A Declaration of Interdependence

A Declaration of Interdependence

At the beginning of the month I celebrated the fourth of July with my oldest daughter at a resort in Upstate New York. Everywhere we looked, there were families, groups of friends, and couples playing, partying, and picnicking. Although they were all there to celebrate Independence Day, it was their interdependence that truly struck me.

Every week I meet a handful of people, especially women, who make being dependent or interdependent wrong. Not wanting to be needy, they feel compelled to do it on their own. Not wanting to appear weak, they are driven to do it all. Never allowing themselves to be vulnerable, they suck up any emotion they might be feeling and deny the wants or needs they are actually longing for. When asked "How are you doing?" they automatically say, "I'm fine." They don't delegate or ask for help and take care of everything from the heavy lifting to the most minute details.

Although I am all for being confident, self-reliant, and owning how strong, capable, and kick-ass you are, I do know that for most of us, our distaste for or inability to be dependent, weak, needy, or vulnerable comes from a shadow, a disowned part of ourselves or a shadow belief, an unconscious limiting belief. Our shadows and shadow beliefs form when we are young, generally under the age of ten. And with regard to qualities like dependent, weak, needy, or vulnerable, our shadows and shadow beliefs often form as a result of growing up in an environment in which we made a decision that we needed to do everything on our own, that we could not trust others, that no one really cared for us, or only the strong survive. Shadows around not wanting to be needy, dependent, or vulnerable also could have been born out of feeling ashamed or being shamed for being too sensitive, overly-emotional, wanting attention, or needing help. For others, having a parent who they or others negatively viewed as a "doormat" or a "victim" might have consciously or unconsciously caused them to decide that they would never be like that and disown any traits that made them appear that way.

But herein lies the issue...any time your persona is birthed from a shadow or a shadow belief an inherent problem occurs. You lose your ability to choose! Even though you may love the competent, being in control, do-it-all yourself part of your personality, and I am sure that it has served you in many ways, when you disown a quality, you don't have access to it. If you cannot own and embrace your needy, weak, vulnerable self, it becomes virtually impossible to ask for help or even a hug! It impacts all of your relationships and whether you realize it or not, it creates a wall between you and others or blatantly has you keep everyone at arm's length. For many women, it also impacts them owning their femininity and sexuality.

A long-standing "do it all yourselfer," my ego would get stroked when others would comment on how much I could do and how well I could do it. Overdoing, overachieving, and being Miss Independent became my baseline way of being. That was until my divorce. I literally could not take one more person telling me, "Don't worry Kelley. You are so strong. You will be fine on your own!" In that moment, I realized that actually was one of the issues. Believing that I was so fine on my own, and that I had to do everything on my own was what I created in my marriage and how I co-created the disconnection.

Disowning my needs and wants actually kept me from the things I wanted and needed most! It impacted my ability to connect, to be authentic, and to have true intimacy.

Embracing my weak, needy, and vulnerable self has been one of the many gifts of doing shadow work. I no longer have to do it all and by myself. I can ask for help. I can honor my needs and wants, and as I honor them, so do the people who are closest to me. Embracing these weak, needy, vulnerable parts of myself has actually made me stronger since I no longer have to exhaust myself doing it all on my own!

Although I grew up watching the movie Funny Girl, it took me decades to truly own what Fanny Brice (aka Barbra Streisand) means when she sings, "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world." Admitting that I need other people has been and continues to be a blessing in my life. Even this past Independence Day, it was my being interdependent and wanting and needing to be with a very special person that had me reach out to my daughter to spend a long weekend together. And we created moments and memories that will live in our hearts forever!

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Start thinking about your beliefs about or relationship with characteristics like weak, needy, dependent, or vulnerable.

(2) Allow yourself to see how those beliefs impact your life.

(3) Make Your Declaration of Interdependence. Journal about what would be possible if you embraced and had a healthy relationship with these qualities.

(4) Identify something you can do in the outer world to embrace these qualities.

(5) Take the action that will support you in embracing these qualities.

With love,
Kelley

Take the Vow of Emotional Independence

Take the Vow of Emotional Independence

As we celebrate Independence Day in the United States this week, there is no better time to take a vow of emotional independence.

When you have emotional independence, you want for nothing because you have everything. Just take a deep breath and think about this. Imagine feeling so full and so completely at peace inside yourself that you have the freedom to love and be loved, to give freely and to receive abundantly, to expand rather than contract, to move forward rather than stay stuck, to live in joy rather than suffer in misery. Emotional independence allows you to be in control rather than to be controlled by the unhealed emotions of your past and will support you in being nourished and filled with faith rather than diminished and weakened by fear.

So close your eyes and have the intention that you can be free, that you can be loved, that you can be abundant, that you can be healed, that you can be inspired, that you can be passionate, and that you can help change the world. And then open your eyes and please join me in taking the vow.

The Vow of Emotional Independence

I, ______ ________, am committed to living free of the strangulating grip of fear, shame, doubt, worry, anger, and sadness.

I promise to give my power to the force greater than myself rather than some food, substance, bad habit, or disempowering craving.

I will stand for my highest expression rather than allowing others’ judgments to define who I am.

I will always make sure to please and take care of myself instead of succumbing to any people-pleasing habits.

I will listen to the voice of my soul rather than listening to the voice of my critical internal judge.

I will find joy in each and every day of my existence rather than get caught up in the insanity of my world.

I will take care of my planet and let my voice be heard instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me.

I will choose powerfully each and every moment to make choices that leave me feeling inspired by myself and will graciously let go of my self-defeating behaviors.

I take this vow NOW as a positive stand for my soul's highest expression and for every man, woman, and child on this planet today.

As I set myself free, I am freeing myself and others from the violence of my darkest thoughts, my negative projections, and my limiting self-image.

And now I ask all the powers that be to support me in living this vow each and every moment of each and every day.

As I surrender my will for the higher will, I know that I will be guided from my darkest thought to my greatest dream, from my head to my heart.

Today, I commit to living in full accordance with this vow.

And so it is.

Live as if this is your birthright and your destiny – because it is.

- Debbie Ford, July, 2010

Take a deep breath. Read this vow to yourself and allow it to nourish you. See yourself filled with all the light of the world. And if your heart desires to share it, send it on to others.

With love,
Kelley

It's Never Too Late For Spring Cleaning

It's Never Too Late For Spring Cleaning

Lately I have been doing what I call "Spring Cleaning!" I have cleaned out closets, organized notebooks and files, deleted old documents from my computer, taken care of some business situations I like to avoid, and scheduled doctors' appointments that I previously had told myself I didn't have time for or weren't that important. Knowing that my outer world impacts my inner world and external clutter creates inner chaos, I have been taking care of the circumstances and conditions that may subtly diminish or blatantly rob me of my sense of well-being.

In doing my "Spring Cleaning," not only am I working from the outside in but also from the inside out. Not only does your external clutter create inner chaos but even more so your internal clutter creates external chaos - and that can result in anything from mini-implosions to grand explosions in any and all areas of your life.

Internal spring cleaning can encompass anything from examining your limiting thoughts and beliefs to connecting with suppressed emotions to finding new levels of self-forgiveness. It is a chance to resolve any integrity issues that may be consciously or unconsciously impacting your ability to step into your next level of deserving or worthiness.

For me, internal spring cleaning entails eating a lot more green and clean, actively studying and learning new things, spending more time connecting with spirit, and cleaning up any relationships that feel unfinished or incomplete. In this work, we describe incompletions as bloodsuckers because they want and need resolution and they occupy space in your psyche. Even if they fade into the background of your busy days, something or someone will remind you of them and then that incompletion will pop back into your awareness bringing feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, resentment or blame.

When it comes to relationships, one of the biggest sources of incompletions stems from undelivered communications. Undelivered communications are the thoughts, opinions, or upsets that you have with someone that you have yet to communicate. These can include sharing with someone that you have been dating that your feelings for them are not strong enough to continue the relationship, telling a valued co-worker that they did not get the promotion, contacting a friend that you have drifted away from to let then know you love them, miss them, and want to make plans, or reaching out to someone that you heard has lost a loved one, is getting divorced, or going through a hard time. Undelivered communications drain you of your vital energy.

Often we lie to ourselves about undelivered communications. We tell ourselves that "it doesn't matter," "it's better left unsaid," "what someone doesn't know won't hurt them," or "I need to wait until the other person brings it up or says it first." These are all just excuses we come up with to hide our resistance or fear, to avoid conflict or rejection, to please others, to go for short-term gratification, or to play it safe. We convince ourselves that choosing harmony over truth will preserve the relationship but the opposite is actually true. Any time you cannot be straight with someone about who you are or how you feel, your relationship will become fraught with integrity issues. Holding on to an undelivered communication actually causes separation and deprives you of real intimacy and deep connection.

The bottom line is that incompletions are a huge energy drain. They rob you of your power, creativity, and ability to manifest your desires. So whether you need to say what you need to say or take care of any unresolved issues, if you want to joyously jump into a summer of possibilities, a fabulous fall, or a winter of wonderment, then remember - it's never too late for spring cleaning!

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Look around your external and internal worlds. Make a list of incompletions, issues that feel unresolved, and situations you have wanted to change or clean up.

(2) Start with top 1 to 3 things that feel most compelling and figure out a plan to handle them.

(3) Look at your relationships and see if there are any undelivered communications that you want or need to make. This can be anything from saying, "I love you!" to speaking your truth.

(4) Spend some time dwelling on how your internal clutter creates external chaos as well as how your external clutter creates internal chaos.

(5) Come to The Shadow Experience July 8th to July 10th at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York to clean out your inner clutter!
 

It's Not Okay

It's Not Okay

It's Not Okay...

As I sit glued to the TV, watching the coverage of the massacre in Orlando, my heart is heavy with sadness. I cannot comprehend the magnitude of such devastation. I cannot imagine the feelings of terror and fear of the people in the club, the heartbreak of families whose loved ones were killed or injured, the desperation of relatives and friends waiting to receive word about missing loved ones, or the total disbelief of a mother whose son was trapped in the bathroom of a club texting her at 2am that there is a shooter in the club and he is going to die. The horror and heartbreak are beyond imaginable.

A foundational concept of our work is that "everything happens for a reason." I am always challenged in situations like this to find that reason. I once asked Debbie Ford about it. She looked at me and in her total unedited Debbie fashion replied, "You know, sometimes certain things just suck!" Well this is certainly one of those times where any explanation would feel forced or contrived, where the cost of the occurrence far outweighs any rationalization or reason. So I won't even go there.

Since the only way out is through and we must feel in order to heal, it is actually better for us to feel the depths of our emotions and not try to rush through the pain and terror of what happened. Pain is the great motivator for change. And for true change to happen, we might actually need to be with our pain, sadness, loss, fear, confusion, and total intolerance for hatred and violence.

The devastation that happened in Orlando was the work of unparalleled and extreme hate. Many of us are looking at the government, FBI, or the killer's employer (a security company) wondering how, after being investigated twice by the FBI for possible links to terrorism, this man was able to purchase firearms, work as a security guard, or even live in this country. And although all of that must be investigated and responsibility must be taken, blaming policies, procedures, and people in power cannot be the only changes made. We all need to look at our own relationship to hate.

Even before the events in Orlando even happened, this past week I have been thinking a lot about the concept of "haters." As the U.S. presidential election continues to unfold and the candidates, parties, and citizens sling insults and pejorative, negative, and hateful comments at each other, I have truly been disturbed. It has actually been difficult for me to sit at a dinner table, engage in conversations, read articles by respected thought leaders, and watch celebrities, late-night hosts and people who are universally "admired" point fingers and make demeaning and divisive comments. The other day I even got an email from a respected colleague asking why I wasn't writing about "the shadow" of a certain presidential candidate. I responded that although I will write an article about how elections are a great time for us all to identify our shadows, I won't add to the negativity that I see happening in the world or start name-calling people I don't know. Yet I keep thinking that there is an opportunity in this election for people who are accusing others of being dark and divisive to look at their own darkness, and divisiveness.

I keep thinking about songs and quotes that have the phrase "haters gonna hate." I hear children walking around mimicking lyrics, singing "haters gonna hate" like it is a cultural norm. Well, that is not okay! It's not okay that people in positions of power and influence are spewing words of hate. It's not okay that people with star power are confusing satire with hate. It's not okay that our words have become weapons and we are all so quick to share our judgments and criticisms and engage in gossip. As Deepak Chopra said when he courageously apologized for some of the "inappropriate comments" he made about one of the candidates in the past few weeks, "It has almost become politically incorrect to be polite, courteous, respectful, deferential, and have good manners." Well, I agree with Deepak - that is not okay!

Now I am not saying that you can even compare some derogatory comments about politics with the devastation that happened in Orlando. Not even close. But what I am saying is all of us need to truly stand in being the change we want to see in the world. We need to take individual responsibility not only about being and emanating love but also look at how we contribute to hate and/or negativity. We need stand united and call upon our leaders to be respectful, thoughtful, and conscious. I watch my 23-year-old daughter in awe as she is quick to walk away or politely ask people to stop when it comes to putting others down, gossiping, or judging. We all need to think globally and act locally.

Above all I ask you to join with me in sending prayers and blanketing Orlando with love.

With love,
Kelley

Are You Blinded by the Light?

Are You Blinded by the Light?

I am always amazed at how tricky and brilliant the shadow is. Lately I have been thinking a lot about the qualities that I truly admire in others or would want in a soulmate. I have noticed that recently my list includes people who I see as creative geniuses, visionaries, humanitarians, and influencers. People who are engaged in life, dedicated to service. People who are compelling and feel compelled to make a difference in the world.

Now of course, as a person who talks about the shadow day in and day out, I know that all of these light or positive qualities that I admire in others are in me. I also know that the Universe is a benevolent teacher. Always acting in real time, it continually reflects back to us the qualities that we need to own in this moment in order to accomplish our next goal or to evolve into our next greatest expression of ourselves.

The fact is that all of the qualities you see in others are within you. Yet if you are not owning them, if you are projecting them on to others, then you do not have access to those qualities and cannot be as successful, brilliant or grand as you would be if you had access to and were fully able to express those qualities in the world. It's like missing a secret ingredient in a recipe -- the end product might still turn out well, but the secret ingredient is what would make it mouth-watering and over-the top.

The Universe has been gently nudging me to start owning these qualities that I covet in others since January when I saw the musical Hamilton and fell completely in awe of its creator, writer, and star Lin-Manuel Miranda. Never have I been so mesmerized by such a "creative genius." Although at the time I knew I was being shown a quality in myself that was wanting and needing to be owned, there was obviously something more that the Universe was trying to show me.

Since that time, wherever I go I see articles about visionaries and hear stories about humanitarians. My attention continues to be drawn to all of the people in the world who are doing extraordinary things. The other day as I was waiting in a totally nondescript local physical therapist's office, dwelling in my thoughts about my light projections, challenging the Universe to show me what I needed to see, in walks a man who is recognized as being one of the greatest visionaries, humanitarians, and brilliant minds in this country. Totally in awe of not only the man but the magic of manifestation and the Universe, I was rendered speechless. Although I wanted to strike up a conversation with this man and acknowledge him for being such a visionary, I just smiled instead and fumbled over some words as he shared pleasantries. Within minutes, I of course kicked myself for staying in my comfort zone and not seizing the opportunity!

But as Lin-Manuel Miranda penned in Hamilton, "Wait For It, Wait For It." In that moment, I had my "Aha!" The piece I had been missing was the opposite side of the equation. I had been so busy focusing on owning my light that I forgot to work on the "dark side" of that quality.

To have your next evolutionary leap, not only do you need to identify and own your light but you also need to look at all of the ways you are not that, all of the choices you make and actions you take that lead you further away rather than closer to light that quality. The reason that I find the shadow so brilliant but so tricky is because even I was "blinded by the light!"

Now don't get me wrong. My life will change dramatically when I truly own that I am a compelling creative genius and visionary. But it was the recognition that not only were these people showing up in my life to reflect back my light but to also show me all of the ways I am sabotaging my light that caused my shift. The opposite of that which I covet -- "compelling" -- is that which I judge -- "staying comfortable." Whenever I tolerate my mediocrity or stay in my comfort zone, I feel the pain of being out of integrity.

Whether it is remaining in an intimate relationship that is "easy" but lacks luster, a friendship that is polite but not profound, or a career that feels appropriate but not purposeful, any time you are settling for smaller than who you are, you are going to feel a gnawing in your gut.

Now of course a fundamental concept of shadow work is to find the gold in the dark, to find the ways in which a "negative" quality can actually serve or benefit us.

Despite all of the affirmations we read that tell us to "Go Big or Go Home!", "Step Outside of Our Comfort Zone!", or "Just Do It!" I know that there are many gifts in being comfortable. Being comfortable allows me to just relax every now and again and not always feel compelled to be push myself. However, knowing that if you are still reading this newsletter then you are a person committed to your own transformational growth, the important thing to recognize is that when it comes to shadow work, you must look at your light and your dark and see how both, as well as your lack of embracing both, are impacting your life in that moment. Compelling or Comfortable, Successful or Failure, Visible or Invisible, Brilliant or Stupid, Fascinating or Boring - we all have both sides of the equation inside of us. Be careful about being myopic. Be careful about becoming blinded by the light. Not only is there gold in the dark, but owning your dark is also the key to switching on and turning up your most brilliant light!

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Start noticing the qualities of the people you truly admire or would want in a soulmate and make a list.

(2) Determine the dark qualities that are on the opposite side of the equation from those light qualities.

(3) Journal about how you are both sides of the equation and how the qualities on both sides of the equation can benefit, serve, protect or teach you.

(4) Come to The Shadow Experience July 8th to July 10th at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York to explore your dark and your light!

With love,
Kelley

Time to Drop the Bat!

Time to Drop the Bat!

Over the years I have had the honor of working with and getting to know professional athletes. From boxers to ball players, golfers to gold medal winners, a trait that they all have in common is the uncanny ability to be present and focus on the task at hand.

Can you imagine what it takes to shoot a free throw
during a playoff game when the fans from the other
team is booing and trying to distract you?
Or to sink a putt during sudden death playoff?
Or to serve an ace to close out the match?

Yes it takes a tremendous amount of skill, talent, and training, But the fact is if you want to play in the big-leagues, you need to be able to shut out the screaming fans, play through the cries of fatigue from every muscle in your body, and focus. Most importantly, you need to tune out, turn off, or shift any negative or non-serving dialogue that may be running through your head. Quite simply, to be the champion of your own life, you must be able to drop your internal bat.

You don't have to be a baseball player, or even a fan, to have your own bat! Ultimately we all have our own autographed bat...it is our internal bat!

The internal bat is the mechanism that we use to punish and abuse ourselves. It consists of well-established patterns of thoughts and behaviors that we use in a habitual way to beat ourselves up.

When it comes to using our internal bat some of us only bunt the ball and others continually hit home runs. Whether it's through our own negative internal dialogue, self-sabotaging habits or choices, or even allowing people into our lives who drain or deplete us, cross our boundaries, or just don't support our highest expression of self, as human beings we have created a variety of ways to use our bats and beat ourselves up. The truly sad thing is that we would never think to use these bats on the people we love, yet day in and day out, we use them on ourselves.

Internal bats are crafted out of Shadow Beliefs that we hold about ourselves. They are born from thoughts that we're not good enough, not worthy, deserve to be punished, or some variation thereof. Our internal bats are also aligned with our Underlying Commitments. These hidden, deepest commitments are in direct opposition to what we say we want, but they are responsible for what we manifest in our lives. Examples of Underlying Commitments include playing small or safe, to keep us from stepping up to the plate or staying in our story of failure to keep us from striking out. An Underlying Commitment to instant gratification over long-term fulfillment leads to us give up practicing or to quit the game altogether. Bottom line, as a result of our Underlying Commitments, we beat ourselves up and paralyze our progress to ensure that we fulfill these unconscious, self-defeating commitments that control our external realities.

The good news is that we have the ability to drop the bat, step away from the batting cage, and stop taking swings at our self-esteem. We can all learn to do what they do in baseball and take a seventh-inning stretch! In any moment we have the ability to refocus, to pause, take a breath, and transform a limiting thought, shift a non-serving behavior, or walk away from a negative situation. Like any sport, learning to put down the bat and take a seventh-inning stretch will take practice, but this is a muscle that will get stronger with proper training,

So as we head into baseball season, it's time to retire your internal bat and trade it in for love taps! Instead of being the roughest player on the team, become your greatest cheerleader. Say only the kindest statements to yourself. Think empowering and supportive thoughts. Make high-level choices. In each and every moment, honor yourself by attending to your needs and wants.

If you want to be at the top of your game and also enjoy the experience then be a champion for self-love over self-abuse! The rewards will be better than gold!

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Become familiar with your internal bat. Start noticing all of the ways you most frequently beat yourself up. What behaviors, thoughts, addictions, patterns, people, circumstances, or situations do you use to diminish, punish, demean, shame, insult, abuse, injure, wound, or otherwise beat yourself up?

(2) Practice taking a seventh-inning stretch. Any time you find yourself using your internal bat, call a time-out and consciously take a breath and refocus your thoughts, shift your actions, and make a higher choice. Notice what happens as you take on this practice.

(3) If you want to learn more about Shadow Beliefs and Underlying Commitments and immerse yourself in a training where you learn to drop the bat, join us at The Shadow Process May 27th to May 29th in Vancouver or The Shadow Experience July 8th to July 10th at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York.

With love,
Kelley

Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother?

With Mother's Day quickly approaching, you can't help but see and think about all things mother!

I remember when my daughters were young I used to read them the children's story by P.D. Eastman, Are You My Mother? It is a story about a baby bird that is born while his mother is out looking for food. Since the mama bird is not in the nest when the baby is born, he decides to go searching for her. Not knowing what she looks like he approaches everyone and everything he meets: the cat, the hen, the dog, the car, the boat...asking, "Are you my mother?" Of course they all reply, "No!"

Lately I have been thinking that if this book was written from the perspective of shadow work, the answer that everyone would give the baby bird when he asks, "Are you my mother?" would be, "Yes! I am your mother!"

Shadow work is based on the premise that there are no coincidences in terms of the people who come into our lives. Our relationships serve as mirrors for us to see ourselves and to aid our soul's evolution. The people that we draw into our lives also help us unconceal and hopefully heal our most fundamental, deep-seated wounds. These wounds were formed during our childhood as a result of the environment we grew up in or a situation that transpired with a member of our family, often our parents. (Since I am writing this newsletter in honor of Mother's Day, I will write in terms of mothers but of course the same holds true for fathers.)

I often hear stories about people who attract partners, lovers, bosses, co-workers, and friends who seem to be nothing like their mother, but as time goes on they realize that their behavior and the dynamic that forms between them is, in many ways, a carbon copy of their relationship with their mother. Just last week, I was working with a client whose partner suggested they "take a break" for the dozenth time in the last few years and she realized that her partner was just playing the role of her mother who also used to abandon her. She also saw that her tendency to wait around, to always be there for her partner, and to basically settle for crumbs was a replica of the pattern of behavior she had developed with her mother. Although the pain of my client's break-up from her partner was real, her deep heartache was the little girl inside wanting to be loved by her mother. She recognized that her lover, just like the one before that and the one before that, was her mother! They all came into her life to rip the band-aid off of her childhood wounds so they could be healed and she could learn to love and not abandon herself.

We have all heard that men marry their mothers and women marry their fathers, but the truth is that it is not only men who "marry their mothers." Women do too! Even for myself, in the past I always thought that I was attracting men into my life who were exactly like my father. That might be true, but lately I am fascinated to see how much they are like my mother and how quickly I adopt the behaviors that are predominant in my relationship with my mother. I dive straight into my role as the fixer -- the role I adopted as a young child who thought that if she was good enough, helpful enough, or perfect enough, she would make her mother happy and attain her love and praise. It was through my relationships with these men in my life that I finally saw my pattern and realized I can't make someone else happy. So I retired my position as Chief Fixer. There is no question they came into my life to show me myself. The gift is that as a result of understanding shadow work, they helped me to create a healthier, more authentic, and loving relationship with my mother! (And with my mother being 91, this truly is a blessing!)

So on this Mother's Day, if you truly want to unwrap the gifts of your mother, start by taking on that everyone who comes into your life is your mother! They are there to help you heal and grow. And just like your mother, they are a crucial piece of your birth, continued rebirth, divine design, and your evolutionary process!

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Make a list of some of the closest relationships in your life.

(2) Start to look at how these people are like your mother. How is the relationship you have with them like the relationship you have with your mother?

(3) Going deeper, journal about what these people are here to teach you. What wound or issue from the past are they here to support you in gaining wisdom from or healing?

(4) Come to The Shadow Process or The Shadow Experience with your mother or someone in your life that could be instrumental in your next level of healing or "aha" moments.

With love,
Kelley

Olivia Pope Needs The Shadow Process!

Olivia Pope Needs The Shadow Process!

Two weekends ago, I had the honor of leading The Shadow Process Workshop in Los Angeles. It is an indescribable blessing to witness the transformation that occurs for each and every participant as they journey out of the darkness of their old, outdated stories and limiting, negative beliefs into the light of forgiveness, self-acceptance, wholeness, and love.

As is my habit Sunday evening after the workshop, I took the red-eye home to Miami. Then as my demonstration of self-love, I spent Monday relaxing. I've learned to give myself the gift of having nothing on my schedule so I can do whatever feels good in the moment.

So the Monday after The Shadow Process, I decided to binge-watch some of the shows I had recorded while I was away. Scandal was at the top of my list. If you're not current with the show, this is a spoiler alert! Stop reading now if you don't want to know! In the episode, "Thwack!" Olivia Pope, gladiator for "good" and crisis-management maven with a moral code, finally goes over the edge to the "dark side." For most of the episode, Olivia tries to hold on to her persona of a crusader with a conscience. She goes to her brilliant yet ruthless and unscrupulous father for assistance and he tells her that her plan will fail and she will need to resort to "Plan B." She continues to fight for who she believes herself to be when she exits his home and declares "I am not you, Dad!...In my world when someone is in my way, you out-think them. You don't end them. It's not who I am!" Needless to say, by the end of the episode, Olivia becomes her father and "ends" the life of the person who is in her way. Based on what I could surmise from the coming attractions, Olivia takes to her bed (the one in her father's house) as she comes to grips with what she did and wrestles with the fact that she is her father...she is a killer!

I see this every day in our work - people who have their own personal "scandals" and then are left confused and confronted, trying to define or redefine their identity and trying to figure out, "What is the reality of who I am?"

They ask:

Am I the brilliant success who started the company or the irresponsible failure/loser who sat at the helm as it went bankrupt?

Am I the sexy, desirable woman that some man loved and "could not live without" or the unlovable, invisible person that he left?

Am I a person of integrity who is a good, devoted spouse and parent or the lying, scumbag that had an affair?


They cannot figure out which is the truth and they've never been taught that when it comes to qualities and characteristics, it is not "either/or" but "and." Think about it. As children we all learned or just naturally assumed that there were the popular kids or the unpopular ones, the athletic or the unfit, and the leaders or the followers. In our families of origin, we were assigned labels. We were either the pretty one, the funny one, the rebel, the bad seed, etc. Whether we consciously realized it or not, we all over-identified with certain qualities and never realized there was a possibility that other traits actually existed inside of us. As one woman who always considered herself to be "the stupid one" said to me after doing shadow work, "I never realized I could be both smart AND stupid. I always thought you were either/or!"

Shadow work is predicated on living in the space of the "and." It is based on the concept of wholeness and that within each us exists every trait that we see in others. One thing I love about The Shadow Process is that during this two-and-a-half-day journey, as participants learn about these fundamental concepts and are immersed in interactive exercises and experiences, they start to bring light to the parts of themselves, "negative" and "positive," that they have disowned and thus lost access to. The workshop lays the foundation for participants to unconceal and love the parts of themselves that they've spent a lifetime believing are unlovable and reclaim the parts of themselves that they project on to others. It provides an opportunity for people to make peace with their humanity and own their divinity and to have more compassion for themselves and others. It moves people from living in this fragmented space of "either/or" to an integrated and harmonious place of "and."

So if you are trying to make peace with some personal scandal or some part of yourself that you deem as scandalous, then I invite you to open up to this concept of wholeness. And to Olivia Pope, I say, Welcome to the dark side and the sobering reality that we all are our father's child. I pray you find the gold in the dark as well as the understanding that you, as well as the rest of us, are all the saint and the sinner, the callous and the caring, the loyal and the betrayer, the helpless and the powerful. If you Olivia, or any of us, truly want to be a freedom fighter then start with yourself. Give yourself the gift of liberation that comes with doing shadow work and "living in the 'and.'"

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Become Olivia Pope. Identify a person that you do not like or do not want to be like. Make a list of three to five qualities you see in that person that you judge as bad or wrong.

(2) Take each trait and determine what would be the polar opposite positive quality.

(3) Journal about how each set of negative and positive qualities exist inside you and how you can benefit from both.

(4) Allow yourself to see action steps that you can take that will help you own and have access to these qualities. And take those actions!

(5) Join us in Vancouver for the first Shadow Process to be held in Canada or visit our calendar to see our schedule of upcoming workshops.

With love,
Kelley

Surround Yourself With Champions and Cheerleaders

Surround Yourself With Champions and Cheerleaders

Like most of you I love reading inspirational quotes and I'm grateful that on any given day I can log in to Facebook and be filled up with a multitude of motivating messages that people are sharing. The other day, I read a line that quickly captured my attention. It read,

"A man with dreams needs a woman with vision."

As many of you might know, I am in the process of writing my first book. I recently contracted with an agent and a social media team to help me launch this project. In both cases, they have spent time with me asking me questions about my vision for the book and the dreams I have for the future.

Being surrounded by people who are committed to holding your highest vision is a blessing. Of course, I was taught by and had the honor of being a friend of the master at holding people's visions...Debbie Ford! Debbie was a self-proclaimed "bulldog" when it came to holding someone's vision. She would see in you potential you didn't see in yourself. She would stand by your side as you took each step, kick you in the butt when you wanted to quit, procrastinated, or somehow slipped into victim mode. She applauded your every success, was there to wipe every tear, and motivated you to keep going! Debbie was so good at holding people in their highest that she made a business out of it and founded The Ford Institute to train Integrative Coaches to do the same in the lives of their clients. I am fortunate to have been trained by Debbie and to have the understanding of what it means to be a "bulldog" when it comes to holding someone's vision and dreams.

I am also a "bulldog" when it comes to protecting my vibration and determining who I surround myself with, especially those who I let close to me. I often use the analogy of a house when I describe my boundaries with people. For me, some people belong on the front porch, some you can invite into your living room, some are welcome into your bedroom, and a handful can even come into your closet. But then there are others you don't even want on your front lawn or even on your same street. This past year I have become acutely aware of a "classification" of people that I personally keep at arm's length. I call this group, "people who empower your helplessness." These are the people who want you to think that you need them, that your life will not be the same without them, or that it will be a hundred times better and more abundant if they are in your life.

They say things like:

"No one will ever love you like I love you."
"No one will ever make love to you like I do."
"Who else is always there for you when you need them?"
"I taught you everything you know."
"Let me do it for you since only I can get it right."
"Only I can turn your book into a Number 1 New York Times best-seller or help you make that project into a huge success."


It is their message of "You need me to..." be happy, loved, or successful that shakes your foundation and leaves you questioning if you can do it without them. They summon your voice of uncertainty and tap into your self-doubt. They dangle the bait of what you want most in front of you and leave you questioning if you can reach your goals and vision without them. In short, they hook into your deepest fears and empower your core feelings of helplessness! And even though an alarm goes off inside and you feel the urge to walk or run away, the scared, insecure child within you doesn't trust that you can do it on our own or that the Universe will provide for you so you become paralyzed and stay in the relationship.

Sound familiar?

We want to have compassion since there are lots of shadows at play for the people who empower your helplessness as well as the people who are willing to give up their power, but that is another newsletter! The purpose of this newsletter is to aid you in recognizing that there are people who support your dreams and hold your highest vision and others who empower your helplessness, and it is up to you to choose who you welcome in.

If you want to live the life of your dreams, then surround yourself with like-minded people who are your champions and cheerleaders -- people who root you on and remind and inspire you to continue to strive for what it is you truly desire, people who are committed to your best as opposed to their need to be in control or in your life. Surround yourself with people who love you enough to risk speaking their truth if it will support you in living in your greatness. Surround yourself with people who know that you are here to deliver a gift to the world and recognize that living with integrity is not only in your highest but will benefit the world as well. Surround yourself with people who will fight like a bulldog because they see in you what you cannot always see in yourself and truly want you to live your biggest and best life and to be your most magnificent self!

Transformational Action Steps

(1) Start paying attention to how you feel when you are in the presence of other people. Whose presence increases or diminishes your energy? Who supports your dreams and who empowers your helplessness? Who belongs on your front porch and who would you want to invite into your living room or bedroom?

(2) Do your shadow work around these people and, without making them wrong, know that this is an opportunity to take back your power. What boundaries or structures do you need to put in place to safeguard your vibration?

(3) Dwell in the conversation of surrounding yourself with supportive people and becoming part of a "conscious community." What would that look like for you? How would it impact your life? If you are looking for one but do not know where to start, we invite you to join us at The Shadow Process April 8th to 10th in Los Angeles.

With love,
Kelley

It's Time To Lighten Up!

It's Time To Lighten Up!

The other day I went back to a gym that I had not been to in about two months. As I was rounding the corner of my second lap around the track, the owner of the facility who I have known for years ran up along side of me and said, "Kelley, you are getting too thin!" Breaking out in hysterical laughter, I looked at him and said, "Oh my G-d, you just said to me the words I have been waiting a lifetime to hear from my mother!"

The fact is that there are words we all are waiting or wanting to hear from someone else. We are looking for someone to tell us, "You are smart, doing a great job, loveable, good enough, or fabulous just as you are." We are all, in some way, looking to the outer world for affirmation. The problem is, as long as we are looking to the outer world for validation, we are not filling our own cup and as a result, we will always feel empty or incomplete. As Debbie Ford says in The Dark Side of The Light Chasers,

"Your healing will not come from another person.
It must happen within you and it happens by owning all of you."

Some people think that shadow work is only about owning the "dark" or negative parts of yourself that you do not like or have disowned...but that is only partially true. Shadow work is as much about owning your light as your dark. And for many, owning your light is often much more challenging! As Debbie says in Dark Side, "Some of us recognize many of our gifts while others only recognize a few, but it is rare that I meet someone who's comfortable with the full brilliance of their light. Everyone has different positive traits that he or she has difficulty embracing. It is just as difficult to take back all the light aspects of ourselves as it is the dark ones."

Many people also struggle to own their light because they cannot see it in themselves or they think it would be arrogant or conceited of them to stand in their magnificence. Yet as Debbie writes. "Not only is it okay to say nice things about ourselves, it's imperative. We must recognize our gifts and talents. We must learn to appreciate and honor all that we do well. We must search out our own uniqueness. Many people cannot own their own success, happiness, health, beauty, and divinity. They are afraid to see that they are powerful, successful, sexy, and creative. Their fear keeps them from exploring these parts of themselves. But in order to authentically love ourselves we have to embrace all of who we are, not just the dark but the light as well."

It's a continual practice of remembering that you possess all of the positive qualities you see in others. It may be particularly difficult to embrace certain traits that contradict external reality. For example, it may be hard to embrace rich or successful if you are in debt. It may feel challenging to embrace loveable if you are alone. And for me, like many others, it may feel like a real stretch to embrace skinny when you have always had body issues or the scale says a certain number that you don't define as "skinny." But as Debbie explains,

"If you don't own the skinny person within yourself,
he or she will never be able to come out.
If you're single and want to be married,
you'll have to embrace your married aspect."

Owning a positive trait that you've denied is scary because it requires that you leave all your stories and excuses behind. It requires seeing yourself with new eyes. The sad reality is that we are taught not to acknowledge our greatness. Most of us believe we possess some positive traits but not others. We have convinced ourselves that we are less than we are. We look to the outer world to affirm us so we can feel good enough, deserving enough, or even worthy of being and feeling loved. It is time to lighten up! It is time for you to own all of you are. Your soul yearns to realize its full potential. Your soul longs for you to deliver your unique gifts to the world. It's time to own your light and allow your light to shine! The world needs you and you need you!

Transformational Action Steps

1. Make a list of light qualities that you are not owning. These may be positive qualities you don't see in yourself, qualities you admire in others, or qualities you wish you had.

2. Take some slow deep breaths and read through your list saying, "I am ______." for every word you have written down. "I am healthy. I am brilliant. I am sexy...."

3. Pick one of these qualities to work with. Start with the one that feels like the greatest stretch, brings up the most emotion, or that you really ache to be.

4. Journal about a time in your life when you possessed this quality and how this quality has or could serve you.

5. Every day for at least a week, wake up and ask yourself, "What is an action step or something I can do today to support me in owning and displaying this quality?" And then take that action!

6. Join us at The Shadow Process. We spend Sunday owning our light!

With love,
Kelley

Is it Too Late Now to Say Sorry?

Is it Too Late Now to Say Sorry?

Lately it seems that you cannot watch the news or a late night comedian without seeing highlights from a Presidential debate, turn on the TV without finding an awards show, listen to the radio without hearing Adele saying, "Hello from the other side" or Justin Bieber asking,

"Is it too late now to say sorry?"

Since I find myself answering Justin's question out loud in my car, I figured I would address it in a newsletter.

Apologies, the need to make amends, or any unfinished interactions or relationships are all forms of incompletions. If you are trying to live a life where every choice matters, then, incompletions are all the inactions and choices that you didn't make matter or have avoided. The problem is, your inactions can have just as much of an impact on your life as your actions. And in terms of incompletions...they are bloodsuckers! Whether you're consciously aware of them or not, incomplete items remain with you. They occupy space in your psyche because they want and need some resolution. Even if they fade into the background of your busy days, something or someone will remind you of them and then they spring back into your awareness bringing along feelings of guilt, shame, remorse, resentment, or blame. Why else do you think both Adele and the Biebs would be singing about them and both songs would have been the "number one" song on the charts for so many weeks? Because on some level everyone relates to them and can picture that person they need and want to have closure with, even if it is just... "to say I'm sorry now" or "to tell you I'm sorry, for everything that I've done."

As Debbie Ford writes in The Best Year of Your Life, "Closure is the doorway from the past to the future. To bring closure to our past, we must be complete with every incident, project, or person with whom we've been involved. We cannot create a new, extraordinary life on top of a past that is riddled with incomplete projects, failed relationships, broken agreements and unresolved issues."

The bottom line is that carrying around the guilt and shame of not saying, "I am sorry," making amends, bringing closure to unresolved issues, and making peace with our past, like all incompletions, are huge energy drains. They rob you of your power, creativity and ability to manifest your desires. They also make you feel bad about yourself -- and like all integrity issues, they make you feel guilty, shameful and undeserving of having all that you want in your life.

In order to restore your integrity, you need to be willing to acknowledge and resolve your incompletions. In order to set yourself free from the guilt you may be carrying around about your unfinished relationships, you must acknowledge the ones that feel incomplete, figure out what you need to do to clean it up and bring closure, and find forgiveness for yourself and others for past disappointments. Without forgiveness - whether it is giving or receiving, you continue to be imprisoned by your past.

So in answer to your question, Justin,

"NO! It is not or never will it be too late to say sorry."

As you say good-bye to the guilt, grief, resentments, and disappointments that consciously or unconsciously shape your thoughts, shut you down, and diminish your self-worth, you open up to the gifts of the past, the miracles in the present, and the possibilities of the future.

Transformational Action Steps

1. Identify the people in your life you need to make amends with.

2. Calculate the number of days, weeks, months, or years you have been carrying around negative feelings due to not making amends.

3. Identify the costs of not bringing closure to those relationships.

4. Identify action steps or create a plan that will support you in bringing closure to each of these relationships.

With love,
Kelley

Take A Courageous Journey

Take A Courageous Journey

Less than three weeks ago, I had the privilege of leading The Shadow Experience Workshop at Kripalu. Although we had no idea when we originally scheduled The Shadow Experience, it is no coincidence that just a few weeks after this workshop ended and participants left the room dancing in a conga line, Harper Collins arranged a special e-book sale on Debbie Ford's final book Courage to honor the third anniversary of her passing.

In Courage, Debbie redefines courage as the willingness and ability to be totally real and authentic with yourself and others. She writes that the greatest act of courage is to be and own all of who you are -- you without apology, you without excuses, you without the masks to cover the truth of who you are -- and to let that you be fully expressed and seen by others.

As we went through The Shadow Experience weekend, I watched as people let down their guards, spoke their truth, made peace with their "dark," and reveled in really getting on a cellular level that they are worthy and deserving of owning their magnificence, beauty, brilliance, and confidence.

As I watched people transform before my very eyes, I was once again humbled by the genius of Debbie Ford and all of the amazing gifts she left the planet. All of her work is designed to support people in loving and liberating themselves. In The Shadow Experience and The Shadow Process, she created an experience for people to feel safe to be all of who they are -- the light and the dark -- and to share all of themselves with others. And in Courage, a book that Debbie wrote in the last two years of her life, she gives people a roadmap to becoming unrecognizable to themselves.

When Courage came out in hardcover, Debbie said this about her new book:

"I know that this book will change your life.
I know it will inspire you, make you laugh and make you cry.
You will wind up on the other side having more love for yourself
and more courage and confidence to live your life to the fullest.
I know you will have an opening of your heart to the
wounded part of you that has given your power away
to so many people, places and things. I know that
you will have a new understanding of divine confidence
and unstoppable courage. I believe in this book 100%.
I feel like it was given to me and now I give it to you."

Debbie Ford was a creative genius who left an amazing legacy to this world. So however you can partake in her legacy -- whether it's reading the book Courage, experiencing The Shadow Process, hiring one of her impeccably trained Integrative Coaches, or using one of our transformational tools -- I invite you to do so because Debbie's body of work has changed and continues to change the lives of those who experience it.

Transformational Action Steps

1. Overcome your fears and ignite your self-confidence by reading Debbie's final book Courage. It is available in e-book format for just $1.99 until February 21st. Click here.

2. Experience the synthesis of Debbie's life work and wisdom at The Shadow Process from April 8th to April 10th in Los Angeles, California. Learn more and register by clicking here.

With love,
Kelley

Love Is About Letting Go

Love Is About Letting Go

With February 14th a few days away, I know that most people are writing about how to celebrate your loved ones for Valentine's Day. Although I am a big believer in celebrating love, spoiling your loved ones, and grand romantic gestures, lately I have been thinking about the phrase "Love is about letting go" and dwelling in the question

"Who should you be cutting out of your life this Valentine's Day?"

We all know that the greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of self-love. I also know from my own experience and watching thousands of others that the amount that you can truly love and open your heart to others is dependent on the amount you can love and open your heart to yourself. However, most of us are trained to look for love from outside of ourselves. We work tirelessly to get others to love us. We step outside of our integrity and tolerate the intolerable from others. We whittle away our self-esteem and give up our power, waiting for others to love or acknowledge us. Our feelings of self-love are determined by our outer accomplishments, level of success, or ability to make others love and affirm us. Although our achievements and expressions of affection from others do feel good, they are illusory since whenever we are looking for others to love us or anything in the outer world to validate us or fill us up, then we truly are "looking for love in all the wrong places!"

Self-love is an inside job! It comes from owning and embracing all of the different parts of yourself, your dark and your light, and finding the perfection of your "imperfections." It comes from developing a mature relationship with and having access to the full spectrum of your emotions so you can live with authentic aliveness and be your fullest expression of self. It comes from finding the wisdom in your wounds and the gift in every experience so you no longer need to wish your past was different, beat yourself up, or engage in your preferred method of self-sabotage.

Self-love comes from continuously looking inside, checking in with yourself about how you are feeling and what your soul needs in that moment, and making choices that are in alignment with the whispers of your soul. In those moments of reflection and acknowledgment, you are standing in your worthiness and making a declaration to the Universe that you feel deserving enough and love yourself enough to make high-level choices. Sometimes those choices will involve showering yourself with more -- more things, experiences, and people. Other times those choices will involve letting go -- letting go of the circumstances, material possessions, and people in your life that no longer feed your internal flame.

We all have people in our lives who trigger us, suck our energy, make us feel uncomfortable, are not healthy for us, or are just not that fun to be around. Now of course, if I am standing in the tenets of shadow work, it is important not to discard these people without reflection and to recognize that they are in our lives to show us ourselves. They are in our lives to serve as mirrors, point out our projections, and rip off the band-aids that are covering our wounds so we can go to that next level of self-realization and healing. Yet sometimes, even after you have done all your work and dug deep to unconceal all the gifts that person has come into your life to deliver, the most important and loving thing that you can do for yourself might be to let that person go. Letting a person go may mean cutting them out of your life completely or it may be creating some space and boundaries. Letting a person go does not mean that they are "bad" or "wrong." It just means that they might not be the best person to have in your life at this time. Letting a person go does not need to be dramatic, divisive, or done with anger. Instead it can be an act of love, acknowledging the role they have played and the lessons you have learned as a result of their presence in your life. It is actually best to bless them and let them go. And finally, letting a person go does not mean that you have or need to stop loving that person. You can love someone and let them go - it is just that you are ready to love yourself more!

Bottom line, letting people go is often one of the most loving things you can do for yourself. It is a proclamation of how you will protect your energy, a notification of how you will nurture and nourish your soul, and a declaration of what you feel deserving of.

So as Valentine's Day approaches and you are thinking about who to buy cards for, send flowers to, or how you can spoil that special someone, remember the most special someone is you! Start becoming present to the people in your life who you might need to let go of or redefine your relationship. The good news is that when you clear your space out of whatever and whoever does not serve your highest, you make space for more of what does...and that will make for a truly yummy Valentine's Day!

Transformational Action Steps

1. Start becoming present to the relationships in your life. How do you feel when you interact with certain people? Who sucks your energy? Who feeds you flame? Take time to really notice it.

2. Do your own work around the people who trigger you so you can get the gifts or what they are in your life to show or teach you.

3. After you have done your work, if you find that there are people who don't serve your highest, start asking yourself, "Who do I need to let go of or create some sort of boundaries with?"

With love,
Kelley

Meet My Two New Best Friends - "No" & "I Can't"

Meet My Two New Best Friends - "No" & "I Can't"

The other day I was speaking to a friend who is also a transformational teacher and leads workshops. She was telling me about a new project she's putting together. As she was excitedly rattling off her multi-tiered strategy, she started naming all of the ways I could and would play a part in her new undertaking. A lover of great ideas, new ventures, spiraling up in the energy of other people's visions, and of course having my ego stroked by someone telling me how fabulous I am and what "an amazing addition" I would be, normally I would have just followed along with her assumption that I would be a part of her new project. However, having just completed leading our program Every Choice Matters, I was still very much in the conversation about the impact of each and every choice we make. Knowing that each choice either leads closer toward or further away from our goals, and that there is no in between or neutral choices, I surprised my friend and myself by coming right out and clearly saying, "No! I could not spend time building your brand since I had to spend my time building mine!"

When I hung up the phone, I actually felt quite empowered. Although I had always considered myself to be a person who was good at setting boundaries, I had never been so clear and articulate about my commitment to make choices and take actions that were in direct alignment with my goals and dreams. I had never been so able to give up my banner of "the good friend," or person who always shows up in order to say "No" without second-guessing my response.

For most people our inability to say "No!" or set a boundary comes from a shadow. Not wanting to be selfish or full of ourselves, we put others on the top of our to-do lists instead of ourselves. Wanting to prove that we are smart enough, capable enough, have it all together, or can do it all, we say, "Yes," when we want to shout, "No!" The swell of satisfaction we feel when others stroke our ego and tell us how valuable and special we are comes from some shadow of not feeling special enough, worthy enough, or important enough. All of these shadows keep us on the treadmill of feeding off of the validation, approval, and praise of others. We cannot say "No!" or "I can't!" or make choices that are in our highest when we are being driven by our shadows. We cannot make ourselves a priority or put ourselves on the top of our to-do list when we are driven by a shadow.

In order to reach the destination of your dreams, you must make choices that are congruent with your goals. And in order to achieve your greatest goals and deepest heart's desires, you must declare your priorities. What is most important to you at this moment in time? It could be your children, moving, your relationship, taking care of an elderly parent, writing your book, or taking time to relax and regenerate. You need to take time to make a list of your priorities, rank them and then make your choices congruent with that list . When you use your priorities as your true north and commit to making choices that are in alignment with those priorities, your decisions become clear and your choices become simple. You can say "No" or "I can't" and speak your truth without worry or self-doubt. You can step out of the shadows that keep you in your role of the people-pleaser, know-it-all, overachiever, or fixer, hang up your Superman or Wonder Woman cape, and do what is in your highest instead of what is best for others.

When you live life in alignment with your priorities, a very exciting phenomenon happens. Yes, the second-guessing and agitation diminish. Yes, your choices and actions flow more easily. And although those are all exciting, to me they are not the MOST exciting thing. When you live in alignment with your priorities and embrace saying "No!" or "I can't" and setting boundaries as your new best friends, you are making a declaration to the Universe that YOU ARE YOUR PRIORITY! You are claiming that you feel worthy and deserving enough to put yourself on the top of your to-do list. You are affirming that you are no longer so worried about disappointing others because you can no longer tolerate disappointing yourself. And as I have said before, the really cool thing about claiming your worthiness, is that the Universe then aligns and you open up to receiving and manifesting your top priorities!

Transformational Action Steps

1. Take some time to list out and rank your top five to ten priorities. Look at all the different areas of your life: family, relationship, work, children, exercise, or some particular project.

2. Create a structure that supports you in thinking before you answer someone's request. Learning to befriend saying, "No" or "I can't" might take time and practice. Create a structure like giving yourself time to think before you answer or telling people, "I will get back to you" so that you can practice going inside and seeing if the request is in alignment with your priorities before you answer.

3. Do the Every Choice Matters Self-Paced Program to reclaim your power and wake up to the power of your choices.

With love,
Kelley

Are You Creating the Life You Want?

Are You Creating the Life You Want?

Are You Creating the Life You Want?

As we head into a new year, it is only natural for most of us to be somewhat introspective and to do our own personal "year-in-review." We evaluate our successes, what we might do differently and hopefully what we learned. We assess where we are and what we want to create by asking ourselves powerful questions, like: "Am I on the right path?" "Am I happy?" and a question I hear more and more frequently, "Am I creating the life I even want?"

If you are reading this newsletter, chances are you are a person who is self-reflective and interested in continued self-growth, evolution and "being the best you can be." But even for those of us on this path, I am sure there are days when you wake up to your positive affirmations, vision boards, inventory of goals and resolutions, and your daily "to-do" lists, and wonder, "What am I doing all of this for?" "What is it I am chasing?"

Although these questions may feel heavy at first, they are there to serve your highest. They arise from the stirrings of your soul and are generally wrapped in your feelings of discontent. For many the voice of discontent starts off as a subtle murmur. It can be easy to ignore because you are caught up in the rhythm of going, doing and achieving. But with time the thrill of the chase and even the applause of the accomplishments can't diminish that gnawing feeling that you are stuck on a treadmill trying to run as fast as you can, make others happy, fulfill someone else's dream or satisfy some picture of what your life "should be." And the good news, (yes, I said "good news") is that at some point the voice of your discontent will become so great, the pain will become so palpable, that you will no longer be able to ignore, deny or numb that voice inside. Instead it will capture your full attention and demand that you do something different. It will insist that you take the time to stop running as fast as you can for as many miles as you can and instead step off of the treadmill and reconnect!

You must reconnect to a source deep inside of yourself rather than referring to the same old list of goals to be achieved, milestones to be marked, and "shoulds" to be accomplished -- a list created by your ego or should I say your wounded ego. If you really want to create a life that lights you up, you need to reconnect with your soul.

Suffering, pain and discontent are all signs that you are creating a life based on your wounded ego's desires rather than your soul's path. They are there to wake you up and let you know that you have lost sight of your soul's dream; that you have strayed from your highest path. Your soul (also referred to as your divine, higher, sacred, or authentic self) knows exactly how to make your life a magical wonderland. When you are in sync with your soul's desires, you don't feel compelled to create a persona, be someone that you are not, or prove to the outer world how great your life is. When living in union with your soul's path, life flows. There is no ache for more, better or different! You will come from a place of inner certainty and an unapologetic aliveness that lights you up and illuminates a path for others. When you follow your soul, you will create a life you want and love.

So at this very fertile time of the new year, take time to tune into your voice of discontent, disenchantment or even defeat. Identify the areas and situations in your life, where these feelings exist and recognize that these are actually the cries of your soul letting you know that it is wanting and aching for something more -- a "something more" that only you can give to you! For as we all know, "If you do not go within, you go without!"

Transformational Action Steps

1. Take time to get quiet and reconnect.

2. Think about the different areas of your life and allow yourself to feel the feelings that emerge as you reflect on those areas. Which are the areas or situations where you feel discontent, suffering or that gnawing feeling that something is off?

3. Identify what your wounded ego is telling you that you should be doing or accomplishing in those areas of your life. What are the stories you tell yourself about what you "should be" doing or accomplishing in your life?

4. Take a few deep breaths, feel the breath connect with your heart, and ask yourself, "What is for my soul aching to create or experience in this situation or area of my life?"

5. Just listen and trust!

With love,
Kelley