Ripping Off the Band-aid

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Jim Morrison…you’ve got to love him.  Not only was he excruciatingly gorgeous with a voice and stage presence that could melt the polar ice caps, but he said some pretty brilliant shit as well.  We may never know if it was the many hits of acid speaking or if it really was his Indian spirit guide, but whatever the source of his words, they were undeniably insightful and still hold impact and validity today.  How many times have you caught yourself gripped in the ruthless hands of fear?

We live in a society that is largely ruled by fear.  From the time that we are born we are conditioned to be afraid of things.  Some of it is necessary to our survival, such as not touching the stove or sticking a fork in the electrical socket, but many of the other things that we are taught to be afraid of can thwart our growth in so many ways.  We are taught largely to listen to others which causes fear of our own inner voice.  We are taught to follow the norms of society which can lead us to fear the decision to carve out our own authentic paths and follow our dreams.  We are taught to compare ourselves to others, which births the fear of never being enough within ourselves.  We are taught to fear being without material possessions, which causes feelings of greed within us.  We are taught to fear the things/people/places which we do not fully understand, which can prevent us from educating ourselves about the different cultures, religions, races, sexual orientations and physical landscapes that surround us in this amazingly diverse world.  In short, our fear begins to shape us from our initial breaths on this Earth and continues to shape shift as we experience the world.  But what if we could change that?  What if we could look closely at our fears…stare them straight in the face, stand up boldly and move bravely into them?  What is the worst that would actually happen?

Take a moment to think back on all of the things you have been afraid of in your life and write them down.  We’re going to use them in a minute.  Yeah, I know, it’s a big list, right?  When I think back on my fears what I notice is a progression.  When I was in my early 20’s I had been through some terrible relationships (I mean like surrrrrrrrrrriously, abusively bad) and I swore I was done dating.  Then I met Josh.  I was terrified of him because I knew I really liked him.  Then he asked me to marry him and I became afraid of that.  What if it didn’t work out?  Then we got married and decided to get pregnant…new biggest fear as my belly expanded and my whole world threatened to change.  Eight and a half months pregnant, we found our first home, closing ten days prior to the birth of our son…#freakingout.  Here comes Jacob…motherhood became the thing I feared the most because I had no idea how to do it.  Then Josh lost his job.  New mortgage, new baby, no job…does it get more terrifying?  I swore we were doomed…until Josh decided to start his own business (which of course scared the crap out of us both as well).  Suddenly, another baby was on the way.  Jocelyn was born and I quit my job to stay at home with them…this became the scariest decision of my life, but I did it anyway.  This progression continued on and on, presenting me with new fears along the way, until finally one day, I realized that it wasn’t the situations themselves that were terrifying me, but my reaction to them.  I started to look back at this long laundry list of fear I had been carrying around with me and realized that as each new fear had arisen and I had moved through it, the fear for that particular event had dissipated and morphed into a new fear.  It dawned on me that there will always be things to be afraid of, but it is up to me whether or not I let the fear have control.  I have a choice in each situation to square up against my fear and challenge it, and so do you.

I am happy to report that moving through my personal fear has led me to a 10-year (this July) marriage to my best friend and the most amazing guy I know, 2 kick-ass little kids who challenge me to grow, expand and be a better person each day, a beautiful home that is my sanctuary, my husband and I each owning our own business and the fortitude to keep moving through fear as it shows up.  That’s important to acknowledge by the way…I still get afraid.  All the time actually.  Life isn’t always sunshine and butterflies.  My husband and I argue, my kids can act like little shits, my home needs repairs and our businesses fluctuate through good and bad times (and the bad times can be REALLY scary), but we keep on keeping on anyway, moving forward with the knowledge that this too shall pass and that we can look our fears in the face and move on anyway.

So where does fear show up for you?  Go back to your list.  If you didn’t write it, do it now.  Take a close look at all of these places that fear has popped up in your life from as early as you can think of.  First off, see if you notice any patterns.  Are your fears largely based around one particular area?  Money?  Relationships? Your Career?  Self-esteem?  Now, notice any of these situations where you faced your fear and moved forward anyway?  What was the outcome?  If you haven’t had the opportunity to face any of these fears, guess what today is?  That’s right, your opportunity.  You don’t have to dive in headfirst, but think of a way that you can start to move into your fear slowly.  If your fear is primarily surrounding relationships, maybe today is the day you finally make that online dating profile (don’t worry…you don’t have to go live until tomorrow).  If your self-esteem is taking the hit, maybe today is the day to buy the dress you’ve always wanted, even though your head screams that you’re not feminine enough to pull it off.  Tomorrow, rock it.  Each day take baby steps to move into your fear.  You will likely find that the further you go, the less powerful it becomes.

Interested in life coaching with me? Visit my website HERE, or join me on FACEBOOK to keep up with classes and events I have coming up.  Learn about my 12-week coaching program, “Ascend to New Heights” by watching THIS VIDEO INTERVIEW

 

Ignite Your Light, Change Your Life.

Every morning that we wake up, we are given a unique opportunity to approach the gift of this day from a place of peace that resides deep within us.  In this place, there is no self-judgement, no shame, no comparing ourselves to others, and no apologies for the things which make us different.  This is a place where we are fully connected to what makes us the fascinating, ever-changing, talented, powerful beings that we are.  It sounds like a dream, right?  Well, however elusive this magical place feels to you at this given moment, it may help to hear that it is so much closer than you think.  Right at your fingertips, actually, and all you have to do is learn how to access it.

We are brought into this world relying on others.  Our families keep us safe, warm, fed, and clothed, as well as offering us boundaries and rules.  Our teachers, communities, and peers expand on these boundaries, educate us, and offer us endless opportunities to connect.  We realize at a very young age the need for human connection, for without it, it would be impossible for us to thrive.  These are all necessary steps on our journey through this life, however, a problem can begin to arise when we put so much emphasis on what others can do for us, that we forget what we are capable of doing for ourselves.  This absence of recognition in our own abilities can lead to an extremely distorted image of self-worth.  This is often where our paths begin to veer from all that we are destined to become, instead moving us to a place where we settle for wherever we are.  This is the place where dreams are lost and life becomes a monotonous routine of daily tasks and disappointments.  Not to say that we are unable to find happiness, but that our happiness loses the technicolor it once held for us.  We find ourselves at a crossroad, where we feel disconnected from ourselves, without quite being able to explain what it is that’s making us feel this way.  This is a time of choice.  This is where we are confronted with the opportunity to access this place of inner reserve.

To our left, we see our life the way it is.  The landscape is flat and drab, but predictable and comfortable as well.  To our right, we see a mountainous terrain full of possibility and excitement, but also riddled with deserts of fear and unknowing.  We know that if we take a step to the left, we are choosing to be content with our discontent, and allowing our dreams to slip further from our grasp to possibly be rediscovered later down the line.  If we take a step to the right, however, we realize there is no turning back, for once we have begun to embark on this path, we will never again feel content living in the familiar.  If we choose to go right, we are choosing a path of self-discovery; one that will surely be difficult and scary at times and which will definitely push us far outside of our comfort zones.  We are choosing to shed our limiting beliefs and go in search of the truth that is burning deep in the core of our being.  We fight back our doubts, and allow that nagging curiosity to win out…we take a step to the right.

As the next leg of our journey begins, our light instantly begins to burn brighter.  We start to look at ourselves from an angle of interest.  Our passion is reignited as we dig through the layers upon layers of conditioned responses that have accumulated throughout the years, only to discover little gems of our own personal wisdom buried within the debris.  We begin to realize that we have been seeking outside of ourselves for answers that we had all along.  We start to remember that we DO know who we are, that we DO know what’s best for us, and that we CAN trust ourselves.  We begin to play games with the friend we have found in our intuition, testing its knowledge time and time again, to find that the more we trust it, the more keen it becomes.  With this dawning sense of self, our confidence is boosted.  We realize that we have something to offer.  We start to understand that we are here for a reason and that life is not just some series of banal tasks that need to be accomplished.  We start to take back the power that we have given away over the years, and the connection that we once desired begins to change shape.  We no longer feel the desire to be connected from a place of lack or need, but rather we long to be connected to bask in other peoples light, to shine our own out, and to lift one another up as we each continue on our paths.  Our passion is in full flame, and nothing can stop us from moving full steam ahead.

Oftentimes when we reach this place, we may feel the need to scream out to others, so sure that we have found the key to happiness.  However, we must remember that life is about balance.  Although we have found our way to higher ground, there will still be valleys we must cross, this time equipped with new tools to help us battle the shadows we find, both in ourselves and in others.  This journey is never over.  Each time we climb to a new plateau, there is another opportunity to climb higher still.  Perhaps we even go back down a bit before we ascend further, hopefully lifting others up with us when it is time again to climb.  You may even find yourself stagnant in one place for a while, but the best part about the journey is that you can never unlearn the things that you have learned along the way, and so inevitably it will continue eventually.  The first step is simply to take the first step.

There are so many ways you can do this.  Join a group in your community with the similar interest of embarking on a journey to their highest self, buy a guided journal, go on YouTube to access guided visualizations, start a meditation practice, or hire a life coach who you trust to help you navigate the journey (I know a pretty good one…  AHEM).  Whatever it looks like for you, take the first step, and I know you will be amazed to watch all of the next steps start to fall into place.  Life’s an adventure.  Live it up.

Please check out my website HERE or find me on FACEBOOK .