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23235 Burbank Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA, 91367

My Lane

This is my lane, it's about my human experience and the journey of spiritual and personal growth that I'm on.  Writing is often what I use to process what I'm going through and what I've learned.  My goal is for the experiences and lessons I've learned to resonate and help other people in their own journey. 

Become Your Own Priority

Jessica Weir

It's so easy to put others first.  We're taught to do that from a young age, especially girls.  If we put ourselves first, we're selfish or bitchy.  Hence, the care-taking personality trait that I and many people possess.  Or being a people pleaser. I'm in an industry that's all about being of service to others.  Helping them through their troubles or challenges toward a better life.  I am in no way knocking that.  It gives meaning to what I do.  But since starting on my own journey of growth and deciding I could put my strengths and natural tendencies to good use, the idea that my purpose in life is to be of service has never sat well with me.  It just doesn't ring true.  So, I've been thinking about it and trying to sort out why not.  It seems so noble to want to help people. But when I say that, it's almost without meaning, like some sort of catch all non-answer. "I just want to help people." 

Honestly, I want to help myself first. And to make "the help" I give others more specific and meaningful. Part of my journey from a dependent child to an empowered adult has been and continues to be making myself my first priority followed by my higher power, then other people.  Not putting other people in first or second position.  Putting others first turns me into a caring person, but out of touch with what I really need, want or what would be healthiest for me.  Think co-dependent relationship.  Although, having all of my focus on someone else keeps me out of my own head and away from having to deal with my own shit.  But it also makes me powerless to take action for myself. Been there, done that and I don't want the f*ing t-shirt. 

When I'm the first priority and other people are in the second position, I'm always seeking approval for my decisions and choices.  So even when I want to take action for myself, I'm still giving my power to other people.  But on the plus side, I don't have to make any of my own decisions or take full responsibility for the outcome.  Though getting input from a friend or family is needed. As in, how to respond to someone's text, but not if what they suggest doesn't feel right to me.  It's helpful to get outside input, to give perspective and to keep from reacting to said text or Facebook post in anger.  Believe me, I've been tempted in recent weeks.  But I'm trying to make myself and what I value a priority.  Respect, freedom of expression, self-empowerment, intelligent debate, compassion and kindness are important to me.  Behaving in alignment with what I value is a way of making myself my own priority.  If my behavior adheres more to other people's values than my own, I've let myself down.  

Case in point, as a new coach, I'm figuring out how to make my business successful in impact and revenue.  It's not easy.  There are so many people out there who are selling their business plans and strategies, claiming their way will get you the revenue and success you desire.  There's so much competition to help you with your new coaching business.  I could spend my time buying strategies, templates and blueprints, etc... Putting the opinion of others first.  Because though they claim to be experts, they aren't.  Because they're not experts in me.  Only I am.  And although it's scary and challenging, I'm keeping my focus on my own shit and trying to gather knowledge and strategies that resonate with me.  And working through my own stuff so I can take the next right action to my highest good and the good of others.   

In acting school, my teacher Kingston used to say that the person you were acting with was always the most important person in the room until they weren't anymore.  The ultimate point of focus being yourself, on your own needs and wants.  There's only so far you can stretch or conform for someone else before you just can't anymore.  You may not even realize you've gone past the point and have moved away from what you want into what they want.  They can be people in your life or society (or your interpretation of society).  If you're not aware of your wants and desires or you've decided they don't matter, you might not realize you're not the priority.  All while trying to convince yourself you've made the right choice.

I'm not suggesting you become a jerk and stop caring about people.  I'm advocating a healthy amount of selfishness.  Caring about yourself, your state of mind, physical health and future well-being doesn't preclude you from caring about others.  When you're able to meet your needs and be in touch with your wants and aspirations, you can show up for others better.  

I was recently listening to a friend's masterclass on leadership and what she said really rang true for me.  She talked about the same thing, this idea of "helping people". She said that perspective is presumptuous. That "help" implies that people need you, that you're above them.  She said people don't need your help, they're fine the way they are. But they want your support. I'm not claiming to be better than anyone.  We all go through suffering and pain, the details are just different.  I don't have all the answers to all the problems.  I just know some things that other people haven't learned yet.  I've also dedicated my time, energy and money to my own growth.  So I'm familiar with the path that might lie ahead for people who choose it. So they may want my support, tools, and some of the insights I've gained over the years as they continue on their own journey. My commitment to my own healing and the growth I have experienced give me a valuable perspective. One filled with understanding, compassion and empathy.  I want to support others through their healing process and growth.  I don't have to have all the answers, I just have to be there, listen without judgement, show empathy and offer what insight I can.  Being able to support people gives meaning and purpose to what I've been through.  Which is also part of making myself a priority, acknowledging, owning and using my painful learning experiences for good.  Sharing my story and offering support is a way to empower myself and put myself first while also caring about other people.     

On the nature of time and the universe, and the movie Arrival

Jessica Weir

TrustthejourneyDevilsBridge.jpg

Like many introverts, I'm a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy.  I read so much and watch so much that all of these ideas swirl around in my head. I'll mention some of those influences.  Hopefully one day a novel will come out of it.  So, I was really excited to see the movie "Arrival" with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.  I can't find the words to describe just what this movie made me feel.  It was thought provoking, moving, mind-blowing, awe-inspiring.  Somehow those words don't convey the full meaning of my experience. When I was leaving the theater, after all the credits mind you, I asked the teenage guy cleaning up if he'd seen it. He said no, not yet but he'd heard that it was slow.  I said that it wasn't an action movie but it was excellent, thought-provoking and I loved it.  Who knows if that would appeal to a teenage boy. But you should see it.  It's one that I plan on buying the DVD of, not just streaming.  This isn't a review though, so much as an exploration of the effect this film and others had on me. 

Spoiler alert! Unfortunately, I have to use some spoilers in order to explain myself.  You see, a theme in the movie is time.  And one of Amy Adams' lines near the end of the film is directed towards Ian, Jeremy Renner's character.  She asks him "If you could see your life from beginning to end, would you change anything?" Because she can see her life from beginning to end and she sees that he becomes her husband and the father of her child and the pain of losing that child.  Would you choose to live a life you knew would be full of pain and great sorrow.  His answer to her is "I think I would share my feelings more."

Life is so uncertain. I don't know what the future will bring and I can get caught and stuck in the fear that uncertainty causes.  Everyone does.  Is it the not knowing or the pain you anticipate happening that makes it so scary? Both probably.  There are so many ways people deal with certainty and uncertainty both healthy and unhealthy.  I get stuck and have to work hard to push through the fear and move forward.  It's not really a reflection of who I am, the infinite Jess.  It's a reflection of how I deal with time as I understand it and trusting the universe to have my back. 

This film had me sitting in the seat while the credits are rolling, feeling so much and thinking about the question she asks him and his answer.  If you knew the story of your life from start to finish would you change anything?  Sharing my feelings more.  That's something I talk about a lot because I know the value in it and I'm also working at it.  I'm working on my fear of uncertainty.  That question and the answer and the fact that she does choose that life was and is inspirational to me.  Somehow it released some of the pressure and the fear.  To accept what comes with an open heart.  To focus my attention on living the moments as they come.  To not worry so much.  It gave me permission to live. To release this fear and the restraint of time.  To connect with something greater than myself.  To connect with the universe.

So many things recently have gotten me thinking about the nature of the universe and time.  I like the idea that it's non-linear.  Time moves back and forward on itself, that we're connected to a greater energetic system that is outside of time.  But also that the universe moves so slowly when seen as linear.  I recently saw "Doctor Strange", which was highly entertaining but not nearly as thought-provoking or poignant as "Arrival". It's not meant to be.  But I did take something from that as well and was sad when it ended and I had to return to my regular life with it's problems and fears.  The imagination and creativity are awesome.  The ability to create your world was a super power in the movie and seems unattainable.  Then I watched the first episode of "Cosmos" on Netflix.  How in the cosmic calendar, humanity is only in existence for the last minute of the last day of the year.  Where one days equals 40,000,000 years.  

When I think my life isn't moving fast enough or the things I want haven't happened yet, the cosmos reminds me that time is relative and the universe moves at it's own pace.  I do believe that there is a higher power at work.  Whether that's God, or a system of energy we don't fully understand surrounding us, that's not for me to say.  But there's something greater that we're only slightly aware of.  The point being that I have a belief that there is a greater, infinite force at work.  What's happening in my life and in the world is all for our own spiritual growth.  There is something to be gained from every interaction, every experience, good or bad. I'm of the opinion that we are spiritual beings on a physical journey.  There's a purpose to what we experience.  Our greatest task is to learn and to grow with each life we live.  And to feel the joy life brings.

These are the kinds of big conversations I've had with my Dad since I was little, about the nature of life and the spirit.  I treasure my talks with him and I am so grateful when I meet people who also ponder the greater meaning of life, whether they are like-minded or not.  There's so much more out there and happening than we understand.  Isn't that amazing.  That unknowing.  So that's how I manage to shift out of my fear uncertainty.  Reflecting on the nature of the universe, how I'm connected to something greater, a higher power that is looking out for me.  It's there to help me grow and learn, to become a more vibrant, joyous person.  What's the point of worrying when the world is there for me to create.  I would probably choose the life that I have even if I knew what was to happen from start to finish but I have to agree that I'd share my feelings more.  There's something to be gained from everything we go through, if we can only believe and see it and enjoy the moment.       

 

A New Year, A New Golden You

Jessica Weir

Happy New Year! 2017 is here.  I'm working on my vision for the new year and the rest of my life.  Making resolutions isn't how I operate.  I see my life as a continuous journey of growth.  The new year definitely brings a renewal of energy though. A new beginning so to speak. An opportunity to redirect my focus and my energy. I think of it more as setting intentions, but with a light hand.  Trying to force myself to do something, even if it's good for me will not work.  And I'll try to explain why below.  Setting an intention is more like redirecting my focus.  I'm not on this earth to live a crappy life, none of us are.  But I also allow myself to acknowledge all the crap I'm working through. Working through my shit is the hardest yet most rewarding work I'll ever do.  Healing and learning are a huge part of the journey that is this life.  So my intentions are set, and the new year offers new energy to check in and course correct. My intention is to share my light with the world, to allow my inner divine and golden self to shine.  

At the start of this great documentary about Joseph Campbell, "Finding Joe", there's a great story about a gold statue of the Buddha, shining and glorious, precious to the monks.  Then an outside force is going to invade, to take and destroy what they can.  So to save their glorious golden Buddha, they cover it in concrete.  Slathering on gritty, grey concrete that dries and covers up that shining light. The offensive force passes it by.  The concrete layer protected their precious statue.  Once that threat is no more, they fear another attack, so they leave that concrete in place.  It isn't until many years later that by chance, the concrete starts to break and crumble away.  The monks discover a golden Buddha underneath the grey rock.  So much time had passed that their protection tactic was completely forgotten and the concrete was the truth.  They didn't know it was golden underneath, until little by little the concrete was chipped away. 

We are all born golden.  We are infinite and divine light.  We are golden, shining and glorious.  But as threats and experiences happen as we grow up, we protect ourselves with our own sort of concrete, emotional armor and blocks. It all forms to protect us.  It's the gremlin, the limiting beliefs, the assumptions and interpretations.  We learn /decide something about life as children to survive. For example, life isn't safe, I have to protect yourself.  To feel loved and get attention, I must act out.  Or to feel safe, loved and get attention, I must be perfect. 

We spend the rest of our lives learning to heal and crack that concrete so the golden light can shine as it's meant to. We are all golden at our core.  It's our reaction to the world, our thinking that gets in our way.  And that thinking developed to protect us. It helped us survive, just like the monks protecting the Buddha from invaders. 

The thing is, that the original thought and emotional experience creates a pathway in our brain.  So that thought I had as a 3 year old, that the world is unsafe and men can hurt me created the path my thoughts travel down.  It's like a lens that our perception of the world filters through. So my brain and nervous system is on the lookout for that threat because that is the road my thoughts travel.  My brain is primed to be aware of those emotions and thoughts, because that is the lens through which I see the world.  It helped me survive as a kid. Those pathways are reinforced every single day, with every single thought.  Thirty plus years thinking about myself and the world in a certain way.  That it's unsafe and I need to protect myself by being quiet and good. No wonder change is seems so slow and hard. 

Don't get me wrong, being quiet and good aren't bad qualities.  But they also don't represent all that I am.  It's still a layer of concrete, meant to protect but not the full truth.  There's golden divine light within those walls. That's the real me.  All my experiences and thoughts about myself become a lens.  It's as if my inner light, my inner golden self is surrounded by layer upon layer of belief.  That's okay.  But just like the monks who forgot there was a golden Buddha underneath, I can get lost in those layers, believing them to be the only truth.  My inner light though, is right there underneath ready to beam through. 

The real work of my life, of being a human being is to heal and connect with that inner light, my essential golden self.  It's the hardest work I'll ever do.  I meditated the other day with a mantra from kundalini yoga, "Sat Nam".  It means I am truth.  I had the hardest time sitting with that.  I wanted to cry with disbelief.  Fighting to create a new pathway in my brain. Whacking away at my own concrete.  To really get in there and acknowledge the resistance I was feeling.  That I had come to hold onto the old beliefs like I was clinging to the concrete wall because that was the truth.  Often, that predominate emotion or belief, "I am not enough" wins the fight.  Like an addiction, that pathway is so strong in my brain.  It's takes conscious effort to pull back the reigns and redirect to a new pathway, a new lens.  A lens of love and light, allowing my golden higher self to create a new way of being.  "I am truth, I am love".  That's my new mantra. 

My thoughts have been influenced by what I've been reading; Dr. Joe Dispenza, "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself",  Gabrielle Bernstein's "The Universe Has Your Back" and listening to some T.D. Jakes motivational talks. One thing that stayed with me is that my perception is what will make this year.  So to hell with resolutions, I'm all about building new pathways, seeing with new eyes.  That's a life long journey.  On that journey, I will take the renewal of energy the new year brings.  I wish for you to shine, to see through a lens of love and light this year.  I intend to share my journey with you, as a way for me to chip away the concrete, and let my golden self shine through, hopefully helping you in your own journey.  Best wishes for 2017 and beyond. 

Going home for the holidays- prepare yourself

Jessica Weir

Going home for the holidays can be wonderful and also dreadful.  Being around family brings up a lot of stuff for most people, our patience is tried, our old patterns flare up.  The family conflicts and tension you'd otherwise distance yourself from are right in your face. So, what can you do to enjoy your holiday and not dread it? Well, it's all about preparation.  Going into it with a clear head and the intention to take care of yourself.  Having a game plan so to speak.  It's not unlikely you'll see people that trigger or frustrate you.   Run through those scenarios in your head and plan how you'll respond or how you'll distract yourself or thoughts that will help you afterwards. Limit your time in stressful situations or with people that stress you out.  Do your best to manage your triggers.  If possible, take control by meeting in a place where you'll be comfortable. Spend time with the people who bring you joy.

When I would spend time with family, I used to want to share all my personal growth knowledge and help my them change and grow, that my answers would work for them.  Now, I see that honestly, it's not my responsibility.  I'm not here to tell people how to live. I'm here to share information and be supportive.  If they're curious I'm happy to jump into conversation.  But I much prefer letting them be who they are and doing my best to love and embrace them where they are, perceived flaws and all.  It's easier for me to enjoy myself without the added pressure of trying to fix everyone.  Especially when they're not interested.  It would be much to my 17 year old self's surprise that I don't know everything.  

I love my family and part of me is happy to go home and spend time with them.  Another part of me worries about being in their presence for more than a day or two.   It's highly probably that I or our dynamic will regress to when I was a teenager.   Take this for example, I'd been living at home for a couple weeks with my Mom, helping her recover from knee surgery.  My older brother came for a weekend to help out.  He's two years older and the dynamic between the three of us, all highly intelligent people tends to turn to sarcasm, competing for control and being right.  Let me preface this by saying I'm not a morning person.  One morning, while I'm still a bit cranky and half asleep, we're having a discussion about gun control.  Of all things, gun control.  It was election time and my brother is into guns and target practice.  He taught me to shoot actually, and I enjoyed it.  So he's on one side and my mom is trying to reason with him that democrats don't want to take away his right to have guns.  He starts arguing his point.  Then I start to say, from my prone position on the couch, that democrats don't want to repeal the 2nd amendment, they want ...and he says "she already said that."  Oh wow, that triggered me something fierce and I sat up and yelled, "Well, I'm talking now!... Jesus, I've got to get out of here." and I got up and stormed up to my room.  I laid on my bed and started crying and was pissed.  And I got to thinking about my triggers. Like why the hell did I just do that and regress to a younger me. 

In that moment, I could have done what my 17 year old self would have done, which is yell and be angry and cry and then shut down, holding everything in.  But I'm not 17 anymore.  I'm a grown ass woman, and I have the ability to reflect and spot a trigger, even if after the fact.  A trigger is a strong emotional reaction to something otherwise innocuous because it brings up your shit, basically.  Pushing your sensitive buttons.  It's an association to another event or pattern of behavior or emotional wound that is at minimum uncomfortable for you to remember. Perhaps something unresolved within you that needs your attention.  Family members are usually the best button pushers.  

And so, my trigger for not being heard or listened to was set off in a big way.  This wasn't really about what my brother had said in that moment, not at all.  It was about all the other times in my life, with my family especially, that I felt I couldn't share or wasn't being heard or that my opinion wasn't valued.  What quiet person hasn't experienced that? I have a lot of anger around not being heard, so I work on it, and recognize that I got triggered and try to explain my outburst.  I don't want to say that I'm sorry it happened, because I'm not.  I'm grateful for the experience.  I'm grateful that when I was lying on my bed after having a tantrum I could see how our family dynamic contributed to my low self-esteem growing up and my need for control to feel safe.  Like "no wonder I am the way I am".  It's a piece of the puzzle to understanding myself.  Being triggered also showed me what I value.  I value feeling heard, being listened to, receiving someone's full attention and not always having to be right, but allowing for multiple points of view.  

I was reminded of an old yoga journal article about going home for the holidays and conversations with my therapist.  Spending time with people who can push your buttons so easily can cause you to regress to a younger pattern of behavior and bring up lots of old emotions is totally normal. In order to navigate going home, put your focus on what you need to take care of yourself in that moment. Ask yourself, what do I need right now?  I need a break, a boundary, a piece of pie, or to step back and see them for who they are and try to accept them.  I needed that time to myself to calm down, wake up and reflect on what I was feeling and why.   Some time to allow my knowledge and true sense of self to come back to me.

It may not seem like such a big deal, but all those little experiences that piss you off or make you sad are excellent opportunities for personal discovery and growth.  So when your brother annoys the crap out of you, and triggers your shit, try to take a beat and recognize that you've been triggered (without judging yourself!!) and respond in a way that illustrates all the growth and work you've done.  But if you do get triggered, and don't take that pause and react with strong emotion, that's ok too. What you do when you're triggered is even more important- reflecting and forgiving. Take responsibility for your behavior and take care of yourself.  Be polite but firm in setting boundaries. Do your best to focus on what's enjoyable for you and limit what triggers you.    I hope this helps you navigate being home.  I wish you Happy Holidays!!

  

Bringing the Joy! Roar at the carwash.

Jessica Weir

As an entrepreneur, self-employed, seeker, venturing into new territory and a new way of being I have some periods of stress and let's be honest panic.  Panic for me isn't big and loud - it's full of tension, an internal whirlwind with thoughts ricocheting back and forth. Can I do this? Will it work? The answers vary from -Of course it will you're amazing, toI don't know maybe you shouldn't do this. So I have days where it's hard to get out of bed and days where I'm highly motivated and super productive.  I've figured out and taught myself how to design a business card, write a blog, create a website, create a webinar.  I am someone who likes to figure things out.  I have a belief in my ability to figure things out.  I have a history of trying something new and adventurous that brings up a lot of fear but eventually works out.  I had many amazing experiences as a result of this risk taking.  But the process was not easy.  I also have a constant companion named self-doubt that can be crippling at times.  It makes trying something new, or being brave a somewhat scary experience.  Along with this self-doubt however is a deep inner knowing that is very clear and steady.  Over the years, as I've learned more about my inner or higher self, and learned more ways to connect to it with intention, that stressful process has become less crazy-making.  I remember talking about my decision to become a coach and sign up for coaching training.  I held up both my hands in front of me.  My left hand was the shaky, freaked out, doubtful part of me that thought about the debt and the uncertainty. On the right, my hand was steady, calm and so sure that this was the right choice for me.  That was the side of my higher self.  And as I considered both, I was able to choose where to put my focus.  Obviously I chose the one that felt better- the calm, steady side that was comfortable with the uncertainty, and very clear that this was my path.  

While knowing that I'm on the right path for me at that moment paved the way, I'm still faced with making that same choice between the shaky doubtful side and the calm, steady side.  All the freaking time.  It's not like I made one decision and from there my path is golden and it'll be a breeze from here on out.  Nope.  It leads me to my next decision, and making the next right choice for myself.  Learning to live from the steadiness and strength of my highest self.  I'm definitely in that process, learning to pay more attention to that calm clear voice over the sometimes much louder and more incessant voice of doubt, which does not sooth my ears but causes uncomfortable vibrations that affect my whole way of being.  

Which brings me to the title of my post - bringing the joy.  Brendon Burchard's work has been super helpful in this learning process.  In any situation or when faced with the decision to let the shaky critical and doubtful voice lead or the calm steady voice of my higher self, there is a way to choose your higher self.  That is to bring the joy, bring the humor, the lightness, the humanity.  For example, I had a few days filled with avoidance, isolation and some internal meltdowns about the future of my business, my life, my finances.  Pretty heavy stuff and I wasn't choosing the joy. I was choosing the suck while trying to maybe see the possibility for joy.  I had to get out of the house, so I signed up to be a mystery shopper.  On my way there, I stopped to get gas, going through mental calculations of how I would pay for the gas.  And my poor white car was covered with dust and leaves and bird poop.  I'd been putting off washing the car.  But I decided to listen to the voice that said it was time instead of the one that was worried about my finances.  So I paid for a car wash.  Here I was, sitting in the car listening to my playlist called Arena Anthems (nod to Brene Brown's work) and a song came on that is tightly associated with an amazing personal growth experience at Mastin Kipp's seminar Claim your Power Live.  It was Katy Perry's "Roar".  This song usually makes me a little giddy when it starts.  In that moment, I chose to bring the joy, full on.  So as the water, soap and spongy machine were going around the car, I was rocking out to "Roar" on the inside.  Laughing full out and in awe of the amazing shift and the awesomeness of human emotions.  I was laughing, clapping, dancing in my seat and singing along.  I hope the person behind me in line had as much fun as I did.  It changed my day completely, even the next day as well.  

What a beautiful option we have, to choose to live from our highest selves and to bring the joy to any situation.  We have the opportunity to choose how we respond to life.  It's more than just being positive. Because you can say positive things or try to convince yourself of positive thoughts but still be dragging inside.  It's diving in and living from that place of calm and steadiness that allows us to find the joy in any situation.  I'd love to hear what you think.  Please comment and share, and I hope you enjoy your next car wash.      

 

I've made a terrible mistake

Jessica Weir

An old friend posted that on FB today. That perfectly mirrored what I was feeling. I recently started a side business as a iphone repair technician.  Besides the inevitable mistakes a beginner makes, which are tiny but expensive, I realized I've placed this new job in an old position.  In examining my relationship with money, I realized that my old beliefwas that I had to struggle and do something I hated in order to make money.  Hello restaurants.  I'm trying to shift that belief to the new one, that I make money doing what I love.  I'm generously compensated for doing what I love.  And the ultimate I get paid for being a badass.  There's no doubt which belief I prefer intellectually and emotionally, but still I find myself making choices from the old belief system. Making the choice that although I love coaching, I won't be able to make enough money doing it, all my efforts so far gave been met with my own gremlin treatment, causing me to lose momentum and doubt what I'm doing,  I didn't decide to become a coach from a place of doubt, I made that choice from a place of consciousness and clarity.  I'm so happy I made that choice.  This is the right path for me. Part of being on that path is learning. Learning what exactly? Learning to trust myself, to stay the course when I'm discouraged, to put the energy into doing what I love rather than leaning back and thinking I need to do something different from my true goal to make money.  I don't hate doing the tech stuff, I hate the feeling after making a mistake and realizing I screwed up a device and it's going to cost me.  Of course these learning lessons will happen.  I realize that I have approached things in my life with a naivety and without fully thinking things through.  But there's also the fundamental principle that "You cannot make a mistake".  I made a choice with the information, experience and level of consciousness I had at the time.  If anything is true about me, it is that I learn and apply those lessons to my life.  I have more recently embraced the thought that the things that I have done or attempted in my life, be that theater school, acting, living in NYC, being single, relationships, are valuable for the lessons they taught me,  Even the most painful experiences and their aftermath have been for my own soul's growth.  I have healed and done the work to be on the other side of a traumatic childhood experience.  Through the painful and courageous process of growth and healing, I have come to feel gratitude for the trauma and the healing.  That is the truth, but here I am today, after climbing that mountain, feeling crushed my the unfortunate mistake I made repairing someone's device and the loss of money that brought.  In the grand scheme of things, this one event doesn't matter.  It matters because I choose to learn from it.  I choose to cry and feel ashamed and then question my motivation for doing that work, to learn the lesson (as I see it at this point), that I've been following this old pattern out of fear.  Doing something that doesn't use my true strengths, something that I don't love and that challenges me. Rather than putting all the energy I possibly can into doing what I love and coaching like the badass that I am.  By seeing those chains pulling me down, keeping me from believing and focusing on what I want so fiercely that there's no doubt.  I have made a terrible mistake and that is thinking I am any less than the awesome powerful being full of light and love that I am.  I have the keys to the universe.   It's time to look inside, listen to and trust my inner knowing.  Within, I am infinite.

Being a good listener is sexy!

Jessica Weir

 I think of myself as a good listener.  That may just be part of how my introverted brain works, but I know some introverts who are terrible listeners.  We can all learn to be good listeners.  I read and article on www.quietrev.com about listening and becoming a better listener by Gretchen Rubin. It gave some good tips and got me thinking about listening.  But what does being a good listener really mean? I've come to know through my training that there are 3 types of listening:

Level 1 Listening - Subjective
When whatever is said is related back to the listener.  It's all about the listener.  Everyday listening is usually subjective listening.  The listener can be distracted or is doing something else but says they're listening.  We all know someone like this or have been this person.
Me: "I had the hardest time getting up to go to the gym today."
Subjective Listener: "You just have to force yourself.  When that happens to me I say to myself that I'll feel better afterwards, no matter how tired I am."

Level 2 Listening - Objective
This is better than subjective listening in that the focus is fully on the person speaking.  The listener isn't thinking about themselves or their own life.
Me: "I had the hardest time getting up to go to the gym today."
Objective Listener:  "You struggled but you went.  Good for you!"

Level 3 Listening - Intuitive
This is the most powerful form of listening and allows the listener to really connect with the speaker.  The listener is using all sensory components and intuitively connecting to the real message.  They're paying attention to what is said and the speaker's tone of voice, energy level, feelings, body language, etc...including what isn't being said.  Level 3 is listening "between the lines". 
Me: "I had the hardest time getting up to go to the gym today."
Intuitive Listener: "It sounds like you're committed and want to do this but are so exhausted that you find it challenging and even frustrating."

 

What type of listener are you? Which response would you rather hear from your listener? Which response would you rather give as a listener? the type of listener you are is completely within your control.  Please comment and let us know how you listen and what changes you'd like to make.  I know for me, that some of the powerful experiences I've had come from being truly heard and validated.  Like most people, showing my vulnerable self doesn't come easily.  So when I am sharing something I really want to be heard, not just the words I'm saying, but all the other stuff too.  I want to be seen and understood and validated.  I'm sure you're familiar with that feeling of being shut down when someone only listened to you subjectively. They're on their cellphone when you're trying to tell them about your day.  Or it becomes all about them. At level 2 listening, there's the feeling of being mostly understood, but not always fully heard or validated. Those times you say in response "Yeah you're right, good for me." But there's still feelings that haven't been cleared away with that statement.  What they are might not be clear, but there's something unresolved.   When someone is able to listen to me fully with their complete attention and intuition, it's powerful.  When I knew I was truly being heard, it was profound.  I didn't even realize the things that were underneath until he told me, using his intuition about what he was hearing.  Being truly listened to gives me a feeling of relief, like a big sigh that I can actually tell this person the truth.  They'll hear me, and knowing that helps me go deeper into what is really going on.  I'm safe here, because they see and hear me.  For me, that's sexy as hell and one of the best traits of a good friend too.  

Sometimes it's hard to be vulnerable as the speaker and the listener, but that feeling is worth the risk.  I know I want to be listened to in such a deep intuitive way.  It's always my goal to listen that deeply as well.  I succeed most of the time, because I want to give other people the opportunity to tell their truth and be heard, because it is powerful and it feels so damn good. 

 

You might surprise yourself

Jessica Weir

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I've never thought of myself as daring, not in a physical sense.  Skiing is fun, but the speed makes me nervous.  Definitely not a fan of roller coasters, you should see the photos of me they have of you after you get off.  Not pretty.  I like to keep my feet on the ground.  Part of being an introvert is the brain chemistry, very often introverts are highly sensitive to dopamine.  Meaning we can receive enough dopamine from quiet activities, we don't need as much excitement in our lives for our brains to feel good.  So thrill seeking isn't really my thing.  But I am strangely intrigued and petrified by sky-diving.  So I don't want to label myself too soon, because I might surprise myself.  

Recently, I had to opportunity to try aerial yoga.  If you're not familiar with it, it's a combination of yoga, pilates and dance that incorporates "silks", which is a hammock that hangs from the ceiling.  It was amazingly fun.  As I was following along with the instructor, I was really enjoying myself.  She had us move into position for an inversion, with my bent legs up in the silk and my fingertips touching the floor.  And next I was supposed to release my hands and put them behind my back to hold the silks.  What? That was scary, I was definitely anxious about letting go.  But I did, and it was terrific.  The second I let go, I felt such a sense of freedom.  Just hanging there like an upside down monkey. But there was no tension, no fear, no worry.  Just calm and a sense of ease and lightness.  I was held by the silks and I felt supported.  I might have stayed but for all the blood rushing to my head.  

In thinking about it later, I realized my experience of aerial yoga was an illustration of trusting myself, my own strength and the universe to support me.  Yoga instructors usually say at the end of class when you're lying in corpse pose to feel the ground supporting you.  You are supported.  Now I really felt it.  I was scared, but I let go and trusted I'd be okay trying something new.  And I felt supported.  This resonated with me, because I had recently left home and moved across the country.  To a new city, to start a new career, to make new friends. I didn't move for a job, I moved because I wanted to live in California.  Certainly, I had anxiety about moving, but I also had a sense of certainty that this was the next step for me.  The life I had been working so hard to change was here.  It was time to take courageous action in spite of my fear.  That is how I want to live my life.  It only happens if you make it real.  I'm here in California now.  There's still work to be done and a lot to learn about this new place and culture.  I'm still finding my way.  But I've got this.  Trusting myself is the only requirement.  So I will take any reminder that I'm supported, that I am being guided somehow.  I'm grateful to myself for having let go and for hanging upside down like a monkey.  

Please comment and let me know what risks you've taken and felt supported, or maybe you're just thinking about it and need some encouragement.  

Which way do I go to get out of my own way?

Jessica Weir

Need a new perspective? Need to get out of your own way? I know I did. But how? I knew I needed to think about myself differently.  I knew there must be other options out there but what the hell were they? When I was feeling incredibly stuck and couldn't see my way out, I really needed help seeing other options.  I knew I needed to free myself from the negative way I thought about myself.  That it was untrue and unfair.  It's so hard to see how things could be different when all you've know for so long is that inner critic telling you that you don't know what you're doing, you're too quiet, too shy, too reserved, too abrasive, too insecure, too sad, blah blah blah.  Intellectually I knew there was another way.  Everyone else does not feel like this.   Feeling scared to put myself out there, feeling terrified of being vulnerable.  Feeling so stuck and helpless.  The utter stagnation is so heavy, how do I change my perspective with that weighing down on me?  I was self-aware enough to see what was happening but didn't know the way out that would work.  I would try different success programs, mostly for actors. All the goal setting and planning in the world didn't work. I had all the intelligence, information, strategies, and ability to do the business side of acting. But I didn't do it for the most part.  When I did it felt like such a struggle.  At one of these seminars for actors, I remember asking the leader of the event, how do I stop sabotaging myself? And his answer was woefully inadequate.  He said I needed to focus on the gaps between my thoughts, which was a technique he had shown us.  Thanks, but that doesn't cut it. I needed to go deeper.   

I would have such wonderful, powerful experiences in acting class or in school productions.  I would feel so confident and sure of my talent and abilities.  But when I was on my own, it wasn't fun anymore.  Going to auditions was so difficult.  I had to really push and talk myself into it.  Sometimes, it was easy.  I was excited and felt great and the audition went well and I'd get the part or not.  Once, I almost gave up and went home before even walking into the building where the audition was held.  But I talked myself out of that somehow and went in.  And what do ya know, I got the part.  It wasn't so bad.  It's easy once you get going.  What was I so afraid of?

The answer to that was much deeper than I had gone before.  The doubt, insecurity, blame, and stagnation came from long held beliefs about myself.  The thoughts fueled by these beliefs had been running on a loop in my mind, consciously and unconsciously, for decades.  Even becoming aware of them was a challenge.  Believe me, I had support and encouragement from family and friends.  I had done a lot of work on myself already, but I really needed to dig deeper.  I needed to be willing and ready to go there and I needed a guide. 

After 8 years in NYC and about 10 years of acting and even more years of dreaming of being an actor but still feeling stuck,I was ready and willing to look deeper, and I had the right guide.  When I was finally ready he showed up, and I invested in myself by signing up for his course.  It was Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love and the course was Daily Love Mastery.  With Mastin's help, over the length of the program, I was able to go deeper and hear from people who were doing the same.  That community of support was a big part of it.  It wasn't all actors either.  It was all types of people working on that same deep level.  Sharing their struggle, their pain, their humanity.  The truth could be told and not be judged.  

 The choice I made to sign up and put the cost of the course on my credit card was scary but it was one of the best choices I've ever made.  It gave me more tools and an experience of what the new way could be for me.  It helped me see more options for myself.  Mastin's response to self-sabotage is that it's crap.  We don't wake up and say to ourselves, I'm gonna sabotage myself today.  We're trying to protect ourselves, it's for survival.  I find that way of thinking so much more empowering. 

In continuing my journey with this new perspective I decided to become a coach.  This again was a tough decision.  Facing the uncertainty, the fear crept back up. It's goal has always been to protect me.  To keep me getting hurt and risking failure.  But I was in touch with a deeper part of myself, I like to call it my higher power.  I was now even more aware of the connection I had to my higher power, to my heart, to my intuition.  So on one hand, which was kind of shaky, was the fear telling me not to do it, to stay safe where I was.  On the other hand, it was so clear, so steady and sure to me to enroll in a coaching program.  That becoming a coach was the next right choice for me.  From trusting it then, I can trust it even more now. I'm still learning and growing and I'm thankful for the opportunity to do that.  I'm thankful I've made the choices I've made, for the risks I've taken and the lessons I've learned.  I'm grateful for the protection, I needed it to survive, but not anymore. And honestly, I'm even thankful for the challenging times, the doubt, the fear. It gave me the opportunity to grow.  I'm not saying I'd want to go through that again or that I'd make the same choices.  Luckily that's not an option.  I have what I've learned and what I know up to now and I'm very grateful for that, it helped me find my way. It gives me power.  Now I feel so certain that this is my path and all that came before brought me here.  I still get in my way sometimes, but I have the awareness and compassion to see it and keep going but without letting it steer.  I'm the one who's in charge of creating my life and I'm grateful to myself for learning that and getting here.  Onwards...    

Introverted ≠ Shy

Jessica Weir

Aren't they the same thing? Nope. At one point I thought they were.  As I talk to more people about what I do, I realize that many people do as well.  For me, each term was just a slight variation of the same thing.  I was definitely introverted and certainly shy growing up.  But as I started learning more about introversion in my 20's, I was able to clarify the distinctions.  First off, introversion or extroversion signifies a certain relationship to energy, which is an inherent preference that does not alter.  Introverts gain energy from being alone and expend energy while interacting.  Extroverts gain energy from being social and expend energy when alone or in reflection. 

Shyness is a kind of social anxiety, discomfort and extreme self-consciousness around other people. In the book, The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy. D., it states that "It is not an issue of energy: it is a lack of confidence in social situations. It is the fear of what others think of you." Shyness can affect introverts and extroverts alike.  Shy people want to connect with others but feel inhibited to do so by their self-critical thoughts and lack of social skills.  These are things that can be remedied.  Being shy is not who you are, it's what you think other people think of you.  It is possible to think about yourself and others differently to reduce shyness. 

Whereas, introverts aren't automatically shy.  We can be shy but we can also be well-spoken and social.  We can approach social situations with confidence and warmth.  However, we introverts have a preference for solitude, introspection and meaningful interaction and can become overstimulated in social situations which can be draining.  We're not hermits or anti-social people.  We want to connect and be heard, we just don't particularly like small talk or large groups that make meaningful interaction difficult.  

In recent years, I've stopped thinking of myself as shy, I'm quiet but not shy.   I can be reserved, scared, and awkward but not shy.  Introverted but not shy.  Shyness is such a loaded word for me.  It's like some defect, some sign I'm less than, some painful memory of childhood.  I'm not shy.  Well...that's not completely true.  It's hard to admit.  And it's uncomfortable to realize that I am indeed shy in certain situations (not all the time).  Painfully so.  I didn't recognize it as shyness, I had moved beyond being a shy little girl. And I have, I'm an adult and as an adult, it's up to me to overcome this shyness. I think the first step is awareness, to realize and observe when I'm feeling shy (I'll tell you more about that in the future) and to slow down and look at what's spinning around in my head.  It's gonna take some time and definitely some discomfort but I'll get through it.  I've got to go through to get where I want to be.  


I'd love to hear your reactions and thoughts.  Please comment, share and of course reach out, I'm here to support you. 

I'm going home to read

Jessica Weir

I love to read.  If the book is long and part of a series = amazing.  Please share your favorites with me!  I'd often feel that I needed to be out and be social or at work when all I wanted to do was get back to the book I was reading. Since I was a child, I have stayed up way past my bedtime to keep reading.  Growing up my mom would tell me to turn off my light and go to sleep hours after my bedtime.  To this day I stay up into the wee hours reading.  I've tried to read only boring or more non-fiction type books before bed so that I wouldn't have that need to keep reading to find out what happens next. I also set timers, which rarely worked.  

You might relate to this passion for books and stories.  I can become so engrossed in a series but weeks later I'd have trouble remembering the plot points or character names.  I've also taken out books from the library that I've already read but forgotten about.  My mom is the same way.  On the hand, when I fall in love with a story or the characters it stays with me and becomes part of me.  My mom and I have read one particular book series multiple times.  I'd love to hear your guesses as to which series that might be.  

The real reason for me mentioning all this is to tell you about my first real discovery and understanding of introversion.  I'd taken a Myers-Briggs personality test and found my type, ISFJ at the time though I've recently been an INFJ.  So in my discovery of this information I became incredibly curious.  What books were out there for me to better understand my personality? Maybe they could help me feel more normal or at least better about myself. So I went to Barnes and Noble to the self help section and looked for books about introverts and I discovered "Introvert Power" by Laurie Helgoe, PhD.  It's a great book.  In it she said a common experience for introverts was being in a social setting and wanting to go home to read.  I absolutely related to that.  What validation that offered me!  My thoughts were: I'm an introvert and it's totally okay for me, even wonderful that I want to go home and read.  There is nothing wrong with me for wanting to stay home.  Phew... That set me on the path to greater awareness, understanding and acceptance of who I am.  It gave me a sense of empowerment and freedom to do what I wanted to do, which was often to go home and read.  

 And I was serious when I said that I want you to tell me about your favorite books. Please do.               

What being an introvert means to me...

Jessica Weir

It seems like I was always quiet or shy as a kid, except maybe at home or with family. I'd hide behind my Mom's leg when faced with unknown adults.  I loved to play outside; to climb trees, pick berries, play sports.  But I was someone who most people didn't know very well.  I was quiet, kept to myself, focused on my studies or whatever novel I was reading, Interview with the Vampire was my favorite (obsession) for several years in high school.  I did well in school, I could easily retain information and enjoyed learning for the most part.  Staying awake in 10th grade history class was something I tried really hard to do. I had friends but floated around between social groups. I was an exchange student my senior year and a few things come to mind in relation to my being quiet, shy and/or introverted.  On my application to the Rotary, my principle wrote that I was a "quiet leader".  I still think about that.  I was quiet but I also had a strong personality and strong point of view and saw through a lot of the bs of high school and didn't want to have any part in it.  That comment helped me realize that I wasn't invisible or alone, that maybe other kids found strength to be themselves from my example.  Maybe that's true, maybe not.  But I'd like to think it is.  Anyway, back to being an exchange student.  I remember being in France, walking from one building to the next with a classmate of mine, she was showing me to one of my classes I think.  And I started to ask a question or say something but stopped myself.  She looked at me and said "Try, you've got to try to speak".  That was 17 years ago, and it was a pivotal moment in my exchange year and my life.  At the end of the year, one of the gentleman from the Rotary said he thought at the start of the year that I wouldn't make it through because I was so quiet.  That's not how I roll.  I worked at it and pushed myself and I made a few close friends who helped me grow even more.  This where my strength and quiet leadership come in because I am someone who sticks with something and doesn't always realize or think about how difficult things are until I've gotten to the other side.  And I was determined to learn to speak French fluently.  And I still do to this day, 17 years later. So even though I was/am quiet and I've got to speak up to be heard sometimes, there is a determination and knowing within me that is so strong and so trustworthy.  I know I'm not the only one, and I'm happy to show the way.    

What's Life Coaching?

Jessica Weir

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A common reaction when I tell someone I'm a life coach, is the smile and nod.  So I often ask, "are you familiar with life coaching?" "Not really, what is that?" You might also be wondering, what's life coaching?  I generally start off by comparing it to therapy, most people are familiar with therapy, at least in concept.  Therapy is all about the past and healing, let's say moving from dysfunctional to functional.  Coaching is more solution focused, maybe looking at the past but focusing more on present and future action.   It helps people move from functional to optimal.  Life coaching is different from sports coaching in that it's not all about competition and winning.  It's about finding what works best for you to move forward. 

Coaching is a partnership between the coach and the client.  The client is leading the agenda.  It's all about what the client wants.  The coach is there to listen and offer insight and new perspectives without giving advice.  The client holds all the answers.  Within that partnership, the coach helps the client get clear on what they want and helps them determine a plan of action to get there. A major component is to help clients become aware of their own inner blocks, because it is often more than just logistics or lack of motivation holding someone back.  

My job as a coach is to offer a safe space for people to look into themselves and feel supported to work through what's going on for them.  There is something very powerful about feeling safe, listened to and supported.  To be heard and not judged.  It makes looking at challenging personal stuff easier.  Though, it doesn't make it easy.  There is still work to be done to move past inner blocks and get to where you want to be. It requires honesty, openness and a willingness to do the work to change your life.  As a coach, I'm there with you, helping you stay focused, holding you accountable and reminding you of your strengths and just how truly awesome you are.   

I could certainly talk more about coaching and I'd be delighted to answer any questions or go into further detail about the process.  Feel free to reach out to me here