Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Worth It Quotient

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

I had an “aha” moment the other day. I was doing my Sunday afternoon planning for the week ahead and answering the weekly prompts in my Leonie Dawson daily diary planner (love that thing!). I had an inspiration to flip through the entire year and look at what I seemed to be asking myself for most often. Without fail, when I asked myself the question, “What do I most want to give myself this week?” every single answer had to do with my own time.

For an entire year, my intuitive responses have been telling me that I needed to give myself my own time. Clearly, I haven't been doing so or I wouldn't be asking for it every single week. Thus, the big “aha” moment: If I don't give myself the precious resource of my own time, I'm going to keep asking for it. The feeling of never having enough time for me isn't going to go away. It will just stay there on paper, unfulfilled, as it has done for the entire year.

I followed that aha moment with meditation. I asked my guides for help. What they shared with me was interesting. My higher self – my inner goddess – said to me: You need to develop a “worth it” quotient. If your most precious resource right now is your own time, then you'd better make sure the way you are spending that time feels like it's worth it to you. Not to your partner, not to your best friend, not to your coach, not to anybody else, but to you. You are the one you're asking for your own time. This is your next challenge and your next growth edge. (See today's video for more on creating more time for yourself.)

Of course, I wanted to argue with my higher self. Not everything that I do every single day is going to feel “worth it.” After all, I have a day job and online business to run. I still have to do my chores, like doing the laundry, making dinner, and taking out the trash. Are all of these supposed to feel “worth it?” Her response? For everything you do, ask yourself the question: “Is this worth my time?” If it is, great, go for it. But if it's not, give yourself permission to say no and see what happens. Also give yourself permission for the answer to vary over time. Some days one task might seem worth it whereas other days, it may not. And that's okay.

Is everything every day going to feel “worth it?” I doubt it. After all, we're human beings living a human experience. But I hope that this “worth it” experiment helps me shed some light on the answer to that question:

We have five months left in the year. There's a lot going on right now energetically speaking – I'm feeling it, my clients are feeling it, everyone I'm talking to is feeling it. Perhaps we should harness the upcoming energy of these two eclipses in the month of August to help us gain some clarity. What would happen if you asked yourself the question: is this worth it? You're “worth it quotient” may not look like mine. Maybe it's not time that your greatest resource right now. Maybe it's money. Maybe it's your sanity. But what would it look like if you approached your day-to-day tasks with that curiosity in mind? Is this – whatever it is I'm doing – worth my greatest resource – whatever that greatest resource may be?

In other words, does task/time=resource or is task/time<resource or maybe even is task/time>resource? 

 

Dealing with the Negative Emotions Healing Can Bring Up

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

Healing is a journey; a process. As much as we might wish it was a quick fix; it's not. Sometimes we feel great about where we are on our healing journey, and sometimes it feels like we just took 3 giant steps back to where we came from.

Several months after I started my healing journey with anorexia, I met a man who was recovering from bulimia. We thought we could help each other, support each other. It didn't work out that way, however. He ended up just being a trigger for me. I stopped doing all of the things that had helped me to that point in my recovery and I relapsed. I felt miserable; like a failure, a fraud. I had to end the relationship and get back on the road to healing. It wasn't easy – it certainly didn't feel good – but it was necessary for me to continue on my healing journey. 

In today's podcast, I discuss some of those pivotal healing tools that I used on my journey of healing my relationship with my body – the first time and after I relapsed. I hope they serve you.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Pushing My Limits

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“You’re hard-headed, baby,” my partner said to me as I huffed and puffed and put one foot in front of the other on a gradual ascent.

“Yes,” I replied, “And it’s usually to my own detriment.” And then I stopped walking.

We were half a mile or so up a 2.5 mile climb and I had altitude sickness. I fought with myself for a minute. I shouldn’t have altitude sickness. I’m only at 7000 feet and I just spent two weeks at 8000-10,500 feet with no problem. This shouldn’t be happening. But it was.

I said as much to my partner and he reminded me that this was different. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. I hadn’t eaten enough that day. We were pushing ourselves much harder than we had with our tour group in Peru and Ecuador. This was our second hike of the day. I had had no time to acclimate to the altitude this time. It was okay to stop.

I stood there for a moment and checked in with my body. Could I complete this hike? Yes, but it would cost me. I was already feeling sick; continuing would only make it worse. I took a breath, turned around, and headed back down the mountain. At the end of the day, proving to myself that I could do it wasn’t worth the cost.

“There was such grace in that moment for me… I knew I was capable of it. The reasons didn’t matter. It’s wasn’t something I could muster that day. And that was okay. I was okay. It didn’t mean anything about my [ability] or me. It was simply a moment in time.” ~ Casey Daly

I gave myself permission to not be able to do that hike on that day and I turned around. I’m not going to lie; it was hard to do – to stop resisting fate, to give up, to give in, to surrender – because I knew that on another day, I could have done it. But not on that particular day, and that was okay.

– do we move forward, stay where we are, or turn around and head back the way we came? It’s not always an easy decision to make. We worry about wasting our time. We worry what other people will think. But maybe, we should be more concerned with what we think, with what our bodies and our hearts are telling us. In today’s video, I talk about how I discern if something is right for me or not. This is a process I developed over time; it may be different than your process. That’s okay. I hope it serves you and that you can some useful ideas from it.

 

The Power of Body Love

By | Body Love, Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | No Comments

I've been getting a lot of questions about how to learn to love yourself and your body again. This marks the first in a series of posts on this topic. I hope they serve you.

I battled anorexia nervosa for 24 years. For most of those 24 years, I was in denial that I even had a problem. After all, at that time I had spend almost 15 years building a successful research practice in my academic career studying factors that influenced body image and disordered eating and exercise. I was the researcher, not the victim. At least that's what I told myself.

Then one day a good friend of mine confronted me about it. After a week of fighting back and forth with him, I finally realized he was right. It took a lot of courage for me to “come out of the closet,” so to speak, about my eating disorder. To admit that I studied body image and eating disorders because, at a subconscious level, I was trying to understand myself.

My research focus shifted as I began my healing journey. Instead of simply focusing on factors that made women and men at risk for developing an eating disorder, I turned my focus to prevention. I wanted to know what helped prevent disordered eating and what helped those who were currently suffering actually heal. So as I studied these factors in my research lab, I became my own guinea. As I would read about and conduct research studies on things that helped, I would try them on myself to see if it worked for me. 

Early on in my studies I discovered something called self-love and I wondered how that could apply to my body. Could I use love toward my body to help me heal? And, if so, what would that look like? I came up with an idea. I wanted to write a love letter to my body. Little did I know how powerful and transformational this activity would end up being. It was very hard to do, but it became one of the most important pieces of the puzzle in my healing journey. In today's podcast, I walk you through how to do this and why it works. If you want a copy of my body love letter, you can get yours here. I hope it serves you.

Download this episode (right click and save)

 

Practicing the Power of the Pause

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

“In the silence within, you will find relief, truth, and the instructions you’ve been seeking. Go there. And listen.” ~ Brendon Burchard

Ever sense I can remember, I've had a love- hate relationship with Summer. On the one hand, it is my favorite season because it's the only time of year that I can take a couple of months off from school. I use this time to recharge, get creative about what I want to do next, and focus on projects – like my business – that I may have neglected a little bit during the school year. On the other hand, I dread the summer. It's too hot to go outside and do all of the things I was looking forward to doing because of the heat.

But more importantly, I've recently realized that with summer comes a little bit of a feeling of depression and being lost. I frequently get the blues in the winter time – seasonal affective disorder gets me almost every year. But this is different. This has nothing to do with lack of sunshine and everything to do with my abundance of free time.

I found myself feeling this combination of mild depression and “lostness” both last summer and this summer and it struck me by surprise. Last summer, I chalked it up to having thrown my back out and missing a planned trip to Yellowstone Park. This summer, I thought it was just grief at first – I lost my beloved 10-year-old German Shepherd Kolby at the beginning of the summer – combined with having a bad reaction to the vaccines I took before leaving the country.

The feeling when away when I was in Ecuador and Peru, but seemed to return the minute the plane landed back home. That's when I realized – this isn't just grief. This has nothing to do with being injured or sick from vaccines. This is something else entirely; and it took me about a week to figure out what it was.

It's discomfort with the pause; it's discomfort with the idea that I'm not working full-time. During the school year, I'm so busy that sometimes I forget to eat. That's why I look forward to summer so much. I get my “me” time back. And yet, at some level, it's as though I don't know what to do with myself. Without the structure of classes and meetings and deadlines, I forget what it's like to be me. To just be.

I started to explore this idea further. When I look back over my many summers off – after all, between being a student and being a professor, I have been doing this summer thing for over 40 years now – I realized something. I never really have gotten the knack of taking the summer “off.” I always manage to fill my time with something. Last summer I taught an extra class, then did a series of paintings, and presented my work at a research conference. This summer I also taught an extra class in May, and since then, I have been working on a telesummit I will be launching in September (which I am so excited about!!!!). Every single summer – at least since I've been an adult – I've always managed to fill my time off with just another form of do-ing.

I found this realization very interesting. Why, when I supposedly look forward to summers, do I fill my time with other things? That's where the discomfort comes in. It's a discomfort with just be-ing; it's a discomfort with the pause. When I dove deeper, I realized that this discomfort comes from an old pattern that used to define my self-worth: you must be productive to be a value. Like many of us, I learned growing up that my value came from do-ing for others. The older I've gotten, the more I've come to understand that I must take care of me or I can't be of service to others. And the more I've taken care of me, the more I've been able to shift out of this old doing=worthiness mindset. Yet, at a subconscious level, it's still there. If you're taking time to pause (if it’s not a productive pause – more on that in today’s video), then you're not do-ing. And if you're not do-ing, then you're not of value. That's the discomfort. That's the old mindset that I thought I had gotten rid of. Turns out that mindsets can be sneaky though…

So I'm developing an experiment for myself – a non-doing experience, a chance to practice, and maybe even, enjoy the Pause. If this is something that interests you, I'm planning to do this experiment for the next 30 days and see what happens. I talk more about this experiment in today's video, although with other types of pauses that I am more comfortable with and integrate into my self-care on a regular basis.

I hope you'll join me.

Stop and Smell the Flowers: Lessons Learned in Ecuador and Peru

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

I just spent a wonderful 11 days visiting Ecuador and Peru. Like many of life's lessons, I feel that although my journey is over, in some ways, it has only begun. The constant rushing around of the on-the-go trip left me little time to process all I was learning about myself and about the two countries I visited. Yet, I feel that these lessons will reveal themselves over time. 

When I reflect on my trip, what immediately comes to mind is this:

1) We take so much for granted – our tour guide reminded us when we first arrived that these 2 countries were not “first world” countries and that things might be different from home. From differing levels of poverty to different cuisine options to the lack of simple things like toilet paper (or even running water sometimes), I was reminded of everything I have to be grateful for. While I've had a daily gratitude practice for over a decade, I feel it may be time to deepen this.

2) We are all different, yet we all want the same things – there was one woman in our tour group who consistently challenged “social norms,” especially when it came to men (kissing them on the lips, swatting them on the butt, giving out neck massages and back – all unwanted and unsolicited by these men). It made for a few awkward encounters, to say the least, with both the male recipients and their wives. Yet, we all realized that this woman had good intentions. These affectionate behaviors were her way of finding comradery and friendship within our group and with those she met along the way. And who doesn't want to feel loved and accepted? 

3) Take time to stop and smell the roses (or whatever flower it may be) and taste the chocolate (literally, as roses and chocolate are two of the major crops exported by Ecuador!) – time seemed to move more slowly in Peru and Ecuador. While the bigger cities like Quito and Lima were similar to the United States in terms of traffic and people rushing around, in the outlying areas and smaller towns like Cusco and Aguas Calientes, life seemed to move at a much slower and calmer pace. I saw families making time to play together in the park on a Sunday afternoon, friends sitting around drinking chicha (corn beer) and sharing their lives with each other, and children laughing and playing with llamas and alpacas while their parents worked the fields or sold goods in small local shops. I remembered that life can move at a slower pace. While it sometimes seems that we have no choice but to give into the busyness of life, we can actually choose to slow down, choose to put unimportant things off until tomorrow, choose not to respond to that email or return that phone call or text right this instant, or choose to take things off our plates (for now or for good).

4) All we have is this moment – usually when I travel, I find myself thinking of what I need to do when I get back home. Yet, there was something about these magical places that encouraged me to simply be, take it all in, and enjoy each moment, each experience, as I lived it. This is a lesson that I am struggling with now that I am back in the States. But, when I find myself thinking about my to-do list, all I have to do is close my eyes and be present in this moment and I find myself more calm instantaneously.

5) Keep moving forward – I had a dream a few nights after we returned. In it, I saw myself at a crossroads. One sign pointed to Peru, back from where I came. The other pointed in the opposite direction and said, “Next.” In my dream, I found myself torn. Do I want to go back to Peru and spend more time exploring the Incan ruins? Absolutely. Do I want to go back to Ecuador and spend more time in the Amazon? Yes. However, I know that I must keep taking one step forward to achieve my dreams and that going back would put those dreams to a halt. So, I consciously chose the path of the “Next” arrow. Do I know what’s next? Not always, but I choose to trust and keep moving forward. In today’s video, I talk more about moving forward in times of uncertainty and how to maintain a balance of forward movement and reflection/presence.