nancy's blog

reclaiming the lost pieces of me

reclaiming the lost pieces of me

in seven hours
we reached the desert
by morning
clear blue sky
and red rock wake usScreen Shot 2015-06-30 at 10.04.06 AM
move us
remove us from
the usual

we travel
to see what happens
elsewhere
to find the difference
in ourselves
inside another place
reordering the regular
giving order to what has gone before

call for what has passed
and what will come
mark this moment

my body goes back
into the healing
it sits
in a canyon
i never left
drops down into
unlimited time

this writing
this ancient meaning of movement
distracts the body
creates a space
for the silence
of making

yes
each day
i can do
one more thing

seven river crossings
bridge past to present
rising and falling
between breath and bone
the perfect landmark
lights up a landscape

i could only come from center
something to go back to
so rooted and close to earth
becoming whole is a profound secret

each day – let go
everything is at stake

Is it time for a graceful exit?

HelpEvery entrance is also an exit.

Any major transition has the capacity to be a catalyst for rebirth. It’s up to us to allow in what is possible – whether blissful or challenging – and respond to it in a life-affirming way.

The Graceful Exit (Step 9 in my Jump! Coaching Process) is a transitional period. You’ve detached from your old life and jumped across the threshold into your new world but you haven’t yet fully landed in your new way of being.

Once you’ve jumped, it’s not all roses and sunshine. It isn’t like you never turn around and look back. You may still have doubts and growing pains. The jump is only the beginning of your new life. It’s natural to feel disoriented during this time or even a bit out of control.

It’s okay. It’s all part of the graceful exit.

Honor the space between no longer and not yet. 

This space allows you to integrate all that has happened for you, everything you’ve experienced, and what you desire to create. This is the place where resilience, possibility and opportunity are born.

The graceful exit is a time to honor what brought you to this moment. It involves diving deeply into your memories and experiencing an acute awareness of what you have lost.

When you allow these memories, reminders, awarenesses to be there, you will easily move through the emotions (or they will move through you). But when you fight them, the feelings will linger and fester.

It’s important to understand that when these feelings come – and I would use the word “grief” to sum up the emotions I’m describing – it isn’t a setback. It’s a passing visitor. It wants to be felt. Its presence doesn’t mean you’ve chosen wrong, jumped prematurely or didn’t jump far enough. It just means you’re human.

Welcome everything you’re feeling, the full range of feelings during this transition period.

Let the grief come. 

You can’t let go of something you haven’t fully felt.

You can’t release what isn’t firmly in your grasp. 

The only way to say goodbye to anything is to allow everything to have its say. No graceful exit can happen until you accept what has been.

This isn’t an invitation to wallow in your pain. I’m not suggesting that you continue to drag the baggage of the past around with you. You’re not looking back to get caught in the net of the past.

You have the choice to let go of whatever you’ve been holding on to…including an old outdated identity that no longer serves you. 

You are relearning who you are and you’ll need to get used to the new you. The authentic self will come through when you’re no longer performing, pretending or denying – when you are true to yourself.

Being authentic is a moment to moment proposition, a never-ending journey. 

Is it time for you to make a graceful exit and jump free? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Bring Your Underlying Commitments Out of the Shadows

For eighteen years I thought I was committed to my marriage. But I’ve since discovered that what I was more committed to being indispensable. This drive kept me stuck in an unhealthy marriage, it overrode my own wants and needs, and had me abandon my own happiness.

HelpWe all think that we’re going after what we want in the world, we think we want what we say we want, but when our lives don’t reflect what we say we want, it’s because there’s this underlying unconscious commitment that’s driving us that we don’t even know about, that was again formed from way back when we were probably under ten years old. It was really formed in response, in partnership, with our shadow beliefs. The shadow beliefs are conclusions we draw about ourselves – I’m unlovable, I’m not enough, I’m unworthy – and the underlying commitment is the strategy, the coping mechanism that we use in the world to reinforce that shadow belief and to stay safe.

What I’ve learned is that, in life, we get what we’re committed to at the deepest level – and it’s usually something we’re not conscious of.

We are, whether we are aware of it or not, always creating exactly what we are most committed to. It is vital to understand that the choices we make are always in alignment with our deepest commitments. We think, or tell ourselves, we’re committed to one thing but deep down we’re actually committed to something else—like keeping quiet and staying small in order to feel safe. So you can see that would fly in the face of an overt desire to be big, loud, smashing success!

When our lives are not the way we want them to be, we can be certain we have a conflicting hidden unconscious commitment to something other than that which we say we are committed to. Once we unconceal it, we’re able to let go of what no longer serves us by consciously choosing a new commitment in support of the life we desire now.

So, now that you know this…what do you think you’ve been most committed to, and how can you transform this commitment into one that serves you now? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Can you survive the fear of rejection and ask for help?

HelpIn April 2010, I was out to dinner with Louise Hay, Cheryl Richardson, and Reid Tracy after our “Speak, Write, Promote: Become a Mover and Shaker” event in Boston. Even though at that point I had been separated from my husband for three months, I had not revealed to Louise and Reid what was going on in my marriage. They were expecting my husband to be at the event, and I knew they would wonder why he wasn’t there. The time had come for me to tell them.

Still terrified by the shame and guilt of failure, I took a deep breath, and revealed myself. I told them all about my husband reading my journals, all about my affair, everything.

I ended my confession with, “Louise, I’m not perfect.”

With her hands on my shoulders, looking deeply into my eyes, Louise brought me in very close and said, “Darling…did you really think I thought you were the only person who was?”

And you know what? I did.

I know it sounds irrational and that if had stopped to really think about it I would’ve realized it was what I expected of myself that was unrealistic. But, I was operating on automatic pilot, attached to the belief that I could somehow do it all without anyone ever seeing me sweat.

Somewhere deep in my psyche was the belief that if they saw a weakness in me, everything would fall apart.

So I never asked for help. To me, asking for help would mean I wasn’t enough. That I was a failure, imperfect. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The moment I felt Louise accept me—all of me—I started thinking of her as my personal affirmation action figure. She saw me in a way that I had never been willing to see myself—as a human being with both strengths and weaknesses. She inspired me to embark on a path of self-discovery and self-love, and she gave me the courage to be transparent.

I wasn’t perfect. I needed help. And that was okay.

I’m grateful to say that over the years Louise has been by my side when I needed her the most – supporting me in every way from holding my hand at the salon when I cut all my hair off, to helping me release my grip on the proverbial branch I was clinging to before I could jump out of my marriage and into my life, to modeling for me the importance of having fun!

It’s a great honor to have my dear friend Louise with me on my Hay House Radio show this week. We’ll dive into the many themes of our relationship: asking for help, saying a courageous “yes” to Life, identity shifts, and the deep joy of play!

And now back to you! Take a moment here to imagine what would be possible for you if you simply ask for help? I want to know! Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Are you listening?

I’m spending the night with myself for the first time in ages.

Contrary to what some might believe, I’m an introvert and recharge by being alone. I actually crave hours on end without anyone else around.

And I’m in a relationship with a man who has a strong need for connection, of course!

When I used to travel constantly for my work, I made a conscious effort to spend as much time with him as I could. And I got my alone-time on the road. But now that I’m around for long stretches of time between trips, honoring my own desire to be alone can be tricky.

We’ve been having a lot of togetherness lately and that’s led to my longing for solo-time.

In the past (like, last week) when this arose I would start to freak out and revert to my old belief that I’m not built for relationship and life is easier alone.

But I’ve recently (like, in the last few minutes) had a massive revelation.

I’m always going to sometimes want to be alone.
I’m always going to sometimes feel suffocated.
I’m always going to sometimes work my fight, flight or freeze muscle.
I’m always going to sometimes find it annoying to share life.
I’m always going to sometimes feel frustrated by the friction of rubbing up against another person.
I’m always going to sometimes feel triggered and project my shit all over him.

It’s not about him. It never is.

It’s about the big fat mirror he is holding up – thank you very much – for me to see myself more clearly, and evolve.

I get now that if I choose to accept that “I’m always going to sometimes feel X,” then I don’t need to be afraid when any of that stuff arises. I don’t need to resist it or wish it would go away or wish he would go away. I only need to listen and honor the voice of my truth and desires within.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love him. I love us. But I love me too, and I now know that if I don’t take care of my own needs, no one wins.

And so tonight, I get me all to myself.
No one else to rub up against – the good way or the bad way.
Grateful to feel liberated in love.
The sun just set over the mountains.
The sky is an invitation…and I am listening…

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Can you forgive and move forward?

harbor      

from this liminal state
we are reborn
into a threshold between worlds

through the fabric of fog
a map for another way
presents itself

we see – in a flash – how life could be
can we return to what is familiar
and make it new
finding mystery in comfort
or do i embark upon
the adventurous sensuous
on my own

surrender
to the acceleration of self-discovery
that can only come
from encouraging the emergence
of dormant forces

embracing this vantage point
let the past be memory

this pause
between present and future
is the alchemy
that will wake
unlock
transform

there is barely a moment
even in morning twilight
when i forget
to remember
the shift is happening

i am a light in the harbor
leaving the weight
of the past at sea
change is my anchor
deep inside
peace is so close

 

Forgiveness

 

 

 

 

 

“The greatest gift of forgiveness is that we free ourselves.”
~ Debbie Ford

I believe that transformation isn’t possible without forgiveness…of ourselves, and others.

Forgiveness allows us to release the pain the of the past by  relinquishing the burden of resentment, since holding onto it just keeps us imprisoned. Forgiving others does not absolve them from responsibility nor condone things they have done.

When we don’t forgive, a big part of us remains focused on negative, judgmental energy that could be used more productively in our lives, liberating our minds and hearts and opening us to possibility.

Forgiveness frees us from an attachment to the pain of the past, and validates our own self-worth and importance. We are removed from stagnant negativity while propelled to live with the full energy to move forward.

What will be available to you if you become willing to forgive? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Desire is not a dirty word

Do you get so caught up in the fear you won’t get what you want, that you don’t even allow yourself to become aware of what you truly desire?

Self-Worth

And, if you do make contact with a desire, do you tell yourself all the reasons you can’t have it or why you aren’t worthy of it or why you’re supposed to give to everyone else but not yourself?

Those excuses are all there to keep us from actually feeling desire. But why?

In our culture, we’ve been told that desire is a selfish thing. If you believe in lack, then you believe that someone else will go without when you get what you want. But that’s not how the universe works at all! When you receive from an open, honest place, you aren’t taking from someone else.

We also have a belief in our culture that giving in to desire means we’ll become “greedy desire machines”—that we might become so addicted to our desires that we just take, take, take. But isn’t that fear irrational? Yes, there are greedy people in the world, but what is the likelihood that you’ll become out of control just because you allow yourself to feel desire? Greed is borne of a belief in lack and a fear that what you have will be taken from you. It’s highly unlikely that you will turn into a monster if you give yourself the freedom to want.

Here’s what I believe: Desire is a natural human impulse. Perhaps living without desire is possible if your home is an ashram isolated from society, but I think it’s a lot to expect of us to not strive and want and hope for bigger and better things. I’m not just talking about wanting objects like cars and houses and jewelry for the sake of accumulating “stuff.” I’m talking about a better quality of life in which abundance flows freely to you and from you. I’m talking about a way of life that allows your pitcher to be full and then overflow in generosity to others—both in terms of your finances and in terms of the qualities you want to express in your life.

First, you have to become more comfortable with desiring for yourself. First, you have to fill your own pitcher.

You can try desires on for size and make conscious choices later about what you really want to bring into your life. Just having a desire doesn’t mean you have to act on it. Again, the first hurdle is to become comfortable with the experience of desire, and the more you feel worthy, the more you will allow yourself to marinate in the feeling of wanting.

And right now, this isn’t about how you’re going to get what you desire. It’s only about figuring out what you want. Don’t allow your mind to become bogged down with “how” you will make your desires happen—not yet. Too often, we overwhelm ourselves with thoughts like, “I could never get this, so I won’t even think about it.” We don’t allow ourselves to dream without the logistics or implementation plan in place.

Don’t go there yet! For now, just begin to name and claim for yourself what you want. That’s the first obstacle most of us must tackle, and it’s not as easy as it would seem.

Once you begin to let yourself want, it’s important to expand what you believe you deserve and what you believe you can have. In other words, begin to think beyond your means. I’m not suggesting that you live beyond your means – that’s a totally different thing. Living beyond your means is a recipe for financial disaster and is actually a rebellious reaction to restrictive beliefs.

Instead, thinking beyond your means can be a remedy for deprivation and actually prevent over-spending.

Nearly all of us have a ceiling of what we think we can get in life. “I get this much, but no more,” we believe.

We put ourselves on a starvation diet that restricts us from experiencing as much pleasure and joy as we’re capable of. Even if we can imagine something more, it often feels like a fairytale. It doesn’t feel like something that could ever be real. But the ceiling that we create for ourselves is only a result of our limited beliefs—nothing else.

Why are we so much more comfortable thinking about what we can’t have and why we can’t have it than we are thinking about what we could have? It feels safer. We don’t have to risk failure or disappointment. We don’t have to risk the possibility of finding out that we aren’t as worthy as we’d hoped. That’s an irrational fear, of course, because we are indeed worthy! But it’s a fear that nearly everyone carries.

I know this all too well! I was the kind of person who woke up each morning and thought, “What do I have to worry about today?” I felt that I had to be hyper-vigilant in order to keep myself safe. I’m sure that was a result of what I experienced at such a young age when my brother died, and it took a lot of work to get rid of that habit.

We also love to complain and stay in our suffering space. Feeling deprived and restricted not only helps us feel safe, but it also gives us an excuse to gain sympathy. For many of us, sympathy feels like love. Have you ever competed with someone as to which one of you had it the worst? It’s hard to understand why anybody would want to win a contest like that, but in an odd way, it can help you feel special. “I’ve suffered more than you” becomes a mantra for some people, keeping them in a small enclosure.

The only way out of that small space is to turn on the tap and let your desires run free.

Lucky for us, we are capable of becoming aware of the limitations we have put into place and instead use our imaginations to think beyond our means. When we do that, we can swim past the invisible walls we have built—even if we’re still afraid of bumping our heads!

The idea is to create an open channel for what you desire in your life so that you are not as constricted by the limitations that you have carried since childhood.

Many of us are in a state of deprivation because the plate we hold for ourselves is too small. So, what I’m advocating isn’t about “magical thinking” or “manifesting” or accumulating a lot of stuff.

I’m simply suggesting that you give yourself permission to want. All you need to do is see that it’s possible to have more than you’ve been letting yourself have, and suddenly, your potential will begin to increase.

So, flex your dreaming and visioning muscles, and allow the full experience of desiring! But don’t just wait for the universe to provide. The next step is all about taking action!

Your 50-Desire List

I’ve had many clients write a list of 50 desires. The interesting thing about the exercise is that some of them believed a lot of their desires were outrageous or unattainable. Yet when I read their lists, from my perspective, only few of the items were.

ALL of them are shocked when it takes no more than two weeks of thinking beyond their means to make some of their desires come true—even the ones they had felt were impossible. The mind can so easily keep us in a box if we let it, but the mind can also help us create more than we ever dreamed.

So, are you ready to create your own 50-desire list?

  • Write the numbers 1-50 on a piece of paper or on your computer.
  • Don’t get up from your seat until you’ve written a desire next to each number!
  • Allow your desires to encompass the tiny to the huge, the deep to the frivolous.
  • Fewer than five on your list can be “altruistic” desires for other people!

Look at your list, and notice what it feels like to let yourself marinate in your desires. How many of your desires seem outrageous or impossible? Take note because I’ll bet many of them will come to fruition very soon! I want to know how it goes, share the impact of your 50-desire list with me on Facebook.

p.s Thank you Paula Marchetti Kaufman for letting me use your fabulous drawing! xo

Retiring as Superwoman from Perfectionville

PerfectionismHi, my name is Nancy, and I’m a Recovering Perfectionist.

I grew up placing all my self-worth in the hands of others. I based my worthiness on how perfectly I could do everything and thought the external validation I received – especially for accomplishing and achieving the impossible – would fill me and make me feel loved and appreciated.

I now know that all the gold stars in the world cannot earn me the recognition and love that can only be found within my own heart.

I once held so tightly to a façade of perfection, I had trouble seeing anything else. And I only wanted to be seen through the carefully crafted lens I provided for all the people I was busy pleasing. But even still, somewhere deep down where I dared not look, the truth was nesting and it took me years to take the first step in jumping into my new life – I admitted to myself what I already knew to true.

It is only by fully participating in life—letting others see us for all of who we are—can we live the full life we all want so much. We can’t be loved for all of who we are unless we allow ourselves to be seen for all of who we are.

As I went through my process of making change, and jumping, the people I feared revealing myself to the most rallied around me the fiercest.

Everything changed for me when I was willing to take off the armor; when I was willing to allow myself to be seen, no longer having to uphold this image of Superwoman.

Let’s not default to hiding anymore. Hiding is actually a way of giving up on life instead of trusting it.

I’m not saying that won’t be criticized. I imagine we’ve all experienced revealing vulnerable parts of ourselves to others, only to have them express judgments. That’s why we started withholding parts of ourselves in the first place…we thought we needed to in order to be loved and accepted.

If I had never been willing to stand up and offer my vulnerability in front of people, I wouldn’t have experienced such wonderful connections on the other side of my fear.

And now, I commit to no longer package myself in order to be digestible by others.

Remember, your worth and value are in who you are not what you do!

Do you have a tendency to trade your authentic power for morsels of praise and acceptance? Are you ready to give it up? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Can you continue on with courage?

resistanceI had a massive breakthrough this past weekend at I Can Do It! Denver.

A few months ago I invited my beau to join me at the conference, given that it’s so close to home, and that way he could finally see my Hay House world and meet my peeps.

Oh, and um, see me speak.

OMG. What was I thinking?

It didn’t take long for the resistance and fear set in…and they set in hard. The voices were loud. All the “What ifs?” followed by “Are you crazy, you can’t let him see you in your other habitat!”

Well, over time, I’ve come to realize that it’s natural to feel ambivalent about important decisions.

I kept going back and forth, wanting him to come and wanting him to stay home.

The truth is that I had resistance to him accompanying me…and I had resistance to keeping my worlds separate any longer.

This kind of inner conflict is one of the ways we stay stuck. As long as we’re sitting on the fence, we don’t have to pick a side, hop down, and get on with our lives.

When you make a choice leading to big change in your life (and sometimes even when you make a small change) the voices escalate and amplify. They’re trying desperately to pull you back into what they believe is safety. But remember that this fear is irrational; it’s a retreat from life. Plus, it doesn’t actually help you avoid pain. It does, however, prevent you from experiencing as much joy and excitement and growth in your life as you could.

You may never be able to silence those voices, but you can learn to pay less attention to them…by first giving them all the attention they need. Acknowledge and honor them fully instead of pushing them away…and then continue on with courage. Give gratitude to your resistance and it will move you forward to make the change you desire.

Remember, your resistance is that it isn’t necessarily a sign you should abandon your plan to jump. The unknown is very uncomfortable, but it’s where possibility and opportunity are born.

Be patient with yourself. It may take a while to surrender in the places you are feeling resistant. Letting go of the past takes time. Even if it takes a long time, you’ll get to a place of surrender. The past will release its grip on you. In the meantime, you must make the choice to jump because jumping is what facilitates the process of letting go of the past.

Disengage from your inner stalemates and make the best decision for yourself. In other words, honor your resistance and jump anyway!

Deep down I do know that I won’t be loved for the fullness of who I am unless I reveal all of who I am. And in the end, he came to the conference with me and it was better than I could have ever imagined. As he said to me on our last morning there, “Who would have thought that you bringing me here would have actually brought us closer together?” {swoon}

So, when the voices of resistance call out, can you honor them and then continue on with courage? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Can you say no?

tulipThe truth is, most of us don’t know how to set and maintain good boundaries. We’ve been taught to put the needs of others ahead of our own. And the attachment many of us feel to keeping others happy is tenacious. Pleasing becomes our currency, the way we purchase love and attention. But each time you set a healthy boundary, you say “yes” to more freedom.

In my experience, setting new boundaries means assessing each situation from the perspective of putting your own needs first. Too often we abandon ourselves for the sake of another. Setting healthy boundaries is about consciously choosing to honor yourself and no longer acting or reacting in response to someone else.

Setting new boundaries will allow you to move from a clean, clear place…your your own authentic motivation and agency.

Many of my coaching clients first enter into this conversation around boundaries with the fear of being seen as selfish, uncaring and irresponsible. They cite their relationships, children, finances or work obligations as excuses for not setting boundaries and taking care of themselves. Now let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting you turn your back on your obligations and responsibilities. In fact, it’s only possible to make choices and changes in the direction of your dreams and desires by making yourself a priority.

Just like speaking truth to ourselves, setting boundaries takes practice. As you set them, you may feel off balance, like you have a new pair of legs, and it can be challenging because the habit of trying to take care of everyone else is a very hard one to break.

Be gentle with yourself.

Keep reminding yourself that you’re ready to support you, instead of rescuing everyone else.

Remember:
     •When we refuse to set a healthy boundary, we’re expressing and affirming the common core beliefs       that run our inner dialogue: I’m not enough, I’m not lovable, the needs and opinions of others are more important or valid than my own, If I disagree with someone or ask for what I want, I’ll end up alone and unloved, etc.
•These beliefs are either determined by a conclusion we’ve drawn about ourselves, or sometimes they’re inherited. They belong to someone else and we adopt them, allowing other people to take up valuable space in our heads. Wherever these beliefs come from, it’s time now to disengage from these voices to find your own.

Imagine giving yourself what you need internally, rather than hunting for it externally!

Imagine meeting your desire to cultivate more self-love and have more fun.

What if you placed pleasing yourself above pleasing others?

What if, instead of defaulting to your knee-jerk yes, you honored your own no today?

Setting one boundary will help you develop the courage to set more boundaries.

What new boundary will you set first? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.