Life from Essence

It’s so funny… a year ago when I engaged the services of a Life Coach I didn’t see this coming.  Who would know that I could become a Life Coach?

In this new space I work with individuals who are looking to make a shift in their lives (friendships, romance, work, money, family, dreams). What I do is partner with them to make it happen by providing them with tools, reflection and accountability to have them get out of their own way. This has them get past their obstacles and step into an authentic and empowered reality of their own design.

The beautiful thing about this is, I get to practice what I preach.  In order to walk with others as they get their lives together, I need to be getting my life together.  I too have a coach.  In order to work with others to get real, I too must get real.

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In the beginning of the coaching relationship we have the Essence Conversation.  It is a place where we examine our automatic ways of being, our fears, our survival mechanisms and our comfort zone – all instruments of a fear-driven life.  The foundation of coaching is partnering to design and to live an authentic life.  But in order for you to be authentic, you have to first know who you are, right?  This is part of the purpose of the conversation – to mine our essence from the hills of our lives.

Today, in celebration of who I am, I introduce to you my Essence:

JOY : a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.

PRESENCE: the state or fact of being present, as with others… Stately or distinguished bearing… The impressive manner or appearance of a person.

PURPOSE: a person’s sense of resolve or determination.

MAGNET: a person or thing that has a powerful attraction.

GODDESS: a woman whose great charm and beauty arouses adoration.

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When I began this journey I was given two warnings.

1. You will struggle in essence.  Living from essence strips you naked of your armor and puts you in a place of great vulnerability.  It will make you very sensitive to rejection because what is being rejected is the authentic you.  It’s OK when our survival mechanism is rejected!  It was never really us to begin with!

2. There are people in your life who will reject you from essence.  They have been friends with your ego.  They are attached to the image they have of you.  They do not understand your journey or your struggle.  Not only will you struggle, but life around you will resist the change.

This can look like a major adjustment with struggles through emotions that get dredged up or it can be a gentle realization.  I’ve always been more of an epiphany-learner and so the consequences of this new consciousness has slammed into me like a train. I never understood either of these things until this month.  I am raw and naked and there are a few (thankfully very few) people in my life who are in resistance to the changes.

By the grace of God as I grow into someone who works with others to get their lives together, my life will be working itself together too.

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Bulletproof Babes

We were taught to be independent, strong, self-sufficient, poised and in-charge.  We were told by our mothers, themselves the daughters of bra-burning times, to suck up our fears, manage our emotions, never let the bastards see us cry and never ask for help as long as we can help ourselves.  Lessons were passed on that high-maintenance is for bimbos and dignity and class cannot co-exist with it.  Being demanding is as bad as promiscuity in the estimation of our lady-teachers.  We are to serve with strength and selflessness without thought to our needs and in return we will be respected and loved.  We are a wellspring of power, woman hear us roar, and we can supply the whole world with what it needs.  The ironies that were passed down from grandmothers, aunties, teachers, family friends and mothers abound.

We associate being honest about our needs with images of weak, victimized, or morally bankrupt women.  And so, to not be seen as a doormat, a loose woman or a gold digger we put on a persona of needlessness that then results in us becoming more… NEEDY.  Think about it.  If we deprive ourselves of food telling ourselves that we don’t need it don’t we become more and more… hungry?

But there comes a time when a Bulletproof Babe says “So what if I have needs?  Of course I do!  I’m human!”  We come around to the question of how are we to expect ourselves to provide selflessly for the needs of others when our needs are not met?  Even in the airplane instructions before take off we are instructed to put on our own mask first before helping the person next to us, child or no child.

I am learning through my own experience as a woman that low maintenance women, like strong buildings and towers, without support and care suffer in structure, appearance and strength from neglect.  Without support and TLC they crumble, crack under pressure and become inhabited by bitterness.  They lose their value – how they value themselves diminishes and is then projected out to what value others see.  Others react to what they see, convincing her further of the lie that started her shrinking view of herself in the first place.

But it starts with her.  What does a guy have to offer a girl who refuses to acknowledge she has needs and flaws and vulnerability and needs someone to lean on once in a while?  How many times do we Bulletproof Babes find ourselves lonely and disappointed because a friend wasn’t able to read our minds and be there for us because we didn’t know how to tell them how to support us and that we needed support in the first place?  How many times have we let a slight pass and pass again and pass again until we blow, totally surprising all around us?  Why does it have to fall apart and be blatantly obvious and beyond the point of deniability for us to accept a helping hand?

We don’t have to be bulletproof to be beautiful, rigid to be respected, nor do we have to be low-maintenance in order to capture the attention of someone who could love us.  These are the ways we trick ourselves into being someone who attracts human leeches, persons who seek to take without giving, because that is what we put ourselves forward as willing to accept.  Think about it… “Oh she doesn’t need this from me.  She just wants someone to give and give and give to.  She doesn’t expect anything back, bless her little cotton socks.  Goody!  Free ride!  Why would I EVER leave?”  Except, of course, we don’t want that type around either, do we?

To the beautiful Bulletproof Babes out there, let us support eachother and drop the act.  Being strong doesn’t mean having no needs.  You deserve to have your needs met, not ignored.  But the first step to making that happen is to not ignore them yourself.

Feminism (Motivationalpostersonline.blogspot.com)

BLOW through the smoke screen to the real monster – KONY

So… I don’t need to know the details.  I don’t need to know the man, the weakness, the problems, the arrest, the nervous breakdown allegations.  With or without the opinions and reports on the life of the leader of the Invisible Children I have come to understand the following FACTS:

  1. Joseph Kony raped, murdered, disfigured, enslaved, tormented and terrorized for over 26 years in Uganda and other countries in Central Africa.
  2. Led by Jason Russell, The Invisible Children’s professed purpose has been to create a reality of infamy that would facilitate his capture and justice for his victims.
  3. The video KONY 2012 went viral and has been viewed by over 32 million people, succeeding in the purpose at #2 above.
  4. Joseph Kony is now infamous and there is a greater possibility that he will meet his justice as a result of this infamy.

At the end of all this and for these four reasons alone, I would like to shake the hand of the man who founded this movement, even if his hands are none too clean and his own self weak and imperfect – that simply makes him about as human as every other human being I know.   In his own video he didn’t profess perfection or strength but only purpose and passion.   He did say that a bunch of littles can do something big.  And even in his littleness – weakness, unpreparedness, mental illness, WHATEVER – he has made a big impact on this world.

Nothing as small as one man’s failings should change what we know to be wrong and right.  What the affected children of Central Africa have suffered is wrong and cannot be justified by any moral system.  A few years and a few miles separate you and me from being one of them.  For the right and wrong of the historical reality alone the world will be painted red in April.

Praying for Jason and that the work he has done well and imperfectly will meet success in the capture and judgment of one of history’s monsters.

I invite you to put your face in here... or the face of your child, or sister, or brother.