How do you make space for who you are becoming?
The act of growing, the art of living, the process of transforming are actively happening on a daily basis whether you realize it or not. Creating space for what is emerging, the stories that are surfacing, the beliefs that are being challenged and changed, the body that is moving and evolving into its own unique form for this season of your life, this is required for your own survival and to tap into your ability to thrive.
Without space things get stifled. In order to become, you must allow there to be spaciousness between what has been and what will be. Those who avoid conscious growth usually do so because the discomfort of being in unfamiliar, the space between here and there, what has been and what will be, is incredibly uncomfortable at times.
Think of a seed that gets planted, it is designed to grow and thrive and reach its unique potential. If the seed is planted in a small pot, however, it may not have the environment it needs to expand and grow sturdy roots. Space, for this seed, is not a liability. Having a container where safety can be fostered is important, with boundaries and borders to stretch into. The delicate balance between too little room to move and grow and vast expanse with no help in harnessing the energy being cultivated; like the seed, this is the harmony we all find. Usually with a lot of experimentation, experience + simple adjustments.
With spaciousness, becoming is possible. Authentic growth and expression can happen, with help from the outside elements rather than being dictated by them. Space can feel scary. The freedom to evolve might trigger uncertainty, self doubt, doubt in life itself.
Becoming is a process that happens over time, one that cannot be rushed yet also cannot be avoided indefinitely. Like art that requests to be shared, if the creative energy is not expressed it demands to be. Becoming is an art, not something to master, something to uncover and explore, to relish in and honor.
To live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling, you must allow space for growth and change. This might mean releasing what you've wanted to hold onto, to leave something that has become familiar, to question what was always assumed. This is warrior work.
Nurturing yourself with safety and nourishment while you move and flow helps soften the sting spaciousness can bring. Like a seed's soil is nourished, so too do you need soul food while you blow into blossoming. Think small and start simply: Take deep breaths. Choose colors that soothe you. Surround yourself with people that encourage your empowerment. Read material that reminds you of who you truly are. Make art. Walk outside. Write your fears and dreams, let the tears out, dance with music or silence.
You need space, space to grow and honor the specific size and shape of you that is coming into expression.
Where in yourself and your life are you needing more space to go and grow?
What ideas or beliefs or attachments will you need to release in order to give yourself the space that you need to become who you are being asked to become?
This act of becoming requires feeling, sometimes emotions linked with grief and sadness need more time and expression than you've given them. Honor the uncertainty, lean into the mystery, relish in the you that you are becoming. Inhale the possibilities and newness. Exhale the things that no longer fit.
The fear of loss can be gripping, paralyzing, life zapping. I recently had a conversation with a friend who spent a lot of time in quiet and alone. He had lived such a full life, with so much loss and sadness. I asked him about his past and noted "there has been so much loss." Without a thought, he responded, "oh yes, but there has been so much gain."
He spent a lot of time alone. He cherished the space between sounds, the ways life found him when he paused. Meditation was a portal into loss where he accessed the gains. My dear friend showed me the poignant power in embracing losses and allowing what else is true to be present as well.
The acceptance of loss and the ability to see what is gained through every loss, change, transition or phase brought can bring peace. Grieving what has been is important, vital, a process that cannot be scheduled or rushed. Beyond grief lives the ability to release attachment to fear of future loss.
I am spending more time alone these days. The difference between alone and lonely is clear to me. Sacred space, quiet time, solitude are all exquisite. Solo experience can also be grueling and uncomfortable. The difference is all in the mind, my mind, the perspective chosen on the present moment. When I embrace the gift of being with myself, of showing up for myself, I get to lose the fear of losing or missing out.
It is rainy and cold outside. The pull to hibernate and reflect is undeniable. I can hear the voice inside nagging with an insistence to go out, do something productive, judging me for being alone instead of socializing with someone.
The fear or dread of missing out, either on what I desire or what I see others doing, has stolen many magical moments from me. In times of quiet, there is a loss of stimulation. This can be uncomfortable to sit with. The absence of noise is a loss, yet it is also a gain. Have you ever noticed what becomes possible when noise fades away? The gain in silence is inner connection, spiritual sustenance, access to what lives quietly amidst the noise of most moments. Meditation and mediative moments are a treasure chest of possibility to explore...
Yes, there is loss, yet it is true, too... "There is so much gain." Take this perspective with you today and see what shows up. What lives in the space where loss might also be present? How does quiet nurture you when you allow it?
In this new year beginning, I am sending so much love.
With Huge Heart,
Are you paying attention to what is meeting you? You know, those messages from your innermost places, signs from life, unexplainable happenings and nods from the Universe?
One word and energy that shows up consistently for me is Grace. She finds me everywhere I go. I can’t explain it and don’t have to. I am thankful, in awe of the synchronicity, the guidance, the gifts she brings. The messages that show up are offering valuable information and I’m taking notes. Life gives us what we ask for after all... and I've been asking.
In these times of change and transition, sadness swoops in unexpectedly. With eyes open and a tender heart, a lot is uncertain yet this remains true: Grace lives in quiet moments, Joy exists in unlikely places, Love is here (wherever I am) even when loss exists also.
Grace is the ability to breathe deeply and feel fully, to move ahead with or without fear, to sense the hand of the Divine guiding you forward, to know that with uncertainty will surely come clarity. I see Grace and fierce strength in my sister, Sacha. She never ceases to amaze me with her persistence, generosity, kindness, truth telling, classic beauty, unexpected plot twists, grand vision, tenacious action.
If I had a daughter I thought I’d call her Grace. Whether I become a mother or not, this name, this word, resonates with me on all levels. It invites me to live with more faith and trust and levity. Grace asks me to commit to my healing and become my own beloved. She dares me to love and let go and allow change to happen. Grace asks me to claim my strength by facing the lows that frighten me. A gift from Life, a humble teacher and constant companion, Grace is an ally. She calls me higher. She draws me deeper into my soul. She asks me what I’m willing to endure to fulfill my destiny. I cherish the comfort and mystery she brings. I hope to be her messenger for others like others have been for me.
When in doubt, I ask Grace to guide me. Her poise and courage and compassion are awe inspiring. Her resilience and unwavering belief in the miraculous ignite my hope when it seems like the light is dying. When I don't know where to turn, I close my eyes and ask for the next indicated move, thought, decision. I think about my sister. I open myself to what Life is telling me.
The world for provides what I need even when I don’t understand the lessons I’m being asked to learn. Calling in the energy I want to embody means it will come. I proclaim that I will persevere and hold Love firmly and share generously, no matter what comes or how hard it hits me. I believe in the beauty of the future. I see the beauty of right now.
What are you asking Life for? Are you staying open to the signs around you? Breathe deep and bring curiosity into the moment... you will be contacted, again and again. Look to the people around you that offer you comfort, awe, light you up, bring a sense of "all is well" when you think of them. Draw close to the magic of mystery. Ask for more and let it wash over you...
Listen to the quiet and you might just hear, “Please don’t worry, I’ve got you.”
With Huge Heart,
Resistance is a gift. How often are you met with challenge and curse the world instead of thanking it? Most of my life, I have believed that when hurdles happen or unexpected (albeit natural) shifts happen, I am being punished for previous mistakes. I have seen sadness, loss, disappointment and confusion as a sign that I am wrong, not good enough, unchosen or broken. These common human beliefs, masked as "I'm the only one" insecurities, can either keep me stuck or show me how to break through into new paradigms of perspective. I have been stuck in deep stories and beliefs, inherited and perpetuated over time, only leading to shame and more of what is hurting.
As humans we are very skilled at ignoring, avoiding, disowning and rejecting experience when remembering it or facing it hurts and overwhelms us. This is a primal survival strategy that isn't wholly relevant or helpful in current day. Learning to meet resistance and explore it with courage, compassion and creativity is a way to become more of your true self, who you want to be, to align with your current and evolving self.
It wasn't until I had the shadow talked about, the concept Carl Jung speaks to so magically, that I saw there are two or more sides to every experience. In delving into Jung's work and joining conversations on topics that unsettled me at times (enter Brene Brown), the value of resistance and discomfort became more clear to me. At face value, something that triggers or troubles me also holds important information that can actually guide me closer to clarity, comfort and compassion. When resistance shows up, it usually means shadow material is present. This might present as strong emotion, fear, or procrastination. These thing,s that are conveniently glossed over, are actually the things that deserve more time and space to be expressed.
Through recovery work, creative art process and spiritual exploration, I have come to see the shadow material as my friend. Resistance is a sure sign that I am meeting shadow material, something that hasn't been allowed to surface for one reason or another. When I fight resistance, trying to keep it under the surface like a blow up ball in a pool of water, I get tired and tunnel vision. I become unable to see the whole pool, only focusing on the ball staying under the surface because some part of me believes it is safer there, or I am safer with it kept in secret. Fighting, resisting, hiding, these are all self esteem killers and exhausting efforts. Having clarity and confidence are nearly impossible when resistance and secrets or shadow are prevalent.
Challenges are messengers. Emotions are messengers. Sacred information comes through visible and invisible channels. Resistance isn't something to savor or hold onto, yet it is something to notice, honor and work with.
Debbie Ford, a world renowned author and former mentor of mine, said this: "what you resist, persists." At an intensive retreat, appropriately called the shadow process, she spoke to the life of resistance. It is absolutely possible to keep resisting what frightens us or seems shameful, yet the information trying to be seen and heard will not be squashed down indefinitely. Avoiding the conversation with material living in or under where resistance rises, whether this conversation is literal or symbolic, only adds for struggle and suffering. Fighting something just brings more tension and requires more energy to keep fighting.
Think of any incredibly moving story you've heard: the challenges create the tension that leads to creation. Overcoming, changing, growing, evolving, stepping through struggle, these are the pieces of the puzzle that make moments matter. Challenge doesn't make life matter, it does bring meaning and new perspective though. We are here to grow, to discover what matters to us, to identify our values, to connect with ourselves and others, to create our own conscious stories.
Releasing resistance requires trust, a willingness to be in unclear waters. Shifting from "I don't want to go there" or "I can't face this" into a place of "I don't know what's true or coming now" is part of this profound process. Seeing fear as my friend, not to be followed or believed, but an entity that can help me identify what's true for me now, has been a life changing decision. Resistance, challenge and the like might just be offering you what you've been hoping, wishing and asking for. Consider them gifts in unlikely wrapping paper.
Resistance still sneaks up on me, all the time. Being committed to see it and work with it makes us allies instead of enemies. This is a daily practice. The value of befriending what challenges and flipping it on its side, to explore and express, leads to new freedom. Take some time to explore and consider the opportunity in tension... transformation awaits.
With Huge Heart,
Are you in a place of assessing your life, this year, what matters?
Turning into Fall towards Winter, the last days and weeks of this year, I notice a rising reflectiveness. This time brings a natural tendency to review what has come and passed, shown up and stays with us, dreams that are asking to be manifested.
I am not one to set resolutions every January. I seek growth and prefer to set myself up for this rather than accomplishing a set goal to determine how successful I feel. At the start of this year I noticed themes and values that showed up, almost forecasting what I would need to learn and practice. 2018 asked me to see, choose and embody Abundance, Stability + Connection.
This has been one of the most tumultuous and surreal years of my life. Thirty two years on the planet, surviving many periods of challenge, overcoming heartache, healing from illness, rising up after falling, 2018 marks perhaps the most intense and unique. Dealing with a life threatening illness, January 1st I was already intensively receiving support and activating new levels of ambition to show up for myself and heal. My Beau was in the throes of grief and shock, his twin brother leaving the planet in a shocking way in the latter part of 2017. Valentine's Day brought the news that my Dad had taken his own life after battling depression and other difficulties since my, and his, childhood. The lack of stability that came with this news has continued to rock me. The world is forever changed.
As I write, I am sitting here, at a table in a local Starbucks, where I sat with my Dad and Beau, this time a year and a half ago. The connection I can make now looks and feels differently than it did then, I can't hear his laugh or see his conflicted expression, reach across the table and touch his hand or smile at him hugging Kevin. Life is not the same as it was... yet this is what I have. I am recalling the simple yet intelligent conversation we had, listening and engaging intently with one another. It was yet another brief visit from out of town my Dad made. He was notorious for driving hours just to sit and chat and remind me he loved me. I wish he was sitting with me now, facing me in the stool across the table. Instead, he is coursing through my mind and providing a different sense of company. I feel abundant, knowing how thoroughly loved I have been and am, how much intimacy and trust we shared. This is something special.
I intuitively knew at the start of the year that I would need stability in a way I hadn't before. I needed to have my foundation rocked, in the most jarring ways, to really understand what my responsibility and rights are. As a human, a woman, the captain of my ship, I am also surrounded by others who can hold me while I flail. Finding harmony between independence and reliance on others who know me has been a less than eloquent dance. With illness, grief, moving homes numerous times, running a small business and learning the best I could as I went, so much new, the unfamiliar outweighed the situations where I could confidently say "I've got this." My faith took a blow and I found myself walking as if through a dreamscape most of this year. Even in his instability, I found a sense of safety in knowing my Dad was on the planet, praying vigorously, writing voraciously, giving generously and loving fiercely. My body out of equilibrium, my household struggling, business zapping energy, inner criticism and judgment rampant... the equation for stability seemed completely out of reach.
With trial and error, many tears, harsh truth telling and the most dedicated support system I could ever ask for, a new normal started. Tending to simple, the basics of every day, putting some of the big dreams and lofty goals on the shelf for now, became the antidote for a shaky foundation. Coming to see what was most pressing to handle, namely my health in all ways, gave me a road map. I needed stability, peace, simplicity, in order to grow into the next version of me life has in store. Patience and acceptance have been cornerstones to this time of life. I have drawn on these principles and others I know well through recovery work and experience to survive the moments that seem too intense to pass through safely.
My "little" Brother became a Dad this Summer. Seeing him grow into the man I admire, embodying the father archetype with such strength and surety, is something I am proud to witness. He is one of my heroes.
The new role my Mom has to play is hefty. Three adult children, now facing a major loss among many other milestones, relying on her in ways we never have before. The ability to draw close, be candid, share space, create art, honor what is here are blessings of our relationship. I am in awe of how she shows up. My Dad being gone brings up anxiety about her inevitable death, yet more so is the happiness that we have had so much quality time together. Working, living, playing... we've done it all together. In times when the irritation rises, as it naturally will with any close relationship, the gratitude sweeps in gloriously.
The not yet two year old four legged family companion, Sophie, left us unexpectedly this Fall. The joy and laughter she brought is already missed. The loss of her presence has illuminated the other gaps that have come this year and years past. The business I opened with my Beau was closed recently. It became too much, the signs pointed to "shift gears." There is sadness here, and also a knowing that this change is right. Being present with one another, as best we've been able, through life changing and soul crushing experiences has brought us together as it's broken down our foundations. The paradox is ironic, the love is strong. His love for me has exposed where I get to love myself and commit to life in new ways. There is undeniable loss. There is also undeniable gain. Change is a part of life and carries myriad emotions on its sometimes choppy waves.
Connection with myself has been a great challenge and gift 2018 brought. Coming back to me, bringing compassion and care no matter what is going on, has been more difficult than I'd like to say. I guide others in this work, this practice, this lifestyle, and see that the cliche "we teach what we most need to learn" is as true as ever. Through illness, depression, grief, major transitions, reliance on others, scaling down and changing drastically, I need my own love. It has taken piecing self compassion, stillness, and a lot of grace, together in reliable self care practices and newly discovered techniques daily to build a sense of self. Who I am today is not someone I have ever been before. Through hurdles and shock, it's as if I have lost sight of my essence. The gift, I am coming to find, in all of this pain is that I am getting to know myself in ways I haven't ever been able to before.
Having more intimacy with myself has made connecting with what and who matters most possible. Without some of the losses and difficulty, I would not have met some of the angels in human form I get to call on, pray for, say thank you to, share moments with, feel seen by. The world is full of heart centered, generous, gorgeous people. We all have our struggles, our stories, our desires, our downfalls. Being in this thing called life together, finding our tribe, belonging, is something to cherish - and I do.
I synchronistically met a man in the last stages of lung cancer this past season. Knowing his daughter from years back, life somehow saw it fitting that our paths would cross. I am now spending time with him. Irishman, prolific writer, spiritually centered, eclectic, artistic, honest and funny, we are helping each other heal. The future holds what it will... he reminds me that being here now is what we make it, and gratitude, generosity and a smile are always options.
Use these prompts to explore your year:
How has this year brought you closer to yourself?
Where did the divine detour you, both in delightful and drastic ways?
Who showed up with you for changes, challenges and commitment?
What is asking to be felt?
What is ready to be acknowledged?
Where can you release?
I started this year with the request and proclamation for 2018 to be full of Abundance, Stability + Connection. These were guideposts and beacons of light, teachers and values to practice. I am not looking far into the future today. I have a grand vision... don't get me wrong... I just know it's not time to ignite the flame for some of those dreams yet. Self care and healing are priority, simple... The next steps are simple ones. Simple is key to success and satisfaction. Steady and slow, for now, I am allowing reflection to expose truth, provide light, offer insights and soothe me. This is a profound act of self care and respect for life. Get intimate with yourself and see what life delivers to your doorstep...
With Huge Heart,
Do you feel like you need to have it all figured out before impacting others in ways that matter? Are you waiting to become a master before making a difference?
Let me tell you, spreading your light and sharing your gifts does not depend on you learning enough, being better or having anything more than you do right now. In fact, just the opposite might be true. Have you ever had a conversation with someone that lit you up and sparked more enthusiasm? My bet is that conversation held more questions than answers. Curiosity connects people. Students of life connect on the quest to learn, grow and discover. Having an impact on others, creating your legacy and making a difference is your birth right. It is happening, here and now. Every time you decide to show up, smile, connect to your self and grow beyond your current edge, you are fulfilling your mission. The fantasy many people have is that they need to earn that degree, get that job, confirm validation from someone outside themselves, meet some external measure, to be a legitimate leader.
Some of the people who have impacted me the most have done it without even knowing. They were in their element, present, giving without force. Simple connections create such massive impact, and this is how we all make a difference in one another's lives. Purpose does not live in concepts, ideas, licenses or numbers. Action, connection, listening, sharing, these are how we all live out our purpose, make a difference, create a glorious domino effect in the world around us.
I am not a master of anything that I can pinpoint. Yes, I have a lot of experience in specific areas and information gathered, degrees earned, time accrued. This has value, yet does not equal living on purpose. Every time I accept that I am right on time and able to add value to life, just as I am, I begin to do so. Making a difference means sharing life with others, living awake, adding value and living our values.
Is there something you have been waiting to do, achieve or master before connecting with others more fully? Have you attached your ability to serve on information you hold now? What might become available to you if you stepped into service now, in simple ways, before you felt capable or competent?
Ask more questions. Be a student. Share your curiosity with others and ask about theirs. You might be amazed at how life unfolds for you and what lights up in you when you do.
Don't wait to make a difference. Be yourself. Now. And let others in on your journey. This is the way legacy is created. You are such a gift to this world, just as you are right now.
* as featured in Simply Woman Online Magazine
The world is designed to sweep us up and overload our senses. There is more pressure than ever to do it all and be unaffected by the overloading material and stimulation constantly being thrown at us. In order to be effective and even enjoy our lives, learning how to get grounded is a must.
Grounding is a simple practice that brings anxiety to a minimum, (re)focuses the senses, allowing the body and mind to work together. Even when life is chaotic, busy, challenging or you feel crunched for time, getting grounded is possible (and even more important to prioritize). Ancient spiritual teachings emphasize the need to get quiet, still, meditate, breathe. These teachings can be adapted to your modern lifestyle with all the same benefits.
Grounding offers a type of reset. No matter what has happened up until one minute ago, you are able to realign with what you want and start again, without the stress you might have been carrying all day.
Lewis Howes talks about grounding through the term "daily anchors." These are simple techniques that bring you back to your true self. I call these recovery rituals. We are all recovering who we really are, moving into the next great version of ourselves. Recovery is a process of rebounding from stress or static, of tuning in to wholeness. The gift of daily anchors, or recovery rituals, are that they remind us what really matters and make us able to live out our values.
The benefits of getting tuned into yourself and grounding are countless.
Are you ready to reap the rewards of getting grounded?
Recovery Rituals or Daily Anchors for getting grounded (so you can thrive).
Try these techniques to start experiencing your life from a new perspective:
What do you do to get grounded?
Choose 1-3 of the recovery rituals above and let me know how it supports you! With simple grounding you can thrive through any transition and come out calm, confident & triumphant.
In the world today, this is a legacy making move!
With Huge Heart,
Pain is something I know well: This is part of life. Pain inside. Pain outside. The longings that propel, the desires that pull, the space between here and there, uncertainty, illness, death, these are sources of pain we all experience in some form or another. Certain times hold more points of pain. Where there is great growth and transition, pain pockets exist, exposing what needs to be seen, healed, released, reinvented. To become more on purpose and empowered, pain must be acknowledged and worked with.
I have wrestled with pain, wondering how to bring helpful and true perspective to the most troubling times. There is purpose embedded in everything, especially the experiences that have been barely survived. One of the cornerstones of my life's work is to use the material of life to grow and to glow, this applies to pain and pleasure alike.
It is human nature to try and avoid pain. Resistance only exacerbates what is unwanted. There is no bypassing growth. Pain is part of transition, change, creation. Loss comes before gain. Growing brings pain. This is just part of the human journey. Evolutionary growth requires moving through pain. Finding a place of power, a perspective that allows you to benefit from all you see, feel, sense, experience, want and work for, this is a process. This is the light side of pain, where the gifts are.
There is power in pain. Being with pain is a great teacher, offering invaluable lessons and wisdom. The learning that comes through growth, growing through the phases of pain and allowing it's purpose to guide you, this is where power comes. The birthing place of stability, confidence, power, conviction, fierce grace, all center in the spiral of pain and compassion. Honoring the phase you are in, the learning journey of life, knowing there are gifts and wisdom in even the most difficult times, these are the great challenges and opportunities of every person.
The contrast between light and dark are needed, even when unwanted. Like a painting, with striking colors and vivid shapes, the white and bright would not pop and move us the way they can without the black and grey. We are artists of life. Our relationship with ourselves and the experiences we create, step into, collaborate with, are all in our gallery. As an artist of life, we have access to darkness and light. Cat Caracelo, founder of JourneyPath Institute, speaks of this often within the context of power and purpose through accessing the spectrum of experience. One way this comforts and guides me is linked with pain, with power, with purpose. These concepts, all weave together, to craft a tapestry, a masterpiece, life's work and legacy. We need both: pain serves a purpose and using it to grow is an opportunity we have every moment.
Learning to bring compassion, comfort and courage to points of pain is where new safety and significance are cultivated. Honoring the material of life, what is coming from within us, feeling and accepting it all, brings us (back to) a place of power. This is a process, one that we all do alone, yet are all in together. Pain has taught me the value in connecting. Even through the messiest times (maybe even more so during the trials and tribulations), it is worthwhile to dare greatly, to be seen, to ask for support, to give love, to uncover the vulnerabilities and offer witness with those on their own path of pain. Leaning into intimacy, letting those close in even closer, sharing the points of pain, finding purpose through loss, offering perspective, seeking insight, giving compassion, receiving grace, learning what matters, releasing what is ready, more vibrant aliveness... these have been gifts of moving through pain. In the moments of sobs, tears, mental anguish, physical discomfort, forgetting that there is purpose in what is happening is common and understandable. Being connected to reminders that there is purpose in pain is sacred and supports survival. Spiritual connection, friendship, family bonds, intimacy, partnership, circles, creative expression, local community, these all become our guides, tethers and companions, shepherding us back to truth when pain steers us away from this knowing.
Power shapes itself into many forms, offering what is needed when it's needed. Power is quiet and safe, stable and supportive, courageous and bold. In honoring your self, power will rise from you. When pain sweeps you up, like an unexpected wave, power will carry you until you find your feet landed to a new place where you can start from again.
Bring questions to pain. Uncover the possibility tucked in the experiences, phase and stage. Tap into new supportive perspective with curiosity. This is the place of power pain provides!
How do you find purpose in your pain?
When you allow feelings to flow with and through you, what do you notice?
Where does pain live in your body?
Where does power live in your body?
What ways are pain teaching you today?
When do you feel most empowered?
Who offers me perspective I need to know and remember?
What pain has to teach me now is...
See the power in pain, not because you want it to stay forever, but because it is fleeting and it's wisdom is designed to use. Carry the lessons with you, using them to step into new perspective and strengthened empowerment. Seek support. Sit with stillness. Notice what comes. Ask what else is true. Honor the process. Celebrate your courage.
When pain comes, when it goes:
You are never alone, always supported, forever believed in.
With Huge Heart,
Our society glamorizes the unreal, the fantasy. The temptations are everywhere to buy into the facade instead of invest in creating the long lasting or deeply rooted.
Online, phones, television, magazines, dating sites, pornography, drugs, bars, comparison, the list of ways to get away from our true selves and what's real goes on and on and on. Really real is judged, undervalued and abandoned because “real” is so often posed and strategically positioned through technology. We are being set up to be addicted to the facade. The filtered. The fraudulent. The fake sense of intimacy. The fantasy is convenient. There is a sense of safety behind screens and filters. It seems more secure to have a buffer. Fantasies are thrilling and elusive, like chasing the oasis. Chasing the facade can rob us of real and the rewards it brings.
Real. Rewarding. Reliable. The fantasies can be fun, without a doubt, and they can be fatal. Losing what’s real and right in front of you because you are chasing the fantasies happens all too often. Drinking, drugging, sex, the sins of the modern age and every age I suppose. The illusion that the grass is greener and perfection exists somewhere else.
Real requires courage, risking vulnerability and facing places that need nurturing, love, patience, healing... not easy stuff. Fantasy is easier, but it is fleeting, always leaving unfulfillment and a need for more. This is the making of addiction. It is an industry. Fantasy is strategic. Addiction is capitalized on and breeds even more regret than it does money.
Regret is born from getting lost in the fantasyland and finding out after real is gone. When the high wears off and the card limit is hit, when it’s time to turn the screen off and come back to right here and now, will you turn over in bed to someone there? A real life friend, lover, partner, companion, a vision, value, support or spiritual connection?
I have experienced so much loss due to the rampant fantasies of our modern world and addictions they create. It is heart wrenching and agitating, often leaving me feeling helpless and unwanted. I cannot compete with fantasy. Believe me, I have tried. It's hurt me in such intimate ways, chasing the fantasy portrayed through technology by way of comparison and competition. I have succumbed, just like those who I had created real life with, each in our own ways. The phantoms of addiction, chasing the oasis of exciting and unreachable, leave fractured homes and hearts in their wake. I've lived through this and survived to talk about it. Painful, disappointing, triggering and sad in the deepest kind of ways. I hate that fake has become so widespread, the hatred comes because this all has hit too close to home. The addiction to fantasy and chasing it down the rabbit hole has taken people I love in dark directions and led to incredibly painful losses. The truth is, we can all only choose for ourselves, moment to moment, answering "will I dare to be real?" and then living it.
Real is imperfect. Real is rare. Real, when found, is also reliable. Real is the moments between eventful photo worthy ones that make up life. It’s the material of amazing pieces of literature and memories that make us tear up. The unfiltered smiles and unbrushed hair. The sharing of dreams and sheets, when there’s sex and when there’s not. It’s the real vulnerability behind the veneer. The washing each other's backs and popping zits. Giving up the favorite pillow. Taking the already used towel. Standing in line. Real is inconvenient and challenging and character creating. It requires feeling and healing. It’s inspiring and approachable and what lingers long after the fantasy wears off. Real creates impact. It connects us to our humanity, to the humans around us. It’s unsexy and beautiful and messy and magical. It requires effort and calls us higher.
I want real. I also want the fast path to growth, to become different but still be true to me. I long for convenience yet am not satisfied with things unearned. I compare. I fall into fantasy like everyone else. I am imperfect and want to hide behind filters. I just don't. Or I come back to real and raw again and again after I do. I have felt the heartache of falling into fantasy and chosen the rocky path of finding my center. Comparison can be as much of a fantasy as liking image after image of people you see instead of conversing with the person next to you. This has been my fantasy achilles heel. Painful and powerful, fantasies have woken me up to the value of getting real and calling out the rampant addiction I see. We deserve real.
I am not as tight and taut as most I see on IG. My outfits are not as cute or sexy as many I see in magazines or sliding across the screen. I get bloated and wear the same boring uniform on a regular basis. I can pose like anybody else and choose not to. I'd rather compare and create quietly than compete and combust in the process. I don't have the allure of women on porn sites, as frisky as I might be. I would rather use my imagination than see someone act, especially when it comes to sensuality and the like. I have less money than entrepreneurs posting on Facebook. I fail constantly. My flaws are countless. I love my family. I believe in people even when they disappoint me. I feel deeply. I hope beyond belief even when it's blind and unbearable. I am a good woman. I am raw and ravishing in my own times and ways. I am the real deal.
Real means recovering who we really are and letting the immature and irresponsible go. It's not easy.
Recovery is the work of warriors, for the courageous and committed. Reinventing and rising above the norm is rare. It's also remarkable.
Are you ready to live in your light?
Insecurities can be so familiar. Trapped in fear, doubt and uncertainty, the spiral of insecurity can become a repeating cycle. Becoming a woman who is secure in herself, even with all the humanness that can be embarrassing, messy and unwanted, has been the journey of a lifetime. The initiation of becoming whole, of claiming all that I am, tuning into the strength of what created me and courses through me, this is the work of life.
Living in the light is what most people want and many are afraid of. Marianne Williamson said it well, "it is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us."
Why is this the case?
Being powerful can threaten the people closest to you. Let's get real, it can threaten parts of yourself and who you have believed yourself to be! The need for acceptance and love might be jeopardized if you step into your inherent strengths and step into the next version of life calling you. Facing the darkness of self doubt and moving beyond playing small takes immense courage. Transforming insecurity leads to the lightness available in self acceptance and embodied greatness.
The tricky thing about insecurity is that they seem to keep you safe, when they are really just familiar. Those nagging doubts, the stories that replay about what you can do and what you can't based on your past, these are all forms of fear. Fear masks as insecurity, self doubt, lack of confidence and resistance to change. The truth us, insecurities are attempts to stay safe. They are not the enemy, fear is just operating on beliefs that are not fully accurate.
When insecurities can be seen from this perspective, the resistance softens and the fear can be used to your benefit. This is great news, right? You are not stuck just because there is fear living in you. In fact, fear is pushing you into more trust in yourself, in life and in what is possible.
When fear is challenged, when doubt is met with compassionate curiosity, when insecurities are explored from a place of love, the important messages being conveyed can be seen, learned from and let go.
I have experienced my fair share of self doubt. One of the reasons I talk about facing fear as much as I do is because I am doing it on a daily basis. Acknowledging what wants to stay hidden in the darkness, what seems unacceptable or unattractive, is where power lies. By exposing the insecurities and exploring the stories they are telling, accessing your strength becomes possible. Pretending fear isn't there doesn't serve anyone long term. Using affirmations and positivity to bypass facing fear and healing insecurity is tempting but not a long term fix. Debbie Ford, a great teacher and mentor, spoke on exposing insecurities and their purpose extensively. She said this in a workshop I attended fifteen years ago: "If you put ice cream (affirmations) on top of poop (insecurity), it might look pretty much it still stinks!"
This statement took me off guard. Hearing this pierced through my hope and fantasy that being positive would wash away what irked me under the surface. Learning to see and sit with insecurities makes healing them possible. Bringing compassion to places of fear and challenging the default to believe their stories is an ongoing practice. It is precisely this process that turns trauma into triumph, difficulty into victory, vulnerability into strength, darkness into light.
Are you ready to heal insecurity, embody confidence and own your personal power?
Give these tips a try:
Once an insecurity is given space to be seen and acknowledged, soothed and honored, resistance lessens or stops completely. If what you resist persists, it is by accepting the insecurity that it can start to shift into something else or fall away. As counter intuitive this is to the mind, it actually works. Not immediately and eventually, absolutely!
Living in light doesn't mean there is no darkness, insecurity, fear or doubt. Embodying light means living fully, acknowledging the spectrum of what it means to be human, loving wholly and leading by example, however imperfect. It is by facing fears and sitting with discomfort that confidence grows. The more bravery and courage are practiced, the more they grow. If you want to live with more light and life, practice what infuses that into you!
Give the tips above a try and be in touch with what you find. Reach out for support. Ask for help to uncover the insecurities in you and explore them until their gifts become visible. Claim the security always in you through acceptance, love and patience with your process. No one is light, bright and positive all the time. Those who live with more security and confidence have faced the dark and practiced celebrating their light.
Wherever you are, whether insecurities are nagging at you or just mumbling below the surface, know you are perfectly human and precisely on time. I am here with you, celebrating the gifts tucked in the unlikeliest of places and holding you in light.
With Huge Heart,
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas