I'm Learning to Trust Myself. Are you?

TRUST: I had an epic experience this week that’s left me trusting myself and feeling juicy.

A few months ago I was invited to be considered to speak at an event. The event sounded fantastic; a bigger audience than I’ve ever spoken in front of, women’s empowerment, and interesting women spearheading the effort.

My name would be in the hat as a potential speaker and I would hear back.

While I was in Texas I thought, “Oh, I never heard any more about that event.” It’s so interesting to me, and annoying, that my first thought was, “Oh, maybe they didn’t think I was the right fit.” Not in a pragmatic sort of way. More like a victim. “Poor me, they didn’t like me.” I exaggerate, but you get the point. I have to keep that pesky victim thinking in check.

No sooner did the thought enter my head, an email landed in my inbox inviting me to speak.

As I began to read the email, I knew the event wasn’t for me. I found myself grimacing rather than smiling at the details. 

Seems like it would be easy to say no then, doesn’t it?

Here’s the deal….I knew in my heart I was a no, but my logic, if it’s anything like yours, is a whole different ball game. Here are some of the ideas it relayed to me:

Why would you give up a perfectly good speaking gig?
What if you’re missing out?
Maybe you should get on the phone with the leadership team and double check your instinct.
What if I’m sabotaging my success?
If I want my business to grow I should take whatever opportunity is placed in my lap.
I’m a loser for not saying yes.
What if someone I know is part of it? Will I be jealous and wish I’d said yes?
Why do you have to not like the details? Why can’t you go with the flow?
You’ve resisted things before and then loved them.
What about new business and connections you might miss out on?

OH MY GOD……See how our thinking can drive us crazy and cause us not to trust our instincts?

When my head is spinning, it can be very hard to decipher my truth. That’s why I always need a coach. I hope you have someone dedicated to your success to help you figure out your thinking. You deserve that necessity. If not, book an exploratory soul session with me to get honest with yourself.

I love being an open, curious woman because, while this story is a small example of how I can get stuck, the challenge of recognizing these moments as opportunities to grow feeds my soul.

So, what happened?

I let these thoughts sit. I didn’t talk about them in the name of trying to figure out what to do. I trusted myself enough to stay quiet. 

As my dear friend, Di, always says to me, “It’s just a feeling. Don’t pay it too much attention because just as quickly as it comes, it will go.” This really helps me because I tend to take my feelings way too seriously.

I kept coming back to no.

Finally, I sent an email saying, “This isn’t the right fit for me and I wish you the best for a fantastic event, which I know it will be.” The best part? Not only did I trust myself and didn’t “give in” to logic, I didn’t explain myself.

Marvelous.

I want to reiterate that I know how to trust myself, as do you. The question isn’t, Do I trust myself or don’t I? Rather, I’m talking about degrees of trust. It’s vital to our confidence that we wake up to the nuances in our thinking.

What idea/thought in this blog resonated with you most? Leave your comment below.

To Your Amazing Spirit.

Much Love,
Sarah xxx

My Husband Said He Wasn't Happy

An Unhappy Marriage?

This week I got my husband back.

Preston told me that he is unhappy in our marriage. He told me in a phone call that came unexpectedly. It felt like a punch in the stomach.

He also told me that he often says yes to my everyday requests with zero intention of following through. This felt hurtful, and true.

From the outside we have a great marriage. I didn’t realize how much I like other people thinking that to be true and looking up to what we have, until I felt the vulnerability of hearing his words and pictured other people hearing them. Even people I don’t know.

It might surprise you to hear that I also believe from the inside we have a great marriage, too. For the last year, 80-85% of the time we are running on all cylinders. The other 15-20% has been a bit dodgy.

I have felt the yearning for way more connection; to be heard more, to be touched more, to be wined and dined more, to be seen more, to not solo parent as much.

I have felt, because of words said, that I want too much, dream too much, talk too much; that I am too much.

I rationalized it by telling myself that he works hard and only has so much to give.

The truth is this minority percentage left me wondering if we really are a good match. I fantasized about spending 6 months alone to see who I am without Preston’s ideas influencing mine. It was less about “leaving” Preston than it was about me discovering who I am now. I was a mere 22 when we met.

For Preston, he felt that he couldn’t share his opinions openly because every time he did I would say that his words felt hurtful or unsupportive. As a result, he kept a lot to himself and finally the damn burst. He could no longer take it.

He shared that he wasn’t happy with us because he wasn’t happy with himself. He realized that he wasn’t a man who acted with integrity and a high degree of accountability. If someone were to ask him if he demonstrated these two qualities prior to his breakthroughs, he would have answered with an unwavering yes.

Preston’s breakthroughs came from going through the Landmark Forum. I went to his “graduation” on Tuesday night and heard some life-changing information. I am now signed up for the class in February. As a coach, I was blown away by the experience.

Preston says that I often talk too much! Meaning, he asks how my day was and 30 mins later I’m still talking. Preston reported to his Landmark group that he is now listening to me and asking, “What else?” Everybody laughed. I was asked how I feel in the wake of his change. The only word I could think to say was “relieved.”

The facilitator, Lenny, used this great analogy. He picked up a chair, held it in front of him, and asked someone to give him a hug. Obviously, it’s awkward and somewhat impossible to give someone a hug while holding a chair. Lenny said the chair is our past. We carry all of this baggage from the past and it leads our everyday life. If you think about it, you are holding the chair in front of you so it literally is leading you. It gets in the way of everything.

The Forum allowed Preston to let go of his past, to let go of the chair. Without it, he is feeling a lightness and energy he hasn’t felt for ages.

One of the biggest things Preston learned is this: there is what happened AND the story we create about it. My understanding is the chair is our collection of stories that we have made up about what happened to us.

In our marriage, every little look, or a particular word, or a silence meant something to each of us. The truth is these looks, words and silences mean nothing because they are stories we have created.

We’ve adopted a new little saying, “It means nothing,” to signal that we don’t have to get bent out of shape if we don’t want to.

It was pointed out by a friend that I am one lucky woman to have a husband that not only realizes that he isn’t happy in our marriage because of how he feels about himself, but who is then willing to do the work to make us better. How many of us just leave?

Thank you, Preston, a million times over for showing up for yourself and for us. Thank you for having the courage to tell me the hard truth. Thank you for encouraging me to grow. I am changing even more because of your commitment to us.

Our re-connection is the best present I could ever receive although I’m happy you’re getting me gifts as well 😉 Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE gifts.

Lastly, I want to say that this period has been a right of passage. We have been together for 12 years. If you are in a similar predicament, I have learned that the grass isn’t greener and getting through this type of time makes for a marriage that only continues to become more wonderful.

Much Love to Your Courageous Spirit,
Sarah xxx



Do You Shame Other Women?

About a year ago, I wrote a blog that I was advised, by someone I trusted, to hold back on submitting to my regular outposts like Medium and Huffington Post because it was controversial.

In hindsight, I listened too much to this person and not enough to my own voice.

It’s about my feelings about how fellow women in the coaching space behaved about the 2017 election of Trump. I was unsettled and turned off by their outright railing of Trump. I want to be clear. I did not vote for Trump. However, there were moments I felt less of a woman because I wasn’t jumping on this so-called feminist bandwagon.

In Brene Brown’sBraving the Wilderness, I came across a quote. I literally started jumping out of my skin as I was reading it. I found myself thinking, This is exactly what I was feeling and expressing a year ago when I wrote my blog on election day.  

Here it is:

“Here’s what I believe: 1. If you are offended or hurt when you hear Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters called bitch, whore, or the c-word, you should be equally offended and hurt when you hear those same words used to describe Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May. 2. If you felt belittled when Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables” then you should have felt equally concerned when Eric Trump said “Democrats aren’t even human.” 3. When the president of the United States calls women dogs or talks about grabbing pussy, we should get chills down our spine and resistance flowing through our veins. When people call the president of the United States a pig, we should reject that language regardless of our politics and demand discourse that doesn’t make people subhuman. 4. When we hear people referred to as animals or aliens, we should immediately wonder, “Is this an attempt to reduce someone’s humanity so we can get away with hurting them or denying them basic human rights?” 5. If you’re offended by a meme of Trump Photoshopped to look like Hitler, then you shouldn’t have Obama Photoshopped to look like the Joker on your Facebook feed. There is a line. It’s etched from dignity. And raging, fearful people from the right and left are crossing it at unprecedented rates every single day. We must never tolerate dehumanization—the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history.” 

I couldn’t get on board with language that made Trump subhuman during a clamor for more humanity so women could rise.

I remember how I felt when I wrote that blog. I rushed out the door to write it after I heard the election result. Heart, courage, excitement and inspiration was flowing through my veins. Working from that place is such a remarkable experience. Here’s to more of them, more often.

Thank you, Brene, for helping me have more conviction in my own thought process when I felt I was the only one.

Thank you for reminding me about the power of my own words.

This blog isn’t about politics. It’s about the ability to find our voice and use it confidently in the world when we use love and intention as our guiding principles.

It’s about aligning with people who help us believe in ourselves just that little bit more, and who help us find more articulate ways of expressing ourselves.

It’s about broadening our perspective so we have a human and tolerant view of the landscape.

I feel invigorated about the woman I am and the perspective I have to share with the world. That leaves me feeling more juicy than ever.

What perspective would you like to share with the world that, until now, you have been sharing too quietly? Leave your answer below.

To Your Amazing Spirit.

Much Love,
Sarah xxx