“Throw Out Your Rear View Mirror and Leap!”

leap dayWe are rounding the corner into the 3rd month of the year, a time of year when people begin to realize either success-or not-with the changes they vowed to set in motion for making 2016 their best year yet. Ok, maybe not their best year, but at least a year they would be happier, or more loving, or communicate more honestly…..you get the picture. As Dr. Phil would say, “how’s that working for ya?”.

A dynamic sure to create feeling helpless or hopeless, is vowing to change something in yourself or your life and then not setting up support and strategy for creating a change. Not wanting to be unhappy will not make you happier nor will wanting to be more loving with your partner be of much use when your partner does that thing which triggers your best imitation of nails on the chalkboard!

Looking in your life’s rear view mirror for how things were-good or bad-keeps you from being present and taking action for creating outcomes you want today. Beating yourself up for how you “shoulda, coulda, woulda” or how you made that mistake, only keeps a past wound from healing into wisdom present today. So what can you do if you find yourself looking in the rear view mirror of your life?

1. Acknowledge you are beating yourself up for something in your past. We too easily discount how powerful our thoughts and beliefs are in what we call “our experience” in life. It truly is not what happens that takes you down, but what you tell yourself and get back up from a sucker punch in life. The story of your life is yours to write, a gift which comes with your precious gift of life. Do you like the story you are choosing to tell about yourself and your life?

2. Take time to really feel what you are feeling. We have been taught to be wary of our emotions and labeling your emotions is not caring for them or yourself. An emotion is like a freight train-engine in the front, container cars in the middle, and caboose at the end. An emotion can be powerful, contain past experiences and unresolved power, and offer you wisdom in the end. The conductor of the train? You! Do you know how to conduct yourself in your life for receiving and learning from your emotions in life?

3. Throw out your rear view mirror. Beating yourself up for a past mistake or choice keeps you from living a better choice today. Your past is for learning from and your present is your opportunity to try again. I know it may be difficult to believe you get second chances on matters which even today hurt. But Nature has taught me an undeniable truth-life naturally moves forward for offering you more experiences of beauty and love.

4. Let it go. Many a time I have realized I am “circling the drain”-a thought is going ‘round and ‘round in my head, making me feel badly about myself or another person. Once I realize I am doing so, I take a few deep breaths and remind myself I can choose peace or war. Choosing peace requires me to let go of the destructive thoughts. And bullying myself with a thought will keep me from being able to address what is troubling me.

Let yourself receive the present of each new day, much as you were gifted with another day this leap day and year. Haven’t succeeded so far this year in your vow to be happier this year? Haven’t quite got that loving feeling back on the front burner? Then leap! with courage into re-committing to do so today, with some support and strategy in place for realizing your success, and your best year yet!

“Arising From the Ashes When Life Falls Apart” FREE Event

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Life has a way of bringing home how truly little you control in life, be it when you are born or you die, when people come or go from your life, or what challenges your day will bring to you. To be happy and feel at peace in life requires learning to rise from the ashes of what falls apart in your life. The irony being learning to do so IS what you have control of in your life.

Learning to receive what is changing in your life as your ally, opens up room within you for more happiness and peace. What falls apart in your life is your holy invitation to let die what does not serve you, making room for birthing what does. What is true, what is holy, will come from the ashes of what falls apart in your life, not from the illusions of control in your life or over others.

This class will help you rise from the ashes of a challenge life has dealt you. Be it a relationship in crisis, challenged health, or the despair of living your fate and not your destiny, come learn how to rise from the sacred ashes of what is changing and challenging in your life. 

Interested?

This FREE Event is being held at Roots and Wings Healing Center in Natick MA on Saturday September 26th from 1-3 pm EST. Bring a friend or tell a person you know needs this class!

 

Why “Just Breathe”is not Enough

A little over a week ago, 9 people were killed by a man 21 years young, in the basement of their church. Outrage, anger, sorrow are some of the emotions people share feeling, and how to respond to their emotions and this tragedy, a struggle. I shared my initial thoughts in an article I posted on my website and one of the responses I received was “just breathe”. Now, I teach people I work with how to use their breathing for lowering anxiety and stress. So why did I find myself feeling irritated by this response to “just breathe”?

“Just breathe” seems a kind enough response to my feelings of outrage and pain, yes? Earlier in my life I would have thought so and ignored the feeling inside that more was needed. Yet my life experience’s have delivered priceless wisdom about the need for both inspiring words and conscious action. Too many women fall into the trap of talking and talking about what they don’t like yet fear speaking up or taking action for making things better. Women who then end up feeling badly about themselves and feel helpless or hopeless in their life or a relationship.

As Elizabeth Cady Stanton offered  “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and not only hesitate to tell the truth within us but fail to act upon it, the divine floods of light and life flow no longer into our souls.” Women’s power emerges in large part through her willingness to give voice to the truths she feels within, to give voice to what is waiting for her to speak up for. Women’s power emerges when she owns the divine grace she is and engages her grace and soul for transforming the world.

The Reverend Clement Pinckney-one of the 9 people killed in Charleston last week-was both a minister and a State Senator. When asked why he chose to be both, he said he knew prayers alone would not help the people he served gain the jobs they needed for a better life. He said he needed to both serve his faith in God through his ministry and serve his underprivileged constituents through politics. “Both faith in the prayers he offered and taking action in the world he lived in were needed for making things better.”

I leave you with but one suggestion instead of my usual list of a few. A suggestion for when you find yourself in pain or despairing about a relationship or the state your life is in. Give this one suggestion an opportunity for you to experience the guidance and wisdom within you. Close your eyes, focus your breath into your heart, and say to yourself ”Divine Being of compassion and grace I am, bless me with loving myself and my life today”. Feel these words as they resonate within you and receive what comes forth when you offer yourself these words. Then commit to taking action with the power and presence of your grace as a woman.

“Are Ghosts Haunting Your Relationships?”

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In my last article “The Calculus of Relationship”  I talked about how simply pointing fingers at who is wrong in a relationship not going so well, does not make things better. In this follow-up article, I talk about how what may be wreaking havoc in a relationship may not even be present. Yup, could be a ghost haunting your relationship!.

So what do I mean by ghosts haunting a relationship? Simply this-a lot of the battles you find yourself in with people close to you– your partner, your children, your parents or even yourself–can have little to do with the current situation and a lot to do with your past. Past humiliations, past rejections, past traumas all lend themselves to becoming ghosts haunting your life when they have not been resolved. I call them ghosts, for while the event was in the past, it’s wielding a LOT of power in your present life.

For example, your parents believe/d control was next to God and a good child was a controlled child. Emotions? To be controlled with your parents deciding which ones you were permitted and which ones were punished. Fast forward to the conversation you are now having with your husband who keeps asking if something is wrong. You answer “nothing”….so why do you feel like crying-or throwing the glass you are using at his head!? Ahh…the ghost of emotions not permitted or punished is haunting your relationship with your hubby..

Or you hear yourself berating your daughter for an A- (vs an A) on her report card and become aghast as you realize you’ve become possessed by the ghost of your father who found “imperfections” unacceptable. Yikes! Or you make the opposite choice of allowing your teen to diss you, patting yourself on the back for not being a controlling parent. Notice the ghost cackling in the corner?

So what can you do when ghosts are haunting your relationships?

  • Call the Ghost Busters! No really, get some help. Ghosts can be hard for you to see as they feel and look familiar. What is familiar we are often reluctant to change for something unfamiliar, even if we are unhappy with the familiar.
  • Realize your ghosts can be friendly ghosts (remember Caspar?) trying to make life better for you. They are causing mischief to get your attention and where they are causing mischief is where they want you to pay attention.
  • There are common ghosts. The ghost of anger haunts most women; anger at their power and purpose as women having been dismissed and denigrated for generations. This ghost appears in women’s relationships with men as belittling men or women withholding from men, their power to inspire and uplift.
  • Ghosts can be tricky. It is not uncommon for someone I am working with to describe the detested behavior of a parent and surprise! find that same behavior alive and well in themself! Argh. Ghosts remind us there is a difference between not liking a behavior and not having it haunt our behavior as well.

People are busy and time is precious. We are taught to ignore what is bothering us and to simply exercise more control or reach for our drug of choice. But “shoulda, woulda, coulda” are no match for the ghosts haunting our relationships or our life. As the Ghost Busters knew, people who know about ghosts are who you need to call when your relationships are being haunted by ghosts from your past.

Want some help exorcising ghosts in a relationship or life? I offer a free 60 minute consultation by phone for you to explore with me how to stop ghosts from the past from messing with your present and future. To schedule your free 60 minute session CLICK HERE .

“Love More Care Less”

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There is a deceptively simple suggestion I offer to people working on themselves or their relationships –”love more, care less”. At first, most are surprised, for being told to care less is not what they are expecting from me. Yet, as I unfold more of what I am inviting them into, their bodies relax as they begin to feel the invitation into more love and less care-taking.

We’ve been taught good people care … good children (take) care of a parent’s happiness, good people (take) care of other people’s feelings (even if it means lying to do so), good people sacrifice themselves for (taking) care of others (often creating resentment towards the person they are caring for), etc. Yet did you know the root meaning of the word “care” is “to lament”? Often, caring carries the shadow of lamenting what is wrong with a person, a situation, whereas love offers compassion, patience, tolerance.

To love more care less brings love’s clarity and courage for true (vs taking) care of another-to receive another as a divine being vs holding them as somehow lacking. Loving more and caring less became my mantra when my elderly and scared parents needed my care. Not as their child still reacting to them emotionally, but as a strong woman offering compassion and tolerance. Loving them more and caring less about what I thought best gave me a new compass to navigate caring for people who needed my best, not my history with them nor my reactions to their fear and anger at their growing old.

So how do you love more and care less in your life?

 

  1.  As with all wisdom you embrace in life, apply to yourself vs telling others to do so. Offering yourself more love-more kindness, more compassion, more patience, more support, more acceptance – benefits you as well as serves to model and invite others to “want some of what you ordered”. Care less whether you are doing things right, the best, perfectly, are enough, and watch the benefits spill over into your relationships as you judge yourself (and others) less and enjoy your life and the people in them, much more.
  2. Let go of your expectations. Expectations are where you hold yourself, others, and life to desires which often have less to do with reality and more to do with your own inner critic and secret desires. Expectations in a relationship-be it with yourself or another-lead to nowhere happy, wreaking havoc with being present to when and where life offers you opportunities for love, connection, and joy. Too many relationships begun in love end up as power struggles destroying the love.
  3. Realize the lens through which you view the world is not the same lens others are viewing the world through. The story of 3 blind people and an elephant illustrates well this wisdom.3 people blind were asked to describe an elephant and each did so from their experience of holding a different part of the elephant- trunk, leg, and ear. No two descriptions of the elephant were the same and yet all 3 were describing the same elephant. Consider how often you care that you are “right” when the truth is we are all right from what we have experienced. Learn to become more curious and less interested in being right.
  4. Loving more offers more space for curiosity and discovery and less need to care and defend who and what is right. The world of once far-away countries is fast becoming a world of neighbors appearing quite different from us. When we care more about who and what is right and wrong, differences assume greater power. And when we offer love’s gifts of inquiry and curiosity more, we realize more how much our neighbors and have in common with us, be it the desires for our children, for health and happiness in life, having the basic needs met for our family, and a common birthright as human to a life with dignity and respect.
  5. Love is kissing cousins with respect, appreciation, honor and (taking) care is kissing cousins with control, judgement, and assumptions. One of the exercises I often engage in with my clients is clarifying what are truly their values for crafting a life with integrity to their deepest values. I have yet to have a client choose the values of more control, more judgement, more fear and plenty of clients excited about the values of more respect, more honor, more gratitude in their life. Love is the parent of values timeless in their power to inspire, to uplift, to joyfully live a life on purpose.

Loving more and caring less is not a call to not care and only love. It is a call to what holds power and insight in a world whose dynamics and truths are quickly changing from “power over” to “relationship with”. Love’s true nature is less the Hallmark version of sentiment and nostalgia and more akin to Mother Nature-vast, beautiful, powerful, caring beyond reason, and willing to die so life may continue. More and more I realize how critical it is for each one of us to become aware of what we are willing to die for, of what you commit your precious life to. We were born for the times we live in and fear and despair are calling for us to transform them into your devotion to loving…. more.

“The Peril of Lacking Integrity with What is Sacred to You”

Healing Your Legacy

Almost 40 years ago, I sat down in a yoga class, closed my eyes, and opened up to the world within. I was a reluctant participant to the new age of ancient spirituality, wisdom, and healing, not always inspired by the way “being spiritual” was being used to bypass the sometimes hard work of relationships and life. Yet my own experience of transformations and healing through engaging ancient technologies taught me to not throw the new age baby out with my judgement of others…..funny how life teaches us at times!

Matthew Fox, a renowned theologian, wrote “ I seriously question the spirituality and ethics of anyone whose integrity in life has never gotten him or her into trouble”. In my work with couples and families, I find a lack of one’s integrity often lies at the root of pain and conflict in their life and relationships. Taught as children love equals not hurting the other, what is to be done with feelings, thoughts, and desires you fear will hurt or cause rejection from those you love? Too often the answer is to become silent and not risk sharing with those you love, judging them as what is holding you back from living what is sacred to you.

What is sacred to you is intimate, tangible, and known by the priorities of your life. What is sacred seeks sharing with those you love, forming the foundation of the intimacy and security of relationship you long for and all too often, confuse with control. What is sacred invites those you love to share what is sacred for them with you as well, offering safe harbor for the power of our vulnerability to be shared. Scary? Can be. Yet without the courage to risk sharing what is sacred to you with those you hold sacred in life, the pain and rejection you fear you will create. Ironic. (Irony I have come to understand is the sacred’s way of reminding us of the limitations of human’s linear logic ).

What is sacred in your life will test you, will challenge you, will demand change you fear and are afraid to make. These trials and tribulations are not proof something is wrong with what you hold sacred in life-quite the contrary. What tests you in life is simply reminding you to engage with faith and courage, what is sacred to you, an intimate reminder of the faith and trust the sacred has in you….trust and faith when extended to ourself and those we love, creates the integrity of intimate relationship that is sacred as well.