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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Self Care Sunday – Holistic Balance

Chakras

I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes seven years ago November 25th. Here’s the thing… I never intended to do it. I just wasn’t feeling well. I had been vomiting and had chronic diarrhea for about 10 days; I thought I had virus. When I looked at myself in the mirror on November 25, 2011, I saw dark circles, red eyes and yellowing skin. I knew it was more than virus. I decided that day it was time to take a break as I worked with doctors towards healing; I am still on that break seven years later.

Over time I realized my body could no longer sustain the lifestyle I had been living. Drinking or smoking again was and still is not in my best interest. I tried to go out with friends on Friday nights. I drank club soda or Diet Coke but I just wasn’t comfortable in that environment anymore. The noise in the bars really bothered me. I came home agitated. My drunk friends annoyed me. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t know where I belonged anymore. I felt out of place everywhere. It was a hard time.

This time not only tested my body but it also tested all of my relationships. I distanced myself from a lot of people during that time for the sake of my well-being. With no other place to turn, I leaned hard into my faith. My rock solid faith became the rock I stood on during those hard times. One Friday night as I was driving home from work in 2012 I decided to cancel my happy hour plans and go to a yoga class instead. That was the defining moment and the beginning of the new life I have now. Once I detached myself a bit I could finally see things clearly. I knew God was making me uncomfortable so I would let go of a life that no longer served my highest good.

Today, I live on the beach. I have a great day job. I am also a holistic wellness coach and Reiki Master. I am able to help others with my abundance. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and living a life that is authentically mine. I am the best Linda I’ve ever been. I believe none of the wonderful things that happened in my life in the last seven years would have happened if I was still going to happy hour every Friday and living that party girl lifestyle. Once I let go, God gave me a new life that is so much better than the one I settled for all of those years. God wanted more for me than I ever thought possible for myself.

Holistic wellness encompasses more than just your physical health. It’s about the connection between the trinity of body, mind and spirit. Often times we try to fix one aspect of our lives without realizing all three are intertwined; choices impact all three aspects of our being. For example, our physical health can impact our ability to work and our relationships which could eventually impact our emotional and spiritual being. To successfully navigate a major life change, it’s important to address the needs of body, mind and spirit as a whole. As you take care of your physical body, also look after your mental well-being and your spiritual needs.

A few suggestions

Meditation, affirmations, mantras and prayer

Mediation, affirmations, mantras and prayer are great ways to reduce anxiety and also quiet the mind. Slowing the mind down benefits the spiritual being and allows us to hear our intuition and inner wisdom. My favorite mantra is “everything is always working out for my highest good!” I say this quietly throughout the day. Feel free to use it too.

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, please check out my friend Laura’s Udemy Course “The Foundation Skills for a Meditation Practice”. It’s only $9.99 for a few more days. Laura is a personal friend of mine; she is an Occupational Therapist and a fantastic yoga teacher.

Udemy

[https://www.udemy.com/share/100G6bCEofcVhaQQ==/]

Breath observation

Breath Observation is a quick effective way to slow down the mind. Sit for five minutes with eyes closed and observe your breath as it rolls in and rolls out. Don’t try to control the breath; just observe it. Don’t worry about your thoughts. Just sit in silence and observe your breath come in and go out. Observing the breath with closed eyes is a basic form of meditation; it can be practiced whenever you need to center yourself.

RAM Meditation

Reiki is the movement of Energy through the body. The body has seven Chakra Centers (Energy Centers) along the vertebrae. The Manipura Chakra (Sanskrit name) is the Solar Plexus Chakra and is located in the abdomen region. Manipura is believed to be the seat of our personal power and authenticity. It’s the fire in the belly! It is represented by the color Yellow. I have a tendancity to burn a little too hot in this region; I am a DOER! This is manifested in my chronic gastro issues. It’s my challenge to learn how to balance Manipura Energy. Having a fire in the belly is good unless you burnout 😊 If you would like to work on tapping into your personal power or need to balance Manipura Energy also, sit for five minutes with eyes closed and chant RAM – pronounced “R-AUM”! The sound vibration of R-AUM resonants with the Solar Plexus and helps to bring energy into balance.

I plan to write more about Reiki, Chakras and Energy movement in future blogs. For those who are interested learning a more Sanskrit mantras, see the below 21 minutes video of Sanskrit chakra mantras including RAM.

Enjoy Self Care Sunday and consider practicing with mantras, breath observation or the RAM Chant 🙂

Chakras

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Self Care Sunday – Willingness & Ability

Art

One of my spiritual mentors recently taught me that for someone to grow, spiritually or otherwise, they need to have – Willingness and Ability. Willingness and ability also are needed for any relationship to be successful. I’ve been thinking about willingness and ability in recent weeks. So what does willingness and ability mean?

Willingness – means being willing to do the hard work. To grow we must be willing to expand our consciousness and allow room for change. Being willing means showing up; it means opening our awareness and at times seeing things in ourselves we don’t always like. Being willing to grow and change harkens back to our “free will”. God/Spirit will never violate free will. We must choose to grow and change freely. Once we say yes, God/Spirit will direct us to growth opportunities.

So how do you say yes to growth and change? How do you let spirit know you are willing to grow and show up spiritually? It’s very simple. Establish a one on one direct connection with your higher power through daily conversation and prayer. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or complicated. You don’t have to go to church to talk to God or Spirit. Just talk to God throughout the day. You just need to trust your prayers are being heard; let your faith support you as you move through the challenges of every day life.

Willingness means we are ready to do the work in life and show up for the hard stuff. To grow you have to be willing to change and grow. We also have to be willing to let go of who we thought we were going to be so we can be who we are NOW called to be. As our consciousness expands, our needs will change and our relationships may change as well. As for myself, I ended relationships that were no longer aligned with my highest good and I distanced myself from folks who were disingenuous towards me. As I became more rooted in authenticity and became more self aware, my intuition became clearer. It was easier to see the folks in my life (including coworkers) who were using me. I am better and stronger for making the hard choices and protecting my energy.

The other part of the spiritual growth equation is — Ability. Does someone have the ability to grow? This one is a bit stickier. To grow spiritually, you have to be able to live in faith. Living in faith means you do not always have concrete proof. Do we have the ability to offer compassion and empathy to others? Is our mind open enough to allow for exploration of higher consciousness. Is our mind and heart open to love and differing opinions? Can we accept our failures? Do we hold ourselves accountable for our wrong doings? Can we apologize when we hurt others? The ability to grow spiritually means having emotional maturity and keeping an open mind and heart.

I demonstrate willingness and ability by praying and talking to God throughout the day. More often than not, my conversations with God are just off the cuff as I go through my day. I talk to God while I drive, as I walk, while work, etc… Talking to God/Spirit is just part of my every day life. I also use a few other spiritual practices to ground me:

I use mantras. Remember Seinfeld “Serenity Now”? Serenity Now was actually a mantra. Mantras are words, sounds or phrases that are used to calm the mind and bring peace. It can be anything that brings you peace. My go-to mantra is “Everything is always working out for my highest good!” Another manta I use is Aad Guray Nameh (see below). Aad Gurey Nameh is a Sanskrit Mantra and it is especially effective in opening the Heart Chakra and balancing Heart energies. It’s known to protect and project Heart Chakra Energy. This is my go-to Heart Opener. I say it three times in a row whenever I need to soothe myself or need to open/balance my heart. It’s also good to say this three times just before going into a big meeting, driving in traffic or just when you need a little extra protection. If this mantra does not work for you, find your own word or mantra that you can recite during times of stress and discomfort.

Aad Gurey Nameh

I use Affirmations. I usually start all of my affirmations with “I am so happy and grateful now that I _____”. You fill in the blank with your wish or desire. When you use this affirmation, speak as if it already happened. For example, I wanted to move into a condo on the beach in the fall of 2013. I started saying this affirmation everyday in October 2013, “I am happy and grateful now that I live in a condo on the beach”. I moved into my condo on the beach in January 2014. Make your affirmation personal and say it throughout the day.

Affirmation

I use numbers. I believe in Numerology. I believe numbers have meanings. I am especially mindful of 11:11 and any other repetitive number sequence. When I see 111 or 11:11, I set an intention or say my affirmations. When I see 222, I say “everything is always working out for my highest good. The love I give is returned.” 2s are symbolic of LOVE for me. I often see 333s and 444s after I pray. That’s may sign that my prayers were heard.

We don’t always get what we pray for. If we believe everything is always working out for our highest good, then we should take comfort in knowing that what is meant to be will be. Sometimes life sucks. I’ve trained myself to focus on “Everything is always working out for my highest good”. This gives me comfort through challenging times.

Repeating Numbers

Numerology

As for myself, I choose to believe in “The Spirit in the Sky”. Having faith in a higher power, praying to angels, saints and spirit guides and maintaining a spiritual practice gives me strength. Leaning into the uncomfortableness with the support of my faith makes me stronger.

My question today is do you have willingness and ability for spiritual growth? If the answer is YES, open your heart and God will bring you opportunities to grow. Lean into those around you who are grounded spiritually. Remember – just because someone goes to church every Sunday doesn’t mean they are spiritually awakened. There’s a difference. Spiritual awakening is more about keeping your heart and mind open so that you can hear your intuition guide you than it is about showing up at Mass on time and confessing your sins.

A note about Soul Mates, Soul Mates are deep spiritual connections. They can be romantic but can also be with friends, family, parents. If you have a Soul Mate who is in your life, take comfort in your connection. It’s a special connection sent to you by God to support your growth. Lean into your Soul Mate for support, friendship and unconditional love 💙

The new spiritual book I am reading is “Deep and Simple; A Spiritual Path for Modern Times” by Lozoff. This book is meant to be a simple guide to changing your life by having a daily spiritual practice, living simply and dedicating yourself to being of service. I heard about the book while watching the documentary about Mr. Rogers “Mr. Rogers :& Me: A Deep & Simple Documentary). “Deep & Simple” was one of his favorite books. I think I watched the documentary on Amazon Prime.

Deep & Simple Lozoff

—————

As an update on my a previous post, my doc couldn’t get the super expensive RX for SIBO covered under my insurance. Instead we are using a low dose of a systemic antibiotic (Doxycycline) for 14 to 28 days that has been shown to be effective plus Digestive Enzymes. The good news is, it was covered under my insurance and will probably help my Rosacea too. The bad news it is a systemic antibiotic. This means it’s giving me a headache, making me tired and my stomach is VERY upset. My doctor said that should all pass in a couple of days. I hope it passes by Tuesday. I have to fly on a little puddle jumper plane on Tuesday. That plane can make my stomach turn even on a good day 😂😂 I am keeping my eye on the weather. There’s a chance we won’t fly if the weather is too windy anyway. That would be a bummer since I have been looking forward to my one to one with my organizational administrator. The affirmation I am currently using for my career is…I am happy and grateful now that I am a permanent employee of ______ 😊😊💙

I chose this song because I love Ol’ Blue Eyes & this song was actually playing in my dreams. i😊I woke up singing it 😂😂 I think Spirit was trying to tell me something 😉

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Self Care Sunday – Are You In The Arena?

Theodore Roosevelt quote

I am a lifelong learner. I am intellectually curious. I crave knowledge. I consider myself a student of life. I am a risk taker. As Theodore Roosevelt says, “I am in the arena”; I show up in life.

Self Care for me includes personal growth, professional development, self exploration and learning from every person I meet. Every situation I am in presents me an opportunity for deeper self awareness and knowledge. Since I am an eager “student”, I am always looking for online courses to take, lectures to attend, mentors to work with and books to read. If you’ve got something to teach me, I am willing to learn from you.

A few years ago, my boss at the time recommended I read “Your Intention Difference” by Ken Tucker, Todd Hahn and Shane Roberson. In the book, you work through exercises that help to identify reoccurring themes in your life and then associated that theme with one word. That word becomes your ID Word and represents the dominant theme in your life or it’s your Intentional Difference. My ID Word is growth. It was really enlightening to read this book and see this in myself. While I always knew I was growth oriented, I never really thought about making decisions so I intentionally put myself in situation where I could grow; it just happened. That’s an amazing piece of self awareness that has changed my life. Since reading that book, I now intentionally make choices that honor my need for growth in all areas of my life.

I changed a lot in the last few years. I’ve changed because I intentionally focused on putting myself in situations where I would have room to grow and stretch; I put myself in situation that honored the truth of who I am. For example, I returned to school to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in 2017; I wanted to learn how to take better care of myself. When I interviewed for my current job, the interview panel asked “Why are you interested in this job?” I said, “Because GROWTH is my ID Word and this seems like the perfect opportunity to stretch and grow”.

Having a growth mind-set and being willing to learn from everyone has been very beneficial in my life, especially in my career. As I’ve been exposed to different people and situations, I’ve been able to learn from each person I encountered then use that knowledge in work situations. For example, a few years ago a coworker was working on redesigning websites in SharePoint. I had no idea how to use SharePoint let alone build a website it in but she needed help and was willing to teach me. I became her student and learned everything she was willing to teach me. In the last few weeks, I’ve been building a website in SharePoint using the skills she taught me. I sent the development site to a few managers for a concept review.

OH MY GOD! So much positive feedback; it blew me away. They didn’t know I could design websites and I didn’t know they need someone who understands SharePoint. My stock went up again this week😂 I am finishing the design and development in the next week or so. I demo it for our “Big Cheese” in early November and then I’ll start socializing it in staff meetings and webinars through the end of the year.

Professionally, growth and development will be my main concern as my temporary assignment at work starts to wrap up in the coming months. I am reminding myself “GROWTH” is my ID Word. I will be evaluating my professional options according to my need for growth and development. I am cautiously optimistic that my current organization is working to find a way for me to stay permanently. Things take a long time where I work so I am still waiting on the dust to settle but we have time to work thing out. The bottom line is I believe there is more room for me to stretch and grow in this organization than the one I worked in formerly but I am trying to keep my mind open. For now, I will pray God puts me where he needs me the most and I pray I am in a position where I can do the most good. I will trust everything is always working out for my highest good.

Since I deactivated Facebook 26 days ago and I have been been limiting my Twitter time, I’ve been reading more. I am now reading “Dare To Lead” from Brene Brown. I’ve read a couple of her books already and I just love her style. I love the way she talks about vulnerability and shame. I especially love how this book reflects on how leaders who are empathetic and vulnerable are actually the strongest. It’s a great read for anyone –especially leaders. If you don’t like to read, it’s also available as an audiobook.

Dare To Lead

Lastly, I suppose worrying about my stomach biopsy & the appointment at Jeff Gastro took it’s toll me the last few days. A mother of migraine hit me early Thursday morning. While I went to work on Thursday, I was in a lot of pain by the time I got home. I took the meds but it was past the point of return. I vomited all Thursday night from and pain and have been taking the meds every six hours which means I haven’t been able to leave the house or drive because they make me sleepy. I guess it’s not all bad. I’ve been enjoying reading and enjoying the rest. It finally broke Saturday afternoon.

My question this Self Care Sunday is are you in the arena or sitting on the sidelines?

I am in the arena. I like being vulnerable and taking risks. As Brene says, “If you are not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am NOT interested in your feedback! If you are in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am open to your feedback and insights!”

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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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DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Happy, Peace, Fire

Eckhart Tolle Quote

I’ve been writing about heavy stuff lately.  I want to write lighter for this Self Care Sunday.  Here are some things that make me happy, bring me peace and set me on fire. These lists are not all inclusive but a start towards remembering what makes me happy and makes me who I am 🦋

Things that make me happy: 😊
Writing ✍️ Writing makes me happy.  Writing is my art.  It’s how I adapt in this crazy world. It’s how I express myself. It’s how I process situations and emotions. It’s how I heal. I write on my blog and I write in my journal.  When I write – this goes for work and at home, I prefer to use only blue pens 💙 I especially love blue gel ink pens.  They write smooth.  It may seem weird or OCD to have such a ritual but I don’t like black ink – period 😂

The first sip of coffee each day ☕️ There’s something about that first sip that makes me happy and comforted all at the same time. The rest of the cup is great too but that first sip is the best part. I also love the smell of coffee. I prefer Dark Roast coffee. Dark Roast is bolder, has more flavor, less acidity and less caffeine which means I can tolerate a large DD or Wawa Dark Roast coffee without any negative effects 😊☕️ If the coffee is organic and single origin, that’s even better.

Fresh clean sheets 🛏 I hate making the bed. It’s big and has a few layers but once it is made with fresh seats it extremely comfy and cozy.

Living on the beach 🌊 I love living on the beach. I also love living in an area of the country that is so accessible to so many major cities, mountains and beaches. More importantly, I love the change of seasons. I like a rainy day like today. I like a hot sunny beach or pool day. I like a chilly day with with boots and hats. I like snow. The perfect day for me is around 70 – 75 degrees and sunny 😊

My Mom calling me honey😊 “Hiya, Honey!  How ya doin?”  That’s what I hear on the other end of the phone.  It always makes me happy.  My Mother and I have had some crazy battles with each other.  My Mom LIKES TO FIGHT!  No joke, she will take you out!  We both can have a tendency to swing first and ask questions later but I have learned to control that impulse. My Mom, however, will go a few rounds before even thinking of asking the questions. Fighting is cathartic for her; I think it’s probably why she’s 79 years old and healthy. Family members routinely try to slide out of her crosshairs before she really gets going on something. If you can go a few rounds with her once in a while, she will love and respect you forever.

Mom and I have said horrible things to each other, embarrassed ourselves and the entire family in public and at parties with our antics but it’s been a fun ride with her.  I was outside of work one day having a screaming match with her when a coworker/friend walked out.  My coworker asked if I was ok.  I said, “It’s ok. It’s just a crazy old lady driving me nuts.”  My coworker laughed.  My Mom said to me on the phone, “Really Linda?  The old lady comment was a low blow!”  We laughed.  It was over and we moved on to another topic.  That’s how we’ve always gotten along. We fight, bicker and annoy each other. Mom is no weak flower.  I am grateful that 4’11” Blue Eyed firecracker is my Mom. The below photo of my Mom and I was taken yesterday at a 30th birthday party for my niece’s fiancé 😂💙

Hanging out with my sisters 💙 Sandy passed away in 1999.  I have two sisters living.  DJ (Diane) is a straight shooter, like Mom. If you don’t want to hear the truth about something, don’t talk to Diane.  She’s full of common sense and will gladly set you straight on any topic.  Terri is my silly sister. She’s the one always made me laugh in church and then I got into trouble. Terri is funny. When Sandy was intensive care the last week of her life, Terri and I were breaking the tension by being silly.  We were making blowfish on the window of the room.  Well, all we heard Diane say was, “you two are fucking idiots” but she also was laughing.  My sisters have been my biggest fans and most loyal trusted friends.  They make me happy.

Signs 🌟 I ask my angels and guides for signs. It makes me happy to receive signs from spirits and intuition. I ask mostly ask for repetitive number and coins as my signs. 222 is my favorite repetitive number series. 222 is symbolic of partnership, love and highest good. When I receive 222 or see 222, I always say to myself, “Everything is always working out for my highest good. The love you give is returned.”💙🦋

Things that bring me peace: 🙏
Writing ✍️ Writing brings me peace. It’s cathartic.  I share my deeply personal stories and thoughts to heal myself, bring myself peace and perhaps help others heal too.

The stillness of early morning just before sunrise 🌅 It’s my favorite time of day. I switched my work schedule almost ten years ago so I would be up at or before 5:00am on work days. I like the early morning peacefulness in the office. I like driving early in the morning and driving while the sun is coming up. I also like sunset and the slow down that occurs in the evening just before dark.

My Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp 🔮 I love the warm glow in the room when that light is the only light I have on at night. Having bright lights on at night is too stimulating. I like warm mellow lighting in general.

Prayer, Mediation and Mantras 🙏💙 I talk to angels and guides all day long.  I pray throughout the day.  It brings me peace. It stabilizes me on tough days, it motivates me when I need a lift, it centers me when I need to be grounded and calm.  Through prayer, I can be the eye of the storm.

Things that light me up and set me on fire:🔥

Knowledge and learning 🌟🌸 I love to learn. I want to expand my awareness and consciousness. The more self aware we are as individuals the better we are as citizens and leaders in society. Take our President for example. A little self awareness on his part would go a long way. Every good thing that has been accomplished by him is being overshadowed by impulsiveness, rhetoric and over reactivity.

Auschwitz survivor, Viktor Frankl, beautifully said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space…In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and freedom.” Choose your response instead of reacting in the moment is the lesson in his words. You can control the narrative and shift the conversation in your favor with a calm controlled response.

I grew up in a “swing first; ask questions later family” I trained myself over the years to not react. I had to have the self awareness to see I was a reactor and then learn to pull back. I had to learn to strategize the best way to respond instead running down the hall to flip out on someone or firing off a heated text or Tweet. Folks who tend to be hot heads benefit having people who can talk them back in their close circles. Anyone who intentionally fires you up, instigates you and intentionally points you in someone’s direction, is NOT a good influence. Self awareness is the hallmark of good leader and it also includes looking at your circle to be sure you surround yourself with good calming influences. Self awareness is key. Control the narrative. This is a little of the “coach” in me coming out on this topic. 😊

Growth 🌟🌸 Personal Growth through adversity, tapping into my highest good and using every last drop of my own personal power lights my soul on fire. Professional growth is also important to me. I currently find myself in a unique position professionally. While I am advocating for approval for a project I care about, I am also considering career paths that could be open to me at the end of the temporary assignment. I am not sure my current role will stay a full time gig. In my current Org, there are other opportunities in Leadership Development where I could use my coaching certification. There are opportunities as program manager and project lead in other areas. I have an interest in the Chief of Staff role. The current actor is only there temporarily. I am curious what experience would I have to gain to end up in that role. It’s nice to have options and somewhere to grow 🦋💙🌟👍

Poetry 🦋💙 Writing poetry is my art.  My soul speaks through my prose. It’s truly my passion.

Service 🙏 Being of service to others, helping people reach their highest good, motivating people, inspiring people and witnessing for people sets my soul on fire and is extremely rewarding to me.

Blue Love sets me on fire 💙His eyes light a match in me 🔥

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

Viktor Frankel quote

Rainer Maria Rilke Quote