This morning I'm sitting on the sofa with a to do list in hand, so exhausted that I can barely move. The onset of renovating our new home is going well, but the physical work is extremely taxing and I'm not even the one doing the bulk of it! Late nights of work and happy planning are requiring the hubster and I to dig deep. Welcome to a snippet of my midlife reality. :)
Nevertheless in the midst of the strain I find "thank yous" and "hallelujahs" rising. Thanksgiving always seems to smooth out the rough road for me. It lifts my sightline and keeps my focus on what is real, rather than temporary. Read More
Today I woke up feeling the frenzy of my to do list, and a low rumbling anxiety about all that appears to be on my plate. However, I knew that that was not what I wanted to feel, so I circled back around and took stock.
For heaven sakes, in a couple of days we are closing on the purchase of a home after six years of relocations and change. A new sense of thankfulness couldn't help but rise up loud and strong instantly restoring my giddiness!
This has been a long season of letting go, free falling, forward movement in the form of rest, acceptance, realignment and learning a whole new level of self-care that I had never known and that I can only give myself. It has also been a season of cultivating thankfulness. Read More
As a kid I had a natural bent toward discovery. You probably did too. I was naturally creative, expressing life through art, singing, song writing, dance, jewelry fabrication, acting, writing and imagining an unlimited world.
By the time I was sixteen, I had an insatiable hunger for curiosity and learning, and began reading books that expressed ideas I didn’t find being explored in classrooms, pulpits, at home or through the many innovative thought leaders of our day. I couldn’t get enough of the ‘Self-help’ section in bookstores offering up thoughts on spirituality, successful living and creative thinking long before I'd heard of the coaching profession. I was a proactive seeker looking for answers and tools to navigate life.
It wasn’t until recently that I recognized this natural bent and curiosity around the way people think and the structures that have caused the perceptions and the stories we make up. Like many grown up women I've spent a great deal of time dancing between my natural wide-eyed curiosity and trying to appease puritanical poo pooing that refuses to challenge the way we think and what we think we know. That dance is exhausting and only keeps us disconnected from who we truly are. Read More
As women sometimes we shuffle along in our own world forgetting that there's someone next door, across the street, or across town feeling the same internal tugs that we're feeling. Often we banish those tugs to the corner, like Cinderella feeling alone in her room.
Then suddenly something magical happens. We put ourselves in connection with other women and allow ourselves to be seen. We show up true, leaving behind the camouflage of "supposed to" and "appropriate" that's hidden us for so long. Read More
Often we don’t know that we’re in resistance, because our patterns and internal stories are so familiar that we don't not recognize how they’re hindering us. Ever feel like you’re in a vortex that keeps spinning around? The same old stuff surfaces, causing you to feel trapped and unable to get out. You think the rest of the world is jumping over hurdles like a champ, while you’re struggling with what feels like an invisible barrier barring your access. Guess what, there is a barrier! The barrier is fear. Read More
Like many, I loved the 90’s head bopping boy band, Nsync that introduced the world to Justin Timberlake. But even as the band discovered, staying on top of what it takes to remain in sync is a challenge. If we ignore the clues signaling issues and resistance, we are likely to hit up against a wall. Often those that are action oriented, end up barreling through into misaligned territory, and incorrect fits with ego at the lead.
Facing change, challenges, and shifts isn’t easy, so sometimes we opt to move into a fear-based mode of operation to manage or avoid our uneasiness. Because fear and ego are bedmates, you won't find one without the other unless there's intentional mindfulness.
There are a lot of things that aren’t in my wheelhouse. For instance, I’m terrible at math. I would never try to offer you my mathematical expertise. Want to witness a comedy routine? Watch my sister and I tally up a bill.
Sports? Not so much. I was raised by a single mom and I was usually one of the last to be picked for school sports teams. I don’t even understand football for goodness sakes. And all you OCD folks, I’m pretty darn sure I’m eliminated from your ranks, because I loathe house cleaning!
For most of life I have been arm-wrestling with the propriety police. You know the rule keepers that make up the rules and make sure everyone adheres to them. The policers that tell folks not to wear white past Labor Day, stay small and invisible, don’t make a scene, always adhere to respectable “good girl” behavior, whether it's your own hoop jumping tendencies or what others try to define for you.
For some years I worked my darnedest to appease these "policers", as if I might earn a bag of gold (middle child syndrome.) In the old days parroting was easy for me. I was an actress for heaven sake; I can bullshit with the best of them.
Then I recognized the ridiculousness of adhering to values that weren't mine. In fact, the least (doesn’t even make the list) would be the attributes of the demure and lady-like. When I'm all about getting untamed and free, why would I bow and scrape to earn approval I already possess by the mere fact that I exist? Read More
If you’re like me you find yourself “over adulating” more frequently than you’d like to admit and then suddenly you feel rusty like the Tin Man needing a good fix of oil.
I was recently talking about this with a friend of mine. You see we both recognize that we’re rather serious, task oriented girls. While this has its perks (being quite good at getting things done) it can also lead to detours of the heart, betraying what really matters with a sudden “I can handle it resolve.” Remember how Dorothy led her crew on a mission, got detained in a field of poppies, washed and buffed in Emerald city all before returning home to find what she had been missing all along, herself. Been there done that!
Although I am task oriented, I am probably the biggest initiator of socializing of anyone I know (with the exception of my sister, the party girl.) I am always ready for adventure and regularly dreaming up socialization and fun, because I know the heavy toil of living without it! Read More
Recently I was asked to sit on a panel of mom’s with adult kids, to share our pearls with younger moms. As I looked around the round I noticed the variety of women in all sizes, shapes, backgrounds, temperaments, experiences and abilities. It was there that the falsehood of one-size-fits-all parenting, or life-ing seemed more magnified than usual.
What I heard were not techniques on mama-ing, but more ways of being and seeing. I’ve heard it said about parenting that things are caught more than taught. That’s why it does little good to parrot one thing, while doing something else. Like it or not, what our kids have caught is actually what we’ve done. This means they’ve not only caught our incongruences, but have caught wonderful unique gifts that we don’t even recognize we’re gifting to them. Read More
It is so easy to let the celebration of a long held dream fly under the radar. To let others lack of nurture of a vision wash over you like a wet blanket until your light is extinguished. I have felt my heart go limp with vulnerability and insecurity countless of times from a disdaining, disapproving glance, but I hope I never let such a thing buckle my vision again. And while some pretend they might be above insecurity, baby, we all have it!
When I published my first book, a book of poetry, Blood, Wine and Roses, there was no fanfare and I underplayed any whispers of congratulations that did come my way with the tones of “Don’t draw attention to yourself and don’t stand out”, because we don’t have permission for ourselves either!” All the while failing to let the joy of my personal accomplishment and the wink to self sink deep into my bones.
When I recorded Tidal Wave an album of all original songs, again there was no celebratory gathering, no “Way to go, girl” and no “You did this and you should feel good!” Instead, the culture of false humility and strong withholding prevailed. Read More
Today, my Sis and I head out for the final preparations for our first, long awaited Delta Sisters Retreat that begins on Thursday at our family farm. As challenging as this launch has been, I am determined to saver every minute of it.
In the past, I haven't always celebrated my accomplishments, perhaps because those surrounding me weren't always cheering. Nevertheless, I am learning to be my own cheerleader and twirl around in the light of my Maker's giddy acceptance, approval and down right delight in my accomplishments. I am learning to nurture my childlike heart again.
In fact, a few nights ago, before I fell a sleep, I heard the phrase, "What if you couldn't mess up?" I instantly thought about the way a good daddy's loves his little girl, beaming with acceptance no matter how many times she falls down learning to walk, or how many flat notes she sings in her spontaneous and exuberant sing-song-play. Read More
Lately, I have felt a bit overwhelmed. Not necessarily because I am doing too much, but because of the thoughts and feeling that lay beyond the action. This is what determines if I will in fact, surf the waves of overwhelm, or sink beneath them with a mouth full of water.
Every bit of new ground I navigate insights the same feelings of vulnerability exposure that you probably feel in your own life when navigating new territory. That uncomfortable feeling of being splayed wide-open accompanies risk. Risk means there is an opportunity to learn to surf new waters despite the feelings of overwhelming. Read More
What woman doesn’t know the importance of her girl friends and the wealth they add to life? Two are better than one, because a friend is there to help carry the load, lift you up when you fall and be the one to make you laugh when you take yourself too seriously.
I have always loved doing life with women friends, but I’m also passionate about women awakening to the goods they carry, getting out from under duty and obligation, half-hearted living, and coming home to true identity.
There’s nothing I’d rather do than invest in and encourage a woman’s journey of discovering her dreams, a grand awakening of self-realization, learning to choose and navigate relationships with those who have her back, appreciate her intrinsic value and beauty and never fail to cheer her on. That’s the great stuff about sisterhood or what some have coined "sistering". Read More
We don’t find out who we are through the eyes of others. We recognize the life of the Maker, whose signature and identity is stamped and residing within our being. It’s this beautiful recognition that will transcend the doubts in our head and the stories we’ve believed about ourselves, so we can connect with the truth about who we are.
“Discovery and recognition of the permanent identity causes it to rise to the surface like a cork which has been held under water and suddenly released.” Walter Lanyon, The Eyes of the Blind
Measuring our ability to love or be loved by those standing with us is a misconception that keeps us looking outwardly for validation instead of at the already magnificent acceptance and delight of the One who created us. Read More
When I’ve played to the crowd (you know, those times when we poll everyone else and avoid listening for our own answers) suddenly I feel anxious and overwhelmed. My peace dissipates, my body tenses and I wonder what happened.
Often the women I work with struggle with owning their own voice, desires and strength. They have spent a lifetime abdicating them, so taking the reins of their own life is foreign. Often they’ve grown up in or subjected themselves to cultural mindsets that have instilled abdicating their will.
No one wants to think of himself or herself as a victim, but honestly when we don’t take responsibility for our own choices and instead blame others; we are living from a victim stance. I’d like to say that I never do this, but I do. And so do you! Read More
Opening Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please I see an image of her rather glowing Kindergarten progress report. I am reminded that most of us need encouragement and so we look outwardly for other’s acknowledgment to bolster ourselves up, until we learn to give ourselves the gold star of affirmation that we need.
In truth I think we’d all like to stockpile and shellac all the beautiful words, comments and gold stars others have given us on the wall of our home as trophies on display. We look outwardly for validation instead of resting inwardly in our already validated worth. Read More
I believe a full life is a palate thick with the many colors of mountain trekking survival challenges, the sweet ease of serenity and the vibrant summer greens serenaded by breezy synchronicity. Life’s not merely measured by the happy go lucky days when the sun is shining and our heart’s singing, but more accurately the rich texture and thickness of a mixed palate.
So why is it that we often canvas and judge our lives on the days we’re feeling surrounded by bleakness, knowing that the very nature of the dark is an inability to see clearly? Why would measure anything according to a half view, instead of an accurate view? Yet, often we do.
To be a true badass means refusing to settle for a storyline that appears to be the final word, and exchanging it for a rewrite. It’s mingling the sweet and the sour, while holding up a rich bodied wine that exemplifies a full-bodied life. Read More
Sometimes I wonder, why I’m doing this work? Holding the space for others to ‘do the work’ of developing shame resilience can be tough. I encounter plenty of shame, my own and others!
Then I remember that whether the people I work with or I do the work or not, we will all feel shame. It’s a fact. Research has shown that everyone experiences shame and the ones who talk about it the least have it the most.
Brenè Brown has taught us that shame gets triggered in face down moments when we experience something as little as a skewed look across the room to greater triggers such as, job loss, break ups, people unloving us, failure, feeling misunderstood, hearing things incorrectly, someone bouncing their shame on us, comparison, making assumptions about others, and ourselves. Read More
Having worked with many women over the years in small groups, workshops, or with individual coaching clients, it’s always heartbreaking when a woman begins to recognize the degree to which she has ignored her own needs. It’s heart wrenching when a women discovers that she has poured her life out for everyone around her, while investing in herself becomes an after thought. I too grieved my own recognition of the lack of attention I had given to myself at the core. Read More