Happy New Year

Art “Weaving Dreams” – Eva Ruiz, IG: @Evita1872

Happy New Year 🎆 Welcome 2019! ✨

I had a really nice and peaceful New Years Eve. I started the day with a morning mediation class with Intention on growth, abundance and hope for the new year. I recently returned to practicing yoga after breaking my foot and I did my first challenging practicing yesterday afternoon. While I still felt some resistance and tightness as I moved and my foot was sore last night, I felt good to move my body and sweat. It reminded me why I love yoga. I watched the movie “Birdbox” on Netflix early last night. It was good but I am not sure it is worth all of the fuss I’ve been hearing about it. I managed to stay up and at 11:50 I sat on my mediation cushion and meditated until 12:05 using the “Aad Gurey Nameh” mantra as my focus. I chose this mantra for my New Years Eve mediation because it opens the Heart Chakra and it offers protection and project of the Heart Chakra energies. It’s healing. It was a lovely way to end 2018 and welcome 2019.

Aad Gurey Nameh

2018 brought many changes into my life – Good healthy changes. I took a leap and tried out a new job in a temporary position. It has been a great experience. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I needed to take this leap. I needed to push myself, test myself and prove to myself that I could operate on this level. I am different now. I guess I will find some way to acceptance and probably keep looking for another opportunity to eventually leave again. I don’t hate it there. The people are all very nice but the work is just not fulfilling to me and that is what causes me the most stress. I know what career fulfillment tastes like now. I don’t want to go back to feeling uninspired.

Perhaps the biggest change happened to me spiritually and emotionally. Graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach gave me the tools to make better holistic choices for myself. Taking those classes taught me how to take care of myself in all aspects of my life. It also taught me how to have patience with myself and acceptance that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am not working full time as a Health Coach but I have a LLC and continue offer pro bono counseling sessions to folks I know. It was totally worth the money I spent on tuition and the year of hard work. I am very thankful I was able to do it for myself. I hope to work full time as a Holistic Wellness Coach after I retire.

Apache prayer

2018 was a year of deep healing. Deep painful memories and experiences from my past came to the surface to be healed. In a sense it brought darkness to light so it could be transmuted. I’ve learned to forgive myself for not being strong enough in the past to allow myself to heal. I learned it’s ok to talk about what happened to me. I learned it wasn’t my fault. I’ve learned to live with sadness and pain that comes in waves of PTSD flashbacks when I think about everything I lost and gave up because I couldn’t let anyone in. I’ve learned I am worthy of love and I’ve learned men who truly care about me will respect me and my body. Blue Love had the opportunity to be just like other men in my life but he chose to not take advantage of me. I am thankful to him for that and I respect his integrity for making that choice. He taught me to trust. I do trust him with my well-being and trust his judgment. I am grateful he’s been part of my healing and my life.

2018 was the year of growth and healing for me. It was the year I found peace within. It was the year my spiritual practices deepen. It was the year I let go of what I thought I wanted. It was the year I followed the signs wherever they went and trusted my own intuition to guide me to the right choices. 2018 was the year I learned the people who are meant to be in my life, will always be in my life. It was year I truly learned to love myself and others unconditionally. I know I will look back on 2018 and remember it was the year I found my authentic voice and finally found peace within.

I am not sure what 2019 will bring. I am eager and excited. My main focus in 2019 will be on living my most authentic life. Loving myself enough to make good choices for my life and my body. Supporting those I love but not at the expense of my own happiness. In 2019 I will help heal others. I hope to set a good example. I will work for change. I will help good to triumph over evil. I will lean into 2019 with an open heart and mind. I will keep my vibration high. I will offer the Universe the vibration of love and continue to pray for Loving Kindness.

I claim love as my vibration for 2019. I wish you all a beautiful New Years.

Manifestation

Remember to put a little love in the world with the Loving Kindness Prayer

Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

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Love Over Fear

For those who follow planetary activity, Mercury Retrograde ends on December 6th. Mercury Retrograde is usually time of miscommunications, technology snafus, missed connections and sticky contract issues. Many feel you shouldn’t sign contracts or make major purchases during the Retrograde. This can also be a time that the past comes back for reflections when we are presented a choice to go back or go move forward.

I look at the past differently now that I look at it through a lens of self care and self love. When I reflect on the past these days, I can see when not taking care of myself and not loving myself enough led me to make poor choices or perhaps put me in a position to accept less than I wanted or deserved.

Relationships with men have always been a complicated and sticky area of my life. Mostly because every relationship I’ve been in has been clouded by unresolved pain, grief and loss from the death of my father at the age of seven. I never really allowed myself to grieve properly for that loss for many years. My relationships were also clouded by a lack of trust that stayed with me after sex assaults by a family member when I was older which led to a fear of intimacy from constant heartbreaks and disappointments.

For a long time, I blamed the men who were in my life. I was the victim and our unsuccessful relationships were their fault and responsibility. In fairness, it is true that a few of them hurt me so deeply that they deserved the blame but as I’ve healed from my past traumas I can see there were a couple of good ones. As I stand here now, I can see I pushed away the good ones because I was too damaged, at that time, to be able to accept their love and attention. I never felt worthy. That’s a powerful awareness to have about oneself. The depth of self-sabotage I’ve done in my relationships is hard to look now that I am “healed” but it’s also something I can no longer turn away from or repress. I must look at that ugly truth. I must look at it to heal it.

Something has changed in me in the last year. Perhaps it’s finally having the courage to touch the pain of sexual assault by someone who was supposed to protect me that opened me up to healing. Maybe it’s finally learning how to take care of myself that brought about the new me. Maybe it was falling in love with myself that finally allowed me to let go of my past that changed me. It’s been quite roller coaster of emotions for me the last year but one I feel I needed to ride. In going on this emotional ride, I’ve gained some freedom and let go of burdens that really were not mine to carry.

I once again almost ran into a old flame last night in the grocery store. This time was different. I saw him looking at produce; he had his head down. I backed away and walked on by. I didn’t avoid him because I hate him. I didn’t avoid him because I blame him. I didn’t avoid him because he hurt me. I avoided him because we just were not good for each other and there is no reason to open old wounds for either one of us. I walked on by because it was best for my well-being to maintain a distance. There’s no anger in my heart towards him but there is love in my heart now… Self Love. I loved myself enough to choose to not engage with him.

I am more concerned about my relationship with myself these days than anyone else so no one should interpret this post to mean I am “looking”. I am not “looking”. I am just saying it’s nice to feel unburdened and hopeful after so many years of living with repressed trauma. I am lighter, better, healthier and happier now than ever before. Looking at my past traumas and being willing to sit with the pain was an act of self love that I am grateful I finally allowed myself accept and honor. A “Course In Miracles” says, “A Miracle is choosing LOVE over fear!” I guess you can say I’ve been blessed by a Miracle.

How have you loved yourself lately? Can you truly love yourself with enough openness to accept the love you deserve and are worthy of receiving? Are you willing to touch your deepest pain to feel deep true love again? Can you choose LOVE over fear and be blessed by a Miracle?

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Love over fear

Self Care Sunday – Wish I knew

Purification fire art

I’ve been reflecting upon lessons about self care I’ve learned along in recent years. If only I knew what I know now when I was younger perhaps I would have saved myself anxiety, worry, illness and stress.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn about self care is this that my body needs more rest than I’ve been willing to give it in the past. I also had to accept that my body is not able to do what it used to do or what other people’s bodies are capable of doing. I have to stop comparing my abilities limits with the past and with other people.

I don’t have a strong constitution. I never have. My mind has always been willing and able. My spirit has always been willing and able. But, my body… well, I’ve often pushed my body beyond its limits to keep pace with the inclinations of my mind and spirit. This hasn’t always worked out so well for me. I typically pushed myself and went 100mph only to crash without seeing the wall I was about to crash into. I’ve gotten better at pulling myself back, stopping myself from pushing and just surrendering to what my body needs instead of what my mind it trying to pressure it into doing but it frustrates me. It frustrates me to have a willing mind and spirit and weak body. It’s a lesson is patience and self acceptance. It is also perhaps a challenge for me to offer my body as much unconditional love as I offer others.

I worked a lot this week. It was a good week. I accomplished A LOT but it was challenging too. I came home exhausted each night and by 4:00pm on Friday afternoon, I was toast. I was home in my pajamas with a gluten free pizza by 5:00pm. By 7:30pm I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I was in bed at 8:00pm. Part of the problem this week was that Fall Season is typically when I am more susceptible to migraines. Sun glare, weather changes, windy and rainy days seem to trigger more headaches for me in the Fall. I had a small headache most of the week that I was able to manage and move through but it was making me tired. It pushed through it all week so I didn’t miss work but I think it prompted an episode of Tachycardia while I was at work on Thursday. At first I wasn’t sure what was happening then I checked my heart rate from my Apple Watch. It was definitely a Tachycardia rhythm. My congenital arrhythmia has been stable for long time so I was a bit freaked out. It’s been so long since I had an episode that I don’t even carry rescue medicine with me anymore. I closed my eyes and focused on my breath for a few minutes. I then went and got Coconut Water front the vending machine. Coconut Water is high in Potassium; Potassium is my natural rescue medicine because it lowers the heart rate. It hasn’t happened again.

As weird as it sounds, I felt like I was having a psychic headache. I’ve gotten those kind of headaches in the past when people I love have been stressed or in trouble. The night my niece was arrested I had a monster psychic headache and knew before my sister called something bad had happened. So far I haven’t gotten any phone calls or received any bad news, that doesn’t mean something hasn’t happened. It just means someone hasn’t told me. Hopefully, the Tachycardia was just hormonal and the headache was just sinuses.

My mind wanted to go out and enjoy life on a Sunny Saturday afternoon. I instead slowed down. I spent the day by letting my body come to a full and complete stop – REST! My body and mind were tired and just needed to be warm and comfy under a blanket with books and movies for the day. Everything I WANTED to go do could wait. Learning to stop myself is a huge act of surrender for me. It’s also an act of self acceptance. To finally love myself enough and accept myself enough to respect my body’s limits and no longer push it is a big deal for me. The loving kindness I am showing my body by acquiescing to this basic need for rest is one of the most important self care lessons I’ve learned in recent years. In this situation, self care is passive rather than active. I am NOT “doing” instead of “doing”.

Career-wise this week has been interesting and felt almost like a roller coaster that I didn’t know I was going to be on :-). There are only eight weeks left in my temporary assignment and it’s that time when everyone is asking what I am doing next. I was dodging people left and right to avoid conversations this week. Lol 😂 I just didn’t feel ready to have that conversation. I’m still exploring options but I was cornered twice this week by managers 😂 I decided it was best to be honest about my feelings. Here’s the truth – Ideally, I would like to stay in my current role if they are able to make that happen in some way. Otherwise, I am looking for another opportunity to learn, grow and use all of my talents and skills in, hopefully, a more strategic role which hopefully includes doing outreach work. However, I am also extremely interested in Cyber related topics and we are doing research in that area. That would be an area of interest for me too so they asked if I was open to another temporary assignment. I am open to it but I am not sure that is even possible since I’ve already been gone a year.

All of these conversations brought me to basic questions I had to ask myself. “What do I want? What is the best choice for me to make for my holistic wellness in this situation?” Self care in this area means this choice needs to be about my holistic wellness. It’s not just about money or title. It’s about what do I enjoy doing. It’s about what area could I continue to grow or learn something new. It’s about where could I do the most good. I don’t want to be stuck in a cubicle doing desk work. I’ve had taste of something more and I like it😊The interesting thing is I am not stressed about this because my faith is rock solid that everything will work out for my highest good. I am also happy that folks are talking to me about options and I’ve been able to be honest and express myself.

I got a big surprise at work this week and it was good news. A prize competition I proposed earlier this year has been stuck in legal for months. Well, I found out one of my Directors has been pushing them on it without me knowing. On Thursday, they gave me the go ahead as long as I get approval from the highest level of leadership in the company. Lol 🙂 My response was, “oh, is that all?” Then my Program’s Sponsor offered to have that conversation for me because she likes the innovation and creativity I’ve shown. I wrote her a briefing with talking points. She will use those to pitch to her boss. Since we cleared the legal hurdle, approval would delegate authority to us to run multiple competitions – if we are successful 🙂 I honestly thought this project was dead and I just moved on. It means a lot that I received so much support even when I thought it was dead.

I need to rant on one topic….lol 🙂 I live on the beach on the 7th floor of an old building that was converted from a hotel. It has a brick exterior wall. The bricks are splitting which is causing a water leak in my oceanfront window when it rains and is causing major water damage to dry wall and carpet. I am starting to worry about mold and air quality. I now have pots lining my front window while the owner and property management figure out what to do about it. It’s coming down to who is responsible to pay. The exterior wall is the condo association responsibility while interior is the landlord’s responsibility. I found out the condo association was supposed to fix the exterior wall a few years ago but they never did it. This would mean they would also be responsible for replacing the dry wall, carpet. Each week this continues I get more concerned about mold, air quality and if the dry wall is going to fall. My landlord asked me to hang in there with her. If she doesn’t hear from them this week, she’s getting an attorney. She promised to replaced the carpeting, not raise my rent and put me up in a hotel while the repairs are done if I promise to stay. The reality is we no longer have a lease. It’s month to month. If I found another place and wanted to move, I could. I am hoping this gets resolved in the coming week because I really do not feel like moving.

This situation with the condo has me wondering if it’s time to move or maybe even time to buy a place. Here’s the thing — I like high-rise living. It’s perfect for my situation. I like the safety of it. No one can come to my front door without going past security. I’ve had a stalker in the past so I like having security standing between and someone getting to my front door. I also like the social aspect. I know a lot of people here now so I’m not isolated. If I do move, I would want to move to another high-rise. I started to open my awareness and start looking but I’m not 100% I will pursue it if everything works out with the repairs. I really don’t know what is the best thing for me to do in this situation. I don’t know what is best for my holistic wellness as far as the apartment goes. For now, I am praying angels, guides and ascended masters to intuitively direct me to the right choice with the apartment as well as with the job.

As you can see self care for me is a work in progress. I am continually learning how to stop, slow myself down and recognize when I need to pull back. I am also trusting I will intuitively know what to do next in my career and what to do about the apartment and moving. In the meantime, I am keeping my eyes open to all opportunities. I am ready, willing and open to letting to. I am willing to take advantage of the right opportunities when they show up. Once you are out of the comfort zone, keep moving 🙂

Comfort zone

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Your Rhetoric Matters; Choose Wisely

Marianne Williamson Quote

“People hear you on the level you speak to them from; speak from your heart, and they will hear with theirs.” I’ve been taking a free online course, “Teaching the Teachers” with Marianne Williamson. The course is based on “A Course In Miracles” text. She used the above quote on the first night and it’s been rolling around in my head every since.

This quote resonants especially with me today since there has been terrorist attacks on Democrat’s and CNN that appear to be linked to the divisive hateful rhetoric the President and GOP has been using against Democrats and the Press. When he speaks at rallies his followers are hearing him from the level from which he speaks and responding to his call to arms the same way Russia responded to his message to hack Hilary Clinton.

The polarization in our nation makes me sad. I pray for good to triumph over evil. I also pray our DJT rises to the reputation of the his office and speaks like a POTUS instead of a mob boss. I was in the car a lot today.  As I drove, I was listening to CNN and praying. I am praying for healing in our Nation. I am praying for the return of our Democracy. I am praying POTUS finally sees how his words are polarizing our nation and leading to hate and now terrorist attacks. I expect better from our leader.

If you are not “woke”, now it the time to wake up! Hate brings more hate. So if you are a leader, take heed. People will hear you from the level from which you speak. Try speaking from you heart and think twice about your rhetoric. The below song from John Legend and Roots seemed fitting for today.

I am also extremely grateful today for getting good news at my appointment with Gastro specialist at Jeff. It’s highly unlikely my suspicious biopsy is Cancer. My problem is definitely in the Small Intestine. It appears to be Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) which can cause all of my symptoms as well cause swelling in the bowel that is pushing everything out of place. He ordered me a special antibiotic that has been made at compounding pharmacy and shipped to me. He said it will reset my bowel and bring it back into balance with minimal side affects. I have to take it for a month along with following a low FODMAP diet as best I can. He gave me the guidelines. I have to read more on it. And, I have two other problems 😂 From looking at my blood he’s pretty sure I have Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency which is blocking my body’s ability to break down and digest foods which also leads to bloating and distention. After I am done the antibiotic, I’ll start taking Pancreatic Enzymes. Lastly, he said he thinks I have Splenic Flexure Syndrome.  When I do get gas it gets stuck just under my left breast in my upper left abdomen. SOOO, the key to all of this is managing the bloating, gas and distention by eliminating the bacterial overgrowth and increasing my body’s ability to break down food with Pancreatic Enzymes. Doing both of these will reduce the pressure on the Splenic Flexure issue. He told me to email him in two weeks to let him know how the meds are working and plan to see him again in two months. All in all good news today and I am very grateful. He was worth the wait 🙂

Since I drove into Philly through South Philly, I stopped at the Italian Market on 9th Street on my way home.  I bought some yummy Grass-Fed hard cheeses like Gouda and Gureye. I hit the Gluten Free Bakery and bought some produce. However, when I got home I saw all the produce I bought today is on the “AVOID Food List ” for the FODMAP Diet😂😂😂  That’s why I am not starting it for a couple of days 😉 Thank God hard cheese is allowed; it was expensive 😊

img_0519.jpg

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Self Care Sunday – Overstimulation is my Kryptonite

Rumi quote

I am highly sensitive and an Empath. My intuition is super charged. I can feel the heaviness of emotions around me. I am empathize to the point I take on another’s pain. I can tune into another’s heartbreak until I become incapacitated. I can feel the sadness of those around me. It’s a gift and burden. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl. People have always commented about how sensitive I was. My family used to tease me about my sensitivity until I would be in tears. I learned to hide it as I got older until I was eventually old enough to self medicate it with wine and beer.

In recent years, I’ve learned how to manage my sensitivities and embrace the gifts God gave me with good self care practices. I’ve also learned OVERSTIMULATION is my Kryptonite 🤢 Actually, it’s Kryptonite to anyone who is sensitive and empathetic. I’ve found inner peace, harmony and balance can only be found by managing external sensory stimulation.

So what is overstimulation? Overstimulation means too much sensory stimulation from lights, sounds, people, etc. It can include loud music, incessant talking, chaotic environments including work environments, bright white lights, perfumes and scents, too much screen time, too much TV especially NEWS, too much socialization, big parties and social events, not enough sleep, not enough alone time and stress even good stress can be over stimulating. When I am overstimulated, I become snarky, agitated, emotional, controlling and stressed out. When I am overstimulated, I clench my jaw subconsciously. When I am overstimulated, I worry and obsess. If I continue to be overstimulated for too long, I become depressed and can get sick.

I’ve learned as someone who is highly sensitive and empathetic it’s necessary for me practice good self care by giving myself plenty of alone time to recharge. I’ve learned to control how much TV I watch. I’ve learned to opt for quiet music instead of loud music. I’ve learned to stay in bed a little longer and to rest. I’ve learned to use soft lighting in my home and I’ve learned to be selective with whom I socialize and which social events I attend. My biggest overstimulation trigger was revealed to me a few weeks ago and it’s rocking my world.

I deactivated my Facebook account 18 days ago. 18 days ago I stopped using Instagram every day. 18 days ago I started limiting how much time I spend on Twitter. 18 days ago I took control of my Social Media habit and in doing so I realized Social Media was huge trigger of overstimulation for me. I also realized it’s an addiction. The first few days without Facebook were like detox. I kept wanted to go back but I held out. The first few days, I wanted a fix. I held out. I got through it and now, I am calmer and less keyed up because of it. Not only I am not triggered by what I see on Social Media but I’ve also greatly reduced my screen time. I’m sleeping better too.

The biggest benefit to my Social Media withdrawal is that I have more time back in my hands. I am back to reading books before going to bed instead of having my face buried in my phone. I now turn my phone off more often when I am writing or listening to music. I even started watching some shows that partial subtitles and I enjoy it. Something about watching a show with some subtitles makes me pay attention to it more which means I can’t look at my phone. It’s actually pretty relaxing. I am not sure how I feel about Facebook anymore. I am going to go 30 days without it and see how I feel about it then but I am thinking I am just going to leave it deactivated. I actually don’t think it was good for me. I also greatly reduced my time on Twitter too. I am actually happier and more relaxed without all of that noise in my life.

As I sit in my quiet room under warm blanket on a Saturday night writing this blog on my iPad Pro by the soft warm light of my Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp, I am thankful for the wisdom life has given me. I now write on Saturday nights and schedule my posts to go live at 6:00am on Sunday mornings. I am grateful I learned how to shut out the noise and tune into my inner knowledge. It’s been helping me manage my thoughts and stay calm in stressful situations. Sitting in silence is often the only way we can hear our own truth. My soul talks to me in these quiet moments. When does your soul talk to you?

SELF CARE CHALLENGE: Are you up for it? Deactivate Facebook for seven days. If you make it for seven days, go for 30 days. See if you are as addicted and overstimulated as I was.

Other updates, I had another great work week. I am designing a website for my Program and I got some good news about one of my projects that was stuck in our Legal department. I gave another successful presentation to leadership on Thursday which was fun. I enjoyed it. This has been such a great professional experience for me. It’s allowed me to really work to my skill level, use all of strengths and grow at the same time. With regards to my tummy troubles, my appointment with the Jeff Gastro is Wednesday. My local docs say Dr. Michael DiMarino at Jeff Gastro is worth the wait and he is supposedly an excellent diagnostician. I am looking forward to getting some answers and relief. While the pain isn’t horrible every day, it’s definitely not going away and hasn’t gotten better. It may even be a little worse. The waves of nausea that come on suddenly followed by a few other symptoms are uncomfortable. I pray for courage, strength and healing.

Staying tune to my hippie soul, I chose Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the music on this post this week. Their music speaks to my soul. I love their harmony. “Carry On” is one of my favs from them because it’s about Love. When the melody changes in the middle, is usually when I feel the need to dance, be free like a flower child and wish I still “smoked” 😂 I might need a medical script 😇 😂 I digress… in my opinion, “Deja Vu” is one of the BEST ALBUMS of all time by any artist – hands down! I also attached a link to a “Legends” VH1 documentary about them.

Music Deja Vu, CSNY

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Self Care Sunday – How do you define success?

Art

On this Self Care Sunday I want to discuss Career. Career is the one of the four areas of life that Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches call “Primary Food”. Career satisfaction can affect your overall happiness and it also can affect your health and relationships. It’s important to step back and evaluate career satisfaction from time to time. If you are manager, I would recommend encouraging your employees to do this too.

For me, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in constant movement. As a “do-er”, I check my boxes off and claim my productivity by accomplishments and goals achieved. In a recent professional experience, things didn’t work out quiet the way I thought they were going to. I was not going to be able to achieve the goal I had set for myself which was causing me some anxiety and making me doubt myself a bit. Being trapped in my own definition of success was undermining my enthusiasm for the work I am doing and I was starting to feel a bit deflated.

I traveled to DC to give a briefing to senior leadership on Tuesday morning. In the briefing, I discussed my honest assessment of the program I am working on and its future if it remains supported the way it stands today. As I spoke, I was careful to be confident while also be truthful about my observations of the challenges and opportunities.

As I spoke, the conversation and energy in the room shifted and became supportive even nurturing. That’s when we realized that my definition of success was different from senior leadership’s definition of success. Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. Let me say that again… Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. My leadership explained to me that I already accomplished more than they originally thought was possible. WOW! That hit me hard. Right as I sat there in front of them I felt the magnitude of that reality hit me. I was pushing forward so hard that I never stopped for one minute in the last nine months to really see what I accomplished or to be proud of myself. They made me stop in that 45 minute meeting. It was a powerful moment for me. It was a powerful moment in my career💙

One of the Directors pulled me into her office for a chat about career opportunities. She wants me think about what I want because there are few different type of opportunities that could be open to me. She said I’ve proven myself capable and comfortable in “high profile” roles. She wanted to know if I would be satisfied going back to something less “sexy” after this 😊 It’s an interesting question for me. The truth is I am comfortable in this type of high visibility role. I am good with stakeholder engagement, up and down the chain. I present well and handle myself well. My biggest challenge this year was my own body. The constant health issues have been frustrating and the current issue with my stomach still isn’t resolved. I told her about my current issue and that I needed to see a specialist because of a suspicious stomach biopsy. She reassured me. She told me I shouldn’t let that be my deciding factor because my health issues obviously didn’t interfere with my work performance this year. She also told me accommodations could always be made for me. Yes, it may be easier for me to go back to a desk job that has more predictability, maturity and less of an ask from me but will it be enough for me after this???? My intuition says no…😊 But, I am keeping an open mind because I think it will depend on the opportunity and if it has room for growth and diversification. I also don’t want to work in chaos again. So work environment is important to me now too. For now, I am going let go and trust that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am going to trust God and my intuition to direct me to the right choice. As opportunities present themselves I will ask myself, “Does this honor who I am?”

I also met with new GM who is now an advisor to my program. Wow! What a difference chatting with someone with fresh eyes and fresh perspective can have! Having to walk her through my whole program reenergized me. It reminded me why I was passionate about this. It reminded why I wanted to do this in the first place. Her thoughtful questions and insights helped me find an unexplored path forward. I just met her that morning and already she helped me get unstuck. She suggested I look for something I can leave as a legacy, something tangible that people can say, “Linda did this”. I laughed and said, “Being the first and standing up the program isn’t enough?” 😂😂 She laughed but said she was thinking something more like a brochure or even a webinar that folks could use after I’ve moved on…. The budget will not allow for my current role to be a full time position. However, the role will continue as a temporary assignment after I move on to something new. She encouraged me to remember that I was first. I was the trail blazer. I have been the vision setter. I need to leave a legacy as well as start thinking about a transition plan. I came home full of things to think about as well a fresh new perspective and a new to do list. As I flew home looking out of window at the spectacular clouds, I was pensive. I was thinking about the events of the day and what I accomplished this year and what I learned about myself along the way. It’s been a great year professionally and great work experience.

I learned this week it’s important for folks to agree on what success looks like. While we had conversations about the goals of the program, their view of success was actually more achievable than my own. I learned this week the value of talking to people face to face when you have an important message to relay to them. If I presented my briefing over the phone, they would not have felt my energy or passion. The conversations that took place that day never would have happened. They would have missed the subtle nuances of my facial expressions and body language. This is good advice in any situation. If you have something important to say to someone, say it in person. The message may not be received in the way you are intending through phone, text or email. I learned this week talking to someone with fresh eyes or perspective can reenergize you. It can help you see things you may have missed. I learned this week to be open to constructive guidance and accept support when it is offered. Most importantly, I learned this week to always speak from my heart with confidence, authenticity and honesty even when I am briefing the big cheese in the organization😊

I write about self awareness a lot on this blog. I write about it so much because I truly believe self awareness is the key to growth and development. I think it’s especially important to practice self awareness in our careers. I admire leaders who encourage self awareness. How can you grow if you refuse to see yourself as you are instead of how you perceive yourself to be? How can you grow if leave no room for inner reflection and self knowledge? How can you be empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others including your employees if you can’t even acknowledge your own needs and desires? It’s with this new self awareness I will be moving into the future and evaluating upcoming career opportunities.

Do you celebrate your career accomplishments? Do you honor who you are while making career decisions? What legacy will you be leaving to the folks who will step into your shoes? Do you encourage your employees to leave a legacy? When you talk to employees, do you ask thoughtful questions and give helpful insights? Do you help them define success in their careers or projects? And is your definition of success in alignment with the folks around you? Do you practice self awareness as a leader or in your life?

I chose “Blackbird” by the Beatles for this post. It was written by Paul McCartney during the Civil Rights movement after seeing a black women arrested for sitting on a bench in a “white” section of a park in the United States. As a highly sensitive, empathic feeler, the current political climate is causing me a bit of anxiety.  I worry about our Democracy and the inflammatory rhetoric used by leaders against the Press and to stoke right extremists.  And now, a “USA Today” Op-Ed full of outright lies that many will believe on the surface without questioning. He’s gaslighting our nation.  I urge people to fact check politicians.  Even worse are the rich GOPers who only care about the economy and their own economic interests; turning a blind eye to everything else because life is good for them. I’ve been pulling away from people who lack a social conscience and put money & power over people. If you recall, fair haired white people were living good lives and turning blind eyes while 600K Jews were executed. I do not think our President is a horrible human being but I do think he lacks social consciousness.  Money and power are his Gods and rulers.  He’s willing to exploit the right extremist groups to win and aligns himself with Dictators.  The Senate and/or House needs to be a different party to separate and diffuse his power as well as bring accountability & transparency back in DC. November 6th is my sister, Sandy’s, birthday. I am hoping her spirit brings us luck and change. Stop the #trumpcult 🌊#votethemout 🌊💙

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Life Coach Jargon

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In the last year, I’ve been exposed to many coaching techniques. A lot of Life Coaches these days talk about positivity, staying in alignment, flowing with the Universal energies and offering no resistance. But what does this lofty jargon mean? What are the real world applications? What does it mean to flow?

Let me first say, you do not need to be positive all of the time. Forcing yourself to be positive is not authentic. It’s more important for you to acknowledge your true feelings. Be miserable and feel sorry for yourself for a day, if you need to. Then, work to release it, accept it and move on. Authenticity is more important than positivity. Putting a happy face on a problem won’t make it go away. Living in truth will at least help you adapt to a new reality and make you emotionally stronger.

What does it mean to stay in alignment? All this really means is to become so in tune with yourself that you can intuitively feel when you are doing something that is NOT beneficial to your long term growth and well-being. When you know are you doing something that makes you unhappy, that breaks you down and wears you out, you are no longer aligned with your highest good. Alignment means you are lined up with the path for your highest good. A word of caution – the path to your highest good can go through the valley of hell. You can be frustrated and struggling even while in alignment. It really depends on what life lessons you are supposed to learn. Remember to check in with yourself and be sure you are suffering for the right reasons. If you are suffering because you are growing, changing and living outside of your comfort zone, you are still in alignment with your highest good. It’s really that simple.

Flowing with the Universe and offering no resistance is tricky. It means accepting you have no control over some things. It requires us to let go when something is no longer working out for our highest good. It requires surrendering instead of struggling and pushing. It’s hard because life sucks sometimes. There are times when we all want to kick and scream like a toddler having a tantrum. No one enjoys change. No one wants to accept rejection. No one wants to move on. No one wants to let go when the heart wants to hold on. If you can work towards using these sucky times of life as opportunities to grow, learn something about yourself, adapt and become stronger, you will be flowing with Universe instead of digging your heels in the sand resisting.

So, you wonder if I actually practice all of this New Age mumbo jumbo. I try. That’s about all I can say about it. Sometimes days I flow like I am riding a magic carpet; other days I fall flat in the sand because my heels are stuck in resistance. But I try😊

On the work front, I’ve been actively going on the offensive to reshape the expectations of leadership so they understand what is achievable within my scope. Second, I’ve been speaking truth to power; it isn’t easy. I have to speak more truth to power tomorrow morning at 8:30am…😂 Although this job has been a great growth experience, I am not yet sure about staying long term. One deciding factor will be if they decide to support a Grand Research Challenge. I would love to work on a project like that! Otherwise, I am keeping ALL of my options open.

Unfortunatley, I am still sick. I took Mucinex, Flonase and Decongestants for a week. My sinuses and ears are still jacked up. Since it’s been over seven days, my Doctor gave me an antibotic. Hopefully, it kicks in soon. I have to call on Friday if my ears don’t open up. I don’t feel horrible. Just a little tired and my hearing is muffled 🤧😷

Finally, I am making a committment to myself to get back to writing poetry. I hope to post something for the Blue Love collection on Friday. A little blue eyed spark of lust would help with getting the poetic mojo going 😉💥🔥😋😘 I could use a little crystal blue sparkle ☺️

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