Sometimes we want something so much and we put every effort into making it happen but it doesn't turn out the way we expected.
It can be devastating.
That has happened to me and, for a long time, I didn't know what to think about it. In fact, it can even feel like God/Spirit/the Creator is against us.
Three phrases changed the devastation into understanding for me and, so of course, I wanted to share them with you.
When we desire for something to happen with all our hearts, the Universe (or insert your word for the Higher Power of your understanding) says one of three things:
Courage is required to accept the answer.
You may not know this about me...
I write poetry.
Poems seem to come through me when I travel. Several years ago, I was at a retreat in Mexico called Sacred Sensual Splendour.
I didn't have my kids with me, or my husband. There was almost no wi-fi, so I didn't go on my cell phone. We were given hours of free time every day. There was gloriously little to do.
And as I journalled, poems started to appear on the page.
Up until now, they've been quietly hiding in that journal, but today is a big day! One of them is going to get out into the open, right here.
If you could, please imagine throwing a little confetti and hearing a party horn blow in honour of this poem's first release.
(I was shocked when I read it over to see that it's about self-care. i guess part of me knew long ago that Courageous Self-Care was in my future!)
I Am a Bridge
I am a bridge between earth and sky.
I am a container. I am grounded.
I choose to contain my strength and...
I first learned about visualization when I was 7 years old. I was a competitor in the Parkland Tap Festival, where each child performed the same tap dance solo and then received their placement.
It was my first year in the competition and much to my dismay, I placed 3rd behind two other girls from my studio. I received a bronze medal. What I really wanted was the trophy that was awarded to the winner.
I shared that goal with my mom and she told me about visualization. The process involves getting clear on what you want and then imagining it in your mind's eye frequently.
For the next year, as I drifted off to sleep, I imagined myself on the stage, receiving that shiny trophy. I reeeealllllyyyyyy wanted that trophy and so I devoted my bedtime thoughts to that image.
The other important part of visualization is taking action in real life, so as soon as I learned my dance routine for the 8 year old category, I practiced it religiously.
I practiced the dance in my mind, which is...
I was on my way to a business meeting recently and found myself with a few minutes to spare. Woohoo! I love it when that happens!
I had missed my morning meditation so I decided to pull over on a residential street and meditate there.
Several minutes in, a lawnmower that had been running turned off.
The silence that ensued was profound. The funny thing was, I hadn't noticed the noise until it stopped.
That's just like energy drains. We generally don't notice our energy draining away until we take care of the leak. Once we do that, the resulting energy boost is noticeable and transformative.
In the Courageous Self-Care model, there are 10 ways that we tend to drain our energy without noticing it. I've created a mini-course on those energy drains and I would love to give it to you as a gift.
If you're curious about where your energy leaks are, click on this link.
Once we take care of the energy drains, we shift from running on empty to renewable energy.
Just like the lawnmower...
Do you know the metaphor about crabs in the bucket?
In case not, here's the synopsis.
When several crabs are placed in a bucket, generally, one will start climbing, in pursuit of freedom.
The other crabs don't like that, so they pull the freedom-seeker back in with rest of them.
It's such a powerful metaphor, when you think about it in terms of mediocrity.
People can be like crabs. Often, when someone has the vision to change things, the rest of the group can fell threatened and they'll do everyting in their power to bring the visionary back into a more common, non-threatening state.
The ego also works like those clawing crabs.
Your intuition may urge you to reach beyond your current circumstances. It's your guide to expansion and fulfillment.
When your ego catches your intuition making a break for it, it does its utmost to reign you in and settle for the familiar, back in the bucket, where it's familiar. It may be unpleasant circumstances, but at least...
I'm curious... what do you want?
What do you really, really want for yourself?
For many people, the answer to that qestion is elusive and so they stumble through life feeling unfulfilled.
When I was younger the only thing I had clarity around was my hair. I had a hair plan in high school.
First I would grow it long.
Then I would get married.
On my honeymoon, I would get it braided into cornrows.
Then I would cut it short.
And guess what? My plan unfolded perfectly! I could see each phase in my imagination before it actually happened.
I knew that this practice of visualization worked because my mom taught it to me when I was in grade 4 and I manifested my biggest dream as an eight year old.
Visualization has worked well for me because it helps bring me clarity on what I want in life.
I do my visualization practice every morning before getting up and in the evening before bed.
I've studied visualization intensively from a variety of different teachers, including...
We have a practice in our house called Peacock Day.
Of all the things my husband I have done to cultivate loving relationships between us and our two kids, Zoë and Oakley, this practice is one of the most powerful.
Peacock Day is when we take turns saying meaningful, loving things to each other. If it's Zoë's Peacock Day, then Paul, Oakley and I say things that will result in Zoë feeling as proud as a peacock.
Most sentences begin with "I love how you..." or "I'm proud of you for..."
On more than one occasion, I've felt my eyes brimming with tears from the recognition and acknowledgment we've given and received.
There have been several surprising benefits to our Peacock Day Ritual. The first one is that it's particularly fulfilling as a parent to hear what my kids see in me and what they love about me. They have said things like "I'm proud of you, Mommy, for being so persistent in your business," and "I love how you support us and are always there for us when we need...
Last year I attended a retreat where I was guided through a Shamanic Journey. At one point, the instruction was to imagine myself in a place where I felt powerful and grounded.
The image that came to me (after I decided what outfit I would be wearing) was of me standing on red earth, overlooking a huge canyon, with the wind blowing my skirt and my hair. I did indeed feel powerful, grounded and strong.
Since then I've thought of that image occasionally, but not too often.
While in Kauai this summer, I had a remarkable experience. While sitting for guidance one day, the message that came through was that I would be experiencing the real life version of my visualization. (I didn't have the right outfit with me, but the long skirt I had envisioned would have been impractical for a hike anyway.)
Our destination was Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.
Once we climbed to the top, sure enough, I found myself standing on red earth overlooking a vast canyon....
What is courage and why do so many people want more of it?
Recently, I gave a talk for 150 women about courage.
While researching, I came across some information that has influenced my life every day since.
Although bravery and courage are presented as synonyms, there is a profound philosophical difference.
Bravery is an innate quality that signals an absence of fear. There's nothing to overcome. For example, when it comes to speaking in public, I'm brave. I don't have a fear around it. In fact, I LOVE public speaking!
Courage is different because it means acting in spite of fear (such as in this leap my daughter Zoë took 7 years ago).
I once had the opportunity to swallow fire. Let me tell you, there was definitely fear around putting a flaming rag into my mouth and extinguishing the fire with my lips. I actually did it (pretty amazing, right?!?) because there was something greater than the fear.
Courage occurs because we are moving towards an ideal. It might be love,...
The way you do anything is the way you do everything.
That phrase has helped me learn so much about myself.
It means that the way you show up in one situation is exactly how you're showing up in every area of your life. It's a powerful mirror.
While in Hanalei Bay in Kauai this summer, I had an experience where I learned valuable information about myself thanks to that useful phrase.
At one end of the picturesque bay, there is a pier. On my family's first day there, we saw all sorts of people jumping off the pier into the turquoise ocean.
Because of my power word "adventurous", I decided that jumping off the pier would help me expand my comfort zone.
Zoë and Oakley, my kids, enthusiastically agreed that we should jump off together. My husband, Paul, was surprised when I announced my intention because I've spent many years being the opposite of adventurous.
Once I stood on the edge of the pier, I realized that it was a lot higher than it looked. From a mile away, the jump...