Befriend Your Resistance

Resistance is a natural part of the process

I love a line in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love: “The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.”

It rings so true, especially when you’re wanting to jump, and find yourself sitting in the uncertainty of the unknown.

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. Since my coaching is one massive attempt to help you disengage from your inner stalemate and make the best decision you can, we’ve got to talk about resistance.

You will have doubts. It’s not a one-time deal; you will inevitably have to make your choice over and over. I had to keep choosing to get divorced and not go back … over and over again. I had to reevaluate my decision more times than I can count. In fact, it became a daily practice.

None of us likes change.

Our natural impulse is to come up with all sorts of reasons why we should stay right where we are.

You’ll have to keep reminding yourself what you want and why the change is necessary … in spite of your resistance. And, yes, you’ll have to keep choosing, every day and every moment, to move forward—toward your fulfilling future.

As my friend Dr. Christiane Northrup says, “We heal through repetition. Each time on the spiral we go back to the same place but we’re on a higher rung, or deeper section of that particular issue.” So, every time you act in spite of your fear voices, you grow stronger.

The most important thing to remember about your resistance is that it isn’t necessarily a sign you should abandon your plan to jump. It’s just that that is where your comfort zone is—the familiar.

In my own initial jump—divorcing my husband—I approached resistance with a sword, ready to wage war. I thought if I could just muscle through the resistance, and outlast it, that I would be victorious. But the funny thing is…it doesn’t quite work out that way.

Resistance is like a beach ball. When you push it underwater, it pops back up to the surface even stronger. (Thanks to my late, great friend and mentor Debbie Ford for that great analogy.) So, as you move closer to making your jump, accept that resistance is bound to pop up to the surface and possibly even hit you in the face. Don’t push it back down. Let it be there.

And today I’m going to even ask you to…befriend it.

Now why would I want you to do that?

Resistance rears her uninvited head in the form of negative thoughts and feelings, attitudes, self-judgment, anger and distraction. But she’s a part of you. How you react to resistance may be the difference between staying where you are and breaking through to realizing your greatest desires. Instead of resenting her and wishing her ill will, you might as well sidle up to her and ask her if she wants to go get a cup of coffee.

By befriending your resistance, you honor and acknowledge her but you take away her power and eliminate the conflict. Think of her as a guide, whose job is to test you as you progress on your journey. Every time you notice she’s knocking on your door, offer to buy her a latte and inform her that you’re going to keep moving forward anyway.

Resistance is a natural part of the process. How you deal with it is up to you.

I want to help you befriend your resistance. You deserve it!

Join me for my next Complimentary Jump Group Coaching Call and find your truth!

Setting Financial Boundaries

Find Your NO to Free Your YES

I talk a lot about setting boundaries as it pertains to relationships with other people but today I want to focus on setting boundaries in relation to your finances and ultimately your sense of self-worth. And this is where it gets a little tricky, because some of these boundaries might have to be set by you…for you.

Many of us believe that sticking with the status quo will win us love and belonging. In order to avoid uncertainty and to feel as though we belong, we hold to long-held cultural beliefs, following the prescribed paths we’ve been told will make us happy. These paths take the pressure off of us. We don’t have to forge new pathways. We can stay “safe” in the roles of daughter, son, sibling, wife, husband, mother, or father. We don’t have to have difficult conversations where we break the norms and expectations our family and loved ones have of us. But how safe are these roles really? How safe is it to play so small that we squeeze ourselves into boxes and live false lives?

These beliefs that we hold about money—and our own worthiness—keep us in situations that aren’t truly satisfying. They trap us in the fear of the unknown, where we’re willing to short ourselves to avoid stepping outside of our comfort zone.

Today I want you step out of that comfort zone and find your NO so that you can free your YES. And in order to find your no, you have to pinpoint areas of your life where you can set a healthy boundary….because that’s how you are going to claim your worthiness and start valuing your time, finances and happiness.

Now, think about something about your finances that you would like to change. If you overspend you might say “I would like to stop compulsively shopping”. The boundary you want to set for yourself would look something like this: “I will no longer allow myself to avoid my feelings of unworthiness by buying stuff.” This is a boundary you are setting with yourself to consciously say “no” to your destructive spending patterns and say “yes” to changing them.

Another example of uncovering a NO in service of unleashing a YES may be setting a boundary with your partner. If you are not involved in the day to day finances of your household, you may say NO to having blinders on and say YES to taking control over your finances, or at least sharing the responsibility.

Few people have a clear, balanced relationship with money. Most of us have a person or beliefs controlling our finances in one way or another. Think about your relationship with money and where you want it to change. Take some time and get clear on what you will no longer tolerate…and then say YES to claiming your worth.

I want to help you uncover your worthiness in 2017. You deserve it!

Join me for my next Complimentary Group Coaching Call and reclaim your self-worth!

 

Uncover Your Desires!

Desire is not a dirty word

What do you want, just for you?

For most of my life, I didn’t know what it meant to want anything for myself. I lived solely in reaction to the needs and wants of others, rather than my own. I was in touch with what I could give others, but I had no idea what my own desires were.

When I first connected with my desires, they seemed crazy and selfish. I thought they were over the top and in some cases even a waste of money. But slowly, I expanded what I thought was possible for me and allowed myself to have more of what I desired. I started to see that some of my desires weren’t so crazy after all—I just had to take my head out of the sand. Then, I could give myself permission to want beyond what I thought was possible.

The process culminated in hiring a woman to come to my home in Boulder once a week and cook healthy food for me. I’d been traveling a lot and all too often would arrive home after a long trip to an empty kitchen. Also I hated to cook, so I’d either grab something quick to eat . . . or just not eat at all. Having this wonderful personal chef fill my fridge during that time was a fabulous convenience since the food she made was ready for me to heat and serve.

I also discovered that it wasn’t that much more expensive than going to the grocery and buying food to make myself. So why did it feel like such an extravagance? Just because of my mind-set. The idea of having a personal chef always seemed like something only the very wealthy would do. But my mind-set had nothing to do with reality. Not only was a chef within the realm of possibility, but within the realm of practicality and reason. Still, it took some work to get to a place where I believed I was worthy of paying someone to cook for me, as opposed to simply opening a can of soup.

That experience made me realize that pieces of my desired life are attainable much sooner than I thought. I’m living proof that you can absolutely increase what you believe is possible for you to have!

But first, like me, you have to figure out what your desires are. Even after my clients have worked on becoming willing to be worthy, many of them still ask the question, worthy of what? It’s true that “What do I want?” can be one of the hardest questions to answer—especially for women.

And hey, even if you feel you know full well what you want, I’ll bet you can expand your desires even further.

Now, 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, one in which abundance flows freely to you and from you. I’m talking about a way of life that allows you 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 receive and express in your life.

Today I am talking about YOUR desires, not fulfilling the desires of others. You have to fill yourself before you have anything to give. For now, allow yourself to marinate in the feeling of wanting. Let it be okay to have desires just for you—because in truth, you absolutely deserve them.

 I want to help you uncover your own desires in 2017. You deserve it!

Join me for my next Complimentary Worthy Group Coaching Call and reclaim your self-worth!

 

 

Choose Joy and Excitement in the New Year!

It’s time to unwrap and reveal the real authentic YOU!

None of us likes change. Our natural impulse is to come up with all sorts of reasons why we should stay right where we are. So, especially around this time of year, you can expect your mind to start making a case (if it hasn’t already) for why change is impossible and why you shouldn’t do it.

It happens when we’re caught in a cycle of resistance—wanting to move powerfully forward, but feeling held back or afraid.

You’ll have to keep reminding yourself of what you want and why the change is necessary…. in spite of your resistance. And, yes, you’ll have to keep choosing, every day and every moment, to move forward—toward the future you most desire.

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!”

When you make a change in your life—big or small—those voices get louder. 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.

Change will come with grace and ease when you own your worthiness and honor your desire to be free more than feeling safe, comfortable and stuck right where you are!

It’s time to unwrap and reveal the real authentic YOU!

I’m here to support you as you move forward toward your oh so worthy future self in 2017. You deserve it!

 Join me for my next Complimentary Worthy Group Coaching Call and reclaim your self-worth!

Carving out time for you

prioritize and schedule time for your own non-negotiables that bring you joy

I want you to think about something as we roll into the holidays where too often we find ourselves falling into old family patterns and allowing the beliefs of others—about us, our partners and friends, our job, our values—to activate the switch on the negative voice we’ve worked so hard to silence.

I want you to think about…YOU!

It’s so easy to forget that we get to make our own choices for our own lives. If we allow someone else’s beliefs to invade our heads, it’s up to us to disengage from those voices and find our own.

What does this look like?

I have a client, Celeste, whose husband likes her to be in bed when he wakes up in the morning. Yet Celeste goes to sleep much earlier than he does and likes to be up early to write, meditate, exercise, etc. She had been acquiescing to his wishes for years, even though it made her crazy and caused her to miss essential time with herself. As a result, she began to resent her husband for being so demanding. Ultimately, she realized that she was enabling him to be this way by not standing up for her own needs for fear that he would be angry or withhold love from her.

A few weeks into our coaching relationship, she wanted to address this and have me hold her accountable to change her behavior and the situation. No matter how much fear she experienced and how uncomfortable it made her feel, she committed to getting out of bed when she wanted one morning a week to do whatever she wanted to do. Then, she committed to two mornings. Over time, she has created the inner strength and courage to decide each morning when she wakes if she wants to get up and out and do her own thing or if she wants to stay in bed and greet her husband when he wakes.

It’s true that we teach people how to treat us and that when we stand firmly in our truth and make certain needs non-negotiable, we create a new cycle of acceptance for ourselves and others.

Make this holiday’s “certainty” your new mindset… you’ll be surprised at how a positive change in you, and the willingness to make the leap, will reap the benefits of new possibilities in your relationships.

Imagine taking on the holidays and embracing the reality that you are a priority as big as the priority you make others.

So, tell me, what is one thing you’re going to do for you… this week, today, right now?

I want to support you in stepping into the joy, richness, and yumminess of life! You deserve it.

Join me for my next Complimentary Worthy Group Coaching Call and reclaim your self-worth!

Liberate Your Light

It's time to liberate your light!

After I left my marriage and began to dismantle the belief that my self-worth was contingent on being perfect and doing things for others, my good friend Patty took me shopping. This was huge for me—I rarely spent money on myself, and shopping was my least favorite activity. But Patty was resolute, ferrying me to Donna Karan’s Urban Zen store in New York. Let me tell you—the price tags in that store made my eyeballs pop out! Patty has a healthy sense of self-worth, has no problem spending money on herself, and always looks fabulously stylish. That day she became a “worthiness mentor” for me. I ended up spending more on myself than I’ve ever spent in my life. It was weird but liberating, and it was the start of a new way of being for me. In this new version of Nancy, I accept that I’m worthy of nice things.

I can’t recommend enough that you look for your own worthiness mentors. These are not necessarily like your cheerleaders, your community, or your boasting buddies. These are people who have what you want when it comes to presence, lifestyle, heart, money, etc. They’re people you admire, who have the positive, light qualities you want to develop in yourself. If it’s someone who’s a good friend (or capable of becoming a good friend), this individual might take you by the hand, the way Patty did for me. If not, take the opportunity to treat the experience as a research process—ask this person questions about what they do and how they think. Then, take notes!

Realize, too, that you already have the qualities you see in these other people. You wouldn’t be able to recognize their gifts unless they were resonating inside of you—dormant maybe, but itching to pop out! Having a great mentor can help you get in touch with those qualities inside you and let them spring forward.

The Price of Secrets: The Truth You Already Know

Finding truth

Up until that day I found out my husband had read my journals, I had never told anyone about my affair. I mean nobody—not my dear sister, not my closest friends, no one. I’d compartmentalized my life to such a degree that it wasn’t even hard to keep it a secret. I was afraid of the shame; paralyzed at the thought of what people would think of me. My motto had long been “Never let them see you sweat,” and I wasn’t about to reveal myself and allow myself to be seen.

Louise Hay even said to me once that I deserved an Academy Award for my portrayal as the “perfect wife.”

My husband, of course, knew just which buttons to push. He knew my greatest fear was exposure and he was ready to pin the scarlet letter on me, threatening to tell my family and friends what I had done. Naturally I was terrified. I’d spent so long believing that I wouldn’t be loved if I were imperfect, and that everyone would turn away from me if they found out my truth.

I believe that we’re all hiding something we think we need to hide in order to be loved and accepted.

It might be a skeleton in the closet secret, or an aspect of ourselves we don’t want to identify with or be identified by. The irony is that we’re all longing to be loved for the truth of who we are, yet we fear revealing that truth to ourselves, and others.

Eight years had passed since my infidelity, but the truth suddenly felt like a weight I could no longer bear by myself.

I had designed a marriage for myself where there was no room for the real me. I acted the part of the woman my husband wanted and needed me to be. But I wasn’t good enough, not even at that. So I let him try and mold me into his image of the perfect wife. When he became demanding or controlling, I put my needs aside and tried to be even more of what he wanted. 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.

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.

Marriage was a long time to be away from myself.

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—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 is capable of that, no matter how hard we try.

Still, underneath the façade of perfection, somewhere deep down where I dared not look, I knew my marriage wasn’t working. I knew for a long time that I wasn’t really happy. But it took me years to admit to myself what I already knew.

My wish is that by sharing my own experience, I might spare you what I went through. Spare you from the self-abandonment that’s keeping you in an unfulfilling relationship, job, environment…life!

What does your freedom feel like?

Freedom

Freedom means different things to different people.

I found my freedom by entertaining the idea that I no longer had to be at the mercy of another human being.

My client Nicole found freedom in a bathing suit. Here’s her story:

Nicole’s Story:

I wore a bikini. I wore a bikini on a beach in plain sight of everyone in broad daylight. I realize this doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment. But this was my first time. I once had a very respectable bikini bod but never had the guts to rock one. I always wanted to wear one, but I was too self-conscious of my scars and my thighs … and too trusting of my Inner Critic. I mean, she must know what’s best for me. She’s known me my whole life!

So, three kids, two saggy boobs, and one sad- faced belly button later, I was determined to kick her out of my life and don a stringy little reggae number I found at the store. In the weeks before, I had one of those moments when I realized that ego wasn’t about arrogance. It was about living on the outskirts of an authentic life and denying myself my own love. I saw that the Inner Critic I so trusted was actually the voice of my ego, whose mission was keeping my mind preoccupied with the small stuff and away from the real show. So, I began to shut her down.

Fast forward to the day … I shed the last of the forty pounds of baby weight, but still had more stretch marks than could be counted and a body, though mostly in shape, that wasn’t quite the shape you see in magazines. But that was okay! Had I held on to my low self-concept, I would have sat in my cute enough tankini wishing I had the ovaries to get my Marley on. Instead, I took off my cover-up, revealing my red, black, and gold to the world. And guess what? The earth stayed in orbit.

I actually forgot about what I was wearing and just enjoyed the beach. It wasn’t about who looked like what. It was about being fully there. I watched my little girl boogie board in her bikini, I inhaled the salt air, and I silently prayed she’d always have that two-piece ’tude.

So, yeah, on the surface, it doesn’t sound like much—putting on a bikini. But that day, I won a personal thirty-nine-year battle and moved toward an authentic self-concept that can’t be cultivated by planting my roots in pop culture’s shifting sands. It must be grown in the rich soil built by living my own truth and accepting whatever that may be. This shift in my thinking is an ongoing process.

That itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, Rasta-striped string bikini was the first major mile marker I reached while walking away from my critical self and toward self-love. Freedom can be found in a bathing suit. Who knew?

For me, freedom came when I finally gave myself permission to visualize myself as divorced. Visualizing myself as divorced gave me a new perspective and allowed me to reframe my situation. It was only then that I could begin to feel excited about the possibilities for my life.

It’s somewhat magical, but as soon as you admit to yourself what you already know and tell the truth to someone safe, you’ll start to feel a little more space in your internal world. You no longer have to hold yourself so tightly to protect your secrets and placate your fears. And you can start to imagine what it would feel like to be free.

If you’re not sure where to start or what your freedom might look like, please sign up for my next Free Jump Group Coaching Call here.

Peering over the precipice of change!

Time to jump!I was in a hotel with Louise Hay in London, lamenting the fact that I wanted to jump, but felt too afraid. Big-time resistance!

“It’s like wanting to get to the other side of the river, yet clinging to a branch on this side for dear life,” Louise told me. “The only way we can possibly land over there is to release our grip.”

Lulu, as she is affectionately known, was absolutely right of course. For a long time, I’d tried to have it both ways. I was stretched all the way across that river, not letting go of the past and not fully embracing my future. But there comes a time when we have to trust our own ability to swim, even if we can’t see the other side. We have to trust that we can power ourselves to the other side, and that land will be there to greet us.

Jumping is not only about letting go and leaving, but also about propelling ourselves toward the new—even when we don’t know exactly what the “new” will be! I had no idea what would be coming my way when I left my marriage. I’d been with this man for eighteen years, after all, and we not only lived together but also worked together. Our lives were completely intertwined. Who would I be without him? I could hardly imagine who this A.D. (“After Divorce”) me would be. It was like standing at the edge of a cliff so high that I couldn’t see the river down below.

What I’ve since discovered is that we’re constantly being pushed to the edge of that precipice, and the only thing to do is to muster enough faith to jump into the uncertainty. As writer Ray Bradbury said, “You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

I know how scary that sounds, trust me. But isn’t it scarier to remain stuck in a life that you know for sure isn’t working? That’s certainly what I faced with my marriage. That life wasn’t working, but I was so afraid to let it go that for years I wouldn’t admit—not even to myself—how unhappy I truly was.

Whatever it is that’s holding you back from jumping, I want you to know that you’re not alone. I am here and I want to take your hand, guide you to the river and swim with you to the unknown. If you feel like you are stuck, living a life that isn’t working or unsure of what comes next, please join me for my next Free Group Coaching Call — you can sign up right here!

Say “yes” to more freedom!

Say Yes
The first time I set a boundary with my now ex-husband during our divorce process was not only the first time I set a boundary with him, it was the first boundary I’d set with anyone in my entire life!
It was the first time I ever thought purely about my own needs, the first time I ever chose myself over another person. It was huge.

And that one seemingly insurmountable step inspired me to develop the courage to set more boundaries—healthy and necessary ones—well beyond my relationship with him.

Around that time, a friend called me up and said, “I’m having a terrible day. I need you to do something to make me happy.” Before I knew what was coming out of my mouth, I said, “Unfortunately, I’m no longer in the business of making other people happy.” I was half mortified I’d said that, but I was also proud. It was an important moment. By saying no when I needed to take care of myself, I was free to later choose—from a full-hearted place—to help my friend feel better if I wanted to do so. But it wasn’t my “job” to do that for her anymore.

As they say, nothing pours from an empty pitcher. We have to fill ourselves first. Otherwise, we are only giving out of obligation—not from our true desire—and that inevitably leads to resentment.

There are a number of steps you can take to start your own self-love map. Today I want you to try two of them.

  1. TAKE OFF YOUR CAPE.

If you’re like me, the habit of trying to take care of everyone else will be a tough one to break. Creating a new identity after my divorce allowed me to no longer be defined by heroic achievements. What a relief to relinquish the image of perfection I had been projecting out to the world! I took off my Superwoman cape and finally broke free from the persona I’d created to get validation.

Perhaps you, too, are soaring around, searching for love. Whatever the intention is beneath your need, know that you are not alone. Start slowly. First, try just tucking the superhero cape inside your shirt for a day or two. You don’t have to take it all the way off! Your ego will do its damnedest to pull it back out (to hell with boundaries!) and that’s okay. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re ready to start rescuing yourself instead of everyone else.

And if you’re like me, one day you’ll forget all about that cape. You’ll be cleaning out your closet and you’ll find it hiding back there between your winter parka and your raincoat. And you’ll smile. You’ll remember the thrill of being a superhero, but you won’t need that identity anymore. Somewhere along the way, through some miracle, you will have become comfortable with being exactly who you are—with all your positive and negative qualities.

  1. WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Make a list of what you want, but don’t yet have, in different areas of your life. Make sure to include work life, home life, relationships, health, finances, spiritual path, and any other areas that are important to you.

You’re On Your Way!

As you begin to set boundaries, remember that you’re walking yourself to the edge of the cliff where you’re preparing to jump. Each time you set a healthy boundary, you say yes to more freedom. Take a deep breath, and commit once again to having the courage to jump into your future.

Are you ready to keep building that self-love map? Sign up today for my Free Group Coaching Call.

Let’s keep this conversation going! Head on over to Facebook and tell me one boundary you are willing to set today!