Recently I was hanging out with a dear friend at the skate park as our children whooped it up on their bikes. Our conversation had roamed to many deep and lovely topics and then landed on her saying "I've kind of judged LIFE COACHES as only for the totally privileged. I mean, c'mon a coach for your life? The only people who get that are totally privileged."
So here I go, my biggest personal takeaway's from 2018. It is my intention that in sharing these, you will recognize your own growth over this last boisterous year. I also hope you find inspiration to chart a course of new growth for the year ahead.
It's funny that I don't use those words that often because really that is so much of what I talk about with you all. I guess those words just don't really quite do it for me. Think about it, self care, taking care of ourselves. Such buzz words these days. And in my opinion for super good reason. I want to talk about some of the myths around self care today and some of what I consider fact instead.
It's SOOOOO easy to avoid our personal practices. Have you noticed?!
We set out with the best of intentions to take better care of ourselves, do our yoga, meditate every day. We know we need it so bad. We know it serves us. We know we feel better, more grounded, more alive, more connected to our best selves when we practice but, we just. don't. do. it. Life is busy and there's no room. We're so exhausted and depleted we just want to numb out when there's any room at all in our schedule. Watch a show, have a glass of wine, scroll Facebook.
It's easy to get lost in the noise and the racing of our minds and all the thoughts and should's and possibilities. It's easy to become unseated in ourselves, racing through life, racing through love. Feeling flighty and headachy and anxious and angsty. At least that's how I feel when I'm ungrounded, untethered.
Do you have a journaling practice? Or have you always wanted to have one but just aren’t quite sure where to begin?
Frustrated. Blaming myself. Beating myself up. Worried. Sabotaging. Regretting. All the things. That's where I was at this morning. In the mix of it all. Coming down off of a weekend high. Landing in pessimism and the "what's wrong" with it all. Yes, these mornings happen to me too. Yes, I fall victim to my inner critic and my grief. It's what makes me deep. It's what makes me "get it." The rawness and the vulnerability are my growing edge but this morning I was just in a bad mood and wanted someone to complain to.
What's the underlying, hidden thread that connects all of these scenarios?
How to get past everything looking great on paper in your life but it not feeling right inside.
When we listen to ourselves we'll gain clarity on how to take care of ourselves.
I'm curious, were you allowed to have your full range of emotions in your home growing up?? Usually when I ask this question a very visceral, very immediate response comes to people. What comes to you?
There is something major happening inside of you that is holding you back from stepping into confidence. Find out what it is...........
There's hidden self esteem buried inside of you. It's often deep under some other layers but, it's IN there. I promise!
I generally start with fear. Fear that I'm not good enough to succeed.Fear that I'm fucking up my child.Fear that I'm not lovable and beautiful enough to be worthy of the love I'm shown.I get a compliment and on the outside I'm grateful and inside I either ignore or disagree......immediately. It sucks.
Can you relate?! But I'm done. I'm catching it all. I'm catching it in a new context.
2016 was not easy for me. It pushed me and pulled me in every direction inside myself. It challenged me and made me continue to look with brutal honesty at myself.
So much to celebrate and ponder and give thanks for. So much to navigate, experience, question. Solstice energy, holiday energy, family of origin, chosen family. Isolation, connection. So much depth this time of year.
I should be eating every two hours, be happy being a stay at home mama with time with my little, I should be happy for all the gifts I have and stop worrying so much about the future. I should be growing more food and driving less. I should be connecting with my friends and able to go out at night more easily. I should be hiking and out in the rain because the sun's shining above the clouds.
I can't even tell you how many conversations I've had lately that end with the conclusion that either myself or who I'm talking to is afraid to be vulnerable.
"I don’t have my own inner compass. I'm not in touch enough to know when I feel most like myself. I feel like I always take on what I think other people think of me vs. what my heart of heart’s really wants to do, because of that, a lot of my decisions have been fear based throughout my life."
Does any of that resonate for you? Are you also searching for your own inner compass? Do you notice a lot of your decisions are based out of fear? Have you spent most of your life outside of yourself and trying to be in the head's of the people in your life so you can be liked and approved of?
Well, me too!! I have an intimate relationship to this dynamic. And I'm also deeply in the process of reclaiming my own inner truth and inner voice.
I'll tell you what it takes to make this shift. It's a process of:
* Radical acceptance (of ourselves and others)
* Time every day connecting to ourselves. So commitment, day after day after day.
* Being willing to look at ourselves on every uncomfortable layer and use the information to learn more.
* Failing at times in order to learn and keep moving toward trusting and listening to ourselves.
* Experiencing the gut voice/intuition and establishing a relationship to it that gives us guidance and a sense of comfort.
When I list out the steps, the process of re-engaging our inner compass and ending a life of fear based decisions can feel big and overwhelming. But it truly just starts with one step and the commitment to that one step, day after day after day.
If you pause right now and ask yourself, what one small step might I take to start using my own inner compass, what is your answer?
REALLY PAUSE AND ALLOW YOUR ANSWER TO COME.
Allow the answer to arise.
It's fascinating in my work with amazing clients that literally every question that I ask, there is an answer. Even the toughest and deepest and most profound. I have never had a client say to me, "I just don't know." With enough time, something ALWAYS arises and this is true for YOU too. There is an answer to a step you can take today to reconnect with your own inner compass and the only answer you need comes from within you.
So you might decide to start journaling to your intuition or letting your higher self write a letter to you every day or sit for five minutes every morning and feel your sensations or walk for five minutes chanting your favorite mantra. You have the answer. You have the first step.
Are you willing to listen?
Pause right now and check in with your body language. Is anything hunched, clenched, squeezed, constricted, furrowed? If so, can you take a breath into it and let it go for a moment?
It’s curious to wonder why so often we can tune in and find our shoulders squeezed in, our teeth clenched together or brow furrowed. I think of it as a way for us, as women, to take up less space in the world. To keep ourselves small so we fit in to the boxes that we have created for ourselves of what we think we “should” be.
Do you allow yourself to take up as much space as you are really allotted in life? Are your needs and values and ideas just as worthy as the other people in your life? Do you let your body be as it wants to be and not try to alter it to fit in and be small and scrunched and little and perfect? Can you dance and play and live largely and freely and make all the shapes your being wants to make without worrying about how you will be judged?
I know personally, I can let the box of my “should’s” and my guilt and my wanting to please everyone else close really tightly in around me so I end up feeling so small and so constricted. Letting my needs be just as important as anyone else’s opens the box and sets me free and yet still at times I hang out in that tiny box of my life, small and uptight because of it.
We constrict and play small because of so many reasons.
Do any of these resonate with you?
-You want everyone else around you to be happy and “good” and so you believe in order to do that you have to tuck in and let your needs go for the benefit of their needs.
-You’re worried about what’s going to happen later and what you said and what you did and what you’re going to say and what you’re going to do.
-You don’t have the support system you so desperately need and you’re running on empty because of it.
-You wonder if you’re doing the right thing, being the right way, doing enough for your family, for the world, for your bank account, for your long lost ancestors, your sister’s kids fundraiser, the planet.
If you said yes to any of the above, here are some ideas for you to unclench your jaw, break down the box, play big, live large.
1. The next time you notice that you have a need of your very own, something like not looking at Facebook past 9pm or choosing the dinner you’re going to have based on what you like, try actually listening to that need and that desire of yours. Every time we actually listen to ourselves, it lets us expand a bit more into ourselves.
2. Each morning before you get out of bed, imagine a big, soft, cushy cloud around your entire being. Imagine this cloud to be the space of your energy body. Feel how wide and vast it is. How much space it comfortably takes up. Feel into the expansiveness of your energy field around you and feel everything in your physical body take a deep breath in the spaciousness.
This expanded state is healing.
3. Have a conversation with yourself on paper. Start with a question to yourself. Something like, "Why am I clenching my teeth so much lately?" Whatever answer arises within you, allow that to be the answer. Work on not trying to change it, get away from it or want it to be different. Write down the answer that you got and then ask another clarifying question to help you get more and more and more information about your answer. Keep working on this like it’s an unfolding accordion of information within your soul. THEN, take one of the answers that really resonated with you and follow up on it. It might be that as you asked questions about your clenching, you got a feeling that you need to speak with your dad. Go ahead and call your dad.
Listening to the voice within helps us play bigger and take up more space every. single. time. Literally, every single time.
Try it out for yourself. When we start expanding, we unclench, we stand up straighter, we step into confidence. It’s a journey you can walk with yourself and you can start today.