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!

 

 

Insights from Nature

I posted this quick video on social media as I got some clarity on self-care and trees. Check out the video here.

As I sat with the information for a while and continued to insights that I wanted to share.

Looking to Nature for not only caring for ourselves, but we can also use it to look at playing small; really the 2 aren’t entirely exclusive.

When I talked about a tree not sacrificing itself for others. It doesn’t say “oh no you take the water and the sunlight; I’ll just stay here in the shade” It takes what it needs to grow big and strong so that it can take care of the eco-system around it. As a tiny sapling, it cannot support the eco-system but as a big tree, it can. It can shade new saplings, house birds and animals, feed and support the whole eco-system around it.

This is the same when I think about playing small.

What I mean by playing small is not showing up in your life completely and authentically. It is not speaking your truth because you may hurt others, it is people-pleasing and sacrificing yourself to be accepted, it is not being BIG in life and shading your light for fear of stepping on toes. It could and does look different for everyone.

For me, I was playing small when I was in my social work world. What that looked like was me sacrificing myself while striving to be a “good worker”, it was following the ‘rules’ even though I knew at my core that it was only band-aiding bigger core issues, it was hiding my spiritual side because I feared being judged. All of this was me not being true to me, some of these actions I was aware of consciously and some were unconscious patterns.

So again, I look at Nature for wisdom, because after all we too are a part of Nature,too!

Looking at trees, again the sapling doesn’t say ‘oh no I don’t want to get too big’, I may hurt someone’s feelings’ it just grows to be big and strong because that is what it is supposed to do. It is made to grow into the biggest, best tree it can be; so it does!

Even if you look at the animal kingdom. Where in nature does an animal sacrifice itself, or play small and weak to be accepted by the group? Can you imagine a wolf pack where the individual wolves don’t want to be too good of a hunter to spare others’ feelings? Or too good of a tracker so others don’t think they are arrogant?

NO! That is not what happens!

Each member of the pack has a role that they fulfill for the survival of all! They are the best hunters because that is their role in the pack or they are the best trackers so their pack survives.

We are not meant to be meek; we are not meant to hide our talents for fear of being “to big for our britches”. Even that colloquialism speaks to it the cultural programming around playing small … I mean Whose britches? If they are yours then they fit you, period!

Why I feel we play small.

There are a couple of reasons that I think we play small. These are stories that on some level we have accepted and now they are running our lives.

The first is that we will be viewed as arrogant, or egotistical. We fear that if we own our strengths or speak up, others will have a negative view of us; that we are not playing as part of the team.

Is this true? Do you ever think that your friends who speak up for themselves, or that own their strengths are arrogant? Do you see someone who is confident in their abilities as being an egomaniac? Of course not! We admire confidence, we marvel at people who are brave and put themselves out there, we cheer on those who have the courage to speak up. So why don’t you do this for yourself?

The other reason I think we play small is that we don’t want to hurt others. We feel if we shine too bright, we will shadow others and hurt them.

Is this true? Does showing up in your life owning all your gifts and talents mean you are trying to be better than others? Does it mean that you are saying well I am good, so you are crap? Does your dimming your light make others shine brighter?

NO! To all of these!

These stories that we tell ourselves are directly tied to our cultural and personal programming. The ‘be a good girl’ (aka nice, polite, cooperative girl) programming that teaches us to stay small. But what I think this comes down to on a core level is that we are so desperate to be loved and accepted that we sacrifice ourselves to be understood, to be included, and accepted by the majority.

 

 

I also think we play small because we are truly scared of our power, we are scared because we have been playing small for so long, (we have been going along to get along) that we can’t envision anything different, and the thought of how truly amazing we are, is terrifying!

I have struggled with this for most of my life, I was partially aware of it before but even now with it being fully in my awareness there are still times it comes up. That is how deep this programming runs. Although I have cleared and healed it on so many levels, it still pops up and it takes conscious consistent work to get me comfortable with showing up BIG in my life.

Something to think about

I want to leave you with this thought. What would happen in Nature if every tree, every animal, every flower stayed small. We would have no forests, no gardens, and no species. It is not up to everyone else to do the work and rise up in their life, it is up to each and everyone one of us to show up BIG in our own lives.

Take the Next Step

What is one area of your life you are playing small?

What is one thing you can do to step up for yourself?

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!

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.

The Value of the Season!

What do you Value for the Holidays!

We all have different values and when it comes to the holidays we all value different things! When we live out of alignment with our values it causes us stress. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to reduce the amount of stress over the holidays by helping you with your holiday values. When you understand what you value most over the holidays you can make choices that align with those values and have a more enjoyable holiday!

Many of us throw the word value around and really don’t understand how important our values actually are to us. We may say “I value family”, but then when it comes to spending time with our families, we put it on the bottom of the priority list – behind work, chores, and other “have tos”. When we do this, we usually feel a sense of shame or guilt for not spending time with our families.  We are living out of alignment with our values and, for that, we experience stress!

This holiday season, why not make it easier on yourself and figure out what your values are? Then do your best to live within those values, honour yourself!

The Value of the Season!

Ask Yourself

How to determine your holiday values is simple.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the past few holidays and ask yourself:

What brings me the most joy over the holidays?
When am I the happiest during the holiday?
If I had to give up something what could I absolutely not give up?
What does my dream holiday season look like?

Take the time to really feel into the questions, allow your imagination to go wild. Write down a few things that really stick out to you. You will probably notice that some common themes start to emerge.

Whether the answers revolve around such things as having family present or having some quiet downtime, to seeking adventure, or maybe it’s even solitude…the possibilities are endless. Whatever the answer may be, really tune into yourself. And most importantly don’t judge yourself for your answers!

 

Once you have a few common themes, take a few minutes to evaluate if this is a true value for you. For example, the value of peace is arising for you and when you check in with yourself, this doesn’t feel like something you would value.

Ask yourself:

Is this something that I really want or is it something that I believe that I need?
Is this something that really matters to me or is it something that others say I need?
Does this feel like a priority to me or does it feel like an obligation?

Take this time to really check in with yourself.

Does this feel authentic to you? Yes or No

If yes, then you have your list of values for the holidays.  If not, then you have identified the things that are most likely causing you stress. You are doing these things out of obligation or out of a belief that you ‘need’ to be doing them. This sense of obligation has overridden your true values and is causing you stress.

If this is the case, you need to take the time to re-evaluate what it is that you love about the holidays, use your imagination to identify your dream holiday season. What is it that you are doing? Who is there? What does it look like? What does it feel like?

If you can answer these questions and come up with your dream holiday season you will be able to identify your values. The following questions will help you to narrow in on your values:

Is it that you are surrounded by family or out at social events?

Are you following traditions or are you creating new memories?

Is it in a place that you know and love and feel comfortable or is it an exciting new place?

The Value of the Season!

Make it Happen

Once you have that picture clear in your mind, you can identify what is most important for you about the holidays. Now all you need to do is make the decision to make it happen!

How do you make it happen? Well, that requires you to stay true to you! Set boundaries say ‘no’ to things that are not aligning with your values and most importantly be grateful and enjoy taking part in the things you enjoy!

Wishing you a holiday season that is all you have dreamed of that aligns you with your highest values.

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