Your Inner Teacher

mime-attachment6I have an inner teacher. You have an inner teacher. Every human being has an inner teacher. Some of the other terms for inner teacher are soul, true self, inner core, essence, higher self, big self, original nature, inner light, and integrity. Each term describes the ‘being’ part of a human being.

What you call it is not important; whether you nurture it determines the quality of your life. To nurture ‘beingness’ is to turn inward. This simple and powerful act will gradually lead you to deeply listen to yourself and your own knowing, and to connect to the inner stillness and silence that lies deep within.

Fertile ground is required to listen to your inner teacher and that takes an investment in yourself at a level beyond the daily to-do’s and preoccupations.

 

In this, it’s important to notice when you’re trying hard to reach a goal. Truly connecting to your inner teacher is a journey that calls for softly and tenderly moving more and more deeply into the center of you, one gentle step at a time. Deepening cannot be forced. It happens in its own time and way without an attachment for getting results. You know when you are connecting in those moments when a calmness washes over you, your heart melts, and you let go of the need to understand.

With no end point, there are fruits to this journey along the way. Presence, silence, stillness, spaciousness - this is a magical state beyond the mind’s understanding. As you open to seeing, being with, and embracing all of yourself, you gradually rest into simply being.

“Wholeness does not mean perfection:  it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.”  ~ Parker J. Palmer

You grow into authenticity and truth in every way - one small step at a time. You honour your soul. You value honesty so that the truth can be met. You see aspects of yourself that you've judged as bad or wrong, and you've done your best to hide, suppress, deny, or project onto another. You nurture tenderness. You feel the pain that you’ve pushed away and, by doing so, you open your heart. You experience aloneness which is very different from loneliness. You are present to whatever is happening in your body and grow to inhabit your body in a grounded, centered, alert way. You experience greater and greater creativity, flow, ease, strength, and freedom.

As trust in this inner teacher within you blossoms, you discover nurturing and genuine ways to navigate through life. Life, itself, becomes full, rich, and satisfying.

Practice:

Give yourself the space to be silent. To sit. To fully rest in your chair. To connect with your breath, your heart, your belly, your feet. Be fully in your body.

Notice.

What is calling for your loving and tender attention?

Endings and Beginnings

Spring has arrived in my part of the world (Southern Ontario, Canada), and it’s one of my favourite seasons. After the winter, we are shedding the extra clothes we need to keep warm, opening up the windows, and taking in the beautiful colors of new growth. It’s a time for aliveness and freshness. This has been a poignant spring for my family. My mother died on April 6th. She was 92, and we all knew that death would be near. It was what she very much wanted as she felt less and less well and was simply ready to move on. Even though we were prepared, there is a deep sadness in saying good bye.

She will dearly rest in my heart, always.

Endings and Beginnings

I am feeling the loss of her, remembering her, and reflecting. And at the same time, I am appreciating the new life that springtime, part of the cycle of life, gives birth to. This year, spring is when my mother chose to die, and a new great niece or nephew is preparing to be born. Both happenings are part of life.

As a culture, we embrace the joy of new life; we do our best to avoid death.  We use words like “transition” or “pass” instead of the word “die”.  Death is equated with loss and pain. When we face death, it is a time to be gentle and courageous, a time to allow all feelings that arise to be welcomed into the heart.

What would it be like if we recognized all of our beliefs about death and loss and questioned the truth of them?

What would open in life for us?

Would we look at aging differently?

Would we accept, as is, all the feelings that coincide with illness?

Would it help us open our hearts to everything that is part of life? Would we allow rather than focus on controlling?

In honoring death, we honor life. My mother had a great laugh and sparkly eyes. As the years went on, she stepped into her wisdom and remained practical and clear thinking until the end of her life. She loved to learn, she loved people, she loved exploring. Smart, caring, warm, forthright, likable, friendly, honest and so much more. She was, and is loved.

When we open our hearts to life and death, we can embrace all that is new and transitioning within us and for us. The parts of ourselves come to the surface, asking to be held in the heart. And from the heart, we can allow them to gradually die in us, in their own time. A freedom arises within that can take us into the Unknown.

This I honor: the qualities of being human show up uniquely in all of us and, as part of life. We are everything.

"Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands." ~ Linda Hogan (Native American Poet)

Practice:

Be with the questions: What is wanting to die within you?   What is calling you forward?   What is wanting to be born within you? What are you willing to lose for this?

 

*The painting is by Holly Friesen. You can see more of her wonderful art here.

The Melting Heart

As I write this, spring is unfolding in this part of Canada. In the dreariness of this quiet afternoon, there is alternate rain and snow.  In the big picture, the time of melting has begun.  And, for me, the word, melting, brings to mind the inherent beauty of the heart.

The melting heart softens and gently opens as the walls which are formed by beliefs crumble. This melting cannot be forced.  Bit by bit.  Softly. Gently. The melting happens when we take the time to be still and listen carefully to those beliefs that close down our hearts. The beliefs that keep the experience of pure Love at a distance.  Beliefs like: I can't trust you, I don't trust myself, the world isn't safe, I don't want to feel pain, it hurts too much to be vulnerable, no one loves me, I'm not important, I'm afraid to be used....and many, many more.

Beliefs that create tension in the chest area. Beliefs that close us down to seeing the perfection of Life as it is in all its simplicity.  Yet, when we question the mind and allow ourselves to feel whatever is to be felt, we melt into the one heart where we feel connected to everyone, beginning with ourselves.

I've spent a lot of time in the mental realm as a professional student and a avid fan of processing. As the years go by, I've learned what I've most longed for rests in my heart - in this moment. In allowing myself to deeply feel without any story attached to the feelings, it is in my own heart that I find peace and true connection. It is here that I gently and compassionately own the habits of my personality that take me away from being present. It is in the heart where there is a fullness that I never thought possible.

The path of the heart is worth every step. The outer circumstances of life drop away in importance when the realization grows that the key to a full life lies completely in our inner state. The heart that holds everything.  It is then that we can truly give to others in free and natural ways.

This is inner confidence. The is where the fertile soil to be truly yourself rests. This is Love, pure and simple.

Practice:

Breathe into your heart. Pay attention to the gap between the inhale and exhale where the silence lives.  Make it a priority to mine for those beliefs that get in the way of you opening your heart.

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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, is a coach and author who partners with naturally-giving men and women who place other people’s needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are disconnected from themselves.  Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled “Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Ownto support you in feeling the serenity, vitality, and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive gifts to support you in this journey home to yourself, including an e-course from “The Inner Confidence Workbook: A Guide to Claiming Your Life as Your Own” written by Jeannie. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.

The Path of Relationship

Our relationships hold the potential for discovering more and more about ourselves. If we are willing to learn, relationships are a powerful teacher that can propel us forward. The closer the relationship, the more intense the learning about love. Think about the relationships you have with your partner, children, parents, siblings, co-workers. Some of those relationships probably flow with ease, and some are challenging. The challenging relationships provide the opportunity for tremendous growth.

When you choose to live a conscious life, you take on the lifelong process of learning to relate to others through the heart. The path of the heart deepens you and expands your capacity to experience the great love and infinite compassion of the Universe. This has been true in my own life, and I am grateful.

Relationships can trigger emotional reactions. To bring consciousness to this emotional charge, ask yourself: what is this showing me about myself? An honest, courageous answer becomes a gift of self-discovery. You learn about your unique strengths, and your weaknesses.

When you stand in this powerful question, you live in a grounded way that is all about taking complete responsibility for yourself. You lean inward instead of out there—where you get lost in someone else’s experience instead of your own.

The conscious life is about truly knowing yourself. You purposefully seek to see and embrace what is there. The natural self who is present and creatively responsive (instead of reactive) gradually emerges in its own way and its own time.

This process of self-discovery is gentle and kind and doesn’t threaten your personality.

As you feel safe, you allow yourself to see more deeply: your needs, attachments, vulnerabilities, and beliefs that protect the heart. You see the places where you want it “your way”. You see the element of self-gain when you try to fix or change a relationship, and where this opens the door to control and manipulation.

The key on this path of relationship is to really get, in your very cells, that any upset, any trigger, is ALL ABOUT YOU. With time, kindness, trust, and honesty on this wonderful and challenging path, you discover freedom. Your habitual patterns in relating to others no longer drive you.

Your open heart allows you to experience, at deeper and deeper levels, that there is no ‘other’.

Practice: Relax your body and rest comfortably. Bring to mind a person with whom you are having difficulty. Imagine that they are sitting in front of you. Look deeply into their eyes. Notice the colour of their eyes. Notice the expression in their eyes.

Feel what’s in your heart as you are being with this person. Accept whatever you find within you. Rest ever more deeply into this.

Simply notice in this moment as insights arise as you tune into the question: what is this relationship showing me about me?

I’d love to hear about your experience!

With Love, Jeannie

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A Simple Matter of Honor

I am joining hundreds of bloggers to lend my support to the Girl Effect led by Tara Sophia Mohr. This is a campaign on behalf of girls like us to become educated and break free from the poverty that invariably kills dreams.

How can we support every one of us on this planet to live a life that honors our own potential - our unique ability to share our gifts?

It's a matter of honor. Giving and receiving honor is one and the same.  When we honor another, we honor ourselves.

"If you see God within every man and woman, then you can never do harm to any man or woman.  If you see God in yourself, then you attain perfection."  The Bhagavad Gita

How do we truly honor ourselves and in that honoring, honor others?

  • to listen to our own heart
  • to make choices that respect the sacredness of who we truly are
  • to feel the pain and move beyond the personal stories that have us feeling less than or not good enough
  • to value our own gifts and share them with others, not as rescuers, but because we can't help being who we naturally are.

We all have had the experience of knowing what it's like to feel the pain of  dishonor - in big and small ways.  Many of us have old stories that have impacted our lives; stories that have inspired us to move forward and make a difference because of the gift of compassion that grew in their wake.

Rooted in each story is a jewel - an inspiration. For me, the gift of being born a girl in an Italian family that really wanted a boy inspired me to get a solid education so I could make a difference.  In this, my heart awakened to compassion.

I invite you to pour over the stories in the videos below.  Honor these girls just like us who have the possibility to powerfully and positively impact a family, a community, our world.  In doing so, we honor ourselves.

Here are the facts:

  • Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world, with numbers on the rise.
  • One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in these countries each year.
  • A survey in India found that girls who married before age 18 were twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped, or threatened by their husbands as were girls who married later.
  • 75 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds living with HIV in Africa are female, up from 62 percent in 2001.
  • Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide.
  • In Mozambique, 60 percent of girls with no schooling are married before age 18 versus only 10 percent of their educated counterparts.

Kidan, Ethiopia

And here is the possibility:

  • For every year of schooling, infant mortality declines by 5-10 percent.
  • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
  • An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25 percent.
  • Girls work hard and are devoted to their families. They carry water, care for children, harvest crops, and tend livestock. With adequate support and direction, these qualities can be channeled to improve the lives of themselves and their families.

Sanchita, Bangladesh

"We ask ourselves is it possible to break through this heavy conditioning of centuries immediately and not enter into another conditioning - to be free, so that the mind can be altogether new, sensitive, alive, aware, intense, capable?"  Kishnamurti

How we can make a difference and honor ourselves, honor others....

I invite you to visit www.girleffect.org to join others like me in supporting this campaign. It's a matter of honor. If you’d like to write your own Girl Effect post, please click here for all the information.

Any comments? I'd love to hear.

With love,

Jeannie

Simply Giving

The need to be loved is often what drives compulsive giving. It can lead you into a hall of mirrors in your relationships. Compulsive givers feel unseen and unappreciated. They are also exhausted.

Here is what happens at the bottom:

  • You say, “yes” when you really want to say no,
  • You aren’t sure what you really want.
  • You smile when you actually feel like crying.

As the years go by, you discover that you’ve lost your identity. You’ve abandoned yourself in the name of giving to others. You feel that no one loves you for who you are. You can taste the feeling of resentment. Love doesn’t flow freely to others from your heart.

Know that compulsive giving is a habit. Here's how to be with this pattern:

  • See this pattern in yourself with total honesty.
  • Open your heart to the pattern - accepting it fully without trying to fix or change it. Allow yourself to really see the positive intention of this pattern to support you, however misguided in its approach.
  • Drop down into your body, grounding yourself in your feet, and place your attention on how good it feels to connect deeply to your core, your true nature. This sense of well-being in the body can take you beyond the mind’s cacophony.

In the well-being that arises within the body, the heart opens.

That is where you experience who you really are. And from that place, giving arises naturally. Doing arises naturally. You are no longer striving endlessly to do the right thing. You are no longer sacrificing yourself for love because you have learned that you ARE love.

This is the territory of the mysterious and magical heart, where the flow of life moves you away from the downward spiral and takes you for a wonderful ride.

Your connection with the joyful flow of life, pure love acting in your behalf, comes from simply being YOU.

Practice:
Rest. Listen. Follow your body’s urges. Notice when your energy rises. In presence, trust that love is always here within your own heart - your true companion. Your grounded feet will help you along the way.

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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, is a coach and author who partners with naturally-giving men and women who place other people’s needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are disconnected from themselves.  Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled “Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Ownto support you in feeling the serenity, vitality, and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive gifts to support you in this journey home to yourself, including an e-course from “The Inner Confidence Workbook: A Guide to Claiming Your Life as Your Own” written by Jeannie. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com

 

Connecting for Real

I had the privilege of leading a couples retreat last month  a powerful experience that impacted those who participated, including myself.

Men and women. The inner masculine. The inner feminine. Different styles. Different ways of perceiving the world. These men and women came together to look past their own points of view that can result in a sense of separation and disharmony.

Looking into the eyes of their partner. Listening. Appreciating. Dancing. Being together. Committed to each other. Realizing that, in the mutually held gaze, there is no difference between the gazer and the one who returns the gaze.

It was beautiful to witness the willingness of these couples as they opened to a deeply felt sense of longing for connection, love, peace, and fulfillment. This longing is ripe with possibility. It opens the heart to what’s here now, and touches the soft spots, our own vulnerability.

Time together spent truly connecting, in itself, creates an opening for greater freedom and love that is overflowing from our own heart rather than sought after from another.

This is what is available for all of us when we slow down and simply 'be' together, without the distractions of our everyday lives. Without all the 'have-to's' and 'shoulds'; those responsibilities that push us to focus 'out there' instead of within.

Each participant is back to regular life now - in which there are challenges in making the time to connect.  Our significant relationships become especially challenging when they fall into the habit of solely existing in the 'doing' place of problem-solving, planning, mind meeting mind.

When we choose to turn attention inward, Love/Life takes care of any problem, any issue, in magical ways.  There is a time for everything. Joy. Anger. Love. Hate. All feelings can pass through in their own time and way.  There truly is no right or wrong.  No good or bad. It is all to be welcomed as part of the human experience.

When partners turn inward together, 'me' and 'other' can disappear, and two can merge into One.

Set time aside to simply rest, with nothing pressing to do - even it's for five minutes once a day.

Breathe. Be with the space between the in-breath and the out-breath. Become aware of the body. Be with the places of tension and the places of relaxation, without attempting to change what you discover. Feel the source of Love that resides within you. Listen to your heart. It is all welcome.

From the Love that is within you, reach out to your partner. Share a long hug. A loving touch. A deep look into their eyes.  Notice how good it feels to simply and deeply share the Love that always is - with another.

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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

 

The BEAutiful Blue Heron

The beautiful blue heron visited David and myself along with our black Lab, Gracie on our morning walk on the beach this past Monday. It flew over us in all its majestic glory, landed on the rocky shore, and peacefully sauntered close by for at least thirty minutes. Resting. Aware of its surroundings. One with all.

A beautiful, beautiful gift to uplift our spirits.

The visit occurred a few days after we had chosen to let go of Beatrice, our twelve-year-old plus white shepherd, when she was diagnosed with either disseminated cancer or fungal pneumonia. In our sadness, we felt like this particular heron was a sign from our beloved Bea.

On my website, the blue heron totem has had its place for many, many years as it feels like not only my own personal totem but the totem of the work that I do as my profession. How fitting that the blue heron visited again at this time.

I include what I posted on my site ...

A totem is any natural object or being that you feel especially close to. For me, it's the blue heron.  I have had the privilege of having blue herons visit the ponds of two country properties where I lived. They visited so regularly that I often looked out and saw them while I was coaching clients.  I've also been blessed to see them nesting deep in the woods - an unforgettable experience for me.

When I learned about them from the totem knowledge shared by North American Native tradition, I knew that the blue heron would continue to be present on my website in the years to come. On my first web site, the heron was my logo, and on this site I honor it with this page. Here is what Ted Andrews says about the Blue Heron in his book, Animal Speak: The Spiritual and Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small:"The blue heron is a totem (symbol) of someone who has chosen to claim their life as their own. According to North American Native tradition, the Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. It represents an ability to progress and evolve. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that even though we must be able to stand on our own, we don't  need legs that are great massive pillars to remain stable.

Blue Herons have the innate wisdom of being able to maneuver through life and co-create their own circumstances.

If the Blue Heron has shown up as your totem, it reflects your need to follow your own unique wisdom and path of self-determination. You know what is best for yourself, and need to follow your heart rather than the promptings of others. You probably sit calmly while the rest of us lose patience. And when you choose to follow the promptings of your heart, you soar with magnificence."

As we watched this particular blue heron, we knew there was a quality of Bea as she, too, was an independent spirit who moved through space with grace, patience, majesty, presence, and love.  The inner confidence of being oneself.

She blessed us for many years, particularly her gentle Dad, David, who chose her at the Humane Society before I came into his life.

Practice:

Pay attention to the beings that spend time with you from our natural world.  What is their message for you?  Allow your heart to listen.

_________________________

© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, is a coach and author who partners with naturally-giving men and women who place other people’s needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are disconnected from themselves.  Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled “Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Ownto support you in feeling the serenity, vitality, and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive gifts to support you in this journey home to yourself, including an e-course from “The Inner Confidence Workbook: A Guide to Claiming Your Life as Your Own” written by Jeannie. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com

Relationship as Opportunity

Relationships get messy sometimes.  Messy relationships are part of life and happen for everyone.

I witness this in my own relationships, not just with my significant other. Feelings get triggered here and there.  Different points of view stir the pot of the identity called 'me'.  The mirror in front of me reflects back  the identity of 'other'  - challenging me to explore.  What I am resisting? What am I not owning about myself?  What am I avoiding feeling?  What is numbing the heart?

In all of the messiness of relationships,  we receive the most wonderful gift.  To learn to love  - innocently, openly, transparently.

Through our relationships, there is the opportunity to experience oneness where there is no 'me' or 'other' - simply spaciousness/presence/oneness. We open our hearts and allow the love from Presence to flow as it is meant to flow.  We experience the Big Love.

And that makes it all worthwhile.  That fulfills the deepest yearning of the soul.  To know Love. To be Love. To open the heart to Love flowing through it naturally and deeply.

Practice:

Fall back into this moment,  aware of the breath, and let go. Place your hand on your heart. Reflect upon those in your life to whom you feel the closest in this moment. Notice the sensations in the heart when you reflect upon each person with a smile of gratitude.  Appreciate the flow of Love.

© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

 

Going After Love

What do you notice when you go after love?  When you please, want to be liked, need to belong and feel accepted, and/or seek approval?  In other words, what do you notice when you come from need?

When you are in the thick of accommodating, bending, complying, and giving from the place of need, how do you feel?  What are the sensations in your body? Place your hand on your heart - is it expansive or contracted?  How high is your energy?  How authentic are you behaving?  Do you tell the truth about what you feel?

The identity of 'me' that is wanting something from 'other' is a rocky ride. You feel separate. Your emotional state is like a leaf in the wind as you are reactive to what others say or do.  You can feel angry, frustrated, hurt, disappointed, ungrounded. Or you can simply shut down.  You are asleep to your essence, that which you already are - the divine spark of spaciousness/peace/stillness/love that is the context of your life.

Practice:

Make the intention to be aware of pleasing. When you are connected to your true nature, beyond the identity of 'me', the awareness of what you are experiencing is compassionate and loving. There is an opportunity to play with this aspect of the personality and risk disapproval. Magic happens without any mental effort or striving on your part as you loosen the mind's grip.


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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

The Fullness of Life

Sometimes it can be easy to feel peaceful - all is flowing, all feels good, life is lined up in a way that really works.  Then there are times that feel like a wild ride through life.  I'm just making my way through one of the latter times which is why I haven't been on this blog for awhile.

I'm in between houses - moving in itself is typically stressful for most of us as it's difficult to make changes in our nest, even if it's the right move.  David, my partner, got bit by one of our dogs when he tried to break up a fight over a toy with the result that infection raced throughout his body.  This led to a hospital stay that entailed hours and hours of IV antibiotics.  With a bad cold and ear infection resulting from hospital visits, I went away for ten days to participate a very intense, coach training retreat with Arjuna Ardagh which was wonderful and challenging.  A result of this time away has been lots of new learning to be integrated into my work with clients as well as with the confines of the personality called Jeannie.  Feelings that I have ignored in the past have shown up to be experienced.

You get the picture. What did I take away from all of this?  Being with it all, as it is, makes all the difference.  Without making myself wrong for responding the way I did or rationalizing my way out of what showed up, I consciously made room to feel into what was present.

When we let ourselves feel, particularly as women, the connection to our true nature emerges.  We rest. We are home.

Practice:

Each time today that something occurs in your world that could lead you into a tailspin, stop and allow yourself to be with the emotion that is rising.  Discover where it resides in the body. Welcome all of it in.  When the time feels right, then ask: what is the message here, if any?   Listen.

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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

When Receiving is Balanced with Giving

I focus much of my work on natural givers - those of you whose giving can get out of balance with receiving. This is a path that I, too, have walked.  With this level of giving, you lose touch with your own self. You lose a sense of what you need and want.  You give to receive love and approval.  Giving helps you feel important and worthy.  You may give to avoid loneliness.  There are innumerable reasons why giving when out of balance with receiving can seem more like martyrdom or as a means to an end.

Learning to balance giving and receiving is a human journey toward living a life on inner confidence.

When in balance, you give just for the joy of it - unconsciously, freely, easily. In the present moment when you're fully engaged, you also get the opportunity to receive. Receiving can come from the beauty of nature, a heart connection, a smile, an intimate moment.  There are as innumerable ways to receive as there are moments in a day.

At these times when receiving is balanced with giving from our natural state of spaciousness/presence, the opportunity to truly make a difference expands and expands and expands....

Practice:

At least three times today, stop and simply place your attention upon what is there in the moment to receive. Open your heart.  Enjoy!

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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.


The Need to be Needed

Those of you who find your way to this site know what it's like to be a giver. To give your unique gifts to the world is very beautiful and central to the heart path of being human.

You likely also know what doesn't work in easily giving to others - the lack of inclusion of your own self in this giving.

When you disconnect from your natural self, peace/stillness/silence, and give from a place of "I should", "you can love me now", "look at me", "I'm so good", "I'm important", "I feel better" and/or "I have to avoid my pain", giving can be depleting and even exhausting. It disempowers others. There are strings attached when there is a sense of pride in being 'needed'.

Feeling needed, you may walk the path of the rescuer (a one-up position) that can only lead to the very worn path of the drama triangle from rescuer (and feeling hopeless in that) to victim (and feeling revenge in that) to persecutor (and feeling guilt in that) and then back again to rescuer.

I understand this place (it has been my path, too) and have great compassion for the giver because this kind of giving is a conditioned response to life's experiences. It's the only way we knew how to make our way.

This is a practice I want to share with you. Next time you have that urge to give - without even asking but rather assuming that someone needs what you need - stop. Go within. Ask yourself: what do I need right now in this moment? What would be nurturing to me?  That can be doing something as small as creating a smile. Or as big as taking time to do absolutely nothing. Practice this for a week and see watch how your world shifts.

Affirmations:

I stop. I check within. I feel. I take care of myself in loving ways like I take care of others. I smile - a lot.


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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

The Gift of Time

As givers, we know very well what it's like to give the gift of time. It is time that we give to others in a myriad of ways that express our own strengths and are reflective of our true nature.

Take a moment to reflect on how you give your time to others - to your loved ones, at work, in your community. This is your spiritual practice. This is how you embody love.

For the sake of claiming your life, ask yourself: am I giving in ways that feel right to me?  Am I in integrity around what I give or am I simply following a rule that is a habit or is a result of old conditioning? In other words, am I giving from a place of 'should' or from a place of peace and lightness?  When we take the time to notice, when we are very much in the spaciousness of the present moment, we get really clear about this.

Joseph Campbell's often quoted advice, "Follow your bliss" speaks to this reflection. In my view, he is not talking about doing just what feels good. He is talking about checking in with that deeper part of ourselves and following that feeling of spaciousness and peace wherever it leads us, moment by moment, as our lives unfold.

Also, I invite you to reflect upon another important aspect of the gift of time: Do I include myself in the giving? Do I give myself the gift of time? If not, how can I make this happen?

Affirmations:

I notice the freedom that I experience when I give from my true nature. I include myself in this. Sometimes my gifts are accepted, and sometimes they are not.  What is important is my relationship to the giving.

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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people’s needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled “Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Ownto support you in feeling the serenity, vitality and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in this journey home to yourself. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.


The Downward Spiral of Control

All of us know what it's like to want and even expect to get something from someone else, especially in our intimate relationships. It may be more attention, love, appreciation, acceptance, understanding - the list goes on.

In some way, we want that other person to give us what we didn't get when we were kids. We're looking at someone else to fill the gap. And at a deep level, we just want to be unconditionally loved and accepted.

This pattern of wanting and/or expecting to get from someone else leads to control and manipulation - and messy relationships. In trying to get something from someone else or just expecting that they owe us this, we give our power away. We feel angry and frustrated. We get disappointed. We can get demanding and volatile.  And the controlling behaviours that coincide with our wants and expectations show up in as many ways as there are relationships between people.

The reality is that when the personality interacts with another, we can face a different set of values. All personalities have a different style of connecting or communicating. There is judgment. There are different perceptions. There are emotionally triggers that ignite us to react. We either hold back or fight back. As human personalities, it's very difficult to be unconditionally loving and accepting of each other on all fronts.

Claiming our lives as our own happens when we truly get that no one can truly take care of us other than us. It is our job to stay connected to our true nature from which inner confidence arises.  And in that connection to the spaciousness/stillness/peace/infinity that lives inside of us, love is always present. We are full. We stop seeking for more. We feel free to be ourselves and allow others to be themselves.

Affirmations:

I accept the responsibility of taking care of myself. I realize that this is my job alone. I am aware of the thoughts and judgments that arise when I want to pass the torch to someone else.  It's a cue for me to connect ever more deeply with my true nature. I take that leap.

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© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people’s needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled “Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Ownto support you in feeling the serenity, vitality and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in this journey home to yourself. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.

A Relationship Point of View

An old friend of mine shared with me, "I marvel at what my friends teach me". She wasn't talking about learning how to garden or dipping into politics at a deeper level. She was addressing the emotional charges, the judgments, the highs and lows of relationships. Instead of making it about her friends, she takes fully accountability for herself.

How does she do that? How does she not blame them for what is happening inside of her?

She uses her judgments and charged feelings as clues to find out more about herself. She takes full responsibility for her learning. Because she doesn't make herself wrong for having judgments, emotional charges, and highs and lows in her relationships, she is able to simply be with the learning at hand. She is actually in awe of what she learns as the observer within is alive and appreciative of the opportunities to deepen self-awareness. She is a true student of life.

Not all of us have learned to hold this empowering point of view which allows us to take our humanness lightly and, yet, responsibly. A dose of inspiration is a good thing :)

Affirmations:

I appreciate all that life teaches me - through circumstances, through relationships, and through connecting ever deeper with myself.

© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

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If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people's needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Own to support you in feeling the serenity, vitality and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in this journey home to yourself. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com

A Dose of Nature for Inner Confidence

Being in nature - truly being present in nature - nourishes the soul. When we are open to receiving the beauty of nature that encompasses everything, both dark and light, we feel at One. It is then we know who we truly are; it is then we know the deepest part of ourselves.

The paradox is that our experience of Oneness supports us in claiming our lives as our own. It is in our connection to our core that we are less inclined to please, adapt, suppress our feelings, or be on automatic pilot 'trying' to get our needs met. We are less inclined to be confused about the stand we will take. We are less inclined to try to control our circumstances or feel dissatisfied with our imperfect selves. We are less inclined to compare ourselves to others and feel that we are not enough.

When we experience our core that is here for us in each present moment, we are aware of our body and its messages to us. We are clear on the next step, trusting that the next one after that will emerge when we get there. We listen to our hearts. We allow the expression of our true selves to unfold, even when we are going in the opposite direction of everyone around us. We simply know. We simply be - ourselves. That's claiming our lives as our own.

Affirmations:

I spend time in nature. I find the ways that nourish my connection to my true self.

 

 

© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

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If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people's needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled Notes on Claiming Your Life as Your Own to support you in feeling the serenity, vitality and wholeness that comes from inner confidence. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in this journey home to yourself. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.

Fearless Intimacy

All who come to me as clients go through a process that has them clearly identify their intentions - qualities that their heart wants to deeply experience. A client and I were reviewing her intention of fearless intimacy that she set for herself in 2007 when she left a long term relationship and began the process of consciously claiming her own life.

So much has happened since then. She has moved on to confidently enter a new relationship in which she practices fearless intimacy - a practice that has no end point, only ever-deepening layers.

What is fearless intimacy? For her, it means the vulnerability and strength that comes from letting go. To be seen as she is, to be with someone else as they are, and to stay connected to her heart throughout it all. Sometimes her heart is open; sometimes it is not. That's the nature of being human. The key is that she notices and accepts the ebb and flow of intimacy.

Affirmations:

I practice intimacy and notice when it's fearless as well as filled with fear. I allow myself to feel both - deeply, intimately, fully. In that moment, I am intimate with myself.

© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

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If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people's needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled Claiming Your Life as Your Own: knowing, loving and being yourself. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in your journey. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.

Gathering Together

David and I gather both of our families together each year to celebrate Easter/Spring. It ends up being quite the crowd for a sit-down meal of ham and stuffed turkey and everything else that goes along with it.

It's so much fun to have everyone at our home, and we choose to continue doing this for as many years that we can. We love giving back to our generous families in this way and really put our hearts into making it special for everyone.

And...I notice that with anything in life, it comes with its challenges. A lot of work is involved to prepare the house and food as well as to be 'in-the-moment' attentive to the needs of approximately twenty guests. To put it simply, we were on the move for three and a half days. After the final clean-up, we gave ourselves the luxury of doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the day - we were that tired.

How does what I have shared fit with 'inner confidence' and 'claiming your life as your own'? Firstly, this is all about choice for us - we want to do this. There is no part in any of it that comes from a 'should' place. Giving in this way is in line with our values so any price tag that comes with it is worth it.

Secondly, I realized that I was stressed by the 3rd day when old conditioning/stories showed up in my mind, and I had less access to the Observer who simply notices. What is my learning in this? How do I pace myself while living my values? Trusting that all will get done, breathing, stopping to relax - all those practices and more help me get back on track and connected to my core. When I'm coming from that place, ease occurs.

I got to experience contrast this year with a clear intention that next Easter will be all about giving AND pacing.

Affirmations:

I accept all the parts of myself - embracing each quality's lightness and darkness. I appreciate the learning that's there for me. All is well.

© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.

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If you would like to use this article, written by Jeannie Campanelli, on your website or in your own e-newsletter, you MUST include the following:

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, partners with naturally-giving men and women who often put other people's needs in front of their own. As a consequence, they are not connected to themselves. Jeannie offers a free e-newsletter titled Claiming Your Life as Your Own: knowing, loving and being yourself. When you subscribe, you will receive a free guided visualization to support you in your journey. Visit www.innerconfidencecoaching.com.