What other people think of you has nothing to do with you.

When I was a little girl learning to read was hard.

Connecting sounds of letters didn’t make sense, plus I have a form of dyslexia so it was extra confusing.

I was embarrassed by the tutors and extra help.

I feared that others thought I was stupid or slow.

I felt different and hated it.

I knew I was smart and wanted to prove it. 

Around the same time, I started to gain weight. The fear of being teased felt constant.

So, I developed survival rules:  Be smart.  Be funny.  Be likable.  Hide.  Don’t let anyone see the real me.

Fast forward a decade (or two)... I was determined to prove myself to the world, so I got an ivy league education, I started running long-distance, I worked really hard, and tried to please people and not piss anyone off. 

My survival rules felt like EFFORT and PRESSURE.

what others are doing is irrelevant.png

And they DIDN'T WORK.

They made me feel like I wasn't really ME

A lot of us have survival rules. 

And clearly, survival rules can go way back and be so familiar that they seem normal.

But here's the thing:  If you have survival rules, a part of you knows it and can't deny it.

It’s the part of you that wants to be SEEN.

Or to be HONEST.

Or to be YOURSELF and CARE LESS what others think.

And it’s the part of you that LOVES YOU EXACTLY AS YOU ARE.

What’s the new tactic?

Re-write the “rules.”

If I could go back in time and re-write my survival rules they’d go something like this:

What other people think of you has nothing to do with you.

Love yourself first.

Be imperfect.

Let others see you.

Never stop following your bliss.

These are the “rules” I live by now, but they don’t feel like rules at all. They feel like freedom.  

Do you have survival rules?

RE-WRITE THEM.

Aim for freedom, not likability.  

How do your new "rules" go? (Go ahead, post them below. Let yourself be seen.)

It may surprise you where I asked for help

Asking for help hasn’t always been easy for me.

In my Master Coach Training I was once asked, “how can you ask for help right now?” and I stood confused, like she asked me to solve a riddle.

Since then, I’ve been practicing asking for help.

I gotta admit, I’ve cringed a few times when asking.

However—my confidence, creativity, sense of freedom, AND my business have all expanded since I started asking for help.  

The other day I had a moment of banging-my-head-against-the-wall frustration and anger and needed some serious help.

My two-year-old had gotten ahold of the key fob to my beloved SUV and started repeatedly pushing the open gate button, causing the gate to slam into the garage door roughly 100 times.

My SUV’s gate was busted.

This, of course, happened when I was trying to get the girls in the car and make it to an appointment on time.

As I pulled out of the driveway I wanted to lose it, but instead I started to say out loud, “I am feeling so angry right now. It feels like a red swirl in my chest that is moving all around and I don’t even know what to do with it.”

Then, I turned to my five-year-old for help (a new one for me).  

“Honey, what should I do with this anger right now?”

Her response: “You should take four to five deep breaths and then think of something that makes you happy.”

Okay—hold up—first, can you believe that? I don’t even remember saying these words to her, but she has been absorbing some good stuff! Dang! That was a proud mama moment.

So, I took her advice and started taking four to five deep breaths.

Then I asked her if she wanted to play a game with me thinking of things that make us happy.

Within a few miles, I had a smile on my face—even with my broken SUV gate. 

If I ask you, “How could you ask for help right now?” and it sounds like a riddle, I get it.

If the thought of asking for help makes you cringe, I get it.

But, not asking for help, often leads to overwhelm and burnout. And who wants that?

Can you think of one way that you can ask for help today?

Or, can you accept someone’s offer to help today?

It may not be easy or comfortable, but it might surprise you and have you feeling more ease in no time.

Asking for help, even in unusual ways, unlocks more freedom.

It creates space to ignite creativity.

It builds balance.

It feels like empowered, unstoppable and ease at the same time.

And who doesn’t want some of that?

Born ENOUGH: How to stop chasing after being enough

The other day my client (let’s call her Gina) started our conversation with some heat. 

Gina was super irritated because her sister-in-law, who has a “perfect body,” was still complaining about her appearance. Gina was freaking sick of the complaining.

"Why is this bothering you?" I asked.

She didn’t know.

After a few minutes of prodding, we hit on it.

“I just feel like…” Gina paused, “like it’s never enough. I’m never doing enough. I never feel like I’m good enough.”

Gina is like a lot of my clients.

She is a badass in her career, but she struggles with confidence.

She’s an amazing mom and wife, but is super hard on herself when she gets impatient and frustrated.

And she’s freaking gorgeous, but can’t even see it.

So, she feels empty, overwhelmed and exhausted.

Here’s the challenge:

Gina is putting her efforts and energy into ACTION because she has this underlying fear of not being ENOUGH.

A LOT of ridiculously amazing women are working their asses off to feel like they’re enough, but end up feeling empty.

Here’s why:

NO amount of action can help you escape the pain of not feeling enough.

It just creates overwhelm, exhaustion, and feeling like you’re stuck.

Here’s what I know for sure:

You are inherently enough right now.

You can do crappy work, a half-ass job mothering, lay on the couch all day long, and you are still enough.

How do I know that?

Because you were born enough and that enough-ness does not expire based on who you are, what you look like, or what you do.

Knowing that you are inherently enough right now can ease the feeling of overwhelm that is often tied to non-stop action because it’s no longer motivated by a fear of lack.

Wanna know what happened with Gina?

We prodded some more, questioned her beliefs about not being enough and then we hit on it:

“I’m enough just being ME,” she said. “Exactly the way I am. I am enough. There is no room for doubt.”

After saying this she described an overwhelming feeling of love within, like a reunion with a long-lost friend or family member.

That long-lost friend one was herself, always there, always waiting for her to recognize herself again. 

Here are a few practices I put together to help you remember your inherent enough-ness.

PRACTICE ONE: INVESTIGATE WITHIN. IS "NOT ENOUGH" ACTIVE WITHIN YOU? 

Feeling not enough can show up in funny places, like jealousy, being irritated at someone, or feeling defeated in your actions. If you notice any of these in your life, investigate within by asking yourself questions like . . .

“Why am I motivated to do more?”

"What am I afraid of happening?"

"Why does that bother me?"

PRACTICE TWO: SEE YOUR LIKENESS.

Imagine a new baby. They don't really do anything, so are they enough just because they exist? Just because they were born? Seems like a stupid question, huh?

Their enough-ness is unquestionable.  

Take a few minutes and visualize someone that you adore, like a child or an animal, and imagine them as a baby. 

Can you see Divineness within them?

Can you sense the infinite magic of their birth and existence? 

PRACTICE THREE: VISUALIZE AND REMIND YOURSELF. 

Holding that visualization and those answers in your mind, can you see your likeness in them? 

Can you sense your Divine Being? 

Can you sense the infinite magic of your birth and existence? 

Try saying to yourself, “I am that. I am equally as worthy as they. I am enough right now.”

You are no different from them.

You too were once a baby that was born enough. And that never expired. 

Sometimes, feeling enough doesn't magically happen right away from these exercises, and that's okay.

This might be like removing the first few bricks from a big wall. Just because the wall is still there doesn't mean it's not coming down.

If you want more help liberating yourself from "not enough," private coaching can help. Reach out to me here to schedule a time for us to chat about what private coaching can do for your life.

Here’s what one client had to say…

When I started working with Sarah, I was hyper-focused on outward success. I wanted to find a career that would help me fulfill my life’s purpose. I thought our sessions would focus on achieving that end goal. What I’ve learned in the process has been enlightening. Sure, we talk about external goals, but we also focus on the inner work needed to achieve those goals. I realized I’ve been repeating a similar pattern throughout my entire life. The mindset “I’ll be happy when I get the new job, move to ________, make X amount of money…” The list goes on and on. With Sarah’s help I’ve learned that happiness is less about what you do and more about how you feel in the present moment. I am so excited to continue working with Sarah on this personal journey!! 
— Caitlin S. | Portland, Oregon

Bold self-ease: Four steps to help you stop being hard on yourself

Years ago I was out on a run with one of my best friends who was training for a marathon. She was 14 miles into her run (I joined at mile 7).

Then, out of nowhere a bouncy runner breezed by us and ran up the hill like a rabbit on drugs. Suddenly my friend looked disgusted and disappointed.

Her mind instantly compared herself and self-criticized.

Before any thoughts were formed about the other runner, her body responded with heaviness and a sigh. Instead of feeling like a badass for her run, she felt like a failure.

Like my friend, so many of us are unconsciously comparing ourselves, self-criticizing, feeling disappointment, and consequently pulling the plug on confidence and power. 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Change starts with shifting from pressure and being HARD on yourself to consciously practicing SELF-EASE.

After the runner breezed by on the trail I whispered to my friend,

“Don’t pay any attention to her. She probably has fresh legs, but either way, it doesn’t matter. This is your run. Focus on your run.”

My friend’s focus shifted, her body responded with a breath and as quickly as her body responded with heaviness, it responded with relaxation. The other runner faded up the hill and from her mind.

We all have a buddy along side us for our run called life, but it’s not an actual person that’s glued to our hip. It’s the repetitive chatter of our mind that thinks nearly non-stop. Unfortunately, a lot of the time that “buddy” in our head is not cheering us on or redirecting our focus like a true friend.

The “buddy” in our mind is often the one comparing, criticizing and making us feel terrible! One of my clients called this voice “the asshole” in her head.

Having an asshole run beside you in life is going to make the run HARDER and create more feelings of disappointment, pressure, fatigue, and powerlessness.

Practicing SELF-EASE is about quieting the critical voice, and amplifying the voice that unconditionally supports and loves you.

This voice reminds you to focus on your run.

Gives you credit.

Cuts you some slack.

Tells you that anything is possible for you.

How do you know if it’s self-ease?

Because self-ease feels like RELIEF.

But for many, practicing self-ease doesn’t feel easy.

Here’s a four-step method that I use with my clients, and practice myself, to make self-ease a little easier:

STEP 1: FEELING FEEDBACK

If you feel disappointed in yourself, stressed, overwhelmed, ashamed or exhausted then you’re feeling feedback of your thoughts and actions.

This type of feedback in your body is essentially saying to you, “Wrong direction! What you’re saying to yourself right now is leading you away from where you want to go.

So pay attention to how you feel

When you notice unpleasant feedback, then check into what the voice is saying.

Once you’re conscious of the voice, you have options to redirect your focus, which we’ll talk about below.  

STEP 2: QUESTION THE VOICE

The mind just says stuff. Sometimes it’s a bit ridiculous. The mind will even play an annoying song in our head on repeat. So, it’s not to be taken seriously.

If the mind says something that makes you feel bad (ding! ding!) that’s like an alarm bell to question what the heck it is saying.

Try simply asking yourself, “Can I know for sure that’s true?” or “What if the opposite of that were true? What then?”

When you play with that, it’s like focusing on changing the song in your head to something enjoyable and that makes you feel good.

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STEP 3: GET QUIET TO AMPLIFY

If you’re being hard on yourself, you need your kind, loving, “buddy” in your head right by your side.  

Wouldn’t it be so nice if we could just instantly conjure up that best friend at any moment? Let’s be real. Sometimes, trying to jump to that voice can feel like leaping across a river.

The easier place to start is with more of a meditative practice to quiet the voice and create space for self-kindness and compassion.

During a “quiet” meditation, sometimes the voice can seem unbearably loud, so here is a practice to try to intentionally direct your focus toward self-kindness and compassion. 

Sit comfortably and take a few deep, belly breaths.

Notice any part of you (physically or emotionally) that feels uncomfortable. If you cannot locate anything, that’s okay too, simply practice this exercise for your whole self.

Then, think of someone (even a pet) that you love. Imagine them in a difficult time of their life and needing you, needing a hug, needing comfort, love and compassion.

Hold that in your mind until it feels vivid and you can feel the emotion of it.

Then, direct that love and compassion to the space within you that feels uncomfortable.

Tell yourself what you would tell your loved one. Visualize giving yourself a hug. Say to yourself, “I am love.”

STEP 4: support YOUR FUTURE SELF

After you practice Step 3, write your future self a BOLD, DIRECT, SELF-EASE message.

What message might you need to hear?

What words might you need to redirect your focus?

Here are some examples:

“What others are doing is irrelevant to what I’m creating in my life right now.”

“You are always enough.”

“Pressure leads to powerlessness. Ease leads to freedom.”

Write it on a piece of paper, or in your phone, and keep it somewhere you can access when you need a bold, self-ease message the most.

All of these steps have the potential to give you instant relief, but if they don’t, that’s okay too. Keep practicing. Soon you will feel the power of focusing on your run, feeling the ease of support from within and this run called your life… will feel like the run of your life.

Money Ease: How to Create the Money Relationship of Your Dreams

Money and I haven’t always had a good relationship.

I used to believe that money made me work really hard, like stressed-out, overwhelmed, feeling sick work-hard, for just a little bit of money love.

Sometimes I wondered if money and I just weren’t compatible.

Other times I feared that maybe I’d be stuck in this money relationship forever.

Looking back I can clearly see that money was never the issue. 

My fear-based beliefs about money formed my sucky relationship.

Thankfully, I dumped my old beliefs and my relationship with money changed big time. Now, my relationship with money feels so good, and solid and based in ease.

For many, relationship struggles with money abound and just thinking about money can feel exhausting, frustrating, or painful, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

You have the ability to create the relationship you want with money.

It starts by identifying the beliefs you want to dump, then honing in on money beliefs that feel amazing, and practicing those thoughts and feelings to attract more of those thoughts and feelings. 

When you do this the way you interact with money and how it flows in and out of your life changes.

Why does this work?

It’s energy.

Just like with people. Have you ever experienced a time when someone was pissed or impatient and the energy was so palpable that you could feel it even without knowing what was going on? Sometimes that energy makes others around them get pissed and impatient too, right? Energy. 

On the flip side, can you think of a time when someone was kind, secure, open, and joyful and everyone seemed drawn to them? Well, isn’t that energy really attractive?

Money works the same way.

Alright, let’s get started shifting your energy and creating the money relationship you want.

Go get a piece of paper or your journal so that you can write during this exercise.

STEP ONE: DUMPING BELIEFS

This is relationship status time. You and money are in a relationship, and unless it is over-the-moon amazing, then it’s time to see what beliefs you’re ready to dump.

So, how’s it going between you two? Spill your guts on paper about this relationship. Don’t hide any details, just lay it out there.

Are you pissed, desperate, resentful, or uninterested? Why?

What do you want it to change? Why?

Now write down how it feels, like the emotions that come up for you as well as physical sensations in your body.

Take note of the energy you have around money right now.

STEP TWO: WHAT DO YOU WANT?  

Now it’s time to hone in on money beliefs that feel amazing to you and identifying how you want to feel

Imagine that we’ve wiped the slate clean.

I know it’s not easy to dump your money beliefs, especially when they’ve been around forever, but for this exercise just pretend that you dumped them and you’re starting anew.

What do you want your relationship with money to be like? This is your ideal.

Here’s the key: Don’t think about how you could create this relationship, but focus on what you want to feel.

If you’re feeling stuck in this exercise, then look at what’s not working from step one and consider the opposite.

For example, if you feel desperate and believe that money is always a struggle, then you may want to feel secure and believe that money is never a struggle.

Write out your ideal relationship right now, paying attention to how it would feel.

This is energetically aligning you with the feelings you want with money.

STEP THREE: ATTRACTING YOUR MONEY MATE

This is when you start attracting more of those thoughts and feelings that you identified from step two.

You should now have a description of your ideal relationship with money. Let’s zero in a bit more.

Circle all of the feelings (freedom, joy, security, abundance, etc.) you described.

What’s the best feeling in the list?

Let’s just say that it’s freedom. Take that feeling and look at your life right now.

Do you feel freedom anywhere in your life right now?

If not, that’s okay. Is there anything that you could do today to create the feeling of freedom?

For example, when I’m driving with the windows down listening to “See the World” I feel a huge amount of freedom, joy and expansiveness. It feels like anything is possible.

Then, I think things like… wow, isn’t this amazing? I love this view. I love this drive. I love this music. I love this feeling. 

This is one way that I drink my freedom juice.

I might link it back to money by thinking… I love how everything always works out for me. Anything is possible—absolutely anything. I’m so grateful for everything that I have right now.

It’s WAY easier to find these types of thoughts when I’m already feeling the freedom vibe with my music than if I tried to jump there from fear and scarcity.

So, how does this link back around to changing your relationship with money?

Practice.

When you practice your new beliefs and do what feels amazing, you’ll start to see money with new eyes. You might have new ideas, greater confidence, or be offered an amazing opportunity.

Synchronicities happen.

And then, sooner than you may imagine, it will feel like the money relationship you’ve always wanted.