Category Archives: authenticity

My first radio interview

Thanks to a friend, this past week I had an opportunity to be interviewed on the radio for The Gallery for Inspiration™.   This was a first.  pexels-photo-270288I’ve never been interviewed on the radio before.

It was nice that I wasn’t obsessing about the upcoming interview.  I went on about my days doing my usual things and only preparing a small amount in a way that felt right to me.  I felt both calm and excited.

 

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No surprise I enjoyed myself.  The two radio hosts were super friendly.  I felt welcome, really enjoyed the experience and appreciated the opportunity.  Honestly, I was a little naturally high as I was experiencing this new experience.

If anyone out there reading this has experienced living with anxiety as an everyday companion you know the challenge it brings to your life.  But, in my case, it didn’t have to be a forever thing.  Years ago I started looking to become clear about past experiences that had contributed to my limiting self-beliefs. Out of this work I learned more about my patterns and eventually moved forward to let go of my old limiting stories.  And this work is still paying off every day, from feeling less anxious to experiencing a pretty incredible life.

That day on the radio, instead of squirming with fear and doubt, there was just me showing up to enjoy the experience and at the very least, learn.  Learn more about giving a radio interview.  Learn how to spontaneously answer questions without being scripted (however I did bring some talking points).  Mostly, to be ok with not knowing how it would all turn out.

When I was sent that MP3 file I listened with great curiosity.  I’d forgotten how I answered some of the questions and was more than curious (ok maybe even a little worried).  As I played the MP3 file I waited to see if I was embarrassed.  I wasn’t.  Overall, I feel it went really well.

I just don’t have the ambition to be perfect anymore.  Trying to be perfect was making me miserable especially in the situations where I’m not all that skilled yet.  I’m just me and if that includes my (charming?) stumbles and quaint memory losses in mid-sentence, the mispronunciations, the dreaded brain freeze, then so be it.  But because I was willing to be myself in that interview I relaxed and I didn’t experience too many of my charming stumbles.

One more thing about inventing reasons to be afraid and anxious is that the experience unfortunately becomes all about us rather than the real reason we’re doing what we’re doing.  Imagine obsessing about I hope I don’t forget what I want to say.  Jeez I’m scared.  What if my body makes one of its (charming?) noises?  Will they like me?  I’m not qualified to do this.  Why did I agree to this?  I hope I don’t let ______ down.  What if I embarrass them or myself?  What if I fail?  And my personal favorite (even on the radio- jeesh), How’s my hair look?”  Funny but it’s exhausting!  I’m ok with being less buttoned up because it’s allowing me to relax, use the freedom to change direction, even while leading a workshop.  That’s a good thing for what I do.

After listening to the interview, I walked around my house watering plants while talking to my guides, sharing that I felt we did great and that I had a lot of fun.  And I felt that now familiar confirmation from them that showed me they were pleased I felt that way.

It just makes everything so much easier and fun when we kick a little butt.  Such as in stepping up and doing whatever it is that we love doing or, at the very least give ourselves the space to improve.

Speaking of but! … For all you fellow strivers and perfectionistas there’s one BIG caveat.  We can’t force ourselves to feel confident and secure.  We have to be ready.  And that takes looking at where our old perceptions come from.  It takes work to be being willing to let the old perceptions go and choose to allow for the stronger, more confident, more joyful, and a more amazing version of ourselves.

Do you have any limiting self-beliefs you have that you’re ready to look at, to learn from, and when ready, let go of?  Don’t assume you’re damaged goods or the only one out there who feels this way.  Even all the whoop-tee-doo gurus and our supposed leaders have had to look at themselves at some point (…or not).  It is a choice.  Everyone grows when learning about themselves and taking action from that place.

The more of us learning about and letting go of our fears, the more we can more fully enjoy our lives and make our contributions.  Let’s go for it together.

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If you want to learn more about how to create great possibilities for yourself, and you’re in the DC/MD/VA area, check out one of my upcoming workshops here.

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“There Must Be More To You…”

The following paragraph is from one of my favorite books.

“…spiritual growth is learning to make your life work in every area, from your relationships to your career, as you put your spiritual light into everything you do, bring awareness and love to all your activities, and turn every experience into an opportunity for growth, you are being your higher self.” 

Years ago I hadn’t learned how much action, the steps, that growth takes.  I didn’t know that it takes work, awareness, looking at me and my patterns, habits, and experiences.  Instead, when I initially started opening to new ideas I was mostly just a sponge, watching others, and studying to be more like them.

I thought I only had to soak up information from reading, attending classes/workshops, and listening to spiritual leaders and then I’d have awesome mystical experiences that would knock my socks off, and result in a deeper experience of life and myself.

But no.  That’s not how it works.

And yet I persisted in looking anywhere but at myself.  I watched the “spiritual” people who not so much walk but seemed to float into rooms.  You know the ones that speak as if they’re right out of a Kripalu course catalog?   My focus was on them not me.  I assumed these beautiful ethereal individuals must have deeply meaningful lives and feelings of well-being and I wanted that because, back then, I so didn’t have that.

 

As I watched these seemingly awesome people I wondered, what was in their drinking water?  Where did they learn to speak the flowery way they did?  Their yoga poses were perfection, and their outward appearances exuded the epitome of calm, peace, and hipness.  Frankly, they annoyed the s_ _t out of me.

At some point, I tired of it all. The yoga studios and their spiritual growth workshops, the best selling books, the advice and philosophy from various leaders throughout the world. It was all well-intended but no longer attractive to me.

It was time to grow from my own experiences.  As a trusted individual pointed out to me, “…the big learning you came here for”.

 

Photo by SerrNovik/iStock / Getty Images

Sometimes I still need reminders to stand in my own power.  Just last year I had an awkward meeting that served as a friendly reminder to stop comparing!  It involved a new acquaintance who thought we’d have a lot to talk about.

How was it that after that meeting, I went home to have lunch with my husband and started to cry into my salad?  My confused husband gently asking how can you meet someone for an hour and come home crying?   That made me laugh and now I was laughing+crying+eating.

What had bugged me about that encounter was the more she shared her amazing man-person-legs-grassdramatic mystical experiences, the more I started to feel un-terrific, uninteresting, un-special, and fell right back into comparison mode.

I realized that after she shared all her numerous incredibly incredible fantastic mystical experiences, she had shared details about her life.  And I got it.  Her actual everyday life didn’t match her amazing stories at all.

She would have benefited more from compassion rather than envy.  I would have benefited from seeing the connection more clearly rather than making it about who I thought I wasn’t.

Do you ever bring yourself or anyone else up short, based on a lot of nothing?  Perhaps it’s about the size of one’s office, or the title they have, or recognition they’ve received, or vacation they’re taking.  Comparing ourselves to others, it’s not great right?  All day long we have opportunities to compare but those are the same opportunities to see non-comparatively and stay in our own power.

Cool stories or not, what matters the most to me is how I experience my life, and how good it feels.  That’s the “more” to my story because that’s what’s more important to me.

Three Bears Experience in Finding Support

Are you someone who has made big changes in your life?  Perhaps you’re opening to consider a bigger picture and there’s not a lot of people you can talk to about your experiences?  It’s natural to want to be around others who are also in a good space.  Or perhaps you’re struggling and could really use some support right about now.

It’s clear to me who the friends, acquaintances, and others are that I want to share all, or only certain parts of me with.  So it’s very important that I make time to meet with genuinely supportive people where I can bring all of me.

Connecting with someone can make our day, whether it’s on social media, or at one of those old school networking events, or meeting someone for a deeper conversation over coffee or lunch.  However, for me social media is not my first choice to connect with someone because typing into a little box to abbreviate myself is right up there with the all to common time-weary 30-second elevator talk.

That’s why a simple casual in-person meeting the other day meant so much to me.

All I did was get together with a couple of women for conversation and it was just what I needed.

In little more than one hour we shared what we’re experiencing and traded information and ideas.  We talked about how our work is going, what we’ve been learning, where our challenges are, and how we’re figuring things out as we go.  It was fun to honestly share that I truly have no idea what I’m doing and totally figuring it out as I go and yet that seems to be working really well for me.

Finding support is a little like the Three Bears story.  As I’m out and about connecting with others, some connections are just not quite right, or too much/too little, or oh hell nopexels-photo-207891

Sometimes the best connections can come from the least likely situations.

I imagine the Universe rubbing it’s hands together knowing that I’ll be learning a lot about myself and others as I put myself out in the world more.

It worked out that I decided to meet with those two women because our connection was just right.  Maybe it worked for me because I’m learning to listen with an open mind, realize that our experiences don’t have to be similar, I no longer water myself down because it’s not really an issue if someone doesn’t “get” me or visa versa.

And I trust that the right people will show up at the right time, especially as we let go of our less supportive relationships.  We all have some of those right?   Are you letting go of the limiting relationships in your life to make room for more fun and supportive connections?

 

 

We Contribute, One Thought at a Time

In spite of all the tragedies, natural disasters, polarization, political controversies, including corporate, political, and personal abuse, I still believe each of us everyday, seemingly ordinary human beings, are bringing about more peace, love, and light, in the world.

I don’t own a major company, and most people don’t even know I’m on the planet, but I feel I’m doing my part.  I certainly didn’t wow the educational system or set the corporate world on fire, but in my own way I know I’m contributing.  I have a small following, but I’m still making my impact.   Sometimes it’s a struggle for me to find the most eloquent words to write or to speak, but still I believe I’m able to make a difference.  Everyone makes a difference in the world.  Everyone.

I really believe we beneficially contribute to the world even more so through feeding our spirit by doing what brings us joy, and living from lighter and higher emotions.  As each of us create avenues for positive change in ourselves, all of humanity benefits as well.

Every time we laugh we make a contribution to the collective consciousness.  Every time we’re inspired by a work of art, a book, a film, a conversation, our resulting inspired thoughts and feelings ripple out to all.  When we choose to think a beautiful thought, among so many other kinds of thoughts we could choose to think, we’re contributing to mankind.  When I cook one of my vegan meals and my husband opts in and valiantly eats every bite out of love, he’s contributing because he’s melting my heart with every bite.  No moment is too silly or insignificant.

Most everyone knows that kindness towards someone else, directly contributes to whom the kindness is directed to.  But it’s easy to forget to be kind to ourselves, especially when things get tough.  Self-kindness is a gift to ourselves.  It’s also a gift to others because the beneficial feelings ripple out to all.  How we feel as we go about our day, touches many.  How we’re spending our time.  Joyful, fun, interesting, rewarding?  Or, do we feel constricted?  What are our feelings telling us?  What kinds of thoughts are we holding?  Are they positive or negative thoughts?  What kinds of words are we using?  Lighthearted, humorous, or inspiring, or negative, self-deprecating, or limiting?  Are we taking action on our dreams?   What kinds of habits do we have?

As we become aware of ourselves, open to our light and personal strength, we can’t help but consciously create a more loving, compassionate, joyful experience for ourselves, and the world.  Each of us becomes a light for each other.

For me, the higher I take my feelings by honoring myself with better thoughts and habits, the less I want to name-call any name-callers, or hate the haters.  It also seems especially counter-intuitive to me, to tear down those that tear down others.

I can’t think of a better time for more and more of us to realize our self-worth, our strength, our personal power.  We hold back and hope that someone more qualified, more awesome, more special, more divine, will improve things.  But we’re all already that.  The solution isn’t with an elected official, world leader, or famous what’s-her/his-name, it’s everyone, the collective us.   We’re positively impacting the world as we

  • Lead with our best effort in more moments
  • Create positive messages and take positive actions
  • Act on our own beneficial ideas and solutions
  • Collaborate
  • Support one another
  • Believe in better possibilities

How we are being, how we are taking care of ourselves, is how we evolve our communities, our world governments, corporations, financial systems, educational institutions, healthcare, our world, our hearts, our consciousness, our humanity.

While each of us is having our own individual life experience, we are one spirit and one humanity.

two kids humanityWhatever experiences we’re in the midst of, whether we’re lighthearted, sad, confused, or joyful, we still connect with each other.  We transform ourselves and the world, one beneficial thought at a time, and through even the smallest human gesture.

What do you think?  Do you see yourself individually and collectively, contributing?

We’re all in this together

I’ve said this a million times, each of us is unique.  We grew up differently, look different from each other, sound different, dress differently, have totally different life experiences.  Our lives might look as though we’re on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.  Still, we’re all here and we’re all in this together.  diff folksEvery single one of us has a heart that at times is bursting with love or feels utterly broken or something in-between.  Each of us, at some point, want something better for ourselves.  “More” can be everything from better health, more money, healthier relationships, fulfilling work, joy, love, or an end to struggle.

As I put myself out in the world and look to create possibilities with others I’m very aware of our mutual evaluations.  Let’s go with the word evaluation rather than judgment.  We all evaluate each other.  Sometimes it’s all light and an opening is created.  Sometimes it goes the other way, for good reason or because one of us made a snappy judgment, oops I mean evaluation.  Everybody evaluates before making a decision and sometimes it’s based on going with our gut or criteria we need to meet.  I do it.  I consider my feelings around a group, cause, organization, based on their website content, or what I’ve heard about them, what their mission and vision is.  Do I align with them?  Is this something I feel strongly about?  Is there a good possibility my skills could be useful?  And then I make my decision and either reach out or not.

Sometimes, I’m just sayin’, we go overboard on keeping others out for very little reason or based on our own assumptions created by seeing through our own experiences.  I just spent three days with my best friend.  We couldn’t be more different when it comes to our personal habits, beliefs, interests, and how we approach life and interact with the world.  And yet, we’ve managed to have a relationship that’s lasted, and we’ve enjoyed and hugely benefited from, since we were three years old.  From her I’m learning about accepting others as they are and how to not care what others think.  Perhaps from me she’s learning how to stand up for her own needs and to let go of being a people-pleaser.

The way I experience life is that we’re all in this together.  It may look like we’re too different from each other to find common ground.  But that kind of thinking prevents the possibility of a beneficial connection.  And anyway, we always share similar basic needs and heartfelt desires…either in the midst of enormous struggle or when things just aren’t sitting right or if we’re fortunate enough to live joyful, creative lives.  Some of what we evaluate each other on doesn’t really matter.  It doesn’t really matter what our back story is but rather what we’ve done in spite of it, and learned from it.  It doesn’t so much matter what we look like, or where we live.  Instead, wouldn’t it be great to focus on cooperating and creating together?  To learn from each other.  To release our quick to surface dismissive thoughts and, instead, open to possibilities.  There’s no better time in the world for this than now.

Cringe and Learn

So I’m noodling around with a workshop I’ll be contributing to in a few weeks.  My section is about setting and working towards our vision of our best, pertaining to finding and aligning with our purpose.  It’s no accident that I’m leading the section where we discuss concrete steps we might take to stay in alignment with our vision.  Because this is exactly where I am in my own life.

As we align with our purpose we all need assistance.  Initially, I thought I could do it all myself.  But I need assistance with legalities, forms, and fresh eyes looking at my content, among many other things.

The perfect person always shows up at the perfect time.  Even the ones who don’t seem so perfect.  There’s all kinds of support.  Beautiful support from who I can’t so much see but I’m tremendously benefiting from as opportunities and people are sent my way.

Then there’s the support from people who unknowingly are challenging me and teaching me to stand up for myself or whatever the lesson may be.   Those are the most surprising and often uncomfortable relationships, they pop into my life for only a short time until I get what they’re showing me.  And it can take me a while to figure out what it is they’re showing me.  At first I might even go kicking and screaming into the what’s there for me to learn.  But I don’t want to speak up.   I’m comfortable with my people pleasing inauthentic behavior.  It’s more difficult to share my truth and be myself.  And I look away until it becomes so uncomfortable that I have to pay attention.  Ok, what is this about?!

All I can say is, if something doesn’t feel right, it’s a good idea to take a minute to try to figure out why because it’s there to learn from, however uncomfortable it feels.

Speaking up in the moment has always been a challenge for me, so how great is it that in moving forward into my purpose someone pops up to teach me to speak up?

For example, one person I recently hired was with the intention of receiving help to become more succinct on my website.   I soon learned our business relationship was more about teaching me to speak up for myself, though she has no idea she’s teaching me this.  This person is reminding me to pay attention to my feelings and to my intuition asking myself…does this person’s suggestions align with my vision or not?  I’m learning to manage our business agreement…are we still focused on the initial goal?  Am I getting what I paid for?

I used to fold and follow from both a lack of confidence and worry I might hurt someone’s feelings if I disagreed with them or worry they might not like me.  But things are way different now, and this is not the time to fall back into my old habits.

As I listened to our recorded meetings I was very surprised that what I was saying and projecting outwardly, was not how I really felt.   I heard myself agree when I disagreed.  I heard myself say “yeah”, “ok”, lot’s of “yups”, and “thank you’s” when instead I was feeling “no”, “why are we talking about this?”, or “I don’t feel this is working out for me”.   I was cringing when I listened to the recordings.

Turns out a little cringing was worth it because I got it.  Speaking up to get what I pay for is a valuable skill to learn as my vision grows and as I hire more people to assist me in my vision.  So a big thank you to this person and to my guides for the opportunity.  I need to bring more authenticity and confidence to my business dealings and to every relationship.

 

Standing in our own personal power

It was a simple meeting…

How was it that afterwards, when I came home and had lunch with my husband, I cried?  As I tried to express myself between tears I kept saying Why do I feel this way?  What exactly happened?  My husband was also asking, how could you get so upset over a casual meeting with someone?  I don’t know why I feel this way, I blubbered into my salad while spilling dressing all over myself.  And I really didn’t.  I needed a minute (it took a week or so).  I was so done, sniffle, sniffle.

Embracing our differences

 

This experience was not really about a disconnection with someone or an awkward meeting I’d had the best of intentions for.  This was an opportunity for me to learn something about myself.

We’d met the previous week at her event and from what we both shared there, it seemed we were on the same wavelength.  While she didn’t intend for this, I felt deflated by her first question…so tell me, I know there’s more to your story.  There isn’t really much more I thought and all of a sudden I felt ordinary around someone who clearly was exuding ‘special’ and ‘expert’ as she shared all her highly unusual metaphysical experiences.  I felt like a duck out of water and no longer stood in my personal power.

Not a fun meeting and I take complete responsibility for feeling smaller.  I compared myself to someone else and fell into an old pattern of coming up short.  Watching an old belief pop up over a simple interaction, allowing old assumptions about myself to resurface, the more constricted I felt.

If this experience taught me anything it’s that I have my own lane, to embrace it, and to confidently stand in it.