Monthly Archives: February 2014

Imprinting and Seed Planting.

Let’s talk about it. Do you know what it is? Imprinting is what happens when someone else tries to help us understand something, and we take his or her statement as truth, without vetting it through our own intuition first. A classic example of this is when we relinquish our authority to someone else’s. Let me share a recent experience of my own:

Last fall I was struggling with something that seemed overwhelming to me. So, naturally, I sought advice/coaching/guidance. Most of what was discussed was a validation of things I already knew or felt, but needed reminding. (yay!) As a result, some seeds were planted or watered. But there were some suggestions that were new to me that felt “off.” However, because I had sought out some of the best intuitive people I knew (and because I spent good money on those coaching sessions), I felt inclined to listen and believe what I was hearing as 100% truth. Imprinting done.

The suggestions given to me, because I accepted them into my reality in some way, were now imprinted on my psyche and my intuition, whether they belonged there or not. It wasn’t until a couple months later that I was discussing it with a dear friend who brought up the subject of imprinting. In essence I had allowed someone else’s truth to become imprinted in my reality and, even worse, my imagination: the source of my manifesting and creative abilities. Oops!

There is no malice (usually, hopefully) in imprinting. In fact, it’s typically based in an effort to help. But there is a difference between imprinting and seed planting. I have often described myself as a seed planter. With my clients, in my writing, and in my workshops, my goal is to share seeds (aka: ideas) that may (or may not) take root in each person’s individual soil. The seed will only take root if the soil is ready (ie: the client thinks the seed is good for their garden).

Imprinting also is about sharing, but it takes it a step further. Imprinting leaves an indelible, yet invisible, mark on the ground where it’s placed, because it’s already a seedling, growing and taking up space. It also uses some level of “truth-telling” and “expertise” as its fertilizer to take root. It’s not insidious, though. It simply is what it is.

The main difference, therefore, lies within the recipient.
(doesn’t it always?)

In seed planting, the recipient feels entirely in control over what is allowed to go into their garden. A seed will validate or remind them of something they already knew, intuitively. In imprinting, the recipient has relinquished some of that control, or authority, over themselves and their soil. A seedling has been planted with an established root system, and it takes up space and changes the soil.

We all do it. I did it. Someone we esteem (or hire) has said something to us, based on their wisdom/experience/knowledge, therefore it must be true (even if it doesn’t feel 100%). Imprint done. The big question to ask is: is it bad?

If you know me, by now you know I don’t like the categories of “bad/good.” Imprinting is, therefore, neither. I would simply say it’s not helpful. Why? Because it hasn’t been filtered through your own intuition/wisdom/experience/authority. Nobody is a better authority on you, than you, even if they have the best of intentions. I’m not saying don’t seek out guidance or coaching, especially if you’re wrangling with something. Going it alone is not a solution, and I think we could all use more coaching in our lives. :)

What I am saying is: don’t allow others to imprint something on you that may not be your truth. If their idea isn’t right for your soil – let it wash away without leaving a mark on the ground. Hold that space for something that will take root and flourish, something that’s in alignment with who you are and what you hold true.

How do you do that? And how do you remove imprints that are already there? Well, those are blogs for another day – but I’d start with identifying your core values and reconnecting to your intuition. Those are always healthy starting points, for anything. 😉

Welcome to Authenticity

I cannot be anything but who I am, and
who I am grows more authentic everyday.

I wrote that line, then paused. Something felt “off” in it, and I needed to figure out what. Then it occurred to me: By saying I am “growing more authentic,” I actually might be stating that I’m not authentic now, or yet, and that’s simply not true.

I write a lot about authenticity. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s been a major theme of my work and study –

What does it mean to live an authentic life? Who is the authentic self?

These questions bounce around my head on a daily, if not hourly, basis. So, it seems natural that I would write that opening line, because it’s true. Kinda sorta.

I DO feel that I am growing more and more authentic each day. It’s also true that each day I am alive, I am being my authentic self.

Basically, I don’t think there’s a door through which we walk that says:

“You’ve arrived! Welcome to your authentic self and life. Congratulations!”

photo copy

I think it’s a journey, a process that unfolds over time, in time. And because of that, I also now believe that we are living authentically each day that we are on that journey.

Authenticity is a journey comprised of authentic moments, neither of which are mutually exclusive. They coexist, side-by-side, one informing the other as we make the next choice on our path. So, who I am today might be only a glimmer of who I am tomorrow, but both are unequivocally authentically me. Which goes for you, too!

And that’s the best news: No more waiting to reach some landmark to be our “authentic self.” Each day we choose to get up, be present, and live, honoring our journey – we are being authentic.

What does that look like for me? Some days that’s messy, other days it’s silly. I see inspiration all around me. Sometimes I’m romantic (ok, a lot of the time), and other times I’m very business-y. I get sad, happy, angry, tired, frustrated, and joyful at little things (sometimes all at the same time). Big things are easier for me to deal with somehow. And at the end of it all, and most importantly, I’m always, always me. Phew!

Love is a 4-letter word

Today is Valentine’s Day. A day where love is celebrated with gifts, tokens, declarations, cards, and chocolate (yum). I’m stating the obvious and being a bit cheeky, just as I did in the title, for a reason:

For me, Love is not confined to a day.
It is something to be celebrated every day.

As such, I often feel conflicted about the Valentine’s Day rituals. On the one hand, I would never want to stifle love or speak out against any celebration thereof. On the other hand, why do we need a holiday to remind us to share our love with others? Once a year? I’m sort of languishing in a Rolling Stones song on this one (hint: stuck between a rock and a hard place).

Actually, though, I jest. It’s not that bad (meaning: rock and hard place), and I’m not stuck. I’m all for celebrating love, sharing love, and showing love. I just wish it were a bigger part of our daily routines. I think life would be nicer if it were. :)

With that in mind, I leave you with this:

photo copy 2

 

The Language of Love – it’s *not* all Greek to me!

prof pic2

 

It’s my birthday! I’m so excited about this post I can barely contain myself! Today is all about gift-giving…from me to you! This is something I think you’ll truly love and use again and again once you see how much it can change your relationships for the better. So – happy birthday to me, and this is for you!

Love has a language! Did you know?? No, really. It does. And another thing: it has different dialects, and we all speak our own!

I imagine right about now you’re thinking: Martina is off her rocker! But I’m not. Truly. Hear me out. There is something called The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, and it can change your life. Basically it boils down to this:

We each have a specific way we like to show our love, and
we each have a specific way in which we prefer to receive love.

Basically, how we “speak” and how we “hear” love falls into one of 5 major categories:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Receiving gifts
  • Quality time
  • Physical touch

Problems arise when we’re giving/receiving love in ways that aren’t understood. I can give you an example, but I think my friend, Carla Birnberg, did it so beautifully I’d rather share hers with you. Carla recently wrote about speaking (giving) love in a language her daugher could hear (receive). There’s no tranlsation necessary when we learn how to communicate our love effectively with someone else. To read what Carla did, click here (you’re going to LOVE this, and her!)

You can see why I’m so excited to share this with you! I’ve known about the love languages for years. We even taught our group of high school kids last year the basic premise of the love languages in order to help them better communicate with their families. This is one of those things you stumble upon and can instantly use to change your relationships for the better.

I encourage you to take a look at the website The 5 Love Languages, and see for yourself. Take the quiz, understand your own language and then share that information with your loved ones, and ask them to share with you. I think you’ll be glad you did. :)

 

 

 

 

Love, Fear, and a well-intentioned email

photo

 

When I am saturated with fear, the BEST thing that works to turn that around is for me to get into a place of love.

Love looks like: gratitude, service, joy, laughter, kindness, compassion, integrity, to name a few.

The backstory: I recently received an email about some would-be ‘terrorists’ on a plane and the American ‘hero’ who stood up to them. It turned out to be a fabricated/embellished story, but that’s not the point.

The point is – the original email was written because we have been living in a time of fear and scarcity. We’ve been going down this path for a while, and we’re saturated. Saturated to the point that lies and embellishment have now become common currency. Yikes!

[I actually think the email was sent with the best of intentions. When I read between the lines, I hear: “I want you to read this – I’m sending it to you because I love you, and I want you to be safe. Be informed.” That’s actually a pretty nice feeling. ☺]

Back to the point, though: as a society, we’re scared. 2001 changed our lives forever in America. As a result we’ve become more divisive, insular and easily triggered by situations that activate our limbic system (fight, flight or freeze). I get it. I’ve been there.

So here’s what I want to say to that:

Spread Love.
(don’t spread fear)

It’s important to be informed, yes. But, fear begets fear and only adds to the saturation we’re already experiencing, thereby not allowing our nervous system to catch a break. So, this is about a choice we all get to make on what we want to give our energy to.

Do you want to spread fear? Or do you want to spread love?

I could have easily deleted the email and moved on. Instead, I chose to research its accuracy and write back. My hope and intention was to stem the tide of fear by interrupting it. Once interrupted, I can introduce something different. Something joyful. Something fun, loving, and kind. We all have that choice. :)

Today, I choose to Spread Love. Join me?

Absolute and Resolute

There is no absolute. (Did you know?) However, as I have traveled around inner healing circles and taken dips in wisdom baths of knowledge, I have found many teachers/writers/etc (many!) who believe otherwise.

In fact, they are so convinced of their wisdom-derived statements and beliefs, they are themselves contradicting the essence of what they originally sought and were taught: to be open, to trust, and to allow.

It’s as if along their journey, one thing clicked (really well) and there they set up a shop, a home… and their grave. Stuck. It’s sad, really.

All that being said – I have read, stumbled upon, shared, learned, remembered, unlearned, and rediscovered “wisdom” so many times from so many different sources, the one thing I can say with absolute certainty is this:

There is no absolute…anything.

(Yes, the play on words was intended. ☺)

As many lives as there are on the planet, are as many paths as there are to the truth. As many people as you can see around you, are as many perspectives as you can have on a situation. There is truth, yes. And there is wisdom. How we arrive at that depends on our journey, which is different for everyone.

And the one failing of humankind that is hardest for me to witness is when I see someone stand resolutely in his or her beliefs by invalidating another’s experience.

To that point, if I could offer my two cents it would be this:

Be absolute in your beliefs, and then be resolute in your practice of constantly questioning them. Grow, explore, learn and unlearn. Or, as I said earlier: be open, trust, and allow for the possibility that there’s more. (And most certainly, do not call anyone else’s experience foolish.)

Just a thought for the day. Wishing you joy, love…and absolutely everything wonderful! 😉