Power Posing to Freedom
The photo above is me in 1995, my first L.A. photo shoot. I look powerful and badass, which I should have felt because I had just been scouted on the sidewalk, introduced and set up for a shoot with an impossibly cool photographer.
During the shoot, he nonchalantly said, "Huh? You're prettier than I expected." and at the end, he referred me to Elite and Ford the two most significant agencies at the time. I signed with Elite a few days later. It was a dream come true for a girl raised on Seventeen Magazine in the era of supermodels.
But... there was a problem, well many. At that point in my life, my beliefs were strong and consisted of, I'm not worthy, and I don't belong. I felt anything but badass. I blushed anytime I was asked what I did, I would squeak out almost inaudibly, "I model" then I would turn into a beet. My blushing was severe and debilitating, and the embarrassment about the blushing only made me redder.
One way I could feel in control was my severe eating disorders that had started before but got really real during that period. What I see now is, I didn't feel worthy of being nourished, and I didn't feel worthy of taking up space, so I attempted to shrink myself. I used outrageous workouts and rigid scheduling for eating, sleeping, and exercise as punishment. I was a literal "hot mess," even though those old photos show something completely different.
It was like living in a cage of pretend. I pretended to be cool and together and perfect, but I was coming apart at the seems under that sleek exterior. I never experienced much success in that career because I didn't own my power, my truth, or my beauty. In that state of mind and that state of being, I was caught by dysmorphia, and when I looked in the mirror, I saw a troll.
My saving grace and my versions of power posing through this period were my three besties; we were all seekers, navigating our way through young adulthood. We had precious conversations about who we were and why, and who we hoped to become.
I also did extensive work with Landmark Education, my first exposure to a-ha moments and transformation.
Additionally, yoga and the study of yogic philosophy were starting to get super interesting to me.
Finally and thankfully, I had enough. I woke up one day and chose healing, self-compassion, authenticity and my brilliance I quit modeling because in fact it was killing me, and at the time it was taking me far away from my truth. I was completly out of alignment.
I'd like to say my journey was quick and I had it all figured out in 6 months, but no... It's been 23 years, and I'm still tweaking behaviors and beliefs every day to uncover my truth. However, the growth and healing that has occurred in the last five years have been exponential.
How? I finally invested in support and structured accountability in the form of therapy, coaching, and personal growth study. I also chose to open my heart over the old pattern of isolation so that I could establish and in some cases re-establish a tribe of supportive, loving, souls.
Flash forward to today.
Work in progress? Always!
A woman who practices non-negotiable self-care, rest and fun based on self-love?
A woman who surrounds herself with supportive energizing people who love and want her to succeed?
A woman who is ending a family legacy of self-sacrifice, depression, hiding and self-medicating, by modeling self-love, authenticity, and bold self-expression to her daughter?
A woman who has found her purpose and is willing to share her gifts with the world?
A woman who can get up in front of almost 1000 people and share her truth in service of people breaking open to their version of brilliance?
I don't share this in a "look at me I'm so great and evolved" way, but, as evidence that if I can do it... your dreams and your best-fulfilled life are possible too. If you have had enough of the limiting behaviors and beliefs that hold you back and you are ready to uplevel and move towards your dreams now. I want to invite you to The Oxygen Mask 3 part Workshop series starting on May 4th.
I have carefully curated, exercises and practices to make a perfect starter course. I intend to help you bring awareness to the patterns that are holding you, hostage so that you can finally move through them and find some freedom on the other side.
Click here for more info
What??? No cookies?
Our plane was shifting in a big way seemingly on every available axis. We were warned over the loudspeaker that the ride would be rough, but this was ridiculous! My family was in the back, my daughter next to me and we were thoroughly experiencing the "tail slide" that the pilot blamed for canceling the drink and snack service. Several times I thought about those little oxygen masks falling from the space above us, and as my daughter lay in my lap battling motion sickness. I kept playing "in case of an emergency..." in my head.
"Put the mask on her first", my head and heart exclaimed.
I quickly corrected my self, "No my mask first."
It was the weirdest thing to observe the argument in my head.
"No, it feels right and makes sense to take care of my young, scared, almost ill child, actually it seems absurd not to put her first. "
"Wait wait wait, me first so that I can serve others! "
Back and forth it went. We never had that emergency, and if we did, I would have followed the instructions and masked myself first. But, holy cow what a clear picture I got that night about how and why it's so hard to commit to self-care.
Most of us are experts at self-sacrifice, we somehow believe that if we put everyone and everything else first, we will be satisfied because we feel in control, and everyone else will be happy due to us. Self-sacrifice is seen mistakenly as a sacred duty. Well let me tell you, that is absolute B.S., but that pattern runs deep in us. The truth is when we put ourselves last, not only are we miserable, withdrawn, and resentful, but our relationships, passions and purpose suffer as well.
The Commitment to self-care is just like the oxygen mask argument I was having with my self. Me/them? Me/them? Where we get confused is in the plane our lives depend on a commitment to self, and in real life it doesn't feel that way. I would argue that those feelings are incorrect and that your life, if you want to be well, fulfilled, connected, impactful, and in full expression of your greatness, entirely depends on it!
I invite you to The Oxygen Mask 3 part Workshop series. Over the course of 3 sessions using mindfulness, gentle movement, and communication we will work through specific steps, befriend and revise our limiting beliefs, and create a system for successful self-care based on self-love.
Step 1. Step back so that you can connect to the vision of what life would look like if your prioritized yourself - build awareness around those automatic and sometimes subconscious limiting beliefs around self-care so you can choose differently at the moment.
Step 2. Let go of habits and beliefs that hold you back from self-care and self-love.
Step 3. Say yes in an empowered way to yourself and what you want to create.
Step 4. Discover what your next best step is, formulate a plan and take empowered action.
Step 5. Set up accountability around your self-care so that success is inevitable.
5/3, 5/10, 5/17
@ Pure Body Bliss.91 E Croy St B, Hailey
Space is limited, contact me for more info.
If you ready for this workshop, but not near Hailey, Idaho. Please contact me to share your interest. I have a virtual version in the works, with a wait list.
My lesson from my Mother
My mother experienced terrible trauma as a young child, psychic wounding which she never really got the proper support for. She lacked human connection and resources that possibly would have allowed her to thrive. I was a witness to her practice of survival, which included isolation, disconnection, victimhood, judgment, and self-medication.
Thinking back to when I was a young child I can see now, how hard she tried to hold it all together. Although I didn't feel super attached and connected to her, she kept me safe, she fed me healthy food, and entertained me by many activities outside of the home to make up for the lack of personal play time and loving connection that she just wasn't capable of.
For much of my adulthood, I've been angry about the emotional neglect, and the mothering it felt like was robbed from me, but also confused and guilty because I know I was well provided for. I had learned well from Mom's model of victimhood, and have been my own worst enemy holding myself back many times in my life. I've had moments where following in her path seemed somehow more comfortable than creating a life I love.
-So interesting how that works.
As I have gotten older, my rage has softened, and I've been able to grow my compassion for her and her personal story. I've gained some skill in carefully watching out for and getting curious about my own dysfunctional survival skills. I have also decided to learn from the experience, and break the cycle rather than repeat it with my daughter. My ability to take personal responsibility for how my life turns out increases each day.
I wish so badly that she would have searched out the right support system as I was lucky enough to do. I wish she could have taken personal responsibility for how her life turned out and realized her power to create her reality.
As an observer, I do see the mighty creator of reality she is, but in my opinion, it could have been a better reality.
At 62 she is in the end stages of alcoholism. She is yellow with jaundice. She is malnourished and has the haunted eyes of a sad, lonely little girl. She is challenging to have a conversation with because her ears are going, but more so it's the wet brain also known as alcoholic's brain damage. Our realities don't match up. Her legs and abdomen are fluid filled. She is in grave danger because she falls. Yes, she's drunk, but alcohol messes with her brain's ability to balance among so many other abilities and it thins her blood so that she could hemorrhage or stroke out at any time. Also, her liver and heart are under extreme duress due to this horrific and self-inflicted disease. This is what she has created.
As awful as it sounds and is to witness, It's strange because she always tells me she's fine.
She doesn't seem fine though. Her denial is just another way to push away responsibility.
Mom says she doesn't want to be a burden, and I believe it, yet when we don't take responsibility for ourselves that is precisely how we end up - a burden.
I tell this story because we can all learn from it. My mother is a severe example of what it's like to slip far out of your sphere of brilliance.
Unfortunately, self-love was not modeled for her, and she didn't find or utilize the resources she needed to learn it on her own. I can see she only valued herself through outside proof; she used my sister and me for that. As relieved as she was once we were out of the house, and on our own, her proof of value was limited.
She didn't understand that self-care, self-acceptance, and self- forgiveness are exercises to be practiced regularly. She never realized her deeper truth as an empowered resourceful woman
(I believe when we get down to it, some version of this is the deeper truth for all of us). Instead, she was and still is the little girl locked inside of her trauma.
As an adult she never really lived authentically, alcohol and other substances were always there to dull her pain and her truth. She rarely asked for what she wanted and almost never got it. I don't believe she ever felt worthy. In her mind, she was a sadly damaged orphan. Like the hungry ghosts from the Buddhist tradition, she was starving and couldn't see that the way to nourish herself and find fulfillment was through self-love, authenticity, expression, and connection.
I do remember times when she had a small glimmer of hope, and some possibility lived within her, but I watched as it slowly drained from her.
I always try to find gratitude for my mother's teachings. Although she is an extreme case, my most recent lesson is how important it is to live with hope and possibility, and how love towards self, un-apologetic realness, and courageous connection to yourself and others feed the possibility of our brilliance. Our brilliance potential is life force, and when we shut it down through hiding, blaming, shaming, and distracting. We die.
***September 2018 Update: My Mother passed away 4-30-2018 from complications of alcoholism. These lessons ring even truer now. I am processing a load of new lessons at the moment as I learn to live in a whole new paradigm. As I gain more clarity, I will be sharing what happens next...
If there is a part of you that is lacking alive-ness set up a complimentary clarity session and discover your unique version of self love, authenticity, and freedom, how to leap over the hurdles that have always held you back, and how to own your brilliance.
self-sacrifice, no winners in that game
Self- Sacrifice - the giving over of oneself or one's own interests for the benefit, or the supposed benefit, of others.
You think that by putting others first, people will give you more love, your position in the tribe will be held sacred and from the love and belonging your self-sacrifice creates you feel safer in life.
The truth is the more you self-sacrifice, the less you love yourself, the tribe comes to expect your overgiving, which increases your resentment and drives a wedge between you and the tribe. So guess what, you just wholly wrecked your experience of love safety and belonging. Whoops!
What if you tried putting yourself first instead?
So what now? It's a little thing called personal responsibility. Observe what comes up for you when you realize it's all in your hands. It can be scary because there is a lot of power for success at your discretion. It's also scary if you choose, AKA making a big non-negotiable decision that you are going to go for your dreams, you don't get to hide behind the shield of self-sacrifice anymore.
We all know what that shield sounds like, "I'll go after my dreams once everyone else is taken care of."
Well, you will be waiting forever, and how convenient to blame someone else for your playing small and not developing what you came here to do. It's much easier to stomach if it's on someone else.
Trade your shields for boundaries. Sheilds set us up to take responsibility for everyone but our selves. Boundaries allow us to be in our truth free from liability for others reactions.
So once again I ask of you, be brave and put yourself first. my mentor Stacey Morgenstern once reminded me, "You will not be abandoned by the world if you claim yourself as whole."
... but if you don't tap into the courage and responsibility to prioritize numero uno, you have abandoned yourself, and in turn the world.
If you would like to stop self-sacrificing and find freedom through healthy boundaries so that you can live your dreams. Schedule a free clarity session with me. The time is now!
The Inception of Reception
I have been steeped deep into a conversation, of power, fulfillment, liberation, connection, self-expression and true success, or what I like to call our sphere of brilliant being. The way I see it one can only live in that place if they are willing to BE three things.
I have been interviewing as many women who will let me on this topic, and my findings have been amazing. I’m telling you people – The struggle for self-love, authenticity, and taking up the space that is our birth-rite is real, yet I have complete faith that with clear awareness, and empowered action we can all up-level and spend a whole lot more time in our personal version of brilliance.
Much of what I hear is how difficult finding space to grow our self-love can be, or where even to start.
Well, one place we can look is our ability and readiness to receive. Most of us or very adept at deflecting, refusing, and ignoring the many opportunities, blessing, and kindness’s that come into our space each day. We need to move into our day with eyes and heart wide open, scouting for positive energy that is just waiting to land on us and increase our experience of self-love.
A colleague of mine illustrated the old defeating cycle, awareness, and then a new choice of action that served her perfectly.
I asked her for a favor; I wanted to pick her brain about her experience of her brilliance. The interview went well, and we both had some new insights and aha’s, in other words, it was valuable because we both brought our value to the table.
I later sent her a thank you email and asked for her address so I could send her a small gift of appreciation.
She responded, “No need for gifts. Thank you for reaching out to me.”
Wow! Although I know it was absolutely not her intention, It felt like an abrupt snub. The way she cut off the flow of positive energy was a visceral experience for me.
I thought, “how many time had I damned the energy flow, out of trying to be polite, or not take up too much space, or being able to the vulnerability that comes up when someone had offered me aid or a gift of some kind.”
The answer? A LOT. We all do this. It’s in our programming to be demure and giving, but most of us missed the day they taught receiving 101. When we drop into this pattern it is in service to NO ONE!
So I went into coach mode on my friend, and this was my response,
“I did want to invite you to practice receiving (sorry coach in me can't stop). Where else do you cut off receiving? Learning to receive is a big piece of being unconditionally in love with yourself and being able to hold space for your brilliance. Receiving a gift, a compliment, help of any kind is a way to practice owning your value. At its most simple, it's just an exchange of positive energy - something for the (your) value you gave me. Where else do you stop up the flow of positive energy? Up to you what you want to do with that... I respect whatever your choice is and no more unsolicited coaching, I promise ;)”
And guess what?
She took one small step to rewrite her pattern and another towards her value, self-love and her brilliance when she responded with her address.
Get curious, where do you cut off your self- love? Would you like to be experiencing something different that is in service to your liberation? What is one thing you can do today to let a little more love in? I live for these types of conversations, and I’d love to have one with you. You can book your free clarity session with me here.
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Stop tolerating less than brilliant
I was sitting in the bright calming office of my therapist, the light, floral motif, and soothing colors were somehow feeding my rage and sadness. With tears running down my face, I loudly complained, "I hate my life, I hate my husband, and I hate my 3-year-old, but most of all I HATE myself for being such an ungrateful, vicious monster."
Had you been there in that moment you would have tasted the shame, anger, and desperation emanating from me. I have had many periods in my life of meh, ho-hum, to downright depression, but this was bad! I was breaking apart.
Luckily through the therapy, personal coaching and the inner work/ personal development I have consistently engaged in, along with what I observe in my clients, I see these less than desirable low vibrational episodes as an absolute gift. I have taken the feedback and formulated it into a system that helps me and my clients come back into brilliance when we fall out of alignment.
When I talk about brilliance I mean an experience of being fulfilled, free, fully self-expressed, and genuinely successful, whatever that means to the individual.
I believe that we need to be running on all cylinders in the areas of self-love, authenticity, and the practice of taking up space unapologetically. I see our true collective nature as brilliant and when we feel ourselves being less than that (which happens because we're human). We can look into these three areas and do a self-check. Leave judgment at the door and get really curious about what needs more attention. Maybe some work could be done on the ability to receive, the experience of health, or the willingness to surrender.
What's cool is with some focus, self- awareness, and consenting to let go of what isn't serving, and creating space for what is, we can move into our sphere of brilliance, and the possibilities for whatever we can dream up are right at our fingertips.
As I connect into my brilliance and sustain it for longer periods of time, I get so excited about my journey. I often find myself in flow, life is more often than not showing up fun and easy, and I'm happy to say I love my family, and myself even the viscious monster part, more than ever.
To create some clarity, support, and accountability around what's keeping you out of your sphere of brilliance, or how to get even more brilliant, book a free conversation here.