Scary Question #4 “Will I Ever Find or Have a Healthy Relationship?”

It’shappily ever after October and I’m answering your scary questions….
This one is long…. But so worth it!

One of the scary questions we ask ourselves is what we all hope to have or find one day, our very own “happily ever after”.  We spend at least 12 years in school learning the quadratic formula, how to identify cumulus clouds and what a dangling participle is in a sentence.  What we are NOT taught is how to have or find a healthy relationship. If at the core of every human being we all hope to have a “happily ever after relationship” or something a little like that…. Why is it that we are not taught the “how to’s” on this subject?   What we do not realize is there is a much scarier story we unconsciously tell ourselves and we hope that a happy relationship will prove this scary story is wrong.

The underlying scary story we tell ourselves is that “I’m not lovable”.   Unfortunately, some of the experiences that we have in our lives seem to tell us that we just aren’t lovable.  These experiences range from childhood mistreatment from those people that were supposed to love us the most or it might be the teenage romances that ended in heartbreak, and everything in between these kinds of experiences.  Each of these experiences seem to tally all the reasons we just aren’t lovable.  We hide these heartbreaks deep down in our core so that no one can see our pain.  We are ashamed that we are not lovable for it is what we want the most.  We bury this pain so deep it becomes unconscious and we put on our happy mask, hoping the pain of not feeling lovable will go away if we can just find someone that will love us and once and for all, prove that we really are lovable.

The problem with this is we usually find someone that has also buried this kind of pain.  The relationship starts euphorically and you begin to believe you truly are lovable.  Over time as you build trust and grow your relationship, you unconsciously touch the wound of your loved one and they erupt….. which triggers your hidden hurts.  You don’t even realize you are doing this to each other.  You don’t even know you are pushing your loved one’s “I’m not lovable” button.  All you know, is that you hurt to your core and your beloved has betrayed you and once again you begin to believe…. You simply are not lovable.

What if we shifted that??  What if we could step back and interview ourselves and really take some time to explore those childhood hurts, those teenage heartbreaks, those times in our lives that created scars on our heart.  How might it help us to gently interview this frightened heart with questions like “What could I have been learning through this experience?”  “What could I have possibly gained in overcoming and going through this experience?”  “How can I use this experience to make myself a better person?”  “What was the truth of that experience?”  “Who did I become because of this experience and can I shift who I’ve become to help others that have been in this situation?”  I have found in going back to explore that by overcoming these experiences, they have taught me that I am a strong, confident powerful women, who chooses to live in love and light.  I have learned forgiveness, I have learned unconditional love and I have learned without a doubt that I am lovable. …… doing this practice isn’t the way we’re taught to process our experiences because chances are, our parents or those people that had the most influence on us when we were young, didn’t know how to process those experiences either.  We’re simply not taught now to process our feelings.  I believe it’s time to give ourselves a little self vacation in travelling back into some of those experiences that may have us questioning if we are really lovable….be gentle, listen to your heart, tune into your soul and I believe that you will hear the whisperings of what you may have learned through these sometimes painful experiences.  If the answer is you learned that you were not lovable, it’s time to challenge those thoughts.  These have become unconscious and limited beliefs which are affecting the choices you make every day with your relationships.   Ask for assistance if you have some really tough stories to explore… the “happily ever after” on the other side is worth the exploration.  To find and have a healthy relationship is an inside job, you must know you are lovable first.  When you are doing this little travel back, do your best to see these events from a more mature but very gentle thought process because chances are you are still FEELING them through your child thought processes and coming to the conclusion that you aren’t lovable and that simply is not true.

This post is dedicated to the love I found after I made the difficult choice to end my marriage that had become very toxic and abusive.  My first step in finding my “happily ever after” was first of all finding love for myself, forgiving myself for allowing myself to be treated with anything less than I believed was love and respect.  I took the time I needed to heal and I fell in love with myself!  I discovered that love was all around me and I found the truth, that I truly am lovable…..  the magic in discovering this for myself opened a space in me so deeply, that I was able to attract a healthy relationship into my life.  I found another person that knew he was lovable because of the soul searching and healing he had done and together we joined each other in a love affair to heal ourselves even further….. TOGETHER.  We embarked on a new adventure in creating a SAFE union to face some of the demons from our past.

We were not naïve in jumping into this journey, we knew that we would both be bringing some “baggage” to the relationship.  We agreed to create a safe union to assist one another to unpack our “baggage”.  Now it is our joy to share this knowledge with all those around us.

A huge shout out to the man that rocks my world every day of my life!!  Truly the BEST DAMN PARTNER YOU COULD ASK FOR (Ask anyone that watches Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid…he’s simply the best…..)!!!

***I love you baby…. Thanks for choosing us everyday!!***

It’s never too late to have/find your “happily ever after” relationship but it is an inside job, it starts with KNOWING that YOU are lovable…… and then that “KNOWING” begins to echo out in all your relationships.

PS…..

Isn’t that yummy????  If you had asked me about this kind of love just seven years ago I would tell you I had no idea it was possible…. It started with knowing that I was lovable…. take the time, fall in love with yourself, the rest is just pure magic!  Trent and I are planning a relationship retreat….survival style!  If you are interested in being on the waiting list PM me or email me at sherijoi1972@gmail.com ….it’s going to be fun and it’s going to be an adventure….those are the two things we can always promise!!!.  This will be a small group so if you are interested…. Let me know you are interested ASAP.

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Scary Question #3 “What did you think about Trent going on Naked and Afraid, knowing that his partner would be another woman and they would both be naked?”

It’s October and I’m talking about the scary stories and scary questions we ask ourselves……

maslow hierarchy of needs basicRecently, my man Trent Nielsen, was featured on Discovery Channel’s hit show Naked and Afraid, the episode is titled “Fear the Unknown”, great title for today’s question.  Hands down, the question I am asked the very most when people hear about this is “How do you feel about Trent going out in the jungle with another woman naked?”

Great question!!  First of all if you have ever studied Psychology then you will know that the basic needs for survival are food, water, warmth, rest, security, safety and shelter.  All of these needs must be met before intimacy is ever considered; this is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  (Check out the pyramid picture above.)  Trent and I watched countless episodes of Naked and Afraid together and I knew that the “naked” part of this challenge had nothing to do with sexuality and everything to do with Discovery wanting to put together the most extreme survival show on TV.  Think about it, your first “shelter” is your clothing, it’s your security and safety so if you take that away then survival gets real and it gets extreme!

Now saying all that……. I also know that most guys like boobs, come on, it’s kind of a given fact.  It’s the reason we spend so much money at Victoria Secret.  We know men like boobs. So really, I’m not naïve to think that Trent is probably going to enjoy getting a glimpse of a stranger in the buff, especially Annie (his partner on Naked&Afraid), she’s got a rockin’ body and she’s worked hard for it.  Trent even told me, “Ya.  She came around the corner and that’s what I noticed.”  He told me he was relieved when she showed up naked because now he knew that everyone was looking at her, not at him because NOBODY wants to see a naked dude!  He also remembers that within the first few minutes after their meeting his “basic need” instincts kicked in and he forgot all about being naked.  I knew this was exactly what would happen and that’s why the naked thing didn’t bother me.

When Trent asked me for advice before he left, I told him to take care of his partner and to be sweet to her.  I have seen so many episodes where the partners get frustrated, they are hungry, they are tired and they lose their common decency and respect for another human being.  Trent has always been the most amazingly respectful person and I knew that even under these extreme conditions that his true character would shine through.  He is a man of honor and integrity and when I told him to take care of her it was my way of telling him that he had my permission to do what he needed to do to help his partner succeed in this challenge.   We had a conversation before he left, I told him I wanted him to make her comfortable so she would stay for the full 21 days because I knew that his greatest survival tool out there would be his partner.  I also told him that she was going to be cold because I’m a girl, I know what it’s like to be cold in the outdoors, IT SUCKS!!!  I told him that it was not even a question that he could of course use body heat to keep her warm, in fact I told him he MUST cuddle up with her so that she could be warm at night and get some rest…. (I tell him all the time that I think when Bigfoot laid on him that it transferred some Bigfoot DNA to him in the area of body heat because he is always hot, he’s my heater throughout our cold mountain winters).

I also told Trent that I never wanted him to worry what I would think about what he was doing with her, even if they showed it on camera.  I told him I trusted him to make whatever decisions were in both of THEIR best interest so they could both rock the challenge.  In return I asked him to trust me to be able to handle my own emotions when I watched the show no matter what Discovery aired on his episode.   I also knew that Trent respects and is committed to our relationship, knowing this made it easy to encourage, support and cheer him on doing whatever needed to be done for the team to succeed.

I know in another episode that the ‘cuddling’ became an issue but I know that if you were hiking to the top of Everest and one of your team had hypothermia, the first thing that would be done would be to strip the person of their clothing and get them in a sleeping bag with another stripped down person to start to generate body heat to bring the core temperature up.  This type of body heat is about survival and is not sexual in the least.  Trent and his partner were going to be in a survival situation, I knew that sharing body heat was nothing more than the basic need for warmth.

The question of “What do you think about Trent being out there with another woman naked?” never carried any fear for me.  I attribute this to my confidence in myself, my trust in Trent and our commitment to our relationship.  Surviving for 21 days was the greatest challenge Trent had ever set out to accomplish.  As a cheerleader for the soul and his “partner” in life, if this was a challenge he wanted to attempt, I wanted to show up as his greatest support and best cheerleader.

And at the end of the day…. If a little a glimpse of “boobage” gave him a little shot of adrenaline he might need to make it through that day, then so be it. I knew that it wasn’t about intimacy or a betrayal of our relationship.  I am secure enough in myself to be ok with a sneak peak.

The Discovery Channel created this series to be an extreme survival show and it is!!!

Does it help that the title is “Naked and Afraid” and that’s just juicy television fun??  You bet!!!

Does the naked part add to the drama and play into insecurities of our society that is somewhat lost in how to manage and maintain our own insecurities, self-esteem, confidence, respect of others, commitment and self worth? Of course.

Though Discovery doesn’t show a lot of the “survival” techniques anymore, they do a great job of showing people overcoming, persevering, transforming and facing their fears.  This show is a great way to see human psychology play out and really see who you are when you are broken down to your core, this is when your true character shows.  I am so proud of Trent and Annie for what they accomplished.  I’ve watched both of them since they have been back and they are both champions in their own way.  I love and respect them both for the fears they faced.  I know that even I had to face a few demons on this Naked and Afraid journey….. it’s quite an experience to be the “partner” in the wings.  But the experience in a whole has brought Trent and I closer than ever.  I’m so thankful for his experience and so proud of the man that Annie calls her “Jungle Gladiator”…. Because I think he’s pretty bad ass too!

So the moral of the story??….. The scary stories we tell ourselves might not be what we think they are.  Being naked with another women doesn’t mean a betrayal of trust in this situation.  When you find yourself telling a scary story, ask yourself what is the insecurity behind the scary story, what are you afraid of?  Find this insecurity in yourself that this scary story is thriving on and do your best to start shifting the way you are thinking about it.  Turn this weakness into strength instead of living in the fear of insecurity.  This is our challenge so that we too can be the change we want to see in the world!!

oh and….. #savetheboobies  🙂

More information on Trent’s Naked and Afraid episode??  Check out his Adventure Page on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TrentNielsenSLC

Scary Story # 2 It Could Be Risky…. is it worth the Risk?

riskyThere’s a scary story we tell ourselves which sabotages amazing ideas before they even get started.  In my twenties I remember dating several men in particular that had been in their careers for many years and had what they called “seniority”.  Even though both of them had dreams of doing something different…. One wanted to be a meteorologist and one wanted to start his own company.  The passion that they both expressed as they talked about these dreams was exciting to me and it made me so heartbroken when they would put these dreams in a box and hide them away because they were too scared of the “risk” that would be involved in starting something new.

How sad it is to me that so many wonderful passions are not “birthed” into this world because of the scary story that starts out with… “It’s too risky”.   How many discoveries have not been made because “it would be too risky”?  How many lives are not changed because “it would be too risky”?

A beautiful example of turning this story around is my sister Audra.  Years ago she had gone to school for accounting and was now working in an accounting firm.  She was amazing at accounting and the firm loved the work she was doing.  She also brought an amazing little zing to the office that isn’t usually found in an accounting firm so they loved her even more for her “style”.  Although she was on the road to an amazing career she found that the accounting world did not hold the excitement and zest for life she craved…. So one day she quit her job, sold all of her belongings, got on the internet to find a place to live and within a couple weeks had moved herself to Hawaii.  Now my family is kind of old fashioned and this whirlwind sort of stunned us all and it was so quick.  She had made all the arrangements to have a source of transportation, a place to live and jumped onto the ship of faith to know that she would find a way to take care of herself when she arrived in this exciting and zestful adventure.  She lived in Hawaii for several years and taught me that it was definitely worth taking risks to find the excitement and zest for life that I also crave in my life.

Sometimes it takes a little time to see that dream take shape and you can do it at whatever speed you want to do it in but isn’t it about time to change that scary story in your life?  Isn’t it time to take a risk and see what dreams may come???  Take one small step today to do something risky in the direction of one of your dreams.  There are so many reasons in my life I took a risk, they have made all the difference.
(and PS…. thank you to my sister Audra for teach me and my entire family to take a risk and create the life of your dreams…. she opened my eyes to what dreams may come!  Love you sis!)

Scary Story #1 The Scariest Story We Tell Ourselves

I'm a fraud

As human beings we become very good at hiding those negative things we think about ourselves (some things are so deep and unconscious we don’t even know they are there.)… . the truth is these thoughts sabotage us from the life we were really meant to live with joy and happiness!!

The number one scary story we tell ourselves is “I’m not enough”.  Now this might look different because we are very creative human beings when it comes to inventing scary stories for ourselves.  It might be…. “I’m not smart enough”…. “I’m not pretty enough”…. “I’m not successful enough”….. “I’m not skinny enough”…  “I’m not a good enough mom/dad”…. or the one I hear the very most from my clients…. “I’m a fraud”.  This self defeating script is the scary story that blocks us from being the amazing beings that we truly were meant to be.

The way we “discover” this little sabotage is through some self-discovery interviewing questions.  Little by little we uncover these un-truths that we have unconsciously told ourselves is true.

I hear all the time…. “but if you knew who I really was, you would be shocked!”  Let me tell you a little secret, whether I know you in person or not…. I really do know you!!!

Because in this life, we may have had different experiences but we all experience the same emotions.  We’ve all been happy, sad, angry, scared, frustrated, overwhelmed, disgusted, hurt, depressed, exhilarated and the list goes on.  We’ve all experienced on top of the world happiness as well as dark and grieving great sadness.

So you see, we are all one, we are all the same and we all really know each other.  So next time you uncover that scary story that says…. “I hope they don’t discover I’m a fraud…. That I’m not enough.”  Take a little step back and realize that it’s just a story, a scary story that you’ve told yourself long enough to believe instinctually that is sabotaging you from taking the steps forward onto the path of your true self…. The self that is more than enough, the self that is authentically you, the self that is divine…. So take some time to find out just how amazing you truly are.

Through out this month I’m going to share some “scary stories” and some “scary questions” I faced in my life and how facing those fears were the key to finding a strong, confident and successful women…. That was there all along!!!  I’ll be share some very personal stories with you so I hope you come along for the ride.

 

For now and for this weekend, here is a little homework (if you choose) and some weekend pondering!!  Cheers!

 

I would love you to really be conscious of your thoughts this weekend.  When you get upset… what do you say to yourself?  What if you make a mistake?  What does your internal script say?  When you feel you didn’t do your best….. what is the monkey chatter that kicks in on autopilot?  Do your best to be conscious of these thoughts.  The first step is actually just realizing you are doing it!!!!  Then…. You can begin to change your scary story into magic.  When you take the time to discover just how amazing you are and live with this confidence, you unconsciously invite others to find this truth about themselves.!!!

 

My wish for you is that you really KNOW that YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH!!!!

 

Echo it out loud and clear with your confidence in yourself!!  Now THAT is being the change!