Category Archives: knowledge

Covers, Doubt, and a Perfectly-Timed Text

Have you ever experienced self-doubt? I think most of us have at one time or another. I know I have. Most recently, I have experienced it with greater frequency than normal.

As you may know, I’m about to publish my first book. This is something you only get to do once in a lifetime. There is only one “first” of anything. So, I’ve been working really hard to get it as close to perfect as possible – knowing, of course, that there is no “perfect.” Well, almost…

Last week I received an unexpected, yet perfectly-timed, text that simply said: “Dude. This book is awesome!”

The text was from a friend who received an advance copy of my book. Only a couple of hours into receiving it, and already she was texting to tell me that it was awesome. She went on to say that I must already know that. But did I?

Here’s what I have learned throughout this publishing process: self-doubt will always (always) show up. Why? Because it has to. It has to in order for me to question myself and question my work. I need to do that to be able to stand up, stand for it, and move forward knowing in my heart that what I’ve done – what I’ve created – is, in fact, awesome.

For a while, I was feeling shame over my self-doubt. Feeling like it was yet another obstacle I had to overcome. But it’s simply not the case. Maybe at one point in my life it was, but now I see it as an ally. I see it as an opportunity for me to go deeper into the embrace. I see it as a chance to rise higher, stand taller, and empower myself further. In other words, I see it as a gift.

So, with that said, and having self-doubted my way through countless tweaks to the cover for my new book – I can honestly say that I am THRILLED, EXCITED, and PROUD to share it with you now. Here it is:

What If - coverI can’t wait to share the whole book with you in 8 short weeks!

Are you looking forward to reading it? Learning about this powerful approach I’ve created to change your life? I truly can’t wait to share it with you – and I look forward to you sharing it with your family and friends.

To get the party started, join me and invite them to do the same. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Remembering to Listen: an unexpected lesson

Recently, I was in Florida for a family wedding over a long weekend. It was fantastic! But that’s not why I’m writing. I’m writing because I was reminded of something very important during my trip, and I wanted to share it.

Our bodies have innate wisdom.

All too often we have a tendency to ignore the messages from our bodies. I know I have. Throughout my life, I have always been able to “push through” almost anything. We’ve even championed the ability to rally when fatigued by giving it a name: a second wind. Instead of heeding the warning signs (the messages) we carry on and ask more of our vessels than they should willingly give. Like good soldiers, however, our bodies often comply, even to their detriment.

Over the weekend, Florida was hot. Hot and very very sunny. There was little reprieve in the shade unless there was a nice ocean breeze. I was fine for the first two days, knowingly keeping myself outside in the earlier hours and inside during the heat of the day. The fact that we had a scheduled event also helped, as it required more inside time.

The Sunday after the wedding, however, was not really scheduled. It included a late family brunch, which pushed the outside time into the middle of the afternoon heat. I thought I could “rally” and that I could ask my body to show up for me without concern for how hot and bright it was. I went to a Farmer’s Market during the peak hours.

My body raised a little warning flag. I didn’t listen. I asked it for a little longer, to wander the market with my mom and see some interesting things. As we walked, my body raised the flag even higher. I found myself uttering phrases like “Wow, is it hot,” “This sun is crazy,” and “I can’t believe these people sitting out in the sun like this.” The last sentence came up several times in different versions.

I wasn’t “sitting in the sun” therefore it was easier to externalize the wisdom shouting at me from inside my body: “GET OUT OF THE HEAT, you crazy girl!”

I finally heeded my body’s warning and stood in the shade wherever I could find it. It was too late. The heat and sun had already started to take their toll on me, and I now had to walk back to the hotel.

It was a short walk, with no shade along the way. I asked my body to step up and push through, promising it rest and AC ahead. Alas, rest was available, but no AC. Inside the little pool house at my uncle’s apartment complex there were ceiling fans, which helped, but weren’t enough to cool me down. My bathing suit was in the hotel a little further away, so no jumping into the pool either.

I sat for almost an hour, willing my body to cool itself down. All the while, getting sicker and sicker. I drank water, put my feet up, and rested. Nothing helped. All I could hear inside my head was the sound of my own body whimpering in a corner, as I tried to engage in conversation with my family while I rested inside the pool house, pretending everything was alright. Once more, I was asking more of my body than it could give, ignoring its pleas.

Eventually, I went back to my hotel, collapsed on the bed in the AC, and there I lay for about an hour allowing my core temperature to lower. I’m sure if I had had a thermometer with me, it would have been off the charts. Heat stroke? Perhaps a mild case. I googled it as I was lying there, begging forgiveness of my vessel. By that time, my body simply ignored me as it had more important things to focus on.

The point of this entire story is to illustrate how often we ignore the warnings signs and wisdom of our bodies. We ask a lot of them on a daily basis, and they usually comply without a lot of argument or issue. In this instance, I asked too much, and my body let me know. Had I listened to it sooner, none of this would have happened. Had I adhered to the wisdom I already knew (that I don’t do well in heat or strong sun), I never would have gone for a walk to begin with. But I didn’t, and I got sick.

It occurred to me then, that if my body were my child, I would never have asked the same of it. And it made me wonder how many of us do the same. In many ways, our bodies are like our children. They are entirely dependent on us for their well-being. We (our minds) are the parents providing sustenance, protection, and opportunity for our bodies to be and do their best. How would things change if we started to look at our vessels in this new way? Would we still eat junk food? Drink tons of caffeine and sugar?

In my opinion, we do those things in order to ask more of our bodies than we should, or than they should be willing to give. We silence them through substances, rather than listening to the innate wisdom within.

As for me, I was much better within a few hours and back to normal in less than a day, with no lasting side effects… other than a newfound respect for the relationship I have with my body and a desire to listen more and demand less.

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. 😉

Turning the wheels

I was driving home from an appointment today, and a little nugget of wisdom bopped me on the head as I waited for my turn to turn left.

Don’t turn your wheels.

This was something my dad taught me when I was learning to drive.  “Don’t anticipate the turn, Martina. Don’t turn your wheels.”

“Why?”

“Because someone could come along behind you and bump you. And if they did, rather than going straight forward, your car would turn directly into oncoming traffic.”

“Oh.”

I have always remembered that, and I never turn my wheels until I am actually making the turn, but today I realized his advice extended beyond just driving and might make sense if I applied it elsewhere in life.

Knowing where you want to go, planning your route, and progressing along the path you’ve laid out is how we all get through life. It’s when we turn our wheels before we can actually move, that we get in trouble. Why? Because life happens. Things happen, and if your wheels are turned in anticipation, it’s harder to make adjustments if something unexpected happens.

It’s like the old adage of putting the cart before the horse. You may eventually get there, but it will be a more challenging and difficult process. And in the case of being propelled unwillingly into oncoming traffic, it’s downright dangerous!

So, the next time you’re anticipating a turn, a change, a decision in your life, keep your wheels straight, and turn them when the opportunity arises to actually make the turn. Then do so with commitment. Because just like driving, if you change your mind in the middle of the turn (or constantly look back at where you were), you’re more likely to hurt others and yourself.

Happy driving! (literally and figuratively)

“Right” or “Wrong” – What is real?

To answer that, we need to ask: what is reality? Everybody has a different perception of reality. Do you know that in a room full of people, all witnessing the same exact event, you can end up with as many different reports on what happened as there were people in the room? Is this solely a matter of perspective? I can’t believe that is all there is to it. In fact, I believe something different.

I believe that our individual realities are wholly influenced by the sum of our personal experiences. That is to say that – whether you believe in reincarnation, or not – the sum total of everything our individual soul has experienced influences our perceptions. Therefore, reality is subject to interpretation. As such, it stands to reason that a lot of our miscommunications with others are caused by this convergence of multiple realities.

With that said, what is actually real? In asking that question, we are also asking “what can we count on?” I think a lot of us ponder this question on a regular basis – though it may be expressed differently. We know we can rely on ourselves (though at times even that may seem distant). But can we truly depend on anyone, or anything, else? The world has seen a lot of upheaval lately: the economy, natural disasters, violence, crime. That which we had assumed as stable and reliable – or real – didn’t always turn out to be. So, if the one thing we can almost always rely on is our self, what else can we do to bring balance to our lives and help bridge the gap between our reality and the realities of others around us?

It’s a classic case of “he said, she said.” Unfortunately, the fact that I can use the word “classic” in that sentence implies that it’s an all-too-common experience. We get caught up in our own personal stories (realities) and we act accordingly. More to the point, we REACT accordingly, especially when our pride gets involved. We know we’re “right,” because it’s our reality. So, the other person can’t be “right.” Here’s the truth, though: nobody’s right, and nobody’s wrong. We all have our own realities, and at times, they come into conflict with somebody else’s.

The natural desire to have interpersonal relationships causes us to seek out people with similar experiences, thereby adding validation to our own reality. Where it gets complex is when we attempt to have others conform to us. Though they may have similar experiences, we would do well to remember that they still have their own perspective on what’s “real” to them.

When you boil it down and reduce it to it’s purest form, it’s about knowledge, tolerance and acceptance. Which are arrived at by choice. Yes, once more it’s about choice. We’ve all heard the popular phrases “positive mental outlook” or “attitude of gratitude” – but when you’re in the midst of heartache or financial turmoil, it seems more difficult to find the strength to “choose” to modify your attitude. Interestingly, though, it’s primarily during times of struggle that most people come to realize the importance of thinking differently. It’s in suffering that the greatest changes can occur. When we are stripped of all the trappings of our ego, we create an opportunity for faith, hope and possibility to plant seeds and grow roots in our minds.

A perfect example is when we argue with someone close to us. When we fight, we (our egos) typically just want to be heard and validated for our point of view, which we determine is “right.” However, if we have learned that there are multiple realities based on individual experience and interpretation (knowledge), and we allow for the possibility that there is no “right” or “wrong” (tolerance), we become more accepting of the truth and can focus our attention on what we truly need: which is not to be proven “right” or prove someone else “wrong,” but to be heard and acknowledged. We can harmoniously agree to disagree, and our relationships will be the better for it.

So, the next time you’re feeling “right” about something, and you don’t understand why the other person can’t seem to see how right you are, perhaps you should consider that their reality – their interpretation of events, based on their experiences – gives them an alternate view of the situation, and is just as valid as your own. In honoring their view, you also honor yours – simply by choosing a response based in knowledge, tolerance and acceptance.

Welcome to serenity.

In Love and Light,

Martina