Recently I came back from a workshop that was mainly about rewriting the stories we tell ourselves about our lives especially when they no linger ring true. This workshop was based on the research and work of the amazing Brene Brown, a teacher I consider of one of the best calibers as per the way her right and left brain so wonderfully interact and inform. Her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, I must have bought at least 100 times as it was the book I first gifted coaching clients when I began my practice. I would ask them to read it during our time together if it resonated and if so we could have our own personal book club. I have stopped gifting this book as I have learned that not all clients need the same message however I will still recommend it when I feel it is just the right words for just the right person.

Some of the highlights of this workshop besides not having a phone or internet service for three days was looking at the heavy burdensome rock like things we all carry around with us and simply stopping to see if they really serve us anymore and if so in which ways. I felt the heavy load lighten a bit after my time and I intentionally set down some old stories I have been carrying around that aren’t fully precise or even true at all. I have since found the space that action created within me is invaluable. This space has since been filled with what I truly want to tend to and care for. It has allowed me to let more joy into my life and truly grieve what needs to die.

I tend to learn experientially and rumble with things in order to sort them out. Letting this process in to occur is the first step. Investing in ourselves in this modern world as somewhat challenging as we are told in sublime messages to keep our productivity up and never leave the sides of our children. I remember waking up one morning about six weeks prior to the retreat and my intuition said to look for getaways that will allow me to do my own work. Every year or so I have this need to go away somewhere outside of fun family or romantic trips and adventures but somewhere I can go within so I can come back to this life more fully myself and awake. I am grateful I listened and vow to continue to listen to these guiding parts of myself which truly know what I need on the deepest level. There are a million excuses to put ourselves off yet nothing is as important or will serve the world more than tending to ourselves.

Humble appreciation

This picture was my folks house on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. They lived here from when I was 11-18 years old.  They built this small but spectacular home after buying land overlooking Cane Garden Bay.  My father would go up after work with a machete to clear the site of the tiny home.  the unique thing about this rustic home is that only the two bedrooms and kitchen had screened in walls. the rest of the living area just had a roof and where walls and windows normally would have gone was just a raw unobstructed 180 degree view of light blue ocean and the neighboring island. 

My mom would require us to to join her every evening to the right of this photo in the "living rom" to take in the golden hour sunset show with the sounds of Cane Garden Bay drifting in from below. It was living in connection to something greater than my teenage self.  Then the dark would take over with the chorus of the island tree frogs sweetly croaking "coqui coqui".  So much so visitors found it too loud to sleep. My folks are continuing their legacy of finding residence alongside the beauty of raw nature now up in Orcas Island. Their joint quest for what is true to them has always been an inspiration and even if not understood at the time a humble joy to witness.

The Need to Please..AKA abandoning yourself

This is a seductive trap we all fall into once and a while. Underneath the surface is usually the value of belonging.  Yet our saboteur sneaks into this golden value and tarnishes it so that we can hardly see our own reflection any longer.  Instead we only see what others want us to be and we get confused thinking this is the pathway towards love acceptance and belonging.  We think we have to become worthy as if that is a thing to attain. We forget we already own that but have given it away over and over again.

You see when we go for pleasing others or chameleoinzing we usually abandon ourselves in the mix.  This leads to a compartmentalized life that doesn't feel good. What if instead we chose to live from an embodied joyful place where first we check in with self and then other in a loop of awareness.  Would this not be radical? Once we learn to check in with ourselves we can then turn our attention to other but in a much more compassionate gaze. Only at that point or we able to ask, "What is it that they are feeling and needing?" We ask this from a genuine place of empathy rather than pleasing. We may not be able to fulfill their needs however once we fill ourselves up we give others an opportunity to be heard and seen.  This creates a sense of belonging in the truest sense.