“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!

“Love Being the Smartest Person in the Room”

A few years back while working with a marketing coach for revisions to my website, I expressed frustration at the conflicting advice I had received about website copy over the years. He laughed and said something which struck that “wisdom bell” we all have within us. “Never forget you are the smartest person in the room JaiKaur”. I laughed but then went back to pondering which expert I should listen to about how to make my website copy better.

I’ve never met a women who doesn’t feel she is somehow lacking. Whether not skinny enough, sexy enough, productive enough, the bottom line is she is “not enough”. Instead of challenging the truth of the insidious voice of where we are lacking, we purchase products marketed for this lack, or feel shame about that lack, or simply give up on feeling content and at ease with being as we are. 

Woman

Your life contains a finite number of breaths and an infinite number of choices to celebrate your being and life. Yet all too often a woman’s experience of her life is a confusion of messages from people past and present about her purpose and worth. ‘Confusion clears and clarity reigns when you learn to receive the softer voice within you whose sole purpose is to illuminate your life’s true purpose and your worth as most precious. 

At the end of the day, the choices you make in your life and your relationships are yours alone to live and breathe. No matter how good someone makes something sound, no matter how much authority you give someone, you alone answer for the choices you make at the end of the day. Chances are good you already know what’s true for you, making you the smartest person in the room-about you! Now the only thing that’s keeping you from enjoying what you know is trusting and committing 1000% to what you know and taking consistent action towards your goals and dreams, inspired by your knowing.

So practice trusting yourself more, trusting what you like more, and taking action inspired by the wisdom within you, more. The more you practice the better you’ll get at loving yourself and the life you are creating. Learn to dial into the wisdom within yourself and to receive the softer voice as the voice you trust – not the voice which tells you how you are not enuf! Really own your choices, embrace your courage, and empower a love affair with yourself and with your life. For you truly are the smartest person in the room about what makes you happy and how to live your life on purpose.

 

“May You Live in Interesting Times”

What interesting times we live in. Being a student of woman’s history and potential, I find the dynamics of the president campaign fascinating. Some of the earlier missed takes of women’s empowerment are repeating themselves, but progress not perfection is how creation works. What is it to exercise power as a woman? What is it to be supportive as a woman yet still be true to myself? How can I live my precious life with integrity to my values and purpose and honor the roles I engage in my life as a woman? 

We live in times most interesting, a time when so much of what we’ve been taught is true, is changing before our eyes. Truths such as what is power? what is family? what do we give authority to? are breath-taking in their change. And terrifying can feel the degree of change in what we once believed kept us secure and safe in life. 

Even planned revolutions bring unplanned challenges to staying true and on purpose to the heart of the revolution. Women are being asked to heal the wounds of the historical rage within them while also birthing new forms of power and relationship with those who wounded them in the past. Yet, while all revolutions have their traps as well as their treasures, navigating the choices and changes showing up in your life simply needs you to live the grace and grit your birth as a woman bestowed upon you.

“How’s Your 2016 Treating You?”

Freaking out

I don’t know about you, but 2016 is already requiring me to exercise more neutrality, wisdom, and courage for not freaking out in response to the challenges and changes life is sending my way. Now don’t get me wrong, freaking out has it’s place in life-not unlike how a good thunderstorm clears the air. But freaking out onto the people you care about (including yourself) does not end well. All that time and energy spent in emotional drama is sooo 2015!

The free Tele-class “Your Soul Medicine as Woman” I offered earlier this month offered me many reasons to freak out. Beginning with my assistant forgetting to send out the call-in numbers before going on holiday, to the recording function failing, my inner “you’re a screw up” dragon had a field day with me. Yup, 2016 began with great reasons for me to freak out and feel powerless, but this is not how I roll when I remember to engage my grace, grit, and gratitude as a woman.

As I shared in my tele-class, women need to call on their soul medicine for navigating contemporary life’s changes and challenges and keeping their happiness and purpose intact. “May you live in challenging times” is said to be a blessing, yet without engaging the tools and strength your soul offers you, the challenges life sends your way will seem overwhelming and have you feeling helpless. Learning how to receive and decipher your soul’s guidance changes feeling afraid and hopeless to living your happiness and purpose.

I invite you to CLICK HERE for a FREE phone session with me, for why feel alone with your worries, fear, or sleepless nights? Perhaps you already know what you want or need to change, but feel helpless or hopeless to make the changes. Woman are gifted with many strengths and skills, yet caring for yourself as well as you do others can be challenging. Take a minute and ask yourself if 2016 is the year you learn how to claim the grace, grit, and gratitude within you as a woman. Or if 2016 is the year you continue to feel helpless, hopeless, or unhappy with your life or relationships.

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?”

ghost

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 .

“What Frogs are Boiling in Your Life?”

Frog

“The Boiling Frog Syndrome”(BFS) is an anecdote about how a frog placed in boiling water will jump out immediately but when a frog is placed in cold water which is then slowly heated, froggie will not perceive the danger and will boil to death. Although science disproves the truth of BFS, it’s cautionary tale of the cost of ignoring the small and subtle messages you feel of something being off, is truth.

Women’s history of being told to “behave and make nice” for being safe in life and love means women often dismiss and deny what they are feeling and noticing. Especially when paying attention to what they are sensing will “make waves” with people they love or are dependent on. Yet ignoring what you are sensing does not keep you truly safe in either life and love. Ignoring what you are sensing only keeps you from taking action in time to attend to what your wisdom is telling you is wrong.

More than one woman has come to me angry with herself for not listening to her feeling of something being”off”, for time had proven what she was sensing as correct. A women will often ignore her innate “early alert system” for not “rocking the boat’ in a relationship or where she fears reprisal for speaking up. Yet ignoring messages from the powerful sensitivities you possess as a woman can land you in troubles you could have prevented or mitigated.

So, just how do you balance speaking up and standing up for what you know with your desire for safety and acceptance in love and life?

1. Commit to learning about and loving yourself as a priority in your life. Learning about yourself is not optional for being happy and fulfilled in life. When you know what makes you happy, what you love, what’s important to you in life and relationships, you can care for your needs consciously. Expecting those you love to be your primary source of approval and support only places others as a parent with you as the child. And while we all need a little help from our friends, learn to love and support yourself as a job you are the best at and your privilege.

2. Update your relationship with anger. Anger is the element of fire offering its power to protect you as well as transform what challenges you. Instead of smothering (ignoring/fearing) your anger or letting it become a wildfire, develop a conscious relationship with your anger. Anger is not wrong nor bad; only when you do not tend to anger’s presence does anger cause you problems. Denying your anger for “not making waves” does not keep you safe in relationships nor in life. Learn to receive and decipher your anger, for within your anger is wisdom seeking to protect you and transform what IS dangerous to you.

3. Learn the difference between your sensory system and your intellect (aka your body never lies).  The sensory capacity of a woman is intimate to her biology as a woman and offers women sensory information for her protection and for deep wisdom. ( No, I am not saying women are better than men, rather different and viva la difference!). Ignoring your perceptions and receptions of information is a cultural norm, not your innate capacity, and gets you in trouble. Choose to honor your sensory capacity, take action informed by your sensory information and perceptions,  and watch your happiness blossom.

4. Get help outside of your family and friends for making the changes you want in yourself or your life. Family and friends at their best are your cheerleaders in life…. and family and friends can resist you changing. Just as cheerleaders do not serve as coaches for their team, don’t expect your cheerleaders in life to be your coaches in life. Your decision to take up your challenges as your opportunity for personal growth offers you being inspired by doing so.

The new normal in our world is change change change. One big change is relying less on outside of you for direction and support, and trusting in yourself more. Change can be really uncomfortable and challenging and going it alone is no longer a sign of strength. We all need help dealing with the angel and the devil on our shoulders. To live your life with heart, you need the strength of your soul….a soul clear and strengthened through transforming your challenges in life. 

Being Authentic is Your Authority

Happy Springtime!

A few years ago, a client reeling from choices made by her husband, was not happy with me after I suggested she spend some time learning about herself for healing her marriage. Her outraged “It’s 2012 not the 1950’s!! ” made me wince, for she was confusing today’s opportunities FOR women with understanding herself AS a woman. Misunderstanding this difference was making it hard for her to care for herself, have a happy marriage, and messing with her peace of mind 

Now before you accuse me of going retro about women or being an advocate for Saran Wrap greetings, let me explain where I am coming from. When I was 1 of 5 women in a class of 80 architectural students, a few design professors were proud about grading my designs lower for using curves instead of right angles. And as an architect for Boston hospitals, my decision to include the “not as important” janitors and nurses on the design team landed me in very hot water with my boss and the hospital. (The usual design team was only the head surgeon, architect, and hospital administrator).

Claiming my authority as an architect required my being authentic in what I thought best as a designer and a woman. As I woman, I understood “not as important” from my experiences in a world where women still lack import and impact. Yet these experiences did not diminish my authority as an architect; quite the contrary. My own “not as important” experiences inspired me to exercise my authority as the architect for an even better design. My authority as an architect benefited from being authentic as a woman.

False authority labels your experiences and life as good or bad, right or wrong, and limits you in claiming your own authority and being authentic. Your experiences in life are intimate opportunities to learn what is true for you vs simply claiming yourself as a victor or a victim. Thankfully, my client took up learning to be authentic, claimed her authority for making the needed changes in their marriage, letting go of considering herself a victim. Her choices also inspired her husband to work on being authentic as well and their marriage has never been better.

So how do you become authentic in your authority?

1. Begin to trust what you know within you, what you feel, what inspires you, what repels you as important for you to honor in your choices and life. Even if what you know, feel, desire is different from those you give authority to, say is true, important, a priority, etc. You are the authority of what is true for you and many of the facts you were taught as truth, are being debunked by science, by time, and by people voicing what is true for them instead.

2. Put aside judgement of yourself being either a victor or a victim when things don’t go the way you want, expect, or are “supposed to”. Instead, ask yourself what you are feeling, telling yourself, and gently ask yourself if it really is true or simply your defense against being wrong. Be suspicious of voices within you which are not kind as being true in what they are saying about you. (And check out my blog on the perils of “woulda, coulda, shoulda”).

3. When you feel or hear the “meanies” within your head, take the time to tell them to stop and offer yourself support and compassion in their place. Inner bullying is hurtful and “taking it” as what grownups do is simply cruel. Standing up for yourself-your feelings, your preferences, your experiences-is being authentic and creates authority with yourself and with others. Who doesn’t need to offer themselves more kindness?

4. “There is no small thing” disputes the myth of how only what is big has power in life. The truth is, your life is created by the little choices you make over time, to be true (authentic) to yourself, to honor your authority in life…..or justifying why you abandon yourself. Honoring your small choices of integrity with what you are feeling, for what you desire, standing to what is true for you, builds trust and faith in yourself for handling life’s curve balls and creating a life full of love, joy, and delight.

Oh, and redemption for my choice to include the “not so important” janitors and nurses on the design teams came in the form of awards for both the design of the intensive care units as well as significantly lower rates of infection in the units. (Funny thing about including the janitors and nurses). Being authentic and living your authority, offers inspiration to others known and unknown and isn’t that a comforting thought? You truly are essential to the world just as you are – warts and all.

Want some support for being authentic and living with integrity?
I invite you to contact me for setting up a free consultation with me.

“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.

The Power of Small for All

power_of_small

I am blessed to have studied with teachers and healers both Eastern and Western for almost 4 decades, learning ancient wisdom and technology about women, men, and relationships. One pivotal learning has been understanding how power for women initiates from within, from a dynamic relationship with her soul and grace. And, how different the world would be if women honored their power to create change in their world.

Understanding women’s capacity and caliber initiates why women are considered crucial leadership our world and times need. Women in essence inspire and uplift others to their capacity and caliber in life as well as offering their own creativity and infinite resources. The challenge to women’s essential nature (and power in service) comes when women believe their impact too small, in lives already so busy tending roles and relationships.

One of my favorite reminders about power and impact is the saying “small contains all”. What your mind calls small is not, for your choices come from your desires, your values, your beliefs, your creativity, your power to create. When you live as though all your daily choices contain power and impact, you begin to create more of your desires in your life and the world.

The changes and challenges of life can feel overwhelming and you can doubt yourself and your power to create your desired life. When you honor your daily choices as powerful and sacred, your life, your relationships, and your world will change in ways both delightful and magical. Small does indeed contain all.

So how can you realize the power of your small?

Show Up. Wherever you find yourself in life, show up. If you are less than thrilled with where you find yourself, commit to becoming more aware of how you talk to yourself and what you are telling yourself as you choose your words and actions. Never doubt the wisdom of where you find yourself in life. Life is for learning about yourself and as you honor your learning and make different choices, life will move you closer to your clarity of desires.

Stand Up. Your presence is powerful and sharing your values, your integrity, your service is critical for realizing your happiness and impact in life. Believing your life will change when you finally get the courage to make that one big. radical. sexy choice which will change everything you don’t like about yourself or your life is magical thinking. But when you stand up for what makes you happy, when you stand up for your deepest values and dreams, your life will align with where you stand up for yourself and your dreams.

Speak Up. Learning to speak up in your roles, in your relationships, in your daily life is not small at all. When you speak up, it may appear tnothing changes… time will tell. Yet choosing not to speak up vacates your power and your presence for making a difference life and world. More than once I have been surprised how words I spoke-sometimes reluctantly-came back as the inspiration or example another person needed to have the courage to speak or act. Never doubt that your truth spoken is powerful, for you inspire not only change but others as well when you speak up.

It is in the small choices we make every day that we create the life we are living. Never mistake small for less than all powerful. Daily choices of heart and soul create a life full of heart and soul….a life we are all meant to live big every day.