Living Wholeheartedly

Living this beautiful and hard human existence from a wholehearted place opens the door to some of life’s sweetest and most fortifying gifts but it also opens us up to pain, vulnerability, fear, and failure on a regular basis. So, why do it, especially when our brain’s modus operandi is to seek out pleasure and comfort and avoid pain?

The vulnerability and growth factor for my husband and me has been at an all-time high with our most recent move to Colorado. As many of you know, we became franchise owners of Shred415 in southern Denver. Although the venture uprooted us from our sweet existence in the Midwest, it presented a unique opportunity to pursue our passion of physical and emotional wellness, and to do so with a business concept that aligned well with our own goals. Shred’s mission resonated with us at our core so when opportunity knocked, we answered.

Letting go of what we have to pursue what is possible and to make our family and our world better is what drives our engine. We are open to trying new things, to realizing our potential with the knowledge that nothing is a sure thing. Regardless of the outcome, we know that huge growth and wisdom are the byproducts of daring greatly — not to mention the blessings of meeting so many beautiful human beings along the way.

A young man with whom I work just went through a series of interviews for a top position in his organization. He was one of a handful of individuals being considered, and he knew going into it that the likelihood of securing the top spot was slim as there was someone that was the presumed winner. After some reflection, he was still willing to go for it. He went through the interview process and learned soon after that he did not get the position. Although disappointed, he handled it with his head high and genuine gratitude for the experience. Deep down, he felt that he had given his best and he believed that the person who got it was deserving. All good. Unbeknownst to him though, by interviewing for this top spot and because of the way that the system was set up, he jeopardized his ability to be considered for the other top roles. Ultimately, he was dropped down to a position that was not commensurate with his gifts or experience, and this along with the lack of transparency in the process felt like an even bigger blow. He had performed well and hard in the roles he had carried in the years leading up to this and to have his dedication and hard work seemingly dismissed and unrecognized was hard to ingest. He had no leg to stand on other than what he made it all mean, and how best to respond and move forward with the situation. Did not securing one of these top roles discount or determine who he was? Nope. I had the pleasure of witnessing how this marvelous young man maneuvered the difficult situation, and how he allowed for some time to lick his wounds, express his frustration and disappointment, take accountability for his choices, and then pick himself back up, pull himself together, and hit the ground running. As a life coach, I see this as wholeheartedness personified. He made the choice of reaching for something that was meaningful and not a sure thing, and he was willing to put his skin in the game. Although the outcome was not what he had hoped — and his organization lost the opportunity to have someone of his character lead their people — his greatest lesson was that he gets to be and become whomever he chooses regardless of the positions he secures. By choosing to live wholeheartedly and in the ring, he is going to experience some losses, failures, and disappointment along the way, but he is also going to grow, evolve, and shine ever more brightly in this world. Fear of failure is not going to stop him, especially when he wants and believes in something. This is everything! Can’t wait to see where he goes on this life’s grand adventure.

Fear of the unknown often keep us from living an open-hearted life. Instead of avoiding this, why not make the paradigm shift to seeking it? Being open to it? It is where so much of our personal growth and dreams reside. It’s living in the arena, sharing our hearts, helping others share theirs, realizing what is possible, and embracing this human journey. No strings attached.

Living wholeheartedly is not for the faint of heart but I would argue that it is the gateway to living your very best life. The world needs you and your gifts. In order to shine, you need to be willing to be seen and known. Step into the light. Put on your courage vest. Expect to feel discomfort and fear, and expect it to be hard — and when you do, know that you are doing it right. What are you waiting for? Get out there. Shine, my loves! xx


Raising Good Humans

As parents, we are in the business of raising solid, resilient, awesome humans. It is no small task. We are their models, guides, and mentors, and we set the example of what is possible. They learn from us, the imperfect perfect humans that we are. Sometimes, I think they learn as much about what they don’t want to be from us as much as what they do want to be. My Dad always use to say that each generation has the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of the previous one, and transcend generational patterns and behaviors that are no longer serving us. These patterns can take on many forms, and the familial patterns that I often see in my coaching practice are addiction, denial, avoidance, secrecy, depression, and abuse. If we’re doing it right, we are committed to doing our own inner work so that we are operating from a place of awareness and wellness, and when we need help, we seek it out. Best of all? Our children bear witness to our practices and learn how to lay the foundation for a life well-lived.

There are a myriad of ways to model for our children how to move in this world from a healthy and whole place: how to be in relationship with self and with others, how to meet our own emotional needs, how to feel and manage painful emotions, how to forgive, how to communicate, how to be kind, and how to cultivate and contribute our gifts to the world. They are learning from us all the time. The more we return to ourselves and remember who we were before the world got its hands on us, the more capable we are in keeping that door open for our children and guiding them in their own process of becoming.

We cannot control our young people. So instead of trying to dictate who they are and who they need to become, why not focus our energies on becoming the best that we can be and get to know who our young people are and get to know who they want to become and guide them in the unfolding. #trusttheprocess #curiositynotjudgment #excavatedontobfiscate #wellnessbegetswellness

Have Courage, Dear Ones!

What I'd love to do — in this post — is share some ways to help you feel courageous. Because, my people, we have big and important work to do in this life — and we need all the courage we can get to be awesome and make the world better!

1. Remember that you have a voice and you can use your voice to speak up. When your friend asks if you’re okay, instead of saying you’re fine and acting like all is smooth sailing, be willing to say that you’re not okay. You’re not fine. Don’t be a victim — no blame is necessary, but speak your truth. No more stuffing. No more hiding. No more candy-coating. No more choosing to be nice over being authentic. No more accommodating. This might mean that the conversation will be uncomfortable. That’s okay. Be kind. Be true. Be real. Be YOU. Every conversation matters.

2. Remember that you can always do something to make the world a better and kinder place — even if you are bogged down by life and feeling insignificant. Make eye contact with someone. Say hello. Give a nod. Invite a person to join your lunch table who might otherwise be sitting alone. Dare to be different. Cheer on your classmates as they present a project or when they raise their hand and answer a question that no one else is willing to tackle. Acknowledge the “weird” kid/friend and appreciate the color that they add to your world. FYI: The things that make you weird as a kid make you great as an adult. Be weird. Be courageous. Take a stand. It matters.

3. Remember that your health is a gift. Take care of your physical body. Hydrate. Sleep. Fuel yourself with food that makes you feel healthy and strong. Move. The body doesn’t lie. If you’re struggling with being sick and/or run down, instead of solely throwing medication or numbing agents at it, and masking it, dig deeper. What is creating the dis-ease? From where is the unease coming? Is stress playing a part? What thoughts/beliefs are you marinating in? Could your food choices be better? Is your phone use at night impeding your ability to get restorative sleep? Are you burning the candle on both ends and expecting that your body can sustain? Slow down enough to ask the questions. Inquire. Check in. Figure out what you can do to take better care of yourself. Pivot where needed. Honor your body. Honor you. It matters.

4. Remember to take care of your inner world. Check the quality of your thoughts. Think brain food. Are the sentences in your brain uplifting and motivating, or are they demeaning and harsh? You get to choose the words and beliefs on which you subsist, don’t let them choose you. If your thoughts/beliefs create how you feel, and these feelings generate certain actions/behaviors on your part that ultimately get the results in your life, don’t you want to have motivating, helpful, useful, and empowering thoughts on the menu? Cultivate your light and hope muscle. Atrophy your self-sabotaging and diminishing muscle. It matters.

5. Remember that when you find the courage to be vulnerable — you step outside your comfort zone and expose your heart, your humanness - this act alone can help others be vulnerable who might not otherwise be, and this courage to be vulnerable can open people’s eyes. It can change someone's mind. Your vulnerability can help someone to see the world in a softer and kinder light. How beautiful is that? This courage to be seen and known helps others to be seen and known. It’s a win-win. It matters.

6. Remember that there are people in the world who love you and care about you and celebrate you — in all of your messy and fabulous glory. If you feel really wobbly right now, remember that, "You are strong. You are loved. You are love. You are beautiful. You are human. You are complex. You are awesome. You are going to be okay.” You matter.

You! The one that is showing up and walking hand-in-hand with courage and fear. Yes, you! You are courage personified. And you are growing stronger every day. Don't stop. Keep going. Light the way for you and others. You got this. Xoxox