17 July 2012


I'm feeling compelled to write an entry, in hopes that I can walk myself towards some kind of solution for an internal battle I've been facing... or with the hope that one of you may have some advice. I know that I hold the answer in my soul, I just need some help in releasing it. Sometimes, when you're running around in circles in your mind, all it takes is a couple loving people weighing in for the light bulb to go off.

For the last week, I have been struggling with what it means to stand up for myself vs. being respectful and letting things roll off. What is the difference between the two? A million little phrases have run through my head: "Pick your battles," "It is what it is," "Let it be," "Accept what you can't change." That's all fine... but I'm not sure how to move forward when a request has been made of me that I don't wish to uphold. The obvious response: "DON'T DO IT, DUH!" "This is your life," "You have to do what makes YOU happy." But, imagine that going against the request will be seen as disrespectful to the requester. I can accept that I will disagree with people in my life and that we will have wildly different opinions on things that really matter to each of us. That's all okay and 100% understandable. We are all different, entitled to our own opinions, and deserving of love and acceptance. 

However, what do you do when that difference in opinion affects the way you want to live your life? What do you do when a loved one asks you to withhold from doing something that brings you joy? They are choosing to let your joy bring them hurt. They are judging and will not ever accept. What does one do? At this point in my life, when I'm in the practice of love and acceptance, I really dislike negative confrontation. It feels like the exact opposite of being loving and being at peace with others. But, when someone makes a request of you that goes against what the heart wants, what do you do? Do it anyways and know that it will completely upset them and potentially cause a rift? Or "suck it up," obey their request, and sacrifice what you really want?

 But on whose terms should I move forward? (YOUR OWN) Even if that means estrangement in a relationship that matters to me?
 This jarring situation has popped up in my life for a reason. I know the Universe is trying to tell me something or help lead me to a realization. I guess I must choose patience until the reason is revealed to me.

 This is very appealing. But what if people who mind, DO matter to you? What if they are family? Do you go on living your life the way you want to, politely declining their wishes and know that they will resent you and cause issues? 

I welcome your comments and advice. Perhaps you've been in a similar situation and have some thoughts. All of the question marks in this entry clearly show that I'm extremely lost. I know it's okay to not have all the answers immediately... I just hope that I find peace soon. Lots of love to you, readers.


13 July 2012


Validation. What a touchy subject... at least for me. Validation is establishing proof or legitimacy, confirming evidence, proving the correctness of something. We all seek this feeling of correctness - like the choices we are making in our life are the right ones and somehow acceptable to onlookers. It's a deep need that is ingrained in us, to feel right - adequate - good enough.

Where do you get validation? Whose approval makes you feel accepted and justified in your decisions? Who validates your talents, efforts, looks, life choices? 
Is it your parents? Perhaps you want their approval of your boyfriend for you to feel like the relationship is "everything you need and deserve" - since they know you best, right? Or maybe you want to pick a career path that they approve of. If they think it's right for you and the best possible option, it will feel good to pursue what they want.

Is it your boss? Maybe your work feels meaningless and unfulfilling unless your manager validates your hard work on every project. If you don't get a "good job" from them, you probably didn't live up to their expectations. You aren't impressive unless they tell you so. "Talent does you no good unless it's recognized by someone else." - Robert Half

Is it your friends? Perhaps you need them to weigh in on your outfit or your hair cut before it really feels like a good choice. It doesn't matter if you like it, right? Just all long as all your girlfriends think it looks fabulous on you.
It's really easy to live your life when everyone else is the one who gets to validate your existence, your choices, and your future, right?! WRONG!!! None of what I wrote above is at all true, even though we spend a lot of time telling ourselves those same, ridiculous stories, making us the victims of our own lives and accepting guilt and shame from anyone who tells us (in some form) we aren't good enough / that decision was a bad one / we aren't worthy of love or acceptance. 

For the majority of my life, I have been a gold-star-craving, people-pleasing martyr. I would do anything... ANYTHING... to feel like my family, friends, teachers, mentors, colleagues, strangers accepted me. Oh, parents, you don't like that boyfriend? Yeah, me neither. Friends, you don't like this dress? Oh yeah, totally changing. I would basically tell myself that what I felt in my heart or gut didn't matter, and that everyone else knew better. What a powerless, depressing way to tread through life. I couldn't even see how drained I was of control or strength in my life until I released this detrimental defense mechanism of "if I do what everyone else in my life thinks is best, I won't have to fear being unloved or unaccepted; I will be what they want me to be."  

My retreat with the Bliss Sisters is where I really left this bad habit behind...

In a circle full of glowing, loving women, I sat on a tree stump with journal in hand, sun kissing my skin, and pondered the following: "I am limiting my life with the belief that..." Michelle, the creator and leader of the Bliss Sisters, had all asked us all to finish this thought. After spending not even 24 hours with these women, I had already found a place with them that felt like "home." My spirit felt at ease, and all of the ice surrounding my thoughts was ready to melt away and reveal a world of possibilities. I listed 10 things easily and could have gone on for some time, admitting to all of the thoughts I let limit my potential. But the one that stood out the most for me and felt like it really ruled my life was: "I am limiting my life with the belief that... I need answers and validation from others in my life to feel like my decisions are acceptable." As soon as I shared this with the group, I was immediately encouraged. I felt like I had escaped a suffocating straight jacket that was holding back so much of my ability to live an empowered, love-filled life. This was a pivotal thing for me to admit and to set free into the Universe. The women were quick to show their support, assuring me that I - ME - already have all the answers within myself, and that I can have love and acceptance without hustling for validation from family, friends, whomever. I knew they were right, and for the first time in my life, I was ready to let go of that limiting thought. 

The final "snip" of that thread came when Michelle asked us to form our own personal mantra from the opposite of that very limiting thought. Each woman took some time to flip her thinking around and find the right words to really convey a powerful statement to live by. Through lots of doodling, rewriting, and hashing it out with the other ladies, I was able to come up with a mantra that really resonated with me:
"I will not override my intuition. I am the only one who can validate myself."
The key words are intuition and validation. Intuition is that sixth sense - that voice that whispers in your ear, telling you to take that job, or to let yourself fall for that person. Listening to your intuition means dialing into your heart and following your gut. It is a powerful thing to do. It means that you ask yourself for the answers and you recognize that you indeed know exactly what you want, without getting others to weigh in. The second half of my mantra is a reminder that I don't need anyone - not ONE person - to give me the thumbs up or a gold star for me to be able to feel confident, proud, and satisfied with my decisions. If we only live to make others happy, we are likely sacrificing our own happiness. I find such strength in recognizing that I can give myself all those pats on the back, double-takes, high fives, and compliments that I have been desperate to get from everyone else in my life! It was only a way to avoid getting that kindness and encouragement from myself. I now see that I can be my own biggest fan and that believing in myself is 1000x stronger than getting that validation from anyone else. That brings me back to the quote I mentioned earlier: "Talent does you no good unless it's recognized by someone else." Robert Half was obviously not cued into the power of recognizing your own talents and remembering that you are wonderful, regardless of whether someone else says so or not. Self confidence and listening to one's intuition is pure magic - that is the kind of power that we absolutely cannot get when we look for those things outside of ourselves.

Today, ask yourself what is holding you back from living your best life. It's never too late or too hard to let go of those limitations and start a-fresh.

Love and light xo

Kimbra - Two Way Street

02 July 2012

Love Your Body...NOW!

That's it! I'm unsubscribing from all of the airbrushed Victoria Secret catalogs and discontinuing all the diet-tips/bikini bod emails. There is so much unrealistic "crap" saturating my poor, self-conscious, feminine mind. Just when I think I've had a really balanced meal and pat myself on the back for powering through yoga, there is a billboard with a half-naked woman who is half my size or a catalog awaiting me at home, adorned with lanky models. My confidence is immediately shut down and I'm back to judging myself. Of course, the "blame" lies with me (not the models, distributors, photographers,etc.), as I am the one comparing myself to these totally fake images. And even if the images are not fake, per say, it makes ZERO sense for me to compare my body to anyone else's - ever! I am not anyone but myself - my body belongs to me alone.

The least I can do is remove the images I have control over from my everyday life (the catalogs, the emails). This feels so much nicer (and more immediate) than bashing all of the photo editors and unrealistic ideals that the media pumps out. The MOST I can do is recite positive affirmations about my body every day. Whether I'm having a great hair day, or my legs look like in a dress, or my skin is looking particularly clear, I am committing to taking the time to give myself a big mental hug every day. This is extremely powerful, as I have typically found myself unhappy or dissatisfied with my body. I even programmed myself to deflect the kind words of others! Turning the negative into a positive is not difficult - really believing it and embracing the love I give myself may be a challenge in the beginning. But just like I conditioned myself to always be critical of how I look, I can certainly train myself to always be positive and thankful in my thoughts about my body. 

The idea of truly taking time to acknowledge myself and practicing loving affirmations came from my many awakenings at a Bliss Sisters retreat in Big Bear this past weekend. 
Here is a lovely, encouraging quote that Michelle gave to me. I taped it inside of my journal:
"I love my body. I create peacefulness in my mind, and my body reflects this peacefulness as perfect health."
Starting today, I am prioritizing putting my mind to rest so that my body can thrive and be beautiful without judgement.

(even my weird long toe??? YUP!)

Stay tuned for reflections from my Bliss Sisters retreat! It was quite magical.