Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Real Success

Real Success
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent
people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation
of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to 
appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the
world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden
patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life
has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have 
succeeded.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feeling Alone During the Holiday Season

Feeling Alone
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year for many of us.  Filled with joy, laughter, great food, and the company of loved one's, the Christmas season keeps us busy three fold with festivities.  It's a beautiful time of year when you have people around you to share the love.

However, not everyone has this pleasure - to be around family, friends, or loved ones.  Whether you are a soldier away at war, have experienced a death of a partner or child, made a recent move to another part of the country, or remember the dark Christmas pasts with drunk gatherings and abuse, sometimes celebrating the holiday season with joy can be extremely difficult; and, feeling alone may result.

What's important to remember is that there is a somber sort of energy around this time of year that seems to be more magnified than other times.  Perhaps it's the recognition of the collective consciousness.  Also, even when you're around family, somehow there is this melancholy that hangs around.  

Anyways, I was standing in line at the post office this week and the lady in front of me said, "Isn't there a strange feeling in the air at this time of year?"  I was kind of zoned out watching one of the postal workers tearing perforated sheets with such speed and accuracy.  I  got to thinking about what she'd said and began noticing the polar energies.  What seems a little odd yet so true is that we can't have one energy without the other.  In order to feel love, we need to know hate; in order to feel joy, we need to experience sadness; and, in order to feel fulfilled or satisfied we need to know what loneliness is.

I understand that in the moments and days of loneliness you probably don't want to hear about the two opposing energies.  But, maybe you do, and, just maybe, that may be the trick to get you through to the next day.  Nonetheless, I will leave you with some thoughts on how to support yourself during this time of year.

1.)  Reach out to others.  This may be quite challenging for some of you, but I can guarantee that the one you seek out to reach, is seeking out to reach for someone, too.  We all disguise ourselves as being fulfilled and content to keep up with the status quo and the social norm.  Many of us have way too much pride, but someone has to be first at reaching out.

2.)  Treat yourself.  Chocolate and baked goods may not be the best thing for you when you're feeling alone and down.  Instead, go for a great book!  Let go of the self-help ones for now; grab a mystery, short story, or fantasy.  Immerse yourself into it.  Maybe buying a nice fluffy fleece throw blanket and a couple of classical movies would be great, too.

3.)  Journal.  Some of my clients journal, making it more of a task that has to be done, recalling what they did that day, and what needs to be done.  STOP.  That's business journalling.  The writing I'm suggesting is about your thoughts and emotions that surface in the moment.  They could be funny, remembrance, or teary.  Journal whatever comes up from within.

4.)  Learn to be comfortable with solitude.  There is nothing wrong with being alone.  It's rather good for us when we look at it from a positive perspective.  Even when your body is dragging with loneliness, 'be' with those feelings and know that they will eventually pass.  Look inside yourself  to see what loneliness has to offer you.  What is it trying to say to you?

5.)   Write a letter.  Whether this person is still alive or not, write a letter to denote your love, admiration or perhaps even anger.  You may experience a great sense of relief.

6.)  Go for a walk; try some yoga at home; or how about some meditation.  Movement and centering always does wonders for the central nervous system.

7.)  Donate your time to a charitable organization; or make some sandwiches for the homeless.  There are so many places to get involved for a few hours a day.  It's a great way to refocus on others desperate for shelter and food. 

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On Children

Your Children Are Not Your Children
"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.  
You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.  
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and he bends you with his might that his arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable."  
~Khalil Gibran

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dare to Raise Your Voice

Dare to Raise Your Voice
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

Women and children that have experienced sexual crimes live in silence, trapped within a closet of denial, secrecy, and shame.  To speak about their experiences of rape, domestic battery, and incest is to invite public humiliation, ridicule, and disbelief both from family members and society in general.  Slowly people are acknowledging these horrific events as heinous and criminal.  However, we are a far cry from supporting the many women and children inflicted by sexual abuse.  There are still many in hiding living in fear, terror, and hopelessness.

It's time to raise awareness to these criminal acts that are occurring under our noses.  I strongly agree that family members, relatives, and friends whom do not report these odious crimes, and choose to turn away, should be held accountable as well.  All accomplices of other crimes are held accountable.  Why are the sexual crimes any different?

I have to say that I was naive enough to think that family would stick by my side in such criminal acts.  That they would be the ones to support me when I finally dared to raise my voice.  However, I was wrong and rudely awaken by this fantasy.  I'm sure there are many individuals that would go to the authorities in support of the victim.  Nonetheless, there are many that refuse to.

In the end, once again it is not about the others, though.  It is about you, the abused, and your own healing process.  Do you dare to raise your voice and speak up?  Do you dare to talk the truth in order to sort through the abuse?  When the traumatic memories and the intense feelings that accompany them are put into words, a lot of the wild and crazy emotions and behaviors slip away.  I feel raising your voice is still worth it in the end.  Although you may endure a ton of judgment, raising your voice is still worthwhile.  You acquire a great sense of freedom - a new sense of being.

A side note: Safety comes first!  Make sure you are in a safe environment depending on your situation.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Healing Worthlessness

Healing Worthlessness
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

When you feel worthless, looking in the mirror and reminding yourself that you are beautiful is not going to happen.  Being told that you are special, you have the light within you, and to appreciate your value in life is something that individuals with low self-worth cannot relate to.  Further, the more you say, the more they will resist; and, the more they will see you as untrustworthy and a phony.  Trying to mend the surface or the symptoms of worthlessness will not be lasting nor effective in people that have extreme low self-esteem.  Cognitive change is only partial change in attitude.  Setting up a plan on how to tackle your attitude of worthlessness on a daily basis is good; however, it doesn't support deep change, and it doesn't last.

During my darkest days, sometime ago in the past, I became the observer.  One day standing in the middle of my kitchen, I moved out of my body looking down over top of myself.  It was after I threw a pyrex dish in rage causing a huge hole in the drywall.  I also realized, at that time, I almost killed someone;  just a few inches away from his head, the dish flew.  As an observer, I viewed the life I was living.  Why was I behaving in such self-defeating ways?  I knew I didn't want to be alive in this world if I continued to live the way I was.  I also knew that it wasn't about 'them' anymore - them being the men in my life.  It was about me and why I was attracting them.  Memories of sexual, physical and verbal abuse, and a two sexual assaults (at the age of 12 and 16) haunted me.  Domestic violence and later drugs and alcohol were a part of my behavior.  Shame, guilt, disgust, and hate was who I was.

Cognitive-behavioral change was the road I took to heal my life.  I didn't have to go to the past, and, I surely didn't want to at the time.  It worked to a degree.  However, after about two years or so of persistent effort, I still felt this haze of darkness: this ache in my gut that wouldn't go away.  I prayed and prayed with many tears asking what I needed to do next to feel joy and self-worth.  I was asking for the real stuff, not what I was putting on to wear everyday.  Not the mask or superficial joy I was being taught.  I pleaded daily to be shown the way; how to deeply heal the empty pit in my gut.  How to heal the haunting memories of the past. 

Over time, I was shown.  I was open completely to what ever entered my life.  I did the work because I believed that my asking was unfolding in front of me, and either I could use it or leave it.  Leaving it would have meant that I was going against my asking - not taking the opportunities that I requested.  I chose to use all of what came forth.  Every sign post.  Not knowing how it was going to work out in the end, I still continued with dedication and love to the one honoring my asking.

To heal the worthlessness inside of you, it takes more than cognitive-behavioral change.   It takes going to the source.  For real joy to surface from deep within, for love of self to resonate, separation must be corrected where it was made.

"It is not necessary to seek for what is true,
but it is necessary to seek for what is false...
That is why atonement centers on the past,
which is the source of separation,
and where it must be undone.
For separation must be corrected
where it was made."

[A Course In Miracles]

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happiness is Created from an Empty Space

Happiness is Created from an Empty Space of Nothingness
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

When you clear up your own messes and realize acceptance, you begin to see what it is that your heart truly longs for. Only then the universe, literally and spontaneously, unfolds accordingly... and in such miraculous ways to your true heart's desire.

Imagine a huge space inside of you. A place that you can begin anew. A blank slate where you can create something spectacular. Whether it be a bright and colorful rainbow, a warm sunshine, the mysterious moon, or a cool stream, it's your crayon to color your canvas as you choose. How ever that may look, it's really up to you. What's unique about this space is that it's yours to create as you choose.

This space is naturally within each and everyone of us. However, over a course of a lifetime of experiences, we start to collect things. We start to hold onto things that fill up this space of creation. As time passes, we get heavier and darker until the canvas is coated with an indescribable mish-mash of the past.  In essence, our happiness goes dark. This baggage of past can be referred to as a huge array of hurts and fears: pain, resentment, neglect, illness, anger, annoyance, embarrassment, abuse, and ridicule. The list is endless and so are the words describing the hurt and fear.

You can put another coat of color on the canvas to hide the darkness. Positive thinking, religion, obsessive habits, avoidance, and denial, are all good for a while. They are great distractions! I call this sort of a healing process superficial. It appears that you're healed, but you're really not. On the surface, it looks good. However, underneath you still feel that heaviness and that ache.

Holistic healing is not about masking the symptoms. To heal yourself wholly and to have lasting change, you need to resolve the underlying issues. It is important to treat the cause, rather than just the symptoms. Clearing up your messes not only dissipates the ache, it opens up an empty space for you to create what your heart truly longs for. This is where pure happiness lives.  Happiness that lasts is created from an empty space of nothingness; it is also where you uncover your true heart's desire.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Realizing Acceptance

Realizing Acceptance
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

“When you clear up your own messes and realize acceptance, 
you begin to see what it is that your heart truly longs for. 
Only then the universe, literally and spontaneously, 
unfolds accordingly . . . and in such miraculous ways.” 
~Desiree Leigh~

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Return to Harmony of Body, Mind, and Spirit

Return to Harmony
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

"Joy is a return to the deep harmony of body, mind, and spirit that was yours at birth and that can be yours again; that openness to love, that capacity for wholeness with the world around you, is still within you."
[Deepak Chopra]

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Good Traveler

"A good traveler has no fixed plan,
and is not intent on arriving." 
Lao Tzu

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's Up to Me

It's Up to Me

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

I get discouraged now and then
When there are clouds of gray,
Until I think about the things
that happened yesterday.
I do not mean the day before
Or those of months ago,
But all the yesterdays in which
I had the chance to grow.
I think of opportunities
That I allowed to die,
And those I took advantage of
Before they passed me by.
And I remember that the past 
Presented quite a plight,
But somehow I endured it and 
The future seemed all right.
And I remind myself that I
Am capable and free,
And my success and happiness
Are really up to me.

[James J. Metcalfe]

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Stop Feeding Your Fears

Stop Feeding Your Fears
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

To stop feeding your fears, you must first be able to face them.  Until the fear is looked at, the fear that holds you back will continue to live within you.  You may believe that you can hide the fear, sweep it under the rug, or shove it into a closet or basement somewhere never to be seen again.  In this case, you're only burying it temporarily.  The fear is still hiding and lurking within you.  Sooner or later it will resurface.  It will come back!

So stop feeding your fears.  Shine the light onto them.  Look at the fear head on, one by one.  Don't condemn or judge the fear.  If you do this, you are only reinforcing it.  Treat your fears with love, respect, and kindness because, in the end, they are you.  If you condemn and judge your fears, you condemn and judge yourself.  What happens when you condemn and judge yourself?  You become resistant, you lose respect for yourself, and you lower your confidence and your self-esteem.

Love your fear.  It's part of you.  You still love your child or best friend even though they've been disobedient, don't you?  You don't pretend everything is okay and leap over it?  I hope not, anyways.  What you do is confront it with love.  You look at it, you observe it, you question it, and you ask where it came from all with the power of love not with the power of resentment, anger, ridicule and condemnation.  Shine the light onto your fears to stop feeding your fears.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Image of Yourself Is Making You or Breaking You

The Image of Yourself is Making You or Breaking You
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

The image you have of yourself is making you or breaking you.  No matter what you're thinking or feeling, all that energy radiates outward into the world around you attracting back the likeness of those thoughts and feelings.  They ripple out either enhancing your life or detracting from it.

This message is not that simple or easily taken in, though, when it comes down to anyone that has lived through any traumatic events of any kind.  Memories are stored deep within dictating how you behave and what you attract.  Most often, you are not even conscious of it.  Children, teens, or adults enduring traumatic events place themselves mentally and emotionally somewhere else most often forgetting the events.  However, these memories don't disappear.  They are stored in the mind and body expressing themselves in post traumatic stress disorder, nightmares, flashbacks, startle responses, and dissociative behaviours.

So in the end, for anyone dealing with trauma, don't be so hard on yourself about getting your thoughts and feelings in order to attract what you need to enhance.  Talk therapy is what works initially.  The only way these memories within the cells of your body and mind will come out is when they feel safe to surface.  Forcing happy and abundant thoughts over a nightmare will not change anything.  The traumatic memories in your mind and body will remain, only now with happy thoughts painted over the nightmare.  When the memories and body expressions surface through a safe environment, that is the time to examine them.  By doing this, you will, over time, move past them.  And, with that new-found freedom, the image of yourself will also slowly change, where you will begin to see yourself in a new light and with a whole lot of love.

You cannot force love upon yourself.  You already are love.  You just don't see it yet when you've endured a traumatic event.  Allowing yourself to bring up the memories, examine them, and then let them go, is what will heal your mind, body, and soul.

The image of yourself if making you or breaking you.  However, you have a choice on what you can do.  Which one will you make? 

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

You Yourself Deserve Your Love and Affection

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, 
deserves your love and affection."


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Permission to Be You

Permission to Be You
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

Many of us have a difficult time giving ourselves permission to be who we really are - to be ourselves.  We strive to be something we are not which is nothing close to who we really are.  But then, "do we really know who we are anyways?"  Because of the demands of the world and the loyalty, honor, or roles we need to attain and play with which may include our family, spouse, friends, children, boss, clergy, teachers, politicians, community, and organizations, we feel we 'should' be something that we really are not.  Sometimes we're not even aware of this 'should be.'

There's a sense of subtlety when it comes to knowing who we really are, and giving ourselves permission to be just that.  That feeling of who we really are can be elusive and hard to detect.  We have it, we get it, we understand it, but we really don't.  It lives somewhere beyond us, almost unreachable, this thing called me.  Who are we really giving permission to?  Is it for everyone else around me?  Or, is it really for me?  Who am I really? 

We don't really recognize that we aren't giving ourselves permission.  We think we are.  We really do most of the time.  But the giving permission comes down to "for who or for what?"  Giving permission to be me is distant from me when it's for who or what.  It's not me being me at all.  It's me being for them.  Out of habituation, we wholeheartedly believe we are following what we really want and choose to do, and who we chose to be.  And, when many of us get there, finally reaching our destination, or not even that, but living on that journey, and thinking we're giving ourselves permission to be, we're disappointed, we're befuddled.  Maybe then, just maybe and hopefully then we'll begin to ask "who's plan am I really following?"  "Who's life am I really leading?"

Many of us have a difficult time giving ourselves permission to be who we really want to be, to be something different, to do something out of the ordinary, and sometimes to make change.  Perhaps the real me wants to leave a spouse, move away from the children, quit a job, sell all my personal belongings and my home I've lived in for 25 years and move over seas, or maybe become a pastry chef or school teacher.  Whatever it may be it's within you.  Are you listening to who you really are?  For real?  Are you giving yourself permission to be YOU?

"You can recognize a pioneer by the arrows in his/her back."  
 ~Beverly Rubik

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Day

New Day

"No matter how dark it seems
When cloudy skies block hopes and dreams
When you stumble, fall, and can't get back up
Wheels keep spinning but you're stuck
We reach out to you with tender care
On a healing journey we will share
With words of hope and a better way
To walk in the light of each New Day."

~Krystal Kuehn, New Day Counseling

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Principles Are Substitutes for An Independent Outlook

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
"Principles are substitutes for an independent outlook.  The owner would be lost in the ocean of events if he were not able to orient himself by these fixed bearings.  Usually he is even proud of them and does not regard them as weaknesses, but as a source of strength.  He hangs on to them because of the insufficiency of his own independent judgment."

~Frits Perls

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Calling Their Denial Knowledge

Calling their Denial Knowledge

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

"It is in these acts called trivialities that the seeds of joy are forever wasted, until men and women look round with haggard faces at the devastation their own waste has made, and say, the earth bears no harvest of sweetness / calling their denial knowledge."

~George Eliot

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Monday, March 7, 2011

Love Is Like A Beautiful Flower

Love is a Beautiful Flower

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

"Love is like a beautiful flower
which I may not touch, 
but whose fragrance makes the garden 
a place of delight just the same."

~Helen Keller

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Today Is All We Have

 Today Is All We Have
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

I haven't felt well for the last couple of days.  My lymph nodes swollen and tender, cold like symptoms, neck hurts, head hurts, nausea bouts, fatigue, it's an odd feeling.  These symptoms come and go regularly becoming more consistent as the months go by.  They have been for the past two years now, early 2009.  I can't seem to pinpoint what it is, if anything.  It's difficult not to worry about it when it's in your face, then I visualize my health and the healing of whatever this is with fire, knowing that I can do something about it.

Today, I struggled to get out of bed, though.  I didn't want to deal with these symptoms anymore.  They hurt!  I was ready to stomp down the hall to dig in the bathroom cabinet to get some pain killers.  The physical pain of these symptoms are getting stronger.  I sat at the edge of the bed, my shoulders hunched over, head hanging down, sad, wondering how I can heal myself.  I flopped my head back down onto the pillow with force, with anger, some tears flowing with worry, of course.  I let it all go for a few minutes.  Then I got up, walked down the hall passed the bathroom into the kitchen, drank my usual water with fresh lemon juice, dry brushed my skin, tugged my hair, opened up a thai coconut, drank the water and bounced on the rebounder.  My way to refocus.  By this time the symptoms were not as bad and I had a more optimistic outlook for the day. 

When you're not feeling well or haven't been for some time, you start to rethink life and what it really means.  I came to the realization that this is it.  Today is all we have.  There is no tomorrow.  There is only now.  What ever you are doing and feeling right now, this is it.  Remember the past with joy, anticipate the future, however, live in the now.  How do you want it to be today?

You see, if you only had a day, a year or two or five or whatever to live, how would you like to live it?  What do you want to say?  Who do you want to hug?  What direction is most important to take?  How do you want to feel?  I've been asking myself these questions a lot.  Not only asking the question, though.  I find myself intuitively stepping into action immediately, whether it's praising and hugging my sons, writing that letter to let others know exactly how I feel, talking openly and straight with friends getting to know them more deeply, and listening to others on a completely different level than what I used to... and I thought I really listened. 

This is it.  Today is all we have.  If today was your only day to shine, how would you do it?  How would you show it?  Who's important to you?

Even as a counsellor and life coach, I find myself continually healing layer after layer.  It never ceases.  There is always something to resolve, something to say to someone, one more person to hug, one more letter to write, or one more phone call to make.

So today, after I got organized, and moved through the pain of the symptoms, I went for breakfast with a friend.  We talked.  We laughed.  We cried.  We picked up my black labs, drove up to Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, and ran through the snow.  The view was spectacular.  So breathtaking.  Jasper, my baby lab, did a great job pulling me through the deep snow.  As I ran after him, I laughed trying to keep my balance.  I came home and baked for my family.  And, when my son woke up, I called him over and gave him a big... hug and told him that I love him.  Today is all we have.  Today is a great day!

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gain Strength and Courage and Confidence

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Gain Strength, Courage, and Confidence
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence 
by each experience in which we really stop 
to look fear in the face... 
we must do that which we think we cannot.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Feel Better Sooner After Grieving

 Feel Better Sooner After Grieving
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

In case we are feeling driven to somehow "get done with" our grieving (if I do it faster, maybe I will feel better sooner), let us be reminded that, as in many of life's profoundest experiences - making love, eating, and drinking - faster is not necessarily better.  Perhaps the reassuring thing about grieving is that the process will not be cheated.  It will take as much time as it needs.  Our task is to be attentive when the messages of mind and memory come.  If we let them go unattended the first time, they will probably cost more in the long run.

~Martha Whitmore Hickman

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Things that are Fundamental to Human Fulfillment

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Things that are Fundamental to Human Fulfillment

There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment.  The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase 'to live, to learn, to leave a legacy.'

The need to live is our physical need for such things as food, clothing, shelter, economical well-being, and health.  The need to love is our social need to relate to other people, to belong, to love, and to be loved.  The need to learn is our mental need to develop, and to grow.  And, the need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution.

Stephen R. Covey

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Monday, January 24, 2011

How We Grow

How We Grow
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."
[Anais Nin]

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Real Voyage of Discovery

"The real voyage of discovery consists
not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes."

~Marcel Proust

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Pain's of Responsibility

The Pain's of Responsibility
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

The pleasure's of avoidance and denial, and the pain's of responsibility. Many of us look at life this way. What do you think of the word 'responsibility'? Does it freak you out? Does it give you a heaviness in your chest? Does it make you feel old? I'll bet it's pretty painful even thinking about the word 'responsibility,' let alone doing 'responsibility.' "OMG, that's work!" We all have different emotions attached to the word 'responsibility'. What are yours?

It's easy to avoid, deny and ignore responsibility. Choosing to be unconscious to life gives you pleasure to some degree. Otherwise why would you do it? You want to avoid the pain. That's why. We can put on our positive thinking caps and motor down the road, side-swiping everything in our way, protesting loudly as we screech down the way, "I'm happy!" "I'm positive!" "I've got life in the bag!" But, are you really? Or, does your life look more like a zombie-state, eyes glossed over, arms drawn out in front of you, tripping over what lies ahead embracing a protest sign that says "I'm happy!" "I'm positive!" "I've got life in the bag!" They're both the same to some degree. One more jovial than the other. "It's still better this way, though. Right?! At least, I don't have to take responsibility. I might have to make a commitment to something, people may rely on me, I might mess up, then what? Anyways, everyone says that you should be positive, be happy. That's what's going around. Those are the studies they do in those big universities. Chin up and get over your story."There's a fine line between living unconsciously while protesting a positive attitude, and living responsibly and aware with positive intention. Do you recognize the difference? And, which state are you really living in? Behind your closed doors, with no one around, look at your life. Are you living consciously with positive intention or not? This may be a good time to really consider this question.

First of all, I want to say that YOUR STORY IS IMPORTANT! As long as it comes from a healed perspective and not a cathartic experience. Why the heck do we have so many beautifully written books out there? They are called stories, people's life experiences, and how they overcame their obstacles and struggles. YOUR STORY IS IMPORTANT! And here goes, this is what taking 'responsibility' always comes down to. Have you released your story through those hidden, deep, and painful emotions? If you haven't, your story with be coming from a blinded place. Through the dramatic emotions that have not been released and are still lurking inside of you. You're perspective's will be shadowed. It's not that your experience is shadowed. Not at all. You really did have those experiences. I get that. It's the way you think about them, though, which ALWAYS comes down to the way you think about yourself!

To heal and take back your life, to live a life more alive, be courageous and step into your responsibility. Yes, it is painful, for the moment. It does feel ugly and gross. You may even feel disgusted and embarrassed. But in the end, moving through your experiences gives you backbone and strength of character. Take the pain out of responsibility and put it where it belongs, in avoidance and denial.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh