For the last couple of weeks, I have been inspired by a high school friend who is practicing self-love while doing the hard work of addiction recovery. There may not be a more challenging starting place than that. My heart explodes for her
The thing is, we all have a “game face.” It’s fearless, strong, and put together. It's a steel facade and mask that are actually coping mechanisms, and at times- they have truly served you.
It’s good to acknowledge our ability to mask our vulnerability for survival.
They have created an armor of protection that made you stronger, yes, but over time it has also weakened our ability to have close, meaningful relationships with others… starting with ourselves.
It’s a repeat of a childhood wound of abandonment, and we perpetuate the belief that no one cares. We have to do it alone. That it’s on US.
Even when we have loving people in our life...
The summer before 4th grade, I was in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Half my face was shattered. I have metal plates where bones should exist. There is fat from my leg to help round out my cheeks. The fact that I still have hair is a miracle. My nose has been reconstructed twice. I had a facelift to hide a scar that goes almost from temple to temple up in my hairline. Laser treatments. Scar revisions. Years of appointments with a plastic surgeon.
But no one wants to hear that.
Few people have heard the horrific details, let alone the whole story. For YEARS I avoided the topic almost as much as I avoided the mirror.
Sometimes people ask what happened to my face. Sometimes people stare. Sometimes people say they don't notice... and that is something I am still trying to believe.
While the conversations I had with people about the accident were always hard... the truth is - AT THE TIME - it was harder on them than it was for me.
Clients hire coaches, consultants, and services providers for ONE REASON and one reason only: to solve a problem.
This might be the most basic, simple, and accurate statement that, when properly evaluated, is, in actuality, requires a multi-layered, multi-dimensional solution that requires you to dig deeper to understand fully.
(Seriously... even that sentence is difficult to read and requires more thought than we will give it.)
Solving a surface-level problem is why most clients invest in support. But the reason WHY the surface level problem even exists is a much more detailed, complex, and often FALSE issue.
Uncovering the deep resistance is the gold I love to dig for. It's full of tension, tears, and (often) BS non-truths that we have never bothered to challenge.
This is why I paused offering creative services.
So I could learn how to help my clients wade through the mind muck and uncover the gold. It's a transformational process, and it creates mental and emotional freedom at...
Today I have a mama-drama-at-grocery-store story for you.... AND I am about to get sciencey on you, but it's worth the read. There are three parts to the brain. Many people know about them... but there is one FUNCTION of the brain that few people talk about, and I refer to it as The LAF Brain.
THE BASICS (and the mama-drama)
First up is the brain stem, the part that makes it possible for your body to function without thinking about it. Meaning: your heart pumps; blood circulates, food digests, you to breathe, blink, sleep, and have the ability to move your muscles WITHOUT having a conversation with your body.
(AS IN: "OK, calf-muscle... time to contract so I can stretch and pretend to ALMOST reach the chips on the top of this grocery shelf." #shortpeopleproblems)
Second is the limbic system, which controls the emotions you FEEL in your body... for example, when you feel angry, the heart races, your face feels flushed, and your palms sweat. This physical experience indicates that...
Fifteen months ago, I dreamt up an idea to be a personal brand photographer... over a dozen clients later, while coaching more than twice as many women along the way, I woke up today with such gratitude in my heart.
I have been wildly blazing my trail, with my eyes
wide open... even when I was unsure how the plan was going to unfold.
But dang, the last eight months have pushed me into uncomfortable places, and while incredible things are happening here on the other side... it was tough being in the middle of it.
The truth is, I had been living in and out of victim mode, which is hard to admit considering how hard I have worked not to have Victim Mentality... Even When I was a Victim. But that's a story for another day.
The problem with being in victim mode is that sometimes, it's just the excuse you need to get comfy in passivity... and we cover it up as "going with the flow."
That's how it has been this year for many of my friends, biz besties, and clients too.
We experienced Victim...
I've talked about this topic A LOT. But when the word DECISION comes up in 5 conversations in less than two days, I know it's worth writing about it.
Want to know the question someone asked me once that made my blood boil and my stomach cringe? "Will your husband even LET you do that?"
Wow. At first, I was taken aback. (what? why would she ask that??)
Then I was offended. (who the hell does she take me for, a child?)
And then, after some time of reflection, I felt convicted: OUCH.
Have I been asking for permission in my marriage? In my life?
Listen: ladies, it is one thing to have open, respectful communication in your relationship. It's another to be a disempowered woman who hands off all the decisions off to someone else... or, just as bad, being a controlling woman who has to make all the decisions.
If there is one thing that I have learned, it's that the way we do one thing is how we do most things. The reason someone asked me, "If I was ALLOWED" to do something was because I...
Self-awareness is the secret to success, joy, and personal fulfillment... and yet, it seems to be the most underestimated, undertaught concept in life. Backtracking every result we have achieved in life to ourselves can be a long, convicting process. Still, the healing that comes on the other side of becoming self-aware is worth every moment... especially the deeply uncomfortable ones. In fact, I'll even throw out a bold statement: If you are seeking personal development and not moving THROUGH your discomfort, you're doing it wrong.
I used to think that personal affirmations, gratitude lists, offering forgiveness, and choosing positivity were all I needed to heal and grow. But after continually hitting the same emotional blocks, OVER AND OVER again finally had me screaming: WHEN AM I EVER GOING TO CHANGE?! WHEN IS THIS S#!T GOING TO STOP? It was then that I saw how I had been patching the surface but was still avoiding the dark, uncomfortable wounds in my heart and soul.