Self-Sabotage?

Over and over again in life, I will be plugging away at some goal or some dream, when it suddenly falls all apart. It feels like a failure. It is frustrating to see all that hard work end up being for nothing, or so it seems. How anytime in our lives can we look back and see this same pattern? We have almost touched the finish line, after striving for so long and so hard, then we trip and never get across it. In reflection on my own history I can’t help but wonder if some of these instances were self-sabotage. Were there feelings of not being “good enough” or “worthy” that cause excuses to come up and block progress. Let’s look at some examples and dig a little deeper into this idea.

Weight loss: How many times have I been making great progress losing weight. I am working out, eating right, and the pounds are coming off. Then all of a sudden I completely binge on something and all bets are off. The diet is out the window and I am putting the weight back on. If I was successful for so long, why am I all of a sudden no longer capable? I have heard the idea that people may keep extra weight on as a type of protection. Could I be using weight as a way to feel safe? Could I be using it to hide from whom I am meant to be?

Running: I have thought, over the years, of running a half marathon in each of the 50 states. I have had goals of running a full marathon. I successfully trained and finished 3 half marathons. My time was not fast, but I was only in it, to do it. The joy of running and participating in a road race is amazing. It is fun and invigorating. I have done multiple 5Ks and a few 10Ks and even a 10 miler, over the years. I love doing them. The last half marathon and 5K I did were in 2015. I had been running for several years at that point but I hurt my knee and that was it. I believed that I couldn’t do it any more. I would feel the urge, year after year. Usually the autumn would call me to the running trails (as that was the start of the running season when I lived in Florida). It didn’t work so well for me to get back to running in the North country. I would use the Snow, the cold, my knee pain, my busy schedule, and every other excuse not to run anymore. Even at one point saying I was too old and that part of my life was over. Now, 7 years later, I am signed up to do a 5K the end of April. My training is going well. There is nothing in my body that “can’t” do it. The only thing that has been holding me back is my head.

These examples are both related to the physical body and fitness, but this could hold true to all kinds of goals. Career, gardening, education, meditation, spiritual or religious aspirations, home renovations could all be affected by our own self-sabotage. Any goal we set for ourselves, could be subconsciously derailed by our “protective” mechanisms. Somewhere deep inside we believe that we should not achieve that goal because we are not worthy, not capable, not enough, don’t have the right skills or attributes. I remember once when I was a child I over heard my grandmother and my mother talking. We were all in the garden picking weeds and my mother said to my grandmother, “Stacy is a strong starter, but she doesn’t finish things”. On some level my child brain took that in as a “truth” and held on to it. For the next 3 decades (or so), I held on to the belief that I started things but never finished them. I was reading the book Worthy by Nancy Levin and there is an exercise she has you do in the book that helped me became aware that I had this belief about myself. My own self-sabotage was helping to keep this belief true while sacrificing my goals. I did not realized this on a conscious level, at the time it was happening.

If you reflect on the goals you have fallen short of, do you see any hints that what stood in your way was actually you? It is much easier and more comfortable to blame it on exterior factors. I didn’t have time to do the training. My stress was too high to focus on committing to that goal. I am not the kind of person that achieves those results. The truth is we are capable. We can do it. We are the type of people who achieve those results. I watched a documentary the other night about an overweight young adult who grew up on a hog farm, who became vegan and ran an ultra marathon. That is 100 miles in 30 hours. Human beings are capable of amazing things! The documentary is Once is Enough. It is on Prime Video, if you are interested in checking it out. He didn’t fit in the box of what an Ultra Marathoner looked like but He didn’t let that stop him.

When road blocks pop up to prevent me from taking care of myself, I plan to reflect on what is really going on. Am I blocking my progress? Is this self-sabotage? Do I have a belief about myself that is not in alignment with what I am about to accomplish? Being aware is the first step to overcoming.

We can do this! We are the people who will cross the finish line! We are the type of people who do amazing things! We will push on despite being busy, stressed, overloaded, insecure, and/or being completely in over our heads in unmapped territory. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do the thing or be the person, because you can. Don’t let anyone else set your course for you. It is not too late. You are amazing! You are capable. I am proud of you. Believe in yourself. And in those quiet moments when you hear the whispers of the subconscious, holding you back, tell it that you can and will cross the finish line!

Thank you for reading my blog. May you accomplish what you set out after, because you are the type of person who lives the life of their dreams. Believe!

90 Days of Daily Meditation -check in -week 2

If you have not already joined our 90 day meditation adventure, I hope you will still do so. Here is how the last week went for me.

Experiences during the week: This week’s meditation has been a struggle for me. I am disappointed in my meditation performance. I allowed my business of life to get in the way of my daily practice and there were even several nights when I laid down at the end of the day just to realize I had not meditated. When I would attempt to do so, while laying there, I would drift off to sleep. Though I did have one very profound meditation during the week. It happened when I meditated first thing in the morning. During my meditation I received a couple of great inspirations. One, was to rename a class I’m offering with a catchier name, occurred to me during the time I quieted my brain.

What I have learned: I have learned I need to schedule a time to start my meditation or I will try to do it at the end of the day when I lay down before I fall asleep.

My weight: I am still on the road and have no mechanism to measure if my weight has changed. I do not sense a change in how my clothing is fitting me.

How I feel: I feel motivated to do better this next week. I feel a need to put myself first again. My travels this week brought me from the eastern time zone to the pacific. Which I will be reversing tomorrow and then back the following week. Because these switches can be a bit challenging I will need the meditation more than ever, to help keep myself calm and centered.

How it is affecting my life: On the days I meditated early in the day, I found the meditation profound and a blessing to start my day. On the days I did it at the end of the day while laying in bed, I found it induced good sleep. I was exceptionally tired this week due to a demanding schedule and travels that took me to or through 9 different states from Thursday to Monday. Even though I had high hopes for more profound meditation experiences, in reflecting, I see that the meditation experiences I had were the ones I needed.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I am proud of you for the things you are doing and/or wanting to do to take care of yourself. Even baby steps count! I wish you a lifetime of meditations that are exactly what you need. Blessings!

Previous meditation blogs by the Adventure Sisters: Join Us on This AdventureMeditate the weight away?9 ways to improve meditation, Meditation contemplations, There’s an App for That: A review of meditation Apps7 Common Meditation Myths11 Types of Meditation 

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Transforming Your Life

Do you have aspects of your life that you are not okay with? Of course! We all have parts that we could take out and shine up. There are certain practices that we can leave in the past, to step into our future as a better version of ourselves. There are probably many ways that you have ready done this on some small scale and if you look at how you did, you will begin to see how you can do it on a larger scale.

During my lifetime I have done many things that have transformed my life. When I look back at these things, I see the common factor being my belief in myself. I am a high school drop out. How did I move past that to have a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and several credits in a Graduate program? How did I keep moving on forward to a place of a successful career? I believed that I would. Never once did I think that decision defined me. Perhaps I was lucky to not know the statistics about the future for high school dropouts.

When I was young, I smoked. It had a two pack a day habit. I quit this unhealthy practice 28 years ago. Once again, I quit because I believed I could. I did not allow the term “smoker” to define me. I did not care if the statistics said if I could or would quit. I saw what I was capable of and I worked to make that vision of myself a reality.

I was morbidly obese. Once again, I did not allow this to define who I am. I decided to become a runner. I had never been athletic as a child but why did that have to define me? I have completed 3 half marathons and countless shorter events. I also completed a 150 mile bike ride for charity, done a lot of hiking and kayaking and enjoy an active lifestyle. Once again, it was believing in myself and wanting something better for my life that helped me to pull myself up and push forward.

Whether the aspects of your life that you want to change, are big or small, involve a career goal or creating more healthy habits, you can accomplish it!

You are capable of amazing things! This capability comes from deep within you. There is a strength that lies coiled inside of you. Call on this strength to become more than you are today. Call on this strength to incorporate a new healthy habit into your life. Call on this strength to live the life of your dreams! I believe in you! You should believe in yourself too! You see stories all around you of people improving their lives. No one is more captive of improving your life than you are!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you and I believe in you! I wish you a lifetime full of positive changes.

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Beneficial Forgiveness

Who are you unable to forgive and why? What things do you consider to be unforgivable? What mistakes have you made in life that you are still holding tight to because the pain is too much to think about? Being able to forgive others and even more so, to forgive yourself, can be life changing.

Most people do not set out in life to be a pain the the you know what. As humans, I believe we do the best we can, in the time and space we are in. But because of what we are holding on to, sometime the decisions we make will cause pain for ourselves and or others. I think if we realize that people do the best they can in the time and space they are in, it’ll help you leg go of the anger, regret and disappointment in order to find it in your heart to offer forgiveness.

I was in a toxic marriage once. There was verbal and emotional things happening that have had a lasting impact. I stayed in the marriage because I really believed that my children needed a home with a father and a mother. I also did not believe I could be successful in providing my children with a home and the other things they needed without two incomes. I was wrong about both of these things. I stayed because I didn’t know I was wrong. I stayed because I didn’t understand the lasting impact that this environment was having on my children. I stayed because I did not have enough self worth to believe I could leave. Eventually, I found my self worth and did leave the marriage. I am only now starting to fully understand how my children were hurt and affected by this.

So who do I need to forgive as a result of this story. I need to forgive myself for staying way to long. I need to forgive my ex-husband for the way he treated me and the children. I need to forgive my daughter who still holds so much anger at me for staying too long and for not protecting her more. I need to forgive my catholic up bringing that made me think I couldn’t leave. I need to forgive myself for feeling like a failure, because I couldn’t fix it.

I will tell you I have worked through this and have been able to forgive. Much of this processing and healing took place in the BWCA, with Emy’s support and love. I was able to touch those very painful emotions that were pushed down deep inside. I was able to feel them and understand them and eventually let them go. I was able to understand that my ex-husband was doing the best he could in the time and space he was in. He had learned how to be a family from his own family. Perhaps what had been modeled for him, when he was a child, was also not healthy. I came to understand that he had his own inner demons and probably did not like himself very much. He did not know how to deal with or heal these things. So it came out in these ways that harmed our family. Once I had some understanding of why he acted the way he did, I was able to forgive him. This forgiveness was a gift to him but more importantly it was a gift to myself. Forgiving him freed me from wallowing in the hate and self loathing. Forgiving him allowed me to get to the place where I could forgive myself. Forgiving him allowed me to let go of that “failed” marriage and give it blessings for the experiences I had and the things I learned as a result of it. Forgiving him gave me a new found freedom and a new found peace. Forgiving him was far more beneficial to me than it will ever be to him. Forgiving my daughter is easy. I pray the someday she will forgive me. Not because I feel I need forgiveness but because it will free her and allow her to heal. Forgiving my catholic up bringing was easier once I realized that it was a result of good intentions on my parents part. They were doing what they thought was right. They were doing the best they could to raise their children. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I think when we can see the good intentions behind the things that hurt us, it is easier to find forgiveness.

The hardest forgiveness that took place from the story I shared above was forgiving myself. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. We do not allow for our own mistakes. We take these perceived “failures” and hold on to them. We often feel they are unforgivable. None of us are perfect. Once I was able to realize that I too did the best I could in the time and place I was in, I began to see that I was able to forgive myself. I forgave myself for staying too long, for “failing” at marriage, for the mistakes I made in the midst of the marriage that made situations worse. The freedom of no longer holding on to these things allowed for a sense of freedom. The chains had been released. I was able to move on. I was able to work on myself and become a healthier version of me. I was able to find a relationship that is happy and healthy.

What in your life are you not able to forgive? Yourself? Others? Situations? Is there a way that you can see these situations from another perspective and find forgiveness? It will change your life. Forgive others, not for their benefit but for your own benefit. Free yourself from having to hold on to that disappointment any longer.

Do you have a story to share about how forgiveness improved your life? Do you have things you are currently working on forgiving yourself for? Do you have things you have learned along the way you would like to share with others?

Thank you for reading my blogs today. Feel free to share it with others you feel it may help. May your life be filled with healthy forgiveness. Blessings, Stacy

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STOP Shoulding Yourself

We all are so busy telling ourself what we “should” be doing, how we “should” be acting, what we “should” be saying that we make it impossible to live up to the expectations we set for ourselves. When we can’t live up to the expectations we set for ourselves, we start beating ourselves up. We start telling ourselves things we would never tell our friends. We call ourselves names like “failure”, “lazy”, and “dumb”. We hold ourselves to standards we would never hold our friends to. How do we stop this practice and heal our relationship with ourselves?

I have started to write this blog three or maybe even four times. It is a topic I feel strongly about. So why am I having such a hard time getting the words out? Why am I having trouble expressing myself around this particular topic? Does it have anything to do with the fact that I feel I “Should” write this blog? I want to help people with the blogs I write. Inspiring others to find ways to improve their relationship with themselves, is a huge part of my mission in doing this. Perhaps, because of that, I have my own list of “shoulds” around this topic.

I am the queen of high expectations! My husband will try to tell me I am high maintenance, but I am not. I am high expectations. For myself and everyone around me. While attending Buddhist meditation, the monk shared this teaching. He told us that we get upset with others because of the expectations we set for them.  Then because we have these expectations of others, when they don’t live up to them, we feel frustrated. If we didn’t have these expectations of others we would not be upset when they don’t live up to them. He illustrated this with a story of meditation. If you are editing in the forest, you do not get upset with the bird because you do not expect the bird to be quiet. You do not think you can control the bird. If you are meditating at home and others in the home are making noise, you feel frustrated because you feel they should meet your expectations. But I digress. I really want to talk about the expectation, like this, that we place on ourselves.

How many times have I told myself I did not get enough done in a day? I am constantly saying I “should” exercise more, meditate daily, practice my yoga, and keep the housework caught up. If a friend of mine was telling me she felt badly for not doing all of these things, I would tell her to stop being so hard on herself. Why is it that the expectations we hold for ourself are so much harder than what we expect from others. Eat the right things, say the right things, do the right things. We set expectations for ourselves that no one could live up to, and then we beat ourselves up when we are not able to accomplish it all. Stop it! Just stop! Love yourself the way you love your friends. Give yourself the same respect you have for those dear people in your life who trust you with their concerns.

Everyday we all “should” do the best we can in the time and space we are in. We “should” forgive ourselves. We “should” love ourselves. There will be times when we can not live up to these expectations. There will be times that we can not do our best, love ourselves, or forgive ourselves… but there will be moments that we can. There will be blessed moments of clarity when all seems magical and we can be the best version of ourselves. The rest of the time we must be patient as we continue toward our own wellness. The blessed time when we love and accept ourselves as is.

I want to share my appreciation for Paul and Maria in Warrenville, IL. I appreciate you listening to me talk about my blog and my mission to help others find wellness.  I appreciate you sharing your stories with me. I wish you blessings and personal wellness in your lives. You both have such potential; I can see it within you! Don’t “should” yourselves.

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Be Who You Are and People Will Love You for It.

Yesterday at my Toastmasters meeting I gave a speech on Tarot Cards. This was very scary for me. Tarot is not accepted by many people; some even think it is the work of the devil. I wanted to dispel this myth and share how it is a great tool to take a peek into the subconscious. I wanted to give them a little bit of information about the cards and the deck to help it seem less scary.
It is interesting that I wanted them to feel less scared of the cards but here I was feeling nervous about letting people know that I work with Tarot cards.
I gave the speech and the group expressed genuine interest. Several people even mentioned that I should have brought a deck of cards to show. I cannot say if everyone was open to the idea but those who took the time to talk to me certainly were. I appreciated their openness. Our group consists of people from several different career paths and I was pleasantly surprised by their reactions.
I left the meeting feeling triumphant! I was proud of myself for being me and not letting fear stand in the way. People will love me for who I am or they won’t. After all, isn’t it a lot easier to enjoy being around someone who is authentic and genuine? Can you tell when someone is not being their true self? By being the “who” we really and truly are, we let our light shine. Others will feel naturally drawn to us. It is okay that I am an RN, Tarot Card Reader, Artist, Grandmother, Author, Healer, Mother, Wife, and so much more. Even though some of these things may seem in contrast with each other, that is not true. They weave together perfectly to make me. Just as all of the different labels you wear weave together to make you the who you are. Dr. Seuss said it best. “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”

This above all:
To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
 – Hamlet, Shakespeare

I have learned (and am still learning) that by being true to who I am, fully and authentically, will attract people who like me for being exactly who I am. I will not need to pretend to be something or someone I am not. People who love me will love me warts and all.

 

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How I Found Love

I have a great man. It is true, but it has not always been true. I have been with physically and emotionally abusive men in the past. I have dealt with lies and cheats. I have had the disinterested and the disengaged. I also have had my share of users. Recently a friend asked me for relationship advice. She wanted to know how to differentiate between the really great guy and the “trickster”. This really got me thinking. I believe in the “law of attraction” also known as the “secret” or “manifestation”. No matter what you call it, I believe what we put out into the Universe is what we attract back to us. So the fact that I have a husband who is perfect for me and a really great guy, means I changed something within myself. What was it?

Trust me, once I decided that I wanted to be in a committed relationship again, I set out to accomplish this task. I am not someone who fails when I set my mind to something. I read relationship books, created and put pictures on my vision boards, started online dating with gusto. I wrote manifestation lists under the new moon, listing all of the attributes I wanted my perfect partner to have. I even worked a spell with a friend. One of the most powerful manifestations I did was redecorating my bedroom. I made it soft and romantic with lots of draping white fabric and even an old crystal chandler to make it seem like a princess lived there. I decorated with pictures of couples in steamy romantic poses. I had a couple tasteful porcelain couples dancing. The goddess Aphrodite held a place of honor on my dresser. I had a boudoir photo shoot and put up sexy pictures of myself. This was to remind me that I am sexy and desirable. I also created some art work myself, depicting couples. The day I completed the bedroom remodel, I had my first date with Marty, who is now my husband.

Was manifestation enough to bring to me the perfect guy? I do not believe without making changes in my own self esteem and worth that I would have been as successful. When I started online dating, it was really hard to let a guy open a door for me. I can do it myself. I soon learned that most men like to do things for women. I also learned that by allowing a man to do things for me, I was confirming my own self worth. A wise friend told me that I am “the prize”. I think this really started to shift my thinking. I started to view dating differently. No longer did I see myself as desperately looking for a man who would see the value in me. Instead I found the value in myself. I knew I did not need a man, although one would be nice to share my life with. My life was glorious just as it was. Any man who put me low on his list of priorities did not get the gift of my time.

Another change that happened was me deciding that I wanted choices. In the past I would meet a man and give him all of my time and attention. Then, when I realized he was not the one or things did not work out, I would have to start all over. Suddenly I learned they needed to earn the right to be my one and only. Immediately committing to the first guy who paid attention to me quit. I had casual dates and deep conversations with several different men during any period of time. I did not give myself to the first guy who looked my way. I did not enter into a committed relationship with someone just because he was willing to give me some attention. This did two things for me. It helped me decide what I wanted and what I didn’t want in a relationship. I got to meet a lot of different men. I exchanged emails with even more. I learned about their interesting jobs and even more interesting hobbies and I met people I could not have met in my everyday life. The other thing it did was allow myself to see that potential suitors were plentiful. The world changes when you see it with abundance. You are no longer willing to accept “not good enough” as a way of life. You demand more from the universe.

On my 28th first date since deciding I wanted to be in a relationship, I met my future husband. He had to earn the right to be my one and only. I am eternally grateful for all the other men I went on dates with, exchanged emails with, or spoke to on the phone. They taught me a lot about life and even more about myself. They helped me become the person I am today. I wish them all successful and happy lives with their perfect partner, if that is what they want. Mostly I am grateful for my husband. He is a truly marvelous man! I appreciate him so much every day! I do not claim to be a relationship expert or to know what you need to do to attract your perfect partner. I can only share with you what I did and hope that it helps you in some way.

If you have been able to successfully navigate relationships, please share any words of wisdom with others. May all of you find your perfect partner, if that is what you desire. Blessings, Stacy!

 

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