In my work as a transformational mindset coach, I spend a lot of time helping people to become living embodiments of Real, Radical, Transformational Positivity. It’s BIG work designed to help folx create positive change in their own lives first, so that they can experience the healing for themselves and extend it into their relationships. Think of it as a ripple of positive transformation that flows outward.
Whenever I begin work with a new client, they are often in a place where they feel stuck and very, very frustrated. They’ve been trying to move forward on an old goal and just don’t seem to be making any real progress. They’ve been spinning their wheels or going in the same circles and are just worn out from trying so hard, but yielding little if any results.
They’re PISSED OFF and bummed out, exhausted and ready to give up on their entrepreneurial dreams.
They’re this close to quitting, but are open to giving it one more try.
If I can help them to make even one positive shift, however large or small, it is often just the nudge they needed to look at things differently and create the momentum they want. From there, it’s amazing how the missing pieces begin to fall into place.
It Starts With A Dream
One of the first things that we will typically do together is have a fresh look at their dream, their goal, or the idea that they’ve been holding onto. Sometimes, they’ve lost the plot and have made their vision try to be something that it was never meant to be; other times, maybe they’ve skipped past the big dream entirely or tried to make it too small, too tame.
I challenge them to dream again.
Let me encourage you to make a hot date with yourself this week for some serious daydreaming (don’t push it off to next week, please… trust me on this one).
Get Expansive. Dream BIG. Give yourself the time and space to get creative. Imagine something spectacular for yourself. Fantasize about a massive lottery win. Envision what solving one of the world’s greatest problems might look like.
Because the fact is there is NO good reason why you can’t enjoy some time thinking big, having a fantasy, or imagining a better world. This is the way that change happens: it starts with a dream for something bigger, something brighter, something better than the status quo.
You don’t have to have all of the answers. You don’t have to have it all planned out step by step. You don’t even have to know how to put it all into action (that bit comes later). All you need to do to get it started is to give yourself the chance, the space, and the permission to daydream.
In my continuing exploration of the 4 Pillars of Transformational Positivity, we come to the 3rd Pillar- Natural Harmony.
Natural Harmony involves your relationship to the Natural World around you (earth, sky, animals, plants, elements etc.) and cultivating our connection to Nature.
Ask yourself: Where does your soul naturally feel most at home- at the beach, on a lake, hiking the mountains, walking in a forest, tending a flower or edible garden, or exploring the desert? What sorts of images from nature do you feel most drawn to? Do you love animals or feel any special connection to certain species? Does a starry sky on a clear night fill you with awe? Do you crave the feeling of your bare feet on soft grass, warm sand, or cool wet mud?
Transformational Positivity has taught me that I am not about being in The Hustle. I am not on this planet to constantly be grinding away at meaningless tasks of my own making (or anyone else’s). I’ve learned how to get everything done that I need to, with ease, and even a fair amount of joy, by tuning into the harmony of nature & managing my energy accordingly.
When we distance ourselves more and more from the Natural World, we lose a deep and ancient connection to our very roots and the natural systems that sustain life. Creating more harmony between your being and the natural world might look like temporarily “unplugging” and escaping from your desk, your laptop, and your cellphone periodically for planned and/or spontaneous “Nature Breaks” in your nearest green space and reconnecting with the very real life happening around you.
While taking a week-long remote tropical island retreat might be on your dreamiest bucket list (just me?), creating more Natural Harmony in your life can be as simple as sitting outside quietly for as little as 5, 10, 15 minutes a day… or longer if you can manage it… and being mindful of how many different living things you encounter in that time. There is a natural, palpable stress relief that occurs in your body when you let yourself focus on the shapes of the clouds, or the scents on the wind, or the many different shades of green (or blue, or orange, for example) you observe in the plants and/or animals around you.
Some possible ideas to explore:
Stargazing, observing lunar cycles, sunbathing, living by seasonal rhythms
Studying the energy of Elements and how you relate to them: Earth, Air, Water, Fire
The patterns, variety, and perfect cycles found within the Natural world have been an endless source of awe, inspiration and rejuvenation since the dawn of time. Stay tuned for my next installment of this series where I begin to dig into some of the above mentioned practices and how I incorporate them into my life.
In the first part of this article series, I wrote about the different types of community and invited you to identify what your current connections might look like. Then, I asked you to think about and make a list of the different communities you currently belong to. In order to begin to bridge the gaps in your community, you have to first look at your answers to the following questions:
How do I fit in to each space?
What are my roles in each space?
What are some of the ways that I contribute and serve in each space?
Are there any gifts, talents, ideas, strengths, or other resources that I can offer to better serve my community/ies?
Is there anything that I need that I am NOT getting from my community/ies?
Let’s take a closer look and break these down to see where you may be experiencing gaps:
1- How do I fit in?
After you’ve identified the different communities you are connected to, you will want to take a look at where you currently see yourself fitting in to each defined space. Are you newer to the group, or a veteran presence? Do you tend to be interactive and heavily involved, or more of an observer? Are you happy with how you fit in, or is there a more authentic and satisfying way that you would like to show up? Understanding where you are now is the first step in deciding if that’s where you want to remain.
2- What are my roles?
You’ve identified your communities, and you’ve recognized where you currently fit in. Narrowing down to define the different roles you play in each space is your next step. Where are you a Leader? Where are you a Colleague or Collaborator? Where are you a Supporter? Where are you a Student? Where are you a Contributor? Where are you an Enforcer? In any of these roles- how many of them feel right, good, comfortable, natural? Do any of them feel like they belong to someone else? Are there any of your current roles that you would like to let go of, or others that you would like to adopt? Understanding that you have some choice around the roles that you accept and reject can be liberating, and it can also require you to make some significant changes.
3- Ways that I AM serving and contributing
Make an honest and comprehensive list of all the ways that you currently serve and contribute to your different communities. [Note: Don’t censor yourself, and don’t discount or discredit anything as “too small” or insignificant.] What themes or patterns do you notice in the ways that you serve and contribute?
How do you feel when you review the different offerings that you’ve listed?
Are there ways that you are serving that don’t feel good to you, or that are draining you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or financially?
Is there anything that you would like to offer your community that you currently are not?
4- Ways that I WANT to serve and contribute
Get Clear: What is it that you REALLY want to do? What is it that you really WANT to be known for? Now make a list of your gifts, talents, ideas, strengths, skills or other resources that you can offer to better serve your community.
Is there anything else that you need to help you move forward with what you want to offer or how you want to serve, such as additional training, a mentor, community buy-in or other types of support?
This is where it gets fun. Now is the part where you can take the information you’ve gathered and create a bridge-building plan! Knowing that it doesn’t have to be perfect before you get started, how can you begin to use what you already have to do the things that you actually want to do?
5- Unmet Needs
By going through this process, you begin to see clearly where there may be any gaps between where you are vs. where you want to be, what you are doing vs. what you want to be doing. This next step is critical for recognizing and honoring what you need vs. what you are getting.
Ask Yourself, without judgement: Is there anything that I need, want, desire, enjoy, like, or am curious about that I am NOT getting from any of my current community/ies?
Are any of the things you’ve just listed available to you in any of your current spaces? If YES, then what will you need to do to access them? If NO, then what communities do you need to connect to?
If you have unmet needs in your current group/s, chances are that you are NOT alone and that there are others in your area, space, neighborhood etc. that would love to connect with you. What would it look like for you to create and launch a new community?
A 3-Step Energy Releasing Practice for Your Self-Care
We all experience ups and downs in our personal energy, and we all have moments when we are feeling anything but “high vibe” and positive. Congratulations on being a human! One of my very favorite things about Transformational Positivity is that you will never be shamed for being a human, having emotions, or expressing difficult feelings. You will never be told by me to just fake-it-til-you-make-it. I don’t do spiritual bypassing around here.
I will never teach you to ignore any of the challenging things that you are feeling, carrying, or stuck in. You don’t have to pretend that everything is perfect all of the time, or force yourself to smile and look at the bright side only. Instead, my offering for you today is a simple energy releasing practice to use whenever you are bogged down with hard, heavy feelings and need to make some damn sense of it all. Basically, it’s Transformational Positivity for Shitty Days.
This is a simple 3-step technique I use whenever I need to get unstuckfrom my wallow:
1• UNAPOLOGETIC FEELINGS DUMP. Set a timer for 3- 5 minutes. Write or Say out loud whatever things you are feeling right now. Don’t censor yourself. It’s powerful & important to acknowledge the so-called negative thoughts, fears and hard feelings in order to learn from them, move through them, & release them. Even if you don’t magically find all the answers right away, the simple action of acknowledging your very real emotions can be enough to move the needle from completely immobilized to okay, there’s maybe possibly some hope here. Also, it’s a good reminder that you are not a robot and are allowed to have a shitty day.
2• I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT. Set a timer for 3- 5 minutes. Move your body as you are able to (dance, stretch, shake it out, clap your hands, walk, climb your stairs, roll your chair around, whatever) It’s okay to make some noise! Bang on a drum, clang some pans, ring some bells. Sing, shout, whistle, laugh, cry, hum, yodel, whatever. The motions created by your movement and the vibrations of the noise you make physically dispels stagnant energy.
3• BREATHE & BRUSH. Set a timer for 3- 5 minutes. Come back to your breath. Sit and take slow, deep, full breaths, noticing any areas of tension in your body (jaw, neck, shoulders, back, hips, etc). Send loving thoughts to the areas of your body that are carrying your hard feelings. Consciously relax tense areas. Massage or gently touch your temples, forehead, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, belly, hips, legs, feet. Use your hands to “brush” your aura, which is the energetic space just outside of your physical body. You can do this with empty hands, or while holding your favorite crystals, a feather, leaf, or flower.
Have you tried this 3-step method? Drop a comment and let me know how it went for you.
For the month of March, I will be continuing my exploration of Whole-Self Love with a particular focus on the importance of Self Care. I will be sharing some of my own rituals, as well as those from some of my favorite folx around the world. Enjoy!
What does ‘Self Care’ mean to you? Does it conjure up images of a spoiled princess or celebrity whose every whim is being attended to by her groveling personal staff? Do you tend to write it off as something decadent, frivolous and/or unrealistic for you? I know that if you’re anything like me, chances are that you’ve spent a lot of your life resisting or flat out rejecting the idea of Self-Care as being something for you to indulge in while simultaneously labeling it as SELFISH, and therefore, BAD. This, my friend, is the first step: recognizing that Self-Care is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a good and necessary thing that every adult deserves to experience for optimum health. Truly, it’s about providing the care that your body, mind, soul and spirit need to support you throughout your time here on the planet.
GOOD NEWS: Creating a personal self-care practice that feels lush, supportive, and satisfying is not as hard to do as you might think. It doesn’t have to break the bank, either! It’s helpful to remind ourselves that Self-Care does not necessitate Luxury. Self-Care is so much more than 24k Gold facials, Champagne bubble baths, or having a private masseuse on call 24/7 (although that would be the kind of luxurious amenities that I could learn to get used to). Luxury items and experiences are wonderful, and if you can have the privilege of access to them then please do so with total enjoyment; but if you aren’t a princess or a celebrity or a millionaire don’t fall for the mistaken thinking that it’s got to be all-or-nothing. Self-Care isn’t selfish, and it’s not just for the super-rich.
Tip of the Week: Build on the Basics
START WHERE YOU ARE: When you are trying to figure out what a regular Self-Care practice can look like for you, begin with finding your baseline then build from there. By simply taking some time to examine what you are currently doing, it’s easy to map out a cultivated routine that suits you.
We all have some basic maintenance requirements for these fabulous human bodies that we live in which include food, water, sleep, and shelter. These are non-negotiable for our survival. We must recognize that each of these 4 areas can be enhanced to build a practice of Self-Care. Additionally, you may have a body that is able to include movement as part of its daily experience, and you may also be in a position to enjoy access to clothing, bathing, community, education, and healthcare. All of these have the potential to be developed into something that enriches and supports you physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally for a holistic approach to Self-Care.
Loving and caring for our physical body starts with basic maintenance and expands to suit our individual preferences and abilities. Food and Water becomes an adventure in nourishment. Sleep and Shelter becomes a commitment to daily restoration. Movement becomes stretching, strengthening, challenging, and exploring what your body can do. Bathing andClothing evolve into personal grooming, tending, pleasuring, delighting, adorning, and expressing. Community, Education, and Healthcare turn into opportunities for including, accepting, embracing, expanding, soothing, and healing. Can you see the difference? Does this open your mind to new possibilities?
Food for Thought
Self-Care that makes sense will be tailored to YOU. It will take into account your individual needs and wants, it will fit into your current lifestyle and it will adapt accordingly as your life and your body change. Some questions to reflect on:
How do you currently care for the body that you live in?
Which of the 4 basic maintenance areas (food, water, sleep, and shelter) can you improve for your Self-Care? If there is more than one, list them in the order of which you would like to work on first.
Which of the 6 additional areas (movement, bathing, clothing, community, education, healthcare) can you build on for your Self-Care? If there is more than one, list them in the order of which you would like to work on first.
It takes courage to get to know yourself, so Bravo! I see you and I salute you as you take these positive steps towards Transformation. PLEASE do not be tempted to use your answers to these questions to heap shame on yourself. You are not a bad person, you are not “doing it wrong” or failing at life. Instead, use your answers as information to help you make new choices moving forward.
If you have questions about how to take some next steps in creating your own Self-Care routine and rituals, why don’t you go ahead and schedule a free consultation call with me? I would love to have a quick chat with you. Click on the “Schedule” button at the top of this page today to set up a no-obligation call or video conference with me.
What would it look like for you to take your relationship with your body to the next level?
What if I told you that you could love the body that you live in, exactly as it is? YES- without losing/gaining weight, changing your hair, or altering your external image in any way. Imagine what it would feel like to stop being angry at it, disappointed in it, embarrassed by it, afraid of it, or ashamed of it.
I am not going to pretend that this is an easy, 2-step process or that I have a magic potion that will instantly take you from Loathe to Love. You won’t be hearing from me that you have go through some hard-ass Boot Camp to break yourself down first in order to build yourself back up. I am also not going to bullshit you with the claim that “all” you have to do is change your mindset (HELLO, changing your mindset is not like switching a light on or off!) We are much more complex than that and our stories require us to move forward with nuance and care. But I will tell you the truth that it absolutely IS possible and that you CAN learn to truly Love the body that you live in.
It’s also true that you will still experience some highs and some lows; you will still have moments when you slip back into old ways of thinking before you catch yourself and get your booty back on your positive path. I sure do, anyway, and I’ve been practicing Whole-Self Love for more than a decade! It is a life’s work that is well worth every ounce of energy that you put into it, every tear, every journal entry, every layer of pain/drama/lies/ peeled away.
Knowing that… Would you be willing to trade embarrassed for empowered?
Could you dare to swap disappointed in for devoted to?
Can you see the possibility for you and your body to have a positive relationship with each other?
Hallmarks of a Loving Relationship With Your Body
Any strong relationship will have some hallmarks that make it stand apart from more casual acquaintances. It’s no different for cultivating a loving connection with your body. Here are 5 key areas to consider:
Awareness & Clarity
Awareness & Clarity
Who do you think you are? Awareness & Clarity points to having an honest, true understanding of who you are, what your body is, and how the two of you are going to move through the rest of your life together. One of my favorite tools for this is what I call the Look Deeper Mirror Experiment. This means having the courage to really see yourself as a Divine, sovereign, intelligent being, and your body as both a unique entity and as the temporary housing and vehicle through which you are experiencing life as a Person. To do this, Strip down to your bare-naked self and face yourself in the mirror. Start with your eyes; look into them- really get in deep! You may be tempted to look away, but don’t. What do you feel? Nervous, scared, sad, surprised? Don’t pull away from the feelings, notice them, acknowledge them, follow them. They are clues to Who you are, Where you need healing, and What your body most wants from you. Next, notice everything that you like about your physical body. Send some love, appreciation and kind words from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. When/If you start going down that tired old path of self-criticism and the list of bits and parts you wish looked different, STOP. Remind yourself then and there that you are on a new path now, and that you are learning how to Love yourself. Your WHOLE self.
If you want to experience the positive transformation and deep healing that comes from a Whole-Self Love practice, I recommend having a loving conversation with yourself every day, and a kind word for yourself every time you see yourself in the mirror. At the very least, how about no more actively hating the person looking back at you? That’s a good place to start!
Commitment is about making the choice to stay, stick with, and work at something. It’s having the quality of dedication, and it shows up in people who are trustworthy, loyal, honorable. Making a commitment to care for yourself and to love yourself, doesn’t mean that you are being narcissistic or selfish. Far from it. In fact, by committing to love yourself and the body that you live in helps to develop your autonomy and your ability to care for and love the people around you more authentically and with healthy boundaries.
Another favorite tool is writing a Love Letter to Your Body. If you’ve never tried this, you may be surprised by how powerful this can be! You can write it in any way that suits you, whether it’s a narrative or a list or a stream of consciousness or a sonnet. You don’t have be an eloquent writer and you don’t have to show it to anybody; it’s really just another way to reveal and encounter more of your truest self. For an example of one I wrote a while back, click here.
Developing a self-love practice takes some time. It takes some thoughtfulness and intention, and it takes a commitment. It takes some courage to break free from the negative scripts and internal dialogue, and to rebel against the culture of body shaming. But every bit of effort that you put into it is precious and creates a more positive relationship and connection to your true Self, which in turn leads to a more satisfying and happy life.
Having good communication is one of the most important components of any successful relationship, so now that you’ve taken steps towards Awareness, Clarity, and Commitment it stands to reason that having good Communication with your body is key to cultivating this positive relationship. Where are you at with this? How well do you pay attention to your body signals, and what do you do with them? For example:
FOOD– Do you eat when you’re hungry? Do you know which foods are most nourishing and supportive to your body, and which ones to avoid because they are causing you pain? Do you find food & eating in general to be tricky and triggering? This is a HUGE area of challenge for so many of us. Over the years I have worked with dieticians, nutritionists, health coaches, WW, etc and have had varying degrees of success. None of them have helped me to change my unhealthy relationship with food until I began Noom. For me, it was the exact kind of support that I had been missing. I have an affiliate link that will get you 20% off if when you sign up for their program: Click Here
SLEEP– Do you let yourself rest whenever you’re feeling tired? Do you give yourself enough sleep each day? When your head hits the pillow, does your brain fight with your exhausted body, or do you drift off into a blissful slumber? I have always been a vivid dreamer (good and bad) and since childhood have been able to remember them upon waking. For years, particularly after surviving some major traumatic events in my early 20’s I suffered from nightmares, night terrors, and insomnia. It wasn’t until I finally began to address the underlying stresses and traumas I was carrying (hello, therapy!) that I could return to giving my body good sleep on a regular basis. Now, whenever I have some unresolved issues that keep me up at night, I know how to handle them.
PAIN– How do you respond to pain in your body? Do you ignore it, numb it, push through it? Do you get mad at it, or get angry at your body? I recently shared through my Facebook group, Transformational Positivity, about a breakthrough regarding my response to injuring my back: “Whoooo am I working on this one for sure! I mysteriously injured my upper back yesterday morning and my first response was anything but loving. I was Mad! 😡 I was SO angry at it. 🤬 It actually shocked me how much rage I felt towards the pain in my body. So what did I do after the unhelpful yelling? • Slow, mindful, deep breaths • Concentrated on relaxing the seized muscle • Verrrrrrry gentle stretching • Let [my fiance] help me • Heating pad • Cold cloth • REST • Lots of water, juice • Advil • Recognize that being mad at my body was not a loving or helpful response to it being in need, but was instead abusive and a very old pattern that I am working to replace with kindness & support.”
These are just 3 of many areas where it’s valuable to be in good communication with your body. Essentially, what you want to do to cultivate better communication for a more loving relationship with the body you live in is to listen to your body and actively meet its needs. Understand that our bodies are designed to change throughout our entire life. Pay attention to when your body’s needs change, and adapt your care routine accordingly.
Having a strong Support System is vital to the health of your new, positive relationship with your body. After all, up until now you’ve likely been firmly ensconced within the destructive, oppressive body-shaming culture that is fueled by the diet industry, fashion industry, cosmetics industry, the social media & entertainment industries, pharmaceutical companies, Westernized religion and the patriarchal, puritanical system that rules it all. Having the audacity to radically love yourself is to effectively stick your middle fingers straight up at it all. That kind of courage requires that you have people in your corner who get it, who understand and can hold space for you to learn, process, and grow in your healthy, positive relationship to your Self and your body.
You need to have people in your life who support you as a person, people you can turn to when you need advice and guidance as well as when you want to celebrate. Ideally, you want to have people like this who you can connect with in person as well as through phone, text, email, or even public & private social media groups. I would love to be part of your support team, whether through my 1:1 Soul-Mirroring Sessions, Spiritual Clarity Readings, or as part of my free Facebook group. If you’re not already on my mailing list, join today and get a free gift as well as a Weekly Positivity Boost from me, straight to your inbox.
The last area I want to look at is that special not-so-secret ingredient that makes successful relationships stand out above all the rest: FUN! It’s the same with your relationship with your body.
FUN can look like anything from adrenaline-pumping sports and high-energy physical activities to quiet meditative walks in Nature or relaxing on a sunny beach. It can be found through artistic expression, creativity, dance, making music, writing poetry or enjoying your favorite shows. FUN can be sexual intimacy with your partner or a private, solo exploration of what feels great and turns you on. FUN can be hanging out with a few good friends, playing with your kids or grandchildren, walking your dog or watching funny cat videos. This is obviously not an exhaustive list- the point is that FUN is something that every human desires and deserves to experience. Also, it’s good to note that what may sound like a great time for me might be either too wild or too tame for you, and that’s perfect. You do You, Boo.
You could go through your life being miserable and not having any fun whatsoever, but why do that when you have a world of opportunities to explore?
Like Before Love
If you’ve read all the way through and feel as though Self-Love is still a little too far away for you, but you are willing to try something– start with a Like List. A “Like List” is a list of all the things that you like about yourself. It should include as many positive attributes about yourself that you can possibly come up with in each of these 4 categories- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The Like List is something that you can add to at any time, or make a new one anytime you want to.
If you find that you don’t know where to start, ask your best friends to help you. ONLY ask the people who you trust and who have proven themselves to be kind, not critical! You may be very pleasantly surprised at the good things that others can so easily see in you. With a little practice, you can begin to start seeing, appreciating, liking and even loving these qualities that all help to make you You.
What are some of the first things you do when you come home to rest at the end of a long, stressful day? Do you kick off your shoes, drop off all the things in your hands like your keys, the mail, purse/handbag/briefcase, your phone, an old coffee cup, a bag or two of take-out food and/or groceries and make a beeline to the toilet? (Okay, I admit that I am most definitely taking my phone in with me to watch Instagram Stories while I’m *taking a seat* to pee.) Maybe you also hop into the shower or draw yourself a bath and just let the warm, soothing water do its magic. And WOW- how great does it feel to finally shed those work clothes and slip into something soft, cozy and comfy?
All of these actions are signals to your body that it’s time to take things down a notch. To relax. To quite literally release the excess that you’ve been carrying.
Releasing Creates Space for Positivity & Healing
On the path to Whole-Self Love, one of the most important skills we can develop is the art of releasing our negative attachments.Hurt People, hurt people. This can become some of the most powerful work that we do for ourselves, as it frees us from some of the deeply held pain of our experiences of being human. As we release and heal, we shed our old patterns of negativity and create more beautiful new ways of being in the world, which is what is often referred to as the “Higher Self” or the best versions of ourselves.
Releasing our baggage aka negative attachments is not an easy-peasy, one-and-done flip of the switch; it’s more complex and nuanced and layered. It’s an evolutionary process that requires us to actively face and address the things that we may have spent our whole lifetime trying to avoid, hide from, or cover up. AND… it is through this process of enlightenment where we heal ourselves, and in turn help to ease and end the suffering of others by not perpetuating harm. It may or may not involve forgiveness, it may or may not involve therapy, but it will definitely involve support.
So what are some of the things that we may want to work on releasing? What are some of the negative attachments that we may be needing to face? Whatever you choose to release, will create space for something else to fill it so it’s important that you take a mindful approach moving forward.
There are many different ways that negativity shows up in our day-to-day, and it’s not necessarily all bad. Sometimes finding yourself in a “bad mood” is just an indicator that your body needs more rest, or something nourishing to eat. Sometimes it’s connected to a family member or loved one who is experiencing struggles. Maybe there’s an important or difficult conversation that you need to have with someone, or perhaps a personal boundary has been crossed. Shitty things happen, and we are not immune to them- it’s when it goes unchecked that negativity can develop into something much more serious and require the help of trained professionals. This can look like:
Negative self-talk, scripts of our unworthiness, a shame spiral
Patterns of self-sabotaging behaviors, unhealthy personal relationships, cycles of abuse or neglect
The good news is that no matter where you may be on your Whole-Self Love journey, you can begin to make progress, you can begin healing, you can begin releasing whatever is not serving your higher self today. There are resources available to you, and if you’re not sure what they are or where to look, schedule a free call with me and let’s get you started in the right direction. If it’s something that I can help with, I will, and if it’s something that is beyond my scope (such as clinical diagnosis), I will refer you to one of my many expert colleagues or point you towards additional resources. Even one tiny step creates space in your life for more positivity, and every tiny step forward is evidence of your positive transformation that you can build on. Let your one tiny step towards Whole-Self Love be the act of learning the art of release.
The 1st Pillar of Transformational Positivity is Whole-Self Love. It’s the beginning of your personal revolution, a shift in positivity that leads to your most empowered, on-going transformation. Why?
• Because it invites us to daily disrupt our old patterns of negative self-talk and allows us to begin seeing who and what we really are in our wholeness. We develop a loving & supportive way of relating to ourselves that is personally healing and breaks the cycles of negativity.
• Because it allows us to question and rebel against the negative messages that have been sent to us about our bodies from the industries that benefit from making us feel like shit. We discover & create inspiring new communities of radical acceptance that feel like a celebration and a homecoming.
• Because it requires us to push back against and break the oppressive systems designed to keep us small & muzzled. We begin to take back the control that we didn’t even realize we were giving away, and create a powerful new paradigm of true equality as sentient, autonomous beings.
Some things I must acknowledge
Changing behavior is uncomfortable. Changing paradigms is uncomfortable. Facing our inner sh*t is triggering as f*ck. It’s often a bit messy and clunky and awkward and imperfect, until it isn’t, and we find ourselves finally moving forward little by little by little.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that doing the personal work of Transformational Positivity has some common factors that almost everyone will relate to, and there will also be very specific factors that are going to be unique to the individual. Especially within the 1st Pillar of Whole-Self Love,we will each come to the work with our own biases and lived experiences in tow. Some things to consider:
Am I a member of the dominant culture? Do I hold certain privileges based on that? My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who has been systemically marginalized because of their race, gender, economics, etc.
Did I grow up experiencing a supportive family structure? Did I experience any forms of abuse as a child? My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who has also had to overcome a difficult upbringing and/or adverse childhood experiences.
Am I able-bodied? Am I generally in good health? My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who also has to navigate within our ableist culture. My self-love practice and self-care rituals will look differently than someone who must also manage a physical health crisis and/or mental health issues.
Before I steer too far out of my lane, let me be clear in saying that there is room for ANYONE and EVERYONE to do this beautiful and empowering work of Whole-Self Love. For some of us, we will need to do some deeper healing (yes please). We may need to work with a qualified therapist to help us get past our old patterns of recreating pain (I have and I do).
The point of looking at these considerations is NOT to create more shame. It is to acknowledge that each one of us has a story that is beautiful (even the ugly bits), powerful (even in our failings), and worthy of love.
The Pervasiveness of Body Shaming
Like 9/10 people reading this, I have experienced body shaming and I have struggled with my self image. For me, it started pretty early on in childhood at school- by kids and by teachers- and then again in church, and later on in my intimate relationships and even in my professional life- especially when I was working as an exotic dancer and a model, but even when I was working in corporate office jobs and non-profit organizations my body was somehow offensive.
There is a common language of shaming and degrading that seems to be inescapable. It’s a destructive narrative continuously amplified by the media: Too Much, while at the exact same time, Not Enough. To which, I call Bullshit. Among the many damning comments I’ve received for simply existing:“Too Fat. Too Skinny. Too White. Too Freckled. Too Old. Too Young. Too Curvy. Too Narrow. Too Wrinkly. Too Bumpy. Too Slow. Too Fast. Too Slutty. Too Frumpy. Too Loud. Too Quiet. Too Opinionated. Too Bitchy,”…and on and on and on. If it’s a crappy thing to say to a person, I’ve had it said to me, and I must admit that at different times on this journey I’ve said it to or about someone else. If the comments weren’t directed at me, then they were directed at or behind the back of someone else. When I wasn’t personally reeling from hearing the poisonous words, I was either feeding them back to myself or flinging them carelessly at someone else. Ugh.
It’s no wonder that we struggle with basic self-care skills, let alone the practice of Whole-Self Love. But that’s why it’s so important to me that we have the awareness, that we have the knowledge, and that we have the tools to experience our life in these crazy-amazing human bodies as the whole, complete, brilliant beings that we truly are. Whole-Self Love teaches us how to tap into a level of Positivity that can truly transform our old stories of pain into masterpieces of healing love.
TRANSFORMATIONAL POSITIVITY is a set of healing tools and positive practices used to form a framework for manifesting, experiencing, and supporting our Deep, Personal Transformation within these 4 key areas: Self, Community, Nature, and Spirit. Each of these 4 key areas is supported by it’s own pillar.
The 4 Pillars- in a nutshell
The 4 Pillars of Transformational Positivity represent the most important relationships of our human existence, with each one relating to and supporting one of the 4 key areas. The 4 key areas are Connection to Self, Connection to Community, Connection to Nature, and Connection to Divine Spirit.
The First Pillar: WHOLE-SELF LOVE
[Key Area = Connection to Self] Who are you? How do you see yourself? How do you talk to and about yourself? What makes you YOU? Do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? How well do you take care of yourself? How do you relate to the body you live in? Do you know, understand, realize, accept, see, believe in who and what you really are at the core of your being?
Most of us get so tripped up in this first key area that we waste years, decades, lifetimes focusing the majority of our energy, attention, and hard-earned cash only on our physical appearance while neglecting to gain an intimate understanding, appreciation, and genuine Love for who we are inside, aka The Real Us. And/Or, we have to unpack so many layers of bad programming and painful lived experiences that the idea of “Self Love” seems like a bridge too far.
This is one of the first areas where many people meet me. Typically, they are looking for some Positivity tools & training to supplement the deeper healing work they are already doing with their therapist.
How Can I Help?
I’m not a therapist, or a psychologist, or a psychiatrist so I am not qualified to diagnose or treat any medical, mental, or emotional health issues. What I can do for my clients is provide additional support, spiritual guidance, and teach positive practices help assist in strengthening your relationship to Self.
[Key Area = Connection to Community] Which communities do you most identify with? What are some of the various roles you have played or are currently playing in your different communities? What do you need in order to feel like you are seen, heard, and a valued part of your community? How are you contributing? How are you receiving? Where are you serving with the most Joy?
“Community” includes all of the other humans we interact with outside of ourselves. Some of these relationships are knit closer to us than others- family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues. While other relationship threads are going to be much thinner and stretched over a greater distance, it is important to recognize that in the most basic sense we are all connected in some way.
If we can understand that the First Pillar is about Who We Are, then we can recognize that the Second Pillar is about Why We Are Here.
Whenever clients come to me looking for guidance in this area, it’s typically because they are struggling to find meaningful ways to connect in their communities. Their “Why” isn’t showing up in ways that feel in alignment with who they are and how they are seen by the people in their communities. They feel unfulfilled because their is no reciprocal Joy that they are experiencing.
How Do I Help?
I help my clients to look for opportunities that they may be missing. I guide them through shifts in their mindset to see a new perspective. We work on actions that they can take to create new, more positive connections in their various communities.
[Key Area = Connection to Nature] How do you most like to connect with Nature? Which of these natural settings makes you feel the most energized, relaxed, peaceful, or awestruck: Ocean, Mountains, Forest, Desert, Prairie? When was the last time you spent the night stargazing? Are you an animal lover? Tree hugger? Aspiring gardener? Rock-hound and crystal wearer? Where is your nearest green space, and how often do you visit?
The modern era that we live in with its many conveniences and high-level technology has in many ways caused us to dramatically disconnect from the natural world. On a global scale, the push for more more more shows that we have all but abandoned our stewardship of the earth and instead are continuing to consume her vast and varied resources at an unsustainable rate, wreaking havoc on ecosystems, pushing fragile and necessary plants and animals to extinction. Life does not simply begin and end with us; we are part of something much more and we all share a responsibility for the health of our planet.
When my clients are seeking help in this area, it’s typically because they have lost touch with ways to unplug from the daily grind.
[Key Area = Connecting with Spirit] What does your current connection to divinity look like? How does spirituality play out in your daily life? Where do you experience the Divine? Are you able to separate religion and doctrine from spiritual practices? If you could SEE your own Spirit, your life-force, your essence- how would you describe it? What does she/he/they look like? Do you know the guides and energies on your spiritual support team, your Spirit Council?
After all, we are so much more than just our physical flesh and blood, more than what we can see and touch;we are magnificent spiritual beings having a human experience. We ARE each an expression of divinity! This is especially powerful when you consider the positive characteristics that are commonly ascribed to the Divine:
This is probably the most “woo woo” area that people find me to begin work together, and I FREAKING LOVE IT. This isn’t about rules and religion; this is about exploring the ultimate in healing energy. Connecting with Spirit allows us to have a deeper understanding of the divine traits within ourselves, so that we can embody and express them in our human experience.
We get to do this today, in this lifetime- not just in some faraway afterlife. Whether it is connecting with and sharing messages from your Spirit Council during a Spiritual Clarity Reading, or helping you to create more positive connections with the divinity within and around you, this is some of my favorite work of all.
How Do I Help?
I support your exploration of sacred and spiritual practices, and help you to develop your own intuition. I help my clients to differentiate the freedom of spirituality from religion.
Positivity improves our connections to self, to community, to nature, and to spirit. When any of these connections are weak, damaged, or removed we experience collapse in the relationship. Therefore, it is vital to the health of our relationship to each of these 4 key areas that we do the work of examining where we are at, where we want to be, and what if anything needs to change.
For some of us, it means doing some deeper work of healing old wounds, rewriting our old narratives, and learning how to do Life in a whole new way- or even just a slightly different, more empowered, satisfyingly positive way. One thing is for sure- we won’t be engaging in any toxic positivity. No spiritual bypassing. And definitely no gaslighting.
Wherever you may be on your journey, whatever level of awakening you are in, you can find guidance and support from me that will help you to cultivate Positivity in any or all of these 4 key areas of connection.
How To Get Started
Soul-Mirroring Session & 4 Pillars Assessment
The way we begin our Transformational Positivity work together is through a Soul-Mirroring Session. This is a 1:1, deep-look together in which we talk about where you are, what you want, and where you want to go.
I have an incredible gift of being able to truly see YOU, and will share what I see from a spiritual energy perspective. We will do a 4 Pillars Assessment and create a plan for ways that you can begin to cultivate & integrate Transformational Positivity in the area(s) of your choosing.
As I cracked open one of my journals today to begin writing out some thoughts and developing ideas about what I want to share more of this year, I was struck by the two pages at the very beginning. The pages after them were filled with fits and starts, halfway points, sparks of brilliance and a whole lot of blankness. Not unusual with my journals, but today I was interested in looking a little DEEPER at this half-used book to maybe shed some light on a pattern that clearly wasn’t serving me or my highest good. [Deeper. It’s my Word this year, after all.]
Those 1st 2 pages. They’d been written on a few years back, folded in half, untouched since and left in place. But why though? What was the purpose?
What I read when I opened them took my breath away. It was like a sucker-punch to the gut.
The extremely negative energy that I had initially attached to them- furiously taking notes in frustration over a situation long since passed on one page, scribbling unsustainable parameters for a program that I had no connection to on another page- that energy was clinging hard & fast to the paper, and suddenly it was clear why I hadn’t been able to really move forward on completing anything in that book. It was all tied to those first 2 pages- I hadn’t consciously removed them. Not just the pages, but the thoughts & painful emotions I had poured onto them. 💥 BOOM! For nearly 3 years, I’d tucked those freaked-out bits away and left them there to either fester, undermine progress, or just collect mental dust. Whew!
Now that I was looking at them again with several years of experience and tools for dealing with my shit, it was time to do a little ceremonial clearing.
What I Did, in 3 Steps:
1) I gave thanks for the lesson. I paused to recognize the lesson and receive wisdom from my higher self & spirit guides. So often we cannot see the lessons in the midst of a situation; we just focus on getting through it, right? This was a reminder that even if it takes years to finally do it, it’s OK and good to take the time to look for the lesson because it just might be golden. In this case, I literally wrote the words Thank You across the torn out pages.
2) I acknowledged progress I am not where I was in my life 3 years ago. Obviously, and yet- how often do we forget to acknowledge the progress we have made on our journey? We learn SO MUCH and if we are constantly integrating these positive changes without pausing from time to time to acknowledge our progress, we can easily forget how far we’ve already come. Eyes forward, yes, and also- it’s OK and good to acknowledge progress. In this case, I wrote out the words Not Anymore across the torn out pages.
3) I removed the block Once I had recognized the lesson and checked in with myself to see if there was any healing that still needed to happen in that particular area, I was free to remove the energetic block and move through without attachment to it. I took the time to tend to myself, shame-free and clear. It’s important to note that had I come to this step and felt unsteady or hung up? I would have absolutely reached out to one of my go-to mentors for a healing or therapy session. Full stop. Since I felt good about moving forward, I mentally cut the energetic cord to the anger/frustration/shitty old situation and then literally (and gently) tore out the old pages from that journal. There was nothing left to learn from them.
What I learned:
1) Some really shitty situations can eventually get resolved, one way or another. Take all the time needed to do so.
2) Adult Me will ALWAYS find a way to stop myself from doing work that isn’t in alignment with Who I am and What I’m here to do. Trying to be anyone that I’m not doesn’t work and I’m definitely no longer interested in that.
3) Clearing away negativity does not mean bypassing it, it requires processing the emotion/situation/pattern and coming through it, Stronger, Wiser, Free. Yay for progress!
I hope that you have found this little exercise to be helpful. If you have some energy healing work that you would like to do together, reach out and get on my calendar. I would love to do a Spiritual Clarity Reading for you to help you explore any blocks you are facing, situations you are feeling unsure about, or even provide a general energy reading.