When was the last time you truly felt like you could see clearly and speak up in your own unique truth?
When was the last time you spoke up without questioning who you would offend?
For years now, I have felt like I have so much to share, as a teacher and as a person. I have been given a plethora of life experiences at an early age and I know in my gut that this was no mistake. Yet for much of my life I was very scared, scared mainly because I was afraid of what others would think or say; scared that I might offend someone, that they might not agree and then as a result not like me.
Those thoughts for years kept me from sharing my insight, thoughts, opinions and ideas. Even in casual conversation with friends and family, I would often do more of the listening and hardly any sharing because I didn’t want to be different, I didn’t want to make anyone mad. And when I knew I had a different opinion I struggled in holding onto my own truth.
I would go home from those conversations mad at myself for either not speaking up or leaving my opinion beaten into something that I didn’t stand for. I didn’t have the backbone to be okay with my belief and being different than the rest.
This people-pleasing mindset left me even more unhappy, even more angry, and irritated at the world. In reality, I did not know that this anger and irritation was really more about me… because I didn’t have the skills to speak up confidently without taking others actions and reactions so personally. I was mad at myself and projecting it onto others as their fault.
Yoga has helped me a great deal with developing insight, and with insight you are able to see things differently, you are able to step back, practice compassion and at the same time, practice standing in your truth.
Insight can be a tool to help you make changes in your life, but having insight doesn’t mean you are perfect and it surely doesn’t mean you never make mistakes.
Before I was a bystander in my life, and now I get to be fully integrated into it. I’m constantly learning. I would often tell my husband how much I admired his abilities to tell it like it is, and not care. He would often reply back, “I do care, just not about everyone’s BS, I have my own issues. I don’t need to hear about everyone else’s.” He is always saying that when you are upfront right away about things, there is no guessing and less issues later (if you are wondering he does a lot of wheeling and dealing and is a business owner too).
So how do you develop insight and your own voice?
Here is what I’ve learned:
How to Develop Insight and Speak Your Truth
1. Breathe more, talk less.
Learn to focus on your breathing. Breathing keeps you in the present moment and helps you slow down. If you are not breathing then internally you are putting yourself in a position of anxiety and stress where it can be difficult to think straight and truly feel. So in those moments of truth and honesty, in those moments of both giving and receiving information slow down to breath more and talk less, this will help you feel and evaluate what you are going to say before you say it.
2. Think before you talk (or write).Get quiet and ask yourself, why am I going to say/write this? Who will it help, is it truthful and honest? I can’t count the number of times I write a comment on social media, type a reply to a video, email or go to post something myself only to delete it because when I reread and reflect I feel in my gut it’s not worth it and I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. There are times to speak up and times to shut up.
3. Be Honest.
Privately practice getting honest with yourself, talk out loud to yourself, and practice speaking your truth (or writing your truth). In the beginning it may not be pretty, but as you gain better insight skills you will be able to tame and mold it. I have written countless blog posts, only to never publish them in fear someone might not agree, or might get angry or take it personally, this is no way to live.
4. The people you surround yourself with, are a reflection of who you are.
Surround yourself with people that inspire you to be better, people that you want to aspire to be like, remember you become your company. Be in good company of people who have mastered the art of insight and speaking up, learn from them, even ask them questions, doing this has offered me some of the greatest insights and self reflection.
5. Speak up with safe people.
Speaking up with people who you trust and people you can maybe even share what you are working on with. The only way to get better at riding your bike is to watch a YouTube video do it over and over again.
6. Practice NOT having the last say.
This is a hard one for many, sometimes speaking up means you say nothing and let things go, this has been a great practice of developing personal strength and insight as to why I feel the need to fix or have the last say. What matters truly is what you think of yourself. And what I have discovered is that my need to have the last say was a direct response to feeling like I was never heard. (Try practicing #1 to help you practice #6)
7. Remember, negative feelings pass.
Start to sit with the uncomfortable feelings after you speak your truth and let yourself feel those feelings. Those feelings don’t last forever, but they do stick around if you continually avoid them. Being uncomfortable is a huge part of growth and a huge part of change. I see this often, people deflecting change by blaming others, or giving excuses for what they are not willing to address and take action on themselves. I have both been the target, and have targeted others due to a lack of skills and insight; the only reason I see this now is because I was the queen of this for many years.
If you are a yogi, I would encourage you to consider a slower practice to help you learn to sit with the feelings more, feel them and let them pass.
8. Observe your body language, and tone of voice.
Parenting is a great example. If you parent from across the room you can pretty much expect your child to never listen or take you seriously. Just as important, if you ask your child to do something or listen to you and you are requesting them to do so while scrolling on your smartphone, do you think they will take you seriously? If you don’t give them complete attention, why should others do the same to you? There are a million angles to take on this. Feeling inferior? Try sitting up tall, or uncrossing your arms and legs to help you receive better. Make eye contact when you talk and use inflections in your voice to stress importance in the conversation. These are all things I use in my personal life and when I teach to help students stay tuned in.
9. There’s always room for growth!
No matter where you are in your life there is always room for growth and insight. I see now what I could not see before, that those who develop a sense of self, a voice and a truth are the ones who receive what life has to offer more fully, because the goodness that is waiting for them knows where to go and is then well received.
When was the last time you spoke up for yourself? Be well, my friends. Namaste.
Stepping off the struggle bus: 3 steps to getting off.
Struggle has become a household word. And for some…a badge of honor.
It seems in today’s world we are all striving to “get somewhere”. And there is nothing wrong with that!
Having goals, hopes and dreams keeps one motivated, focused and driven.
But what happens when you find yourself stuck on the struggle bus?
What do you do when you just don’t know what to do next?
Everything is blurry, overwhelming, and just too big to handle?
I use to spin my wheels and struggle (and still do on several occasions), hide in the comforts of what was familiar, easy, and “going good”.
But within those gates I would complain, cry and do I dare say pout about how I felt like I constantly had one foot on the struggle bus, and that I “couldn’t” get it off.
I’ve been an entrepreneur all my adult life!
I was taught to grind (in a sense that struggle was the way and method), to put your head down and keep going.
And for most of my life that has served me well in the notion that I don’t give up easy.
But now almost 35, I have realized that it’s perfectly OK to hop off the struggle bus and see what else is out there. Who else is out there, and what other buses are driving around to… HELP? And even if I fall stepping off, I’m at least off.
See it’s funny, I was never really taught collaboration and that there are truly others out there who WANT to help you.
See, I was taught survival.
And clawing my way out of an eating disorder, survival was essential.
But there comes a time when you evolve past that and need, and you begin to step out of survival mode.
Or at least you begin to see you that you want to do that.
That process for me. Stepping out and off the struggle bus was HARD!
I’d get one foot off and freak out and grip the struggle bus tighter. Even though I hated it, it was comfortable and familiar, and I did not want to have to go out there and “figure it all out” all over again… Talk about overwhelm.
So when I started taking my teaching to a larger audience both off and online I wanted to remove all the barriers of entry.
I want to collaborate with you, help you off the struggle bus, and I’ve been, there so let me remove all the “I can’t do this” objections.
Do you want to know what I found…
What I discovered when I started to reach out to help others?
The same thing I did to countless people when they tried to reach out to me. People didn’t do it. They still didn’t come to class, invest in themselves, in what I had essentially created just for them.
I had paved the way (just like others did for me).
Did they not want it?
Was their grip too tight, just like mine to the struggle bus?
Did they too have one foot off just enough to feel free, but comfortable at the same time?
In the last 20 years of my life I have discovered one vital thing…You can’t make someone grow, step off the bus, or even look up at the horizon if they are not ready.
I remember a time when I was that very person. Nothing my parents, my school teachers, my counselor could say was going to change my mind and my ways. I liked the struggle bus. I did. It was comfortable, predictable, familiar, and as horrible as it was for my well-being, it made me just happy enough to limp by in life.
I don’t want that for you.
When I see someone struggling, I see myself flash before my own eyes, reminding me of my own struggle and how essential it SITLL is to keep pressing forward and surrounding myself with others, ideas and tools that help me to press on and stay off the struggle bus.
Here are my 3 best tips for stepping off the struggle bus:
1. Invest in yourself. Misery loves company and when you are caught in that cycle of struggle, your inner state will often refuse help, ideas, and making any kind of positive investment in yourself. You’ll find reasons also known as excuses to not do things like take a yoga class, invest in a workshop or online course, or even something as simple as take a nap or vent to a close friend. Step one to stepping off the struggle bus is to believe you are worth the time and investment. And if you don’t, do it anyway.
2. Pick your friends wisely. They (not sure who “they” is) say you are the accumulation of the 5 people you most frequently surround yourself with. So, make a list and see with your own eyes who those people are. Stepping off the struggle bus is all about coming to reality with where your life is right now. And then beginning to make those decisions as to how to move forward.
3. Call yourself out on your excuses. I started to notice that whenever someone would suggest something to me, offer me an opportunity or the most perfect program or offering came my way I would always tell myself some excuse I would disguise as a “reason” as to why I couldn’t do that or have that.
I challenge you to call yourself out on those moments then trace it back. So, I began to ask myself on those occasions “Why Hope, why can’t you”. And what I discovered is all those moments (yes, I said all) traced back to unworthiness and fear. Nothing real and legitimate. If it was about money, it was really about a fear I had around money not thinking I deserved it. Or I would hype my life up that I am “so busy” that I just don’t have the time to do such a thing, which in all reality I wasn’t willing to make the time and put myself out there that I was of value and worthy. I challenge you to try this and free yourself by stepping off the struggle bus right now.
This message may have hit a chord with you, and if it has, I want to welcome you to the first steps of stepping off the struggle bus and beginning to open your eyes to the idea that you are a rock star!
And as you begin to step off, if by chance you are ready to look up, I’ll be waiting here.
Having removed all the barriers as to why you can’t step off with my personally crafted programs made just for you (well, in all honesty, just for me, because most people create great things based on their own struggles, breakthroughs, and divine moments).
Want to take a look? Just hop on over HERE and take a look. Whose ready to step off the struggle bus and make a change?
I know what it is like to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.
For fifteen years my life was a constant tornado of highs and lows followed up with failures and rock bottoms.
For fifteen years I lived a life in secret (well very few people truly knew what was going on), my days were spent sinking deeper into depression and desperately trying to figure out how to call for help.
Help that I never really got as I was battling a horrific eating disorder and a plethora of self-sabotaging thoughts and in that head of mine I was too scared to let anyone in, in fear of not knowing what would happen.
I think we all have had that feeling at one-time or another, that feeling of knowing that life is not going well, that we are not living, breathing and going about our days at our best.
Now I’m not talking about being a beauty pageant contestant walking the streets of your town looking all perfect, but rather I am speaking to your soul.
Having spent my fair share living at rock bottom, I know firsthand that there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. BUT (and it’s a big BUT), you, yes YOU have to be willing to step up, show up and be willing to get uncomfortable in order to get where you want to go.
That uncomfortable feeling is you stepping out of the cycle you are in. Your cycle may not be like mine, it may not be a life-threatening eating disorder that took you from 132 pounds to 99 pounds in three months, it may not have landed you in the hospital with a major abdominal surgery because you could no longer control your actions, and you lived only on impulse.
But no matter what the first step to any change in your life, the first step to you feeling joy, happiness and freedom are you doing something different. Something different than what you are already doing, surrounding yourself with inspirational and motivational and supportive people and opportunities to continually hold you up rather than crush you down.
So if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired of too many thoughts living in that head of yours with nowhere to turn, then I want to welcome you to join me in clearing the mental clutter once and for all.
5 steps to Clear Mental Clutter
Stop the cycle of “sick and tired”!
1. Try putting down the instant gratification devices like your phone, tablet, and computer.
I recently read that an addiction to social media and the “likes” (so to speak) you get on these social sites give you the same endorphin boost as someone acting in addiction with drugs, alcohol, even an eating disorder. So put the device down and step away slowly!
2. Take a step outside.
When is the last time you stepped outside and just took a big breath in? Stopped for a moment and enjoyed the sunshine on your face. The breeze in your hair, the sound of the trees and mother nature at her finest? When we step away we can then step into what is in front of us more fully. Imagine what five minutes could do?
3. Consider meditation.
Don’t think of meditation as big and scary. As you just sitting there with the thoughts in your head-frustrated because there is nothing meditative about thinking about all the stuff you need to do. Meditation can be and is easy. It’s simply a matter of you stopping for a few minutes and breathing, unplugging and reducing yourself to nothing more than every inhale and exhale. Even for just 3 minutes. Here’s my favorite 3-minute meditation
My FREE community for support and ideas for those looking to gain the love of their life back and want to take action to clear the clutter!
So that you can clear that crap in your head (yes I said crap) and start finding the joy that has always been there available to you- I want to help you regain it immediately. And for a limited time, it’s just $19!
I didn’t want to continue to live the way I was living. I was scared, and felt like I didn’t have the skills to actually make the changes I knew I needed to make to move into recovery, and live the life I knew I deserved!
The five steps above are steps I actually took to get to where I am today! And I want to invite you to do the same, except you get a guide that has been there and found a path that works!
Your journey begins here!
Where has all the gratitude gone?
I grew up with my father making certain that my sisters and I understood the necessity of respecting your elders. And now I can only speak for myself now as an adult, but this (of many) things he spoke to us about has deeply been ingrained into my head and will forever be a teaching moment that I now use for my kids as well.
What does gratitude mean to you in today’s world? Well for starters when typing in “what does gratitude mean” into Google: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness comes us as the definition.
And when I read that short but powerful and on point definition, the “show appreciation for and return kindness is like a firework in my mind. When we get all stuck on trying to make a living, get somewhere, be someone it can be very easy to forget about gratitude.
With gratitude comes an ease of living. With gratitude, you are constantly (forced) to keep life in perspective.
In order to have gratitude you have to be a bad ass, you have to train your brain to think that way. Because as the old saying goes “if you cannot be grateful for what you have, how will you be grateful for what is to come”?…
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that here in the U.S. (and maybe other countries as well) that many have slowly slipped away from seeing wisdom from our elders as important. Who needs an old person when you have Google? Who needs a story repeated ten times over when you can download an E-Book about it and read it in peace?
But peace comes from patience and patience is developed through being more mindful…
Several years ago I took a class (and I wish I could remember with who) and I came across a few notes on gratitude, they were as follows:
- You must be resilient in life to be happy and healthy.
- You must have humor
- Live life and not take it so seriously
- You must take a moment each day to really live!…
- We were encouraged to find a beautiful moment, a silly moment and a delicious moment in each day.
In re-reading all of this, the decision that perception is a moral test asking us if we take time each day to see beauty.
Gratitude keeps us connected to the real rhythms of life. The ones that make us thankful for living, for breathing, for being exactly who we are.
Are you grateful? Are you thankful for what you have? Where are you going? Where are you right now?
To cultivate gratitude one must shift their focus and create clarity in that process. What have you done to create that?
It seems the more we do the more we have to do, and the more we have the more things we have to lose, trip over and clutter up our house, office and life!
Clutter is a constant battle at our house and it never surprises me that when I let the clutter monster get out of control at my house it seems to also seep into other areas of my life as well.
So if you are in need of clutter clearing here are 6 simple tricks to help with that.
1. Wake up just 15 minutes earlier that usual. Now that earlier wake up call is for you to get out15 of bed. That time can be used for that wishful thinking meditation or yoga session, an early start on the day, or to actually take the time to eat breakfast and make a healthy lunch.
2. Just put it away the first time. I can’t tell you the number of times I walk over things, only to look at them and then do nothing other than think about the fact I should put it away. And I gotta be honest, that approach on keeping things organized didn’t help me much in my life up to this point. So when you see something just pick it up.
Doing this is an act of discipline and also a practice of self-respect. Doing this has helped me keep my house, office and car much cleaner and as a results my family and I much happier.
3. Stop multi-tasking. The glorification of doing multiple things all at once seems like something to be proud of, however in the effort to do multiple things at once you end up getting very little done and completed. Think of all you are doing as a mediation, there will always be distraction, it’s up to you to stay focused.
And when we aren’t focused we aren’t clear, many times multi-tasking is just us (me and you) avoiding having to buckle down and do what is in front of us. Everyday I take five minutes to get clear on what my multi-tasking is helping me avoid.
4. Make a list and stick to the list. There is something so gratifying about making a list and then crossing them off as the day goes on. My suggestion, categorize your list: long-term, short-term; daily, weekly, monthly, or categorize them. Find what works and as you cross something off give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!.
5. Be an example. What gets me motivated is remembering I am an example to my kids, students, and even my spouse. If you want things to change-be the change. Complaining does very little for the soul, but stepping up and being an example and doing the right thing, well that says something now!
6. 15 minute evening clean up session. Yep, just 15, those valuable minutes can then be used to pick up stuff! I love to set the timer on my kitchen stove and just go gun-ho until it beeps. Discipline yourself to do this before you sit down to watch your favorite show, or read a good book.
And if you are like me I’d suggest getting the kids involved-I say, start them early! It’s amazing what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.
Clutter may be a constant lurking threat, but when you slow down, choose to make the time, then take the time, your efforts will surely pay off. Because I don’t know about you, but when my house is happy, I’m happy, and when I’m happy I am more willing to take on any task life throws at me with a grateful heart and willing arms.
Light it Up!
For many, they don’t see their gifts at all. They don’t see their natural God-given talents as anything more than something to do.
But here’s the thing there is a reason you were born with them. And truth be told, when you look at yourself, and then look at another and feel yours aren’t as good or are not what “everyone else” seems to have; news flash, they aren’t supposed to be like everyone else.
Wouldn’t life be boring if we all had the same gifts?
So in that thinking, what are you naturally good at, what are your talents, what comes easy, what makes your heart sing?
Humor me for a bit as you read this post and forget school, forget what you learned, forget what you were told to focus on, take interest in be it at a desk, on a field, or in a book.
What do you love, what are you good at, what makes you want to grab a torch and light ‘er up?
Because your gifts are a flame and guess what? You-yes you, get to hold the torch. Don’t be afraid, don’t judge, analyze, or wonder if it’s right, good enough or will fit in. Because truth be told, it won’t! And that’s the whole point!
It saddens me when I look out and see so many that just aren’t willing to even hold the torch out of fear they will get burned. Out of worry, their flame won’t burn as bright as others.
I was that person, I have spent most of my life in fear I wasn’t good enough, it had been ingrained into my DNA that this what the mentality one takes in life. And for years it crippled me, for years it kept me only holding the torch, but so afraid to light it.
And then even when I got to light it, I was constantly analyzing if my flame was up to snuff.
Well, mine is and so is yours.
But you have to believe it, and sadly many won’t. Many will only think about it, only choose to watch on the sidelines, only talk about others flames be it positive or negatively.
It takes an extraordinary person to carry fire, to light a path for themselves and others.
So I say…Burn it up!!!!!
What lights your path? What are you burning up about? I want to know.
Leave a comment, I can’t wait to hear about what kind of fire you are running with!