From Good Girl to Fighting for the *Greater* Good. Let’s Be Paradigm Shifters, Together.

This is a funny combo of quiet and outspoken, and I know I’m not the only one:

I’m a recovering “good girl” who now openly questions the insane harmful systems that dominate around the globe.

In other words, when I was younger, I used to be too quiet in an attempt to seem “good” and to stay safe (beyond the normal level of the positive quiet of introverts).

Now my desire for the Greater Good is winning out, and I’ve become more outspoken, more and more each year.

I am determined to be part of moving from the dominant broken paradigm (money-driven and violent) to a life-affirming, nature-centric paradigm.

I know. It’s a long journey from here to there but I am finding it joyful along the way, whenever I turn in that direction. It’s way better on this road than the old crumbling one. Especially when I connect with kindred spirits.

This “New” Paradigm Is Our Ancestral Heritage

Triskele - symbol of natural resilience

This Triskele is an ancient symbol found in Ireland and other places in Europe, most likely about natural rhythms of the seasons.

A nature-centric world view is what research has shown me is the true ancestral heritage of all humans.

No wonder it feels so much more true to my own nature. No wonder so many are drawn to it.

This true nature paradigm has been alive all along, sometimes in the shadows and in Indigenous cultures around the globe, and it is expanding, despite pressures against it.

I’ll share more of what I mean about what’s unfolding, why it’s hard, and what can help. Continue reading

How To Sense When It’s the Right Career Path, or Not.

The key to knowing when it’s the right career or business path for you is to follow what feels True to you. Anything else leads to burnout at some point. Burnout is the worst.

But following your Truth? Hmm, that can be confusing and hard to do, huh? I didn’t know how to do that for many years. And yep, I burned out.

I’ve discovered that part of why it’s hard to sense what’s right for us is that most of us are focusing on what’s going wrong (because that’s how the brain works).

So then we miss the small signs of what is going right or what we could build on to make things even better.

It’s like a big blind spot. But we can get around it.

I explain a shortcut for knowing the right direction in this post.

Continue reading

Having a Big Heart Can Also Mean Big Exhaustion. Start with Grounding.

My clients and I have big hearts (naturally empathetic), which means we automatically care about people and how it’s going in the world all around us. It’s a gift, and… sometimes it can lead to taking on more stress or responsibility than one body can handle.

We can be at risk for overwhelm from others’ energy or the ever maddening news. Well, let’s be honest, overwhelm can come just as easily from the inner critic (which says things like “You’re not good enough”). This week it was the national news that got to me.

But we have things to do here on earth. Ya know? People with big hearts are needed!

So, I’m thinkin’ we have to find a way that works for us. We need to manage our outer and inner roadblocks as job #1. We won’t be able to live our purpose if we don’t. The solution is not to shut our hearts down. It’s to stay open but add in effective grounding.

We need a giant Pause button so we can find solid ground and start from there.

Persephone, sculpture by Valerie Gilman

She’s saying to me: “Stop, let me take a pause!” Sculpture artist: http://www.valeriegilman.com

As a highly sensitive introvert, I’ve had to find good grounding methods so I can keep living my purpose without exhaustion. I know we can do this.

In this post, I’m including:

  • what I mean by grounding and why it matters so much,
  • what works for me,
  • a self-assessment to help you choose your best grounding methods.
  • a way to learn a simple method that’s especially good for calming during tough moments.

Continue reading

What Do I Do with All These Emotions?

One of the most essential lessons for my well-being has been what to do with emotions. Whether it’s the ones that seem to have no reason, or from big tragic causes, or in joyful moments, it all comes down to some simple understanding of what emotions are and what to do with them.

resisting emotions

The topic of emotions keeps coming up in conversations with friends and clients.

In this crazy culture of ours, the topic of emotions, a simple universal internal system, has become foreign to us, and something we hide in the closet.

And yet, it is discussed frequently… in private. Or at least when people talk to me.

An acquaintance recently asked me on the sidewalk:
“I hear I’m supposed to allow emotions, but how does that really work when I’m afraid it will just swallow me if I look at all this grief?”

Good question! I know that feeling.

I’ll tell you about our conversation and how I’ve learned to understand and manage emotions as a highly sensitive introvert. Along the way, I’ll explain some simple truths about emotions that can bring you so much freedom and joy.

Continue reading

My View from 10 Years In as a Self-employed Coach

You know how they say you can call yourself an expert after ten years of doing something? I’m right here at the ten-year mark since I had my first paying coaching client in November 2009. I’m taking this moment to look and see what it feels like at this stage, at the end of a decade.

Val Nelson

I’m looking calmer than I used to feel. Haha.

There is certainly an interesting and different feeling at this stage than even a couple years ago, and a vast difference from the early days.

One thing for sure, ten years in feels amazing for me.

There’s a level of security, ease, and trust in my work life that I’m so appreciating. A settling in. Leaning more and more into a natural flow.

I think that ten-year mastery idea, and part of why ten years in feels so amazing, is about the concept of Flow.

When you’ve done something you enjoy for a long while, you are more likely to get to a state of delicious flow, where things “just happen,” or move through you, and you barely know how it’s happening.

It just feels.. natural.
Like I was born to do this.
Like a spiritual experience that I can’t explain in simple terms.

I call this feeling “natural flow” and when you get to know me, you’ll see that natural flow is a favorite topic. I want everyone to have this.

There’s a joy, a trust, a deeper knowing beyond what’s right in front of your eyes… if you allow this energy to move through you. It’s a mindfulness practice whose internal benefits build on itself year after year.

I don’t think it’s about “expert” or not (and I have issues with most uses of the word expert).

The ten-year mastery idea is about being able to fully rely on your wisdom and heart to lead the way, and even let yourself stake your livelihood on that! That’s a big trust. One that now feels easy. I feel so much gratitude for that ease as I write this.

It wasn’t easy at first. I had to learn to live on faith, and self-employment is a great teacher.

I’ll explain how it has evolved and continues to evolve, such as what I’m learning now. I even wrote a poem about it, in this post. It just showed up. Continue reading