Sarah Finney Coaching

Helping Well Behaved Women Toss Away the Rulebook to Live Life on Their Terms

Does this gal look familiar to you?

Maybe a reminder of how you also juggle lots of different balls in the air, and I’m betting that there are days when you feel total amazement that you are keeping all those balls moving in a controlled frenzy above your head.

 You are one seriously talented lady!

But in the midst of all of your fabulouso hand-eye coordination, do you ever wonder what it would be like to just let the balls drop? The question to ask yourself is… how many of those balls belong to you and how many belong to the other people in your life?  Which ball is your ball? Are any of them yours?

I am in the middle of having awesome chats with gals just like you, and me.  The Ball Jugglers – the gals who are keeping everyone else’s lives in order and taking care of business, but wondering how they got into this circus when all they had to do as a kid was keep one ball bouncing!

We are exploring how to take back a piece of ourselves and empowering each other to pass off some of those balls to someone else to juggle so we can have some time to be ourselves. We are deeply exploring the sentiment “I can’t remember who I was before life took over” and we are figuring out what we can do to help move beyond that and back into who we really are!  How Fabulous is that?

Want to get in on the conversation? 

I would love to chat with you if you are one of the great all-time Jugglers.  At the very least you get to have a fun conversation with someone who gets it – and really, how many people are you talking to in your daily life that will not judge you for that which you are or are not doing? I can tell you, that I won’t!

At the end of the day we gals need to band together to help one another find ourselves again. Sometimes we get lost in the shuffle of all the roles we play to serve other people in our lives and it is becoming increasingly harder to figure out who we are/were before life got Crazy!

Join me for a 30-minute chat – grab a bevvy of your choice (after all, the best chats between gals is usually with a fun beverage firmly in hand!) and let’s get down to business. If nothing else, we will have an interesting dialogue, some giggles (that is a given) and both of us will come out of it feeling that there is support and that we are not alone in this circus called life!

My deepest appreciation goes out to you for your willingness to share your foibles with me.  I am learning more and more women are in the same situation that we are and how wonderful is it that we can help each other remember who we are and start to embrace those sassy little gals that are hiding within?

I can’t wait to chat with you!

PS… In case no one has told you lately…you are amazing…

PPS… Nice butt!

Book a 30 minute chat with me by going here.

 

Guiding women into alignment with their authentic selves – Say What?

What the hell does that mean anyway? Seriously, I am a coach and what I really want to do is help women figure out who they are right now and I’m using terms that sound almost too far-fetched to be used in real life.  It sounded good when I thought it up months ago, but now I am not so sure. What does it mean to be authentic?  According to Webster Dictionary Authentic means:

  1. not false or imitation : real, actual an authentic cockney accent
  2. true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions

I like True to One’s Own personality, spirit or character. This makes sense to me, and as I talk to more and more women, this is what they are feeling unsure about.  Who are they really? Maybe finding one’s own personality, spirit or character has gotten lost in the midst of all of the other roles we take on through life – daughter, sister, mother, friend, wife, partner, employee, mentor, job title and so on.

Our lives are full – and most times overwhelming. One might feel oneself starting to wonder who they are in the midst of all of it.  Each and every day you put on a mask – and oftentimes multiple masks depending on who you are with at the time or role you are currently need to play.

But who is under all of those masks – those facsimiles of ourselves that we show everyone else. Who looks back at you when you look into the mirror. Do you even know? Do you recognize her? Can you look her in the eyes and know her deep down? Maybe, maybe not and that is ok. I’ve been there, and I am there more often than not. Each and every day, something new happens and I question who my true self is under new circumstances. How can we stay “true to one’s own personality” all of the time?  Society expects us to be a certain way… so do friends, family, co-workers, the media and more.

But here is what I know.  You are there – sometimes you hide out because the day to day just sweeps over you like a tide and it is all you can do to come up for air. And so, you breathe and keep moving in whatever direction you have to. And each day blends into the next day and before you know it, you are not sure who you are anymore.

But what if….?

You took a deeper breath and stopped moving. Stopped being who other people wanted you to be and just sat with yourself. What if you let your thoughts run wild for a change – connected with what is really bugging you, the stuff you avoid thinking about or the things that you feel you can’t think about (like your dreams, goals or new points of view that are percolating) because that would take you away from doing what others expect of you?  What if you did that?

Does thinking about doing that scare you? Letting your thoughts run wild – without caring about what other people may think of you or want of you.  Imagine that… letting yourself be you, and being true to your own personality, spirit or character no matter what.

Feels strange doesn’t it. But at the same time, it feels invigorating at some level.  I can hear you saying “What would people think?” or “Yikes! I can’t do that right now.”

But maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s time for you to refuse to put on the different masks that you use for protection. Maybe it’s time to find yourself again and let yourself be visible. Maybe it’s time to remember who you really are.

If it is, and you want to chat with someone who has been in your shoes, reach out to me at yourwholeheartedlife@outlook.com and we can talk about what this journey may mean for you.

Evolution Is Not One Size Fits All

I am changing – morphing into a new and shinier version of myself.

Evolution is messy. There is the fear of releasing the person I know so well to embrace the person I am truly meant to be.

I have a uniform of sorts – and have had others dictate my sense of style for my whole life.  Mother who dressed me as a wee girl, school uniform that made us all look the same, defining my sense of style by emulating some of my mum’s clothing choices (classic and en pointe), always seeing another’s way of being and thinking their style was the right one.

I have been searching for myself for many years, and have found myself trying on the styles of others to see if they fit me.  I have learned that they might fit for a while –  suitable for the persona I am emulating at the time, but they are not sustainable long term. My true sense of being is still a work in progress. Moving into mid-life is shocking to me on many levels, and I find it hard to believe that I am still in search of self – trying to answer the question Who Am I?

The answer is evolving – my past likes and my current disinterest in my old way of being is becoming acutely evident.  I see my old style and know it mimics another. Perhaps one I had once admired, but is now gone and forgotten.

To enable my growth, I need to focus on the things that truly speak to me and to clear out that which does not. To focus my attention on what feels right to me, and not on what is expected.

For if I don’t truly know who I am, how can another?

If this post resonates with you, and you want to chat about it, reach out to me at yourwholeheartedlife@outlook.com and we can book some time together.

 

Happy Almost New Year!

2017 is almost upon us, and I like to think of it as being a fresh slate to write upon.  What will the new year look like – what goals do I have, what do I want to achieve? How do I want to feel?

Normally I am focused on moving out of one year and into the next, without really digging deep to review what happened to me in the past year. My thinking has usually been that the year is a wrap and its’ time to move on to plan for what the future holds for me. Why look back?

I was missing out on some valuable reflection time and learning.

So I did something different last week and I took some time to reflect and write down all of the things that happened to me this past year – the good, the bad, what I accomplished, what challenges I faced and surmounted or didn’t – the list was long.

I realized that a lot had happened, a lot of change, growth, personal fulfillment and some upheavals and shifts in my awareness to new ways of thinking.  A lot can happen in 12 months, and I had not taken the time to really look at it because I am moving forward all the time – day to day… doing stuff, facing challenges, living life – until now.

Upon reflection…

I had a deep awareness that I needed to have a little celebration for myself. So, I did just that. I celebrated all of it – even the hard stuff, because by coming out the other side of what was challenging to me showed me that I am worthy of such a celebration.  Even when I’m still mired down in some stuff, it was still cause to celebrate who I am in this moment.

Do yourself a favor and take a few moments before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, to sit and write down some milestones that you got through this year. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself the love you deserve for getting through the year in whatever way you did.  You Rock and you need to remind yourself that you do, no matter what your current situation is.

At best, you have a lot to celebrate.  At worst, you take time to really acknowledge what you can get through in 12 months and that realization alone may make you realize that you deserve to celebrate the inner strength that you embody.

Feel gratitude.

This past year has seen a lot of hurt in the world, but take time to acknowledge yourself and your place in it, because You Rock!

Celebrate You lady – Celebrate You.

Happy New Year and may all the blessings in the world come to you.

 

Couple of cool tricks I learned this week

Here we are, just a few days away from the holiday season and wondering about what last minute stuff you must pick-up or do – what did you forget? Food, stocking stuffers, presents? What is on your to-do list?

I am sitting here and thinking through all of that right now, and BAM stocking stuffers come to mind – and carrots.  I need to buy carrots. Oh, and I need to work. Not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Funny how swept up we get in the stuff we need to do, and how quickly we pass on doing what might be good for us to do for ourselves.

Last week I wrote about how many of us gals are living with a title of “Queen of Overwhelm” and this has never been more true than during this time of the year, and it was with that in mind that I wanted to share a couple of fun things that you can do to get back in touch with yourself and to put a little self-care into your day.

I am doing this very cool challenge right now, set up for coaches like me, and there were two “challenges” that I have done so far that really resonated with me and have helped me to start to think about why it is so important to put my needs first, so I wanted to share them with you guys out there in blog land. #1, they are fun to do, and #2 they don’t take up much time, so you can do the challenges and still have loads of time to do all the other crap and nonsense you have on your to-do list, but you can also be pleased that you took a little time out of your day to do something nice for yourself.

First Challenge!

I love this one, and think it is a great thing to do every day.  The idea here is to let your body move to the music and to listen to what the music offering to you – is there a message you need to hear.  So here it goes. Open your favorite playlist and hit Shuffle.  Whatever song starts up, listen to it, dance to it and think about what this song brings up for you. Is there a message you need to hear? What is the music telling you?

This is like pulling an oracle card or tarot card – but having the “universe” pick the right music for you to hear in the moment – the song you need to hear right now.  Give it a try!

Second Challenge!

Ok, this one takes a wee bit longer, but is super effective.  It is a body scan. I know… you are not wanting to do this, because of what might come up, but trust me that once you do, you will understand what your body needs and you can do your best to provide for it. Don’t resist!

Here is how you do it – get into a comfortable position – sitting down, lying down – you be the judge and you close your eyes and scan through your body.  The idea here is that your body and how it is feeling, may need a little love from you and it will tell you what it needs to continue to support you in all things – your life, your work, your family life.  Tune in and start at the top of your head. Has it been a while since you have had a haircut? Move to your eyes, mouth – your throat. Is there something you need to say, but have not said it? Something you need to see or hear? Send your throat some love and thank it for helping you articulate what you need.

Keep moving through your body – connect with your heart – how is your heart feeling?  What about your lungs? Stomach… pelvis…?

Take time in each spot and really connect.  Where do you need to give yourself some love? How about your hands… time for a mani?

Those solid legs – and your feet… the one part of your body that continually holds you up.  How are those toes looking?

Now move to your back – your beautiful spine – your support system.  Feel any tightness? Is it time to get on your yoga mat or stretch to work out the kinks?

Send yourself some love and thank your higher self for sending you messages you need to hear.  Now act on them!

The point to all of this is to tune in and listen to your body and what it needs.  If you do this often enough, you will know how to best serve yourself, and again, by serving yourself first, you will be better equipped to serve others.

When I did this scan yesterday, here is what came up for me.  My back is so tight and I need to get back on my yoga mat to stretch, move and strengthen/lengthen my muscles. Oh, and my feet… time for a pedi, so I gave myself one.  The tired toes look much better with a pretty polish on them. And my stomach told me that it is time for more greens in my life.

So, the theme today gals is to listen!

Listen to the music and let it move you, and listen to your body and answer the call for what it needs.

I would love to hear what comes up for you, so please comment and let me know what you “hear”.

Above all… send yourself some Love – we all need it!

Until next time…

 

Overwhelm and the Holidays

put-yourself-firstThese days, it seems like there are a lot of things being written regarding the feeling of being overwhelmed, and even more so with the Holiday season upon us.

There seems to be so much more to do at this time of the year, and we often lose sight of what really matters to us – to you specifically.  I would even be bold enough to say that it is not just at this time of the year that overwhelm takes over and our lives become a never-ending cycle of To Do’s. As women, we are known to be the care-givers – we are “supposed” to be wonder women who can take on more and more and serve the others around us.

But what about You?

Who is looking after You?  Are You putting yourself first? I doubt it.

And just how the heck are you supposed to do that? How do you put yourself first when there are so many other people vying for your attention? The “need to please” tends to have us putting our own needs on the back burner – after all, who has time to look after themselves when there is so much else going on and other people who need us? My day is already jam packed and now you want me to put myself first? Who has time for that?  Like Really?

I get it. It is not easy for sure, but here is what I am learning about what happens when I put myself first.

When I do good things for myself, I am in a much better place to help and do things, both for other people and for the tasks at hand – like work and chores and whatever else comes to mind.

When my cup is full – when I have done good things for myself first – it enables me to “do unto others” in a better way. Here is the irony.  The first part of that saying “Do unto others as you would do unto yourself” should be reversed.

Do unto yourself as you would do unto others – that is how I would re-write it. It makes more sense to me.  If I look after me first, then I am better equipped to tackle the other things I need to do in my life. Imagine if you put yourself first and as a result you felt amazing because you did something just for you. Doing this first would likely make you feel more enabled to do other things for other people, without feeling the drain of only doing stuff for the people around you while you watch your life – your goals, your needs – pass you by, because there is no time to focus on You.

How does this help me? It puts me back in charge, and – here is the kicker – it also enables me to sort through the things I feel that must be done, versus the feeling like I need to do Everything.

It helps me prioritize and say No to the things that are not in alignment with who I am or the person I want to be.

We all have those invites that come in – to do more stuff – more parties, more lessons, more work, more people pleasing, more stress, and frankly, it is exhausting. And likely, there is a bunch of stuff that you are lined up for that you really don’t want to do.

So why are you doing it?

I bet you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings… or you don’t want someone to judge you for not doing whatever it is they want you to do. (see my post on What will people think? for more insight on that topic).

But what about You?  If you do what you really don’t want to do, how will you feel about that? Will you be emotionally drained? Exhausted? Not present? Resentful? Annoyed? Stressed?

Ya, that feels awesome doesn’t it?

So here is my suggestion to You – the Overwhelmed Gal Who Has Way Too Much on Her Plate.

Start to say No to stuff that you don’t want to do – stuff that is not in alignment with who you are and who you want to be for yourself.  Start to say Yes to putting yourself first.

I know… its hard, but let me ask you this. What is harder on you? Saying Yes to something that you would only do because you feel like you HAVE to do it, which will lead you to feel all of those feelings mentioned above? Or, saying No to doing something, enabling you to focus on what really fills you up, enabling you to be in control of what you want in life? Put yourself first in the equation, rather than last.

What a concept! 

And another thing – while I am on a roll – What about asking for Help with the things we have on our plate? Someone else to do a chore for you, so you can do something good for yourself? Sharing the Load so to speak. How about that?

The point that I am trying to make here is this. If you are not able to get in touch with what You need in your life, your life, as it is, will pass you by. Each day will look like the next and at the end of a week, month, year, years… you will be asking yourself why each year has looked the same. What do you have to show for it? What did you accomplish for you?

I read something on one of the social media platforms that stopped me in my tracks.

Don’t get to the age of 75 and look back on your life and see that every year was the same.

Ouch.  One year blurring into the next. I don’t want that. Do you?

Here is what I think. If we are all allowing Overwhelm to be the star in the feature film that is our life, then we are all missing out on what life is all about.

What matters to you? What do you want in your life? You are your own leading lady, so treat yourself that way. You matter, and when you put yourself first, then you will be in a much better place to serve others.

Fill up your cup first. Put on your air mask first.

Put Yourself first.

I am in transition

joy 5_editedI am in transition.

There I said it.  I am in transition.

I can feel it deep inside.  The things I used to like to do are now feeling more like a chore.  I am being called to do things that are more in alignment with my passions. I am hearing my intuition say things more loudly now. I was fighting it, but I have decided to let it flow and I am paying close attention.

I know what this means.

Change, a lot of change is in the wind for me. It is both scary and invigorating. I have choices to make. It is about me and no one else.

I am tired of the “norm”. The things I “must” do. There are things that “should” be doing and I am feeling more and more that it is time to start doing those things.  I have been working up to this moment, taking courses, learning, embracing the new and I knew that this was coming for me for a long time. The question has always been, when? Followed by What shall I do? How should I do it? Can I do it?

Can I do it?

I think so, and lately I can feel it in my bones. I know so.

The trick for me now is to balance, the “must” with the “should” until I am one hundred percent ready to embrace the “should” fully and completely.

It’s hard. I get frustrated more easily with the “must”. I can feel myself resisting the “must”. 

It’s Monday morning, early and I am sitting here writing what is in my heart. Resisting the “must” that has to start for me in a couple of hours. I can feel the “I don’t wanna do this” inside.

But I “must” for now.

I am getting ready – I am working hard towards my goal of embracing my “should” – the thing I am called and compelled to do.

It is starting for me.  I am in transition and I know what this means.

It means a whole new life is opening up for me – one that is in alignment with who I am, who I am meant to be.

I am good with this. Being in Transition can be a hard road, but I know that when I embrace my knowing and let everything flow, good things happen.

The trick is to stop resisting it. What you resist persists, and I know that if I don’t jump in with both feet, that I will continually be called to do so.

So why wait? It’s time.

I am in transition.

I am in transition to doing what I am meant to do.

 

 

Remembering on Remembrance Day

th9r12oficI was brought up referring to my friend’s parents by Mr. and Mrs. It was a sign of respect and, perhaps, was a result of the times.  To this day, I find it really odd when I hear children refer to their friend’s parents by their first names, but I guess I need to get with the program. Back when I was growing up, it was unheard of and for those who know me, if I am introduced to your parents I will call them Mr. and Mrs. – that is just the way it is for me.

It is about being respectful.

I grew up knowing that I was an army brat, albeit for a short period of my life before my Dad retired from the Canadian Army, Horse Artillery. He was never a Mr. he was known as Major Finney. I was proud of that as a kid.  Proud that my Dad served, and in my circle of friends, I was an anomaly, and still am.  There are not many who can say that their Father served in WW2, but I can and I do. To this day, I wish I had taken more time to learn about what he went through during the war. I did not think that he wanted to talk about it, but turns out he did, but did not think that his kids had any interest.  That was a missed opportunity. He was a young man who lied about his age so that he would not be left behind when his Father and brothers went off to war. A man who served this country right up until his retirement. A man who was somewhat deaf in one ear, a malady that he referred to as “Gunners Ear.”

My Dad.

My Dad took me to Remembrance Day Services. He would stand ram rod straight, arm lifted in a Salute. I am sure memories were flooding his mind.

There is one thing that will never change for me, and that is the level of respect I have for all Canadians who were either in or are currently in the armed forces.  The end of this week is Remembrance Day and it always is a poignant time for me.  I Remember for my Dad, his Dad, my Uncles and, all Canadians who have fought for our country, past, present and future.

The Red Poppy is a symbol of that and I wish I saw more people wearing them. I wish more people Remembered. Again, perhaps it is the sign of the times.  For me, it is about showing my respect, and my heartfelt Thanks.

Thanks for enabling us to live the lives we are living today. This week, if you are so inclined, please wear a Poppy. Show some respect.

Remember to Remember on Remembrance Day.

I am proud to be your daughter Dad. I love you and miss you.

In Memory of Major R.A. Finney

I don’t wanna…

i-dont-wannaI am full of good intentions.  I intend to do a lot of things and it is amazing how many times I think about all the things that would be good for me to do, usually for my mental and physical health, and I make a plan to do these things and Bam… plan goes awry and I find myself doing other things and I avoid doing the thing that I know will be good for me.

Why?

I have pondered this many times, and can never come up with an adequate answer other than “I don’t wanna”… which is a cop-out, but that is how I feel at the time.

So why don’t I want to do these things? Why can I always find something else to do so that I don’t have to do them?

These are the questions I am trying to answer, and I am betting there are other people out there who have the same questions boiling around in their heads. When we know it would be good for us to do something, why do we avoid it like the plague?

Don’t get me wrong, when I do these things – working out, journaling, riding my bike, being in nature the list goes on, it always makes me feel GOOD. So why don’t I do these things naturally? Why can’t I prioritize those things that make me feel good over the other crap and nonsense that I do in their place like chores?

Good Questions.

Here is a cliché… “What you resist, persists.” So why do I resist?

I am hoping that writing this blog post will help me figure that out, or at the very least, it will show those of you who are reading this post that you may not be the only person in the world who feels like this. Maybe, part of what holds me back is the whole “bettering yourself” philosophy. We are surrounded by messages about how to improve ourselves – to meet the standards that the media is pushing on us.

  • Lose weight now…
  • Eat this way, eat that way…
  • Work out and get a Bikini Body…
  • Meditate more – get in grip with your spirituality and the truth will set you free…

Enough, enough, enough.

Nope, I don’t think that is it entirely. I think I am tired of doing what everyone else says is best for me.  I want to decide what is best for me, without the not so subliminal messages that barrage around us everywhere.

Here is what I know. 

I love to hike in the woods, I love to ride my bike, I love to do Pilates. But here is the thing.  I also really like to be cozy and nest too, so I find myself leaning more towards doing those things rather than moving my physical self in some way. I love cozying up on the couch with a great book and a cup of tea. I also like food, and to deprive myself of something I enjoy does not make me happy.  I want to be happy.  I don’t want to feel like I am doing something wrong by eating things that some people would deem unhealthy or couch-sitting with a book or watching Netflix.

So why is movement so hard to incorporate into my life? Is it laziness or do I not plan my schedule well enough to fit it in?

Here is the thing. I always feel so good when I have moved my body in some way. So why resist? I think I am mentally tired, and adding these things to my “to do” list feels daunting. Almost like adding chores to my already long list of stuff that I have to do. But when I am not feeling “tired” I am happy to do these things.

I read something last week online – and I wish I could remember where so I could give credit. It really resonated with me and I think the act of re-framing my situation is already helping me conquer this issue of mine about getting more physical. Here is why I want to move my body more.

“I do squats so that when I am 90 I can sit on the toilet without help”.

This struck a nerve. That’s it folks.  I don’t want/need a skinny bikini body (I have never worn a bikini, so why would I start now?).  I want to be healthy – mind, body and soul.  What I love to do (see above list) helps me get exactly that.

My beautiful Mum suffered from Chronic Migraine for almost 20 years and it debilitated her health to the point that her physical body was weak. Her mind was strong and the very worst thing she heard from her doctor regarding a necessary surgery when diagnosed with lung cancer was “I don’t think you are strong enough to withstand the surgery.” Cue the water works. It was awful. Imagine being told you are not strong enough to undergo a surgery that could add time to your life?

I never want this to happen to me.

So I am changing up my thought process and it is leading into action. Here is what I started to do for two days back to back. I got up in the morning and I did some squats (see above quote) as well as some other active movement. And what played in my head was “I want to be able to sit on the toilet when I’m 90 without help”. My new mantra is “I want to have a strong, healthy body” – to hell with all the other “you must do’s” according to the media.

My plan of Action is to make the time first thing in the morning to move in some way – even if only for 15 minutes because for every 15 minutes I spend moving my body now, the stronger I will be as I get older and my ability to stay agile will increase. And who knows, that 15 minutes will probably lead to longer stints of activity, which is a win win.  Basically I am setting this as a priority to me to start the day, then it is done and I can do the other things I love later on in the day and not find myself drained of energy and facing the “I don’t wanna’s”.

What is inspiring to me are the stories I have read of 90 year olds who are doing yoga, running marathons and whatever else.  Not that I am going to run a marathon any time soon (not something I like to do), but it would be wonderful to feel strong the older I get, so I can do physical things – so that I am not wasting away sitting on a chair and unable to enjoy life in all of its glory and grandeur. I am going to focus on how I want to feel in my body and mind and nothing else. I want to feel Good and Strong.

How do you want to feel?

 

 

What Will People Think?

What will people think

I grew up with that statement as a belief system – handed down to me from my parents and their parents before them.

What will people think?

Up until my most recent past few years, I did not realize just how much that statement shaped my thinking, my actions, my relationships, my career. What will people think if you…?

The impact of this belief system was almost unconscious – it was such a part of me, that I did not even realize how detrimental it was to the person I was, until I started to dig into becoming the person I wanted to be – the person who was struggling with the presumed judgements of others – the person who decided one day that she did not want to give a shit about what other people thought of her – what she was doing, how she was living her life and the choices she was making.

Cause really, it is MY life, and my choice to live, do, say whatever is the best for me.  If I don’t own it, then who will?

Here is what I know for sure.  To have your life ruled by that belief system of What Will People Think – we are limiting ourselves to Fear-based thinking.  This can be paralyzing. Mired down in the concern about how our actions may be viewed by others hampers the ability of us to do what is right for us.

Fear is a funny thing – we fear the unknown and the risks involved in stepping outside of our self-imposed boxes. We become more vulnerable. Top that kind of thinking off with the added scrum of the concern about what other people will think of us, and we end up dead in the water. No movement forward – stagnant.

What I have learned over the many years I have been on this planet is that when I stopped caring about what other people thought, I pursued passions and a life that was more in alignment with who I truly am. I moved away from being the end product of someone else’s beliefs about what was best for me. They don’t know what is best for me. Only I do.

People love to observe what other people are doing – and there are those who may take a negative viewpoint on what others are doing.  So the belief system ends up being supported by the judgement received from others.

What did people think?

Have you ever experienced negative feedback from someone about something you have chosen to do for yourself – maybe you are losing weight, maybe you are pursuing a relationship with someone that is deemed “not good enough for you”, how you are parenting, going through a life change or maybe you are taking courses or just adopting a new attitude about your life.

Have you?

What happened next?  Did you continue on your merry way or did you STOP and start to question your motivations? Did you start to think that you were doing something wrong?  How did you feel? How did their judgement of you make you FEEL?

What did you do?

I used to stop. Full Stop.  After all, they know what is better for me Right?  I must be doing something that would not be good for me, because they said so. Right?

And then, I would go back to my less than genuine self.  The person who had dreams, but did not pursue them, the person who lived in the shadow of herself and wondered why she was bored with her life and felt so disconnected with herself. How did I feel?

Like crap.  I was mired down in questioning myself, questioning my intuition and everything else. I was unhappy. Then I woke up and I came to the following realization.

No one has the right to judge you for what you do in your life. No one.  You own it.

Anyone who feels the need to judge you (and this can even be silently so you are not even aware of it) is usually not happy with their own life. There may be some envy coming your way – you are taking control of your life and they are not. They are using their own issues to sabotage what you are doing so that they feel ok with their own lives. Some people can be quite verbal in their judgement and you hear it, and some people may not be, but you still notice it in their actions (or lack thereof).

God forbid that you take control of your life to make it feel more like your own life.

When we decide to change our lives for the better – to become more aligned within ourselves, there is bound to be some folks out there who don’t like the new you, likely because it shines more light on their own lives and what may be lacking for them. The trick here is to realize that what those people really want is what is best for THEM. Not you.

What Will People Think if I….?

I don’t care.  I really don’t care.  This has taken me a long time to say. I had to get to the bottom of why I used to care, because I did… deeply. It’s hard to throw away a belief system that has been around for years. It takes work, but it is worth it.

So, am I perfect with this now?  No, I’m not. However, I am much better at realizing when I am going down a path of caring more about what others think and re-directing my thoughts to what is best for me, but it still happens. Old habits are hard to break.

What I am now is aware of it, and acutely aware of how others opinions can take me to a place that I don’t want to go – a place that is better for them and not for me.

What I am also aware of is how I need to ensure that I don’t do the same thing to others. To live a life without judgement of others – realizing that we all have the ability to choose our own paths, and to recognize that when other people are changing around me, I am not a participant in it – it is their journey and I’m sure that they have given a lot of thought to the path they are choosing and I support them no matter what they do. It ain’t easy folks, but it feels more in alignment with who I want to be.

Lesson learned. And the practice continues.

What do you think?

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