I've Been Done

IMG_1420I’ve been done

Scraped and shattered

Brittle edges-sandpaper crunch

Layer upon layer peel back the dirt

 

Surrendered to the brightness of one perfect touch

With scalpel in hand cut down to the bone

Walled off resistance in response to forgotten casualties, relationships dismissed

Ritual’s blinding disregard has gouged heavy grooves in my soul

No eyes see

The gaping

 

Strings strung true, but it’s all in the tuning

I cave under the musician’s pluck

Alignment to you-colliding with intimate love

Who you’re meant to be

What I’m meant to see

Art in the undoing

Beyond logic, or sanctimonious howl

One lost tree in the garden

Bended knee softens me some how

IMG_1422 

Not a trifle, as some would like it to be

Splintered and scattered ravaged sons

No one grieves

I’ve been done

Undo me

Are You Wasting Time With Lesser Lovers?

Heaven 1Have you thought about what you want in the New Year? I’m not talking about the often-typical coach verbiage of outer goals and action plans, bigger businesses and greater bottom lines. I’m talking about the deeper things that are felt and experienced with the heart, such as: excitement, gratitude, appreciation, being in the present, heightened awareness of the senses, anticipation, hope, inspiration, love, and peace to name a few. 

Should you be moving forward with an action plan consider the things that often get second notice. Yet, when these attributes are ignited, they spark everything around them into a greater flame. When they are absent blindness sets in to the wealth that exists in unexpected places. 

If it’s been a while since you looked up from your desk, or pile of laundry and you’ve forgotten what excitement, or gratitude feels like, watch a child and you’ll quickly witness excitement over simple things. You’ll see love and appreciation for having the most beautiful mommy on the planet, gratitude when an adult sits to read awhile, anticipation for what’s coming and the ability to be fully engaged in the moments play. 

This kind of presence means halting the busy work that’s an easy distractor and exit ramp named ‘avoidance.’ It means getting beyond the superfluous clutter and noise, and the striving after lesser lovers to hone in on the greater thing.

I confess I’m a girl that has always had a need for speed and the feeling of the wind in my hair, but I never want to confuse these lesser lovers for the real thing.

This week, next week and in the New Year lets determine what matters most. Reignite excitement for the simple beauty all around that may have grown dim. Focus on the sheer joy and inspiration of living in the present, breathing in each moment.

Here’s my Be Here Now Manifesto. You may want to write your own.

 

Be Here Now Manifesto

Spend time with family savoring each one-of-a-kind presence, etched faces, and curvy smiles.

Linger over delicious meals, surrounded by robust laughter and engaging conversation with those I love.

Steal away to a glorious beach hideaway to dip my toes in the sand and notate the poetry that stirs on my lips.

Enjoy porch sitting, summertime-ice tea, breezes and screen doors.

Live fully in the divine intoxication of love.

Curl up in a cozy corner to linger over wisdom writers.

Bundle up for wintery moonlight walks.

Breathe in ordinary days dusted with creative splurges and impulses a glow.

Unplug from technology and spend time learning more about my lover, as if we’ve met for the first time.

Leave behind dime store trinkets, cotton candy grabs at empty pursuits that blind & handcuff.

Unlearn more of what I think I know.

Live in childlike exploration and wonder. 

Let go of offenses, judgments, incongruences and preoccupations that keep me living below my true self.

Embrace my identity: fully loved by God.

Remain open to what’s divinely initiated, sip grace and lavishly embrace life with gratitude.

Paradox Not Parabox!

BoxRecently I read a post on Facebook stating that we can’t trust what we feel. The post caused me to reflect on the amazing paradoxes that exist in life. While I certainly have identified many feelings that have proven to be: False Evidence Appearing Real, (most recently the notion that the bristliness I have experienced in some settings was a reflection of my lovability), I have also experienced the converse.

My biggest ah ha this year has been around my need for increased authenticity and self-care in listening to what my gut is instinctually telling me. In so doing, I allow myself to show up more present and truthful.

Another current day paradox is the notion that resistance is equivalent to fear and so one must bulldoze ahead through fear, but I have discovered that resistance is often a messenger telling me that something within is out of alignment with what I’m trying to do. I have discovered that my resistance is often beckoning me to take a deeper look at what my gut is broadcasting.

The key here is determining if you are a type that struggles to move forward and take action, hence the tendency to stay buried beneath fear; an action oriented person with a tendency to hide behind activity; or a combination of the two.

Life is a paradox. What might be positive in some situations can conversely be harmful at other times, or to other people. Living in life’s contradictions takes both awareness and willingness to let go of what ego likes to perceive as control, or a prescription for the “one way” route.

Once we are aware of any given paradox, we can allow others and ourselves the grace to live outside of the box.

The Cost of a Real Education Is Steep

Heart and Soul

 

I don’t consider many things mistakes, because when you lean in for divine direction in decision making you trust the decision. However, I've come to understand that the perceived outcome will most likely translate differently than I had imagined on the other side of the experience.

That’s how the last four years played out for me. A big idealist dive into the deep end led to a new anchoring and transformative dose of reality I hadn’t anticipated. Now that I’ve come up for air, recovered from the shock of almost drowning, here’s what I gleaned from my steep four-year learning curve.

The Education You Can’t Get In College

  1. Sometimes you will be led to invest a lot of money in an education that promises an end result. However, what you’ll really be investing in is a hard- earned education in what's not your path.
  2. You may think your passion is pulling you into deeper waters, but it could be that what you once perceived as shallow will in due time become more valuable than you ever imagined.
  3. Dorothy didn’t find herself out looking for the latest greatest Oz. She found herself by returning home to herself.
  4. Shoe horning yourself in to fit and allowing others to define you and your route will most certainly give you blisters.
  5. What you judge to be lacking in others is on some level lacking in yourself.
  6. In the end, all the shiny objects promising a reward will show themselves for what they truly are and the true gold will be found in people.
  7. Bridges go both ways.
  8. Vulnerability is the only way to find real connection.
  9. Inner congruence is the most over looked necessity that reaps the greatest payoff.
  10. Telling your story is crucial, although it will anger people that aren’t even a part of your story, because you’ll be exposing their worst fears.
  11. There is no good or bad about a person’s story. It just is what it is.
  12. Hidden pain will kill you.
  13. You can celebrate your hard earned education, recognizing that without it you’d still be searching for what you’ve found.
  14. You are only as authentic as you can be at any given moment. Next week you may see differently and understand with even greater clarity.
  15. Self-kindness, forgiveness, and wiliness to lay down perfection will be the greatest forward moving action.
  16. Although you may feel constrained at times, you may actually be protected from what you think you want, because if you got it you’d realize it wasn’t what you wanted at all.
  17. Talk and pontification are dead-end streets. You don’t have to settle for a formulaic faith. You can experience God in a way that words cannot define.
  18. Some people will be so driven by their fears and insecurities that they will never stop competing. Let them have the bone they crave, because the  real trophy is imperishable.
  19. The further you go you will find that love is the underlying vein, the answer and remedy to everything
  20. You can’t arrive where you are heading if your authentic self is on a different path. Although the investment of an inner relationship is never popular, it is where you discover and nurture your eternal purpose. Everyone will be required to pass through this junction; some must go first to be trail guides.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

What have you gleaned from your hard-earned education? 

Do You Give Yourself Permission For Tantrums?

ID-10070716Do you ever feel like the climb is too steep and you can’t make it up the hill? Do you ever feel like your reserve is depleted and you can’t push yourself to fall in line and behave one more time? That’s how I am feeling.

I’m parting ways with the idea that “good girls don’t throw tantrums” for need of throwing a majorly over due fit.

Swallowing the Big Pill

The last four years of transition finally hit me in the face, as if my adrenals stopped in their tracks and posted a “depleted” sign. My back and ovaries are hurting and I can’t get in to see the doc until next week, the potential of another move is more than I can even began to muster strength for and the list of today’s errands alone are overwhelming, Hootsuite is exasperating me by interfering with my posting regime and my usual Pollyanna perspective has gone missing in action.

Why am I telling you this when it would so much easier to keep these feeling locked down and out of sight, while letting you think that I never struggle because my inner world is as tidy as my outer world may appear? The truth is we all have days like this, sometimes even weeks and years when something unplanned arrives at our door, such as sickness, job loss, betrayal, or mayhem in the lives of those we love and somehow we have to learn a new way of living.

freedigitalphotos.net

I confess the last four years have been a period of consistent readjustments, learning to hold things loosely and to find the beauty in each new moment and new day.  I’ve uncovered some deep-seated built -in coping mechanisms I learned as a child to cope adjust to change. I’ve seen some of my tidy housekeeping methods for life and pain betray me by inconveniently unraveling and spilling out all over the floor. I’ve grown; taken some ground and I’ve surrendered some too.

How about you? Have you been prone to feel-good-quick-fixes because they seem convenient in the moment even though they eventually result in long layovers? Are you experiencing a layover as a result of early childhood quick-fix decisions to stow away ill felt feelings?

Express what’s real or it will surface defiantly

A wise woman once said, “every unexpressed emotion comes out sideways,” so today I’m giving my emotions a chance to stand up and represent.  Today I am acknowledging what I’m feeling without judgment of right or wrong, without looking to be fixed and with acceptance that my perception may or may not be accurate. Today I’ve decided to have a hissy fit, throw a big one and whine a lot, so tomorrow I can move on and choose how I will shift my perspective of playing the game of life.

But today:

  1. I don’t like being out of control and feeling like I’m dangling from the end of a rope while being whipped to and fro.
  2. I don’t like feeling unsettled, uprooted and not knowing where I will land and if I will land.
  3. I don’t like feeling that I’ve been sending messages and they don’t seem to be getting through.
  4. I don’t like that I’ve fought hard, given up, laid down, and surrendered again, but still feel stranded out at sea.
  5. I don’t like that I’m crying out, throwing down and having a tantrum like a baby and it doesn’t look pretty.

  

How are you at giving yourself permission for a tantrum, meltdown or hissy fit?

What You Can Learn For the Wrong Mentor

no accessI’m not a quick fix person. It took me a long time (most of my life) to recognize that I'm wired as an "innie" rather than an "outie." What does that mean? As much as I've tried to go after the bling, the moneymaking, hot selling stuff; it's never been a natural fit. I'm passionate about heart connection, authenticity and what's going on below the surface rather than merely outer drivers.

Sure, I ‘ve fallen for the dangling carrot of wanting a business a kin to the latest, greatest, best-est thing on the market, the thing that makes you thinner, smarter, sexier and comes with a sports car, but alas, that's not me. I even tried to turn my inner wiring into a well-oiled ministry gig until I discovered I had fallen for yet another heart-betraying trap.

It took a long time; I mean a long time following the "wrong fit" to actually awaken to the "right fit". The good news is that the money I’ve spent on my “what not to do” education landed me right in my “what's right for me” reality.

Although I’ve been involved with some lovely well-meaning people and programs, I’ve followed some “couldn’t be more obviously a wrong fit” mentors that ultimately helped me realize I needed to get the heck out of OZ and head back to the beautiful place called home.

There’s no fast or perfect time frame for hitting ones stride. The journey is what it is, not the destination, or the thing held up as, “when this happens I will consider myself a success.” Success is a many-layered sandwich, unique as the combined flavors.
photo:freedigitalphotos.net

The important thing is to own the journey without judgment. That means looking at the list of training programs, mentors and life experiences as powerful investments in becoming the person you truly are. If you're still investing in your growth and development, that makes you even more remarkable.

In Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius I wrote, “Authenticity is the new lingerie!” Authenticity has sure sexy’d up my life; my heart and my ability to sniff out an ill fitting detour set to side road me away from my natural bent. 

How about you? Have you been led down side roads in search of bling, only to find yourself knee deep in mud? Are you longing for something more enduring than sparkle? Then allow your seasons of ill-matched mentors and experiences to expand your perspective and lead you back home to yourself. For investing in your inner world, check out the programs at moxieme.com, set up a session to find out about one-on-one coaching, or start by reading, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius here![product id="2047" sku=""]

Armor Down

me & crownVulnerability is like the children we ‘re trying to clean up, spit flat stray-hair-strands and wipe away the P and J stained-residue from our lives.

Most of us learned early that our tender, vulnerable selves weren’t going to fair very well in our families, or the world at large, so we quickly devised a means to “armor” up.  I learned quickly that people weren’t comfortable with pain. Any expression of heartache or emotion made those who were taller and wiser, wince.

I learned to take on the illusion of “taking care of myself” while having no idea how to take care of my pain. I learned to bury it.

Most adults never received the pain management manual either, and that's why we don’t like to let things lie. We are so uncomfortable with a cloud of vulnerability filling the air that we try to tidy it up with our spray on sanitizer. We try to make the atmosphere palatable. We’re desperate to add finishing touches on displays of emotions.

The best way to observe this is listen to conversations, or observe one on Facebook! There will always be some brave soul exposing raw emotions and running amok in the stoic party. What most often follows is, discounting; adding trite endings; backing away; shielding with indifference and superiority; or muscling up with anger; negating and debating the sentiment. This is all done in an attempt to clean up the messiness of vulnerability.

Most of us struggle with knowing what to say when deep, painful and vulnerable feelings are expressed. The thing is as adults we have the opportunity to navigate our discomfort and stay present. We can choose to be okay with the beauty of raw, human vulnerability and emotion. We can grow and we can understand that all the outer armor intended to protect our egos and our outer worlds will never satisfy the deeper longing in our hearts of truly connecting and belonging.

 What if we didn’t abandon each other in our vulnerability? What if we didn’t try to fix, didn’t feel the need to come up with answers, but merely remained present, as Brene’ Brown defines as, “sitting on the same side of the table?”

What if instead of distancing ourselves from the awkwardness and the plethora of uncomfortable emotions we sometimes feel, we chose to armor down?

I’m game are you?

If you’re brave and willing to risk the discomfort of vulnerability for the greater reward of connection and belonging, join our regular conversation on www.Facebook.com/kimberbritnerbiz and www.twitter.com/kimberbritner

To find out how you can get untamed and live an authentic life, order, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius here![product id="2047" sku=""]

I Stopped Making My Bed

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 10.36.40 AMI grew up with the understanding that you make your bed everyday. I was trained to pick up my clothes and keep my surroundings neat with the exception that I'm a piles, not a files kind of girl. I am by no means a perfect housekeeper. I’m not even a good housekeeper, but I do like the idea of order and organization.

For the first time in my life something happened. I stopped making my bed (unless company is coming over!) Instead of focusing on picking up on the outside, I’ve become more concerned with what’s going on internally. Instead of covering up my inner world with outer illusions, I am accepting my little disheveled messes, my piles of books plopped here and there and my outrageously messy studio disaster. Instead of driving myself with rules learned in my Southern upbringing, I am choosing to live differently. I’m continuing to get untamed. I'm jumping on my bed!

I’m letting go of, “I’d better act a certain way, or I might be scolded into behaving.” I’m letting the “good girl” go rogue and be a little bad. I am even removing the judgment around “good” verses “bad”, because it is what it is, not “good,” or “bad.”

This exercise is helping me further comprehend how completely loved I am. It matters little if I make the bed. It matters little if I keep a clean house, or wear the right clothes, or live in a way that is acceptable to the neighbors, the church, or the relatives. What matters is, that I love myself and realize I am fully free to do so. Love makes me free!

The good news is that my value and your value has already been established, by the fact that we exist and cannot be diminished based on our outer performance. We are wildly and completely loved. We don’t have to work at it. We only need to wake up to this reality. Can you hear the wake up call?

Get some help in untaming your heart, order, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius now! Keep a look out for the downloadable workbook soon![product id="2047" sku=""] 

 

Recovering the Songbird

1376467_614197425297496_634544606_nAnne Lamott quoted her pastor in a Face Book post saying,

"It's not what you look at; it's what you look with."

Sometimes what we see at first glance is not what actually exists, but a misrepresentation. Through time we often discover and recover the depth of what is actually there.

Years ago a prophetic sort of fellow said to me that I had the ability to get the songbird up and singing again. I had the ability to mine the gold out of misfortune. Interestingly, all those many years ago, I had no idea that I would be the songbird that needed to reconnect to her song after 3 ½ years of silence and an inability to sing.

I’m not talking about technique, vocal prowess or the ins and outs of song writing. Although that is great stuff, I am talking about the truth that resonated with my heart spoken at the Nashville Tree House Songwriter’s Retreat by my friend Paulette Wooten. She spoke about the necessity of using the gifts we’ve been given. She reminded us that if we had a song we needed to sing it. We needed to sing it for ourselves.

That’s what I had always done, until I couldn’t anymore.

I started singing and writing at the age of twelve. I sang happy and I sang empty, but I always sang. 

A singer/songwriter retreat might have been something I would have eagerly done years ago when my singing and song writing was in full throttle; when I was in the thick of pursuing an acting career; landed the job as the opening act for Buzzy Linhart; or in a band being produced by Runaways producer Kim Fowley; performing in a musical, comedy improve troop; recording my Cd; or singing in my faith community; but this period of musical-shutdown was anything but my comfort zone.

Following this year’s discovery of incongruence within my heart; the pieces that had been at odds; the settling for less than what my heart knew was right; the dogma I could no longer tolerate; trying to shoe horn myself into what I had outgrown; owning the conflict and self-betrayal; unashamedly voicing my story, finally led me to recovering the songbird within myself.

guitar

Driving through Nashville the street sign ‘Song Bird’ popped out at me like a lightening flash on a stormy night. Then driving home after the sanctuary of the retreat, I popped in my Cd with Fleetwood Mac cuts and the words of Stevie Nick’s, Edge of Seventeen, hit me in the gut as if I'd heard it for the first time.

“Just like the white winged dove

Sings a song

Sounds like she's singin”

I paused in disbelief having the same ring tone on my phone but never recognizing the words I sang along to. I listened further to hear the words expressing my journey. Here are some of them.

“Well, he seemed broken hearted

Somethin' within him

 

Well, the music there

Well it was hauntingly familiar

When I see you doin'

What I try to do for me

With their words of a poet

And a voice from a choir

And a melody

Nothin' else mattered

 

Well then suddenly

There was no one left standing

 

In a flood of tears

That no one really ever heard fall at all

When I went searchin' for an answer

Up the stairs and down the hall

Not to find an answer

Just to hear the call

Of a nightbird singin'

(Come away)

(Come away)

 

Well, I hear you

In the morning

And I hear you

At nightfall

Sometime to be near you

Is to be unable to hear you

My love”

 

We all have a song, but if it gets trampled it will cease to sing. Singing and seeing begin with the heart. Tend your heart and all else will follow.

50 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

photo-6 copy

Sometimes it's important to take stock of what you know. Not for knowledge sake, but as an anchor during wobbly times.

Here is my recent list of 50 things I am sure of at this stage in life. I hold these as valuable treasures that I discovered along the journey. Sometimes I wish I had inherently known them, or had discovered them earlier, but if I had come upon them in another fashion they might not be as valuable to me as they are presently. These are things I want my daughter to know. These are things I want other women to know. These are things I hope you will consider yourself. However, I encourage you to make your own list. Determine what's important to you.

 

50 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

  1. Your life is more than the contents of your outer world.
  2. Every living thing grows in cycles.
  3. During winter’s barrenness don’t look for a harvest. Understand that deep rooting is taking place.
  4. True happiness is an inside job; so don’t look for happiness externally. You were made for another world.
  5. Refuse to grow up and get stogy. It’s a trick. Stay young at heart.
  6. You will never truly be free if you don’t give yourself permission to be yourself.
  7. Your voice is unique. Don’t exchange it for a copy of someone else’s.
  8. Stop and evaluate every time you hear yourself say, “I should.”
  9. Live into your passion, not a counterfeit named duty.
  10. Mediocrity is never a good tradeoff for living out loud.
  11. Your perspective dictates your attitude. Your attitude dictates your altitude.
  12. Fear makes a lousy master. Own your moxie. Own your voice!
  13. It’s an honor and responsibility to direct your life in the way you want it to go.
  14. You have a built in meter that lets you know when you’re forfeiting your peace so you can realign to maintain peace at the core.
  15. Joy and inauthenticity cannot co-exist. Notice joy deficits.
  16. Ask for what you need and eliminate unspoken expectations. Conversely, it is not your responsibility to make others happy.
  17. Forgiveness is an absolute for a vibrant life.
  18. People add joy to your life, but they don’t define you.
  19. God’s unconditional love is the anchor of life.
  20. Unashamedly express and give the unique gift you carry.
  21. Stress doesn’t come from circumstances, but your reaction to them.
  22. Fitness is a lifestyle. Get outside and run around.
  23. It’s all about love. 
  24. Creativity gets blocked when you betray yourself.
  25. Putting off your dreams puts them off.
  26. Live life as a celebration and make it a party.
  27. Define for yourself what you want your life to look like.
  28. Don’t fill your life with space holders. Make room for what you truly want.
  29. Live with gratitude and you will find you have more to be grateful for.
  30. Don't be afraid to make waves. Resist anyone or thing that tries to silence you.
  31. Don’t wait to be given flowers, buy your own.
  32. Nurture yourself with good, healthy food everyday.
  33. Create your own fun.
  34. Change your mind and your perspective changes.
  35. A man that cheats on his wife to be with you is a cheater. You deserve more.
  36. Give yourself the same benefit of the doubt you give to others.
  37. Rain or shine joy begins on the inside.
  38. Be honest with yourself about what you want.
  39. Define and experience happy feelings and recreated them often.
  40. “No” is a powerful word. Use it to clarify your “yeses”, but not as an excuse to withhold or avoid adventure and possibility.
  41. Sometimes you discover who you are not on the way to who you are.
  42. True identity: knowing you are completely loved and accepted by God.
  43. Your body is beautiful, so enjoy it at every stage. When you are older you will surely wish you understood this earlier!
  44. Hope is a song that keeps your light alive.
  45. Surround yourself with those who celebrate you and not those who shame you.
  46. Life is short. Don’t waste time trying to fit in and be liked. Remember your identity is based in God’s love alone.
  47. You are not your job, your looks, or your bank account. You are a unique expression of love.
  48. Get untamed, stay untamed and live untamed. Let your wild beauty sing like notes from a trumpet.
  49. If you are depressed find out why. Unrealized emotions can wreck havoc within. Get honest with yourself.
  50. Love yourself first, so you can receive and give love back.

Unveiling the Shame Cycle

 

me & crown 1

Brene Brown tells us that we all have shame, “Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.” Courage on the other hand is derived by willingness to be vulnerable and real. Not popular in many settings especially when fear and the attempt to manage it are contained through control. 

I grew up with a single mom who got pregnant in her teens, who was shamed and rejected and carried the mark of her shame into parenting. This led to a childhood that included thirteen terrifying moves where I learned great navigating and coping skills. I learned how to disconnect, bury my pain, anger and fear, so I could start again in a new locations. 

I remember being a fourteen-year-old girl that easily looked eighteen; occasionally drug along to bars with my mom. Even though I was still a child, I developed quite the self-sufficient mask to camouflage my irregular upbringing and cover up my fear and shame. I formulated what I thought was the answer to my need for love by learning to please, keep quiet, not rock the boat, and all manner of  “good girl” control. I had little idea that I had less control of my inner world than I perceived. I had no idea that many of my responses were due to feeling out of control.

Hollywood and Love

In my early twenties, finally hitting bottom in Hollywood with an eating disorder, total desperation and no sense of myself, I encountered a collision with God that saved me from suicide, instantly healed me of the dreadful cycle of binging and purging and uncontrollable obsession with food that I had struggled with for six years.

I ran smack dab into Unconditional Love. The problem was I also moved right into a fear based culture that continued to reinforce performing, striving, working to be acceptable, earning love and covering up shame.

Sadly, church culture continued my cycle of shame with the popular weapons of control, silencing, and enforcing compliance, all within “talk” of love but propagating fear and groupthink. Although I genuinely found God and was carried through widowhood into new discoveries about myself, I was right in the middle of the familiar dynamics I learned in childhood. I thrived for a time as a successful little striver, but eventually the house of cards tumbled.

The struggle for worth, competition, and the politics of others clamoring to be seen, accepted and winner of top turf, instigated the necessary bad guy, good guy standoff. Boom the shaming and shunning began.

Overnight I experienced the loss of the community I had healed with after the death of my husband, reminiscent of the separation of my family of origin. My children lost the father figures they looked up to. This was a devastating blow that caused all of the pieces to come tumbling out and my systems to be irreparably broken. This led me on a long, painful, wonderful journey to my true self.

Fear is the fuel that drives shame. Shunning could be considered shaming. It’s actually heartbreaking to think a culture based on the love would reinforce and propagate fear. The question: How could the people who follow Love know so little about it has existed throughout the ages?

A religious mindset is what fueled the Crusades, crucified Jesus, has been known for bombing abortion clinics, bashing gays and sending airplanes of innocent people into buildings, all in the name of religion and the love of God. The truth is religion and love, are not companions.

Before you go crazy about that statement understand that my definition of religion is not the same as faith, but rather an ego and fear driven system of performance and control. In reality, a faith-based relationship with God cannot be defined by a set of values, adherence to outer rules, performance, or any quality.  In fact when my son was removed from the team captain position in basketball, it was based on the fact that someone could measure the students faith level and determine suitability. What? Really?

Shames Ambiguity

I often wondered what it was that we actually did? When the rules consistently change, it reinforces adaptive behavior that weaves and bobs to avoid the smite of rejection.

Oh Shit! That’s what we did! We broke the unspoken oath, the silent code, the one that says, “Never challenge the system, comply, and stay silent and controlled!  

Truth Telling

Through the years as I stumbled into greater "shame resilience" I have come to realize the importance and absolute freedom in telling my story. I have come to understand the absolute necessity of speaking up instead of silently banishing myself, or adhering to a system of shame. We are only as sick as out secrets.

For years I felt conflicted, and incongruent, struggling with the feeling of polarity, opposites within myself that I could not reconcile, a religious system that was terribly harmful with my belief and faith in Christ. Like so many I know who ran out under the cover of night to seek counseling and healing in a culture that disapproved, I discovered the necessity of separating myself from what became an abusive environment, so I could heal. I continued on in healing and growing in my personal relationship with God, realizing that it was and is my responsibility alone to define my relationship with God. 

This began the ferocious learning curve of pulling my head out of the sand, years of seeking what I had not found locked in an exclusive culture. I studied, I read, I trained and I encountered God in new and life altering measures. I reclaimed my smarts, my power and my own inherent God beauty and God identity that I had allowed to be measured, judged and tossed to the curb.

I've come to understand that it’s through my own vulnerability that I reconcile myself. I don’t have to fix the religiosity that confounds and often makes me ill. It has always existed and always will. It exists within me or I wouldn’t have been drawn to it. Pride exists within all of us. I no longer need to be accepted. What I need is to love myself and be myself. In that, God and I have never been on a better path, or in more agreement about me. If you didn't read my previous post, "I'm In Recovery!" you might want to check it out here http://moxieme.com/im-in-recovery/

Need to get untamed and unshamed?  Contact me about coaching! Kimber@moxieme.com

 

 

I'm In Recovery!

ID-10080991Can I tell you a little secret? I cringe when someone finishes a sentence with an exclamation mark like, “amen!” I cannot stomach Christianese! It immediately makes me feel the need to run for the door, because I smell inauthenticity like day old lobster. I question the rhetoric and parroting. The real person seems to be missing and lacks a clear sense of who they truly are. Although I am learning to see past the camouflage to the person, it’s so close to home that it still causes me to spin, like a sober drunk in a room of drinkers.

I confess I'm in recovery. I’m in recovery from institutional religion. Are you wondering what I’m talking about? I’m talking about trying to mash myself into a misshaped cookie cutter image, rather than be who I am. I am in recovery from a groupthink culture that was slowing killing me, a culture of performance, judgment, striving and preferring ritual above relationship.freedigitalphotos.net

The topic of missing identity that I often write about is real. It’s my story and sadly why much of my thirty-year experience with church culture has felt like a miss hit of smashing my thumb with a hammer. I will be talking more about this in future posts.

Why did it take so long? Why was I trying to be the “good girl” and please so hard? This is what you do if you were the lost child that became the family hero to survive the anguish and emotional abuse of a mom with mental illness. It was in letting go of the ghosts and those that couldn’t bring themselves to make the journey with me that I’ve gotten free. It’s in claiming my true God-image identity that sprung the cage door.

In my journey I’ve stumbled right into a grace encounter, transformation and expansiveness beyond a box sized God into a God that existed before the American church culture’s definition of who God is and who I’m supposed to be. I’ve learned to honor and listen to my inner GPS that signals when I’m betraying myself. I’ve taken up the challenge of vulnerability and authenticity instead of settling for a counterfeit of God, or myself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJesus loves me, I love him and much of the rest I leave dangling in the realm of unknowing. I choose to pass on pontificating as best I can. I hope to see and love individuals beyond ego driven, polarizing issues that separate into black and white, either or, as I am learning to live beyond the tightrope of performance. I love my friends that are gay, Buddhist, Hindu and lots of other things. 

Hear this: I am not blaming anyone for my lack of clarity around my identity, or my familiar pull to environments that were unhealthy for me. This is the very journey that led me home to myself. The crazy mixed up way that I got here, the story that reads like a Broadway play matters little (although I can imagine wonderful song and dance numbers that would fit with the movie, Saved!)

The fact that I finally found my path and my way out of the matrix of confusion is the reason I help other women claim their voice, their authentic self and their unique God relationship too.

I don’t mean to offend you, but trying not to offend has kept me small. Trying not to offend kept me on the fence, living incongruently, dishonestly, and inauthentically. Being careful to speak only “what builds up” to be silent when I was told to “keep quiet” kept me controlled and living in decline and demoralization. Now days, I am learning to give myself permission to speak things that don’t always build up, because that’s authentic and something’s need to be torn down before building can begin. That’s what getting untamed means.  It’s about risk and courage to face the gap and not shut the door in fear to those that see the world differently. I’m not writing this for debate, or needing to be right, but needing to be real (although I wouldn't mind a little cheering for standing up in my life in a greater measure.)

Heaven on earth 1I choose to live life as an act of worship and today I choose to invest in relationships over meetings and to be my part in the church all around me. I am not tearing down what you may love and thrive in. There are some awesome church expressions out there, but the truth is church is not a building, or a meeting. You in fact might be someone who sees the faith relationship differently too. This is important to say, because I am learning to care and nurture myself. Warning, please don't post a bunch of Christianese on my page or I will have to delete you! :)

Your struggle may not be with the church. It might be your family dynamics (isn’t that where it all starts anyway?) or a work environment that keeps you peddling faster and faster until you’ve peddled right over yourself. Maybe you understood long ago that the struggle was within yourself and you’ve never tried to please, but abdicated your life anyway. Maybe you’re in transition and you want to start recreating your life again.

You are not late, but right on time to start investing in yourself. The place to start is in loving yourself first.

Maybe you know that this is your time, time to invest in the only life you have! If so here are some ways to begin expanding and investing in yourself.

  • Read the following authors who write about the illusion of ego and faith: Richard Rohr books, New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton, Jim Palmer books, The Cloud of Unknowing by Elizabeth Obbard
  • Read Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius, by me :)
  • Read Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
  • Register for my 12 Week Online Program, Untamed Joy! Discover tools to claim your voice, your identity and your joy!
  • Contact me to find out about 1-on-1 coaching @kimber@moxieme.com

Are You Shoveling Crap?

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I felt a blog post coming on when I read this comment to one of my posts,

 “Oh, Darling, I already checked you out and you're just too cool for words. I love a multi-talented dynamo. Yowza!”

This was after I transparently bemoaned to my husband about my misled and often over functioning tendency toward incongruent and double-minded behavior, anything but a dynamo.

I have come along way from the days of giving up all my makeup, wearing a head covering and dressing like a bag lady for Jesus, having moved on to truly understand that I am fully loved and accepted as I am and I don’t have to do a thing to prostitute myself for love.

I get that Love is the biggest and best gift I will ever receive; yet sometimes I still fall back into a loveless trap. Ego lures me round the bend like it did those many ridiculous years ago when I bought into the illusion that I had to work hard to please Jesus, please the neighbors and please the whole damn world.

I found a burst of new empowerment when I read the above quote knowing that the author is a dynamo herself, who has brazenly wrestled down her own “good girl” lies and is honest about the show down.

Women getting free extend the hand of permission to other women. Women uncovering their lies help other’s incongruent illusions fall. When we choose to quit shoveling the crap we become permission's hand extender and recipient too.

When we start to let go of egos taunts and stop playing to the “good girl” chorus we take off the limiting restrictors that define us, the Pope’s, the kid’s principal or the community at large. We get untamed.

Are you shoveling other's crap to earn love, or have you cast off  the "good girl" limiting restrictors?  Need help to reclaim your freedom? Contact me about personal coaching, or get in on our new online program, Untamed Joy! Claim your voice, your authenticity, your life and your joy! Details for Untamed Joy coming soon!

Twitter and Facebook Saved My Life

imagesI am a social bug, so I am happy to be a part of the social media revolution.

Some people dismiss and poo poo the online world going on around them. One thing is certain you can ignore it, but it isn’t going away. Social media guru Sandi Krakowski tells us there are 4.5 Billion "Likes" generated on Facebook daily!

Do you have things in your life that keep showing up even though you poo poo, ignore, or deny them? Do you stumble upon negativity despite your attempts to be positive? Do you find yourself sabotaged by fear and mindsets that derail you? Do you think your free, but then discover an area of your heart under lock and key? You’re not alone!

How are you dealing with it? Are you trying to keep your life hidden like the days before Reality TV when lives were lived in secret? Then you’re living in the wrong decade! You can stay hidden, locked up tight and watch life pass you by, or you can take steps to claim your voice, get in the game and get untamed.

You might be thinking no one cares about my life, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. People want to hear your rants, concerns and your closet secrets (without too much exposure, remember Anthony Weiner) because it gives them permission to own their own their own voice, to share and get in touch with their own humanity. That’s what platforms like Twitter, Facebook , Instagram and Pintrest have recognized and facilitated. 

Why is the world fascinated with airing its dirty laundry? Maybe you’ve heard when you bring hidden things to light they loose their power. Twitter and Facebook continue to save my life one post, one tweet and one interaction at a time as I get to be apart of a community where I share, learn and grow. Jump in the water, gain the courage to say what you need and get freer in the process. 

You have a voice. Whether you know it or not, this is the time to find it, not a copy of someone else, but the you that is true.

If this sounds too scary, like exposing yourself is the last thing you want to do, maybe you’re ready for a small step toward personal expansion. Try tweeting! :) To join me in the conversation follow me at www.twitter.com/kimberbritner and www.Facebook.com/kimberbritnerbiz

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Are You A Poser?

rockstar-games-baby-free-screensavers-188570Do you ever feel inconsistent like a bouncy ball bouncing all over the place? Feel like a fake, what you thought ten years ago, last week, or this week you suddenly see in a different light? Are you more confused and less certain about everything the older you get? Then take comfort in the words of Walt Whitman,

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”

I want to tell those holding firmly to their rules, their opinions about life and themselves that someday mystery will overtake them and they’ll find themselves in a curious redesign process. Suddenly they'll have loosened their reigns, resigned their tight grip of control, begun to accept the once unacceptable, let go of neatly outlined definitions, start repainting black and white and challenging just about everything they’ve thought. 

Thomas Merton said, “In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always though I wanted to be, and in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die. The reason for this is that I am born in selfishness and therefore my natural efforts to make myself more real and more myself make me less real and less myself, because they revolve around a lie.

Maybe some never do let go, but grip life even harder in attempts to make it behave. Some don’t bend and shift and change, but embrace their nearsightedness to their last breath.

We’ve all heard bitter words cast upon an up and coming generation, but what if instead we choose to:

  • Redesign and redefine life, embracing its many transitions?
  • Stop letting groupthink, the relatives, neighbors or parishioners define us?
  • Bless those we don’t understand instead of judging and cursing them (including ourselves?)

We don’t have to have it all figured out. We get to define and be redesigned many times over in life. If it hasn’t happened yet, just wait it will. Life is a constantly winding journey.

Are you a poser? Good question. I have found parts of me betraying myself at many a time, parts I never even understood. Parts that in the right moment surfaced like a bobber on the water. Did I turn further on myself in the realization? No, it was the greatest opportunity and invitation to suspend judgment and  nurture myself through the confusion, to discover more in the unraveling and to continue to expand and grow. In my mind those willing to do that are anything but posing. They are investing in uncovering the truth within.

Are you giving yourself permission to change your mind, let go and embrace transition? For an easy, low investment to turbo charge your life with inspiration, move through transition with motivation and bring out your unique, authentic genius, order Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius now! [product id="2047" sku=""]

Struggling to Find One Direction?

Direction"Say what you mean and mean what you say!" Sound easy? While teenage girls across the country preen for a glance from the neatly coiffed boy band One Direction, I am thinking about the incongruence their message might be sending.

A young performer is schooled to convince every girl in the audience that the words he’s singing are directed at her. A boy convinces a girl of his love, while what he truly wants has nothing to do with love. These are two illustrations of the meanings between words, their intent and the mixed messages within them.

How many times have words been spoken to convey a sentiment, while the true intent was hidden beneath those words? Some call it performing, others call it lying or deception, no one would disagree that incongruence is at the core.

How does a child not get confused about the meaning of those words when her daddy says he loves her and then disappears? Express love one time and hit the next and the seedbed of incongruence begins.

Say what you mean and mean what you say! Sound easy? Not when constantly accommodating discrepancies, bending and weaving to find balance in the confusion of words. Its no wonder fractured identities are as common as a fly on toast in a world where lines are frequently blurred.

 

How does one find the direction to live congruently from ones true identity?

  

  1. Allow yourself to feel. Many people suppress pain and it comes out sideways most commonly in depression, or rage. Allow yourself to process your feelings, while suspending judgment.
  2. Acknowledge and validate your feelings as you hit upon painful incongruent behavior from others or yourself. Your pain is real. Give yourself permission to acknowledge the effects your experiences may have had on you.
  3. Choose forgiveness. Start with forgiving yourself for the ways that you may have been trapped in a confused pattern of identity. As a coach I can tell you this is common. Release and forgive others who may have acted from a lack of clarity around their identity too.
  4. Take back your power to move past victimization. Instead of living as a human barometer measuring other’s reactions toward you, learn to live authentically. Allowing other’s responses to affect ones happiness is the definition of co-dependency. It takes practice to gain clarity and align with ones core, so don't be too hard on yourself when discovering inconsistencies. Understand that as an adult you are free to choose what feels right to you and what environments feel safe.
  5. Understand that you deserve love even if others have failed at loving you. Begin by loving yourself. Be rooted in the fact that your Creator unequivocally loves you. What better commendation could you receive? Most misery stems from feeling unloved. Determine not to let others actions define your identity, but receive the love that already exists for you.
  6. Define what is true to you. Get intimately acquainted with the things that make you tick, the things you like and the things you don’t like. Invest in yourself. Develop your own opinions. Be aware when warning signals arise. This is your intuition at work. Pay attention. Check in with your gut. Learn to discern the difference between old fears triggering a reaction or your intuition signaling important information.

 

 The point is to live from the freedom you have to let your true colors come shining through. That’s what makes you special and that’s what makes you, you!

Are You A Safe Place to Come Home to?

Is your heart safeSometimes I feel the need to guard my heart turf. You know those days when an aspect of life feels unsafe and the warning signal starts flashing to enlist the boarder patrol?

I have triggers. We all do. Many of us grew up in a home with an unstable parent and went on to experience a culture of instability. What wouldn’t set off triggers?

I’ve learned to help my trigger-reactive heart through dangerous landmines. I’ve come to understand that my triggers are in place to protect me. They signal a perceived threat. Sometimes the threat may only be imagined, reminding me of a previous experience. That is when I get the opportunity to reevaluate my reaction and response in the here and now, choosing to reframe outdated Intel. Other times I may sense the real need to protect myself from intruders breaching my boarders.

This is never a neat and tidy operation, because our hearts are not machines.  However, getting comfortable with untidiness helps us befriend our heart rather than betray it. 

This is particularly challenging for those of us that are feelers. I feel “things” long before I understand what I am feeling. My heart seems to be a forerunner forever out in the trenches. It goes a head as a reconnaissance mission returning with information. Then I have the challenge of understanding what to do with this information.

Often I discover that what I am feeling has nothing to do with me. I am picking up some other concern, or another person’s issues. But then there are the times that I understand that I have taken a hit and need to examine the breach in the wall.

How about you? Do you allow your heart room to feel and express when it gets tweaked? Do you provide a safe haven to process and evaluate your useful, misplaced, or out of date Intel? The sooner we befriend our own heart, the less it will need to hit the panic button.

When we listen to our heart's clues we will be a safe place. As the author of Untamed Heart, I am all about possessing an untamed heart , but that will never become an option if we don’t feel safe. How safe are you? 

Tangled Spaghetti Life

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I've been considering the spaghetti nature of life, the bended, twisted, intertwining of human beings, as if curvy noodles in a tangled heap. Throw noodles into hot water and watch them adhere and cling to each other, wrapped up in a mass of loving upheaval like a good Italian family!

When sauce is added to pasta a noodle might be known to slide to the edge of the plate, but generally noodles remain quite connected. You never see a batch of freshly cooked pasta exhibiting independent loner-noodles, separated from the batch. Even though meat, vegetables or a spicy tomato sauce are added, noodles hold on in starchy-cohesion.

 

Truthfully, I recoil at the thought of starchiness in people. When I sense starchiness I tend to go all independent forgetting that I have my own brand of starchiness, which clings to me like a gnat on flypaper. This is the stiff shirt kind of starch that I am referring to. I have my own propensity for starchiness like the rest of you do. The problem is it gets us stuck with the wrong kind of stickiness! When what many of us truly crave is the cohesion of relational, family-style life together.

So I've decided I'd like to be a little more like a noodle, welcoming the fragrant imperfection demonstrated in spaghetti lives. I've chosen to get untamed, welcome and embrace life and let life's hot water make me more flexible and cohesive in the process. That's what my book, Untamed Heart, Releasing Your Creative Genius is all about.

How are you at embracing this tangled spaghetti-life? How would you like to get untamed so you can truly enjoy the ride?

 

 

Join us for a little ‘Untaming’ in our Untamed Heart Online Program beginning July 15th or our Untamed Heart Retreat in September. Learn to embrace your untamed self and release your unique genius! Watch the video below! 

Social Butterflies Need Butterfly Kisses

Pale Green ButterflyI've been through a significant amount of transition the last three years. All of this change, relocating and starting over has made me feel wobbly and relationally uncertain.

Recently I did a new assessment based on core values (I love assessments, because they’re great tools I use as a coach to help clients better understand themselves and those around them) that reminded me of a particular aspect of my personality that has been struggling. Several assessments call this the Wind, Merchant, Exhorter, or Influencer aspect of a profile.

The Fire, Builder, Prophet and Dominance part of my profile compensates well through action and results, while the social, relational, love side is starved to get my hands in the middle of relational bliss and the feeling of butterfly kisses.

Some children love it when you give them butterfly kisses by fluttering your eyelashes up against theirs, while others not so much! I recently witnessed this pleasure with our little Grandson Wyatt. Some of us simply crave social interaction. 

If you follow me on Face Book you may have seen my post reminding readers to share the love with 'Windy' souls:

“Don't forget to validate the people in your life that are the "Windy", "Exhorter", "Merchant" "Influencer" profiles. They're the ones who add a lot of sparkle and shine to the world. Let them know you appreciate their unique style of brilliance.” 

When there is an absence of love and affirmation, or a sufficient amount of relational interchange, my 'Windy' self starts to sink. Naturally relationships change and even cease through transitions, causing an absence of the Merchants core value, LOVE. 

This assessment was a great reminder that each of us moves into 'conflict strategies' when there is an absence of our core value or motivating factors present. Recognizing this can help re-energize us to show up with the very energy that we value and crave. 

How are you meeting your needs related to your core values? Not sure what your core values are? Contact me to discuss the best assessments and receive your own debriefing around them.