Positivity or Toxic Positivity?

I am a friend who feels deeply and cares tremendously about those close to me. When a friend is hurting, I want to help them heal. When a friend is confused, I want to help them find clarity. When a friend is happy, I want to share in their joy. I am right beside my friends as much as I can be.

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Episode 38: Positivity or Toxic Positivity?

Failing Imperfectly
Failing Imperfectly
Episode 38: Positivity or Toxic Positivity?
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Are you being positive or toxically positive? There is a difference and it sometimes is difficult to tell.

Little by Little

We’ve been talking about going your own way and making the most of yourself, so today I wanted to talk about what it takes to do both. The truth is that no matter how much pressure we put on ourselves or how many times we say “today is the day” or how many new weeks, months, or years we plan to do something new, nothing happens or changes all at once. No matter what we do, that thing, that effort, that goal, they are always, absolutely always, achieved little by little. 

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Episode 6: Little by Little

Failing Imperfectly
Failing Imperfectly
Episode 6: Little by Little
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How do you accomplish things? little by little.

Infertility 5 Years In

It’s been a while since I have talked about infertility and I had something that triggered me, so I thought I would talk it out with you. If you are on the infertility journey, this conversation may be a trigger for you.

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I Don’t Know How to be a Friend

Friendships are typically two-way relationships. Typically. As I look at all of my friendships, I see that I have a door up and it is a one-way only door. I don’t share with my friends as they share with me. Why? It’s not like I don’t trust them.

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My Intuition Has Served Me Well So Far

Intuition is defined as the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning. In more simple terms and how most of us refer to intuition, it is a thing that one knows or consider likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning. Some people simply refer to intuition as their gut feeling.

Some people don’t know how to differentiate their intuition (or gut feeling) from simply making a decision. But there are those of us that feel sick if we go against our intuition for a lot of decisions. These decisions can be as simple as “do I buy that new purse?” or as complicated as “is this the end of my relationship?”. There are an infinite number of reasons our intuition will tell us what to do, or what not to do.

I haven’t always listened to mine. I ignored mine for a lot of my life so I could push myself to be someone I thought would be liked by others. I ignored mine so I could be who I thought others wanted me to be. I’ll tell ya, I had some amazing times during those years. I had a lot of fun and I pushed myself socially more than I ever had. But I also had a lot of walls up and I was living by the seat of ‘when is the next party’. Instead of listening to my intuition, I made a lot of mistakes.

Over the years, my focus has changed. I no longer live for the next party. I have become more true to who I am and I have worked to accept who I am. Part of who I am is my intuition. My intuition is LOUD.

Let me take a step back for a second. Intuition and the subconscious mind are two completely different things. Some people don’t know the difference. My intuition tells me whether or not I should buy that thing (in very simple instances) or if I should accept that invitation or not. My subconscious tells me that the person who invited me will be upset with me if I don’t accept the invite. The intuition and the subconscious mind have two very distinct voices in my life and more often than not, they are contradictory.

Take for instance this past weekend. It was a holiday weekend where family and friends get together. Eddie went out of town to assist his cousin with moving some furniture so I had the entire four days to myself. As soon as this plan was made, I could NOT wait for this weekend to get here. This weekend was going to be a recharging weekend of pure me time. Then I received an invite from one of my dearest friends to hang out for the holiday. My subconscious told me I better accept that invite or that friend is going to be pissed at me. My intuition told me that I should not accept the invite because I need the me time that I have been looking forward to. I need that recharge time. Many times throughout the weekend prior to and during the holiday day, my subconscious chimed in and told me that I needed to make it work. My intuition gave me that sick gut feeling every time my subconscious brought up breaking my me time.

My subconscious and my intuition often fight like this. It is very confusing and if I don’t listen to one, I regret it in one way or another. I am still working through my emotions of regret for not accepting my friends invite because my subconscious is still telling me how horrible of a friend I am. All the while, I feel more refreshed and ready to take on my goals, my work, and be around people again.

My intuition looks out for me and makes sure that I do things to take care of myself. My intuition makes sure I am safe, I recharge, and that I don’t spend when I shouldn’t, among so much more. My intuition screamed at me for quite a while before I listened and quit drinking. Every time my subconscious jumps in to remind me how good wine tastes, my intuition reminds me about my health and my goals.

Being connected to my intuition also helps me to pull out of my emotional pits of someone else’s problems. Being an empath means that I absorb so much of the world around me. My intuition helps me to decipher those emotions.

Intuition is here to keep us safe, just as our subconscious tries to. But our intuition, in my opinion and from my experience, has a more unbiased opinion. I will keep listening to my intuition, to my gut, for as long as it continues to serve me well.

I Have a Lot of Empathy

What is empathy and how do I know if I have it? Is it really something I can “have?”

According to Psychology Today, empathy is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or fictional character. Empathy is not to be confused with sympathy. Sympathy is the feeling of concern for another person or a desire for the other person to be happier. When a person exhibits empathy, they are feeling the grief or sadness or angst of another person. When a person is sympathetic, they are recognizing the feelings the other person is having and are wishing that person well. You can by both sympathetic and empathetic at the same time, but they are not interchangeable.

Yes, empathy is something that every person can have. Empathy is something that is generally developed as children. There are some people who do not know how to be empathetic and then there are the empaths who are so empathetic that they sometimes aren’t able to distinguish an empathetic feeling from a personal feeling. People can have a lot of empathy and still may not be true empaths.

Those of us who are empaths struggle with the feelings of others’ situations taking over our life. We may end up with anxiety or depression. For example, I am an empath who has to cautiously determine what shows or movies I watch because I take on the stress or pain of the characters. I really enjoyed watching Sons of Anarchy years ago, but my empathetic response left me feeling extremely stressed the rest of my day. I had to stop watching the show. This was the first true example of recognizing what was happening to me that I could identify as a trigger. Even still today, I started watching Outlander and had to pause and maybe even stop because of the reaction I was having to the show.

Shows are just one example. When my friend lost her father recently, I took on the pain and feelings and emotions of losing a wonderful father. It was as though I personally lost a father. Maybe it didn’t help that my dad had just overdosed and proved how far gone he is. Either way, I had a rough few days around my friend’s father’s passing.

When my friend’s are going through hell, I am right there in hell with them. When family is struggling, I am struggling too. I absorb the feelings of what other’s around me are experiencing and experience it with them. This is not something intentional that I do. In fact, I don’t know how to minimize it or even prevent it. I have not learned of any method of potential control over my empathetic response.

So, how do you tell the difference between having a lot of empathy and being an empath? It may be simple, it may not. I truly believe there are different levels of empathy and different levels of being an empath. If you are at all concerned that your level of empathy for others is causing issues in your life, I recommend speaking with a professional. As for me, right now I can generally identify when it is happening and I can work with it.

Empathy is important in our lives and in our society. I wish more people were just a bit more empathetic towards others. We might see more people caring for other’s and helping each other more.

Give Your Trust Away

I’ve heard this from a couple of the mentors that I follow. Gary Vee and Trent Shelton say this over and over again. I have been doing this for most of my life without any though. It was only in the past couple of years that I started to pull back on giving my trust away. I was tired of giving it away and getting rolled over. But there is a balance that can be had. A balance that I’m learning.

You see, when you give your trust away, you are open to wherever the relationship may go. When you give your trust away, you aren’t putting arbitrary limits on relationships. When you give your trust away, you aren’t bringing baggage to a relationship from a different relationship. You are starting fresh.

When I started to hold back on giving my trust away, I was bringing hurt and baggage from previous relationships to a new one without ever giving the new one a shot. I started resurrecting walls for people I didn’t even know. I started holding more things in again. I stopped sharing as much. I withheld trust, I withheld information, I withheld love, I withheld opportunities because of the baggage I was bringing.

Each time you withhold trust from a new relationship, you are dumping your baggage into that relationship. You are making it messy before there is ever the possibility of an amazing connection.

I keep referring to relationships in this conversation about trust, because we trust is about you and someone else. It could be about a situation, but most situations involve people. Most trust baggage involves people. People create situations. People are who we either trust or don’t.

I met some of my closest friends about five years ago. I didn’t freely give my trust away. I have been guarded. It has taken me five years to start releasing baggage from other relationships and start leaning into trust with these friends. It has only been in the past few months that I’ve even shared this website or my desire to become a life coach with them. I didn’t trust them.

You know why? Because I brought baggage from other relationships into these relationships. I was afraid of what they would say, I was afraid they wouldn’t want to be my friend, I was afraid they would think I was stupid, all because of situations with other people I gave my trust away to. I gave them pieces of trust through the years, more and more each year, when I wish I had given them all of my trust in the beginning.

Withholding trust doesn’t just affect personal relationships, it affects career relationships too. It can hold you back in your career because you are withholding trust from previous situations. Your previous boss was a dick? Yeah, not going to be fully open with the new boss until I feel him/her out. Bad move. Your previous coworkers kept you at an arm’s length? Not going to get too close to any coworkers at the new place. Bad move, that wasn’t about you, it was about them. The culture at your last job was tumultuous, at best. Not going to lean into the new culture until you can feel it out. Bad move. Jump in and be yourself.

The more we hold back our trust, the more we hold back who we are, the more we limit ourselves. Stop holding back, stop guarding your trust. It’s easy to take your trust back once it has been broken. It’s not easy to remove the baggage of not trusting.

Give your trust away and you will be amazed and the relationships you can and will form. Personally and professionally.