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Day 7: Daring to Be With It ALL. #100DaySelfConnection Experiment

Day 7: Daring to Be With It ALL. #100DaySelfConnection Experiment

100 days of Self Connection. One hour of stillness a day. I’ve made it to day seven. Today I went on Periscope to share what I’ve experienced and here is the replay. Highlights include Sharing HOW I manage with two little people to take care of WHAT do I actually do “it” ; and, What I’ve experienced inside AND outside of myself as a result of this experience (with one very surprising item off my “to-do” list complete without procrastination which is a MIRACLE). And lots of good discussion about why I think this experiment has the power to change the world (ya, that’s all).   Enjoy and feel free to hop in on the conversation over on the Facebook page x...

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What To Do When Daring to Suck… really F*cking SUCKS.

What To Do When Daring to Suck… really F*cking SUCKS.

First, let me explain my absence in writing and say #sorryNOTsorry for the length of this post (but much like this process)… it’s a doozy and totally worth it! In June, I returned from my own Daring to Suck adventure from an exclusive (aka highly priced) make-me-or-break-me writing retreat I attended … and since then, I’ve been in hiding. Or should I say… in healing. Me not sharing publicly about what happened caused a level of inner conflict and paralysis I haven’t felt since I first got pushed off the ledge of my “practical” life 7 years ago. I told myself I conveniently needed time to “process” it all but days turned into weeks and now MONTHS. I’m finally calling bullshit and speaking my truth. Why has it taken me so long? I guess like many of us, I believed my “truth” would hurt or harm people I truly care about. It wasn’t their intention for me to experience what I did so I thought it was good enough to express privately with my inner circle. But how am I serving the world if I leave the SUCK out from Daring to Suck? My mojo is rooted in shining light through the dark and not running away from it – so here is what happened. I went into the retreat wanting to be ALL IN and in true Daring To Suck style, I put my heart, soul and money on the table in the hopes it (“I”) would be received, seen, and celebrated towards my goal.  A part of me wanted to be lifted up like Simba from the Lion King for all to behold! And I don’t hold this against me or think it’s wrong to want to be embraced. I think we all deserve to experience this level of acknowledgement for the incredible and unique beings we are. Let’s just say, the first part totally happened. I was bold, emotional, passionate and enthusiastic about my hearts cause. I spoke about starting a Daring to Suck Revolution of Empathetic Badasses – encouraging open hearts to move forward with a greater understanding of their emotions, empowered with the wisdom our hearts bring to lead the change the world needs. How to live openly and daringly, without armour. To trust the strength and leadership in vulnerable authenticity. To be bold and BE who they are, DO what they were born to do and FEEL their way through life with the intellect playing a much needed support role. I shared the most intimate and emotional writing I’ve ever written and laid it all out on the line. It came out BIG and EMOTIONAL. As it should have (I’m channeling some serious shit) and it felt so good to share it without holding back anymore. Ooohhh I went for it. Bigtime. So… was I held up and Simba’d? No. At least it didn’t feel (or look) like it. What immediately followed my emotional unload was a logical discussion to make sense of what I shared. With tears still wet on my cheeks, my heart became a project to be figured out and left feeling like the awkward “fart” in the room that nobody wanted to address. And in this, I was left isolated, confused, disconnected, alone, rejected and worst of all… feeling misunderstood. I was asked to come back to the table with more stories, something different, more sellable or marketable. I was asked to “dance” and deliver. Sweet jesus, just remembering this makes me prickly…   Because it SUCKED. Like really really...

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The Four Agreements #2: Don’t Take Anything Personally.  (Day 11) #25DaysOfPresence

The Four Agreements #2: Don’t Take Anything Personally. (Day 11) #25DaysOfPresence

In the pursuit for more presence in life (and over the holidays), yesterday I summarized one of  the first Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, from his book that blows up self-limiting beliefs through a simple and effective “code of personal conduct”. Today, I get into one of the most FREEING agreements of them all. Don’t take anything personally. BOOM! When you begin to know the storyteller that resides inside yourself  (review agreement 1), you understand the way others act around and towards you is really fueled by THEIR storyteller. Basically, projecting the lies they’ve gathered throughout their life experience. This is where you can finally know (and possibly say) – “This about you, not me.” Knowing this, helps us disengage in the pattern of being ‘hooked’ by their words and believing the biggest lie which was that how they were acting or what they were saying was because there was something wrong with us. When we were kids we never had a choice about what to believe because everything we agreed to believe was imposed on us.  Sadly we create a lot of our stories as innocent children who interpret these interactions in very simple terms. “I must have done something wrong. I’m not okay. Who I am and what I do is bad. I am bad.” Now, we have the opportunity we didn’t have  when we were kids. We get to tell a new story. Our new story can be based on the truth that resided in us BEFORE we grew up and absorbed the lies (beliefs, expectations, roles, responsibilities) imposed on us. Look at babies. They are the fullest, truest expression of themselves. They don’t quiet themselves down for fear of upsetting anyone or hurting their feelings. They don’t play small or shrink. They are larger than life in terms of their spirit. They are open to give and receive love to the fullest. In not taking anything personally anymore, we liberate our self from the suffering of believing it was always about us, our value or our worth. It never had anything to do with us – and in this new place we can STOP continuing the cycle of spreading emotional poison. Allowing this agreement into my life, liberated me in ways I never imagined. It had be immediately become acutely aware of other people acting out their stories and paying attention to how I interpreted those actions. I became a skilled detective about what was mine and what was theirs.  With every old reaction and dicey interaction, I was empowered to examine my thoughts and look for the story I was telling myself about what was happening. Doing this allowed me to sift out what felt really true and what felt like someone else’s story. It didn’t mean I became immune to reacting or having my feelings hurt. With practice and the willingness to get curious about what is really going on in me, I continue to learn more my own evolution and grow more confident in my own skin reconciling all the misunderstandings I’ve collected over the years. As these layers continue to unravel and disappear (note there is no end destination) my level of authenticity increases and with it come a LOT MORE FUN. Not taking anything personally also allows more room and space for compassion to show up when people are on the attacking. Sometimes its possible to rise above it and love them regardless of what’s shaking out and other times we know to walk away from these experiences. Either way, we become more empowered in our own experience. All...

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4 Steps to Grace & Recovery When You Are Tired and Missing ‘Ignorance is Bliss’. (Day 4) #25DaysOfPresence

This ‘being present’ movement is great on paper, but there were moments today when I was pining for my ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ days. Those lost and unconscious days also came with 50lbs extra pounds on my body, feeling disconnected and hanging on my hook waiting for the next person to need me. But it had it’s benefits. Like the hiding from the world. There was comforting darkness. There was sweet avoiding and being unwilling or interested in addressing the feelings I hadn’t processed over decades. It was just me, my surface facade of “everything is fine”, my bathrobe and Turner Classic Movie Station to keep me distracted and entertained. Now THAT was blissful. I use to believe that to “be present” I would walk around in some altered, zen-like state sitting in an ashram chilling with the Dalai Lama. The most peaceful person on earth. What I know today is really quite the opposite. It has been described that to be present is the simple act of being with whatever you are doing – fully. To watch and witness it all. To be open and willing to experience whatever presents itself inside and outside of you. This is where master gurus say they meditate 24 hours a day – meaning WHILE they are living life. Like gardening, walking or talking to friends. That they are fully there and not thinking about the next thing to say or do. They are in the moment… and the next… and the next. I’m good with that, as long as I’m walking through a warm, lush field of swaying grass at sunset on an all expenses paid vacation. That would be EASY to be with. But what about when I am wrestling my 2 year old to change his explosive diaper, have kids tormenting each other for fun and no clue what to feed them or me for dinner (which is now an hour late) because I chose to spend that hour cleaning up an unplanned video for my next ‘Daring to Suck’ challenge? (…more on this tomorrow). Was I present? Yes. Fully. Was it blissful? No. I felt the buzziness in my stomach from juggling too much. I noticed my shortness of temper and lack of patience with my kids who only wanted my love and attention. However, I also noticed I caught myself before it got worse. I felt my feet on the ground and took a deep breath in and out. I got down on the floor to read them a book and shake off the mounting tension. I smelled their hair and noticed how grown up and helpful my five year old is all of the sudden. I laughed watching my 2 year old struggle to hold a ‘grown up’ spoon. And in doing so, the light and space inside my body came back… phew. This is sweet recovery from the practice of presence. Some days ignorance is easy to pine for when we feel overwhelmed, but recovery and grace are pretty cool bonuses in the world of presence too. We all know that life isn’t a field of tall grass every day. It’s  messy and awkward. We have voices in our heads, stories we become aware of and time constraints that bring pressure. We bump into people who see things differently and there are disagreements and we can’t control how the world shows up in our presence. But we CAN control our responses and our recovery. These moments are our do-overs. And the only way to be back in the drivers...

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How To Survive, Navigate and Master Difficult Emotions: 10 Ways To Gain Control When They Take You Out!

      We’ve all been there. LIFE happens and we are taken out at the knees. Drowning in a sea of hurt feelings, confusion, loss of control, sadness or grief – to name a few. Without awareness or tools, we can swirl in turbulence for longer than we need to, feeling frustrated with no resolution, no clarity and feeling like we are going around in circles. In sharing my own experiences of emotional tidal waves,  I also offer Ten Empowering Lessons and Insights  to gain new perspective and understanding in how we can use our emotions as powerful opportunities for learning, personal growth and freedom. People often ask me “How are you so comfortable expressing your emotions?” (or why is it so easy for me) and the truth is it is NEVER easy. The one things I have that they may not is a faith that feeling my emotions is worth it. I, like many people, use to see emotions as inconvenient, unpredictable, messy, weak-looking and hurtful. I would avoid the ‘bad’ ones at any cost. Now, however, I know my emotions serve to free me in my life. Through full expression and release. Emotions show up to facilitate deep healing if I allow them too. Sound simple? It is. And it’s the hardest, most rewarding work we will ever do in this life. The Time Life (and Death) Took Me Out In the spring of 2008 and newly married, my husband and I learned we were expecting our first baby. Me, being a mother and nurturer to friends and family my whole life, was caught off guard by how scared I was at learning the news. I remember seeing the positive pee test sitting on the ledge of the tub, knees up to my chest, staring shellshocked at the dripping tap. The water cold and feeling like I was having an out of body experience watching my husband burst into joyful tears and laughter at the news. He was me. And I was… terrified and baffled at my response. Why am I so confused, I wondered. Where was the immediate joy? The happiness? As time went on with some education about my new experience and patient support, I slowly began to relax into motherhood and eventually embraced it to the point of finally feeling excitement and wanting to plan. We waited the standard “safe zone” of 3 months and told our friends and family which was a celebration I will never forget. This was where the joy was! I was elated and ready for all of it. The following morning I woke up to cramps, bleeding and realized I was miscarrying. I struggle to articulate the physical and emotional chaos that transpired over the hours and days that followed.  However, a flash of words and scenes play out in my mind… rug pulled out from under, a kick in the stomach, complete terror at what I was experiencing, raw survival, cruel awareness, bitter confusion, anger,  answerless questions, the intimacy of shared pain and unpredictable tears that felt they would never end. I lost total control — of my body, emotions, mind and my spirit. Up was down. Left was right. Woven within this chaos, a thread existed that I clung to. It suggested in whispers that I would survive and could get through this… eventually. On one particularly angry day, I called a friend who allowed me to share the conflicting emotions I was struggling with – one day feeling strong and ‘okay’ and the...

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An Unexpected Love Song for 2014

I wanted to title this post “Some lessons don’t land the first (or tenth time) around” but who knew that my lack of self care over the holidays would result in me discovering my anthem (and love song) for 2014. The past month had me completely sucked into the cliché of holiday chaos. On several moments I heard myself saying “I’d like to slow down and just take a moment to breathe” or in other words, practicing what I preach. Self love, self care, self anything! But did I? Not really. Whenever I tried to ‘check in’ with me, I felt this sense of anxiousness and frustrated that my peace wasn’t coming fast enough so I didn’t want to stay too long in those quiet places to let whatever was in me come up and out (feelings, thoughts, writing) – so, I rushed myself to just get back to real life and get through it. You’d think I’d see the signs to stop and pay attention but apparently I thought I had it handled. Nope. The price I paid was my peace, feeling ungrounded and not experiencing my life however it was showing up.  My husband (God love him) paid the price of having to watch me melt down a few days before Christmas and then after when the feelings were still lingering, instead of just being with my ‘stuff’ and giving it some time to figure it out, I chose to ignore, get my head down and keep going. What resulted was I felt edgy, more emotional, reactive and definitely less grateful and loving.  As much as I ‘tried’, I struggled to feel present and found myself doing my way through it all because it felt easier (aka more comfortable). By the grace of all things holy, there were ‘peak-a-boo’ moments where I witnessed the magic in my kids faces as they lit up, felt the love exchanged between me and those around me, but before I knew it, the decorations were down and the New Year has come and gone.  Like I said, some lessons take a few times around until they stick. After a very late night ringing in the New Year with our kids, I woke up today from a much needed nap with the John Legend song All of Me playing in my head with a thought that I couldn’t shake and had to write down – It’s how we’re in relationship with our self that creates our reality (our happiness, suffering, joy etc). I pulled this song up on YouTube, listening with this message in mind and the tears fell hard and fast.  In this moment, I found my new perspective and platform for 2014. That it all begins within and to LOVE ME– NO MATTER WHAT. I say these words to my husband and boys all the time but what if I said it to myself and really meant it? What would it be like to love all my “curves and edges” and my “perfect imperfections”, my crazy emotions and thoughts – and to stick by me when things get uncomfortable, be loving and have my back even when I’m acting or feeling like an jerk? What happens when I give my all, to me? “You are my end and my beginning, even when I lose I’m winning.” More tears. This is a song about unconditional love and I’m claiming it for...

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