Tag Archives: Pathway to Empowerment

Why I Don’t Want You To Fake It Until You Make It!

I used to be a clinical supervisor for a methadone clinic, and I have a vast amount of experience with addictions. I would say 80% of my direct practice had some kind of treatment of addictions at its core. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard a client say “ Fake it til you make it” or even better a dollar for every time a therapist or self-help group told them to do this.

It never sat well with me, I did not like the saying or what I saw this mantra  “ DO” to those clients. It set them up to lie to themselves. That inner voice of theirs, that critic reared its head every time someone would say that phrase. What I have come to learn is that our inner critic, shadow, saboteur whatever you want to call it does NOT appreciate being lied to. Nor, does it appreciate being ignored.

The more the client’s faked it, the further away from their inner voices and guidance they got. They would then be triggered by the inauthentic way they were showing up in the world, which would trigger their shame and send them into a downward spiral towards relapse. Now, I am sure that there will be 12 step followers who are aggravated with me right now because they have used this mantra as part of their recovery. I believe that if they look closer they will see it was not this mantra, that helped them recover, it was the targeted steps they took towards their goal, showing up real and raw to the world and learning how to heal their shame.

If you disagree with me that is A-OK with me, I wish you well and I am happy for your recovery. I send you light and love.

However, you will not hear me say Fake it til you make it to my clients. I have heard this phrase used by other coaches, speakers, personal development gurus and each and every time I cringe. I DO NOT WANT you to fake anything because it will trigger your Inner Critic to call bullshit on you. Once your Inner Critic calls BS all bets are off and it will actively work at getting you to take another course.

No, do not lie to yourself. Do not fake anything. Please!  So, you may be wondering what to do instead.  I am so glad you asked. I want you to learn how to OWN IT UNTIL YOU GROW IT!

  1. Be honest with yourself about your emotion in this moment. Hold no judgments about it and just be curious.
  2. Feel your feelings, I KNOW THIS IS SO SCARY, but do it anyway! Feel your feelings so that you can take a breath and ask your inner voice. Why am I feeling this way and what does the part of me that is triggered need right now?
  3. Pause and wait for an answer, again with curiosity and no judgments.
  4. Talk with someone you trust to discuss what steps and intentions you need to put in place to achieve the goals you want. It is important that these steps and intentions feel possible and are in alignment with your authentic self. Not just a list of things that someone else tells you that you SHOULD DO!
  5. Wake up each morning and make a small list of intentions for the day, and at the end of the day celebrate those you attained. You must celebrate your progress, and this is impossible to do if you are faking it.

It is my deepest desire to help my clients create a pathway towards empowerment in all areas of their lives, including money, business, self-worth. This requires us to get to know ourselves better, identify our patterns of behavior so that we can change them, and not simply fake it!

Do you want to learn how to Own it until you Grow it? Does a pathway to empowerment sound like a groovy idea? Fill out this form to contact me for a complimentary discovery call.

Are you on Facebook? Join us in my private group called Wealth Worth and Wisdom. We would love to have you there.

I have a gift for you! Learn what your Money Mindset Type is by downloading this Guide. In this guide I show the 4 Types of Money Mindset I see the most, and share links to videos I created to teach you more about them!

 

Nothing is free..can you afford the real price?

Have you ever gotten free samples at Costco or Whole Foods? Come on, you know you have. In fact, I know some people who take their lunch break and nosh on free samples. It is OK I don’t judge. But I do want to ask you a question? How many times did you actually buy the full price item of the thing you sampled? Maybe 25% of the time at best? Most of the time don’t you just take your freebie and run?

How many samples of cosmetics or personal care items have you grabbed that ended up living a sad lonely life in the bottom of a basket or drawer? What is the % of times that the sample actually led to a purchase from you? Is it pretty low right?

I cannot tell you how many clients I have worked with in direct sales who have put time and effort into making, packaging and distributing freebies or had giveaways that rarely resulted in customers.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Free can have a high price tag when you are a small business owner or entrepreneur. I suppose that Costco or Sephora can front the cost of giving things away and the return on their investment is worth it. Not always the case if you are in business for yourself.

I myself am not above the fray. Let me give you a few examples of freebies, that did not work out for me.

  1. My very first experience with people disregarding something that they did not invest in was early on in my coaching practice. I had a very satisfied client who wanted her employees to also experience the coaching and the life changing experience that she had. This employer purchased my money mindset coaching program for 4 of her employees as a gift. How nice of her right? Anyone would jump at high-level coaching gifted to them, right? Not so true. Of the 4 employees, 1 attended 3 calls then bailed, 1 attended almost all then disappeared before the last call. 1 never cashed in and 1 went all the way through it with a grateful heart and is still a fan.
  2. Every once in awhile I will get a wild hair and decide to do something crazy. While in New Orleans in September this year, I decided to offer a 3 in 30 to my newsletter list. In this newsletter, I offered to give away 3, 30 min coaching sessions to the first 3 people who responded. 3 people responded right away and grabbed the sessions, only 1 of the 3 actually scheduled and attended.
  3. I have been in 2 giveaways where a lucky winner whose name was drawn would win a 60-minute coaching session with me. Of those 4 winners, only one person scheduled a call and redeemed their prize.

I guess you can see what I am going for. Right? Most of the time people do not value what they do not invest in. They have to have some skin in the game to take it seriously. If you undercharge for your services, they will not be respected and often times not purchased at all. If you give things away most of the time the people who would take it are not your ideal client and are not going to invest in your products or services.

There are some circumstances where giveaways can be of value but I have not found one yet. I am also not saying that there are not people out there who are not happy that they got your freebie but in my case, they have not ended up being clients.

The cautionary tale here is. Do not give away that which you cannot afford to. You cannot afford to give away your time. I had a client who was a personal trainer who offered a free in-person assessment and people routinely stood her up. That was an hour of her life she could not get back and one she could not afford to give. If you spend hours putting together samples and you see that it is not getting you a high rate of return? Think again.

I am not saying to never give anything away for free. I am giving you free advice right now correct? But it is something I can afford to give away because the time and effort it takes me to write this post are worth it due to a large number of people who will read it and learn from it. Remember this as you are creating pricing and putting a value on your time. What do you want to focus on? Discounts? Or Abundance?

I hope this was helpful to you. I would love to hear back from you about scenarios where a freebie was a flop. Or if you want to learn more about money and mindset and how it relates to your business? Contact me here!

 

Are you on Facebook? Join us in my private group called Wealth Worth and Wisdom. We would love to have you there.

I have a gift for you! Learn what your Money Mindset Type is by downloading this Guide. In this guide I show the 4 Types of Money Mindset I see the most, and share links to videos I created to teach you more about them!

How to Fall In Love With 2017

Here we are well into the halfway point through January. This is a hard time of year, every year. I actually wrote a blog post a year ago about the challenges that we face in January. Surprise Surprise it is very much the same! Just change the title to Is 2017 Kicking Your Ass Already? In that blog post I give some tips and encouragement on how to get by…read here.

So, even though we are well into January that does not mean that you cannot still set intentions and goals for 2017. You are hearing people talk about setting revenue goals, personal goals etc for this year. They are already hard at work at making 2017 work for them. Well, you know me I like to do things a bit differently. When I sat down to write out my goals, I felt compelled to send 2017 some love first. So, I wrote 2017 a big ole juicy love letter.

You heard me right! I wrote a love letter to a year, to the year 2017 to be exact. I know this sounds silly but if you have been following me, you know that I work hard to teach my clients how to fall in love with their business, by writing a love letter to it. Read more about that here. So why not fall in love with your year too?

I want to share with you all my Love Letter to 2017, and I invite you to write one too!

Dear 2017,

I am sorry to say that a lot is riding on your shoulders because of the many disappointments of 2016. You will need to be many things to many people. You will need to be a healer, light hearted, a teacher who shows us how to reconnect with one another, a champion to combat hate and fight for what is right. I have the feeling that you will rise to the occasion and that much will be revealed and be healed by your strong energy. Thank you for that in advance. Thank you thank you.

For me I want you to know, that I honor your energy light and power of manifestation. This year I will step up! I will claim my freedom with your help! By the end of this year, you and I will have lead many people to a deeper place of healing through writing, speaking and teaching. You and I will love my soul and body into a place of health, healing, and vibrancy. Releasing all old vows and patterns. You and I will create more wealth that I have ever known, and it will grow and help many.

We will facilitate deeper conversations with friends, family, and peers. We will be at the center of the women’s empowerment movement and our contribution will have a ripple effect. Dear 2017 Thank you for all you have and will do for me.

I then wrote a list of all of the amazing things that me and 2017 will create this year. It was so much fun and less daunting than the same old goal setting I have done in the past.

Then I signed it. Love your partner in all things, Nicole

So does this resonate with you? What do you think about writing a love letter to your year? Mine is just an example of what is possible and how to go about doing it. Get creative! Do your own thing!

I would love to hear back from you and even read your letters if you want to share them!

If you are intrigued about how you can fall in love with your business, create an intentional relationship with your money so that you can rock out 2017! I invite you to contact me here and schedule a Discovery Call!

P.S. Join me in my Facebook Group Wealth, Worth, and Wisdom. It is a closed group so you will have to ask to be added.

The Healing Curve

I will be honest when I tell you that I feel like I have been seeking to heal from things since birth. I never felt whole, secure, safe or valid. This is a hard way to live your life.I have always felt like I was a problem that needed solving, or that there was some kind of evil force in the world that was just waiting to reveal itself and come get me.

If you know me you know that I experienced a variety of wounds around my power by different sources throughout my life as a child and adult. This journey of healing has been a long and imperfect one. I have been very open and honest about the twists and turns in my life. I have been married 3 times, bankrupt, 360 lbs and suicidal.

But let’s get back to the feeling that I was born needing to heal because it is true.I was.I am so thankful that I now know that this is true, that we can be born carrying the traumas and pains from our families, our mother, and our ancestors. It is pretty freeing to know that you are not the origination of that pain. I am empowered by this knowledge and have embraced that it was my life’s work to heal it. Not only for me but for my family, ancestors and to teach those I coach.

You may not know this but I was a premature baby, and this was a  label I integrated into the areas of my life where I felt weaker or less than. I am so thankful now that I know that I CHOSE to get here early. I had work to do in this particular day and time and I NEEDED to be an Aquarian. It was an absolute necessity to do my work in the world. Kind of cool huh? I chose when and how I would get here. I am now choosing how to heal.

If you have read any previous posts of mine you know that I have been working on forgiveness and I have been teaching my clients how to reclaim their power. The response to this has been huge and I know that I am right on track with what I was meant to do here and to share with you all.

So how do we know when we have healed something?

This is always the question that I have tried to answer for myself and my clients. I mean think about it when you have a physical wound or a broken bone, there is not one light switch moment when you are healed. It does not work that way. In reality, healing happens in all of the little moments and we do not often notice that the healing took place until we look back and see how far we have come. You realize that the wound has now stopped bleeding, or the scar is fading. The break is impacting your mobility less, you can now walk with one crutch instead of two, you can get out of bed by yourself again. These are all of the little noticings that happen as you realize you are healing.

It is the same when we are healing our soul wounds, the body and spirit traumas we have experienced. We often notice that the healing quietly took place while we were focused on other things. I want to share with you how I knew that I had healed part of my story. I am hoping this will help you look back and see your own.

For many years I have hated Christmas, it was a time of year in my past where many bad things happened and was always a stressor that created more painful experiences. I have been a full on BAH HUMBUG for years. My husband will tell you that on November 1st the anxiety and anger, grief and dread would begin. I wished that I could fast forward to January and be done with November and December altogether.

This year something happened, I was in the car the first week of December and a Christmas song I loved as a kid came on the radio and electricity shot through my body. You know that feeling you feel as a kid when you know Santa is coming? The Christmas spirit! Yes, that one! I noticed this new feeling. I then became excited and sang in my car and had a longing to go look at  Christmas lights and drink eggnog 🙂  I was noticing that I was not in dread of the season.

This year I released all of the obligatory routines of the season that drove me crazy and I felt no guilt for it. This was a new feeling…I only did the things that gave me joy. As Christmas approached I felt excitement for spending quiet time alone with my husband celebrating the holiday together. This is not something we have done in 13 years because I was either traveling to see family, we had put our celebration on hold to travel together, or I was such a CRAPPY BAH HUMBUG it was no fun.

This year I did not feel bad about not being with family, I sent them love and well wishes. I did not grieve the past times with my Grandparents that are no long here. There was no sense of dread and the thought of being with just my husband with a few gifts some good food and Christmas movies made my heart happy. There was no loss.

Did I feel when the healing took place? No, not really, not that one moment. I noticed the signs, and then recognized the day after Christmas that it had taken place. It slipped in, it integrated, and it made itself know in subtle and not so subtle ways. I did not know the exact moment, but I knew now that I had been healed. I can tell you when I realized it I did NOT ignore it, or just overlook the miracle and move on. I expressed gratitude, I thanked the spiritual beings in my life, and I gave myself credit for doing the hard work. No way I was going to minimize this revelation.

Ok so there is a lot about ME in here, and my goal is always to show you how to heal by sharing my journey. So now I want to give you some tips on how healing takes place.

  1. Talk about it. You know the saying we are only as sick as our secrets. Find a professional you trust that can hold space for you to talk about your wound.
  2. Move your body, because our body holds our story and our pain. You can reach your emotional pain while getting in touch with your body. You can use many mind-body techniques like yoga, massage, EFT.
  3. Create boundaries with the people around you who have wounded you. You may have to create protective boundaries which mean you do NOT engage with them. Or you can negotiate boundaries with those that you want in your life but you do not want to resent or be angry with.
  4. Forgiveness work is important (see my blog post on it,) and speaks with a spiritual advisor or professional on how you can work on it too.
  5. Spiritual connection.I have gone from being a Southern Baptist Christian, to an atheist and now I am a spiritual child of the universe with no denomination and no edicts. When you can connect with the divine spirit in yourself the healing is right around the corner
  6. Gratitude. Get a journal and write in it daily. Write down at least 5 things you are grateful for. In you cannot express gratitude you cannot heal.

There are many more steps that you can take, but my deepest desire is to show you that healing is a process, it is a gift, and sometimes it is part of our soul mission on this planet. At the end of this blog post, I am going to include some resources that I have found to be helpful.

It would mean so much to me to hear your feedback, comments or your own experiences in healing. Please comment below and share your story with us all. If you would like to share it privately contact me here and share.

Have you been working on healing your wounds? Do you feel like you need support with this process? I would be happy to speak with you to see if I can be of help. Please contact me here.

Resource Books:

Women Food and God, Geneen Roth 

Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live, Martha Beck

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence, Jessica Ortner

The Emotion Code Dr. Bradley Nelson

People:

Anything and everything Debbie Ford

Anything and everything Dr. Christian Northrop

Anything and everything Marianne Williamson

Anything and everything Tara Brach

Last but not least Anything and Everything you can get your hands on by Brene’ Brown

5 Steps to New Money Energy In the New Year

The end of the year always feels so frantic to me, not only are we preparing for the Holidays but it is the narrowing of the year. It feels like all of the energy, focus, celebrations and challenges of the year energetically create a funnel that backs up at this time. It can feel quite claustrophobic trying to close out one year and plan for a new one. Even though it can feel like a challenge, I believe it is a worthwhile endeavor. 

Ya’ll know me, I am not a money manager or a financial planner, I cannot tell you what to do with your money. What I can tell you is how to learn from and clear out your money blocks from this year to prepare to get into the new year with a fresh vibration. You cannot change what you don’t acknowledge.

 

5 Steps to New Money Energy

  1. Take an honest look back at your year, and the amount of money you made. Can you see a pattern where you were empowered in your money and mindset? Can you see the times where you were less clear and may have been less empowered? Did you charge enough for your services? Were you late on invoicing clients? Did you forgo asking for a raise? Be honest take a look.
  2. Reflect on the year and ask yourself how you felt about it overall? Did you feel burdened or free? Did you have fun creating your financial abundance, or did it feel like you white-knuckled your way through it?
  3. Write down the things you identified as challenges or blocks. Then write down the times you were excelling and pay attention to what was happening at the time? What was working for you?
  4. Take this information and decide what you want to change for the new year? How do you want to feel about your money and how you will earn it? What are you willing to invest it and what are you willing to let go of?
  5. Write down your Money Mindset Mantra for the new year, based upon the above steps. Post it where you can see it and focus on it daily.

 

What are some of the ways that you have found to be helpful in putting a year to bed energetically around money? What practices work in looking forward to an abundant new year? I would love to hear from you!!! Hit reply and let me know!

If you want to have a new energy for your money and your business in the new year. Contact me for a Discovery Call to discuss how you can clear out and call in new energy.

8 Steps to Forgive With Love and Gratitude

nicole-cry-3Forgiveness work is tricky. I have been in therapy multiple times over the years, and the process of revealing and releasing pain and working towards forgiveness has been an ongoing journey. I have written letters that I have sent to people and some that I have burned. I have thrown my grievances into a fire and sent them gently down streams. Were these exercises helpful? Yes, I believe that they were in many instances. They helped me build pathways to new ways of thinking and experiencing my pain and the perpetrators of it.

As a therapist, I will admit that I have given similar homework to my clients and they have had a variety of results depending on their willingness to dig deep. Forgiveness work is tricky.

What I have continued to struggle with, has been how to forgive, and to let go of resentments and anger. I thought that I had forgiven those who harmed me including myself. I really did, but what I found is that when I engaged with that person or even thought of them, I would get sour and negative. Forgiveness is easier than recovering from the impact the event has on our life. Even so, I still sought to find new ways to forgive that will stick.

I want to back up here and say, that just because you forgive someone does not mean that you are obligated to allow them in your life.I am going to say that again, just because you forgive someone does not mean that you are obligated to allow them in your life. In fact, I think that 80 % or more of the time, those who have harmed us need to be in our rearview mirror. Yet, sometimes that person is someone that we love, and want to have in our lives in some small way that will not continue to harm us. That is where the hard work comes in.

I have forgiven scads of people, that I do not allow into my life anymore. They are permanently evicted from my sandbox! That has been easy! What has been hard had been setting loving limits, with emotional and physical boundaries with those that I want to still have in my life? What I have found is that having them in my life even in some small way continues to “poke the emotional bear” How can I be in a relationship with those that I have forgiven, without being re- wounded, and reminded of why they needed forgiveness in the first place? This is a delicate dance for sure.

This morning I meditated and yes I asked my angels and inner wisdom about this ongoing need to find forgiveness not just for past deeds but in the present. Especially when that person continues to live in their shadow and not seek the light. This is the message that I received.

“You have focused on the things that need to be forgiven enough. Now focus on loving that person and thanking them for the good things that they gave you” Hmm,Interesting

Ok so I have written down the “gifts” that came from overcoming the challenges that person or experience created for me, and while it was hard I could find them. But, I never looked for the gifts from the actual person. I had never allowed myself to looked at their light and explore what was there. I had only looked at how their shadow had impacted me and “forced” me to evolve or learn a life lesson.

So this is new for me. There may be those of you who are thinking “Oh my gosh Nicole how can you just be coming around to this” ? Fair enough, but I am a firm believer in timing and now is my time, because now I have an audience that can benefit from my tears.

Back to the List of Love and Gratitude. I sat down with my notebook and I wrote the person’s name at the top of the page. I began to write down the things that are good about this person and how I benefited from their goodness. How their light had impacted me in positive ways, and what I was grateful for that they given me. I will not lie, at first, it was hard because my wounded angry voice was quick to point out something BAD about this person with each positive thing I wrote down. This peep of mine would not be ignored so I took a breath, and I said to her “We have a lifetime of cataloging the bad things that this person did, we have ongoing evidence of how they wounded us, please do not think that you are being ignored, you aren’t. Allow me to find the light, because none of us exist fully in the darkness there is light to be found”. I promised her that I would keep her safe and that this was just a plot twist and experiment to see things from a new perspective.

Once I addressed her needs and soothed her she let go of her vice grip of negativity and the list flowed. The list flowed onto two pages I might add, and for the first time in years, I felt a deep release. I have documented that release in pictures because in the moment I felt a calling to show you what it looked like. Despite bed head, no makeup, and a blotchy face I needed to show you my pain. I thought that I would experience relief, but what I can tell you is that the first emotions were extreme pain and grief. It did not overtake me it just felt like a reverence for it, which allowed for love gratitude and relief to finds its way quickly to my heart.nicole-cry-1

It has changed me, and I will take this exercise and complete it again with the others who are on that list. I know this was a long post, and if you are still with me I am so grateful for your attention and for witnessing my journey. I hope that it will give you some hope and a tool that you can use to find some true forgiveness as well. I am going to outline the steps that I took but before I do that I want to speak to you about safety. Listen carefully. Forgiveness work can be transformational but it can also be highly triggering. Remember that I have had years in therapy and tons of personal development work as a coach. So I want to make a few points.

If you decide to try these steps that I outline, I want you to make sure that you are grounded. Say a prayer for safety first to the source of light that you rely on. I want you to allow yourself to go into the process without judgments of yourself. If you feel too emotional, or unsafe at any point I want you to stop, and again say a prayer to your guiding light and come back again later. You do not have to barrel through these steps. You know yourself and if you feel triggered take care of yourself and step away. Do not underestimate the power of this process.

Here are the steps that I took:

  1. I picked the person I wanted to focus on and wrote their name at the top of the page.
  2. I invited my angels and inner wisdom to help support me through it.
  3. I began to think of that person with love and gratitude.
  4. I wrote down a list of the things that I love about that person.
  5. I wrote a list of the things that this person did for me that were loving and good and that I am thankful for.
  6. When my inner voice got angry and tried to divert me back to my old way of thinking about this person, by reminding me of the bad things? I simply acknowledged her, and invited her to be a part of the new perception and honored her feelings.
  7. I gave thanks to my inner wisdom and guides, and let the tears flow.
  8. I journaled about my experience, and how it made me feel and what it is like to look at this person with new eyes.

What I had hoped for in going through this process, was to find some neutrality. I was not seeking to take this person from Villan to Hero. I simply wanted to take my perception of this person from Villan to neutral. In reality, it will not change anything about how I interact with this person in real life. We will not frolic in the daisies and go on picnics. NOPE, things will look much the same, but I WILL FEEL differently.

Now I am sharing this with you, in the hopes that it will create a ripple of forgiveness in your life. However, I do want to remind you that forgiveness does not mean those people who have harmed you are allowed access to you. For example, if a family member has been abusive in some way you can find forgiveness for them, but it does NOT require you to allow them access to harm you again. Physical and emotional safety is always a priority when we are working on forgiveness.

If this was helpful, please comment below, or send me a message by clicking here.  Are you interested in a deeper discussion on how you can find forgiveness? Contact me to find out more about my coaching programs. 

If you would like to hang out with me and a group of other amazing folks? Join us in my Facebook Group Wealth Worth and Wisdom. We would love to have you.

7 Steps Towards Hope and Healing Post Election

This is not a political blog.I am reluctant to invite the energy of politics and all that comes with it into my little blog bubble. But what do you do when your friends, family, and clients ask you with shaky voices, so what happens on Wednesday? They know that no matter who is elected, that the road to this election has created divisiveness in their own lives, and they fear it will continue. What do I tell them? How do I help when too am worried? I suppose we get back to basics. So this is my feeble attempt to be of some help to you when you wake up Wednesday morning on 11/9/16 regardless of if your candidate won, and regardless of if you are an American. I have many friends family and clients all over the world who feel just as helpless about this race.

7 Steps Towards Hope and Healing Post Election:

  1. Take a deep breath and know that you will be OK. You have more influence than you think, you are an influencer of the world and your little square within it. Try not to feel hopeless and helpless. Spend a moment and send love to yourself, those who have been less than kind, and to both candidates. Loving energy can change the world, what we focus on expands, so focus on love.
  2. Remember what we were taught on the playground anyone who knows me knows that sports are not my wheelhouse. I do not follow sports nor do I play them. However, I do remember as a child being taught during recess and on my softball team that being a gracious winner and not a sore loser are skills for life. Take a moment to give the other side a mental or actual handshake and say “well done”. We meet in the middle and say good game. We then go and analyze our part in the outcome, What could I have done better? What strengths did they possess? Or what did we do well, and can build on for next time? Destroying each other and tearing it down offers no personal growth opportunity. Don’t take your ball and go home, stay in the game this is where the gold is.
  3. Take a hard look in the mirror. Ask yourself. Have I been kind? Have I been harsh and judged people for their choice? Have I been quick to argue with complete strangers on Facebook or twitter just because I needed to get my angst and anger out? If the answer is yes, you are in good company. It is so easy to do. We must look at our own behaviors and be honest about where we have fallen short. We cannot change others behaviors only our own. When we can truly assess our part in the division and ripples of anger, only then can we have more patience for the other person. We go from being a victim to a participant.
  4. Know that you did not win or lose. Just because your candidate won does not make YOU RIGHT or the other WRONG. All it indicates is that your candidate represented a larger section of the country that agrees with their policy. If you can really take this on, you will be less likely to  gloat if your candidate is chosen and less likely to want to fight back because your candidate was not chosen. Notice again I said chosen not win or lose.
  5. Resist the urge to create more division. In truth as opposite as we can be on issues, I know without a doubt that there are some common beliefs, values, and issues that we all hold dear. Seek to be curious about what the “other” side has in common with you, we have talked ENOUGH about how we are different. Find common ground and focus on those issues, what we focus on expands. We can be expansive in our connection and collective next steps.
  6. Take action- contact your representatives whether you voted for them or not. Tell them that you do not want 8 more years of obstruction, anger, and refusal to find common ground. Tell them that you want them to find a place to come together on issues and you expect them to act with integrity. Tell them that you support them in taking those tentative steps towards working with the other party on important issues that benefit us all. Give them permission to get out of the partisan shackles.
  7. Finally- express radical gratitude. We have our problems but we still have much to be grateful for. When you can find 3 things each day that you are grateful for it changes your vibration. It takes you from fear to love. I have said it before what you focus on expands so above all focus on gratitude and love.

I know that we can make a shift in our country for the better of us all no matter who is selected as President if we are really willing to take these steps. I am grateful that this election has gotten us out of apathy and inspired us as a nation to pay attention. I am grateful that I was able to vote in a historic election. I am grateful that I have learned how to send love to those I find challenging as a way to survive in this hostile climate.

We can do great things if we are willing to take a look at ourselves first, be honest about how we have contributed to the breakdown, and open to doing the divine work of fixing it. What a huge opportunity we have here….

I hope my friends, family, and clients who have sought out comfort from me will find some in this post. Wishing you all peace on your path. 

P.S. If this resonates with you please share…comment or contact me here with feedback

Independence Day Has A Personal Meaning

Today is July 4th or Independence Day as we call it in the USA. Many of us think of fireworks, beach days, cookouts and celebrations when we think of this day. It is a patriotic holiday and one we celebrate as a country with pride and much fanfare.

But what if this day could be a celebration of much deeper meaning? When you consider the actions that took place for this holiday to even exist, what are some of the ideas that come to mind? Could it be acts of courage? Perhaps it is a desire to think out of the box and manifest something new? Maybe to create something that others have never even dreamed possible. Self-sacrifice comes to mind as well as a commitment to something bigger than ourselves.

What if we looked at this holiday as an opportunity to go within? To find deeper meaning in ourselves. What if we could decide that this is a day we give ourselves time for self-reflection and independence from those things that do not serve us.This day can be about the determination to not stay in a place where hope and possibility are unavailable to us. This day was founded on taking bold action against naysayers to do what “ cannot be done” If you pause to think maybe you need is deeply personal, a desire to find a home, where you can be your true self without judgments, fear or danger.

If you could search your heart in this moment and think of one thing that is holding you back? One thing that is making you feel chained to an old life or way of thinking? What would it be?

Is it the belief that you cannot make more money? That you will never have a successful business? The belief that finding love is for other people? Is it the feeling that you will never be free of depression or anxiety? Could it be that you are doomed to never truly express who you are without judgments? Are you chained by what “ they “ might think? Whoever THEY are….

I can tell you exactly what has kept me from feeling Independent. The entirety of my life until very recently I have felt less than and not worthy. These feelings of low self-worth have manifested in many ways throughout the years but the one steady expression has been that I have felt fat. Whether I was fat or not I have always felt fat. I binge ate, dieted and self-abused myself up to a unliveable weight. I was so heavy and sick that in 2006 I had weight loss surgery to get freedom from obesity. I did lose a significant amount of weight, but I never got my Independence or the freedom I was seeking.

You see there is more to fixing” feeling fat”, than just losing weight. I struggled to gain my worth for a long time.9 years later I am so much further on that path and I feel so much hope. I have gained self-worth and love. I have done the hard mindset work, I have been in therapy, I have had all of those steps needed for a hero’s journey. You know the ones, I will not go into them all. I find myself today at this point in time, where Independence Day is not about food or fireworks. It is deeply personal. I have taken one more step towards Independence.

IMG_20160704_094224644Today I loved myself enough to go to the gym and move my body out of love and not hate for it. I cannot tell you how huge this is, and how hard claiming my Independence from self-loathing and abuse has been. These are my final steps, I have the love of my life, I have safety and security, I have a business that I love, I have a belief in abundance and that good things are coming my way. Now I am taking steps to be free of that final chain…so that I can have a body that is healthy, that I love and that loves me.

My deepest desire for you is that you take a moment today and think of that thing that you need independence from. Perhaps you could journal about it, or tell a friend or loved one. Name it, and claim your independence from it with one small step.

If you need help in naming and claiming your independence from this “ thing” that is holding you back. I invite you to reach out to me and let me help you. You can do this, with support and guidance I promise it is possible. Schedule A Complimentary Discovery Session with Nicole Here

Wishing you many blessings on this Day of Independence.

Forgive me a Little March Madness

March is a rough month, each year at this time I see a spike in interpersonal chaos. Marriages I thought were solid dissolve, friendships end, financial and employment crisis seem to manifest. Even the weather gets touchy—in like a lion and out like a lamb—the rumble between winter and spring, dark and light, sunny and warm followed by a chance of storms.

So in honor of the stormy, unstable, beautiful mess that is March Madness I offered up the opportunity for people from my tribe to request a blog post topic. This call was answered by an amazingly talented, intelligent and dynamic woman by the name of Brenda who requested a post on How to Forgive.

This seems an appropriate topic, the emotional and energetic volatility that we experience in March often puts us in the path of conflict. We find ourselves experiencing more incidences, and interactions with people that may require forgiveness.

Forgiveness is a topic that is an ongoing source of exploration for me and my clients. The first question is:

Do we have to forgive?

For the longest time, I was not sure that we had to. To this day, I am not sure that I fully have forgiven some people, including myself. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the concept of the Book of Offenses and how we spend so much time and energy recording in and carrying around this book. In that moment when we record that offense against that person, situation or experience it feels GOOD doesn’t it? We scribble that offense down and tag the offenders and make angry notes in the margins. Anytime we think about letting it go, we flip back to that page and see that red angry writing where we recorded that offense and we get fired up again!

Elizabeth Gilbert goes on to share this about the book,

…over the years, you can become broken and sick from carrying around your Book of Offenses forever on your back. Your spine and your soul can be crushed beneath that heavy granite slab, with its names carved so deep. You get so bent and twisted beneath that unforgiveness that you cannot even lift your face to the sky anymore. Then what has your life become? How can you fly? How can you ever be free?

This is a pretty profound endorsement for forgiveness, who wants to be bent over and sick from carrying that HUGE book of offenses? I sure don’t. So then what? How do we forgive, and furthermore what does that mean?

Iyanla VanZant teaches a course on forgiveness. This is an excerpt from one of her posts

Forgiveness doesn’t mean agreeing with, condoning, or even liking what has happened. Forgiveness means letting go and knowing that—regardless of how challenging, frightening, or difficult an experience may seem—everything is just as it needs to be in order for you to grow and learn.

This is an important distinction. Forgiveness does not mean you agree with or condone what has happened!

Hear me people, when I say forgiveness does not equal accepting bad behavior nor does it require you to allow this person access to your current life. You can forgive someone for purely selfish reasons, and create epic boundaries so that they can not  wound you around your power again. FORGIVENESS DOES NOT LET THEM OFF THE HOOK!

Iyanla also goes on to say:

Only forgiveness can liberate minds and hearts once held captive by anger, bitterness, resentment, and fear. Forgiveness is a true path to freedom that can renew faith, build trust, and nourish the soul.

Forgiveness is freeing, forgiveness is painful, and maddening. For some it can come in a flash and they feel the weight of the world removed from their shoulders. For me? It is an ongoing choice, process and often difficult journey.

What is the act of forgiveness like for you?

One thing I know for certain is that the most important person we need to forgive first, is ourselves. When we can truly forgive ourselves, and find our voice and foster those boundaries from a place of power? That is when we have the space to truly forgive others.

Here are a few steps that you can take to move towards forgiveness

  1. Voice the pain, tell a trusted friend, counselor or confidant. In some instances you may be able to voice the pain to the person who perpetrated the event. The main focus here is to voice the pain without expectation of the other person.
  2. Spend some time in reflection and ask yourself “What do I need to forgive myself for?” Forgiveness of self is the gateway to learning how to forgive others.
  3. Find the gift (I know this sounds weird). We learn something from all experiences in life good or bad. Can you find some small gift or lesson that you can take from it and grow it?
  4. Release with a ritual. I love rituals particularly ones that allow for releasing and receiving. Write down what you want to release on a piece of paper, burn it, throw it into the surf, toss it into a stream. Saying out loud “I forgive you and I release us both from this painful bond” Then voice what you want to bring into your life. Do you want more love? Do you want to take the energy that you spent resenting and use it to curate a new project? Do you want to call in self care? Permission to do something fun? Make sure you create space to receive.

Now it is your turn. How do you find forgiveness in your heart without feeling like you are betraying yourself and condoning what happened? Do you have any forgiveness practices or rituals that you use? I would love to hear from you. Please comment below.

Here are links to the posts by Elizabeth Gilbert Book of Offenses and Iyanla Vanzant 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything

 

How to Stay in Love With Your Business! From Hot and Heavy to Slow and Steady.

Ahh love, this topic has been in the forefront of my mind lately. I wrote a series of blog posts on the topic of How to Fall In Love With Your Business, starting with this one.

The teleseminar that I offered on this topic, was exciting and energizing for those who attended. It was a ripe environment to explore the topic of relationship building with our business. I know I learned just as much from my attendees as they learned from me.

One of the questions I was asked by email after the call was this one “ So if you fall in love with your business, how do you stay in love with it?”  This is a very good question. I touched on a similar sentiment on the call but, it made me think a bit deeper on this topic.

I asked myself: How do I stay in love with my business? What can we do to stay in love and nurture this relationship? As I have admitted before it took me about a month to move through this process from my Aha to developing this  clarity and partnership with my business. So I am a mere babe when it comes to the nurturing and maintaining peice of this puzzle.

However, dear reader my many years of being a Psychotherapist has given me some insight into relationships and how this might play out:  As with all relationships there are stages, we fall in love, we make plans, we create a partnership with dreams in common, we have triumphs and failures. There are times that we are not as connected and take each other for granted. Yes we even hurt each other, we still hurt those we love because we are human we are not perfect.

I have said many times that Life is not a train ride, with straight lines with clear station stops. It is more like a boat ride, sometimes we are docked and safe, sometimes we have choppy seas and often we have calm waters. We ride the waves, we face the storms, and we express gratitude when we are safe in port again, or blessed with calm waters. It is still a magnificent journey.

So let me ask you? Think of your significant other, or someone you love. Do you only love them when things go well? Are there times that you literally love them but do not like them very much? I am sure you can relate. What is the magic that keeps you in that relationship? Is it accepting that even though we love there will be hard times? We don’t just stop loving someone when things get hard, we lean in, we nurture, we ask questions.

This will be the same for this relationship we are building with your businesses. We learned to lose the abuse and fall in love with our business. Now we learn how to have a sustainable relationship. Taking accountability for our part of the equation is crucial.

This is something I will be living and writing about. I would love to learn from you as well. What has this process of falling in love with your business changed in your life? What are you fears about backtracking and taking this relationship for granted? I would love to hear from you. Comment below: