the inner brilliance blog
There is something extra special about a 21st birthday. It really is the threshold to true adulthood. No longer are there any restrictions, guidelines, regulations or reservations. The transition to grownup is complete! And as my oldest daughter makes that final transition today I’ve been feeling very thoughtful, particularly because at the age of twenty-one I became her mom. Isn’t there a beautiful symmetry in that??
So my darling Lexi, on your 21st birthday, I have a few thoughts to offer you….
First, know that you, my darling, are my greatest achievement. Creating a person that is as kind, thoughtful, smart, funny and big-hearted as you are is and will always be, my most amazing contribution to this world.
Second, know that you are unconditionally loved. I have tears rolling down my face as I write this because my love for you is so overwhelming. No matter how old you are that will never change.
Third, know that I expect greatness from you. And I don’t mean I expect you to find the cure for cancer, or climb Mount Everest, but I do expect you to give the world your best every day. And if some days your best is just smiling at a stranger at the coffee shop that’s just perfect.
Fourth, know that you are enough. Just as you are, right this minute. You are perfect and precious and valuable and amazing.
Fifth, know that you are strong. You have already conquered more in your 21 years on this earth than many will in a lifetime, and yet there are more challenges to come. It doesn’t matter what life throws at you, you can shoulder the burden.
Sixth, know that you are resilient. There is nothing that you cannot rise from. You were born feisty and sassy, and come from a long line of women that never knew when to quit. That resilience is in you whenever you need it.
So, my darling daughter, I hope that these gifts stay with you far beyond your 21st birthday. I hope that they resonate within you for decades to come. I hope that even in those moments you don’t feel them in yourself that you can read these words and connect with their truth. And most of all, I hope that you feel and know the depth of my love for you. Happy 21st birthday.
Hello my friends! Welcome to another Manic Monday!
You've probably noticed that my post today is a bit later in the morning, and there's a good reason for that. Today the whole family had an opportunity to do something that we very rarely get to do...SLEEP IN ON A WEEKDAY!!!! This is almost unheard of for us, but after a weekend that had us up at the crack of dawn, it was a well deserved treat.
It is especially important for us, as a busy, working, career woman that we take advantage of these moments. Making ourselves the priority is hard, but we can't be any good in any of our other relationships if we do not treat ourselves with love, kindness and empathy. If you are struggling to make yourself a priority, to fill your own cup, let's connect and uncover what's getting in your way so you can make yourself a priority again.
#manicmonday #weekdaysleepins #selfcare #selflove #youareapriority#coachingforwomen #lifecoaching #yyclifecoach #highvoltagecoaching
Hi everyone! Thanks for joining me in this evening edition of Manic Monday. I usually like to post my Manic Monday anecdotes early on Monday mornings so they offer a bit of inspiration, or at least a laugh to get the week started. But today’s Manic Monday is coming to you a little later as someone I loved needed my help this morning. And in true Manic Monday style, that meant that the days agenda needed to change. Spending some extra time with a loved-one who needed me this morning, reinforced a valuable lesson that I wanted to share with you. I think it’s actually really applicable to Manic Monday’s as this is often a time when we feel anxious, overwhelmed, defeated and alone. In slowing down and spending the time needed this morning, with my loved-one, I realized that there’s a few important steps we can take when we feel like the world is crashing down on us and we just can’t take it anymore.
Just Say It
I need help. These three little words carry with them a thousand pounds of weight. Saying “I need help” might just be the hardest thing to do when you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world. I know, because I’ve been there. We think we can handle it. We think we can push through it. Truth is, we don’t actually have to. Asking someone you trust and love, just like I was asked this morning, is the most important first step. You don’t even need to say “help”. You can say “I need a hug” or “Will you hold my hand?” or “I need a moment.” Any of those phrases will do.
Seriously. Just take three deep breaths, right into your belly and then exhale. Do three more if you need to. Just give your body a little oxygen, and a little time, and trust me, you’ll feel a little calm start to creep in.
Just focus on what is happening right in that very second. It’s called being present. So often we live our lives completely in the future, worrying so much about the 100 things on our to-do list, and the 800 emails in our inbox, and we don’t worry about what’s happening right now. Just stop and just BE!!
What's Important Right Now
The very last thing to do, once you have you anxiety a little bit under control, is to think about what is the one thing you need to do, right now. You’ll have to be careful, because the 1000 things on your list will try to creep back in, but stay with it. What’s the 1 thing you NEED to do right now? I have a feeling it has nothing to do with returning and email or cleaning a bathroom. Here’s a hint, it lIkely it has something to do with your own health and mental wellness. Do you NEED to just keep breathing? Or maybe you NEED to get outside and take a walk? Could it be possible that you NEED to call your best friend and have a good cry? I’ll wager I’m pretty close with these suggestions. It doesn’t have to be something big, actually the smaller the better. Just trust you gut, do what you NEED to do and everything else can wait.
And if you can’t figure out what you NEED in the moment, it’s ok to do a rinse and repeat with the breathing and the being. Truth be told you’re likely feeling the anxiety because you don’t do enough breathing and being, so an extra 5 minutes of quiet calm and extra O2 is what you need. Just stay right there with it and the right next step will come to you.
In the end, what you may need, and what my loved-one needed this morning, was some time, some love, and the presence of someone they deeply trusted. I was honoured to be that trusted person this morning, who could support the being and the breathing until my loved-one was ready to connect with the one thing they needed. I’ve been that person in need in the not to distant past (JU) and I’m so glad that I could pay it forward this morning. I hope this little Manic Monday post helps you to ask for help, find a little calm, or provide some support for someone who needs you, when they feel like the sky is falling. And most of all I hope you have a great week. 💖
Tips For Graduating At Any Age
We just had our third child graduate from High School in the last couple weeks (three down, one more to go!). It was wonderful to see all their lovely, fresh faces, in their caps and gowns, as they walked across that stage. As I looked at these young adults I could see an interesting mix of enthusiasm and a little fear in each of them. It occurred to me, grad really is the very first milestone where we begin to create our own life and chart our course. But we all know it’s not the last.
It also occurred to me that I’ve felt that same mix of enthusiasm and fear as I “graduated” from one phase of my life to the next. The first day of university, moving from one job to another, signing the mortgage documents for my first house, and preparing to walk down the aisle and marry my husband. Each one of these milestones brought with it the same level of energy and anxiety. More recently, I left a 10-year career in HR to start my own business coaching clients who want more for their lives. Making that change felt a lot like graduating. I experience the same excitement laced with fear almost daily. It’s exhilarating, in an Evil Knievel kinda way.
Here’s what I’ve discovered about this “graduation” process that might help you take your next leap forward:
Everyone Gets Scared
Feeling afraid of whatever you’re graduation to (or graduating from) in your life is completely normal! So when you wake up in a cold sweat just take a couple deep breaths - it’ll be ok. You're clearly moving in the right direction if it feels a little crazy. That reaction means that you’re onto something big, harry and audacious. That’s precisely the direction you need to go.
It’s not too late and you’re not too old!
Frankly, those are pretty lame excuses. Yuichiro Miura climb Mount Everest at nearly 81 years old, and Doroth Bruder finished the IronMan at 82. So if you’re anything short of being on life support you’re perfectly capable of graduating to something better in your life. The only person standing in your way is you. So why don’t you get out of your own way?
You’re going to have to leave something behind
Whether you like it or not, graduating to more likely means that you’re going to have to leave something behind. For the kids in grade 12, it means leaving behind the familiar - their school, teacher, and likely some relationships as they all move on to new and interesting things. For you it might mean the same. Maybe it’s a comfortable but uninspiring job or a toxic relationship you need to walk (or run) away from. Or it could be some bad habits, outdated beliefs or old perspectives that you need to leave behind. It’s likely going to be a bit painful, but in order to graduate and move onward you’ll need to let it go. Maybe you should just get it over with?
You need a cheering section
I’m not a genius, and neither am I particularly brave. What I have been able to do is surround myself with people that are unfailing in their belief that I can do whatever I set my mind too. These cheerleaders are exceptionally important. They make me believe that I can do it even when my inner critic is busy trying to convince me I’m an idiot. They talk me off the ledge, pump my tires, and make me feel like I’m totally not losing my mind. So figure out who you need on you cheer team and get them working for you.
The bottom line here is, a graduation can happen at any time in our lives, and it's not just about that walk across the stage at the end of Grade 12. We always have the opportunity to graduate to bigger and better in our life. So whether you’re ready to graduate to that new job, that new business, that new relationship, or even to a new hobby, just do it. Take a deep breath, walk boldly across that stage, and then get ready for more.
If you feel like you're ready to graduate in your life, sign up for one of our Inspiration Sessions and let’s discover what’s next for you.
We all do it. Someone butts in front of us in the self checkout line and we immediately start creating a story in our head about what a jack-hole they are. It likely goes something like this…”What a jerk. I can’t believe that she just walked right in front of me. She must be a total hideous person. Am I invisible? I’m in a hurry too, but noooo, she doesn’t even see that I’m here. What an idiot.” Does this sound kind of familiar?
Our Brains Are Hard-Wired For Story
As Brene Brown discusses in her book “Rising Strong” we create stories in our own heads all the time. The most dangerous stories that we create are the ones we tell ourselves. The stories we create after we are hurt, or we feel anger or pain. We create these stories to protect ourselves, and they are fuelled by deeply ingrained fallacies like “I’m not enough” or “I’m not lovable”. And back to the original example of the line-budger…”I’m invisible”. The story that no one sees me, no one cares about, or that I have no value, replay on a loop in our heads. One of my clients called it her “pain tape”, and I think that’s a pretty great description. These stories that we create, and then play on repeat, create a false sense of reality that exists only in our head. They lay the foundation for the barriers that we erect around our creativity, intelligence, humour and love. They weigh us down and hold us back from truly recognizing and tapping into our own inner brilliance.
How Do We Press Pause On The Pain Tape In Our Head?
This may sounds crazy, but by actually listening to it. I know, that sounds a bit counter productive, but before you can actually put the tape on pause you have to have awareness of what’s playing. Brene Brown talks about creating a “shitty first draft” of our story. This is the unfiltered and unedited version of how we feel, right in that moment of greatest pain. Dr. Brown tells us it doesn’t need to be long and elaborate, it can be as simple as point form on a post-it, just as long as you get it down. In the past I’ve suggested to clients that they wright a letter to their transgressor, knowing that the letter will never be sent. The simple act of getting that painful story out of our heads, with no filter, no polish and no inhibition, creates new awareness and a new perspective on what is often an old, and slightly worn out story.
So I challenge you to have awareness of that story in your head. To hear the pain tape and acknowledge what you're feeling, no matter how agonizing. To let all the hurt, anger and pain flow. Get it down every angry, judgy, nasty little bit of it. And then I challenge you to get really curious about what you’ve written. Examine those thoughts. Ask yourself if they are true and accurate. And if they aren’t then maybe there’s another version of that story, a different copy of the pain tape, that you can choose. Maybe there’s a different perspective, approach or interpretation you’d like to consider. After all, it’s your story, so you can look at it any way you want.
If you want to start changing that story let's connect and start to unwind that pain tape and create a story that will move you forward in a positive, powerful and meaningful way.
Last week I experienced a pretty devastating setback. I had really “hung my hat” on this one specific thing happening in my business, and I had worked, wished and waited for nearly 3 months for it to all come together. Then on Tuesday everything stopped, and I was told that it wasn't going to happen. It was so abrupt, so final, that it almost took my breath away. It wasn’t a big blow up, or even a major meltdown; it was so anticlimactic that it left me feeling empty.
It all ended so quickly, and in such a vacuum, that I couldn’t reconcile how I felt. But after a few days I was able to reflect and realize that I had really given up a lot of my own power, my own creativity, and my own drive to focus my energy on this external opportunity. No wonder I was feeling so lost and empty! I realized that, although I need to call on others for their skill or expertise, that the spark, the light, the brilliance comes from me. I had dulled my high voltage instead of just letting it shine.
So here’s to my come-back. My imperfect, slightly haphazard, but exceptionally heartfelt rebound, as I continue to learn who I am, what I value, and what it truly means to be high voltage.
If you've experienced a setback and comeback, and want to share your story, we'd love to hear it!
Does your “inside voice” talk trash to you?
I'm not sure about yours, but my inside voice sure is mean to me! That little jerk in my head says things like, “you’re not smart enough” or “no one’s going to read your blog” or just generally “you are not enough.” That’s why this wonderful video, by spoken word artist Adam Roa, really hit me. My most important relationship, the one with myself, needs some work. I realized that my critical inner voice says things to me that I would never dream of saying to anyone else!! So what do I need to do to change that? Adam’s answer is so simple...treat yourself like someone you loved.
Treat Yourself With Kindness
If I had a friend say to me they don’t feel smart enough, I would say “I think you're brilliant!” Or if they told me no one would read their blog I would say, “You are so funny. Of course they will love what you write!” So why am I not saying these supportive, encouraging and loving things to my own #1 gal, and by that I mean ME!?! It seriously doesn’t make sense.
So I’ve decided, starting today, I’m going to treating myself with as much compassion and kindness as I treat others. And I’m going to stop giving that snotty voice in my head so much air time. From now on, when I look in the mirror, I’m going to say “There you are! You’re exactly who I’ve been looking for. And you are more than enough.”
If your critical inner voice is really beating you up, and you just can't get it to shut up, call me and we can tackle it together.
Monday always feels like a good time to start a new story. Do you want to be a princess or are you going to slay the dragon? Do you want to ride off into the sunset or are you staying to guard the fort? This week my story is about claiming my dream and driving my purpose. What's your story?
Ever have a day where it seems like nothing goes quite right? You have an argument with your husband before he leaves for work and your kids are miserable zombies that you have to nag just to get moving? Yup, that’s been my day today. Even my morning workout, which usually pumps me up didn’t quite do the trick this morning. It’s just going to be one of those days.
Honestly, I seriously considered just pulling the covers over my head and going back to sleep this morning. The thought of staying in bed all day and just feeling sorry for myself definitely had its appeal. I could have text my trainer and said I had a headache, I could have cancelled my meetings and turned the ringer off on my phone. I could have complete avoided any and all feelings today. But I didn’t. I dragged my ass out of bed, put on my workout gear, got sweaty, got clean and now here I sit, staring at my computer willing myself to do some work. But I can’t focus. Don’t have an intelligent thought in my head. Can even flip through Facebook...I just have no interest. About the only thing I have the energy to do is to sit here and write. The effort of typing is almost too much.
So, the question is, what do I do about it? Well, I’ve decided today I’m going to choose to be gentle with myself. I’m going to put on some comfy clothes and thick socks. I’m going meditate for a while, or maybe I’ll just sit quietly and be sad. I may even have a bath and a good cry later. The one thing that I’m not going to do is try and make myself be happy. Being authentic is one of my core values and today I am authentically sad, and even sad I’m still enough.
What do you do when you just feel sad? Do you try and push through the feeling or do you embrace the sadness until it passes? We'd love to hear your thoughts and advice.
I’m in the business of transformation. That’s why my clients come to me, they want something different in their life. And whether we start talking about their carrier, relationship, or a wellness goal, inevitably the transformation they experience through our coaching extends to every aspect of their life.
For many, the word transformation can be really big and daunting. It evokes a visual like climbing Mount Everest, or a when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Those are definitely powerful examples of transformation, but is that the only way we experience change? Certainly for some, but not for all of my clients.
Transformation Has Many Forms
For some, transformation is about setting boundaries where there were none before. Or it can be leaning in to a situation that you would have shrunk away from in the past. Transformation can even be creating space for yourself where there was never any, or taking up space when you need to. As Pablo Yeung says transformation can be “taking the best parts of you and giving them more room in your life.” Whatever allows you to embrace who you really are, deep down inside, in a more meaningful and connected way is automatically transformative.
So what part of you needs more space?
Where do you want to lean in or stand up? Where do you want to feel transformation? I would love to hear your thoughts! And if these questions inspire you, and you want help finding the answers, let’s connect and find your transformation.
Lindsay is the owner and principal coach at High Voltage Coaching. She loves to tell personal stories and share content that inspires others and creates conversation.