Ain’t That Some Shit

You think can just entirely get rid of something about yourself?” I recently heard a someone say, “No. Whoever told you that is a liar!

Well no,” I’d replied, “I just keep thinking that if I work hard enough it will like… go into remission or something.

Ha.

I guess it kind of works like that, and doesn’t. Our things, hang-ups, issues, kleshas, struggles, or whatever label you’d like to slap on them, don’t really exactly so much go all the way away, they just show up in new ways . . .

Yeah. FUCK.

Translation: your shit is your shit is your shit.

Continue reading

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Before this fuck-up of a year is over, I wanna talk about the “E” word You know, the E word. The one that gets you hurt, in trouble, puts your foot in your mouth, the stick up your ass, and your cart in front of your horse.

THE, E word.

Expectations. No, not the great ones…

I want to talk about this so we can all get clear together about the not so small truth that expectations are getting in the way of progress, and happiness, and well, life, really. Not just mine, not just yours, ours. All of ours, and often.

You see, when we expect we create a storyline in our head that must be carried out in order to feel good.

When we expect an event to go a certain way and it does we are mostly satisfied and feel right or successful. When it doesn’t, we can feel a sense of failure, of loss, of disappointment, of dissatisfaction.

Sometimes we even pout about it. For reals. Even us adults. It just looks a lot more like passive aggressive snark than it does foot stomping and bottom lip quivering, usually. Continue reading

THE RUB

I’ve always been a little bit outside “the norm.”  Not average. Challenging. Bold. Big in body, mind, and presence. Strong-willed, determined, and overly verbal about it. A storyteller by nature. I’m a dreamer who likes to make lists. A “YES” who likes to map it.

I rarely choose to do things the easy way. I like puzzles, and problem solving. I crave adventure. I need variety like I need air. I don’t like the word or the state of “normal.” I don’t like to hold still. Conventions make me nauseated. I like to learn the rules so I can bend and twist and break them when it’s time.   

I rarely play it safe. I’m uncomfortable playing small. There are never enough ideas or things for me to learn.  If you say we can go ten miles I want to go one hundred. My quench for growth is insatiable.

I love the way change calls me out of my comfort zone and into a terrifyingly fresh new space.

This, makes me . . . well. Me. It makes me, me. And I’m not sorry for that, anymore. It’s who I am. I’m good with it. Great, actually. Continue reading

Dark Side Of The Moon

Last week I wrote about hitting the Wall. Or rather, hitting walls, plural. About what it looks like when my body draws a #Nope card.

But there’s a wall I didn’t talk about. It’s a wall I don’t want to acknowledge. A wall that, quite frankly, isn’t supposed to be there.

It’s a wall I unintentionally built myself.

I have a charmed life. My husband is amazing. My kids are thriving. I’m getting along with my ex-husband, and his wife. I live in a cool city, I get to go do epic shit with kickass people. My friends are supportive ,and funny, and kind, and all the things I could want my friends to be.  I have more events to attend and opportunities for culture and learning and fun than time to do them all.

I am surrounded by love and laughter and play and light.

And yet, there are still shadows. Big ones. The kind that wake me up at night in a cold sweat, the kind that start arguments where arguments weren’t expected. The kind that attract mistakes. The kind that undercut my self esteem, that prevent me from showing up, and the kind that invite me to spend a Saturday in bed, under the covers, sleeping my reality away. Continue reading

TURN THE LIGHTS ON

Colleague:

So, do you like, think that thinking positive things changes your like, energy? And that negative energy changes it too? Like, does it really matter? Do your thoughts actually change your. . . reality?

Me:

YES! EXACTLY YES. YES. YES. YES!

This was about three-quarters of the way through a really great conversation about energy, science, the law of attraction, about responding and not reacting, and why positive thinking matters. Because it does. It changes everything.  And so does negative thinking.

When things are running smoothly it’s easy to stay positive, life is good, and noticing and admitting that comes naturally. But when things get. . . messy, tense, uncomfortable, painful, and awkward, well, you know how it goes—

Alexander and his Terrible Day, Episode VII.

The negative thought pattern is swift, and we can go from a place of light to one that is very, very, very dark in just a half a breath. But, of course, and also, you can choose to turn that light switch back on whenever you want.

You’re controlling the electrical panel of your life, and you can choose which fuse to flip, and when.

Here’s an example, from the same day. Continue reading

I DID IT ALL FOR THE COOKIE?

When I finished my first Yoga Teacher Training I recieved a bracelet infused by my teacher with a metaphorical “Chocolate Chip Cookie,” I was confused by this, to say the least.

My clarification came as “well, you’re hard on the outside, but warm and gooey on the inside.”

This pissed me off. A lot. I did not like this. At.All. This, was NOT what I wanted to hear at the end of my 200 hours of sweat and tears. I wanted validation, not another assignment.

Because, I am not, a chocolate chip cookie, thankyouverymuch. I am nice, and warm, and approachable, and EVERYONE LIKES ME! Continue reading

BREAK SOMETHING

I had a breakthrough today.

I’ve had it coming for about five years, and today, finally, I had it.

I sat in a room with my ex husband and I looked at him without anger.

I looked at him without a taste of bitterness in my mouth, my jaw ungrimaced,  my arms uncrossed, and my brow relaxed.

I met him at eye level. Not above.

I saw him.

And this time, I felt compassion and peace.

Finally.

We were together for almost fourteen years, bitterly divorced just before my thirtieth birthday. Our marriage was lousy. All of it. We were terrible for each other, co-dependent maybe, toxic for certain.

I’d try to control our worlds and he’d drink. The more he drank, the more vigilantly I lived. The more I tried to fix and save him, to maintain appearaces, to be a perfect everything to everyone all the time and in every way, the more we both grew darker.

I hated who I let myself become in that relationship.

Our divorce was a relief, for both of us.

But it still stung, and I was angry.

Really angry.

I was fuming for what didn’t happen, indignent for what did, and resentful for what would never come to be. I was a bundle of negatively charged emotion, ready to catch flame at the slightest whisper of a breeze. Prepared to pass judgement and pounce at the first indication of things not going my way. Looking. Seeking. Keeping score.

Raw.

And I kept that fury in my pocket for a long time, allowing it to fuel me. Anger gave me drive and purpose and a mean determination to prove myself to the world.

See me? I am right. He is not. I am good. He is bad. I am best. He is worst.
I win. He loses.

But nobody gets a gold medal for these games. Not a single victor remains standing.

For two years I worked to come to terms with that. I tried softening. I took new approaches. I learned to better control my reactions. I poured over books, listened to endless hours of input from speakers and coaches, did exercises, wrote about it, reflected on it, modified my thought patterns, I was dedicated to making a change.

But it wasn’t enough.

I was still angry. Still judging. Still skeptical. Unwilling to trust. Preparing for the other shoe to drop. Waiting— to get hurt, more, and again.

I was carrying anger not just for myself, but on behalf of my children.  Holding space for things that hadn’t even happened yet, assured that it was my duty to bear the burden of their pain and thus perhaps prevent it from ever happening.

What a waste of living space.

I knew it. But I still wouldn’t let it go.

And then, last week, I lay alone in my practice in half pigeon, arms outstretched with palms open, ready to receive. Suddenly, unexpectedly, I felt my arms drop to the floor with a ponderous thud as though someone were pressing my body into the earth.

My hands were heavy.

Too heavy.

And I knew, with complete and utter understanding, that I was done. The anger had become too cumbersome for even me, with my very strong arms, to shoulder any longer.

I was ready to sever the anchor chain and move forward unburdened.

And so I did. And so I am. And so I will continue to do.

Anger does not serve me. It offers no function, produces no benefit and prompts no goodness in our lives. It does not have a place at the table in my heart.

The load has been removed from my care; I’m done. Five years later, and I’m ready to lead from a place of love.

Really.

Are you?

GUILTY

Guilt. Today I want to talk about guilt.

Now, before you start packing your bags just sit down and chill; we’re not going on that kind of trip. . . at least not this time.

Today I’m talking about the kind of guilt that is self induced.

The real kind. The ugly kind. The yucky shit.

Bluck.

Ya feeling me?

Stop for just a second, before you read any further. What’s in your head, right now, at this moment, just with the mention of the word? What do you instinctively call to mind?

When I say “guilt,” you say _____?

Got it?

Good.

Now let me ask you these three questions:

  1. Is your guilt helping you?
  2. Is your guilt helping someone else?
  3. Is your guilt generating positive change?

If the answer to any of these is no, and I’ll bet my bottom dollar it is, then well, you know what I’m gonna say here, right?

Let that shit go.

For real.

Because. . . if it’s not serving a positive purpose in your life then why keep it? Guilt is a choice. It’s self imposed. We choose to accept it. So guess what? We can choose not to accept it too.

Yup. True story. We can.

How?

Forgiveness. Acceptance. Change. Release. Integrity.

We can let guilt go right down the chute with our dirty laundry.

Really.

Guilt is the product of expectations, yours, mine and theirs. It can be our bodies natural propriety radar but also, it can eat us up inside. Guilt is is what manifests when we live either in the past or the future; it is stealing from your present. Yes. Stealing. You’re doing it.

Bet you’re already feeling guilty for feeling guilty, aren’t you?

Knock it off.

Check it out- if you already did it, then make amends and peace with it. It’s done. You can’t change it. You can’t make it better. You can only not repeat and not redo, acknowledge, learn from, and move forward.

If haven’t yet done it, but you feel badly about it, then honey, it’s time to make a decision— is it the way you want to live your life or isn’t it? Does it match your values or doesn’t it? Is it worth it or isn’t it? Are you being impeccable with your word or aren’t you?

Pick one, own it, and say farewell to the finger shaking smocked mama hanging out in your head. Turn that negative self talk channel off, right now.

Yes. Yes you can.

Here’s an example:

Earlier today I  felt guilty for going on a work trip on the other side of the continent right before I leave the country. I am missing my last few days with my kids before I go to Africa. I missed my son’s first Little League Practice. I could have taught two more classes at the college. I didn’t teach my 6am yoga class. I didn’t make it to my Wednesday night assist. I missed three networking events.

No, I won’t get this time back. No, my kids will only be this age once. No, I won’t make as much money. No, I don’t get to network with those people.

Boo-fucking-hoo.

You know what I do get to do? I get to bond with my team. I get to experience elite level training that will serve as a catalyst for growth in my life as a mother, an entreprenuer, a team member, and a human being.

After this training, I’ll be a better me.  My kids get a better mom. My work will have improved, my purpose intesified and made clearer. I’ll have cracked open a little more, and I’ll be ready to let in a little more light.

After this training, I’ll be even more full, even more ready, even more excited to be a citizen of this world.

Yeah. I’m gonna call that a win.

So I can choose. I can keep feeling guilty for missing out on stuff back home and let that guilt take away from the opportunity happening right now, or I can own my decision and enjoy every second of the next 48 hours.

I’m picking the latter. I’m gonna roll with option two. Gangster style maybe. Big pimpin’.

Kidding. But not.

Guilt gets me nowhere. Letting go of guilt, well, it gets me everywhere. Literally. Even North Carolina.

I choose to live with integrity. It’s either right or it’s not. It’s either good or it isn’t. I’m either doing it, or I’m fucking not.

The decision is mine. The guilt? There’s no room in my carry-on for that shit, as it turns out.

This is my reality, right here and right now. Mine. I accept it, and all it may bring.

Amen. The end.

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HOLDING ON

It’s Friday, the weekend is about to start and I’m wondering— what are you holding onto from your week?

Someone make you upset at work on Monday morning and you’re still brooding over it?   Didn’t hear back from a friend and wondering what’s up?  Waiting desperately for that hot guy from yoga to ask you out while you simultaneously ignore all advances from anyone who’s categorically “not your type?”

Unwilling to quit your job because you don’t have a new one lined up yet? Staying with your partner because you don’t have a “better” option? Wistfully browsing zillow looking for a new place but still haven’t put your house on the market?

Knock it off

Why are you still holding on to that shit? Let it go. It’s over. Done. In the past, keep it there. Drop it (yes, like it’s hot) and move out, soldier.

Staying immersed in something we don’t want instead of something we do leaves zero opportunity for anything new to enter our lives. You simply cannot expect to receive without first giving.

In the game of life, the universe asks you to play the first card.

The law of attraction shows that we bring in that which we put forth. A scarcity mentality gets a pocket full o’ nothing, while a mindset of abundance offers us wealth beyond forecast.  Why place restrictions on your life when you could live limitlessly?

When we continue to give our thoughts, time and energy to something that is draining, as opposed to filling our metaphorical buckets, we thereby restrict rather than expand our potential.

Likewise, the more attached we are to an idea of how something is going to go, work, look or be, the greater the fall is when it fails to meet our expectations.

Holding on offers chains, not wings, boxes not ladders, and canyons without bridges.

You have a choice in every opportunity— take action, or let go.

If you want that guy to ask you out then let him know it. If he doesn’t call, let him go.

If you want to get to the next rung on the ladder, let go of the one below it.

If you want to see what the next step is on the path, lift your feet off the current stone.

If you want new, let go of old.

Let go my friends.

Just let go.

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ONE MINUTE MORE

Okay, so from my last post you learned about how to make today Friday, right? You totally read that. I just know it.  If you, uh, didn’t, well, you know, click here, read that, then come back here. Or don’t. Whatever. The point was, if you want to make a change in your life, the steps are basically:

  1. Wake the hell up
  2. Get clear about your current reality and decide what the fuck it is you actually want
  3. Make that shit happen right about. . .  NOW.

Got it?

Super easy right? Clear as mud.

Well, let’s assume that you’ve already taken step one, or are at least in the process of awakening. If you haven’t, then well, good luck there Sleeping Beauty. Keep your eyes shut and have a nice (life)long nap while you wait for the fairytale ending to roll with the credits. Good luck with that.

However, for those ready for step two, let’s talk a bit.  There are lots of ways you can get a nice clear ultimate selfie of your life, who and what is in it, who and what you actually want in it, and just how in or out of balance your world is. I can help you with that if you’d like actually, and I promise to deliver your reality check with smile too.

The process for step two essentially prompts you to do the following:

Look with ravenous honesty.

Who are you? Who are you not? What is important to you? What is not? What are you prioritizing, and why? What’s happening off the mat- where and how do your habits, attitudes and beliefs show up in your life? Are they helping, or hindering you from becoming the best version of yourself?

Listen with your whole soul.

What do you know to be good, and true and real about you and the world? What lights you up inside? What gives you sparkly eyes and jazz hands? What can you never stop talking about? What are you drawn to, repeatedly? What messages are you ignoring?

Claim your own destiny.

Declare what you want. Do not hold back for fear of judgment or failure. Be specific, very, very specific. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Own it. Every single part of it. It’s yours. It always has been. It always will be.


Again, the first part is usually not terribly difficult. Most of us can do this with some good tools and coaching. What comes next though, is where we get scared. We stall out, paralyzed in the unknown.

Choosing to stay in a place we don’t like simply because we don’t know where else to stand, or if we’ll really like it there.

But, if you are ready, really ready, deep down in your bones desiring to make a change, then I urge you to do the following:

Try
Fail
Learn
Grow
Repeat

Sound familiar?

Good. It should by now.

But really. You will never, not ever, find your purpose, your passion, your life’s work just sitting there. The U.S. postal service delivers a whole lot of nice packages, but I can assure you that the new and improved model of yourself is not going to arrive with your DMV bill this January.

You have to go and get it. Yes. Have to. The only way to get to “there,” to that special place that makes your heart sing, is with your own two feet.

So, if your eyes are open, so might be your heart. If your heart is open, then so might be your hands. And if your hands are open, then honey, even if you can’t walk, you can climb.

Reach up, reach out, come on up. The air up here is lovely. Let’s take a look at your life and start painting a new picture together.

Oh, and bring a smock or two, would you please? This is going to be messy.

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest