Shame, fear, depression
Death and yoga
Helped me to be a better person.
Shame has served me.
Speaking your shame can sometimes change your life in ways you couldn't have imagined.
Here are a few things I've learned about smoking, drinking, cheese, shame, self sabotage, self discovery, and friendship.
I felt trapped inside my own body. I felt trapped by a life of my own making and I'm dying inside, but on the outside I so desperately want to hold it together for everyone around me. I don't want anyone to know.
I'm hiding my secret behaviors.
I drank two bottles of wine the day I found out my exboyfriend was having a child with a woman he had fallen in love with. At the time, I was sleeping with a man who was engaged to be married and not to me. I had been trying to quit smoking for three years. But the truth was, I enjoyed smoking. And I had so little enjoyment in my life, I felt less lonely when I was smoking, even if I was alone.
On the outside I was holding it all together. I was pulling it off, so to speak. I even fooled myself for awhile. I kept going. I kept smoking. I kept drinking. I hoped my life would change one day, someday, soon, hopefully. I had always been seeking a greater meaning in life, but had been told too many times that I was just too intense.
So I hid my spiritual quest too.
I hid my depression as well as I could, but it was such a constant in my life, I wouldn't have known who I was without it. My friends tolerated my drunken outbursts of anger and rageful dejection, occasionally a night of going out would end with me in a pile on the floor, sobbing about how much I hated my life.
I was conflicted.
Going to the gym regularly, but drinking purple stuff to keep my energy high while I toned my arms throwing kettlebells. Meanwhile, being called "gym girl", gave me a false pride as I skipped regular meals and drank my daily calories in blueberry vodka sodas. I remember, running into my ex on the street with his soon to be wife, and I went home and popped an antidepressant pill to subdue the inevitable tidal wave of despair that was coming for me.
I kept some pills in my drawer in case of emergencies. Once sitting in my favorite coffee shop where I ate breakfast and lunch almost daily, she came into the shop, and parked the baby stoller and their newborn baby feet from my table.
As she talked on the phone of their pending wedding plans, and discussed the details of the house they were building together, I wanted to melt into oblivion. I hoped she hadn't seen me and wouldn't know me, if she did, but I wished with all of my being that my life would change.
I sat there, frozen listening and praying, "God, please get me the fuck out of here."
I didn't just mean the coffee shop. "God, please get me the fuck, out of here."
There were a couple of times, I remember going for the drawer with my antidepressants to take a pill. Then once going home with the thought, "I need to take one of those pills so this won't affect me" and almost simultaneously, a soft clarity washed over me, no pill was going to solve the problems I had in my life, in fact it was almost silly to think that a pill was going to change anything about my life at all.
I had secretly been in therapy for over ten years, and at that point in time I could say that, you know, I was "Ok". Completely functioning and in many ways, successful, skinny, with good credit and making good money.
But something was terribly wrong, inside. I never slept an entire night through.
God did get me the fuck out of there, I moved across the country. As far as I could possibly imagine from my former life and what I hoped were all my problems.
But I still needed help.
I can't say I had some great epiphany.
It was when my health began to fail that finally brought me to my knees. I started asking questions about the meaning of my life and the reason for my chronic unhappiness.
I knew that I "should" quit smoking, and I'd talked about it for almost 3 years.
I had quit smoking before and I thought I could do it again, if I wanted. I didn't think I had a real issue, you know, I just didn't feel like quitting, yet.
Until someone asked the question, "If I didn't have a plan to quit smoking, how exactly did I intend to quit smoking?"
She suggested an acupuncturist who had a lot of success with smoking cessation. I dunno, I'd never gone to an acupuncturist, but I had considered hypnotherapy, and since I could partially write off my medical expenses I decided to give it a try.
It took me 8 months to quit. At first, I went 3 times a week! 3 TIMES A WEEK!!! to acupuncture. And guess what? For smoking cessation you get needles stuck in your ears, and for someone who does not like needles this was a tremendous fear to overcome.
God, only knows why I kept going to see Dennis my acupuncturist, but what was revealed to me in the 8 months it took to quit smoking was much more than my reasons for not stopping my bad habits.
What came out of my acupuncture sessions was more powerful than years worth of therapy.
Dennis was the first person I'd ever been truly honest with, and he treated me each week with such deep care, respect, and kindness. It was because of his intelligent, gentle non judging ways, that my life began to transform.
I still didn't want to quit smoking. I got really clear on what my triggers were and why I was addicted to smoking and I still did it.
Every week Dennis would ask how was I doing with the smoking? You know I wasn't smoking in public and I was hiding it as much as possible, but with him, I'd be honest.
"You know I'm going to light up a cigarette as soon as I walk out of your office." I'd say to him.
"I'd be lying if I told you I want to quit smoking. I enjoy it. I know it's bad for me. But I don't care. I don't want to quit."
I was being honest.
And every week Dennis would say, "You're going to quit."
"You keep showing up, and one day you're going to want to quit. I believe in you." I remember him saying those words to me, and I had thought, "well Thank God, one of us believes in me. "
Except I still liked to smoke my cigarettes even if I was hiding it from strangers I would pass on the street.
Then one day after months of treatment, when many things had improved, I didn't want to smoke anymore. I almost forced myself to light up, but when I did, I couldn't inhale.
I suddenly didn't enjoy smoking.
I went and I told Dennis, OMFG, "I don't want to smoke anymore!"
A month later, I was home on the east coast visiting my girlfriends for the holidays, and like we were 25 again, we sat and drank and smoked cigarettes till the sun came up.
When I came home again and saw Dennis, I told him, "I've been smoking again! And it's worse than before. It's like I never even quit for a moment. I like smoking more than I ever have before.
"I don't think I'm capable of quitting."
"I think that was just a fluke. I'm going to be one of those people who just smoke until they die."
He responded, "Oh this is perfectly fine. This happens all the time. You're going to be ok. You'll quit for good. I believe in you. You keep showing up."
"Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind?! Didn't you hear me? I started smoking again, and it's like I never quit. I may as well succumb to dying of lung cancer, I mean who are we kidding? I'm going to smoke myself to a lonely death."
And he said, "Not to worry. This happens, you'll quit again and permanently."
And I did. I quit.
Being honest about my shameful secret habits and having a kind non judging witness to my life who was engaged in helping me heal and supported my efforts to change my life, made all the difference.
The good news is that as I started to heal one area of my life, the medicine started seeping into all areas of my life.
I wanted to quit smoking, and I did. But what I uncovered and healed was so much more, priceless really.
I saw with open eyes, why I smoked, why I liked it, how it had served me for years.... and when I came to be "so healthy" that I didn't need this crutch in my life, it just fell away.
It still pops up here and there, but it doesn't run my life, smoking is no longer an integral part of my self sabotage plan.
So how did I manage to get a perfect yoga body in three months?
I didn't... I mean, with all the eating cheese and drinking wine how was I going to to expect yoga was going to "fix" me?! It took longer than three months, but I just kept showing up, and that has made all the difference.
So often, people feel like "there's got to be more to life..."
Maybe it feels like you’re missing out on your potential in life, career, or maybe you haven’t found the right partner in love…
You need to know that your life purpose exists and who you are serves a greater purpose in this world.
How do I know about this?
...from my unique challenges in life, starting from when I almost died in an accident, then later was diagnosed with a debilitating auto-immune disease, and risked everything I had ever created in order to recover my health and ultimately my happiness.
I learned teachable techniques that helped me to grow a successful business which serves people around the world, and live a life filled with love, purpose, adventure, and miracles.
The same techniques I've used to create a beautiful life, I have taught to many people who then become successful in life, love, and career; creative entrepreneurs and award winning artists.
I'd like to teach you how to start finding and restoring your life purpose too. I can promise that you will never look at life the same way again.
You may be confused as to why you just can't seem to be happy and satisfied in your life and coaching techniques can help you gain freedom from anxiety & self doubt, and provide clarity for your next steps.
You don't need to be fixed! You're not a problem to be solved.
Maybe you just need better regular practices. Ones that don't involve other people's husbands, overdoses of cheese, or bottles of vodka and cigarettes...
For eighteen months or more I've been showing up every week, 3 times a week for yoga practice. I had to set up my schedule to make myself accountable to show up every week, 3 times a week.
This, I knew was a crucial piece. I can make a lot of excuses for not getting out of bed in the morning. I'll be honest.
Guess what? I don't like showing up every week, 3 times a week, but I do. I keep showing up. I keep practicing. At first yoga would make me cry, I didn't understand why. I mean, my wrists cry with pain all day everyday, but this was different. I cried during yoga.
Then, on the occasion that I could actually pull myself together for a head stand (up against the wall completely supported!!) I would be faced with rolls of blubber not used to experiencing gravity in the opposite direction, and I was just as shocked because, fat rolls look ten times larger when seeing them upside down and close to your face.
Maybe that just my boob.
I kept showing up. Once, I left class because I was crying so much, and the next time I saw my yoga instructor she spoke straight to my heart, she said, there's no reason to leave class when you're in that state.
You stay and you cry and there's no shame it that.
This is a safe place to be when you're feeling what you're feeling. That's yoga, to be just where you are at, and meet yourself with no judgement.
Mind blowing. Really.
Just showing up every week. Not with bells on, just showing up and going through the motions. If I didn't witness how my yoga instructor could bend and strongly compel her body to do things and stretch in ways that were inconceivable to me, I wouldn't have known it was possible.
And within 3 months, I found myself internally joking, how I'd managed to get a "perfect yoga body" in just 3 MONTHS!? The reality is and was, I had new muscles that I'd never felt before. And I could actually touch my toes again, I had been a ballerina for twelve years, and I couldn't understand how far my toes had grown away from my fingertips.
My life had changed. My body had changed.
Life would never be the same again. Once you know the things you know you can't unlearn them.
Here's the thing: if you want things to change in your life, you have to show up differently, even if *you don't feel like it*. You make a different choice and then you show up. Its that easy and it's that difficult. Work with someone who can hold the vision for you, even when you can't see it for yourself, until you can.