finding your voice

How Are You Holding Yourself Back?

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Young woman exhausted after running on a cold winter day in the track of an urban park.

Two eclipses, a double full moon in Sagittarius, 5 planets in retrograde. I never paid that much attention to planetary alignments before, but 2016 has been a wild ride and I wanted some sort of explanation for everything I and my clients have been experiencing so I started paying attention. Apparently all of that retrograde energy served to highlight for us all the things from our past we need to heal – all those unresolved memories of words left unsaid, actions left undone, things we did but wished we hadn’t.

It’s too easy to get caught up in all that sea of unresolved issues. I think Jo MacDonald said it best when she advised,

“When you find yourself flicking through your own memories, remember that they are all a part of the journey, they are all an opportunity for us to grow and learn, to ask ourselves ‘What am I telling myself about that experience? How can I develop a more empowering mindset around that story?' Instead of getting caught up in nostalgia we can use this experience to move forwards and keep creating a life we love. – Jo MacDonald

That’s similar to the advice I give myself and my clients all the time. I truly believe that everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly – happens for a reason. Life happens for us, not to us. It’s not our job to question why something happened. It’s our job to figure out what lesson we need to learn from it; what remains unresolved. Not so we can judge or criticize ourselves, but so we can learn from it, heal, and move on.

“There's something you believe about yourself that makes you hold back … We have these stories that we tell, these labels we apply… When we're around people, we're not being ourselves because we're being protective. But sometimes in our self-protection, we block out the very thing that we want so much. – Brendan Burchard

I’ve been on retreat mode since the Summer Solstice (Winter Solstice for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere). I’ve been journaling, painting and reflecting on what I want to leave behind and what I want to carry forward as I begin the second half of 2016.

I was listening to a session of Woman Unleashed 4 with Shiloh Sophia McCloud and Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici. In it, Shiloh was talking about a recent revelation she had – that she didn’t have to play by someone else’s rules.

“I am releasing layers of who I'm supposed to be – titles, roles. I'm untying each one of these threads one by one and resetting them. I'm giving myself permission not to do those anymore if they don't feel good for me. I'm retying those threads of my life, those things that are natural and true for me and make me thrive. I choose how I am woven.”

I pondered what she said and was reminded of the ‘aha’ moment I experienced in April in 2013 when I realized I was living someone else’s life. I too went about a long, arduous process of releasing threads that no longer served, yet tied me down. In the 6 months following that awakening experience, I would move, get a divorce, turn 40 and break my heel for the second time in year, but through it all I knew something to the depths of my core: I was making the right choice for me, the only one I could have made in that moment.

If 2016 has been a struggle for you, I give you the following advice: go where your excitement/passion/fire is.

As Shiloh Sophia said in her session, “When you are on your path, following your edge, obstacles are opportunities for growth. When you are not on your path, obstacles are a call to stop, go back, regroup.”

While you’re at it, decide what threads you want to pick up and move forward with for the remainder of 2016. Write your manifesta, your representation of how you want to live your life from this moment forward.

I stand in my truth and walk in my power. My strength lies in my purple curlicue sideways way of looking at things. I let my intuition – the wild passionate fire from the depths of my soul – guide my decisions. I choose my destiny to help women take a stand for themselves, to love honor and respect themselves as the passionate, beautiful Goddesses they are.

Do You Trust Yourself?

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Thinking young woman with yes or no choice on grey background.

Do you trust yourself? I didn't – not for the first 40 years of my life. I was always looking for an external source of approval that my ideas were sound, that I'd done the right thing, that I was good enough.

I used my mistakes (translation: opportunities for growth ;)) as proof that I couldn't trust myself. When confronted with a decision, I would do one of two things: 1) make an impulsive decision and then second guess myself, or 2) look back on my life and think “I can't make a decision because when I do I always screw it up.”

Neither of those views were healthy – or helpful.

In the past few years as I've healed my relationship with myself, I have begun to learn how to trust myself and my decisions again. I am going to give you few questions for reflections that will help you learn to trust yourself again. I hope they serve you.

  • žWhat is my true purpose in life? – Now just sit and wait. You might be tempted to write down what you are currently doing or what you think you should be doing. Don’t. Just wait and let whatever is going to come out of you flow.
  • žHow am I fulfilling (or not fulfilling) my true purpose in life? – Again, just let the words flow onto the page.
  • žWhat’s one thing I can do today to move me toward my life’s purpose? – This does not have to be something huge like quitting your job or getting a divorce. We’re talking baby steps here. The key is to do this exercise every day, knowing that each baby step is taking you one step closer to what you were born to do, who you were meant to be. And it may – or may not – be anything like what you thought it was going to be. That’s okay. Be patient with yourself.
  • What is my life vision? In an ideal world, what would a life in alignment with my true purpose look like? Again – just let the words come out of you. Even if they sound far-fetched, even if they sound ridiculous (use your cancel button if you start to doubt yourself). It’s your dream, your life vision here. There is no such thing as far-fetched or ridiculous.
  • žWhat’s one thing I can do today to move me toward that ideal life vision? – You knew this one was coming. Again, we’re talking baby steps here.
  • What can I do right now to show myself how much I love and appreciate myself? – This one usually throws women for a loop, and is the most important question on the list. Let me explain. As women, we are nurturers, givers; yet, we rarely take the time to give to ourselves, to receive love. But here’s the thing: you can’t serve your true calling or live your life’s purpose when you’re running on empty. You can’t take care of your loved ones when you have nothing left to give. This is why flight attendants tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before you put one on your child. You need that oxygen to be able to help your child, just like you need to take care of you so you can take care of everyone else. So, I ask you again: What’s one thing you can do right now (because we both know if I said ‘today’ you’d put it off and it would never happen) to show myself how much I love and appreciate myself? It’s called self-love and self-care. And there is nothing selfish about it.

The key in answering of these questions is to silence the “good girl” voice – the voice that tells you how you should be based on what other people think. Instead, let the answers bubble up from your heart, your inner goddess, your connection with Divine.

Let me what you found out!