• Slow down. Notice the signs.

    Clear and Open; that is what I said this year would be about, clarity and openness and so far it’s headed that direction.

    In these past few weeks, all messages lead down the same road and bring me back to two quotes that resonate with me time and time again – “Change is the essence of life: surrender who you are for who you may become” and “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

    My angel cards are repeatedly saying, slow down and notice the signs. Pay attention. Silence your mind and heart so you can hear your soul.

    All messages lead me to the same place – if I silence my mind and heart, I can hear my soul telling me to let go of what doesn’t serve me. If I surrender my judgments and beliefs, my autopilot way of numbing, my fired-up-in-a-hurry way of getting things done, I may actually find that being clear and open is quite simple; I must simply silence my mind and listen.

    My heart breaks at the very thought of being in a situation that is so stressful, creates such anxiety and feelings of powerlessness that we actually have an opportunity to question whether we brought something horrible upon ourselves.

    Why does it take us so long to let go of what is so painful? Why don’t we choose to honor ourselves above all else before the emotional pain manifests itself in other ways? Why do we allow ourselves to be in situations we know are not good for us?

    In 2012 a lovely, brilliant scientist, named Tara, joined a program we offered at MODAvate called TOTAL ACCESS. This program married together the necessary components for a lifestyle alteration; healthy eating, exercise and cleaning out the soul of the clutter we so masterfully put away for another day.
    At the time, Tara was the founding scientist for a prominent biotech company in San Diego. She was so proud of her work and the benefit her studies would have on humanity. She loved this company and was very proud to be a part of it.

    In the sacredness of my coaching sanctuary, we very quickly shed light on ways Tara was triggered to over eat by reminiscing of happy, family times with her grandparents sitting around the table. The abundance of food equaled love, comfort, safety, and connectedness. Many of us do this – we associate the comfort we feel with our loved ones having something to do with food, and thus a trigger is created. We shed light on apprehensions that stemmed from a past heartbreak. She was able to identify the many contract she made in her childhood that had her operating in a way that didn’t server her adult self. She was able to see the story she created for herself saying she was unlovable and didn’t belong – anywhere. We shed light on why she’s hung onto people, employment, bad habits for far too long. We spoke at length about the fears that stemmed from having breast cancer and what it meant to survive that time in her life. She is a fighter, a true survivor. A human being so interested in living her life to the fullest, she knew there was some learning she needed and this time, it had nothing to do with a science text book.

    About a year ago, she reached out to me for a coaching session. Her work environment had changed drastically and she was no longer enjoying it. She was scared to go to work, she had major anxiety and was at a loss for how to handle her new boss. A man whose behaviors triggered Tara all day long. His way of being was much like a past relationship that left her feeling worthless. This new boss believed that by belittling, threatening and taking away her scientific work, he’d get her to conform to his way of doing things. A person who’s only desire was to grow this company, despite the integrity of the product and the people who had worked for many years to grow this company from scratch. A man who insisted on telling the scientist how to run the lab, science tests and science minded technicians, without having a background in science himself.

    We worked together for a few sessions and she was masterful in the mind set shift she opted for. Once we became familiar with what is triggering us, there are tools to deploy in order to be with the behavior yet not be triggered by it. This worked for a few months. And then, I asked her, “How are you? How are things going at work?” Her answer, “I quit my job!” I nearly fell off the chair and before long, I was dancing around, clapping in sheer jubilee! She filled me in…there wasn’t enough mental strength, mind set shifting, enough grit in her tiny body, to allow her to continue dishonoring herself by showing up at her job. Though she had mastered the mindset shift and wasn’t being triggered by her boss, she also knew that the stress of showing up, and navigating the mine field was torture. She was not herself, she was always in high alert, and she was always waiting for the next comment so she could deploy her techniques. And then one day she said, “Enough is enough”. She wrote her letter of resignation!

    I can feel the sense of relief as I type these words. The same relief I felt when she shared that she chose to honor herself before all else….Let me say that again – SHE CHOSE TO HONOR HERSELF ABOVE ALL ELSE. To honor herself above the work she so loved. To honor herself above the income she had counted on. To honor herself above her plans to retire at a different time. To honor herself above all else!

    In November, Tara sent me an email letting me know she broke her ribs and wouldn’t be in Jazzercise class for a bit. She came back to class shortly after, and all was fine. At the new year, she had been on my mind. I found myself constantly thinking about her, so I texted her. Her reply was devastating. It turned out not to be a broken rib, the pain stemmed from a nasty return of the cancer. This time in her lymph nodes, bones and lung. “NOOOO,” I cried, I screamed, I hid… Immediately I asked her if we could get together. I wanted to see her, I wanted to hug her, kiss her, and let her know that she was not alone. I wanted her to know that her sisters at the MODAvate center are a pillar of strength that surrounded her. I wanted her to know that we stood with her, united. As we cried together she said, “I can’t help but wonder if I brought this on myself. I knew I was not supposed to be under large amounts of stress.” In a public restaurant, tucked into a quiet corner, we cried.

    Clear and Open. Silence the mind. Listen for the signs. Our bodies are all knowing, we must be willing to listen. We must be willing to honor ourselves above all else!

    I hope this MODAvational note is a call to action. If you are struggling in an environment that is harmful to your soul, if you are entangled in a relationship that leaves you feeling worthless, if you are finding it hard love yourself completely, let this be an invitation to reach out NOW.

    Until we meet again –  Susan

    Tara Palmer and I

  • Posted by Tania on February 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    dear Susan,

    thank you for this post! I am so glad I met you a few years back. These words were just what I needed to hear. You are an amazing woman with so much to give, anyone who comes in contact with you can see that.

    I am thankful for you.



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