Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who Wants to Get Naked?

I thought that might get your attention.

I’m sitting at my desk listening to the soulful ballads of the incomparable Amy Winehouse while thinking about the long way that I’ve come in my life and how much further I want to go.  Some of my greatest lessons to date have been uncomfortable, liberating, empowering and rewarding - I wouldn’t change a thing. 

My pursuit to take life to the next level has been a slow and steady progression which has required me to peel back layers that have covered me up for years. When you live in a shell of yourself it's only a matter of time before cracks start to show in the veneer and when that happens, it's time to get naked.

Naked:
 ·  Being without addition, concealment, disguise, or embellishment


My desire to reveal more of myself was born from an inherent need to better understand the mechanics of who I am (I’m a bit of a late-bloomer but better now than never…).  There’s nothing more embarrassing than when someone asks you simple questions about yourself and you stammer for an answer.  Here are a few of my faves:

What are three things that no one knows about you?
What are your biggest quirks?
Who has made the biggest impact on your life and why?
What do you consider to be your sexiest trait?

For the sake of personal sanity and development I made a choice to enrol in Me University.  In an effort to fully appreciate, accept and celebrate the woman that I’ve had the good fortune of becoming, I’ve embarked on the path to master the Art of Getting Naked.  Here's a bit of what I've learned:

Getting naked (in the context of this post) isn’t all sunshine and roses – Having all of your “not-so-great” qualities glaring and in your face can cause a different kind of pain. It requires you to call yourself out on some B.S.  about yourself that you neatly tucked away somewhere in the recesses of your mind.  While becoming up-close and personal with myself I’ve discovered that I’m a control freak, an all or nothing kind of a girl, a tad impulsive and often sensitive to a fault (just to name a few).  Instead of picking myself apart about what could be perceived as shortcomings, I’m choosing to love the fact that I’m imperfect.  Taking things a bit less seriously has dialled down a lot of the self-imposed stress in my life.

Getting naked is liberating – Imagine wearing a fur coat outside during a heat wave (ughh… I know!).  Now imagine taking it off and letting your skin finally breathe.  Feels good, right?  You probably wouldn’t even care who was looking at you because carrying around that massive bulk was making you miserable. I couldn’t agree more. Shrouding myself in the expectations of others and under my own confining ideals of who I thought I should be was bringing me down.  Showing more of who I am at heart has started to attract people and circumstances into my life that align with where I’m going.  It feels pretty damn good…

Getting naked is empowering – Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she said, “No one can make you feel bad about yourself without your consent.”  Vulnerability kicks into high gear when you care too much about what people think and say or whethe they'll accept you once they know who you really are.  Strength is derived from knowing who you are and embracing it.  The people worth knowing will find you, I promise.

Getting naked is rewarding – When you work at it consistently enough, peeling back layers has a multitude of benefits - for yourself and others!  You may choose to start living your life a bit differently based on the things that you learn or you just might inspire someone to look within themselves simply based on the positive changes that they’ve seen from all your work.  The greatest gift for me has been the increase in my confidence.  I’m working hard and learning what I’m capable of in so many different ways.  You can’t buy that kind of self-assurance. 

I’ll wrap this up by saying that the heart and soul of me has always been around.  Those who have known and loved me for the better part of my life have seen it glimmer under the surface of self-doubt from time to time.

I can’t wait to show them what I’ve learned….


Until next time, friends.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

L.E.T. G.O.

The topic of letting go can be a sensitive one that has popped up in my posts from time to time.  It's like my Achilles Heel.  Everyone has a story about why it’s beneficial to hang on to something (or someone) from the past.  Do you see yourself in any of the following scenarios?

 
Signs that you may need to “Let Go”
1.       You’re getting dressed to go work at Company ABC and you’re silently praying that today (Day Number 1483) is the one that will have you finally coming home smiling…..
2.       For over a year your closet has held articles of clothes that are two sizes too small because you’re adamant that one day they’ll fit like they used to….
3.       You occasionally (hmmm… regularly?) creep the Facebook page of the “one that got away” while playing the mental game called, “If Things Were Different”…

 
Listen to me.

 
I think that I speak for the majority when I confess that I’ve held on to things that no longer serve the person that I am becoming.  Why let them go?  These “things” represent a big part of who you are and what/ who you love, right?
Wrong.

 
These “things” represent a big part of who you were and what/ who you loved…. once upon a time.
Your soul may feel as parched as the Sahara Desert.  It’s crying for nourishment and, sadly, you are withholding the water that it desperately needs. 

 
It’s time to let go.

 
Letting go requires investing time in yourself that you may not be quick to offer up in this day and age of instant gratification. It’s probably feels easier (and seemingly safer) to stick with the feelings, people and situations that you’ve known forever because they’ve always been within arm’s reach.  Adversely, when we are bold enough to try and step out of our comfort zone, familiarity pulls us back in.  You can almost hear it saying, “Hey, where do you think you’re going….?”

 
I made a resolution list back on December 31, 2011.  One of my items on that list was to “Let Go” and it seems like now is as good a time as any to make a move on this.  I decided to tackle this challenge by breaking everything down into actionable steps.
Learn to love yourself:  There maybe someone in your life that “did you wrong” and broke your heart in the process.  They didn’t love you the way that you needed to be loved and you’re still pissed about it.  Let me ask you this, “Did you love yourself the way that you needed to be loved?”  I’m still grappling with this one myself.  When is the last time that you:

 
Bought yourself flowers "just because"  or,
Looked at yourself naked in the mirror with a smirk of appreciation or,
Danced a sexy number by yourself… does if really take two to tango??
 
How can we criticize others for withholding what we withhold from ourselves?  (Trust me, this is a big pill to swallow and I think it’s still stuck in my throat!)  I’m learning that asking someone for unconditional love before you’ve given some to yourself is unfair, imbalanced and it will only ensure a glass half empty kind of love. 
Embrace the madness brought about by change:  If you’re tired of repeating the same unhealthy patterns (whatever they may be) then get prepared for epic changes.  Sure, they may have to start off small but in the end you’ll have to make significant revisions to arrive at your new destination.  Be warned, though… things are about to get messy!  Your decision to get healthier will require new foods and new habits; your desire to meet your ideal match will require putting yourself out there and meeting new people; your hopes of becoming your own boss will require some late hours and skills development.  Are you feeling a bit of resistance?  Let me ask you this…

 
“Doing things the old way got you here.  Are you fulfilled?”

 
If you’re not, then what do you have to lose?

 
Take a moment to look at a situation through new lenses:  A fresh perspective can often help you to identify things you may have taken way too personally and in turn, you may be able to let go with much more ease.  Someone that speaks their own mind, makes unconventional choices or takes a different path in life isn’t necessarily trying to hurt you (and if they are, you need to cut that cat loose!).  Here’s the bottom line:

 
·         Business is business and there of often casualties in the pursuit of overall company success. 
·         Freedom of expression is just that.  How we respond to said freedom is up to us.
·         You have to respect someone else’s decision to “zig” instead of “zag” on their path in life.  It’s not your journey.

 
Give in:  Please note the fact that I wrote give in not give up.  Surrender doesn’t mean that you have to become submissive in order to move forward.  Just try not to fight the process.  There may be a few tears, some feelings of irritation, moments of confusion and periodic disillusionment.  On the flip side, you may just decide to free fall into the future’s unknown abyss with complete abandon.  Just take your hands off of the wheel every now and then in an effort to let things flow as they should.  All things that should be, will be. There’s some truth to giving a little in order get a little.

 
Observe:  Check out how you feel and how things evolve once you start to let go.  I still have my days, but throughout this process I’ve been feeling a bit lighter and my level of personal understanding has increased steadily.  Letting go has helped me become more accountable and it has served to open my heart because of (not in lieu of) every experience I’ve had.

 
It’ll take some work but I’m looking forward to checking this goal off of my list.

 
Until next time, friends…..

Friday, July 20, 2012

An Important Message for the Ladies Out There!

Dear Reader,

I wasn't inspired to write on my blog this week.
It's not because I don't love to write anymore and it certainly isn't because I lacked the time. No, instead I just didn't feel that spark. I wrote copious drafts that never made it to print because I didn't hear myself in the words that I wrote. I felt inundated with distractions that we (as busy people) open ourselves up to everyday such as:

An alarmingly loud wakeup call from the clock radio
Email checking and web surfing via laptop and/ or mobile phone.
Random mp3 playlists during an AM run.

And the list goes on....

I felt like I lost my voice and it freaked me out a bit. I woke up today feeling a bit resigned to the mundane day that I predicted having but one thing quickly changed it all. While checking my aforementioned email, I received and opened my weekly email newsletter from Kris Carr. This Crazy, Sexy Goddess always has something insightful and honest to say but (unbeknownst to her) today she gave me a gift. She recommended a video of a speech given by Sera Beak about the feminine soul.

I'll be honest and say that until to now I had never heard of Sera Beak but because of this video, I promise that I'll never forget her. With that being said, I implore all of my readers to check out this clip. It only takes 18 minutes of your time but it can change a lot if you're open to it.

(Picture me on my knees pitifully begging and grovelling for you to appease me for less than 20 minutes. Sad isn't it?? That's how badly I want you to watch this!)

So press play.
Sit back.
Open you ears.
Open your heart.
You can thank me later ;)

Eternally yours from the blog-o-sphere,
Rosie
(P.S.  Please leave your comments below.  I would love to hear what you think!)


Thursday, July 12, 2012

You're Worth It

It’s time to get excited about life. This has been my mantra over the last few challenging weeks.  Life dealt me a hand and wanted to see how I’d play it.  So I did.

I feel like the Universe is nodding with approval and saying, “Well played, Rosie, well played… now what else can you do?”
That question has left me a little bit stumped.  For a long time I've felt like I have an opportunity to do something, to build something, to rise to a call that I hear from time to time.  All that I need to do is show up and everything will fall into place.  Synchronicity at its finest.  And yet here I sit, questioning myself.  Thankfully, I have enough insight to know that I am my own worst critic (as many of us are).  People like me can come up with a thousand reasons why something won’t work for us and we sometimes fall short on exploring all the reasons why we could be ridiculously successful.  Why is that?

Fear – It’s the thing that generates an accelerated heartbeat, sweaty palms and sometimes irrational thinking.  Fear is a self-preserving mindset which presents the choices of fight or flight.  Since we’re usually too afraid to step into the ring, the instinct is to take off and never fully realize what we were capable of doing in the first place.  What a shame.
Social Conditioning – Once upon a time, someone told us a story.  The story was filled with advice intended to guide us starting with “You should”, “You shouldn’t”, “You can’t” or “You will”.  As we got older, we heard the same story told time and time again.  The storytellers may have varied but the sermon was still the same.  We heard the story so often that we started to believe them.  People who thought they knew what was best for you were imposing their views on you time and time again.  While their motives may have been sincere, they don't know you as well as you know you.  Change your story!  Own it, edit it and make it one that you’d like to be a part of. 

Lack of Confidence – Sometimes we lack a bit of perspective.  It’s easier to celebrate the successes of others than it is to realize the infinite possibilities of what we can accomplish for ourselves.  Why bother, right?  We seem to think that if we have a good idea, someone "out there" can do it better.  This is a detrimental way of thinking because it overlooks a huge point.  No one can do things the way that you would.  You’re as unique as your fingerprint and there are people that want to hear from or about you.  You just don’t know it yet.
It’s time to get excited about life. 

You're worth it. 
You have a good hand. 
Each card represents something great that only you can bring to the table.  
How are you going to play them?

Until next time, friends….

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Because...

This Cocoa Goddess is on hiatus and will be returning on Thursday July 12th, 2012.

Stay tuned for bigger thoughts, brighter outlooks, new experiences and some good ol' healthy soulful ideas. Inspired by Ms. Oprah Winfrey, consider this to be Rosie's Next Chapter.

I wanted to share some words (courtesy of the talented Ali Edwards) which resonated with me in light of this occasion.



BECAUSE….
Because sometimes you get behind.
Because sometimes life throws you for a loop one way and then another way and all you can do is hold on for the ride.
Because sometimes you just need a break.
Because sometimes you just feel lost.
Because sometimes you are found and you need to forget everything else for a while.
Because sometimes the way to feel most alive is to disappear for a bit.

I'll see you soon... until next time, friends!