Monthly Archives: October 2015

Choose Yourself, Too.

Several years ago, post-divorce, I was in a relationship with someone that was just what I needed. He was a very thoughtful man, who seemed fairly focused on me feeling empowered and independent after years of codependency and identity-loss. At one point, he said to me, “What do you want?… What do you REALLY want?”

Without thinking too much, I blurted out, “I want you to choose me. Every day. And I want to choose you, too.”

At the time, that wasn’t an option for either of us for myriad reasons. And so, as things go, we eventually moved on from our relationship, with respect and understanding, and with a sense of lament for the loss of what could have been.

When I gave that answer, it was a first for me. Never had I defined a relationship that way. But in retrospect, it came as no surprise, considering I had spent more than a decade with someone who chose drugs every day, instead of himself, or me. What was empowering was that it wasn’t about those words we hear all too often when talking about relationships: love, respect, or trust. It was about taking deliberate action to embody those words, those feelings. Choosing. In words, in deeds, in thought – choosing.

Fast forward a few years, and I stumble across Bryan Reeves’ article “Choose her Everyday or Leave Her.” I read his words and I was reminded of that moment years before in which I had intuitively said the same thing. I read Bryan’s words and knew in that moment that this was not just another self-help article. This was a paradigm shift. Bryan writes from the male perspective about this, using his own experience as both teacher and student. From where I sat, as I devoured paragraph after paragraph, I felt my body responding with a “Hell, yes!” and “Finally!”

Bryan was saying what I knew to be truth. He was sharing his own experience in a way that made it tangible, humble, and most of all, accessible. He spoke for me. I could have been the girl in his story – or I could have been Bryan.

Because, just as my ex didn’t choose me every day, I also didn’t choose myself. As a codependent, I chose him. Or rather, I chose helping him or what I thought was helping him. I chose his disease – his battle – over my own well-being, every single day.

For that reason I would add to Bryan’s beautifully crafted piece, and suggest that we include our relationship with ourselves, that we choose our self every day. In learning this, applying it, and now living it almost daily, I know this is the path to joy, love, and peace. For me, this is the path to authentic alignment.

So, choose yourself every day. And if you think you can’t, find a way that you can, or find somebody who can help you learn or remember. Additionally, if you’re in a relationship, choose her or him every day, too. Talk about it – figure out what that means. And if you can’t, then find a way to leave, with mutual respect.

Finally, if you’re interested, Bryan is having a FREE webinar on this topic tonight (10/27/15). You can check it out here and register. He’s not selling anything, as most free webinars do. He’s simply responding to a need, to the resounding response he received as a result of this sharing, and showing up to facilitate more thought, discussion, and growth. And that, my friends, is about passion. And Bryan is certainly full of passion! So, check it out, sign up, and I’ll see you there! Because I’m choosing myself and showing up to listen, share, and learn.

I’m not procrastinating… I’m moving energy!

I’m not procrastinating, I’m moving energy around!”

That was me last week after being away for 24 days, having an epiphany about my own manifesting snafu (you can read about it here), realigning to a deeper more centered power, and then standing in my bedroom feeling a little “off” as I looked around.

Immediately, I decided to completely rearrange my space. I moved everything, relocated artwork and rugs, furniture and decorations. I spent the better part of the day undoing and then redoing a space in which I spend less than 10 hours a day. Why?

Because after shifting the energy within me and realigning myself to the immensity of the Universe, my room felt stagnant. It, too, needed a shift. Everything had to feel new and vibrant again, just as I was feeling. Simply put: the energy needed to move. So I moved it!

It wasn’t until a friend emailed me in the midst of my endeavor and suggested I take a nice rest after my travels that I impulsively answered with this:

“Lol. I will. Starting tomorrow. In typical Martina fashion, I am rearranging my room today!!”

‘Typical Martina fashion’ is an acknowledgment of how moving furniture around is a trend in my life. But it’s only now, looking back, that I can see why I do this every so often, and why I need to:

I have to move things around to shift the energies in my environment and keep them flowing more and more. It’s like hitting a reset button every so often. The change it creates in the space is palpable, and I always feel better afterward.

Over the years though, I developed a negative self-talk about it. I had come to identify the exercise as a means of avoidance and procrastination. I usually moved the furniture around when I had something else going on that I didn’t want to pay attention to.

Now, all of a sudden hindsight and awareness afforded me the perspective to realize that all those times I had rearranged furniture in the past, I was probably doing so intuitively, to create more flow. To make what was old, new again. I was shifting the physical energy in my environment, to better support the shifting energies inside of me. 

So, even though I labeled it differently when I was 16, I wasn’t procrastinating, I was moving energy! (Well, perhaps except on the evenings before an exam. Lol!)

Anyhow, the bottom line is this: when manifesting or inviting something new or more possibility into your life, it’s important to look at all the places where you can create opportunities for more flow, or more vibrant flow. This includes your environment. Sometimes that means changing out a throw pillow for a new color. Sometimes it means moving every item within a room into a new layout. You get to decide.

For me, the night I shifted everything around was the best night of sleep I’ve had in a while. And with my bed in a new position, I now get to wake up looking at the trees out my window, which is possibly the best visual alarm clock in the world!

Happy shifting!

morning view

 

When the Teacher Becomes the Student

I have a belief: We are all teachers, and we are all students.

This was never more clear to me than in the past week when I was reminded of how I am always learning, even while I’m teaching… sometimes on the exact same thing.

So, what happened?

Well, for the past few weeks I have been on the first leg of my inaugural book tour for my new book What if..? How to Create the Life You Want Using the Power of Possibility. Over 24 days, I traveled up and down the eastern seaboard from CT to VA, meeting with media, conducting events, and speaking with individuals and organizations. I have been immersed in imparting the tools and theories I share in my book for creating the life you want through manifesting and authentic alignment. One aspect of this includes teaching others how important language is when using the law of attraction to create what you want.

And that’s where my learning opportunity came in: I had made my own mistake, and I didn’t see it.

During the past couple of years, as I have been focusing on the short- and long-term goals for my work, I have been using two very specific phrases to describe what I wish to happen. The first phrase was “grassroots,” which I used to describe how I envisioned my work unfolding and reaching a wider audience.

Well, have you ever seen grass grow? It’s not the fastest event on the planet. So, my using this phrase has actually set a nice SLOW and limiting process in motion, when what I really meant to say was “organically.” I would like my work and audience to grow organically – meaning, naturally, and without influence from anything fake. This seemed like an easy fix.

However, the other phrase gave me greater pause, because for the last 6+ years I have used it quite regularly, without realizing the limits I had set on myself.

Since 2009, the motto for my blog and coaching practice has always been:

“Changing the world, by changing lives, one person at a time.”

I believe this – I believe that we change the world by changing ourselves. I know this to be both possible and true. Over the years the core remained the same, though I have modified it slightly:

Changing the world, by changing lives, one word at a time.
Changing the world, by changing lives, one moment at a time.
Changing the world, by changing lives, one word, one moment, one person at a time.

That last version was the one I have been using most recently. But I am now changing it again. Here’s why:

I now realize that I have been limiting myself by using the phrases starting with “one.”

Even though I know that we create lasting communal and global change by starting with the individual, I see that I have limited the scope of my work by ostensibly saying: I only want to do this one thing at a time.

Therefore, the Universe’s ability to help me create my platform and reach a wider audience was restricted by my words. I asked, and they complied. As a result, some of my events these past 2 weeks have had only two or three people at them, instead of the projected 30-40, which dumbfounded me.

Naturally, I felt all the associated human emotions of failure, frustration, and doubt. I questioned whether what I was doing was right (don’t worry, I know it is), and exploring what I could have done better.

Gratefully, I always quickly circled back to something my colleague, José Stevens, shared with me, “even if it’s one person at your table, you offer them your mastery.” And I do, lovingly and joyfully. I know in my heart, and from years of experience, that the one person in front of me is the one that needs what I am offering, and I honor that. I am grateful for those opportunities and value them.

Simultaneously, it was frustrating to be on tour, have realistic expectations based on feedback for bigger gatherings, and have only “one” person show up. And yet, that was exactly what I had asked for… for years!

So, that’s where I found myself one afternoon last week as book tour was coming to a close. I meditated in my friend’s yard, grappling with my frustration and fear, as I stared at myself. With question marks swirling in my head, I suddenly realized what I had done:

I limited myself to “one person at a time” through my choice of words. Holy cow!

The minute I understood it, I sat in silence, awe, and humility. The teacher became the student in a nanosecond. I know the importance of words (heck, I teach this!), and yet I was blind to my own word choice.

On some level I suppose there was a sense of honor for me in the words I used. However, I also now recognize that they are out of alignment with my mission and path – with what I am called to do. Of course, it’s possible for me to go about my work one person/event/word at a time, but I think the earth is evolving faster than that, so I needed to get on board.

And I did.

In the end, it came down to reconciling my mission (changing the world by changing lives) with a limiting belief (“one person at a time”). Therefore, I have modified my phrase to something more clear, expansive, open, and fueled by possibility:

Changing the world, by changing lives.

This simple adjustment invites the Universe to figure out the “how” while allowing me to stay in alignment as I continue to show up in every aspect of my life, as both teacher and student.

Don’t Shoot the Message

You know the phrase “don’t shoot the messenger?” We say it because sometimes there are folks in our lives who have to deliver bad news or tell us something we don’t want to hear or aren’t ready to hear. Often we lash out at the messenger, rather than the message or the source of the message.

But what happens when the messenger is the problem? Do we throw out the message as well?

I’ve experienced this more than once in my life. In fact, I fear it’s happening too often lately. People we once believed in and/or looked up to have fallen from grace in our eyes, and with them goes their credibility. In recent years I can think of at least a dozen such incidences across a spectrum of industries. It doesn’t matter what work they’re in, whether they’re a liberal or conservative, a celebrity, a teacher, or a guru – when someone we looked up to lets us down, it’s always a shock.

When someone’s work inspires us, we have a tendency to hold them above and apart, separate from the rest of humanity – especially if they’re in the spiritual/self-help industry. It’s the pedestal syndrome. We put them up there because we revere them for their work. But the truth is, it’s actually the work we are in awe of, not necessarily the person. We can respect and even admire them for being available and doing the work, as we should, but reverence is best placed with the work itself, if at all.

The person is the messenger, the conduit, for the truth we seek. They are living in alignment with their purpose or calling. They have made themselves available to receive and impart the information they are sharing, usually after a lot of hard work on their own.

It’s that last bit that we often forget, though – we forget that they’re human, that they make mistakes, and that they struggle and have struggled. Part of the reason we forget is because they have developed a persona that is a bit glossier than their humanity. Part of the reason we forget is because we need them to be glossier than their humanity, so that we have something – a benchmark – to which we can aspire.

So, naturally, when we hear something about the person that has them tumbling off the pedestal we created, it causes us to question their work as well.

And that’s where I think we (okay, I) have gotten it wrong. People are people. They’re human. They will make mistakes. It’s through our mistakes that we are able to learn, grow, and ultimately teach.

I’ve been guilty of doing this, and I suspect I’m not alone. I’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water before, when in fact, what I needed to do was hold on to both. I needed to pick up the baby, and let the bath water settle so that the dirt could be separated from the water, knowing that this was a natural process.

I have learned that if I found the message to be inspired and valuable, there is no reason why that should change if the messenger screwed up or showed me their humanity. Don’t shoot the message.

Similarly, if the messenger is willing to be a conduit, to make themselves available to the rest of humanity, I can certainly cut them some slack when they make human mistakes, if they’ve asked me to. (In other words, if they’ve owned up to their mistake and humanity instead of hiding and/or lying about it.) Don’t shoot the messenger.

Finally, though, I think the most important thing I’ve learned along the way is to get rid of all my pedestals. I’ve heard wisdom from garage attendants that transcended anything I’ve read from a bestselling author. I’ve also been in the presence of world famous individuals and seen them as humans doing their job, just like you and me.

Using a pedestal is what creates a divide.
Using a pedestal is what allows us to maintain a judgment-based hierarchy of wisdom.
Using a pedestal is what keeps us apart from our own inner knowing and gifts.

Nobody asks to be on a pedestal, we put them up there. And if they are asking, chances are they haven’t earned that position in your world. It’s simply easier to remove all pedestals and see each other as we are: humans sharing our gifts, our purpose and our lives, however that shows up.