23 October 2012


Easier said than done, my friends. I know. But consider this: every moment that we don't have faith in the Universe and we are questioning the order of events, our mind is not in the present. And every moment you aren't in the "now," you are missing precious opportunities. Give up the "what if's?" and "should I's?" and take action now. If you feel like the time to act is not now, then release the thought from your mind and trust that the Universe has the perfect plan for you. 

None of this:

  • "What if I don't get the job?! When will the employer call me back?!" Will thoughts like that change anything? No. Actions might - like following up or casting a wide net in the job pool. And a still mind in the mean time wouldn't hurt!
  • "What if I made a mistake walking away from the relationship? What does the future hold for us?!" No Taylor Swift song is going to give you the answer. As much as we'd (sorry male readers...) like to think songs (or general moping) like that give us clarity, they usually just keep us trapped in our emotion-filled minds. Be kind to your heart and to his/hers. Give respect.
  • "How will I ever make the deadline (to travel, to submit an application, to finish a project, to get married, to have kids, to buy a house...)?!" Think about what you can accomplish right now to progress towards what you want to achieve. And really, really enjoy each step. Don't see the steps as a means to an end, or you may exhaust yourself to the point of feeling zero real accomplishment when you fulfill that goal. The steps are whole and complete in themselves if you can let them be.

I'm so guilty of thoughts like the ones above. But I really want to move out of that mindset and into a more peaceful, trusting one. It's always the times when we are sitting in the waiting room of our lives that we forego all of the wonderful things that are going on outside. Still the mind and trust that everything is happening just as it should. Every break-up, every argument, every failed attempt, every loss... it's all part of the plan. It's all been predestined, and thinking about it incessantly won't change it. Breathe into the discomfort and just have faith. Something beautiful is waiting to reveal itself. Don't squash the beauty that awaits with your obsessive expectations and worry. I know that it's hard, but have patience. An unexpected surprise is better than a self-induced letdown.

18 October 2012


"There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it... and that was the people who have a strong sense of love and belong believe they are worthy of love and belonging. That's it. They believe they are worthy. And...the hard part of the one thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that we are not worthy of connection." - Brené Brown

This is a quote from a writer, researcher, and "story teller" that I really relate to, respect, and look up to. This excerpt is from Brené's TED Talk on The Power of Vulnerability, which I have blogged about before. But it had been a while since I had revisited it and listened to the message fresh. So tonight, after an emotionally draining couple of days, I sat down to watch it again.

The excerpt above is what resonates with me most tonight. The only thing holding us back from love and belonging is worthiness - feeling like we are good enough and deserving of those things. SELF-WORTH. Why is it so frequently absent? How do we get past the stories we have told ourselves about not being good enough? How do we let go of the things in our past that have somehow led us to believe that we aren't worthy of love, or that we are only good for X?

I think it's all about fully embracing vulnerability and asking for help. We aren't broken - we don't need to be fixed. But we can evolve. And we can be enlightened and empowered by seeking out answers in ourselves, even if we need that self-understanding to be facilitated by a therapist, a friend, a mentor, etc. 

We must have the courage to be imperfect. As Brené says, that means letting go of who we think we should be and loving who we are. That is what fully embracing vulnerability is all about. Sounds easy. It's not. Accepting every inch of our being is difficult! There are a million messages swirling around in our head that threaten to douse our self acceptance and therefore prevent us from getting in touch with our vulnerable side. 

In actuality, often times we numb vulnerability completely. We sink into a place where we would rather feel nothing than feel all of the pain and confusion. Some people turn to drugs, sex, alcohol, overtime, dieting, exercise to numb themselves and take the focus off what they really need to confront. I find that I run away from confronting my emotions by focusing on other people. "How can I help this friend evolve?" Deflect. "How can I be of service to my coworker?" Deflect. These seem like pretty productive numbing mechanisms (especially when you add working ridiculously hard and cleaning to my list of deflectors). But the biggest learning for me is that you can't selectively numb. When you numb the bad, the difficult, the scary, the painful... you also numb the good. You numb the ability to love and be loved. You numb the ability to feel grateful, to feel inspired, to feel worthy. So my apartment is clean, that project made my boss look good, and my friend feels really supported. But what about me? I leave myself feeling worthless and not cared for. All because I wasn't willing to be vulnerable. What a terrible price it is to pay feeling the way I do and filling my brain with negative self talk because I'm too scared to admit I need support. 

Choosing to close off from vulnerability is sure to break your heart. If I haven't reached you yet... here's a story. After a year of struggling to form a pure connection with a boyfriend, he finally caved and was willing to be vulnerable. He realized what he was giving up and decided that none of the sadness or closed-heartenedness he was wearing was worth not having an intimate connection with me. His eyes were opened to what it meant to share openly and love with a heart burst wide open. He would ask for advice, ask for help. He was okay with not having all of the answers and just riding along with what the Universe gave him. He was vulnerable. "Now things will fall into place," I thought. We would be able to connect on a whole new level now. But just the opposite happened. I began to break down. I started to check out, mentally and physically. How could this be possible? Well, as soon as I wasn't able to put all of the attention on my boyfriend and his journey, as soon as he was no longer the barrier to our connection (since I was clearly so ready), a wall jutted up within me. I was called to look within myself. I was asked how I could be more vulnerable and emotionally available to connect with him. So I shrunk away. I was too scared to deal with my own numbing problems and "catastrophized" what might happen if I allowed myself to be vulnerable and asked for help. I didn't feel worthy of his love or attention now. Suddenly all of the past hurt that I had been numbing was revealed to me, and I was suddenly no longer available to connect. Or maybe I never was all along, unaware of my numbed parts that were perpetually dragging me down. Denying yourself of vulnerability is sure to break your heart. Case in point.

What a sad story. It is all part of my life path and it is definitely a good learning experience. But it's just another reminder of how imperative it is to be vulnerable. I wish it wasn't a choice! The world would be so different if we all felt worthy of love and belonging. But, alas, we can choose to not feel those things, and we can tell ourselves that we aren't ready/aren't enough/ aren't worthy/aren't capable of love/loving/being loved. Knowing this, we must be particularly aware of when that pain-body flares up, and we must learn what mechanisms help us as individuals to tap back into that inherent worthiness. For a life without love, is no life at all.

Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.

08 October 2012


Love yourself, and everything else falls into line. You can only loves others as much as you love yourself. Love yourself first. If you don't love yourself, no one else is going to love you...

I've heard all of these quotes about self love and how it's an enabler for loving other people and for receiving love from others. But over the last week, this message has really resonated with me. I'm feeling it's reality and learning about the truth it holds.

No matter how many things I buy or nights I go out, if I don't prioritize taking care of my heart and my mind, I suffer. And so does my ability to love myself... and therefore, love others. Of course, going out with friends and treating myself to things is nice and comforting. But it's easy to use such things to avoid confronting the silence and tapping into my intuition. Sometimes it's scary to sit in a grassy field alone and check in with yourself. Just sit with the sun on your skin and ask what you're feeling. Quiet all of the to-do lists and the expectations you have. And just be. I did this on Sunday, and a lot came up.

I've been largely unaware of a scar that I've worn for years. I've brought it into relationships unknowingly. And only within the last couple days have I noticed this scar and realized the impact it has had... and still has. Part of loving myself is going to be learning how to heal my scar through a new perspective. I must get help and learn how to let go of the meanings I attached to it. I didn't even realize how many stories about myself and my worthiness live in that scar...

I'm looking forward to digging into the past and healing the resentment and pain I've been holding onto. I know it will be a beautiful release. I also know that this will be emotionally trying and that the process may bring up other issues I wasn't aware of. But I want to get "better" and I want to be able to love myself fully so that I can truly wear an open heart free of any past hurt. I don't want to bring my scar into relationships anymore. It's time to confront it.

Think about what you may be holding onto... suppressing it with distractions and quick-fixes. Confront those emotions, the past. Whatever it takes to be at peace with it. Think about what stories you have created about yourself and your ability to give or receive love. Help is available. But you must ask for it.

05 October 2012


This week I want to admit to something that I don't like about myself. I want to shine a light on the issue so that I can really get to the core of what motivates this behavior and so that I can ask all of your help to help keep me accountable in giving up this bad habit.

There are too many times when I catch myself (or worse, someone else catches me) talking negetively about others. It never fails. There is always some gossip to listen to or to spread. Always something I feel like I need to "vent." And such mean, judgemental things come out of my mouth. "She is SO difficult and stubborn!" "He can't take a hint!" "Why does she have to try so hard?" "I wish he would stand up for himself!" Whether these comments are about friends, family, or even strangers, they are loaded with resentment and are completely unconstructive. It does absolutely NO good to verbalize or internalize any of these judgements. It spreads hate and encourages others to chime in with their hurtful opinions too. One "buzz" comment can spread like pollen, until the whole hive is drumming and planning their next sting.

What I've realized is that often times, these kinds of negative comments have nothing to do with what I'm complaning about and are really as a result of something else that I've let go unspoken. There is usually something that I am afraid to confront a person about, and therefore I result to just talking about them instead of with them. All of those examples above are emotion-filled judgments that are born out of something more grounded in reality. For instance... instead of me gossiping that my friend X is so difficult and stubborn, I could tell X that it's hard to offer her advice when she is so closed off to receiving it. Or instead of telling all of my friends that Y is a total messy pig, I could simply ask Y to make an agreement that we will keep things tidy. Tell her that you are unhappy in the relationship. Tell him that you aren't emotionally available. Tell her that you need space. Tell him that it makes you feel bad when he says that. How ELSE are they going to know? Funny how they won't magically "get it" when you talk to everyone else BUT them about it. Sometimes a complaint feels so REAL and alive (like the person you are whinning about should just KNOW) because of how much you talk to other people about it. That's never the case. Unless one of those people gossips back to the original victim... and that is always an embarrassing and pitiful situation to be in. "Why couldn't you just tell ME?" Who's the bad guy now?

There are other occasions when I talk badly about someone simply because we don't agree on something. Instead of blabbing on about how a person is so (insert mean/nasty/heartless adjective here), I could look within and ask myself why I even let them get to me. Why do I care so much? When we let others bother us, we're often taking something personally. And that is always asking for an upset. Just because HE thinks something different than you doesn't mean that YOUR way of thinking is right/superior and that you need to convert him. Making someone wrong (or making yourself right) isn't going to actually make you feel better. That's a quick fix to avoid accepting and loving people. We are individuals and there is no way that we can all agree on how to conduct ourselves, what morals to uphold, how to live our lives... this life is beautiful and challenging because of those differences. Who are you that you get to call the shots and delineate right and wrong?

I have a note taped to my computer screen, and I feel like it too often goes unnoticed:
"Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."
If every time I wanted to say something bad about someone, I instead said something positive (even if it's about someone else or something completely unrelated), I would be a much lighter, brighter person. And everyone else around me would benefit too. You can't talk trash to someone who doesn't respond or engage in it with you. I want to be the person that people don't even try to gossip with, because they know I'm not interested in that. I want to be the kind of sweet person that you would feel ashamed to gossip to. I know people like that and they occur to me as much happier, genuine people.

Try to catch yourself being that mean person. Notice how unattractive and heavy it feels to be that way. And decide to be above it! Gossip is a domino effect - be the one that stays standing when everyone else collapses into it.

 Why you gotta be so mean?

02 October 2012


So I realize I never posted all of my cautions about the full moon that rose last Saturday night. But I'm glad I didn't. Really glad. Because that would have perpetuated an avalanche of expectations, worry, and anticipation. Those things existed within me as a false security blanket from accepting reality, and the last thing I want to do is to encourage such unconscious behavior in any of you!

After preaching about taking each day for what it is and letting life just unfold, I had amped myself (and others) up about the moon. Astrologers were calling it a Monster Moon and warning their readers to keep their schedules open, their mouths shut, and their travel to a minimum. I did these things and was able to have a very nice, smooth weekend. It actually took me by surprise how wonderful my weekend turned out to be. After imagining big earthquakes, tumultuous communication, and unwelcomed surprises, I was actually dealt a peaceful, reassuring couple of days. It turned out to be the exact opposite of what I thought....
  • Instead of earthquakes, I was able to ground myself and reestablish my footing
  • Instead of tumultuous communication, I opened myself up and allowed myself to be vulnerable
  • Instead of unwelcomed surprises, I was given pleasant surprises
Uranus - the planet of rebellion/change/unexpected occurrences - WAS at work. But it had great things to offer! So much for my alarmist assumptions. :) How was your full moon weekend??

"We could all be happy people, if we stopped feeding our own egos..."