“I just feel like I’m not doing enough.”
These are words I often hear from my coaching clients, usually the ones who are doing a lot (raising great kids, running their own businesses, involved in wonderful creative projects, volunteering and being of service, having incredible successes at work). Somehow there’s a disconnect between their amazing accomplishments and their sense of worthiness and awesomeness.
Only this time it wasn’t a client saying these things. To my horror, the words we’re coming out of my mouth! I was having an NDE- a Not-Doing-Enough experience! I was bemoaning my sense of lack of accomplishment to a colleague of mine. It’s a good thing it was a phone call, because she might have pimp-slapped me if we were in person. There I was stuck in old-paradigm thinking. It really had a hold on me.
I was annoyed with myself! I know better and she knew I knew better. Quantity is not quality. We live in a quantum field where things happen exponentially, not linearly. And more than that, I know that my worthiness is not equivalent to my busy-ness. I know that that B.S. (belief system) is a conditioned belief of the capitalist culture I was born into. It’s an ugly by-product of free market thinking. Yuck!
Still there I was, stuck in the muck of not enough-ness thinking. Not to mention that even if I used that old paradigm thinking and the old school formula I could prove it was total crap. If I did the math, so to speak, I could rationally conclude that I was doing great. I’d just booked four new creative and talented clients whose goals and projects I am totally delighted to support and who are already sharing with me how empowering the coaching or counseling sessions are for them. I had also just started co-leading a spiritual workshop with my mentor. Heck, even a year ago I would have been thrilled just to be in a class of this type with my mentor, let alone getting paid to work collaboratively with my mentor, co-leading a fantastic class where I get to connect and support a diverse group of men and women across the country who are committed to walking their spiritual path. Yes, I was also experiencing HIBS! Hole-in-the-bucket syndrome. Ever had that?
It’s a horrible syndrome where all your good leaks out a hole of not-enoughness in your bucket. Total absurdity!
My friend asked me if I saw her and our colleagues as “lazy” or “not doing enough.”
“Not at all,” I said, realizing I had a nasty double-standard for myself and showing again that we often are the hardest on ourselves. I had slipped and fallen into that old paradigm of feeling I needed to justify my worthiness with busy-ness! Doh!
And the silliest thing was that it was brought on by having an extra day off where I didn’t have to do anything or be anywhere for a few hours. I had free time to read, write, go for a walk, or sip a cup of coffee at a café. I had spent years working 60 plus hour work weeks and I’ve designed a life where I never have to do that again and yet, some part of me couldn’t handle the luxury I had created for myself. The free time had evoked a feeling of free-floating anxiety. I was living the dream and I had to undercut my joy by making myself wrong. It was suddenly clear that I still had to work to unlink busy-ness with worthiness. Darn it!
Perhaps you are still under the influence of this stinking thinking too and want/need to clear this old paradigm thinking so you can experience more joy and fulfillment in your life. (Reminds me of my friend and colleague, Suzanne Falter-Barnes’ book, How much joy can you stand?)
If you suffer from NDE and HIBS let me remind you as I remind myself. I am inherently worthy. You are inherently worthy! Your worth is not linked to how many appointments you have in your calendar, your net worth, the number of FB friends or fans you have, the number of books you’ve written, published, or sold, the number of IMDB credits you have or scripts you’ve sold, the number of sales you’ve made, your twitter or Instagram followers, how pinteresting you are, the # of houses you own, the # on your scale, how tight your abs or gluts are, how many marathons you’ve run, how many letters or degrees you have after your name, the number of golden globes or awards you’ve won, or even your kids GPA, etc. etc.
We are worthy! As is! Our lives matter! We don’t have to be better than. We don’t have to prove anything. That’s a hell of a trap! We don’t have to be good or good enough. We simply are!
Yes, we are bombarded with commercials and other messages that would make us think we stink and need fixing, but the truth is we don’t. We are perfect, whole, Divine beings and we don’t need to buy into race consciousness or consumer manipulated notions of lack and limitation. We don’t need to succumb to the ego mind that tells us we are not enough so that we will go outside ourselves to try to fill the insatiable empty ghost with food, booze, sex, relationships, drugs, pharmaceuticals, shopping sprees and other addictive, thrill-seeking behaviors, or even the socially acceptable workaholism.
As George Clooney told the applauding audience as he received his award, “you may as well stop clapping, it will never be enough.” Truer words were never spoken. When we are hooked into our worth coming from the outside it will never be enough.
So, today I recognize and remind myself that I am inherently worthy, nothing to do, nothing to be, nothing to prove, nothing to strive for. I AM and that is more than enough.
#Loveyourself #Iamworthy #Nothingtoprove #Courageousheart
It’s never too late to say “Thank you!”
This week I began thinking about the people who made a difference in my life. For example, two and a half years ago I need help moving and several wonderful people took time to help me load boxes into the U-Haul and carry heavy furniture, nothing fun about that. I was so grateful for their help. In fact, I still feel grateful that they gave of their time and came to my rescue. I decided to send them all notes of gratitude. I wanted them to know how much their generosity was appreciated.
It’s never too late to say “thank you.” There is no such thing as being too appreciative or too grateful.
Today as you reflect on your life and all that you are grateful, consider making a list of the people who you are grateful for, the people who have made a positive difference in your life be it the barista who remembers your name, the neighbors who pick up your mail when you are away from home, your friends who cheer you on, your co-workers who agree to switch shifts or lock up late so you can go on that date or get home early to be with your family. Today remember the people who have blessed your life in big and small ways and if possible, tell them, share your appreciation. You can send them a card or just a quick e-mail or text. Not only with this make their day, it will make yours. Remember “It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.”
Onward and Upward in Gratitude
I remember exactly where I was the day Ellen’s “Puppy Episode” aired, that was the episode when Ellen’s character announced “I’m gay.” It was May 1997 and l was in Aurora Colorado at a Department of Justice hostage negotiation training and I watched from my hotel room. I was so proud of Ellen’s coming out.
One year previously, I had come out in my government job interview. “Applicant states she is a homosexual.” The report read. “Confirmed with applicant’s current employer and landlord that applicant is an out homosexual.” This was important because it meant my homosexuality could not be used to blackmail me. Even though they could still choose not to hire me because I was gay, I was and am out and proud and had nothing to hide.
So Ellen’s coming out meant a lot to me. It was clean and clear and courageous! I personally though the show got even better when we got to watch Ellen with her TV girlfriend. But the network didn’t and they started posting parental advisory warnings. Then they cancelled the show and now one wanted to touch her. As her character said in one of the last episodes “Now instead of not having sex with men, I’m not having sex with women.” She’d become a television leper.
Shortly thereafter her relationship with Anne Heche ended and Anne quickly married and had a child with a man. My heart went out to Ellen. I knew she’d done the right thing by coming out and being courageous and yet it seemed like after she did her world fell apart.
Years later, in September 2001, I read an Advocate interview with her where she talked about the break up and all the ways she struggled with having her show canceled. She talked about how she dealt with her depression and how Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now” helped her. She said that after you’ve gone through a hard time then when “the next bad thing that happens you know you can deal with it.” She also talked about the importance of working out, writing about your feelings, and not giving up. “If you don’t push yourself than you just give up.” She said. It was Ellen’s endorsement of Tolle’s “The Power of Now” that got me to pick up the book and I too found it transformative.
In the interview she also talked about her variety show. She’d filmed it and then decided to do a sitcom instead and pulled it which I thought was smart. I thought the idea of a variety show was totally weird. Ellen interviewing musicians and other celebrity guests, sounded boring to me. In the interview she said “I think everybody thinks that the network changed their mind about the variety show. It wasn’t them. It was me. It was a hard sell to get somebody to decide to put money into a variety show-a show that hasn’t worked in a long, long time. And people have tried. I had to convince them that I could do it and that it would be great. My idea for it was the old-fashioned Carol Burnett. A show that was funny just for the sake of being funny. It was not mean-spirited. But the problem was that after we tried it, we started realizing that the time the Carol Burnett show was on, there weren’t all these other shows to compete with, all these other channels. And I didn’t know how to make it different, you know, I was just looking at it and thinking, a weekly variety show is going to be really hard.”
I remember agreeing with her when I read this almost 13 years ago. It seemed silly and highly likely to fail. Well, the rest is history. Her sitcom didn’t last long and the variety show soared. Her career exploded in unimaginable ways. Everyone knows her. Even as I write this, the older Latino couple I’m chatting with told me that Ellen inspired them because of how she dealt with her break up with Anne Heche and her perseverance and humor. She gets to dance with straight women on her show, who I’m sure have a little Ellen crush and she’s married to a gorgeous actress, Portia De Rossi. Ellen gets to make people laugh for a living. She gets to showcase good deeds and interview celebrities. As he said on one interview, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, enough already!”
We all go through challenges in life. Times where our lives fall apart, where the things we’ve been working on just don’t seem to come together, times of heartbreak and sadness. Times that seem filled with unending loss and disappointment. When I’m having one of those moments or one of my clients is, I think about Ellen and her amazing comeback. Ellen is an amazing LGBT role model and she is a role model of courage for all of us of how to get back up again when life has knocked you down and keep moving toward the horizon of your dreams. And that’s what Ellen means to me.
September 2001 Advocate Interview with Ellen
When is your next vacation? If you don’t have one scheduled, I highly recommend you start planning one.
Vacations get you out of your routine. When we are on vacation and traveling to new places we are more present, more connected to our senses, which means we are more embodied. This is important! When we are more present in our bodies, we spend more time listening to our hearts, and less time ruminating in our heads. Travel is your time to break free and listen to yourself. This is your time to tap into your internal compass and to listen to your intuition.
When you take a vacation you strengthen your connection to your humanity, ultimately you become a more sensitive being. Vacation keeps you human. Vacation reminds you that you are more than just a cog in the wheel. More than just a widget maker or counter. When you are on vacation you have the time and energy to look around and notice the glorious beauty around you. You have time to stop and smell the roses and to become present with your surroundings. When you travel you learn about other cultures, other customs, other ways of spending this precious lifetime.
I remember the first time I traveled to Italy and was astounded that they don’t have “to go” cups in cafes. It was simply not done! You drink your coffee out of a nice cup and you enjoy the moment gathering with others at the counter. Most places didn’t do take-out either. You eat there. At the time I drank my coffee and ate my bagel while I drove to work. Brushing the crumbs from my lap when I got out of the car and raced to my desk. Just knowing there was a place somewhere else in the world where people were mindfully eating and drinking shifted my perception of what was possible. Today, I don’t eat my breakfast on the freeway and I’m a much happier person.
What might you learn if you were to get our of your rut and go explore? Where have you dreamt of going? Belize? Paris? Egypt? Alaska? Thailand? Peru? Kenya? New Zealand? South Africa? Hawaii? There’s a big beautiful world out there just waiting to show you her many wonders.
Do you get inner callings? Inner nudges? Do you hear your heart speaking to you? Or do you experience synchronicity inviting you to move in particular directions?
My inner callings always pull me in the direction of greater beauty, freedom and self-expression in my life.
A few year ago I found myself on the beach in Orange County in the middle of the workday. I had a funny sensation for the first time in my life that I might actually enjoy living in Southern California. Two months later, my life radically changed and I was regularly commuting to L.A. One year later I’d completely relocated. It wasn’t easy. It also wasn’t logical. There were clear messages though that a move in this direction would be my highest choice. Feeling this guidance, I bravely said “yes,” rearranged my affairs, and moved.
Sometimes new directions come in the form of synchronicity in my life, like when three different people from different walks of life told me to read the same esoteric book, Autobiography of a Yogi. I moved through my resistance and bought the book. It opened my eyes in ways that are too great to explain, yet it was exactly what I needed to read at the time and it began cutting a new pathway for me.
Another turning point was when I felt the calling to move in a new direction after I returned home from a trip abroad. Suddenly my job felt too restrictive, even though if I stayed another 13 years I could retire with a big pension. It became clear that this job was killing my soul, so I leapt into the world of solopreneurship. This was a difficult move too, yet absolutely worth it.
Where are you being called? Are you feeling drawn to do something new or different? Are you getting an inner nudge or are you being pulled in a particular direction? Are you making time to listen to your heart?
Today, go on a heart walk. This is a meandering kind of walk where you just let your heart lead the way. I recommend doing this in nature because it’s easier to listen to our hearts when we are in nature. However, you can also do this exercise in a suburban or urban area.
The key objective is to slow down and let yourself feel what your heart is calling for. Getting into your senses also allows you to get into your heart. Stop when you want to stop, be curious, and notice what’s around you. What direction is your heart calling you to?
Last night I was walking in my neighborhood. The temperature was beautiful, the air scented with orange blossoms and other awakening buds. I breathed fully as I walked inhaling life’s sweetness. I was at peace. I felt held. Comfortable within myself, I wanted nothing. There was no yearning. Simply a desire to walk and enjoy my own company. My eyes relaxed in the darkness.
How good it is to feel whole. To know that I AM. How good it is to feel the completeness of that. To feel the peace of nowhere to be or know where to be, nothing to do, just now. The sweetness of the moment. Feeling open, feeling life IS and life IS GOOD.
After going through many, many changes in my life releasing so many notions of what makes one happy, it is so clear to me that LESS is MORE. That simple is beautiful and spacious. When there are fewer things to clutter my world than I have the spaciousness to fill it with me, my presence.
I imagine the joy of a fresh sheet of paper in a notebook, the wide open space, and a pen where I AM the creator enjoying the void, enjoying the possibility.
Our lives are so filled with other people’s agendas for us. We are always receiving solicitations for what we should do with our time, money, our energy. There are a million ways we can fill the space, kill time, or we can mindfully create FREE space in our calendars and day planners. We can use that FREE space to be FREE, free in our minds, free in our actions, open and available to our inner thoughts, our higher callings, our inner wisdom.
Today find a way to break free for 15 minutes to be with yourself. To breathe, to expand, to tune in and turn on to your inner knowing. Feel how very complete and whole you are, simply being you, no extra additives. Organically you!
“God goes with me wherever I go,” the Course in Miracles (Day 41) reminds me.
And it’s a good reminder.
Sometimes when I feel the immensity of life’s trials and tribulations, I forget. I can become swallowed in the seeming insignificance of my existence and the sense of being alone, shipwrecked. It’s at this time that I need the reminder most. It is in these moments of smallness that the loneliness creeps in and I’ve succumbed to separation thinking. Then I must remember that the Divine is always with me, closer than my neck vein, nearer than my hands and feet. I and the Presence are One. I am the beloved of the Beloved.
The Course in Miracles says, “Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you into the world.”
In the past few months several of my friends have abruptly left their earth suits to return to the light of Oneness. These beloveds were a part of the tapestry of my life. I cannot imagine who I’d be without them. Since our souls are immortal, we can always send love to those who have made their transitions. We can talk to them in spirit. Yet, how absurd to wait to express our gratitude and love until our friends have “left the building” so to speak. Our loving words and gestures are being called forth now.
Your love lights up the Universe! Your open-hearted tenderness heals. Your courage to say “I love you,” and “I appreciate you” uplifts the vibratory field on the planet. To paraphrase Dr. David Hawkins in Power vs. Force one person vibing at the consciousness of love (level 500) counterbalances 750,000 individuals vibing below level 200 (the consciousness of courage).Yes, beloved Earthling YOUR LOVE moves mountains. YOUR LOVE melts the frozen glaciers of the heart. The only glaciers we want melting on Mama Earth.
Loving others means having the courage to be open-hearted. It means having the willingness to speak lovingly, act lovingly, be compassionate, forgive, and to sometimes be the person who expresses love first. Loving others means choosing to remain loving even when someone else isn’t meeting your needs or is disappointing you. Loving others means extending warmth to another, though we fear we might be rejected. Loving others means being vulnerable and opening our hearts, though we fear we might be found inadequate or unworthy. Love is a choice.
Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you, including your barista. Don’t wait for someone to mirror love to you, be the eyes of love. Be the love you wish to see in the world.