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.

It’s Time for a Little Faith

One of my favorite quotes has always been “faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.”  A Miracle on 34th Street.  Sometimes we just have a feeling that everything is going to be ok.

We are living at a time when people around us are afraid.  You might even be one of them.  You may have lost your job or are about to lose it.  You might not be able to pay your bills.  You may know someone who is sick, or you may be.  You might just be frustrated that you can’t get everything done in a day.  First off, take a deep breath.  Everything happens for a reason.

For a long time, I had trouble with that statement, and I know I’m not alone.  Why does a young child get sick and die?  Why did this happen to me?  I wish I could answer all the why’s, but it isn’t always possible.  What I can tell you is that there is a lesson hidden in there and until you can find it, you must have a little faith.  Some of my biggest life lessons took me years to discover.  Some only took a few hours.

There is no right answer.  Every person lives life differently and you’re allowed to, but are you growing as a result or are you staying stuck?  If you’re stuck, it’s time to change that feeling and have a little faith that when we come out of quarantine that your life can be better.   Let’s be honest, life can’t be what it was before.  That may be hard to hear, but it’s true.  We can never be the people we were yesterday.  We have learned something or uncovered something which has moved us forward.  At the very least we are a day older.

On Tuesday I broke quarantine to go grocery shopping.  I started my day with a plan.  As soon as I put my key in the ignition my plan was gone.  I’ve spoken about my car battery before, well it decided it was done.  Why had it chosen that moment?  I looked to see who was open.  The least expensive option that I could see at the time was temporarily closed.  The only other place I could think of was the car dealership.  I called and they said they could replace the battery and it might still be covered under warranty.  I asked if he could look up when I purchased the battery.  I thought I had purchased it in 2016, but I had purchased it in October 2017.  It was still covered by the 30-month warranty.  I got a new battery for free!  I haven’t always had faith, but I had enough to get me there.  I had 1 month left on my warranty and if my battery hadn’t died, I will admit I would have tried to keep it going because I don’t have extra cash lying around.  But I also could have missed out on a free battery.  I was fortunate, but I was also going to another place and interacting with more people than I had planned.  As the day progressed, I started to think about how different things are from just a few weeks ago.  But I had to have faith that all would be ok.  I took all the precautions that I could and the rest I had to believe would work out.

We aren’t in quarantine just to keep us safe, but those around us safe.  To know that what we can contribute is enough and have faith that it is working.  Faith can help us in many things from getting a new car battery to walking through the grocery store to just working through our fear.  We just need to believe that everything will work out how it’s supposed to.  It’s time for a little faith.

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

I’m Not Going to Take It Any Longer!

Anger. The 7th level of the Map of Consciousness according to Dr. David Hawkins, which resonates at a vibration of 150 within the body.  It’s the place where hostility and resistance reside.  You’re tired and you won’t accept this any longer.  The biggest advantage to this vibration is that for the first time you’re willing to stand up for yourself and realize that nobody is coming to save you.

When we are in the lower levels, we tend to want to people to accept us, so we’re willing to bend over backwards to accommodate their needs, while sacrificing our own.  For the first time, anger is where you realize that you matter, and you won’t take it anymore.

For so many years, I didn’t want to be angry.  I had seen anger and it typically ended with me being in tears.  I didn’t like it and I wanted to avoid the emotion at all costs.  I didn’t consider myself to be an angry person, but I wanted to be accepted.  I would allow people to walk all over me.  My feelings didn’t really matter.  I would find ways to stuff them down.  I had anger that I needed to release before I could move up to the next level of Pride. 

This past weekend Mercury went retrograde meaning that we’re being asked to review parts of our past.  The feeling of being taken advantage of started to come up.  Someone I know asked me to do them a favor.  I allowed myself permission to say no and stand firm in my decision.  I felt badly, but I needed to stand up for myself and stay committed to my plans.  A few days later I received another message asking the same question.  I’m being challenged.  Have I learned the lesson to stand up for myself and say no?  No one is going to save me and it’s time for me to save myself.  Is there anything in it for me?  No, in fact I end up losing more than I gain in this situation.  It’s ok to be nice and all, but the truth is that this is a pattern I’ve run in the past.  I’ve allowed people to not pay me back.  I’ve allowed people to take advantage of me.  I’ve allowed people to use me.  I don’t want that to be a part of my life anymore, so the answer is no.  So now I move up to Pride.

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

I’m Not Good Enough

Shame.  The very bottom of Dr. David Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness.  If you resonate at Shame, you’re vibrating at an energetic level of about 20.  The emotional level where I’m not good enough, I hate myself and I feel nothing reside.  A place that is dark and undeserving.

Shame is a challenging place to be, but unfortunately it’s one where most of us have been.  Just talking about Shame has a negative connotation to it.  Who wants to talk about their sense of shame?  After last week’s blog post I knew that the next steps were for me to discuss Dr. Hawkins’ work in depth and the best approach would be to start from the bottom, but I had resistance to discussing it.  But, why?  It meant me discussing my own past shames.  Even though I’ve worked through it, doesn’t necessarily mean I want to post it on the internet.   But, it’s the next step on my journey so here goes.

I spent quite a few years not feeling good enough.  Shame had a certain comfort to it.  I couldn’t say no to other people.  That would mean they might catch on to my not being good enough then they really wouldn’t love me.  The only thing that I truly wanted was for love to be in my life, but I couldn’t even love myself.  I spent a long time in that place of why would anyone love me.  How I ended up there is more complicated.  It involves topics that I’ve previously discussed and ones that I’ve yet to reveal, but the point is that I was ashamed of myself.  There were some bright shiny moments where I would allow myself to feel more, but eventually the feelings would come back and ensnare me again.

I knew that my family had a tendency towards addiction, so I avoided alcohol and drugs, but was trapped by one thing that I couldn’t avoid, food.  I would use sugary or salty foods, primarily junk foods to numb my pain.  It created a spiral where it would numb my pain, but then added to the feeling of being unlovable since I was overweight.

So how did I move up?  I began working through my past.  As I did more work and discovered more about myself, I started to allow little bits of love in.  There are some people that you can’t help but allow in.  For me, they were my nephews and niece.  Beginning with the birth of my eldest nephew in 2011, I had the pure light of a child in my life.  A new sense of wonder and the ability to look at life through a different set of eyes.  I could see for the first time that I didn’t start out there and I didn’t have to stay there.  I had hope.

Do you feel this way about a part of your life?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more about what I do?  Click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

I Don’t Want to Hear It . . .

Denial.  We’ve all had a case of denial, I can guarantee there is something in your life that you haven’t wanted to see, hear or admit to.  I’ve certainly been there.

In my life there have been things that I couldn’t see or didn’t want to see.  Things that I didn’t want to hear.  We know when our life isn’t going the way we wanted or expected it to, but denial can also be a way of making it through the day.

When I was about to turn 30, I knew my life wasn’t as I wanted it to be.  The things that I dreamed of hadn’t happened yet.  The reality was that it wasn’t someone else’s fault.  It was mine.  I wanted to blame someone else, but there wasn’t anyone else responsible for my choices.  I wanted someone else to come and save me, but I didn’t even want to save myself.  I didn’t want that to be the truth.  I wanted the truth to be that the timing was off or people couldn’t see who I truly was.  The truth was that I didn’t allow them to see me.  I didn’t let people close enough to see through the mask that I was wearing.  There are reasons why, but my past was impacting my present and my future.  I had to be willing to see the truth.  That was step 1.  Step 2 was more complicated, I had to look at it, examine it, and see it for what it truly was.  A clue.  That clue would lead me to change, but I had to be willing to act and do something different.  Is it easy?  No!  But it is worth it when you can see how your life has shifted.

I’m still a work in progress.  That’s part of life.  The challenges don’t stop because we want them to, but we can learn to adjust and face them head on.  We can examine them and let them go.

 What are you denying in your life right now?  What have you denied in the past?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more, click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.

Fear of Change

Transitions are hard.  You know it and I know it.  We know life shouldn’t be this way, but it has been like this for so long we don’t know any other way.  Having the courage to make a change, can be a challenging first step to make, even when we know it is the right one.

I have spent most of my life living in fear.  Fear was an emotion that had a certain amount of comfort to it.  I had my first seizure before the age of 1.  We learned as I was growing up that they acted as a circuit breaker.  When I had a rapid temperature change, I would have a seizure.  Many people that I have spent time around have never seen a seizure.  My grandmother once handed me back to my mom when I started to have one.  For a small child, it seemed that people were fearful of me.

As I grew up, I felt a responsibility to show people that a person can live with seizures.  Wherever I worked, people knew about my disorder, but I also wanted to keep that part of my life separate.  I never wanted them to see me have a seizure and I didn’t want them to be afraid of that part of me.  Members of my immediate family had seen me have them and still loved me for me, but could other people?

One Friday morning I forgot to take my pills.  I remember making it into the office and most of the rest of the day is gone.  I have only a few memories and those that I do have are spotty.

I went back to work that Monday.  Whether my co-workers felt this or not, I’m not entirely sure, but it felt like they were afraid of me.  I tried to be the person that I was before, but they had seen a part of me they couldn’t unsee.  At that moment my work life started to unravel.

The fear of that moment led to other decisions.  Fear had taken hold a part of my life, the part that I felt I had under control.  I knew that things were different for so many reasons.  But I couldn’t figure a way out.  It took another 18 months for things to end and for a new opportunity to begin.

Deep down I knew that I didn’t belong there anymore.  So many signs presented themselves to me, but I couldn’t pull the trigger and take the necessary steps.  I reverted to my coping mechanism of choice.  I withdrew.  I kept to myself and put one foot in front of the other, but my heart wasn’t there, and those around me knew it.

For many of us we need help making this change.  In my case, I needed to be let go from my job.  Then another fear of what am I going to do now sets in?  I was fortunate.  I was able to put the pieces together relatively quickly.  I learned from my coaching calls that there is only way to get over fear and that is to move through it.   I have taken more chances in the last 11 months, then I did in the preceding 37 years.

This doesn’t mean that fear isn’t present in my life, but I have learned there is more to life than fear.  It can be used to guide us on to new and better things.  Sometimes we need to see our own lives from a different perspective.  My life now is all about helping people to see their lives with fresh eyes.  We can’t change our past, but we change the story we tell ourselves.  Every day is a new opportunity.  You may need to make a conscious choice to take that first step, but it gets easier over time.

What story in your life do you want to shift?  Let me know.  Do you want to know more, click here to book a discovery session or an appointment.