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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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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Don't Quote Me

There's nothing like a good quote to fill you with a sense of self-worth, empowerment, and a feeling that all is right with the world, even if only momentarily.
Facebook has become flooded with feel-good quotes, posted and dished out to lift our spirits and make us better people. The problem with these quotes or just about any other good intention is that after we have read them or set them, we don't necessarily live them, when what we need to do is take that quote and turn it into a life-changing lesson. They need to have more of an impact and get more recognition than a quick, Oh that is so true- earning their place on a coffee mug or getting pinned on the "great quotes" board on Pinterest. We need to have them on display somewhere, on a mirror, on our forehead, written like a college kid cheat sheet in the palm of our hands, transcribed on our soul. I guess similar to prayer, cutting back on calories and brushing our teeth, we can't just do it once and think it will make a difference. Life requires a whole lot of repetition.
They say that we learn from our mistakes, our challenges, and our sorrows. That when things are going along swimmingly we’re not learning much, except I guess, how good life can be. So in reality, if we want to learn, to grow, to gain a boatload of wisdom, we should be welcoming any challenge that comes our way. In fact, sending out an open invitation to Mr. and Mrs. Trials and Tribulations, putting out the welcome mat and changing the sheets in the guest room.
I don't know about you, but I do prefer the "life can be good" lesson plan. But it seems it doesn't work that way and we need to get that well-rounded education. And some lessons you just don't get at all. You have to take the class over and over again, maybe try a different school, a different professor, and even then there is no guarantee you will pass. These lyrics from Kenny Loggins sum it up nicely.
Some lessons are forever
Never need to change
Write and the word is written
Then we turn the page
But some lessons take forever
time and time again
Caught in a battle that you can't surrender
And you never win

  

When I saw the quote below I had to share it with you. It made me laugh. And in fact, it encourages me to get out there, lose any fear around failure, and learn some more.
mistakes
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Your Next Chapter

I hate my job. I don't deserve to be loved. My life is boring. I can't lose weight. I'm not good enough.

Certain things we say to ourselves and accept as the absolute truth. We carry these beliefs or attitudes with us into each new day and they become a part of our make-up.

We have heard these things enough (whether we've said them to ourselves or they’ve been said to us by others) to not question them anymore. But we should question them. We should question everything. This is our life, our very own, and it is our choice how we want to live it and who we want to be.  

Have you ever wanted to write a book? Well, you already are. You are the author of your life. Like a book, some chapters are extraordinary and others leave something to be desired. If you don’t like how your story is unfolding you have the power to change and write a remarkable next chapter. What parts of your life would you like to change? What things do you want to do? What really matters to you?

Many of us spend much of our time dwelling on the past, what we did wrong or how we were wronged. Instead of looking at our past with kindness, knowing that every day is a learning experience, we beat ourselves up for bad choices we’ve made and certain actions that we’ve taken, always entertaining the “why’s and what if’s.” Our power comes with the control we have over today.

Look at your life up to this point. Who are you as a person? What do you value? What do you want to do with the rest of your life? When someone tells your story, how would you like it to read? Now is the time to do some more character development and start a new chapter.

But how? If you find yourself using your past as an excuse for why you can’t get ahead in life, you need to make peace with it. Love that person (you) and all she has been through. Be gentle, be a best friend. Give her a little motherly bird push and a big mama bear hug. Forgive. Now move on. (Yes, I know I’ve simplified this, but you can actually go back and rewrite your past. If you're interested and not sure how to start, contact me for information.)


Give yourself a powerful voice. Don’t be afraid to be heard. If you don’t speak your truth you won’t be able to communicate the essence of your soul, which is who you really are. And if you are speaking with a voice that isn’t your own, you will always feel less than, unauthentic and have a disconnect with your own self. 

In your story, surround yourself with notable characters. Just like in a great novel, fill your pages with people who make you feel more alive. People who help you grow, inspire, motivate, and cause you to think and look at things in new ways. Look at the people you now surround yourself with. Are they happy, optimistic, enthusiastic, adventurous, supportive, fun? Make sure the people in your life are the types of characters that you want in your story.

There are lots of ways to take control and live the life that you truly want to live. In my practice as a Wellness Coach and Feng Shui Practitioner, I help women reach their full potential by examining all the different life areas, setting goals and designing a personalized road map for them to get there. The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of life you want to live.

So, don’t forget ~ you are the author and main character of this book ~ make it a best seller.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Snap out of it!


“Your outlook on life is a direct reflection on how much you like yourself.” ~ Lululemon

Can you imagine what your life would be like if you valued yourself, believed in your worth? I’m talking, really and sincerely liking yourself?

I look back on the years of my life and can see how much my self-doubt, self-consciousness, low-self esteem has kept me from living a fully realized life. What a shame. The things that we worry about, even though to us they are very real and valid, are usually minor in the big picture.

Are you feeling you are not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, perfect enough? Yeah, I know. Those things haunt me at times, too. But it’s a waste of time, and more importantly, it’s not true! You are perfectly imperfect just as you are.

You have been saying these things to yourself for years, or someone else has been doing the dirty work and it takes time to unlearn what we have taken on as truth.

One way to start turning this around is to practice the negativity diet. Anytime you hear that voice in your head saying something negative to you, immediately state it back to yourself in the positive. Meaning, if you hear, “You’re not going to get this job, you’re not smart enough, or you’re too old, you’re not pretty enough, or you can fill in the blank, STOP and rephrase that negative. “I am exactly right for this job.” I am good enough. I am more than enough.


The key is consistency. Put a wristband on your wrist if it helps and when you find yourself engaging in self-criticism, give it a good snap. And if that criticism is coming from other people, it is time to distance yourself from them. Even if it’s family, you can love them from a distance. Surround yourself with people who lift you up, who inspire and motivate you. Life and your world will become a much more beautiful place.


Friday, February 17, 2017

BREATHE IN LOVE

Quoting Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”

We all know that this isn’t the easiest of assignments. But, the way we feel about ourselves affects every other decision we make and determines the quality of our relationships, our work, our today's and tomorrows.

Feeling worthy and lovable requires us to see ourselves with fresh eyes - those of acceptance, love, and respect.  And these things can only come from within. But convincing ourselves of that doesn’t always come easy and is an ongoing process.

There are many ways in which we can begin to change our story, to view ourselves through a different lens. But we must take baby steps because if we are handed too big of a to-do-list, we can become overwhelmed and not do anything at all. So I thought instead of making one of those big lists (which I truly love to do, I’m a list gal) I’d give you one thing to try - this simple breathing technique which helps to fill us with love and release our negative thoughts and emotions. This is called the Inhale/Exhale Method, which I learned while attending The BTB Masters Training Program back in the 90’s to become a certified Feng Shui Practitioner.

1. Before you even get out of the bed in the morning and before you drift off to sleep at night, remind yourself that you are worthy and do this simple breathing technique.

METHOD:

1.  Inhale a long breath (through the nose)

2. Exhale through the mouth

3.  On the inhale, visualize clean, white, loving energy filling your body.

4.  On the exhale, visualize any negative thoughts and feelings leaving your body (you can visualize this breath as gray, turning to black on the last and longest breath of the exhale.

5. Repeat this nine times.

When you are done, envision yourself loved and surrounded by a warm bright light.

I hope you enjoy this. Next week I’ll send you another simple technique that you can add to your repertoire :)




Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Holding the Hand of Fear


How many times in your life have you said, “I’ve always wanted to…” or, “I would love to...” and then never gone on to do what you’ve always wanted or would’ve loved to do?

For most of us, jobs and occupations are a necessity. It’s definitely not the majority that gets to pursue their creative dream as a means to completely support themselves financially. 

But too often we confuse our soul work with something that needs to make us money. And if that doesn’t happen, we throw that calling, that soul work, into the consignment pile. Discard it as folly. And get back to getting busy at our day job. But it always feels like something's missing.
 And that's because it is. 

So, what holds us back from doing those things that we once dreamt of? Whether it's writing a book, taking up painting, auditioning for Community Theater, hosting a local cooking club, or any other creative endeavor, it usually comes down to fear. Our fear of not being good enough, talented enough, smart enough, educated enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, witty enough, funny enough, outgoing enough - and, then along with the not enoughs, we throw in a whole bunch of terrible too’s; too old, too tired, too busy, too fat, too broke, too scared.

When it all gets said and done, the fear we have is nothing more than a fear that we will be judged. Someone might criticize us, make us feel less than. Someone might not like us, or the work we do.

These fears and doubts don’t go away on their own, and truthfully, we all carry a certain amount of fear around with us. Even the most seasoned actors can still get stage fright before a performance, or established authors or artists worry about what the critics might say. But they do their craft anyway.


We can start by practicing self-love exercises, such as Mirror Work by Louise Hay. Or, start using a gratitude journal every night, and a mantra or positive affirmation every morning.



But we also need to befriend that fear. To say, "It’s ok, but of the two of us, I'm the bigger one, I'm in control." You are the one that gets to set up the game, make the rules, and just like a young child, the fear, can take your hand, but it has to walk in the direction you chose.
 
Give yourself permission to knock down those walls (like Towanda in Fried Green Tomatoes) and tell yourself you are enough (because you already are) and ask yourself, “What’s the worse that can happen if I pursue this passion of mine?” And be honest with yourself. Then ask yourself, “What’s the best that could happen if I pursue this passion of mine?” Then close your eyes and let your imagination fly.

For motivation, inspiration, and community, join me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/boomerwomen/





Sunday, January 8, 2017

Damn you, weather!

We want everything to be perfect.

Right now I'm waiting to go to the airport to catch a flight up to Portland. My grandson who is only 8 months old, is having surgery tomorrow and I want to be there! But they are having ice and snow storms in the Pacific Northwest and over 100 fights have been cancelled as I sit here. Waiting. Wondering. Am I going to make it up there tonight? And if I do, will there will an Uber driver that is willing to risk his life to come and pick me up? I shiver just thinking about it. (It's a balmy 65 degrees today here in Santa Barbara.)


I already had a panicky reaction when I heard this news. I started to rack my brain as to how I could get up there tomorrow before the scheduled surgery time of 4:00 pm. I have to be there! I instantly started feeling like an inadequate grandmother, a mother who would be letting her daughter down. A failure in a sense. But I took in a few deep breaths, calmed myself, and remembered a saying I had heard before - "beating ourselves up only gives us bruises."

It's hard when things don't go our way. When roadblocks (such as weather) show up and interfere with our plans. These things are out of our control and yet we still believe deep down that we are in control of our lives. And we are in control of quite a bit of it. But more so we get to control the way we feel or react to things that happen in our lives, not the actual happening.

So I will keep checking my flight status, hopeful but without expectation. I'm not even going to make a Plan B or think about it until, and if, I see that the flight has been cancelled. I will trust that I am exactly where I need to be - and will somehow be in Portland by this time tomorrow.