I don’t want to spend time fixing myself.

fixing_others

Do you?

I cannot imagine a more fruitless journey then to try to fix what isn’t broken. Improvement….to what?

Working my ass off to become an ideal that was created outside of myself?…By someone else?

I state this, because there’s a misconception that we’re all broken and for some of us it can be quite the obsession to fix what we think is fatally wrong.

Here’s the truth…we’re all flawed, screwed-up, messy, emotional (if you’ve compartmentalized your emotions, so you’re numb–then you ain’t living–you’re surviving!) and crazy in some aspect!

We’re human beings…..objectively speaking and subjectively we scrutinize ourselves and others with a microscope, trying to be the best…..to compete…to create an illusion.

This isn’t the key to a happy life.

At all.

It’s a never ending hamster wheel of trying to do something that’s impossible and quite frankly a waste of time…think about it, if you’re about self-improvement (subjective)…what’s the ultimate goal? Perfection?

Take a load off.

I have a better idea.

Just be fucked-up you.

Really.

Now some may disagree and like their hamster wheel, but I tend to go with the individual goal of feeling good, happy, having a lot of love in me and around me, enjoying what I do and making decisions that expand my true self.

I prefer to not be anxious, stressed-out, up in arms over someone else’s bullshit, or what the world is or is not doing, because I simply do not have control. No one does…and if you worry about it, or think becoming an improved version of yourself is the answer to world peace….you’re wrong.

It’s about accepting who and what you are….getting to know what makes you tic (not what society says should make you groove), seeing your flaws and saying, “Okay!”

You were told those darker parts of you were unacceptable at some point in your life. The hardest thing to do is not improve, but to say “okay” to what is imperfect; otherwise pretending those flaws don’t exist creates bigger insecurities.

It’s hard to be yourself and happy. Why?

Because we worry to much about what others may think of us, we have a judge and jury in our head. We worry about abandonment; the loss of people connected to us based on some identity that never really belonged to us.

Our truth is fighting to come out all the time.

We bury it, because of our fears…the unknown, criticism, what if we’re wrong, we fail, we get hurt, we have an experience we allow to prove some ugly belief true about us….we’re alone, we feel taken advantage of and so on.

And guess what? All that shit that you and I allow to rule us, is meaningless. On the last day of your life and mine, we can look at everything we didn’t do, that we wanted deep down inside…all the missed experiences and know that we’re out of time.

That’s it.

If you think improving yourself is the way to happiness, it isn’t…it’s actually how you avoid yourself.

Acceptance is deeper, it opens us up to being unlimited (which is far scarier than self-improvement), to really loving, to moving past our fears and saying ‘fuck it’ it’s only an experience…it moves us to stand for our truth…for our desires…our freedom…to be emotionally intimate, to allow ourselves to go into the deep dark caverns inside of us and come out with a smile!

Don’t waste your human experience trying to be a version of yourself that you think is acceptable to others….just be you. Right now.

  • Speak your truth
  • Bring pleasure in your life daily
  • Make choices that make you happy
  • Challenge yourself to take risks to go where you want emotionally and physically
  • Accept the dark, the light and all in between
  • Value yourself
  • Be kind
  • Get clear on your heart’s desire and make a change
  • Leave anxiety on the floor–don’t paint the future with the past
  • Let go of the illusion of control of a small world
  • Let love in–operate from that place
  • Stop being busy all the time
  • Remove people pleasing, don’t commit, unless you really want to….

This is the work I do with clients. Call it whatever you want, but discovering who you are and living that truth is the most powerful call to live your life!

Is it better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all?

I’ve asked myself this question several times in my life; while single, coupled up or after a relationship ended.

I may experience a myriad of emotions when asking that question, and at times IN THE PAST kicked myself (I no longer subject myself to visiting my inner principal’s office), but come back to the answer for me….

Life is all about experiences.

Some are painful, some happy and many a combination of both.

If I choose to never take a leap of faith and instead watch life, relationships and love as an observer from the sidelines… I never get to have PASSIONATE experiences to love and grow.

I used to exist on the sidelines or I could call it a “living coffin” for years. I sealed off any opportunity in which pain could lasso me and tie me to the back of a bull. I numbed out, disconnected and lived in a hermetically sealed tupperware bowl- very lonely, routine and boring as hell. I was comfortable in my discomforting, predictable existence.

The thing is LIFE never let me stay there. It had a way of pulling me out! Not so startling considering my BIGGEST wish, because I was so lonely was that I really, really wanted a relationship. But my fears of letting my kitchen counter get dirty with emotions or letting my sink fill up with all sorts of abandoned dishes… scared me more.

So I made sure I chose men who wouldn’t suit me, because I wanted the discomfort of “sterile order”. I had distaste for drama, yet attracted it left, right and center…all the while thinking something was wrong with the other person.  I was a person who preferred emotions that lived in dreams and fantasies, but not in reality. Emotions had no place on my to do lists.

I was STUCK in my own private hell. I couldn’t get past my failed marriage, my failed attempts at relationships and yet, couldn’t admit it to myself that I was creating this crap, because I had the pretense of having it all together.

I suffered anxiety and depression daily, ugh. It was a sad party being the only guest, because I didn’t invite friends, relatives or mates into my cave…. when I felt crappy, I cut off, so I could feel crappier….

I look back at that time in my life, as though I was another person.

At times, I still find my first inclination is to cut off, run and hide.

Instead, when the kitchen gets dirty, I find I’m not in such a hurry to clean the countertops and some of those dishes in the sink aren’t abandoned. I’ve learned to enjoy the messiness of my own emotions and others. Emotions are where its at; overwhelming, engulfing, CRAZY, peaceful, joyous, et al…. I wouldn’t trade the connection for my old sad sack ways again. It’s definitely different to stand still and say “I’m here”. Rather than inflicting pain when the kitchen is messy.

I’ve learned I can handle far more than I thought I was capable of emotionally, because of the reward. Experiencing pure joy without experiencing its opposite is impossible; no one picks or chooses, which emotions to feel. We have to allow all of them equally.

I don’t expect others to change to make it safe and predictable. I do want safe and secure, but not predictable. I realize you can just love people. They may love you from the padded safety of their own box, which drives you CRAZY! But you can’t control it or them and yet, you can’t make it a situation, which is detrimental to your own well-being either. I figured out the best solution is to love them anyway, because I wish someone would have done that for me when I lived in my box.

When I have conversations in my head, I realize its unfinished business. Instead of putting it neatly in a cabinet, I let my feelings behind the mind chatter flow through me. I allow myself to miss someone so much that every part of me aches, I get a crowbar out and crack open the shield around my heart when I feel it closing, because I know when it does… I am back in my box.

Metaphorically, when I look back when I’m dead, I don’t want to say WTF? Why did I make it ALL so complicated, when it was so easy to live, move forward and be a huge fool for love over and over again even if it is ONE person I am committed to being a fool with and for—it is SIMPLE.

Life is all about staying the fool. In the tarot deck, the first card is “The Fool”. He stands for: Taking a risk, in the spirit of innocence and even amongst chaos; it is always time to take a leap off the cliff into the unknown. Life is a constant exploration, not a cement hole you bury yourself in to hibernate from change.

The other day I was at a store having my art framed to sell.

A jovial customer talked to me while admiring my art. Part of our conversation was about who she cared for as a nurse, “people who were in their 80s and older.” She was drawn to them always learning, by asking them for wisdom. She told me of three people in particular. One 85-year-old sobbing in her bed as she said she realized she would never be kissed passionately again. Another who said if she had it to do over, she wouldn’t listen to others and she would live her life for herself. And a third who said “Love is what its all about, partnership with someone sharing deep intimacy and the roller coaster ride.”

I’d rather have loved and lost, strapped myself into the roller coaster ride and been the biggest fool for love, then to have remained among the living dead.

Art by Christopher Paul

Healthy in The Heart

I have come to the conclusion that emotionally, I am pretty healthy, happy and content. And I wanted to share a bit about my journey with changing beliefs.

I’ve made that statement at various times in my life, but it was more an intellectual disclaimer in the past rather than a true sense of well-being. 

I can remember when I started going to therapy during my divorce. When I look back it was an intellectual pursuit.

I intellectually knew what was expected, but emotionally, a very large wall of numbness and vagueness separated me from how I was operating in my life. There was no connection between the two. My therapist became like a mother to me; she and I developed a friendship. She felt I was one of her kids. We stayed in contact until she died of cancer eight years ago.

She believed I was emotionally, okay. We never once looked at my patterns or beliefs that kept me stuck in un-gratifying relationships and situations. I had no idea about this until I met another therapist, on my first visit she told me I was too evolved and didn’t know if she could help me.

Yep! I am one smart cookie!

I knew exactly what to say, so in effect I was canceling out any opportunity for legitimate help. She tried a couple of CBT exercises, but since I still had no awareness that it was my beliefs and patterns keeping me stuck, we parted ways as friends too.

The process of working with transformative materials, coaches, mentors and my training came along when I was ready to open the door to clarity with my emotions. I was ready to sit with pain, understand why I believed what I do and take action with different choices in the present.

I am legitimately positive about my life and where it is going “most of the time”. It comes through small realizations each day. Mostly, it is my clarity in what I believe I deserve for myself.

I still have off days and off moments; I am human and when things seem to be stuck resembling past moments or not moving in a direction I want; I can throw a pity party with the best of em’.

We all make choices and how we decide to show up in our lives, is a choice. How we treat people, including our self, is a choice. I listen to people speak as though they have been possessed emotionally by something beyond their control when it comes to how they handle life, they don’t realize they have a choice. I used to be in this category too. And any time I find myself swept up in an emotion, I can be assured its roots are in my past.

We ALWAYS have the chance to not sabotage our dreams, if we stop and look at the choices we are making right now.

What is the “thought” behind the choice? Most people are not even aware of why they make these choices; they are lead by a feeling or an old experience (we can call it auto-pilot) when making choices in the present.

We always have the opportunity to make a different choice, one that leads to fulfillment. Emotionally committing to fulfillment is a “both feet in” sort of thing.

I have made the choice to hold my breath as I plunge into the deep end, swimming that channel toward fulfillment, daily.  And when I come up for air, I realize the value and well-being I possess grow stronger as I become more vulnerable and take risks.

Well-being isn’t showing up saying, “I only think positive thoughts.” That is not healthy, because it is not true. We think all sorts of thoughts; it is whether we follow any of our thoughts with action, positive or negative.

I embrace having healthy people in my life.  It doesn’t mean our relationship is problem free; it means there is a sense of showing up, care through words/actions and fulfillment. Fence sitting is not an option.  If someone shows up or is into me, its clear. When it’s vague, it doesn’t support my happiness and needs, it does not fulfill me at all. I am all about people who are committed to their happiness and mine, whether they are a friend or mate.

This comes after having believed for a long time that my needs being ignored was okay. I felt I deserved to be punished for some long ago misdeed. I beat myself up over the failure of my marriage. I created various situations, which reflected what a horrible person I really felt I was for not sticking around.  I don’t believe this anymore; I recognize the biggest cost in being stuck emotionally was my own love and my happiness; it feels good to have found courage to not be stuck in the quicksand of my own misery.

I used to believe I was needy or pushy by asking or wanting fulfillment in a relationship. I was not needy or pushy; I was just fulfilling a belief that I was undeserving and not worthy. I unconsciously sought out people who felt this way about themselves, so I could re-confirm this belief.

Intellectually in the past, like I said, I knew this dynamic was unhealthy. I felt unworthy or undeserving for someone to put effort out from the heart. Now it is quite the opposite.

I thought normal was for someone to withhold from me. I was withheld from as a child and so it “felt” normal to be ignored, live in a push/pull dynamic and made to feel what I wanted was unimportant—it was instead a battleground or tug o’ war.

I no longer feel this is “normal”, which is a miracle. And if anyone endures poor treatment, you should ask yourself “In what ways am I not being kind to myself?”

As we discard old beliefs about ourselves, we shouldn’t be hasty. Often times we need to sit with the dysfunction and take new action, until we reach a point of clarity and resolution. I’ve shared these examples, because I believe many people feel some or all of these limiting beliefs.

If you are interested in learning more on living your life fully and beyond any sort of limitation, email me, I’d be happy to chat! Tracy@13degreez.com

Welcome to Wellness~ Guest Post by Dr. Rion

The wellness revolution is here and is here to stay. Are you going to be part of it? We are experiencing a dramatic shift in the social consciousness in regards to health and wellness. More Americans than ever are looking to chiropractic, meditation, nutrition, yoga and exercise to improve their health. The Washington Post stated than more than 84 million Americans are choosing alternative care. But why are they choosing alternative care?

Wellness is more than the absence of illness. Wellness is an optimal expression of the human experience. It is when you are expressing your optimal potential and when you are performing at peak performance mentally, physically and spiritually. Wellness is a process where there is no endpoint and the possibilities are endless. Wellness is a dynamic state of integration with your environment in which the human potential is allowed to thrive.

Wellness care is not the treatment of disease with alternative choices. It is apparent that wellness is more than just reacting to problems and illness. It is a matter of “right and wrong.” Disease care is a focus on what is wrong with you or what could go wrong. Wellness is a conscious decision to focus on what is right, what you want and developing your potential. We are talking about seeking a full expression of life not treating or preventing disease. Wellness care is a way of life, a lifestyle choice.  We take active responsibility for our life and develop wellness fundamentals into our lifestyle.

The Six Fundamentals of Wellness:

  1. Responsibility: It is up to you to take responsibility for your state of wellness
  2. Journey: There is no endpoint or absolute level to wellness, there is always another level to grow into. Attaining wellness is a process.
  3. Choice: The lifestyle choices you make today will determine your state of wellness tomorrow
  4. Balance: Integrate your, mind, body and spirit into your wellness lifestyle
  5. Innate Expression: Your level of wellness is limited to the level that you allow your innate wisdom to run, regulate, adapt, and express the human experience. This can only happen with a nervous system free from interference.
  6. Action: Begin your road to wellness by starting today and making each day better than the last.

Please stay tuned for future blog posts as we break down each individual fundamental and provide examples of how to implement each one into living a wellness lifestyle.

About Dr. Rion: Dr. Zimmerman is an excited and motivated Chiropractor specializing in preventative hands on care with extensive knowledge related to athletes and nutrition. Dr. Zimmerman has been a patient of chiropractic since the age of eight, which continues to give him the drive to provide chiropractic care for individuals of all ages. He has excellent communication and cross-cultural skills that assist with education both in and out of his practice. For more information about his practice, please check out his website: http://www.flintridgefamilychiropractic.com or to contact him, please call or email: 818.952.0172 and happyback@gmail.com .

Authenticity of Communication, sprinkle Vulnerability receive Well-being!

If you start with the deeper awareness of your authenticity aka being real, followed with clear communication, which opens you up to your own vulnerability, you receive well-being.

When you communicate do you do so authentically? In essence, do you say what you REALLY mean? Not many people do with the understanding of WHY they are feeling a need to communicate, connect, and belong, or in opposition act out and have their way.

We say things to get a reaction. We feel a need but often we can’t recognize the seed of that need…. we just want gratification; fill the empty hole that is crying out. We may be living in a future moment anticipating what we are afraid will happen, with little thought that we are creating that exact outcome.

We communicate or withhold. Sometimes we don’t do it “on purpose” we are stuck in a subtle habit or pattern “making” us take action or run and hide emotionally.

Authenticity with communication allows for humanness. It says “okay” to how I feel: “disconnected” and “why” I feel disconnected, invisible, unworthy, not important, etc.

Authenticity with communication opens the door to bonding not distancing or separating; it says what “your” truth is even if you aren’t clear… being authentic can mean saying “I don’t know” or “I’m scared”. It means becoming vulnerable.

Vulnerability is not a weakness its true strength; it’s the opportunity to say what is authentically true for you…even if your truth changes in the next moment. Many of us have been taught to refrain from speaking our truth,does this ever lead to inner peace and happiness?

It gives you insight into yourself rather than building walls keeping you in unsatisfying patterns. Walls have nothing to do with who you truly are and what you truly want.

On my own journey to vulnerability, I have to unlearn a lot of things, which punish, self-protect, separate and make me destroy situations and cut people off.

Getting to the authentic place requires me to go against this huge force within me that keeps me unhappy by operating in this manner. It’s self-defeating to wear emotional armor. Being authentic can feel like swallowing your pride, but in actuality you are exhaling untruths about yourself; you release yourself from being the “bud” to blossom.

As you trip, wobble, fall down on the path to authenticity you receive the ultimate pay off: Well-being. Even if you are ill at ease in stating what is true for you, because it is not in agreement with others… you’ll start to notice that respecting, valuing and honoring yourself by authentic communication provides well being.

Someone recently said, “The way to keep things simple without drama is to shove it under a rug. Don’t analyze or talk about it, pretend it doesn’t exist.” 

Unfortunately, that doesn’t lead to peace and happiness. It leads to numbness or drama in ignoring the underlying truth. Nothing is clear; it is inauthentic when a pink elephant is in the room…energy goes to hiding it whether we realize it or not.

This person was correct in stating analyzing leads to drama; it leads to a disruption of inner peace.

The key is to speak about things clearly before there is a need to mentally agonize. “Feel it-speak it.” Create clear boundaries of treatment and what you need…. even if it changes.

Being authentic in communication allows truth. Everything else is B.S.

B.S. is a story we tell so we don’t have to look at the roots of our discontent.

Look at the roots of your suffering not to analyze, but to recognize…. So you can take different action in line with your truth. It frees you to see clearly the “why” of your perception based on your beliefs and the defeat you feel by your own inability to know what is true for you.

I love the work I do.

I see how recognition works in action.

My client last night had been humiliated, shamed and treated in a very unkind manner by a sitter when he was five. We didn’t spend time analyzing the situation…. Instead I asked, “What did that situation make you believe about yourself and the world?”  “What strategies did you create then to make sure you weren’t hurt in this way in the future?” He said, “Adults couldn’t be trusted; his strategy became to keep quiet and never say things to people which would humiliate him.” In that instant, he saw how he carried that strategy into adulthood. This truth remained buried for years. He never knew why he was on guard against anything, which could possibly humiliate him; therefore he trusted no one and it was reflected in all of his relationships.

My client has made many of these discoveries about his conditioning, which aren’t authentically him. In the process, he’s learning to authentically communicate what is going on for him no matter the cost. He has found instead of the cost being painful, speaking his truth has drastically improved his relationships, relaxed him, and allows him to live more in the present without worrying about the future. Sometimes he forgets to ask himself why he feels a certain way and he doesn’t communicate; he falls back in a pattern of blaming, punishing and distancing…yet he doesn’t stay there anymore.

Clarity of communication will stop most drama in its tracks.

Vulnerability provides the opening for AUTHENTIC COMMUNICATION. When you are afraid inside and don’t know why, “express it!” Why? Because when people are afraid and don’t communicate we do weird crap. We do everything in complete opposition of what we want, which is to be loved and accepted for who we are and are not.

When you say I’m scared, someone will want to be closer to you, hear what you are afraid of even if it is unclear or has to do with him or her, because we ALL have fear….

Communicating fear authentically creates bonding and allows another to speak their truth too.

Honest dialogue is true strength, rather than putting up walls that hurt yourself and another. If your truth is something hard to say…. often by saying it, it loses its power within you. You released the fear by communicating it authentically and now you are free to move about your life with ease and lightness.

And by being “real” with someone else, you allow them to be recipients of authentic communication; we all get to relax into well-being. We are seen and known for who we truly are… and accepted.