A few months ago, I attended a workshop on using our sense of smell as a device to sharpen our creativity. Traci Philips, Holistic Health, Life & Soul Coach, was one of the presenters, offering her in-depth knowledge of Essential Oils. Since then, Traci and I have met and had contemplative discussions about art, health, life, and collaboration…all of which led me to invite her to join WildesArt as our blogger on holistic health and essential oils.
Traci Philips is the owner of That Certain Way To Wellness, offering Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coaching that assists individuals to find the wellness within by GOAL setting, ACTION planning & aligning their CORE VALUES with the daily CHOICES they make. Traci specializes in nutrition & empowerment training and is also the founder of Wellness of Chatham, a group that meets to discuss topics concerning health and well-being. A native of Denver, Colorado, Traci is focused on supporting people to live passionately, vitally and authentically.
I hope you will check back often, as I know Traci has much to offer those of us with a concern for physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
April 2, 2016 – Soul vs Role: Living a Leased Life?
“These are the roles and behaviors that many of us were raised to adopt, even if they don’t reflect who we are deep down inside … a fear of being perceived as weak forces men into pretending they are never afraid, lonely, confused, vulnerable or wrong; and extreme fear of being perceived as cold-hearted, imperfect, high maintenance or difficult forces women to pretend they’re never exhausted, ambitious, pissed off or even hungry.” -Brené Brown
I love this quote by Brené Brown. I do believe, too, that it really only scratches the surface.
The question I’d like to pose is this, are you living a borrowed or leased life? Are you thinking, reacting and making choices based on what you’ve seen others do, what others think and what you might have been raised to believe you are to do, be, have and want?
Or, on the other hand, do you OWN your life choices, non-dependent upon whether or not others agree or find who you are and what you do acceptable?
There is a great book by Rabbi Daniel Lapin called Thou Shall Prosper that discusses the practice of discovering who you are, what you’re made of and then becoming unapologetic about it. I highly recommend reading it.
So, this is what I believe. It’s vitally important that we understand the difference between a Soul choice and one based on a Role we think we are to play.
It is true, we have many roles in life. However, what if we were to strip ourselves of these hats or titles? What would we be then?
If I were to ask the question of myself, “who am I?” and I couldn’t answer
a daughter, sister, wife, mother, coach, friend or even woman, what would I say?
Who are YOU?
Try asking this at a networking meeting. When the person tells you what they do, reply, “I realize that’s your job, I’m curious to know who you are as an individual, unique person?” It’s fun, I promise!
As Eric Greitens writes in his book, Resilience, “To make the world excellent, great and beautiful, we may have to be a little irrational, a bit strange and sometimes odd.”
One of the things I like to suggest when facing the question who am I? is this. Consider what purpose you have in life. Why do you think you were brought here at this time in history to have this particular life experience?
To stimulate this thought process, ask yourself what others have said about you, good and bad, that has surprised you over the years.
For me, I have often been told I think too much and ask too many questions. I have a particular friend who loves to tell me to stop being so hard on myself when I go digging into understanding why I act, think and perceive things a certain way. I have also been told I am very wise and have an extraordinary talent for reading people and circumstances.
Quite frankly, before I began doing this work, these things both surprised and shamed me. I felt wrong or different and didn’t really understand why and what I was supposed to do about it. I couldn’t really grasp why others had these opinions of me, after all, I was just being me and didn’t really want to think much about why or if that was good or bad.
What I have come to know and honor now is that I am a truth seeker. Self inquiry is my game! I was created to ask a lot of questions, dig for meaning and have the ability to read people and situations because my service to the world is to help others see their inner brilliance and bridge the gap between living a life that doesn’t feel “quite right” to embracing who and what they were created to be.
So, I challenge you to really think about this. What is your ultimate role in life? Your soul role, as it were.
The fact is, we struggle with answering this question because we’ve been conditioned to fit into societal and familial norms. We’ve learned that to name it, categorize it and stick it in a box is to know it. And God help us if can don’t know it! All hell breaks loose when we cannot be certain of things, right?!
We have become all about cerebral knowing, for sure!
But what of instinctive knowing? Heart knowing? Soul knowing?
We have difficulty answering the question, “who am I?” because we’ve been trained to think with our heads and not consider this very important query with our hearts.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is certainly room for head-based thinking, just not, in my humble opinion, when it comes to defining the fundamental question of who we are.
Another of my favorite quotes by Eric Greitens:
“Great changes come when we make small adjustments with great conviction.”
The word that stands out for me is conviction. I believe it’s a powerful word with the potential to shift how we perceive and do things.
Depending on where you look for the meaning, the word “conviction” is defined as a few things, one being an article of faith.
Hmm . . . another very powerful word!
So, if you are still having a tough time coming up with surprising things shared by others about you, start with a list of convictions. What are areas in your life where you have deep faith that something is true? This list will begin to give you the building blocks needed to define who you are.
This exercise is a bit tricky, because if you are doing it properly, most of what ends up on that list is not something that can be tested or proven externally. In other words, you will have a hard time finding hard, cold, factual and physical proof that your convictions are indeed true. What you will call on in creating this list is how you feel, what you sense and trust to be real.
For instance, I would say that my mother loves me and as a sign of “proof,” I could show her acts of kindness and words of love over the many years she raised me. In reality, however, that isn’t physical proof at all. What if my mother had been solely acting from a place of obligation? What if she just said she loved me, but really didn’t? The point is, I know my mother loves me, not based on anything I can measure, but based on how I feel, what I sense to be true and what I trust to be real. In other words, because I have faith that she does.
Okay, back to the question, WHO AM I? Hopefully, you can see now that this, too, is not a question we can answer truthfully from a place of conditioned, external information. We must dig into our soul to retrieve our authentic meaning.
Why is this necessary? Well, because we were created to know what service we are here to perform. I mean, think about it, how could you even begin to see to your job duties at work if you didn’t have a job description? If you didn’t know your title and what was expected of you, how would you know what to do? You would end up wandering around the office looking for your place and not feeling like you were really getting much done, being very purposeful or even fitting in.
How many of us are living our lives this way? Not knowing who we truly are or how we are meant to authentically serve? I mean we may be comfortably numb, but are we truly living?
I don’t believe any of us came into this life to play small, but in order to take our rightful place, we need to know what it is.
So, trust me, it’s worth it to take the time to ask these questions. The true meaning of your, unique life depends on it.
And oh, one more thing . . . the world is always waiting for you to bring your special gifts forward.
In support of YOU,
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
February 11, 2016 – I’m DONE!
When I was in college, there was a required 2-year course called Western Civilization. It was a holistic and very thorough study of the history of civilization from Mesopotamia to the current day (at that time, the late 1980’s – early 1990’s). The course was rigorous and took up a good chunk of our weekly schedule, so you can imagine after 2 years, students were DONE with it. At the end, the ritual was to have DONE WITH CIV parties. These included the destruction of books, notes and most of the time a lot of drinking. Not too surprisingly, I loved the course, kept all my notes and, to this day, think it was one of the best things I was “forced” to do – but that’s the topic for another post, entitled Counter Culture!
The question here is, what are you done with in your life? What can you just not tolerate one more minute? Where are you very uncomfortably stuck?
Are you absolutely over the struggle of not getting what you want? Are you done with settling for less than you deserve and need to feel fulfilled? Are you fed up with making promises and not keeping them? What is it?
What this question really boils down to is what needs in your life are not being met in healthy, productive ways?
So, let’s take a minute (or ten) to really consider this.
Now that you have identified a real trigger, consider how it is currently showing up in your life. The key is to think about it in terms of your part. Where are you holding yourself back?
For example, if your “biggy” is I am struggling with my own self care, you might see this show up in your health, energy level and/or attitude towards others.
As Brene Brown says, this identified trigger is your ROCK, and now is the time for you to address it and work to get out from underneath it.
So, what will it take? What will you need to be and do for this to happen? Do you need to begin speaking your truth, being more vulnerable, trusting your instincts, stop doing for others and let them do for themselves (leaving you to do for yourself) . . .what?
Make yourself a list, based on the areas where you see this issue showing up, and in the next month’s time, make the COMMITTED CHOICE to get out from under your rock!
I want to go on the record as saying that nothing on your GET OUT FROM UNDER MY ROCK “to do” list should be easy for you. Everything there should be challenging, otherwise it doesn’t belong. Why? Well, because if any of this were easy, there wouldn’t be that rock flat on top of you to begin with.
Believe it or not, as humans, our greatest moments, when we feel most alive, are when we are daring greatly. Challenging ourselves to grow and be what we know we can be is one of the main reasons we are here. There is such a thing as being too comfortable. If you are feeling the pressure of that rock, well, you may be too comfortable in your choices, actions and perspectives. Where are you playing safe & small?
Of course, to be honest, I have recently become aware of a big rock in my own life, otherwise, let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. But, I have done enough of this work to know that this rock is a gift. This awareness is a blessing and opportunity, if I choose to take it, to grow!
So, I’ve identified my rock and have my list . . .will you commit to yours or are you comfortable talking up residence under that rock?
The choice is yours!
February 1, 2016 – How often do you focus on what’s you truly want?
And why is this?
Worthiness of love has been a big one in my own journey. It has taken me quite awhile to even allow myself the vulnerability to state this. I know, in my work, however, that it is something we all struggle with . . . our feelings of worthiness or rightfulness. As I was recently telling a client, I have come to believe that the Source of All would not allow a want in us that we were not meant to have. I’m not talking about the surface wants or the dysfunctional ones, I’m referring to the deep, wholehearted and authentic wants that each of us holds deeply in our hearts, the ones we know will help support us in our greatest greatness.
So, ask yourself, “what do I truly want?”
Then allow yourself the answer that comes from deep within. Make a space for it in the foundational considerations and decisions of your day to day.
In support of your worthiness,
January 2, 2016 – Do You Lead by Choice or Intention?
Many times when we look at things like challenges, we immediately focus on the “challenge” aspect. This is where considering approach comes in handy. When doing anything, I like to follow this step process:
Intention – write out your intention for taking on the given challenge. Think large scale! What is the ULTIMATE why for doing it?
Approach – how do you want to approach this challenge? From the perspective of learning and growing or conquering? Open-minded or expectational? Spend some time picking apart how you usually approach things in your life, and it will help better illuminate this portion for you.
Awareness – if our approach is set on learning and growing, what we “realize” and become aware of will be different than if we are set on things working out a certain way. Even when things don’t turn out the way you want, what can you learn from this? One way of looking at it is do you value the journey or the destination more?
Choice – In intentional living, all choices that then breed action steps come from first seeing to the steps mentioned above. The way most of us have been taught to live our lives, however, it’s the choice that plays out and makes us form awareness. We then change or stick with our approach (depending on experienced outcome) and this leads to the same or different intention next time (again, depending on experienced outcome). Living this way, we can see that our odds of learning by making mistakes is much higher. Let your choice be dictated by your intention, approach and awareness instead of vice versa.
You will find that if you focus on these steps, you will have the tendency to be less aware of the difficult aspects of the challenge itself. You will be knee-deep in introspective experience and will be better positioned to meet the goal that you have and the challenge at hand with a mind-set of learning and growing, no matter the outcome.
By Traci Philips, CHHC
December 7, 2015 – Breaking the Fear Trance
When I was 6 years old, I became a competitive swimmer. I had been swimming for awhile, at that point, and I was good. In fact, I was so good, even at 6, that I quickly became the team’s #1 breast stroker.
The thing is, I did love the sport. I loved it very much – even the 2 hour practices two times a day. I was good at what I did because I had a true passion for it.
What I didn’t have was a drive for winning. Winning is just what I did. It was the natural outcome of the marriage between passion and skill. I never questioned or glorified what I could do. I just did it, joyfully.
I know it was a bit confusing and annoying for my coach, team and parents that on days when we had meets, I could never be found when I was needed. A heat would approach that I was in, and someone, usually my mother, would have to go off and find me. I could, most often, be found in a field near the various club pools where our competitions were held. I would be chasing grasshoppers or making necklaces out of clover – totally oblivious that I was supposed to be preparing to compete. My mother would dust me off, snap my swim cap on and off we would go – usually arriving just shy of me getting disqualified for not showing up on time.
The horn would sound. I would dive in, and the moment I hit the water, I was “on.” I would win, time and time again, I would win.
When it came to passing out the awards, I would also need to be found. I just didn’t stick around. I came, I conquered, and I moved on to something else that brought me joy.
No matter what my coach, parents or others threatened me with, I didn’t seem to care. In my mind, I was doing what I needed to do. I was swimming and I was happy. Why did I need to sit around between heats with others waiting for the next opportunity for joy? Why not just go out there and find it?
It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I began to question who I was. I began, like most of us who are acculturated to compare ourselves to others, to lose faith and sight of what I knew to be true about myself. I began to judge my own actions. I began to choke.
The fear trance is that place we are in, like a dream that we believe to be true. It is what we have been told we are or that we are to believe. It is not our authentic knowledge that we listen to, but a culmination of what we see, hear and think others want from us. What it means to be a “good” kid, a “responsible” teenager, an “accomplished” adult. What it means to be worthy. We must begin to remember who we really are.
In my work with others, we journey to the places where we can tap into the authentic self. We witness what this part of us has to say, and we honor its needs. We begin to step back into that place of self trust, self honor, self worth. We go from living an accidental life to living one of intention.
Recently, my daughter brought home a Mother’s Day gift she had made for me at school. It was a flower – about 2 feet tall, made of construction paper. The stem was a tube, and inside was a note to me, written by her.
“I love you, Momma. Thank you for being kind. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for loving me.”
On the flower’s petals, there were words. The children were instructed to pick 6 words out of a long list that best described their mom. On the petals of my flower, in my daughter’s 6 year old writing, were Helpful, Beautiful, Adventurous, Sweet, Caring and Talented.
I believe others are our sacred mirrors. They reflect for us what is within us.
When I was 6, I didn’t question that I was helpful, beautiful, adventurous, sweet, caring and talented. I have spent a lot of my life questioning it since. It’s wonderful to realize that those things I knew when I was 6 years old, ARE me. I thank my daughter for showing me that they have been here all along. She can see them. It’s important to be aware that I do, as well.
By Traci Philips, CHHC
Check out my Blog Talk Radio show (3/5) http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lifecoachchatchannel/2015/03/06/authentic-health-shine-in-the-world-how-to-live-an-extraordinary-life
Traci Philips, CHHC
Certified Holistic Health Educator & Coach
AADP Certification #155433308
That Certain Way To Wellness – Wellness & Lifestyle Coaching