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What it feels like to GIVE UP and DIE (in order to finally LIVE).

The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to LIVE ~ Mitch Albom via GIPHY One of the most MIRACULOUS moments I get to witness is when I dare someone who is struggling to embody GIVING UP.   They immediately feel panic.    “WHAT?! But… I’ll… What will… Um…”   I respond gently with “I get a sense you’ve done things a certain way for so long… why not try the total opposite on just to see what might be there for you? I promise you can go back to the hard, trying way after if you want.”    Most times, their curiosity (and fatigue) agrees to play the scariest game of pretend … ever.   How do they choose to express “giving up”?   * Some commit fully and fall on their back onto their beds as if bungy jumping into the abyss.   * Some lie back and arrange their limbs as if a chalk outline is about to be drawn.   * Some curl up into a ball and pull over the covers to mimic the darkness they expect.   * Some squirm and flail… until they drop down into the full experience of it.   And then “it” begins…   They metaphorically fall down the well and feel as if they are drowning in the tidal wave they’ve been trying to outrun for decades.   They feel the struggle to keep their head above the water but then give up the fight and allow the floodgates to carry them through one of the ugliest cries of their life.   They surrender and wonder if this means they are dying. And they stick with it even though they are scared. Their soul knows they need this.   Because they are right, parts of them ARE dying.   > The parts that innocently believed they needed to FIGHT and take ACTION to be worthy, loved or successful.   > The parts that stand guard to make sure they don’t get hurt or compromised again.   > The parts that never seem to rest and always feel the need to be useful or productive.   When they finally land and hit the “bottom” (aka the truth) of themselves, something unexpected happens.   They take the BIGGEST breath as if they are coming up for air.   They notice how different the breath feels in this new place – still unsure of exactly where they are they stay open because this feels a hell of a lot better than the falling part.   Somethings caught them at the bottom.   The feelings settle and their breath becomes the focus. They realized they haven’t taken a FULL breath in as long as they can remember and it’s a welcomed experience.   There’s a shift.   It’s like there is more space and they stretch out a bit more. The previously feared and foreign place is almost asking them to get comfortable and look around. What’s here?   Because it feels so much better, they seem to relax and curiously explore this unexpected sense of support and space noticing it’s replaced the fear, terror and panic.   They feel held by something so solid.   Themselves.   They find a sense of peace they haven’t felt in forever.   How can this be?   The calm AFTER the storm.   There’s a few laughs at what just...

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Surviving Sudden Death: Healing regret, remorse and unforgivable choices when things end without warning.

Surviving Sudden Death: Healing regret, remorse and unforgivable choices when things end without warning.

Hey Dad, I’ve heard people discuss how time is a manmade construct. That it’s not linear but more like a series of multiple realities running parallel alongside another. I mention this because with the first anniversary of your death coming tomorrow,  I’m been having my own torturous experience of this concept. For the past two weeks especially, it’s felt as if I can ‘see’ me moving through life in the weeks leading up to the day you died – like I’m trapped on the other side of soundproof glass as a silent observer unable to warn my oblivious self as to what’s coming. I’ve watched me and my family go camping with the boys over spring break, take uneventful trips to the park and even visit the ER with my youngest after he decided to swallow a steel bolt. Just the other day (a year ago) I joked on Facebook about the worst right of “passage” I never expected to move through with the weirdest ‘treasure hunt’ ahead of me… it was all so funny. The present-day me presses her hands and forehead against the glass and begins to scrutinize every decision I made – or didn’t make…  Why didn’t I go see you? I don’t understand… what were we doing that was so important to NOT go and see you? It was a long weekend and only a short ferry ride. I was off with the kids for TWO WEEKS! And I never saw you? The wave of regret that follows punches me square in the guts. Every breath in brings a frantic sense of angst, panic covered in remorse. It’s like the present-day me believes I can actually change the way things went down but at the same time tortured and aware that I can’t. I just get to watch… wishing and begging I’d make a different choice. If given the chance I’d exhaust myself trying to reach this oblivious self, if I knew it were possible. Why didn’t I go see you? I find it difficult to be in my own skin with this sentence looming over me so heavy it hurts.  There’s no ‘good enough’ answer. I just didn’t go. Regret and remorse are like poison and leave a thick layer of resentment to settle in that actually burns away in blame. Even though my logical brain tries to clean up the mess… but I didn’t know! How could I have known? As much as I know I had no clue you were going to die, I can’t shake this tug-o-war experience I’m having. So I try to ask better questions – like why am I being shown these so clearly, feeling like I should have or could have? It’s all so pointless and painful as swirl  in a sea of  missed opportunities to see and feel you one last time. Our Last Memory We spoke and ‘saw’ each other for the last time – two days before you died. It was Easter Sunday. The two things stand out most – first, that Mom held the camera on you as we Facetimed and I almost said something to her (as she deserved some screen time too) but left it alone; and second, I remember the full-bodied laugh you gave when Beau yelled into the camera at you “Happy Easter Santa!” Why Santa? Because your thick head of white hair was a few inches longer than normal and the beard I NEVER saw growing up was coming through … in white/grey patches. It was awful. We heard you were growing it out but to see it was another thing entirely. Mom wanted to see what you’d look like, so you...

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How to make doubt-proof decisions with clarity and confidence (a.k.a. like a BOSS).

How to make doubt-proof decisions with clarity and confidence (a.k.a. like a BOSS).

There’s nothing more dangerous than throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks (and call it a decision making process). And yet that’s what a lot of us do when we’ve had a few hard falls. How do you make decisions? For me, in the past making decisions meant trying a variety of strategies to gain clarity that included things like the classic “pro/con” list, polling others, trust my gut, go with the flow or take the stance that  “its all good no matter what ~ the Universe has my back” or even flipping a coin. Hell, I’ve thrown caution to the wind, grabbed my faith and leapt into Life expecting it to catch me .. only for it to step aside and have me slam face first onto a sticky dance floor. The Unknown Damage These approaches (albeit some rooted in good intentions) left me with limiting thoughts and unhealthy perspectives that left a residue of doubt on my heart and soul as to whether I could be trusted to make decisions and choices I could rely on.  And these ghosts don’t go away with time. These moments leave negative imprints and impressions that stick with some us for a lifetime (a.k.a how emotional baggage is created) and they collected like doubt-dust bunnies in the corners of our heart – reminders of disappointments and misjudgements that only served to haunt us every time we “try again” and stick our neck out to take a risk or make a decision that might impact the rest of our life. This is where indecision makes us feel weak, induces anxiety and a slurry of hellish feelings. Here are some common examples of the bags we innocently end up holding when we aren’t aware of what the words and thoughts are leaving behind: What am I doing wrong? (doubt, self blame and judgement) I don’t seem to get it / must be missing something (guilt, self abandonment) I must be jinxed (wrong, bad, unlovable) Why do things never work out for me (victimhood) I must not be meant for success (unloved, unworthy) I can’t be trusted (distrust / self betrayal) As humans, our instinct seeks to blame someone or something when our needs or desires aren’t met and we almost always end up pinning the blame all on ourself or others with no more clarity than we began with ~ blame doesn”t offer a solution and the cycle of bullshittery continues!   Breaking the Cycle As I launch into a week of self discovery with my people, I felt inspired to offer you a taste of what can help you begin making solid decisions with more ease and clarity in a way that’ll blow your mind. Whether it’s going to a baby shower or place to go on vacation to accepting a new job or moving house – there will be NO coin tosses involved or spaghetti thrown. How do I start making clear decisions? Take time to understand and know your own unique set of values, what they mean for you and how to use them.  And by values I mean “what do you feel to be most important or beneficial” in the moment or for your life as a whole. Values can be words or phrases – as long as it meets the above criteria ~ like Love, Family, Time by myself, Excitement, Learning, Expansion, Solitude, Connection and more… How to use them: First, consider them as your FIRST tool to review based on what you want more of in your life in order to feel fulfilled. And that this isn’t...

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What is your Collateral Beauty of 2016?

What is your Collateral Beauty of 2016?

Last night I saw the movie Collateral Beauty. It’s message was clear… Stay open to see the beauty in the most damaging and difficult experiences imaginable. Be changed by loving and appreciating them for ALL they brought – the joy and the pain.  And here we are. The last day of the 2016 and at the prompting of my friend and spiritual badass, Jill Prescott, I decided to declare and acknowledge the gifts of my year. Not just what I experienced but HOW I showed up and what I SAW and learned about myself in the process. It’s a powerful list to write and have in my back pocket. It’s empowered me to know it, say it out loud and now, share it. Everything that happens to us is a teacher and a guide. Everything. So don’t waste an opportunity to be changed and grown by your own experiences. To be shown your own brilliance, capacity and impact. Throw it a heroes parade. And don’t fear what you might see or learn because when you get closer… it’s ALL seeded in Love and the Ferocity of spirit it takes to live this life and to be here fully. Don’t just rush to complete the test. Be a witness to what you learned. Soak it all in. So, here is the “dare”… Take 15 minutes and explore not just what happened but how you changed. Document it and honour the love lost, joys gained and understanding acquired at every turn. Honour and accept your year just as it was without shining light on the “best” parts. Because they are all BEST parts if you are willing to see it that way. Because they made you who you are today. We are badasses, each and every one of us if we allow us to be seen by ourselves this way. Give yourself the gift of seeing ALL of you. And to love you for all of it. Below is my list and know that yours will look and feel different because it’s YOURS. So honour you and it for however it shows up, with love and learning as your intention. If you want someone to witness your declaration, share it below in the comments, email me or head over to Empathetic Badass  group if you need a safe space to be witnessed an honoured too. Much love and good luck warrior x Keri-Anne My “love” list <3  Launched and FILLED two group programs at the same time, with ease! Had meaningful and life altering conversations with my parents navigated my Dads sudden death with surrender, receiving and total vulnerability taught my children how to appreciate and even celebrate the death process opened up to things that cannot be explained by our logical mind let my clients, peers and mentors see me unravelled and my most vulnerable learned that this was a gift for them as much as it was for me. allowed myself to be changed by Life and Death – by the Joy and the Pain stayed open to the pain and the beauty that Life and Death bring let go of who I thought I was and what I thought I was suppose to do and TRUSTED surrendered to the help of others quickly and gave thanks a LOT witnessed my kids navigate physical trauma and grief with strength, integrity and vulnerability committed to finishing my Book but from a much deeper, richer place allowed myself to be held and nurtured by many...

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How To Get Out of Your Way (and Get Your Sh*t Together)

How To Get Out of Your Way (and Get Your Sh*t Together)

How do I begin from a mess? What are my dreams? What do I want? How do I figure this (sh*t) out and make it happen? Why does it feel so hard?   The answers to the above are in the below “crash course” created to help you get out of your way to start playing with the life that is all around you, BEGGING to be played with. It really is much easier than you think. And this is in part of the problem so many of us face – my approach equals less thinking and more feeling so join me as I blow up some serious BS around what dreaming  is, what it isn’t and what it actually looks like to pursue our own potential. Over two live calls (links below), I share as much wisdom, theory and practical strategies from my tool belt to shift you (or someone you know) from stuck into the realm of possibility – where Daring to Suck actually happens so you can see how accessible change is for you at every turn. Want to make meaningful shifts in your life, relationships or the work you are meant to do in the world? Click and listen. Because what you want, also wants you. And I am here to get you two together finally! Lesson 1 – What dreaming is, what it isn’t and how to get started from where you are.   Lesson 2 – How to make dreaming ACCESSIBLE and doable, powerful strategies and tangible action to bring your dreams to life. If you like and love, please share it with anyone you know who needs a loving reminder that you don’t in fact have to have your shit together to go for what you want. In fact, wherever you are is the perfect place to start. Much love in daring to dream, Keri-Anne Livingstone, CPCC Certified Coach | Speaker |...

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8 Steps To Make 2016 The Year YOU Live Daringly (VIDEO)

What if 2016 was the year it all changed? Below is the REPLAY of a live call I did on Blab today where I share the 8 steps of Daring to Suck that can take you from feeling like a passenger in your life, to getting you behind the wheel and cranking the tunes with the top down! These 8 steps shared are the backbone of My Live Daringly Sessions (starting January 13th) where I facilitate and support 8 Women (in two groups of 4)  through the process of reconnecting to who they are, what they want and how to go after it, fearlessly. The below replay is filled tips, strategies and perspectives to become the fullest, truest expression of yourself – for us all to share our unique gifts in our life, our work and in our relationships....

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