Freedom of Expression

It is 4th of July and although there is so much history to this holiday I want to reflect on the personal freedom of expression that we are ultimately all wanting to access in greater capacity. I once heard that the opposite of depression is expression and it was like the skies parted.  Yes! People didn’t seem to get that I could be joyful and laugh and be grateful and STILL have depression.  People who don’t know depression think that its opposite is happiness, or some variation of it.  Sometimes people WITH depression believe that is true as well, “I just can’t feel joy” but the confusion is that it is BECAUSE you are suppressing some part of yourself that is DYING to be expressed.  We tend to be drawn to charismatic types because of their ability to freely express all of themselves in (seemingly) every interaction.  We crave authenticity and we are lost in the concept of “just be yourself”.  These authentic types seem to have circumvented all the indoctrination of conforming and fitting in that starts practically at birth and goes on until we get spit out from the educational system.  By then we are like “uhm, excuse me, who am I again?”.  Then we spend years and potentially thousands of dollars trying to “find ourselves”, ugh!

“Be yourself” is a fun (potentially triggering) catch phrase that merits integration.  How would you know when you are being yourself?  When do you feel MOST yourself?  People tend to confuse being yourself with acting like a fool and not caring what “the world thinks” by stating your opinion at every turn, purposefully calling attention to yourself, etc… My definition is that it is when we are genuinely at peace with everyone and everything around us.  There is no trying, or dominating, or influencing through deliberate effort, but we are merely in a state of harmony and resonance with exactly where we are.  We can be vulnerable and goofy and feel complete acceptance from within so that external validation is completely unnecessary.  I am still learning the art of being myself and not the auto-response of “who am I supposed to be in this context” or “who would I like to appear to be” etc…  I feel a great majority of us are dying to self-express to wholeheartedly open access to our true selves and in that find connection to our humanness, others, and the world.

If you are in a state of depression, consider… what are you suppressing/compressing and how could you start to unwind it, whisper it out, let it begin to trickle out so that the compressed energy is no longer the black hole consuming your freedom from within?

When we get a “Re-Start”….

I am a life coach which immediately creates a response in people such as “what is that?”, “I don’t need one” “what makes you qualified?” “is your life perfect?”, “isn’t life coaching a scam?”, “why not get a real job” to “I love life coaching”, “my life coach is amazing”, “best money I ever spent”, “I need a life coach”, “how do I get started?” etc….

One thing that life coaches often come upon is their own “stuff” as a reflection of how valuable they can be as a coach.  I have many coaching friends and we reflect on this often.  Ultimately we are all human and will ALWAYS have areas to evolve and grow into.  I recently (about a year and a half ago) went through the equivalent of “The Tower” in the tarot deck.  A complete and total destruction of my life as I knew it.  I was on the path of complete bliss, and even found myself wondering if such goodness could even be real, when BAM!! it all “got taken away from me”—more on that in another blog post.  How could something like this happen?? Wasn’t I doing all the work, personal, mental, emotional, spiritual required?  Wasn’t I assuring my security and safety by practicing all my coaching tools?  I know many of the already skeptical people were probably thinking “Ha! See! That life-coaching shit doesn’t work, your life is now a huge mess! Either you are a terrible coach or there is no value to coaching”.  These were dark times, amidst a heavy HEAVY  broken heart I found myself questioning EVERYTHING about my belief system.  It felt like I had genuinely lost everything I had been moving toward in an instant.  In those first few weeks it was just survive (and tons of denial), but even amidst the shock I noticed, too, a tiny whispering voice that said “you needed this”—I tuned it out, clearly I was in too much pain to believe it just yet.  How could this “tragedy” offer relief?? Yet the whispering voice was steadfast.  I didn’t embrace it until months later, and then it was clear that yes, what was “taken away from me” and this “tragedy” was the wrapping paper of a gift of what comes when you clear away things that in the end WERE holding  you back, and you just didn’t want to admit it, the Universe doesn’t let you fool yourself for long.

I had to make some hard choices, and I saw myself through the worst pain in my life.  When we lose everything we know, when our compass is suddenly snatched out of our hands, it seems impossible to find stability or navigation.  But that is why this work, this call to go further into our own unknown/untapped resources IS the magic we are becoming better at employing.

I did not believe myself to be strong or capable, often in a heap on the floor crying, heavy with grief, while I showed a strong and brave face to the outside world (god! How many of us carry these “hidden burdens” from each other!).  But because of that breaking open I discovered I am ACTUALLY strong and capable, and sometimes we don’t want those lessons.  But there is no way to know what we are capable of without being thrown in the flames.  I am here to tell you that if I was able to come out of that level of destruction in my own life there is no one alive who couldn’t.

I always wanted to follow someone as they actually went from hugging the cold hard floor, complete rock bottom, all the way through until they reached their version of fulfillment.  I have only come upon people that are already at the top and while they are hugely inspiring I really want to relate to someone as they move from point A (rock bottom) to point B (freedom).  I was unable to find a coach like that on my journey.  And suddenly it became exciting to be that for someone else.   Although, thankfully,  I am now quite a few months out from the pain, I am close enough to understand someone who is currently deep in it, or someone who is ready to stand a few steps further than they may find themselves in at the moment.  Being in acute pain is so difficult and thankfully there are quicker ways out of it.  Thank you coaching!

Sometimes the pain we feel is simply from our own minds.   But if you are struggling with something (including just plain old negative thinking) know that it can shift, and faster than you probably know right now.  Trusting can feel so hard when we feel like we have been left in complete darkness, but there is always a way back out.  I guarantee it.  If you’re up to it, come alongside my journey and commit to practicing new things in your own life as I uncover them in this blog.


What are you committing to this year? Many people believe in making New Year’s Resolutions but that is not the same as making a decision about what you will do starting today until you reach the goal.  A decision is not just a powerful statement, it is the recurring practice of something until the goal is reached.  It requires consistent practice, practice, practice, no matter the “failures” incurred.  Sitting in review of last year may be a prompt for many of us to look toward what we prefer to see in our lives instead of what we saw in 2016, but WHAT will you do differently to create those changes?  In my 25 plus years as a self-help scholar and the last 5 years as a certified integrative life coach, nothing has continued to be more glaringly powerful than changing our thinking.  Our brain is the most powerful tool in our possession and we just haphazardly throw it around this way and that.  What if we actually spent a year, cleaning it out, tuning it up, sharpening it to it’s most brilliant form?  What could we affect in our lives this way, not just ourselves but everyone around us?  We have all heard that we have the same combination of thoughts hour by hour, day after day, year after year, and then we see it reflected in our lives.  Being ready to get off the merry-go-round of useless and harmful thoughts takes effort, it’s going against what is easy and familiar but it IS the way to a life that you actually want.  You are creating a life anyway with all those incessant, low-value thoughts, if you don’t believe me then what have you got to lose by trying this experiment for one year? Hiring a coach may seem like a waste of time–which by the way I have yet to understand given that well over 95% of the worlds most successful people hire them–but I assure you that the only wasted time is the one you spend thinking you can do this on your own.  It’s not that you are not brilliant and have all the answers, you absolutely do, what you don’t have are the questions needed to access your brilliance and the tools to show you what you are ACTUALLY made of, which is far more than you can see right now.  The mistakes you make, even the ones about “trying harder”, will continue to offer you the same results, but being willing to relate to yourself in a whole new way will change the trajectory of your life and will actually have you moving forward rather than in a deja vu mindless loop.

Why Life Coaching (even in Health Coaching)…

After working with so many clients over the years, not all of which have been for health coaching, I have come to discover that what people really want is to be happy.  To put it another way, people want relief from their lives.  They are tired of the overwhelm, the lack of time, the stress, the lack of sleep, the scattered brain, the spinning wheels that get them nowhere.

It’s no surprise then, and really quite a delight for me, that what I MOSTLY do is life coaching.  As an aside, I have been a Certified Life Coach for 4 years and I am currently in training to become a Master Level Coach (MCC) through the International Coaching Federation (basically the closest we come to a governing board–you can check it out here).  My Functional Medicine Coach training was very heavy on life coaching as well (just more applicable to all things health).  Which is no coincidence, of course, because people don’t need more pills or to be more “compliant”, they need someone to help them figure out what they want for themselves and how to get it.  So yay! for these integrated models of health care that embrace the fact that the patient knows best when it comes to their life and what they are willing to commit to.

Life coaching, also known as personal coaching, is about making the patient/client responsible for their agenda.  In other words, you have to define what ACTUALLY matters to you, not what you “should or must” do, but what you actually “want and can” do.  This could be about a relationship you haven’t repaired, this could be about your aversion to keeping your promises to yourself, this could be about your job sucking the life out of you. So really any area that is clouding your freedom to live a life you can be relieved and happy about.  Because can you see how “that” is honestly impacting your health?  It may be in a habit that you use which leads to poor health but helps you “cope” with “that” thing.  So figure out what is getting in your way and commit to changing it, even if you don’t know how.  A coach can be the greatest investment you’ll ever make toward fulfilling on what matters most to you.  Yes, I am a Registered Nurse, yes, I am Certified Diabetes Educator, but being a Life Coach is what makes me the most successful at getting people the results they actually want.


Do I need to change?

Listen, there is no shame in not wanting to change. It is HARD. It is WAY more fun to imagine or plan how you will go about change.  Humans are not designed for change. So what if you could let go of this idea that there is something wrong with you? What if you embraced that changing is not necessary? Sure, some people have mastered it, but that doesn’t mean it is the only means to get what we want from life. What if, however, instead of focusing on changing, and this idea that you need “fixing” was simply thrown out and you started allowing more joy in your life by adding things rather than taking things away? Who could you be in a few months, a year, 5 years? What can you add this week to your health, relationship, career? sleep an extra half hour, kiss for 5 minutes, set up an e-mail filter system, deep breathe at least once a day? Yeah, it’s that simple. Making it too complicated is another way we keep ourselves stuck. Make it easy, as easy as you can stand it, then start seeing the results.

Why Rise Above It Coach…

There are aspects to life that keep us trapped that we must rise above in order to move forward, see new results, enter into a happier, simpler life.  Not rising above whatever is holding us back will affect our health, our habits, our relationships, our careers, even our free time, all of it.

Life coaching has been around for years and we know that most successful people hire coaches to continue to succeed.  But it isn’t just meant for the rich and famous, in fact everyone could benefit from coaching.  Why? 

Well it’s not because coaches are supreme, all-knowing beings— if you find a coach that makes these claims then steer clear–that is not coaching!  No!  Because YOU are the expert in your life.  The people that seek coaching are those that KNOW in their bones that they are selling themselves short in life in one area (or in many) and they also KNOW what they would rather have, BUT they struggle at listening to their inner expert– either they purposefully defy themselves, self-sabotage, or can’t get inspired to take action, and THAT is where coaching can help you soar to levels of fulfillment you thought were not possible.  Coaches are experts at making your inner expert come through for you.

Coaching provides a path to new, desired, and permanent results even with the longest held or most complicated problem/issue.

Yeah” you might be saying “I know what I need to do, I just need to ‘try harder’ and I should be doing this thing or that thing…”  But that thinking keeps you in the problem and possibly digs you deeper.  Coaching works in the realm of “you don’t know what you don’t know”– In other words looking at the problem/issue from the same vantage point will never look different, but you do not know that there are vantage points you have no access to, yet.

So allow yourself to rise above it–whatever “it” is and be free from the same old way of thinking and the same old results you no longer want.  That is what Rise Above It Coach is all about.