Hey! It’s Dark in Here!

Does it ever feel to you like there is a battle of the light and the dark?  Were you ever scared of the dark as a child?  As adults, we’re often scared of the darkness that surrounds us, but the key to the darkness is to shine a light on it.

Shining a light on the darkness can be terrifying.  Who wants to look at something dark and negative?  But when you do, it loses its power.  You don’t want to explore your shame, your guilt, your grief, or your fears because of what it could tell you.  It’s hard to go to those dark places and reveal the parts of ourselves that we never want to be seen.  But you know that if you don’t, the darkness wins!  The only way to defeat the dark is to speak it aloud.  When you do, it slowly loses its power.

You want to have things like love and joy in your life, right?  You don’t want to be swamped by the darkest feelings that we can experience as human beings. 

If given the choice, choose the light.  If you’re in the dark, find a way out.  Empowerment is all about finding a way out of the dark into the light.

You might believe that darkness is all around us and that may seem to be the case, but it doesn’t have to be.  You can be a beacon of light shining for the rest of the world to see.

You can bring your past from the depths to the light where it can have little impact on you anymore.  You don’t have to live in the dark.  You can step into the light.  When it feels like the darkness is getting close again, take action, and step back into the light.

All of this is easier said than done, especially in the beginning.  The first step is always the hardest.  You are here to have an experience and learn something about yourself.  You’re stronger than you think.  You can step into the light.

What darkness do you wish to release from your life?  Let me know. Do you want to know more, click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

I Want You to Like Me!

Do you change who you are based upon the people you’re around?  Do you go along with what others want because you don’t want them to dislike you?

We talk about these areas a lot in relation to teenagers and peer pressure.  But that type of pressure is just as prevalent in us as adults as it was when we were younger. 

As a teenager it may have been smoking or drinking alcohol to fit in, but as adults we may shift who we are for someone to like us or even love us.  We can even completely lose our sense of identity.  One day we wake up and don’t recognize our lives.  We begin to question how did we get here?

Or maybe the person that you shared your life with, showed you who they were.  Brief glimpses, but you were in love and that was what mattered.  It could have been a friend.  You idealized who they were.  You never saw who they really were.

There are so many reasons why.  When we can finally see without the blinders there is a sense of shock.  You try and process the information.  You reveal what happened to your friends and family.  Some will say they knew it all along.  Is that helpful?  Others will sit with you in the pain and move you forward. 

The past month has been full of revelations.  A sense of clarity.  Maybe we aren’t as enlightened as we thought, but we can still resonate at a higher vibration. We can still move forward. 

There have been truths coming out.  We can’t ignore them anymore.  Whether those truths are a part of our personal lives or something on a more global scale.  Seemingly bad things can be revealed to us.  The question is how do you respond?  Do you react from an emotional standpoint?  Or one that is well thought out. Those of us that speak from a reactionary place can cause damage whether we mean to or not.  We aren’t speaking from a place that is for our highest good.

Take some time this week and those coming to think before you respond.  What’s more important?  Is it what someone else likes or that you like yourself?  It can be hard to answer because we can desperately want both.

We must start somewhere.  The most important thing is to love yourself.  You can always find different friends or life partners, but you can never escape you.  Value who you are.  Treat yourself well.  Don’t bend who you are to meet anyone else’s expectations.  Loving yourself is the start of a better path forward and to all of life’s craziness.

Have you changed who you are for someone else?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment. 

Becoming You

What if you aren’t who you thought you were?  Unfortunately, traumatic events can make us not want to be hurt again, so we start to hold a part of ourselves back.  We don’t show who we are and allow our authentic self to shine through.

Having spent a good portion of the last 9 years or so working through trauma has now led me to the point of I thought I knew who I was but there’s more.  I was looking at pictures and I found one from about the age of 4 that has always spoken to me.  What is it about that one picture?  I’m starting to think it’s my authentic self speaking to me.  Helping me.  Guiding me back to the person I’m meant to be.

Nothing that I’ve done has been for not.  It has led me to this point.  I could say the same thing to you.  Everything that you’ve done has led you to this point.  The question is what do you do next?  Do you continue to play it safe or step up?  How do you move forward?

Becoming who you were meant to be is challenging.  We can doubt ourselves and not know which way to go.  So what do we do?  There are variations for each of us.  I tend to take the big picture and break it down into small pieces.  You may jump right in.  Neither one is right nor wrong.  It’s all about who we are.

All these energies are forcing us to review our story.  Who have we been and who do we want to become?  Who are we?  What do we value?  Does our day-to-day life demonstrate what we value?  Maybe you’re reviewing this list of questions and decide that you’re good.  That’s great!  You’ve probably done a lot of work on yourself to reach that place, but what if you’re not?  Becoming the person you’re meant to be can present it’s own challenges, but when you finally know who you are, there’s nothing better.

Who do you want to be? Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

What Is Normal?

According to Merriam-Webster, the word normal means “conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule or principle.” 

We use this word a lot during our everyday lives.  Especially right now.  People want their “normal” way of life.  People are creatures of habit.  We’re not particularly fond of change, unless it’s one of our choosing.  We want things our way.

Growing up I just wanted to be “normal”.  I wanted to be like everyone else.  I hated being different.  I hated that I had to go to occupational therapy and the other kids didn’t.  I spent my life trying to be like everyone else.  It took me 25 years to learn that wasn’t an option.  Every person is different.  There is no normal.   What if I said that especially applies to now?

You can have a normal day.  Even during a pandemic, we are establishing new patterns.  We have new habits, but we can’t go back to what it was.  It’s just not possible.  You can’t unlearn something.  We can’t redo yesterday, it’s in the past.  It’s the same thing with our normal.

Even going back to work, it’s different.  It’s not the same.  We can’t unhear what we’ve heard.  People are still afraid, and they have a right to be.  Even when the curve has started to decrease, people are going to be hesitant.  There’s a possibility of a new normal for each of us.  A new routine, but the old one’s gone.

It's strange how even living during a pandemic, a new normal emerges.  New habits. New routines.  New ways forward.  It’s ok to miss what was.  You can miss the simpler times, but things have changed.  Change happens and it’s meant to.  We’re meant to grow and evolve.  This is part of our evolution.  Let’s grow together!

How has your normal changed?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

The Truth Is . . .

The truth is there’s always a reason to not do something or to not say something.  There’s always a reason to not take action.  There’s always a reason to not make a change.

We can always come up with a reason why.  Not now.  Maybe later.  I don’t know enough.  I’m not ready.  What if they say no?

I would be willing to bet that one of these many reasons has held you back.  You’re not alone.  I’ve been right there with you.  I don’t have time, or I need more information are some of my go tos.

The truth is that it’s ok.  You can’t change the past, but you can change the present and maybe even the future.  One small step can change everything if you want.  Sometimes our biggest dreams can seem unattainable.  We just don’t know how to get there.  Breaking those dreams down into steps can make some dreams attainable.

I started my business by breaking it down into small steps.  Choose a name.  Design a logo.  Register with the State of Maine.

I passed my certification program to be an empowerment coach with small steps.  I signed up.  Completed Lesson 1.  Completed Lesson 30.  Completed Call 1.  Completed Call 30.  Reviewed notes and started completed final assignment questions for 1.  Repeat Day 5.  I reviewed and clicked submit.

It doesn’t mean that I knew everything as I was doing it or that I do now, but I did it anyway.  The moment of hitting submit was terrifying.  Those voices inside of you that say, what if.  What if I’m wrong?  What if I fail?

The truth is you don’t know if you don’t try.  I spent so much of my life not trying because of the what-ifs.  Who knows what kind of life I missed by not trying, but the truth is that I can’t change my past, but I can change what I do at this moment.

Who knows what the future holds for any one of us?  We may think we know, but one choice could potentially alter the course forward.  The truth is that anything’s possible, but we have to try.  We can’t live our life based on the what-ifs.  We must live for our dreams.  That might mean confronting our fears.  Overcoming our pride.  Who knows what you might uncover?  The truth is only you know.  What may have been true about you in the past doesn’t have to govern the remainder of your life.  The truth is yours!

What is your truth?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

Just Do It!

Nike’s “Just Do It!” campaign can apply to so much more then just buying sneakers.  It can be a major lesson on life and taking action. 

Taking action can feel like one of the most terrifying things to do at times.  But what happens if we don’t?  There are so many possibilities.  We don’t allow ourselves to grow.  We self-sabotage.  In so many ways, we let life pass us bye.  FYI, it doesn’t really pass us bye. 

Sabotaging ourselves doesn’t feel like that in the moment.  We’re afraid to take that step.  We’re not sure.  What will life look like on the other side?  It could make you different from your friends and/or family.  Whatever it may be could be stopping you from stepping into something you’ve dreamed of.

I know we’re still amid a pandemic and we aren’t supposed to leave our homes.  But what I’m talking about doesn’t necessarily require you to leave your home.  There are still ways you can act.  Action doesn’t have to mean an accomplishment of a major goal but could be small steps towards reaching a major goal.

Over the course of the last year, I have taken small steps to big goals.  I have been working on my empowerment coaching certification.  One call at a time.  I’m almost done!  But as I reach the finish line, that fear can creep back in.  What does it mean once I’m finished?  I don’t know the answer to that yet.  But so that I accomplish this, I have set small goals to finish my written examination.  It is an exam of 40 questions, 20 about the course and 20 about 3 of my calls.   I said that I’m going to work on it an hour per day.  I looked back through my notes and started piecing together the responses to the first 20 questions.  Then I drafted my responses.  This part I’ve now completed.  Next, go back and listen to my 3 calls.  Listen to one call per day and draft my responses as I go.  I plan on submitting the exam on April 30.  Some days I haven’t done anything, and you know what?  That’s ok!  I’m making progress.  I started at the beginning of April.  I gave myself plenty of time with the expectation that I might not want to work on it some days.  I told people about my deadline to hold myself accountable.  You’re part of that team as I near the finish line!  I broke my goal into small manageable pieces.  These are the same steps I took when starting my business.  I’ve found this process works for me.  Maybe it doesn’t work for you.  That’s ok too!  It’s about finishing a way forward to something you might not have done.

You might have started but not finished.  I have a lot of those too!  Someday I will check them off and find a way to complete them.  But one thing at a time.  I can always go back and work on them.  First, pick a goal and work through the fears that are going to creep in.  They always do.  It’s how we know we’re on the right track.  Second, break it down into small steps.  Third, come up with a deadline.  Fourth, tell someone.  Fifth, just do it. 

What’s your goal?  How are your fears holding you back?  What can you do to move forward?   Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

Are You Uncomfortable Yet?

We live at a point in time where our daily life can be super uncomfortable.  Our security, our safety, and our level of comfort have been rocked.  We are being forced to live outside of our comfort zone and most of us don’t like it!  It’s one thing to make a choice to step outside of your comfort zone and make changes to your life, but it’s another to have those changes forced upon you.

None of us want to have decisions made for us.  We want to oversee our lives.  Living in a COVID-19 world, people are in pain.  People are dying.  People are drowning in debt.  People can’t pay their bills.  People don’t have food.  It can be challenging to see the positives and opportunities when we are just trying to survive.

For so many of us, right now is about surviving.  We’re trying to make it one day or pay one bill.  I know this can be hard to hear, but we might be missing what we need to learn.  COVID-19 is an opportunity for us to learn.  To make the hard decisions.

For years I lived in the dark.  I didn’t want to know what my problems were, I just wanted them to miraculously go away.  I didn’t care whether it was someone else coming to save me or my life just suddenly got better.  Either way was good.  I didn’t care how it happened.

Growing up I thought that certain things would happen at a certain point in my life.  For some they did, but for me, they didn’t seem to work out that way.  When I turned 30, I didn’t want to acknowledge that my life wasn’t what I had dreamed it would be.  The hardest question I ever asked myself was why.  Asking that question meant that I could no longer live my life in denial.  I had to take the leap out of my comfort zone.  That leap was one of the most terrifying things I had done.  Starting my own business last year was officially the most terrifying thing I have ever done.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is uncomfortable.

What you’re experiencing right now is a push out of your comfort zone and I’m right there with you.  I’ve been given another shove put of my comfort zone this past month.  My routine has been totally disrupted.  My income has been shaken up.  One of the hardest things that I had to do was overcome my pride and file for unemployment.  I had done everything right!  I had gotten a part-time job to help pay my bills while my business was getting established.  I stepped past my pride and had to have courage and trust that all would be ok.  The interesting thing is that by taking that leap I’m doing better than I was a month ago.

That doesn’t mean that everyone is.  I’m grateful that I’m doing better, but I also know that I’ve done a lot of work to get there.  There was no miracle cure.  No one came to save me.  It was me.  I had to do the work and take the leap.  My discomfort had to grow to the point that I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I had reached my breaking point.  Congratulations!  You may have just reached yours.  Here comes the opportunity for you to say that I’m never going to be like this again and start to make different decisions.

How are you going to step out of your comfort zone?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

Have A Little Patience

How are you doing right now?  It’s ok if you’re having trouble adjusting.  We all are.  For most of us we go, go, go from waking to bedtime.  For most of us, we can’t do that anymore.  We may still have our jobs but are having to fit in schooling our children.  We may have lost our jobs and having trouble getting dressed.  You’re where you are right now and that’s ok.  Even when you can get dressed, you might have trouble doing something besides watching tv.  That’s ok too.  Be patient with yourself.

Things that we looked forward to are being canceled.  Even things that might have helped us to feel better like getting our hair or nails done aren’t an option.  It’s ok to be frustrated, depressed or angry.  It’s ok to be sad.  It’s ok to cry.  For us to start to feel better, you must release what you’re feeling, and it doesn’t happen overnight.  Honor where you are in the process.  If you feel like checking something off on your to-do list, then do it.  If you don’t, allow yourself permission to take a break.

We are being asked to heal.  The healing process for each person is different.  Each one of us is unique and so is our process.

Have patience with yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  I typically have a to-do list a mile long and over the last couple of weeks I haven’t done as much as I would have liked, but I like you, am having to figure out what my life is right now.  I miss my friends.  I miss my routine.  Things just aren’t the same.  I have watched videos on Facebook and movies and cried.  That’s not all that unusual for me, but it has helped.  I’m honoring where I am in the process.  I will get to the action phase soon, but for now, I’m adjusting and grieving for what was and determining what could be.

How have you been patient with yourself?  Or how do you need to be more patient with yourself? Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

The Walking Wounded

This is a challenging time.  No one has ever seen anything like this, and we are unlikely to ever see anything like it again.  We are being asked to rise.  We are being asked to have compassion for our friends, our neighbors, our enemies, and ourselves.

It can be difficult when what we want isn’t going our way.  Our frustrations can be unleashed on those who have little to do with our problems.  This is a time to take a breath and think before we respond.

So many of us have lost our income.  We are having to file for unemployment and take steps that we never expected to take.  We did everything right.  Each one of us is the walking wounded.  We have so much in common right now, but it can be hard to see other people’s pain when we can barely see our own.

Last week was a challenge.  The place where I have been working part-time closed its doors until we are able to open again.  Last year I experienced all these major shifts and put the pieces together to have half of my plan blown apart again.  My first step was to make it through a day and then through the week.  It can be too hard to make decisions when you’re just trying to get through the day.

Once I made it through my work week, the next step was to take care of anything that I needed while on my way home.  Then I arrived home and cleaned up anything germs that I might have on me.  I washed the floors, the surfaces, and anything else I might have touched.  My final step was to give myself time.  I knew from experience that I could only take care of my most immediate needs at that moment.  I gave myself permission to feel anything I felt.  I listened to USA For Africa’s “We Are the World” and cried.  I worked through my pride and filed for unemployment so I could pay my bills.  I allowed myself to be angry at what this virus has done to the world, my plans, and to grieve for what I and others have lost. 

The world that we knew is not the same place and it can’t be.  When you do venture outside to get groceries or gas, say hello and thank the clerk.  Accept that the things you need might not be available.  Have compassion for those around you.  We are all in this together and are feeling the same things.  We will come out of this better people. 

After the attacks on September 11th one of the lessons I have always remembered was a sense of unity in our collective grief.  People hung their American flags at their door.  We have an opportunity again.  There is always a possibility of a rainbow after a rainstorm, but we must look for it.  Look for the silver lining.  We are resilient and will come through this stronger than ever.  We can do this but show a little kindness to each person.  It goes a long way.

How are you showing compassion? Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

What Could Have Been

Grief.  The 4th level on the Map of Consciousness.  According to Dr. David R. Hawkins, Grief vibrates at a level of 75 and is the land where sorrow, depression and sadness resonate.  It is the inner voice that says I didn’t want it to be this way; It could have been different; I don’t want to let go.

Grief is an area of life that most of us try to avoid, but we seem to land there at the strangest of times.  There’s the obvious of grieving the loss of a loved one or an idol.  As of the writing of this blog post, the death of Kobe Bryant from a helicopter cash is plastered across the media.  No matter what you thought of him as a person, you can’t question that many people idolized him and are now grieving the loss of a not only a man, his daughter and others on board, but the idea of what could have been.  What if he hadn’t gotten on that helicopter in foggy weather?

There’s also grief over a part of you that was lost.  A part of you that you held back for whatever reason.  A part of you that wasn’t allowed to experience life.  Maybe your childhood prevented you from truly living as a child. 

Another type of grief is the loss of a dream.  This is something that we currently see across the United States.  No matter what your political ideology, things aren’t the way we thought they were or that they could be.  Things could and should be different.  People should be kinder to each other.  They shouldn’t bully others because their viewpoint is different.  People should listen to each other.

But, let’s go back to the most obvious form of grief, death of a loved one.  How did you learn to grieve a loss?  There were family members that disappeared from my life, but I had only met most of them a handful of times.  I lost a classmate at the age of 4 in a tragic accident.  I don’t know that at 4 I began to understand what that actually meant or the impact it had on me, but I will say the first person that I was close to that died was at the age of 17, my maternal grandfather Paul.  As children we see our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and elders as greater than life figures.  Nothing will ever happen to them, but this is life.  For each one of us, our life on this planet is limited.  Whether it is a long-fulfilled life or one cut tragically short.  I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents growing up.  They were a part of every event that I can recall, birthdays and holidays.  I would spend time with them at their home.  My greatest remembrance of my Papa was his love of reading and watching C-SPAN all day long.  He taught me to love reading and to make my own opinions, to research and discover them for myself.

The indications that his time was running out began in early December.  He was gone by January 1.  Watching him that Christmas it was obvious that I probably wouldn’t see him again and that he was no longer the infallible person I’d known.  He was going blind and had trouble taking the tape off a present.

I went to bed on December 31 sobbing and gasping for breath.  The next morning, I knew why.  I did what I’d been taught to do, I soldiered on.  I went back to school, only briefly though for the Ice Storm of 1998 struck that week.  My first funeral was held in the dark.  The minister needed a flashlight to read his notes.  He hadn’t brought one with him, so he had to borrow one from one of my aunts.  I watched my grandmother and the word that had always come to mind is stoic.  She had lost her partner of 57 years.  I never saw her cry.  That was my true introduction to grief.  I don’t know that I truly knew how to process the loss.  New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day lost their magical feeling and I learned to live without him.  Starting in 2004, most of that generation disappeared year by year.  Other than 2006 and 2011, I lost a close family member every year until 2012.  Every death was different.  Every reaction was different, and I just wanted it to stop.

I don’t know that I had time to fully process one loss before I was on to the next.  I did learn that every person grieves differently.  Some seem to have incredible faith, some know their spirit is still with us, and others seem to stop living.

In order to move forward, we truly must process our grief in whatever form it may be.  That may involve crying.  It may involve soul searching.  However, your process it is the right way for you.  So many of us stay stuck in Apathy because we don’t want to feel.  We don’t want to confront and deal with our emotions.  Our emotions make us human.  By releasing them, we’re able to move up to Fear.

What in your life are you grieving or need to grieve?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.