Waking up on this Monday, January 18, 2021, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—the first one since the Pandemic started, since George Floyd was murdered; the one smack in the middle of the month when the Capital was ransacked and racism was on display loudly and proudly; the one literally two days before the inauguration of our first female and African American/ South Asian American Vice President—I felt called to write.
Usually on MLK day, I love sharing a meme on social media with one of his powerful and wise quotes, which to me have always felt spiritual, have always confirmed the work I have done expanding into love and forgiveness into my life. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only Light can do that.” To me, this has always meant working towards love and forgiveness in my relationships, and still does in many ways.
Little did I know that I had enormous blinders on for the first 39 years of my life, not even seeing the true plight within which MLK was advocating for love. The extremity of the darkness that white supremacy as a structure and white people collectively and individually have placed on BIPOC. How revolutionary it was for a man to tout love and forgiveness within the extreme hate BIPOC have faced and continue to face.
Like so many of my white, spiritual, coach friends, it has taken me until George Floyd was murdered to truly start to wake the f*** up to my enormous blinders. The ones that ignored the white supremacy and racism cooking deep within my cells. The ones that got real fragile anytime anyone brought up the word racism in my presence and caused defensiveness, sobbing, and the fire of a toddler’s temper tantrum to rise up within me. These blinders were my ego, protecting this gaping hole of darkness lurking within me, that all the love and light and forgiveness in the world were not being allowed to touch.
I am so sorry to my beautiful BIPOC friends for all that you’ve gone through and continue to go through, still showing up each day with a smile on your face, still loving me and allowing me to love you when you knew damn well, way before I did, that my blinders were on. Honestly it humbles me to tears to think of the strength of heart necessary to still find love in the midst of so much darkness—even darkness from those that are supposed to be your friends.
What MLK was saying is so brilliant and profound to my white, slightly awoken ears, yet I can’t even fathom to understand the depth of profundity in the midst of what he and all BIPOC humans have had to experience. The societal hate, violence, belittling, collective messaging of “less than,” judgments based on nothing but your skin color, and what might be worst of all the collective white messaging that racism doesn’t exist anymore and you should just suck it up and be fine now. Holy shit. I experienced gaslighting regularly in a past toxic relationship I was in and it almost drove me to madness. I can’t even imagine having an entire race looking at you like it’s all in your head, when the truth is, it’s all in our damn cells and we don’t want to look at it. Yet in my lifetime, in my privileged white bubble, I have definitely held that belief: “why can’t we all just get along and move past this??”
So on this MLK day, I am going to do my best to be Honest. In the midst of so much uncertainty in the world, in our fate, in our politics, in our health. At a time when I don’t know what to believe and who to trust, there is one thing I know for sure: it is time for us white people to finally put a flash light on those icky parts inside of us. To face that even if you're a kind person and don’t intend to be racist, if you grew up in Western society and you are white, you are probably a racist. It has been baked into our cells. Looking at those dark corners of our cells is terrifying and icky and shameful and horrifying. Yet what’s more horrifying is ignoring it and pretending it’s not there, letting it operate and harm others unconsciously and yet still wanting us to all get along.
So even if this crazy world ends tomorrow, I know deep in my soul that looking at and taking responsibility for the white supremacy and patriarchy that has been baked inside of me, will be time well spent. It has to be. It has to be so that I can better understand. It has to be so I can be Authentic when I tout that “Empathy is my Superpower.” On this MLK Day I am going to work to expand my range from “white empathy” to full-range empathy as my damn superpower.
Sending all of you love, encouragement, patience and grace, wherever you currently are on this journey, whether you’re healing and taking responsibility for your own white supremacy or witnessing others in your life finally start to go there.
In Truth and Love,
*Note: For those of you that are white and reading this and don’t know where to start, I HIGHLY recommend a book by Layla Saad called Me and White Supremacy. It takes you through chapter by chapter on topics such as White Fragility, Colorblindness, Tone Policing, White Feminism (damn that one slapped me in the face in the best way!) and so many more. And if you listen on audio book, you get the gift of her soothing British accent (which I now realize after the Tone Policing chapter is probably strategic that so my fragile white ears can actually stay and listen!! ;)).
Next up on the list is the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. I have a lot of resistance to opening this book and this tells me how important is it going to be. There’s an entire part of history that I haven’t had to look at in my privileged white bubble. It’s time for me to look. It’s time for me to better understand.
For the past twenty years, I’ve unconsciously bounced back and forth between my feminine and masculine energies (yes we all have both!). I struggled trying to be respected as a female attorney and thought that meant I had to be more masculine and suppress my feminine. If I wear clothes that minimize my sex appeal, will the middle aged men on the other side of the negotiation table not wink at me anymore? If I never show any emotion, will I be a more successful attorney? None of this felt natural or right to me. I then quit that career altogether and moved into the personal growth and coaching world. At this point I was so done with pretending to be hyper-masculine, that I swung into feminine overdrive. I allowed my softer side, my nurturing side, my receptive side to come out (which felt so good!), however I found myself not getting things done as much and struggling to meet my work deadlines. Turns out I was now completely disowning that feisty powerful part of me that could lead projects to completion, direct the conversation and step up strongly as a leader- my masculine energy. What the what??
This past year I’ve started to delve deeper into what this is all about and balance out my own authentic energies. I realized that we all hold fears inside of us about these energies. If I own my feminine, will I still be respected as a leader? If I own my masculine will men still find me attractive? Men (or those that identify as masculine) deal with similar fears in a different way: if I express my feminine will I no longer be strong enough for women to want me? Will I be able to care for and protect my family? Will my guy friends make fun of me? Some are even afraid to own their masculine too much or they may turn violent or aggressive.
Turns out the most effective leaders embrace and utilize their full Masculine-Feminine range. The range looks different in all of us, irrespective if we are male or female, gay or straight. Some of us are more dominantly in our feminine energy and some in our masculine — but what does that non-dominant energy have to offer us? How might we uplevel our leadership (and our JOY) in life if we fully owned all the parts of us? How might we find freedom and success if allow ourselves to play with our full range?
Masculine and feminine energies provide a beautiful polarity that allows energy to flow—like a battery that has a positive and negative charge on each end. If you shut down one or the other, the energy source shuts down (picture the Energizer bunny coming to a halt). The polarity allows us to move forward with passion and purpose, to embrace our inner creative visionary and move that vision into reality. The polarity allows us to nurture and care for our loved ones (and even our team at work!) and still hold them accountable. The full range is KEY to being successful in life. And it is a total SHAM that owning all of it means something bad about us.
It’s all about finding YOUR authentic balance. As I’ve done this work, I’ve felt my leadership and confidence in life increase exponentially. My capacity to hold projects at work, clients, my family responsibilities, and my relationships with grace and power has expanded. I feel more clear about what I want in life and am able to make difficult decisions to ensure that it’s realized.
This topic is so rich and so necessary for each of us, and our society, to evolve to the next level. Where do you tend to hang out most on the masculine-feminine spectrum? What parts of your life could drastically improve if you allow yourself to play with that other energy a bit? Let me know in the comments below!!
With Love and Full Range,
Note: In two weeks, I have the honor of co-leading a cutting edge workshop on this very topic in the beautiful Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City. My co-leader, Alonso Rios, is a brilliant man that used to be an economist and now works as a successful coach. Alonso and I feel strongly that by owning the full spectrum of these energies, our world will heal (from love relationships, to work dynamics, to world conflicts).
This workshop is open to all genders (full range!) and will be a fun and transformational experience. This is my first time co-leading a workshop with a man, with a co-ed audience, so I’m pushing my own comfort zone on this one (gotta walk the talk!).
Please join us for “Queens & Kings: Embrace your Masculine-Feminine Leadership Range" to explore and play and grow your leadership!! #fullrangehealsleaders Seats are limited. More details and buy your tickets here.
Dear Beautiful Tina,
I want to wish you the happiest of birthdays. I am so grateful you are in this world with me. You have such a huge, open heart and the world is so blessed to have you.
This year I wish for you to see the goddess within you that I see- and that we all see- so clearly. To see how powerful and wise and hilarious and sexy you are. To see how that naughty glint in your eyes and your loud, unapologetic laugh brings out the inner children in all of us. How your light lifts up everyone around you, even when you're feeling down. How you heal people just by being your real self with them and giving them a safe space to be their real selves with you.
How you SEE through people to their truth and their beautiful essence, and you reflect it back to them. How you are an exquisite mix of caring and innocent and also fierce and powerful. How the moon and the ocean are within you and your moods change with the rising tide. How you nurture your kitties and your friends and loved ones and how you'll most certainly nurture your future children. How you love the earth and plants and trees and animals. How your system is so sensitive, like the most delicate and precise instrument that can tell when the slightest thing is off and needs readjusting.
How you feel pain and joy equally deeply, and how brave you are to continue to open your heart through such intensity. How you feel the fear and yet step up to the plate over and over again- no matter how scared you are or how your stomach turns. How you still jump off that ledge and get in front of that mic and write that blog. How you always follow your intuition, even when it's tough, because your heart won't be ignored. How you risk rejection and heartbreak by sharing yourself vulnerably.
You, my love, are a Queen. You are a Warrior. You are a Goddess. Thank you for showing us all how it's done. You got this, today and every day. And, damn girl, you still got it. #thisis38
Love always and forever,
*I often encourage my clients to try speaking to themselves as they would speak to their best friend or loved one. It's easier said than done. This year I was feeling some sadness around my birthday and I decided to give it a shot. I really tapped in to what I would tell myself if I was my best friend. This is what came through. Reading it brings me to tears-- it's exactly what I need to hear. I invite you to give it a try-- write yourself a love letter. You don't need to wait until your birthday-- I hereby gift you mine. Nothing would make me happier than to hear that you were kind to yourself on my birthday. Please share in the comments below how it went for you. Loving you all deeply! xoxoxoxo
Someone beat the shit out of me the moment I woke up this morning. They really got me good- they knew every weak spot I have and went right for it. No mercy. And just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, they beat me even harder.
They told me I was worthless and I was needy and I was destined for failure and that no worthy man would ever love me forever and that everyone else is better than me and that everyone knows I suck. They told me I couldn’t keep any of my promises and I’m a worthless coach and what the hell am I doing with my life anyway?? I felt more nauseous and heartbroken with every blow. They kept it up.
Finally, I turned around and looked them in the face and told them ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Actually I looked myself in the face. It was me. My abuser was me.
This weekend, I spent Saturday morning with fourteen amazing young men in a juvenile detention center. Every one of them is less than half my age and has been through more than I could ever imagine—more than most adults have ever experienced. They have experienced trauma and violence, and grown accustomed to having the odds stacked against them. They are no longer free in the literal sense. They are locked up and many have trouble imagining how they’ll ever get out and if they can make it through life.
Along with the incredible women I co-led with, we were teaching them how to deal with “Head Trash.” We all have it. It’s the little part inside of our heads that likes to beat the shit out of us (see above). It’s the negative self-talk, the painful story that runs over and over like an outdated script.
The funny thing is, despite their circumstances, these boys astounded me with their amazing capacity to find the blessings in life, to look at the positive, and to persevere. They are wise beyond their years.
I left feeling inspired by them. And also realizing it is time to let go of the old story running through my head that I am not enough.
It’s been running through my head for so long that I’m starting to bore myself with it. It’s like a movie I’ve watched way too many times thinking it was a documentary and it turns out it’s fiction. It turns out it’s not true. And I’m over it.
The truth is I am MORE THAN ENOUGH. The truth is so are you. The truth is so are those boys, no matter what they’ve done in the past or what people have told them or what they tell themselves. The truth is we are all more than enough.
I don’t care what you do. I don’t care if you lie in bed all day or haven’t showered in days. Guess what? You’re still enough. You’re still a leader. You’re still amazing and worthy and capable and here with an important purpose in life.
If these boys who are in jail and who have never had anything handed to them can be so kind to me, and wise, and insightful, and focused on the blessings in their life, then who am I to sit on my privileged ass and complain about how unlovable I am? It’s all nonsense. And guess what? Even if I do sit on my ass and complain about how unlovable I am, I am STILL enough.
Woah. Take that in for a moment.
When your Head Trash rears its ugly head, I challenge you to challenge it. Look it in the eyes and tell it ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and remind yourself of the Positive Truth. The truth is I am amazing and lovable and worthy of a beautiful relationship and fun to be around and inspiring and a masterful coach. I am all those things and more. Now you try-- what are you? (I'm asking the real you, not your Head Trash Distributor. ;))
Today is Valentine’s Day and today I share all the love in my huge heart with all of you Beauties, with those beautiful, amazing boys who inspired me this weekend, and with my beautiful self. I hereby declare today the day to let go of the old stories of self-abuse and step into the greatness of who we are. Because why not?
What is one old story that you are ready to let go of today that is no longer serving you? What is the positive truth? Tell me about it in the comments below!
With Big Hearts and Worthiness,
Tina <3 xoxo
“It’s crazy not to win in your own fantasy.” -John-Roger
Today is the one year anniversary of one of the best, most magical days of my life: the day of my very first dance recital, at age 34 and 11 months. Yes I know that sounds strange—what the hell is a 34 year old woman doing in a dance recital? And why is she reporting her age using months like a six year old?! ;)
When I was a little girl, all my friends took dance classes. The really cool girls took two or three—jazz, tap and ballet. I loved to dance and remember asking my mom if I could take classes and she reluctantly said no. The thing is those damn classes were (and are) really expensive, not to mention the costumes, shoes, etc. etc.
So I went on my merry way and danced whenever I could. Some of my little friends would teach me their dance routines in our suburban bedrooms and we would pretend to prepare for a big performance. Later I would let loose at middle and high school dances and in college I loved dancing to hip hop at frat parties, at clubs in Canada (I’m from Buffalo, that’s what you do), and otherwise going out with my friends.
I remember my mom once saying to me after a wedding or something that she felt the happiest when she was dancing. I agree. Not just any dancing though—the kind where you really let loose and don’t care what anyone else thinks, the kind where you experience true Freedom and Joy.
Fast forward over a decade and I was pursuing my Spiritual Psychology degree at University of Santa Monica. I was in my second year and having to come up with my final project—pursuing a heartfelt dream- something you have always wanted deep in your heart but maybe you never thought you were good enough or thought it was silly, impractical or not a priority. We were to work on this throughout our entire second year and at the end of the year present our final project.
Some people were writing books, some were learning instruments, some were learning languages, surfing, golfing, rapping, stand-up comedy—you name it. I was gonna learn to hip hop dance. My inner performer, who was stuffed way down deep inside and not allowed to come out in the past, was crying to come out and play and dance and be free in front of an audience. The idea of learning a dance and performing it in front of others made my heart pound, my palms sweat, and my stomach turn- that’s how I knew it was the right project for me. :)
“What is the point of this?” you might ask. For me, the point was learning that by pursuing something my heart yearned for, something that was “only” about making me giddy and excited with no “real” practical value, I was able to shift literally everything in my life.
By taking steps every day for 9 months towards this “little project of mine”-- going to my first dance class, finding a twenty-something dance instructor to teach me private lessons, picking the songs I would dance to (clearly a mash-up of “Shake it Off”, “Bang Bang,” and “Uptown Funk”!), going to Toronto to work with a designer to create my very own recital costume, special ordering hot pink high tops online that have my birth year stitched on the side (1980 baby!), going to pilates and water aerobics classes to get strong and make sure my hip hop dancing didn’t cause an injury, getting hot pink extensions in my hair, planning an event at a club in Santa Monica where I would perform, along with 16 of my classmates, in front of over 200 people—I literally transformed myself into the Hip Hop Princess I always wanted to be. My inner twelve-year old was jumping for joy-- I was finally becoming truly outrageous like Jem!!
But the funny thing was, by focusing my energies on pursuing this “frivolous, impractical” dream, suddenly everything around me started to shift in positive ways. When I was going to dance class, I felt Joy like I hadn’t remembered feeling in a really, really long time. Suddenly I started to think, “What if I allowed myself to expect this level of Joy in all areas of my life?” Holy sh*t! Holy game changer, Batman.
It was after getting home from hip hop class one random Tuesday night that I felt true clarity for the first time in nine years that it was time to let my relationship go. It wasn’t after couples counseling or talking about it on the phone with my friends for the 800th time. It was after hip hop class. I got home and I felt free and clear and happy. And suddenly I knew—we both deserved to feel this way in our relationship too. I wasn’t even crying. I was clear and calm.
It was after hip hop that I knew that it was time to let myself move to California. I had wanted to for a really long time and convinced myself I couldn’t. Suddenly I felt like I could do it and I was ready. It didn’t happen for many more months but that moment of clarity put everything into motion.
Energetically I felt strong enough to be SEEN for the first time in a long time. I felt Freedom and Joy I hadn’t felt in so long (if ever). My body reacted by shedding the pounds that had been hiding me for a couple years and even my hair color became a “look at me!” blonde. (Magically I swear! ;))
After my performance was complete, I told my mom that I remember wanting to take dance classes as a kid and her saying no because it was too much money. She said she didn’t remember that, but then she said “You know, it’s funny- I was just telling Grandma how I wanted to take dance classes as a little girl and she wouldn’t let me.” I almost fell off my chair. On some level, I think my “little project” was not only fulfilling a heartfelt dream for me, but for my mom too.
If you had everything you needed to make it happen, what would your heart want to do in this life? Not for any other reason than to bring yourself Joy. How could you embrace that dream, even with a tiny step? Discuss in the comments below!
With Hot Pink High Tops and Heartfelt Dreams,
Today is my 35th birthday. It’s a milestone, I think, and my life looks nothing like how I expected it. Actually I’m not sure what I expected for 35, but this is definitely not it. The victim side of me—the one that likes to have pity parties for myself—gets sad when I think about that. I am 35 years old and I have never been married, I don’t have any children, I don’t own a home, I have two cats and a good amount of credit card debt and student loans. I am in the process of transitioning out of a nine year relationship. I got into a pretty major car accident a couple of weeks ago and have been at home recovering from neck and back injuries and post- concussion issues. My brain is foggy and exhausted and I’ll probably have to lay down and rest after writing this.
But before you (or I) jump off a bridge, I think there is a silver lining! ;) There must be. Because I am too awesome for there not to be.
Yes I am crying right now writing this, but not entirely because of Pity Party Tina. I am also crying because I feel vulnerable and raw being so honest with all of you. I am also crying because I am incredibly grateful that I am alive right now to write this on my 35th birthday. I am incredibly grateful to look around me right now and see a white, fluffy cat purring and snuggling next to me. I am grateful for the gorgeous flowers that were delivered to me yesterday from co-workers that miss me and send me healing thoughts and birthday wishes. I am grateful that I get to witness the beautiful shades of white and blue in those flowers, and smell them as I sit here.
I am also grateful for the lessons I have learned from this entire experience. I am learning to receive, when that was not comfortable for me in the past. When I suddenly cannot be as hyper-independent as I once was, I am forced to accept help from others. It is interesting to witness the guilt that has come up around that—I think on some level I felt that I didn’t deserve help from others without “paying them back” in some way.
But the truth is, by accepting the help of others, I am actually giving them an opportunity to step forward and shine. They are getting something out of it too. I am grateful for my dad for showing up at just the right moment in the hospital the night of the accident, when I was feeling really alone and terrified. I am also grateful to him for driving me all over the place for doctor appointments these past few weeks. I am grateful for my ex-boyfriend for loving me enough to get me groceries and let me stay in his apartment until I am strong enough to pack up and move. I am grateful for this experience to know just how many people love me.
Sometimes in life, something “bad” needs to happen to give us all a reason to come forward and help, and to give us an opportunity to show the people we love that we love them. Or even to show strangers that we care about them too. The beauty I have witnessed throughout all this has been astounding—from ambulance drivers to doctors to friends and family, to the lady at triage in the hospital who got really excited that she finally found someone else who has a 7/11 birthday like her. Happy Birthday, lady in the hospital!! :)
I am 35 years old today. Throughout these 35 years I have gone to amazing places, experienced amazing things, and met some of the most beautiful, loving, and inspiring people in the world. Those people include all my family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and random people that take the extra step to be nice in the airport, taxi cab, etc. You are all my teachers and we are all students together in this big, crazy, beautiful world. We all rely on each other in some way. And those experiences are not over yet, they are just beginning.
I may not own a home or have children yet, but the exciting part is that my story is still largely unwritten. (By the way, I got that bit of wisdom from an episode of “Don’t Trust the B-- in Apartment 23” I’ve been binge watching on Netflix lately! ;)) I still get to imagine what my future will look like, and I have a feeling it will be even more magical than I ever thought possible. Cheers to the next 35 years and beyond, and the chance to sit still for a moment and see the Beauty and Blessings that currently surround me before moving forward into new beginnings. :)
Today I encourage you to take a break from obsessing over what comes next in your life, and take a look around you. Take it all in—all the Beauty and Love and Miracles that already surround you.
Now go get yourself a free Slurpee at 7-Eleven and celebrate me!! ;)
With Brain Fog and Beautiful Blessings,
Last night I had a dream where I created a detailed list of what I wanted to manifest in 2015. It was strangely specific so when I woke up this morning and remembered it, I felt I should share it with you.
First I’d like to thank my dream for getting me back on the writing train! It’s been five months, almost to the day, since I published my last blog. Life has been a whirlwind: I started a new job at an awesome local nonprofit, I’ve grown my career intuitive coaching practice, and I’ve started my last year at my master’s program in spiritual psychology (and I’m commuting out to Los Angeles one weekend a month for classes!). It has been intense but I’m learning a lot and trying to stop and look around once in a while. :)
So back to my dream… I woke up this morning with a very clear action step for myself (and for you, if you’re interested!) to create a 2015 “wish list” to the Universe that consists of 32 total wishes, broken down as follows:
categories of your life in which you’d like to make changes
(i.e. home, love life, career, family, etc.)
“wishes” within each category
(2 wishes for what you want to release from your life and
2 for what you want to create or gain in your life)
total wishes (or intentions) for 2015
Can you tell I’m a numerology gal? ;)
The reason I love this seemingly simple formula is because it provides a solid structure and discipline for my sometimes flailing and unclear desires. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with what to pursue first in my life. Should I focus on my relationship? Or my career? Or my home and location? There are so many things I want to improve or expand upon that it’s sometimes hard to get myself focused enough to take action towards any of it.
Sometimes we need a little structure and discipline in our lives in order to experience the freedom and joy that we desire.
Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Aren’t discipline and structure the opposite of freedom and joy? Nope! They’re actually quite intertwined.
It turns out that getting ourselves organized, making and fulfilling commitments to ourselves and to others, and increasing our joyful discipline actually lead to more space and freedom in all aspects of our lives! Who knew?
Fulfilling commitments can include completing incomplete items on our to-do lists, fulfilling promises we’ve made to ourselves and others, and also letting go of past commitments that we no longer want to fulfill. This clearing out of physical, emotional, and energetic “clutter” from our lives creates beautiful space for new blessings and positive surprises to flow in.
The first step on the path to joyful discipline and freedom is getting clear on our desires. In comes my brilliant formula: 8 x 4 = 32. Sounds so simple but from a numerology perspective it makes total sense. The numerological meaning of the number 8 is empowerment and success (and 2015 is also an 8 Year in numerology!!); number 4 means discipline, practicality and hard work; and number 32 adds up to 5 (3+2=5) which means freedom, movement, and change!
The little Divine guides that were dancing around in my dream last night knew what they were doing!
Empowering yourself to be Joyfully Disciplined in all areas of your life is the formula for experiencing true Freedom and Positive Change!!
Damn! I am loving this on so many levels! (especially my inner math nerd who is jumping for joy!) :)
It doesn’t need to be hard. I’ve created a simple chart (with examples) for you to just print out and fill in the blanks for your own life. First fill in the chart to get clear on exactly what you want for yourself in 2015, and then get joyfully disciplined about creating it!
Cheers to Clarity, Joyful Discipline, and Freedom in 2015! :) Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Yours in Math Problems and Fulfilled Dreams,
p.s. Be gentle with yourself throughout this process—it doesn’t all have to be done today. Full disclosure I originally wrote this blog on 12/27th and didn’t get around to doing the process for myself or publishing it until today. It’s all good-- we rock anyway!! :)
This week at spiritual psychology school I learned something about myself that I want to share with all of you. If you're anything like me, it might help you to be a little nicer to yourself. :)
During class this week, we did our usual “trios” where we’re paired with two other students: one of us acts as the client, one as the counselor/facilitator and one as a neutral observer. As the facilitator we practice the skills we learn in school to help guide the client towards resolving an issue they’re having in their life by releasing any negative judgments they have against themselves or others and finding a more positive, loving and peaceful way of navigating the situation.
Although we were working the same process that we do every other month, this time was different for me. This time I uncovered the fact that I had been looking at myself as a “beast” in many of my relationships and interactions in life. I had been judging myself as overly aggressive, argumentative, and generally not a good woman because of it. As an attorney, these traits had seemed to serve me well professionally, but taking them home into relationships always left the other person feeling attacked and me feeling really sh*tty about myself.
In the past, I would refer to myself as a “beast” when I acted like this and deep down felt like I was the “bad guy” in my relationships. That felt so incredibly awful because, even deeper down, I knew that I was a good person and never intentionally trying to hurt anyone. I would oftentimes act this way in an effort to stand up against a perceived injustice of some sort—either on behalf of myself or someone else.
Then I would look at other people who I considered calmer, quieter, and gentler than me and think they were better than I am. That they were nicer and “good,” and I was louder and “bad.”
What I realized this week is that under any negative behavior or feeling, there is always a positive, loving intention at its core. If we dig deeper underneath any anger, there is always sadness of some sort. We only get angry if we feel hurt in some way—either about ourselves or someone else. Then if we dig even deeper under the anger and the sadness, there is always love. After all, we only get angry if we care about the issue or the person we’re getting angry about. We care what the person thinks or we care to prevent an injustice.
In other words we’re all just yearning to love and be loved and when we feel hurt or angry, it’s because we feel fundamentally unloved or unlovable in some way.
Looking at it this way helped me to see that there’s actually beauty underneath the beast. Underneath me getting mad or upset or outspoken or loud about anything, is really just me wanting to stand up against an injustice and protect myself or someone else I feel is being treated unfairly. That’s a beautiful intention and it turns out I’ve helped a lot of people over the years and inspired them to speak up on their own behalf as well.
So instead of beating up the beast inside of me and kicking her out to the curb, I choose to love her and see the beauty in her. And by doing so, she seems to magically transform from an angry beast into a loving beast—like a unicorn! She is still powerful and strong, and she still cares about protecting others and herself, but she does it with love instead of anger. And amazingly enough, she still gets sh*t done. In the meantime, though, she just does not suck up so much energy beating up on herself and others.
Turns out I’m more likely to act beastly towards others when I’m acting beastly towards myself.
So although I am continuing to learn about myself and this crazy world of ours, it helps me to see that at my core, I am not a bad person. And neither are any of you. We’re all just doing the best that we can with what we have to work with.
What part of you have you been judging as “bad” and wanting to get rid of? What is that part of you really trying to accomplish at its core? I bet it’s not really that bad after all. :) I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Beauty and Magical Beasts,
“There was no difference, the beast and my love was the same.” -Chelsey Johnson
This weekend at “soul school” I learned how to brag about myself. After years of learning that bragging is bad and egotistical and will make other people not like me, it turns out that it’s actually good for both me and everyone around me. How is that possible?
In the past, I held onto the belief that I had to keep myself small for others to love me. If I did well in school, I needed to downplay it or hide it or act like it didn’t matter to me, or else others wouldn’t like me. I remember the day when this belief really set in. I remember a teacher in one of my classes announcing that I got the best grade on a test, and one of my peers glaring at me and saying two words that felt like bullets through my heart: "Kiss. Ass."
At that moment I made an unconscious decision to downplay my talents. If I got good grades, I wouldn’t tell anyone. Then if someone found out and congratulated me, I would secretly be dancing around and celebrating on the inside, but on the outside I’d be like “yeah, whatevs.” If I got a compliment on a new haircut, I’d deflect by saying “yeah but when I do it myself it won’t look like this!” I’d secretly be thrilled and smile to myself as I walked away, but on the outside I wouldn't show it.
What would be so bad about me bringing the party inside my heart out into the open? And maybe inviting some friends over to party with me? Aren’t parties more fun when other people are involved?
The truth is, yes, a party is more fun when others are invited. And, yes, I deserved a big party. The truth is that sharing our talents and accomplishments with others is a great way to inspire them to do the same. Holding our gifts inside and keeping ourselves small doesn't help anyone. It actually sends others a message that they, also, aren't good enough to let themselves shine.
Something we learned in school this weekend was to identify and own positive projections on others. What the heck is a positive projection?! It turns out not only do we project negative traits of ourselves onto others-- for example, “He’s being so selfish!” which really means we’re concerned on some deep level that we’re being selfish-- but we also project positive traits of ourselves onto others.
The Universe (and the human ego) are so sneaky sometimes. Turns out everything we identify in other people, whether negative or positive, is actually just the Universe’s big, huge mirror reflecting those traits back to ourselves.
So who is someone that you idolize or look up to in life? It can be anyone, dead or alive. Oprah? Abe Lincoln? Babe Ruth? Martin Luther King, Jr.? Your mom? Me? (sorry couldn’t help myself—I’m owning it!!) What about them do you admire? Their inspired leadership? Their confidence? Their compassion and intellect? Their drive? Well, guess what, Sugar Plum, you have those EXACT same qualities inside of you—just waiting to be expressed!
Does that mean the other person isn’t an amazing leader or fabulously confident? Nope, don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating. They probably are, BUT, more importantly, so are YOU!!!!!
How handy that we have this tool to use anytime we need a little help remembering some of the beautiful qualities that we have inside of us—we just need to step into them and OWN them.
So next time you feel jealous of someone else (“everyone loves her”, “she’s so beautiful”, “he’s so creative,” etc.), you can be sure that you have the ability to step into every one of those qualities. Everyone loves you. You're so beautiful and you're so creative.
You have the choice. You can either put that person on a pedestal-- and tell yourself that you’re not as good as them-- OR you can step up onto the pedestal alongside them and choose to remember that everything you admire about that person, you have and more.
So go out there and see the beauty in everyone around you and then use that as a GPS to finding the beauty within yourself. Once you find it, step up and OWN it. Share it with other people in a loving, authentic way. That’s not bragging in the “I’m better than you" way, but instead sharing your gifts with the world so you can uplift and inspire them to do the same.
Now go on with your bad ass self!! I’ll start: I admire my friend Leigh for her courage and beauty and talent. It turns out I have every one of those qualities in me. I am courageous. I am beautiful. I am talented. I am funny. I am outgoing. I am a sparkling, inspired leader. Do you feel jealous or annoyed when I say these things? I hate to break it to you, but that means you are every single one of those things too. :)
What is one gift you have to offer the world that you've been afraid to step up and own? I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Runways and Pedestals,
...at least for decision-making, that is. :)
So it turns out that a big gut might actually be good for you! No I’m not talking about the size of the belly spilling over your elastic waistband. I’m talking about a big and strong gut instinct or intuitive sense. We’ve all heard people say “Follow your gut” or “What does your gut tell you?” but how the heck do we know what our gut is telling us? And why do we care what it says?
It turns out our gut instincts are a form of intuition, and in their purest form can be an awesome way of getting some super helpful guidance in this crazy world of ours. How exciting that we are actually carrying around a little internal guidance system that can help us make decisions in line with our best interests on a daily basis??!! Our gut is like our own Inner Yoda that sends us strong messages and insights before our monkey minds can shut it up with doubts and fears.
Our gut feelings and intuitive guidance always have our best interests in mind. The (often difficult) key is to separate our gut feelings from the fears and doubts that our monkey mind throws in the mix.
It is always best to make a decision when we are in a more positive state of mind—when we are feeling a mix of excited and scared at the same time. The worst time to make decisions is when we are feeling low, fearful, and drained. Making decisions out of fear usually does not lead to the best result for us (at least it hasn’t for me).
So how do you know the difference between a thought from your monkey mind (ego) and an intuitive gut instinct? The gut instinct is more of a feeling—how does your body feel when you think about the options you are trying to choose from? When you visualize yourself choosing a particular option, do you feel a mix of excited and a little scared? Or do you feel drained, heavy, and exhausted?
If you feel excited at a possibility but a little (or a lot) nervous about the prospect of making a change, that is usually a good sign. If the possibility makes you feel drained and sluggish, your gut is likely telling you it’s not a good idea.
Once you’re clear on what your gut is telling you about a certain situation or decision, the next (often difficult) key is to summons the courage to actually take your gut’s advice. Listening to our gut is often one of the scariest things we have to do. But oftentimes, the prospect of staying the same, and ignoring our gut, is even more unbearable.
It’s times like these that I like to break things down into miniature, teeny, tiny, baby action steps. For example, does your gut tell you to be an artist when you currently work as an accountant? Well that prospect could make anyone vomit with fear! Instead, why not take a teeny, tiny (I’m talking miniscule here) action step every day that will gently and easily move you forward in that direction?
For example, when you get home from your accountant job, do a 30 second google search on books written by corporate folks who made the transition into the art world. Or look up the community education schedule in your town to see if there are any art classes you might want to take.
The key is to listen to that nice, big gut of yours, and take small enough steps forward that you trick your ego into thinking you’re just “exploring” something as opposed to making any sort of big, scary change. (Note: Egos don’t like change.)
The cool thing is you can actually strengthen your gut on a daily basis (no I’m not talking about sit-ups). Any time you want to make even a harmless decision (i.e. where to go to dinner tonight or what movie to watch), check in with your gut and practice listening to it.
Picture yourself doing each of the possibilities and then see how your body feels with each one. Then go with the one that feels better to your gut.
The awesome news is that once we start listening to our gut, and taking small steps in that direction, the Universe gets super excited and steps in to support us! Each next step will be revealed to us, one at a time.
What would your gut tell you if you listened to it right now? (After it says, “Eat a cheeseburger,” of course. :)) I want to hear about it in the comments below!
Yours in Big Guts and Inner Yodas,
Tina Meyers is a Co-Active Coach, a Certified Career Intuitive Coach, an attorney by training, and a seeker of creativity, courage, bliss, and transformation in her own life and the lives of others.
Sign up for FREE email updates from the TMI Blog in the box below! (be sure to click the link in your confirmation email--
if you don't see it,
check your junk folder)