Don’t Push the River

*Don’t push that river, let the river move you along…

How many times have you initiated something and then gotten impatient waiting for it to unfold?

As spirits having human experiences we exist simultaneously as infinite beings and a part of us also operates in the dense polarity of cause and effect. Third dimension inherently contains a time delay, which can feel incredibly frustrating to the expansive part of us living in the consciousness of oneness.

You might feel tempted to push and shove in order to force an opening. Create change. Magnify momentum. Get things rolling.

Instead of moving things along faster pushing tends to have the opposite effect. Everything lurches to a halt because the universe reads your impatience and pushing as ‘what you want to experience more of.’

So it gives you something to push against.

Pushing stems from lack of faith and trust. Faith that the universe hears your intention. Trust that it’s working on your behalf to rearrange the adamantine particles of the farthest reaches of the universe to bring your desire into manifest form.

Thus, the time delay.

I can personally attest to the fact that pushing feels like you’re rolling a boulder up Mt. Everest. It’s exhausting. And, it doesn’t work because you never reach the summit because you can’t see where you’re going with that big boulder in front of you.

Alternatively, clarity about your desired outcome is of paramount importance, followed by knowing your why. It’s great to know what you want to do, be, have, experience, express and contribute. But without knowing why your desire will lack the fuel to maintain momentum throughout the creation of your desire.

Your why reaches beyond logic into the field of emotions, which create a magnetic field of attraction between you and your heart’s desire. The universe operates on magnetism, and it’s responding in every moment – not to your what, but to your why.

After you get clear on your what and your why, focus your energy on acting ‘as if’ your desire has already manifested. I know it seems silly. Your mind probably even has a few things to say about this, such as “This is B.S. It doesn’t work. I know. I tried it before. I know my life isn’t such and such.

I’m not saying to pretend that something has happened that hasn’t. I am saying to try the experience on. Feel into in the vibration of your intention and live as though it’s already in your experience.

And then let go.

This is like sending your dream an invitation. Once you put an invitation in the mail you don’t sit and fret about whether or not it will reach its intended destination do you? Same goes for your desires and heartfelt wishes. Send them out and let them go, knowing an answer is forthcoming.

Make room in your life and allow the universe to deliver. Trust that the universe is acting on your behalf.

Be grateful for the time delay, as it allows you to make minor course corrections along the way. Move through any challenges that come up, as they merely point to outdated beliefs that are ready to be updated, wounds that are ready to be healed. Rest in the embrace of the beloved, and know that all is well.

*Light as a feather when you’re homeward bound…
*lyrics from Elephant Revival’s Home in Your Heart

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” – Rabindranath Tagore

Navigating the ‘Between’

You know the excitement that you feel at the beginning of embarking on something new? Whether it’s the anticipation of taking a trip to a country you’ve never visited before, welcoming a new family member, planning and preparing for your upcoming wedding or other life transition ceremony, starting a new and much sought after career path, or any other bright and shiny new ‘something’ that you’re looking forward to, there’s always a sense of adventure and excitement.

But what about the ‘between?’

You know, that space where you’ve made the decision but nothing has happened yet, and you feel like you’re dead in the water?
  • The decision has been made to go to college…and then you wait for your first day of classes.
  • Or, you’ve finished your classes…and now you’re waiting for the graduation ceremony.
  • You’ve sent out the resumes and have landed your dream job. You’ve given your two week notice…and now you’re between the old job and the new.
  • You’ve said “Yes” to the love of your life. The venue, caterer, and florist are booked, dress chosen…and now you’re between being single and married.
  • You’ve decided to stop putting off your dream safari vacation on the plains of Africa. Flights, hotels and guides have been booked, adventures scheduled…and then you wait…for what feels like forever. Until…the day finally arrives when your flight takes off for new and exotic lands.
Forever changing your identity from the person who…
  • is now a college student
  • had a crappy job and landed the job of your dreams
  • was single and will soon be married
  • never went to Africa, to “Why yes, I went on safari and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Change creates movement in your life. It doesn’t matter whether you rearrange the furniture or move to a new state. When you initiate change the entire universe reconfigures to accommodate your intention.

As I’ve initiated a new path in my own life in the last 6 months I’m keenly aware these days of that ‘between’ space. It’s uncomfortable. I feel stuck. Like I can see the new path. Just there. But it’s ‘there’ and I’m ‘here.’ I remind myself frequently that feeling stuck is just a perception, because in reality I’m tuned in to the fact that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that hasn’t yet materialized in the outer planes of my life.

Any time we initiate change the universe uses our vision as the foundation. And when we keep our attention on our intention the universe complies by lining up everything we need to make the transition as smooth, graceful and enjoyable as possible.

Serendipitous meetings occur where we’re introduced to just the right person who helps us find the most *amazing* place to live, who also connects us with our next perfect-for-us job. And the job connects us with people who feel like family, who help us navigate our way around and find the best coffee shops, yoga classes and art workshops in town. We’ve found our tribe! You get the idea.

The ‘between’ is like the chrysalis that will one day emerge as a beautiful butterfly. There is a period of dormancy, where nothing appears to be happening. However, we know that the butterfly is transforming on all levels from a fat-inching-along-the-branches caterpillar to a jewel-toned winged creature of immense beauty.

The ‘between’ gifts us opportunities to grow into the version of ourselves we are in the process of becoming. It also affords us space and time to tie up loose ends. Finish projects. Perfect our vision. Change details, if needed. Wrap current circumstances up and put bows on them. Close the chapter, finish the book and begin a new one.

Fresh pages, never before written upon await you. Until then, give gratitude for the present that is so beautifully unfolding into your future. Enjoy the stillness of letting things unfold in grace and perfect timing. And rest in the spacious peace of knowing that all is well.

To your freedom,
Jennifer

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou

Dare to Love Yourself

Loving your self is the foundation for all the love we experience in the world. From the wonderful life experiences we allow ourselves to enjoy, to the careers we align with – which allow us to express our beautiful gifts in the world – to the mates we select who honor and adore us, to the income we allow ourselves to receive.

Those who struggle with (consciously or unconsciously) feeling unworthy, not good enough, not fill in the blank enough, not deserving, or any other belief that sabotages their ability to love themselves fully are blocked in their ability to receive and experience the good things in life.

Because your soul wants you to be happy, healthy & thrive, LIFE loves you enough to offer experiences that show you what is in the way of your joy & fulfillment.

Signs that you have a few subconscious beliefs running the show:

– work at a job that is unfulfilling but you don’t take steps toward more fulfilling work
– feel stuck, frustrated & ready to thrive but don’t know WHAT needs to shift or HOW to do it
– are in an unhappy, unfulfilling relationship (or want to be in a relationship, but can’t seem to find a compatible partner)
– have difficult / strained relationships with others
– struggle with chronic health challenges, illness, dis-ease
– experience difficulty losing weight
– procrastinate
– struggle with blocked / limited abundance, never have enough money
– feel unworthy, not good enough, not enough
– believe that you don’t deserve to have what you want (or that you can’t have what you want)
– are afraid of letting others down / disappointing them so you don’t create the changes you desire
– want to make changes, but think “what’s the point?” Nothing ever changes, no matter how hard I try”
– secretly think there is something ‘wrong’ with you

“Dare to love yourself as if you were a rainbow with gold at both ends.” – Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry

Letting Other People Down

I recently identified that I have been putting off making a major change in one area of my life, which will, of course, affect every area of my life. It’s a change I WANT to make, yet it seems to have been relegated to the back burner.

After some compassionate self-inquiry I discovered a deeply buried subconscious fear of disappointing others, which translated into a fear of losing their approval, therefore feeling excluded, and losing others’ acceptance and love.

Who knew such a monster was lurking in my subconscious? I wonder how many decisions it has derailed over the years?

I *love* how the universe shows us different flavors of the issues we consciously choose to transform so that we can see them from many perspectives. This ‘fear of disappointing others / losing love’ began showing up in conversations with family members, friends and clients. Each had a different version, but the theme was the same.

For example, one of my family members recently shared with me a difficult experience she was having. It was clear to me that she was putting others’ needs (and therefore their approval, which she perceived as love and acceptance) above her own needs and desires. I shared my perspective, and told her that nobody else was going to put her needs first. She had to do that for herself. Sure, ‘everyone’ would kick and scream and try to make her feel guilty, but she HAD to take a stand, assert her needs, and if that didn’t work for them too bad.

How many times have you put off making a decision – big or small – because you were afraid of letting others down, of disappointing them? Because you were worried that your decision would be met with resistance, disapproval and possibly loss of love?

We have all experienced judgment from others that feels like rejection, loss of approval, and love from those around us (in our minds, if not in reality). So, one of the reasons we delay making changes in our lives is because we’re afraid of others’ reactions. Of their advice-giving. Of their disapproval. Of their judgment.

Over the years I’ve discovered that this is a subconscious block that many people struggle with because they so badly want to be liked, accepted, approved of, and loved that they unknowingly sabotage themselves in order to receive it, even though the approval they receive from others is conditional. It’s based solely on someone else’s approval of your choices, thoughts, habits, beliefs, worldviews and performance.

However, love is unconditional. It has no bounds, no conditions, and no rules. It simply is.

But we’ve learned to associate approval with love. After all, children who grew up feeling safe, cared for, appreciated and approved of felt loved. Children who grew up feeling unsafe, neglected, abused, and disapproved of didn’t feel loved.

This week I’d like to offer some questions that will help you begin making your needs, desires and wishes a priority.

Identify one or two things you would love to change in your life, but you don’t because you’re afraid of making other people uncomfortable – rocking the boat – and therefore experiencing disapproval, rejection, shame, or loss.

Examples: taking an art class, starting a business, going back to school, leaving an unhappy marriage, moving to a different state, moving to a different country, switching careers, cutting your hair, updating your wardrobe to reflect your authentic self instead of your social self, saying “No” instead of “Yes,” quit attending obligatory family functions, asserting your needs, desires, ideas and beliefs without needing others to feel OK about it, firing a client who isn’t committed, shows up late, gives excusitis, letting go of a friendship that no longer serves, and anything else that shows up on your radar and in your life….

  • Explore your anticipation of disapproval and judgment from the “everybody” in your mind.
  • Whose voice(s) of disapproval do you hear? What do they say? Whose face(s) do you see? What do their expressions communicate to you?
  • What is the worst thing that might happen if you implemented the change(s) anyway?
  • How likely is the worst possible outcome?
  • What is the most probable outcome? (Reality check)
  • Finally, are you willing to be uncomfortable with others’ responses in order to heed the guidance of your heart and soul, and ultimately experience joy and fulfillment?

As I wrap up this article to send it off I am reminded of three sayings I have heard over the years, which seem relevant. I don’t remember the sources, but they go something like this:

  1. You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please everyone all the time. And if you DO try to please everyone else, you’re not pleasing yourself. So, stop trying to please everyone else and just focus your time, energy & resources on honoring your own heart and soul.
  2. What is best for you is ultimately best for everyone.
  3. What other people think of you is none of your business. Their judgments of you are based on their life experiences, which have shaped and formed their expectations and values, which created the filters (also called lenses) of perception through which they see the world.

Remember, you have a unique, amazing, magnificent purpose to fulfill. Call it a soul contract. Anything less than living your purpose is selling yourself short, and NOTHING less will satisfy your soul.

To your freedom,
Jennifer


“When you say ‘Yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying “No’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho

“Putting yourself first is not selfish. Quite the opposite. You must put your happiness and health first before you can be of help to anyone else.” – Simon Sinek

Is Your Cup Empty or Overflowing?

Many years ago I attended a webinar with Steve and Barbara Rother of Lightworker. During the webinar Barbara shared a personal story that I occasionally reflect upon, and often share with clients who find themselves experiencing overwhelm.

I’d like to share it with you today because one theme I am consistently aware of these days is that folks feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

The story: Barbara shared that she used to take care of everyone else’s needs first. At the end of the day she was depleted, empty, at zero on the gas tank, with nothing left for herself. Over time she began feeling resentful, but powerless to change because her habit of taking care of everyone else was so deeply ingrained in her that she didn’t even know it was there (sneaky things, those subconscious blocks and beliefs).

A friend of hers recommended she begin putting herself first. Aghast, she resisted. “What? I can’t do that. I’ll let everyone down. Nobody will approve.” She balked. The roof would cave in. The house would be a mess! Everyone would run amok. Nothing would get done. Life, as she knew it, would get very messy.

So she carried on. Business as usual. Finally, she was so empty and depleted that she had nothing left to give. Not to anyone.

Desperate, she tried her friend’s suggestion, giving ample forewarning to those around her. From here on out, her needs and desires came first. Everyone and everything else came second.

At first, her husband and sons challenged her. The committees railed. Her friends waa-hhhed and wailed. Although she felt guilty, she stood her ground.

What she discovered astounded her: When she gave to others first she was depleted. When she put herself first her energy was full and overflowing, and had plenty left over to give to others.

It didn’t take long for her husband and two sons to notice that when she put others first she was cranky. Begrudging. Exhausted. But, when she put herself first she was different – happy, fun to be around, vibrant – and soon they began encouraging her to put her Self first.

Moral of the story: When a cup is empty there is nothing for anyone to drink. When a cup is overflowing there is plenty for everyone to drink.

If you find yourself putting everyone and everything before your own needs and desires, are experiencing overwhelm, fatigue, frustration, resentment and STRESS I would be honored to help you identify and dismantle the conscious and subconscious blocks, behaviors and beliefs that keep you in the energy of obligation and resentment. Together, we can shift your experience from overwhelm and exhaustion to vibrant dynamic energy, and genuine contribution of your unique gifts and talents in the world.

To your freedom,
Jennifer

“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. – Margo Anand

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection.” – Buddha

Inspired to Grow

Those of you who know me know that I am committed to my personal and spiritual growth. Toward that end, I continually invest in myself – workshops, classes, meditation, and self-care that nurtures, nourishes and supports me on levels.

So it’s probably no surprise to you that I am investing my time, energy and resources in a couple of new programs right now. They have different approaches, but both programs’ content challenge me to continue growing, expanding, evolving and become more of my most authentic Self in the areas I most want to at this point in my personal life, career, health, etc.

This week I want to share some of the questions I’m asking myself. Why? Because some of the questions stirred up some of my old “stuff” that I thought I had completed. And what a tremendous gift that I’ve chipped away so many layers of that “stuff” that there’s really not much left. I’m sifting through the dredges at the bottom.

And, because I love, value and appreciate you as souls having human experiences what better gift can I give you than to pass on the things I am learning, the things that are inspiring me to grow, so that you can benefit as well?

It’s what I do in my private coaching and healing sessions anyway. Help you grow, that is.

Ok, here goes. The challenge with these questions isn’t to think about the answer, it’s to know the answer. First one that pops into your mind. And, there may be several answers to each question.
Be kind to yourself, patient with yourself, and most of all compassionate. You didn’t get stuck overnight, and you won’t get unstuck overnight, either. But, I promise that if you invest in yourself – maybe 15-30 minutes with these questions – they’ll start unraveling some of the patterns that are keeping you stuck.

  • Where are you challenging yourself to grow right now?
  • Where are you procrastinating?
  • Where in your life do you feel stuck?
  • What are you tolerating?
  • How do you neglect yourself?
  • What do you avoid knowing, that if you gave yourself permission to know, would shift your life?
  • What is your secret superpower?
  • What attributes do you feel you have to hide in order to receive love and approval from others?
  • What do you secretly believe about yourself?
  • Where / how do you abuse yourself?
  • Where / how do you limit yourself?

If you asked your Soul for feedback about how you’re doing so far, what do you imagine the conversation might look / feel like? Would your soul beat you up like you do? Or would your soul tell you that you’re doing a great job? I bet the latter.

And finally, what actions are you choosing that will help you stop repeating the same patterns over and over, help you break free, get unstuck, and align your energy with things that make your heart and soul sing?

You deserve to be happy, healthy, wealthy and free. You deserve to share your beautiful gifts in the world (get paid for being YOU). You were not born to exist and struggle. You are a magnificent soul having a human experience, and I am here to challenge you to start treating yourself like the beautiful, amazing person that you are.

To your freedom,
Jennifer

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.  If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” –  Nora Roberts

From Finish to Start

When you’re thinking about starting a new project and looking at what lies ahead, do you feel excited? Ready to tackle the world? Jumping for joy? Or do you think to yourself, “Sure I’m smart and highly competent, and (whatever the thing is) is what I want. But. How in the world am I ever going to finish that?”

As soon as the “but” is uttered your confidence goes out the window. You see what lies ahead and it seems overwhelming. Daunting. Impossible. Your inspiration fizzles and you’re left feeling like a deflated balloon looking at yet another failed project. Before it’s even begun.

That’s why you should never, never, never begin at the beginning. You always start at the end. OK, even I admit I feel a bit like Yoda sharing that tidbit of wisdom.

Sound like an oxymoron?

Excellent life coaches understand that when you’re staring at the project from the beginning of it, looking down the horizon with a steely stare and more than enough grizzled determination to get you through, chances are high that you’ll get spooked like a horse looking at the devil with your first step forward. You’ll kick and scream and tell yourself, “No way can I do that!” Excellent coaches will tell you that you must start at the end and work your way backward to the beginning.

First ask yourself: What RESULTS do you want to achieve?

It’s OK if you don’t have a clear picture of the entire end result. But you likely have a few ideas and feelings about how things will be *then.* And that’s precisely where you start.

I’ll give you an example. Back in 1998 I signed up for a year-long massage therapy program. I wasn’t excited about my first day of class, or about learning anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. I wasn’t looking forward to chemistry or learning the nervous system.

I was excited because I went to an open house night, heard the owner of the school speak about what she did that made a tremendous difference in the lives of others and how much she loved her career. I signed up on the spot without a clue as to how I was going to manage school or pay for it, because I wanted to transform people’s lives through the healing power of touch. And I wanted to feel amazing about what I was contributing in the world. And the universe responded to my excitement by lining everything up so that I could attend school and enjoy the entire process beyond my wildest imaginations. The universe even supported me by gifting me one of the best jobs I’ve ever had…a month prior to graduation.

When I signed up for a year-long certification program to become a professional life coach I wasn’t excited because it was one of the three International Coaching Federation approved coaching programs in the world, or because of the intensity of the coursework involved, despite the fact that I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to learning, or because I’d be certified in Energy Leadership. I got excited because I couldn’t wait to become savvy, successful, grounded, insightful, and equipped with an array of tools to help people become happier, more successful and find deep purpose and fulfillment.

Let’s look at it another way, shall we? Someone who aspires to climb Mt. Everest doesn’t start out thinking about arriving to Base Camp to acclimate to the altitude for several weeks.They start with their dream of the summit. Then they think about the journey itself. They think about training for the summit (a year in advance), travel arrangements, reserving a guide, supplies. What’s needed. What the experience might be like. Who they might meet. How cold it might be. They think about oxygen. About their pack. The point I’m making is that they START with the summit in mind, and then they plan the entire trip around that single goal.

And what keeps the climber moving toward the summit when her fingers and toes are freezing, her lungs are fighting for oxygen with each crisp lung-deflating hard-earned breath, when she begins to lose faith in herself, when her courage wanes, the weather doesn’t cooperate, and she begins to obsessively think that maybe she won’t make it? That’s right. She keeps the summit at the forefront of her mind. Of what she’ll feel like when she makes it. About her change in identity from someone who attempted Mt. Everest, to one of the few females who successfully summited it… and lived to tell the tale.

The goal (destination) is the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the lighthouse beacon that keeps ships from crashing into the rocky shores.

It’s the same with you. You start with the end result in mind, and you work your way backward through the steps until you get to the first step. That way you’ll know what the beginning looks like, and what the end result will be. The middle will take care of itself if you will only put your feet on the path, and trust that you will succeed if you just keep moving forward.

To be clear, I’m not saying that your goals have to be as magnanimous as summiting Mt. Everest. Your goals should be ones that really matter to you. Like earning (or finishing) your degree. Like learning to watercolor or play the piano. Like quitting the job that sucks the soul-life out of you to pursue a career that makes your heart and soul sing. Like leaving the co-dependent relationship. Like trusting in yourself. Like sharing yourself authentically with others. Like going sky-diving, or taking that trip to Rome, or Paris, or Belize, or Santiago. Like selling everything and starting over. Like listening to your heart instead of your head.

Sure it will take commitment, dedication, perseverance, trust in yourself, trust in the process, and trust in life supporting you along the way. But doesn’t anything worthwhile ask those things of you?

The alternative: do nothing, simply because you looked at the thing from the beginning, got scared, and allowed fear to freeze you in your tracks and keep you stuck and unhappy.

If you’re ready to stop living in fear, overwhelm, and tolerating I would LOVE to help you stop struggling with lack of clarity and feelings of “not good enough” despite (often significant) career success. I would love to help you stop feeling stuck and frustrated, and to begin trusting in your deep knowing that you’re here to contribute something beautiful and amazing in the world.

Maybe you aren’t sure what needs to shift or how to do it. The good news is that we’re here to help each other, and it just so happens that I specialize in helping you identify your unique gifts, get unstuck, cultivate a relationship with your feminine wisdom (intuition) and come into greater alignment with your soul’s path and purpose.

To your freedom,
Jennifer

“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe