What I’m sharing with you today feels pretty scary, but I’m doing it anyway. (Read on, and you’ll find out why.)
With all the growth that spring offers, over the past month or so I’ve felt an unshakable urge to make significant changes in my life.
So, for April’s full moon, I decided it was time to commit. But I knew that creating change for myself wouldn’t come from trying to figure it out in my head. I needed to connect with a larger force.
I decided to do a fire ceremony I had learned while working with a shaman many years ago.
I began by reflecting on what needed releasing to move forward.
After some reflection, the answer became clear. I was ready to get rid of any and all traces of approaching my life from Struggle, Scarcity, and feeling Inept. (Ok, that’s hard for me to admit, but I really want to share that with you!)
The words galvanized me.
I created a small bundle made from twigs, leaves, words, and twine that represented Struggle, Scarcity, and Ineptitude—the three things I was ready to release for good. To burn away these limits and clear space for change, I would offer this bundle to the fire.
When darkness fell I built the fire, slowly, thoughtfully meditating on what I was about to do. Because throwing things into the fire is serious business.
As the fire began to blaze, I called the four directions, the heavens and the earth, and my ancestors to be there with me. I danced around the fire, letting Struggle, Scarcity, and Ineptitude build within my being.
It was intense and there were tears—I kid you not. And when I couldn’t bear to hold onto them one second longer, I cast my bundle into the fire.
Whoosh—in a flash it was consumed by flames!
Like magic, I instantly felt Ease, Abundance, and Capability flow into every part of me.
I danced around the fire again—this time with joy! Everything looked incredibly appealing through a lens of Ease, Abundance, and Capability.
If you’re still with me, you might be wondering how I know this change was real.
Life offers tests.
Recently, I was invited to do a gig that I’m really good at, but that doesn’t align with my purpose.
For a few days, I considered saying yes.
Because even though this gig has always left me exhausted, I thought to myself, Just do it… make things easy for them... receive payment with a smile.
After dragging my feet for a few days, it hit me: Saying yes would come from a place of Struggle, Scarcity, and feeling Inept.
And that was the old me.
The new me chooses differently. And my answer became clear.
Saying no felt so uncomfortable. Risky. Scary. Selfish. But I knew it was the right thing to do.
As I sat down to write the “no thank you” email, my chest was tight and heavy. I re-wrote it half a dozen times. Finally I just said it straight out: Thank you for asking, but I’m unavailable. And, I’ve refocused my business and will be unavailable for this gig going forward. I wish you all the best.
Even though I knew it was the right choice, I hovered over the send button for what seemed like forever, agonizing over how this would impact them.
Finally, I pressed Send.
And an amazing thing happened.
The tight and heavy feeling transformed to open and light. By acting from Ease, Abundance, and Capability, I felt free and had a surge of energy.
No Struggle. Just commitment to my path.
I did a little happy dance in my office and leaned into the sensation of expansion, and saying yes to those things that will enable me to have the bigger impact I’m meant for.
Setting new boundaries and taking those first steps into the new version of me was scary. But I survived. And by choosing my path of Ease, Abundance, and Capability, new doors have opened and I’m loving every moment of it.
If you think about how you want this year to be different, your initial answers might read like a version of the American dream: get a better job, make more money, travel, get serious about exercise…
But is that what you really want — or what you’ve been conditioned to say? Chances are, those are standard answers given without much thought.
But if you're highly sensitive introvert, you’re not a standard person, and you don't thrive on standard anything.
You tend to be think deeply, analyze more, and (if given the time) will dig to discover your own unique answer.
One way to discover a truer answer is by checking in with your body. Your mind can fool you at times, but your body rarely lies.
Allow yourself to get quiet, relax, and close your eyes. Then pose the question, How do I want this year to be different?
Let yourself be more in your body than in your head. Tune into how it feels, just observe without thinking too much.
Gently notice what’s going on in your body: sensations, light, sound, color, words, images — anything. How does your body answer that question?
If you don’t get any information, that’s okay. This may be an unfamiliar way to communicate with yourself and will take some practice. I promise you, it’s well worth the time and effort to become attuned and to listen more carefully to your intuition.
How might your life be different if you stepped more fully into your authentic self? What does your wise self — that quiet voice within — have to say?
Jenn Granneman tells a story in The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World about when she was in eighth grade and found a T-shirt that said “Be as you are.”
Even though it was a size too small and her middle school friends couldn’t understand why she wore it, her intuition told her there was something about that message that held the secret to life.
Be as you are. Not who others want you to be. Not who you think you should be. Not who you’ll be when you finish your novel, receive that certificate, lose 10 pounds, move to a better part of the country, or find your true love.
Be as you are. Here and now. In this moment. In this lifetime.
How might your life be different if this was the year that you dug deep and found your truest self?
This week in the LOVE NOTE I sent out to my clients I shared a quote which resonated deeply with me, and I want to share it with you, too.
For some of us, it's hard to "be as we are" because we're out of practice being our authentic selves. If this is you, read on. This quote is from Emily McDowell, founder of the Emily McDowell Studio.
"Finding yourself" is not really how it works. You aren't a ten-dollar bill in last winter's coat pocket. You are also not lost.
I love this because it's a reminder that the new house, job, exercise routine, college degree — anything external — is not going to help you find happiness or be your best self.
Happiness comes from inside; it comes from “returning to yourself… and remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.”
What if you hold the key to what you want — and you just need some help with the lock?
What if accepting your deepest and truest sense of self and appreciating all that you are was the important work of this year?
If you allowed yourself to believe that you can uncover your true self under all the cultural conditioning and false messages you've received, and accept that what you find is already good enough, what would that look like?
What would it feel like to give your authentic self unconditional love?
Are you ready to step into your best self?
If you're ready to let go of fear, worry, and limiting beliefs, and clarify your passions and dreams, I encourage you to join me and a small group of highly sensitive women for my individualized coaching program, REDISCOVER YOUR BEST SELF.
This can be your year to:
+ Get rid of anxiety, fear, & worry
+ Release limiting beliefs and unlock your true potential
+ Access a deep sense of self-worth
+ End the feeling of being 'different' with women who totally get you
+ Begin to use your inner wisdom
+ Treat your High Sensitivity as a strength
Curious how this could work for you? Schedule a free consult with me. We'll hop on the phone to see where you're at and where you want to be at the end the year. I'll offer you a personal plan for moving forward, and we'll see if REDISCOVER YOUR BEST SELF is a match — or not. Either way you'll have a plan to keep you going in the right direction.
There are spaces for just 10 women for this program and it will go out to a much wider audience on Monday, so I encourage you to take action now and find out if this is a fit for you.
With warmth and love,
P.S. Ready to say goodbye to fear and worry in 2019? Click below to schedule a time to talk. We'll see what's true for you, where you want to be, get you a plan for moving forward, and see if REDISCOVER YOUR BEST SELF is the right next step.
Introverts have it tough in this society. We’re outnumbered 3 to 1 by extroverts and the busy social pace that’s expected is a big ol’ drain for those of us who prefer to recharge in solitude. While recent studies show that there are several types of introverts, and we’ve known for a long time that there’s a spectrum of intensity, there are some general rules of thumb that have worked exceptionally well for me and my introverted clients.
I took my first Myers-Briggs Assessment when I was 15 and learned the language for what I’d always known in my heart: I love being with people, especially one on one, AND in order to recoup my energy, I need to be alone. Decades later, I can still be swayed by the extroverted culture.
For many years I hosted a big Thanksgiving dinner, inviting everyone from my ex-husband and his mom to stray international college students, but I finally realized that the aftermath of exhaustion was bigger than my joy for it. I had to admit that I’m not the kind of person who can pull off that kind of social event—unless I’m willing to spend three days in the fetal position afterward—and that was hard. I felt like a failure.
It’s so easy for self-doubt to creep in when we feel we’re falling short of the expectations placed on us as women—especially since we are usually the glue, the connectors, of the family. If we’re honest we sometimes want to say, “No, I just can’t take on that volunteer opportunity. I need some time to hole up in my bed and read a novel." Or how about, “Thanks for inviting all the parents to stay and chat during the birthday party, but I can’t think of anything worse than trying to have a conversation while a dozen 8-year-olds with noisemakers run around.” That kind of honesty is not usually well-received and is seen as selfish.
No matter what we say to protect our need to keep from being totally drained, the message we get back is often “you are not enough”. Or, conversely, we do what is expected at the expense of our own well-being, pushing ourselves too far until we’re running on empty, and in a perpetual state of overwhelm.
We can choose to set ourselves up for success though. It’s not complicated, but it is hard. It means actually putting ourselves first. That’s not something we’re accustomed to doing. If you’re willing to take a crack at it, here’s what I’ve learned.
1. Know yourself and your needs.
No one else can tell you how much alone time you need or how much stimulation is going to fry your nerves. You need to get to know yourself and how you function best. Whether that means actively monitoring the number of evening commitments, the frequency of extended family gatherings, or the number of minutes of meditation to maintain balanced energy, only you know what makes you tick—and what ticks you off.
2. Accept yourself. You are worthy.
Having different needs can make us question whether we are worthy or if we have value in this world. We question whether we are good enough, wanted, and whether what we offer is needed. But your acceptance and worth cannot come from anyone or anything outside of you. It has to come from within. You have to decide that you are worthy. Just as you are, right now in this moment—you are enough. It’s time to understand your own worth and value.
3. State your needs without shame or blame.
It’s essential to state your needs without being ashamed. There’s no right or wrong in the human needs department, there’s only what is. Blaming ourselves for having different needs helps no one. On the other side of things, you must refrain from shaming and blaming your partner, kids, or boss for situations that overtax you. If the kids are playing a loud game and it’s too much, just say, Great game! Take it to the backyard and you can yell as loud as you want. No need to belittle them for their volume level. If your partner wants you to attend a huge company event with them, state what kind of respite you’ll need to have the energy for it—or tell them you would rather spend time together one on one. Don’t go on a rant, just state what you need and find a solution together.
4. Acknowledge that in order to be the best version of yourself you must meet your own needs first.
When we accept that we are worthy of having our needs met and that we’re responsible for making that happen, we open up space to really show up for the people and things that are important to us. When we end a friendship that’s been draining us, we have more energy to be an attentive partner. Or when we set a limit on attending end of the day meetings at work, we can show up more fully for dinner with the family. When you take your needs seriously, instead of feeling selfish, you actually grant yourself and your beloveds the gift of being your best self.
5. Raise your baseline.
We all have an emotional baseline where we normally reside. There are occasional short periods of bliss that take us way up to a peak above that line and sad events or moods that take us far below our norm, but we always come back to the baseline. Once we make it a habit to honor our needs and make having a full cup the rule rather than the exception, we raise the level of our everyday state of being. If you’ve been functioning under less-than-ideal circumstances for years, it will feel amazing to raise this up. It’s like a new lease on life to have your baseline be a place of contentment and calm serenity.
Last year instead of hosting a big Thanksgiving celebration, I chose to spend time at a cabin in the woods with my daughters. While I was a little sad not to provide a place for everyone to have dinner, it was far outweighed by the joy of recharging with a book by the fire, cooking with my kids, and long walks in the forest. It met our needs perfectly—and the world didn't fall apart because I wasn't hosting.
I hope these ideas are helpful for you!
For more tips follow me on Instagram. @positivepathcoaching
With warmth and love,