Sunday, April 29, 2012

Empowerment vs. Enabling

I don't believe it's possible to empower and enable at the same time.

You are either someone who empowers others to be their best and take responsibility for themselves or you are someone who thrives on enabling people to stay the way they are so that you can satisfy your need to be needed, wanted and appreciated.

When I see someone enabling another it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The lengths that some people will go to keep others helpless is a bit disturbing.

What's worse is when the person being enabled is bathing in the attention.


Some might think empowerment is heartless, cruel and cold.

I disagree.

I believe that when we empower someone regardless of their background, health issues and the other myriad of stuff we humans have in our past and present, we are loving them enough to show them how to love themselves.

The people who use their story to break every rule are going to continue doing it until someone empowers them to stop.

The people who use their illness to get everything they want are going to continue using that excuse until someone empowers them to take responsibility for their own well-being.

It is interesting to see someone ignore their own boundaries and limitations simply because someone 'less fortunate' is needy.  The victim story gets played and people fall at their feet as though they are key players in that story.

Why do we do this?  Why do we ignore what is best for us in the name of 'being nice'.  This is not empowering? 

My take is simple.  When someone else is hurting because of their story, the victim inside of us wants them to stop hurting and so we will give up our commonsense and our own needs simply to stop that persons pain.  But not because we want what is best for them.  Truthfully, it is because we ourselves are in so much pain that we cannot take the pain of another.

True empowerment is when you can keep your needs, morals and values in tact while uplifting another person into a space where they can do the same.

Getting clear on who you are and what you will and will not accept makes it easy to empower yourself and others.  It makes it easy to get what you want out of life.

A world full of empowered people is a very good thing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


The Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) just called.

Holy Shit!

They were looking for everyday people to share their 'stories' for a new documentary TV series.

So I sent in an extremely brief, point form list of things I could share with regards to my 'story'. 

Mostly to satisfy the glaring eyes and death threats of my good friend Melissa who wants to see me succeed more than I do sometimes!

I'm more than aware that everyone has a story.  I don't see my past as anything more than a means to get me from there to here.  It's certainly showed me what I'm made of (and not made of).  It's just not something I cling to and it's really no big deal.

I liken sending in my 'story' and being selected for an on camera interview to those people who stand on the stage of American Idol because their friends tell them they can sing.  Ultimately they end up humiliated and degraded. 

So sharing my story with a major television network is a bit unnerving.  What if I can't sing?

Anyway, it's there and despite my efforts to keep it 'no big deal' they've called and they are excited about meeting me.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The BIG 1-8

So my oldest 'baby' turns eighteen on Thursday.

Yes, I know I don't look old enough to have an eighteen year old.

Keep those compliments coming....'cause I'm pretty sure having an eighteen year old will AGE me quite quickly!

This is our conversation about birthday festivities:

Me:  So Nate what do you think you'd like to do to celebrate your big day?

Nathan:  Well, first I'm going to sign myself out of class early.  Because I can.  Then I'm going to walk to the Mac's store and buy some porn and lottery tickets.  Because I can.

Me:  {laughing hysterically} Okay, then.  But I was wondering about dinner. 

Welcome to the adult world my son.  Party on!

Practice What You Preach

It's an old school rule that crossed my mind the other day as I was thinking about a project I had started a while back.

Things weren't flowing, plans kept falling through and just seemed to get stuck every once in a while on the path to bringing the project to fruition.

Then it dawned on me.

Possibly the reason why it wasn't 'going as planned' was because I wasn't living the principles I was wanting to teach; for myself.

Hmmm.  Now there's a novel idea!

How many times have we wanted to bring an idea to life only to find that it's something we don't practice in our own lives.  We aren't practicing what we want to or what we do preach.
Coming to this conclusion gave me the space to step back and take stock of what it was I was trying to accomplish AND ask myself if it can even be accomplished if I'm not wholely integrating these ideals and intentions into my own life.

Often times we have a desire in our heart and we take that out into the world thinking it will be a success when really what is happening is our inner wisdom is trying to get us to implement the idea for OURSELVES.  Because it knows that when we look to ourselves first then the things around us start to change.

The truth?  We can't fake it till we make it.  We have to practice what we preach.  Always.  Or things just won't go as smoothly as they can.

It's like being a sex therapist that's been celebate for fifteen years.

The motivational speaker that's depressed.

Or a personal trainer that rarely works out and eats twinkies in between clients.

You get the picture {smile}.

Where are you not practicing what you preach?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pearl of Wisdom

I have emerged from my sea of shame with a pearl of wisdom.

Wanna hear it?

I had been doing some soul searching while swimming in the sea.  Why was I feeling this way?  Where was this coming from?  How can I learn from it so that it doesn't happen again?

I'm not sure I got any answers to my questions but a couple of truths came to me as I was searching.

First, I got a chance to realize that the shame entered into my body at the exact moment I saw a big ol' picture of me in the local newspaper with a nice little write up about an event my healer friends and I are hosting.  It was a fun moment, but obviously one that brought up all kinds of 'past beliefs' about who I 'should' be.

As a teen I was once told that I would get a 'big head' if I was given praises from a woman I had babysat for.  Basically 'big headedness' was frowned upon.  Either that or I wasn't given the benefit of the doubt that I could be given appreciation and keep a level head about it.

Either way, the minor circumstances that arose once that article came out were golden opportunities for my subconscious to latch onto them like a life raft.  I can just hear my subconscious saying "thank goodness you are here, now we can blow this out of proportion and protect ourselves from feeling shame from others!"

That's pretty much how it went.

My subconscious figured that if I shamed myself to the point of paralysis then it wouldn't matter if anyone else had a shameful word to say to me about it.  Kind of the subconscious making sure my head didn't blow itself out of worldly proportions!

The second thing that I realized was that every single situation requires someone who is willing to either plant the seed or push the domino to get things set in motion.  There needs to be an action for there to be a reaction so that lessons can be learned and the life game can be played.

And since I am such a willing (aka naive) participant in this life, I set the ripple effect in motion without even giving it any thought.

As I walked my puppy yesterday I heard a soft whisper that said "What makes you think those small circumstances weren't perfectly planned for your good and the good of others involved?  What makes you think you weren't being 'of service' in those circumstances?"

Good point.

And!  What makes you think YOU had anything to do with it!  {laugh out loud - oops, here I am taking all the credit for God's plan again ;)}

So, now that I am laying happily on the soft, dry, sandy beach and I'm out of that salty, shameful sea I have a clearer view of what had happened.  I can appreciate where I was and I can appreciate moving forward.

And that's a great thing :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I have a hangover!

Not the kind of hangover that involved a night full of fun and laughter with friends, delicious drinks and loud music.

Not at all.


This hangover is from feeling ashamed for the past two days.  And while in reality my shame came from some very small, seemingly insignicant events, that I am told by my friends and family has no reflection on who I truly am.  It is still shame.  I still felt it, for whatever reason. 

And shame has a way of doing some damage to the mind/body/spirit when it strikes.  I'm not sure because I've never ACTUALLY been sat on by a sumu wrestler, but I pretty much feel like I have been sat on by one.  In fact, probably the biggest one on the sumu team!

The thing of it is, that logically, in my brain and heart I am completely aware of what has happened to me.  I know that it is an over reaction.  I know that there is no basis for me to feel this shame and still it happened.

It had to happen.

Because everything is in divine and perfect order.  Nothing is out of place and every moment that we experience is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves.

(can you tell I've been trying affirmations to kick this shame in the butt?)

I have learned something through all of this though.  I've learned that it helps to share the emotion being stirred up by the shame.  It helps to be heard.  It helps to have someone say "oh my goodness, I've experienced that too".  It helps to know that feeling ashamed isn't a bad thing, but letting it stop you from living is.

So, here's to living.  With and without shame (hopefully more of the latter though).


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Almost Killed Someone Today...

I brought pizza sauce to my mentoring this morning and there is an allergy to mushrooms in the building.

The pizza sauce itself didn't have mushrooms (so obviously I thought it was fine to bring) but the factory it was manufactured in has mushrooms within it and the allergy itself is an airborne allergy.

So of course my intention was not to kill anyone with my pizza making idea and why I didn't see the signs posted on the cupboard doors saying 'no pizza within the building' is beyond me and why I even thought of bringing any food in when I knew there was an allergy potential is beyond me! 

It might have been a slim chance that anything would provoke an allergic reaction but provisions were made and the person made the decision to leave the building for the day just in case.

I wanted to throw up!

My stomach turned and I felt ashamed of myself (for the second time in the same amount of days!  WTF!)

Needless to say pizza doesn't taste so good when it could potentially be a murder weapon.

I apologized profusely for my stupid error and for being stupid and for being born!

Stupid, stupid, stupid (hand slapping forehead).

Flowers will be sent to try and apologize for almost killing her.


The shame is gagging me.  I am finding I can hardly breathe.  I want to crawl under a rock and die.

The staff were lovely, just lovely.  "It's happened before, it'll happen again" yada yada yada.  But it doesn't matter.  The damage is done.  The little girl inside of me is in the fetal position and I want to yack up my crackers.  My face is eggshell white (moreso than usual!) and I'm having a hard time swallowing.

Shame is yucky!

That's it.  That's all.  Shame is yucky.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Can I get a Hell Ya?!

I have been listening a lot to Joyce Meyer ministries lately.  I love her straight forward-ness about life and about faith.

The cd I have been listening to is about getting our thoughts in order.  Ending the 'poor me' stuff and just getting on with it.

This weekend, like every holiday weekend was tough emotionally for me.

I found myself asking 'why do I bother' and then on the way to see my friend for a walk today I popped in Joyce Meyer and I heard her say something like "I asked God why it is that I work my butt off to be a good person, to learn more about life so I can live more fully and help others when so many people that I pass on the street don't seem to be doing anything of the sort.  What is up with that?!?!"

Oh my goodness!  How did she get into MY head?!?!

God's response to her went something like "You pray for an awful lot don't ya?  You pray to be a good person, you pray to help others, you pray to be of service AND then you expect to not have to actually take a higher stand?  To walk a different path?  If you want what you want then you have to walk a different walk and talk a different talk"

Oh.... {blush}

The minute I was thinking "oh whoa is me, I do this and I do that and no one takes notice.  They still get mad, they still don't like me"  waaaaahhhhh waaaaahhhhh  waaaaaahhhhh  I was reminded that I pray to be who I am.  I pray like nobody's business to be of service and to be a blessing in this world every single day.

I turned on a new attitude today after hearing Joyce talk about her experience.

I turned "they don't see me for who I am" into "my light shines so bright it must blind them!"

Can I get a HELL YA!

I like that a whole lot better than focusing on what I'm not getting from others.  Because if I'm being honest and realistic I don't need anything from anybody.  I have everything I need.

I also realized I've been doing the 'poor me' thing in one specific area of my life and I have some changes to make (when don't I).  I saw this weekend that God has been showing me a lesson for quite a while now and I haven't been learning that lesson.  I've been waving it off, putting it off and ignoring it.

I'd rather learn the lesson His way though instead of waiting for it to hit me over the head.

So no more passing the buck.  I'm grabbing this bull by the horns and gettin' things done.

Stay tuned...  This might make for some very interesting blog posts : )

Saturday, April 7, 2012

It's just not fair!

It's hard enough to shop for bras.

Can I get an AMEN?!?!

It's even harder to shop for bras when the one style that actually fits you and feels like heaven to wear becomes discontinued.

And not just discontinued, discontinued ONLY in the size YOU wear!!!!

Heeeelllllllooooooo, Wonderbra?  What the hell are you thinking?

Do you really want to piss off the big breasted women of the world?  Huh?  Do ya?

Cause let me tell you we are mighty passionate about our breast support!

Apparently, my bra of choice was a promotional item and wasn't intended to make anyone as happy as it has made me in the past few months. 

The executives at Wonderbra are no doubt having a fabulous time joking and laughing about this little prank.  How dare they dangle such an amazingly fine specimen in front of unsuspecting women, get them hooked (no pun intended) and then take it away!

Life is SO unfair.

I almost tackled and kissed the sales lady who happened to snag me the last one that got slipped onto the clearance rack early in the day!

And clearance my ass!  It was still priced at $30.00, most likely because they knew that some desperate, big busted woman would come walking through the door and give her right leg and first born for a chance to bring home the one bra that makes her happy! 

They were right.  I did.  And I would have!

Not only did I get the coveted bra, I didn't have to stand in a line to pay for it either!  Woohoo! 

This totally made my day even brighter and I skipped my way out of the store with a big happy smile on my face, wonderously in denial about the fact that eventually I will have to spend many painstaking hours in a dressing room trying to once again find the perfect fit for my lovely ladies.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Finding Balance

I always have funky dreams.  Most of them are spot on in letting me know where I am and what I need to address in my life.

Of last night's dream I remember different scenes with lots of people, the recurring message of "Nothing is in balance in this life.  Your work and play are not balanced.  Your relationships, marriages, children are not balanced.  You are striving more and more each day for balance and you are getting further and further away from it.  Nothing is in balance and this is something that needs to change." came from a disembodied voice.  It didn't matter what the scene was about, the message was the same.  It played over and over again until I woke up.

I took the message in and applied it to my life.  Yep!  Right on.  And I got the sense that this message is for every one of us. 

The message seems clear enough.  And I think most of us could agree that we rarely feel balanced in our day. 

We're working far too hard for far too little pay.  We're struggling to keep our relationships together at the expense of our own needs, feelings and fears.  We're giving to our children in copious amounts so they can experience what we didn't as kids (or we're trying to cover up our own guilt and shame about something).  Illness and obesity has become the norm; so has complaining about the cost and availability of medication and proper health care.  The list goes on.

Being out of balance in our own life and in our own selves is a call to action.  It's a message that it's time to stand up and be courageous enough to make the necessary changes for our own well-being.

And courageous you will have to be.  It means taking a look in the mirror and admitting to yourself (and only yourself) that changes need to be made in order to bring balance into your life. 

The truth is you already know what you have to do.  The challenge is getting past the fear of lack or failure (two big fears we all own). 

Stop telling yourself that you can't have a fabulous career AND appropriate resting/down time at the same time.  Stop telling yourself that you have to stay in that crappy, abusive relationship because you don't know how you would manage without that person.  Stop selling yourself short.  Stop working your ass off for little pay because you think your clients can't pay you more and you are afraid of losing business.  Stop creating imbalance in your life.

Yes I said Stop creating imbalance in your life.  Imbalance isn't something that is happening TO you.  It's something you are creating.

Balance is a natural Universal state.  The Universe, the earth, the air we breath, the way our bodies operate and everything around us are all perfectly balanced.  What isn't balanced is how you think about these things.  You feel things SHOULD be different or maybe you believe that you have to be exhausted at the end of your day in order to feel productive.

Take a look at how you are thinking about your life.  Take a look at the areas where you feel stuck, unsupported, unappreciated and imbalanced; see if you can find the courage to change the way you think about your life so that you can make the changes needed to bring more balance in.