How to Stay Calm When Stretching Your Comfort Zone

Stretch Your Comfort Zone

I recently was a guest on a radio show and was a little nervous about it. So, I wrote up a few notes and set them in front of me as the interview started. What happened next was a little strange. My left eye became blurry and I couldn’t read. My notes were useless and I knew I had to “wing it”. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and fear started telling me to run.

When comfort zones are stretched, fear will start chattering about staying safe. “Don’t do that. They may not like you. It’s too big a risk. Why put yourself out there? I can keep you safe if you don’t do it.”

If we let that voice of fear control us, we stay stuck and play small. Without building new skills and meeting new people we miss out on the possibilities before us and will eventually regret not living our lives fully. 

Comfort zones are flexible and meant to grow. I knew this in that moment before my radio interview and even though I felt like running, I faced my fear, stayed calm, and did it anyway. Here is how you can too.

Recognize fear for what it is. Your fears want to keep you safe, but they are often over reactive. They were installed when you were younger and less able to take care of yourself. So, when you are afraid of meeting someone new the risk may be low, but your fear is still operating from the point of view of the 5 year old who was made fun of at school.

Fear doesn’t realize you have grown and developed new skills. It is a gut reaction that wants to protect you at all costs. Even if that protection hurts you in other ways.

Breathe deeply, and relax your face, neck, and shoulders.

Focus on other people or being of service. Take your mind off yourself and make the experience about the other people involved. How can you make them more comfortable? What can you ask them about themselves? How can you leave the situation better than it was when you entered it?  Fear is self-absorbed and focusing on other things can help shift you out of it.

Trust your inner self and speak from the heart.  This is what I did on that radio show when I couldn’t read my notes. I had to answer from my heart and experience.  By doing so, my interview was much more powerful than it would have been if I had used the notes. Trust yourself. You have everything you need inside of you.

Look for humor in the situation. When you look through an observer’s fly on the wall perspective things can seem quite amusing. Funny things happen when you stretch your comfort zone…

I remember being nervous about speaking before a group of people I didn’t know. When I went to the restroom before going on stage the water from the sink splashed over the front of my pants leaving very obvious water spots. For a moment, I just wanted to escape, but instead I went on stage and the first thing I did was make a joke about being attacked by their sink. It was a great ice breaker and the presentation went over well.

Humor can help you and the people around you feel lighter in stressful situations.

Make friends with your fear. Fear is not your enemy. It only wants what is best for you. It’s just a little over protective. So, have a conversation with it. Thank it for warning you. Let it know you’ve got things covered. And, ask it to help you in another way, like standing in the wings and cheering you on. You might be surprised how well it listens.

If fear is keeping you locked into your comfort zone and you would like the support of a professional life coach, I would love to talk to you. You can connect with me here.

Related Posts:

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

Fear and Anxiety: How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

6 Proven Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Fear, Love, and Scaredy Cat Joey

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk

 

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

I took a walk this morning between rainstorms. The plants were all smiling as the water dripped from their leaves. The air was fresh and clear. I was smiling too.

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

I love these old weathered buildings. Did you notice the pump behind this one?

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

Here is another one that caught my eye.

morning-mailbox

I seem to like mailboxes, too.

small town morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

This must be a very mobile family. 

morning walk lifecoachlinda.com

For some reason, I find this house very intriguing. It is probably the worst one in town, but looks much better since they mowed the lawn around it this week. Before that you could hardly see the house at all. It’s for sale. Maybe I should check it out. 

There is a lot to see on my walks here in town and there are still streets I haven’t been down yet. I was a little nervous taking pictures, half expecting someone to come out of their house and yell at me. No one did. Maybe because everyone here is so nice.

I realize this post is different than what I normally do. If you would like to see more posts like this (or less), let me know. I seem to be in the mood for picture taking and will be playing with them whether they are shared in my blog or not.

Disclaimer 1: My small town has many beautiful homes and these pictures don’t do it justice. I just happen to to find old weathered things more interesting.

Disclaimer 2: It’s probably obvious I am not a photographer so please pardon any lack of skill on my part.

How to Move On Quickly When Something Has Upset You

BAM! lifecoachlinda.com feeling upsetWe have a lot of potential upsets in our lives, big and small. Some we can move through gracefully and others that keep us stuck. Like walking through glue.

There is a quick and easy solution to getting over them. All you have to do is choose to use it. 

It goes like this…

  1. Stay aware to moments when you get stuck in upset-ness.
  2. When it happens, decide if it is worth staying in that feeling.
  3. If not, BAM it!
  4. Turn your thoughts to something else.

What is BAM? 

It’s short for BLESS IT AND MOVE ON. This doesn’t necessarily mean physically leaving a situation. You can BAM a disagreement with your husband and not get a divorce.

It’s a mental process of giving yourself permission to let it go, leave it in God’s hands, and spend your precious life energy on things that matter more.

You can BAM situations, memories, people, habits, thought patterns, and more.

Maybe everything is BAM-able. 

  • If someone cuts you off on the road – BAM!
  • When your mind is spinning with negative thoughts – BAM!
  • You can’t seem to resolve a disagreement – BAM!
  • When your past seems to control your present – BAM!

You get the idea. BLESS IT AND MOVE ON!

So, I’m curious. What other ways can you use BAM in your life? I bet you have some creative ideas and I would love to hear them. Please share your ideas by commenting below.

If you are interested in hiring a professional coach to help you resolve what is not working in your life, improve your relationship with yourself, or create something new, I would love to support you. Let’s schedule a phone call.  Contact Linda 

So, I Just Hired a Life Coach…

imagination

Surprised? No need to be. Coaches need coaching too, and we know that it works.

Going through this process of hiring and starting with a new coach reminded me what it feels like to be a client. It made me a little nervous. Why?

Hiring a coach is making a commitment.

  • To yourself
  • To your coach
  • To taking action
  • To facing down fears, resistance, and false belief systems

Why did I hire a coach? 

In the last few months I turned my life upside down. Everything is new. Home, community, culture, and a zillion other things. It is now time to get back to work and I realized everything in my 12 year old business is up for questioning as well.

This is a great time to review what I have been doing and untangle all those new ideas tickling my brain so I can choose what I really want for the next phase of my work life.

When I think about this my mind keeps going in circles over the same things:

  • Should I stay Life Coach Linda or re-brand under Simple Smart Living, which goes with my business coaching website Simple Smart Business?
  • Do I want to continue to offer the same services I offer now: life coaching, business coaching, and online marketing support? And, if I keep them all, how do I present them cohesively?
  • Are the ideas about simple living and supporting women through midlife that have been flirting with me programs within my existing business or an entirely new direction?
  • How will I create the ideal balance between life, work, and making an income?
  • What are the needs and interests of my new community and how can I serve them?

When I think about these things my mind goes in circles and I feel confused, often a tell tale sign of fear or competing desires getting in the way. I know that I will choose something and move forward, but having a coach support me through this discovery process will be faster and keep me on track.

My new coach can provide outside perspective and catch those blind spots where fear and misbeliefs might be impacting my decisions. Having accountability to move forward is always good too.

What was my process for hiring a coach?

There was a little synchronicity. I woke up with the thought of possibly working with one, opened my computer, and there was a post from this coach. I pay attention to synchronicity, but do my homework as well.  My next steps were to:

  • Check out her website for a professional presence and see what I could learn about her beliefs, background, and how she works
  • Review her training, education, and experience – I prefer and recommend professionally trained coaches with at least a few years of experience. If I am not familiar with the training program I research it as I want to avoid anyone whose training is only online or in a weekend course.
  • Schedule a consultation
  • Talk to her on the phone. I listened for signs that she listened well, understood my situation, had experience and training, had ideas for how to help me, and felt like someone that was a good match for me.
  • Make a decision and hire her

Before the first session my brain was already kicking into high gear and I am excited to be playing with ideas and planning the next phase of my business. Just for fun, I made some personal goals too.

Almost everyone can benefit from working with a professional coach for their lives or businesses.  Hopefully, sharing my process for moving into a coaching relationship will help you know how to find the right coach for you.

If you think it might be me, let’s have a conversation. Contact Linda

Living the Small Town Life

 

small town life lifecoachlinda.com

When people find out I moved from Southern California to a small town in Missouri, they seem surprised that anyone would want to do that. And then they start to look amused and ask how my transition is going. They know that I am a fish out of water, a stranger in a strange land, and am sure to be a source of silly entertainment as I learn to navigate this new world.

And, they are right.  I’ve done some silly things. And, I’m learning a lot.

My new life in this small southern town is not better or worse, it’s just different. Here are some of the things I have noticed: Continue reading

When Someone Upsets You – Remember This

feeling upset - remember this -lifecoachlinda.com

There are some people….   You know what I mean.  They don’t do or say what you think they should and sometimes people get hurt. Maybe even you.  It could be a spouse, relative, politician, or someone you work with.  Just thinking about them makes your stomach clench, your body tighten, and your heart rate go up.

They make your life miserable.  Or, do they?

When someone is irritating you, it is important to remember three things:  Continue reading

Fear, Love & Scaredy-Cat Joey

fear love lifecoachlinda.com

This is Joey, my little scaredy cat.  He is on constant high alert and can disappear at the speed of light, running to his safety zone under my bed.  His latest fear is the air coming from the vents when the air conditioner comes on.

Recently, I noticed that his anxiety was getting worse.  He was spending entire days under the bed and had a constant look of panic when he was downstairs.  It was breaking my heart.

So, I decided to immerse him in love therapy.  Every chance I had, I would pet and love on him.  He took to it well and soon he was following me around everywhere I went and I was totally covered in cat fur 24 hours a day.  His confidence grew.  His fear dissipated.  And, he became an active member of the family again.

I have heard that fear is the opposite of love.  So, is it also possible that love is the antidote to fear?  What would happen if we learned to focus on loving ourselves through our fearful experiences?  Love the experiences?  And, even love fear itself?

It wouldn’t hurt to try.  Shall we?

Weathering the Storm

storm

My son and daughter-in-law’s van after the storm

Just when I thought my transition from Southern California to a small town in Missouri was moving along gracefully, Mother Nature sent a welcome committee to test my commitment.

We were hit by a storm with 70 mph winds while I was still unpacking. It was the worst storm in decades and left most of our town (including me) without power for a couple days. Continue reading

Road Trip Magic

Utah 19

My friend Traci and I drove from California to Missouri with 2 cats in the back seat of my car. We took I-15 and then I-70 straight across the country, joking that it would be less likely we got lost with such a direct route.

We experienced California deserts, the glitz of Las Vegas, a tiny tip of Arizona, the dramatic red rock of Utah, majestic beauty in the Colorado Rocky mountains, the big sky of Kansas, and finally arrived in Missouri on the third day.

We were in awe of the scenery before us and even experienced a sunrise that brought us to tears.

Common themes in our conversations were:

  • Our country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes
  • How God’s hand was clearly evident in what we were seeing
  • Respect for the courage of  pioneers who traveled through these lands
  • How blessed we were to be experiencing it all

Looking back at the photographs I took it is hard to believe I was actually there. Even though the photos were taken through the car window and the quality is questionable, they still bring back those magical moments.

I would like to share a few with you:

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

 

Now just imagine the colors brighter and clearer, because they were.

Can you believe I was actually there? I saw these miracles with my own eyes?

I feel so humbled and blessed.

Letting Go of Stuff

Letting go of stuff - releasing clutter life coach linda

The Shipping Cube with What I Decided to Take

While preparing for my move to Missouri, I decided to sell or give away more than 1/2 of what I owned. For some people this may not have been a big deal, but I lived simply and didn’t have much to begin with.

It was interesting observing how my thoughts about the things in my life shifted as my move date neared. It seemed to come in layers:

The Garage Sale – At this point I was still invested in the value of my things. After all, I was going to sell them and get money in return. I felt like I was being bold in my choices of what to include, not realizing this was only the beginning.

The Remains – When the garage sale was over I was faced with leftover items that I still thought were worth selling. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of just leaving things that I could get money for. This started a period of offering items in my city Facebook group and Craigslist. Some sold. Some didn’t.

Giving – And then, I just let the attachments go. This opened the door to my favorite part of the process, giving things away.  And, not just little things. I would go through my house each day and find more and more to give. I fell in love with giving and it made it much easier to release what I owned. It was also a lot of fun.

Leaving – The buyer of my house had said that I could leave things and didn’t have to clean the house. At first, the idea of doing this was appalling to me. But, when the 100 degree heat wave arrived on my last week, I could only do so much. Packing and loading under the blistering sun was getting to me and making me dizzy. So, when I said goodbye to my house, there were still some things left behind. I feel sure they will find good homes. Everything I was taking to my new life was packed into a 6′ by 7′ pod to be shipped to my new home.

Wanting Less – As I am unpacking and settling into my new home I am being very careful about what I invite in. Surprisingly, I will have even more to give away. Some things just don’t fit my new home or life. Maybe living without them for a couple weeks diminished their importance in my mind. Whatever the reason, they feel like clutter and I just don’t want them anymore.

Balancing with More – I love simplicity, but am not sure I am a minimalist. I have made some purchases recently for my new lifestyle, a new washer and dryer and yard maintenance items like a weed wacker. I also plan on bringing in a new sofa that fits with the colors in my new home. What is different is that I am being very careful about what I bring in. I only want things that I use regularly or love. And, I don’t want very many of them.

Moving provided me with the opportunity for a fresh start. I have empty closets and cupboards with only a few items. Everything is organized and makes sense. (Well, almost everything. I haven’t got to the office yet.) I even have an extra bedroom that I don’t know what I will do with. The one thing I’m sure of is that it won’t become a junk room full of stuff.

My experience of letting go has revealed how tightly I held onto stuff that really wasn’t that meaningful to me. I was also attached to the idea of getting a return on what I thought was valuable. It was only when I let go and began to give things away that I felt truly authentic, peaceful, and was able to have fun with the process.

Even without a lot (although I had more than I thought) I was being smothered and controlled by my things. In the simple living movement about 20 years ago there was a slogan that said, “Don’t Stuffocate!”  I think I get it now.

At a Loss for Words

Linda and Traci

Linda and Traci after two 10 hour days of driving.

I’ve been quiet. Very quiet. And, I have also been very, very busy.

It has been several weeks since I last posted and I keep waiting for the words to come, but my brain seems to be busy synthesizing all I have experienced. I think it needs time to catch up with my life.

So, maybe I will just start writing and see what happens.

In the last month or so, I have:

  • Sold my house in California
  • Sold or given away more than 1/2 of my possessions
  • Packed what was remaining in a moving pod in 111 degree heat
  • Welcomed my friend Traci who flew in from Tennessee to drive cross country with me
  • Road tripped with Traci from CA to Missouri with my 2 cats in the back seat of the car
  • Worried about my stressed out kitten cats the entire way
  • Experienced the incredible natural beauty of our country including red rock in Utah, mountain vistas in Colorado, and the big sky of Kansas
  • Felt awe at the courage of the pioneers who crossed our country in tiny wagons, often on the same land we were traveling
  • Felt tipsy and giggly after 2 sips of a Margarita on night two of our trip – it was Traci’s fault
  • Drove up to my new little house in Missouri on the evening of day 3
  • Was welcomed with wide open arms by my son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren
  • Took Traci to the airport and cried as she left
  • Started settling into my home

Yep! I’ve been busy. This was a courageous step for me and I couldn’t be happier.

Stay tuned. There is more to come…

Leaving California

 

Laguna beach california

Am I crazy?!? 

I seem to have somehow turned my life upside down in the last few weeks. Totally topsy turvy. It’s been completely insane, and maybe I am too.

My grandchildren, son, and daughter-in-law have settled in to small town life in Missouri. I miss them terribly and  thought I would end up there at some point, but always felt anchored to this place where I was born and have lived my life for almost 62 years.

And then, three things happened within a few weeks: 

  • My friend died. She had been trapped in a body she couldn’t move and unable to speak for years and being her friend through this process has been a long road. Now she is free of her earthly body and I found myself feeling kind of floaty with new empty space in my life.
  • The University of Santa Monica (USM) discontinued it’s Master’s Program and I will no longer be needed as a volunteer. I have spent at least one weekend a month in this beloved environment since 2009 and will soon be grieving the loss of these special times and the amazing people I have had the privilege of working with.
  • And then, just before I left for my grandson’s graduation in Missouri, I got a surprise cash offer on my house that was very, very tempting.

I couldn’t resist.

That week in MO was a rollercoaster ride of looking at houses, making big decisions, offers that were too late, looking for rental options when none existed, and a last minute opportunity that I made an offer on.

A few days later I cancelled escrow on the house when the inspection revealed some serious issues I was not comfortable with.

My fear of becoming homeless was getting stronger and stronger.  

But, that same night I negotiated a deal on a “for sale by owner” property I really liked, but felt was overpriced. I was back in escrow again.

Central House cropped

This is a good move for me: 

  • I will be near my family for the first time in years and get to enjoy time with my grandchildren
  • My house will be mortgage free and my financial future more secure
  • My business is portable since it is mostly online and by phone
  • I feel like I really needed both a new adventure and a fresh start
  • Life seems quieter and slower there, which may be just what I need
  • The small town I am in is really cute and only a half hour away from a city that is regularly on the Best Places to Retire lists.

It’s all good. 

And now, I enter a season of goodbyes. To people, communities, my hikes in the hills, places I love, and half of my possessions.  I can live with that because soon it will be a season of hello’s as I make new friends, find my place in a new community, explore the area, and build a home sanctuary.  Thanks to email and social media I can stay connected to all.

I will always love California.  It’s in my blood. I’m just ready for a new adventure. 

Goodbye sweet California. I will miss you.

Should You Be Seeking Your Life Purpose?

life purpose

As a coach, I hear a lot of people talking about trying to figure out what their life purpose is. For many, not feeling they know it is a source of great angst and leaves them feeling like they are living their lives all wrong.  They feel guilty and ashamed that they are not doing this one great thing because they can’t figure it out. And, that makes them feel like a failure

My clients are often surprised when I share my thoughts on life purpose with them.

I believe it’s okay to play with purpose, but not let seeking it rule you. You can take quizzes and read books that help you connect with your values, natural gifts and what you enjoy, but that doesn’t always lead to knowing your purpose in this world.

You may also hear that if you just do what you love, you will be living on purpose.  Supposedly, money will follow, but I am not so sure it always works out that way. Sometimes we need to do things we don’t love to take care of ourselves and loved ones.

I’m not usually a naysayer, but I’ve seen people get obsessed with this idea of purpose and shame themselves if they think they are not in alignment with it.

There is a more peaceful way.

Realize that purpose is not always a big, grand thing. It could be a series of little tiny moments where you start a butterfly effect without even knowing. It could be within arms reach within your family or the work you are already doing. Or, it could be a simple smile you give someone that lifts them up to do what they are meant to do in the world.

Don’t let this idea of purpose keep you stuck or control you. If you don’t have a sense of it, just live your life consciously. Follow your heart and intuition with each small decision you make and eventually you will end up in the right place.

Actually, I believe you are already there.

Seeking purpose takes you out of your life and present moments. It can distract you from the things that are most meaningful and cause you to overlook the very thing you are looking for.

It’s not big, its simple. Purpose is about living a life of alignment and making choices based on your inner knowing. It’s not something you seek. It is always there guiding you from within. And, you don’t need to know it’s name, shape, or form.

It’s time to take the pressure off and just live in a way that feels meaningful. You are always on purpose whether you know it or not.

 

The Gift of Heartfelt Letters

lost art of letter writing letters

One of the things I loved about my friend Sybil who recently passed was her love of bringing people together for food  and stimulating conversation.  She loved to listen and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by interesting friends.

As she was losing her ability to speak, she would type letters to us. I came across a few recently and they were full of amusing observations and appreciation for the people around her. I could almost here her chuckling between the lines.

Eventually, she lost her ability to type and the letters she received from friends and family became a new source of joy. She would have me read them to her over and over again.

As time passed and her disease progressed the letters and visits from friends came less often and she felt more isolated. It was hard to watch her lose those connections to the outside world and I realized how valuable a simple letter could be.

Since then I have written several letters from the heart. As I wrote them I would be flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I was writing to. Their responses were incredible. They would cry. I would cry. And, I realized the gifts of those letters were not just for the recipients, but for me as well.

My friend Lynette Smith is a big fan of heartfelt letter writing. At her son’s wedding, he and his bride presented their parents with framed letters of appreciation. Lynette cherishes this gift and it has inspired her mission to get people putting pen to paper again. The cornerstone of this mission is her book: How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special. 

Who can you write a heartfelt letter of appreciation to? I encourage you to give it a try. You will find it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

 

Simple Abundance

simple abundance

I was going through some books this morning that I have gathered over the years and came across one by Sarah Ban Breathnach called, Simple Abundance.  I let the pages fall open where they would and saw this:

“When we cherish our dream and invest love, creative energy, perseverance, and passion for ourselves, we will achieve authentic success.”

Well said, Sarah.

This lovely book is based on her 6 principles of simple abundance:

  • Gratitude
  • Simplicity
  • Order
  • Harmony
  • Beauty
  • Joy

Just saying them brings peace to my heart.

I think I am going to spend some time with this book again. Apparently, it still has more to teach me.

The Power of the Pause

the power of the pause

Things move pretty fast in our world these days and that means we are moving fast too.  In order to keep, up we may feel we have to act and respond quickly to what is before us.  And, that can be a problem.

We end up reacting to what is happening in the moment.  We react instead of respond, and we do it without taking time to check within for what we really, really, really want.

Hitting the pause button and taking a moment to connect with your values and intuition allows you to act in ways that are more in alignment with your heart and soul.

Here are some ways that you can integrate the power of the pause into your life:

  • When you are craving unhealthy foods
  • When you want to lash out or react to something someone says or does
  • Taking time to gather your thoughts so you can communicate clearly and concisely
  • Making choices that are aligned with your core values and dreams
  • Pausing and setting an intention for what you are about to do
  • When you feel tired, sad, or upset and need to center yourself to be more effective
  • Taking time to question limiting beliefs that are making you fearful or keeping you stuck
  • When you want to spend money in a way that is not in alignment with your financial goals
  • When you feel tempted to do anything that you might wish you hadn’t later 

The power of the pause allows you to operate from the core of who you are and consciously create the life and relationships you desire.  And… it can prevent a whole lot of regrets…

Where in your life can you benefit from using the power of the pause?

You Don’t Have to Be a Minimalist or Tidying Up Fan to Create a Clutter Free Home

Declutter, minimalism, tidying up

There are a lot of people feeling inspired to clear space in their homes and lives right now. It’s a hot topic, and one that I can really get behind. I love living simply and creating a life that matters.

But, I wonder if some of the things being put out there can feel too rigid for some of you. Do they hold you back and prevent your getting started?  Or, make you judge yourself as not doing enough? 

I am in a number of Facebook Groups on minimalism and simple living and sometimes I want to cringe when someone asks how to let go of things like their grandmother’s necklace or their childhood Bible. There is always a lot of encouragement from the group to give them away, but I sense that sometimes people are pushing themselves further than they want to go.

I am here to tell you there are no rules. Clearing space and living simply will bring many gifts into your life, AND you get to do it your way. 

Guidelines are great, having a supportive coach experienced in this area is wonderful, but ultimately you need to follow your heart and find the level of simplicity that is right for you. Sometimes people are ready to jump in fully and for others it may be a process of one layer at a time.

Before starting a de-cluttering process I encourage you to spend time becoming clear about your intention and the vision you have for your end result. This intention can guide and motivate you along the way.  And, if you would like additional support, find a friend, coach, or professional organizer who will hold you to your vision in a gentle, caring way.

You CAN do this! Your home can become a sanctuary that is clean, organized, and full of light. And, you can do it your way. Just imagine what that will feel like…

If you would like the support of a professional coach who loves to help people create more simple and fulfilling lives, I would love to offer you a free consultation. Contact Linda

Related Posts:

From Clutter to Clarity: A Client Story

Is Tidying Up the Secret to Happiness?

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

The Blame Game: Are You Disempowering Yourself?

blame

It is true that people do yucky things. And, there are probably times in your life when you were truly a victim, but it is what you do afterward that matters most.

When you let yourself fall into the trap of blaming others and believing that people or your environment have conspired against you, you are disempowering yourself and embracing the role of a victim.

Living as a victim can be very seductive because it is a great excuse. People won’t expect a lot from you.  You can play small, avoid risks, and sometimes not even have to work as hard as everyone else.  It may even feel good because you get sympathy or attract attention.

I know, because I spent years rehashing the many ways I was a victim as a child and young adult. I was an expert at playing the victim role. I took it on as my identity as if that was all I was and all I could ever be.

The truth is though, that when you play the blame game you limit yourself, play small, and give your power away.  You will attract the wrong people and the wrong things into your life.  And, you will know somewhere deep in your heart that you are not being your best self or living to your full potential.

Even when you are sure that someone took action against you, blaming is not the answer.  Your true power is in forgiveness, accepting responsibility for your life, and moving forward into the life you were meant to live.

Don’t let blame become the center of your life. Delete blaming words from your vocabulary and focus instead on all you have to be grateful for. There are people loving and supporting you at this very moment. Why do you want to give your life over to those who don’t? Leave it behind. Move forward. And, know that you are so much more than whatever someone once did to you.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

Related posts:

3 Ways to Feel More Empowered When Facing a Challenge

Clear Your Mind and Heart with Freeform Writing

A Cat, A Lizard, and a Life Lesson

answers are closer than you think

The other day I let my cat Chloe (pictured above) out on the patio for a bit of fresh air. I pictured her rolling in the sun or maybe taking a cat nap, but she had something else in mind. Her real mission became obvious when she came running back into the house with a baby lizard in her mouth.

Oh drat!

And, because I am a softie for all living things (well, almost all) I wanted to rescue the little creature.

I convinced Chloe to let go of it and saw the lizard run for cover under my TV stand. After locking my naughty kitty in the bedroom I came back armed with a flashlight, but couldn’t find my new reptile friend anywhere. My next step was to take everything off the TV stand and even move it out of it’s nook, but alas, there was no lizard in site.

I was about to give up and was having visions of the cats finding it while I slept and leaving a bloody, dead creature on the floor where I would step on it in the morning.

Double drat!

But as I stood up, I noticed a feeling like a dryer sheet had been left in my pants. When I pulled my pants down to get it, what did I see? A baby lizard clinging for dear life to my thigh.

Yikes!

Fortunately, I am not afraid of lizards. My friend Michelle might have died on the spot, but I put Baby Lizzy back in the yard where she will be safe. Unless Chloe finds her again.

Later that day I was talking to a client who was looking for answers. She took classes, went to psychics, and asked everyone what she should do. I knew then that my close encounter with the little lizard was the perfect story to remind her that her answers were closer than she thought. The solutions weren’t out there. They were already within her. In her gut. In her heart. Or, maybe on her leg.

Perhaps, Baby Lizzie was a spiritual teacher in disguise.

Related posts:

A Quick Solution to Being Stuck in Dilemma

A Not So Graceful Moment in Kitten Rescue

Fear and Anxiety: How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

And, for those who don’t get freaked out by reptiles, here is a site about Western Fence Lizards

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you think.

Get Real! How to Live an Authentic Life

authentic living

When life isn’t working for you and just about everything feels off, it is a good sign that you may be living out of alignment with your authentic self. All of us are to some degree, but when you choose to embrace authenticity your life can be transformed.

Here is how:

Be Yourself
Life can shape and mold you and sometimes in order to cope or feel like you belong, you develop an external personality to share with the world. It may be bolder, quieter, nicer, naughtier, or one of the most common I see, a people pleaser. Ultimately, you just want to be accepted, and if you are lucky, loved. But, after a while you will start to doubt whether people would care about you if they could see who you truly are and your outward persona becomes your inner downfall.

The only way that you can attract the people in your life who will love you for who you really are is to share that authentic self with the world. To be vulnerable, open, strong, weak, angry, sad, and fully your own self. Just you. The real you. That takes more courage than just about anything in this world, but when you walk through life authentically you will know the love you experience is true and the right people are by your side.

Live and Speak the Truth
When you are grounded in the truth and it is expressed in the words you use and the way you live your life, you feel solid, strong, and connected to your soul. There is a sense of clarity and peacefulness because living the truth is simple. Not complicated. There is only one thing to say and one thing to be. The truth. This is one of the most powerful, empowering, and calming things you can do for yourself.

Be Fully Present in Each and Every Moment
Most of us just skim the surface of life, being distracted and missing the magic of our individual moments. When you choose to be fully present your life becomes richer and more beautiful. Your focus improves and your mind lets go of the challenges of the past and the worries of the future. Life becomes more peaceful as your mind stops spinning and you focus on what you are doing now. Right now.

Listen to Your Heart and Soul
Living authentically clears the way for your inner voice to be heard. It’s been there all along, but sometimes lost in the clutter of an inauthentic life.  From that voice comes your inner knowing, the part of you that is wise beyond all measure and can guide you through the ups and downs of life. Sometimes it speaks through your body and other times you hear a strong, calm voice in your head and you just know what it says is true. It has all the answers. They are right there waiting for you when you allow space for them to come through. 

Keep Your Agreements – Especially the Ones You Make to Yourself
Being in integrity feels good. For many of us, we have no problem keeping commitments we make to our jobs or other people, but when it comes to agreements with ourselves we act as if they don’t matter. How many diets, goals, and New Year resolutions have been left in the dust with barely a second thought?

When you break your agreements to yourself you undermine your self-trust, confidence, and self-esteem. So, don’t make big grand agreements. Be careful to only make commitments to yourself that you truly intend to keep. Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you have. When you know you can trust yourself, anything is possible.

Thank God for All of Your Magical Moments and Blessings in Disguise
Living authentically includes remembering that your life in this human world is a gift and even the hardest times are in some way blessings because they expand your soul and teach you what you need to learn. Thank God for your days, your successes, the people in your life, and the beauty around you. And, while you are at it, express appreciation to others for what they do well or qualities they embody. Focusing on gratitude will fill your heart and let you know that living authentically is the best gift that you can give yourself.

Related Posts:

How to Reconnect with Your Playful Inner Child

Integrating Gratitude More Deeply Into Your Life

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.