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"Broken Open Hearted"

Broken Open Hearted…. a couple of weeks ago I posted this as my facebook status…. and many people didn’t know what it meant… and I want to tell you because it is a concept that quite frankly, changed my life. Today, I would like to share the (short version) of the journey my heart has taken over the past 10 years.

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For years I walked around closed, wounded and broken. For years. My heart quite literally didn’t know how to open up. I had barred it closed with chains and nails and quite honestly there were very very few people that actually were allowed in.

After my divorce to the only person my heart had ever loved, I was afraid to open up to hurt again. I made people work so hard to make their way in. I made people prove to me that they really really wanted me before I would let them in. And even then it was hard to trust.

Then for some reason my heart opened…

… and I loved in a way I had never loved before. I loved in a way that I believe God loves, no conditions, no expectations, just pure love. When that love wasn’t reciprocated it tore my heart into pieces. I really didn’t recognize it at the time, but I was so so broken.

I met someone that loved me. He loved me so much he pushed through all of my walls. I’ll never forget one day though when, while trying to hug me, he said to me, “What happened to you? Who hurt you?” And the walls started coming down. I started to recognize the pain I was in and how it was affecting my life and relationships…

but I still didn’t know how to heal.

I chose to walk away from that love. I chose to leave it behind. And after that, I completely shut down. I realized that I didn’t want to get hurt like that again. Ever. I allowed my heart to close. I believed that love wasn’t in the cards for me and told everyone I knew that I was just fine alone.

“I’m an independent woman,” I said. “I don’t need a man,” I thought. “I’m fine on my own,” I told the world as my heart broke more and more.

Years went by. Three whole years. I opened my heart up again and had it stomped on, again.

In 2017 all hell broke loose. I pushed everyone away. Quite frankly just about every single person I knew. I have never experienced such loneliness and anxiety. I looked like I was doing fine on the outside, but internally I was a mess. I sincerely believed that there was something wrong with me and that no one would ever love me the way I so desperately wanted to be loved.

Then everything changed.

This summer I went through an intense transformational experience that changed my life.

I don’t tell you this story because it’s sad. I don’t tell this story to make you feel bad for me or to have you believe that I was miserable for 10 years. Because I wasn’t. I created many incredible experiences and memories, made many lasting friendships, and at many times felt very very happy.

I tell you this story because there were many times I didn’t recognize how bad I was hurting. But now that my heart has been set free I want to share what I have learned with everyone I love.

This summer I went through an experience where I was loved more intensely than I have ever been before. I experienced my heart break open and truly LOVE over 60 people in a way I didn’t even know was possible. I witnessed true transformation and what happens when people support one another and trust that they are supported.

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We can love through heartbreak. We can rise and heal and love. For when our hearts break, they OPEN. And when your heart is OPEN it can 1) welcome in new love and 2) GIVE out love.

I thought by keeping my heart closed I was protecting myself. I thought I was keeping myself safe from hurt. But by closing my heart I closed off the opportunity to be loved and supported by others AND to give love.

I love loving people. So I choose to stay open. Even when my heart breaks, I choose to keep it open. For only then can joy be found.

I am a BROKEN-OPEN-HEARTED Warrior. 💛💛💛💛

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Life Changing Books: Purpose

Right now I'm blasting out into the universe so much knowledge on finding yourself and your purpose. Being in the process of uncovering your purpose is such an exciting one! Although it can feel scary and lonely at the same time.

AND we are heading into the final month of 2018… so what better time than now to invest some time and energy into discovering something brand new about yourself that you can take into 2019.

Let me tell you a story… A few years ago, 3 to be exact, I was LOST and feeling so alone. I was desperately searching for the light at the end of the tunnel guiding me towards my life purpose, the thing that would fill me with excitement, get me so jazzed that I would not want to go to bed at night and then be dying to wake up the next morning to get back to work. At that time I was spending a whole lot of time lying on my couch watching sitcom reruns and wondering what I was doing with my life.

Finally, I decided to take one of the biggest leaps of my life, quit my job, and moved to San Francisco on a whim that whatever I was searching for was waiting for me there.

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That began the path of discovering my purpose and many books were involved in the process. I want to share my favorites with you to jumpstart you on YOUR path to purpose!


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Book 1: The Alchemist By: Paulo Coelho

This book is a fictional book, but with the most amazing metaphor on finding your life purpose. This book helped me to not feel so alone on this quest of discovering my purpose and helped me see the beauty in the journey of the path to discovery as well as gave me faith in the fact that I had it inside me the whole time. I highly recommend this book to anyone on the journey of purpose.

"My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer," said the boy. "Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of it's dreams," replied the Alchemist.


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Book 2: The Crossroads of Should and Must. Find and Follow Your Passion By: Elle Luna

This book literally JUMPED out a bookstore at me. It was hanging on a giant poster on the window of a bookstore in Portland, OR. After I saw the poster I couldn't stop thinking about it for 3 days until I finally went back and just bought it.

This book is exactly what you need if you are someone stuck in the spot of doing what you should do instead of following your MUST. Are you a people pleaser? Are you afraid to make a leap of faith? Are you unsure you can really do what you want? If so, this book is for you. And, it's beautiful.


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Book 3: Man's Search for Meaning By: Viktor E. Frankl

This book is a MUST for anyone searching for their life's meaning. This book is 2 fold; the first part describing Viktor Frankl's experience of being the lone survivor of his entire family through his experience in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. His account is sobering and inspiring as he explains the reality of the theory "he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." The 2nd portion of the book discusses his philosophy on how to discover the meaning of your life and inspires you to find meaning in WHATEVER part of the journey you may be on.


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Book 4: The Happiness of Pursuit By: Chris Guillebeau

This book is perfect for one who is in the throes of the quest. It speaks to the happiness that is found along the journey of finding your passion. Where are you currently at? What are your current curiosities? How can you act on those to create something amazing inside yourself? Those and so many more questions are answered in this book.

My favorite quote from this book is, "It has become ever more clear to me that if I had spent my life avoiding any and all potential risks, I would have missed doing most of the things that have comprised the best years of my life." I second that statement 100%.


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Book 5: Choose Yourself By: James Altucher

Once you have chosen a path to pursue, this book is the perfect guide for how to stick with it, create the courage you seek, and be happy no matter the situation. Not to mention, this book is hilarious, I laughed out loud through the whole thing and immediately subscribed to his podcast.

"Success comes from continually expanding your frontiers in every direction - creatively, financially, spiritually, and physically"

This is just a great guide for life. Period.


Anyways, whether you're an avid book reader like me, or just need a little kick in the pants to ignite your flame for discovering your purpose or pushing ahead through the fire, pick up one of these books and dive in. It is only through seeking knowledge that we find the answers.

And you won’t want to miss the FINAL Series of the Finding Yourself Masterclass. This has been 4 months of INCREDIBLE expert speakers, insights, and invaluable shares that has been right at your fingertips. Don’t miss the December Finding Yourself Masterclass, launching next Monday, December 3rd.

Click the button to claim your ticket now.

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Gratitude

Happy Week of Thanks!!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it marks the beginning of the holidays. Like… I’m sorry if you’re one of those people that like to put your Christmas decorations up in July… it’s okay, you do you! But for me, I love to enjoy Thanksgiving and fall for as long as possible and then celebrate the beginning of the holiday season.

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The past few years Thanksgiving has brought about a wonderful tradition for me. There is nothing that makes me feel more gratitude then going out and serving those less fortunate than me. I started this tradition 3 years ago when I was living in San Francisco.

San Francisco has one of the largest homeless populations in our country and when I lived there it was the first time that I had really been face-to-face with that type of poverty. It really got to me. As I would walk to work each day down in the Financial District and see veterans in wheelchairs and young men playing instruments for pennies and women sitting on the corners holding tiny babies dressed in rags, it just got to me.

I remember one day in particular. Before leaving work I threw away a TON of leftover food from the luncheon the company I was working for had had earlier that day. Without even thinking I threw dozens of sandwiches, chips, and cookies away. I left the office, and as I walked to the train, I passed homeless person after homeless person after homeless person that would have given anything for just a bite of one of those sandwiches or a bag of chips that I had just thrown away.

And it hit my like never before how much we take for granted.

Now I don’t say this to put anyone to shame…. every single one of us does this every day. I’m telling you this story to make a point. What are taking for granted in your life? What could you do this week to show just a little more gratitude in your life?

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And maybe you’re already great at this. Maybe you’ve have many experiences similar to mine and give a dollar to every homeless person you see. But maybe you could use a reminder. I know I can. How often do I get into my everyday life with all of my personal worries and just completely forget to look around at who I could help.

How often do we get so lost in our own troubles, anxieties, and worries, that we forget to remember how truly amazing we actually have it. Because for 99% of us, no matter how bad you think you have it, there is ALWAYS going to be someone that has it worse.

So my challenge for you this week is to express gratitude in every way that you know how to. I have talked to so many successful people and read so many books and listened to so many podcasts from successful, happy people and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM says that gratitude is the #1 thing that creates happiness and that has led to their success.

Gratitude has SO MANY benefits to our physical, emotional, and social health… it’s kind of unreal.

Here are 10 things ways being grateful benefits your life….

  1. Gratitude makes us happier. - A five-minute a day gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income!

  2. Gratitude makes people like us. - Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.

  3. Gratitude improves your physical and emotional health. - Living in gratitude contributes to you experiencing less stress, reduces feelings of envy, and leads to experiencing happier feelings.

  4. Gratitude reduces materialism. - And we all know we could use more of that this time of year. :)

  5. Gratitude increases self-esteem. - Imagine a world where many people help you all of the time for no other reason than that they like you. Gratitude helps to create a world like that.

  6. Gratitude improves your sleep. - Gratitude increases sleep quality, reduces the time required to fall asleep, and increases sleep duration. Said differently, gratitude can help with insomnia. Don’t believe me?? Start a gratitude journal at night… and experience it for yourself.

  7. Gratitude increases your energy levels. - Gratitude and vitality are strongly correlated. It makes sense right? Less worry… less stress… less frustrated feelings = less energy being sucked from you. The more grateful you are the much more likely you are to report physical and mental vigor.

  8. Gratitude helps us bounce back. - When you develop the habit of seeing the good things in your life, it creates greater ability to bounce back after loss or disappointment. It also helps you reach out to support systems more often.

  9. Gratitude makes our memories happier. - And people that feel good about their past and focus on the good things create more of the same in their present and future.

  10. Gratitude improves your decision making. - Decision making is really tiring – so tiring that we automate to our subconscious much of the reasoning that goes behind making a decision. So when you have an attitude of gratitude you are already training your brain to overcome and make GOOD decision because you are in the habit of seeing what’s good for you.

So what do you say? Are you ready to recommit to creating a gratitude ritual for yourself? It’s okay… I know it’s cliche… and I also know that I recommit to this every year and it’s so easy to fall off. But the point is to recommit and begin to reap the benefits of having an attitude of GRATITUDE.

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Comment below your experiences with gratitude and how it has improved your life.

And HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Courageous Speaking Up

The last few months I have been having so many beautiful, insightful, and wonderful conversations on the concept of “finding yourself.” Together, we have been uncovering the layers and unpacking the things that are holding you back. Learning how to step into your story and own your path as you discover your purpose. We just finished up another round and it could not have been more insightful.


Part of this conversation of finding yourself is speaking your truth, finding and owning your voice, and having the courage to speak it.

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So story time… I've been pretty open with people and on social media that I'm in the process right now of dating a lot and putting myself out there in the world in that part of my personal life. It's bringing a lot of amazing, fun, great experiences. Dating kind of has this way of bringing everything about yourself to the surface.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a date. We had a good time. Fun guy. We got into a situation where he wanted to take things a bit further physically than I wanted to. I stood up for myself and expressed my boundaries. His response amazed me.

He was shocked that I would stand up for myself and say what I said to him. He said to me, “Wow, I can't believe how confident you are to say this to me.” He was a good guy and respected it and that was good.

But it made me think that men must not hear this very often.


His response and the shock he experienced when I spoke my truth was important to me. It made me feel like men must not hear this very often. It broke my heart because it took me back to three years ago when I was in a similar situation and I didn't say what I wanted. I felt like I couldn't say what I wanted. And ended up finding myself in a situation that wasn't what I wanted to experience.

I’ll never forget the next day feeling so angry at the guy, until I stepped back and realized I was upset with ME because I hadn't spoken my truth. I hadn't stood up for myself. I hadn't said what I wanted.

When we don’t speak up when we want to… a part of ourselves dies.

It got me thinking about the path that I've been on over the past three years of finding my voice and getting to this confident place.

What did it take to become the woman that this man said, “wow, I can't believe how confident you are.” What would I say if I could go back to the girl that didn't dare speak up? What would I tell her?

I would tell her two words: 1) courage and 2) consistency.

Because that's how confidence is born. Confidence doesn't come from just a one-time doing something scary and then all of a sudden we're confident. It takes doing something over and over and over and over again… consistent courage.


So if we want to find the courage to speak up and speak our truth, in any situation, we have to be courageous and we have to be consistent. We have to do these things over and over again. We have be willing to be vulnerable, be willing to make messes, be willing to make people upset. In order to speak our truth, we have to get over the fear that people won't like it.


We can't get physically stronger if we don't work our muscles. And it's the same thing with courage. And the same thing with confidence. And the same thing with using our voice. We have to do things continually. It's really a process of exercising that courage muscle by just doing it,

JUST DO IT. I really don't know if there's a way to develop courage besides owning our fears and just doing it.

What are your fears? Why are they holding you back? What do they create in you? When you begin to recognize those things you can THEN step past them and move forward. And everything changes. When you do the work, you will look back two years from now and say, oh my gosh, I just did something that the old me would never have been able to do.

And you’ll feel confident.

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Let It Happen

A little while back I was scrolling back through my Instagram account (do you ever do that?) reminiscing over the experiences I’ve had over the last couple of years. I came across a post that said, “MAKE IT HAPPEN.” And I began to think about how that has been my proudly born motto for the last few years.

As I have started my business, moved from city to city, traveled solo, sought employment to make ends meet, fought cancer, and everything in between that has been the go to thought, “MAKE IT HAPPEN.”

However, I have undergone some major training this year which has caused my heart to undergo some major softening. I have learned more about the magnificence of the feminine energy and how wonderful it feels to live in that space. I have learned about receptivity and how we cannot really truly give if we don’t know how to receive. I have begun making my way through the waters of dating after YEARS of independence and being alone. And I have learned that in so many areas of life MAKE IT HAPPEN just doesn’t work.

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So… I am shifting my focus to a more “let it happen” perspective and I wanted to share that with you today. Does let it happen mean sit back and just wait for things to come to you? Not really. I still truly believe that without intention and action we cannot achieve or attain our hearts deepest desires, however it’s more about the BEING than it is about the DOING.

Doing is a busy energy. Do you ever feel like you are running around with your head cut off, utterly exhausted, and still feeling like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done?

OR do you ever feel like your mind will not shut off. Like you have a hamster wheel going around and around in your head and you just can’t seem to slow down and get a grip? I used to have these many times, especially during the night… I related them to having an anxiety attack… until I learned how to control my mind and calm my brain down.

This “hamster wheel” if you will is a ruminative state of mind that we can refer to as the “doing” mode.

The job of this mode is to get things done-to achieve particular goals that you have decided to set. These goals could be something external that you need to DO—make a meal, build a house, or travel across the country—or to your internal world of self—to feel happy, not make mistakes, stop being anxious or depressed, or be a good person.

When we are in this “doing mode” we will constantly find gaps between how things are and how we think they should be or how we wish things to be. That is the job of our brain. To keep us safe, happy, and surviving. However, dwelling on how things are not as we want them to be can create an even further negative mood. In this way, our attempts to solve a “problem” by endlessly thinking about it can keep us locked into the state of mind from which we are doing our best to escape.

Again, does this mean that we should not want to feel happy, not make mistakes, stop being anxious or depressed, or be a good person?? Of course not. As human beings we always desire to progress, have more, and BE more. It is the human condition and I believe this drive for progress and evolution is our greatest strength. It is the thing that MAKES US HUMAN.

So how do we do this while maintaining a state of BEING and not just DOING? The answer is in one word… PRESENCE.

Presence, or “being mode” could be described as the mind having “nothing to do, nowhere to go” and can focus fully on moment-by-moment experience, allowing us to be fully present and aware of whatever is here, right now.

It is “accepting” and “allowing” what is, without any immediate pressure to change it, aka “LET IT HAPPEN.”

For a recovering DOER like me it can feel incredibly scary and uncomfortable. What do you mean I can’t just text the man I want to date?? I have to wait for him to contact me?? Well how is anything going to get done then? This is just one of the many “DOING/MAKE IT HAPPEN” thoughts that I have been learning to shift. (Can you relate?)

Doing mode involves thinking about the present, the future, and the past, relating to each through our concepts and perception. Being mode, on the other hand, is characterized by direct, immediate, intimate experience of the present.

So… how do we become more present? How do we step more fully into the peace-filled mode of BEING? Below are just a few ideas to get you started…

  1. Identify the moment. Stop right now. Take a deep breath… what is happening around you. What do you hear? What do you smell? What are you not even noticing?

  2. Make mindfulness part of your daily routine. Yoga, meditation, just 5 minutes of uninterrupted time to let thoughts rise to the surface.

  3. Just listen… without intending to respond. You have no idea how good this feels until you have tried it or been on the receiving end of just being heard.

  4. Be okay without knowing everything-relinquish control. When anxiety starts to take over because you don’t know all the answers or because you feel out of control, breathe, relax, and get back into the present moment.

  5. Listen to your body - it is ALWAYS telling you what you need. Are you taking care of your physical self?

  6. Recognize your feelings for what they are… just feelings. What are they telling you about your inner state?

  7. Have personal daily rituals. Do you love your cup of tea in the morning? Make it a special moment you can take for yourself. Do you love watching the sunset? Make is something you step outside to enjoy every night.

  8. Get away from the screens. Have time in your day to unplug. We live in a world where there is so much constant noice all around us. Just unplug for a minute and see how you feel.

  9. Have balance between planning and flowing. Are you a planner like me? Can you not handle not having everything on your schedule and see to always be thinking about what you’re going to do next. Practice flowing. Practice not knowing. It gets easier with time.

  10. Reflect. Take time to reflect on your day. What are you grateful for? That mind that is always trying to “fix” everything. Just remind it how great things already are.

BEING is such a beautiful state to be in. When we focus on the things we already have the universe knows what more to give us more of. When we take time to receive and be we allow the things that are meant for us to come to us and the things that aren’t to drift away.

As I have shifted more fully into this mode, (and I still have a long ways to go, believe me!) I am realizing how calmer I am, how much more peace I feel, the hamster wheel doesn’t visit me in the night, my anxiety attacks have stopped, and I am so much quicker at shifting myself out of need to know and need to control mode. As I practice letting things be and am practicing attracting what is meant for me to flow.

And it feels like happiness and freedom. And feels so so good.

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I’d love to hear your comments below about how you can practice “being mode” more in your life and how good it feels when you just “LET IT HAPPEN.”


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