Category Archives: Step into Yourself-Step into Your Life

Step Deeper into Your Dreams

Today is the day I take another step into my life – deeper into the sea of dreams, desires and journey into the next adventure.

My new book, Through the Woods to the Sea: A Journey of Becoming Me is now available. update Memoir Cover

Sharing my story, my life with the world is scary exciting!

Writing being an author has been a long buried dream of mine since I was a little girl, but like I pushed aside my love of the ocean, I buried that dream because I was told it was impractical and unrealistic.

It took fifty years of my life to dig it up and resurrect it. It took almost another ten to write it and find the courage and confidence to rewrite, edit, and publish it.

After writing the rough draft, fear took hold. A friend suggested I test the waters and write a short book on my love of the ocean. That is how Dancing on the Beach came about. A collection of essays expressing deep love and connection to the wisdom of the ocean (501x800)

Rewriting my life story was a long emotional process. I would work on it, have a reader or editor look at it, think about the suggestions then finally rewrite. I went through four different versions and formats before I found the format that fit my story. In hindsight, it was the most logical choice but it took me a roundabout way to get there.

It is my way I guess, I never seem to approach anything in a linear fashion. I love jumping around here and there to see what side trips might be interesting or what I might see or discover.

When I thought about becoming a writer, I never thought about writing personal essay but it is where I found my voice. Writing my own life story wasn’t in the plans either but years ago a teacher had suggested that I write about my experience with dissociation. Years later as I was in the midst of my midlife free fall, other women I shared my story with asked me to write and share it when I arrived.

Truth is arriving at one point just sends me off to another point on the horizon I see. Life is like that. We are never meant to arrive and stay long term just for a while and then to move forward towards something more.

So I have shared my story in hopes it inspires you to free fall or jump into becoming your true self and share it with the world in whatever expression that is for you.

We live life in our experiences expressing our spirit in the present moment

Step Deeper into Your Dreams!

Experiencing a New Perspective of Yourself: Create a New Vision of Yourself

Now with your new understanding and perspective of yourself and of your life. Knowing more about yourself, what you love, your desires, and who you have become. We are going to expand that into who you are Becoming.

Armed with your discoveries about yourself, your loves, likes, what you don’t like you are going to begin to write the story of who you are and who you are becoming.

Being Authentic in your daily life with your choices and decisions, in how you act, how you express yourself. You should try out and experiment with new ways of being in the comfort of your personal environment, at home with yourself, then with family and friends.

Expect reactions when they see you acting and being different. Not all those reactions will be positive. Your family may balk when you change something about yourself or your day that they are used to. Though in life it is necessary to take into account people who we interact with, whom we love and care about, and how our behavior impacts their life. You must decide from within you if and how to adjust a new part of yourself when you are interacting with them.

This may be a very difficult shift for you. It’s ok. There is no clear-cut and dry answers. As a compassionate human being, you do not want to have your choices harm another. You will know if it is right to make an adjustment or not. You must listen to your heart and to your core being. The answers are always within you. You just have to listen and you will know.

When something is coming from your core being nothing and no one can dissuade you from being true to yourself except yourself.

So now we are going to interject some fun into the process!

 

Nurturing Authentic Fair and Style

So what’s your favorite color? Is your house decorated with that color? If not why not? Where could you add that color? By a pillow or paint a wall or a piece of furniture that color. Do you wear your favorite color? If not why not? Buy one item of clothing in that color.

Style and flair are important to add to your life. What is your style? Do you have a signature flair? Red is my color. My bedroom is full of red, sheets, blankets, table covers. I wear it often. A third of my wardrobe is red.

Do you have a favorite piece of clothing or style of clothing? I am a sundress girl. I have a collection of them. When I travel my souvenir is unusual a sundress. It helps that I live on an island at the beach. I get to wear them almost all the time.

What is your style? What makes you unique? Create one if you don’t have one. Choose one item, a signature item that says – this is Me! This is who I am! It can be a necklace, earrings, a scarf, type or color of shoes, an item of clothing or a style.

Wear it out every day for a week. How does it make you feel? Does anyone notice? Have you received compliments?

Add some style and flair to your home as well. Start small, add color or items that make you happy, comfortable, or peaceful and that you love for no reason other than you love it! Each time you change something in your home, redecorate or need a new item choose it not only because it is functional but because it suits you.

 

Authentic Self-Expression: Being You

As you get up each morning set the tone and quality of your day. Having a morning ritual that fuels your soul and spirit. Setting the tone, setting your intentions and being fully present will send you forward into the day with an open heart and mind.

As the day goes along stay mindful of what is happening. What choices you are making. Listen to yourself. Stay true to what you now know to be true about yourself.

Continue to foster your authenticity every day through as much of your day as possible. Recognize when you are not being authentic. Do not judge just notice.

It up to you to be who you are each day. It takes courage. It takes being vulnerable. Don’t hold back. Be real.

Activities to Foster Authentic Self-Expression

Embrace your uniqueness and express it.

Develop your inner guidance and act on it.

Take time to know yourself. Go back over the self-discovery questions ask yourself again and again as your answer will change as you shift, become more aware and grow into who you are becoming.

Continue to Journal and meditate as a way to bring inner wisdom to awareness

Align your words, thoughts, and actions together.

Avoid thinking in terms of “should” and “have to.” Replace with do I want to? Is doing this in alignment with my values and beliefs?

Be open to try new things. Say yes to things that interest you. Say No to things that will drain you or dampen your spirit.

Be willing to show courage when authenticity calls for it.

Expect that you will be challenged and be okay with this.

Accept that you are your own ultimate authority

Accept and live your life as a journey, always unfolding. Embrace the process. Trust the process.

Redefining Who You Are & Who You Are Becoming

Self Discovery: Getting to Know Yourself

Self-Discovery: Getting to Know Yourself

 This is a journey into the depths of yourself and your life. It is an excavating process. Make it fun- enjoy it.

If you stay present with it you will walk through the forest and see the light at the end of the tunnel. On your way you will probably get lost, confused, and discouraged but you will also be delighted, amazed, astonished, and excited about some of the things you discover.

This part of my process, I began in the middle of my chaos of confusion, depression and disillusionment with myself and life. I was lost and empty. I felt like I didn’t exist anymore. It was a start and stop process even when I stepped out of life to focus on the process, I still didn’t jump completely into it. I took small steps at a time. (You can read my full process in my soon to be released memoir, Through the Woods to the Sea)

 

Identity and Sense of Self

What is your identity? What is your sense of self?

We often identify ourselves using a combination of our

  • Occupations – teacher, doctor, engineer, accountant
  • Social relationships – colleague, friend, husband/wife
  • Family relationships – brother/sister, mother/father son/daughter
  • Avocations – musician, athlete, artist
  • Abilities/disabilities and attributes – funny, shy, reliable, good looking, kind, intelligent

It is a collection of these identifications, the roles we play, and our personality traits that we choose, consciously or unconsciously, to incorporate into our self-perception.

Who do you think you are?

We all have a story we tell ourselves and others who we are.

  • What roles do you use to define yourself?
  • How do you see yourself?
  • How do you feel about yourself?
  • What do you see in the mirror?
  • How would you describe yourself?

What is the story you tell yourself about who you are and why you are who you are?

The story I believed for most of my life about myself was that I was told I wasn’t good enough to be out in the world. So I hid myself away at home and became some stranger when I was at school and out in the world. Eventually the separation became blurred as did my identity and sense of self. I never had a sense of self or knew who I was. When I became a mother, I escaped into that one role and I went completely missing in action. I believed I couldn’t be myself because I wasn’t good enough to exist. So I became nonexistent.

 

Getting to Know Yourself

Walking the Paths of the Past: Excavating the Formation of Your Identity

Make a chart or take a piece of paper and label each stage of life: Infancy, Early Childhood, School-age, Adolescents, Young Adulthood, Adulthood or you can separate your life using years or decades: Years 1-5, 6-12, 13-18, 19-25, 25-29, 30’s, 40’s etc.

Write down what you remember or know about each stage of your life. Answer these questions for each stage. Write down anything that comes to mind. It may not be seem significant to you now but it may later.

  • What significant events, circumstances, situations occurred during each stage? Who were you at each stage of your development?
  • How did these events, circumstances or situations impact or influence your identity? Your sense of self?
  • What were you like during each stage?
  • What did you love/hate about your life? Yourself?
  • What activities did you love? List all the things you did that gave you joy, made you happy and had fun doing.
  • What were you good at? What did you excel at?
  • What roles did you play?

 

Looking back on what you uncovered:

  • What parts of yourself have you rediscovered during the excavating process?
  • Did you discover something about yourself during the excavating process that amazes you? Are you stronger than you believed about yourself?
  • What part of yourself is not being acknowledged?
  • What have you learned about yourself?

 

During the excavating process I discovered that I was a confident active fun little girl. I rediscovered things I loved, the weather, music, dancing, horseback riding, writing stories and poetry. I discovered that during the time I was missing in action that I became stronger inside. That I developed a determination to find a way back to life.

I realized that there in the books and movies I loved as a child was my inner self that I had been denying. They were my way of connecting and being myself in my imagination when I felt I couldn’t be myself in my everyday life as I child. I kept myself alive through them. When I was a teenager and into my adulthood I kept my essence alive through the stories and poems I wrote.

 So the first steps in reconnecting with the person deep within was is relieving those childhood loves. It was my first step to connect with who I had been. And became the starting point for becoming liking who I was and realizing that there was nothing wrong with her.

 

Self-Discovery Activities to discover more about Yourself

Connecting with your inner self is a deep soul searching process. It should be fun and exciting even in the moments of uncertainty and growing.

Pick one of your favorite activities you did as a child and do it again. See how it makes you feel now. What does it tell you about yourself?

Now pick an activity that you wish you had done that haven’t yet. Now plan a day and time to do it. How does planning it feel? Are you anticipating it with excitement or are you anxious. Once you have done it – How was the whole experience? What did you learn about yourself?

Do something you do not like to do. How do you get yourself to do it? How did you feel before you did it? How do you feel about doing it now? Would you do it again or do you still not like doing it?

Talk to someone who has known you for a long time. Ask them some of your self-discovery questions. Ask them to describe you as if they were telling someone else about you.

In returning to school and studying some of those childhood loves at an adult level I began to cultivate a relationship with the person I would have become. In studying mindfulness and present moment I cultivated a relationship with who I was in that moment – a mixture of all I had hidden away, lost and all that I had experienced as a disassociated person. I uncovered wonderful things about myself.

Yet until I found myself in the woods I hadn’t really thought about who I was becoming and who I wanted to be. I connected to the little girl inside and the person within the mother but I didn’t have a solid sense of self without the structures of my life.

 

Self-Discovery Questions

 Who do you want to be? What do you want?

 No one asked me those questions until Sr. Henrita asked me. My life was always about what I was expected to do or what others wanted. Having connected with the person I had hidden away and lost now I had to figure who I was now and who I wanted to be in the world.

  •  What activities do you love? Do you hate?
  • What makes you happy? Sad? Peaceful? Excited?
  • What excites and inspires you?
  • What new activities are you interested in or willing to try?
  • What are your goals and dreams?
  • What do you really want to do? Are you doing that?
  • What do you stand for?
  • What is it that wants to speak from your heart?
  • What do you want to contribute to the world?

Moving forward begins in the present moment but it helps to have a vision. It doesn’t have to be a clear ridged goal, but you must have a direction to begin walking towards. Take some time to think about those questions, explore them, and explore possibilities. Stay present follow your intuition and your heart. Each day, each experience you will discover more about who you are becoming.

You have come far, before you move forward it is time to take a breath, to marinate and blend what you have learned and what you know now with what your heart and soul know. Breakthroughs happen in times of mental relaxation.

Let go of anything you no longer want to carry around. Plan a ceremony or ritual where you symbolically let it go and release it.

Plan a Celebration – A Celebration of You. Plan it yourself. Plan it your way. Invite who you want. Or go out and celebrate you with you! Celebrate by doing something you have always wanted to do! Or just pamper yourself.

Conclusion

Stepping into yourself and your life is a path of perpetual movement and personal growth to come into alignment with your true self and authentic self-expression.

Next is taking what you have learned and begin to express that inner person in your everyday life.

To Experience a New Perspective of Yourself.

Cultivate Authentic Self-Expression.

Cultivating a Relationship with Yourself

Step into Yourself-Step into Your Life

Cultivating a Relationship with Yourself

Your most important relationship in life is with yourself. How you treat and take care of yourself is directly related to how you think about yourself.

Cultivating a good relationship is critical to your process of becoming who you are, becoming all you can be and living the life you dream of.

We have prepared out physical environment for our journey but now you must build a solid foundation to deepen your relationship with yourself and expand out into having a relationship with life itself.

To have a good relationship with yourself you must have self-respect, self-value, self-acceptance and self-care. You must make time for yourself, meditate, and be present and mindful. You must listen to, understand and care for your needs. You need to be able to hear the wisdom within you.

The three key elements of cultivating a relationship with yourself are journaling, self-care and present moment mindfulness.

 

Journaling

Hopefully you have already started journaling during your sacred time but if not it is time to begin to get into the habit. For those of you who are already journaling – great. Here we are going to go a little deeper into the methods and techniques of journaling.

In journaling you begin to develop a relationship with yourself. Here we communicate and listen to ourselves, we contemplate, dream, excavate, discover, uncover, our deepest beliefs, thoughts and feelings.

How you journal will depend on what you are trying to accomplish or discover. There are many types of journal keeping, Idea Journal, Personal Journal, Vision Journal, Art Journal, and Self-Discovery Journal. You can combine different types of journal writing into one journal.

  • Date the entry.
  • Start writing when you are ready, write when and how you want to
  • No critics are allowed in your journal. No worries about neatness, spelling, grammar etc. Avoid making judgments.

Your journal is for spontaneity, creativity, and discovery. Try using the different kinds of journaling processes, the different techniques and the suggestions. Stay open. Expect the unexpected. Wonder-Wander-Speculate.

 

Present Moment/Mindfulness

  • The present moment is powerful.
  • You must be present with yourself and present with your life.
  • It is the only way to cultivate a true deep meaningful relationship with yourself.
  • Mindfulness is a way of being.
  • It must be integrated into your everyday life on every level.
  • Living mindfully is key to becoming your true self and living your best life
  • Mindfulness is being in the present moment, being aware of what you are doing, thinking and feeling, to get the most out of each and every experience.
  • Mindfulness can be applied to any and every activity you are doing.
  • Mindfulness is paying attention to the task at hand – to what you are doing and thinking in the present moment. (Even if that is excavating the past or recalling a memory).

The two most important components of mindfulness are present moment and attention. In developing mindfulness you direct attention to the experience in the present moment.

The present moment is the access point into your deepest self – Your Being- at your fullest potential.

 

Things Mindful people do

  1. Take walks
  2. Pay attention to their breath
  3. Turn daily tasks into mindful moments/paying attention to the activity they are doing
  4. Focus on one activity at a time (no multitasking) then take a break and return to activity or begin a new one
  5. Know when not to check their phones-have times they phones and e-mail/computer are not in sight or turned off, stow phones when talking or interacting with other people
  6. Seek out new experiences, try new activities, foods, go to new places, change up their routines
  7. Go outside-spend time in mother nature-nourish and reboot your energy, renew sense of wonder and awe, awareness, awakens senses
  8. Feel what they are feeling-accepting the moment and what is not resisting what they are feeling or control it-accepting both negative and positive feelings and remaining even keel to cope with the emotions and situation in a mindful way
  9. Meditate
  10. Conscious of what they are putting into their body/mindful eating/ focus on the act of eating using their senses-sight, smell, taste
  11. Pay attention to what they feed their minds- less tv, social media, etc.

A mindful life is lived from our core engaging in every moment and every aspect of our self and living from our soul-our inner being-our authentic self

In order to live from you authentic self and to live fully you have to be present with yourself and present for your life

Mindfulness alone – without doing anything else- can change your being and your life. Without it any and all of the following actions will not result in connecting with and living through your true self. If you do not cultivate mindfulness then you will not benefit from the self-discovery process.

Mindful living will be the foundation of your day, your process, and your life.

 

Self-Care/Self-Nurturing

Self-Care means taking care of your needs at every level, mind, body, spirit. Self-nurturing is paying attention to needs and taking the time to nurture and nourish our spirit. As women we often push ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally depleting our spirit.

Most often if we do any kind of self-care it is only focused on the body, and specifically with eating and exercising. But most often we even neglect that too. If self-care is limited than self-nurturing is nonexistent. We believe we have no time for frivolous self-nurturing activities. We have been taught that it is selfish to have our own needs, wants and desire beyond our physical health.

It is vital that we take care of ourselves. If we do not then we are telling ourselves we are not good enough. Worse we are distancing our self for our relationship with our self. We are not engaging in a relationship that enhances our being.

 

Some ideas for self-care/self-nurturing activities

  • Listen to my favorite music
  • Enjoy a long, warm, bubble bath
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch the sunrise/sunset
  • Do something adventurous
  • Read a special book or magazine
  • Sing/hum/whistle a happy tune
  • Swing/slide/teeter/totter
  • Play a musical instrument
  • See a special play, movie or concert
  • Draw/paint a picture
  • Swim/float/wade/relax in a pool/on the beach

 

Conclusion

Cultivating a relationship with yourself takes time and effort. You must make the time.

If you do not do any more of the program you will eventually become true to yourself, you will be aware of how you feel, what you desire, what you need and make choices and decisions accordingly.

By simple cultivating a relationship with yourself through journaling, mindfulness, and self-care/self-nurturing you will become more content with your life.

These three practices can change your life.
But you must cultivate these practices consistently, thoroughly and conscientiously.

 

 

Let’s Prepare for Your Journey

Step into Yourself – Step into Your Life Program

 

Preparation

 

I am sure you are anxious to jump right in and get it accomplished. However, it is my belief that rushing in and trying to make too many changes too fast only comes to a crashing halt. Taking time to lay a solid foundation and shift both in your mind and environment is critical for you to have long lasting results.

 

Thoughts to bonder before you begin:

What does identity and sense of self mean to you? What is the disharmony between your deep core and how you are relating in the world? Think about allowing yourself to imagine opening up to all the possibilities of being more than you have ever dreamed possible. What is it you truly need? You are getting ready to step into you at your fullest potential. How do you want that to look like?

 

What do you need to do to prepare a healthy place for you to create and grow? What will assist you in growing new roots and provide you with room to create and grow. Believe that you can create a healthy place for you to grow and create.

  • Day Dream Find a few minutes and let your mind wander-daydream-open up to the possibilities of being and living from deep within yourself. Take a walk and let your mind wander let all the questions of who you are and who you wished you had become and who you would like to become. Become comfortable in the questions. Relax into them.

 

  • Simplify De-clutter – The personality of your home-where you live should be a true reflection of you loves and likes as well as comfortable

 

  • Create a Sacred Space Create a place where you can go and be in solitude. You need to be comfortable in this place. Find a place out in nature that you are comfortable and that provides you with a sense of peace. Also discover a place outside your home, a bookstore, or coffee shop.

 

  • The Gift of Sacred Time Give yourself time and space to focus on your soul needs, self-care and yourself. Know that you are worth of this. Time is probable you most difficult step. We already have our days filled with responsibilities and things we must do. Often we are too busy to think about caring for our self never mind caring and nurturing our inner soul and dreams. But if you don’t take the time to nurture yourself you may never become who you are at your deepest level.

 

  • Set Boundaries Give yourself time and space to focus on your soul needs and yourself. Know that you are worth of this.

 

  • Create a Toy Box Buy yourself a simple notebook for journaling, a pen, markers, crayons if you want. Add magazines and pictures you like. Add anything that provides you with comfort and inspiration.

 

  • Create a Ritual Now that you have your sacred space and have discover and chosen your sacred time, you will plan a small ritual you will do each day during this time. You can continue with whatever activity you used to discover and test your possible times. Or you can create a new ritual that helps you feel excited and cared for.

“Rituals are any action that speaks to the soul and to the deep imagination, whether or not it all has practical effects. Even the smallest rites of everyday existence are important to the soul.”

Thomas Moore

 

  • Gather Support Find a friend or someone you trust who will just be there for you, listen without judging you or what you are doing. Someone who will offer you encouragement and positive feedback. Join in and comment and connect on FaceBook @StepintoYourself

 

  • Trust the process This is an every changing journey that will take you to places you never have imagined. Allow it to flow and move.