Post ID 790

Posted by on May 14, 2020

“She decided to trust what she felt, to know what she knew, and to dare to imagine an unseen order where she might be free.” Glennon Doyle

Like so many others, I recently enjoyed Glennon Doyle’s latest book, “Untamed”. This was the first book of hers that I’ve read, and the promise of women’s empowerment drew me in. 

Part memoir and part personal growth book, she offers honest highlights from her recent life and helps readers share in her lessons learned. I was hooked from her prologue, ‘Cheetah’, which also cued her anecdotal and metaphorical writing style. This opening also introduced the powerful message of her book – the importance of accessing and trusting ourselves.

I cannot emulate her words, which I encourage you to read for yourself. Instead, I’ll share just a small part of her work to give you a sneak peek of her wisdom and inspire you to apply her advice to your own life, as I have done to mine with great success. 

4 Keys to Freedom

My favourite is ‘part 2’ of her book, where she shares her 4 keys to freedom. It especially rang true for me because it’s a similar approach to how I help women make, trust and follow through on decisions. 

Here’s a brief summary of how your emotions, intuition, imagination and courage – that you may have learned to hide to keep others comfortable – will help you return to who you are.

1) Feel It All – “Feelings are for Feeling”.

Feel everything, especially the painful emotions, rather than distracting or numbing from them. You can be free from the fear of feeling pain, if not from the pain itself. You can become the woman you’re meant to be next by venturing into the feelings you have now. 

2) Be Still and Know – “If you just stop doing, you’ll start knowing.”

Instead of looking to everyone and everything else for answers, look within yourself. Ask yourself the big questions in life, go within to where your Self, wisdom, intuition or God lives and await the subtle nudge toward your next right action. The more consistently, bravely and precisely you follow your ‘Knowing’, the more beautiful your life becomes. 

3) Dare to Imagine – “Perhaps imagination is not where we go to escape reality, but where we go to remember it.”

You must first imagine on the inside what you wish to create on the outside. If you feel discontent, it’s your imagination trying to get your attention by whispering ‘not this but that instead’. To honour your dreams, write them out for yourself answering: What is the truest, most beautiful story about my life that I could imagine?

4) Let It Burn – “We must be committed to holding on to nothing but the truth.”

If you want to create something new for yourself, you must be willing to release what is no longer true for you. It may feel ‘safer’ or ‘good enough’ to stay as you are, but you would lose everything that was meant to be and you are worth more than that. In doing so, you will be full of what is true for you in this moment – neither right nor wrong – and you can revise that with what’s more beautiful for you until infinity.

Which of these 4 keys will you practice to move closer to your most free and authentic life?

Freedom in Relationships

So what could this look like when practically applied? Yes, you can use these steps in all areas of your life. Let’s use the example of a challenging personal relationship that you’re not sure how to handle. 

  • Allow yourself to feel (express and release) your emotions about the relationship, whether you’re feeling sad, worried, guilty, angry or even loving.
  • Be still with yourself, go inward to that place within you where your true Self resides and await the nudge about your next step.
  • Imagine or write out your story about what the truest, most beautiful (not necessarily easiest or happiest) version of this relationship would be. Use this to inform your actions.
  • Begin to release what is no longer helpful to you in the relationship. Let go of the ‘could have beens’ to make space for the healthier version of the relationship. 

This works beyond relationships too. I’ve practiced all four keys to successfully navigate a stressful decision about where to live, and can assure you it works. It was a bonus to learn that I could follow this process myself, and my husband (the other person involved in the decision) could follow his own process, and together we came to a great resolution. 

So until you have a chance to read ‘Untamed’ if I’ve inspired you to do so, keep Glennon’s words at hand to help you be brave enough to set yourself free . . . 

“Breathe. Don’t panic and flee. Sink. Feel it all. Be still. Imagine. Let it Burn.”

Post ID 781

Posted by on May 8, 2020

“Honour the space between no longer and not yet.” Nancy Levin

Yes, we have all been through much change over the past two months. I wonder if any of your personal relationships have also changed?

And how are you handling the transition that goes along with the change? 

If you’re not sure what I mean, here’s a quick recap of William Bridges’ transition theory.

A change is the external event or situation – positive or negative – that is largely practical. For example, a change could include the tangibles of welcoming a new friend or baby to your life, or saying goodbye to someone who is no longer your friend or is moving away.

A transition is your internal experience of the change – emotional and mental – that is a gradual process of adjustment. So, the intangible transition of moving through the psychological part of handling the new arrival or the departure of someone from your life.

If you find yourself stuck in a relationship, it could be that you haven’t moved through one of the ‘3 Stages of Transition’ in their natural order:

  • The Ending – You enter a change here, and identify what you are losing and how to manage these losses. Think of it like a storm’s arrival.
  • The Neutral Zone – The bridging between old and new, you are in the confusing and murky middle of change. This is like the foggy calm after the storm.
  • The New Beginning – The final stage where you accept the new normal with renewed energy and start to experience wins in your new direction. Here the sun, or even a rainbow, are visible through the parting clouds. 

Considering a personal relationship of yours that is currently changing, what stage are you in? 

If you find you’re not steadily moving through that stage of transition, here are some suggestions to help you gain some momentum with your relationship transition: 

1. If you’re stuck in your relationship’s ending (or ending in the sense that it will be different going forward than what it was before), do your grief work. Both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ relationship changes involve some element of letting go: of who you were, of what was, or of what never will become. Allow yourself the space to feel and release your sorrow.

2. If you’re lost in your relationship’s neutral zone, address your fears, doubts and resistance. This period can feel very uncomfortable as you may sometimes want to go back to how things were, but you also know that you must move forward. Resist the urge to fill this emptiness to avoid the temporary discomfort. Learn new perspectives or resources, from trustworthy sources and people, to address your limits and worries.

3. If you’re caught in the new beginning, spark up your desires. You’re starting to become more clear on who you are and how you are in relationships. Bravely dream up the best possible outcomes for yourself and pursue what feels right for you. Take small steps, and try small things, as you increase your confidence in your new identity and reality.

From here, I’m confident you’ll notice some momentum through your changing relationship. Reach out to may any time for further clarification. Together we’ll catch a glimpse of your fair weather relationship forecast.

Post ID 742

Posted by on April 17, 2020

“Listen to your needs and desires. Meet them with tenderness and grace.”

Are your self-care practices ‘top heavy’? 

Mine have been, up until recently. I used to notice I was feeling off, then thought about what I could do for a break. Or I’d have a stretch of time to myself and wonder how I would fill it with some kind of self-care-ish type of activity. In either case, I was guided by my thoughts about what to do. I was practicing ‘heads up’ or ‘top heavy’ self-care. 

Now I know that for self-care to truly work for me and be worth my time and effort, it needs to be ‘inside-out’ or ‘self-sourced’ or ‘heart-centred’. In other words, I need to take into account the needs of my whole Self. 

I notice what’s going on for me, name the unique needs at the root of my experience and respond in ways that best nurture those needs.

Heart-Centred Self-Care

Step 1 – Notice

The first step is to pause and take note of what you are experiencing. 

What’s the ‘outer’ experience that you are sensing with your 5 senses or envisioning in your mind?

Ex. I see the sun is setting and that I didn’t get all of today’s work done yet . . .  I hear the boisterous family being loud and silly . . . 

Also, what’s the ‘inner’ experience that you are feeling

Ex. I am feeling negative or unhelpful feelings, like guilt, sadness, worry, anger, etc. I am feeling positive or helpful feelings, like courage, acceptance, love, joy, peace etc.

Step 2 – Needs

Here’s the step that most of us miss – but that’s the most important. 

Considering what you are sensing and feeling, what do you really need?

You can take your best guess, or I recommend looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs or the Centre for Non-Violent Communications Needs Inventory to accurately name the one or two needs that are causing your feelings.

Ex. I need financial security which is why I’m worrying about not finishing my work yet.  I need space which is why I’m feeling irritable about the family’s noise. 

Step 3 – Nurture

Now it’s time to do something with what you’ve learned – the self-care part. The aim is to figure out ways to nurture the need that you’ve identified. In attempting to meet that need, you will relieve your feelings and truly nurture yourself. Be sure to consider both ‘the doing’ (behaviours, actions) and ‘the being’ (presence, allowing, listening, resting) in your response. 

What can I ‘do’ to nurture my need(s)?

Ex. I will finish my priority task tonight, spend an extra hour tomorrow to catch up, and my finances will not be affected. I will go out for a walk so that I can have some space, and my family can keep having fun.

How can I ‘be’ to nurture my need(s)?

Ex. I will listen to my unhelpful thoughts about money and work through the process of shifting my mindset. I will allow and release my feelings of frustration around being physically isolated.

Making a regular practice of Noticing, Naming and Nurturing your needs will ensure your heart-centred self-care truly works for you. Simply moving through these steps before you get out of bed in the morning or anytime during your day will make all the difference to showing yourself the care and compassion that your heart, body, mind and spirit deserve!

Posted in: Heart, Renewal
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