I haven’t written a new post in quite a while. My last post I Believe I Can Fly really opened my eyes to some startling truths. As a result, I had some messy work to do.
The thing about awareness is that once you have it, you can’t un-have it. Once you gain awareness, you know what jibes and what doesn’t. I know who I want to be. And, surprisingly, I’ve since learned that deep down inside, I am already that person.
And deep down inside, you are too.
I’ve become more and more attuned to my soul’s whispers, and I have been practicing a lot of self-care. I am actually pretty proud of myself for taking giant strides, facing fears, and moving forward to claim my gift: the gift of living my life. I continue to walk forward in faith and with courage and I am embracing the concepts of honouring myself, trusting myself, loving myself and being myself.
Guess what? It may get a little messy, but YOU can too! I’ll be here cheering you on!
As you learn to love yourself more, you learn to share love with others more freely and openly.
Be gentle with yourself, but seek to learn, grow and change every day. It’s important to listen to yourself and to tell yourself the right things. This means no self- deprecation. NOT EVER!
We all get to choose the story we want to tell ourselves. Make sure your story aligns with the life you want to lead. If it doesn’t, re-write it.
“I AM… two of the most powerful words; for what you put after them shapes your reality.”
Never put yourself down. Tell yourself YOU MATTER.
Forgive yourself for floundering.
Live in gratitude.
Always lead with love.
Keep moving forward.
ALWAYS fill in the blank with positive words of affirmation.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Think positive thoughts. Stand up for yourself even if it means standing up to yourself.
To do this, you need to believe in yourself and love yourself. You truly need to believe that you are not only worthy of it, but that you are also a special part of the magic that swirls around and within you. Be still and know.
Learn to be aware of everything. Truly listen and be present. Like anything else, the more you practice the more naturally it will come. This will allow you to tweak what you need to or determine if a complete overhaul is required. You may not like what you see, but don’t let that deter you. The process is well worth it.
You also need to be aware of your behaviour and give yourself flexibility. Do not lock yourself into patterns that have not served you well. You can change them.
Einstein nicely summed up in these words:
Do something different. Disrupt your pattern. Jostle it around. And then when all the feelings come to the surface – let them. Let the tears flow and keep peeling the onion. It’s not easy, but it is healing.
It is so truly amazing how easy it is to make changes when you can see the truth, accept the truth, and stand up for and to the truth.
I can clearly see my evolution. I am wide-eyed and head held high. It’s been rather awe-inspiring to behold and more importantly, to feel.
My recent approach is much more akin to jumping off a cliff than treading lightly, but I now put my all into everything. I am not afraid to be vulnerable. I have to be. Vulnerable is open. It’s my life on the line here. And if that’s not worth transformation, then what else is?
I thought I’d have a little fun with the rest of this post. Sharing the process doesn’t have to be cliché or boring. And well, I am definitely not that!
My dear friend Slam honoured me in his Beam The Joy of Imagination recently. So I decided to embrace my creative flair and show him what he’s really dealing with by approaching this post in my own inimitable style.
That which lurks beneath… (cue sinister music) dant dunt daaaaa… (I don’t think I spelled that right, but you get the gist.)
Those who know me know I have a bit of flair for the dramatic. I even occasionally burst into soliloquy when so inspired , leaping to a pedestal to express myself with appropriate vim. Outrageous, maybe. Quirky, ok. but I’m good with that. It’s all part of my charm.
I believe you should always be authentically you in all that you do.
It is when I feel comfortable being the “me” I want to be, that I am most happy. Unfortunately, sometimes that means making it through an occasional crazy moment.
If you ever get to witness one of those, it means I trust you. It also means I’m confronting fear and going through another growth stage. Give me a hug and just keep loving me. I ALWAYS come out stronger.
As I look back at over the years I’ve notice a lot of changes; shifts I made during my journey. I was a different person then. Many times over. I guess there have been a lot of “me’s” living in this fiery redhead. But the Shelley that I am today was always there at the core.
Somebody recently said to me “nobody know what’s in the bag except the person carrying it.” Well, I’m going to unpack mine in hopes that it will help you unpack yours.
Using my imaginative approach to problem –solving, and for the sake of demonstration, let’s recognise some of these parts of “me” by granting them each their own acknowledging moniker. This will help illustrate the conscious choices you can make to change destructive behaviours.
We’ll begin with Petula. She and I had a lot of tension in earlier years. Although she did not visit often, when she did, her petulance always undermined me. She was reactive, short-tempered, and cutting. She was filled with a lot of pain and a lot of anger.
I did not understand how she could possibly be a part of me. I do not like anger. It’s pointless. It’s harmful. And it is not loving.
And yet, back then, it was there in me. I was ashamed that I was not stronger. And that it was there, in turn, made me angry. Of course, anger at anger does not a solution make.
I actually spoke to a colleague of mine, who was a counsellor, about how I could do away with her.
I told her I had plotted to lure unsuspecting Petula into the woods. I intended to distract her while we were searching for spring peepers, turn on my heel, and run like hell before she could follow.
I smiled at the absurdity. Sandra smiled at my lack of compassion, knowing it did not fit. And then she took my hand. “You can’t leave her out there,” she told me. “You need to hug her, love her, and understand why she’s here. She’ll keep coming back when you don’t want her if you don’t learn to honour her.”
And there it is. You have to get to the root of it.
Most of us have parts of us, things about us, that we wish weren’t there. You cannot compartmentalize your feelings and expect them to disappear. To change them and let go, you really do need to understand why they’re there in the first place.
Petula and I had to face each other. It wasn’t going to be easy since her very presence was so offensive to me. But my anger at her was a negative force that kept pulling her back. I had to get to know her. And the more I took the time to understand her reason for being, the easier it was to finally say goodbye. As it happened, Petula just needed a little attention and a lot of love and understanding so that she could heal.
I haven’t seen Petula in many, many years. And in remembering her now, it is with forgiveness and a smile.
Then we have Sister Mary Annette Stork, so dubbed by my dear friend DK. Apparently, Mary Annette was derived from marionette, and stork, both in tender mockery of the so-called buggy whips I have for arms and legs.
Sister Mary Annette was very dear to me. She was a beautiful and well-meaning soul who wanted to make the world a better place by helping as many people as she could. In that, she will always be a part of me.
Unfortunately, the Sister was also a martyr. She was always willing to sacrifice herself, ergo me, to help others.
I did eventually learn that to help others, we have to be able to help ourselves.
The Sister has since passed on to a better place. May she rest in peace. The lessons that she passed on to me shall always be remembered.
It is still important to me to make a difference in people’s lives every day. The only difference is that now I have added myself to the list. (Make sure you do too!)
Then came Lil. Lil was a force to be reckoned with. She was the defiant one. Lil stands for “last in line” because nobody’s was getting past Lil unless she let them. Lil was confident. She was righteous. She was strong. She was protective of Carla (we’ll get to her shortly) and she never let anybody walk over her. She was also a savvy business woman.
To her credit, she was a defender of virtue and injustice and always believed she did everything for the right reasons.
For a time I liked being Lil. I liked having faith in myself. I liked that I had developed some gumption.
But overtime I saw another piece was missing. Lil was so busy standing strong, and she was so self-reliant, that she never let herself be vulnerable. Lil did not trust.
And from within my answer came. And I taught her that trust is not a weakness. That giving IS getting; and that we really do have to be the change we want to see in the world. That always starts with love.
Lil decamped a few years ago, but she left her strength with me for safe-keeping.
And then there’s Carla. She has been around the longest and she has been the hardest to prepare. Carla is sweet. She is gentle. She is insecure. She has suffered a lot and has spent much of her life hiding and believing that she was damaged goods. She believed that nobody could love her.
But I love her. And that’s what matters.
Ironically, Carla, the one with the most fears, was the one who always wanted to trust. She wanted to be loved. She wanted to feel worthy.
To give you an example of her extreme insecurity: Somebody once told her that she had an abnormally small head, and must look really funny wet. She took it to heart. Carla stopped swimming and walking in the rain for over 20 years! Can you imagine how hard it was to help her?!
So, I’ve been loving Carla and trying to coax her out of her shell. She has been bravely stepping forward. We got caught in the rain recently, and after an initial amygdala response, I encouraged her to enjoy it! We splashed in puddles, sang, and glorified in it. And once home, drowned rat and all, I smiled at her in the mirror, I gave her a big hug, and I told her she was beautiful.
It’s all about those baby steps.
Carla and I have spent a lot of time together over the last few months – letting go of fear. I have since sent her on her way. But I am prepared for her should she pop back in for an occasional chat and reaffirmation.
And then there were two. Now we’re down to Shelley and Scarlet. We make quite the dynamic duo!
Scarlet is a vivacious vixen! She is alluring. She is playful. She is passionate. She is mischievous. She is smart. She is unpredictable and unabashedly unrestrained. I love Scarlet! She’s not going anywhere!
So you see, I have finally come down to me. To Shelley. The authentic core of who I have always been and will always be no matter what the world throws at me. I am pure love and light. I live with intention to make a difference every day with my words, my thoughts and my hands. I am at my best when helping others.
There is a gift in that, in giving. You find an awareness of self when you touch the lives of others. You tap into your core. You tap into your connectedness with all that is.
I lead with an open heart and an open mind. I choose to walk in faith, to listen to my heart, and to honour who I am.
I am not perfect. But I learn from every mistake I make. Every day I am a better me. I believe in myself and I have grown to love the stuff I am made of. I wouldn’t change any of it, for it has all made me “me.”
I now know I am beautiful, inside and out.
I am happy to be able to say, I LOVE ALL OF ME, even my imperfections, because from them, I continue to grow.
I have traded my expectations for appreciation and it changed my world instantly. Don’t get me wrong. I still have big dreams, and I also have the strength to see them through.
When it comes down to it, my big dreams are for a simple but passionate life. A life of love, honesty, appreciation, kindness and strength, sprinkled with a little silliness and a lot of fun! What could be more perfect?!
I see it now:
Ripped from the headlines of 2046…
“80-year-old great grandmother with big red hair wearing high heels and a little black dress (and still looking fabulous!) weaves maniacally through rush-hour traffic on the streets of Melbourne, on solar-powered scooter.” Said the feisty octogenarian: “I can’t help it, life’s too short not to live it out loud.”
You get to choose the life you want to lead, too. You get to dream your dreams.
So take the time to work through your stuff and remember:
We all get to choose who we want to be in every moment. Believe in yourself and choose wisely.
Don’t quit until you’re exactly who and where you want to be.
You’ll know when you get there. Just listen to your heart. It knows the way.
Please take the time to share your own thoughts and stories.
Shelley Lundquist is an international best-selling author, motivational speaker, and Self-Mastery & Success Coach who uses her intuitive gifts and powerful transformational breakthrough processes to empower audiences all over the world in leveraging the unlimited power of their own potential.
By guiding you through a journey of self-discovery and a shift in the way you perceive yourself and the world, Shelley will help you create your best life—a peaceful, harmonious life of joy and abundance, that acknowledges body, mind, and spirit.
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