Self-Care That Doesn’t Cost a Cent

Time alone is medicine

I’ve just had my most perfect morning. Woke early. Meditated. Read my dear Dani Shapiro’s new magnificent memoir Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage in its entirety. Cried. Highlighted. Cried. Highlighted. Cried. All while my phone was still in Airplane Mode from last night.

I’m not one who looks forward to things. But this morning, I have been looking forward to ever since I realized I’d be home alone with Hourglass only a few days after its release.

I have the rest of the day to myself. Heaven. My system does not recharge when it needs to be relational. Time alone today is medicine for my heart and my soul.
 I barely wanted to turn the wifi back on, but needed to write my newsletter…

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

I want to invite you to love yourself more. Through loving yourself, your capacity to love others actually increases. How do you love yourself more? Simply think of someone you love with all your heart, and imagine what it would be like to turn that love back toward yourself. Can you do it? If not, practice until you can take all of that love into your heart. You deserve it. I mean it. Remember: You don’t have to be perfect. No one is—not even that person you love so dearly, even if that person is a child.

Open your heart to the belief that you deserve. Open your ability to receive. Increase your “having- ness” level. Begin to imagine what it would be like to receive more. Notice your resistance. Give love to any parts of you that feel you don’t deserve. Why not you? Allow yourself to receive a little bit … and a little bit more … continuing to build on your ability to accept wonderful things into your life.

Now while you’re in this space of receiving I want you to think about some ways that you can replenish and rejuvenate yourself this week!

Here are some ideas:

  1. Go for a long walk on your own
  2. Take a hot bath with a privacy sign on the door
  3. Go to the park and people watch
  4. Play and snuggle with your pet
  5. Start a creative project…just for fun
  6. Turn on some music and dance
  7. Download a free guided meditation…and then listen to it
  8. Take a nap
  9. Spend time with a loved one whose companionship nourishes you
  10. Hang out in your garden
  11. Write or draw or color
  12. Have sex…with someone else, or yourself
  13. Binge-watch your favorite show
  14. Unplug! No phone or computer for a few hours, or even a whole day
  15. Read a book
  16. Laugh — listen to or watch your favorite comedy
  17. Meditate or pray
  18. Stay in your jammies all day

 And now over to you! What’s your self-care that doesn’t cost a cent? Let me know right here!

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Your heart knows the truth

Are you contemplating leaving?

Whether it’s a marriage, relationship, job – how do you know when it’s time to move on?

The truth is, your heart has already jumped…your head just needs to catch up with your heart.

When it came to my marriage…well, our relationship had been crumbling for quite some time. I’d chosen to stay in such deep denial that it took an explosion of epic proportions to wake me up. And I’m so grateful it did.

My life had been leading to a shattering like this. Decoding the chaos I created to avoid the truth. My soul knew but I didn’t want to see. So denial, she slows the speed of growth.

Suddenly, I had a choice: I could stay numb and go back to sleep, or I could face my fears, embrace change and get ready to jump!

What happens when you stay in a situation that isn’t working, denying yourself? 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 I was, you’ll find yourself expressing those needs in destructive, self-sabotaging ways.

Your body is the barometer of your truth.

Listen and pay attention to the inner whispers and wails you’ve been avoiding.

It’s time to admit to yourself what you already know to be true.

Marriage was a long time to be away from myself. By staying in my marriage, I wasn’t allowing the full expression of my life to emerge, and looking back, I realize that the marriage was another hiding place for me. As long as I stayed and propped him up, I could hide from what I truly wanted and from all I was capable of becoming.

We stay until we can’t stay anymore and in our own time we walk through the one-way door.

Sometimes, if you leave you’ll pay a price. But if you stay, you’ll pay an even bigger price.

With each choice, power replenishes my voice.

Leaving my marriage meant I would no longer have excuses for not fully inhabiting my life, and it led me to the deep inner work that’s been the catalyst for living my life in alignment with my truth and desires.

Are you hiding out in your current circumstance and wondering, “Should I stay or should I go?” I get it! I’ve left a marriage, and a dream career, in service of a life beyond my wildest imagination. And I’d love to support you in doing the same so you make choices and take action to live in alignment with your truth and desires. Jump on the phone and join me for a FREE Live Jump Group Coaching Call TODAY at 12pm PT / 3pm ET — you can sign up right here!

mindfulness…is a request

Loving in Disconnection

 

mindfulness
is a request
to retire auto-pilot
to invite inquiry around
what’s truly alive
inside in each moment
allowing attention to
swell and land
igniting authentic movement

sometimes
i still find it
so confronting to listen
closely for my desire
as it rises
still so easy for it
to be blocked out by
what someone else needs

we who are used to
abandoning ourselves
for the sake of another
or avoiding feeling
by any sort of
sublimation
it takes longer to listen
to the voice reminding us
that it’s only when we finally
honor all parts of ourselves
with permission to attend to
our fullness
that we will be available
for mindful union

i know we all want
to be heard seen felt met
yet in conflict
may we remember
that staying in connection
is more important
than being right

sometimes
i believe
loving in disconnection
is truly the most sacred practice

and all the time
i am certain
that self-love
is at the root
nourishing my heart
to meet yours

Reboot Your Beliefs

Let go of limiting beliefs

Our childhood beliefs may be illogical, but they take hold and become the way we see the world. They are unconscious “shadow beliefs” that become part of our personal operating systems. They tell us what we can and cannot do. The people and situations we attract into our lives are consistent with those beliefs—for better or worse.

As adults, we continue this unconscious, habitual, compulsive way of being without any awareness as to why. It’s only when we bring our shadow beliefs into conscious awareness in adulthood that we can see the hold they’ve had over us as well as the gifts they offer. Then, we can shine light on these unwanted parts of ourselves, stop pushing them away, and integrate them in order to reclaim wholeness.

Here’s the thing…a belief is simply a long-held idea of how the world works and our role within it.

Unfortunately, when I married my husband, I had not yet reached that level of awareness.

Most of the time, we’re held captive in an invisible prison of our own beliefs. In my marriage, for example, I believed that my husband held all the cards. That belief happened to be true, but only because I allowed it. My belief that I was never going to be good enough kept our unhealthy dynamic in place.

So, are you ready to find out what beliefs are silently running your life and holding you back from bursting forth into freedom? Join me for a FREE Live Jump Group Coaching Call — you can sign up right here!

Are You Looking for What’s Wrong?

Look for what's right

Choose momentary discomfort over long-term resentment. — Brené Brown

So much of the time, we would rather stay small and imprisoned than face the uncertainty of becoming who we are meant to be. The resentment that comes with keeping our dreams under wraps may be a life sentence, but it’s also a known commodity. It’s within our comfort zone. In order to stay there, we have to slip into denial, numb out, and stuff down our real feelings and our true selves. What a high cost we pay for that so-called “comfort.”

I became aware that my denial had caused an underlying tension in almost everything I did, and tension is the opposite of freedom. In my career, people-pleasing and workaholism became escapes. I kept jumping through hoop after hoop in order to receive recognition and earn a gold star. But no amount of gold stars was ever enough to fill the emptiness of living an inauthentic life.

My hard work was also an attempt to be good and “do things right.” In my mind, being wrong meant I’d be punished—which, on a deep level, is what I expected most of the time. In her book, The Right Questions, Debbie Ford asks, “Am I looking for what is right, or am I looking for what is wrong?” I was always, always looking for what I was doing wrong.

Looking for what’s wrong tends to be the default way of viewing the world for most of us and has us look at our lives through the narrowest possible lens, zooming in on the negative. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy—if we look for what’s wrong, we will find it. It becomes an excuse we use to justify our moods and bad behavior and gives us a way to avoid taking responsibility for our lives.

Whereas, looking for what’s right allows a whole new reality to emerge. It opens our hearts and allows us to live in a state of gratitude for what we have. It’s a life-enhancing choice that promises peace, satisfaction and fulfillment.

This question has the power to shift a moment by refocusing the lens of our perceptions and takes practice. It can be as simple as looking at the world through “what’s right glasses” – vs. “what’s wrong glasses.”

Most of the time, we’re wearing our “what’s wrong glasses” and we’re held captive in an invisible prison of our own beliefs. In my marriage, for example, I believed that my husband held all the cards. That belief happened to be true, but only because I allowed it. My belief that I was never going to be good enough kept our unhealthy dynamic in place.

As long as I stayed and propped him up, I could hide from what I truly wanted and from all I was capable of becoming. Leaving my husband meant I would no longer have excuses for not fully inhabiting my life—a terrifying thought.

So, what beliefs are silently running your life and holding you back from bursting forth into freedom?

Are you ready to put on your “what’s right glasses” and let looking for what’s right become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Ask For Help

Ask For Help

One of the reasons I refused to ask for help for so long was that I didn’t want to appear vulnerable. I’d spent a long time thinking that “strength” meant being totally invulnerable. Never letting them see me sweat, as I’ve said. But it turns out that it takes way more courage to say “I don’t know how to do this” and “I can’t do it alone.”

It felt scary to let anyone see what I judged as my “weaknesses,” but as it turned out, it was safer than I realized. As soon as I asked for help, I discovered how many people were not only willing but were happy to give me whatever I needed.

Showing my vulnerability made me appear more human to others. I had projected the image of “superwoman,” and they had actually believed me! Once I let down my shield, they could identify with me and relate to me for the first time. The result was that they felt closer to me. They were all human, too, and they had all felt vulnerable.

I also discovered that asking for help ends isolation we feel from lack of connection and intimacy. I slowly started allowing people more into my world so that they could see all of me—both my “efficient” self and the part of me who throws up her hands and says, “I don’t know.” Feeling “help-less” wasn’t necessary anymore, though, because help was always right there. I only had to ask.

What’s Your Worthiness Quotient?

You approve of you

One of the easiest ways to tell if your self-worth could use a tune-up is by paying attention to how you judge yourself. Do you get very upset when you make a mistake? Do you say, “Damn! I’m such an idiot!” Do you tell yourself that you aren’t smart enough, aren’t good enough, aren’t capable?

Sometimes, that voice of judgment is so automatic that we don’t actually “hear” it, but we sure do feel it. The excuses come next. “Oh, I can’t join that class. It’s stupid.” “I can’t take that job. It’s too far away. What a commute that would be!” Underneath those excuses is the longing for the very thing we’re pushing away. And we push it away because we’re afraid we aren’t good enough.

When my critical voice starts to shout, I say, “Oh, here you are again. I’ve been expecting you, and I’m going to turn your volume down now. We’re not doing that anymore.”

Also underneath the excuses are our “what ifs” – “What if I’m not good enough to get that job?” “What if I’m not smart enough to keep up in that class?” We would rather stay safe and small than take the risk of finding out that our “what ifs” are correct.

But here’s the thing: When your self-worth is strong, the “what ifs” aren’t so scary. What if you take the class and find out you can’t keep up? So what? If your self-worth is solid, it won’t be damaged. You aren’t going to die if you can’t keep up in some class! The same is true of that job. If you don’t get it, so what? It’s hardly the only job in the world. With a strong sense of worthiness, we’re much less likely to let “failures” get us down. Instead, we see them as learning experiences that propel us forward to even better opportunities.

The condition of our self-worth is also revealed in how well we care for ourselves. Just as we demonstrate our love for others through our actions, we demonstrate self-worth through making sure we’re eating well, sleeping enough, and exercising enough. We nurture ourselves, taking time for what we need in order to feel good. That might be meditation. A walk in the park. A hot bath. A talk with a friend. Alone time.

It also means taking credit for our progress and our successes. We pat ourselves on the back when we do something well. We acknowledge our talents and abilities. We notice our growth.

Healthy pride comes from a place of knowing your worth. Arrogance actually comes from a lack of self-worth. It’s putting on a good show of self-worth, but it isn’t real worthiness. Do you know someone who has healthy self-confidence, yet isn’t boastful or arrogant? That person could be a good role model. Even if you don’t know anyone personally, you can probably find someone in public life who exhibits that kind of confidence. What would it feel like to take healthy pride in what you do and who you are?

Remember there’s no “ultimate” or “perfect” state of self- worth. No matter where you start, you have the opportunity to improve. So let’s look at ways you can increase your willingness to be worthy.

The Dance of Deprivation and Worth

I am enough

Some of us have an underlying commitment to unworthiness. Our identity is actually tied to it, and we believe that we’re fundamentally unworthy. Why would anyone make a commitment to such a thing? Childhood programming, of course. But this particular commitment is often tenacious, because we’re afraid of feeling worthy.

The secret benefit of the commitment is that it keeps us safe. Think about it: If we dare to believe we’re worthy, what if we discover we’re wrong? We’d not only feel terrible, but we’d also be humiliated. Choosing to feel unworthy from the start is a preemptive strike. “If I already know I’m unworthy, the new kid in the school yard can’t hurt me as much when he tells me I’m ugly.”

Even if we don’t have an underlying commitment to unworthiness, we might have a pervasive belief about worth. One of the beliefs I hear a lot is “I’m not enough, and there isn’t enough.” That leads to the underlying commitment to deprive ourselves. If there isn’t enough, and we’re not worthy, that means everyone else gets first dibs. We’re afraid to take our rightful portion.

Women tend to take care of others first, which often leaves little for themselves. Did your mother do that? If she modeled that for you, it’s a big part of your programming.

Take my client Pauline who says, “So much of my self-worth is based on what’s on the ‘outside,’ rather than how I feel on the inside. I tend to let my husband and close friends have their way almost all the time without even thinking about what I want. I realize now that I don’t speak up because I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me.”

With awareness, Pauline can begin to catch herself, correct her behavior, and make a different choice. Whenever she sees herself starting to take “the short end of the stick,” she can stop and say to herself, “No, I’m enough, and there’s enough for everyone. I get just as much as everybody else. I deserve to have first dibs. I deserve to say which movie I’d like to see. I deserve to choose the restaurant.” It can start as simply as that, and then spiral out into more important areas of her life. Of course, we all have to make compromises and allow everyone in a group to have their say and their piece of the pie. But we certainly deserve to give ourselves equal treatment.

This habit of putting others first also comes out in “the chameleon act.” If you’re a people-pleaser type like me, you frequently turn yourself—like a chameleon—into what others want and need you to be. Whether that’s who you are or not. I still sometimes catch myself wanting to do that. It comes out of the fear that who I am isn’t enough, and I’m not worthy of being me.

These days, I’m better able to stop myself from morphing into what somebody else wants. It still takes some effort, but I make it a point to check in with myself to find out what I need, want, feel, and think before I move on to anyone else. This allows me to respond, rather than react, to people and situations. It allows me to be more authentic, and it spares me the resentment I would feel later because I didn’t get what I desired.

Now what about you? Are you ready to admit you ARE enough? Are you ready claim your piece of the pie?

The Healing Power of Poetry and Journaling

Each day-let go
Writing is how I solve and dissolve complex equations of heart and head. It is my personal commitment to revealing, as poetry has the ability to connect us to one another. 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. The practice of poetry is my way-finding. 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.

In fact, my first book is called Writing For My Life and that title couldn’t be truer. Writing literally saved my life and helped me…find me, the real me. That book is far more to me than simply a collection of poetry. It’s a bridge. From my own experience to that of so many others.

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.

Poems became the stepping-stones along my journey from fear to self- acceptance; shame to self-love; punishment to self-forgiveness; self-doubt to self-worth. I offer my heart to you with the hope that it serves as a compass to lead you back to yourself, and an invitation to find and trust your own voice.

reclaiming the lost pieces of me

in seven hours
we reached the desert
by morning
clear blue sky
and red rock wake us
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

What’s Hiding Out in Your Unexpressed Anger?

Permission to Feel

So what’s hiding out in your unexpressed anger?

The Answer: Your Freedom! Anger that’s withheld or repressed can eat away at your desires, robbing you of the intimacy you crave, your dream career, prosperity, peace, wellness and joy.

Last month on my radio show I had a lovely listener, Jennifer from NJ, ask me about anger and I think it’s such an important topic that I want to take some time and shed a little more light on the subject.

I want to start by saying it’s ok to be angry and feel anger. But so many of us bury the emotion, internalize the anger and even reject that we have a right to be angry. As if being angry is not “proper” or “appropriate” to feel. And then we disown and dissociate from it.

Most of us think anger looks like an explosion of aggression and hostility. And yes, anger can look like that. However, unexpressed anger surfaces in different ways for different people – like neediness, control, anxiety, being overly critical, cynical, depressed or like the caller…stolidly independent. And it’s hard to recognize this as unexpressed anger because we don’t have a relationship with it. The expression won’t look the same, what you need to look at is the emotion underneath the behavior.

And what you’ll find, if you dig a little deeper is you actually draw people towards you that do express anger and mirror your unexpressed anger back to you.

So what I want you to do this week is explore your relationship to anger. Think about how you express—or don’t express—your anger and how anger may be expressed in a healthy way for you.

And if you’re wondering how to express your anger in healthy ways, here are a few I’ve picked up over the years:

  1. Take a plastic baseball bat to a pillow
  2. Yell outside from a hilltop
  3. Take a shower in the dark and scream
  4. Go kickboxing
  5. Sing it out
  6. Write about it
  7. Blast music in your car and shout it out

Give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel and learn to own your anger so you can heal into a life of greater freedom.