Aug 19

Authenticity

Authenticity

Authenticity has been coming up a lot for me lately. In all different conversations, and on many different topics.  It seems to be a trigger for many.  “They were so FAKE, I only want to be around people that are AUTHENTIC.”
Statements like, “I won’t settle for people in my life not being authentic”.
Hmmm, so what do we mean by this?

For some, authentic means not being superficial. Simple statements “I love hanging out at the beach”, may not be accepted as just that, some may want to know why you like being at the beach, what does it do for you? Some just can’t settle for you enjoying being at the beach, without the “deeper” reason behind it.

Imagine kids outside playing, perhaps with dolls, or in a fort, or kickball, anything at all. They aren’t having deep conversations, but they are authentic in their playing, even if they don’t like all the kids they are playing with.

I had a great conversation with a close friend this week about authenticity and the fear of not being authentic. My friend is so beautiful inside and out, her heart is, well honestly I can’t explain it, except she is amazing.  She had an AHA moment about her fashion. She loves to dress up, wear beautiful jewelry and everything matches perfectly, she has a beautiful body and impeccable taste.  She always looks put together, her hair is just right, etc.

For some people this isn’t “authentic”, she is “looking the part”, “appropriate”, or worse, overdressed and “who is she trying to impress”.  Her earrings, necklaces and bracelets always go together, her shoes are always perfect.  Dressing this way makes her comfortable, makes her shine, it is her way of embracing her Goddess. When she goes away she always has lots of luggage or a big bag, because she brings lots of clothes, jewelry, lotions, hair stuff, etc.  It is part of who she is.

Others have made fun of her for this and it brings up insecurities and makes her question herself. Her fear was that she was being shallow and materialistic, or even worse inauthentic.

My fear is that she is letting someone else set her standards (makes her wrong) for what makes her comfortable and for what she loves and what is her authenticity.

And then there was the person who thought if they are comfortable and or complacent they aren’t being authentic. As if authentic and complacent are either/or.  This judgement we have must stop.

When did a superficial conversation become inauthentic? When did dressing up and feeling into your/our Goddess become materialistic? When did feeling comfortable, content, complacent equal inauthentic?

When did Authentic become the way to shame ourselves and others?

When we comment about someone’s authenticity or lack thereof, we are giving ourselves a little boost at the same time.  After all, isn’t that what shaming does? A slam to someone else and the by-product (not always conscious) is we feel a bit better about ourselves. You know how it’s done right?  “So and so is so fake, I can’t stand being around that anymore”, said with a bit of sympathy perhaps even compassion, but truly it is a pat on our own back for being so “real”, so much “better” than that other person.  So much more evolved and enlightened.

I don’t have the answer to when it started, but I have the answer to when it is to end it.  NOW!

In the self-growth world, which I am a part of, growth is hugely important, but to think that if you are comfortable you aren’t authentic is a huge lie. To be different than you were a moment ago as well as a day, week, month year ago doesn’t mean you weren’t authentic then, that thought process is a great way to sabotage yourself and your growth.

As we shift, our thoughts and our beliefs shift, it doesn’t take away our prior authenticity. It actually shows it more powerfully.

Chatting with someone about the weather, or the price of groceries, or a cool new outfit, or a car, doesn’t make you inauthentic, maybe you have nothing more to say at that time. Perhaps you have made a conscious decision not to talk about certain topics because it creates tension and you just want to hang with the person and enjoy their company.

Don’t get so “enlightened” that if it isn’t a deep conversation it is unimportant or inauthentic.

The definition of Authentic is:
-real or genuine : not copied or false
-true and accurate
-made to be or look just like an original
-true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character

Based on the definition, we can’t possibly know when someone else is being authentic, because we are not them.  We do not know their truth, we only know ours. Our truths usually include a multitude of feelings and actions, all being authentic in that moment. If we are nervous or fearful, but don’t want others to know so we put on a good face, we are being authentic to our fear of not wanting others to know.  Our personality, spirit and character changes moment to moment, the goal is to be true to them as they change. That is authentic.

Allowing for the changes is what makes us authentic, fearing the changes makes us authentic, pulling back makes us authentic, going forward makes us authentic.

Let’s stop shaming ourselves and others in the name of authenticity, starting NOW!

Oct 23

Suicide WTF!

I recently learned that a former patient, one that I really love attempted to take her life; gratefully she is still with us. She succumbed to the pain, the haunting in her brain as she put it to me.

It saddened me, it angered me, it bewildered me. I know her story, she shared it with me, reluctantly, but she did. But it is not the story, (which is horrible in its own right) it is the result of the story; A bright, beautiful, being, tormented by her past so much that she felt death was the only way out of the pain.

I wonder often if it is truly a “mental illness” or the torment of a brutally abusive life that is incomprehensible to so many. It is easy to name it Depression, but I wonder, if your life really was awful is it Depression? Or is it that we haven’t learned how to help people cope with such awfulness in their lives, which creates a lingering sadness?

It is easy to say, pull yourself up by your boot straps and carry on, and many do, until they just can’t anymore. They have tried, until it becomes overwhelming, until the stuffed down, pent up emotions of pain and hurt bubble to the surface unexpectedly and overwhelmingly. And because with those feelings comes all the fear of reliving their lives worst experiences, they struggle.

Many of us carry on in the world, with beautiful masks on daily. We don’t see the mask, we just live it. We tell everyone we are fine, that life is great, yet we go home and drink, or smoke pot, or take sleeping pills to relax and sleep at night because we are so anxious. We are a nation of people pretending to be alright, and when people can’t pretend anymore, we label them so that we feel better. And we block our feelings, stuff them down and tell others to “just deal it, it’s life”.

Holding onto your feelings and burying them deep inside is not healthy and those emotions will come out sideways, they will show up as anger, anxiety, depression, physical pain, fatigue, it will show up in your body and mind. When it shows up we don’t seem to understand it or why it is happening. Our bodies can only take so much emotional abuse of being ignored before it starts to get noticed in any way possible.

When was the last time you had an honest conversation about your fears, your deep pain, and your desire for more for yourself?   When was the last time you allowed yourself to feel all of your emotions fully and not just get busy and ignore them? Or project them onto someone else? Was it recently, a month ago, a year ago, a life time ago?

I challenge you to allow yourself to feel all of your feelings, not just the “acceptable” ones or the “appropriate” ones, but all of them. The ones that can bring you to your knees in pain, and the ones that bring you to the stars in joy.

Stop burying your feelings, it leads to pain and misery and sadly for some it leads to Suicide. There is so much more to your life than your past, and the pain that you are currently in. The future is unknown and therefore at any given moment you can feel better and be happy. I often think that if my husband had ever actually completed one of his many suicide attempts, he would never have met me. He would not have travelled the world with me, he would not have spent glorious hours playing with our dogs and cats, or cheering on the New England Patriots at Super Bowls and regular season games. He would never have known the joys of life, the happiness, the magnificence of being alive and being happy, truly happy.   So please, please, take care of yourself, allow for all your feelings, find someone you can share them with, a friend, a doctor, a therapist, a family member, a Life Coach someone that you feel safe with and that can be with you in your pain without judging you, your story or your pain.

If you are thinking of hurting yourself, Please reach out at 1-800-273-8255 ask for help. Beg for help if you have to, but get the help you need and deserve.

Let YOUR Light Shine.

Aug 17

Asking for help… What a Vow.

Asking for help has never been my strong suit, receiving help even less.  I know the importance of it and I actually teach the importance of it daily. As an Energy and Life Coach helping people overcome depression, I talk about the importance of reaching out and asking for help daily. Sharing that it is a sign of great strength and empowerment to own when we are stuck and need someone else. And yet I fall far short of that within myself often. We teach what we need to learn.

My recent injury (sprained lower left leg and knee) was no accident. I looked up my injury in Louise Hay’s book, “You can heal your life.” The knee represents pride and ego, knee problems represent stubborn ego and pride, inability to bend. Fear, Inflexibility. Won’t give in. Sprains represent anger and resistance. Not wanting to move in a certain direction in life.

This makes me laugh on many levels. I have always been able to enjoy life, to laugh at the absurdities of it all. So falling and hurting myself playing a fun game of water balloon dodge ball shortly after teasing a friend that she broke her foot to get out of the game, was not lost on me.
My friend was smart enough to go to the ER the night she hurt herself so that it didn’t get worse, me I am not as smart, I waited a week until no one was home to help me, then I drove myself to the ER.
I didn’t want to bother anyone with my pain. I didn’t want to show “weakness”, I know this isn’t true and yet it is my vow. I know it is because of the shame that comes up around it.
When I got two prescriptions to fill at the ER, I could feel my stomach tighten. I didn’t want to go to the pharmacy; I just wanted to get home. The idea that I was going to have to ask Andy to go out and do this for me made me feel icky. In my head I am thinking “I should be able to take care of myself, what a wuss I am being.” I actually texted Andy from my car in the parking lot of the hospital to prepare him that I wanted him to get my scripts filled. I knew he wouldn’t get the message till he finished his class at 5:30. He had no problem going and doing this for me, it was my issue in asking, not his in doing.

Be strong, ask for help, it is the bravest thing you can do for yourself and for others. Don’t assume friends and family don’t want to help, assume they do.

If you are feeling guilt and, or shame around asking for help, know that you made a vow as a child to never ask for help or to be needy. Vows are unhealthy for us, there are times when we can and should ask for help. Vows block us from being our true selves. We create vows as a child to survive and protect ourselves when it is needed. However, we then carry them through our lives and they no longer serve us, but harm us. The vows we make around not asking for help will keep us closed off, separated, and alone. We will feel that we can’t count on others to help us, when in fact it is us we can’t count on. To have the courage to ask for what we actually want and need, that is a great vow and a great way to live our life. This vow will also come across as being independent and being able to handle everything that comes our way in life. Beware if you are always saying, I don’t need anyone, I can take care of myself, I am independent, you get a big indignant about it all, this may be a big sign of a vow.  The more we justify our behavior, the more likely we have a vow around it. If you get frustrated when someone else asks for and receives help, you resent or get angry with “needy” people, you may have a vow around asking for help.

As I finish this blog post, I am on my couch with my leg on two pillows, Andy is home now and I have been asking him for help. Sometimes when we don’t pay attention to what we need to learn and do, the Universe helps us along to make it happen. For me that was a fall, it was perfect to remind me yet again that I need to ask for what I want and need and to allow my friends and family to help me.

A special thanks to my classmates, especially Mara, teachers, especially Melinda, who with her gentle way brought it to my attention that my fall may be around letting others help me.   I had a plethora of AHA’s around this issue the past week.

Please ask for help now, don’t wait until you hurt yourself to ask. Be courageous, break your vows, create new freedom statements and live fully.

Please share your awareness around the absurdity of not asking for help.

 

Jul 11

Therapy and Medication or vs. Medication

As a follow up from my last blog I am sharing a couple of articles that I found quite intriguing as well as a bit disturbing.
It is time that we empower people with Energy and therapeutic healing options instead of disempowering them with prescriptions.  Allow people to have a say in their healing journey.  We are all on a journey of becoming whole, the journey is empowering, until we hand off our power to someone who tells us they know better.
It is time to trust that you know what is best for you. It doesn’t mean going it alone, it means trusting yourself to reach out for help and guidance as you need it, to empower you, not enable you.

Let me know what you think.

Let your Light Shine!

Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD

Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD-Part 2

Jul 06

A Cure for “Mental Illness”?

By Lori Grant

With huge fear and trepidation a client asked me a question in group. I could see and feel her fear. I could see her panic rising as she prepared to ask me something. I could tell the question was terrifying her, but she probably was more concerned over what my answer might be. It was barely a whisper, “Can I be cured?” Tears rolled down her cheeks as she hastily wiped them away. She did not want anyone to know how scared she was.

I was stunned. Stunned by the question, and the emotion behind it. I responded quickly, as if it was fact. “Yes, yes of course. Of course you can be cured. I absolutely believe it. If I didn’t believe it I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be standing in front of you every day, teaching you different coping skills to use to make you feel better, showing you different ways to be, to ’Cure’ your diagnosis, depression, anxiety, etc.”

I think she was certain it was a lifelong diagnosis, a life sentence. Sadly this is what I think most of the clients I work with at the Partial Hospital Program feel. It saddens me. Unfortunately western medicine and psychiatry tend to believe a mental illness diagnosis is forever.

I believe the work I am doing shows that it has become a lifestyle for them. The Clients hate the diagnosis, but don’t have hope that it can be different so they don’t take action to make it different.   Sort of “what’s the point? I still have it” thinking.   No one tells them they can do anything to shift it, or cure it.   They are given pills and told that will help. The pills numb them, exhaust them, and if they are lucky the pills will actually relieve some symptoms. That may be a great stepping stone of the healing process, but that is all it is, a stepping stone. It is not and should not be the end of the journey.

The work required to heal is hard, but as I tell my clients daily, it is worth it.

I realize that I made a mistake in saying, “Yes, it is curable”, because the truth is I don’t believe there is anything to cure to begin with. I believe the “mental illness” becomes a habit for most people stuck with that label. We learn it, because it serves us when we need it to. We don’t know how to handle certain feelings when they come up, so we bury them. We had to bury them to survive at some time; we had to cover up our feelings to get through some frightening emotions in life. And stuffing or burying our feelings works, until it doesn’t anymore. Our feelings come out sideways after a while, as anxiety, depression, addiction, etc.

I don’t believe these symptoms (anxiety, depression, etc.) are an illness to be diagnosed, I believe they are a coping skill the body and mind came up with to help them, and it no longer serves them.

This question was so emotional for me, that I actually recorded this blog into my phone after I left work.
It is making me step into my power, my belief system, and not fall into what I think is appropriate and okay according to the “medical system”. I admit I was very cautious and nervous not to upset the apple cart when I started coaching in an outpatient program. I knew how I felt about the meds and how backwards I think the psychiatric field is, but I didn’t want to offend anyone.   I didn’t want to risk losing the program or getting fired. I lead my coaching groups and I mentioned energy work on occasion, but not in great detail.

The next day, I told the entire group that “I don’t believe you have to be cured, because that implies that you are “sick” to begin with. I don’t believe that from the very bottom of heart.”

They are my clients, not patients. They are the people that I work with; I see their hearts, their souls, their confusion, their misunderstanding about who they really are. They feel lost. That is what needs to be healed. They have been living a lie for so long. Lies of what is expected of them and what they are supposed to do, instead of what they want to do, what they are called to do. That is what is making them “sick.” So yes, they can be cured, but not in the typical way that western medicine thinks of curing someone. They can be cured, by owning who they really are, by loving who they are and acting and treating themselves with love and respect. To not expect who they are won’t change from one day to the next. And not to be judged on the fact that they might change their minds.

I honor and am in awe of the people that come through the door of where I work, for their courage and their strength. When they are absolutely terrified, and sometimes hopeless, believing how they are now (depressed, anxious…), is how they are going to be for the rest of their lives. When they enter the program and I work with them, honor them, and hold space for them, we (all members of the group) allow them to have all their feelings, including fears. We give them permission to be who they are without being wrong, without having something labelled as wrong sick. So they have an anxiety attack, big deal. It does not make them broken, it doesn’t make them need to be cured, it makes them human.   It shows them how unaware they are of what they have been pushing away, stuffing down, and not dealing with. That is what I believe creates “mental illness”. What we push away, what we shut down, and what we do to please others.

As I look around the group, my heart is filled with love for them, and for their willingness to put themselves out there and to shift. I am also filled with angst for them, because they have to deal with a medical system that is so backwards, so damned backwards. Psychiatry has forgotten all about the humanity, the person. Everything is a symptom and all symptoms result in a prescription. There is nothing about what created the symptom to begin with. I am still shocked that prescriptions are written and if the “patient” doesn’t want to see a therapist they don’t have to. They can just go check in with a psychiatrist monthly or quarterly and get their prescriptions renewed. No working to clear anything, just a pill. That is what I think is backwards and horrible; beyond horrible, it is unhealthy and dangerous.

I know I am in an uphill battle, but I am willing to take the battle on. Not because I am so altruistic, but because I know that on the other side there is a human being that is so lost and confused that they buy into the story that others tell them about their inadequacies and their failures, of their sickness.

My goal is to remind them of their strengths and inner qualities. To let them know they may have to work at it, maybe harder than others, because so many people in their lives have convinced them that they don’t have any strengths.

So today, I realize there is no cure, because they have nothing to cure, in terms of medical illness. . They have simply lost their way. It is my job to help them find it again.

I help them by clearing their energetic blocks, so that they can fully embrace who they really are without fear of judgment, from themselves or others.

I show them the light, the light they have, the light they have always had.   They buried it so deeply, they thought they didn’t have it.

I am grateful, grateful beyond words that I can do energy healing work with so many and help them in a way that no one has ever worked with them before.  I am no longer shying away from my calling, I have jumped in with both feet and am doing energy work out in the open with all the clients and have happily gotten great feedback and support from my co-workers.   I see a shift in the clients, an excitement, a hope, a willingness to do things differently.

It truly makes my heart sing.

 

 

Jun 24

Missing my Dad, not so much

By Lori Grant

I want to share, this came up last week on Father’s day, but feeling very scared to actually put it to words and post it.

So here is the thing, my Dad died 32 years ago today. Father’s day use to be awful for me, now not so much. This past Fathers day, every time I saw a Facebook post about how much someone misses their Dad and how they miss him every day (for those Dads have passed) I was annoyed, like please really. Not for the people who lost their Dad in the last few years, but a long time ago. Notice, I wanted to make them wrong and not own my own feelings about this.

Then I started thinking I must be some horrible person that I don’t miss my Dad. I mean I loved my Dad, we were very close, I was his little girl…even when I was 20, when he died.

But I can’t help but wonder, “ really you miss him every day?” How horrible am I as a daughter, as a person, that I don’t actually miss my Dad anymore. I mean I live my life daily, I know that I am my father’s daughter in so many ways but miss him, no, I don’t. I talk to him when I want; I know his spirit is always available to me. When he died I lived at home with him, my Mom, an older brother and my younger brothers. My life changed drastically after he passed, as did I. I missed him terribly back then, daily, minute by minute, it is all I focused on for so long, the pain, the emotion of it was unbearable and I would sob and sob. There was no such thing as an appropriate time to cry, I just did whenever I couldn’t maintain any longer. In the car, at work, on the subway, where ever I was at that moment. I actually thought I would never feel good again, I thought I would never get over it.

But now 30+ years later, I don’t miss him. And with all the Father’s day posts, the emotions came up again…I started thinking there is something wrong with me, I don’t feel “enough” or like other people say they feel. I judge myself as being harsh, unfeeling, and insensitive. I also know my Dad would find this hysterical, me, not caring enough, or being insensitive. He used to tease me about how easily I would cry…at commercials, tv shows, movies, and books. Yet I compare myself to others and come up short in the feeling department.

I am working through the comparisons and trying not to assume that the others are lying about how they miss their Dad every day. I am quite sure that I would not be able to function if I didn’t let go of his death, like I didn’t function in the days and weeks after his death. Slowly I began to heal, I began to accept his death and to live as he taught me, with love, laughter, fun and joy. He was an amazing role model on many levels (some not so good levels too). So I don’t miss my Dad daily, because I live the way he taught me and one of those was to let go and move on when life doesn’t give us what we want.

To my Dad, I show him daily that he impacted my life in an amazing and uplifting way, I laugh with abandon, I play with a passion and I love with all my heart. This is why I don’t miss my Dad daily, he lives in all that I do, in every moment.

Thank you for letting me work through this here; with my heart, feelings and thoughts mingling together, creating me. Confused, vulnerable, and willing to risk being thought of as cold and/or unfeeling, that is what I give you. Emotional transparency. It can be scary, downright frightening but it is rewarding to be true to myself.

I hold space to honor and allow for your fears. Thank you.

 

 

 

Jun 14

Acceptance, Choices, Freedom!

By Lori Grant

SPEEDING, who knew that getting pulled over by the police two weeks ago would be a great lesson and teaching moment for me as a Transformational Energy Coach for an outpatient program for people with mental health issues?

It wasn’t too important a lesson to be reminded of just this. Are you ready to live your life? I mean YOUR life? Not your children’s lives, not your partner’s life, not your parent’s life, I mean YOUR life? That is what getting pulled over did for me, and for all my clients.

ACCEPTANCE.
The first step is acceptance. Accept where you are and who you are in this moment. Because this moment is all we have. Even accepting that life is not what you hoped it would be, you may be struggling with an illness, family members problems, or just in general, work isn’t great, finances are tight, whatever it is, accept it. Don’t judge it, don’t beat yourself up about it, just ACCEPT it. As New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick always says, “it is what it is”.

CHOICES.
We always have choices even when it doesn’t seem that way. Everything we do, every move we make is a choice. Paying our rent, not paying the mortgage, going to work, buying a book, everything is a choice. We may feel that we HAVE to do certain things, but ultimately we do not, it is always a choice. And by no small measure, every choice we make has consequences. If you don’t pay rent, you may be evicted, if you skip work, you may be fired, there are always consequences for our choices.

With ACCEPTANCE and CHOICES comes FREEDOM.

FREEDOM.
When we accept where we are, even if we don’t like it, we can make choices to change it or to go along with it. Either way when we accept our life, we make choices based on acceptance and we become FREE. Free from blame, free from Victimhood, free to live our life as we choose to live it. We stop blaming others, we stop blaming ourselves and we take responsibility for our choices.

It opens our hearts and minds to the infinite possibilities that are available to us. We stop looking for others to create our life and realize that we are the creators of our dreams.

I would like to thank the police officer who pulled me over to teach me this lesson again. I fully accepted that I was speeding and he had every right to pull me over. I knew I made a choice to speed and that it was my responsibility for what ever happened because of it. I am quite convinced because I fully accepted my responsibility for speeding, he just asked me to slow down and let me go. No ticket, no written warning, just slow down and be safe. I have heeded his words and am driving slower.

ACCEPTANCE and CHOICES bring us FREEDOM.

Sep 09

Rediscovering your Joy!

  • Have you put your feelings aside for someone else?
  • Have you been helping others to the exclusion of yourself?
  • Do you wonder what happened to your life?
  • Are you ready to learn how to do both?  Help others and yourself?
  • Are you ready to find and create joy in your life?

    Welcome, you have come to the right place.
  • We will work together so that you can still help those you love while taking care of and helping yourself as well.
  • Learn how  to say No without guilt..
  • Learn that saying No to someone else, is saying YES to you.
  • Learn to embrace JOY.

    Contact me today.  978-549-4279