Friday, August 12, 2016

Being Your Job

Simon Sinek helped change my attitude. Here's how:
When I was at my steady job last night there was one particular hour that got exceptionally busy. The top of each hour and sometimes the half hour are called 'flips' because this is when all the rooms can potentially open as one massage ends and another massage is being prepped to begin. However many rooms a clinic has means that many clients coming out as the same amount are simultaneously going in. Managing the flow of this time is critical to for the most therapeutic experience to every guest and I take it very seriously. One client took notice and as I juggled multiple clients and directed them to their appropriate therapists while answering questions from all fronts this client pointed out how amazed he was at how I was handling everything that was happening in what was really a matter of seconds.
The next hour came and this same client checked out with me and brought to my attention again how amazed he was at how I had handled the influx of client and therapist dilemmas, navigated significant concerns and made each person feel valued, even if I had to let them know they would get my undivided attention as soon as I helped clients and therapists connect. Everything was chaotically smooth. I thanked the client for noticing and I lightly passed it off something I learned to do early since I had worked in medical my entire life and since I started working after school at 14 in a medical office I thrived in environments that require quick-thinking, triage skills and optimum client and patient care.
This morning I woke up still thinking about this client and how he was so impressed watching me that he mentioned AFTER his hour session went by. This means he was thinking about it during a session for HIM. Then I signed in to Facebook to see this video in my Facebook feed by Simon Sinek addressing the quote I took a screen shot of and shared above. I remember when he shared this quote and I remembered feeling defensive but something shifted in me regardless and after listening to his idealistic explanation I figured it out...
If you don't love your jobA little video to comment on the quote I posted last week - “If you don’t plan on doing your job forever, than why are you doing it now?"
After this quote I chose to step into my role at work in a more grateful way. Instead of resenting the fact that I no longer made what I did before the economy crashed I am grateful I have a job and a manager that cares about being a leader so I decided to ask him for more coaching and as a true leader he jumped at the chance. My sales numbers have been higher than they've been since I've worked there for 2.5 years. I enjoy BEing at work every day and after watching this video I realized it's because this quote helped me realize that I have the choice to BE who I am wherever I work.
My goal is to work with all sizes of companies to be available help any employee going through various types of crisis, ideally as part of a Wellness Program the company plans on creating or has already. My manager has even made comments that he knows when I show up to work because he hears the conversations shift to asking for guidance on a significant dilemma someone is going through. From Millennials to Baby Boomers my co-workers all see me the same and refer to time with me as "therapy". My co-workers can truly 'show up' to do their work once they've had the opportunity to process something painful they are going through or get a fresh perspective on a frustration they have from work or not. They feel a sense of calm and peace after visiting with me for a few minutes and then we step into our assigned roles and everyone's numbers improve and the bottom line does too. When I work at different clinics I get messages asking when I will be back to their clinic because they miss me.
You see, as I decided to own where I'm at right now with a sense of gratitude and seeing it as an opportunity to become better at whatever it was I needed to be 'better' at, I began working on my dream in the process. Working on my ultimate goal has shifted my mentality so significantly that I am clear not only on what I want to do with the rest of my life but how I am able to start TODAY. The client noticing that I thrive in high pressure, that I can remain grounded in a crisis and remain incredibly focused and efficient in chaos and make sure that every single person I interact with leaves feeling heard, validated, and cared for only solidified that. Even if, on the outside - my title - isn't the job I plan on doing forever, HOW I do my job, being consistent in WHO I am when I'm at work or not, and WHY I show up the way I do every single day means that ultimately I AM doing what I plan on doing the rest of my life.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Healthy and Unhealthy Vulnerability

You will hear me discuss different words and concepts that have both positive and negative attributes and this blog will address vulnerability. Many words are interpreted by different people in different ways and typically it's with a myopic lens because their frame of reference is just as limited as mine or anyone else's. We all grow up and live in environments that favor a particular view on a word such as vulnerability, judgement, and ego to name a few. The thing is though, these words carry with them a vibration and depending on how big these words have been in your life you can feel an immediate response when hearing or reading them. Read and ponder each word individually and tune in to your breath and body as you do so and then notice your thoughts. Do you feel defensive? Is your mind flooded with opinions or stories around any of the words? Do you feel tension or a release of tension anywhere? I definitely have opinions and tension when I see or hear these words thrown around; mainly because the English language seems to limit a lot of words that are more complex than we give them credit for, 'love' being the biggest example for me.

My parents came to visit me the other day and my mom said something that keeps spinning around and around in my mind. My mother said that for years, as I struggled with my romantic relationships my father would go back to the same observation every time they would visit me and that was that I was so vulnerable. Now that word continues to hang in the center of my mind like a brilliant chandelier covered in dust and I'm trying to reach it to clean it off. Terry Crews hasn't helped with my current fixation. His vulnerable and viral videos about his porn addiction (Dirty Little Secret Series) really got me started before my parents visit and to illustrate my point I'm going to put gender aside (please go with me on this) and use him and myself as an example of the opposite ends of the spectrum / vibration of the word vulnerability.

If you have seen my YouTube channel then you know how I have struggled for years with Love Addiction and that has affected my life in a major way. Recognizing when you are obsessing over an idea of someone or a fantasy of what your romantic life should be can be crippling, especially when the realities of life come in and you feel nothing but terror as your dreams (fantasies) are dashed and there's another human in the room with you, not Cinderella or Prince Charming - not that we are all quite that naive but you get my meaning; there are various levels of delusion we put ourselves through in order to believe we can have "that kind" of love, whatever "that kind" means to each of us. So, when my hopes and dreams feel betrayed I withdraw, I feel sorry for myself and that has either forced the man I'm with to try to reach me, to the point of violence because of his own unaddressed needs, or with other men they choose to abandon me - or it feels that way to me - when in reality they see my imbalanced expectations and run OR they are just plain self-centered and take off until I get my head straight and then they are back again to enjoy only the best parts of me -see Emotionally Unavailable Love Avoidant.  By now I'm hoping you can see how I can become vulnerable in an unhealthy way. From my perspective I continued to feel more and more victimized and used. To be honest, I contributed a great deal to this cycle because I became desperate to feel and see the love I had fixated on in my mind since I was young.

Now to go back to what my parents had brought up about my vulnerability, the observation is a profoundly important one because healthy vulnerability is empowering not only to one's self but to others - back to Terry Crews. Terry Crews is able to share his story as an observer of his former self in a way. He is not attached to the drama but he shares it in a way that helps him to be compassionate and understanding of his former self while recognizing what brought him to that point and how to never again fall back into the cycle that brought him there. It would be safe to say that he is no longer a victim of his addiction and he has emerged a better person for doing the work and facing it. This is an important point too though, it took vulnerability at his lowest point to admit he had a problem at all and that vulnerability is why he has come so far.

Now speaking only as a woman who lived her life in an unhealthy state of vulnerability I attracted and was attracted to men who, whether they realized it or not, felt the desire to "rescue" me. They were struggling with their own unmet needs, their own fantasies and that is what attracted us. When two people meet when they are both in an unhealthy state of vulnerability then that unhealthy state begins to grow and expand just as much as two people in a healthy state of vulnerability can grow and expand together. Sex was often what the men would hide behind to keep from becoming too emotionally intimate and I used sex to try to get them to be emotionally intimate. I have learned that this dynamic or how it shows up isn't exclusive to either gender as many Millennials are confiding in me what they are going through.

Being mindful of how we use the word and show up in vulnerability is key. When I was in an unhealthy state vulnerability, just needing to be loved by a man so bad, I allowed myself to be taken advantage of; I was blind to the cycle I was in and began to wonder if all men where the same when really, all people who are still in that state are the same. And what healthy person is going to risk their own health to step into that? When we grow and become healthier people we take great care in what we expose ourselves to whether it be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Now I'm working on being the healthy vulnerable; letting go of any attachment to my story or how I have identified myself in any role that made me feel victimized and using what I have experienced and learned in an empowering way for myself first and hopefully others in the future.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Is It a Past Life or an Ancestor's Memory?

Strands of DNA Photo: ALAMY
I often wonder if this is what people experience when they have past life experiences. Could they be actual memories passed down creating multigenerational trauma? Either way, when it is brought to our awareness what we do next to stop the trend is key. This article is worth a read: 

Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors

Memories may be passed down through generations in DNA in a process that may be the underlying cause of phobias

A Philosophically Spiritual Question about Emotion

What are your thoughts on observing your emotions and using emotions to empower, inspire and motivate you?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Goddess in You

Micah - Goddess Photoshoot by SeguraPhotos
Today is September 6, 2015, the day that Venus begins to go direct (it will remain in shadow until October 9th) and coincidentally it's also World Goddess Day. I'm not sure how seriously I would normally take this but today I feel as if someone is screaming at me and I can't hear them. Is it my Higher Self? Is it God? I believe we have aspects of all of these archetypes within us. I relate more to the Goddess archetypes so I created this blog as a sort of exercise for others; a way to step outside of ourselves as observers without attachment to see how we would interpret our current situations, feelings, relationships and goals and what perspective we would offer ourselves through each unique filter.

These are four that help, hinder and haunt me. What they have taught me so far is at the end. If you try this exercise, please share any insights in the comments!

Venus of Urbino by Titian - 1538
Aphrodite (Roman name: Venus) - Goddess of Love, Beauty and Regeneration - protector of sailors. Her and I have had a love / hate relationship for a very long time. As Venus was retrograde many relationships were challenged and a lot of people ended relationships or did things in order to explore love and where they fit in the universal dance that they never imagined themselves doing. The greater the surprises were the more disconnected we were from recognizing how we have been showing up in our relationships, how our love expressions may have been off balance and how open we are to having healthy relationships (in general) with healthy boundaries with like-minded individuals. Whatever we have been avoiding, we have been forced to face. Now what do we do with that?

I have a love / hate relationship with this goddess because on one hand it feels wonderful and powerful to embrace our beauty (internally and externally), to have it recognized, valued, appreciated. It also feels wonderful to be in love but the act of love - doing love - can become a challenge. Words and actions can fail to match up. Expectations increase as do disappointments and resentments. The longing to be accepted for who you are and for exactly where you happen to be, all while being emotionally and spiritually encouraged and supported as you strive to be a better you becomes more and more elusive. It seems the more elusive a thing is the greater the desire for it and the further we push it away.

Athena statue at Parthenos

Athena (Roman name: Minerva) who for years I related to most. Goddess of Wisdom she was skilled in the art of war and negotiation. She was just and always sought peace. She was also Zeus' favorite.

Athena was with me when I did the goddess photoshoot the day after my Grandmother passed away. I felt the strength of this woman who had always faced every perceivable tragedy with a wisdom and soft giggle that could quickly ease the greatest of fears. Athena has been with me as I struggled to find a home to live in, I committed to being the first person in my family to complete a degree against all odds and as I fell in love again after a painful marriage. The shadow was probably becoming overly focused on survival and just getting through each day to the point of closing myself off from my true self, those I loved and others.

Athena and her wisdom are part of who I am but I lose myself and my ability to connect with others when I become overly ruled by my head and my ideals. In her wisdom I believe she is inviting me to connect with the other goddesses now in order to become my own version of a goddess.

Hestia (Roman name: Vesta) - The gentlest of the gods she was the goddess of the hearth. Without realizing it I have longed to embody this goddess the most since I was a little girl. In the book, The Alchemist it is referred to as a "Personal Legend". This quiet and gentle goddess finds the greatest value in a warm fireplace that loved ones can gather around and warm their bodies, hearts, minds and spirits. Embodying being-ness and healthy connectedness, this is who I have most longed to be deep down but my excitable nature begins to get distracted by the gifts of the other goddesses instead of embodying all of them simultaneously. This is why the archetype of Hestia continues to elude me.

Hera campana
Hera (Roman name: Juno) - Goddess of Marriage and Queen of the Gods with a serious jealous streak. I have known this archetype. I have known justified jealousy but have known great restraint in these moments (thank you, Athena). I was far from a goddess when married. I did not honor myself and therefore could not honor my household.

Micah - Goddess Shoot by Segura Photos
There are more goddesses and I encourage you to look them up to research them as archetypes, possibly meditate on the ones that resonate with you the most; even use them when creating visualizations or scripts for healing sessions. Here's what I have taken away from my meditations on these four women that have ruled my life with and without my awareness:

1. When you forget your Personal Legend (The Alchemist), that one thing you knew you were put on earth for since your earliest recollection, that one thing that makes you feel whole, you forget yourself. It becomes buried in fear and excuses and digging it out can mean countless loss the more piled up these fears and excuses become.

2. A goddess can show up in many ways without you realizing it. For me, I wanted Hestia to show up a certain way. Each time I get a little closer to realizing that hope it slips further away from my grasp. So redefining that image in your mind can help you feel complete. For me, my home is warm by my own fire. I can invite as few or as many people into my home and make them feel as warm, loved and accepted as possible each time, as little or as often as I'd like without compromising myself.

3. Venus loves love and so do I. Sometimes the love that is most demonstrated for us is by people we least expect it from. What a powerful lesson in detachment from expectations from those we say we love most! Why do the greatest loves come with the greatest expectations? Love ought not be heavy. Love is restorative and regenerates. It may not always look like you hope it could but the less you hang on to that particular expectation the more abundant varieties of love come pouring in. Virtuous, compassionate and accepting love.

4. Only when you can truly commit to yourself, what it is you know you need to be doing and making your well-being a priority, only then will others who treat themselves with the same dignity want to spend time with you. 

5. Be courageous. Risk losing what you fear losing the most. Release attachment to your ideas of how things "should" be or look and celebrate what they are. When you embody all of your archetypal, goddess-like strengths you will be and feel unstoppable and any set backs will feel that much more temporary.


Become your own god damn goddess!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pursuit of Self-Acceptance

"When I accept myself, I am freed of the burden of needing you to accept me." 
~ Dr. Steve Maraboli

When we journey into ourselves for whatever reason, to improve our health, wellness, spirituality or for greater understanding and empathy for ourselves and others we begin to reference a lot of interactions with other people as mirroring. It can help us learn and grow when we ponder people or circumstances that seem to make us feel something extreme. The idea that if we see what is being reflected at us that makes us feel triggered in some way, (regardless of whether we perceive it as "good" or "bad"), often causes us to believe or feel that we can find resolution around something within our selves that we may be suppressing, denying, battling, or even allowing to control us (patterns). Often times this also comes up when we feel a deep connection or resonance with someone else and what intrigues us about them is quite possibly something we want to delve deeper into within ourselves so we choose to invest in this other person on some level because we see them almost as a means to our own greater and deeper wisdom and quite possibly a deeper sense of self-acceptance. It can be easy to forget that something familiar in someone else doesn't necessarily equate to a healthy relationship, regardless of the type of relationship. Sometimes familiar is an unhealthy pattern we can relate to and have related back to us. Two unhealthy patterns joining rarely grow into healthier patterns.

The process of self-discovery is a seductive one and we can become so enamored with it that it becomes more of a cycle and less of what its original intention was when we decided to begin the journey. In one of my Cranial Sacral therapy classes a couple of my instructors would remind us, almost as a way of preparing and cautioning us, that people can become addicted to their own process. This is profoundly real. We can strive so hard and develop such an intense longing to accept ourselves that we pursue anything that reflects something in us that we want to explore no matter how much awareness we already have around it. We become seduced by our reflection in others and begin to rely so heavily on what we see in someone else's eyes - even spirit or sense of self - that we begin to lose ourselves in them (if only for a moment or long-term). This, I believe, is the 'burden' stated in the quote above. The burden is simply the amount of importance and value we place on others to reflect what we want to see (or feel), light or dark, good or bad, so we can explore ourselves from a safe distance and not really ever have to BE with ourselves. Instead we avoid our true selves further, distancing ourselves from our own ability to accept who we are without the attachment to defining this "thing" or experience as "good" or "bad", light or shadow; becoming distracted by the attachment of longing to define ourselves and find validation outside ourselves. Remaining a victim to the self-perpetuated cycle and drama of the ongoing search, ignoring what we already have.

To me, it's radical self-acceptance to see those reflections, feel those connections, notice the triggers and BE with them without becoming seduced, entranced and distracted by them because those moments are when we can be the least accepting of ourselves. It also means that we can see our desirable traits and our less desirable ones, our light and shadow, talents and challenges and witness them as they show up and dance with one another in our everyday life. We can sit as observers and at the end of each day we can note what things we want to enhance within ourselves and what opportunities we were shown to help us there. Then we can wake up each morning with a fresh intention and a rebirth, accepting ourselves free from the burden of wondering who we want (perceived need) to find to help us accept who we are as well as becoming free of the fear of what happens when we meet someone that intrigues or triggers us in a powerful way.

These interactions do have value but it's how desperate our longing to attach meaning (our identity) to them and how consumed we become by them that becomes more defining and even defeating as opposed to love and acceptance of self. Time invested in exploring ourselves through others compared to time alone - comfortable, without the need for distractions, entertainment or another person speaks volumes on your level of self-acceptance. No one else can give that to you. We don't need anyone's permission to accept who we are except permission from our selves. Do you give yourself permission to accept who you are today, right now in this moment? Are you willing to look in the proverbial mirror reflected in your interactions with others free of attachment to any specific outcome but merely as a witness, reflecting on what you observe when you make time to be alone at the end of the day?

What if we replaced the word "happiness" in the following quote to "self-acceptance"?

"Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder..." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Then perhaps you won't be one of the people Thoreau references when he says, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Friday, July 31, 2015

Follow Your Rage - Own Your Place in this World

I've recently realized that following your passion can leave you bewildered and overwhelmed when you have so many. The heart pounds with passion but it also pounds with fury. I'm going to follow my anger - my passionate anger. What pisses me off the most? What do I want to change more than anything? Knowing the answer to those questions makes my direction clearer than any of the 'love and light', 'what are your gifts and talents?', 'what types of things show up in sessions', and all the other warm and fuzzy suggestions I've received from well-intended individuals. Sometimes love is fierce and fueled by a deep anger that has been growing as you observe your own and other people's complacency, denial and avoidance. Today is the day to say 'NO MORE'.

When I hear women complain about a patriarchal society (or anything else that appears patriarchal) I can't help but think of how many ways women accept roles that encourage patriarchy and then they complain about men having trouble committing or being "man enough"... whatever that means. If patriarchy makes you angry then stop trying to assume the roles of men! That does NOT make a woman equal, it makes her a conformist. If you don't want to be in a patriarchal relationship then don't expect a man to "take care of you" as though you are beneath him, financially, emotionally, psychology or any of the other "_______ly's". Gender equality is about an equal exchange of support, love and appreciation. You take care of one another equally.

 I will never settle for any relationship where I am not held accountable. To be my best possible me I need people in my life that call me on my sh*t. THAT is what shows me they love me, they don't want to be "above" me or "below" me, they want to work WITH me. Relationships that are symbiotic and beneficial for both parties with healthy boundaries and clear communication are for me.

A woman's contributions to society have the privilege of morphing significantly depending on her age, whether or not she has had children and how she wants to show up in the world. As the wonderful article I posted below reminds us, women of a certain age need to be more nurturing as they raise children but how can we use any dissatisfaction in our lives at any age to fuel us and remind loving nurturers? It is possible!

STOP neglecting yourself under the guise of having to take care of other people first. Practice what you preach, show people what it means to be empowered by taking care of yourself. Martyrdom based on self-neglect and perpetuating your own victimhood has no place in anyone's life anymore. See the healer in everyone, including your children and help others learn how to heal themselves. STOP basing your self-worth on other people's pain and drama. SHOW them the light they struggle to find, hold it for them when they are tired but don't ever, EVER take it from them or assume you are the only person that can help them with their light. Allow others to embrace what pains them, makes them angry and show them how to channel that into something powerful. And please, do not allow anything outside of yourself make you question your value. Accept challenges and allow them to peel away more layers of unnecessary fears.

Now is the time for me to crack myself open without fear and surround myself with people who are willing to do the same. Now is the time to love the things that piss me off because those are the things that show me where I can make a difference. I feel that part of my value is based on my ability to love myself and others and when I'm angry it's because I see where love is lacking, either for self or others.

Complacency, denial, victimhood, complaining, avoidance and unhealthy relationships, thoughts and behaviors are all unhealthy fear based patterns that hold us back and are cowardly excuses to not step up and make a difference. Are your desires based on what things piss you off and what you KNOW you can do to change it? Or are your desires based on avoiding truly connecting with yourself or others creating faux relationships and feeding addictive patterns? I believe anyone who is honest about the answer already knows their worth and doesn't need me to say anymore.

If you want to feel as fired up as I do, read: Rising Into The Storm: Women Who Burst Open with Age.