Category: Higher Self vs. Lower Self

How to Recognize Your Intuition

Intuition:  The ability to acquire knowledge without inference or use of reason.  It comes from the Latin word, “Intueri” which translates into “to look inside”. Intuition is our communication with God, the very essence of the Universe, whose intelligence far outreaches our human understanding.

Intuition is an innate gift or trait we are born with. We all have it.  Male or female.  Young or elderly.  Black, white and everything in between. It is an inner knowing, sense or feeling.  A gentle nudge pushing us in the right direction.  Sometimes it is a warning and other times it’s a clear step to the next step to take on our path.

Our intuition comes in moments when our mind is free-flowing- the times we are not attached to outcome, but are allowing for truth.

It is best described as a whisper resonating with truth.  Our intuition does not come attached to emotion.  On the contrary, intuition feels emotionless.

Many of us have difficulty discerning between what is intuitive guidance and what is not.  Many times our intuition may guide us in a different direction than our thinking mind is.  With this, we are oftentimes confused as to what is real and what is not.  The best way I have learned to distinguish between the two is this:

Intuition is a whisper, fear (over-thinking mind) is a shout.

Fear yells at us. It’s emotional and subjective. It’s screams WARNING, WARNING, WARNING even where there may not be real danger. It’s the loudest voice in our head, thus the easiest one to pay attention to.

Intuition is gentle. It’s non-emotional, neutral and objective.  It is found in the space between our thoughts. It has a different quality than every day passive thinking and is outstandingly different than fear. It’s the moment God speaks to us and we consider a different possibility. One rooted in peace, truth and for the highest good of all concerned.

Oftentimes, we may discount our intuitive message because it is not as loud or overpowering as our fearful mind is.  Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease? We often pay attention to our fearful mind because it’s loud and intrusive.

In moments like this it is imperative to get quiet.  Whether your quiet comes through meditation, exercise, driving or other experiences. To truly hear your divine guidance, it is important to make time to create space between your thoughts.

I used to think I had to handle all my life’s questions and decisions by myself.  (I only called upon God in times of great pain and distress) In those times I found myself repeating the same behaviors over and over again because my thinking was always the same.  I may have received guidance, but quickly discounted it because I was sure I knew better.  My egoic/fearful mind wanted to control.

I learned that God is in/through/with us at all times. I didn’t need to “save” my calls only for desperate times. I could connect any time, any where. My life changed in a profound way. I began to co-create with God instead of believing I had to do it alone. Things got easier. I made better choices and life began to flow like never before.

We all get intuitive “hits” and often choose not to heed our message. Afterwards, we say, “Ugh! I knew I should have done it the other way!” A great way to learn to trust your intuition is to recall the times you knew better, but chose differently. Remember what your knowing felt like. Remember the medium through which it was delivered:

Did you hear it? See it? Feel it? Or just know it?

When we become aware of  those times, it opens our consciousness and we are better able to recognize and receive our guidance the next time.

As with any practice, getting good at hearing/seeing/feeling/knowing our guidance will take time.  As long as you are diligent to the practice and truly wish to connect with Universal Intelligence (God), you will prevail!

Our life’s decisions and choices become much easier when we learn to connect to our center (God) and trust in the divine guidance we receive.

I believe in you!

How to Get Comfortable Taking Risks

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend about taking risks. She said she wasn’t a big risk taker. She also said it seemed to her like I don’t have a lot of fear. I was a little stunned by her observation. I remember saying, “Well, I feel fear. I feel fear all the time. I guess I just don’t attach to it.”

I thought about our conversation for weeks. I wondered how I learned to feel fear, but not attach to it. I thought back to my childhood and what it was like growing up with four brothers and a neighborhood full of boys. The boys were always on the go doing something “scary”. They would roam the neighborhood at night, play rough games or meet up with other kids I didn’t know. As a little girl, those things were quite scary.

Oftentimes they would offer me to come and I wouldn’t respond right away. I’d have to think about it. But during my thinking time, they’d leave, and I’d spend the next couple hours wishing I was with them. Each time the boys returned from their adventures, I would feel regret for allowing my fear to rule me. I would always wish I wasn’t so afraid and had said yes!

Growing up with boys taught me that I didn’t have the luxury to feel fear for long. My young mind learned that even if I feel fear, I must act, or I will miss an opportunity.

I learned to feel the fear and do it anyway.

So, when they asked me to partake in a “scary” activity, I started answering without hesitation. I would say yes! And the super cool part was, the event was never near as scary as my mind had conjured up. I learned my mind had built things up to be so engulfing and overpowering, I was sure I would get hurt or worse die!

I learned to get what we want out of life, to move forward, to experience big stuff, we are going to feel afraid. And our only two choices are to freeze and stop or to grab the opportunity and go.

I will disclaim if there was something I didn’t want to do (like ride my bicycle into the pool!) I didn’t do it. I’m not saying to take physical or emotional risks that can harm you. Risks that you are not equipped to handle, or your intuition is telling you is not a good idea.

What I am telling you is fear is an illusion. It’s a thought we make up in our heads designed to keep us comfortable and to keep us small.

So, when my girlfriend said I don’t look afraid, I am afraid.

I feel fear all the time, but I have learned to push through it because it’s exciting and inspiring!

It feels like I am living to full capacity!

I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the market to play small anymore.

Some of you might know that public speaking was my worst fear. So much so that I’d rather take an “F” for a project in school than to speak in front of people. I would even turn beet red when speaking in front of as little as three friends.

In June 2010, I was in my first month of coaching school. I got invited to be a guest speaker on a local morning television show. Without thinking I said yes, then I completely freaked out. No joke. The gig was weeks away and my heart was already pounding in my chest.

The day arrived, and I sat in the “green room” waiting for my segment. I watched as guest after guest shared their knowledge without skipping a beat.

The fearful thoughts rose up again.

Who I am to be here? Why is this happening? Why did I say yes?! I’m going to get this over with and hightail it out of here. No one will even know I was on the show, so they won’t have to feel embarrassed for me.

Then something magical happened. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it myself.

I loved being on that stage!

I loved it so much I skipped out of studio and raced home to watch the recording. My desire to reach and teach large audiences hit me full force! This is what I want to do! Not only did I do okay, they invited me back three more times and referred me to another local show as well!

And even though I felt the same horrific fear each time, I did it anyway!

Recently, I’ve been thinking about measures I need to take to expand my business. I was thinking about how the change required is going to take some risk. This change felt extra risky to me because I had made this same change years ago and it backfired in a big way.

But somewhere deep inside I knew this was the next best step. I also knew the thought, “this is risky” is a thought, nothing more. It is no sign of how my future will play out. It has no power over me. I also know, when I align myself with my intuition, my center and my truth everything always works out.

I also reminded myself my situation is not the same as it was the first time. The circumstances are completely different.

For example, let’s say you were cheated on in a past relationship. You were devastated and heartbroken. Then a new relationship opportunity comes along and you think, “Oh, heck no! I will never do that again because I don’t want to get cheated on again.”

My questions to you would be:

Do you know that thought is true?

Can you absolutely know it is true?

Because it happened in your history does that mean it’s going to happen in your future?

Are you closing off your life?

Are you shutting down because of a thought?

Would you be willing to take a chance if you didn’t believe that thought?

Friends, I’ve been scared. I’ve been petrified. I’ve been anxious, depressed and frozen. I believed things would never get better – that this is what life dealt me and I am basically screwed. My fearful thoughts begot more fearful thoughts creating a dreadful cycle of doom.

But I found a way out. I transcended the doom by realizing those fearful thoughts were not true. Yes, I was dealt a dreadful situation, but it did not dictate my future. I realized that I have the power (as do you) to respond to any situation from a place of fear or a place of inspiration. The choice is mine and the choice yours.

To achieve the life of our dreams, to reach those places we’re craving to reach, we must be willing to transcend our fear. We must be willing to question our fearful thoughts, reveal the truth and be willing to move through them.

Here are four powerful questions to ask yourself:

Am I allowing fear to guide me?

Am I missing out of a great opportunity because I’m afraid?

Do I want to stay imprisoned by my fearful thoughts?

The reason we are not getting what we want out of life is we believe the fearful thoughts standing in our way. We are sabotaging our own greatness, our own fun, our own passions. It’s up to us to ask ourselves: Do I want this or am I going to let another opportunity pass me by?

No person is any greater or more deserving than anyone else. We all have the same capacity for greatness. We are all divinely wired and inspired to live a full life! The difference between us is some people are willing to transcend fear and act while others are not.

Can you guys feel how much I want you to get this message?!

I know you can achieve anything you want!

I invite you today to think about a place in your life where you are holding back out of fear. Whatever the fear may be. The fear of failure? The fear of disapproval? The fear of being disliked?

Whatever fear you come up with, question it.

Question it!

Is it worth giving up the things you crave because of a thought?

Let’s live a no regrets life, friends. Let’s live knowing we ran a good race. We gave it our all. And we did not let fear stand in our way.

Here’s to feeling the fear and doing it anyway!

Check out my podcast episode On Taking Risks (iTunes Link) Don’t forget to leave an iTunes Review!

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

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Open Your Mind to New Information

 All change is spawned from a desire to experience something different in our lives. The desire provokes information seeking and the new information allows us to adopt a new perception and alter the way we’ve been responding/reacting/behaving to situations in our lives. But we cannot activate forward movement if we have closed our minds to new information.

I coach a lot of people. The ones successful in their healing are the ones who open their minds to new information. They have realized what they know is not working and they must acquire additional knowledge in order to change things up.

A change in perception creates a change in direction.

We need to be willing to get rid of what was not working (our old way of thinking) and replace it with a new thought and a willingness to do things differently. We do that by educating ourselves in the areas we are seeking to change.

A closed mind and/or general stubbornness will always block any chance we have of moving forward and changing our lives. That is why the most important thing we need to do is learn to open our minds and release the need to control by doing it “all my way.”

To initiate change, we must first understand that we are the only authority over our lives. Even though we are taking in new information, that does not necessarily make it gospel. After educating ourselves with new knowledge and wisdom, we must process the information through our own being, our own soul and decide what feels right and true for us. The only way to tell what to keep and what to toss is by soul discernment – running the information through our inner knowing.

We will know when we have hit the right perception because it will resonate deep inside our being. It will feel good, inspiring and might even bring a sense of relief or tears. Yet again, remember the truth cannot resonate if we have closed our mind. Our block will only continue to deflect the truth coming our way and we will remain stuck.

Additionally, the truth may not always be what we want to hear. Again, this is where soul discernment comes in. You might hear yourself saying: I know what I need to do, it’s just hard/scary to take that step.

Rest knowing that just because you have gained a new perception, it doesn’t necessarily mean you must make a massive leap immediately. Sometimes we have more learning and growing to accomplish before we are prepared to take the necessary step. Trust that you will know when the time is right for you. In the meantime, keep your mind open and soak up all the knowledge and wisdom you can!

Daily Mantra:

My heart and mind are open to new knowledge and wisdom.  And so it is.

Dear New Wife

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Dear New Wife,

I remember the first time I met you. It was at my son’s birthday party. I was pleased to see my ex-husband as happy in a new relationship as I was in my new marriage. I was eager to get to know you, the newest member of our big, loving family!  When we were introduced, you hardly smiled or acknowledged me. Although it took me aback, I continued to welcome you, smile and talk to you, but again, you scarcely acknowledged me. Something didn’t feel right about that, but I quickly discarded it and went on about the business of being myself. After all, it can be awkward and uncomfortable for the new love to meet the ex-wife. 

As months passed, I felt you somewhat warm up to me and life moved forward. We continued with the pre-established status quo of joint holidays and occasional joint vacations with our kids. It was nice. After all, we had been divorced 10 years and had figured out a way to be friends. And man, did our kids benefit from it! So much so that they often told me they never felt the heartache of typical children of divorce. Win!

You see, my own parents had modeled ex-ing beautifully for us and I was so grateful we were able to do the same. It’s the best thing for the children and the circle of family involved. Divorce does not have to equal division, bitterness and hate. It can be the beginning of something new and wonderful!

But something seemed to change after my new husband abandoned our family a year later. It became apparent that my new status of “available” was threatening to you. I tried to ignore it and work around it, but it only gained force like a hurricane slowly making its way toward shore. I was shocked and perplexed.

Couldn’t you see with your eyes and feel with your heart that I was nothing to fear?

My children began to notice their parents’ friendship compromised for the first time in over a decade. They witnessed their father’s kind and respectful behavior toward their mother change to cold and distant. They also noticed how unwilling he was to stand up for or protect them in situations where a father should. It became unwittingly clear he did everything possible to quell your insecurity even if that meant choosing you over them and treating me as if I was a non-person. He put aside his priorities and his personal freedom to appease you.

Perhaps you can trust his devotion to you now.

Sadly though, none of this needed to happen because there’s something I don’t think you understand. Just because people divorce, doesn’t mean they don’t love one another anymore; oftentimes, the love has only changed forms. My ex and I simply morphed from husband and wife to a sibling-type relationship. He became my brother. It was a friendship built on healthy boundaries and respect for each other and their personal lives. We cared about each other’s well-being as family would. We were often told we modeled a new paradigm for what healthy divorce and co-parenting can be. We were proud of our friendship.

Why weren’t you thrilled to have a drama free ex-wife like me?

I tried to ease your mind and calm your fear that Spring morning in Starbucks. For two heartfelt hours I explained my ex and I’s friendship. How he and I would help each other out with tasks from time to time, work together to meet our children’s needs, but not once had we crossed the line of “friends” since our divorce. In fact, we hardly even hugged save an occasional holiday. Our only crime was being nice to one another.

I had compassion for what I was sure was your backstory of pain. I understood. You see, I did not see you as an enemy or someone trying to hurt me. I saw you as a sister. Another woman who did not yet understand her worth or trust in a man’s love. Couldn’t you feel the truth and integrity in my words? But no matter what I said, how gently I said it or how compassionate and transparent I was, it was clear your mind was made up.

My ex and I don’t talk anymore. We no longer share joint holidays with our children. We don’t help each other out with tasks or work together as cohesive co-parents. His relationship with his children has suffered terribly as they’ve watched their father bend and stretch to make you comfortable. They watched the life they knew, enjoyed and felt safe in dramatically change. Where there was once unity and peace now lies the moss covered headstone of a dead friendship.

I’m still perplexed how this situation is better than the amicable situation we had before? Are you really at peace now? I wish I could say you are, but I continue to hear stories of your insecurity aimed toward other people. Perhaps it wasn’t me after all, but you all along.

The good news is my children and I discuss life issues openly and with higher purpose and direction in mind. The years have passed and they have grown and cultivated a new relationship with their father based on forgiveness and compassion for his fear of standing up for those he cares about.

They love him more than anything. Just as you do.

I have chosen to grieve the friendship my ex and I had, keep my distance and settle into this new format of ex-ing. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about him or ever will. Love does not change, but situations do. And when my brother feels the freedom to enter back into my life, I will gladly accept him and you as well.

I pray for you often, sister. I ask God to help you find your worth and self-esteem. I pray you see the gift in peaceful ex-ing and open your eyes to the good woman I was then and still am today.

Until that time comes, I will be over here enjoying a great life.

Sincerely,

The Ex Wife

A Sweet Empowerment Short: The Difference Between a Healthy Boundary and Retaliation

A Sweet Empowerment Short ~

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I was recently asked this question:

Where is the line between setting a boundary with someone who hurts you and retaliation against them for hurting you?

Ahh what a brilliant question! Oftentimes boundaries stem from something someone has repeatedly done that hurts or disrespects us thus kicking up some serious emotion. If we are still hot over what our person did, it may be difficult to distinguish between what is a healthy line and what is in fact retaliation.

The answer to this question is quite simple…

Check your motive.

The first step to setting and maintaining a healthy boundary is all about our energy and intention (motive).

A healthy boundary says: I love me and will set limits with you to protect my heart, soul and well-being or that of people in my charge.

Retaliation says: You hurt me and I’m going to hurt you back.

It’s important to remember anytime we set and maintain a healthy boundary, we are not only taking care of self we are equally serving the perpetrator as well.

One might wonder how that is so?

Many times our perps are not even aware of the pain they are inflicting, because they’ve never truly been held responsible for their behavior.

To explain further, many people will keep doing what they have always done because it has always worked to get what they want. They are unconscious to their behavior because no one has ever really bucked it hard enough.

This is why I love boundaries so much! They actually give our perp a chance to see themselves – sometimes for the very first time!

I’ve witnessed so much healing in my own life and of those around me by simply setting and maintaining loving boundaries. Frankly, it still fascinates the crap out of me.

Any boundary set with loving intentions will always make a positive difference in the long run. You may not be able to see it right away; however, I invite you trust the universe and let go of perceived outcomes.

Boundaries are tough stuff. I’ve had to set some hardcore lines with some perpetrators I love dearly. To this day in order to know my boundary is in alignment with a high energetic vibration, I always check my motive and intention first.

When I know for sure my intention is for healing, not for hurting, I feel more comfortable and confident to maintain my line.

Your thoughts?

~ Kristen