Whenever beginning a new journey, feeling out of sorts, not sure of where I’m going, or that I’m not enough – I begin to stock up. In my mind, MORE = SAFETY. 

It is not only about food – toilet paper, paper towels, emotions – they all fall in the same category.

I know, rationally, that I don’t need things in large quantities to make me feel safe. But there’s a part of me that wants that – however unnecessary it might be. My psyche wants to feel safe and this is how it knows how.

I have learned to watch patiently as I go through what I must go through, but I also have the ability to coach myself and remind myself of what’s important to me and how different my life is at this point in time compared to how it used to be. What’s now is not what was then.

Coming from poverty, we didn’t always have enough – money, food, light, electricity, hot water, love – I understand that this is what I’m feeling when I feel out of sorts. Rationally, I know I’m going to be fine, I’ve always been fine. But my pure animal instincts* do not understand that I am going to be fine.  So in my case I stock up. I get ready for the other shoe to drop, for the lights to go out, or the barn to burn down.

I used to think if I had a house, money in the bank, and a decent car, I’d feel safe.  It was always the struggle to get them.  Then when I had those things – what? – nothing had changed. I still didn’t feel safe. I had to go deeper to find what I really needed and that was to know myself a bit better, to understand what I was doing when I was stocking up and how there might not be the same need now.

A life truly lived constantly burns away veils of illusion, burns away what is no longer relevant, reveals our essence, until, at last, we are strong enough to stand in our naked truth ~ Marion Woodman

By going deeper, asking myself what it really takes for me to feel safe, I’ve learned safety is something I carry with me, inside me.  I had to drop the illusion that more was making me safe.  I don’t need anything else to make me feel safe but me.
Me = Safe.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that if I need to stock up, I will. I’m not denying myself the right to feel safe, only questioning my own motives about what safety means. Old habits and the old stories we tell ourselves die hard.

Be easy on yourself when you need to, but there is something powerful in asking the question – What illusions are holding you back from truly living?

What makes you feel safe?  What old stories are you telling yourself?

*animal instincts reference from Peter Levine’s – Waking the Tiger

RELAX into the drowning

People die from drowning because they fight it. Who wants to die choking on water?  I’d fight it too. But if you relax into the drowning, you are more likely to survive.


I was talking to a client on the phone one day.  We were both buried in work, so much so that it felt like we were drinking out of fire hoses all day.  Having been through many weeks of this – I paused for a moment and said “Relax into the drowning, it’s easier that way. We both began to laugh, because it was a crazy time, a time when you lose yourself because there is too much to do, think about, be. But if we could relax into it, check off the boxes, do whatever we had to get done and leave the rest for tomorrow, we knew it would be easier. In that moment – we relaxed.

After I was “let go”, “terminated”, “fired” she emailed me and said here are some things that remind me of you.

Relax into the drowning

Don’t harsh my mellow – this was stolen from The Secret, although I didn’t know it at the time.

The mood inside my head is really bright

This is better than dead

If you don’t stand for something – you fall for everything!

I’m thankful for this memory and for her being willing to share it with me. I’ll admit I cried realizing that she wrote my words down and knowing that I made a difference in those crazy moments.

A few years ago I decided that I was going to align who I was in my life with who I was in my work life and this email from her was a great gift – letting me know that I did it! That I really was me at work, maybe not every time, but sometimes. I was true to myself and brought my authentic voice, even in hard times. It wasn’t about doing a job, but was about a real human connection.

Ultimately, we can only be responsible for ourselves and our own decisions, the actions of others are not ours, but if we can stop acting and start being real with each other we may find that sometimes we have an effect on people when we didn’t realize we could.

This is the future of everything, real human connection, not just getting the job done, but making it meaningful. Opening to honest conversations, instead of fighting them, relaxing into it.

What’s drowning you? Call on your authentic voice, to avoid drowning. Relax into it. Make it meaningful.


we are not always meant to win.

we do not always have to try hard.

trying hard is not the only answer, letting go is a good answer too.

sometimes trying hard, winning, fighting, is about ego and not really about winning.

there could be ten other things waiting for you and instead you are in the I MUST WIN THIS mode and you’re missing out on the one thing that could save you. most likely that’s you.

knowing when to surrender is just as important as knowing when to fight.

for me – i’m definitely in the trying hard part, but not FIGHTING part, trying to define myself, to remember who i am at my core, to live my manifesto (more on this in another post), to follow my intuition, to flow with not knowing, to trust that the money will come.

to respect my authentic voice, whatever it happens to be saying in the moment.

Acting and defining things are not always the solution, but you have to be ready to rise whenever the occasion to RISE calls on you. You can’t be lazy. You have to show up, to be ready.  It’s more than wanting that you need, you need to need it in your soul, not in a clinging, I have to win this way. When you are ready – you will know when it has arrived – or see the path to take, and you’ll also – if you are listening – know when to let it go.

This reminds me of the much quoted Mary Oliver poem

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

So, if saving your life is the one thing you do today. How do you do it? Do you WIN? Do you LET GO? Depends on the time and crossroads, sometimes you have to let go to WIN.