I write because I have to. Because our voices have been stifled for far too long.
We've lived with our truth in our throats, holding back our stories to protect those who have hurt and abused us.
It's so interesting how we feel a deep need to protect those who didn't give a shit about us...who stole things from us we didn't even know we had.
Anxiety feels like failure, no matter how well life is going.
It feels like panic.
Throat clenched, stomach in knots. Like there is another person inside, scratching to get out of this body.
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."
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!!
"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.
'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.
"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.
"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.
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."
"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!"
"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...
"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.
"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.
"We can sometimes be hard on ourselves for having chosen fear for so long, but the truth is, we often didn't know any better."
For so long it's all I knew and misery loves company, so of course I chose friends and lovers who were in the same mindset. I surrounded myself with people who chose to listen to the negative voices, who also lived small. It becomes comfortable and so hard to get out when you realize there's a different way to live.