The fire within you.
Those four little words spark curiosity, wonder and movement in me.
What sparks in you?
Do you ever consider what the fire in you wants to say?
Do you allow for the fire to burn your truth?
I think we are all guilty of holding back our true passion at times. I think the intensity of the world around us often silences our voice. It is not that we want it to or it is one taking the easier path. It is just that sometimes when it comes to our voice it is more complex than others may understand. There are many directions of fallout that we know can occur.
When I find a moment where I am wanting to have my voice shout from all that is within me; I know it could be too much for others. Though, isn't that ok? Isn't that what is true for me? It is what is living within me.
I want to honor my voice.
I want to honor my fire.
I want to be true to the person within.
How are you holding back from your inner fire, your inner voice today?
What spark are you ready to share with the world today?
To all the kids who do not feel seen or heard this time of year and a reminder to all the adults around them…
This time of year, we see endless proud and obligatory posts about the accomplishments of our children. Rightfully so, we want to celebrate their accomplishments for the year past and honor their/our efforts.
One of my children asks me repeatedly to ‘just not be so proud of me this time’ as to say to please not post on social media. I laugh and give a gentle reminder that it is ok to celebrate the hard work that they have achieved. At the same time, I am acutely aware while they walked the journey, it can feel like a parenting win. One can feel like they are doing everything wrong at times: especially as a single mom. The witness can be validating.
I am aware that I am blessed in having two young adults who love school and work very hard for their accomplishments. I am also aware that is not the case for every child or every parent.
I remember being one of those children who fought so hard in a less than easy home life and with my studies but did not always come out on top. I did not discover a learning disability until my twenties at a vastly different time decades ago.
That is to say, we need to remember that for some kids just showing up to school is a win. There are countless children whose home lives are incomparable to others and the fact that they came to school at all should be recognized.
There are the kids who put everything into every project, test, quiz, and problem put in front of them and continually come up short. They win for the effort that they brought to the table and not giving up.
There are kids for reasons no one can explain get bullied, teased, and left to the side throughout the year, but they still show up. They win for being the bigger person and emotionally fighting those kids and walking in their own steps.
There are the kids who come to school hungry and are playing catch up physically. They bring to the table whatever energy they have left in that moment. They win.
There are the kids who work so hard, give it their all and when they do get an acknowledgement do not have a support person to say, ‘good job.’ We see you and are proud of you, even if you are not one of our kids.
And maybe consider the over achiever kids who do get all the awards and participate in every activity…maybe they are trying to tell you something as well. Can you pause and listen to them? Maybe they need permission to not have to do it all, all of the time.
Our kids are speaking to us in so many different ways. We need to pause, listen, and see them. Then we need to see the kids next to them.
When you hear the word 'wholeness' what do you hear?
I know that it is common to consider wholeness as unreachable. It seems to be a state of mind that is for those without wounds, without story. But, wholeness, in reality is something I believe is within.
It is true our story defines a big part of our journey. At times the wounds, the holes, the deep gashes where we fell so hard we never believed we could stand again, sometimes can decide how or where we walk next.
Though that same story is ours to own. It makes each step, each phase and each stage so meaningful that it allows us to go deep into a part of ourselves and our journey that we once feared walking towards...in wholeness. We hold ourselves together and lift ourselves up.
I find it fascinating how we can feel alone. Are we ever really alone? Someone out there in the world is feeling the same emotion as we are and considering a path that we too are trying to walk.
The next time you feel lost, wounded, broken or alone...remember you are as alone as you allow yourself to be.
You are whole within your own story.
"As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same." -Nelson Mandela
Humility: a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness.
There is an irony to me wanting to talk about this subject. In order to get my point across, it almost comes off as the opposite of humility.
How do you meet humility in your life?
At some point along the way I began to realize that humility was something that both captivated me, challenged me and at my core brought me peace.
Early on I was raised with the importance being placed on how well you shined in the world. Appearances were everything and accomplishments defining. It never felt right to me, and essentially guided me down the traumatic path I walked before coming to my own acceptance of self. Later I would see that this false sense of humility ingrained in me was asking others to ‘look at the good I am, or I do’ was intrinsically dangerous pride.
Pride is what kills all.
Pride keeps us from loving ourselves.
I knew from the beginning; my work had a purpose. My work took a different approach than others who did similar work. I started out vulnerable, and I consistently used that as a measure to how I progressed with my overall goal in my work. Bottom line, I wanted to help people.
I knew that the only way I was going to be able to do that was to be vulnerable and in truth tell my story as it is. Not everyone had been doing that when I started out. People wanted to look perfected in order to gain status. I wanted to look real, for I knew I was living it. I knew the help I could offer others was going to come from me meeting them on the same path. Me meeting humility; this brought me peace.
Today, I do the work I love. I create retreats, author books, and speak to women (and men) all over the world knowing I am offering something. I by far do not always make what I need, but that was never the point. I want to share my story in order to help people. I find an incredible passion for leading others on their called path to exploring their journey.
I was offered to take my work to another level. I had publishers who were interested in my work, but I chose to self-publish. I had folks who wanted to represent me with my speaking tours, but I opted to keep it simple. I keep my rates to a bare minimum despite the constant pushback to raise them higher, for I do not believe in turning anyone away.
This is how I meet humility. I am not a saint by far. This is what is comfortable for me along the lines of my work.
How can you speak of your own humility?
There are eight marks of humility that can take focus: authenticity, confidence, gratitude, love, praise, empowerment, mentoring and breaking barriers.
It is not as simple as one would first presume. I heard it said somewhere that humility is the truth about ourselves loved. That statement in itself is rather beautiful and difficult for many. Loving ourselves is one of the hardest things we humans can do. We can be our own worst enemy on most days.
Authentic love dares to see the whole of the person and accept it unconditionally. That is where confidence builds, and gratitude follows. From there our self-empowerment can come naturally, we find ourselves mentoring by simply living well in this truth and essentially we break barriers.
A truly humble person is most often well-grounded in the truth about themselves. While true, isn’t that a work in progress to be grounded and aware in who we are at our core? Do we ever really get there 100%? Embracing this idea is key, but it can be a bumpy road.
Developing humility can come as a journey. When we spend more time actually listening to others, not just humoring them, we understand presence. It is with this mindfulness that humility comes outside of ourselves to be there for another. Finding gratitude for this time and so many pieces of our day is key. I think people often look too hard for gratitude; they assume it needs to be grand, when just the other day I was so grateful for seeing a butterfly on the trail that reminded me of my beloved beagle who passed away recently. So small, but my heart was overflowing.
Humility can put ourselves at the center, but it is how you stand in that center that defines you. Can you ask for help when you really need it? Or does pride get in the way of this basic need? Can you seek sincere feedback from others seeing it as a helpful guide, rather than an attack? What are characteristics of humility for you? Walk through your journey thus far and consider how you have approached humility.
When we are situationally aware of who we are and accept this part of ourselves our intentional life unfolds. We find we can retain relationships that support and lift us up. A once difficult decision-making process now flows with ease.
Our first thought is to put others before ourselves. We want to listen humbly to those in our path and be of support or service to them. When we speak in humility, we speak words that do not wound others, but share the lessons we are grateful to have learned along the way. But, most importantly, those who embrace humility say, ‘thank you,’ often.
Humility is having an honest opinion of oneself that will thus put everything else into perspective. In the twelve steps, step 7 asks us to humbly remove our shortcomings. I remember this so well in my recovery days from anorexia. Every time I heard it aloud, I felt the empowerment within the act. Had I never asked these questions before? It came down to me embracing that the change was in my hands. It is here I return to the phrase I mentioned, humility is the truth about ourselves loved. What was/is my truth? That, maybe, when I accepted this truth, I could finally find a love for myself within
Can you set aside your fears and allow yourself to walk into the presence of your own humility?
In all things I always say, it is a journey not a destination. I humbly ask you to walk the path that is true for you today.
What is the truth about you loved?
How do you want to meet yourself and others in humility?
What a powerful word.
Read it aloud.
What is the first thing you think about when you read this word?
Have you ever wanted to re-write a part of your story?
Many walk paths of trauma and wounds that have defined their paths today. I know I have been asked endless times if I could change my story, would I?
My answer is always a resounding, 'no!' The story I have walked has brought the pieces of my life together. I can't even imagine not having those I have met along the way not a part of that story. I can't even imagine what that story would look like.
Though, I am realizing there are pieces of the puzzle from my journey that I can re-write.
I can re-write how I consume my trauma.
I can re-write how I allow my trauma to consume me.
I can re-write my body story.
I can re-write the steps I want to take.
I can re-write an aspect of my story that I wish.
Re-write what you need to today.
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.