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Blinded by jealousy?

It’s not your fault. That’s what jealousy does. It blinds you. Or, more accurately, it only allows you a partial view of someone’s fortune, life, experience and obscures the rest. And because we humans just can’t cope with uncertainty, we fill in the blanks with our imaginations.

A little something like this:

If someone you’re eyeing is enjoying the success you desire, then they must also be enjoying the intimacy you crave. If they have the friendships you dream of, they must also have the financial stability you yearn for. This AND that.

Jealousy deals in absolutes, with little room for nuance or space for discernment. AND? With little allowance for the capital “t” Truth.

We see what we choose to see and are blind to the rest. 

Maybe you know that the French word for jealousy is “jalousie”. But did you also know that a “jalousie” is also a window shutter with angled horizontal slats? Also know as a…(wait for it)…“blind”?

Funny thing about jalousies…they are designed to allow you to see outside without being seen yourself.

(You see where we’re going here, right?)

Yeah…jealousy and blind go hand in hand.

But, of course, jealousy is also an on-point teacher. A snarling, frothing, lusting, hot-breathed swamp dog of a teacher, mind you, but an on-point teacher just the same. Within what you choose to see (and what you’ve made up that you see) lie your desires:  success, intimacy, relationships, and financial stability.

Knowing what you want, of course,  IS the first step in making what you want to happen, HAPPEN.

And here’s what I want for you:

get out from behind the blinds of jealousy and into the lightI want for you to come out from behind the blinds that offer such a limited view of others. And such a limited view of yourself and what’s available. 

I want you to experience the fullness of the person you feel jealousy towards. And to experience the fullness of yourself. Just add curiosity.

I want for you to see how relative this all is.

I want you to bring some compassion into the fold. For you. For them. For the next time you feel jealous (and you will).

I want you to see, REALLY see, that the magnificence that you’ve projected onto them is but a prism caught in the light of your own magnificent potential

I want you to get out from behind the blinds of jealousy and into that light.

 

Because the light, the light…oh it’s so very much warmer in the light.

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Beyond Compare is coming soon. Tackling shadows, light, projections, jealousy, and judgment, so you can be free to do your good work. Breaking the comparison habit for good feels so…good.sidebar_1

Early notification, special offers and the Beyond Compare Starter kit…right this way.

 

 

Limits & Limitlessness: The Ampersand Series

{This piece is part of a brand new suite of posts called The Ampersand Series…an exploration of two sides of the same coin. See my why in the footer of this post.}

Limits

Limits offer parameters. They create order and safety and understanding. Limits can be helpful structures that, at their best, serve to cordon off danger, clearly delineating where something ceases to be safe. Knowing where the line lives can be quite empowering.

Speed limits. Alcohol limits. Bandwidth.

“I mean, most parents would be proud of a kid like that – good-lookin’ and smart and everything, but they gave in to him all the time. He kept trying to make someone say ‘No’ and they never did. They never did. That was what he wanted. For somebody to tell him ‘No.’ To have somebody lay down the law, set the limits, give him something solid to stand on. That’s what we all want, really.”  – S. E. Hinton

Yeah. We can stand solidly in a limit. And FOR a limit.

Enough is a powerful proclamation.

The trouble with limits

Most limits are rooted in ancient cultural traditions, maths and sciences. They often represent our best guesses at the time that they were decreed. And still, they are mostly human constructs…and we know how fallible humans can be.

By definition, limits create scarcity. Within the container of limits, there’s only so much space, creativity, money, opportunity, room at the top to go around.

And when we buy into the structure of scarcity…well, you know how well that tends to work.

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.” – Richard Bach

&

Limitlessness

What’s not to love about limitlessness? It means that everything is possible. Imagine that. REALLY imagine that. You can create anything, ANYTHING you want. From here. With exactly what you have. An infinite array of choices and options and chances and outcomes are yours if you just make up your mind and set course.

Just like that.

(Did that paragraph set your heart ablaze, or have you wanting to hide under your duvet? Either response is perfectly sane.)

The trouble with limitlessness

“For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”Carl Sagan

The reality is that the very notion of limitlessness often creates a sense of agoraphobia. Untethered existence and uncharted territory CAN feel very isolating. For some. Which is why we created limits in the first place. We can’t wrap our heads around this magnitude of possibility, so we create structures to contain things. Rules and constructs. Glass ceilings. Social stratification. Beliefs. Whether we realize it or not.

And here’s the funny thing about limitlessness…we may feel like we’re operating from there…until we hit an edge. We may not even be entirely aware that we’ve hit an edge.

Sometimes we feel literally stopped and blocked and can get the help we need to see our way up, over, or around it. But sometimes it’s more insidious…and we can only sense it when we catch ourselves saying can’t, shouldn’t, always, never or some other action-stopper. But when we realize it? Oh, how that stings. The pain of being here again. Knowing that a choice needs to be made. Rest here or break on through to the other side.

If you’ve hit a limit

  • Don’t panic. As above, limits aren’t in and of themselves a bad thing. Nor are they, contrary to how it may feel, a decree from the heavens that you are on the wrong path. They may indeed be a construct of our belief system about our capacity, and they might also be a signal from your being that you have done enough. For now. Either way…
  • Pause. Take a breath. (Or 10.)
  • Get curious about the limit…why’s it here? What’s it holding back? What’s it keeping you from?
  • What’s beyond the limit? (This may not be entirely clear. And that’s okay…still proceed to the next prompt:: Expanding into the grace beyond the limits of what you can see is an act of courage.)
  • Does the idea of busting through that limit fill you with excitement or dread?

NB:: They can feel like the same thing (the way extreme cold can feel like extreme heat) but with one massive difference:: excitement fills your being whereas dread depletes it.

Once you have that clear, you’ll know what to do. Either::

  • Assemble the resources you need to nourish you and bolster you and sustain you as you do the work of breaking through the limit;  OR,
  • Rest.

Your being knows even when your mind isn’t entirely certain.

Between limits and limitlessness lies discernment that is yours to explore.   twitter-bird-tiny-blue

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the-ampersand-series-option-1Why The Ampersand Series?As a Libran Life Coach, I’m pre-programmed to see both sides…of everything. This can be an annoying trait to my nearest and dearest who just want to vent to me, but it can be a massive service to my clients. Blessing & Curse. (Which, by the way, I can see in everything). So much of my writing touches on polarity. This & That.

Enter The Ampersand Series. Blog posts that shine a light on both sides:: Effort & Surrender. Limits & Limitlessness. Easy & Hard. An invocation to find our own places of discernment between the extremes. To love our ampersands. If this speaks to you, sign up to receive my posts. So much more to come.

 

I am a Force of Nature. Even when I feel anything but. You are too.

It’s been a bit of a doozy of a couple of months. Many, many highs, and many lows. Not a whole lot in the middle. But, y’know. I can take it. And all those highs are so, so gooooooooood. The lows are inconsequential, right? And besides, I’m tough and I’m softly malleable. I’m loved. I’m well-supported. I know what to ask for. I receive well. So, y’know, I’m good.

Except, I haven’t really felt good.

So when an “energy guy” came highly recommended by two friends I trust with all I have, I listened.

And so did he. Though before he could listen, he needed to clear some profound exhaustion that I didn’t know existed. Before he spoke to a profound sadness that I didn’t know existed.

Did you?

I’ll be honest that there’s is a part of me that wasn’t 100% convinced. I mean, we’re all carrying a little tired and a little sad, non? Part of the light and dark of life that makes it so, erm, rich, right? And then, I took a look at some pictures that were taken of me earlier in the day. There was a void in my eyes that I haven’t ever, EVER seen. And it scared the HELL out of me.

How long have I been sad? And then this:: What right do I have to be sad? I am so bloody fortunate and grateful and lucky and blessed and, and, and…

Sidebar:: Sometimes we get ourselves in a fair bit of hot water for not asking for what we need. But sometimes we don’t KNOW what we need.

Perhaps the reason for the long dispute over the source of the adage: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” is due to the fact that it’s incomplete.

Perhaps it needs to be updated.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle they might not even know they’re fighting.

Once I saw that I was IN a battle, I did what I do best, surrendered to the wisdom of some of my nearest and dearest and asked::

I could use your honest loving.
Have you been receiving me as sad lately?

Julie Daley spoke up first, within minutes.
yes. I will tell you. but I’d rather do it on skype, with you, not here.

As ever, she gave me a soft place to land. She gave me this question::
“what do you trust in when everything is pulled out from under you?”

Oh. My.

That my light is abundant, was my answer.

Julie Daley does deep, powerful and transformative work. She can hold your tears. She has no fear of snot (trust me on that one). She can hold your power. And her Becoming a Force of Nature program registration starts now. This is not an affiliate link. This is a you-need-to-know-her-power link. You can take it. You are a force of nature.

And so am I. Whether I’m sad or otherwise. Up or down. I am a force of nature. 

Related:: let’s be patient with one another, shall we? Some are fighting battles they didn’t even know they were fighting.

Are you over being the understudy in your life?

(Begin metaphor)

Being an understudy in theatre is a great place to be…for a while. It acclimatizes you for what the stage will feel like. It gets you used to the warmth of the spotlights. The sheer number of bodies in the audience. The adrenaline, the energy and the excitement. The lines, the pressure, the choreography.

It’s good practice and an excellent place to hang out. It allows you to put in the hours and get good and sure that this role, this LIFE, is the one you want. It bows to the idiom “you need to learn to walk before you can run.” (Though we’ve all seen babies who have missed the walking stage, so, there’s that).

Waiting in the wings means you can’t fail.
There’s safety here.
And latent energy.

For some, this is perfect. You’re ready when you’re told you’re ready… and when the lead actress has a sore throat and can’t make it to the performance. THEN it’s your time to shine because you’ve been tapped in. Given permission.

By someone else.

For others, those who KNOW they are ready, who are tired of being spectators and want to become do-ers, who WANT the role so badly that they can taste it, this waiting over a protracted period of time is like purgatory.

(End metaphor)

So let’s say you’re in the second group with the ants-in-your-pants. You feel strongly that you’re ready to claim your role as artist, speaker, coach, leader, author, teacher, pro, star…

What if you could tap yourself in? What if you could give yourself permission?

Would you?

And if not now, when?
How much more practice do you need?
How many more dance steps do you need to learn?
How many more hoops to you need to jump through?
How many more lines?
How many more courses do you need to ace?
At what point will you allow yourself to take centre stage?

Know what I think?

I think you’re ready. Period. I think you’re ready to name and claim your starring role. I think you’re ready to strive. I think you’re ready to face all that’s been holding you back. I think you’re ready to get the help you need to get you there. I think you’re ready to leap onto the stage. I think you’re ready to do the work. And I think you’re ready to be seen. For the do-er, the pro, and the star that you are.

Tap yourself in

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Show time for the 12-week Step into Your Starring Role is September 23rd. The box office opens to the public on August 26th, but getting on the VIP list means you have first dibs on limited seating and premiere pricing on August 24th.

Tell us about the vanilla beans

Over the weekend, our daughter decided to set-up a lemonade stand. And, as is her tradition, she wanted to donate the money she made to a charity. Previously, she’s raised money for a cat rescue. This year, she had her sights set on charity: water, an organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. I heard the founder Scott Harrison speak last year at WDS and brought his story home to my family. My daughter was inspired.

So, we baked chocolate chip cookies and made lemonade, set up the stand and away she went…committed to raising enough money to provide clean water for at least 3 people ($60).

Our strat plan looked a little like this:

Hot day + cute kid + good cause + quality offering = buckets o’ dough

The weather was spotty, so we didn’t see as much foot traffic as we would have liked, but she is pretty damned adorable, and it is an exceptionally good cause so she did manage to raise $70.75. She was pleased.

It was that “quality offering” variable that got my husband thinking later that evening.

Him: I wonder, if we underpriced and undersold the lemonade.
Me: How do you mean?
Him:  I think for $0.50 people are expecting lemonade from frozen concentrate…not hand squeezed lemons sweetened with a simple syrup infused with vanilla beans and sprinkled with garden-fresh mint, y’know?
Me: But that’s just how I do it. That’s just how I make lemonade.
Him: How would anyone who hasn’t met you know that about you, T?
Me: Ah, crap.

Check out the sign.

Lollys lemonade

He’s right. How would anyone know exactly what care, time, attention and, yeah, I’ll say it…LOVE that went into our pitchers of lemonade, that very symbol of summer’s ease?

Indeed.

Time and time again, we undervalue that which we don’t recognize as special. And the clue often lies in our “just”s. Listen for them, then look into them.

What are you downplaying? I’m willing to bet it’s the very thing that people are often thanking you for…like the care, time, attention and love I put into most of my pursuits…lemonade and beyond (though clearly not the aforementioned sign).

I suspect that buried in that dismissive 4-letter word is a linchpin to the wheel of your very essence. All that is wholly, uniquely and wondrously you. Love it up, Love.

My dear friend and the woman I turn to before every product launch (with lemonade being the notable exception) Tara Gentile has this to say::

“Give yourself credit for what differentiates you (or your product) and why that’s important to you. Then consider why what differentiates you is important to others and communicate that value clearly. It doesn’t help to fixate on features or process (or degrees, credentials, portfolio pieces, etc…) but it does pay to know what makes you stand out and why that’s important to the people you seek to be in service of.”

Yeah. In business and in life, tell us about the vanilla beans. Tell us how you do what you do. And why. That’s precisely what makes you and your offerings so entirely delicious to us.

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If you’re not already subscribed to this blog, now’s a good time to do so. You’ll receive my Joy Pages, a heart-full read while you enjoy YOUR kind of lemonade, weekly-ish posts and will find out soonest about a June summer coaching special I’ve got going on. Subscribe here.

Quite Simply…my TEDxWomen Talk

Ever since November 2012, I knew that there would be a moment that my TEDxWomen talk would be available for all to see. And that I’d need to find a way to share it with my corner of the world. That is, YOU. I’d love to say that I was excited, but the reality is, I’ve been a little, well…nervous.

I mean, I KNEW I’d be proud of it…I spent weeks (and weeks) preparing, researching, training, practicing, finessing and getting it under the requisite 18 minutes. And I KNEW the content would be good…I know the Impostor Complex like the back of my hand.

But asking everyone, YOU, to go check out my TEDxWomen talk is just…so…selfish, right?

Me, me, me, me, me.

I’ve started and stopped this very post about 15 times. Each time I approached with this question:: “what huge, massive, COLOSSAL value can I bring to my readers AND STILL let them know that my talk is available for viewing?”…as though the two were mutually exclusive.

So I’m about to take a leap of faith. The huge value of this post IS my talk.

Whoa. Whoa. Whooooooooa.

That seriously just kind of took my breath away. The sheer audacity.

But there it is.

My friends, I know A LOT about the Impostor Complex. So much so, that I am indeed becoming an Authority on the topic.

I’m claiming that.

In my perfectly imperfect talk, I’ve outlined a process that moves us from feeling like an Impostor to feeling like an Authority. I use it with my coaching clients, and in my own life. It’s also the backbone of my Step into Your Starring Role program.

If you ever, EVER struggle with the Impostor Complex, then you WILL get value from watching this talk…because I wrote the talk for you.

And now, I leave it in your loving hands, and will go and celebrate (an ever-important step in the process, you’ll see) by busting my Kid out of after-school care early for an ice cream cone.

Because

I did it. I really, really did it.

And if you want to do it too, you can and will too. “How do you begin? The answer is simple: you decide to.”  - Anne Lamott

And maybe, just maybe this will guide you::

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Update::

ice cream cones

She had the Moose Tracks, I had the Burgundy Cherry.

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