A Success Story: The Personal Evolution of a Friend

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.  I had the honor of watching her evolve, month by month.  Embracing each new lesson she had the courage to take an honest look inside herself.  And she chose to change.

I would not have guessed that this charming woman 20 years my senior would be such a good friend when I met her 19 years ago. She was closer to my Mom’s age and I even introduced them thinking they would have more in common.  But much to my surprise, my friend felt more connected to me and my young energy than my Mom.  That was when I confirmed that my friend Carolyn was truly a young spirit deep inside.

We had connected throughout the years and she even began attending the earliest version of my self improvement workshops in 2005.  Carolyn was open to learning and growing, but I could also see that she was still feeling the pain of some emotional trauma a few years before.  And she was there to learn and heal.

However, I could see the woundedness deep within her.  Her trauma was deep and lasting. Yet as time had passed her anger and upset were not as present, but I could see there were still some lingering emotions.

As she began attending my Heartfelt Learning Workshops in January 2011, she was right there to support a new area of my consulting practice.  But this was different.  These workshops presented Carolyn with material that made her think about herself.  She spent quality time looking inside herself and began to truly connect with the group who attended each month.

But what was different for Carolyn is that she was embracing the learning material each and every month.  She took the information to heart.  She spent the time between sessions observing herself and her behavior.  SHE TOOK THE MATERIAL SERIOUSLY!! 

She would be the first one to share her experiences from the prior month and had more questions.  She was discovering more about her triggers and upsets, and more importantly, how to process them and release them.  She embraced the lessons on forgiveness for herself and others.  She reframed old messages and beliefs into beautiful affirmations that supported her inner growth.

Each month she was releasing old emotional baggage that no longer served her.  She was making room for powerful positive energy to come into her life.  Every time I saw her, she was lighter and brighter.  She was using all the life skills tools she was learning and now they were a part of her everyday life.  She was evolving right before my eyes.  For someone who already had so much fun, lively spirit, others around her could see more sparkle and glow emanating from her.

From my observations of my dear friend, here are the steps she took to create her success in her personal evolution:

1.  She made a commitment to the learning.

2.  She took the quiet time to reflect on her thoughts, actions and behaviors.

3.  She lived the lessons and made them part of her everyday life.  She practiced the tools and used the resources

4.  She moved to a place of vulnerability with the group and felt safe enough to share, knowing that she would be loved and not judged.

4.  She shared (and continues to share) her new healthy way of being with her friends, family and clients as well.

5.  She loved (and continues to love) herself enough to invest the time in learning, healing and growing.

My friend Carolyn is truly an evolved woman and I have had the honor and privilege to witness her transformation.  She now shares herself differently with the world.  She sees the beauty and light inside herself and gives others permission to shine their light as well!

Love ya Mojo!!

 

Honor and Integrity Begin from Within

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”  ~William Shakespeare,

Have you ever been in a situation where you knew deep in your heart you should have said “no” to something, but you said “yes” anyway?

Recently I have been tested about being true to myself and the work I do.  A few years ago when I began my consulting practice, I had someone ask me to propose on a multitude of training programs.  As I was creating the material for the proposal, I had this feeling in my heart that was not comfortable.  Some topics I was an expert in and some I clearly was not. However, I was motivated to grow my business, I proposed it anyway.  In the end, I was not awarded the contract.  That was a huge lesson in listening to my heart.  A huge lesson in compromising myself for the almighty dollar.

As time went on and my practice grew, I became clearer and clearer about what my specialties are.  These are the areas where I am in my golden space and where I shine.  I know it in my heart and I feel it every time I meet with someone for a coaching session or stand in front of a large group to facilitate training.

I’ve had to ask myself…do I honor myself by listening to my inner voice and trust my gut?  Do I keep my honor code with myself?   Do I love and honor myself enough to turn away work if I won’t be authentic in it?  It’s taken me time (remember, I’m still human!) but the answers are yes to all these question.  I get to the yes a whole lot faster when I remember my honor code with myself.  As I’ve evolved in the wisdom of my life, I know that before I can have honor or integrity with others, I must have it for myself.

Have you spent reflective time to ask yourself……do I listen to my inner voice?  Do I trust my gut to tell me when something doesn’t “feel” right?  Do I make choices in my life that honor my Self?  Do I keep my word with myself?  Pay close attention next time you are given an opportunity to make an honoring choice for yourself.  You will truly feel the difference when you come from that deep place inside that is authentically you.

Why is it Scary and Empowering to be Vulnerable?

Somehow I knew it was time.  I knew the topic of the table top discussion at the networking meeting was about humbling moments as a leader.  Was it time to tell a piece of my humbling story?  Was it time to reveal this painful situation in my life?  Was this the right group to share with?  Was it safe to be so vulnerable?  In my heart I knew I had been protecting this part of me that was so hurt.  I could not have shared this experience a year ago without crying.

I knew in my heart that this was a healing opportunity for me.  To say it out loud and to show my humanness.  My heart was ready to share.  I took my wall down and shared my humbling experience with 7 other ladies.  Voice cracking and hands trembling….I did it.  I felt naked, raw and scared right afterwards.  Will they judge me as being weak for sharing?  As everyone continued to share, they too opened themselves up to the “power” of vulnerability.  As fearful as I was after I shared, I felt empowered, as I think they all did as well.  I felt like I let some fresh air to a wound that was healing.

It brought to light so much of a book I read this past year by Dr. Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfectionand a very profound excerpt from her book that resonated with me:

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy….the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.  Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

I feel as though this experience was brought to me because it was time.  Divine timing none the less, and I feel blessed to be able to experience it and share it.  But somehow the experience of being vulnerable is a way for me to grow more courage muscles….and live more authentically in the heart centered space I choose to be in.

When was the last time you opened up and allowed yourself to be vulnerable? Did you feel the fear and power?  We all have challenges in our lives and when we face them with an open heart, that vulnerability is the key that allows our light to shine.  Shine on!!

Are You Allowing Your Light to Shine?

We all have a beautiful light within us.  We are meant to shine our light in the brilliance of who we really are.  We begin our lives as sweet innocent babies that just emanate our light.  However, as we age our glow becomes dimmed by the “nos” and “shoulds” in our lives from our parents and society.  We bring this dimness to our adulthood and wonder why we feel empty and what our lives’ purpose is.

We are the only ones who have control of that light and how it shines.  I kept my light dim for a long time because it was safe to keep it dim.  By keeping my light dim, I did not stand out and I could easily “hide” and not be seen.  I did not have to compete with the large egos around me.  Staying small and keeping my light dim was safe.   Until the light within me knew better.  I knew I had it, but I had to have to courage to step out into my light.

As I took those baby steps (I’m a toe dipper, not a diver!) towards my light, I saw that I had nothing to be afraid of.  The more I stood in my authenticity and my light, I knew that this is where I wanted to live my life.  There was no going back.  I’m here to stay in the brilliance of my own light!  Marianne Williamson says it best from her book A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Take the time to look deep inside and listen to yourself.  Is your light waiting for you to let it free and shine with the brilliance of who you truly are?