BOO! Time to Step Into Your Greatness!

The Benefits of BOO!Facing your fears can be beneficial! During my recovery from burnout, I discovered that recognizing, respecting, exploring, embracing and feeling my fears was an essential step in helping me restore wholeness by becoming better at loving myself unconditionally.

My first big realization on the road to recovery was that my utter and complete burnout was clear evidence that I had not been loving myself. I was not nurturing, encouraging, or delighting myself in healthy ways physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. I was disrespecting my body, mind, feelings, and values. Working myself nearly to death with no regard for illness or despair. If I had treated another being that way, human or feline, I would have been jailed long ago.

When I became serious about uncovering the roots of my imbalance and trying to set it right, I concluded that there are two fundamental types of core energy: love and fear. When I examined the primary energy underneath any thought, feeling, word, or deed, I found love, fear, or some combination of the two.

Love is constructive and moves you forward. Fear is destructive and holds you back. Love is the author of truth and reality. Fear is the author of lies and illusion. At first, I didn’t always recognize them as love or fear because they didn’t always show up in my life with those specific labels. I found the terms to be nebulous, tricky, and easy to misunderstand. With awareness, persistence, and unflinching honesty, over time I was able to recognize love and fear masquerading under lots of other masks.

In trying to get a more concrete grasp on what healthy self-love might look like, I realized I understood its opposite, fear, much better because I had fueled myself with it for so long. With mindfulness and curiosity, I recognized that the many faces of fear could be synthesized into a four-part pattern that captured the most common guises in which fear showed up in my relationship with myself—contempt, judging, shame, and lack. I then employed one of my favorite writing technologies, the Microsoft Word thesaurus function, to find their opposites—respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude. The chart below is my summary of the many faces of love and fear.

The Many Faces of Love and FearWith the help of the insight and clarity provided by those particular attributes of love, the light dawned, and I began to make real progress. Focusing on these four constructs helped me more easily answer the eternal question in every situation: “Is this what unconditional self-love looks like, and if not, what would bring me closer to that intention?”

While taking good care of myself physically produced many healthy changes, when I shifted from taking good care of myself to falling in love with myself, everything else in my life finally fell into place. I lost weight physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I got off the hamster wheel, found my calling, and created a joyous, fulfilling life. Falling in love with myself was just like falling in love with someone else. I paid attention and treated myself as if I mattered, as if I were my own beloved child.

One of the most powerful changes was being relentless about noticing and transforming any negative head talk into more loving, supportive messages. In chapter 6 of my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, concerning your personal board of directors, I dive deeply into the roots, role, and transformation of this type of self-sabotaging gremlin head chatter. For now, just know that fear is incredibly toxic; it doesn’t take much to poison the well of your life. Little things like the verbs I use—have to, should, need to, can’t, and the like—are indicators that fear is fueling my thoughts and beliefs about a given situation or relationship. Nothing is too small to matter; every little bit of fear you transform into love gives you a substantial energetic boost. It doesn’t take much fear to bring you down. Letting go of even a little will raise you up.

Almost every day, we encounter something that scares us—something that makes our heart race and our palms sweat. This is especially true when we are committed to learning and growth. Being “courageous” isn’t about never being afraid. It’s about being bold enough to face what scares you, and keep going.

How often do we stop when we come up against something that pushes us out of our comfort zone? While that reaction is common, it’s one that we benefit from overcoming, if we want to grow continually and be fully alive.

While it’s easy to stick with what feels familiar and comfortable, we only grow when we stretch. The more we cultivate the habit of embracing our fears, the more they lose their power and the stronger we become. Remember, it’s not about “never being afraid.” It’s about not letting your fears hold you back.

As a board-certified professional life coach, I know from experience the benefits of focusing on the negative. No, that’s not a typo. I did mean focusing on the negative. Rushing a client to reframe a painful thought or feeling in a more positive light, before allowing them to feel and release their pain fully (yes, whatever your gender, there is crying in coaching), robs them of truly robust and lasting benefits of any constructive perspective shift they may attempt. To really overcome our fears, we must first recognize, respect, explore, embrace and feel them. When we do so, the constructive affirmations and more positive outlook we then employ will offer sustained benefits as opposed to merely “putting lipstick on a pig.” This was one of the most beneficial reminders I gained from tapping—slowing down any eagerness to shift too quickly to the positive, so that I allowed time to truly experience and release the negative (rather than glossing over it with denial and empty platitudes).

So often we try to think non-stop positive thoughts without first fully accepting our negative emotions or limiting beliefs. By doing this, we increase our internal conflict and exhaust ourselves. With tapping, you first admit the destructive thoughts that have been weighing you down so that you can release them to make room for more constructive affirmations to take root. Concerning this aspect of tapping, Louise Hay observes, “If you wish to clean a house, you must start by seeing the dirt.” Adding fresh flowers and pretty pictures has greater impact when you first eliminate the mess and grime. This way of invoking the law of attraction and positive focus is much more effective than simply living in a fantasy of denial.

Freak yourself out by exploring your greatest fears with love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude! Tackle one today, another tomorrow and another the day after that. Before long, you’ll notice that fewer things scare you and more things excite you!

Free your self-imprisoned splendor. Let your heart soar and your spirit shine. BOO! Time to step into your greatness!

PS: Yesterday I practiced what I teach by conquering another of my own fears. Having moved recently from Colorado to Virginia, my husband and I managed to register both of our cars and get drivers licenses with the help of awesome Newport News, Virginia DMV clerk Michelle Jefferson. We are so grateful for Michelle’s skill and patience. During the hour we spent together we did a lot more laughing than you’d expect at the DMV. Demonstrating once again that everything really is an opportunity to open your heart even wider to find greater love and joy. Bless you Michelle! 

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion, Falling in Love With Yourself, Love, Fear & Gremlins | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anger is Not a Four-Letter Word

Anger is Not a Four-Letter WordHaving posted recently on the power of kindness, today’s post is rather ironic. Because it’s about dealing with anger and frustration. And it’s long overdue.

Last April, my husband and I contracted to build a home in Virginia. Having been promised the house would be completed by the end of August, we sold our Colorado home quickly and relocated to Virginia at the end of August via a 25-hour road trip with our three cats, SiddhaLee, Mortimer and Maisy Jane. We secured temporary housing for what we thought would be just two weeks at a Staybridge Suites located 30 minutes from our new home. 

For nearly two months, we continued residing at Staybridge with Sid, Mort and Maisy waiting for the builder to complete our home. The delays dragged on, including switching us to a different model on a different lot just days after we arrived here and nearly four months into the project because they couldn’t deliver the original house in the time and manner promised.

What a perfect time to practice what I teach by choosing to go with the flow and trust that everything is an opportunity and the highest good is always unfolding rather than choosing to feel stressed and making myself and everyone around me miserable. Yes, “feeling” stressed is always a choice, never a necessity. But if I am feeling stressed, the answer is not to ignore it. Because that which is denied will wreak havoc eventually in untold ways.

While I’ve been going with the flow generally, with the help of regular treadmill workouts and nightly knitting, I’ve also been less regular with my proven de-stressors of frequent meditation and tapping. I’ve been mindful of the fact that my spotty practices have not been supporting optimal flow, but so far haven’t done much to enhance my approach other than to notice it with curiosity, respect and compassion—an important predecessor to changing destructive habits into more constructive ones. 

Most curiously self-sabotaging of all, for months now, I’ve been resorting to my old favorite dysfunctional stress coping mechanism: eating too much in an effort to smother my anxiety and distract myself from my growing anger. Didn’t I write a book about how that doesn’t work? Didn’t I specifically devote an entire chapter to the benefits of Sensory Balance and how gorging one sense (taste, in this case) can never fill the voids created by starving others (for example, creativity, vitality, spirituality and belonging)? Don’t I coach clients on how gorging our sense of taste while starving our other senses is the least effective, least loving approach because, when we most need to be at our peak to handle all that we are juggling, we compromise our functioning by weighing ourselves down with gluttony and less than optimal nutrition, adding the potential of weight gain self-loathing (not to mention the real health risks of obesity) to our already overloaded, overwhelming lives?

Despite knowing better, I somehow kept behaving as if overeating was actually going to cure the stress of moving cross-country and building a home. The result? This theory proved to be a lie like all of the other self-sabotaging, self-destructive theories fear generates. The good news? I’ve proven yet again that I knew what I was talking about when I wrote my book. Overeating doesn’t help. Nor does eating food loaded with saturated fat, refined sugar and salt. Congratulations, Deborah! Backed by the further evidence you’ve so generously provided, your book sales should sky-rocket once again (LOL). 

So, after six months of putting on a happy, evolved face by suppressing my stress with iron will and overeating, is anyone surprised that last week, I finally had a grand mal meltdown? It wasn’t the builder’s miscommunication, misinformation or mismanagement that finally did me in. It wasn’t even the ever escalating expense and uncertainty of the ongoing delays. Or that most of our personal belongings are stashed in a moving truck in Wichita, Kansas and we are living with the bare minimum we thought we’d need for the expected two weeks in temporary housing.

No, what finally did me in was the weapon I too often choose to defeat myself with. When someone I trusted attacked me and treated me unfairly and unkindly, I felt ashamed and went to pieces. I forgot that 95% of how others treat me is all about them and their fears and has little or nothing to do with me. I forgot that we are all doing the best we can with the love and light we give ourselves access to at the time. And that when I invest my energy in casting judgment on how poorly you or I are doing, I disrespect the organic unfolding of our unique personal journeys and further frustrate everyone involved. I forgot that a really strong reaction usually means I have similar unresolved hurts from my past that I’ve consolidated onto the present situation, making it feel far worse than it actually is on its own. Most important of all, I forgot that, whatever my circumstances, the key to experiencing equanimity is fueling myself in each moment with unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude for myself and every being, encounter and experience.

During the conversation, I was so shocked that I didn’t show up as my most aware, wise and articulate self. As we so often do in such situations, fueled with too many months of too much work and food and too little rest and fun, I just slunk away with my tail between my legs to find escape in graham crackers and peanuts.

Adding insult to injury, the person called me again the next morning and gave me a refresher smackdown. Though I ended that call as quickly as possible, still not lashing out in return, the second smackdown was a real blessing because it helped me start to shift from my initial powerless victimhood response of “poor me” to a more empowered angry “how dare she treat me this way.” That anger provided momentum for me to start moving forward to healing and empowerment. Continued victimhood would have only resulted in further disempowering shame and self-loathing until I’d planted myself yet again in the quagmire of depression and despair. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. No point in going there again.

For the next few hours, I embraced all of my emotions and let myself feel and express them fully in the privacy of my suite. I drafted a brilliant, scathing and cutting email to her enumerating her incompetence, ignorance and crimes against humanity (me). I refined my draft every time I thought of another snide though accurate shot I could deliver. Over the next hour or two, I just kept refining that email and saving it as a draft with no address in the “to” field so I wouldn’t send it accidentally—an anger management best practice.

I let myself feel and express all of it in the sanctity of my room through my anonymous email draft and periodic rants until I had nothing more to say. Drained and exhausted, I remembered that, while fully accepting and expressing anger is essential to optimal health, holding onto it longer term will only poison my system. I remembered that forgiveness is a gift I give myself. Anchoring that insight in my consciousness, I embraced and celebrated our shared humanity recognizing that, sometimes when people are stressed they lash out unfairly and unkindly. And sometimes when they do so, and I am also stressed, I just might forget all of the love-fueled truths I hold dear and choose to freak out as a way to remind myself of the debilitating power of fear.

Congratulations, I’m still human so I’m not done yet! I can still offer you great examples of how you too can choose your energy in each moment by sharing where I stray from the path and how I recognize it and get myself back on track. It’s pretty simple to explain, it’s all about choosing unconditional self-love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude in each moment rather than any form of fear (which includes anger).

Having shared my story with you, I feel even better. Through it I’ve once again expressed my mission of sharing my experiences to help others find lives of hope, possibilities and empowerment. Time to get a shower, get dressed and embrace all of the other opportunities life is offering me today.

Whatever my circumstances, I know who I am and Whose I am. I am a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. And so are you. How could that ever not be enough?

PS: We are actually closing on our house today!

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oprah and Deepak FREE “Energy of Attraction” Online Meditation Program Launching 11/3/14

Register for Energy of Attraction 21-Day FREE MeditationA well-known Teacher once said, “I have so much to do today—if I hope to accomplish everything on my list, I must meditate twice as long.”

Most of us are more likely to say, “I have so much to do today, there’s no way I have time for meditation or anything else!” I used to say that myself until I figured out that I have all the time I need for the things that matter most. My role is simply to discern exactly what matters most in each moment.

The funny thing is that people from spiritual traditions throughout the world have long reported that regular meditation actually results in greater efficiency, productivity and abundance. They discover the power of flow: a generous, effortless, gracious way of living grounded in who you are being not what you are doing.

For those who might want to give it a try—and for those who are already committed to meditation—I wanted to share a great opportunity with you. Four times a year, through the Chopra Meditation Center, Oprah and Deepak offer a NEW completely FREE series of 21 online guided meditations. I love the programs in this series and use them myself. Their newest program, Energy of Attraction, will launch on November 3, 2014.

This program is a simple daily web-accessible recording with each meditation lasting about 15 minutes.

Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or you’ve heard that it might reduce your stress, improve your creativity and increase your sense of well-being, this program has a great deal to offer. For those new to meditation, it eliminates the perceived barrier of “too much silence” by easing you into a healthy new habit through a theme that ties the 21 sessions together with lots of speaking and guidance, very little pure silence.

And, for the seasoned meditator, it’s a great way to expand your options and approach. All meditation paths have merit because at their core they are all about the myriad ways we can hold ourselves in mindfulness. Doing the dishes, walking the dog, feeding the cat—all become meditative when entered into with focus and awareness. We are human beings, not human doings. Just me, just here, just now, just be.

Here’s what The Chopra Center has to say about these programs:

“Studies have shown that it takes 21 days of consistent behavior to change a habit or create a new one, such as establishing a regular exercise routine, eating a healthier diet, or taking time each day for self-care. In just 21 days, you can also establish a fulfilling meditation practice that will give you a lifetime of rewards. You may have dipped your toe in the water with limited success, but this time, you will have daily support and guidance that will enable you to move beyond any past obstacles and experience the many gifts and benefits of meditation.”

Tap into your true power to co-create your best and most meaningful life through the power of meditation in this FREE 3-week online interactive experience with Oprah and Deepak as your guides. You’ll receive a daily email with a link to access the day’s meditation. Track your progress in a private notes section. It’s open to everyone—worldwide!  You can even purchase the program to enjoy over and over at your convenience to continue supporting this healthy habit in your life. I own the recordings of all of the past 21-day meditation programs and cycle back through them regularly to support my centering practice. They provide great value at a reasonable price.

Turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into your greatness!

Register Here

Please share this email with a friend. And let me know if you find value in this series. Your feedback will guide me with other suggestions about resources.

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Authenticity & Purpose, Creativity & Self-Expression, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance, Intuition & Intention, Joy & Vitality, Mindfulness, Meditation & Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Every Kindness Counts

Every Kindness CountsHave you ever thought about doing something kind for someone, then filed that thought away for later, only to forget about it completely?

Have you ever thought about doing something kind and did it right away? What was the result? Chances are, you made that person’s day and your day as well.

You can never know the full effects of your acts of kindness and generosity and how their ripples will continue to constructively impact the world long after you are gone. When you plant seeds of love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude, everyone enjoys the fruits and grains of your kindness and generosity for years to come—including YOU.

Everything you do makes a difference. The gifts that you have to offer the world are priceless. Don’t lock your gifts away in the cold vaults of “someday.” Share them early and often, allowing the world (and your life) to benefit from your unique, irreplaceable contribution. You are a precious natural resource never to be squandered or taken for granted. Release your limiting beliefs, reclaim your power, pay attention and step into your greatness.

How will you choose to touch lives with hope, possibilities and empowerment today just by letting your light shine fully? 

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Authenticity & Purpose, Creativity & Self-Expression, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obstacle or Opportunity: The Mindset Scan

Obstacle or Opportunity?Here’s the secret of people who thrive, whatever their circumstances: they know that obstacles are fear-fueled illusions.

Whenever they encounter a person or situation that appears to offer an obstacle, challenge or problem, they shift their perspective and reclaim their power by aligning their energy with pure love and demonstrating curiosity. In so doing, they transcend any troublesome illusions to reveal the opportunities hidden within.

These eternal optimists never give up. They persevere in pursuing their dreams by practicing the following manifestation mindset:

  • Come as you are—Show up and bring the best I have to offer in this moment. Not last year’s best, or next year’s best or someone else’s best. Just the best I’ve got to offer with the love and light I’m giving myself access to at this time. Quit judging myself as insufficient. I am always enough, just as I am right here and now.
  • Live the Truth—God is God, I am God’s and love is the greatest power in the Universe. My Source is excellent, limitless, and reliable. No external force can block my highest good. Universal abundance flows to and through me. Whatever my circumstances, I know who I am and Whose I am. I am a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. How could that ever not be enough?
  • Commit to the highest good—Universal love is always unfolding the highest good for all, in all, through all. Love, respect, curiosity, and compassion reveal and advance the highest good. My part is to align myself with the highest good by keeping myself free of fear and holding myself wide open as a clear channel for love and light. Way cool!
  • Express gratitude—While feeling grateful is a nice start, don’t stop there. Express it to and for every being, encounter, and experience. Appreciate my life. Know that everything’s an opportunity. Expect it. Go looking for it. Notice it. Say, “Thank you!” Gratitude for Universal abundance fosters generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy. And it starts with being grateful for every aspect of myself—the attributes that thrill me and those that frustrate me and everyone who knows me. They are all essential elements of my unique cocreative role in expressing the Divine. I totally rock!
  • Trust God with the details—Resist the urge to over-manage the minutiae and end up trapped in the weeds. Even though I’m bright and creative, that level of specificity is way above my pay grade. Remain focused on my responsibilities (the first four parts of the mindset) and stay tuned to the Universal frequency for further instructions on where to go, what to do, when, and with whom. When I discern, focus, and follow through, the Universe works wonders through me. My job becomes so much easier when I allow God to be God!

Start practicing the mindset today to see your stress decrease while your productivity increases. When, despite your best efforts, you become discouraged because you’ve temporarily forgotten that obstacles are actually opportunities in disguise, a real-time Mindset Scan can help you identify which aspects of your thinking would benefit from recalibration and what form that might take.

Below you will find a snapshot of the worksheet used for the scan. In my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I provide a variety of scans to help you recognize when you are out of alignment and get yourself back on track. The Mindset Scan is an additional one I developed after publishing my book. Click here to download a FREE full-size, color version of my Mindset Scan, along with full-size, color versions of all of the other illustrations and scans included in my book.

Mindset Scan

The Mindset Scan consists of a five-step process, with each step grounded in caring enough about yourself to do the following:

  • Pay attention so that you notice quickly whenever you’ve started feeling frustrated or pessimistic about your life. Notice your language: a big tip-off is catching yourself referring to people or situations in your life as obstacles, challenges or problems.
  • Invest your energy in assessing the root cause of your pessimism by revealing which aspect or aspects of the mindset you’ve temporarily forgotten due to fear.
  • Determine what baby steps will return you to alignment with truth and reality anchored in love.
  • Hold yourself accountable for following through on your commitment to take action.
  • Assess your results and continuously refine and expand your action plan to live the mindset of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy by anchoring yourself in unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude for every being, encounter and experience in your life.

Having gotten honest with myself, if the results of the scan indicate there is something significant to explore but I don’t yet feel able to go deeper, I demonstrate respect and compassion by not forcing myself. I relax into exactly where I am on my journey. Caring enough about myself to notice and explore my pessimism plants the seed for emerging insights. Whenever I invest my energy in conducting the scan, I’ve already taken an additional step toward recognizing unresolved fear inside me and moving myself forward on my personal journey to wholeness.

What apparent challenge will you transform into an opportunity today by beginning to approach it with mindfulness, curiosity, perseverance and an attitude of gratitude? Time to shift your perspective, reclaim your power and step into your greatness!

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© Copyright 2014 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.
Posted in All My Blog Posts, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance, Mindfulness, Meditation & Peace, Stress, Perfectionism & Burnout | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When You Dream Big, You Plant the Seeds of OUR Future!

The Sky's the LimitWhen the Wright brothers first dreamed of flying, they were told it couldn’t be done. Many had tried and failed. For two men who didn’t even have high school diplomas, creating a “flying machine” was indeed a very big dream.

If the Wright brothers had listened to the voice of reason—endlessly embodied by the many pragmatists surrounding them—they would never have gotten off the ground. Quite possibly none of the rest of us would have either!

Their growing list of crash reports was proof aplenty to their skeptics that human beings just were not meant to fly.  After the Army failed to get their plane off the ground as well, The New York Times reported that it might be another 10 million years before a working airplane could be built.

A common substantiation for our innate inability to fly went something like this, “If God had meant us to fly, wouldn’t he have given us wings?” That question, like so many of our fear-based limiting beliefs, grossly underestimates God’s creativity and magnitude. What if, instead of just giving us physical wings, God gave us the gift of imagination. So that we might not just figure out how to fly, we would also discover how to soar in myriad other ways as well? 

Fortunately, the Wright brothers didn’t give up.  While others were limited by an unwillingness to fully exercise their imaginations, Wilbur and Orville were not. Wilbur and Orville had a dream. They imagined the impossible and, by dreaming big, they planted the seeds and blazed the trail to their future.

Because they were determined to make their dream a reality, Wilbur and Orville did. Like the bumble bee, that, based on the “laws” of aerodynamics, shouldn’t be able to fly, the Wright brothers transcended conventional wisdom and limiting beliefs to manifest their destiny.

Instead of becoming discouraged by “failed” attempts, they understood that each perceived failure was bringing them a step closer to the precise way in which they would ultimately succeed. A mere eight days after The Times had predicted that humans might be grounded for many more millenia, the Wright brothers achieved their first successful flight. Thanks to their creativity and persistence, flying—once considered something only birds could do—has become commonplace.

Before anything can exist, we first need to imagine it. Let your imagination soar. What might you begin creating today if you started letting yourself dream big? Let ‘er rip! We need you!

When you dream big, you don’t just plant the seeds of your future. You plant the seeds of OUR future!

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Optimizing Your Response Ability: The Equanimity Scan

Self MasteryIn this life, the only thing for which you have complete responsibility and over which you have complete control is your chosen perspective and response. All other forms of control are illusions, at best.

Yet, despite our best efforts, any of us can become anxious and irritated when overwhelmed by stress and ancient self-destructive scripts. Reinforced by “gremlins”—those sabotaging voices in our heads repeating nasty messages of limitation and lack—our discouraging thoughts and feeling quickly edge out any memory of how to operate from love and light.

In chapter 6 of my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I talk at some length about how gremlins show up in relation to your “personal board of directors.” Your three-member board—sage, guardian, and muse—is a useful construct for sorting your vast array of gifts, passions, options, fears, and coping mechanisms into three distinct though interrelated subsets to reduce the complexity of understanding what you’re experiencing in each moment and the specific path to finding greater equanimity.

When fueled by love, you can trust your board’s discernment—reasoning and intuition—to help you foster equanimity and access your deepest wisdom to reveal and advance the highest good for all, in all, through all. They do this by creating a moment-by-moment custom blend of competencies that varies based on the optimal mix for the opportunities in each life situation.

In contrast, when they switch to fear as their fuel instead of love, your board members’ gremlin personas take over and they block your forward progress by focusing their energies on infighting, backbiting, and one-upmanship on a grand scale.

When they first give birth to their gremlin personas, their mission is simple: to protect us from ever again experiencing painful or embarrassing situations. As we get older and our lives become more complex, our sages, guardians, and muses see that many situations, while different in details, offer the same opportunity for pain. As their fears continue to grow, so do the possibilities for gremlin interference by board members who expand their job definition to include any situation or person who could ever lead to discomfort. Talk about limiting our world. The great irony is that when in the grip of fear, gremlins will do whatever it takes—including some very underhanded tactics—in order to protect us from the potential danger “out there.” In this way, they become the enemy within.

In this context, the term gremlin is used as a metaphor for a part of you that is neither inherently evil nor intentionally harmful but a deeply rooted pattern of behavior triggered by your oldest most painful scenarios and a deep need to protect yourself by any means necessary. In short, they keep you small because they believe that is what safe looks like.

Remember that their gremlin activity is actually good news. It means you are on the verge of a big breakthrough in personal growth. Your sage, guardian, or muse “go gremlin” because they are afraid they won’t be able to keep you safe when you get that big. Remember the steps to soothing their fears:

  • Seek to understand what old concerns have been brought out of hiding.
  • Help them differentiate the remnants of past pain from today’s reality.
  • Remind them that small does not necessarily equal safe for an adult.
  • Clarify that following your authentic path with love and without fear is what safe looks like now.
  • Harness their loyalty.
  • Leverage their core gifts of discernment, discipline, and imagination to keep moving yourself forward into a life you love.

A real-time Equanimity Scan can help you identify specifically where your personal board members have become derailed by fear and how love might help them get back on track.

Below you will find a snapshot of the worksheet used for the scan. In my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, I provide a variety of scans to help you recognize when you are out of alignment and get yourself back on track, including the Equanimity Scan. Click here to download a FREE full-size, color version of my Equanimity Scan, along with full-size, color versions of all of the other illustrations and scans included in my book.

Equanimity Scan

The Equanimity Scan consists of a five-step process, with each step grounded in caring enough about yourself to do the following:

  • Pay attention so that you notice quickly whenever fear creeps into your board’s energetic mix.
  • Invest your energy in assessing the root cause of the fear. Using the fears and synonyms listed on the left side of the form, identify which member or members may have become dysfunctional based on which fears align most closely with the way that member is wired. Realize that in any given difficult situation, one, two, or all three members may have fallen into the grips of their own particular fears. Understanding what’s gotten each of them riled up is the best way to begin determining what can restore each of them to love and wholeness.
  • Once you have identified the root fears at work, the love alternatives, and the board members involved, determine what baby steps will strengthen the presence of love in your board’s energetic mix based on the scan’s indicator of how to restore love. Especially in the case of the guardian, make sure any “plan” is a baby step and not an eighty-seven-point fifteen-year plan in fifteen-minute increments. Such a detailed plan might thrill the guardian, but it will introduce a new challenge as it sends the sage and muse screaming into the night. Likewise, overdoing it with the sage or muse is likely to throw one or both of the other two members into a tizzy. The optimal realignment approach will take into account the entire board as individuals and a team. The plan will be infused with understanding, balance, and harmony.
  • Hold yourself accountable for following through on your commitment to take action.
  • Assess your result and continuously refine and expand your action plan to maximize the presence of love and minimize the presence of fear in your board members’ execution of their daily responsibilities.

Respecting your feelings enough to notice them and then demonstrating curiosity and compassion about them, rather than continuing to tell yourself to suck it up and stop being a wimp, will result in far greater emotional equilibrium and resilience in the face of life’s ups and downs. You’re worth the effort!

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