I am Certain
I was journaling today, and it became evident how much judgment I have put on myself in the belief that I was supposed to live my life in a "certain" way.
Be a certain weight.
Live in a certain type of home.
Date a certain type of man.
Behave in certain ways.
Have a certain job.
Raise my kids in a certain way.
Get a certain type of education.
Spend my money on certain things.
Ultimately, I need to do things in a particular way to be acceptable.
But who made up those rules? And why am I giving them so much power over how I live my life?
Our certainty comes from our beliefs. According to Wikipedia, living in certainty means that a person has no rational grounds for doubting a particular belief or set of beliefs.
But stop and think, from where do your beliefs even come? Our beliefs have often been given to us by others and were given to us before we were even old enough to have an opinion.
From my training, a belief is just a thought we have practiced over and over.
What things in your life can you say you are certain? What is the basis for your beliefs? What thoughts have you practiced over and over? Are your thoughts or beliefs serving you? When is the last time you stopped to think about what you were basing your decisions? And more importantly, are you beating yourself up for not living or being a certain way?
One thing I am certain of, it's time for me to decide.
Are you ready to challenge your beliefs? Are you ready to live the life you are supposed to live instead of the one that someone else defined for you? I'm prepared to walk beside you. Click here to sign up for a complimentary hour of coaching to explore what beliefs are holding you back.
Managing emotions has nothing to do with trying to feel good all the time. I was terrified of feeling emotions. I didn't realize that. I beat myself up for not being happy all the time. I didn't understand that feeling all emotions was part of the whole human experience and that it was normal to feel sadness or anger. I became aware that my truth was I was running from feeling. I've also learned that's why I got so good at eating and drinking.
Fact: feelings are just vibrations in our bodies.
Eating made me feel full and dulled the pulse, and if I drank enough, numbness could set in. I could avoid the pain of bad feelings altogether- well, until I woke up and realized the emotion was still there, and now I'm exasperated by the guilt and shame that came from eating and drinking more than I should have.
It's a vicious cycle.
So, how do you get brave enough to feel the emotion? For me, it took learning more about feelings.
Understanding that feelings come from our thoughts was vital for me to understand I didn't have to avoid feeling.
A thought is just a sentence in our minds. That thought triggers the brain, and the brain gets to work acting just like a bartender. It processes the thought and creates a hormone cocktail in response to what you are thinking. If you are thinking a thought that provokes fear, the bartender throws together some adrenaline and cortisol. If your thought creates happiness, the bartender shakes up a little serotonin, dopamine, and maybe a little oxytocin. We relish the good feelings and usually try to avoid the bad ones. But the science behind a feeling allows us to see that the hormone cocktail only lasts about 90 seconds. That's the truth. Of course, lingering on a thought will perpetuate another shot from the bartender, but again that will only last for a moment. Learning that made me brave enough to sit through a feeling. After all, I had given birth to three babies... 90 seconds of fear couldn't be more painful than passing a human through the birth canal, right?
Our thoughts are way more powerful than we give credit. They are the only reason we feel anything and our feelings are what drives every action we take. I work with my clients to help them understand the Think, Feel, Act cycle. I show them how to use their feelings as an ally to help identify which thoughts are ultimately creating their results.
Spend an hour with me and learn how the Think, Feel, Act cycle impacts your life and the results you have right now. Click here to schedule your free coaching session with me.
If I asked you to name the biggest jerk in your life, who would that be? Your ex? Your mom? The grumpy neighbor who makes it appear his only reason to live is to complain about how you mow your lawn or where you put the garbage cans?
Did you think to answer yourself?
If we recorded the conversation you have playing on repeat in your brain every day, what are you telling yourself? Does your brain feel love, or are you spending time with a critical asshole all day long?
One memory I have of being young is singing, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me," on the playground. This saying infers that words have no power over us, and if we ignore them, we will be fine. But I was also taught words have power, so I should pick them wisely.
So which way is it?
In January, we saw a young poet named Amanda Gorman demonstrate the power of words at Joe Biden's inauguration. Our Nation was moved by the emotion her words provoked. If you didn't see it or want to be reminded, look it up. And if that does not resonate, think of a song that always seems to stir the waves in your soul. Think of how those words make you feel. The words in our lives do have power, but it is the meaning we attach to them and the emotion they create that makes them powerful. The words themselves are like the "Sticks and Stones" lyric implies - they are without power. They are just words... until we make them mean something with our thoughts. And then BOOM!
This is why when someone comments about your weight, your work, your parenting, how you speak, how you look, or so on... you feel a certain way. It is because your brain takes those words and makes them mean something. If your brain translates to the positive, you feel good. If your brain translates to the negative, you feel bad. Because our brains, by nature, lean towards the negative, it is important to be mindful and make sure what your brain is telling you is actually true... especially for the negative.
Our thoughts are making what someone said to mean something- about us- about you. Remember, they are just words... we decide the meaning behind them.
To rephrase this: Words are neutral until we put meaning to them. You get to choose how you want to interpret what has been said to you. You get to choose what you want to think. And this is the most amazing information ever because it means you have all the power. Nobody else has power over your feelings. Did you hear me? YOU ARE COMPLETELY IN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS!! Hooray!
What about the words you say to yourself? What are the words you are telling yourself? And more importantly, what are you making them mean about you? Are you showing yourself self-compassion and love, or are you hearing the ramblings of a critical asshole all day?
These thoughts are driving the results you are getting in your life.
Taking the time to identify your thoughts and learn how the feelings they are creating inside you drive your actions and ultimately your results is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself. I help my clients do this, and I would love to help you learn how to do this. Click here to schedule your complimentary coaching session! Let's get started!
Happiness really can be a choice, and most of us think the goal in life is to be happy -all of the time.
But most of us missed the memo that life is actually 50/50.
50% good and 50% bad.
Thinking that we are supposed to be happy ALL of the time is a fallacy. Yet, most of us make ourselves even more miserable because we are beating ourselves up that we are not happy all the time. We use the ability to be happy (or the lack of ability) as a measure of success, and so when we are not happy we make that mean that there is something wrong with us.
The reality is that being able to experience all emotions allows us to have the full human experience - and sometimes we really do not want to be happy about an event or situation in our life (think about when someone you love has died).
There is power in being able to experience all emotions and a freedom that comes from knowing you are not broken if you are not happy all of the time. You are a perfect human, with a perfect human brain, experiencing the full and perfect human experience.
Take a minute and think about what emotions are you avoiding in your life? How are you using food, alcohol, Netflix, shopping, etc... to avoid feeling? Learning how to identify your emotions and feel them is a skill I work on with my clients.
If this resonates with you, come spend an hour with me. We can talk about how your brain actually operates and you can discover how much closer to perfect you actually are. Click here to schedule your free consult with me now.
So many times, we stay in relationships that are not good for us... maybe even toxic. We do it for many reasons, but mostly we do it out of a place of insecurity.
Our thinking is to be worthy of someone's love; we must do things to keep the other person happy, even if the things we are doing cause us to feel great resentment in ourselves. We may not consciously think these thoughts because we have done it for so long it just feels like truth.
We have learned the habit of people-pleasing - but we don't call it people-pleasing - we mistakenly label it unconditional love. We feel almost virtuous in our actions, making ourselves small so someone else can feel big. We have been taught that self-sacrifice is how we should show kindness...
So we hand out "kindness" to others, and we treat ourselves like shit!
This is not what unconditional love looks like or feels like. Unconditional love will never rob you of love for yourself or make you act dishonestly. Telling someone you would love to watch their dog when they are out of town when you are actually allergic to dogs and dread doing this with every fiber of your being - to win their approval, not make them mad, or keep their love is people-pleasing.
Finding the ability to love yourself first is the first step in actually understanding unconditional love.
If this resonates with you and it is time for you to learn to love you, come spend an hour with me, and let's start to identify the areas in your life that you are people-pleasing. Let's help you find your voice. Click here to go to my calendar.
Worth: the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held - Webster
I was sick of struggling to pay my bills. I was tired of finding myself in relationships that went nowhere, and dating guys that made me feel less than worthy. When I went through my divorce I felt like the worst mom in the world. My self-esteem was challenged. What was wrong with me?
There was nothing wrong with me...
except for my thoughts.
After getting out of an unhealthy, 23-year marriage I embarked on a journey to re-invent myself. On this journey, I have developed the belief in myself and the skills that have empowered me to start crafting the life I want, instead of the life I thought I was stuck with. I have learned that I am not the victim of my circumstances. I have learned that what seems impossible is only temporary. I have learned I am not damaged, and never was. I have begun to learn my worth.
Do you feel like there is supposed to be more to your life? Do you feel stuck? Is there a voice inside telling you that you are more than your current reality?
I get you girl!!
And I want to help you find your inner strength. Come spend an hour with me and let's discuss where you want to be. I can help you craft a plan to get there! Click here to go to the scheduling page.
This is a true story. Your brain's default is to find all of the negative... not because there is anything wrong with your brain... it does this to protect you. It thinks that if you are aware of all of the bad things, then it can assume you will be on the lookout and make all the good choices. It operates this way to keep you safe. The problem is that your brain is operating on the premise that you have way more things to be scared of than you actually do, and so it has you living in the land of freak-out, anxiety, and fear for much more time than is actually necessary. And freak-out, anxiety, and fear are not emotions that are conducive to producing your best results. So what should you do?
Thought work is a "coachy" term that is thrown out there, referring to taking the time to examine what your thoughts are and deciding if those thoughts are serving you or not. In our world, this is not something we are usually taught to do growing up. There was never a high school class that taught us that we should stop and think about what we are thinking. This means most of society is walking around thinking that they have no control of their thoughts. Thoughts just happen to them.
The truth is that our thoughts are completely in our control... if we actually stop and think about them. (I know this sounds funny.) And our thoughts are the one thing that influences how we feel. Stopping to see exactly what thought is creating the anxiety or fear you are feeling might lead you to realize there is really nothing to be afraid of at all. This becomes critical work when our thoughts are self-defeating about us (who and what we are). You know, the negative self-talk about;
We all do this to some level, but how helpful is it, and if you really stop to evaluate what you are saying, how true is it? Yet, the thought itself is enough to affect how you feel and, ultimately, how you behave.
Here's a brain hack to help control your brain's shitty thoughts. Since we know our brain will default to looking for the negative, start the day by acknowledging that and just write down the shitty thoughts that you know your brain might throw at you throughout the day. (See examples above.) After you have written down all the crap, tell your brain, "Ok. We have dealt with all the crap. You can now feel free to focus on the things that will actually help us achieve our goals instead of the shit that will hold us back." Then take a moment to list some things you know are positive and true about you (because it is important to remind the brain what is good and true). Later in the day, when you hear in your head, "You are so fat." you can kindly tell the brain, "We already dealt with that this morning, and we know that is not helpful." This might seem silly or crazy, but it actually gives you the power and helps you practice being in control of what you are thinking, instead of letting your brain be a toddler running around the house with a Sharpie marker. It also will affect how you feel. More positive emotions will totally help you perform at a higher level and help you produce better results.
I help my clients learn how to identify their thoughts and understand how their thoughts affect their results. I'd love to help teach you these skills so you can take charge of your outcomes and turn down the noise of the negative committee living in your head. Click here to schedule your complimentary coaching session and see how to turn down the noise.
A couple of days ago, I asked why do you really want to lose weight?
While wanting to be healthier or fitting into a smaller size pair of pants are not bad reasons for wanting to lose weight, I suggested the real reason we want to lose weight is actually that we are trying to like ourselves more. We think we are broken, and we are trying so hard to get fixed. For so many of us, losing weight is part of the quest to get there, and there is where we will find our happiness.
This has totally been a true story for me. I have spent a lot of time in my life thinking that once I lost weight, I would find happiness. I thought I had to lose weight to be liked more by others or worthy enough to be loved. I have done all the things (joined the gyms and created the meal plans) and have lost weight only to gain it back and then totally blamed it on the fallacy that something was really wrong with me. And the few times I had gotten to a much smaller size (I got there), life was still 50/50- there was not a miraculous spell of happiness that fell upon me. Losing weight allowed me to not beat myself up as much, but it did not solve my problems. Talk about a helpless place to be.
We believe in getting there and finding happiness so hard, and we do all the things we have been told to get there. We choose food plans (that we do not enjoy). We create exercise goals (that make us want to cry). We do these things as a means to the end of getting there. But we missed the most important part... and that is that happiness is not the destination, but is actually a necessary element in the journey if we are ever really going to get there. We fixate on what is wrong with us and try to hate ourselves into a better place as if hating ourselves enough will make us good.
What if we focused on what we were already amazing at rather than focusing on what we needed to fix? How might that change our results? Don't we treat those we love better than those we despise? I want to propose that this is why we are not only not hitting our weight loss goals but also other goals we have set in so many areas of our lives- that reason is that we do not like ourselves enough to treat ourselves with love and compassion. We think we can beat ourselves into someone or something better. It's a vicious cycle... We don't like something about us, so we need to be fixed, which causes us to focus on actions that we dread to be better, all the long beating ourselves up and waiting for happiness.
What is your brain telling you about YOU? How are you talking to yourself? Are you inadvertently trying to hate yourself good?
I work with my clients to help them identify the thoughts that are driving their results. I'd love to help teach you the skills to overcome this and get the outcomes you truly desire. Please click here to schedule your complimentary coaching session to explore what coaching could bring to your life.
Did you start the year out with a resolution to lose weight?
How is it going? This is the 4th week of 2021, so most people have already started over 4 times! Every Monday is a new start, right? Is this you?
Have you ever stopped to ask, "Why do I really want to lose weight?" Most will say to be healthier or to look better, or maybe they want to get back into their skinny jeans. While these all seem like legit reasons, they are probably not the real reason.
Most people want to lose weight because they are really just trying to find a way to like themselves more. True story.
They have learned that they are broken through conditioning because they are not a certain weight or look the way society says they should look.
So they join gyms, hire trainers, take supplements, create food plans, and continue practicing hating their bodies to "fix" themselves - to make them like themselves more. And sometimes they even lose weight... but they do not necessarily feel better about themselves.
Their ultimate goal is to stop feeling bad. They think once they lose "x" number of pounds, they will be there, and once they get there, they will feel better. They will finally be happy. Except it doesn't work that way. The issue is not the weight but rather the fact they hate themselves in the first place and think losing weight is the way to correct that.
Don't believe me? Substitute weight with a career or a financial situation, or a romantic relationship.
"I will be happy when I finally have _____________."
Once they get there, they can finally be happy.
It's our thoughts of there that are actually the problem.
What if you are already there and you are missing out on all of the happiness?
What if you are not broken and don't need to be fixed?
What if you just need to change your thought about there? Or what if you give yourself permission to be happy now, on the way to there?
This is what I help the women I work with do. I help them look at their thoughts.
You can lose weight. Losing weight is just math. It's the thoughts about it - and the thoughts about you- that are the problem. I invite you to take advantage of a free coaching session to explore some of your thoughts that might be holding you back from your happiness.
It killed me to pack my things and leave.
My husband and I had decided to divorce.
I was moving out of the house that I had made a home for 17+ years.
It's where the kids grew up.
It is the place where potty training happened, and late night nursings.
It's where Santa and the Tooth Fairy visited.
It's where the swing set and sandbox resided, and where birthday candles were blown out.
The only home the kids had really known, and I was with them
One night I lived there... the next night I did not.
Friends showed up, we put my stuff in a pick-up, and I moved into my 2 bedroom apartment.
It was scary,
and - NECESSARY -
all at the same time.
My heart broke that my marriage dreams were falling apart; that my family would not all be under the same roof anymore.
I worried about my kids.
Would they be okay?
I worried if they would come to my new home?
And yet, I was no longer in a place (a relationship) where I was forced to compromise... about every thing.
Taking the first step to honor me...
That part felt free.
After 23 years of being a wife and mother, there were very few moments I was ever actually alone.
And now there were several nights a week that I was ALL ALONE.
It was confusing. It was awkward.
I remember sobbing in the shower one night. So loudly.
And then I remember Kelly Clarkson.
She sang to me... and then we sang together...
She sang a song I had never heard before and it spoke to me. So loudly.
"The War is Over"
She told me "The War is Over"
And it was truth.
In the shower that night I felt relief.
I knew I still had a lot to figure out.
I knew it wasn't going to be easy.
I knew I still had some fights to have -
But, THE war was over.
The war that had been tearing me apart.
The war that forced me to compromise my beliefs and my being.
This was not my surrender.
This was me choosing to fight for me.
This was me deciding to put my energy into fights that were worth fighting.
So what did I start fighting for?
?I fought to become a student of how to have a better life.
?I fought my own ugly self-talk and learned how to begin practicing self-care.
?I fought to learn how to not live paycheck to paycheck.
❤️I fought to discover my personal value. I learned that I do not have to settle.
?I fought to release self-limiting beliefs and do brave things. I got a new job. I learned new skills. I became a Life Coach.
?I started a business.
?I learned how to start getting the results I wanted and to not be a victim of my circumstances.
If any of my story resonates with you, connect with me. I want to teach you the skills I have learned. I'd love to hear your story and help you navigate your journey to get the results you want.
I've included the link below to the song, just incase you are curious.
Thank you Kelly!