Generosity Is The New Sexy

Generosity Is The New Sexy

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about generosity lately. As I experience over the top amounts of it in my life right now, with friends and family housing me during my “I think I’ll be homeless for 4 months, adventure!”, I’m beyond grateful, to say the least.

It’s also got me thinking about the places where I easily show up in an open hearted, generous way and what causes me to constrict, hold onto things tightly and fall into a sense of “not enoughness” and lack in my life. Quite fascinating.

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Why "I'm Not Perfect" Is the WORST Excuse

I'm Not Perfect

I’m not perfect.” Have you ever heard this from a partner?

Do you have a tendency to say it to others, yourself?

I want to admit right now, I have my own reasons for getting tense around this statement. I’m sure it could even go back as far as a father who used to drill into me and my brothers, every chance he got, “There’s no such word as ‘can’t!

But there’s something that goes deeper for me when I hear that comment from a friend, lover, family member or client. When I received a PM today from a man who’s never met me, beginning with “I’m not perfect, but you make me want to………..”, something clinched inside.

What is someone thinking when they throw that line out? My sense is that many times, there’s a belief that it’s a positive thing. They are affirming that they have “flaws”, are doing the best they know how to do at the time and acknowledging, from a place of honesty, that they will more than likely make mistakes along the road. They are attempting to connect from a place of transparency, possibly even working hard to share their humanness in a way that would have scared them in the past. That can’t be a bad thing, right?

My personal experience with this certainly colors my thinking. I’ve had more than one partner use this line repeatedly, after every hurtful action or broken agreement. “I’m not PERFECT, you know!

Yes, you keep showing me that.

My closest friend has been on the receiving end of that statement with a husband whose intention has been to deflect the specific issue at hand in hopes of discussing instead, how she is expecting too much from him. When it initially doesn’t work, he will include a whiney voice and pouty face, adding, “Maybe you’re perfect, but I’m not!”

I can feel myself getting all wound up inside again, just writing this.

Sitting around with a great group of friends over a glass of wine recently, I threw this out. “Is it me? Is this actually a wonderful admission that I need to change my thinking around? What do all of you hear when someone, especially a lover, says this to you?

Their responses, almost across the board, were like these:

  • When I hear it, I always feel like someone is saying to me, “Don’t count on me.”
  • My sense is that this is a person who likes to always have a “loophole” in their life.
  • I get scared. If I never asked for “perfection”, why are they even going there?
  • I hear, “Don’t ask much of me, and we’ll be Ok.”
  • I get a knot in my stomach because the healthiest partners I’ve had, have never said that line.
  • It feels like a way to try and avoid personal work.

Hmmmm. This is interesting, isn’t it?

I’m not perfect.” I’ve never uttered those words to anyone in my life, and yes, I’m sure some would say it was because I probably thought I was! At one point in my life, I’m sure that was true. Or at least, I was hell bent on trying to be and making sure people saw me that way. Thank God for rock bottoms and healing.

But I think the reason I’ve never had that mindset, is because I do believe in our innate “perfection” along with the amazing ability we all have to grow, change, clear things up and make real, heartfelt amends when necessary. It doesn’t normally cross my mind to consider whether I am doing something “perfectly” and right or wrong, I, for the most part, move through the world thinking I can do almost anything I put my mind to!

If we make a personal commitment to ourselves to be our best selves, to show up “fully”, to live from a place of integrity and hold our own feet to the fire around our behavior and actions in the world, do we really need to throw out a caveat for our intention to rest on?

 

What's your personal experience with and thoughts on this? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

My 8 Month Revolution on the Couch!

Sitting on the Couch

For all of us "go-getters" who are also committed to walking the spiritual path,  I find there is a place we can land too often, somewhere in between "constant action" and "sitting in the silence", listening (begging?!) for some kind of deeper wisdom concerning what direction to head! Whether it's with our businesses that we're trying to grow, our relationships we are regularly assessing for health, or any other area of our lives that we are attempting to navigate more skillfully, we're told that the more we can "get out of the way" and allow guidance to come through, the more in alignment our choices will be with who we truly are and our purposeful work.

If you knew me, you probably would not be too surprised at what I am going to share about my 8 month revolution on the couch:

I have a tendency to "overcorrect," or as my personal Coach, known as "The Wise Woman" used to call it years ago, "swinging the pendulum too far."  When I decide something is not working, my mind goes to what kind of extreme solution could bring about the quickest and most profound change.  I'm sure it wasn't helpful to have Thomas Leonard, the key "mover and shaker" in my coach training and also my friend, teach the same kind of thinking when he would challenge clients to go to "extremes" to immediately stop tolerating things that were draining their energy!

Ten years ago, I was trying to shift the direction of my Coaching practice and at the same time, had my feet firmly planted in spiritual awakening.  My commitment to living the principles of unconditional love, compassion, acceptance of life on life's terms, forgiveness and surrendering to the greater wisdom and intuitive guidance that was always there for me, was at it's height.  And yet, I remained confused, regularly, about what direction to head, even after my daily meditations.  After months had gone by, a spiritual teaching offered one Sunday focused on the many ways that we block what Spirit is trying to tell us by staying stuck in fear, believing that we need to figure everything out ourselves.  We were encouraged to let go, on a deeper level, and trust that the "still small voice" - call it Spirit, God, or intuition - would be there with guidance if we would only STOP trying to "help" it.

Yes.

You know what I did.

My friends who know about this little "experiment" and I refer to it now, as my "Sitting on my ass on the couch period."

For 8 months - YES! 8 months! - I sat.  I made a commitment to myself and my higher power, that I would not take ANY action in my business that was not a direct result of clear communication from the Universe.  I repeated things during my daily spiritual practice, like "Thy will, not my will" and "I am open to receiving all of the wisdom and guidance that is coming to me now, as I move more fully into my purposeful work."  I sat regularly with my pen hovering over the page, closing my eyes and saying "Ok, Spirit - let er rip!"  Then I'd wait in anticipation.

Nothing.

Nada.

Zip.

Well, Ok.  That's not true.  What I received, more directly and with more clarity than I remember ever receiving before, was an inner peace that was almost undescribable.  I shifted from feeling fearful and uncertain about how my life was going to unfold to having an absolute "knowing" that I was helped by Life and Love and Truth. Forgiveness around a past relationship came suddenly and with an ease that astounded me.  So many seradipitous moments came my way that I stopped counting!

Just those little things ♥

For 8 months, I listened deeply and lived the other areas of my life fully.  I sat on that damn couch and listened and opened and asked and affirmed and stated my willingness over and over. And still, I stayed frustrated that I was not getting specific direction about what next steps to take in my business.  One day, the inner longing and intense desire to offer my talents and natural gifts to the world began creating an inner earthquake and I stood up, threw my journal on the ground, scared my Shiba Inu to death and shouted "I'm pissed!  Why am I not getting answers!  I'm not going to sit here anymore and if I have to take this into my own hands, I will!  That's not what we're told!  I want to be of service, I long to work with people to create lives of integrity and relationships that flourish, so damn it, tell me one step to take right now or this is over!"

And I heard, immediately,  "Go drive around the lake."

Seriously? That's the next step in my business?

I knew I'd had it with this "couch sit" and the party was over.  Just so I could feel like I'd played the whole thing out, I threw on my clothes (oh, yeah, much of that revolution was done in pj's) grabbed my purse and muttering under my breath things that you don't normally say to the Universe, I began the loop in my town around the lake there, a drive rarely taken, that ends up at the other side of the village with cute shops, offices and our local Chamber of Commerce.  As I made the last leg through town, I saw a darling brick office building that I'd never noticed before with a For Rent sign out front.  All I can say, is that every cell of my being came alive and my mind was instantly flooded with ideas, thoughts and inspiration for how my ideal Coaching practice could look. They were rushing in so fast I had to drive home to get them all down in my journal.  Now where did I throw that?

The moral to the "Sitting on my ass for 8 months listening for the voice for Spirit" story?  I've thought alot about this over the years and believe it's something like this:

Creating inner quiet and opening to our deepest, inner wisdom and knowing is imperative.  It requires doing it enough that our crazy, monkey minds have a chance to finally calm down. But the Universe is also waiting for our desires - what we truly long to feel, experience, engage in - to be announced!  To be claimed!  To be brought forth with intention and fire!  When I got tired of the stagnant feeling in my home, I stood up and spoke, loudly and with passion, what I wanted.  It may have been all I knew at the time, but it created movement and support.

How can you clarify and offer to Spirit what you do know, right now, about your deep, powerful desires?  And will you then, and only then, take a seat on the couch to listen?

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A Brilliant Fall... A Story of Tumbling!

A Brilliant "Fall"... A Story of Tumbling!

As I sat with my spiritual community this weekend, the speaker said something about what "a brilliant fall we've had" and three words lit up in front of me - A BRILLIANT FALL!   There I sat, arm in a sling with my neck and shoulders aching from last week's collar bone break.  Those three words spun around in my head and I felt everything inside me suddenly soften. ~ A BRILLANT FALL~

Could that be true?  Had my recent "fall" been a "brilliant" one?  Certainly those pointy toed, leopard skin shoes that had caused me to trip, bags in hand, choosing instantly whether to plant my face or shoulder into the street had added to a pretty "brilliant" looking nose-dive!  But as I sat there listening to the rest of the talk, my mind kept wandering to the many miraculous gifts I'd been given since my tumble.

Anyone who's had something scary happen, suddenly - breaking a bone, a startling car accident, a huge mistake that threw you out of the running for something you really wanted - knows how stunned you feel waking up the following morning.  It's easy to lay there thinking "Did this really happen?  Oh my God, what now?"  and to succumb to the sinking feeling that this has screwed up everything and is certainly a huge setback!

Here's what's been fascinating...

My fall has actually landed me in an amazing place:

* I've felt love and experienced support not only in all the small, kind ways you'd expect, but in some over the top, astounding ways that blew my heart open and could never leave me wondering whether I have meaningful connection in my life!

* Having had to put my writing on hold, I found myself staring out my sliding glass door at the most breathtaking fall colored leaves that I remember ever seeing and that gazing kept taking me into some of the deepest meditations I've had in a long time.

* I noticed how even strangers would ask me what I did to myself and then offer some kind words for a speedy recovery.  It felt so tender  - this gift of caring - that I was moved to tears one afternoon as I walked through the park.  Do I do this myself?  How do I show up when given the opportunity to offer caring to someone I don't know?

* I'm stronger and more resilient than I give myself credit for!  I gave an evening talk in a sling, forgoing pain meds, when it hurt to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time and held to my commitment to offer this gift.

* The Universe has been encouraging me to take some time to stop and re-evaluate my next book and the direction I'm taking my business.  I suddenly had a week to sit in deep contemplation, no laptop in front of me and the result was a rush of creativity!

And most important - my "brilliant fall" kicked some kind of huge door open in me, one I'd only recently been peeking through, leaving me to look squarely at a hard, scary and at the same time, exhilarating truth - "If anything can happen that would slow me down physically, then what the hell do I want to get out there and do, NOW!?  

Now that's exciting!

I've watched a friend recently be forced to take some much needed time to soothe and nurture herself, as a result of a car accident.

Another blew an interview so magnificently that she was finally able to look seriously at her burning desire to start an online health coaching biz for kids!

Maybe it's time to lay there..................looking up at the stars......................feeling the support of the earth, the breeze blowing across our faces, the loving hands and hearts that are holding us right where we are.....................and spend a little time contemplating what our BRILLIANT FALL is gifting us with!

Tell me about your own, Brilliant Fall!

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