Self Care Wisdom that Will Change Your Life… Really.

Hi there, welcome. This is Cheryl
Richardson. Welcome to my weekly Facebook Live. Although it’s been a few weeks
since I’ve been here live, I’m glad to be back. It’s been a busy, busy time here
this spring, or sort of entering into spring. And I finally have had a chance
to come back home and be here to be able to schedule this live with
you. So I’m looking forward to connecting with you, looking forward to answering
questions and maybe providing you with some coaching. Hi Theresa, welcome to you.
So glad you’re here. You’re always one of the first ones. I appreciate it. And Beryl, welcome to you from the Netherlands. And Ev, welcome Ev, nice to
see you. I’m glad to be here. Adrienne, welcome to you. And Corazon, Corazoncito.
Corazoncito and Pia, welcome to you, too. Yes, I’m glad to be back. It’s
been a little bit, it’s been a little bit crazy busy and I had a lot. Well, we
had a house guest here for seven days and that’s always a little tricky. You
know, just trying to spend time with a loved one and tend to the business of
living at the same time. I’m sure you know what I mean. And I’ve been busy with
some of the projects that I’ve been working on. I’ve been coaching, just
coaching some different organizations whose work I really believe in and
really am passionate about. So I’ve been working with them. And so yeah, so things
were little nuts. And I noticed, when was it? The other day I woke up and I just was
feeling really irritable. And throughout the day I was feeling frustrated. I just,
I don’t know. I was feeling like I just wasn’t grounded in my life and had this
amazing thing happened that really showed me. So I had all of these
different thoughts going on like: I’m too busy, I need to just stop, I need a
break. Life doesn’t feel very fulfilling and
rich right now or I’m missing something. I mean, that was the big thing,
I guess that’s the big thing. I felt like I was missing something. I felt like my
life was missing something, like I didn’t even, I didn’t even, oh I couldn’t
even name what it was. I just felt like life was missing something. And then I
had this interesting thing happen. So this had been going on for a few weeks.
And then all of a sudden I was out one morning filling the bird feeders like I
do every morning. I get up and I go out and I put feed in the feeder and some
peanut butter in a suet feeder. And I changed the water in the big bowl that I
have because I put out fresh water for the animals and the birds. And so I was
filling the feeder and I stopped to look out over the backyard and I look to the
left. I have a little garden over on the
left-hand side. It’s a garden with rocks and that’s where I
planted Louise’s tree. It’s a beautiful dogwood tree. And I looked over and
staring at me was the most beautiful fox just on the crest of the hill, just
above the garden, just sitting there staring at me. And everything just
stopped. I mean, it was a magical moment. And I slowly put the seed down and just
stood there looking at him or her. And I said: Oh, I’m so glad you’re here.
It’s wonderful to see you and it’s safe to be here. You know, I always
say that to the animals that visit. It’s safe to be here. I’m glad you’re here. And
all of a sudden he walked from the crest of the hill, he walked down the hill
toward me. Sat down on the grass, curled up almost like a cat. Curled up and just
sat there looking at me. And I was chatting with him for a few minutes. And
then I just didn’t say anything and just really sort of felt that sense of
connection to nature. And then after about five minutes of him
just sitting curled up in a ball, comfortable, just looking at me, I very,
very slowly stepped back, went into the house and then went racing
around trying to find my camera so I could come back and take a picture of
him. And sure enough, by the time I came back he was gone.
He was nowhere to be found. So I walked back in the house and I thought,
Oh gosh, I love these magical moments when we encounter nature, whenever I encounter wildlife. And I sat down and I realized in that moment that
what I was missing was presence in my life. We live in the
country, we live in a beautiful home with a yard that has lots of wildlife here.
And the reason I was feeling irritable and I was feeling like I was missing
something or that life felt like it had lost its shine somehow was because I
wasn’t very present for my life. I just wasn’t, I wasn’t taking
time to even just hang out on the deck and looking out over
the backyard for longer than two seconds or a minute or two before
I was off to the next appointment or the next task or whatever it was. And it was
just one of those moments where I’m sure you’ve had them. Where it’s
really easy to get in our heads and start thinking about, start overanalyzing why we don’t feel good in life, why we feel restless or unsettled or sad
or melancholy or frustrated. Or just like everybody else is living a great life
and I’m not. However that shows up for you, nine and
a half times out of ten what’s really missing from your life
is you. What was missing from my life was me. And so I made a point, I
immediately did something I often do. I went to my calendar, the calendar on my computer and I started to look at where
I needed to make space in my calendar. What did I commit to that needed to
change? Where did I need to change my mind? Say no to something I had already
said yes to? Where did I have to block out time in my calendar so that I
wouldn’t book anything else? That I’d be able to have the time
that I needed? And what did I need to say no to?
How was I going to put space between a request of my time or energy
and my response? I always think of my friend Helen who passed away a couple of
months ago. She used to always say to me, Cheryl, she was in her 80s. She was
much older than I was. And she used to always say: Cheryl, I always tell the
people in my life that I need to sleep on any decision I make and that
gives me the time to really think about whether or not I wanted to vote. Whether
I want to give any of my time and energy or any space in my calendar to somebody
else. It’s a wonderful practice to just sleep on it. And so I was thinking,
I need to do more of that as well. But the fox, once again, he has
visited me a few times, but this time just really staying present. It was just an
amazing experience. And of course, I went to some of my, I have these beautiful
animal card decks where I would look up the symbolism of the
fox. And I always look up the symbolism of the animals that come and visit me.
It makes me just feel connected to them in a different way, in a sort of
multi-dimensional way. But anyway, I feel like I’m back. I still have a couple
of busy days to get through. I had a busy day today and I’ve got a busy day
tomorrow. But after that, things kind of calm down a bit and I’m going to
make sure they stay that way for as long as I can. And then I’ll make the mistake
of filling up my calendar again and saying yes too soon like we all do, right? This is life. There’s never, there’s no perfection, there’s no graduation. I think when it comes to self-care there’s just no
graduation where suddenly you’re masterful and practicing extreme
self-care and you never screw up again. That’s just unrealistic, especially given
the craziness of our lives and the commitments that happen and the needs
that people have and all of those sorts of things. So all of that said before I take some of your questions, I invite you to start
putting them in the comment section. Now, all of that said, it’s really important
to take time to be present to your environment, to yourself, to nature.
Regardless of where you live. Whether you’re in the city or not, or if you don’t live in the country, getting yourself
someplace where there are squirrels and birds and dogs and cats and fox and deer.
I’m hoping to see some deer soon. A lot of them give birth around now and every
now and then I get lucky to see a beautiful little baby fawn
showing up in the backyard. If I do I’ll be sure to take pictures for you. But
making a point to just be present to your life. To actually just slow down,
take a deep breath and be where you are. It’s a simple, it’s a really
simple piece of advice, but boy it’s so important. Make sure that if you
feel like you’re missing something in your life, that the something you’re
missing isn’t you. Okay? All right. So let’s see. Yes Sarah, my garden is not
stunningly beautiful right now. The pots on my deck are empty. I do have,
Louise’s tree is just starting to sprout leaves. And I look forward to, I’m going to
take pictures for all of you once the the flowers come out this spring. I
planted it too late for it to flower last year and I’m hoping that it flowers
and does well this year. So things aren’t stunningly beautiful yet, but the
bones are there. And I’ve got seeds happening. Here, let’s see if I can show
you. See my seeds over there? Whoops. I’ve got seeds that I’ve planted. This is
my first year planting seeds. I planted Italian basil. And a recommendation from
a friend: white Russian kale that’s supposed to be sweet and small. So this
is the first year I decided to attempt to grow some things in the garden from
seeds, starting in the house here. So I’ll be very curious to see how it goes. I
come and watch them every day. I look at them to see if they’ve sprouted. And the
the day they sprouted I was like a little kid. Yes! It worked! I’m so excited.
Okay. So anyway, let’s see what do we have here? I’m going to attempt to, so if
you’re asking questions, do me a favor and just make sure you copy your
question. You may need to post it again because I can’t always scroll all the
way back. I’m trying to do that right now and it is not allowing me to do so. So
let’s have you repost any questions that you may have put in to the comment
section. And yes. Hi everybody. Vincent and Jean and Margaux, welcome. I’m glad you’re
here. And Tara and Sarah and Meredith. Yeah, you’re welcome Meredith. Suzette,
yeah. Sleep is great, Suzette. I love sleep. That’s one of my favorite things to
do is sleep. Anyway, thank you Margaux, thank you. Okay, let’s see.
Caroline says you know that was not just a fox. Thank you for the beautiful
message with the energy in the world right now. Yeah, it wasn’t just a fox. I’m
not sure exactly what it was but it was a friend for sure. Hey Donna,
welcome to you, sweetheart. I’m glad you’re here. And Karen, yeah. It certainly
was a gift from nature, Karen. I just love when that happens. So Olivia says: I just
got out of a relationship and I know I need time for myself. But I don’t know
where to start. It’s a good question, Olivia. First of all,
it’s always really challenging, isn’t it, to get out of a relationship. I’m just
writing down your name because Facebook is going to scroll by you. Where do you
start, Olivia? Ending relationships are hard. I think they are some of
the hardest things that we do. We like to be close to people. We like to
be in love. We like to feel that connection. We like our relationships to
work. And they are some of the hardest places that we invest time and energy in.
And I think they provide us with the most opportunity for growth. It’s just
that if both people aren’t committed to growth then it gets pretty
rocky. So where do you start? You know, I’m a journal keeper, Olivia. And the
first thing I would say is start keeping a journal about how you feel. You don’t
have to write multiple pages. Even if you just do a page. Think of it as a way of
connecting with yourself, of having a dialogue with yourself. You could even
write a letter to yourself about how you’re feeling today. How you’re feeling
about the ending of the relationship. I remember one time, Olivia, when I entered
a relationship with someone that I knew the relationship needed to be over. One
of the things I did in my journal is I made a list of 20 reasons why I knew
that relationship needed to end. Now, the reason I did that was because we had
gotten broken up and gotten back together a couple of times. And I knew it
just needed to stop. That dance needed to stop. And I made a list of 20 reasons why
that relationship wasn’t a good relationship for me. And any time I found
myself tempted to even think about, just to think of him period I would
go back and I would read those 20 items. And it really helped. Now, I’m not saying
it’s a bashing list, right. I’m just saying that it’s a really great act of
self-care: To remind yourself why you chose to end that relationship. Now, if
you didn’t choose to end it, if the other person chose to end it you could
consider that a gift as well. Every rejection is God’s protection as they
say. So if you were to be really, really honest about what worked and what didn’t
work in the relationship you could make a list of the things that just weren’t
working for you. So journaling would be one thing.
Arranging to have a couple of friends who could really just listen to you when
you’re feeling sad about the end of the relationship, who could really just
mirror you without giving you advice. Without telling you what you should or
shouldn’t do or without commenting on the relationship itself but just really
being there for you and being willing to just hear you out. I mean, that’s one of the things we need most of all with grief. We need
to be, we need our grief hosted by somebody loving and patient and
present. Able to listen without opening their mouth and going on and on
and on. So lining up a couple of people and saying to them right up front: Listen,
I had a little coaching session and my coach recommended that I line up one or
two people that could really be there for me when I just feel a bit
heartbroken or scared or uncomfortable. And I’m wondering if you might be
willing to be that person. I don’t need you to give me any advice. I don’t need
you to do anything at all except just be a loving mirror for me, for what I
say and how I’m feeling. So that would also be something I would recommend,
Olivia. Certainly sometimes therapy is really a
great thing to do when a relationship has ended. And it can give you an
opportunity to begin to just explore who were you in the relationship. Did you
like who you were? What didn’t you like about yourself in that relationship? What
lessons might there have been offered to you in that relationship that you want
to learn so that you don’t repeat the same issues in the next relationship?
It can also just be a wonderful way to get to know yourself on a deeper
level. And I always say never, this is great advice for everybody: Never
underestimate the power of a daily walk. I think walking out in nature at a park,
I mean, I don’t even care if you’re walking, sometimes I love when I’m in New
York City. I love putting on headphones. I create a playlist of some of my favorite
music, Olivia, and then I walk around the city. I have such great memories
doing that sometimes. I’ve even played the same song over and over and over
again because it just made me feel good or it made me feel kind of connected to
myself in a deeper way. So walking even if it’s a 20-minute walk is going to be
great for your body. It’s going to be great for your adrenal system. And it’s going to
be wonderful to clear your head. And also to just be with yourself. A lot of times
being with yourself, walking without listening to anything can be great.
Sometimes music, and sometimes I listen to inspiring podcasts. Esther Perel
has wonderful podcasts. Her podcast is, I think it’s called Where do
we begin? Or Where do I begin? Nicole, if you could just make a note of
that. Esther Perel, a wonderful relationship podcast where she actually
does therapy with a couple. And that might be something that would be interesting to you and educational as well. So anyway, those are some of my
suggestions, Olivia. I hope that they’re helpful. And I have with me here my
prayer book, my red prayer book. I’m going to put you in there, sweetheart. I’m
going to put you in there and hold the vision that
the ending of this relationship is the beginning of a beautiful new
relationship with yourself. Yeah, we’ve got to be alone for a while, people, to get to
know ourselves, to get to know what’s important to us before we attempt to try
and make it work with someone else. I avoided that for a lot of years, Olivia.
And when I finally did it, it was the best thing I ever did. Anyway,
I hope that’s helpful. Okay, remember to repost your questions. Jen says: I
recently left a job in which I now realize, uh-oh, that I’ve been existing
outside of myself. Jen, can you repost that, honey? You know, Facebook makes
me crazy. It moves along without my doing. Let’s see. So I’m just going to scroll through here.
Yeah, hi Rachel. Glad to see you here, dear. So any advice, so Marilyn says: Any advice
on how to flip the script when it’s so easy to take care of others and forget
to take care of ourselves. Any advice on how to do this in a small
way on a daily basis? So Marilyn, yeah it is. I remember early on, you know I’m a
natural helper on the Enneagram. I’m a Type 2. That’s called the Helper. No
surprise. And I remember years ago being in therapy and my therapist talking
about how important it was for me to start taking good care of myself, making
my needs a priority. And I said to her: You know, it feels like caring for others
is in my DNA. It’s in my bones, it’s something I just automatically do. And so
awareness is always the first step, Marilyn. It’s really about becoming aware.
So before you try to get yourself to change your behavior or try to, God forbid, beat yourself up for not taking care of yourself, putting
the needs of others before you, just start by becoming aware. Literally
imagine yourself as a witness to your life. Become very curious. That’s what
I want to say. Become incredibly curious about how you operate on a daily
basis. So when you get up tomorrow morning or whenever your morning is, when
you wake up you want to say to yourself: Today I’m going to pay attention to how I
operate in the world. I’m just going to become aware of how I act on a regular
basis that gets me into trouble. So for example as I was saying in the beginning
of this broadcast, one of the things I always notice that I do, one of the
things that gets me into trouble is when I don’t take space between a request of
my time and energy and my response. So you might discover that: Oh wow, I tend to be really impulsive when people ask
me to do something. I automatically say yes. Hmm. Isn’t that interesting? Or: Oh, I
notice that anytime there’s a crisis in my family I feel the urge to respond
right away. And I get in the middle of it and I want to try and fix
everything so people get along. Hmm. Isn’t that interesting? Or: Wow, I notice when people
text me I automatically text them back right away because I’m so afraid I’m
going to forget it and I just want to get it off my plate. Isn’t that interesting?
Just become aware, Marilyn. That’s what you want to do at first because that’s
going to give you information about how to make small changes. It might be that the
one small change you make is that from now on anybody who texts you isn’t going to
get a response right away. You’re going to wait an hour, 3 hours, maybe 24 hours.
And you just focus on making that change for the week, just that one change. Or
when you suddenly discover that a family member is in some kind
of a crisis. They call and they leave a message, Oh, you wouldn’t believe
what happened and you need to call me right back.
You decide : You know what? I’m going to just sleep on that before I call back. Because
you know, interestingly enough Marilyn, a lot of times if you give them 24
hours they’ll work out their own drama without you needing to be involved at
all. That can happen. So that’s something to think about. So becoming aware is the
first step. Think of yourself as a science project and you are going to
witness yourself going through your daily life. And notice the habits and
behaviors that keep getting you into trouble. Just become aware of them. Now
taking that witnessing perspective, imagining yourself like I often imagine
my Higher Self is right up here above me. And I say to my Higher Self: Pay
attention to what I’m doing, will you? And I start to just witness myself moving
through life, and I always get really great information about the changes that
I need to make. It’s what happened the other day as I
started this broadcast when I suddenly discovered the fox sitting in the
backyard. And I stood there and I was watching him. When I stepped back, when
the fox left and I came back into the house, I began to witness what just
happened there. Oh, I was present. I stopped. I wasn’t doing anything. I was
one with nature. I was taking in the magic of this moment. Hmm.
Isn’t that interesting? How often do I do that during
the day? Not very often. I’ve been too busy lately. Oh, okay. Maybe that has
something to do with why I feel like I’m missing something in life.
So anyway, I hope that’s helpful. Marilyn. Let’s see. I’m just going to look through
your questions here. Remember to copy your questions. Cindy says: Cheryl, I
turned 65 in March and I’ve been struggling with a sense of purpose.
There’s so many things I’ve yet to experience and accomplish but I find
myself feeling like I’m running out of time and it’s too late. How do I get past
this and still go after my dreams? Well Cindy, we will always feel overwhelmed by
the amount of desire we have that goes unfulfilled when we’re focused on all of
the dreams we have or all of the things we could do or all of the experiences we
want to have. I think we live in a culture where we’re so bombarded
with everybody’s stuff. Social media gives us a window into
everybody fulfilling their dreams all the time or living a great life.
We’ve talked about that before here. What I would say to you, Cindy, is focus on
just one thing you’d like to experience, just one thing. What would you like to do?
Would you like to go away overnight to a little Inn by yourself, maybe by the
ocean or in the desert somewhere? Is there a trip you’ve wanted to plan?
Is there a friend that you really love spending time with and you’d like
to actually spend more time than just dinner together? Maybe you want to do
a girls’ night, a pajama party with a girlfriend? One thing
you’d like to experience and put the emphasis on? That one thing that you’d
like to actually really be present for? And that’s all you have to do for this
week. There’s just one thing you’re going to plan and then trust that that one
thing, here’s the kind of magical, spiritual element to it. When we put
energy behind the things that matter to us, when we pick one thing and we put our
energy behind it, it’s like life starts to lead us in the direction that we’re
supposed to go in. So while you’re picking one experience that you want to
have, and honestly, Cindy, I’ll tell you. I think the older we get, the
older I get the more I value experience over things. I’ve valued experience for a long time. But more and more, I’ll tell you, we spend an
awful lot of time fantasizing about the dreams we want to fulfill and not enough
time planning just one of them. And sometimes the word “dreams” is as loaded
as the word “purpose.” Dreams feels like this big thing. Oh my God, I have to
travel through Europe. Or: Oh, I have to have a baby. Or: Oh, I have to meet the person of my dreams. Dreams feel so big.
When really, if we focus on one simple experience that you’ve wanted to have
for a while. Putting momentum behind that, making a decision to give yourself the
gift of that experience, it kind of opens a door where life then will lead you to
the next experience and the next experience. And you’ll also learn a lot
about yourself and you’ll learn a lot about what kinds of experiences
really fill you. Your purpose here, my darling, the soul is here to
experience life. That’s our purpose. We’re here to grow, evolve, to be present to our
lives, to experience each other, to be present in this moment right now as I
look at you through the computer screen. This is what my life is. The beauty, the
richness of what you’re looking for is right here, right now, in this moment. My
face to yours even though I can’t see you I’m looking at you like I can. So one
experience, CIndy, that’s the goal here. To really just give yourself the gift
of that one commitment to yourself and trust that life is going to show you if you
just take it one experience at a time, one week at a time. Life is going to start
leading you. When we get to the second stage of life, it is less about setting
goals and intentions and dreams and then making them happen. It’s more about being
present. It’s becoming, it’s like I write about in Waking Up in Winter. It’s
about becoming the chalice, becoming so present and available to life that life
then shows you what’s next instead of you having to figure it out all the time.
So I hope that happens for you, Cindy, and I hope you can give yourself the
gift of just one experience. Let me know if that makes sense to you. I hope so.
Okay, let’s see. I am going to scroll through again. Oh Lori, I’m so glad this year is
going to be dedicated to you. That sounds fantastic. Let’s see what we have here. Unfortunately it’s always hard when I do the Facebook Lives. I see that there’s some
people who are struggling with loss but it goes by so I can’t see it. Nicole,
Joyce says please say hello to Nicole from Joyce in New Hampshire. Eight years
ago she was very helpful when I was trying to heal from a traumatic
experience and reached out to your email. Nicole responded to me. I will always
remember her kindness and support. She is, Nicole, I could just cry when I think about my assistant Nicole. She is such a good
human being. And yes, she’s here with all of us. She’s just, she makes me want to be
a better person. I tell her that all the time. She’s terrific, Joyce, and I’m not surprised that she helped you. She’s
just that kind of gal, she really is. She’s really, really special. I’m
blessed with special people in my life. Okay, let’s see. Skyler says: I’m very
soon undergoing the full hysterectomy, ovaries removed. I’m 48. I feel like I’m a
Phoenix about to go to ashes. How can I help myself to transition into this next
stage of womanhood? Skyler, I would strongly recommend
that you get the book, Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster. Nicole, we can put in as one of the resources. I’ll post the resources here after
we’re done. It’ll take me a few minutes, but we’ll post them in. Prepare for
Surgery, Heal Faster is really important, Skyler. In there she talks about using,
possibly creating an audiotape that you can listen to during surgery. I
actually had abdominal surgery on my uterus several years ago back in ’97 and
I used her process. I created, Skyler, I created an audio program. I recorded my
own voice giving me positive affirmations so I could listen to it
during the surgery. And I talked about my creativity and my womanhood
because my uterus was being operated on. And I healed in nearly half the time
that I was supposed to and it ended up being a powerful healing experience for
me. I rose as a Phoenix out of the ashes. I rose. And a lot of that was due to
Peggy Huddleston’s Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster program. So that’s my
recommendation to you. It’s a really, really great, great program.
Hi John and hi David. Let’s see. Okay.
Just scrolling through looking for your questions here. Kimberly, I don’t know. I
see: I missed her dying by five minutes and can’t forgive myself. I’m a nurse. I
don’t know who died and maybe somebody could let me know. That would be great. Kimberly, my experience, when my
Dad died we weren’t there. And I’ve watched my mother suffer about the fact
that she wasn’t there for too long. And I don’t think my Dad could have gone if my
mother were there. I don’t know who you lost. But I do know, I do know from my
experience with death and dying and I’ve had a lot of experience with it.
That a lot of times there are people and animals in our lives that will leave us
when we’re not there. There’s a reason for that. So please, sweetheart, don’t beat
yourself up for that. I promise you, your loved one, whether it was an animal or a
human being, wouldn’t want that. And there’s nothing to be gained by doing
that except maybe a false sense of control over a situation that feels so
desperately uncontrollable. Anyway, I’ll look to see if I get more
information here. Yeah, thanks. Ev is saying the same thing. So
it was your mom. Okay Kimberly, it was your mom. Yeah, I’m so sorry. It’s so hard.
Please reach out for support. And there’s a wonderful, wonderful book called The
Wild Edge of Sorrow that my therapist recommended to me when I lost Poupon. And
I was just, I was really devastated by that loss and he recommended that book.
And it’s just a beautiful, beautiful book. I’m pretty sure, Nicole, you can check it.
The Wild Edge of Sorrow. I don’t have the author’s name, but I’ll post that book as
well. Kimberly, I’d really encourage you to get that book. Lots of good advice
there for anybody who’s grieving. Yeah, Caroline, you, too, as well. Yeah.
I’m so sorry you lost a dear friend. It does leave such a hole in our lives,
doesn’t it? I mean, those we love and lose are worthy of our grief and they leave
holes in our lives and they really invite us to practice self-care in a
huge way. I’m glad you told me, Caroline, that you lost your friend. And I’m so
sorry for your loss, I really am. And I would encourage you to check out that
book as well. The Wild Edge of Sorrow. Let’s see. Hi everybody, I’m so glad to
have you here. All of you. Oh good, Cindy. Thank you. Thanks for letting me know
that that made sense. Okay, so Kathy says: What recommendations do you have for
recovering from not experiencing? Self-help burnout? I’ve been realizing
for the past few months I’ve been working so much on myself that I need a
break but need to get back to the important work that I’m doing and not
stop it completely. Okay Kathy, great question. Self-help
burnout is real, people. Too many books, too many workshops. And now it’s too much
social media, too many graphic quotes, too many online courses, too many Facebook
Lives. Even though I know you’re here. The remedy for that, Kathy, is fun. F-U-N. I
would make a huge sign that says the word “FUN” on it. Don’t worry
about taking a break from self-help. Self awareness is 50 percent of the battle. So just
being aware of yourself as you move through life is great. But one of the
most powerful things we do to take good care of ourselves is have fun, to bring
more pleasure into our lives. I know you have a little girl. Little kids can teach
us a lot about fun and pleasure and joy. I also know you live in a beautiful part
of the world and so I would encourage you, I don’t even care if you stop it
completely. I could say to you, take a three-month sabbatical from anything
self-help related and just enjoy your life. And that would be actually real
important self-help. Okay, let’s see. Yes, thank you Leah. Glad you’re here. Oh, thank you Skyler. Let’s see what else we have here. Vincent says: I’m raising my
vibration and working on connecting to my guides. Any advice as to how to break
through a daily practice? My friend Bob Olsen wrote a wonderful book. He’s got a
great website called and he did a what do you call it? A
vlog on connecting with your guides. Guardian angels, spirit guides, however
we connect with the other realm. I would encourage you to check that out,
Vincent. I think it would be helpful. But one of the things he suggested that
I really liked was every day writing, just writing a little letter to your guide,
your guardian angels or your angels or whomever in a journal. Just a little note
about the things that you’d like to experience in your life and that you’d like their support with. And then make a point to go back to that
journal when something happens. You know, where you feel supported in some way or
something that you wanted to have happen occurs. Go back in and make a note in
that journal as well. Think of it as a way of building a relationship through a
daily practice of connecting with your guides. And doing that in such a way that
has this sort of an ongoing feedback loop: I believe that there
are angels or there are guardians around me or spirit guides around me. I’m going to
just communicate with them and then I’m going to see what happens. And then I’m
going to write about what happens. And you sort of go back and forth with that and
it’s a wonderful way to just build that as a daily practice. Let’s see. Thanks John.
I’m going to buy your book Waking Up in Winter. Thank you for that. I so
appreciate the support when people do that. It’s a different kind of
book and it’s not for everybody for sure. But for people who are at midlife and
are really wanting to slow down and stop and really think about how they’re
living their lives. It’s a good idea and I also appreciate those of you
who put reviews on Amazon because they really matter, too. I appreciate it. All
right. Let’s see. Ann says: I recently watched a video with you and Louise. She
mentioned she had given up a child for adoption. Were you that child? You have so
many similarities, especially your facial appearance. You could choose not to
answer if it’s too private. That’s very sweet, Ann. No, I am not Louise’s adopted
child. But you know it’s very funny because she reminded me, when
Louise and I first started traveling together and writing together there were
ways she reminded me of my mom. And there’s a kind of regalness about her. My
mom’s a very regal woman. And Louise was always very positive, liked to keep
things positive and my mom’s the same way. But no, I’m not. I’m not her adopted child.
But, you know, I think of her as a wonderful mother figure in my life. And
even though she’s not here in physical form. And Kathy, by the way,
Louise would be the first one to say forget the self-help and have some fun.
Louise was a real hoot and she loved, loved, loved having fun. All right. I’m
looking at the time. I see it’s getting sort of late here. Thank you all
so much for your comments and your questions. Well, let’s just, let me just
finish with this because this is important. Jess says: Because of my recent
experiences with death I’m questioning my beliefs in everything and I don’t
know what to think anymore. I’m a little lost. Where do I start to find myself
again? Jess, that’s a really, that’s a really important and powerful question
and you are at an important time in your life. I don’t know how old you are. Loss
makes us question everything and I think it should. When I lost my Dad, suddenly it’s like, Wow, I’m a daughter without a
living father. What does that mean? And even to just see what happened
after my Dad was gone. You know, I think about it when Debbie Ford
died. You know, Debbie Ford died and two weeks later people were going on with
their lives, which is always so bizarre, right? When we lose someone we love, we
think the whole world should stop for a long period of time. I’ve thought that
about my father. I thought that about my cat when Michael and I lost
Poupon. And I can say that in the last three years I’ve lost a lot of people in
my life, a lot of very important people in my
life. And it has me questioning everything still, Jess. And I would say
that the real thing to think about is how do I live with the questions? How do
I allow myself to be with the questioning? Questions like: What really
matters? Why am I here? What’s the point to all of this? Where do we go when we die?
What is consciousness? Does consciousness live beyond the physical body? What do I
believe in? Do I believe in God today the same way I believed in God
20 years ago? 40 years ago? 50 years ago? Who is God to me now? These are all the
kinds of questions, Jess, that come to the surface, the existential questions that
come to the surface when we start experiencing death more frequently in
our lives. These are the questions we’re supposed to be asking. And as we
get older we ask them more, we explore them more. Think of yourself as a
spiritual adventurer and you are going to live with these questions. You’re going to
mull them over. You’re going to read different books. You’re going to gain
different perspectives. You’re going to write about it in your journal.
You’re going to talk about it with other people. You know, so much of the
interactions we have with each other is superficial bullshit and most of us are
longing for deeper conversations about those kinds of questions. And so just who
are the people in your life that you can, who are the people in your life you can bat around those questions with. And if you don’t
have anybody, start to look for people. I bet there are people right here in this
community right now who would love to spend time with you batting around those
questions. And if that’s the case, you know for those of you, Jess Gie, G-i-e, she’s a
top fan. You can all go in and comment on her post here and let her know. Maybe you
all can connect with one another and get on the phone. These are the
questions that we explore at the retreats that I hold twice a year, the Self-Care
by-the-Sea retreats. They really are, I mean, every retreat is different. People
come together and we explore: Where are people stuck in their lives? What are the
bigger questions we should be asking? What’s the deeper meaning we’re looking
for? What do we want out of our lives and how does that change as we age?
How do we make friends with aging? How do we cultivate the wisdom that will carry
us through the losses that we experience? These are all the things that we
actually want to be exploring, these big existential conversations that actually
make life rich and important and meaningful and fulfilling and satisfying.
So it’s okay to be lost, sweetheart. I’m lost right now. I feel lost in my life. I
felt lost for the last several years. And then some days I wake up and I find
myself. Then I feel lost again and I think: Great! I’m on another adventure now.
What don’t I know? Who don’t I know? What haven’t I seen? What haven’t I experienced?
I will be in the middle of the forest of nothingness and trust that if I stay
open and curious and awake and aware and present to my life.
The home, what we’re always looking for most of all, Jess, is
the home that exists within us wherever we go. And if you stay with the questions
and you stay with the wondering and you stay with the experience of not knowing
that’s how you build that deep connection to yourself on the inside.
That’s how you build a deep connection to yourself as a soul. Because that’s what
you are in a physical body, that’s what we all are in a physical body. Anyway,
all right my dears. Thank you so much for being here with me today. It’s good to be
back with all of you. I appreciate you spending your time with me, I really do.
And remember, go back if you all want to have some good conversation
with Jess, go back and find her here. Comment on her post. And I’ll look
forward to being with you all next time, hopefully next week I think it will be.
So in the meantime take really good care of yourselves, okay? Be extra special to
yourselves. Have good experiences and I’ll talk to you soon. Lots of love. Bye.

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