Monthly Archives: September 2017

Honoring Seasonal Shifts

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

As I write this, we have just experienced a seasonal shift (from Summer to Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter to Spring in the Southern). The turning of the Wheel of Year marks a powerful time of re-assessment and transition. While your schedule may seem busier than ever, you may also be feeling the call to go within, to slow down, and to re-examine your priorities and goals for the remainder of the year.

As September marks the middle of harvest season for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it certainly makes sense that we would feel called to give thanks for all we are grateful for and what we have harvested this year thus far. I think it also makes sense that we would be re-thinking our goals and plans we made in January, examining what we still have left on our yearly goals list, and deciding what’s “worth it” to keep on there and what might be better off tossed aside or at least postponed until next year. I spent quite a bit of time doing just that over the past week – celebrating what I’ve gotten done thus far in 2017 and re-assessing what was still on my goals and plans list. I ended up deciding that many of those goals I had made in January simply weren’t feasible for 2017 – or had ceased to matter to me for one reason or the other. I wrote all of these “not feasible/not worth it/not happening” goals down on a piece of paper and released them into the Universe (there are many ways to do a release ceremony; I simply wrote them down on a small piece of paper and burned it over my toilet, symbolically releasing these goals using both fire and water).

Once you’ve done this re-assessment and release work, then comes the really fun part (at least it was for me!). You get to decide what you want to focus on for the remainder of 2017. I have five reflection questions to help you with that process. I hope they serve you:

  1. Who do you find yourself jealous or envious of right now and why? – Although it may seem counterproductive to start from a place of jealousy or envy, our emotions often are windows to our Soul. They tell us what it is that we want by telling us either what we don’t want (see next question) or what we wish we could have, but think (for whatever reason) that we can’t. This often shows up as some sort of “negative” emotion like jealousy or envy or (see next question) fear. So who am I finding myself jealous of lately? My dear friend T. I love her death, but when she announced a month ago that she was taking a sabbatical to figure out what she really wanted to do with her business – I’m not going to lie – I saw green (you know, the green of envy and jealousy). What did I learn from my answer to this question? That while I couldn’t take a full sabbatical from my business or my job, I could incorporate in some time for assessment and reflection – hence my process last week.
  2. What fears are coming up for you right now? – Again, powerful emotions like fear can often help us discern what we do want by telling us what we don’t want. For example, if you’ve been finding yourself increasingly dissatisfied with a relationship or job, it may show up as a fear of being trapped (e.g., I will never be able to leave my partner/job or I can’t do any better than this). Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer. While my role model authors have changed as I’ve grown older, the dream to be a writer has not. So what’s my fear? The publishing industry has changed a great deal over the past decade or two. Book deals that are big enough for you to live off of while you write are fairly rare these days. So my fear is that I will never be able to “make it” as a writer because writing doesn’t pay the bills. Now if I just had that sabbatical… 😉
  3. What do you really desire? – Now that you’ve gotten the envy, jealously and fears out in the open, it’s time to get clear on what you really want. I encourage you to go deep with this process and make it more than just another list of goals or seemingly unattainable things you’ve wanted forever. I’ve been re-reading Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map. In it, she encourages you to figure out not only what you want, but why you want it. You may find that there is a mismatch somewhere in there that leads you to redefine either what you thought you wanted or why you thought you wanted it in the first place. Case in point, working on my writing goal from #2, two of my role models right now are Brene Brown (if you haven’t read her books on vulnerability and shame, I highly recommend them!) and Gabriele Oettingen (creator of the WOOP method of goal attainment and author of Rethinking Positive Thinking). After watching numerous talks by both of these women and reading their books, I was under the erroneous impression that they had both achieved my dream of writing and speaking and making a living from that. Nope. Turns out – they both still hold full time academic jobs. Was that an eye-opener for me! Lesson learned: even writing numerous New York Times best sellers won’t necessarily get you want you want (not that I know what Brene Brown wants, mind you – she may love being in academia full time and want to stay there). But that knowledge made me rethink what I want and why I want it and I realized that I might have found a mismatch there.
  4. So what do you really want? – after doing #3 and really focusing on the why and the feelings behind the why, get crystal clear on what it is you really want. What do I want? Freedom. The idea of being writer has always appealed to me a) because I really love writing, and b) because I figured I could write from anywhere. I always envisioned I would have this little cottage on the beach where I did the bulk of my writing, but that I could travel the world to speak and write if I wanted to. Writing would give me the freedom I craved, or so I thought…
  5. What’s one thing you can do today to “get there?” – In other words, once you know your goals it’s time to take action. If I know I want to write (and I still do), I need to write. Preferably every single day. If I want to feel free (which, as it turns out is something different than writing), then I need to identify what in my life makes me feel that way or what I could experiment with to feel that way and start doing more of it. For example, working from home, which I usually do two days a week, makes me feel free. Being outside in nature makes me feel free. Painting, singing, dancing – all things that make me feel free.

As we find ourselves in the midst of seasonal change, what is calling to be released in your life? What do you want to bring in its place? And, most importantly,

If you'd like to learn more about taking better care of you and setting “feel good” goals, I invite you to join me for The Well Nourished Goddess online summit where I've got 21 guest speakers talking about just those topics. I hope you'll join us.

Dealing with Your Inner People Pleaser

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Last Fall, I found myself facing one of my most difficult semesters. Yes, I had a few challenging students at the time, but they weren't the culprit: I was. You see, I had said “yes” to too many things and was finding myself feeling bitter, resentful, overworked, depleted, and, quite frankly, exhausted. 

This year, I promised myself I wouldn't over-commit again. And yet, I did. Not as bad as last Fall, but I certainly am feeling a little depleted right now.

As we approach the seasonal shift (Summer to Fall in the Northern hemisphere and Winter to Spring in the Southern), I feel that now is the perfect time to re-evaluate what we've got on our plates. But that means, you're probably going to run up against your inner people pleaser/ inner critic. In today's podcast episode, I talk about how I deal with my inner people pleaser and how I learned to say “no.” I hope it serves you. 


Download this episode (right click and save)

If you want more, I invite you to join me for The Well-Nourished Goddess telesummit – 21 experts getting real about how they deal with their own inner critics and make time for themselves when they have so much on their plates. 

Respecting Your Own Boundaries

By | Goddess Wisdom, Wisdom Blog | 2 Comments

If Universe has been trying to teach me a lesson lately, it is this:

Don't get me wrong; after working on codependency, people pleasing, boundary setting, and keeping promises to myself for several years now, I've come a long way. And yet, the creation of the very thing that I wanted to give to you – The Well Nourished Goddess telesummit – has tested my boundaries on many levels. From scheduling calls with speakers that are 16 hours ahead of me, to technology issues, to learning to ask for help and letting go of my inner control freak, my boundaries have been tested on more than one occasion over the past few months as I've prepared for the summit to launch. Yet, for each of these little universal tests, I am grateful.

I like to tell my clients that healing occurs in layers, much like peeling away layers of an onion. We peel away one layer and we get all excited because we think we finally tackled the issue. Then a day, a week, several months, or even several years later, it reemerges again – that issue we thought we dealt with once and for all. But this is just a deepening of the lesson, a deepening of the journey. Although it may be painful, I still welcome it. You see, if life was always easy, if it always flowed smoothly, we would never grow, we would never heal, and we would never learn.

Over the weekend, I found myself pondering this question: How can I teach women to set better boundaries for themselves, to take exquisite care of themselves and put themselves first if I'm not doing it myself? The answer, of course, is: I can't. Gulp. Time to practice what I preach and take a dose of my own medicine.

I've been reading Danielle LaPorte's latest book White Hot Truth. In it she asks this question:

In other words, when you show up for everybody else but not yourself, do you feel full or do you feel depleted? If you feel full, awesome. Keep on doing what you're doing. But if you feel a little depleted, as I have lately, it's time to do things differently. (No, don't judge yourself about why you're not able to do as many things as you usually are able to do or why you're more tired than usual. Listen to your body and heed its cycles and rhythms.)

So what am I doing? I ended up engaging in an exercise on boundary setting that I would like to share with you. I hope it serves you.

If you too are struggling with boundaries around giving away too much of your time and energy and feeling a bit depleted, I have some suggestions for you.

  1. Figure out what it is that you actually want – I'm talking about on an hour by hour, day by day experience. The past few weeks have taught me exactly what I don't want. I don't want to respond to frantic emails, texts, and messages while I'm trying to do my morning yoga. I don't want to be up until bedtime checking Facebook just in case somebody's having a problem. That's a sure path to insomnia. Figuring out what I didn't want it was the easy part. It was figuring out what I wanted that was a little more challenging.
  2. Get out your calendar, literally – I printed out a blown up version of a week-long calendar. I then armed myself with a bunch of little Post-it notes and wrote down everything that I needed to get done that week on those notes. Some of the things were day-specific; others could be done any day just as long as they got done. This process made me be very discerning about how much time I had, how much time I thought everything would take to accomplish, and how much time I actually had to get things done v. the time that I had allotted for myself to do each of these tasks. (See today's video for more information.)
  3. Set your “working” or “available” hours – what times are you available for other people's priorities and what times are you blocking off for yourself? – Hint: get a little greedy here. Give yourself a little wiggle room and a little more breathing room than you think you're going to need. That way, when and if life inevitably happens, you're not taken too far off track.
  4. Attach your sticky notes to your calendar and see what happens – if you run out of room on your calendar, it's time to get even more discerning about your priorities, or more realistic about how much time things will actually take. You may have to make some tough choices and take some things off your plate for this week because you simply don't have room for them now that you're giving yourself a little more of your own time. Fight the urge to take away your own time that you've scheduled in. You will think about it, but please don't do it. You'll regret it. I promise. Breathe. This is just an experiment. If you don't like how it goes this week, there's always next week to try again. 
  5. Do a daily and end-of-week reflection on what went well and what didn't, and from there you can decide what you want to do differently next week. 

I'll keep you posted on how my experiment goes. I'd love to hear how yours goes. If you'd like to learn more about taking better care of you and setting healthier boundaries with people in your life and around your own time, I invite you to join me for The Well Nourished Goddess online summit where I've got 21 guest speakers talking about just those topics. I hope you'll join us.

 

Learning to Love Yourself Like It’s Your Job

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

I've been reading Danielle LaPorte's new book White Hot Truth. In it, she has a chapter entitled, Love Yourself Like It's Your Job. I thought to myself, “what a great way to put it.” 

On my journey back to self-love and body love, I have learned that loving myself needs to be up there on the priority list – preferably in the first spot. Why? Because: 1) it's my job to make sure I get my needs met and 2) I cannot serve from my reserves or I get really [sick/ depleted/ exhausted/ angry/ bitter/ resentful/ insert word or emotion that describes you when you've been over-doing and over-giving]. 

That is why I am so excited about today's podcast episode, where I talk a little bit more about my journey back to self-love. It is a journey, a path that I am continually refining. I hope it serves you.

If you want more self-love and body love, I invite you to join The Well-Nourished Goddess on-line event. You can sign up here: http://TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.

 

Download this episode (right click and save)

Loving Yourself to Fullness

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If you’re like me, growing up you learned that your value/sense of self-worth came from your accomplishments. Did you get straight As? Were you the best on your sport’s team? Did you lend a hand whenever possible? Did you say “Yes!” whenever anyone asked you to do something for them?

Although I love putting my “best foot forward” and I love being of service, I’ve learned in my 40+ years on this planet that when I place my self-worth in the hands of external validation (e.g., getting that promotion, meeting other people’s expectations, checking everything off my to-do list for the day), two things consistently happen: 1) it’s somehow still never enough, and 2) I get drained/ depleted/ exhausted/ and eventually sick.

It wasn’t until I was 40 that I began to realize that this is no way to live my life. I had to learn how to fill my own cup and somehow create my own sense of self-worth, independent of anything I did or did not do.

The trouble was: I had no idea where to start. I had to create my own roadmap, so to speak. It took a while, but as I walked along my path, I realized that, for me, there were 7 key steps to loving myself to fullness:

  • Step 1: Stop Comparing Your Body/Intelligence/Success/etc. to Everyone Else – You are not them, you are you. Only YOU know what you need and what it will take to get you there and this step empowers you to stop measuring yourself against someone else’s standards.
  • Step 2: Figure Out Who You Are (and Who You Are Not) – And no, don’t ask someone else the answer to this question. This is all about who YOU want to be and who you don’t want to be.
  • Step 3: Figure Out What You Need and What You Want – In order to LOVE you and take care of you, you have to be you. That means not only figuring out who you are, but what you NEED and what you WANT out of life, as well as out of each day.
  • Step 4: EnVision What You Want – Once you’ve figured out who you are and what you want, and have stopped trying to live someone else’s dream life, you’re ready to tackle the next step: creating your dream.
  • Step 5: Get Comfortable in Your Own Skin Again – Want to love yourself and live your dream life? Start by loving the YOU that you are now as well as the life you have now.
  • Step 6: Heal Your Own Self-love/Self-worth Issues – To truly move on to a place of self-love, you have to heal the things that have kept you from moving forward.
  • Step 7: Take Exquisite Care of You – Take responsibility for making sure your needs are met so you can love yourself into fullness every day.

 

I discuss each of these steps further in today’s video. I hope it serves you.

If you are ready to learn how to fill your own cup and love yourself to fullness, I invite you to join us for The Well-Nourished Goddess: The Art of Sacred Self-Care. 21 experts all talking about how they show up for themselves on a daily basis despite their responsibilities. We would love to see you there. You can join us here:  TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.

I’m Asking You to Show Up for Yourself

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

Dear beautiful, fabulous, wonderfully–talented goddess,

I have a question for you:

I know that you're busy. I know that life sometimes feels a bit overwhelming. I know that you have so many roles, responsibilities, and obligations. I know that sometimes you just wish you could run away from your life. I know that sometimes you doubt whether you're good enough to handle it all or good (insert appropriate inner mean girl rant) enough period.

I know the days/weeks/sometimes months go by before you even start to consider your own needs. I know that sometimes you skip meals and forget to eat because you're just that busy, or maybe sometimes at the end of a really long day, you dive headfirst into the Ben & Jerry's ice cream just because it seems like a good idea and it seems like a comfort. I know that sometimes you wish you could just have more control over your life, or just fewer things on your to do list. 

I know that sometimes you just wish you didn’t have to be the one who has to take care of everything and everyone. I know that you dream of vacationing to exotic destinations and, maybe sometimes, dream of what it might be like to just run away and stay there and have someone take care of your every need for a change.

Here's what I want you to know: you are beautiful and wonderful and absolutely perfectly imperfect just the way you are. I wish that you could see yourself as I see you, rather than judging the woman in the mirror yet again. But I know that you don't always see things that way. Sometimes you see yourself as flawed, broken, or needing fixing. Sometimes you just wish it was your turn to catch a break, a good night’s sleep, or whatever it is that your heart desires. And I know that sometimes you feel like that's never going to happen.

I'm here today because I have a favor to ask of you. It's a favor for me and, really, for you. Here's what I know: you are absolutely worthy of your own time, your own care, your own nurturing, and that your dreams do matter. So for today, and preferably all of your days, 

I'm asking you to take care of yourself and fill your own cup before you fill everybody else's. I'm asking for you to just once put yourself first. Because here's the deal: if you don't take care of yourself and put you first, you won't be able to show up for all those that you serve. Your kids need you, your parents need you, your siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, family, friends, clients, and colleagues need you. We all need you. But we need you to be you – not the drained, depleted, overspent version of you. We need you to be the best version of you. No  – I'm not judging you for not showing up for yourself. I'm writing this to myself as much as anyone else.

But I want to you consider this question: What would life be like if you started living that way – serving from your overflow and not from your reserves? How would you be better able to show up for yourself and for others?

Here's the deal: you have permission to be who you are. And here’s my wish for you: one of these days, maybe not today, I hope that you're in a place where you are finally ready. You're ready to claim you – all parts of you – no matter what you actually think about those parts – good, bad, indifferent. Because when you can do this, when you can learn to claim, accept, love you for who you are just as you are right now in this moment, then you have conquered the last frontier. Nothing can hold you back. Because you see, once you realize you're the one that's been holding you back all this time, you're free.

So I'm asking you to show up for yourself. Five, 10, 15 minutes a day. (Check out today’s video for some ideas on how to do this.) Try it and you’ll realize the feeling of showing up for you is addicting. And may I repeat: you’re worth it.

If you are ready to show up for you, I invite you to join us for The Well-Nourished Goddess: The Art of Sacred Self-Care. 21 experts all talking about how they show up for themselves on a daily basis despite their responsibilities. We would love to see you there. You can join us here:  TheWellNourishedGoddess.com.