Posts in Passion & Purpose
Who Am I?

I am Vibrant, Intuitive & Wise.

I crave Freedom.

I can't live without Love, Sun & Trees. And possibly potatoes (specifically french fries).

I want more Spontaneity in my life.

Stillness, Laughter and Nature fuel my soul.

My best self leads by example and empowers others to reclaim their personal power.

I believe in uniqueness and think in possibilities.

I often overthink especially at night when I am supposed to be asleep.

It still bugs me when people don't like me, yet I am learning to let it go.

My brain will remember random things about you, but totally forget your name.

I am a natural hostess often knowing what you need before you do.

I see colors behind my eyes and sense innermost feelings people do not express, which sometimes gets me into trouble. 

Objects, especially old ones, speak to me on a frequency I cannot understand but can feel in my body. As a result I avoid museums, antiques and old places.

Grounding and shielding have brought me more inner peace than I can ever explain.

I am inspired by children, confidence, nature and genuine kindness.

Yoga is my gateway to happiness and allowed me to reconnect with my true self.

Life used to be black and white for me, filled with judgment and comparison and ridiculous rule following. It was exhausting and frustrating. I have left all that in my wake.

I have learned no one has the right to make me feel small, less than or unworthy. My worth comes from within. When someone bullies, shames or ridicules me, it is about them trying to feel bigger.

When I cannot see the path ahead, the next step is inward.

I recharge by sitting or walking in nature, creating art, writing & resting in the sun.

I believe I have a purpose that is yet to be revealed.

The Courage Within
many faces.jpg

I had a really good week.

I made it through a full schedule of classes without my body falling apart, I am getting into a GROOVE with my students at GVSU and I launched my new website. All three are reasons to celebrate, yet the thing I am most proud of is that I am doing them all MY WAY.

As part of the clearing out process that comes with a website/blog switch, some old posts left in my drafts are popping up. I know my last post was also about staying in the wrong place too long and what it does to a person, and normally I would not share two of the same in a row, but I feel compelled to share the message that making change is up to you.

NOTHING, no job, no person, no life situation should ever be allowed to make you feel less than. To make you feel like you constantly have to prove yourself, to make you question your worth, to suck the joy out of you. Life is not meant to be so hard.

Over 5 years ago I found the courage to let go of what was no longer serving me as I set off to follow my heart. It was a scary fantastic thing to do. The result is I now end my days with a smile, a sense of worth/belonging, and knowledge that I make a difference. The dirty feet, messy hair and sweaty clothes I come home with are an in-the-present daily reminder of this. What a difference operating from your sweet spot makes in a person's level of joy. Below is the post from my drafts, I hope my words resonate with the right person today and encourage change.

You are enough. You are worthy and deserving of joy. You have a place in this world that is meant just for you. Find it.

Courage does not mean that you possess the strength to carry on. Courage means that you will carry on when you feel that you no longer have the strength.

This is one of the first statuses I saw when I opened up Facebook this morning. Maybe it was an answer to last night's prayers asking for the strength to get through the funk I am in. Maybe it was just what I needed to realize that I need to find the courage to plow through my current problems and face my fears. After struggling through another sleepless night, and waking up to the same sad, scared, tears-really-close-to-the-surface-feeling I have experienced for the last couple of weeks, I am ready for a change. I do not want to feel like this anymore. It sucks.

I believe in being honest. So I will tell you that my blog has been quiet because I haven't been myself. I don't know what people who suffer from depression feel like, so I won't say that is how I have been feeling, but I think it might be appropriate. I will say I am stressed, beyond stress I have ever felt before. Emotional is maybe not a strong enough word.

It stems from me feeling like a failure. At work. I was hoping by now that I would have achieved a different result, I've certainly tried hard enough. But a year after I began my quest to find my place within a changing industry and a stagnant company, nothing has changed. Honestly it has gotten even worse, for me. Because now that I have tried so hard, and beat myself up every step of the way trying to make sure I was doing the right things, and they haven't worked, I now I feel that I have indeed failed. Not a feeling I am used to.
Lately this feeling of failure is the last thing I think about before I go to sleep, what I think about during the night when I cannot sleep, and what awaits me when I wake up in the morning. It permeates everything I do. It is wrecking one of my favorite times of year. It is wrecking the joy I feel being around my own family.
I hate feeling uncertain, unappreciated, unsure, heck, unwanted. I hate that there is a now a knot in my gut all day long. I was foolish enough to think that people at work would see how hard I was trying. That by me finding the courage to take some chances and think outside the box, it would count for something. That someone in management would appreciate and recognize the lengths I was willing to go to find a solution.
Instead my value to the company is even more in question. So much so, I felt like I was summoned to a meeting to get my walking papers last week. I didn't, at least not yet. That is never a nice feeling to experience, but it is especially hard for me because our family size has recently increased by two. At this moment in my life, my contribution to the family income, is crucial.
Why is it that after doing a job for almost 24 years, my opinion does not matter? Why is it that after continually attempting to share ideas, and implement them, I am questioned about what I really do, what my role is? Whose fault is it that I am in a "grey area"? Why am I, after 12 years with this company, asked to write my own job description to clear up the confusion about what I do?
How can I not be offended by this? And not then take everything said as a criticism? My new boss (who has been at our company for a year) told me he has no idea what I really do. How is that even possible? If someone told you that you needed to start submitting a report every Friday about what you were going to do the next week, how would you take that? I cannot "not be so sensitive". I must be wired differently.
I take it like this, I am a failure. If no one can see any value to what I bring to the table, somewhere I have made a crucial error. Did I fail to advocate for myself? To make sure I achieved recognition? I am not motivated by my personal gain (at least not monetarily). Job satisfaction, passion for what I do, and joy come from feeling that I make a difference. Clearly I have failed to make that difference in my workplace, I have failed to matter. And that is my worst fear realized.
So, I am facing it. I am now going to find the courage to carry on. This blog will no longer remain quiet. I will once again achieve success. My promise to my family is this: I will not be sad anymore. I will fix this.

When one door closes, another opens.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, maybe these quotes will help.
He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he who loses his courage loses all. - Miguel de Cervantes

Have the courage to face a difficulty lest it kick you harder than you bargain for. - Stanislaus

Hit the Road Jack

I spent too much of my life at a job in a place that never wanted me, didn't appreciate me, who resented me even. Why did I stay so long in an environment that brought me down?

Looking back I should have left so many years earlier. I allowed the unhealthy workplace to eat away at my self-esteem, to make me question my worth, to make me feel as if I wasn't enough.

I should have walked out the first week, the first time I was demeaned by a coworker who thought they should be my boss. The first time I was pushed to tears. I don't do well with meanness, I never have, and I should have known if it happened to me on the first week of the job, it wasn't going to be an isolated event.

It continued to happen in little ways, and in big ways for 12 years. And I am sad to say, I let it. I should have walked away, dared to do something different, but I kept trying to fit in, to make it work, to fix it. It was a great place "on paper", and the job was something I could do and do well, and I loved the flexibility in my schedule. But it wasn't worth what I lost there. Underneath the pretend, I knew I wasn't welcomed by all, and trying to please, trying to prove my worth and be seen as valuable to those who would never care, was a huge waste of my precious energy.

Underneath the company's "make sure we look good from the outside" facade, was an inside filled with a good old boys network that I would never fit into. Women were second class citizens who did a lot of the work and who management allowed to be bullied by a small group of unhappy, negative male employees.

A leader, by dismissing his employees complaints or avoiding the awkward conversations to handle the inequities, in essence condones the bad behavior and allows the unfair, inappropriate bullying to continue to happen. Over time this creates an apathetic, unhealthy, unmotivated group of employees, led by the meanest of the mean. Any responsible, conscientious, highly sensitive person cannot survive unscathed working in a company with all that negative energy.

It certainly took a toll on me.

I stayed so long for several reasons; because I was scared to go elsewhere, because the flexibility of the schedule worked so well for me, and maybe deep down I wanted to prove them wrong.  I thought if I tried hard enough, they'd see my value. Therein was my biggest problem. Looking for value and recognition outside of yourself is always a recipe for disaster. No matter how great I tried to be, I was never going to hear what I wanted to hear from the management in that company, and it wore me down trying. I became anegative, critical, angry, overly sensitive shell of myself.

I am much stronger now, after several years away from that toxicity and lots of personal growth work. I was able to gain back my positivity, and my self-worth. Deep down I am still the same person I always was, but I now have confidence from within in my abilities and in myself again. If I were to have started at this place in my present state of mind, I would never have hung on so long. I would more than likely have never signed up to work there in the first place.

If life has you feeling negative, stuck, angry, sad, or numb -- take a look at it from all angles. Creating your ideal life is up to you. What situation in your life is dragging you down or making you feel you have lost your personal power? There is always a way out. Take it. You don't have to justify it to your parents, your siblings, your co-workers, or anyone else -- and don't let the naysayers tell you you can't just do what you love. They are the most stuck and will say things like that to keep you stuck as well. You can do what you love to do, if you dare.

It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else when you make changes to improve your life. If you feel the need to take a demotion, change your job or your career, say goodbye to a relationship that just isn't meant to be, or sell your huge house and live simpler, then give yourself permission to do it right now. The world will not see the full version of you, until you do. 

You have the reigns, you control the speed of your life and you choose where you work, who you stay with, where you live, and how you live. Stop listening to the advice of others who see your life from the outside as a completely different life than the one it feels like you are living inside. Shift that energy, disrupt the status quo and create your ideal life. I learned in the process that I was making life much harder than it had to be, by trying to change a broken system, to fit in where I wasn't meant to.

You deserve to be lifted up, not beaten down by the people surrounding you.  A good person, with good intentions, who has natural talent and deep sensitivity can find work or love or whatever you seek, but only if you trust in your own inner wisdom to lead the way.

Take that leap. Life is so much sweeter on the positive side.

Reflection: One Year Ago

One year ago today I wrote a post announcing Phase 2 of my dream, the opening of a space where I felt comfortable holding workshops and making connections, and the beginning of Soulistic Sisters, a partnership with two crafty and artistic friends offering opportunities for others to come create with us. A year away seems like a long time when you are in the planning/idea stages of a dream, in reality it flies by, each month going faster than the next.

I wouldn't exactly say the past year has been easy, yet in reflection, it also has not been hard. I suppose as with any new venture, there were highs and lows. The highs for me were the times my workshops and classes filled up with people eager to learn and create, and/ or the times where I felt what I offered helped someone move forward with a new understanding, a new resolve to make changes to be happier, or to see things differently. The lows of course, were the times when no one showed up or no one seemed interested and we had to cancel (and yes there were plenty of those). It is normal to take it personally when something doesn't go as planned, to think you are the problem or the reason, and yet I know how silly and unhelpful that kind of thinking is in the long run. Throughout the year I clung to the thought that what is supposed to happen, will happen, even if it was just me and one other person who showed up for a class.

Working around our full time jobs has meant our offerings were hit or miss with our audience. We played around with days, times, and new ideas to attract more people to our studio. We repeated some classes that were popular the first time around, and stopped offering the ones where no one seemed interested--even if we ourselves still loved the idea. We tweaked, refined, and retooled and asked for suggestions as if searching for a magic formula of success, finding in the end, there really isn't one. We just have to trust and believe that what we are doing, we are doing for all the right reasons, and that what is supposed to happen, will happen.

The encouragement we received from those of you who frequent the studio has been great fuel for us to continue moving forward and to keep believing that if we "build it, they will come". To the many of you who have supported, shared, suggested, reviewed, and encouraged others to join you at our studio, we are so grateful to you. Growing our reach (without spending a lot of marketing dollars) is not easy, and it is only through word of mouth and your help, we have been even a small bit successful. Thank you for the love. Thank you for your trust.

Believing that each person who walks through our door is a uniquely talented artist (in some medium), and that every artist needs a group of supporters and challengers to learn from, is what will keep us going. I believe that our mission to bring people together to explore, connect and create is so important. I know it has moved me out of my comfort zone while at the same time helped me find my groove. I have found an outlet for a creative spirit I didn't even know I had. I have learned to manage chaos with mindful artistic activities and I relish the opportunity to share more of what I have learned with others.

I love our little space, I love the variety of things we offer, I especially love the unique and beautiful souls who come through our door to learn, to teach and to share. As I begin to plan another year of activities I will be leading, and look for areas in which I can grow my own knowledge base, I trust the universe will help it all come together. Just the way it is supposed to.

We must all believe in our own abilities, to seek new ways to work from our place of ease so that we can shine our brightest light, without fear, without regret, and by doing so help others begin to shine theirs. I hope our studio continues to provide an outlet for others to shine. To help them find their tribe and their supportive accepting community. To expand horizons. To open minds. To help everyone begin to believe in their own unique, creative, beautiful spirit.

Namaste. Cheers to seeing you at the studio soon.




What This Yoga Instructor Wants to Hear


If class was good, tell your instructor. It just might make their day.

Some days everyone is quiet at the end of class. As a yoga instructor I always wonder is that a good quiet? (like I am just all chill right now) or a bad quiet? (like you just killed me or that class totally stunk). I never know and always wonder. Sometimes I will get lucky and someone will stop me later and tell me it was a great class. Or that they loved class. Or even that they feel better after it. Or they apologize for not having kept up with me. Which is never needed as I consider someone who is listening to their body and doing what they need to do, a great student and, one who understands I am only a guide.

I will take any comments, even criticism (although the highly sensitive person in me is still learning to let the harshest ones roll off my back), because it gives me feedback I can work with. Usually there is always someone who doesn't like class --and that is okay, too. Not liking a class can be because it was too hard/too easy, it worked a body part that was weak in the student, or it didn't work the student as much as they wanted. Sometimes a bad class is nothing at all to do with the instructor, it can be the student having an off day or week. They get too hot, or are dizzy, weak or off balance or they are just plain too tired to do things the way they normally do.

What your yoga instructor wants to hear is truth.

Tell them when you feel great after class.

Tell them when you feel sore the next day.

Tell them you loved the song they played in shavasana.

Tell them you were finally able to connect your hands in the side angle bind.

Tell them yoga is the highlight of their week.

Whatever it is, please feel free to talk to them. We are human and we want to know how we are doing, how we can be better, or just to hear that we are making a difference in your life/body.

Never force it. Never lie. Just share truth when you can.

Thank you!

A Leap of Faith

Every time I lead a yoga class I have the opportunity to set an intention. Some days the intention pops in without a thought as if it had just been waiting for me to notice it. On other days, when there are too many thoughts/intentions swirling around in there, I simply ask for the ability to shine my brightest light; it is perhaps considered a 'catch all' intention for me.

That does not mean I take it lightly. If I am to shine my brightest light I need to believe in my own power. To walk my talk, practice what I preach, move out of my safe zone and take chances toward living my dream.

I've had a lot going on in my head the last year. A lot of thinking, a lot of visualizing, a lot of dreaming and imagining, and with the help of two crafty friends, finally ONE BIG LEAP into the exhilarating unknown of renting a space of my own.

I have toyed with the idea of having my own space to work from long before I left my safe job and followed my heart. I didn't really want to open a yoga studio, although I did consider it for a bit, nor a store, I wanted to create a space where people could gather. And where they would want to return to. Again and again, learning new things, meeting new people, organically creating a community of like-minded, like-hearted people poised and ready to grow into the best, happiest version of themselves.

As soon as I would think "I want a space", another thought would immediately follow "but I don't want another place to take care of." I am certain that the universe was as confused as I was.

The more I watched others around me live their dream and create their own spaces of comfort, where they did their best work, I recognized that I needed to take another step forward if I was to learn from them and create a nourishing space to grow myself. While I can see the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears that go into making small, local businesses work, I also see the rewards. I am willing to accept the challenge knowing in the end it will be worth it. "Build it -- they will come", I cannot tell you how many times that intention popped into my head over the last three years.

I have watched with awe + wonder the many friends and acquaintances who have forged their own paths to become independent, small business owners. I admire their bad-assery, their focus and their courage. Whether you are a retail shop owner, an artist, a jewelry designer, an art studio owner, a yoga studio owner, a make up artist, a wedding photographer, a realtor, or an at home day care operator, you inspire me to be a better person as I watch you do your thing.

It occurred to me one Saturday as we crafted around a table, my dream was bigger than me--it really had two parts, and to accomplish it, I needed help. The space would be twofold. A space to do my personal growth/self-discovery workshops, and a space for creativity. If reconnecting with my creativity was such a big boost to my happiness level,  maybe a joint effort with my artistic friends could help get others moving forward toward greater happiness as well.

With a clear intention in my head, phase two of my dream came together quickly. The right space became available, and the dream became reality (and a lease) beginning today.

I am so excited. Now the plan is to fill the small studio with the love, light and growth of the strong, creative, beautifully talented people I continue to meet daily.

Please come Explore + Connect + Create with us. My company is still called Get Off Go (Coaching), and the joint effort between Amanda, Sue Ann and myself is called Soulistic Sisters. Here is our mission statement, our vision and our logo. And a list of our upcoming workshops. We hope you will join us as we begin to live our dream and hopefully, help uncover yours.


Mission Statement: To cultivate a community of spirited women who embrace holistic methods of raising their personal consciousness and who collectively seek ways to lift the vibration of the planet. Soulistic Sisters flourish in the company of other like-hearted, aware and awakened women of all ages and believe in lifelong learning, the power of creativity, and the importance of finding and maintaining inner peace. We relish community, authenticity, and each other's badassery!

Purpose: Our studio is a supportive and fun space to create and learn. We offer a variety of holistic workshops to awaken your spirit, ignite your creativity and connect you with your tribe.

Soulistic Sisters Studio --- Come Explore + Connect + Create with us soon! Here is a list of our March workshops.

Growing Into Me

Photo Credit: Terri Spaulding

You know how thinking back over time you can recognize life changing moments, doors that you went through that changed your life forever?

I had one today.

Someone I love (but haven't seen for a while) asked me how I was doing via a short text conversation.

And I immediately answered back: I'm the best I have ever been.

And damn if I didn't mean it. Wholeheartedly. Honestly. Joyfully.

I am doing great. I feel good. NO, I feel great. I feel at peace. I feel purposeful. I feel loved. I feel happy. I feel at ease with me.

It is the best feeling in the world. It is like I got new glasses with a stronger prescription and I can finally see the leaves on the trees again.

Everything is beautiful. Everything makes sense. Everything is going to be okay.

Just needed to share this so I never forget. And so you'd know there is always hope that you can make changes for the better, too.

Will You Lend Your Support to a Child in Need?

I was asked to lend my "voice" to help someone in need today.

Someone who is too young to protect herself. The systems created to protect children in need, are currently failing her. The petition that needs signatures is to Gov. Rick Snyder asking him to take another look at this case and to stop allowing the people in charge to send this child back into the hands of her mother, her abuser. It will also aid those who love her in spreading the word to a larger audience, to garner signatures of support, so the courts will do the right thing and allow her father to take care of her.

My first reaction when I got the request was 'but that is not what my blog is about'.  But that was only a knee jerk reaction-- and one I immediately reconsidered.

Truth is what my blog is all about. It might not always be about what people want to hear, but it may be exactly what needs to be said.

So here goes:

Ellie, my nieces new daughter by blended family, is in need of help via your signature to support a petition to have her case examined more closely. This beautiful little girl is being abused and no matter how hard her father (and others) fight for the right thing to be done, it seems she is sent back into the hands of the one who allows the abuse to continue. Her mother.

You may not know the story. I may not even know the full story. But what I do know is this. Ellie deserves to be protected, to find her safe haven, her home and to be cared for by those who love and respect (and want) her.

I know little about abuse from my personal experience.  I was raised by supportive, protective, loving parents, who only wanted the best for me. But I do know what it is like to see a child and or children who are not so lucky. My family opened our home to a couple children who needed their own version of a safe haven a few years back. That small gesture has made the biggest impact on so many lives. Mine included. In that case, we did the right thing no matter how hard it was at times-- and the ripples of good from that continue to surround me.

I've seen all kinds of moms in my life. Some who are great mothers with great intentions, some who are mothers with good intentions who make mistakes,  and some who are just plain awful.

I know from experience that you don't have to be a biological mother to love a child as your own. To feel for them the same as you feel for your biological ones. Love is love. Doing the right thing is always the best way to go.

Here is the link to Ellie's petition, it was written by Ellie's grandmother, my sister-in-law. If you feel called to sign your name in support of a small child in need of a voice, please do. And if you feel called to share it, well we would really appreciate the support. We need 150 more signatures before Wednesday. Before time runs out and the courts send Ellie back to her abusive mother.

Spreading Love and Sharing Truth. It just has to be the right way to go.

Thank you for any support you are able to give.


Summer Workshops to Help You Get Off Go

I have been known to cringe when people say the name of my business incorrectly--most times they say "Get Off and Go" instead of just "Get Off Go". Not a big deal really, but it matters to me so I thought I would explain where the name came from in hopes people will remember it.

Two summers ago I was deep in the midst of digging inward to understand myself better. I filled countless notepads every time I sat in the sun, words just poured out of me onto the paper. Some ideas were sparked by the self-help books I was reading, other times I just needed to get crap off my chest . So I wrote, and wrote, and in the process I began to heal and find my true path.

Sometime near the end of that summer I realized that what I really wanted to do was help others move forward. It is what I now consider my life's purpose, and something I do easily and intuitively. In fact for a long time it was actually easier to help others move forward than it was to help myself! When I looked down at my notepad one day after doing an exercise to uncover my innermost wishes, I had written 'I want to help people get off go.' And just like that I was on Go Daddy to see if the web address was available. To my surprise it was --this after the maddening weeks I spent typing in random things like just to verify my belief that everything (I wanted) was already taken. The fact that it was actually available might have been the first of many signs from a higher power showing me I was finally on track.

Now imagine the "Go" in Get Off Go as that first space on a game board --kind of like the Go/Start space on the Monopoly board-- your token is poised and ready, all lined up, prepared but still stuck all at the same time. You need to roll the dice and create some forward motion to begin the game.

I run across people every week that are stuck, or at least stalled in their lives. They are standing on the "go" space but something holds them back from making their move -- it can be fear, negativity, self-doubt, a lack of belief in themselves or even that they are listening to others around them tell them they can't. Sometimes old patterns or beliefs need to be identified, busted up and removed to start the forward motion. 

I know this precipice well. I stood there for a few years, assembling my parts and pieces, hesitating, reassembling, hesitating more, then finally being brave and reaching out for help. Only no one answered. Seriously. I was ready to go, and there seemed no one willing to help. I didn't need a counselor, or a therapist--I had done enough of that kind of work on my own. But I did need a gentle push to get me moving forward. Strange isn't it that the life coach (es) I emailed and called years ago never even bothered to respond.

My wish is that Get Off Go attracts people who are ready to do the hard work necessary to heal and thrive. As a person who has recently traveled along this same road, I can be of help to others. I am not good at sales; I never will be. But I AM good at listening, asking questions, connecting dots, and helping people think differently. The best way I know how to reach out to people is to host workshops.

So here is my summer workshop line up:






If you are ready to move forward, or if you find yourself needing a change in direction and could use help figuring out the first steps, please consider joining me at one of the workshops. Go with the one(s) that resonate with you, because deep down you already know what you need to Get Off Go. 


Are You Stuck on Safe?

If you had a good friend who was all ready to move forward on something, something they believed strongly in but were holding back out of fear or self-doubt, would you do something to help them get started?

Of course you would.

Most people love to see others succeed. It inspires them to move forward with ideas and dreams of their own. And it sparks courage -- have you ever given yourself the pep talk that goes like this "well if so-and-so can do it, then so can I"? Unfortunately, most times the pep talk is as far as we get before our own doubts, fears, anxieties or over thinking creep in and stop us dead in our tracks.

Go back to my original question and imagine that the good friend I asked about was actually YOU. Would your answer be the same? Would you do something to help yourself move forward? Or would you hold back and throw up roadblocks in order to keep yourself "safe" ?

Ah ha!  If helping a friend is easier than helping yourself....a reassessment is needed.

You have to be willing to do at least as much for yourself, if not MORE than you would do for a  good friend, to get moving in the direction of your dreams. Focusing outward, on others and helping them take risks but being unwilling to take your own means you are living vicariously through them. In essence you aren't believing in yourself. You are keeping yourself stuck in order to keep yourself safe from failing. This can eventually lead to dark feelings of self-doubt, anger, guilt, depression, and hopelessness as you watch others around you succeed -- sometimes even succeeding in areas that you also could excel at. The results of keeping ourselves "safe" can actually result in the outcome we fear most ---failure.

So why do we so easily get distracted by others, offering assistance to them via our supporting words or a new connection that will further their ideas, instead of focusing on our own ideas and dreams? Because in helping a friend, we have no ownership of the outcome. We don't have to worry about feeling any shame or stress if they fail, so we can be brave for our friends at no risk to ourselves.

What we really need to do is be brave for ourselves.

So start believing in YOU. Trust in YOU. Support YOURSELF.

I do not say this lightly and I know from experience that this is also not an easy thing for many people to do: you need to put yourself first. It is necessary for our own well being and for those who depend on us to put ourselves at the front of the line. I spent years assisting others, watching them achieve what I wanted to achieve, watching them take risks I was too scared to take....because I was afraid (deep inside) that I might fail. And if I failed, I feared I would come unglued. But I have learned that I wasn't giving myself enough credit. I am strong, I can overcome failure. I can survive it. In fact, it doesn't render me helpless -- it did the reverse, it made me stronger. I am still learning to undo the patterns I once developed to keep myself protected so that I can begin to live life fully and not just go safely through the motions.

I realize now that being stuck on safe made life an uphill battle for me. In essence it made life so much harder than it needed to be. Are you doing the same?

What is stopping you from moving forward?

Are you afraid of failing? Are you stuck in your comfort zone? Or are you listening to the negative people around you, the ones who discourage you because they are afraid of pursuing their own dreams?

Your time is now. Stop thinking about it. Lead by example and DO IT.

Why Not Now?

Are you guilty of the putting off doing something you've always wanted to do, until "this" happens....or until "that" happens?

Maybe your excuse is you will do it after you retire, have a certain amount of money saved, your baby turns two, your children graduate from high school, you get that next promotion, or you lose ten pounds?

How often do we stop ourselves from doing the things that really matter to us and delay experiencing joy for some time in the uncertain future? I bet we can all admit to regretting not having done something when we had the chance.

The reality of our procrastination of joy is that we could get time off from work to travel now, or pay for a vacation next month with credit, or take out a loan to buy a cottage while our kids are still young enough to want to go there with us (if we really wanted to). Think of it another way, would we figure out a way to make something happen if we knew our time was limited and we'd never get another chance? 

What holds us back from living life to the fullest when we can? Are we simply being financially responsible? Are we afraid that if we allow ourselves joy right now, we won't have anything to look forward to later? Do we fool ourselves into thinking that our workplaces or our families cannot function without us for a week or two? Or are we just better at dreaming, than actually doing?

We can use lack of time, shortage of money, responsibility to our jobs, or being over committed as our excuse for why we don't do things... but aren't we really our own roadblocks?

I was guilty of putting things off for years, and I convinced myself that when "this" happens.. then "this" can finally happen. Big things, and little ones. I even put off much needed relaxing time because the house wasn't clean or the laundry wasn't done (yet). Now I want all that time back because I have learned those things are never actually done.

The truth is we cannot control what happens in the future, nor do we know how we will feel when we get to that point in the future. Maybe what we once thought would be important to us "then" isn't even relevant anymore.

I'll bet you can think of some examples from your own life where you put something off...until. Or when someone you know worked hard to put away money to use for fun after they retired only to pass away unexpectedly.  Or maybe you heard about a couple who waited to travel the world (as they'd always wanted) only to have one of them become ill and no longer able to travel together at all?

The moral of the story: don't deny yourself the joy of now.

I once grumbled about spending $150 to fix a water stain in our first house's ceiling-- a necessary thing to get done before we attempted to sell that house --only to be completely amazed at how much better the place looked after we did it. Why hadn't we just done that while we lived there so we could enjoy the view?

So stop putting off the things that matter most. Take that vacation. Start that new hobby. Get that boat, or fix that ceiling. Feed your soul with the big and little things you want to do right now. We can't always be worried about the what if's and prepare for the what then's, or we will miss all the joy of the right now.

We have the power to alter, redirect and begin to enjoy our lives at any moment. So, what are you still putting off for someday?

Goodbye Resolutions: Hello Three Words to Live By

I have done away with new year's resolutions forever.

Instead of inspiring me throughout the year to be the best I can be, resolutions wind up bringing me down. The new year invokes an image of a clean slate, a do over, a chance to start fresh for me, but that also brings forth self-reflection. For years I have hauled out my list of New Year's Resolutions from the year prior and "judged" my own performance. Some years I have actually accomplished a couple of the resolutions on my list, but most years I just wind up feeling bad about what I didn't do instead of being happy about what I did. 

Last year I decided to try something new. Instead of creating a list of resolutions I was destined to fail, I chose three words to live by in 2013. Not sure how it would work, I also set a couple back up resolutions. After a year of incredible change and growth I cannot even remember the resolutions I set, but the words were part of my every day life. It was like having an automatic intention to live by.

As I look back on 2013 I realize how well this new approach worked for me. I am proud of my achievements instead of busting myself for what I didn't do and I am feeling positive. That in itself is a minor miracle --given that most of my life I have lived with a mean inner voice who isn't always quick to hand out compliments.

Whether you set resolutions at the beginning of each new year as a rule or not, the three words to live by is a tradition I encourage everyone to try. I used my three words from last year as a filter to weigh each new opportunity in 2013 against. That helped me rethink old commitments and assess new opportunities to make sure they aligned with my three words and the direction I wished to go. 

As I approached the end of this year I contemplated my new words, settled on three and then changed them right before writing this. They have to ring true -- and when you find the right ones, you will know.

My words for 2014 are: clarify, cultivate and savor.

Clarify and cultivate were chosen to remind me that my work is not done; I am still growing and changing, and as I do, I will need to refine (or clarify) often to make sure I am on the right track. Not one to stop and smell the roses as often as I should, choosing savor as my third word is a way to remind me continually that life is not just about accomplishing, it is also about enjoying and appreciating the little moments. Something I began in 2013 and plan to continue doing for the rest of my life.

In case you need some word ideas, here is a list. Do any of these speak to you? 

simplify, linger, thrive, create, appreciate, illuminate, flourish, shine, believe, spirit, affirm, seize, trust, succeed, savor, accomplish, prosper, expand, uplift, radiate, enlighten, astonish, revel, pleasure, relish, enjoy, ease, courage, devour, clarify, cultivate, surrender, spirit, balance, serenity, integrity, success, purpose, commitment, flexible, allow, energy, motivate, absorb, tranquility, peace, serenity, organize, visualize, anticipate, aware, awaken, faith, grace, shimmer, sizzle, dazzle, sparkle, enlighten, reach, trust, blossom, connect, experience, wisdom, strength, hope, joy, breathe, gratitude, grow, release, balance, brave, control, explore, express, finish, flow, find, nourish, heal, try, play, activate, healthy, nourish, slowdown, reflect, collaborate, celebrate, communicate

Ending the year on a positive note allows me to ring in the new year with hope in my heart. Hope that 2014 will be the best year ever, and that I will see forward motion in my loosely outlined plan to become the best version of me that I can be.

Cheers to a new year filled with unending love, light + peace.







Are you Addicted to Collecting Tools?

And I don't mean the kind on the workbench that go into a toolbox, I am referring to the "tools" necessary to recharge your life. Things like self-help books, classes, workshops, videos, exercise classes or supplies for new hobbies.

If a person wants more joy or purpose in their daily life, one of the first things they often do is start something new. However if they only get as far as collecting the things to start a new hobby, or move in a new direction--  but never actually begin anything, they won't see much growth. They will simply be a tool collector and end up with more "stuff".

Let's say you have decided you need a creative outlet.  You start by buying all the materials needed to paint. It can be exciting just to research something new, and the trip out to buy those new supplies increases happiness levels. (A combo of shoppers high and a temporary sense of purpose.) What I find much harder, is mustering up the courage to actually use the paints.

For years I thought/said/believed that I had no creative talent. Spending 30 years in a field where I was surrounded by artists of all kinds didn't help me feel confident in my own limited abilities, and being highly critical of myself made it scary to even try. 

A few weeks ago I bought myself watercolor painting supplies and I actually dared to use them. I had so much fun creating "paintings", in truth they were more like scribbles, but I didn't let that bother me, I actually found myself smiling and happy the whole time. It was so freeing to paint and not care what it looked like when I was done. In some strange way it was mindless fun -- and it gave me the space to let some things I had been thinking about gel. As a result of my creative painting, I got clarity from within on something I do have some talent in, my writing.

While I have found it is easy to collect tools, using them is definitely harder. 

So I'm challenging you to do something that moves your spirit forward. Try making some time to read those self-help books you've collected and then be inspired to go do something out of your comfort zone. Take a step in a new direction, volunteer somewhere, join a group of people with a common interest, or sign up to try something you've always wanted to learn more about. You never know where one small step can eventually lead you. This I know from experience.

Question of the Week #51 / What Is One New Thing You Could Try To Get Out of Your Rut?

In case you didn't realize this, it's okay if the something new you try turns out to be something you don't like, or that you eventually lose interest in. It is even okay to stink at that something new and to be disappointed or embarrassed by what you consider a failure, the truth is, it is all part of moving forward and growing up.

If you find yourself liking the something new, you might also want to prepare yourself to be super energized and possibly a little impulsive about what comes next. Some things that I've tried lately have led to such positive energy, new ideas and good karma they've inspired me to take leaps not steps.

My advice: start with a step, but be prepared to leap. Comfort zones are not all they are cracked up to be.

11 Months Down, One to Go

I spent yesterday cleaning -- and I don't mean just the surface layer kind of house cleaning. I cleaned cupboards, countertops, closets, and drawers. The kind of cleaning I don't do enough of because it creates an even bigger mess in the house as I move from one room, one floor or one cupboard to the next emptying, sorting, stacking, restacking, and discarding "crap".

So much built up junk, where does it even come from?

In the course of my cleaning I ran across the new year's resolutions I made last January. I had intentionally kept my list simple so that maybe for once in my life I wouldn't feel as though I failed when I only accomplished a small portion of it.

I only made only two resolutions last year and one was just a word, call it a year long intention, that I would apply to all areas of my life. (I'm thinking after my experience yesterday that you wouldn't know it by the state of my cupboards and closets) but my word was to SIMPLIFY.

And, I have, in so many areas of my life. I scaled back on my possessions, my commitments, my responsibilities, my worries, my expectations of myself and others, everything I could simplify about my life I attempted. In doing so I gained a sense of freedom, an internal calm "space"  that made room for a whole lot of personal clarity. That clarity gave me the energy to tackle some things I secretly had been beating myself up about.

And all that led me to this week's question.

Question of the Week #48 / What Have You Done Differently This Past Year That You Are Proud Of?

I want you to reflect and focus on the things you managed to do differently this year, and not what you didn't get to.  For some of us that isn't easy as I immediately feel the need to tell you the resolution I did not accomplish-- clearly I have some personal work yet to do there... (Resolution number two was to cook more and to create another recipe book --- and that is definitely not happening in 2013).

Personally what makes me so proud it completely overshadows any niggling thoughts about what I didn't get to... is my personal growth in the last year, specifically my spiritual growth.

So take a moment to reflect on what you are proud of so far this year about yourself and your own growth. Then realize you still have one more month of this year to go...there is still time to take a step or two forward---if you feel you need to. Finish the year with some pride in your heart for yourself, I promise it feels really good.

Here is what I have done differently in 2013 that I am most proud of.

  • I faced my fear of failure and tried many things that pushed me out of my safe zone. Like substitute teaching where there were new, completely different and not well defined rules in every classroom I walked into. (Talk about leaping out of your comfort zone).
  • I was able to take control of the mean voice inside and allow myself to make mistakes, change my mind, say "no" to other people's requests and ask for help, after first admitting that I had self inflicted wounds I needed to heal from.
  • I gave up the worry that ate me up inside and in its place I was able to cultivate so much gratitude for everything around me, especially my connection to nature and trees and water, that I was able to reclaim my spiritual side.
  • I stopped attempting to control my world and gave in to allowing it to happen. Thus experiencing for maybe the first time since I was a kid, the sense of living life with ease and joy, the sense of floating with the current instead of paddling against it.

My friends I encourage you to Reflect. Recharge. Begin anew if necessary, and reclaim your personal pride and power. Today is a new day filled with endless possibilities.



Saying No: My Joy Generator

Some days you just have to go on an adventure with friends.


A while back I wrote a draft of a post about my inability to say no, but never actually posted it. It was originally titled "My Get Up And Go, Got Up And Went".

Since then I have learned to be better about saying "no" and more adept at sticking to it. Just like any changes to a lifelong routine, it takes continual effort but I'm happy to say there has been forward progress. In the course of my new work week I run into many people who struggle with the same overachiever problem--especially others who are HSP's (Highly Sensitive Person).

The good news is with a little focus and effort, it does get easier! It really does. I feel better about saying "no" to things that interest me (heck, what doesn't interest me--except maybe math) especially when I give myself permission to change my mind later and say "yes" if the timing is right. Getting the extra responsibility off my shoulders and off my to do list is not only a load lightener but a joy generator-- something many people could use more of.

Ready to try it? You can do it, you can say "no" to things others want you to take charge of--it is not only empowering and confidence building, it also allows more time for what gives you JOY.

Here is the post I originally wrote when I was struggling, see if it resonates with you. 

Everyone seems to be putting up posts lately about learning to say no. To eliminate the things that are putting undue stress on you, and to focus on what makes you happy. Most of them say to cut back, to stop saying Yes and to slow down.

Here's my problem with all this advice. What if everything I am saying "yes" to, is something I totally want to do? Even worse, what if they are all things I feel compelled to do. Like now. Like right now. I seem to have a sense of urgency about these things, which in itself also scares me a bit.

It is making me lose my mind. Okay not my mind really, but everything else: receipts, lists, papers, my get up and go, especially my memory.

I am used to doing things myself, used to taking charge. That trait can be both a strength and a weakness. This time it might be a giant weakness. What I want/feel the need to accomplish is more than one person can do alone, especially when I get diverted by others asking for my help accomplishing the things on their lists. I have confidence I can help them but what I need to ask myself is "do I really want to take the time to help someone else achieve their goals when mine are still sitting there waiting to be worked on?"

I should be better about asking for help, I have good ideas about things that should happen, things that one person cannot accomplish alone.  I should also say no to things that don't fit with my bigger plans as well. Yet, I stink at both.

I changed my thinking around after this draft and concentrated on the positive of telling myself I would know the right times to say no, and the right times to ask for help. So far, it's working.  I've been getting better at both and life seems to be a lot more joy filled lately.

Take your power back, begin by nicely saying "no".

Do You Affirm What You Want?

Embrace Life.

Do you know what you want out of life? I presume you'd like to be happy -- most people would certainly choose being happy over being unhappy. Yet I bet you are sabotaging that happiness a little bit every day.

A few years back I was introduced to the Law of Attraction. I discounted it at first, thinking it sounded a little out there...."ask for what you want and the universe will provide it." Yeah, right....well the skeptical "yeah, right" part of my thinking was actually the only part of my thinking the universe heard. For a long time.

For example, my dream might have once been to write a book, but if I never actually wrote anything down, or ever started writing a book -- because I kept saying I didn't know where to start, the universe would give me back exactly what I was asking for in my thoughts ---confusion about where to start. So, no book.

How many times does this happen to you? You say you want one thing, only you think deep down that it will never work. Or you are stalled by a "yeah but" thought.... the kind that says it will never happen because it is only my dream-- it will never actually come true. Or I don't have enough talent or skill (or time) to do this and even if I did, no one would buy it/read it anyway. There are a multitude of ways that doubt, fear and negativity can creep in and ruin our good intentions.

Think about it this way. What if the universe gave you a response to every thought you have? That'd be sort of bad, right? I mean, we all have bad days...and bad things keep happening to us, and the next thing we know we are angry or sad and our thoughts end up in a negative place that even we aren't comfortable with.

Let's say that in this universe it is possible to get a response to every thought you send out. And negative thinking outweighs positive thinking every time. That means if you say one thing, and think another (negative) thought deep inside--the doubt, fear, criticism side will be heard and will attract that back to you.

How many times have you had a great idea, or mentioned that you really didn't like something that you were assigned to complete because it wasn't what you were good at or that you didn't like doing, only to have someone say something to the effect of: "Well we can't all do just what we want to do."

I've come to understand that is very negative thinking and just plain wrong. People say that only because they think they can't have what they want, or aren't able to do what they do easily.

But why? We actually can. But not when we don't trust in ourselves fully. The voice of doubt inside will attract exactly what you don't want--if you let it have free reign.

Question of the Week #37 / What Do You Really Want?

I encourage you to dig in and figure out what you really want...then think yourself there. Affirm it. Say it in the form of an affirmation, a positive, a now. Act as if it is truly on it's way to happening and don't let the inner doubt step up and ruin things. Success, romance, happiness, love, prosperity --- it is all within your reach. If I have learned nothing else it is that it is totally within my power to attract the life I want.

Looking for more on the subject, try reading or listening to one of these books:

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne , Ask and it is Given by Esther & Jerry Hicks, You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay

Danger Joy Ahead

Another aha moment. The only thing that has ever held me back from being all I was meant to be, is me. 

In Susan Jeffers’ book Embracing Uncertainty I ran across a ”What If” exercise she suggested her readers do. It was about facing your fears of uncertainty about the future. If I remember right, you were supposed to list your “what if” worries to help you figure out if you could handle the possible outcomes — and by getting those fears out, you could analyze whether or not you could indeed handle them, change them, or do anything about them  (thus eliminating their power). And then you were encouraged to simply let them go.

Before last November when I had my own version of a “breakdown” aka “spiritual awakening”, I used to practice what Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, calls foreboding joy. Essentially I would imagine the worst case scenario of whatever was in front of me, so that I would not be vulnerable “unprepared to handle it” if my current state of happiness or safety changed on me. I would consider all possible outcomes to make sure I could indeed handle things ”if”, and more often than not I was preparing myself to handle negative outcomes. Talk about setting myself up for failure, not to mention the potential for the direction of my thoughts to attract more negativity into my life.

It seems so clear to me now why I felt like my life was spinning out of control— and why the joyful moments I felt were so fleeting. I was trying to control outcomes to situations that would likely never even occur. I was pushing away my current joy and fearing what might (or might not be) coming next.

So when I ran across the exercise in Embracing Uncertainty I adapted it for my new way of positive thinking about future outcomes. My What If list now represents what I need to be prepared to handle when I am a HUGE SUCCESS. I need to be ready for the JOY I know is coming my way.

How freeing it was to dream of my future in a way that concludes with success and happiness. I am truly in awe of how completely heart expanding positivity can be.

Question of the Week #36 / What is on Your ‘What If ‘ List?

Create the life you want. Imagine it. Attract it. Don’t be scared to dream really big, I wasn’t.

Terri’s List of Positive What If’s:

  • What if I have more than enough money and never need to worry about where it comes from again?
  • What if I have a million blog readers?
  • What if I am able to live life with ease and joy, every single day?
  • What if I am paid more money than I know what to do with and have lots to give away?
  • What if I earn huge amounts of income just by being the me I was always meant to be?
  • What if I use my natural talents to help others find their way to happiness and fulfillment?
  • What if I have all the time I need to learn more about the things that matter to me?
  • What if I remain gloriously happy every single day?
  • What if I’ve discovered the secret to living a joy-filled life and can help others find it?
  • What if I write a book that makes the best seller list?
  • What if all my dreams come true?

For more about learning to live life in the positive I suggest  the following books (some have been nothing less than life changers for me):

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers

End The Struggle and Dance With Life, Susan Jeffers

Embracing Uncertainty, Susan Jeffers

Daring Greatly, Brene Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown

The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz

Happy for No Reason, Marci Shimoff


Is it Time to Change Your Channel?

Did you know that all energy vibrates at a frequency? And your thoughts and feelings are what determine your personal frequency?

Within each of us we hold the power to attract good things into our lives. And all it takes to attract good things is to think positive thoughts. Conversely, if we let our negative thoughts rule our heads, we will begin to attract negative things. Becoming aware of the patterns and paths of our innermost thinking is a key ingredient to begin steering our life in the direction of our dreams.

I do not mean to insinuate that this process is easy, far from it, in fact. From experience I have learned that it isn't easy to change old habits and thinking patterns when you are aware of them. Imagine then, how impossible it would be for those who fail to pay attention to what they are really thinking. Getting out of a negative spiral is darn near impossible if we are sabotaging ourselves with second guessing, perfectionism, doubt, fear or criticism. Staying out is even harder.

In the past when things haven't been going my way --- say a new job is stressful, an old boss just doesn't get me, or I feel out-of-place amongst a group--- things always seem to get way worse, before they get better. Little did I know that I was in control of the speed at which good things began reappearing in my life, all I needed to do was control my own thoughts.

If you attract back to you the very things you think about, then even saying negative things out loud can call more negative to you. For example:

  • I hate my job. More reasons to hate it come at you.
  • No one here likes me. More dislike is directed at you.
  • This is ridiculous. More ridiculousness comes your way.
  • I can't do this. More things you can't do come across your path.
  • I don't want to be here. More reasons pile up for you to want to leave, even things you once liked about your job.

Wherever your innermost thoughts are going they send out a vibration (a frequency) that attracts more of the same. Take a look around, are things going exactly like you wish them to in your life? If not, maybe it is time to re-examine what you are actually thinking about.

Question of the Week #34/ What is your Frequency?

Are you attracting what you want into your life? Try making positive changes in the way you think and see if positive changes begin happening. If you simply pay lip service to your new thoughts and don't really believe in them, or deep down think this crap won't work --then it won't. Your negative inner voice will steal the show. So make sure you can believe what you think.

This week I had the awesome experience of leading a vision board workshop at Gilda's Club.I have never been more inspired by a group of women. While I sometimes have a hard time answering the dreaded question "Who inspires you?" I found my answer there---real, authentic, regular everyday women telling their stories, baring their souls, expressing their fears and finding hope for their future. What a moving thing for a facilitator to experience.  There is no greater feeling for me.

Once upon a time it was only in my wildest dreams that I thought I could make a living using my natural talents to help people find whole body, mind + spirit wellness. Now, with positive thinking, it has become my life. Positive thinking = positive results.

Do you wish to begin operating at a higher frequency? If so, it is never too late.


Are You Paying Attention to the Signs?

I may or may not have asked this week's question already in one of my 32 previous questions ---honestly, it doesn't matter if I did. A good question needs to be asked over and over again. Depending on your immediate life circumstances, financial situation, mood, heck even the phase of the moon, your answer to it may vary. Or, if you are lucky, it will stay the same, thus giving you clarity. Ask yourself a question enough times, and a pattern eventually unfolds. And patterns are full of great insight.

At least that is how it works for me.

All forward motion for me starts with a "buzz" these days, a feeling of energy that I am "onto" something. My track record does show I have made a few wrong turns and discovered a few dead ends recently -- but I have followed them with surety, always guided by signs I cannot deny.

I used to get mad at myself for taking the wrong turn. Until I realized these little jaunts off the beaten path were life lessons I needed to experience. They are all meant to be, and it is 100% normal to experience them on a journey to self-discovery.

It is all part of the process of becoming aware. Of learning to listen to our inner voice, to dig out our true path.

My version of learning to read the roadsigns in front of me is this: when my buzz fizzles out quickly, I know immediately I am off track. When it takes longer, my warning sign is the feeling that what once "buzzed" me, now seems to drain me.

Take enough wrong turns, learn to pay attention, ask yourself enough questions and soon you will be able to know when you are on the right path. The buzz is constant. You feel energized, not zapped. You lose track of time, you don't catch yourself watching the clock. You crave doing that same thing over and over again, instead of finding excuses not to do it.

When I am aligned with my true path, I now feel it. Goosebumps are constant. I feel alive, like I am buzzing. Life is easy. It is a state I want to stay in.

The question I use to reassess after discovering I made a wrong turn or ran into a dead end is this:

What Makes You Feel Totally Alive? / Question of the Week #33

As with anything that matters, it takes practice to train your mind, body + soul to become aware of this alive feeling.

So you will need to start paying attention to the People, Places & Things that fuel you, if you haven't already started doing this.

  • Which people in your life make you feel alive, build you up, inspire you, energize you, foster growth in you? In other words, you wish to be around them.
  • What places relax you, allow you to think, dream, and receive clarity? In other words, you feel pulled there, often.
  • What things are you doing when you feel at your very best, totally confident, happy, and at ease? In other words, you feel you don't get to do them often enough.

Start thinking about what brings the positive buzz into your world and maybe even start a list  in your journal. This will make it easier to recognize patterns, to connect your own dots later.

And once you pay attention to what it feels like to be on the right path, you will not want to venture too far off it. You will be full of wonder and gratitude at the incredible life you've been blessed with.

When is the last time you felt truly alive? What fills you up?

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls." -Joseph Campbell