Monthly Archives: May 2016

Born to Receive? The Feminine Art of Receptivity

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

yogaI’ve just finished my Spring and Summer teaching obligations and now I get two and half months off from teaching. I’m always torn about the end of the semester. On the one hand, I am thrilled to be able to stop the 50-60 hour work weeks and finally get some rest. On the other hand, I struggle with truly relaxing and feel as though I should be do-ing something.

This past Spring I learned a valuable lesson about myself; an issue I thought I had already dealt with reared its ugly head. It turns out that I had learned, but not mastered, the lesson here. The lesson to which I refer is the art and gift of receiving.

A few years ago I read a wonderful little book called Born to Receive. In it, the author, Amanda Owen, argued that receptivity is a natural feminine state. Women are the cup holders, the chalice bearers, ready and waiting to receive all life has to offer. I see her point, but I think that many of us have fallen off track. In a world that rewards do-ing and achieving, our sense of self-worth is more often tied to our accomplishments and successes than to be-ingness. Thus, the art of resting and receiving, letting go and waiting, is one that is not thought highly of, let alone rewarded. After all, if you’re resting, then you aren’t do-ing. And if you’re not do-ing, you’re not producing.

But then I realized something. There is a fatal flaw in that belief system. Productivity/ achievement/success cannot be a constant stream of do-ing. There must be a balancing of creating/dreaming/nurturing what you’ve already developed with taking action to make it happen. That’s where the feminine art of receiving comes in.

Let me give you an example of how be-ing and do-ing work together. I used to be a distance runner. It was a meditative practice for me and I often found that my best ideas came to me when my brain was ‘turned off,’ or at the very least focused on something else. Problems that had plagued me were often solved quickly and easily as my feet hit the pavement. Why? I stopped do-ing, thinking, forcing and I allowed the answer to come to me.

After working too much thus far in 2016, June is my month of receptivity.  I’m going on vacation, taking a retreat, opening up to allow the insights to come to me. If this resonates with you, I invite you to join the Sacred Circle, where we will be learning to receiving, to let go, to allow the flow to come as we master the feminine art of receptivity.

Examining Your Heart’s Desires: What Do You Really and Truly Want?

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

A hand of a young woman gives a heart as a Valentine's Day gift before a red background.

I work with both private clients and clients in my group coaching programs on the topic of clearing out blocks so you can manifest your heart’s desires. One of the biggest struggles I see women in my tribe going through isn’t the manifestation itself: it’s figuring out what they want to manifest in the first place and believing they are worthy enough to have it.

When I first start private coaching with a client, I often ask: What do you want in your [insert area of life we are working on: romantic relationships, career, spirituality, creativity, etc.]. The most frequent response? Silence. Followed by an awkward: “I don’t really know, no one has ever asked me that question before.”

Ladies, let’s get something clear: you are allowed to have desires. You are allowed to have what you want in life. If you feel you to need to ask for permission, let me go ahead and give it to you.

I get that this may be a scary thought for you. It took me 40 years to realize I needn’t ask for anyone’s permission to get my needs met. You see, I used to believe that if I longed for something or wanted something to be different in my life I was just being selfish or impractical. It never occurred to me that I might: 1) deserve to have my heart’s desires, and 2) be able to manifest them myself.

If you are struggling with the concept of manifestation, let’s start at the beginning. 

How do you do that? Let’s take your career as an example (but you can modify and apply these questions to any area of your life). Ask yourself:

  • How would I describe this area of my life to someone I just met?
  • What do I like about it?
  • What do I not like about it?
  • What do I wish was different about it?
  • What have I tried to address this issue or problem solve around the things I don’t like?
  • If I could throw it all away and start over tomorrow, what would I keep? Why?
  • What would I toss? Why?
  • What do I most enjoy doing (as it pertains to this aspect of your life)?
  • What do I least enjoy doing?
  • How much time do I spend on the tasks I enjoy?
  • What about the tasks I don’t enjoy? How much do they occupy my day?
  • My dream (no holds barred – dream big) around this area of my life is: _________?
  • So what do I really and truly want here?

Once you have your answers, take some time to reflect. What are your ahas about this area of your life? Is there something you can quickly and easily change to make things better? Are there things you can ultimately change, but may take a little longer and require a game plan? What steps can you take today, tomorrow, and the next day to create the change you desire? It’s time to make a plan because you deserve to have all of your heart’s desires.

 

 

 

The Power of Positive Self-Talk

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

positivityI was talking to a client the other day about how to stop the constant criticism running through her head. The voice that tells her she's not smart enough, fun enough,  thin enough, and that her eyes are too close together. I know that voice well as it used to run my life too. It took consistent vigilance, but I was finally able to put a stop to most of what my Inner Mean Girl was saying. 

One of the key ingredients in making peace with my Inner Mean Girl was dialoguing with her when she popped up to figure out where her criticism was coming from. Hint: your Inner Mean Girl isn't mean, she's afraid and usually her reality is based in something that happened to you a long time ago. 

Another piece of the equation was that I had to start replacing her negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Easier said than done, I know, but here's the thing: we all have things that we don’t like about ourselves, but our brains are super sensitive to our negativity. In fact, it takes 5 positive statements to overcome the effect of 1 negative one. That’s right.

Kind of makes your Inner Mean Girl seem like a giant, doesn't it?

To make matters worse, a recent study found that women in their late 30s to early 60s are especially vulnerable to negative self-talk thanks to the hormonal changes associated with perimenopause and menopause. Yikes!

So what can you do to change this negative self-talk? What advice did I give my client who is trying to put a stop to the steady stream of negativity in her head. I told her I wanted her to take the Sticky Note Challenge. “What’s the Sticky Note Challenge?” you ask. Have you ever heard of Operation Beautiful? The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find – notes that would brighten their day. Something like “You are Beautiful.”

I want you to use this idea for to create sticky note for yourself. Ideally you would make several sticky notes that contain that phrase and put them places where you will see them. Places like your wallet, purse, office cubicle, bathroom, etc. As a psychologist, I know that the more we see certain messages, the more we start to believe them. This is why my office is literally filled with positive messages, inspirational quotes, and pictures of things that remind me that I am a Goddess – see above for a photo of where the magic happens! 😉

I'd love it if you would join my client in the Sticky Note Challenge. Let us know how you are faring. And as always, if you have a comment or question, leave me a note below.

It All Comes Down to Self-Love

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments
Love and pregnancy concept.I was a guest on The Sisters Internet TV show this past Saturday.  We were all invited to talk about our own journeys with body image and weight struggles. From a man who lost over 170 pounds in the past year to a former bikini model to a mom of four, we all shared one thing in common:

 
I was invited to speak not only about my own body image struggles but about how I help men and women learn to love their bodies just as they are right now. The more I talked, the more everyone chimed in and it struck me as fascinating how we were basically all saying the same thing. It all comes down to self-love.
 

If we loved our bodies, we would take better care of ourselves. If we loved our bodies we wouldn't be so mean to ourselves. If we loved ourselves, we would love our bodies.

 
Aaron, the man who lost 170 pounds in the past year following a gastric bypass surgery had an interesting question: when you don't even see yourself accurately, how do you start? How do you take that first step to really learn to love and accept yourself as you are now no matter what your weight, shape or size?
 
Once again we all had a similar answer: The first step is awareness – really noting how you treat yourself during the day. How often do you have negative thoughts? How often do you pick apart at yourself? How often you compare yourself to somebody else and come up lacking?
 
The next step is to really start to counter that negative programming. Whether it's waking up to see your vision board placed across from your bed, setting alarms on your phone to remind you to stay positive and love yourself, or to surround yourself with positive sayings in your office and at home, we all agreed it's important to stay positive. You must focus on what you do you love about yourself and your life rather than what you don't. This is a necessary part of rewiring your brain. 
 
Finally, the first step to begin to heal your relationship with yourself and your body must come from within. There is no magic pill or potion; no one can do this healing work for you. Much like Glinda the good witch said to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “You had the power within you all along.” It's your job to do the work to heal, to change, to learn to love yourself again.
 
If you need help pointing you in the right direction, it is Self-Love month here in Dr. Mary land! To celebrate, I've got my Learn to Love Yourself Again ecourse on sale for those of you who learn best at your own pace. If you're looking for more interactive support, you could always join my sacred circle group coaching program, still at the introductory low price for the month of May.
 
Here's to you fully learning to love and accept yourself and your body again.
 
 

Coming Home to Myself

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

enjoy lifeJanuary started with a burst of energy and activity. This is going to be a growth year for me and my business, I promised myself. February saw the launch of my group coaching program and Sacred Circle (love those women!) as well as my Learn to Love Yourself e-course. I’m on a roll, I thought. 5 prerecorded telesummits later, by mid-March, I was exhausted. Thanks to my zeal earlier in the year, April saw me over-committed. I did it again, I thought. I put on my Superwoman cape and forgot to take care of me.

May is about slowing down, coming home to myself. My University teaching schedule is changing. I’ll only be teaching one class instead of two. I’ve only committed to two telesummits this month instead of five. I’ve recommitted to my daily meditation and yoga practice. I want to pick up a paint brush – something I haven’t done in almost two years. I want to enjoy the Summer weather and spend lots of time playing outdoors before it gets too hot. I want to plant my garden – my herb and vegetable garden as well as the garden of my soul.

my boyfriend asked me one night as we got ready for bed. I need to say no more to others and yes more to myself. I know this; I preach this; yet, I am the first to admit that I don’t always take my own advice. I think, I can do just this one more thing… and it turns into twenty one more things.

May Day (Beltane) left me reflective. It’s a new month, with the added energy of the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. I sat down with my journal and pen, pulled out my Leonie Dawson biz and life planners, and made a list. Less a to do list than a reminder of my priorities: self-love, self-care, self-compassion.

, instead of in second or third place, where I had dropped as of late.

So what will my May look like? What promises did I make to myself?

  • I plan to increase my physical activity level – the more I can do outside, the better
  • I am recommitting to my daily meditation practice – every morning and, on some days, evenings as well
  • My skin has been flaring because I haven’t been watching my diet – time to stop so much indulgence on the foods I know make my body unhappy
  • I want to work on a painting I shelved two years ago – and perhaps even finish it!
  • I will dance – Every. Single. Day. Because I love it, because it helps me process my emotions, because it brings me joy
  • I will honor my body’s natural cycles – much like the moon, our bodies ebb and flow. Some days we have lots of energy; some days we just want to curl up on the couch and read a book. I commit to be-ing more in tune with my body and giving it what it needs each day
  • I will spend time each week on some sort of personal development activity – not because I think I’m not good enough as I am but because I value learning more about the world, about myself
  • I will restart my daily gratitude practice and post what I am grateful for each day on Facebook and Instagram
  • I will journal each day – it helps me get my ideas down on paper, helps my emotions flow smoothly and helps me process whatever I am going through at the time, even if it’s just saying what I am grateful for.

What will you do this month to come home to you?