Stepping Up: Show & Tell

I grew up feeling what a delicate creature communication could be, and it created some of my own limitations for some time.

Only recently have the subtleties of it become clearer. We all have our ways of expressing how we think, how we feel, what our needs are, and how we can come together to make things happen.

Some people spend a lifetime bottling things up and holding themselves back, never finding a healthy way to tell others what’s important to them. It can become a vicious cycle for them – surfacing briefly and then diving back under water to be uncomfortably numb again.

Some people get angry and blame their troubles on others, like a raging bull in a china shop – when all that was needed was a more gentle approach to find a mutually beneficial solution.

We’ve grown up in different family dynamics, cultures and educational systems – and instead of using that as an excuse, I feel it’s our choice as individuals to undo any of the blockages we may have been ‘taught’ through these experiences. The others were simply doing what they knew best at the time. And the time for you to do and be your best is now, wouldn’t you agree?

If you’ve felt ‘stuck’ expressing yourself, then it’s probably a wonderful sign for you to step up and change how you communicate so you can have a more fulfilling life, because the best way for others to learn who you are, is if you start sharing it with them.

It’s like learning to walk – one step at a time, no pressure. Gauging the responses you get, becoming comfortable asking questions, trusting that there will be no judgement, and seeing how easy it all becomes.

Be patient with yourself, and those who are in tune will be patient with you.

To create a healthy, balanced safe zone so we can be who we are, there is a subtle dance in which it’s up to both of us to keep our eyes, ears and the doors of communication open.

And once you break (or walk) through your own walls, asking and sharing becomes so much more rewarding. The load lightens up as you express yourself more openly with those who have your best intentions at heart.

So you can start talking, because I’m listening (and I’ve got the cookies and milk ready)…

And thank you for reading me.

Do You Fight for Love, or Do You Foster It?

I used to think of love much the same way as Bryan Adams sang about it, “Everything I do, I do it for you.”

After a while, I realised that wasn’t very healthy, especially where reciprocity was lacking.

Taking time to actively delve into how my life experiences so far have shaped me, and how I show up now and what I value (my ‘homework’ as I call it), it’s opened my eyes to a lot of misconstrued and outdated concepts.

I’ve come to see that it’s more about doing things because I’m inspired by that person, which is the key to maintaining my personal balance and creating a healthy synergy. Of course, the rest of Bryan Adams’ lyrics still apply…

Yet, the old stories of heroes and villains and damsels in distress are long gone. And memories of past ‘missed takes‘ can easily be healed now, the future given fresh new meaning and direction.

Fighting implies pain, hardship, struggle, possibly someone’s disapproval, and other uncomfortable things. It puts an unnecessary strain on the overall accomplishment of the goal at heart, and generally pushes it farther away because the focus is on the fight, not the love itself.

There’s no need to explain to others, no need to justify. It’s not what they think, it’s what you know. Allow yourself to be within a whole new world.

So, no, it’s not about saving anyone or fighting for love anymore. You can put the sword & shield aside now, you won’t be needing them (and the horse will live longer too).

Instead, you can feel that initial spark gain impetus and become a warm, comforting fire. That little nervous shake you keep getting? It’s just the fire heating up and shaking off old fears and doubts.

The real path to love is, purely, and simply, love itself. And of course, it starts within each one of us – taking initiative to take care of ourselves, then expanding our self love to embrace and include another amazing human being.

It’s made up of qualities like attention, care, asking, learning, remembering, sharing, patience, romance, consideration, active support, humour, respect, the little things that make a big difference, keeping each other’s best interests in sight, taking time out of a busy schedule even if it’s just a few minutes to check in with one another, understanding each other’s need for space to do what you need to do, enjoying the moments together and trusting the spaces in between…

Whatever works for both of you, as long as you’re both communicating frequently and exploring the mutual curiosity. Because at the same time as we’re discovering new things about one another, we’re also discovering more about ourselves. And that’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

If you encounter adversity, criticism or skepticism from others, do you fall prey to it and look the other way, or do you quietly build your muscle of belief and keep advancing, boldly and with confidence, in the direction your heart is showing you?

If you encounter resistance in yourself, what is it that you’ve really been holding yourself back from, that you can let go of now and give yourself the opportunity to freely love and be loved?

Where there is real love, there is no judgement and no rejection, which makes cutting out the guess-work and expressing yourself so much easier.

“Does she tell you what she wants,
Can you give her what she needs?”*

Love is expansion, freedom. Someone who believes in you more than you might, and encourages you to live your dreams in ways you wouldn’t expect and without you asking. A natural desire for you to be, do and have what you envision, even if you haven’t figured it all out yet. Isn’t that a relief?

What if you allowed yourself to pleasantly surprise and be surprised more and more, every day?

And of course, you can dance around the fire any time you please.

So for me, it’s about fostering love. It feels so much better. And there’s magic in that.

Here’s to You, and thank you for the inspiration.

* Pretty Things – Take That

Your Perspective = Your Reality

Sometimes we go to others for counsel on matters that are important to us, whether we’re looking for advice or a simple sounding board for our ideas.

I used to ask my Dad for advice when I was a kid, and often I’d leave our conversations feeling discouraged. I had these wonderful, creative, out-of-the-box ideas that I wanted to turn into reality, yet my motivation seemed to dampen after hearing his logical explanations of how he had done things, and how his was the ‘only way’ they would work. I took it as a personal defeat for quite some time, thinking my ideas weren’t good enough. It was a strange push-pull between respecting his experience as my Dad, and wanting to just do as my heart desired. He was also trying to protect me from making mistakes.

Clearly, his way of doing things was different from mine, yet I valued his opinion so highly that I felt doing things my way wouldn’t work, simply because ‘he knew best’. After all, he was older, wiser, my Dad. Until I realised some of his ways of thinking were outdated. His perspective, you might say, had become stuck in the past.

After some frustration, I changed my strategy over what I shared with him, for the sole purpose of giving myself the freedom to choose, to differ, to embrace my own magic and create my world as I envisioned it to be. And I still love him for the insights, because this has been one of my biggest lessons in really believing in myself and my powers of creation. And, he truly does have one of the most brilliant minds I know.

And since mistakes are really just “missed takes,” I’ve happily learned to recalibrate and move forward with renewed perspective on my experiences. Just like playing the drums, you keep at it until your coordination is on point, constantly refining speed and dexterity.

You might find yourself asking for someone’s opinion or approval. And that’s great as long as you keep an open mind and heart to make the decisions that best suit you after they’ve give you their answer.

Where are they coming from in their opinions? Are they setting conditions on your desired outcomes and happiness? Are they stuck in their own past with limited views and projecting these into your future, or have they created new awareness for themselves to offer you an unconditional, expansive insight that best serves you?

You’ll know by the way you feel about their responses in a heartbeat.

It is our human nature to evolve, and those who choose to remain in their comfort zones tend to get very uncomfortable with those of us who courageously shift into a new zone that may seem out of reach for them. It is also their choice to adapt and allow for their own growth and clarity.

Knowing this now, you can see through other people’s limited views, and free yourself from past inhibitions, can’t you?

Living life through others’ eyes, gives you their results. Living life through your eyes, gives you your results. Whose results do you really want for your life?

The amazing thing is, you already know this, don’t you? And it’s alright to thank the others for their input and still make your own choices based on your desires and inspirations. Use what you see and feel now, and the experiences that you create, to confidently position yourself in a clean and clear future.

You’ll find that the grass is greener wherever you are and whenever you choose, once you gain the clarity within yourself and take active steps towards nurturing that seed.

After all, an orchid never quite blooms the same way. Yet, you still know that giving it the right amount of nurturing care and attention, its buds are going to blossom, and you can trust that it will be a beautiful surprise every time.