Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Heal Thy Self

I thought I knew the key players in my game.  I thought I knew the path and the destination.  I had a plan that was outside of my awareness...until I began to feel that things weren't going my way.  When I heard myself feeling this way, it woke me up. 

"My way"...this was the problem.  Life was not unfolding according to my ideas of the future.  People were not acting as I thought they should.  Opportunities were not coming my way as they needed to.  Life began to feel hard, sad...I began to feel discouraged, withdrawn. 

I started to notice that small acts of kindness felt far and few between, but meant a lot to me.  I needed a boost, a pep talk, a friend & I was looking for them all around.  I realized I was at a familiar and uncomfortable place...the place right where & when change is possible.  I was tempted to feel concerned about my feeling state.  I was tempted to dig my heals in and force life into my plan.  But these ideas felt old and worn out...not good enough. 

Instead I acknowledged my mood.  I allowed my place in time to feel like it did.  I got quiet.  I got an insight...I can't and don't need to change the players, the plot, the path or the destination.  Life is just unfolding as it should in a totally neutral and natural way.  It wasn't the events that were problematic, it was my "should's" and "supposed to's" that were creating a lot of grief for me.  I had forgotten that I get to decide what I create, believe, hold on to, make meaning of. 

There is a certain freedom and expansion that comes with knowing this...seeing you stand at the edge of a cliff you never intended to visit.  The honesty of truly knowing that you don't know leaves you open to all things.  There is an excitement and playful curiosity in this kind of re-setting.  There is a rejuvenation in the fact that life is an adventure and formless perfection.  Its the fitting life into our form that creates hardships.  Suddenly the cliff is an adventure and you realize you have all the gear you need to conquer it in stellar style. 

As I look out at my reality now I'm so much more aware that I'm really looking in.  All that there is to see and experience is beautiful, powerful, just right in its true state.  My ability to question what I'm believing and experiencing has been re-awoken and life looks different in an instant.  Suddenly I do not have to "change" myself or anyone else.  I don't have to carry the hard-feelings, disappointment, or control.  My job looks very different, and comes with a different feeling.

My "work" is to remember who's doing the seeing.  My job is to stay open to and aware of my path as it unfolds, which is so much more fun than mapping out a plan and then feverishly fitting it into what unfolds.
I kept remembering as I struggled that I wanted to at least be graceful if I could not be grateful at that time.  BUT, I knew that gratitude was where I really wanted to be.  Thank goodness I knew enough to not try to be grateful, but to instead be quiet.  All it took to re-light my excitement and curiosity was to be willing to hear and follow what came to me.

This is such a gift to know how to adjust and to be reminded that I do not need anyone or anything to do this.  We are created in such a self-sufficient and empowering way.  AND we are also hardwired to connect with others.  It's no surprise then, that as I re-learned how to navigate, I began to see others without such harsh edges.  As I changed the grip I had on my perspective, the appearance of the world (and the people in it) also changed. 

It comes down to respecting the source more than the personal thinking that we endlessly create.  It also comes down to awareness so that we have the wherewithal to question the story we have created.  No one else can do this for us...we must and get to heal thy self!

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Worry is a misuse of imagination"

This beautiful quote by Dan Zadra is one I stumbled onto about a year ago.  I loved it instantly and began to apply it to my life.  The application was a practice of sorts...I'd remember the quote when I noticed myself fretting.  This would help me remember that I am making it all up when I plan the future, and then I'm believing my story and feeling the effects of it.  This application was helpful, but mostly when I had already began to regain my footing. During the height of my concern or worry, this application did not serve me beyond simply distracting me from my thinking for long enough for new/healthier thinking to come along as an option.  This is not nothing, but there is more.

There's a difference between application of an understanding, and implications.  Implications go beyond intellect to knowing.  For me, moving into implications of how I use my thinking, awareness and insights has meant a willingness to see it everywhere and in everyone.  This has been most evident and measurable in terms of how seriously I take my feelings of worry and panic when they hit.  Let me explain...

I am not by nature a worrier.  I don't usually find myself in a worried state automatically and tend to be fairly optimistic about the present and future.  However, I do have a kryptonite. It's become very apparent to me over the last month or two.   The thing that sends me straight into worry that is both automatic and intense is when my kids are not doing well physically.  It's scary to me & my thinking feels real so fast.  This is very clear to me because over the last month one of my kids has had a broken shoulder, the flu and head lice.   My other child got a severe earache that had him in the emergency room and urgent care with complications for a week. 

As hard as I tried, I could not think my way to a happy place for long.  I was faint, nauseated and not well.  Don't get me wrong, I stepped up and did everything my kids needed, but I also felt at times that I was barely hangin' on myself.  At one point...I think it was when I found out about the lice...I felt too exhausted to combat my worry.  Too exhausted to look into the future and gauge all of the jobs that were required and all of the things that could go wrong. 

Instead I just became willing to see the bigger picture.  It felt like this happened despite the state I was in.  As if some part of me led the way & this tired part of me just followed.  From here I could see how silly and consuming my worry was.  Because of what I understand about the Three Principles of Mind, Thought & Consciousness, there were implications for me.  I could not take my worrisome thinking seriously anymore.  It seemed so rudimentary and close-minded that for me to believe in it would be ridiculous.  I no longer felt I was trying to put my thinking into an understanding, but instead (& quite naturally) my understanding was allowing me to see the nature of my thinking. New thinking was suddenly full of gratitude and compassion for those who had more to worry about than I do.  New feelings of capability and calm washed over me.

This is what has helped me in a sustainable way as life continues to bring new opportunities to worry about my kids and their physical health.  This knowing about how life experience is created at each turn in the road has nothing to do with trying or recalling, but instead has to do with tuning in to the powerful source of well-being that we are.  At first it can feel like it requires a great leap of faith to listen to the direction of your own mind.  We can get used to listening to all the hardship we create, but when we believe less in the reality we've created, we automatically are open to where we really belong.  You just find yourself there with what you need to move forward. 

This following album insert seems to speak to this idea of where our thinking can take us, the wiser part of us that never goes anywhere during these times, and how time changes what we see:

"This record is about waiting for things, and boredom, and over analysis, and angst, and all that.  But it's also about bravery, about confidence, hatred and love.  I poured my brain and heart into this, and maybe I'll hate it in two years, because that's the nature of being my age, but for now, it's the most powerful thing I can give." ~ Lorde

My wish for you is that you use your imagination to create and experience life as you wish to...And when you create something that feels more like a nightmare, may you never loose sight of the bigger you who sees beyond whatever you're currently creating. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Modern Day Medicine Woman

Most of you who are reading this know me for my dedication and focus on mental health and well-being.  My life’s work is to spread an understanding of the Three Principles so as to plant the seed of peace-of-mind all along my path.  I enjoy doing this and I also enjoy walking the walk, so to speak.  My passion for this understanding comes from the heart because knowing how we all navigate…how we all come home to & also stray away from our natural state of well-being…has changed every faucet of my life.  There is not a corner, a nook or a cranny that has not been impacted by my awareness of this understanding.  I am grateful and feel compelled to share.
There has been, however, one nook…one cranny that has been left untended.  This piece of the puzzle, like all other pieces, benefits greatly from understanding how we each choose our perspective.  This understanding of the Three Principles still applies and is still useful and relevant here.  This piece, though, was a consistent obstacle.  I had become increasingly aware of the effort it was taking to adjust my attitude around this nook & cranny.
The piece I’m speaking of is physical health.  The actual health of the body.  Mine has been poor for years and I’d like to explain in case you don’t know me well enough to understand what I’m referring to.  I have suffered from chronic neck, back and shoulder pain due to three major car accidents…one per decade since I was 15.  In addition, I have had unexplained bouts of nausea for about six years, which no one has been able to treat.  Over the last two years I also began having more frequent and more intense migraines.  As a result, I have been to the doctors a lot, was on a handful of medications & was not finding solutions, but instead remedies for when the pain hit.  I was finding some relief in visits to my acupuncturist and my massage therapist, but could not afford the amount of office visits I really needed to walk around feeling well.  In short, each day began and ended with pain & I was rising above it quite well.  I feel proud of this fact, AND I still believed that a solution was out there waiting for my awareness.
Then one day about a month ago, POOF!  The answer I had been waiting for.  My sister-in-law, a total health nut, wanted me to know about a line of naturopathic supplements that she had been on.  They had “changed her life.”  To be honest, she had talked about it once before to me and I was not a listener at the time.  But now, with the progression of my symptoms and with my kids getting used to finding me in bed, she had a listener!  As I listened to my Mind, I felt sure that this was where my awareness needed to be.
I was skeptical, but I also loved the idea of filling all of my cells with nutrients from mother nature herself.  As I researched and found that the scientist behind these products had spent over 50,000 hours both in the lab and around the world in indigenous populations for the sole purpose of offering healing to western society, it became an easy decision.
I began taking a handful of all natural supplements about a month ago & I cannot tell you the results I’ve had.  No migraines.  No nausea.  No more medications.  Restful nights where I’m dreaming again. My chronic pain has drastically diminished.  I’ve lost weight.  I have energy.  I feel fabulous!  Of course, every body is different so I’m not guaranteeing these exact results for you.  All I can do is tell my story and try to share these products with like-minded people whom I care about.
I had gotten so used to not feeling well that contrast I’m experiencing has me very excited and amazed!  I’m on a total health revolution & I truly feel that between my understanding of the Three Principles and my new understanding of physical wellness, I am able to treat mind, body & soul completely.  I am a modern day medicine woman & I’d love to share what I’ve found with you.
If I’ve peaked your interest follow the link below & please be in touch. xo Cory

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Just Below the Story We Tell

Isn't it strange how much we know if only we ask ourselves instead of somebody else?”
~Richard Bach, Illusions

It just occurred to new wisdom does. It was 3:00 am and I was woken up by my cat. The next thing I was aware of was my hands. They were neatly folded across my stomach and as I stared at them I noticed how perfectly they fit together. How easily I can hold my own hands & how absolutely comfortable it was. During this moment of foggy-eyed insight I was aware of how much we are made to take good care of ourselves. With ease our body knows ways that sooth & calm. We don't have to think about it, because its natural.

Later that same morning, I was again half awake. That beautiful time when you find yourself between sleep and awake. It occurred to me that my tongue was pressed against the roof of my mouth in a way that it rarely is during my fully awake moments. It reminded me of kittens, puppies or infants when they sleep. I've seen this before and it looks so cozy. This was the first time I noticed that I too do this.

As my brain started to wake up I began to make meaning of these things I had noticed.  It got me thinking of how hard-wired we are for well being and good feelings. When we shut off our endless dialogue of personal thought for the night, our body goes into a natural state of care.

This means something in our waking hours too! This natural care system does not require sleep for access. It does not require anything because it just is. I'll admit that this was not new information for me. I knew already that I hold all the answers to my own questions. I knew already that I am really the only thing that can limit me. I knew already that I can take really good care of myself when things outside of me become turbulent. However, these recent insights came at just the right time & now this old information had a new truthiness to it.

This summer I found myself repeatedly in the situation of feeling hurt by others. Do I speak up or not? The answer that kept coming to me was to stop planning and just respond with love in the moment. This part of the experience has been freeing and has felt right, but outcomes would not be described with such adjectives. :)

At some point I began to feel quite disappointed and ultimately a little alone. I was feeling that reaching out and then not getting a pleasant response meat a lot about me and my future. I began building my walls, a task that I knew well. I began to feel that I had a lot of work to do and that a lot of obstacles were in my path. Life felt hard and unfair.

Once I became aware of these feelings, I knew my thoughts had run wild. I'm thankful to know this much.  The storyline felt old, although I had filled it with brand new events. Some of the characters were the same, but I had created a sequel. With this reminder in my sight, I could not take my “reality” so seriously and I began to focus on outside things less. Within a few hours I was no longer checking my cell endlessly for some outside response that would change everything. I no longer was waiting or searching.

Instead, I became a little bit more mindful about how I was creating. I saw that the unwelcome experiences actually brought me a lot of clarity and that nothing had actually changed except my perception. I started noticing my own happiness and I began connecting with other people more. I was back to myself & I learned again that nothing in life can really touch this ability I have to see and create beautiful things.This is not just true for me, but for everyone.

This is why the comfort I found in my own body-wisdom during my early morning moments was so meaningful. I had journeyed far away from my true self into a world of harsh and endless personal thought, and upon return I was met with encouragement. I was aware suddenly of the simple ways in which I am not only okay, but absolutely perfect. I was reminded that being uncomfortable is okay...a sign of growth & that I know how to create comfort whenever I need it. I'm a firm believer that we are met with exactly what we need if only our eyes are open. It's been quite a blessing to re-remember all of the simple truths that surround us only waiting to be seen.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What Is A Life Coach?

     This topic interests me because I actually really struggled with what to call myself when I started my business, Wisdom Life Coaching. I had my M.S. in counseling, but for reasons I'll explain below, I no longer wanted to be called a “Counselor”. What I really wanted to call myself was a “Three Principles Facilitator” but this would not make sense to most people. You see, I teach three psychological principles which explain how we create our own experience of life. The insights and personal growth that come naturally out of this understanding are truly endless, but the difficulty I was having was how to find a title that does justice to what I teach.
      As I mentioned above, the term “Counselor” did not fit anymore. I spent over three years interning as a counselor in California. I worked at a high school, a middle school and a family clinic. I worked hard. I was learning a lot in graduate school about being a counselor. I was learning about diagnosis, symptoms & how to unravel the past with a client. I was learning a lot about mental illness. I was starting to have uncomfortable, heartbreaking moments with my clients when I was realizing that I didn't always know how to help. Sometimes I didn't know where to find the answers. I began to feel a bit hopeless. I loved my clients and I loved the field of mental health. It seemed, though, that what I had become an expert on was mental illness.
      Luckily it was at this time that I met Dr. Roger Mills at San Francisco State University. It really was a lucky day for me when I ended up in his class. He began to teach us about mental health...resiliency. I was learning for the first time how change happens naturally, and I knew that I wasn't going to have to feel hopeless anymore. The answers I was seeking had been found. My work life changed & I've been teaching these “Three Principles” ever since.
      The problem was that this understanding did not fit neatly into the medical model of psychology/counseling I was working under. My supervisors wanted me diagnosing and focus on behaviors. The success I was having with ALL of my clients did not translate for them. It was at this time that we decided to move to Oregon...and I decided to start my own business.
      When I began to research a proper title for myself I was at first resistant to the term “life coach” because it seems so overused. I was aware that there are no real standards or stipulations connected to being a life coach in the U.S. You need not have a specific degree or credential & anyone can call themselves a “life coach”. This did not fare well in my thinking.
      That was until I looked into how the term “life coach” is defined. These are the things I found; A life coach works with his/her client to further develop that which the client already possesses. A life coach focuses on the present and/or future rather than the past. A life coach does not see their client as ill (thus the term client, rather than patient). A life coach focuses on teaching rather than examination and diagnosis. A life coach establishes a warm rapport with his/her client rather than one based on hierarchy. Music to my ears!
      So to answer the question, “What is a life coach?” I refer back to these most basic definitions of the trade. A life coach knows that the client has a wealth of knowledge and wisdom...and more importantly their own answers. A life coach's work is to shine a light on this. This goes hand in hand with the fact that a life coach should see their client as healthy. A life coach listens for that health and uses it as a teachable moment so that the change that occurs for a client is sustainable. A life coach should be teaching an “inside out” approach rather than giving advice or assuming that they know better for their client than the client knows for themselves. It's an uncovering process in which a friendly tone is created. The process should not be painful, and instead should be informative and empowering. A life coach knows that the past need not be “cured” for a good today to occur.
      This is a far cry from most models of counseling, although I've yet to meet a counselor who did not have their heart in the right place. My definition of life coaching and what I teach is also a far cry from the services that many other “life coaches” are offering. As a consumer it is crucial to know what you're shopping for. If you're looking for a life coach rather than a counselor, than you should understand what the difference is.
      Likewise, once you begin your search for a life coach, you should know what you're hoping to learn. A life coach is actually a teacher. They teach on the subject of life. Your coach, therefore, should have something to teach you about life that you don't already know with clarity. A life coach is also a mentor and this speaks to the importance of feeling a connection to and an interest in the coach.
      Hopefully this definition (of sorts) has offered some clarity regarding the term “life coach” and all that it means...and doesn't mean. When a life coach truly has an understanding to offer you it can enhance your life and leave you with knowledge that you'll have long after your coaching sessions are over.

Monday, December 17, 2012


On December 13, 2012 I was taking part in a monthly leadership group.  No one knew at this time what horrors would unfold 24 hours later in Newtown , CT.  Our topic for our morning lecture was based on the idea of contradiction and creativity.  We explored how they have a yin/yang relationship, and how upon further inspection, contradiction holds within it tremendous value.  This seemed obvious to me immediately, but before this lecture the idea had been totally outside of my awareness.

What I was realizing was that I had always couched contradiction in terms of disrespect.  I had automatically aligned my thinking here.  The result of this little assumed thought was that whenever someone contradicted me, I struggled because I was coming from a place of insecurity.  An outside idea that contradicted my thinking somehow threatened me because of all the personal meaning I had attached to it.

It occurred to me suddenly during that lecture that contradiction is nothing more than two separate realities at play.  There is nothing to take personally about that.  There is nothing to be insecure about.  From this viewpoint the big picture was more clear.  Contradiction from this non-personal viewpoint actually creates an opportunity to listen to each other and create something new.  In essence, if contradictions can be seen less personally they are invitations for creativity and new perspective.  Contradictions only feel bad when we are attached to our personal thinking!

Our instructor pointed out two quotes on this day...two quotes that now stand out in a different way.  They are as follows:
"Sometimes you get what you want, but it's not what you need." ~ Stevie Nicks 
"The pursuit of truth is a destructive process." ~ Author Unknown
These quotes could not be more relevant than they are now as our leaders and policy makers are called on to address mass shootings, mental health care & gun control issues in our nation.  At such a difficult time...such a time of national and international heart break, I am using my energies to be hopeful and vocal about the kind of insights our leaders need to be functioning from at this time.

What if our leaders could function from an understanding of contradiction and creativity?  What if they could see that our disagreements on gun control, mental health, media violence, etc could be seen as an opportunity to create something new...something that serves as a proper tribute and legacy to the families in Newtown?  What if we were collectively so moved by this devastation that we let go of the personal tight-hold we have on these issues?  What if we, as average citizens, decided to lead by example and did not settle for less from our leaders?  Could this impersonal kind of thinking, where we all reach for something deeper rather than focusing on being right or getting our way, be contagious?

The answer to this last question is yes & there is so much potential here at this time.  We have listeners right now...listeners who are the leaders of our nation.  I urge each of you to be moved by the wisest part of you!  This is not a time to be quiet and afraid.  This is a time to listen to the insights that come to you, and then respond passionately & with purpose.  We can do so much better & we need to for each family in Newtown.  Little things add a leader at this time.  Be the kind of leader you want to see in our leaders.

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, 
but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
~ John Buchan 


Monday, August 20, 2012

What To Teach?

There are moments in life when transition is in the air.  I've been feeling the changes...witnessing the changes.  I've been having a feeling that there is something I've learned.  Something that's hard to put my finger on and even more difficult to explain...but I'll try!

So often in life, we are attached to the outcome.  Said outcome will prove that the steps I took were right and vice-verse.  We look for certain things in our world to justify our perspective...very natural and a tremendous waste of time. 

Lately, instead, I have noticed a change in my way of doing things.  Instead of being aware of the plan and the goal, I have just been aware of what I know and what makes sense.  As a little gift, I have also been aware of some beautiful tweaks in what I teach.

When I say "teach" I immediately think of my kids.  Then I think of the kids I work with.  They are included in my definition of "teach" (for sure!), but I mean it more broadly.  I'm pointing to the fact that we all move through life and in our little choices we are teaching those around us.  We are connecting in certain ways because of what we are teaching those who experience us.  We are not trying to do this, but it is the most natural thing!  The way we make sense of things (via our thinking) determines what we share...or teach.
A couple of examples...

Without trying to, in the last few weeks I visited both a cemetery & a memorial site with my kids.  Sounds awful.  You may even question my parenting skills.  If you can put that personal thinking aside, you may here something else.
While in my home town a few weeks ago I took my kids to the baseball field.  This was done with intention, because 15 years earlier I had made a plaque and mounted it on one of the benches in memory of my dear high school friend.  He had committed suicide not many years after graduation...he was also a baseball player & later a coach. 
My daughter, who is older, was concerned at first that I would be sad, but that was not at all the turn of events.  As I sat on the bench...rubbing the plaque gently...I felt peaceful.  My children were playing...laughing.  I spoke to him without words as I sat there smiling and just feeling like you would feel when in the company of an old friend.  I didn't let my personal thinking interfere once.

As we went back to the car, we were all hugging and skipping down the lane.  Later that night my son asked if we could go back to the baseball field.  My daughter said that she loved watching me sit on the bench, because I looked so happy.  What did I choose to teach my kids in that moment?  What direction did my choices point them in?
Consider that while I share the second scenario involving a cemetery.  I lost a friend/client last year suddenly.  She was only 17 and had a seizure.  It was an awful shock as you can imagine.  I had been putting off a visit to her grave, but one morning the time felt right. 

My son was in camp, and my daughter wanted to come with me.  At first I didn't think that was appropriate, but then I paused and realized that it sounded very sweet.  My young friend had loved children & had asked a lot about my daughter.  I again dropped my personal thinking and felt my way through. 

When we got to the cemetery we realized there was no tombstone for her yet, because it was such a new burial.  I didn't know how we would find it, but the coolest thing happened.  My daughter felt strongly about which direction it was in.  "Near that little tree" she said.  Of course, she was right.  When we got closer we saw that someone had made a heart out of stones on her plot.  Such a tear jerking scene, and you can bet that I cried.
The surprise is the kind of cry I had.  No sound, just a stream of tears.  It felt like there was so much sadness in this spot.  Yet from inside of myself I felt an out-poor of love.  The tears were not stopping.  I just felt connected to her so strongly...I suddenly knew so much more.  It was powerful...stirring.  All the while, my daughter gathered flowers from the grass, sprinkling them carefully around her plot.  We listened to the birds and hugged a lot.  As we left, another man was leaving as well.  We shared a smile that can't be explained by any other word than mystical.  It was all not what I would have imagined, but was perfect in every way.
As we drove home, I checked in with my daughter.  Did my crying worry or upset you?  Was that weird?  Are you okay?  She smiled and sighed saying, "I want to come next time too, and let's bring some nail polish to paint one of those stones."  There was nothing in our experience or her response that mimicked all of the things we typically associate with death and cemetery visits.  We had, thankfully, done it our way, and we were rewarded instantly by the feeling of the whole day.

When I reflected I was trying to figure out just exactly what I had learned...I realized that it was not what I had learned, it was what I had taught.  The thing my kids are witnessing and learning about death and loss have very much to do with a connection that is not broken when our physicality becomes threatened.  My perspective of deaths has changed so much that without noticing, I have provided them with a different view.
My son, who is seven, has asked me some questions about death recently.  Age appropriate, and on the heals of our cat dying last winter.  It's a scary thing to answer honestly when a child wants to know if you'll die before him.  I don't know...we don't that's scary!  The thing is that I actually had some answers that feel genuine.

How can I put this simply?...If I know that we are all a part of something bigger than us, then I also know that when our body gives out that is all that happens.  This life energy that we all have access to is the stuff that our personal connections are made of.  It's the thing that we feel on the inside about a person whether or not our five senses are experiencing them at that moment. 

Now granted, death and loss are sad.  Saying goodbye to experiencing someone the way you are used to is painful and regretful.  What I'm saying is that when I tell my son that "Even when one of us dies, we will always be connected", I am telling the truth.  We are all so blessed to have these gifts of thinking, awareness & wisdom.  All we must do to connect with someone is to come into a space where personal thinking is stilled and we can hear/feel what's in our heart.  This is where you find everyone whom you've cherished, and this place is untouchable...not even grief, loss or death can take it away. 

Being able to teach this to my kids, because I know it as truth, has been more than I've wished to impart.  It is so important in life to take a moment as transitions and changes occur and notice what you're putting out there.  There's a lot to be proud of, and there is a lot of proof to what you've been teaching.