Day 80: Self Love in Times of Unrest

In the last week or so… man, I can’t believe it’s only been a week… so much has happened. People are literally getting swept up in fear and panic. And I get it, I truly do. Fear has a place here.

When we go into survival mode we resort back to base instinct. Food. Shelter. Water. Toilet Paper (goodness, we will never live that one down). We end up in fight or flight mode against an enemy we cannot see. People aren’t meant to live in fight or flight. We are meant to react to an event and then for our body to go back to a homeostatic state. When we live in crisis mode we change our biology and these changes set up shop in our nervous system, adrenals etc.

The real enemy here is panic and fear. Yes, the virus is real and fucking scary, but the panic and mass hysteria is even worse. People who are feeding into the fear… that is all they see. There is no other perspective.

Self love in this moment looks like grounding yourself, bringing yourself back to reality of the present moment so you are not caught up in negativity and what ifs. Self love is choosing to focus on happiness and joy and all of the things we have to be thankful for. Self love is reaching out to your friends and neighbors and extending a touch of humanity to elevate the collective.

Right now self love is not fluffy, feel good, sunshine and roses. It can be… but for the vast majority it isn’t. For me right now self love includes focusing on my business future and finding ways to be creative as creativity and fear cannot exist in the same space. It is about slowing down my breathing, feeling into my heart, recognizing where the panic lives, acknowledging it and setting it free.

I have no idea where this pandemic is taking us. I don’t know what is real information vs fake. I don’t know if quarantine is justified or not. What I do know though is how my body is feeling and that me panicking and causing fear to breed in the hearts of others is not helping anyone and only adds to the problem. Each one of us has the capacity and ability to reach so many others, to touch so many lives. If there are enough of us spreading messages of hope and love and care we will shift the tide of panic that is occurring and we will come through this stronger than before.

Be a light in the world. It’s okay to feel scared and unsure, but feeding and fueling those feelings creates mental and emotional chaos that spills out and effects even the steadiest of souls. We have a responsibility to our fellow men to rise up and share love just as much as we do to wash our hands and keep our distance. ❤ ❤

Day 79: Making Choices

Everything in life is a choice. Go left or right. Love or don’t love. Trust or don’t trust.

Fear.

Or don’t fear.

Panic and brutalize people at the store.

Show up calmly and share some love with a stranger.

Choices. We are fantastically powerful. Every decision we make in life contributes to where we are at this exact moment. The empowering thing is that we have the ability to change that trajectory at any time.

We just have to choose different. Displace the known with the unknown. Make the unfamiliar, familiar.

If the usual M.O. is to shut down in the face of adversity, see it, recognize it and choose to stand uncomfortably instead of flee. If the usual tactic when met with an alternate opinion is to become defensive and combative, be aware and choose instead to disengage.

Choosing different doesn’t mean sitting in the wells of depression and deciding you are just gonna be happy suddenly. It starts with baby steps and small maneuvers. It is getting out of bed, taking a shower and sitting outside in the sun. It’s deciding to engage a stranger in conversation when the rest of the world is closing off their hearts and minds to others. It is choosing to buy the last 6 rolls of toilet paper and then splitting the package with an old lady on a fixed income who is standing forlornly in the paper goods aisle.

In these times it is easy to see contrast and easy to choose different. There is such an air of fear and concern right now that choosing different may simply mean expressing a touch of humanity.

It might look like sharing a smile with a stranger, letting someone into a line in front of you. Choosing different might be choosing to refocus internally instead of letting panic boil over.

Choose to shine your light into the world. It’s exceptionally easy right now to make a difference in the life of someone else. Hold some space, share a laugh. We are all in this together. It can become the most isolating experience or one which brings us all back together. Every single one of us has the power to choose.

Choose hope. Choose to rise up and be the beacon that ignites the winds of change. Choose to be seen, to claim your space. And above all, choose to love. ❤ ❤

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Day 78: Cultivating Hope

It would be really easy to get carried away right now with the fear mongering surrounding the Coronavirus, especially where I am at which is the epicenter of the virus in the USA. People here are generally keeping their heads with the exception of sold out grocery stores.

I am usually oblivious to things like this. I am aware it’s a thing, but I don’t watch the news in any capacity. I chose, many years ago, to cut those things out of my life as I think they are hugely biased and based in fear. Fear is an amazing driver. If you get enough people confused and scared, they stop thinking rationally and start acting from instinct. Breakdown in communication and humanity start to happen. This is when powerful people and entities can come in and shift things to their agenda. Do I think that is what is happening with the Coronavirus? I have no idea.

I know there is a flu going around. I know it is most heavily effecting the older populations. I know that people are scared and going into survival mode. I know that now is the time that we need to keep our heads and cultivate hope.

This can seem an overwhelming task when the daily anxiety of the safety of friends and family is at stake, but it is crucial to getting through situations like this gracefully.

How does one cultivate hope??

It starts with a decision. Fear is a choice. As I always say, choose different. Once you shift from fear to findings all of the wonderful things about this life you will be amazed, but suddenly the news coming in won’t be so scary anymore. Your awareness will begin to shine on positives and I guarantee your mood will be elevated.

Start by looking at the evidence. Whether we are talking about a pandemic or an issue closer to home it’s crucial to remember that everything runs its course. We have seen this time and again through history. Humans are resilient as hell and will rise up above this.

When we are talking about things like hope within one’s life it’s the same concept. I know depression and apathy and fear can all seem like they will never end. Realizing that you’ve been through worse or a similar hardship and come out on the other side is sometimes all the evidence needed to derive comfort and tenacity needed to continue forward motion.

Another good way to cultivate hope is to keep an eye on the positives. Find all the shit you appreciate in your life and really FEEL the appreciation. It warms the heart and brings healing. Look to the future and picture all of the really cool stuff you are going to do and find the excitement in those things.

One of the hardest parts about a situation like coronavirus is to not let fear take hold. It’s so difficult to know where to turn for accuracy in reporting and the news and it’s super easy to let fear in. When I am feeling like that I like to take a minute and do a body scan and go through each system feeling how good or off it feels and then asking what can I do to make that system stronger. When there is a feeling of proactivity people can remain in themselves and it makes decreasing stress levels a little easier.

I come back to the teachings of my buddy Mike Kemski. Highest Energy Wins. If we choose to let fear be the highest energy pretty soon panic will ensue, but if we can shift that to something more useful… it’s a whole new world.

Keep your heads, people. We truly are all in this one together and losing touch with humanity will only breed chaos. Focus on the fact you get some time off of work, you get to spend some time with family and children. For me, it’s proving to be a mental reset.

Much love to you all, stay safe out there and wash your damn hands. ❤ ❤

Day 77: Accepting Feedback

I had an experience today with an instructor for my coaching program. It wasn’t a pleasant interaction but because she was of a “higher” status with respect to the situation that we were in, I let her feedback overwhelm me a little bit.

I recognize that I am in a stage of my own growth where I need some cheer leading from people. I need encouragement and I need to listen to those that I know truly have my back, and no one else. I am like a fledgling bird trying to figure out how to fly.

The situation this morning raised the volume on my inner critic. The one I have just recently begun to quiet. The dialogue was not pretty. It came in hard and fast and brutal. You aren’t meant to be a coach, you have nothing to offer.

All because she had given me some constructive criticism that was not delivered in a manner that was useful to what I needed at the time.

The really cool thing though is that I am able to recognize it isn’t what I needed.

I was also able to recognize where I needed to work on some boundaries and be firm in who I am. I took a look at that, who I am, and how I want to show up and sat with that for a bit.

I don’t even remember what she said that set me off. The words don’t even really matter.

I decided that her feedback wasn’t that useful to me because I do not want to show up for my clients like she shows up for hers. There is no anger in it, it is from a place of love and curiosity for who she is and the people that she treats.

It was a good reminder that people will give feedback and criticism based on their own experience. One piece of criticism can outweigh a hundred pieces of praise. Words from a complete stranger can cause internal questioning so deep it can ruin the day. But. We decide how much power we place on those words. We can decide if that feedback is from someone that we trust and admire who show up in a way that we want to emulate. If the answer is no then let the words go. Look for the other things that came from the interaction, the insights and strengths and focus on those.

What I did get from the experience was a lot of growth on my end. I was able to identify an area in my personality where if I do not figure out how to manage and shift it a little better it will end up being an energy drain for me and could negatively effect my clients. I was also able to sit in my own truth and decide what was useful for me and what wasn’t, something that I would not have been able to do a year ago. I was able to accept her world view and more importantly, mine, and make it okay to have had that experience. I was also able to quiet the inner critic and lovingly disagree and come up with all of the reasons that I do belong in the coaching industry.

These shifts are not small. They may seen common sense to some, but for me it is huge. I came from a place, just a year or so ago, where I was so confused about what was me, what was the outside world, where my voice was and if it was even okay to listen to it. This is still something that I sometimes need to decipher.

It is a reminder that transformation is possible. That once steps are taken there is no going back and that one only has to be brave enough to keep moving forward.

I am scared as hell to keep going. I have no idea what happiness or joy or living in those emotions feels like, but I am getting more glimpses every day. Sometimes I want to stop. To stay where I am at and accept that the changes I have made, which have improved my life a little bit, are enough because I have pulled myself out of the deepest depths of pain. I am still in the cave though, it’s still dark here and I am still walking blindly, but for the first time in my life there is a small circle of light starting to appear, a beacon that I can finally see as a guidepost.

If I can share nothing else of my journey it is this, to keep going. I say it as much for myself as anyone else reading it. Change is small at first, but mountains are built on grains of sand and right now I have gathered enough to see the foundation and there is nothing more motivating than that.

Keep going. You are more than enough and more than worthy to have everything you want in this life. And so am I. ❤ ❤

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Day 76: Rewriting Your Story

I used to think that life was just… how it was. I came from a shitty childhood, life was hard and that was just how it was going to be.

I would see these people and even come across some of them intimately, that just seemed to have it all together. Good things kept happening for them and well, they were just lucky.

I used to think that I was fated to what my life was, that some being bigger than myself had decided I should have a shitty life and that was that. That was the hand I was dealt. I used to really judge and quite frankly, kind of hate those people that just had it all together.

I used to attract people that felt the same and we would sit and lament about how shit our lives were.

My life hasn’t made a complete 180… yet. It has taken a lot of really conscious effort and a lot of self awareness but more and more these days I am feeling things shift. I am seeing progress and results in a way that is tangible and real. I am finding more and more people who are forward focused and I no longer attract the people willing or wanting to sit in shit. The friends I do have who are still here and were my bitching buddies are also working on bettering themselves so we are journeying together and that feels really good. And I am starting to attract some really awesome people in my life. People who have gone through the same darkness that I have and who have come out the other side and transformed their lives. These people serve as guides, mentors and valued friends. When I look around now I can see all of that. Even if I am having a down day, I can see the progress and I can find the good, the strengths, and I can make praise a mindful, daily practice.

Somewhere along the line I accepted that I am writing my story. My decisions have shaped my current reality and I am the only one who can change it. That is such an empowering thought.

Rewriting my story has been… by all accounts…. quite a long process. And I don’t really think there is ever a “being done” with it. I think that people who have been wired to live in fear and darkness find solace there and have to do a daily rewriting, sometimes a minute by minute one but my experience is teaching me that it can become faster and faster and the fear tamed quicker with each successive progression. And it really helps to have friends that can help you see blind spots and steer you towards a better outlook.

Today I see change. I see progress. I feel love and hope and joy. I know these emotions come and go and that darkness will come back to me, but I am not worried about that. I read something that was along the lives of “if you can pull your head from the future, and your heart from the past you will know how to live in the present” and that is what I am doing today. I am being present, enjoying the happiness and just being me. Rewritten. ❤ ❤

Day 75: Small Acts of Kindness

Sometimes the best thing to do when you are feeling a little out of sorts is to extend your hand to another.

I had a coaching call with a lady who told me something really simple and profound. I’ve heard it before but the way she told it to me, the energy behind it, shifted something in me. She told me I was enough. And that I was worthy.

She told me to write it on my bathroom mirror, so I did.

Then when I went to the coffee shop I put a post it with the sentiment in their bathroom mirror.

I did the same at the other public places I went today.

I have no clue if it effected anyone’s life, but it felt like sharing a little love to me. And it warmed my heart.

The best thing to do when you are feeling the darkness in your world is to remember you have a light and shining a little of it out through little acts of kindness may be just what you need to remember your purpose, amplify your light and be the change you seek. ❤ ❤

Image by Mr vo from Pixabay

Day 74: An Empowered Woman

I felt it only fair after yesterday to talk about what I feel an empowered woman looks like. I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot today.

So what is an empowered woman to me?

An empowered woman loves herself. She may not like all of her traits but she knows she is in complete control and can change them at any time.

An empowered woman embraces her independence and knows she doesn’t rely on anyone, but also sees the value in a partnership and when in one embraces it as such and treats her partner as an equal, and helps shoulder the load.

An empowered woman knows her strengths and weaknesses and can use them to move through life in a fashion that suits her. She moves with the confidence of knowing intimate familiarity with her darkness and her light.

Empowered women treat others with kindness and love but have boundaries in place so there is never any question of her own value.

An empowered woman claims her space in the world and does so by standing on her own feet, not by beating down the shoulders of others.

An empowered woman knows how and when to be soft and gentle and when to be firm and unyielding.

An empowered woman knows she isn’t right for everyone so she lets those go that no longer fit in her life, because she knows her table is small and reserved for a special collection of souls.

An empowered woman knows and understands her beauty, sensuality, sexuality and knows that those are tools of pleasure for her and her mate, not boxes that she has to live within.

An empowered woman speaks up for the things and people that she values, even when it doesn’t flow with popular opinion.

Empowered women celebrate their successes and the successes of those they love. They are humble in doing so and give credit where it is due.

An empowered woman knows how to be kind, nurturing, protective, supportive, soft, light, goofy, hard, dark and firm all rolled into one.

Empowered women know their values and continuously course correct to stay in line. Even when they are exhausted with this life.

Empowered woman know that there is an inherent responsibility to aid in the betterment of the collective, a part of which can only be enhanced through a feminine energy.

An empowered woman shows up. Authentically. Fully. Unabashedly. How they want to show up.

As Gandhi so eloquently put it, “be the change you want to see in the world.”

Be better. Find your power and go forth and shine your light in the world so damn bright that no one will ever question your presence again. ❤ ❤

Image by adam1762 from Pixabay