“I feel like a total fraud. Whenever I have friends come to me for help and ask me for advice, I help them any way I can. They often seem to feel better after talking with me and are grateful for my support. But, I feel like a fraud.”
This new client continues, “I hear the words in my head say, “Who are you to help this person? You can’t follow this advice yourself. You don’t know anything. Look at you! What have you really done that means anything? How can you help anyone if you don’t even know your own purpose?” I feel like a fraud and want to feel authentic.”
If you’ve ever felt like a fraud in your own life, this letter is for you!
The natural question is, “Where does that feeling of being a fraud come from?”
Really, before reading further, take a moment and ask yourself, “When I’ve felt or feel like a fraud, where does that feeling originate? Or, why is that...
“Between 1 & 10, what’s your level of excitement with all the juicy ideas you have for your joyous-passion career?”
I ask this to my client, Judy who I’ve been supporting to revive her purpose and discover her passion in life.
Judy flatly replies, “Six or seven.”
I squint my eyes as my jaw drops open a little bit. I can’t hide my surprise. I then follow with, “I’m a little confused. Let’s go through the list of possibilities.”
Judy reluctantly lifts a list of possible passion ideas that we unearthed in session last week. Some of these ideas she shared were a 12 in joy! Today, she’s at a six or seven and I want to discover why this is.
She reads them off in a resistant-monotone voice, “Cooking classes - 6, Recipe book and blog - 5, Farmers Market in downtown - 7, Food Critic - 5, Jams and Marmalade - 6, Bed & Breakfast - 7, Yoga Studio - 7, Medical Clinic -...
I stand at the base of a the peak Umantai in the high Andes knowing what is to come next will not be fun. Andreas (my shamanic guide) ushers me into a glacier lake that sits on a precipice where peak after peak paints the golden horizon. The air is thin and crisp at 17,470 feet and bites at you when the Sun ducks behind the silver-lined, fluffy clouds.
I am told to stand naked in the icy lagoon below a jagged boulder that sneaks out several feet from the bank. I huddle near the boulder anxiously waiting for the team of three shamans to get their sh** together for the ceremony... I'm and m edgy and ready for this initiation to be done (not really the attitude to have in this important moment)
Somehow, I feel in the dark while it’s the middle of the day. I intend peace, but the icy feeling that rises through my body feels like mini switchblade slashes deep below the epidermal layer of my skin. I knew these were serious rights of passage in the pre-Incan tradition I...
Here are two stories that take you into what miracles of transformation can can happen when you
He strips down naked in the middle of the Andean mountains of Peru…
I probably should give you some back story on this first.
It’s my third trip to Peru and I’m hiking with my newer shamanic mentor, Adolfo in the Andean Mountains hours from his cottage amongst a small village only known by the locals. We come to a mountain pass where the landscape is 360 degrees of ice capped mountains, bustling rivers, and a few turquoise blue lakes painted on the yellowed landscape below.
I recall my western shaman friend, Angelo sharing a story with me a few weeks prior to landing in Peru.
Angelo shared, “It was my first time in the mountains with my teacher, Don Antonio. We were hiking through this sacred valley at about 17,000 ft. when we come across this stunning glacier lake. The majesty of this place was breathtaking.
“How can I handle the stresses of life like war, the collapsing of the environment or loosing my job when it seems out of my control? I feel scared and am unsure how to deal with it.”
“I feel like my ego has won. All the chatter in my head tells me that I am not good enough and do not deserve anything good coming my way. It feels like I’m a burden and I’m giving up hope. Do you have any ideas on how to get out of this dark hole?”
I’ve recently had several readers and clients ask for help with words like what I’ve written above.
Have you ever found yourself feeling this way unsure of how to return to a place of peace and inner confidence?
Whether it’s an impending war, environmental destruction, loss of your job or the darkness that travels through our minds, there’s a feeling like we have no control over what will happen. There’s often a crushing feeling of fear whenever we feel like we can...
There is this simple Zen tale I really love and want to share with you that goes something like this.
One day George was returning from his day of work in the fields to arrive back at his home in the village in which he’d always lived. At the edge of the village, George sees Tom, his village’s fool, wandering around outside of his home.
George wonders what the town idiot is doing so he stops to ask, “Tom, what are you doing outside wandering around like that?”
Tom anxiously replies, “Well George, I can’t seem to find my key. I’ve lost the key to my house.”
Without further prompting, George begins to help Tom look for his key. This continues until half the town is helping Tom look for the key to his house.
Finally near dusk, someone thinks to retrieve Alfred, the wise village elder, to help solve the koan of Tom’s foolery.
“What are you doing Thomas?” Alfred patiently asks.
Tom of course...
The self serving (part of the) ego is simply the bars we’ve put around our own heart to protect us from the traumas of the past. Drop the story from your past... drop the bars around your heart.”
Shankarcharya’s words ring within me...
I’m having the most amazing day with 50 friends celebrating my 34th birthday (14 years ago) overlooking the cliffs and ocean off of Pointe Dume in Malibu, CA. The day, weather, people and location are perfect. I have a smile painted on my face, yet inside my stomach is churning. I’m struggling to gain a full breath. There’s a nightmare unfolding in my paradise.
I know what’s wrong. Angela, the woman I’m interested in is playing real stand-offish with me while gushing towards one of my buddies. This is a relatively new thing for me where the woman I begin date are at roadrunner speed towards me then as soon as I open my...
I hammer my pedals ferociously, I speed up the 3 foot bike ramp, joyfully take air and BAM, land with a hard bounce. My treads skip across the cul-de-sac like a thin stone glides across a still lake. The exhilaration of the jump at 8 years old is awesome!
My two friends Derek and Johnny follow my lead joyfully taking flight with the same jump. We all land successfully, but can’t stop there. We scurry to accumulate more bricks, rocks or old newspapers from our neighbors to heighten the wooden ramp.
The three of us add more risk by propping it up another 3 - 4 inches. I take another stab at the jump, joyfully land well and then Derek and Johnny follow. This is so much fun!
After each successful jump we decide to take the ramp up a notch with another weather worn newspaper from the neighbor’s yard. We three Evil Kenevil 3rd graders continue with our daring leaps imagining we’re defying death by scaling over snake pits, fire pits or trenches of swords.
This modest middle aged man, Jamie stares out at a 1,000 people from stage. From a short distance away he doesn’t look that special with his khaki pants and button down shirt. Jamie’s looks declare average in every way... average height, average weight, average looks, etc.
I don’t know it yet, but I getting ready to be blown away by this seemingly average man.
After a few moments of introduction Jamie shuffles side to side with discomfort as he says hello behind the microphone. However he puts me and the whole audience at ease with a simple toss off about his uneasiness with being on stage. His preference he says is in the trenches rather than the stage.
Shortly in to his share, Jamie takes stride, his eyes beam with light as he ushers us on a journey from from Los Angeles to Afghanistan...
I’m in Kabul as the war relentlessly pounds the people of this country. I’ve seen it before in so many places. The locals are tired, as...