This has been one full year for me and for a while there, the dreaming was dormant. Moving through major transitions and finding myself in new ways through them all, I am grateful to say that I have resumed dreaming elaborately. I have prayed consistently, worked rigorously, released faithfully and shown up for recovery vigilantly. The path has been paved and I am walking it with dignity, respect, service, and more joy and peace than I could have anticipated. Dreams are taking shape: Reinvention + Recovery Coaching is developing, close friendships are being nurtured as new relationships are coming in, writing continues on projects that light me up, I am even leaving for an overseas adventure this week! There is nothing to worry about, everything is taken care of, life is good.
All great news. Right? Absolutely! Then why am I writing this you might be wondering? I have been graced with so many blessings. I am in a state of no problems. And I am feeling anxious. This trip has me so excited and tense all at once. I have the freedom to explore Thailand for a few weeks where I will be completing a yoga certification program. I am thrilled to be learning more about my body, mind and spirit so as to guide others in this intimate self-exploration. I have been linked with this community of kindred spirits and complete permission to unplug from business and technology. This is what I have wanted and it is here, and I am unsure how to be with it. To let in the dream come true.
Can you relate to any of this? Are there goals you’ve set only to lose steam as they are coming to fruition? Have you ever set yourself up for something fun, extravagant, meaningful only to arrive in the experience of being with it and unsure of how to really let it in? It’s almost as if the push to achieve takes the spotlight when the achievement itself is waiting in the shadows.
This is just silly, I know it is. Why work towards something and then not enjoy it?
I have been through a lot this year and deserve to unwind and experience a dream come true. We all do. Anyone and everyone can tell me that it is more than appropriate to take time off and have an adventure, validate my choices and encourage me to enjoy what is. All the well meaning, uber loving, supportive and honest feedback from those around me is incredible (I thank you beloved friends + family!) As appreciated as it is, none of this love from others can make me relax into accepting and enjoying what is. I have to believe that I am safe in and worthy of living a life I love. It comes down to worthiness and trust, yet again.
This seems so daunting. I feel frustrated, anxious and guilty. None of these are states I want to stay in for very long. So, I’ve been asking, where do I go from here? I know what to do. My Inner Wisdom knows. The answers are in me, so now it’s just about letting them guide me.
Here are a few of the tips my Inner Wisdom gave me to try. The results have been stunning, as they often are when I take her lead.
Take off the filter: Find the feeling states (frustration, anxiety, guilt, etc.) and give them a voice. What do they have to get off their chest? Journaling with these feelings can reveal what is actually needing some extra attention inside. No filtering necessary, just let it out on paper! If you don’t feel comfortable keeping the pages around after, have a ritual and burn them in a fireplace or send them to the shredder with love.
Shake that tush: Yes, I grabbed the hula hoop and started swinging. Redirecting the frenetic energy from my head down to my body turned the state of disempowerment I was in into something completely different. I went from lethargic anxiety to playful aliveness in two minutes flat! My head was just full; this physical movement was just the release it needed.
Answer me this: Complete these statements with the experience being resisted in mind.
If I weren’t afraid, I would …
I hold back because …
What I need to feel worthy is …
How I can give this to myself is …
I can’t help but smile when …
One thing I am loving about myself is …
One thing I am loving about life is …
How I choose to feel in this moment of grace is …
Tap Tap Tap: Have you heard of EFT? The Emotional Freedom Technique has been a source of empowerment for me since hearing about it, learning it, then actually doing it. Whether on a walk with the dog, in traffic, or lying in bed at night, this simple tool brings me back to my Inner Wisdom (and this is a place I love to be). If you are ready for some relief and realignment, trying tapping!
This was the formula: Taking a few minutes to be with myself, returning to the tools and techniques I have learned and used, daring to get honest about what is actually happening versus what my mind is concocting, nurturing the tender places within and sharing it with others. This was the result: I reconnected with the safe space within, peace returned, joy reignited and I even started packing my suitcase! I like this equation.
How will you get to the safe place where dreams can be lived without apology?As usual, I'm here for you + with you and excited to be embarking on this together. Here's to dreaming the dreams and living them, too!
In the Flow and Taking Flight,
When did zombies become a regular feature in pop culture? Well before Halloween’s gamut of costumes came out, zombies were all over the place. I’m not just talking about movies and TV here. You see them, don’t you?
The walking dead can be found in the aisles of the grocery store, riding shotgun in bumper to bumper traffic, sitting in the desk next to you at the office, maybe even looking back at you in the mirror.
Auto pilot, living from a place of fear, and following habitual patterns that no longer serve you are all ways of living in zombie land. Zombies are the “living dead.” People who are walking, talking, moving and shaking, though missing vital life force. Do you recognize this state of living without that oomph of vitality, inspiration, joy and purpose?
Yes, this one and precious life is full of responsibility. While not all the actions of day to day life are enjoyable or particularly comfortable, they are all chances to engage our spirit. In the midst of the busy schedules and the rush to accomplish, routine can become lackluster. Then inspiration goes out the window and auto pilot takes over.
Where has inspiration gone missing in your life? Where are you a living dead?
What if where you are currently on auto pilot, those ho hum areas of the calendar, were given some extra attention and joie de vivre? What might become available if you wake up to the opportunity in the seemingly mundane?
I bet some area of your life has come into focus as you’ve been reading this. Maybe there is some overwhelm, guilt, frustration or confusion lingering as you think of this aspect of life. There might even be some anger, apathy, sadness or blame. Whichever emotions or states of being are present, however comfortable or uncomfortable, these are all good news! Emotions are energy. Auto pilot lacks energy and intention. In bringing awareness to where a zombie has taken over, the energy of emotion and intention to wake up can assist in the transformation of coming back to life in a way that is meaningful to you.
Here are a few tips and tools for waking up and reinvigorating your life force:
- Put pen to paper: What would it mean to be fully engaged in life? Describe how it might look, sound, feel, smell and taste to be awake in one specific area of your life where you aren’t fully present or satisfied right now. Invite the Creative Imagination in you to come play. (If you need some inspiration, look to those you admire and take some details from their life you’d like to experience.)
- Set a date to say Thank You: Set a timer on your phone twice a day that reads “look for what’s right.” Become more accustomed to seeing the miracles in the normal and the senses will begin to come to life! Write down what comes in a small notebook or on your phone to reflect on and re-enjoy later.
- Be a beginner: Commit to learning at least one new thing every day. This might be taking a group or class you haven’t tried before, walking down a different street on your walk with the pooch, opening a Dictionary to a random page and starting to read, or asking a close friend to tell you something about them you don’t know. The world is vast! There is much to learn and behold; auto pilot becomes nearly impossible when curiosity is a priority.
- Let Faith have a say: Complete the sentence “If I weren’t afraid I would…” aloud or in writing. Let whatever surfaces out. Giving Faith the chance to speak will provide inspired direction in areas of your life you might not have considered before. Set a reminder on your phone once a day to have this conversation with Faith. Nurture this relationship and rewards will flow!
Let me know what shows up as you begin to wake up from where you’ve been a walking dead. I am here for you, let me know how I can support and cheer on.
Watch out world, we’ve got some action over here and it is phenomenal! (Yes, I am referring to you!)
Alive + Aware + in the Flow,
"I just trust. Perhaps I won't see why or how, reasons might be invisible or out of reach for now. Still, I trust: myself, this path, and the winds meeting us both. I simply trust, no understanding required. Understanding is a bonus."
Thank you, Cat Caracelo, for permission to share this image.
Trick or treat!
Truth or dare?
It’s that time of year again, where things and beings that have been buried or brushed aside, hidden in the dark or locked away, get their time in the lime light. Ghosts, ghouls, goblins, disco kings, gypsy queens, magicians and fairies, oh my! In the spirit of Halloween, imaginations are aflame. As the custom goes, costumes are being created and purchased for their night whee anything goes. Whether going to a late night party or school recital, everyone is included in getting their costume on.
Dressing up as someone else is the tradition, one that I have participated in plenty since childhood. The ritual of exploring my mind for what it could come up with, a unique someone to pretend to be, brought with it fun and frustration. Finding some creative entity to become for a day was fascinating and a fair amount of pressure. Looking at this cultural pattern now, it makes sense that I had such a fondness as well as some loathing for what I was doing growing up. The potential elaborate character and costume I could wear and be held magic in it. If I could be anything without having others judge me, who would I be? At the same time, the push to contort into someone or something that I am not held strain and anxiety. Wasn’t I enough, just me? Couldn’t I dress up in some outlandish outfit or not do my hair, just because? Why does Halloween have to be my one chance? Having a special day to be someone different, or relax more fully and visibly into part of who I really am, happens just once a year. Really?
What if instead of putting on a mask for Halloween, you took one off?
Who do you want to let go of being, even if for one day?
What aspect of you is ready to be revealed and let out to play?
What might be revealed if you disrobed a role or persona you’ve taken on instead of inventing another to put on?
Consider this, these words right here, as full permission to be what you really want to be for Halloween. Take off a mask and enhance part of you that has been hidden for far too long. Why buy a costume when you are fully clad with vivaciousness already? Who knows, maybe you’ll discover who you dare to be (and be seen) will come out to play year round…
For more clarity on what is ready to be revealed, explore success on your own terms here.
In the Flow and loving the ride,
Recovery is a hot topic in my life. This mere eight letter word has become an all encompassing term that refers to many states of being, physical experiences and mindsets. Like many terms, what it means for me is likely different than what it is for you. Though definitions and experience differ (we are all unique after all), there are common themes when it comes to recovery that I have noticed over the years in this lifestyle. Clarifying the meanings and definitions of the words and terms I use brings balance into my life. To be impeccable with my word, live honestly and stay aligned with my values, I speak consciously. Getting clear about what recovery is in my life opens the door for more gratitude, knowledge and possibility.
I am empowered as I claim my personal relationship to a recovery lifestyle. As Life Coach and creative guidess Cat Caracelo recently reminded me, ”the more you know the more you know.” This simple and profound reminder conveys the value of mindful living, having a willingness to speak the truth, and explore what is present inside and out (all key concepts of recovery). Defining what I know about recovery now spurs more insight, learning and possibility for growth. The more I know, the more I know. Here is some of what recovery means to me:
1. Recovery is transforming illness or hardship into teacher.
2. Recovery is making choices based on the question “is this serving my wellness?”
3. Recovery is riding the waves of change and choosing wellness as I go.
4. Recovery is a shift in perspective and perception.
5. Recovery is daring to be awake and aware.
6. Recovery is pulling my own covers when it is called for.
7. Recovery is tucking myself in when I need to be cared for.
8. Recovery is moving forward gently and courageously.
9. Recovery is black and white and every color in between.
10. Recovery is merging what is linear with circular patterns of wholeness.
11. Recovery is choosing my words with care.
12. Recovery is stating yes…and rather than okay…but (hello, personal responsibility!).
13. Recovery is seeing that nothing is totally personal.
14. Recovery is forgiving so that I can be free.
15. Recovery is showing up for what comes and reawakening to the present moment.
16. Recovery is making choices from a place of faith.
17. Recovery is expanding into miracles.
18. Recovery is dreams coming true.
19. Recovery is healing happening.
20. Recovery is surrendering to the truth of the situation at hand and letting it be part of the journey.
21. Recovery is feeling feelings and letting them move on through.
22. Recovery is cultivating self-knowledge.
23. Recovery is discovery, getting to know my own inner landscape.
24. Recovery is practicing honesty with self and others.
25. Recovery is releasing old patterns that perpetuate fear and limitation.
26. Recovery is a spiritual development adventure.
27. Recovery is learning new habits and embracing “the beginner’s mind.”
28. Recovery is finding the faith muscle and exercising it.
29. Recovery is waking up to the authentic self.
30. Recovery is a quest of mapping the landscapes of where I’ve been and where I am now.
31. Recovery is remembering and releasing stories that no longer define me.
32. Recovery is activating imagination and visioning. In the words of Brene Brown, recovery is all about “daring greatly” to be me.
33. Recovery is realigning with my true self in all my shades and shapes.
34. Recovery is retelling the story to uncover what is ready to be heard and healed.
35. Recovery is revising the meanings I have given things that really aren’t true.
36. Recovery is reinventing identity and claiming new truth.
37. Recovery is questioning my thoughts and changing my relationship to them.
38. Recovery is redesigning patterns and lifestyle choices so they propel me in wellness.
39. Recovery is reclaiming core values, dreams and goals.
40. Recovery is practicing self-care.
41. Recovery is committing to self-love.
42. Recovery is aligning with principles that support thriving.
43. Recovery is acceptance.
44. Recovery is taking an honest inventory.
45. Recovery is making conscious choice and taking conscious action.
46. Recovery is paving my own path and learning from the experiences of others.
47. Recovery is claiming self-direction and getting to know the language of my inner compass/intuition.
48. Recovery is participating fully in life.
49. Recovery is acknowledging the spectrum of experience.
50. Recovery is taking responsibility for my experience and choosing again.
51. Recovery is returning to faith in the process even when fear comes
52. Recovery is more than a word. It is a lifestyle, a choice made again and again.
53. Recovery is a verb and a noun; an action and a thing.
54. Recovery is giving myself what I want from others.
55. Recovery is sharing with others what I want for myself.
56. Recovery is embracing my humanness and tending to the wounded places.
57. Recovery is letting substances go (goodbye, drugs and alcohol!).
58. Recovery is allowing clarity, joy, peace, freedom and fulfillment to come.
59. Recovery is trusting the process, even when I don’t have a clue how it’ll “all work out.”
60. Recovery is opening to the forces that are spinning this world ‘round.
61. Recovery is relaxing into the wonder.
62. Recovery is being the best friend I can be, to myself.
63. Recovery is treating myself with the honor, respect and affection.
64. Recovery is extending my love to those nearest and dearest to me.
65. Recovery is realigning with what fits with my life now, and doing it again and again and again.
What does recovery look like in your life?
Do you identify with any of these aspects of being?
The more you know, the more you know… so let’s get to exploring, shall we?
Share with me what comes and how a lifestyle of recovery is benefiting you.
As always, I am here to support and cheer on.
Loving the awake and aware life,
This article is featured in Simply...Woman Magazine at http://www.simplywoman.com/darcy-lubow-defines-recovery-for-her-and-maybe-for-you/
Have you ever caught yourself streaming the mean and nasty channel in your head?
If your answer was "No," I invite you to take another look and answer again
What if the solution to any present challenges in your life lies in being kinder to yourself and more compassionate?
Here’s a thought: Choose compassion, ditch criticism, live the life you desire.
Is this a radical idea or a profound truth?
I don’t know about you, but following the inner bully’s lead doesn’t get me where I want to go. On the contrary, I usually end up frustrated, discouraged and confused when I keep the mean and nasty channel playing unchecked in my head (aka: Bully Radio).
Believing the pushing, pulling, thrashing, judging, nagging, manipulating, or criticizing thoughts steal opportunities for joy and keep the life I desire out of reach.
Believing the accepting, praising, celebrating, exploring, cheerleading, embracing, dreaming, or nurturing thoughts motivate me to continue loving myself and showing up to life’s adventures.
When I am motivated in love, I thrive and produce desirable results.
When I am bullied by fear, I nose dive into self sabotage and dead ends.
What might become possible if you turn on the compassion and turn off the criticism?
Tuning into Love,
"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." (Voltaire)
One of the primary principles of recovery is faith. Finding a reason to believe when life is a struggle can be, well, a struggle. Integrating faith into daily living can create a newfound abundance, flow and ease where struggle and strife once existed. Faith becomes clear when eyes are open to see the blessings, when gratitude enters and what is going right rather than only what is going wrong is acknowledged.
Living in recovery means recovering who we really are. Recovery provides the opportunity to get connected to what guides us, the life force that is taking care of the details, bringing everything together in its own perfect way. Showing up with curiosity and a feeding the willingness to believe in what cannot be seen builds faith. What results is freedom, space to embrace the moment, and the joy that comes from a faith led life.
Faith is what brings me back to the path I am destined for, the one that is lit with connection and synchronicity and safety. Faith is the strong foundation underfoot always holding me safely. Having faith in life and in the beauty that comes from all perceived darkness is a choice I get to make whenever I choose. There are times when no reason to believe can be mustered by my mind. This is where faith comes in, asking me to believe, to stay the course of my inner compass. Coming to know how this state of being shows up in us is an adventure, full of learning and growing and discovering.
What does faith mean to you?
If you were to describe faith and how it shows up in your life, both inner and outer, what words would you use?
Who taught you about faith, either why to have it or why it’s no different than believing in the Tooth Fairy?
If faith spoke, what would (s)he say?
We all believe in something. Getting to know what and where our beliefs lie is the privilege of the conscious person.
If you wonder where and how faith reside in your world, take a look at its opposing energy.
Yes, I am talking about fear.
That dreaded phantom force, the one some of us spend more time with than others; the goblin who shows up in countless forms, inner mean girls, pipsqueaks with Napoleon complexes, and bullies galore.
In every moment, each of us has a choice. Will we acknowledge fear, or give faith a chance?
Whoever grows bigger is the one that gets fed more.
Find your faith. Then feed it.
Grab that journal you love, go back to the questions offered above, and get to know your definition of faith. Give it some attention, feed it, then watch it grow!
In the Flow,
Part of life, in or out of recovery, is being in the unknown. While moments of sublime clarity, those glorious “AHAs” happen, confusion and absolutely not having clear answers happens, too. Right? I don’t know about you, but I like to have confident clarity, to know the next step to take in any given situation. Clear direction brings with it a sense of security, of control, of well-being. I like all of these. When the road ahead is unclear, when I just don’t know what to do next, I often feel scared. Fear leads to more of the same. Thoughts grab on and panic sets in. No fun. I have gathered quite a collection in my tool box of techniques from time spent in the unknown. Many lessons have come from not knowing what to do, from being in the grasp of fear and from getting through it. Even when I feel afraid, when the confusion of how to move ahead is intense and overwhelming, I have found that it is possible to get centered and relax whether answers come right away or not! When I am unsure of how to “get it right” or “fix the problem” I am facing (whether real or imagined), here are a few of tools I use that might assist you, too.
· Breathe! Breath is one of life’s constants, always available to steer the tone of our day, perspective and experience. How often this tool is taken for granted, until something gets in its way! When I get anxious, my breath gets shallow and short if I don’t pay attention to it. Slowing down and taking deep, conscious breaths is a quick solution to feeling fear and anxiety. Notice how it feels to physically pause and breathe in and out through your nose. Your body gets the message that it is safe to relax when the breath comes in and out of the nose cavity rather than through the mouth. Fun fact, right? Go ahead, try it. Get present and breathe, you have more control than you might think.
· Say a little prayer. Asking for help frees us from the responsibility to know it all. It also paves the way for support to show up. No experience is necessary to pray with success. The invitation for assistance can be as simple as “Life, please help me. I am open to guidance and could really use some!” In fact, keeping it simple is often exactly what is needed for clarity to come. If you aren’t a fan of the concept of prayer, or God talk in general, reading a prayer or poem someone else has written works, too. Life has a way of taking care of the details. Prayer is an act of recognizing that there is something bigger than we are and the ultimate control to make things happen is not solely ours. Marianne Williamson says it well:
“Within the Mind of God, there is a blueprint for the perfect unfoldment of all things. All that is good becomes great and all that is dark becomes light. Divine Mind exists within us, it is not outside of us. We pray and meditate in order to align our personal minds with the Mind of God; we thus become conduits for the energy that when extended onto the earth, lifts all things to divine right order.”
Why not try it out? Go ahead, say a little prayer, open up and let some light in.
· Move your body. A racing mind and a stagnant body is not a good combination. When I catch myself on that mental hamster wheel, my focus has zeroed in on the mind, To shift this energy and regain some balance, I get my body moving and - voila - the rampant thoughts tend to calm down. It might take five minute, it might take forty five minutes but the wheel does slow eventually. Whether you are taking the dog for a neighborhood walk, hula hooping in your living room (one of my favorites), or joining a group class at a local gym, shifting from the mental environment to that of the physical is powerful stuff. Tension relief comes when the body moves. Goodbye tension, hello relaxation. In a relaxed state, we are able to align with life from a more desirable place.
· Check in with the basics. The acronym, HALT, is a staple in many recovery communities. It is a reminder to ask: are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Taking care of our foundational needs is important and so easy to gloss over in times of stress. Don’t know what to do next? Get plugged in with your needs and tend to them as they are recognized. Hungry? Grab a snack and some water. Angry? Journal your frustrations to get the pent up energy out. Lonely? Call someone from your clan, make a call to share appreciation for a friend, or strike up a conversation with a passerby in the store. We are all connected, sometimes we just forget. Tired? If you can, sit down for a few minutes and let your body and mind unwind. If you can’t take a snooze or even sit down at the moment, use that handy breath work to get centered where you are now.
· Imagine the possibilities. What if there was no confusion, problem, or issue? Seriously, what would you feel or do if the quandary simply didn’t exist? Step into the landscape of what you desire, problem-free. Using the power of thought can bring the peace, ease, harmony, solution, relaxation, and anything else you want to feel into this moment right now. The mind doesn’t know the difference between physical reality and imagination. Act as if everything if taken care of and see how it feels. Practice living in the feeling of the solution that is coming, because resolution is coming.
Even when the perfect next step to take isn’t clear, there are plenty of ways that you can move forward. Using the tools you do have in the moment will create space for more clarity to come in. When all else fails, just breathe and remember that this too shall pass.
Embracing the unknown and getting in the Flow,
This article is featured in Simple...Woman Online Magazine
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas