Lady, Give Yourself a Break

It’s good to be back. Last week was spring break and I got to spend so much one on one time with my littles. My twins are going to Kindergarten screening today and I just can’t even deal with how fast they are growing.

But I will be completely honest, I am exhausted. I am so friggen tired from last week that I ordered my iced coffee with a shot of espresso in it.

Being a Mom is hard, tireless work. All too often it is undervalued, and so are duties that go with it. We also have our own dreams, our own aspirations, hobbies and desires to go after. It never seems like enough. There never seems to be enough time. The early years of being at home with children is a staccato rhythm, a constantly interrupted effort.

So this week, the old guilt has tried to come back:

“i’m not doing enough”

“my work isn’t consistent”

“I can’t do all of this”

And i’m done with it.

I’m giving myself a break. Honoring taking a week off to be with my boys, and not feeling guilty for still being tired this week. I am honoring the efforts of my motherhood and taking care of 5 people including my husband. I am appreciating the support I give those around me.

I am allowing for rest and time to RECEIVE, rather than give.

This isn’t an excuse not to show up and make our dreams happen, as Marie Forleo says, “everything is figureouttable” and I believe that. My concern is the EXTRA SUFFERING that comes with the guilt, the pressure, and the ideal version of what our lives look like.

So whether you’re a working mom, a mom of 4 under 6 years old, or a new mom of 1 little precious baby, please give yourself the grace, space and love you deserve.

This is not an easy assignment. What you’re doing is sacred work and deserves more honor than our society assigns.

You will always find reverence for your efforts, dreams, hardships and love here. Always.

Have a great week,

Alissa

Spiritual Beliefs

My personal journey of spirituality is probably one that will resonate with a lot of women my age. We have all started working with aromatherapy, crystals, and meditation is so normal now. My spiritual journey has been a series of unfolding, with my apprehension for the lutheran church I grew up, my issues with the beliefs of traditional christianity and the lack of acceptance specifically of the LGBT community. I have always felt and known a God presence, and I feel it on a regular basis. I also believe in Jesus, as a teacher and a spiritual entity. I believe in the Buddha and buddhist teachings I believe in the cohesion of the spiritual experienced translated as a religion.

The biggest turning point in my spiritual journey was the late Dr. Wayne Dyer. Recently I have been re-reading a lot of his books and his wisdom still rings so true to me.

I was laying in bed after a severe accident, I was finally home, but couldn’t work. We were so broke, everything felt like it had been destroyed and the hope for reconstruction felt slim and so difficult. I am an avid supporter and consumer of PBS programming and Wayne Dyer’s special came on. I can’t remember which one it was, but it spoke to me in a deeply, profound way.

He spoke about the soul in a temporary body, the evolution of the soul over time. That life was full of lessons and fulfilling our own Dharma. All things I had been interested in but was afraid to explore. He spoke about synchronous experiences, for example series of specific events leading to a specific outcome that seemed orchestrated from somewhere else. During my recovery this spoke to me the most.

I had animals coming to my back door and pawing at the window. The day of my car accident I had a snake cross my path, in a place where I had never seen a snake cross before. I have had several other animal interactions but it seemed like nature was speaking to me. I was listening. I began searching and ended up working with Heidi Howes, a shamanic practitioner in Columbus, Ohio. Another part of my healing journey began and I started to feel intuitive aspects of my person that I had never experienced before.

Reiki was particularly helpful because after my accident I had children back to back, and the second pregnancy was twins! I love my children but 3 boys in two years is a lot of work, and a lot of hardship. In this time I turned to God and prayed often. I was battling the difficulty of the responsibility I had been so beautifully gifted with, and my own inner demons at the same time. To say I lost my mind a little would be an understatement of the truth. But I made it through with the help of my spiritual connection to God. I looked for signs all around me, praying when things were hard, and knowing that this all has a purpose gave me a framework for survival in a difficult time.

I don’t know what my readers believe, and I don’t often share my own beliefs, but I can say that they have been important to me. Spending time in nature is meditative and feels like prayer to me. Reading a learning about spiritual guidance can teach me just as much as church on Sunday morning.

No matter where your journey takes you, if you are going through trauma and hardship keep going. There are great resources for free to look in to how the universe supports us all. Whether you believe in a god-figure or not I have no judgement or belief that anyone should believe anything else. But it’s such a beautiful part of my life on a day to day basis. It has buoyed me through the storms in my life and pointed me through the dark.

Have a great week,

Alissa

Resources:

Dr. Wayne Dyer: If You Believe It You Will See It

Abraham Hicks

Pema Chodron

Deepak Chopra

Louise Hay

Heidi Howes

Restoring Joy

There is no feeling I relate to more or actively seek in my life than joy.

Joy reminds me of sunshine and smiling.
Watching children giggle and play.

So how do we restore joy in our lives?

How do we find the good and all the beauty that goes with it?

Especially after we have sustained hardship for long periods of time?

When I am dealing with a particularly difficult time in my life, and it feels unbearable, we can find joy in simple things:

  • Beautiful place setting
  • Cooking a healthy meal
  • Tea
  • Walks in the woods

Taking time out to be present with beauty, simplicity, nourishment and a reminder that we are separate from our circumstances and we can honor our bodies and ourselves in this place.

Another option is to seek out long term joy.
Goal setting and showing up daily or several times a week to grow and change.

This could be a physical change or an online course for business.
It could be the creation of an art project.

Whatever this looks like to you, the daily effort to create will often cause strife and frustration as we grow through it.

But on the other side of this effort lies joy, confidence, capability and personal evolution.

Watching a funny movie, going through old photos, anything that can bring joy back to your heart.

We can always create an intention for more joy in our lives.

When we seek an emotional experience, it makes it easier to recognize what aligns with that feeling and what does not. This is a different approach to change in our life. Whereas some may seek to achieve or create goals and accomplish them, we can always seek something a little more pervasive, our desired emotional state.

When I was a new Mom with 3 boys very close in age (one year apart) I was a WRECK. I was tired, I was exhausted. My husband worked constantly and I was at home with my three little boys alone. I was suffering, I was angry, tired, lost, resentful, I didn’t know who I was and I definitely didn’t know where to start. So one day I decided I wanted a feeling, and that feeling was sweetness.

I began to notice their little smiles as I changed their diapers. I began to see the beauty and innocence in their behavior and I began to shift out of the victimhood, pressure, and insanity that I had been living with. I took them to parks and we packed little lunches. I took them on drives out to the county where they would just sleep and I would watch cows and sheep walk on green grassy fields and listen to their sweet deep breathing in the back seat.

I was taking back my life and it looked like sweetness.

Things weren’t perfect but they were headed in the right direction.

You can apply joy in your life in the same way. If you seek joy you will find it. When we seek what we want we will find yourself noticing things that bring us joy.

You can replace joy with whatever feeling you have in your heart but I ask you to seek the feeling you desire most and see what happens in your life.

*Danielle LaPorte’s Book the Desire Map is an excellent resource and workbook for seeking the emotional state we desire. You can find it on Amazon here: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00H7MKSRY&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_PxOFCbQBJV6EZ

Mental Barriers

Today I’d like to talk about breaking through barriers.

Mental ones. One that we place around ourselves.

We can also call this “shattering beliefs” or “overcoming adversity”.

It has a lot of names. Because it’s imperative to growth.

This is why mindset is important and why it matters.

Because if you want to SEE IT you have to BELIEVE IT.

A little narrative for ya:

This weekend I broke a big barrier for myself. I’ve always been athletic, but running was never my gig. I have been working on keeping my brain in balance and what has really helped me in the past is running.

But I only ever ran around 1 or 2 miles. That was a big deal for me. That meant I was getting it done. That was enough.

But it was also all I thought I could do.

So about a week or so ago, I broke 3 miles. That was a game changer. It meant that “THE LIMIT DID NOT EXIST!” the limit was, in fact, in my mind.

So last weekend. Last Saturday to be exact, I set out to do the impossible, I wanted to run 5 miles.

I put on my headphones, I have been using the Nike Run Club app. (highly suggest it) so that I had coaching in my ears and something to track my time. I procrastinated for 2 hours and I finally got to the bike path. And I started.

At the end of that hour, I had run 5.43 miles.

I had changed my beliefs by proving to myself I could do it.

Next weekend, I’m running 7 miles and then 10. All the way to half marathon distance.

Why? Because I want to know that I can. That I can manage my brain around an impossible goal and break through that barrier. This isn’t so much about running as it is knowing what is POSSIBLE.

I literally believed that I would never tackle that distance. And here I am, on the other side.

So how can you apply this to your life?

Do you have beliefs that you “can never weigh” a healthy weight?

Do you have beliefs that you “can never make” that amount of money?

Do you have beliefs that you “can never _____” fill in the blank?

Because I want you to challenge that mentality. Because human potential is limitless, we create, build and solve problems all day long. To quote Marie Forleo “Everything is figureoutable”

Recently master coach Brooke Castillo did a podcast about “Impossible Goals” and my biggest takeaway from that episode is this:

The answer to achieving the impossible is in our daily tasks.

By doing what’s possible every single day, whether that’s sticking to our diet, sticking to our plan, showing up for work, learning the lessons, even FAILING, that is the path to the other side.

So be patient, be clear, strive forward and CHECK YOUR BRAIN. Because that idiot will tell you all the false beliefs you’ve ever believed to be true about yourself. Whether they still apply or not. We will talk more about that later.

Have a good week everyone. Til next time,

Alissa

Shedding My Old Self

When I decided to become a coach and still, to this day, I have a conversation in my head.

I have been wanting to write about this for a long time.

“Remember what you used to be like?”

“Why would anyone listen to you?”

Now I know you’ve probably seen 10,000 blogs, podcasts etc about imposter syndrome but this is about something else. This is about forgiveness, change and becoming a better version of who we are.

This is also about letting go of the person you used to be and stepping into the now. I am going to warn you, I’m going to share some things about myself that I’m not proud of. Some of these things can be triggering. However, I’m also going to talk about how I changed my mind, changed my behavior and changed myself. Because come on, isn’t that the point of coaching? To change into a better grander version of who we are?

Bad Mom:

So for those who don’t know, I am a proud Mama of 3 beautiful boys. They are now 5 and 6, and besides from the normal behavioral issues of preschool and school-aged children we are doing pretty well. I don’t know if you noticed, but I said 3 boys one year apart. I HAD THREE DAMN KIDS IN 1 YEAR to the DAY. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed, over my head and could barely afford anything. I also had zero coping mechanisms. And I drank in the evenings, regularly. More than I should. I lost friends because of it and a lot of respect of the people I love. I was drowning in every way. I was staying at home with my kids and losing it.

What I did to change:

  1. I looked at my kitchen one day and it was in shambles and I said, “a functional adult is not in charge here” and I cut way back.
  2. I put my kids in preschool and got some help! Realizing you need help and asking for it is CRITICAL.
  3. I started exercising to reduce stress and increase my energy level. It also gave me a sense of control when I felt so freaking buried all the time.
  4. I started focusing on coaching to change who I wanted to be, I worked on my mindset and my belief systems and I began my journey to healing parts of myself that were hurting and were AMPLIFIED by reliving the childhood experience.

Ignorant Teenager:

This one is kind of the worst because I can’t believe some of the things I thought it was ok to think and do. I was hurtful to people I didn’t even know because I was angry. I also grew up during the South Park and Eminem TRL era, and being ignorant and saying shocking, hateful shit was the norm. I embraced shock humor, generalities, and hateful humor. Being a mean girl didn’t serve me and I often was more mean to myself than anyone else.

One day I was in a severe car accident. I had to recover, helplessly in a nursing home for a month. Now if that won’t humble you and give you reverence for other people and suffering I don’t know what will.

What I did about it:

  1. A little teacher name Dr. Wayne Dyer popped up on my PBS channel one day and spoke the deepest truth I had ever heard. I realized I’m in charge of my life, I have been given a second chance and it was time to become the wholehearted loving person I am.
  2. I read books that changed my life and I learned about the world. This process didn’t only start with a car accident. I studied cultural anthropology in college. Understanding how the world works and how people live has changed me for the better.
  3. I reconnected with my integrity and what I believe in. The golden rule, humanity, decency, and reverence for the human experience and all the suffering that comes with it.

Sloppy Party Girl

This one I’m still shedding. When I was in my early teens I started using drugs and drinking. Because to be honest, I thought that shit was fun. What I didn’t realize is that it was stunting my ability to cope with life and problems because I was drinking or smoking instead of honoring my feelings and communicating my needs. So I was going to hard and too far.

What I am doing about it:

  1. Cutting way back on drinking. The social norms for alcohol in this country are absurd. Also, it messes with my depression big time!
  2. Running. Running is my new drug. The longer I go, the higher I get.
  3. Running a coaching business: It is important to me that I represent what I study so hard and what I work on regularly. That means showing up as my best, most refreshed and most disciplined self.

How can you apply this in your life?

What parts of your past do you feel shame around? Write it down, talk to a close friend about how you’re feeling. Shame is deadly, and when we share our suffering it gives it space to breathe and we can feel how universal our shame and mistakes are. When we are able to create space for the things we aren’t proud of and look them in the eye, we can give ourselves grace. Remember what you were going through when that happened. Remember the foundation that built that behavior and what was hurting. Remember the pain you felt and honor it! If we can conceptualize our pain and our experiences in totality it’s hard to forgive ourselves. Start there.

One more thing to remember: healing is a journey and it is absolutely not a straight line. We will move forward, back and forward again as we sort through trauma, stress, hardship whether it is from the past or the present circumstances at hand. If you look for healing it will find you. Your teachers will appear. I know that sounds very woo woo, but there is actually science behind it. Our brains are programmed to look for answers. Ask your brain a question and it will begin seeking and you might begin to notice things that you maybe didn’t before. Also, don’t forget that google search bar, friends and really building a support team. Coaching helps us move past hardships and become more future focused. Reiki can help us move energy out of our body, and therapy can help us face and deal with past trauma once and for all.

Thanks for reading/listening. Happy healing, transforming and becoming. ❤

Alissa

The Path of Least Resistance

Winter can be difficult, am I right?

It’s cold or raining. There is stress, there is change, but that change doesn’t seem to come quickly enough.

But the seasons are changing my friend. And with them, we must go along too.

As the northern hemisphere begins to defrost and warm itself we begin to reawaken our senses. Inevitably there will be shifts, in relationships, jobs, health, family. Whether or not these changes come by our own making or as an external force we are responsible to react in a way that honors who we are and what we choose to create in our own lives.

When we resist change or push back in fear we can create so much pressure and pain within ourselves. Our brains can quickly descend into the worst case scenario and overwhelm.

Enter the art of allowing.

For those who are familiar with Abraham Hicks teachings, this will sound familiar. But like trying to swim upstream or against the tide, we create hardship instead of acceptance and flow.

It isn’t so much the circumstance of change that we need to allow, but more of the emotional experience.

If someone leaves and it makes you sad, allow yourself to be sad and flow with that emotion. If you have to go to work, go to work, but don’t force yourself to be at the top of your game, don’t numb out. Be.

Healthy allowing of feelings is crucial for our understanding of ourselves. It’s also crucial for our health. Acceptance and allowing of what is, may not be what we wish it, but it empowers us to respond in healthy ways, honoring our humanness, our beliefs, and how we wish to show up in the world. Authenticity at it’s clearest.

 

 

Are you your own worst boss?

I was listening to the Tim Ferris Podcast this morning with Seth Godin.

They were talking about lots and lots of things but this stuck out to me.

From an excerpt from Seth Godin’s Blog back in December of this past year:

The World’s Worst Boss:

That would be you.

Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your career, your day, your responses. You manage how you sell your services and your education and the way you talk to yourself.

Odds are, you’re doing it poorly.

If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you’d quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much of your time as you do, they’d fire her. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go under. I’m amazed at how often people choose to fail when they go out on their own or when they end up in one of those rare jobs that encourages one to set an agenda and manage themselves. Faced with the freedom to excel, they falter and hesitate and stall and ultimately punt.

We are surprised when someone self-directed arrives on the scene. Someone who figures out a way to work from home and then turns that into a two-year journey, laptop in hand, as they explore the world while doing their job. We are shocked that someone uses evenings and weekends to get a second education or start a useful new side business. And we’re envious when we encounter someone who has managed to bootstrap themselves into happiness, as if that’s rare or even uncalled for.

This is important. Especially for me as a coach.

Because THIS IS THE SHIT WE WORK ON.

Self-management

Time Management

Making Good Decisions

Creating sustainable habits

Dialing in our everyday

Minimalizing distractions

Being the best damn boss of ourselves we can be.

Coaches exist to take our own life into our own hands and set it off in the direction of our dreams. We help people get out of their own way, work on their personal beliefs systems about how they feel about themselves. We work with clients to help them overcome negative self-talk and remove habits that hurt us, our goals, and our relationships?

Are you the world’s worst boss of yourself? Do the words in Seth Godin’s essay resonate with you? Considering hiring a coach, sitting down and talking one-on-one with what kind of person you want to be and how to get there.

Interested in coaching? Schedule an appointment with me here: https://calendly.com/vivant-coaching/mini-session