It’s time to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and put that beast in our rear view mirror. But before we put this bitch to bed, let’s remember that each of the challenges presented to us is another fucking golden opportunity (AFGO*) to expand our awareness (LEARN something). The more aware we become, the happier and more confident we feel, so we want to harvest these opportunities and not just run away as fast as the new calendar will carry us.
I challenge you to take stock of what happened for you this year.
Make a list of the golden fucking opportunities life handed you in 2020, and remind yourself what you have learned, what strengths you uncovered, and what energy you want to carry into 2021 with you.
2020 seemed like one long string of AFGOs. Am I right?
My partner got a cancer diagnosis. It’s curable and not for one minute did I experience any fear of losing him because my intuition is powerful and told me I would not lose him. However, I was unprepared for all the ways my life would change. Had you asked me six months ago if my relationship were codependent I would have laughed at you. I am FAR to independent for that shit. Or so I thought.
As it turns out, I depend on him for FAR more than I realized or was willing to admit. He does a million little things (that I appreciate IMMENSELY) that allow me my independence. His innumerable contributions allow me the freedom to “single-handedly” run three businesses, stay active, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, live in a fairly neat home, and enjoy the companionship of the magnificent Captain Boscoe P. Jenkins who apparently does NOT walk, nor feed himself. Who knew?
AFGO for me in this was to move past some VERY limiting beliefs.
I had been telling myself, “Without him cooking for me, I don’t have time to eat healthy!” That belief opens the door to fast food, allergy foods, and eating habits that deplete my energy.
Due to the eating challenges presented by chemotherapy, we now have foods in the house that we do not normally buy. The myth of “not enough time” allows me to choose fast & easy over lovingly-prepared & healthy. If I am making a grilled cheese sammich because it sounds appetizing to him, why not save time and just eat one myself? (Because you are allergic to wheat and dairy, Cyndi!) He needs more support right now and I am delighted to be able to support him! So who has time to support me too?
But do I want my health to be dependent on him being here to cook nutritious meals for me? Do I want my health to be dependent on what’s fast and easy?
Nope. I sure don’t. So even though the day is coming when he will be cooking healthy, nutritious, delicious, amazing meals again for us – right now, I need to have my own back. So I have been spending less time blogging, and more time cooking for us. I choose to make two different meals when needed, even if it means something else goes undone.
My new mantra for 2021?
I intend to align my energy with my own healthy intentions first and allow the rest to fall into place. I’m putting health first!
How about you? If you feel like sharing the biggest challenge you transformed into opportunity, or your biggest gift from 2020, I would LOVE to hear about it! Leave it in the comments or email email@example.com.
Make a list of all your fucking golden opportunities in 2020. Then identify the gift in each AFGO! What did you learn about yourself? How will you use those insights growing forward?
*My appreciation to my coach, Jill Lebeau for the acronym AFGO or Another Fucking Golden Opportunity.
I know a woman who faces a daily challenge in her workplace. She works in a government building with lots of staff, multiple offices, and a reception area overflowing with free treats. She says that it feels like she’s facing a gauntlet of candy every time she has to pass the reception desk on her way to her office.
Human beings evolved as hunter-gatherers. We evolved to eat food when it was readily available. When our ancestors found sweet berries and fruits out in the wild, they understood that those things had a limited shelf life and would be gone soon. They ate sweets when they were available. All of them. This is normal human behavior because of the way we evolved.
The woman went on to tell me that it was possible for her to resist the sugary treats early in the day, however the later her work day wore on, the less in-control of her own decision-making she felt. That makes total sense. When we rely on willpower, it’s like a bank account we draw down throughout the day. By late afternoon we may have used up our entire supply of willpower. This is common for most of us when we try to resist something.
This resonates completely for me. I can’t tell you how many times I started an eating plan with complete conviction, only to fall victim to old familiar patterns later in the day. It’s easy to do. Familiar eating patterns often call us back because they ARE familiar. We can get there with our eyes closed. Sometimes we’re in the middle of a behavior before we even realize we’re doing it!
This is even easier to do when we find ourselves in an environment with free-flowing food.
Easier still when we find ourselves in a series of environments with free-flowing sweets, high-fat foods, and alcoholic beverages, served up alongside heaping helpings of social pressures, anxiety, and stress.
Like the modern holiday season!
Halloween to Super Bowl is one long gauntlet of goodies.
If tradition demands we eat particular treats on special holidays, who are we to argue? It’s so EASY to find any reason to eat off plan! It’s easy to get distracted, and head down that familiar path toward eating foods that soothe our emotions, but do not serve our health.
The gauntlet lies before us, and the challenges are familiar and inviting.
Family members want to love us with food. Holiday buffets are loaded with sugary nostalgia, satisfying fats, and dopamine rewards. The desire to release stress, feeds our desire to eat because eating releases dopamine in our brains which actually relieves stress and makes us feel good. It makes total sense that if we are feeling stressed, we want to engage in familiar behaviors that we know will release stress.
Often our own beliefs challenge us and limit our choices: “I have to eat the pie on Thanksgiving!” Or whatever it is for you – peanut butter cups at Halloween, cheese balls or fudge at Christmas – that “thing” you can’t resist. We convince ourselves that we have no power over certain foods by reciting mantras like “I can’t say no to cheese” or “I can never resist chocolate.”
Those beliefs limit us into thinking we MUST say yes to the holiday delight. What if someone offers seconds? Thirds? How many times must we say yes to it? Yes to them? Until the treats are all gone? Until we are no longer in the vicinity of the treat? And what if we want to say no? What if we’re really full? Do we still have to eat the pie just because it’s that holiday?
If we convince ourselves that we are powerless whenever our favorite temptation is about, then guess what? Of COURSE we give in when it’s sitting there free for the taking (we’re powerless not too, right?). We have trained our mind (brainwashed ourselves) to BELIEVE that there is no other option. We believe the lie we have been telling ourselves – that we are powerless to resist. It’s there in front of us, so we HAVE to eat it. We convince ourselves internally that we have no choice. It’s a slippery fucking slope.
Then when we overeat, we scold and shame ourselves for “doing it again” or for not sticking to our eating plan.
I find the descriptor ‘gauntlet’ particularly apt since it has two definitions that fit this situation.
Gauntlet: 1) an intimidating or dangerous experience one must go through in order to reach a goal. 2) the punishment of receiving blows while running between two rows of men with sticks.
But the punishment of blows comes from the self-defeating thoughts inside our own head, not rows of men with sticks.
How was your Halloween? How successfully did you align with your own intentions and goals? How does your energy feel when you read those questions?
If the questions above leave you with a sinking feeling, you are judging yourself harshly.
Our own harsh judgment is one of the BIGGEST things holding us in this pattern of wanting to change, trying to make changes, not feeling 100% successful with the new behaviors, beating ourselves up for ‘failure’, and then comforting with the old behaviors we are trying to avoid – which leads to further ‘failure’ and beating ourselves up.
This was my pattern for decades. Coaching helped me disrupt that behavior pattern so I could finally grow forward!
So how do we disrupt familiar behavior patterns that are harming us? How do we walk past the candy basket on the desk fifteen times a day when it has our favorite morsels? How do we navigate the holidays without overeating?
HOW do we move from mindless eating to conscious choice?
As a core energy coach, I have a process to help my clients do JUST that. Today I want to share just the first crucial piece.
I have discovered from my own experience and from talking with clients that retraining our self-critical messaging is of utmost importance when it comes to making conscious, intentional choices around food.
How to Retrain Your Inner Critic
The critic voice in your head is a part of you. That critic arose with the most noble of intentions – to protect you from harm. She cries in alarm whenever she senses danger. When our critic voice tells us to keep small, play it safe, don’t make waves, don’t try anything new – she is sincerely trying to protect us from emotions that feel crappy. When we experienced fear, embarrassment, guilt, shame, regret, rejection, anger, and so many other painful emotions, we did not like the way they felt. Our critic voice arose to keep us from experiencing those emotions again.
If she perceives that we may experience uncomfortable emotions, she will say anything to protect us from that – even make us feel like shit so we don’t risk embarrassment or rejection. Weird, right? The human mind is fascinating.
We tend to be far more forgiving of others than we are of ourselves, so there are a couple of techniques that I find helpful to stop the exhaustion created by inner critic messaging. In the moment we become aware that we are repeating an OLD behavior pattern, we can choose to beat ourselves up again, or we can choose one of these helpful alternatives:
Toddler Technique ~
If we had a toddler at home learning to walk, and she lost her balance and fell on her diapered butt, would we scold her? Of course not. We encourage her when she is doing well, and understand that it is completely normal when she loses her balance.
How different is this from how we treat ourselves when we fall short of your goals? It’s very common when learning new behaviors to get frustrated or irritated with ourselves when we lose our balance, or don’t get it perfectly right on the first try.
When we’re learning new behaviors, we’re going to fall occasionally!
Can we give ourselves some grace around new behaviors, just as we would the toddler, while we find our balance?
How possible is it to treat yourself with as much love and gentle kindness as you would treat your toddler?
What emotions come up if you treat yourself that way?
Put another way; Will we beat up on our toddler-self, or lovingly encourage her to try again, and help her regain her balance?
Helpful Employee Technique ~
Pretend your inner critic voice is a valuable, loyal employee who wants nothing more than to protect you. If you ignore or repress the critic voice, she generally screams loudly because she is afraid you will leave her behind, she will be lonely, and you will surely come to harm if she is not there to protect you from danger.
What if instead of ignoring or repressing her, we give her praise and appreciation for being SO good at her job?
We can let this aspect of ourselves know that we value her service so much that we have a new and more important role for her. We can offer this employee, who protects us so aggressively, the job of protecting us from all the harmful inner critic messages that we have internalized.
We can make a list for this employee of all the messages we WANT to internalize, and retrain her to read those messages when she catches the old messaging sneaking in. This employee wants to help, and she is already really good at spotting harm! We can retrain her from a critical voice to a healing, nourishing, supportive ally.
Sometimes our helpful employee will fall back into old patterns. That’s perfectly normal after years or decades of being trained to be hyper critical.
Gently remind her that we’re not doing things that way anymore, we’re going in a healthier direction. Read over the list of new messages again to gently get your employee back on the right track.
We can retrain our inner critic to be a helpful employee. It’s a vital first step toward disrupting familiar patterns of behavior that we wish to change.
What sorts of messages has your critic has been using to beat up on you? What kind of things trigger you beating up on yourself? What kind of things trigger your need to protect yourself from negative emotions? What messages would you like to internalize? Make a list of these messages for your helpful employee, and read it often!
If you want to learn more about the process to move from mindless eating to conscious choice, book a 20 minute conversation AT THIS LINK. I would love to chat with you to find out if partnering with me can help you overcome what’s holding you back, and start creating the changes you desire!
Many of my clients resonate with a caregiver vibe. Wives, mothers, teachers, doctors, nurses. We know what it’s like to sacrifice for our children, our parents, our spouse. We nurture, support, encourage, and serve. We enjoy helping others, love to see them reach their potential, live out their dreams, achieve their goals and desires, grow to be strong, happy, and confident.
I have used the oxygen mask metaphor with dozens of clients and friends. You know how the flight attendant always tells you that in case of emergency, you should put your own oxygen mask on first and then help anyone who may require your assistance? I try to impart the importance of that to my clients. Of course it makes sense. We can’t help anyone if we can’t breathe, right?
I remember when one of my clients protested that example, insisting she would assist those in her care before herself. When I asked how helpful she might be if she didn’t have oxygen, she insisted she would hold her breath and care for others before tending to her own needs. She went on to say that she’d rather die than put her own needs above her children’s. She’s certainly not alone, it’s quite common for parents to feel that way. But how helpful is it?
*As helpful as giving mouth to mouth resuscitation while only exhaling and not inhaling.
*As helpful as your cell phone when you don’t plug it in.
*As helpful as pouring from a water pitcher you forgot to fill.
If we forget to fill up inside, what on earth have we got to give anyone?
And where on earth did we get the idea that anyone is more worthy of our energy and oxygen than we are?
My client is NOT alone. I have engaged in this energy-drain over a good portion of my own life and a surprising number of my clients have echoed similar sentiments when it comes to meeting the needs of others vs our own needs. Many of my friends and relations are givers and fixers as well. Myriad humans believe it is either selfish or greedy to put their own needs first. Different cultures and religions have different variants of the idea that to honor others above the self is somehow noble or even sustainable.
I cry bullshit.
Yes, I thrive when helping others. Everyone, but especially my kids and my clients. Yet when I make sure my own needs are being met, I am so much more effective at connecting with and supporting others, and I have an increased ability to affect positive, sustainable change.
It’s true for me. It’s true for many of my clients.
How true is it for you?
Are you allowing yourself to breathe? Are you denying yourself air because of some limiting belief you heard and internalized many years ago? How frequently are your own needs being met? What are you putting off that would truly make your heart sing? What is the thought/belief holding you back from meeting your own needs? How willing are you to start letting go of those limiting beliefs?
Allow yourself to take a DEEP cleansing breath, reminding yourself how very worthy you are.
And as you exhale, release the old belief that doesn’t serve your health.
Inhale worthiness into your blood and bones. Exhale old beliefs that do not serve.
Repeat multiple times daily until energy shifts and you are closer to believing the new thought than the old one
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
Recently one of my clients expressed an apprehension to look forward to anything with eager anticipation, or visualize her ideal outcome for fear the actual outcome will fall short of her desire and disappoint her. She is certainly not alone! I mean, why get your hopes up just to have them dashed?
Actually, many of my clients, family and friends have expressed these same kind of thoughts. They are afraid to imagine the outcome they desire for fear it will not manifest, and then they will feel a sense of loss or disappointment. Yet, some of them also seem perfectly happy to imagine the WORST that might happen. They invest time and energy worrying what might happen, what could go wrong, what others might think. The stark image of whatever they are imagining failure looks like is vivid as a movie screen in their minds.
This kind of imagining allows us to feel the exact emotions we are afraid we might feel if we envision success and don’t achieve it! We actually practice feeling the emotions we want to avoid like guilt, anxiety, grief or disappointment in advance. Instead of avoiding them, we create them, perpetuate them, and cling to them.
It’s the story we’re telling in our head causing the emotions, right?
Because the thing we are fearing or dreading is still in the future! Hasn’t even happened yet, but we are willing to mold this incredible energy-draining story around it that ends in disappointment and failure.
How much does this resonate for you? Sound familiar at all? If it does, you are not alone!
What would shift for you if instead of following the storyline to the worst possible conclusion, you allowed yourself to follow the storyline to the most beautiful outcome you can imagine?
Stick with me for a minute, because I can still feel your energy protesting that if you imagine that beautiful image, and don’t get your imagined outcome, your heart will break and you will be forced to endure heartache and disappointment.
Did you see that catch 22? By avoiding imagining positive outcomes in order to avoid disappointment, we instantly create disappointment. Crazy, right?
The key then is to follow the storyline you are creating in your head to the BEST outcome you can imagine, then don’t attach yourself to the outcome.
Allow yourself to dream the biggest dream you have – and feel the satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment of standing in the moment of achieving it – and then remember that yours is only one scenario in a million possibilities. The Universe may have something even BETTER in mind for us than anything we can dream.
Often we identify what we want, but instead of continuing to focus on WHAT we want, we try to figure out HOW to get it, and that’s where we get sideways.
Imagining the moment of achieving your dream and allowing yourself to feel the satisfaction of it, tells the Universe you are ‘open to THIS please’ and things that feel like THIS. Then your energetic frequency is vibrating in harmony with what you want, and the Law of Attraction brings you things that match your vibration.
The trick is to imagine the best possible outcome we can, and then:
1) realize that it’s NOT the (lover, home, job, whatever) that we desire. It’s the way the (lover, home, job, whatever) makes us FEEL that we truly desire. 2) remember that the Universe can imagine INFINITELY more ways to make us feel that way than we can. Certainly more than the one scenario we created in our mind.
This FREES us from attachment to any outcome.
And it’s certainly more FUN than just not thinking about what you would LOVE to create (today, next week, next year, in 5 years, ten…) because you don’t know HOW it’s going to happen for you. Just imagine you WILL get to feel the way you truly want to feel. And if you are envisioning it and vibrating what it feels like to receive it, you are already feeling what you truly want to feel!
Envisioning the outcome we desire is a great way to speed up manifesting that desire – like a supercharge. If we don’t allow ourselves the pleasure of envisioning that manifestation, we slow the rate at which our desire can manifest. But once you put the energy out there, be open to however the Universe chooses to deliver your desire!
Sit back, chill out, and allow the Universe to surprise and delight you!
What do you most want to manifest? How will you feel when you manifest your desire? How do you feel when you think about achieving that desire? How possible is it to let go of the outcome and trust that the Universe is delivering that or something better? Which feels better to you; reciting the mantra, “I will win the lotto this weekend!” or one of the two affirmations below? Why?
Embracing positive expectations, and letting go of attachment to outcomes is something I help my clients do every day.
If you need some help sorting out the specifics of your expectations and attachments, schedule a free 20 minute chat with me and walk away with at least one actionable step to help you move toward whatever you truly desire!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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!
is it that you want more than anything?
emotion will you feel when you have manifested it?
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?
emotions get a bad rap. You know the ones I mean. Those that
get branded negative, the ones that don’t feel good when we feel them
in our bodies. Emotions like anger, resentment, fear, or
disgust, are ones that people don’t enjoy, and often try to
a mindset coach, and one of the things I help people do is explore
different perspectives. If we have deeply held beliefs that are
not serving us, then it can be quite beneficial to shift the way that
we’re thinking. A common misperception that happens is that
clients want to change how they feel, without first acknowledging the
emotions they already feel.
makes sense. Of course we don’t want to feel hard emotions.
Who does? But suppressing those emotions takes a lot of
energy, and robs us of part of the rich tapestry of the human
experience. Imagine if an artist created her paintings with
only the middle tones of colors, leaving the most vibrant colors on
either end of the spectrum out of the picture. We wouldn’t get the
full experience, would we?
Where You Are
cannot change how we feel until we process the emotions we are
already experiencing. And it’s important to remember that ALL
of our emotions are okay. They are what they are. People don’t
control their emotions. Our emotions arise to show us what we’re
thinking. Our emotions arrive with the message to pay attention
– become aware – of the thoughts we are choosing. (Spoiler alert: our
thoughts CREATE our emotions!)
So if you feel angry, disappointed, or hurt. Allow yourself to FEEL angry, disappointed or hurt. Sit with the feeling. Acknowledge it. Instead of resisting challenging emotions, allow them to be what they are – sensations in our body. Practice describing the physical sensations you feel when you feel the emotion. Then try “being with” the emotion by focusing on the physical sensations.
Example: fear to speak in public might feel to some people like sweaty palms, increased heart rate, tight shoulders. If that’s the case, focus on the palms, the heart, the shoulders, without attaching the story of public speaking. Observe the physical sensations objectively, and they begin to subside.
a more active method of processing emotions, find a safe space, set a
timer and give yourself 15 or 20 minutes to just be obsessed, or
throw a fit or have a tantrum. Scream into your pillow, or beat it
up. Vomit the voices in your head onto pages you can burn later.
Your inner child is asking to be heard and is not going to let you
feel content again until you give yourself some space to process
those emotions. Cry if you need to. Let yourself rage
until the timer goes off.
be surprised and delighted how quickly the intensity of the emotion
If your emotions feel too big to handle on your own, like they might swallow you if you let yourself be alone with them, then find a wonderful therapist to create that safe space with you.
Avoiding or suppressing our emotions cannot destroy that catabolic energy. It simply transfers that energy somewhere else. It’s like holding a beach ball underwater, eventually it’s going to pop back up with a lot of force. Many times when we try to suppress anger, or resentment that energy gets even heavier and shows up as shame, depression, or self-doubt.
If we try to suppress fear, and brush it off as nothing, we could learn that we’re in actual danger and our intuition was giving us a very important message. I like to ask my anger or my disappointment what it’s trying to tell me. If you are feeling angry about something, there is a reason for that anger, and only you know what that reason is. What is your anger trying to tell you? (Hint: it’s NOT that someone else needs to shape up.)
Processing our emotions is important.
is not the same as directing our emotions at somebody else. We
can’t spill anger, frustration and irritation on others and expect
them to process it for us. They are not responsible for our emotions
any more than we are responsible for theirs! If this has been
your experience of hard emotions – people directing them at you, or
others around you – it makes perfect sense that you would want to
suppress them, or that you would see them as harmful or scary.
Anyone would feel that way. Processing our emotions is an
introspective thing, meaning it is a mirror to look into in order to
learn more about our own mind, and improve our own experience of
to shift mindset without processing emotions first is like putting a
happy-face sticker on a gas gauge so you can’t see that the tank is
empty. It looks better on the surface but doesn’t address the
Once we have accepted that we have challenging emotions (as all humans do), then we can process them. Once we have processed our emotions, then we can begin to shift our mindset so that we attract better feeling emotions!
comfortable are you feeling all of your emotions?
comfortable are you expressing all of your emotions?
What emotions are you suppressing?
How might that be affecting your life?
This is a process I help my clients with all the time! If you are ready to transform your life, please contact me at this link to schedule a short conversation. I look forward to connecting with you.
We do the best we can until we know better, and then we do better.
This is as true for you as it is for me. The more we learn the
better we do. What if we simply assumed that were true for every person that we
meet? We hear a lot of complaining on social media about people not acting the
way that we wish they would act, or the way we think we would act in their
situation. I see people being shamed all the time for not doing what
someone else thinks they should be doing.
But what if they don’t know what you know?
What if they received the same information that you did, but they didn’t perceive it in the same way? What if they could not comprehend its true meaning? What if they have other influences in their lives giving them conflicting information? What if their lives created certain filters through which they see the truth, which makes their truth different? What if they’re confused about what is right and are simply afraid to admit they don’t know because they don’t want to be shamed for not knowing?
How certain are you that what you know is right in the context of their lives? Even if there’s something that 99% of us agree is right, how can we say that ANYTHING is right for EVERYONE? How important is it to you to be right? How open are you willing to be to the viewpoints of others?
Instead of condemning others for viewpoints or actions that are
not identical to our own, what if we simply assumed that they’re doing the best
they can with the information they have to work with? What if we simply
assumed the best of everyone we meet?
One way that we can do that, is to not label other people.
If we use the sentence, “Did you see what that jerk did?”, then the person that
were talking to is going to look for the behavior of a jerk. What if we replace
that sentence with, “Did you see what that human did?” This leaves the
person that you’re speaking to free to see what they see instead of
foreshadowing what they’re looking for.
And if I’m willing to label somebody else a jerk, doesn’t that
kind of make me a jerk?
What if we just give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume
that they are doing the best they can with the information they have in this
We can even choose to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt! Instead of beating ourselves up for something that we have done in the past, what if we just choose to believe that we were doing the best we could with what we knew then. If we stand in our present, now knowing better, and we realized that we would like to have done something different in the past, we can use that information to inform our choices moving forward without first wielding it on ourselves like a baseball bat.
What if we just assumed the best?
How would it feel to give yourself the benefit of the doubt?
How much less stress would we feel if we gave everyone the benefit
of the doubt?
What would the world be like if we each realized that every one of
us is greater and wiser then we appear to be?