We all have that "one thing"...
Those who know me well and even those who have followed some of the blog posts and videos on the Radiant site know that like most people, for all that I have overcome, for all of my successes and victories, I’ve had this one thorn in my side…
Mine was my previous relationship.
It was a level of betrayal that is still difficult to wrap one’s mind around.
The wounds were deep and straight to the back.
There is not much that can be said to console a person who falls deeply in love with another person only to discover that the entire thing was a lie. A manipulation. A game.
The recovery cycle was vicious.
Falling back down.
When I look back now, I understand that I attracted someone who – at that moment in time – was on the exact same vibrational frequency as me.
I chose to play with fire. I got burned.
I met someone in the exact same situation as me.
Desperately searching for a way to get out of a stale, toxic, way-past-the-point-of-being-done relationship.
Someone who was searching for someone or something outside of themselves to ignite a spark that had long since diminished. Needing to feel alive; wanting that spark to be relit.
Someone who struggled with feelings of worthlessness and not being enough. Strangled by the feelings of inadequacy.
One night at work, I found that spark and connection with her.
I remember the moment. Her eyes. The feeling. Something came alive in that instant. I can still recall it like yesterday.
Once it all came crashing down, exposed for the façade that it was, I also spent months trying to forget it all wishing with everything I had in me that I had walked by her that night and never looked back.
But, at that time, I had found exactly what I was looking for. I attracted what I was putting out there.
I ended up developing toxic habits, bounced in and out of major depressive cycles, and learned to play small in my daily life.
She was an expert at judging others and I, too, started judging everyone and everything around me.
In “The Universe Has Your Back,” Gabby Bernstein explains:
“We use judgment to avoid the feeling of our own inadequacy, insecurities, and lack of self-worth. Instead of addressing those feelings, we look at the perceived shortcomings of others so we don’t have to face our own pain… At its core, attack is really a call for help.“
That relationship in itself was ultimately a call for help.
I needed to recognize the ways that I did not feel "good enough" and all of the ways that I lacked self-love. I had to discover a healthy way to "fill the void" and create a wholehearted life.
And, it turns out that there’s really only one way to get past a situation like this.
You have to give yourself permission to feel the sadness, loss, and confusion. Recognize the anger. Accept the situation for what it is and what it has meant to you, free of judgments.
And, then, we must recognize our oneness – no matter how difficult that may be.
Releasing judgments, allowing ourselves to forgive, and recognizing our oneness, allows the situation to dissipate. It can no longer have power over you.
As Gabby says:
“It brings us back to the truth. That we are all in this together. We all suffer… She is you. Her pain is yours. Her suffering is yours. And, you both want the same thing: To return to peace.”
Is it time for you to forgive?
I felt so guided by this reading and my own experience of forgiving, releasing, and letting go, that I decided to create an entire new module for my signature digital life transformations coaching program, Reclaim Yourself, that focuses solely on forgiveness.
Forgiving the person or situation that hurt you the most.
“Holding a grudge doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.”
Forgiveness releases you from the stranglehold the person or situation had on you and allows you to move on to the peaceful, joyful life that you deserve.
Is it easy? No.
Can you do it? Yes.
I believe in you.
Here’s To Our Success,
PS: If you want to learn more about the Reclaim Yourself program, just click on THIS LINK and I will send you information as soon as the course opens!
Yesterday morning, I had a surreal experience.
I had dropped the kids off at school and gone to the grocery store. The house was empty.
Yet, as I was preparing my coffee, I heard music begin to play out of nowhere.
I approached the noise and realized that it was Taylor Swift.
As I got even closer, I realized it was her song "Wildest Dreams."
I didn't understand. I hadn't listened to the song in over 8 months. Where was it coming from?
It turned out to be coming from an old cell phone. The night before, I had charged it for the first time in about a year.
The song was the ringtone alarm I had set for my ex -- a person who hadn't occupied space in my home in nearly 9 months.
The song's tune and lyrics hit me hard and I fell apart instantaneously.
The blow was so unexpected.
Yet, I pieced myself together very quickly.
I had an excellent day.
I completed my video series for Radiant and created an amazing workbook for my clients.
I had an epic personal training session. I took the kids for Italian Ices when they got home.
I consumed healthy meals before going to yoga in the evening with my bestie.
But, this was a relatively new response.
The "old me" would have let this strange little incident snowball.
I probably wouldn't have stopped crying for days.
My depression would have kicked in full force.
I would have traded my workout and yoga class for my bed.
The healthy meals would have never happened. I would have skipped them all.
I would have been completely unproductive and gotten behind in my business endeavors.
I know from past experience exactly how it would have all gone down. It happened way too many times before.
To me, this change in response is the Reclaiming Yourself process in action.
But, I wanted to share something even deeper with you. The day was not over yet!
In video 1 of the lifestyle design series I said that hitting rock bottom in any area of our life typically results in us opening our mind towards other processes and outcomes. After all, what else are we going to do but start to think outside of the box!?!
(And, if you missed the free video series on creating a joyful, fulfilling, and courageously confident life, you can still access it by signing up HERE)
So after my kids went to sleep, I curled up in my bed and continued reading Gabrielle Bernstein's "Spirit Junkie."
I couldn't believe what I was reading. She literally wrote, "Hitting bottom is actually a miracle because it creates a situation in which you are out of options and must ask for help. "
This is exactly what I had discussed in my video just days earlier!
I continued reading feeling intrigued.
Gabby went on to discuss an experience where she very deliberately asked the Universe to send her a message about something she needed help with.
The next morning, she woke up and her inner guide (inner voice, intuition) instantly sent her a very strong and clear message.
Now for some of you, this might sound totally normal. For others, you might be thinking Gabby and I are nuts! That's okay. ;)
But, remember that when you open your mind, you allow all types of new experiences to come to you.
So, I decided to give it a shot.
Before I went to sleep, I meditated. Then, I asked the Universe to help me out and send me a message.
Today, I woke up about 30 minutes before my alarm. I walked the dog, made some coffee, and visualized my day, as I always do. But, this morning I still had about six minutes to spare before my kids would wake up for school.
I looked at my nightstand and my card deck was sitting there. I decided to do my single card pull.
However, as I started to shuffle, five cards fell out.
The individuals who have trained me to work with my cards have told me to be very observant of any cards that fall out of your shuffle because they are a special message to you from the Universe.
I couldn't believe it! (And, I never drop cards in my shuffle.)
The message in the cards was very on point with what I had asked the Universe for help.
But, the card that stood out the most was the one on top. The Ten of Swords reversed.
I feel that the message here is clear here, beautiful souls.
When you've been dealt a devastating blow and a painful situation -- or if you have been brutally taken down like the woman in this card -- you can recover.
You can heal. You can take the lessons and come back stronger. You can put your crown back on -- maybe even put it on for the first time.
You can Reclaim Yourself. Rising up like never before.
When I was lost in this toxic, hellacious relationship, it wasn't something I thought I could ever recover from.
As painful as it was for a moment, the music yesterday morning was actually just another message to me from the Universe to take a moment to reflect and to realize that it's progress and not perfection -- and this system IS working.
Here's To Our Success,
P.S.: My signature digital life transformations program, Reclaim Yourself, will be available for a very limited time in March. If you would like more information when it becomes available, just fill out the contact form below.
Do you ever get stopped in your tracks by something happening in your life?
It seems like no matter what you do, your thoughts keep circling and you feel the anxiety or stress welling up?
It happened to me when I woke up this morning after I realized that my "to-do list" was about as big as me since the kids had been out of school for the 3-day weekend.
I tell you all about it in today's video. Check it out right here:
Can you identify YOUR "problem thoughts"??
As they cross your mind, write them down. Then, counter them with a positive, empowering affirmation.
Each time that thought crosses your mind throughout the day, use your affirmation.
Soon enough that thought will stop occurring all together.
The best part of this simple process is that it can be used over and over again in all areas of your life.
Like I said in the video, I know it seems "naively simple" -- but it's effective. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!
Here's To Our Success,
Valentine's Day came and went like it always does. But, this year was different for me. This year I chose to love MYSELF!
For most of my life, I lacked self-love. I had nothing but love, gratitude, compassion, and appreciation for the people around me, but I couldn't seem to find any for myself.
This lack of self-love manifested itself in all sorts of ways -- toxic friendships, maladaptive behaviors, eating disorders.
In my 30s, however, it played out in the most toxic romantic relationship imaginable.
A friend continued to tell me this important message:
Yet, I couldn't manage to wrap my head around it for a long time.
I couldn't see the principle I teach my clients every day -- the law of attraction -- at work in front of me. We don't attract what we want -- we attract what we feel and what we think about.
If we aren't loving ourselves, we will find a way to surround ourselves with people who don't love us, either.
As my final toxic relationship came tumbling to the ground and I felt as though I was left with little more than a shattered heart, the lyrics hit me hard:
With my lack of self-love, I found someone who managed to show no love. Not only towards me, but to essentially everyone else, as well.
But, if you find yourself in the "lying on the cold, hard ground" phase, don't fret...
I spent the past two Valentine's Days "in a relationship" crying my eyes out. I found out the hard way that what Robin Williams said is true.
I turned inward this past year. I discovered how to love and appreciate myself.
I'm still a work in progress -- self-love isn't always my default option after so many years of the opposite. But, the best gift I could have ever given to myself was the gift of self-love.
My own self-love is also the best gift I could have given to everyone else around me. It's made me a better person.
This year I happily celebrated Valentine's Day. With myself. With my two kids. With my Galentine's -- the best tribe girls I could have ever imagined or asked for!
You can't make these smiles or these laughs up! They're heartfelt and they're real!
So if Valentine's Day hit you hard -- and even if you celebrated it joyfully -- I hope you took some time to celebrate yourself.
And, throughout the year, I hope you practice self-love.
Develop a relationship with the most amazing person out there -- YOU. Trust me, you deserve it. 💖🌷💖
Here's To Our Success,
Today I enjoyed the feeling of the warmth of the sun on my skin.
We always hear that it's important to enjoy the "little" things. But, perhaps even more important, we have to become AWARE of the little things.
Sometimes this isn't easy. Sometimes we intentionally choose to stop being aware.
For a long time, I didn't recognize a lot of my intuitive tendencies. However, as I became more in tune with myself, I started to see some patterns.
For instance, one of the telltale signs that something is very wrong has become crystal clear:
I get a chill. The bigger the offense, the less its likelihood of quickly departing.
I've had a chill since last night. Even after a really intense workout this morning, drenched in sweat -- I was still cold.
To put it lightly, the Super Bowl ended up triggering some memories.
This time last year, I thought I was in a whole different place in my previous relationship.
We were supposedly on the cusp of blending families, being comfortable out in public, talking about the future. It felt like things were finally "real."
We had communicated in great depth. We were going in the right direction.
I remember watching the Super Bowl together in her bed. I remember her expressing interest with what was happening and wanting to know more about the game. It may seem like a small thing, but when somebody has no interest in a game, but spends her whole evening watching and trying to learn, it just felt nice. It felt real.
There was a lot of hope in the air -- all around.
I thought I was building a life.
It was about two months later when it all came crashing down.
I found out that it was all lies.
Carefully crafted words.
Means to an end.
For me, last night's Super Bowl was yet another memory to recall with the seemingly simple, yet painfully complicated question I have used to trace over so much of the past two years: "Real or not real?"
I remember the first chill vividly.
It was our "on" weekend together (neither of us had our kids) so we would be able to spend the time together. We were supposed to go see one of my favorite bands play. We had texted throughout the day. All was well.
Until it wasn't.
It was all too typical.
She picked a random fight over nothing. This was her MO during entirely too much of our time together.
For whatever reason, I decided I could salvage the night and we still went to see the band play.
The whole time we were there, she refused to even speak to me. The band played some of "our" songs.
It was the first time a friend requested that I no longer bring her to the events.
I think I will always remember that night vividly. I was sitting at Cheers Sunrise in the middle of a hot night... FREEZING.
Perhaps I will remember it more because the chill didn't go away. For two days, in 80* weather, I felt cold everywhere I went.
After that time, whenever we would get into a major fight, I would get the chill again.
Since that time, and because I've become a lot more in tune with myself and my abilities, whenever something feels extremely wrong in my life with another person, I get the chill. It passes quickly, but I feel it nonetheless.
Last night, I remembered my previous Super Bowl memory. I remembered the feelings of hope that I had that night in that bed. I felt the chill. Once again, it stuck around.
Now when the chill comes, I know that it means that I have more healing work to do. I dig deeper.
There is still a lot of healing ahead, particularly with the forgiveness process. But, now I can move forward peacefully knowing that my life has done a 180* in less than one year.
For that, I am so grateful.
But, this experience has led me to question -- and help my clients question -- what message does the Universe send to you to let you know that something isn't right?
It doesn't have to be a chill. But, if you pay close enough attention, you'll probably find something:
That headache you keep getting...
That 'feeling' in your stomach...
That 'nagging' thought...
Do you listen??
Today I feel light.
There is an ease about me.
Today I am thankful for the radiant sunlight warming my skin.
Earlier this week, I blogged about the power of our perception.
We tend to be really hard on ourselves. But, if we take a moment to step back, we can see all of the progress we have made and the things we have accomplished where we may have only previously highlighted the failures.
The problem is that we have a tendency to listen to our inner critic entirely too much.
You know, that voice in your head that's always telling you what you *should* have done, said, worn, eaten... Or, how you're not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, tough enough (the list goes on and on)...
But, the good news is that your inner critic doesn't have to be your enemy!
In fact, in this brief, 6-minute video, I use Jack Canfield's success principle to show you how to transform your inner critic into your inner coach.
I hope you'll give this exercise a try!
Here's To OUR Success,
Every weekday morning, my kids and I wake up, get dressed, and walk a half-mile to their school. It’s a routine that makes me feel an incredible sense of gratitude.
The kids and I talk about the amazing day ahead. We observe different things like animals, flowers, and the sun rising, and then we get to the end of our quiet neighborhood.
The same crosswalk assistant stands at that corner every day. The individual’s in these positions are volunteers and they really love kids.
This particular man is very kind, always has a smile on his face, and we chat for a few minutes each day. Every once in a while, we talk about the past because he loves hearing my stories of New Orleans, while I love hearing his stories of Chicago. I like talking to him because I always feel like he has a deep sense of intuition and empathy.
Today, as my kids crossed their path to school, he turned to me and said, “I love seeing you every morning because you have a very natural state of joy that surrounds you. When I see your kids and you, and I see hundreds of family’s each day, I sense a true feeling of completion.”
It was such a kind observation from a near-stranger.
But, as I walked away, my mind started racing.
It was an ironic word to choose.
I don’t do New Years resolutions. I do “word of the year.” If you are not familiar with this practice, it’s essentially one word that you choose to guide your decisions and actions for the year.
For 2017, my word is “completion.”
I have an unfortunate tendency to get 90% of a project complete. From work to new program ideas, from crafts to laundry, I get right up to the point of completion (success) and then walk away and start something new.
It’s a TERRIBLE trait and this year I vowed to end it.
So imagine when a near-stranger casually observed a different aspect of my life (family) and complimented the level of completion he sensed there.
In reality, this is not very unusual.
Most of us are very hard on ourselves. Some of us, incredibly so.
We can highlight all the ways that we fell short, but are unlikely to point out all of the positive things we accomplished along the way.
The fact is there’s a balance in life. A yin & a yang to everything. The challenge is for you to find it.
In every success, there is something you can still improve upon further. In every failure, there is some positive step of progress made.
As you may know, I am a runner. I have many playlists for my runs. One of them includes Dierks Bientley’s song “Every Mile A Memory.” In it, he sings:
“Funny how no matter where I run, around every bend I only see just how far I haven’t come”
How many of us can say the same in our lives??
I know I can.
This past August, I reached out to a life coach to help me deal with the end of my relationship. Ultimately, she ended up being the one who helped empower me to work through my fear of success. (After all, allowing ourselves to remain stuck in toxic relationships is really just another way of sabotaging ourselves from being truly successful.)
After she listened to me “dive deep” and rattle off a list of all of my failures, the phone line fell silent for a bit.
Finally, she said, “I don’t know, Ali. All I heard was a long list of huge victories and successes.”
This experience was an eye-opening one.
Today, I challenge you to question yourself when your inner critic starts telling you how you fell short, what you messed up, where you need to improve, what you should have done better and differently.
Instead, look at all of the progress that you made in that area of your life and feel a sense of pride in yourself. I guarantee you that you will discover you have come a long way!
Here's To OUR Success,
Right before going to bed last night, I sent a text message to a close friend and let her know that I was thinking of not attending an event I had committed to this upcoming weekend.
I woke up to a string of texts.
"No, you have to!"
"I told everyone you are coming."
"You have to be there. You're local royalty now!"
That last line.
I thought to myself, "I must still be dreaming."
Me? "Local royalty" No.
But, it's the third time I have heard these words attached to my name in the past two weeks.
Is it because of my love of my tiara?? Just kidding. Kinda ;)
So how would you feel in this situation?
I think it's fair to say that there's a sliding scale of incredibly excited to incredibly terrified.
Here is something you would't know about me if you haven't followed my Facebook videos -- I am a social introvert.
And, here is something that only my inner circle knows.... I had to work with coaches from a variety of backgrounds due to a major fear that held me back in my life and in my business BIG TIME! In some ways, it was related to my status as a social introvert.
These days, I spend a lot of time working with my 1-on-1 clients showing them that lots of people are afraid of failure. We all know that. But, there's a much bigger fear that many people don't realize they even have or how large of an impact it is having on their life -- the fear of SUCCESS.
A lot of times you can "hide" your failures. Success is "out there."
Success, notoriety, positive impact -- these are external. They can be very visible.
The words played again in my mind. "You're local royalty now."
A social introvert with a deep-seated fear of success's worst nightmare.
I panicked a bit. I felt my heart start to race. Could I plan an impromptu trip and go out of town this weekend??
But, then I remembered all of the work I have done with my coaches. The training I did under Chalene Johnson in her Courageous Confidence Club (she's also a social introvert!).
I thought about how hard I have worked to get to where I am now. And, how one of my biggest goals in 2017 is having a big, positive impact in the local community through my life transformations coaching work.
So, I took a few deep breaths and remembered this quote:
If "local royalty" means that I am out there every day inspiring other people to live their lives to the fullest, place their fears behind them and step forward into the present with courageous confidence, then I will gladly own and accept the title.
But, I'd like to bring my tiara. ;)
Here's To OUR Success,
I did 18 assisted chin-ups today.
That’s pretty amazing since I was starting from ZERO.
But, as always, the transformation is in the lesson here…
By profession, I am a researcher.
I can read hundred of books, articles, and websites, analyze and synthesize the information, and then summarize it for you in a paper the length of your choosing.
But, it turns out that’s how I have been approaching much of my personal life, too.
Want to do pushups, pullups, and yoga handstands??? (That’s my physical fitness goal!)
Well, you can research it.
You can scientifically determine the weight lifting techniques and exercises you should do to strengthen the muscles that you need to do a pull-up.
That’s basically my approach. Research. Research. A little more research. Slow steps. Painfully slow steps.
But, this time I decided to take a different approach, shake up my typical system, and hire an amazing personal trainer. And, I told her my new fitness goals. (I’ve previously been a cardio badass!)
And, guess what??
We are doing plenty of lifting techniques and exercises to increase my upper body and core strength…
But, on Day 2, we were also on the assisted pull-up machine.
And, today, on Day 4, I did 18 assisted free hang chin-ups. (And, yes, the last 6 were SUPER assisted! No shame here lol.)
But, that’s the thing. We can take all of the small, carefully crafted, well-researched steps we would like.
And, that’s not necessarily bad. We need solid information. We don't want to be reckless.
But, most of the time you also have to JUST DIVE IN!
See what happens. Re-evaluate. Feel proud of ourselves for taking massive action!
So, today I ask you this question: What is the “pull-up” in your life?
Whatever it is in your personal situation, why not take that first step today??
Here's To OUR Success!
Back in early August 2016, I woke up one morning, packed up my car, and headed up the coast on an impromptu road trip with my kids.
I had an instinctive "pull". I knew I needed to go.
We spent some time on St. Augustine Beach. One afternoon, while walking around downtown -- an historical area known for its spiritual presence -- I had another "pull" and we headed down a random side street.
Sitting outside was a young woman reading cards. I hadn't had my cards read in about 10 years. The first (and only) time I had previously done this was in New Orleans in Jackson Square. I had found the whole process fascinating. But, I pushed my interest away the same way I pushed away most of my intuitive feelings at the time.
My card reading that day on a sunny coastal afternoon was amazing. After the reading, I immediately contacted a coach that I had recently started working with who is an empath, a reader, and who is connected deeply to the spiritual realm. I ended up working with her several times after that August trip as I deepened my own spiritual practice.
I also started to read up on and do research involving the chakras, crystals, stones, healing & light work, reiki, cards, and the Universe. I talked to coaches and healers specializing in these areas. I joined their private groups and took in everything they could teach me. I stopped pushing my intuitive feelings and hunches aside and began to learn how to embrace them.
Upon my return from our coastal road trip, I also went to my favorite local healing store and bought a card deck that resonated with me. Stevie Nicks is my favorite singer and the creator of the deck cited her as the inspiration behind her artistry. Crystal visions is a from a line in her song "Dreams" where Stevie Nicks sings, "Now here I go again, I see the crystal visions."
From that point on, one of my daily rituals became a single card pull in the morning upon rising to help guide my day. I also pull a card at any point during the day when I feel like I could use some assistance from the Universe.
It may seem like a small step, but this paired with my stones and crystals, as well as a daily chakra meditation, has been truly life altering.
After returning from my trip, things started to come together very quickly for me in a positive direction. I started doing a ton of healing work and shadow work.
But, then, suddenly there seemed to be a "disturbance" around me. I felt confused. Bogged down. Like I needed to retreat and find some space.
I pulled a card.
"The Four of Swords indicates recuperation, reflection, and withdrawal. The woman affected in the card is resting and recharging both her body and mind so that she can move forward on her journey. She has done battle and needs time to heal. Taking a step back from the situation is necessary in order to review the next course of action."
Many different things occurred during those few months and most people would have viewed them as trying and difficult. I felt a heavy weight on me at times.
The truth is that I had deep-dived into my healing. Perhaps I had pulled back one layer "too many" too quickly.
But, the fact is that sometimes we need something to come through and shake it all up -- destroy things a bit so we can put it all back together a new way and develop a different perspective. See the world in a new light.
And, that's what happened to me.
This shakeup -- and withdrawal -- allowed me to approach my life and my business from a new direction. The solitude and the time alone thinking, examining, and creating gave me the opportunity to re-conceptualize my business and my style.
Ultimately, we can choose our path.
We can choose our niche.
We can pick our direction.
We can try to have a stranglehold on it all.
But, the Universe will guide us if we open our hearts and minds and allow it to do so. All of the manipulation and controlling in the world can't do that for us.
When I really took a step back and examined it all, I discovered that people continued to turn to me for one thing more than any other -- the authentic and vulnerable way that I delivered my own personal story and journey into my life transformations coaching work.
People wanted more of the parts that I was only letting show through a little. The pieces that I was still somewhat hiding were the parts they loved, connected with, and were finding their own healing path through. They wanted to hear more.
As I began to recognize this, I began to think of ways to deliver it. I started getting crystal clear. When that happened, I finally began to feel the passion well up in me again -- the passion that seemingly dwindled for a little while there.
I pulled a card.
"When the Four of Swords appears reversed, a period of recuperation and recovery is complete. The card can signify increasing strength and vitality and a feeling of renewal."
I got chills!
So this year, I am committed to using this blog space on a weekly basis to demonstrate through the power of story in a step-by-step way how you can own, love, and appreciate *YOUR* story and use it to grow and transform.
If you let it, I know that this will empower you to design the most fulfilling, courageous, joy-filled life imaginable.
So here's to all of our success on this amazing journey. I look forward to blogging with you this year!