Don’t quit!

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Smacks upside the head are happening again this morning. Loving smacks but smacks none the less. I’m in awe of the ways that life drops just what I need to hear or see into my lap at times. Mind is being blown and inspired daily right now.

“Sometimes trauma happens, and if we’re being honest, a part of us rejoices, thinking (I am being honest this is true for me) ‘Well, now nobody can expect anything else from me because it’s a miracle enough that I’m upright.’ You are nobly doing your best to battle your way through it. You are a warrior because of the trials you are going through, but don’t you dare squander the strengths you have earned just because the acquisition of it was painful (or still is). Those are the most important stories to share. You can use the strength to pave a path for others to follow along behind. You do not have permission to quit!” Girl Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis

There is so much YES in this for me. So many hidden, secret truths to some of my personal blocks and excuses right now I can’t even articulate them coherently. Yes, there has been a lot of trauma in my life over the past several years. And there are pieces of that which still play a part in life journey now and forever. But it is time for me to let go of a thread of belief that I am somehow still living that trauma today.

All I know is that I will shush that part of my brain that wants to hide my story or hide my joy for the new amazing opportunities before me. I will not quit at any of the things that are giving me hope and energy to go after my dreams, not just talk about them as if they are fantasy of someday. Writing, coaching, facilitating retreats, creating – these are my joys.

No, I want to make my dreams a reality now. I want to wake up each morning and go after what I want not just grumble about all of the things that I don’t want. I want to use my story, my pain, my joy as the fuel to create a life so glorious and so full of love, health and positivity that I never need to escape from it. I want to turn every single excuse I into the reasons why I keep trying. I want to stop using my moments of sadness, pain and hurt as ways to stay complacent.

I want to see what my life could truly become if I stopped quitting. Seriously, it is time already!

Promises, promises

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“Promises, promises – How I’ve done what I’ve done.”

Ask my kids and those who know me best; they will tell you that I rarely make promises. Even when I agree to do or not do something, it is the very rare occasion that I will make a promise. Folks have tried for years to get me to make promises and I just won’t do it. When I do make a promise you can be sure that I will do anything within my power to fulfill it. That includes to myself.

Rachel Hollis writes in “Girl, Wash Your Face”, “I’ll start tomorrow… as many women do. We talk about the things we’d like to do, be, try and accomplish, but once we get to the moment of actually DOING it, we fold faster than a card table after bunco night….If you constantly make and break promises to yourself, you’re not making promises at all. You’re talking.”

Smack upside the head happened again as I read this chapter. I think I need to get really REAL and start making more promises to myself because those I won’t back out of. Anything less than that is all talk and excuses for me. And the big dreams I have for my life and my family right now are very worthy of me making some promises.
I made a promise to myself 13 months ago that I would get healthy no matter what I had to do, no matter what I had to change, no matter what I had to let go of, no matter what I had do to cover any costs, no matter what I would get healthy for myself and for my kids. I couldn’t take the risk and refused to continue to put myself at risk of serious health issues that could leave my kids completely alone. I promised I would stop risking my life for the sake of eating all of the incredible junk I was eating just because I gave into my cravings. I promised myself I WOULD follow my plan, listen to my coach and community and do the work. No more just talking a very good game but a promise to myself to live my best life no matter what I had to do. I am worth having a healthy body, mind and finances.

There are still a bazillion areas of my life that I am more talk than daily action. Believe me I mess up and fail in so many ways everyday. But my health – oh that is still the area that at least 80% of the time I am making good choices. Because I made a promise to myself that 2017 would be the last year I would feel miserable in my own skin. It was and will always be the last year that I walk around with 60 extra pounds on me leaving me hunched and hurting. Never, ever again I promised this body I am remembering to love.

If you are ready to promise to choose your health and loving your body and mind at least as much as you love the others around you, I am ready to lock arms with you and be a companion on your journey. I so much want everyone to feel the incredible joy I feel to have a body that is free and full of energy.
I promise you can do it too!!!!!

I am More

 

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“You are more than you have become.”

I just started reading Rachel Hollis’ book Girl Wash Your Face and I got stopped right here.  Only page 6 of the intro and I mean I got stopped cold like ice water washing over me both waking me up and numbing/freezing me in place.   Flashes of insight flood over me so fast and furious I can do nothing but stop everything to write.  It’s either write or I will choose my comfort food replacement of choice – Netflix – because “I’m just too tired”; “It’s too late to start an engaging book”;  “I’m not ready to handle or deal with all that is flashing fast and furious through me”; “I just want to relax my brain not wake it up.”  The lure of Netflix sings like a siren call luring me to the sweet bliss of numbness.

But, my Muse has awoken and at least She is committed to moving forward with my life.  Even if my inner Sloth is saying “Shhhhhh, let’s just chill out and relax our brain”, tonight my Muse has won as she has both Dragon and Kraken – my massive inner movers and shakers – on her side.   So I jump deeper into the fire of insights created by one simple sentence “You are more than you have become.”  Buckling up and moving forward!

These flashes come to me as my Muse speaks, no more like shouts at me.   YOU HAVE BECOME…

*a half risen Phoenix.  One minute you are flying with power and grace, then the next you are fumbling around in ashes of your own making.  These aren’t the ashes of your grieving and loss.  These are the ashes from continuing to burn your own passion for a mission of empowerment to the ground.   You are letting fear clip your wings and leave you floundering.  BE THE PHOENIX RISEN, not the one in the ashes of dreams you don’t pursue with all you could be.

*a mess of doubt about speaking your truth; your own unique, powerful truth that is your gift to the world.  You are second guessing EVERYTHING.  STOP ALREADY!  Live it – your truth, your dream – out loud in every time and every moment.  Love it as the truth that is you.

*a hit or miss person.  Somedays you hit it and others you completely miss it.  Every single day, just do it! Hit your goals hard, taking you ever closer to making your dreams more than just dreams.  Only consistency and persistence will equal your success.

*a warrior woman dragging her shield and her sword behind her like an anchor.  Pick them up already.  Carry them like the badass, warrior woman you are and stop making excuses.   You ARE a warrior. BE ONE!

*a woman who is not using her full gifts for why?  Why? Why? Why?   Why are you not writing more? Why are you not shouting from the rooftops “I’ve found a way to greater health that WORKS! Who needs more for their lives and is ready to run with me?”  Why are you not running towards creating an empire around “I AM A WARRIOR”, your mantra and your deepest desire for all women?  Why are you selling yourself short every blessed damn (yes it is both and) day?!

I want to be the more I dream of, the more I write of when my Muse awakens.  I want to be the Phoenix who has not only risen but is flying towards all of her dreams.  I want to expand in abundance, love and success every day while inspiring others in my life to do the same. (The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks)

I WANT TO BE MORE!!!!!

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My Deepest Why

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(This photo is from Soulard, one of our favorite places, a few months before we got engaged.)

Well, the horses will have to wait a little longer this morning to eat because my Muse has awoken with a loud, very clear “Now, it is time now to write this!”  When she so strongly speaks to me that I can hear nothing else but her voice starting to write the words, I drop everything and start to write.  For she is the link to my deepest, truest, more powerful self and honoring what is ready to come forth into the world is essential to my journey.

I knew yesterday morning when I was with my mom, celebrating her amazing health transformation, that my Muse was awakening and formulating the words to write about “My Deepest Why”.  Because you see, my mom getting healthier, my dad now getting healthier, my sister-in-laws getting healthier, my brother exploring getting healthier, my friends getting healthier, my kids getting healthier, and my growing passion for encouraging everyone I know to get healthier in whatever way works best for them – all of this is twined around My Deepest Why.

My Deepest Why is the reason that I truly feel like a Phoenix bird rising up out of the issues as if on fire herself.   The ashes of my life created by the sudden burning up of the life I knew over 3 1/2 years ago,  have been the bed I needed to heal, to explore, and to sort through what must I let go of and what will go with me as I rise into a new life, a new me.   I love and honor those ashes for every bit of comfort and every bit of wisdom they have given me.   And now, I am rising from them to further live a life of passion and purpose and meaning – one of the greatest truths that Russell and I tried to bring to our lives in all we did.  As individuals and as a couple, we believed ourselves to be seekers and dream weavers, helping to create a world filled with love, peace, and hope.

I distract myself even as I write.  My Deepest Why, at this time this moment in my life, is to encourage everyone and anyone I can to create a life for themselves that is as healthy and as happy as they possibly can.  Actually wait, that’s more my purpose than my why.  Writing my WHY, my Deepest one, is scary I think because there is so much emotion in it and around it that saying out loud is feeling a little huge.  But my Muse says keep going, you can do this, say it, own it, feel it.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.   My Deepest Why for all that I do in my life and most specifically for my new found passion for helping people transform their lives  as a health coach, is that I never, ever, ever want to again watch someone that I love die who might not have if they had been healthier in body, mind and spirit.   I can wish all of the time that we had found this before Russell died.  But wishing won’t change the fact that we didn’t.  I want to have the people I love be able to be with me for as long as they possibly can!

Daily, I am grateful that I have transformed my own health so that, hopefully, I will live a very long life with and for my children.   Being here for them as the best mom I can be is so much easier now that I am not consumed with physical pain everyday.   I am bound and determined to do all that I can do to live my most healthy life so that I can stay with them.

Now, I do more than wish and dream.  I am acting and deciding to live my life with no excuses of being too scared, too busy, too unsure, too whatever gets in the way.  There are people I love and care about who need what programs, what wisdom, and what purpose I have found or created.   I don’t want to live my life “wishing” I had told them of another way, after they are gone.

I lost Russell and the dreams of us living our best life together for a very long time.   I lost myself for a long time in the ashes created when my life burned up in a moment.  I am now rediscovering the wonder woman I want to be for myself and the world.  I don’t ever want to lose myself so radically again.  I don’t ever want to lose anyone else I love because their weight and the unhealthy habits of their life led to a sudden and way too early death.   I want to impact live and constantly expand my heart work to love this world and all of the people in mine with all that I am.   I want to know that what I have gone through and my sharing it with others might just help even one person feel like they aren’t alone.  I want all of us to get healthy so that we truly can create the lives that we only dream of right now.

In this time, this moment, I choose health, hope, love, and living my life as bravely as I can.    It’s all I want for all of us!

Thank you my Muse! I stand in awe of my rising from the ashes.

On The Other Side of Fear

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Fear and the recognition of the things that I am afraid of has become quite a lively interaction within myself these past few weeks. I’ve never really thought of myself as a fearful person and have always worked hard to act from a place of thoughtful calmness rather than from an anxious, reactive place. Heck, all that I have gone through in the past 3 1/2 years with my commitment to living my life out loud has been about acting towards my dreams rather than reacting from my fears. While that hasn’t really changed some new awarenesses of myself are arising with the entry of Phoenix into my life.

Rising from the ashes indeed with new intentions of living my bravest, most daring life is what I am being called to do. This photo of me with my two horsey loves right now is such a perfect depiction of what they signify for me. And it speaks to the part of my journey right now of moving past comfort, even if that feels shaky and crazy scary sometimes. I will continue to speak my journey out loud as I move through my fears one by one because I must if I am to release the stranglehold they can have over me.

Karoly is all about comfort for me. Just riding him is like riding the comfiest couch – it’s 100 %safe, it’s cozy, it’s like being permanently wrapped in a perfectly heated blanket, it’s about bringing light into my dark days. There is never any fear in riding Karoly. In fact, he can dispel the dark threads of anxiety from me quicker than just about anything. Just grooming him warms my heart and eases my breathing into a gloriously balanced space. This photo of me with him is from a mere 3 weeks after Russell died and it was a day of laughing and joy in the midst of one of the heaviest periods of my entire life.

Phoenix, I am discovering, is all about tapping ever deeper into my inner warrior. I fell in love with him immediately and was drawn to the fact that he is the image of what I have wanted since I was a young girl. A black pony with a desire to explore and connect with everyone and everything around him. He comes when I call. He loves to be groomed. He wants to trust. He’s the perfect riding size for me. And he also has pulled back the curtain of comfortable contentment I’ve had with Karoly to reveal some real fears lurking in the shadows. Fears that I must face if I am ever to be free of them. Fears I must move beyond if I am every to completely become the empowering warrior woman I dream of being. In many ways, Phoenix is symbolizing the dark threads within the light. Fascinating.

Phoenix wants to go and be in charge at all times. He’s super willing to try and listen to me, but definitely has a lot of anxiety hidden behind a mask of confidence. (Hmmm, sounding like me). He is so forward and so quick to react I can too easily see falling if I can’t learn to stay calm and balanced on him. Staying balanced on Karoly is as easy as breathing. Staying balanced on a much smaller and narrower pony is not quite so easy. I often hold my breath as I ride, forgetting that the very act of breathing deeply will help me stay grounded and balanced. So many life lessons being opened up before me to embrace or to ignore. With every moment I feel scared of what might happen if he spooks or bolts and I fall, and then I keep going anyway, I add a small bravery thread to my inner warrior and I’m a little less afraid.

People often comment on how many white animals I surround myself with – my dogs and 4 of my horses have all been white. While I think it’s circumstance, there is also the reality that in all things I try to focus on choosing the light paths of life – hope, love, possibility, joy, positive spins on things. Intentionally buying a black pony speaks to my belief that the dark side of life – pain, despair, grief, fear – all of these hold just as much value and wisdom for me. Walking the place between light and dark is a lifelong commitment of mine to live all of life to the fullest I can.

I am committing to exploring my fears as they pop up then gently yet firmly calling myself to step forward through and past them. I imagine I will be sharing lots about this in the comings days, weeks and months as I seek to lie a brave, transformative, hopeful life. I am so grateful to have 2 horses who are facilitating such a radical part of my rising and transformation. What an amazing, absolutely precious gift that is.

Door of Locks

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It’s story time. I LOVE reading and have several book series I read over and over and over again as they speak to my soul and continuously entertain me. The following story (condensed a little) is from “Belladonna” by Anne Bishop. This resonates on a very profound level with me. It’s about choosing where your heart needs to go; very powerful stuff!
DOOR OF LOCKS
Now the Door of Locks was hidden in a garden that lived in the heart of a magic hill, and the hill was the country home of the spirits who resided in this part of the land…. When one reached the garden, which was protected by high walls and a barred gate, a spirit would appear and ask “What do you seek?”

…the correct answer is “I seek the hope that lives within my heart.” Give that answer, and the garden’ gate will always open….When you’re ready, the spirit takes you to the Door of Locks.

There are one hundred identical locks on the door, and while you’re standing there, trying to fathom it all, the spirit reaches into your heart and takes out a key, and says, “Every lock leads to a different place that lives within you. Some are dark places, some are light places, some are full of struggle and sorrow while others will shower your days with joy. Choose a lock. The key will fit any of them. Choose where your heart needs to go. Choose.” (LOVE THIS!)

And that is what you must do – CHOOSE. Now, some people are hasty, ignoring the spirit’s warning about the nature of the locks and thinking that since the locks all look the same they’ll be the same. And some people don’t ask for the lock they truly want because it’s high up in a corner of the door or too low to the ground and they don’t want to be inconveniencing the spirit and they figure a lock that’s easy to reach will do just as well.

But it won’t do as well. IT WON’T DO AND IF YOU SETTLE FOR WHAT IS EASY INSTEAD OF WHAT YOU TRULY WANT, YOU MAY NEVER DISCOVER THE HOPE THAT LIVES IN YOUR HEART.

So you choose wisely, and you choose well, and you pick the lock that matters the most to you AT THAT MOMENT. Then the spirit takes the key that was plucked from your heart and slips it into that lock.

It changes you. It doesn’t matter if you end up in place you didn’t know existed or in the place you’ve lived your whole life. It changes you – and you will never again see the world in quite the same way.

What if you fail?

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We’ve probably all heard the question “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” I’m quite sure I’ve answered this question a bazillion times in my journals and on vision boards. But now I ask a new question, a flip of the coin, to this famous one.
First read in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ” Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”, I now ask “What would I do even if I knew that I might very well fail?” I agree with Elizabeth that it is a fiercer question and one that is radically shaping my world right now. It plays over and over in my mind as I choose to do those things that bring me consistent joy, even in the moments of “failure” that are inevitable with following authentic, life long paths of joy seeking.
Without a doubt, it is quite evident that I choose to “do” horses even in the midst of daily “failures”. Heck running a horse farm means constantly remaining open to trying new things, having tried and true methods not work, and still doing it because of that magical love with a horse. I simply can’t imagine a life without them, nor can most of the horse folks I know, even though we are loons to put up with all we do surrounding them.

My current path of new adventures with Phoenix is a daily endeavor in becoming more humble, more trusting, more brave, and more creative as I step into worlds I’ve only been a witness to for a very long time. Tomorrow will be our first dressage show ever, for both of us. We are the very first dressage ride of the day (at 9:00am if you want to watch) and we aren’t really ready. We are both still noodly and simply trying to trust one another. We will probably walk the entire dressage test, though we are supposed to trot at least half of it, simply because in that mode we trust each other, stay in sync and look pretty balanced. As far as the test is concerned, walking the whole thing will be a fail. But, we are doing it anyway because I am loving this horse, he is at least liking me, and I want us to do things together that I have never done before. I don’t care if we fail because I will love every single moment doing it with him. We are rising into a new life together.

This horse, this sweet sweet living Phoenix, is the clearest symbol of me embracing so many new things that leave me acting from my heart. Facilitating retreats, coaching others through their own health transformations, writing, and teaching are things I LOVE to do. There will be ongoing moments that feel like failures in all of these areas but that’s okay. I’m going to do them anyway. Because I WILL live a life from my heart and not from my fear of failing.
What do you love so much you would do it even if you knew you might fail? Go do those things!