Feed. Your. Soul.

The last six months have been challenging for all of us.  

COVID 19 Quarantine
Trapped indoors by smoky skies and raging fires
Travel restrictions
Canceled vacations
Weddings postponed or socially distanced
Reduced financial resources
People we know sick, or dying
Increasing tech stress
‘Homeschooling’ our kids
The utter LACK of hugs in this world!

Not to mention any personal challenges your may be facing like sick pets, vehicle breakdowns, relationships ending, or health issues – other than pandemic viruses – that force you to expose yourself to situations that could allow you to come in contact with the virus.

Normally, I am a beacon of buoyant energy.  One of my superpowers is seeing the opportunities in the challenges, knowing there IS purpose to the apparent madness, and keeping my balance despite what’s going on in the world or my life.  

However recently I have been feeling the heaviness of it all.  “Golden Fucking Opportunities” (GFOs) for growth have been raining down around me.  I have a travel addiction.  Travel opportunities feed my soul.  So far this year we have canceled nights in Monterey, Yosemite, and Burney Falls, and weeks in Colorado and Arches National Park.  It helped me to know that I am NOT the only one who had to cancel travel plans.  I am not alone in this.  We are all canceling plans, and adjusting to our own set of GFOs.  But then I found out that we have to postpone our trip to Hawaii (booked since February) and don’t have any way to know when we will get to go.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  

Suddenly it was ALL just too fucking much.  Hawaii had been my carrot through all the other challenges, so when they took that from me too, I hit the wall.

Royal Kona Sunset

In the past

In the past when I hit a wall emotionally, my world would go black and I would crawl under my blankets for days or weeks.  I would beat myself up telling myself I didn’t deserve fun, travel, happiness, or even love.  I would open the dark umbrella thought of “who cares?!” which lead me repeatedly to eat damaging foods, stop working out, and to thinking even more emotionally draining thoughts!  In the past I would lie there wondering WHY I felt so shitty, and why the world hated me and was being so mean to me.

And who could blame me?  Given that set of circumstances, anyone could want to react that way.

waterfalls at Plitvicka Jezera National Park

But now I know better.

Therapy and coaching have helped me discover how energy draining that old behavior is, how depleting, stress-inducing and disease causing.  

So last week when I hit the wall, I asked myself, “Cyndi, what do you need to feel better right NOW?”

1- Knowing what I need has made a huge difference in my life.
2- Allowing myself to do what I need is THEE difference in my life.

Ever since I learned that what I was doing was NOT working for me,
I have been on a quest to become aware of what DOES work for me.

Some of the things I have learned are:
Having something to look forward to is CRUCIAL to my state of mind.  
Talking to my coach ALWAYS lifts my energy exponentially.  
Getting a massage ALWAYS releases stress.

Rather than spiral into darkness like I would have in the past:
1 – I texted my fabulous coach, Jill Lebeau, and moved up my session.
2 – I scheduled a massage for my day off.
3 – I decided that I would schedule some travel or go stark raving mad.

Korcula Island, Croatia ~ Google image

Despite travel restrictions and the great inability to determine what the fuck the pandemic or politics will bring next, I have been planning my next trip to Croatia for almost a year now.  I couldn’t know when it might happen, I was just having fun dreaming of all the places we will visit when it DOES happen.  I’ve been watching ticket prices for months and they have been pretty steadily priced around $1,300.  That’s less than the last time we flew to Europe, but I was convinced I could get a better price than that!

Monday morning I decided that I didn’t care WHAT bargain rate I might get later.  I knew without doubt that if I had airline tickets for my dream vacation in hand, I would feel buoyant again, and all my challenges would morph back into opportunities.  I decided that I would just PAY the $1,300 fare.  We have been saving for this trip, so we already had enough saved for the two tickets. 

It would be worth paying full price just to feel better!  

The instant I had that thought, my spirit lightened immensely!

Dubrovnik ~ 2017

I pulled up searches of all my favorite airlines, checked different cities to fly into, tried different hubs to fly through, looking for the best deal available and the most AMAZING thing happened.  I found a fare on a reputable airline, with reasonable travel times for less than $800 round trip for each of us. YES! I checked all the details a second time, then booked the tickets.

Then I had a dance party in my living room. 

I was SO right!  My energy popped back up like a cork I had been holding under water.  Suddenly my energy was vibrant and flowing.
At my coaching session, instead of my coach helping me out of a dark place where I had gotten stuck (as would have happened in the past),
I was telling her about the miraculous return of my energy, and increased capacity to support others through the MANY golden fucking opportunities that are happening all around us!  I knew without a doubt what my soul needed to shine, and I didn’t hesitate to give it to myself.  Some might think it selfish, but that bit of self-care was crucial to my emotional wellbeing, and paid off tenfold!

Go me!

Dubrovnik, Croatia

My coach wisely pointed out that deciding to spend the full price because I deserved to feel better embodied an abundance mindset, and that vibration of abundance allowed me to attract the super low fare on a high-quality airline.  

Fuck. Yes.

And now, I feel INCREDIBLE, nearly invincible!  I am manifesting what I truly desire by trusting my KNOWING about what I need, and allowing that to outweigh the financial consideration.  I feel far more able to focus on my life and my clients.

Did all my challenges/opportunities just go away?  Hell no! 

But the things that frustrated the crap outta me a couple days ago seem like nothing more than minor irritants now.  They seem far more like opportunities than challenges.

And burdens that had felt unbearable – the unexpected death of a beloved pet, a best friend facing months of chemotherapy – became at least manageable, and I am able to remember that, in time, even these burdens will reveal gifts for us.

Am I saying that if you are struggling with GFOs you should plan a trip to Croatia?  Maybe.  If that’s what turns YOU on.  Heavens no, if you don’t enjoy travel.

What I am saying is that when the world seems to be crumbling around us it’s extremely beneficial to know what it is YOU need. 

Then allow yourself that.  ALL of that.

a room i dream of renting in Dubrovnik…

Grow on!

What works for you?
What person, place, thing lifts your spirits no matter what?
How can you allow yourself more of that?
What’s holding you back from allowing more of that in your life?
What will change for you when you allow yourself more of what feeds your soul?

Cyndi in Dubrovnik ~ 2017

Don’t Wait for Happy

Are you moving toward a goal that you KNOW will make you happy when you reach it? That’s AWESOME!  Are you feeling happy about it NOW as you move toward it?

Some people will answer yes, and some will answer no. For the yes’s, they are almost guaranteed a happy outcome when they reach their goal, because they are happy before they reach their goal.

For the no’s, even if they are a hundred percent sure that goal is going to make them happy, their chances are much lower than their counterparts for actually reaching happiness.  Why?  Because the path to happiness is never miserable.  An unhappy journey cannot lead to happily-ever-after.  

Happiness is worth NOT waiting for!

We CAN, and do, get to happily-ever-after through challenges, hardships, and opportunities for growth, but those are not the same as unhappy.

It is never the challenge or the hardship that makes us unhappy, it’s our perspective.  There are people in the most challenging circumstances, or who come through the most traumatic situations, who are able to have cheerful dispositions and positive states of mind.  If we want to feel happy when we reach our goal, then we gotta find ways to feel happy on our journey toward that goal.

The best way to do that is to feel happy (or at least not miserable) about the steps you are taking in the creation of that goal. Another way to do that is to just look around for things that already make you happy.

Instead of just driving to work in the morning, look for flowers that are your favorite color, or trees backlit by the sun, or smiling faces walking by.  Whatever it is that already brings you joy or happiness, look for that. Let it be your intention to see the things that lift your spirit. Find ways to incorporate fun and laughter into your life. 

Allow small, simple pleasures to bring you happiness as often as possible!  Seriously – take your joy where you find it!

Bitmojis!

No grown woman should love Bitmojis as much as I do.  But I do!  I love the darn things!  Don’t know what a Bitmoji is?

Bitmoji has created a FUN way to express yourself in text messages, and I send them ALL THE TIME!  Every time I text my potato self to someone, I smile.

If you use text messages and you don’t have Bitmoji, I highly recommend it for the smiles of fun it adds to texting!

Find small things that make big smiles. 

Allow the Universe to surprise and delight you daily.  Being happy along the journey is the best way to assure a happy-ever-after destination!

Grow on!

What small pleasures do you allow to delight you?
Share them in the comments!  I would love to know.


A word on practicing happiness ~

I absolutely advocate practicing happiness daily!

But I do NOT mean that we’re not supposed to experience other emotions! ALL of our feelings are for feeling! Anger, sadness, grief, joy, ecstasy, frustration, hope, the full range of human emotions is our guidance system. We want to allow them, process them & move through them. If you need help with that, coaching can help. Schedule a little chat with me by clicking this link.

Covid Blue

I’ve been experiencing a little depression in my energy lately. 
Why?  Cause I’m fucking human!

Like most of the rest of the world, we had to cancel vacation plans this year. I was supposed to be writing to you today from a hotel room. We planned a road trip with our wiener dog, Boscoe, to visit family in Colorado, then a couple of National Parks in Utah on the way home. 

Google Images: Arches National Park

I hadn’t realized how much I was looking forward to it!  I kind of used it like a carrot to get through the first part of quarantine.  I told myself, “Come September, I’ll be on the road with my camera at National Parks, visiting family and friends enjoying the scenery and sunshine!”

It never dawned on my positive thinking that come September we wouldn’t have controlled the spread of the pandemic yet, like every other country in the world has done.  It’s almost time for the “second wave” and the United States hasn’t ridden out the first wave!

For over a week after canceling our plans, I found myself unable or unwilling to focus on coaching classes, workshop preparations, marketing promotions, house work, or anything. 

I let it all go and just kinda vegged, simply letting the lethargy unfold.  I filled my days surfing Booking.com, dreaming of a trip to Croatia sometime post-pandemic.  I searched flights for a full seven days before feeling satisfied that I knew where to get the best deal and which days to fly.  Then I turned my attention to accommodations and sightseeing.  You should SEE the amazing places you can rent in Croatia!

Booking.com image

I had a blast planning that trip.  NO idea when we’ll get to go, but I do know where we are going!  

So why didn’t I just coach myself back into a better feeling place?

Because I needed to feel that disappointment for a minute.  I wasn’t READY yet to get back to feeling good.  I wanted to feel better, but without pretending that my disappointment wasn’t real, or didn’t happen.  Of course it happened!  Challenges come up in life.  It’s an integral part of the human experience.

I didn’t feel the need to rail against it, or beat myself up for not feeling my best.  I just needed some time to process. Some people might call that indulgent. I call it taking mental health days.

Practicing happiness daily does NOT mean that I suddenly have a magical life without challenges, full of rainbows and unicorns.  It means that when life gets me down, I know it’s part of the process, and I know that I have the tools to get myself back on track.  

At a pace of my own choosing.

Grow on!

What emotions are you feeling right now?
Which ones do you need time to process?
When are you giving yourself the space to do that?

What Do You Truly Desire?

The first time I read a book by Esther Hicks was in February of 2010. The book was Ask and it is Given, and it resonated with me completely.  I immediately began trying to increase my vibration, create an even more positive attitude, and manifest my riches.   And when I say riches, I specifically mean a water view home.

My deepest desire is to have a home that looks out over the water.   Water calms me, energizes me, and uplifts my spirit.  In those first fledgling years learning about the law of attraction, I poured immense energy into telling the universe that I want a water view home.  Even when my lottery numbers didn’t hit, I kept feeling excited about the next draw, always certain that my big win was just around the corner. One time in particular, I must have really had my hopes up because when my numbers didn’t hit, my positivity balloon burst.

I fell into a depression, and railed at the universe for not giving me my truest desire.  I couldn’t understand why my water view home eluded me!  It was around that time that I heard Esther say something to the effect of “ it’s not the manifestation you want, it’s the way the manifestation makes you feel.”   So I sat down to journal about how I was going to feel when I did manifest my water view home.

Happy, calm, uplifted, joyful, connected to Spirit.  

This was the manifestation I wanted.   These emotions were what I truly desired, and I thought that I could get them through living in a home with a water view. So I started looking for ways to manifest the emotions of happy, calm, uplifted, joyful, and connected to Spirit.

I live close enough to the Napa River to walk there in 15 minutes.  I live close enough to a small park that overlooks the Carquinez Bridge  to walk there in 10 minutes.  One of the things I started doing each day  was walking to one of these places, sometimes both. I began referring to the little park as “my patio” so I could say that this was the view from “my patio.”

My walks allow me to feel happy, calm, uplifted, joyful, connected to Spirit, vibrant, healthy, and active. Plus I get to see the water every day!  Bonus!

Something else I started doing was to manifest one or more waterview homes every time we go on vacation.  When we travel anywhere, I pay a little extra, and then for a week or more, I get to savor my coffee each morning looking out on the water I love.  I get to infuse myself with the essence of sunlight sparkling on water.  I relish the rich colors of sunrise and the deep beauty of sunsets.  I charge my batteries with the current produced by thrashing waves, or roaring waterfalls.  And I carry that energy with me each and every day and let it buoy my positivity.  

I still buy lottery tickets and I fully expect to win a fortune each time because it’s fun to think about all the fun I’ll have.  But in the mean time, I’m already manifesting what I truly desire!

Grow on!

What is it that you want more than anything?

What emotion will you feel when you have manifested it?

How can you create that emotion now?

Make a short list of people, places, or things that bring you that emotion already.

How can you bring more of those into your life daily?

Let the Butterflies Struggle

Butterflies are my favorite symbol of transformation!

Cyndi @ the beach. Photoshop by donnio1.com

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. 

Credit: pixabay

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.

Grow on!

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?

The Importance of Being Self-Centered

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.

Here is a short list of options for self-care
adapted from Ana Verzone’s Freedom School:

▪ 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!

Play in the Sandbox!

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Jill Lebeau MFT, spiritual psychotherapist, and author.  Jill has now paired with Amit West, Heartpath Guide and Intuitive to create a podcast that will launch
this summer!

I got excited as soon as I heard about it, and am SUPER excited now because they have pre-released two special episodes to help us navigate this time of rebalancing that we are all experiencing.

Jill and Amit invite us to tune in to raise our vibe, get inspired, and hear about the new way to live our greatest potential!  They deliver spectacularly on all three promises.

After I listened to Grounding through the Groundlessness, I felt such inspiration, such enthusiasm for life, such hopefulness, such a tremendous upward shift in my vibration!  I’m usually pretty high vibe anyway, but their podcast left me breathless and excited.

They invite us to rise up and use this time to create a better world within ourselves.  As within, so without.

The thing I like MOST about this podcast, and I love all of it to bits,
is the way they highlight the importance of a daily practice, to connect to our inner light, the Source of our strength and balance.  When we feel out of balance, the counterbalance comes from cultivating a practice that steeps us in high vibe energy.  

Clients ask me ALL the time, “What can I do to maintain my balance during upheaval?”  And my answer is always the same.  Practice daily.

I always maintain a list of fabulous fucking resources for my clients.  When I find some great uplifting resource, I blog about it and add it to my list.  This podcast is going right to the top of my list!

If you are struggling a bit right now, you need to hear this podcast.
If you are struggling a LOT right now, you need to hear this podcast.
If you are flying high and enjoying life right now, you need to hear this podcast!

I kept my post super short this week, so you have time to tune in to Jill and Amit, raise your vibe, get inspired, and hear about the new way to live your greatest potential!

I listened to the second episode, Wakey, Wakey, Wakey. It was more profound and inspiring that Grounding through the Groundlessness.
Everyone needs to hear this podcast!

Grow on!

Listen here.

Taming Your Gremlin

Awareness is a powerful weapon against the inner critic.  

I hope that since my previous post you have had an opportunity to observe the critic, to become aware of when it’s speaking to you and what sorts of situations trigger it.

Did you observe how gremlin thoughts start to lose power the minute you shine your awareness on them?  Awareness by itself is actually all you need to overcome some of the smallest gremlins.  They scatter like cockroaches when the light of awareness touches them.  However, for some gremlins that have been around a very long time with messages we have taken on as beliefs, we need awareness first along with some other tools to help free us from the stranglehold they place on our energy.

Get to know your personal gremlin.

Visualizing or creating a physical representation of the inner critic is a great tool to use to understand that the gremlin is separate from us, and that the messages of the gremlin are NOT our inner voice, but actually come from outside of ourselves. 

I first visualized my gremlins as cockroaches because I enjoy thinking about them scattering when I shine my light of awareness on them.  When I took a class aimed at overcoming the programming of the inner critic, we were assigned the task of creating a physical representation of the gremlin.  My first idea was to photoshop the face of a person yelling at me onto a cockroach. 

The idea made me smile, but I really wanted something I could punch if I wanted to, so I bought a puppet from Paisley’s Puppets in Oakland, and gave her a hat to wear.

This is my own personal gremlin, Kalista Kockroach Krabapple III.

I keep Kalista where I can see her daily to remind me that I am not the voices in my head. 

Create your own gremlin if the idea resonates for you!  I know for some clients, the idea of thinking about the inner critic as a “gremlin” does NOT resonate.  If that’s the case for you, that’s cool.  Try calling it inner critic or ego, or Ralph, or cluttered mind, or anything that helps you think of it as “not you” because those messages are NOT you, and we want to begin to set it apart from the self.

Physical Signals

Once I realized that these messages were not my own, it dawned on me that the reason I felt so shitty when thinking inner critic thoughts is because they are NOT true.  When things resonate, they feel good physically and lift our energy!  Truth resonates. 

Resonate means ‘to produce resonance.’  Resonance is defined as ‘the quality of being deep, full, and reverberating,’ or ‘the ability to evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions.’  Truth does this. Capital T.

A thought that is not true, on the other hand, does the opposite of resonate.  It makes us physically recoil.  That little knot in the pit of your gut, or under your solar plexus is your physical being recoiling from something that your core essence KNOWS is not true.  This physical recoil takes place for the same reason our hand would recoil from a flame: to avoid pain.  That physical signal is a communication from the Highest Self to avoid that thought that feels so icky.

Let that soak in.  The physical sensation you get when you think a thought that feels crappy is a signal to BACK THE FUCK AWAY from that thought.  “That thought will cause you pain.”  “Don’t go there.”  That’s your gut instinct screaming to get your attention.

How does this resonate for you?  Don’t take my word for this stuff, check in with your gut.  When you read the information above, did it resonate?  Make you recoil?

Tell your gremlin to fuck off!

Once I learned that the inner critic was NOT me, and I learned to identify that physical sensation that told me the gremlin was lying to me again, I wanted those cockroaches OUT of my head!  When I would hear the nasty little bastards starting in, I visualized myself flicking them away like the tiny vermin they are.

Once when I turned to a friend with an issue I thought was a struggle, she gave me some really solid advice.  Her email contained wisdom, reassurance, validation, and these beautiful seven words:

Flicking them away and telling them to fuck off allowed me to reclaim my own power.  For me, as well as many other people, this is a vitally important step.  When I was in coaching school, we talked a LOT about the inner critic because gremlin messages are one of the biggest issues people bring to coaching. 

That’s where I learned that telling the inner critic to fuck off is a great first step, but is not usually enough to exterminate the cockroaches.  For that, we need to understand the message and it’s original purpose, because their purpose was never to get us to live small and stay scared.  That was the outcome of their message once it outlived it’s usefulness.

Understand it’s true purpose.

The true purpose of the cluttered thoughts, gremlin messages, inner critic voice is sometimes to protect us from perceived harm.  

For instance: If your father backhanded you so hard you flew across the room when you voiced an opinion that didn’t agree with his, you may have developed a message that said, “Never speak your truth – it causes pain,” or, “Never disagree with those in authority,” or, “Your ideas are NOT valid,” or, “No one wants to hear your thoughts,” or any number of other ideas that may have kept you safe in that particular situation, but are now standing in the way of you experiencing your life to the fullest.

Some messages are meant to control us.  For instance: Maybe an ex-spouse told you repeatedly that you are unloveable, and followed that up with actions that seemed to prove the point.  That message actually says far more about the ex than about you, but if self-esteem is low enough, or if you have been practicing thoughts about being unworthy, you may buy this message wholesale.  Then when the marriage ends, the gremlins tell us that no one will ever love us.  And it’s possible, that the gremlins are trying to protect us again!  They are trying to keep us out of situations that might hurt.

If any of this resonates for you, you are NOT alone!  

Are you getting a slight knot in your solar plexus, or a slight feeling of nausea?  Remember, that feeling of physical recoil means those thoughts are NOT true!

The important thing here is to understand that these messages came from outside of self.  They were intended to keep you safe, or were the agenda of outside forces.  WHERE they came from is NOT important!  You may immediately recognize where some of your inner critic messages come from, but please don’t waste time trying to figure out where or when or why your messages came to you.

Simply recognize that where you are now, those messages no longer serve a purpose, so it’s safe to start leaving them behind and embrace Truth of your awesomeness.  The faster you do, the better you feel!

Train the inner critic for a NEW job!

So, you have this really powerful voice inside your head that you’ve been listening to for a while now, and it seems like the voice is trying to help you on some level, even though it’s messages are constantly draining your energy.  How do we stop the ebb of energy into negative thought patterns and redirect it into building new, more positive thought pathways?

You’re probably getting good at being aware of your personal inner critic messages by now.  Maybe you’ve even visualized your gremlin and know it’s name.  So now it’s time to begin retraining the gremlin.  It wants to help, so let’s give it something helpful to do!

Retrain that inner critic to repeat messages that build your energy and give you motivation. 

When I first went to coaching school, my gremlin ROARED that everyone in class was more educated than me, better coaches than me, and that I had nothing to offer.  “Keep quiet so they won’t know how much you DON’T know!”

Like I said, we did a LOT of coaching on gremlins at iPEC, and I discovered that almost everyone in class had gremlins as loud and as mean as mine were!  All of us had some version of the same message: “You are not enough.”  It was a revelation to understand that I was not alone.  We are all exactly the same in our own unique ways!

So I began to picture Kalista in a little cheerleading uniform.  I mentally had her turn her dunce cap into a bull horn, and every time one of the old thoughts popped in to say, “you are not smart enough,” I pictured Kalista shouting it down with rallying cries of, “Cyndi is a ROCKSTAR coach and an awesome person with valuable insights to offer the other coaches in this class!”  Complete with pompoms.

Grow on!

How would you like to reimagine your inner critic? 
What messages would you enjoy hearing? 
What messages are inspiring for you ? 
What messages will motivate you to move closer to your goal? 
What will change in your life once you change the voices in your head? 
What inner critic message seems LOUDEST in your head? 
How would you like to re-write that one? 

What questions do you still have about taming that inner critic? 
Ask your questions in the comments below this post!


Read Rick Carson’s Book!

If you want to learn more about taming gremlins, follow this link to order Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick Carson. It’s the preeminent work on gremlin taming and a very useful book full of inspired illustrations.  He also has a Facebook page you can access here.


For over 400 positive affirmations and uplifting reminders on my landscape photography, follow this link.

Drown Out the Inner Critic

In my last blog post, we discussed how to tell the difference between our Inner Voice and the inner critic. Today I want to discuss tools we have at our disposal when the inner critic shouts so loud we cannot hear our intuition, or doubt we can trust such a weak, distant voice.

The inner critic also goes by other names.  Personal demons can keep us from reaching our goals.  Gremlins undermine our best efforts at self improvement.  The cluttered mind keeps us overwhelmed and unmotivated. Ego is a tremendous force with decades of momentum behind it.  No wonder the inner critic is so vividly real and so pervasively persuasive!

It’s important to understand that the “voice” or the “gremlin messages” are thoughts.  Your thoughts come from your mind, so it’s possible for you to change them!  How cool is that?  

“Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead!”

~ Pink, Fuckin’ Perfect

The power to choose our own thoughts is the greatest power we have, but most of us have no idea how to wield that power. Our beliefs shape our thoughts, so if we want to change our thoughts, let’s take a look at our beliefs. 

Grow on!
Are your beliefs ones that you chose for yourself?
Were most of them chosen for you? 
Are they your culture’s beliefs or your parents? 
How willing are you to let go of the ones that no longer serve you? 
What new belief(s) would you like to begin practicing today?

Beliefs are something I explore with my clients all the time. 

Around 90% of the clients I talk with eventually uncover an underlying belief that they are “not enough” in some way.  Once we uncover that, it’s easy to see how a belief like that would spawn inner critic thoughts like: “Why even try?” “I’ll never get a better job.” “I’ll never find anyone who loves/understands me.” “Don’t get your hopes up!” “Forget what you WANT, get a practical job!” “Don’t let people get to know you, they won’t like you.”  “I have no confidence.” “I don’t deserve this.”

With thoughts like these, who needs enemies, right?  And EVERYONE has them!  It’s important to know that if you are identifying with these thoughts, you are not alone.  Some people have learned how to deal with them so they don’t cause stress and suffering, but the self doubts are a very human condition.

Our limiting thoughts construct an invisible prison that limit the options available to us.

In order to increase the options and opportunities available to us, and live our best lives, we must make an effort to change the thoughts.  It’s not difficult, but it does take some effort and CONSTANT reminders.  Constant reminders.  Constantly constant reminders.  The enemy is a tremendous force with decades of momentum, so it will take time to slow that locomotive down before it can change directions.

CONSTANT reminders!

In the previous post, I talked about practicing affirmations as a way to strengthen the messages of the Inner Voice.  Since writing that post, I have discovered an AMAZING app called Think Up. App info here.

The free version of Think Up allows you to record three affirmations in your own voice, then it plays them back to you over soothing music!  I love it!  It lifts me every time I hear my own voice reminding me I am worthy and abundant!  It’s extremely powerful and uplifting.  The app allows you to set reminders to practice throughout the day.  This is a really cool reminder to realign your energy frequently.  Practicing is KEY to shifting your thoughts.

Read something daily meant only to uplift and inspire!

Some GREAT ways to stay inspired are to read inspiring books, listen to inspiring speakers, and talk with people who are inspired!  Subscribe to a podcast that is meant to uplift.  Turn OFF the news and listen to a TED talk.  We cannot immerse ourselves in  the general, chaotic vibration of the world, and not counter it with inspiration, and then expect to feel inspired!  How can we possibly feel inspired if we are digesting current events daily with no counterpoint?

Here is the link again to my post called Practice Happiness Daily.
It has a list of uplifting resources to play with!

Constant reminders are vital, but besides bolstering our Inner Voice, we want to begin quieting the screeching of any gremlin messages that are interfering with receiving intuitive messages from the Universe (inner voice).

How on earth do we slow the momentum of the inner critic?

When you become aware that your inner critic is active, just notice.  That is the first step.  Just let yourself be aware that the critic is vying for your attention.  Don’t try to shift gears.  Don’t get upset that “it’s happening” again.  Don’t run away from the voice or the feelings it brings.  Just shine awareness on it. Just be aware.  Simply watch the actions of the gremlin with curiosity and non-judgement.

Grow on!

What were you engaged in when the inner critic spoke up? 
– Keeping a list of your triggers can be helpful.
What is the inner critic trying to protect you from? 
If it’s an emotion that the critic is trying to avoid, sit with that emotion.  Allow yourself to experience it. 
What does it feel like to allow the emotion?

Awareness is a powerful weapon against the inner critic.  For now, let that be enough.  Practice getting good at recognizing the inner critic’s voice, and simply observing it.

In the next post, we’ll explore ways to disarm our gremlins and begin redirecting the energy they drain from us into building new, more positive thought pathways!


Follow this link to order Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way by Rick Carson. It’s the preeminent work on gremlin taming and a very useful book.