Archive for the ‘Authentic Self’ Category
Have you noticed how things are getting pretty crazy on our spinning planet? Over the last 10 years, since we entered this new millennium, life has become more and more complex and more and more is asked of us. Have you noticed yourself on a Hamster Wheel? Are you feeling exhausted, burned out and wondering:
If My Life’s a Journey, where is the path? How can I make a difference? And how will I ever get out from under my To Do List???!!
Let’s look at your To Do List? How many fun or adventurous things are on your list? Do you think you’re giving yourself the care… the exquisite self-care that you truly deserve?
In my decade of coaching others I’ve learned that one can’t have a clear, grounded connection to who you are and be your best self, when you don’t take in the time to invest in the relationship with You. Of course you invest in your business, maybe you invest in your marriage and friendships with others but hardly in your own BEINGNESS. Not Doing – Just Being. Becoming deeply connected to your True Self.
You know there’s a price you’re paying, right? It’s the stress and anxiety that wake you up at 3am wondering, ‘ How will I ever get through it?’ The American Heart Association has reported that one in 3 women will develop heart disease in their life and DIE FROM IT! Why is that happening to women?! No HEART CARE! When we live entirely from our neck up, under the thumb of that To Do List, we lose all the fun and adventure from our lives.
Can you remember what it felt like to be a kid and just BE… just do nothing… have no responsibilities? Just gazing at a river or noticing new daffodils beginning to show their heads in springtime?
Only you can make the choice to slow down and give yourself a chance to unhook from our crazy world. I know you know the cost of choosing to stay on the Hamster Wheel – why not turn in a different direction, step away from the busy world and use Nature as your way to return home to yourself. After leading 100’s of people on fun adventures in nature, I can assure you, that with an experienced and compassionate guide, you’ll be more than glad you did! Nothing nourishes your Soul like a True Life Retreat!
Victoria FittsMilgrim, Certified Professional Coach and Retreat Leader
True Life Coaching & Retreats
Mistakes can be daunting. They are one of the ways that we have to face our humanness and our human-mess.
When your self-esteem is all wrapped up in not ever making mistakes or letting people find out you’ve messed up, it can be very fragile and unstable. Living from this contracted, secretive place will suck the energy right out of you. And then who’s going to have the energy to really take on the things that matter?
I love this quote by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis! It goes right to the heart of things – are you willing to try? Can you fall down and not lose your passion – your motivation – your determination?
Yesterday I cancelled a pretty expensive subscription to an email marketing site. I had signed up in the heat of a conference, in the throes of ‘I can do anything and this will help me!’ Unfortunately, after a month of trying to get the functions going, I was depleted and frustrated. I won’t say the product didn’t work, but I had made a mistake in getting it without enough careful consideration of my situation and how ready I was.
What I’m really proud of is this: instead of pulling out a baseball bat and crying over the money I’d spent, I decided to really stand tall in my entrepreneur shoes, cop to the fact that things weren’t working for me and let go. No heavy punching about ‘why aren’t I big enough yet?’ And no ‘Wow, that was a really dumb decision!’
Entrepreneurs make lots of mistakes when they’re stretching to grow. It’s just part of the path. If you want to walk this path, it’s good to bring along a big dose of loving kindness for yourself. Stuff like, “It’s cool that you were willing to try this bigger product, and someday soon, you will be ready.” And “Good job noticing what was going on, what you were feeling and taking action to correct things quickly.”
When you’re the Boss of You, it helps a lot to be a really great one. You do your own reviews. You give yourself a wink and a smile when you see yourself being fluid and flexible. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but instead of shrinking at the idea of a mistake, you pay attention, learn something, and move forward towards the bigger goal.
What about you? How are you handling mistakes? What stories are you telling yourself? Do you feel the loving kindness that gives permission to be human? How we do anything is how we do everything. I’d love to hear what’s happening in your world – business or personal. Are you trying? What are you learning? That’s what really interests me.
What is it to crack open? In this season of the leaves dancing their brilliance and then letting go of the safety and security of the tree, I can see what it is – we fall. We sever our connection to all that has held us – whether for a few days, a moment or many, many years. Sometimes we float but more often it feels like a tearing separation. Isn’t that why we held on for so long? The fear of that tearing, that severing – oh what the mind can make up about the pain of that!
Watching the aspens give their best and brightest colors to the final weeks of autumn, I sense that this show of color is meant to remind me of the Wild Soul in each one. As the trees will be bare for many months to come, “See me”, they say, “see my true self in all its glory! I am about to die a small death. This is my cracking open – knowing that when I do, the visibility of my rainbow self will radically change how it appears.”
I was taught that you had to wear the rainbow for people to see it – bring your color to each day. But now I know that this teaching was faulty. I’m still learning to release it completely and fully embrace what I now know: Your most beautiful self isn’t about the outside image or presentation – it’s about your most vulnerable, human self. The intimacy I seek comes when the egg cracks and spills its guts everywhere. No more hiding (oh, the reclaimed energy from that!) and only letting the so-called ‘good’ stuff show. Letting go of our masks.
Fall – Tear – Sever – Let Go. And what you find is faith… and trust. You find what your deeper beliefs really are about. You said you believed there would be a net and now you find out. The risk to find something greater than safely and security actually leads right to the door of your faith. What do you find there?
While I know one can do this alone, I also know you don’t have to. I offer the support of a soul sister, the compassion and rigor of a wise teacher; a guide. So if you are clear enough to know, that 2 minds and 2 hearts paired can make any journey, and particularly the difficult one of learning to let go and trust, more possible, more meaningful and more rich, reach out to me. I’m here, waiting for your call.
And if a weekend devoted to connecting with your Wild Soul is calling you, visit www.truelifecoach.net/wildsoul10.htm. I’ve got 2 spots left – if you hear a call, now is the time to answer it!
Whoosh Whoosh – outta bed at the crack of dawn, serving the demands of others the whole day through? Have you even brushed your teeth? I am noticing, on a very intimate cellular level, that the speed of Everything is increasing hourly. Can this be possible? I think so!
The danger here is that before we have that millisecond to catch our collective breath (remind me to come back to the breath in a moment), things will have teetered off the edge and ‘up the creek without a paddle’ will sound like a walk in the park compared to the new reality we’ll be living in.
My mission is to get you to STOP AND RETREAT. Even just for a day. If I can get you for a weekend, then there’s an even better chance that you might be guided to the place of softening… even melting is possible. There in the fuzzy-focused place things will be seen differently. Visions you stopped dreaming long ago will reappear and begin to crystallize into a blossoming truth. Your Truth. Your Authentic Knowing. Your own sweet and inspired Clarity about what’s what.
Honestly I’m scared. Scared that I won’t get you in time. That the long ago dreams will have completely dematerialized and be forever gone. I hope not but if it’s a race with that Ugly Ole Time-Obsessed , Life-Managing, I’ve-Never-Done-Enough-So-Don’t-Stop Gremlin, I’m gonna need more support than ever to get your attention.
How can I steer you this way? What spark of aliveness can I wave in front of you? How can I find the words that will be enough? The truth is I don’t know. And what works for one, will not work for the next one. So all I can do is BE IT. Allow my own Wild Soul not to hide. Allow her to share with you the joy o f being in relationship with All That Is. See those aspens over there? Can you feel how those dazzling oranges are reflecting the light in my soul too? Feel the beat of that song? The music is magic and my heart is helpless before it. Looking into the vulnerable eyes of my friend and seeing her bravery in the face of more tragedy than I’ve ever known – I am humbled in our shared humanity and instant connectedness through love. All these are the language of my Wild Soul.
Making each moment mean something. Living deeper and deeper, even though it requires bringing down the walls of judgment and comparing and hiding what isn’t perfect.
Are you game? Are you seeking the place to pause and Breathe? Knowing that in the suspended place between inhale and exhale lies the treasure you are. Let’s go together. I don’t know exactly what we’ll find but I’ve been traveling here a long while and can help when fear seeps in. I’ve learned many tools to read the map of the heart. And I am a spiritual warrior for calling forth courage and badger-like devotion to your Wild Soul.
If you’re ready, Come. If you’re Willing, Join me. If you know that you’ve already waited too long, Answer the call of your own Wild Soul.
Certified Coach/Retreat Leader Victoria FittsMilgrim choreographs Retreats and a 1:1 Coaching Practice in Durango, CO. Her last retreat for 2010 is Journey with Your Wild Soul November 19-21 in the Canyon of the Ancients in southwestern Colorado. Space is limited and registration is open now. Contact Victoria at Victoria@truelifecoach.net .
I love this time of year – the dance that occurs between the cool rainy monsoons, the voice of the thunder and vibration of lightning and the endless green that covers the mountains just lights up my soul! Everything is ripening – coming into it’s fullness. Whether it’s tomatoes or peaches, we’re being gifted with the bounty all around us. Do you see it? Are you having an experience of it? What does this season bring to your life? What wants to happen for you?
I feel like I’ve been on the move this past month, creating things that nourish me at the deepest level…. flower therapy in the mountains… learning to salsa dance with my husband… and sharing a wood-fired hot tub with my beautiful women friends at an awesome cabin in the high country. At the same time, I’ve noticed that all these things have brought me a quality of awareness, of noticing that while some things are in full bloom, others are slowing and changing. With my only daughter leaving soon for college, I have moments of clarity where I can feel the excitement for her just starting in life, while I know for me a huge chapter of my life – the intimacy of raising a child – is ending. There’s all the poignancy and bittersweetness I can imagine holding. Some days the tears just come and I sit in awe of how much I can love one person.
The bigger picture here is all about the Paradox that calls me to stretch myself into a being that can hold opposites at the same time. This is a Quest, for sure, one I’ll be working with for years to come. The clincher is that the outer world is not on this Quest with me – daily I’m bombarded (as we all are) with black/white scenarios that are lose/lose in my opinion.
In the article below, the conversation is about being a Visionary. Well, I believe that the qualities of being one are also qualities that are just plain necessary to keep stretching myself and going forward on my Quest. Here are some of them – in my own language of living your True Life
Living in the Mystery – Oh, we humans think we have control over things and that’s such misinformation! Life is a Mystery and our job is to trust the unfolding. I know this continually calls me to BE PATIENT and HAVE TRUST. It’s one of the hardest lessons and yet, when I am there, peace is at hand.
Relax! In recent work I’ve done on some of my own ‘immunities to change’ I’ve gotten to see how ‘relaxing’ wasn’t something really modeled for me growing up. While I’ve always loved to play and am better balanced, I still see areas that I can drive myself (crazy), working and pushing to ‘make’ this or that happen. I know this tightens up my energy – contracts it actually. So stepping away and finding a soul-centered activity can settle me down and return me to the abundance and flow. When I take things on again, I am more grounded, calm and vibrating a whole different way!
Active Waiting – I included in this month’s newsletter the wisdom of Lao Tzu, writer of the I-Ching. He’s describing a way of being that is so valuable, and definitely not given much credence by our society. Instead of always feeling pressured to act – and often before one is clear – make time to get quiet and listen. What wants to happen? This stance of stillness allows things to unfold, but with mindfulness present. Then when you say “Yes”, it’s a complete investment of you.
Co-Create What Matters – The Superwoman (or Man) archetype has run out of steam. Doing everything perfect and by yourself won’t work – it really never was sustainable. We are one community, one planet. How can I engage more synergistically with other like-minded people (my tribe!)? Where do I need to ask for help? Bringing the diversity and creativity of many together helps create the contribution that has the most impact. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for – let’s inspire one another!
Know Yourself – When you take the time to get to know yourself – the whole enchilada that’s you – you can keep a stronger focus on what your livelihood is; what you’re meant to bring to the world. We each have a unique gift and finding its expression brings a lot of fulfillment and joy. Healing and wholeness within myself ripples out and helps create the change in others too. Give yourself full permission to develop a relationship with your inner Beloved. Then you’ll be your own best friend and treat yourself with the love and respect you deserve.
Faith in Source - When you know yourself, you come to know Source, as we are microcosms of that great macrocosm. Not something reached through the usually dependable 5 senses, this place of Source is reached through direct knowing. It’s very rarely explainable in any rational way. Faith implies putting our trust in something we can’t see or touch, but have experienced. It’s remembering the connection that links us all. It’s remembering we’re not alone. It’s coming home again.
While I’ve discovered these gifts for living, I always need reminders to use them. It’s easy to fall into a sleeping state as I move through life. So many conflicting messages coming at me, it would be easy to just get lazy and be swayed by cultural/familial/relationship winds. But, I am committed to growing and stretching into becoming a fully realized human being. Will you join me? Let’s share the richness of ripened fruit together!
Funny how life brings us lessons, isn’t it? Ah, but can we really laugh and embrace them?
Since I named this summer’s Quest retreat: Embracing Change with an Open Heart, I should’ve realized that I would be called to do just that!
So Change happens. In listening to ‘what wants to happen’ (something I’m working on in life), I realized I had to make some decisions about where and when for the retreat – it either had to shift if it was going to happen or it would be cancelled altogether. Perhaps the economy is making it harder to take the leap to commit a week to your own growth; I can’t say that I really know. But, yeah, I definately had that moment of ‘oh damn, now what?’ to be honest about it. ‘Can I get a new location, and re-work it into a bit shorter program while holding the essentials?’
One of the things that helped me shift everything was shifting my perspective. Yes, I am very dedicated to everyone taking time to unhook – and the longer, in my view, the better. I’ve had many of these experiences myself to learn from and that learning tells me that the longer I give myself, the deeper I can really go in building my relationship to my inner self. But dancing with what is actually in front of me, I could see that right now, longer was not filling up – longer was not calling in the people I want to benefit from the powerful change tool I have to offer.
I realized that we’re all being called to adapt and shift on this planet each and every day. Every day brings us new technology, new financial circumstances, new challenges that call for flexibility and willingness to learn. So, it’s really no suprise – Change is comin’ and this is just the latest one to arrive at my door! How will I respond?
As the Sufi poet Rumi says,
‘Being human is a guest house.
Every day a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!”
OK!! With that in mind, and supported by my team of coaches and colleagues, I stepped in and shifted the Quest Retreat to be 2 days shorter and at a smaller, more intimate location, right outside Durango, Colorado. And if someone wants to use any extra time, Durango is a mecca for those who love the outdoors with endless opportunities for hiking, biking, rafting and exploring the Native American ruins of the southwest (Mesa Verde is less than an hour away).
The new location for the Quest Retreat – Willowtail Springs B&B – with delightfully furnished cottages right on a private lake, with the La Plata Mountains in the background, is a sanctuary of peacefulness and beauty. I was there leading a retreat in February, snowsnowing in the moonlight. And I dreamt of coming back in the summer to feel the wind of the pines on my skin. And now I am!
So upward on this journey I go. Learning to adapt to Change, with my heart open and my creativity fully alive. I’m still just as committed to offering tools for you to live your True Life and I, too, am learning that I can let go and flow – when I take time to listen to what wants to happen and use my imagination to find perspectives that empower and awaken myself.
What about you? Does your Soul need time to listen and bring forth new creativity in support of growing your capacity to manifest the things you dream of? If so, maybe you’ll join me at the Quest Retreat! I hope so. It’s only 16 days away and it’s time to say YES to your True Life!
I’m sitting on my bed in a room of sunflowers! The walls are cornflower blue and there’s even a tiffany’s stain glass lamp of sunflowers mounted on the wall. I’m enveloped in a comforting softness, surrounded by beauty. And the really cool part is this just the inside space at Horseshoe Lodge – outside are 100’s of acres of Mother Earth’s beauty to explore and be nourished by as well.
This is the Mountain Park Environmental Center in Beulah, Colorado, the site for this summer’s Quest for Your True Life: Embracing Change with an Open Heart retreat. This place truly has been a labor of love by my friends Helene and Dave Van Manen. Their belief in the possibilities of using outdoor education and the healing and restorative power of nature, have given us this unique site, a place to explore the land and ourselves in communion.
Tonight, walking with Helene and Dave to Lookout Point, I could feel their love of each of us for all the blooming plants we met along the well-kept trail – blue harebells, white yucca, brilliant orange butterflyweed and purple one-sided penstemon, to name just a few. Actually I’ve never seen so many blooming yuccas at once, even in the desert – and here we’re at 7000’ above sea level. My eyes drank in the flowers beauty, surrounded by the larger landscape of ponderosa pines, Douglas firs and Rocky Mountain juniper.
What really got me jazzed was noticing all the special spots that could be calling your name for a mini-Vision Quest this August. At least a dozen called to me – come, sit here with me, notice the details here, for they carry messages to you about your own journey. I’ve spent my life in conversation with the natural world – my friend, my Beloved, always receiving so much love, acceptance and inspiration. I am committed to guiding others not to miss the sacred conversations that happen in these woods.
It’s a privilege to get to bring a special group of women, interested in knowing themselves deeply and bringing that knowledge to the world in the form of wonderful gifts, to this special place. While Mystery holds what will unfold for each woman, I know that the impact of each one’s journey will be rippling from them into the world for years to come. What a delicious adventure!
Tell me, what would inspire you to take the time to listen to your heart and the heart of the Earth, this August?
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. So much to do… so much to be grateful for! I have done so many different things for this holiday over the years – it is truly one of my favorites. Perhaps because it’s non-denominational – everyone gets to join in, without judgment about beliefs or points of view.
Although we all know that that can disappear quickly when traditional families come together since just because we grew up together, doesn’t mean we share the same view or philosophy of life. Sometimes the joy of this gathering time can be dispelled by arguments and clashes of opinion. So should we even bother sitting down together?
Since I was 18 and moved 2000 miles away from my family, one of my great joys over the years has been to share Thanksgiving with friends – an adopted family. The blessings of this scenario is that I’m with people who
a) love me
b) share similar values
c) like to eat and eat well
d) will put on the same music after dinner, cajoling one another to dance around the living room!
They represent my tribe. What is a tribe anyway, since it’s something I find myself in conversation with clients about often. I guess I think we have many tribes to claim allegiance to. Each group can represent a different part of ourselves. For me, today, this is certainly true. Here’s an example of what I mean:
1) My traditional family – including divorces and remarriages w/ members scattered across the country and even the globe
2) My closest friends – while many are scattered, these are the ones in my town that I love the most
3) My Power Dance girls – we share a love for dancing that fuels our Souls, which is why we often refer it class as the Church of Power Dance!
4) Other Mothers I know from my daughter’s friends
5) My clients! One of the benefits of being a Coach is that you can create fantastic relationships with your clients that allow you to enjoy them beyond the scope of coaching. If like attracts like, why wouldn’t I love them too?
6) My Colleagues – these can be local relationships or thanks to the internet, around the world!
You can see that the expression Tribe can encompass so many interests and connections. Commonality and the pull of that. I like it best when it doesn’t come with ‘shoulds’, expectations and judgments. When I feel accepted just for my regular, non-perfect self. I’ll admit that that is where I usually choose to be on Thanksgiving because the company is even more nourishing than the food.
Where will you be? Who will surround you at the table? No matter who’s there, show up as yourself. Share what matters to you and be a good listener. Sometimes, when you think there’s no one there who understands you, you just might be surprised.
Here’s a beautiful Fall image called Circle of Life by Laura Gerry. A wreath that connects us to the natural world without whom we couldn’t survive. Another reminder of gratitude.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” (Robert A. Heinlein – Time Enough for Love)
This quote by Robert Heinlein sure puts out the freedom here to everyone who ever thought they should fit into just one box! I am a multi-faceted being and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course, sometimes I forget, being human, and think I am just one thing and, that one thing and how it’s going represents my total contribution in this world – what poppycock! (love using that word) Recently I got a lovely reminder about this from a documentary I saw on Neil Young (former member of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young). He spoke of having to follow his creative muse, no matter what others thought he should being doing – that he could venture off onto any path that beckoned his creative juices. What a beautiful permission letter – on the most perfect stationary, written in my favorite font, with a golden calligraphy pen!
My business evolves as I do. While one year I might create one thing, I don’t have to repeat it if it no longer fits me or my clients. I can adapt with flexibility. I can engage inside myself and see what is calling to me – where the spark is for my passion today. This keeps a real aliveness present as I meet myself where I am.
Where are you limiting yourself because you think you have to do it a certain way? What is actually present for you now? What would bring your passion alive? And here’s the most fearless question of all: What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
I’d love to hear your comments on this, or any of my posts. Let’s bring forth your authentic self now!
To living the joy, wherever it shows up,
What’s on my mind or what’s on my TV? Both! It’s the US Open and the biggest stage for worldwide tennis there is. I’m reflecting on my trip to the Open in 2001, just before 9/11 when our world changed so dramatically. That trip combined so many metaphors for life. My goal was to see great matches and meet my favorite player Pat Rafter from Australia. And I did both! What a crazy 3 days in Flushing Meadows, NY – a combination of exhilaration, heat exhaustion (man, it’s humid there) and wonderful tennis!
Tennis is an amazing game. I actually didn’t start playing it until I was around 45, which is just sick! As someone who loves to dance and hike, I never thought I’d find another lifetime activity that could bring me so into the present – you know where you forget about time and anything else. Lo and behold – Tennis! I hope to play until I’m 80 (somehow???). It’s absolutely so challenging and so much fun: now there’s a metaphor for life for sure (#1). The only way to get better is to practice (Metaphor #2). You do the best when you stay focused in the now, but use all you’ve learned up until now (Metaphor #3). You must stay aware of your body and where it is in space at all times, ready to move at an instant’s notice (Metaphor #4). Are you getting the idea here? When I do the above listed things, I play pretty well – when I don’t, well, I get a clear idea of what needs working on.
My experiences when I play also give me a gauge for how compassionate I’m being with myself. You know, did I bring the baseball bat along with the racket to beat myself up, or is it all just a great way to practice Being for an hour or so. Because it’s a heck of a lot more fun when I leave my inner critic at home. And when I occasionally hit a really rippin backhand, I get a kind of satisfaction that feels really delicious. So while I will never be a Serena, for just a moment I feel like a champion on the court.
Watching the Open this year, 2 women really stand out for me after the first 10 days. First, 17 year old American Melanie Oudin, who’s ripped past 4 big Russian women with her tenacity and desire. She’s so revved up, she’s got the word ‘Believe’ on her shoes – how I could I not be brought to tears by her amazing wins that have her in the Quarterfinals now? Completely inspirational story! She’s got all the fire and aliveness of someone so young, with nothing to lose and the world to gain. Even more exciting to me though, is Kim Clijsters, a top player from Belgium, who left the game after winning the US Open in ’05, to have a baby and start her family. After 2 years away, she is back and showing up as the poster girl for motherhood AND tennis. I love this story because so often we settle for Either/Or – Kim, with a run to the Quarters herself, is showing us, we can have both! Both these women are fantastic role models for the rest of us – I ask you: where are you Believing in you and where can you embrace having all your dreams? Let me know so I can offer you all the support in the world!