Embracing the Space in Between

A few days ago, I wrote about leaping toward our dreams – putting both feet in – not allowing ourselves to have a safety net. Tony Robbins calls this going to an island and burning the frickin’ boats to make sure we are all in! Well, as I sit here typing this post from an office completely void of any furniture (except for the card table that I am sitting at now, which shakes with each letter that I type) – I would have to say this: I have officially burned my boats.

photo by Andy Atkinsin

Yesterday, I watched the remnants of a dream that I carried with me and held onto for many years drive away. I sold all of my office furniture. My beautiful desk that I was once so happy to sit at every day is now in someone else’s office for them to sit at and enjoy every day. This wasn’t an ordinary desk – it was one that represented success to me. It represented making it – being there – living the dream. And for awhile, while sitting at this desk, I started to believe that it was working – my dreams were coming true. I had the beautiful desk, the amazing studio, the gift business that I started from scratch – all of the pieces that should’ve added up to a happy and fulfilling life, right?

The only problem was that I didn’t feel fulfilled. I was growing in a different direction, and I was hanging onto this life – this furniture – this vision because it was comfortable, safe, and known. But it no longer fed my soul, and that’s something that has taken me years to admit to and years to do something about. I knew that I needed to do something drastic – something that wouldn’t allow me to stay in this comfortable space. Something that would force me to get out there and start living this dream of mine where I am an inspirational writer and I pay all of my bills through my words.

An inspirational writer doesn’t need all of this space. An inspirational writer doesn’t need all of this furniture. We moved out of this studio almost two years ago and brought the furniture with us – into a much smaller space. We were still holding onto this dream – even though it was no longer our dream. And isn’t that true for so many of us? We visualize how we want our lives to be and then when we are actually living that life and it no longer feels right we are reluctant to let it go because we worked so hard to make it come true. I get that, I really do. But there comes a time in each of our lives where we have to ask ourselves some tough questions – is it more important to hang onto that dream or more important to give yourself permission to let it go – so you can be free to dream again?

I want to dream again. I don’t want to hang onto an old dream that no longer feels right simply because I spent years living it. So now, as I look around my office, I get to decide how I would like to fill my office. What makes me feel good? What will inspire me so that I can hopefully inspire others?

This is definitely not a comfortable feeling to look around and see so much space – so much emptiness. My first inclination was to run out and buy a new desk to fill this void. And then I wondered what would happen if I simply sat with this feeling of discomfort for a bit and really felt it and embraced it. What would happen if I paused for a moment during this journey from here to there? How different would I feel to take some time in this space in between these two worlds and just be?

So that is what I am doing today. I am sitting. I am allowing myself to be in this moment of letting one dream go because it was time to welcome a new dream. I am taking some time to say goodbye to yesterday’s dream. I am respecting it enough to give it this time for closure.

And then tomorrow (or whenever it feels right), I will begin the journey of re-creating my new life and filling my space with only that which feels right and makes my soul sing.

Even though this isn’t the easiest space to be in at the moment, I know that this change is exactly what I need to make room for so many wonderful new dreams. I feel so much lighter and so much more free.

I would love to hear your own story of how you are burning bridges in your own life!

Knowing that we are all in this together is so helpful. Your love and support help me continue to move forward toward this life that I know I am meant to live.

So much gratitude,

P.S. – I promise to take a picture of my new office once my new vision is complete. (And I can locate the camera.) ;)

You Can Be Confident Again

We are all born self confident. We are all born absolutely perfect.

But we don’t always feel that way, do we? This journey that we are on can be hard on our self confidence. For many of us, that self assured part of us became smaller and smaller with each traumatic life event (a break up, the loss of a job, an illness), or each negative word that was said, or every image that we saw of how we were supposed to look.

And one day, we looked in the mirror and weren’t even sure who was looking back. We wondered what happened to that confident part of ourselves – that person who played and laughed and was carefree and completely at ease. We wonder if it’s even possible to live this way again. We feel so worn down and burdened by all that has occurred in our lives. The weight of it all has taken its toll on us, and we’re so tired of living this way. We want to feel alive again, but we aren’t quite sure how to go about it.

If this sounds like you, you are definitely not alone. I am right there with you. I am in the process of reclaiming my own self confidence, and while it does take effort and awareness, it is possible to get it back. It is possible to uncover our beautiful souls and live the lives that we were born to live. I know that this is true because my life has changed dramatically for the better since I made a choice to start living again. My self confidence is growing by leaps and bounds every day!

If you’re ready to reclaim your own self confidence, you are in good hands! Two of my friends, Barrie Davenport from Live Bold and Bloom and Erin Falconer from Pick the Brain have created an e-course designed to help you get that inner spark back. I’m so excited to share it here with you! Please read on to learn more about this amazing course and also read my interview with Barrie!

  • How would you like to wake up each day feeling sure of yourself and happy with who you are?
  • How would it feel not to worry what other people think of you or to feel obligated to make others happy?
  • How would it feel to comfortably walk in a room and start a conversation with ease?
  • How would it feel to be the initiator, to make great plans, to really go for it in life?
  • How would it feel to be simply self-confident?

If you struggle with issues related to self-confidence, or if you’d just like to improve your level of self-confidence, this course is for you! During the 4 weeks, you will focus on one key area of your life where you lack self-confidence, as you learn specific techniques for rebuilding your confidence.

The Simple Self-Confidence course includes:

  •  Live webinars with Erin and Barrie as well as weekly guest experts in psychology and personal development.
  • Articles, videos, and podcasts to support you during your self-confidence work.
  • An interactive Forum where you can share with other participants.
  • A Simple Self-Confidence Workbook, plus over $300 worth of bonus materials.
  • You will come away from the course with specific techniques for improving self-confidence in all areas of your life, for the rest of your life.

I sat down with Barrie to go even deeper into why this course is so important right now for so many of us. Her answers are below:

Why do you think so many of us are lacking in self confidence? 

There are so many different reasons, but many issues with self-confidence are tied to early childhood. If we were harshly criticized, neglected, negatively compared to others, or abused in some way (emotionally or physically), one’s self-confidence and self-esteem can be profoundly impacted. When you begin your early years believing you aren’t good enough in some way, you have many years to reinforce a habit of negative beliefs and feelings about yourself.

Also low self-confidence can be tied to appearance. We receive so many messages from society about acceptable standards of physical beauty. These standards are unrealistic for the vast majority of people, but we are bombarded with images telling us otherwise.

There are situational reasons for low self-confidence that can impact a specific area of your life — like losing a job, failing at a relationship, performing poorly in school, etc.

And some people have personality types that can make one vulnerable to low self-confidence.

In general, we all want to be loved and accepted, and low self-confidence is tied to the fear that our perceived flaws will make us less lovable and not worthy.

Can you talk about a time in your life where you were lacking in self confidence and what you did to build it up again?

The most recent time was a few years ago when my oldest child left home, and I was faced with what to do with my career. I now had more time to pursue my career in public relations, after working sporadically while my children were young. But I could not get excited about PR anymore. I had a huge internal resistance to gearing up my career again in that field.

However, I felt I had no other real options and that I was too old to start over. I was intimidated by technology and felt I was woefully behind in my skills in this area. I really felt stuck and inadequate. But something inside kept pushing me to investigate my options. I did a lot of research and self-work, and I kept having counseling and coaching appear as good career options for me. I finally took a leap of faith and enrolled in school to get certified as a coach. It was a perfect fit for me, and my passion for the work boosted my self-confidence enormously. When you find something you love, something that comes naturally to you, self-confidence follows organically!

Please share with us a little bit about your backgrounds with helping others empower themselves to be confident and secure and live their best lives.

As I mentioned, I am a personal and career coach and work with clients regularly on these issues. Part of my training as a coach included learning how to help people draw out their own inner wisdom so that they have the self-awareness that leads to self-confidence. I worked in public relations for over 25 years helping clients present themselves in the best possible light, which often included training them through self-confidence issues. I also help people with many topics related to self-confidence on my personal development blog Live Bold and Bloom. My partner for the course, Erin Falconer, is the editor-in-chief for one of the biggest personal development blogs on the internet, Pick the Brain. She is the daughter of a psychiatrist and author, so she comes by her awareness of self-improvement naturally!

Would you like to give us one nugget of wisdom that you offer from the course – a small taste of the type of goodies it’s packed with?

Self-confidence can be learned with awareness and practice. You can begin by pinpointing the area or areas where you lack self-confidence, ask yourself why you feel weak in this area, and begin to unwind yourself from the limiting beliefs that you reinforcing daily in your brain. Negative thinking becomes a habit, and once you begin a new thinking habit, you can kickstart self-confidence. In the course, we teach you how to do this work of dissecting your beliefs and retraining your brain. You start small, with one area of weakness at a time.

What is the biggest takeaway that you hope someone will keep with them after completing your e-course?

You don’t have to suffer with low self-confidence. There are specific skills you can learn and practice to change the way you act and the way you feel about yourself. Perhaps you had legitimate reasons for feeling low self-confidence at one time, but that doesn’t have to define you forever. Change is always possible, and participants will walk away with the skills to make that change.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

We offered a free webinar last night on the Mind/Body Connection and Self-Confidence. We’ve put a recording of the webinar at the bottom of the home page for the course.

Enrollment opens today, and if you sign up for the course before Wednesday, 2/29, you will receive 50% off! Click here to learn more about the course and to sign up!

Let’s all make ourselves a priority. Let’s all make a choice to become self confident again. Let’s all remember that we are worthy of that and so much more. Let’s take that first step to reclaiming our true spirit!

It’s Okay to Feel Afraid

Oftentimes, when we take a leap and step into the life that we feel we are meant to live, we feel afraid and unsure and unsettled.

We wonder if we have made the right choice. We look around us, and it seems that everyone else is confident and entirely sure of themselves and their choices. And this causes us to feel alone and isolated in our frightened state of mind. We worry that something must be wrong with us – why can’t we just take the leap, be okay with it, and get on with our lives?

But I have a secret to share: we’re all afraid. This newness that we are feeling right now is completely normal. These jitters are absolutely part of our stepping into who were truly are.

We are babies in this new world, so it makes perfect sense that we don’t know our way right from the start. We are learning and growing, but all the while we know that this is exactly where we need to be – exactly where we long to be. And we are so brave to have even gotten this far.

We should definitely applaud ourselves for that. So many others live their entire lives on the edge of life – looking out over the edge, wanting so desperately to leap into their dream life, but quickly step back into the known. They feel the jitters and the fear, and they cower to it. But we feel the jitters and the fear, and we leap anyway! We leap in spite of it. We are no longer willing to let this frightened part of ourselves lead the way. We are no longer willing to give our power away to the land of What ifs and What may happens and What could go wrongs. Oh no, we are done playing that game. We have now entered the land where we have stepped into our true power. We know the way, and we are soaring into what we knew we could be – what we knew we would be – what we knew we already were.

Sure we are afraid. So what? We were afraid before we took the leap, too, right? But there is a big difference between then and now: we are no longer looking out over the edge. We are no longer looking at our dream life from a distance. We are IN IT. We are LIVING IT. We are there!

So it’s perfectly okay to feel afraid. Let’s embrace our fears! Let’s sit with them and listen to them for awhile. They will probably tell you that they are simply unsure about this new life. They will want to protect you from getting hurt or feeling uncomfortable or not knowing what to do – how to be – how to live in this newness. And that’s okay. Your soul has led you to this point, and your soul definitely knows the way through this uncertainty. Let your fear know this – hold its hand – and sit there for awhile. And then, move forward together into your beautiful life that is right there waiting for you.

We are all on this journey together. And there are moments within each of our lives where we took that leap of faith and were completely enveloped with fear. However, we all landed on our feet, didn’t we? We are all here right now. And we are all okay. So when I start to feel extra fearful, I remember that, which is very comforting. We are never given more than we can handle. And we have all been afraid when we experienced something new and soared toward our dreams. And being afraid is a huge part of this process. It’s part of being human and truthful and vulnerable. And aren’t those beautiful things to be?

 

 

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Ready for a Life Divorce?

I am getting a divorce. It’s true.

However, I’m not divorcing my husband. I adore that man, and we will definitely spend all of eternity together loving each other.

This divorce is so much bigger than that. I am divorcing my life.

I have felt an unsettling deep inside of me for quite awhile now. I have felt that the life that I live and the life that I want to live are not one in the same. And so, I’ve been taking little steps for the past year to bring my actual life and my dream life closer together. And I’ve been making progress – slowly but surely. I started Soul Speak, I am almost finished with my book, I have taken steps to let go of my gift company…and yet, I’m still feeling disconnected from my life.

The other day, I imagined that I floated above my life and looked at it from a perspective that wasn’t so attached – so “in it.” (I definitely recommend this technique for any of you who are also looking for some clarity in your own lives.) It was immensely helpful – and while it made me sad to see how far I still was from living a life that truly filled me up and brought me complete joy, I received beautiful guidance that helped me see exactly what I needed to do to make it so.

I realized in that moment how hard it can be to break old habits. This comfort zone of mine is clinging so tightly that it’s sometimes hard to breathe. For the last year, I have been making great strides in reaching for my dreams. My life right now is completely different than it was a year ago, or even several months ago. I am pushing myself and stretching and growing and learning and loving each moment that I am doing these things. However, I was watching Oprah interview Tony Robbins last night, and he said something that really struck a nerve with me: We have to burn the boats once we get to the island. Burn the boats! When we commit to something, we have to fully commit. Not have one foot out the door – ready to run if things don’t work out. We have to cut all strings that lead to our safety net. We must, or we will never be able to give our dream a real shot.

And in that moment I realized that I hadn’t burned the boats. I am on the island, but I have my boat’s motor on, ready to take me off of it at the first sight of danger. Until now, I wasn’t willing to fully commit. I wasn’t ready to jump in with both feet. And so it’s time to burn the boats, take that leap, and divorce my life.

What does this mean, anyway? It means that I am leaving my life as I know it behind. I am starting fresh and consciously creating the life that I know I was meant to live. I have the choice and the power to be happy and fulfilled, and I have been letting fear and “the known” trump that. Well no more!

If you also feel that your life isn’t a representation of who you feel you truly are, please join me on this journey! (A disclaimer: I know that a life divorce isn’t for everyone. I know that this is pretty drastic. I know that this might seem a little “out there.” However, I also know that for so many of us (myself included), living the way we are is no longer an option. We are dying little grey deaths every day that we don’t put our dreams first. I have been experiencing these little deaths for years now, and I am at the point where I want to be happy. I am at the point where something this drastic has to happen. And I am ready to make these drastic changes. If you are, too, please read on to see what I have in mind.)

How to divorce your life:

  • Create a vision for what your ideal life looks like. How will you spend your days? How will you make a living? Who will you spend time with? What do your surroundings look like? Really take some time with this exercise. Sit with it. Sleep on it. Let it simmer inside you. And if you aren’t sure what you want, that’s okay, too. You probably know what you don’t want, so start with the opposite of that. :)
  • Go through your life moment by moment, person by person, item by item. Ask yourself (honestly and mindfully) if each one feeds your soul or depletes your soul. This is your barometer from now on. If you find that your job depletes your soul, go back to your vision and find out what would feed it. And then jump both feet into that dream and don’t look back. If you surround yourself with friends who aren’t feeding your soul, create a vision for the types of friends you would like to be supported by. And take action. If your furniture or household items or clothes no longer feed you, it’s time to get rid of them and replace them with things that do make you feel good.
  • Take drastic action to make this vision become reality. No excuses. Both feet in. No safety net. Just jump. The universe will always catch you when you are living your truth and your purpose. I know that for sure.

Want an example of how this will work? Here’s the abbreviated version of what I have come up with (so far):

In my ideal life, I am happily married and a sweet mama to fuzzy kids. I am supported by friends who feed my soul. Okay, thankfully those are already in my life, so I will move onto the next parts of my life.

Vision: I am a soulful writer/inspirer who makes a living this way.
Current Reality: Well, this vision is becoming more and more real – but I’m still living partly off of the money from my gift business. So I’m going to sell the business and cut those strings completely.

Vision: I live a calm, balanced, grounded life.
Current Reality: This is definitely just in the vision category now, but I will spend some more time getting clear about how I can incorporate this calmness into my life.

Vision: I take care of myself – my body, my heart, my mind. I exercise, I take one day off per week, I rest when needed throughout the day. I stop pushing myself so hard.
Current Reality: Not at all. I now know that I definitely need to focus on myself – filling up my own cup. I’ll spend some time getting clear about how this will show up in my life.

Vision: I live in a beautiful space that fills me up each time I enter it.
Current Reality: Not so much, which is why I am getting rid of almost everything that I own and starting over. If it doesn’t make me feel wonderful, it’s gone. I’m no longer okay with being weighed down by stuff that I’ve kept for every reason under the sun except for the right one: because I love it.

Starting a new life isn’t something that I take lightly. This is a BIG deal. And it’s also not something that we think about for a few minutes, journal about, and then go about our day. It’s so much bigger than that. It’s a complete change to how we live our lives. It’s a complete overhaul – taking out everything that isn’t working and replacing it with what will. It’s a way of living – consciously creating our existence.

We ALL deserve happiness. We ALL deserve to live a life filled with meaning, love, hope, and joy. We ALL deserve to make our dreams reality. We really do.

If your life is far from this ideal, please join me in divorcing it and consciously creating a fresh start. You are worth it – you really are. Let’s support each other along the way – this takes guts and strength. So, the more love energy we can give each other, the better!

 

 

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Showing Up, Opening Up, and Growing Up

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time to write a post about gratitude!
You can read my previous posts by clicking here.

Today is a very special day for me: it’s my one-year blogiversary!

When I created Soul Speak, I didn’t have a clear vision in mind. I only knew that there was a voice deep within me that wanted to speak. I trusted that the clarity would come. I had faith that each day when I sat down to write, words would pour out of me – words that I needed to hear and hopefully that others would benefit from as well. I took a leap of faith that there were others out there who were ready to open their hearts and share this journey with me.

And I am so grateful that I stayed on course and opened myself up to this experience. I truly have found myself through these posts, through the connections that I have made with each of you here, and through tapping into what was always within me. All I needed to do was slow down and listen to that voice. That’s all any of us needs to do.

But sometimes it’s not that easy, right? Sometimes there are days when I feel that sitting still for five minutes is too long – how can I afford to do that, I often ask myself. How is that catching up with life when I feel that I am constantly racing to keep up with it?

And I would guess that you feel this way, too.

And yet, here we are. You know why? Because deep down we know how important it is to be here – to fill up our soul with this love energy – to pass it along to each other. We know that if we weren’t in this space, we wouldn’t be as full – we wouldn’t be able to center ourselves. We wouldn’t be as clear about our purpose or our life plans. We wouldn’t remember why we are here.

And so, on this special day, I am blessed to share it with you.

Without each of you, my words would be another journal entry – for my eyes only. Without each of you, this blog would be stale and one sided – instead of the rich, heartfelt community that it has become. Together, we have made it a place to come to when we are looking for inspiration, warmth, and inner wisdom. We give that to each other simply by being here.

I truly am forever grateful to each and every one of you for being here. I am grateful that I am still here. I am grateful for how Soul Speak has changed my life forever. I am grateful that we are all on this journey together.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

This past year has shown me that there is such power in showing up, opening up, and growing up. When we can do that day after day, our souls become alive and our hearts fill up. I can’t even imagine what the next year will bring, but if this past year is any indication, let’s all buckle ourselves in and get ready to soar!

 

 

P.S. – You all have been amazing in promoting our Soulful Journals just because – but now we’re going to pay you for it through our new affiliate program! Be sure to sign up and start getting paid for your warm fuzzies! :) http://www.soulfuljournals.com/affiliateprogram.htm