Beyond the Obvious

 

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There are big surprises wrapped up in joy, because carrying a joyful heart means you've chosen to see things differently. You've chosen to see beyond the obvious into another realm. In fact, in my assessment, realms of glory couldn't be incased in anything other that the Father's joy.  

Joy then is a kind of portal that awakens the hallowed within, allowing us to laugh when the world's dark prognosis is pronounced, because of a supernatural interpretation of God's unending goodness.  Some might think this is foolishness, but I rather think of it as other worldly.

It takes no special skill to be fearful, but being at peace and carrying joy takes a sight and perspective adjustment. It takes a faith that is divine rather than human. Our greatest defense is joy! But this is quite different that the insincere, inauthentic saccharin off-loading behavior Brenè Brown calls, The Umbridge. This nice southern, church going behavior, also exhibited in cultures other than the south, is often deflecting a greater truth. Brown writes about this behavior in, Rising Strong

"It's present when light and dark are not integrated at all. There's almost something foreboding about overly sweet and accommodating ways. All that niceness feels inauthentic and a little like a ticking bomb." Brown named The Umbridge after the J.K. Rowling character Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix who wears sweet pink suits, cutesy pillbox hats and tortures children. Brown tells us that those that claim to never feel angry or upset, and are always positive, are often masking true pain and hurt. These are red flags.

It's taken me a darn long time to recognize that their is always more beyond the words that might appear lovely, but whose behavior defies it. There is always more beyond the obvious. Getting curious about our real emotion is where we reckon with it, rather than off-loading it. This is where we give ourselves permission to feel, get curious about what we are feeling and be uncomfortable with it until we see what it wants us to know.

A few years ago I awoke to the New Year hearing the word, Incongruent in my spirit. The next two years that followed introduced wave after wave of discovery, unearthing "good girl" behavior that greatly conflicted with what I knew to be true for myself. As if I was a bystander watching my behavior for the first time, I was astounded at the things I found myself doing and participating in that my heart was protesting against, but the disconnect and off-loading of emotion had allowed me to continually betray myself.

After the initial heartbreak of realizing how much I had dishonored my own wellbeing in rote, approval seeking behavior (definite joy robber) I began to experience absolute joy and bliss at the awakening and freedom of choosing how I would best care for myself.

Last night as I launched a new Rising StrongTM Group, as a certified facilitator of Brenè Brown's work, amazing women shared about present hardships and rough realities in their lives. I was struck by the fact that they had courageously chosen to show up, be seen and learn new ways of speaking about their emotions and pain, so that instead of coping they could learn to truly care for themselves. We each wrote permission slips that helped us begin the journey of defining for ourselves what we needed to feel safe and successful in the group and practicing wholeheartedness to move beyond the swampy ground known as the Delta to rise strong.

It's only when we get curious about our inner world, own our pain and darkness that we can truly and authentically experience joy.  Joy is not something we put on, but a deep living reality available when we choose to be courageous. The more we honestly acknowledge the truth about where we are and get curious in the discovery, we can return to joy.

There is much discovery hidden beyond the obvious. While many coaches focus on goal setting, every goal winds its way back to a deeper inner reality. Every disappointment, expectation, relationship difficulty, and career launch, though often seeming to be outer issues, interesting leads its way back to how we handle life and the illusive stuff beyond the obvious. 

Day 7 of 30 Paintings In 30 Days is entitled: Beyond the Obvious. To follow daily posts by artist around the world visit

 www.3opaintingsin30days.weebly.com . And come back for this months daily posts right here!

Nurse Protectors

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It's been some time since I've posted. This year my words have been few, allowing my paintbrush to express what words could not say. Instead of a barrage of chatter, I've only wanted to speak words of life. 

I imagine because of yesterday's routine medical procedure and today being 9/11, I've felt the strong pulse of The Muse inspiring new empathy and compassion. I am feeling the deeper invitation of the role we are all invited to partake in, the role of a tender technician and nurse protectors in a world of flaming towers.

Years ago I had encounters with Red Cross Vehicles regularly appearing in my neighborhood and surrounding areas. I received Red Cross brochures in the mail and even had a woman attend one of my home group meetings who ironically worked for the Red Cross.  I went so far as to research the Red Cross's origin and discovered that it was originally established to bring aid and relief to victims of war. Even though I am not a professional nurse, nor plan to be, the significance of that fact has spoken volumes to me through the years concerning the wars we all face in our individual lives, not to mention corporately, as human beings, thus the poem that follows.

 

NURSE PROTECTORS

Hooked up to wires, 

Warm blanket failing to insulate me from the flood of raw vulnerability,

Windex-clear memory.

 

A tender technician reads the uneasiness on my face.

Hospital lighting taking me back, unearthing tears I thought were all cried out.

Those last goodbyes and scars embedded like arrows in a families heart.

 

A routine IV prick and the thin veneer of a hospital gown have the ability to wobble ones demeanor.

Surrendering to the hands of strangers, skilled or otherwise takes courage. All I needed was a little tenderness.

 

Anesthetist erasing my awareness of my gown open wide, probing and disarming any knowledge of drool on my face.

If only the pain tape could be wiped as clean, the flames in those towers squelched, the diagnoses recalled, the wondering refugees planted in real homes.

Yet where would humanities' empathy and compassion find it's lexicon?

 

I applaud those nurse protectors, those soldiers with hoses dousing our flames. Those words spoken aptly in our time of need, cradling our wobble and soothing an ounce more of humanities pain. 

If not for the courage and bravery to enter another's burning building, to stop in ones tracks and enter the barrage of another's flames, we will only increase in casualties on the battlefield of life. Vulnerability would never be spoken and true connection never made. 

 

 

Day 18 It's Time to Sing Again

Time to sing

I’ve sung my whole life. For forty years I've written songs and even been awakened in the morning with new songs on the tip of my tongue, until about five years ago when the singing stopped.

 

I knew that something shut down inside, because for the first time in my life melody wasn’t bubbling up from deep within. Previously I sang when things were good and I sang when things were bad. I also knew I couldn’t "fix" the gift that I didn’t initiate in the first place, but I suspected that my trouble was mistakenly basing my outlook only on what I could see. That kind of perspective would dash anyone’s hope.

 

Hope is a powerful thing. In fact, hope has a lot to do with how we interpret circumstances, how we look at the future and define things that do not yet exist. I’m typically a Pollyanna, but sometimes when the manifestation of hope wanes, the lack I perceive through my natural sight causes a feeling of deficit. That’s when the opportunity presents itself to choose how I will interpret what I cannot yet see.

 

Even though I hadn't entirely recognized it, there had been tremendous fruitfulness in my life over the last several years. I only needed to recalibrate how I looked and what I saw. And that's when I heard, “This is the year of singing.”

 

My hope has been popping off the charts over the last year. It’s not that every circumstance in my life has fallen into place, but rather that my hope and faith perspective have recalibrated. Hope is the substance of things yet to be seen.

 

Hope is consistently singing over every single one of us if we will tune in to hear the new song.  This is the year of recognizing and embracing hope. This is the year of the songbirds returning.

Day 3 Joy Unspeakable

 

Step into your freedom

I really don’t like it when people of faith shove their faith like a bitter cold slap in the face of others. I don’t like it when rather than love; there seems a need to prove something or to win an argument. When faith is expressed in mere words, instead of through love in action I find the reality incongruent and lacking.

 

That’s probably why I don’t generally push my faith outwardly onto others. I’ve been stung by religious pontificating as much as the rest of the world. I’ve disliked the faith community’s elitism that harmed my family and often continues to be threated by our lack of interest in rule keeping and many things that fly in the face of everything about Christ and the Trinity’s love for mankind.

 

And yet how do I live from a place that is authentic to me, my faith reality, my often struggle with this community and my love for the world in or out of my faith inclination? That has been the dilemma for sometime and so in 2015 I hope to embrace more love for myself in this space and for others who are willing to stand with open hands declaring that they do not know it all, or have the corner on the market. In my book, relationship is paramount (yes messy and imperfect) but without it I am not interested in any gymnastics that may seem spiritual but lacks the reality of love. Activities without relationship are usually counterfeit, or lacking depth at the very least.

The fact still remains that some thirty years ago I had a life encountering, rearranging divine appointment that took me from a suicidal mess, overcome by bulimia and uncontrollable binging, to being instantly healed of a six-year eating disorder that controlled and almost stole my life. Its one of those encounters that really can’t be explained and most certainly can never be stolen, because I know the impact of this divine intervention in my life. I also know the reality of the continuous daily divine intervention I receive, not to mention after being a 36-year-old widow with four small beautiful children carried through the difficult transition with love and grace. And then after seven years of single parenting miraculous being given a brave man to love my children and me when at the time it seemed like an impossibility, because most men ran for their lives. 

 

I know the miraculously reality of coming through many a devastation with a settled sense of worth and identity and more love and joy than I could have ever anticipated. And I know that the joy in my life is no longer contingent on my successes, my circumstances, others opinion of me, or anything other than God’s faith and outrageous love that carries me and is alive within me. This bountiful love is still constantly being demonstrated toward mankind.  

 

Having had such experiences has altered the way I live and see life. It's the reason I experience life as a joyous celebration. So as I look to 2015 from a place of belief, and a joyful and exuberant creative welcome to the new, I'd say its time to step into the abundance of freedom! Today's art journaling image above is not new, but I felt it calling to me, reminding me of the freedom and joy available to us should we choose to recognize it. Day 3 unspeakable joy is on my mind. What does unspeakable joy (even in hard times) mean to you?

 

 

Are You Chained By Your Thoughts?

 

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It's easy to look around and think something outside ourselves is the cause of our struggle or issues in life. I certainly have and still do at times. But when we begin to recognize our outer struggles are related to an inside perspective, things begin to shift.

 

We might think our lack of income, provision, health, or relational issues are the cause of what’s stopping us. We might be tempted to measure our reality by our surroundings, not recognizing that reality is not a fixed dimension, but an interpretation.

 

Hopefully our awareness and paradigms will continually expand and we will out grow the limitations we’ve previously perceived. (I continue to discover thoughts and perceptions that I didn’t know I had and regularly make the choice to reframe the way I see life and I hope you do to.)

 

It’s when our thinking is entrenched (actually stuck in a groove) that we’ve chained ourselves to an idea that becomes a law that rules over us. A belief only has power to master us if we believe it is the law, or authoritative rule. When we move out of a legal relationship to it, we immediately open ourselves up to experience a profound shift.

How To Get Unchained

Suppose we recognize an area where we're stuck and even identify the thought or emotion that has been hindering us, how do we get unchained? Do we strain and try harder to think differently? No, trying harder actually tightens the grip of the negative or old way of seeing things.

 

When we stop focusing on the negative the negative stops being attached to us. When we open ourselves up to other possibilities we actually release ourselves from the entrenched thought or way of seeing and effortlessly begin to experience an exchange. When we release something there is actually a shift in our brain that allows us to perceive an alternative perspective.

 

Something only remains attached to us when instead of living in the expansiveness of love and the openness of liberty; we are living from the fear driven reality of a legal exchange. What do I mean by this? Notice the way doubt driven thinking measures things out in tit for tat, such as, “If do this, I am owed this” or “If I am not enough of this, this will be the result.” We all have some legal, punishment driven perspectives that hinder us until we awaken to a greater reality, beyond payment for a good performance and punishment for a perceived inadequate performance.

 

Many people never live beyond a legal, law, head relationship to life, as they process the world linearly, even reducing God to a rule keeper that keeps us disempowered and our hands tied, rather than owning the bad rap we may have attached to God instead live in the expansiveness, liberty and freedom intended for us. This is a big one!

 

A clue to recognize this perspective within yourself is to notice when you feel shame, “shoulding,” “not-enoughing,” feelings of powerlessness and victimization or internal or external judgment. These are signs that a legal perspective is hiding somewhere. (I just exchanged a legal perspective that was disempowering me for a dandy upgrade in my perspective this week!) When we get out of our head and move beyond dividing things up from a perceived knowledge of "good and evil" and awaken to true liberty, transformation takes place.

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Willpower Is a Dud!

Living under the "law" is the same as willpower. It only works for a while, but can't carry you very far for the long haul. Fitness experts understand that lasting change requires a change and expansion in thinking and lifestyle. Self-help and trying harder will never lead to true transformation. Transformation happens on an entirely different plane. Even grasping this concept on a cognitive level doesn’t bring about transformation.

 

Transformation happens as we experience an exchange from a legal entity lens into the law of perfect liberty, which transcends intellect. This is the realm of love and faith, a reality beyond time and space or quantifiable dimensions.

 

It’s easy to focus on the negative because it's the lowest form of reality, but living in the negative (place of lack) and seeing the negative keeps us bound to the letter of the law rather than to life and liberty, which in my faith belief is Christ within me.

 

Science informs us that we can actually see the exchange take place in the brain from negativity to possibility. When we are thinking negative, low level thoughts our brain looks like a scorched, barren tree. Conversely, when we are thinking expansive thoughts of love, joy, and peace, our brain looks like a flourishing, fruitful tree.

 

When we choose faith, love and hope we let go of linear, control-base thinking and move into wide-open spaciousness, beyond limitation. Are you living in the freedom of perfect liberty or merely living under the law? Want help getting unchained? If something resonates in your spirit, but you're struggling to process the words through the wall of entrenched thoughts and ideas, take a risk, take a leap into freedom and get support!

 

Join the Moxie Me Please! Coaching Group starting in Jan. 2015 and move into the expansiveness of possibility. Register today! Early bird pricing ends Dec. 10th. For information and to register click here!

 

 

Keeping Your Dream Alive

Keeping Dreams Alive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There are many perspectives stemming from upbringing, the faith community and the world at large, that can foster a mindset of scarcity and separation. “I’m not enough”, “There isn’t enough”, or “I’m somehow distanced and on the outside looking in” beliefs are fallacies that do not reflect the truth as much as they reflect a lens from which we may be viewing our reality.

It’s important to recognize a skewed lens when it presents itself, rather than allowing a scarcity perspective to place limitations on us, by trying to shrink a limitless God into a man sized stature. It would benefit us to run from any thought or belief that alienates us in our mind and does not align with the promise that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

If nothing can separate us from God’s love, than nothing can separate us unless the separating and disconnecting is on our part! So when we get a tinge of fear about our future, our finances, or life in general that causes us to feel separated or left out from the pack, we must address perspective. God isn’t wringing His hands about the economy, tomorrow or our bank account balance and oversees all he does with love. This perspective pertains to our vision and dreams as well.

When we view God as a harsh taskmaster ready to pounce if we make a wrong move, we keep ourselves immobilized through fear. Although there are very real seasons of being hidden, or what feels like being set aside, so that roots can be established and grow, these seasons of isolation and delay are not punishment or disapproval, but demonstrations of unimaginable love.

If you feel hidden, set aside, on the outside, disillusioned, or debunked, know that God’s love has not been removed from you. You may be concealed, so that more can be revealed. Remember every great oak starts in seed form. Continue to dream and reflect on what’s been placed within you, as you nurture your vision in seed form.

Nurturing a Vision

• Focus on God’s love and not your circumstances

• Focus on the truth and not false evidence appearing real

• Stay out of “Group Think” and comparison

• Show up as you ARE

• Allow your roots to grow

• Continue to dream and nurture your vision, instead of fearing that you’ve been rejected

• Identify the collaborative support you need and begin to build relationships

• Allow your perspective to be altered so you can grasp your true love-identity

• No door can be closed when the time is right, so identity if you’re in a season of rest and preparation, or activation

• Remain in hopeful expectation for the new as it emerges on the horizon, even if it appears in a different form than you imagined

Hold onto your dream!

Need support? Check out the great resources here at Moxieme!

Do Christians Have It Wrong?

Personal faithThirsty years ago my suicidal, bulimic Hollywood existence collided with a power I had never experienced. This Love so ransacked my world that I was instantaneously healed of an eating disorder that I had been plagued with for years.  I’ve never had to binge on loaves of bread, boxes of cereal or pass out from the high carbohydrate intake again. I’ve enjoyed the freedom of eating one cooking and not two bags.

 

Naively and eagerly I jumped into my new Christian world with an open heart and open hands. I followed instructions like an astute soldier, “Don’t do this” and “do a lot of that,” struggling for years to work harder to become someone acceptable and pleasing to God.

 

I excelled at this new version of self-help and peddled faster and harder to merely end up as desperate and suicidal as I had been in my old life. It was the mercy of God that I couldn’t jump as high as some hoop holders required, landing me ousted from the “insiders” club and branded as an “outsider,” still to this day by many.

This striving to placate a God-over-there, always out of reach, needing to be appeased, so He’ll show up, touch lives and bring revival, keeps the hamster wheel turning, and with it the need to always work harder, as if God was insufficient.

 

As I got in touch with a huge incongruence with this version of the Gospel and began to grasp the true nature of God’s Love, my endless need to do something to define my identity and help Him out began to erode.

 

God swung the doors of the prisons open. He never intended that fear would contain the captives instead of reveal their freedom.

 

Why do we think a bitter, schizophrenic cocktail of judgment, fear, shame and a “work harder” ethic are holy? Why do we think they entice one to love in the slightest? It’s amazing anyone stays in the faith with this message.

 

Only do-gooders and rule keepers have a stake in plumping their nests, but Jesus had nothing to do with them. He preferred the rough and tumble authenticity of real humanity.

 

One can never grasp their true identity without seeing it through the eyes of love and the eyes of the spirit. God doesn’t parcel out snippets of love to the worthy. God is Love and consistently exhibits audacious demonstrations of His nature because of who He is, despite any attempt of worthiness on our part. It never changes. There is no inside or outsider in Love.

 

Love always exists.

 

Recognizing our completeness invalidates any attempt to add to it. Seeing God, ourselves, or others through any other lens is sure to be slanted.

 

If your someone who thinks you need to work for something that’s already yours, go ahead if you want to, but I’m slipping my shoes off, taking a sip of love’s refreshing goodness, because I’ve retired from striving and seeking what’s already been lavished upon me.

 

My identity is forever secure as one that is Love-embraced. What else is there to add?

 

If you feel the need to peddle a hard yielding message and the idea of grace that you had nothing to do with just flies in the face of your set-the-world-right-heroism, please feel free to unfriend me. But guess what, even your faith is a gift and not your own.

 

As for me, I am a grateful recipient of Love’s outrageous goodness. Long gone are the days of jumping through hoops! I am complete and mystically placed smack dab into divinity. While I cannot begin to comprehend this, I am okay with being a happy recipient!

Faith Is Expectancy

Superhero within

 

It's simple:

FAITH IS EXPECTANCY!

If we're dragging, coping, running or trying not to get our hopes up we're not in faith. Maybe we don't have enough faith after all. Maybe we're working so hard to be the hero when the real Hero is waiting to come forth in us.

It's amazing that God bound himself to mankind through love. We've been given the gift of grace. In fact, it's an offense to ignore the extravagance of this Hero-love by striving to make it on our own.

Instead we have an amazing invitation to pull up to the power source, rest in effortless trust and soak in divine love and grace! 

Isn't it time we got out of our head, gave up muscle flexing and merely opened up to receive the supernatural life of The Hero stirring within? 

 UNLEASH THE HERO WITHIN!

UNLEASH THE HERO WITHIN!M

Day 21, Faith, 30 Days of Creative Expression

StairsLance Secretan wrote about the Faith SPIRIT@WORK® Card that I drew today,

“Faith is the capacity to achieve and enjoy a sense of inner peace based on a connection with the Divine that transcends the universe. Faith is one way to reconnect business with the soul, because it helps us to become more conscious to become one with the universe.”

I’ve noticed that most of us try to do life on our own. We embrace the illusion that we are fully capable of controlling life in our own strength that is until we hit upon a life gift that helps us realize this myth.

My own personal gift came through an out of control eating disorder that I couldn’t manage no matter how many O.A meetings I attended or shrink appointments I made. When it all came crashing down I was attending three O.A meetings a day, and three shrink appointments a week. 

It wasn’t hard for me to recognize that I was out of control and that I needed supernatural help! Faith is what led me to a mysterious healing in my twenties from eating loaves of bread, boxes of cereal, and sticks of butter until I passed out.

Faith is the swinging trapeze that connects me to supernatural and divine power that lifts me up to make the big leaps and flips life serves up. Faith connects me to the bigger scheme of things when like a dog on a bone; I refuse to let go of a momentary and fleeting enticement. The sad truth is, sometimes I still think, “I’ve got this” until I realize I don’t! Faith is a two-way relationship and when I truly realize whose running the show I do myself a huge favor and get in step by offering up my trust in exchange for supernatural endowment.

Faith: I don’t leave home without it!  How do you practice the principle of Faith in your own life?

 

 

DAY 11-Hope, 30 Days of Creative Expression

Hopeful

Today's SPIRIT@WORK ® Card is: HOPE. Langston Hughes wrote, 

“Hold fast to dreams
 for if dreams die
 life is a broken-winged bird
 that cannot fly. Hold fast to dreams 
for when dreams go 
life is a barren field
 frozen with snow.”

Without HOPE we fail to dream and without dreams we fail to have inspiration. Where HOPE is lost darkness ensues.

I have known plenty of dark seasons in my life, as I am sure you have too. Without HOPE I would never have seen the daylight after the death of my first husband. Without HOPE I would not have moved forward to mother my four children and experience the sunshine of HOPE rise in my heart.

I believe HOPE is accompanied by faith and faith is accompanied by trust. Because I am convinced that there is a Supreme Being that loves me, I have faith in that love. That faith allows me to trust and HOPE that the sun will rise on whatever my circumstances may be presently. When I am struggling to maintain HOPE, I recall the many love wonders that have transpired in my life and I can't help but feel a shift in my countenance.

HOPE is a value we must nurture.

Lance Secretan wrote concerning the HOPE SPIRIT@WORK ® Card,

“We all have two kinds of energy: our light and shadow. Though the shadow often appears as darkness, it is always within our power to shine the brilliance of our light there. Indeed we must always do so, because even the deepest darkness will give way to light. By shining our light, we can find our way and thereby inspire others. In this way, we provide hope.”

How do you nurture your HOPE?

For further support for a hope upgrade, order my book, Untamed Heart Releasing Your Creative Genius![product id="2047" sku=""]

Day 1-Infusion, 30 Days of Creative Expression & A New Way of Being

Infused in a love state of beingToday I begin my thirty-day challenge: 30 Days of Creative Expression. I hope you will follow along and play as I daily post my art journaling images and thoughts for the day. My goal is to create a conversation and collaborative effort. I invite you to follow along, journaling with me in your own unique way around the theme that I am discussing for the day. You can read more about this here http://moxieme.com/i-suck-at-asking-for-help/

Many people are launching into the New Year with resolutions and goals. However, I like to think of a new beginning as a new way of being, not merely doing.

When we merely focus on action steps and outer standards while ignoring our inner being we will find that we are out of alignment and rattled with incongruence; confusion; lack of clarity; lack of fulfillment; and all manner of shifting sand.

It seems we have it backwards. What if we flipped this around and lived from the inside out by focusing on our inner climate and way of being prior to focusing outwardly. This is the ultimate realignment that will manifest in a new way of being. In this way our circumstances will not dictate our well-being, but our way of being will alter our circumstances.

This year, I will continue to invest in the quality of soil my life is being built upon and continue supporting others in the same manner. There’s simply no comparison in the fruit that’s yielded from rich soil, reflected through state of being-love, joy, peace, gratitude, compassion, inspiration, hope, clarity, inner faith and insight.

The thought and word I am pondering today for the art journaling image posted here is from Lance Secretan's SPIRIT@WORK ® Card: Infusion.

Lance Secretan said, "Most business organizations and not-for-profit institutions have "Programs." But it's not programs we need. We don't  have a "Sunset Appreciation Program" - instead, we sit in a sacred place and experience a sunset, and in this way, it infuses us with spirit. Programs intrude, an experience infuses."

How do you plan to nurture and invest in your state of being to experience an inner infusion of love, joy, peace, gratitude, etc.? How will you incorporate the word "Infusion" into your day? I'd love to hear your thoughts and have you join the conversation!

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.

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

Keys to Stability When Your Normal Is Being Interrupted

Capsized boatAre you finding the good old days illusive and intangible? Is the stability and normalcy you once knew now wobbly and uncertain? It could be your normal is being disrupted.

There are two ways to react to change and transition.One will anchor your life while preparing you for an upgrade in perspective and attitude. The other will assure that you’ll continue grasping for solidity beneath your feet as you're tossed around in a sea of confusion.

The first choice is to:

1. Rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. Be deluded into thinking you are manning up, taking the bull by the horns in an attempt to control and rearrange life. The thing is if the old self-effort way of doing things is capsizing, the position of the chairs makes little difference.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

The truth is no matter how much you strive to make something happen, somethings in life will be buoyant and others will sink. It’s important to discern the difference. Is what you are trying to maintain destined to capsize? Are you loosing control so you can learn to be powered by a new Source that will enable you to float and gain peace?

The night my husband Bill was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor I knew I had to make a choice. I could be swept away with fear and worry that would capsize my life before the next morning, or choose the life raft of faith for the days ahead.  Did that mean my life turned out perfectly? No, Bill went home to heaven 5 weeks later and I was left with the daunting task of raising four small children alone. Nevertheless my choice anchored me and kept me from capsizing. Today in life’s current season of change and transition I rely on the same anchor to keeps me afloat.

The reason this choice anchors me is because of an even deeper foundational belief that I am completely loved. Believing in a Supreme Love helps me navigate life's disruptions and keeps me hopeful. Love carries, transforms, uplifts, shelters and keeps me floating, instead of sinking.

If you're ready to choose something other than mad grabs at control, there's option #2!

2. Learn to:

  • Let go and live in the present.
  • Condition yourself to see the opportunity in every circumstance.
  • Choose upward behavior and thoughts instead of negative, downward-spiraling behavior or thoughts. 
  • Don’t try to figure out what you can’t possibly know or foresee, because it’s beyond your pay grade. Fix your stance on hope!
  • Stay close to love ones and recognize this is no time to be a lone wolf.
  • Practice letting go and living fully in the moment.
  • Exercise faith that anchors.

Although I might not have chosen many of the things I've walked through in my life, such as burying a young husband, through the process of having my normal disrupted, I've gained valuable internal gold that no one can take away. Instead of capsizing I've learned to float.

If you're facing insurmountable odds, the disarray of confusion, or a needed life redesign, I suggest you choose an anchor that will keep you afloat.And for inspired living look for our upcoming online program, Untamed Joy! Get a life lift, uncover your true identity and discover new joy!

Choosing a Scandalous Life

waterwalkerI was raised in the South, and although I lived in eleven different states before I was eighteen, a southern upbringing dies hard. I come from a line of women who slid on their kid leather, pearl-buttoned gloves, perfectly- matched shoes and purse for their regular church attire. My childhood memories are packed with visions of southern niceties. Ahh! Lately I have been contemplating my kids’ obsessive love of clothes and continually fussed-over locks, but haven’t they gotten the very traits I discredit from moi? Let’s blame it on the South! Fortunately, I don’t have Darlene Real’s memory of her grandmother’s attempt to look good even when gathering eggs from the chicken coop— she wore high heels—but there is just something about a southern upbringing that constantly tries to pull you back into line with magnetic force, like a student waving a magnet in science class to collect stray iron filings.

That’s when good ole southern Pentecostal faith is needed to resist the pull—the water-walking kind of faith that sees the far-off destination and points its feet in its direction. It does what any self-respecting untamed heart must do—get out of the boat and walk on water. -Kimber Britiner, Untamed Heart: Releasing Your Creative Genius, 2013

An untamed heart is always moving boldly beyond the status quo and into the unknown. How are you moving boldly beyond your status quo? What water walking do you need to attempt?

Get the support you need in Untamed Heart: Releasing Your Creative Genius here![product id="2047" sku=""]

 

The Deliciousness of 2012

Kimberism: Internal abundance can't co-exists with fear, worry, or bitterness. The prospects of a New Year can create a slew of mixed emotions for many. Although one wants to hope for good things, unrealized dreams and past disappointments can serve to  anchor one to past or current pain.

Every New Year I spend time waiting for revelation and insight for the season ahead. Interestingly this year I heard the word “hopelicious” in my spirit. Honestly, this past year was a constant exercise in faith. As soon my hope tank was filled something new came along to drain it. So instead of reeling with excitement, I pondered the word “hopelicious.”

But then following this first bit of encouragement I heard, “Faith is the vehicle that moves hope into a reality.” Now were talking! Faith is the industrial strength substance that is necessary to weather any storm and be carried from where we are into the unseen.

The dictionary describes hope as: the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

It also describes delicious as: very pleasing and delightful, especially to taste or smell.

The word “hopelicious” goes well with my current mode of visual inspiration; the cupcake! For months now cupcakes have appeared in much of my artwork. I now understand the metaphor that goes perfectly with "hopelicious!"

Although not everything turns out the way we want or think it should, I have found that in time most things turn out better than we could have imagined. Some of you may not believe that right not, but I have seen it with my own eyes. As a devastated widow my life was deliciously restored. And hope was the single greatest ingredient that carried me to my new destination. I chose to hope in a fresh new future and that is what I received. I made the decision and didn't veer from it.

With 2011 behind us lets apprehend the "hopeliciousness" of 2012! How will you exercise your faith going forward, set a course and not veer from it? What delightful and scrumptious things are you hoping for in 2012? To truly be inspired and led into the world of "hopeliciousness" join the Heart through Art Coaching Group. To find out more click here! Or contact us for private coaching.

© Copyright 2011 Moxie Me Institute, BE U LLC. All Rights Reserved

Watch Out! The Giants Are Coming!

Kimberism: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.'' Corrie Ten Boom Many people are familiar with the story of the courageous Joshua and Caleb who despite the cowardice of their fellow Israelites bravely perceived the giants of their day as their food.  Are there giants looming on the horizon tempting you to hunker down and hide, rather than inspiring an afternoon snack?

Most of us are facing some sort of giant in our life, be it finances, job transition, health, relationship struggles, or other issues. We can allow the reporting of the news, our families, neighbors or even society intimidate us, or we can display the faith and courage it takes to overcome our giants and enter into our "Promised Land."

Below are a few powerful tactics when countering your giants~

  1. Deliberately choose whether you will live by fear or faith.
  2. Become tenacious about setting a guard over your thought life. Allow no intruders to take your thoughts hostage. Close your ears to the whispers of those stuck in fear, doubt and impossibility mindsets.
  3. No matter what you see with your natural eyes work to remain in peace, rest and faith, rather than anxiously flailing and striving.
  4. Determine to let nothing stand in the way of living on top of your circumstances instead of below them.
  5. Muster your moxie and hold your ground by replacing negative mental accusations with the truth. Become and over-comer!

© Copyright 2011 Moxie Me Institute, BE U LLC. All Rights Reserved

The Three Default Modes

Kimberism: “He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts.” Isaiah 40:28-29 When we’re being stretched beyond what feels like our limit, we often fluctuate between three default modes I define as; the inclination to lie down in the middle of the intersection of life and cry, or get mad, throw a tantrum and blame someone else, or finally the ability to exercise faith concerning what cannot be seen with natural sight.

Let me confess upfront that there are times when I have laid down in the middle of my particular intersection of pain and donned the ugly face, thrown a few fits and stomped my way through my circumstances. To be honest, I have often felt my life was the inconsistent wobbling of a yoyo, but truth be told, I have recoiled time and time again into the safety and surety of an enduring love that has never dropped, or failed me.

Faith can’t be measurement according to perfection, for perfection implies works and nullifies faith. However, every seasoned athlete knows the importance of running for distance, rather than merely a sprint.  Are you measuring your life according to perfection, or endurance and growth over the long haul? © Copyright 2011 Moxie Me Institute, BE U LLC. All Rights Reserved WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? To publish this article in your ezine or website please include the following blurb: Kimber Britner is president of Moxie Me Institute, Author, Speaker, Professional Coach and Innovation Expert. Moxie Me Institute helps heart-led women bring their greatness to the world by connecting them to their passion, purpose, and inspired vision. Join us to rev up your moxie and bliss!

www.moxieme.com email:kimber@moxieme.com www.facebook.com/moxieme www.twitter.com/moxiemecoaching www.linkedin.com

What Is Filling Your Atmosphere?

Kimberism: Be careful of your thoughts; they may become words at any moment. Ira Gassen  The Latin root of creation is “to bring forth.” Everything we see initially comes from the unseen realm. Something exists in the natural realm because it has been “brought forth” from the unseen realm.

God spoke and creation manifested. Now rather than thinking that creation is making something out of nothing, we could think of it as tapping into what already exists in heaven’s unlimited supply. Everything already exists though it has not yet been "brought forth."

Our words affect what manifests in our lives. Our words merely revel what is in our heart, faith, or doubt. Our words fill the atmosphere around us with faith, or defeat, belief, or unbelief. Although the fruit of our words may not be evident, they remain in the atmosphere until the time for them to bear fruit. The question is what kind of fruit will our words produce? What kind of things are we calling into being by our words?

Our words are like magnets that attract either life or death to any situation.  In response to our words, or prayers, spiritual forces are set into motion to bring them to pass. Prayer is affected in the spiritual realm before it is answered in the natural realm.

Are you calling in those things that are not as though they were through faith, or through fear and unbelief? Isn't it time we became aware of the atmosphere we are creating and “bringing forth” through our words? How are you "directing your heart in the way" by setting a guard over your thoughts and speech?

© Copyright 2011 Moxie Me Institute, BE U LLC. All Rights Reserved WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? To publish this article in your ezine or website please include the following blurb: Kimber Britner is president of Moxie Me Institute, Author, Speaker, Professional Coach and Innovation Expert. Moxie Me Institute helps heart-led women bring their greatness to the world by connecting them to their passion, purpose, and inspired vision. Join us to rev up your moxie and bliss!

www.moxieme.com email:kimber@moxieme.com www.facebook.com/moxieme www.twitter.com/moxiemecoaching www.linkedin.com

Is the Parade Passing You By?

Kimberism: “God can dream a bigger dream for me, for you, than you could ever dream for yourself. When you've worked as hard and done as much and strived and tried and given and pled and bargained and hoped...surrender. When you have done all that you can do, and there's nothing left for you to do, give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself, and let it then become a part of the flow."— Oprah

Have you ever felt like everyone else was participating in the parade, while you we’re forced to the side lines? Maybe you've noticed conception has come easily for others; while you've unsuccessfully struggled to conceive a child, or your dream of marriage lay dwarfed by reality.

As a single mom I felt a similar discouragement when couples paraded before me, or when others enjoyed lucrative business ventures and I received a heavenly message to sit down and wait for new instructions.

However, every time the anchor was dropped on my vision, it wasn't long before the old vision was swallowed up by a much bigger vision. Sure, in the process I squirmed, baulked, cried and agonized, but when I finally surrendered and moved into faith the rewards were better than I could have imagined.

That’s what happened when I gave up the desire to be remarried after loosing my first husband. After seven years of trying to scratch an itch that wouldn't subside, I quieted my soul, gave up striving and believed that something bigger could do for me what I could not do for myself. I never gave up the desire, but I gave up the control. From a place of surrender the man of my dreams entered my world without one ounce of effort or striving on my part. 

Are you in a season where you have been ushered to the sidelines in preparation for something greater? Are you resisting change and struggling for clarity? Surrender is a great place to start.

Although the sidelines may not be where you want to set up residence, it is the place to grow your faith. As you exercise faith in Some One bigger than yourself watch your old vision organically morph into something new. 

You will never receive greater vision if you are willing to settle for a lesser one. It's only when you pull away from the crowd that you position yourself for a vision upleveling. Do you need to let the parade pass you by?

© Copyright 2011 Moxie Me Institute, BE U LLC. All Rights Reserved

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? To publish this article in your ezine or website please include the following blurb: Kimber Britner is president of Moxie Me Institute, Author, Speaker, Professional Coach and Innovation Expert who' helps women maximize their expertise and get their gifts out into the world through one-on-one coaching, teleseminars, group coaching, events and powerful tools.  We invite you to join our community of heart-centered, spunky, women and get your moxie activated!

www.moxieme.com/ email:kimber@moxieme.com www.facebook.com/moxieme www.twitter.com/moxiemecoaching