I wish I learned this in school

Who’s responsible?

We’ve all likely heard the saying that “You’re responsible for your own happiness.” It likely makes sense on an intellectual level, but how many of us actually embrace this?

If we’re responsible for our own happiness, that means we take responsibility for how we’re feeling–with any emotion. 

We learn the opposite from adults and sometimes even in school. We hear adults say, “You hurt Jimmy’s feelings. Say sorry!” or “Did she hurt your feelings by doing that?” And we’d likely think that “Yes, she hurt my feelings by doing that.”

Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 

What’s really going on is that we’re making what someone else says or does mean something about ourselves. We’re basically agreeing with what they said or did, which is the only way something can hurt us–if we let it. If we think it’s somehow true about us or if we somehow deserve it. 

Again, intellectually, this may make some sense. Living it and practicing it can be harder though, because we’ve been conditioned to believe that we cause other people’s feelings and that other people cause ours. 

But we know from the Model that our thoughts create our feelings. Always. It’s not the external circumstance that creates our feelings, even though it’s so easy to think that the circumstance is causing us to feel something. It’s what we’re thinking about the circumstance that creates our feelings. Our thinking creates our feelings. 

So in that sense, we can see how we are responsible for what we feel. Once we really become aware that this is how it works, we can be intentional about how we want to feel. Which means being intentional about how we are thinking.

I think some of us have a misconception that someone else is supposed to help our lives be great. When we abdicate ourselves from taking this responsibility, who do we think it belongs to? 

I used to want someone to come save me from my life when I was feeling dissatisfied, like things were missing from my life. 

You know what was missing from my life? ME. I wanted someone else to take the responsibility that is mine, to help my life become better than it was. To create more income for me, to find opportunities for me, to find a partner for me, to find a place for me to live, to help me eat healthy meals, to take care of me. How could someone else do this if I wasn’t willing to do it for myself? 

No one is going to do it for us. No one is going to live our lives for us. That’s our responsibility. We get to take care of ourselves and our lives. Intentionally. 

We have everything we need within us to take responsibility.

And that is great news. Because then we realize we can have the exact life we want when we take responsibility for creating it and caring for ourselves along the way. Intentionally.  

Your turn: What have you been giving responsibility to someone or something else to fulfill for you? Are you willing to take responsibility for this? How might your life be different if you started taking even more responsibility for what you want? How might your life be different if you practiced intentional self-care?

Dive Deeper: Do you feel any resistance to the idea of taking responsibility in this way? If yes, why? What if those thoughts are just limiting beliefs about what’s possible for you?

Want to learn more about the Model and how your thoughts create your feelings? Sign-up for an exploratory session here.

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

Why should I feel uncomfortable?

Stop buffering.

This week we’re talking about buffering. What is buffering? 

We buffer to avoid feeling emotional pain or uncomfortable emotions.

When we buffer, we use external things to change how we feel internally. This means engaging in an action to put a buffer between us and a feeling we don’t want to feel. The action could be something like overeating, overdrinking, overspending, over-Instagraming, over-Netflixing, overworking, over-cleaning, or over-exercising. It could be anything if we’re using that thing/action to prevent ourselves from feeling an emotion.

These things become false pleasures that have a net-negative outcome: When we overeat, we gain weight. When we overdrink, we end up with hangovers and half of the next day is ruined. When we overspend, we go into debt or don’t meet our savings goals.

If buffering is what we do to avoid pain/discomfort, it makes sense that when we stop buffering, we’ll feel pain/discomfort. But most of us don’t understand this, which makes it almost impossible to stop buffering.

We have to be willing to feel uncomfortable in order to move past our buffers.

An analogy for this is like stepping into a house and turning on the lights and the house is a mess. The obvious and easiest answer is to turn the lights back off (to buffer) so the mess will “go away.” But the mess doesn’t go away–you just can’t see it now because the lights are off.

It’s similar with emotions. Avoiding an emotion doesn’t make the emotion go away—it just helps us not to see or feel it. We pretend it isn’t there, but it is there, and it’s there for a reason.

In order to figure out the reason, we need to stop buffering and turn the lights on. Then we need to remember that yes, the mess seems overwhelming, but we can handle it, we can clean it up. Turning the lights off prevents us from cleaning because we can’t see. Going unconscious by buffering has the same effect.

When we stop buffering, we’ll likely experience temporary pain. And the pain isn’t caused by the lack of buffering. What we need to do is stop buffering ourselves long enough to find the cause of the pain. 

When we give up our buffers, we’ll still get upset, but we’ll deal with it differently. We won’t head for the ice cream, which will just make us feel sick or regretful. We’ll deal with it by becoming aware and examining why we’re upset. Soon, we won’t even want ice cream or chips because the pleasure we get from food—or whatever buffering actions we’re doing—actually diminishes, and the pleasure we get from taking care of ourselves and fueling ourselves increases.

When we trade the false pleasures in our life for real well-being, we gain confidence, and that confidence creates more confidence, which creates even more confidence.

Instead of using external things to change how we feel, we can use our minds to change how we feel. Or we can even choose to feel and process the emotion in the moment.

Your turn: What feelings have you been avoiding? What are the false pleasures you’ve been engaging in? In what way would your life be better if you didn’t have these false pleasures? Are you ready to stop buffering and willing to feel some discomfort instead, to move towards real well-being?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

Not having it all together

No need to hide.

In the past, I wanted to portray myself in a way where others would think I had it all together. That I knew what I was doing. That I had everything I wanted. That I was “fine” and living a “fine” life the way I wanted to.

But I was hiding. I wasn’t allowing myself to be open and vulnerable. To be real and tell the truth. Why?

Patriarchal concepts, especially within my private equity job, played into my perception of myself. I used to armor myself, metaphorically, to put forward a competent, self-sufficient, capable version of myself who wasn’t emotional or sensitive. Who was there and could do the job no matter what, pick up the pieces for others–even at the expense of myself sometimes. 

I didn’t give myself space to be authentic, partly because I didn’t know what that even meant for me. Who was I? What did I want? What brought me joy? I didn’t know the answers internally–I based what I wanted on external, societal, patriarchal values of what I “should” want or have for myself as a “successful” person. 

I didn’t allow myself to be known because there were parts of myself that seemed unacceptable to me, because I thought they were weak. And I didn’t want other people to know about those parts. 

It wasn’t until I started therapy after going through emergency open-heart surgery that I had a chance to look more closely at how I was living my life, by questioning beliefs I held that weren’t actually serving me, to redefine what success looked like and meant for me, to understand why I had armored and hid myself. 

Through therapy, coaching, and deep self-care practices, I learned how to accept more parts of me, to start telling myself the truth about what I needed and wanted, about who I am. I learned how I can share myself with others in a more authentic way, to hold space for myself and for them to show up in real ways, not in people-pleasing ways. 

I continue on this journey and I get to learn even more about myself and others along the way. I’m passionate about sharing how self-care can shift us to a place of self-acceptance and eventually to self-love

Self-care is not just about bubble baths and massages–it goes beyond that, if we’re willing to see how powerful it can be. 

Your turn: What parts of yourself have you been hiding and why? How would your life be different if you learned to accept those parts of yourself? How might practicing powerful self-care help you show up differently in the world, for yourself and for others?

Go beyond bubble baths. Find out more here. 

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

When it’s time for self-care

Sometimes our brain gets in the way.

Why is it so hard sometimes to make changes in our lives that have long-term benefits?

It can be hard because of how our brains have evolved. The prefrontal cortex is the part of our brain that makes us human. It can plan and think about what it’s thinking about. Our primitive, lower brain is the same brain that animals have. It wants to be efficient, avoid pain, and seek pleasure–this is the Motivational Triad

The Motivational Triad can get in the way of us making the changes we want. Why?

Change is new and different. We’re not used to doing new things. So the primitive brain doesn’t get to be efficient when we’re implementing changes. It wants to go back to doing what it knows how to do and what it’s already good at doing. The easy stuff that we’ve been doing and that might not necessarily get us the results we want in our lives.

When we’re making changes in our lives, we’re usually also experiencing discomfort. Whether it’s because we’re waking up earlier, eating less sugar, drinking less alcohol, feeling deprived, moving our bodies more, or spending less money. 

We’ve been used to the instant gratification, which is what the brain likes–the seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Doing these new things doesn’t give us instant gratification. But it will give us long-term benefits.

How do we push past the discomfort? It’s not by using willpower. It goes back to processing and allowing feelings. And to using our prefrontal cortex.

We use our prefrontal cortex to make plans to implement long-term change. But our primitive brain likes to try to override these plans because it wants to be efficient, avoid pain, and seek pleasure.

So we make a plan first—and know that the primitive brain will try to impose.

If we want to stop overeating, we decide 24 hours ahead of time what we’re going to eat and eat only that.

If we want to stop overdrinking, we decide 24 hours ahead of time how many drinks we’re going to have and have only that.

If we want to stop overspending, we decide 24 hours ahead of time how much we’ll spend and spend only that.

The primitive brain will create urges. So when we have an urge to overeat, we have to allow that urge to be there and feel it. Usually the urge will pass if we’re not fighting against it.

When we have an urge to buy something new, we allow the urge to be there and feel it. And let it pass and stick to our spending plan.

When we have an urge to do anything that deviates from our plan, we allow that urge and let it pass without fighting it or thinking we need to answer that urge.

It might seem impossible at first. But once you start practicing allowing urges, it can become easier.Your turn: Think about the last time you did something that seemed impossible for you to do. But then you decided to do it and you did it. When you actually did it, what did you think of it afterwards?

The fact that you did it probably felt gratifying and instilled the confidence that you could do it again if you wanted to. What would happen if you made a plan 24 hours in advance and allowed an urge to be there without answering it? How would doing that bring you closer to the results you want in your life?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

What’s on your mind? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, share it here. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

How to feel an urge

Delay gratification.

Why is knowing how to allow and feel urges important when we’re working towards a goal?

Because when we give in to urges, we move farther away from our goals. 

Urges feel important–they feel urgent. Most of the time, when we feel an urge, our automatic response is to react to it by giving in to the urge. Because when we give in to the urge, we’ll no longer feel the urge. Feeling an urge can be uncomfortable and so we want to get rid of the feeling as quickly as we can.

But giving in to urges for instant gratification keeps us from getting what we really want, especially when we’re wanting to lose weight, exercise more, spend less, drink less, create something, or to separate from an ex, as examples.

  • When we want to lose weight, the urge is to overeat. 
  • When we want to exercise more, the urge is to sleep in or “not feel like it.”
  • When we want to save money or spend less, the urge is to buy something new even if we don’t need it.
  • When we want to stop overdrinking, the urge is to have a second (or third) drink.
  • When we want to create something, the urge is to check social media feeds or consume content in other ways that prevent us from creating.
  • When we want to separate from an ex, the urge is to text or call or look at their social media accounts.

It’s pretty clear how giving in to those urges would keep us from moving towards our goals.

So I want to offer that instead of reacting to and giving in to an urge, we can allow it to be there and to feel it. Even if it’s uncomfortable. 

We can get mixed up about what it means to allow or feel an urge because when we’re not giving in to it, we’re usually resisting it and trying to push it away. We might be thinking, “I don’t want to have this urge. I should have more willpower. Why can’t I stop wanting this?” This also is not allowing an urge to be there if we’re fighting against it and beating ourselves up for it. 

Allowing an urge to be there without reacting to it looks like this:

  • Notice when an urge arises and allow yourself to be curious about it.
  • Acknowledge the urge with something like, “OK, I feel the urge to eat something right now even though I know I’m not physically hungry.”
  • Let the urge be there, instead of resisting it and trying to push it away, with something like, “I‘m feeling this urge and it feels so uncomfortable. I feel this urge, and that’s okay.” 
  • Notice the discomfort of NOT giving in to the urge–in this example, by not reaching for a snack right away.
  • After 10 minutes or so of having allowed the urge to be there, see if the desire to reach for a snack (or some other action related to the urge you’re feeling) is still there.

When we get good at allowing urges to be there, we get closer to our goals because we won’t give in to the urges that take us away from our goals. We learn to delay instant gratification for the real gratification we desire from obtaining our goals.  

Your turn: What is a goal you’re working towards? What urges would you want to practice allowing in order to move closer to that goal? Are you willing to feel the discomfort of NOT giving in to the urge? What happens when you tell yourself, “I feel the urge to _____, and that’s okay”?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

You’re already 100% worthy

Believe it.

I used to run around trying to do all these things in order to prove that I was worthy. I used to overwork myself at my job. I used to volunteer on weeknights and on the weekends. I used to say “yes” to everyone and everything. 

I thought I had to DO all these things in order to show that I had value.

Now, I still do a lot of things, but it’s no longer coming from a place of “I need to prove myself and my worthiness.” Now what I do comes from a place of wanting to contribute because I know I have value to add. 

Through my coaching school, The Life Coach School, I learned to believe that I am already 100% worthy. I always have been. I just didn’t know that this was something I could believe about myself. 

Most of us aren’t taught to believe that we’re already worthy. What we are taught is to believe that we have to perform, achieve, and accomplish in order to feel worthy and valuable. That we have to please everyone and get everyone to like us to feel worthy and valuable. 

We were not taught that our own self-approval, self-acceptance, and our thoughts about ourselves are more important than what other people think about us or even what we think other people think about us. 

Much of the time, we do things because of what we think other people will think about us. We’ve been conditioned to do this. But we can’t control what other people think. Not if we do “good” things or if we do “bad” things. They will think whatever they want about us and that’s based on them and not us.

We build our self-worth through our thoughts about ourselves. Not through what we do for our work or job, what we do or don’t do for others, or what we do well or don’t do well.  

We build our self-esteem through our relationship with ourselves, which is what we think about ourselves. What kind of thoughts do we have about ourselves? What do we think when we look in the mirror? What do we think when we make a mistake? What do we think when something goes the way we wanted it to go? These are all thoughts we have about ourselves. 

Once we become aware of our current thoughts about ourselves, we can see whether they’re in alignment with how we want to feel about ourselves. If we wouldn’t let others talk to us in a certain way, why do we let ourselves do that?

Your turn: “I’m already 100% worthy.” Do you believe that? What about, “It’s possible that I’m already 100% worthy,” or “It’s possible that I can learn to believe that I’m already 100% worthy.” What would happen if you practiced one of these thoughts every day?

What kind of thoughts do you think about yourself? Is there anything you’d like to change about that? If so, what?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

You’re in charge of how you feel

Retain your power.

Last week we talked about how to process and allow painful emotions. It’s easy to think that external circumstances like other people, things, outcomes, and events, cause us to feel a certain way. What really causes us to feel a certain way is how we think about those external circumstances. 

Do you know why circumstances don’t cause our feelings? Because two different people could experience the exact same circumstance, but depending on how each of them thinks about the circumstance, their thoughts will create their feelings and they’ll feel differently depending on what they’re thinking. So it’s not the circumstance. It’s our thoughts.

For example, one person gets cut off while driving. She could immediately get angry and vengeful and try to cut that other person off because she’s thinking, “This person is a jerk! How dare he do that to me. I’ll show him!” And sometimes this anger can start a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions for the rest of the day.

Another person who gets cut off while driving could feel some annoyance but then get over it easily because he’s thinking, “Yikes! I know how it feels to be in a rush like that and I’ve done that type of thing before without meaning to.” Some initial annoyance, but pretty quickly letting it go and not letting it ruin his day.

Same circumstance, but different thoughts, which create different feelings–and ultimately, different results. 

When we let other people have so much control over our feelings, we’re giving our power away to them. We’re saying, “How you’re behaving/what you’re saying/what’s happening ‘out there’ is determining how I feel, so I have no control over my feelings.”

But we do have control. That control is in our thoughts. Our thoughts are where our power lies.

Most of the time, we make other people’s words and actions mean something about us and we think we have to protect ourselves from something, protect our egos. 

For example, when a colleague offers another way of doing something than what we suggested, we might get defensive because we might think, “He doesn’t respect my opinion.” Then we may feel angry and defensive because we made it mean something about ourselves–usually something related to “I’m not good enough.” Then we proceed to act in a certain way that deteriorates our relationship with that colleague. 

What if instead we thought, “He could be offering a more efficient way to do it. Let’s see if it can work”? That thought will create a totally different feeling. We didn’t make our colleague’s words/actions mean anything about ourselves. We didn’t take it personally or need to defend ourselves. This other thought might create the feeling of “curiosity” or “openness,” which leads us to collaborate with that colleague in a cooperative way. 

Two different outcomes because of two different thoughts–but the circumstances were the same. 

When we take responsibility for our feelings, we stop giving our power away to other people and situations. We are in charge of how we think and feel. 

Your turn: What are you making someone’s words or actions mean about yourself? What if their words or actions don’t have to mean anything about you? Are you open to becoming more aware of the thoughts you’re thinking and how they’re creating your feelings? What are the three most frequent emotions you feel during a typical day? What are the thoughts creating those emotions?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

How to feel your feelings

Stop resisting.

All of us experience emotional pain at certain points in our lives. We often turn to food, alcohol, shopping, work, or something else to ignore the pain we feel. These temporary distractions only prevent the process that needs to happen to let the painful feelings go.

What happens when feelings hurt:

• Something occurs to trigger your emotional pain.

• You can barely make sense of it and it overwhelms you.

• Emotional pain enters your body—the vibrations in your body caused by the thoughts you’re having are excruciating.

When this happens, you can make a choice to: avoid it, resist it, react to it, or process it. 

Avoiding

When you choose to avoid your pain and pretend it isn’t there, you are basically lying to yourself. This doesn’t work long term. The truth is that avoidance causes pain to fester. The more you avoid it, the more you have to avoid it. You might eat, for example, instead of feel. Then you might get upset because you ate when you weren’t hungry. Then you might obsess about your body or your exercise routine. All of these tactics keep you from addressing the cause of the pain and instead, multiply undesirable symptoms such as weight gain.

Resisting and Reacting

When you resist the emotion, you tell yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling this way and then you feel bad in addition to the painful emotion you’re already feeling. When you resist, it’s like trying to hold a large beach ball under the water. The beach ball always wants to pop back up and gets stronger the more you try to push it down. 

When you deal with pain this way, you act it out or fight against it. You might yell at the person you believe caused your pain. You might talk behind their back, you might give them the silent treatment, or maybe take even more drastic measures against them. This may seem to help with the pain temporarily because it alleviates the vibration in the moment, but these actions almost always backfire.

When we react from negative emotion, we almost always get a negative result. Our actions are usually uncontrolled and unthoughtful. Fighting against the emotion becomes a losing battle–anxiety speeds up the vibration of the already painful emotion, making it even more intense.

Processing and Allowing

When you choose to process pain, you are choosing to feel it. We are so reluctant to feel pain on purpose. We tell ourselves that feeling pain is a bad thing because it feels bad, but this isn’t actually true. When we allow ourselves to feel our pain all the way through, we see that it’s manageable and it can do no long term harm (unlike avoiding and fighting, which can have many long term consequences).

Allow the feeling to be in your body even if you can’t make sense of it in your mind yet. Observe. Say in your mind “I am processing pain” over and over as you feel the pain. You don’t need to fix it or make it go away.

Notice any desire to react, resist, and avoid. You can say the desire out loud or in your mind, or write it down. You don’t have to act on it—just acknowledge it. You can tell yourself, “That won’t help” or “That’s not worth it” every time you notice the desire. 

Remind yourself, “This is pain…This is part of being human.” Allow the painful vibration to be there as you do laundry, take a shower, drive your car, or talk on the phone. Notice its heaviness, its energy, its ability to take your breath away. Just notice.

As you do this, you’ll begin to see that your thoughts about the situation appear. It may take a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks. Let it take as long as it takes—there’s no need to force it. Just keep noticing what you notice.

Your turn: What happens to the feeling if you just allow it to be there and feel it all the way through? Where do you feel it in your body? Does it move around or stay still? Is it hot, cold, warm? What color is it? What happens if you’re allowed to feel this way without reacting to, resisting, or avoiding the emotion?

What’s on your mind? Is there something on your mind that you’d like to have addressed in these weekly posts? It can be powerful to learn from each other and our common struggles when it comes to our practice of self-care–or just being a human being. If you have something you’re struggling with and would like some perspective, let me know. Your issue may be chosen and addressed in the next post–it’ll be totally anonymous.

Subscribe if you want to receive this content directly in your inbox.

Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

How you care for yourself

In all the ways.

Self-care is holistic. The term self-care has gotten a lot of buzz in the past few years, and rightfully so. It’s important for us to know that it’s okay to care for ourselves, that it’s vital to care for ourselves.

But how much of that is marketing? We hear about getting a frothy, sugary drink as “self-care”; we know that a massage is some good self-care; we can think of hair appointments and nail appointments as self-care.

And these things can definitely be part of self-care. What else is part of self-care?

We can consider how we care for ourselves around:

  • Creative expression
  • Money and finances
  • Time
  • Career and work
  • Nutrition and health
  • Hydration
  • Movement and flexibility
  • Sexual expression
  • Play and rest
  • Breathing
  • Mind and mental health
  • Sleep
  • Relationships
  • Connection with nature
  • Self (e.g. worth, value, respect, esteem)

All of these aspects are part of who we are as whole people. Sometimes we can get more focused on a couple aspects over others–and at times, it’s necessary to do so. But when we stray away too long from any one of these aspects, we can feel misaligned with ourselves and our lives, which can affect how we show up for ourselves and for others. 

The good news is that we can get realigned by considering where we want to consciously focus more of our energy. 

Do we want to focus on drinking enough water each day? Do we want to focus on getting enough sleep each night? Do we want to focus on connecting with our relationships more? 

When we decide which areas we’d like to consciously put more of our energy towards, we can then ask ourselves, “How can I make sure I _______?”  — drink enough water, get enough sleep, get in touch with what I’m thinking and feeling, be out in nature at least twice a week, connect with someone close to me today, eat healthy meals at least once a day, take deep breaths during the day.

And the brain, in its powerful way, will get to work on finding the answers and figuring it out so we can focus our energy on caring for ourselves in a holistic way.

Your turn: Are you feeling misaligned with how you want to show up and how you are showing up? What areas in your life can you holistically focus on to feel more aligned with how you want to show up in the world? What are you willing to do in order to allocate your energy where you want it to go?

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

When you’re disappointed

Don’t give up.

When we’re focused on moving towards our goals, we can feel deeply disappointed when something doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would or wanted it to. 

We feel disappointed when we don’t get the job we really want.

We feel disappointed when we don’t see the weight on the scale go down fast enough. 

We feel disappointed when the offer we put on the house we wanted gets outbid.

We feel disappointed when a project proposal we put hours into gets rejected.

We feel disappointed when someone doesn’t show up for us the way we hoped they would.

We feel disappointed when a relationship we’re feeling good about doesn’t move forward.

It’s easy to want to give up and think we’ll never have what we want when outcomes don’t happen the way we want and we feel disappointed by them.

But we don’t feel disappointed because of the outcome. We feel disappointed because of what we’re thinking about the outcome and what we make it mean about ourselves or about our lives.

Usually the thoughts have something to do with us not being good enough or that we’re doing something wrong or that we’ll never get it right.

But what if what we need is a nudge in a direction that we haven’t yet considered? What if the outcome we received means that there is something even better and more aligned with us waiting out there? 

What if the outcome we get helps us see more clearly something we need to learn or do differently for ourselves? What if it’s a way for us to give ourselves more grace, compassion, and to become even more of who we’re meant to be?

If the Universe (or God or whatever Higher Power you believe in) has our back no matter what, then this outcome is happening FOR us. 

It can be challenging to see that in the moments of deep disappointment, but once we’re able to be with, acknowledge, and process the disappointment and have it move through and out of us, we can have more clarity in thinking about the outcome we received. What are we learning from this experience? 

The Universe gives us what we need to grow and evolve–which is not always what we think we want. And, my friends, this is a good thing. Are you open to seeing it that way?

Your turn: Are you open to allowing yourself to feel and process disappointment when an outcome doesn’t turn out the way you wanted? If you can dive deeper, what else are you making the outcome mean? When you’ve processed the emotions, remember to ask, “How is this happening FOR me?” And are you willing to keep going?

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