Kick Worry to the Curb

Living in approval of yourself

Is your first thought upon waking, “What do I need to worry about today?” Are you constantly scanning for what needs your attention—in a negative way?

I used to wake up every morning and the first thought in my head was, “What do I need to worry about today?” And then a list of other-focused and other-referenced activities and fears would begin to rattle off.

Now, I wake up and ask, “What’s the most loving act I can take for myself today?” And I do it. Great self-care and living in approval of myself is the antidote to worry. And it leads to a solid sense of self-worth, because here’s the deal: Worthiness is an inside job.

How do we take stock of our worthiness quotient? First and foremost, we start to notice when we’re judging ourselves. One of the easiest ways to tell if your self-worth could use a tune-up is by paying attention to how you talk to 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? Do you compare yourself to others and make up stories about how you don’t measure up?

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.

Whenever we don’t feel good enough, we invoke worry.

Allowing yourself to worry is giving unnecessary airtime to negative thoughts about yourself.

Worry lives in the past and future, and it prevents you from living in the present.

Flip the script by taking charge of your worry. Name it and write down the most loving action you can take for yourself today. And if what you’re worrying about is beyond your control, why let it take up precious real estate in your head and your heart?

Remember, action alleviates anxiety!

The bottom line is you need to take care of yourself in order to kick worry to the curb. And if you’re anything like I used to be, you’ve been abandoning yourself for far too long.

So stop it!

Start living in the present and kick that worry to the curb.

Are you afraid of fun?

 Give yourself permission to play

Do you think fun is frivolous? Does play make you feel anxious? Do you relate to leisure as being lazy, unproductive and irresponsible?

Ya know…I used to be just like you.

My perfectionism and my history—the pain I experienced around my brother’s death when I was so young—turned me into someone who didn’t know how to play or relax. In fact, I was so concerned about spending any time not working that I frequently worked during my off hours while I was at Hay House. It made no sense, of course, since I had a set salary. I would make just as much if I relaxed and enjoyed my time off as if I spent it crouched over my computer. But I wasn’t thinking logically! My beliefs told me that if I wasn’t working, I wasn’t valuable. And if I wasn’t valuable, I wasn’t safe.

It wasn’t until I left my job and started working for myself that I began to give myself time to play and enjoy my life. Which is ironic, since as any entrepreneur knows, when you’re working for yourself, there’s no such thing as paid time off! But my self-worth was finally intact, and I no longer believed I had to be a workhorse to validate my value. After that shift, I not only began to make more while working fewer hours, but I also began to learn how to enjoy my downtime. I can now play and relax without feelings of fear or guilt!

I’m learning to have fun, to ask for what I want. I’m learning to flow between work and play with more ease, not waiting for the stars to align before I give myself permission to embrace joy. And it’s all because I know I’m worthy of it!

—Penny, Former Coaching Client

I’m here to tell you, it’s not too late to give yourself permission to play.

Do you do find yourself working all the time instead of having any fun? When your friends ask you to go out to dinner or a movie do you make up an excuse? Or maybe you think work is fun and fun is work?

If any of this resonates, join me for a Free Group Coaching Call and let me show you how there’s room for everything you desire in your life—family, relationships, the right kind of work, and play time too!

When crisis opens doors

It's Never Too Late

 

Did you know that J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series was an unemployed, single mother living on state benefits only 5 years prior to becoming Britain’s best-selling living author?

In a commencement speech at Harvard she said “The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

I bring this up because sometimes our experiences of adversity or crisis propel us into living our best lives, aligned with our truth and desires.

For me, if my husband had never read my journals at all—wow, my life would be very different today. Actually, it would have been the same as what I call my “Before Divorce” or B.D. life. I have no doubt that I would have stayed stuck in my marriage. I wouldn’t have written two books, I wouldn’t have a successful coaching practice, and I wouldn’t be sharing my story on stage before thousands to help others on a regular basis. That crisis opened the door to everything else that has happened since, and a lot of what has happened has been wonderful.

As you think about your own jump, consider this:

Wikipedia has a fascinating entry under the term “graceful exit.” Apparently, this is the name of a computer program that “detects a serious error condition and ‘exits gracefully’ in a controlled manner as a result.” Wikipedia goes on to say that “code for a graceful exit exists when the alternative—allowing the error to go undetected and unhandled—would produce serious errors or later anomalous behavior that would be more difficult for the programmer to debug.”

What a metaphor for the graceful exit after a jump in life!

Remember, it’s never too late to inhabit the life you truly long to live! What crisis are you willing to honor, that brought you to this moment and is now opening doors for you?

HEART

Just being me is enough

HEART

Florence, Italy. In Michaelangelo’s gallery, bodies birthing themselves from rough and ragged chunks of marble. “Unfinished Slaves,” frozen in a state of self- excavation. I, too, was carving myself back into life.

Shame and guilt stripped away, revealing my raw flesh. I reclaimed time lost; my unlived life. Forgiveness arrived, tentatively at first. Then – now – in bursts of disbelief. Inhabiting my life completely– no hiding, truly living – is unparalleled.

Once there was a marriage and now there is me.

What do I know, now? I know that happiness, fun, pleasure – these are the necessities. I know that loss is loss and grief is grief. I know that forgiveness is the gateway; freedom and love lie beyond. I know that nothing is better than living my life as it is happening. Meeting the miraculous moments as me – just me. Just being me is the only thing I ever have to do to be loved.

I know that living on the other side of my greatest fear I can do anything.

*****

Is there an area of your life where you’re stuck in a painful pattern of self-blame and self-sabotage? Are you holding onto shameful incidents from the past where you decided you weren’t worthy or deserving of happiness, love, success, money.

Here’s the deal: We’re all hiding something we think we need to hide in order to be loved and accepted. It’s time to stop hiding. You see, our shame can’t live in the open air and light. Once we name it, it begins to diffuse. Immediately.

Are you ready to be free, on the other side of your greatest fear, with access to all that you desire?

Join me tomorrow at 8am PT / 11am ET for my Hay House Radio Show and learn how to give yourself permission to release the shame you’ve been carrying, in service of living your liberated life.

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.