Identity Integrity

A recent string of events has had me in a bit of an identity crisis. People have been asking my community for referrals for therapists. I have wanted to say “me!”, but instead have waited for a friend to name me as a referral (on their own accord) before I provide any contact info. The thing is, I am a therapist, a pure-bred second generation therapist. Though I’m not yet licensed.

Being a therapist is woven into the fabric of my being. Systems theories and relationship dynamics run in my blood. “Relationships” is the default lens through which I view the world. Everything comes back to relationships. Our relationship with ourselves, parents, siblings, family, friends, lovers, kids, and coworkers, not to mention our jobs, food, health, technology, money, spirituality, sexuality… we have relationships with everything we have in our life. There is a way we relate to each thing, a history of how we’ve related to it, a reason why we chose to relate to it in that way and why we choose to continue to relate to it in any way at all.

In addition, I have earned Associates and Bachelors degrees in Psychology, a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a handful of certifications in specific types of therapy facilitation. Formally, I have completed 2300+ hours of therapeutic work supervised by licensed therapists; informally, I have completed 6000+ hours of therapy/counseling/coaching since entering the field in 2008.

Why no license yet? A list of reasons. The relationship between diagnosing and insurance companies being one of them.

A license ensures that — among other things— a therapist is practiced in diagnosing and operates within codes of ethics. I don’t diagnose and integrity is one of my core values. I’m overflowing with scruples. It’s also why I’ve stopped short of actually calling myself a therapist on my website or any social media. I don’t want anyone to think they are about to see a licensed therapist. But the label “coach” hasn’t been sitting well. It doesn’t fit. Neither does “counselor,” ”consultant,” “advisor,” “guide,” or any variation thereof. So I’m playing with how to honor that part of me, and staying in integrity. Integrity with myself, and the field.

To be continued.

Honor Your “No”

Q+A sessions at Angel Summit last weekend is where my favorite speakers became my favorite speakers. It’s all bc they each said “no.”

“I can’t answer that, it has to be your decision.”

“I can’t possibly make that call.”

“I’m sorry for what you’re going through, and I’m not qualified to answer that for you.”

“I can’t be your mentor… I want to be home at 3pm to make my kid a snack when they get home from school.”

Our “yes” muscle has been conditioned quite well, and is generally far stronger than our “no” muscle. Especially in business. With business being an area still largely steeped in masculine energy, striving, driving and proving are easy habits to fall into. When we say “yes” all the time, we run the risk of diluting and depleting ourselves. Our brands, offerings, and most importantly our energy, usually to the point of burn-out. Whether it’s in or out of a business context, we say “yes” for many reasons that all usually come back to one root: to win acceptance.

We worry that saying “no” will push people away, that it will limit us. In fact, saying “no” to one thing gives us space to say “yes” to something else. Take the last answer I quoted as an example, that person knew if they said “yes” to being someone’s mentor, it would mean that they would not be able to be home at 3pm to make their kid a snack. Saying “no” can be an opportunity-creator rather than an opportunity-limiter. I respected each of the speakers who said “no” even more than before because they honored their “no.”

This isn’t meant to inspire you to go off and say “no, no, no” to everything in your life; it’s about saying “no” to what is not aligned with your energy, purpose, why, desire, et cetera. This practice will allow more resources for you to say “yes” to what is aligned with your energy, purpose, why, desire, et cetera. And before you have an existential crisis about finding your purpose, pause and take a breath.

Staying aligned with yourself can be as simple as “what next action is going to bring me closest to myself?” If your eyes are glazing over, I get it. It’s taken me a while to integrate this lesson into my life. A few years ago I did a speaking event for lululemon athletica, and I spoke about how we need to curate our lives similar to the way Curators curate art exhibits in galleries. Imagine your life as an art gallery. Each activity, behavior, and person is a piece of art that is a reflection of you. At some point, you said “yes” to that piece of art being added to your collection. Eventually you run out of wall space and in order to say “yes” to one piece, you will have to say “no” to another. The piece of art that makes your gallery more beautiful, is a truer reflection of yourself or your business, is the piece that gets the “yes.”

What were the last three things you said “yes” to? What made you want to say “yes” to them? How have they contributed to you or your purpose, or gotten you closer to yourself?

If you feel called to share them, I’d love to hear your answers. More on this topic later, for now, happy curating everyone!


If you want to dive deeper into your why or desires, I recommend books from two of my favorite Archangel Summit speakers:

“Find Your Why” by Simon Sinek

“Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte

Cognitive Bypassing is Sucking Your Energy

You may be familiar with the term “spiritual bypassing” referring to the “tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.”  coined by John Welwood in 1984.

Cognitive bypassing is very similar (I guess coined by me, now), except that it also massively sucks your energy.

You know you’re cognitively bypassing when you jump out of your body and into your head when faced with an uncomfortable emotion. When you immediately try to fix “it” (the discomfort) with logic and reason while ignoring the emotions. When you don’t give yourself the time or the space to experience those emotions, to get closer to them, to figuratively sit with and get to know them.

To unpack them.

To process them.

To release them.

Until you unpack and process emotions that have been hanging out, suppressed and repressed, you won’t be free of them. Valuable energy you could be using for living life becomes devoted to containing the emotions and keeping them out of sight. As the cycle continues and more emotions are suppressed or repressed, more energy is needed to keep them from daylight.

How do you stop this energy-sucking cycle?

  1. Stay in your body.
  2. Stay with the emotion. If you can’t stay with it in the moment, return to it (same day) so you can unpack, process, release it.
  3. As other uncomfortable emotions get triggered, follow each thread, unpacking, processing, and releasing as you go.

Another option is to join me for the second round of the women’s Worthiness Masterclass. During this 5 week workshop series I will guide you through unpacking, processing, and releasing shame so you can reclaim your worthiness. Women called to this will learn how to identify when they are in shame, identify the ways they are coping with shame that are actually creating more shame, and how to effectively unpack, process, and release old shame stories. We will meet in person for 4 weeks (Mondays August 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, 6:30-8pm at the Guild in Cardiff, CA) and have the last session via Zoom on Tuesday September 5th.

If this resonates and you would like to reclaim your worthiness and your energy, call or text me at 760-456-9488 to set up a time for us to have a conversation about it.