All posts in Conversation with Self

  • Acknowledging What Is

    A few months back, I published this post about Validation and how much our children need to be validated by us. As I wrote in that post, Validation means: Finding the truth of something; authenticating something or someone; acknowledgment, recognition and acceptance of a person’s internal experience.

    Just as our children desperately need our validation, so do WE desperately need our own validation. I need to know that I, De, see ME and that I notice what’s going on for me. I need to know that I see and acknowledge what is true for me in any given moment. All of it, the good, bad and the ugly!

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  • And so it is.

    I recently wrote about the incredible little shift from future tense to present tense, and the power of positive self-affirmation. You can read that post here.

    Positive self-talk and daily affirmations phrased in the present tense are action-oriented and empowering. For example, “I fear nothing” rather than “I will not be afraid.” Or “I am powerful” rather than “I will stand in my power.”  This is a form of “acting-as-if.” Acting-as-if or speaking-as-if tells my brain that ‘this is the way it is’.  When I do that repeatedly, my brain responds accordingly by creating the neural circuity to support that statement. And so it is.

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  • Yes I Am.

    Making empowering shifts in the words we choose to speak – especially to ourselves –  is a central theme in my coaching circles and retreats.

    As a coachee becomes aware of a dis-empowering word or negative message she tells herself, we talk about ways to change or rewrite the message so it is supportive and affirmative. For example, a client became aware of her self-defeating “You can’t,” which was her automatic thought reaction in stressful situations. In her words, “I realized that whenever I am stressed, I tell myself “You can’t” “You shouldn’t” or some other self-sabotaging variation. Which only increases my stress! Just when I need my own support the most!” Read more

  • Note to Self

    My Mirror and Self-Affirmation

    Author’s note: I wrote this post two weeks ago when I was in the midst of a very long, drawn-out sinus infection. You’ll be happy to know that I am well again, finally!

    I’m sitting at my kitchen table. Everything outside is soaked with rain (for the 4th day in a row). Everything inside is a mess, including me. I’m on day 11 of a sinus cold / infection. I wonder if I’ll ever breathe freely, if my voice will ever sound normal, and if I’ll ever see the sunshine again. Yes, it’s rare, but even I have thoughts like these!

    I am tired. I am behind on every one of my lists. I don’t feel like being self-affirming, self-accepting, or self-compassionate.

    And here we are approaching, “Compliment Your Mirror Day” (on July 3rd). I never heard of it before. When my assistant, Katie, brought it to my attention, I felt a little convicted. Hmmm, where to find a compliment for this woman looking back at me in my mirror. Read more

  • Courage Intention Card

    Courageous Intention

    A few days ago, I wrote “This week’s word is Courage“. I described these four qualities of courage:

    Courage is not about BIG, BOLD action.
    Courage means following your heart.
    To be courageous is to be vulnerable.
    Courage is unnecessary unless we are afraid.

    You can read the whole post here.

    Today, I made a little “Courage Intention Card” for my mirror (pictured above) and wanted to share it with you. Download the card by clicking here.


    Biblical Reminders

    Here are a few truths to hang onto, in order that you may bring even greater courage to all your relationships; especially to your relationship with YOU!

    • God is with you every single second – ALWAYS. (Matthew 28:20)
    • You are designed for greatness, made in the image and likeness of God himself. (Gen 1:27)
    • God has a mighty plan for you. You were not born to play small. (Jeremiah 29:11)
    • You can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:12)

    This is one of my favorite scripture verses and always gives me courage: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

    Share your Courageous Intentions with our community here via the Comments. Or jump on over to our Facebook page and share there.

    God bless you,
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  • Writing, Blog

    My Life Story

    Everyone loves a good story. My favorites are ones that have adventure, romance, and humor. Most stories follow predictable patterns or themes, such as:

    • Conflict between good and evil
    • A problem or challenge, followed by various activities to solve that problem
    • Individual growth (i.e.: from selfish, uncaring and critical through an awakening moment or incident into a “good” person)
    • Relationship triumph: boy meets girl, boy & girl fall in love, boy & girl live happily ever after

    And then, sometimes, a story surprises us by purposefully NOT fitting into a pattern. Robert Munsch’s “Paper Bag Princess” comes to mind. The princess was aggrieved by a fire breathing dragon who burned down her castle and all her belongings, and took her Prince hostage. Rather than playing the victim, the princess dons a brown paper bag (because all her clothing was burned), hikes across the countryside to the dragon’s lair, outsmarts the dragon, and frees her Prince. Upon realizing how conceited and wimpy the Prince is, she ultimately decides not to marry him. That’s one empowered and intentional princess!

    How about me? Am I living my life according to some default storyline? Or am I living into a story that magnifies my inner gifts and empowers me to access the highest, truest, and best version of myself?

    Several years ago, I became aware that I was living in a story that I hadn’t intentionally or consciously written for myself. It was a default story. I was living out the storyline of “abandoned girl” who believed she could not count on others and that she must do it all herself. She must be self-sufficient, strong, and prove herself capable in all matters. The main character in my story was controlling, driven, unintentionally selfish and dis-empowering of others. And boy, was this story laden with victim-mindset beliefs and self-limitation.

    This was not the story I had imagined for my life! And it was certainly not the story God had pre-destined for my life. I wanted to be graceful and compassionate. I wanted to do work that I loved and that makes a difference in the world. I wanted to be a loving, calm parent and spouse.

    Well, the tension mounted in my story long enough… Through repeated God-nudges (and sometimes downright shoves), I was finally awakened to the reality of my default-story-life. So, I picked up my pencil, and the next chapter began to unfold, consciously and by design. The main character in my story today lives by faith; lives to be a channel for the Lord to do His work through her hands, feet, and mouth. Not that she always gets this right. But continual learning and growth and expanded awareness make for a great adventure of a life story.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

    Writing your life’s story, chapter by chapter, with intention, is a continual process. What’s the story that is creating your current reality? Perhaps it’s a story entrenched in an old pattern, such as mine was. The exercise below will help you reflect on your story to date and decide how you’d like it to unfold from here. Grab your journal and a pencil!

    1. What default messages do you no longer want to be in your story? (for example, I knew I had to let go of my default message, “You cannot count on other people. You have to do it all yourself.”)
    2. What are the best qualities, values, or behaviors of the main character (that’s you!)? Which of these qualities, values, or behaviors will you embody more, express more fully in your next chapter?
    3. What will your relationships be like in your next chapter? Remember, you get to make up the story! Envision what you wish for in your relationships: your marriage, your parenting, your friendships. Write down the qualities that are most important to you in your relationships. This post might help too: This Week’s Word is…Intention.
    4. What surprises will this chapter hold? Any exciting twists or turns? We might as well have some fun with this 🙂

    Download my free Life-by-Design e-book. This is a great resource with some practical HOW-TO steps.

    Sending love and light,

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