How To Hear Your Soul


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I’ve read all the self-help books. I have “creating your own universe” and positive thinking down to a science. What I seem to lack is direction. What do I want to be when I grow up? What can I do, that will sustain me so that I can get out of the rat race for good? I’ve often felt that I am “good” at a lot of things, but not “great” at any one thing; a least, not great enough to be successful at it. However, I’ve had this recent epiphany that everyone has this same line of thinking. Therefore, we are all sitting around working away at our safe 9-5’s banging our heads against the wall waiting to find something we are great at. The good news? While everyone else is waiting to find what their great at, if I simply choose to start acting on what I am “good” at, I’ll be ahead of the pack just by taking action alone. I find that we tend to be our worst critics. So, we hold ourselves back, mostly due to our egos, and we simply settle for being content.

I don’t think we are here to be content. I think we are here to be so full of joy and love that we exude this out to others. I think that each of us is indeed great at something, but we never come to realize it because we are too busy keeping our heads down and berating ourselves. So, I find myself in a peculiar situation. How can I convert,” good” in to great and great into financial independence in order to kiss the rat race goodbye forever? I think the first challenge is the need to start with a huge mind shift away from the external chatter and towards the inner voice of the soul. The hardest part is getting out of your own way long enough to recognize the thoughts and feelings that are truly authentic to your souls needs. Meaning, finding the way to recognize when your ego is driving and your soul is not. How to recognize this? First you need to learn to differentiate between the cry of your soul and the demands of your ego. The ego is very similar to a two year old always wanting their way. It will nag and nag and nag. It will be very loud and very demanding and at times incredibly draining. The ego is hard to please.

What we are looking to hear is the soul. The soul is quiet, it’s patient, and the soul will wait its turn to be heard. It will not demand attention and it will never create discomfort. As human beings, we have been programed to listen to the ego. The ego is the one that buys the expensive car and house, anything it can do to make it feel soothed and noticed. The things the ego wants do not truly make you happy, but instead seek to please the outward. The ego is greedy. It’s unforgiving. In order to drown out the ego and hear the souls true purpose speak to us, we have to take conscious actions to put our best listening ears on. Here are

4 steps to quieting the ego and hearing your souls wish:

1.) Meditation – the best way to quiet the ego is to remove it from situations where it needs to be heard. Put it in situations where being heard is not beneficial. Giving yourself time alone, to quiet the minds chatter, will help you to feel the soul. To hear what it needs.

2.) Mindful Awareness – Create awareness to what you truly desire and let your ego take a backseat. Imagine yourself stranded on a desert island and ask yourself a few key questions that will help you to define if your ego is talking or your soul is reaching out.
• If I were stranded on a desert island, would this still feel good?
• If I were stranded on a desert island, would I still feel the need to own this?
• Would I still feel the need to help others stranded?
• Would I still feel curious about other islands?
• Would I still want the biggest tree house on the block?
• Would I still feel superior if my clothes were less worn than those surrounding me?

Find what feels good to you on your island. Putting your mind in these situations will quiet the ego, in this scenario the egos wants become insignificant because there is simply no use for them.

3.) Write Your Obituary – You read that right. In the end, we all end up in the same place. Questioning our own mortality puts life in a whole new light. It helps us to put into perspective what is important and how we want to be remembered.

4. Begin To Act – Each day over the next 3 months, take one deliberate action towards your souls purpose. Keep a journal to note the changes in your attitude and your body. Note the changes in others around you. Note the changes in the world around you. Note the changes in your meditation, mindful- awareness and at the end of 3 months write a new obituary. If you notice improvement in these things at the end of your 3 months, you’re hearing your soul.

If each of us were less afraid of not being able to achieve greatness by society standards and we began achieving greatness by the standards of our souls, the world would look very different. You would look very different. I encourage you to find your souls voice. Take the 4 step challenge and see where it lands you.

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If You Think You’re Pretty


When I was 10 the coolest thing around was the roller skating rink. If “coolest” didn’t show my age I’m sure the skating rink bit did, but then again I’m a slightly out of touch on what’s hip with the kids these days, so maybe cool is still cool. I guess I need to have some kids so I can know what’s cool again even though parenthood inevitably makes me uncool with both my friends and kids alike. The skating rink always smelled of stale popcorn and sweaty teenagers, but I loved it. My mom would take me every weekend for months. Until one of the “punk teenagers” pushed her and she broke both her arms, yes both her arms! My father nearly killed the kid, like seriously. You don’t know my dad. Anyway, getting off topic here. I so desperately wanted to be one of the cool pretty girls. I wanted to dress like them and talk like them and be picked first for the couples skate. Unfortunately, I was a frizzy red headed slightly overweight tragically fashion challenged very loud and awkward little girl. Need more of a visual? You know that little girl in a bumble bee outfit tap dancing for like homeless dudes in the “rain” video by Blind Mellon? Yea. Pretty much like that. Look it up, early 90’s, tragic little girl, just like me. What ever happen to them?

Anyway, None the less, try I did, to fit in with the pretty cool girls. One such desperate attempt to be a cool girl was made up of a plaid skirt, knee high socks and a button down shirt. Maybe I was channeling my inner Britney Spears. Anyways, I clang to the only other girl in the rink near my age thinking strength in numbers. She was a foul mouthed too short for her age gum in chewing confident runt. I wasn’t sure where all that confidence was being created in that bite size little body. We skated into the bathroom where the runt pulled out a small bottle of liquid from her even smaller training bra. She held it to her nose and inhaled “want some?” she asked pushing it into my face. It smelled like my dad on a day he forgot to use deodorant and compensated with what he called “foo foo juice”. I wrinkled my nose and turned away to cough saying “Why would I want that? You know that’s men’s cologne, right?”. The runt started rubbing the cologne on her neck laughing at my ignorance “Yea, I know it’s cologne doofus, I like to smell like men have been all over me”. I decided I was OK with not smelling like men had been all over me, that seemed like something I wasn’t cool enough to pull off and people would just think I’d lost a fight with a skunk. The cool older boy that worked Saturday’s playing music and making announcements came over the loud scratchy speaker “Ok kids, it’s time for snow ball, girls on the left and guys on the right! You know the drill, once around then rink and then grab a new partner”. I nearly fell on my butt as the girls put away their lip gloss and ran screaming out of the bathroom to line up against the wall. I hated snow ball. It was my most dreaded part of the night, I like shoot the duck or fast skate, those only took skill.

Kid

Snow ball took coolness and being pretty and thin. It was kind of a stupid name, I always thought, because it made no sense at all. Now that I am an adult, I think some sick 40 something dude made it up and laughed hysterically at these unknowing teens happily running out to participate in “snow balling” each other. Ew. I just threw up in my mouth a little thinking about that and the scent from the rink came rolling back to me. Anyway, here I am on the wall of shame waiting for anyone to ask me to skate but even the dirty stinky boy passes me up for the girl next to me who puts out her hand without extending her arm and making a face like she was sucking on a lemon. Even the stinky boy passed me up. The runt had already been around the rink with three boys as I stand pathetically against the now empty girl side wall. I think about skating back to the benches, where at least I can appear not to care with the other SMART rejects that didn’t even attempt to stand on the wall. The runt comes over and does some fancy toe turn to rest up against the wall next to me since she was so tired after skating with so many boys. Bitch. Anyway, she goes “Why haven’t you skated with any boys” and I’m like “I dunno, maybe I look silly in my knee high socks, like maybe they only look cool when you’re not in roller skates, or maybe I should have smelled like men have been all over me or maybe…” she finally looked over at me and took a break from making google eyes at the boys passing by. She tilted her head smacking her gum and chewing like a new born cow.

She looked absolutely puzzled by what I was saying and I thought perhaps I needed to explain further my concern with my knee high socks, but she looks at me and starts talking so I don’t get the chance, “If you think you’re pretty, you’re pretty” she said in a high pitch squeal before skating off with boy number four. I felt like I had been hit with a sludge hammer. I repeated what she said to me, out loud, as she faded into the dark strobe lights of the romantic snow ball skate. “If I think I am pretty, I am pretty?” I asked out loud. What the hell does that mean? What do my socks and my scent have to do with how pretty I am? Until that moment it actually legitimately didn’t occur to me that anything like that would factor into how pretty I was. Not only did these things not factor in, but being pretty never even really occurred to me. Like, sure the boys weren’t asking me to skate, but it legitimately never occurred to me that it had anything to do with whether I was pretty or not. So, I rolled my silly socks down, turned my back to the rink and decided I was pretty. I decided I thought I was pretty that night, then I didn’t care if anyone asked me to skate. It’d just discovered this major secret, that I was pretty. So, I starred at the wall through the whole Whitney Houston song and counted the lines, for each line I repeated, “I’m pretty”. Seriously, I was 10 and this actually happened.

So, here I am feeling really good about myself and doing positive affirmation (before I knew what that was) and do you know what happened? Actually. Nothing. No one asked me to skate, but I strolled off that skate deck like I was a model on a run way and I did not give a shit. That felt really good. So, maybe it didn’t matter if a boy asked me to skate. In fact, I didn’t even bother getting up for the next “Snow Ball” skate. I waited until the skilled skating challenges and I won a trophy. I wish I could say that night changed my life. I wish I could tell you I didn’t struggle with eating disorders or seeking unhealthy attention, but I can’t. All I can say is, when I think back on that night, I think about the life long struggle I have had to get where I am today and that is empowering. One day, I hope I can meet a frizzy red headed slightly overweight tragically fashioned challenged very loud and awkward little girl and tell her “own that shit”. Because one day, none of this will matter and the fact that you are brilliant like no other will matter. I’ve had my fair skates with boys now that I am an adult, and it’s not all that great. Although, the affirmations followed me through life, so I guess I have something to thank that little smells like lots of men runt for.

Telling The Truth… It’s Ok


Lately I find myself telling the truth a lot more about myself. It’s as if something switched in me and suddenly I really have no shame about who I am. Including, who I was and who I am trying to be. Granted, some of these conversation have been flowing from wine and totally nonjudgmental company, but still. As I prepare to launch my woman’s empowerment “movement” where I plan to teach other woman how to become and continue to be empowered. I guess I reached a point when I decided that sometimes, you have to tell the truth. You have to get down to the nitty-gritty with people and let them see the downright ugly scary truth about you. Because the truth is that none of us is perfect and we’ve all made mistakes. I can’t put myself in front of a bunch of women and tell them I can empower them without letting them in on the fact that I myself have been where they have been. I’ve drank myself into black outs over waiting on a TXT from a guy. I’ve talked myself out of jobs I felt I didn’t deserve. I lived in bad neighborhoods, I’ve been robbed and maced and jumped and left to die.

I think it’s important that we tell someone the truth. I think it’s important that someone hears you say all of it. Someone that you feel safe with and know that will love you no matter what. Because before we can move forward to being empowered we have to truly understand how we got where we were before and understand how to get to where we are going now. Everything matters. People will say that actions speak louder than words, well that may be true, but people haven’t always had to figure out how to pay rent or try to feed their children after losing their job. See, the thing is we all love to sit up here on our pedestal and talk down to all the minions below us. Spewing out judgment on their life choices and what I like to call “Life Forces” because I don’t care what anyone thinks, there will be a time in your life when you don’t have a choice. Life will force you to your knees and you’re going to have to put on your big girl panties and do whatever life says. However, there is a way out and it can be taught. When you’re ready to learn, it will come to you in the form it speaks most to you depending on your situation, but you have to be ready. You have to be ready to be honest.

In the meantime, I mean, fuck it, try to let that shit go. Ultimately, we are all going to end up bug food 6 feet under once life is done with our physical body. Now, maybe you believe in some kind of after life, personally I believe our energy lives on, but just not in a physical form. Scientifically, everything is energy and everything and everyone is the same no matter what bad choices that key board made in its life, it’s no better or worse than you are. Think about that for a moment, maybe with a glass of wine. If you believe that someone will judge you in your new form once you’ve left this one, well even then there is room for forgiveness as I understand. So, basically what I am getting at is, I feel like I need to be totally honest with myself and with others if this is going to work. This being, empowering other women. So, perhaps that is why I find myself launching my truths onto complete strangers, or maybe it actually was the wine. Although, I still find myself letting go of these truths, completely freaking out inside and then realizing that the world continued to spin after. Not only did the world continue to spin, but someone else in it felt just a little less judged and a little less guilty of their own “shit”. Here is the truth, everyone, I mean everyone, has their own shit. We have so much pressure to be magazine perfect or leave it to Beaver accomplished, we hide ourselves.

We hide the parts that are “less than” the mistakes that are “not good enough”. We hide them and we burry them and we don’t talk about them, hoping one day maybe they will no longer be truths to us. The crazy thing is that while you may believe that “actions speak louder than words”, maybe you’ve never had to act the way someone else has because life hasn’t presented you the opportunity. Well, good for you. Aren’t you a self-righteous so and so? Judging someone from way up there on the “I’ve never had to make that personal choice” chair must feel good. Maybe the opportunity has presented itself and you did make the “right” choice, so you feel even more powerful in your “I have been there and I made a better choice than you” chair. Well, good for you. Aren’t you a self-righteous so and so? Remember that the “opportunity” looks different to all of us based on our own “shit”. So, the lines of right and wrong take on new meaning for us all.

I realized, maybe too late in life, that the moment I judged someone I became a hypocrite. More often than not, when I criticized someone else’ path, I found myself on that exact same path later in life. Well, aren’t I self-righteous so and so? Today, I know that we are doing the best we can in this crazy and all to often unforgiving place. So, as I cringe at some of the truths I’ve told lately, I also embraced them. Something made me brave. Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was me getting ready to release my own shit so I can help other women release theirs. Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was feeling close enough and secure enough to confide. Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was coming to terms finally with who I am, and being totally OK, no, proud of that. It was probably the wine.

Deep lessons Concealed


Whenever something negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it – Echart Tolle 

I try not to focus on the negative aspects of my life. I try to take deep breaths mediate and send loving energy out to the world. I try to send loving energy to those that are not giving me the same respect. I’ve learned a few hard lessons over the past few months.

1.) When your mother told you to just “ignore it” when girls at school were being catty towards you and they would stop, she lied…. it didn’t work then. It still doesn’t work.

2.) You cannot jump into a friendship as an adult the same as you could as a child. You have to ease into the process and really get to know others true colors…. or you will find them out too late. 

3.) Some girls never grow out of catty, jealousy or revenge. You have to be the bigger person, even if you draw blood biting your tongue.

4.) Sometimes being the bigger person, get’s you into more hot water. While others are busy discussing you, and you’re refusing the discuss anything, I guess it’s human nature to listen to the one talking. Even if it’s ill intended. 

5.) Those that cannot make up their own minds, will allow others to make it up for them. Even with little or no evidence of the accusations. This is why our judicial system is so broken.

6.) If someone thinks something you’ve written, said or thought is about them…….they have a guilty conscience……………(A Good friend pointed this out to me the other day, wow so true!) 

7.) It’s OK To go on a totally negative rant on your otherwise ZEN blog when you’ve reached your wits end.

8.) It’s OK to decide someone isn’t a good fit in your life. You can still pick your friends even if you can’t pick their noses. Pick carefully or you might draw blood. 

9.)  I’ve always subscribed to quietly and gracefully exiting a relationship and I still will.

10.) When you’re getting married, you should be allowed to talk about it all the time. You should be able to complain about the 18 different dresses that were all wrong and every single annoying and ridiculous detail of it. Your friends should smile and nod and smile and nod until you have no more talking about wedding in you. You should be able to have little to nothing else to talk about until it’s all said and done.  It’s a right of passage as a good friend. We all have to do it and we should all secretly love it when we truly are a good friend. 

11.) Life is busy and complicated. All the time, it’s up to you to decide what is important to take up that time.

12.) At the end of the day you still have try not to focus on the negative aspects of your life. Try to take deep breaths mediate and send loving energy out to the world. Try to send loving energy to those that are not giving you the same respect. Learn a few hard lessons over the next couple of months.

Resistance Epiphany!


This morning a read an article by Suzannah Scully that really hit home for me. Lately, I have been feeling this big dark space inside myself and I am not sure what to fill it with. When I tell people that I have an amazing job that I hate, they think it’s simple to reply “then do what you love”. For some reason what I love is harder to do than one might think. It’s not harder in the sense that it’s particularly hard to achieve, that might be true too, but I think it’s harder because it’s so close to me. I’ve been struggling to pin point why this is and where this is coming from. I’d tell friends and family that I knew I wanted something, but I just didn’t know what it was. They would encourage me to pick my music back up or write the book I’ve been meaning to for years and I would shake my head “no, no it’s not that it must be something else, something I will actually be successful at”.

After my book club finished reading “Madly Chasing Peace” by Dina Proctor, we were graced with an in person visit to talk about the book. This turned into a round table of questions that eventually lead into creating your own universe and our own personal beliefs and experiences. I remember feeling so vibrant and excited when discussing these concepts that I love! At the end of the discussion I thanked Dina and briefly mentioned that I was struggling with what I am “meant” to do and that I had been meditating on it to no avail. Dina teaches a 3X3 method where she outlines how you can strengthen your mediation by practicing the skill for 3 minutes 3 times a day. I remember she asked me “what makes you feel good, how did you feel when you were doing music?” I felt this serge of discomfort bubble up into my chest and I waved off the suggestion like it was completely outrageous. She then said “sometimes it’s just a matter of getting out of your own way”. At the time I thought I understood this statement, but now I know I didn’t until today.

It wasn’t until reading the article by Suzannah that I had this truly A-ha moment when I realized what the discomfort was, I was resisting. The article details an episode of Super Soul Sunday where Oprah Winfrey was interviewing Steven Pressfield on his latest book “The War Of Art“. She goes on to explain the premise of the book and the interview. Which I will not attempt to do because she had written it so eloquently I simply could not compete and I highly suggest the read. However, the one line that hit me like a ton of bricks was “When I heard Steven say that the more important an activity is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance and fear we will fear, I knew exactly what was happening to me. Every fiber of my body is trying to stay in my comfort zone.” Oh, My God. That was me! I mean that is exactly what I have been trying to explain to myself and anyone else that would listen.

So, now I have the explanation. Now I know what this uncomfortable feeling is whenever I start out to tap into my creative side that I love and loath so much. I think what I have discovered from this epiphany is that I simply need to start something. Perhaps it will lead me into another career path that I hadn’t thought of or perhaps it will simply fill the empty space enough to feel whole again. Either way, the message is ACT. All this time I felt I would be completely happy just to obtain financial stability and to a point I was. It fed my desire to travel and opened opportunities that had not be available to me in past careers. Although, the longing was still there. The sense that something was missing still seems to bubble to the top.

I’ve decided that if I am feeling resistant towards something, I should try to pursue that very thing. I’ve always loved being a recording artist, but the stage was for the birds. I resisted this so much because it was totally out of my comfort zone. I liked keeping my head down in the studio and having complete control over the outcome. I will actively set out to correct this and see where it takes me. Perhaps, I am meant to be on stage or perhaps I am meant to get other people there. What I do know, is that I am not done exploring the idea. I will start the book that gives me great discomfort to even admit to in writing. It’s time to move towards the resistance with equal and greater force. What are you resisting?

Addiction


I used to have roommate that would say “Tiffany, everyone does some kind of drug, you just have to decide which one you’re OK with”. She’d remind me of this every time I was whining about my latest dead beat boyfriend and their alcohol, weed, coke or whatever issues. While I never completely bought into this theory as I myself did not partake in drugs and very rarely would with alcohol, I admittedly saw her point. The doctor put the fear of death in my head at a very young age due to my heart problem, I guess I might have experimented more if not for that.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about these issues on a much broader scale. What if, everyone is addicted to something? One of my other close friends once said to me “Tiffany, you like these outward artistic things because you need to be seen, you weren’t seen enough as a child.” Do I need to be seen? Am I addicted to the prospect of being seen? If so, what does the word mean within this context? If I am addicted to it, then perhaps it’s a bad thing as addiction suggests. On the other hand, if my addiction drives me to stardom then it’s just called drive. At what point does something we’re addicted to become dangerous to our well being? Be it a recreational drug or something as simple as a feeling. Perhaps, they are one in the same. Perhaps, we create the feeling we’re addicted to by continuously putting our-self in harms way. Either with alcohol, drugs or simply situations….

I don’t know if I am addicted to needing to be seen, I might need to continue soul searching on that one. However, I will admit that there was a time in my life that I might have been addicted to being the victim. I say this not because I was a huge drama queen, I think I was quite the opposite. There just seemed to be situation after situation after situation after situation where I was continuously a broken record of victimization. It seemed every wonderful thing that would manifest in my life would promptly be met with some kind of major dramatic and unbelievable event.

I can recall when I was 16 my friends and I got all dressed up and went downtown Seattle for Mardi Gras. Granted, that entire sentence already sounds like it will and should end badly. It did. I remember very little from the actual event except that a bouncer from a local club magically scooped me from the pavement I was being trampled on and walked me to the rest room through a gawking crowd of onlookers. Upon entering the ladies room I fell to my knees in the wet poorly lit cramped room staring up the barley there skirts of the 20 something’s stepping over me. I was confused and dizzy on the verge of a panic attach. I remember one girl making some snarky remark “whatever you do honey, don’t look in the mirror.” While it was unsolicited advice, I was thankful for it later once I finally did get a glimpse of myself in the local hospital mirror.

My left eye drooped onto itself as I checked to make sure all my teeth were in-tacked. I later found out that I had taken a blow to the face from the wrong end of a skate board, deliberately. I immediately understood the awed looks and the reporter camera flashes that followed me after the incident while being escorted from the bathroom to the ambulance. I escaped the scene with a broken nose, cracked rib, fractured elbow and two gaping black eyes. Which is more than I can say for the poor girl that was stripped, raped and beaten to death, no crueler fate I thought. The next day I would grace the front page of the local newspaper keeled over holding my bloodied mouth. Things like this just seemed to happen to me, and at the time it was completely inexplicable in my mind. I just figured that I simply had bad luck and a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

During a trip to San Francisco with an old friend we sluggishly and drunkenly walked back to our friends house late one night after a local concert. It was something she had done a million times before in the same neighborhood. During the walk I noticed a group of young woman crying on the side walk. Because they were near my age, and women, I stopped to make sure they were OK. My friends carried on ahead laughing at my constant “need to save the world” approach to every situation. I offered the girls some water and to help call a cab.  The woman sobbing with her face to the wall turned toward me with a devilish grin having made a miraculous recovery from her troubles while her friends surrounded me like a pack of calculated wolves. I was still completely unaware that anything was amiss at this point as I patted the girl on the back in an effort to reassure her that now everything would fine.

I was met with a bottle of mace unloaded directly into my face. Being 24,I of course, clang to my newly found vintage purse that had no cash or real assets inside. I kicked blindly in the air as pathetic as a cockroach desperately trying to turn back over onto it’s belly, vicious and vulnerable all at once. The mace kept streaming out into my face, my eyes, my nose, my very existence itself. I couldn’t take it anymore and decided that the clutch would have to go! I released it and the girls hopped into a waiting car near by. Being the strong woman that I am and that always gets herself through these things, I somehow managed to call and cancel all my credit cards while laying in the street probably clinically blind. I credit this to my persistent TXT messaging and literally memorizing the feelings of the keys and number under my thumb.

I think by now you’re getting the picture. Bad shit happened. It happened a lot. Inexplicable completely outrageous this doesn’t happen to other people on a regular basis bad shit. Until, one day I decided bad shit wasn’t going to happen anymore. Bad shit was going to be my bitch. I decided that I would break up with bad shit and end my addiction. I just started to take leaps of faith completely believing that it would work out, somehow someway and ever since, shit has been working out. Not just working out, but it’s been a complete shift in my reality.

So, my question is. Are we blindly addicted to our feelings? To the feelings we get when we drink, or snort a line or just get kicked in the face while we’re down. As a result of those additions, do we then continue to create those situations unknowingly in order to feed them? I think we do. I think that until we can be brutally honest with ourselves and what our emotional addictions are that we will continue to be victims. We will continue to reach for the bottle, the line, the needle the punch to the face until we can confront those addictions head on.

Stop. Stop now and think, what are you creating unnecessarily in your life because you’re addicted to the feeling? You’ve become so accustom to being scared, down on your luck, drunk or whatever….  that you unconsciously need those feelings. Begin to forgive yourself, begin to forgive others. Give yourself permission to be worth more. Give yourself permission to Let it go.