The Fear of Public Speaking and What It Really Boiled Down To

Self-love and self-approval instead of self-judgment. (Follow the link to find tools to get you there!)- www.theorganicsister.comI realized recently that I don’t get scared speaking anymore. Not when I’m interviewing someone big or important, nor when I’m teaching my essential oil workshops.

I used to get out of my mind scared: butterflies, tightness, heart racing, the constant urge to pee my pants (no joke), and crazy thoughts of all kind of madness that could ensue, which usually involved images of people with pitchforks.

But without all those emotions and thoughts getting in the way I’ve found I actually have a strength and passion for teaching, presenting, and speaking. (If you had asked me that five years ago I would swallowed my tongue just thinking about it.)

I’ve spoken to some pretty amazing people in my life, people I admire or had a mild crush on – Steven Tyler (!!), Ricki Lake, Dr. Peter Gray – all with various amounts of nerves and confidence leading up to the moment. Interestingly enough, in all those situations I was never nervous IN the situation, always before when I was still in my own head about it (or after when I climbed back in there).

Part of this shift just came down to doing the work to no longer see myself as “not good enough” and holding others as “better than me”. It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to, I feel at ease because I know I’m talking to a reflection of myself, another beautiful soul, a manifestation of something wonderful. The same as me, each person.

I assume good intent now, where before I assumed judgment preluding rejection. I now assume I’m talking to a friend, because truly, beneath it all, I am.

I wrote this on Facebook the other day:

It’s a big fucking Aha moment to realize that whether people love and approve of you actually comes down to a) whether they love and approve of themselves, and b) whether YOU love and approve of YOURSELF.

If you haven’t experienced that shift in perspective, try it on for size. Start loving yourself, start approving of what you do (and/or doing what you actually approve of), start telling the BS fear-mongering stories in your mind that you are, indeed, quite good enough and quite deserving. Start paying more attention to your thoughts than what you perceive to be someone else’s.

Watch how all your relationships change, starting with the one you have with yourself.

And I think that pretty much sums it up. When I chose to love and approve of myself, my relationship with myself and what I loved and did obviously changed. But it also gave way to so much more ease and fun to be discovered in my relationships with others.

Try it on for size:

Take a pause from caring about what the drama is saying (whether it’s the drama in our minds or the drama in our lives). Start focusing more on how well you’re loving and accepting yourself in each (easy or challenging) moment. Watch how it gradually changes every relationship you have.

My tools to do this consisted of the same ones I’m always harping on ;), the ones I love and share freely:

  • Essential oils that impact emotions, triggers and stress: Namely for me, it was bergamot for self-love and wild orange to release patterns of scarcity (fear of not enough-ness).
  • Digging Deep and the tools talked about within to overcome core beliefs, resistance, and fears. (This one can actually help you find the oils that will support you too by showing you those underlying needs/triggers.)

It boils down to this: Find your triggers. Find your tools. Use them consistently. Constantly. Watch your life evolve.

Before We Get the Opportunity To Change Anything, We First Get the Opportunity to Love It

Life lessons on self-love and self-acceptance

I had a dream several years ago that I was describing to my doctor what was hurting in my body by describing the one thing that wasn’t: my toes.

Then I woke up and as I went to stretch my stiff joints and aching muscles, I felt it….my freaking toes were throbbing.

You have got to be kidding me.

Pain has been nothing new to my experiences. Developing scoliosis at age 10, undergoing surgery at age 14 and chronic, even debilitating, degeneration of my body has since been a history I had long tolerated.

But that summer, I was in almost constant pain. I was struggling to walk, losing feeling in my limbs and settling into a recognition that I was “disabled”, broken; that my current experience was my medical destiny.

It’s hard not to feel resentful or depressed over something like that.

I was awash in the emotional anguish of everything I could not do. I couldn’t hula hoop, play at the park with my son, make love to my husband. Everything caused pain. And I swam in the pain it caused.

As is often the case, my lowest point – the point at which I felt useless and broken and resentful, the point when all light was drowned by the darkness of my suffering – was my turning point.

I listened to one woman’s careful introspection, one woman speaking of her body as though it were her child, asking herself what it would look like to love her body as she unconditionally loves her daughters…

Her words resonated so strong as I thought about treating my body the same, treating it as I would treat my child, with compassion and trust. Instead of focusing on or pushing it towards what I want it to be, simply loving it for what it is…

What might that look like for me?

I could regularly point out its strengths.

And show my appreciation for its abilities.

I would view its pain with loving compassion.

And actively and insistently seek out the foods and resources it needs.

I could be gentle and not push it to do things.

Slow down to its pace.

And find things that made it feel good.

I would most definitely spoil it with love.

Smile when I see it.

And seek out things it would enjoy.

I could listen intently to it.

I could validate it and the other people it affects (like my son and husband) without making anyone wrong.

I could accept it and love it unconditionally, for what it is, not what it’s not.

I remember my head swimming: Could I really do that? Could I love myself and my body with the same unconditional compassion and acceptance as a child, giving it everything it needs without excuses or resentment?

I quickly found out that it takes the same challenging, mindful practice as parenting, too. Because just like loving my child, the only thing that gets in my way is my own fear and mistrust, my own stories, my own selfish expectations. And just like any relationship, when I consistently choose to prioritize my own self-love, I soon see that my body responds with the same.

When you have dreams that include Michael Cane (as your son) who turns into Jesus when hit by a tidal wave all to the climax of the song "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" while you sob in joy and wonder of the miracle, then a giant lightbulb space ship lands

I’ve learned that before I get the opportunity to change anything I first get the opportunity to love it. 

And that’s not an easy road. It’s been three or four years since this huge realization hit me and despite the impact it made, I still find myself in self-neglect. I’ll work too long until my shoulders throb and my head aches. I’ll choose the food that are the easiest. I’ll feel frustrated when I wake up tired. I’ll forget to get up and take a walk or use my oils, or I’ll refuse to nurture my back out of nothing but pure exasperation that it’s hurting in the first place.

The patterns of love or un-love run deep. Sometimes they are attached to deeper roots than we realize and perhaps they are just the side effect of those roots, the earth that gets pushed out of the way as those roots grew. I’m learning they can change for months before slipping back into old ways of neglect. I’m learning it’s not just a habit but a practice, a spiral that takes you around and around the same topic, seeing new sides or experiencing the same things from new perspectives, maybe a higher one and maybe not.

We chastise, and we lecture, and we try to inspire one another to love ourselves better.

It’s an old story women have been telling for decades.

But maybe we ought to just remind ourselves that sometimes it just simply is and that our only real practice is in understanding it’s okay to start again. And then, without self-judgment or guilt, simply starting again.
 
 

There is NO Excuse for Neglecting Yourself (let me show you)

selfneglect

Your idea of self-care might be as simple as showering when you’ve got little ones crawling the walls. It might be as basic as drinking enough water or remembering to eat. It might be as nurturing as a massage or some quiet time to yourself. But how it looks is inconsequential to your willingness to make it happen.

Yes, I can BS with the best of them and complain about all sorts of “reasons” why I’m rocking the self-neglect wagon. But at least I can smell my own BS. I know it’s all a lame justification for what’s really holding me back.

And of all the things I’m nice and gentle when I talk about – honey, this isn’t one of them.

So please allow me to speak the truth for a second here, especially if it means it might get you caring about yourself, finally.

Excuse #1: I don’t have enough time.

Bullshit. You have the same 24 hours in the day as everyone else. You’re just choosing to spend them on everyone else! Now, yes, there are ONLY 24 hours in which to do the myriad of things you think must be done, but this is more about “I’m bad at prioritizing my time”, or maybe “I’m not a priority to myself”, than not having enough. (I like to use this excuse too because time seems like such a good excuse, such an immovable object. But when I finally accepted that it wasn’t, my whole life expanded.)

Priority #1 is your health and well-being. This means it’s #1 on your To Do list. This means doing it before you do anything else. Yes, I’m serious. If a million dollars (or Chris Hemsworth – ahem) was on your porch waiting for your self-care regime to be done first before stepping through the door, you’d tackle that bad boy (the self-care, not Chris) at 6am. Why? Because you prioritize it! Stop waiting for an imaginary impetus to come along before you start prioritizing yourself.

The truth: You don’t have time NOT to. Everything you do when you feel like crap will take twice a long. Why do you think you get a break at work? Because any boss knows productivity goes down with self-care. So give yourself a break – every day – and you’re going to SAVE time. I promise.

Excuse #2: I don’t have enough money.

What this excuse really means is that you’re insisting your self-care look a certain way and that way must undoubtedly cost money. Massages. Babysitters. Date nights. Pedicures. Retreats. Art supplies. [Insert yours here.] Sweetheart, you’re using all those things as reasons to hurt yourself over and over.

Yes, that’s all you’re doing with that excuse…hurting yourself. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Keeping your heart and soul tied around a dollar sign to determine your value. Keeping yourself locked in Scarcity Mode. Subtly telling yourself you’re worthless.

The truth: You don’t “need” those things. You need a little creativity. And the permission to use it. The permission to acknowledge a walk around the block while the kids are still in bed is okay to give yourself. Permission to buy yourself and your partner a dark chocolate bar and a Redbox movie after the kids go to sleep. Permission to allow messes to happen while you read a good book. Permission to do yoga with YouTube videos and trust your emails to wait a damn hour (or four). Permission to reallocate funds for your own sanity. Permission to say “I’m worth it” and then make it so.

Excuse #3: I don’t have the support.

Point blank: The people in your life support you in the exact manner you’ve taught them to support you. If you don’t like how they are showing up in your life, the first change that gets to be made is in your own habits, then in your boundaries, then in the way you communicate your needs to them. After all that (and only after all that), it may be time to make some tough choices, remove toxic relationships from your life, or lay it down for everyone. But please don’t get angry at them for doing what you’ve shown, through your own habits, is preferred to do – neglect and ignore you.

Excuse #4: I feel selfish when I take care of myself.

And so you use this as a reason to insist you don’t need anything, right?

You, dear sweet beautiful woman, are lying to yourself. You are a human being, and as such you have needs. Needs for good food and blissful rest. Needs for beauty, inspiration, excitement. Needs for honor, love, respect. Needs for autonomy, fulfillment, order. Yes, some of these needs are met through caring for others. But not all, and not always in the best way.

This doesn’t make you selfish. It makes you real. Welcome to the human race. Please stop making the rest of us look bad by insisting you need nothing. 😉

The truth: You are the most selfish when you are not doing what is necessary to make sure you feel fan-freaking-tastic and therefore are at full capacity. When your needs are met you have more to offer – more energy, more compassion, more patience, more creativity, more clarity. So stop holding yourself back, please. Your world needs you – WANTS YOU – at your best. Give yourself what you need so that you can keep loving everyone so unselfishly.

P.S. If you have younger women in your life – daughters, nieces, neighbors – please remember that you are teaching them THEIR self-worth by demonstration. So, if you won’t do it for yourself, can you trick yourself into thinking you’re “doing it for them”? 😉

We could go on and on….

But you and I both know that behind every excuse for self-neglect is a Wise Little Woman wagging her finger at you, telling you to knock that shit off.

And you and I both know that if your best friend came to you with the same excuse, you’d BE that Wise Woman and tell her she’s worth more than that.

Please, please, please…for the love of all that is good in your life (and all that could be good with a little more of your time and attention), treat yourself with some respect and honor your needs. No more damn excuses. You’re worth more than that.

Photo Source

Something Only For Yourself

Spells "great weekend"

When was the last time you had something only for you?

Not something you did because you “should” do it…

Not something you love and decide to turn into a business on the side…

Not something you teach…

Maybe something you don’t even share with the world?

I’ve got entrepreneur in my blood. I’ve never had something I wasn’t sharing with the world.

So in answers to the question of whether or not I’m going to be selling or teaching art at some point in the future, first let me say…hahahahahahahahaha. As if I know what I’m doing enough to share much of anything.

And second, no.

In fact, I’m consciously working on nurturing this as something I don’t “share”, don’t teach, don’t sell. It’s something just for me. To feed my soul. To nurture me. It’s mine, and maybe I’ll show my process from time to time, but only if it feeds me and makes me excited to do so.

If you wanted to do something absolutely honest, something true, it always turned out to be a thing that had to be done alone. - Richard Yates

I’ve watched tendencies of making things I love into things that are then expected of me. I’ve ready to let that go, to release the voice in my head that says anything is expected of me, to allow myself something that is only for me.

It’s magical.

I find myself sharing and not giving two rips about whether anyone “likes” it on Instagram. In fact, I love it so much I “like” it myself! I look at my own photos of the art I’ve made whenever my own art isn’t right in front of me, and I marvel at what is beauty and expression and ohmyfreakinglord can I say “color and texture” one more time? I still am not sure why those two words speak such volumes to me, except perhaps they explain the tangible, the depth, the movement happening in my spirit.

It’s a beautiful thing when you come to love who you are and what you do to such an extent that what others think not only doesn’t cross your mind, but the idea that others might not agree makes THEM look like the weird ones. Because how can a person fathom self-love without it being obvious to the world?

Messy art space

And so my weekends and evenings have become mine again, with ephemera spread across the room (and paint getting on Justin’s handmade table – oops!), and I just wonder at the paint beneath my nails, and how I never knew the joy of doing something without an end in sight, without a goal, except the desire to thoroughly enjoy the process.

I choose to remember I am free. I am not blind, my eyes are wide open and the light is on.

I choose to remember I am free. I am not blind, my eyes are wide open and the light is on.

This past weekend was even more magical…

Justin and Zeb headed out of town for a regional Yugioh tournament, and I sunk into a quiet weekend, playing life as a single woman, eating and sleeping and waking on my own schedule, playing with my sweet pups, watching movies the guys never want to watch, cleaning, organizing and finally feeling as though I’ve moved into this house…and of course art, art, and more art.

I’ve found I make a really good single person. I enjoy the quiet and the independence. I even take better care of myself when there is no one else around. I’m not even “guilty” to admit, I didn’t miss them. I knew they were having fun, I knew I was enjoying myself, and it was all enough.

And when my boys arrived home I greeted them with hugs and gluten-free brownies and it was perfect.

Justin and I talked later that evening. We have a little tradition of getting french fries at a drive-thru and sitting in the parking lot talking. We talked about that sense of independence, being on our own (something we didn’t do since we fell in love so young), and the joy and comfort of the experience followed by the joy and comfort of coming back together.

There is such ease and flow in those small trips away from one another, trips we make for ourselves.

mid-way in the process #mixedmedia #artjournal

Hippie girl #artjournal #mixedmedia

When was the last time you gave yourself that?

When was the last time you turned it all off and tuned in to whatever the hell you wanted to do, just for you?

When was the last time you did something without an eye on how it would appear, or what you could turn it into, or whether or not you should feel guilty about it?

When was the last time you “indulged” in pure, decadent, self-nurturing…soul food for nothing but your own good.

It doesn’t have to be major. It just has to be something.

And I’ve finding, it has to be often, and it has to be protected firmly, honored fiercely, and held with the utmost respect.

Who is one person who couldn’t dream of breaking a date with? I challenge you, just for a day, be that person.

 

Free To Never Notice

Self-Love Wisdom

I shaved my head again last week.

It wasn’t in a moment of enlightenment or courage this time. It didn’t bring with it all the ecstasy and liberation. This time it was done out of frustration toward myself, almost like “pulling my hair out”. I had noticed how attached I had become to my hair, how much I cared about how it was looking, what it portrayed, and what others might think about it.

And that pissed me off.

Old patterns die hard, and even after several years of feeling free of that one, it had snuck back in. And I was not okay with that. I was angry. Mostly at myself. So out of anger, I shaved it all off again.

Like I said I didn’t feel so liberated and joyful this time around. Instead I felt horrible, ugly, and full of self-hatred. Yes, self-hatred – as I witnessed its power, I could barely believe it. (Self-hatred? Really? Yup. Full force.)

As the emotion began to settle back down, I saw myself start to ease back into that comfortable sense of Just Being Me…no gimmicks, no image, no persona again. But I also noticed that with my shift in energy came a shift in how I perceived the perceptions of others.

Last time I shaved my head, I felt so buoyant, free, and vibrant…cloud-walking and stardust-shimmering and all that self-loving goodness. And so naturally I perceived the world around me with as much Light and Love as I felt within. I had countless women approach me and ask questions, express their own desire to do the same, or compliment me. And when I noticed someone noticing, I felt beautiful and seen, and assumed they saw what I felt.

This time I just feel like me. Not artificially high on the exhilaration of it all. No longer in the anger or self-hatred. Just comfortable in my own skin. And so what I noticed was naturally different. I noticed curious looks, people pointing it out to others, and only one complete stranger expressing their desire to try it. I noticed it all without attachment to the stories (positive or negative) of what it meant. But mostly what I noticed was that there were times I felt self-conscious and times I felt beautiful and times when I didn’t even remember, didn’t notice anything outside me or within me.

I just simply Was. I could just simply Be without even thinking about it.

That’s curious to me. That true peace doesn’t necessarily look big and shiny and joyful. That real self-love doesn’t always come with trumpets and emotional highs.

That sometimes it’s the practice of noticing what ourselves and others notice, and choosing to be at peace with it, until finally you don’t notice it anymore – until finally it’s just a known fact, like the way we don’t notice the grass is green, and yet we know it is.

And I think that’s what I heard in Heather’s words above, that ALL of that is what we get to be thankful for….Life for the lessons, challenges for the practice, and our own inner wisdom for the guidance through our own witnessing of each moment of our experiences.

Why is it so hard for you to receive?

Why is it so hard for you to simply receive?

I wander around department stores about once every 7 years, as evident by the two gift cards I’ve been carrying around for nearly that long. It wasn’t for a lack of trying that they hadn’t been spent. Justin and I had looked, but we don’t tend to find much of ourselves on their shelves.

But my wallet needed cleaning out and the summer heat and humidity is sneaking up on us, and I set upon it, determined to spend these damn cards, knowing (hoping) I’d at least find a cami or a tank top.

(Shopping is always an experience in itself for me. I could probably write about it alone, but that’s not what stole my attention that day.)

I found what I had been looking for, and with a armful of stripes, totaled up my swag to find it just exactly what I needed to spend to get rid of these damn snowmen and Santa’s I’ve been carrying around for nearly a decade.

I was wrong. Four dollars left on one card.

I’m not taking this thing home. I’ll find something in here to spend it on.

I was only about halfway down the main aisle when I stopped myself.

This is stupid. I’ve walked these aisles. I found what I want. I don’t want anything more.

So I walked back to the register to pay it forward instead. There was a woman there with her teen daughter, their items being totaled. I honestly didn’t expect the conversation that followed.

“Excuse me. There’s not much on this, but I’d like to give it to you.”

“Huh? Oooooh, no, no. I couldn’t take that from you.”

“No, really. It’s not a big deal. It’s only a few bucks and I won’t use it.”

“No, I wouldn’t feel right. You’ll regret it.”

Uh. What? Although my knee-jerk response flowed out without pause, my head got a little stuck on that phrase of hers. I’ll regret being kind?

“I live an hour away. It’s taken me 7 years to spend this much, and I’m not going to be driving out here again for $4.”

“No, no, you keep it. I couldn’t possibly…”

At this point I was pretty much over the debate.

“Seriously, you’re doing me a favor.”

And I placed it on the counter and walked out. As I walked to the truck, Life spoke so loudly in my ears that I almost acquiesced to the urge to turn back and repeat them.

Why is it so hard for you to receive?

Life is constantly walking up to you, trying to give you a gift of generosity, a show of love, the tiniest token of how much you are held and supported. If you can’t receive with gratitude something as small and meaningless as a little plastic card today or a compliment tomorrow, how in the world do you expect Life to be able to pour out the ocean of goodwill into your heart that you so deeply deserve?

How is it that you can expect the young person standing next to you to learn to receive with graciousness, to reach out for support when she’s depressed or has her hands full with a new baby or God forbid, is sick and hurting? What do you tell her every time you tell yourself no, you couldn’t possibly, it wouldn’t feel right?

That you’re not worthy? That others will regret showing you kindness? Who told you this bullshit story and why in the hell do you decide to believe them still?

And then Life turned the tables and asked me, why is it so hard for you to give?

Whether it was $4 or $400, it didn’t matter. Why do you diminish it, take the focus off the act of kindness, and pretend the recipient is doing you a favor? Why do you insist that what you are giving means so little? Why do you put a monetary value on kindness, instead of honoring the act for what it truly is – something that runs so much deeper to others than some service to you.

This isn’t about you. It is about what Life wants to show someone else, and you let your own discomfort get in the way of the words that really needed to be heard; words of self-worth, and a message from the Universe that kindness comes in seemingly small, unexpected ways. This wasn’t for you to value or devalue, but simply to allow.

How many times have you felt the words play on your tongue, the uncontrollable desire to walk up to a stranger and tell her she’s beautiful or that Life is working magic for her as we speak? How many times have you talked yourself out of it for no other reason than you put your own head in the way? You made it about you – how you’ll look, what others will think of you – instead of surrendering to the flash of revelation lighting sparks against your heart.

There is nothing to be uncomfortable about. Nothing to argue or debate. Nothing to be embarrassed for. Speak the words rubbing against you, share what you are called to share, and let the Divine decide where the chips will fall. Let a greater Mystery guide a conversation you yourself won’t fully see.

Let it all go. Let yourself receive, and let yourself give, without all your damn excuses.

On Showing Up and Rocking It (The Ricki Lake Recap)

The whole story is up on the blog in about 5 minutes (link in profile). @ecowomb #rickilakegreenshow

It’s Saturday, two days after the show, and I’m still not totally with it. I’ve slept umteen hours and am still finding my footing, but I wanted to get this whole experience down before I forget it.

To answer the most frequently asked question first: The airdate is April 17th on Fox, and you can signup here or here to get a reminder or watch the video we capture of it.

The overarching vibe of the entire experience: amazeballs.

I realized long before the show that this wasn’t about being on TV, or connecting with the beautiful Ricki (whose work I admire anyway).

This was about me.

It was about making a declaration to myself of self-approval and nonjudgment. About surrendering my desire to control and perfect, and instead forgiving myself my perceived shortcomings and “not enough-ness” by allowing myself to just own Who I Am.

It felt like years of Digging Deep all culminating in front of a live studio audience.

And it was magical.

Of course I did. So did my mom. #rickilakebitches

Ahem. My driver. Armen from Armenia. He was awesome. So was his car. #rickilakebitches!!

Curled up in a bathrobe. #DiggingDeep and swimming in Balance EO. Feeling so ready for this gig. Heart and soul all in. The taping is at 12:30 Pacific but I'm accepting good vibes all morning! #rickilakebitches!!

Continental brekkie, #paleo style. And there's a Lyfe Kitchen and a Chipotle nearby. Perfection. #rickilakebitches!!

 

I knew going into this that my shit – some really old shit, too – would surface. I knew I’d have the opportunity to be nervous, scared, and self-deprecating. I knew I’d hear some old stories in my mind, way too much criticism, and a lot of negativity from my mouth.

Because I knew this as a very real possibility, I made up my mind to go into it full of intention and awareness. I spent an hour or more every day with those stories and voices. I embraced this as the opportunity it was to step into my Self. I turned off the habit of keeping myself outside of things, keeping my focus on the outer, or keeping myself busy in the superficial, and I allowed myself to turn inward completely, to own what surfaced, and to spend the time necessary to make peace with it.

And I’m damn proud of myself for it.

Sometime last week the words came to me: “I am not doing this for anyone else. I am up there for an audience of two – my Spirit and the Spirit. This is for us to celebrate my own ability to love and live. This is a milestone in the agreement we made for this life.

I know it probably makes little sense, but this whole thing was not really about sharing green living or what we do. Those were just the bonuses, the icing on the cake.

This was about me celebrating Life and embracing self-approval.

I had voices rise up, and I chose to answer each one with love and affirmation.

I had fear surface, and I chose to respond with a reminder of my Truth.

I had doubts pop in, and I surrendered each thought that didn’t come from Spirit.

Surrender.

Surrender surrender surrender.

If it hadn’t been the work I’ve been doing with that Guiding Word this year I may not have gotten up there and rocked it so thoroughly and completely.

Surrender didn’t mean giving up, or saying no, or taking the easy way out. I wasn’t surrendering my desire to feel confident and calm and excited on the show. I wasn’t surrendering this wonderful opportunity.

I was surrendering every negative thought or expectation.

I surrendered every idea that I was going to sound like an idiot, every worry that I’d mess something up, every thought that I had to be some conventional idea of perfect (as well as every after-thought that because I can’t possibly be perfect I might as well not even try). I surrendered every idea that I knew what needed to happen, I surrendered every expectation to perform or force it to come together, and I surrendered every temptation to be something or someone I wasn’t.

I showed up fully. Fully in my body, fully in my heart, fully in my spirit. I did so without apology for what I need and without trying to fit a box. I owned Who I Am and what I do without backpedaling or making excuse. I felt confident and comfortable just Being.

And it felt amazing. Which meant I was free to experience some amazing things.

It meant jumping on the bed in excitement.

Again, of course I did.  #rickilakebitches!!

It meant wearing clothes that felt good on me and doing my own makeup, so I could get up there in my own skin.

The hair and makeup crew.  #rickilakebitches!!

Me and the mama. Represent.  #rickilakebitches!!

It meant laughing and being silly with friends backstage.

Chillaxin with the EcoWomb crew! @ecowomb #rickilakebitches !!

It meant dancing behind the stage to get myself ready and doing a little strut-dance as I walked out to greet the audience.

It meant smiling big, and cracking stupid jokes, and not really remembering 90% of what I wanted to emphasize, and still rocking my socks off.

It meant hearing my name from across the restaurant later that evening and looking up to see it was Ricki waving to me, and getting another opportunity to hug her tight and thank her for everything she’s done (and is doing) in this world.

End of the day, me and my mama decided to go have tea while we waited for our car back to the airport, and we hear someone call to me from across the restaurant. The beautiful earthy mama @rickilake was there just when i was lamenting not getting her phot

It meant CELEBRATING and JOYFULNESS and FUN.

It meant being damn proud of myself.

Me and Angela after the show

I had nerves and I surrendered them. I had fears and I released them.

I had self-judgments and I freed myself from them.

I walked-strutted-danced onto that stage in total confidence and self-approval, without any fear or butterflies. I instantly forgave myself for my mistakes and imperfections and I just loved all over myself for having the courage to say Yes to this opportunity and the openness to work through all that Life gave me the opportunity to DIG IN to.

I didn’t share much about green living, really. It was all over too fast.

But I shared the whole of my heart. I allowed my light to shine, and I shared myself.

And that’s what makes this thing a wild success in my book.

That’s why I know I rocked it.

Organic Wisdom :: What’s Pouring Out?

I like to share some of the quotes I post on Twitter and Facebook, with some of my expanded thoughts and feelings on it here.

“Organic Wisdom” is what I have found speaking to me in those quiet moments, that guides me and that echoes Truth in my life. Please feel free to download, or share this image in any way you’d like.

What you pour into a relationship, pours out.

If you pour in empathy, love, compassion, patience, support, generosity, kindness, strength, self-respect…you will slowly begin to see those things pouring back out from those you love.

What you pour into a child, pours out.

If you pour in autonomy, respect, honor, presence and engagement, passion, kindness, generosity, honesty, stability…you will witness the growth of a child who pours that back into their world and your relationship.

What you pour into your work, pours out.

If you pour in passion, authenticity, boundaries, honesty, a desire to make a difference and thrive, trust, trust, and more trust…you will experience work that fulfills you and allows you to thrive in those things and abundantly.

What you pour into your own heart, mind and body, pours out.

If you pour in kind words, gentleness, self-respect, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, fun, generosity, nourishment and nurturing…you’ll feel alive, vibrant, joyful, beautiful, worthy and at peace with Who You Are.

But here’s the catch.

If you do this just to get what you want out of your body/self or others, the whole thing crumbles.

Give because of Who You Are and who you want to be. Not to manipulate, but to love better.

6 Signs of a Truly Happy Woman

Years ago I use to look at so many women and think they were so happy.

I’d wonder what their secret was to having that much joy.

Mama break in the jacuzzi. Love my tribe.  <3
Jacuzzi break with my spirit sistahs. Some deeply happy women, these ones.

As I grew to find and experience my own joy, I took another look at those women I had admired and was surprised at what I saw. From a different vantage point, there was a hollowness in their life and an emptiness in their words. I suddenly saw the harshness of their jokes or comments (about themselves or other women) and the lack of peace that I found comes with real joy.

Then as I began coaching, I spent a lot of time helping women DIG IN beneath the surface to find that ability to thrive.

And as I watched them rock things out in their lives I found a few things to repeat themselves, patterns of happiness and consciousness and confidence and the ability to truly thrive.

If you were to ask me what real happiness, serious joy, true thiving looks like, this is what I’ve seen.

6 Signs of a Seriously Thriving, Happy Woman

  1. She has space in her life for her own sadness, anger, frustration, sorrow: Women who seem “up” all the time are the ones I’ve come to worry about the most. Some of those women are battling with a belief that no one wants to hear from them unless they’re happy, and so they put on a mask in an attempt to gain approval. Others need to stay “up” all the time to prevent their world from crumbling. But truly happy women embrace their experiences of sadness, anger, frustration, sorrow or pain with authenticity and gentleness. They don’t hide how they feel, although they don’t project it onto others either. She doesn’t blame her emotions on others, or expect others to fix it for her. She simply sits with what stirs within her, examining it when necessary, trusting the ebb and flow of it without worry that it will overtake her. She knows that to experience deep joy she must learn from deep pain without drowning herself in it, without attaching to either, but simply trusting the process of life.
  2. She celebrates the beauty of others: You won’t find a truly joyful women with a critical eye towards others. No snarky remarks about other women; no judgment. Honesty about her experience of others, yes; but only in how she is experiencing it and what it is meaning to her. Criticism and negativity toward others is a poison that kills joy in mere moments. A truly joyful woman shares concern and compassion and naturally notices and celebrates the beauty, not the mistakes (or what she perceives as mistakes).
  3. She automatically assumes the best in others: A really happy woman doesn’t spend time taking shit personally. She knows it’s not always about her; in fact, it’s rarely about her. When someone says something or does something, she doesn’t take offense. She takes a stance of curiosity, assuming good intent and quieting any negative thoughts her mind sputters out. She asks genuine questions and continues to offer compassion and a desire for connection. She doesn’t spend a lot of time stewing over the incident, but simply addresses what she senses needs her attention and releasing all else.
  4. She only sees comparisons in terms of inspiration: No jealousy. No sense of competition. No criticism. And no self-judgment either. This goes back to #2, seeing and celebrating the beauty in others. But when that beauty stands out, she also tends to use it to inspire herself to her own greatness. She turns it into a reason to celebrate what she CAN do, instead of feeling guilty or less-than over what she’s yet to do.
  5. She dwells on what is and sees the beauty of the moment: Shit happens and she knows it. She doesn’t go into denial (see #1), but she does amplify the good wherever she can see it. She knows her energy is fullest when she is ready to turn her intention and attention to gratitude.
  6. She speaks her mind and with honor towards others: She doesn’t hold back her convictions or her heart and soul. She speaks what’s on her heart, and listens to the deeper experiences of others; she’s willing to have her mind changed, but only if it’s Truth that is resonating with her. And she doesn’t take it personally when someone disagrees, or even gets upset. She just keeps shining in her Truth with kindness and compassion, unapologetically. She doesn’t argue because she has nothing to prove and she knows when to walk away and when to stand her ground.

The more conscious I became of these patterns, and my own painful patterns, the more I began to practice them.

Because that’s the other thing I’ve found: These signs were not symptoms of already being happy.

They were practices to choose and create happiness.

Ask Yourself: Which of these resonate with me?

 

Organic Wisdom :: How do others love and honor you?

Every Friday or so I intend to share some of the quotes I post on Twitter and Facebook, with some of my expanded thoughts and feelings on it here.

“Organic Wisdom” is what I have found speaking to me in those quiet moments, that guides me and echoes Truth in my life. Please feel free to download, or share this image in any way you’d like.

Oh man, this was a difficult one for me to embrace.

But the words kept coming back to me, looking me square in the face and gently nudging me to take accountability for the relationships I helped to create.

“Others will love and honor you how you love and honor yourself.”

It was asking me for the raw truth, to look at how I’ve shown others my own value…not in my demands or retorts or reactions, but in my deeper responses.

This was my request from Life to DIG IN to the ways in which I had not – still have yet – to learn to love, honor, forgive and accept myself.

:: Each time I was hurt by another, I was shown how I hurt myself.
:: Every time I thought I was being neglected, I saw how I ignored my own heart, body, spirit.
:: Each unkind word began to resemble my own unkindness in my thoughts.
:: Every time I thought I was being taken advantage of, I saw how little I did to honor my own needs.

(The same would be true of showing me how well I love them, which also came back around to love me. Because the only time I struggle to love others is when I’m first struggling to love myself.)

The truth is when we love and honor ourselves one of two things will happen:

  1. Like a mirror others will reflect the same love and honor. They’ll see the strength and beauty of our spirits and never assume we are worthy of anything less.
  2. Or, others will do the best they can with the tools they have. But we’ll feel so full of love and acceptance for ourselves that their attempts will have no impact on our ability to remain centered, in peace and compassionate toward them or us.

You want to know how well you love yourself? Look into the eyes of the mirrors in your life.