Fear

What is fear?

Fear is an EMOTION.

Now if you have been hanging out with me for a while you know that I believe that emotions are caused by thoughts. Your feeling of fear is a response to a thought that you believe to be true.

Whether it is a judgment of stimuli in your environment, thoughts of impending doom, a belief system that has been ingrained in your thinking patterns. This emotion is triggered by a thought.

Now there are variations of feeling fearful. I love this emotional vocabulary chart developed by Dr. Gloria Wilcox.

So many different variations of this feeling right? There are so many ways to feel fear and to feel scared.

FEAR is normal. Our brains were built that way! But they evolved during a time when we had more legitimate shit to be scared of. Like being prey, starvation, hunting etc. But the same mechanisms we used to survive in the early days of man still function in our now relatively cushy day to day existence and it can wreak havoc on our lives.

So how does the brain respond to fear?

Fear:

Amygdala: scans for threats and signals body to respond

Brain Stem: triggers the freeze response

Hippocampus: turns on the fight-or-flight response

Hypothalamus: signals the adrenal glands to pump hormones

Pre-Frontal Cortex: interprets the event and compares it to past experiences

Thalamus: receives input from the senses and “decides” to send information to either the sensory cortex (conscious fear) or the amygdala (defense mechanism)

NOW NOTE THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX!

This is the part of our brains that makes us evolved human beings. This is where we get to go into our “higher” mind and decide our response. Rather than flipping out in our “lizard brain” or traditional fight or flight (or freeze). What this really breaks down to is a separation of the subconscious and conscious mind.

This is important to know because I’m sure, like me you have overreacted at least once or twice in your life. Our lizard brain takes our thoughts and triggers flight or fight. It is our job to rewire our brains to respond appropriately to what’s happening around us. That is why it is so important to WATCH what is happening in our brain.

Sometimes you need to get real about your thinking and how it is keeping you stuck. Often, for people who are feeling stuck, there is an underlying sense of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of making a mistake, fear of failing. It’s not that the feeling of fear needs to be ignored or discarded. It’s there for a reason. But your brain is wired to basically tell you that if you do this, there is a chance you could die. That is how we are originally designed. To avoid death and procreate, etc etc. So when our brain is freezing on us, or when we find ourselves in fight or flight because we want to do something new, that is just our brain trying to keep us safe. It’s out of our norm! It’s not the everyday experience we are used to.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that it is normal to feel fear and a sense of dread when we are doing something new. That we will survive, and it’s ok to fail, and it’s ok to learn. In fact, it’s the only way to grow.

Have a great week,

Alissa

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

 

 

Let the dead things die!

It’s Halloween!

What a wondrous season. I love the fall, it’s my birthday, sweaters and layering and boots season. What’s not to love?

But what I love so much about fall is that it is a reminder of the great cycle of life, things and seasons. Death and rebirth. For those of us who are into astrology, it is also the scorpio season. This is a time of year for alchemical change. Total transformation.

When I read Clarissa Pinkola-Estes book Women Who Run with the Wolves (you can buy the book at the link fall is a great time to read these classic stories of the Wild Woman Archetype) this became a central theme and daily reminder to myself.

As we move into the darker part of the year, and the weather changes around us it is a good reminder to let go and let all that doesn’t serve us fall away.

So what does this look like in my life?

Dropping bad diet habits.

I was on a very strict diet for a long time and I was uncomfortable and miserable and wasn’t getting any results. I am letting that go.

I am ushering in health, plant-based meals twice a day, and cutting way back on drinking.

Getting real in my relationships.

Being honest about my feelings and being clear when things don’t go well. Also, if necessary saying goodbye.

Practicing Non-Attachment

Being clear that nothing is permanent, and everything is always changing and giving myself permission to be in the moment. Showing up to do my work but letting it go if it’s not the right path. Not feeling attached to outcomes or possibilities but practicing allowing.

My suggestion to you this season:

What do you want to leave behind?

Who do you want to forgive?

What do you want to stop punishing yourself for?

What isn’t making you feel bright and alive?

Make a list of all that is no longer bringing you joy, peace or happiness that isn’t worth the effort to fix.

Make a little alter of beautiful things that bring joy to you.

For example, I have a statue of the Green Tara that my best friend gave me with handwritten prayers from India inside that I like to place with crystals and stones and candles. But a little bowl of water in the middle.

Light that paper on fire.

Say a prayer to whomever you connect with, source, God, universal energy, Gaia, or yourself and release it.

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It’s time to prepare ourselves for winter, for what we want to bring in to the world and create, it’s time for planning and contemplation, don’t muddle your vision with things that no longer serve you.

Best to all, and all the love in the world,

Alissa

Scaring Yourself

Boo.

Right now I am in the process of making major changes in my life. I am ready for it. I am also scared out of my mind.

I have been a stay at home mom for years, my kids are getting older, and I could provide so much more for them if I was in the actual workforce. It has been a long time, we are talking like 5 years. I am a different person then I was 5 years ago. I am a stronger person, but I’m also so disconnected.

So I am scaring myself! I am actively engaging with all the fear and hardship that is coming through during this process. Rewriting my resume, sending it out there to potential career options, screwing up. It’s not fun, it’s not easy, nothing new and different ever is.

AND I AM SO GLAD THAT I BELIEVE THAT.

Things don’t have to be fun and easy all the time. I want to work hard, I want to overcome my *stuff* I want to be the best version of myself and that requires growth. It requires courage and most importantly it requires hope. I have faith that I can better provide for my family and create a career that is fulfilling. It is bringing every insecurity to the surface and I get to face those insecurities head on.

That is a beautiful thing. Bring it on universe. I’m ready. I am ready to get uncomfortable so I can feel hopeful, and alive.

What are you doing to scare yourself this season?

 

Identity

Today we are going to discuss something that may not seem flexible at first.

Who we are.

Better yet, let’s change the words here. Our perception of ourselves.

Our perception of ourselves and the way that we interpret our personal reality is the key catalyst to your potential successes and failures. Our personal perception of our capabilities, our strengths, whether or not we are popular or good people is the way we filter the stimulus around us.

Imagine this, I am a young woman who is 15 years old, I go to Highschool at a prominent suburban school and I am going through puberty. My entire life I saw myself as a rebel, a tom-boy, and a very extroverted person. But as my body is physically changing I am becoming more reserved, I am wearing different and more feminine clothing and trying to follow the rules closer. What has happened here?

As this young woman’s body has changed, her perception of herself and how she fits into this new world (freshman in HS) has changed her view of herself. What once made her strong and outgoing is no longer a highly valued social currency. She interprets her attractiveness to others now as wrong and begins to change. Shutting down some of her key characteristics to fit in. Her new perception of herself is that she needs to be quieter, more physically attractive and better behaved so that people will like her more.

This is definitely a survival tactic and potentially even growing up, but as our perception, our identity is developed both culturally and individually this can benefit us or harm us. In this example of the young girl, her once exuberant, rebellious lively personality has been identified as unattractive. Her gift has been put away. As she grows older she may bring out those positive characteristics depending on what her career, college experience or other experiences influence her.

It is important to remember that we are all evaluating and judging our own behavior in different contexts and that not only does that determine how we believe others will perceive us, it determines how we perceive others.

It is also important to note that when we are young and going through adolescences we are essentially domesticated through punishment and reward for our behavior, and we continue to function this way as adults. There are benefits involved in hiding parts of ourselves, such as safety, acceptance, more attention, or less. Our brains are motivated through this and that is why changing is so difficult to achieve.

Our identity is flexible if we desire to unleash a new person for instance, or make-over ourselves, it is possible. Identity isn’t necessarily fixed because it is an interpretation of ourselves. So if our current set of morals, beliefs, goals don’t fit with the life we want to achieve, one important step to take is to become the person we wish to be.

Who do I need to be to achieve this?

This question is everything because change will take a different set of behaviors and choices. It will take a potential change in schedule or how you see yourself. Long-term lasting change in career, health, relationships, or anything else requires learning and action. Those actions will not be the ones you are doing or else you would already be seeing these results.

So, mentally munch on this a while, who do you want to be? Who do you see as your highest potential self? What is it that you want to accomplish and what will it take to get there? Who are people who have accomplished what you want to accomplish and how can you emulate them? What are the unique personal gifts that you can enhance to get you to the next level?

I can’t WAIT to hear your feedback.

Go get em’

 

Alissa

Episode 10 Concept to Experience

 

In today’s episode, we are going raw! I am talking about moving from a concept of the life you want to EXPERIENCING the life you want.

We are talking about daily decisions, life visions, and everyday actions to get you on the path toward the concept you have of the life you want. The journey begins! Let’s get started.

Check it out! https://www.spreaker.com/show/2963434/episodes/feed

Celebration and Mourning

Celebration, Mourning.

My youngest sister got married. It was the most amazing wedding I have ever been too. Everyone I love and have known forever was there.

My sister and her new husband have a beautiful relationship and they were truly celebrated.

We are so proud of them.

As this was the very best day of their life (hopefully more to come), there are so many emotions that come to the surface around family, past family of origin pain, divorce, death, loneliness, self-worth, personal identity within a framework that you may or may not have experienced in years.

Family reunions can have similar effects, funerals, anywhere where so many intertwined histories combine can create emotional experiences that can range from uncomfortable to completely overwhelming.

What is beautiful about this emotionally charged kind of event is that there are so many opportunities for sharing, supporting. Telling people you love them, or that you are sorry. Finding hope in what your loved ones have overcome or created, that you may do the same.

It has taken me a full two days to process all of the amazing interactions I had that night.

The beauty of two truly amazing people getting married, reconnecting with those I love, missing those who are no longer with us.

There is room for all of it.
We are messy emotional human-folk of course.
We all belong no matter what we’ve done.
Our feelings are valid.
Our pain and suffering are real.
Our joy is real.

So in times of celebration, when all the feelings rise up, allow them. Recognize them, name them to honor them.
But most importantly, heal them.
For yourself, and the life you wish to create.

Release, and remember the good parts that you want to keep.
Forgive yourself and others, because the opposite is what is keeping humanity locked against one another.

Never forget we all matter. Because we do.
Center in love, and non-judgment.
And party your ass off with all the people you love.

Cry a little if it hurts.

With love and celebration,

Alissa

Do you ever eat your feelings?

Do you ever emotionally shut down so you don’t have to be uncomfortable?

Do you drink wine when you’re stressed and upset?

 

I think we all do some kind of emotional suppression in search of relief and comfort.

This past month I experienced the death of a family member, and it was brutal.

The way she passed was inhumane, wrong, it shouldn’t have happened, to her or anyone.

I not only grieved for her, but I grieved for the state of humanity that would produce such an audacious act of violence.

I was driving home from our family vacation with my husband and children. As I drove, I allowed myself to just feel it all.

To feel the pain, the disappointment, the disgust of what had happened.

I cried on and off, quietly with myself. I felt the pain in my heart and heart chakra. I was uncomfortable. But I allowed it.

I stopped trying to change how I felt.

I paused and sat with my feelings.

I felt all of my emotions.

I remembered who I am, that feeling this pain was human and beautiful, and that she is now at peace. I remembered what I can control, and what I can’t. I remembered her and sent silent prayers to heaven.

This process for me, although not comfortable, and not easy, allowed me to truly feel.

Without drinking it away, without smoking it away, without eating or tv or distraction.

As we have been preparing for her funeral on Saturday, I have been able to see everything clearly, hold her in my heart and feel emotionally grounded because every feeling had been allowed to flow through my body, my heart, and my tears.

If you are feeling discomfort, sadness, frustration, pain, hurt, stop, pause, feel and remember. Remember that you can feel any feeling and a feeling is the worst thing that can happen.

Sending you love, healing, and hugs.

 

Alissa

Your Personal Environment

So a couple years ago I attended a transformation coaching seminar and the instructor was coach Chris Lee.

Chris Lee is also Lewis Howes, from the School of Greatness podcast, coach. So this guy is major and he is on the podcast often.

During one of his recent interviews with Lewis, he talked about your “Personal Environment” and he doesn’t go deep into that idea in the podcast but I have been chewing on this concept for months.

I believe in stewardship deeply. Being responsible, being a good neighbor, making sure that those who are in my personal environment comfortable.

My husband and I are on Daufuskie Island in South Carolina. During our stay we make sure to talk to the local people who live here, support small businesses and clean up trash alongside the roads. She is just a little island, but we have so much love for it and we feel like we are being good stewards of the place we love to visit.

So how do we become good stewards of ourselves? And our personal environment?

I have

been really thinking about this deeply and truly.

While on vacation a lot of stuff comes up for me. My health, my weight, am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? And I’ve decided that I’m done wasting my vacation and relaxation time because I haven’t done the work daily so that I can enjoy the week fully.

Daily Work

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Daily work of doing what my body needs, doing the everyday menial tasks, making the tough choices so that when it’s time to rest and play, all is tidy nothing is in limbo.

Getting things on the calendar ahead of time.

Checking it and updating it every day.

Knowing where I want to spend my time and energy.

Resting when I need to rest.

Setting an alarm to wake up daily at the same time.

Knocking down a mile so my brain and body are healthy.

Eating the right things so that when I indulge I’m not rattled with guilt.

Making sure my brain in under control and I’m not indulging in obsessive thinking or negative self-talk

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Knowing Where You Are Going

Setting Goals

Knowing who you are and what you want

Changing and taking action so that you are happy with who you are

Seeking guidance when you are lost

Being in control of your own life, time and destiny

Being Responsible

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For your words

Being a leader in your own life

Being honest

Communicating feelings and resolving differences

Creating healthy boundaries for those who aren’t adding to your life experience in a positive way

Making sure you are mentally healthy! It’s YOUR responsibility!

 

 

 

We create environments everywhere we are. Your home is an environment, your car, your office, and you are responsible for being a good steward.

Keep that grass cut, water the flowers, plant new things, pull out the dead ones, and put some fun music on. I’ll bring drinks.

Talk to you next week,

Alissa