Watch my interview with Aaron Fisher (entrepreneur, public speaker and author; @theawakeningself on Instagram) where we share a heart-felt conversation on awakening and how it was like for me!
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It’s surprising that it took me this long to put this talk together. I think I was hiding my desire to host this type of “class” as a bit of self protection. Despite this, I am confident that we are presented with opportunities to teach the lessons that we ourselves most need to learn, sometimes we have to hear it more than once. The idea of Your Voice Matters started percolating around in my brain back in March 2018, but it wasn’t until the conference that things really started molding into a cohesive class and movement of sorts.
When I say that I am committed to this idea, I mean it. I am deeply passionate about all of us knowing deep inside that our voices matter. I have struggled with my sense of self and voice since I was 5 years old and got my first glimpse of the world shutting me down by telling me I was too talkative. I have struggled against that my whole life. I am not exaggerating when I say I face that internal conflict every single day of life. I live in a constant state of wondering whether or not I might be “too much” at any given moment.
I’d like to say that it ends today, but I don’t believe that is entirely possible. I am a believer in the idea that we control our thoughts, but that one is still wired in their pretty deep, so it will take awhile yet for me to rewrite that particular line of code. Instead of self-filtering or worse self-limiting, I will be rewriting that message as I am the perfect amount of me. I am uniquely and perfectly created and I am showcasing my me-ness and much-ness in just the right amounts at all times.
Do these negative thoughts sound familiar? Are you someone that struggles with too much-ness or maybe you have the sister thought that is more in the “I am not enough” camp. With either one, I think the new coding is the same, “I am enough.” There was another beautiful soul presenter at the conference who actually gave out temporary tattoos with exactly that message. She self-identified as a member of our “I’m not good enough” camp. Unfortunately, there are a lot of us who hang out there, but we can move to another location, another campsite. We really can learn to rewire and rewrite that code inside our brains. It will take time and practice, but it absolutely can be done.
Will you commit to fighting this with me? Do you promise to stop yourself the next time you go down the “I’m not good enough” path? Instead, will you take a nice deep breath and remind yourself that you are perfect. Remind yourself that you are enough, and you are loved? Do it for me and all of the other women who also need to hear, know, and feel this. Maybe you have a daughter or other significant to you younger female perhaps as young or even younger than my little Ellie who needs to grow up knowing this too? Perhaps you can do it for her. Maybe you can think about that little girl inside of you – do it for her. The more you do it, the more it is etched into your brain and becomes the default thought pattern. Pretty soon we will all know we are enough.
Imagine a world where we all know we are enough. Imagine how unstoppable we will be. Imagine how much love and amazingness and awesomeness will exist. This is the world I see in my mind. This is the world that I dream about living inside. Will you help me bring it into manifestation? I hope you will.
Much love and gratitude
~ Sherpa Erica
I confess that I am a struggling writer. I often struggle with my writing because I have so much to say but need to organize and structure my thoughts in order to convey exactly what I really mean. Other times I struggle because I have an idea in the recesses of my mind but I struggle to find the right words to communicate or express it. Still other times I can write an entire chapter or a poem in my head while taking a shower.
Creative writing sometimes needs a catalyst. You feel something inside; you can’t quite make it out but you know it’s there. I am struggling right now with writing a book, a spiritual memoir, to be exact. It’s a book that has been inside of me for years, wrapped up in childhood trauma, guilt and fear, a progressively changing identity, deepening spirituality and a hotbed of emotions. I realized there was something there after making a monumental decision to leave corporate America. Towards the end of 2012, I found myself in a difficult situation with a new manager who had a very different work ethic than my own. It happened at a time when I was already at a crossroads in my life—I was at the right age with enough years of service under my belt to seriously consider early retirement. I was also yearning for independence and a real shot at building my own business.
As a matter of fact, I had a vision one day while leaving work; a vision of stepping off of a cliff and just soaring in the air, not falling but soaring forward and upward. Shortly thereafter, I had an incredibly distasteful conversation with my manager. When it was all said and done, when the steam stopped coming out of my ears, I knew it was time to move on. I gave myself a few days to mull it over then penned a rather lovely resignation letter—no struggle with that piece of writing. Suffice it to say, as of February 1, 2013, I no longer had a 9-5 job. Breathe.
Several months after my resignation, something unexpected happened. I had met a woman on Facebook who was hosting conference calls about mothers living their dreams and aspirations while being mothers, wives, caregivers, etc. She had gone through some dramatic life experiences that left her broken until she realized that she still had dreams and aspirations she still wanted to achieve. She was also the compiler for an anthology of 30 writers, all women, and she invited me to be a contributing author. I had always been pretty good at writing in general and had suspected for years that there was a book inside of me—though by no means did I actually identify myself a writer.
After hearing the concept for the book, in the midst of pure uncertainty and bonafide fear, I said yes. The book, Motherhood Dreams and Success: You can Have It All, published in 2014, turned out to be a gem, a collection of 30 incredible stories; stories of heartbreak, struggle, and pain juxtaposed with victories, triumphs and breakthroughs. Two things came out of that experience; first, it was an honor to be counted amongst the fellow authors and, second, that 1500-word chapter was the creative catalyst I needed to begin the journey towards a solo book project, the spiritual memoir I mentioned earlier.
I started writing the memoir in 2015. I developed a rough draft for the first chapter, then stopped dead in my tracks. I struggled. I simply couldn’t go any further. Then I attended a one-night women’s revival at my church. At the end of the service we were like a river, all standing around the altar and praying, like women do. It was one of those serious, God-is-in-the house moments, where all these women were praying, praising and weeping together. Right in the midst of that day-of-Pentecost moment, God spoke directly into my spirit, informing me that the reason I was unable to write is that I was simply not digging deep enough. He reminded me that it’s the depth of the journey that matters and if I do not dig through all the layers of trauma and emotion, I will never be able to write the truly authentic story that is in my soul. Like a dedicated anthropologist, I started digging, peeling stuff away to reveal the real story that is my life.
Though the struggle continues, my goal is to have the manuscript completed by spring of this year. I am learning some very valuable lessons as I write. Hopefully these lessons learned will help other struggling writers out there. Happy struggling…I mean writing!
- As a writer, it is often a struggle to get the raw data out of your head. (My friend Lynn told me that.)
- Embrace the struggle, envisioning the life and the structure of your story as you write.
- The pool of human creativity never runs out, the more you create the more you have to create. (Maya Angelou taught me that.)
- Life is a never ending story and we are each a unique book in God’s eternal library.
- Writing is a function of your identity—know that only you are you and you must understand who you are to tell a truly reflective story.
- Don’t be afraid to dig deeper when you write; that’s where the golden nuggets lie.
- If writing is your gift, then you are a writer 24/7.
Remember, you were born to do something great!
Are there people in your life who have wronged you in some way? I am sure there are. We have all been hurt by someone at sometime or another in our lives. Are you waiting on an apology from that person or persons? Even those who have apologized to you, have you accepted their apology?
Forgiveness is a difficult concept for most people because we as human beings find it difficult to forgive someone who has wronged us – we feel we are allowing that person to get away with something, that we are excusing them for their behavior. In some instances, the person that has committed a wrongful act, will see the wrong they have done and will step up and apologize. Some of us will accept that apology, content that at least the other person realizes what they have done and are remorseful. Other times we are so bitter that we are unwilling to accept the apology.
Here are some things about Forgiveness to keep in mind:
• God has forgiven us – so we must forgive others
• Forgive those who have hurt you – let God fight your battles
• Ask God to help you soften your heart and help you to forgive those who have wronged you. Also pray for healing from the pain and hurt you are feeling. God loves you
• Forgiving is not about the person who has hurt you – it’s about YOU. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you condone what they have done or even accept what they have done.
• Not forgiving the other person binds you / chains you to the person and the pain they have caused you.
• Not forgiving allows the person who hurt you and the pain they have caused to have power over you.
• Not forgiving allows you to wallow in your pain and bitterness thereby, allowing you to continually remind the person who has hurt you what they have done. You never allow yourself to heal and move past the hurt because you are too focused on “punishing” the other person.
The other difficult part of forgiveness is being able to forgive yourself for things you have done. Some food for thought about forgiving yourself:
• If you have hurt someone, ask that person for forgiveness.
• Confess your behavior to God and ask His forgiveness – He will forgive you . Pray for help in forgiving yourself. Give it to God and let it go!
• Don’t be imprisoned and chained by your behavior. What you have done is not who you are, but an unfortunate choice that you have made in your life – don’t allow it to define you.
Forgiveness is your “get out of jail free card”. It releases you from the chains of hurt, pain and bitterness. You weren’t meant to live in chains – so often we live our lives in chains, and we already have the key. Let go and BE FREE!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Dillard is a Certified Professional and Stress Management Coach passionate about helping her clients become the best version of themselves. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University in New York and a master’s degree in Guidance & Counseling from Long Island University, also in New York. In the past she has worked with abused children, substance abusers, and parolees. Inspired by her own life experiences, she seeks to assist others suffering from poor self-esteem realize their inherent worth and value as human beings and make emotionally healthy choices in all areas of their lives.
Dawning Light Coaching
By Dr. Jo Anne White
The other day, I was speaking to a colleague, lamenting that we had to be professionally pigeonholed into categories. Just choose one specialty, even when we have expertise in several others. It’s a sensible marketing strategy, but it feels so one-dimensional and we are multidimensional after all. The truth is that the average person will have as many as five or six different occupations and as many as 10+ jobs by the time he or she retires. We are to select, focus and also diversify to keep up with the emerging global and economic changes, especially in the fields of technology.
I’ve always admired Leonardo Da Vinci for his diverse talents and skill in many different areas in addition to the one he was most famous for-his painting. He was an adept and talented sculptor, musician, architect, mathematician, artist, inventor, engineer, writer, botanist, geologist and the list goes on.
Yes, he was special; yet we have the capacity of flexing our brains like muscles and expanding our talents and versatility like him. Our brains are capable of so much more than we imagine; we have unlimited potential. The key is to unlock it and make use of it! And we can. Leonardo gave us wonderful clues throughout his work, his writing and beliefs to stretch ourselves beyond what we think possible.
Da Vinci speaks of learning how to see and the importance of engaging our senses more fully, truly paying attention in new ways. He encourages us not to take anything for face value; instead, engage in inquiry and research. Test knowledge experientially to uncover truth, and just as importantly live true ourselves and to our life purpose. Rather than give up, be persistent, get comfortable with ambiguity, and be open to learn from mistakes we’ve made. So often, the answers come after much trial and error, not by walking away from a challenge, but by finding novel solutions through perseverance.
Leonardo used many different techniques to stimulate his own creativity, such as looking into various shapes and finding different patterns and associations. To innovate, whether in life or business, we have to look outside of ourselves, outside of the familiar and outside our industry to make new connection and associations. This is out-of- the-box thinking that can help us view challenges and experiences differently and produce unique results.
Da Vinci also spoke a lot about self-mastery which I believe is critical to making inroads in our growth. Not only do we have to show up for ourselves and others, but we need to gain control over our impulses and ourselves for success. Imagine an athlete or musician not being mentally or physically prepared for a concert or a competition; the outcome is likely to be unfavorable. The same principle applies to us. To learn something new and be successful, commitment, action and application are required. When passion is introduced, it’s more potent.
He urged us to take time out from work in leisure, refresh ourselves and clear our minds which can stimulate new ideas and sprout new perspectives. So often the answers we are looking for appear almost magically when we’re in a relaxed mode. Da Vinci was a strong champion of lifelong learning. Find ways to continuously expand your own knowledge and awareness in many areas including yourself, love and the natural environment. His beliefs about valuing and respecting all of nature and the environment still apply today with the focus on sustainability. An astute observer of nature, man and all things, he believed in the strong interconnectedness of everything.
You can ignite your own creativity by making connections between dissimilar things. At first you won’t know how they can connect, but that’s what gets your brain actively blending up new combinations to amaze you. We each have multiple intelligences that call to be awakened in us. Like Da Vinci, awaken them.
For more information, you can visit http://www.drjoannewhite.com/