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Category Archives: Selfcare

Facing Fears

Over the past few months I have been challenged with decisions and opportunities that have brought up vulnerability and fear in this process. I have had to dig deep into my vulnerability with fear and being “enough”. When I was a teenager my parents gave me a plaque that read, “what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” Fast

forward 20 years later and my daughter has the same quote sitting on her desk. This quote has stuck with me over the years and continues to be a reminder for me that I cannot be afraid of failure or mistakes. My parents always encouraged new experiences and placed importance on “getting out of your comfort zone”. It was a lesson that I was not going to see the true value in until I was older. I found small successes when I took risks, traveled, sought out adventure… As time passed, my courage to get out of my comfort zone grew. And with each act of courage came a growth in confidence and self-awareness.

I would be lying if I did not say it was extremely difficult to practice this each day. I imagine a bell curve and think when I was younger the stakes were pretty minimal. I thought I was invincible – as all teenagers do. Now in my 40s and towards the top of that bell curve the stakes are higher. I have more to risk, more to lose. Here I am a therapist who aims to encourage, inspire, motivate, and support my clients (friends and family too!) but why is it so difficult to practice when it comes to getting out of my own comfort zone? Every time I sense impending change or challenges (which by the way, is quite often), I ask myself the question, “what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” I ask this to my clients when they are struggling with decisions. If someone told you this would work out, would you do it, would you engage without fear? Typically, the answer is, yes. Everything we want is on the other side of fear.  It is the uncertainty that creates vulnerability that can paralyze us and keep us from striving for the opportunities and goals we want in our lives. And the number one way to conquer vulnerability is to have courage in the face of it. Vulnerability is fear, it is uncertainty, it is change. I believe in the power of courage. I teach the power of courage. But when it comes to practicing courage I am the first to be compassionate at how difficult it is.

During times of vulnerability it is critical for me to get moving. I typically do this through running or yoga, which allows me to connect my mind and body together. It allows me to move through energy and thoughts that no longer serve me. I am able to re-center myself. This time also creates the positive and encouraging thoughts that provide the courage to face whatever it is I am fearing and let go of the need for certainty.

This quote by Nelson Mandela sums it up for me: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” The goal is to not experience fear or failure. The goal is to overcome it. The goal is to be resilient in the face of fear or failure. We rarely learn and grow when things go perfectly. We learn when we fall, when we take risks and we learn when we have the courage to get back up  and keep going.

*As we all know, sunrise is my favorite time of day. The stillness and coolness of the morning air is invigorating.

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Setting the Stage

Each morning it is important to set a stage for the day ahead.

Typical scenario: the alarm goes off at the latest minute possible to maximize sleep, already rushed, your jumping out of bed and typically immediately engaging in your “morning routine”, which if I had to guess is rushed and likely on auto pilot. Look at phone, look at emails (stress sets in – and you are already behind), make coffee, pour coffee, shower, get dressed in whatever hanger hits your hand first, maybe grab breakfast on the go (if your lucky), oh, and if you have kids add 4-5 more steps into this routine in the same amount of time. Yikes! Think about this for a moment… In some ways you are starting your day playing catch up already. To me, this sounds like setting a stage for a tough day.

If you had asked me 3 years ago to wake up before the sun, I would tell you you are crazy. I was also staying up to watch my beloved Jimmy Fallon each night, which typically put me to bed around 11pm or later. The universe offered a change when my daughter, at age 10, had tennis practice starting at 6am. Yes, you read that right. While initially this brought me so much angst – waking up so early, how would she handle waking up that early and play tennis! But I have to say; this was one of the best things that happened to me. It forced me to start a routine of waking up early and engaging in my day from a place of mindfulness, quiet, and strength. While she would go play tennis, I would go the gym, yoga, or take a run with our dog. This time offered me so much and started my days with a completely different perspective of what I wanted out of each day. It offered me time to think about the clients I would engage with during the day, it offered me time to build inner mental and physical strength to engage in my day, and best of all it set the stage for the day I wanted to have.

I encourage all my clients to do the same. Maybe they can’t offer themselves an hour – but even 10 minutes of sitting quietly before they open emails and begin their day, a short walk, a 10-minute stretching routine, whatever you can fit in is better than nothing. I challenge each of you to do the same. Toni Robbins said, if you don’t have 10 minutes a day to give to yourself, then you have no life. I believe this wholeheartedly, if your life is so packed with work, kids, errands, etc. and you don’t have 10 minutes for yourself, then you have an invitation to re-evaluate your life.


*photos of a few of my favorite sunrises in Boise, ID

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