Are you change agent? Maybe you see things differently. You’ve got the courage to disrupt the status quo and break through the barriers into a new way. A new future.
But we all know that change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Change happens in communion with your community, family, loved ones, business partners, the organization.
That’s the beauty of change.
A ripple effect.
Change yourself and you’ll change the world around you.
Some people say that we literally cannot change the world any other way than by changing ourselves first.
This is radical activism - or what I call Inside-Out Activism.
We get clear on what’s important to us by looking at what we wish to change in others or in the world.
We get clear on what’s not integrated within us by looking at what we judge.
We get clear on what we want to contribute to the world by following our inner nudges.
Often we think that what we do personally, our healing work, how we raise our kids and how we “be” in the world is not enough. Inside-Out Activists know that this work is, quite possibly, the most impactful work we can do.
Inside-Out Activists also may be doing outside activism, building businesses and contributing in many other ways, but they're aware that these other “inside-out” ways make them more effective in everything they do.
Using the smallest microcosm of the Universe – YOU – the one thing you have control over – to heal the planet, bring unity consciousness, repair relationships and suffer less. Each one of us can heal and be the change we wish to see. We're free thinkers – curious, seeking truth, busting fear-based belief systems, and trailblazing together – finding a new way forward.
And when we do this work, we come into deeper acceptance of ourselves, others and life itself. When we're in flow with life, aligned with our true nature and showing up as our true selves, we live into what life wants for us – to be us.
So how do we do this?
FIRST, WE NEED TO WAKE UP
…and see ourselves as the captain of our ship, the one in charge of our lives and the impact we have in the world. This requires us to shift from the belief that life is happening TO me to life happening FOR me. The world needs us to heal our traumas, regulate our nervous systems and become whole again.
SECOND, WE NEED TO SHIFT
…away from the idea that someone is going to save us (like a president, partner or parent) to becoming our own savior. We need to see how powerful we are and stop complaining that anything outside of us is the problem. We need to see that any judgment we have that something is wrong out “there’ is really just for us to explore internally.
THIRD, WE NEED TO TURN
…our inner work into outer expression. We need to alchemize all of our healing work into the power to show up in the world as our most authentic selves. The world is waiting for the exact unique YOU to show up. How do we want the world to improve? Find the tiniest ways that you can be that in the world, how can you be the change?
FOURTH, WE ARE ALL
…in this together. We can help one another see what we are not able to see within us. Also, we support one another. What we all need most is to have psychological safety so we can feel safe enough to explore our inner terrain. When we have done our healing work, we can provide that for others. That’s where the biggest ripple effect comes into play.
Are you ready to take responsibility for your projections, judgments and triggers and use them as the breadcrumbs to heal your own childhood wounding?
Do you agree that the outside world is a projection of our (collective) inside worlds therefore you're ready to do your own shadow work and accept all of yourself in order to clean up the collective shadow?
Are you with me that when we keep our “dark parts” in the dark, they erupt in the world stage as they are now?
And if we keep playing out those shadows through moves and countermoves, us vs. them mentality, we'll stay in a drama cycle?
Are you ready to take responsibility for your own shadows, trauma and projections so you can clean up your part which has a ripple effect in the world?
Comment below about what you're doing to be the change you wish to see in the world!
I spent a lot of my life with the persona of being “nice” and “a good listener” and “adaptable” and “tolerant” and “flexible”. With women in my life, I was a people pleaser, the helper, the hero. Underneath that, at times, I was angry, judgmental, resentful and lacking the connection I craved. But this persona kept me feeling safe.
Fortunately it was also exhausting, kept me separate and required me to abandon myself.
Because the pain of inauthenticity grew to be so uncomfortable, that I had to find the most real and true me.
Speaking from experience, it requires so much courage to be our most true selves, to risk not belonging to any group, to bravely step forward without the (false) protection of our masks and personas. And yet, it’s the most enlivening thing we can do.
It’s still a practice, I can still feel the allure of popping on a mask so I can fit in. I can still feel the fear that arises when I stand in the nakedness of the most real me in public ways. And yet, I can’t go back.
The groups and tribes and labels and boxes are all too confining and layer too many assumptions upon me that no longer fit.
We’re all verbs. We’re not nouns. We need the space to evolve, to grow and to keep becoming more and more of who we came here to be.
When the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, she must go through a painful transition in the chrysalis and struggle to get out. And when a baby is birthed, he must go through the dark and tight birth canal before being brought into the light.
Birthing the most true Self that we are is not without discomfort. But we can do hard stuff. And it’s worth it!
To all of you on this path…I salute you! How’s it been for you? Please share in the comments below!
I've always been tough on myself around exercise and healthy eating. I never felt like I WANTED to exercise so I forced myself. I craved sugar and carbs and indulged. Then I beat myself up. The more I beat myself up, the more I ate, the less I exercised. This was my pattern. And a pattern for so many.
I've been on a self-love journey for the past decade. I always hoped that if I loved myself more, I'd be more motivated to take better care of myself - to nourish myself with whole and healthy foods, to exercise. I was beginning to think it was a big lie.
So much had changed in my life on this journey - I saved my marriage, I became more authentic, I became kinder to myself, I cultivated closer female friendships, became a better mom. The list is so huge.
But I was still eating crappy foods and was still dragging myself to the gym.
I knew that I ate sugar for pleasure - it was a quick hit of dopamine and it felt good. And I didn't like to exercise because I didn't enjoy it. It was grueling and I did it because I was supposed to, not because I wanted to.
I seriously thought that maybe I was wrong and that the way to good health was going to be to hunker down and form better habits, cultivate better will-power and accept that I would have to force myself to eat things that are "good for me" and sacrifice eating the foods that I enjoy. That I'd have to get a better workout schedule and stick to it. Or that I had to accept that I won't and take the consequences. I was feeling hopeless because none of this felt very self-loving.
About 6 months ago, I got into mountain biking. It's one of the physically hardest things I've ever done. But I love it so much. Being outside, the sense of accomplishment, the views and the roller coaster fun of the downhills! And I was seeing that I was getting stronger and my cardiovascular stamina was increasing. Who knew that exercise could be this fun? It FELT SO GOOD to feel this healthy.
About 2 months ago, I got into "movement" - putting on a song and moving my body (some people would call this dance, but that intimidates me). I fell in love with this movement practice! Even more recently, I've been enjoying short yoga videos - 15-20 minutes (I used to do 90 minute yoga and it always felt too long). These days, I crave moving my body. I want to walk and stretch and lift weights. I've also been choosing healthier foods and I find I eat less food.
This is NOT coming from will-power, better habits, forcing or sacrifice.
Last night I asked my husband what he think changed that has me so inspired to be healthy? Why does he think that now I look forward to exercise? Why I LOVE to move my body? Why I feel motivated to eat healthier? Why I DON'T want to overstuff myself?
Neither one of us was SURE, but we both agreed on these three things:
I see that I've reached a pivotal turning point where my love for myself, my life and love itself has shifted me. I can't NOT take care of this vessel I'm blessed to have. I can't NOT find ways for my heart to feel joy and pleasure. I can't NOT wish to live a long healthy life. I want to extend the magic as long as I can.
I didn't THINK about this or DECIDE to do this. I just reclaimed my heart - I fell in love with myself and with love. My heart opened enough to become love. So now I more naturally gravitate to things that are aligned WITH LOVE. And good health, pleasure and taking care of our bodies are all aligned with love.
This is not about perfection. I still eat junk food and candy. But I'm more gentle with myself and I don't use this to fill my pleasure-void or love-void. I'm sure I'll still have times when I'm not as eager to move my body (I still feel scared to go out for mountain bike rides because they are so hard and I still feel afraid I won't be able to do it). But I'm positive that this shift is in rooted in LOVE and I'll find my way back.
This all made even more sense to me when I stumbled upon this video on YouTube. Maybe you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
"If you can love the body and life you have, you will have the body and life you love!" - Jen Oliver
You are enough just as you are.
But you probably don’t think so. Or perhaps you think you are too much. But in some way, you probably are hiding some parts of yourself – the parts you fear are not lovable.
Over the years, you've been subjected to conditioning and comparisons. And you learned at a very young age to do whatever it takes to be loved and accepted…even if it meant being someone other than your true self. You may have learned that it was best to hide what you think and feel and who you are because it was safer that way. It was a brilliant strategy as a kid! But most of us kept on doing that well into adulthood and eventually we realize that we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore. It’s like the real you doesn’t exist in your life. Or maybe you don’t even know who the real you is.
For me, it was so painful when I realized that I was no longer sure who I was – I wanted to be accepted, loved, and validated so badly that I became someone else along the way. Deep down I knew something I was not right.
THE REAL YOU HAS ALWAYS BEEN IN THERE – IT’S JUST HIDDEN
Underneath those layers of conditioning, false (aka other people’s) beliefs, judgments, and criticisms lies the real you. We live in a society that rewards and encourages conformity. Being yourself requires courage. It might seem safer to hide that true self, but life is a million times better when you show up and shine your own light, so to speak. It’s so worth the risk!
"When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside of our story." ~ Brene Brown
IT WAS RISKY WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, BUT YOU'RE SAFE NOW
Are you willing to take the risk to bring more of YOU into your life? To reveal more of yourself to your friends and family?
Your young self, the one who had to do whatever it took to be accepted is telling you not to do it – it’s WAY. TOO. RISKY. It’s the part of you that says that you must hide those “bad” things about you – the things that mommy and daddy told you to stop being or doing. It’s the part of you who believes that you won’t be loved if other people know those things about you.
You don’t want this to be true.
You know that you love other people, shortcomings and all. You know that you even find your loved one’s quirks and flaws endearing. You wonder…perhaps others could feel that way about you too?
Can you find that part of yourself that believes it’s possible that you can be yourself and still be loved? That you don’t have to constantly perform, perfect, please, and prove? That you can settle into who you really are and people will still love you?
IT’S THE HIDING THAT’S EXHAUSTING
It’s so much easier to be who you really are rather than exerting all that energy to be someone you think you SHOULD be or hiding so you can experience the illusion of safety. Believe me, as you begin to remove those masks you're hiding beneath you will feel the weight lifted off your shoulders – you'll have more energy and you will feel less burdened. It’s the trying so hard that takes all of your energy. It’s like trying to hold 5 beach balls underwater all by yourself. It’s a constant effort.
Each time you reveal more of who you really are and see that you're still accepted and you “survive,” your young self will begin to believe that it really IS safe to be yourself and live a life that is true to what you really want and believe. You'll begin to see that being yourself is much easier than trying to conform and be someone you believe others will accept and love.
You'll find that it’s easier for people to love and connect to you when you are not hiding or playing small.
THIS IS ABOUT SELF-ACCEPTANCE NOT “ACCEPT ME OR ELSE”
This slightly different than turning 50 and saying “Screw you, take me as I am because I don’t care.” I'm talking about true self-acceptance and self-love. It’s more of a surrender to the truth of who we are on a soul level and comes from the place of love. The “screw you, accept me for who I am” is more about telling the world to accept you and it usually comes from the place of fear and separation. What I'm talking about is when you learn to fully accept yourself so that the world feels that and, in turn, fully accepts you.
Self-knowledge, self-forgiveness, self-kindness, self-acceptance, and ultimately self-love have the potential to bring your life to a whole new level. It’s the true secret to having the connection and love you have always wanted in your life.
IT STARTS WITH YOU. YOU CAN ONLY BE LOVED AS MUCH AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.
One of the biggest regrets people express on their deathbed is that they didn’t live a life that was true to themselves – that they hid, played small, and didn’t really fully live because they were afraid to. It’s true, it requires courage! And you have to be willing to swim upstream because most people are still hiding, performing, and conforming. But the rewards are beyond measure.
The world wants more of YOU!
Please post below if you can relate to this. Do you want to bring more of yourself to your life? Or have you already done this and want to share how you did it or what life is like for you now? Please share!
We know that worrying doesn't help, but that never seems to stop us.
You know how it goes: something happens (your kids are on their iPhones too much) and you tell yourself a story (this is going to be a problem) and then you feel afraid for the future. You go into fear. You play out the possibilities and by the time you are done you have become the creator of an elaborate story about how their lives are going to be ruined because of the iPhone. We get sucked into the story that our imagination has created and we believe it to be true rather than what it is…just a story based on a single thought that might not even be true (this is going to be a problem).
“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.” ~ Dan Zadra
Worry is an adaptive survival mechanism that's based on keeping us and our loved ones alive. Our imaginations project into the future and anticipate all of the possible dangers and then our brain does what it can to avoid or remove those possibilities. It serves us well if we are in a dangerous situation. And worry can be a catalyst to solve problems for sure! But it can go awry and we can form the habit of worrying and even become addicted to worrying.
Perhaps that we worry isn’t the problem, it’s how we worry.
I think we are “incomplete worriers.” Most of us stop worrying too early and sort of get stuck. We never bring the situation into our full consciousness so we're run by unconscious and irrational fears.
We worry effectively when we allow ourselves to worry long enough to go through the fear and through the worry and into confidence. Yes, you read that right, I said we need to worry longer.
We need to let our worry to play out fully.
Let’s take an example for a parent of a boy who is entering high school this year. Mom is afraid he will be exposed to drugs and give into the peer pressure, do drugs, get addicted and become a pot-head and never leave her basement.
Most likely she'll stop there and keep playing that worry tape – forming a groove in her brain by going over the same thoughts repeatedly – and this is what forms a worry habit.
She's uncomfortable sitting in this fear so she begins to think about how she can control her outside circumstances to solve this problem. She considers that if her son has more activities after school he will have less time to party. She contemplates what rules need to be in place to prevent him from being out partying too late. She lectures him about the risks of drug use. She tries to establish family traditions and family meals because studies show kids with strong family ties, regular meals, and traditions are less likely to do drugs.
Great ideas! And this shows that worrying can be useful for problem-solving. But nothing guarantees that her son won’t do drugs. If he wants to, he will. Period. And she's still stuck in fear.
Mom's just putting a bandaid on the boo-boo in her heart. She is masking (and avoiding) the uncomfortable and painful feelings around the uncertainty of her son's future. Trying to manage her fear of her son getting involved in drugs by trying to fix and control – but it’s really just an illusion of control. Since her son is now in control of his own life, there is very little she can do to control his behaviors.
HERE ARE THE 3 STEPS TO “WORRY BETTER” SO WE CAN GO BEYOND FEAR AND INTO CONFIDENCE:
Situation: you walk by a friend who completely ignored you when you said hello. You're worried she is mad at you - did you do something wrong? Why would she do that?
Doesn’t that feel better than staying stuck in a story that she ignored you because you did something wrong? Even if she IS upset with you, what value is there in you worrying about it?
NOW LET’S USE THESE STEPS AND THE EXAMPLE OF THE 9TH GRADER AND DRUGS:
First, allow yourself to fully feel the fear.
Accept that you truly are afraid that your child will get hurt or even die if he chooses a path of drugs. Honor how scary that feels and your deep desire to protect him. Tell yourself that you are okay and that he's okay in this moment. Put your hand on your heart and take a breath. Remember that this is not real, it’s just a worry, just your imagination.
By doing this, you will open up space to consider the possibility that you and your family can survive and even thrive in the face of any crisis your imagination will create and worry about. And that it’s HIGHLY unlikely that most things we worry about will come to reality (research shows that 85% of what we worry about never happens).
Next, it’s time to play out the story and poke holes in it.
We’ll play this out with the intention of seeing that you can survive even the worst thing your imagination can create in this situation – that he DOES get addicted to drugs.
First, you come together as a family and talk it out – you realize that it’s nice to talk it over with him openly and you appreciate that he is talking openly to you. In fact, you feel connected to him and haven’t felt that way in a while.
You're worried and he's worried – you notice that he has grown up a lot and really is a sweet and loving kid. You can tell that he feels relieved to be talking to you and not facing this all alone. He even hugs you and thanks you.
You consider your options together – you notice that you're actually doing okay, you are surviving this “crisis” and somehow you are coming together as a family. You notice that he hasn’t been partying with his friends and instead is hanging around the house and in a much better mood.
You start to get creative as a family and consider options like taking a family sabbatical to Costa Rica for a year or maybe a rehab facility that feels really right for him and has great outcomes – you decide to go to Costa Rica and can’t believe that you will be spending a year there. You are excited and feel curious how something so bad might be turning out to be so amazing for your family!
You work with a counselor while there and your son is doing great – in fact, better than ever. You discuss how to transition back home and you realize you have come along way – you survived!
This may seem unlikely – that it’s pretty fantastical to imagine it going this well. But the truth is, it doesn’t matter. There is an 85% chance that what you are worried about will never become reality anyway. It’s just a made-up story either way.
Finally, we create a lovely story to focus on.
Maybe it goes something like this:
“My son goes to high school and experiments a little with drugs, drinks a little more than he should, parties more than I prefer, graduates and gets into a great college, parties some more, begins to grow into the man I always hoped and knew he would be, gets a great job, and is living a pretty normal life.”
Not totally out of the question, right?
Can you see how this process brings clarity and resolution? We first honor the fear you're feeling and second, walk through a scenario that is scary but focuses on how you would handle it and that you CAN handle it. It helps us to feel our feelings and then get confident that perhaps we can allow life to happen and face circumstances as they come up rather than trying to change things to fit how we want the world to be. This is the basic premise behind mindfulness.
Trust yourself. You can handle anything. It sets us up to treat life is an adventure rather than something to be afraid of.
And then, with the lovely story, if you focus on what you want to happen instead of what you don’t want to happen, you will more likely have a positive outcome. The truth is, what we resist persists. If nothing else, you will feel better and you can still feel like you are focusing on the thing you are worried about, but perhaps with an intention for a better outcome
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” ~Benjamin Franklin
If you're going to worry anyway, why not learn to worry better?
Are you a worrier? Do you have tips for how you have learned to manage your worry? Please comment below!
This is Part 3 of a 3 Part Series. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
I spent more than 40 years mostly in my head. I am a “head type” on the Enneagram and being my head’s a very comfortable place for me to be.
But I’ve learned that my best inspirations, ideas, clarity, answers, and solutions come from getting out of my head and into my body, into my heart and into THIS present moment. For some of you, this will not make a lot of sense…so you’ll need to try it to believe it.
For you, I ask you to trust me and give this a try.
And, yeah, some of us can talk ourselves out of our worry thoughts – reminding ourselves that these are just thoughts – that we don’t have to believe our thoughts – that they are just possibilities and that we are the thinker NOT the thoughts. But that takes a great deal of awareness and mental strength. Sometimes it’s just better to do something else!
10 QUICK WAYS TO GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
BONUS: If you find yourself awake at night worrying or in a place where you can’t do something from the list above, use these to CHANGE your thinking:
Do you have anything to add to this list? Put it into the comments below!
Part 2 of 3. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.
This blog post is summarized from Wayne Dyer’s amazing very first book called Your Erroneous Zones.
Okay, let’s get real here…I’m not suggesting that we’re never going to worry again…we’re adults living in a complex world with problems and children and jobs! So we’ve got a lot to worry about.
Full disclosure: I was just up last night at 2:42 worrying. And the truth is that a little bit of worry sometimes PUTS me INTO action.
But what I don’t want for any of us is that we look back at our lives with regret that we spent most of our precious present moments beating ourselves up about the past or worrying about the future. Here's the thing - if it was useful, I'd be encouraging it. But guilt and worry are rarely useful habits.
So, let’s explore what we can do to manage these 2 habits:
Note: How much you worry does not equal how much you love.
Check out the final blog post in this series for a list of quick and effective ways to break the worry/guilt habit by getting out of your head and into the present moment!
What one thing are you going to try to do THIS week from these lists? Pick the one thing that you are most likely to do…put it into the comments below!
This is part 1 of a 3 part blog post. Read Part 2 here.
Are you a worrier? Am I alone when I say that sometimes the worrying and thinking gets a bit out of control? My head can be a crazy place sometimes!
One of the things that I worry most about is that my kids are on electronics too much. And then sometimes I realize I'm distracted and not really present with my kids and then allowing them to spend too much time on electronics so I can have “time” to worry and think about “important things”.
It started to get more clear that being stuck in my head was the source of some of my guilt. Being stuck in my head keeps me from doing what it would take to be present with my kids, to connect with my husband, to take care of myself.
And then I feel guilty and shift into beating myself up about being distracted and not fully present with my husband or my kids.
Can you say V I C I O U S C Y C L E ?
When our minds are F U L L, we're anything but present. Well, we may be present to our thoughts, but most likely, we're not present to everything that's happening all around us.
A little guilt (learning from the past can help us make better decisions in the future) and a little worry (can help us prepare for the future and prevent a gut sense of something being wrong from getting out of control) is to be expected and would be considered normal. Right?
BUT YOU AND I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT…
The over-thinking that makes us not hear our kids when they keep repeating “mom” over and over.
The guilt that turns into beating ourselves up and leaving us feeling bad about ourselves.
The way we repetitively choose to do "one more thing" and neglect self-care, play and rest and then feel burnt out, impatient and reactive.
The panicky worry that has us awake at o-dark-thirty.
“If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will ever change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.” - Wayne Dyer
Here’s the thing. Besides stealing our precious present moments, these 2 habits - indulging in worry and guilt - are often ways to avoid taking real action in your life NOW.
WHICH IS ANOTHER REASON TO STOP DOING THEM!
This is how it goes…
We feel guilty, then we beat ourselves up which makes us feel crappy about ourselves. This leads to feeling shame and that spirals us into inadequacy – which tells us we have no ability to do any better or to deal with the situation. So we don’t take action around the thing that we originally felt guilty about. This becomes a vicious cycle and we get stuck in inaction. Frustrating right?
And that worry that keeps us up at night? We’re fearful for the future (especially for our kids). We’re hanging onto the hope that we'll somehow improve the future outcome by worrying. But most of the time, it’s completely out of our control. Often, worrying will cause so much emotional distress that we end up feeling immobilized so we avoid taking action we know could be beneficial for the future.
WHEN OUR MINDS ARE FULL, IRONICALLY, WE LOSE THE ABILITY TO TAKE THE ACTION THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
What can you do?
Did you have any a-ha's from this? Share below!