This month, we’ve been celebrating independence with a series of posts aimed at helping you free yourself from limiting thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors so that you can move forward with clarity while inviting more love, joy, and fun into your life. I know this might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways you can create and nurture a sense of freedom for yourself, is by learning how to accept others exactly as they are.
Loosen Your Grip
It’s very common to want our loved ones, kids, friends, siblings even strangers to say things or behave in ways that we find acceptable and pleasing. However, having those expectations often sets us up for disappointment. If you think about it, what we are saying with this expectancy is, “you have to act this way in order for me to feel ok”. No wonder many of us are upset and frustrated much of the time – with this belief we give our power away, reliant on others to create our state of being. What an emotional roller coaster!
Growing up in a family where my brother was the golden child I got into this habit, very early on, in regards to my mother’s behavior towards me. If she said something sharp or gave me the silent treatment, my entire mood would change and I’d either become quiet and hurt or angry and explosive. I desperately wanted her to treat me with the love and kindness she showed my brother. This created years of conflict.
One day, my mom was upset about something that she refused to discuss. After several frustrating attempts to get her to share what was wrong, I went outside to get some fresh air and cool down. All of a sudden I was inspired to pray with a specific question that came into my mind: What would love do?
It was like I’d gotten this immediate download from God. At that moment, I was able to see and feel what was happening for my mother emotionally; her hurts and disappointments in life. That shift allowed me to stop making it about me and my pain and move into a deep compassion for my mom that filled my heart and soul. When I walked back into the house, not only had this experience shifted me,it had changed her too. She opened up and told me what had been bothering her, and we were finally able to connect. This was the first time EVER and it was the beginning of a beautiful new relationship with my mom.
Tips for Becoming More Accepting of Others
As soon as I started accepting my mom for who she is, no matter what her behavior towards me, our relationship began to evolve. So, the next time you find yourself in that rigid place, working to change or fix another person, I encourage you to use the following tips:
- Take three big breaths. If someone says something that upsets you, take three big breaths before you respond. Breathing interrupts your reactive patterning and calms your central nervous system allowing you to become more neutral and peaceful. This is always a better place to come from when responding 🙂
- Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time, when we find ourselves getting angry, it’s because we think something is happening to us, but it’s far more likely that whatever is going on, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the other person. Try creating a scenario. Maybe that person just got fired, or they found out their child is sick. Imagine as many possible scenarios as you can that have nothing to do with you.
- Bless the other person silently. When you bless somebody, what you’re doing is sending them love, which has the power to dissipate anger energy and allow you to approach the other person with compassion. You don’t need to do this out loud, focus your mind on the blessing and send that loving energy in the other person’s direction.
Remember to ask yourself, “What would love do?” and know that by accepting your friends, partners, and family members exactly as they are, you’re not only freeing yourself from unnecessary stress, but you’re also offering them the opportunity to be authentic and vulnerable with you, which can only benefit your relationship over the long term.
Are you a master at taking care of the feelings and problems of everyone else?
Are you clear about the things that are your responsibility and the things that aren’t?
Do you struggle with saying no?
If you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “yup that’s me!” you’ve probably got some challenges with setting boundaries beautiful. By the way – you are not alone! Many of the women I talk to and coach would rather twist themselves into a people pleasing pretzel than say “no” to a loved one, friend or boss.
People are so fearful of setting boundaries because they’re worried the other person involved won’t like it.
Can you relate to that?
In Dr. Henry Clouds book, When to Say Yes How to Say No, he says healthy boundaries will increase your love and save your life. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we must create mental, physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries for ourselves. Although physical boundaries are easier to see, the invisible property lines are just as real, and they define, protect and maintain your soul.
The truth is boundaries define everything! As scary as it seems, setting boundaries has the opposite effect of what we expect. Not only will you gain more respect from others, but you’ll start to respect yourself more as well!
Practice Setting Boundaries Everywhere
You can create a powerful invisible fence with your words baby. All you have to do is begin by saying “No!” Let it rip!! Feel the freedom as you honor your needs and feelings!
If you don’t like the way someone is treating you instead of taking it and becoming resentful, empower yourself by saying,
“I don’t like it when you yell at me!” or “No that behavior is not okay. I will not participate in that.” Your words let people know where you stand and gives them the “rules” of your yard.
One of my clients, Sasha, recently told me that she’d set a boundary with a parking attendant. He was speaking to her rudely and she quickly set him straight with a firm, “Don’t talk to me like that!” After that, he smiled at her and treated her totally differently.
Why? Because she’d instructed him as to how she wanted to be treated. She set a boundary and didn’t even think twice about it. Her words just naturally flowed out of her mouth and the guy responded very favorably.
Imagine what your life would be like if you set boundaries like that everywhere you went!
It’s OK if It’s Uncomfortable at First
Sasha happened to be a people pleaser. In the past, if she’d spoken up at all, she’d have felt guilty and very bad about herself. If you can relate, then setting boundaries might be uncomfortable at first. It might even continue to be uncomfortable after you’ve done it several times because building a new behavior takes time.
That was true for my client – after the incident she said, “See, I told you men love bitches.” But she wasn’t being a bitch. She was teaching him how to treat her.
Although Sasha had stepped beautifully into a new behavior (and continues to do so) the part of her that wasn’t yet fully comfortable in this new role of expression popped up to hijack her victory. We talked about it and she was able to quickly shift her perspective from feeling like what she said was bitchy to recognizing it was firmly anchored in self love and integrity.
I share this with you because the same thought might cross your mind as you begin to set appropriate boundaries at appropriate times with the appropriate people.
Don’t let the discomfort cause you to fall back into your old ways. As my fitness coach used to say, “get comfortable in the discomfort” because pushing the envelope will pay off big time.
Other people may not like it when we start to set boundaries but you know what? That’s OK. When you set boundaries, you’re honoring yourself and telling people that you value yourself. You’re telling them that you have integrity and self respect.
Setting boundaries is not about being a bitch. It’s about speaking from a place of truth and honoring as opposed to fear. Remember, you’re building a whole new persona. People will see you differently and that’s OK! You are stepping into your core diamond power bravely showing others another facet of your most magnificent Self.
Happy New Year Dahhhhling!
We are entering into a new year – a fabulous time to dream, to blossom, to expand, to recommit to living as the Sparkling happy, fun-loving, successful (whatever that means to you) person you were born to be.
Typically this is a time to set resolutions – to make your goals. I’m going to go against the grain and invite you to forget about the ritualistic declaration of resolutions! Instead I challenge you to commit to living on the edge of your comfort zone.
You know why?
Because resolutions are ideals and without a plan it’s easy to get distracted, detoured, and drift. That can set into action some pretty brutal self-talk about not being able to get your act together to make it happen. And that leads to feeling bad about yourself. Not good!
But stepping outside your comfort zone…that involves taking ACTION! And no matter what the outcome, you can be proud of your bravery. That will build your confidence making you feel good about yourself.
And you know what?
Each step will move you closer to your dream. Voila! Pretty cool, right?
This idea of taking bold action is backed by some pretty amazing iconic females like Diane Feinstein who says the key to a happy and fulfilling life involves taking risks and stepping out of your safety zone.
She says that’s when life becomes magical and you are truly living into your genius and greatness.
As inspiring as that sounds you may be saying to yourself, “That seems kinda scary. My life may be a bit boring but routine suits me just fine – sure I may complain a bit but at least I know what to expect and I like being in control…” sound familiar?
In the spirit of this theme I am committed to speaking my truth – even if it’s a little risky -because I want to shake things up for you and nudge you in the direction of your bliss.
So here goes…living a routine life will suck your spirit dry! You’ll be parched, wilted, lifeless, dreamless with about as much energy as a sloth on a hot summer day. It’s time to follow your dreams and drink deeply from the well of the unknown. The excitement of the risk will make you feel vibrant and alive!
Now you might be thinking, “How does one do that?” Truth be told all it takes is an intention to make 2016 the year you live fully, a willingness to be open to new experiences, ready to receive all the good God wants you to have, and a commitment to bring forth consistent courage.
This means reflecting, identifying and overcoming those things that keep you in your rut. Then coming up with new behaviors and structures that are in alignment with who you want to become; the you that embraces life and all it’s opportunities; the you that is determined to look back at your life with no regrets.
Living your BEST year involves a commitment to a way of being. It’s realizing that life is full of choices and that we are each empowered to make choices that bring us the most joy, the most growth and the most fulfillment.
To get you started I want to share 3 powerful and energizing tips I learned about and took action on over the holidays.
Who do you want to become?
In the movie version of your life, are you the Leading Lady you always thought you would be? Are you living the life you want? Or are you stuck in the wings, afraid to step out and into the spotlight and own your divine power in this world?
God, the divine, a higher power…whatever you believe in, intended you to live an empowered existence, and to experience life in the highest and happiest way possible.
If you are sitting reading this thinking… YES! I am so NOT living my life to the fullest, or owning my Leading Lady life, then stay with me, because making the change from hiding in the wings to standing in your personal sparkling spotlight is easier than you think honeychild!
What does it take to be a Leading Lady?
Well look no further than Hollywood “A” list stars for examples. What do they have in common? They exude confidence and self-assurance, its clear that they love and respect themselves and those around them. There’s this magnetic energy that surrounds them and draws you in, that’s why their movies and red carpet events get so much attention!
Here’s how to start the journey to becoming your own sparkly Leading Lady.
First, write down the characteristics of your ultimate leading lady.
~ How does she think?
~ How does she dress?
~ How does she talk?
~ How does she react to situations
~ How does she show up in life?
Then Do This:
- Find a picture of a role model that represents your Leading Lady ideals (can be an actress, or politician, an activist , a friend or anyone that embodies your list of characteristics listed above) and post that in a very conspicuous place. Remember that you want to see this multiple times a day so don’t put it on the back of your closet door unless that’s somewhere you go often!
- Write the characteristics of your Leading Lady on paper and post it on your fridge or wall in your bedroom next to the pictures of you role model.
- Visit this Leading Lady vision board OFTEN, a minimum of twice a day and stick to it!
To become your Leading Lady you need to take her characteristics and create images with them. Our brain associates with pictures more readily than words, so here’s where you can be creative and build an image with yourself in it firmly anchored in those traits OR find photo’s that represent them.
You can create your own Leading Lady vision board if you want! Once you create the images connect with them, FEEL them, engage the senses. Do this consistently twice a day and watch your new sparkling self-image spring to life.
By holding the image and characteristics of the Leading Lady you want to be in your mind several times a day, you are introducing what I call ‘The Magic of a Good Attitude’ into your life. If your Leading Lady characteristics say that your role model has great posture and her house is tidy and she spends at least a few hours a week taking care of herself so she can take care of others, then you will feel compelled to sit up straighter, do those dishes and book that mani pedi next week!
Write down the characteristics of the woman you want to become, connect with it, own it and you will soon see your outer world changing in ways that confirm you have become her! It sounds simple but its really just about creating a different self-image and attitude.
I talk about being your Leading Lady in my book Sexy and Sparkling After 40, in a chapter I call ‘Adjust your Attitude’ that is super helpful for this. You can get your copy here
As a 21st century woman, you are busy and life can feel hectic. We are hardworking women and we’re all moving so fast rushing from one thing to the next. But, whew! It’s exhausting and stressful.
Could it be that we’ve become too busy?
When we move at this break neck pace, it causes us to lose touch with something special: our pleasure and sensuality. We forget to savor, enjoy, and really experience the best parts of life.
As one of the hosts for the radio show, Loving Your Sensual Side, I recently interviewed my friend and colleague Deonesea La Fey on how a woman can live in her sensuality in day to day life.
Get ready to turn up your enjoyment factor! ==> Listen to Deonesea’s interview now
In this interview Deonesea delivers critical tips to interrupt the patterns we have that keep us stressed so we can consciously choose more pleasure, joy & sensuality.
This interview is not to be missed!
Click here to access the replay page ==> Live in Sensuality Day to Day
Are you ready to enjoy life and break free from stress? Great! Here is an action step you can do right now! Contact me to schedule a complimentary sensuality and joy strategy session.
Do you wish your Valentine’s Day was a bit… more?
Are you craving more excitement, romance and passion in your relationship?
If you’re feeling underwhelmed by your romantic life (especially at this time of year) you aren’t alone.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that puts a big spotlight on your love life. It can be daunting to realize that the once hot passion in your romance has cooled to a semi-happy ambivalence.
According to Pamela Haag, who has written a rather shocking book on modern marriage called Marriage Confidential, there is an uncertainty lurking just below the surface of many of today’s marriages. Haag’s research reveals that even though couples may rarely fight and may even maintain a sincere affection for each other, one or both may harbor a sobering sense that something important is missing.
If your partner feels more like a roommate than a lover, is it too late for you? Even if you are in what Haag calls a “Tom Sawyer” marriage where you are the career focused go-getter and your partner is retired, relaxed and disconnected from your efforts, I believe that you can recharge your relationship with the right tools. Click here to read the full blog and equip yourself with those tools!
You’ve got a dream, a goal, ambition and you’re ready to take the world by storm. Woo hoo!
But, wait, why are there so many darn obstacles on the way to your goal?
Anyone who’s dared to dream knows that the initial excitement will eventually be met with some form of obstacle or resistance. So, how do you move past these roadblocks on the path to your dream?
Click here to read the full blog article and learn how to overcome the obstacles to your dreams.
As one of the hosts for the radio show, Loving Your Sensual Side, I recently interviewed my friend and colleague Shana James who believes that if you’re not getting what you want, then you’re not actually living YOUR life.
Wow, think about that!
Are you living a life of pleasure, passion, fun and fulfillment? Can you boldly express, “This is MY life and I love it”?
In the spirit of making 2014 your best year ever, I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone to experience MORE. I want you to be that woman who is magnetic to everything she wants.
So, get ready to turn on your magnetic power! ==> Listen to Shana’s interview now
I’m so excited to share this radio interview with you because Shana really delivered the goods! I want you to drink from the well of knowledge so you feel awake and sensual and fully charged.
The title of the interview is, How To Slide Into Your Sensuality!
Enjoy the fun as Shana and I cover aspects of sensuality and femininity that include moving beyond fear, the secret to attracting love, and action steps to enjoy playtime.
This interview is not to be missed!
Click here to access the replay page ==> Slide Into Your Sensuality
Ever find yourself lured into the trap of gossiping about other women? Or have you ever compared yourself to another woman?
Whether it’s gossiping, backstabbing, competing, or comparing, women are too often unkind to one another.
In this video I join with other YourTango Experts Charles Orlando, Sheila Paxton, and Barbara Schiffman as Melanie Gorman (Senior VP of Experts) asks us why women are so mean to one another and what we can do to empower each other instead. Click here to see the video.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.”
~ Anais Nin
Isn’t this a great quote? Doesn’t it wake you up to how you might be living and how you want to be living?
To be fully in bloom is to offer your gorgeous, radiant self to everyone and everything.
So why is it that we sometimes close up and remain tight, hiding our beauty? Is it possible we forgot how delicious, sensual, blissful, and juicy life can be when we are open to it?
If you are like most women – thirsty to prove your worth – as you stepped into the adult world you broadened your shoulders while piling on the responsibility. You closed off your open spirit and let playtime fly out the door. Life became robotic and yet on some level you know your feminine soul wilted. Consequently you feel out of sorts when it comes to expressing your radiance and allowing your petals to unfold.
The solution? Get out of your head and into your heart. Connect to that space and memory of what brings you joy and passion. Embrace and love yourself as the beautiful woman you are. When you take the time to do this for yourself you will live in a state of peace and joy while sharing your beauty and gifts with the world effortlessly.
So….will you give yourself permission to bloom into the beautiful being you were born to be?
In order to flourish you MUST love yourself, inside and out!
One of the quickest ways to open up and bloom is to fall in love with your body…that’s right – every square inch of it – bulging belly’s, uncontrolled curves and dimpled thighs.
Start by standing in front of a mirror by candlelight, pour yourself a glass of wine if needed and put on some nurturing tunes. Send love to every inch of your body. Thank your thighs for allowing you to walk every day, thank your hips for expanding to allow those beautiful babes into the world and/or giving you that sassy saunter, and thank your stomach for reminding you that we live in a country of plenty. How lucky are we?
Be grateful! When you start to appreciate your body you will start to feel more comfortable in your skin and with this comes peace and with this comes the burgeoning of your radiant beauty.
When you live in this space of truly loving your body, you emanate a vibe that is irresistible to men. You will attract men like bees to a flower in full bloom.
In order to blossom, you must say, “yes” to self-love and playtime. Take steps each day to connect with your heart and your true beauty. With each step you’ll feel your petals unfold leaving behind the tight bud and exposing your gorgeous glory.