Letters to My Soul….

(by Fred M.)

Dear Soul,

I am not so sure what to say to you or why I am writing, but I am sure that I will find out soon enough. I do know that you have greatness within you, unlimited potential as well as success somewhere within the deepest recesses. Your biggest challenge is to gain access to all your potential for the entire world to see. I know that you are a powerful entity that is unstoppable once set into motion.

In many ways I feel that I have let you down. I have let you down mainly by being busy with busyness. Sometimes this busyness is helping others accomplish/achieve tasks/goals that are important to them. Other times the busyness can be excuses to avoid or delay taking the necessary action to pursue goals that dwell deep down in my heart. The majority of the time the major excuse is that I don’t know where to start or how to start. Either way, all this busyness leads to not taking care of you, not placing you in a higher priority. Your needs, desires, goals are always placed on the back burner in favor of something else that should be of less importance.

I have also let you down by not letting you take risks/chances. Without risk there is no reward, and I have not allowed you to take the necessary risks to allow you to discover who you really are, to truly let you shine. I have kept you at bay, held you back, and prevented you from truly shinning. I have no explanation why I have allowed this to occur nor do I know how to set you free. I wish I had the answer.

I know that the burdens of life bog you down. I also, accept the responsibility for the burdens that keep you tied down. Care for an elderly parent, a partner that doesn’t share the responsibility equally, as well as financial burdens are all responsibilities that are choices. Care for the parent is important, the partner can change, and the financial responsibilities are temporary. As time passes these things, too shall fade away.

I don’t know why you can’t deal with your feeling for ‘Buddy’. There appears to be an opportunity that you just refuse to address. I realize that the situation is complicated. First, you are married. Although you are in a loveless relationship, for the most part you just go through the motions. There is no love, compassion, laughter, togetherness, nothing. You don’t dislike your wife, you’re just not in love with her anymore, you still love her but you’re not in love. It is always you who has to initiate anything. Very little comes from the other side, you’re involved in a lopsided relationship that makes you feel all alone and by yourself.

Second, Buddy works for your brother, she makes her living at the office. Buddy’s job is how she pays her mortgage, bills as well as entertainment. While complicated, Buddy has said and perhaps gives clues that there may be interest and you have done nothing, not a thing. How pathetic is that!!!! All because you won’t take a chance/risk. What are you afraid of?

At least Buddy senses when thinks are not quite right with you. Buddy cares about how you eat, whether or not you are taking care of yourself. Buddy shows interest and genuine concern for you. You and your current partner communicate superfluously with very little meaning, care or concern.

I know you still feel like that bird with his wings all tied up. Perhaps you should throw caution to the wind so-to-speak and just go for it. Like the NIKE motto, “JUST DO IT”. Go for broke, walk the walk. No Fear. We have to find a way to untie those wings so that you may soar like and eagle.

One way to set you free may be to change your relationship status. This is probably your biggest burden and could potentially ruin the remainder of your life. Remember that your time is limited and you should not live your life by everyone else’s expectations or how they may perceive you should you choose this path. I know you’re afraid that your current partner will suffer, but I don’t know why you feel responsible for her. She is a big girl and should be able to take care of herself. Whether she can or cannot take care of herself may not be your concern. Your main concern should be for yourself. Take care of you, you are number one. I think the sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll find happiness.

(If Fred’s letter to his soul touched your soul in some way, please let him know by sharing your comments below.)

Emotional Vomit!

I have been teaching figure skating for the last three years at my home ice rink in Northbrook, IL, where I grew up.  Every year for the last 43 years the Northbrook Park District has put together a first rate ice show, always over Mother’s Day weekend.  It is a huge production for everyone involved from the skaters, parents, and coaches to the production crew and ice arena staff.  I’m not sure how, but somehow I had managed to avoid the show my first 2 years back at the ice rink after my 18 year hiatus.  Something in my schedule just didn’t allow me to work at the show however, this year I was able to sign-up and work the curtain backstage for all of the dress rehearsals and the show.

Working the curtain was fun and easy however, with ice skaters gliding off the ‘stage’ at 5-15 MPH, you have to be quick to open the curtain or get run over by the skaters! While I was feeling physically lousy that weekend (headache, body aches, extreme fatigue), I was focusing hard on ignoring my body and enjoying myself and feeling the upbeat, positive energy that was enveloping the entire ice arena.  Great music.  Great costumes.  Happy kids.  Happy adults.  I was really soaking up the good stuff and enjoying myself when, it hit me like a ton of bricks!

I had some time where I did not need to be on curtain duty so, I decided to go out by the audience and watch some of the numbers.  (The view from behind a black, velvet curtain isn’t much of a view!)  At that moment, the music was from Beauty and the Beast.  The costumes were yellow, the lighting was soft, the music was gentle, and I had realized that this was my first ice show since I was 19…..and it was Mother’s Day weekend!

My mother had passed away unexpectedly last November.  It had been about 6 months since I lost her. I had be plowing my way through my life ever since.   I had been ‘sucking it up’ and moving forward and did not give myself time to let it sink in that she is gone.  I know there is a process to grieving and I am aware of the process, but I was not aware of where I was in the process.  I was doing exactly what we all do.  I was shoving my emotions down and they were manifesting in physical discomfort.  This particular moment standing there watching the young ice skaters in their soft, yellow costumes perform under the lights brought on a flood of memories of 15 ice shows I had skated in as a child.  Fifteen ice shows where my mom sewed my costumes.  Fifteen ice shows where my mom took me too/from my rehearsals and lessons.   Fifteen ice shows where my mom had helped out in the changing rooms where I changed into several costumes for several different numbers for each ice show.   This ice rink was a second home to me when I was growing up and this moment brought out all of the little things as well as the big sacrifices my mother made for me when I was a child.  As an adult, I now had a whole new perspective of what my mom did for me; of how my mom loved me; of how my mom supported me, with very few ‘thank you’s’ from me.  It was not that I didn’t appreciate her; I was a kid.  I had no idea all of the things she did for me until this moment.  This moment, I REALLY WANTED MY MOMMY!

In that moment, I could barely contain myself.  Tears were flowing out of my eyes and I was fighting them hard! I work with some wonderful people and  I felt that if anyone knew what I was feeling, their sympathy would only make it worse.  Now, as a coach, I know that there is nothing better than to let the flood gates open and let those emotions out, but being human, and being taught what everyone is taught in society, I fought it.  I held them in until we had a break between shows when I went to my car and called the one person who could completely understand and share in the emotional roller coaster I was experiencing; my sister.

My sister grew up 7 years ahead of me at the same ice rink and shared a very similar experience to mine.  She, of course, was also dealing with the loss of our mother so, who better to call and share in the tears and the memories?  I called her from the privacy of my car and had a good cry sharing our stories and feelings with each other.  The flood gates had opened and the raging rapids were taking me, and now her, for a wild ride.  Truthfully, it was a huge emotional vomit that my body and mind desperately needed.  And don’t you always feel so much better once you’ve expelled the toxins from your system?

These days, I am now crying more and feeling more of the loss of my mother as well as the joy of who she was and the incredible way she loved her kids.  I had been shoving /denying any emotions around my mother’s death deep down into the crevices of my body; my soul.  They were shoved into a dark place that I did not want to go.  Now I was experiencing what I preach to my clients.

1. If you shove it down, and keep shoving it down, it will become spring-loaded and pop out at some point when you least expect it.

2.  Those emotions have to come out of your body.  If you don’t work on letting them out, they will manifest in other ways such as drinking, smoking, drugs, or dis-ease.

3.  When you shine light on the dark places, they are no longer dark, and there is great freedom in the release of those emotions; in the new light!

In coaching, we call this ‘Process.’  We are trained as coaches to help our clients Process the emotions they are experiencing.  To run toward them rather than away from them.  It is something I need to work through with my own coach.

What emotions have you been denying yourself?  What have you been shoving down?  Ready to examine them?  Share your story in the comments section below.  I shared mine so that it would inspire others to take the next step forward.  Perhaps your story can do the same?

Are You Waiting to Start Your Life?






What are you waiting for?

–          Waiting for a windfall of cash?
–          Waiting for your kids to finish growing up?
–          Waiting for someone to rescue you?
–          Waiting for someone else to make the decision to leave so that you can be free?
–          Waiting for the right time, even though you don’t know what the right time is?

Perhaps the question is ‘What are you holding onto?’

Personally, I waited for Mr. Right.   Or, rather, I held onto the idea that I needed someone else in my life to be able to do all of the things I wanted to do in life.  After all, society taught us that we need to get an education, get a job, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.  Well, my life skipped the part where I was supposed to get married and have kids.  I waited for Mr. Right to appear and he never did.  Mr. Kinda Right, Mr. Wrong, and Mr. I Might Just Settle For You came along, but not Mr. Right.  I kept waiting for him to appear until one day, I realized that I had better start living and doing the things I really wanted to do rather than waiting around for someone to appear before I started my life.  I had to let go of something I didn’t even know I was holding onto.  It was a story that was given to me that I was carrying around and, when I became aware of it, I was able to let it go.

That is when I started my own business.  The old me took on the story that I was to wait until I was married before I started my own business.  The new me that was evolving at the time said, “What are you waiting for?”  That is when I took time to find out what I was passionate about.  That is when I started living!  After starting my own business and putting all of my energy into creating a fabulous new life for myself I surprisingly I found myself waiting again; holding onto another story I didn’t know I was holding onto.

This time, I was waiting for the time to be just right.  Waiting for some mythical sign in the clouds to let me know I should move to the mountains.  Again, what was I waiting for?  No one was going to ever give me permission.  No one was ever going to pick me up and move me to my beautiful home in the mountains.  (I really did hope that someone would rescue me!)  If I had learned anything along the way, I had learned that I needed to create the life I wanted.  No one else was going to do it for me!

I have learned that I had better start living today!  Right now!  And suggest that you might want to do the same.  Make something happen for yourself too!  No one else is going to come along and make all of your dreams come true.  YOU are the only person who is going to make all of your dreams come true.  If you keep waiting for the right thing, the right time, or the right person, before you know it, you might be 80, look back, and wonder how you got there; why didn’t you move to your proverbial mountains???

What are your mountains?  What is your big dream?  Share yours in the comments section below and/or start a discussion on our New Facebook Group Page, Living the Full Life with LifeQuest Alliance.