Tag Archives for " Self-expression "

10 Pearled Wisdom

I’ve chosen intentional words for the last few years and they have proven to be very powerful for me. In 2015, “expansion” brought me a business coach, a healing space, and huge growth in both my personal life and practice. In 2016, “activation” brought me even more growth, a hugely opening and expansive relationship, and a new course and program actually called “Activate Your Superpowers.”

Through these past two years, I’ve learned that there is deep power in setting intentional words and because of that I’ve taken a lot of time to allow the right word to settle within me this year.

Initially, because I have experienced such an expansion of energies over the last few years, I wanted to continue along the same vein. But as life and my higher self would have it, a much more introspective and subtle energy came through.

I wrote recently about my experience in New York with my business coach Monica Shah, in which I had an epiphany around how I tend to hold myself back in many ways. I’ve become very open and able to be vulnerable about topics that I used to shroud in secrecy and shame and because of that, I have felt confident in my voice.

But full-expression of ourselves is more than just our voice. It is the way that we move through the world, the manner in which we share ourselves in all ways. It is how we hold ourselves, offer ourselves, shine our lights, and even how we dim them.

So the truth is that I’m fully expressing myself in some areas of my life, but not all. I still hold back in some ways out of fear of being “too much” to others.

And so I was holding this thought in the back of my mind and I asked my team and Spirit to guide me towards my word. “Expression” was being whispered in my ear, but I wasn’t allowing it to take hold within me.

A few days later, at my birthday celebration, I received a beautiful gift of an oyster shell from one of my dear friends. And while an oyster shell might seem like an odd gift (even she claims she had intended to get me a piece of jewelry, but felt drawn to get the shell instead), I was mesmerized by it.

Then, when we got home, I opened a gift from Scott: The Wild Unknown’s Spirit Animal Deck, which I have had my eye on for a good while. I was SO excited to pull my first card. (Y’all, this deck is amazing!)

I laid the cards out and asked to be shown what I most needed to see. And then I pulled…


Frankly, I was wondering why I hadn’t pulled something more glamorous, like Unicorn or Eagle or the Cosmic Egg. Seriously, oyster??? I wouldn’t even have thought about putting an oyster card in a deck!

I didn’t initially put it all together…And then it hit me: I had JUST received an oyster and I had been reflecting on not holding myself back. My guides were being loud and clear with me:

It’s time to come out of my shell and to reveal the pearl within. It’s time to open and express fully, to not take my inner gifts for granted, to move away from my tendency to hold back and withdraw.

I’m realizing just how powerful FULLexpression can be. I also realize that just as my last two intentional words pushed me to challenge myself in big ways, 2017’s word is already asking the same of me.

So I will be louder, bolder and brighter this year in a way that feels aligned and in integrity to me. I will do so even when my tendency might be to pull back. I’m committing to my word and I’m excited to see what sort of magic will unfold as a result. It scares me, but it lights me up at the same time and that is exactly what the best intentions for growth will do.

What about you? Have you chosen an intentional word for 2017? Hop on over to my blog and share if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you!

The Light of Truth Shines Brightly

“When you speak your truth, things that are not true get burned away.”  -Tom Kenyon

There is a light in our truth that is full and bright. It’s as if when we find our alignment with it, we can begin to release the story that we have spent a lifetime clinging to, merely because it seemed to define us in a way that felt safe or made sense.

On an energetic level, our stories reflect years of experience, each a little glimpse of events that happened and feelings that have been felt that have stored themselves in our energy bodies. These imprints are just that – happenings that present a picture or a video of all the different things that have made us us. They show up through images, sensations, feelings and more. They are our complete history, unbiased and pure.

Emotionally, we take these events and we experience feelings around what they mean for us. Our emotions arise and oftentimes, because they are uncomfortable or because they feel threatening or because we just can’t, we push them down and away and hope that we can just leave them in a forgotten corner of our psyche. We may even do a good job of allowing the cobwebs to form around these emotions, believing that the more mesh that forms, the more safely hidden our selves will be. This can be a highly protective measure, and it may play an important role in our ability to move forward – for a time.

Just like the energetic body, the physical body can’t lie. Our minds can lie. They can tell us that it’s just better to stow things away, that feeling the pain will only make it worse, that we are fine and that everything will be great if we can just forget, if we can just push things down and away and “get on with it already.” But the body knows better. It’s smart and it’s truthful and it knows exactly what our light looks like. In fact, it loves our light and it craves it and it strives to be in alignment with it so that we can truly feel good and not just fake our way to an appearance of good.

And so when our light isn’t shining or when there are so many cobwebs covering our secrets that the light can’t reach them, the body begins to react. It may express itself as a disease, the physical manifestation of a rash or a headache, or as a pain in our shoulder (and anything in between). It may show itself as tears that start to flow for no apparent reason or as an angry outburst that we know to be inappropriate but that we can’t seem to stem anyway. But it will let us know. It can cripple us if we continue to look away, and it will carry on knocking on our door until we pay attention, until we acknowledge what’s going on, until we pull out the flashlight and the magnifying glass and ask the questions that need to be asked.

And when the light of truth begins to shine, the magic can begin. The stories that we’ve insisted on binding together into our personal tomes of carefully constructed reality can begin to restructure themselves. We get to do a rewrite, one that feels bold and empowering. We get to edit in a way that allows the distortions to dissipate and fade, to release and heal.

That’s when the stuff that isn’t true loses its hold on us. When our genuine essence begins to glow, its embers burn away the untruths that limited us and held us back from expressing who we truly are. It allows us to shine and that light helps us to find our way. We begin the journey to feeling and being whole. This can be our greatest triumph and our greatest gift. It is a miracle, a shift in perception that returns us to our true self.

Stepping out of the Shadows

I need a good cry. I feel the tears pooling up behind my eyes and I wonder why they just won’t come out already. Maybe it’s because despite the sadness that I’ve been feeling lately, my life is really great. It’s amazing in ways that I didn’t know possible in the sense that for the first time ever I value myself for the treasure that I finally, finally know myself to be. I’ve stopped taking everything so personally and am in a state of mostly acceptance about what the Universe is laying out for me. When I’m in tune, I am guided in a way that feels rare and precious to me. I’ve been on this path of discovery that has taken me around some mighty strange twists and bends over the past year and especially the last few months, and because of the fact that I’ve been laser focused on how every little bit of it impacts me and shows me what needs to be healed, I’ve been both amazingly self-assured and deeply sad. It’s time for me to not just let go of a relationship that means a lot to me, but to let go of a myriad of false beliefs and programs that have been running in my background for oh, thirty years or so. Even though these patterns and behaviors have been harmful to me, they still feel comfortable, sort of like a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I know I can’t touch the stuff anymore, and I really don’t want to, but sometimes I look at it with a longing that transcends my understanding. I suppose it’s because when I was younger, all of these behaviors and beliefs cropped up as a mechanism for me to feel safe in the world. Lowering a veil over your eyes can be a comfortable place to be and I thrived in an environment that allowed me to only pull in the bits and pieces that I wanted to acknowledge.

Over the last five years I’ve been lifting that veil slowly but steadily. At times it’s been almost imperceptible, but recently I feel like it’s getting yanked off my face. I’m seeing why I’ve been so comfortable in the shadows for so long, how I’ve never felt that my light was strong enough or important enough to be the brightest in anyone’s life, most of all my own. I’m seeing how I allowed myself to be dwarfed by others and by life and by myself just so that I could stay in a place that seemed to be less vulnerable. I understand how I believed that stepping into the forefront of my life threatened my very foundation.

Despite making huge strides in this arena, I recently considered sliding into the shadows again in a relationship. It wasn’t even expected of me, I just felt myself desirous of slipping into that space of delicious darkness and secrecy. It’s easy to manage something if you don’t have to be held accountable to it. If I can keep my emotions safely tucked away, I don’t have to worry so much about what I may lose. Retreating into the penumbra also allows me to create my own set of boundaries, something that can be very enticing to someone that has trouble establishing and maintaining them. Getting through the boundary creating phase of my life (2012) was challenging in ways that were terrifying, though ultimately gratifying. Now that they have been identified, I’m beginning to understand that not everyone or everything belongs in my life in ways that I before believed possible or necessary.

I’ve done a lot of growth and so I was surprised when this popped up again. I packaged it really nicely too, I’m sure in the hopes that I could deceive myself. There were many wonderful things about the relationship, and I learned more about myself in this short dance than I have in a while. The reason for this is that I went into it with my eyes wide open, and despite the fact that I considered sliding into an unhealthy safety zone, I was in such a state of awareness that I was able to literally smell the fear that had provoked it. With that, I had the opportunity to hold my own hand and walk myself through the process. I called on a few trusted others as well, but the main thing was that I refused to close my eyes no matter how painful it got or what came up. I may not have handled everything perfectly, but I do feel like every step along the path – even the so-called mistakes – were actually mirrors allowing me to see what I needed to tend to.

I’m ready to let go. In all honesty, there is a big part of me that doesn’t want to do so. The petulant child in me wants to twist and manipulate things to be the way that I want them to be, but the adult in me knows that is not the answer. I tried to do that for a good thirty years with no success. I’ve learned that letting go really is letting God. I have to make space in my life for the something better that always comes along whenever you release that which doesn’t support your highest good. I know this to be true because as I’ve let go of the relationships and situations in my life that didn’t enhance my growth (even when it wasn’t my own idea), I’ve been able to let in many amazing people and opportunities. I have co-created more wonderful and fulfilling friendships in the past year than I had in the preceding 10 and my support system is so strong that I never have to look for a shoulder to cry on.

So here’s my true confession: Sometimes this healing stuff really sucks. Sometimes it is so hard and the not-numbed pain is so intense that I want to throw myself down on the ground and pound my fists and scream. Sometimes I do scream. The unbelievable part is that with each passing day it gets easier and easier. The pain passes more quickly and I no longer blame myself or anyone else. I don’t take it all so personally anymore and along with the pain comes the joy of feeling a wee bit more miraculous and alive every day. My senses are honed and there is a remarkable amount of clarity in my life. My life is so full of love and beautiful people and blessings that I have to keep expanding just to accommodate it all.  In the end, it’s all worth it, every last bit of it.


Releasing the Elephant in the Room

When I was in high school, I was raped. Worse than the violation itself was the jumble of harmful emotions that was born of it: the anger, the shame, the fear and the inability to trust anyone that has trailed me through my life. The silence has been the worst. Or maybe secrecy is a better word. Not talking about it, not sharing it, hiding it and hiding behind it. Always hiding. It set up years of obscuring myself from others. And I could hide from anything. Or pretend to, anyway, because I just knew that I was bad. I had to pretend to be something that I wasn’t because I was sure that I was a bad person. So, I would pretend that I didn’t smoke, or that I didn’t really drink that much, and that I didn’t have a drug problem. I pretended that it was okay to have sex with men that didn’t care about me as much as I cared about them. My outward attitude screamed, “Look at me, look at how free I am! I’m fun; I’m open-minded; I’m festive!” because that sounds so much better than, “Look at me! I’m dying inside, and I don’t know how to ask for help!”

More than anything that night, I lost my power. I’m not sure that I had that much at that point anyway. I was only 16, after all, but at that time I was putting together who I might be, and then, after that night, I just gave it all away. I didn’t like how I was or how I looked or what I was like because all of those things just ended up getting me raped. I wanted to blend in, hide, disappear, go away. I stopped wearing make-up, I started dressing down, and I quickly shrank into myself.

Just like that, I gave my power away; I let them take it. And then it blew up the rest of my life, for the next twenty some years. I didn’t know how to say no to anyone. It was just easier to say yes, because betraying myself was better than being betrayed by someone else. I couldn’t be vulnerable in a sincere way. I was just a victim, and that victim archetype swallowed me up and followed me around the world. I was nearly raped in Argentina and then again in Turkey. Nobody could protect me. I so desperately wanted to be cared for, protected, shielded from this terrible life, and nobody could do that for me because I couldn’t do it for myself.

Giving away my power kept me so small. Small was safe. I was so afraid to be anything or anyone because then someone might notice me. My default was to blend in, and not say a word. I couldn’t speak for years, unless I was drunk or high, and boy did I love to get drunk because it felt like I was putting on the outfit of a whole new person. It really was my only escape from me.

All of this giving my power away kept me from expressing who I truly am, and it allowed me to let others define me. It kept me in jobs that were small and in finances that were small. It kept me in a little itty bitty shell, and every once in a while I would poke my head out and feel the light, but then something would come up and I’d stick it back in again.

I’ve had a long search for meaning in my life. It has taken me all over the world and moved me to new places. It has prompted me to read and to learn new languages. It has led me to museums, libraries, and sweeping outdoor spaces. It brought me to yoga classes and ultimately to energy work and a daily meditation practice. With this, I finally, finally, realized that this “meaning” wasn’t outside of me, and I started to pick up those little pieces of my power that I had scattered all over the place and put them back into my self.

I forgave myself, and I forgave others. I forgave them. That doesn’t make what they did okay or even acceptable, but it allowed me to move on. I chose life and living, and I chose to pull myself together. I let go of things that were no longer serving me, and that I was no longer serving. I discovered boundaries and put them into place, and that was when I could finally stop bleeding all over everyone and everything and when others could no longer bleed all over me.

In the end, I came to realize that no one can take from me what I am not willing to give away.

I finally looked into the mirror and said, “I love you, Janet.”

This journey is not without its pitfalls. I still shrink from some things, and I still have trouble expressing my truth with some people. And there are certainly moments when I still give my power away. I am aware of it, though, and I can usually snatch back those little pieces of me before they float off with someone else.

This has been so hard to write, but it had to be written. It was the secret that I was still holding hostage; it was the ever present elephant in my room. It was my last rationalization, justification, excuse, pity party. Right here, right now, I let it go, completely, 100 percent. I reclaim myself and that little girl that I was.