Get Out of The F*cking Fairytale

Get Out of The F*cking Fairytale

I am deeply rooted in my efforts and ability to tell the truth and live honestly. I speak, write, coach, parent, and relate on the single steady foundation of honesty. To me, living honestly also means being aware and up front about any realizations of covert motives or agreements I’m trying to attach to a person or situation. For instance, I’ve been known to say, “Turns out, I was only dating you so I could feel worthy, but now I feel worthy on my own and no longer feel we are a dating match.” Brutal or honest? I say honest. So, imagine my surprise when I recently managed to wriggle free from a mental block that has been confining me for over two decades. The block: my lack of honesty. 

There have been many plot twists in my story–divorcing a megachurch pastor, him taking his own life six months later, raising grieving children alone, the absolute shit-show of dating post-marriage in my 30’s, and countless “epiphanies” of healing and freedom along the way–so, perhaps, this is just another notch in my “twisted story” belt. But it shook me down to a cellular level because it happened to challenge all those beautifully crafted “stories of honesty” I had been so triumphantly proclaiming. Through the course of relatively unimportant happenings, I landed flat on my face and locked eyes with this brutal discovery:

I’m the one holding myself back.

Oh, that’s cute, huh? Super life-coachy of me to say, “I’m the only one standing in my way.” But here’s what that actually meant. It meant this disgusting, vomit-in-my-mouth reality: I had been unconsciously waiting for a man to appear into the picture so I could then continue on with what I was meant to do, live, and be.

Gross. Why is that so utterly repulsive to me? Because I am a free-spirited, independent, and no less, happy woman goddammit! Why on earth would my subconscious ever allow for such a sadistic and treacherous motive to ever creep in? Needless to say, I was one hundred percent dumbfounded at this realization, so, naturally my mind began spinning a million miles per minute to figure out why, God, why I ever got into this mental trap to begin with and compensate for having stayed there so fucking long (two decades, remember?). 

Lucky for you, I will share a cute, tidy version of all the mind-fucking this actually took to retrieve:

After a decade-long regime in an abusive marriage (to the megachurch pastor), I came out rather tattered and wobbly. I had lost all sense of self–self-esteem, self-love, self-trust. It was gone. Because I have an overactive mind (which up to that point had been a curse), my recovery moved at an obscenely rapid pace. If I am one thing, I am obsessed with personal development. The three years following my wildly disappointing marriage were jam packed with sexual escapades (that for sure did not end up like you are imagining they did), so many tears I could have filled the Hudson, lots of fist-shaking at the heavens “why me!”, an ungodly reckoning with my liver by way of whiskey, and playing a tricky game of “catch up” in emotional and relational intelligence as I had taken a lengthy hiatus from those fields for over ten years in order to stay married (if I outgrew him, I’d be blamed for breaking the sacred vows we partook in). It was in playing “catch up” that I unlocked the majority of mental and emotional blocks that had me seek and tie myself to my abuser for so long, continue to chase unavailable men, and kept me adequately distracted from my own “shadow work” while at the same time safely making it seem like I was actually quite knowledgeable on emotional quotient (EQ). As I became aware of these blocks, I would release them and consciously build new habits, beliefs, or behaviors in their place. I was getting healthy! While all of this delicious healthiness was happening, I was also learning how to talk to my kids about mental illness and suicide (as this was what consumed their world having lost their dad to it), which meant lots of bittersweet, brutal fucking honesty. In that honesty is where I gave birth to a new standard of integrity for myself: to live and speak my truth as soon as I am aware of it. 

The safety and stability I have created for myself and my family is based on this commitment to myself. I will show up honestly every day to every situation with every person I’m in front of. Fucking honorable, right? Sure is. And it works. It’s an exhilarating way to live, but it is NOT easy. I have a lot of uncomfortable, difficult conversations. I’ve learned to get comfortable with discomfort. I’ve had to in order to keep living the story that’s turned out to be my life. 

As honorable as I’ve become, just like you and everyone else, I have a shadow. The shadow is the part of me that I’d prefer to keep to myself, not share with lovers, and pretend it doesn’t exist at all. Everyone’s shadow is a little bit different, but there are some blanket similarities with all of ours. For instance, shame. Shame is a shadow trait. Every human experiences shame. So, that’s nice to know we’re not alone in it. But our shadow likes to say, “But yikes! My shame is grosser than other people’s shame, so I shouldn’t talk about it, otherwise I might not be liked or loved or accepted.” Bullshit. Everyone’s shame is equally terrifying and gross. 

Speaking of shame, back to how I grotesquely and unknowingly–but maybe had a little inkling–put my life on HOLD while I powerlessly waited for some fairytale unicorn of a man to waltz in and start building an awesome conscious relationship with me… (for the record, I will never stop hating that this was ever true for me, but if I know myself–and I do–soon I will be able to honor this younger, idiot version of myself for leading me to the point of expansion.)

So I worked through a clusterfuck of heavy, ratchet ass feelings, drank my way through some grief, and came out the other end with some badass integrity. Cool story. Except for that damn shadow. It regularly and unpredictably shows up to keep inviting me to grow and find breakthroughs… unless I ignore it or waste my energy trying to hide it. Then it’ll become the big, bad wolf that huffs and puffs until it blows my whole life to smithereens. You probably know what I mean. 

My most recent shadow invitation began with a pity party–why is everyone else finding their person and not me? And ended with another sacred, completely unexpected mindfuck–because, baby girl, you’re still waiting to mooch off of someone else’s power instead of finding, taking, and living in your own. 


Power. That’s one of those residual effects of living honestly. You get a lot of power when you live in your own truth. And in a weird, twisty way, this whole shadow appearance about my powerlessness actually showed me how I can choose differently if I wanted to. And I do. So I did. 

Here is how Shadow Work usually works:

  1. Discontent. Not getting the results or outcome you wanted.
  2. Shadow appearance. Usually creepy and uninvited.
  3. The great choosing. You make a conscious or unconscious choice about Step 2.
  4. The reckoning. Your shadow fucks you up, and depending on what you chose in Step 3, this will either lead to the best life yet or it will lead to more pressure, pain, and pretending.
  5. Power or Powerless. Again, depending on Step 3, you will feel one of these.

Regardless of what other delectable outcomes I’ve had from the most recent shadow appearance (and there are a few), this is the biggest: Whether I’m aware of it or not, when I pretend to be anything lesser than who I am, I am only ever lying to myself. 

Here’s the deal, bosses, when we prevent ourselves from living in our truth–our full potential, our highest integrity–we are presenting the world with a smaller, and dare I say fake, version of ourselves. And if you’re like me, you were hoping someone else would come along, call “bullshit” on the whole facade and beckon you into full blossom.

Get out of the fucking fairytale. 

That’s not actually how it works. It looks more like we pretend we’re accomplishing all of the dreams and hopes we have for ourselves while secretly in the quiet of the night, lying awake sad or with a brick on our chests because we know there’s more, but we aren’t sure how to get it so it feels safer to never speak of it. So we don’t. We stay silent in our true experience, which happens to be a little disappointing and causes shitty feelings to linger from the night into the day. Those days and nights string together and before we know it we have chronic gut issues, headaches, insomnia tousled with the perpetual switch of the toggle between anxiety and depression, and we surmise that, “Yes, this is in fact, just who I am.” 

The danger of not allowing your shadow to teach you is this: You begin to think you ARE your shadow. And this. Well, it’s perhaps the precise source of our restless unhappiness. 

If you want to stop feeling like someone else has the power to make your life so amazing that you actually want to keep living it and start finding, choosing, and living in your own power, then stop lying to yourself. You’re only doing yourself a disservice when you pretend what is true isn’t and what isn’t is. Stop that shit immediately. Practice being aware of your thoughts and how often you discount your own experience–feelings, needs, pain. Bring all those swirling thoughts hanging out in the shadows of the back of your mind forward and turn a spotlight on them and start asking them some questions. Get curious about your own thoughts. This practice of awareness in and of itself is going to revolutionize your power meter.

Once you’ve become pretty aware of how often you shove your actual true self under the rug and tell him/her to “shut up and go away,” then you can start getting intentional about how you want to be honest about your true self (either with yourself or with others). You’ll be off the power charts when you start actively, consciously choosing how you want to show up (honestly or not). It’s really quite fascinating. I highly recommend this as a lifestyle. 

Whatever you decide to do with this information, I hope at a minimum you’ll stop lying to yourself. Because really, it’s not helping anyone in the long run, especially you. 

Watch the YouTube video

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WTF is Codependency?

WTF is Codependency?

Codependency is not a one-dimensional method of relating. I’m sure you’ve all heard a lot of different pieces of what it is or could be: dependency on another person financially, emotionally, or otherwise, losing oneself in another person, needing others to feel ok about self, etc.

So, WTF is codependency, really?

My definition is this: when one person doesn’t understand how to have a separate experience from another person.

It’s like you are scared that having your own experience will not be enough… so you jump into someone else’s and try to fix it for them.

Oh, that egocentric know-it-all syndrome. Most of us like to mix it with a shot of self-abandonment and throw some good ol’ patriarchy in to really chill the glass.

And that lovely little cocktail is called: CODEPENDENCY.

Trust me, if you can find the courage to be quiet enough to listen to your inner voice, brave enough to turn and face your shadows, and curious enough to observe and study YOURSELF, you will NOT have any interest in inserting yourself in other people’s feelings/situations/experiences (aka being codependent).

We all have wounds and triggers to those wounds, that will always be the case. What DOESN’T have to be the norm is reacting out of those unacknowledged triggers and obsessing about other people’s shadows/issues because we covertly want them to get better so they can stop triggering us!

Can you see how ass-backwards that is? How about you take care of the ONLY thing you ACTUALLY have power over–yourself–and pay attention to your own wounds and learn how to self-soothe when you are triggered, so you can regain ALL your power and stop passing it off to others HOPING they will be quality enough people to not let you down?

When I was in an abusive relationship (with an addict), I was CONSUMED with his pain. By the end, I was a shell of a human and had NO joy or excitement left in me.

I was never going to be able to control his choices or his pain, but I could have used my power to save myself. Instead, I enmeshed myself in him and tried to heal him so I could have a better life.

Of course that didn’t work. So here I am, years later, FINALLY discovering what it means to have relationships without BECOMING one with the other person.

In the upcoming posts I will address more examples of codependency (I’ve got plenty!), the faith-based ideas that can be a catalyst for it, and how to recreate healthy relational habits.

What’s your experience with codependency? Does ANY of this sound familiar?



PS. Check out @createthelove and @risingwoman for more brilliance on wounds/codependency/emotional intelligence!

The Actual Key To Life: CONNECTION

The Actual Key To Life: CONNECTION

When I first discovered the key to life, I used the term relationships. Relationship to self and the world around me. But as I have chewed on this theory for seven years now, I have revised it. I believe the key to truly living has everything to do with our ability to connect. As you think about this, you will see how even our relationships with money, time, perfection, ambition, beliefs, motivation, trust, affection, curiosity, achievements, and everything else that drives a human will fall under one of these 5 pillars.

The 5 Pillars of Human CONNECTION:

1. Connection to Self

2. Connection to a Higher Being

3. Connection to Community

4. Connection to Nature

5. Connection within Relationship

Connection is the lifeblood that keeps humans in a state of truly living as opposed to slipping into merely existing.

When we connect in all five pillars, we achieve that state of euphoria. This is not to say that life is PERFECT, that is a fairytale notion.

The purpose of connection is to prepare a safe place to thrive and experience new things in life–knowing you have the circle of safety and completion around you at all times.

When difficult times come (because they will), having practiced, deepened, invested in, and nurtured your connections, you will be able to grieve, work, and grow through any challenge life brings your way.

Basically, CONNECTION is your best survival technique and the most secure path to fulfillment you will ever have!

Wherever there is a disconnection within your life, it will show itself negatively one way or another (usually through the body via your physical/mental well-being).

Paying attention to yourself is a critical element in achieving a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. But it takes PRACTICE, and that means commitment… to YOURSELF.

Set a daily intention to learn or implement a new way of connecting with yourself or the world around you. This could be sitting and observing your thoughts for 5 minutes, making a phone call to set up lunch with a friend, going on a walk and collecting flowers, journaling 1 page, spending time in meditation/prayer, or volunteering at an animal shelter.

Take small steps and work on one connection pillar at a time, but actively create space in your life to focus on building connection.

Some pillars will come instinctually to you and some perhaps, you will notice, have been completely off the radar your entire life. Either way, there is always room for growth and new depths.

Challenge yourself this week or this month to practice connection and make note of the changes you see in your mind (your thoughts), your body (the way you sleep and eat), and your spirit (the way you see yourself and others).

Wherever you feel you are lacking, look at where you could be connecting and make a move to do it.

We could all sit around waiting for life to get fun, easy, and more exciting OR we can make that happen for ourselves! I hope you’ll take this key to life and unlock the doors of possibility, adventure, and fulfillment that are awaiting you.



Are You My Mother Syndrome: The Eternal Search for Belonging

Are You My Mother Syndrome: The Eternal Search for Belonging

When you belong to yourself, you stop asking for other people’s approval.

When we have low self-worth, we can find ourselves in a desperate cycle of what I call “Are You My Mother Syndrome”. We ask all of our partners, friends, bosses, and acquaintances to tell us who THEY think we are and if we can hitch on with them and be safe.

This stems from the question screaming from within us, “Do I belong?!”

We were born hunting to BELONG. We don’t stop until we feel the deep satisfaction of the feeling of belonging, security, and unconditional love.

Most of us spend our 20s, 30s, and even decades more asking our partners, “Can I belong to you?… Will you take me on?… Do you accept me just as I am?… Can I trust you to protect me and keep me safe?”

But no other source will be able to answer this primitive heart-question for you. There is only ONE line to the source of deep, fulfilling satisfaction. YOU.

Inside of you resides the source. Underneath the fear, beyond the triggers, through the wounds, and on the other side of everything you’ve been running away from… that’s where your belonging awaits.

When we stop allowing the shadows to chase us; when we turn around and look them square in the face–THAT’S we begin our journey to find the answer to the question we were born asking.

You don’t have to waste another day, sabotage another relationship, or perpetuate the cycle of insecurity anymore.

Stop hiding from your shadows and spinning in circles wondering why you can’t ever find peace when you’re alone or satisfaction in your partnership.

Everything you need is within you if you would only just create space to listen. Quiet your mind with deep breath. Still your pounding heart with a relaxing bath. Ease your soul by committing to paying attention to her/him from now on. This is how you begin to make space to hear what your soul is speaking.

When you stop looking outside of you for answers, you will learn that YOU get to be the answer. The safe place. The home. The protector. The guardian of your entire being.

And then you will know what a sacred treasure you are. Finally, deep within your spirit, you will understand your worth.



If I Was Enough…

If I Was Enough…

If I was enough, what would I do?

If I wasn’t trying to get someone, win approval, gain acceptance… how would I behave in “this” situation?

This is a great question to ask when we’re learning how to stop self-rejecting. Sometimes the answer will be to lean in when you want to run, and sometimes it will be setting a boundary or saying No.

When I asked myself this question, I actually couldn’t answer it. I got hung up because I literally hadn’t felt enough my whole life so I wasn’t even sure how a person would act if they were aware of their own value… I was STUMPED.

I searched the file room of my brain for ANY inkling of a feeling of “enough” and I found it!

My own children. They were born enough and they have remained enough every single day of their lives. They don’t have to achieve, perform, become ANYTHING in order to belong with me and have my love. They simply are enough.

I then tried to transfer that feeling of enough-ness to myself. While it wasn’t seamless, it did the trick. And I was able to begin to answer the question in different areas and relationships in my life.

Whenever I get stuck building self-worth, I think of the people in my life who are enough for me and I mirror that emotion for myself until it is truly for me.

And then I practice it. Every time my gut/intuition/inner flips a switch, I ask myself, “If I was enough just as I am (because I am), what would I do?”

There’s A Difference In A Wall and A Boundary: Self-Worth Step 3

There’s A Difference In A Wall and A Boundary: Self-Worth Step 3

There’s a difference between putting up a wall and setting a boundary.

Walls close people out. Boundaries allow access for relationship to continue.

Walls are indicative of fear. We usually throw one up when we’re unsure of how to proceed in a healthy way that will allow us to both maintain our sense of self and continue being in relationship with this person.

Boundaries (when set appropriately), gently allow us to remain safe in connection as we create space for others to respect and honor our needs.

I like to think of boundaries as a fence and respect as the gate (with a lock). Healthy boundaries say, “You can no longer step into my sacred space without passing through the gate (aka respecting my needs).” Until that person can respect your needs (boundary), they will not be allowed access to you.

When we set a boundary it is important to clearly define what we need without trying to control another person’s decisions. They don’t HAVE to choose to abide by our boundary, but without doing so, they will no longer be able to have access to us (whether that is physically, emotionally, or mentally).

This can sound manipulative (usually to the one who will feel the pain of the boundary), but choosing yourself and clearly communicating what you need to feel loved and safe in relationship is not manipulative. It’s actually called self-love (aka #selfworth)!

The trick is in understanding we will never have control over another person’s choices or the security of a relationship. We can do our part, but the person we are in connection with has the power to choose how they will show up in relationship moving forward.

Once we identify what we need and clearly communicate that by setting a boundary (not a wall), we are inviting the other person to show up or not.

It is so simple, but it can be so weighty when you’re actually doing it–especially if you’re new to boundary setting like me! The self-worth growth is immediate after you follow through and set a healthy boundary. And it’s freaking empowering.

But you can’t set boundaries until you know what you want/need. And you won’t know what you want/need until you pay attention to YOURSELF (aka your inner child).

So spend a little time discovering YOU and start creating a world where everywhere you go, you feel safe (because you’re taking care of your own emotional well-being for once)! It’s a new way to live, my friends! I highly recommend it.





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