3 Things That Kill Your Dreams (And How To Handle Them)

Dream KillersPeople always told me, “Don’t quit your day job”.  No matter how many times I said, this is not what I went to school for.  I didn’t think it was going to be like this…I am miserable and the stress makes me ill (side note, it literally did make me ill, but probably the black mold and asbestos tiles didn’t help either).  I was a classroom teacher who only ever dreamed of being a writer.

I actually loved the thought of teaching without strings attached and the children if that makes sense…I did not love lots of other things.  So I started thinking to myself, if people don’t 100% love what they are doing every single day, then why not dream bigger?

So what happened when I finally decided to leave teaching and started secretly planning my escape?

3 Dream Killers…and how to handle them:

  1. Everyone will give you constructive criticism, but it’s not really constructive.  It’s what they would do.  People talk from their place of fear.  I did not have another job lined up.  Had no idea how I was going to make it if we dropped my salary.  I did not have a large savings.  There was no safety net.  I am a kind of jump person think later…soooo.  I get told how others would have done x,y,z.  The only thing that mattered to me was am I currently happy in my job?  No.  That was all I needed to know.  So people tried to break down my dream, or give me safety net options…like just take leave for a while.  So I told people that’s what I was doing finally.  But I honestly was not coming back because I believed that strongly in my dream.
  2. Losing friends, status, or ending up an outcast.  I didn’t worry so much about this the first year, because they all thought I might be taking a year off on one of those awesome things called a “sabbatical”.  If you tell people using special jargon, they are okay with it for some reason.  Ohh, hmm.  Okay, it’s a sabbatical.  However, eventually people started saying things like “Are you ever coming back?” or “Are you really making money?”  See, I had been teaching long enough to get a pin for being there a while, and then I left.  I sacrificed the next level of pin.  I was totally okay with this.  We sacrificed a few things that were wants not needs at home.  My family was okay with this.  And if I lost friends because of this, then they really weren’t my friends to begin with and I was equally okay with this as well.  I made new friends and forged new relationships in this new world of writing.
  3. Fear of failure, being laughed at or making mistakes.  I left 3 years ago, and the first year was the most exciting; however, it was also the year I had to remember to calm down and not go overboard with trying to fit everything I wanted to accomplish in 1 year.  Overnight success might seem like a thing, but I knew it was not the case.  I had to get more established and build trust.  I wasn’t going to find the next viral blog post in a year.  Or year two either…it took year three, but I was learning and I was growing.  I was teaching myself how to think like a business woman and to stop treating my dream like a hobby.  There was no other option in my mind by this point except to succeed at what I was doing.

What helped me turn the dream into a reality?

It was not a hobby.  It was a job.  I finally learned that lesson and took back my old office instead of writing on the sofa with my laptop.  I set up appointments, collaborations, and meetings internationally on Skype.  I said yes to things that scared the hell out of me…like meeting some of my new friends face-to-face overseas by accepting the offer of speaking internationally.  I created workshops with my local friend who really treated her business like a business, and I was grateful to be able to watch her say yes only to things that would propel her in the direction she wanted to go (P.S. she made the free meditation for you guys on my newsletter).  I read books from women I admired who did scary things…like Danielle LaPorte, and I breathed in her style.

I did not create the safety net for myself because I didn’t want to fall back on it.  I wanted to keep going and try new paths should the one I was on not work out.  Some way, some how, I was going to make this new business work.  I could actually be a writer, yoga teacher, wellness advocate, entrepreneur mom and follow my heart.  Start thinking of your dream daily and journal how it would feel to make it a reality.

sparkling

Save

Ease Depression with these 5 Steps

This article is not medical advice, but it is intended to help you on your journey.  While I don’t know if anything can actually prevent you from becoming depressed, I believe that my diligence helped me come out of it.  The signs that I personally experienced were from my own combination of invisible diseases.  I was diagnosed with “secondary depression” stemming from pain.

Symptoms you might experience:

  1. Loss of energy or fatigue even after sleeping.
  2. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt that you are to blame.
  3. Weight loss or gain…in my case it was gain.
  4. Thoughts of suicide or just nothingness…as in what would happen if you didn’t exist?
  5. Restlessness, insomnia, or wanting to sleep all day long.
  6. No pleasure in any or all activities, and/or no joy or happiness in other things that used to bring you joy.
  7. “Hermit” behavior and not speaking to anyone.

While there are certainly more symptoms, these are just a few that are warning signs your body is trying to tell you something.  What do you think your body is trying to tell you?  There could be many underlying health problems mimicking depression that can be corrected and/or helped once noted.

5 steps to take if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms:

  1. Have your thyroid checked, your vitamin levels and possibly even your adrenal glands.  If you open the link on thyroid, in the fine print of the article, it says this:  A 2005 study found that subjects with Hashimoto’s disease displayed high frequencies of lifetime Depressive Episodes, Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Social Phobia, and Primary Sleep Disorders.  What had I been trying to tell my doctor for over a year?  That there was a link.  When he refused, seriously, to listen to me I went to a functional medical doctor instead.  The body gives us these warning signs as a way of letting us know that we really are not in balance.  I could see that I was not, and definitely knew something brought it on because never in my life had I felt so empty.
  2. Get more Vitamin D.  I take this one right here, but have your levels checked first.  I started looking into the most pure form of phytotherapy, or plant-based nutrition supplements, and was personally sold by the methods of how this company preserved the nutrients in the most readily available form.  I read that Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate may be linked to depression.  So I also decided to take a gluten-free multivitamin.
  3. Check and see if you suffer from food intolerance as it a real thing. Like most people, I used to think that food intolerance caused unpleasant reactions like diarrhea, swelling of lips or tongue, etc. I would not have associated my food with what was happening in my brain and gut until I studied the effects of what I was eating.  I journal the questionable items which might have sugar or gluten to see if that is what triggers my response or mood shift now.  When I am away from foods I need to eat, and make do with foods that I should NOT eat, there is a consequence in my body.  My body warns me almost immediately now.
  4. This one is hard, but drink less caffeine.  Anxiety often happens along with depression, and too much caffeine can make you nervous, jittery, or anxious.  There is no clear link; however, it is well known that cutting out sodas and sugary drinks that spike your energy and then leave you in a slump and replacing with water will leave your blood sugar levels at a more normal balance, which will, in fact, help you in the long run.  Plus you might just sleep better this breaking the cycle.
  5. Exercise in some way shape or form daily.  People get mad at me for pointing this one out usually, but it brings us back to the endorphins. I wrote about this a while back, but it is true that endorphins help us.   In my own way, I always have dark chocolate here, so I hope you opened my old post up there as it has a funny clip, plus I do yoga and walk, get outside, etc.  Truly is life saving to get exercise.

While these things might seem insignificant to others who do not know what it’s like to be trapped in a world of nothingness, these tips really could help save a friend’s life.  Keep the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on a card as well.

Articles I have written on autoimmune can also help you in your research on gluten intolerance, leaky gut and more.

  • The great puzzle takes you back to my allergy tests.
  • Fog speaks on what it’s like to have brain fog.
  • War on me talks about my inside battle.
  • Motivational Monday on this day talked about tips I used to get by daily in pain.
  • The Thief is one of my faves and talks about old age being a bitch.

sadness

Body Image and Yoga…3 Reasons to Ignore the Mirror!

Happy International Day of Yoga my friends.  After one full year of teaching yoga, wow, I can honestly say that my body image has changed, but I still work on it daily!  In 2010, you are welcome to use the side search on the blog and read all about that year, but that was the year that everything started to attack me.  Autoimmune changed my life…and I don’t know if I will ever really accept it, but I have learned how to control it and that was a huge relief.

That being said, several changes happened to my body during the last 5 years that were not there before.  I found out I had fibrocystic breasts, and while it’s never a fun topic, I am linking it to my blog post on what happened that year and how I found out.  So I am going to be honest, my body image was not good around the time I came back to yoga due to pain, years of invisible diseases playing a game with me, plus more.  In some of my previous posts, I honestly thought I was writing in a positive way as I always laughed at myself; however, going back and reading now, I see that I was not fooling anyone.

I was in severe pain for so long that it was a deep path I had carved into my brain.  It was well-worn, so naturally I didn’t notice when my self-esteem went down the same path.  Why is it that your friends don’t say the things you need to hear?  Don’t be that friend who just lets your friend continue down this path.  Set the path on fire so they have to find a new way.

My new path was yoga.  Yoga became my saving grace.  When my anxiety from the countless doctor’s appointments was high as I waited on new tests, I would go to yoga.  At first, I cared what people thought of me in my yoga clothes.  I was not able to do all the things other people could…but I went to restorative yoga anyway.

What did I learn from this class?  I will tell you lessons that I learned which can’t be taught from a mirror.

3 Reasons to Ignore the Mirror:

  1. The mirror doesn’t tell you how beautiful you are to other people.  This is serious.  It reflects back your insecurities.  When you look in the mirror, you might see tired eyes, lines, and saggy skin.  When your friend sees you do a pose in yoga class for the first time that you have working on for a few months, they see your natural inner beauty.  I am telling you I know this to be true.  I have witnessed it in my friends who were afraid to come to yoga.  You might not even see how you glow, but I do.  As your teacher, I send you so much love and light during class.  Never once thinking of what you can’t do at all.  I have been there my friend.
  2. The mirror is actually supposed to be a tool.  Yup.  Just a thing to use for alignment in postures.  It is not there to judge us as that’s our job.  Do you ever stop in mid-thought and think to yourself “What if my daughter, sister, friend does this to herself?”  Would you allow others to speak so badly about themselves as you do in your head?  No matter the woman, no matter how you talk to yourself in your head, the answer is always I would never want anyone else to talk to themselves like this.  Seriously.  Ask a friend.  My group of sisters, not related, but from all cultures, meet regularly and we have said this many times.
  3. The mirror reflects the light around us, but not inside us.  Remember that the next time you are not going to yoga class because of how you “look” in the mirror or in yoga clothes or in blah, blah or until you lose x number of pounds.  Seriously remember this.  Because through yoga, I have learned to steady my mind, open my heart and come back to the breath.  If I miss yoga for too long, or don’t go for myself as I am the teacher, ha, if I don’t have that time to do the inner reflection, yes, hell yes, the outer reflection can look ugly to me.  I absorb others energy at times and if I don’t get it out through the experience of yoking myself back to the present moment, this breath, this body as Rolf Gates would say, “The real payoff of a yoga practice, I came to see, is not a perfect handstand or a deeper forward bend—it is the newly born self that each day steps off the yoga mat and back into life.”   

Each time I leave practice I am whole again my friends.  I have then collected all the pieces of my soul that seemed scattered and I feel new again.  Come to yoga my friends.  The mirror can’t possibly tell you how it feels.

Rolf Gates

What is your totem pole animal?

So earlier in the week, I was having a very odd day.  Turtles keep showing up in my life, which never surprises me really, but I saved 3 in one week.  The last guy was trying to cross the road so I got my “gloves”, which were napkins, and ran to pick him up carefully and move him to the side of the road.  As I was doing so, I believe I was peed upon, so I laughed hilariously as my girls watched and I said yup.  Think I scared the turtle.  My youngest just thought water was coming out…I said, well I think it might have been pee which is why I was laughing.  It just goes to show that even when life pees on you, you keep helping others.
Try this fun quiz to see what your totem animal is today!

Any Man’s Death Diminishes Me

In reading about the National tragedy in Orlando, I am struck by many thoughts.  The first is that I don’t want to see the political shit in my feed.  I just don’t.  The second is I don’t want to see the religious shit in my feed.  I just don’t.  And the third is that I don’t want to see people who are afraid to admit that we belong together as humans.  That is the part I am choosing to focus on right now.

I was reading quotes to help me again through this time.  Other people have their ways of dealing with this and I have mine, but through literature and words, I have always felt better.  Not healed mind you…a long way from that, but I feel like we have been here together for a long time, and there is some comfort in the fact that we haven’t managed to blow the planet up…yet.

So reading the poem For Whom the Bell Tolls, in its entirety, struck me as something that others might want to think about.  Moreover, the fact that we are all one…truly, distant cousins if you will believe me, comforts me on some small level as well.

For those of us who FEEL everything on a great and deeper level than others…for those of us who cannot watch the news right now without crying…I say to you don’t push yourself.  It will be there when you are ready.  The mom who tells you of her son and her pride in him for bringing together gays and straights at his school…she will be there when you are ready to lift her up in whatever way we can as human beings.  I say to you if you are upset, mad and disappointed in the hate in this world, remember all the parts that make this world good.  Jimmy Fallon spoke on being a new father and what we can learn.  The lines around the block to give blood.  The vigils around the world.  People coming together for a cause, which is greater than all of us.  Any man’s death diminishes me:

no man is an island

Save

5 Signs You are Being Treated Like a Doormat

You always say yes.  Even when it’s inconvenient timing or you are about to eat dinner.  Your friend “needs” you yet again or your partner asks you to do this one little thing he or she just doesn’t have time to do.  You might even be the go-to person at work…working long after hours, because the boss just knows that you will say yes.  Yes, sure I will do this.

What are the signs?

  1. You try to have a good nature about everything…so it gets used.  Because you naturally want something great to happen for your friend, they ask you to do more things like that.  Plan an outing, sure.  Keep their kids all day?  Why not.  You were only going to relax from exhaustion.  Pay for everything because they always forget their money <<< wait.  Big sign.  Big.  Let’s split this bill?  But they ordered lobster, 2 martinis and a flaming desert brought to the table by a monkey wearing a fez.  You ordered water and a salad.  Say no to splitting the bill.
  2. What you do is clearly not appreciated...in fact, they act surprised if you mention they asked you to do x, y, z for them last weekend so you can’t right now.  They do not reciprocate at all, nor will they ever.  Never.  Be honest with yourself.  How is this making you feel right now?  Are you beating yourself up for being so nice…and feeling used right now?  Write down your thoughts about the last time someone used you.
  3. One set of rules for them…another for you.  This one is huge.  I had an acquaintance, I thought she was a friend actually, but I know better now, who said that a few things I did were not okay.  If I made an observation for example, I was automatically judging OR gossiping.  But she could turn around and say “Oh look at so and so.  Umm.  I just don’t like them….what do you think <<<” At that time, and that time only, I could answer.  This borders on “policing” your behavior.  Being told what you can and can’t do.  It would be okay for her to act this way, but not me.  Snapping at you in front of adults, yet had you done the same thing, you would have heard about it.  This is setting limitations on what you can do, but they think it doesn’t apply to them.  This is manipulation in a friendship or relationship and it is wrong.
  4. Being treated this way makes you feel isolated and alone.  How you feel about this treatment is often ignored as well…but you are not alone.  You should not feel ashamed to speak out on someone who likes to use double standards in a relationship or friendship.  They have the do as I say not as I do attitude, but clearly you are starting to see this.  Get out now.  Go to counseling, therapy, write about it, but leave and don’t feel bad.  This is NOT about you.  It’s about them.  All about them.  They will continue to manipulate your feelings and try to turn it around so it is your fault.  It isn’t.
  5. They rarely contact you first…unless they need something.  In any type of relationship, whether it is home, friendship, relationship, work, or family, the only contact you get is when they need something.  I am learning to put up better barriers against this, but this is a big sign to me that I am not important.  They are too busy to listen to you, contact you, etc, but the moment they need something, the story changes.  My ex-sister-in-law comes to mind right now as well as a few others who are no longer in my life.  But I wouldn’t hear from that girl unless she wanted to bash my brother or have me babysit.  Period.  That was it for our entire “friendship”.  When I was really ill, she called me.  To ask me for a favor.  Didn’t know I was bad off.  Didn’t ever ask.  Not once.  That was the last time she called because I finally told her that I knew she only called me for 2 reasons and never once in 7 years asked me how I was doing.

How to handle it now.

  1. Talk to them first.  If you don’t you only have yourself to blame.
  2. If talking doesn’t improve anything at all, use distance.
  3. If distance doesn’t work as well as you’d like, make yourself completely unavailable to them for a very long time.
  4. If all else fails, leave the relationship or friendship so that you can make room for new people in your life who truly value you, your gifts and what you have to offer others.
  5. Start your own self-care routines that truly focus on your wellnessreserves

 

20 Minutes of Anger or tips for not Hulking out

Recently I was at a talk where someone said emotions take 60 seconds to pass through the brain…while that might be true of some emotions, it is not true of all.  Take ANGER for example.  Oh yeah, that bad boy throws a fit.

How does anger respond in the brain?

The bad news…when we become angry, like really, really angry, think HULK angry, our cerebral cortex, or thinking part of the brain, is bypassed. The limbic system, or emotional center, is considered more primitive.  Okay, so to grasp this, Hulk center equals primitive thoughts, rational thoughts equals Dr. Banner.  Yes, I am a geek, but this works.  Back to the brain.

The data that we get from the outside world passes through our amygdala, where it decides whether to pass it on to Dr. Banner or the Hulk.  So basically, during the fight or flight event, the amygdala goes into action without thinking of the consequences as it doesn’t have to. This reactive incident has come to be known as an amygdala hijacking…or in geek terms, Hulking out.

What happens next?

During the Hulking out, or amygdala hijacking, the hormones flow freely.  A surge of energy follows preparing us for flight or flight…and of course, during a Hulk moment, what do you think you are going to choose?  Wellll, you don’t actually choose right then.  Unless you have your anger under serious control, during those moments, what the person says or does is not controlled by Dr. Banner…it is controlled by Hulk who smashes first, thinks later.  Unfortunately, the impact of these hormones that leads to anger can last several moments…or several days.  Yup DAYS.

According to research, on average, it can actually take 20 minutes for a person who has experienced an angry state of HULK to calm and move from functioning from the emotional area to the thinking area of the brain, thus turning back to Dr. Banner.

Hulk smash?  No.  Stay calm.

As a kid growing up in the 80’s, yes, you guessed it, I watched The Incredible Hulk.  Bill Bixby and the awesome Lou Ferrigno, who as a young girl, was scary to watch on T.V.  Ha.  My dad was frequently thought of in our house as the Hulk at times too.  He never ever remembered what he said when angry.  Yes, I still love my dad, but it needs to be referenced that I did grow up with someone frequently Hulking out around me.  My brother and I both can get angry fairly fast as well.  So how do you learn to stop the immediate rush of hormones?

Tips to tame the Hulk:

  1. Stop and breathe.  Just 3 short breaths and remember you are currently NOT in control of your thoughts…which means your mouth.
  2. Use a code word for your family which seriously tells them not to push your buttons right now.  I need a moment works as well.  Or “Go outside right now.  NOW”.  I need some air.  That might work for your kids.  If it is a spouse, move away from them and tell them that they need to leave you alone to process your anger for a while, and you can revisit this later.
  3. Get some exercise or yoga.  It is well-known that exercise increases serotonin and endorphins.  Why is this important?  Endorphins and serotonin are important chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are manufactured in your brain and affect your mood, energy levels and overall well-being. remember that burst of energy you are going to get up there ^^^ as the Hulk?  Use it here instead.
  4. Stick with “I feel…” statements during this time and let people know how something made you feel…not blaming, but stick strictly to feelings.
  5. Use humor to diffuse the situation if you can…quick tell me a joke.  This doesn’t always work, but it helps my teens.  They smile and then we try very hard to move past whatever it is.  If we give the anger somewhere to go, it has less control over our brain and we return to thinking faster.

A few other tips can be found in my grounding article, as that works well with people who are processing many emotions that might not even be theirs.  Check out Learning to control your highly sensitive emotions as well.  Sometimes we realize that we are reacting to emotions or even channeling other emotions around us thus bringing us to whatever level the other person is functioning at.  Take the time to remember you are not always in control, and use the tips here to get your Hulk state calmed down.

angry

Manifesting Journal Tips

Once upon a time, I started a journal and acted AS IF what I wrote in the journal had already come true.  I started adding in monthly goals, and then just writing throughout the month AS IF those goals came true.  If I showed you my journal now, you would be amazed at the number of check marks beside each statement I wrote.  Yes, they came true.

So before you guys think I am making this up, I kid you not, I started telling my girlfriends about it.  We have a night we call “Sister circle” and it is a night we can bring crafts, stories, wine, or whatever, ha, to the table.  I started telling them a while back about my journal.  Then I started helping my friends journal…and even art journal, bullet journal or whatever, but they had to lay it all out there.  Bare.  No lies in the journal.

Since I started my journal therapy sessions, one girlfriend came back to yoga, started losing weight and unblocking her weight-loss well, block, another started healing internally from divorce, and countless other things have happened.  I think the BEST thing that has happened, is that I thought they would be afraid to show me their journals, but they aren’t.  That is huge.  It means they are stepping into this truth that they write and owning it, which is part of the shift in thinking.  We live from a place of now instead of fear.  I was so proud of my girlfriend who wrote on weight loss that the first time she showed me her wall, I got teary.  It was a huge shift.  Oh, the wall she drew in her journal with all her blocks on losing weight.

5 Tips to Manifest Change in Your Life:

  1. Practice gratitude each morning.  I recently gave my talk in London about how at my darkest pain level, I started getting out of the bed and saying “thank you”.  I talk to God, Jesus, Angels and the Universe, but you do whatever floats your boat.  I don’t believe I have to make a choice in believing that God supports my decisions to get well only if I do x,y,z and therefore Law of Attraction type thoughts are wrong.  Nope.  He supports me.
  2. I constantly realign my thoughts every single minute.  I am no different from you.  Each of us has the potential to think good or bad thoughts and dwell on them.  Notice the thoughts and every time you think a negative thought, put a positive spin on it and float it down the river.
  3. TAKE ownership of what is happening in your life.  People most often blame others, their parents, God, the Universe, the Devil, your 5th grade teacher…or someone else.  Umm.  It’s you.  Yup.  It’s you.  I know what you are thinking…I didn’t ask for this.  Neither did I, read my about me to see what I didn’t ask for.  Nevertheless, it was there.  I couldn’t change my genes.  I accepted the diseases and then finally, finally, began to move on.  Yes, I spent countless hours researching and developing a plan to move forward and release myself, but still, I did something about it!
  4. Write down a clear intention of how you want to feel.  I started writing how I wanted to feel, and reading it nightly.  I wrote what great things were coming to me.  And I sat and felt those emotions.  How I would feel in my new SUV and what it would be like to really have a new car.  We desperately needed one, but here is a tip.  You can’t manifest from desperation.  I had to let all that go.  Scarcity thinking.  Nope.  Abundant thinking.  Yes.  I have enough.  I am enough.  I wrote about the vehicle in December.  In April, we bought a new SUV.  My mini-van was literally falling to pieces by that time, but I let go of the thoughts of not making it down the road.  I opened myself up to thoughts of a reliable vehicle and how that would feel.
  5. Really and truly feel the gratitude AS IF it has already happened.  Seriously, this one is so important that it started and ended my days.  I said thank you every night.  I blessed the goodness in my life nightly.  I still do.  I push allllll the other thoughts away and if for some reason I can’t, I go to yoga then I can think on what great things have happened.  So have your routine.  Go for a walk, pray, mediate, run, go to yoga, but think on the goodness of the universe because it is there.  It is.  Do good deeds and random acts of kindness as you go along, and you will really feel the boomerang effect of what you think you attract.

Lastly, because I believe in journal therapy so much, I added another bonus to my 4 Weeks to Wellness course, which really and truly gets you out of your head and into action!!  The whole reason I designed it was for people who are stuck in their heads, hearts, and not able to move forward for their health.  Much like I was in the beginning of this life-long journey to create the path I was meant to be on.  I am there now and would love to have you join me!

Gift of thanks

How to Create Meaningful Female Friendships

Because we do this and pose ^^^

“Oh my God, Becky. Look at her butt.”  Have no fear, that’s just some lyrics to Baby Got Back.  However, could it have been you or your friends commenting on another woman’s body at one time in your life?  The answer to this question is yes.  Yes.  Let’s be honest with each other.  We have all said or even thought something we regretted.  It is part of the human experience. 

I am going to be honest.  The first time I look at photos of myself, I usually cringe.  I don’t know why, but my guess is that pesky thing known as “karmic programming” which I will get to in a moment.  But when we notice these thoughts and feelings about other people, we have to wonder are we reflecting something back about ourselves we don’t like?  Then we have to dig deeper into our karmic programming, which is a history that has been passed down through the generations of how we feel about ourselves or how we view our bodies, etc.  Here is my example…and it’s just honest reflection, but in the south, women seem to dress up, wear make-up, and diet more than other places.  I could be wrong, but it is what I have observed.  The girls I went to school with were very concerned about appearance and hair, my Lord, was everything.

So to break out of that way of thinking, or programming if you will, requires lots of pausing and reflection that as teenagers, we just really don’t have.  In college, we might have a bit more, but as mothers, oh as mothers you would think we would know how hard it has been.  Sometimes this is not true.  So in order for all women to benefit from breaking this cycle of thoughts, we have to try to speak better, think better and build better relationships with the women around us.  We have to watch how we speak to ourselves and how we speak to other women…even if it’s in our heads my sisters.

How to Create Meaningful Friendships:

  1. Avoid feeding into the negative body image feelings that most women have.  This is the hardest one, so I started with it.  This weekend at a conference, we were asked to turn to the woman next to us and tell them what we saw in their eyes, their faces, and write it on these heart-shaped mirrors.  The woman next to me was sparkling, but because of my skills, I knew she didn’t think so.  I also saw her beautiful, vulnerable eyes.  She was an international woman, a woman who has her own business, but had just said to me, I usually don’t take my sweater off because of my arms.  The first thought that came in to my head as I turned to look at her was how dazzling she was.  Just pure love in her eyes, but such vulnerability that as I told her she was beautiful and dazzling, we both started crying.  Know that as you feel vulnerable, so does the woman you are friends with.
  2. Embrace differences and allow for growth.  Where your friendships are right now, in this moment, is not where they were 6 years ago.  Hopefully that is a good thing.  However, if they are in the exact same place as 6 years ago, and you are having the same conversations about the same things, ask yourself if you are feeling fulfilled in this friendship or is this just a “surface” level type of friendship where you don’t feel connected.  The surface level friendships just don’t last usually because they will always hold something back.  A deeper friendship should strengthen with time and feel different…like you have grown roots and might even be connected.  As you reach for that connection, test out your answers.  Do you feel comfortable with the entire truth in this friendship?  If the answer is yes, or even hell yes, I’d tell her anything and she just gets me, then you are a lucky sister.  We can find those friends, and when we do, we need to hold on.
  3. Don’t listen to others…feed your own soul.  Sometimes, there are those who are jealous.  They look at the surface and make nasty comments.  Did you see her outfit?  She needs to lose weight.  She acts so ridiculous.  Why is she so happy all the time?  These comments are usually a reflection of the person making them.  Point of fact for me…I sometimes have gotten a few nasty comments from people I don’t know on my FB page.  I can always tell as soon as I read their comments that it is a reflection of something they are going through and has no bearing on my life what so ever.  Delete.  Do not engage.  I know it’s difficult, I AM A SCORPIO.  Trust me.  However, I say a few nice things under my breath about how difficult it must be to carry so much judgement, hate, and malice and I really hope they think about how it would feel if they were being open, honest and vulnerable to sayyyy 100,000 people, and I let it go.

Remind yourself to do a mental check-in on how you are feeling during the day and if a friend is having a particularly rough week, try to be gentle.  No, it’s not easy.  Will it be worth it?  I think so.  Chances are, whatever is coming up for them feels awful, and they will notice it as well.  Re-direct on what is going right for them this week, or how great they look in the color whatever…and know that they are sometimes in the ego, and not in the heart.

It takes a long time and many hours to re-direct and shift our thoughts away from tearing each other down, or ourselves down, but it can be done and more meaningful friendships can be born out of this soul-searching experience.

vulnerabilities

 

5 Lessons I Learned from International Speaking

Wow!!  I did it.  I can now add International Speaker to a resume that I keep inside of myself.  Let me back up.  For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I left my teaching career and through a series of steps started my own brand and business.  I never had a list of things to do before x age or anything like that.  I always thought that I would retire one day after a really LONG time of teaching and probably look twice my age.  Just true facts right there.

But my life desire was always to make a huge difference in the world we live in and especially in the field of empowering those who feel power-less

I had not traveled to Europe in 20 years.  I had NOT traveled by myself.  The steps that I took were scary and felt exciting, but caused me a week of no sleep.  The closer the date came, the more excited and scared I got.  Would they like me?  What if I mess up?  What if I cry?  <<< MOST likely scenario as I told my story.

I practiced and recorded my speech.  I got THE right outfit to make a good first impression.  I started to visualize the reaction at the end of my speech.  I was on fire.  I was going to nail it.  And then I practiced it in front of my roommate in London one night, and I fell apart.  What is happening?  I can’t cry when I speak.  I thought I was healed???  Breathe.  You are healed, but this is powerful stuff.  You can literally change someone’s life with this story.   <<< inner big girl panties are on.

5 Lessons I learned from Speaking:

  1. Everyone in the room wants you to succeed.  I knew it.  I could just look at them and tell they were all rooting for me.  It was like they had flags up with my name on them.  GO AIMEE!!!  I saw it.  It was like thoughts bubbles actually, but they were there.
  2. Be ready to go with the flow.  After a week of practicing, you guessed it, I changed it at the last-minute to reflect the feelings I was getting from the audience.  They were not ready for the other way I had planned it, but the new way that downloaded into my head while sitting there was exactly what they needed.
  3. Give value to your audience.  I know that even though I told my story, I also told them a way to handle their emotions and reflected it back to what any one person sitting there could be going through.
  4. Give them an a-ha moment.  I gave them a moment to take away forever.  I told them that even in my deepest pain, I woke up and decided to live each day with thankfulness.  I actually put one foot in front of each other in the morning and said thank you as I made my way to my bathroom mirror.  I saw all eyes on me…and maybe, just maybe a few tears.  But not from me this time.  Not from me.  I knew they were with me and I felt the love.
  5. Leave them with a take-away.  I circled around to the theme of my speech, and gave them an activity they could do daily like writing positive affirmations on the mirror in dry-erase marker.  I told them that as I was in pain, I made the plan to heal through my 4 Weeks to Wellness steps, and I developed that as a way for others to move forward from wherever they are in life.  The plan was simple and included daily action steps as well as workbooks and lots and lots of internal work.  So even if they weren’t in physical pain, I have never once met a person who did not benefit from doing some work inside.

Aimee Speaking in LondonThis is the shot from my friend in the audience…I will have a video I hope.

As I concluded, you could have heard a pin drop, and I think, just maybe, I nailed it.  The best part of this entire experience was that this was only my third speech ever since stepping into my new role.  Thank you all for your support from the bottom of my heart. 

change_regret