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 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

Post ID 559

Posted by on February 23, 2018

I was recently honoured to be a featured speaker at a One Woman Fearless Summit (learn more about this incredible social enterprise below).

It was a wonderful opportunity for me, with so many lessons reaffirmed: the power of pushing through my fears and stretching outside of my comfort zone; the essential roles others play in supporting and celebrating my dreams; the power of stories to heal and inspire change; and the difference that one woman can make in the world simply by being herself and sharing herself and her gifts.

Most importantly, I was thrilled to share my message about emotional empowerment and specifically how to leverage Fear (and ALL of your emotions) for inner power and outer progress toward your dreams. 

Today I want to share the first tip that I gave in my talk, and probably the top tip I have to share overall when it comes to emotional wellness . . .

The only way around your emotions is through them.

When it comes to dealing with our emotions, most of us want to skip this part and get on with the good stuff of making plans and taking action. We flee, freeze, faint, fidget or fight our emotions – instead of just feeling them – so they get stuck in us. We drag them around, like an emotional backpack with our unprocessed emotions busting out of the pockets and pouches. The only way to keep from dragging around this emotional baggage for the rest of our lives is to face our emotions.  We can’t just skip over the “negative” feelings, trying only to focus on the “positive” ones.

What we want to do is to fully experience our feelings – including the thoughts and beliefs attached.  And I’ve created a simple (and very original :)) acronym that describes exactly how to do this so that you can deal with your present emotions, and any that you may be hauling around from the past, to then be free to get on with the really good stuff.

F – Feel Your Emotions:
Experience your feelings fully. You can talk to trusted friends or journal to get the stories and emotions out of you. You can move your body to help release emotions or tensions. You can express yourself creatively, through music, art or craft to process emotions in a powerful subconscious way. And you can cry or laugh, as there’s healing power in allowing your emotions to flow.

E – Explore the Messages:
To decode the general messages of your emotions, from a non-judgemental place of curiosity, ask your emotions questions like: “What are you trying to tell me? Where did you come from? How long have you been with me? What have I learned about what it means to feel you?”

You can also decode specific messages of your feelings, as each feeling is uniquely designed to show you the way through. For instance, sadness shows us how to grieve lost potential. Fear shows us what we want and what action to take. Anger tells us boundaries have been crossed. Courage signals that our True Self is coming to light. And joy celebrates the awe and delight of life.

E – Embrace the Messages:
Now that you’ve heard what your emotions are trying to tell you, take action on what you’ve learned.  So if your shame or anger have shown you that your boundaries are being crossed, what’s the one next step you can take to reinforce your boundaries? Or if your desires have come to light, what’s the next step you can take to make them happen? By acting on what you’ve learned, not only do you move through the emotion but you lessen the chance of the problem arising again in the future.

L – Let it Be:
The truth is, we’re not actually trying to be rid of any of our feelings. We don’t have to block them, change them, avoid them or even let them go. We just want to let them do the job their designed to do, and then set them aside for future reference. For example, we wouldn’t want to be fear-less, as fear plays an essential role in our lives, but maybe we want to learn what fear has to share, then set it aside until we need to consult with it again.

So the next time you experience a heavy emotion, try to F.E.E.L. it. Because the only way around it is through it.

Or better yet, talk with me on my free Clarity Call so that you can get clear on how you want to feel, what emotional blocks may be keeping you from your dreams and what your next best steps are to proceed. Book a call here or reply to this email to arrange an alternate time.

To FEELing forward!
Nicole

P.S. One Woman is a global social enterprise on a mission to help women and girls around the globe live their dreams and reach their full potential through education and entrepreneurship. As a proud business member of this organization, my contribution supports projects around the world that will help women become entrepreneurs, have access to education or create a better quality of life. When women around the world are united, we will make a difference, one woman at a time.

Posted in: Heart
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