Archive for December, 2010

Oh Brother Where Art Thou

Christmas at the beach is a nice way to spend a holiday.  My mom’s side of the family all traveled to Destin, FL for Christmas this year and we had a wonderful time.  Several things came up this week that would make for a great article, but at the top of the list was an encounter with my brother Ryan. 

Ryan and I were catching up the day he arrived; exchanging stories, talking about the holiday itinerary, the menu, and the grocery list (for that grocery trip…one of many!)  Somewhere in the conversation I mentioned my trip to Napa and “Healing Elvis”.  A few hours later he came into my room for something and said, “What is this book of yours about again?  I know you’ve mentioned it before but what is it again?”  I replied, “It is about emotions- about being comfortable with them because we are human and they are meant to be a gift.”  He looked at me…smiled… mumbled something humorous… and had left my room within 10 seconds.  That is no exaggeration.  The mere mention of the word and he wasn’t sticking around for further details.  Emotions… and… I’m out. 

As a collective, it feels like our comfort level has increased a great deal regarding emotions in the last few decades but we still have much room for improvement.  I sense the gap between where we are and where we could be thanks to my own experience of  “lost but now I’m found” regarding my own emotions- both understanding and expressing them. 

Where did we lose on our way on this topic?  What human being first labeled emotions as bad and attempted to avoid them?  Was it Adam and that stupid Apple?  Where ever we got off course in our quest for civility, it is now time to stop all the madness and remember what our hearts and souls know to be true:  emotions are meant to guide us like a compass toward the best version of who we came here to be.  Being uncomfortable with them is like being uncomfortable with the fact that you have fingers.  “These stick looking things at the end of my arm; I hear they’re called fingers.  They’re awkward and they’re bendable and these hard white things grow out of them and I don’t like it!  I’m supposed to use them to make life easier on myself but it’s just too weird!  I’m going to just ignore them.  Maybe I’ll just wear gloves and keep them covered up.  Yuck…  I hate fingers.  Don’t even talk about fingers around me. ” 

 Pretty ridiculous, right?   Absurd.  Where would we be without fingers?  Can you live?  Yes.  Easily?  Of course not.  Anyone who’s ever broken an arm or finger can tell you how much more difficult life becomes.  Emotions could be viewed the same way.  They are a tool, meant to simplify our lives by notifying us when we are on course.  Those are the good feeling emotions that we are always in pursuit of!  Unfortunately, emotions are not ala-carte… you can’t choose to just have the good feeling ones and do away with the emotions that don’t feel good.  Because they also notify us when we’re NOT on course, they can feel confusing and out of control and that’s why so many flip the switch on emotions…they don’t even want to talk about it. 

My brother is an amazing person.  Beautiful inside and out, very creative, artistics and scientific, a firey Aries always on the go.  He is the VP of Brand Management and Apparel for his company.  In my book, he’ is the VP of Awesomeness and Attractiveness.  He can do, and be, and have ANYTHING he wants.  (we all can…)  But how is he going to know what that is without his navigation system turned on?  How will he really know his passion and therefore his life mission or souls great work?  My brother is a prime example of someone who could bliss-out on his life if he would use all the tools God gave him, including his emotional guidance system- fully activated from his heart. 

Writing an article about a family member… not such a hot idea, maybe?  As you can see, I’m crazy about him so most of its bragging.  I do have the heartfelt wish that he will embrace his emotional nature.  It would take the magic of his life to new places and allow him to connect on a deeper level with his true self and with other people in his life.  If you read this someday Ryan, I love you and I wish you a lifetime of success, love, and true happiness…you’re version of it, not mine.  And thanks for being such a great brother, friend, and inspiration.  You can’t coach your friends and family… but you can be a friend and listen.  My ears are yours anytime.  And hey- lets focus on the positive here.  When Oprah calls, your coming with me!

 All my love,  HD


Healing Elvis

Napa Valley has been on my to-do list for some time now… a calling of sorts.  I’ve just returned from my first trip to the wine country and it is a magical place.  Grapevines, gigantic Christmas trees, vibrant fall colored leaves in red, orange, and yellow hues, mixed with palm trees blanketed by misty fog.  An impossible combination, more like a daydream, but it does in fact exist.  The call to Napa was about much more than the landscape, energy, and grapes.  I was to be part of a beautiful group of women led by author and spiritual teacher, Tambra Harck, called Emergent Woman. 

After a long and powerfully transformative day, our goddess posse was enjoying a large spread of cheese, fruit, and wine prior to dinner.  We were laughing, enjoying the “yumminess”, and listening to Christmas music playing in the dining room of our quaint country inn, La Residence.  An Elvis song came on and we started to share our stories about The King. 

As we shared Elvis stories, I realized my perspective on Elvis is much different from when I idolized him as a teenager. I still have a huge appreciation for him as an artist but as an intuitive life coach I see his humanness and feel his pain.  He was not equipped to handle the emotional swings of his life.  Yes, he was a celebrity and there are additional pressures that come with that I’m certain but it is all relative to the individual.  The emotional extremes Elvis must have felt would be similar to the emotional extremes felt by a 13 year old girl with braces; embarrassed by her mere existence and completely confused by emotions.   There is much pain and suffering when emotions are not understood and feel out of control.

I made the comment to my lovely lady friends, “I wish Elvis could come back.  I would love to help him.”  A DeLorean time-machine Back to the Future style might be more appropriate… either way…this is what I would say: “Elvis, sugar, there are no uppers or downers that will make what you are experiencing go away.  I know what it is like to be on an emotional rollercoaster… and I know the medicine of a midnight peanut butter and banana sandwich.  I assure you Elvis no amount of women, alcohol, hit records, new silver screen roles, or even your mama’s fried chicken will resolve the internal conflict and turmoil and confusion you are feeling.   You have to get in alignment with the REAL you.   Your happiness will come from within once you find your heart and educate yourself enough to really live in it. 

It is a process and the best way to go about it is to accept help.  The minute you seek teachers, tools, mentors, and workshops to assist you, they will show up in large numbers and be exactly what you need!  The universe will rush in to support  if you are brave enough to ask for help and be open to it coming in new forms.  C’mon Elvis… even Christ needed 12 helpers to get his work done on this planet.  Who are any of us to try and go it alone?  Let’s get you headed back in the right direction so you can FEEL the joy of your music again!  You are numb right now but I promise that can change.  When do you want to set up your first appointment? “

Picture this… an 80 year old Elvis still belting it out all over the world with his own line of juicers, cookware, cookbooks, and herbal cleanses at Target trying to help everyone stay young.  Can’t you just see him doing those signature hips proving his vitality!  Elvis still living his passion, surrounded by people that love him including his grand children.  How awesome would it be for Elvis to rewrite his legacy as one of passion and wholeness?  Each one of us has a legacy to leave.  If you don’t think your legacy is all that noteworthy at this point… you still have the opportunity to rewrite it!

And who knows, Elvis could already be back at it, putting all of his lessons to good use.  What if Elvis came back as Justin Bieber?  Justin, honey, if you are reading this… let’s get you equipped early on.  It is not hard and I’m certain with the right emotional and spiritual tools, you’ll have a long and happy road ahead of you.  Call me and we can set up your first appointment.  Ha!

What an amazing trip and further confirmation of my service in this lifetime.  I am so grateful to connect with this group of gorgeous, strong, passionate, and caring women living their highest mission of joyful service in the world.  Each one is an inspiration and a bright light for all to bask in her glow.  And did I mention a barrel of fun?!  With giggles and laughter all around the table; cheese in one hand and fruit in the other, our inn keeper pouring more wine asks, “Are you ladies having fun?”  Tambra replies, “We’re healing Elivis, that’s how fun we are!”

All my love, HD

The F word.  What is going thru your thoughts right now?  I’m pretty sure the one you’re thinking of has 4 letters.  It’s a perfectly fine word, fun at times even.  I saw a quote in a magazine that I love, and would give credit to the actress that said it if I remembered who it was… “A true lady should use the F bomb sparingly but with great affect.”  Very true, but the word I’m referring to is used even more sparingly I’m afraid… FEELINGS.

Who am I?  What do I really want?  What do I really care about?  What am I passionate about?   What do I want to do with my life?  Why am I alive?  What is love?  Who do I really love?  And the list goes on and on….  Ever asked any of these?  You’re human.  The answer is yes.  Do you have the whole-hearted honest answer to any of them?  If you’re lucky, you can say yes to at least a few.  But I’m certain at some point in everyone’s life the answer to any and all of these life-sized questions feels overwhelming and without response.  I can say that because I have experienced a time in my life where I was so numb, I had no idea who I really was much less what I cared about.  The numbness was a result of life circumstances around me that were out of my control and a complete lack of emotional intelligence to navigate the emotional rollercoaster that ensued.  Emotional intelligence…  that word gets thrown around a lot these days, very PC.  Just so there is no confusion, what I mean by emotional intelligence is a deep understanding of human emotions and what they are meant to communicate to human beings. 

If anyone asked, “Heather, break it down for me.  I’m not sure I can answer any of those questions.  How do I do it?  What’s the process ?”  My answer would be this:

“To honestly know who you are, why you came into this lifetime, and what your purpose is, you have to be connected to source energy or God’s energy,  and the REAL you.  You’re connection point is your heart.  And  emotions are the language your heart uses to communicate if you are on the right path or headed in the right direction at every moment of every day.   It’s a guidance system and gauge more sophisticated than any GPS system known to man.  Emotions were created by God, and they come standard with every human vehicle.”

I am passionate about emotions and every human being understanding them because they are a gift.  And emotional intelligence is a perfect phrase because intelligence denotes learning and that is exactly what each one of us has to do… learn what emotions really are and what each one is trying to communicate.  There is no such thing as a bad emotion.  Really!?!  Yes… it was shocking for me to at first… but really.  “Anger is a good thing Heather.” The first time I heard a counselor utter this phrase I went ballistic in that emotion!  Not because of the situation at hand but because it took till I was 26 years old and had thoughts of suicide before I came across that knowledge!  Now, to put it in context, I had felt numb for over a year and was “defrosting” my heart at the time.  The thawing process is a bit like coming in from the snow with numb feet, it’s tingly and painful but strangly feels good because your feet are waking back up!  Anger is an improvement, a forward movement up the emotional scale from numbness, therefore it was a good sign.  That’s what my counselor was trying to teach me. 

That lesson hit me harder (in a good way) than almost anything I’ve learned in this life so far.  I am now a passionate person, with a heart fully engaged in my life , with emotional intelligence that would earn me an A+ in AP Emotions, who can answer EVERY question I listed off previously.  And the best part…  every person on this planet could say exactly that with a little effort!  And it’s not hard either.  I got there by making the conscious decision that I wanted to live and that no matter what the emotion was, I wanted to FEEL it.  I didn’t know how to verbalize then, but looking back it all makes perfect sense; living numb is not living but living with a heart wide open exposes you to all of the emotions we have created words for.  If you want to feel the good ones… you have to open yourself up to and understand the ones that don’t feel good too.  The choice to feel, no matter what, is the decision to live and be guided in the right direction by your emotions.  To me, understanding the emotional scale and how to move yourself up it is a foundational cornerstone of being happy.  No matter how hard you search for happiness, you won’t know it when you find it unless you can FEEL it.  And when your happy… your heart smiles.  That sensation is unmistakable, so sought after, and well deserved by us all.  Emotions are the soapbox I could stand on all day, everyday at this point in my journey.  I have it on good authority (mine!) the title of this blog will also be the title of my first book. 

My challenge to you today my friend:  notice how your feeling more today than usual, put energy into deciphering what your feeling today.  Do your best to come up with what F word best describes it and then say out loud, “I feel ______.” Get comfortable stating where you are on the emotional scale.  Then find at least 1 thing you love to do for you, even if it’s as simple as spend an extra 6o seconds in the shower with a sugar scrub, or cream in your coffee, a pedicure, a trip to the driving range, a game of catch with your son….whatever makes you feel good.  And then take note of where you are on the emotional scale.  Make a list of at least 10 things you know you can reach for, quickly, that will walk you up the emotional scale to a better feeling place and have that list handy for the next time you find yourself in an emotion that doesn’t feel good to you!  You have the power to change it.

 Thanks for taking the time to read my post!  Look for more information to come on emotions my friends… it’s my favorite topic!

All my love, HD