Category: Changing Perceptions

What Your Man Really Needs From You

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.

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

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.

Your Failed Relationships Can Change Your Life

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!

Stop Feeling Guilty for ‘Me Time’ – It’s Actually Benefiting Your Children

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

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