Know your enemy? No need!

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One of my mantras is that THERE’S NOTHING BROKEN IN YOU…NOTHING TO FIX!

I typically then coach others and myself around accepting and evolving into more of who YOU/THEY really are.

Deep in there where it counts.  

So when I came across this quote on Pinterest awhile back, at first I didn’t agree with the “flaws” part of it.

flawsAnd then an incident occurred to me that brought this quote home in a

clarifying “oh geez, YES!” kind of way.

I recently had the opportunity (ahem) to share space with, (insert “opt-out” options not available),

someone that doesn’t care for me much.

(a lot of muches)!

For several hours.

What I found fascinating is that I relaxed, stayed in my own business, (which in short means I did not get in their head and make up crazy crap that I thought they were thinking), and just carried on a somewhat normal conversation.  Which also means for me that I was fairly transparent.  If you know me, you are aware that this is my normal personality.  Open, transparent and honest with my life happenings.  The only time I am not this way is if I allow someone or a situation to intimidate me, or I’m just in introvert re-fueling mode.

So after this “sharing of space”, a loved one became concerned that I had revealed too much.  Allowed myself to become too vulnerable to the “one who doesn’t care much(s) for me”.

I responded “It doesn’t matter”

Their mouth fell open

“No, really…it no longer matters to me what is done with any revealed transparency that transpired during the conversation. “

Historically, this issue has “eaten my lunch”.  People-approval addict that I have been in my life.

But I’m comfortable with me now.  All of me…perceived (by others) flaws and all.

Most of the time…Yes, I still have moments and phases of relapse like everyone else.

So when I saw this quote on Pinterest, it so concisely said exactly what happened that day that I had to share this.

It’s TRUE!

What can anyone do to you if you have accepted every part of who you are?

Once I thought about it and related it to this latest incident, I was astounded at how accurate it is.

Even those parts of me that my inner critic loves to pick on, I have learned to wave my hands at and profoundly proclaim

“meh”

Mostly because I am aware that my growth, beauty, self awareness, cultural awareness, intellectual pursuits, integrity, and presentation of myself, will evolve…or it won’t, in its own time, as I continue to live and love the life I’m creating.

And I’m ok with where I am in that process.

Regardless of any investigative flaw seeking happening around me.

******************************************

***disclaimer*** I do however, reserve the right to have a “bitch session”, rant and rave with my closest of friends, the audacity of some people to pick others apart, and moan miserably that I had to endure the

“no opt-out” incident.

Oh…and…this doesn’t apply to someone “investigative flaw seeking” those I love.  It then becomes “GURL…hold my earrings!”

just kidding…kind of

The Self-Doubt Dis-ease/Climbing Mt. Self Worth

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My name is Connie Pace.  And I’m a doubter.  It is my Nemesis of choice(?).  The most difficult affliction I’ve had to overcome in my life. Oh that there were Olympic medals presented to those of us who have been given the opportunity in this life, to climb the treacherous mountain of self-worth from the below-sea-level valley of self-doubt again and again.  

While self doubt is common among all who experience reasoning ability, I’m targeting those of us who experience self doubt to the debilitating degree that it often sabotages our ability to work, love, create and play.  Those who feel a total eclipse of the light of joy during a “doubt attack”.  

Like a migraine coming on, vision slowly becomes dark as we slip down the mountain, deep into the valley.  Once there, it can get so overwhelmingly dark and painful, that we can’t see a way out.  

While it sounds similar to a depressive episode, it’s a completely different dynamic. 

It can begin as small as receiving a disapproving look (or a look WE perceive as disapproving), a tone of a text, or a lack of response to an email  can trigger our minds to begin the descent.  We descend a few steps and then begin the hypersensitive mind search for evidence.  “Oh yeah, he hasn’t been very attentive lately”, or “they left me out of their plans on purpose”, etc. So we continue on, gathering further evidence that we lack what it takes to continue our upward climb to the peak of Mt. Self Worth, where “everybody else” is.  

The rope slips a little, we notice a blister on our hand.  “See? I even forgot to wear appropriate climbing gear!”  Slip—-

“And by the way, ” says the mind search patrol, “have you noticed your disorganized house lately?  You also haven’t bathed your dog or changed your sheets in two weeks.”  Slip—-2 more steps downward

“You’ve always had this problem ya know.  I don’t know why you think you’re capable of getting to the top now.  You keep setting yourself up!  You and your dreams…You don’t have what it takes. Your dreams are too big. You can’t handle all that you have now!”

Sliding now, we begin to be suspicious of everyone’s good intentions toward us.  We notice our relationship going south, our business drying up, and we believe the lie.  We believe it is due to our gross inability to function in the world as a normal, happy, adult on top of Mt. Self Worth like “everyone else”.  We are masters at seeing our every flaw, and envious of others’ brilliance.  Never recognizing our own areas of genius during a slide.

We crave others approval and attention, not realizing that during our descent and final crash to the valley, while bottom-feeding, we have snuffed out the very light and brilliance that attracts anyone living on the top of Mt. Self Worth.  Instead we draw other bottom feeders.  This is where we get fired, divorced, evicted, or ill.  Or something in between.

Of course until that point not many residents at the top are aware of our descent because we could never ask for help.  No one on the top of Mt. Self Worth can ever know how difficult this climb is, we believe. It’s a shameful dis-ease that we somehow brought on ourselves right?  

I have lived this and sabotaged my climb in so many scenarios that I believe I’m beginning to build an immunity to it.  🙂

Though I continue my research to find a “cure”, or at least better remedies, I have discovered enough and lived them to share with those I coach…and you.  

“At these times, we must be very firm with ourselves and not pick up the first doubt.  We simply cannot allow the first negative thinking to take hold.  Taking in the first doubt is like picking up the first drink for an alcoholic.  Once in our system, the doubt will take on another doubt–and another.  Doubting thoughts can be stopped, but it takes vigilance to do it.  “Maybe the critic was right…” and then boom, we must go into action:  “You are a good artist, a brave artist, you are doing well.  It’s good that you did the work…” Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

To begin learning to safely navigate the ascent to the peak of Mt. Self Worth, a few climbing tips:

  1. Reach out and find support from those who dwell on Mt. Self Worth who have made the ascent.  Never rely on other bottom feeders OR on self worth dwellers who have no idea what the valley looks like.  (Yes, there are actually humans who were given a nice dose of self worth “genes” from the start who haven’t a clue of this affliction).   Regardless of their “credentials”, you have one question:  “Have you ever been a bottom feeder? When and how?” Ok, that’s three questions.  (they must qualify for the “Walking Dead” in-group!) If a therapist, life coach, friend, etc., gets offended or stoically refuses to fess up with transparent honesty, kindly walk away.  They can help you about as much as I could teach you how to speak French. (It’s the only class in which I ever made below a “C” ) 
  2. Prepare in advance.  Begin a brag journal book when you are living on Mt. Self Worth, or at least when you are contentedly climbing.  A brag book will contain every life success you can think of, from mastering homemade macaroni, to receiving your master’s in zoology.  It will contain photos of successes, comments, articles that inspire, things you love about yourself, things others say that are fantastic about you, your work, gifts, talents, the cool way you dress, the hug your son gave you during a rare teen-age moment of appreciation.  It will be a reminder of everything you’ve done beautifully–both your opinion and others.  You will use this for evidence during mudslides. When the critic on your shoulder is yapping at you, it feels like truth because your fight or flight has taken over and you can’t see clearly how to climb out of the attack.  
  3. Make a timeline.  Show events that appeared to be self imposed set backs that actually turned out well.  This will give you hope that in spite of sliding downward a few steps, you will always recover.
  4. Self Love– Rather than fighting yourself–kicking yourself when you’re already sliding downward, or fighting every thought that arises, offer the thought a dose of evidence based love. (“Because the antidote for shame is self-love and self-praise” Julia Cameron)  “Ok, the dog didn’t get bathed this time, but it’s never too late to bathe the dog.  You have bathed the dog in the past, so it’s ok to not be perfect.  The dog doesn’t really care or suffer honey, so what’s the worst thing that will happen.  You’ve been incredibly busy dear–cut yourself some slack.”         COMPASSION…COMPASSION…COMPASSION
  5. In the midst of a downward spiral, watch for sparks.  Sparks of inspiration and “aha” moments often will occur as an act of mercy from the benevolent powers that be, to help you begin again or continue the ascent to Mt. Self Worth.  For example: during a doubting phase of building my Life Coach practice, I received a message from a client about her miraculous progress in a situation we had worked on together.  She was so genuinely complimentary of my skill at helping her see a different perspective, that I immediately used it as evidence against my self doubt attack.  It was a spark to recharge my climbing battery pack again.  It could be as simple as a hug from a fellow climber to provide the connective spark that gets you through two more footholds.  (**caution**: your bottom feeding critic will often attempt to minimize these sparks—-)

It’s my experience that some of the strongest, most talented and brilliant people I know have been afflicted with excruciating self doubt dis-ease.  Perhaps it is a humbling device?  🙂  Nevertheless, with tools to catch it’s initial attack, the descent gets shorter–ascent and recovery time becomes quicker and severity of the attack is more manageable with each climb.  

And know that you can trust the benevolent powers that be

And you can trust yourself!

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“Shoulda Been a Dude”

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Connie Pace

I’m publishing this post again for all the sweet ladies I know that stress themselves during the Holidays.  Hoping my confessions will give your Limbic system permission to exit fight or flight mode and enjoy your Holidays! 🙂

Externally Imposed Matriarchy at its finest

Disclaimer #1: Before you read this, please know I am not bashing men.  I’m simply one of many women who do not have the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time and am learning to let go of tasks that are not a priority or that completely overwhelm or distract me from what’s important.  My “why” for writing this is to reach out to other women who may take comfort in my own confessions.  And while I’m disclaiming, if you’d like a summary of what this post is about without reading the entire post, skip to the very end where my editor…

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In the Goo of Authenticity and Feelings

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BEING AUTHENTIC MATTERS TO YOUR SOUL! 

****If you swallow your feelings and values frequently to protect everyone else’s 

                        You’ll be busy til the day you pass on.****

You’ll drown in your own—forgetting to honor them

You’re own feelings about things will bury themselves so far under the surface

                      that you won’t have a clue who you are anymore…or what YOU value.

You’ll find yourself in the midst of the majority, it’s easier that way, with a suffocating feeling

                     yet not knowing quite why.

You won’t dare rock the boat of “normal” for fear that you’ll wound someone else’s psyche—

All while you callously ignore your own.  Which, unknown to you, seethes beneath the surface.

When you begin to own your own feelings and silence the inner “police”, those you eventually attract into your

life will be as authentic as you AND you’ll find less eggshells to tread upon—as they will also be more

solid and secure in who they are —

Your set of internal values and feelings will be honored even if it flies in the face of theirs. Because both

of you are secure.

If our own actions, values, and feelings are true for us (not those we act on mindlessly to join the crowd, or those we doubt or resist), then we will feel secure enough in our actions without the chip on our shoulder.  And stand firmly in the midst of the feelings we do display.

***Disclaimer***

I want to be clear here that I’m not referring to using our words, feelings and actions for bullying, manipulating, shaming or cajoling other people.

Mean spirited words stem from wounds of a soul that is damaged and has nothing to do with my topic of allowing your own truths to be told.

A minor example of secure authenticity:

I am not political…on purpose…I have found that my pursuit of life, happiness and peace resides in a sphere so far out of the political realm

that politics is best left for those who are attentive to the process.  You would not want me conducting brain surgery on you, and I would probably be the first to die in a zombie apocalypse as I’m also not the least bit worried about stocking up on supplies.

Back to politics.  I have peers who strongly feel that I’m shirking my civilian duty and passionately tell me so.

Doesn’t phase me in the least. I do not get offended. I’m strong in my personal conviction here.

(and trust me…you don’t want me involved! )  🙂

I also complain loudly during political seasons that I’m completely bored with social media political posts and will be

relieved when it’s over as I really despise the political process and often biased media with its half-truths. (but what do I know right?)

(doesn’t phase them in the least…they do not get offended…they are strong in their convictions here.)

My peers are strong in their conviction that they should constantly update their media posts to let us all know

how ridiculous the “left” or “right” is behaving.

Which one of us should keep our feelings to ourselves about this, for fear of hurting others, or others viewing us as out of integrity?

🙂

So for me, authenticity involves:

  • Airing my truth, in spite of what others feel about it. Their feelings are their own responsibility, not mine.
  • Being willing for others to speak theirs as well.
  • Discerning whether I choose to involve others in my life, or if perhaps I don’t like their authentic selves, not allowing them a main presence in my life.  I think it’s important to see this point.  Because:

While I rant and coach about authenticity, this doesn’t mean I always play nicey nicey, tip-toeing through the tulips of tolerating everyone’s authenticity.  Learning how to remain true to your self doesn’t mean you will gain favor in everyone’s eyes, nor will they always gain favor in yours. 

In other words:  I’m a huge advocate of discerning who gets to be in your life.  Based on YOUR truth, based on the integrity of YOUR values, not THEIRS.

 If a peer loudly proclaims to me that I am not standing in integrity by shirking my political responsibilities, and am setting a poor example by displaying my feelings on the issue, I respect their feelings on this issue.  I will discern to what level interaction with this person is allowed in my life.

But I will continue to maintain and honor my own.

And Let the Chips Fall Where They May

What I (and others) Did For Love

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Think you have to dole out chunks of yourself for love?

Think Again…th

For a lot of us, to give and receive love from others means that we must engage in a never ending quality control game.

We restrain ourselves and conduct an intuitive survey of how much personality we can let out at any given moment to hold “their” friendly affection.

It’s a manipulative game we play of trying to guess which combination of traits we have in our colorful maize of character traits and gifts that will please.  We want to secure a desired outcome and response.  Feels a lot like Pavlov’s dog right?  We salivate for love, even if we have just the slightest notion or indication that we’re going to get it.

We withhold or punish ourselves, hiding more of ourselves from everybody when we receive an unpleasant, undesired or indifferent response from maybe just one person.

So we spend hours, months and often years to attempt various combinations to win love.  We perceive that its working if we get the desired response.  Until the scene changes, and we’re thrown off balance and must begin again.  Seems we can’t get enough of it–the constant craving.  And the desired response from this type of striving is fleeting at best.  A black hole.  The hamster on a wheel. One cannot have too much money or love right?                                                                           bitsotruthblogspot

I could call this post “what I did for approval”, but I believe the bottom line even for approval addiction is the need for love.  From friends, relatives, romantic relationships, co-workers, authority figures, children, animals…..

I could also name it co-dependency extraordinaire, except it would appear from our cultural behavior, that this would render at least 90% of our population co-dependent.  Hmmmm…..

*******When you perform that which you are not or do not desire,…or withhold that which you ARE, how will anyone know who they are loving?********(me)                            

Check out the below list and see if you have also done what I (and others) have done to secure and maintain love, in this exhausting way:(clients and friends have given permission to share)  :

By the way, before you begin…this is not just for romantic love…some of the things we do to secure the love of friends and family is “cray cray”!

  • Cooked meals I didn’t want to cook.  Wasn’t that my “job”?
  • Ignored my health, unless in severe pain, in order to not cause discomfort or worry in others. If I’m a burden they won’t love me right?
  • Volunteered for tasks and duties that I would rather eat cardboard than perform. (people must see and love my generosity)
  • Babysat children when I needed time alone.
  • Wore my hair long when I prefer it short or vice versa
  • Always wore high-heels –men despise flats (or so I’m told)
  • Wore make-up at all times /even to bed for extra picky significants
  • Kept my tummy tucked in
  • Always went to eat where they chose
  • Bought the house they wanted, vacationed where they wanted
  • Only have people over that they liked
  • Always was the smiling, energetic extrovert
  • Kept a job I hated / Took a job I knew I would dislike
  • Participated in physical intimacy when I had no desire
  • Attended events that repulsed me
  • Didn’t stand up for myself–they might go away if I set clear boundaries
  • Allowed verbal abuse and indifference to my needs.  What needs?  🙂
  • Kept myself super skinny
  • Watched what they wanted to watch–always
  • Begged for companionship, then endured the complaining

I’m certain you can add plenty here as well!

And yet we’re told that love conquers all

And it does

But not like this

Not the manipulative, needy, game

Not THAT love , gained only by hiding who we really are or given from a motive of wanting it back–the way WE determine we want it back.

That’s control

So MOTIVE is everything

What is your motive for every task in your life?   Is it to gain or maintain love?

OR

Are you sincerely conducting life from a place of loving who YOU are…and thus, giving only from that genuine real self, that which you are able and willing to give.  If so, you will expect nothing of love in return.  You will attract and deflect others without the guessing game and manipulation.  Yet, more love will be at your doorstep than you can imagine…And you will receive the authentic good stuff of love.  Not the strained reluctant love you (or they) demanded for your efforts before. Not the energy sucking type of love that leaves you devastated and lacking an identity if it leaves or betrays you.

Because at least if you love from that place, having willingly put some of your eggs in that basket—and you lose–

(hey we’ll never get to perfection in this life),

you’ll still have a healthy chicken with eggs in her own basket too, and not the drained, weak and fragile one who gave them all.

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And may I add just one or two, or three more concept(s) to this post?

I’ve said it before:  There’s nothing broken in you…Nothing to fix

AND

YOUR ADORABLE SELF IS ALREADY LOVABLE !

and again…

When you perform that which you are not or do not desire,…or withhold that which you ARE, how will anyone know who they are loving?

What? I have a body?

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“Most of the time you don’t act as if you HAVE a body!”

Words from a friend a week ago that made me ponder my attitude towards this physical thing that transports me

everywhere I want to go.

 It’s just a vehicle for my wonderful soul and brain right?

 Oh bother!

Until it breaks.

Or something begins smoking under the hood.

And I’ve never been one to try to understand the mechanics of any vehicle…I just stand on the side of the road, Damsel in Distress, with the pleading eyes, waving my hankie and crying:  “Hayelp, Hayelp! “

But the last few weeks, I’ve had some heart issues.  Episodes of tightness in my chest, taking my breath away, cold sweat, & weakness that felt a lot like contractions towards the end of giving birth.  I can’t even speak during them.  And I refused to go the Emergency Room every time.

Not me…I’m the strong one.  I’m never sick.

 I will not go where all those sick people are.  I’m fine!  I don’t even have high blood pressure or cholesterol issues and I’m not overweight (by most medical standards anyway)  I’ve never been to an ER or even been hospitalized with the exception of giving birth three times.

But to appease my husband, my grown children and my dad, I made an appointment with a cardiologist.  So I went…and was scheduled to return in a few weeks for tests.  

See?  He didn’t see it as emergent!  So I don’t think I’m going to follow up…it’s ok…it’s not my heart, it’s probably reflux or something.  I’m not going.

Remember Gilligan? Of Gilligan’s Isle  “You can’t make me, you can’t make me”

That’s how I was.

So my vehicle or…body, began smoking under the hood a lot more.  Like to the tune of five episodes the day before my tests.  Which were this week.

So dammit, I went.

Kicking and screaming the whole way (metaphorically of course)

I must be transparent here and admit that I am not one to pay a whole lot of attention to my body.  Except to be paranoid about it’s flaws, it’s aging, and occasionally finding pretty things to put on it.  I’ve worked on accepting the way it looks, but not about accepting the way it WORKS.

I am a soul coach.

I care deeply about the nature of heart and soul of both myself and my clients.  I live from my heart (not the physical organ mind you-HA!), and my soul.

 I see past bodies and look deeply into others souls as well.

And I’m very good at it.

 I now have the opportunity to see another perspective.

Even when I dance (which lately has been sporadic), I dance from the soul, paying very little attention to how my body interacts with it.   Awesome right?  A dancer who doesn’t know she has a body.  

So I went.

 And I felt broken somehow, old, ashamed of my neglect, ashamed that I was sitting in a waiting room full of people a lot older than myself.

 I was impatient and a complete whiner about spending most of my day (ok half of my day)  in a caffeine deprived state,  letting people put their hands all over my chest!

 I was embarrassed that I got completely winded walking fast on the treadmill/stress test and was asked how much I did not exercise.  🙂

 I felt…WEAK!!!  

I felt vulnerable.

 Like somehow it is a weakness to need anyone’s help with my body.  

Or to give it a rest, except during appropriate bedtime hours.

Even when I’ve not felt well in the past, rather than rest in bed, like the terminator, I would find a way, crawl if I have to, to get things done.

I felt like I had done something wrong and  everyone would know how neglectful I’ve been if I have any outward signs of physical need.

I vowed like a Scarlett O’hara :  As long as I live, I swear I will NOT spend my days at a medical facility!  I would rather die first!  

And here I sit wearing a heart monitor for the last 24 hours.

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Odd how others stare when someone is wearing medical equipment, or obvious bandages or has an obvious medical condition.

 “Weak!” says the voice in my head…

“It’s your fault”,

“You’ve done something wrong”,

“Something is obviously wrong with you”,

“why don’t you take better care of yourself?”

“what are you going to do about this now, loser?”

 See what little meanies our thoughts can be?

mind bullying body

Until I took the time to literally ask my heart.  “What do you want?”

And she said:

“I want you to be kinder to me. “

“It’s ok to ask for help to take care of my physical aspects too.”

“I seek your attentiveness to our physical needs.”

“Expand your care-taking to include our body”

So I’m looking under the hood to see what needs cleansing, what needs replacing, what belts are worn thin, and giving it an oil change.

 It’s  well over 3,000 miles.

Always...

Always…

And I’m looking at the painting I have on my wall with a whole new perspective.

Growth spurts of the internal sort / Who do I want to be?

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I’ve watched my teenage son go through physical growth spurts this summer.  Almost overnight he outgrew everything by several sizes.   He was like a bat, sleeping in his guy cave all day.  There were aches and some pains, some internal emotional processes, and at times he snapped my head off over minute things like “would you please flush?” and “dinner’s ready”.   And then a couple of weeks before he started school, a calm relatively mature young man appeared one evening from the cave.  He smiled easily, didn’t grumble at small favors and actually wanted to converse with us…for a few minutes.  I quickly checked his room  thinking this was some sort of apparition.  It happened so fast!  And yet, I intuitively knew to stand back and let him go through the process this summer, without my interference.

Right now I’m going through some kind of internal growth spurt.   I’ve been disconcerted by my feelings of confusion until recently.   There are symptoms similar to my sons’.  A couple of perplexing medical issues that I believe are being caused by  something I’m not wanting to acknowledge, change or push through.  

I’ve needed tons of relaxation and rest this summer although my retreat is the opposite of my son. I prefer tons of Vitamin D .  Preferably by a body of water .  That happens to have sand near it.  I cannot show gratitude enough that I have access to exactly that two blocks away.  

I’ve been snarky at times and sensitive, very preoccupied in my mind and soul, irritated at my seeming lack of productivity, with a tendency to go back to previous decades of my life where I was somewhat passive in my life choices and not very present.    There’s questioning of direction when something in your life isn’t quite there yet, the self doubt, and have I mentioned confusion?  A definite internal growth spurt.  One in which I hope to emerge from my “room” smiling easily and more mature.

Enigma

It happens to us all…we spiral around certain phases, growing more the next spurt, even on issues we thought we had mastered.  

And sometimes we just keep moving on oblivious…

I’m blogging about this because although I’m not quite at the end of it yet,  I’m still slogging through the perplexities, and I wanted to share a couple of “aha’s” with any who might be growth spurting too.

Recently I was preparing to facilitate a meetup group that gathers in my home each week.  I was listening to an old Steering by Starlight (book by Martha Beck) course taught by Brooke Castillo and Susan Hyatt, both highly successful Master Coaches, to gain new insights and fresh perspectives to bring to our group.

Then on the recording, Brooke said,

” YOU get to decide who you are in your   ____________ (job, marriage, business,
 
 
whatever).  It’s who you ARE in your _________(job, etc.), not the actual ___________(job, etc.)   So YOU decide each moment who you want to be.”
 
 
 

SMACK!!!!!

More caffeine please…

REWIND….

Come Again?

Let me narrow the field and just throw in a concept to give you an image:  “YOU get to decide who you are in your   ___marriage_________ .  It’s who you ARE in your __marriage_______, not the actual ___marriage________   So YOU decide each moment who you want to be.”
 
And then…”How would you approach it differently if you knew 150% this is the right ____________for you?  (job, relationship, business, etc.)
 
Because if you aren’t showing up as YOU, in all of your glorious truth, how will you really know if something’s right for you?
 

Something about the way that was said painted a fresh coat of AHA on the walls of some internal rooms I’ve been bumbling around in—A little unsure of what they needed.   Maybe too quick to let myself off the hook. 

She went on to say “You aren’t searching for a vocation, you are searching for who you want to be in each area of your life.”

I grabbed my face in my hands and mused “connie, you’re doing it again…destination focused…driven by the goal!”  And then I remembered to show more compassion and said, “it’s ok though…good to know.  Now you can be the watcher and see where it leads.”

For a lot of us restless souls who have difficulty focusing on the joys of the journey, rather than a destination, that statement smacks us back several steps. (in a gentle way of course)  Solely being destination focused is not choosing who I’m going to BE on  this journey, it’s focused on who I think I’ll be upon arrival.  Then of course there’s a destination beyond that.  

I left the house and rode my bike awhile to give my core self time to digest those statements without the pressure of my thinking brain to finish the mp3 recording of the class. Typical left brained behavior for me:  “don’t reflect, just finish what you started!”

Down the beach path I go…for a reflection chat with Connie that went something like this:   Ok, so I ask myself and my clients all the time to focus on what they want–see what little mind blocks pop up to hinder them–use thought dissolving to question limiting beliefs and begin turtle stepping towards the goal.  Yes, there’s a lot more involved depending on the issue presented and I do dig far deeper on a soul level than superficial goals.  Yet it is rather externally focused.

More musing:  I don’t often ask myself who I want to be on a daily basis, in my marriage, in my business, in my family.  with friends.  A lot of times it’s all on auto pilot, more often reactive and end goal oriented than who I am each moment.   There’s a lot of “if I can get to a certain # in my business, I will consider it successful” or “after we’re finished building the house we will…” followed by will power and action, not stopping to assess who I am choosing to BE in these endeavors.  Which would bring more joy to the process and allow my true self to show up, not some preoccupied with the future —shell.

Back from the bike ride I plug into the mp3 and find yet another important piece of growth for the soul.  Brooke states:  

“It is very difficult to follow the path and know what the right decision is if you aren’t telling yourself and other people the truth about each moment.”  

Could that be one reason we don’t always choose who we are going to be in every aspect of our lives?  Avoiding showing up in truth?

So rather than avoidance, or wishing we were done with some activity already, or numbing out to get through this interaction with that person or presentation, how might it affect our life if we are honest with ourselves and others always?  Less tension?  Less stress? Less energy drain?  No more feeling like a victim?  Less dallying in a lukewarm way right in the middle of some issue, business or relationship for years at a time?

I’ll report back…but clarity is arriving.  And I do hope the long winded musings of this post have benefited you in some way.

 

I AM ENOUGH!? REALLY?

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  YES!!!  But not really…

                              Really?

                                                  Well not for everyone else anyway.  

It’s a common phrase in the contemporary self help industry.  “I AM ENOUGH”.  And while I personally LOVE it, there’s a confusing disconnect when it boils down to interacting with others, domestic activity and family needs,  and career needs on a daily basis.   I have been guilty of confusing meeting others demands and preferences to my own standards of “I AM ENOUGH”.

For example:  IF  I listened to even the most caring people in my life, those that love me the most, the subtle message would be:  “You are not enough”.

Because honestly…I’m not, specifically, “enough” for them.   Oh in general I believe they would say to any passing acquaintance that I am enough, but not in the nitty gritty daily grimy ways of living.    Consider if you are in the same boat.

 

 

  • I have friends who feel that I don’t maintain contact with them enough.
  • My last  media buff , child at home would say that I don’t watch enough movies & videos with him, or get involved enough in drawn out conversations about how to construct wildly imaginative structures in Minecraft.
  • My grown children often comment that when I’m busy working, my texts are too short so they imagine that I’m scheming to avoid them. Or my “tone” is indifferent.  Or perhaps I don’t often act excited enough when cool things happen in their lives.
  • My husband would prefer to have more physical intimacy.  Shocking to all married females out there right?
  • My dad and mother-in-law would prefer that I pick up the phone more often.
  • As a former employee, in some instances, I remember the feeling of needing to get more done, faster, more efficiently and without utilizing overtime.
  • My dogs are even demanding  if I haven’t walked them by a certain time every day.
  • If I’m partaking in beach time a.k.a. time for ME…there will be even more disbelief in some loved ones that I have time to do that, but not to do “blah, blah, blah” for  or with them.
  • And sometimes I am my worst enemy.  I am not enough when I constantly compare what I am able to complete, nurture or create on any given day, to others abilities.

You get the picture?  Or should I continue?

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So the message might be confusing.  At first it confuses my clients, who express feeling like a mouse on the wheel of life.

Shouldn’t we try to be all of the above to all of the above chosen people?

NO!

IF YOU SPEND YOUR LIFE TRYING TO BE ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE AROUND YOU—THAT IS ALL YOU WILL DO IN LIFE.  

Because it is a tendency of ours to try to get our needs fulfilled from others rather than ourselves.   So if we don’t catch that, both in ourselves and others, we all can eventually become exhausted, resentful,  have a break down, or run fleeing to the hills and even cause destruction we didn’t intend to cause by not taking care of ourselves.  By not coming from an internal place, an internal belief  of I AM ENOUGH!  By not choosing exactly in what ways we want to spend our energy on a moment by moment basis, we will let our time be consumed by the needs and demands of people that we love and things we must maintain.

You get to choose every single moment what is “ENOUGH” for you.

My family and friends may not be pleased with how “ENOUGH” I am for them.  But they get to choose too, when I am requesting their time, attention, intimacy and contact.

So Ideally, if we could allow each other that freedom without the judgment or the blaming, it could be that we would gravitate to I AM ENOUGH (according to our own internal compass), culturally.   Keeping in mind please that “enough” is going to look different for every single person.

When we force ourselves to connect against our heart’s desires, we create false, resentful relationships; when we disconnect from the people who deplete us, we set them free to find their tribes while we find ours. ~ “You Have the Right to Remain Silent” Article by Martha Beck

In the Meantime….I AM ENOUGH for me!  

And Your Soul Shall Drool, Unless…

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I used to keep myself so tightly wound.  

There were so many “shoulds” in my life.

 So many voices of well meaning and, not so well meaning people I allowed to dictate my life decisions.

 Even voices from the collective conscious, those ancients Carl Jung discussed that effect us still today.  Perhaps those influencing me were of the Puritan sort.  The “Aunt Gertrude” voice full of fear that experiencing life through a peephole of belief was the safest.  

Regardless of whose voice I listened to, mine was the last in line for my own ear, so I lived in direct conflict with my own free spirited soul.  

Years ago a friend told me I was a rebel without a rebellion.  My rebellion was only an inside seething, weeping and drooling.  On the outside I tried so hard to look normal, stable, no rocking of boats allowed unless it was the normal rocking of boats everyone rocked.  You know…like taxes, political party jibberish, the dentist. 

She was right.

And I was so scared.

Scared to cross a God that might throw me into the pit of hell should I believe incorrectly.  

Scared to leave a marriage that was safe, politically and religiously aligned, (perhaps to “Aunt Gertrude”) but not right somehow.  

Afraid of judgment.  I honestly felt as if I would physically die when others judged me.  So I lived in a mode of constant  JUDGMENT PREVENTION and Patrol.

Scared of rejection.  The barometer of my sense of personal worth was others’ feedback.

Scared to fail at anything.  And I do mean anything.  Like…bad hair day? Poor choice of clothing for work that day? My child falling and breaking his arm must have been my failure as a parent.  “You have to use a recipe to cook?”  EV-RY-THING!    Perfection seeking supremist!   I had a Fine tuned, well bred inner critic parasite. 

And you know?

The fears I held onto to keep myself in check, sent me down the very paths that I was so afraid of.  But in destructive ways.   Which I now have come to understand.  Fear Based Decisions almost always led me away from who I really am, who I wanted to be, and listening to my soul.  

And so my soul drooled and wept.

It Wept:

  • Every time I forced it to obey voices of religion, culture, family & traditions that felt wrong inside to me.
  • When I refused to believe in myself
  • When I didn’t trust it to lead me to a life I loved.  Even if that meant loss.  I didn’t want to endure the necessary unraveling or possibility that I could be wrong.  
  • When I told myself I must maintain relationships with those who were critical, not supportive, demeaning and cruel. Especially if they were blood related or had been in my life a long time.

It Drooled:

  • Every time I watched yet another free-spirited soul venture out into their true genius and gain freedom to live authentically true to their heart, their soul—regardless of other voices or their own fears.  
  • When I met someone who loved what they were doing and who worked to live–rather than live to work.  (this was rare though I have to admit) 
  • When I met others who were surrounded by open-minded, vibrant, adventurous friends.
  • When others pursued various routes to spiritual freedom with little resistance, while I was locked into the prison of a narrow view.

I WAS LIKE A SNAKE TRAPPED IN SKIN WHICH REFUSED TO BE SHED.  LONG OVERDUE IN ITS TRANSFORMATION AND GROWTH. All movement controlled by the too tight exterior rather than inside out growth.

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And then

I snapped—

I was exhausted from trying so hard—found out I had burnt out my thyroid  (and many other issues which may be written about elsewhere) and, over the course of a couple of years: 

I lost the need to please ANYONE

             GOD                  FAMILY             THE CONSERVATIVE CULTURE WHERE I WAS RAISED              FRIENDS             WOULD-BE FRIENDS             NEIGHBORS         SPOUSES      

OR ANYTHING:    ANY CULTURE             ANY RELIGION          ANY TRADITION

And I set about re-establishing connection to my own soul—the divine “SELF” according to Carl Jung

How Amazing it has been and continues to be

It took time—I had no idea how to listen.

So many years of listening to others–being the chameleon–following the rules–had driven my soul underground.

So many ways I had never tried to navigate risk.

I played so safely

So I wouldn’t, couldn’t fail

AND NOW I know:

  • That failure bears no weight–ZILCH!–to my soul needs.  
  • My soul isn’t interested in failure or success, it’s interested in thriving with joy.
  • A bad decision can always lead to a good one.  Just about anything can be changed if I’m following my true self from a place of compassion. 
  • I’m a beautiful soul who is strong, my own best friend, and come what may, she’ll always support me with unconditional love.
  • That if I feel bound, or my soul is drooling, it’s a sign to me to seek out what’s next, what needs freeing and pursue it fearlessly.  
  • It’s never EVER too late for anything my soul yearns for.

That anything or anyone that controls, confines, demands, or seeks to destroy my hope, life, peace, freedom, & my own brand of genius, must not be given the space in my heart to do so.

My soul now celebrates

through difficulty

or pleasure,

because it knows its free

to be itself—

YOU GET TO CHOOSE–IN EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO—THE STATE OF YOUR SOUL

And your soul shall drool

Should you continue to ignore her passion

Her longing to be free

Her need for play

Her need to be who she is : regardless of tradition, culture, fear or rejection

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Snobs and Prejudice

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IMG_0184[1]While walking our dogs in the neighborhood and down to the beach, we often meet interesting neighbors.  One gives us veggies from his garden, another gives tips on where to find old doors, lumber and miscellaneous goods to give our upcoming new house build an old-house feel.  There’s the one with the cute dog with white floppy ears, the gentleman-like elderly man who has worked on digging a trough for flowers on the sides of his driveway for the past four months (no flowers planted there yet!), and another who loves to give attention to my old dog, Karlie.  He gets so tickled at her daily walk to the beach to “swim”.

There’s one neighbor on a street 2 blocks from mine that almost always will come out of her house to speak with us when she sees us coming.  She lives in a very small (maybe one bedroom) home with her disabled spouse  on a street whose other homes are several-story enviable beach homes.   She’s in her 60’s I believe, and is missing some teeth, but always smiles and talks with us about her yard (she’s a tree and flower lover too!), and our dogs.  We once attempted to help her with a stranded nutria-rat in her yard.  

Early in the summer, a vacant lot by her home was listed for sale and caught our interest.  When she observed us studying the lot, she became excited, telling us about the one who lived there before Katrina destroyed the home, about the trees that were on the lot, lost also to Katrina, as well as expressing her preference for us to be her new neighbors.  She mentioned that she hoped the newest neighbors, building a 2 story home several lots down, would be friendly.  I assured her that they were, telling her we’d met them and thought they were friendly.

A few days ago, as we were walking our dogs, she was passing by in her car and stopped to chat.  She asked us if we were buying the lot and we told her we were submitting an offer.  She told us she would be praying for us as she thought we were friendly down-to-earth people and she wanted us for neighbors.  

Her face then fell a little as she said “the new neighbors are snobs”.  

As she drove off, my heart hurt.   Sigh…And then I felt somewhat pissed.  In that one little statement, I could sense the pain that preceded her need to label the new neighbors.  

Why?  Why would they be friendly to us and not to her?  Do they somehow perceive us as their “equal”, but not this lady-who-lives-in-the-small-house? What other basis of prejudice could there be?  Pre-judging one to be less than themselves?  She certainly isn’t a trouble maker, no threat at all.  Are we really still so small minded a culture as to direct our friendly attitudes only towards those who appear to have what we have?  What are we afraid we will lose if we treated all of our neighbors the same? 

I have to admit that my neighbors comment, indicative of the way she felt she had been snubbed, gave rise to memories of my own personal history of being snubbed by teachers and others, as a middle school student living in government funded projects with my mother.   I remember comments about my “high water” pants,  where I lived, “one of those kids”,  when not once did my behavior indicate that I was some type of juvenile delinquent.  It wasn’t based on behavior, it was based on my appearance and where I lived.    I vowed never to forget where I came from, and to not judge the book by its cover.  

I can’t say I’ve done it perfectly, but this incident is a reminder to me to be mindful of how I engage with others from all walks of life.    It feels like unfair prejudice to me, pre-judging based solely on the size of one’s home and inability to afford a good dentist.

It isn’t that I believe the “snobby” neighbors should feign interest in this lady, or make an effort to hang out with her.  It may be that we build a home right beside her and never become great friends.  Would it be such an inconvenience though to converse in a friendly, real manner for a couple of minutes, giving her the same respect, validation and sense of connection that they most likely would give to…Oh…say…the mayor?  

Food for thought

Brene Brown’s definition of connection:

 “Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment.”

  

Because isn’t that what we all seek?          

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