Have you ever felt like you couldn’t go on?

Have you ever felt totally stuck in your life, trapped by your obligations, and wondering how did I get here?

Sometimes we can find ourselves so committed to climbing the ladder and creating the American Dream that we lose ourselves.

We become more focused on how the outside looks and lose touch with our essence. We’re so busy being do-gooders, or raising kids, or being the most successful entrepreneur, doctor, lawyer, creative, mommy-prenuer, whatever it is, that we become totally disconnected from our core Self.

Around 2006 I realized that the daily grind of living the good life was taking me further from my freedom and self-expression, which led to a growing sense of self-betrayal that plunged me into a deep sense of dissatisfaction with the life I’d worked so hard to create.

The dissatisfaction would come in sudden waves of inexplicable sadness or a longing to be free.

One time I was driving home from work and listening to Keith Urban’s “What About Me.”

         I’m livin’ in a world that won’t stop pullin’ on me

         I’m not complaining but it’s true

         It’s like I owe my time to everyone else

         ‘Cause that’s all I seem to do.

         Sometimes I can’t help thinkin’ what about me

         Some days go by that I don’t even see

         Yeah I’m doing everything right and I can’t break free

         Oh is this the way it’s always gonna be

         What about me?

The song’s lyrics touched my aching soul so acutely and deeply.

I was working so hard as a psychologist in a women’s prison to help other people break free of their inner prison’s and helping LGBT people get marriage equality, yet I felt totally trapped by my life. I didn’t have a moment of freedom. I just wanted to go camping. I wanted to stay in bed on a Sunday and drink coffee in bed and read a book. I wanted things to slow down.

My life was on a super highway and I wanted to meander the backroads. I wanted to make a positive difference in the world, but I didn’t want to be a martyr.

I cared deeply about everything I was doing, but my priorities were ass-backwards. I put other people’s needs and priorities ahead of my own. It was unsustainable.

It led to BURN OUT! And BREAK DOWN!

Two years later, in 2008 I quit my government job. I needed to create my work life in a way that was authentic to me. I’d done my best to create groups and programs to help the women I worked with in the prison and in turn the prison did it’s best to undermine those programs and return the focus to guard duty and human warehousing. It was the way the country was going at the time and I was tired of going against the stream.

I got clear how much more energy and joy I would have when I was going with the flow working for myself allowed me to focus on doing therapeutic and healing work and not be called away to handcuff or pat search someone.

I also decided not to work full-time for any one company so I wouldn’t be forced to do anything that didn’t mesh with my values just to keep a roof over my head. I decided multiple streams of income were safer, and the recession ultimately proved that instinct was on target.

Part-time was fine, but full time allegiance to a company that could ask you to do something unsavory, fire you for being LGBTQ, withhold your paycheck (as they did with the government shut down), or lay you off before Christmas to raise profits. No thank you!

This is another reason why I’m grateful for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because it meant I didn’t have to sell out just to get health care.

So what do you do if you find yourself burnout, stressed out, stuck?

Call a TIME OUT!

You need to pause the action. Obviously, you can’t pause everything, but you have to PAUSE something.

First, you have to make TIME and SPACE for yourself.

Step off the proverbial hamster wheel.

How do you do this?

You’ll need to look at your specific situation.

  • Take a day off! Do you have sick leave or vacation days you can take? If so, TAKE ONE.
  • Schedule a massage, a facial, a spa getaway. Go nurture your body.
  • Turn off all the devices sweet darlin’, even the old Victrola. Now it’s you just you. Close your eyes. Breathe. Keep breathing. Just breathe.
  • Ask for help. For God’s sake stop trying to do everything yourself You can ask God for help. You can ask a friend. Maybe you’re pulling someone else’s weight. Doing your share and theirs. Stop it!
  • Update your resume. If you’re in a crappy job, start updating your resume. This will give you a chance to reconnect with your accomplishments and get you ready if you need to seek new employment.
  • Make a coffee date. Connect with a friend or colleague. We all need connection. People to talk to. Talking can help us figure things out. I’ll talk about therapy and coaching next. Sometimes venting with a friend or connecting with a colleague can help us find the next step. Sometimes they’ll have great ideas or insights we wouldn’t get to on our own. Sometimes they’ll have leads for employment options, babysitters, real estate agents, whatever it is we might need.
  • Get some exercise. Take a walk, take a hike (not off a short pier). Go for a bike ride. Hit the slopes. Do something physical to get out of your head and to your body that’s been filled with stress hormones a chance to expel that crap.
  • Basic Self Care. Get some sleep, make and go to your doctor’s appointments, and eat some healthy food. When was the last time you ate a fresh vegetable?
  • Don’t indulge in addictive substances. A piece of chocolate is fine, but if you’ve started using wine, marijuana, or junkfood as your main method of reward or coping at the end of the day you’re only adding to your troubles. Instead take a hot bath or shower in the evening to wash the weight of the day off of you.
  • Take off Your f***ing Cape! Stop trying to be Wonder Woman or Superman. I’ll be writing more about this later.
  • Get Support! Make an appointment with a therapist or life coach so you have support. You need support! WE all need support. Get some! Especially if you’re in crisis, depressed, overwhelmed, addicted, heartbroken, suicidal, deeply stuck, conflicted, being abused, totally confused.  Don’t’ try to do it all by yourself.
  • Get a copy of my book It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self.  You need some time to start considering your next move. You can’t change everything overnight. However, once you’ve stabilized yourself, you can start taking steps to take back your life and create it in a way that works for you!

Here’s a link to Psychology Today to help you find a therapist. If you’re in crisis and need to talk to someone now the National Suicide Hotline # is 1-800-273-8255.

In Honor of Dr. King

I was conceived a year after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee.

I never met the man. I never skipped school to hear him speak as many  advocates and activists the generation before me did.

Yet, when I stood in that hotel room in Memphis where he had his last meal, now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum, I cried.

Or more accurately  I wept, as I listened to the last speech he gave. It was a prophetic speech. He knew God was calling him home.

I wept because I could feel in his words, and in his presence captured on that scratchy tape, that this man embodied our most sacred teaching-do unto others as you’d have them done unto you.
Dr. King was the leader of a non-violent movement.
He led a movement for civil rights for African Americans, and beyond that he led a movement of sacred reverence for all of life. He was doing God’s work.
Like Jesus, Dr. King stood up for the poor, he stood up against war. He stood up against greed.
He asked the suffering and oppressed to turn the other cheek as they did their liberation work. He asked us to Love our enemies. He was Christ-like and he was crucified.
Today his words still have power. They are still relevant moral, spiritual directives.

 

  • “Darkness cannot drive our darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
  • “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
  • “God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.
  •  “The time is always right to do what is right.”
  • “The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.’”

 

  • “For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.”

We’re seeing more and more of this evil these days. We see it in the eyes of the young man who stood aggressively in the face of the Native American elder as he peacefully sang a prayer song. And in the eyes of the mob of young white men who surrounded him and made white supremacist hand gestures.

Our country’s values our under attack.

Dr. King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Are we going to allow white supremacy and fascism to flourish? Or are we going to stand up for democracy, equal opportunity, equality and diversity?

Today as we remember Dr. King let us not stand by silently. Let us take our righteous anger and channel it into education and action.

Let these injustices fuel our efforts to put an end to the propaganda that fuels the flames of hatred and division against our neighbor. If we are to end the violence we see outside of us, we must turn within and address the violence within our own hearts. This is the Christ-like energy that Dr. King embodied and exemplified and ultimately died for.

We can honor him today by treating everyone today as we would a guest in our home. We can treat our neighbor as we ourselves would want to be treated with dignity and respect.

Baby, I’m Worth It!

Much of what I do as a therapist and life coach is help people find their voice and  connect with their self-love and authenticity.

But often before we can connect with our essential nature we need to clear bramble.

What do I mean by bramble?

The layers of self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, the habit of comparing ourselves to others and finding ourselves coming up short, lacking in some important aspect or quality. That my friend is the bramble of our minds!

We need to rid ourselves of the negative habits of mind and mouth.

We need to put an end to self-attack thoughts, repetitive, self-deprecating and disparaging self-talk, repeated apologies for our very existence.

No more dwelling on the negative. Enough of  finding fault with ourselves, which creates a low vibrational reality.

We need to Marie Kondo our minds.

We need to tidy our minds and leave only that which “sparks joy” as she would say. Thoughts, self-talk, outside talk that sparks joy, sparks confidence, and self-love.

We can thank those old negative thought and speech patterns for whatever purpose they served and then clear them out of our mental space, keeping only the good stuff.  And when we find those old thought forms and self-loathing beginning to fill our mental space again, we can sweep them out the door!

What are the positive things you want to affirm for yourself?

What are some loving things you can say to yourself?

What can you acknowledge about yourself?

Keep at it!

If you find yourself listening to negative music turn it off.

Make a positive, self-empowerment play list. A playlist that buoys you up.

Believe me, Baby, you’re worth it!

Need a little boost?

Get a copy of It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self and learn more about how to take back your life.

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January 2019 Upcoming Events

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Finding Freedom LGBTQ Symposium at The Riviera Palm Springs

Saturday January 26th 10:30 AM-12:00 PM

Workshop-The Psychological Cost of Not Coming Out to Your Kids: How Hiding Contributes to Addictive and Dysfunctional Behavior.

CEU credits for Psychologists, LCSWs, MFTs and more.

Finding Freedom:LGBTQ Symposium

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Follow Your Inner Compass and Take Back Your Life Workshop

Sunday January 27th 12:30-2:30 PM

$35 includes a signed copy of It’s Never Too Late to Be Your Self.

Palm Springs Center for Spiritual Living, Palm Springs, CA

Click here for more info:

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Past Life Group Regression at the Salt Studio Pasadena, CA

Thursday January 31,  7:00 PM

Ever wondered who you were in a previous lifetime?
Do you have memories from previous lifetimes or reoccurring dreams?
Met people you feel like you’ve known before?
Come experience as past life regression!

The Salt Studio 1380 Walnut St. Pasadena, CA

RSVP online or call  (626) 765-6180

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