What Love Looks Like

What love looks like

I nurture, encourage, and
delight myself in healthy ways.

My first big realization on the road to recovery was that my utter and complete burnout was clear evidence that I had not been loving myself. I was not nurturing, encouraging, or delighting myself in healthy ways physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. I was disrespecting my body, mind, feelings, and values. Working myself nearly to death with no regard for illness or despair. If I had treated another being that way, human or feline, I would have been jailed long ago.

When I became serious about uncovering the roots of my imbalance and trying to set it right, I concluded that there are two fundamental types of core energy: love and fear. When I examined the primary energy underneath any thought, feeling, word, or deed, I found love, fear, or some combination of the two.

Love is constructive and moves you forward.
Fear is destructive and holds you back.
Love is the author of truth and reality.
Fear is the author of lies and illusion.

At first, I didn’t always recognize them as love or fear because they didn’t always show up in my life with those specific labels. I found the terms to be nebulous, tricky, and easy to misunderstand. With awareness, persistence, and unflinching honesty, over time I was able to recognize love and fear masquerading under lots of other masks.

In trying to get a more concrete grasp on what healthy self-love might look like, I realized I understood its opposite, fear, much better because I had fueled myself with it for so long. With mindfulness and curiosity, I recognized that the many faces of fear could be synthesized into a four-part pattern that captured the most common guises in which fear showed up in my relationship with myself—contempt, judging, shame, and lack. I then employed one of my favorite writing technologies, the Microsoft Word thesaurus function, to find their opposites—respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude. The chart below is my summary of the many faces of love and fear.

The Many Faces of Love and Fear

With the help of the insight and clarity provided by those particular attributes of love, the light dawned, and I began to make real progress. Focusing on these four constructs helped me more easily answer the eternal question in every situation:

Is this what unconditional
self-love looks like, and if not,
what would bring me closer
to that intention?

While taking good care of myself physically produced many healthy changes, when I shifted from taking good care of myself to falling in love with myself, everything else in my life finally fell into place. I lost weight physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I got off the hamster wheel, found my calling, and created a joyous, fulfilling life. Falling in love with myself was just like falling in love with someone else. I paid attention and treated myself as if I mattered, as if I were my own beloved child.

I am my own beloved childOne of the most powerful changes was being relentless about noticing and transforming any negative head talk into more loving, supportive messages. In chapter 6 of my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!, concerning your personal board of directors, I dive deeply into the roots, role, and transformation of this type of self-sabotaging gremlin head chatter. For now, just know that fear is incredibly toxic; it doesn’t take much to poison the well of your life. Little things like the verbs I use—have to, should, need to, can’t, and the like—are indicators that fear is fueling my thoughts and beliefs about a given situation or relationship. Nothing is too small to matter; every little bit of fear you transform into love gives you a substantial energetic boost. It doesn’t take much fear to bring you down. Letting go of even a little will raise you up.

Months after I began writing and teaching about the love-fear energetic dichotomy, I started encountering it all over the place. The message is shared by many of the world’s great spiritual teachers. Though surely I must have encountered this lesson before, I had either misunderstood its application or experienced a common barrier. Head knowledge hadn’t been enough to make a difference. I needed to learn it for myself from painful personal experience. I needed to take life’s longest journey: the eighteen inches from my head to my heart.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“I’ve read many self help books and this is one of the best. What makes it stand out is the fact that it has a very personal touch. Deborah Jane Wells shares her own personal journey of transformation and the experiences of some of her coaching clients to inspire all of us who’ve felt overwhelmed and burdened by life’s challenges. Her courage, insight, and wisdom are simply inspiring. She not only motivates the reader with these stories but also shares the tools she’s learned along the way that we can all use to allow for positive change in our lives. This book is Deborah’s gift to all of us and is empowering to anyone willing to take an honest look at their thoughts and limiting beliefs and in the process become more aware of the power we all have from within to have the life we really want.” Hollie Kikel

 

“I highly recommend this book to anyone who really wants more out of life. This book is changing my life 1 page at a time, 1 baby step at a time. I just can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled I am that the Lord placed this book and its wonderful author Life Coach Deborah Jane Wells in my life. The life lessons are so practical and easy to relate to. I was looking for one little nugget of insight to share here but this is so chock full of simple and valuable morsels I could not isolate just one snippet. Let me just say after years and years of delving into my Bible and dozens upon dozens of self-help books, tapes and CDs and even motivational conventions, I now realize I was missing a very key element … Loving Me. This is a super great book to ponder over and over and over again. Truly a must read for everyone!” Linda Guntharp

 

NEW 2017
EXPANDED EDITION
NOW AVAILABLE
in print, ebook and—
for the first time ever—
AUDIOBOOK

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

 

Explore Deborah's Book

FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Love, Fear & Gremlins | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Stress-Taming Power of Gratitude Part 2 of 2

As I wrap up the discussion of gratitude that I began in the previous post, I want to explore an essential aspect of genuine gratitude that truly fosters flow: the principle of circulation. While many people are extremely comfortable with giving to others, far fewer are equally comfortable with receiving from others. Raised with “It is better to give than receive” and “God loveth a cheerful giver,” many have mistakenly concluded that life is all about giving. But giving without a similar commitment to receiving blocks rather than fosters flow.

Circulation

Flow requires free circulation, both inflow and outflow, with neither condition being desired, admired, or sought after more than the other. Giving with abandon accompanied by resistance to receiving is not what love looks like and it won’t encourage flow. Such duality indicates that fear has crept in and tainted what could, if fueled differently, be an act of love. The roots of this sort of circulation imbalance are planted firmly in misunderstanding the nature of power and assuming power is the same thing as force.

The misperception is based in the belief that giving will put me in the “up” position, leaving me superior and powerful. Once I succeed in giving to you, I can expect you to return the favor on demand in the future in whatever form I desire consistent with my unilateral terms and conditions.

With this definition of giving in place, it follows that I might perceive receiving would put me in the “down” position, leaving me inferior and powerless. Once I succumb to receiving from you, I will be obligated and vulnerable to acting for your benefit in the future—on demand and against my will—in ways that may conflict with my personal values and abilities.

Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!

The simple recalibration to these misperceptions is to realize that sort of exchange is not what love looks like. Rereading my previous posts on love’s essential attributes of respect, curiosity, and compassion will increase your clarity in that regard. As the giver, when you choose love as your core fuel, whatever the expectations of the receiver, you never give from a desire to control or manipulate others. And as the receiver, when you choose love as your core fuel, whatever the expectations of the giver, you are never obligated to respond from fear. Only you decide what is right for your life. What you give and receive, when, why, how, and how much are always yours to choose. In each moment, you have the opportunity to choose love over fear and behave in alignment with your choice.

Overgiving is NOT love-fueled generosity

Here’s an additional insight to help you move more comfortably into balance, harmony, and understanding concerning the roles of giving and receiving in fostering flow. The practice of “over-giving” is just another variation on the arrogance-based disrespectful interference we explored in the posts on respect. When we over-give, we rob the recipient of the opportunity to develop the healthy independence essential to personal growth and freedom. How do you know when this is the case? As always, look underneath your potential actions and be unflinchingly honest with yourself about whether your core fuel is love or fear. Once you recognize your fuel, you have the opportunity to respect yourself and the other by making a conscious constructive choice.

People sometimes respond to this perspective on giving and receiving by saying, “But Deborah, it just feels so good to give!” Yes, it does feel good. And when you refuse to receive with gratitude and grace, you rob another of experiencing that joy of giving. Much as you may not like to admit it, such behavior demonstrates greediness: hoarding all of that good feeling for yourself. When you give but don’t embrace receiving, you imprison yourself with fear and your gifts become tainted.

PAY IT FORWARD!

Remember to consider the big picture when assessing how well circulation is working in your life. Don’t expect direct reciprocity in relation to what you give. Adopt a “pay it forward” mindset and the God’s-eye view, knowing that the circulation you set in motion when you give to a friend or stranger, may return to you in ways you never dreamed of through people you don’t even know. When you celebrate giving and receiving with a sense of joy and freedom, you exhibit genuine gratitude and foster for yourself and others lives of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“This is a book that I keep going back to again and again. Everyone deserves to live a fulfilling life. That’s why this book is a powerful tool and reference guide to help me stay on track with my life’s goals of discovery, wholeness, healing, love and truth. The Lessons in Living section is particularly helpful when I just need a quick pick-me-up from life’s daily stressors and a positive boost of energy. The client stories and the meditations and affirmations the author shares have definitely aided in transforming my life for the better. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s ready and willing to shed old layers of fear and move into a place of greater joy and fulfillment.” Jennifer Adamson

 

“I enjoyed reading ‘Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!’ and getting to know Deborah. By example, she leads us to look inward beyond our head and toward our heart. And she generously shares helpful wisdom through stories and her experiences.” David Goldstein, author of Creative You: Using Your Personality Type to Thrive, David’s Courageously Creative blog and website

 

NEW 2017
EXPANDED EDITION
NOW AVAILABLE
in print, ebook and—
for the first time ever—
AUDIOBOOK

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

 

Explore Deborah's Book

FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Stress-Taming Power of Gratitude Part 1 of 2

I appreciate my life; EVERYTHING is an opportunity!

I appreciate my life.
EVERYTHING is an opportunity!

I first became acquainted with the idea of a gratitude practice in 1995 through Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance. The book’s core concept was to begin and end each day by naming at least five things for which I was grateful. Some days the list overflowed with twenty-five or more items, evidence of my consciousness of the generosity of the Universe. Other days, when I perceived things as going poorly, I struggled to identify even five things for which I was thankful.

I followed the gratitude practice off and on through the years but abandoned it entirely at the very time when I could have most benefited from it. When I got insanely, stressfully busy in the final years of my consulting career, I left the gratitude practice by the side of the road, having erroneously concluded that I was too busy to be intentionally grateful.

Here comes the Judge!

Fast forward to 2010, when I had retired, lost eighty pounds, escaped depression, and began pursuing my calling as a life coach, author, and Reiki master teacher, teaching others about the transformative power of falling in love with themselves. Though love, respect, curiosity, and compassion were serving me well in manifesting unconditional self-love, sometimes when my life became especially complex, the judging voice could still take over with its fear-based messages of doom and gloom.

One day, during written meditation, I remembered the power of my former gratitude practice and wondered if it might be the missing link. As I went beyond just a morning and evening event to making it a way of life I call radical gratitude, here is what I discovered.

Opportunity knocks!

Love and gratitude serve as the bookends of constructive core energy. Between them, they encompass and support all the other aspects of love: respect, curiosity, and compassion. Love initiates the flow of core energy; gratitude expands it. Love is the originator. Gratitude is the catalyst. Through the eyes of gratitude, we see that everything is an opportunity, a grace-filled gift of Universal love characterized by loving-kindness, elegant beauty, copious generosity, and infinite mercy.

Radical gratitude fosters a life of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy.

  • Faith: I am confident that love is the greatest power in the Universe.
  • Hope: Universal love is always unfolding the highest good for all, in all, through all.
  • Prosperity: My Universal Source is excellent, limitless, and reliable.
  • Peace: I relax into all that was, is, and will be.
  • Joy: Whatever my circumstances, I know who I am and Whose I am: a unique and precious cocreative expression of the Divine.

What might radical gratitude look like in real life?

Let’s start with the example of cleaning the litter boxes for my three beloved cats, SiddhaLee, Mortimer, and Maisy Jane. My feline family members are far from aloof. They are my constant companions, comforters, playmates, greatest teachers, and—no kidding—coaching assistants. If you are interested in hearing more about their role in holding client-specific sacred space during coaching, visit my VoiceAmerica host page at www.tiny.cc/djwradio and listen to the recording of the February 6, 2013 episode of my weekly radio show, starting at the thirty-one-minute mark.

What might radical gratitude look like in real life?As anyone who has ever been owned by a cat can tell you, cats require litter boxes. To function effectively, there needs to be at least one more litter box than the number of cats, and those boxes need to be kept clean. With experimentation, I discovered that, ever the overachievers, my three cats require six boxes that need to be scooped free of any refuse morning and night. Those six boxes also need to be emptied completely of all litter, washed out, and replaced with fresh litter once a month.

As the number of litter boxes escalated, at first I was resentful. Why couldn’t they stop being so territorial and use fewer boxes? I perceived the money and time I was investing as excessive and burdensome. Until, a year after he came to live with me, my Mortimer became ill and nearly died. When we pulled him back from the brink of death and he began to grow stronger, it finally hit me: cleaning litter boxes is an act of love. It is a privilege and honor to be able to return a fraction of the love and companionship he and his mates shower on me daily, by handling this hygiene task for them. A funny thing happened; when I chose to shift my energy from resentment to gratitude, litter patrol was no longer a burden. Now I sing and chatter happily to the cats while I move from room to room, ever their faithful, itinerant scooper.

A dream come true

Let’s extend the example to more mundane fare. When I was a young child, I never even dreamed of a miraculous machine that would wash and dry the dishes for me so that all I had to do was put them away. Then we got our first dishwasher. Things were great for the first few months, but then I began taking my new blessing for granted, and before you know it, my brother and I were fighting over who was putting away more dishes and what could be done about it. Not an example of gratitude. Even as an adult, I still found I had days when I grumbled about how much I had to do and how long it took to empty the dishwasher. Now, when I apply the gratitude principle, putting the dishes away is easy, fast, and fun. How cool to have a machine that washes and dries them for me.

This week, I started the dishwasher just before settling down at my kitchen table for my morning meditation. A few minutes later, I realized how comforted I was by the gentle thrumming and splashing sounds of the elixir of life, water, cleansing my life of residue, reminding me that each day, each moment, offers the opportunity for a fresh start. Who knew a dishwasher could be the source of meditative insight? When we choose to look at everything through the lens of gratitude, our perspective is always rose-colored by appreciation.

Breathe...express gratitude...relax

Speaking of gratitude for technology, how cool is it that I have a computer, printer, and wireless network right in my own home? How could I have ever complained when the printer ran out of ink in the middle of a big job and I had to replace the cartridges? Or my cellphone signal didn’t work so well in the Ozarks? I remember the days when there were no color TVs, personal computers, printers, or cell phones. Now, when any of my technology hits a bump in the road, I repeat an affirmation I learned from Louise L. Hay many years ago, one that still strikes me as funny and so has the added benefit of making me laugh aloud: “Cars and refrigerators do not break down when we are in a good place.” So when things do break down, and I catch myself grumbling, I set my intention to align myself with a better place (gratitude) so I’ll quit wasting my energy in whining and do something constructive (like replacing the empty ink cartridge).

The day after writing this section on gratitude, the Universe sent me a technology “refresher” lesson in the form of twenty-four hours in which it appeared my most recent two years of Quicken financial data had become corrupted beyond repair. I repeatedly practiced deep breathing and clearing myself of all fear throughout the process. This allowed me to access my deepest wisdom and discover the key to resolving the seeming “problem” when even Quicken advanced tech support had given up. Ta-da! It would appear I’ve learned the technology lesson now. Enough with the pop quizzes already!

Radical Gratitude!

So many things to be grateful for: clean water; hot showers; healthcare; education; heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer; healthy food; smiles, hugs, and kisses; and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual abilities.

When I stay centered in gratitude for all of life’s simple blessings, I find it easier to stay anchored there in the more painful times. The friend who dumps me. The spouse who becomes ill. The hurricane that devastates the beloved South Jersey Shore of my childhood. The movie theater mass shooting in my hometown of Aurora, Colorado. Being present in New York City on September 11, 2001, where I spent the night accounting for my missing consulting colleagues. When viewed through the lens of gratitude, even those painful experiences are opportunities for deeper insight, greater compassion, dramatic personal growth, and increased appreciation for the gift of life. In the words of the great sage Kahlil Gibran, “Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”

Kindness rekindles hope and gratitude

And, if, on your darkest days, despite your best efforts, you still can find nothing to appreciate, try conveying a simple kindness to someone in need. If you are like many, you just may find the hope and gratitude you awaken in another will rekindle the flame of hope and gratitude in your own troubled heart.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“In her book, Deborah expertly blends her personal journey of life changing experiences with practical and effective tools that others can use to change their own lives. People who would especially benefit from reading (and re-reading this book) are those who struggle with addiction challenges, low self-esteem, life transitions, and those exploring career changes to name just a few of the folks for whom this book would make a positive difference in their lives. I like the way she structured the book in terms of first sharing her own story, laying out what fuels constructive core energy, her description of the nine senses, as well as the concept of a personal board of directors, and finally the lessons in living. This is a book that a person can pick up and read just a short section and take time to mull over that. Then the reader would go back to it later and move into the next section, and not rush headlong through it. Just step through it at the pace that fits the person.” Joyce Feustel, Boomers’ Social Media Tutor

 

“This book is a powerful template for personal transformation. The author gives you insight into your own inner workings, guides you to discover how you’re showing up in each moment, and offers you the gifts of curiosity and respect to lovingly move forward toward the life you long to live. Maximize your personal transformation by coaching live with the author.” Missi Holt Bantner, Fitness and Nutrition Editor, Early to Rise

 

NEW 2017
EXPANDED EDITION
NOW AVAILABLE
in print, ebook and—
for the first time ever—
AUDIOBOOK

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

 

Explore Deborah's Book

FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Gratitude, Prosperity & Abundance | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cultivating Compassion Part 2 of 2

This post on compassion is the second half of a two-part installment drawn from principles shared in my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!

Here’s a quick recap of some of the key principles shared in the previous installment:

  • Noticing and embracing all of our emotions is essential to finding flow and making it a way of life. It is nearly impossible to know how to nurture ourselves optimally if we are not willing to go inside, root around a bit, and discover what makes us tick.
  • Emotions are important messengers. They help us notice the implications of what is happening and gain the maximum benefit from everything we experience.
  • Knowing how to recognize, process, express, and release emotions is essential to our well-being.

Shedding tears is essentialWhen I first began coaching, I was surprised by the number of clients, men and women alike, who were ashamed of crying, even in the presence of a licensed professional coach. Some cited a special appreciation for the norm of coaching by phone because they believed I wouldn’t know when they were crying. (Though it is unlikely that an experienced, intuitive life coach won’t know that you are crying, even if you do so silently.) Tears are a common human response to strong emotion, especially fear and its cousins. For many, the only way to avoid crying is to avoid feeling.

Why is shedding tears so important and beneficial? There is a great parallel in the example of therapeutic massage. Every massage therapist I’ve ever worked with encouraged me to drink lots of water for the twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a massage. Deep tissue work releases copious toxins into your system. For the net result of the massage to be beneficial, it is necessary to flush those toxins from your system as quickly and completely as possible. When you don’t do so, your body may become overwhelmed, resulting in illness. Water is an essential element in ensuring that the massage is therapeutic and not detrimental. Water fosters flow.

Think of crying as the emotional equivalent of water after a massage. When you’ve done deep emotional work on your own or with a guide, stored emotional toxins are released into your system. Tears are one of the common ways to release those toxins and gain the full benefit of the emotional work. Some clients who are carrying a lifetime of unacknowledged, unfelt stored emotions say they are afraid that if they start crying now, they will never stop. While I empathize with that concern, I am happy to report it doesn’t tend to happen. Even a little bit of crying can do a world of good. The stored-up tears do stop, and then, by remaining aware and fully embracing all of your feelings all of the time, you’ll find a little bit of crying goes a long way. Just respecting your feelings enough to notice them and demonstrate compassion rather than continuing to tell yourself to suck it up and stop being a wimp will result in far greater emotional equilibrium and resilience in the face of life’s ups and downs.

WATER FOSTERS FLOW!When tears arise, it’s an indicator that we are in the presence of a big insight that bears deeper exploration once the strong emotions have been respected and cleared. Other times, there is nothing of note, just a need for a little release of pent-up stress. How do you know which you are dealing with?

Once the tears have passed, breathe, close your eyes, and recenter yourself. Once centered, ask yourself if something bears deeper examination. Notice subtle responses throughout the major energy systems in your body, especially any tightening in your head, neck, chest, solar plexus, or stomach. Such responses may mean there is more to be worked through. An overall feeling of well-being usually means there is nothing to look at, or nothing to look at right now. In all cases, just trust your intuition. This powerful technique may also be applied to decision making. While it may feel too subtle to notice at first, with practice you will become quite adept at reading your energy.

To help anchor this learning about compassion in reality, I will share an example of how this shows up in my relationship with myself. My illustration is not a recipe for the only method that works; it is an example of what often works for me, a way for you to get started and, with some curiosity and experimentation, figure out what works best for you.

My name, Deborah, means “the bee” in Hebrew, as in “busy as a bee” (how unsurprising). My muse and inner child is named Bee. How do I know that’s her name? She told me. You can learn more about that process and the role of the muse on your personal board of directors in chapter 6. My pet name for Bee is Little Bee or Bumble Bee.

PAY ATTENTION!

As with any healthy, meaningful relationship, I check in with her regularly. I don’t just wait until I sense something is amiss. When I do notice discomfort arising, which often shows up as a tightening in my chest or heart chakra, I stop what I’m doing, place my hand over my heart, breathe deeply, and lovingly say, “What is it, Little Bee? I’m right here. You’re not alone.”

If circumstances permit, I find this dialogue is most effective conducted out loud. My guess is that engaging speech and hearing along with touch and thinking helps amplify the experience so I can access what’s happening more deeply and process it more effectively and fully. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me why it works, just that it works. I am an intuitive life coach; while I respect reason, I never trust it over intuition. Why would I use a lower level of knowledge to override a much higher form of wisdom?

Back to Little Bee. “I know you’re in pain. Tell me what it’s about.” I stop and listen. Trusting my intuition again, whatever comes up, that’s where I go in. As my inner creative wild child and muse, she usually starts with the idea that I’m working her too hard and she’s not had any fun in a while. She abhors drudgery and forced labor. Many times, I’ll pat my shoulder gently as I would a beloved child and say, “I know, Little One. You’ve been working long hours. Your creativity has been such a big help. Thanks to your contribution, the writing is going to be so much more enjoyable and effective in helping as many people as possible find hope and learn to love themselves. I couldn’t do it without you. I also understand that you cannot give anything of lasting value from an empty well. You really need to take a break and refresh yourself. To rest and restock your creative juices with some fun activities so you’ll be able to continue to contribute. Tell me what you’d like to do, and we’ll make a specific plan for how and when we’re going to do it.”

At this point, I won’t take you through all the ins and outs of how this dialogue might go. Sometimes there’s a lengthy and entertaining negotiation. Sometimes all Bee needs is for me to take a five-minute break and visit the loo. A glass of water or mug of tea. A little snack if it’s been a while since I ate. Turning on the electric fireplace and adding a sweater because the room had gotten cold two hours ago but my guardian Ella (also explained in chapter 6) was so heads down in the writing that she never noticed. Or Ella had noticed but didn’t want me to stop to address my physical discomfort because she worried that if I stopped, the flow of words wouldn’t return, an example of fear-based scarcity mentality at work.

YOU MATTER!The process of connecting with Bee’s (which is to say that aspect of my own) thoughts and feelings is to stop, focus my attention, set my intention, go in, ask respectfully, listen deeply, explore, demonstrate compassion, and figure out what to do. Funny thing is, usually all she needs is something small, not a Mercedes or a yacht. A trip to the bathroom, a glass of water, a piece of cheese, a cat to pet, a peek out the window to appreciate the Rocky Mountains, or a walk around her yard to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on her face for a few minutes.

Then Bee will go back to work with me happily, knowing she is free, she matters, and she is powerful. A forced march is never the answer to a quality outcome. Force results in mental exhaustion, emotional deterioration, and output that’s less than optimal. Giving myself regular breaks fosters a sense of flow and produces spectacular results. I can trust myself to complete the work when the time is right.

Occasionally, when I talk with Little Bee, tears erupt, and I find a surprisingly deep pain. Something that I ignored for far too long until it inflicted real damage. Then I know it is time to stop, put everything else on hold, and give it my full attention. There is always time for the things that matter. Our only responsibility in each moment is to discern what matters most right now, to focus, and to follow through. My thoughts and feelings always matter, especially if I know they are causing me pain.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“In a world where it is second nature to invest our energies in empty ventures, Deborah invites us to take a stab at the offer of a lifetime: Celebrate! At the heart of Deborah’s work is the claim that there is much to be celebrated in this life, and that a good place to start is the place that experiences the most neglect: ourselves. In her book Deborah provides a practical path to wearing a lens of celebratory love, and she does so with a wealth of curiosity and a healthy dose of humor. Combine Deborah’s written work with her compassionate coaching style, and you will be well on your way to discovering your fullest self.” Hannah Creager, Chaplaincy Director, Hospice House and Support Care of Williamsburg, Virginia

 

“How many of us see ourselves through other’s eyes, to the point that you don’t even know who YOU are anymore? We all have roles we play but, in all our role playing, we ‘forget’ who we are and what we really want or need. Deborah’s story is one that resonates with many who have lost that ‘spark’ of life and seek to find their way back. Deborah’s story is one of hope but it hasn’t been without trial and tribulation. She changed her life by changing her energy and best of all she tells you how YOU can change your life in positive ways. As a lifecoach, Deborah’s life has been a beacon of hope for her fortunate clients. She has distilled her message into a book that makes life coaching accessible and affordable to everyone. This is a great book for anyone that has ever wondered how a lifecoach can change your life for the better and the steps you can take to reconnect with that ‘spark’ of life.” Sheila Hughes

 

NEW 2017
EXPANDED EDITION
NOW AVAILABLE
in print, ebook and—
for the first time ever—
AUDIOBOOK

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

 

Explore Deborah's Book

FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cultivating Compassion Part 1 of 2

This post on compassion is the first of a two-part installment drawn from principles shared in my book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!

Compassion is not sympathy. Sympathy is laced with judging because it involves feeling sorry for someone. However well intentioned, sympathy is a form of judging based in determining that whatever is happening to you or someone else shouldn’t be happening. Yet some of the greatest growth opportunities in life come through very painful experiences.

Cultivating CompassionCompassion is feeling with someone. Being a loving, respectful, fully present, nondirective, nonjudging companion who holds a sacred space in which the pained one can be present and completely authentic. True compassion is a rare experience. So often, sharing our pain with another person results in them trying to

  • get us to deny it (implying it’s not real);
  • convince us to ignore it (implying it’s not that bad);
  • focus our attention on something else (implying it’s not worth it); or
  • fix it for us (implying it’s so bad, it needs to stop right now, and you’re so inept, I’ll have to do it for you).

Compassion, on the other hand, is grounded in believing with every fiber of your being that we are each doing the best we can in every moment with the love and light we are able to access at that time, given the blocks resulting from whatever fears we still choose to carry.

If any of you are still harboring the illusion that those of us in the “helping professions” are able to help others because we are totally self-actualized; always have it all together; never get confused, sad, angry, frustrated, needy, or pushy; and never sink into bottomless despair, then you need to reread the previous sections.

Cultivating CompassionThose of us in the helping professions are able to help others precisely because we have grappled with similar challenges in our own lives. We are able to help because we have

  • been overwhelmed by the associated pain (rage, frustration, confusion, doubt, anxiety, depression, etc.);
  • not prevailed immediately (flopped around in the mire of despair more than a few times for more than a few minutes); and
  • had amazing grace dawn yet again.

I have come to understand that, in many cases, when I think I’m demonstrating empathy for someone, it’s really sympathy. When I demonstrate empathy, I feel sorry with the other person. My ability to put myself in that person’s place is directly proportional to my ability to feel and identify the full range of my own emotions. With sympathy, because I’m not aware of having ever felt anything like what that person is feeling, the most I can do is feel sorry for her. Sorry she had to go through whatever trial was currently beating her face-first into the dirt. Sometimes in the throes of sympathy, when I was feeling a bit too smug about my own more highly evolved consciousness (come on, you’ve all been there), I would say to myself (or heaven help me, say aloud), “Gee, it’s a shame Susie doesn’t know all that I know. Then she wouldn’t still be grieving her husband’s death or abandonment by her seventeen-year life partner or the potential loss of her home or the death of her beloved animal companion or the promotion she didn’t get at work or whatever. If Susie was as wise as I am, it wouldn’t have hit her so hard to begin with, she’d certainly be over it by now, and she would be returned to the perpetually happy fold of the incredibly enlightened.”

There’s a reason Pema Chödrön warns against “spiritual arrogance”—becoming too comfortable with how well we are doing on the path to enlightenment. The point of enlightenment is not to become superior and feel no pain. It is to open your heart wider to your own pain and, through that experience, to the pain of others. It’s to help you develop deeper love and true empathy for yourself and everyone else. It’s so you can finally connect to all of humankind on the most profound level by understanding we are one.

Cultivating CompassionMany of us in the helping professions are referred to as wounded healers because what we have chosen to do with our healed wounds is dedicate our lives to helping others heal and grow. The most inspiring healers and teachers, certainly the ones nearest and dearest to me, are comfortable being candid concerning their particular wounds (abandonment, burnout, addiction, depression, and more). By sharing openly their struggles, defeats, and victories, wounded healers help others open to the possibility that if one of us can prevail, maybe all of us can. In the movie Leap of Faith, Liam Neeson (the local sheriff) is exposing Steve Martin (traveling revivalist extraordinaire) as a fraud, based on evidence of Martin’s criminal record from a young age. Neeson thinks this disqualifies Martin to lead others to a better life. Martin replies that, au contraire, herein lies his chief qualification. Who are you going to trust to lead you out of the mess you’ve made of your life? The upright guy who has always walked the straight and narrow or the man who found redemption after wallowing in the muck and mire?

The one thing we can be certain of—in addition to death and taxes—is that, no matter what, we are all human. Whenever we start to forget that, start to get just the least bit clueless or cocky, the Universe has a not-so-funny way of reminding us—through yet another spectacular crash and burn—that we still have much left to learn about compassion.

Our reactions to our own pain are no exception. Here the full range of our most uncompassionate responses gets regular exercise. While it can be difficult to just be with another who is in pain, learning to do so is key to healthy processing of the many forms of grieving we encounter in life. The ability to hold sacred space is as vital to unconditional self-love as it is to loving another.

While understanding these concepts intellectually is a necessary starting point, it’s not sufficient to deliver substantial, sustainable results. For these lessons to have a lasting impact, they must go from something you think sounds logical and interesting to something you live at all times as your own personal truth. If you stop with respect and curiosity, you will miss the full potential impact of unconditional love. Without compassion, love cannot be fully expressed. Fear will retain a foothold. Curiosity without compassion can quickly shift to judging that leads directly back to fear-based disrespect. Whether that judging takes the form of sympathy or trying to fix it, judging will pull you out of unconditional love and plant you firmly back in the land of fear.

Cultivating CompassionNoticing and embracing all of our emotions is essential to finding flow and making it a way of life. It is nearly impossible to know how to nurture ourselves optimally if we are not willing to go inside, root around a bit, and discover what makes us tick.

I know that when you are going through something painful you might feel you can’t bear the added anguish that might result from additional data. The opposite is actually the case; the fear festers and grows in the dark, taking over our lives precisely because we refuse to look at it closely. When we expose it to light and air by examining it with love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude rather than judging, the fear immediately begins to lose some of its power.

Emotions are important messengers. They help us notice the implications of what is happening and gain the maximum benefit from everything we experience. They are powerful indicators of where fear may still have a stronghold and be blocking our growth. They point the way to where we might go exploring for untapped veins of developmental gold.

Knowing how to recognize, process, express, and release emotions is essential to our well-being. When we don’t do so, the resulting buildup of fear-based emotional toxins can be energetically lethal. Our systems bog down from the poison, and we become stuck in an endless loop of replaying past pain, injuring and crippling ourselves even more.

The next post will provide additional insights on cultivating compassion.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“After reading Deborah’s book, I have come to realize that this has been the most inspirational and educational self-help book! Through her exceptional intuition and understanding of one’s self and many personal and professional examples she showed me how to transform myself into the person I want to be. It has tremendously impacted my personal relationships and my professional life to unending triumph. I just can’t say enough great things about this book except it’s worth every penny to get and read!!! Thanks Deborah for blessing my life through your book!!” Diane Caldwell, Owner, Affordable Mobile Pet Grooming, Newport News, Virginia

 

“This is a GREAT book! The ideas are stated simply as though conversing with a friend. I loved the construct of the ‘Board of Directors’ and immediately was able to recognize when my Board or friend’s Board had ‘gone gremlin.’ I am also a Reiki Master and have been able to use ideas from Deborah’s book with my clients. This will be a book I read multiple times.”Brenda Strong, Reiki for All Beings

 

NEW 2017
EXPANDED EDITION
NOW AVAILABLE
in print, ebook and—
for the first time ever—
AUDIOBOOK

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

 

Explore Deborah's Book

FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

 

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Game of Life

In the previous post we explored the power of curiosity in neutralizing the fear-fueled, judgmental, discouraging, self-sabotaging and downright cruel voice in our heads. Here’s a brief recap before diving into today’s real life example of curiosity in action.

Fear festers in dark and isolation. The moment you expose fear to examination in the light, you begin to dissipate its power. Nowhere is this more true than when fear shows up as its relentless ugly cousin, judging.

When I talk about judging or judgment, I’m not referring to having good or bad discernment. I’m talking about judging yourself, other people, and situations in dualistic terms such as good or bad, right or wrong, okay or not okay. When we judge things by such simplistic, restrictive polarities, we limit our options, get stuck, and block ourselves from the highest good. When we can neutralize the judge, we get unstuck, expand our possibilities, and increase our ability to grow and move forward.

Judging is a prison of our own making. It is downright miraculous how even a small change in your perception can dramatically expand your perspective. To illustrate, here’s one of countless examples from my own life.

Judging is a prison of our own making

However unconscious the process may feel at the time, I am manifesting the world I choose to see. This is the reason the game of golf can be perceived as any or all of the following, depending on your lenses:

  1. a delightful afternoon immersed in nature,
  2. an exhilarating and rewarding competitive event,
  3. a fun way to exercise with friends, and/or
  4. an endless day of humiliation and torture.

Let’s look at my own experience with golf to access this insight more deeply. When we lived on the East Coast, my husband and I owned a vacation home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When my son, Matt, was eleven years old, we enrolled him in kids’ camp to help him enjoy his time there even more by spending it being active outdoors with his peers. One weekend in August, he signed up for a daylong sports camp that provided tennis instruction in the morning and golf in the afternoon. He returned home at the end of the day utterly smitten with golf.

We were so thrilled by Matt’s enthusiasm that we enrolled in a family golf clinic so the three of us could learn and play together. We were all beginners, out there to have fun and enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We passed many a delightful afternoon playing nine holes. With a tee time late in the day and no one behind us on the course, we could take our time, observing the privilege of unlimited mulligans (do-overs) and stopping to harvest lost golf balls in the woods. Advancing the little white ball down the fairway to the little white cup was always secondary to having a good time.

Until I switched to a consulting firm where golf was not a hobby but a responsibility. One of the benefits—nay, expectations—of being a partner in this firm was that I would play golf with my colleagues and clients. In fact, I would be expected to woo prospective clients on the golf course. To do that, I was expected to be a moderately good golfer, not an embarrassment to my firm and myself.

Gone were the leisurely afternoons on my beloved Blue Ridge golf course. Now my games with family became practice for the performance my partners expected me to deliver. While swearing was not the norm for me, now when I missed the first two shots off the tee, I swore. Now when I hit a shot into a sand trap, I threw my club down the fairway while swearing. When this happened, I’d explain to my companions that my father had been in the merchant marines. They’d say, “Did he swear a lot?” “No,” I’d reply, “evidently it skipped a generation.”

Because children don’t do what we say but rather do what they see us do, it’s unsurprising that, in short order, my eleven-year-old was also throwing his clubs and swearing like a sailor. That’s when I finally got a grip. Matt and I agreed that when either of us behaved badly on the course, we had to take a time-out together in the golf cart until both of us had returned to civility. As a result, Matt and I went through a period where we spent more time in the golf cart than on the course. This may have been just as well, because we were living proof that anger is not necessarily a performance enhancer.

One day, weary of swearing, throwing clubs, and spending time in the cart, the two of us sat there, arms crossed, scowling. After a few minutes of reflection, I said, “Babe, this has got to stop. Neither of us is having any fun anymore. I think I’ve figured out my problem. I’m imagining the potentially angry, ridiculing voices of my partners in my head, and I can’t relax and have fun when I’ve put them in there to beat me up. What’s going on in your head?” He looked at me with all the disgust of a kid who believes his parent has gone ’round the bend and said, “I have no idea. I don’t even know your new partners!”

Here is the essence of what I have learned from over sixty years on this earth. The nugget, the kernel, the gem. The only hope for finding peace in this life—not just comfort but deep abiding peace—is to be insatiably, fearlessly curious about myself.

Be Curious

Not just the attractive ways I show up—my kindness, compassion, wisdom, generosity, and humor. It is important for me to acknowledge those things, but it is not enough. I need to be endlessly inquisitive about all of it, especially the unattractive habits—my insensitivity, impatience, obsession, bitterness, anger, anxiety, and despair. I have grown the most and found deep abiding peace only by embracing the ugly parts as well: appalling thoughts, speech, and behavior. It all matters and must be considered in the mix—the good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly. All of it acknowledged with courage, compassion, and love. This concoction of disparate and dissonant motivations and behaviors is what it means to be human.

We are all capable of the full range of human motivations and behaviors; none of us is exempt. Refusing to see any part of it, lulling myself into oblivion by clinging to an incomplete, distorted Polly Perfect self-image always leads to my undoing. The greater and deeper the denial, the longer and harder the fall because that which is denied will wreak havoc. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But the longer I look without seeing and hear without listening, the more I stand to lose.

The great irony is that I’m the only person fooled when I deny the full truth of how I show up. I broadcast it through what I say and when I am silent. Through the actions I take and the times I fail to act. Through what I cherish and what I reject. Through what I long for and what I fear. I am the only one kept in the dark by living a life of denial about myself.

One of the greatest gifts I can give anyone is having the honesty and courage to see and share myself fully so that we both might benefit from our shared insight, compassion, and good humor—failures, resilience, victories. We are here to help each other grow by sharing without reservation the only thing we have to give—our authentic selves.

Authenticity is Your Greatest Gift

The only person controlling your life is you! Choose your energy and change your life. If you want to keep making yourself miserable and continue contaminating the energy of every situation you encounter, stop reading and keep doing what you’re doing. But if you have had enough, if you are ready to stop the insanity, keep reading. You are going to love what happens when you learn to embrace the next aspect of love in a new two-part series beginning next month: COMPASSION. 

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“Deborah’s book, ‘Choose Your Energy: Change our Life!,’ could benefit anyone for any reason. She is so honest in her own personal struggle and journey over many years, it is most inspiring and touching to see the person she has become. If we could all read this book and benefit from her experiences, it would be a better world! Her principles and approaches that are so eloquently documented in this book, have benefited me during our coaching sessions over the last six months. She has shared all the tools and techniques necessary to have a fulfilling life based on love of yourself FIRST.” Marla Ofstad

 

“Deborah’s message is passionate, simple and consistent throughout the book, guiding you to find your own voice and path toward being present in all aspects of your life. This is the book I pick up time and again to center my thinking and my life.” Audrey Smith, Executive Director, Hospice House & Support Care of Williamsburg, Virginia 

 

“I have known Deborah Jane Wells for many years and am witness to the amazing transformation she describes in her book ‘Choose Your Energy:Change Your Life!’ In it, she has translated the skills she honed as a world-renowned consultant and coach into practical strategies, tools and techniques the reader can readily use in their own transformation. The examples she describes–from her own life and the lives of her clients–show how this system plays out in real life and helps each reader apply these tools in their own life. This book also provides a structure you can use to apply these concepts and a ready reference when you need reminders. It is definitely worth having.” Vicki L. Dungan, Management Consultant and Real Estate Investor

 

NEW 2017
EXPANDED EDITION
NOW AVAILABLE
in print, ebook and—
for the first time ever—
AUDIOBOOK

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

Explore Deborah's Book

 

FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

CURIOSITY: Your Perspective-Altering, Stress-Busting SUPER POWER

Fear festers in dark and isolation. The moment you expose fear to examination in the light, you begin to dissipate its power. Nowhere is this more true than when fear shows up as its relentless ugly cousin, judging.

When I talk about judging or judgment, I’m not referring to having good or bad discernment. I’m talking about judging yourself, other people, and situations in dualistic terms such as good or bad, right or wrong, okay or not okay. When we judge things by such simplistic, restrictive polarities, we limit our options, get stuck, and block ourselves from the highest good. When we can neutralize the judge, we get unstuck, expand our possibilities, and increase our ability to grow and move forward.

CURIOSITY: Instead of judging, I wonder why.

When a ship at sea changes course by just one degree, one hundred miles later it is in completely different—potentially smoother—waters than it would have been without that small modification in direction. Internal shifts are even more profound. It is downright miraculous how even a small change in your perception can dramatically expand your perspective.

As human beings, many of us have a robust judging dialogue running in our heads much of the time: This is good for me. That would be bad for you. I was bad to do that. You were good to do that. You were bad to say no. I was good to say yes.

We’re not talking about torturing ourselves over real danger or life-and-death situations here. We’re talking about how much you spent on that blouse. Why you ate that second piece of pie at dinner. Why you tend to become impatient with your youngest child. Why you keep gaining weight. Why, no matter how hard you try, your mother-in-law can find the flaw in anything you do. Why despite his promise to do so, your husband never remembers to put the trash out on Wednesday nights. Judging is a prison of our own making.

CURIOSITY: Instead of judging, I wonder why.

 

We obsess until we’ve turned something inconsequential into a huge, paralyzing, misery-making melodrama. The solution is quite simple: just say no. Next time your brother-in-law or the voice in your head wants to play the blame game with you, just say no! Demonstrate greater creativity and suggest a game of curiosity instead.

Start with a question like this: If I am mistaken about his motivation, what might really be going on? If this isn’t about me, what are three other potential explanations that have nothing to do with me? And if one of those is the real explanation, what role do I choose to play in this situation?

Because whether it’s the voice in your head or the one coming from your older sister, you don’t have to play any role. You can listen politely and say, “I appreciate you sharing that. Let me ponder it and get back to you.” Then go about your business. You do not have to engage in every potential disagreement you’re invited to. Newsflash: in your life, you are the great decider.

CURIOSITY: Instead of judging, I wonder why.Once you get the knack, you’re going to love the feeling of trading judging for curiosity. It’s not a forced march, a different set of rules you must follow to be a “better” person. It’s a gift of grace accepted freely and with gratitude, an honor and a privilege filled with joy and wonder. By discovering possibilities you never imagined, you open the door wide and go bounding through to endless opportunities.

Sometimes, despite copious curiosity, there is no clear, 100-percent-verifiable answer. In those situations, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer taught me to ask, “Which thought moves me forward?” For example, I can’t prove or disprove to a 100 percent certainty the presence of an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful Life Force in which everything is sourced and empowered. I find believing in such a Force expands my opportunities and moves me forward in loving, wise, powerful ways, whereas believing life is random and meaningless leaves me depressed and stuck. For me, it’s an easy choice: I choose being fully alive.

Given that judging is a prison of our own making, here is an added bonus, your so-called get-out-of-jail-free card: 95 percent of the time, other people do things for their own reasons. It has nothing to do with me. Even when it looks like it’s directed at me, even when they tell me it’s all my fault, there’s a 95-percent chance it still has little or nothing to do with me. The corollary is also true: even when I think it’s all your fault, most likely it’s not. It’s probably mostly about me. We each carry around so many assumptions, filters and lenses from our cultures, families, past disappointments, and future fears that it’s nearly impossible for any one of us to be the sole cause of anything in someone else’s life.

CURIOSITY: Instead of judging, I wonder why.

So if it’s not about me, instead of making myself crazy with destructive head chatter, how about investing my energy in being curious about what it might really be about. Better yet, how about releasing you with love, light, and respect to figure that out for yourself? Meanwhile, I can choose to do the same. Focus my energy on my own life, learn my next lesson, figure out what my next opportunity might be, and keep moving myself forward on my own path. Because, as we learned in exploring respect, I’m here to be the best me I can be. What you choose to make of your own life is completely up to you.

Becoming conscious and claiming your personal power to neutralize the judge will yield immeasurable benefits. You will literally be able to redefine your world, because there is no absolute reality, only the story you tell yourself about what is happening and what it means. Every being, encounter, and experience that comes my way is filtered through a conglomeration of lenses that results in my unique perceptions. These lenses cause me to see my world in a certain way. They are influenced by my unique and complex mix of myriad factors: the family, cultural, and societal norms I was taught; my physical and mental abilities; my personality and natural talents; my birth order; the patterns I deduced from all my past experiences; and the assumptions I’ve presumed concerning what’s likely and possible in the future.

I create my reality in each moment by choosing what I will think, believe, feel, and do based on what my lenses allow. I can choose to look through the lens of fear and remain weighed down and self-imprisoned, or I can choose the lens of love and embrace a life of freedom and flow. No outside event or situation, no other person can dictate my attitude. In my life, I AM THE GREAT DECIDER!

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2018 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

 

What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“My library is filled with self-help books, stories of personal transformation, and books about coaching, leadership, and psychology. ‘Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!’ combines elements of all of these genres and will lead you on a personal journey to self-understanding, self-acceptance, and self-love. Lest you think that sounds ‘self-ish,’ let me assure you that, as Deborah explains very effectively in her ‘Lesson of the Oxygen Mask’ in part I, chapter 2, those qualities are essential for every aspect of your life, including your relationships with others. The best gift that you can give yourself—and others—is the gift of self-love, which leads to an authentic life of truly expressing yourself in all that you do. This work and the Discovery Framework that she so eloquently describes are powerful and transformational. Deborah is a guide with ultimate credibility—not only has she mastered coaching skills, but she’s wise and intuitive, she’s been on this path herself, and she freely and generously desires to share the wisdom she’s learned on that journey. Through her book, we all now have her words and wisdom available any time we want a guide to living an authentic life filled with love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude.” Liz Phillips Fisch, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP, M.Ed., Vice President, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

 

“With a theme like ‘When you fall in love with yourself, everything else falls into place’ how can you go wrong? That’s what I felt as I opened up and absorbed myself into the pages of Deborah’s book. The book was a constant and gentle reminder of how to love ourselves first, and be compassionate at all times so that we can show up as our best selves in the world. The vast amount of tools and insights further deepened my understanding and appreciation for the importance of TRUE self-love. We’re so busy taking care of others, we often neglect ourselves. And in her book, Deborah continues to bring home the point that if we aren’t good to ourselves, we cannot be good to anyone else. This book showed me how and it will show you too.” Kim Clausen

 

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What clients say about
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“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

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