Human beings have a hard time owning our awesome. We can see it, admire it, value it, but rarely do we ever want to attach it to ourselves.
I want you to own your awesome, so here’s a simple exercise I hope will help.
Make a list of your values. Make a list of qualities you admire in others.
The lists will be different for each of us, but could look like this: Nature Connection Vitality Faith Confidence Joyful Independent Creative Honest Professional Trustworthy Reliable Calm Effective Helpful
“I am” statements help us own qualities in a powerful way!
Often we use them against ourselves: I am broke. I am depressed. I am so stupid.
You KNOW this song! Most of us sing it frequently. Those kind of “I am” statements need to be released because “I am” attaches us and we don’t want to (or need to) own those qualities!
Look at that list of your values, and qualities you admire. Which ones do you already embody? “I am organized,” is one I can completely relate to. Choose the ones from your list that resonate most, and own them first.
I am honest. I am professional. I am trustworthy.
Then cull the list again for ones that you are growing toward, or desire to embody, and own them too!
I am confidence. I am amazing. I am joyful. I am uplifting.
Own your awesome. Affirm your awesome. Practice the “I am” statements that feel GOOD to you!
Practice. Practice. Practice.
What characteristics do you regularly affirm with “I am” statements? Do you want to own them? How willing are you to release those? What qualities do you want to affirm as your own? How often are you willing to practice owning them?
Why do you want to do the things that you want to do? If you don’t know the answer to this question, chances are your motivation is pretty low.
Having a deep, powerful why is a monumental motivator!
Want to motivate others? Help them connect to their why! Want to motivate yourself? Ask yourself WHY you want to do this thing for which you seek motivation.
I hear some of
you say, “I don’t WANT to do it, I HAVE to do it.”
That’s why you have no motivation!
If we feel forced to do something we don’t want to do, of course we don’t feel inspired to jump right in and do our best! Have you ever noticed that getting out of bed to go to a job you’re not thrilled about can be a real challenge? Conversely, how challenging is it to get up on the first day of vacation? Easy, right?! When we want to do it, we’re inspired to action!
So what will it
take to shift “have to” into “want to”?
There are often things that feel like we “have to” (NEED to) do them – as if we have no choice. But we DO have a choice. Always. Sometimes we have a choice about what actions we can take, and sometimes our choice lies in how we perceive what we are doing. It’s the second set I want to discuss today.
Two Easily-Relatable Examples
Work Scenario –
I have to go to
work because I have debt and DREAMS! I
NEED money, so I am forced to spend my time in this way that I do not want!
Health Scenario –
I have to lose
weight. I don’t like how my body
looks. I’m unhealthy. My doctor says I have to give up foods that I
love and work my body harder, and I just don’t want to!
All of the thoughts in each scenario point in the direction of unwanted. They push against. These are energy draining thoughts, and most of us FEEL our energy drain just reading them. Who wants to LIVE them? If this is how our thoughts feel around any subject, we will NOT be motivated by them. We might find ways to buffer our feelings and just put up with the crappy job. We can certainly create plans with action steps that could lead us to our health goals. But if the whole thing feels like it’s being forced on us, then we are powerless to create sustainable change.
We want to be at choice.
us. How can we choose to reframe the
above thoughts so they are serving and motivating us instead of draining
us? There are as many possibilities as
there are people. It’s going to be
different for each of us, but here are some possibilities to consider:
Work Scenario –
I have a steady
source of income. I am moving toward my
goals. I’m paying off debt. I’m saving for my future, getting closer to
my dreams. This position is a blessing,
and a stepping stone on my path to the next position that suits me better and
checks off more of my boxes. I am
content that I have this place to stand where I can see my dreams moving toward
me, and I can choose to be delighted that I feel my dreams moving closer. I choose to spend some of my time earning
money, and make the MOST of the rest of my hours by finding things that lift my
vibration and allow me to enjoy each day of my life! This is not where I end up, this is the middle
of my story, and so much MORE is flowing to me now!
Health Scenario –
I want to feel
healthy & energized. I want to feel
confident in my skin. I want to trust
myself & the choices I make. I can
make small adjustments that bring steady improvement. I want steady improvements. I want to move in the direction my
goals. I want to learn what foods truly
serve my greater health. It’s not the
same for everyone, and I am curious what I will find to be true for me. Trying new foods is exciting. I wonder which activities feel good once I
give them a chance? What wonderful new
foods and activities will I discover that I love? I want to feel excited about healthy
choices. I am excited about growing
resonate for you? Which motivate you? What are some energy supporting thoughts
that came up for you as you read these?
thoughts takes practice, because the thoughts we’ve been practicing are already
in there and attracting more thoughts like the ones we’ve been practicing!
The first step to
changing our thoughts into ones that motivate us is awareness!
What came up for
you as you read the thought examples above?
What thoughts are
you currently thinking that already motivate you toward your goals?
are holding you back?
How can you reframe
those to support you in moving toward your goal?
As I lay sleeping one morning, I dreamed that someone wrote this comment on my blog: Who the fuck are you? You think you have all the answers? (It went on, but as dreams will do, the edges went blurry.)
I woke with a start. Our subconscious mind speaks to us in dreams, and it was pretty clear that mine had questions. I went to my journal and wrote, “who the fuck are you?” After my morning coffee and meditations, I sat to consider the query, and answer my inner critic.
First of all, I don’t have all the answers!
I don’t have ANY fucking answers except for those that are right for me. I don’t write my blog, or coach my clients because I know what anyone else should do, cause I don’t have a fucking clue what’s right for anyone else. Answers are something each of us will find inside.
What I do have is a growing list of options that help me, and countless others, find some of the answers we are seeking. I say ‘we’ because I am walking this path with you, with my clients. We are all in this together and the more one of us grows, the more we all grow!
How do I know? My clients inspire me daily!
I have as many questions as answers, because I am human. Our common humanity means that what works for some of us might also work for you. But that’s something you will need to explore and discover for yourself.
The things I share in my blog include topics that frequently come up while coaching my clients, challenges I am growing through myself, and some of the tools and resources available that have a track record of helping people uncover answers within themselves.
Here are some of the things I have discovered on my journey so far: Human beings are energy systems. Energy attracts like energy. The energy we radiate is the energy the world reflects back to us. We are all seeking connection. We thrive when we are connected to Source and to each other. There are many practices that help connect us to Source. All experiences are opportunities for growth. Each person we meet is our teacher and our student. Words have power, so wield them with all the wisdom at your disposal. Everyone’s journey is as unique and as valuable as every other journey. Life offers neither problems nor challenges, only opportunities. Helping people discover Truth empowers them. Helping people remember their power empowers me. My purpose in life is to uplift the human spirit. Treat YOURSELF as you wish to be treated! Radical self-acceptance is key! Powerful people empower others.
How much of this resonates for you?
These are not answers. They are simply truths I have found helpful in guiding me to my own answers. If you want to read more along these lines, you can subscribe to my blog here.
So, who the fuck am I?
Well, I’m a huge fan of Esther Hicks and her work with Abraham. I have spent a decade trying to figure out how to incorporate their teachings into my life. I used to be terrified. I thought life was happening to me, and desperately wanted to be the creator of my own experience, the way Esther-Abraham told me I could be.
I’ve survived alcoholism, and food addiction. With the help of some really wonderful therapists, I lifted myself from depression. I am addicted to joy, and seek pleasure everywhere. I’m human and have made a LOT of poor choices, but I managed to learn from them, which means they were not mistakes but lessons. I’ve grown. I’ve hurt people. I’ve acted against my own best interest sometimes. I have absolutely argued for my own limitations.
I feel like I am happy and helpful most of the time.
I’m an entrepreneur, and the mother of two wonderful humans. I’m an award-winning massage therapist. I’m a landscape photographer. I’m a poet, and a dancer, and a recovering perfectionist. I’m an empowerment coach passionate about helping women remember who they are, and tap into their true power.
“Helping women remember who they are…”
At this point in my writing, I stopped cold and LAUGHED out loud. That mouth-open, head-back kind of laugh that boils up from my belly and embarrasses my ex-husband.
My subconscious was simply asking me what I ask my clients ALL the time. “Who ARE you?”
And I answered in much the same way that my clients always do. I began with a list of ‘how’ I am and ‘what’ I am. NONE of this is my ‘who.’ Underneath all of WHAT we each are, and HOW we each are, we are all the same Divine Who.
I am Source energy. I am infinite intelligence embodied. I am wisdom. I am faith. I am confidence. I am vitality. I am connection. I am Nature. I am Goddess/God made flesh. I am Divine. I am.
And so are You!
We are all One. We are all Source. All of us are One energy at our core.
What does this mean?
Well, for one thing it means that when we are carrying heavy, negative emotions, we can release those. They don’t belong to our natural vibration. That is not ‘who’ we are, so we do not have to hang onto those feelings. Self-doubt, anxiety, worry and fear can be released. The reason they feel heavy, is because they do NOT resonate (match) with our core energy – the energy of Source (God/Goddess). The reason these heavy emotions exist is to be our rumble strip on the road of life.
When we own our truth we KNOW without doubt that we are Source, we are wisdom, we are love. And we feel GOOD. It resonates, it vibrates in harmony with the vibration at our core. Heavy feeling emotions do not vibrate in harmony with our core energy. They create discord within us. When we feel that discord, it’s simply a gentle reminder that we are moving away from the direction we want to be moving – just like the rumble strip on the highway when we stray too far from the center line.
Humans want to feel GOOD. We want to stick to the center line of love, light, infinite wisdom, and the TRUTH of Who we are. When we focus on the truth of Who we are, the Universe brings us MORE into alignment with faith, confidence, vitality and all the other aspects of our true nature.
Who the fuck am I? I am you. You are me. We are God/Goddess energy here to expand our awareness and grow. We are Divine energy in human form.
Positively Divine! That’s who I am. That’s who you are, too.
Who are you? How much of the Source energy at your core are you allowing to flow? How many heavy-feeling emotions are you experiencing frequently? What will it take for you to set them down? How much did this article resonate with you?
I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments!
If this article resonated for you, please consider subscribing to my blog! Subscription is FREE and includes hundreds of ideas to energize your life and step into thriving.
It is raw, powerful, inspirational Truth. Glennon conceals nothing. She strips her soul bare and lies it before her reader with great reverence and without apology. Her prose is poetry. Her strength incredible. Her impact indelible.
Every morning I read something uplifting with my coffee before I begin my meditations. Glennon has been my coffee companion for over a month now as I dole out the chapters like fine chocolates to be savored slowly and treasured, rather than gobbled all at once. These are stories we all recognize of deeply human, vulnerable moments of family, love, addiction, triumph, bravery, fear of doing hard things and learning that we can do them anyway.
In a chapter titled blow jobs, Glennon reveals her truth to her therapist in the hopes of gaining support or insight. The therapist tells her not to listen to her heart, to give up on her dream, to live a small, conventional life, and stay in a loveless marriage. Every woman who has ever had her deep Knowing discounted by an authority figure knows how eviscerating that feels. Many in that position have returned obediently to cages too small for our Knowing and our dreams, to lead ill-fitting lives based on the beliefs of others.
Thankfully for us, not only did Glennon listen to her Knowing, she lay her soul bare for the rest of us, and used it to build a road map of metaphor and love. She exquisitely explains how to be our own touch tree, perpetually returning to our own Knowing to keep us from getting too far gone. She reminds us to untame ourselves, despite the determination of our culture to tame us into neat little cages and tiny lives that please THEM.
Cause fuck that!
Glennon knows she’s a goddamn cheetah. Untamed is her brilliant, beautiful memoir reminding the rest of us we’re goddamn cheetahs too.
Before I even finished the book, I ordered a copy for my daughter. A few chapters later I ordered one for my sister as well. Now I have purchased the audiobook version and I listen to Glennon read it to me on my morning walk.
This book feeds my soul. It opens me more to my own Knowing. It reminds me how to reclaim my own power. It shows me that reclaiming my power is possible, because we can do hard things.
Who do you admire? Think about the people you know, mentors or teachers you have had in your life, spiritual gurus, political activists, saints, public figures, writers, whoever it is that you admire right now. Make a list of at least 5 people.
Make a list of the traits/characteristics you admire about them.
Some characteristics I admire in the people I listed: Confidence Connection Spiritual Strong Faith Walking her Talk Energetic Smart Helpful Teacher Intuitive Joyful Exuberant Supportive Independent Creative Frequently In Tune with Source Understanding Energy Uplifter Wayshower Lightbringer Growing Mentor Compassionate Self-compassionate Honest Professional Trustworthy Reliable
You cannot see anything in another person unless it also exists in you! Own it! Everything you wrote on the list of what you admire in these people, already exists within you!
And Guess what!
You know all those traits that BUG the crap outta you in other people? Yep. We have to own those too.
The world is a mirror. It reflects to us what we embody.
When you find yourself annoyed with someone’s behavior, ask yourself: When have I behaved that way? Is this a behavior/characteristic that I want to embody? Moving forward, how will I choose to respond in similar situations?
I highly encourage my clients to make that list of people they admire and the qualities they find admirable in them. Take the time to own those qualities! Make the list and keep it handy.
When you feel less than confident, or feel self-doubt creeping in, take it out and look in the mirror.
If you find that you “beat yourself up” for what you see in the mirror, you are not alone! This is something I help my clients with all the time. Sometimes it’s hard to own what we see in our reflection. If this sounds like you, and you’d like some help sorting it out, coaching might be right for you! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll schedule a phone chat to see if I can help.
I have known for a few days now that I need/want to further delay the opening of my massage practice, but I would not give myself permission to announce it as fact. Why?
I don’t want to disappoint my clients.
Last week I booked July 5 to 19 solid because the COVID numbers were moving in the right direction, and the state of California seemed to have a handle on the reopening process. Then we started seeing numbers come in from other states as they reopened, and it’s NOT looking promising anywhere that I can see.
NOTHING but health and safety need be considered when deliberating reopening my massage office, but MY tortured brain is still insisting that announcing my decision will “disappoint my clients.” WTF?
I was beating myself up for so many things in this scenario!
I shouldn’t have trusted the optimistic appraisal of California’s re-opening roadmap. I shouldn’t have scheduled my clients so soon (fucking optimism). I should have waited. Why didn’t I wait? And my personal favorite ~ I should have known better! Really? Even though this is NEW and NO ONE in the world knows what to expect, I was holding myself to the standard that I – Cyndi Combs – SHOULD have fucking known what the rest of the world did not!
I know my massage clients really well. Most of them have been seeing me for years, and not one of them is the kind of person to hold this against me. Every one of them wants me safe, and wants to stay healthy and protect the health of their family. But I got out my emotional baseball bat and turned it ruthlessly on myself.
Mostly I just couldn’t figure out why the decision was DRAINING me so much. Thinking about it left me deflated and unmotivated, and the self-flagellation was so FAR under my radar (read: practiced enough to be on auto-pilot) that I didn’t even SEE it. But I sure as hell FELT it in my bones.
Thank the Universe I have a coach! Thank God I have developed the habit of journaling when things feel “off” to try to make sense of them. Thank Goddess I took this realization of constant, systemic self-flagellation to both my coach and my journal!
YES! Even though my current income is less than half what it was just three months ago, I make room in my budget to pay a certified, professional coach, and she is worth every penny.
When I took a long, curious look at my behavior, the following observations occurred.
I understand now that my own harsh self-judgment is my biggest roadblock, and a constant drain on my energy. When I beat myself up, it is the anchor that keeps me from moving forward into my goals!
For example: if I eat off plan, and then beat myself up for eating off plan, I am far more likely to eat off plan AGAIN to soothe my hard feelings. But if I eat off plan and then get curious about why I didn’t stick to my healthy intentions, look at my thoughts and process my emotions, I am far less likely to fall off the plan again!
The thing holding me back more than anything else is my own judgment of my behavior. Beating myself up has been holding me back. Beating myself up keeps me from accomplishing my goals. Beating myself up comes REALLY easily to me. I’ve practiced it repeatedly for decades, so it’s as natural as breathing and occurs with the same regularity.
I’ve been beating myself up for being human. I’ve eviscerated myself for making mistakes, or not getting ideal results on my first attempt. I’ve been beating myself up for not doing things I thought I “should” do because other people expected me to do them. I’ve been beating myself up for not doing things as well as someone who’s been doing them for decades longer than I have. I have beat myself up for “disappointing” my clients because I was too sick or injured to work. I have beat myself up for having emotions that I judged to be negative. I beat myself up for judging myself. I beat myself up because I should have known better. I beat myself up because I should have been farther along by now. I beat myself up because I said or did something that I judged ‘stupid’ and felt embarrassed.
I beat myself up for not getting enough done in a day! I am the sole employee at THREE business that I run by myself. I am super-productive, highly efficient, and an organizationally GIFTED, super-human achiever by most standards, and I still would beat the crap out of myself for not getting ALL of it done.
Fuck! No wonder I’m exhausted.
All of these things are normal human experiences. But I have been using them against myself. I have been using them to drain my own energy. The biggest drain on my energy is the enemy within me. And I am done.
I am done beating myself up. From this moment forward, I beat myself up for NOTHING and no one. I will not judge myself harshly. I will allow myself human moments including the full range of this amazing Human Experience.
My self-judgement gremlin has been saying, “Cyndi, you can’t handle this.”
And for years now I have believed her, and beat myself up because I didn’t like the emotions I was feeling, or felt I couldn’t handle a situation because it didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted.
In order to cultivate awareness of self judgement, I will ask:
What’s going on here? Why am I being harsh with me? How helpful is that? Where did that come from? Why am I telling myself this story?
I intend from this moment forward to be compassionate with myself and when I fall short of that intention, I can give myself some grace instead of picking up the emotional baseball bat and wielding it against myself!
You can’t kill gremlins.
‘Gremlins’ is a term used in coaching to describe the voices in your head that say things like, “You can’t handle this.” “You’re not good enough.” “You suck.” “Why bother?” “It’s too late.” “Everyone except YOU has their shit together.”
I’ve learned a few things working through my own gremlins, and guiding clients to work with their gremlins. Gremlins arise to protect us and they don’t like to be left behind. If they fear they will be left behind, they grow louder and cause a great deal of discomfort. The way to ease their fear is to assure them they are not being left behind, and that we will give them an important role to fill in our lives. I usually do this by writing them a letter, thanking them for protecting me, and offering them a key role in my psyche moving forward. Here’s what I wrote to this harsh, punishing voice in my head.
My Darling Self-Judgment Gremlin, I would be honored if you would accept the role of discernment decider! Discernment is crucial to human survival, because all of our choices are based on preferences. When I can discern what I do not want, then I can more clearly discern what I do want. Without you my darling discernment decider, I would feel confused and without direction. You get to help me decide where we steer our ship, which star we follow, and what flavor ice cream we eat on the way! Don’t forget your fucking cheerleading skirt!
Much love, Cyndi
What gremlin messages play on repeat in your head? How true is that? What is it trying to protect you from? How much pain is the message causing you? How helpful is that? Why does this story keep running on repeat? What is it costing to listen to constant negative messaging? How willing are you to let it go now?
If this resonates for you and you would like to create a roadmap from self-shaming to self-respect, I offer two FREE coaching sessions to help you shift directions. WHY free? Why not charge for the sessions since I have no massage income?
Because many people don’t understand the value of coaching. And if finances are currently adversely affected by the pandemic, most won’t be willing to invest in something if they can’t comprehend its value. Most people immediately see the value after two sessions, and then invest in my services, so the free sessions are a win-win. Even if the client does NOT invest in my services, it’s a win-win! I get to practice coaching about which I am passionate and inspired, and they gain insight into themselves and acquire tools that will serve them for as long as they choose to use them!
Somewhere around the turn of the century, I began my search for a connection to a higher power. It became clear to me in the rooms of AA that connection was crucial if I wanted to leave behind the cycle of over drinking, trying to quit, failing to quit and over drinking again and again and again.
I had given up on religion as a teen. My parents were not churchgoers, but throughout my childhood and teen years, I attended many churches belonging to myriad denominations of the Christian religion with my friends. I lived in a small town where dozens of churches had buses that would pick you up on Sunday, or during the summer for camp programs, trips to the lake, volunteer work, and music programs of all kinds. While I enjoyed the social aspects of all of this, whenever it came to the preaching and Sunday school lessons, all of it made me feel less-than, unworthy, somehow second class. Not one of those churches ever spoke to me enough to make it stick, and I relegated religion to the category of “fine for other people, but not my thing.”
When I found Sue Monk Kidd’s memoir, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, the subtitle read, “A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine.” My heart tripped over it’s feet and flopped around on the floor while I tried to find a seat in the bookstore and catch my breath. ‘Sacred Feminine’ resonated in the cells of my body like the Universe had opened it’s arms, pulled me into an embrace and said, “welcome home.”
My copy of Dance is more highlighted than not highlighted. For me, the words were like bathing in ancient wisdom steeped in ecstasy. I reveled in the author’s journey as she took me on my own. I held my breath as she named the patriarchally-imposed inequality that women suffered in the church, which I had so clearly sensed in my childhood. I cheered when she decided not to swallow it anymore. And I cried when she showed me how to forge a path and follow my own innate knowing about what is, and is not, spiritual and holy.
Her first work of fiction, The Secret Life of Bees, spent two and a half years on the best seller list and was every bit as uplifting, inspiring and hope-filled as Dance of the Dissident Daughter. Monk’s characters rise up to meet challenges and overcome fear to speak their truth. They reach inside themselves to overcome obstacles and live the life they choose to create.
The Invention of Wings is the story of Sarah Grimke, and Hetty, the slave who was gifted to Sarah as a handmaid on her eleventh birthday. “We follow their remarkable journeys over thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.”
As much as I loved Secret Life of Bees, I loved Wings more. It is in my top three favorite fiction books of all time.
Her newest novel, A Book of Longings, “relates an extraordinary story set in the first century about one woman’s struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, and culture devised to silence her.”
It’s inspiring, as are all of her tales. The characters are powerfully written, and my heart was beating in the heroine’s chest. I was enraged for her, enraptured, thrilled and terrified. The story transports the reader and gives her wings. It was a pure delight.
If you have not read Sue Monk Kidd’s work, I invite you to listen to the interview and explore her library of works. Then if they resonate for you like they do for so many, you can add them to your list of resources that uplift and inspire!
I follow Tosha Silver, author & astrologer. Recently I heard her say that during this time of Pluto transit, we are being forced to look at what hasn’t been looked at. Individually and collectively we must burn away what needs to burn. We are each facing our shadow. This country is facing it’s shadow. What no longer works must collapse during a Pluto transit.
Given what is happening right now in our country and our world, even those least inclined to astrology would have to say that seems pretty spot on. We can feel the energy of it!
Our world is in the midst of change. The change is a microscope, bringing our world into sharper focus so we can see what truly serves us, and what we need to release to create improved versions of ourselves and our world.
Awareness is the first step.
If we are going to give birth to more beautiful versions of ourselves and our world, then we must LOOK at what we have not been willing to look at. Now is the time to look. Now is the time to listen. Because to create our most beautiful life, our next more beautiful world, we want to take an accounting of what will grow with us, and what we must now burn away. If we refuse to look at the darkness within our lives (self-loathing, shame, masked emotions) or within the structures of our society (systemic racism), it will destroy us from within like a cancer.
Allow what needs to go go. Allow space for what you want to receive..
So many of my clients and friends are going through this right now! We are clearing out closets, emptying attics, and organizing garages. We are taking classes, hiring coaches, and deepening practices. We are getting rid of what no longer serves us, and weighs us down.
Our country is also taking a deeper look at what must collapse, or be burned away. The systemic racism, and militarized police forces that have emerged from it do not protect, nor serve us. It must now be removed so that we can ALL grow into our full potential.
To refuse to look at what needs to be looked at, to deny what we see, or to choose to resist the changes that will heal us, is about as beneficial as resisting labor pains.
We cannot give birth to ourselves anew if we resist the pain of giving birth.
The astrology is demanding rebirth.
What needs to go? What shadow have you been unwilling to look at? How ready do you feel to root it out to make space for something you desire? Are you in a space of personal reflection and change? Are you in a space of societal reflection and change? What obstacles might arise on your path of growth? What strategies will you use to overcome those obstacles? If you’ve been trying to make a change for awhile now, what will you try differently?
Butterflies are my favorite symbol of transformation!
A butterfly’s transformation seems magical! They arrive in the world as a caterpillar, they gorge themselves, snuggle up in a warm blanket for a nap and – TA DA! – emerge as a lithe creature of grace and great beauty. Spectacular!
They make it look so easy. Many of us dream of transforming our lives so magically. If we could just go to sleep, then awake in the life we dream of living, spread our wings, and take flight without effort!
But how effortless is that transformation, really?
The chrysalis stage looks passive, as if the caterpillar falls asleep, then wakes up beautiful. But looks can be deceptive. The caterpillar doesn’t just grow wings and fly. The wing bits already exist inside the caterpillar’s body, and to reveal them, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues.
For a time, inside the chrysalis, nothing exists except caterpillar soup, an untidy mess, mostly without organization or form. From this chaos, the Universe guides the cells to reorganize, until eventually the soft, wet butterfly is ready to awaken, and emerge into it’s new life.
The chrysalis does not simply pop open to let the butterfly take flight. The weak, fragile creature inside is not strong enough to survive, let alone take flight. So, after surviving the complete destruction of what it previously was, the new butterfly must now struggle to gain strength and confidence in order to give birth to it’s true potential and fly.
Let the Butterfly Struggle
At this stage, when the butterfly is struggling to leave the outdated chrysalis behind, observers might be tempted to help the creature, in their excitement to observe what they know will be a wondrous beauty. But we need to trust the process. The process can be painfully slow sometimes, but to release it before it’s ready is to weaken the muscles it needs to develop if it’s ever going to take flight. The butterfly must struggle to release itself from the chrysalis in order to strengthen it’s wings and fulfill it’s potential.
We are all butterflies!
In order to live our fullest potential, we must intentionally dissolve the parts of ourselves that are outdated, or no longer beneficial, while integrating the wisdom we gained from them, in order to give birth to a more beautiful version of ourselves. This process takes courage and it takes faith.
In darkness I must un-become everything that I am so I may become what I am meant to be.
Without struggles to strengthen our wings (faith) we never gain confidence to fly. Butterflies who cannot fly are not living their potential, and die without having fulfilled it.
Let your children be butterflies!
We must let our kids struggle. If we bend over backwards to make sure they don’t fail, we’re not setting them up to succeed. If we take away their chance to struggle, they have no way to grow confident, and can become worried, anxious and self-doubtful. They may even attempt to find their own path, but when they see us jump in at the first sign of struggle, they get the message that even their parents don’t trust them, that struggle is “bad” and something to be avoided always, rather than a normal part of human life from which we learn and grow.
They see us not trust them to try. They see us not trust them to overcome adversity. They begin to see themselves as incapable. Letting them struggle is not harsh or cruel, it shows faith in the process. It empowers them and strengthens their confidence.
Knowing our parents will support us no matter what is comforting. Knowing we can succeed on our own and triumph over adversity is crucial. Wanting to protect our children from harm is normal! Choosing to protect them from struggle diminishes their chances of fulfilling their potential.
A parent’s job is not to prevent children from failing. A parent’s job is to be there for them when things don’t turn out as they had hoped, show them how to find the learning opportunity, and to use that wisdom to grow forward and inform future choices.
In Glennon Doyle’s new book, Untamed, she says, “I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever.”
This resonates so deeply for me!
In order to do this, we must trust the process of transformation. Everything we need to become our next more beautiful version is inside us now, like the caterpillar’s future wings.
Our job, like the caterpillar, is to dissolve the parts of ourselves, our community, our culture, that no longer serve us, reveal our individual and collective divine beauty, step into our full potential, and fucking fly.
What aspect of yourself have you been holding onto that no longer serves your wellbeing? How willing are you to allow that aspect to dissolve now? How will you transform that energy? What will you use that energy to manifest? What’s holding you back?
Does self-care seem indulgent or selfish right now?
Do you feel like you can’t take a break, ask yourself what you need, and then give that to yourself? Does thinking of your own needs NOW make you a bad person? No! No it does not.
Most of us are feeling rage, or fear, or sadness, or shock or all of the above about the events happening in our world. These emotions are catabolic and drain our energy. They increase our stress levels, release cortisol that depletes our adrenals, and exhaust our physical apparatus. How much good can we do if we show up to protest feeling hungry, tired, or overwhelmed?
Self-care is NOT indulgent. Self care is CRUCIAL if you expect to help, uplift, or protect anyone – especially yourself!
The world NEEDS all of it’s warrior spirits right now!
The time is here to stand up for what you believe in – which is altogether DIFFERENT than pushing against what you do not want – and you cannot stand for something if you are too exhausted to stand!
PLEASE do whatever you feel called to do, whatever you feel capable of doing to support our brothers and sisters of color, but please remember to take care of you first. You will be a far more effective ally if your energy is fully engaged.
You are as deserving of love and care as the people you want to support and uplift. And you will be a far more effective advocate for change if you feel positive and powerful instead of drug-out or depleted.
▪ Learn to say “no.” ▪ Develop a relaxing evening ritual. ▪ Allow yourself to feel and express all of your emotions ▪ Bring you into the present moment. ▪ Create art as a form of anxiety and/or stress release. ▪ Remind yourself of the good stuff in life by writing a gratitude list. ▪ Stop being your harshest critic. Allow yourself to make mistakes. ▪ Do some stretching exercises. ▪ Take a walk. ▪ Drink more water. ▪ Go out and spend 10 minutes under the sun. ▪ Go for a bike ride to nowhere in particular. ▪ Spend time in nature. ▪ Go to bed early. ▪ Avoid toxic people. ▪ Ask for help. Let people know you need some help. ▪ Call a trusted friend or family member and talk things out. ▪ Schedule a date night with yourself. ▪ Limit the time you spend on news/social media. ▪ Make time for meditation. ▪ Do a body scan, and check in with each part of your body. ▪ Do something nice for someone in secret. ▪ Donate money to a charity of your choosing. ▪ Spend time intentionally raising your vibration.
Pick ones that appeal to you. Support & strengthen yourself first. Then get out there and do whatever your spirit is being called to do!
I am offering two free coaching sessions to anyone wanting coaching right now! Coaching is what I am good at, and it’s what I can do to help after I recharge my own batteries! Please email me if you would like some help being at your best during challenging times!