This week I have been taking part in an amazing ten day course called the "Be Seen Challenge" with my fabulous friend and fellow life-coach Eryka Peskin. It has been SO good (for a whole host of reasons - but mostly because I get to make a video of myself every day and am getting good at it - YAY!). One of the tasks we worked on this week is something I do with my clients regularly . . . which is all about Asking for What You Want!
So here's something you might not know about me: I used to be a big c-o-m-p-l-a-i-n-e-r. Yes this was at a time in my life where I was miserable in my marriage and felt 100% stuck. So stuck that all I could do was complain about how bad I felt and what a horrible person my ex was (and a bunch of other things I'm sure.) Here's the truth though: If I had asked him for what I wanted, my bet is that life could have been about 50% better in a heartbeat. Would it have saved the marriage? NO. But . . . as I navigated my way through that experience and have learned a thing or two over the years, I see what a powerful act it is to ask for what you want, and try to make it more of a practice these days. Because you know what? When you ask for what you want . . . you might just get it!
Here's one of Eryka's personal stories about asking, which she has graciously given me permission to share:
Once upon a time I spent a summer in Seattle. As you may know, there are a zillion beautiful islands in the Seattle area, and one day I took a ferry over to Vashon Island. At sunset I went to a park on the west side of the island and saw a man kayaking. I thought to myself, "Oh it would be SO AWESOME if I could kayak right now! I wish I had one!" And then "Hmmm . . .what if I asked him if I could borrow it?!"
For the rest of the time he was in the water I wrestled with myself about whether to ask him if I could borrow his kayak. I had thoughts like "Are you kidding? That is CRAZY! That's too demanding! Who are you to ask a stranger for this?" I had thoughts about not being pretty enough to ask for that kind of attention, about being judged by him and maybe others on the beach (although it was sparsely populated).
In my world, asking for what you desire is all about being seen. I didn't want to be seen as pushy or as doing something wrong.
And then I said to myself, "Fuck it. I'm 40, and I'm done with being insecure about stupid shit. I've got nothing to lose by asking."
So when he came back on shore, I asked if he'd be willing to let me use his kayak!
Without hesitation he loaned it to me, helped me get in, gave me some pointers . . . and even took a few photos of me kayaking!
All of this was possible because I allowed myself to be seen . . . I allowed myself to push past my fears and to ASK.
And, also, I had absolutely no expectation of the outcome. I pretty much expected him to say no, so when he said yes it was a very pleasant surprise. :)
Oh my GOSH . . . what an amazing story and example of what can happen when you're actually brave and ask for what you want!
Today I am sending an email to they guy that owns my gym (who I've known for years), with a couple of asks that feel BIG. I will report back about how that goes!
Your homework for today is to take a moment and reflect . . . are you asking for what you want in this life? My theory is that if you don't ask, the answer is always NO. And if you DO ask - the answer will far more likely be YES than you even realize. Is there something you can ask of someone this week? Keep in mind that you can ask for the moon (!) or you can ask your co-worker to chew more quietly or ask your neighbor to teach you tap dancing . . . Asking for what you want is a muscle that gets stronger as you exercise it, and getting what you want can be so incredibly gratifying.
If it feels scary - do it anyway. I'll be cheering you on!
Love and Light,
P.S. For an amazing video on rejection (which sometimes goes along with asking) check out Jia Jiang's speech from the World Domination Summit in 2013. It is RAD.
As a Life Coach I frequently work with my clients to dissolve limiting beliefs and painful thoughts.
I spent many hours practicing this technique during my training - both as "Coach", and "Client", and I have to say . . . most of the limiting beliefs I had were more annoying than painful. Which is all fine and well where practice is concerned, but it did not prepare me for the colossal meltdown that occurred this week - which was littered with really painful thoughts! OUCH!
At the core is that my older son is done with high school and graduation is tomorrow, after which he will be leaving in the middle of August to go to college in Colorado to play Baseball! ALL GOOD, Right? Errrrrmm - not really? I've known this was coming for well . . . 17 years. It just hit me like a ton of bricks on Thursday night, and in the blink of an eye I felt like I had to let go - which is something I've been ignoring with the hopes that perhaps it just wouldn't happen? No such luck. Cue Meltdown. :(
Here are the two winners from my long list of painful thoughts:
I didn't do a good job raising him.
There's no time left to fix that.
In Byron Katie's "The Work" - the first question we ask about the thought is "Is it True?" . . . and I know deep down that neither of these thoughts are true. AND, I am going to work and work and work on them until I turn them around! At the end of the day, I know in my heart that Everything is Going to Be Alright <--- it's just taking me a little while to get there.
How are all of YOU doing this week? I don't have a journal prompt for you - I just want to remind you that whatever is going on in your life . . . Everything is Going to Be Alright.
Do you have a child that is "leaving the nest"? Everything is Going to Be Alright.
Are you feeling anxious about your work or a relationship? Everything is Going to Be Alright.
Did you mess up something important or fall on your face? Everything is Going to Be Alright.
To be transparent, I'm saying it just as much for myself as for you. Tomorrow when I watch my boy walk at graduation I will remind myself that my word for the year is TRUST . . . and that Everything is Going to Be Alright.
Love and Light,
"When nothing is sure, everything is possible." - Margaret Drabble
I like to say I'm a lifelong learner, and boy is that ever true! One of the biggest lessons I seem to keep re-learning, is to just be ME . . . it makes everything so much easier!
A personality trait I've had since I was a child, is that I move through life s-l-o-w-l-y. This pokey approach has been a massive source of frustration to those close to me. I'd even go as far as to say that I may have lost a 20 year friendship over it? There was a point during my divorce where the amount of judgement about how I was crawling through that horrid process was so overwhelming - it seemed like everyone had an opinion about doing things in a more timely fashion. "Just rip off the Band-Aid!" they'd say . . . It got to a point where I started to judge myself about my snails-pace way of life too, and then I felt even worse.
Eventually I stopped resisting what seemed to come most naturally, and accepted the slowness as part of who I was. I quit the inner battle, and asked my friends and family to reserve their judgments about my choices. I decided to see myself as deliberate and thoughtful - putting a positive spin on what I had previously regarded as negative - since in reality this pace had served me (mostly) well throughout my life!
Subsequently things changed and I became able to make decisions and take actions with considerably more speed . . . it was amazing! Here's the truth: You have to accept yourself as you are, before you can change. (click to Tweet)
More recently I had a reminder of all this - trying to embrace my role as a Baseball Mom. For the last several years I've been that Mom who waits until the last minute to try and get a room for the out of town tournaments, has no idea when things are happening, where the games are and at what time - it's all very "fly by the seat of my pants" . . . which doesn't always work very well. So THIS season I decided That's IT! I am going to be SUPER organized, jump on those hotel rooms right when they become available, etc. etc. Well yesterday I got a call from a hotel in Eastern Washington asking me if I wanted to keep my room for the rest of my stay because they were sold out and could give it to someone else. Yep - that's right . . . in my effort to be "organized" I got that room, and then totally forgot about it. And ended up paying $140 for something I didn't want or need. Argh!
I had to laugh though, because the truth is I'm not into those out of town tournaments anyway, and I clearly made other arrangements with the coach for my kid to stay with some teammates. And now that I know this about myself I won't keep trying to be someone I'm NOT.
Sooo . . . today I'd love it if you'd think about parts of your personality that you tell yourself you need to change, and see them as gifts instead of liabilities. Can you put a positive spin on things about yourself that you don't like? Who knows, once you start being true to ALL of you - you might feel less stressed, more joyful, and even save a few dollars.
Love and light,
I know Gratitude is a big thing right now, and you can read about it anywhere - but I've had a few moments this week where I've been downright GRATEFUL, and I feel compelled to give it a shout-out here in my little online space.
The bottom line with Gratitude is that it is virtually impossible to be Sad, Cranky, Angry, Depressed - while you are simultaneously being thankful for something. I dare you to try it! I've been in tears before and turned things around (albeit begrudgingly!) by stopping to think about all that is good in my life. I think I was feeling comfortable in my crankiness so wasn't all that excited about getting out of the mood - but despite my resistance it worked. Would you look at that!
Here are some things that have made my gratitude list this week:
Today's exercise is to make a gratitude list of your own. In difficult times I've struggled to find things to be grateful for . . . and there have been moments where I've listed just the most basic of things - like shelter and food. Chances are your list may hold a number of things - and taking a moment to honor them is not only gracious, but can be an excellent mood-mender as well.
"If the only prayer you ever say is Thank You, that will be enough." - Eckhart Tolle
Love and Light,
Meet me here on Saturdays for some weekly vibes - honoring the week that has past, and clearing the way for what's new. Gather your journal and favorite pen, along with a hot cup of coffee/tea/chai - and settle in for 30 minutes dedicated to YOU.
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