Monthly Archives: August 2015

Fanning the Flames of Love

Have you guys seen this incredibly tender, vulnerable video from Tiger Singleton? He spends over five minutes connecting soul-to-soul with the viewer (you, me) through continued, loving eye contact. I’ve done this in person before and it’s a very intense, beautiful, uncomfortable, and profound activity. I started watching the video and I was surprised to find that even though it was digital, I was experiencing the same thing. I truly felt so beautifully connected to this man that I had never seen before. Also at times I noticed myself wanting to find a distraction because it felt so alive and real. I had to actually kind of force myself to sit through the discomfort and accept the love that he was sharing with me. If you haven’t done this exercise, I encourage you to try it, either by clicking on the video or sharing the exercise with someone in your life.

This actually prompted a pretty major epiphany for me. True, lots has been leading up to it, as is usually the case with epiphanies, but it was huge nonetheless. Over the course of the few hours after my experience with the video, I noticed even more ways in which I hold back from giving and receiving love.

I am really good at sharing love when I set an intention around it. So, I can easily access love and vulnerability while sitting down to write an honest blog post, being in a session with a client, or while facilitating one of the groups or circles that I lead. I can identify a time and place to be open and I can do it, happily and lovingly.

But how can I show up more authentically in my moment-to-moment, day-to-day life? Is it possible for me to be more open on a consistent basis? Truly, to fully connect with others, I have to be willing to show up every day, and not just in private with my clients or friends, but in public and in public forums (even and maybe especially even) places like Facebook and Instagram.

I have been exploring this idea of cracking my heart wide open for a while now, and the idea of loving more fully is both exhilarating and terrifying.

Tiger Singleton did something really true. My guess is that it was both thrilling and scary-as-hell. And yet…he touched me in a way that I’ve rarely felt before. A total stranger opened his heart and was vulnerable so that he could connect with me (and as of right now 144, 831 others).

He’s moving some of us for sure, because this type of vulnerability is more than a breath of fresh air. It’s something that many of us are craving, seeking, and yearning to find. And I want to be able to provide that for others as well. If I can give some of that back to you, then my day feels more complete and my life a little more full.

How do we navigate the digital age in this respect? So much of it causes us to isolate and pull back. It gives us a way to experience the world without really living fully within it. We’ve changed and we connect less in a human-to-human way. When I see you in person, I’m likely to give you a huge hug, hold your hand, look straight into your eyes and listen to you. And when I don’t get to do that enough, I miss it. And you. So how can I create a spark similar to the one that Tiger has ignited when I’m not physically with you? I’m not sure, but I’ll be exploring it more fully as I move forward. (Now that I’ve made a public declaration, I’m committed.) I’d love for you to take this journey with me. Let me know how I can support you by commenting below or by joining me on social media. And if we’re already connected, then I would love for you to hold this intention with me and take the next steps alongside me.

A spark can grow into a flame if given the proper conditions. All it needs is oxygen and in this case, a lot of love.

This is where I hang out in the digital world:




xoxo, Janet

Taming the Envy Beast

I was pondering what I would write when I came across this little gem by Meggan Watterson:


It resonated strongly with me, as does so much of her insight and wisdom, but I had the thought that I’d spent a lot of time on the topic lately and maybe I should broach another this week. And then in a session with one of my clients, I heard this affirmation: “I am worthy of fierce and passionate self-love.”

Ok, Spirit, I guess fierce self-love it is.

And so this has nudged me to look at where I’m still withholding love from myself.

I have gotten to this space of feeling really uncomfortable when I find myself feeling envious of others. It happens much less than it used to, but it still shows up at times, almost like a knee-jerk reaction. It feels old and stale and yet it’s there. To exacerbate matters, I dislike the feeling so much that I tend to judge myself for feeling it. This is not a great cycle to get caught up in.

Envy used to be a near constant companion. I always noticed who had what and how they looked and what they were buying. Competition was a way of life and it seemed that after college I was always on the losing team. I had a hard time sincerely celebrating the victories of my friends because I felt so marginalized and depleted. I felt highly victimized by my circumstances and so I remained for years in a state of powerlessness that reinforced the experience over and over again.

The major shift began to occur as a few things fell into place. One was that I began doing the work to find my way to truly and sincerely loving myself. Once I began to experience my own value, I began to see that reflected back to me in my life. This showed up in many different ways – sobriety, jobs that felt better, nicer living spaces, relationships that were uplifting, and now in an amazing healing practice that I adore. Little by little, I began to dig myself out of the hole of self-hatred.

And now I’ve arrived in a space of enough openness that I notice these little bites of envy very clearly when they pop up and they feel really dissonant and heavy to me. I can sense the density and constriction of them and I don’t like it.

So I’m tuning in and I’m asking: What do I need to be giving myself more of so that I can feel even more connected to others? And I find that the more I clear myself of the limiting beliefs and patterns of “not enough-ness”, the more I can feel complete connection and love to and for myself and others.

My life is really great now in a very deep and meaningful way. I have more prosperity in all areas and the constantly degrading worry of how I was going to pay my bills and make it through the month is a thing of the past. I have a richness in all areas of my life that I didn’t even know possible. And so when envy’s destructive little head rears itself, I’m the first to admit that it’s not something that I want tarnishing my day.

It’s my responsibility to keep on. Every time I feel it, I have to ask myself: What is really going on here? Where am I not serving myself? What is it within me that is asking to be healed? What aspect of me is looking to be loved?

If I can stay present and curious, I can find that love within me that is fierce and protective and that wants more than anything to thrive from an authentic expression of who I truly am. My higher self knows this and she wants me to kick-ass, so she likes to point out areas in which I need to grow and stretch and challenge myself. And these days, I’m grateful for it.

The Shame Game

The topic of shame is up right now, in a big way. It popped up for me last week as I was sorting through some forgiveness work and it’s coming to me through work with clients and in conversations with friends. And at the perfect moment (of course!) I received as a gift an incredible CD by Brené Brown: Men, Women, and Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough. Powerful stuff, y’all.

What I’ve been really noticing through my personal journey and my work with clients is that when we have an initial experience of shame and we really internalize it, we tend to spend the following years of our lives subconsciously putting ourselves in situations that reinforce the feeling of shame and unworthiness. We will procrastinate, act out in rage, shut down, do something the wrong way even though we know it’s wrong and more. Once we deem ourselves less-than, we will reinvent the unworthy wheel over and over again.

Brené makes a really lovely and important distinction between shame and guilt. Shame is the equivalent of “I am bad (mean, stupid, fat, ugly, lazy, etcetera)” while guilt is an expression of “I did something bad.”

This is huge.

With guilt we are able to process the event and the related emotions and move them out of our psyche. We can use the experience as a lesson and move on. With shame, we hold onto it and prove to ourselves over and over again how unworthy we are. We continue to blame and shame ourselves and we will attract the vibration into our lives in other ways as well. Eventually this can lead to depression, anxiety, -isms, and illness. It just doesn’t feel good. At all.

Most of us carry at least some shame. We are moving through a world and environment that demands that we be almost superhuman in actions, looks, and deeds, and that we do it with ease. We are taught from a young age not to cry, to just get it done, and to make sure it looks pretty to boot. We take on too much and think we are less than if we can’t manage it all.

Unfortunately I see a lot of people who were abusively shamed over and over again growing up. They never felt worthy of love and they were rarely supported. Everything they did was deemed wrong. Eradicating this type of shame can be seriously difficult, though very possible, work.

It can change. You can change. Through awareness, willingness, and a bit of courage, it is possible to get to the other side. A client recently told me that she feels like she is waking up. And she is! She is shifting patterns, shedding old outdated beliefs, and choosing to live a life in which she doesn’t need the armor she wore in the past. She is experiencing her life through a new lens and she is honoring herself through the process. She senses the big and positive change that is happening and she noted that she is becoming a different person. And even more importantly – she loves the person she is becoming.

If you’re ready to break through the patterns that are holding you back from living a life you love, let’s chat. I’m offering a free thirty-minute Breakthrough Assessment (click here to set it up) and I’d love to connect.

Finding Forgiveness Within

This Venus in Retrograde thing has taken me for a bit of a ride. I’ve got relationship patterns popping up right and left for me to look at and I’ve had to take a really, really, deep look within.

Apparently, I’ve tucked away a key aspect of my relationship patterning that I was highly resistant to examining. (Surprise, surprise!)

In recovery literature there is a passage that says, “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” I’ve actively and consciously worked through most of my regrets and been able to keep the door open in most cases, but there has been one that has been very difficult for me to resolve or feel peace around.

I can’t stop blaming myself for actions I took during a relationship in my past. And as a result, I hold myself back from being fully present for others, still and even 30 years later. By being the “bad person” in that relationship, I’ve continued to carry the burden and feel on some level undeserving of receiving true, whole-hearted, fierce love – the very love that I want to claim and share with others.

I’ve wanted forgiveness. And in my journey, forgiving others has been a cornerstone of my healing. I’ve forgiven exes for hurting me (and in many cases for doing the very same that I did), I’ve forgiven my rapists, I’ve forgiven friends, family, strangers…The act of forgiveness has been transformative for me. It has shown me how to bring more love into my heart and into my life.

What I’ve realized is that in all those cases, I’ve been able to forgive myself for whatever my part in the scenario was. I’ve been able to show myself compassion and understanding and as a result I’ve been able to extend that to others.

And now I understand that despite trying to make an amends and apologize for my transgressions, there’s been a lack of sincerity in my approach. It hasn’t been intentional – I’ve genuinely wanted to “make things better.” But it can’t ever be better until I find forgiveness for myself in my own heart. I can ask for atonement from every person that I’ve ever hurt, but unless I have forgiven myself, I will never believe them even if they do forgive me. Without taking responsibility for loving ourselves and being compassionate with ourselves and forgiving ourselves, it doesn’t matter what anyone says to us or shows us or extends to us. An olive branch is just a branch if we don’t understand the concept of peace within.

I have to also be okay with the fact that not everyone will forgive me. That is each person’s individual choice and an aspect of their path and healing. I can say I’m sorry – and when I know I’ve been in the wrong, I always am. But if I can’t forgive myself then energetically there is still an imbalance in the exchange. If I can truly find the atonement within, then not only will it benefit the person in question should they choose to accept it, but then I can also show more love to the other people in my life and to those that are yet to come. Holding back in any one area never helped the whole.

A beautiful living amends is to be the very best person I can be and to show everyone I’m in relationship with the utmost respect and love that I can, to shine from my heart and share pure love with them. That’s a tall order! And one that is only possible if I truly and fully use that light to first cleanse what is being revealed within me, the piece of me that is asking to be healed with the same compassion and love that I’m willing to extend to others.

Honoring the Truth Within

I’ve been going back and forth with a decision that I need to make and every time I feel like I’ve got it made, I find myself hopping back over to the other side of the fence. The decision has to do with one aspect of my career. It’s something that I’ve been doing for a while that I enjoy, but it tends to exhaust me and it can feel a little counterproductive at times.

In part, I have trouble letting go of things. I always have. When I build a relationship with someone or something, I tend to cling to it, fearful that if I release it I will lose a part of me or miss out on something. A lot of my growth and development over the last several years has been with respect to learning the art of letting go. I’ve made some improvements, but it still challenges me, even when I know that releasing the person, place or thing is past due.

As this is happening in my life, I (of course!) have a client that is going through something similar. In fact, I see this with a lot of my clients, many of whom are highly empathic. (My sense is that it is even harder for empaths to let go of things; it can feel almost like something is being torn away from us.) Because of this, some time ago, my team shared with me a very simple technique for discerning when something is in alignment with us or not. I’m going to share a simplified yet still effective version of this here with you:

Get quiet and follow your breathing. Take slow breaths in, allowing your belly to rise and then fall as you exhale. Feel yourself drop into your body. When you feel yourself in your body (versus in your head), you can establish a baseline. So I might say, “I am a girl” or “I love dark chocolate” for my feel-good/true statement, and “I am a boy” or “I love olives” (yuck) for my negative one. Choose a few for yourself and notice how each of those feels in your body. Everyone will sense the answer differently and your baseline may even change according to what’s going on with you.

Next, ask yourself the question that you are pondering and see how it feels to you. You may want to ask it both ways to get a full picture of the situation. If you’re curious about leaving a job for another, you might sense into staying at your current job. Notice how your body responds to this. Do you feel constricted or open? How is your heart, your gut? What’s your posture like? You may want to do a scan to get a comprehensive understanding. Then follow up with feeling yourself in the new job and repeat the same steps as above.

Try not to feel discouraged if it takes a time or two. Some people resonate immediately with this and others benefit from a few tries to get it. Most of us spend a lot of time outside of our bodies and so establishing this type of relationship may be initially challenging (though ultimately rewarding). Know that the body never lies! Our minds will tell us stories, but the body always reveals the truth.

Let me know how it works for you! And yes, I did get my answer: Let it go; it’s time to move on. I shall be doing just that.