Monthly Archives: June 2017

Processing Hurt Feelings and Negative Emotions

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 4 Comments

It happens to all of us. We’re having a great day and then … we get in a fight with a loved one, someone says something hurtful to us, we run into an ex. Good, bad, or wish-that-never-happened, emotions occur. After all, we are all just energy, and so are our emotions: e-motions = energy in motion. So rather than getting caught up in negative emotions, I encourage you to learn to let them be energy in motion.

Easier said than done sometimes, though huh?

So how do you deal with these hurtful circumstances or negative emotions? I’ve developed a 5-step process that I use. Caveat: when you first start using this process, it does take some time. However, it gets easier and faster the more often you do it.

1) Write down (or tell a trusted friend) what happened – the key here is to focus on the facts. Don’t add your interpretation of events or assume you know what the other person was thinking or feeling. It should be something like, “He said this and I said that.” Don’t add in your emotions yet – that’s coming in the next step. Don’t skip this step either. It’s important to get it down from almost a third-party point of view so you can gain more clarity about what actually happened.

2) Write down how you feel and why – this is where you get to feel those emotions. All that hurt, anger, sadness – get it out. Then dive into the why. Why did what he said to you upset you so much? Dive deep here – yes, our emotions are reactions to what happened in the moment; but on top of that, they are often also reactions to things that have happened in the past. This “double reaction” serves to intensify the emotional experience for us and sometimes may feel like it’s been blown up bigger than it would have been otherwise.

3) Figure out what needs to be done and why (realize the answer may be “nothing”) – from a third party perspective (this is why doing this process with a trusted friend can be helpful), figure out if there is anything that actually needs to be done here. For example, if you received a rude email or text from someone, do you need to respond? Today’s video goes more in depth on this step.

4) What do you want to do and why – this is where you get to say all of the things that you really want to do (even if you think it’s not appropriate to do). If you want to say something nasty to that person, this is where you get to write it down (note: you are not acting yet, you are just writing down what you really want to do). Then dive into your why. Why do want to do that or say that? Is it because you’re feeling vindictive? Is it because you’re hurting and you want them to know how much they hurt you? Are you trying to “right” a perceived “wrong?” Get it all out.

Breathe.

5) Decide what to do – this is where you look back at everything you wrote and decide what action step will be for your highest good (or in alignment with your Soul). We may want to say something nasty to someone that hurt us, but that likely is not in alignment with our highest good/Soul’s purpose. I like to think of Byron Katie’s advice here. She encourages us to ask ourselves 3 questions:  1) Is it true? 2) Is it kind (to us and to the other person – note that kind is not the same as nice – I talk more about this distinction in today’s video), and 3) Is it necessary?

I hope this series of steps helps you gain clarity on how to process your negative emotions. Let me know how it worked for you in the comments!

I Give You Permission to Just Be…

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

Summer is here and I am in mini retreat mode. Yet, I’m finding it challenging to settle in to the pause. Rushing to get things “done” so I can go on vacation, my mini retreat has felt more like my regular work weeks than I’d like.

I was talking with my Sisters in the Sacred Circle about how we were going to handle my limited internet access during my vacation time (we typically converse daily in our Facebook group). I was concerned that I would be letting them down if I went for a few days without connecting with them. But one by one they started to chime in that I needed a break and it was okay to actually take a vacation, even from the Sacred Circle. They assured me that they would be fine during my absence.

Suddenly I felt like I could breathe again. I hadn’t realized how much pressure I had been putting on myself to preemptively handle everything that might crop up in the two weeks I’ll be gone. But of course, you can’t predict the future, so it’s nearly impossible to account for “everything” that could happen.

The more I’ve been thinking about my struggle to cut down on “work” mode and move into mini retreat mode, the more I’ve realized that this too is a life lesson. I think one of my Sisters said it best when she said, “Maybe you are supposed to learn the lesson of disconnecting from “work” and focus on fun and adventure!!” She knows me well!

I’ve found this concept of giving ourselves permission coming up a lot lately – with my private clients, in my group coaching programs, with friends, and, yes, for me personally. This reminds me of an experience I had with a client a few years ago. I had asked her what she did for fun and she said, “You don’t understand, when I let myself sit down on the couch for even 5 minutes, the voice inside my head [the inner critic] tells me I’m being lazy and I should get up and do something.” How many of us can relate to that? We wear our busyness as a badge of honor. We pride ourselves in never taking sick days or vacations. But is that really the way you want to live your life?

When my partner and I first met, he told me that he had over 6 weeks of vacation saved up. At two weeks of vacation a year, that meant he hadn’t allowed himself to take a day off in over three years. He was also working two jobs at the time, so he worked most evenings and weekends as well. I would’ve been more stunned if I hadn’t had been guilty of the same thing…  As we talked about this, we realized that work was an escape for both of us, but now that we were happy and had someone in our lives we actually wanted to travel with, we should do something about it. We decided to hold each other accountable for taking time off and exploring the world and having a little fun. So we made a pact to take at least 2 week-long vacations per year. We made a bucket list of places we want to go and are continually adding (and now crossing off!) places we want to go. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to our vacations!

Yet, you don’t have to take weeks off or go to exotic locales to give yourself permission to just … be. In the busyness of our everyday lives, sometimes the idea of a vacation seems like a far off pipe dream. And yet, it doesn’t have to be. What would happen if you gave yourself permission to take 5 minutes to yourself every day to simply unplug and be? How would that change your life? If 5 minutes seems too easy, then go for 10 or 20 or even 30 minutes! You don’t have to sit in meditation or have a plan for your 5 minutes. In fact, I think it would be better if you didn’t. Rather, just allow yourself to simply be. Like an empty bowl, simply be there – open and ready to receive.

I’d love to hear what you find in your daily practice. Give it time and I bet the insights that simply be-ing give you will be profound.

Unleash Your Inner Wild Woman!

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 4 Comments

As a child, I was taught that “wild” was somehow bad. It meant untamed, unruly, dirty, or naughty. It was something no “good girl” strived to be. Yet… something inside of me was always curious about this Wild Woman. Who was she really? I envisioned her as very dirty with mud on her face and sticks in her hair – something that thrilled the tomboy inside of me. At the same time, the “fairy tale princess” version of me knew that I would get in trouble if I ever did that! After all, I was always told to come down from the tall trees I loved to climb – it was dangerous and not at all ladylike.

As I grew, my inner “wild child” was suppressed even further. There was no place for her in piano practice, or at ballet recitals or in cotillion lessons. No, those things required precision and perfection – not messiness. There was certainly no place for her at school, nor later in the workplace. She was simply not allowed to exist. So I cut that part of me off and buried her deep down inside.

Until…

I’m not even sure the day it happened, but some time in my late 30s, I began to hear her calling me. There was a part of me that begin to rebel. It was a whisper at first. The stolen moments swinging on the local school playground when no one was looking. The urge to die my hair a deep red. Singing loudly and off key while dancing in the living room when no one else was home. The endless hours spent running in a failed attempt to run away from the structures I had imposed on my life.

In those moments, she was there calling me to come home. To join forces. To unleash her.

But I was too scared. What would happen? What would people think? What if she changed me too much? What if..?

In today's video, I have an invitation for you to unleash your wild/unabashed/raw/real self. 

If so, I invite you to join me for Season 6 of Woman Unleashed.

Bringing More Joy to Your Life

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.” – Joseph Campbell

 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Follow your bliss?” Sounds like fun, doesn’t it – to do what calls to you and let the rest go? Or maybe you’re thinking, “That would be great… if I had the time…” You may desperately want to “follow your bliss,” but somehow life keeps getting in the way. Can you relate?

I was talking with a client the other day who was struggling with the idea of following her bliss; she felt mired down by family and work responsibilities. “How can I follow my bliss, or even my heart for that matter, when I barely have time to eat some days?” she asked me. That’s a good question, and one that many of us struggle with.

We all have hopes, dreams, and ambitions. More importantly, we all have needs – things that make us happy and function better on a day-to-day basis. Yet, getting even our basic needs met can be a struggle when we feel weighed down by family/career/life responsibilities. As women, I think many of us were taught growing up that we should be last on our to-do list – if we allow ourselves to be on there at all. We spend so much time giving that at the end of the day, we are too exhausted to give anything to ourselves. In other words, we’re too tired to even figure out what our bliss is, let alone follow it.

The problem with that line of reasoning is this: more depletion only creates more depletion. If you don’t take time to fill your own cup, then your feelings of exhaustion will continue to get worse. Take it from someone who’s allowed herself to get so depleted that she almost died from pneumonia – twice! Yet, if we take time to follow our bliss, and fill our cup on a daily basis, even if it’s just for a few moments here and there, we not only feel better, but we can be of more service to our family, friends, and the world.

I had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I fought it at first. I couldn’t understand how taking precious time from family, friends, and work responsibilities to take care of me would result in more time for family and friends and more energy to give to others. Yet, it does.

So how do you make time to follow your bliss when you can’t even figure out how to make time for you? In today’s video, I answer that question. I hope it serves you.   

A Lesson in Presence

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

How often do you multitask, or divide your attention between more than one task at the same time? I do it often, usually without noticing I'm doing so. Even though I have meditated for years, I still struggle with being present.

I was talking to a friend about this the other day. We spend so much of our lives thinking or doing, while we're doing something else, that we often let life pass us by, not noticing the miracles unfold before us. Because I too often fall into this trap, I've recently begun a daily practice of noticing – noticing the flowers as their buds form and then open, noticing the first signs of Spring, noticing the hummingbirds at my feeder. But it's effortful for me at this point. It doesn't feel natural to simply just be present and allow whatever is going to happen to happen. I'm still so easily distracted by my monkey mind.

So I began to explore why I do this. Why I can't simply be still and allow the unfolding. I came up with several ahas from my reflection process:

  1. I still have too many things on my to do list each day – although I limit myself to a to do list of my three most important tasks, these tasks often have many subtasks that need to get done for the entire task to be completed. But that's cheating. It's not my three most important tasks if it's really 20 tasks that comprise those three. 
  2. I still struggle with not tying my sense of self-worth to my productivity. I think many of us were raised in environments where our worth – our value – was determined by how much we accomplished each day and/or how well we did it. Breaking decades of conditioning is difficult to do. Thus, although I am aware that I still do it, it doesn't always mean I can stop myself in my tracks. 
  3. As much as I enjoy my meditation time, too much silence is still a bit uncomfortable for me. I find myself wanting to fill that silence with something. So I need to learn to get more comfortable with silence and stillness. That will be a challenge for me, but one I am eager to accept.

How do I plan to accomplish all of this? To get more present, more comfortable with be-ing, more comfortable with silence and stillness? I'm going to have to get outside my comfort zone.

  1. Instead of organizing my day around the tasks that I need to get done before I quit working, I'm going to try exploring organizing my day around time. So if I decide I'm going to stop working at 2 PM, I stop working at 2 PM, regardless of what I have or have not gotten done that day. While this will be uncomfortable if I have not accomplished everything on my to do list, I think it will help me re-organize and prioritize what's most important for me. It should also have the side benefit of holding me more accountable to actually focusing during the hours I do allot for work (I am notorious for getting derailed by email…)
  2. I'm going to schedule in “noticing breaks.” I want to be able to go outside and just be. Listen to the birds chirping, notice the wind as it crosses my skin, stop and smell the roses. That being said, I think it will actually be more challenging for me if I take some of these breaks inside – where I'm more likely to get derailed or sidetracked by things that are crying out for my attention – like dirty laundry it needs to be washed or things I need to pick up in the kitchen. Just noticing those things, being a silent and still observer, and not acting on them, will definitely challenge my sense of orderliness. It should be a good exercise for me.
  3. I'm going to practice my active listening skills. So often when we're engaged with someone else – either in person or on the phone – in the back of our minds, we're thinking about something else. But that's truly not fair to us or to them. And it certainly is not being present. Most people can sense when we're not present with them. I'm sure you've had that feeling before – that someone wasn't really listening to you when you were talking to them. Half the time, I'm guessing the other person doesn't even realize consciously that they're doing it. I know I don't. The challenge for me will be stopping when I notice my mind going down a rabbit hole and actually being mindfully present.