Big Changes

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” -Henri Bergson

 

I have been busy making big changes. I sold the home where I raised my children, re-evaluated my coaching career direction, took two months off to play in my “some day” location, and next week I will be settling into a new life-style of condo living.

 

When I take action in one area of my life everything in my life is affected.  My husband and I love the vibe in Bellingham. Two of our children attended WWU and we found we continued to visit long after they graduated! So this became the place we looked at as a future home. Early this year we found the right house and made our happy purchase. This one change became the impetus for another long awaited change and another change ...Soon after I was ready to let go of the house we raised our family in.

 

We had been remodeling our family home and after finishing everything upstairs thought we would start to recreate the lower level, when I realized what I was doing was re-creating my life after kids, so why not start in a whole new house? Why not try condo living? Why not move to a whole new location? Well, we still have our respective businesses based in Woodinville, so we decided to move into a condo in Woodinville and spend weekends and free time in Bellingham. We sold the house, found a condo, took two months to live and play in Bellingham as bonafide residents of this beautiful and friendly northwest community. I know I’ve painted a rosy picture here - but know this was a huge practice in letting go too. Letting go of stuff while keeping the memories (this included a lot of sighing.) Letting go of who I was when mom was my biggest and most needed role and redefining who I am in this new time on my life journey, even letting go of relationships that were not serving me! But, more about Letting Go in a future blog.

 

At the same time, I took this opportunity to take inventory of my career as a life coach and what I ultimately want to create. This also meant letting go of what I thought I should do to "grow" my business and replacing that with what feels right as I bring I my vision into being. My vision is to hold space for women as they discover and grow into more of their authentic self. I get super energized when I help a client gain insights and clear blocks that help liberate them into more of who they want to be and living a more fulfilled life. I also believe in the power of community, creating a space where this tribe of women can meet in complete acceptance and support of each other, with this in mind I am starting a women's circle where we can hold this sacred space. The way I see it the path to any of our goals is through self-love and part of my job is to be a witness and guide as women in my tribe travel the path to self-love and into the fullness of their authentic self, into who and what they desire to become. Life is good - sometimes recognizing the good part of an experience comes with hindsight and maturity.

 

As I go into this new stage in my life I can sense the beginning of a new spiritual season for myself. These changes in my outer world are a reflection of my spiritual awareness and expansion. This is how flow happens for me, first I make inner changes getting into spiritual alignment then the path to outer change becomes clear and is facilitated by this flow.

 

We have all heard that change is the only constant in life. Beyond the shadow of a doubt it is true! I know that when I am in alignment with my authentic self and the life force that guides me then everything in my life “falls” in place. This is true with my recent decisions and changes; they had a flow that affirms I am moving in the right direction. Whether we like it or not, whether we try to keep everything the same, or whether we flow with it, change happens.

 

What would you like to change and get in flow with in your life right now and how can I support you in your journey?

Be Inspired. Live Empowered.

 

An Extraordinary Life

I recently gathered with a great group of women. We sat in front of a cozy fire on a blustery fall day, talking about the ins and outs of our lives, when someone asked the question: what is the most amazingly wonderful thing that has happened to you?  One woman had a story about the overwhelming love she experienced at the time of a loved one’s death. Another had a story of a strong spiritual connection felt with a stranger. One by one each woman shared her most fantastic story. Then it was my turn. I shared what came to me most immediately, though, at a glance, it may seem a very ordinary experience.

 As I brainstormed a response I took stock of my history. I married a kind man who loves and respects me and our family. He has made it his life-purpose to support us in our goals and dreams. I have three children that have lived healthy lives filled with many of the usual experiences of our time and culture - school, sports, friends. We always had more than enough of our material needs met. And we’ve always had just enough challenges with all the usual worries and concerns that come with living in this world.

 So in this seemingly ordinary life, what is the most amazingly wonderful thing that has happened to me?

I pictured a film of my life, a mental montage similar to what I’ve read about when a near death experience causes a person’s life to flash before her eyes. And the life that flashed through my mind was filled with the moments of pure joy I’ve seen in my family’s faces throughout the years. I can still see them now-- the laughter as my kids blew out birthday candles, pride-filled glances shared with my husband at ball games, the warm feeling of getting cozy for a family movie night at home, and the sparkle and light in the eyes of my children each year when they splashed around in the ocean and played in the sand on family camping trips on the Washington coast…

 These subtle experiences may sound boring to some. But I can’t help but feel appreciation for how extraordinary my life has been in its ordinariness.

I am grateful for all the things that had to go “right” to have this extraordinary life. But I am also grateful for all the things that had to go “wrong”. I realize that even negative moments have in some way contributed to things going right. There is a cause and effect relationship in all that we experience, and I am grateful for the certain magic in how life flows together.

 I truly believe that the Universe (or God or Life or whatever you choose to call it) always provides. I have decades of proof that the Universe really does have my back! I think of all the times I chose to look at the bright side of things when things were chaotic and less than perfect. My husband and I made habits to always notice how fortunate we were, even when our life might have looked unfortunate by many external standards. And believe me, by external standards we faced a far amount of challenges. As a young couple with three children and nothing else to our name, we moved to Seattle to start a new life for ourselves. So often, especially in times of challenge, we survived on the practice of gratitude. And now, more and more, current research is confirming the benefits of practicing gratitude that we already know--that our attitude sets a frame and focus from which we perceive the world, and that we perpetuate what we perceive.

 The prompt, what is the most amazingly wonderful thing that has happened to me, has me in the position to look back and watch how my life has unfolded. Wow what a ride it has been.

Now as a professional coach, I work with many younger women through my coaching practice and I find that in ways I am often coaching a younger version of myself. I can offer the wisdom that has come through my experiences. And I can offer empowering questions for women to find their own answers, so that they can express their best selves in their lives. Through coaching I get to witness the shifts that move people into a different perspective, shifts that create space for gratitude and inspiration. I get to see people set themselves up for their own extraordinary lives. And that too, is an amazingly wonderful thing.

What is the most amazingly wonderful thing that has happened in your life?  What had to go right, and what had to go wrong, for your amazingly wonderful experience to happen? How can you shape your perspective to lead you to an extraordinary life?

I would love to hear about the most amazingly wonderful experience in your life.

 

 

 

 Fall 2016   

Fall 2016

 

Self-love

My path to self-love has been littered with the many lies I’ve been told. Lies I heard about my gender, my culture, told by my family, my religion, and society--they all conspired to keep me in a box. Like many women, I was taught to be “nice”, be quiet, be small. My father liked to say his children were good-for-nothings that would not amount to anything, a mantra he’d recite whenever he was the least bit frustrated with his role as a father. My mother was a model of the submissive wife, a good Christian woman, honoring her husband and religion at the same time with obedience. The Catholic religion I grew up with constantly told me how hard I needed to work to earn forgiveness, let alone love. At home I beared witness to a double standard that was no less apparent when I stepped outside, and into a society that objectifies women with demands on how we need to look and act to be sufficient. Everywhere I looked I saw implicit and explicit messages that I was a second class citizen. Geez! How did I make it out alive? 

I have love and compassion for my parents, I know they operate from the consciousness of their time and their experience. I, however, operate from a different consciousness. Guided by my intuition, I know that I am worthy of more! This is where self-love comes in. 

For me, self-love is about knowing that I am enough. It means I don’t need permission from any external source to be true to myself, whether that means allowing myself time for quiet contemplation or following a passion or dream that is ready to come to fruition. Self-love is knowing that I don’t need to earn love or achieve anything to receive love--rather I am worthy of love simply because I am. Self-love is the realization that looking outside for validation gives my power away, but having the utmost respect and love for myself--that empowers me. 

When I practice self-love, I can practice self-care. There is no room for guilt here. Guilt is a construct that serves no one. Our society has painted a picture of the good woman who sacrifices her health, her passions, herself for her husband and family. I know, as women we can still feel guilty when we choose to serve ourselves. So I urge us all to remember, (and repeat this regularly if you need to) “even good women practice excellent self-care.”  Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually means you will have more energy physically, emotionally, and spiritually to love your spouse, your children, and your community. This has nothing to do with selfishness but everything to do with fulfilling your life purpose. 

Self-love is really about being kind and compassionate with myself, and in turn I look at others with more love and compassion. When I embody self-love, I know I don’t need permission, I know I am empowered to express my passion and live my life purpose. From self-love, I help others move toward living the life they are meant to live--a life they love.

So now I invite you to join the many who have come before us, and the brave women of our generation, who challenge the cultural messages that women are not enough, messages that ask us to play small. I invite you to join the women who take the path less popular to their family, religion, or culture, the path to claim your personal power.  It is our right to stand in our truth with all our greatness, and it all starts with self-love. 

How do you practice self-love? Are you waiting for permission? What passion have you been hesitant to pursue because you feel guilty about taking the time for yourself? How could you  serve others if you practiced excellent self-love and self-care?

Here are 10 ways you can practice self-love/self-care, everyday:

  1. Take a quiet moment. Meditate, write, read, or enjoy a sunrise or sunset.

  2. Move your body. Do any physical exercise that you enjoy, even a nice walk will do.

  3. Eat well. Plan for healthy eating so you’ll have energy for yourself and loved ones.

  4. Go outside. Breath deeply and notice the fresh air in your lungs and beauty of nature.

  5. Say “no.” Try not to overbook yourself--being busy is not the same as being productive.

  6. Smile. Tell a joke, watch a video, remember the last time you had a deep belly laugh and you can’t help but smile. 

  7. Cry, if you need to. Take a private moment, watch a sad movie, process your grief in a way that helps you.

  8. Dream, always. Don’t stop dreaming of the things you can be and do.

  9. Sleep more. It is so valuable and underappreciated.

  10. Connect with others. Reach out to your loved ones, your friends, your community.

 

What is your favorite self-love practice?


Be Inspired. Live Empowered.

The MEMO

 

When I was younger I thought everyone else had life all figured out. Of course that’s not true. We all have it figured out sometimes and then we don’t have a clue the rest of the time. But we keep operating as if...because what other choice is there really?

The thing is we don’t have to have it all figured out. We can go about our life with curiosity, and anticipation, of what is unfolding, knowing we don’t actually control very much  other than how we decide to show up. How we decide to look at things. How we decide to engage or not engage. So what we experience is up to us. It’s about how we interpret what happens in our life.

What lens am I looking through? I like looking through a rose colored lens. I choose to have a positive attitude about the world around me in spite of the evidence for the opposite view. I would rather focus on the good in humanity, the beauty of this earth, and the marvel and mystery of the universe. I am thankful for all that I have experienced through my young adult years, my parenting years, and now in my second half, I move through my life in faith. Faith that things will work out. I didn’t  analyze every step along the way but instead just got to the business of living each day to the best of my ability. There have been bad days and other days I felt I was on top of the world. Mostly I look back at happy memories,  sometimes I think about all mistakes I made and then I remember that everything is as it is meant to be. That’s how I see it. My own experience is why I hold this belief.

I can see all the places I made mistakes, I can see all the things I chose to focus on with success, I can see how both serve me in who I am today. 

Who am I today? I am someone who strives to live to my highest potential, I’m not even close yet. I am proud of being an honest person. I am proud of the children I brought into the world who have grown into kind, loving, caring, conscientious human beings who follow their own path. I’m proud of the many years my husband and I have chosen to walk our life journey together, choosing to show up and learn from one another. I am someone who does meaningful work in the world. I love working one-on-one, one hour at a time with individuals, connecting on a deep level as I hold a safe space for them and witness their story. I am a healer. I am love.

Nope, I did not get the memo telling me how to do life. 

Some people feel like they missed the memo on life. What part of my story do you relate to? Do we need an instruction manual for life? If so, why?  What would you put into such a manual?

I believe this “memo” is within each of us. I am guided by my intuition. My intuition informs me as to whether or not I am living in alignment with my values, my purpose and my passion. We all have an inner compass that we can look to for direction.

Here are 7 ways you can connect to this inner guidance:

  1. Identifying your guiding values. There are usually one or two values that stand out and guide your most important decisions.

  2. Be true to who you are.  Connecting in this way means making decisions that stand for and FEEL true to who you are.

  3. Connecting to something higher. Some may call this God, the Universe, or their Higher-Self. Some people see the interconnectedness of the natural world as explained by evolution/science as their context. Either way you are connecting to a sense of something bigger at work in your life.

  4. Looking to our interconnectedness. Every decision we make has an effect on our world. Thinking holographically means making decisions from a place that is right for you and for those that you share this earth with.

  5. Always do your best. Doing your best can look different on different days or at different times in your life (as opposed to perfectionism.) So compassion for yourself and others can bring peace about decisions from this perspective.

  6. Follow your purpose. Identify your purpose and this can lead to the path that is right for you.

  7. Be in the Moment. Living in the moment is a way to block out the noise and really notice what is important in your life.

What is guiding how you live your life?

Be Inspired. Live Empowered.