Tag Archives for " life transitions "

Telling the Heart

“I’ve become so intimate with fear/I am now the presence that exists at the end of it.”

— Meggan Watterson

Fear was like this three-headed monster that hung over me for most of my life. When I look back at my youth and my early (and even into mid-) adulthood, most of the memories that I do have (I’m missing many) feel heavy. As an empath, I felt everything and I had no language to understand it. I didn’t know that it was Mary’s anger, or the cashier’s pain, or my friend’s frustration that I was feeling, I just knew that I was feeling crushed by a need to take care of everyone and an overwhelming fear that I would never be able to do so and that I would somehow be hurt in the process.

The fear grew and grew until it encompassed just about every area of my life. I was a straight-A student afraid of failing, an all-star athlete afraid of not making a goal or hitting a handspring on the vault. When I discovered alcohol and drugs in high school, the pressure finally felt relieved. I felt like I could say, “Fuck it!” without caring as much what that really meant. I began hiding behind a wall while simultaneously building it higher and higher. I still performed well, but even that just became bricks and mortar for the sealing of my self-imposed limitations.

I was terrified of putting myself out into the world in a real way, of being vulnerable, of feeling more than I already felt. I was so, so scared to feel. It was too much and the thought of failing in anything that was a true expression of who I was felt too scary to even attempt. I stayed small, safe, hidden. I deflected, projected, and pushed.

I had many mini-turning points towards becoming courageous, beginning with sobriety. Committing to not drinking or drugging on a day-to-day basis was huge and it gave me a glimpse of a different possibility, one in which I could actually be awake in my own life. Lots of energy healing helped me to start peeling away the layers of self-deprecation that I had layered on over the years and gave me a glimpse of my potential. It also helped me to shift patterns around past trauma that were contributing to my fear.

After a workshop with Jennifer Pastiloff, I decided to do one thing every day that scared me regardless of whether that one thing was to open a piece of mail, accept a phone call, or tell someone I loved them. Every time I felt scared, I asked myself if I could do it anyway, despite the fear. Almost always the answer was yes. Sometimes I had to put a thing or two on a back burner and do something a little less frightening that day instead. And eventually – though honestly it was relatively very quickly – things just didn’t have the same hold over me anymore. What happened was that I built a faith muscle that showed me over and over again that no matter what came to pass, I was okay.

This shift in perception allowed me to move fully onto my path as a healer and coach, and it was what now allows me to help others to do the same. I have had to say “yes” over and over again. Sometimes it is still hard. Sometimes I need a friend or a colleague to see the fear in my eyes and remind me that I am ready and that I can do it before I can jump. And sometimes I take things really slowly because it just feels better to do so.

Originally, the meaning of the word courage was, “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” I love this. When I tell my heart, I feel good despite the fear that may have been there. And when I tell my heart by expressing the most authentic me that I can out in the world, my heart expands and fills with even more love that can be shared.

Finding our path and shifting onto it is an act of courage and perseverance. It asks us to open ourselves up fully and completely in a way that allows us to express our gifts in the world without fear of judgment or failure. It demands that we be vulnerable and trust.

I have found my edge. My comfort zone has space for discomfort now and is ever-widening. I am myself on the other side of fear – not without it, but not within it either. It no longer defines me and it no longer tells me what I can or cannot do. It has become a guidepost and when it pops up, I know that I have to step up. It’s not always easy, but it is always rewarding.

1 Opening to Possibility Through Vulnerability

There is something terrifying about the possibility of being fully and truly seen. Many of us travel through our lives carrying a persona around that shields us from the potential of being hurt. It’s as if we cannot feel the sting of rejection quite so strongly if the stinger hits the armor rather than our essence.

It’s coming up again and again, all around me. I’m seeing it in me as I shed yet another layer and take some powerful responsibility for the direction I am choosing for my life to take. I see it in my so very brave clients that are moving into their full potential, who are preparing to unearth and share their Spirit-given gifts with the world.

It takes courage to be vulnerable because it is really terrifying to open our hearts and expose them to the world. It is fiercely powerful to be seen without the armor, to come out from hiding, with our hearts on our sleeves. It takes strength, resolve and a maybe even a dash of insanity. But as we do the work, and as we get stronger and feel more empowered from our core, our ability to be vulnerable begins to show itself as a gift rather than a danger.

Oftentimes we choose a path that feels safe or known because we haven’t yet dared to explore our depths. And then when we start to peel off the layers, we realize that the clothes we’ve been wearing have gotten really tight on us and that we don’t really like the style anyway. It is then that we can start the process of really stripping down.

As we move through this stage of growth – the incubation period so to speak – we may be even more challenged. We may be asked by Spirit, our higher selves, and those closest to us to not just pull the layers off, but to take a closer look at our wounds and to finally address them. As we do this, we become stronger; we grow and we stretch and we extend ourselves into this amazing expanded version of ourselves that we never even dreamed we could be.

Sometimes we lose a few people on the journey, but I’ve found that for every one we lose, we gain at least one more (if not more) that holds the same high standards for authenticity that we are demanding of ourselves. And so we shake it off and dive into the new relationships, the new possibilities, and we share in a completely new way.

I’ve got a network of friends and healers that see my potential when they look at me and who nudge me in just the right way at just the right time. I have found that when big change happens, big change happens. Having someone to guide you and/or a loving a community of like-minded individuals with whom you can share your triumphs and tribulations from a place of genuine openness can allow us to feel safe and supported throughout these major shifts.

And if you are just starting out on this journey, and you are feeling an urge to move into something more, but have yet to unearth what that may be, here is a quick exercise that can help you to connect into your True Authentic Self so that you can understand what it is that your spirit is truly yearning to birth (and anything else you might want to know):

Close your eyes and begin breathing from your belly. Breathe in through your nose as your tummy rises and out through your mouth as your tummy falls. Take several breaths like that and then settle into a natural rhythm. Allow yourself to fall into that space and when you feel completely in your body, move your attention up to your heart center. Feel your heart center from that space of being in your body instead of with your mind. If you find yourself overthinking it, without judgment just drop back into your body. When you are settled into your heart space, ask your higher self what she/he would like you to know. Be patient and wait for the answer. It may not come immediately and there are a myriad of different ways in which it can show up. You may feel something, sense something, see a picture or hear words. You may not get anything until later that day when you hear a message come through a song or the words of a friend. Enjoy the process and trust that the information will find you if you don’t push for it. With a little patience and practice, you can develop a fulfilling relationship with your higher self.


The Panic

Sometimes the Panic just comes. It may not matter that we’ve done the work or that we should just be past all that by now. It may even seem that the Panic should just KNOW that we are done with it. And yet, at our most vulnerable moments, it catches us, and sometimes it does so even at our strongest.

We can ride big change just like a roller coaster at the amusement park, feeling the thrills and excitement of the wild ride and allowing our screams to be those of exhilaration and joyous abandon. And even though we know that we are probably safe, every once in a while, there may be a little bump on the ride that makes our heart fall and that tumbles us into temporary terror.

And the bigger the change, the more forcefully it seems we can hit the panic button. Our egos have the very important job of trying to protect us from hurt and pain. They remember the last time we were hurt or took a risk that caused us to land flat on our faces. They remember and they keep count, just in case we forget. And so we do the work and we realize that it’s okay to make mistakes and we shift our thought patterns and we heal and then something really great comes along and we expand oh so quickly and then – whammo! Our ego clocks us one and the panic sets in.

This happened to me just the other day. There are so many wonderful transitions occurring in my life and so much growth that it really took me by surprise when one of my old behaviors cropped up. My knee jerk reaction was anxiety and I jumped right into it as if cozying up to a long lost friend. But what was different was that I am different. Because I’m doing the work to heal, I was able to see how I was reacting and then to adjust my behavior around it. I wasn’t my reactions anymore – something that I used to confuse constantly. And because it was uncomfortable, not only did I not want to stay in that energy, I didn’t want to spend any extra time in there.

So what can we do when this happens? How can we shift out of it in a way that honors the message we’re being given without compromising our growth?

Here are a few tips to help you get through the process, not necessarily in order, but more or less so:

1.     Stop, drop, and breathe: One of my client’s guides shares this with her through me often and I’ve adopted it for myself and passed it on to many others. When you feel the Panic (or any other fear based emotion) come over you, pause, drop into your belly space, and start taking long, deep breaths. Let your tummy rise on the in-breath and fall on the out. Feel yourself in your body and allow yourself to enjoy the breathing process. You cannot take slow breaths from your belly and continue to be anxious. It just doesn’t work.

2.     Lavender Essential Oil: Oh my goddess. This is like one of the most heavenly scents when you are anxious. I could swim in it because it just smells/feels that good. Place a few drops on your wrists or temples and if you have time, take an Epsom salt bath with four or five drops in it.

3.     Dance party: Put on your favorite playlist and rock out. Sing at the top of your lungs and dance. Be crazy. Be silly. Be loud. I have one that is specifically geared to helping me feel empowered.

4.     Ground yourself: Mother Nature is your friend. I hug trees because hugging trees really helps, but if that feels too weird for you, standing barefoot, sitting – or even better lying – on the grass will help you to discharge excess energy. I imagine all of the excess or ramped up energy draining out of me and I thank Mother Earth for transmuting it for me. I swear to you: This feels great.

5.     Check in with it: Once you’ve released the energy and are feeling calmer, get curious about what happened. Our emotions are an important indicator of what is true to us. If panic has set in, it is because we need to take a look at something. It may not even be what triggered it, and so playing detective can help us to uncover the true cause of our unrest. From this space, we are able to create lasting shift if we are patient and kind with ourselves.

Sometimes big change can cause things to come up so that we can kick them to the curb once and for all. For me, I recognized that the trigger had more to do with taking a risk that I feel confident about now, but that in the past I would have made despite not being ready for it, which would have led to failure. By recognizing this and focusing (after doing all of the above) on my new thought patterns, I was able to acknowledge and be grateful for a reaction that used to serve me but doesn’t anymore.

Yes!!!!! (And Then Some)


I attended a great event this past week with a wonderful business coach, Monica Shah. I went in with the intention that I wanted to learn how to organize my time and energy better so that I can increase my sales. I have been blessed to be in a line of work (play, really) that I adore and lately I’ve been starting with many new clients and my base is growing quite nicely. 

What I discovered, though, is that I’m still holding myself back. That is not to say that I haven’t been doing a lot of really great things, because I have. I was actually shocked to see all of the progress that I’ve been making in my business: It’s fantastic and it feels great! That said, I have hugged the lines of safety in many areas and instances and I’ve been afraid to open fully to setting up a business model that will allow me – and my clients – to fully thrive.

And as I’ve been scrambling to some extent to earn money, I haven’t been able to hone in on what I really do best, which is help others go through major life transitions. What I discovered over the last few days is: The more I step into my power and let my light shine, the more space I create for those I work with to do the same.

I looked closely at my clients that are fully committed to their healing process and making incredible strides in their lives. They are shifting and changing and growing and doing amazing things like transitioning careers in order to move into one they truly love, writing books, leaving unhappy relationships and/or opening up to love again. Miracles and magic are an everyday part of my life because of the transformations that I get to take part in with them. 

Miracles and magic are happening in my life too and I want to continue along on this beautiful ride. In order to do that, I’ve decided to create a lot of changes in the way I run my business, starting with adding some exciting breakthrough programs to the line-up and exploring ways in which I can be so fully in my power that I am able to be of the highest amount of service to those that play this beautiful game of expansion with me.

Within this process, I am also letting go of a few things that have been very special to me over the past two years, but that are creating energy leaks that are holding me back from what I feel my true purpose to be. And so I’m breaking up with all things Totem Guidance. I’ve let go of the Facebook page and I’m releasing the weekly reading. Thank you so much to all of you that have supported it and loved it right along with me, and I look forward to seeing what the next chapter brings us.

When we say “Yes” to Spirit, open our hearts to her, and release that which holds us back, she provides us with as many exclamation points as we are open to receiving. I’m ready for the next step, for the something more. How about you?