Archive | walking the talk

Integrity is…

Words from another can sometimes feel like they are exactly what I need to say, to think, to hear, to marinate in. I often find that I am easily overwhelmed by sheer amount of inspiration around me. I expand my arms wide and say yes. I buy books, I join e-courses and am cracked open to the wisdom of others, and then, like clockwork, the feeling of overwhelm washes over me.

Which inspirational thread do I follow?

Whose words do I try on for size?

Which of the four or five books in the coveted space on by bedside table do I actually finish first?

In my state of overwhelm, in all honesty, I often just drop things that excited me just days, weeks, months before because it all feels too much to digest. I step back, I and fall into mindlessness (usually in the form of reality tv or Law and Order marathons) and zone out until I am called back to my life.

Recently, something that called me back was a favorite and cherished friend’s blog where I saw that she had created a button that read “Integrity is Sexy.”

Hmmm…

integrity

1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility

2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness

3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness

The phrase has really stuck with me. It has me thinking not only about what integrity is but also about where I am living out of integrity in my life.

As I began to explore my ideas of integrity, I began to notice the glaring places where I fall short. I have begun to notice that I spend so much time looking outside of myself for guidance, for inspiration, for answers but I haven’t spent nearly as much time looking inside to see which things feel sound for me, which things provide a sense of completeness.

So far I have decided:

There is integrity in culling through my Google Reader only subscribing to blogs that ignite my soul, going through the books on my shelves and holding on to only those words that speak to me.

There is integrity in choosing (even when the choice turns out to be oh so wrong).

There is integrity in following that choice to a natural conclusion.

There is integrity in changing course.

There is integrity in claiming my voice – in drinking in all of the inspiration and then making a translation all my own.

In the end, isn’t that where integrity lives? In the distillation within our being that takes any inspiration and transforms it into something else unique, re-worked, and ultimately undeniably you.

Unfurl

I am heading out of town.

I am heading to the Oregon Coast.

I am heading into the arms of an amazing group of supportive and beautiful souls.

I am heading into a weekend of laughter, love, creating and being present.

I am heading into happiness.

What the Heart Can Hold

Friendships are on my mind these days.

My story about friendship was shaped by my early years. Growing up as the daughter of a career military man meant moving around from base to base, continually being uprooted and re-planted in a new environment, being the “new girl.” It was a struggle for me as an introvert, as someone who likes to be on the edges, observing interactions, taking in dynamics, to have to begin again and again. I reread story after story of friendship that lasted through thick and thin, ups and downs and I longed for that kind of constant connection.

Recently, my story of friendship has shifted. A couple of years ago, I chose the word relationship as my word for the year. I had it printed on to a silver disc, placed it on my keyring as a reminder and I promptly forgot about it. Yet now, I look up and am amazed to find myself surrounded by friendships, to find my datebook overflowing with teas and dinner plans, long walks and art dates with this set of amazing women who each light me up in such unique and distinct ways. Somewhere along the way, seemingly without my effort, the word relationship shifted from being a concept, a single word on a silver disc, to being a constant.

There is still a piece of me that holds on to the story of being not good enough. There are the soft remains of the voice that questions who am I to have these brave, dynamic, creative, talented, inspiring and funny people in my life. Who am I to believe that I can keep them entertained and interested through thick and think, ups and downs? What do I have to offer in return? Somewhere along the way I learned that I had to do something or be something in order for others to like me.

Imagine my surprise to realize that I don’t have to be anyone other than who I am.

What I did not believe before but what I am coming to truly understand now is that what attracts friends, lovers, partners to my side is the pure, unfiltered essence of me. I don’t have to stand on the edges, I don’t have to watch interactions and dynamics to figure out what each person needs. I can drop that part of the story because it has always been untrue.

All I have to do is be me and I can do that with my eyes closed!

So today, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, after a delicious brunch with a lovely new friend, I am just basking with deep gratitude and amazement at how much love this tender heart can hold.

Here I Am

 

Here I am.

I haven’t not written anything new on my blog since August. It hasn’t been that I haven’t thought about it, drafted posts in my head, written down ideas to share in my journal. It hasn’t been because I did not want to be here.  You see, in the last few months I tried to create this grand plan, I tried to decide what I want my voice here to be, to figure out how much of myself to share here. My grand plan involved planning posts that would be decidedly creative or insightful or helpful or inspiring or, or, or…

But in reality what I have been doing is hiding out and avoiding showing up in this space because I am afraid.

Wow, that feels big to write. Writing for me has always been within the safe confines of my journal. I have been writing in a journal since the sixth grade. I have journals dating back to the ancient Dukes of Hazzard spiral notebook where I wrote about the important issues of my middle school days.  I have been writing so long that I no longer know how to censor myself,  to share this part and not that. When I write, I share, I reveal, I uncover. I simply can’t help it and wouldn’t want to even if I could. As I step more and more into my life as a health counselor, I find myself encouraging others to step into their lives, face the places that scare them and yet I was not walking my talk.

This morning I checked my email and there was this brand new comment on my last post 3 months ago. This one lone voice that read my words and thought enough of them to kindly and sweetly comment. As I read her words, I felt something break open within my carefully constructed and planned walls. I realized that there is no plan that I could create that would quiet my fears.  I realized that I don’t have to show up in some specific way to be seen and received by others. What I have to do is show up.

So,  here I am with a heartfelt whisper of thank you upon my lips…

It Matters

 

“It matters whether you see yourself as someone who is capable of effecting change or whether you see yourself as someone whose voice does not count. It matters whether you treat yourself with reverence or with carelessness. Every bit of work you do on yourself matters. Every time you choose love, it matters.” ~Geneen Roth

Self love… loving, adoring all the while seeing oneself… it all matters.

I am in awe when I witness, first hand, my friends loving themselves, treating themselves with reverence and respect, basking in their own adoration. A woman in love with herself is a truly powerful thing to behold. As I work to create my health coaching practice, I am stepping into the idea more and more that my work is about bringing to the surface that vibrant light of self love that burns within each woman I meet. It still surprises me to see the level of self-loathing and personal disrespect that women can heap upon themselves. As I step into my vision and version of self-love, I can get so frustrated when someone takes on the “victim” or “poor me” frame of mind. It feels like such a waste of energy because we are so powerful,

we can create our world when we open our hearts to our own genuine, imperfect self.

Lately, I have noticed that just the simple act of asking myself if I am hungry before I eat is absolutely everything. Sometimes, honestly, I eat anyway regardless of the answer but even taking the beat to ask acknowledges my preference, my body, my self in a new, loving way.

I may eat anyway, I may overeat, I may even binge but it is at the very least my choice.

I’m not harming anyone else but myself but I am also not healing anyone else but myself. I take all of the credit and all of the blame for my life. It is dawning on me that I am becoming one of those women I admire so, a woman, truly, madly and deeply in love with herself.