Who are you really? And how is your life demonstrating this?

Who are you deep inside? Do you know? Lately, I am reminded that life flows from this connection… so the flow you’re in will reflect how well you honor * the essential you*.

How do connect with the essential you - and then live into that true Self? First you must take time with you and get rigorously honest. I've been in that "space" lately and deepening my truth as I continue to learn and grow.

I've realized that I don’t want to build a "big" business that requires full-time attention. There have been points when I thought I did. I have big dreams and I love feeling successful. And I also want other things that are decidedly, for me, more important.

Coming to terms with wanting a thriving business that is the right size For Me - has been a huge breath of fresh air.

I Love My Clients. We do deep work. We have amazing transformational experiences together. This is what matters to me. The intimacy, the truth, the revelations.

I Love my Husband, my Family. At the heart of my being I know that I am a central figure for my family. My husband relies on me in important ways. I want to offer beautiful energy to our marriage and our business life together, to our deep connection, to Us. I want to be a mother/grandmother who has time for relaxed conversations, for offering my full self with each family member - I love them dearly and want them to know it. *Same with my dearest friendships.* In order to be that woman, I have to have the boundaries placed very delicately, very carefully, so I show up the as the woman I love being - the real Me.

Photo courtesy of Kira Marie Cline - thank you! 

Photo courtesy of Kira Marie Cline - thank you! 

Years ago I began a love affair with my soul.We meet every morning. I listen. I speak. I shed tears of gratitude… I feel the fullness of my life. I revel in the wisdom that brought me down this path of fulfillment and love. I would not abandon my time with this Higher Me for anything.

As you read this, are you thinking about your own life? Do you have the time you want for relationships as well as all the other things you want to experience? Are you feeling good about your priorities? 

We must take care as the rise of the feminine ensues all around us. We could inadvertently create new scenarios that aren't truly what we want but have been conditioned to believe we want. The only way to overcome this is "Know Thyself".  Spend time with Self. Tune in consistently inwardly.

What boundaries must you be cautious of so that you don’t overload your energy and find yourself in a trap of your own making? I'd love to know. 

How to Stop Pretzeling and Live Authentically

What have you done this week that is in complete alignment with who you truly are and what you deeply want?

Rachel and I had a great talk on Monday’s FB Live at Noon about “pretzeling” versus living authentically. It brought on some big Yeses from our community. Women resonate with the reality of twisting and turning inside and out to please, avoid and accomplish.

Do you get a creepy crawly feeling when someone you love is sharing themselves and you disagree with what they are saying, or you want something different, or you feel hurt by it inadvertently?

How about when you look at your to-do list and want to head back to bed?

Or do you know the feeling when you are in a conversation and you want to say what you think, what you feel, what you want and instead you clam up, shut down, or push aside that truth because it’s too scary, intimidating or anxiety-provoking to just day it?

Zap! That’s how pretzeling happens! Instead of courageously speaking up, you become a pretzel, modifying, withholding, or sidestepping. Along with all that comes emotions - maybe hurt. Maybe anger. Maybe guilt. Or all of them in bits. And then the inner pretzeling starts as you accommodate that inner energy.

And let’s face it, that’s just not healthy for your digestion, your state-of-mind, or your heart. And inner peace, forget it.

How can you stop pretzeling? As we suggested in the FB Live, start by tuning into yourself and recognizing what your doing. Pretzeling does not feel good – it’s downright uncomfortable in your body. Then tell yourself the truth. Say it in your head, write it in your journal, and say it out loud when you’re alone. Practice the truth.

The next best steps are finding a safe place to share – a relationship or circle where you can say it all and not be judged. A place where you can be you and be loved. In that circle you build your courage and confidence. With more of the big C’s – courage and confidence – you start saying and claiming your truth in the more challenging spaces and relationships.

Building a life that’s in alignment with your truth and your wants happens one conversation and one decision at a time. Living authentically makes getting up each day an adventure.

Let's keep the pretzeling on the yoga mat where it belongs :)


What’s your favorite non-yoga pretzel move that you’re ready to stop so you can live more authentically?

Your Competitive Nature and Your Soul

First, let’s get the truth out of the way – we are all competitive.

Competitive – it’s a human quality. So it exists in all of us in some way. We all have all the qualities - in some form, somewhere within.

The question to pose is – how is my competitive nature showing up – what’s its focus?

When you don’t ask the question, bring the topic into the light, it lurks in the shadows where you might want to disown this part of you. When you do this, the competitive you shows up in ways you don’t feel good about or want to claim, so disclaiming it may feel like the best course.

Disclaiming it can look like this - 

Jealousy – “She’s better than me”

Mean thoughts – “She thinks she’s so great”

Self-loathing – “I could never do that”

How do you work with your competitive self so she can serve you and others and not wreak havoc and unpleasantness around you? Invite it in, and have a conversation with yourself.

Ask –

What haven’t I grown in myself fully?

What still awaits expression?

What’s she doing that I want to be doing but am not?

How is my life not fulfilling in ways that I deeply desire?

What lies dormant in me that I see in her?

What’s getting uncomfortable not to express?

Your competitive self can get driven by your ego –

Look at me!

I’m so grand

I’m the best

Or by your soul –

What’s next for me?

I am committed to fully expressing myself

What’s in my heart and soul is here to be shared

What am I waiting for? 

What’s the best thing about bringing your competitive nature out to be seen and guided by your soul?

You love all women, all people. You want everyone to shine brightly and contribute greatly and create more goodness in the world. You know their great is different – not better - not less – than your great.

And that’s a truth you can relax into, let go and allow in your life. Competition isn’t bad, it just needs to be led by your soul, not your ego.

Surrendering to a Difficult Relationship and Finding Comfort

We mistakenly believe that relationships that are difficult are not worthy of our attention or time.

Or worse, we obsess over what to do but do nothing but think it over, and over and over. 

And at some point leaving a relationship may be the wisest decision. But leaving prematurely means you might miss an opportunity to really grow and gain essential wisdom. 

My suggestion is first to surrender to the difficult relationship. Because it let's you know what you really want, and own it.

So how do you know what to do about a difficult relationship? Surrendering can be taken in steps ~

1. Identify why you began the relationship. Be clear and precise about what you were seeking in it.

2. Assess what you want from it now. Be clear and be precise.

3. Ask for what you want. Be clear in your communication. If you are clear in yourself, you will be clear in your communication. If you are not clear in yourself, go back to step 2. 

4. Get an answer from the "other" about whether they are willing or interested to have and give, what it is you want to receive and offer, in this relay-tionship. Remember it's about both of you, it's about a back and forth. The dynamics change when BOTH people want change.

5. When the relationship is causing difficult feelings to come up for you, take time to know what the feelings are and what your expectations behind the feelings are.

6. Do your shadow work! When you are bothered by a quality in someone, ask yourself "how does this quality live in me?"

7. Trust your heart to move through the process honestly and authentically. Without authenticity you suffer and others do too.

What you want matters. If you don't claim it forthrightly, it often goes underground and makes life messy. It's courageous to own what you want.

What stops you from saying what you want in a relationship? Share that right here  and we can support you to grow in any difficult relationship you are experiencing.

Acclimating to a Marginal Lifestyle by Dawn Jepson

Acclimation to a marginal lifestyle is not an event that happens overnight. It is a series of choices over an extended period of time in which one sacrifices their deep inner desires, usually in return for something else. The marginal lifestyle means living in a way that reflects only embodying a portion of your potential, desires and truth.

Think of climbing a tall mountain. You pause along the way to let your lungs and your body adjust to the altitude.

Or, consider the changing seasons in New England. Most of the time we don’t wake up and find it’s 80 degrees with the winter over. Rather, day by day it gets warmer, the snow melts, the leaves come out, and we change our wardrobes.

These are a couple of examples that represent acclimation in a person‘s life.

What might not be healthy acclimation is allowing ourselves to slowly, over the years, give away our power or to create false stories to justify an unhealthy lifestyle.

In any relationship there is give and take, accommodations are made in order to live and play together harmoniously. Still we retain our sense of self, who we are and what we want and believe in. It is frightening that as the years pass, if we don’t pay close attention to what those seemingly minor accommodations have added up to, it can feel like our life mess blossomed spontaneously. Suddenly we have acclimated to a way of living that doesn’t match with who we truly are. I know this because it happened to me.

No one forced me to accept a marginal way of living. No one forced me to give up my freedom of being me. I first unconsciously and then consciously found myself making those sacrifices for what I thought was a good cause - harmonious living. But the truth is that too often I gave pieces of me away; my priorities, how I wanted to do things, how I wanted to spend my time.

Inside me I was experiencing anything but harmony. I knew long before I would admit it to anyone, even myself, that I was giving up too much of me for the sake of my relationships. I created stories for myself, and at time for others, why this was okay. It has taken me a long time to wake up. I did attempt to call back my power on several occasions but did not choose the best route. Therefore, I continued with the marginal lifestyle.

Today I am taking a different path of self-healing. And this time I am doing some hard work; facing the truth, recognizing when the old patterns try to call me back into their craziness - and I am doing a great deal of grieving. Of course there is deep sadness because it wasn’t all self-sacrificing. There were many happy times, loving times and times of learning and evolving in positive ways. Through it all, this time of change has not been easy. In fact I am doing some of the hardest work of my life. I am winning “the battle” this time around.

I don’t like using that term, “battle,” because it sounds violent. But it HAS felt like a violent battle at times, especially in the beginning. Sitting quietly with my feelings, breathing, remaining aware of my thoughts, and treating myself with kindness, are just some of the tools I employ to help myself move forward. I am passing through this transition to a new way of living.

Changing old ways of responding to the ones I love and making new choices in the midst of stressful times is not easy. Yet it is possible. I am doing it, with the help of others and in faith and recognition that I am stronger than I once believed. I share this personal experience because I know that there are others who live with detachment from what their heart and souls want. They too find themselves in a marginal lifestyle. My hope is that this post offers those readers the courage to make the difficult changes that bring the joyful quality of life we embrace when we are authentically true to our hearts, leaving a marginal lifestyle in the past.

Furthering the Search for Truth and Self through Action by Dawn Jepson

Writing for Focusing Inward has impacted my life in important ways. It’s not only what I write about, or that I express my thoughts “out loud”. I am actually changing my life because I am writing about my life. There. I’ve made it official. It is in print. My life has changed by writing about the experience of living with anxiety, taking a Vow of Truth, and having deeper understandings in meditative states. One of the most important changes has been in my primary relationships. Writing for this blog has helped me bring some of the issues that needed to be addressed in those relationships into the light. Every sentence I have written has forced me to look more closely at the connections I share with those near and dear to me.

I have come to realize how powerfully the environment I live in and the people I surround myself with impact me. Now, even something as simple as using my time to write has the potential to become a conflict in a relationship. Here is why. In the past that writing time would have gone to interacting with someone who enjoyed my attention. Instead I am using that time for me to do something I enjoy, and I am loving it. Unfortunately sometimes “a loved one” is not experiencing the same joy. They might express strong disappointment at not having my attention directed towards their wants. Their disappointment ignites feelings of guilt in me. This pattern has caused me to take a long, hard look at my definition of a loving relationship. I am discovering that I may be tired of my old definitions and beliefs about how I am supposed to contribute to a relationship. Whether it was time to update my definitions or they out-lived their usefulness in my life, change is happening and it is “rocking my world“.

I have heard it said that when one person makes a change the people around them react. That saying is true. I am finding that some resist, while others cheer me on. Change is not always easy. Exciting - yes! Invigorating - yes! Simple and easy - not so much. Inevitably the moment comes when it is time to see what a person is made of. Can I walk my talk when the going gets really hard, and also be lovingly patient while others in my life adjust? After all, I am the one who is introducing the change and some people need time to adapt.

During these weeks of sharing my how’s and why’s of living with anxiety, as I bared my soul in regard to taking the Vow of Truth, I find myself looking closely at where and why I am not following through on doing some of the things I love. My guess is that, once again, fear was blocking my path.

Fear of taking time from loved ones to give myself the freedom to do something I enjoy.

What has become crystal clear to me is that there have been too many occasions where I avoided doing things I want, as well as not taking action in areas that were important to me, when it brought up fear. For me that means I am afraid of the possibility of creating disharmony within my primary relationships, in my connections with those closest to me. Instead I would give up what I want to keep “peace.” But at what cost to me?

Unmasking this raw fear has been an eye opener. I am still wrestling with what it all means. Am I afraid of being alone? Am I afraid of being rejected by the ones I love? Good questions to ask myself, and I do! This is not to suggest that I welcome others disapproval or rejection. But to sacrifice my joy in order to maintain these relationships as they are, when it means frequently betraying my own desires, feels wrong and costs me dearly. I have paid with anxiety.

The life lesson in this for me is that I must take what I know to be the truth and apply it in ALL areas of my life, no matter how challenging that might be. Even where and when I am afraid – especially when I am afraid.

I have done this with many of my issues, past and present, and it has made a difference. But as I move forward and write more, I find I still feel a knot in my chest. Something tells me there remains work to do and issues to address. I am doing just that.

Now I am bringing my truth to even the most challenging parts of my life. It is making a difference. Some days it is 2 steps forward, and the next day, a step back. Working with the people I love the most, in regard to these tough issues, brings up all kinds of fear. I will not stop because my commitment to Truth and myself has given me a light to shine on my life. I want the brightest, shiniest life possible!