Divine Truth or Wounded Truth?

Divine Truth or Wounded Truth?

Here’s a super subtle thing I teach, that winds up making all the difference in the world to a girl’s self-perception, inner confidence and divine connection:

There is a difference between ‘the truth’ (Divine truth) Vs what ‘feels true’ (wounded truth) about ourselves.

For example:
Wounded truth: Feels true that “I am alone. If I am fully myself no one will like me”
Divine Truth – “I am loved and supported. When I am fully ‘me’, I attract who I am meant to”

Another example:
Wounded truth: “I need to work hard to prove myself and earn respect and approval”
Divine Truth: “I am already enough, loved and supported”

So, what is a “Wounded Truth”?

Wounded truths are stories our minds came up with when we were younger to explain or rationalize life events; they attempt to cover or protect us from subconscious wounds. They feel super true even though they also make us sad.

Conversely, wound-free and connected to Source, our higher selves know how loved we are and that the life event was perhaps a lesson, but had nothing to do with our worth.

I can intuitively see and feel my client’s wounded stories about themselves, as well as which wound is causing the confusion and creating the disconnection from self-love.

This is an important topic in my REVIVE group coaching program. We look at which wounded truth is most in our way, and keeping us ‘stuck’ right now.

We also cover in REVIVE: How to reconnect to our intuition and KNOW which is divine guidance compared to a wounded mindset trying to protect us.

Those who sign up for August’s program by August 5th, will also be getting my Inner Child Connection work-book, a tool I created to support uncovering and healing wounds at home.

I hope you join us in REVIVE soon!
Sending so much love,
Joanna

www.joannapeters.com/revive

You Matter Too!

You Matter Too!

When my kids were little, I tried so hard to have patience. Everyone would tell me how patient I was, but they weren’t around in that moment when I lost it. That moment where my head would start to spin and I was outside of my body watching, as this lady I barely recognized yelled and screeched things.

Five minutes before that scene, I would be overtired and resentful for all the times they pushed my boundaries that day, yet would still be trying to keep a patient and fun tone with them.

Then later would come the shame attack. When they were in bed and resembling angels again: “I blew it – we had such a lovely day and this is how it had to end” self-talk with “They are only little for a short while; have more patience!” to top it all off.

It was lovingly brought to my attention around that time: “Jo, you don’t need to be more patient, you need to be LESS patient!”

I want to share my lessons in being “overly patient,” especially during this time when so many families are cooped up together and moms everywhere are understandably losing it and feeling bad.

When my kids were small, I was missing an extremely important element to my parenting: I matter too.

When I remember that I matter too, I monitor my own happiness throughout the day, as closely as I do my children’s, and I speak up about my needs before I turn into an overtired and resentful version of myself.

Here’s the personal check-in concept that helps me around patience:

Feeling resentment and anger usually means I need to review my boundaries.

Or, what did I want to say “no” to and said “yes” to instead?

The key I learned to not becoming resentful and angry was taking care of my physical, emotional and spiritual needs during the day, too. Cutting off their playtime when I was tired, saying “no” to the extra game of tumble purely because I was finding it annoying, and stepping up my parenting to include immediate consequences for whining.

Saying “no” to my kids more meant I had to energy to say “yes” to myself in other ways, like having the clarity of mind to make healthier food choices, or choose a 5-minute meditation in the bathroom. All of which served to keep everyone happier. I got a handle on it when they were little, and I’m so glad I did because it was a necessary warmup for the teen years. Not only did I need to remember that I matter, but I had to learn to guard my personal boundaries like my sanity depended on it, because it very much did.

I think we all get that one child – the one who makes you earn your mommy badge. The teen version of mine, perhaps a lawyer in training, would ask repeatedly and in multiple ways for whatever thing he was hyperfocused on that day. I would say “no” and explain “why,” then say “no,” and explain “why” again; then later say “still no” and “here’s why.” He wanted what he wanted, regardless of the words coming out of my mouth. At times I felt bullied by his persistence, and my tone would switch to annoyed and defensive, and then I would lose my patience. Then I would feel bad.

Thankfully with age comes wisdom and healing. It didn’t take many rounds of this for me to remember that feeling angry and resentful was my personal indicator that I needed a boundaries recheck. I matter too, and this behavior was not OK.

The problem was that I was being overly patient with his bad behavior.

The version of me that wants to keep everyone happy, even at the cost of herself, does shows up sometimes, but I quickly remind her that her experience of life matters, too.

When I checked in with myself, I was resentful and annoyed by the behavior of my son repeatedly asking and not listening to my very thoughtful and fair reasons for saying “no.” If I felt like I was being bullied, I was. So, I set a new boundary around this behavior and a consequence. If he asked me something more than once, and I felt I had provided an adequate explanation, he lost his phone.

He still loses his phone a lot. This didn’t change his personality during these teen years, but it does keep my sanity. I even choose to be a little amused by it. I admire his persistence; it will serve him well one day. He does not however, get to rob my peace with his antics. I set that boundary and I guard it fiercely. While he stomps around phoneless in his room, I am sipping my coffee in peace, self-reflecting on a job well done.

To fellow peacekeeping, overly patient, people-pleasers out there, may this be a reminder to establish your boundaries and/or recommit to them with all the people in your life, especially in these hard times.

Remember: You matter, too!

Sending so much love to you all!

Joanna Peters

Originally posted on The MOPS Blog

https://blog.mops.org/i-matter-too/
Let’s Lower Our Standards  – This is Survival!

Let’s Lower Our Standards – This is Survival!

If your home just turned into a full-time office for 2, a school for reluctant, messy kids who miss their friends, and a live-in chef and cleaner wasn’t part of the deal, then something has to give – other than your sanity.

If you were struggling with anxiety or fighting off depression before this, this is important.

Even if you weren’t though, this is a big deal and you deserve to create some space to process your emotions around it. Just a break.

The break comes from to ‘letting go’ of some busy work, while maintaining your values so you keep your peace and create the space to heal your emotions.

Within each of us we have a bunch of rules in our heads about how we would prefer to live and what daily success means, our partner has another version, our parents had theirs and society has a bunch of “shoulds” sprinkled on top just for fun.

Here’s the thing though my love, this is your life. You can do whatever you want. For real.

We all experience “survival only” times of our lives, and this is for sure one for them.

You know you are in one when your heart hurts, your brain is melting and you want to crawl under the covers for a while or move dimensions.

This too shall pass, and when it does you can ramp up again and live your best life according to that circumstance.

For now though, be kind to yourself and cross some things off that to-do list, and have fun doing it – no guilt!

There are no rules here, this is a truly personal thing.

Here are some examples though:

For the next week I will:

– Do one thing that makes me happy every day, even if it makes no sense.

– Accept less work effort from my kids, there are struggling/adapting too.

– Close doors on rooms I release myself from cleaning during this time.

– Make a request for help from someone.

– Reach out to support others, seek connection.

– Hide the vacuum

– Only cook and do dishes

– Stick my hair together with dry shampoo and put it up.

– Declare kitchen as ‘self-serve’, help yourselves!

Tips:

Discern what taking it down a level might look like for you, evaluate if it adds or decreases stress to you in making that change.

If maintaining a higher standard is coming from pleasing others, notice that and evaluate accordingly. (note: YOU matter).

Pray/meditate/take walks in nature, to gain perspective and ask for spiritual support.

Love yourself so fiercely that once you have a vision of what this could look like, speak up for it and say “and so it is”.

Your core values, when boiled down, most likely don’t include many “to-dos” to execute. They are typically ways of being (loving, kindness etc).

So consider giving yourself a break AND allow yourself to feel good about it. Getting intentional relieves guilt.

You are divinely supported and loved. You are enough regardless of how you handle this challenging time, so what do you want and need this next week to look like?

You deserve to make whatever that is, happen for yourself.

Sending so much love to you all!

Joanna Peters

How to ‘step up’ your ‘boundaries game’

How to ‘step up’ your ‘boundaries game’

Do you balk at having to say ‘no’, sometimes feel you are not being heard or get resentful for doing more than your share?

You are not alone my friend! That big old heart of yours is playing tricks on you, and as a recovering people pleaser – I’ve got you.

Boundaries are either taught to you, and you are encouraged to use them growing up, or – like me, you reach exhaustion at some point and start researching what you are doing wrong!

When you don’t set healthy boundaries, you are at the mercy of others – how much they ask of you, what makes them happy – you are letting someone else decide how you feel or should act.

You may tell yourself this is “okay” for a while, but you are human and your soul will become lost, unfulfilled, sad and more resentful the longer this way of being continues.

Boundaries are a good thing!!

They are not about excluding others, being selfish or mean. They are how you define your relationship with YOURSELF.

They help honor YOUR needs, feelings and values.

The things that are important to YOU matter, and who is going to define and protect those important personal needs, if not yourself?

Boundaries when used well protect your joy and conserve your energy. They make you a better version of yourself, which benefits everyone you are in a relationship with too!

A first important step in setting boundaries, is learning more about yourself – your true self. Letting go of, perhaps, the version of you that others have needed or wanted you to be in the past.

For example:

If you were praised in the past for helping people, maybe you do that often and it does make you happy – until it doesn’t, because you want your own space to recharge sometimes too.

Perhaps in a relationship he loves sports and you loved being a part of that with him, but how much do YOU love sports, and how much time would you like that in your life now? What lights YOU up?

If like me, you have been running on empty – without boundaries, to the extent you feel lost when you ask yourself who you are and what you want, a back-to-basics exercise is required.

If this sounds like you, I invite you to download my FREE “Know yourself on a soul level” personal work-book here.

I put together this workbook because only going back to this level of “basics” was what helped me recover from codependent relationships, and people pleasing to exhaustion.

I gift it to my soul sisters for free, because women losing themselves is an epidemic that is extremely saddening to me.

Sometimes we simply grow and change, or sometimes we battle our way out of abusive relationships and need to re-set and relearn about ourselves, as of now.

Your core beliefs, values and perspective (given your personal experiences on life) are what goes into knowing how to set your boundaries. If these are foggy, then this ‘step back’ is for you.

Learn more about this free personal workbook here

More on Boundaries:

There is no right or wrong with boundary setting. You make the rules and get to decide how people treat you, how they behave around you and what they can expect from you.

Examples of personal boundaries:

I’m comfortable holding hands and cuddling, but not when we are out with my work friends.

I want and need some quiet time to myself at the weekend.

You can email me about your work events, but please don’t add me to your group texts.

Watching one sports event per weekend is my limit.

I have no problem watching your kids for you, but please send them with lunch.

I am not comfortable the way you are talking to me, if it continues, I will leave.

Please, no jokes about xyz when I am around. I don’t find them funny.

I can come, but not every weekend.

That doesn’t work for me, here is another idea.

I promised myself I would spend more time doing xyz this year, and if I say yes to that, I can’t do xyz.

My family time/alone time/working out is important to me.

Anxiety Stinks! Especially When You Appoint Yourself Managing Director of the Universe.

Anxiety Stinks! Especially When You Appoint Yourself Managing Director of the Universe.

You guys, Anxiety stinks! there is always something in the world to worry about, yes – but also always practical, responsible action to be taken around the fear.

Sometimes the action is a practical step to impact what we are worried about, and sometimes the best action is self-care because our concern is not something we can directly control. Often its a combination of both, so it can blur where our area of responsibility ends and our anxiety begins.

For example, we know there is a real risk to crossing a busy road, so we look both ways, take our time, cross at a designated spot. We do what is responsible and move on with our lives in trust.

I can get super anxious and sad about climate change personally, so once I’m sure our family imprint is minimized, I’ve donated to green causes etc, I have to work hard at managing my emotions around it. After doing ‘all I can’, whatever that means to me personally, I then say ‘no’ to my worry thoughts and implement my emotional self-care steps.

I believe that we are all given personal and different concerns and empathy to inspire us to act, but drawing the line between acting on that ‘nudge’, and living in a state of worry can be a challenge for many of us.

The thing in the world that you are worried about right now, did you practically do all you can? (whatever that looks like to you), are you being responsible in the world around you as it impacts others? Think. Make a list. Check it off.

Absolutely do what is within your control to make a positive impact, taking some action steps will help ease the anxiety. Then, let go and work on your emotional self-care. You are not the managing director of the universe, thankfully your higher power has that job.

I remember feeling as a little girl, when my Dad was driving somewhere, that I was totally safe. I had not a care, lying down in the back seat in the 70’s without a seat belt was peaceful for me 🙂 I knew my job was to rest in his care, and I did so completely.

I like to remember this feeling often, and remind myself that I am to feel safe now, because my higher power is driving.

Sometimes I forget, wake up from my slumber in the back seat of life, and try to grab the wheel back from my higher power. I do this all the time! I imagine myself fighting for the wheel, and then being gently and lovingly reminded to trust Him.

In these moments, I have to gently remind myself – again, that I am not the managing director of the universe. That He’s got this.

Just because your mind wanders to many things that can happen, it doesn’t mean that it’s your personal responsibility to take action past “what you can”. I also doesn’t mean that your precious brain has discovered something that He forgot .

You can say “no” to the feeling of overwhelm that follows any thought. When your mind wanders to something that you can’t control, gently remind yourself that you don’t need to micro manage your higher power, and yes, He did already think of that too.

Letting go is hard! (see my personal struggle with surrender here), but once we let go, our main job is then to look after ourselves. We are important to this world. When we take our emotional self-care seriously, we can show up for others as our best selves.

For some of us self-care is turning off the TV with the bad news and playing a board game with the family, for some of us it’s meditation and prayer, reading a fun book or cuddling with our pets.

You deserve and are meant to access and embody peace! Breathe, create your peace and enjoy it.
Much love!

Joanna

P.S For the specific steps I take to say “no” to my anxiety thoughts, download my free “PRESS REWIND” guide here.

Inner Child Connection and Healing

Inner Child Connection and Healing

One of the most healing experiences I personally experienced, after many years of different types of talk therapy, was spiritual inner child work. I love sharing this modality with others, to other healers and individuals looking to heal in a deeper way.

What is the ‘Inner Child’?

The ‘Inner child’ refers to that part of us that we can connect with, the girl version of ourselves inside, who likes to play and feel loved. It is also where we store our childhood wounds in our bodies energetically.

We can still feel that pain from our youth some days, or maybe it’s there but we are disconnected from feeling it; either way, our personal triggers are created from having that trapped emotion or energy in our body.

Spiritually, we still have the wounded inner child within us – split off, or frozen at the age when the difficult event happened that wounded us.

You may have a sad eight-year-old girl inside of you, because that’s the age when you moved away from your first family home. Or maybe you’re an abandoned ten-year-old girl that needs comfort from when your parents divorced, or perhaps you’re still angry about the divorce because you were never allowed the space to release it at that time.

For some, obviously the traumas were much harder. It doesn’t matter what the trauma was, just that it was significant enough to change how you feel about the world or yourself after that event.  

Part of going through any spiritual awakening involves these childhood wounds coming up to be healed, whether you like it or not. You simply cannot increase your vibration significantly while carrying them.

Holding space for another human during the inner child revelation is beautiful, getting to be there for the big relief of a “a-ha!’ moment and feeling the joy and freedom that delivers for the person often brings tears to my eyes.

“Oh, so eight year old me felt she had to defend herself to feel safe! – I see it, and I’m still doing it!”

They see the world differently after that moment. It’s lighter and with more freedom.

How do I know that I have inner child wounds?

In short, most people do. Our parents are human and were doing their best with their personal unhealed wounds when they raised us.

We all have reactions to current events that are based upon our unhealed wounds. For example, if you have a tendency to feel defensive when criticized, it is likely that you are viewing the situation through your personal lens of life, which includes a childhood wound of feeling betrayed.

Of course, this happens in milliseconds and subconsciously, so you are not always aware this has happened to you.  It feels super true in the moment that it’s the other person’s fault and they are attacking you. 

That’s why the work is so important, because it brings to your consciousness what is actually driving your adult reactions, and once you have all the information, it gives you a chance to choose differently.

Will I feel any different if I do this?

With each memory, discovery, release and healing, you will feel lighter and closer to who you really are.

If emotionally disconnecting was your coping strategy to avoid the difficult feelings, then you will start to feel more connected to yourself. If you were using other ways to numb the difficult feelings (comfort eat, drink etc) these urges will gradually decrease.

It will start to create a small amount of space between your typical automatic reaction (reach for food, yell at someone etc). Enough space for you to make a different conscious choice of how you want to respond.  

I used to be super disconnected, it was a strategy I picked up during my childhood so I wouldn’t feel any sadness or anger. But I learned that we can’t live our lives this way. We cannot cherry pick which emotions we disconnect from.

If you are disconnecting yourself from the pain of an unhealed past, you are disconnecting from joy too. Healing is the only way to radical self-acceptance and to a joy that grows with every layer healed.  

Releasing the trapped energy is also beneficial by itself, chronic emotional and physical ailments are often caused by this trapped unhealed energy.

More on this beautiful healing modality:

When you connect with, listen to and nurture your inner child you can find and heal the energetic roots of your ‘issues’ as an adult.

This is a truly spiritual, sacred and rewarding experience.

Examples of inner child wounds that I have been honored to support clients through are from abandonment (perceived or actual), verbal, physical or sexual abuse, or fear of lack of something (such as food, money or a place to sleep).

Most abused children perceive that these events were their fault in some way. They feel responsible to effect change at the time but are unable to. They start the “I am not good enough—/I don’t matter” type of core self-beliefs that damage our self-esteem as adults and lead to anxiety and depression.

There is evidence that these types of wounds are linked to addiction, because the desire to numb the emotion pain with food or other substances is so strong.

Other types of wounds are caused by parents reprimanding their children for being children, “Stop crying, you are so sensitive, etc”. “I’m tired of you forgetting things, what is wrong with you?!”

This feels to the child as being shamed and criticized about the core of who they perceive themselves to be, so again the “I am not good enough” wound is born. Likely the story the child makes up to make sense of it is “people don’t like me when I’m myself”.

These wounds and stories are deep in our subconscious and feel very much like the truth. With work and support though, it is possible to bring the event into consciousness, soothe the inner child within, and in doing so, release the trapped energy the emotion is causing.

Once this process is conscious, you are able to get clarity on the real truth with your adult mind, that a difficult thing happened, but it never had anything to do with your self-worth.

The release I personally experienced, and now get to see in individuals while coaching them, is truly a sacred and beautiful thing to be a part of.

In private soul sessions, I guide you through the process of how to access this part of you, rediscover what lights you up, and what is holding you back, all with Divine guidance and intuitive insight.

I have also developed this low cost work-shop to guide you through how to connect with your inner child, and support your healing, in connection with your Source at home – check it out here. https://joannapeters.com/products-and-services-inner-child-connection/

Reach out with any questions or insights to hello@joannapeters.com. (Seriously, I love to hear from my soul sisters!).

I’m rooting for you!

Much love,

Joanna

PS: Remember, I can ‘see’ and feel other peoples’ unhealed inner child wounds, so if you want guided healing and support at any time, reach out.

Beautiful Sad – A day of grief

Beautiful Sad – A day of grief

I know there are many hurting in this page with grief. This is what I wrote about my uncle passing last year and my beautiful experience with my bloodline that day. Sharing in case it helps anyone.

Yesterday my uncle died 7 months before reaching 100 years old. He was an amazing man and lived fully as a world war 2 hero and professional soccer player. My kids loved listening to his stories.

He moved to Canada so I only met him in adulthood when he moved back and it was the first time I met someone who was like my Mom, because she lost the rest of her family before I was born.

Meeting him was like ‘ooohhh that’s who I am/we are’. Family is so connected whether we know them a short or long time, or we never met them.

He was the last person alive who knew my Mom’s Mom and Dad who died when she was young, and also her own brother who died at ten years old.

The ability to talk about her memories with anyone who also remembers them was fun for her, so she is kinda saying goodbye to them all again today.

I have always been able to feel this grief in her. She has a permanent ‘side of sad’ alongside all of her experiences. She coexists with it, for some periods in my life it took her over, but more recently it has softened. She will be able to navigate this now because she is stronger.

You know what’s true for me though today? This “beautiful sad” feeling.

When I channel my bloodline on that side right now they are all happy and peaceful and sending so much love to us right now because they know we will miss him.

It’s a really powerful love that is sad and makes me want to cry all the time, but it is truly so beautiful.

I can zoom in on how her brother who died at ten feels ..(my uncle) he’s still youthful and innocent feeling and so joyful and loving.

Feeling her mom’s flood of love makes me ball crying because it would have been amazing to know her and get that love from an in person hug. The grandma I never met, but she is sending her love to me today.

Her dad is, even in death, a man of few words and I get that vibe but also a peace about him, and a gentleness towards me.

And now my great uncle is back with everyone and it feels much more complete there somehow. They are happy to have him.

Being able to connect to their love whenever I want is powerful. It feels comforting that it exists as a permanent force, even though they are not here and even though I never met them.

I can feel the duality of their feeling complete and being happy to have him, as well as their sending so much love for us because they know we are sad.

I was told a while ago that I could access the medium realm “if I want to”. I guess today I want to.

It has been truly beautiful. Even though I can’t stop crying. ???

It’s OK, You Just Forgot Who You Were For a Minute. Welcome Back Goddess!

It’s OK, You Just Forgot Who You Were For a Minute. Welcome Back Goddess!

Years ago, I had heard conversations about ‘loving your authentic self’, and thought it sounded self-indulgent and frankly, weird.

I have since learned that authenticity is being true to yourself, who you really are (no masks to impress or please anyone), and once you find that (no easy task), the next step is to learn to love that version of yourself.

At a class years ago I quickly became aware that I had no idea who my authentic self was, let alone have any real love for myself. So sad looking back because I was surely loved, and was very accomplished in life. So what was missing? Why did my life seem to look great on the outside, yet I was filled with anxiety?

I remember trying to complete a seemingly simple exercise where the person opposite me would just listen and be a sounding board and repeat the same question to stimulate brainstorming.

The question was simple – ““what do you want?” The rules were to think of things you wanted, not for your family or others. “What do you want, what do you want..”… over and over the question was repeated lovingly for one minute. 

The large room was buzzing with noisy excitement, and that filled me with even more panic, because I had no answer. The exercise seemed to go on for an eternity. I did not know what I wanted. 

I hadn’t considered that question for a long time. How could that be? 

For me, I had been thinking what I ‘should’ do, based on what I thought others wanted or needed of me. I very sadly, had not considered in a long while, what I wanted for MY life.

Even more so since becoming a Mom, I had categorized anything that I liked to do as selfish or not important. I was more focused on keeping others happy or having people like me (using my mask, if necessary). I was missing a big piece though. I was in a fog.

The things that make us uniquely us, our likes, our dreams, our pet peeves and quirks, I now believe are a road map to lead us to where we are supposed to be in life. 

If we live authentically and listen carefully, our wants and desires will lead us to the right friends and partners, how we are supposed to contribute to the world and to whom we are supposed to support. 

The impact we are to have in this world cannot be found if we are not listening to our authentic selves, or if we are wearing masks.

After more self-exploration and much more coaching, I began to get a sense of what was possible; and it woke me up from my fogged disconnection, my people pleasing and the ‘shoulds’ I had taken on. It gave me excited chills of possibility for my life!

Part of the process of getting to know ourselves, our authentic selves, is to treat ourselves well. To honor ourselves. Much like any relationship, it’s a process of mutual respect and learning, understanding and love.

Take a moment today, get ridiculously selfish for a moment…. create the space….. Who are you and what do you want?? How are you going to show yourself that you matter and that you are loved and appreciated by YOURSELF today? 

You deserve it!


Much Love,

Joanna

PS  If any of this feels familiar, if it’s been a while since you focused on yourself enough to know what you want, check out “Know Yourself on a Soul Level”. It’s a free self work-book I created to get you pointed back in the right direction 🙂  It’s under the “Free Resources” section.

"Self-love is grounding, it is the root from which you can learn about and learn to be your authentic self"- unknown.

My Personal Story of Letting Go

My Personal Story of Letting Go

I’m done! This is so hard!! I’m overwhelmed, so Eff everyone!!! Overwhelm stinks, but what if you are creating that feeling yourself?

I don’t know about you but I’m kinda stubborn. Surrendering anything is super hard for me. Control in parenting, choice of paint color, anything. The curse of the recovering perfectionist.

In addition to that personality trait, the trauma I experienced as a child had me toughen up and take responsibility for things I shouldn’t have at an early age, which can be a hard habit to shake.

That type of experience also tends to have us put up some protection walls somewhere, that makes words like “vulnerability” or “surrender” be less desirable than ‘strong’ and ‘powerful”.

It feels strong and powerful to resist ‘what is’ and put up a fight. But then we feel exhausted and overwhelmed. What if there is another way…?

It’s a little funny how I came to the ‘surrender realization’ I am talking about.

I was not raised to be particularly spiritual. I was invited to a church in my 20s by a friend, and when I went, I felt alone and sad.

There were people there with joy in their eyes, with peace and genuinely hugging each other hello. I knew I didn’t have what they had and I didn’t know how to get it.

During the worship that day, my mind was wandering. I was so bored, they were singing the same verse of a song over and over again.

I was not entertained, so my mind was wandering on how I can get to the level of peace and joy that I had witnessed.

What was I missing? What did I need to do? The boring song was repeating that same verse over and over again.. “I sur-render. All to you. All to you”

“ I I I sur-render. All to you. All to you”…. “

As soon as it connected in my brain that I was being given my answer in the song, I opened a teeny weeny gap in my armor and spirit flooded into my body.

Physical feeling going through my veins, head spinning and my heart pumped with loving energy and support instantly.

Tears were coming to my eyes, although like the warrior I was, I was trying to swallow them down so no one saw or knew I was crying.

In that moment I knew it was true. There is a loving force, I am not alone. I skipped home smiling randomly at strangers because I loved them all.

I feel that powerful loving energy when any faith is praying, my Jewish and Muslim friends access the same energy. We are so loved.

I know this to the core of my being, yet there are days I feel overwhelmed and throw a tantrum. Why?

Because I am human and this surrendering thing is super hard!

We have to do it daily and our ego hates it.

If we want to BE in control (which ego does, because we feel it is in our best interests and protects us), we wind up FEELING in control and responsible – that is – to have the weight of the universe on our shoulders.

I like to call that process ‘promoting myself to managing director of the universe’. I feel responsible for the outcome of all the things around me, and get overwhelmed.

Then my thoughts escalate to things like “how am I going to get this done? Will it be good enough? Will I fail?

I continue to add more thoughts to this ever growing overwhelm, increasing my anxiety, until I remember – finally – that I am not actually the managing director of the universe. (phew!)

My job is to take my little action step, then surrender and trust.

Trust that He is better at this than me.

Trust that since He created the entire universe, He can probably handle my situation.

Trust that his way will work out even better than the version I am trying to ‘strong arm’ into existence.

Trust in His timing (my personal worst struggle, I’m so impatient).

Breathe and trust. That’s how this whole thing works best for everyone. Especially when things on earth here are super hard, we need to do our part, then let go.

So when I remember, here is what I know to be true, and its the opposite to the way my brain is naturally wired –

=>The hardest thing possible for a human to do is to trust something, or someone enough to surrender our ego’s will.

=> Faith therefore takes tremendous continuous strength, not weakness.

The challenge, daily, is to quit the self appointed position of being the managing director of the universe, in exchange for being divinely loved and supported instead.

Doesn’t seem so bad a trade when I remember

Stars Can’t Shine without Darkness – Shine Away Beautiful Soul!

Stars Can’t Shine without Darkness – Shine Away Beautiful Soul!

For me, what lights me up completely? Other women sharing their truths. I can feel the courage it takes and what it releases in the person, it’s magical.

When I have the honor to experience another woman letting go of everything to free herself of her stories, it gives me chills because I can feel that collective power shift in us all. With every personal healing moment, the collective power of women everywhere gets stronger.

Watching women on stage yesterday (just like us, except someone else picked out their jewelry), vulnerably share their personal stories of overcoming, brought tears to my eyes over and over again.

They didn’t need the group therapy; they were sharing their stories in support of the 32,000 other women listening. So we can see ourselves in them, and see a way forward for our lives.

Darkness is a part of all our journeys, that we need to shine through, and heal from.

Through example, we give other women permission to speak their truths out loud to others, and to not be ashamed because they were only lessons or experiences, and we are all human.

Fully understanding that, these women chose to spend their day with us vulnerably sharing themselves and giving beautiful nuggets of wisdom of what helped them at that moment, move forward.

Knowing that supporting 32,000 women will have a magical ripple effect on the universe. Would help us do what we do – take care of everyone else – and ourselves, better.

If you have even done this is small groups, imagine the power of both the vulnerability needed, and the support received in a room of 32,000 women.

So divinely powerful.

Feel better, so you can help someone else feel better. And so on.

Our stories are someone else’s way forward. Someone else’s life-line, how we can support their journey.

The collective power of women is not even close to being realized. As we heal ourselves, we see other women as allies more than comparing ourselves, and know how very much we need each other.

Focusing on ourselves first, healing ourselves in small groups and then supporting and praying for each other, is what it is going to take to heal our generation and impact the next profoundly.

We all shine brighter, together.

That is why it is far from selfish to prioritize and heal yourself. You are connected to everyone else, and you are an important part to this beautiful puzzle.

So gather up your girlfriends, connect and figure out a way to shine through your darkness today. Start the business of healing, what ever that looks like for you today.

Much love,
Joanna

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