are in their life.

Acceptance does not necessarily mean we keep the person in our life (but it makes it a helluva lot easier to really BE in a relationship with someone without resentment), it may mean we understand, have compassion and accept that we can love people, but not choose to engage or invest as a core relationship in our life.

At times in my life, living on the pedestal was a welcome challenge.

Appearances of having it all together and being Wonder Woman were important. I put others needs ahead of mine, attempted to be a fairy godmother and worked hard for approval. I really have made strides in not sacrificing myself too often, but once in awhile it happens. And it is my responsibility when I place myself in an awkward position for approval. I blame no one else.

You realize no matter what you do or how you do it, if someone is looking to be let down, they will find a way to be let down. And you get to be the source of the disappointment, deserved or not.  There is no right or wrong in reality, although one or both parties may want to draw a line down the middle. Perception is where we all operate from and that is subjective.

I have been working diligently at changing my own perception of my life.

As I encounter challenges, I ask myself if I must fight or can I just go with the flow?

It’s as simple as realizing when you sit at the border waiting to get back into your country that the snafu, which is keeping you in a holding tank of sorts is out of your control. And so, you relax and go with it, knowing it will eventually work out (this coming from me, a retired AAA personality), doing this in relationships is not a bad idea too.

In letting go of the expectations of others, especially if the situation was unclear can be a little more difficult.

The ability to not take on another’s “stuff” and remain neutral, compassionate and open is a way to peace (inner and outer). Every time you can understand another’s perspective and their chosen reaction, BUT at the same time let go of making it your crusade or trying to fix it for them, yet still care, you have made an inroad to peace. It is difficult to do, because if you have false core beliefs…this may hit those buttons.

Honesty is very helpful, real get down n’ dirty authenticity is at the base of a healthy situation. And I don’t mean honesty and authenticity, which says I am a bad person, you’re a weak liar or anything meant to assuage guilt. It is where both people own their shit. Own it! When we stop piling it on others and take responsibility for what we want and who we are, a world of change can happen.

In the past, I had people tell me I am intimidating at times. The label always fascinated me, yet it has become clear as to why people found me that way. When it came to situations where I was willing to be honest and authentic I could be a force to reckoned with if someone else wasn’t able to come from the same place. I would hold people accountable to something they had no interest or understanding of inside of their perception.

I did not understand how someone did not clearly see they were complaining or giving an excuse.

I had no tolerance for either, I wanted people to just say “I am human, I screwed up.” Or “this is the issue, how do we resolve it?” or “I promised you this, but I can’t come through.”

I realized that even though I held a door open to honest communication, that some couldn’t come through the door and would blame me for it, as though my wanting honesty was a travesty and I was a bitch for standing firmly in that space. It made me realize I had an expectation of others they couldn’t possibly live up to in any form. My righteous position gave me a ton of heartache. And I had to stop. I did. And with the letting go of holding others to communicate with me in this fashion, either those relationships naturally fell away, or through many missteps our relationships grew HAPPIER, deeper and wider.

The point is no one belongs on a pedestal.

Expectations more often than not lead to disappointment.

Clear and concise communication about shared goals is the quickest route to peace.

Work with your core beliefs; the ones, which keep you stuck in pain and expectation.

Let go of the perception you have of others or yourself in which you are seemingly always placed in a position of disappointment.

And let everyone “be” just as they are, miracles happen this way! I know!

The Gift of Acceptance

Acceptance is a great word.

You can accept a gift, a favor, an idea, kindness, etc…

And you can accept everything as it is.

It doesn’t mean settling.

It means taking a breath for a moment, a day or a lifetime.

Just stopping activity to take a visual or mental survey, a snapshot of everything in your life right now and saying “this is what it looks like”.

You accept the picture.

That is all it is.  Once a picture is taken with your camera, that moment is frozen in time.

You can’t fight a “picture”.  You may not have a fondness for the picture, but it is the reality of the moment.

I take a moment to breathe in the midst of a struggle of wanting circumstances to be different and realize nothing is struggling against me  (unless of course you’re in a barroom brawl or any other sort of physical fight or flight).

I realize its my thoughts I’m struggling with as though each viewpoint was down and dirty with me wrestling in the mud.

When I stop and take the picture by first noticing my surroundings, what I am actually doing in the moment and what I am feeling; I notice the release of all my muscles.  It is like a wave of calm starts to take over.

I start to feel that peace in my core grow.

And magically, all is well.

The beauty of accepting everything as is, opens you up to the change.

You are now relaxed and not focused on filling the space with struggle.  You see how all that energy going into wanting to force your resolve or beat yourself up is energy you can spend elsewhere.

Your mind is NOW not “against” anyone or anything.

It allows creativity to be born.

Without all the focus, obsessing, strategizing, etc… A solution naturally comes to you.

Sometimes the solution is to do nothing, all that needs to be done, has been done. All you can do is accept. It releases you and wow, isn’t great to find something else to focus on that may inspire you?

And at other times through acceptance, you have opened a window of inspiration.

Acceptance is also about our emotions, our mistakes, and anything else we can’t accept.

The same applies here.

Take a snapshot of your internal nature; is there a thunderstorm or sunshine?

Are you ruminating over something that didn’t work out and you think you could’ve done something differently?

Or maybe you’re angry at someone or yourself and you feel bad for being angry?

Whatever the feelings you have are at any given moment, once you lay down your mental weapons and accept—it changes.

If you are in the midst of arguing, or even about to indulge in a tasty treat or concocting a great story to get your way. Stop for a moment. Say “hello” to your feelings and let them be…. don’t try to force yourself into thinking or feeling a certain way. When you see what is driving you to get your way or do what you want or you just feel bad it is helpful to just stop, take a picture and relax.

Accept how you feel and once again watch how you shift.  

And watch what happens when you resume your activity.

Once you have given awareness and acceptance to your feelings it opens you up to moving out of habitual ways of being. True change can now happen.

I do this daily, especially whenever I realize I’m tense and disconnected from myself, because I’m so in my head wanting things to be different.

And I find that everything that looked impossible has now become possible.

I would love to hear from anyone who practices acceptance in their daily life and for those interested in starting to practice it; please share your experiences.

Slowing it down…

I realize my practice of internally “slowing it down” is affecting more than my sense of peace.

I am now in the driver’s seat of how I spend my time, what I allow to control it, and how I choose what I do from minute to minute.

I am erasing that “sense of obligation”, it is actually dissipating quite naturally, on a daily basis.

I am no longer concerned with being accepted as “the favorite”, “the best” or showing up as“the most responsible, so I take everyone else’s stuff on as my own.” It has been happening in pieces over many years, but I would say in the last week it has become my new way of happily greeting the sun each day.

There is a solid feeling of “no more settling”, an actual, undeniable deep, peaceful part of me that will not dally in situations that don’t fulfill or satisfy me.

It resonates at the core of my life both personally and professionally; I usually want to help people, yet ONLY if I am genuine in that effort. My favorite economics term sums it up; the cost vs. benefit analysis, when the cost outweighs the benefit–I am compelled to make a decision in favor of me. When I slow it down, I can spend time pondering what my gut is telling me to be true.

And if I am inclined to help, I make sure I am clear and ask myself: is it for approval, being a “nice” person, or because it is an expectation, as the person asking feels entitled to receive the help?

I share this topic; many of us feel inclined to help people when it is at a cost to ourselves.

The problem with the “cost” is in helping the person, you may end up quietly resenting the individual. And if you don’t help them; you can feel incredibly guilty. The best scenario is put yourself first; I put the oxygen mask on before I help someone else. Once I have enough air, I can be of service.

In slowing it down, I don’t feel rushed to make a decision or show up for any other reason than I genuinely want to be there.

Whether it is a job, my business, dinner, a relationship of any nature: romantic or the one with my kids…

If I am not happy to go along; I slow down to notice if my inner climate is changing, and if the temperature is rising; I ask my motivation and may make an unpopular decision.

I like to please people, yet if I am not pleased….I am soooo not a pleasant person to be around, I’d be a cranky crocodile. And the only person responsible for me achieving “cranky-hood” is me and what I allow by the choices I make every time.

Slowing down means less compromising of myself, because I have the time to see the bigger picture.

Slowing down, is a more peaceful place to live from…there are not many things I “genuinely” have to do.

I get to make a choice every moment of every day; some days I change my mind and yet most days, I am inclined to be of service to people. I find slowing down brings a definite up-liftment, a sense of shared happiness and if we can lift each other even with a smile during our daily excursions, it can change a mood, improve demeanor and energize an individual, just like that!

Believing and paying attention Part 2

Picking up where I left off on the last post. I woke up having one of those vivid dreams–the type where you swear someone was with you. It brands an impression or imprint on you, so when a subject comes up that doesn’t even seem related, you “feel” the feeling of the dream. It is a strange thing, because it doesn’t necessarily mean I ever remember the dream. This time, upon waking–I wrote it down (smart move, eh?).

I won’t share the entire dream, just the part that made the morning even more synchronistic.

Mind you, I say this after being “haunted” for days before the dream of ” blatant signs” beyond what I previously mentioned in my last post. And PLUS the energetic connection to the person in my dream, which has not faded but only grown stronger (at times overwhelming) in the past two months.

Anyways, this person who I was most recently in relationship with was in the dream…handing me my books (I am a self-confessed, book-a-holic), telling me we need to read them together; he wanted to learn and grow with me. He also said he was ready for the real rootin’ tootin’ relationship of all time (okay, I am exaggerating–but you get the point), but a little scared.

I wrote this down and quickly moved thru the emotions I was feeling, to a more resolved state. Picked up my water, my journal, phone and bag walked out the hotel room door looking for coffee, leaving my sleeping daughter there. (waking her unless it is a natural disaster is not really a good idea)  In the lobby, some of the travelers from Europe were still milling about, apparently Mammoth Lakes hosts their Oktoberfest in September.

Coffee in hand, off I went to the huge park with the beautiful stream. As I walked there, I noticed the restaurant I wanted to eat breakfast at upon returning from my excursion.

Once there, I walked over to the stream….feeling more peaceful, happy, centered and very close to the Universe/God. I ambled along the dirt path reviewing in my mind, my recent “intentions”. I was talking out loud to Universe/God and saying I accept all that is, as it is AND I MEANT IT. If I am single, so be it–I honestly meant this too. Whenever the timing is right for me, with whomever it will be for me, I am at peace. I like my life, it has its struggles and moments where all isn’t a fluffy red velvet cupcake…but who always has dessert?

As I came to this place of awesome surrender, peace and acceptance I happened upon a bench “right at that moment”. 

Obviously, I was in “awe”, because not only was this the conversation I just had, but what a great way to memorialize someone dear to you. As I continued walking, I started checking out all the other benches, it was very inspiring and reminded me to “be in this moment”.

I will leave the rest for the next post, except to say about 10 minutes after I made this peaceful resolution, I heard from that person in my dream….funny timing after 2 months? I have more to that story, the amazing synchronicity from large to small in which I have a question without even asking out loud…and it is immediately answered. All questions/prayers are answered, all we have to do is listen. All areas of my life have continued to be affected by serendipitous moments, throughout my stay in Mammoth and daily, since arriving back home.