If you play with fire, you just might get burnt…Mischief Managed.

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“*OOOOOO* Vlogcast 8, my intention with these vlogcasts is to share my human experience experiencing being human across the span of 365 vlogcasts, commitment, keeping myself accountable and telling my complete story and there are some blogcasts, vlogcasts that might come off a bit heavy sometimes I might be all over the place. I organically flow with what comes up. And today what’s coming up is really, I wanted to share, to share and build upon the former vlogcast when I pretty much am pouring my heart out about how hiring my second Life coach underscored what was the missing piece in my experience. Um, like why I felt lost if you will and was feeling like 5 steps forward 12 steps back whichever phrase like what I don’t know one step forward 3 steps back so that’s how I felt for, for many years and when I hired this and when I mean honestly when it started when I went through iPEC.

Let’s rewind to iPEC it stands for Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching and I joined about the tail end of, I think, the last quarter of 2018 and I graduated from iPEC, honestly, it’s been, actually, a year. Uh, 10 months of coaching and it was very, very eye-opening…there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t being held accountable for the progress I, the healing really wasn’t even just progress was just healing, healing that I said I wanted that I’ve invested this money, energy into, “How can I break through this tug-of-war between my mind and my heart and my intuition? How can I, how can I connect them?”

And I did find some healing before coaching. I tried to build my confidence, my self confidence and doing more Art, um,  really going into, uh, social justice movements or any kind of movements…this is one of the things I’ve gotten into: Porn Kills Love. I found avenues to build a community with people.

I would learn new languages, I would travel to other countries, prat– try to practice the language. I exercised. I got back into music. I tried these things and on the outside… it seemed like I was becoming of age but really I wasn’t emotionally healing as much as I had hoped. And when I got into iPEC, they really shed light on how I was setting myself back and I wasn’t setting myself up for that emotional and spiritual breakthroughs: healing. Al– some of the behaviors were like rationalizing.

I didn’t know how much lack of accountability with myself was happening, just with myself and with my family and friends. No one was really keeping me accountable to break that, um, habit of behavior of rationalizing. And I speak of it only from my perspective and my point of view. It wasn’t working for me anymore, it wasn’t serving me anymore. Rationalizing, you know I could spin a web of things…of me rationalizing now and because of who I’ve chosen to surround myself with and the accountability partners I found, they call me out on my crap. They call me out on my story when I’m rationalizing, when I’m talking myself away from doing something I said and I initially wanted to do.

So, that accountability piece…I didn’t understand just how much I was getting in my own way until I really put it to the test. So, if I said I wanted to become fluent in French and what steps would I need to take to get there: cool! I have the actual steps to take as far as materials I might need, um, language teachers that can help me but I for some reason, even though I’m not fluent, as something that holds me back and that’s, that.

Oh, you know, I need this to be in place and not to be in Play Store I need some I need to be in the country to learn, you know, all these little things that build up as a story and I rationalize myself out of studying even if it’s 5 minutes a day. So, that’s something that we didn’t really talk about in my household because the accountability looked like someone yelling at me and telling me what to do constantly being prompted, constantly being told what to do and that’s one of the things…

I actually talked to one of my kindred spirits today about about how come when we finish school and again only can speak for myself and maybe a portion and percentage of Americans, North Americans, we go through school, we complete school, maybe do some more school and then as far as externally we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, like inside it feels like this ginormous tug of war, like this I would love to be doing more of this or I would love to be playing more music but I know that I need to make money and I need to do this and I have to make sure that I’m falling into this category as an adult and making sure that …. so is…. suffocation almost from having the emotional space to be accountable to the emotional healing we want?

How and this is something I kind of want to talk about to put things more into perspective is, I thought I was setting myself for, myself up for success emotionally by doing things and changing things outside of myself what helped me and I did mention this in a former vlogcast is, I was conditioned to believe that’s that voice that’s telling me I’m too weak, I’m not smart enough, I’m not strong enough, how dare you, who do you think you are? That Imposter syndrome that convincing me just play it safe, you’re good where you are,

I was taught to silence that voice. I was taught, um, just, just push through and then when I went through this coaching program, iPEC, as well as the second Life coach I hired really completely shattering that belief, it’s just a belief. In fact, when’s the last time you actually listened to the voice and loved it more, not less. I mean, a revolutionary concept, I’m like.. *pbbbbtt* yeah, *laughs* oh… you’re serious, yes and I stand by that, too. That’s what I do for my clients and and it’s taught me to be more patient and compassionate towards myself, too.

–That the voice is not the enemy… it’s the disconnect between me and the voice that’s really the thing that’s the wedge between us, the straw that broke the camel’s back. That’s where most of my tension and anxiety and frustration and even the sad moments which aren’t as strong as they used to be and really not that much present. Which is phenomenal.

I used to be one of those people that would lay in bed before I open my eyes but I’m awake, I just couldn’t. I used to be that person or I should say that’s the feeling that I used to get everyday. I was making plenty of money, didn’t like my job, didn’t want to be around the people at work, didn’t want to go to work, didn’t want to be at work, didn’t care about exercising, I didn’t care about eating, I didn’t care about anything.

So, reminding myself that that bully actually has provided me grit when it challenges me it sounds like it’s telling me I’m not good enough but really it’s scared to see me fail, it’s scared to see me get hurt it’s scared to see me cry, it’s scared to see me put myself out there. It’s tells me, you know, what will people think, um, people will think you’re just doing things for attention, people will think, um, you’re desperate. People will think you’re skill-less, you know, you don’t have any skill, what do you you think you’re doing?

No one cares about what you have to say, you’re not making lots of money anyway, why are you doing this? Do you really know what you’re doing? So, I still have that self-doubt and I have moments where I go,

“Maybe I’m not cut out for this.”

I pause. I look to that voice and I go,

“You have a compelling story. What you’re saying makes a lot of sense. I get it. If I go and I make this vlogcast and tell my story, put all my personal business out and air my dirty laundry. You’re right someone might be uncomfortable with that, someone might judge me and I appreciate your concern but I’m gonna take it from here.”

Instead of kicking it and screaming at it, silencing it and telling it to get out of my house. I now remind myself my new teaching which is that voice, that me deserves more love, not less. More love, not less. Six months doesn’t seem like a long time. It felt like longer. Catching myself mid activity, mid-sentence doing something that runs completely against the grain of what I signed up for…nevermind the financial investment but like, of course, I had a lot of skin in the game.

What do i want?

What am I doing I said I want and when I don’t feel  how I want to feel am I abandoning my goals, am I abandoning my ambition, am I blowing off my dreams, am I procrastinating because I’m trying to have everything perfect first. Self-sabotage again and this all is happening in here. It’s almost like… *sigh* Life coaching is all about finding holes in logic, holes in that story you build in your head…holes in the feelings that come up that may be really tricky. The feelings come up and you know this is how I’m feeling. Perhaps. Let’s dig deeper.

What will happen if you procrastinate, if you rationalize, if you abandon what you set out to do because of the fear? A fear becomes more in charge and more powerful with every time that we stubbornly refuse to change. I had a really good story and I felt like trash. I share my story not because I want you to change. I share my story not because I think there’s anything wrong with you.

I share my story to simply shed light on the fact that we have such capability to step into our fullest, most true version of ourselves and at the slightest, slightest pin prick of resistance from the world.

*Uuuuuppp!* Nope, mm , mmmmm, mmm, mm. Nope! Don’t want it. I change my mind.

When we say we want something usually we just think of the stuff that goes well and the things that are sparkly and new and it just, is so positive. I don’t know. Perhaps I’m generalizing on to all of you in which case, that’s me, doing that. I know for me I’ve noticed patterns where I say I want something, like I want to play the Ukulele. What I, when I say that, what I think of and that makes me smile. What brings a smile to my face is like busting it out, wherever, with whomever in public, private, whatever and just strumming just *wooohooOO* easy

I didn’t ask for the work. *laughs* I didn’t ask to have to go on for hours a day to go on Google to find the chords, to write them down and memorize it. I didn’t think about any of that when I said I want to play Ukulele. I just thought about the end result. So again, it kind of ties into another Vlogcast of chasing the feeling. So I thought to myself,

“I want to, I would have my own business.”

What I thought about was the end product, like making 6 to 7 figures a year, um, working with people and and getting goose bumps on my skin for the connectiveness I feel in purpose on this planet that’s what I thought of when I said I want my own business and also working for myself.

Wow! There’s a lot of stuff, a part of my business, that I didn’t even think about that’s, it’s stress! But it’s like a different kind of stress.

When you say you want to do something and you are all in and you embrace the good, the bad, the ugly, the hard, medium, the simple parts of it and when things go really well and when things kind of are halfway there and when things don’t go well at all it’s all of it compared to the other jobs I have: part-time as an instructor, part-time as a substitute teacher, part-time as a suicide first aid instructor and then having my own business.

I would say that the amount of stress I endure and work through when it comes to building my business is astronomically, volume-wise, way more than the amount of stress I get from these other three activities that I do as a source of income. It’s actually more painful to endure the volume over here, the less stress, than business. I do these things, kind of as a means to an end, to compliment my experiences here in my business.

I also have these jobs because I feel like I have more to learn as far as my temperament, my attitude– I want to be held accountable and having these different outlooks keeps me accountable to my own attitude. Cuz there’s a lot of things that go sideways with these three things and it stresses me out. When it comes to my business, I can build that, I can build around when I genuinely want to rest but these, I don’t really have that Liberty to rest when I please. So there’s disadvantages and advantages to both but the thing that I’m trying, I’m trying to illustrate here is that accountability piece to doing things we say we want the reason why I feel the reason why and I believe, universally, the reason why people give up on things they say they want is because they don’t realize that it’s the whole: all of it, you experience all of the feeling, the emotions, the fear of missing out, the denial, what else could I be doing with my time, money, blah blah blah. In denial, you doubt why you even started getting into this, you question: should I be? Should I really be sitting on my you-know-what and coloring all day long? Should I really be creating this Vlogcast? Do I know what I’m talking about?

Keeping oneself accountable for the things we say we want, can be something easy to avoid when we rationalize our way out of it and that’s one of those habits that I have found was really setting myself up for emotional failure.

Not following through. Not putting things in my calendar or telling people what I’m doing when I tell people what I’m doing, that’s what my way of staying emotionally accountable to something I said I wanted to do.

So question:
How might a current experience… serve you if you gave that voice in your head more love not less and proceeded to do what you said you wanted to do anyway?

I visited some of your blogs, the people that have liked and engaged these vlogcasts.

You are some phenomenal human beings. I have not visited everyone’s. Something about what I say, how I say it, is resonating with you and I hope that in your journey, no matter how small you think something is that you want to do…it’s planted in you for a reason. If you feel called to it with this question and call to action. The call to action really is the cherry on top of all vlogcasts. It’s not just a blog post. I’m not just here to just blah blah blah hear myself talk. I’m here because I want to share a tool that serves me, well *laughs* many tools asking empowering questions: find that answer within to keep you accountable for the next, for the next 358 days I’m happy to be that accountability partner for you if there’s something you say you want to do, put it in the comments and I’ll bother you *laughs* I will bother you, personally bother you to see to it that you’re doing what you’re, what you said you wanted to do.

Hey, join me in this 365 day challenge, it doesn’t have to be a vlogcast but what’s something *laughs* I’m asking you another question, I’ll ask anyway..

What’s something you do you say you want to do that you haven’t done that you could see yourself completing in the next 358 days. Yes, I have a lead on you. What’s something you say you want to do that you haven’t done yet that you see yourself completing in the next 358 days?

Put in the comments and let’s see how many other people are in the same boat you are that say they want to do something they haven’t. They’re procrastinating, maybe fear of missing out, like, oh I could be doing better with my time, maybe it’s a rat race, who knows? If you want to learn an instrument again, if you want to read that book that’s been staring at you on that shelf, if you want to go do community service, if you want to find another source of income, if you want to heal from a traumatic event and look into ways to heal that you’ve never looked into before, put it in the comments, see what happens, see maybe you’ll find an accountability partner in the comments below.

Thank you so much for watching and commenting, engaging and being present in your life. Uh, please have and make it the kind of morning, afternoon and evening that you want.”

Kim Johnson
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC
groundsforclarity.com

Taking action and keeping yourself accountable is how to break out of the cycle of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. 

Write for You

Creating is an outlet for emotions unspoken, passion untapped, or stories untold.

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Why do I write? Why do I spend countless hours spinning words and sentences into paragraphs attempting to make sense of whatever moment or idea has struck me that day? Why is it so important for me to express myself in a way I have never been able to do out loud to others or even to myself? Why is it when I unleash the pages of my truth do I feel fifty pounds lighter and as if I can conquer the world?

You ask any writer, musician, poet or artist for that matter why they do what they do, you will find that although each individual answer may sound different at the jump, as you peel back the layers, the foundation is usually the same. Creating is an outlet for emotions unspoken, passion untapped, or stories untold. It is a path to express oneself in a way that some may not be able to otherwise. Whether the reason stems from challenges to heartache or from excitement to success, the art of expressing oneself, in whatever manner it may be, is therapy for the soul.

For me, I write for me, it helps me to discover the truth about who I am and why I am here. I write words that sometimes are difficult to spell out and even more difficult to read; I write from a place that only I know is there until that moment my fingers dance across the keyboard; I write because the more I do, the more free I feel; and, I write for you, because even if it’s just one twisted tale or deep emotion shared, and a connection made, it is one less person believing they are alone in this journey of life.

There is no doubt I, along with my writing, has matured and shifted over the years, and while practice has helped, it is not where I place all the credit. In my growing up as a person and as a writer, I have found that the words are stronger and the meaning behind them deeper when they are honest, raw and real. I have learned this honesty by facing fears I didn’t even realize I had, extinguishing lies I have been telling myself, taking responsibility not for those around me, but for myself, and learning patience not just with others, but with me, and I have also found the more words I put out into the world (much like love, laughter, and kindness), the more I get back.

For me, writing is cleansing, challenging and can take me to places inside my head and my heart I never thought I would go, but has helped me carve my path to the real truth that lies within. Whatever your reason for creating, in whatever form that fits you best, do it for you. Write for you, paint for you, sing for you, and do it with raw honesty, that type of honesty that can be more difficult for you to admit than it is for people to hear. The fact is, the more honest you are with yourself, the more those around you will connect with your truth and the more you will realize you are not alone.

Much Love,

Lisa J

Friendship, Reignited

To those of us who’ve spent the majority of our lives struggling with anxiety and depression, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is isolation. For me personally, this wasn’t actually an issue until I became a parent, because as someone with very little family, I always felt as though I needed a barrier of friends around me for protection. Fortunate as I was to have found those people when I was younger, I came to find, after entering adulthood, that friendship wasn’t quite what it seemed before.

What was once a crutch for my fear of loneliness, has now become an a burden of sorts, for I cannot seem to get back to being the kind of person who can actually maintain friendships. I was the type of friend that was always there when you needed them, but was also the one who failed to get invitations to parties and such. I’m the person who will tell you what you need to hear, no matter how badly it’s not wanted, and while I’m conscious of it as a flaw, I still tend to categorize it as a strength.

Recently I reconnected with an old friend, someone who’s been through some of the worst moments of my life with me, someone I’ve known for 16 years. There was a time when we were inseparable, never going days let alone years without talking, but we haven’t seen each other in about a year and a half. We’re both nearing our thirties yet we live completely opposite lives – mine revolving around my husband and daughter, and her still being single and living at home with her family. While it’s difficult to relate to her now in some ways, it’s also refreshing to talk to someone with a little bit of outside perspective, because sometimes that’s exactly what we need.

The moment that I basically gave up on everyone in my life was shortly after my daughter was born, nearly no one I’ve ever called a friend has even met her, and I got tired of always hearing the same old line, “Let’s make plans soon!” or “We’ll have to get together soon!”. Eventually you just stop believing it, seeing it for what it really is, a formality to lessen their guilt over not even remotely being there for me in any way at all. I began pushing everyone away, and I can’t honestly say that I regret it very much. It seemed like the mature thing to do, just accept it was all talk, let everyone off the hook, and focus on my daughter, since no one else was interested in being part of her life.

Back to now though, I’m relieved to have someone I can talk to outside of my husband, because while he’s my best friend, sometimes a woman just needs the ear of another woman to feel heard and understood. And let’s be honest, there’s just some things that men don’t want to talk or hear about, and I try not to overburden him with all of my anxieties and stresses, as he’s carrying enough on his shoulder trying to keep food on our plates and a roof over our heads.

This time around, I’m going to try to force myself to stay in touch with her, because at least she knows the true me and has been there through some of the defining moments of my life, good and bad, and doesn’t need explanation for my feelings and thoughts. We have plans for tomorrow and I have to admit, I’m more excited than I’ve been in years. She’s genuinely thrilled to spend time with my daughter, and what could warm a mother’s heart more than an old friend bonding with your child? Right now, it feels priceless.

Grief and Time – It Doesn’t Get Easier, But That’s the Point

What we want to do is put grief in a box. “Package it up, tape the bitch, and put it somewhere where we can see it.” That’s what we say. With this, we get control over our grief. We can watch it and make sure it doesn’t fly out of the box, ripping at the edges, scrambling over to catch us in meetings and during someone else’s happy moments. If we can contain it, we can control it, and we’ve falsely believed – for quite some time now – that we’ll dis-empower it this way over time; that one day, that grief will cease to exist because we’ve made it smaller by cramming it into something with crippling limits.

I’ve discovered, in the wake of my own grief with loss and depression, that grief in a box is like a tumor. Just because we don’t allow it to grow outward and free, doesn’t mean it will disappear through the existence of time and us not paying it any attention. That’s not how it works, but who am I to tell you how it should? Here’s my experience, and you decide for yourself:

When my grandfather died, I isolated. I knew other coping mechanisms existed, but I didn’t care for them. I didn’t want to reach out to my family and grieve with them because we all isolated from each other. We didn’t create spaces in which to come together; we looked for spaces in which to hide from each other so that we could “process in peace.” And I put that sentence into quotes because, in my family, there is no peace in grief. None found none sought. What we do – successfully – is we push aside the human choice to sink into our feelings for the other choice to rack our brain for a way out: a way out of grief, out of sadness, out of crying in front of one another. We look for a loophole, mentally. And when we find one – whether that is keeping busy, averting eye contact, or making ourselves think about literally anything else – we latch onto it and use that runaround as an escape. “We’ll never think about loss again, and we won’t let grief pull us under.” That’s what we think, but rarely ever say. To my mom, that was a sign of strength. Her Herculean feat was to establish her ground as a no-crying badass who never looked at herself in grief as pieces she had to put back together. She was going to live long in the belief that nothing could break her. To my dad, that was an end result he chased but never attained. Contrary to my mom, he was and still is an emotional opportunity, to actually sit with his feelings and ACTUALLY process them in peace. But that doesn’t work when you’ve been fed the “life’s shit toughens you” mantra for decades. After a while, you start to think that being a no-crying badass in the face of grief is supposed to be a proud staple of who you are. And then there was Me in the middle, the neon-colored sheep of the family. I believe grief is different.

Even though I still run to hide in spaces where I can process in peace, I am aware of my running. Losing someone or living with depression are some of life’s hardest phases through which to maintain this awareness. I was recently inspired to read a writer’s beautiful and accurate description of grief. He likened it to waves in the ocean. I think this is a far better description than the box because the ocean is expansive and sometimes when you look far, infinite. That’s how I imagine grief to be. It’s not this small thing we can hold and stuff into a tiny space when it begins to hurt. It’s the opposite of that. So when we’re faced with the beginning stages of grief – in those first hours and days – it feels like the waves are coming in non-stop. One right after the other. Never-ending. And they come crashing down hard! I mean, “face in the sand, tumbling on rocks” hard. Everything we have gets thrown off track, and everything we control is now no longer up to us. It’s scary! There is no space or time between those waves where we can stand up or stick our heads out long enough to catch a full breath. Everything feels rushed in the slowest way imaginable.

This is how I felt when my grandfather died when my favorite singer died when I went through a hard breakup. A loss doesn’t have to mean the end of life. It’s the end of something. Sometimes, it’s the end of some part of yourself. And in those first few days, I was underwater. You literally have to throw your hands up in the air and allow the flood to blow everything to pieces. And you watch yourself get thrown into the tumult with it all, and I’ve noticed that the more you scramble to stay on top, the more grief kicks you down – like it wants you to get to a point where standing up is no longer even an option for you. I liken this to your own metaphorical death; because when you lose someone, you have to die a little with them, too. Something of yourself has to pass on so that you can understand how grief works so that you can teach your scared and running Herculean family that this death is also OK.

I don’t believe that time heals all wounds. I think that’s bullshit. I think that’s what we’ve been led to believe so that we’ll stop talking about our grief with people who pretend their wounds are just little scars. I also don’t believe time heals all grief. We’ve adopted the mentality that time is an action. And maybe for some things, it is. But for this? Time is just space. Space between those waves where we can finally stand up and take a full breath in without feeling like our lungs are collapsing. Time is space – no matter how brief – where we can get out of bed, or have a normal conversation, or smile just because. And this space exists between crests of waves that are always going to be there because grief doesn’t end. It doesn’t get easier or better. We just get stronger. And we gain more space in which to see the waves approaching, and we can prepare. We can anticipate that it’s going to hurt when we remember their smile or hear their voice in that one song or remember how much they loved to fish. And the only time in which Time will ever give us healing is when we begin to welcome those waves, not as torture, but as perspective.

If I’ve ever learned anything at all by being who I am in a family who is the polar opposite, is that grief and loss and depression are topics of conversation that should exist, freely and wholly. When we share our stories and give words to our thoughts and feelings, we learn. I am not anyone who has stumbled into this knowledge and advice because I’m smart or wise. I am here because I’ve found that carrying the burden of remaining silent is too heavy, and not for me.

I hope you give your waves a voice, unapologetically and without reserve.