Boundaries

Lift Off

Hey Hey! We have a lot of demands that are placed on us emotionally and mentally. Most of these demands begin with others and continue throughout our lives from various sources, ourselves included. We are not given, at a young age, many tools to sort through, filter and manage the demands that we are asked to handle either directly or indirectly. Despite not knowing how to, in a healthy way, to take care of what we feel we are supposed to, we make attempts to take care of the things around us that we feel responsible for. It takes most of us many years, if we ever do figure it out, and lots of heartache to discover that we may not be working on behalf of our best selves emotional and mental wellbeing. It may take a break of some sort for us to recognize that we might have taken on too much, not enough or the "wrong" stuff. Generally, something moves us to awareness, jolts us forward, and it is usually not rainbows and puppy dogs.

When you go through a situation in your life where you are pushed to ask questions about your life and why you are where you are, and not where you want to be, you will need to look at some big questions, the main ones. When you start to delve into who your beliefs, judgments, motivations, desires and how all of these relate to your relationship with yourself and your relationships with others you will begin to see where you will need to make shifts in your life. We have a lot of programming that says we are supposed to take on the pain of others as our own, we are to be responsible for our fellow man, we are to do things that don't feed us because that is a part of this life that you cannot get around. I know that these ideas, though seemingly big hearted and practical have been distorted beyond; because of these distortions, unhappiness on all levels, emotional, physical and spiritual, are at an all time high.

Knowing where you begin and end is a start to healing. Knowing that you are, at the same time an individual, everyone and everything, allows for your healing to move others forward on their path as well. Because we have become so accustomed to connecting in the external realms we are out of practice with our internal and astral universes. We believe that absorbing someone else's bullshit in this reality actually helps them out. It doesn't in any way actually. When you remember that you can heal yourself and in turn, due to our origin and our connection to the source of all, heal the whole, reaching out is the last thing you need to do. Reaching in is where the strength and the magic come from. Allowing others to see how they choose to use their gifts, powers and knowing is a much more helpful way to be for them and for yourself. When you begin to connect with yourself (and in turn others) spiritually/internally you stop taking on the false reality, that is this external world, of others. When you do that, also known as setting boundaries, you are allowed to feel the abundant energy of love that is available to all of us.

Take a month to work on your boundaries and see, after you have actually set and communicated them, how much space you have to feel, to do, to love. When you remove the weight of this imaginary world from your shoulders you are left with a weightlessness that allows for you to soar.

Great Gray Owl
Great Gray Owl

xo a

What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!! How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day? This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back… put it out there! Let the world feel your appreciation! Let's make a difference.

This only takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer. So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself. Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well). What are you feeling gratitude around? Here are mine for this week:

Heat. My Closet Full of Clothes. Epiphanies. Gum. Redecorating.

There are no right or wrong answers. It is about what you are grateful for. It is proven that doing this once a week makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights. You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Anger is powerful. Anger brings forth a fearlessness in a person. Anger gives a feeling of worthiness and deservedness. Anger is a truth showing emotion in many ways. In the basic sense anger is information like everything else in the world. You choose how you process it, but in it's natural form it just is. Many people believe that anger is inherently negative and that we need to do what we can to avoid it completely. We have placed it in the category of things that people-who-don't-have-their-shit-together feel; or people who haven't matured enough, or people who are just masking sadness, or blah blah blah. We do whatever we can to run away from it in so many ways. Then, we get into our cars and try to kill people on a regular basis because they made a wrong turn or weren't paying attention to their surroundings properly; or we find ourselves feeling deep sadness and not understanding why or what it is about. Our suppressed anger turns into road rage, depression, an overall numb feeling in our lives.

Anger is a spark, like joy, that activates everything else. It is a deep and intense feeling that tells you when a boundary has been crossed. Anger is a motivator for change. Anger is a sign that you are not happy with something, it gives you a chance to peer into your true feelings, judgments and expectations. To own being angry means you have to admit that you want; wanting means you will have to go after something and going after something means that there is a risk of not getting it (and a chance that you will). For many that risk is too much and so not wanting (which is a lie) is what they opt for instead. Because of this lie there is anger that is misplaced… not even acknowledged because it has no origin that the person feeling it understands since they denied wanting to begin with. When you accept that you deserve to want and are worth the risk of going after what you want you are open to feelings that will motivate and move you forward, anger is one of them.

When you deny your wants and preferences you essentially deny a huge part of being human and being a spirit. When you don't allow your anger to assist you in boundary development and maintenance depression can set in. Anger, when denied and turned inward, manifests as depression. The thing is anger in and of itself is not negative, how we respond to it, however, often is. Our denial and subsequent sadness or rage at seemingly benign things, is damaging and can have negative effects on ourselves and others. Acceptance of our feelings, all of our feelings, allows us to manage them and put them in the place where they will be of the most benefit. We all have anger, all of us. Just like any other emotion we have, anger is important and worth connecting with to understand when it comes up for us. The journey to each other begins with ourselves. You won't fully be able to connect, assist and help (yourself or others) if you deny hide or judge what is as what isn't supposed to be.

angerbaby
angerbaby

xo a

Love Brings Joy

Hello lovely, I am happy 99.8% of the time. I am asked how is that possible and what do I do. Well the short answer is that I do what I want. But truly it is because I take responsibility for me, how I feel, that my feelings are mine and not someone else's. I don't blame another for where I am, who I am or how I am. I realize that I have the power to view things in a way that will foster love and growth or fear and destruction. I am happy because I put so much love into me that nothing else has room to grow. I have no space for someone else to set up shop and start dismantling what I have built. Believe me, people will try; they will try to get inside of you and tell you that you are wrong, bad. It is your choice whether to let them in or to tell them to high-tail it out of town.

We are so used to feeling the need to be validated by others that we allow them to tell us that we are doing our lives all wrong. As an example: I was discussing family with a friend when she asked me how I respond to people being less than understanding when they find out that I don't speak to my mother (except in cases of emergency). I responded that I don't give people the space to judge what I do (to my face at least). The idea that someone would feel comfortable telling me that they feel I should live my life differently is comedy to me. Honestly hilarious. Part of the reason there is no room is because I am never confused about decisions I make. I recognize this as a blessing, I do. I work with my clients to gain clarity around their own lives so that they can also make clear and definitive choices, and change their minds if they choose to.

I live my truth at all times. I do not ever attempt to be someone other than who I am, fully. That person is absolutely deserving, worthy, worthwhile, amazing and divine. She is also an asshole, stubborn and selfish when she needs to be. I don't EVER feel wrong. I don't ever feel like I am not good enough. I don't ever believe someone is going to know better than I will how I feel. I never allow those stories, those lies to be a part of my universe. They are allergic to the air in my atmosphere. It is the most freeing thing that you can ever experience, being authentic. I do what I want and you can too; things will still get done, life will continue, work will be worked and tasks accomplished.

So, yes, I am happy because I wouldn't have it any other way. My joy is of the utmost importance. When I am joy I am able to give without needing to take many breaks; I don't feel used; I don't need it reciprocated because it is without expectation that I am giving. Happiness is available to every single one of us… you just have to take it.

butterflylady
butterflylady

Loving You

Hi! I love relationships. I know that they are the best way to learn about ourselves. I also know that they can be uber challenging which is why there is so much beauty in them (and so much to write about). The aspect of relationships that consistently come up for me in my life and in my client's lives is that of taking care of one another. There are so many things about that phrase that people love and hate. There is a level of taking care of someone that is comforting and healthy and then there is the area where it becomes unhealthy, controlling and self-serving. Most couples tend to go towards unhealthy, controlling and self-serving with the idea that they are being comforting and healthy. It is a hard truth but one that ultimately will lead to a better understanding of why we do what we do and how we can change it.

We are taught to find the one that completes us; our better half. We are led to believe that life is better with a partner, someone to call our own. We are taught that the person we marry/partner with needs to fulfill various requirements and be dutiful and see to our needs. We are taught that we should look outside of ourselves for what we truly need to nurture within us. Our love for another is just a reflection of our love for ourselves. How you are loving your partner is a direct reflection of the love you are giving yourself. When you aren't holding yourself responsible to take care of your needs and desires you will find disappointment in others attempts. When you are hoping your partner does this or that, things you aren't doing for you, they will also fail miserably to fulfill what truly is your task to see to. For example, when you want your partner to communicate with you in a way that is understanding and loving and supportive, what you are finding is that you aren't doing that for you and that information is clearly shown to you by your partner's treatment. Seriously, think about it honestly. When you begin to set boundaries, take care of you and let your partner know what does or does not work, instead of expecting things to just magically happen, you will see a noticeable shift in how you feel and how you are treated. The example you set is the example the people in your life follow. You have to demonstrate how you want to be taken care of by taking care of yourself in that way.

Additionally, there is a pressure that is lifted off of your loved ones when you recognize that they are not the source for your misery and enjoyment. When you stop blaming them for your own stuff they can breathe. When they see that you are not relying on them to be your everything they can be great for you how they are able, and will actually really want to be as well. There is a lot of resentment in relationships where partners are trying to bandage up the other's wounds and in turn neglect their own. Resentment becomes the underlying feeling, along with anger and pain. Let go of the tired and unhealthy notion that you need completion. Embrace the idea that you are all you need to be happy. Maybe then you will decide to be in relationship that honors that and supports your continued work towards who you want to be. Just because you marry someone does not mean you no longer honor and respect the never ending bond your soul made by coming into your body and creating the wonderful and divine YOU that you are.

Be your best friend, lover and partner first. Why would you ever think someone else should love you when you don't or won't?

valentine-heart-of-hearts
valentine-heart-of-hearts

xo a

Toxic

Hello there! There are people in your world that may not need to stay. If that resonated then I am talking to you. It doesn't matter if they are your sister, mother, brother or friend, if they are toxic then they aren't helping you. I know you may feel like I am being harsh or that you couldn't possibly cut off ties with someone you are related to or are friends with, but it isn't about what you think you should do, it is about what is best for you; what is best for your soul. In order to hear what I am saying you have to let go of your sense of duty and obligation and your fear and judgment around being left by someone you want to stay in your life. You will have to be brutally honest with yourself and you might have to have a "come to Jesus" moment where you give yourself a mini intervention. You may be in an abusive relationship in some way and refused to see it as such simply because you love the person, are related to them or have been acquainted for some period of time.

Know that saying how you feel about a, b or c doesn't actually label someone as bad or wrong… you are simply stating your feelings. We often refuse to say how we truly feel about a person or situation because we think that saying you don't like a person's particular behavior is saying you think ill of the person. Not the case. Those two things are separate. For example: For me, my mother is toxic. This doesn't actually mean that I am saying my mother is evil, horrible or a bad person, just that I feel happier and healthier when I have little to no interaction with her. I am stating the truth about how I feel and what my experience has been in regards to her. She says very unkind things on a regular basis and seems to get a kick out of using very aggressive language to illustrate her disdain for me, so I choose to take my leave. When something is toxic it is poisonous or harmful. People can be toxic regardless of their connection to you, you being close doesn't equal yummy treatment. People can be mean and hurtful in your opinion and you don't actually have to judge them or take it personally. You can let them be who they are without having to be with them. We forget that we don't have to force change on people, we don't have to always make someone understand us or do what we want. It isn't reasonable to always try to have others bend to your will. Sometimes relationships aren't meant to be and that is and always will be ok. We make things really complicated when we judge them; when we judge them we have a hard time letting them be what they are.

What they are is simple too. People aren't generally mean to you because they just love being mean or they desire toxicity. If someone isn't treating you well, in your opinion, they most likely are doing the same thing to themselves. If you can stop and remember that we see the world the way that we are… so if someone is unhappy, mean, cruel, abusive they most likely are in pretty bad shape spiritually and emotionally. They don't need judgment, no one does. They don't need cruelty in return and they most certainly don't need enabling. You aren't here to be abused or mistreated. Being loving isn't staying with or around someone who brings you down. Regardless of understanding why someone is being awful to you, you don't actually need to deal with it. or stay in the abusive situation or relationship. The understanding is so you can remember to be compassionate, from a distance if necessary.

Now, what if the person that is toxic is you? This is the case for at least one person that will read this. If you are your own worst connection you aren't going to be able to take your leave as you could with something that isn't you. You will have to stay and deal with your demons. We can be the biggest abusers to ourselves and not even recognize it. If you put yourself down, discourage, say mean things, or are impatient with allowing yourself to be where you are, you most likely are toxic to you… The first step in getting out of this cycle with yourself is recognizing that this is true and that you would prefer to do something different; that you would prefer to be supportive of you. When you can be your own biggest fan, the wind beneath your own wings the possibilities are endless (they are endless anyway).

Find what makes you sick, nauseated, anxious, unhappy and remove it from your world. Your thoughts and the feelings that come up around them make up the world you live in. Create a space in your life that is conducive to you living your best life, being your best self, and feeling your best. This space should be guarded like the priceless treasure it is. Let no one, not even that meanie that lives within, disrupt it. You are worth being honored and cherished every day of your life by any and everyone that wants to be a part of it. See how your life changes when you begin to accept only the best from yourself and others.

Tree Silhouette Against Starry Night Sky

xo

a

I'm good, thanks.

Heyo! I am almost always doing what I want to do.  Whether it is watching TV, doing push-ups, napping in the middle of the day, writing or just doing whatever I am doing.  I think that there are a lot of things going on for most of us on many levels.  We have what we want to do, what we think is expected of us, what is expected of us, what we think we should do regardless of what is expected of us, what we think about all of it (if we think about any of it).   It is a lot to process.  Most of us do a combination of what we think others expect and what others expect.  We often squash our own wants in favor of pleasing others… then resentment comes later.

I sometimes am asked to go look at the moon.  Let me tell you something, I never want to look at the moon when someone tells me to. Usually I am at home, relaxing.  It is nighttime, usually, and I am probably happy to be home after working most of the day, if I am not still working.  I enjoy the moon when I am out and about and it catches my eye, but not enough to stop what I am doing and go outside to see something I am not that excited about.  If you like the moon enjoy it.  If you want someone to know how much you like the moon, say so, but do they need to see it?  Is it enough to just say, "Wow, the moon looks so beautiful to me tonight"; instead of saying, "You have to see the moon."  Give me a break.  I don't ever NEED to see something.  You might want to share it with me, but need is a strong word.  And besides, I really am not that interested in the moon if I am doing something else.  Just sayin.  So when someone implores me to look at the moon, or do this or that… without really seeing that I am content or fine or whatever, I usually don't do it.  I think it is very important to do what you want to.  The last thing I ever want is to resent someone because I have been doing what they want me to do when I could have just as easily not done it and been fine.

Though the moon example may seem silly to some, it is just an example of how much we feel the need to please… You may think that it is sweet that someone wants to share something with you.  If you feel that way, then do what you want to with that.  Just understand that not everyone feels the same, nor do they need to.  We all have different wants, needs, desires, expectations… we are all figuring things out.  I believe that we can be more helpful if we choose our language carefully.  If we think about what we are really saying.  If we are hearing what we are really meaning.  Sharing something with someone can be done many ways without them having to do it too.  Shit rolls downhill they say, and we learn how to make others bend to our will just as we have learned how to.  So when someone says they don't want to do whatever it is that we are hoping they do, we take offense.  What if you didn't.  What if you were absolutely understanding about someone conforming to their own will?  How would that change things?  How would you feel?  What if you started to do what you wanted….?  Does that scare you?  Do you think relationships you are in currently would suffer if you let go of expectations and started to own your desires?

Everything in your life would change.  Everything.  You decide when you want to truly become who you are; when you do, conforming won't be an option.

Hey, wanna see the moon?

full-moon

xo

a

Tell Them

Hello sweets! Trust is something that we need more of when it comes to one another.  I don't mean leaving your kids with any and everyone… I mean trusting in each other's ability to be ok with what is.  Most people aren't broken souls who cannot function when told something difficult.  We behave like everyone is one step away from suicide and telling someone something that isn't yummy will push them over the edge.  Get a grip people.  Very few (if any) people are going to crumble when told something that is true for you.  Often it is the lies, keeping secrets and being indirect that cause more harm than good for everyone involved.  Letting someone know what is actually happening for you can be a big relief for them, especially when you understand, and communicate, that your feelings and perceptions are just that, yours.  When blame ends and truth begins, life is a lot less burdensome.

Women have this tendency more than men, I believe… and maybe I am just biased because I am a woman, but women like to be nice when really I believe they are just trying to please everyone and deny themselves (not consciously).  It is a deep lack of self-worth that women are taught to have which translates into behaving in ways that aren't authentic.  For many women, and men, it isn't enough to exist, you have to please and nurture and appease.  I understand the desire to want to be loved by all… I also understand that it isn't possible.  When you need to tell someone something, especially a boundary, you need to just say it.  Boundaries need to be communicated.  Loving yourself means making sure you are safe, taken care of, heard, treated well.  Bending over backwards, lying, not communicating your truth… there is NOTHING loving about that.  Not saying what you mean is deceitful actually, not kind.  When you give someone the respect and responsibility of being a grown-up you are actually being loving.  You are saying that you trust that they will be able to handle and hold this information.  You trust that they are capable and your equal.

Focus on Communication

When we, when receiving news that isn't what we would prefer to hear, manipulate (even if you don't realize you are, you are) one another by saying that the person speaking their truth is being mean, or hurting us we are actually regressing.  Stop blaming someone's words for your feelings.  Your feelings originate with your ideas of yourself and the world.  Stop trying to get someone to stop speaking their truth and stop taking the feelings of another personally.  Just because it is hard to hear doesn't make it 1) true or 2) have anything really to do with you.  What it does mean is that you have a chance to hear and honor what is happening for someone else.  You have a chance to respect a boundary, move on, learn, grow, etc.  I call listening and holding space for someone a "free throw."  It is a chance to be told exactly what to do to bring a smile to someone's face.  If what you want is to love, then respect is number one.

So just to be clear:  when someone likes you and you don't like them tell them… clearly.  If you say that you really like them and you like hanging out that isn't CLEAR.  Say directly that I don't like you romantically, sexually, intimately.  Period.  Be sure they get it.  If your Doctor sucks, tell them why you are choosing another physician; this gives them a chance to grow, change, or just know why they are losing patients.  Give each other a chance to grow by being grown yourself.

All of the above is said with love :-)

xo

a

L'eggo My Eggo®

Howdy! Though I am very kind, sweet, loving and generous (if I do say so myself, along with modest ;), there are some things I simply like to keep all to myself.  I share a ton through my writing, I share space and ideas, and I share my time. I love giving overall and find it fulfilling generally.  The only time I get irritated (ok,  not the only time) is when I am asked to share my food.  

I move my body a large part of the day.  I get up and either teach classes or train clients.  If I am sitting I am making mixes or writing.  Then I am up and about, getting my extra workouts in or working someone else out.  I move my body, I eat when I get hungry, I stop when I am satiated.  I don't keep up with calories, burned or eaten.  I am not worried that it is too much or that it is too fattening or any of that.  I don't put guilt or shame around my food, I eat and I enjoy and then I move on.  This is not the case for most people.  They either don't think about what they eat at all, whether it is nourishing them or not, or they think about it so much so that it becomes an albatross.  This is not the energy I want to share when it comes to food.  Food is a passion, it is funny and serious, it is life-giving or life taking, it is health, it is well-being, it is medicine, it is poison, it is energy.  Food is also very personal.

It may not be surprising then that I am not a big food sharing person.  With all the energy swirling around the personal issues regarding food, the fact that I am limited to the vegan options on a menu and that I am hungry when I go out to eat, I prefer to order my food and eat it all by myself.  I prefer you do to the same, if you are with me.  I am not interested in what someone else has ordered.  I am decisive and know what I want.  I don't want to compromise for the sake of sharing when I can order a second of what I am having and you can have it your way.  I know for some the whole point of sharing is a kind of intimacy.  I agree.  It is intimate and I don't want that intimacy with most.  :)  I also don't have a problem with everyone ordering the same thing at the table if everyone has a hankering for what I am ordering.  If I made you dinner I wouldn't make two different meals so that we would have variety.  We would eat the same meal and not worry at all about it (or try to eat of each other's plates).  So when I hear people say when they are ordering, "we can't get the same thing" I say, ummm yes we can because you aren't having mine.  So order the same thing if you want it too… especially if you are with me, because I am not offering up my meal to you, not even if you are cute or I see you naked regularly (well, maybe if I see you naked regularly you'd get a better shot).

We all have our preferences.  It is up to you to own them and voice them when necessary.  Supporting people when they figure out what works for them is a beautiful gift.  It takes work to figure out what you like, what matters to you and then courage to say it despite the judgment that will come from others.  You are the only one that can live your life, you may as well live it your way.

xo

a

Though the Eggo Waffle isn't vegan, I snatched the title for this blog from the old campaign… here is one of the commercials from way back in the day: 

http://youtu.be/Iuq8OpLUYjE

Let Them Be

Hiya, I know many, many couples and have been in plenty myself.  One thing that is just truth throughout any relationship is the desire for one partner or both to want someone different from who they are with.  No matter how hard you try you will not change anyone.  You can hope and wish and try and berate and ask and pray and beg and prod and threaten and sweet talk and do much more… if the person you are trying to change wants nothing of the sort, you would do better to wish for the sun to blow up and life to continue than to get someone to do something that they don't feel in their soul and have it truly become a part of them.  So many of us begin relationships thinking that our partners will change for the better and in the direction we prefer.  Most of the time our partners want the same things, to get along, to be  nothing but  happen, but often there is little to no work involved and just wishing things were different.

It is hard to tell your partner that you don't like them as they are, so we find ways to do so without ever speaking the truth.  We tell them that they are wrong, that no one else does what they do, that they would be happier if they did a, b, c or d.  We give them ultimatums.  We try to show them our side in hopes that it is enticing enough for them to join us there.  We spend a lot of time not seeing the other person and ignoring what we do see.  We place an idea on someone and expect them to live up to it because it is so much better than their current reality, to us.  We then get very upset when the person we are with never fits into the image we have for the perfect mate.  We somehow feel like they haven't tried… because they haven't morphed into something that wasn't their choosing.

So what if when you met someone you accepted that they were showing up and this was the best they had to give in the moment.  What if you didn't get them to do anything differently or even ask when it wasn't about how you preferred being treated.  What if you just let them navigate their love life and their relationships, including what they wanted with you?  What if you put the energy you would normally put into getting them to be something you would like working on yourself in some way?  What if you actually saw the person for who they were in this moment instead of who they might possibly become (with lots of work and hand-holding and back sliding)?  You may find that resentment goes away on both sides.  You might find that you enjoy the person right now without needing anything to change or you might see that you aren't compatible and find someone who is.

You will always have more success working on yourself than you would working on someone else.  You can hope and wish and pray and beg but you will soon discover that we are who we choose to be, not who someone else makes us.  Try to see, understand and love where people are in their lives.  Try to connect with the person they are now and let the rest take care of itself.  If someone isn't working toward moving closer to you and meeting you half-way, no amount of pressure is going to get them to do it from their own heart.  If you are feeling like the person you are with needs a lot of 'fixing' maybe it is you that needs it too, so you don't choose partners who aren't ready or compatible to you.  There are a lot of people in the world, billions, if one doesn't fit, I promise you, there are many many more to choose from that don't need your magic to turn into prince or princess charming.

xo

a

relationship

You're In Charge

Hi! One of the hardest things to realize is that we have to do it ourselves.  It, everything, all of it.  Now, it doesn't mean we don't get help, on the contrary, that is one of the best things about other people existing, they can help.  But they cannot do it.  If I am thirsty you could drink all the water in the world and my thirst would not be quenched.  If I don't like myself, you could love me unconditionally and I would only be able to receive a fraction of it.  You have to do it yourself.  Really.  You cannot ask your partner to do something different so that you can feel differently.  Well, you can, but understand that you are pushing in a direction that may not go where you would like it to.  When we put the onus on someone else to make us feel happy, sad, or whatever, we give away (or try to) our power to truly find joy, contentment and everlasting love to someone else that actually cannot, no matter how hard they try, give you anything of the sort.  

When you recognize that you are the key to your happiness you have to recognize that you are also the key to your pain.  I understand why so many people choose to put that on someone else.  Working on how you treat yourself is one of the most daunting things that we are faced with.  Most people much rather look at the 'wrongs' of others instead of paying attention to whether or not they are 'wronging' themselves.  Paying attention to the details of our actions, feelings and thoughts, is not something that most people choose to do.  Being disciplined about learning the ways in which we treat ourselves well or not so well is not something that most people practice.  The most common response to life is numbing out when things are not going the way we want them to, or blaming others and abusing ourselves.  No matter how aggressive you are about not being responsible for you, you cannot get away from the truth.  No matter how many people you have duped into believing that they make you feel one way or another you will never figure your sh*t out until you take all of it back.  

The best part of it all is that you are not in charge of anyone else.  You don't have to have the weight of the world on your shoulders, just your world.  You are not the cause of reason for anyone else's anything, seriously.  That  means you will need to unload the baggage of others.  It also means you will have to find another reason for feeling useful.  So many people don't feel useful unless they are helping someone else.  I totally get that, my work is to serve.  The first person who I must serve is me.  If I am not well fed, loved and nurtured what use am I to anyone else?  Additionally, once you really dig in and do your work you find out how much nothing is ever about anyone else… and it is all about, whether you want it to be or not.  We filter everything period, there is no hope of not filtering, as long as use our senses to gather information.  When you do your work you are better able to serve because you aren't trying to save, you are just helping people along their path, not trying to get them to go down yours, or have them take on an area of your own life you have refused to manage.

Be kind to yourself and loving, always.  You deserve it.  Be appreciative of each thing, experience, person that got you here.  Take charge of what you are in charge of and let the rest go.  Know that you are the boss of you and make it so you want to go to work everyday.

xo

a

charles1

ps.  Can you guess why I picked the photo for this blog?

Use Your Words

Words Hi there,

One of the most important things you can do for someone is believe them.  You can believe that they mean what they say.  You can hold them to their word.  You can stop trying to read their mind.  Communication of your needs is something you begin to learn at a very young age.  You learn how to say what you want first by crying.  You cry and your parents try to figure out if it is food or holding or something else that you need.  When you learn how to speak you begin the journey of speaking your wants and needs.  This is not always an easy or well designed journey.  Depending on your environment and your parents' ability to guide you through this process, you may or may not truly learn how to say what you want, need or think.  For some you may never be validated in your wants or needs so you stop wanting out loud.  For others, your every move may be attended to, so you don't learn how to ask and instead you learn to expect.  Most people don't learn that they are in charge of getting their needs met by communicating them clearly because of how they learned communication as a child.  We all have carried our learned communication styles into adulthood.

So now you are grown.  You need this or that and from what you have learned, those needs are meant to be met by someone else.  You have learned to say the opposite of what you mean, not what you mean at all, or nothing and hope that someone figures it out.  You may not ever say out loud that you want your mind read, but your behavior around not getting what you want says just that.  You expect someone to understand your needs without you ever stating what they are.  You are basically asking everyone else to do your work for you.  Your desire is for someone, besides you, to figure you out.  You want to be treated like a child without language in one way and, when you do state your needs, however indirect, you would like to be understood.  

Use your words.  Stop expecting.  It isn't nice.  Stop saying what you don't mean and being upset when your words aren't interpreted correctly.  Stop being an infant when it comes to communication.  Stop crying when you really need to state what is happening.  You are an adult.  You have the ability to read a book, seek therapy, figure your stuff out.  The truth of the matter is, that is your job:  YOU.  Making sure your needs are met is your basic job description.  Communicating those to others well, is learned but par for the course as well.  You are capable, no matter how traumatic your upbringing.  You are worthy, no matter how few people cared about you as a child.  It is possible to take responsibility for yourself regardless of your age.  

Additionally, stop doing things for others without them asking for it.  Though it seems sweet, it is actually pretty detrimental to their development.  Asking each of the people in your life to communicate their needs, and then holding them to that, is the most amazingly freeing thing… Now, there will be push back.  There will be those who refuse and some who leave.  Communication is everything.  How you communicate determines the types of relationships you have.  Changing it changes the relationships.  However, once you begin to say what you want, need and think you are going to want to be around others who do the same.  Doing your own work makes doing the work of others less appealing.  

When you begin to take responsibility for yourself you will desire the same in others.  It starts with you.  Now, imagine that world, where we all said what we meant, meant what we said, and didn't want our minds read?  Imagine the lack of misunderstanding, the clarity of needs being stated and the opportunities to meet those said needs.  When you use your words you get us all closer to this.

xo

a

 

It's My Life

Howdy! Recently I made a choice that was just for me.  For my life and no one else's.  I took into consideration the pros and the cons as I see them and decided to move forward with my choice.  I didn't stop to think about how others might perceive it, exactly.  I have learned over the years that living for anyone and anything besides what your soul tells you to do is going against truth.  I know that doing things just to please others will get you into trouble once you feel so oppressed that you rebel by swinging the opposite direction pretty aggressively.  One can only fake it for so long before they have to live in integrity.  So with my decision made, I went on my way.  

Sure, we affect one another.  We do, this is truth.  I may walk by you and remind you of something you needed to do because I resemble someone you work with that is expecting this thing.  I may be talking with you and relay a story about my childhood that brings up memories that were suppressed.  Now, I am not going to not be myself because you would prefer not to remember something that I remind you of.  We are all connected so what we do matters in so much as we decide to let it.  This type of influence isn't something that we were meant to try to control.  People are living their lives so that you can better see yours.  You can see your preferences, your struggles, your judgments, your areas of work.  So when I make a decision for my life, I am the one who needs to be consulted.  You and anyone else, will get out of it whatever you were meant to, that isn't up to me to worry about or try to force.  My life is an example in whatever way you decide it is for you, that is personal…

Now I am never interested in your opinion of my life if you want to tell me I am living wrong.  What you think of me, in that way, is none of my business.  If you feel that my life is not the life you would live, then don't live it.  I make every decision with a knowing that is greater than any ego driven, emotionally charged response to it.  I am certain about where I am being exactly where I am supposed to be.  My conviction to myself and my SELF is unwavering.  What is important to know is that whatever charge you get out of me living my life is for YOU and you alone.  

It takes hard work to know yourself.  It takes dedication to live with integrity.  Integrity is being true to your self, not to others opinions.  I wish for you all to find out what you really want, what you truly feel and to be and feel that.  I know that we will be able to accept that we can only do what make sense to us and not make others live our way.  Open your mind, live your life and love each other.  Let it go, let love in, and get on with living.  

So, to get back to that decision I made:  when I decide to wear my melon pants with a striped shirt and teal jacket with purple knee socks, that choice was and always is mine to make, to live with and to enjoy!  Have a GREAT Friday!!!!

xo

a

abstract-phoenix-1280x800

What's Good???

Good Morning!!! Tuesday Gratitude Practice is here!!!  How will you take what you are grateful for through the rest of your day?  This isn't just about writing it down and sending it back…  put it out there!  Let the world feel your appreciation!  Let's make a difference.

 This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

Jackson.

My home.

Discounts.

My ability to find cheap airline tickets.

Weddings.  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

I have boundaries.  We all do.  Some of us know exactly what we need to feel safe and communicate those things directly, others do not so their boundary setting is reactionary.  Some people never say what they want, you just know when you crossed it, energetically you know.  Boundaries are a part of existence.  You could say, boundaries are one of the determining factors of existence.  We have emotional, physical, energetic and psychological boundaries.  We place and remove them all of the time.  Many boundaries are situational, others are pretty standard, i.e shaving someone's head without permission… that is a no go without ever really having to say it.  The thing is, most boundaries need to be spoken because they aren't universal.  They are specific to the person with them; as unique and as dynamic as well.

You are the great mystery in your life.  You are here to discover you, the true you, the one that is not seen but sees everything.  You are the answer to the questions.  Boundaries help you grow this relationship into a healthy and happy one.  Like any relationship, you need time for just you and, well, you.  Giving yourself the space to discover what you really feel, what you really like, what you really want, that is only happening if you set boundaries.  You will need spacial boundaries, time boundaries, etc.  You deserve to have time to figure yourself out.  To learn all about you and to use that information to be a great caretaker to yourself.

Boundary setting can be challenging.  If you have never set them you may find that when you begin you either don't set thick enough boundaries or they are way too thin.  Most of it is trial and error… but you can get ahead if you do your research.  The most important thing to remember is that you cannot control what happens for other people when you set boundaries that work for your best interest.  Nor is it important to try to control the response of another person to stave off your fear.  Once you get clear on what you want and set boundaries accordingly, you will find that your freedom has grown exponentially.  You will feel more confident, grounded, and at some point ready to let go of those initial boundaries that you set up.  This is a step to everything else.  Feel, Know, Do and move on.  

xo

a

Speak Up

Hey there, We spend a lot of time tip toeing around true stories that we are too afraid to tell.  We run from our realities all of the time and wonder why our lives don't go the way we want them too.  How long will it be before you will be forced to deal with what you actually want, need and feel?  How long before you will have to have those difficult conversations and possibly get, in your life, the changes you actually desire?  Well, several things depend on all of the above.  The main thing is timing.  Your soul has to be ready… not you, the one reading this, but the one that is taking it in.  

We tell ourselves that if we want something that impact another (in our opinions, negatively) then we would prefer to save them the heartache and keep it to ourselves.  We wouldn't want someone else to feel uncomfortable.  We even go so far as to diminish our feelings so they don't seem so important and then actually facing them is no longer as necessary.  We basically foreclose on ourselves so we don't have to own what is really going on.  Well, our lack of truth-telling isn't so we can make everyone else comfortable.  Our lack of directness isn't to be gentle with someone else.  We are making ourselves comfortable and trying to be gentle with ourselves.  We use the idea of others feelings as excuses for our behavior.  Truly we don't know how voicing our feelings, needs will impact someone completely.  Maybe they will initially be hurt but it doesn't end there.  That interaction where they were given the truth for someone else may turn into an opportunity to grow in a way that would otherwise not happen without that nudge, that awakening, that push.  

When you keep your true self and your true desires from others you are not helping them.  You are hurting you.  When you refrain from telling someone a preference because they might be offended, you are really just protecting yourself from the potential of a negative response.  You are also making sure you don't get what you want.  You have, basically, put yourself and your needs last. You are now running around protecting others from their own opportunities to live fully in this world, experiencing the ups and downs, the yes's and no's.  The boundaries and the open sky.  When you allow yourself to express your preferences, when you have those difficult conversations, you are allowing growth.  You are also giving space for someone else to then own their feelings and tell you about it.

Of course, there comes a time when you can no longer stay in a place of inauthenticity.  This is when you see no other way but to listen to your soul, your heart.  You are compelled to be all of who you are.  This often happens when you have smothered your truth to a near death situation.  You don't have to get here to make changes, but if you don't make changes, you most  certainly, in some lifetime, get there.  Either way, all things happen for a reason and all things happen in their own time.

When you ask for what you need, say what you want, own how you feel, you discover support in ways you didn't know existed.  Your life begins movement in the direction of your dreams.  As John Mayer puts it, "Say what you need to say."  Life is sometimes short, sometimes long, but it is always yours.

how-to-shift-into-abundance

xo

a

Say What You Need To Say:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSS0wtjrm1U 

Your Change, Their Pain

Hi! Are you working on yourself?  Have you made big changes in the past few months?  What have you noticed about everyone around you once you stopped worrying about everyone around you?  In my work I let most of my clients know that resistance is part of the journey, their own and then from the outside as well.  Family and friends may not be supportive of the changes they are making because those changes effect the family and friends as well.  Change is not something that is generally welcomed with open arms…  This life change stuff is no exception.  You may find, if you are getting your sh*t together, so to speak, that those you love the most don't love the developments  the most.

If you are learning how to communicate your needs when you have never really taken care of your needs in the past, you are going to begin to set boundaries that were never set.  This means people won't have access to you in the same way they once did.  This may not just stop people from supporting you, this may actually piss them off.  Your happiness is not the priority of anyone else, period.  Your happiness, your development, your growth responsibility is directly in your lap to be taken care of.  It has always been there, in your lap, you were just a neglectful caregiver. 

Imagine the one that you love waking up one day and saying that the things that were normal and expected are no longer allowed?  What if you were told that the very things you were happy getting from your partner came to a halt?  It would be hard to recognize the changes as wonderful when your world is impacted, in your mind, negatively.  Even if you know that the changes your loved one is making makes them happier, you may feel left out, left behind, confused and in some ways betrayed…  You didn't ask for the changes after all, you are just made to deal with them.  When communicating change to your loved ones, do so with the understanding that they may feel victimized by the changes you are making for yourself, that it isn't about you, their resistance… it is about them working hard to preserve what they feel is theirs.  

When you go forward on this journey of growth and development it is important to understand that some of the journey you may feel alone.  After all, you surrounding yourself with others who supported where you were… not where you were going.  So you have been around others who believed your lack of self-care was ok, normal or healthy.  So as you figure your life out, they may not fit in it the same way they did.  It is not unusual for relationships to go through growing pains when one person in the relationship changes the dance.  It is also to be expected that some of your relationships may not survive.  As you grow you let go of things that no longer serve you, this sometimes includes your closest connections.  

The farther along you go in your growth you may notice that you have lots of opportunities to practice your new outlook, communication style, belief system, etc… You may not call these confrontations opportunities, but that is what they are.  These interactions with others give you the chance to truly solidify your work, to demonstrate or practice your growth in various ways.  Look at each uncomfortable situation where someone or something challenges your newfound understanding as a chance to truly let the old fall away and stretch out in your new skin.  It is a gift, this resistance, use it as such.  

Remember, you owe the world your work on you, that is about it.  Imagine if each of us spent our time figuring out how to be better towards ourselves?  Imagine if we each took responsibility for our feelings, our joys, our pains?  Imagine a world where we didn't project what was happening for us on others… where we could actually differentiate?  This world is on its way… thanks for joining me on the journey.

xo

a

The Way You Are

Hey there, I love my life.  Absolutely love it.  I have freedom and space and the luxury of not having anyone try to manage me.  It is a blessing.  The truth is that everyone can have that, whether or not they are in a relationship.  Too often we let our ideas of what relationship is or what the other person wants modify our behavior… until one day we feel resentful and frustrated about giving up things we were 1) never asked to give up and 2) didn't realize actually fulfilled and brought joy to us.  

Partnerships are interesting and necessary in a multitude of ways for a multitude of things.  The first is simple, we need help.  I have moved and lived in over 27 places.  95% of the time I moved myself… like couches and dressers and everything.  I would actually throw a couch on my back and carry it to the truck once I maneuvered it out of my house.  Being in a relationship can be a benefit when it comes to that type of sh*t among other things. :)  We also need to have ourselves reflected back for growth purposes.  Relationships are the only tool that help you grow.  You are perfect alone, with no one to show you who you are, how you are and where you are in comparison.  In relationship you find the areas that are triggered which give you a clear path of what needs your attention and work.  Partnerships are also fun, or can be.  Joy is an important part of a fulfilled life. 

What happens often is partnership becomes ownership.  We begin to tell the person when to go to bed.  What to wear.  How to feel: "Oh honey, don't feel that way about it.", when to do this or that… we also then imagine how our partners would feel about a, b or c situation so we avoid what we may want or otherwise be super excited about.  The above is a bit dangerous without background communication, like having a conversation about bed times and what is important for each individually.  The same holds true for clothes and living in different places… you must have the conversations about all of it before you assume you know.

What is more dangerous for our own mental and emotional health and well-being is all of the things we do because we think we should for the person or the relationship.  When your partner doesn't like the genre of TV show… you take their dislike as a demand and you stop watching.  When your partner says not to talk to them about something that is spiritual so you just abandon that side of yourself.  When you begin to think about what would be ok for your partner and, without asking, you change just in case.  This is why I am super psyched to be single, in actuality.  I have no desire to play this game again… and at the same time, I know it is a beautiful dance that must be practiced.  

"Don't go changin' to try and please me…" is more than just a song.  It is the roadmap to a happy relationship.  You have to do you, find out what you love, what you enjoy.  Own it and be its support.  Make sure you let the one you love know who the hell you are.  Make sure you allow someone to love you just the way you are, all of you.  Stop bending to please, stretching to connect, dying to be something you aren't.  Yes, relationships have compromise… but you must have a side, something of your own, to compromise… not just a blank slate saying write me into existence.  You exist, you are a spark a light and you need to shine, you need to be supported not dimmed.  Let relationship enhance instead of decrease your vitality.  Let love magnify you… make you bigger than you are alone.

Love, the ultimate creator wants you to be who you are, without reservation, without judgment or shame right now.  Not next year, not in a while.  Get on that, ok.

xo

a

20130313-092959.jpg

There Is Always More

Howdy! Everyday I ask my clients and riders to give a little bit more than the day before.  I ask them to find a place within that is untouched, untapped, masked, hidden… a place that they may be afraid to look at and acknowledge…  Or maybe just a place that they didn't know was there, but exists.  I don't know if most of them get what I am asking or know how to find that uncharted territory on their own, so I try to take them on the journey; a discovery trip, an exploration of self.

Just as the universe is large beyond comprehension and infinite knows no bounds… you are all of that and more.  No matter how long and how far you delve into yourself, you will always have more.  More ideas, reasons, thoughts, feelings, desires.  No matter how much work you believe you have done, you haven't even gotten to the surface of you.  Think of yourself as the earth.  You have only circled one block in Rhode Island at this point.  You haven't even conceived of Papua New Guinea as existing within you, or existing period.  You are so vast that it takes many lifetimes to learn the neighborhood of the block you've been circling in this lifetime, let alone the city, state and country of origin for that block.  

Knowing that there is infinitely more that is unseen than seen is where you begin.  Once you embrace the fact that your perspective is limited and your knowing super-duper small, when it comes to what is possible, you can swing to the other side where everything and anything is possible (and is).  You can begin to imagine yourself where you want to be in whatever form that takes.  You can see yourself doing gymnastics, aerial work, having no cellulite, building strong abs, flaunting your toned body, or feeling GREAT all of the time.  Once you embrace the idea of anything being possible you can stop using the excuse of not ever being perfect as a reason to give up. You can begin to open your heart to what you don't know in reality but you know must be.  

So, the next time you are doing the same thing you've done before, make it different.  Open to being more, giving more, getting more.  Understand that growth happens on an atomic level and, like a fractal, just keeps going and going and going.  You are changing and growing with every moment.  So when I ask you or you are asked to do more than the day before, be open and feel what comes.

xo

a

Blame Yourself

Howdy, Something that has always been a challenge with me in relationship is when someone says, "you made me angry, or you hurt my feelings, or you insert blame here.  I first stop caring almost immediately (true story) because blame and Aina are like oil and water.  I literally separate from myself from it.  Then I go into explaining how I cannot make anyone feel anything.  That is solely up to the feeler.  You do that totally on your own.  I cannot tell you how many arguments I have been in where that has been believed to be a debate.  I am imagining that some of you right now are appalled at the idea that your feelings aren't because of someone else.  If this is true for any of you, "Welcome To Truth."  It may not be what you want but it is certainly what you need.

We spend so much of our lives blaming this person or that establishment, or this situation for how we feel, what we do, why we do it… we are running around shirking responsibility like it is our job.  Most people are seasoned pros at how to make it about someone else.  They said it with this tone, she looked at me this way, you made me a, b or c.  Another tool in the blame box is should.  You should have said this, or you should have done that and then everything would be a-ok.  Or you shouldn't do things that make me blah blah f*cking blah.  

The truth is your feelings originate with you.  Period.  I don't like street clothes in the bed, period.  Now no one makes me mad, it is just a preference I have.  I choose to be angry over it or not.  I don't have to be if I choose not to be.  If I am dating someone and they don't do something that I would like for them to do I can decide how I will respond.  It isn't written in the stars that I get pissed off with them.  They certainly aren't choosing my emotions for me.  I, along with the years I have been on this planet as Aina, experiencing her experiences and taking in whatever programming/conditioning I chose to take, help me decide how I am going to feel about not getting what I want in one situation or another.  I could be like most everyone else and decide that something outside of me is pulling the strings… but it just isn't true.  If I were someone else and that person had a different set of rules and programming/conditioning the street clothes issue wouldn't be an issue.  Because my feelings, preferences, want, needs are my own.  How I feel about someone doing anything is also my own.  I create the world I live in which includes the feelings I have.  Once you own it you can work on controlling it a bit… and you can most certainly stop blaming.  

The hard part of all of this is that owning your feelings is the Ultimate Responsibility.  When you realize you are the reason for everything in your life and you have no one to blame you have to start looking at yourself.  No one else can be a distraction any longer.  You will see how you allow yourself to be victimized by this or that feeling.  You allow yourself to be taken advantage of, sick, depressed, unhappy, abused, rejected, etc.  You also allow yourself to be loved, honored, cared for, praised, appreciated.  The ultimate responsibility is ultimately a blessing.  It reminds you that you are in the driver's seat.  Your feelings, your ideas, your situations are up to you.  The world you live in is the one you create, not the one you blame on someone or something else. 

So wake up and take responsibility.  Stop giving others credit for what you are doing.  You are the reason.  Always have been always will be.

xo

a