Category: Healing and Personal Growth

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!

The Healing Power of Engaged Listening

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

The First Step is Always the Hardest

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

Why Receiving Compliments Can Be Difficult- A Collaborative Column

kristen-bio Kristen Brown

In my 20’s, my “I suck” wound (unworthiness) was so big I could hardly look in the mirror because all I saw were my flaws – flaws I noticed myself and flaws that had been pointed out to me by others. No matter how wholeheartedly a compliment was given, it felt fake and untrue to me. Although I’d say “thank you” to be kind, I couldn’t receive it.

One day I read an article that said to ignore or push out a compliment was to turn your back on a loving gift. Can you imagine how it would feel if you wholeheartedly and excitedly handed someone a heartfelt gift and they said, “I don’t want that!”?

I know for me it would sting.

The article went on to say that when we graciously receive a compliment we are actually giving back to the giver because their heart becomes full with our receiving! In other words, their soul expands with their giving of love and our receiving of it.

Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?

So why is it we don’t easily apply this principle, graciously receive compliments and get with the program? Because…

When we don’t deem ourselves worthy of glory, we will not ever believe someone else does.

Many of us hold ourselves hostage to an unachievable standard of perfection. We believe: Unless or until I achieve (fill in the blanks) _____, _____ or _____, I will never be worthy.

Instead we are forever reaching, striving, straining and draining our way to reach a place we believe will finally make us worthy.

Loves, there is no amount of stuff we can acquire that will make us feel worthy. No amount of relationship, money, body or career status will ever fill the unworthiness void in our hearts.

Unworthiness healing is an inside job and here’s how it starts:

Know your true origin as a child of God – Equal to all living beings on this Earth. Not above, not below. Magnificent, unique and beautiful in your creation. God does not make mistakes and you are no exception.

Focus on what is right with you rather than what is “wrong” – We naturally begin to reflect our inner beauty and worthiness when we give ourselves grace for our mistakes and embrace our journey as one of learning and growing not of perfection.

Be your own best friend – Encourage yourself. Speak kindly to yourself. Forgive yourself and love yourself. Treat you the way you treat others. You need your acceptance, love and compassion just as much as your loved ones.

Receive the love coming your way – It’s there! Love is all around you! Open your eyes and heart to receive it. You are worthy of every compliment given. We came here to make manifest all that God is, to shine in our own special way. If someone is giving to you, open your palms wide and receive.

And most importantly…

Choose to see compliments as a reminder of your glory!

Kristen Brown is Sweet Empowerment’s page admin.  She is a spiritual and relationship coach/mentor who is on fire to help others heal their wounds and attract the life they’ve always dreamed of! If you would like to hire Kristen for personal coaching, click HERE for your free 15 minute consultation!

Sue BIO  Sue Markovitch

There is a chemistry principle called “Like Dissolves Like”, that describes how substances with similar characteristics will dissolve in each other. Salt shares similarities with water, so salt dissolves easily in water. Oil has the opposite polarity of water, so it does not. We’ve all seen oil floating on top, or in a separate layer from the water. It is because they repel.

For most of my life, compliments were oil to my water. I repelled them. If someone said, “You look great!”, I would grab a roll of belly fat and respond with, “Are you kidding? Have you seen this disgusting belly?” If someone said, “Your hair looks so nice like that”, I’d squirm around talking about how I’d gotten up late, didn’t have time to straighten it, blah blah blah.

Compliments were oil to my water. I repelled them.

Once I realized how rude it was to argue with someone, just because they complimented me, I tried to change. I would say, “Thank you!”, but it didn’t feel authentic. Compliments still made me feel seen, called out and vulnerable.

Then I started to learn about my wounds. My brokenness. I became aware of how rooted in Not Good Enough and I Don’t Matter I was. My solvent was composed of fear, so love bombs in the form of compliments could never really get in. They were always repelled, because fear and love are as opposite as oil and water.

Not being able to receive compliments is a symptom of fear and unworthiness, often rooted in shame.

I realized that I’d never be able to truly accept a compliment until I was made up of Love and only Love. It was chemically impossible. So I got to work. I started sharing my story. I started sharing my shame. I found amazing support groups and coaches who knew how to create a safe, sacred space for me to process all the shit that had happened. How I got so filled with fear and lies.

I started coming out of agreement with all the false beliefs that had been my life map for so long. And I got on a new path.

As I did the work of letting go of who I was not, and remembering who I was, I started to become rooted in Love. My identity was no longer Not Good Enough and I Don’t Matter. It was now a worthy, oh so loved Child of God. Once I knew who I was, when someone saw that glorious light within me and took the time to tell me with a compliment, I finally understood the salt.

And I saw the light in them right back, and said, “Thank you.”

Sue Markovitch is a Fitness Coach, Author, Speaker, Spiritual Leader and my beloved Soul Sister! If you would like to discover more about Sue’s awesomeness check out her website Clear Rock Fitness!

KelliHeadshot Kelli Davies

I am very fortunate to be married to a man who gives me compliments on a daily basis.

One morning we were having a deep conversation and he proceeds to tell me that I’m flawless.  It was all I could do to 1) not laugh, 2) tell him he was nuts, and 3) not rattle off a list of all the reasons his statement wasn’t true.

Although I refrained from saying anything, the look on my face said it all.  He said “You’re flawless in my eyes. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted”.

His statement almost made me cry because I knew he was speaking from his heart . He was looking at me through love filtered glasses. So why was I having such a hard time receiving his heartfelt words? Unbelief.

Unbelief that he saw me as complete.  Unbelief that he could look past my physical flaws and still see beauty. Unbelief that he could look past my character flaws and still see a great person.  Who am I to argue with what he sees?

When you’re not accepting, you are rejecting. You are rejecting a gift that is being offered to you.  It is a gift of acceptance, encouragement, and love.

Unbelief is also the reason we feel the need to explain why a compliment isn’t valid.  If someone compliments your shoes, you don’t need to ramble on about how old or how cheap they were.  Just say thank you! How long you’ve had or paid for them is irrelevant to how fabulous it looks.

On the flip side, if you’ve ever had to deal with someone who doesn’t know how to receive a compliment, it can be kind of annoying.  You just want to shake them and say “Snap out of it!  You have good qualities!”.

This speaks to a deeper issue. Is the root of your unbelief unworthiness?

Accepting a compliment doesn’t make you arrogant.  All it means is that you have chosen to believe that someone sees you through love filtered glasses.  It’s OK to receive the gift of acceptance, encouragement, and love.  It is up to you to believe that you are worthy.

Kelli Davies has spent 20 years working closely with the public as an aesthetician/makeup artist whose current work home is Prova Salon in Scottsdale, AZ.  Kelli is a church going,  self-empowerment loving, spiritual gangster!  Kelli’s spiritual journey has invoked a deep passion in her to encourage and speak life into others as they travel through life challenges.

20160617_131442-1_resized  Lisa Marquis

How do you take your compliments, straight up or with a side of squeamish?

When someone compliments you, say, on what you’re wearing, your sense of humor, your beautiful eyes, how do you respond? Do you say thank you very much, or do you minimize what they’ve just said? Shy away from them, deny that it’s true?

If you have trouble accepting compliments, perhaps you are suffering from low self worth. You fear it will make you look conceited or full of yourself to say thank you. It’s just always what you’ve done when being complimented: deflect so as to seem humble.

When we deny a compliment aren’t we somewhat insulting the giver of it? After all, they are making a point to let us know that they like something about us, so isn’t it up to us to be gracious about receiving it? The answer is yes. We should be gracious and accept, but it’s  more than that. We need to improve our self worth, so we can actually believe and appreciate that compliment.

I think we are afraid of the compliment because it puts us in the spotlight for that moment in time, draws attention to something about us. And lots of us just aren’t comfortable in that light. Either because we doubt ourselves, don’t feel good about ourselves or just plain don’t like to be focused on. Or as mentioned above, it feels like we are full of ourselves to be in that place and we don’t want others to perceive us that way.

Daily affirmations can help with the issue of self worth; try saying to yourself that you are worthy, you are kind, pretty, funny, whatever you can come up with that you even remotely like about you. Then focus on the things that you think are your strongest attributes; maybe you are really great at your job, or have a way with people that is really disarming and engaging. It will be easier to start with your strongest qualities and go from there, as those are easier to grab onto. Doing this will also help you with where you need improvement.

Telling yourself what’s good about you doesn’t make you conceited. It doesn’t make you perfect, it makes you aware. It goes toward being grateful. I happen to be very good at my profession, but it doesn’t mean I never make mistakes; when I do, I have enough belief in my abilities to learn from them and move on. And it makes me grateful for the lesson. Boom. Compliment accepted, from myself! That’s what a daily affirmation is, a compliment to you, from you.

Just try it. It will be awkward at first because we’re so used to the deflection and denial. But as you keep at it, you will see that starting with you is the first step to bringing a better you to the rest of the world.

Lisa Marquis is a practicing Hair Stylist, Truth Seeker and aspiring Author! Lisa’s divine gifts of logic and compassion coupled with her articulate, sweet and oh-s0-witty demeanor, make her one heck of a space holder. If you would like to follow Lisa on her Facebook biz page, click here: Straight Up Hair

A Sweet Empowerment Short ~ Attracting A Healthy Relationship

funny-couples-portraits

After dealing with one unhealthy relationship after another, I finally decided I was the common denominator in all of this chaos and I set course to figure out once and for all the culprit causing all the upheaval. What I learned later became the topic of my first book- From Doormat to Sweet Empowerment – A Spiritual Guide To Reclaiming Your Personal Power in Relationships and Life.

Below I outline the quickie version of how to attract a healthy relationship!

Our level of self-worth is directly proportional to the relationships we attract. In other words, how we treat ourselves is almost always how our partner will treat us.

In order to attract a healthy, reciprocally loving and respectful relationship, it is vital that we do our inner work and heal our unworthiness.

Below is a list that is near and dear to my heart as it is the exact format I used to heal my unworthiness in order to attract the loving relationship I enjoy today.

4 Steps to Healing Self-Worth

1. The Discovery Phase – Similar to court cases, this is the time information is gathered. It about becoming radically honest with ourselves about our past relationship’s demise. In essence we are exploring what went wrong.

The discovery phase has the propensity to feel shameful as we explore the “ugly” associated with our relationship’s end. I invite you to do your best to stay neutral during this time. The walk of shame never leads to empowerment – it only perpetuates stuckness.

2. The Sorting Phase – In this step we sort through our partner’s wrongs and our own. Again, we release the need for blame while we openly put our findings into categories. Theirs and Ours.

For example:

Yours– Neediness, trust issues, lack of boundaries etc.

Theirs – Lying, disrespectful, substance abuse etc.

It can be very difficult to separate our wrongs from our partners especially when our partner’s bad behavior far outweighs ours. Remember, just because he/she was a jerk, doesn’t mean you didn’t contribute in some way.

Hang with me now! I understand you might be feeling the urge to run! This really works I promise!

3. Responsibility Phase – In this phase we take 100% responsibility for what is ours and ours alone. There may be a lot or there may be very little. No matter what you discover, own it, bring it to the surface and allow it to be seen! In fact, shout “Hallelujah! I’m on my way!”

We only have the power to change ourselves. Any behavior we recognize and own begins to change immediately. What we bring to consciousness is easier to spot and now gives us the opportunity to heal it.

4. The Work Phase – Now that we have taken responsibility for our part, we can begin to heal the underlying wounds that have caused our unhealthy behaviors. This is the phase in which we formulate an Action Plan for Healing by researching our topics, joining support groups, empowerment talks and/or hiring an expert in the field.

Unless or until we do the work to heal ourselves, we will always be approaching relationships from the same energetic level as the past, hence, repeatedly attracting partners who mirror that back to us.

You have all it takes to attract a loving relationship. The only thing stopping you is healing your self-worth and being willing to stand up for it!

*If you desire more information on this topic or are ready to heal your unhealthy behaviors for good, Contact Me Here!