Creativity and Me

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“Creativity doesn’t wait for that perfect moment. It fashions it’s own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.”

Bruce Garrabrandt

Are you like me? I go through life sometimes going through the motions. I’ll get ideas for this blog or for something else creative in a different area and hope I remember them when I have time to work on them.

I’m finding that creativity doesn’t like that. In fact, creativity is fleeting. If you don’t feed it; eventually it is forgotten. This was my life over the past year. In 2020, I worked on my physical and mental health. In 2021, I began working on my spiritual health. The funny thing I’m starting to see, is that everything – mental, physical, and spiritual health all works together. This is where I am. Integrating all these areas that I’ve previously kept separate. I will talk to myself and say, “You should write about this…” and didn’t. Man, all those ideas…gone.

I believe that creativity announces itself and demands attention right NOW. Much like a cat who’s been sleeping all day and ignoring you (really) and then comes up and demands the pets and loves. I haven’t been the most attentive to creativity this past year. Writing when I feel like it here in this space. Mostly, I’ve been journaling. Handwriting gratitudes and mussing about my current life situations – good and bad. Sometimes having a brilliant “A-HA” moment but that is really only for me and not you.

Coming into this space requires inspiration, thought, and purpose. Why am I writing to you? What do I want to say? Coming into this space also requires flow. Allowing my words to come about and form something beautiful (at least to me) and then sharing it with you. Sometimes, ideas are around feelings and struggles and still others are more nebulous, like the air around us.

These are the topics that I find the hardest to write about and share. Creativity strikes and yet I’m not in a space to let that flow out of me. I think to myself, “I really need to….”, or “I should do this instead”, never giving creativity her due. She’s a cruel mistress, too. If you don’t pay attention to her, she is like, “Sod off!”, and goes on her merry way to someone else more receptive.

I watched a Ted Talk many years ago given by Elizabeth Gilbert. She described creativity like energy that flows along the universe, looking for the person who’s ready to receive. If they are, it will pour into you until it’s all out there. If not, it moves and you forget. She went on to say while writing Eat, Pray, Love that she saw the words appear before actually writing them. That is the magic of creativity! Seeing or feeling and then showing the world.

Today, as I was up and doing my daily Saturday things, I was struck by the feeling that I needed to get out of my home and go somewhere and write. This is hard for me to do, especially on a Saturday as I usually have a dinner planned with family or friends that I need to prep for. However, today, I decided to do it. I packed up my iPad and drove to one of my favorite wine places. I ordered my glass of champagne and smoked salmon bruschetta and settled in for about an hour of writing…to you.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

I feel a little like Ernest Hemingway today doing this. I’ve read where he would go to cafes and have wine and write and drink…and write…and drink some more. I am not going to drink more than one glass of champagne this afternoon but you get the just. I feel like a writer. I am listening to my intuition and left my distractions behind for one hour, to write.

I’m feeling a bit proud of myself and I feel the pull to cultivate more of this nourishment to my creativity. Again, what you feed is what grows. I love writing because I love connecting with you, the reader, in whatever capacity you choose to read this blog. In 2020, I was able to focus on myself and decided to get better…to BE better. That was more of a singular activity. Did I have people who helped me? Of course. But I had to DECIDE that was what I was going to do with the abundance of time given to me. This year, though, is a year of connection. Connection to what feeds my heart, soul, body, and mind. Connection to like minded people (and maybe not so like minded). Connection to creativity – whichever direction it takes me. I already cook creatively. I also build creative solutions to complex business processes in my 40 hour a week job. I desire to build this writing muscle and share what’s on my heart, so here I am. Deciding that I should build a weekly practice of going somewhere and write. To you. For me.

I thank you for being a part of this new journey with me. Xo, Ms Chez J

Flowing and Letting Go of Distractions

On Anger – Part 2

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I hate experiencing anger. You know that from a previous post from over a year ago yet here it is…AGAIN. I’ve tried acknowledging it and vocally telling it to move on. I’ve tried ignoring it. I’ve tried exercising through it. I’ve tried not talking about it. I’ve tried all the usual distractions: friends, making amazing meals for others, television, reading, facial masks with luxurious baths…I’ve tried everything. Yet here I am, raw, exhausted from the fight, listless, apathetic, and grrrrr….

Anger is insidious. It’s tentacles grab a hold of something inside me. Sometimes it’s old stories someone spoke over me that I deep down believe to be true, other times it’s resentment but overall…anger comes from a lack of love, compassion, and grace for myself. Once those tentacles grab a hold – the eventual takeover is almost assured. This round is kicking my arse.

I have a feeling of powerlessness, of shame, of sadness. “I’m not worthy of any good thing.” Do you tell yourself this, too? Do you ever feel this way? Do you sometimes feel like coming out like Muhammed Ali? Punching at anything and everything – but mostly at yourself? This is where I am. Quite frankly, it is exhausting.

So, how do I get through this one when so many other things aren’t working this time? I like to write about feelings and experiences – and wrap them up in this pretty bowed package. I can’t do that this time. I’m stuck in my own personal hell. I feel like I’m riding a bicycle up a mountain, in a headwind, not making much progress.

I don’t want to be in this state of being anymore. I’m over it.

Do you relate? If so, what are some of your thoughts, tips, and tricks? How do you pull yourself out of these feelings? How do you redirect anger, depression, anxiety, apathy, and listlessness to more self compassion, self love, grace, and empathy? Do you make friends with your anger? Let me know in the comments!

Gratitude for Today

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As the sun begins to rise from the night’s sky,

My mind wanders to things bright and beautiful.

The twinkling Christmas tree in my space.

The people who have blessed my space.

I am forever grateful for every day new,

that helps me keep from the quarantine blues.

Tears prick my sleep-worn eyes,

as the resident cat rests near my side.

The love for her is wide and deep,

that helps keep me from fear and bleak.

All-in-all, my life is good.

Growing, healthy, loved, loving, laughing, and sometimes in a mood.

Thankful, though, for this day,

in all things and in every way.

On Insomnia

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I’ve been awake since 1AM and now it’s after 4AM. Thanks, Insomnia.

Insomnia and I are old friends. My brain will wake from a deep slumber only to ruminate about life as it is. But is the perception of my life really “what it is” in the deep recesses of the night, when there is only darkness? That, my friends, is really the question we should ask ourselves.

As I have gotten older and made friends with Insomnia, I find that really what these very early wake up calls and thoughts that go through my head – really aren’t real. These thoughts about money, not being good enough, that argument I had with a dear friend so long ago, that terrible breakup with the last boyfriend – these thoughts come from my “fight or flight” part of my brain. The deep anxieties and old stories that my frontal lobe has hung onto because it’s protecting me. Or is it?

The brain is so intricate and deep. Since beginning my journey to become and befriend who I was created to be, I fight with myself. The fighting has become less and less over the years but it’s safe to say that the old me, the one my brain is used to working with, arrives at night. She needs to be acknowledged, she needs love, she needs forgiveness. I’ve learned it’s best to journal when these nights come around. Today, at 2AM, I finally gave up and wrote in my journal.

The journal entry today started out like it normally does. I mark the date and then I write – “What do you want to say to me? “. Then, I breathe in deep and ask that whatever comes is for my highest good. Sometimes, it’s a letter to that old boyfriend. Sometimes, it’s about a time where I messed up and need to forgive and love on myself. Today, however, my entry was about what I need to do in order to love me more.

It was almost like my hand was writing on it’s own volition. My brain wasn’t engaged but the words flowed from me. I need to protect and respect my energy by asking myself, “what do I need?” If I need quiet time at home alone, then respect that! If I need to write or create something, then do it! What I want to develop is a way to make friends with my heart and soul. I’ve made great progress with my mind and body this year; why not work on this?

So, I write to you with much hope. The journal is done and I moved on to create something in this medium. I encourage you to not be afraid, annoyed (usually where I am at on these nights), or ambivalent. Work to overcome those old stories, those anxious thoughts because really it’s the dead of night. Turn on the light. Open a notebook. Write. Release what you need. Finish.

I promise, sleep will come again. XO

Continue reading “On Insomnia”
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On Fighting Yourself

I am tired.

Do you ever get that way, too?  I met with my life coach this evening and I told her that – but used the word “depleted”.  These past couple of weeks have kicked my ass.  I feel like all I’m doing is correcting my thoughts (think this not THAT) and fighting emotions.

I’m fighting old stories and thought patterns.  I’m fighting emotions that are tied to people I work with and my job and what it might mean if I leave that job.  I’m fighting getting up earlier in the morning and going to bed earlier.  I’m fighting the desire to eat better and become more active.  I’m fighting how I spend money.  Basically, I’m fighting myself and GOD it sucks.

fighting yourself

I remember my seven-year-old self being told to not be so sensitive and wear my heart on my sleeve because people will hurt me and take advantage of it.  I remember being harassed and bullied for having a significant over-bite and chubby.  I remember being told to stop being lazy and study so that I can get 100% on my spelling test instead of a 92%.  I remember being told we didn’t have the money to get those cookies or that doll because money didn’t grow on trees.  Or – how lean the months of January through May are for the family so stop asking for “extras”.

All these words.  ALL OF THEM – haunt me at my age of 47.  I constantly battle feeling confident when it comes to how I look and perform.  My self-worth sometimes can be easily undermined because of what a person (whom I may or may not care about) thinks of me.  I beat myself up for words I said that could be misconstrued.  I may lie awake at night because I went out for dinner and it was more expensive that originally planned.

What.The.Hell.

Today, my coach suggested taking my mirror work to another level.  A level that I’m really not comfortable with and honestly – it just brings me to tears.

Telling my seven-year-old self – It’s not OK.

It’s not ok that I was told to stop being so sensitive.  It’s not OK that I was told to study harder to get a better grade.  It’s not OK that I was bullied and judged for looking and being different.  It’s fucking not OK.

The kicker though tonight was really this, though.  It’s not OK to suffer 47-year-old me.

Even as I write this, the tears are flowing because I am suffering.  I’m suffering from loss.  I’m suffering from pettiness.  I’m suffering from the weight of my own emotions.  I’m fighting myself – arguing over whether I am good, smart, pretty, sexy, bright, money saving, creative ENOUGH.

Tonight, I don’t have answers.  I don’t have any solutions.  I guess, if you’re reading this post (and as I read it over and over, too) – I want you to know, I’m trying again tomorrow.  Progress over perfection.  Healing the layers to go to the next level takes time.  Fuck (can I say that here?)!  I just want this to be over already but it’s not.

So, what am I going to do about it?

Life is fucking messy and really, it’s hard.  I like when things are done and stay done.  Healing isn’t like that, though.  I hate that –  yet – in some ways it’s good.  Some of those hurts/traumas are so deep within me that the Divine knows I can only work through and deal with so much.  It’s like cleaning your home when it’s just FULL ON filthy and cluttered.  Pick a corner and start.  Just start.  Eventually, your home is clean – and then it starts getting cluttered again – but you catch it sooner, so it doesn’t take as long.

Cheers to catching it sooner – and knowing you’re fighting FOR yourself, not against.  xoxo

Fight for yourself

 

On Setbacks

I’m writing to you from my favorite wine place in Omaha again, and though it’s busier than past Saturdays, it still feels quiet and blissful. I’m getting a few moments, or hours, away from home to focus only on creating something.

This week was tough. I am a pretty positive and healthy person but this week was, and continues to challenge my mindset.

Let’s start off by saying, I woke up Monday in a pretty great headspace. I was happily working from home and with my team and then…BAM! I started getting annoyed and it quickly turned into feeling anger. I’ve written about being angry in this blog space. It’s definitely not a top ten emotion of mine and I also fight feeling that way by either ignoring or shaming myself for FEELING that way.

Notice, I didn’t say, “I AM ANGRY’. I said, “I’m feeling anger.” I know I’m making progress in my emotional evolution when I stop speaking about my emotions being who and what I am. So, hey! I’ve got that going for me.

I’ve also been making strides thinking that situations in life don’t happen TO me but rather FOR me. There’s a distinction there, I think. The first is a victim mentality. It is a dangerous excuse – the kind where one could say that the reason why they are mean and unkind is due to their life basically sucking. The second, is more empowering. What is the current situation attempting to TEACH me? How can I GROW from this situation? I don’t know about you, but leaning into the second, “life happens for me”, is a little foreign but I definitely like the person I am when I’m walking that path rather than blaming whatever…

All of this to say, I literally had to sit with my anger for a few days – and I noticed something interesting. I noticed that I label emotions as good and bad. Feeling love, happiness, joy – those are good. Feeling anger, sadness, frustration – those are bad emotions. But what IF emotions are neither good nor bad but just ARE?

This is not a new concept for me. I’ve heard it and have applied it before – and really, it’s true. Emotions aren’t good or bad but the language we apply to those emotions IS. So, why is that?

In the Buddhist practice, it is believed (and true, if you think about it), emotions are fleeting. They come and they go. One does not experience joy all their days. If they did, how would they know it was JOY? The same could be said about anger and sadness. How could one articulate anger and sadness if that’s all they know and experience?

Blow your mind yet?

So, to recap. Feelings are neither good or bad, they just ARE.

So, if you’re feeling anger (like I was this week), how do you get beyond the anger to feeling something different? Right?! That’s probably the million dollar question right now.

In my case, I have to acknowledge that I’m feeling this way. I need to say, “I’m experiencing anger (or sadness, or despondency, etc.)”. I also need to STOP LABELING anger as bad. Anger isn’t BAD – anger can lead to better understanding. Why am I feeling this way? What circumstances are happening that I’m not addressing or allowing to cross my personal boundaries? Am I going to bed early? What’s my self care looking like these days?

Sometimes, there is no clear answer but every time, I must allow that feeling to flow through me. I must be mindful of my reaction and pause. I must protect my headspace. That might look like inviting a good friend over to talk to and laugh. That might be watching a sitcom. That might be writing out your gratitudes. That might be meditation or praying. That might be reading something inspirational. It might be a hot bath or to sit with your pet. Whatever helps you during that time – do it but don’t ignore it.

For me, it was inviting a friend over and making her dinner. Acts of service is my primary love language and I love interrupting the “churn” so that I start thinking clearer. I cooked A LOT this week for people I love. I also decided that I was not going to take out my anger on anyone – including myself. Why beat myself up? I acknowledged that I was doing the best I could in those heated moments when I would get triggered.

Finally, I made sure I was spending time with people who support and have a similar vision about life. These people are more experienced in letting the emotions flow through them. I sent messages talking about what IS and how I was feeling. Burning off (metaphorically speaking) the feelings and talk that wasn’t serving me – and calling in the things that would serve me. Things like patience, love, grace, peace, and better personal boundaries.

So, my setback this week really wasn’t a setback. It was a challenge. Changing how I deal with emotions, the language I apply to all emotions, and especially what I do and don’t do when in “bad” headspace, is key. Viewing setbacks as a challenge is also a new concept to me. Again, with the language here – but as humans, we have put the word SETBACK in the negative column. What happens, though, when we change setback to CHALLENGE?

The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others

Erik Erickson

For me, since y’all don’t know me. I’m competitive, and really, I’m more self competitive. Challenge is something to overcome. Challenge, in my mind, doesn’t have that negative connotation associated with it. When challenged, I rise to the occasion. Sometimes I win…and sometimes, I fall flat. The point is I’m trying. I’m actively working to be my best self – and challenges – well, that’s how we refine ourselves and find our weaknesses. As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the bringing of all wisdom.” I am afforded the opportunity to get better by learning my triggers and reactions so that I might overcome them. So that I might become kinder. So that I might be more loving. So that I might shine brighter.

So, what do you do, dear reader? What do you think of some of these concepts? I would love to hear from you! Much love and have a great week! Xo

On Anger

anger

Have you ever felt inexplicably angry?

I’ve sat through anger much in my 47 years of life.  Anger is uncomfortable to me.  Why?  In my mind, I’ve been taught that anger makes one say something they may not mean or react in a way they cannot take back.

But what if we treated anger in a different way?

What if we treated anger like a normal human emotion, one that is trying to tell us (or show us) something?  Something that we may not be acknowledging – or something that we do acknowledge – and we’re beyond frustrated about?

This is where I am – angry.

After spending some time talking about it with a really, good friend – I understand.  I feel afraid.  I feel unappreciated.  I get it!  The world says I should be self-sufficient.  I shouldn’t look to others for value.  These statements are TRUE – but only to a point.   Why do I say that?

Because, as humans, we are built for connection.

Whether that connection is one person or a few people – we all long for stability, appreciation … love. We all want to know (intrinsically) that we matter.  We make a difference.  That we are LOVED and APPRECIATED.

friends

So, as I’ve walked the valley these past weeks of feeling depleted and yes, I’m ready to acknowledge that I’m angry.  Well, what can we do to move past the anger into healing and safety?

First, talk to someone you trust.  Someone who has your back and is honest.  When we are angry, we do not always see and hear clearly.  We live in that emotion and respond in kind.  The person, who is loving and trustworthy is KEY to helping you seek out the plan you need to overcome and purge yourself of the blind rage you might be feeling.

Second, develop a plan.  For me, because I feel unappreciated – it’s asking some coworkers some questions.  Do I bring value to you and your teams?  If so, how am I doing that?  How do we support each other when it comes to application help, enhancements and training?  What am I doing right?  What (constructively speaking) am I doing wrong?  How do we communicate what your teams need for those needs to be prioritized appropriately?  The plan must include curiosity.  If we’re not curious, how can we get better?

The second part of my plan is to spend some time with a trusted plan, in nature.  To not complain, but again, be curious – or be quiet.  There is nothing like walking in a tree laden area with a stream or creek running by.  In a metaphysical sense, those negative ions the water provides help ground us in the NOW and the WHAT IS – not in the what I perceive or fluffy cloud ideas I might have.

Listen to Nature

Finally, hold true to your boundaries and what you know to be the best for YOU.  In my situation, it’s saying yes to things where I’m not in charge or responsible for other people.  I am also saying “no” to the people (whom I love dearly) but may not be the best fit for me while I’m in this state.  What I mean is – that family member or friend who might encourage you to wallow – or worse, put you in a situation where you are suffering more.

My dear readers, please hear me.  You do not have to live in anger, or despair, or sadness or in a nebulous cloud.  You can be grounded, solid in the now.  You can take control back – and … I’m just being honest … you can FEEL all the FEELINGS … ‘cause those FEELINGS are NOT WRONG.  But you DO NOT have to live in those feelings.  Reach out.  Seek connection.  Seek betterment.  Because you, my dear reader, deserve it.  Just like I do.  xoxo

On Relationships – Part One

Relationships.  They can be amazing.  They can be devastating.

My relationship with food isn’t the best.  When I was young, I was heavy – always exercising and/or on some diet.  Hearing from the doctor, family, and classmates that I was fat and ugly.

How does a young girl process all these messages and come out the other side unscathed?  The answer is simple…she doesn’t.

When I was junior in high school, my parents paid money to be on a “clinic” diet.  Which meant that my brother and I were also on the “diet”.  My mom came home to me crying because after measurements for a specialty choir dress – the sizing was into the 20’s.  She asked if I wanted to try the restricted diet she and my dad were on – which was about 650 calories per day.  Desperate, I said yes.

The weight, of course, fell off me.  My specialty choir dress had to be altered to fit me later that year.  The thing is, I lived in constant fear that I’d gain that weight back!  In the mirror, I saw a fat person – totally not acknowledging or seeing the work I had done to get down to a size 8.  I think back to those years and how unhappy I was.  Always longing for positive attention that had nothing to do with how smart, sweet or talented I was.  Instead, I told myself I was “ugly and fat” and believed that I didn’t deserve to feel good about myself – ever.

Around the age of 28, I developed anorexia.  I worked in a high pressure job and restricted food – partly because whenever I ate, the food would not sit well with me – but mostly because I needed to control something in my life – because I couldn’t say no to people, both at work and in my personal life.

That year, I believed I was in control of my relationship with food.  I would feel so proud to turn down food day at work!  Or, I’d feel victory when I had my store-bought protein shake for breakfast and only carrots and twelve pretzels for lunch…and two bites of something for dinner!  As the weight came down, I began running, to help keep the weight off…as I kept telling myself.  To build endurance.  To build strength.  Yeah, no….

Food and exercise controlled me.  I was obsessed with the scale and the number on that scale.  My day was made or broken by how much the number went down, stayed the same or went up.  Every decision I made had to do with what I could eat that day and when I was going to work out.  And still, I hated how I looked and saw myself as fat.

That’s when the bulimia started.  I would exercise for hours – at all hours of the night.  If fat or sugar touched my lips – I’d either spit it out (because all I really needed was the taste) or I’d force myself to vomit – to get that wretchedness out of me.  I wasn’t sleeping at night, so if 3 AM were to come by and I wasn’t sleeping – I’d go to the gym at work and run for an hour and come home, shower and head into work.

Struggle
I was drowning and felt alone

Eventually, friends…. good friends, intervened.  They told me I didn’t have to be “that way”.  That there was help.  Subconsciously, I realized they had to be onto something.  I mean, I was miserable.  Always counting bites.  Berating myself for eating food that “I shouldn’t” and then throwing it up, or better yet, restricting food AND vomiting.   I was 95 pounds of sick sadness; I needed help.

I ended up checking into a day clinic for eating disorders in my hometown.  This was a miracle – as there weren’t (and still ARE NOT) a lot of options for a person to go with eating disorders for intensive help.

Those six weeks were so hard.  I would be at the clinic from 8 AM to noon.  We weighed in every day.  We could not flush the toilet without someone from the clinic inspecting (to make sure we didn’t throw up).  We were encouraged to not exercise while in the program.  All the group therapy, individual therapy, nutrition therapy was a lot, and honestly, I was doing it by myself.  My parents didn’t know how to help and were too afraid that I would stop seeing them.  Other friends left because it was hard to “see me that way.”  Work would want to know when I was coming back.  During that time, I felt so out of control.  I felt like I was the biggest disappointment.  That I had let so many people down because I wasn’t strong.

I remember how fragile I felt starting back into a normal routine.  Work, eating, friends, family.  I took so much of what people said to me out of context or personally.  Looking back, I know I didn’t have boundaries.  I know that I craved attention and love – I was a people-pleaser and I didn’t have the knowledge, the awareness or the tools to change.

There are more years to this story about my relationship with food, but I want to leave you with this ONE thing.  If you are struggling, with food or anything for that matter, find help.  I PROMISE you, there is sunshine at the end.  You may not notice the glimmers of light at first, but you will.  Please believe me.

Cave sunrise
Believe that the sun will rise and shine upon you, as it always has – you just haven’t had the eyes to see it.

 

You are loved.  You matter.  You are enough; and baby, you’re worth it.

On Encouragement

Encourager: (v) 1. To inspire with courage, spirit or confidence.  2.  To stimulate by assistance, approval.  3.  To promote, advance, or foster.  – Dictionary.com

I am an encourager.  For years, I’ve known this is my number one spiritual gift – and for years, I’ve lamented that it wasn’t something more glamorous.  Today, I’m grateful for this gift as I see the impact and need for people to be encouraged, to be lifted, to be told, “you ARE amazing”.

My epiphany this morning, while responding to a Facebook comment, was, am I in equal exchange?

Bear with me for a moment, okay?  Equal exchange?  What the hell does that mean?  I was first introduced to the idea of “equal exchange” a few years ago.  Exhausted and part of a reduction in force, I took my severance and a six-month sabbatical from work.  I started reading self-improvement books, reaching out to life coaches and online therapy groups.  I started reaching out for help – more help than traditional therapy was able to give me.

The idea of equal exchange is – what you give, you need to be open to receive.  If you’re not open to receiving, you can experience burnout, emotional emptiness, depression, anxiety…get the idea?

So, here I am.  On my day off, drinking coffee and sitting in silence.  I hop on Facebook and post about my morning, some pictures and really, how wonderful it feels to be present.  Here in the now.  As people began to respond to my post, I found myself responding to a friend, “I’m rooting for you.”

Normally, I just go about my day and not think anything of it.  But you see, today is different.  I took today off because I’m angry and hating going to work.  I realized I needed an attitude adjustment.  I needed some time to myself and examine why I’m feeling this way.  What boundary doesn’t exist or was not enforced?  Why am I angry?

In my moment today, I realized, I’m angry because I’m not receiving.  I’ve given so much encouragement and advice this month to people at work and I was not open to receiving encouragement back.  That was my boundary.  I kept giving and giving – and steeling myself over work politics.  Caring for other team members and helping them through, that I forgot to look for and accept encouragement.

Instead, I practiced some self-soothing.  Let me tell you, in my opinion, self-soothing is not self-care.  Self-soothing is about immediacy without thinking of the consequences.  For instance, during that stressful week where I’m encouraging and lending my strength to other team members, I went out and drank a little too much.  The next day, I woke up with that lovely hangover headache.  I also spent more money on “things” rather than saving.  These are all coping mechanisms that I am aware of in my subconscious but not AWARE in the present.  All because I WAS NOT IN EQUAL EXCHANGE.

Now, getting back to the epiphany.  After I responded with, “I am rooting for you”, I paused and thought to myself – “I am rooting for you, JoEll.”  Tears began to prickle.  A brain rush like when you eat more wasabi than soy sauce at a sushi joint ran through me.  My heart, my spiritual body needed to hear this from ME.  My spiritual self needed to know that I support it.  That A-HA moment was so clear and remains so.

If we don’t encourage ourselves, how can we accept (and I mean really accept) encouragement from others? 

Encourage

As you go about your days in 2020, I hope you spend some time encouraging yourself.  You can do that through affirmations (I AM amazing.  I AM enough.) and through taking a moment to be one with the world, your environment as it is…and say to yourself, “I am rooting for you.”

Be kind, especially to yourself.  May this be of service.  xoxo

 

The Power of Belief

Who out here gets in their own way?

ME!

Who out here knows what to do and how to do it – yet feels too tired or like the idea is too far out there to even reach?

ME!

I just finished listening to a positive audio from a leader in my side business.  Hel-LO wake-up call!

This woman, a multi-million dollar business owner gave a list of things I should do to raise my game.  As I listened to her (her name is Debbie Neal – on Sound Cloud), the advice she gave were not just relevant to my side gig – they are relevant to EVERYTHING we do in life.

I wanted to share a couple, as it’s embarrassing talking to yourself out loud in an apartment (well, I have cats).

  1. People want to be inspired and it can’t be faked.

As I stood making dinner, that resonated with me.  If you want to be a leader, you need to inspire people – cause that’s life, right?  I do believe we want to be better people – internally and externally.  Whether you work in the corporate world or own your own business – or you’re a parent.  To lead from the front means you need to be inspiring.  You need to be vulnerable and talk about your failures.  You need to SHOW you CAN overcome – and HOW you overcame.

  1. Inspiration is YOURS.  You create inspiration.  You deliver it.  Your inspiration creates the vision of your life.

Well, that’s kind of “duh”! Right?!  I mean, if you want to inspire people (#1) – you have to work your way through life.  As I sit typing these words, though, I think to myself – inspiration is MINE.  I decide what goal I want to achieve and then make the commitment to do it.  The “secret sauce” is – you have to be disciplined to overcome all the obstacles.

Right?!  To put that last sentence differently, you MUST overcome yourself!  That could be negative self-talk, comparison to others, expecting to be at your destination overnight, dirty diapers, tired, depression, family issues…We MUST beat back every negative thought, action, interruption.  Which leads me to my final takeaway.

  1. Create positive interruption.

So, your project didn’t go as planned.  You didn’t get the raise you were expecting at work.  Your friends didn’t follow through on plans.  Your cat yakked all over the carpeting (yes, this happens).  Your kid is sick.  Your co-worker is complaining about work and the culture there.

Here’s the thing.  And it’s a THING.  None of above matters.  What matters is what we do in these circumstances.  Do you create a pity party and invite everyone when your project doesn’t go as planned forever?  OR – do you give yourself 5 minutes of a pity party that only YOU participate in and then do it again.  Do you have Ariana Grande’s mentality, “thank u, NEXT!” when you didn’t get that raise or you keep getting “no, not today” from people?  Do you do it ANYWAY when your friends, your partners in crime flake on you? Do you interrupt that complaining co-worker with, “yeah, I don’t agree” OR (like me) just put those ear buds in and turn up the music because “mama ain’t got time for this!”?

There were many other nuggets of wisdom from Debbie as she went along in her 48-minute training call.  Discipline.  Create your own energy.  All of that.  Yep. Yep, Debbie, I’ve got that.  You’re right.  I need to inspire myself – so that others may also be inspired.  I also need to become MORE consistent about creating my own positive interruptions – because I’m the CAPTAIN of my own ship.

But most of all, I need to clear through ALL THE EXCUSES and do it.

Ok.  So….?

I also need to WATCH my thoughts and be mindful of the place I’m at today.  This minute.  This second.

Inspiration and interruption don’t just happen.  These things are taught.  Life.  Experiences.  I need to know that I WILL FAIL at times.  It’s being aware of the actions that led me to the failure.  It’s being aware that I can choose to pity party or I can choose to rise.  It’s knowledge that failure is just a blip – it doesn’t speak to my journey, UNLESS I MAKE IT THAT WAY.

This is also about believing.  Believing in my vision.  Believing in myself.  Loving myself enough to keep trying every different way from Sunday to achieve my goals.  Are my goals in line with my vision?  Have I surrounded myself with successful people who were where I am NOW so that I may be encouraged to press forward.

I am reminded about a scripture in Romans where the Apostle Paul speaks to the Romans about pressing on to their goal.  Becoming the Christians, they were destined to become – and that failure is a part of the journey.

So, I have to ask myself.  Is my vision big enough?  Do I believe in myself enough to overcome?  Will I be mindful enough to not allow a momentary blip of failure to override my vision of being the BEST I can be?

YES.