My 14-year-old daughter invited me to go on a museum field trip with her class this week. To me, this was a BIG deal. At 14, about half the time she acts as I’m the dumbest person she’s ever met and the other half of the time she doesn’t want to be around me. So the fact that she wanted me to be with her on a school trip with all her friends – priceless. I jumped at the chance. Never mind that she rode on the bus with her boyfriend and complained at me through the whole museum that I was being mean. She wanted me there.
While the riding the bus from the school to the museum (alone in a seat!) I was looking out the window, thinking. Often in my quiet times, my mind automatically goes to business: when to market this program or that class, how to structure the new program, when to schedule the next email series. This day, my mind focused on connection. I’ve been taking an intuitive development class since last spring and I have my first professional opportunity this weekend to put my skills into practice. With 20 minutes of downtime, my first instinct was to practice, to cram, if you will, for the first test of my abilities this weekend.
And just as suddenly as that idea popped into my head, the bus hit a bump, bounced me around, and jolted me into a new reality. My time is carefully planned out, that’s for sure. Working full time, running a business part time, and managing a family takes planning. Yet here was this golden opportunity to be present in this moment – an opportunity that may not happen again and a moment that is for certain already gone – and I’m focused on work.
It’s true that there’s never enough time in the day, and perhaps many successful professionals and entrepreneurs would tell me that fitting in work where I can makes good business sense. Yet, in my heart I know something deeper: this is about FAITH.
FAITH tells me that even if I don’t commit every spare second to my business, it will still work out. It may even work out BETTER because I actually have some time to be present in the moment, to be open to what about that moment can inspire me in ways that simply thinking about things can’t.
FAITH tells me that being present for this moment of my daughter’s life, even if she’s not right there by my side in the bus seat, will help raise a young woman who is confident in the support systems in her life. She can tell when I’m present or not, even if I don’t have a phone in my face. Both of my girls tease me a lot about “zoning out” or talking to myself as I think. They know when I’m there with them, and they appreciate when I am.
FAITH tells me that I don’t always have to practice everything. Yes, we need to build skills, but we also need to know when to trust our own abilities and accept that the first few times (maybe many times) will not be perfect. And it doesn’t have to be. People like realness, not perfection. I teach for a living, I like to be polished and professional and prepared for my classes. And at the same time, I don’t like to be scripted because I know from experience that learners don’t respond well to that. That isn’t facilitation or teaching, it’s a speech. Faith reminds me that by being present, I can respond in real time to the needs of the person or people in front of me.
FAITH tells me that I can trust myself. It builds a quiet confidence and belief that I’ve got this, no matter what “this” is. History hasn’t been so kind as to instill that kind of trust. Being present opens us to a kind of faith that feels vulnerable. There’s no relying on history, good or bad. There’s no relying on anyone else. It’s simply being there in the moment and trusting it will go well. Or it won’t and the world won’t end. We’ll just become stronger and more trusting in our own resilience.
Where in your life to do you find that being present helps enhance your faith – in yourself, your spirituality, your business or work, or your life in general? Where do you find that lack of faith causes you to be less present with yourself and the world around you?
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your ability to be present, I invite you to join me for my next Simple Self Healing program, starting Sunday, February 12th! We’ll explore a variety of self-healing tools and techniques that require presence as the foundation. Registration is open now and the early bird rate is available through Monday, February 6th! Click HERE for more information and to register!
Love and light,
As you know, I started off this year with the inspiration to Love Full Out. In doing so, I’m keeping my focus on three main practices in my daily life:
Last week, I got my first big opportunity to practice being present (spirit tends to work quickly, you know). You may have noticed I didn’t post an article last week. All week long, I had a sinus headache, an earache, and felt all-around lousy. I thought it was allergies or the changing weather, but apparently, it was a cold.
As per my usual, I don’t have time to be sick. It’s the first of the year, after all, and there is planning to be done. After a break from work and school, we were all trying to get into a normal routine. I needed – wanted – to write, to work, to get back into my groove.
So I tried to rally. I didn’t miss any work, but by the time I got home each day, I was exhausted. Early bedtimes, Echinacea tea, and even hot toddies didn’t give me the energy I sought. I finally acquiesced. The cold simply had to run its course.
Such is the way of being present. My reality was having a cold. Period. No matter how much I wanted to pretend or ignore or fight, my body needed rest. It needed nurturing. And it needed me to be present to its needs.
How often when we consider being present, do we forget out about our most important instrument, our bodies?
How often do we run ourselves ragged, while our bodies faithfully preserve to keep us moving?
How often do we ignore the aches and pains and cries from our bodies to slow down and pay attention?
BEING PRESENT – LOVING FULL OUT – INCLUDES KNOWING AND RESPECTING THE VOICE OF OUR UNIQUE BODIES
Yes, our bodies talk to us. They tell us what they need and want to stay healthy and functioning, but we’re usually too busy to really listen. Or we don’t believe they actually have this capacity.
So how do we stay present?
We get in touch with our unique bodies. We sit in quiet contemplation daily and slowly scan our bodies from head to toe. We notice how each part feels in that moment. We ask our bodies what they need from us. Then we stay quiet and listen for what comes up. Really, truly listen.
We tell our bodies how much we love them and we thank them for being the vehicles that ensure we move forward.
We apologize for any harsh words we’ve said. For the moments of disdain and disgust. For the times we wished for a different shape or size or color.
We touch our bodies gently and tenderly, like we would any other love in our lives. For this love keeps us alive.
We trust that when our bodies tell us they’re sick or sad or tired, they are. And we take care of them. In return, they will trust us back.
For many of us, it will be the first time we’ve given our bodies this kind of attention and compassion. It may feel awkward and uncomfortable and we may not even fully believe what we’re saying and doing just yet. Presence is a practice.
Make a daily commitment. Pick just one of these and repeat it until you really feel it in your heart and soul as truth. Then add to it. Make it your own.
Above all, commit to being present with your body. It’s the first step to being present in all other areas of your life, and to Loving Full Out.
Love & light,
It’s almost time! We're in the last week before Christmas, with the last mad rush of shopping and baking and parties upon us.
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to escape the hectic nature of the season. Besides the hustle and bustle of holiday activity, world events keep many of us feeling stressed, bewildered, and hopeless. It's safe to say the energy this year is different than in years past.
How do we cope? Especially in the face of events over which we have no control?
This has been a personal struggle of mine for years. The holidays have often been less fun as they could be for me because of the stress they bring with them. I usually want to simply curl up under the covers and hide all month. However, my struggles a few years ago with adrenal fatigue and the debilitating symptoms that accompanied it forced me to seek more balance in all areas of my life: diet, physical activity, sleep, time management, and especially mindset. It's a daily challenge to find balance in all these areas (and admittedly, I still struggle), but I NEVER want to feel that bad again.
As I said, I’m not perfect, but over the years I’ve cultivated some practices that have helped me keep my energy more balanced and my stress low. I share these tips below in hopes they’ll help you too, not only to get through the holidays, but to actually ENJOY them.
Do you have any tips or practices that help you through your holidays or other stressful times? Reply to this email or head over to my Facebook group and join the conversation!
Love and light,
Throughout our lives, we make a lot of choices. Some work out, some don’t. Over time, as we look back and reflect, we often see our mistakes as some kind of internal flaw, an obvious defect that, had it been corrected much earlier, would have changed the course of our lives. This thinking leads to a deep lack of trust – in people, in situations, and most especially in ourselves.
When we feel we can’t be trusted to make the best decisions for our own lives, it jars our belief in ourselves as a person. We feel unworthy and in need of someone or something outside of us to help guide and direct us. We start to give up our power, our direction, our belief that we can take care of ourselves in the best way.
Sometimes, this trust is broken by an external event. Our children leave home and need us less, leaving us feeling empty and unsure of what to do next. Our spouse makes the decision to move on without us. We face a traumatic loss that causes us to question everything. No matter our great choices, life is now different and our trust in the patterns and expectations of life are shattered.
Grief, anger, fear, shame, and sadness are all emotional results of loss of trust. When we lose trust in ourselves, we grieve this loss. We carry a sadness that can be masked and avoided by busyness yet still lurks below the surface. We feel shame that we made these choices or allowed these things to happen to us, even when we didn’t actually have that kind of control. We get angry at the unfairness of it all, yet retreat back to our corners in fear that one more wrong choice will create more pain.
I remember the day someone told me I carried a great sadness. I was shocked. I didn’t feel sad. What did I even have to be sad about? Then I started observing myself more closely, especially in the quiet times when I was alone. I recall sitting in my car one morning during my commute and feeling the heavy weight of sadness like someone had draped a wet blanket over me. It was both nauseating and suffocating.
Had I always been this sad? How could I have avoided feeling this for so long?
It wasn’t until I started to allow more stillness into my life and to peel back the layers of blame for choices that didn’t turn out like I’d hope – so many not even my own – that I started to release the sadness, grief, anger, shame, and fear.
In my personal work and work with others, I’ve realized that much of our avoidance of issues comes from overthinking to the point that we drown out our inner guidance. Our inner guidance tells us that we ARE worthy, we ARE to be trusted, we DO make good choices for ourselves, and we CAN’T control other people or take the blame for their choices, even if they affect us. Yet, to get to that place, we have to sit through the voices the yell the opposite. We have to be still long enough to tell those voices to be quiet, so we can hear the real truth within. And it’s difficult. One of the most difficult things we will ever do is to confront those voices that steer us away from our inner guidance and truth. It’s also one of the most uplifting and healing.
I offer you a few techniques that have helped me and other women who’ve reached that place where they’re ready for radical change. That place where the risk of staying put and accepting the lack of trust is no longer worth the painful side effects. That point in time where something inside stirs and whispers, “enough is enough.”
If you’re at a point in your life where you’re feeling the weight of sadness, grief, anger, shame, or fear affecting you and you’re ready to do something about it, I stand with you on your journey, and I summon for you the collective energy of all the women before you who have taken this step.
Trust that you are worthy. Trust that you are enough. Trust that the healing can begin. And if you need one-on-one support, feel free to reach out to me.
Love and light,
For more inspiration, visit my original blog.