Communication

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A reminder on communication—(you can see my previous posts on this as well 😊).  We have a project at work where we are moving offices.  I met with one of the key players today who is helping us move and found out he had no clue on several key points.  I saw his frustration and realized that no one communicated with him…at all.  Emails were going back and forth talking about who needed to do what, more information was missing, and it was clear the planning stage didn’t have everyone there who should have been.  And as I mention all the time, this is applicable to so many things happening now.  We don’t communicate anymore—we think we do, but we really don’t say much.  We use words that imply without directly expressing what is happening. 

My friends, communication is so important.  With the transition of so much life to screens, we are missing something we used to have.  We are missing the ability to converse.  We spew points at each other, arguments, place blame, when all we need to do is eliminate the middle man and have a conversation.  We all have misunderstandings, that is natural, but we have forgotten how to resolve them, and it is so critical.  When it feels like we are speaking on two different wave lengths, that is when we have to try harder, not shut down.

I think the way to fix this is to simply start speaking with people again.  Reach out.  Learn to connect.  We are so trained and focused on manipulating people to get what we want from them that we have forgotten that they are human.  We have forgotten how to work with their humanity because we don’t know how to find it in ourselves either.  Find the common ground, find the connection, find the outreach.  Find what speaks to you and learn to speak that to others.  We are ALL desperately seeking connection and technology makes that easy—but making the connection is the hard part. 

Lost or Found

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“Sometimes you think that you want to disappear but all you really want is to be found,” unknown.  My soul has been speaking loudly the last few months.  I’ve been on this roller coaster with nearly all of my relationships and I have to come to terms with the fact that the common denominator in all of that is me.  That isn’t to say I’m really doing something wrong, it’s just that, clearly, I’m lacking somewhere.  I don’t know if it’s not trusting others out of fear or if it’s releasing the idea of who I thought I was.  Regardless of that, the part I know is true is that I don’t feel like I belong anywhere.  No matter where I’m at or who I’m with, I feel like I’m the outsider. 

I’ve been looking for connection but it took me until VERY recently to realize that what I considered connection was really codependence and control.  I didn’t have a good definition of connection when it came to relationships.  I didn’t have a good definition of connection with MYSELF.  I was raised that anything for me was selfish and needed to be earned, and that playing on sympathy was the only way to get what I needed.  I was never raised to find strength in me or to develop my talents.  So much of this was about learning who I really am and unlearning what I thought I was.  I have all of these beliefs and reasons why I behave as I do and I never really stopped to look at why.  It felt hypocritical because I sincerely believe in the messages I share but I haven’t been a great example of that.  And now the universe is telling me loud and clear this isn’t right.  I know that’s the message because none of my old ways feel right and they aren’t working. 

When what we used to do no longer feels right, it feels disorienting—and that is where I’ve been.  But, for me, this is a way to look at the past and identify where I can heal.  I have long made peace with the fact that my parents did the absolute best they could.  I know what they did had some repercussions on me (to say the least) but I truly harbor no resentment about that.  That doesn’t mean we can repeat the patterns and making those changes is painful.  This isn’t just about the parental relationship, but it’s about the habits those relationships taught me early on.  One of those habits has been to do everything on my own so I wasn’t perceived as weak.  In reality, I needed others—we ALL do.  But the first step is learning to trust yourself and to break those habits of not knowing who you are—or at least those are the steps for me.

So I’ve been trying to reclaim myself and do things that make sense to me, that bring me joy, that make me happy.  I am no longer content to be ignored.  I am being made uncomfortable in order to raise my voice so more people can hear me.  The ones who don’t hear me after that are not for me and I would normally lament that, but I know I am not for everyone.  That is ok.  I am looking for those who need me and for those who speak my language.  We all need those who speak our language.  So if you find yourself feeling as I did, that nothing was working and no one understood, I encourage you to stop thinking it’s all you.  Look around and see if there is anyone who does speak your language.  Or are you surrounded by people who make you feel bad for not knowing what they’re saying?  If it’s the latter, get out.  Find where you belong and you do that by finding yourself first.  The rest will come.   

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for love.  Everyone struggles with relationships at times.  There are days it feels like we have to fight to love each other.  We are all so intricately bound to each other and so fragile in so many ways that it’s easy to misinterpret everything.  We struggle with our emotions and identifying what we are really feeling or we expect those around use to do our feeling for us.  Personally, my husband and I have gone back and forth roughly a million times over our 20 years together about whether or not we would stay together, but there is always something that brings us back to each other.  Sometimes it’s about putting aside what you think is right and doing what is right for the couple.  Other times it is about standing your ground.  But the fact that we have always worked it out speaks more than any argument we’ve had.  I am grateful for that.

Today I am grateful for compassion.  If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know I have a complicated relationship with my 9-5.  Some of that complication is because it is a business and it has evolved into something I’m not always 100% on board with.  The other part of that is the business is built in a small-ish community and many of the same people have been there for years so it’s a little like high school with people trying to get recognition or gossiping etc. Regardless, I spent some time with my coworkers and boss on Friday and afterward, my boss sent a message about something going on in my personal life.  I felt every ounce of humanity she had in that moment and I had a brief respite of thinking, “All of this will be ok.”  I know to trust my instincts (at least the ones that speak this loudly), and that thought (that all will be ok) came so naturally to me that I know it is the truth.  The moment was aligned because my mentor in my other role has asked that I open up and I see the need for letting my guard down and forming relationships.  That moment with my boss solidified that for me.  As much as I need to learn to trust myself, I have to trust others as well—with discernment, of course.  I can’t do it all alone. 

Today I am grateful for reminders to grow.  I feel like I stopped myself from growing 20 years ago from fear…fear of not being able to see things through.  Fear of failing at what I wanted to do.  Fear of never finding out who I am.  And ironically, keeping myself stifled for this long led me down that path of not knowing myself.  I tried to stop time because I found myself comfortable in a moment.  I experienced a lot of trauma as a child and I realize now that I was trying to create a safe environment for myself in any way I knew how.  So I tried to keep things the same.  I mean, I’ve been with the same man for 20 years, we didn’t have a child until 5 years ago, I’m back at the same place I worked.  And I know now it is time to release those images and that fear and simply, grow.  It is time, and while it is uncomfortable, there is so much more waiting on the other side.

Today I am grateful for patience.  Piggy backing off of growth, relationships and compassion, I think I finally understand patience.  I fixate and replay imagined hurts over and over again, so being with people who function differently helps.  We were with my in-laws on Saturday night and it is always such a different vibe than with my family.  There is no pretense or expectation of how people behave or discomfort because we are all so socially awkward.  As we were driving home, I realized that is the feeling I’ve been looking for my whole life.  I briefly felt angry that we didn’t spend more time like this over the years because it feels different when you are with people who own their shit and move on.  That is far healthier than harboring and rehashing a lifetime of crap based on what someone did or what we think they felt or said.  So now I see my husband differently and I am grateful he has stuck with my stubborn, fixating butt for this long.    

Today I am grateful to understand forgiveness.  As I mentioned above, I replay the past over and over again in my head.  It’s partially genetic (anxiety and depression) and partially training (I can trace it back to at least my great-grandmother’s behavior).  Regardless, I see how holding onto what other people did to me, real or imagined, did nothing to the other person.  Holding onto what I remember I did also did nothing to the other person.  I have been trained to repeatedly beat myself up over the years and my brain needs a break.  I truly see the point of forgiveness isn’t for the other person—it is to allow yourself to move on.  I used to think that was crap because I was trained to hold onto it like our lives depended on it.  I completely see how toxic that is and I am grateful to have people who have been patient enough to help me work through that whether they knew it or not. 

Today I am grateful and proud of the small changes I’ve been making.  I have a tendency to be an all or none type of person but I’ve seen how that has led to failure or a lack of consistency in the things I really want to do with my life.  Then I repeat the pattern of getting angry at myself for not sticking with it and for not being where I want to be.  I knew that had to change so I decided to try something different—those small steps I mention quite often.  For the past two weeks, I’ve been making really small, focused efforts on breaking some bad habits and adopting healthier ones.  And it is working.  I read once that you shouldn’t try to eliminate all the “bad” habits immediately, you should incorporate a new one.  The brain can handle that easier.  And I will say that is true.  It feels more complete and whole when you have something to hold on to, and it’s less scary to release the old.    

Today I am grateful to create my own security.  Things are ok,  but I’ve been on edge and highly sensitive.  I’ve gotten to take a moment and settle down where I am and get in touch with some of what I’m feeling.  I appreciate that I’ve been able to take the time to do that and to have a space of my own to connect.  We all carry a lot of weight and I am grateful to be able to create that sense of security for myself.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.   

On Peace

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Over the last few weeks I have found myself in a really dark place.  There was honestly no reason for it and I’ve been trying to make a point to really stay focused on the positive and to share positive things—that is the point of this page.  But I feel the point is also to share the journey and part of that is learning how to get through the ups and downs as well as to point out that the lows bring us to our highs—or at least make us appreciate them.  So, what I want to share is that I felt old feelings of the desire to self-harm come back in varying degrees and I haven’t felt that in years.  I don’t know what brought that on, but there have been various triggers and pressures over the last few weeks from things at work to my husband to feeling overwhelmed with everything I’m trying to accomplish.  It all came to a head and it brought be down really low. 

In spite of all of that, as the universe does, I started getting signs to reconnect again.  I’m reading Super Attractor by Gabby Bernstein and I want to talk about her “Choose Again” method.  At my lowest over the last few weeks, I couldn’t have gotten myself out of it to save my life—and I almost didn’t.  I made sure to keep going through my routine and I was posting every day and keeping my presence up, I was even going to my business calls and working my 9-5 and my side work.  It was so robotic, I wasn’t present.  Yet, reading this book reminded me of the power of our thoughts.  I’ve been shown repeatedly that I need to let go.  Simply let it all go—not give up, but release the outcome.  As I needed it, Gabby talked about experiencing joy and doing things because we enjoy them.  Yes, that is the exact message I want to share, but I really didn’t integrate it until now.  We are allowed to do things for the fun of it and the experience is what teaches us. 

To get into the choose again method in particular, I want to note that this is what really turned me around.  On the surface, it seems so easy (Just stop thinking whatever negative thought you have) but it is deeper than that.  Sometimes when we are at our lowest, choosing a positive thought isn’t possible.  So Gabby put it into perspective and explained that you don’t need to turn your thoughts off like a switch and if you aren’t able to think of a positive thought, you ask yourself, “What is the next best thought I can think?”.  In that way you aren’t demanding your feelings go away, you are simply getting in touch with where you are at now and looking for something that can make you feel a little better in the moment.  And then you do it again.  And again.  And again until you start to make some progress from the depths.     

I never expected to allow myself to feel that low again.  I was feeling things I haven’t felt in a decade, and it terrified me both because they popped up again, but also because of how matter-of-factly my inner voice shared them.  Such certainty and finality, I didn’t realize I was buying into until I had the empty package in my hand, the despair already drunk.  I know now this is something I will have to monitor for the rest of my life.  Emotions come out of nowhere sometimes.  How quickly we identify them and bounce back is the key.  It may not be a full immediate rebound, but putting ourselves on the right track is key, even if it’s just turning around.  Reading those lines right as I was going through this made me remember that I do have a purpose.  We ALL do.  Never allow yourself to forget that because we can always choose again.  What is the next best thing you can think of?

A Moment of Truth

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Healing is always a journey, especially with mental health. You never know when you will have a rough moment. I found myself on the floor in my kitchen staring at the clock.  Then I was standing in my dining room, hugging my body, feeling pulled down on the floor.  Then I found myself in my bathroom, staring in the mirror.  My face unrecognizable, puffy, taut, my eyes moments from dropping tears.  And I couldn’t tell you how I ended up in any of those places or why.  I was completely unsure of what I needed to do, feeling overwhelmed with everything and nothing all at the same time, the back of my mind telling me I was supposed to be getting ready for work but I couldn’t do it.  Instead, I mindlessly wandered around my house, unconscious of what I was doing, my son asleep in my office, the animals staring at me how they do with silent worry.  My friends, that was this morning.

Even after I managed to get myself ready, get my son ready, and actually get on the road, I still felt so off.  It didn’t even feel like I was in my body.  But some coherence came back to me as I got to work.  I realized that the overwhelm and the melancholy and the fear all came from imbalance.  These last few months have been filled with amazing blessings and also an unbelievable amount of stress.  It has been multi-directional and chaotic and new and old and uncomfortable—a lot like being on a roller coaster with nothing holding you down.  I know there are habits I have to release, old ways that no longer serve, and that means embracing the new which is often unknown.

So how do we find balance?  Is it even achievable?  I’m not talking about the image of the perfectly centered yogi sitting on a beach somewhere with a waterfall in the background, their eyes serenely closed and the faint smile on their lips.  NO.  I’m talking about the ability to know who we are.  The ability to be fully engaged in what you are doing when you’re doing it.  And liking it.  The ability to have freedom that means something to you.  The bad news is, I don’t think it’s possible in the system we have designed as it functions now.  The good news is I believe we can re-write that and make it possible.

My idea of balance is freedom and honoring the things I value.  I want to have fun and enjoy life, not forget what I’m doing while I’m doing it, working like a machine, having someone else dictate my day.  My idea of balance is to live in my authenticity and help people live in theirs.  We aren’t designed for this, whatever this is now.  I’ve spoken about this many times, but I think we all need a reminder on that today.  Balance, for me, isn’t about control or calling the shots (even though that’s part of it), it’s about the give and take of knowing what you need and helping others get theirs.  It’s living with the natural flow of life instead of living a manufactured, pretend system that never helped anyone anyway.

I know I never want to feel how I did this morning again.  I honestly thought I was beyond those moments quite a while ago.  The past few weeks have thrown me for a loop, yes, but I didn’t anticipate that feeling, simultaneously feeling everything and nothing.  My mind literally felt broken.  And once the epiphany about balance hit me, I didn’t know if I was able to attain that.  For me, the first thing I want to do is stop.  I really just want to stop what I’m doing, stop comparing, stop fearing, stop rushing, stop taking on so much in order to fill the fear of lack.  I want to stop again and re-evaluate because even though I’ve been doing better than I thought, clearly there is still something underlying.  So I need to stop.  I need to get honest and try and find the next best thought I can.

Playtime

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“Letting your mind play is the best way to solve problems,” Bill Watterson.  This is one of those quick snippets to remind us that we are on the right track.  After yesterday’s post about looking foolish and remembering how to play, this is a perfect reminder that there is purpose in play.  All of life is an experiment and we learn how it works through trying things.  I know I sat on the sideline waiting for permission for a lot of things but I would always get excited in biology or physics when we were experimenting.  It didn’t occur to me until many years later that all we do in life is an experiment.  We are trying to see what works for us.  We are each our own set of variables and we have to see what applies and what doesn’t.

Sometimes we have to remember that the problem isn’t the problem—the way we think about it is.  How we approach something makes all the difference in the world.  We can look at it all as a big game where we learn something or we can let it weigh us down.  I choose the former.  I’m not a pro at this by any means—I still have a lot to learn.  But I will tell you that shifting that perspective where I know the possibility that something challenging is teaching me something great has made all the difference.  It takes the pressure off and it helps me see possibilities when it feels like there aren’t any.  So ask yourself how you can play today.  Find a way to make life fun.  THAT is the point.

Foolish or Smartest Move Ever?

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“Don’t be afraid to be a fool,” Stephen Colbert. This is an appropriate follow up to our conversation about doing something differently from the other week.  One area we didn’t talk about was the fact that people do the same thing over and over again because they are comfortable.  They are used to it and it is familiar to them.  Plus the truth is we don’t want to look stupid as we do something different or new.  But we have to learn to put aside what we look like for the sake of learning what we are meant to.  The only way to learn something new is to try it and that means entering territory we haven’t been before.

We need what the Buddha calls “beginner’s mind” all the time.  It’s only then that we are able to break the habits we’ve formed.  If we weren’t getting anywhere with them anyway, then why do we need to continue?  We don’t.  Growth doesn’t happen amidst comfort in most cases anyway.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t a natural process. There will come a time when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of growth.  And being foolish is part of that.  There is some nobility in being a fool and there is wonder in remembering the purpose of play and curiosity—to grow and learn.  Making play a silly thing or a superficial unnecessary thing is where we went wrong.  We need play as a tool.  We need the spark of curiosity.

I spent most of my life dictating what happened every second of every day.  I remember as far back as grade school when we were reading things aloud, I would count how many kids were in front of me so I could find my section and practice it.  I never wanted to look like I didn’t know what I was doing.  As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I grew up with siblings older than me and I always wanted to be part of that crowd so I always tried to keep up and “know” what I was doing.  I robbed myself of the act of learning and creating by trying to be what they were.  Yes, I needed the companionship of my siblings, but we were in different places.  I wanted to be seen as one of them, not be taught by them.  The ironic thing is, now as an adult, I can see what I would have learned if I had let go. 

But learning isn’t always a pretty process.  That doesn’t mean it’s bad.  We have to remember the point of things isn’t in how they look.  I know it’s primitive brain because we needed to be able to discern quickly what was dangerous and what wasn’t, what food would kill us and what wouldn’t, who we could trust and who we couldn’t, and what animals we could work with and those that would kill us.  And bottom line, at that time if we didn’t know what we were doing, we wouldn’t survive so our tribes would leave us behind.  So while we don’t live like that, the primal instincts are still there.  It takes time to retrain the brain to let go of those things.

I’ve learned a lot about play and looking ridiculous through my relationship with my son.  Kids have NO fear about what they look like.  They may have initial doubts in their abilities, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.  They approach the world with curiosity and they simply want to know if they can do it when it crosses their minds—whatever “it” may be in the moment.  When I first started the parenting thing, I wanted things to look a certain way.  Not as quickly as I should have, I realized that nothing will ever look as it’s supposed to or how we plan it in our minds.  We are dealing with little humans and they have their own ideas.  Soon we realize how much they are teaching us.

Much quicker than we think, we forget what it is like to play.  We are taught to conform and release our creativity early as some sort of sacrifice for the greater good.  Many of us let it die.  I know I let my creativity go for a long time.  But it kept calling me.  There was always a faint thread keeping it tied to me. The louder it got, the more I had to heed the call.  It was as if my son’s needs were pulling at my creativity as well.  So we played, and something awakened in me.  I didn’t care what the “point” was, I didn’t care what he needed to learn—I remembered what I needed to learn.  Once we get to that point, it doesn’t matter what anything looks like.  I seek out looking foolish.  I want to enjoy this life—I don’t care what it looks like. 

Pleasure

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I want to talk to my people learning to set boundaries, specifically my people who feel guilty or feel shameful for doing it.  I have a real personal story to share.  Repeating the point from my mentor we talked about the other day, when we are starting a new life, sometimes the universe really runs us through the wringer to see if we want it.  For me, my new life is peaceful, and abundant, and filled with love and sharing, and worry is to a minimum as I fulfill my purpose and live my dream.  Sounds peachy, right?  But what happens when it seems everything is conspiring to stop that?  So, here is the story.

I’m super fragile and sensitive lately because I know that things are changing.  They are changing fast and it scares me as much as it excites me.  The universe is pushing in some arenas I’m not comfortable with, but hey, that’s life.  So, we have amazing neighbors—just incredibly kind and generous people.  We were gifted a treadmill as well as a fish tank from them (things they were getting rid of).  I’m LOVING the treadmill.  So I was spending some time on it (I’m talking 30 minutes) and my son had a fit.  I rarely take time away from my son because of a long history in our house, but maintaining my health is important to me.  He had to be involved and I finally told him to stop because I really need to take care of ME.  He ended up getting hurt on the belt because he wanted to touch it and he did. I had a meltdown as my immediate thought was, “Yet again, I’m trying to do something for me and I can’t because of someone else.” 

The next day, my husband was using the treadmill and it died.  Completely died.  The story I told myself on that one was he was running an old treadmill too hard and it broke.  So, “Yet again, something good for me is blocked.”  And that is when I lost it.  How is it that doing something good for myself can either result in someone else getting hurt or it falling apart?  I had a pity party and then a coming to my senses. I could have collapsed into the story that these good things aren’t meant for me and for a while I did.  It was so painful to feel like anything I’ve done for myself was somehow shameful or greedy.  I teach that you have to fill your cup in order to pour into someone else’s, why was the universe mad at me for filling my cup? For taking care of me?!    

If I have the belief that there is enough to go around for everyone, then there is certainly enough for me.  And I will no longer buy into the trauma story that my pleasure, my health gets in the way of someone else.  We are all allowed to feel good and I had to tell that old training to shove it.  It wasn’t easy, believe me.  But I will do it again and again and again.  There is no reasonable way on this earth, statistically speaking in the universe, that one person feeling good is causing PAIN to someone else.  NOPE.  Not buying it.  You don’t buy it either.  My brain may need more convincing but I feel it with every ounce of my soul.  I know it’s true for you too.

Time to Learn

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I want to talk a little about the event I mentioned in my Gratitude post.  The event itself was regarding the business we are in and the skills/tactics we need to grow.  Honestly the reminders about using what we have to learn the myriad of skills and how they infiltrate all areas of our lives was fantastic.  The speaker has done remarkably well for herself but I found myself less interested in what she did with the business and what she did for herself.  Her story on the human condition reminded me on so many levels of what we are capable of.  She is also a great reminder that sometimes what we think we are learning isn’t it…there is something more there.

So, I’ve been holding myself back in a lot of ways because I’ve had these preconceived notions on every area of my life.  I defined what it means to work, what it means to be married, what it means to be a mother, to have a family and to be a friend.  I defined what I expected other people to do in their relationships with me and, Good Lord, how it fit into my life on my schedule.  I thought I was becoming more flexible about time by trying to shove more into my day.  I missed the lesson on just doing and not watching the clock.  I’ve grown up with that fear my whole life so I know that it’s going to take some time to heal that.  Regardless, how could anyone get close to me if I only allowed them in during certain times?  How could I get close to anyone if I only let them in part way?  How could I form a human relationship based on understanding if I constantly expected them to be a certain way?  I mean, I’ve grown up believing if you wanted a certain result, you behave a certain way.  That IS true.  But not to the degree of demanding someone’s timing match my own.  Side note, don’t be a dick with someone’s time—be respectful, that is always good advice, but give enough slack for the human side of it, LIFE happens.

During this presentation, a series of three thoughts came quickly to mind.  1. I’ve been looking to be perfect when I thought I was trying to define what I’m doing.  I honestly thought I was doing the latter, but I’ve been hiding behind those ingrained expectations thinking I wasn’t ready when I was trauma perfecting.  There are people who can barely communicate, who don’t have an education, who have been ill/hurt/traumatized, who have found a way to do this.  And I’m not doing it because it doesn’t fit into the schedule of what I think life should look like?  2.  We can always do more than we think.  It isn’t about acquiring, it’s about giving, sharing knowledge, helping each other level up.  I always thought having more meant I could give more.  Now I see the more you give, the more you have.  Please don’t think I was a stingy person, but I grew up in survival mode in the respect that I gave away a lot that was precious to me for no return so I found the takers early in life and that trauma followed me.  3.  I had to question what I’m really learning here.  I had preconceived notions about this and many of them are still spilling through in my decisions, but reframing that is what will carry me further.

To detail point 3, the learning is where it’s at.  Having an open mind is key to so much in this life and it helps us form connections that will take us further than sheer will ever could.  Look for the lessons.  I looked at this business as a scam, as people preying on the weak, and as something you have to devote yourself to 24/7 to succeed.  Now I see it differently.  I’m learning leadership.  I’m learning to accept people as they are.  I’m learning to set boundaries for myself first (that pesky time thing again) and others.  I’m learning to have faith.  I’m learning to prioritize gratitude over complaining.  Most importantly, I’m learning what works for me.  I always assumed I had to buy into the “plan” in order to be successful even if the plan didn’t work for me.  I had to work twice as hard to prove myself to get half as much in the “real” world.  Now I’m seeing HOW to build that plan with the pieces that work and how to gracefully say no to what isn’t for me.

I want to really point out that all of this came from 3 hours of listening to a convention because someone believed in me enough to share it.  It all came from listening to another person’s story and seeing where the lesson really is for me.  It came from changing my perception and being open enough to try it.  My initial response was I don’t have time for it—which I really didn’t have time for the whole thing—but I did my best to fit in what I could.  I am so grateful that I did.  Share your stories, my friends.  You never know who needs it.  You never know the wisdom it will spark in someone else.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful for a new stage in my life.  I feel like a broken record, but it has been a tumultuous year.  There have been some amazing moments, no doubt, but I have faced some unbelievable challenges from losing my second child to starting multiple businesses to transitioning in my 9-5.  Life isn’t meant to stay the same, that much is clear and I believe.  But I have been given many reminders that I am also the one holding myself in this pattern.  I’ve been working with a woman on one of my business ventures and she reminded me that many times as we are beginning a new life, we face challenges to see if we really want it.  That phrasing annoys me because in many cases it isn’t a matter of how badly I want it—it’s a matter of practicality and the circumstances around me.  I’m learning to create boundaries that allow for the things I want while maintaining what I have because (for me at least) a clean cut into a new life isn’t an option right now.  I know where I need to give in to the process now.  I am grateful to release fear and buy in.

Today I am grateful for wonderful leadership examples around me.  Following point one above with a new stage in my life, I was able to virtually attend a conference on Saturday (12/11/21).  I’ve held onto some skeptical beliefs about this business, but there is NO denying the power of a group, specifically the group I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of.  There is real growth there.  That isn’t to say it isn’t work—but it is work that I can stand behind.  More importantly, these are people who will stand behind me as well.  I’m not used to that kind of support and it feels out of the norm for me.  Seeing these people and the levels they have achieved is amazing to me because it shows me that I CAN do something in this and make a new life with the skills and I will be supported.  Moreso, there are people in this group who have had odds stacked against them and they are still here—and killing it.  No more excuses.

Today I am grateful for the support I mentioned.  I confided in my mentor and partner that I wasn’t sure I could do this and that is still one of the blocks I have to getting started in this.  She told me to borrow her belief, because she believes I can do it.  How beautiful is that?  No one has ever spoken to me like that and it feels amazing to have someone see something like that in me.  And the truth is, if I can see those things in other people, why can’t I see them in myself?  She reminded me it is time to put that belief in myself.  

Today I am grateful for breakthrough.  The significant epiphany: there are growth opportunities when you put yourself first and you need to take them.  it isn’t selfish to address those needs first—it’s necessary.  Yes, I promote this but I have been guilty of not practicing my own methods.  NOW is the time to do that.  I am so grateful to articulate to my husband where my concerns are and what my needs are and what my interpretation of things that are bothering me are.  None of that is owned by him, but if we are going to be on the same page, he has to understand where I’m coming from.  He is owed the chance to explain himself rather than me accuse him and put my story in his mouth.  I am also grateful this means that there are certain parts of my life that I am ready to put behind me—again.  This year has been a process of letting go, and letting go, and letting go…just when I think I’m done, there’s more stuff or another pattern or another belief to release.  Some days it feels like all of me is falling away.  Then I think, perhaps, this undoing is my rebuilding. 

Today I am grateful for connection with family.  My sister and niece came over today and we discussed our past in a way we haven’t before.  It is so important to understand that while you may have a shared history with someone, they may have seen it differently and their experience of that circumstance was different.  It was also cathartic to share things that we haven’t before.  There are some people that you can only speak to about certain things and it is important to do that.  We develop preconceived ideas about people based on the experiences we share with them, but learning to see the other side opens new doorways to healing. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.