When we hold judgment, criticism and shame for our past transgressions or "failures" we set ourselves up to come from an "I don't deserve this" place. Here are 7 steps to self-forgiveness. Get out your journal and get to it, to open the doors and create the life you deeply desire.
1. Allow the transgression (I like this word because it tends to be less “judgy” feeling to me, but feel free to use whatever word works for you) to be fully considered. Take time to write about it in it’s entirety. Tell the whole story with only the facts included. (Hint - it will sound like a police report.)
2. Now take time to explore all the feelings, complications and implications that you are struggling with regarding the situation. This is a time to let go of the facts and take inventory of how this experience has impacted you, limited your life, and caused judgments andcriticisms about yourself, others, and even the world.
3. Ask yourself - what do I need to do or say to let this remain in the past? Is there an apology you need to make? Is there a letter you need to write a conversation you need to have? Amends that you want to extend? Now do it.
4. Be clear on what you learned about yourself, life, and humanity through this experience. State that clearly and make a decision that you have grown beyond the past experience, and have changed.
5. Begin the process of letting go. Send yourself love and compassion for what happened, agreeing that you learned something valuable and that your soul has grown. Do this repeatedly anytime it comes up within or around you.
6. Hold yourself accountable to living from this more evolved and wise place by embodying and living your wisdom in whatever way you feel is right for you.
7. Share your truth with a trusted other in complete safety. Be sure to choose wisely so this step doesn’t send you back and continues to move you forward.
Share your comments, questions or confusion in the comments below! I'm here to support your journey into self-forgiveness.
Have you ever felt like you aren’t doing enough?
Or how about feeling like you’re constantly moving to the next thing?
Well, sister - if you answered yes, you are not alone and I am right beside you.
This life is so funny - even this journey of self discovery feels funny at times. I made a goal to meditate and journal daily while taking part in the Live Your Inner Power program. Within the last few weeks I’ve held true to that goal and made it happen (with the help of Laurel’s guided meditations) and I feel so grounded and at peace each day as I start my day in this way. It’s pure magic.
Truth be told, I’ve fell a little “behind” in the course at times (or what I consider behind cause I’m always on time… hence the air quotes). I’ve been meaning to jump back into the content - learn, grow, expand and uncover more truths behind my heart. But lots of travel over the last few weeks has taken precedence. We had a group check in just the other day and I told the ladies that I’d been meditating daily but ended my update with “just that, nothing big to report...maybe I’ll have more next time after I get back into the content.”
And in that moment, I completely discounted my progress.
I was focusing on what felt like “not enough” that I wasn’t “doing enough” or I wasn’t where I “should” be. Always looking ahead at what needs to happen next instead of being right where I’m at and appreciating progress.
There is so much irony here. I’m trying to be the best version of myself and reach my highest potential, right? But that feels as though I’m not appreciating where I’m at and focusing on a goal/moving to what’s next. The journey along the way is just as important! It’s so critical that we don’t forget that, because then we’ll miss the whole point!!
This life, this personal development work - all of it is progress.
I listen to my heart and love myself for where I am and how far I’ve come. I love myself so that I can see my truth in it’s messy, imperfect entirety - to have fun with it all and not worry about making things perfect. Do what feels good and forget about the details.
The ups and the downs, the “not enough”, the race against time - I can’t say it’s going to stop and that everything is going to be peachy because I know the real truth. Oh hell no.
The truth is there will be days where I still feel like I haven’t done enough. When I use my awareness to see how far I’ve come, I return to progress, imperfection and truth. That leads to gratitude, joy and love. Love for myself and love for who I am and what I have to give. And that’s all there really is folks. Radical self-love.
Today, I invite you to write down three things you’ve accomplished and three things you are grateful for.
When you look at that list, feel the love fill your heart. And if you’re willing to share with me - I’d love to celebrate those victories with you. Comments invited right here :)
All my love,
Have you ever given yourself the gift of sitting with someone who's psychic?
How about an animal whisperer?
Do you know the feeling of Divine?
What happens in you when I ask these questions? Do you want to explore the magical and mystical?
I do - and so I do. I act on it. I invite it in. I seek it. I love it all. And it's pure joy.
When I lived in Massachusetts my life began a big make-over the day I headed off with my mom to a psychic reading. This is a story for another time, but suffice it to say, it was a day that literally heralded in experiences that changed countless women's lives through what is now known as Authentic Women Circle in Ogunquit, Maine. If you live in Maine, hop online and see what's going there.
Then there was Ilana, who told me in 2000 that a "grandfatherly" man would keep me living here in the USA when I was wondering where the next chapters of my life might be played out. Her talent for sharing information came to her in videos as she looked into my hands. That grandfatherly man is the love of my life. Yay me.
If I were to be completely honest, and I am :), I turn a little green around the gills and wish my gifts were psychic like that at times.
(Pausing as I write to say deep thanks for the gifts I do have and share in my circles. We all have perfect gifts for us!)
This week I had the honor of meeting and spending a little time with Kim Thalken of Love First . A mutual friend connected us months ago and we finally got together to connect about life, work and all things healing. We had an immediate connection. I recommend anyone living in Richmond to book a session with her if you love this stuff too.
Kim is a psychic medium. So cool right? Just before we parted after a lovely hour of chat on my deck enjoying glorious weather, she asked if she could share a message with me. After profusely (almost apologizing) she assured me she wasn't reading me but rather that she had a message that was really wanting to be delivered.
"Write the book". Oh my goodness. And I had just announced to my Mastermind circle that I was putting that on hold till next year. I had just determined this week as I looked at my business that there were tasks that if accomplished I would feel much better about and more in control of things. I had decided, now is not the time. So much for being in control. I love it when the Universe laughs with me.
And here were my spirit guides telling me - now is the time.
Do you believe in the Divine and all things mystical? I do.
Writing my book (that was started earlier this spring) is back in my schedule. I trust my spirit guides implicitly. The message came in the perfect way through a woman I know I will consider a friend and trusted other. Thank you Universe for bringing us together.
I end my week blissed out with gratitude for living in this world and also of the world all things Divine and mystical.
You can open and receive, to ask and have it granted, to seek the magical and mystical and come face-to-face with it.
How about you - are you open to raising the vibration of your life experience and listening to the messages that call you into your best and most magical life? How open are you to receive if you are want this kind of life experience?
I just had a really powerful transformation unexpectedly. You might have your own!
It's free. (if you have Netflix)
Want to know more? Watch this 3-minute video and catch my excitement!
What if your life purpose isn’t about Doing something?
Stay with me and imagine.
Last week I led a workshop and was talking with women about how to live comfortably in your own skin. I made a statement that really resonated with them.
“I think that what is important to women is how we feel and how we connect with others, so the search for a life purpose that is about Doing something may be like chasing the wind.”
What if we focused on feeling good – whatever feelings those are and started to organize our life around those actions and routines that brought about positive feelings? Does that feel revolutionary to you?
My life went from a chronic state of inner sadness to feeling freedom inside to choose, and then the scary adventure of choosing again and again to move towards what feels right and true for me. My life purposes are about having intimate connections so I feel understood and loved, about feeling peaceful as my consistent backdrop, and about feeling alive and impassioned about my life in a day-to-day way.
Why is it a scary adventure for choosing again and again to move towards what feels right and true for me? Because I am always taking risks and that has a fear edge to it. Whether it’s about saying something to my spouse or friend that I am afraid they won’t really like, or it’s about deciding to take a path with my work that means I don’t know how to get to the end result, it’s a risk. And also peaceful because I live truthfully to me.
Yes, I am Doing - and feel like I have purpose everyday. But my greatest purpose is to feel good and affect everyone around me positively, to give them space to invite what they truly want forward. Because that’s what I see makes a real difference in how we are living as a community, whether it’s work or family. Each day I remind myself that everything is a choice. How I show up and what I feel like makes the day either good or bad. I can choose.
If you are looking for your life purpose, direction or calling, or simply something more to life than what you are experiencing right now, determine what you want to feel, what you want your relationships to feel like and then get to the business of organizing your life towards bringing those feelings into your life as a way of life. What you do or want to do will show up as a result.
Focus on the feeling of being, not the doing, and see what shifts.
If you want support in this process and a method to get there quickly, seriously consider my Live Your Inner Power Program that will be available online this January. Details are here. We’re building a community of women who are living their inner power and creating lives they feel really really good about!
There’s a trend happening with many of my mentoring clients that goes something like this:
“I’m soooo dissatisfied with my current career! I desperately want to make a change but I feel overwhelmed, scared and unsure how to start! Ugh.”
Ever thought that way about your career? Feeling that way now? It’s not a fun place to be. You no longer enjoy what you do every day. In fact, you dread it. Your schedule is packed with activities that drain you. You feel scattered and pulled in multiple directions. You feel stuck in a rut and you beat yourself up for not doing more about it.
Stop, just stop! Do this right now instead: scream, exhale and smile your way to a more satisfying career. Perhaps not the advice you expected, but it works.
SCREAM! Not at work, not at clients and not at your spouse or kids. But in the car, in the shower, or on a run. Let out your frustration. Feel the pain and be oddly gratefully for it because without it you would continue to put up with an unfulfilling, meaningless career. Screaming is validating. In one big loud sound you’re saying, “This career stinks and my life is worth more than this!”
Not long ago, I had a conversation with Sheila (not her real name) who likely had just finished screaming. She wanted to talk with me about her deep career discontent and what to do about it. The first several minutes she vented without taking a breath. When she suddenly realized what was happening she apologized. There wasn’t any need. She needed a safe place to say exactly how she was feeling.
EXHALE. Take a deep breath and push out all the air in your lungs. Feel the ahhhhh. Now your emotions aren’t preventing your brain from helping you. Now is the time to take a moment to shift from what you don’t want to what you do.
Ask yourself “What’s my ideal position?” or “Who is my ideal client?”
Let any and everything flow into your mind. Write it down. Add to it, remove parts, tweak it.
And, if you have a doubting, critical voice like Sheila had rolling around inside your head who asks “How are you going to do that?” or “You don’t have enough time or money to make that happen!” tell it to just SHUT UP. In fact, I suggested to Sheila to talk back to that voice and say, “Well, of course I don’t know how I’m going to do this yet! I’m not at that point yet, but when I am, I will figure it out.”
SMILE! When you fill your mind with thoughts of a better career, you can’t help but get happier. Your current career won’t hold you back or define you. To keep that curved grin, start to take the next practical steps to move from where you are to where you want to be. Action is energizing and contagious!
For example, Sheila’s response to her ideal career included three related fields, but she needed to get more specific and narrow her focus. I suggested two practical steps she could immediately take. The first was to be a bit of an online busy body searching for articles and websites that gave information about what each field entailed. The second was to do 3 -5 informational interviews with people who already had a career in each field. If she didn’t know of anyone in those fields she could ask friend and family if they did, as well tap into her LinkedIn connections.
Can you scream, exhale, and smile your way to a new, more satisfying career in 2015? Oh yeah, you got this!
Mary Foley believes that energizing careers and events don't just happen – they are engineered. That's why she has combined her engineering education, passion for inspiring professional women and two decades of live program experience to help women invigorate their careers and to help meeting planners power up the live events and communities that professional women crave.
Mary began sharing career advice after her 10-year career at AOL - when AOL was cool - where she started as an $8 an hour customer service rep and rose to become the company’s first head of corporate training. Known for her uncommon insights, candidness and humor, Mary is an author, featured blogger on WorkingMother.com, video maven, lively presenter, engaging facilitator, and event engineer. For more, go to maryfoley.com.
Energize your career! Sign up for my weekly energy blast and get your FREE video “Muster Your Mojo, Market Your Value” here.
Thank you Mary for sharing your wisdom and voice here at Live Your Inner Power!
What are your big stressors?
Time - it's the top complaint I hear from stressed women! Relationships - women orient their lives to relationships, of course this is big stuff for us! Love and the desire for good loving - who doesn't want this if we don't have it?
It's time to surrender...
Do you connect the word surrender with loss? I did for a long time. I have learned, gratefully, that surrender means gain in so many ways. Let me give you some examples ~
If you are struggling with anxiety, stress or fatigue, my guess is that mastering the art of surrendering could become your great healing agent.
If you looking for relief from anxiety, stress or fatigue, I am here to help you live your inner power and find that relief.
What is your great stress? Did you like this blog? I'd love to hear from you :)
Your relationship to time matters. When you chronically feel that there isn't enough time, you trap yourself in a world where you can never get enough done. You turn yourself into a human machine instead of a human being. I don't want that for you because I know how terrible it feels to be living like a machine. That's a story for another day :)
Here are some ideas about how to shift your relationship with time.
1. Spend time without having a schedule. Yes, you can do this at least on the weekends.
2. Stop wearing a watch. Use the handy timer on your smart phone (or buy a cheap timer) to keep track of a meeting or a portion of time.
3. Learn how to wake up without an alarm clock.
4. Start telling yourself everyday that you have plenty of time for what is really important to you. Get your subconscious mind to start prioritizing and stop wasting time with unimportant stuff.
5. Do your deathbed work so you aren't afraid of wasting your life.
Some of these may sound a little strange, perhaps impossible. I would have thought so years ago too. All of these practices helped me change my relationship with time. These habits equate to a sense of real freedom and peace.
Sure you can organize more, be more efficient and plan better.
But if you really believe you don't have enough time, you'll just organize and plan yourself into another time-limited box.
If you want to really get to the business of changing your relationship with time, consider a few coaching sessions with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surrender to the truth that each day is 24 hours ~ and you will discover there's just the right amount of time every day ~
Discomfort can be a way the body registers stress and the need to grow and change. It can signal the need to act differently. It can be the call to change or connect with the changes going on around us. It can be a plea to listen and pay attention more carefully. It can herald new beginnings.
As a mother, a woman, a friend and a daughter, the most difficult times for me to let discomfort be a servant, is when my discomfort is signaling a loved one's discomfort. My immediate reaction is to help, to make it better, to make the pain go away for them. I have learned to no longer react to this instant inner response.
My path to changing this pattern and creating a new way of interacting first took hold when I practiced the agreement "No Advice Giving" at our women's center. No advice giving embodies the belief that each of us holds our own best wisdom and advice internally, that we are brilliant - inherently smart enough to know what we need. We simply need a space to connect to that inner wise one. We can learn to provide that space for others. It's a different way of supporting that releases the knee jerk reaction of rescuing.
Being a sacred space holder for another is a high act of service and wisdom. It requires doing your own work so you can get out of another's way of growing well. It requires adopting new beliefs about what really helps others when they are stressed and in need. It means you become skillful at sitting with discomfort yourself and wondering about it before instantly making it go away or distracting yourself from it. All this helps you return to the childlike curiosity of a fresh mind. It's quite liberating when you experience "being a sacred space holder".
The next time you have the urge to rescue another, take a breath. Notice the urge. Don't act on it. Begin to wonder, what does this person want? How might their discomfort serve them if I can hold space for them and encourage them to explore their discomfort more deeply? What in me needs support or growth so that I no longer "need" to rescue?
If this posting speaks to your heart, take a look at my newly released book, Courageous Woman, Live Your Inner Power. The book is a full dive into new ways of considering how to connect with yourself and the world around you, a way to grow your capacity to be fully present to life, live powerfully and feel good!