This is anxiety.

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This is anxiety.

Anxiety feels like failure, no matter how well life is going.

It feels like panic.

Impending doom.

Throat clenched, stomach in knots. Like there is another person inside, scratching to get out of this body.

It’s worst case scenario.

Anxiety is high alert. On edge. Ready to scream out in pain.

It’s head spinning, ulcer-inducing, stomach aches.  

Irrational what if’s. Nothing makes sense. Deep breaths.

Mantras out the window. All the inspirational memes are bullshit. This is reality.

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Becoming a Professional Writer...

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Becoming a Professional Writer...

Well, this has been a long time coming.  

I’m ready to make a commitment.  

*gasp*

I finished ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield and I am ready to be a professional, no longer an amateur.  

I want to be a writer, with several books.  Several BEST SELLING BOOKS, actually.  

A professional actually writes.  They sit down every day, whether they want to or not, and they write.  They pour their heart and soul out onto the paper.  They write senseless dribble that comes out if that’s all they have in them that day.  

But they get up and they write.  And then they write some more.  

It has been a dream of mine to write a book, several books, in fact.  And that’s not going to happen unless I sit down and actually start writing.  

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YOU'RE FIRED!!!

In what seems like a million years ago, I was a hairstylist in Seattle, WA.

In 2005, when I was still in Cosmetology School, I walked past two large statues that stopped me in my tracks.  I looked in and saw hairstylists wearing all black, busily moving about.  Loud music, gorgeous people. I wanted in.  

It was the coolest salon I'd ever seen and I decided, "I'm going to work here one day."

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YOUR BULLSHIT STORY

The only thing holding you back is YOU, and your bullshit story as to why you can't live the life you want. 

I'm so guilty of doing this.  We're all guilty.  We dream big dreams and then talk ourselves out of them.  We think about the amazing life we want, and then come up with all of the ways it's not going to happen.  

We sabotage our success before we even get out of bed in the morning.

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Out of the Friend Zone and Into My Heart

Two years with this guy!!  Believe me, nobody is more surprised than WE are!!  

I won't speak for Dave, as his story is his own to tell.  But as for me and my relationship history, well, let's be honest.  It's super shitty.  

I have the uncanny ability to walk into a room and find the sickest person there.  "Oh, you look like you need tons of therapy and have commitment issues, we should totally date (for like two years and let's ruin each others lives while we're at it!!)"  And then we have this crazy, passionate relationship where I fall head-over-heels in love with you, completely lose myself, feel smothered and trapped, totally co-dependent, and then end up crying myself to sleep because you won't change and are still the person you were when I started dating you. 

 

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Accountability

I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about my business, how to reach people, new ways to connect with women, how to get them on Discovery Calls, how I can best serve them and where to meet them.  So many thoughts swirling around my head at any given moment.  

So it hit me like a ton of bricks when I had one very clear thought that stopped me in my tracks...

The way you connect with your audience is the one thing you keep putting off...writing.

Ok, intuition.  You win!!  Less time on Facebook, less time watching cat videos and stupid Vines on Instagram, (although you can still connect with me there), and more time writing.  

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Never Forget Where You Came From

**Mom, you may not want to read this one...**

For the last two weeks I took time off from my main hustle (as a server at a restaurant) to work on my side hustle (kick ass Life Transition Coach).  Being a Virgo and an overachiever, I had a nice long list of things for me to do so I felt accomplished and productive.  

One of the items on the list was to do 10 Discovery Calls and connect with women (and even one man!!) on the phone, and get hired for my coaching services.  For those of you not involved in the coaching community, Discovery Calls typically last from 30-60 minutes and we talk about YOU!! What your goals are, what's keeping you from reaching those goals, and we explore what life would be like if you cleared out all of the shit and started seeing the bigger picture.  

One wonderful woman who's been following me on The Facebook for YEARS, finally reached out and we were able to connect!  How amazing that someone I've never met has been following my life and living vicariously through me, and is inspired by how I've chosen to live my life.  She gave me some really useful feedback that got me thinking.  Usually, Discovery Calls are all about the potential client.  But she already knew so much about me, and wanted to know more about where I actually came from, and how I got to where I am.  So we chatted a little bit about my struggles.  She said that she sees all of the positive stuff that I've done in the last few years, but she was having a hard time connecting with me because she was in a place where she couldn't imagine life being so good, and all I've been talking about has been positive.  

And it dawned on me: people need to know the GOOD and the BAD.  I can tell you that I had an amazing day at the beach, but sometimes what I leave out are the days that I feel like complete shit for no apparent reason, and can barely get out of bed.  Because depression has a shitty way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, and when things are going well for you.  It's still there...waiting.  

I don't want to dump on you all of the shitty stuff that has happened to me in my life, and there are still some things that I'm not ready to talk about publicly, but for the most part I'm an open book.  And I want my story to continue inspiring people all over the world.  

I never want to be one of those people who forgets where they came from.  Only happy and positive and rainbows shooting out of my ass all of the time.  While my good days far out number my bad days, I still have shitty days. So here's a bit of my back story...

**Taking a deep breath and getting REALLLLY vulnerable**

I grew up in Southern California (Temecula) with my older brother.  I was born in August 1979, my parents divorced and my mom married my step-dad, we call him Pap, in October 1982.  I was the flower girl at their wedding.  They had my little brother in June 1984 and my sister in July 1985. We were one big happy family.  For the most part.  The dynamics of mixed families are weird. It's all I know, but I imagine a nuclear family functions much differently.  We went to see my bio dad, we called him by his name, Jim, and his wife, Monika, every Wednesday for dinner and every other weekend.  As we got older and sleepovers and friends started taking priority, we wanted to go to Jim's house less and less.  And it became a problem.  My mom wasn't shy about telling us what she thought about Jim, and I was a typical teen and hated all of my parents.  I'm of course condensing all of this, but what eventually happened was me cutting Jim out of my life when I was around 14.  I wanted nothing to do with him.  I was disappointed, let down and hurt when I found out that he was a human and made mistakes.  But I was a 14 year old shit head that couldn't see beyond my clique of girls and what MY NEEDS ARE!!!!  DOESN'T ANYBODY CARE ABOUT MY NEEDS????

Experimenting with cigarettes started in 6th grade. Sneaking alcohol at friends houses started when I was in 7th grade.  I was getting suspended from school right and left, sometimes weeks at a time.  I cleaned up my act in 8th grade and actually spoke at my 8th grade graduation!! It appeared as though I went through my rebellious stage and things were looking up.  

This would be the beginning of my many ups and downs in my life.  

I tried out for the cheerleading squad when I got to high school and although I had never been even remotely interested in anything so girly, I made the squad!!  I decided to counter all of that goodness by dabbling in the pot and subsequently getting suspended (and eventually expelled) from school for dealing 4 months into my freshman year.  What.  A. Mess. I was made an example of and they threw the book at me. My parents decided to fight it, and so began the long and torturous journey of media coverage, school hearings, attorneys, and being expelled from the entire district.  I wasn't even allowed on the campus of my little brother to pick him up from school!!  And now we start the downward spiral...

If you want to turn a decent kid into a slutty party girl, kick her out of school, tell her she's worthless, stupid, a complete fuck up, a disgrace to her family, a loser, and every other negative thing you can think of.  You'll for sure create a kid that fucking hates herself, believes what you tell her, and will find ways to make it all go away.  She'll find ways to hurt herself anyway she can: drugs, alcohol, sex, cutting, suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, depression, and more drugs.  

It's funny because I wasn't actually dealing drugs when I was expelled.  I had never even DONE drugs before!!!  I was so new to everything and so stupid, that I got caught THE FIRST TIME I even had drugs in my possession!!  We were going to take the pot that I had and smoke it after school, and the dipshit I was head-over-heels in stupid 14 year old love with took my weed, got caught and ratted me out.  

Had I been given a second chance, and believed in, I could have turned things around. 

But that's not how things went.  And I figured, if everybody is saying all of these things about me anyways, I may as well do them.  Because as far as everyone knew, I was a slutty drug user.  So I may as well have some fun!! And so began my slutty drug use.  I was 15.  I'll spare the details, because now when I talk about it, it's like telling war stories.  Shit that nobody really needs to hear, it makes you cringe, you'll just end up feeling sorry for me, and you'll wonder how I came out alive. 

But I did.  And here I am.

High school was a blur.  How I got through it without getting pregnant, an STD, arrested, beat up, or dead, I have no idea.  I remember as I stood in my graduation gown, having that thought, and realizing that I had some serious guardian angels around me.  How I got into college is still a mystery to me.  But senior year was an upswing year for me.  I pulled my head out of my ass just long enough to apply to college, get accepted, and leave the shit hole town I grew up in.  I couldn't get away fast enough.  I knew it was the only way I was going to save myself.  

I didn't realize that I was running from myself.  And all of this baggage was with me until I looked at it head on.

College was full of drum circles, acid, mushrooms, dreads, smoking weed, camping, self-discovery, independence, the Women's Center, rallies, dating women, and learning to love myself again.  It was a time of re-connection.  It was also a time of an assault, depression, loneliness, feeling abandoned, isolated, scared and completely and desperately alone.  

The ups and downs in my life have been utterly exhausting.   

I started therapy when I was 18, after a guy I was dating decided to have sex with me after I told him no.  I would spend the next 15 years in and out of therapy, on and off medication, and even took a week vacation at a mental hospital, "for my own safety".  (Yes, I'm totally minimizing here.  Thanks for noticing.)

As can be expected, I shut down.  I disconnected from my feelings, from my body, from my thoughts, and from my family.  I had no where to turn for comfort.  I isolated, cried, and begged God/The Universe/Anybody That Would Listen, to just make all of this go away.  

I'm not sure how many times I've cried to myself that I just wanted to die.  I just wanted it all to go away.  I wanted the pain to stop.  But there was something in me that kept me from doing anything permanent.  From finding the gun, taking all the pills, from pulling out in front of the big rig, driving off the cliff, doing all the coke/meth/ecstasy/anything I could find. Something kept me from getting that close to the edge.  

I could go on, tell the rest of my story, and someday I will. Maybe someday I'll be able to talk about the stuff that I won't talk about.  I don't know.  What I do know is that there is a reason why I made it through all of that bullshit.  There's a reason why I went through it all, but I'm not going to bullshit you and say "I'm so happy for all of my lessons." Fuck. That.  I could have done without 80% of the bullshit I've been through.  

I made a choice.  

When I was 33 I made a choice to start living my life differently.  And yes, it's THAT easy.  I was sick and tired of crying.  I was sick and tired of hurting.  I knew unless I got help, I was going to continue this up and down life.  If I continued on the path that I was on, I knew there was a chance I was going to end up dead. Because you can only do so many drugs for so long before your body hates you enough and decides you're done.  I had been in intense therapy for two years, working on my 'daddy issues', which were actually my 'mommy issues', my 'drug issues', my 'abandonment issues', my 'self-esteem issues', my 'depression issues'.  I was re-wiring everything.  Looking at MY role in all of it, and looking at is square in the eyes so I could move THROUGH it.  I was done avoiding it. And it fucking SUCKED.  But I made a choice.  

And here I am.  And life.is.good.  But it hasn't always been that way.  And life could suck again.  But it will never suck as bad as it has in the past.  Because I made a choice to start living differently.  

And you can make that choice, too.  


 

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My 35th Year in Review

I read the book, 'Best Year Yet' by Jinny Ditzler in 2010, and although I haven't read it since then, the idea of the book really stuck with me. While I can't remember what the ten questions are that have you review your goals, accomplishments and expectations from the previous year, I've kept with me the basic premise: make each year better than the last one.  I'd like to think that I've been doing this for the past five years: taking trips to Maui, going to the gym regularly, leaving careers that were of no interest to me anymore and then...

that one year I sold all of my stuff and moved abroad.  

This last year, my 35th year on the planet, was absolutely, hands down, MY BEST YEAR YET!!!!  

1. I started my 35th year doing a one-handed handstand!!!! What a way to start a year, by challenging my body and doing something that I never in a million years thought that I could, or even wanted, to do!

2. My dad came to Grand Cayman to cat sit while the boyfriend and I were in Peru.  He's never been to the Caribbean, so we took him out to see some pretty blue water and swim with the stingrays.  It's an experience I'll never forget; watching him hold the stingrays on a sandbar in the middle of the sea, smiling so bright and in complete awe of what he was witnessing.  What a gift to give someone, an experience that they never thought they'd have.  

3. Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu!!  A trip of a lifetime! I planned the entire vacation myself, with the guidance of a friend who had been there a few months prior.  (I swear I'll get that trip and those pictures up on this blog!!!)  We had a life-changing time.  It was pretty much a make-or-break situation with our relationship.  If you can't travel with someone, there's no point in dating, so we were a little on the edge of our seats until we realized that we're AWESOME together and had a freaking BLAST!!!  When you experience the consequences of drinking 3rd world water, and your boyfriend still loves you after watching you lay on the cold bathroom floor because you think your insides are going to be your outsides soon, that's love.    

4.   ONE YEAR SOBER!!!  October 7, 2013 is my sober date. We came back from Peru and I celebrated my year of sobriety with my best friend and lovahhhh, and my dad. What a great day.  We did a toast with cinnamon buns the size of my head at Waterfront Cafe, in Camana Bay.    I would not be where I am today had I not gotten sober. The most time I had sober was nine months a few years ago, and I always knew in the back of my head that I was going to go back out.  It wasn't really getting sober, I just wasn't using.  I knew this time was going to be different, it HAD to be different.  If my life was going to be what I wanted it to be, I had to make this commitment to myself. I was finally ready, and I am so grateful that day finally came.  I remember sitting in my therapists office, sobbing, because I prayed for the day that I didn't want to party anymore.  "I just don't want to WANT to use anymore. When will that happen?"  Neither of us knew, but we both prayed that it would.  And it's true, everyone else around you can want it for you, but if you don't want it, it's never going to happen. 

5. February 20, 2015 was the day my life as I knew it changed.  All of the yoga, weightlifting, and 50 hour work weeks came to a crashing halt.  I slipped at work and shattered my right wrist, my dominant hand, the hand that did everrrrryyyything for me.  I was forced to not just slow down, but to completely stop life.  I was out of work for 9 weeks.  The first two weeks I was completely bedridden, barely able to get up to even use the bathroom. I spent a few days crying and playing the "why me" guessing game.  That got old and I knew where that thinking would get me, so I just embraced it.  What were my choices?  Be a grumpy bitch or shrug my shoulders and say "shit happens" and make the best of it.  It was an opportunity for me to read, write, build this BEAUTIFUL website that I'm so proud of, and take naps by the pool.  I was able to use my left hand, so I journaled and typed.  I realized that there are so many ways to do yoga, that the physical asana part is just one small branch of yoga.  I took yoga nidra classes and fell in love.  It was the only time that I was pain free.  Yes, I was on pain killers, but I was still in pain.  They just made it so I wasn't crying all day.  Yoga Nidra was exactly what I needed, and I knew that this was the class that I was going to teach one day to help other women heal.  

6. I went back to school!!!  In April 2015 I started classes at the Institute for Life Coach Training.     I left the psychology field in 2005 after working with domestic violence survivors and teen drug users.  Two extremely hard populations to work with, that I felt I was no longer serving because I was burnt out.  I didn't know how to take care of myself and let the stories and the negativity get to me.  I wish I had a mentor so I could have known that coaching was even an option, but that wasn't my path.  I guess I needed to be doing other stuff first. Like doing hair and makeup and partying until 5pm the next day.  Yikes.  I also joined an amaaaaazing coaching community of women called the Inner Glow Circle.  What an amazing group of powerhouse coaches and inspiring women.  So grateful for our paths crossing.  

7.  I went back to Seattle and was able to hang out with my sister, my and Dave's families.  Seattle in May is usually nice and Springy for Seattleites, freezing for those of us that live in the Caribbean, hence the scarf and sweatshirt at Pike Place Market.    

8. Venice!!!  Dave sent me on a travel writers retreat to Venice, Italy in June through Pink Pangea, a group for women travelers.  What an experience!!  Travel writing is an expensive hobby, and I'm so lucky to have someone who supports me and my love of travel.  I was able to write, explore and share my life and stories with other women who have the same ideas and passions as I do. Whatever your hobby or interest, I really recommend connecting with other like-minded women for support and a sense of community.  It's been an honor to work with the women I met and to see all of their adventures. And now I have more connections all over the world with wonderful women.  And figured that since I was over there I should hop on over to Rome...

9. And then I went to Prague!  What an trip!  I met my bestie, Erik, over there while we has on a business trip. We went on a food tour, walked across the Charles Bridge, went to the castle, and just stood in amazement and wonder at the architecture that was kept intact during the wars.  I saw just a snippet of the city and can't wait to return with Dave.  

10. After years of problems with my lady parts and birth control, I took my reproductive health into my own hands and made a decision that I have been trying to make for the last five years but the cost and unhelpful doctors kept me from doing it...I had a tubal ligation...my tubes tied.  I am sterilized.  It's not the right choice for everyone, just as having kids isn't the right choice for everyone.  But just as being able to have children is an empowering and exciting time for some women, I finally feel empowered and excited about my reproductive health.  I am fortunate enough to live in a country where health insurance is mandatory and partially paid for by my employer, and so fortunate to have a doctor who didn't even question my decision ONCE!  She trusted that I knew what I wanted, that this was what was best for me and that it was not a decision that was made lightly.  It's a really empowering feeling to have a doctor actually trust ME and the decisions I make for myself.  

11. Traveling Wild Woman is now in business!!  Company is formed and we are just waiting for permits to go through. I remember when I was a hairstylist and I always said "Noooooooo" when someone asked if I wanted to own a salon.  It's too much work, that's not my deal, I'm not good at business.  And ten years later here I am, opening my own business.  I never would have been able to get this all done without my team at Omni.  Kerry Whitaker is WONDERFUL and such a helpful and friendly woman. Without Kerry I'd still be trying to figure out what paperwork I needed and would most likely have called it quits before it even started.  She's a lifesaver!!

12.  Start the year with a handstand, end the year in a handstand!!  It will be a while before I can do a one-handed handstand, but on August 27, 2015, six months after I shattered my wrist and had a plate and seven pins installed, I hopped up into a handstand.  My surgeon said it would be a year for full recovery and I'd get back 90%, but I never let that get me down too much.  I mean, of course I had days in physio where I'd cry and have a pity party about how weak I was and that I was never going to be able to get back to my old self.  But I knew deep down inside that I was going to make it happen, and sure as shit, 6 months ahead of schedule, here I am.  

I am imagining what my 36th year will look like, and it's going to be THE BEST YEAR YET!!  It's going to take a lot to top this last year, but I am sober and have a great team on my side, so I can do anything I put my mind to!  

What are your goals for this next year?  Don't wait until New Years to start fresh, you can use your birthday as a starting point, or the beginning of the month.  JUST MAKE SURE YOU START!!!    

I would love to hear more about your goals and help you have your BEST YEAR YET!!  Not sure what a coach does, or how we support our client?  READ HERE to learn more!!  Or message me here to set up a 30 minute Discovery Call!

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Following My Dreams

Performing stand-up comedy in July 2011 at The Parlor Live in Bellevue, WA.

Performing stand-up comedy in July 2011 at The Parlor Live in Bellevue, WA.

On April 15, 2010, five years ago today, I stepped onstage for the first time to try my hand at stand-up comedy.  I had always wanted to try it and friends throughout the years told me I should be a comic.  As a New Years Resolution I made a promise to myself that I was going to do more of the things that I'd always wanted to do, so I enrolled in a class to help me get started.  Granted, this isn't the way most comics start out.  They usually go to an open mic and may or may not have told a few friends to come and watch them.  I packed the back of the club with all of my friends, which is a true testament to how awesome my people are. And even if I didn't deserve all of the laughing and applause, they sure made me feel like a million bucks!  And gave me enough courage to get back onstage, over and over again.  

I remember when I got off stage yelling in my head, "I DID IT!!!!  I FUCKING DID IT!!!"  And I knew that even if I never got back onstage, that I had made this happen for myself.  I had made this dream come true.  I was so damn proud of myself!

It seems like a lifetime ago.  Five years isn't a long time by any means, and yet so much has changed.  That was a completely different person, with a totally different outlook on life. Following that dream came from me having my heart broken (read: cynical and bitter as hell), making a commitment to myself to stop dating douche bags and to start actually living for myself instead of my next relationship (read: co-dependent).  I made a promise to myself that I'd be single for a minimum of one year (it ended up being several years), and focus on me and what I wanted to make happen in my life.  After jumping from relationship to relationship from when I was 19-30 years old (including a 2 year marriage!), with a maximum of 6 months single in between, I needed to find out who I was and what I wanted my life to be like.  And so I set out to make my dreams come true!

In the three years that I was doing comedy in Seattle, WA, I had some pretty sweet gigs. I even got paid for some of them!!  I performed with some really great comics, and even got to perform at The Comedy Store in Hollywood and La Jolla.  And I performed in Las Vegas once!! (My mom said she knew I'd perform in Vegas someday, she just thought it was going to be as a Vegas showgirl because she had a hard time keeping clothes on me when I was a kid.)  

Pauly Shore's Mom, Mitzi Shore, owned The Comedy Store and built a room specifically for female comics so they'd get more stage time.  I had the honor to perform in here and it was one of the best nights of my life.  September 20, 2011

Pauly Shore's Mom, Mitzi Shore, owned The Comedy Store and built a room specifically for female comics so they'd get more stage time.  I had the honor to perform in here and it was one of the best nights of my life.  September 20, 2011

Looking back it's pretty surreal.  And a part of me misses it, but I knew that in order to follow another dream of mine (traveling and living abroad), I had to let that one go.  I don't know if I'll ever get back onstage as a comic, but I will be onstage again.  The feeling of having an audience in front of you, staring at you and hanging on your every word would make most people want to barf, but for me it was intoxicating.  I loved the feeling of being able to use my words, my stories, to make people laugh.  I hope to be able to do that again someday soon, but instead of telling self-deprecating jokes and drinking until I black out, I can do it to inspire women all over the world to follow their dreams no matter how out there they may be!  And I'll be able to do it completely sober and fully present, a gift I gave to myself and now can share with the world.  

I've had lots of dreams and have been lucky enough to follow most of them.  Here are some fun pictures of me doing some cool stuff.  What dreams have you been able to follow?  I'd love to hear some of the cool things you've done.  

CLICK ON THE ALICE COOPER PICTURE TO SEE MORE FUN PICTURES OF ME FOLLOWING DREAMS!!! I was an extra on a Bigfoot movie that was produced by the Sci-Fi Channel.  I was a make-up artist for a talent agency in Seattle, doing hair and make-up for photo shoots and commercials.  I traveled to Paris, Peru, and Germany, just to name a few countries I've been to.  I'm currently in the Yoga Teacher Training program at Bliss Living Yoga in Grand Cayman. 

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Gettin' My Gratitude On

Anjali Mudra, or prayer pose.  *Click her for photo credit. 

Anjali Mudra, or prayer pose.  *Click her for photo credit. 

Today’s work will remind you of your body’s true purpose: to be the embodiment of love and therefore a messenger of love...Miraculous shifts occur when you align your purpose with the desire to share love.
— Gabby Bernstein, May Cause Miracles

Until the book, May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein, I never really fully grasped the idea that I'm not my body, it just happens to be the one that I was given to walk the Earth this time around.  (And whether you believe in reincarnation or not, you can still think of it in the same terms.  We have this body once, but it's not who we are.  Can ya dig it?)  

When I was growing up, the messages I got were that I if I was fat I wasn't going to be loved, being pretty and fit is the ultimate ideal, and to do whatever it takes to stay attractive to the opposite (or same, depending on what year it is) sex.  

As an adult, that turned into a crippling fear of being unlovable and of being cheated on if I gained weight. I'm still fighting with that voice in my head that tells me I have to look a certain way in order to 'earn' my love.  

It's exhausting, it's debilitating at times, and it's complete and utter bullshit.  

This book is asking us to look at our bodies in completely new, mind-blowing ways.  Gabby is asking us to stop looking at our physical bodies for what they can do, what they look like, and instead consider them to just be vessels that carry our spirits.  

I can dig it, especially if it's going to help me love my round tummy and full hips more.  I love the idea of taking away the emphasis of what our bodies can do...the handstands that I love, the weightlifting, the difficult asanas that I've spent so much time mastering...and love putting the focus on what I was put on this earth to do, which I truly believe is to help people and inspire them to live their best and most fulfilling lives.  

Our body's purpose is not to decorate the world.  Yes, we can still take care of it, eat well, exercise, look good and feel confident, but it's not what we're here to be.  

An exercise she has us do is replacing Fearful Thoughts with Miracle-Minded thoughts, listing all of the ways the ego's fear has affected your perception of your body.  Then, to counter that, writing a Miracle Minded response.

Fearful thought: I am afraid that if I gain weight it means that I am unlovable and my boyfriend will leave me.  (Ouch!!!  This is a really hard one.  Gaping, open wound showing right now!!)

Miracle-Minded Response: I recognize this fearful thought as my ego.  I invite my Inner Guide to transform this thought and remind me that my body is here to show love, be love, and feel love.   I accept that these were messages given to me that caused me to live in fear, and I'm ready to live IN LOVE now.  

What messages have you been told, and have been telling yourself, that are causing you to live in fear?  What is the Miracle-Minded Response to help you look at this, and your body, in a completely new way?

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What Do I Choose to See in the Mirror?

One thing that I've discovered while doing this forty-two day practice is that I have the attention span of a fourteen day practice.  So when I write my own book to help you break through your old tapes and negative self-talk, it will be quick and to the point.  :-)  And then I'll just sell multiple books, different volumes maybe.  Workbooks.  With pictures you can color in and doodle on.  Because that's the kind of attention span I have.  Enlightenment for the Easily Distracted.  I think I just figured out my first book title.  Look!!!  Shiny things!!

My biggest issue with these personal development (self-help) books, is that they talk and talk and talk and tell us that we need to feel better about ourselves in order to get anywhere.  Yeah no shit!!  My huge question is always HOW???!!!  How do I get rid of all of the voices in my head that tell me that I'm fat, that I'm stupid, that I'm not good enough, that I'm just dreaming and I need to settle the fuck down and get a real job already.  How do I get rid of the old tapes that tell me that unless I keep my body in tip top shape my boyfriend is going to cheat on me?  The old tapes that tell me that my hips are "birthing hips" as I was told in MIDDLE SCHOOL.  MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!  Gross.  Tapes that I've listened to for 23 years.  

This book, May Cause Miracles, is a start.  But it's certainly not going to reach everyone.  I don't know Gabby's history, but if you see her now, she's really thin.  Sure, all women of all sizes have body issues.  It's just hard for me to connect with someone that doesn't look like me, so I can only imagine how somebody that is overweight or really struggling with their weight is feeling.   I'm not trying to minimize or diminish Gabby's attempt (and success) at helping women drop the ego and negative voices and move into a more empowered state.  And I'm certainly not saying that I can do a better job.  I'm just saying that I'm on Day 17 of this and while I'm taking a lot in intellectually, I'm still having a hard time taking it in emotionally and spiritually.  Maybe that's why there's forty-two days of doing this?  So it starts to sink in...

When you choose your Inner Guide over your ego, you remember you are a spirit having a human experience and use your body as a learning device to deepen your spiritual path.
— Gabrielle Bernstein

For a while now, I've often wondered if affirmations even worked.  I felt like I was just looking in the mirror and lying to myself.  Sure, I can say over and over again that I'm beautiful, but when I don't believe it, the incongruence in my speech and thoughts is more disempowering than it is empowering.  And then in March 2014, the article Why Positive Affirmations Don't Work came out and my thoughts were affirmed.  The author, Dr. Sophie Henshaw, states, "The reason positive affirmations don’t work is that they target the conscious level of your mind, but not the unconscious. If what you are trying to affirm is incongruent with a deeply held negative belief, then all that results is an inner struggle." 

Bingo.  But that's all these self-help books teach us!!  And in AA, Fake It Til You Make It.  But faking that I love myself is a shitty way to live.  How do I really get to the root of it?  For me personally, I did many years of therapy, my favorite being Somatic and EMDR.  These two forms of therapy helped me to move through my past trauma and start to believe all of the affirmations I was telling myself over the years.  From my experience, your issues just don't go away.  And they seem to keep coming up over and over and over and over again until you're finally sick of it and decide that you'll do whatever it takes to make things better.  And you know what the shitty part is?  So many people don't think they need therapy.  My favorite question to ask those people is, "Has what you've been doing in the past, up until this point, been working for you?"  Oh, it hasn't?  Weird.  Find a therapist.  

The best part about the Positive Affirmations article is that it tells you what does work!!  Read the article for all of the details, but basically, instead of telling your self lies with affirmations, you look at what you're saying to yourself.  We'll use me doing stand-up comedy as an example.  Before I would get onstage, I'd have a pep talk with myself that usually included me saying, "You're going to kill it tonight!!!  You're the funniest person they've heard and they're all going to love you."  All lies.  In my head I was telling myself not to go up there and eat shit, I was going to forget my jokes, they were going to hate me.  And the worst, most crippling one: What if they don't laugh?

Using this new method, I would say something like, "What makes me think I'm going to go up there and bomb?  Was that my experience last time, or did the audience like me?  In fact, last time actually went really well, how can I do more of that this time?"  You acknowledge the negative self-talk and have a real conversation about it, instead of just pretending like it's not there.  In fact, this is what therapists do to re-frame the negative self-talk you do when you're in their office.  So you could be saving yourself some money by starting to talk yourself down off of the ledge.  It gets you out of the victim mode and into more of an empowered thinking model.  

So. back to the topic of What Do I Choose to See in the Mirror?  I choose to see a woman that has some extra lovin' on her tummy from yummy dinners with her boyfriend.  I choose to see strong and muscular Thunder Thighs.  (I'm embracing my childhood nickname now.  I love my strong thighs!!)  I choose to see someone who has fought hard to become the woman that she is.  I choose to see someone that is capable of loving and being loved completely, even after having her heart destroyed.  I choose to see someone that eats healthy and nutritious food, who will stand at the cupcake cart at a wedding and eat four in a row, who loves to feel and look good, and someone who can share her experiences with other women so that maybe they don't feel so alone.  That's what I choose to see now.  How about you?  What do you choose to see when you look in the mirror?

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My Body is Light

"Stop trying to fix your body image issues and fear, and instead welcome your Inner Guide to be your guide to new perceptions." ~May Cause Miracles

I'll quickly catch you up to the readings that I've been doing.  This next week is about body image.  Something everyone deals with.  It's not just a woman's issue.  We all compare ourselves, are exposed to the media and have an idea of what the 'ideal' human body looks like.  And when we don't fit that ideal, we feel like shit.  We shame ourselves and others, we look at our bodies with contempt, and some of us do whatever it takes to fit into that ideal.  It's seriously exhausting.  And just plain shitty.  These next entries will challenge me, and you, the reader, to look beyond what our bodies look like and instead focus on who we are.  What we were put here on Earth to do.  We are a vehicle for bringing more love, more joy and more of our talents to the world.  Now we just need drop our egos and retrain our brains.  

What a concept.  Maybe we've  been going about it all wrong.  Trying to get to the root of our body image issues when we could have just looked inwards, to our Inner Guides.  When I was in the middle of my self-hatred in middle school, then again in high school, and in college, and as a twenty-something, and then more when I was in my thirties...I don't know if I would have been able to even hear my Inner Guide.  I'm not even sure her voice was big enough.  I don't know if this approach would have worked for me then, but I love the idea now.  I am able to believe that my Inner Guide will lead me back to love.  I'm significantly more evolved than I was back then, when I was starving myself, taking diet pills, making myself throw up.  Part of it is the wisdom you gain as you age and part of it is just saying fuck it!!!  This is me.  If you don't like how my body looks then stop looking at it.  

One thing that has helped me focus on what my body can do, rather than on how it just looks, is weightlifting.  The added benefit is getting a tighter butt and more defined muscles, yes, but what it has done mentally far outweighs that.  Well, most of the time.  I won't bullshit you and tell you that I couldn't care less about how I look.  I do care.  But I also care that I'm strong AF.  I can leg press 340 pounds.  If that isn't empowering, I don't know what is.  To know that I can leg press more than double my body weight is an amazing feeling.  I feel strong, and powerful and sexy.  And that's just the physical aspect.  

That being said, I haven't stepped foot in the gym since February 20, 2015.  Falling and shattering my wrist took my physical strength away from me.  It's also given me the opportunity to build my mental and spiritual strength.  Talk about a lesson in attachment, surrender, and acceptance!!!  I've been given this opportunity for a reason, and it's been to go deeper in my yoga practice, to go deeper into my spiritual practice and to release the attachment that I had to that physical strength.  We get so caught up in our egos, and how we identify ourselves.  When you strip all of those labels away, who are we?  Who are you?  Mother, daughter, runner, swimmer, weightlifter, teacher, bartender, coach, gardener, caretaker, hairstylist, writer, waitress, yogi, spiritual guide, whatever labels you identify with.  If you're not that, then what are you?  WHO are you?  What false perceptions has your ego been filling your head with?  What has your ego told you about your body?  That you're fat?  Too thin?  Too loud?  Too short?  Too young?  Too old?  Teeth aren't straight enough?  And so many more things that make us feel so much shame.  

What if we stopped, just for a minute, got quiet and listened to our Inner Guide?  What if, instead, we gave ourselves permission to look just how we look, and still be ok with ourselves?  What if we let our Inner Guide do the work, and we realized that this is a body that we have, and that it's not who we are?  Who we are is in our hearts, it's how we treat each other, it's the joy we bring to other people's lives.  What if we told our egos to fuck off and you're not the boss of me and I'm not here for how my body looks, I'm here because of how my soul looks.  

Today I accept my Inner Guide as the inner voice that will lead me back to love.  



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A New Reflection

Original Post: March 23, 2015

'Body Image.  Our bodies are a vehicle for spiritual growth and healing.'

I knew just by the title of the next section of this book that things were going to start getting deep. What a loaded topic.  If you're a woman, you've struggled with body image in one way or another. This section is going to bring up some shit and hopefully replace it with loving and healing messages.  

"Each time we perceive our body with judgment or attack by comparing it to other bodies, we are separating ourselves from our truthful state: love."  ~May Cause Miracles

"The ego uses the body to further separate us from love through mental and physical abuse and unhealthy lifestyle choices.  It persuades us to believe that we're incomplete and lonely, then leads us to fill our body up with too much food, too much booze, too much sex--or deprive and starve our body as punishment."  CHECK.  CHECK.  AND CHECK.  We have our work cut out for us.

One of the hardest things about getting sober has been taking an inventory of past behaviors, of my fears, of how I've mistreated myself and others, and now of all the ways my ego has used my body wrongly.  

We carry around so many beliefs about our bodies, and with that so many fears. This is all ego setting us up for self-loathing and negative thoughts.  Throughout the years I've gathered quite a few:  I can't get fat.  I'll get cheated on if I'm out of shape.  I'm never going to look like those girls I stare at on Instagram.  (I've since stopped following those accounts that just make me feel bad about myself.)  I'm getting chubby because I can't workout right now.  I don't look good unless I'm a certain size.  I'm unlovable unless I'm perfect.  My tummy is too round.  I need to restrict my food when I'm not working out.  I'll never do handstands/arm balances/inversions again.  I won't be able to teach yoga.  My thighs are too big.  ALL LIES, AND ALL FEARS.  

I'm so sick of this voice in my head telling me all of these negative things.  But it's not just inside my head!!!  It's been people throughout the years body shaming me, advertisements, media, movie stars, magazines, friends, even family!  We see so many reasons why we aren't good enough.  I get discouraged and just want to eat cupcakes in bed all day.  (Mmmmm...cupcakes...)

 

Then the ego starts to convince us that other bodies are more special than ours, or that ours is more special than others.  And we say to ourselves, "At least I'm not like that girl."  Or, "I'm stronger/hotter/thinner/prettier...at least I'm sober/work out/have big boobs/better hair than..."  Or just as bad is, "She's hotter/younger/smarter/taller/in better shape than I am."  "Look at those abs. I'll never look like that.  She's way better at yoga/soccer/dance/doing her hair and makeup...than I'll ever be."  It's ugly but it's true.  Unless we really look at this, dissect it and learn about it, we'll keep doing it.  And it just ends up being a really vicious cycle.  How are we supposed to support one another, love one another and ourselves if this is what's going on in our heads?  

I've spent YEARS of my life hating myself.  I was depressed and suicidal.  On anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-anxiety meds.  Sad, lonely, feeling like complete shit about myself.  And then I acted these out by hurting myself in every way possible: drugs, alcohol, irresponsible sex, cutting, dieting, starving, bingeing, purging, sleeping too much, sleeping too little, working out too much, not working out at all.  I'm sure there's plenty that I've forgotten.  

Over and over again my ego told me that I wasn't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, young enough, old enough, tall enough, thin enough, not enough. Never enough.  It wasn't until after years of therapy and introspection that I found the strength to quit harming myself, found stillness and the voice finally started to quiet down.  It's still in there some days, loud and clear.  But through reading, meditating, listening, yogaing, and lots and lots of journaling I have been able to finally figure out that I don't have to listen to the ego.  The ego is a fucking liar and makes me miserable, and miserable to be around.  I'm ready to be done with that in my life.  I'm ready to bring in love, bring in happiness and watch cat video and eat as many cupcakes as I can before giving myself a tummy ache.

Cupcakes that I happily eat in bed with my cat while I quit giving a shit about all of the other stuff. 

Getting some kitty love from Stanley.

Getting some kitty love from Stanley.


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Go Big and Expect Miracles

                                                                             Today I will close my eyes,                                                                                  take a deep breath in,                                                                                     and expect miracles

                                                                             Today I will close my eyes,
                                                                                 take a deep breath in, 
                                                                                   and expect miracles

Original Post: March 18, 2015

"The more you expect miracles, the more miracles you will experience." ~May Cause Miracles

Can I close my eyes and expect the miracle that I can write with my right hand again please??  And that I'm able to type with both hands??  This left handed writing and typing is kind of bullshit if you ask me.  It slows my thinking process. Bleh.  It's all part of my 'journey' I suppose.

So aside from being slowed down because of my gimp hand, Dave's dad was here visiting for a week, I was having a day or two of a huge Pity Party and I needed a break.  On top of that, through journaling and speaking with my Soul Sister Heather, I had a HUGE realization that I needed to process and digest. But I'm back, with some really crazy insight...

There is so much talk about forgiveness, which has never been my strength. I've never been able to forgive easily, as I was never shown how.  And I do believe that it's a learned behavior.  When I was younger I heard my mom say, "I may forgive, but I'll never forget."  This was brilliant!  What a great way to protect myself!  Then when I was older I heard it switched around and an even bigger wall was put up, "I may forget, but I'll never forgive." This rang true so many times for me.  There were plenty of people that I no longer spoke to, but I couldn't remember exactly why.  I just knew that they had done something that pissed me off and I was done.  What a miserable way to live.  But it's what I knew.  

I sat and listed all of the things I needed to forgive myself for.  (That's always a really shitty feeling!  No wonder I was having a pity party!) And through listing everything I found a common theme: The root of all of my suffering was coming from not listening to my intuition!!  Staying in relationships too long.  Not listening to my gut to just leave already!  Dating someone who was on his way to jail for his DUI's.  Not listening to my gut to RUN.  Getting married even though I knew better.  Not listening to my gut that I was making a mistake.  All of my drinking and drug use.  You guessed it.  Continuing to date someone but completely ignoring my instincts that he was a cheater and a liar.  Pssssh.  That churning in my stomach was just indigestion.  Working for someone that was mean and just a horrible person.  But the money was good!!  It all came down to me disregarding what my body was telling me, disregarding my INNER GUIDE and continuing to go forward even though I knew better. 

And so now I was trying to forgive myself for all of this.  My amazing, super talented, insightful and wonderful friend Heather (who also happens to be a LOVE COACH!!) presented me with a statement when I had my 'AHA' moment: "The only thing you need to forgive yourself for is for thinking you've done anything wrong." *car wheels screeching to a halt*  "Nothing you do is a mistake.  It is merely a gift, a message, or an opportunity to do things differently."  She spoke about Radical Acceptance.  Accepting what has happened, accept the shit out of it, and then move on.  

You know how sometimes you need to hear something 10 different ways from as many different people before you finally let the message sink in?  This was one of those times, and it finally sank in.

So when I read the affirmation that day, I replaced 'forgiveness' with 'acceptance'.  

"I know acceptance will set me free.  I turn this desire over to you and I accept that you will show me where to go, what to do, (books to read), and what to say. I know you will lead me to the perfect assignments and lessons so that I can deepen my self-love and release my fear.  Thank you for guiding me to accept myself."  (I added the books to read, because I believe they come into our lives when we need them most.)  ~May Cause Miracles

If I believe now that I will be led to the perfect people to teach me the lessons that I need to learn, why are the people who I think have 'hurt' me any different? Weren't they the perfect people at the time, showing up to teach me the lessons that I needed to learn?  If I'm accepting now that the people and lessons I need will show up, I need to recognize that at one time, those were the lessons and the people that I needed, even though I viewed them as painful. Just because my ego got involved and made it about being rejected or wronged or hurt, doesn't mean that the lessons weren't monumental and life-changing.

In fact, maybe, this is the continuing lesson.  The lessons I didn't get when I parted ways with my previous lovers, when I left my jobs for new jobs, when I quit using drugs.  This whole time it hasn't been about Forgiveness, it's been about a Radical Acceptance.  

Head still spinning...    


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The F Word

Release it and LET IT GO!  MOVE.  ON!!

Release it and LET IT GO!  MOVE.  ON!!

Original Post: March 14, 2015

"Carrying a past resentment toward yourself is what has kept you stuck in old fear patterns and has held you back from living a free-flowing life of love." ~MAY CAUSE MIRACLES

They say lessons will keep presenting themselves until you've dealt with them, learned your lesson and are ready to move on.  And I know exactly what issue I need to deal with in order to move ahead, it's just that I don't know how.  No matter how many books I read, therapists I cry to, friends I bitch to, journal entries I make, I simply cannot move past an incident that happened five fucking years ago!!!  And I know that until I've dealt with this issue, it's going to keep coming up for me. What today's entry has helped me realize is that until I learn to forgive myself,  I won't be able to move forward.  


Someone hurt me five years ago.  And fuck him, whatever.  But I haven't been able to forgive myself for not listening to my gut, for dismissing warning signs, for not listening to friends (and even strangers!) who warned me about him.  I haven't forgiven myself for not being over this issue already!!  I can't forgive myself for not trusting my judgment.  Even though I was tricked, I feel like I should have known better.  I beat myself up constantly about this!  I want to forgive myself for all of this, I just don't know how!!  And the books all tell me that I need to move on (yeah no shit!), but they never really have a clear cut way to move through bullshit like this.  I think that's been my biggest struggle, wanting it but not knowing how to get it.  Honestly, I'm hoping that at the end of this 40 days I'll have moved through this so I can live in love instead of fear.  


And don't get me started on all of the shady shit I did when I was using, the people I hurt, things I said, relationships and friendships I fucked up. Getting sober has its pros and cons.  Now I get to remember all of the shit I did and try to make things better.  I may be able to apologize for all of these horrible things, but until I've forgiven myself for them I'm going to be beating myself up forever.  I know this is all part of the process of working through my issues, and I welcome the day that I can finally close the book on that sad story.  


The affirmation of the day was helpful to imagine these thoughts as separate from me.  It was really nice to have some relief and detach from these thoughts that are so deeply ingrained.  


"Today I commit to letting go of the past.  I choose to release the pent up anger and resentment.  I welcome even a moment of release.  I've done the best I can with my life's circumstances and today the best I can do is forgive."  ~May Cause Miracles


I really can't recommend this book any more than I have.  It's been very grounding and eye-opening. Some of the work has really hit home and others I haven't connected with.  But I like to follow the AA suggestion, which is "Take what you need and leave the rest."


What do you need to forgive yourself for?  What's holding you back from living in love?  What have you done that's helped you move through forgiving yourself?  I'm always interested to hear what's worked for other people.  xoxo

 

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Self-Gratitude

               I Am LOVE.

               I Am LOVE.

Original Post: March 13, 2015

I really wish I had read May Cause Miracles when I was first getting sober!  In fact, the author, Gabrielle Bernstein, got sober when she was 25 years old and this book is part of her journey of living in a "miracle mindset".  

"On the evening of October 2, 2005, I said a prayer for the willingness to see things differently.  I prayed for love to enter into my fear-based mind.  And it did.  The next morning, an authoritative inner voice of love came forward and encouraged me to change my perspective on living.  My inner voice said, "Get clean and you will live a life beyond your wildest dreams." My willingness to follow that message helped me to hear my intuition and reconnect with love.  I've been listening ever since."

Get clean and you will live a life beyond your wildest dreams!!!  SIGN.  ME.  UP!!!

I have been FULL of gratitude ever since moving to Grand Cayman almost two years ago, but especially in this last year and a half.  And although I didn't get sober through Alcoholics Anonymous, I know several of their mottos, one of which is having an Attitude of Gratitude. Living in such a beautiful country, it's easy to be so thankful when I wake up and look at turquoise water everyday.  When I was living in Seattle, not so much.  It was harder for me to not only have gratitude, but to get out of bed everyday and see it as a gift.  I was just going through the motions, pretty much hating my life, and that hatred poured out into everything I said and did.  

I started keeping a Gratitude Journal years ago to help remind me what I was thankful for. I had gotten in the habit of just bitching all of the time and was really feeling shitty about everything.  Now they even have apps that you can use!  But I liked having it in journal form so I could flip through the pages.  Some days were better than others.  One day it was my cozy apartment, my job at the salon, that fun first date.  Another day it was my bed, my cats, and sleep.  As time went on I was able to see more things, little things, around me, that made me smile.  The flowers I saw blooming that meant winter was finally coming to an end, the happy exchange of words I had with a client that made my day, the cackle laughing conversation I had with my BFF.  I was able to see more and more things to be happy about.

I no longer keep a Gratitude Journal because I've woken up to what living in gratitude does for me.  I am grateful for who I am.  I'm grateful for the lessons I've had that have gotten me to where I am right now, sitting in my dining room listening to the waves crashing onto the shore, on a tiny Caribbean island.  All of the bullshit, the heartaches, the shitty bosses and lame jobs, have all led me to where I am, right now.  How can I be anything but grateful?  When I see a sunset, I say thank you.  When I'm taking a walk on the beach, I say thank you.  I'm grateful for being adventurous and daring.  I'm grateful for being brave. I'm grateful for living life on my own terms.  I'm grateful for being able to share my story with others.  I'm grateful for my passions and being able to follow them.  Life is so good. And I won't lie to you and tell you that when I have a dipshit customer that gets on my last nerve, I say thank you.  I'm not there yet.  Maybe someday.  But still...I'm grateful.

What would it be like for you to live a life of gratitude?  Try keeping a journal, or even just saying thank you when you see something that makes your heart smile.  Notice if there's a shift inside of you.  

            My never-ending wanderlust.  Good food.  My cat, Stanley.                                     Sunrises and sunsets.  Friends.                           My travels with The Man Friend.  Date night!

            My never-ending wanderlust.  Good food.  My cat, Stanley. 
                                   Sunrises and sunsets.  Friends. 
                         My travels with The Man Friend.  Date night!

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I Choose to Love Myself Today

My home yoga practice is one way I take care of myself.

My home yoga practice is one way I take care of myself.

Original Post: March 12, 2015

"Establishing a new self-dialogue is a crucial step toward becoming more self-loving.  What you say to yourself unconsciously becomes what you consciously believe about yourself."  ~May Cause Miracles

Listen to what you say to yourself throughout the day.  Chances are, you're not pumping yourself up, telling yourself how awesome you are.  "Go get 'em tiger!!  You got this!"  I know I go back and forth between positive and negative.  "You're totally kicking ass!  Ok, dumbass, don't fuck this up!"  

The exercise tonight was to look in the mirror and say, "I love you."  There was a time when this would have been hard for me, but I've worked really hard in the past 17 months (my time sober) that this was easy.  It was easy because I finally believe it.  I've put some serious work in to get to where I am and to love who I've become.  Have you ever tried this? Look in the mirror, into your eyes, and tell you that you love you?  Do you believe it?  If not, why?  How can we work together to help you find that love for yourself?  If you do believe it, what steps have you taken to gain the self-love you have for yourself? Have you read books, gone to therapy, hired a love coach?  I'd love to hear your story!

Try this for one day.  Listen to what you're saying to yourself throughout the day.  When you catch yourself saying anything negative about yourself or someone else, silently say to yourself, "I am love."  Retrain your mind to start speaking kindly to yourself and see if your life starts to shift just a bit. 


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Witness Your Self-Inflicted Fear

Simple Reminders are wonderful little treats that make you think.

Simple Reminders are wonderful little treats that make you think.

Posted Date: March 10, 2015

"Self-love: the place we come to when we let go of everything else." ~May Cause Miracles

Are you aware of how unkind you can be toward yourself? Think about it for a minute.  Sure, we all have moments when we talk shit to ourselves.  "God, you're so stupid!  Did you really just say that?"  But go beyond that.  What are some other ways that you hurt yourself, but may not be aware that that's what you're doing.  Some of mine...

-Negative self-talk           -Sex

-Drugs                           -Toxic relationships

-Binge eating                 -Restrictive eating

-Self harm                     -Shaming myself

-Binge drinking               -Not sleeping enough

-Not working out or taking care of my body

-Working out too much and getting obsessive

-Not wearing my seatbelt

The exercises today were pretty tough.  It's hard to look at all of the ways I'm unkind to myself.  Admittedly, most of these are in the past when I was still drinking and using drugs.  I stayed in extremely toxic and alcoholic relationships because I thought if I just loved him enough he'll change.  I chose friends that were equally as toxic, using drugs and alcohol to cope with anxiety, depression and life.  Friends and lovers that just sat in their shit and complained about it instead of doing something about it.  

From a young age I was comparing myself to others, and then shaming myself for not being as awesome/pretty/tall/athletic/skinny/fit/funny/feminine as the other girls were.  Then of course there's the dieting/starving/juicing/bingeing/exercising cycle.  I worked too much to avoid my shitty relationships.  I'd stay up too late and wake up exhausted.  Basically, anyway I could NOT take care of myself, I was doing it.  

I played small.  I tried to be less funny (pffff, like that's even possible.)  But I was told my personality was too much, no man would love me if I was a loud/obnoxious/center of attention/foul-mouthed/party girl (FALSE!!!  If you ask my boyfriend, I'm pretty sure he'll tell you these are some of the reasons why he loves me!!) I played small by not going after my dreams, by thinking I didn't deserve to live a life some people only dream of.  I set goals I knew I could reach.  I didn't set goals that were a challenge.  

I told myself I was just a dreamer, none of them would ever come true.  I used to tell myself that I was never going to find my passion, that I was just going to go from job to job until I retired.  Or died.  I've told myself over and over that I'll never have the body that I want because I don't have the discipline to stick to a plan.  

ALL OF THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!!!  All of this is PLAYING SMALL! All of this are bullshit old voices and tapes playing in my head. The story I've made up.  And now it's time for A NEW STORY!!! It's time to wake the fuck up, stop listening to the FEAR that's around me and instead focus on the LOVE!!  AND I CHALLENGE AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO THE SAME!  

 

Stop listening to the voices in your head.  Stop listening to the people around you who are living in fear.  When someone gives you their opinion, check your source.  Oftentimes people will tell you not to travel, not to quit your job, not to move, not to dump your POS  boy/girlfriend because THEY would be too scared to do any of those things.  Surround yourself with people who are daring.  Who are bold.  Who are living a life you're jealous of.  And listen to them!! Those are the people you want around you.  Those are the people who will love your big personality, your funny and maybe sometimes inappropriate humor.  Those are the people you want to have cheering you on when you buy that around-the-world plane ticket!!

 

"Feeling is healing, so get comfortable with being uncomfortable and trust that love is guiding your path."  Isn't Gabby Bernstein the freakin' best?!!

 

Here is me getting ready to push through all of my fear of flying so I can see the Nazca Lines on my trip to Peru in September 2014. 

Here is me getting ready to push through all of my fear of flying so I can see the Nazca Lines on my trip to Peru in September 2014. 

 

 

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Expect Miracles

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Original Post: March 8, 2015

EXPECT MIRACLES

"A miracle is simply a shift in perception...The moment we choose to let go of fear and choose love instead, a miracle happens." ~May Cause Miracles

When you're IN LOVE and out of fear, you'll be able to remind yourself that miracles occur naturally.  And I'm not talking about being in love.  I'm talking about being love.  You can choose to live in fear, or you can choose to live in love.  I'm choosing to live in love.  

But I'm human, and this is my struggle...

When I'm out of alignment, I get cranky, judgmental, and maybe a little snotty.  Sometimes I'm just anti-social, or being social is too overwhelming for me.  Plus, I work in customer service!! It's hard to stay rooted in love when people are asking me stupid questions!!  How??  How do I stay in my happy place and not want to stab them in their neck?!  Seriously, it's not a rhetorical question.  I genuinely need to know.  Part of my problem is being in the customer service industry, so I'm already working on getting out.  But until then...how?

What I have realized , is that not responding, or even walking away, is an ok option. Can you imagine not having the last word??  And sometimes it's even more powerful  to let the other person have the last word so their stupidity is the last thing everyone hears.  (That wasn't nice. I'm really sorry.)  My biggest issue with this is how to stay rooted in love, how to let the stupid shit go and not let people and their bad (ignorant, arrogant, self-entitled better than you) attitudes get under my skin.  

Count to ten.  Walk away.  God, grant me the serenity...

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Become Willing To Love Yourself

Original Post: March 11, 2105

"When we're unwilling to deal with our past or unwilling to look at our patterns, true change cannot occur." ~May Cause Miracles

I've always held the belief that people don't change, unless they put some serious work in. You have to be ready and willing to do whatever it takes to change your behavior.  By doing this, you're showing your willingness to shift and grow.  

A few years ago I quit partying for about 9 months.  In the back of my head I knew that I was going to go back out, so it really changed the entire 'sober' process.  (I wasn't really sober, I just wasn't using.)  More than that, I quit because I was trying to get my alcoholic boyfriend at the time to quit.  (Because that always works!!)  I didn't really have a problem, you see, I could stop at anytime.  If I was an addict, I wouldn't have been able to quit like I had.  I thought if I quit, he'd see how much better my life was, and surely he'd quit too. Nope!!   I ended up being his designated driver for 9 months.  But in that time, I still went to the bars and clubs.  I still did everything I had been doing while I was partying.  Barely any introspection, if any.  I was basically white-knuckling it, hoping any day now the boyfriend would change and we'd live happily ever after.  But I didn't really want it, and he certainly didn't either.  And happily ever after never came.

Six years later, I was done.  So sick of how my life was that I knew I needed a change.  I was done blaming everything and everyone around me and ready to start looking within.  I was ready to put the work in, at any cost.  I'd had years of therapy under my belt and knew I had the tools.  Now I had the desire.  I had prayed and prayed for this day to come.  I remember sitting in my therapist's office, crying and begging that one day, I'd have the desire to quit.  I didn't want to have that in my life anymore, but I still wanted to have fun and party.  I wasn't ready before, but I was ready now.  I was willing to do WHATEVER IT TOOK to change.  I was willing to love myself.

"I am willing to let go of my self-doubt.  I surrender to self-love." ~Gabby Bernstein

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