Let it Go Already: The Dos + Don’ts of Letting Go

Hands down, the question I get asked most often is:  “Yeah but, HOW do I let go?”

Great question.  And, a must have skill for a happy life.

No matter if it’s forgiving.  Heartache.  Or, saying adios to an old, not-working-for-ya-anymore pattern, there are some tricks of the trade that can help you let go.  


Here’s the essential dos + don’ts of letting go. 


1.  DON’T ignore what you really need. 

Letting go isn’t a catchall phrase and it doesn’t heal all hurts.
  
Letting go happens once we’ve processed + healed the hurt.  

Not before.

If you’re in the middle of a major anxiety melt-down, drowning in heartache, or desperate for things change, odds are letting go isn’t what you need (or want) right now.

DO clarify what you really want.  

Support, understanding, nurture and healing all have to happen before we can let go.   And, they’re what we need most when we’re in pain.  

Take time to ask yourself what you really want right now.  If it’s got to do with pain, I promise a little TLC will go a long long way.  



2.  Don’t Nike yourself.  

By this I mean, you can’t “just do it.”   Not when it comes to letting go. 

And, the more you badger yourself to “just do it” the more stuck you’ll become.  

Letting go is a process + it can only happen when we’re open.   When you’re screaming, “JUST DO IT ALREADY” at yourself, you’re body’s in total lock down mode.  Nothing is getting in OR out.

DO embrace some woo-woo.  

Letting go involves all of you, not just your beautiful mind.  

I mean it’s not your mind that hurts; it’s your body, right?  

Meditation, energy work, yoga, breath, reiki and prayer are essentials to letting go ’cause they get you outta your head and into your body, where the hurt is.  



3.  Don’t do what you’ve always done.

Whatever you’ve been doing hasn’t worked.  So why keep doing it?  

DO try new things!  

Think outside the box.  Get out of your comfort zone.  The only way to feel something new is to DO something new.

If you’re worried about looking silly or find yourself pooh-poohing ideas ’cause they’re “weird” it’s a sure sign you’re still closed.  Go back to step one and clarify what you’re really looking for.  When you’re really ready to let go you won’t care what you look like doing it. 



4.  Don’t do things ’cause someone told you to.  

I call this “good-student” answers + actions.  When my clients do something ’cause I told ‘em to -  with zero heart, connection or intention of their own – this never ever works.  

DO what speaks to you.  

The truth is there’s many ways to let go.  And what works for me may not work for you.  

When you’re open and willing to learn + feel the process on your own, letting go happens naturally.  It’s not the steps that allow you to let go, it’s letting something you need in that makes the difference.  So listen to yourself + ask, what do you really need to let this go?


BTW, little TLC is a necessity before we can let go.  (And it’s the most commonly skipped step.)



5.  Don’t look for all the ways it didn’t work. 

I call this “hole-poking” and it’s the single worst thing you can do to yourself.  If you spend your time, energy and attention looking for what’s wrong then that’s what your gonna have– a life that feels wrong.

Do look for all the ways growth is showing up.  

Teach yourself to look for + celebrate the places that you have made progress, that are going well and how far you’ve come.  The more joy, compassion + hope you look for- the more you’re have a life that feels that way. 



6.  Don’t fantasize about “them” fixing it.  

Someone may have hurt you, yes.   BUT, and I say this with love, the wound is yours.   

Let me explain: if they literally physically stabbed you with a knife, they (literally) hurt you AND the cut would be yours to take care of.  Even if they apologize!   

You’ve got to clean, dress and care for the wound ’cause it’s on your body.  Well, same rules apply to emotional wounds.

DO focus on you.

Take your power back here and focus on you + what you can do.  You’re options for taking care of yourself are endless when you focus on what YOU CAN DO.  

If you’re stuck running the loop of having it out with them in your head, it’s a sure sign you need to go back to step one and figure out what you really want.  This means something is still missing.




7.  DON’T do it alone.

It’s painful.  It’s lonely.  It’s totally unnecessary to do it alone.  And, it will take so much longer.

DO embrace support

Support comes in all different shapes and sizes.  And it’s yours for the taking.  You’ll feel so much stronger.  So much clearer.  And it will go so much quicker if you buddy up with someone.

Keep these do + don’ts in mind no matter what steps you take, and you’ll be on your way to letting it go in no time!




 


The Than-Game: 8 Signs You’re Playing

CaleyPowerPointTemplate-1Something really interesting + sorta unexpected happens when I talk to people about self-esteem:  they become jerks.  And, their self-esteem actually plummets.

Seriously.  

It’s happened to me.   And I’m pretty sure it’s happened to you.

You know those times when your day is going just fine?  
You’re feeling pretty peaceful.  
Getting stuff done.  

Then, someone talks about improving their self-esteem, and Wham!  You feel awful. Can list 100 things you need to change about yourself.  And your self-confidence (not to mention day) is now in the toilet.   


We’ve all been there. 

And h
ere’s what’s really going on: you, out of habit, dove, head first, into what I like to call the “Than-Game.”



We all know this game.   It’s where you feel good (or bad) about yourself because you’re better (or worse) than the person next to you.   So, to feel good, you’ve got to be:

  • better than
  • skinnier than
  • smarter than
  • make more money than
  • have more seniority than
  • drive a better car than

   …everyone. 

And, when someone else is better, skinnier, smarter, richer than YOU… your self-esteem takes a major nosedive. 

Yeah.   The Than-Game is so not fun.  Especially at work. 

Playing this grass-is-greener-game at work means you’ve taken your eye off the ball.   

You’re not focused.  You’re not producing great stuff.   

And, you’re stuck.  

‘Cause instead of putting energy into the pitch coming your way + figuring out HOW to hit your own home-run, you’re wasting energy tracking your co-workers.  

Not helpful.  (And, so not going to get you noticed for your skills.)

Here’s 8 signs you’re totally playing the Than-Game at work. (Maybe without even knowing it.)

  1. You can’t be happy for a coworkers success.  If each win your coworker has feels like a loss for you.  You’re playing the Than-Game.

  2. You can’t make a decision.  If making a decision feels like making a commitment.  Like you’ll be tied down to something you’re not even sure you want.  You’re playing the Than-Game. 

  3. You fear being wrong.  If being wrong means someone else is right instead of a chance to learn something new.  100%, you’re in the Than-Game. 

  4. You fight with people over things you don’t even want.  If you fight (to the death!) to win, not because you really really want the “prize,” but ’cause you have to win.   You’re literally playing the game. 

  5. You can’t seem to settle down.  If you want to be seen as an expert in everything, not just one thing.  You’re in the Than-Game. 

  6. To you, the grass is always greener.  If you can’t feel grateful for what you’ve already got, ’cause someone has more something different.  Yep.  You’re in the game. 

  7. You nitpick the heck outta what others do.  If you can + do find fault in everything + everyone.  You’re probably a Than-Game All-star. 

  8. You throw co-workers under the bus.  If you avoid “being wrong” at all costs.  You’re definitely a Than-Game All-star.  

Now that you know about this slippery slope of game (+ if you’re an All-star or not)
keep your eye on the ball!  

Instead of diving head first into old habits, practice keeping your eyes on what’s coming your way + how you’re spending your energy.  


You’ll be knocking ‘em outta-the-park in no time.  

Not to mention feel so much better. 



6 Signs Change ISN’T What You Need

photoThe idea of change can be alluring + seductive.   Especially when burnout’s knocking at your door.

A fresh start.   Something new.   Something better.

Gets your blood pumpin’ just thinking about it, no? And, maybe even thinking, “That’s exactly what I need. Right.  Now.”

But change always shows its true colors.

It’s a short-lived high- in cute shoes.

The change-game is one of the best seductresses of all time.   I mean, just the thought of that breath-of-fresh-air feeling gets you wired.   Craving.   Jonesing to feel that high again.

All the while she’s whispering in your ear, “This will be the one that takes.   This could be the change that lasts.   This is what you’ve been missing!”

The problem with the change-game is you’re so hopped up on your quest for new, more… better,  that you don’t realize what you’re giving up each time you start over:   growth.

The truth is,  to the outside world,  change looks a bit like bobbing ‘n’ weaving.  
You’re going left when everyone else is going right.

So while you’re drinking in that breath-of-fresh-air feeling you’re also leaving people,  jobs,  retirement plans,  benefits,  seniority + vacation days,  friends,  relationships,  and maybe even cities in your dust.

Here’s 6 signs it’s time to get out of the change game.   For good.

  1. The high wears off.  You listen to the whisper in your ear, make the change and get a new gig.  It feels intoxicating!   For a little while.   Then sobriety sinks in and you’re back where you started,  but without your seniority + benefits.   The only thing that seems to bring that excitement back is the thought of doing it all over again.   And again.
     
  2. The breath-of-fresh-air-feeling is the best part.  Putting in your notice.  Walking out the door for the last time.  This. IsFreedom.  And THIS, is the best part!  Once this high wears off you feel stuck.   Trapped.   And all you can do to get that glorious freedom back is fantasize about telling everyone + everything you’re supposed to care for to go screw off.
     
  3. Your resume, business niche or relationship history looks like a game of musical chairs.   Job or relationship hopping is easy to blame on others.   But (and I say this with love) YOU are the common link between all your jobs + relationships.  If you’re always on-to-the-next-one in 2 years or less you know change is whispering in your ear + running your show.
     
  4. You feel like you’re spinning your wheels.  You work your booty off.   And yet, while you’ve had flickers of success, more often than not you feel lost.   No matter how hard you work, when change is running your show, you’re always in the start-up phase.
     
  5. You’re focused on what you want (+ don’t want) instead of what you have.   It’s easy to get sideswiped by the thought of greener grass when you’re not aware of change’s seduction skills.   Her 1-2 punch is comparison + lust.   Once you realize it could be different.   It could be better.   This is missing.   Or that… she’s got you on the ropes.   You’re no longer paying attention to what’s in front of you.   Instead, you’re lusting after that next high.
     
  6. Change is how you handle everything.  You have a bad day.   A fight in your relationship.   Or maybe you’ve lost your work mojo.   And change is the first thought that enters your mind.


The truth is your mojo-  both personal + professional-   comes from within you

And, change without growth, stunts your mojo.  BIG TIME!

So, next time you hear that seductress call, tell her the jig is up. 
You’re on to her.
And you’re going another way.

This time to change things up, you’re choosing growth instead.

How to Love Your J-O-B

CaleyPowerPointTemplate-1I love my job.

There’s nothing else on earth I’d rather do.

That doesn’t mean it’s always easy.   Or without stress.
Or that there aren’t days I question if it’s what I really want to do.

Yet I can confidently say I a love it.   And feel love for it.

Not because I’m any different than you.

Or because my job is better than yours.

But because I’ve figured out HOW to love it.
So I can fall head-over-heels in love, over ‘n’ over again, no matter what comes my way.

And you can, too.   You just need to learn how.

To make it easier, I’ve broken it into 3 essential (+ totally do-able) practices for loving your job (+ anything else).

1.   See opportunities rather than problems.

Oh my gosh, this one’s a slippery little sucker!

Most of us go to work hoping to do a good job.
So we love when things fall into place + leave us looking fan-freakin-tastic.

But what about those times things don’t seem to fall into place? When there’s something we need to learn.
Does that mean you feel ri-freakin-diculous?

If so we just totally nailed your block to loving your job.

Life is about learning.   So we can grow.   And do new things.   Experience adventure.
And raise our awareness + love for the world.

Problem solving is one of the best ways to learn!

The minute you start seeing “set backs” as an opportunities for growth everything changes. 
Suddenly you’re welcoming ‘em in instead of fighting ‘em.
And, you’re growing, happily, with each project + opportunity that comes your way.

“It’s not up to us what we learn, only whether we learn through our joy or our pain.” ~Marianne Williamson

Decide to learn through joy and no matter what comes your way, you’ll feel the love.

2.   Understand your why.

Your why is your purpose.   And your purpose is your why.

No, I’m not trying to rap for you. (Thank God!) I’m just trying to get you in touch with your WHY.

By this, I mean, why you do what you do.  Versus what you do.

Your why is your source for loving your job.  Not what your job is.

Here’s a funny + totally true example:

I pick up my dog’s poop.   Everyday.

Because:
1) I love her + want her to be part of my life.
2) I like being able to walk in front of our building without stepping in, or smelling, poop.
3) It’s who I want to be.   As a person.  Someone who cares for + respects my dog, building + neighborhood.

Do I love picking up her poop in the moment?  Not so much.

But I do it, happily, because I know WHY I’m doing it.

So even though it’s not my fav part of being a dog owner (+ will totally keep me from ever owning a large breed dog)
I do it with love + feel love for it.   ‘Cause no poop means no pug.   And that would be a tragedy.

The more clear I am on my why, the more I love every little detail my j-o-b.  (Even the stinky ones.)

And you will, too.

3. Find value in what you do + give.

Whatever you do for a living has value.

No matter what you do.

You are giving something important to the people around you + the world. No matter how high or low on the ladder.
You are offering something that makes the world a better place.

And the more in touch you are with this, the more love you will feel each and every day.

I know it can be easy to take what you do for granted. Especially as the “newness” wears off and it becomes routine.
But when this happens, that’s how you feel- taken for granted.

Find ways to stay in touch with and value what you are creating + bringing to the world each day.
And get clear about what you are actually giving.

For example: if you’re a barista, you’re not really giving people coffee-  you’re giving ‘em a morning experience.
A home away from home.  Connection.  A ritual.   A way to start their day.  Security.  Comfort.   And love.

If you get caught up in the coffee, your job can become boring.  Regimented.  And you’re “what’s in it for me” focused.
Which always creates more yuck feelings, ’cause all you’re focused on what’s missing.  Instead of what you’re giving.

If you value the exchange + experience you’re creating for your customers, then you’re focused on what you’re giving,
and you feel filled up.  Effortlessly.

‘Cause you’re focused on what is happening. What is there. What choices, power + skills you do have.
Instead of focusing on what’s missing.

And, when you’re connected to what is, it’s easy to feel love.

What to do When You’re Hijacked by Insecurity

CaleyPowerPointTemplate-1

You’re cruising long, feeling good, getting stuff done.  And then wham!  You’re totally hijacked by insecurity.

The scientific term for this punch in the gut  (yes, there is one)  is an inhibitor.   But really, it’s just an asshole.

I think the two worst parts of this hijacking are 1) that you never seem to see it coming and 2) you inevitably end up taking it as a commentary on you + your worth.

The thing is, this super annoying insecurity hijacker is your brains way of protecting you.   I know.   Sounds crazy. And, it’s the truth.

If you translated this hijacker it would say, “Hey!  Watch out!  We’re some place totally new. Use caution.”

Because it’s a built in security system- that has kept us alive for centuries- there’s no way to stop the alarm from going off from time to time.  But, you can absolutely change your relationship with this mugger.   And actually learn to see it as a good thing.


Here’s 4 (scientifically proven) ways to deal with a insecurity hijacking.

1. See it as a sign of progress

Brené Brown calls this phenomenon a vulnerability hangover.   And that’s exactly what it is.  


You partied. Like a rockstar.   Past your normal comfort zone.   And now, you’re feelin’ it.


Unlike an alcohol hangover, a vulnerability hangover is a sign of success.


It’s your body’s way of telling you you’ve gone farther than ever before.  You’ve moved into new territory.  Dared to be seen, put yourself out there– left your comfort zone.   (Yipee!)   And, now you’re body’s catching up.


For example, I just finished a blog post I really like.  It’s me.  I think it’s a good subject.  I think offered good advice.  And Wham! Now I’m terrified to publish it + totally rethinking every word of it.


If it wasn’t more me than I’m used to sharing.  If it wasn’t pushing my limits a bit to write (+ like) it.  If it wasn’t a tiny example of me letting my a rockstar be seen I wouldn’t have gotten mugged.


So as awful as it feels (and I know, it sucks) re-framing it as a sign of accomplishment is your best + quickest way through it.


Follow the hangover recipe, a little TLC + time. It will work every time.

2.  Celebrate it!

I know, this one sounds funny, but I promise-  this one will literally change your life.


Next time insecurity mugs you, remember it’s an accomplishment and celebrate it!  

Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, a coffee, a massage, some extra zzz’s, a pat on the back.  Doesn’t have to be big and doesn’t have to be small either– it just has to be something that feels like, “Yes!  I totally rocked this.” 

3.  Acknowledge the accomplishment not the BUT


Our buts can so get us down.   I’m not talking the ones in your jeans.  I’m talking about your, “yeah but’s.”


Friend:  “I love your shoes!” You: Yeah but I spent way to much on ‘em.”


Me:  “Insecurity popped up. That means you hit a new goal.  Celebrate it!” You:  “Yeah but I feel like crap.”  “Yeah but I don’t have time.”  “Yeah but it didn’t go like I thought it would.”


You get the point. 


Leave your BUT in your pants where it belongs, and embrace your accomplishment.


Pay attention to what you did that created this vulnerability hangover.  And celebrate THAT.


Acknowledging your accomplishment will grow your vulnerability tolerance.  So you’ll be able to go farther ‘n’ do more without being hijacked.  Plus, have some self-defense skills for when the mugger does show it’s ugly face again.

4.  Share


You’re not alone.  (Promise.)

And sharing your story is one way to truly feel this.

It’s a huge step towards loving you + being seen.  And, it may be the single best thing you can do when you’ve been hijacked by insecurity.

Speaking your truth is a direct line back to you.

Try taking a page from Maya Angelou (could there be a better page?) and keep this quote in mind, “When you get, give.  When you learn, teach.”  

Share you’re experience + your knowledge about this mugger with someone you care about.   Let ‘em in on your feelings and your challenge.   Support ‘n’ cheer each other on as more and more hangovers show up.

And, together, leave your buts in your pants and celebrate your accomplishments. 

“You’re Not the Boss of Me”

afterphotoGo ahead and say it.   I’m not the boss of you.   (And I so don’t want to be)

I’ve recently done a re-branding job to my site, practice and blog. (+ my attitude.) 

I’ve spent years working as a traditional therapist, focused on Self-Esteem, because I wanted to help people.  I’d had some super painful experiences in my life, which made it crystal clear to me why we’re such jackass’s when we’re hurting.  
 
So, I set out to do something about it.  Enter Therapy + Self-Esteem. 
 
While I loved my time as a traditional therapist, for me, something was missing.  Especially when it came to the Self-Esteem piece.  

So again, I set out to do something about it.  Enter Coaching (+ blog refresh.) 

Here’s the inspiration behind my new voice n ‘tude:

I’m NOT the boss of you.  And, I so Don’t want to be.

Telling  vs. Sharing

When it comes to improving your life what are you looking for?  Are you looking for someone to tell you what to do?  

So you can just do it.  

Without absorbing it, or really thinking about it.  

‘Cause this is Telling.   And in my experience Telling is a waste of time.  Mine + yours. 

Telling places the power on something other than you.  In this case me.  

It makes me the boss of you. 

i.e.  “I did what you told me and it didn’t work.” 

Translation: “I went through the motions, without creating an intention of reaching my goal, because you told me to. And I’m secretly glad it didn’t work cause now I can blame you instead of look at me.” 

Not fun.   Not helpful.    And, so not gonna get you to your goals. 

Sharing is… 

…a 50-50 split where I dish out info + you marinate in it.  Absorb it.  Let it flavor you.  Tweak you. 

Move it from your head to your heart.  And make it yours.   

Sharing brings the power back to you. 

It makes YOU the boss of you.  And us, partners.  

i.e. “I tried what we talked about last time.  Here’s what went well, and here’s the glitches I ran into. How can I avoid these from popping up in the future?”    

Translation:  “I’m in the process of figuring this out.  And I’m determined to make it.  This is new + scary for me, and I could really use some support and guidance so I can figure out what tripped me up. I want to know how to handle it next time.” 

Big difference.  (With totally different results.)

I’m a Sharer (and I know it.)

I love being your partner.  I loathe being your boss.  

This has been the single biggest aha for me.  And it’s changing everything.  

As much as I appreciate the Savvy Self-Esteem alliteration and purpose, it feels way too much like being the boss of you.  And way too little like me.   So, I’m ditching it.  I’m letting it go so I can welcome something more into my life.   I want to Be + Feel More right along side you.

My intention going forward is Sharing.

Sharing love.  Compassion.  Insight.  Hope.  Nuggets of wisdom.  New ideas.  New ways to look at yourself.  To love yourself.  To appreciate + value your strengths.  

All to help YOU be the boss of you. 

PS- We’ll still totally talk Self-Esteem! I’m all about helping you Be + Feel More. On the inside. Which IS Self-Esteem.

 




My coming out story

-1

I’m about to do something a little scary.

I’m coming out of the closet.   Right here.   Right now.

It all started several months ago when I watched this amazing Ted Talk for the first time.

The short version: Ash beautifully shares what “a closet” truly is: a hard conversation. That fear, deep inside, that believes, “if you knew this about me, you wouldn’t accept me.”

We ALL have closets. That part of us that we keep locked away based solely on fear.

What’s in my closet?

So here’s what’s been in my closet for years:  I’m an energy junkie + spiritual seeker.

I adore the Law of Attraction, A Course in Miracles, Chakra’s, meditation, and prayer, energy healing, God, angles, guides. Basically all things woo-woo.

And what I really want is to be a coach for your mind, body + your heart ‘n’ soul.

I started down this road (kinda) when I became a therapist.

At that point in my life, becoming a therapist felt like my only option for working as a healer. I’d had little, if any, exposure to the world of energy medicine. I couldn’t imagine spending my days not talking about feelings, so I dove in headfirst with the whole therapist thing.

I spent SO MUCH TIME learning + understanding the scientific reasons for why we feel, or act, the way we do, in the hopes of making it OK to talk about what I love most … feelings.

What’s I’ve come to understand, is that as long as I put this one side of me- the neuroscience therapist- forward, I’m not living my purpose. Or as Ash might say, I’m still in the closet.

The Thing About Closets

The scientific, educated, neuroplasciticy-expert part of me is only one part of me.

It’s not the real me. It’s not the whole me.

And, keeping my energy-junkie Universe-loving side in the closet doesn’t allow me to own my personal power. Embrace my strengths. My passion. Or live my purpose.

Living in the closet turned me into me a watered-down, struggling, less-than, powerless, depleted, exhausted, burned-out version of me.    (ehm, haven’t posted a blog post in a year.)

Living Fully (Out)

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

~Marianne Williamson

When I share the real me with my girlfriends, hubby, clients and fellow spiritual seekers I feel energized, excited, passionate, and alive. (And the blog posts just flow out of me!)

And something even more amazing happens- THEY start feeling energized, excited, passionate and alive, too.

When I share the real me my clients + friends get unstuck.  Find their purpose. And get their passion back, right along with me.

So I’m making the choice to live fully out of the closet.

To be seen. Value my talents. And live my purpose.

I hope you join me for the ride. It’s gonna be ah-mazing!

5 Tips for Overcoming The-End-of-Holiday-Blues

  Happy New Year! If you are anything like me, no matter how much you were looking forward to the new year, there’s always a bit of blues that comes with saying goodbye to another holiday season.  Life returning to “normal” sounds so good, and yet, is so uncomfortable– and if I’m totally honest, a bit depressing. Over the years I’ve come up with some tried and true strategies and routines that help me combat those end-of-holiday-blues. Here’s my top 5: 1. Do something to celebrate the putting away of holiday decor. We all have great memories of putting out the holiday decorations, right? Music, warm drinks, family, making our homes feel cozy.  Well, do something like this to celebrate the putting away of the same decorations.  Plan a special dinner. Listen to some favorite tunes.  Watch your favorite non-holiday movie.  Doesn’t matter what it is, just something that makes you feel good that your house it back to normal and helps you look forward to that day each year. 2. Plan at least one vacation When I had my first job out of college, we went from Christmas until Memorial Day without another paid day off.  Ugh, it was always so depressing to look at the calendar 6 months out and not see any time off.  Instead, use January as a time to set up some vacation time for yourself.  Even if it’s as simple as adding a mental health day to your schedule, or planning a weekend get away, or noting when a movie you are excited to see is coming out {Catching Fire expected release date: 11/22/13}.  It doesn’t matter what it is, or how simple it is, just get somethings on the calendar that you are looking forward to– before Memorial Day! 3. Pick a (or many) random holiday(s) to celebrate Between January and March there are all kinds of “random” events that make perfect holiday’s to celebrate.  The super bowl, Valentine’s day, President’s day, St. Patty’s Day are all great excuses to plan a dinner party, happy hour, game night, or pot luck. You don’t have be super into the particular holiday– it just gives ya a reason to do something fun with the people you care about. (I couldn’t tell you who has played in, or won, the super bowl the last 5 years but I know which chili recipe I can’t wait to have again on 2/3/13!) 4. Reflect over your past year & Name it There’s a reason that resolutions are tied to the new year.  Reflecting back over our past year is a very nice way to remember both the good and the not so good we’ve been through, remember how far we’ve come, give thanks for the successes we’ve had, while getting clearer about what we want going forward.  One of my favorite ways to do this is by naming the past year.  Some sort of funny endearing name that will help you reflect back on your year with humor and appreciation while at the same time reminding yourself it is over. For me, 2012 is the year of “Fear.”  2011 was the year of “Relaxation for Dummies.”  You get the point. 5. Make positive inner-peace focused resolutions We’ve all done the whole “I will go to the gym 14 times a week and not eat a carb for 6 months” type of resolution in the past.  And how does that usually work out for ya?  Instead, focus on what you’d like to feel, experience, understand, foster within yourself when setting resolutions.   Take some time, sit down, and really think about how you felt last year, how you feel now, and want to feel next year.  Don’t worry about what you want to do– that will come if you start by focusing on, and getting clear about, how you want to feel.  Then, each day when making decisions, you can ask yourself, “Will _______ help me feel how I want to feel?”  I think you’ll find it’s a whole new way of going about the old resolution game.

Self-Esteem: Why it Get’s Mistaken for Weight

Pinterest I am preparing this blog post ahead of time, as I’ll be on vacation next week.  When this is posted I’ll be lounging poolside in Las Vegas basking in the sunshine, floating down a lazy river, and sipping cocktails (hopefully) delivered by some cute cabana boy.  I can’t wait!

Weight & Self-Esteem.

As I’ve been getting ready for this poolside vacation I’ve found myself reflecting on the connection between Self-Esteem and weight.  Sometimes it seems like 95% of information on self-esteem talks about nothing but weight and body image. Do you notice this, too? I think it’s annoying, and to be frank, disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that our body image plays a part in our self-esteem, of course it does- it’s part of us.  But, it’s not the only part of us.  More importantly, weight struggles are not the only way low self-esteem shows it’s ugly head.

So why do we focus so much on weight & self-esteem?

Because weight, especially too much weight, can’t be hidden. Unlike anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders and chronic pain our size is out there in the world everyday.  There is no way hide our size.  There is no way to pretend we are a size 0 if we aren’t.  There is no way to secretly struggle with weight.  If we do struggle with weight, it’s out there, everyone knows. On one had, this is difficult.  It’s hard to publicly be exposed as “less than perfect,” especially in our beauty driven culture.  But on the other hand, it’s kind of amazing!  Publicly living a struggle gives access to a great resource that would be missed if the struggle were secret- community.  Other people going through, or who have been through, similar circumstances. Body positive programs, blogs, articles, and support systems are popping up everywhere because weight can’t be hidden.

Celebrate Community

“Shame is about the fear of disconnection” -Brené Brown One thing I know for sure- secrecy hurts.  As humans, secrecy and shame are the worst pain we experience.  There is nothing like the feeling of reaching out, being real, sharing who we are and what we are going through.  Trying to hide who we are, and cut ourselves off from community, hurts like hell.  So why do it, especially about something like weight that’s already out there? Self-Esteem comes from exploring what is, creating coping skills, living authentically, and having a relationship with ourselves, not our jean size. Connection comes from being open, vulnerable and real with others.  If we find a way to do this, to be authentic with people who understand our struggle, then the struggle turns into a blessing. Next time your jean size gets you down, try these idea’s instead of the old familiar negative self-talk and/or searching for way to change yourself.
  • See it as a opportunity for connection.  Reach out to someone you trust and let them into what is going on with you.
  • Look for ways to improve your self-esteem, other than weight loss.
  • Find a community! Check out body positive blogs, groups, articles, Facebook pages, or people to follow on twitter so that you know, and feel, that you aren’t alone.
Maybe, just maybe, if you approach it differently it will actually feel differently too?!      

Self-Care: A Helpful Path to Self-Worth

  Pinterest So, as you can tell, lately I’ve been neglecting my poor blog!  Not because I don’t have things to say, but because I have so many things to say I can’t seem to stick with and finish a topic.  The downfall of having your passion, be your work! ;-) As I blocked out time in my upcoming weekend to tackle a few posts and get organized it got me thinking about self-care, and how it relates to self-esteem.

Self-Care or Selfish?

I know for some people “self care” is a four-letter word (two of them, in fact), but really self-care is a great way to strengthen our self-worth.  I often talk to clients and friends who say putting aside time for themselves feels “selfish” and therefore never do it.  They have a sense of pride that comes from working themselves to the bone on a regular basis.  What’s interesting to me, is these same people tend to have crisis after crisis in their lives and always feel rundown, unorganized, and totally anxious. It’s not coincidence that this is how their lives unfold.  Never taking time for ourselves is a recipe to living life this way- anxious, stressed out, tired, cranky. Usually when we explore this concept together they begin to see the pattern and realize that it’s actually their lack of self-worth that keeps them for self-care routines.  In other words, they don’t feel worth the time attention pampering and relaxation that self-care provides.  Sound familiar?

Changing This Pattern

The simplest most direct to begin altering this thought pattern and belief is by changing our intention around self-care. Instead of doing self-care rituals because we feel worth-it, do them because we want to feel worth-it. If you feel shaky, nervous, or undeserving while brainstorming, scheduling, and/or doing self-care acts remind yourself, “I am doing this so that I will feel better about myself.  This is my path to better self-esteem.” Also, remember it’s important to take baby steps in setting up self-care routines for yourself, especially if you are new to self-care. And, self-care can be done through the simplest things…
  • Splurge on a wine that’s a touch more expensive than you usually spend
  • Take time to make yourself a yummy cup of tea
  • Relax in a bath with your favorite expensive bath salts
  • Say “no” to just one thing this week.
  • Turn off your computer 20 minutes earlier than usual at night
  • Schedule a massage, acupuncture, mani/pedi
  • Take a long walk WITHOUT your cell phone
  • Treat yourself to a new book, album, movie
It doesn’t matter which you do, as long as you do something, and remind yourself when it feels selfish, “I am doing this to be a better me.  I will have more to give, I will feel better, I will feel worth-it if I do this for myself.”

My Plan

As for me, I am still going to work on some blog posts this weekend BUT I am going to set a timer, and only spend the 2 hours I set aside each day on writing.  With my other 22 hours I am going to walk, picnic, hang with my hubby, grill, sleep, maybe catch a movie and relax so I am refreshed and my best me, for me, and for my clients, next week!