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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Good in Good-Bye

She called me brave. She called me courageous. She looked me in the eye. “You don’t settle. Most people settle.”


I felt a little better, but so many other things had been said that were competing for my attention. Like, “Why can’t you make a commitment- You’re obviously not a good judge of character — You can’t just go from one man to another — Why don’t you just stick it out, you’re getting older— You must be hard to live with — You’re basically a loser at love.”


Yeah, I know, I hear you loud and clear, and I can’t help agree somewhat with all of the above.


Then she said, “Sometimes, the Happy in Happy endings is that it ended.”


And as we got up to leave the table, she added, “There is good in good-bye.


Yes, true, another way to look at things.


This is the conversation spinning around in my head, all mixed up with shades of shame and embarrassment. The one fighting with all of the status quos, the one fighting with convention, with tradition, the one fighting with expectations and whom we are conditioned to believe we should be. And why are those in relationships classifying my relationships as “mistakes?” Is longevity a requirement to a relationship that is worth having, that doesn’t get thrown in the “bad judgment” pile? Many wonderful things are born of relationships that are meant to last only so long — some of the shortest relationships can be the most transformative, loving, exciting, and worthwhile.


I have a secret, and many have told this secret to me.


An overwhelming amount of the women I meet or have talked with wish they were in my shoes. Oh, not the brave and courageous part, not the packing, and moving, and going through the emotional upheaval and turmoil, but the happy ending part. They are tired. They wish they lived in their own little house, played their own choice of music, did yoga at 9 pm, and ate whatever they wanted for dinner. They are aching to live their life fully instead of part-time. But don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.


What I’d like to ask is please don't judge those of us who haven’t been as “lucky” in love as you. Don’t assume that we have character defects, issues, or that something is fundamentally wrong with us. That if we just loved ourselves a little bit more we’d find our perfect, lifelong, soulmate. I believe most of us went into our relationships with the same hopes and dreams that you did - and the belief they would last forever. 


And if you’re one of those who has managed to stay in a marriage, and more importantly, may I add, stay in love, then you are very blessed indeed. Life has been good to you. 


But, if you're only staying in a relationship or marriage because of the words, for better or worse, when at the time you had no idea how or what worse might entail, then you are no different from the ones who leave. The only difference is that we left on a physical plane where you might have left on an emotional one. So let’s call a truce. Let's be kind to one another. Chips fall where they may. No matter what decisions we make in life, whatever rules we follow, whatever beat and drummer we march to, it’s all life. And what is the same, is that we all only get a certain amount of it and we live it the best we can. So no matter where you find yourself at any point in time, be brave, be bold, be beautiful, be you.


Monday, July 24, 2017

A Change is Gonna Come

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Change isn't comfortable. It pokes at us, forces us to face our fears, and pushes us to act when we would much rather stay in our well-worn pj's, curl up on the couch and binge watch a Netflix original series. We are creatures of habit, of routine, and we like the familiar whether good or bad. It's "our familiar" and we've grown fond of the old wash, rinse, and repeat.
And this is even when the change is a positive one.
We still experience change as a loss (because something is being left behind when we change anything) so this is a crucial time to rely on your Wabi Sabi mindset when going through those life changes. Not always easy to do while you're in the midst of them and you don’t know why, where, or how you will end up.
There are many comforting beliefs that you can hold on to - that life is a school and everything is a lesson. That there are no accidents. That everything happens for a reason. All of these work well when you need to soothe and reassure yourself that things will be ok, that you are exactly where you're meant to be at any given moment. That fate, or God, or the universe has plans for you that they didn’t bother to consult with you about.
We all make plans. We all have a vision of how things should be. And when they end up, or we end up, in an entirely different version of that vision, it can be quite painful and confusing.
Wabi Sabi reminds us that nothing is permanent or perfect and allows us to release the notion that we are in complete control. Change is a part of life. And while some changes can be painful, they are the natural evolution of things. When we resist them, when we pout and demand that we shouldn’t have to go through this, that this wasn’t part of the plan, we only cause ourselves more suffering.
So when these changes come at you, you may not be prepared. After you've had some time to sit with them, the best thing to do is not resist them. Stop fighting them. Instead, breathe in, breathe out, and trust that you will be ok. Maybe even better than ok, maybe, great. We tend to focus on the worst that can happen, but now's the time to ask ourselves, "what's the best that can happen?" instead of struggling against the current and trying to swim upstream, it’s best if you can just feel the gentle waters all around and you and go with the flow.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

In Defense of the Quitter

Sometimes it isn’t quitting at all, it’s simply letting go

“You’re going to let her quit?” You can’t do that, she’ll be a quitter for the rest of her life.”
She was four years old. She wanted to take ballet (or perhaps it was me that wanted her to take ballet?) Hard to remember, it was so long ago.

But she tried it. She didn’t like it. 

She went to several dance lessons and then of course, it was time for the “show everyone how much we’ve learned” recital. She wanted no part of it. She tossed her point shoes and leotard in the trash, and told me flat out “no,” she wasn’t going. (Yes, she was and is headstrong! A fire tiger in Chinese Astrology. And girl fire tigers, as we’ve been told are known to be “disobedient”)

So I let her quit. I figured, she doesn’t like it. Why waste our time, my money, and this was really about her, not me. But one of the other mothers in the league of pink slipper ballet mothers couldn’t quite believe it when I announced that my daughter wouldn’t be a part of the recital, and in fact, wouldn’t be coming back to ballet at all.

“She owes it the rest of the girls. She made a commitment.” Well, obviously she and I had a difference of opinion on what commitment meant and what commitment had been made.

People love to tell you not to give up. Not to be a quitter. 

But what is it about quitting that strikes such a dissonant chord within us? You get labeled a loser, a flake, or irresponsible. But how do you know when you’re being a quitter, or just adopting the Wabi Sabi mantra of “let it go.”

Is life really all about accomplishments and finish lines? Or can life be more of a meandering garden path that stops us in our tracks at every different flower, every shady tree, every creek side bridge? We are allowed to change our minds, change our hearts, and change direction, are we not?
As a person who has many interests and has tried many things, people tend to not take you seriously. We are born into this world with the rules already in place, they’ve been established for a long, long, time and we need to abide by them. At least until we become aware enough, or independent enough (some would call it stubborn enough) to realize that not every societal rule need apply to our life. 
I understand the fear people have around quitting a job, a marriage, or dropping out of school in your final semester, and the pressure from others that accompanies it. But if we listen to our heart, our soul, and drown out the voices of all those rule makers, we will know exactly what we need to quit. And one of the first things on the list would be to quit letting those other voices shout louder than our own.

But, for as many things in our life that we should nurture and hang on to, there are just as many that we need to quit. 

And some of those things we need to quit doing right now.
  • Quit putting pressure on ourselves to make everyone else happy
  • Quit wasting so much time on social media
  • Quit saying you’re sorry for things you don’t need to be sorry about
  • Quit planning for a rainy day and go enjoy the sunny one
  • Quit waiting for the right time to start (it doesn’t exist)
  • Quit feeling as if we’re just not good enough (most everyone else feels that on some level, too)
  • Quit hanging out with people who drain our energy and bring nothing positive to the table
  • Quit waiting for life to be perfect. (Hint: It isn’t — but you already are)
  • Quit working at a job that you hate (go drive for Uber or Lyft till you find something else)
  • Quit thinking someone else is going to save you
  • Quit thinking that if you just had more, a new purchase or acquisition, then life would be good
  • Quit thinking you don’t already have everything you need to be happy
So go ahead and quit. Quit every little thing that doesn’t add to your growth, your good health, your happiness and your peace of mind. You’re not a quitter, you’re just letting that shit go. 

(Oh, and on a side note, my 4-year-old daughter who is now 30 is one of the most committed people I’ve ever met — never gives up and goes after what she wants. So, that theory, once a quitter, always a quitter, doesn’t hold water in my book!)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

WHAT IS YOUR SOUL WORK?

Your soul work could have everything to do with financial reward, or nothing at all.

Are we all born creative beings? While some say we are born being creative, others say it is a trait that has to be nurtured.This argument has been going on for a long time, and theories and opinions have differed.
But either way, we are all born with the innate ability and need to express ourselves.
As a teenager, writing was my drug of choice. Sad pathetic love songs that I could sing along my old Yamaha guitar. I wanted to be Joni Mitchell. I wanted to pour out all of my teenage angst in a song. I needed to be heard.
Soon after, the sad love songs turned into sad poetry. No beautiful flowers or love letters in my poems. No, I wrote more about the state of the world, or at least my view of it at the time. I wrote about homelessness, broken hearts, death of good friends, places lost in time.
It was a great place for me to vent, to escape. To who? Maybe no one. But setting my thoughts and the words free to escape into the universe not only made me feel heard but also made me feel complete. It made me feel as though I had accomplished something. It was my creative outlet, though I never came close to receiving a recording contract or to becoming a Walt Whitman.
I know many creatives who have put their art on the back burner.
It either wasn’t making them money, it was costing them too much money, or they didn’t have time to pursue their “hobby” as their life was too busy with their “real” jobs.
I heard a talk from Liz Gilbert once where she explained the difference between a hobby, a job, a career, and a vocation. In a nutshell she defined it as this:
· A hobby is something that you do for pleasure, relaxation, distraction, or mild curiosity. A hobby is something that you do in your spare time.
· A job is something you do to make money, to pay the bills, to make ends meet. Something most all of us have to have at some point in our life.
· A career is something that you build over the years with energy, passion, and commitment.
· And a vocation is your calling. The word “vocation” comes from the Latin verb “vocare” — meaning, “to call.” Your vocation is a summons that comes directly from the universe, and is communicated through the yearnings of your soul. Your soul calling could have everything to do with financial reward, or nothing at all.
Writing is my vocation. It has always been in my DNA. I could NOT not do it. It doesn’t matter if it is read, if my words are heard, or if they resonate with others. Even having one admirer can be enough. And mine was my mother.
Years ago I made her a little folder with all my poems and she loved them and proudly left the folder out on her coffee table for all to see.
My point is this, if you are an artist of any type, a writer, painter, ceramist, cook, you name it, you have to create. There is no other way around this unless you want to live with a big empty hole inside you. A feeling that something is missing.
So what is your vocation? What is your soul work?
Soul work is never insignificant. It doesn’t matter if others never see your work or buy your work. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make you a dime. It is an expression of your being, no less important than the love you share, the mark you make, and the legacy you leave.
It is in a sense, your duty to get it out of you and out into the world.
Somewhere. Whether your passion has been to write a Family Favourites Cookbook to share with your siblings or to write a New York Times best-seller, our gifts come in all shapes, sizes, and forms, and as they say, some of the best gifts come in small packages.
Share your gifts, for every one of them is a little piece of your soul, and that is a gift worth giving.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

You want to be right or you want to be happy?

I know many have said this, but I think the first time I heard it was years ago on the Dr. Phil show. There is plenty of his wise advice that I agree with, such as, if you didn’t get the love or support you needed as a child, give it to yourself now. Or, being from a broken home is better than living in one.
But the advice, do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?
I have a bit of an issue with this one. By asking this question, it is suggesting that in order to be happy we may be compromising our strong beliefs, our value systems, and our true essence.
I get that a lot of times ego gets in the way. That we think our own point of view is so important and superior that we must express it, and we fight for the listener to understand it.
Now, if this saying applies to simple things in life, like, I thought they used egg noodles in Chow Mein, and your partner is arguing that they use rice noodles, well, you just might want to drop the eye roll and let it go. It’s really not that important. And there are many of these of things that can come up on a daily basis, and it’s best to, as they say on the east coast, “Fuggetaboutit.” But, on the other hand, if it is something that really matters to you, that is a part of your belief system, a part of who you are, and you give in in order to keep the peace, then you are being dishonest to yourself. And you will find that the more you do this, the more it will begin to eat at you.
So, do you want to be someone other than you are?
That is the question that you need to weigh carefully. True health can’t be ours if we are living a lie, if we are not speaking our truth so as not to rock the boat. Because once we start giving in, little by little, letting go for the sake of argument, letting go so that someone else can be right, eventually we will no longer be right or happy.


(Need some help finding your voice? Standing up for yourself? Knowing your worth? Being true to yourself, no apologies necessary? Oh girl, then I've got a program for you!)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Authentically Abundant


Think affirmations don't work? Think again. I'm thrilled to be able to share this post from guest blogger, Angie Noll, an amazing Intuitive Life Coach from Auckland, New Zealand. I love her take on this and I think you will, too.


Desperate Affirmations
by Angie Noll

Are you doing your daily affirmations? Or are you being your daily affirmations?

Some people say that affirmations don’t work. Perhaps you’re one of the people who think that doing affirmations is a waste of time and that all this “positive thinking” stuff is just nonsense. After all, who has ever increased their bank balance by repeating, “Money flows easily into my life” over and over? Who has ever dropped down to their ideal weight by repeating, “I am now at my ideal body weight”?

No one, you say.
And you’d be right.

Doing affirmations versus being affirmations - There’s a subtle difference between doing affirmations and being affirmations, and it goes deeper than just “living from the end result.” It’s this difference that causes some people to say that affirmations don’t work, while they work just fine for others. The former are “doing” their affirmations while the latter are “being” their affirmations.

When we’re doing our affirmations, there’s a sense of desperation in needing them to be true for us, because when we’re repeating, “I now allow money to flow into my life,” while the money clearly is not flowing into our lives, it creates a problem inside of us. A problem that our body cannot ignore.

We can trick the mind into thinking new thoughts, but these new thoughts won’t become ingrained patterns, or truths, for us, if our body doesn’t also believe in them. And our body isn’t easily fooled. Our body knows the truth – it knows that our bank account is still as empty as it was before. Hence that feeling of desperation that we feel when we’re repeatedly telling ourselves something that obviously isn’t true.

The problem of Incongruence -

The problem that we create by saying affirmations that simply aren’t true for us, and that we can’t make ourselves believe to be true for us, is one of incongruence.

In other words, our body feels uncomfortable when our mind is trying to convince it of something that simply isn’t so. That’s why we feel false when we’re doing affirmations that are not true.

That’s also why being our affirmations – making them true for us in our mind and in our body – is so important to creating the success we desire.
How can we authentically be our affirmations?

Being our affirmations in an authentic manner, one that will feel true in our body while we say it, will create a state of internal congruence. Everything will work together and be true. What our mind says and what our body feels will be in harmony.

And only then will affirmations create the end result they’re supposed to create for you.

But how do you do this? How do you affirm to yourself that money is now flowing into your life in an authentic way when it clearly isn’t?
Well, obviously, you don’t.

What you can do, however, is make your affirmation broad enough to be true for you. Hence repeating, “I am abundant in every way” might feel truer for you, and therefore create a state of congruence between your mind and your body and it will still bring about the same result. Money is, after all, a form of abundance, is it not?

By keeping your affirmation general enough to be true for you, you can authentically open yourself up to all forms of abundance, including money.
So when you feel the sunshine on your face or when you enjoy the Starbucks coffee you have and recognize these as proof of abundance in your life, then you’re authentically being abundant. Even when you enjoy a tasty meal, a good book, great health, a walk on the beach or an after-work gym session, and you recognize these as forms of abundance, you’re still being authentically abundant.

Your body won’t feel any discomfort when you go through your day recognizing all the abundance that you experience, while simultaneously affirming to yourself that you are abundant. Then your body says, ‘Yes, I am abundant.’

And what you are, you attract more of. So the more abundance you recognize in your day, which is then congruent with the affirmation in your mind, the more your energetic vibration is one of abundance. And when you approach it like this, you won’t even be able to avoid abundance coming into your life, because you attract what you are energetically.

But the secret is in creating this state of congruence between your mind and your body. When your body feels like it’s being lied to, then you can repeat your affirmations until you’re blue in the face – you won’t attract anything except more incongruence.

Your Turn:

Take the affirmations that you’re currently working on, or create some to help you achieve something if you’re not already working with affirmations. Just pick one for now.

Write it in the specific form, and then next to it, write it in the more general form. Try saying them out loud a few times, and see for yourself if you can feel the incongruency that an affirmation that is obviously untrue creates in your body.

Then try saying the more general one, the one that you can find proof for in your life to back it up with. Can you feel how much easier this one is? How much more congruent and true it is?

As always, if you need more help with affirmations, contact me.



**Author Bio**
Angie Noll is an Intuitive Life Coach who has worked with people from all corners of the globe. Her coaching service is a unique combination of life coaching and channelling messages from the Angels. She has helped people with problems ranging from personal development to entrepreneurship.  Described as being “highly effective” and “life-changing” for her clients, Angie brings passion, integrity and a heart-centred focus to her coaching sessions. Subscribe to her newsletter and receive  her free “Easy 4-step Manifestation Process” to start changing your life today.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Banking on that Hollywood Happy Ending


Sometimes loss can be overwhelming. There are many different degrees of loss, from losing your favorite ring, job, pet, or loved one. There is no way around it. We are humans, and in the end we lose everything. Every single thing. Unless of course, you believe there is an afterlife and you will be in a better place that will have everything you ever need or ever loved. You will be reunited with all of your old pets, your family, old spouses (hmm, I'm still trying to figure out which one will want to see me, and what if he remarried, will this be some type of communal living heaven? I'm guessing so) and even that old garnet ring that you loved so much will be there. An optimist, a believer, or a dreamer, would believe that we lose nothing, that all things are returned to us in time.


But here I go again on this love thing. Damn this love thing. This human need to be needed. To be loved. You barely get through one relationship when you start to seek out the next. All living things have that innate desire to be with others who care for them, that comfort them, that have a genuine interest in them. To be able to come home to that someone. To have them notice if you are 3 hours late. To actually worry when you don't call.

There's nothing more exhilarating than that feeling that comes from infatuation, from falling in like, then falling in love. You look different, you radiate a loving positive energy that people pick up on. All of a sudden everyone wants you, everyone wants to be around you. You can't do any wrong. You just won the lotto, the beauty pageant, American Idol, whatever rocks your world, it is now rockin'. But when you have lost love many times, there is also an underlying fear that accompanies that great high. What if it goes away?

I'm still damaged from a past relationship, this I know. I tried hard to heal, to get over it, to put a time limit on my suffering. I forced the square peg into the round hole. Most of it fit. There were definitely gaps on all sides. I still cry at certain songs, certain memories. I lost everything in that relationship. I had already lost my home, my pets, several friends from my prior divorce. But this one took the cake. Again, I lost my home, my job, and even my town, but the biggest loss was losing myself. To deny that it was devastating would be foolish, and a lie. Wearing pride as a mask is one of my few (ok, maybe many) flaws that I have. I hate to admit defeat. It comes from a long line of competitiveness in my family. We do not fail.  We do not hang our heads and play the victim. I had been playing the victim.

Then I saw the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” The movie is set in jewel-colored India, so of course, I am immediately sucked in. I love being transported to such exotic locales, places that are so foreign and mysterious. Like the heart.



It features many of the great English actors, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and Tom Wilkinson. It is a story about life, love, loss, and hope. It will make you reflective, it will make you cry, it will make you laugh, but most importantly it will remind you that it ain’t over till it’s over! I'm playing my movie critic card here and highly recommending this movie if you haven't seen it. If there is the slightest hole in your heart, you will leave with it filled with a whole lot of hope and a renewed sense of what's possible.


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