Today marks 10 years since I became gainfully unemployed and started my coaching practice at Leading With Heart. I have invested $$ tens of thousands into online marketing strategies, multiple coaching certifications and mega miles of travel.
It took COVID in 2020 to bring me the ultimate gift of clarity. It is simple. Super simple.
Life is transformative. Change is the only constant. We see it in nature and society alike as species, families, organizations or governments adapt and evolve or destabilize and disappear.
Power and control are the ultimate illusions. The idea that we have lasting influence on anything outside of ourselves is the final fantasy.
COVID has exposed our humanity and hidden agendas. No excuses, no hall pass. It is an equal opportunity wake-up call.
I am drawn to count my blessings as society sputters to restart amid global turmoil. I am rereading sacred scripture for new insight.
I am blessed to have developed a daily meditation practice before being thrown into social distancing that most days smacked of isolation.
I have always been late to the party of life. I approached everything as a problem to be solved. It made me an asset in corporate America and a liability in love.
I am blessed with a late in life opportunity to love without measure.
Everything on earth is transitory and temporary. Legacy is an ego prop. This moment, this breath, this body is all we have to experience the magic of life around us.
I don’t want to miss one single second going forward.
Thank you COVID for Life Lesson #34.164,000.
Your head is out to get you. In the beginning, ‘educate and meditate’ was enough. As more comes to light and as our denial breaks, we are challenged to manage our minds.
Anxiety sees a problem in every solution, while creativity offers a solution to every problem. In the words of Zig Ziglar, be a good-finder today.
Find the good in others even if they aren’t as enlightened or informed as you think you are or you wish they were.
Hold those you love near and far - find the good regardless of your disagreements. Reach in, reach out, reach loving arms around each other and trust that all is as it should be in this moment. For truly, this moment is all we’ve ever had - we only imagined otherwise.
Finally, dig deep into the hidden reservoirs of creativity and resilience that is your birthright - to flex and flow with whatever comes - confident that the one who made you will sustain you. (Isaiah 46:4)
We will emerge into in a new normal on a new day. Changed, evolved individually and collectively, to discover that the answers that were once dormant within us have become puzzle pieces to a more loving, collaborate collective.
Stay safe out there and in your own mind/body experience.
Educate and meditate is easier said than done when we can’t hug one another and our only “socialization” is overexposure to media. There is something fundamentally wrong with this picture. And while I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theorists, this certainly sets the stage for abuse of power and overstepping authority.
Pre-grieving the what-ifs only increases stress and reduces the ability of our immune systems to fight off the disease. What is the solution? #loveisstilltheanswer.
FaceTime, call, visit if you can, send an old school snail-mail letter if you can’t, love your life while you have it. In Tim McGraw’s lyrics: live like you were dying and grace will fill your days
I know I’m a voice crying in the wilderness here, but Love is still the answer. My only contribution to chaos is the ability to maintain calm in the storm. And so I have a tent fort of meditation and hot chocolate here for anyone who wants to come in.
No matter how much I learned or how hard I tried, I just could not make peace with food or with my body.
I had even spent many years in 12-step recovery for disordered eating only to learn finally that food was not the problem. Nor was compulsive eating, emotional eating, or binge eating.
Deprivation dieting was the culprit. So I called it out for the addiction it was, and was excluded from speaking at 12-step events. Exit stage right.
Diet culture had been so insidiously woven into the inner workings of my mind and body that it was hard to even recognize at first, much less dislodge. I had learned so many 'touch not, taste not, want not' rules around food that I had to take a proactive approach to breaking the cycle.
I began looking for alternatives online and found several coaches who claimed a non-diet solution to my problem. What I discovered, however, were they were using intuitive eating terminology to lure last-chance dieters into a very expensive hybrid model of a hunger-and-fullness diet sometimes called mindful eating. Couched in non-diet terminology, it promised a new approach but ended up tapping into women's shame and pocketbook just like all the others had.
So i did what I always do, I went to the source and became a certified Intuitive Eating counselor through the original dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch who wrote the book. I did not do that so I could sell it to you. I did it so I could get the fast track for myself.
What I hoped would be a 3 month process turned into more like 3 years. I learned important things about the biochemical response to deprivation dieting that results in binge eating and obesity. I learned the essential steps to release myself from a lifetime of dieting and deprivation, and I am a purist about the message I carry.
I chose to co-create at EveryBODYdiet.com because I see an overzealous reaction forming in the non-diet community just as I do in diet culture. I don't have the energy for schoolyard fights. I'm here to carry a message of hope and healing to those who are weary and wounded from the battle.
It is my purpose on this earth to hold safe space for people who want to be well. I encourage you to lean into this healing community, monitor your media and being to notice and remove anything that smacks of before-and-after deprivation dieting no matter what new label they slap on it.
You can't hate your way into a body you love. But you can at least accept the skin you're in and spend your energy creating a life you love in your natural body size.
Every new person or circumstance represents uncharted waters to your psyche. Your body scans the environment for threats and your mind gets to work analyzing the data flooding in from all your senses.
Whether you’re changing doctors, partners, jobs or cities - the process is the same. I approach new relationships as an ocean of infinite possibilities. We present ourselves to each other in bulletpoints. Best foot forward. Approach with caution in all cases, both personally and professionally.
On approach, scan the surface for presence, personality and pitfalls. Does this look like a fit? How does it feel? First impressions are truly lasting impressions and seconds matter. Are the waters calm or is there a storm on the horizon? Is it worth exploring?
TEST THE WATERS
We put our toes in first to see how the water feels. It’s usually a brief encounter with clear boundaries. That could mean a screening call for employment, a text conversation through a dating app, or a free consultation with an attorney.
You show up and your body leads the way in this temperature check. Is the water too hot? Too cold? Polluted from past experiences? Cluttered with debris? Brackish with sarcasm?
This check can happen in seconds to hours but it’s definitely a one and done opportunity. You will know instinctively if this is a go or no-go situation for you. Trust your gut.
SPLASHING IN THE SHALLOWS
With feet firmly planted and ready to run at the first sign of danger, you share space and practice the art of conversation. Consider this the play date. No commitments, no expectations, no harm, no foul.
Where are you from? What brought you here? Where do you hope to be in five years? Generic get acquainted Q and A session.
The water is appealing in the sunlight. This stage is represented by the first interview, first date, or first visit with a new provider.
Both parties decide to trust the natural buoyancy of nature coupled with our swimming skills to look more closely at what’s just beneath the surface. Our protective minds know we can navigate the waters safely enough to stand up and walk out if we don’t like what we see.
BEWARE OF RIP-OFF TIDES
Fun fact: we can’t think and feel at the same time. Now that you’ve had your fun and a chance to catch your breath, your entire being gets involved in analyzing the data and creating the story you will tell yourself about why you choose to stay or go.
You examine the evidence of your senses and automatically search your memory banks for the last time you saw, heard, smelled or felt something similar. Then you feel emotions associated with those past people or actions.
This is where you can get ripped off by your own thought process. If fear rises, it will keep you small and hidden in order to keep you safe from what could possibly be unhealed grief.
If that doesn’t derail you, then your brain engages again to compare and contrast those past experiences to your real-time encounter and ultimately assign it a meaning.
Our divine nature knows the truth of creation. We are the authors and co-creators of the story that becomes our life. It is our human nature that limits us to the drama roles of hero, persecutor, or victim in an often misguided attempt to keep us safe and in control.
The ripoff to worry about isn’t the one out there. Be careful of the rip tide within that threatens to sweep you out to an unforgiving sea of regrets.
Nobody goes deep sea diving without proper instruction and equipment, unless they have a death wish. The same holds true in personal and business relations. It’s called doing due diligence before investing your one precious life into a new venture. We all
know barracudas swim deep in the shadows.
What you want is certainty. Spoiler alert: you can’t find that out there. It’s an inside job. You are either confident enough to believe you can navigate the deep or you are not. Mutual respect and success in any endeavor comes from a place of abundance, not lack. What are you bringing to the table?
The sequencing of events is critical to a successful outcome. When your heart and mind are in alignment then get naked and be free to enjoy the moment, every moment, as long as it lasts.
Life is too short for regrets.
I am an entrepreneur living in the leap from the life I was programmed to live into the life of my dreams.