nancy's blog

My Journey with Journaling

Take a journey through journaling.Katie Dalebout, author of Let It Out: A Journey Through Journalingwill be my guest on my Hay House Radio show this week!

And wow, does that bring up a lot around my own journey through journaling!

Journaling is how I solve and dissolve complex equations of heart and head. It’s my personal commitment to revealing. We discover ourselves in words, unveiled and immersed in the precision of the present moment.

I have been writing to capture and process the details of my life since I was 11, in over 90 volumes of personal journal. Out of these pages my poems emerge, mined from the mosaic of memory, fragments of language, introspection and observation. The practice of poetry is my wayfinding. It’s my guide. Distilling and illuminating the essence of a fixed moment in time, like a snapshot. The pure, concise extraction of an experience, like espresso. In some way, it didn’t happen if I didn’t write about it.

The beginning of the end of my marriage was when my husband discovered – and read – my journals. While our relationship had been slowly falling apart for some time, I’d chosen to stay in denial so deeply that it took something this monumental to wake me up.

I did everything for my husband. It was all about him, and my own needs didn’t matter. 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 at that, so I let him try and mold me into his image of the perfect wife.

When you stay in a situation that isn’t working, denying your own needs, eventually your own well-being demands to be heard. And when you don’t heed that call, the truth will come out… unfortunately, it comes out sideways. You become depressed. Ill. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself expressing your needs in destructive ways.

And that’s what my husband discovered when he read my journals, how my true self had expressed herself sideways. I had written about the affair I’d had several years earlier. It’s still hard for me to disclose this, and I wish I’d never been that person. But what I know now is the importance of telling the truth and living your authentic life.

What happened to those journals? Well, after my husband found them, I destroyed them all – over seventy-five volumes at the time. As I said above, I’d been keeping journals since I was 11, and after I felt exposed, I didn’t write another journal entry for two years.

When I went back to journaling, I was paranoid! I kept everything saved on a thumb drive and carried it around with me everywhere. But that physical act of writing down my feelings, thoughts, reflections was such a powerful part of my journey, and continues to be important today. Commit to the physical act of writing it all down – preferably on paper. It does make a difference!

Journaling was an important part of my journey to my authentic self. Writing down thoughts, feelings, reflections is how we tell ourselves the truth. It’s not always easy, because if we are honest when we write, we’ll feel everything fully, with no pretensions. It’s also our opportunity to see things more objectively, and stop judging ourselves so harshly. It’s an inch-by-inch process, and you never know what will come out on the next page!

My journal is the portal into the story of my awakening. Internal wrestling. Self-awareness. Making myself vulnerable through these words has opened my eyes to the ways in which each of our stories are intertwined, coursing through one another. It’s not only the meaning, more the feeling that resonates between us. We are all of us writing for our lives. My writings were the stepping-stones along my journey from fear to self-love and self-forgiveness. Let your heart serve as a compass to lead you back to yourself, and an invitation to find and trust your own voice.

Join the conversation with me on Facebook!

Love Yourself First!

Jump into loving yourself!Today I’d like to share this poem with you; for me it captures the difficulty of loving another before you learn to love yourself.

lean into the loving

my primary landscape
needs healing
crevasses and couloirs
reaching into spring
an initiation
way before this took root in me
the past unfreezing
echoing inside my present

theft continues but i gave it away
keep walking
and cleanse
watch for what needs to grow

i come from the canyon
left in the loss of the past
this primal concept
of giving and receivingis ancestral
i took on his loss
by osmosis thru them
and the chasm was born right there
family legacy
picked up and carried forward

primary heartbreak is no longer
my marriage ending
it is only the breakthrough
to what i have been longing for

what we can’t deal with
consciously
we deal with
unconsciously 

you need a downstroke to ground
she said
if i was as powerful as you
i’d pay someone to stand on my chest too
this is the way that he loved me
containing me
restraining me
until i felt my own force

i brought myself here
i placed him there
had you ever believed you were enough
you would have left
i let him hold me until i knew freedom

my turn around is to know
i no longer need an empty well
to fill
reality is a rushing waterfall
a surge of relief invoking the truth
i can only know what i know
when i know it
i am the other half of this chaos
but still
you didn’t break his heart
it was already broken 

restrain relax surrender release
relieving myself from restriction
i now lean into the loving

Loving another begins with loving yourself. If you are living in reaction to someone else, abandoning yourself for the sake of another, it’s time to disarm your self-sabotage, find the keys to your own non-negotiables and priorities, and know that only you can give yourself the love you most desire.

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Harness Your Power!

Harness your power!For a long time I didn’t believe I had any choice.

I was too afraid of the consequences of leaving my marriage –or my job, for that matter – that I allowed myself to stay stuck. Which I know now was actually a choice…

And guess what? Divorce, entrepreneurship and major change didn’t annihilate me. In fact, they did the exact opposite! And today I have more personal power than I ever thought possible.

If I can do that so, can you.

Throughout my marriage, I gave away my power bit by bit. But it wasn’t anything new. I’d been giving away my power my whole life, by serving everyone around me and burying my own needs. I was addicted to striving for perfection, from a very young age.

On the outside, I appeared successful and happy. But one of my core limiting shadow beliefs was that I had to be perfect and indispensable in order to be loved. And it was exhausting! I was the victim of my own striving for happiness, and, as a result, was tremendously unhappy.

I created drama in order to make excuses for my unhappiness. I was the ultra-responsible employee, wife, daughter, friend… but I had not taken responsibility for my own life. Drama is the perfect defense mechanism, because it cloaks the pain of the past. “I can’t make a different choice right now, because I’m too busy dealing with this problem. If I don’t deal with it, no one else will!” Sound familiar?

Most of the pain we create in our lives is based on the inability to separate fact from fiction. Reality may feel threatening, but it’s a lot scarier to continue to live with stories we tell ourselves that aren’t true. We choose to tell ourselves false stories in order to avoid “what is.” But the truth won’t be denied forever. Every story, every excuse you make saps your strength and your power. Fight against your fears, take responsibility for your choices, and empower yourself to live the life of your dreams.

The antidote to excuses is taking responsibility and making choices. Reconnect with what you want. When you envision your life after you’ve made changes, how does it feel? Do you feel excited by the possibilities? Imagine what it would be like to let go of fear and have whatever you want. If there were no consequences whatsoever, which choice would you make – to stay the same or to change?

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Embrace the Unknown

Embrace the Unknown!If your life were a house, would it have been condemned long ago?

If so, it’s time to make a different choice.

When you choose to do even one thing differently, you take a step toward dissembling structures you’ve had in place for a while – probably many years.

Releasing our fears about jumping into the unknown is certainly easier said than done.

We want to know.
We want an ironclad guarantee that where we’re going will better than what we’re leaving.
But knowing is limiting. It’s the unknown where the mystery of life resides.
It’s time to become more comfortable with spontaneity and the invitation to change.

I discovered that if you aim your compass at chaos, a map to peace will present itself.

You can anchor yourself by engaging in self-nourishing rituals like meditating, journaling, enjoying your usual cup of coffee or tea in the morning, walking in nature, dancing, watching your favorite television show, relaxing with a good friend…

For now, I’m only asking you to do one thing differently. And while it doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, it needs to be a bit of a challenge. Don’t let the fear of repercussions cause you to choose something that is too easy. Pick something that feels at least a little bit edgy.

The unknown holds what you wish for, so don’t push it away.

You’re building a muscle here by learning how to make different choices on an on-going basis, every day, for the rest of your life.

New and unprecedented choices lead to a new and unprecedented life. 

When your “change muscle” becomes stronger, you’ll be less likely to get stuck in circumstances that hold you back or keep you small. If you know how to make little changes, you can make adjustments as you go and follow a dynamic path based on courage and freedom.

Try it! Make one different choice and see how your life changes.

Let’s talk about it on Facebook.

 

Learn the Art of Receiving

Receiving is giving!When you make a big change in your life – when you jump – you need support. If you’re a giver like me, you probably find it difficult to ask others to assist you. I know I used to think that asking for help meant I was weak. I also didn’t want anyone to know that there was anything I didn’t know how to do on my own. Ridiculous, right?!

I eventually learned that asking for help opened me up to being willing to receive and draw upon the brilliance and strength of others. And it allowed others to give to me for a change!

Think for a moment how good it feels when you give to others. By not allowing someone else to give to you, you deprive them of that good feeling. So, when you receive, you’re still giving. It’s a win-win!

We hear all the time how it’s better to give than to receive; how we need to be more giving; how wonderful it is to give. And it certainly is. But for the codependent people-pleasers among us, there is an imbalance to our giving. We offer much more than we get back, which isn’t healthy. So learn to allow other people the pleasure of helping you.

When I asked some of my coaching clients to share their stories with me for my book Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, a part of me felt bad about it. They’d have to go to the trouble of writing it all out! Would they have time? Would they find it painful? Would it be a bother? But one after another thanked me profusely for asking them.

They learned something from writing it down. It was cathartic. It was helpful to them. It gave them the gift of sharing their stories with me. Once again, I learned the value of asking for help – not just for my benefit as the recipient, but for the benefit of the givers as well.

When you ask for what you need to receive, you allow someone else to have the pleasure of giving. Asking for help is also a way for you to honor someone’s gifts and talents. When you give someone a chance to do what they do best, you give them a chance to shine.

Imagine a world where everyone feels it’s too selfish to receive. No one would have that profound pleasure of knowing they’ve helped someone else. The world functions in a healthier way when there is a balanced, steady flow back and forth.

If you’re a giver, it can be difficult to learn to make clean, clear, direct requests for assistance. But when you make changes in your life, it’s important to get support. Think about the good feeling you get when you help others. Why would you want to deny that to someone else? Remember, when you receive you still give… it’s a win-win!

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

I Know It’s Time to Jump… But How?

 

Jump into your new and better life!

I hid the truth about myself from myself for a long time before I was brave enough to make my jump into a new and better life. My wish in sharing this poem with you is that it will inspire you to take heart, and find the courage to dive into the light of your destiny.

unbound


we may never know
how we hold
all we can
or how the light catches us
when we are out of breath

it’s a sign of healing
to be feeling again

the real breakthrough
can only arise
from heartbreak

that which ails
cures
reminding us
that it’s always about beginning
and then beginning again

as the waves crash me
i trust the sand
to polish my edges smooth
dissolving denial
revealing real
while
courage and confidence
ignite my core

contraction and expansion
let the light stream in
and the stillness
after so much thrashing about
allows the body to wring
the sorrow out

as freedom floods
shadows may persist
know your undertow
as you alchemize the dark
and remember
that you always have
the strength to choose
how to engage

the clouds unveil the view
when you are ready to climb
now it’s time to notice
the miraculous moments
in your life
as they are happening

this
is the making
of me
and we will walk
courageously
into daybreak
from the night
shining our light
together

If you’ve been hiding in your life… if you’ve been called to make changes you’re too afraid to make… let me support you in finding the courage and self-love to jump into a new and better life. It’s time to let go and leap! Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

How your self-worth influences your net worth

While in the midst of putting the finishing touches on my next book, Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth releasing from Hay House this August, I thought I’d share a bit about it with you here.jpg

When we feel that we aren’t enough, or that we aren’t good enough, we also fear that we’ll never have enough.

Money. We love it. We hate it. If we don’t have enough, we’re struggling to get more. If we do have it, we’re fighting to hold on to it. Why does money have to be such a source of anxiety? Is it possible to find peace? Yes!

The real key to creating financial freedom isn’t changing what we do, it’s changing our limiting beliefs about how we feel—and that requires more than just learning how to invest.

The state of our net worth is a direct reflection of our self-worth.

We need to get to the root of the problem and do the internal work that’s needed to replace feelings of unworthiness with a solid sense of our own value.

In order to truly deal with our money issues, we need to go deep within and explore not just our feelings about money—but also our feelings about ourselves. That’s because at heart, money issues are issues of self-worth. In other words, our self-worth determines our net worth.

Until we feel worthy—deep inside—of the great life we desire, we won’t feel worthy of money the outside. When we don’t feel worthy on the inside, we develop patterns that prevent us from having the money, love, time, energy, health, joy we want and need.

These kinds of patterns are tenacious because they’re created by unconscious feelings and negative beliefs that took hold in childhood. In fact, our sense of self-worth is created when we’re very young. As a result, some of us aren’t even aware that we don’t feel worthy inside. We carry unconscious beliefs about ourselves like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not lovable” or “Other people are better than me.” The foundation of all limiting shadow beliefs is “I’m not worthy.”

These beliefs of unworthiness then drive our behaviors in all sorts of ways. The mash-up of money and self-worth issues starts early—and that’s why we have to start by uncovering those old worth issues from childhood. If we don’t unwind the tangle of emotions and beliefs and fears that got encoded back then, we’ll stay in a dysfunctional relationship with money…not to mention a dysfunctional relationship with ourselves.

When we begin to let go of our unconscious limiting beliefs about our self-worth, money issues start to dissolve. It works in reverse, too! When we heal emotional wounds surrounding finances, other areas of our life will begin to heal as well, and our net worth increases in ways beyond our bank balance.

It is truly miraculous!

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

 

 

How To Set Boundaries (Even If You Think You Can’t)

Boundaries make you happy!Leaving my marriage and whole-heartedly deciding not to return felt like what I imagine it might feel like to leave a cult.

As my mind began to clear, and as my habits of reactivity and walking on eggshells began to lessen and loosen, setting boundaries became easier.

The months that followed were a blur. I filed for divorce, met with lawyers, went through a painfully long mediation, agreed to a settlement, and got the dissolution decree.

During all of that time, my husband and I never spoke or saw one another. I was finally able to set a boundary — and keep it. Having set my own boundaries for the first time, I was no longer reacting or responding to someone else. I was suddenly able to act from a clean, clear place. It was amazing.

But while I felt stronger in some ways, I also felt like a young colt trying to walk for the first time, which is fitting, since I was indeed birthing a new identity.

So, take heart! When you set new boundaries, you may at first feel as though you have a new pair of legs. You might feel off balance, but it won’t last forever. Yes, it can be very scary to operate from a place of what you want, especially when you’re a people-pleaser like me.

As children, we learn to respond in a way that brings us the least stress and trouble, and that often means allowing ourselves to be moved by others’ wants and needs. But as adults, we have to learn to get past our ingrained fears and make clear choices. Most of us have an inner dialogue that tells us we’re not enough, that we’re not lovable.

Refusing to set healthy boundaries is one of the primary ways we express that belief. If we want to live fulfilled lives, however, we have to let go of the belief that the needs and opinions of others are more important or valid than our own. We have to stop taking it personally when someone disagrees with us. We have to stop believing that if we disagree with someone or ask for what we want, we’ll end up alone and unloved.

Most of us don’t know how to set boundaries. We’re taught to put others ahead of ourselves. (This is especially true for women, but there are plenty of men who have the same issue.)

During a workshop I heard Cheryl Richardson say something that stuck with me: “If I spend my life pleasing people, I spend my life.”

Up until that point I realized I didn’t have any boundaries, I had definitely been spending my life. I was just about emotionally bankrupt when I finally woke up.

As you begin to set boundaries, remember that 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. This exercise will help you start small and begin acting from a clean, clear place.

Your New Self-Love Map: Setting Your Boundaries

1. 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.

2. Make a list of what you will never tolerate again in your life. 

For me, this list included my husband’s threats and demands, as well as my own need to overachieve.

3. How would you like to strengthen boundaries in various areas of your life?

  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around health by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around finances by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around relationships by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around fun by ___________.
  • I want to strengthen my boundaries around ________ by ___________.

4. Choose three of these boundaries that you are willing to set in different areas of your life this week. 

Commit to making these changes. In some cases, you might have to declare your boundary to someone else, such as “I’m not going to pick you up from work every day.” In other cases, you may just take a different action to set your boundary.

The three boundaries I will set this week are:

  • ___________
  • ___________
  • ___________

5. If you worry about someone else’s reaction to a boundary you have set, speak in your mind to the person’s higher self, requesting understanding, reason, and compassion. 

Then, offer the same to this individual when you declare your boundary. If you can remain calm, it will be easier for the other person to stay calm, too. Practice what you will say in the mirror or to a trusted friend, if necessary, in order to keep your composure.

6. If you need to set a boundary with an adult who is very dependent upon you, visualization can help. 

After one of my presentations, a woman came up to me and said that she would never be able to leave her husband because he can’t live without her. He may believe that, but his belief doesn’t make it true.

If you need to set a boundary with an adult who is very dependent upon you, try visualizing that you have an invisible thread connecting your solar plexus (the flat area in the center of your torso, between your bottom ribs) with the solar plexus of this person.

Imagine what it would be like to cut that thread, and visualize placing your loved one in the arms of his/her higher self. Is it frightening? Do you feel like you’re abandoning him/her?

If you have an attachment to someone else that is dysfunctional, this exercise is a way that you can begin to disengage from that attachment so that both of you can grow into the independent people you’re meant to be.

Maintaining healthy boundaries is liberating. Get help and support to set and maintain your boundaries so you can live in alignment with your truth. Share your boundary stories on Facebook.

 

The Easy Way Out Is Always Harder

The Easy Way Out Is Always HarderWhen we betray ourselves and others, it’s often because we’ve made the “easier choice” – consciously or unconsciously. But this “easier choice” is actually the cowardly choice. For example, at the time, I mistakenly believed that it was easier for me to have an affair than to tell myself, and my husband, the truth of wanting out of my marriage. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Eventually, making the cowardly choice will be harder, not easier, because it will almost inevitably lead to destruction. You may be delaying the blow up but once it comes, that blow up is often bigger and more painful the longer you put it off. I’m certain the pain would have been less had I been living in alignment with my truth.

But we’re all human, and we’ve all taken the “easy” way out at some point in our lives. For eighteen years, I thought I was committed to my marriage. But in hindsight, I realize I was actually committed to being indispensable,  to being punished and to rescuing. All of which led me to stay in an unhappy, controlling marriage. Those commitments overrode my desire for my own well-being and happiness.

What I’ve learned is that, in life, we get what we’re committed to at the deepest level. We tell ourselves we’re committed to happiness, but deep down, we’re actually committed to something else – like being indispensable, staying safe, or putting others’ needs ahead of our own.

For so long, my self-worth was tied up in how much of a chameleon I could be. How much could I please people? How well could I turn myself into what they needed? Becoming what they wanted brought me the most validation, but it was a false validation. I was loved for my façade, not for me. When I finally let the façade go, I discovered that, yes, there were people in the world who would love me for my true self, even though I wasn’t perfect. I learned that I could not only survive if I was human, but actually thrive because of it.

We are meant to be and express the fullness of who we truly are. If we’re living authentically, we might show different aspects of our personalities in different situations, but none of them will be false. When you stop and tell the truth, so much energy becomes available to you – energy that can be used to live the life you want.

When something is “off” in your life, you know it. And it takes an incredible amount of energy to continue the denial. But the truth is so much better! Are you doing anything now that is the “easy thing” – as opposed to the honest thing? What are you doing in your life that is self-sabotaging? Free yourself to pursue the happiness, love, and success you deserve. Share your true story on Facebook.

 

Move past your past

Move past your pastI’m gonna tell you the truth…cuz we’re friends, right?!

Tomorrow is my birthday. 51. And even though Christiane Northrup is a friend of mine and I’ve devoured her brilliant book Goddesses Never Age, I’ve been freaking out about it a wee bit. (Or maybe more than a wee bit, but how much is not important…)

For some reason, 50 seemed to feel like the even-keel balance of the teeter-totter. But 51 is now weighing that side way down.

Aging. The ultimate loss of control (I know I never had any but it feels better to think I did.)

Change. My body. My brain. My energy. My heart.

There isn’t an infinite amount of time. Or me. So I remind myself that slowing down – paying attention to presence and awareness in each moment – is a good thing.

❤️

My man and I have been in it – as will happen in a committed relationship where significant mutual values include healing and evolution. Relationship as a spiritual path is for warriors. And I am a samurai.

He’s taking me to a nearby hot springs overnight for my birthday. In addition to the whole aging-thing, going away has been stressing me out as well.

The past week or so has had its ups and downs. I told you I was going to be honest. The up was thankfully prevailing – and then I began feeling such pressure to make sure we’d be in a good space come tomorrow for this overnight. So, I started to worry about that…last Saturday. And then what did I do? I actually created conflict. This is a very old pattern of mine – desiring peace yet instigating drama – that seemed to resurface so I could feel in control of something. I created the conflict to relieve myself of just waiting and wondering if conflict would come or not.

It sounds crazy…but maybe you know what I’m talking about. 😉

Good news is I was able to see the self-fulfilling prophecy at play and we eased back into connection. I’m even looking forward to going away now!

❤️

On a recent visit with Louise Hay – 89 and divine! – she seemed to be looking around for something. I asked, “Lulu, what do you need?” and she said, “Darling, I just need to be.”

Wow. Yes.
Aging celebrates the permission to be.
Finally.
Not sure it gets any better than that.

#gratefulaging

So I now welcome this birthday as an invitation to be…and to move past my past, into a deepening of self-acceptance, self-awareness, self-compassion, self-forgiveness and self-love.

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.