Fearless 5 Podcast Show Notes for Episode #56 -- What I've learned 15 years after accepting my mortality at a young age

What I’ve learned in 15 years since losing my mother to CJD — and finding out I (possibly) face the same fate 

This isn’t a story about grieving a parent — it’s a story about accepting one’s mortality at a young age and basing all decisions off the fact that I didn’t think I’d live longer than 31 more years beyond 2004. Well, 15 of those are already gone. 16 to go…if I am one of the unlucky ones. I’ve lived every day since 11-10-2004 as though the sand in the hourglass is running low. 

Buckle up — this is a long post that gives you some more of my story.

What is CJD? 

It’s a prion disease; many people call it the “human form of mad cow disease” but I don’t like the phrase MCD at all. My family carries a certain mutation of CJD that takes the person very quickly. It starts with a persistent, dry cough that isn’t very noticeable at first. You can google CJD to learn more, but with one caveat — this does NOT happen to the false statistic of “one in one million people.” 

Reason being, you can’t find what you don’t look for. If it isn’t surveilled, it doesn’t get found and placed into the rest of the data. This happens because the only diagnosis is from autopsy. Not everyone gets one of those done for a variety of reasons, which I won’t get into. You can check out my older blogs, CureCJD.wordpress.com and CJDTalk.blogspot.com to learn more. Pretty sure I’ve already written in detail about it, though very long ago. 

Yup, that was Blogspot. As in the Google platform I began blogging on shortly after my mom’s death in 2004. Times have really changed. Formats of finding others like myself to relate to have changed, too. Many of us started in a “Yahoo Group,” which was a listserv, if you’re old enough to remember getting on those… Now, you can get on a Facebook group for support, and we CJD families do. 

My first problem after my mother’s death was my poor first attempt at sobriety. I stopped drinking cold turkey with no support and a family of drunks. 

I quickly stopped being able to get along with my family. ALL the family of origin issues and my lack of coping skills came up immediately, though I didn’t know or understand any of that at the time. That’s why my stint of sobriety didn’t make it too much father than the summer of 2005. 

I also had to accept my own mortality. We knew by then that two people in my family, my mother and her great uncle, had carried the mutation of CJD and it had killed them. We also knew my grandfather was the carrier. My mother’s brother died in 2008. My grandfather died many years later in his early 90s, carrying the genetic mutation but never developing it. He died of something other than CJD, though he had to endure watching 2/3 of his children perish from it. 

I did seek bereavement counseling, which helped. But it didn’t crack the surface of the emotional issues I had back then, my former substance abuse, and the severe and debilitating codependency I suffered from back then. I was very alone and was desperate to make my new step-family work. It didn’t. Oh yes, ALL of this happened in less than ONE YEAR. By late 2005, I had an entirely new life. I was young and stupid enough to pretend that was healthy and interpreted it as a success. 

I changed everything. I even quit my job, tried a new one, then another new one, before finally falling into freelancing in 2006. I fell into a very unhealthy relationship with a man who was similarly wounded as I was — there were just so many layers of codependency and unhealed family issues. My drinking became worse, I started attending Boston University, and I just kept rolling on…with little intervention as I wasn’t surrounded by anyone who would have actually done that. 

Until 2008. That’s when it all changed. 

When my mother died in 2004, I took small spiritual steps. I was reading about Tibetan Buddhism and doing yoga. I was beginning to listen to music that was a more mass-appeal Kirtan and trying to meditate — or just stay calm. My step-family began to take me to their style of church (no longer my preference) and I began to answer a nagging voice that kept telling me, “There is something MORE.” 

In 2008, I left freelancing to return to corporate broadcasting, dumped the boyfriend, and finally began to find my soul family. This is when I began to awaken, choose churches on my own (I still struggle with finding one to this day), and find the blend of “woo-woo spirituality” that feeds me today. 

This podcast is a condensed version of this, and I won’t be able to cover ALL this on the Fearless 5 Podcast episode #56. (It’s above). You’re getting the “Cliffs Notes” in the podcast and this blog you’re reading now is the meat of it. I get tired of telling my story. I really do. Years of going to those counter-productive XA meetings and being forced to do it under the guise of “service to others” burnt me out on it. I have learned when to tell it and when to hold back. 

So that’s just a little chunk of the story and I’ll leave it at that.  I want to be of service, but I don’t know how much telling and re-telling the story is really going to do for you. So I’m going to jump ahead to what I learned in case you, too, are struggling with grief and having your world fall apart. 

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Now, onto what I learned

Over all these years.

Environment is everything 

My environment was made up of mostly unhelpful people with very few helpful ideas in 2004. I had some friends, a new job, and a gym I belonged to. That was ALL the support I had. But, you choose your environment. I didn’t know this at the time. I didn’t know I was the architect of my own destiny. I didn’t realize I needed to start living on purpose. I just lived wherever the wind took me. 

My life didn’t light up until 2008, when I began to choose to make the changes to my environment I needed. New job with potential for growth, new friends, more time and space for yoga, a new home, and I started hanging around the Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts. I later attended the school online for my life coaching certification. The seed was planted in 2008. Also, this was four years after my mother’s death. There were four years of stunted growth and failed attempts at happiness until I got to be really on a roll. 

I learned in 2008 that environment was everything. Where I spent my time and who I spent it with was vital. I was around true friends I really connected with who helped me so much. One even saved me from severe illness by spotting my gluten intolerance before I was capable! We all made vision boards together, had family dinners with our kids, and yes — this was even back when I met my kid. 

It was all because I became the architect of a whole new environment for myself. This is also around the time the idea for Destiny Architecture was born! That idea stayed with me until I started DestinyArchitecture.com in 2016, when I started as a coaching student at SWIHA! 

Get all the therapy you possibly can 

I am a believer in therapy and coaching. My very first opportunity to get counseling came when Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona offered me a free year of bereavement counseling. I took it. I wanted it so bad. My mother hadn’t believed in psychotherapy. But this was also the women who wore the same hard contact lenses for the last 20 years of her life! (Something I only learned when she died). 

I’ve had quite a few therapists over the years. The breakthroughs only came when I sought out a therapist who could help with my PTSD. I had PTSD from watching my mother die of CJD knowing I could very well die the same way. It’s a horrific disease to watch. 

Do you have codependency? PTSD? Addiction? Anxiety? Depression? I had ALL of that in 2004…and I didn’t know it. When I got sober at age 33, my PTSD therapist actually had to explain to me the feelings I was having. She had to explain to me what I was experiencing was anxiety. I was so far out of touch with myself and my reality. 

If you need therapy, get it. Even if you aren’t sure, go get it. Therapy is different that coaching. Therapy delves into your past. Coaching takes you where you are NOW and helps you get where you’re going. I started to receive coaching in 2008. Therapy was vital. I also believe coaching is vital, which I why I became certified in it and hung up my shingle. Everyone should pursue these services for themselves — in any way possible. 

Life is short. But make a savings account. 

I was 25 when CJD reared its ugly head in my life, threatening to take me, too. When you’re 25, you don’t understand what life can possibly be like when you’re in your 50s. The 50s is incidentally the decade in which the past two of my family members died of CJD. (Both were 56). One also died at age 69, so it’s a total crapshoot! 

I decided to live life like it was short since then. I don’t know if that was the best idea, but here I am. That definitely fed some destructive spending and drinking habits. I morphed from, “live like you’re dying,” to “make sure to leave something behind.” 

Build a savings and plan for retirement. Buy life insurance and make sure your family will be taken care of. But do the “life is short” stuff, too. I decided I’d become a radio personality and a writer. I decided I’d help people cure CJD. I decided I wanted to learn how to do all kinds of “woo-woo” things really bad. So I became a Reiki Master and then a Certified Transformational Life Coach. All of these decisions led me to the amazing friends and life I have today. You have to pursue your passions.

I also did some stupid stuff, too. There’s been a mid-life crisis annually. I’ve learned to keep it to tattoos and piercings because taking a header at 45 mph off that moped I didn’t know how to drive SUCKED. I also realized I didn’t want to jump out of planes after all. 

But in my limited time I may (or may not) have left, I decided I am going to pursue my dreams so hard. So I opened this business, Destiny Architecture. I also cut my hair short because I don’t have time for long hair. That crap is a LOT of work! 

I am impatient with “normal” people 

You work a 40-hour week and watch Netflix? How boring. I get out of “work” chomping at the bit to do the things my soul needs. I want to meditate, spend time with God, talk on the phone with my friends, build my business, and CREATE something! 

Dude. Build a life you don’t have to escape from. 

But having faced my own mortality at a young age and having seen the things I’ve seen between CJD and addiction, I have no patience for when people are WASTING their life. I may be TOO productive. 

Even in this season of my life, which has been rough for the past six months, I started this podcast! I doubled my page views in September. I just stay on my game. I stay disciplined. I keep going. I don’t give up. I don’t have a lot of time in the bigger picture of things. 

There’s probably more. I’ll add it later… Or — more likely — write an additional blog.

This week's podcasts -- all in one place -- enjoy the Fearless 5

This week on the Fearless 5 Podcast, it’s all about making our vision boards for 2020

It’s never to early to plan for the life of your dreams. Everyone else is going to start this stuff on January 1, 2020 (or later; I once did a mid-January vision boarding class). Let’s get you ahead of that pack. As a coach, I am NOT about pack mentality! Break out of the pack. Do your own thing, your own way — on your own time. Don’t make the ten most common vision board mistakes. Make this your best one yet. This blog and this week’s podcasts will get you geared up and motivated to make your best vision board for 2020!

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Vision Boards

Get ready for 2020 — new year, new decade, new YOU!

Listen to the Fearless 5 Podcast at your favorite spot:

Apple

Spotify  

Anchor

Breaker  

Google Podcasts  

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic 

Personal development. In small doses.

The purpose of the Fearless 5 Podcast is to give you coaching mini-sessions all week long. Listen however you want as I upload them on Sundays so you have them ready for the week. I upload show notes during the week — except this week. Changed it up to work on some big stuff! Instead, you get ONE EPIC BLOG about how to really trick out your vision board with a high vibe for 2020. Enjoy!

Top 10 Reasons Your Vision Board Didn’t Work for You This Year — and How to Make it Work for 2020

Top 10 Reasons Your Vision Board Didn’t Work for You This Year — and How to Make it Work for 2020

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Why didn’t it work?

It’s time for a vision board tune up!

  1. Problem: You did the glossy magazine picture thing

OMG I hate this! DO NOT just go out and pick up a bunch of glossy magazines you like so you can clip pics and glue them to a board — UNLESS — you meet the following conditions. 

You are doing everything with a definite purpose (DP). DP means definite and definitive; a purpose defined. You are NOT picking up those mags, flipping through them while sipping on a PSL like a Basic Becky. “Oh, here’s a pic of a Lexus! I want that!” (Clips pick, grabs glue stick). Did you want that Lexus before you saw that ad for it in that magazine? Did you want it six months ago? Does it align with your highest good, goals, and values? If not, then you’re just arbitrarily picking material things without DP. (This blog will cover ALL of this). 

Don’t cut out words and letters to make it look like a ransom note, either. I’ve made a million vision boards. It’s truly a difficult task to find EXACTLY the words you want for your board. I decided to learn how to do lettering and buy stencils to I could make my own words specifically for my unique needs. I make my words purposeful — not random finds from a magazine. 

The Solution for your 2020 Vision Board: Make your vision board ON PURPOSE! 

Stencil, sticker, letter, or write your words in calligraphy. Print out the exact Lexus you want from your printer in color — year, model, color, etc. Go to the travel agency and get the brochure for the Caribbean cruise you want to take. Make the mock business card for the job you want. If you’re willing to write yourself a check for a million dollars like many Law of Attraction teachers recommend — you’re willing to do this, too. 

2. You treated The Universe like a waitress taking your damn order — and you didn’t even tip her. 

“Ok, Universe, I’ll take a hot husband, that new Lexus in cherry red, a Caribbean vacation, and the winning lotto ticket in the amount of exactly $8,888. And I’d like that all by Christmas.” 

And The Universe laughed and laughed… 

Again, we aren’t arbitrarily picking things out of thin air. And the Universe delivers on her own time. What you CAN do is what is within your control. Tell The Universe WHY you want it, how it will make your life better, and what you will do with your newfound powers of cash and a new car. Tell her what you are willing to do to GET these things. Tell her how you’ll be able to pay it forward and remain in service to her.

The Solution for your 2020 visioning: Gratitude 

The Universe requires you to be respectful of her. So give your order politely and leave a tip. You practice gratitude. If you aren’t grateful for the beater truck you drive now and you don’t lovingly take care of it, you aren’t going to attract in that cherry-red new Lexus. Or you may, but it will be more difficult and take longer. 

Every woman I know, including myself, has made the “ideal partner” list. Make the list and he will come, right? Not if you aren’t working on your own issues first. It’s one thing to put it on the list — another to be ready to receive it. Practicing constant gratitude keeps us open to receiving all the good that is possible for us. We have to continually practice the art of being a grateful receiver and an energetic match to what we want. 

3. You made your vision board It and put it away

I know what you did. You invited over three girlfriends, got our your craft stuff and a couple of bottles of wine. Y’all got into the craft supplies, got a little tipsy, and you’ll be digging glitter out of your couch cushions for the next three years. But you had fun, you made a vision board you like, and then you admired it. Then your kids and husband came home, you needed to shove it aside to work on a science project with your kid…and life went on. It was a moment, a fleeting moment of seeing your dreams before you in color — replaced by the daily life we all know too well. 

Remember: you once wanted that “daily life” you now have. It was once on your vision board, too — if only on the vision board of your heart. 

The Solution for your 2020 vision board: Display it prominently & refer to it DAILY 

Before you even make your vision board, ask yourself where you will put it? That will help you decide what you can even make it out of…If you’re a Photoshop or Canva whiz, do it there and print it out in color. I recommend prominently displaying it — which takes courage. When friends come over and see mine, they don’t say anything — but I watch their faces. They take it in. 

There was a time in life when I would have shown my vision board to no one! It was a lot for me to even get together with girlfriends and make it in the group for everyone to see. Now, two walls of my dining room have vision boards on them. I placed mirrors to reflect them, which is good dining room Feng Shui. 

Even with it prominently displayed, I still have to take the time to look at it and edit it or it just becomes a piece of background decor. Make it your phone lock screen and your computer’s desktop. This is why I love the new OS Catalina on my Mac — I can put the photo of Catalina Island on my desktop background. I have been visualizing Southern California for a long time — especially another visit to the island itself as I’ve loved it since I was a child but haven’t been back as an adult. 

But, according to my vision board, this is going to change. I know I’m going to be on that island again to visit! I know I will return to Southern California. I know this. My belief is strong. And as Gavin DeGraw sings in one of my all-time favorite songs:

Belief makes things real. 

When you know it’s for you and it’s coming true, it’s nothing to hang that vision board on the wall for all to see. I share my dreams with friends so they aren’t surprised to see the vision board hanging on the wall with a photo of Los Angeles on it. When your belief is strong, it’s nothing to share that vision with others. Sure, it’s personal and you’re taking the courageous step of leaning into your belief and sharing what’s on your heart with others. This is also how you tell The Universe you’re prepared and ready. 

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Belief

Takes courage and trust. If you don’t feel your belief is making it real, you need more faith and bravery.

4. Your last vision board is all yachts and Maybachs 

Your vision board is all yachts, Maybachs, Hermes Birkin bags, and a condo in Aspen. Great! More power to you! But if you’re in a studio apartment carrying a Nine West purse to your Honda…that stuff on your vision board isn’t the next natural progression. 

The 2020 vision board solution: Stay realistic when it comes to the time and money required to achieve the visions on your board.

Make SMART goals. Don’t just pluck things out of the sky you want — again, be definite, purposeful, and specific. Your board should feel like you — not a hip-hop video.

I like to put big, luxurious things on my board like fancy cars. But let’s go back to a couple of years ago when I had NO car. The natural progression wasn’t going to be from bus pass to BMW. Let me get a Hyundai first, then work my way up to the Lexus, you know? 

Also, yachts and Maybachs are nice. I’d love to have them. I’d happily receive them. But they won’t make me happy. Happiness is, was, and always will be an inside job. That’s not to say the Bentley or the Tesla can’t be a goal. Let’s just chase the right things.

What would make me happy? Well, if my pets would live forever — THAT would make me happy. But that’s not realistic.  

Up-level that Nine West purse to a Michael Kors or Coach bag…Transform that Honda into a newer or better Honda or Lexus. Do you even own a canoe? Maybe start with a boat for the lake before the yacht. I mean — make it all make sense. Even if I win $100 million tomorrow, the yacht probably isn’t making the list of things I’d actually buy. I don’t want to deal with it, LOL! 

5. Easy vision board mistake: You didn’t edit it 

You made the board on January 1st with your girlfriends and it was filled with purpose! You hung it up prominently, you know it’s coming true, and your gratitude game is strong. But then you just left it. 

Don’t “set and forget.” Go back to it and take OFF the things that you got. If it came true, it comes OFF the board! If it’s still on the board but you don’t want it anymore (because we change and evolve as we are ever in flow) then take it OFF the board. Put new things ON the board. 

2020 Vision Board Solution: If you’re referring to it daily, of course, you are editing it. Make a list of all the things that have come true from it. It will keep you motivated. 

Make it part of your daily spiritual routine to look at your vision board and creatively visualize it coming true. Stay consistent with it and watch change come. 

6. Vision board mistake: You didn’t send it energy 

You hung up your board and did all the right things — you even stayed on top of editing it! But you never sent it your energy. (Or Reiki energy if you practice Reiki). 

The solution: Send it energy! You don’t have to be a Reiki practitioner to do this. (But you can always learn Reiki from me, hint hint). 

Look at your board. Touch it. Stare at it then close your eyes and see what it looks like in your mind. What does it feel like to do this? What energy do you feel coming off the board? What energy is it absorbing in your home where it hangs? 

I send my vision board Reiki energy standing in front of it in my home and from a distance when I think of it throughout the day. (I’m a Reiki Master so I can send Reiki distantly). I spray it with sage spray from Heritage Store. I keep its energy pure and positive. I keep it fresh. (BTW we can order this spray at White Dove). 

Keep your board’s energy pure. Be conscious of where it’s displayed and what energy it’s picking up. Hang a mirror opposite it to magnify its energy (a Feng Shui life hack). 

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Keep up

Your personal development.

7. Your vision board was literally the only thing you did for your personal development this year 

If you made your vision board in January and it’s literally the only personal development thing you’ve done — that’s it. That’s why you’ve gotten nothing on that board. We have to learn, grow, reach out, and connect in order to bring that board to life. If you aren’t willing to work for it on some level, The Universe won’t hand it over. Remember: tip her! 

The 2020 vision board solution: Keep learning, keep practicing. 

Did you read books about Law of Attraction? Did you meditate? Did you listen to podcasts or take a class? Did you learn Reiki so you can send energy to your board while you’re sitting in traffic thinking, “Gosh, I need to change my life so I am not sitting in this traffic!” Did you attend a metaphysical fair and get a psychic reading? Did you practice self-care, do your yoga, drink your water, and go to the gym? Whatever personal development means to you — the key is — did you DO it? And not just to do it and get it done to satisfy the life coach who’s blogging about vision boarding… How deep did you dig? How deep did you go? 

Did you do your work? 

8. You didn’t actually spend time consistently visualizing having the things on your vision board 

You made the board…but didn’t practice any creative visualization! You have to do it. 

The 2020 vision board solution: You “act as if.”

You become the woman who is gaining the things on her vision board, which means you are always asking yourself, “How do I become the version of me who has this thing on this board? How do I become the woman who is hitting these goals?” 

Shakti Gawain is one of the gurus of creative visualization and I highly recommend her if you struggle in this area. Her book is called “Creative Visualization” and it’s a classic in the metaphysical world. Who am I to visit Catalina Island? Well, I have a good job with PTO for starters (or the equivalent as a small business owner/sole proprietor). Who am I visualizing myself to be to buy that Lexus? I make X amount per year to afford the payments, my credit score is X, and I have a garage to store it in… I visualize myself having these things. I have to feel my way into it though. What does it feel like to carry the key to that car, sit in it, pull it out of the garage to go on my road trip? 

Call it daydreaming, call it whatever you want. But it has to be daydreaming with the feeling of already having it so you can become an energetic match to it. 

9. Your vision board is not congruent with your values. 

How can you have priorities when you don’t know your core values? I want that car lease but it’s not congruent with my value of freedom — and driving as many miles as I want when I want. How can I prioritize something that actually won’t fit into my life, lifestyle, or my personal values? 

The solution for your 2020 vision board: Figure out your values now. No excuses. I have a free ebook for you on that! 

If I value freedom (and I do), a lease isn’t for me. I’ll have to buy that car. So putting a leased vehicle on my board won’t be the right step to get my desires. Now if I remember my top value is freedom, I’ll remember I won’t want a car payment at all! I hated car payments so much, I manifested NOT having a car for two years. I had to learn to manifest a car-payment-free life — while having a paid-off car! My car story is a long story and this isn’t the best example in the world, so I’ll try another. 

If combatting climate change is your top value in life, you don’t want a car, you buy things used, you’re zero waste, etc. So you’re probably not putting cars and air travel on your vision board. You’re finding a way to support local farmers’ markets and join a community garden each summer. Maybe the car on your vision board is a zero-emission electric car — but not that fossil-fuel burning one. Stay true to yourself. Remember your values. 

10. You didn’t map our your goals 

You made these goals but didn’t break them down into smaller, actionable steps. Bummer. No wonder the stuff on your board isn’t coming to life! 

The Solution: Map out your goals.

Write them down. Put them in a planner or Asana. Break your goals down into small increments or building blocks.

I have one small bulletin board that is my actual vision board. I have three other boards that are calendars full of mapped-out, action steps. I am putting dates on my dreams. Yes, this is super frustrating when my dreams “are behind” on coming true. The Universe doesn’t care and time is our construct, not hers. But I am trusting the process and having faith. I am fully surrendered. There is the plan I made in August and then there is what is actually happening. I trust that it is all happening FOR me, not TO me. 

RELATED POSTS: 

The Do’s of Visioning 

It’s time to do a vision board review.

What are you visioning

Join my Facebook Vision Boarding group here!

How to make your goals SMART

Schedule your life coaching or Reiki session here.

Fearless 5 Podcast Show notes for episode #49: When you're moved to do something, DO IT!

Can you even believe we’ve got 50 episodes so far?

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Who am I to?

No, the correct question is, “Who are you NOT to?”

It’s been on my heart to tell you to do something. So go do it. 

If only it were that simple, right? 

There’s something you’ve wanted to do, but you haven’t done it. You’ve been asking yourself, “Who AM I to do this?” And then stopped short, thinking you shouldn’t do it. Because who are you to do it, right? 

WHO ARE YOU NOT TO? 

Who are you NOT to do what you’ve been inspired to do? Because that idea you’re sitting on is one we need and only you can bring it forth. Who ARE YOU to HOLD IT BACK from the rest of us? 

Imagine if Zuckerberg hadn’t give us Facebook? He’s a dumbass and a racist moron with loads of white privilege — BUT without his tech, how else would my friend have reached out to me this past week with her beautiful message? 

What if Mikao Usui had never taught Reiki? 

What if someone hadn’t invented the dishwasher? 

What if that guy hadn’t invented air conditioning? 

What if all these amazing advances hadn’t happened? Does the world NOT need these things? You may not be inventing the polio vaccine, but I assure you, that makes no difference. What you have to give the world is valuable and you need to share it. Read it again. 

What you have to give is valuable — and so are you — because YOU are the vessel that will bring it forth. 

Are you treating yourself like such a valuable vessel? 

Are you reminding yourself that your gifts are special and that they ADD VALUE to this world? 

Because when you do, that whole, “Who am I to do this” question gets erased. As it should be. 

Who are you NOT to? The world may not expect it of you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need and yearn for what you have to give. When you don’t bring it forth you cheat the rest of us, not just yourself. 

Stop being a spiritual jerk.

Stop being a spiritual jerk. 

If you found this blog, you either need to stop being a spiritual jerk or someone has been one to you. How to cope? Want to understand it? Ready to stop doing it to others? Read on. 

There’s something spiritual people do and it’s been getting on my nerves. It’s a combination of condescension, victim-blaming, and spiritual bypassing. But it’s rude. People get away with it because they are “being spiritual.” 

I’m talking about how when someone is going through a crap time, a “spiritual” person will come along and say The Thing. It’s usually along the lines of, “You are going to have to figure out WHAT YOU ARE DOING to call this into your life.” 

Really, Karen? 

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Don’t

be a Karen! (In my defense, it’s been ages since I’ve used a cat pic on the blog).

Don’t be a Karen. Don’t victim-blame people who are struggling. Do we bring things on ourselves? Do we attract certain things? Of course, we do. We also don’t. We may even be aware of a subconscious pattern and actively trying to change it — but it takes time. So even when we are working on changing ourselves down to our DNA, bad things still happen.

Give people grace, please. 

Is it helpful for you to beat up someone for the conditions in their life they are struggling with? No. There are things that are within our control. But this “spiritual” idea to victim blame people for “calling in” or “attracting in” the bad circumstances of their life has got to stop. No one thinks you are SO spiritual and SO conscious for saying this. 

Say you are going through a breakup because you — once again — ended up dating someone like your mother. (We’ve all done it). You’re sad and you’re confessing to your friend how heartbroken you are. That’s when she bursts in with, “Well, you are going to have to look deep within and figure out how YOU keep creating these situations in your life.” 

Yes, and no. 

It’s not the time for the place, first of all. When someone is heartbroken, they just want to be heard, seen, and validated. Don’t pull a Karen on them.

Different example. You’re a mom and your kid has cancer. Your kid’s remission is over, they’ve had a fever for two days, and they are hospitalized. Karen isn’t saying, “Well, you brought this suffering on yourself, you’re going to have to figure out what YOU did to attract this into your life.” No, Karen shuts her mouth because she knows it’s rude. 

When someone is going through it, they don’t need to hear that they created it or attracted it. No one attracts cancer, rape, domestic violence, or incest. If your friend is going through years of hard times, be it financial, health, or relationships, STOP crapping all over them with spiritual abuse. Believe me, when we are going through something, we KNOW there is a pattern. But sometimes, there isn’t one. Sometimes it’s just the law of karma and we are working out past-life stuff. 

Spiritually mature friends will hold space and listen. 

They will allow you to be yourself and experience your range of emotions while you find your way. They don’t blame you, or just tell you “love and light,” then walk away. I call these the “spiritually woke” friends. She’s like Queen Atlanta in the movie “Aquaman,” because she’s wise and knows the right things to say. Atlanta knows it’s her son Arthur’s journey and she holds space for it; she knows when to push him and she knows when to hug him. You can bet Arthur doesn’t feel icky after interacting with his mom. He feels held, supported, and seen. 

Don’t be a Karen; be an Atlanta. 

Know when to hold space and be silent. Know when to give the hug. Know when to step in because your two sons are about to destroy one another — and the world. OK, it’s one of my favorite flicks. I’m obsessed. But you get the idea.

Be the movie hero — not an internet meme. 

I encountered a ton of Karens when I went to 12-step meetings. It’s reasonable to say your life sucks because you smoked drugs, drank booze, went for a drive, crashed the car, and then woke up in jail. But the root cause of addiction for most of us is abuse, trauma, neglect — any stressor. Any trauma. You name it. So while we DO want someone to take responsibility for their mistakes, beating them up for it brings on a situation where no one wins. We were victims who took the blame from the time of childhood — or we wouldn’t have become addicts. You don’t help the hurting when you pull a Karen. Give people support, not blame. 

Seriously — if you’re struggling with addiction, get a therapist. Hammer out the root cause of your addiction. Figure out the family-of-origin issues and deal with it. Gain the education and skills you need to get out of the life. There is SO much help out there.

I think this is why the “Karen” form of spiritual bypassing/victim-blaming annoys me so much. As someone who has held space for hundreds of broken people through my experience as a sober coach, I know there is a difference between when you point out to someone that they created their problem and when you hold space for their brokenness without blaming them. 

If you’re pulling a Karen on somebody, I know you’ve had it too easy. I know your experience is limited. I know your privilege is high and your connection to spirit is low. I’m also asking you to correct this. Catch yourself before it comes out of your mouth and stop. Just stop. If you’ve done it, apologize. 

When it’s said to you, I know it’s hurtful, but you have choices.

You can turn it into a teaching moment but you shouldn’t have to expend emotional labor towards Karen when you’re hurting already. But if your lesson you need to learn is to stand up for yourself, go for it. If your lesson to learn happens to be, “Know when to walk away,” then do that. If you are realizing this person is ALWAYS pushing the victim-blaming button and has NO other skills in their arsenal, maybe just stop hanging around them. Not everyone is meant to walk the entire walk with us. 

I pride myself on being a blunt coach but I’m not going to be blunt at your expense. I’m not going to victim blame you or spiritually bypass you. There are times when someone needs me to be blunt. Most of the time, I find there’s a fine line to walk. I know when to be blunt but I know when to shut up, listen, and hold space. It’s the holding space for another’s humanity that makes this world go around. 

It’s what I do the majority of the time as a coach. 

I never view myself as above my clients like I’m some great teacher or guru who they NEED. You don’t need ME. But you probably need what I can bring to you and it’s something you can’t bring to yourself. I channel it, or facilitate it through a session with you. But it’s me helping YOU to get in touch with it. It’s not about me; it’s about you.

When someone pulls a Karen on you, that’s their ego and lack of experience. They aren’t channeling what you need or facilitating the space you need to heal and grow. They are literally telling YOU what to do and what you NEED.

No one can do that!

No one can tell you what you need to have, do, or be — but you. YOU are the architect of your own destiny. I’m just here to help you make it happen. 

Fearless 5 Podcast Episode #45 -- I'm going to cry through this one because you cannot ever give up

Ever think something is impossible? You’re probably wrong.

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Podcast#45

I’m crying because a miracle has happened — don’t ever give up!

Woot! 45th podcast! 

The first 4 podcasts came out of me in minutes, it seemed. Then I got to this one. Crickets…

But I show up anyway. Brainstorm. Get on Facebook and mess around, look at memes. See what friends post… And then, I got it! The topic for the 45th podcast! But first… the housekeeping. I post the podcast on Sundays so you have it for the week. I mean for it to be used daily in the morning when you wake up so you have a quick, positive, and motivating podcast to start your workdays with Monday-Friday. But you can listen to it however, whenever you want. There’s 45 episodes you can binge now! Wow… Then I post the show notes Monday-Friday…sometimes on Saturday if I get busy. I try not to do that though. 

Ok, today’s topic is HUGE! Are you ready? I can’t believe this slipped my mind! Let’s talk about why you never GIVE UP on a dream…though letting go does help. 

On November 11, 2003 (Veteran’s Day) my very best friend, April, was diagnosed with cancer. Leukemia, to be exact. She was back home in the San Francisco Bay Area and I was living in Phoenix. So I flew home on Thanksgiving day to stay at Stanford and be with her. I watched her suffer. I watched her heal. It all happened so fast. And with Leukemia, they had to act quickly. There was no time to freeze her eggs. She was 25. 

Rounds of chemo did a number on her body. She had short-term memory loss even years later! But fertility was another issue — would that come back? Was it GONE? Had cancer ruined her chance to start a family? 

A year ago, April met Joseph and he swept her off her feet. This spring, I got the call — there would be a BABY in OCTOBER! 

I cannot tell this story without crying. I am so happy and full of joy! 

Little baby Roland came into the world this week — on the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake back home… Kid has a sense of humor, I guess. 

There was no trying to have this baby. Oh, she wanted to have this baby with all her heart! But she didn’t spend $70K on IVF…she didn’t try and try and face heartaches and disappoints. April truly did NOT think a baby was possible for her. After years of having the dream of giving birth to her own child, April told me one day, “If it’s meant to be, it will be, but I have to let it go.” I was sad that day. 

Because the absolute BEST and WORST feature of my personality is my desire to MAKE IT HAPPEN! I will find a way. I am a honey badger like that. Now that I’m 40, I’ve decided this is more of a detriment than an asset and I’ll be surrendering ALL THE THINGS from now on. (Maybe there’s next week’s topics in a nutshell, we’ll see. I’m waiting to see how some things pan out). 

So my response to April saying she was going to LET GO of the idea of having a baby was, “OH MY GOD YOU CANNOT GIVE UP!” But if she was going to let it go, I would have to let it go too, accept it, be sad…and move on. 

Imagine everyone’s surprise this year when April and Jospeh announced they were expecting! Imagine my joy this week when baby Roland was born! I cried all day. Every time I thought about him, how he came to be in the world, how for nearly 16 years he was an impossible dream — I broke down in tears. 

Cancer did not win this time. Of Course, it took 16 years to be sure of that…

My sweet nephew. He is the Universe’s proof that we all just need to let go, stop controlling, stop trying to make things happen. 

If it is to be, it will be. 

Fearless 5 Podcast #43 Show Notes: I give you permission

Today on the Fearless 5 Podcast — permission. Listen here.

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I give you

Permission. If you’ve been waiting for it, here it is!

What do you need permission to do? 

Whatever it is, I give you permission to do it! 

Who am I, you ask? Who are you, Coach Heather, to give ME permission to do anything, you ask? 

Well, you weren’t going to do it. I’m nobody. I’m nobody you have to listen to. I’m not your boss or your spouse or whoever. Maybe you’ve never met me in person and don’t know me at all. But if you needed someone to give you permission to go live your life — here you go! You got it! I give your permission! 

Not only that, I’m going to tell you that you can. You have permission but you also have the ability! Go be able. Go do. Don’t hold back. 

Want to try something new? Leave a bad relationship? What are you waiting for? Permission? 

If ME giving you MY permission isn’t enough, how about YOU do it? 

Go ahead. Give yourself permission. Tell yourself you can. 

Want to wear red lipstick or buy that new coat you need? Do it. 

Want to start a business? Do it. 

Want to take that vacation to the Caribbean? Do it. 

Wait a minute, I didn’t even ask — why DON’T you have permission to do it? 

A-ha! Here’s where the a-ha moments come in… We have to give ourselves permission when there’s another voice within that’s always saying, “NO!” 

So who is that? Is it a parent’s voice from 1985 when you were barely in kindergarten? (Hey, that’s my crap! LOL!) Is it a teacher? A figure of authority? And from what phase of your life? Would society NOT let you do a thing you want to do? Someone’s expectations? Family or cultural expectations? 

Figure out what’s holding you back. Whose voice is it? I guarantee it’s not yours.

Fearless 5 Podcast Episode #42 Show Notes -- Accounting for life's messiness

Listen to the Fearless 5 Podcast here on Apple Podcasts

Accounting for life’s messiness…

I always say that my leaps of faith have worked out. It’s totally true. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t messy. It was messy, painful, and I fell flat on my face a few times. 

Fact is, no one shows you their failures. 

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Fact is,

No one shows you their failures.

Behind every success story, I have is many stories of failures. If I look like I have it together today, believe me, I didn’t. I don’t now, either. I’m just learning and evolving like everyone else. 

What’s the solution when life gets messy? You take the chance but it doesn’t work out? You make a huge mistake that costs you something, be it time, money, face, reputation, career, etc? 

This is where perspective is important. Did you die? No? Good. Not good enough? OK, let’s go further. 

I make mistakes. I look back and then I think, “Well, that didn’t work out. But I don’t regret doing it.” Why not? Because the risk of getting what I wanted made it worth it! Then, I learned. 

Whenever I didn’t get something I took risks for, I gained knowledge. I learned about the world and myself. I learned about others. I learned more of what I do and don’t want in my life. I met people. I made friends. 

In a time where everyone is numbed to Netflix and processed food while posting on Facebook about their witty, first-world problems — this is a podcast to help you live. This is a podcast to help feed your mind & soul. 

No successful person didn’t fail. When you see a successful person, you aren’t seeing their first version of anything they are putting out. You’re seeing what made it to market, not the first prototype. 

The same is true with our lives. We aren’t successful right out of the gate. We practice, we hone our craft, we fail, we try again. 

I’m saying this to give you permission to get messy in life. 

Don't forget, Reiki 1 Class is Sunday!

Reiki 1 Class is Sunday in Wichita at White Dove

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Book a Reiki class by 10/31/19

And receive a free 1/2 hour Reiki session, too!

Are you ready to begin your Reiki journey?

Reiki 1 is going to be awesome!

Let’s get you attuned to the first level of Reiki energy. You’ll be able to practice on yourself along with your nearest and dearest. That includes your pets! I’m not an animal Reiki instructor (yet) but you can use Reiki on your pets at the first level. They may not like it or choose to receive it. I knew a dog once who loved it while the rest of his pack of four could care less. My cat, HRH Meeko, doesn’t care about Reiki. She’s OK if I am doing it on myself. But if I touch her directly with my hot hands — noway! My late black cat, Alcatraz, loved it — but for only a few minutes. He preferred to lay under the table while I received Reiki or gave it to someone else. Animals like being near Reiki and don’t need a direct connection like we humans seem to prefer.

If you’re coming to Reiki 1, it’s too last minute for me to have books ready for class

But I’ll get your shipping address so you’ll get your book after class, in about 1-2 weeks. (It’s taken up to two weeks for delivery, but usually one week). So we’ll be using handouts in class rather than the book. I’m not one to sit and read from the book all through class anyway. We have Reiki to do! I prefer the do the practical applications of Reiki in class.

Book Reiki 1 for 10/27/19 here.

There are also Reiki 2 & 3 classes coming up, too!

Get your Reiki on before Mercury Retrograde begins on 10/31… Then get some more while the retro rages.

Fearless 5 Podcast: New week, new episodes -- here are the show notes for #41

Welcome to a new week of Fearless 5 Podcasts!

We jump around topic-wise this week before I absolutely ball my eyes out in Fearless 5 Podcast #45. I am crying in HAPPINESS though. If you need some kind of reminder not to give up, it’s episode #45. Never give up before the miracle happens… I am a true believer in miracles. They are everywhere, all the time.

This week, we’ll talk about:

#41 — Taking big risks

#42 — Accounting for life’s messiness

#43 — Giving yourself permission

#44 — How to survive Mercury Retrograde

#45 — This is where I ball my eyes out but it’s for HAPPINESS! Promise.

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Pod-casts #41-45

This week: Taking risks, life gets messy, permission and everyone’s favorite — Mercury Retrograde!

When taking a big risk, it’s important to remember, “this or something better.”

As in, this risk will work out — or something better will come along. 

This is an act of faith. 

This is an act of love. 

Taking this “leap” is the opposite of fear. 

When taking that risk, ask yourself, “Am I taking this action in faith that it will work out?” 

“Am I ok if this doesn’t work out? I have to have faith that I will be.” 

“I must have faith this will work out and — if it doesn’t — I have faith that something better will come along.”

I get it. It’s painful when we don’t get what we want or something doesn’t work out. It’s disappointing. That sucks. But sometimes, as internet memes say, “Not getting what you want is an incredible stroke of luck.” 

Remember to walk in love & faith in all you do. Do it today.

What is on your to-do list today? What action can you take that feels like you are consciously acting in love & faith rather than fear? 

When you’re feeling discomfort today, ask yourself, “Am I acting in faith and love, or am I reacting to something out of fear?” 

Which do you want to drive your actions? Love? Or fear? 

Here’s where the consciousness comes in. 

We have to choose. Because if you want to be the architect of your own destiny — and you ARE — you have to choose. Love? Or Fear? You know the right answer. Now make your actions congruent with faith and love — not fear. 

What are you afraid of? Failing? 

Well, the solution is here! When you take a risk, tell yourself you have FAITH this will work out. This will work out — or it will lead to something better. 

I know, I know. This is too simple, right? It doesn’t account for life’s messiness, does it? 

Let’s tackle that in Fearless 5 podcast #42.

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Listen here

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Fearless 5 Podcast episode #40 show notes

Ok, last one about spiritual kindergarten this week!

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A course

in miracles…

Listen on episode #40

Since I’m spent and need a little more time to return to MY spiritual refuge, I’m going to read a few passages from a few books…I just realized I didn’t even mention “A Course in Miracles” yet on a personal level and how it’s been one of my biggest influences spiritually…as it is for many teachers. So without spending time on explaining what it is and the story behind it, I’m just going to read some of my own highlights from it. (Yes, I am a book highlighter and there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, ACIM is the best book for this).