Sadness and fear

When I encounter sadness or fear, I’m usually very mean to them. I see them as the enemy and try to squash them.

Today, I’m trying something different. I’m having coffee with them, telling them how much I appreciate their roles in my life, and discussing with them how we can work together.

*Did Deneen fall and bump her head? Is she under the NFL’s concussion protocol?*

Hear me out before you call 9-1-1.

Fear’s role is to protect us. It protects us from harm…both perceived and real. It is only harmful when you allow it to keep you from doing the work you were placed on earth to do.

If you can change your paradigm from “fear is bad” to “fear is a barometer showing you something you SHOULD be doing”…then it becomes powerful for good.

I’m petrified to sit down and start writing the course, the coaching program and the book that’s on my heart. If I choose to succumb to fear, there are lives that will not be changed. If I use the fear I feel to propel me forward, lives will be changed and there will be an exponential blessing on a multitude of people as a result.

I’ve always tended toward somber and intense. It takes effort for me to be light and airy.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my Oma’s passing. I had commitments yesterday, so I couldn’t be sad. I told sadness to sit down and shut up. Sadness listened until my eyes started leaking walking down the street on my way home.

This morning when I awoke, sadness was sitting on my chest, swatting my face, requiring my attention. I tried to ignore her…but she needed some time.

So, I whipped up my Bulletproof coffee, and sadness, fear and I spent some time together. I cried for my Oma. I told sadness how much I love her and thanked her for being my companion all of these years. I told her that I needed her to take a backseat, but that I need her to come on the ride with me.

Instead of loathing that part of me, I realize that the darkness, sadness, helps to highlight the brightness. Any beautiful painting has a juxtaposition of dark colors and bright colors, and the same is true of the tapestry that is my life.

I also addressed fear. I thanked fear for trying to keep me safe, but I let fear know he wouldn’t lead me anymore. I explained that I need him to push me forward instead of making me hide in the shadows.

For so long, I’ve seen sadness and fear as weaknesses. They’re not. They are part of what makes me Deneen. Today, I befriended my adversaries and made them partners in this journey I’m taking. I’m the captain of this vessel…and it’s in my power to use the emotions that once crippled me as tools.

How can you change your “weaknesses” into tools to help propel you forward? Let’s take this journey together.

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Posted in adventure, book, camden, challenge, change, commitment, dreams, emotions, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, Fear, goals/vision/plans, God moment, grace, heart work, iwasmade4this, life, mindfulness, mindset, passion, raw, sadness | 2 Comments

Valley of the Bones

sunrise

Today is the last day of January 2018. I can’t believe we’re a month into the year already.

The phrase that I am hearing today is “new beginnings.”

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

This is a season of healing and restoration. This is a season wherein dreams we thought were dead are brought back to life. This is a season wherein broken relationships are restored. This is a season wherein we do the hard work, look deep within, and allow light to shine on the dark areas of our lives.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:4-6

This week, something is stirring in me. I am really excited to see what is coming…it’s almost like there is a huge gift sitting in front of me, waiting for the time that I am allowed to open it. The gift is dusty, because I’ve been avoiding it for a long time…much longer than I would like to admit…but the dust is being blown off, and the shiny gold wrapping paper with the bright red bow shine brightly.

For so long, I’ve been cloaked in shame…about so many areas of my life. The things that I have allowed to hold me back from ripping that gift open are being transformed into the story that will be told that will help others shed their shame and walk forward into the life that God has designed for them.

If you can relate to any of this, take heart. 2018 is a year of restoration. If you are willing to do some hard work and focus your efforts, this will be the best year of your life.

tony robbins

Posted in calling, challenge, change, dreams, empathy, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, goals/vision/plans, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, life, love, mindset, mission, purpose, the call, Transition | 2 Comments

Walking through it

img_1376

Let me set the scene for you. This weekend I headed to NYC on the Megabus for an unscripted weekend. I didn’t know how long I was staying, or what I was doing, so I packed for two nights.

I get a text message from the fella telling me where to meet him. I googled the address and discovered that it was a walkable distance from where I was sitting, so I set forth on my journey.

As I’m walking, I am heading in a familiar direction. I’m feeling really good. Then I walk over 5th Avenue. Cool. I’ve read about 5th Avenue, and I’ve been in a Uber on that street.

Then I walk over Madison Avenue. I’m starting to get butterflies in my stomach, feeling slightly uncomfortable.

Then I walk over Park Avenue, and part of me is grinning like a crazy woman while another part of me is starting to feel out of place, like I don’t belong here, that I’m not enough.

 

buddha healing

Coincidentally, I’ve been participating in a workshop that has to do with intimacy, success and abundance. I was challenged to dig deep within, to determine my needs when it comes to different areas of intimacy in my life; to look at the masks that I wear, and what benefits I am receiving from NOT having the intimacy, success and abundance I desire.

I have a lot of wounds in my past that I have allowed to keep me from the things that I need in my life. Sticking my hands in those wounds is the scariest, the most painful and most freeing thing that I am doing right now. It is amazing how many masks one wears…and how exhausting it is to maintain them.

My walk to the hotel is much like the journey to healing deep wounds.

At first, you are on a familiar path…either you’ve experienced it or read about others who have taken the journey, and their results were magical.

The deeper you go, you start to feel a bit uncomfortable, question whether this is something you actually need to do.

Then, when you cross the last road to your destination, you get frightened. You don’t think that you deserve this freedom, this healing. Your shitty, festering wounds are comforting. Yeah, they smell and are painful…but they’re familiar…they’ve convinced you that they are your friends and that they are helping you.

Ultimately, you must choose. You can cross Park Avenue, enter the hotel and live the life that you were meant to live, or you can head back to the Megabus stop and head home, missing out on the blessed healing, the beautiful room and the sweet view.

This weekend changed a lot of things for me. Between the workshop and the conversations that I had, I came home a different person. I was reminding, on a epic level, that God has better and bigger plans for me than I can even conceive of right now.

The same is true for you. What would your life look like if you took the time to examine your wounds, work through them and walk out on the other side, clean, fresh and renewed? Would you be interested in learning how to do these things?

 

Posted in acceptance, adventure, call to action, calling, dreams, emotions, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, heart work, hope, mindset, real life | Leave a comment

Adventure

At heart, buried beneath my love of routine, is an adventurer.

When I think about the times that I have felt most alive, I was heading into the unknown.

Life has gotten in the way of exploration. Work. Stress. Money worries.

Thus I’ve found myself wanting.

The times that I’ve been the most creative have been the overflow of the above mentioned adventure.

My heart and soul long for adventure. I want to do something wholly irrational and out of my nature. Hop a plane to a far off land solo. Move to a city I don’t know and become a local.

Right now, those things are in the cards…just not at this moment. So, I’ll take mini-adventures here on earth and grandiose adventures in my mind…on paper.

I’m heading off to find my creativity ✌️✍️

Posted in adventure, balance, challenge, creativity, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, God moment, inspiration, iwasmade4this, mindfulness, mindset, passion, the call, writing | 2 Comments

Creativity

I’m listening to the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. If you haven’t read/listened to it, and you are a creative person, stop what you’re doing and seek this book out.

I’ve always seen myself as creative. I am a writer. I love putting words to paper, even in the form of a letter to a friend or family member.

I have a dream of writing a novel.

What stops me? So many things…mostly self doubt.

Do you ever wonder why so many people wrote one great novel…but nothing else? Elizabeth Gilbert said that she wished that someone had pushed F Scott Fitzgerald or Harper Lee to keep writing after they wrote their flagship novels.

Today, if you are a creative, as I am, I challenge us: put pen to paper, fingers to the keyboard, and get working.

Posted in creativity, raw, real life | 2 Comments

Joy comes in the morning

Yesterday was a rough day. I felt off kilter from the moment I woke up. I had everything planned in my head, but everything was off by half a step…from my commute, to my working interview, to the rest of my day.

I’m not gonna lie…I was so disheartened, disappointed, disillusioned. I mean, I had a plan.

I gave into despair yesterday…I sulked like a kid denied a lollipop.

In the meantime, I set up a meeting for this morning. I went in cautiously optimistic.

The meeting went well…so much better than I could have ever anticipated. It went so well that tomorrow I have another meeting set up.

Today, I want to encourage you. If you are feeling hopeless, disillusioned, disappointed…hold on. Do not lose hope. God is working in the background. Just trust.

Posted in acceptance, closure, faith, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, Introspection, iwasmade4this, mindset, mission, raw, real life, work | 2 Comments

Love conquers all

sunflower heart

When you love someone, love them where they are, at this very moment in time.

Love should be unconditional, affection with no limits or conditions.

Loving people teaches a lot about oneself. The people who are attracted to us in different stages of our lives are mirrors of where we are/were at that point in time. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in divine appointment.

 

fingerprint

Every single person on earth…from the most pious to the most heinous…is imprinted with the fingerprint of God, imago dei. We all literally have God’s UPC symbol printed on our spirit.

Some of us really show it, while others of us need it dusted off. And, if we’re honest, the dust can settle pretty quickly so don’t get to comfortable being shiny 😉

How do we love people unconditionally?

I’ve gone through a lot. My mom had two forms of cancer at the same time. My grandmother got diagnosed with terminal lung cancer shortly thereafter. I’ve lost family members over the stupidest crap. I lost my last grandmother nearly a year ago. Walking through all of that shit has taught me the most valuable lesson a person can learn: empathy.

When my mom was sick, people fed me the lines required. She’ll be ok. God’s got her. Not one person asked me how I was. Not one person held my hand while I was falling apart, while the woman I loved most in the world turned yellow and lost all of her hair, and at times, her will to live. And you know what? I’m grateful no one asked about me. Huh?

darkness

You see, that taught me how to love people during the darkest hours of their lives…as their loved ones are dying, as their marriages are falling apart, as their kids are completely off the rails.

You see, I learned what people need during the darkest hours of their lives. They need a life preserver. They need a genuine, kind word. They need a hug. They need someone to sit with them, let them cry, and just say, “Wow, that sucks.”

jesus wept

Do you want to know the most powerful verse in the Bible to someone who is going through hell? John 11:35. “Jesus wept.”

All of the yuck that I’ve gone through has taught me how to love in a different way than I’ve ever known. The more deeply I love and accept myself, the more deeply I can love and accept others.

We are all works in progress until the day that we die. You may have successfully conquered one area of your life, but there are thorns in your side. Don’t judge other people by the progress you’ve made. Help them through it…just as there are people helping you through your struggles.

Love conquers all. I really believe that.

love conquers all

 

 

 

Posted in empathy, faith, friends, Friends and Family, love, mindset, raw, real life | 2 Comments

Self love and acceptance

You’re so fat. You’re ugly. Oh my goodness–look at you hair! You’re too stupid to learn that.  You can never achieve that goal. You are a failure. You shouldn’t even try.

angry

Would you say those things to your best friend? To your child? To your lover?

No?

Then why do you do that to yourself? Why are we so cruel to ourselves, while we are supportive of others?

dont look at mirror

In the past, whenever I walked past a mirror, I would avert my eyes. Literally. I hated having photos taken with friends. I can give you references. I didn’t want to document fun times with those I love because I hated the way I looked. How selfish is that?

But I digress.

One of the rules of the universe is that it is a mirror. What you have in your life is actually what you want, what you desire, what you request.

Before you roll your eyes and do the sign of the cross toward this message, let’s take it to the Bible.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.: Matthew 7:7

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Logic dictates that if these things are true for good things, then they must also be good for bad things, right? So, if you ask God for protection, for provision, for anything, He will give it to you in due time.

On the contrary, if you focus on being fat, being ugly, not being able, doesn’t it stand to reason that you will also be given that?

The tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

We have to train ourselves to speak better about ourselves. I used to think that people who actually believed all of this were living in some dream world that I would never understand. At the time, I was right. I wasn’t ready to understand.

The last few months have afforded me a LOT of time with myself. It’s been a roller coaster, to say the least. I’ve loved myself. I’ve hated myself. I’ve tried to hide from myself.

You know what? My self isn’t going anyway. I’ve decided to love her, and speak good things into the universe for her, and pray in a different way.

When I pray, I ask God for specific things. When I look at myself in the mirror, I compliment my self. When I work out, I tell my self I’m doing this because I love Deneen.

Don’t worry…I am not turning into a narcissist. What I am doing is learning to love my self as God loves me, as Jesus commands me. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus tells his followers the greatest commandments:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 

be kind

Today, I encourage you. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Accept yourself. Are you perfect? Nah. But for me, that’s cool. I think you’re perfectly imperfect.

 

Posted in acceptance, challenge, emotions, empathy, faith, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, life, love, mindfulness, mindset, purpose, real life | 2 Comments

Slavery exists in the US

There is so much outrage because of open slave markets in Libya…and I join that outrage.

What makes me so angry is that there are slaves here, today, in 2018, in the United States of America, and it seems like no one is saying a word. I guess it’s okay if a woman is a slave as long as your nails look pretty? Or you “massage” ends “happy.” Or as long as the price point on your food remains low. Or as long as you tell yourself that the woman you paid for sex “made a choice to do that for a living.”

Don’t believe me? Check out these 11 slavery FACTS.

Women and CHILDREN are being brought into the country, in deplorable conditions, to be BOUGHT AND SOLD FOR SEX. Yet…we look down on Libya while this is happening here. Today.

We get justifiably mad about the trans-Atlantic slave trade while there are MORE slaves today in the US than there were at the HEIGHT of the slave trade we’re taught about in school.

America–get off your high horses for a minute and take a look at your own home. In two weeks, the most lucrative day for the slave trade in American is upon us. THE SUPER BOWL.

Right now, women and children are being smuggled to Minneapolis. While we’re drooling over Justin Timberlake during the half time show, cursing men playing a game for messing up our pools or missing a pass or dropping a ball, women and children are being raped by men who purchased them to do so.

Then, after the MVP trophy is handed out, and the winning city is planning a parade to celebrate a stupid game, those women and children will be shuttled to the next town to be raped.

Yes, I am pissed off about slavery in Libya. But…I am more pissed off that lazy America doesn’t think it is our problem. Chances are HIGH that today, as you’re going about your day, you’re going to encounter a slave…but what do you care? We’re the US.

There are some organizations that are doing great things to help stop human trafficking. A21 Campaign and Free International are two examples that I follow personally. The things that they see would probably put most of us in a straight jacket.

The United States is, in my opinion, the best country on earth. I love this country. But….people…we need to wake up and smell the roses. We can’t take the bit of dust out of the countries of the world while we have a flipping log in our own eye.

 

Posted in human trafficking, raw, real life | Leave a comment

Breaking trends

I left my job in the dental field almost six months ago. I was sick mentally and physically. I was so far beyond burnt out that I was unrecognizable to myself.

Over 10 years ago, I left a church. I was mentally and physically sick. I was so far beyond burnt out from volunteering a lot of hours a week, working and going to school that I just collapsed.

See a trend?

down trend

 

Balance is not something that comes easily to me. When I’m in, I’m ALL IN.

all_in

This week, I’ve been in the process of interviewing for jobs. Yes, I’m still working on building a business…but the bills have to get paid. So…I’m diving back into dentistry.

I’m afraid. I almost feel like a failure. Failure is necessary for success.

failure

I’m not afraid of the work. I’m good at what I do. I’m good at dealing with patients and doctors. I am really good at helping patients overcome fears.

What I’m not good at…is balance. I allow myself, I work myself to burnout.

scale

So, when I get one of the jobs for which I interviewed, I will hold myself accountable. I have to create a very clear boundary. Dental/work is for the office. I pick up the mantle when I enter the door, and I hang it in the office closet when I leave.

Over the past six months, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I have to take those lessons into the next season. I won’t make those mistakes again.

-I will still maintain high expectations of myself wherever I work

BUT:

-I will not work myself to death.
-I will keep working toward my goal of having a successful coaching business.
-I will take care of myself through exercise, healthy food choices, meditation.
-I will have a social life, because fun is necessary.
-I will travel and enjoy my life

Rock bottom is a scary place…but it is a good foundation for the future, as long as you have learned the lessons that got you there in the first place.

 

 

 

Posted in balance, call to action, challenge, commitment, community, connections, dentistry, direction change, dreams, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, goals/vision/plans, God moment, Introspection, iwasmade4this, mindset, raw, real life, scared, seasons, work | 7 Comments