A Mile is Made of a Whole Bunch of Inches

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I was on the phone earlier today with one of my best friends in the world who always acts as a supportive sounding board when I need to vent, freak out, or just bitch about life in general.  Here I am, deep in the throes of complaining about the areas of my life that aren’t moving or progressing quickly enough, when I almost landed my heel squarely on top of an inch worm meandering along the top of my coffee table.  He looked up at me with his squishy little inchworm face as if to say, “Listen lady…get that roadblock out of my way…I’m trying to make some progress here!”  I moved my foot and marveled as he slowly and steadily continue his trek across the tabletop.  “Pete,” I said “I think I have just been given a sign from the Universe!”

Later, my mad Google skills came in handy as I researched the significance of this little guy showing up (I’m all about Spirit Animals).  I found my way to an awesome website on the subject (aptly named spirit-animals.com) and the quotation box at the top of the page informed me that this adorable, tiny, green worm was telling me that “Transformation is at hand.  Just one more small step and you are there.”  I knew I liked him!  This little fellow showed up in my life at the perfect moment to help me see the error in my thinking.  Instead of seeing all of the things I haven’t been able to accomplish yet, I needed to shift my focus to all of the steps I have taken to move in the direction that I want to be going. Well played Universe.

At some point or another, we are all guilty of thinking this way…probably more often than we might even be aware of.  How many times have you mentally beaten yourself up because you haven’t lost the ten pounds, or eliminated sugar from your diet, or run the marathon, or expanded the business to reach another 1000 customers, or paid off all of your credit card debt, or perfected your dance steps, or become a rock star, or performed life-saving surgery, or kept up with your laundry for an entire week, or cooked the perfect chili, or planted a vegetable garden that actually grows???  We could go on forever and ever, but you get the picture.  The vast majority of us are CONSTANTLY making ourselves feel like we are less than enough, instead of acknowledging that the process of transformation takes a balanced combination of time, belief in your vision, and perseverance.  That’s not to say that miracles don’t happen and you can’t go from picking up the guitar for the first time to overnight rockstar, but again, for the vast majority of us, it’s going to take a little more than that…and that’s OKAY!

We tend to get into this trap of thinking that because we aren’t yet experiencing the reality of the end result that we want, nothing is happening. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Every step that you are taking in the direction of your end goal is getting you closer to reaching it… whether it feels like it right now or not!  Think of our little friend the inchworm…if he had gotten so focused on reaching the end of the table how overwhelmed would he be feeling? Probably just enough to stop moving, let out a tiny, exasperated inchworm sigh, and completely give up trying to get there altogether, which would have likely led to my heel landing on him and squishing him right into the table.  It would have been a tragedy for the little guy!  It’s not that nothing is happening, it’s just that the things that are happening might not be lining up with our perfect time frame, causing fear, self-doubt, and anxiety.  

If you happen to find yourself at that intersection of fear and doubt, practice patience with yourself.  Instead of focusing on all of the things you haven’t done, make a list of all of the things you HAVE done!  Put any silly thing that you can think of on there!  Emailed a person that could potentially help you reach your goal, landed your first gig/client/class/etc, daydreamed for twenty minutes on all of the amazing things you were eventually going to create…maybe you just got out of bed and showered even though you were riddled with all of this anxiety!  List them ALL, big and small, and refer back to this list every single time that doubt starts to creep back in.  

If you feel like you actually haven’t done ANYTHING to start working towards the goal, then now’s the time to do that.  First off, set one!  Then, make a list of all the steps you will need to take to reach it, and start taking them one inch at a time.  When the overwhelm starts to creep in, just take a deep breath and go right back to focusing on the one task at hand.  

The fact is, if you do nothing, you are sure to remain where you are.  If you start moving, you have nowhere to go but forward.  Don’t let yourself get squished to the table by the big heel of self-doubt.  Nobody wins that one.  And if you need help getting motivated, ask for help!  Reach out to your friends, family, mentors, teachers, counselors, coaches (I happen to know a pretty good one), and anybody else who inspires you to dream big and move into your greatness in every capacity!  You are the only one who can take the first step!

Learn more about me by visiting my website HERE, or join me on FACEBOOK to keep up with classes and events I have coming up.  Learn about my 12-week coaching program, “Ascend to New Heights” by watching THIS VIDEO INTERVIEW

The Unlikely Life Skill I Learned From Being a Smoker

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First off, no, that is obviously not me in the above picture, but I’m apt to believe it may have become a pretty accurate depiction of me had I continued to smoke.  Hehe.  Pretty sexy huh?  So yeah, I was a smoker for a pretty long time.  I know, I know…save your judgement.  I get it…it’s gross…but I have to say, at the time I sort of liked it.  Throughout my years as a smoker, I learned a few things, some more enlightening than others.  For one thing, phone conversations are far easier to endure when you have something to preoccupy you (I hate the phone).  For another, smoker’s cough is really unattractive, smelling like an ashtray is a great way to discourage people from intimate conversation, and if you want to spend a lot of money on a whole lot of nothing good…smoking is a good way to achieve this goal.  However, I digress.  As the title suggests, there was one incredibly valuable lesson that I did learn from smoking.  Let’s start with a little story, shall we?

When I was 19 my head was pretty much as far up my ass as it could possibly fit.  I had gone through a series of really shitty events that left me feeling out of touch, out of place, out of friends and looking for a way out of my current state of being.  In other words, I was pretty freaking miserable and totally lost.  So, imagine my excitement when my friend mentioned that he was taking a road trip cross country.  This was a great idea, barring the fact that he had no car to take aforementioned road trip.  Enter Jillian and her ruby red Hyundai Accent…my way out of reality surfaced right before my eyes and we set off barely two weeks later.

Now, aside from the excitement of being on the road blasting Allman Brothers CDs with the windows rolled down, a Hyundai Accent packed to the gills with my life’s belongings, proved to be pretty tight quarters for two pig-headed, opinionated kids with their heads up their asses.  Needless to say, within a few weeks, road trip buddy and I were starting to feel a little overwhelmed with our close proximity to one another.  We found ourselves smoking more cigarettes than usual, however, being that we were on an extremely limited budget with no source of income and no timeline in place for this marvelous adventure,  this wasn’t going over so well on our wallets.  Road trip buddy made the executive decision to buy loose tobacco and rolling papers, and save our very convenient, pre-rolled cigarettes for special occasions.  Now of course, he, being the initiator of this marvelous idea, was naturally in charge of what and when these special occasions were.  How very convenient.

Fast forward another week or so.  Ruby red Hyundai rolls into Denver with two clueless kids sitting in the front seat…arguing.  To this day I can’t recall what we were arguing about, but I assume it was probably something very important, like where we should eat lunch or whether we should set up our tent or sleep in the car that night.  (I mean, the big decisions you have to make when you’ve shirked all of your responsibilities to gallivant across the country are just never ending).  Long story short, road trip buddy gets especially aggravated and dips out for a few hours, leaving me sitting in the parked car, more than a little annoyed, in the middle of an unfamiliar town.  I reach into the glove box for a cigarette and what do I find?  Apparently he has decided that this is some sort of special occasion, because he has taken all of our pre-rolled cigarettes and left me only with a bag of loose leaf tobacco and some rolling papers.  Only problem…I can’t roll a freaking cigarette to save my life!  Of course I have no trouble at all rolling other things (snow balls guys…I’m talking about snow balls), but my cigarette rolling skills are definitely lacking.

15 minutes pass and turn into 20 and then 30…no sign of my friend or my Marlboro Lights.  I try to bum a smoke off of passerby, only to be met with dirty looks (it could have been the dirty, bedraggled, slept-in-a-car-last-night look I was sporting…or maybe I smelled from lack of showering…I guess I’ll never know).  I finally grab the papers and the tobacco and try desperately to roll cigarette after cigarette, each of them falling apart in my clammy, nicotine-deprived hands.  I mean, wtf, right?  30 minutes turns into an hour and I’m getting more and more pissed. A desperation takes hold as my aggravation mounts.  I roll and roll and roll and fail and fail and fail, each failed attempt making me feel like more of a total loser.  Finally, when I am just about to give up, one of my pathetic attempts actually ignites enough for me to take a large, glorious inhale into my panicky lungs.  A wonderful sensation fills me, but it’s not from the nicotine.  It is the feeling of success.  Dipshit (I’m sorry if you read this…you know I adore you) has still not returned, but now I’m motivated.  I spend the next 2 hours rolling cigarette after cigarette after cigarette, and each one gets looking a little bit more like the real thing.  By the time I see his figure walking down the sidewalk, I have a whole bunch of them strewn across the dashboard and a shit-eating grin on my face.  However, he doesn’t need to know exactly how well I’ve done, right?  So before silently gloating and lighting one up as he opens the car door, naturally I stash a little supply in various hideaways in case this ever happens again.  Needless to say, he was more than a little surprised and I didn’t go without a smoke for the rest of our trip.

So, while this may not be the best example (it kept you reading though, right), I learned a very valuable lesson that day.  I was at a very low point in my life where I was pretty set to give up on anything and everything that wasn’t working out for me, because, to tell the truth, not much was.  I had thrown my hands up in the air in pretty much every area of my life and determined that I just wasn’t good enough or deserving enough or smart enough at anything to succeed.  Road trip buddy inadvertently did me a huge favor leaving me in the car that day, yearning for just one drag of a freaking cigarette.  He gave me a choice to either accept the situation as it was presented to me or to take charge, persevere through the obstacle, and change the reality of it.  So often, we forget to do this.  We get so overwhelmed or discouraged by the perceived problem or roadblock in front of us, that we don’t even try to seek an alternate solution within ourselves.  We accept that this is our fate and we just have to grit our teeth and bear it, rather than digging deep and remembering that we have the tools and solutions to all of our obstacles within us.  In the Yoga tradition, this perseverance is called Tapas.  It is the ability to stay the course even if things feel a little daunting or uncomfortable (what a gift it might have been had I chosen to apply that Tapas to quitting right then and there, but that is to ponder another day).  It is a choice available to all of us, and when we choose to keep working towards whatever the goal may be, even through the obstacles or the not knowing what the outcome will be, this is where we find the antidote to the obstruction…in my case, the nicotine to my hankering.

Ironically, this perseverance was much needed as well when I decided to quit smoking 10 years ago.  Although this story may seem insignificant to some, it has stuck in my memory as a moment where I was able to move through a feeling of powerlessness to emerge triumphant.  Learning how to roll a cigarette…a habit that has no value or significance in my life today…who knew how much it would influence me?     I have used the memory of this day over and over and over again to remind myself what I am capable of if I just stay the course, even through the uncertainty and discomfort.  Something that simple and unimportant.

Dig deep for a moment…if you feel powerless, find that one, tiny thing that you have done that made you feel triumphant…even if it seems small and insignificant.  You never know…it could be the one thing that encourages you to find your power and persevere for years to come.  You’ve got this!

If you need help finding your personal power or feeling unstuck, I’d love to help you start living your most brilliant life.  Visit my website HERE or follow me on FACEBOOK HERE

 

 

Can I Tell You Just How Powerful You Are?

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I’m part of this amazing group of people on Facebook whose sole purpose is to light each other up as they pursue the manifestation of their hearts desires in this crazy thing we call life.  Some people post in there about their desire to find their true love, some about being financially free, some wanting optimum health, others of their dreams to start a family or a successful business, etc. and so many others in the group offer words of love and encouragement.  It’s pretty inspiring, and I find myself wandering into this group whenever I might have a moment where I forget just how much love there is in the world (because let’s face it…it isn’t always sunshine and puppy dogs…there’s a whole lot of mud puddles and shit piles along the way).

Recently, as I perused the feed on this sight, something I hadn’t noticed before caught my eye.  Scattered among the stories of successful manifestations and requests for well-wishes, healing thoughts and uplifting comments, was an underlying current of sadness and a feeling of lack.  So many of these people posting, weren’t posting about success, but about their failures…an inability to change the things that have been showing up in their lives.  Things weren’t happening as fast as they were “supposed to” or they weren’t any “good” at manifesting.  They didn’t feel that they had what it takes to get the job done.  I sat with this for a few minutes, and I found myself getting increasingly agitated.  It took me a while to pinpoint it, but then, there it was.  Wow…we are force fed a LOT of bullshit when it comes to the idea of manifesting!!!

Although there are many incredible teachers out there on the subject, somewhere along the line it seems that we started to believe that all we have to do is close our eyes and picture an endless wad of money (or whatever your desire is) filling our back pocket and suddenly, there it will be.  Now if that works for you, more power to you (and please call me after you read this so we can chat…I have a few questions to ask you…for a friend) but for the vast majority of us, it’s going to take a little more work than just envisioning what we want in order to actually cultivate it to fruition.  It’s going to take an alteration in our relationship to what we are trying to manifest, and than, constant motion in a new direction.  Sounds a little more difficult, right?  Well, not really.  I mean, have you had much luck the other way?  If you are still reading this, my guess is that you haven’t, and that’s a little frustrating, right?

“Okay genius…” you may be saying, “so tell me then, how DO I manifest my hearts desires?”  My response?  Well, now that really depends on YOU.  Like I said, manifesting is truly all about changing your relationship to that which you feel like you do not have enough of.  The feeling of not having enough is a feeling of lack, and the feeling of lack, in any capacity, is what is limiting your ability to manifest.  So then naturally, the first step is to identify what the limiting belief is before you can start to change it.  What do you feel like you are lacking, and perhaps more importantly, why do you feel like you are lacking it?  Next, set a goal…what do you WISH you could believe about this?  Now, it’s time to start making small, tangible steps towards what you would like your new belief to be.

You can’t just say one day “I don’t have enough money” and decide the next day that you will change your thought process to, “I’m a millionaire”.  It’s not going to feel real to you….in fact it’s going to feel like complete bullshit, am I right? The key is about baby steps that CAN feel real to you. For example, perhaps the first step is just saying ,”I may not have had enough money in the past, but I know that I have the ability to change that for my future…and here is one way I can start to change that now”.  After that it’s just about progressing the thought process until it becomes a more natural way of thinking…a conditioned response if you will. Perhaps after a week of repeating this new possibility to yourself and accomplishing that first step, it feels okay to compound on it. Maybe it becomes, “I have taken the first step towards manifesting my financial freedom and I feel proud of myself for following through.  Now I know that I am capable of making changes and the next step towards my ultimate goal will be (insert here).”  Once this feels okay, you build on it a little more, each time adding a new goal or task (that’s the constant motion I mentioned)  that leads you one step closer to your brand new, shiny belief that you are indeed financially stable and secure (if we are continuing to use the above example).  Does this sound familiar at all?  In one of my previous blogs I talked about turnarounds…a staple in the coaching business.  Well, this is the outline in a nutshell.

Unfortunately, we can’t change (for now) the fact that we DO live in a society that is all about immediate gratification.  Doubly unfortunate is that this need for instant gratification is what leads us to feel like we aren’t doing enough, fast enough, in the first place.  BUT…as I just gave an example of, the key to undoing the belief systems that have led you to where you find yourself now…a place of lack…IS on your keychain, which means you definitely have the power to unlock a new possibility.  Does it suck that it might take a little more work than just closing your eyes and creating a clear picture of the new convertible or the perfect relationship or yourself 40 pounds lighter?  Not really!  In fact, it’s pretty empowering to know that you can ALWAYS take at least one step away from the things that are weighing you down now in the direction of something else that will make you happier, healthier, more vibrant and whole.  You literally never have to stop!  If you get somewhere that makes you happy for a while and suddenly one day, you wake up yearning for change…you can start the process all over again!  Not to mention, think of how amazing you will feel when you’ve achieved the new belief and you can look back knowing that you did it yourself…not just with the power of your mind, but with the fierceness and devotion of a warrior.  Kind of incredible, right?  Believe it or not, this journey isn’t about hardships…it’s about what you do with them.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the pen is in your hands.  Write something worth telling.

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What You See is What You Get: The Power of Your Perception

tentI lived in a tent for almost a year once up North.  I was 19 years old and had just finished a trip cross-country with my then-boyfriend.  We had grandiose visions of a 6-month trip to backpack across Europe and we carefully laid all of the plans.  We would set up camp in an empty field on  my friends property, spend the summer landscaping ridiculous hours, eat like college freshman and spend every penny we saved on backpacking gear, plane tickets, Eurorail passes and youth hostel reservations.  It was fool-proof, right?

Everybody else seemed to think I was crazy.  I’ll never forget the look on my poor mother’s face the first day she took the dirt road down my friends property line, swung a hard right into the field and pulled up outside of my new digs.  I think she said something along the lines of, “Oh my God, you are kidding me, right?”.  Her husband just kept shaking his head as we proudly showed him around, continually mumbling, “Wow” under  his breath.  My sister laughed her ass off at me and told me what a dipshit I was.  Even my cat, Doja, tilted his head disapprovingly when I showed him the perch we built in a nearby tree to keep his food away from the coyotes.  He gave me that look implying I must be fucking joking.  Had it really come to this?  Not that I could actually blame any of them…this wasn’t exactly the first in my long line of questionable decisions, but I wouldn’t be deterred.

I worked my ass off that summer, digging trenches and pits, planting trees, grading properties, spreading mulch and rocks, mowing and trimming trees.  Bruises bloomed all over my body with the physical labor and my muscles ached like nothing I have felt before or since.  I still have a giant scar on my left thigh from the damned hedge trimmers!  The boys called them rat bites, and I imagine the feeling was quite similar.  Still, we would go back to the tent each night, full on fast-food, exhausted and sun-drenched, but ready to face the next day with nothing but our end goal in sight.  Nothing could slow me down.

While everybody else saw a shitty little tent, boyfriend and I saw freedom and opportunity.  I saw myself getting closer and closer to pursuing a dream that I was determined to make happen.  I was able to overlook the lack of amenities, running water and hot food.  I was able to find some comfort in taking my showers at the landscaping office loft in a rickety stand alone stall while my fellow co-workers milled around below.  I was able to smile confidently when others scoffed at what I was doing, because I saw it so differently.  It didn’t matter what anybody thought of me…I was following my dreams.

Fast-forward to September 11, 2001.  Ring a bell?  That’s right…the day the Twin Towers went down.  We had been tent-dwelling for 7 months by this point and our departure date was fast approaching.  The reality of the news broadcasts hit me like a ton of bricks.  Everywhere I turned were warnings that Americans should not travel abroad…that it was not safe.  I remained undeterred, still completely convinced that this was my fate, but I was soon to learn that she (fate, that is) is a tricky little Diva.  For whatever reason, boyfriend and I had purchased our plane tickets at different times.  As we sat down by the light of a kerosene lamp in our teeny little tent, unpacking and repacking our backpacks for practice, something rather important came to our attention.  We realized suddenly, that unbeknownst to either of us, we had booked our tickets 10 days apart.  I was beside myself pissed!  How could this have happened?  October 01 was just weeks away and, instead of getting on a plane to skip off to London for an adventure, I would have to spend another 10 days milling around Cape Cod while a gray, dismal Autumn set upon it.  Boyfriend urged me to stay positive and promised to meet me back in London the day my flight came in.  He left a few weeks later, leaving me and my tent and the gray weather some time to think.

During this time of introspection, a few things became clear to me.  The first was that lots of people had some pretty valid reasons why they didn’t want me to take this trip.  I was urged not to go by every childhood friend I’d ever had, my parents, my sister and countless others, which of course, only made me want to go more.  Then one night, I had a random conversation with a stranger, and for whatever reason, his words resonated and I had a moment of realization that indeed, this was not my trip.  It was boyfriends trip and I was just along for the ride, living somebody else’s dream.  This knowledge was further compounded when 2 days later, 3 days before my flight was set to depart, I received notification from boyfriend that he had missed his flight back to London and would not, indeed, be able to pick me up at the airport.  I would have to meet him in Amsterdam.  I clenched my teeth and painstakingly made the decision to cancel my trip.

All of a sudden the tent morphed into something sinister right before my eyes.  All of the long summer nights spent sweating my butt off within its walls, sharing a single mattress with a man that moved too much in his sleep, the relentless sweeping and sweeping and sweeping to try to get nature back on the outside of the tent…I resented it all.  I hated the musty odor, the way I had worked myself to the bone every day doing physical labor and the fact that I had not a penny to show for it, spent as it had been on this trip.  And now, it was getting colder and rainier outside every day and I was sitting here alone…cold, tired, aggravated and feeling like a failure, stewing in all of this anger, while boyfriend flitted across Europe with my portable cutlery set.  My perception of the situation transformed as my relationship to it did.  Suddenly, I saw no hopes and dreams manifesting, but a waste of 8 months of my life instead.

I share this story for two reasons.  Number one, because it was a pretty interesting time in my life and it’s always a funny story to share.  Number two, hindsight being 20/20 like it is, I have come to find so much value in this experience and I have realized how greatly it has helped to shape the woman I have become…particularly my rather warped sense of humor (tee hee).  Most importantly, it has really helped me to realize how much our perception influences our emotions and life situations.  When we can stare a difficult situation in the face and find a silver lining, we are giving ourselves an opportunity to create possibility for something positive.  In coaching, this is called a turnaround.  Alternately, if we get so entrenched in the negative aspects of a situation, we are allowing ourselves to fall prey to its perceived power over us.  In coaching, we call this a limiting belief, holding us back from the greater possibility that lies within the lesson.  In the story above, my relationship to the greater goal helped me drive myself forward and look beyond the hardships of the situation, however when that goal was removed, it was easy to let myself slip into dismal territory.

This happens so often.  Maybe all of a sudden the job you prepared for, interviewed for and were hired for, loses its luster 5 years down the road.  Perhaps its a relationship you are in or a way of thinking that has become engrained.  Possibly its a habit you deem bad.  Your wants and needs have changed and whatever you are doing, isn’t growing with you.  Do you sit back and stay where you are, knowing that perhaps its “easier” or it’s what’s expected of you, even though your relationship to the situation has changed, or do you see that you are being offered an opportunity to change?  Do you get lost in the routine and monotony, or do you find the silver lining?  What have you learned from this place which has provided tools for you moving forward?

So where are you holding yourself back?  Where are you perceiving the people, circumstances and situations that make up your life in a negative light?  Where are you getting stuck?  Name all of those things, and then spend some time searching for the possibility.  What have you learned from these perceived trials?  What might they potentially blossom into for you if you could try to see them in a more positive frame?  How have these things helped to motivate and inspire the current you?  How have they showed you who you are and what you want from life?

Each of us holds the key to our own happiness.  The pen is in your hand, so write the story that you want to live.  If what you’ve written so far isn’t making you feel happy or excited, crumple up the paper and start over again.  Change your perception and change the whole game.  You are the only one who can decide whether to see it as a tent or the Taj Mahal.

Note:  The above picture is not of my camp sight, but it definitely gives the basic idea.

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The Three Words That Changed My Life

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We were a few weeks into my Yoga Teacher Training, the whole lot of us shimmying around periodically on mats and blankets and bolsters in an effort to bring feeling back into our asses. It felt like the 10-hour long Saturdays, most of them spent sitting on the studio floor, were starting to wear my sit bones down to bloody stumps, but there was literally NOWHERE I would have rather been. I loved reading, listening and writing about this amazing, potentially 10,000 year old tradition. I loved deciphering the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras. I loved bending my body into shapes I didn’t know existed and challenging it in ways I never would have thought to do so. Most of all, I loved experimenting with all of the exercises that forced me to experience the mind, body, breath connection ingrained within us all. Learning about the ways that our bodies hold our past experiences and how this energy gets trapped within us…I was hooked. It was this night, sitting in this cozy studio among my fellow seekers, fully engrossed in listening to my teacher, Scott Feinberg, that he said the three words that I have revisited time and time again since, that truly changed my life. “Own Your Bigness!”

I had spent the past 15 years or so struggling to find my place, dealing with divorced parents, a tragic accident at a young age, a move to Florida, several abusive relationships, a bumpy ride with recreational drugs, and then the transitions into adulthood as I got married, bought a home and had two children. I struggled with motherhood, constantly questioning my right to these two amazing souls who had come to me.  I found myself quieter, more withdrawn and really fighting to maintain my self esteem.  I battled with depression on and off, and only began to remedy it when I found yoga. For whatever reason, as I sat here this Saturday, these three words struck a nerve in me like nothing else ever had. My bigness? Shit, did I have any of that left? I know I used to have bigness. I used to own the crap out of it! Where did it go and was it really, as he was suggesting, possible to get it back just by owning it? How does one go about owning their bigness and if there’s a course on it…where the hell do I sign up?

I began to use these words as my mantra, repeating them to myself over and over and over again every single time I was faced with a challenge. “Own it, Jillian. Own your bigness. Nobody else is going to own it for you.” At first it felt a little fake and forced, but the more I said it, the more it grew inside of me. It continued to blossom through the rest of my training until it was REALLY put to the test the day I taught my first real yoga class. I must have said that phrase in my head 400 million times as I stood outside the studio door trying to catch my breath and not faint in front of my students. I thought for certain I would throw up or lose my words or die of embarrassment as I crossed the threshold and took my place at the front of the class. Go figure, I actually survived that day and have gone on to enjoy teaching. Can you believe it? I couldn’t even fathom it at the time.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, these three words started a new pattern in my head…a new way of thinking, which has led to a whole new way of life for me. These three words have allowed me to continue on my path and have moved me in the direction I’m pointed now, life coaching with others to teach them how to break down their own thought patterns and create something new and fresh and beautiful, beyond their past experiences. These three words have taught me that being our own biggest cheerleader is the most important and heartfelt gift we can give, not only to ourselves, but to those around us. When we can learn to allow ourselves to own our own bigness…no, not just allow…INSIST that we do it, we are offering our best self to those around us as well. Suddenly our limitations start to fall away as we connect to this powerhouse of energy, love, possibility and bravery within us. The coolest part is that we ALL have it. It’s not limited to the super rich or mega popular or the extremely good looking. It’s only limited to us if we allow it to be.

The best part about all of this for me? Well, I’ve gotten to pair up my love of inspiring this excitement and truth in others with my love for the mind, body, breath connection. Working with the Chakra system (the main energy centers in the body where we store emotions and experiences), I have been able to use a 12-week program written by my teacher, Amy Lombardo, to help my clients navigate the areas in their own lives where they may not be owning their bigness.  I have watched transformation after beautiful transformation. I have witnessed intense releases of past hurts and that moment where something becomes fully clear within you. I have seen my clients grow beyond their own limitations and far exceed their own assumptions of what they were capable of. It has been beautiful, liberating, humbling and eye opening for me, and keeps me a student even as I progress on my path as a teacher. It seems that just at that moment where I’m starting to doubt my own bigness again, I watch something amazing happen and I am reminded of all that is possible when we believe in ourselves.  If you had asked me once what I thought I would be doing for a living, I never could have foreseen this, and I couldn’t ask for more.

So teach the class, stand up and tell that idea you think is too stupid to share, apply for the job you want, take a leap of faith, ask him/her out on a date…and BELIEVE in yourself. Own your bigness, because nobody else can do it for you.

 

Like me on Facebook by clicking HERE to keep up with upcoming events and specials. To find out more about what I do, visit my webpage by clicking HERE. You can also take my QUIZ HERE to find out how balanced your Chakra system is.

Life is Your Own Adventure

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Every morning that we wake up, we are given a unique opportunity to approach the gift of this day from a place of peace that resides deep within us.  In this place, there is no self-judgement, no shame, no comparing ourselves to others, and no apologies for the things which make us different.  This is a place where we are fully connected to what makes us the fascinating, ever-changing, talented, powerful beings that we are.  It sounds like a dream, right?  Well, however elusive this magical place feels to you at this given moment, it may help to hear that it is so much closer than you think.  Right at your fingertips, actually, and all you have to do is learn how to access it.

We are brought into this world relying on others.  Our families keep us safe, warm, fed, and clothed, as well as offering us boundaries and rules.  Our teachers, communities, and peers expand on these boundaries, educate us, and offer us endless opportunities to connect.  We realize at a very young age the need for human connection, for without it, it would be impossible for us to thrive.  These are all necessary steps on our journey through this life, however, a problem can begin to arise when we put so much emphasis on what others can do for us, that we forget what we are capable of doing for ourselves.  This absence of recognition in our own abilities can lead to an extremely distorted image of self-worth.  This is often where our paths begin to veer from all that we are destined to become, instead moving us to a place where we settle for wherever we are.  This is the place where dreams are lost and life becomes a monotonous routine of daily tasks and disappointments.  Not to say that we are unable to find happiness, but that our happiness loses the technicolor it once held for us.  We find ourselves at a crossroad, where we feel disconnected from ourselves, without quite being able to explain what it is that’s making us feel this way.  This is a time of choice.  This is where we are confronted with the opportunity to access this place of inner reserve.

To our left, we see our life the way it is.  The landscape is flat and drab, but predictable and comfortable as well.  To our right, we see a mountainous terrain full of possibility and excitement, but also riddled with deserts of fear and unknowing.  We know that if we take a step to the left, we are choosing to be content with our discontent, and allowing our dreams to slip further from our grasp to possibly be rediscovered later down the line.  If we take a step to the right, however, we realize there is no turning back, for once we have begun to embark on this path, we will never again feel content living in the familiar.  If we choose to go right, we are choosing a path of self-discovery; one that will surely be difficult and scary at times and which will definitely push us far outside of our comfort zones.  We are choosing to shed our limiting beliefs and go in search of the truth that is burning deep in the core of our being.  We fight back our doubts, and allow that nagging curiosity to win out…we take a step to the right.

As the next leg of our journey begins, our light instantly begins to burn brighter.  We start to look at ourselves from an angle of interest.  Our passion is reignited as we dig through the layers upon layers of conditioned responses that have accumulated throughout the years, only to discover little gems of our own personal wisdom buried within the debris.  We begin to realize that we have been seeking outside of ourselves for answers that we had all along.  We start to remember that we DO know who we are, that we DO know what’s best for us, and that we CAN trust ourselves.  We begin to play games with the friend we have found in our intuition, testing its knowledge time and time again, to find that the more we trust it, the more keen it becomes.  With this dawning sense of self, our confidence is boosted.  We realize that we have something to offer.  We start to understand that we are here for a reason and that life is not just some series of banal tasks that need to be accomplished.  We start to take back the power that we have given away over the years, and the connection that we once desired begins to change shape.  We no longer feel the desire to be connected from a place of lack or need, but rather we long to be connected to bask in other peoples light, to shine our own out, and to lift one another up as we each continue on our paths.  Our passion is in full flame, and nothing can stop us from moving full steam ahead.

Oftentimes when we reach this place, we may feel the need to scream out to others, so sure that we have found the key to happiness.  However, we must remember that life is about balance.  Although we have found our way to higher ground, there will still be valleys we must cross, this time equipped with new tools to help us battle the shadows we find, both in ourselves and in others.  This journey is never over.  Each time we climb to a new plateau, there is another opportunity to climb higher still.  Perhaps we even go back down a bit before we ascend further, hopefully lifting others up with us when it is time again to climb.  You may even find yourself stagnant in one place for a while, but the best part about the journey is that you can never unlearn the things that you have learned along the way, and so inevitably it will continue eventually.  The first step is simply to take the first step.

There are so many ways you can do this.  Join a group in your community with the similar interest of embarking on a journey to their highest self, buy a guided journal, go on YouTube to access guided visualizations, start a meditation practice, or hire a life coach who you trust to help you navigate the journey (I know a pretty good one…  AHEM).  Whatever it looks like for you, take the first step, and I know you will be amazed to watch all of the next steps start to fall into place.  Life’s an adventure.  Live it up.

Please check out my website HERE or find me on FACEBOOK .

Ignite Your Light, Change Your Life.

Every morning that we wake up, we are given a unique opportunity to approach the gift of this day from a place of peace that resides deep within us.  In this place, there is no self-judgement, no shame, no comparing ourselves to others, and no apologies for the things which make us different.  This is a place where we are fully connected to what makes us the fascinating, ever-changing, talented, powerful beings that we are.  It sounds like a dream, right?  Well, however elusive this magical place feels to you at this given moment, it may help to hear that it is so much closer than you think.  Right at your fingertips, actually, and all you have to do is learn how to access it.

We are brought into this world relying on others.  Our families keep us safe, warm, fed, and clothed, as well as offering us boundaries and rules.  Our teachers, communities, and peers expand on these boundaries, educate us, and offer us endless opportunities to connect.  We realize at a very young age the need for human connection, for without it, it would be impossible for us to thrive.  These are all necessary steps on our journey through this life, however, a problem can begin to arise when we put so much emphasis on what others can do for us, that we forget what we are capable of doing for ourselves.  This absence of recognition in our own abilities can lead to an extremely distorted image of self-worth.  This is often where our paths begin to veer from all that we are destined to become, instead moving us to a place where we settle for wherever we are.  This is the place where dreams are lost and life becomes a monotonous routine of daily tasks and disappointments.  Not to say that we are unable to find happiness, but that our happiness loses the technicolor it once held for us.  We find ourselves at a crossroad, where we feel disconnected from ourselves, without quite being able to explain what it is that’s making us feel this way.  This is a time of choice.  This is where we are confronted with the opportunity to access this place of inner reserve.

To our left, we see our life the way it is.  The landscape is flat and drab, but predictable and comfortable as well.  To our right, we see a mountainous terrain full of possibility and excitement, but also riddled with deserts of fear and unknowing.  We know that if we take a step to the left, we are choosing to be content with our discontent, and allowing our dreams to slip further from our grasp to possibly be rediscovered later down the line.  If we take a step to the right, however, we realize there is no turning back, for once we have begun to embark on this path, we will never again feel content living in the familiar.  If we choose to go right, we are choosing a path of self-discovery; one that will surely be difficult and scary at times and which will definitely push us far outside of our comfort zones.  We are choosing to shed our limiting beliefs and go in search of the truth that is burning deep in the core of our being.  We fight back our doubts, and allow that nagging curiosity to win out…we take a step to the right.

As the next leg of our journey begins, our light instantly begins to burn brighter.  We start to look at ourselves from an angle of interest.  Our passion is reignited as we dig through the layers upon layers of conditioned responses that have accumulated throughout the years, only to discover little gems of our own personal wisdom buried within the debris.  We begin to realize that we have been seeking outside of ourselves for answers that we had all along.  We start to remember that we DO know who we are, that we DO know what’s best for us, and that we CAN trust ourselves.  We begin to play games with the friend we have found in our intuition, testing its knowledge time and time again, to find that the more we trust it, the more keen it becomes.  With this dawning sense of self, our confidence is boosted.  We realize that we have something to offer.  We start to understand that we are here for a reason and that life is not just some series of banal tasks that need to be accomplished.  We start to take back the power that we have given away over the years, and the connection that we once desired begins to change shape.  We no longer feel the desire to be connected from a place of lack or need, but rather we long to be connected to bask in other peoples light, to shine our own out, and to lift one another up as we each continue on our paths.  Our passion is in full flame, and nothing can stop us from moving full steam ahead.

Oftentimes when we reach this place, we may feel the need to scream out to others, so sure that we have found the key to happiness.  However, we must remember that life is about balance.  Although we have found our way to higher ground, there will still be valleys we must cross, this time equipped with new tools to help us battle the shadows we find, both in ourselves and in others.  This journey is never over.  Each time we climb to a new plateau, there is another opportunity to climb higher still.  Perhaps we even go back down a bit before we ascend further, hopefully lifting others up with us when it is time again to climb.  You may even find yourself stagnant in one place for a while, but the best part about the journey is that you can never unlearn the things that you have learned along the way, and so inevitably it will continue eventually.  The first step is simply to take the first step.

There are so many ways you can do this.  Join a group in your community with the similar interest of embarking on a journey to their highest self, buy a guided journal, go on YouTube to access guided visualizations, start a meditation practice, or hire a life coach who you trust to help you navigate the journey (I know a pretty good one…  AHEM).  Whatever it looks like for you, take the first step, and I know you will be amazed to watch all of the next steps start to fall into place.  Life’s an adventure.  Live it up.

Please check out my website HERE or find me on FACEBOOK .