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“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” – Ernest Holmes
I wrote a poem as a teenager that was deep for me at the time, but even more profound as I have come to realize what it really meant and how even then, life was pointing me towards some deeper truth.
The poem was called Mirror Image.
I look in the mirror and through my eyes, I see what nobody else can see
I see through the laughter and all the fake smiles, into the lonely me
No one in the world knows my deep dark secrets, the ones that shall never be found
Nobody sees my by myself, where my outside cover falls down
Nobody sees how I sit and cry, how I feel so full of pain
Nobody knows how my broken heart aches while I’m searching for a love to claim
As I look even further, deeper in, I can feel the tears trickling down my cheeks
I feel my heart burning and then it starts screaming, as I feel myself getting weak
I pray to God to ease my pain, to fill my emptiness inside
To get me out of my gutter of a life, to give me some hope to try
I’m searching for a love to find, someone to hold me tight
Someone who can heal my aching heart, who will help me find my light.
~The Teenage Christine
It is amazing to look back through my teenager’s eyes and see the world how she saw it. But there was wisdom in her words that pointed to a deeper truth that she was waiting to discover.
What I saw back then looking in the mirror was a culmination of all the beliefs I had in my 15 year old mind and a deeper yearning for something more. The story of who I thought I was. The mask I wore for others, all the time knowing it was a lie. The projection of what I thought I needed to feel complete and to feel loved. The belief that the answer was somewhere out there, that there was someone who could give me what I didn’t have. The desire to heal and find my light.
As I have grown in my awareness, I realize the deeper meaning of Mirror Image. What I see and experience ‘out there’ is a mirror of what is in my mind and heart. The world is my mirror, and it is my projection of beliefs and stories that give meaning to what I experience ‘out there’.
Some masters say, “There is no out there”. That this experience of life is all our projection. That we are dreaming all the time.
When I first read “The Four Agreements”, by don Miguel Ruiz, it was those exact words “We are dreaming all the time”, that resonated with me so deeply and started me on this journey of awakening.
And the more that I began to shift my story and beliefs, the more the outside dream began to shift. My experience shifted with my mind. The more centered and open-hearted I was, the more effortless life seemed to flow. The more triggered and reactive I was, the more I seemed to come across the very things that triggered me (people cutting me off, delays, rude people, etc.). If the world we experience, is in fact a mirror, then what is it that the mirror is showing me about myself?
The law of attraction states that like attracts like. But if there is really no ‘out there’, then there is nothing to attract. And if there is only one consciousness that experiences duality, then what we experience is merely our projection of beliefs, stories, fears, etc.
In my poem, I was looking out there for the answers, not realizing the answer was within me all along. I was in pain, not yet realizing that it was my STORY that gave me the experience of pain. I prayed to God out there, not realizing the God within me was listening. I was looking for someone to help me find my light, not knowing that I am the light, and the one perceiving the light.
I couldn’t have known back then how the intent I expressed in that poem compelled me to embark on a journey to discover the truth, beyond the stories, beyond the one experiencing.
With awareness, I was able to recognize the beliefs and stories for what they were, a veil that distorted life as it truly is. By chipping away at the beliefs that kept me from seeing the mirror image from the distorted point of view, I was able to be more open to experience life in the moment, and as a result, life opened up as I did.
If life is a mirror, what is your life reflecting back to you? What beliefs or stories are you still allowing to distort your experience of life and of yourself?
If you are the dreamer, how can you begin to shift your experience of the dream?
As within, so is without…
I don’t know about you, but I have a long laundry list of things I should be doing, for my business, my health, my finances, etc., and the more I think I should, the more resistant I become to doing it!
What is it about ‘should’ that just shuts people down? I have been sitting with this a lot lately, as I observe myself contracting at the very use of the word should. Do I want to do all of the things that I know I should? Yes, I do, but when I feel like I should do it, it feels like a burden to bear, another obligation in my already full of obligations life.
The biggest thing I realized, is that all of those things I should do would actually really benefit ME. Most of the things I spend my time actually doing mostly benefit other people. For example, I love what I do as a business consultant, and I am highly motivated to do things to help the business move forward with their strategic goals and get clear on how to do them. But when it comes to my own business, I don’t spend a fraction of the energy or time to move it forward.
It certainly isn’t because I don’t want to. I love what I do in my business, helping others is my heart’s passion, it truly lights me up and opens my heart when I am able to help another get clarity, break through, heal and reach their goals. Their is a psychological response that is triggered when I feel like I should do something that makes me shut down, lose motivation, and flat out avoid.
It could still be the rebellious part of my mind that didn’t want to be told what to do (is my inner teenager still running my life?); it could be that my life is so full of other obligations that adding another obligation feels overwhelming, so I avoid it; it could be a form of self-sabotage because my mind wants to keep me safe (safe is known, even if it is miserable and small/limited) rather than take action to do the things that will move me closer to where I want to be in my life.
Whatever the reason, it is not serving me! This is where awareness and choice come in. Seeing the patterns and making a choice to create a new pattern.
I know I am not alone in this, which is why I decided to write about it. I was talking to a dear friend today and she made a suggestion about reframing ‘should’ into ‘I can’ or ‘I get to’, which feels completely different!
When I think of something ‘I should do’, and turn it into an ‘I get to do’, the way it opens me (or at least doesn’t shut me down) is amazing.
Example: I should write a blog post on my site because it has been too long. Feels BLAH!
Reframe: I get to write a blog post about feeling like I should, which can help other people who may be feeling the same. Feels Ahhhhh…. 🙂
Notice how a simple change of words can change your experience into something completely different?
Words and our agreement about them have the power to make our experience of life feel like one full of curiosity and openness or feel like a burden which constricts us. With awareness, we can pay attention to which words close us and which ones open us, and begin to reframe our experience by choosing more empowering words.
And the result of the reframing? A blog post that is written instead of on a to do list, a body that gets the exercise you have been avoiding doing, a phone call with a friend that you have been meaning to make that actually made you feel lighter and helped raise your vibration, etc. etc. etc.
Ready for an experiment?
How about for this week, start noticing how many ‘shoulds’ you are avoiding, and play with reframing it in a way that makes you feel more open. Make your ‘To Do’ list into ‘I get to do’ list and see what happens!
Sometimes it is good to remind ourselves that life isn’t a burden we ‘have’ to deal with, it is a gift that we ‘get’ to experience… and how we experience it all comes down to the story we tell ourselves.
And you ‘get to’ make it a fun one!
Wherever you go, there you are.
I used to be the classic “grass is greener on the other side” person. I thought if I changed my looks, changed my style, my house, my car, my friends, man, job, fill in the ______, my life would be better. I thought if I made more money, rose up the ladder in my career or proved myself “out there”, it would make me feel significant. But I did change all of those things, several times, and the thing that remained with me was not enough.
None of it brought me happiness or certainty. In fact, the more I achieved, the less fulfilled I felt. I was left empty and with a feeling of “Now what?”. I thought that by me having a nice house, making 6 figures, being an executive at a company would be enough to convince myself I was enough. But what I realized, is for my mind, the mind that holds the story of ‘me’, nothing would be enough.
No matter where I went in my life or what I achieved, my limiting story and voice in my head, followed me. That voice is the one that kept moving the goalpost, but I realized that my mind would never be satisfied. My mind was insatiable. And it would always be.
The mind is not real, it is an imagined entity that we identify with as who we are. It is a culmination of all the knowledge and beliefs we learned along the way in our lives. It is the voice that we identify as our own. It is the one describing our experience of life in every moment, and commenting on our every action or inaction. But the mind is not a real entity, it is an illusion. Which is why it can never be satisfied, because it is not the one actually experiencing or living life, it is the one analyzing it after the fact.
What is real is the LIFE which is who we really are. We aren’t the body (though we reside in the body), we aren’t the image we project of ourselves (which is really only a bunch of thoughts), we are life itself, animating this body and experiencing this life directly.
We are experiencing life, but our mind / story of who we are takes our experience hostage, which is what makes us feel like we are never where we want to be.
In my life, once I realized I was not that voice in my mind telling me all of these things that made my life feel impossible, I was able to use my awareness to begin to separate who I was (the silent presence / observer) from the mind (thoughts, story, beliefs describing my experience). The more I practiced being aware and putting my attention on being instead of the voice in my head, the less power that voice had, and the more my authentic self began to truly experience life.
Then instead of wherever you go, your story goes too, it becomes, wherever you go, there YOU are. The YOU that is beyond the body, beyond the stories, the YOU that is powerful, authentic and creative.
When we look outside of us to achieve more, do more, be more, we are really only searching for that connection to our true self where all of those qualities already are. And when you can get to the point where YOU just are, you become completely open to life, and life completely opens up to you.
So if you feel like you are chasing something out there with no fulfillment, maybe it is time to take a step back and look at which YOU is running your life, the real you of being or the illusory mind that pretends to be who you are?
YOU have the power to change it, and when you do, like magic, your entire life will transform.
When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up. -Les Brown
On of the hardest things for me has not been falling down, but getting past the guilt of falling off the horse again and staying down. My mind says I should be doing more writing and I should get back up and put myself out there, but the ‘shoulds’ feel like more weights that keep me down.
I could say my excuse for not moving forward or getting back on the horse was my health issues that zapped my energy, or my career that created alot of stress and took up my time, or trying to balance work, health, family, and everything else that felt overwhelming enough. But the truth is, it was really my story that was holding me back. It was the ton of bricks that weighed me down and kept me from jumping back on the horse where I may fall (or fail) again.
I recently went to a Tony Robbins four day conference in Chicago, where my hope was to get the fire back and get clarity on how to move forward. It was an intense time with walking on fire, jumping up and down, screaming with unstoppable intensity, and reclaiming my WHY. It was about calling bullshit on the limiting beliefs that still kept me feeling stuck in a corner, and about changing my state and learning when I think I can’t then I MUST!
My why is simple, I want to live the best life and be the best me that I can. I want to have NO REGRETS. I want to touch the lives of the people I meet and create deep and lasting connections. I want to have fun, play and enjoy this gift that life is, and know without a doubt that I am dancing with life fully and doing my part to awaken the world to love.
I realized that my need for certainty (also known as being safe, small, and staying out of the unknown) was bigger than my need for Love/Connection and Growth/Contribution, which was why even though I knew I should be doing more, I was more comfortable doing less.
Even though I ‘knew better’, it was still so hard to get up, and move past the beliefs and the guilt of not doing what I know I ‘should’, and just do it anyway.
But I was given another gift at this conference. To look at my life 5 and 10 years from now, still living that way. I was able to see and feel how my life would be if I continued to do what was certain and safe. I was able to see what experiences I would miss out on, the people I would lose or hurt, and how it impacted me, the real me, who wanted nothing more than to express fully in this life and to help others.
The pain of letting my beliefs and fear and guilt keep me locked in a life that felt like a prison was too much to bear. So I called bullshit on my beliefs, and I reclaimed my WHY and the fire that’s in my heart.
I am reminding myself every day that I can change my state and energy at will, and when the fear to act comes up, then I know I must act to eradicate my fear, so that I can be living the life that I want with no regrets, no guilt and no ‘shoulds’.
What is holding you back from living the life you truly want? What beliefs or guilt has kept you from taking the action you know you ‘should’ to have the experiences and connections you desire? Can you envision yourself 10 years from now still living this way? If the mere thought of it gives you pain or regret, then maybe it is also time to call bullshit on those beliefs and release the guilt and commit back to yourself and to reclaim your WHY.
Then you can get back on the horse knowing it is not fear that drives you, it is your heart that will lead the way to the life you want and deserve.
Say YES! to YOU.
All my love,
“Knowledge is NOT power. The EXECUTION of knowledge is where your power lies.” – Tony Robbins
Last year was an interesting year for me. I was stuck in a major way, and I couldn’t really figure out why. I thought moving was what I needed to get renewed motivation to create what I wanted. I moved into a great place, really light and airy and I thought that would be the change I needed to get going. And then I got sick. An old illness from seven years prior popped back into my life, and deflated me like a balloon. I also was travelling more for work, and felt like I lost my footing in life.
I knew what I wanted, but every time I sat down to work on my business, I felt overwhelmed, fearful and shut down. I couldn’t put all the pieces together. I was stuck in a holding pattern that I couldn’t get myself out of, and the less action I took, the more stuck I felt.
I finally decided to go on a trip to get back to center, since I was caught in the whirlwind of my thoughts and beliefs. I went to Teotihuacan, Mexico with don Miguel Ruiz and family, and it was exactly what I needed to feel refreshed, and I had a burst of energy coming back and took a ton of action.
It felt amazing. But I started to notice something. I was trying to think of programs and other things I can put together for my business, to help others. I wanted to do a webinar but I stopped myself from creating it for over 2 months, because I thought I needed to have my program ready first. And I couldn’t create my program until I knew exactly what my message was and how it would help people. In other words, everything had to be perfect (in my head) in order to start.
I started to see the overwhelm kick in, along with the feeling of shutting down and feeling “stuck” again. And I knew it was the same old voice that told me I can’t do it, and the way it held me back was by pulling me into the same trap of “perfect”. I realized that was why I was stuck the year before also. Having it planned out perfectly was my trap to staying exactly where I was and not doing anything.
“Perfect” became the perfect excuse in my life.
So I decided to look at the evidence so I can finally move out of chasing my own tail. And I realized something about myself that I never even acknowledged before.
I realized that I have done A HELL OF A LOT in my life with no idea how I would do it. I just DID IT. I was a single mom at 19, no college degree, just a year diploma from a technical vocational school, which I completed while I was pregnant (1 week before I had my son to be exact). Shortly after, I landed my first career at a major bank and while I was hired as the junior person, I quickly learned everything I could and became the senior person within a year.
Every single job I took was a step up in position and salary. I moved to different industries, positions and still eventually became “the one to call” when there were questions. I wanted to be a project manager and trainer, and I did it. I wanted to move out of that position to just focus solely on project management, I did it. I wanted to be a manager to experience that, and I did it. I landed a job as an IT manager, and within 6 months became a Director, and a year after that became VP/CIO. Oh, and I started my business while doing all of it. And had no clue I was capable of any of it.
Here I was having achieved so much and my old story still kept trying to tell me that I couldn’t do it, or I wouldn’t succeed unless it was perfect first, when I had ALL THE EVIDENCE to prove the opposite! Not only had I created my business, I found myself inspiring others to create theirs. And I was damn good at it!
I realized that like myself, so many people stop or never start because they aren’t sure how to do something. Instead of jumping in and just starting, they get caught in the endless loop of their minds trying to have the “perfect” idea or plan, before they will kick it into gear.
What you may not realize, is that it is by design. The mind (ego) wants to keep us small, “safe”, so it can stay in control. So while the voice in our head may feel like it is trying to help us, many times, it is only a ploy to keep us in the same box because we feel in control when we know the outcome. Our mind prefers “known” and “safe” (even if it is miserable) to the “unknown” and “scary” life full of possibilities.
And if there is one thing I know, I want to live a life full of possibilities. It wont be “perfect” because that concept is not real. It will just be me, expressing myself and creating my life from my heart, because this life is mine to create. Waiting for the plan to be perfect will certainly keep you exactly where you are. But if you take action, clarity will come, and so will all the other possibilities that you never knew existed before.
Ready to start now?
Email me if you want to know more about my Building Your Business Bootcamp!
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” ~ Albert Einstein
Have You Been In Transition For What Seems Like Forever??
It seems like for a lot of people, the past few years, has felt like this long period of transition where they were leaving something old and trying to go on a new path, but can’t seem to quite get there.
I can relate. There was a time in my life, where it seemed like I went from one transition to another to another, and couldn’t get a foothold in between! From childbirth, to health issue, to divorce, to relationship, to new job, to traveling, starting a business, and the list goes on and on!
And when you cant get a foothold it is hard to get clarity on the next step!
When your dreams seem like a distant goal and you only have enough energy to make it through the day or week, then you are just surviving. Barely.
In my own life, I have been through these peaks and valleys where I wanted to create my dream but as I started to add more onto my plate, I lost steam, and felt like I would never get where I wanted to be. I was stuck in my job, stuck in my financial situation, stuck at home, stuck feeling powerless. Stuck in transition.
To get myself out of this rut, I made a choice that I would no longer “try” to get anywhere. I would only do things that made me happy, for the purpose of just being happy. I would bring ME back to my life.
I went on a trip, danced, started connecting again, and opened my heart. I still took action. In fact, I took more action than I had in a long time.
But it felt different this time. Because it wasn’t about having to be anywhere else than where I was. It was about enjoying the life that I had. Period.
And without knowing it, that did the trick. I was OUT of transition. I was living my life, and my life started moving forward in the direction I wanted without feeling forced, or pressured or a struggle.
It was just about me making a choice to bring ME back to my life. All the rest would unfold naturally.
Life is always transitioning OUT THERE, but what keeps us feeling stuck is when we wait for life to change, for clarity, for love, for something to pull us out of the rut. When the truth is, only we have the power to pull ourselves out of transition and back into our life.
You are HERE. You are ALIVE. Your life is what YOU SAY IT IS. So change your story about where you need to be, and live now, and you will find, as I did, that transition goes away the moment you decide to show up to life right now.
If you are ready to move OUT of transition and back into your life, join me for my LIVE event on Tuesday, February 24th at 8pm EST. For details and to Register, click here!
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
― Helen Keller
This weekend I went to an event in Seattle, Washington for an event my dear friend invited me to. It was to celebrate the life of Chris Dyko, former Cougar football player, who passed while on a biking trip to the Florida Keys with my friend.
The theme of the event was Live. Love. Loud. It was a remembrance and celebration of Chris, who’s personality was larger than life, and his life touched so many people, including my friend who had only spent 30 hours with him.
At this event, so many people shared stories of Chris, how he lived, how he loved and how he made people laugh. There was alot of laughter and tears at the event for this man who truly lived. My friend shared her experience of Chris during their short time together, and it was truly touching because it proves that you don’t need to know someone for decades to get a glimpse of who they are, and be impacted by their life force and presence.
He was authentic, unapologetic and unafraid to express who he was.
Even though I did not know him personally, I was so moved by how he lived and connected with everyone he met. He truly loved life and love people.
This year, my motto has been to bring ME back to my life. To do all the things that make me happy, because life is that simple.
As don Miguel Ruiz says, either you are happy, or you are stupid.
Being at this event was a reminder that life is so short, and while we think we have forever to “do what we really want to do”, the truth is, we are here for an instant.
There is no time to wait, to hold back, or to be miserable doing what does not make you happy.
Life is the gift we have to enjoy NOW, and there is no other time to change your life. There is no tomorrow, there is only now.
I am SO thankful to life for its reminder to me to live fully, to not wait to be happy. I was blessed by Chris Dyko’s life even though I didn’t know him. Just hearing how his life impacted others was a reminder to me that life is about connecting, loving and enjoying. While we are still here.
Chris was fully living up to the moment he passed. He didn’t let a moment go by where he didn’t connect, or hug or make someone laugh. He was just being him.
Let today be the day you stop believing all the justifications to not live fully. You are here now. Embrace your life and the people around you.
Live. Love. Loud.
Watch the below video on Chris Dyko’s life, put together by an amazing group of people who loved him just as he was. If you feel moved, please donate to the Cougar Athletic fund, in Chris Dyko’s name, to help raise $25,000 to be endowed to be presented as a scholarship, one more gift Chris wants to leave in his legacy. : )
Donate here: https://secure.wsu.edu/give/cougarathleticfund.aspx
Chris Dyko: Live. Love. Loud!