Who are you?

Who are you?

Sitting here at my laptop after rearranging my office for the third time this year, I’m picturing Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. 
She had a cool desk arrangement.
I wanted to sit at that desk.
So finally, I have my desk looking all cute and thrown into the middle of the room in a decorator kind of way.
Where I will hopefully begin typing amazing words that express what’s in my heart.
But, getting it right takes time.
Anyway, we all experience an authenticity crisis at some point in life.
Usually around age 40.
Or later.
And for some of us (ME)… it revisits quite often.

THREE AUTHENTICITY CRISIS QUESTIONS

This crisis boils down to 3 questions:
1.  Who am I?
Or, who the hell am I?
(Hell is added when we’re seriously doubting things.)
2.  What am I doing here?
Or, what the hell am I doing here?  
And here’s the where the rubber meets the road question:
3.  Will my life measure up to what I thought it would be?
That’s an authenticity crisis right there.
It’s a brave question to ask.
Because for now, this is the one life you’ve got.
And the very idea of not living fully…
Well, it’s a horrible idea right?
No one wants to think their life was a waste.
Or under-lived.
Like you didn’t experience what you were CAPABLE of.
It’s why the Leo Tolstoy story I wrote about a couple weeks ago is so chilling.
So, for you, so that your life IS lived fully…
Expressed fully.
And you’ll walk your truth by being true to your soul.

What do you think about ALL the time?

Are you fulfilling the promise of your life?
Meaning, are you showing up for yourself?
That means…
Self-respect for what you feel compelled toward.
Yes, compelled.
That thing you think about ALL the time.
How many more years will you think about it?
Yes, life gets in the way.
So we say.
However, is there ever a good reason to keep yourself parked on the bench?
I don’t think so.
Actually, it’s a resounding: NOPE.
Your soul is the truest part of you…
And life needs to conform to what your soul is here for.
Your soul is here to love and be loved.
Your soul is here to serve.
Join the Midlife Truth Challenge and spend a little coveted time identifying what’s true for you.
If you don’t carve out the time… you won’t do it.
Human nature says that we will continue to avoid ourselves.
Sadly.
So, show up for yourself and your soul.
Are parts of you sitting on a shelf?

Are parts of you sitting on a shelf?

Elton John sings…
Look in the mirror and stare at myself,
And wonder if that’s really me on the shelf.
Are parts of you left on a shelf…
Ignored, and you’re wondering:
What the hell?
When did that happen?
Why am I leaving it there?
What is going on with me that I’m allowing this?
When my 40 something self heard that song, I thought all of those things.
My inner poet… on a shelf.
My sadness… on a shelf.
My femininity… roaming in the woods.
Helping humanity… on a shelf.
The leader in me… ditto.
Why do we ignore parts of ourselves?
There’s only one reason, and you know what it is.
Self-doubt.
Oh, and fear.
And maybe laziness.
And tiredness.
Ok, that’s 4 reasons…
And all legit.
Fearing you won’t, you can’t.
That the universe doesn’t care what you do.
That you don’t have what it takes.
“You can’t have it all.”
Other people are doing it better…
Ugh.
But, here’s the thing…
When you ignore key parts of yourself, You’re not being true to yourself.
If part of you is on a shelf…
Only you can pick it up and take it off the shelf.
You don’t have to do somersaults with it.
Just give it your attention for crying out loud.
Do something.
Because if you don’t, your life will feel OFF.
It takes a lifetime for some of us to express the truth within us.
I have much more I want to do and be.
How about you?
Either in your relationship or in service to this aching world.
Please don’t ignore key parts of yourself.
Because true joy comes from being true to all the sides of you.
The promise of your life…

The promise of your life…

If part of you knows there’s more to you than has surfaced so far…
So far.
I get that.
In Passages by Gail Sheehy, she talks about the midlife passage of entering age 40 or more.
The age when you realize that you don’t have forever.
There’s an end date.
And if you want to live in a way that deepens your connection to yourself and this universe…
Or to others.
Or you want go after a dream.
Or you want to express something to one person…
Or the world.
Time is ticking.

Time waits for no one.

As it’s been said, Time waits for no one.
So I encourage you…
To support yourself 100% on whatever you believe you’re here to do with your one wild and precious life.*
Don’t let any person stop you.
And don’t let fear and self-doubt make your decisions for you.
Because the desire you carry you have for a reason.
It has a definite reason.
But this takes some courage.
And it’s worth it.
The joy that comes from a life fully lived…
It’s worth it.
And the fear that your soul will be left lying limp…
That’s not good.
It’s why I do this work.
The thought of souls lying limp around the world… ugh.
I saw Pixar’s Soul this week, so beautiful btw.
And it underlines the beauty and promise of each life.
So, I’ll ask the hard question…
Are you fulfilling the promise of your life?
Just a question to ask going into 2022.
A year of change and promise.
Wishing you a healthy and fulfilling year.

Longing for a true life…

One of the greatest writers of all time is Leo Tolstoy.

In his short story, The Death of Ivan Ilych, the main character is successful by most standards in life.

He was a respected judge, he had a beautiful family, he was rich.

But on his death bed he wonders…

Was my life all wrong?

That’s a sobering thought to have before you take your last breath.

What do you think he’s referring to?

Possibly that…

He wasn’t true to himself.

He was a judge, maybe he wishes he owned a coin shop.

He was married…

Maybe his marriage wasn’t what he wanted and he had no idea how to fix it.

He was a father…

Maybe his son never wanted to spend time with him.

The hero of the story wasn’t happy with the life he was about to end.

Leo Tolstoy is considered a spiritual leader as well.

Because he wrote about man’s connection to his own spirit, without saying it straight out.

When a man ponders his life from his death bed…

He’s probably talking to the deepest part of himself.

He’s possibly talking to something greater than himself.

Many people might be fine with their lives in general.

In general.

They feel fortunate to have what they have.

But, some inner aspect of them is not being fed.

And they ignore this hunger.

That hunger is where the magic begins.

Because the hunger leads you where you’re meant to go.

In your personal life.

Spiritually.

And in your work.

Pay attention to your hunger.

Because it’s telling you something important that your soul needs.

Find a puddle to soothe your heart

Find a puddle to soothe your heart

There are times in life…
When the hero in you must rest, and the part of you that crawls carries you through.
Crawling is defined as the difficult times in life. 
You’re moving slowly on the ground, you’re learning what you need to fulfill your destiny.
We crawl through our grief, heartache, fear, etc.
Then, somewhere in the middle of your crawling, you’ll find your own puddle.
Your puddle is defined as the place within you that goes deeper.
It’s profound to know your own depths.
It’s honoring yourself when you allow your unique experience without self-rejection.
Your puddle is yours to dip your toes into.
Whether your puddle is filled with grief, heartache, anger, fear…
Or all of the above.
It’s yours.
Swim around in there.
Wade in the water.
Then, there will be times…
You’ll be so deep in the puddle, that you can’t see light.
You’ll wonder if you’re strong enough to be in there at all.
You are.
Because we aren’t given more than we can handle.

WHEN IS IT TIME TO SURFACE?

Then, at some point, you’ll hear a voice suggesting it’s time to surface, and you might not be ready.
It’s ok.
Just say, I need to be in here longer. 
I’m not ready to come into the light.
As you’re in the puddle, in this place of depth and safety, you’re healing your life.
Nature wants you to soothe your heart.
Nature wants you to heal.
And this is a sacred time.
However, eventually, you’ll be ready to leave the puddle as part of your destiny. 
And…  ask for help as you need it.
You deserve a life free of old heavy energy. 
And you must do the work to leave that old energy behind you.
Therefore, the inner voice that tells you it’s time to surface from the puddle will become more pronounced over time.
Like a drum beat that gets louder and louder.
Because staying wounded does not serve you at some point.
You will know when.
Trust that part of yourself.
And remember, you can always return to the puddle when you need to.
Your puddle is your sacred place… and it’s always there for you.
Go on a destiny quest!

Go on a destiny quest!

In my late 30’s and 40’s, while I was happily married, starting a family, and had a successful career… I was expressively frustrated.

I didn’t understand it at the time…

However, I wasn’t expressing myself creatively or personally.

In a sentence, my expressive drive was stifled, buried, and repressed.

And, if you relate with this at all… this is NOT good for the soul.

So… I read hundreds of self-help books, dabbled in spirituality, walked on coals with Tony Robbins, and searched within my Jewish roots for a deeper sense of myself and where I fit into this world.

But, I continued to be, paradoxically, both happy and frustrated.

FAST FORWARD

Fast forward to my late 40’s …

My husband and best friend of 26 years passed away.  We had two sons, ages 11 and 17.

Six months after his passing, my husband visited me in a dream.

I didn’t know about such things and even though I was seeking, I didn’t like woo woo stuff, like spirits visiting people in dreams.

But after this visitation, I read every book I could find about the afterlife to validate what in the world happened.

In the dream visit, Mark told me two things:  He was where he needed to be, doing work on the other side; and I had someone I WAS MEANT TO BE.

I believed him. I knew he was right.

But, beyond that I was lost about what that looked like.

Fast forward another year.

In the middle of the night, I spontaneously wrote an autobiographical tale book about a caterpillar who doesn’t believe she can be a butterfly.

My caterpillar is seeking and wants answers.

She wants more from life on the ground.

Most of all, she wants to know she’s not alone on her quest.

GO ON A DESTINY QUEST…

I believe I represent many frustrated women who deeply desire authentic, creative expression… and they’re not DOING it.

Some way… in any form.

As a fairly non-religious Jewish woman,  who’s always believed ashes to ashes, dust to dust, my DESTINY QUEST has shown me that the universe cares what we do.

Furthermore, the universe is involved.

In the midst of chaos, there’s an intelligent universe that holds a plan for each of us.

However, and this is key, we cannot fulfill that plan until we crawl.

This is why my book is about a caterpillar…

Crawling is as important as flying in life.

We must crawl through our heartache and grief before we embrace our creative, expressive destiny.

Once we do that… our destiny is filled with joy and ease.

Now, I run my own online education business as a soul coach and author, helping people SEIZE THEIR DESTINY.

this moment is yours.

this moment is yours.

Do you ever feel…
This is MY life and these are MY days… and I don’t want to waste them.
I don’t want to give them away.
Do you ever think something so self-involved?
I hope so.
Because when you spend your time worrying and thinking about other people’s problems.
Or worrying and thinking about your own problems.
You know it’s a life killer…
You know it.
But, you get sucked in.
Because the incessant thoughts kick in…

INCESSANT THOUGHTS

Will I get all of this done?
 
Actually, I’m certain I WON’T get all of this done and if I drop one ball, everything is going to #%@.
Or even deeper thoughts…
What if I can’t have the life I want?
Oh, that’s a scary thought.
It’s those thoughts that keep you up at night.
When your mind goes there… there are two things you need:
The ability to stop and breathe.
 
And the ability to quiet your mind.
KEY LIFE SKILLS.
Remember the fire drill you learned in school?
Stop, drop and roll?
Well, instead think:
Stop, breathe, PEACE!
 
Or… stop, breathe, quiet.
Then run to your nearest yogi studio…
Not yoga… too much pressure there:)
YOGI studio.
One that you create in your car, your home, in nature…
Or in your mind.
Especially in your mind.
It’s that place where you can go and just be quiet.
Even if it’s for two seconds.
Seriously.
Two peaceful seconds where you don’t have to save the world.

I’M UP TO 5 MINUTES

This life skill of being able to quiet the mind…
Well, it takes practice.
I’ve been doing it for 20 years and I’m proud to say that I’ve worked my way up to 5 minutes.
Now, hopefully you’ll be far more talented at it…
But, 5 minutes is pretty nice!
Part of transforming in life… so you’ll be who you’re meant to be.
And live a one of a kind, this is your life…
One part is practicing being quiet.
It’s at the top of the list of… Simple, but not easy.
But, practice it a little bit each day.
When you catch yourself worrying…
Think: Stop, breathe, and quiet.
And remember, no matter who you’re helping…
Or who you live with…
Or who you want to BE THERE for…
This moment is yours.
You don’t have to give it away.

your destiny

Does this sound familiar?
I believe I can do it… Then, I don’t believe it one single bit!
I can do this… Then, there’s no way I can do this!  Who was I kidding?
It’ll be OK… Two minutes later… this will be a ship wreck!
If it’s meant to be, it’ll be… Next, what in the heck am I talking about?
This kind of ping pong game with life is…
Exhausting.
You have a destiny. 
You’ll be given what you need to reach it.
And here’s what else you need to know about your destiny…
The little caterpillar I keep talking about. 🐛
Who doesn’t believe she can be a butterfly. 🦋
Early on, she’s hanging out in the garden.
She’s a bit lost, confused, doubts herself, and she wants answers.
So, she goes on a personal quest.
And commits all 16 legs…
Looking for something…
She’s not sure what.
But something MORE is calling her.
Then, on her quest…
The caterpillar uncovers 12 principles of metamorphosis.
And with the help of these 12 principles…
She becomes a butterfly.

WHAT’S WITHIN YOU… 

These 12 principles of metamorphosis…
Will lead you where you need to go.  
Just as they did my caterpillar.
In love, work, and spiritually.
So that you’ll…
Be true to yourself.
Accomplish what you wish for.
And make the most of your life.

THE 12 PRINCIPLES OF METAMORPHOSIS

These 12 principles of metamorphosis are as follows and they will lead you to your destiny.

  1. Commit all 16 legs.
  2. Ask for help, the garden is listening.
  3. Stand back and take it in.
  4. You need to look closer, then don’t stray too far.
  5. Wish yourself compassion for everything you are.
  6. Your time is quite short, regardless of your endeavor.
  7. Enter a well of all healing and be willing to go below.
  8. Leave your logic on the shore.
  9. Let your sadness run through you.
  10. You may get stuck beneath a stone.
  11. Love yourself.
  12. Fulfill your destiny.

WHAT IS YOUR DESTINY?

Your destiny is NOT just about your job or career.

It’s so much more.

It’s what you’re meant to give and learn

It’s between you and this universe.

That’s what you’re here to do with your one wild and precious life, as the poet Mary Oliver tells us.

Give what you’re meant to share.

And learn what lesson you’re here to learn, so you can be free of them.

Life doesn’t seem so logical much of the time, but you can count on your destiny.

It’s waiting for you.

 

 

The purest, deepest part of you.

The purest, deepest part of you.

You hear about tuning in to your children, your partner, or your surroundings …

And we know that means to lean into what they’re feeling…
Or what is happening.
But, what does it mean to tune in to yourself?
It means to drop into what your soul needs.
Now… how is this any different than what YOU need?
A soul need is a deeper need. It’s a bottom line need.
Since the soul is the essence of who you are, it’s slightly different than who YOU are.
Because YOU have a body and circumstances, both of which are temporary.
While the soul is eternal and connected.
So to illustrate with a very light example…
If you’re craving chocolate cake… is this something your soul wants?
Maybe.
Or maybe your soul wants deeper nourishment?
If chocolate cake will give you true nourishment, awesome:)
However, tune in to your soul and see… is this nourishing me?
It might be.  It might not be…
It’s between you and your soul to decide.
How lovely a convo is that?
Your soul knows.
No judgment, just leaning in and having a conversation with the deepest, purest, most present part of you.
Giving yourself what you need.

Giving yourself what you need.

So, how do you care for your soul… in a topsy-turvey world?
And what does that even mean??
Care of the soul assumes that life is topsy-turvey.
So, don’t let it disappoint you or cause you to become too discouraged.
Because as you know, life is a roller coaster of things we don’t expect.
And so instead, we care for the soul.
We make sure our soul is doin’ alright down here…
For example:
We pause throughout the day. We take deep breaths. We do work that feeds the soul. We avoid negative people and negative thinking. We put ourselves in situations that lift us up.  We feel what we feel.  We BELIEVE in ourselves.  We believe in an unlimited universe that will survive. We don’t give up on ourselves.  We’re GOOD to ourselves daily…
I feel better just writing that:)
And as you care for yourself in this deeper, life affirming way, you’re experiencing connection and aliveness.
You experience the part of life that can’t be explained
It wasn’t until I stumbled upon caring for my soul… that a glimmer of something true, something deeper, and something eternally satisfying emerged within me.
Why does the soul offer so much?
Because this part of you knows the truth about you and your specific place in the world.
AND because… this part of you is connected to the unlimited.
And, this part of you has the power to overcome any self-doubt you have.
You can lean into your soul 100%.
And THAT feels really good, since leaning into something solid in 2020… is extremely comforting. ?
Be well and safe.

Can we enjoy life anyway?

Enjoying life during this challenging time might seem absurd, but please bear with me.
This year has been unfathomable … And it continues.
But, let’s not focus on that right now.
What if this was your LAST year of life?
Or if this was your last week?
Maybe you’d jump in your car and drive until you hit water, and dive in and swim to the nearest island and meet an islander and drink rum.
Or you’d serial watch your favorite guilty pleasure while wolfing down buttery popcorn and dark chocolate.
Or you’d simply sit and watch people walk by your front door.
One after another, strolling by, getting their kids out of the house … or themselves.
You’d want to take IT ALL IN.
The truth is, we want to enjoy life … be in love, be healthy, enjoy our work and children, travel, etc.
And enjoy the simple pleasures …
But, life doesn’t always go so smoothly.
Each of us can list a number of things that have happened in our lives that have caused us to ask: What the heck?
And I mean … seriously, what the heck?
However, we can decide to enjoy life anyway.
There will be bad days and bad moments.
Yep.
And yet, there are things to enjoy.
Even in this smoke filled part of the world where we can barely leave the house because the air is filled with soot … on top of a worldwide virus.
But, I digress.
We can commit to enjoy life, most of it, some of it, 4 or 5 minutes a day …
And to underline Mary Oliver’s final line at the end of her remarkable poem, The Summer Day:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Feeling calm in the midst of chaos.

Feeling calm in the midst of chaos.

Care of the soul includes doing things that help you feel calm throughout the day, even when the world around you is chaotic.
When you’re caring for your deeper needs, YOU are the calm one that others gravitate toward.
Like your husband and children…
And why will they do this?
Because they feel SAFE with you. 
They know you’re there for them, calm and patient when the rest of life is… too much.
The world and its problems don’t unravel you.
Just like you’re OK with you own imperfections.
And this calm and patience comes from this DEEP well within you.
Kids love being around that.  Men love being around that.
We love being around that … And yet, while I was a loving wife and mother …
I used to be stressed out, anxious, and easily upset.
This was NOT a good look on me.
On my tombstone my sons might have written: We loved her, but wish she would have taken a deep breath and a very long vacation.
Thankfully, I breathe easily now.
And here’s the good news …
As we care for our deeper needs and connect within, we forgive the things we’ve said and done … and we have more to give.

 

Energy Vampires … and why it’s not worth it.

Christiane Northrup, M.D. is helping us understand how we can evade energy vampires.
I’m grateful because this topic comes up A LOT in my work as a soul coach.  The power of thought and how negative thinking is literally killing people is the main theme in my futuristic book, The Thought Store.
Have you ever walked away from someone feeling blah or angry or anxious, and wondering what the heck happened?
And then you’re wondering how you got sucked in?
Because, the subject people seem to be bothered by, more than any other subject, is other people.

We can’t live with them, can’t live without them!

Can’t live with them … can’t live without them! ?
Other people is the number one reason people leave their jobs.
And sometimes, only sometimes … those “other people” are energy vampires.
Christiane Northrup’s best selling book:  Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships that Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power, talks about this issue in depth.
And hey … we’ve all had bad days or months.  Quite honestly, when my husband passed away, I wasn’t fun to be around for years.
It was tough, and I had to nurse my wounds for a long time.
But, do you have someone you’ve known forever and you feel drained by the relationship?
Or maybe you’ve known them for a short time, and you didn’t realize they were slowly draining the life out of you?
If you want a harmonious and fun life, this includes NOT allowing yourself to be drained by other people, even if you feel badly for them.

Thoughts to empower you.

You can affirm:

I love you, I forgive you, I’m letting you go.

I deserve peace.

I am only allowing peaceful relationships in my life.

I allow myself to protect my energy.

When I feel drained, I will take a look at what’s happening.

I am committed to being around good energy.

I am attracted loving, responsible, caring, empowered people into my life.

I am letting you go.

 

The power of the PAUSE

The power of the PAUSE

The power of the pause is a simple technique for being calm and less reactive with your spouse, your kids, your friends, your parents, the noisy neighbor, and the adorable teenager who refuses to clean out his car, etc.
Let’s say something happens that gets your temperature up!  Someone says or does something annoying, disrespectful, oblivious … Oops sorry, I got carried away.
Anyway, you’re upset.  Maybe your blood is starting to boil …
The moment this happens, use the power of the pause:
1.  Think PAUSE – Just stop. This simple and seemingly tiny act of bravery is larger than you think. BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW IT’S REALLY HARD TO PAUSE WHEN OUR JUICES ARE FLOWING!
Pausing gives us a chance to slow down.
If your knee jerk reaction is to overreact, then pausing is a triumph in and of itself.
2.  NAME WHAT YOU’RE FEELING AND BREATHE – Simply notice what you’re feeling and name it.  For example:  I’m mad.  I am hurt. I feel like crying. (Said to yourself or out loud.)
3.  Keep breathing deeply and gently until you feel better and calm enough to address the situation.
Dr. Dan Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA school of medicine, coined the phrase: Name it To Tame it … in the brain.
NAME IT TO TAME IT
He teaches parents how to coach their children when the children are upset.
The principles apply to adults as well.  When we name an emotion, the brain sends soothing neurotransmitters to the limbic system, the part of the brain that wants to run away.
Soothing … I love the sound of that.
For instance, when a child is scared, just naming it and saying: I’m scared, helps her calm down.
The more accurate you can be in naming the emotion, the better the result.
That’s why it helps for parents to be in tune with their children, to help them name their emotion.
By the same token, it’s important for adults to be in tune with themselves! 
Being able to stay calm in the storm isn’t easy.
However, as we care for our deeper needs, we feel calmer and more steady.

That’s all for now … I’ll be following up with more about how you can let your calmer, steady side prevail.