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I’m afraid of failing

I’m afraid of failing

Imafraidoffailing

I am afraid of failing and being alone.

You know REALLY alone. Like on the edge of a precipice in the dark and you know there is vast space all around. You have to make a decision while little lights of your dreams start to glow and multiply, and you spin around in awe.

Do you stay and hide in this beautiful space in time—or—is it time to take a step of faith into the unknown to see if you really can make your dreams come true?

Recently, on a family trip to Disney, I physically re-experienced this emotion when I realized I have been here before in my dreams. Actually, I was sitting alone in the Spaceship Earth ride surrounded by little twinkling lights when I experienced the same feeling of alone, free, and the choice of stepping off the edge and going into the unknown to achieve my dream.

When things seem to be falling apart (I liken it to the old game Tetris and the bricks are crumbling) and everything you hold dear in value crumbles and falls away you can feel so alone. I have finally realized that its ok, and I am just moving into the next phase of my life.

So instead of feeling sad I wait, breathe, and watch for the next new thing because I know it will all be better.

If anyone has seen the movie “Inside Out”, you too may have felt the sadness during the scene of the little girl’s life crumbling. If not, I encourage you to watch this film and enjoy the adult messages that are hidden in this “kids” movie!

When you are given a vision of what you are to do, it is hard to explain to anyone else how you are going to accomplish that vision. One thing I do know, I have lived and believed a Zig Ziglar quote:

“It takes ten no’s to get one yes!”

Why?

Because on my first vision of opening a bundt bakery, (come on now, we all know that sounded crazy!) my first four contacts were a resounding, “Yes!”

I went home in shock, and with raw emotions that I really didn’t know what to do with, I started to bake and bake.

In my life lessons I know it is more than important to help others, share your story, share your knowledge, share your time, and you will find it is the quickest way for your next door to open!

What is stopping you from your dream? Fear of failure, being alone?

This I can tell you it is more than a feeling… you need a heart of a warrior! Get out there and greet everyone with a smile and an open door to your heart. Tell anyone who will listen your story, and you will be amazed by the world that will open up to you.

You didn’t think these people were put in your path for no reason did you?

And, failing? If you are following your dream, there is no failing, be flexible learn and adjust your dream as you go!

Eliminate Tolerations: increase your positive energy

Eliminate Tolerations: increase your positive energy

tolerationTolerations are things we put up with.  We tolerate other people, situations, environments, bad habits, our health, restrictions, indulgence, stress, the list goes on and on.  These things drag you down and clutter your mind.  They take up energy and devour your personal bandwidth.  Tolerations suck!

Labeling something as a “toleration” helps us identify it, and separate it from ourselves.  Kind of like baggage we carry… instead of carrying it, we’re able to mentally put it on a shelf and look at it objectively.    My car is dirty because I don’t make time for the car wash.  My desk is messy because I throw mail and paperwork on it.  The neighbors dog poos in my yard because I haven’t brought it to their attention yet.

Tolerations take a toll

We often overlook or disregard the cost of tolerations.   Emotional tolls can be feeling agitated, annoyed, hurt, and result in loss of energy. Feelings like these easily distract us from being open to opportunities we desire.   “I was so annoyed with the dog poo between my toes, I didn’t hear the phone ring.”

Addressing a toleration will renew your energy because you fall back into alignment with yourself.

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Tolerations Exercise:

Grab a piece of paper and list all of the things you’re putting up with. Carry the list around with you. Visit all the different environments in your world: office, home, car, relationships, personal, financial… notice what you are putting up with in each area. Write down everything you notice.

Take action!

  1. Do it! Take immediate action.
  2. Delegate it! Give it to someone else to do.
  3. Defer it! Put it on the back burner until you have time or resources to deal with it.
  4. Dump it!  Be done with it – it doesn’t matter anymore.

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Do you feel positive energy flowing already? I do this exercise annually when planning for the new year. Eliminating junk on a regular basis feels empowering, and ensures I always have maximum capacity to deal with life.

“Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energies for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out – it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” – Robert Service

 

Self-care: what I do just for me

Self-care: what I do just for me

self careContinuing on this month’s topic of self-care, I can’t think of a better way to begin a conversation than Pema Chödrön’s quote from her book, Comfortable with Uncertainty.

What you do for yourself – any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honest and clear seeing toward yourself, will affect how you experience your world. In fact, it will transform how you experience the world.

Ask yourself: what do I do for myself – just for me (daily, weekly, monthly, and annually)? What gestures of kindness, gentleness, and honest clear seeing toward myself do I do? Possibly, you already have an amazing self-care practice, or maybe you don’t. Either way, what is it?

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Self Care Quiz

Gather a piece of paper or journal, and a pen. Before you begin writing, move into a deeper state of presence, a focused attention on your physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions.

Pause for a moment, take a deep breath in… and out.

In… and out.

And one more time, in… and out.

Ask yourself:

What do I do for myself – just for me, right now?

What are the gestures of gentleness, kindness, and honest clear seeing I offer myself?

Pause to write your list.

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Your list represents where you are now. It can offer you part of the picture of your current relationship with yourself. What did you learn? There is no right or wrong answer here, and if you find yourself judging your list as good or bad, simply notice your thoughts. Are your thoughts gestures of gentleness, kindness and honest clear seeing? I often repeat a quote in my head (and out loud in my classes) by Zen Buddhist teacher Shunryu Suzuki,

“Each of you is perfect the way you are… and you can use a little improvement.”

I can, in the same breath, acknowledge my perfection with gentle and kind thoughts, AND, with honest clear seeing, notice ways in which to grow, evolve and improve.

I am perfect the way I am, and I can use a little improvement.

I am going to put on my life coach hat on for a moment:

With this hat on, I perceive you as one of my students of life. I’m imagining us having just concluded a 50 minute deep-dive conversation on your desire to have more time for yourself; to have the time to take better care of yourself, at which point, I give you a challenge. (I can imagine your face when I say, “I’m going to give you a challenge”! )

A challenge, in coaching, means that the coach gives the coachee homework; an action or project that is typically out of their “comfort zone”.  In the case of a challenge, the coachee has the ability to say “yes, I’ll take on the challenge”, “no, I’m not taking on the challenge”, or “yes, but I want to negotiate the terms.”

Self care challenge.

Over the next two weeks, three times each day, you are challenged to move into presence using the breath (as we did earlier in the post), and then ask yourself the question, “What can I do right now to be 5 – 10 % more comfortable?” 

And, let me know what you notice in person at the next Coffee Talk on Wednesday February 24th, 8:00am at The Fitness Factory on North Main Street, or leave your comments at the bottom of this post. 

Are you game? Are you willing to take on my challenge? Yes, No, or negotiate – which is it?

Namaste my friends, I look forward to hearing from you!

Walking away: I was created for something greater

Walking away: I was created for something greater

WalkingAway

“You’re a chump! GET OUTTA HERE,” he said.

With tears streaming down my face, I glanced over my shoulder knowing it would be the last time I would ever step foot in that house again. It was a hell-hole. And, as gut-wrenching as it was to leave, I refused to live under the same roof with a man who devalued my life.

“Are you kidding me?” I thought. And, although I was frightened, ashamed, disoriented and fragile—I had resolved that preserving my life, my purpose, and my destiny—were worth the price I would pay for walking away.

I had agonized over my decision for some time because of my religious beliefs.

And then I had an epiphany—“What right do I have to allow another human being to systematically destroy me when there was One who died to give me life in the first place?” He was abused so I didn’t have to be.

About forty-five days after the “I do’s”, the madness began to show itself in periodic and reasonably explicable ways. Over time, the trauma became relentless. Near the end, I was afraid, for my life had become utterly surreal.

I was raised to believe that if you treated people well, they would in turn treat you well. I was taught to first do no harm. Sometime later, I realized that most of what I was taught was about how to treat others, but never about what to require of them. Living in a state of shock, I was tormented by thoughts like:

How did I get here? This can’t be happening to me!

What will people think of me? I’m too intelligent for this! What did I do to deserve this?

How can I make it stop? If I stay, I will surely die.

What will my son think of me if I stay?

How could I let another human being abuse the privilege of being in my life?

Worse yet, what kind of message would this impress upon my son about manhood?

Because surely—what he observed, discerned, and experienced—was a perversion of the real thing.

My mind was losing its grip. All I had to hold on to was the fact that I knew I was created for something greater.

I fought to counteract every lie spoken to me by a small man. I fought to hold on to the real truth about me that seemed to be fading under the weight of extreme cruelty.

The irony was that in the midst of this nightmare, I had to keep showing up on the earth giving to others. It seemed too great a paradox to endure for any length of time; eventually, I could take it no more and made the decision that saved my life.

I had to go!

No matter the cost to my reputation, my image, my ministry, my whatever. What mattered most was that I lived and did not die. Sometimes you just have to boil a thing down to its essence.

I thought about my vision for my life and the impact I was born to make in the world.

Although I died a thousand deaths by walking away from the illusion of love, nothing is more sublime than advocating for one’s self. It all started with a single gut-wrenching, death-defying decision that went against every religious belief and tenet of my faith.

Eventually, I began to see that even in the worst of times society puts a burden on women. We’re expected to fix things, hold things together and make them right for everyone else at the expense of ourselves.  Our true selves. Our authentic selves.

In the end, I simply could not shake this one thought; why would The One who died for me to live—put more value on the institution of marriage—than MY LIFE itself.

Some women choose to stay and never become who they were created to become. Well, you know what? Not this sister!

I had value long before I became a wife or a mother.

I had a divine call on my life long before I said “I do.” I was created to make a global impact long before he put a ring on it. And, being in relationship with another should have a multiplier effect of the good that is already in my life. But, that was clearly not the case, and I paid a price for it. Please don’t feel sorry for me. This experience served to confirm my life’s work.

In the midst of the trauma, I was a student of my own life. I began to see that in spite of my professional success I privately moved among the earth like a victim. It’s overrated and I had had enough. Once I transitioned to my refuge, I became obsessed with soul-work. It was grueling to say the least but worth the eventual metamorphosis.

I reprogrammed my thoughts to develop a power mindset.

I methodically established order in my world to create an environment for unleashing my potential.

I painstakingly constructed the base of personal power from which I operate today.

I nurtured my authentic voice and watched the world respond to me in a completely different way.

The pain served its purpose.

I fear no man.

Period.

Too high a price to pay

I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to believe that anything that costs us our health, our sanity, our dreams, our intrinsic value, our authentic selves, our potential, our self-worth, and ultimately our lives is too high a price to pay. My magnificent obsession is to share with you the concepts, strategies and resources I’ve developed for living a “power-full” life; I pray that yours becomes the pursuit.

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Now it’s your turn

Have you ever walked away? Be it a relationship, job, addiction…

What was in your way? What was your ultimate vision? How did/do you achieve that goal?

Write your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Everyone has a story

Everyone has a story

make-your-life-a-story

During a quick trip to Target over the holiday, I ran into an old friend of whom I hadn’t spoken in years.  Her life had taken huge unexpected turns and she shared some of the challenges.  As we chatted, in that whirlwind way you do—when you have too much to say and not enough time to visit—she casually mentioned, “You’ve always said that ‘everyone has a story'”.

We wrapped up our chat with a hug and a promise to reconnect soon. As I finished my shopping, her words kept bouncing around in my mind.

Everyone has a story that story matters.

Stories paint engaging pictures of a person’s soul.  I find myself wondering how they’ve navigated life’s troubled waters.  As I listen to their story, I can’t help but draw an image in my mind of the heroic spirit that lives inside them.

I ask myself: how would I have handled their journey? Would I have weathered it with as much courage, punk, passion, persistence… and from that analysis I realize I have a list of “heroes” who have guided me along the way.

Stories reveal heros.

No, not the Superman kind, but the ones that help us realize our “successes in life” is way more complex than most of us can really put our finger on. Many of my heroes have kicked the threat of failure straight in the face, pursued when the pursuit was the hardest thing they’d ever done and came out with a win on their side.  All because of their own heros.

Yes, of course I still think the Mother Theresa’s of the world are the best heroes. But, when I make my hero sub-list those ass-kicking-get-it-done-no-matter-what-it-takes people, always make the hero cut.  Who we define as a hero varies from person to person, situation to situation, and maybe just even from time to time. They are the ones that keep me going when failure taunts, when the pursuit seems too daunting and when I question if I’m worthy of a WIN in my column.

My own story involves a cape. Yes! The Wonder Woman kind!  Everyday life fills my hours; being a heroic mom to two very active teenage boys, being a hero daughter to honor the parents that raised me so well, being a leading lady to an amazing man who puts up with my spazoid ways, and being the very heroic sister, auntie, friend I can be to all my other loved ones.

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Now it’s YOUR turn!

You have a great story to tell with a hero in it.  Who is/are your hero(s)? Have YOU been a hero to others? Please share an experience that has changed you for the better in the comment section below.

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