Instead of Regretting, Rejoice

“I used to think you were a great teacher, but you’re not.”

This is a line from one of my worst teaching moments. It was delivered by a spitting mad woman who was a decade older than me.

She stood in front of me.

She pointed her finger at me.

She raised her voice.

I stood frozen in fear.

What was happening?

People don’t yell at me. It so rarely happens. It always feels like a visceral, physical punch in the gut. Surreal.

I have spent my whole life trying to do the “right” thing so people don’t get upset with me. So no one yells. So things like what happened to me don’t happen.

And yet, things that we don’t want to happen sometimes do happen.

Sometimes people yell at me.

I could regret that it happened. I certainly spent a lot of mental energy wondering how I could have avoided it. But it happened. And I froze. And then, when she stormed away from me, I went out to my car and sobbed. It took me a long time to calm down enough to drive home. I was shaken, stirred, deeply in pain.

I care about my students so much. I care about doing a “good” job. I care about being a “good” person. And yet, sometimes people are shitty to good people. Sometimes people project their emotions on good people. Sometimes people see that you won’t fight back and so they throw a bunch of punches.

Instead of regretting these moments, I can rejoice.

I learned so much from that day.

It’s not OK to talk to me that way.

It’s not OK to take your problems out on me.

It’s not OK to fix me with a label that doesn’t match the contents of this container.

I am a good teacher.

I am a good person.

I am also a human being.

I don’t want anyone to talk to me like that, but they might. It might happen again. And next time, I know a different way to react.

Hey, this is not ok for me.

I’m going to step out of this conversation.

This is too much for me right now. I need a moment.

I’m taking myself out of this situation now. We can talk again later when I’ve calmed myself down.

Full responsibility for me. Full responsibility for my reaction. Full control of what I can do. “I” statements. Care. Consideration. Compassion for myself.

People are going to do what they do. Sometimes they might not treat you well. You can always treat yourself well.

Beautiful, human, messy reader: That thing you regret? Rejoice. It can teach you a lot. It can lead you back to yourself… the only person who is in your control. The person who most needs your love.

Loving you out there! You are so “good.” You are so wonderfully human. You always have been. Nothing has gone wrong. Our challenges are leading us back to love. XO

Go To The Worst Case Scenario. Now What?

A very interesting thing about living during a pandemic is that a lot of people are fearing worst case scenarios… and then not wanting to look at the scenario they created.

Let’s say you think, “I could die.”

Yes. You could. Every day.

But your brain takes over…

No, I can’t think about that. I can’t handle that. It’s too much for me right now. Give me the wine. Give me the popcorn. Turn on Netflix STAT.

Why don’t you want to look at the fact that you could die?

Then what?

You’d be dead. And you wouldn’t be thinking much anymore. You’d be vanished or wherever you think you’re going after you die. You’d be there. Without the worry of death.

Yeah, you say, but what about my family? They could die!

Yes. They could die too.

And then what?

You’d grieve. You’d probably cry a lot. You’d likely have funerals and have to take care of assets and belongings and maybe confront frustration and some struggles and possibly expenses and…

At a certain point, you’d move on with your life. Without someone.

Would that be horrible? Yes.

Will you survive? Yes.

Now what?

The next time you are afraid of the worst happening, join me in playing that scene all the way out. People die. Everyone hates you. You’re rejected by everyone in your life. You’re broke. You’re homeless. You’re mentally broken down. Play it all the way to the dramatic climax of what you fear most. And then look at the scene.

Now what?

Chances are, you’d figure it out. Or get help. Which is what all of us are doing already.

Loving you out there. Amp the drama all the way up. Or… choose to calm it down. It’s up to you.

No matter what, you will be ok, right? Or am I wrong? Play it all the way out.

Now what? XO

Who Would You Be If There Was Nothing Wrong With You?

I love to make money. I really do. I enjoy charging people for my services and content and I especially love to charge people when I give a speech to hundreds of people. Why?

When I charge money, I am sure that my message is valuable. I know that what I have to offer is going to be of help to who is paying.

I believe in the strength and power of my message. My content. My expertise. My PhD. My long list of curated things that I have read, studied, and can quote. There is nothing wrong with my professional message.

And yet, over the years, although I have the utmost faith in my business message, sometimes I think there is something wrong with the personal, vulnerable, human me.

Someone else can say this better.

Someone else is more eloquent.

Someone else deserves the abundance that I want… because…

There is something wrong with me.

Too loud.

Too weird.

Too nerdy.

Too sensitive.

Too much.

There is something wrong with me.

This is a fundamental unacceptance of who I am. This is a war with myself. This is a drive to look externally for what I know is true inside:

There is nothing wrong with me.

There is nothing wrong with you.

There is nothing wrong with mistakes.

There is nothing wrong with trauma.

There is nothing wrong with anything that has happened.

There is only your perception and belief that something went wrong.

What if there is nothing wrong with you?

Who would you be?

How would you show up?

What would you create?

What if there are no broken people? No damaged people? No one was inconsolable? What if there was nothing wrong with you OR ANYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET???

What if we all are just telling different stories? Seeing through different lenses in our cameras? Experiencing the same reality through different filters???

There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with you. This is true. There is nothing wrong with anything! What if you believed that?

Wishing you love, beautiful reader. Wishing you total freedom. Wishing you the new realization that there is nothing…not a goddamn thing… wrong with anyone. Or anything. Come home to the present moment. Wipe the entire slate clean. You can. XO

Loving you out there! Now what??? 🙂

When The Nail Doesn’t Hurt Enough Yet

My friend recently shared a story about a man whose dog was howling and crying and his neighbor asked him what was going on:

“The dog is sitting on a nail.”

“Well, why doesn’t he get off the nail?”

“Doesn’t hurt enough yet.”

Hmmm.

Doesn’t hurt enough… yet.

So where in your life are you sitting on a nail? Or maybe a tack? Is there a pea in your bed, princess? Can you feel it? Maybe it’s not bad enough… yet?

When I work with my life coach, a theme continues to come up in my life. It sounds like this: “I have a good life. I have enough. Yeah, I want more, but I can’t complain. My life is good.”

In other words, my life doesn’t hurt.

There’s just a dull ache sometimes.

I sit on it.

It’s unpleasant yet tolerable.

It doesn’t hurt enough… yet.

We get what we tolerate. We rise or lower to our own expectations. We suffer as much as we think we deserve to suffer because it’s not that bad… yet.

It’s not horrible… yet.

It doesn’t hurt that bad… yet.

Here’s a way out: It doesn’t have to hurt at all for you to make a different decision. It doesn’t have to get bad before you change.

You can just want to get off a nail. Want to try something different. Want to move on from that old car, career, town, income bracket, relationship.

You can want more just because you want it. Because it would be fun. Because it would cause you to grow and expand. Because it would be different. Because it would be a change in perspective. Because you can. Because this is your one precious life and you get to do anything you want to do.

Are you feeling limited? Like you have to sit on the nail?

You don’t. You can get up anytime. You can listen to the softest whisper of your soul. You don’t have to wait until things get bad for your life to change for the good.

Loving you out there. Are you sitting on a nail? See the choice. XO

PS: Powerful local ladies! Check out my VIP event this Friday, October 23rd from 4-7pm at the Red Butte Garden Orangerie. It’s going to be a mystical magical evening for the ladies. Very intimate and COVID safe. We’re talking self-care and intuition and Cheryl Forester of Forester Tarot will be making some predictions for the Halloween Full Moon. Join us! Limited space!

Indecision is a Decision

Talked to an ex-marine recently who told me that indecision is a decision. It is a decision to do nothing.

If you don’t make new decisions, you will keep doing the same thing. Is that good news? Nice! Enjoy. We have a lot of great habits formed at this point in our life. Give yourself credit for all the many good choices you make each day.

If something isn’t working, decide to change. Decide to do something different next time. That’s it. Easy.

Every day, make decisions. Do it mindfully. Do it curiously. Do it like your life is one big beautiful experiment that never ends.

Blue decided to swim in freezing alpine water. I decided to stay dry. Both great decisions. We both decided to enjoy the yellow leaves of Fall. Not getting outside would have been the wrong choice for us.

Beautiful, courageous reader: You are free from indecision. It doesn’t exist.

You are always deciding.

Experiment.

Get so interested.

Enjoy this moment.

Loving you out there! XO

I Love The Way I Love Hummingbirds

Zoom flash the hummingbird appears outside my window. Darting in and around the tree. Resting on a twig. Dipping in and out of a flower. Wings vibrating beyond my ability to know. It’s just… wow.

When I see hummingbirds outside my window, I pause and put everything aside. I delight: the tiny little feet, the soft belly, the unpredictable flight pattern, the needly nose.

In me, it feels like there’s nothing more important to do than try to take it all in. I can never take it all in.

And then, they go away. Where? I don’t know. With who? I don’t know. Will they come back? I don’t know. Should I get in touch with them about their schedule? I don’t know how to do that. And I don’t care if I ever get the answers to any of those questions.

When they come, I delight. When they go, there is a world outside my window. When they return, my whole body hums in approval of everything they do.

I love the way I love hummingbirds.

It feels important.

And free.

Loving you out there. What’s outside your window for you to love? XO

Physical Strength Building Will Make You Tremble. So Will Emotional Strength Building. Are You Willing To Tremble Past Your Limits?

I burst out in tears after a 15 minute weight lifting session recently. My body was trembling all over. I immediately felt ashamed of myself, even though I was alone in my house.

Oh my god, get a grip on yourself. It was only 15 minutes.

Other people lift way more than you.

This crying all the time is kind of pathetic.

These were my shameful thoughts. And, when I am physically tired, I am less resilient. I let them slip through and seduce me.

Having a mindfulness practice saves my life in these moments. Although I don’t always catch myself when I am beating myself up, I am getting better and better.

That was hard for you. Good job.

I’ve got your back, G. I am right here with you.

Crying is your old story leaving your body. Those shameful thoughts are on the way out.

After a lot of practice, I still beat myself up. Why? Shouldn’t I know better? Well yeah, AND I’ve had decades of practice being mean to me. Now, I like my new practice more. Compassion practice. Empowerment practice. Mindful awareness of my brain resisting change.

Mindfulness is a practice.

Building physical strength is a practice.

Building emotional strength is a practice.

Strength increases your capacity for more.

Slowly, if I keep lifting weights and stretching my comfort zone and trembling a little, I will be able to lift more weight. My muscles will endure a greater capacity for stress. My nervous system will rewire for more. My body will grow leaner and more efficient and increase in multiple health measures.

We understand and desire physical strength. We see the work it takes to get strong. Most of us opt out of that work. Too uncomfortable.

Mental strength is similar. It also requires trembling. It also requires leaving comfort zones. It requires a greater capacity for stress. Our nervous systems have to rewire for more. It might bring up tears to flush out the old stories about our capacity to become a different person.

Most of us opt out of that work. Too uncomfortable. 

The brave act. The speech in public. The sweaty ten minute conversation. The boundary you set. Speaking truth to power. Saying that you will not tolerate your own abuse, or any abuse from others. Using your voice to say what is important even though your voice shakes.

Where is your limit for strength? What is your limit for joy? What body is too good for you? What emotion is too good for you? 

What is your capacity to have more, be more, create more? 

I don’t like trembling. 

I try to avoid every workout I plan. 

I try to avoid every difficult conversation. 

I would prefer to blame other people for my limitations. 

I would prefer not to cry all the time.

And yet, in the quiet peaceful moments, there is a greater desire. 

I want to be strong. I want to love big. I want to be able to have more and share more. I want to embrace this turn at life in the most fulfilling way I can. I want to see what I can do. How good it can get.

And so, I practice. 

And I tremble. 

And I cry. 

And I flush out the scared crap in my brain that doesn’t work. 

I fumble and create new neural networks and stories about myself. 

I try to have my own back. Then the shame pops up again. It doesn’t want to let me go. But I have new places to be.

Where do you want to go? What new place do you want to be? What have you decided is too good for you, your body, your life? Are you willing to go to the mat to prove yourself wrong? Are you willing to tremble? Are you willing to be uncomfortable until the new version of you becomes your new comfort zone?

What do you have to lose? Only your entire old identity. Are you willing to let it go?

Loving you out there. What if the old you was gone? Who would emerge? XO

Turning Judgement Against Yourself is Poison

We all judge other people. Our thoughts are judgements. Observe them with scientific interest.

Do you sometimes catch yourself judging someone and then getting mad at yourself for judging? If so, you turned the judgment of other into judgement of self.

That will be very painful.

And, you will miss the lesson.

Your judgment is a personal, important, compassionate preference. It’s telling you what’s important to you. What feels good to you. It’s giving you sacred soul information: I don’t like that- this is what I prefer.

“Oh, I can’t stand how uptight she is. I wish she would loosen up.”

Choice 1: ugh. I’m such a bitch. I can’t believe I am such a horrible judgy person. I am ashamed of myself.

Choice 2: interesting. You have strong feelings about that woman, babe. It’s ok. I love you fiercely. Now, tell me what you prefer. More fun? More relaxation? What can we do? Could our life be more fun? Yay! Let’s do that. I love you.

Turning judgement of others (which is inevitable and human) into judgement of self is poison.

Turning judgment of others into self compassion and curiosity is fire. It fuels what’s important to you and leads you courageously to the choices you prefer.

You are 100% loveable. And, I don’t prefer a lot of what you prefer. That’s diversity, difference, and choice.

Judge me! It tells me what you prefer.

Meanwhile, I have compassion and love for my messy human self no matter what. I honor my preferences. I get to work being the best I can be. (Less uptight LOL).

Living this way is so much more fun.

Gorgeous, beautiful reader: It’s ok to judge. Use that info to love yourself and become who you’d prefer to be.

Loving you out there XO

Help! I’m Overwhelmed! 3 Strategies to Reduce Overwhelm

Hello, gorgeous reader. How are you doing? Anyone feeling overwhelmed?

This is something we can deal with. Here are three ways:

  1. Physical Grounding

Sometimes, when we are overwhelmed, we get ourselves far off into the future in our minds: all the things coming up, all the things to think of, all the things that we have to do. You can feel this in your body as tension and your brain is going to spin or freeze because you are stressing yourself out.

Come out of fight/flight mode so you can access your rational brain. In order to do this, try grounding in this way:

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes and start it – that’s your time
  • Sit in a chair and put both feet squarely on the ground and sit up tall.
  • Relax your shoulders and make space around your chest/heart space – try to sit openly with hands open
  • Take 5 slow deep breaths and tell yourself it’s ok, you are safe, we are ok now, some type of safety/soothing phrase
  • Notice the room around you and begin listing the contents in a neutral way: chair, rug, window, water bottle

2. Reduce Inputs to Your Expensive Brain

Your brain is the CEO of the physical system, so we need to take care of it. If you’re overwhelmed, there are too many thoughts and/or inputs to your brain. Much like a phone that gets hot when a lot of apps are open, your brain has too many things open. So, gently start to close the windows.

Laurie DiSantos of Yale, who has a podcast called “The Happiness Lab,” shares a lot of evidence-based research that your phone is actually making you unhappy. Time to take control of it, instead of letting it control you.

Try this:

  • Close windows on the computer and your phone
  • Disable notifications unless absolutely necessary
  • Pick 1 or 2 news outlets to check daily and no more
  • Put limits around your social media: 30 minutes a day at a certain time and stick to your limit
  • Turn off your phone entirely or take a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood without it.
  • Utilize the “Do not disturb” function on your phone
  • Schedule time to write emails and return texts and times to be offline

3. Make a DOABLE Schedule and Stick To It!

Nerdalert! My favorite thing to do on Sunday is plan my week. Plan your week! It will feel so good to your brain to know that you have a plan. If you are overwhelmed, you need a better plan.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Put relaxation and fun on the calendar first (YES YOU CAN)
  • Put downtime and healthy meals on the calendar (YES YOU CAN)
  • OK, now put the other things on there, in doable time increments. Make these time frames comfy and achievable. Set yourself up for success.
  • Follow through with your plan and do not beat yourself up if you stray from the plan, just get curious about why
  • Adjust your plan to be sure you have fun, healthy meals, and doable time blocks
  • Draw boundaries around things that can be outsourced, delegated, or just plain eliminated
  • Get good at saying “Thank you, and no.”

OK lovelies! Loving you so much out there! You can easily reduce overwhelm. Why? Because it’s in your control.

Take control. If you are resisting me, great! That’s a good opportunity to start a mindfulness practice and figure out why. Loving you out there. XO

Excreting Emotion

Letting out tears in yoga seems to be my thing. Especially now that I practice alone. Especially the hip openers. Especially with the death of so many of my old patterns and ways of being.

I used to think there was something wrong with me for all the tears. Get it together. What is wrong with you??? Etc. Etc. Self-blame. Self-criticism. A massive lack of patience and grace for myself.

If you consider that we eat lots of food every day and drink liquids, and then our bodies excrete what isn’t needed, wouldn’t it be really logical to apply that equation to emotion?

I am “eating” a lot of emotion during the day. Mine, mass consciousness, media outlets, other people.

I am “drinking” in the experiences of the people I love. 

I cannot hold all of that emotion. The brain is a better processor than storage unit. And so, what is meant for me will stay. And what is not meant for me will be excreted. Because it isn’t needed.

Tears. Grunts. Fists punching pillows. Sighs. A sobbing pigeon pose face down on the ground. I just let them out. I don’t hold on. And i don’t judge or blame or hurry myself through it.

Holding space for me has been one of the best lessons of my life.

There is a lesson in everything. We are teachers and learners to the very core. And some learning is cumulative. It grows. It unfolds. There are steps back and leaps forward. We consume consume consume and then… excretion. Wow! I have never said excretion so many times in my life. But it feels appropriate. It’s time to let shit go. It’s the most natural thing to do.

Loving you out there. Have so much compassion and grace this season for yourself. Process. Allow. Break down. Break through. Make space. And let go. XO