Blog

  • Why You Can’t Let Go of Your Ex July 15, 2018 by Kristen Brown

    I’m just going to say it… break ups suck!

    They are heart wrenching, sad and confusing. And they’re even more devastating when we can’t let our ex go.

    I’ve been through my share of breakups and each one had its own unique brand of suck-ness. But there was one that wins the award. I hung on to that guy post-break up for two anxiety-ridden years.

    Although I didn’t see him in those two years, he was rooted in my psyche like a Kansas Chigger in July. It was so off character for me, people around me were shocked and frankly, tired of hearing about it. At some point, I couldn’t stand the suffering any longer and I begged God for help.

    Why am I hanging on to him? I can’t stand this any longer! Please help me let him go.

    God responded.

    It wasn’t what I expected, but I knew it was Truth. I was done betraying myself with illusion, so I looked to Truth instead. Shortly after, I was able to detach with peace and never look back.

    Here’s what I learned:

    Oftentimes, we interpret our inability to let a partner go as “love” when in fact, there’s an unhealthy attachment keeping us stuck. Those attachments can include: a need for belonging, connection, attention, validation and/or security. When we believe someone “out there” can fill our hollows and quell our fears, we naturally wouldn’t want to let them go. It appears like a quick easy fix!

    But the problem is, it’s not Real Love we are feeling. It’s obsession. Real Love is compassion, understanding, forgiveness and freedom. Obsession is a preoccupation with something to a troubling extent. What may have started as love, became a hustle to fill our emptiness the minute our person left. If we’re super honest with ourselves, we will see it’s not the person we’re stuck on; it’s the deep need they were filling.

    Awareness is always key to transcending emotional stuckness. Once we’re clear what the problem is, we can seek for solution. Without awareness, we will continue the suffering cycle.

    In my case, my unhealthy attachment was security. I had gone through a horrific life situation and my security was rocked to the core. I had lost everything. I was not aware how deeply my security was affected until I examined it. The material world was showing me where I needed healing in my spiritual world. It became very clear why I had hung on so long. I was desperate to feel secure and somehow my psyche decided a partner was the cure.

    Once I realized my desperation for security, it finally made sense. I could see the undercurrent of it in my behavior. It became clear love was not holding on to him, fear was. I healed my desperation by recognizing all the ways I was already secure. My unhealthy attachment began to dissolve.

    Then my second epiphany came.

    I was in my early 40’s, twice divorced, showing signs of age, had 3 kids, lived with my parent’s and more. I was cruelly judging my current situation and my worth. I didn’t see myself as valuable so I couldn’t believe a man would either. But somehow I managed to land this guy! When he left, my mind hung onto him because I subconsciously believed he was my only chance. If I let him go, I’d be alone forever. Again, I healed this false belief by recognizing all the ways I am valuable. This time, my unhealthy attachment dissolved completely. I was finally able to release him with love.

    I’d be remiss if I failed to mention how important it is to grieve a relationship’s end. A break up is the death of something we once saw as alive and thriving. Give yourself ample time to grieve the relationship. Endings can be difficult and sad. They need your love and attention. You need your love and attention. Do your best to refrain from filling the void with another relationship while grieving your previous one.

    But hold on! Here’s the most ironic and fascinating part of the story!

    After healing my destructive beliefs and grieving properly, I learned something that shocked the heck out of me. Are you ready for this?

    He wasn’t the man of my dreams.

    I couldn’t believe I had held on to him so tightly!

    There were aspects of his personality and the way he lived his life that would not work for me long-term. When the filter of need was removed, I could see him clearly. His leaving and refusal to get back together was a blessing in disguise. I was just too blind to see it at the time. A partner’s rejection is often our protection. It’s Divine Intervention in action. I am so grateful God took care of me when I was unable to care for myself.

    Relationships are designed to show us ourselves. They are a mirror of our unhealed wounds. An inability to let go of an ex is only an indicator we are looking to the outside world for acceptance and love. The key to transcending your stuckness is to be 100% honest with yourself.

    Discover what’s really behind your inability to let go and do the work to heal it.

    In closing, I’ll leave you with this beautiful quote from one of my favorite spiritual teachers.

    “How do you let go of attachment to things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.” – Eckhart Tolle

  • What Your Man Really Needs From You July 12, 2018 by Kristen Brown

    We hear a lot of talk about oppressed women, but do we hear much about repressed men? Quite frankly, I never have. At least not in the way I’m about to explain.

    As a life coach and hairstylist for 28 years, I have had my share of personal conversations with men. I have also had countless conversations with women. I’ve always been fascinated with relationships and human nature and have compiled a large amount of organic data through both my careers and personal relationships.

    The one thing I have seen repeatedly is what I call “The Knight in Shining Armor Syndrome.” This syndrome is comprised of women thinking a man is going to fill all the gaps in her heart. He will ride into her life atop his steed, emotionally healthy and always doing the right thing. He will be complete and whole in his emotional body and deliver her from all the evils of the world.

    It’s about time someone advocates for the men out there because quite frankly, this has gotten way out of control.

    Somehow through the passage of time and in addition to television, movies and fairy tale stories, a “good” man has been stigmatized to have to be darn near close to perfection. Women have gotten the insane notion that this God-like human is going to sweep into their lives and rescue them from all the bad men who came before them and heal their insecurities. 

    He’ll know just what to say and just how to do it. He will build me a beautiful house, buy me pretty gifts, let me cry on his shoulder, put his jacket over rain puddles, brush my hair and always, always make me feel special.

    What a tremendous amount of pressure to put on a person. No wonder so many men are afraid of commitment. I would be too.

    Today I am going to bat for the repressed man — the human who’s not allowed to feel. The boys behind the brawn.

    The boys who had their heart broken by a parent or were bullied through school. The boys who weren’t allowed to share their emotional pain or given tools to heal their hearts. The boys who repressed their feelings not to feel ashamed, unmasculine, weak or unworthy.

    I know men who have gone through all types of painful backgrounds and dysfunctional relationships and here’s the whopper…

    Are you ready for it?

    Men feel deeply.

    They just don’t show it.

    We do our men a grave disservice when we attach a persona to them they cannot possibly live up to and then feel let down when OMG he’s not perfect!

    Today I’d like to give our men a fighting chance to heal their hearts and their stories. My deep desire is to see men get the emotional support they’ve always deserved. I’d like to see women everywhere treating their men like they wish themselves to be treated. By giving their man the same love and support they desire when they’re afraid, betrayed, confused or in pain.

    You see, our men are not given the opportunity to be human. They are not allowed to cry, fail or be weak. I heard a man say to an author at a speaker’s conference, “My wife and daughters would rather see me die than fall off my white horse.”  That broke my heart in more ways than I can say.

    In that moment, I decided it’s time for a world view shift. A radical change in perspective regarding the males in our lives

    Men suffer painful stories as equally as women; however, they are taught to repress their emotion by the repressed men before them. And the pathology continues. To the men reading this (because I know you are) I ask if you can recall a time you were told to:

    Suck it up!

    Stop being a pansy!

    Man up!

    Quit being a baby!

    Men don’t cry!

    I bet the farm you have. In fact, I imagine it’s a high percentage of you.  You are in good company.

    If men were “allowed” to openly discuss their pain, the shame attached to feeling emotion would decrease immensely!

    Ladies, it is time for us to stop this madness not only for our partners and the state of our relationships, but for the children we’re raising. It’s time for us to shift the outdated perception of:

    Man = Invincible

    to

    Man = Human Being

    Unhealed wounds is the number one cause of divorce. Behind any disempowered behavior is an unhealed wound. This is not a gender specific issue; this is a human being issue.  As the sacred feminine, we have the power to help our men heal their wounds and teach our sons a new way of being in the world.

    Your man’s heart is as big as yours. He loves as deeply as anyone else and he is hurt just as easily by the words and actions. Just because he isn’t openly displaying it does not mean it’s not there. Bring me any man’s unsavory behavior and I will find the unhealed wound behind it.

    I was recently read this quote on a yoga studio wall:

    “The role of every woman is to birth the God in every man”.   Sigh…

    That quote was my inspiration to write this article.

    What I hear in these words is that a loving, good woman has the capacity to serve as the gateway to a man’s healing if she chooses to see him as imperfect and fallible, but lovable nonetheless. We must understand that men are not put into our lives to save us. As a couple, we are put into one another’s lives to save each other!

    A Course in Miracles speaks of the difference between a Holy Relationship and a special relationship. The Holy Relationship is one where both parties equally show up to help one another heal their fears and pain while supporting their growth opportunities and potential. A special relationship is based on ego: what we can “get” from our partner. The special relationship says, “What can I get from you?” not “What can I give to you?”

    It has been said, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” This does not mean a man cannot achieve success by himself. What is does mean is men (and women) achieve far greater success and achievement when they are supported by a loving, compassionate partner.

    Like any human being on this planet, we all need a soft place to fall. As depicted in movies like Braveheart and 300, the “hero” had a strong, loving woman supporting him who allowed him to break down and cry on her breast. She didn’t judge him, she supported him. She stepped up to meet his heart and offered her love.

    Ladies, the truth is this, men are not going to say, “Hold me” Or “I just need a good cry.” They need us to read between the lines and have compassion for their situation or story. They need us to offer the security of our unconditional love. Your man does not need more negativity, shame or stigmas attached to him. He needs your kindness, love, security and tenderness.

    Love heals all wounds. Ego, fear, control and manipulation perpetuates them.

    The next time you feel compelled to attach a perceived persona to your man and then feel disappointed when he falls short, ask yourself this: How can I better support him right now?

    Don’t be discouraged if your new course of action doesn’t work right away. If you have a backstory of non-support, he most likely won’t trust your motive. Instead learn to see the soul inside your man. Learn to understand his hidden emotions and act from this new perspective. Teach him that you are trustworthy of holding his innermost feelings and fears sacred. Provide a solid place for him to open his heart.

    He may try to push you away, tell you he’s fine or he doesn’t need your help, but I implore you to keep on. After all you are dealing with an ingrained societal norm that won’t be dispelled easily.

    This doesn’t mean become pushy or smothering. It means teach him over time that you have his back. That he can trust you like no other person on this planet. That you see both his strengths and his weaknesses and love him just the same.

  • What Does Broadcasting Love Mean? May 28, 2018 by Kristen Brown

    Awhile back I answered an email regarding what it means to “broadcast love”. Usually when one person asks a question, there are others wondering the same thing. So I decided to share my reply. I have removed the person’s name for privacy purposes.

    Hello,
    Learning to broadcast love by being a conduit of light is the most effective method available when dealing with difficult relationship situations.

    When we are in difficult situations where emotions are high, most often our ego or lower self steps up in attempt to “get power back”.

    This is only a distraction and never works for true resolution because Love is the only reality. When we come from a place of Love (meaning any word or behavior rooted in Source Energy) we act from Truth and actually steer situations to better outcomes/results.

    I used to say, “Why is it I always take the high road and I don’t get to see results?!” That was my ego wanting revenge, to be right, or to see someone’s karma returned. The problem is we don’t always get to see the results quickly or if at all.

    When we “broadcast” love, true healing begins even if we can’t see it right away. There is an energetic shift we are often not privy to. Stuff happens behind the scenes we are not privy to. And people start to grow in ways we are not privy to.

    In some instances I never got to see the results, but in other situations I have. One time it took 10 years for a person to own their shit and in another instance it took the person 10 seconds.

    Only the ego wants to see results quickly. Our soul does not. Our soul is only concerned with how WE show up to the situation.

    By connecting with Source, we position ourselves to live a better life. And when a person comes from a place of Light, it often illuminates the way for others as well!

    Just to be clear, rooting ourselves in Love does not mean we bow down. It means we come from a space of Love whether it’s setting a healthy boundary or removing yourself from the situation. Either way, we pray for an outcome that is best for all concerned.

    When we seek to come from our Highest Self and learn to detach from outcome, radical shifts in healing and personal evolution ensues. When Love is the essence we exude, healing is the result. We just don’t get to choose how or when that will happen.

    At first it may seem difficult to choose Higher Self over control, winning or the need to be right (ego), but I assure you over time you will begin to see the results and think…

    “Wow, it really is that simple..”.

  • How to Recognize Your Intuition April 1, 2018 by Kristen Brown

    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 March 7, 2018 by Kristen Brown

    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!

     

  • Why Your Boundaries are Not Working September 28, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    boundarycartoon

    “I keep setting boundaries and they are not working!” Said the distraught and frustrated person.

    Boundaries are often misunderstood and therefore, improperly used. Thus, having little to no effect on the disrespectful or hurtful situation you are trying to remedy. So, let’s have a little Boundary 101 lesson on what boundaries are, why they are not working and how to set them effectively.

    Step One – Setting a Word Boundary  

    This will look something akin to…

    “I feel disrespected when you often make me the butt of your jokes in social settings. I’m requesting that you please stop doing it.”

    Your person will respond in one of two ways:

    (a.) Understand and honor your request which allows both parties to continue forward happily. Or…

    (b.) Disregard your request and continue to do it.

    With response (a.) you’re good to go!

    With response (b.), unfortunately, you’re not finished yet…

    Many people think a boundary is set only with words and if you’re lucky, it will be. But if our person chooses to disrespect our Word Boundary, we must be prepared to back up our words with action.

    Step Two – Setting an Action Boundary

    The difficult part about Action Boundaries is oftentimes the most effective action/boundary we could choose may be the hardest or scariest one to set. We are terrified what might happen or what we’ll lose if we stand behind our words with action. Thus, we repeatedly use words over action in a feeble attempt to feel “safe” by disrupting as little status quo as possible. This is where we become the most frustrated.

    Ugh… I don’t want to go further with this. Why can’t my person just heed my [word] boundary?!

    The answer is simple. Because your person is not motivated or has reason to introspect or adjust him/herself. (Self-reflection is something many people avoid like the plague unless motivated or inspired to do so) Additionally, you have shown your person over time that your worn-out words mean nothing. They can continue to say and do as they please because there are no consequences.

    what you allow

    By providing a “consequence” or action behind your boundary, you will provide the necessary motivation and inspiration to introspect because they will lose something of value if they continue with the same behavior.

    Setting healthy Action Boundaries is in direct proportion to our level of self-worth. When we have a healthy self-worth in place, a firm boundary is easy-er because our joy, worth and value are not reliant on another person.

    Healthy self-worth says: I understand my value and won’t allow another person to minimize it no matter what. My job is to take care of me.

    When we are continually hurt or disrespected, we have two choices only:

    Put up with the crap. Yay, I get to live with this for eternity.

    Or

    Remove yourself or something from the relationship/situation until your person acquiesces to your respect request. There is hope this situation will change!

    Action Boundary Sample:

     “I will no longer attend _______ with you because I will not put myself in position to be disrespected by being the butt of your jokes.”

    And don’t attend again.

    Ever.

    Unless or until Mr. or Mrs. Disrespectful stops making you the butt of his/her jokes.

    Are you getting the picture here?

    For a Boundary to reign success, the offender must feel a consequence of their action. Otherwise, they will have no reason to introspect into why he/she is being a shit in the first place.

    Boundaries Serve Both Parties

    The best and most awesome part about boundary setting is it can serve both parties. Our boundaries and clear sense of self-worth can shine light on our person’s dependencies, controlling tendencies or disrespectful behaviors and potentially start them on their own healing path.

    menholdinghands

    It’s important to remember what others are doing is oftentimes a pattern set in place long ago and they may not even be aware how detrimental their behavior is. When they begin to receive the message enough, they will eventually have little choice but to take a good hard look at themselves.

    Above all else, remember this…

    If words are not working, back them with action.

     You matter.

    You always have.

    They will not respect you until you respect you by setting a boundary that says: I’m worth more than that!

    Get it?

    I knew you would.

  • Chronic Hair Loss in Women May Be Anxiety Related July 29, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    hair-loss

    I have blissfully spent the last 27 years as a hairstylist. I even dropped out of college to embrace my passion. However, this post is not about my career choices, it’s about the common denominator I have discovered among my female clientele who experience chronic hair loss for no known medical reason.

    And boy, oh boy, they are always shocked at the remedy I have for them.

    I am not a doctor nor do I ascribe to be. (Always consult a medical professional if you are experiencing changes in your body) However, I am a tried and true researcher in my field. I was born fascinated with psychology and the human experience. By nature, I ask a lot of questions and I have come to see many connections/patterns emerge with common struggles that people have over my almost three decades working closely with the public.

    What I am about to share is a fascinating tidbit I discovered along my path regarding random chronic hair loss among women, and it is something your own hairdresser may not even know.

    For those of you who have experienced random chronic hair loss or patchy balding (alopecia areata) and have undergone extensive testing with your doctor (For example but not limited to: thyroid, adrenals and hormones) and the results were normal, I venture to say you might be suffering from chronic anxiety.

    Chronic anxiety is running rampant in our society these days and many people are darn good at hiding it to the world. However, your intense desire to maintain an acceptable facade to the outside world could be causing you great internal distress.

    Ladies, your hair may be telling the story you are not.

    The sad part is many people are too ashamed to admit what is truly going on inside of them and their lives. They are embarrassed to admit they are scared, anxious, fearful and/or their life is imperfect. They would prefer something biological being the problem than something emotional so they can continue to ignore and hide their shameful places.

    When my clients come to me depressed and afraid because they are experiencing random chronic hair loss, I question them thoroughly about their medical testing first. When it appears that “everything is normal”, I delve into what is going on in their personal lives and how they are handling it (their emotional processing system).  Across the board without fail, female clients dealing with random chronic hair loss are struggling (often secretly) with large amounts of stress and anxiety.

    The cause is not something physiological, it is emotional.

    But here’s the good news, my stressed-out sisters, there is a tried and true remedy to help restore your body and emotions to homeostasis and stop your hair from falling out. It is easy, highly effective and does not cost a cent!

    Express your emotions, fears and worries in a healthy way

    • Meditate daily
    • Create and maintain healthy boundaries
    • Exercise

    Ladies, ladies, ladies, your body is desperately trying to get your attention. Your hair loss is only a symptom of a greater problem… chronic anxiety. And your chronic anxiety is only the symptom of an even greater problem yet… your lack of self-care.

    The remedy is to make yourself a priority and take care of you.

    Give yourself permission to be scared, anxious, fearful and imperfect and to speak it out loud! I promise you are not the only one dealing with spousal, child, work or money issues. In fact, I bet if you start to share your struggle, others would be willing to share theirs with you. You would soon discover you are not alone.

    samegame

    Check in with these four anxiety causing areas:

    Do I hide my thoughts and emotions?

     Do I withhold truth to keep the peace?

     Do I tread lightly not to offend or to avoid confrontation?

     Do I feel as though I have to do it all?

     If you answered yes to these questions, there is a huge disconnect between your mind, body and spirit. It’s time to admit you are about to lose it and you need help. Running yourself into the ground is not going to help yourself or those you love.

    You can start by taking a deep breath and saying these words out loud until you feel the truth of them:

    I cannot do it all. It is okay to ask for help. My worth is not determined by being perfect.  

    You may be fooling the outside world, but you can never fool your inside world.

    To all of you trying to be perfect to deem yourself worthy of love, it’s time to stop. Living within the constructs of unworthiness will inevitably show up negatively in your life in some capacity.

    allareimperfect

    Nothing “out there” is ever going to make you feel accepted and loved other than your own self-acceptance and love.

    And here’s how that looks:

    • Honor your feelings
    • Speak your truth
    • Set healthy boundaries
    • Tell people how you feel
    • Be authentic in word and deed
    • Give authentic Yes’s and No’s
    • Give yourself mental breaks (meditation)
    • Calm your heart (deep breathe)
    • Soothe your body (exercise, massage, baths, healthy food)
    • Speak loving, grace-filled words to and about self

    Your worth has never been about how perfect you are and it never will be. God doesn’t make mistakes and you were not his first.

    It’s time to stop hiding your truth and honor all of who you are. Stand up and say, “I need help right now and it’s okay!” Open your heart, use your voice and know there are better ways to deal with stress. The world is full of great wisdom and healing.

    Go find it!

    Always consult a medical professional if you are experiencing physical or emotional changes in your body.

    [DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]

  • Ladies: Is Your “Number” Getting Too High? July 29, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    tic marks

    There’s a pop culture term for the amount of people we’ve had sex with. It’s called “your number”.  The mere fact this is a thing within our youth, says a lot. People are always paying attention to how we conduct ourselves sexually.

    Historically society has made promiscuity okay for men, but multiple partners takes on a completely differently meaning for women. Throughout the centuries, one might typically be called a whore or a slut if her number is too high suggesting she is giving away the “cookie” (as Steve Harvey refers to it) too often and easily.

    However, I see a high number in a completely different way. So, let’s take the words whore and slut out of this conversation because judgment will only interfere with this very important message.

    Without even knowing you personally, I can bank on a few reasons why you continually give up the cookie too soon:

    1. You believe sex will secure the relationship.
    2. You believe a man’s sexual desire for you means he is interested
    3. You have no idea how truly valuable you are.

    Most men are driven by a primal need to disperse his seed. It is built into his physiology to procreate. He is easily turned on visually and when touch is added, he’s quickly pushed to the point of no return. Most often he will do or say anything to get what his body is craving. Remember the Meatloaf song “Paradise by Dashboard Lights?

    Considering these hard facts, it’s almost stupid how easy it is to get a man to have sex with you. (To be frank, it’s really no great accomplishment)

    Then once in throes of tongues, thrusts and sweat, the cookie-giver tends to think: Look how much he wants me. I’m special and different than all the other women. He won’t be able to live without me!

    Until he loses interest and stops calling. Ouch.

    goodbye

    Why? Because to a man sex is never about securing a relationship. Period.

    There’s a sad truth afoot here, ladies… men can pretty much get their rocks off with anyone, even with himself.  You are not special and you are not different than any orgasm before you.

    At least not yet!

    When we have sex with a prospective partner too soon, we mistake his sexual desire for love and affection. Sure, he may think you are cute and funny, but he hasn’t even gotten to know you. All that happened was you provided an outlet for his innate primal desire.

    Even if he does stick around for a bit, he hasn’t connected to your personality, your values or your soul. He wasn’t given the time. The only thing that’s been established is you are willing to screw. Is that really what you want your worth to be judged by?

    I didn’t think so.  Please read on.

    The point when a man truly connects with and commits to a woman does not come from sex. It arises organically when the woman keeps a steady pace of abstinence until the man has earned the right to be with her.

    I’m not making this up. Any emotionally healthy, self-aware man will tell you this.

    Emotionally healthy men are highly attracted to and stay with women who are confident, know their worth and formulate healthy boundaries for him to honor and respect.

    Unless or until you start treating yourself as valuable, your number will continue to increase without the payoff of a lifetime partner you so desperately crave.

    Let’s break this down into 3 Simple Truths:

    Simple Truth #1:

    Your vagina is not your worth.

     If you could readily adopt that idea, I’d stop writing right now. But chances are you don’t yet fully understand.

    Stop listening to the BS society and the media throws at you. Your eyebrows, hair, clothes, toenails and fancy Cirque de Solei sex positions is not what secures an emotionally healthy man. He may enjoy those things, but they will not ensure a lifetime commitment. Sure, there are superficial dudes out there who only care about how you look on his arm, but all you will ever be is a thing to make him feel better about who he is.

    Not really what you’re looking for is it?

    Simple Truth #2:

    A man wants a woman who is authentic, open-hearted and acts in alignment with her own worth.

    After years of poor choices and behaviors stemming from my own unworthiness, I learned a man is truly looking for a woman to feel safe with. Yep, you heard me! He craves safety and intimacy just like you do.

    A woman tossing out the cookie left and right does not yield safety I assure you.

    A safe woman is one who understands her value and is willing to act in accordance with her worth thus becoming a shining beacon amidst a tumultuous hurricane of cookies flying everywhere.

    When a man feels authentic truth, self-worth and integrity within a woman, he will do what it takes to secure her to him. This is the point she becomes special and different. And if he doesn’t, he is not a man of integrity and you should move on as fast as possible.

    Simple Truth #3:

    Men desire connection and safety just as much as women.

    An emotionally healthy man will choose a woman who makes him feel safe over a flamboyant romp in the sack every time.

    Have you ever stayed in a relationship too long waiting for him to commit only to watch him marry the next woman he meets? What did she have that you didn’t? Oftentimes, a man doesn’t even know what he is looking for until that glowing, confident, self-assured women whirls into his life. She can be a game changer for even the most steadfast of bachelors.

    foundsafety

    Sisters, there is a way out of the ever increasing “numbers” game and into the arms of a wonderful man so listen up.

    Step One: Recognize you have a pattern of giving up the cookie-too soon.

    Step Two: Let yourself off the hook. You are not a whore. You have only mistakenly believed that you could gain love by offering your body. Give yourself grace and forgiveness for acting in a way that did not support your highest self.

    Step Three: Stop dating until you do the work to heal your self-worth and unequivocally know you are able to protect and support your sacred self in your next relationship.

    And always remember there is nothing more attractive and stimulating to an emotionally healthy man than a woman who values herself.

  • How to Develop a Growth Mindset May 10, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    openyourmind

    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.

  • Apology Letter to Myself May 9, 2017 by Kristen Brown


    Dear Sweet Self:

    I owe you my deepest apology. I allowed people to treat you as if you didn’t matter. I did not stop people from emotionally and physically abusing you. I ignored your pleas to be heard. Instead I kept seeking love outside of you and kept you in situations where you should have held your head high and walked out.

    I didn’t believe there was better love out there. I believed whatever situation you were in was as good as it would get. I know better now.

    I am deeply sorry for putting you through the hell of trying to make you into someone you are not. I could feel you urging me to stop, but I just couldn’t. I didn’t want people to disapprove of your silliness, intelligence, inner beauty and shyness, so I kept you small and hidden. I wanted you to blend in with the crowd so you wouldn’t be made fun of. I’m sorry I dishonored your heart and true essence.

    I’m sorry I disrespected your emotions. I only allowed you to feel anger instead of the rainbow of emotions we humans are intended to feel. Emotions that would allow others to help you when you needed it.

    I’m sorry I compromised your spirit by making you feel powerless to the world. I could feel there was so much more to you, but I was afraid to let the world see who you really are.

    I’m sorry I disrespected your body. You clearly expressed your dislike of alcohol and I didn’t listen because I didn’t want you to stand out. I also gave away the sacredness of your body to men who didn’t deserve it. For this I am eternally sorry. I did not understand how precious you really are.

    I’m truly sorry I compromised your value by failing to uphold healthy boundaries. I let others walk all over you. I let them hurt you and treat you as if you were nothing. You never ever deserved it. It was only a reflection of how little I regarded your worth.

    Sweet self, I promise you, I will always, always do my best to protect and love you. You are my priority now. Thank you for unconditionally loving me and forgiving me before I even asked.
    I want you to know I’m in charge now and everything is going to be okay! I have been reborn. I get it now! From this point forward you are my priority.

    I love you.

    Kristen

  • Taking Radical Responsibility for Our Lives May 9, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    BuddhaPath

    If we don’t own our stuff, we will never see our disempowered pattern nor will we grow and experience a better future.  As Buddha says, “Enlightenment comes from awareness.” In order for us to grow, we must first become aware.

    I remember clearly the day I took radical personal responsibility for my life. It was about 7 years ago. I stopped dead in my tracks at the foot of my bed and looked back over my entire life. I steeled myself for what I was sure was going to be an onslaught of shame and regret. I remember cringing inside afraid of what I might see, but I went for it anyway.

    I faced every disempowered behavior I could remember: bending and stretching to fit others’ ideas of who I should be, doing things I hated to please another, failing to hold much needed boundaries and playing small to be liked.

    I kept going: one night stands, drinking alcohol or smoking weed to fit in, staying with partners who hit me, drove intoxicated or emotionally abused me and allowing disrespect from friends, family and partners. The list went on and on.

    When I was finished, I just stood there unsure what was next. What I did know was the world did not end, I did not lose a limb, my children were still alive and…

    I felt… free?

    Holy Mother Earth, I felt FREE! I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. Everything that I had kept hidden, all the secrets, all the shame, was out in the open. I was free!

    Yes, I did that. All of it. It was me. I am the one who is responsible for my choices and my life.

    I understood for the first time how the unworthiness hidden inside of me manifested dangerous, reckless and unkind behaviors to myself.

    I gave myself a big hug and said, “I am so sorry I did this to you. You deserve so much better! I will do better by you in the future. I promise.”

    And I forgave myself.

    Something radically shifted that day for me. I was reborn. My path to worthiness and empowerment had begun. I now always seek to recognize when I am acting out of shame or unworthiness instead of love. I catch myself sooner and I make choices that will lift my heart and life rather than perpetuate a defeating cycle.

    And you can do the same.

    Ownership Practice:

    Pick a date and time to be alone with yourself where you will have no interruptions. Open your mind and heart. Allow yourself to remember and replay all the times you did not love yourself or protect your well-being. Recognize each one with neutrality and non-judgment. Allow the memories to come forward one at a time. No judgment, no condemnation. Just recognition. Own it all.

    When you are finished, wrap your arms around yourself and say out loud: These were my behaviors driven by low self-worth. I recognize my old pattern. I did the best I could at the time. I’m sorry for putting you through that. I will do my best to love and protect you in the future.

    And so it is. Amen.

  • Dear New Wife April 6, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    FriendsStrangers

    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

  • Are You Resilient and Don’t Even Know It? April 6, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    PavementPlant

    I have been called “strong” as long as I can remember; however, these remarks often perplexed me. What is it about me that appears so strong? I certainly don’t feel strong! If they only knew how afraid I was they wouldn’t be saying this at all. Inside, I am a frightened little girl waiting for the next traumatic event to befall my life. What is it about my behavior that compels people to speak this over me time and time again?

    These thoughts and questions swirled in my head for decades. Always leaving me as perplexed as the time before. I just didn’t get it.

    Then one day, it became clear.

    By definition resiliency is:

    the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness

    Strong is just another word for resilient and resiliency was a definition I could identify with. Funny how a simple change in nomenclature made sense out of years of confusion.

    I’ve written many articles on resiliency and each piece took on a life of its own. There are many ways to achieve resiliency just as there are many paths to God or spiritual enlightenment. But today I’m going to focus on one piece. It’s the piece that was modeled for me so distinctly by the most resilient woman I know, my mother. And that piece is:

    To keep going no matter what.

    No matter if it was my father’s adulterous affair, the tragic death of my brother at age 16, the illness’ and subsequent deaths of her parents, my parents’ divorce, her cancer diagnosis or her double knee replacement, she always responded the same way – with resiliency.

    She kept going no… matter… what.  

    I believe because resiliency was modeled so powerfully in my home, it became part of who I am. There were no words spoken to me about it, no cheerleading, it just was. This is how we handle times like this. This is how we do heavy. This is how we keep going when we are frightened, sad or shattered.

    Even though I had a tremendous role model, it does not mean it came easy. Resiliency is a choice. A day to day and sometimes minute by minute choice.

    The choice to rise up as a victor instead of adopting victimhood.

    The choice to see the blessings in the mire instead of suffocating under its sludge.

    The choice to reposition the heavy weight rather than giving up and quitting.

    229388-Keep-Going-No-Matter-What

    This might come as a shock to some of you, but a couple years back when I was first asked to write a piece on resiliency, I had to look up the definition. Prior to that, I had no clear idea of what it really meant.

    Simply by discovering the word and its definition, I was able to identify a force inside myself that I had not yet been able to label.

    Resilient. I am resilient. I choose a forward path. I keep moving forward no matter what. I refuse to be anyone’s victim. A setback is not the end of my life. There is more life to live. Other’s bad choices are not a reflection of my goodness and worth. I get to choose how I view and handle my own life. This is my personal freedom and my right. Bad things are going to happen and I cannot stop them, but I can sure choose how I will respond to them and…

    I will keep going no matter what!

    Unfortunately, not many of us have resiliency modeled for us in our youths and even if we do, our personality may choose a different response to our situation.

    What my mother didn’t speak, but probably understood was that no difficulty is forever. It passes eventually. Life is a series of events challenging us to step into our higher selves – to evolve into our richness and destiny. No “thing” out there can beat us unless we allow it.

    By no means am I suggesting we emotionally bypass the pain that comes our way. That is not resiliency, it is rug sweeping and numbing. It is a grand gesture of avoidance that will only repress the pain and fear for a little while. Eventually we will have to meet it again face to face.

    Resiliency is about feeling the feelings, letting them out, talking about the situation to a trusted friend, then choosing your next best step. It’s about releasing attachment to the future by funneling all your energy into the present moment knowing God is leading you one tiny step at a time.

    Resiliency is to keep going no matter what.

  • Are You Giving Up On Your Dream Too Soon? March 19, 2017 by Kristen Brown

     

    ItWillBeWorthit

    Do you feel like you are going nowhere? That no matter how hard you work to achieve your big dream, it feels forever out of reach? I imagine you’ve even entertained the notion of giving up more often than you’d like to admit. I hear you, brothers and sisters, because I have too. There’s no shame in questioning if our dream will ever come to pass. It’s what we do after questioning that matters most.

    People like you and I are seekers on a quest to live the best life we can. We work hard for our dreams and desperately desire to see them come to fruition. Waiting for our dreams to manifest can feel frustrating and often lead to diminished motivation or entertaining thoughts of quitting altogether.

    But it doesn’t have to!

    It’s paramount to remind ourselves during these moments of doubt, that big dreams don’t often arrive a week after we conjure them up. (At least none of mine ever have) More often than not they take longer than we’d like. We also tend to forget to recognize how far we’ve actually come. It’s important to know that much is happening behind the scenes while we wait. The gap between dreaming and achieving is for a very good reason…

    We are simply being prepared.

    The truth is we may not yet have the courage, skills, knowledge or confidence to support and be successful in our dream the moment we conjure it up. We may have places in us that need to advance and evolve in order to be ready for the arrival of our dream. In other words, we may have more work to do before our dream would survive and thrive with us.

    The good news is – because there is always good news – the gap between our dream and its fruition is always divinely guided.

    universeconspires

    The Universe knows exactly what we need and provides us with opportunities to hone our skills, heal our unworthy places and cultivate confidence. In the gap we are invited to stretch outside our comfort zone to become the person who is fully ready to receive and thrive within her dream’s fruition.

    The wait is always purposeful!

    Our dreams rarely arrive in one swift Ta-Da! Instead they tend to show up in incremental small victories leading up to the big show. These small victories are the stepping stones to our success. By tracking, measuring and celebrating each one, we shorten the gap between dreaming and receiving because it fuels our energy which creates and maintains a resilient forward trajectory!

    small-victories-jump out window

    When you feel yourself wanting to rush through life to get “there”, remind yourself to observe how far you’ve actually come. Celebrate all you’ve acquired while journeying toward your dream. If you look close enough, you will see much has already been gained.

    Hold your small victories close to your heart.

    Integrate them into your spirit.

    Allow them to cultivate your confidence and keep your dream alive!

    Don’t wait for someone else to cheer you on. You are your own best cheerleader.

    And remember, you are closer than you think!

  • Your Failed Relationships Can Change Your Life February 13, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    The days, weeks and months post break-up are the most important part of our recovery process. Why? Because it is the time we are the most raw and do the most reflecting. During this time, we tend to replay conversations and scenarios in our head and examine all aspects of the relationship.

    It is also the time we tend to assign blame to our ex and stand righteously behind why we were done so wrong.

    He did me so wrong! I was so abused and mistreated. What a jerk/bitch! How dare she!

    Short-term it feels great to the ego to point the finger outward; however, long-term it serves nothing.

    When we place 100% blame on our partner and are unwilling to see the part we played (no matter how minute it seems) we will continue to bring our own dysfunctional relationship patterns into every future relationship we have.

    Let me explain further…

    Each relationship we experience is a classroom for us to grow in. If we look only at the places our ex needs to grow, we will never learn what is intended for us and we will continue to attract relationships that will attempt to show us ourselves.

    Do you want to experience another dysfunctional relationship, another breakup? Do you really think you played no part? Does the need to be right and place total blame on your ex really trump your own emotional growth and wellness?

    It wasn’t until I experienced the worst betrayal of my life did I finally open my mind to the idea that I had played a part in the downfall of my failed relationships.

    I finally recognized I was the common denominator. I was the who allowed my partners to dishonor and disrespect me. That was my contribution. It didn’t matter if my part was only 10% or not as destructive as his; I still had to take complete responsibility for what part was mine. My relationships served to show me that I was not honoring or respecting myself.

    Recognize the Common Theme

    If we truly open our minds and look close enough, we will see the common theme that runs through all our failed relationships. Here is a few examples of common themes.

    I invite you to keep an open mind as one or several of the following may look familiar to you:

    • You are fearful of communication
    • You are too walled off to allow someone close
    • You let your partners walk all over you then resent them for it
    • You choose people who are exciting (i.e. Bad boys) rather than partners who are rich in character
    • You attract commitment phobes or are one yourself
    • You think nothing of yourself therefore you partners treat you like nothing
    • You lie to avoid confrontation
    • You avoid difficult subjects
    • You allow your partner to get away with bad behavior
    • You fail to set and maintain healthy boundaries
    • You fail to take care of yourself for fear of losing their love
    • You have high expectations that no “human” could ever meet

    Discovering your common theme is…

    The First Step

    This is when the magic happens!

    We cannot heal what we do not know exists. Once you become clear on your part of the equation, celebrate it!

    I am so grateful I discovered my pattern of _______! I will focus on doing the work to heal this disempowered pattern so I may dissolve it for good!

    Friends, I could not maintain appropriate boundaries with my partners when they were clearly wrong. I’d pout, cry, talk, talk, talk, and talk, threaten and yell, but nothing would ever change. I couldn’t set boundaries because I was afraid I would lose their love or the relationship would end. I was weak and afraid. I banked my self-worth on how they thought of me and fell short of empowerment every time it mattered most.

    I had no idea I was a doormat and repeatedly attracted men who treated me the way I treated myself.

    When I recognized my common theme, focused on my healing and learned to transcend my disempowered places, my boundaries became unwavering because I was no longer afraid of losing the love. My emotional health and well-being had become more important to me than anything.

    Not long after doing the work, as if by magic, I attracted a man who reciprocally loves and respects me. A man who works with me, grows with me and complements my personality beautifully.

    And the same can happen for you!

    Open Your Mind and Be Gentle With You

    Please understand you are a work in progress just like everyone else. Give yourself grace for the points of healing you discover within yourself. Beating yourself up will only strengthen and perpetuate the unworthiness behind your fearful and disempowered behavior.

    Rest knowing your healing will change the dynamic of all your relationships for the better and forever!

    Allow a sense of freedom to wash over you as you now have been released from a hidden place inside yourself that has dictated the theme in your relationships. You are now on path to attracting the relationship of your dreams!

    Contact me at sweetempowement@gmail.com for a FREE 30 minute coaching session to get your started!

    I believe in you!

  • The Healing Power of Engaged Listening February 4, 2017 by Kristen Brown

    Last weekend I was walking in the grocery store when I heard a patron ask how a store employee was doing. The employee’s response was, “I’m fine. No use complaining because no wants to listen anyway.”

    At this point he was walking by me and I said with a big smile, “I’ll listen to you!”  He laughed, made a few jokes and continued walking by. Most likely he didn’t believe that I’d leave my basket, grab a drink from the in-store Starbucks and tell my partner Doug to come back and pick me up in an hour. But I would have.

    All day I thought about the exchange in the store, because I, too, have felt at times that no one cares to listen. It inevitably created a profound feeling of aloneness, isolation and like I don’t matter to anyone. A feeling I don’t enjoy nor do I enjoy thinking someone else is feeling.

    I’m going to disclaim that I understand that no one (including myself) wants to hunker down with a chronic complainer who only wants to discuss the problem and never the solution. Those types can be incredibly draining and are usually people we need to instill healthy boundaries with.

    However, what about the people who truly need someone to talk to? The ones who are trying desperately to work through a problem, but have no one to bounce it off of? Or how about the ones who may not have many people in their lives and simply crave human companionship?

    Would you be willing to show up for them? Could you put your own stuff down for an hour, pull up a chair and lend an engaged ear?

    It has been said by many psychological and spiritual experts that engaged listening is one of the highest acts of love.

    It says: You matter and I care.

    Many of us love to think that we are compassionate and caring listeners, but our behavior proves differently. We zone out when the person is sharing his/her story and/or we can’t wait to switch the topic to us. We jump to conclusions to finish their sentences so we don’t have to listen longer than we want to. We don’t really care what they have to say. We don’t really care about their problem. And we don’t really want to know the dirty details of their life.

    Believe it or not, you are doing both of you a grave disservice.

    Because engaged listening is not only healing for the talker, it is healing for the listener as well.

    When we open our hearts to listen…

    We serve the betterment of humanity. By caring about what another has to say, we are literally healing the planet. Imagine how the person felt before you “cared” and how he/she feels now? By actively listening, you’ve lifted another’s spirit. You’ve made them feel like someone cares and when we know someone cares hope and inspiration arise. In turn, their lifted spirit will serve another and so on and so on. The ripple effect of love begins! Win!

    We serve our soul. Our soul is comprised of all things high and loving. Our soul yearns for us to live in unity with its nature. Truly caring about another’s situation and giving them our time and attention is living within the bounty of our spirit! Stepping out of self and into service allows us to nurture the deepest part of our being. It restores our energy, invigorates our life path and builds our self-worth. Win!

    We evolve while listening. The ego loves to convince us we are all-knowing to keep us in the dark in order to keep itself alive. When we open our minds to what others have to say, we begin undoing of the ego because it leaves us more knowledgeable and wise. Growth, advancement and learning do not happen by talking; they happen by listening.

    listening

    This morning I was at the full service carwash. I had two random ladies strike up conversations with me. The first told me all about being married for 57 years and how some days she wanted to take a dull knife to her husband.  (Chuckle, Chuckle) We laughed and chatted a bit more. When she turned to leave, I sincerely wished her a Happy Anniversary. She stopped and turned back to me with a perplexed look and quietly said, “Thank you… That was really kind of you.” I got the feeling she doesn’t receive much well-wishing in her life and was truly appreciative of my sentiment.

    The second lady approached me outside and talked to me about her job, divorce, vitamins, hair, roommate situation, car, her sister and her hometown of Chicago! From her stories, I got the feeling she doesn’t have many people to talk to or who truly care about her thoughts and feelings.

    When it was time for her to go she cupped my hand in both of hers and said, “I sure enjoyed talking to you. Thank you for listening.” She even gave me a spot of wisdom to take away:

    The toes you step on now is the ass you will kiss later.  Ha! Got it!

    I often ask God to help me be of service in the world. I ask to put me in the right place at the right time for the right people. As small as those two exchanges may seem, they felt divinely guided to me. Just by listening, I was able to let someone know I care and put a smile on their face. Those two brief encounters set a loving tone for the rest of my day.

    Giving someone your full attention is one of the highest acts of love. It is serving to everyone – you and the other person. Even if you don’t get to see the results, rest knowing engaged listening is never in vain because you’ve let someone know they matter and you care.

    I dedicate this piece to the beloved listeners in my life: Doug, Sue, Lisa, Ed, Ashley & Kelli. I appreciate you more than you know!  XO

    Much Love,

    Kristen

  • Stop Feeling Guilty for ‘Me Time’ – It’s Actually Benefiting Your Children December 30, 2016 by Kristen Brown

    I woke up the other day feeling a bit antsy and irritable. Since that is not typical Kristen character, I checked in with myself by asking:

    What’s missing? What do I need right now?

    The answer was emphatically clear. I need more me time.

    me-time1

    I knew immediately I had fallen into the guilt trap a-gain! Because guilt is the only reason I refrain from taking me time. Straight up, no chaser.

    Six years post tsunami, two years rockin’ a new book, a successful coaching practice and multitudes of self-empowerment blogs and articles in my portfolio and I still fall prey to the guilt monster. ((sigh))

    Here’s what the despicable beast sounds like:

    You need to be available for your family all of the time.

    You cannot take care of yourself until everyone else is set.

    You’re last on the list.

    Everyone’s needs trump yours.

    Do any of these thoughts sound familiar to you? If yes, read on, my friend!

    Yesterday I had a fabulous conversation with my dear friend, Sherry. I shared how guilt stops me from doing the things I want to do for me. Things that expand my soul, grow my spirit, fill my life and make me feel good. Sherry understood far too well as she too experiences the same voices in her head and allows them to control her actions as well.

    In fact, Sherry suffers from a chronic illness right now that oftentimes puts her to bed for days. She expressed to me how she often pushes past the needs of her body to alleviate guilt she would feel for taking care of herself. Which only then exacerbates her weakened state and categorically adds days to her down time.

    Sherry and I agreed we both would have benefitted from more quality attention in our youths and due to our desire to do things “better”, we’ve overcompensated in a bad way.

    Mommies, what are we doing to ourselves?!

    Here’s what I know for sure.

    Over-correcting is not the way to do it.

    Giving ourselves away at the expense of our own well-being and self-care never serves anyone. It runs us ragged while it may enable our children to be self-serving, demanding, unable to work out their own problems, unable to keep themselves occupied and/or keep them locked in a state of instant gratification.

    Keep in mind they don’t have to act like Veruca Salt to be exhibiting these behaviors. They can be subtle and manipulative as well. Believe me, our kid’s got our number!

    Disclaimer: This does not mean we have horrible children. They aren’t purposefully trying to drain the life out of us. They’ve been tended to from birth and unless we set boundaries, they will continue to seek our tending because they won’t know any better.

    You see, when we compromise our sacred self, we sacrifice our self-worth and we simply will not show up as the lightest and brightest version of ourselves.

    It’s impossible because we are not tending to ourselves as a whole. It’s like washing, waxing and polishing only half of a filthy car. We only show up a fraction of our full potential.

    The first sign I recognize when I’ve been putting myself last is irritability. Then I notice a deep internal pull to be doing something else. I feel empty, antsy, half-interested, detached, going through motions, pretending I’m listening but zoning out and the worst part is the feelings of resentment that sometimes come. The very thing I’m trying to avoid, I actually create!

    Which then begs the questions:

    Is it really better to give all of me away?

    Are my beloveds getting the best  version of me when I’m not tending to my soul?

    Are my children really getting a better experience than I had?

    Am I teaching them patience, boundaries and self-care by running myself ragged?

    When put like that, the answer becomes emphatically clear.

    No.

    Being a mommy doormat is not serving to our children or to us.

    So let’s get off the problem and onto the solution. 

    taketimeforme

    What does it look like when we do carve out more me time?

    For me, I’m more centered, engaged and relaxed. I don’t feel rushed or harried. I am better focused, happier, more patient and definitely more present. Hands down, I’m a better version of me when I take care of myself and stop putting everyone’s needs above my own.

    I would be remiss if I did not mention that I understand everyone’s situations are different. I’ve seen a lot in my 26 years working closely with the public and I understand it’s not always easy to etch out the space we desperately need.

    I want to encourage those of you who do have extenuating circumstance to do your best to whittle out some me time. If there is a will, there is a way! It might be uncomfortable at first as you work through your limiting beliefs and guilt, but I implore you to keep at it!

    You cannot  be your best self if you are not treating yourself as valuable.

    To all the mommas out there who find yourself pinched up and beginning to begrudge your role as mother, I implore you to heed the words herein. Do you want to be an average momma or do you want to be an exemplary momma?

    Remember we are the greatest role models for our children. We have the choice to model doormathood or to model loving self-care.

    Trust in knowing your self-care will benefit your children as much as it will benefit you!

    takecareofyou

    Here’s to guilt-free (if there is such a thing) parenting!

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Much Love,

    Kristen

  • How Jealousy Can Change the Trajectory of Your Life October 23, 2016 by Kristen Brown

    jealousy

    It was recently brought to my attention that some people delete their Facebook accounts because they hate to see other people’s happy lives. This notion took me by surprise as it was something I, personally, have not considered.

    Naturally, it got me thinking.

    Is it possible my Facebook posts piss people off? Is someone out there jealous of the happy times I share? Could I be the reason someone shuts down their Facebook?

    If I knew this to be true, I would respond like this:

    My family and I have gone through more tribulations than most people I know. I’ve shared quite a bit of it on Facebook and my blogs, although there is much more that I keep behind the scenes to protect the privacy of others.

    But in spite of our trials, we’ve triumphed. I’m now watching the manifestation of my focal points taking form in the physical world. I find myself mesmerized as I watch one beautiful moment after another unfold around me. In awestruck wonder, I often ask myself:

    Is this really happening? Do you see what I see? Is this really the beneficial reaping of my focus, determination and healing?

     Each sweet moment, every tiny victory and each step of spiritual growth has become super important to me. I cherish it. I roll around in it. I allow it to integrate into my spirit.

    Posting on Facebook is my personal way of shouting from the mountaintops with outstretched arms, “Thank you, God! I see what I have, I’m receiving it and I’m so incredibly grateful!”

    My hope would be for you to understand where I’ve been and how important celebrating my “good stuff” is for me.

    One might be thinking,  You just don’t understand. My life is a mess. Nothing goes my way. It’s hard for me to be happy for anyone because I’m so miserable.

    Oh, my dear… I understand more than you know. And you have the power to change that.

    In my not-so-distant past, I was in the gutter so low I felt my life was over. I believed a happy life was only reserved for others. Depression, anxiety, self-loathing and negativity were oozing out of my pores.

    In December of 2010 all my brothers and their families were gathered at our mother’s house for Christmas. Everyone was joyfully chatting and laughing with their spouses by their sides. I had just entered “my tsunami”. My husband had abandoned our family and left us homeless and incomeless. I couldn’t get past the belief that I was the “loser divorced child”. I desperately wanted what they had.

    I could barely contain my depression, sadness and unworthiness. I wanted to hide out in my room until the holiday was over then slink back into my dreadful existence without anyone watching. It was a painfully lonely and shameful time.

    However, after a couple days of my self-induced hell, I reminded myself of something…

    Their lives aren’t perfect. No one’s is. They have their own trials and tribulations too. Their “stuff” just looks different than mine does. I’m not broken, flawed or beyond redemption! My life simply took a weird ass left turn and I have some grieving and healing to do. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    In that moment, I chose a different perception and with no prompting, the density of my emotion began to ease up. I chose to view the happiness and well-being of others as a place I wanted to return to, not a place of jealousy and self-loathing.  

     I chose thoughts that would put me on the trajectory of victory rather than thoughts that kept me rooted in the ghastly hell of victimhood.

    And you can too.

    Pity parties are desperately unproductive. Sometimes we have to kick our own butt and get back in the game!

    So I ask you, dear friend, do you see other people’s lives through the filter of regret, despair, loneliness, discouragement, jealousy and/or unworthiness?

    If you answered Yes, you can change your path right now by focusing on these

    3 Steps That Will Change Your Life Trajectory:

    1.  Focus on what is going right in your life instead of what is not. No matter what storm we are in, there are always blessings afoot. Take notice and practice gratitude.
    2. Celebrate others’ happiness and victories. Focusing on others’ “good stuff” creates an energetic change in you thus an energetic change in your direction. When we focus on better feeling emotions, we align ourselves for better experiences to come our way.
    3. View others’ “good stuff” as a point of reference. Instead of being jealous or resentful of their life, use their experience to inspire you to reach higher for yourself and your family. If they can have it, so can you! When we align ourselves with healing, healing will come.

    Our experience of life is how we choose to perceive it. We can choose to see life through bitterness, resentment and jealousy or we can choose to recognize our blessings and others’ blessings as a point of attraction we want more of.

    Just as wallowing in despair will give you more to despair about, basking in your blessings will bring you more to bask about!

    Much Love,

    KB

  • The First Step is Always the Hardest September 29, 2016 by Kristen Brown

    The first step to healing is the hardest one. It is the time we feel the most afraid.

    It’s the time we have decided that we don’t want to live as we have been living, but are unsure what to do.  We feel confused because we thought we knew what we were doing, but entertain the notion that maybe we don’t.

    We frighten ourselves by thinking we’ve done it all wrong and furthermore, what if there is something critically wrong with us?! We might muster up a tidbit of courage and begin to see our defeating patterns and bad choices, but it is likely followed by a Mach 2 shame-filled shudder which tempts us to retreat once again.

    It is here in this dark cave of the soul that we quite possibly make the most essential decision of our lives…

    Do I withdraw back into my cave of self-doubt, shame and denial or do I take one more tiny step forward?

    For some, the pain of staying the same begins to outweigh the fear of change and we start leaning in a direction we’ve never leaned into before. We feel a glimmer of hope and see a speck of light in the distance.

    Our interest is piqued.

    Our curiosity starts to expand and we tentatively move forward.

    Then out of nowhere like a whispery, gentle breeze blowing across our cheeks, we notice something has changed…

    __________________________________________________

    I was in the dark cave.

    I didn’t know my life was a manifestation of a hidden trunk full of self-lies, unworthy notions and false perceptions I had gained throughout my life. I didn’t know that I had taken information coming my way and spun it into a web of “Kristen sucks”.  I didn’t know I had been flying under the radar my entire life hoping someone would “see” who I truly am and give me permission to rise higher.

    I was afraid to admit my mistakes and downfalls to anyone for fear they would be exploited as they had been in the past. I was already ashamed of who I was and certainly didn’t need someone else adding fuel to fire.

    But the one thing I knew for sure was I couldn’t keep doing what I had always done.

    It wasn’t working.

    I looked high and low among my family and friends, but could not find someone to hold neutral, non-judgmental space for me through this most vulnerable time. I desperately wanted someone to guide me and encourage me while I waded through the swampy wasteland of my bad decisions and embarrassing moments.

    It was difficult to take brave steps forward without someone holding my hand. I still craved approval and permission from those around me. I wanted to be a follower. I wanted desperately for someone to say, “Oh, yes! I know where you want to go. I’ve been there! Follow me!”

    It didn’t happen, but the most fascinating part is…

    I didn’t let it stop me.

    I had determined if I wanted healing and peace bad enough, I’d have to do it alone. If I waited for someone to ride the train with me, I’d most likely still be waiting.

    Then seemingly out of nowhere, I realized something else.

    I really wasn’t alone – I had never been alone. I had God.

    The same God I talked to as a child while riding my bike, walking to a friend’s house or belly down on my bedroom floor writing poems. The same God I turned to when I had no one else to talk to- my companion, my mentor. The same God who always has my best interest at heart and who speaks to me through intuitive whispers that never lead me astray.

    And so my journey began.

    I didn’t know what it would look like or how it would go. I just knew it was time to take the first, most difficult step.

    As my beloved friend and soul sister, Sue Markovitch, often says, “Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.”

    It’s important to remember we won’t heal our worth or attract our best life in one day.

    It will take putting one foot in front of the other. It’s about viewing each new day as a brand new learning opportunity which will later morph into a brand new you.

    We are not alone and we are not without guidance. The light we need to find our way is already here. It has always been here. All we have to do is invite It in and take the first step.

    Dear God/Source/Universe: I am open to healing. I am open to a greater awareness and understanding of life. I am open to healing my false perceptions and disempowering ways. Please come. Please make your presence known in my life. I know you will not interfere for the law of free will, so I give you free entrance into my heart and mind. I know you know best and I’m fully open to your lead. Amen.

    You have everything you need, my friend.

    Let me be the one to say:

    “Oh, yes! I know where you want to go. I’ve been there! Follow me!”

    I believe in you.

    ~ Kristen

  • People Who Need to Be Right – A Collaborative Column July 24, 2016 by Kristen Brown

    Dearest Readers,

    This is a very powerful column as each one of us delves into a different perspective. As you might notice there is a running theme throughout… Self-Worth. I hope you find inspiration in what you read!

    Much Love, KB

    kristen-bio  KRISTEN BROWN

    Chances are you’ve come across this article because someone in your life is driving you mad with his/her need to be right. It’s likely they are ridiculously aggravating to be around and you might even be considering relinquishing the relationship.

    Before you make a rash decision, let’s take a deeper look into what may be going on behind the scenes.

    My personal healing path combined with decades of research and close contact with the public has taught me a few things about people who stubbornly have to be right:

    1. They feel powerless in their life and often become stubborn as a means to feel like they are in control. They are often individuals who give away their power easily.
    2. They have a deep belief of unworthiness or inadequacy based on words spoken over them or life circumstance. Unfortunately, these people “right fight” in order to show others what they feel has been overlooked – their value as a brilliant and equivalent contributor.
    3. Their “right fighting” is a raw and real plea to be seen and heard – to matter to someone. It is a cry for love and acceptance.

    Most of us know we cannot change others. However, our “difficult” relationships offer us a magnificent growth point for ourselves!

    Other’s annoying behavior is often a clever design of the Universe to help us uncover the shadow (unhealed wounds) we need to work on.

    The times we are judging the most are the times we actually need to look closer within to learn where we might possess the same trait. It’s called projection.

    So the question then becomes…

    Do I have a need to be right?

    At first glance, you might be unwilling to see where “right fighting” is true in yourself, because self-responsibility begins the fragmentation (or death) of the ego and the ego will do whatever it takes to preserve itself!

    However, the good news is…

    Self-evolution begins when we are ready and willing to look within and heal all that may be standing between righteousness and happiness.

    People on high evolutionary paths are willing to be wrong and willing to choose their battles.

    So with this new perspective, I’d like you to circle back to the list above and humbly ask yourself, “Is this me?”

    And here’s where it gets really good!

    Once we heal in ourselves what we are judging most in others, we naturally stop being aggravated and annoyed by them. Our new healed position replaces annoyance with compassion because we begin to understand their behavior on a much deeper level.

    Their “right fighting” might still be present, but our experience will shift from judgment to observation which will give us opportunity to respond to them in a much higher way.

    So the next time you find yourself or another person battling to be right, ask yourself this:

    Is it vitally important to my health and well-being to be right or can I sit this one out?

    Kristen Brown is the founder and Page Admin of Sweet Empowerment. Kristen learned (the hard way) to heal her unworthiness in order to step into a life of peace and empowerment. She is on fire to heal your wounds and step into your best life. Contact Kristen HERE to begin your journey to empowerment today.

    20160617_131442-1_resized  LISA MARQUIS

    If you’ve ever seen Dr Phil, you’ve probably heard the term “right fighter.” A right fighter is defined as someone who is more concerned about being right in a conflict or situation than they are about resolution that’s best for all. They have to be right, period. There is no compromise.

    We all know right fighters. Some are more stubborn about their “rightness” than others, and will argue the most innocuous points! Their need to be right can be so uncomfortable that we feel the need to feign agreement, slink away, or play small to avoid confrontation. While this might keep the peace, it leaves us feeling not so good about them or the situation.

    This issue is very personal to me. I grew up with a family of right fighters, and the need to be right was modeled to me all my life. It was normal to me. I knew what I knew and you weren’t going to tell me any differently. Being the youngest fueled this dynamic, as everyone else came before me, they knew it all, and I was determined to show them differently.

    In my search for personal empowerment and peace, I’ve learned that for me, the need to be right comes from feeling unworthy inside.

    If I’m right I feel worthy, validated, intelligent, accepted, so therefore I need to be right! I need that validation. If I’m right then I can’t be wrong, right? Yeah, right!

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “would you rather be right or be happy?” Great question. Does it really matter if everyone thinks I’m right? And what if I’m wrong? Shouldn’t I just be happy?

    I’ve been humbled time and again, having discovered a conversation or argument where I wasn’t right about something I was so certain about! At some point the truth dawned on me or somehow I found out that I erred in my thought process. Still, that didn’t change my need to be right. My auto pilot of “rightness” was alive and well.

    In recovery programs like AA, it is said:

    “What you live with you learn, what you learn you practice, what you practice you become.”

    This was so true for me, and I brought this behavior of needing to be right well into adulthood. I projected my own insecurities and feelings of low self-worth onto others, and oftentimes it manifested itself as the need to be right.

    I’m still working on this and my feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy. It’s not an easy task after so many years of letting my ego run the show.

    When I find myself in that “need to be right” space, I try to stop and consider the situation. Is it really necessary to force my opinion on others? Can I let it go? I pause, think, agree to disagree if need be and learn from the situation.

    What I’ve learned is, being right isn’t as important as being peaceful or happy.

    Lisa Marquis is a Hair Stylist, Truth Seeker and aspiring Author! If you would like to follow Lisa on her Facebook biz page, click here: Straight Up Hair

    Sue BIO  SUE MARKOVITCH

    It’s election year. As someone who spends time on social media for business and pleasure, I see a lot of political discussions going on. What comes to light is some people desperately need to be right.

    My older brother was here from Texas last week. I hadn’t seen him in four years, but we are connected on Facebook. He has lots of political opinions, so I was a little nervous when we got into a deep conversation about the world, faith and justice. What I found, though, was an extremely respectful conversation. He asked me about my views, then listened. He didn’t interrupt me. He didn’t call me an idiot or raise his voice. He didn’t try to make me feel wrong. In his love for me, he was authentically seeking to understand my views.

    It was fucking awesome!

    I felt heard and loved and validated, even though we do not share specific faiths, or candidates. I believe he felt the same way.

    Not all conversations go that way. Things escalate as one response leads to another response and no one actually hears anyone. I’ve come to believe a few things about people who need to be right.

    1. Be Willing To Hear

    People who need to be right are actually people who desperately long to be heard. Am I willing to show up in love and just hear them? Does the conversation have to be a debate, or can I, with authentic curiosity, seek to know this person and why they hold the beliefs that they do? I am learning to do that, knowing that I have people who can then hold space for me and hear me, without debate.

    1. Healthy Boundaries

    Sometimes, we need healthy boundaries to keep from being pulled down into the lower vibe conversation of who is right and who is wrong. I am always willing to tell my story, but my faith is not up for debate. I can’t prove to you that God exists or that one candidate or party will lead better than another. So sometimes I choose to bow out, or change the subject. I’d much rather talk about eighties music anyway!

    1. Damn You, Projection

    The most important thing to remember, when I start thinking about this person or that person needing to be right, is owning that projection. Meaning, if I see the need to be right in another, to the extent I am judging and pointing it out, I’d better quickly own that I have a need to be right. If I didn’t, it would not be a hot button of judgment for me. They are the trigger. The issue is in me.

    Once I own my need to be right, I can begin to heal. I am empowered to see things differently. I no longer engage in debate, as much as radical love for my fellow brothers and sisters. I can listen with the intent to simply understand. I can be with a different point of view and stay rooted in love. I can put my relationships above my need to be right and feel heard, and make the miraculous shift from fear to love. In doing so, I become an empowerment warrior in the healing of this broken, hurting world.

    Sue Markovitch is an empowerment warrior and writer in Columbus, Ohio. Her book, I Know What to Do, I Just Don’t Do It is available on Amazon. She works with women over 40 to reclaim their personal power to live a life of integrity. Sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.clearrockfitness.com.

    KelliHeadshot  KELLI DAVIES

    We’ve all encountered that person who’s done everything and knows everything. They might even ask you a question and then argue with you about the answer! Dealing with people who always need to be right is exhausting and frustrating.

    In this current age of social media access, now more than ever, people feel the need to express, post, and tweet their views/opinions about any and everything. Inevitably, someone with the opposite viewpoint is going to comment, and before you can blink, it’s turned into a full blown social media brawl.

    Why would anyone spend so much time and energy arguing with people on social media?

    Because they need to be right. They’ve taken such a rigid stance on what they feel to be true, they lack being open to seeing things from another perspective.

    When dealing with these situations, ask yourself questions, questions, and more questions!

    How important is this issue in the grand scheme of things?

    Do I really want to engage in this debate?

    Are they open to understanding my perspective?

    Do I need to be understood or am I trying to win?

    What is it going to cost me to be right?

    Usually, I only have these conversations with people that I know to be open minded and rational. If you know from past experience that the person you’re dealing with lacks the ability to be open to truly hear you, then you must decide if it’s worth the energy to engage. 

    Sometimes you have to communicate to the person what you need from them. You might have to say, “I need for you to put yourself in my shoes and understand where I’m coming from”. It might be an obvious thing to do in your eyes, but not everyone thinks that way.

    When you lack the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, not only do you alienate those around you, but there is also a lack of the ability to be compassionate. We could all spend more time seeking to understand things that we oppose/disagree with or don’t have knowledge about, and less time convincing people why we’re right.

    I believe that having this mindset will create peace and harmony in your relationships.

    Kelli Davies has spent over 20yrs working as an aesthetician/makeup artist whose current work home is Prova Salon in Scottsdale, Az. Kelli is a church-going, intuitive, spiritual gangster!  Kelli’s spiritual journey has invoked a deep passion in her to encourage and speak life into others.