nancy's blog

Befriend your fears and discover your truth

Befriend Your FearIn 2008, when my then-husband read my journals and found out I’d had an affair 8 years prior, it seemed like the worst thing that could possibly happen. I mean, can you imagine?! I had so much fear and shame wrapped around this discovery, not only because of him, but because it exposed a truth about myself I wasn’t willing to acknowledge or embrace. The truth was that my marriage had been over for a long time, but I feared what others would think of me if I ended it, if I failed. So instead, I set a bomb that would eventually detonate since I needed an explosion of that magnitude to wake me up.

I could never have imagined what would happen on the other side of my greatest fear. I didn’t understand how restricted I was until I was free. So, crazy as it sounds, I am eternally grateful that he read those journals. I didn’t just get divorced; I rebuilt my relationship with myself, reclaimed my dreams, and discovered new ones. I firmly believe that the many opportunities that came my way would not have happened if I had stayed in my marriage.

I had not chosen to confront my fears around my failing marriage. But when I was forced to face them, I was actually taking the first step toward purposefully confronting many other fears that had been holding me back. And now I choose to face my fears every day. It’s the only way to live an authentic life.

My first conscious effort in facing my fears was to tell the truth.

Next it was to say “Yes” to what excited me, even if – especially if – it scared me too, and “No” to what I didn’t want.

I was so afraid of what saying “no” would look and sound like to others. But when I finally trusted my heart and followed it –instead of my fear – saying “no” instead of my knee-jerk reaction of “yes” was deeply empowering. It took a long time, but I now honestly say “yes” to what I want to do, say “no” to the rest and let go of that which no longer serves me. And in doing so, I share my truth freely and allow others to really see and feel me.

Then I learned to honor and befriend the fears that have kept me restricted.

Your fears are a gift. Every time you act in spite of them, you grow stronger. Every time you overcome a fear, you are making another leap forward into living your authentic life.

What are the fears you want to befriend? I’d love to hear from you on Facebook!

 

Can you see the gift in your projections?

Can you see the gift in your projections?Ever notice how the people closest to you can also trigger the heck out of you?

She’s so selfish.
He’s so rude.
She’s a know-it-all.
He’s irresponsible. 

But, here’s the deal: Every characteristic we don’t like in someone else, exits within us as well. As the old saying goes – when you point a finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you.

We all possess every human characteristic and emotion. There’s nothing we can see in another that we don’t have within.  As children we began to assign good or bad, right or wrong to certain aspects of ourselves. As we grew, we learned what we needed to hide in order to receive the most love.  And, we also learned how to overcompensate for the rejection of these qualities.

When we can’t be with certain qualities in ourselves, we reject and disown them – and then project them out onto others. And then the people around us reflect these disowned qualities back to us. These disowned qualities are all the things you emphatically say you are not.

How do you know if you’re projecting? Projection sounds a lot like judgement. So if you are activated by someone’s behavior, it’s likely you’re in projection.

We’ll continue to be tested until we’re no longer triggered. So, in order to neutralize the charge, we actually have to own and integrate these disowned qualities within ourselves. The soul is longing to be whole…reclaiming, integrating and making peace with these rejected pieces of ourselves is the path to wholeness. When looking for these qualities within, it’s important to remember that we may not exhibit or express them the way someone else does. So, we’re looking for the aspect beneath the behavior.

  • Think for a moment about someone close to you.
  • Now, identify the specific quality in them that triggers you – the quality under the behavior.
  • Ask yourself, “Where is this same quality in me?” (Remember, you might display it differently.)
  • Ask yourself, “How do I overcompensate for the rejection of this quality?”
  • Accept this disowned quality. Say, “I am X.” Not easy, but we can all be X from time to time.
  • Embrace this quality and find the gift it offers you.

I’ve got one.

  • My ex-husband
  • Lazy, under the behavior of not working
  • Sometimes I binge-watch my favorite shows
  • I overcompensated for a long time by being an over-achiever
  • “I am lazy.” (This will probably sting at first – which means you’re on the right track. But you’ll get more comfortable with it as you own more aspects of yourself.)
  • My laziness allows me to rest, rejuvenate and replenish.

Now you try it!

Can you think of a quality, displayed in another, that you’ve made bad or wrong and have decided you’re not that? Remember, we point that finger out when we have trouble owning these qualities in ourselves.

Here’s the great news: You can do this exercise whenever you’re triggered – which for me is just about daily. Each time someone reflects one of your disowned qualities back to you, you have the opportunity to own it bringing you one step closer to wholeness, self-love, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness

Are you ready to see the gift in your projections? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

What makes your heart start beating again?

the warmth and the weight of you
for Mozell : 2008–2016
pawprintheart
the warmth and the weight of you
has stayed beside me
on the bed
the trail
the place you still occupy
the space still breathes of you
of your pawprint
imprinted on my heart            

❤️

I’ll be honest with you.

I’ve had a very rough week emotionally.

On Tuesday afternoon, my ex-husband sent a text – via a friend – to let me know that our dog had a tumor on his heart and only had a few days left. On Thursday evening, another friend let me know he had passed.

It’s been nearly six years since I last saw them.

Leaving my dog was one of the most painful aspects of leaving my marriage.

The truth is I had to make him dead to me in order to accept not taking him with me. I had to grieve the loss of him as if truly died the day I put my marriage to sleep while honoring his memory always. It was the only way I could cope.

This week, as he died all over again, I was flooded with great sorrow. Layers upon layers of grief. Memory upon memory. Everything came rushing back. Grief for what was, what wasn’t, what will never be. Grief for our other two dogs gone before. Grief for who we were and who we couldn’t be. Tears. More tears. And then even more. Cumulative, growing grief.

In an unexpected moment the gratitude began to flow. For all my dogs.

And for him.

And for who I have become.

Then forgiveness began to set in too as I began dedicating my meditation practice each morning to this dispersed and disembodied family of mine, connected still.

And each time I returned to my breath I noticed my heart beating again.

This is the secret, I thought. This is the great gift of life. In each moment we have the opportunity to die and to be reborn. 

❤️

restoration

the truth has been patiently walking beside me
periodically darting out in an attempt
to capture my attention
then today it just gently reached over
held my hand and gave it a squeeze
reminding me that i do want and need
and love

so this is what it feels like
to inhabit my body
a home familiar yet unrecognizable
breath hydrating the space
between flesh and bone

still flashes of the past hover
as film overlay on present day
haunting me with life before
and life unlived

once
i was a woman
with a husband
and a dog

it was a time
when water
didn’t behave
as water

how quickly spells are cast
and broken
but life going on without me
leaves me breathless
so i trust in the power
of restoration

seems i am always settling in
and then settling in
all over again
to the changing terrain below
the weather is coming for us
and it’s breathtaking

now loosening my grip
on what i desire
it draws toward me

what makes the heart
start beating again

balancing as i
settle in once more

living and breathing
on the other side
of letting go

fierce
wild and free

❤️

Are you ready to be fierce, wild and free? Tell me what makes your heart start beating again. I would love to hear.  Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Are You Being Ruled by Your Unmet Needs?

Are You Being Ruled by Your Unmet Needs?What happens when you stay in a situation that isn’t working, denying your own needs long enough?

Your needs, your health, and your well-being begin to demand to be heard. Even if you don’t heed that call, the truth will come out. Unfortunately, it will come out sideways. Perhaps you’ll become ill. Or depressed. Or if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself expressing those needs in destructive ways.

What my ex-husband discovered when he read my journals years ago was how my true self had expressed herself sideways. What he read was that eight years earlier, I had an affair.

Looking back, I see that I’d been able to be myself with this other man. I’d been able to be who I really am.

I didn’t need to play the role of the perfect wife. I didn’t have to manage my actions and reactions around him. That man loved the real me.

When we are ruled by our unmet needs we do things we regret. Years later, it is still hard for me to disclose that I had an affair. I wish I’d never been that person, and my lifelong preference for perfection lingers. But in learning to tell the truth to yourself and others so that you can live your authentic life, I knew I had to tell those who read my blog, my books, listen to my radio show… all of you – the truth.

So, I have laid myself bare, mistakes and all. I’m not proud of what I did. But at the same time, on some level, I understand my own actions as an attempt to connect with my authenticity. A misguided effort, yes, but it was an attempt at finding and becoming my real, essential self.

The woman I am today would have walked away from that marriage rather than have an affair. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

Instead, I betrayed my husband. But prior to that, I had betrayed myself. It was self-abandonment that led to my infidelity. I betrayed myself by pretending to be someone I was not. I betrayed myself in my marriage for eighteen years. And that marriage was a long time  to be away from me.

Together, my husband and I had managed to build a strong façade for the outside world. I thought everyone must look at our marriage and assume it was picture-perfect, which was just how I wanted it. If I’d walked away, I would’ve had to admit that the image was false.

Because of my deep fear of being imperfect—of being dispensable, like my brother had been—I could not even admit to myself that our marriage wasn’t working, let alone admit it to my husband or anyone else.

There was shame for me in admitting that I couldn’t live up to my own idea of who I thought I “should” be. And my idea, of course, was impossible: the perfect Superwoman who could fix anything and juggle  everything, without ever letting a ball drop. None of us are capable of that, no matter how hard we try.

As author and teacher Brené Brown says, “Perfectionism is a shield that we carry with a thought process that says, ‘If I look perfect, live perfect, work perfect, and do it all perfectly, I can avoid or minimize feeling shame, blame, and judgment.’” She’s so right.

What drives you to seek approval, step over your own boundaries, and engage in other disempowering behaviors and thoughts? Will you share yours with me on Facebook… click here to join the conversation!

hourglass: a last love poem

jump start your lifehourglass: a last love poem
written on the morning i finally filed for divorce

i loved you
as much as i could
as long as i could
hard as i could
hard as it was

steadily holding on
to the small piece of maybe
that was finally destroyed

i have done all i can

we came together
in our respective corners
at the bottom of an hourglass
with our own strengths
our own wounds

marriage is to be found
in the voyage
through the tiny neck
of this timepiece

crossing up and over
to the opposite quadrants
those qualities of the other
missing in ourselves
are to be absorbed
for each to become whole

my love
hard as we tried
we simply did not make it
through the passage

the wounds too deep
the rage too loud
the voice too silent

and though i love you
i cannot be
married to you
i lost myself
in the giving of everything
to you

i now know
heartbreak in one
is a pain
unable to be healed
by the other

we can only
heal ourselves

for months
i have been nowhere
and everywhere
wheeling my home behind me
into the havens of others
now i need to land safely
inside the space of my own

i was starving to death
before hunger finally saved my life
waking me to desire

and now you are free
from the wanting more
than i could give
and i will love you
beyond the wound

Are you ready to breathe life into your desires in 2016?

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Are you ready for or resisting the new year?

17797308_sWell, it’s here – the New Year…with all its magic and promise.

Yet, you might be feeling apprehensive about this new beginning. It happens, especially when we’re caught in a cycle of resistance. Wanting to move powerfully  forward, but feeling held back or afraid.

How do you know if you’re in resistance? Here are a few clues: If you’re making excuses for why you can’t change, if you feel defeated before you even begin, if you want to embrace change but fear letting go of the familiar, if you’re trying to convince yourself that your current way of life isn’t so bad.

What to do when resistance and fear rear their gnarly heads? Do what I do. I literally say – out loud – to those self-destructive voices, ” Hi. I’ve been expecting you. I’m turning your volume all the way down. We’re not doing this anymore. It’s time to make choices that serve me instead of sabotage me, and I’m starting now!”

Change will come with grace and ease when you own your worthiness and the desire to feel free  more than you desire feeling safe and comfortable. 

Are you tingling with the prospect of all the possibilities? 😉

Imagine what it would be like to befriend your fear and resistance in order to have whatever you want.

If there were no consequences whatsoever, which choice would you make—to stay the same or to make the change?

If you’re ready to ring in the New Year by honoring your resistance and moving forward with your change,  join the conversation with me on Facebook.

being held and belonging 

8852692_s

it all changed
the mood
the pulse
the pace
the swelling
the room itself
was swollen
grounded in trust
as if my body was a napkin
being pulled through a ring from the pelvis
deep into the earth

or like a candle melting down from the inside
dripping and pooling at the base of my spine

if i was someone who would say
it’s my kundalini coiling and rising
then i would say that

now allowing my body
to feel the sensation of wanting
don’t have to try so hard
don’t have to try or think at all
to conjure anything to get myself anywhere
other than where i am

the point of contact
the point of entry
as friction gives way
purely physical response
riding the edge of the wave

unharnessed pleasure
blossoming and going over
the richness and
the yumminess of it
the heightened sense
of being held and belonging
upon return to this body and breath

let go of the ground that has held you
recognize that your only hope
is to be comfortable with uncertainty
so much strength and stamina
found in the ungrounding
sailing past safety

i can’t go back into the darkness
after finally emerging into the light

finally
i am learning
how to be loved

How about you? Are you ready to learn to be loved? Join me for a Complimentary Coaching Group Session.

 

Is Your Joy a Priority?

Is Your Joy a Priority?For so long, I had been so responsible and so hell-bent on people-pleasing that I didn’t have much appreciation or reverence for fun. I thought play was a waste of time and that people who engaged in it were lazy or not on a serious path. I have since learned that play is actually vital and healing.

What about you?

  • Do you allow yourself to let go and have fun?
  • Are you using obligation to shelter yourself?
  • What could you do today to invite more joy into your life?

To find and experience my joy I had to begin engaging in the activities that support me in feeling like the most energized and alive version of myself. When I did this, I grew to be far more productive in all  other areas of my life. It was not a simple step, however. Ironically, when I began to take back control, at first it felt like I was losing control. I was so far outside of my comfort zone and had no idea what to expect.

Eventually, I learned that it’s an illusion to think I’m in control. We’re actually less in control when we hold rigidly to the familiar. In that case, we’re enslaved by fear. We are not free to move with the pulse of life.

When we let go into the arms of the unfamiliar, on the other hand, we enter the flow. We can follow our truth and our desire, creating the kind of life we most want—a life filled with possibility and enjoyment rather than tension and terror.

Too frequently, we think we’re choosing peace and comfort over freedom. But in truth, we’re sacrificing our inner peace in hopes of outer peace. That outer peace is, more often than not, dictated by someone else and not by our own needs.

But you get to decide.

 

When you choose to do even one thing differently, you take a step toward disassembling structures you have had in place for a while—maybe many years.

If so, it’s time to make a different choice and make your own joy a priority. Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

whole

whole
while the healing navigatesmindfullness
the map my heart and mind makes,
it’s the radiating rhythm
of vibration and stillness
that now allows me
to receive what hides
and translate all there is to see.
this journey to knowing,
deep in my essence,
that i am loved.
no matter what i do or don’t do,
even if i don’t do anything i will be loved.
but to believe, i needed courage.
i found it in my body.
my body,
a treasure chest,
its cellular secrets under lock and key
until the moment they were ready to be freed.
in the body
love first develops as hunger.
these walls have cellular memory.
there is a haunting here.
tight fitting skin,
barely wrapping bones
in dehydrated desert conditions
are infused with vitality
fleshed out and expanded
nourished and recalibrated
buoyant.
sensation returning and there,
my breath still held,
i felt full for the first time.
my power is very confusing.
and although my legs just want to run
i can feel my feet begin to find their roots,
sourcing safety for my strength.
i found my grounding
and what feeds me
in asking for help
from an intuitive hand.
my body,
once a fortress,
now begs for entry
and re-entry.
the thaw begins like this,
after being frozen in place
for so long,
waves of flame and prayer
release me,
finally locating the passage
from my heart,
revealing the way to healing.
and so in the softening,
i learn that love
presents in many forms:
in flames on candles carried
in kisses and wishes of peace
in snow surrounding a mountain waterfall.
my body melts
outside its lines.
my thoughts,
my own
for the first time.
and as pieces of me
return or arrive,
desire alone senses
the rise and fall
of what’s alive
inside.
and now,
stripped of all
i once defined
myself by,
it takes only a moment
to notice
i have always been
worthy,
i have always been
whole.

 

Shall we set aside some time to play?

Shall we set aside some time to play?Are you able to relax and enjoy yourself?

If you’re anything like I used to be, you might be afraid of fun!

I want you to Join me for some practice with play.

Take a deep breath and Imagine yourself as someone who seeks out chances to have fun and experience joy. Take another deep breath and sit with it whatever arises. Now, grab paper and a pen. Make a note of three things you will say yes to, ways you can play and enjoy yourself, before the end of the year. Make a list.

If you haven’t allowed yourself to play for a while, this can be challenging. Acknowledge the voices in your head as you make your list. Notice what surfaces for you. You may feel conflicted. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn about yourself. There is much here to learn.

And, think about what you are giving up by not allowing yourself to play. There may be things that you could have more of (energy, time, insight, freedom) that you’re missing. Finding a way to self-nourish helps you overcome these conflictions, set needed boundaries, and experience some new things.

My JUMP Coaching Program utilizes four specific self-nourishing practices, one of which is PLAY. For the longest time, I had been so responsible and hell-bent on people-pleasing that I didn’t have appreciation or reverence for fun. I thought play was a waste of time and that people who engaged in it were lazy or not on a serious path. I have since learned that play is actually vital and healing.

So each week I invite my clients to look at what they can do to invite more joy into their life – and then do at least one thing to honor it.

This play step can be small, inch-by-inch: you can sing out loud in your car to your favorite song or go for a walk in a new part of town. Or, you can take a big jump like I’ve just done and headed off to Thailand for three weeks!!! I’ll be back home next week and have much to share about my insights!

I want to support you in playing and self-nourishing! Join the conversation with me on Facebook.