Most of us know that when we look good, we tend to feel good. But are you aware that the opposite is also true?
When we feel good, we look good.
Think about a time when you felt really great about yourself. How much more comfortable were you in your own skin? How powerful and confident did you feel? When we feel accomplished, triumphant, successful, truly loved, filled with purpose – of course we look better. Our body chemistry is completely different than when we feel confused, failed, unloved, directionless, or under attack.
It is common in this world, I have noticed, for people who are reaching for a weight-loss goal to try to reach that goal by forcing, harassing, restricting, stressing, pushing, and hating themselves.
It is also common to decide that the body is not right by societal standards, so it must not be liked, in fact it must be hated. We feel we must hate the body into submission, hate our eating issues for making us fat, hate food for being so fattening and delicious at the same time, hate our appetite, flog ourselves at the gym until we finally reach a weight where we will feel better about ourselves, or just give up entirely and eat for solace because we are so damned imperfect.
If any of this resonates for you, you’re not alone!
Somehow this crazy world has conditioned us (brainwashed us through media propaganda, and advertising campaigns designed to sell a magic fix for bodies that are not right by societal standards) to believe that we must hate ourselves until we reach their standards. To which I feel compelled to reply:
Fuck. Their. Fucking. Standards.
I invite you to join me in saying, “Fuck their standards.”
If they don’t like my body, FUCK them. Because you know what I decided to do? I decided to approve of my body right now. I decided that their standards are fucking stupid, and they do not appeal to me, so they do not apply to me because I am the authority on what is fucking beautiful in my life.
Why? Cause it’s my life.
Their judgements only count if I give them validity and I just revoked their right to decide anything for me. I choose to decide for myself. I invite each of you to step into your own power and decide for your self what is beautiful in your life, because who the fuck are THEY anyway? Who are they to judge ME unworthy?
I am a child of God, a conduit of Divine love and light, and I will not dim my light to allow them to feel comfortable in my presence!
They want me to feel diminished, unworthy, and powerless so that they can grow rich and feel better about themselves. Fuck that! And while we’re at it, fuck the collective ‘them’ who believes they are anyone’s authority on what is good and right and beautiful.
If we feel more beautiful when we are feeling truly loved, then what POWER we wield when we choose to truly love ourselves as we are, without waiting for the approval of others.
I choose to feel my true divinity flowing through me. I choose to feel confident and powerful. And every time I feel the Divine Truth of Who I am, I look fucking amazing.
What is stopping you from feeling good about you NOW?
What baby steps can you take toward loving yourself more now?
What kind of example do you want to set for your children and grandchildren?
Each time you become aware that negative self-talk arises, what can you say to remind yourself to move gently back in the direction of self-love?
Have you ever told your best friend that she looked fat in her outfit, or that she needs to drop a few pounds? Have you ever looked your best friend in the eye and told her she should be ashamed of her body or her weight? No?
Then why the fuck would you do it to You?
Have you ever looked at an infant with her chubby knees and thought, “I just can’t love someone with all that fat!” I seriously doubt it.
So why do we withhold love from ourselves, or shame ourselves for fat on our body? Why would we hold ourselves to a higher standard of perfection? How possible is it to love ourself the way we love our friends?
Hate does not help. Hate does not motivate. Hate does not inspire.
If we perceive that someone does not like us, we often feel wounded, or hurt. It is no less painful when the disapproval comes from self! Disapproval of self can damage the psyche, delay healing, and derail our goals.
We cannot hate ourselves into loving our body, and as a wise client recently reminded me, we cannot heal what we hate. If we live in a home we hate, how much effort will we put into repairing it? Same goes for our body! If we have a body transformation goal, how much effort are we willing to put in if we constantly tell ourselves the body is unlovable as it is, and needs to be fixed?
Next time you look at yourself appraisingly, give yourself as much love and support as you would give your best friend! Next time you get a little off track with your plan, or goals, try gently encouraging yourself back on track rather than belittling or berating yourself for a perfectly normal human moment.
Perfection is a damaging illusion, a standard to which we rarely hold others, yet frequently try to hold ourselves. Our body transformation goals cannot manifest when we are under attack.
What will it take to treat you like your own best friend?
Practice looking in the mirror and telling that beautiful human how MUCH you love them. This is challenging for many people, so don’t give up. Persist with the practice of telling you that you love you, more often than you tell yourself negative messages.
Next time you catch yourself saying something mean to self, pretend you caught yourself saying it to your friend, or your child. What would you do? I might hug them and apologize and promise to be more intentional as often as possible moving forward.
Make a list of everything that you appreciate about your body! Our body is a miracle that we often take for granted. We can be so grateful for our lungs that breathe without any effort, a heart that beats for our lifetime, and so much more! We cannot focus appreciation and disgust onto the same object at the same time, so keeping this list handy can help when we are feeling frustrated with our body in some way.
I feel confident in saying that one of the larger underlying goals of most body transformation goals is to increase the amount that we like ourself, and be more happy.
I might like myself better in that special occasion dress, or maybe I like myself better as a potential employee at an upcoming interview. Maybe I believe that I will be more likable to possible romantic partners once I achieve my goal. I will like my life journey more when I reach that goal! I’ll like the way I look in my vacation photos more once I look a certain way. Along our path we became conditioned to believe that we are “not enough” and that our body is not good enough. “If my body’s not good enough by cultural standards, I can’t love my body. If I can’t love my body, I have to hate it.” But we know we’ll like ourselves much more once the body transformation goal is met.
Here’s the fucking problem ~
We try to hate ourselves to the goal! We may restrict calories, skip meals, increase workouts that we hate, over commit to new changes, get on the scale every day, get discouraged by weight fluctuations, overeat to soothe our emotions, then beat the crap out of ourselves for not being perfect at body transformation in every way. We compound our brutal physical treatment of ourselves by brutally beating ourselves mentally for what we see as our own failure.
If this sounds familiar to you, please know you are not alone. This is pretty common human behavior. It’s the way we’ve been trained to go after our body transformation goals, and we’re beginning to realize that it’s doomed to failure. We simply cannot hate ourselves into liking ourselves more. The path to love and friendship is not paved with hate and shame.
No one has ever been motivated by shame.
Shame and self-hate take us in the opposite direction of our goals.
Let’s shift for a minute from a body transformation goal to a reading transformation goal.
Imagine you have a child who is struggling in reading. The teacher tells you they are behind the rest of their class. Would we shame and belittle them into reading better? Would we hate them until they catch up with the rest of the class? Would we tell them that we can’t love them until they are a better reader? Of course not! This course of action would not only damage the psyche, it would cause the child to hate reading.
Will we create success by insisting they do exercises they hate or by finding fun ways to grow their love of reading? Will they gain more confidence if we yell at them each time they are imperfect or if we are supportive and encouraging each time they perform well?
How can we shift this same loving approach to our weight and body challenges?
Rule #1 ~ Don’t beat yourself up.
Our healing journey is a roller coaster full of ups and downs. We need to be easy with ourselves as we learn what works for us, and what does not work. As I mentioned in a previous post, there are no magic fucking beans. There is no magic pill, nor is there one right way to do relationship to food and body, nor one right way to eat.
For these reasons, we are the scientist in our own body transformation journey. Through trial and error we will find what is best for us individually, though it might not be right for anyone else! What does not work is not “failure.” Rather it is valuable information to inform our future choices!
"The more you beat yourself up for doing something you said you didn’t want to do, the more you will continue to return to the ‘scene of the crime’ and you will continue to do the very same thing that you said you didn’t want to do - NOT because there is something wrong with you - but because that is how body wisdom, and life wisdom teaches us. We learn through repetition, so body wisdom, life wisdom will return us to the scene of the crime - life classroom - until we learn to integrate the lessons. Until we learn to love ourselves, until we learn to stop beating ourselves up because we did something we said we didn’t want to do. Until we learn to forgive self."
~ Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating,and author of Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being
Body transformation starts with love, not hate.
If you’re feeling shame or hate about self or body, please remember you’re not alone. You didn’t make this stuff up – it’s embedded in our culture. Shame and hate feel icky because they do not belong to our true vibration (our true vibration is unconditional love). Since they don’t belong to us, we can choose to simply let them go! Check out two ways to do this below in the “Grow on!” section.
Letting go of body shame and self-hate is the ESSENTIAL, non-negotiable first step toward every body transformation goal. We can’t transform the body while simultaneously beating it up. Healing transformation can never happen in the presence of the toxic body chemistry created by shame and hate.
Here are two techniques that are wonderfully useful in letting go of negative emotions like shame and hate that do not serve us.
Grounding it – When you become aware of feeling shame or self-hate, remind yourself that it is not yours and you don’t have to carry it. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, simply drop it onto the ground. Imagine it pouring out of your palms onto the ground until it is gone and you feel lighter.
Give it to the light – The vibration of shame and hate can feel BIG. See it shrinking smaller and smaller until it fits in the palm of your hand, or on the tip of one finger. Hold it up and offer it to the Light. You feel lighter as the light easily removes the unwanted emotion.
I am studying Mind Body Nutrition, and Dynamic Eating Psychology.
Soon I will be a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach with several unique tools to help people with issues like emotional eating, stress eating, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, under-eating, food guilt, body shame, food and body judgment, intense appetite, digestive issues, and more.
I am discovering so much, and am eager to share with others!
I crave space to share the concepts and tools I am learning, and opportunities to answer questions that will arise in my coaching practice. I want to share with YOU if this is something that interests or excites you!
I envision creating a group coaching program where I help women and men – who have tried repeatedly to transform their issues with food and body – to finally achieve their goals.
To align with this vision, I created Body Transformation Playground!
I am inviting you to play!
I know many people think of body transformation as hard work, and I want to reframe that by introducing some fun things we can do that lead to sustainable change. Of course if your goal is a super lean body and six-pack abs, then some kind of hard work and sweat will be involved, and most health and nutrition coaches have tools to help people map a path to this kind of goal.
I’m talking about helping those of us who have lifelong food issues we have repeatedly tried to “fix” with one kind of eating/exercise plan or another.
I sometimes engage in emotional eating.
Like so many people, I have used food to soothe stress for my entire life. Until I learned to address the emotional reasons I eat, no plan that my coach and I concocted could ever succeed, and no changes I made would stick. Weight loss and workout plans sometimes create results, but until we address the deeper issue of what to do about our stress, we can easily get derailed, or after progress we slip back into pre-programmed habits that land us back where we started.
If you are experiencing emotional eating, stress eating, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, under eating, unwanted weight, food guilt, body shame, judgment around food and body, intense appetite, or chronic digestive issues, you are NOT alone! PLEASE join me on the Body Transformation Playground for six months FREE!
You heard me right! The Body Transformation Playground is open to you for FREE for the next six months – if you choose to join – just because you’re on my mailing list, or because someone on my mailing list forwarded this to you!
If you want to explore real body transformation, I am here to play! Let’s make it fun!
Body Transformation Playground includes a twice-monthly email focused on the juiciest tidbits, toys, and tools for body transformation that I discover in my psychology of eating classes. The emails will include fun ways to transform our relationship with food, journal topics around food and body, motivational images, ongoing encouragement, and so much more!
Once a month on zoom (audio only), I will host Body Transformation Playground live, where I practice teaching the concepts I am learning, answer participant questions, and possibly even do a little live coaching when time permits!
I will share all I am learning about eating psychology and how to free ourselves from our eating issues, and in return all I ask is that you submit questions, and give feedback.
Submit questions. Tune in to hear answers. Give feedback. That’s it!
My coaching skills are solid, but my tech skills need polishing, so these first six months will be a learning space, play space, and experimenting space for all of us while I learn how best to create fun effective content, record videos, post replays, and handle Zoom meetings, all while playing with the toys and insights I am learning at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and sharing them with you!
Beyond this six-month series, I will be offering the Body Transformation Playground as part of a package for paid clients, so jump in now!
Join me to play with the idea that body transformation can be more fun than we have been allowing! Join me to discover more ease and enjoyment on the path to sustainable transformations!
If you are interested, subscribe by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Simply email with “SUBSCRIBE TO PLAYGROUND” in the subject, and I will manually add your address to the list.
Currently, I am committing to Zoom meetings (audio only) on the following dates, but I may add more dates!
Dates to add to your schedule if you are interested in Body Transformation Playground:
All times listed are Pacific Daylight Time
Sunday, April 24 @ 6pm
Friday, May 27 @ 6pm
Monday, June 20 @ 6pm
Saturday, July 23 @ 9am
Sunday, Aug 21 @ 6pm
Monday, Sep 26 @ 6pm OR Friday, Sep 30 @ 6pm
I chose different days of the week to accommodate many schedules, and I am willing to be flexible with these dates based on feedback!
If joining this series excites you but you cannot make these dates, please reply to this email to let me know what day/dates/times would work for you, and we will try to work something out and add at least a few dates that will work for all of us!
Thank you so much for being willing to play some new ideas!
My practice grows through referral!
As you can tell, I am SUPER excited about my expanding coaching practice!
PLEASE forward this email if you know anyone who struggles with weight issues, emotional eating, stress eating, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, under eating, food guilt, body shame, food and body judgement, intense appetite, or digestive issues!
You’re so mean, When you talk About yourself, you were wrong.
Change the voices In your head Make them like you instead
P!nk ~ Fuckin’ Perfect
I truly appreciate these lyrics. If a rock goddess like P!nk can have mean voices in her head, it kinda normalizes it for the rest of us, doesn’t it?
Most people have voices in our heads saying not-so-nice things. It’s crucial to change those voices because the Universe is our mirror. What we believe about ourselves, is what the world will show us. The voices in my head told me for years that I was ugly, fat, and stupid, and that nobody loved me. Needless to say during those years, I didn’t feel a lot of love reflected back at me from the world.
Because the Universe is our mirror – reflecting to each of us that which we emanate – self love is key. If we find it difficult to love ourselves, we won’t see a lot of love reflected to us in our world, and we tend to doubt those who express love and friendship to us. If we cannot see ourselves as capable of achieving, or worthy of receiving close relationships, financial success, or desired body composition, then the Universe reflects that back to us. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We achieve what we believe we are capable of achieving.
The mean things we say often focus on our perceived imperfections. Common examples include but are in no way limited to:
My body is not perfect.
My relationship is not perfect.
My job is not perfect.
My education is not enough to change careers/get promoted.
I am not capable of earning more.
I am not worthy of being loved.
Who could love me?
Release perfectionism by accepting that you’re already fucking perfect.
But what if everything we identify as our own shortcoming or imperfection is actually PERFECT for us?
What if each one is a gift, a golden opportunity to grow in some way that our soul wants us to grow?
What if every “imperfection” is an opportunity to learn that:
our true power doesn’t lie in creating a body we can love, but in loving and caring for the body we are in, despite what flaws we may perceive.
our true power doesn’t lie in attracting the right partner so we feel loved, but in loving ourselves so completely that every relationship allows us to feel loved and supported.
our true power doesn’t lie in earning enough money to be happy, but in being happy while earning money.
What if the ultimate power in the universe is gifting us an opportunity to show ourselves love and kindness?
What will change if we see our “imperfections” as perfect opportunities here at Life University? What will change when we accept that we are perfect, just as we are, fabulous flaws and all?
How possible is it to accept perceived flaws or imperfections as an invitation for soul growth?
What lesson is your soul asking you to learn?
What will the voices in YOUR head say when you make them like you instead? Consider making a list and keeping it close by!
Helping clients gently shift from mean thoughts toward healing/supportive thoughts is what I do!
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, schedule a little chat with me at THIS LINK to see if I’m the right coach for you! You’ll walk away with at least one action step to move you toward whatever goal is important to you!
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?
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.