A 420 Reflection

Normal is a relative term. It really is. Think about it for a moment.  Your routine, your rhythm for your day is yours and yours alone.  It is your normal.

The values and situations you grew up with were normal when you were growing up with them.  You woke up, you had things happen, they were normal.  And the things that happened in your day were likely different than the things happening in your peers day.  Their breakfast routine or homework routine was different.

Take my son for example.  He is driven farther than anyone in his class to get to school and I am guessing he is among a minority if not alone in the fact that he often gets up at one household yet has breakfast and gets ready for school at another.  His normal is different than others in his class. As a 10 year old he is learning a lot of flexibility and gaining the ability to transition through situations pretty well.

It gets me thinking about my own normal growing up as I note the date on the calendar – April 20, 2017.  Known better in certain circles as a holiday called 420.

When I was growing up in California, it was the mid to late 70s and 80s, I graduated high school in 1992.  (Don’t hurt yourself doing the math – I am 42 as I type this article.)  Cheech and Chong were funny guys on the record player and 8 track.  There were funny smelling plants in the backyard we didn’t tell everyone about and in the den there was a red tray that I wasn’t to touch.  The water filled smelly piece with the black sticky residue was also off limits.

The sweet, slightly musky smell of weed permeated my childhood. It was normal.  I didn’t see it as a big deal, it was just there.  Large groups of people around me used it. It was just part of life.

The Red Ribbons showed up in my life a few years later and I remember seeing a display put up by the local sheriff with all kinds of illegal substances and thinking – hey, I know what that one is…

Around that time, the smell became not quite so constant.  If it was happening, I wasn’t seeing it. Why was never my business and I don’t know that I asked.  I don’t remember it being a big deal one way or another.

In high school I was offered some and thought – well yeah, why not?  It’s normal.  In fact, I am almost 100% sure weed was the reason I passed geometry. My junior year of high school I was “busted” smoking after a football game, in my cheer uniform with some football players.  I was horrified to be called into the dean’s office and interrogated.  They threatened to call the sheriff and I was horrified at what that could mean.  I was a good girl. Good girls don’t get the sheriff called on them.

When I got home that day, my mother was waiting and she was not mad at me. Not for trying it anyway.  She was mad at my judgement on timing and placement. She admitted it would be hypocrisy to condemn me for something that was not a foreign substance to her and that she didn’t believe was the worst thing I could be doing.  In addition to the on campus suspension I had been awarded, the temporary suspension from the cheer squad and suspicion of “narking” by my peers, I was grounded for a few weeks.

I didn’t smoke after that. I just didn’t.  It wasn’t a conscious decision to stop or a dislike or anything else.  What really happened was alcohol took over my life.

As an alcoholic I wanted the chaos and insanity and drama that alcohol brought that weed simply didn’t invite in my life.  With weed I passed geometry, with alcohol I failed health.  But by God, I committed to alcohol.  After all, alcohol was legal so why shouldn’t I overindulge and drink as much as I could?  And like an Iowan at a corn syrup…oops I mean corn, festival, I went for it.

For the next 10 years or so I let alcohol dominate me:  through a career in the military where I found many of my kind, through passing out while driving and waking up on the side of the road half collapsed out the driver’s door, through alcohol poisoning and lost memories, marriage and divorce, lost friendships, bad, bad choices and more.  So much more pain than I can describe, or that you want to hear.  Alcohol took me to dark, dark places.

I recovered 14 years and 2 days ago.  It used to be a huge, big deal.  Now I have a new life and the day itself isn’t as big a deal as the gratitude I have for the life I get to live now.

I am interested in this movement of the legalization of marijuana on so many levels:

  • There are so many medical benefits which I saw up close as I watched my aunt recover from breast cancer in a medically legal state.
  • I am intrigued by the vast amounts of information and misinformation out there. The fear based op-eds and the scientists and doctors coming out with more and more research.
  • The dollars gained in taxes in states like Colorado where medicinal and recreational can be purchased and the dollars spent on crime prevention and jails in states where it isn’t legal.
  • Watching Tommy Chong on Dancing with the Stars then reunited with Cheech Marin on stage right here in Iowa a while back was fascinating– a state where you can use cannabis oil to treat certain conditions but you can’t buy it here (note: you can buy CBD oil here), instead you have to trek it in from another legal state across illegal states and pray to whatever you believe in that you don’t get caught bringing medicine to a family member or loved one that experiences intense relief when using it.
  • As a glass blower I can’t help but be fascinated by those artists whose work largely heads into the weed market. Their creativity and artistry is mind blowing.  If you haven’t watched Degenerate Art on Netflix yet, queue it up.  And this 60 Second Docs piece on Robert Mickelson and his work will  blow your mind.

I think we as a society are headed into a new normal – maybe more like the childhood I remember even.  My family couldn’t have projected what they were preparing me for as I was exposed to all that I was exposed to, but as I see it today it is like seeing an old friend.  That moment your olfactory senses are tickled by a scent that brings back happy childhood memories, like gramma’s cookies might do for someone else.  Across the nation people are benefiting from the use of medical marijuana and of legal age adults are choosing the mellowing effects of weed over the chaos of alcohol.

It may not be for everyone, but neither is your anti-depressant or pain management pill.

When I think of the lifestyle I want, the life I want for my son, I pray that he never chooses to drink the way I did.  I hope and pray he didn’t inherit the disease that took me to places I never wanted to go, but signed a contract in blood with as I took those first sips.

What I want is for him to pursue life the way I have chosen – his own way. I want for him, and for everyone, to know that it is super cool to be you.  Just be you, not some expected version that needs to measure up against anything else.  I think as we move towards a more authentic state of being, it is natural to also move toward more natural products for our bodies.  Our bodies crave the new normal of natural, not the old normal of processed synthetic, toxic mind and body altering substances.

Whatever your normal is today, think about it.  Is it right for you?  Is it really, really right for you?  Are you informed on all sides of the issue you spout off about, vote on or endorse?  Do you know your own story and what works for you and what doesn’t?

It is time to live dangerously: define your normal, don’t let it be defined for you.

 

My first time on the big girl torch

My first big torch experience

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, help captive in Cedar Rapids, but willing to stay because her son anchors her in place and he is so totally worth it!  An expert in helping people across the globe prioritize their values and create a life centered on what they value most, allowing them to shed stress, overwhelm and the BS that can suck the soul from their daily lives.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru 

Uncovering

Kari

No Limits Life Empowerment Career Domain Expert Kari Rossetti 

As I was thinking about what to write this month, I started to panic.  You know that tightness in your chest.  Your mind starts racing and you can’t slow it down to focus on a productive thought.  What do I have to teach people?  Why do I think I know what’s right for someone else?  Why should anyone listen to what I have to say?  Am I a fraud?

Then it hit me.  “Kari, you are your own client,” I said to myself.  (I’ll go into what I mean by this a little later, so stay tuned)

To answer my own questions for you…I have a lot to teach people.  We all have unique experiences and perspectives to share that someone, even just one person, could find invaluable and life-changing, and so do I.

I don’t think I know what is right for anyone, besides myself.  I think that comes from within us.  We each already know what is right for us, it’s just a matter of acknowledging and accepting it.  And sometimes that process can be scary.  We might be afraid we’ll lose someone in our lives if we acknowledge we need something different to be happy, or we may change jobs and not know if we’ll be successful, or maybe our acknowledgement and acceptance will take us to a whole new part of the country or world to live out our “right-ness”.  What I do know is that I LOVE helping people uncover what is right for them.  To help gently guide it into the light and then begin to own it, be proud of it, appreciate it and celebrate it.

No one “should” listen to what I have to say.  I, and many of my acquaintances, use the saying, “Don’t “should” (aka sh*t) all over yourself.”  In other words don’t set yourself up to feel defeated by saying, I should do this or I should be feeling like that.  You have to WANT to do this and WANT to feel like that, and then you make it happen in each of your choices.  So no, you “should” not listen to what I have to say unless you WANT to make the choice to be a happier, healthier, more fulfilled YOU.

I am not a fraud.  And the reason I can say this with certainty and with confidence is because I whole-heartedly believe everything that has happened in my life has brought me to this point; to help people.  I genuinely care about people’s struggles, I get gleefully excited when someone succeeds and feel empathy in the depths of my soul when someone feels alone, helpless or hopeless.  It’s not just my life experiences that fuel my passion.  I was born this way.

Sometimes my connection with a person goes so deep that I feel as though I can feel their pain.  I can’t ever know what someone else is fully experiencing, but to give you an example; I saw a video on Facebook the other day.  A little girl had a cat who had passed away a few months ago.  She missed him terribly.  One day her mom had gone out and gotten her a kitten and surprised her with it when she got home from school.  They filmed the little girl going into her room and finding the kitten in a large clear box in her room.  Her emotions went from inexplicable excitement to inaudible sobbing asking her mommy if she got to keep the kitten and thanking her mom over and over for this kitten.  And what do I do?  I start sobbing, over this little girl and her kitten.

You see, a few months ago my husband and I lost our dog.  She was only two and we were devastated, absolutely heartbroken.  I could not live without a dog in our house and while it was hard to get a new puppy so quickly, we knew it was what was best for us.  So when I saw this little girl with her knew kitten, it hit very close to home for me.

We all have these moments if we make the choice to look close enough at ourselves to see how connected we really are to people we may think we have nothing in common with, or think that we can’t relate to what they are going through, or don’t think we have anything to teach them.  All of this is to say, the reason I do what I do to help people discover what they love to do is because I have discovered what I love to do…

So here we are, back to me being my own client.  When I say I am my own client, I don’t want to misrepresent the fact that I have had many teachers, mentors and complete strangers along my path that have helped me discover my own purpose.  But I am my own client in the sense that once all those people are gone for the day, the moment or forever, I am the only one who can put those lessons into practice, to make the choices that will make my goals and dreams a reality.  No one can do it for me, and I am not here to do the work for you.  I am here to guide, challenge and support you just as I have been by individuals and experiences in my life.

To finish out my introductory blog to you, I want to leave you with a story about how all things I questioned about myself have manifested answers for me in the past 8 weeks and confirmed that I am going in the right direction.

Two months ago I was “released” from my job.  That is how it was presented to me, and in some ways it was very fitting because I felt like a prisoner.  I deeply cared about the organization that I was working for, but I did not agree with how the C-suite treated, responded and interacted with their employees.  Employees were talked about as burdens or ungrateful.  Just before I was “released” some changes were being made to address these issues, so they had at least acknowledged that there were issues.  Without all the fun details, ultimately I had expressed some thoughts about the changes that were going on and some situations that had come up to use as examples of why these changes to their employee policy were important.  My viewpoints were not appreciated and here we are today…

I have now started two new jobs.  A full-time and a part-time job in addition to my career coaching here!  And I could not be happier.  Both organizations that I have started with are a complete 180 from where I was, and not just my last employer, but any employer I’ve had…EVER!  The organizations VALUE their employees and they make it evident in all their operations, in their benefits packages, in their compensation, all throughout the organization.  And the best part…I get to help people!

In all my jobs, I get to help people.  I am a Health Education Assistant at a community college, so I get to help students register for courses to become a Paramedic or EMT, or take other courses for CPR, First Aid and even babysitting.

I am also a job coach for individuals with barriers to independence.  I get to support and encourage them as they work toward becoming independent in their employment and meeting their employer’s expectations.

And then there’s you.  You’ve gotten this far so maybe there’s a reason.  Maybe you’re thinking, “I do think I need a change.  Something just doesn’t feel right or feels a little off in my life, and I need some fresh perspective to sift through all of it with me.”  Well, that’s what I do best; evaluate, organize and support.  I may have lost my job eight weeks ago, but I found myself and a much happier fulfilled version.    And I will do everything I can to help you achieve that for yourself!

Please come back next month where I will dig deeper into how you can get started on your own transformational journey!

Until next month, wishing you many blessings.

Oh, and here is the link to that video with the little girl and her kitten.  Yes, I watched it again, and cried…again WATCH THE VIDEO 

 

Kari Rossetti is a Life Coach specializing in Career Exploration, Empowerment and Freedom.  She has been developing her skills informally over the past 5 years and recently discovered her calling to practice these natural skills professionally while challenging herself to grow and be the best coach she can.  She is obtaining her Professional Coaching Certificate in Personal and Executive Coaching in December 2017 from the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute.  In her spare time she loves being in nature and playing with her family. She can’t wait to support you on your journey to freedom. Schedule a discovery session with the No Limits Life Empowerment Coordinator to learn more about working with Kari.

I Almost Told my Coaching Career to F^& Off Last Night

This is a post about purpose.  It’s about how irritations are reflections of our own fears and insecurities and about the aha I got from the ridiculousness of self-exalted-look-at-me-gurus-without-substance when I looked in the mirror.  And I curse a lot in it…you’ve been warned.

Yep, I almost just hung it up and left the industry.  I was DONE being affiliated with a bunch of self-appointed inspirationalists [yes, I may have made up that word] and guides who still poison their bodies with shit food and post lives on social media promoting false affluence.

[Note:  I do know there are some true, real, amazing people out there doing good work, I have worked with them and proudly call them colleague.  I am not referring to them.  If you aren’t sure which group you are in for me….I’d honestly wonder why you’d care?  Does my opinion really matter? If it does, I’ll share my mirror. Read on.]

To put it lightly, I’ve been irritated by some stuff lately:

Memes full of spiritual platitudes…

Self-pronounced proud warrior posts about what a top notch (fill in the blank) someone is and how unique and awesome their ideas or products are…

Selfies of “look at how much farther I have to go with my weight loss or yoga pose or mediation or whatever” which is really just a plea for “LOOK AT ME”…

Perhaps I am just being a bitch, but some of this stuff I am seeing in my social media feeds makes me want to leave my profession.  How is showing me a picture of your ass or face or tri-cep or what-the-fuck ever, supposed to truly help me get off the couch and into the fired the fuck up energy I really need to move forward?    Especially when it is accompanied with words like “hubby says I look great but I know I still have work to do” or “it was hard to get here, but wow I feel good”…

I just feel annoyed. 

And I am also a bit (huge) of a snarky bitch on the inside and you are just hearing it right now.

I’ve come a long way.  And it wasn’t always pretty.  The path truly fucking sucked some days; other days I felt like the boss of the world.  The path still sucks some days while feeling gloriously golden others. That’s the nature of this super cool experience we call life.

I sat on my couch last night spewing my ire all over my ever patient partner who simply nods when I get like this and lets me get it out.  He then usually jumps in with some super supportive words like “it’s because they ARE all super fucking annoying and you are in a different place from them – that’s a good thing.”  I do love him for that…but my truth is, when shit irritates me…it is often because it is reflecting something back at me.

Hold on to your pants, shit’s about to get real people. I’m gonna tattle on me.  As I stared in to the abyss of my reflection, here is what came out:

If I’m going to be honest – and I generally think that’s a pretty damn good idea – what is irritating me is actually a fear for my own presentation of my mission.  I dislike the kinds of things I listed above because I want to avoid being perceived that way more than I want to avoid gaining 10 more pounds.  I’d gladly add 10 pounds to the scale and avoid being perceived as a super annoying, superficial, look at me and tell me I am amazing kind of person.

I want to just be real and tell you that you deserve a kick ass life.  If something in my life inspires your grab life by the balls energy – hell yeah!  Use it, let it inspire you.  But I’d rather help you find something in YOUR life to inspire you and leverage the hell out of awesome sauce energy already within you.

So when I find myself being irritated by this kind of spiritual platitude bullshit and self-indulgent crap, I have to look in the mirror and check out my own behavior and actions.  It’s a great reminder of my own value of authenticity and genuine desire to serve instead of simply being seen.

As a service business owner and leader, I have to sell, simply being seen isn’t enough.  I have to attract and retain clients or all I have is a monument to me and my idea.  I’m a terrible builder so any monument I tried to construct would be complete shite anyway. Let’s not taint our imaginations with that…to avoid that, I do have to tell you what my team and I can offer you.

In a sales class I recently taught, I heard myself saying that when we sell, we are solving a problem.  If the person talking to you doesn’t have the problem you can solve, they aren’t a client.  If they do have that problem, they may not select your solution for one reason or another.  But you do owe it to them to share the information and you owe it to yourself to discover more about the problem as you discuss.

Aha, a piece of the real is uncovered in my reflection. 

In the sales process, my goal is always to be true to me and to allow the client to be true to themselves.  So when I see people in my field promoting themselves over their solution, promoting their success without the reality of the obstacles that truly exist…I get irritated.  There are real problems and challenging situations out there that people deserve to find their way out of with real support. Glossing over it with a selfie and a fucking platitude never offered me a solution.

A solution is rooted in reality.  It is in hard work, self-actualization and a true desire to take action and invest your most precious resources of time, money and energy to keep evolving and growing into the person you know you can be, live the life you know is possible and to embrace today over someday.

How to Shift your Energy:

Next time you go to like a meme, comment “beautiful” on a selfie, or endorse a superficial call to action look within and ask yourself where it resonates.  How will it impact your life and how will you turn that inspiration into action?  How does that piece of “mmm that’s nice” help you?  What is the real message you are getting from it?

Maybe like me, there is actually a mirror in that moment giving you more than just that initial reaction.  Maybe it’s introspection and change time.

What I’ll be Doing:

I can tell you that from here, I am re-engaged in the vigilance of sharing relevant, helpful information with my community.  If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram look for the “so what?” in our posts, the inspired action offered and the investment you can make in becoming….REAL.

 

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, help captive in Cedar Rapids, but willing to stay because her son anchors her in place and he is so totally worth it!  An expert in helping people across the globe prioritize their values and create a life centered on what they value most, allowing them to shed stress, overwhelm and the BS that can suck the soul from our daily lives.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru