Radical Love

Radical Love

It’s was my turn to write a blog. The pressure was on, but the words just wouldn’t come. Then a thousand words came but just didn’t fit together. Then it occurred to me to use the universal language we all understand, Music to help you better understand Radical Love. Here goes!

Love

Waymaker, Miracle worker, Promise Keeper, light in the darkness, my God, that is who you are!

For me, it starts and stops with Faith, something greater than myself. A place always welcomed, loved, seen as a miracle, wanted, appreciated, guided, and challenged. A place I can go to all the time or anytime I run out of my own strength. Here, I have someone to turn to. A power source I can plug into, pray to, believe in and feel energized from. It is the faith of my heart. A Miracle morning quiet time is my path to peace, focus, and power. A little tapping too, but that’s in another blog. What higher power is LOVE to you?

Self-Love

Learning to Love Yourself Is the Greatest Love of All. Houston teaches us about self-love and the epic journey to self-realization. Whitney said, ” I feel that the road to self-love is a deep, intricate and challenging journey, but one that will teach us about the meaning of a true, genuine, happy, and honest existence”.

Whitney struggled to embrace these words… However, she left us a powerful message of Love. “We must all learn how to love ourselves. It’s the only way we can save the world. We must equip our youth with the tools to create a better future for themselves and the next generation. We must teach our youth, and ourselves, the true meaning of self-love, The Greatest Love of All”.

Casey Musgraves’s song Rainbow is a message she wrote to herself and anyone else who is feeling any weight on their shoulders. She sings to us that there has always been a rainbow hanging over your head. Casey Musgrave tells us we are all exceptional indeed!

The Love of Others

Once we value ourselves, we can then value others, too.  Life, History, and COVID-19 has shown us how important this is. The Times They Are A-Changing said, Bob Dylan.

I couldn’t come up with just one song, so here is a medley of songs.  We genuinely do all need one another. We are truly interconnected.

Bruno Mars says You Can Count on Me

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

With a Little Help from My Friends

You’ve Got A Friend In Me from Toy Story

We Are family

People Who Need People

Radical Love

In closing, Love, Self-Love and Loving others all combine together and form Radical Love!

The final two songs today hopefully sum it up well.

What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love!

Michael Jackson, and a variety of very talented artist sing We Are The WORLD!

You ARE Worthy of Love

You ARE Worthy of Love

What if you woke up with the snap of my fingers and believed, truly believed, without question, YOU were Worthy of Love?

Pause for a moment and imagine that.

In Karen Casey’s book Worthy of Love, she writes, “There is probably no expression in my life more difficult to feel, develop, offer, accept or maintain, than Love. And I have so desperately wanted to revel in it, certain that if only I “knew” Love, I’d forever be happy, content and serene every moment, never tragedy’s victim.

Karen also says, “Of course, the irony is the harder we look for Love, the more blurred our vision. Only when we become quiet and trust that Love is our birthright do we discover its friendship has enfolded us”.

Karen Casey’s book, Worthy of Love, Meditations on Loving Ourselves and Others was a gift to me I will always treasure. I offer this blog as a gift to you, on Love, and in Love.

What would it feel like to Love yourself unconditionally and be comfortable in your skin with no need to do any number of the things we can come up with to NOT feel our feelings?

  •    Check our email
  •    Grab a snack
  •    Find a project
  •    Phone a friend
  •    Workout

One thing that can be an obstacle to self-love and very self-damaging is Self-Criticism. The inner critic is often experienced as negative thoughts about our behaviors or ourselves. We think being extra hard on ourselves will somehow motivate us to change.

  •    Don’t ask for any help
  •    Struggle with body image
  •    Play the blame game
  •    Don’t forgive, keep punishing
  •    Get down on yourself
  •    Difficult decision making
  •    Comparing ourselves to others
  •    Thinking I’m Never enough
  •    Overanalyzing
  •    Worry/Fear

We work so hard to be more, better, fixed, but perhaps that is the problem, and the simple solution is accepting we don’t need to be fixed.

It is only when we accept ourselves for who and what we are, and no longer require the acceptance and approval of others, we start to achieve our inner sense of peace and security.

Self-Compassion and kindness offer us encouragement, support, and the Love we long for. It aligns us with what we truly want and desire.

  •    Acceptance
  •    Trust
  •    No judging, blaming or criticizing
  •    Forgiveness
  •    Peace of I’m enough
  •    Faith Hope and Love

Both self-criticism and self-compassion are ways we protect ourselves. They can be healthy ways to achieve personal growth; however, self-criticism can also be a barrier to our peace of mind.

Here are 3 Powerful Ways to Promote Self-Love and Awareness

  1. MINDFULNESS-maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts turn inward into what we are sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
  1. JOURNALING-a way to explore our emotions, channel our feelings, and explore outcomes. Writing is a vehicle that allows us to slow down and pay attention to everything that is going on in our lives. One beneficial exercise is journaling your self-critical thought paired with a self-compassionate response. Give it a try.
  1. HAVING A MANTRA/S-a mantra is a sacred utterance, a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration. It is believed to have spiritual and psychological power. It is said to be a tool of thought, a way to focus the mind. Just for fun, why not try Mirror Mantra’s with Crayola ® washable makers.

SELF-Acceptance ask much of us, but I promise the journey and reward are worth it

SELF-Compassion and kindness are powerful skills we can lean into more deeply each and every day to support ourselves.

SELF-Love is a process, a practice for all our lives. The goal is to grow in it.

No matter where you are on the journey, the most important thing we can do is to be ourselves, love ourselves, and celebrate our unique and miraculous authenticity. Then, we can contribute to the ripple effect of LOVE throughout this world.

Remember Always, or remind yourself with a quick snap of the fingers,

YOU ARE WORTHY!

YOU ARE A MIRACLE!

YOU ARE AMAZING!

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others,

Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others approval

Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts her.

~Lao Tzu

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Compassion, Space, Grace, Self-Care & HUMOR

Compassion, Space, Grace, Self-Care & HUMOR

COMPASSION

Kristen Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components–self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

She says self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?

Instead of mercilessly judging or criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings-after all, whoever said you were supposed to be perfect?

Please practice cultivating gentle, loving-kindness towards yourself as a way of being more self-compassionate.

SPACE

 A continuous area of expanse, which is free, available or unoccupied.

There have been times in my life I needed some space. A weekend getaway, walk through the woods, riding in the car playing my favorite tunes or just to being in a room all by myself.

Who remembers the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella 1965 song that went like this…In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be. There is such freedom in that chair.

When was the last time you allowed yourself some space?

GRACE

Is the spiritual freedom that arises from living in harmony with yourself, others, and with the entire world. ~Unknown

A virtue coming from God.

Mercy, pardon, favor, privilege, kindness, courtesy, approval, dignity, temporary exemption, honor, beauty, elegance, harmony, charm and divine love.

My 2019 One Word is Grace. I believe grace allows for our Wholistic heart, body, mind, and spirit to all be in full alignment bringing JOY to the world and all those in it.

What does Grace mean to you?

SELF-CARE

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular, during periods of stress.

I would like to share a blog that I think is well written. I credit Tracie Nichols with these wise words:

Recently I saw a social media post about self-care steps someone was taking after coming through an intense few weeks inviting folks to talk about the way they were taking care of themselves.

Not surprisingly, an impressive list of messages, nature rambles, spiritual experiences and the like followed.

What was surprising to me was the mixed set of reactions I felt when reading them.

There was my usual surge of “go you!” appreciation for people truly caring for themselves. I also felt exhausted and overwhelmed at the thought of trying to attempt any of these truly beautiful self-care practices myself. And then came an ache of aloneness and an alarming pulse of shame. (Shame?)

You see, my life right now is a storm of worry and off the charts stress. There are hard, hard things happening for 2 people I love. 2 people who are inextricably woven into the fabric of my daily life. People for whom I have a foot and a heart in the role of caretaker.

I’ll pause here to let you (deeply kind, so very compassionate and caring folks) no I’m OK. I know you’re all wise in the ways of healing and self-love and I’m not asking you to do the labor of offering advice (with a gentle appreciation for any who had that impulse). I simply offer this snapshot of my life to give you a bit of context So what I’m saying next about self-care makes sense.

Since a lot of my work centers around helping people Cultivate resilience, my aversion reactions to this post gave me this ghostly sense of being an outsider in a space I typically call home.

That pulse of shame? She’s there because “I know this stuff and I should be doing better.” which is hogwash, of course. But As I am sure you know when our resilience is stretched rice paper thin, that’s when our inner monsters stage their coup.

Hello, monsters…  Nope. You don’t get to take over ‘t get to take over…

So right now…

~because it’s all very intense and utterly beyond my control
~because it’s swampy with all the feelings, especially grief
~because my time isn’t my own – or doesn’t feel as if it is
~because the weight of this is bringing me to my knees – sometimes literally
~because massages and painting classes and long walks and silent retreats feel mythical. Unreachable. A climb up Everest in flip flops. 

…my version of self-care looks like

  • Remembering to eat.
  • Breathing a quiet “yes!” when it’s veggies rather than donuts.
  • Wearing the softest, most comfy clothes I own.
  • Embracing unplanned naps.
  • Stopping by a park for 10 minutes between transportation runs, rolling down the windows and breathing. Getting out of the car optional. Walking optional.
  • Wrapping my hands around a warm Cup of tea. Breathing.
  • Letting plans – for my business and life – go dormant for a bit.
  • Holding schedules – for my business and life – gently and loosely.
  • Whispering “I love you. You’ve got this.“ when I catch a glimpse of myself in random reflective surfaces.
  • Kindness and patience when none of these work.
  • Kindness when the patience fails.
  • Retroactive kindness when the kindness fails.

So, here’s my invitation to you this time: take a moment to notice the state of your resilience. And, if it feels nurture nourishing, whisper “I love you. You’ve got this.” when you catch a glimpse of yourself in random reflective surfaces. Saver how that feels. Build yourself a sweet well of self-love to draw on when life gets hard.

HUMOR

The quality of being amusing, comical or funny.

Humor is the gift we give ourselves but one that takes a little bit of work. We must look for the humor in every situation and use it to gain perspective, reduce stress and make others laugh and smile. When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

As an Occupational Therapy Professional, one of the many things we do every day is to help people with their activities of daily living. Things like grooming, bathing, and dressing.

In the upcoming BE WASHED Event, as your Evening Coach, I will be helping you in another activity of daily living…the area of your thinking.

Imagine if you will, that voice that sometimes sits on your shoulder. Is it whispering words of TRUTH and LOVE or FEAR and LIES?

We will begin the evening retreat by exploring the book, Girl; Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Here, we will learn to STOP believing the lies about who we are so we can HONOR and become who we were meant to be our true authentic selves.

Have you ever found yourself saying things like “I’ll start that diet tomorrow.” Then several pounds up on the scale you hear yourself repeating those same words weeks later? Me too! I can’t tell you the number of times I have started my diet tomorrow, Monday, or the first of the New Year. Or how about…I’m going to take that spin class at the Y, or I’ll start walking around the block every day from now on.

WELLLLLLLLLLLL Lies, all lies we tell ourselves. We like to talk about all the things we are going to do, learn about the things we are going to do, but somehow, we never get around to DOING all the things we say we are going to do. Ugh! Can anyone out there relate?

Many of us can. The Be Washed event will expose more of the most common lies we tell ourselves and offer new strategies to help us be honest with ourselves about what we are blowing off.

The second half of the event we will be taking a look at the book Change your Mind, and Your Life Will Follow by Karen Casey. Her book showcases 12 principles that guide us towards LOVE. Who out there doesn’t need more of that?

Thirty years ago Karen Casey wandered into a support group and learned there was only one thing she could change—herself! The result of this change was so profound she dedicated much of her life to teaching others about it.

I, like Karen, believe if we change our minds, our lives WILL follow. I want to use the opportunity I have as an Occupational Therapy Professional and a Coach to help others grow in this area of thought. Let’s face it; it truly is an activity of daily living.

Let’s think better, do better and feel better. What do you say?

Hope to see you there!

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Love Over Fear – A New and Growing Superpower!

Love Over Fear – A New and Growing Superpower!

Are you one of the people that have a tendency to be fearful and hard on yourself? It’s like an automatic default to the land of negative thinking and feelings of unworthiness. Others tell you to stop being so hard on yourself, and you wonder how? If you knew how to do that, you would certainly have done that a long time ago to stop the suffering.

Over the years I began to realize this was a real problem for a lot of people and me. I now see it as an opportunity and blessing in the pursuit of wholehearted living. I learned all about distorted thinking and the lies we tell ourselves and automatically believe. It was a real awakening. I read a book titled Ten Days to Self Esteem by David Burns, and there I found a breakdown of the many ways we can distort our thinking.

  • All or Nothing thinking – Looking at things in Black & White
  • Overgeneralizing – Viewing an adverse event as a never-ending pattern of defeat
  • Mental Filter – Dwelling on the negatives and avoiding the positives.
  • Discounting the Positives – Insisting that your accomplishments or positive qualities don’t count.
  • Jumping to Conclusions – Concluding things are wrong without any conclusive evidence. (Mindreading) or (Fortune Telling)
  • Magnification or Minimization – Blowing things way out of proportion or shrinking their importance.
  • Emotional Reasoning – Reasoning from how you feel. You feel like an idiot so you must be one.
  • Should Statements – Criticizing yourself or others with should, shouldn’t, must, ought’s, and have to.
  • Labeling – Instead of saying I made a mistake. You label yourself a loser or stupid.
  • Blame – Blaming yourself for something you are not entirely responsible for or blaming other people and overlooking the ways you may have contributed to the problem.

What I initially believed is that we feel the way we think. So, I thought to myself, just think positive! But as my default would have it that led me back to… I am thinking positive but still feeling negative so this must be my fault. Not knowing if that was self-centered or reality-based, I kept searching for answers.

That’s when I discovered Brené Brown. This quote of hers spoke directly to me:

(Love over Fear and growing a new superpower was in the works but it would require more explanation and understanding).

Brené teaches us YOUR THOUGHTS + ACTIONS + FEELINGS ARE LIKE A THREE-LEGGED STOOL

One leg represents Thinking.

 One leg represents Feelings.

One leg represents Behavior.

Incorporating all three would then equal our wholehearted living and loving selves.

FEAR thinks-I’m not good enough, or I’m no good at this, how frustrating, I’ll numb out with some of my favorite comfort food.

WHOLEHEARTED LOVE thinks – I’m going to work on this, I feel good about having a goal, and I will take it one day at a time and strive to build on that.

Wholehearted living and loving are about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness, being brave, putting love over fear and knowing we are enough.

While some argue that you can change your life by changing your thoughts, Brené has seen no evidence of this in her research. She says, “Real transformation doesn’t happen until we address all three parts as equally essential parts of a whole, elements that are inextricably connected to one another”.

If being wholehearted makes us whole, then the opposite of that is to be broken, fractured, or in disarray. So many of us are moving thru life this way. The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness actually depends on the integration of All of our experiences.

Remember… the three-legged stool shows the way you THINK affects the way you FEEL which then determines and will have a direct impact on your BEHAVIOR and what you DO.

So what then do we do?

WE GET CURIOUS

Be willing to open a line of inquiry into what’s going on with you, and why?

  • Why am I being so hard on myself? Or others?
  • What is setting me off?
  • How did I get to the point of no return and wanting to punch something?
  • Why am I so overwhelmed?
  • Why can’t I shut my brain off?
  • Why am I reacting so emotionally?
  • What is going on?

Since we respond to EMOTIONS FIRST, and they often direct us to shut down or disengage. This is why we need to train ourselves to get curious about our emotions and develop a desire to learn more about why we feel the way we do. Although we don’t want to feel our feelings, this is the starting point to growing our superpower.

Brené says “The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we reject our stories and disconnect from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead,

“They own us, they define us”!

Our job then is not to deny our feelings in fear of feeling them, but rather to explore them with love, grace (My One Word for 2019) and curiosity, teasing out the distorted thoughts and getting clear on our truth (My One Word for 2018). Being open to the daily Wholistic  (heart, mind, body, and spirit) practice of consciously choosing our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and living and loving as a whole person, growing and strengthening our Love over Fear Superpower!!

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.