Text

How To Be There For Somebody

Actually go and be there. 

Words and gestures of intent are nice. But the difference between most people lies in the space of what they say and what they do. 

I appreciate your text, your phone call, and your email but I will never forget when you showed up at my door even after I said I was fine. 

Because I didn’t want to inconvenience you. Because I know you’re a busy person. Because it’s just so damn hard for me to ask for help. 

My own excuses and insecure thoughts aside, thank you. 

Thank you for being next to me in silence or conversation. 

Tears or laughter. 

Hugging me or giving me space. 

Making me a meal even if I can’t touch it. 

Watching a movie. 

Taking a walk. 

Thank you for being here. Actually here. With me.  

Quote
"We are required to surrender those things within ourselves that do not resemble love - not so that we can get something in return, but simply because it is the better choice."
Text

The Best Advice

Just start.

 

Really. Right now.

 

That thing that scares the shit out of you/you can’t stop thinking and dreaming and scheming about?

 

Go and do it.

 

Take a tiny step.


And then keep going.

image

Text

What Are You Celebrating?

What do you love about your life right now?

 

What’s going absolutely right and fantastic in this moment?

 

What are you thankful for?

 

What have you done lately that you’re proud of?

 

What are you celebrating?

 

In a flurry of negative thoughts the other day (lots of “I should,” “I need to,” and “I still haven’t”), I caught myself, stopped, and said a firm but gentle, “Enough!”

 

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to focus on what’s wrong instead of what’s going well, smoothly, or wonderfully? Your flaws instead of your attributes? Your failures instead of your successes?

 

The first time I realized just how deeply and unexamined this tendency was I was doing a written exercise in Brendon Burchard’s book, “The Charge.” Basically he suggests you write down all the things you’ve accomplished in the last year and in your life overall and not to stop until you have a certain amount of pages.

 

Try doing this. You will encounter an insane amount of resistance. If you can stick with it for awhile, the resistance will thaw and your accomplishments will be put on paper with more and more ease (although this takes some time).

 

It’s a very real glimpse into just how hard we are on ourselves and how little we focus on (and value) all we’ve done, all we’re doing, and all we are.

 

You are special. You have purpose and gifts to share. You know things and have done things that are amazing and touch so many more people than you can imagine. You’ve gone through some shit, some real shitty shit, and here you are. On the other side. Living, smiling, laughing, and giving a hug or two.

 

Do you see how far you’ve come?

 

Do you appreciate yourself for it?

 

Do you recognize your value?

 

You’ve done a lot of good stuff. You’re going to do even more.

 

Now acknowledge it, offer thanks, and continue.

 

And please - don’t forget to celebrate.

 

Text

All Of Me

There is a shift, a change in the consciousness of who. you. are.

 

A moment that arises in which you start owning yourself, your essential self.

 

No more hiding.

 

The opportunities come unbidden and you see, hear, feel yourself as unmistakably you in all your power.

 

Maybe it is the briefest of seconds or exchanges or words but your real self finds you.

 

No more hiding.

 

A conversation so earnest and compelling has you revealing deeply and you would wonder who was doing the talking if it didn’t feel so damn good.

 

No more hiding.

 

A friend introduces you to another friend and the opportunity for authentic listening and expansion is easy and natural, and you’re unfolded again and again.

 

No more hiding.

 

As you walk away feeling buoyant and true, your mind is eager to pin the high on something outside yourself: the people, the food, the laughter, the great anecdote.

 

But really it was an experience via the people, the food, the laughter, the anecdote, that brought you back to you.

 

There is no greater high than being unapologetically and effortlessly yourself. This is what brings you home, again and again.

 

And when you ask for the opportunities to get “there” as in back to “you,” they will show up and you’ll be left wondering why you ever settle for less than being who you are.

 

A person who is perfect as is, who flows in sync with themselves, accepts, surrenders, and loves all parts of the “you, I, and me.”

 

Who knows their capacity to love and feel is boundless.

 

A person who is alive.

 

Text

When In Doubt, Move Your Body

When in doubt, move your body.

 

Sounds easy enough. But what kind of “doubt” do I mean?

 

Not the obvious, “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know.”

 

Or the “Maybe I want to.”

 

Or “Maybe I don’t.”

 

I’m talking about the “oh-my-god-if-I-think-about-this-for-one-more-second-I-may-lose-my-mind” kind of doubt.

 

The all-consuming doubt regarding your life.

 

“What am I doing?”

 

“Why am I here?”

 

“What do I want? Like really, really want?”

 

“Will I EVER make this decision/live up to my potential/find my passion/put in the effort/find my purpose?”

 

THAT doubt. Agonizing. Constant. Painfully unclear.

 

Do you know it?

 

When you’ve gone in circles and circles forever and NOTHING has changed.

 

When you’re having the same thoughts so repetitively, you think you’ve lost your mind.

 

When you feel completely stuck and at a standstill and yet have no idea how to move forward.

 

Why is that?

 

Because thinking gets you nowhere.

 

Really. Thinking. gets. you. nowhere.

 

Turn off your mind.

 

Tune into your body.

 

How?

 

Move.

 

Close the screen. Power off your phone (I believe in you). Get off the couch, out from under the covers.

 

And move your body.

 

It doesn’t matter how or where.

 

Just go.

 

Dust off your tennies. Pump up your basketball/bike tires. Put on your favorite dance jam. Roll out the yoga mat.

 

There you will find answers.

 

Maybe not right away and maybe not the ones you were looking for. Maybe you’ll just create some space between you and your mind for awhile. Relish in that peace. Keep coming back to this place of movement.

 

And watch your answers reveal themselves.



Text

Do You Have An Attitude of Inquiry About Yourself?

Not judgement.


Not criticism.


Not disappointment or self-doubt or avoidance.



But inquiry —without purpose or agenda or evaluation.



Do you ever pause to notice “what is” about you?



Your patterns - thought or otherwise?


Your feelings - strong ones and consistent?


Your reactions - slow or instant, intense or fearful?


Your pace - hurried or present?



For no other reason than to relax and view yourself from a place of curiosity. To lay the judgement, criticism, and self-doubt to rest for a minute and just observe. To give yourself the peace of objectivity.


And from this place of innocent exploration, we notice.


We accept.


And then we grow.


Text

Learning to Let Go

Letting go has been (and presently is) one of the most painful, uncomfortable, and necessary lessons I’ve learned in life (and am still, continuously learning).


In particular, this has been the biggest struggle for me in my relationships. I’ve been so terrified of letting go, even when it’s painfully obvious it’s past the expiration date.


But what’s even more painful than the fear of letting go is holding on. 


Holding on when you know without a doubt it’s time to move on.


Holding on when you wake up in the morning, go to bed at night, and spend the time in between dreaming and thinking about letting go.


Holding on and becoming so ashamed and embarrassed about it, that you carry a heavy burden you can’t even tell your friends about.


Holding on and spending every second of every day feeling you’re fucking up, getting it wrong in life, and wasting precious moments of your own time.


Holding on and being sick of yourself because you’re too scared to make the leap.


I don’t think there is a gradual method or multi-step process in learning to let go. You just have to do it. Letting go begets more letting go. And there’s no way to feel relief until you jump.


There is something amazing hidden but within reach on the other side of that fear. And it will never look or feel how you imagine it to at this moment.


It will be better.


And after you’ve jumped before seeing the net, you’ll wonder why the hell you spent so much time waiting. The agony lies in the waiting and the passing of time with indecision.


Terri Cole says, “Overwhelm is a mountain of unmade decisions.”


And Marie Forleo says, “Actions brings clarity.”


Which will you choose today?


Take a step, any step. And we’ll meet on the other side. 


Text

No more hiding.

Today I hit “publish” on a post that terrified me. It was an old journal entry about my great-grandmother before she died in 2012.


As I reread it, I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of making it public which is precisely when I knew I had to do it.


I am still afraid & queasy thinking about it.  All day I’ve been avoiding my thoughts and the accompanying feelings in the hope that they’ll go away. In truth, I already know the basis of my fear and that I have barely scratched the surface of confronting it.


The fear of:


What will other people (my family) think?


Will they be angry?


Will they still love & accept me?


I am often afraid of sharing my own truth. And as I make a commitment to showing up in my own life more authentically, I’m sure to rattle a few cages beyond my own.


There are some very raw and truthful statements in the post about my Nana; vulnerable, private thoughts I’ve held close to my chest for a long time.


But I’m realizing more and more that playing it safe doesn’t do me any good. Neither does hiding the dark corners of myself that I’m desperate to share, the places where I long to be seen, heard, and understood. Even if it’s scary and uncomfortable. Even if it upsets people I love. Even if no one gets it.


I’m actualizing this commitment to myself.


No more hiding.



Text

How do you want to spend your visit?

*This is a private journal entry of mine from 2 years ago that I finally have the nerve to share. In loving memory of my Nana, Michael Reynolds, who passed away on September 17, 2012. She is dearly missed. 


My great-grandmother is dying.


My Mom called me last week and said she’s refused to eat for 6 days. An already frail and withering body shrinking more and more into itself.


“I quit,” she tells my Mom.


She’s 92.


I’m not sure how to feel. Maybe it’d be different if I was looking at her. But I’m in Texas and the family is in Indiana. I’m not seeing these last days, hours, and minutes. I don’t have to hear her familiar voice say such unfamiliar things about giving up.


“But hasn’t she earned it?” I ask myself. If anyone has the right to quit, isn’t it someone who’s almost 93? Who’s lived through the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam, Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, and 9/11? A difficult marriage to an abusive husband without any options to leave? The lack of tools and opportunities to heal herself and her family that we take for granted now? 


Ahh yes. Now I feel something. My eyes dampen, my throat tightens, and I hold my breath with a question. A deep and dark cave of sadness surrounds me.


“Did she love her life?”


My jaw aches because the more I clench it, the more secure I am against  avoided emotions and repressed tears.


I don’t know.


What brought her pleasure? What little stolen moments of fun did she experience? What made her laugh?


I have no idea. And I didn’t have questions until it was too late for her to answer them.


Anthony de Mello says death brings sadness to people because we are thinking of ourselves. Those who have passed are not sad —they’re just gone. We make death about ourselves, our agenda of grief. We fear the loss of the known.


My Nana is ready to go. Why is that sad? She is weak and tired. She’s had Alzheimer’s for over 2 years. She’s a stranger to herself just as the world is around her. What am I hanging onto?


Last year, when she was still staying with my Grandma, I was visiting them back in Indiana. I was looking for floss in the bathroom with the door open. My Nana is sitting on the couch, watching me. She no longer knows who I am but she is kind and helpful as always, asking in her gentle Kentucky accent, “Whatchya lookin’ for?”


“Oh, just something to clean my teeth with. It’s fine —I don’t think she has what I’m after.”


My Nana gets up off the couch instantly. She moves very slowly. Her back has been hurting for weeks but I know well enough not to try to stop her. Helping her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren is an ingrained muscle memory to her body. It leads without cue or conscious thought, like a dancer or musician. It always has.


She makes her way to the bathroom and starts rifling through drawers with me. She doesn’t even know what I’m looking for. After a few minutes I say again, “It’s okay Nana. I don’t think she has it.”


My Nana looks at me with a shrug and a helpless smile and says, “I don’t know. I’m just visiting here myself.”


I can’t help but laugh.


And then she laughs.


We laugh together.


In the months after, when I retell this story to a few close friends, we are amused and moved with this unintentionally poignant statement. “I don’t know. I’m just visiting here myself.” A summation that hits the mark more closely than most things I’ve heard or read.


Brandon Burchard says that at the end of our life we all want the answer to 3 questions:

“Did I live?”

“Did I love?”

“Did I matter?”


Did we enjoy the hell out of our visit? Did we laugh? Did we travel? Did we say, “I love you?” Did we play? Did we share? Did we apologize? Did we dance? Did we nap? Did we create? Did we take chances?


I guess I am making her departure process about me. Maybe it can’t be helped, I’m not sure. And maybe I’ll never know if she loved her time here this go around. Maybe it’s none of my business either.


And even though it’s too late to ask her all the things about her life I sometimes still ache to know, she unknowingly left me with a gift in the form of a question:


How do I want to spend my visit?


                                    image