Why Figuring Out The “WHY?” Behind Gratitude Will Amplify Your Joy
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Today’s blog is short & sweet…
Over the years I’ve incorporated different types of rituals into my mornings. Sometimes I’ll do them right when I wake up and other times on my walk. This morning I reflected on how my rituals have changed over the years as I have evolved through life’s experiences and lessons.
A few of my standby’s include:
- Energy work (aka: sending good vibes and thoughts to others and myself)
This week, in lieu of the upcoming holiday in the United States, the power of gratitude has taken center stage within my morning routine and it got me thinking…
Why am I not incorporating this tool throughout the day beyond my 15 minutes of morning ritual time…especially when overwhelmed or triggered throughout the day?
As often happens, the synchronicity of the right message or messenger comes along exactly when you need it.
Recently, I happened to watch one of Danielle LaPorte’s short videos on Instagram. In it, she dives into the “why” behind your gratitude list. Super simple and all you have to do is add a “because” at the end of each item.
The result? For me personally, it’s a deeper sense of appreciation and an elevated experience of joy.
For example, this was a typical morning list for me…
I am grateful for all the love in my life from loved ones.
I am grateful for my dog.
I am grateful for my cozy bed.
I am grateful for fresh water and food in the fridge.
I am grateful for my gifts.
I am grateful for my experiences thus far in life.
I am grateful for the sunrise.
And this is what it’s evolved into…
I am grateful for all the love in my life from loved ones…because love is everything… without it nothing else really matters.
I am grateful for my dog… because she creates more happiness in my home, gets me going in the morning, and is soft and cuddly.
I am grateful for my cozy bed… because it allows me to have a restful sleep.
I am grateful for fresh water and food in the fridge… because it helps my body move and feel good each day.
I am grateful for my gifts… because they allow me to fulfill my purpose in this lifetime.
I am grateful for my experiences thus far in life… because they have been my greatest lessons and the doorways into learning to create more peace in my life.
I am grateful for the sunrise… because it’s simply beautiful and signifies another opportunity for me to fully engage in life.
This year, as you go through your gratitude list in the quiet space of your mind or at the table with friends or family, try this simple twist on the old standby. Pay attention to how widening your sense of awe at life’s abundance moves you to a deeper level of intimacy with yourself and others.
And l am grateful for you BECAUSE you provide a space for me to share my own experiences, struggles, joy, and lessons… and I thank you for that.
Why Empathy Requires Courage
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
1.the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
At a recent get together, a group of people were discussing which politician had the most of it. While I know enough to know that I don’t know enough about politics to engage in a debate, I do know a bit about empathy. And it got me thinking….
For those of you who are so good at putting yourself in the shoes of others, anticipating others’ needs, and picking up on the subtleties of someone’s energy…does empathy build your energy or drain it?
(P.S. Often times the words sympathy, empathy, and compassion are thrown into one bucket which seems to be the case with my writing today, yet to be clear there are differences…. Here’s a link to that explains all of this quite well.)
Back to empathy. We all have access to it and for some, being a full-blown empath can lead to extreme forms of people-pleasing and as a result full blown burnout. It’s an admirable trait to possess and can also be a double-edge sword especially if you’re an HSP (highly sensitive person… and you guessed it. here’s the quiz to see if you are.)
Here’s an example:
“I’m so nice to you… I anticipate what you need and go above and beyond to make you happy…I can’t believe you did XYZ or didn’t reciprocate…. So I am going to tell you how I feel… OMG, I just told you how I felt and now I can feel your sadness and hurt as you hear my words so now I am feeling terrible that I stood up for myself because I hurt you…. Why am I so sensitive, empathetic, AND demanding????? I should just lock myself in a cave and stay away from people!”
The thing is, we can’t be selective with empathy. It’s something you decide to wholeheartedly embrace without expectations… and even more so without discrimination.
It’s easy to have empathy walking through the park and seeing the gentleman waking up in his sleeping bag with his belongings enclosed in a single garbage bag. For a moment (and if you’re an empath, most likely the rest of the day) you actually feel what it might feel like to sleep on the hard wood without the safety of a roof over your head, a bathroom to use, or fresh water to drink.
But doesn’t lack of empathy at times feel justified in situations that trigger you?
The family member who pushes your buttons… who wants to practice empathy in those moments?!
The boss whose behavior is the topic of titillating happy hour conversations… why ruin a good thing?
The jerk who cut you off in traffic… empathy would completely ruin the sweet release of blowing the horn (or worse!)
In fact, isn’t it more enticing to linger in the absence of empathy most often when it’s the people closest to us? Think about it. and please tell me I’m not alone…but there’s this satisfying little nugget of pleasure to stay immersed in the essence of blame and judgment upon another when you are hurt? Who wants to try and feel what the person who just hurt you is feeling? It’s much easier and satisfying in the short term to dig the heels in and believe our unique experience is the only one playing out.
Yet the beautiful thing is, empathy is an invitation to dive into a deeper and more fulfilling way of being and a direct route back to source, the divine, God, our highest selves.
Empathy in its fullest sense is not for the faint of heart. It’s choosing to literally step into another person’s shoes and truly feel the feelings they are experiencing regardless of how hard we want to hold on to our version, our story, our experience, our assumptions, and our convictions of being right.
As always, the perfect teachers and messages come at the perfect time. This week while on a walk, I dove into module 2 of one of Eckhart Tolle’s online programs. In this moment, I was feeling little desire to feel or show empathy towards someone, but as I tuned into his teachings and by the end of my walk, I was beyond thankful for his wisdom.
In a nutshell, let me explain what I learned from him this week…
Basically, our egos love our “enemies” (or in a lighter sense, those who trigger us) as they are the energy that fuels the flame of separateness. Without our enemies, what becomes of our ego? Blaming our parents, boss, siblings or partner is like nectar for the ego’s hunger and once our “enemies” have been eradicated, what is left? In other words, creating a divide between yourself and empathy only allows for your ego to be strengthened and for you to continue to experience isolation.
I was so grateful for that moment of insight. Aren’t we all looking for ways in which to feel better each day in the simple daily exchanges with others? Don’t we all just want to feel good?
It was such a moment for me to realize that the people in my life I had struggled with were simply using me to strengthen their ego…and that I was doing the same with them. In fact, we both had been in service to one another’s ego by keeping “the story” alive.
Yet when the story is released, when the walls come down, and when empathy steps in… the ego quiets down. I don’t believe it goes away (except of course with Eckhart!) but that is okay.
And this is why I believe it takes courage to practice true empathy. It takes courage to say “no more” to familiar patterns that make you “right”… to release the desire to keep others in servitude to your ego… and to ultimately rise above the “stuff” and honor another person’s unique journey.
So I have a few questions for all of us to ponder this week:
- Who are the people in your world who possess the ability to set you off, trigger, and disappoint you?
- Who would you be without these reactions?
- What would it feel like to practice empathy with these people? How would your own experience change? How would the relationship change?
The thing is, when we choose to step into empathy with those who trigger us the most, it softens the edges of the patterns and imprints we cling to and which continue to mess with our joy if left untended.
My final question to you is #4:
What is your personal definition of empathy?
For me, it is “courageously and lovingly stepping into a softer version of myself and THEN into someone else’s shoes regardless of their behavior towards me.” In other words, being a grown-up!
Do I have to agree with their behavior? No.
But wouldn’t you agree suffering decreases greatly when you choose empathy over blame? And at the end of the day really aren’t other people’s choices and behavior their own business?
Deep stuff for a Sunday but stuff that has lingered in my heart and mind for a while now. Thanks for reading.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this week’s topic. mojomeg.com
See you next week,
Why Releasing Expectations Creates More Calm
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
As I sat on the flight for a work trip, I decided to write a blog about this idea of expectations causing chaos. You might guess this was born out of, like so many of my blogs, personal experience. If so, you are correct!
In fact, three specifics situations have not only sparked the idea for today’s edition, but they have put my “Elegant Evelyn” to the test! I must say Frantic Franny swept in a few times about to wreak havoc but fortunately, EE calmed her down… somewhat!
Here’s the scoop…
Rude woman at restaurant bar area refusing to move down a chair with her dinner date so my parents could sit down.
May I ask who says no to this?! Especially to people who are older? I’ve never refused to move and, in my memory, no one has ever not accommodated it as well.
And what on earth was up with the gentleman with her? He was clearly embarrassed as he looked down at his shoes while she spoke to us… but not enough to step up.
I’ll admit it… this really triggered me. You just don’t mess with my parents nor anyone I love!
But I had a choice. I could let FF (Frantic Franny) or EE (Elegant Evelyn) handle things.
Fortunately, I had the luxury of a few seconds of confusion which allowed me to gather myself and say “Ok” and walk away. It’s didn’t hurt to have my mother staring at me while she telepathically told me to “let it go!”
The thing is… I was expecting them to react the way I would. And yes, the flame was fanned due to the fact my parents were with me and were tired and really wanted a seat… but thanks to my mother and EE, not only did I not react, but I LET IT GO. It’s not as if I would have in the past started yelling or created a scene but instead, it would have put a damper on my evening. I would have sat there ruminating in my head about how rude they were and expending my energy and joy on what I could not control… all the while missing out on enjoying my company, the food, and the overall beautiful atmosphere and experience.
Now, this may seem like a silly, small, and ridiculous thing to even discuss but it’s not. The “small stuff” is where we can practice the art of how we really want to feel by choosing our reactions. It’s easy to default to your knee jerk responses when someone disappoints you with their reaction… but it also messes with your reality.
I live in a condo building where we have common areas on each floor as well a wide hallway outside our doors. It’s understood that when adding any artwork, furniture, etc. you first obtain the approval from your neighbors. Since moving in 3 years ago, I’ve made a great effort to not ruffle feathers and stay in my lane… in fact the thought of putting anything outside my door in the common area was something I was very hesitant to consider…until I had a table that didn’t fit in my condo due to my niece moving in.
So, we moved it outside the door and I popped a note under my neighbor’s door double checking if it would be okay. I couldn’t imagine it would be an issue but I sent out a friendly note anyway with an added “have a nice Thanksgiving!”
A few minutes later we noticed a note had been quietly slipped under our door as well.
“Dear Meg, Thanks for asking but we would prefer you find another spot for your table. Thanks.”
My niece and I looked at each other with our hands over our mouths…and started laughing. I exclaimed, “oh come on!” … and she looked at me and said: “but you asked them, Meg!”
Why is it that she’s wiser than me? I think it’s been this way since she was about 4.
Anyway, the point is she’s correct! If you ask a question, you must be prepared for three things to happen:
- The answer you are hoping to receive comes your way.
- The answer is the complete opposite of what you had hoped for and what YOU never would have done.
- No answer at all… because as my Dad always says, “just because someone asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to give them an answer.”
Which is a great segue into the third situation. This one is much more personal but let’s just say I really pushed and pushed for a person to react in a way I thought they should because that is the way I would react (or so I thought… because let’s face it, until you are in another person’s shoes and experiencing their experiences, you really can’t say what you would do.)
The result? I wore myself out trying to get inside their head, figure out the truth, and convincing them they needed to give me an answer to make ME feel better.
Oh my. Elegant Evelyn was just shaking her head.
The thing is, when we hop over into someone else’s business by expecting an outcome, an answer, or any kind of preferred behavior…we really let ourselves down. In fact, it only creates more suffering for ourselves!
Keep in mind these situations weren’t anything awful and no one did anything “wrong” … they were simply moments in time and interactions with fellow human beings where deep down I was hoping for an outcome and missed it each time by a long shot.
So, it got me thinking…
Will I ever get to that “Zen” space of not wanting, even at a small scale within the microfibers of my emotional being, for people to respond the way I want them to?
“Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.”
I’m not sure who originally said this but my friend Gretchen uses it often.
I go back and forth on it because I think when you are in any sort of relationship (your team at work, friendships, partner/spouse, family, etc.) isn’t it normal to expect them to adhere to certain rules of the game?
Following through on promises
No. Absolutely no. 100% no…. according to my therapist
A funny thing happens when you stop releasing expectations of others… you begin not caring as much what people think or expect of you.
Now if you would have told me years ago, I’d be writing that last sentence, I would have laughed. The majority of my life I’ve prided myself on being helpful, anticipating other’s needs, and being an excellent people pleaser. I loved the gold stars of “you are so nice!” … “you are so good to me.” …” you are the kindest person I know.”
And when I wasn’t? I became undone.
Undone with anxiety, worry, regret, you name it.
Ironically when I place those same kinds of expectations on others, I create those same results.
Does not having expectations mean you become a doormat? I don’t believe so. I think it’s more of a recipe and the ingredients are…
Stating your needs
Letting other people decide if they are going to meet them
You deciding if the outcome is something you can live with
Gosh, this seems so… grown up!?!
What it all boils down to is this:
YOUR REACTION=YOUR REALITY…. and STAY IN YOUR LANE.
After dinner with my parents, I went to bed feeling grateful for my calm reaction. Because of it, I was able to enjoy the time with my parents, savor the delicious food, and actually meet a new friend who will be joining me on a walk with Birdie and her dog!
After Kelly and I read the note, I was grateful I did the right thing by asking my neighbors their preference… and that they actually were honest!
And that person I was bugging to react in ways I thought I would? It turns out I am not in their shoes and they are fighting their own battles trying to make it through this journey of life like we all are.
So, I encourage you to join me in releasing the need for others to mirror our reactions. Wouldn’t it be a boring world without contrast? Without opportunities for you to grow and learn and step up your way of being in the world?
So, thank you, neighbors, thank you, lady, at the bar, and thank you, dear friend, for being my teachers in an accelerated class of personal growth this week! I look forward… well, kind of :)…. to future lessons and tests.
See you soon,
Just For Today
Account to Approve workflow on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
“You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.” ~ Author unknown
Just for today, I will choose to be present with everyone and everything in front of me.
Just for today, I will move through the day with a smile on my face.
Just for today, I will make conscious choices with my time.
Just for today, I will embrace forgiveness towards others and myself.
Just for today, I will be okay with not knowing what’s next.
Just for today, I will accept and love myself unconditionally.
Have a great day!
My Favorite Ideas For A Comfy, Cozy & Fun Winter
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Wayne Dyer said “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I think this rings true for so many things… especially the winter blahs. As with anything, it’s pretty interesting how a simple shift in perspective can literally change your experience.
The weather is a frequent topic of conversation. Probably because it’s a form of connection between all of us. While we experience it together each and every day, the weather creates different experiences for everyone.
Take for example, a hot summer day. It’s really not my favorite. I’d rather live year-round with crisp fall days or beautiful snowy ones. I always thought I was a rarity but I’ve come to discover I’m not alone!
But for those of you who DO love those hot summer days over the cold ones, let me share with you some “deep thoughts” and “light and lovely ideas” from the land of snow globes that might make your experience this winter a little more enjoyable….oh and don’t forget to read or listen to the very end. I am sharing my “Favorite Find” from the week and I am crazy about this one!
- Create More Community
If you feel isolated during the colder season and cooped up, why not embrace the “inside” part of the season? A weekly game night, book club, dinner club, or just hosting smaller dinner parties are all ways to have something to look forward to and connect at a deeper level with people.
It’s easy to get caught up in the “doing” of life… the to do lists, the actions steps, the goals and the vision. But what about the “being” of life that all that “doing” is supposed to get us to?
As many of you know, Louise Penney’s books are some of my favorites. It’s my guess that people don’t read them as much for the murder mystery aspect but more for the coziness and sense of community she evokes in her work. The small village of Three Pines outside Montreal is not a fantasy land but instead a real community with real problems just like in your own life…except for one thing. It feels as if they have tapped into the strength of connection and they make an exceptional effort to create a beautiful ambience and cohesive culture with one another.
Living in a bigger city is easy in many ways. You can grab a cup of coffee at one of the hundreds of coffee shops, you can go to the art museums, the ballet and symphony…. All at a moment’s notice…And without having to see the people you don’t really like!
From personal experience, when living in a smaller town, it takes more intention (as well as effort, empathy, and patience!) to create connection. It takes effort to come up with unique ideas to avoid sitting in your home staring at the walls wondering why you didn’t move to Arizona. In order to avoid complete isolation, you have to put up with certain people by tapping into your maturity and actually practicing the definitions of empathy and patience. If you avoided everyone who triggered you in a small town, your social scene would slowly dwindle.
So, whether you live in the country or the big apple, try cultivating more community this season if you’re feeling a bit blue.
- Grab your snowshoes.
Never underestimate the power of a good power walk through the snow.
I was introduced to this sport while living and working in Eagle Vail, CO and continue to enjoy it. While there aren’t mountains to climb anymore (which in a way I’m grateful for!), a simple cruise through your local park is an incredible workout and super fun on the deep powder days. There’s nothing like a sunrise or sunset snowshoe to get the endorphins flowing AND to soak in the beauty of nature. Check out your local sporting goods stores for the latest and greatest. Mine are still the “old fashioned” ones circa 1994 and while they're still perfect for me, the new ones are much easier to hop in and out of etc.
- “I am here, now.”
I was reminded this week of this simple yet powerful mantra during a conversation with a good friend. She and her husband dreamt of having a family for several years and POOF their wish came true! That “someday” has now arrived in its full glory. They are living a crazy and beautiful and fun filled chapter of their lives with two beautiful little munchkins. Talking with her today, we were sharing visions for our futures, where we saw our lives headed etc. and she suddenly halted the conversation with a “okay, listen we need to STOP!” I was so grateful for what she said next. She went on to explain how diligently she is working on staying in the “now.” Since having children, she’s has become keenly aware of how she tends to jump ahead to the future where she and her husband have more freedom, things aren’t as chaotic, and when 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is a given. I loved how she had the awareness of “Hey, for so long I wanted THIS life, the one we now have…why am I now trying to jump ahead without first enjoying the fact that what we wanted has now arrived?”
This is exactly how Deepak Chopra explains the art of being present. He says something to the effect of when we live in the future and then future arrives, we miss it… because we are always one step ahead into the next future space.
In a way you have to feel sorry for the present moment always trying to grab your attention like a toddler hungry for your presence. Jumping to the future is like scrolling social media while your child wants to show you the sunset.
So even when the wind howls, and when the rain, snow, or slush is everywhere… stop. And remind yourself that the sun rose today just for your pleasure, you are still breathing and that’s pretty amazing, and you have the gift of this day. Today has never happened before and never will again so mentally resist the urge to throw it in the trash because the weather isn’t ideal.
- “Simple Pleasure” Rituals
There is something comforting about rituals. They give order to our days and meaning to our experiences. Whether it’s warm lemon and honey water every morning (Thank you Rita Weiler from Chandelier Hair Boutique in Wisconsin Rapids for the tip!) or your favorite morning brew, indulging in simple pleasures creates little bursts of happiness throughout our days.
Do the earlier dark days bring you down? Create a late afternoon ritual similar to an English tea break. Bring your favorite tea and sweets to work or take a break at home. Consider it your “winter treat” for the season.
Don’t forget a cozy bathrobe, blanket, cocoa and a fire. So, what if you don't have a fire place that works… or not one at all? They have apps and channels with a fire video for your television.. and there are electric ones you can purchase for your non-working fireplace.
The point is to get the ambience going, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
When all else fails, turn on the Hallmark channel! My nieces got me hooked on these and we converted my Dad over Christmas last year. He loves them because as he says “they all have happy endings.” Yes, they are a wee bit corny… but what’s wrong with corny? I love Lucy episodes are corny and I love those too! I don’t know about you, but an overdose of the news is enough to put me into a downward spiral. While it’s important to stay tuned into the world, it’s another thing to allow it to lower your vibe. In order to create more light in the world, we need your energy… so treasure it and give it some TLC!
So back to the Hallmark channel… there’s something comforting about the shows. Other favorites? Downtown Abbey- this is a great one just to have on when you’re cleaning, cooking, or organizing. The beautiful music, calm tone and cadence of the character's voices, and the beautiful visuals in the show simply add a little beauty to a dreary day. Final favorite is The Good Witch on Netflix. LOVE THIS ONE! It’s like Louise Penney’s Three Pines with a little woo woo thrown in.
So, there you go my friends. I hope you’re inspired to try these or concoct your own ways to avoid the winter blues. I’d love to hear your favorites so please comment below.
Have a great week everyone and I’ll see you next time,
3 Pieces Of Advice From Elegant Evelyn
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)
So those of you who know me well (and one person in particular and you know who you are!) might nod your head when I mention “Frantic Franny.” You see, Franny is the part of me that comes out when I:
- Don’t get enough sleep
- Get overwhelmed with a jam-packed calendar
- Have too much “noise” going on around me at the same time (television, podcasts, people talking, dogs barking… you get the picture.)
- Don’t practice self-care (aka: meditate, have some quiet time in my day, watch
my “intake” in terms of nutrition, social media, the news, etc.)
I used to beat myself up for being sensitive and eventually letting Franny loose but I’ve come to a place where I have given up trying to fight with the parts of me that are here to stay. Instead, I have learned to be proactive in managing my schedule, environment, and self-care so she can chill out and take the backseat.
Now, let me tell you about Franny’s older and wiser sister. So much more fun talking about this lady. Her name is “Elegant Evelyn” and when she takes the wheel, life is MUCH easier and oh so lovely.
She’s actually inspired by my Grandmother’s best friend who I spent a lot of time with growing up. Going out to lunch…parties at her home… seeing her out and about in town. She had this special flare to anything she touched. Her style, her decorating, her clothes, her presence. She inspired me so much that I simply had to create an alter ego with her lovely attributes to help me through the stressful times when Franny was in charge!
So, can I talk a bit about my Monday this week? Oh boy. It was a perfect opportunity for Frantic Franny to push Evelyn right out of the way and run the show.
I was scheduled to take two friends to medical appointments this week for procedures as they wouldn’t be able to drive home. Ann on Monday and Betsy on Tuesday (all names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved in my life who are the mercy of me putting them in my blog! Ha ha! You know who you are.
Anyway, as I always do on Sundays, I quickly reviewed my week. “Looks good.” I thought. That evening I received texts messages from both friends confirming pick up times etc. “Yes, I’ll see you then.” I quickly (note the quickly part) responded.
So, I hit the hay and woke up every two hours. Couldn’t sleep. The traffic outside my window coupled with this slightly nagging feeling equivalent to that dream when you show up to take the test and you realize you never went to class… yes, that was the feeling.
Feeling proud of myself, though, I hop out of bed at 6am to meditate, make my hot lemon water with honey, and take my neighbor’s dog out. Ironically, she too was off to take a friend to a procedure and had to leave at 4am.
“I’ve totally got this,” I said as I moved through my morning responsibilities with ease. I dropped Ann off at the hospital… ran to grocery store… got cupcakes for nephew as it was his birthday… dropped them off at his dorm… ran back to condo because the neighbor’s dog refused to go poo poo earlier that morning… dog goes poo poo… feeling very accomplished….
Until I read the text on my phone. “Meg. I am outside waiting and will keep an eye out for you.”
I frantically look at the time and it’s 10am. MY TUESDAY PROCEDURE FRIEND IS OUTSIDE HER PLACE WAITING FOR THE PROMISED RIDE TO THE HOSPITAL.
Let’s just say as I was navigating the dog, my purse, my phone and trying to say hello patiently to every person in my building who passed me by…. Frantic Franny was beginning to peak out.
“What the heck! She must have the day wrong. This is her mistake.” I thought as my fingers frantically started to text Betsy back. Elegant Evelyn, fortunately, stepped in whispering in my ear, “Darling, just pick up the phone and call her, don’t you think?”
“Betsy! OMG, I think you gave me the wrong date.” “No. I didn’t.” She replies. And back and forth we went until finally, I recommended she call an Uber as there was no way I would make it in time… besides, I had to pick up Ann in 45 minutes!
Long story short, Betsy decided to take her car with a text saying “and I’ll need your help picking it up tomorrow from the hospital.” Gulp. I think she was upset with me. Ummm yeah! Who wouldn’t be?!
As I scrolled through the text string from her over the past few week’s I was secretly praying she gave me the wrong date… but alas, no luck. How could I have not seen MONDAY more than once in the text message?? For some reason, I had put down Tuesday and my brain didn’t register as I QUICKLY read her reminder texts.
So, here’s the deal. I had a choice in that moment. I could react from the Frantic Franny part of me… OR I could choose to step into Elegant Evelyn. Easier said than done.
But I decided to try something new this time and resist the urge to start beating myself up, saying “I’m sorry” a thousand times, driving like a madwoman to pick Betsy up or blaming the dog who didn’t go poo poo on the first round that morning… because I really like that dog …and her owner…who is probably reading or listening to this.
Instead, I apologized once… ok, twice. Then, I did the best I could which was to change my schedule for the afternoon in order to pick her up. Finally, I told her I would absolutely take her the next day to retrieve her car. Oh, and I bought her lunch after the procedure on our way home… never underestimate the power of Arby’s after a friend hasn’t eaten in two days. Crisis averted.
But it got me thinking how different I approached this. I’ll be honest, I felt horrible. All these thoughts raced through my mind of Betsy feeling unimportant, undervalued, and invisible… but then I caught myself in the downward spiral and asked a very important question someone once taught me to ask when falling off the tracks…
“What was my intention?”
My intention certainly was not to blow her off. My intention was to take time out of my workday to support her. Yes, I messed up with the schedule…. But my intention came from a good and loving place.
So as Elegant Evelyn so often does, she asked me “What was the learning in all of this? How can we minimize future situations such as this one?”
And that is what I’d love to share with you all today… straight from the lips of Evelyn:
It’s amazing how doing the laundry or washing the dishes can actually become enjoyable when you slow the process down. Notice how the bubbles and warm clothes feel against your skin, listen to the water, watch the laundry soap as you pour it in. This sounded crazy to me years ago when I took an 8-week mindfulness course but I have to tell you it was life-changing. I forget the power of being present a lot… and it’s always a treat to remember and come back to this one tool I feel is the starting point to any kind of joy.
What are areas of your life you are rushing towards? Will gaining a few seconds to your destination make up for the havoc you might create on the highway? Would paying attention to what your colleague or partner is saying avoid future conflict or miscommunication?
Slowing down not only allows us to actually live our lives awake, it affects the people in our lives as well in a very positive way.
DO ONE THING AT A TIME
This goes along with the first one because let’s face it…if you slow down it’s much easier to do one thing at a time. To take this a step further, it means doing things slowly but finishing them before starting the next one.
My niece is living with me while she attends nursing school. I said to her this morning, “Oh! The new Louise Penny novel is out! We have to get it.”
Her response? “Well, I am reading The Gold Finch and once I am finished with that one, then I will move on to Louise’s book. ” Oh, right. Of course!” I respond reminding myself not to let her see all the unfinished books on my iPad.
Take my Monday, for example. If I had been solely focused on Betsy’s text rather than talking to someone or doing the laundry or listening to a podcast while responding… the crisis never would have happened. Try being methodical this week and finish what you start. You might find you get to the same destination but the journey is so much sweeter.
GIVE YOURSELF SPACE IN YOUR CALENDAR
Are you always the one overwhelmed and late to events or meetings? You aren’t a bad person or a flake… you just need some space.
Creating space in your calendar gives you breathing room. Imagine how nice your day will flow when you don’t stack one thing after another with minutes to spare?
This is one tip I have been practicing and it’s done wonders for my anxiety level during the day. I used to look at my schedule in my calendar for the week and think, “this is fine!” … until that specific day actually was happening and then I would ask myself, “What was I thinking?!”
Having space to breathe in your day creates a life where you feel more at ease and you’re able to experience much more freedom. Play with it this week by resisting the urge to say “yes” to everything and thus squeezing things into your day. If you struggle with saying no, I recommend two things:
- When asked to do something, immediately say you have to check your calendar.
- If the space is open but it’s not a clean desire, simply say you are committed.
Are you lying? NO! You are committed to something else… time with yourself.
So, there you go. While I’m sure you, like me, would love to channel your Elegant Evelyn 100% of the time, but it’s just not feasible. As human beings, we have so many parts within us. I think the key is to learn to get to them know them well, let them be heard, and in the end decide who gets to drive.
Evelyn. and Franny :)
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)
“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”
Are you holding yourself back by holding on too much? Is it time to step out of the chaos and let go of trying to control people, the past, or the future?
Letting go and surrendering can be frightening. It’s scary to be vulnerable and release the need to have our fingers on the pulse of things every minute, of every day.
What is preventing you from surrendering to things outside of your control? Is it fear or lack of trust? What does this cost you? Peace, joy, energy, freedom, or love?
How do we move away from control and closer to surrendering? Awareness is key. Take an honest assessment of yourself and your tendencies. Next, simply challenge yourself to simply be “on the lookout” for situations which can serve as learning opportunities each day.
Finally, take baby steps in surrendering. Once we are able to see the effects on others and ourselves in doing so, we are motivated to continue on the path.
Wishes to you for an easy day!
Account to Approve workflow on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” ~Voltaire
Do you get caught on the vicious wheel of “over thinking” to the point of exhaustion and find yourself even more confused and muddled than before? While introspection is healthy, rumination to the extreme is frustrating and pointless.
The next time you are faced with a crisis or impending decision, put your mind on the back burner. A fun exercise to help give your mind a rest:
- Visualize recurring thoughts written on beautiful clouds in the sky.
- Allow yourself the opportunity to read them, feel them, and analyze them for a few minutes.
- As the clouds fade away, so must your thoughts for now.
- Rest assured you can always go back to the thoughts but for today that cloud has passed.
Deep down, we all know the right answers thanks to something we all possess called intuition. A wise friend once said, “We ask other people’s opinions to validate what we already know.”
Today, stop thinking. Relax. Listen to your heart. Listen to your intuition. Live your life.
Wishes to you for a happy day!
Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up!
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
These are the words of a dear friend of mine, who, no matter where I see her, looks amazing, happy, and inspired! She truly lives by the idea that by simply choosing to start the day with gusto and self-care allows us to show up to others and ourselves in a beautiful and positive way.
Are there certain strategies you can start incorporating into your life that are exciting and place you in a healthy mindset throughout your day? Here are some ideas to get your creativity going:
Create your own “brand” by asking yourself:
o What do I stand for?
o What are my values?
o What makes me stand out?
o What makes me compelling?
o Detox your closet! As you go through the clothes ask yourself:
o Do I love it?
o Does it reflect my personal brand and who I am now?
o Is it flattering on me?
o Make a list of things, people, and activities you love… then start incorporating more of them into your life.
o Develop a morning routine:
o Be Grateful
o Energize through exercise
o Practice the art of being present throughout the day with everyone and everything you interact with
o Finally, be open to new people, opportunities, and ideas.
Choose to SHOW UP today!
Until next time,
Are You Asking For Permission To Live Your Life?
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
I have a question for you:
Are there things you want to do or decisions you know you must make but you don't because you are waiting on permission? But from who?
Perhaps they are changes in lifestyle or deeper choices personally or professionally. What do you think is blocking you? What are you getting out of making the choice to do nothing? And how would you life feel if you had the courage to step out of fear and take the reins of your own life?
I recently had someone ask me these same questions. I struggle with forgiving myself for past choices and even little things on how I handled a situation or what I may have said. This person asked me what was I getting while sitting in the energy of self criticism. It took some introspection but what I came up with was that it was in a way a crutch that allowed me to stay small and safe. The result? Blocking myself from fully engaging in life to the degree I know I am capable of.
So if you feel enclosed in a jail cell of self doubt or fear or anything that doesn't feel so great... remind yourself that you have the keys to let yourself out.
It’s really interesting how different themes come up each week when talking with clients, family, and friends. I think it's how the universe or your higher self tells you to stand up and pay attention. The last few weeks I have been inundated with this idea of giving yourself permission. It's showed up in conversations, articles, and podcasts.
All of this stuff about "permission" reminded me of the most interesting dream I experienced years ago which I'll share it with you.
The scene was a very lonely house sitting out in the middle of the desert. The neighborhood was dark and the sky was black. It didn't appear that anyone lived in the subdivision even though there were several other homes. The house was huge and in fact it had a workout area and indoor tennis courts the size of a high school gym. As I walked through the house with a few people from my past I noticed that while the house was very large and very expensive, it had dirt floors. There were no lights on so it was dark. It was damp and cold. Lingering among the rooms was an ex of mine. I couldn't see him but he was there in that home along with all the expensive toys he loved to buy. One of the people said to me, "Meg this is a beautiful house! You are so lucky!"... but I couldn't speak. Everyone else in the dream could speak but I had no voice.
Fortunately, as so often happens, my Mom showed up... thanks Mom!
As I saw her inside the home at the front door I walked over to her and finally finding my voice said very quietly, "Mom... I don't think I want this." And "this" meaning the house, the toys, the gym... and him. She took my hand and walked us both out the front door.
What happened next was so "real."
Once outside, she took out her yellow post it note pad (some things never change) and scribbled something down, whipped off the note, and handed it to me with a look of "well, duh!"on her face.
It said... "THEN DON'T."
Immediately the sun appeared along with the rain. The droplets were as big as softballs and when they landed on our faces they felt velvety soft. We started laughing and dancing and I woke myself up laughing.
That dream is imprinted on my conscious mind and one I go back to often when I find myself playing small, not speaking up, asking others for validation, and leading from fear.
So I ask you now... are there areas of your life where you’re waiting for someone to give you a post it note that says "THEN DON'T!" Or "JUST DO IT!" Or "WHY NOT?" Or "GO FOR IT!"
We are here in this lifetime for a finite amount of time and while introspection and waffling are normal with big decisions, there does come a point where you have to look at the potential time, energy, and resources you may waste. Taking a leap of courage by giving yourself permission to do whatever it may be that your soul and spirit need at that time can be incredibly scary but also incredibly powerful and life changing.
Waiting on others to give us permission to leave, stay, grow, say yes, or say no is one of the biggest stunting mechanisms in your life and what fosters future regret.
I thought of some homework for all of this week. It was inspired by a podcast interview with Elizabeth Gilbert. She recommends writing yourself a permission slip as if you were the grade school principal.
So I wrote myself a super long permission slip and it went something like this:
I give you permission to let go of the need for everyone to like you.
I give you permission to screw up.
I give you permission to not always say the right thing.
I give you permission to follow your gut regardless of what others might say.
I give you permission to ask for what you need.
I give you permission to love yourself.
I give you permission to release control.
I give you permission to choose silence when you want to react, defend, or apologize.
I give you permission to pause before trying to "make things right" for someone else.
Oh, and I give you permission to get massages once a month along with acupuncture because they feel really good :)
Give it a try yourself and as always I'd love to hear what you come up with!
Until next time,
The Questions You Ask Are Creating Your Life
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 1:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Okay! So, our community took a few months off with the Self Love Summit workshops this summer and I was so happy to have it back in action this past Tuesday evening.
I feel so blessed to be part of this group each month. So often isolation can creep into your life and having your "peeps" to share and get inspired with is priceless.
This month's topic, "The Questions You Ask Yourself Are Creating Your Life" was inspired by Debbie Ford's book, The Right Questions.
Several years ago as I embarked on the personal growth journey that I am still trekking along today, a colleague recommended this book and I can honestly say it has been a game-changer.
I like to say the questions are profoundly powerful... and annoying. Now, why would I say that? Because they are incredibly simple AND your intuition knows the answer the second you answer them... whether you like it or not.
How many times has your 6th sense whispered in your ear only for you to ignore it and hit the easy button? Well, let me say there are no easy buttons if you really use these 10 questions to create the reality you say you really desire.
So that gets me to another question... are you really willing to do what it takes to get to the place you claim you want? If so that probably means saying no to the things you don't want to do AND some of the things you DO want to do. I don't want to jump ahead because one of the questions on short term gratification speaks to this... but this has been something I have pondered a lot over the past few months...especially this morning at 5 am when the alarm went off for spin class! And yes, one of the questions helped get me out of bed!
So before we dive into Debbie's questions... I have another one of my own for you and it feeds off of several conversations I've had with people over the past few weeks. It was sparked by Reverend Mari Gabrielson from Unity Center of Milwaukee during a recent event we both led. She was responding to a participant's comments with the question of, "What are you avoiding?"
I think this is a biggie. I know writing this blog was supposed to happen earlier today... but I vacuumed instead. I am the queen of staying busy sometimes to avoid what really needs to get done now.
So I ask you, what might you be avoiding? And how is that working for you? Maybe it's a difficult conversation or something within yourself you know you want to shift.
I know for me personally when I avoid something, I get that pit in my stomach (another theme this week with clients!)... and it's not fun. Pits in the stomach don't feel good.
Because at the end of the day we all want to feel the way we want to feel. Happy, content, calm, grounded, confident, beautiful, powerful... the list goes on and on.
So in order to get to those feelings we must ask ourselves the difficult questions and shine a light on what we are avoiding and the mechanisms we use to practice the avoidance.
Speaking of choices, you make a lot of them every day. Hundreds probably if you counted. What to wear, what to eat, which way to work, how to respond to your boss, ways to handle conflict on your team, what to make for dinner, what show to watch, etc. etc.
The quality of your choices affects the quality of your tomorrows. Plain and simple. Choices affect everything from our how we feel waking up to how we feel going to bed.
Nancy Levin, a coach of mine, always says something equivalent to the fact that you are your best psychic or crystal ball... because your present-day choices create your future. I love that.
So right now as you read this and your reality is not quite what you want, begin paying close attention to your choices starting today.
Debbie also talks about this idea of your inner flame. At a 1 it's a small flicker... and at a 10 it's a roaring fire. Your inner flame is where your soul and your spirit sit. For me, it's that intangible part of myself that is the starting point for everything.
So what feeds your flame? And what diminishes it?
If you're having a hard time with life, as we all do because let's face it...it's life... make a list of what is diminishing your flame... and then do the opposite.
So if gossip, loud music, being a people pleaser, critical friends, jealousy, and trying to be perfect are draining your energy, instead do this:
- Quit participating in gossip
- Turn on the Spa Channel on Pandora
- Set some healthy and loving boundaries with people
- Step away from people who don't respect you
- Practice gratitude for what you do have
- Quit trying to be perfect...because you never will be
Asking quality questions can lead you to quality choices which then my friend leads to a roaring inner flame and that ultimately allows you to start engaging in life and live your purpose. What's your purpose? In my opinion, it's being in the moment with whoever you are with or with whatever you are doing... and coming from a place of love and sharing your gifts. Simple, right? Yet how often do our monkey minds and life's "stuff" create roadblocks to this bliss?
When you ask the right questions, your spirit and our higher self are begging for you to listen. Sometimes the answers come as whispers and sometimes as screams.
When we ask the wrong questions, such as "why does this always happen to me" or "why can't I achieve XYZ?"....we remain stuck.
Coming from a place of "how can I get to XYZ" will propel you towards the reality you desire...and it all starts with those little choices each day.
Quality questions=Quality choices=Roaring fires=Feeling The Way You Want to Feel.
So I will leave you with Debbie's questions. They have really been life-saving tools for me... and I hope they offer you comfort as well. At the end of the day, we all want to feel safe, secure, loved, understood and heard. If you are looking outside yourself to people or things to give these feelings to you, just remember when you give that power to someone or something outside yourself, you also are giving them/it the power to take it away.
The only route to feeling safe and secure is a one-way route and it is right smack dab inside of you. You have the power to feel in your bones that all IS well and all IS good... and I hope these questions help you create more of those feelings in your life.
Thank you, Debbie Ford, for writing this book. I know you have crossed the veil but your work here on earth continues to inspire and heal so many.
Question #1: “Will This Choice Propel Me Toward an Inspiring Future or Will It Keep Me Stuck in the Past?”
Question #2: “Will This Choice Bring Me Long-Term Fulfillment or Will It Bring Me Short-Term Gratification?”
Question #3: “Am I Standing in My Power or Am I Trying to Please Another?”
Question #4:“Am I Looking for What’s Right or Am I Looking for What’s Wrong?”
Question #5: “Will This Choice Add to My Life Force or Will It Rob Me of My Energy?”
Question #6: “Will I Use This Situation as a Catalyst to Grow and Evolve or Will I Use It to Beat Myself Up?”
Question #7: “Does This Choice Empower Me or Does It Disempower Me?”
Question #8: “Is This an Act of Self-Love or Is It an Act of Self-Sabotage?”
Question #9: “Is This an Act of Faith or Is It an Act of Fear?”
Question #10: “Am I Choosing from My Divinity or Am I Choosing from My Humanity?”
Debbie talks about writing a list of actions you would take if your higher self were in charge... so I invite you to do this today. If your "best" and most real self were driving the bus, how would you set up your day, what would you choose to do with your free time, what would you choose not to do? What a powerful way to approach each day... letting that higher part of you drive.
Thanks for being with me today!
P.S. I do Facebook "lives" after the monthly live event to share the same agenda, tips, tools, and stories. So if you aren't in my private group, click here to join. You'll have access to the "lives" and other inspiring goodies each week!
P.S.S. If you are in Milwaukee Tuesday, October 15th you don't want to miss the Self Love Summit. Jenna Kashou, the author of "100 Things To Do In Milwaukee Before You Die"will be sharing her story and more about her book. Bring a friend!
20 Simple Luxuries That Create More Joy In Your Everyday
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
I love this week’s blog and hope it will inspire you to try a few of the suggestions or put together your own list to create more joy in your everyday.
But first, a few stories to share that inspired this week’s content…
I’ve been in Northern Wisconsin the past week and Tuesday I popped over to the grocery store thinking the place would be empty after the Labor Day weekend. What I found were instead the longest lines I have ever seen… and only three lanes open. If this would have been five years ago, I would have either:
- Hopped on my phone to check out social media.
- Complained to myself or to the person behind me.
This time, however, I chose to walk the walk and use this time to just be present… and I am so glad I did because if I had done any of the three above, I wouldn’t have seen the person right in front of me. It was a woman who owns a well-known resort that is no longer in operation but for years even after the resort closed down, she had the most beautiful shop within the main lodge. Furniture, dishes, jewelry, paintings, etc. Just beautiful things but as we talked I mentioned to her it was more the experience of going there than anything else. She looked at me and said “the music, the candles burning, the ambiance… that was what it was about!”
Now isn’t this true? Walking into her place all five senses were lit up… the beautiful view of the lake, the comforting scent of the candles, the delicious candy she had out for customers, the relaxing music, and soft fabrics of the blankets and clothes. It was a reminder to me that we all have the power to create this experience for ourselves every day in our own homes and offices.
As we bid farewell, I smiled at the frazzled checkout woman. She replied with a not so nice cross between a snarl and a frown. Rather than get annoyed as I used to, I instead stepped into compassion. “Rough day?” I asked. Immediately, her shoulders sunk and she said: “I am so sorry… we thought the tourists would all be gone by now but they decided to stay… and several colleagues called in sick today…and I am exhausted.” We continued to talk and she thanked me for letting her vent and for not reacting to her initial vibe towards me. As I walked away I thought about how most often our surface reaction simply shields inner overwhelm and sometimes it just takes a little kindness toward ourselves (and others!) to step out of that space.
Lots of lessons just from one little snapshot in time in line at a store… who knew?
Next, I ventured over to the new coffee shop/bistro I had heard about in town. Well, the minute I walked in I realized this was clearly not your run of the mill coffee shop. Once again, from the minute I opened the door, I heard Frank Sinatra playing, smelled the Irish scones baking, and was doing an inner squeal of delight as I looked around at the beautiful tea sets, comfortable furniture, and overall special touches. I felt like I was in one of Louise Penney’s books walking into the famous bistro.. with a little bit of the Anne of Green Gables essence thrown in. Needless to say, I was in heaven.
As I sat there eating my tomato bisque soup along with the radish and cucumber sandwich, I realized the deliciousness of the entire morning had elevated my spirit. I just sat there in pure joy… and I didn’t have to travel anywhere, spend a ton of money, or being constantly “doing” anything to get to this place of contentment. It was the aftereffect of experiencing simple pleasures.
Sometimes do you forget the power of these lingering little sparks of joy that invite us in to experience not only serenity but hope… I know I do.
Friends laugh how I iron my pillowcases AND put lavender essential oil in the iron for steaming. I thought I was a rarity… until I moved into my condo building downtown. Did you know that some people (maybe you?!) send their entire set of sheets out to the cleaners EVERY WEEK? I was surprised… then envious!
Now some people might think this is a waste of money but I say “Live and Let Live!” Everyone finds value in different things and that’s just fine. For some buying a latte every day at Starbucks make them feel cozy… while others prefer fresh flower once a week.
The key is figuring out what simple pleasure makes YOUR heart sing… and then making no excuses to anyone about diving into them.
So, for this week, I’d love to share 20 simple ideas to create more happiness in your every day that I love and ones I’ve learned from clients:
- Essential oil diffuser. Ok, this is a biggie. I love love love my diffuser. For the past few weeks it’s been the lemongrass essential oil… other times it’s lavender or rose. Birdie loves it (hey her own vet has it in the exam rooms!) and I do too. Young Living or Doterra are two of my favorite lines.
- Spa channel on Pandora: Team this up with #1 and you’ve got your own in-home spa ambiance.
- Soft throw blankets: Don’t underestimate the amount of self-care a soft blanket can evoke on a rainy day… and Mom are you listening to this one? Quit giving all the cozy blankets to the dogs! Seriously!
- Fresh flowers: I like to buy Bells of Ireland because they last for a super long time. Check out farmers market for beautiful arrangements for a fraction of grocery store prices.
- Fresh sheets: Enough said…and just try ironing your pillowcases… with a few drops of lavender oil in the steamer portion of the iron… I promise you it will change your life.
- Lay outfits out the night before: If you were like me, you loved laying out your clothes before school. Why did I ever stop doing this?? I am going to implement this one this week. It saves time the next morning….and I bet people will notice the effort you put in.
- Open up your own spa: Turn your bathroom into a spa with different essential oils, Epsom salt, and bubbles. I’ve moved away from spending money on facials, pedicures, and manicures as I do it all in my “Spa by Meg.” P.S. Here is my favorite Epsom salt.I swear it’s the same scent they blast through the vents at the Westin Hotels! It’s the matcha green tea.
- Be kind when someone is rude… because you never know what just happened to them five minutes ago.
- Use cloth napkins… and here I go again… iron them! I have found the nicest linens at estate sales at a fraction of the cost.. and this way I don’t feel bad if the stains don’t come out! P.S. you really don’t have to iron them… but I highly recommend it.
- Hold the door open for someone. This feels as though it’s becoming a lost art.. and so easy to do. Just like smiling at someone for no reason in particular. You just do it because that is who you want to be in this world.
- Quit saving anything for “someday special.” This means your clothes, jewelry, dishes, etc. Today is actually the most special thing you hold right now.
- Let someone merge in front of you on the highway… and if someone lets you do it give them a thank you wave in the rear-view mirror. Again, it’s the little things!
- Go to the movies. Some places have super-reduced rates for morning or mid-day flicks… and you’ll have the entire place to yourself!
- Shine your shoes. This is one I am going to do. I have the shoe shine products and never use them! A good friend always says “your shoes and your hands are the two things on your body that you actually look at during the day… so why not make them the best they can be?”
- Get your clothes tailored… from a good tailor!
- Try floating. Have you heard of this? I did it with a few girlfriends a few weeks ago. You float in a warm bath in a huge pod with the lights off, soft music playing and I believe 900 pounds of salt! Each of us had our own rooms and one of them fell asleep, the other couldn’t wait to get out as it was 60 minutes… but we all agreed that the after-effects were unbelievable. I had the best night’s sleep for 3-4 days after the float… and seriously felt like someone had given me a “feel good” tranquilizer. For any anxiety types out there I highly recommend it. If you’re in Milwaukee, try this place: Float Milwaukee.
- Go to an amusement park. One of my friends exudes happiness. Maybe it’s because she’s a yoga teacher or maybe it’s because she has an annual pass to Six Flags Great America! Bring out the kid in you and try this one. Oh and p.s. If you are in Wisconsin Rapids and love yoga, grab on to some of her joy at one of her classes: Rejuvenate with Yoga.
- Consignment stores in person or online. I’ve decorated almost my entire place with great finds from estate sales and consignment stores… and I’ve sold several things online as well. My favorite online store is this one: TheRealReal
- Bake or cook for your friends. I love doing this because it’s an act of self-love AND love for others. My favorite brownie recipe is a vegan black bean recipe… don’t tell anyone what is in it until after they eat it! You will be amazed at how delicious it is.
- Engage in your community. Google your area for seasonal festivals, concerts, sports games, farmers markets, and cultural events. Even if you are in a small town like my hometown, there is always something to do. Sometimes I prefer smaller towns as there isn’t the “event overload” that happens when you have free time on the weekends. My point is… no matter what the size of the city you live in or where you reside, there are opportunities and possibilities… and if there aren’t, then that is your queue to create them!
So, there you go. I find it helpful to remind myself that time is the most valuable resource. How you spend it and who you spend it with really defines your life. How we do one thing, is how we do everything. So, choose to step into life through the lens of awe and appreciation and let the magic and mysticism of life envelope you with love.
I’ll leave you with this quote from the author of Let Your Life Speak.
“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
― Parker Palmer
See you soon,
Inner Order Equals Outer Calm
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
I love Gretchen Rubin’s work. She recently launched her new book, Outer Order, Inner Calm. What a great title! It’s true that when we get our physical environments decluttered there is a shift in the feel and energy of the place… and as a result we feel more serenity.
I thought I’d play off her title a bit for this week’s blog and dive deeper into the idea of decluttering the inner parts of ourselves. Our minds, hearts, and souls are so often the dumping ground for negative self-talk, shame, judgement, guilt, and regret. It’s no wonder our lives feel chaotic and frantic when our insides are plugged up with the gunk!
So, let’s flip Gretchen’s title and look at creating more outer CALM
through more inner ORDER. Like how I switched that up?
When you make a commitment to decluttering at an inner level, suddenly the outside world doesn’t hold the power to trigger you as much. So, when I think of decluttering deep down within, I immediately go to Brene Brown’s idea of moving away from the 3 P’s:
Oh… and I thought of one more, but you’ll have to read (or listen) to the end to hear it!
So, let’s dive in and look at how moving away from the 3 P’s has the power to create more calm and ease in your everyday.
Are You A People Pleaser?
Oh yes, I know some of you are nodding your heads. You are the appeasing, kind, empathic and compassionate lovely beings who just want to be nice. I had a therapist once ask me “Meg, what do you want to be known for?” My response was, “oh I just want to make other people happy.” She followed it up with “what about making yourself happy?”
Creating your own happiness can be a foreign concept at times… because you fear your happiness may steal someone else’s because they aren’t going to get what they want.
But is that your business?
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of bringing joy to other people. I love the idea of doing nice things for those I care about. My Mom gave me a quote years ago and I can’t remember who said it, but it went something like this… “The noblest art is that of making others happy.” But I bet the author didn’t mean at the expense of yourself.
When being “nice” is the most important factor in how you live your life, you probably stand a good chance at also burning out big time.
Being an over-pleaser in a way can also be slightly manipulative.
Think about when you are overly appeasing to people. What is it that you want? For them to like you? To get what you want from them? Instead, let them like you if they want to… or not.
So, take a look at how much of your energy and headspace is focused on others.
Is it really your job to absorb other people’s responsibilities, energy, jobs, and their “STUFF?” Letting others work out their own pathology is not mean… it’s respectful. Times of crisis are invitations to learn, grow, and heal… so why would you interrupt that for someone else?
This is an interesting one because I think there is a balance between healthy pleasing and toxic pleasing. Use your inner radar to know the difference for you.
Once you balance your output of energy, resources, and time between yourself and others, you develop a solid and secure sense of self-possession.
You’ll find you are then able to give the gift of a less frazzled and more calmer version of yourself to others. Now that sounds pleasing!
Would Your Performance Win You an Oscar?
Most people assume I’m an extrovert but trust me… I’ve done the quizzes and assessments and my true nature is instead that of an extrovert.
As a result, in the past I tended to “gear myself up” for social and work events… and all the gearing up got me all jacked up! I found myself “performing,” making jokes, laughing much louder than felt comfortable, and simply feeling awkward and exhausted afterward. It wasn’t until a family member gave me a book around “taking off the masks we wear in life to reveal the true you” did I realize that my performance skills were waning.
Today, I don’t care as much…. and don’t perform as much.
I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s just that I have learned to only say yes to things that feel expansive… and no to the ones that give me that “Uggghhh” feeling. The result? I am more myself.
Recently I listened to a podcast where the woman explained this:
1/3 of the people in your life won’t like you. (WHAT?!)
1/3 will be neutral and indifferent to you.
The remaining 1/3 will love you.
So why waste time trying to perform for the first two? It’s a losing battle AND doing so requires you to step out of the real and authentic YOU… and that confuses the 1/3 that loves you!
So, stop performing and quit trying to be digestible to others and just… be…. you. Pretty please!
Are You a June Cleaver Wanna Be?
Recently I messed up “big time.” Over the course of two weeks, I forgot to hop on a conference call, thought I had sent an email when I didn’t and mixed up someone’s name with another person.
All were incredibly embarrassing… and the rumination wheel was on full speed. I kept going over in my head how I had “screwed up” and creating narratives of what they were thinking of me and saying to others. It really became quite the masterpiece. In fact, it got to the point where I thought of pitching it to the Lifetime Movie Chanel. Just kidding…
But I share this with you because this is a BIG one. We are SO HARD ON OURSELVES!
The funny thing is, as I am writing this blog, I realize these scenarios happened to me the last month:
A woman reached out to me after reading my blog. She wanted to meet for coffee to learn more and look at possibly collaborating on a few things. As I sat there the following week waiting…. and waiting… I texted her. She was dropping her daughter off at camp… four hours away. She was mortified. Was my reaction one of anger or judgment? Nope. She put down the wrong date and life goes on. I simply used the time to work on some things that I needed to get done and thought “well, she gave me the gift of time.”
A week later a colleague was late on a deadline for a mutual project.
Did I verbally berate her for several days? Did I call to remind her that she seriously screwed up and should feel bad? Did I tell her that this ruined all chances of us ever working together in the future?
NO WAY! In fact, in both instances, I forgot the hiccups within a matter of minutes.
So why can’t I do that for myself? Trust me, I’m working on it.
When you feel perfectionism creep in when you “screw up” instead of internally abusing yourself, simply take a breath and ask yourself “will this matter a year from now?” …and then think of what you can do to avoid the situation from happening again in the future. That’s called “positive framing” and it works! Acknowledge it, learn from it… and
LET IT GO!
For me, I decided the learning would include louder alerts on my phone, better documentation, and most of all. SLOWING DOWN.
I will tell you this perfectionism thing definitely steals my serenity and maybe it does for you as well. So, won’t you join me in releasing it?
Okay, so I promised you my 4th add on to Brene’s 3 P’s for creating more of a sense of calm in your life.
Are you ready? Here it is… and it’s a biggie.
How often do you project on to others what YOU would do, how YOU would react, what YOU would say, and how YOU would act?
Please, please, please can we stop hopping over into other people’s biz?
Take my conversation with a client today. We were discussing how someone had hurt her. She felt unloved, undervalued, and invisible. Somehow that is almost worse than feeling disliked… do you agree? The feeling of indifference from someone almost spurs you on to get them to really like you… because I mean, come on, who wouldn’t like you?!
Then later that day I was lamenting on how someone wasn’t following through on a promise they had made to me. It left me experiencing feelings of being unsupported and ignored.
Can you relate?
Now I know you know that old mantra of “expectations are resentments waiting to happen” and trust me that was ringing in my ears. As I role played in my head, however, on the 30-minute drive to Birdie’s vet appointment, I negotiated with myself. I argued this mantra only held true for when you did something for someone else and expected something in return… not when someone promises you something and never follows through.
Then I started wondering if it did apply.
Even if someone promises me something and never follows through, I am stuck in expectations and thus my resentment?
“Um… no way!”
“I guess it might”
“Okay okay… I guess it does.”
I realized I was completely out of my business and projecting an expectation on to someone when in reality… I wasn’t that person. I didn’t know what was going on in her world and at the end of the day whether she chose to step up or not was really none of my biz and that I should really just mind my own beeswax (does anyone even use that term anymore??)
Anyway, here’s the cool thing. This is one of those times that short-term rumination may serve you!
How so? Well, it’s a way of acknowledging how you feel and listening to the parts of yourself that are hurt. To feel an emotion such as anxiety or fear and completely negate it and jump over into minding your own biz… well, that would be in a big way blowing yourself off… and we don’t want to do that!
Take the time to feel your feelings, have the conversation in your head… and once you feel heard (by you!) it will be easier to let it be, let it go, and shift back into your lane.
So that is exactly what happened to me. When I was able to work through my feelings of frustrations and have the “a-ha” that at the end of the day, my friend’s in charge of her actions and I’m in charge of mine… well, let me tell you, in that moment I felt my body relax and a peacefulness wash over me.
Give me more of that, please!
Feelings of safety and security happen when you honor yourself, speak your truth, and then let things go that aren’t in your control. If a conversation is needed, you will now be in a much stronger and grounded position and be more likely to create a positive growth experience for you both.
Gathering up the courage to step out of familiar patterns is not always easy. What IS your business is how you want to “BE” in this world.
It’s how you want to show up to yourself, others, and the world.
It’s comfy, cozy, and empowering to realize that no matter what anyone else says or does, YOU are good with you.
So, there you go. Establishing more inner order by stepping away from over pleasing, over performing, over perfecting, and projecting can absolutely create more outer calm in your everyday experience.
I would love to hear more about what you do to create more peace and less anxiety. Feel free to leave a comment below!
I’ll see you next week,
Are You Craving More Community? Then Create One!
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 1:00:00 pm Comments (0)
I remember years ago saying to a friend “I just feel like a fish out of water… like I don’t belong.”
Her response…” Don’t we all?”
I found her words surprising as she was the epitome of the suburban lifestyle that I clearly was not. She was married… I was divorced. She had two kids and a dog… I had a dog. She was part of the couple’s parties and school functions… my friends were downtown, out of town, and just a few nearby.
So, when I heard her response it got me thinking…
Is disconnection amidst everyone in today’s society? Does social media, the news, and at times the frenetic energy of our world become too much to keep up with?
The thing is, everyone wants to feel part of SOMETHING. It’s the common thread of being human. We cannot thrive in isolation…community is vital to our survival.
Maybe you are new to town and long for the feelings of home and the security that provided.
A good friend of mine recently moved out of state with her husband and children. On a recent visit with her, I asked “Are you lonely?” It was just a hunch. I hadn’t really thought about how much time she spent each day without friends popping over or the ability to make a quick road trip to see her parents.
The question was barely out of my mouth when she quickly and loudly replied “YES!”
In that moment I held deep compassion for her. My vision was of her as the lucky one with the lucky life and the perfect house and family… when in reality, like everyone, she was dealing with her own feelings of isolation.
Fortunately, she’s not one to sit around feeling sorry for herself. She’s the type who makes things happen! After I left, she called excited to tell me she was invited out for dinner with a group of women from the neighborhood… or shall I say the ladies from Wysteria Lane (anyone remember the show “Desperate Housewives?!” … yes, the area is right out of that show!)
Funny thing is, that “voice” I talked about earlier… the one who says “you don’t belong” “you aren’t part of the cool club” or “you are just a fish out of water here” began piping up in her head. She was so worried they wouldn’t like her or that she wouldn’t get invited back! I reminded her that she seemed to have amnesia regarding they rock star she was and still is. I mean this is my friend who begged me to stay “one more hour” at the dance clubs years ago… who was up for anything fun… who still blares Justin Timberlake in the car. She is the epitome of the “cool girl” … and yet she still is so hungry for community and friends that those parts of her that doubt her awesomeness still have the ability to appear once in a while.
The good news is I received an update and the night was fabulous… and yes, she’s invited back.
Perhaps you are in business for yourself and are “lonely” for interaction with others besides your clients?
My friend Lisa Attonito heads up the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and is an angel! She creates different “mastermind” type of groups to share information, collaborate, and grow professionally.
I was fortunate enough to be invited into one of these groups and I have to tell you that this is one meeting I look forward to each month! Not only have I connected with some pretty great women, I have found a nurturing environment to brainstorm ideas, collaborate on projects, and get inspired on a regular basis.
The best part? We meet at the “sunny table” … and it’s seriously a table that is filled with sun! Just check out the picture from our most recent get together.
So, if you are feeling invisible or alone in any area of your life… you are the one who can create change! Try these ideas:
- Like to cook and enjoy going out for dinner at someone else’s home instead of the restaurants? Create a dinner club!
- Inspired to get out of the same old weekend routines? Think like a kid and create an “adventure list.” Try out the amusement park, rent a jet ski for the lake, go horseback riding, try out zip lining, or the trampoline fun park. You’ll begin to create your ideal community of friends the more you move towards activities that are a “heck yeah!”
- Create a mastermind group of industry leaders in your community. Invite people of all ages to share their experiences and learn from their wisdom.
- Be of service to your community by volunteering for something you are passionate about. Birds of a feather flock together!
- Simply say “hello.” When you are out on your next walk through the neighborhood make a point of waving and simply saying “hi there! Great landscaping” …or whatever you think of! Just start a conversation and see where it takes you.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this one quote that I love as it’s the best tip of all to feel more connected:
“The most basic and powerful way to connect is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we give each other is our attention…” – Rachel Naomi Remen
The Irony of Spiritual Snobbery
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 12:00:00 pm Comments (0)
I recently had a conversation with someone about my work…specifically around managing energy and my Reiki certification …and she said something along the lines of “I bet you never get off balance… stuck… stressed… overwhelmed… or anxiety ridden.”
Ummm. Yes, I do.
Just ask my close friends and family!
But I DO have a ton of tools in my head from years of learning that help me come back to center more quickly than let’s say 10 years ago…and that is what I love sharing with people.
Being immersed in the personal growth world, you meet a lot of people, read a lot of books, and listen to a lot of podcasts…and with that come a lot of realizations and a few “bug-a-boos” (otherwise known as things that bug me). J
So, here’s my bug-a-boo….
I find it ironic how some people “in the biz” of personal development have this “I’m more evolved and awakened” thought process. To me, this is a pretty non-spiritual attitude way of thinking!
If it’s true that we are all connected and “ONE,” then aren’t we all intertwined with one another’s evolvement?
Do you know Carolyn Myss? If not, check her out. I recently was listening to one of her talks and she says…. “You think you are more intuitive, special, more sensitive to energy than the next person? Stop it! Get over yourself!”
At first, she comes across as a bit harsh… but what I believe she is saying is that you as a separate being are not special in terms of being better or worse in any way compared to your friends down here in Human University… but collectively we are beyond special.
I actually do believe many of us are tuned into sensitivity at a high level and are affected deeply by overstimulation. If you’re nodding because this resonates, you might want to ask yourself, however, if this label you’ve assigned to yourself might at times act as a crutch protecting you from the world and thus keeping you “separate.”
Trust me, I’ve done it!
“OMG… I just can’t go to XYZ and deal with you know who because she just drains me all the time when she does 123.”
Here’s the deal. EVERYONE is intuitive and sensitive in some way… but maybe they just don’t go around making a big deal about it! They choose to instead handle and structure their lives in ways where they don’t need to lean on the labels and announce it to the world every time they feel their boundaries are porousJ
I’ve come to realize whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, instead of leaning on the label of HSP (by the way that’s the term for Highly Sensitive Person… Dr. Elaine Aaron’s book on this is fascinating) I instead use practical tools that allow me to “get over myself” in a lighter and lovelier way! Because if you are an HSP, do you really want to lock yourself away from life? I hope not!
So, here are some tips to keep you grounded and connected when things get bumpy:
- “This too shall pass.”I love this quote as it keeps me steady in the bad times… as well as the good ones. It’s a reminder that the pain won’t persist forever AND the elation won’t stay forever either… so don’t get attached! When you anchor yourself amidst the stormy parts and the sunny parts of life, you begin to feel a sense of security, safety, and ease within yourself. You aren’t looking outward to feel pacified but instead find it readily available within you anytime you need it. For me, that is like GOLD!
- Quit trying to fix people.If you are constantly worrying about other people you are operating out of your lane. Stay in your business and let other people work out their own pathology. You have enough to deal with just being YOU! The best thing you can do is focus on your own well-being so there’s enough energy to give to others.
- Quit Judging.One of the quickest ways to decrease overwhelm is to quit gossiping and finding fault in others. Maybe you’re the closet smoker who likes to poke fun at overweight people…or the friend who immediately inserts your opinions into someone else’s life without an invitation. The only person you have enough information to judge is standing in your shoes right now… and even that isn’t a good idea! Choose kindness over judgement and love over fear.
My goal each morning is to approach the day, myself and the people I meet with gentleness, understanding, and acceptance. Do I always score an A+? No way. But the more this idea of lack of separation settles into my soul, the more I find myself not being triggered, not feeling overwhelmed, and not veering off center.
As I realize more and more that my own energy and choices have a ripple effect reaching beyond my own labels, drama, and goals…I find myself feeling more connected not only to myself but to humanity.
So, this week, proceed with mindfulness, tenderness, and care for yourself and others as well.
Now for a little humor to end my time with you this week. I think this sums it up and keeps us all in check!
I believe it is Jeff Foster who said this, and it goes something like this:
“If you think you are spiritual, go spend a week with your entire extended family.”
Simple Tips For A lovely Life
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
I was thinking the other day about the peaks and valleys of life. How, at times, you feel like you’re on cloud nine and other times in the depths of despair. I suppose that’s the duality of life. You can’t have the good without experiencing the bad. Nor can you see the light without knowing the darkness.
Life at times can be taken for granted when things are going well and as result you expect it to stay that way. How many times do you take for granted the beauty of where you’re at in the moment? Your job is going well. Your relationship is healthy. You feel healthy and whole in your body and mindset. It’s as though you’re running on all cylinders.
But what happens when one of the cylinders breaks? What happens when something unexpected and out of your control throws you off kilter? I think that’s when the rubber meets the road. It’s when you have the opportunity to put into play all the tools and exercises we hold within us.
The low points are simply invitations inviting you to tap into your magic. Within each of us lies the power to step out of the valleys and into the highlights of life. Today I would love to share with you a couple of my most favorite tools I use to step into this magical way of feeling good. I do believe when you create your life through the lens of beauty, creative expression, and what lights you up… life actually becomes more fun.
So, let’s dive into a few of my favorite and easy tips for creating more lightness and loveliness in your everyday…
- Create an environment to delight your senses
Take a look around at your environment. Does what you see invoke a sense of joy…or dread?
The thing is, when you create an environment at home or in the office (or even your car!) reflecting how you want to FEEL, the funny thing is you actually start to feel the way you want to feel. Take a look at the placement of your furniture. Look at the cleanliness and the organization of your home. Is there some room for upgrades? And I’m not talking about spending thousands of dollars at the furniture store. People who know me, know that when I moved from my home in the suburbs to downtown Milwaukee, my realtor had warned me that a lot of my furniture was going to be off scale when I downsized. It took me a couple of years to finally realize that yes, the huge desk I had in my home was simply overtaking my living room in my condo…but rather than going and buying an entire new set of furniture for the new place, I slowly began looking around at beautiful furniture consignment stores. And let me tell you, I have decorated the place in a whole new look on a very, very small budget. You’d be amazed at how some people decorate and re-decorate their home every couple of years… and you can benefit from that!
What about clutter? Let me share that for the past year I walked past my guest room closets and cringed knowing that if I opened one of them, things would literally tumble out just like in a cartoon! I kid you not I did not open that door. I FINALLY took about 2 hours to remove the clutter, vacuum, reorganize, and do a quick drop off to Goodwill. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?! I now LOVE opening up that closet. Who knew???!!!
Now, what do you smell in your environment? Odd question, right? The reason I ask is that it’s super easy to delight your sense of smell by simply using a diffuser or a candle. My sister got me hooked on essential oils and I like to pop lemon grass or lavender in my diffuser. There’s something about coming home to a home that just smells so warm and inviting and calming… and the feedback from friends is they love the relaxing vibe. Birdie likes it too
Finally, what sounds do you hear? Does what you hear create anxiety in you… or serenity? This one is so incredibly personal. For me, when the television is on, people are talking, and the radio is playing in the background… I get overwhelmed. But for some of you, it might be the ideal environment as you thrive on activity! If you are feeling anxious, take inventory of the sounds in your home with the tv, music, and even outside noise. Try the spa channel on pandora or check out noise canceling panels you can line your curtains with form Amazon. Sometimes it’s the creature comforts that can create a sense of tender loving care for your environment and yourself.
- Decorate Yourself.
Every day is a new opportunity to create a life you desire… and a great way to start is to look at how you adorn your body. When you put effort into what you are wearing, even if it’s just putting on the scarf or wearing the pretty shoes you keep saving for a special occasion, there’s something special that happens. You hold your head a little higher. You walk a little taller…and you tend to make smarter choices in what you choose to think, say, eat, and accept from other people. Choosing to “decorate” your body in a way that feels GOOD is powerful. Say what you want, but from my own experience, people respond differently when I’m looking “schlump a dunk” versus putting just a wee bit of effort in. Again, I’m not saying you need to go out and buy a new wardrobe. Really, it’s simply organizing your closet and wearing the clothes that make you feel lovely. Refer to Marie Kondo for her organizing tips and tools for this one. She always says if it sparks joy, keep it. If it feels “meh” or draining, donate it or let it go.
- Sit Down and Eat.
Another tip feeling better is paying attention to your dining experience. Are you eating on the fly, while talking on the phone, or walking down the street? Are you grabbing something to go and wolfing it down as you drive and steer the car with your leg……P.S. please don’t do that!
Are you sitting down watching one of the Real Housewives of Bravo TV while intending to eat just two slices of the pizza but eat nearly the entire thing?! (yes, this is from personal experience!)
A great way to start feeling better is to quite frankly, have some self-respect for yourself! Use the nice china. Use the cloth napkins. It’s worth it! Choose quality over quantity. Make a delicious breakfast. This doesn’t have to be an in-depth Martha Stewart experience…but just the simple art of setting the table even if it’s a breakfast bar in your kitchen. Take your time. Use your nice dishes. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big dish fan. So are my mom and sister. I realized while writing this that I need to walk the walk and pull my grandmother’s beautiful dishes out of the cabinet! You don’t need a party or holiday to treat yourself and your family well… so use the good stuff! P.S. If you don’t have china, you can get the BEST deals at consignment stores!
- Stop! Breathe, Look, Listen.
Amp up the inner calm by simply taking moments throughout the day to absorb the present moment.
You might be thinking, “Ok, I’ve organized my environment, I’ve put on the new outfit, I’ve set the table, and I’m still feeling a little down!” … if so, then try this tip.
Simply stopping throughout the day…whether it’s in the grocery store line, stuck in traffic, or on hold with the airlines… just take those few moments to intentionally breathe.
Try this 2-3 times:
- Close your eyes (except while in the car!)
• Breathe in for four
• Hold it for four
• Breathe out for four.
• Open your eyes and look around and listen to what you hear not only around you but within you. List at least three things in that moment that you have the pleasure of feeling grateful for.
Gratitude is the secret sauce to feeling good… do you agree?
I was out with Birdie on our regular morning walk. My back was killing me. I overdid it with planting flowers on my patio… hauling stuff…decluttering my closet, etc. I’ll admit I was feeling sorry for myself! As we walked our regular route down the steps towards the War Memorial and I was lamenting on how I feel older and my body aches, I heard a little clanging and clinking. I stopped and turned to look to my right and there is the beautiful bronze statue of the Forgotten Soldier with the tags and the boots and the helmet. As the dog tags clinked against the boots, I just stopped and became very choked up with gratitude as I looked at the sculpture and the eternal flame burning in the pool of water behind it. I just sat there filled with gratitude repeating “thank you, thank you, thank you. If it weren’t for all of you, I wouldn’t have the opportunity today to be complaining about my back. I wouldn’t even be here.”
That moment was a gift because in a split second, my vibe completely changed.
As I proceeded on my walk, I felt uplifted and elevated. I began to list all the things I’m grateful for. And guess what? My back started to loosen up. Yes, the walk helped but the internal shift I know played a big part.
So, this week if you start to feel a little low and you don’t feel like rearranging furniture… or using an essential oil diffuser… or setting the table… or even putting on a nice outfit, please choose gratitude.
Within the act of appreciation lies the space to experience a sense of awe for life…for your life.
Love to you all. I’ll see you next week.
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
“Peanut,” my niece, recently sent me “before” and “after” photos of her bedroom with a text saying, “This before and after picture makes me happy and I thought I’d share it with you :)”.
It’s so true! How good does it feel to clean out our closets, offices, garages, or kitchen cupboards? I once had a gentleman tell me he and his wife hired a crew to help them “detox” their entire home over one weekend and in his words “it was a spiritual experience.”
The word “clutter’ also applies to so many more facets of our lives.
There is mind, body, heart, and psychological clutter. It’s really a question of how far and deep you want to go.
About three years ago I did a three-week nutritional cleanse based off Kathy Freston’s book, The Quantum Wellness Cleanse. After about ten days, the “detox” went beyond my body and into my emotions.
I began waking up completely refreshed at 5:00 a.m. and found myself making lists of people I felt the need to reach out to… to have closure with… or reconnect with. I had never felt so light after those three weeks within my body, mind and soul.
This is the perfect time of year to clear out what isn’t working so there is room for what feeds your spirit, purpose, and passions.
Happy de cluttering!!
The Not So Sunny Side of Self Care
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)
I used to have a list of “self-care” items on my bathroom mirror. Here are a few of them:
Gargle coconut oil
..... and the list went on.
In fact, it went on so long it kind of wore me out. It was a lot to keep up with. Then, something I heard shifted everything. I was in Florida visiting family and had tuned into Oprah and Eckhart Tolle’s most recent program. As I walked down the street listening, Eckhart said “your only spiritual ritual or practice should be living in the moment.”
It was like a weight was lifted from my mind and body! “How perfect! How simple! How easy!”
So, I decided to lighten up on myself care perfectionism and instead focus on the NOW.
Two funny things happened...
I enjoyed my list of self-care routines (and numerous other parts of my day) because I was actually experiencing them.
I became very uncomfortable. In other words, it wasn’t all that fun all the time.
As I practiced the idea of literally being in the moment as I walked across the room, brushed my teeth, or spoke with clients/family/friends, I also became more in the moment when choices came across my desk, when decisions needed to be made, and when I was present with my feelings...and those just aren’t as fun as bubble baths:)
The thing is, REAL SELF CARE is about REALLY taking care of yourself at a deeper level than moisturizing. It’s serious stuff because it’s the stuff that will support you in creating the change you desire. When you do the work and incorporate a sense of structure and discipline around the work, where we land is new territory—- a place where we stop getting the same results from the same old ways of living... and that can be scary.
What is not working in your life right now? Is it your job? Your relationship? Your well-being?
What if you became so engrossed in the moment that you really had to BE with the questions about these areas of your life and not escape to the spa or the restaurant or the mall? For me these sometimes became avoidance mechanisms cloaked under labels of self-care.
I’m not saying any of the examples above are bad... but aren’t they much more enjoyable and fun once you make the tough choices and wake up to your life in an intentional and conscious way.
A good friend put it perfectly... she said “I’m just done with repeating the same patterns that lead me to the results I don’t want.”
Making choices for long term satisfaction versus short term fun are not easy. It takes focus and commitment... and that my friend is true self care.
Why You Should Never “Grow Up”
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
When I was 13, I couldn’t wait to get braces, eyeglasses (??!!), and wear makeup. These days, I use minimal makeup to hide the fine lines, reluctantly use reading glasses, and have a beauty regimen that includes everything from cupping and dermaplaning to Gua Sha and Microcurrent skin toning devices!
Can you relate? It’s as if you spend the first few decades of your life wanting so desperately to be a grown-up… and the rest of your life trying to reverse the clock. It can be a bit exhausting.
But you know what I have found to be an even better youth potion than collagen supplements and Botox??? It’s super simple, very effective, and has been known to have minimal side effects…
STEP INTO THE MAGIC, WONDER, AND FUN OF YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF!
Now, I am all about emotional maturity when it matters, but sometimes don’t you just take life too darn seriously? I mean maybe it’s time to just get over yourself! (I say that in the most compassionate way mind you!)
I was inspired to write this blog because after a weekend with SEVEN kids ranging in age from 5-12, I was reminded of the power of just living… in the moment.
I live in downtown Milwaukee and am fortunate to have three of my cousins within minutes of me. So, after my Mother’s Day mini pity party I reached out and offered them the opportunity for a date night while I planned a sleepover pizza party along with fun at the beer garden across the street… minus the beer.
As they all arrived it was, as expected, total chaos. I live in a condo building so there were a few terrifying moments of panic as some of them took off on a self-guided tour… needless to say, my neighbors heard a different side of me yelling down the halls “I am VERY upset right now! WHERE IS YOUR BROTHER?!”
Yet I was reminded over those two days often of the power and the magic of seeing the world (aka “the perfect in the imperfect”) through the innocent eyes of a child.
For example, each summer, Sprecher Brewery, has a traveling beer garden that rotates through many of the Milwaukee city parks. Fortunately, one of them is right across my street! So for two weeks each summer, there are bands and of course the beer, pretzels, and who can forget the cheese curds literally in my front yard.
On a typical Friday night, people are sprawled throughout the park having picnics, reading, people watching, and dancing. You see a lot of dogs, a lot of smiles…it’s just really one of those beautiful moments where people are relishing the moment and enjoying simple pleasures.
So in my head, I had pictured the “perfect” evening with the kids. My friend Kathy popped over with her 5-year-old daughter and off we went.
As we walked across the street, anticipating the usual scene, my friend Kathy and I bursted out laughing. Normally, like I said, there’s a huge crowd of people… but on this night, there were literally six people and the band was one woman with a guitar.
When the agenda doesn’t go as planned, simply repeat this mantra… “NO BIG DEAL.”
There’s this thing called Mother Nature. On this specific Friday, it was about 46 degrees…in June. Fortunately, the rain had stopped so we decided to stay for a bit because clearly, the kids didn’t care that the place was empty and the woman singing was a bit less than enthusiastic…so why should we?
And guess what?? We had a blast.
Leave it to kids. They immediately found plenty to do and pretty soon we discovered we had our own private concert for the night as the woman played requests like “Let it Go” from the movie “Frozen” just for us. What a perfectly appropriate song for the evening. 🙂
I think so often, the weather is something we like to talk about because it’s a common thread… I mean we all experience the same weather within our community so it’s a connector. Trying to control it, however, is pointless! Remember that idea of staying in your lane and not worrying about what other people are doing? The weather is not included in your lane. It’s in the lane of God/Divine/Universe.
Did you love it when it snowed when you were a kid? What about when it rained? Wasn’t it fun splashing through puddles? If it was cloudy or humid did that prevent you from playing outside?
Within the rain, wind, and yes, the cold, there is divine perfection.
Don’t let the weather stop you from living.
So many lessons that weekend from the munchkins! Here are a few more…
The next morning one of the little guys had to complete a mile walk for his Cub Scout program. As we walked along Lake Michigan, they stopped to skip rocks. I found myself saying “let’s go! Hurry up!” I felt this sense of anxiety coming over me with keeping track of each of them as they darted like mice as well as needing to be back at the condo at a specific time for their pickups.
All of a sudden I stopped and said to myself, “hold on Meg and wait a minute here. The four boys are in a state of joy skipping rocks…the two girls (with of course my dog Birdie) are just walking slowly hand in hand. Why don’t you just stop, sit down at a picnic table, soak in this moment, and watch those pebbles skip on the water?”
So, I did. I chose to be present.
As the girls and I sat there, my anxiety about the time and “hurrying up” calmed down. I was able to notice how proud the boys were as they skipped the pebbles and we’d clap.
Now, this may sound dramatic or corny… but I don’t care:
In that moment, I felt like I was living. I mean really living. So simple but it was a snapshot in time that even now as I write, this stirred emotions in me. I was totally present with the kids, the breeze, the view, the laughter, the sun’s warmth, the sound of the birds and the beauty of the ripples in the water as they skipped those stones. I mean, seriously, a rock that skips 4 or 5 times? That’s a miracle. That’s magic.
And yes, it’s reaching that mile mark to check it off your list so you can get the Cub Scouts medal. And yes, it’s important to be on time. But sometimes don’t you think you create unneeded stress within moments of peace?
Enjoy the journey to the goal.
If you can’t enjoy the ride, is the destination really worth it?
One more lesson of the weekend came as we were heading back, and they were collecting rocks. So many rocks. In my jacket. Like, A LOT of rocks.
My jacket was weighed down with so many rocks I must say I got a bit of a workout. As we reached the end of our morning adventure, the littlest one looked at me with her sweet little voice and said “Meg look! I found the most beautiful rock of all!” As I looked down, I’m pretty sure what she was showing me was part of asphalt with a bit of plastic reflector material in it! To her, however, it was a magical rock.
After everyone left and I cleaned up the dishes, made the beds, and done everything that you mothers do every single day, I finally sat down for the first time in two days. As I sat in silence, I looked at the table and I realized she had left me her rock. For a moment, I laughed and thought it didn’t belong in my beautiful glass dish with the other smooth and spa-like Lake Michigan rocks in the calm colors of blue, grey, and green…this was a chunk of someone’s driveway. But then the final lesson poured over me and I realized that this WAS the perfect rock. It was perfect because it was the representation of finding the beauty in the imperfect… all through the pure eyes of a child.
And as it should be, that little piece of tar holds the “king of the hill” spot on top of the other rocks.
Always choose to see the beauty within yourself and others.
So, a big thank you to the children in this world for reminding me to hold on to the wonder and preciousness of my 8-year-old self. I hope you do too.
See you next week,
Why I Let Go of Seeking Validation
Account to Approve workflow on Friday, July 19, 2019 at 10:30:00 am Comments (0)
“My friend said I should do…”
“I spoke with my Mom and she thought…”
“My friend is really intuitive and her feeling was I should try…”
Why do you ask other people THEIR opinions of YOUR life? Could it be you are simply looking for information to validate what you already know at a gut level?
It’s as if we are actually immersed in “polling.” What I mean by this is you have XYZ situation and you call several people asking for their reaction, advice, or “what would they do.” I’m not saying anything is wrong with this! I think as humans we seek connection through shared experiences. What I will say from personal experience, however, is be very careful who you connect with on different aspects of your life.
Why? Because when you invite someone into the sacred parts of your life, you are opening up your energy and soul to another person. That’s major stuff! I have found in recent years it’s exhausting not only sharing the XYZ story but there are also the after-effects of numerous people wanting updates on the XYZ story. Can you relate?
Telling your “story” over and over to numerous people in the hope for validation creates energy around the topic… so it’s important to really trust those you share your “stuff” with.
A few things I’ve learned about searching outside yourself for the answers:
- YOUR “STUFF” CAN BE ADDICTIVE TO DRAMA JUNKIES:
Sharing the innermost details with certain people is like offering them a vacation from their own drama. It’s a soothing medication to relieve their anxiety and an opportunity for a reprieve from their life. Your “stuff” will make some people feel a whole lot better about their own.
Real-Life Example: When I was in the depths of despair in my own marriage years ago, rather than deal with what was in front of me (Dysfunction!) I focused my energy on his issues, his family drama, his friends' issues, and boy did that feel good… for a while. The problem with “denial band-aids” is they feel good in the short term but keep you stuck in the long run!
I now am very aware when I step out of my own business… as well as when others are hungry to hop into my lane. Recently, a friend became borderline upset with me because I wouldn’t update her on the details of a personal part of my own journey that has caused me a great deal of growth and yet also sadness. For me, there is a point when marinating in the storyline too long just gives unneeded energy to a situation.
- PEOPLE LOOK THROUGH THEIR OWN UNIQUE LENSE:
It can be difficult for others not to project their own “stuff” on to your situation. The truth is; however, no two situations or people are ever alike… so absorbing someone else’s truth as your own is a bit dangerous.
Real-Life Example: Years ago, I was part of an amazing work team. As oftentimes happens, our company was bought out and with that came CHANGE… big time. I became so swept up in the views of my colleagues that my own dissatisfaction became amplified. In fact, it was as if when we all quit, I was so enmeshed in the drama of the situation that I never really stopped and asked myself “hey! is leaving the company something that is good for ME right now?” Now I do believe I would have left either way, but looking back now I realize I became so caught up in the wave of everyone else’s drama that I really wasn’t feeling solid in my own truth.
At the end of the day, you’ve got yourself. So, know yourself and trust yourself. It’s scary at first but when you take the leap of faith and follow the intelligence of your gut, that is where peace resides.
- YOU ARE YOUR OWN CRYSTAL BALL:
If you know me, you know I love everything to do with intuition. I have many friends who are intuitives (a more mainstream title for “psychic”,) tarot card readers, mediums, etc. What I love about them is they give a neutral take on your situation, offer guidance and comfort, and yes validate many times what you already know. What I find is a slippery slope is that for some people (LIKE ME!) they can become a crutch. Now, my friends who use their intuitive gifts to help others and create more love and light in this world wouldn’t allow someone to become dependent on them by doing readings every week… but there are some who do and to me that just feels irresponsible. When you begin to live your life and make decisions personally and professionally based upon what someone else’s sees for you, that can be dangerous.
The thing is, YOU are your own best intuitive!
You were born with the gift of the sixth sense and when you quiet your mind, ask the right questions, and actually listen… everyone else’s “take” on your life or your situation fades away. What remains is a mature and wise “knowing” from within. In fact, I have an acronym I like to use. It’s called BETA.
- B: Believe in your own intuition or the intelligence of your gut. Remember, it’s your second brain.
• E: Expect it to work for you.
• T: Trust it.
• A: Take action!
Let me ask you a question…
Can you look back on your life and your body/gut/inner wi-fi /intuition was saying “NO!!!” to a decision you made… but you did it anyway?
Let’s just say we all can relate. In this specific case, your mind obviously overrode your inner knowing…and that is why the “A” of the above acronym is so difficult to execute.
I’ve come to believe it takes true courage and strength to sit with, be with, and witness what you already know to be true for yourself. Sometimes the choices that are healthy and good are the most painful ones to make. Wouldn’t you say; however, the most difficult choices are oftentimes the most transformational?
So what decisions are you looking at in your life right now?
When you think about option A or B, do you get anxiety? Do you run to avoidance mechanisms that enable you to avoid having to deal with the answers that are coming to you? Distractions such as food, shopping, gossiping, alcohol, “busyness?”…. “polling” other people for the course of action?
If so, it’s probably time to get honest and quiet. By doing so you gather the strength to step through what I call the “rim of fear.”
Imagine a circle around you. When you are in the middle, you are safe in your comfort zone. Nothing is wrong with that… but every so often you are ready to grow. When you grow, it’s inevitable that you will encounter one or more rims of fear around your circle. These are moments and choices where you are invited to step into courage and choose what you know to be right and true. Scary, right!? Yet you know in your heart, what lies on the other side are the feelings you want to feel right now in your life. Maybe it’s peace, serenity, confidence, happiness, freedom.
So, there you go my friends. If you are seeking the answers, the first step is to simply begin answering your own questions. Resist the urge to hand over the reins to anyone else. Not only does this diminish your self-worth, but you’re actually ripping yourself and the rest of us off by living someone else’s life.
You have a purpose and work to do in this world through the life you live. Make sure each day you are the one living it.
Are You Respecting Yourself?
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
A few weeks ago I was walking down one of my neighborhood streets and stopped to notice two signs in front of an apartment building. One on a pretty little chalkboard said:
“To the dog owners who continue to be disrespectful towards this property by not cleaning up after their dogs. Why can’t you stop this disgusting behavior? It’s all about keeping the area looking nice. So how about picking up the dumps like most owners do?”
For added flavor, there was another message on an electrical box panel, which read, “Pick up the dog dumps. It’s the LAW!”
If you don’t believe me… check out the pictures included in this week’s blog.
Every time I saw those signs I’d think, “gosh, who would let their dog just go to the bathroom and not pick it up????”
So flash forward to today. A not so funny thing happened on my walk this morning with Birdie. It’s not pretty so I’ll just say it… she decided to do her “business” right in front of the first sign. Now on a 45-minute walk, what are the odds of that happening??
So, as luck would have it, Miss Judgmental here, acting all high and mighty about other people not picking up after their dog’s biz, experienced a moment of pure terror. Just ask my friend Lauren. I was leaving her one of those audio text messages and went into all-out panic mode when I realized I DIDN’T HAVE ANY POO BAGS LEFT.
All I could imagine was this person who created the signs peering out of the window at that very moment ready to pounce on me… or call the police to report my crime. It was seriously a Boo Radley moment from Too Kill A Mockingbird. (all-time best book ever by the way!)
My mind began to race, my anxiety began to heighten, and I felt trapped! … so I did what any normal person would do… I acted like I was oblivious to Birdie and preoccupied with my phone.
The feeling was equivalent to years ago at St. Vincent DePaul grade school having to stand with my nose to the blackboard for talking too much. I just felt I was in BIG TROUBLE!
As I ran away (extremely fast) feeling very guilty, promising myself that I would go home and get a baggie and come back to pick it up, two angels appeared from the neighboring apartment complex. They were the Merry Maids! Sweet Jesus thank you! (Who says your angels don’t have your back?!)
I ran up to them out of breath and jerking my head every few seconds to look behind me…”ladies, do you think you could help me? I’m in a bit of a conundrum.”
Going on to explain my predicament really didn’t thrill them. They wordlessly just stared at me, handed me a garbage bag, and got in their car to leave.
I am pretty sure I was waving the garbage bag up in the air as I ran back so anyone in that building could see I had no intention of committing a criminal offense and the cops could be called off.
As I picked up the poo and made a getaway from Boo, I realized something about the people in that building…First, however, I must clear my conscious so let me confess something…This has happened before. Just one or two times, I swear! But, did I remember to go back? No. Did I run away leaving it, hoping that no one would see me? Yes!
This time it was different, yes, because of the sign, but even more, because I knew the people in this building really cared about their yard. It was important to them. They had self-respect! So for me to run away would have been blatantly rude and disrespectful.
So, as my heartbeat slowed down and as I walked away, it got me thinking…
If you’re not feeling respected by others, take a look at the level at which you’re respecting yourself.
Now, this actual building isn’t any nicer than any of the other buildings on that street, but you can just tell the people who live there care about the upkeep. They respect themselves and take care of their environment. The landscaping is pretty, the shrubbery and flowers are well maintained, and let’s face it; they stand up for themselves when their neighbors disrespect them!
So I share this story with you because I do believe when we become our own best cheerleader, life tends to flow a bit easier. In fact, you could say it is the finest form of self-care!
Where might you be blowing yourself off in small and big ways? Do any of these sound familiar?
- Not asking for a raise at your annual review.
- Saying “ok” to the restaurant your friend wants to go even though you are a vegetarian and her choice is a steak house.
- Jumping to everyone else’s emergencies (aka answering emails) before you even brush your teeth and get ready for the day.
- Eating the second slice of cake when you know one was enough.
- Agreeing… when you don’t really agree.
- And my all-time favorite… saying “sorry” when it’s completely unnecessary. I have made a big effort to watch this! It’s almost like second nature or a default response for some of us. In fact, I was at the grocery store the other day and this guy comes barreling down the aisle towards me with his cart and I quickly moved out of the way saying “sorry.” Two seconds later I realized the ridiculousness of what I just said and had to hold myself back from running after him saying “actually no…I am NOT sorry!”
So, I guess the point of this not so elegant blog this week is this:
Instead of ruminating in your head, ruminating with others, stepping into the victim role, or just feeling fed up with other people… turn around and realize YOU have the power to deal with any poo that crosses your path in life… and it all starts with loving, caring for, and respecting yourself! When you do… so will everyone else!
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you soon,
Are You Isolating Yourself?
Account to Approve workflow on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
A recent conversation with a friend I hadn’t spoken with in a while reminded me of the tendency to isolate ourselves. Looking back on my own periods of isolation, I see clearly now how I explained it away as “well, people think I’m an extrovert but really I am more of an introvert.” The reality is, while yes I tend to lean more towards introversion, there have been times where I’ve escaped life by creating distance from the world, people, and in effect, my purpose.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life where things felt as though they were falling apart in every direction…and you just didn’t have the get-up and go to get going? Looking back on that time, I have a question for you…
When everything hit the fan, did you choose the route of isolation… or love?
When your life became imbalanced in one, several, or all areas, did you look at it as an invitation to step into loving yourself and those around you more…or did you choose to stay in your cave?
There was a time in my life when three big ones (professional, relationship, and well-being) were out of whack and instead of choosing the route of love, I chose what at the time seemed the easy route. The one equivalent to putting your head under the covers and hoping you’d wake up in a few months when everything was back to “normal.” What I did was begin to slowly isolate myself from friends, fun, inspiring work, and in essence…living!
It took me about a year before I looked around and realized the after effects of my period of isolation. Those friends I stepped away from because they had “hurt my feelings” or “we weren’t on the same energy wavelength” were friends I missed. The things I loved to do in my free time were nonexistent. It was like “POOF!” … they had evaporated from my life and took with them a big chunk of happiness.
Through clearer eyes and a different lens, I realized my isolation was simply an excuse to step away from the act of living. It was easier to put the blame on others assuring myself they “weren’t there for me in the way I needed them to be” or that they “didn’t react in the way that I would” than it was to look within myself.
I was struck with this newfound “a-ha!” that my underlying energy of isolation was subconsciously pushing them away as well as pulling me away from a multitude of things that created joy for me.
Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t listen to your feelings and lovingly let go of certain individuals for different reasons, and I am certainly not saying stepping out of the chaos of life at times isn’t healthy.
I am simply offering up the idea that if you find yourself in a situation where life just doesn’t feel fair and you want to jump to judgment of others, why not instead pose a question to yourself (again without judging yourself!)…
Who is the common denominator in my life right now?
This is not a trick question…yes, the answer is YOU!
If you’re constantly being triggered by people and sensitive to how they are treating you, there are two choices. You can either walk away and send them love… or you can be authentically vulnerable through the lens of love by being open and honest about the struggles you are dealing with.
Sometimes you think you have to go it alone and when you do, isolation wins.
How about trying something different? Why not choose to be courageous and operate through the space of love? Love for yourself, for other people, and with an understanding that they, too, have their own “stuff!” Quite frankly, I’ve come to realize everyone’s just doing the best that they can in this life.
So how about this… what about choosing only one “personal development project?” This project being the art of choosing love with every breath you take throughout the day. I have to tell you this is not always easy. I’ve been practicing it and will say it just feels so GOOD when I put it to use… and when I don’t? That doesn’t feel so good.
I had lunch with a friend recently. The past two times we saw each other were, to put it lightly, big time downers. One time I cried in my eggs and the other time she cried in her cosmo. She could have said, “I’m going to back off with Meg! I left breakfast completely drained by her”… and I could have said “Heck to the no am I going to get together for dinner with her again. I was so depressed by the end of the night!”
But the thing is, we both chose to act through love instead. When we got together recently for lunch she said “OMG. I didn’t think you’d ever want to see me again. I made it all about me that night and was embarrassed to reach out to you again.” (Fortunately, I reached out to her… see, I am getting better with this isolation thing!)
Here’s the deal… choosing the route of love is when the heaviness in your chest falls away. It’s where the sadness in your heart lifts. When we choose to live our lives from a place of loving energy, as well as authenticity, things become more in balance. Friendships that are real remain. Friendships that were meant to be there for a reason or a season move on in a gentle way. No judgment, no blame.
So here is my challenge for you this week. Pay attention to areas of your life where you are sitting in denial, isolation, or blame. Commit to just one action step. Maybe it’s reaching out to that friend you miss, or looking at things from the other person’s perspective, or courageously telling the truth about a situation to yourself or someone else. Whatever it may be, choose to do SOMETHING that will move you away from isolation and back to the land of the living.
Life is beautiful if you open yourself up to the possibility of miracles… and I do believe there are tiny miracles every day if you simply step outside your cave to look.
See you soon,
Why I Believe the “Fluff Stuff” Can Change Your Life
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Years ago, when I had hired my own coach and had decided to get into the arena of working with other people in the realm of personal development, I was often asked, “What’s your market? What’s your niche? Who’s your ideal customer? What’s the focal point of your coaching?”… and I really struggled with the answers. I remember sharing with a mentor of mine, “I can’t articulate what exactly I am offering. It’s not health coaching. It’s not fitness coaching. It’s not executive coaching… It’s more the “fluff stuff.”
I went on to explain my definition of “fluff stuff” to her through stories of different people from all different industries and backgrounds that had reached out to me for support and my services. They all had their “labeling” or reasons for reaching out to me. It usually was around elevating their career or changing jobs… but a funny thing always seemed to happen. Time and time again we went beyond the surface aspects of their current situation and desires and into instead, their energy and who they were at a deeper soul level. Conversations about managing their own personal vibe as well as how their physical environment felt. Unearthing outdated stories they had been telling themselves about themselves for years that were literally keeping them stuck. Figuring out that hopping over into someone else’s business was draining their energy, time, and resources. Discovering the ways in which they were expert chameleons that had curated a life that was not at all what they desired but instead what they THOUGHT other people desired. Why practicing self-care felt… really selfish.
I have come to realize that all of this, and so much more, is really the way we find ourselves and the life we desire. It’s getting out of our heads and into our hearts. It’s doing “the work” and using the tools when we really don’t feel like it.
I also realized I’m really not a coach for your life. You are in charge of your life… and you don’t need to practice “self-help.” You aren’t a piece of furniture that’s broken. You are a powerful being who instead really digs self-development so that’s a great thing!
So here’s the deal:
We all just want to feel something in our lives. To feel happier. To experience more serenity…. more confidence… more connection… more joy.
So in a nutshell, what I really do… is help people feel GOOD… so they have the energy and inspiration to take action with their own lives.
So how do you begin to “feel good?” Perhaps through things like being more in the moment, finding the lesson in the pain, following through with the promises to yourself instead of blowing yourself off, practicing self-care, and a biggie: creating more connection with yourself and subsequently others.
You’d think with technology and the ability to connect with anyone in the world in seconds, we would experience feelings of security and cohesiveness, but apparently not. There exists this deep yearning for connection and community wherever you look. I was recently listening to an interview with David Brooks who wrote a book called The Quest for a Moral Life. In it he shares that in the 1950s it was all about this idea of “we’re in this together.” There was a great sense of community. The baby boomer generation was booming, back yard barbecues were the norm, and people felt like they BELONGED.
As with anything, things began to swing to the other side. In this case, more to the individualistic side. The vibe of “I’m my own person” in the 60s was not a bad thing… but it’s now 60 years later and we’ve become extremists who are yearning at a soul level for more organic, old-fashioned connection.
Have we become so entrenched in “ME”… that we have lost the benefits of “WE?”
A participant in one of my recent monthly workshops in Milwaukee touched upon this idea of disconnection. How we exist oftentimes working alone, eating alone, existing alone… But always with our best friend whose name is “social media.” Many times our phones even possess their own place settings at dinner!
So, how do we capture the essence of the “we are all in this together” feeling? How do we find those moments of feeling part of something bigger than just ourselves? That secure and cozy place that feels like home?
It begins with tapping into our own inner spirit…our soul. At the end of the day, that’s the one commonality we all possess. You may be a Republican or a Democrat, male, female, wealthy or just getting by. All of these superficial labels we put upon ourselves simply are cloaks we wear each day. Underneath it all, however, we are all the same.
So, when you think about it, if you are seeking connection, if you’re seeking community. If you’re seeking more of a sense of belonging in this day and age, it’s imperative that you tap into yourself first at a soul level. It’s key that you get in touch with the mysticism of life. That you get in touch with your spirit. Yes, I’m talking about the woo woo! And you know what, the woo woo works. The woo woo, I like to say, is more “wow wow!” Why? Because when you get in touch with yourself at this level, it’s so much easier to then connect at a deeper level with someone else. Creating connection first with yourself is like turning on a light switch that allows you to see everyone else at the party.
Some might say what I write about is the “fluff stuff”… and what I say to that is “GREAT!” Because I know the true benefit I offer people are tools to FEEL better so they can start getting on with their purpose in this life. Our time here is short and it’s our divine responsibility to care for ourselves enough that we have the energy to express our purpose and gifts every day.
Speaking of tools, I’d like to share a few of the favorites I use on a regular basis to create more connection with not only my spirit but with others as well:
- Pay attention to your energy: When you wake up, rate your energy level from 1-10 and also think about WHY you are at that level. Creating awareness around your energy is so powerful. When we elevate our energy it creates an awesome day not only for ourselves but those we meet.
- Check in with the intelligence of your gut: When faced with a decision, it’s easy to go with what your head says. Logically, the decision is option A or option B. But could there be more information that’s available to you if you sink into a more deeper and spiritual space within yourself? The next time you are grappling with lack of clarity, ask your mind what answer it has for you… but then gently put your hand over your heart, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask your heart what it has to say.
- Ask for support: Do you struggle with being vulnerable? Is it difficult for you to ask for support without feeling in debt to the other person? Asking for help is an act of courage and one that can lead to authentic work and personal relationships. Doesn’t it feel good to offer assistance to someone? Why not give others the same opportunity? Today, start small and ask for a small favor and build from there.
Oh! And never underestimate the power that lingers beyond the veil. I speak to my guides, my angels, and my loved ones on a daily basis. Maybe you have lost a parent, sibling, or a friend. Or heart breakingly, you’ve lost a child. You, my friend, I’m sure are nodding your head at the power that exists when you communicate and connect with these loved ones. They are simply waiting to be asked. I can tell you without a doubt, that on the days that I have asked for assistance and for help, they have not let me down. It’s fine if you disagree… but what do you have to lose? Just experiment with it over the next week or so. Finding a parking spot, dealing with an issue at work, or struggling for clarity try this:
Angels above me, angels below me, angels all around me this is what I ask of you today__________________________.
So, there you go. It’s a little woo woo today. But if you know me, you know I love it and I believe it works. So, I encourage you to get in touch with the “fluff stuff” in your life. Chances are it’s the doorway to connect more to not only your gifts and your purpose but to others as well. If you’re lonely, if you’re sad, if you are simply having a bad day and you don’t know why, tap into yourself at that soul level through the tools above, mediation, or a conversation with an old friend you haven’t spoken with in a while. Then, notice how your energy begins to lift.
See you soon,
Why I Never Complain About The Weather
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 11:00:00 am Comments (0)
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” ~ John Ruskin
I love walking in the rain. There is something magical about the entire experience. Maybe because it’s out of the norm to go for a stroll during a storm when the logical thing to do is retreat inside? Perhaps it’s the part of me that loves all things mystical. Who knows? All I know is I never really care to complain about the weather.
As human beings, the one thing we have in common is talking about the weather. I guess it’s conversation filler or perhaps at a deeper level, cosmically and energetically, it’s something that connects all of us. Do I dare say it even provides a sense of community?
I used to live in the woods near Lake Michigan and found the most beautiful days were when the fog would roll in through the water, over the trees, and right into my home. One day I was on the phone with a neighbor who was complaining about, you guessed it, the weather! As I watched two deer fly through my backyard through the mist, I remember saying to her “but oh my gosh just look out your window… it’s like we are living in one of Jane Austen’s novels!” … There was an extended silence followed by, “oh Meg you’re so… funny,” I don’t think she agreed with my outlook.
Now I realize many of you reading this are from my “neck of the woods” and this past winter was indeed long. I also believe the weather absolutely has an effect on some of our moods. I am simply offering tools that might help ease the suffering if you are like many of my friends who are ready to say “bye bye” to future winters.
Have you heard of Byron Katie? If not, check her out. She wrote a great book called Loving What Is. In it, she states there really are only three “businesses” in life:
- There’s your business.
- There’s everybody else’s business…
- And there’s God’s business.
Worrying about what other people think means you are up in THEIR business and those rainy, “yucky” days? Those are God’s business.
The only business you need to stay in…is your business.
Oh my gosh, this tool has helped me out so often. The time and energy that’s been saved when I stop worrying about this person and that person and what I might have said or done to upset them or what they may have said about me. Whenever I was “suffering” (in other words ruminating, worrying, stressing, etc. etc.) I tried using this one question and it actually worked! The question I asked was “whose business am I in right now?” Let me tell you, 99.9% of the time if I was “suffering,” I was without a doubt up in someone else’s business!
Staying in your own business means YOU get to decide how you are going to show up today. You get to create the reality you desire regardless of what others might say or do or what is going on in their “biz!”
Staying present within yourself is simply a choice… and within that choice lingers the possibility for serenity and freedom.
Last month I was dropping off some cushions for my Mom at the upholster and I love this woman. When you walk in her home, it’s just so inviting and warm. You literally want to sit down and have a little cup of tea with her. As we were walking out, she said to me, “isn’t this weather awful?”
Fortunately, a few weeks earlier I had built upon my initial choice of not complaining about the weather with another choice of not agreeing with others who did! I just don’t have it in me anymore to nod and agree about something that’s out of our control, and frankly is a beautiful part of our world. So, I looked at her and offered this:
“Why don’t you just pretend you’re in Ireland today? Or, if you head downtown, just imagine you’re driving down to London? If you were in either area, you’d probably be experiencing this type of weather…foggy, misty, and rainy. Put a fire in your fireplace, pour a cup of tea, put on one of your favorite wool sweaters and embrace it.”
“Huh. Well, that’s an interesting way to look at things… and you know, I’ve never been to Ireland. Okay, I’ll give it a try!”
Isn’t it more enjoyable to embrace rather than curse “what is” with creativity and fun?
As I left to head back downtown (oops! I mean London), I realized there is power in the lens in which we look at things. I could have walked out of her home agreeing, “yeah, this sucks. It’s awful. I can’t stand this weather.” Okay, how would that make me feel? Even as write and say these words, my energy drops.
Instead, make life an adventure today. This morning, I got up and looked out the window. Again, it’s foggy and rainy. I grabbed Birdie’s leash and as we walked outside I could feel the cold hit. So what did I do? I looked for ways I could embrace rather than hate the reality of the weather. As I stood on the corner waiting for the light to turn green I was breathing in that English seaside air and a neighbor of mine approached saying… “Isn’t this weather terrible?”
Oh boy, here we go again.
So I offered up my little trick and her response was “Hey, that’s not a bad idea. I kind of like that.” As she turned to wave she had a spring in her step and a smile on her face.
Where might you be looking through the lens of “lack” in your life besides the weather? What areas of your life are you embracing or complaining?
- Your job?
I fall into the “lack trap” as well. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, I found myself looking at another person’s life through the lens of “WOW. She’s got it ALL.” And I mean everything. Every box is checked. OMG. I love her. No, wait… I hate her. Just kidding.
It was like an out of body experience. I had totally stepped out of myself and instead of feeling grounded in gratitude for what I do have I was floundering about making up all these stories about myself through the space of lack. And you know what? That is not a fun place to exist. It’s unsteady and full of fear. In fact, to “go there” feels almost reckless.
When we step out of our body, out of our energy, and out of our minds (and into someone else’s) we run the risk of falling off our own path and purpose. When this happens, that’s what we call feeling stuck.
Getting up into other people’s business is saying to yourself and the universe “my life isn’t valuable enough.”
What’s the way out? Through awareness and discipline.
When I use the term discipline I use it to describe expressions of self-love. It’s respecting yourself enough to pull yourself back from the cliff of comparison and to reel yourself back to you… and this is where contentment lies. This is where inner peace exists. This is where love for ourselves and the ability to love others grows…and isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
Think about the last time you were stressed, worried or anxiety ridden. Were you in your own business or were you in God’s business or someone else’s?
So, I challenge you today to pay attention to how you view yourself and your life. Is it through your own lens or someone else’s? Are you viewing it from a place of “not good enough’ or comparison to others? If so, I invite you to investigate that. Look at it with curiosity. Use it as an opportunity to step back into who you are. Because let’s face it…today as you read or listen to this, remember that the next 24 hours have never happened before nor will they ever occur again in the history of this universe. To me, that’s motivation enough to view it as a gift. Or in other words…why squander your precious time running around like a frantic person up in everyone else’s business?
Don’t worry about the weather. Don’t worry about so and so and who got the job and who has the “perfect” life (even if Instagram says otherwise.)
Step back into you. This is where all the possibilities for your life are marinating. Resist the urge to divert your attention from this pool of possibilities that lie within your heart, your soul and your mind. Step into you today and when all else fails, remember what a wise participant at one of my Self Love Summits stated with vigor, “You must own your own soul!”
So, my friend, in a nutshell, this is why I never complain about the weather.
I’ll see you next week,
Why You Should Stop Trying To Find Your Purpose
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
On one of my recent morning walks, I passed by an old building that has been vacant for quite some time. I was surprised to see that the ”for lease” sign was down and what was in its place was a beautiful new sign with a company name and a tag line of… “Find Your Purpose.”
When I read this, a question immediately popped to my mind… “Why are we all looking for our purpose with so much energy and hunger?”
Could it be that constantly looking for your purpose is what is keeping you stuck?
Now, please understand I don’t see anything wrong with a company, an individual, or anyone offering assistance to someone who is trying to find their purpose. When people come to me, to my workshops, or to work with me one on one, oftentimes there is this “seeking” element within their goals.
Years ago, I started my own personal development journey. I was 16 and sitting on my pink shag carpeting in my bedroom. I now realize the focal point of my first vision board was the redhead crawling atop the car in White Snake’s video “Here I Go Again…” … and unfortunately, looking like her was a goal I never achieved! Anyway, over the years I read all the books, took the quizzes, attended the workshops, and completed assessments all around this idea of “finding my purpose.”
The funny thing is, the doorway into “my purpose” was literally under my nose. Every day. Every moment. Every Minute.
This doorway is…TO BE HERE RIGHT NOW.
Life is happening right now. You are reading (or listening) to this and guess what, right now this is your purpose. When I was walking my dog… that was my purpose.
If you’re someone who is desperately searching for their purpose in the world, maybe an experiment is in order.
Take the next week and decide to stop searching and instead, completely immerse yourself into the present moment.
This morning, as you got up to take a shower and get dressed for the day, that was your purpose for that moment. Your purpose is to put yourself together in a way that feels good to you. When you sit down for breakfast, as you’re deciding what to eat and as you enjoy your food, that’s your purpose. As you go about your day, whether you’re on the train or in the car on your way to work, or perhaps at your computer, being present is your purpose. As you’re in meetings with your boss or your team or your clients, that is your purpose.
So, my point is that what if “finding your purpose” is all pointless? What if the joke is on us? What if, all along, since the day we were born, your purpose has been to solely be present in the moment with whatever you are doing or whoever you’re with.
When you’re constantly attached to the future of “when I do this…” or “as soon as I do…” you lose the actual essence of living. The ironic part about all of this is when we are hyper future focused, once we get “there” we actually miss “there” because once again we are looking a mile down the road.
Now, you may be rolling your eyes, thinking, “well if I’m doing that, then how am I going to plan for my goals? How am I going to make any changes if I’m completely immersed in the moment?”
I have two answers
*Set aside time during the day for goal setting and during that time be completely present with your planning.
When you envision the person you desire to be or the life you want to have, have fun with simply embodying in the moment that person. In fact, with a snap of a finger, you can BECOME that person and be in the moment as that person the entire day based off of the choices you make. Be present with that part of you wanting to emerge, be present with her/him and live your life RIGHT NOW as if you are already there. With what you say yes to and what you say no to… with how you speak and how you dress… with what you eat and what you drink… how you spend your free time… and how you speak to yourself. Be that person because anything you desire or want for your life is already residing within you. If you want to write a book know that the inspiration is already sitting inside of you. Be present with it. Your purpose is to begin living your life and acting like the person who is writing that book.
If you want to get into a completely different job, embody for a few seconds who that person is in that job. Be totally present with that person and then be that person today. That’s your purpose. So, instead of making your purpose in life today complaining about why you don’t have the perfect job, instead make your purpose be one of you stepping into the energy and the person that will get that job.
Doesn’t this feel a bit freeing to let go of the struggle and desperate quest of finding your purpose and instead choosing to LIVE ON PURPOSE WITH PASSION RIGHT NOW?
Repeat after me:
“My purpose right now is to be present with whoever I’m with or whatever I’m doing today.”
You know what happens when you’re present like that? You start to see opportunities and possibilities. Synchronicities begin to occur because you are fully immersed, intentional and present with yourself and your life. You’re not jumping ahead. You’re not looking in the rear-view mirror. You’re right here, right now… And that’s where miracles, big and small, begin to happen every day.
But when we’re constantly in the black hole of, “oh my, oh my, woe is me, what’s my purpose? Who am I? Why am I here? I have to make a difference” we become stuck in self-doubt, indecisiveness, and lack of clarity and as a result, we miss out on the signs and the information that come to us.
I attended a service for my father’s partner in his farming business years ago when he transitioned to the other side. There were several parts of the Eulogy his son gave that struck me as poignant. Yet, one part in particular has stayed with me these past several years and has been a reminder to me in numerous conversations both personal and professional. My friends, this reminder I believe is the secret to a full life, the secret to happiness, and the secret to finding your purpose.
He made whoever he was with feel like the most important person in the world.
When you are present with someone else as well as yourself with whatever you are doing, life becomes, dare I say, easier? Indulging in the present moment protects us from racing thoughts to the future and energy draining thoughts of the past. How simple is that?
So, my challenge to you this week is to simply do that. When you are in the grocery line, zone in on that clerk so that she or he knows that at that moment, they are the most important person in the world to you. When you are having dinner with friends or family, resist the urge to make your phone part of your table setting. Put it away… and if you need it on for an emergency, turn up the ringer… but put it in your purse or coat pocket! Pretty please! You will be amazed at how easier it is to engage and focus on who you are with… and they will be so grateful. How often does someone give you the gift of their full attention? It’s a rarity these days and this simple act can transform.
Don’t forget about giving yourself your full attention too! When you are on your morning walk, working out, driving to work, eating, working, getting ready for bed… simply be present with yourself. This might feel passive or boring to some of you, but I invite you just to try it out for one week and see what happens.
Wishing you all a wonderful and present day!
Could It Be That The Questions You're Asking Are What's Keeping You Stuck?
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)
The quality of the questions you ask others and yourself can oftentimes dictate your success at work, happiness at home, and your overall experience of life.
Insightful, thoughtful, and honest questions have the power to shift the energy in a meeting, soften an argument with a loved one, and usher in feelings of clarity in situations where your mind is muddled and murky.
I’d love to share with you a few of my favorites…
Upon opening your eyes, do you immediately check in with your phone, social media, or the news on TV? Before you step out of your slumber, check in with your inner technology before your outer technology by trying out these three questions:
- How do I want to FEEL today?
- What is one thing I can do today to love myself?
- How may I be of service today?
These three questions, in my opinion, encompass intentionality, self-love, AND love for others.
- When you become triggered or stressed, step into your answer for #1.
- Regarding #2…write it in your calendar!
- As for #3, let that be your overarching theme for the day. Be on the lookout for how you may serve others and once you do, I bet you begin really feeling the way you want to feel.
Actually, if you zero in on these three, you are set for the day! For those of you desiring a bit more, however, read on…
GAME CHANGER ALERT:
Why shifting your questions from “WHY” to “WHAT & HOW” opens up an entirely new world of possibilities.
Asking questions like “why do I always attract the wrong man/woman” or “why can’t I lose weight” or “why am I so broke” or “why can’t I find another job?” feed your ego and keeps you stuck in your personal pity party. “Why oh why oh why am I stuck in this predicament? Why do bad things happen to me?”…the only thing these kinds of questions do is prevent you from moving into the person you want to be and the life you want to be living.
How about giving your mind a job to do by shifting the phrasing of the questions? Your mind loves to figure things out so why not put it to work?
- “How can I start meeting people that I would like to share time with?”
- “What things can I start implementing today that will help me release weight?”
- “What are some ways I can increase my money flow and feel more freedom?”
- “How might I start connecting with people and new companies in my community?”
Don’t those questions feel more inspiring, open, and NEW? It’s a clever little trick and one that can literally change your life.
Let’s take it a step further in a few other situations that occur for everyone every day:
Deciding what to eat:
“What food will make my body feel good?”
“If I loved my body, what would I choose right now?”
Decisions around work:
“Is this decision moving me forward or keeping me stuck?”
“Am I acting from a place of love for myself… or fear?”
Decisions around relationships with partners as well as friends:
“Does this feel restrictive or expansive?”
“Is going on that trip/dinner/event feeling like a HECK YEAH or a HELL NO?”
I’ll end it with my favorite strategy that you can use in any of the situations above:
Right here, right now, begin embodying this idea of your future self and who you desire to be. The one who has lost the weight, gotten the job, moved on from the regret or grudges, etc, etc. Move away from “I want XYZ…” or “I am such a loser” to “I AM XYZ!” & “I am perfect, healthy, and whole!” The two words “I AM” are powerful! Remember, your mind is listening in!
- Next, simply ask yourself throughout the day when faced with a decision:
- “What choice would my future self make?”
- Listen for the answer and proceed with action.
In essence, your only job is to embody that person IN THE MOMENT. Don’t race ahead and turn away from the rearview mirror. Be present with who you are at the core and watch what happens.
If we keep making the same choices, we will continue to reap the same results. Stepping into the shoes of the person you know you are at the core and choosing something different is the easiest and quickest route to transformation.
Why I Chose To Stop Labeling Things as “Good vs. Bad”
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
I recently had breakfast with a friend of mine, and we laughed at how we “should” feel guilty eating the croissant… but absolutely were not! I think the self-judgment does more harm than the actual calories.
The thing is, I’m just over the cleanses and the diets…and more excited about enjoying and relishing life. As I look back over my life, I’ve gone on so many cleanses, I can’t keep track. Just ask my friends!
The big question on a Friday night was, “okay, so are you able to have a glass of wine? Or dairy? Or gluten?” Now, don’t get me wrong, I think cleanses work for a lot of people, and in fact, the cleanses that I’ve done over my life have helped me realize that I don’t want to eat animal protein because, well, I really like animals! They have helped me get in tune with what feels right in my body and what doesn’t. Dairy products can make me feel stuffed up and too much alcohol just completely messes with my energy and productivity.
But now I have the information I need and for someone like me who has struggled with body image and weight off and on my entire adult life, I realized that what has worked for me in the past (and by the way is a WHOLE lot more fun) is making food choices that lift my energy and are pleasurable… and doing it all in a more mindful and elegant manner.
Do you remember the book, French Women Don’t Get Fat? Well, I bought the book years ago and was lucky enough to attend an event where the author spoke. It was really a turning point in my life in the way I looked at food. I dove into her way of eating and living, and I will say, I lost weight without even trying. I remember having lunch with a friend and she leaned over and whispered to me, “have you been dieting?” And I leaned back with a little smile on my face and said, “no.” I think she was confused.
I was simply choosing to RELISH life! Unfortunately, over the years, I forgot that special lesson of embracing the deliciousness of life and instead fell victim to the latest and greatest cleanse, program, nutrition drink, or diet.
I realize now that there was this energy of “good versus bad” with every choice I made in terms of food. What’s working for me now is instead switching to this idea of “high vibe” versus “low vibe” … and I am using it not only with food, but also with people, thoughts, choices, decorating, and yes even the clothes I choose to decorate my body with!
So, let’s break this down. In terms of food, I love a great croissant, but if I’m having it every single day, I start to feel low energy. Now, that croissant can be a complete high-energy choice if I truly savor every bite… and if I do, chances are I don’t even finish the whole thing. Another example… yesterday with my tea, I was very much craving something sweet. So, instead of diving into licorice that ends up not feeling so great in my body (hence “low vibe”), I decided to indulge in a piece of gourmet toffee that a friend of mine had given me as a gift. That little piece of toffee smelled and tasted so good and in that moment was a high vibe choice. Why? Because I listened to my body AND chose not to feel guilty. Now, if I would have chosen to eat the whole tub of the toffee that would be a different story!
Let’s move over to this idea of “good” vs. “bad” thoughts. You all know what I am talking about. Our thoughts have the energy to lift us up or to pull us down. So, when you start thinking about the thoughts in your head or even the words you are saying, instead asked yourself “are they high vibe or are they low vibe? Do they lift my energy? Or do they drain me?”
Here are some examples of some “low vibe” thoughts.
- “I’m such a loser, why can’t I get my stuff together?”
- “Why is it that this always happens to me?”
- “I think I totally made a fool of myself in that meeting this morning. My boss thinks I’m an idiot.”
Now, let’s switch all of those to “high vibe.”
- “I am moving towards organization and a new chapter!”
- “I’m really learning more about what I want and what I don’t want.”
- “Well, if I could hit replay on that meeting, I would have done a few things differently. Good information for me to put into play in the future…and I now choose to LET IT GO.”
The words you use hold power. Remember, where your attention goes, energy flows. You have the power to create more high energy in your body and in your life with the words and thoughts you choose.
Let’s hop over to choices and decisions we make. You’ve heard me say this before, but really, think about it, does the decision to do “XYZ” feel like a high vibe choice? Or a low vibe choice?
Another way of looking at it is, do I feel attracted to this? Or does this not feel attractive to me? Does this choice feel expansive? Or does it feel restrictive? Does accepting the dinner invitation feel like a high vibe choice? Does it make you feel awesome? Or is it a low vibe choice?
Are you with me?
And finally, you knew where I was going. Let’s head over to people department. We all have certain people in our lives that are either low vibe people or high vibe people. And let’s face it, sometimes we are the low vibe people in other people’s lives! Hopefully not too often though!
Seriously, though, think about the people you hang out with in your free time. I’m not talking about the people you work with. The people you choose to spend your precious free time with. Are they high vibe people or low vibe people? How do you feel upon leaving coffee or lunch or going to movies or events with them?
It’s not that these people are “bad.” They just are, for you, “low vibe.” Remember, everything is made of energy. Science proves it! We’re all energetic beings. So, it’s not a big deal if someone doesn’t jive with you or you don’t jive with them. Let it go. Don’t take it personally. You’re simply on different energy wavelengths. Maybe at that time in her life, Sally, who completely drained you, was just kind of on a low vibe energy vibe and you were cruising on a high vibe, so you just didn’t match up. No judgment, no criticism towards ourselves or towards anyone else.
I just love this idea of moving from this type of food is “bad,” to “hey, for me it’s just low vibe and not my thing today because it’s not feeding my energy.” And I love the idea of not judging other people as wrong or toxic or negative. Yes, I’ve used the term “energy vampires” (it’s actually the topic of our next Self Love Summit… click here for more details.)…and it’s true that some people do indeed suck your energy. But that doesn’t make them bad people!! It’s just at this time of your life, your interaction with them isn’t jiving.
So, I encourage you and I challenge you this week to pay attention to who you’re spending free time with…what foods are you eating? …And what are the thoughts you are thinking? Keep a journal or a little note card and list off all the “high vibe” people, thoughts, and choices you made that day… and do the same for the opposite. I bet you notice a huge shift in your experience on the more “high vibe choices” day!
Enjoy your day!
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)
Do you ever feel REALLY, REALLY good about your life? You have a moment of “Wow! Things are rolling along quite nicely… this feels nice!” Then BAM! The guilt sets in. You think about how much you have, and the perceived “lack” in other people’s lives. You begin to question why you’re the lucky one and maybe you should just dial it down a notch.
If that sounds familiar, you are not alone. Many people unconsciously feel they are testing fate when reveling in the extraordinary lives they have consciously created!
Get out of the “guilts” with the following tips:
1. Ditch the pity: Quit feeling “sorry” for people, which is much different than compassion. It doesn’t do them any good or yourself. Everyone has his or her own versions of a happy life.
2. Take action: Get out and volunteer. Give back. Do or create something you feel creates momentum of moving yourself and others forward.
3. You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have: If you reject your good vibes out of guilt, you can’t pass on your happy energy to those who need it most! Creating as much joy and success in your own life creates an overflow of abundance you are then able to share with everyone around you.
Enjoy the day!
How my Mother’s Day Mindset Shifted With This One Action
Account to Approve workflow on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)
I woke up this past Sunday morning and the first thing I thought of when my eyes opened was “wow, what would it feel like to have a little munchkin bring me breakfast in bed.” That was something we did for my Mom... God bless her for eating whatever concoction we cooked up!
Next, I proceeded to hop on social media and realized for the next 12 hours I would see a steady stream of Mother’s Day messages, quotes, and pictures. After I put a loving post on Facebook for my Mom and sent several girlfriends messages wishing them a happy day, I sat there and frankly began to have a little bit of a pity party for little ol’ me. You see, I love kids. I wish I had kids... and on Mother’s Day it’s a reminder of this certain “club” I’m not part of. Why is that? I suppose I could come up with a multitude of reasons... choices, not feeling worthy, or simply time slipping by too quickly. It’s interesting too how people try to help with comments such as “but you’re a mom to so many” or “you know it’s really a lot of work and not always fun” ... and my personal favorite from someone who I am sure was well intentioned, “Meg, could it be that you want a child because you just are looking for someone else to take care of?” ... isn’t that part of the drive to have children? To want to nurture and love and yes take care of them?
The thing is, Mother’s Day has been for several years a bit painful... but laying in bed on this specific sunny morning, I made the decision to say “enough!” AND TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
I realized I had a choice. I could sit and feel sorry for myself and question why I made the choices I made in my life OR I could snap out of my funk and use one of the million tools I write about and use with clients. So, I grabbed my journal and for the first time in a long time, I started putting my thoughts onto paper. It’s amazing this thing about swirling thoughts in your head... they are a lot more easy to deal with in black and white than ruminating and circulating in your head.
What I discovered after pouring out my thoughts was that not only am I ready to release the regret, but I’m even more so ready to embrace the idea that I already am a mother. I am a mother in so many ways to so many people and children in my life that my cup actually runneth over. The tears I’d been crying over not having my own child on Mother’s Day turned into tears of gratitude.
So here is where it got really fun... I thought to myself, “let’s say I was a mother to a child. What would I do right now?” Well, I’d probably get my butt up and out of bed and get going with the day...make breakfast...go for a walk with the dog...look for something fun to do where everything is seen through a new set of eyes. I decided instead of acting from a place of lack to instead embody being a mother and to see what might show up in terms of my outlook and perspective.
As humans we tend to think that, “well, when I have the child or when I get married or when I get the new promotion or when I get the new car or when I lose the weight, then I’m going to feel happy.”
I think we have everything totally mixed up and in the reverse!
The only way to truly enjoy the end result of any of these goals is to relish and delight in the journey. Wouldn’t the destination be so much sweeter if our journey to it were filled with less stress and more joy?
So, I got up. Put on some music. Got into my workout clothes. Threw Birdie’s harness on and went for a walk. I then remembered a time in my life several years ago where I would start my walk every day with a set of rituals that were so uplifting. Rituals like “20 things I’m grateful for...and a ritual where I imagined this beautiful energy coming into my body and filling me up like a bright shining light... and yet another one where I would literally speak out loud (yes the neighbors probably thought I was losing it!) what my day was going to look like from that moment on until I went to sleep.
So, as I went through these rituals, I started to feel more grounded and connected to everyone and everything. And within three minutes of my walk, I crossed the street to the walking path where Birdie and I walk each day, and noticed all these people walking. Literally hundreds of people. It was clearly some sort of 5K or 10K walk. So, I asked someone and discovered it was the Mother’s Day walk... To celebrate mothers...how beautiful is that?
Now, if this would have been several years ago, I probably would have felt like a loser. Like a fish out of water. Like I didn’t belong. But today, instead, I jumped in. and I stepped into the energy of these hundreds of people walking. Grandmothers, mothers, babies in strollers, dogs, fathers. And I just stepped into it. And it felt so loving and so amazing to be walking amidst all of these happy and grateful people (who by the way may have had a pity party themselves earlier that morning... hey, none of us get EVERYTHING in this life, right?) And as I walked, I kept saying to myself, I am a mother. I’m a good mother. I’m a mother to so many.
As I walked, I realized I had been able to shift from my low vibe literally 30 minutes earlier to feeling so HAPPY simply by mothering myself. I think so often we look outside of ourselves for the answers and ways in which to feel good. Instead, all we have to do is go within and give ourselves some TLC by embodying what we really desire in our lives.
Why are you waiting until next week, next month or next year to be a mother?
Why are you waiting for Monday or the first of the month to start leading a healthy lifestyle?
Why are you waiting to take the course that will get you to the next level for the promotion?
Instead, start right now, this minute. Begin embodying what and who you want to be.
So, as I finished the walk, I found myself coming down to the finish line. They were handing out roses, bottles of water, and the energy was just so magical. I stopped with Birdie and thought, “oh, I’ve got to write a blog about this experience. From an hour ago feeling sad and sorry for myself to feeling completely elated.”
As I stopped walking, the first person I saw was a friend of mine. The minute I saw her, tears filled my eyes. I remembered this friend of mine lost her mother years ago... and here she was walking in honor of her. I was so steeped in my own sadness an hour earlier, I neglected to remember that I was LUCKY enough to have seen my Mom the night before... lucky enough to have spoken to her that morning.
I couldn’t believe the synchronicity as I hugged her. Keep in mind I haven’t seen this friend of mine for close to a year. I think it was just another reminder to always step into gratitude. When we choose appreciation for what we DO HAVE versus what we don’t, our energy lifts. When our energy lifts, we’re able to step boldly, courageously, and with inspiration into our full potential.
So remember the next time your own “themed pity party” begins... you do have the CHOICE to participate...or pivot a bit to get the full picture of the richness of the many layers of your beautiful life from the space of “THANK YOU.”
This One Action Can Change Your Life!
Account to Approve workflow on Friday, May 10, 2019 at 9:00:00 am Comments (0)
I was walking through Costco yesterday on my maiden voyage as a new member. Side note - I couldn’t stop giggling at the size of the cart and every other item in the store! I must say, though, their ginger lemon Kombucha tea in the refrigerated section is the BEST!
Ok, so as I am walking by the Himalayan Salt Krinkle Potato Chips (you have to try those as well... seriously!) I saw a mom and young boy around the age of six walking towards me. She looked exhausted as he shouted at her in a whiny yet forceful voice “but I want the ice cream...NOW!” The look on his face actually kind of scared me :)
I probably did the wide eyed “oh boy” look on my face and then stopped to realize...”hey, aren’t we ALL adult versions of that kid sometimes?”
Thought about it for a second...
Do you get frustrated, whiny, and angry:
When you have to wait in line.
When your waitress forgets to add on the side of ranch.
When your family members leave the kitchen a mess.
When the guy in the sports car cuts you off in traffic.
When your dog wants to go out at 5 a.m. (this one is from personal experience 1 hour ago:)
Hmmm. So maybe we have more in common with the “spoiled” little Costco munchkin than we realize?
What’s the remedy? Well, what would you tell the little guy? Probably something like “you should be grateful that I just bought you those gummy bears!”
Bingo. The solution to any kind of “suffering” is to step into a big “THANK YOU.”
Let’s go back to the above list and flip them into gratitude:
SPOILED: “I am SO annoyed. They really should open more check out lanes. My gosh…it’s 5 p.m... didn’t they anticipate people coming from work to get groceries? OMG that checkout woman is SO slow.”
GRATEFUL: “Thank you. I finally have a moment to breathe after a hectic day. I have a good five minutes here in line to either meditate/people watch/leaf through People Magazine or answer a few emails on my phone, and go through ten things I am grateful for today.”
SPOILED: “I can’t believe she forgot my side of ranch. I asked her, like, THREE times! Now I am going to have to wait and my food is going to get cold... we are never coming back here. The service sucks.”
GRATEFUL: “Thank you God. I am able to afford going out for dinner and they actually have ranch! Thank you that I am sitting here while someone else cooks my food and serves my food. Thank you that I am given this opportunity to cut another human being a break...someone who may be having a rough day and has been serving other people for years. Thank you for the delicious food on my plate. Oh, and thank you if she doesn’t bring the ranch because that will be 100 calories I won’t have to feel guilty about later :) “
SPOILED: “These kids are so spoiled. Look at this kitchen. I have to do EVERYTHING! They don’t appreciate me.”
GRATEFUL: “Well, it’s a mess that is for sure. But they are graduating next month and off to college in August. Once Fall arrives, my kitchen will be shiny clean 24/7, but they won’t be here. I guess the breadcrumbs on the floor, the eggshells in the sink, and the dirty dishes on the counter are little reminders of those I love. And I am grateful to use this messy kitchen as an opportunity for a family meeting to remind them of how GOOD it makes me feel to have things tidied up a bit.”
SPOILED: “What a JERK! Who does he think he is? He totally cut me off. I am going to speed up and tailgate him to give him a taste of his own medicine. Even better, I’ll pass him and then cut HIM off! I’ll show HIM!”
GRATEFUL: “Well, clearly that guy is having a bad day. Maybe he got let go at work? Maybe someone treated him poorly today? I wonder if he is racing off to the hospital because he just found out a loved one is ill or dying? Thank you God that I have a car, that I am able to drive, that there is a gas in it, that I am able to afford the insurance and that I am in a space that allows me to drive safely and in a way that is kind to my fellow human beings.”
SPOILED: “Jesus Mary Joseph. I can sense someone looking at me, panting, and whining a bit. She needs to go outside AGAIN? I just took her out 2 hours ago. Seriously??? Why can’t she just hold it? Oh, it’s probably the garbage she got into last night. Why didn’t I adopt a cat instead??? I am so exhausted.”
GRATEFUL: “Thank you for allowing me the gift of caring for an animal this sweet. I get to be her “dog mommy.” Look at her sweet eyes. She unconditionally loves me. Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to reciprocate her love by tending to her. What a privilege.”
Practicing the art of “THANK YOU” in the not so fun moments of your day has the power to change your life. When I am able to catch myself and practice gratitude when I am on the fence between “spoiled” and “grateful” I can tell you wholeheartedly that hopping to the side of gratitude is incredibly moving. Writing that example actually brought tears to my eyes. Trust me, I don’t always hop to the right side of the fence, but when I do, it just feels GOOD! Isn’t that what we all want? To FEEL the way we want to feel?
Remember, your experiences each day are determined as “good” or “bad” simply by the filter you view it through. The silver lining is always available to you if you have the desire to look.
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