And just like that the Sun Returns … AHHH!

And just like that, the clouds separate and the light returns!

Ever had that feeling? Like when the sun appears, and you almost want to raise your hands up and sing “ahhhh”.

I am having that feeling this morning and I wanted to share my experience.

Over the past couple of weeks, well years really but most recently the past couple of weeks I have been getting guidance on different areas of my life and things I need to release and heal. I have been doing A LOT of internal work to allow and release what is arising and today … the sun came shining through!

The times that I go through big transformational shifts are ones that are confusing, challenging, and require a lot of my spiritual, mental, and emotional energy. These times feel like I am on a roller coaster where one day I am up the next down, sometimes it is not even a day and I will flip and flop between the two fairly quickly. It is a very unsettling and uncomfortable time and for me anyway, leads to a lot of self-doubt and questioning. Anyone who has been through an awakening of their own can probably relate, this time in between is just that, a void where the old no longer feels comfortable but neither does the new (as it is new). And this flipping between the two makes you feel almost sick at times and definitely makes you question your own sanity on more than one occasion.

I realize this will not speak to everyone but to those it does I want you to know you are NOT crazy, you are not wrong and there is nothing wrong with you but rather you are leveling up into a new version of you that can be scary and unknown and unclear. Thus, the flopping that wanting to return to something that you know and can understand, something that feels comfortable. But also, if you are like me there is a part of you that as much as you want to feel safe and comfortable again knows that your eyes have been opened to the new and you cannot return to not knowing, you have to keep pushing forward despite the uncertainty and uncomfortableness.

I am blessed that I have been through this many times and can recognize what is happening but that does not take the roller coaster of emotions away it just helps me relax into them a little easier. I am further blessed with having some great energetic tools to help me release and move through what is arising. The flower essences and energy release points guidance that I use in my energy work provide a very logical explanation (well kind of, the best word I could find) to explain and give me clarity on what is being released. It is like they provide me with the puzzle pieces and I just need to put them all together to get the full picture.

This last upgrade has been a doozy for me and I could through all the work, see that there was a golden thread that had weaved its way into every aspect of my life but I couldn’t completely put my finger on what this thread was about … then today it finally came .. the clarity that allowed me to release the pattern and beliefs that held it in place. Not to mention the healing that needed to happen for me to come to accept it and not allow it to control my life anymore. Thus the “ahhhh’ as the clouds began to part and the sun came flooding in.

I wanted to write this as part of the healing and because it came to me as the sun figuratively was coming in, in hopes that for all of you who are on your journey, (which to be honest whether you consciously recognize it or not … you are), that you may find this helpful and if you are in the depths of a growth cycle and feeling that roller coastering sensation that you will now have a conscious understanding that it is completely normal … uncomfortable but normal and that you are not alone!

 

Much Love

Tara

You Are THE Authority!

I feel a need to speak about authority because I had an incident this week. I have been in a really good place trusting and loving my Self and my journey. Really being in flow, which is beautiful!

Then dropped out of it and I could tell instantly the lower vibrations of emotions came in anger, frustration and fear. Now there is nothing wrong with that but I have learned that means I am out of alignment, so I got curious. I tracked it back to doubting my own authority. I had participated in a conversation with another healer who has helped me tremendously along my journey. We were talking and she told me something that didn’t feel right for me, not that it was wrong, but it wasn’t truth for me. I recognize that now but, in the moment, it threw me into doubt about trusting my Self and my understanding because she is someone I admire.

 

Old Patterns Repeated

I had to go through the process, to figure out why it was that when someone I admire and see as a mentor could trigger me so much and it became crystal clear to me. I was giving up my authority, I was taking her words as gospel and then questioned and doubted my Self. That is where the anger and frustration was coming from, an old pattern of giving up my power to others had reared it’s ugly head again!

I feel we all do this at some level and I know that this is one thing this world crisis is calling us to look at. The truth, we are the authority in our lives, we know what is best for us! We have been taught to not trust ourselves but rather to turn to other ‘authorities’ who we feel know better.

I want to be clear that does not mean that we can’t go to DR, healers or others to help us but we need to be balanced when we take advice on board. We all need to check in to determine what is right for us!

Conditioning in Practice 

I think back to when Woody was deciding what to do about his treatment. We were seeing an integrative DR which was more holistic in his views and we were also seeing traditional western DRs too. When it came to deciding about doing radiation Woody did not want to, we consult both DR and he chose to do it because they said that is was the protocol. Looking back, I wish I would have known then what I know now. He DID NOT want to do it but gave up his gut feelings because the authorities told him too! I am not saying that he would have lived, or things would have gone any different but I do know if it was something he wanted to do he would not have felt so conflicted and angry about it.

From experience, I know when we feel conflicted it is not good for our mental and overall well-being. Furthermore, I know that Woody really wanted to try CBD oil to reduce his tumors but because it was illegal at the time and Western DR were against it, he again chose to not go with that form of treatment because it was not recommended by the authorities (legal and medical). All I have to say about that is, look at where we are now, it is legal, and is been found to be effective in dealing with cancer. The authorities have changed their tune.

 

The Truth About Facts

I am not saying this to be judgmental but to me it cements my argument to do what is true to you! The authorities that we rely on change their views, as we all do, with new information. So to me we are putting our hands and lives in the word of an ever-changing system. There is no black and white, there is no absolute in anything and that is why we need to be our own authority. To further express this point, had Woody gotten ill in another country his treatment plan would be different, take for example Chinese medicine deals with illness completely different than Western medicine I am not saying either is better I am saying that we need to determine for ourselves what is in our best interest. We need to be our own authority!

I know I spoke a lot about the medical system here but this is all over in our society we turn to others to tell you what is best for us, we look to reviews to figure out what we should buy, we look to family and friends to see what we should do in our relationships or with our careers, we even look to others to tell us what and how to eat. We keep looking outside ourselves to make our decisions, to be the authority on us!

I know in the coaching world I have seen a lot of people with ‘blueprints’ for this and ‘maps’ for that but to me and what I am adamant about in my practice is I do not know what is best for you, you do! I can give you tools to tap into that wisdom and calm the mind chatter, and my special skill is to hear beyond all of it to the truth of what you are saying, but it is not my job nor could I (or anyone else) ever be an authority on YOUR life!

Now What?

 

My hope for writing this is to remind you that you and only you can be the authority in your life, definitely seek advice, read reviews, consult professionals but ultimately the decision is yours to make and you have to be in alignment with what decision is best for you.

 

 

 

Going back to my incident (that I started out talking about), I still strongly admire the skills of this healer and will continue to seek advice, but I have learned that if her advice does not align with me then I have to be true to me! Because anything else is not healthy for my well-being.

 

I ask those of you reading to be aware of where you are giving your power away to ‘authorities’. Where are you misaligning with your gut because someone in a position of ‘authority’ is telling you otherwise, tune in to your body and your Self and make a decision knowing that you are the best authority in your life!

 

 

Oh Deer!

I had an interesting experience the other day and as usual, it got me thinking!
I was driving and to be honest, I was a bit daydreamy when all of a sudden, a baby deer ran out into the road. I slammed on my brakes and narrowly missed the baby. I was obviously shaken but my initial action surprised me. I just said thank you, thank you to the Universe, I assumed my reaction would have been “oh shit!”.
Lately, I have been really working on affirmations around trust and a big part of trusting, for me, is feeling safe, protected and guided by the Divine. So, I was impressed my initial reaction was gratitude which I did feel, at that moment, that I was protected.
So yay me!
I recognized that this incident had got my adrenaline flowing so I literally shook it off to release the energy and did some deep breaths. When I had calmed my body, I was good! (This all happened within the span of a minute.)
What happened next was confirmation on how powerful our minds are and if they are left misunderstood and operating under our awareness radar how much it affects your life. It also was an affirmation that the personal work I have been doing was paying off!

Now let me remind you I was completely safe, I had literally shaken off the energy and was again driving. It was at this point my mind kept trying to bring me back into that state of fear and hyper-alert. It kept thinking about what ‘could’ have happened. That started an interesting internal dialogue.
My mind, “you could have died” it thought, my response “yes but I am safe”.
Next thought, ramping up the fear a bit “you could have killed the baby deer” (and to me that would be beyond tragic) and to make it more impactful this time it added an image of a bloody deer. My response again, “yes but I am safe!”
This continued for a while where each time I would let it go, my mind would bring it up again. Trying to remind me I was ‘almost’ hurt and ‘almost’ killed a deer, and ‘almost’ wrecked my car. My mind as it naturally does also started creating scenarios where I totalled my car and tried to get me thinking about how would I get a new one.

 

 

 

I found this all really fascinating, I was the awareness behind the thoughts. I observed how my mind was trying to keep me in a heightened state, it wanted me to be fearful and it did not want to let it go. Observing this I kept telling myself “yes but I am safe”.

 

 

 

 

What this showed me is that even with all the work I have done on understanding my mind and working with it, its instinct is to keep me safe and not let me forget that I was in danger was still there, and probably always will be. Our brains are hard-wired for negativity, that is why they are great at pointing out dangers. If we let them run on their own with no awareness they are fear-inducing, it’s no wonder people are anxious. Had I not had the tools that I do to be the awareness behind the thoughts, I would have probably been replaying the horrific scene over and over and telling everyone, each time retraumatizing myself. My body would have been stressed and I would (to say it bluntly) be in shit state, ruminating and flashing back to it whenever I got in the car.

But, because I understand my mind and have that awareness, I saved myself hours, if not days of stress. I was able to release the energy from my body so it did not get trapped and I was able to remain calm, truly calm, not just faking it!

It was an interesting experience for sure one that reinforces to me all the work I have been doing is truly life-changing!

Lesson in Gratitude

I had an interesting experience the other day, and for me, it was a great reminder of why gratitude is such a life changer!

This is how my morning started…

I was getting a cold, so was feeling not the greatest. I woke up to a colder than expected morning and was getting ready for work. I went to take my dog for her walk, and a thought popped into my mind ‘you should probably start your car before your walk’ (usually I do it after). So I did, and it didn’t start. It’s 430 in the morning, so there is not a whole lot of people awake to ask for a boost not to mention it is freezing outside. This had completely upset my morning routine!

A lesson in Gratitude

My parents live just around the corner from me, so I decided I would go and pick up their car (as they are out of town) and take it to work and deal with my car later. I walked my dog who I have to say loves the cold, so she wanted to stop and smell, I wanted to hurry up, I was freezing not to mention a bit grouchy about my car! I picked up my parents’ car as I walked past my parents’ house. The car was in the garage… nice it was warm, but to get it out I had to find their keys and the garage opener, nothing that significant just a few minutes and a little frustration added to the already frustrating morning. I drove home feeling a bit frazzled.

I went to prepare my breakfast and spilt my almond milk and started thinking ‘oh it’s going to be one of those days!’. When I left for work, I was a couple minutes behind schedule. I got a few blocks from my house and realized I had left my keys at home (as I didn’t have my car) which meant I did not have my work keys, so I cursed, turned around and returned home. Now I was rushing! Of course, on my way to work, I hit all the red lights… this never happens as I am the only car on the road this early. I grumbled at the lights and started to curse this day. It seemed the morning, well the last 45 minutes had been a series of unfortunate events. I realize nothing major, but it was enough at this point, to get me grumbling, grunting my frustration and complaining about the day already!

It was at this point it hit me… ‘Really?!? Tara what do you have to complain about’.

A Lesson in Gratitude

 

That’s when my perspective shifted. I had so much to be grateful for…

I had woken up in a warm home, I had tried to start my car before my walk, I had access to a car that was all ready to go, I had completed my morning routine with only a couple of minutes lost. REALLY what was the big deal?

This thought reminded me too often we focus on life’s frustrations. I started out my drive to work focusing on the fact that my car wouldn’t start and by the time I got to work the reality of the situation sunk in. Really… it was a great day! Things could have gone so much worse. I could have had to take a cab to work, which would have resulted in me being late, I could not have had time to make my breakfast, I could have gotten all the way to work then realized I didn’t have the keys, and there are so many worse complications that could have happened!

By the time I got to work my mood had shifted, and I was ready for the day. In fact, I didn’t even think about my car again until I went to leave work and realized I had my Dad’s car.

A Lesson in Gratitude

Now I know that for most of us when we have these kinds of days, we focus on it, we repeat the days’ frustrating events to coworkers, family and friends. We grumble all day about how our day is going, but the truth is if you took a minute refocused and looked at it… really you conquered those little trials, you persevered, and they ended up being minor frustrations rather than big catastrophes!

Therefore, I challenge you the next time you are having ‘one of those days’ take a minute to refocus look for the opportunities to be grateful for and I guarantee you, it will change your mood for the day!

Fear, Unedited!

I woke this morning to the heartbreaking news that yet another one of our community members had committed suicide. My heart bleeds for my community, my country, and my human family. This is as everyone says a ‘trying time’ and I know a lot of you, are suffering out there. As I went on my morning walk, I felt inspired to write, and even as I sit here writing I am not sure if this is for others or myself. (guess I decided to share!)

The first thing I want to say is this virus and the way it has been handled has caused a lot of anxiety and stress. I am mainly referring here to the way the media reports its data. Since the start of it, I have chosen not to turn on the media coverage because I learned long ago that the media is a business like any other. They not unlike Facebook want to keep you tuned in and turned on to their stories. And what sells … FEAR!

 

Fear sells, fear keeps people coming back, fear stories make us feel vulnerable and frightened and we combat that with trying to control and get more information, so we know how to cope. So we tune in again and again in the hopes of getting more info so we can control the situation. This business, the news, keeps you buying what they are selling by selling more fear. Now I am not going to get into ‘conspiracy theories’ or other things about what is going on, this is not the time or place to discuss that as it takes away from the main point. Which is this …. if you are constantly tuning into the media then you are choosing to consume an unhealthy amount of fear, in an already frightening time!

 

The media, as mentioned is a business. They get ratings just like any other product or show out there and they want viewers/consumers, so they use their time wisely. One of the best courses I ever took in school was the sociology of media and mass communication. It was the most eye-opening course. And the main thing I left with from this course was that a LOT of time, money, and energy goes into making you buy their product … from what colours are dominant in the show to how they report things. I, for probably the first time through all of this, chose to watch a clip last night it was only a couple minutes but in that time I could see (and was disgusted) at the ‘news’. The clip was warning about the upcoming long weekend, which is fine, (I guess), but to drive home the fear factor they said “in Canada, we have had (I can’t remember the number but it was big) cases of the virus”, they chose to report the overall number. So if you look at the raw numbers, our numbers in Canada have been decreasing for a while, so instead of saying how many new cases we had which were around 630, they reported the big overall number of cases over the past six months! Why? To make it more frightening! They then proceeded to say that the numbers among young people have been on the rise but failed to state the number of cases. Now I don’t know what that number is and I am not doubting that it has increased, somewhat, but my questions are – increased from what? (0?) To what? And what is the total %, in comparison? I suspect they did not report that number because it was not significant enough to cause panic!

If you chose to listen to the media and it is your choice then I suggest you counter it with raw data and you consume it with some awareness of how words are chosen, to stress their point. For example, the media will cover a story and say “more than….” Because that sounds better than “only” ie more than 300, our minds automatically (because we are wired this way) go to 390ish, when if you really look at the raw data with no commentary the number is more like 305. The choice of ‘more than’ is the fear-inducing language that keeps you coming back.

I think that is enough about that because it is what it is and I write that only to give some perspective that hopefully some of you will take on board and become a bit more of a choosey consumers or at least start to recognize that you need to be cognizant of what you are feeding your mind.

 

 

 

 

What I also wanted to talk about is fear and anxiety. I have talked about this a lot in my podcast, my blogs, and with clients. Fear only exists in the future it is never in the present moment! And it is always a forecast, created in our mind of some dreadful story that brings on anxiety. We hyper-focus on that story being ‘truth’ and we live like it is inevitable! This anxious energy brings on more anxious energy until we cannot take it anymore. We are fearful of everything and everyone, we have convinced our self that nothing good will happen and that people are judging us and that life is crap!

Then comes the depression because who wouldn’t be depressed at the future you are forecasting in your mind, it’s all doom and gloom! This of course is fed by the media and society at large, there are so many, (I would say a majority of people) who are fearful of some disastrous version of the future, especially now. Fear currently, especially is never in short supply!

This was driven home to me the other day. I had an interesting interaction in a store. A kid probably about 11 or 12 was standing outside a store I assume waiting for his family. There was a sign saying 12 people allowed in the store, this child continually kept counting and updating those of us outside that they could not go in until someone left he was very concerned about going over the 12 number. Then like a Wal-Mart greeter, he would announce when someone left how many could now enter. He was completely preoccupied with it!

I was standing next to him watching and waiting, as I stood there he advised me where the hand sanitizer was and I told him I can’t use it, his face showed shock and he stuttered in complete disbelief ‘how do you …”, I cut him off as he was struggling to comprehend, and said I wash my hands. He looked at me with a quizzically look, like it wasn’t computing how washing your hands could be enough. I could feel how anxious he was, my internal voice said to tell him I was not fearful of the virus. I debated in my head for a moment, then the reality of the situation sunk in … he is 12 and he is freaked out about this and that is all he knows. So I looked at him and said I am not fearful of this virus.

The look on his face was priceless. He looked at me first in shock then in confusion, it was like he couldn’t compute someone not being afraid of it. I am glad I said it because looking back I think it is sad that a young child of that age was more concerned, on his last weekend before school, about the number of people in a store, than he was about being a kid and playing. Now I understand this was not his whole life and I hope he did go home and play that afternoon, but what this did show me is that there is a lot of fear, and for the majority of people out there they don’t know what to do with it, it is consuming them!

I hope this doesn’t come off judgmental because I get it! Even with all my tools, my experience and knowledge of our minds, and how they work, not to mention my pretty rock-solid faith, there are times when I am out and about that I feel overwhelmed, I can feel the fear energy and it is consuming. Further, as an empath, I do try to protect my energy but when it is so strong it can be difficult! I feel for all those people out there who haven’t yet realized they are empaths, and for all those who are sensitive to collective energies (we all are to some degree) as it must seem unbearable at times. This is especially true for kids as they still have a strong grasp on their imagination and if we are programming that imagination with dread, doom, and gloom, then you can only imagine how they can build that up (even more than we do) into a hopeless vision of the future.

I have seen it said a lot on social media that the deadliest part of this virus is the virus of fear that is spreading, and I completly agree!

 

So, I leave you with this… If you are feeling fear that is ok, stop judging yourself but start making healthier choices turn off the fear machine,  and come back to the present moment. You are … in this exact moment, safe. Try repeat affirmations of ‘I am safe’, ‘I am protected’, ‘everything will be ok’. Self-soothe with some serious self-compassion, and if you are feeling strong enough be there for others.

If you feel overwhelmed, reach out, you are not alone! There are a lot of great resources out there. I am here for those who want some resources or tools, I will be more than happy to share my wisdom. (Just to be clear yes I am a businesswoman but before that, I am part of this human family and if people are suffering and I can help I will do my best to do what I can.) So please feel free to reach out to me, if that is what resonates with you.

In the meantime, I wish you all well, I wish you all peace! My wish is that you will be able to find hope in this trying time. We are all stronger than we realize, and we can do it if we work together and build each other up with some love, hope, and compassion!

Spread LOVE, HOPE and COMPASSION!

 

Where Did All the Unicorns Go?

So lately I have been doing some healing work with my inner child and my adult Self around play. IT has been a struggle for me because I have forgotten how to play, not saying I don’t have fun, but it seems there is always a reason or purpose behind doing the things I find fun. When I do the work to uncover a disowned part of myself, I dove headfirst into playing.

First, of course, was the analytical … how can I play? What do you do to play? And this led me to reflect on how I played when I was a kid and observing how my niece and nephew played. And I realized a lot of it was around imagination. OK great, start imagining, I thought.

So I tried and let me tell you it was like I malfunctioned!

There was fear, (panic really) and judgments galore. I dove deep into the feelings and what I realized is my adult brain could not compute imagination. It needed a purpose to imagine, ie visualization. It needed something plausible, it did not like anything non-logical and nonsensical. Which is exactly how children play.

Think back when you were a child you had a magic toy that could do magical things. Or you had tea parties, and you completely imagined the tea in the pot and the glasses. It didn’t need to be there because in your imagination it was there.

My adult brain did not like this and when I tried to imagine scenarios of like me being swept off my feet by a prince and riding off into the sunset like a princess. My brain was like “NOPE”. It couldn’t let go of its grasp on reality and wanting to figure things out. It went straight to ‘how is this going to happen?’. ‘where could you meet a prince’, logistically ‘how could they sweep you off your feet?’.

I found all of this interesting and it got me to thinking, what happens to us that we lose our imagination. Is it gone, or does our mature brain just poke so many holes in our imaginations that it eventually ceases to exist? Or maybe it is that we are ‘smart’ now and we KNOW that there is no tea in the pot. Either way, I found it sad really that I could no longer imagine and play with stories in my head.

As with all my personal healing/growth work, I persevered and am happy to report the other day when I was swimming, I imagined I was a mermaid! So slowly but surely my imagination muscle is being flexed and I can play a bit more.

Now you may be thinking why would I want to pretend to be a mermaid, or that there is tea… I am an adult! I get it, it does sound weird but there are wonderful things that we can do with our imagination muscle that we are limiting ourselves from doing by keeping this part of ourselves suppressed.

Wouldn’t it be nice to instead of on your commute home you could imagine a fairytale story rather than running through your to-do list or judgments about your day? Wouldn’t it be nice to, before going to bed you could imagine anything that you wanted? What if instead of concentrating on self-judgment and internal dialogue you could create fantasies in your head that were probably never going to happen but you could just do it … for fun? What an escape that could be to have the freedom to just imagine anything, and oh your inner child would love this experience.

Play and imagination I have found are essential parts of living authentically, to owning all of who you are, to being creative, and to finding hope. See in our imagination we can disconnect from whatever stresses we are feeling and whatever negative anxiety-producing stories our mind is feeding us and instead focus on something magical, something fun, something non-sensical, something that can make us laugh and smile. We can use our creative mind to create positive outcomes, instead of the negative ones it likes to focus on.
The impact of this is enormous in the sense of the law of attraction and manifestation. Not to mention in the positive energy that we would be putting out. We hear about this all the time how we need to ask for what we want, we need to visualize what we want and you can create it. I do believe this, but I have to say it wasn’t till I started playing with my imagination did I realize I was missing the one critical component to the formula for manifestation. We need to just let our imaginations soar. See when I used to try to manifest things into my life I would visualize and then my adult brain would kick in and come up with the specifics on how this needed to happen or how it is not plausible (just like with the teapot). Now that I am playing with my imagination, it is not restricted in the logistics anymore, I just get to imagine what I want and truly feel into it and that is the winning recipe for manifestation!

I do have to say I am still working on imagination but the more I work the easier it gets, and the more I feel my creativity and play coming back to me and it feels fantastic.

Now I know where all the unicorns went, my adult brain banished them into the darkness like it did my imagination (and every other disowned part of myself), and it only took conscious intention to bring them out of hiding!

 

Goodnight, Sleep: A Glimpse into Anxiety and Depression

I am so honoured to be sharing this story it came from one of my clients and more importantly my friend. Since I have known her, she has been dealing with anxiety and depression and she has valiantly been working at reclaiming her life. She has taken every tool and she has worked so hard to face her demons. She truly is an inspiration and for all those suffering with a mind that runs rampant, she is a beacon of hope. I am so blessed to have been along with her on this journey and I admire her strength and courage! Thank you, Michelle, for sharing and allowing me to share your experience. Namaste my beautiful friend!

Goodnight, Sleep: A Glimpse into Depression & Anxiety

Another sleepless night rears its ugly head. I can feel the anxiety and depression begin to engulf me into the dark corners of hell. At first, I shrug it off. I take a few deep breathes to center myself. It calms me for the moment, but I know it’s not the last I’ll hear of it. This is how my illnesses work. I try and put it out of my mind. I busy myself with small tasks, thinking this will keep what’s coming at bay, and it does for a short time. But I can still feel that twinge of panic in the back of my head. It’s almost bedtime. “Why?” I ask myself. Why now? I thought today was a good day?!

I can feel the cycle about to begin. It’s late. I can’t put off sleep any longer, or so I thought. I lay my head on my pillow and wait. Will it be slumber, or will it be something else? I can feel my voice becoming distorted and lost. There is no sound except the quiet chatter of anxiety and depression. I know now what is coming.

It starts. The tapes become louder and louder, replay conversations from hours, days, months, even years ago that have long been forgotten by the other party. Hashing out what I could have said. Or chastising myself for not speaking my truth.” Why did you say that”? I hear anxiety say.” You should be ashamed of yourself”!

Depression chimes in,” You need to run, hide!” it shouts.

My rational mind tries, just for a moment, to offer a crumb of guidance, “People have already forgotten about it.” “Move on, get over it.”

But it’s useless, the other two stronghold and gag my rational friend to regain power. I feel myself slipping. I can’t find anything to grasp. The light begins to fade. I can no longer see. The darkness has arrived and with it comes the Beast.

Next are the stories. The stories my depression and anxiety have told over and over for years start to run rampant. They fester. Picking and gnawing until I’m so in double of myself, I start believing the fiction. I lose my confidence, but I can’t show weakness, they remind me. I can’t be vulnerable. “Don’t let them see the cracks,” I hear the Beast whisper ever so softly. The hair on the back of my neck stands up, and I can feel my toes curl as I prepare for battle once again. This consumes me. Swallowing me whole. Further, into the bowels of darkness, I go to face my demons.

The sleepless night leaves me ragged and foggy. I muster the strength to drag myself out of bed to meet my daily obligations. I’m fragile and exhausted, but I put on my worn, tarnished armour and try again. I look in the mirror, hoping to see a different face looking back at me. Someone strong. Someone who can slay the Beast so I can be free. That person is not in the reflection. I sigh, wipe my tears, lower my mask and hope today will be different.

In the beginning, I thought death was the only viable option to tame the Beast. To quiet the obsessive chatter. Releasing me from this swirling black inferno. I could almost find relief. Searching for compassion in the hooded stranger’s non-existent eyes. His scythe in hand. But it’s not my time. I needed to look elsewhere.

As I grow older, I find tools. Weapons if you will. The kind of evidence that will not kill the Beast but deter it. All these years I was fighting in the dark with only my hands. I found my voice. My words. What started as only a faint whisper has grown to a mighty roar. So powerful it startles the Beast at first, but as it grows and travels, the creature cowers. It’s disorientated, not understanding where this sound has been hiding. It pushes back. Flexing its muscles. Trying to intimidate. It doesn’t work. The roar escalates to words. Words that are more powerful than anyone would imagine. Words that unveil the darkness allowing streams of golden light into the once windowless room. It’s time to strike. I use every ounce of strength I have.

The Beast is wounded. It’s scrambling for any sign of night as the light becomes more powerful, almost blinding. The Beast knows its power is no longer as strong as it used to be. He scurries back to his cage and licks his wounds. I am free.

I can feel the tears begin to stream down my face. Not the same tears that came from that dark place. They come so fast and hard. I’m left completing sobbing. I am releasing it. I’m letting out years of pain and suffering. I feel the light penetrating my soul.

I remove my armour. I can breathe. My tears subside. My eyes are red but filled with new hope. The tension that once held me together begins to dissipate. This feeling is foreign but welcoming.

Sleep comes quickly. My old friend had finally returned, and I’m embraced in its warm folds. Once I emerge from the much-needed slumber, it’s time to tell my story. It’s time to show my cracks. My flaws. It’s time to be vulnerable. This is the only way to cage the Beast permanently.

So, I begin to write. My story flows so quickly I can barely keep up. I feel my heart swell with emotion as the words tumble onto the page. Its time. Time to speak and show others they are not alone. They don’t need to fight in silence anymore.

Shout. Scream. Embrace your voice; be vulnerable. It’s the only way to emerge victorious. You have the strength inside of you just waiting to get out. Pacing back and forth, waiting for the door to be opened. Here is the key dear friend. The journey begins with you. Welcome to the light.

Thank you 2019: Valuable Lessons Learned!

Thank you 2019 for challenging me to be a better version of myself.

I know I am not alone in the fact that at times 2019 seemed really challenging and if I had to capture it in a sentence, I would say … 2019 has been a year of tremendous growth for me. Most of this growth, (like most growth) has come from being challenged and realizing that my familiar patterns were not helping me but rather causing my suffering.

There are two important lessons that I take away from 2019 that I thought I would share because they have been life-changing for me. And I don’t think I am alone in having to learn them!

The first lesson is lessons of love.

 

I have learned about love in so many different ways. First, I have learned that I (like everyone) am worthy of love, no matter what my inner critic tells me. This lesson came when I realized I was looking to my relationships to prove that I was lovable, after years of this pattern I finally realized it was not working! Although people have loved me, I never really truly believed it because I didn’t love myself.

Which is the second love lesson, I learned that what I really wanted all these years was to love myself. This was not a huge surprise as I had heard it forever, but what I didn’t know was that although I thought I loved myself (and I did to a certain degree) most of this love for myself was dependent on others’ opinions of me. I believe this was the birth of the ‘people pleaser’ personality in me. In my experience, I would ‘please’ others to gain their approval to prove that I was lovable. As soon as I realized this, I knew I needed to make some changes. These changes involved for the first time in my life putting myself first and breaking the pattern of ‘people-pleasing’ and always putting others first. I have to say that at first, this felt really uncomfortable as my pleasing others was so deeply ingrained. With practice and a lot of positive self-talk, this became easier and easier. I am sure as I continue to work on this pattern it will continue to get easier!

 

I guess you can say that 2019, was the death of my ‘people pleaser’ and the birth of my self-love. And self- love for me, was the acceptance of all of who I am; loving and embracing all parts of myself. Including the shadow aspects of my personality. This too took some effort on my part, as the parts of myself that I deemed as undesirable had been suppressed for so long that they felt foreign to me. To embrace them meant I had to face them and love them for what they are. This means that I can love the parts of me that can be mean, can be rude and can be selfish. They are all apart of what makes me, me and they are loved!

Once I stopped trying to hide the undesirable parts of myself and just loved where I was at and who I was, the more I could accept that others loved me too! See that’s the thing when we don’t love our self, then no matter what others say, or do we will never truly believe they love us. Too many of us look to others to prove that we are loveable and worthy of love. But we end up harming our relationships because we can’t accept love unless we accept love from our self first.

All of these lessons in love allowed me to open my heart … truly open my heart to others and to myself. Now having an open heart does feel vulnerable but I would rather be open and vulnerable than to not experience love in all of its warmth and joy!

Needless to say, this was a journey that took the better part of a year and although I feel like I am on the stable ground these are lessons that I will continue to work on into 2020.

The next biggest lesson in 2019 is that life is much better when I live in a state of flow. This one took a lot of conscious work on my part to counteract the cultural lessons that have been ingrained in me. To me living in flow is doing what brings me joy, on a minute to minute basis. Really listening to my intuition and my body on what is the best choice for me. At times these choices felt and still feel like a leap of faith. What I have realized now is that when I am not in a state of flow life is hard work … my body is tense, and my mind is chaotic, and my thoughts are overwhelming.

On the other hand, flow to me is a state of inner peace, it is a beautiful, calm, strong trusting place. Mostly this work required me to ask myself “am I doing this because it brings me joy” if the answer was ‘no’ then I didn’t do it! Even though that meant that at the time I was not doing the ‘acceptable’, if it did not feel right, then I didn’t do it.

These two lessons go hand in hand. It takes self-love to be able to stay in flow especially when you are going against cultural priorities!

Overall 2019, has been a year of tremendous growth for me, at times this growth felt like I was moving nowhere and at times it felt like I was going backwards. There was more than one occasion that I asked myself if I was crazy! But that’s the thing about personal growth if you are pushing yourself into new territory it is bound to feel awkward and uncomfortable. You are moving past patterns, that you have been working with for years.

 

I like to think of personal growth like the transition of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. The transition that the caterpillar goes through is a difficult one. It takes all of its energy and inner strength to complete, and at times it is in pure agony, but when the wings start to form it is all worth it!

 

 

For me, I say good-bye to 2019 with a huge thank you for all that I learned, and I look forward to 2020 where I get to test out my new wings.

 

How about you-

What was 2019 like for you? I would love to hear if you are willing to share.

Why Do We Need to Hurt?

This past month marks 5 years since Woody passed, I started reflecting on all the changes that I have made over those years. That got me asking… why is it that it took a major loss for me to find myself!

It is funny, (and kind of sad) to think that I needed, and I think most of us do need, a big shakeup to get us to reevaluate things and make changes. Why does it have to be this way? Why do we need to be devastated and shaken to our cores to actually start listening to ourselves?

I am not the only one, I have found this with most of my clients too, they have come to coaching because they have had some big life event happen, relationships breaking up, loss, divorce, losing a job, a risk to their health … something big happened that shook them up and they realized they needed and wanted more.

Why do we need to hurt?

I ask myself this all the time. I do consult calls with people who know they want something different, who are in one way or another suffering in their current life. They completely agree and recognize they are not happy, but they are not willing or ready to make any changes.

No judgment!

That was me, the whole time before Woody passed, I knew that I wanted more for my life, but I stayed with what I knew because it was comfortable. That is the number one reason, I think people don’t make changes. And why they wait until they are forced to. We get comfortable! The more comfortable we get the stronger the fear of making changes gets. The stronger the fear, the quieter (or at least the less we hear) the voice inside us telling us that there is more.

 

 

It’s like comfort kills the voice of our dreams!

 

I have recently been listening (again) to ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, if you haven’t read or listened to this book, I highly recommend it. It has a great story with great life lessons intertwined. As I was listening, one gem, in particular, talked specifically about this, the character stated, “I don’t know how to deal with change because I’m used to the way I am”. This really speaks to that being comfortable piece, but it also speaks to settling. I can attest to that, too!

 

 

 

As I mentioned, I was comfortable in my old life, sure I wanted more from my career and my relationship, but it was OK, so I settled. There definitely was a voice inside telling me that my dreams were not being realized, that I was settling, that I was not being all of me, that I was hiding my gifts and talents (or at least using very little of them), overall I was playing small. Looking back, I am sure that is why I felt stressed most of the time! It’s stressful suppressing your dreams, and who you are, and what you know you are capable of doing! It kind of feels like now, had I listened to this voice things could have been different; but because I didn’t the only way the Universe could get me to wake up and pay attention was to shake me up … and that is what it did!  

What is it about change that scares us so much?

In my experience, we as a collective see change as something daunting, and scary and most of us equate it with negative outcomes, (probably because of our negatively wired brains). So, we shy away from the very thought of it. I think for most of us, this fear controls us, we convince ourselves, “you should just stay where you are, it’s safe, known and things could be worse on the other side”.

 

Yes, things could be worse that is a possibility, BUT it is just as likely they could be great! And in my experience, that is usually what happens!

 

 

We never seem to see that side; we only see the worst scenarios playing out. I can’t tell you how many people including myself, who have gone through something major in their life and we end up creating a new life that is even better than we ever expected.

What changes?

I think when your life has been thrown into turmoil your perspective shifts. You lose that fear of change. In a way, because you have been forced to change, it suddenly doesn’t seem so scary! It’s like you have learned (or been forced) to embrace change!

Also, I think you are more willing to risk, you have already lost, so it is less daunting. And this combination allows us to override that negative mind, so we grab life by the horns and say, “let’s do this!”

The thing is…

This option is available to everyone one of us, at any moment, we just need to choose to take it! 

 

 

 

That is why I wanted to write this blog, I hope it reaches some of you out there who, like me, have that little voice telling you that you were meant for more, that you are playing small and that it is time to step up!

 

 

 

My hope is this will amplify that voice, and be the encouragement, you need to move past the fear stories that your mind has created. If this has stirred something up in you then go get it, don’t wait for life to throw you into it!

We all deserve happiness!

P.S. You are stronger than you think, and you don’t need trauma to show you that. If this is you… take a deep breath, start tuning into that voice, trust in yourself and take steps towards your dreams, it’s not nearly as scary as your mind leads you to believe!

 

 

A Tidal Wave of Grief

I read once that grief comes in waves and when I envisioned it, I assumed that the waves gradually got smaller as they do in the ocean as it comes to the shore. What I didn’t expect is that sometimes the waves are tidal size waves and sometimes they are little baby waves and there is no way to predict which one is coming!

This past week marks the 5th year since my husband passed and on our wedding anniversary, I got hit with a tidal size wave from out of the blue! There were no warnings … just bam! Like all the significant special dates that remind me of him I psychologically prepare myself and our anniversary is usually a big one as when he was ill it was on our anniversary that things really started taking a turn for the worse, he then passed just over a week later, so needless to say it is an emotional time for me and I know 5 years may seem like a lot of time to some but for me the shock and trauma I experienced through the short 3 months of his illness is still something I cope with.


So back to the tidal wave… like I said I knew it would be emotional but what I didn’t expect was the barrage of guilt and self-blame that came on this particular wave. I know that there is sometimes survivor guilt and I think in the bargaining stage there is definitely some guilt but what I got was none of those, it was full-on assault from my mind on how I was the WORST person alive and was a horrible wife and so on and so on. This was new for me as I had not really had a lot of self-blame sure a little bit that I could have done more, been more compassionate etc but this was way more than that, this was a downright assault on my character, all from my own mind. I am so grateful that I have the tools that I do as I was able to stay afloat during the wave of emotions and keep my head above water. I have spoken with a few other widows and we have shared stories but I have not found in the literature the kind of guilt and self-blame that I experienced, so I thought I would write about it because I am sure I am not the only one who has had this happen and I am hoping for those of you who find this it will be a comfort to know that you are not alone!

Why I think this came up so strong for me this year is that in the past 5 years I have been on what I call my journey to authenticity I have been finding out who I really am beyond all the stories and mind chatter. And in the past year, there has been some major growth and I have really started to feel sure-footed in who I am, this confidence and strength have allowed me to make some changes in my life. I started dating, I have been able to reclaim my house and let go of the things I was holding on of my husbands, and I was able to finally set him free in the form of releasing his ashes all of which I felt sure about at the time I was doing them. But then this anniversary came and the tidal wave of self-judgment and guilt, most of which was around one major realization that I have had this year is that who I was back then was responsible for a good share of our relationship being as trying as it was! Through my journey I have realized that I expected a lot from him because I was not there for myself, what I mean by that is I did not love myself, therefore, expected him to show me how much of a good person I was and that I was worthy of the love that I was withholding from myself. This is not a good foundation for a relationship, because for the one needing the reassurance there will never be enough as you don’t believe it anyway, because you don’t love yourself or feel lovable.

Sound a little confusing … it goes like this because I had a core belief that I was not worthy of love I withheld it from myself by being SUPER critical and judgey of everything I did, I was a perfectionist who could never measure up to the impossible standards, all of this was reassuring my belief that I am unlovable. This was all going on for years before I met my husband (as most of our beliefs are set when we are toddlers) anyway enter a relationship and they start telling you wonderful things about you, and that they love you BUT that is in direct contradiction to the belief that you are not worthy of love and are unloveable, so guess where the mind goes “he’s just saying that”, “he has to say that because he married you”, “he doesn’t mean it”, “if he really loved me he would/wouldn’t…” and all the other ways our mind negates things that go against a belief we hold. Because that’s the thing about our beliefs they live in the subconscious and we always seek out information to prove they are correct, even if that means it hurts. So, the whole time I was thinking that our relationship was not as good as it could be, because he didn’t really love me, guess what it was me not being able to see that he did.

 

With this realization and a few others, it became increasingly clear to me that my version of our relationship was not (and this is always the case) the real version, it was what I saw through the lens of my beliefs, perceptions, and stories. This became abundantly clear this year as I started to repeat the same patterns in a new relationship and had a front-row seat to how this belief was playing out which made me realize that I was not as innocent as I thought.

Anyway, back to the tidal wave of guilt! With all of these realizations I couldn’t help but wonder would our relationship have been better (and I am sure it would have been) had I been the real me (the person I am now) rather than the old version of me… and there is the guilt!

After doing a lot of self-compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness I came to terms with the fact that I was doing the best that I could with what I had and that is all I can ask of myself. I truly believe that we all are doing our best at any given moment, and I have no problem accepting that in others, it was just a little harder to swallow for myself. But that is the beauty of challenge it shows us areas where we need to grow and as far as I have come, I still have some more work around loving, accepting and forgiving myself. And that is what this tidal wave was all about, I needed to release this energy and continue to grow in the area of self-love.


I hope some of this resonates with you out there and you can take my experience as an opportunity for you too to grow.

Namaste