I have been getting a lot of guidance lately that has been asking me to shed.
"No more sex"
"No more alcohol"
"No more marijuana"
"No more coffee"
"No more masturbation"
When I say guidance, I am talking inner guidance.
When I hear something, it is with my inner ear.
When I sense direction, it's as if there is a magnetic pull on my heart or mind.
Sometimes when I receive this guidance, my ego....this Abigail personality...complains back like a toddler to a parent who's been denied a candy bar in the checkout aisle.
I admitted to my coach, Tim Demme, that I am afraid my inner being and God are directing me straight to the nunnery!
This Abigail personality has the gripe 'ugh!
No fun! No play! No pleasure! What is this?!'
Sometimes this inner guidance doesn't make sense to me.
What's different than ever before is that I am actually following the guidance eeeeeven if I have some initial resistance.
Before, I ignored my intuition and it had cost me in ways I had never realized.
In my teens and early twenties, I don't even think I understood the true sense intuition.
I used to ignore the tugs and urges and I found myself out of whack, frustrated, disappointed, and confused.
I wouldn't follow 'weird' guidance that didn't make sense cause I thought my idea of fun and fulfillment were the best I could create. I never considered reaching dreams that I never imagined...cause well, I couldn't imagine it.
Not trusting kept me capped in so many areas of life and only upon honoring what I am hearing am I reaping the rewards.
When I hear a new directive that I am initially resistant to, I recall challenging times in my life that didn't make sense (at the time).
I recall times of deep heartache when I would lament on my knees in pain.
I remember months and years of financial hardship when I stopped even looking up to a Higher Power and only looked to myself.
I remember bouts of loneliness that I cried and begged God to make sense of this life.
So when I now hear 'no more sugar' and look up at the sky shaking my fists, I recall much tougher challenges that have led me to the most abundant life that I never planned for.
In retrospect...always in retrospect...things make much more sense as to how they are a milestone, a puzzle piece, in the whole scope and sequence of life.
Following my guidance has opened doors that I could have never opened alone.
It has led me to people that act as Earth Angels easing my fear along the path.
Listening and honoring what I hear has made this life laughably wonderful and promising.
So now, when I hear guidance these days and wonder about it, I actually check into the reality that following my intuition and guidance have created:
I live in SoCal surfing, writing, coaching, touring, living, and loving.
I am the highest paid, healthiest, and happiest I have ever been.
I am the most in my purpose and don't have to pretend anything anymore.
I don't force things and stay in flow.
I don't lie, cheat, or steal to get what I want.
I wake up excited about what each day brings and I have a lot of faith in what's on it's way.
I have great relationships and the people in my life are thriving as well.
I consistently have true, authentic conversations and give and receive love.
I share, care, give, and receive in ways that feel genuine and fulfilling.
I walk with people in the same journey of transformation and witness them come to life.
So when God whispers the next step into my heart, I listen in.
I never really understood the concept of God's Will, but i think it is starting to make some sense to me.
What I have come to understand is that we must die a thousand deaths to shine as our most divine being.
I understand that we get the gift of delivering love to this planet.
I get that we cannot be our fullest expression of love when the pride, concern, or insecurity of our personality/identity gets in the way.
To me, what's beautiful about this is that we don't have to disappear completely and become no one's.
We get to unbecome anything we are not in order to become OUR fullest expression of love.
I get to package love in my Abigail form of enthusiasm, play, joy, warmth, sweetness, and a genuine sense of innocence and compassion.
I am giggling now just thinking about it.
You are your own unique expression of love and you have a brilliant unique skill set to manifest love in this world.
It is absolutely essential that you allow yourself to shine.
I recorded you a HUP episode to convince you even more:
I love you so so much.
It's your turn to live Unleashed.
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Y'all, for those of you curious, I STILL have an inner critic that tells me to get back to work.
She criticizes me for taking time away from calls, meetings, sessions, and social media.
When I take vacation, I can hear a running list of things I am falling behind on.
I have had this voice berating me for as long as I can remember.
As a youngster, is was about school and sports.
In college, on top of school and sports, it was about preparing to be a teacher.
As a teacher, it was endless berating about the endless to do lists.
As a consultant, it was about clients, orders, deliveries, and more.
As a manager, it was about a wedding, corporate career, and finances.
As a budding entrepreneur, it was about making sure I was building and not having to go back to 'work' for money.
As an author and podcaster, it was about not falling behind while also trying to build a biz AND make sales....
Are you catching onto the endlessness of it?
Ya feel me?
Have you got your own inner critic?
News flash: he/she's NOT going away!
That voice is simply ONE of the mechanisms of your brain that functions as automatically as the beating of your heart.
It is there and always will be.
The trick is, you don't have to engage with every thought, reaction, and judgement of your inner critic.
It's allowed to be there and it also doesn't have to run your life.
If you had a really negative or "worry-wart" kind of friend would you listen to their EVERY comment or concern? (I hope not)
This is ONE of the survival functions of the human condition and it is also the one that prevents you from touching fire and jumping off cliffs.
It's the survival functions of humanness that say we need money, food, safety, warmth, and shelter.
My inner critic wants me to work so we don't fall behind and end up broke, on the street, and begging for handouts.
The thing about that survival voice is she only knows the perspective of survival.
What she doesn't know well is how much the other parts of me know about adequate self care, rest, connection, restoration, and clarity.
Those are matters of the heart and I have to use my awareness to recognize and respect the difference between the head and the heart.
That inner critic? He/she's here for you.
When I am on vacation and my mind is telling me to work, I kindly let her know that we will when the time is right and it will be the right work.
I let her know that rest is right too and that enjoying life is as equally important as the work there is to be done.
The real work there is to do is be the captain of your ship,
the conductor of your orchestra, the author of your book.
You must transcend above the various parts of you that are in opposition of each other, take the lead, organize, and orchestrate their unified momentum.
You must recognize that there is a you who can identify the different parts of you.
Your soul gets to lead you through any and all challenges into triumph.
Trust that every part of you is for you and yet, they aren't meant to be the leader.
The soul of you is guiding you.
Live the life you love.
I remember when I first started my life coach training program back in February 2016.
I remember the very slow, monotonous conversations about what was going on in the participants lives. We would sit around talking about what they were struggling with.
Sometimes it was things that seemed like they had nothing to do with our life coach training program.
At certain times, I would get frustrated because I wouldn't bring my own personal problems to my professional training program.
It was for a few reasons like being told in sports to leave your problems at the door.
I would also stay quiet out of fear that my own problems weren't important enough to share.
I didn't want to 'bother' other people with my problems the way I felt bothered by theirs.
I would get impatient when someone else was sharing and the lead trainers would keep the conversation going around that individual's concerns, questions, and resistance.
Sometimes I would think to myself "alright already! When are we going to get to be coach training? When are you going to teach us how to help that person fix their problems instead of just sit here and talk about them?!?"
It seriously took months of this frustration before it became my turn.
In a weekend about spirituality, I had a complete breakdown about my divorce.
This wasn't a share for coaching around how many clients I wanted or about how to do a sample session.
It was about my personal life.
It was about the way that I felt betrayed by God for being left by my husband.
I was able to identify a grudge I have held against God that I couldn't have recognized had I not been willing to share a very deep and personal problem in my professional coach training program.
It was then and only then after the exercise that I realized all of those slow, monotonous conversations about everyone's individual lives WAS in fact the coach training program.
We were learning how to sort ourselves out.
While we didn't always relate to each other; we didn't have the same backgrounds, we didn't have the same socioeconomic status, or career paths, we did have one thing in common: being very VERY human.
So in this crazy day and age, you may be seeing people share their hearts on social media and then judging "alright already, when are we gonna get on with the real stuff?!?"
I may ask you to consider this IS the real stuff.
Behind the screen, these are people's real lives sharing their real hearts.
A comment on a thread may be an opinion (you do not agree with). However, it comes from a beating heart and it's likely that beating heart has many problems of its own and also many triumphs of its own.
There are times that you will judge it.
There are times that you will judge yourself for having problems and wanting to be better and just be able to go and "get on with it."
My invitation is that you keep looking in the mirror.
You keep sharing your heart.
You keep listening to others share their heart so that you can (often in retrospect) learn from one another, relate to one another, and come to this relativity through your own experience and evolution.
Every day is a new opportunity to meet your brothers and sisters more deeply.
Every day is a new gift to understand the hearts of each other, to give each other a place to be:
I have always taken pride in the Growing Gratitude community.
Of all places on the internet, although we may come from different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, belief systems, political parties, this remains the safest space on the internet that you can come to give and receive love.
I believe it is a place you can come be in personal, professional, mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual breakdown and yet still feel loved and still cultivate gratitude.
I love this community so much!
I enjoy being here with you all and I love knowing that we have each other to continue to go back into the world and spread love and grace no matter what breakdowns we may be in.
Keep plugging into what serves you most.
Keep supporting the evolution of humanity.
I love you all.
Keep living a life you love!
I have had many of my white friends letting me know they appreciate me sharing and speaking up.
Many of them have mentioned how much they are learning about whyte privilege and how subtle it can be.
Some of them have said they didn't realize how their ways of being were reinforcing whyte privilege.
One beautiful soul even asked me what I mean in my posts when I use whyte with a Y.
I explained to her my definition:
"It's ignorant white people who have no interest in being open, educated, or equal.
The ones upholding systematic discrimination and inequality.
Also, the super outspoken, offended and one-sided folk.
Also, the fake compassionate who only are compassionate for show, not for real justice and unity.
They are very threatened by capable, educated POC (people of color) cause they want them to stay inferior."
I think this is a good start in understanding the difference between whyte and white cause white friends are at protests and having very uncomfortable conversations with their friends and family.
White friends are buying books about racism and gobbling up whatever they can find to educate themselves on making a lasting change.
White friends are raising loving white babies who love any and all.
White friends are donating, educating, and supporting.
White friends are shining a WHITE light on whyte privilege.
Good job to all and whyte friends, please open your hearts wider every day.
Watch your language.
Notice your posture.
Be willing to drop you guard.
Learn from new people.
MEET new people.
Often transformation shows us WAY more than we are ready to see.
Like a "too much too soon" kind of feeling.
It is natural to reject an overload of information.
I am just asking US ALL to soften our edges and start showing up for each other.
It doesn't have to look as grandiose as all this seems.
I am inviting you out of your assumptions and into curiosity.
I am inviting you out of fierce protection mode and into acceptance mode.
I am inviting you out of opposition and into connection.
I am inviting you out of combat and into collaboration.
I am inviting you out of hate and into love.
Wanna know how I love people through your resistance and ignorance?
I imagine you with a lisp...
I actually imagine you as a little child.
I can imagine that many of us were yelled at as children the way we are yelling at each other now.
I can imagine that many of us had things unjustly taken away by family, in school, on the playground, and more.
I would bet SO MANY of us have been bullied and name called and rejected and these times are surfacing all of those feelings and memories that we have gotten away with suppressing.
We are not adults out here fighting a race war or political battle.
We are a bunch of scared and marred children protecting our hearts from more pain.
We are braced for impact, prepared for let down and desperately attempting to prevent it.
Soften up, lovers.
Look, learn, and listen and the BEST place to start doing that is in the mirror.
Healing starts with each and every one of us making a decision to unconditionally love ALL of our brothers and sisters, including those we feel slighted by.
And fix your lisp.
We have gotten away with keeping our heads buried in the sand in the form of the mundane 'get up, go to work, go to bed to do it again' routine.
We thought we could drag out our avoidance our entire privileged lives.
I am not only talking race. I am talking pure avoidance of living this ONE LIFE you have been given and contributing to moving humanity forward.
The white picket fences have been bulldozed and it is seriously disturbing the ILLUSION of peace.
Some of us can't stomach starting our own business, leaving a toxic relationship, speaking our truth, or less.
Let alone cope with a deadly virus, economic collapse, race war, government manipulation, and demonic infiltration of our species.
Pressure makes diamonds baby!
This life ISN'T about going through the motions.
This ONE LIFE you have is NOT about paying bills until you die.
It's not about expecting someone else to handle the tough stuff.
It's about showing up.
It's about fulfilling a purpose.
It's about smelling the roses and dancing like a fool.
It's about knowing your neighbors.
It's about the quality of your relationships.
It's about health, wealth, and happiness.
It's about thriving.
It's about loving.
It's about living.
Wake up, sleepyhead.
You have a life to live.
2020 is written in the stars.
Show up for it.
Senseless. Shameful. Inexcusable.
A false sense of hierarchy creates a false sense of importance creates a false sense of separation creates a false sense of privilege creates a false sense of authority creates a false sense of superiority.
I always feel a deep sense of apology for white privilege.
The news that comes out, the stories that don't get reported, the incidents that never get acknowledged, and the low key day to day remarks or subtleties that are glaringly obvious all make my heart ache.
It's unnatural and grotesque.
This tragedy will create a bigger gap before we as a people decide to close it and heal it.
More trauma never heals a wound.
This has to stop.
The separateness has to stop.
We have to come together in love.
I want to see justice too and I know it will still not be the thing that heals us.
For now, I will pray and love.
I will plant seeds of love and teach others to love.
Can you imagine if we all played our part in loving our brothers and sisters?
We cannot simultaneously maintain AND close the gap.
I implore you to love.
I found this pic chillin' in the archives and wanted to share a little piece of my heart.
Once upon a time, I was a middle school/high school physical education and health teacher.
Since the 9th grade, I had been saying "I will be the PE/Health teacher at Whiting High." and then I did it.
I got there.
The exact vision and more.
I got to work with kids in my hometown on prioritizing their health and fitness. I taught them four square. They took tests and hated it usually. They danced...with partners!
I taught them goal-setting and nutrition. We studied substance abuse and eating disorders. We talked about sex and calculated the cost of having a child over an 18 year period.
I also taught them compassion.
I taught them moderation, discipline, and pride.
I taught them to treat others as they wanted to be treated.
I showed them what listening looks like. I asked them to think before responding and to make eye contact when communicating. I encouraged them to share their truths and they did.
And sometimes, I yelled. I specifically remember a day when we had a sub for my boys locker room attendant and the by the time I got into the gym, all 30 of my basketballs were off the rack and in every corner of the court. I was furious. They ran for the remainder of that period while I lectured them about choice.
I swore I taught them more respect than taking advantage of a sub to get up a few shots and then leaving the gym a mess.
I also cried.
I remember crying about kids I wanted to adopt after hearing about their home lives. I cried over a 6th grader realizing he COULD in fact jump a rope 50 times in a row. I cried over thank you cards and more.
I laughed, a lot.
I laughed at basketball practices with my girls and in the 'small gym' when the kids wanted another week of handball tournament even though they thought it was stupid the first three days of learning all the rules.
I fumed with frustration when a parent told me her son would not be dancing because she was raising a man, not a daughter and "why was a female teaching boys in gym anyways."
I smiled with pride to witness my booster club bringing students to each other's games and running *very entertaining* halftime competitions and raffles.
In my time teaching, I joked. I sighed. I huffed and puffed. I cheered. I was tested and so were my students.
I loved teaching. I didn't always love the education system, but I certainly loved teaching.
I can see so many of my students faces in my mind's eye and I see a lot of them in my news feed weekly.
I am proud to have gotten to work with children and when I left teaching, I always knew I would just be working with them in new ways down the road.
Today, I have an 11 year old 'client' and we talk about her future, appropriate communication skills, powerful choices, and the consequences of actions. Calls with her do something special to my heart.
There is a unique sense of joy working with children brings me.
I also speak to groups of children and facilitate powerful workshops that encourage communication.
Watching kids realize it is safe to open up cracks my heart wide open.
I. Love. Children. and I love to see them growing up knowing the are loved, cared for, and provided for.
I love seeing these children become adults and contributing members of society.
I love coaching the inner children of adults to help them too understand that they are safe and that the perceived threat or need to survive is over.
I love seeing adults take their inner authority back and create the rest of their lives powerfully.
The same way I did in teaching, in coaching I cry, laugh, joke, reflect, share, and more.
One thing I am grateful for these days is I don't yell.
I don't have to because I have explored my own anger and frustration enough to see that yelling doesn't communicate anything I want to say effectively.
I am so happy about this because anger used to prevent me from making deeper levels of connection, understanding, and impact.
One of my favorite identities in life is Ms. Gazda.
I am forever a teacher at heart.
I am so grateful to the students who taught me as much as I taught them.
Every staff is unique and have their own energy.
I am just so grateful to have fulfilled my goal and role as a teacher.
To all the teachers pouring their hearts into their purpose as an educator, I am, WE are holding you up energetically to shape, impact, and transform those little hearts into big, unleashed hearts.
Thank you. Love you,
I just journaled 11 pages and am coming to you with some post journaling breakthrough thoughts. This post will take you on a bit of an adventure so stay with me.
After journaling, it occurred to me that I have been living in my one bedroom studio for a year and three months.
After doing the math, this is the longest I have been in one living space sense being married.
Divorce caused so much disruption in my life: physically, mentally, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. It disrupted everything I had ever known.
It knocked down the little house of cards that I had built and revealed to me how shaky my foundation really was.
This disruption made me so uncomfortable that staying anywhere for too long was uncomfortable.
I was itchy to keep moving often because I was uncomfortable in my own skin.
I was disrupted in my mind.
I was unsettled in my heart.
I couldn't find stillness no matter where I tried to lay my head.
In my most recent trip to Arizona over the last 14 days, it had occurred to me that the part of myself that identifies as The Nomad is ready to retire.
There is a part of me that took a lot of pride in being able to 'fit my life in my Jeep' and being able to pack up and move in a day...or in an hour.
The Nomad enjoyed her identity as being spontaneous, a minimalist, and somewhat unpredictable and uncatchable.
I realized in all of this contemplation that I liked being uncatchable because last time I allowed myself to be caught, I was also let go of and it hurt too much to risk that again.
While calculating all of this, the thoughts I have been mulling over the last month seemed to fit together like the most perfect puzzle.
I understand how The Nomad is another identity of Quitter.
She is a runner.
[Heck, maybe I will publish a new edition of Giving Up Giving Up: The Memoir of a Quitter with a new chapter about retiring The Nomad haha #staytuned]
The Nomad was unavailable for certain things such as stability, sustainable success, and long term love.
She stayed on her toes so no one could knock her off her feet.
Tonight I identified this lingering feeling and am willing to release this ego identity consciously and lovingly.
Two identities that I did not know were collapsed together:
The Nomad and The Adventurer.
Abigail the Adventurer loves the curiosity, beauty, bliss, and miracle of life. She loves to explore this planet and enjoy its majesty.
However, I know that my priority is standing on a firm foundation of a consistent home, consistent relationships, and consistent success, contribution, and impact.
*Something I would like to explain is the fact that there is a VERY thin line between our survival mechanisms (otherwise known as our ego) and our soul (or essence).
Our survival mechanisms have quite literally helped us survive in times when there were perceived threats or impending doom.
The Nomad was constantly on the look out for let down, disappointment, and the need to protect and run...all things that threatened me and my comfort. My ego was there to protect me.
The Adventurer on other hand, lives in full trust, faith, and excitement about the road ahead.
She knows that she is capable of handling anything that comes her way and any unexpected turn that the adventure may take.
When distinguishing the difference between your ego and your essence, it is important to release the ego, accept the essence, and embrace the possibility of full expression as the highest and best version of yourself.
That said, I embrace The Adventurer.
I release The Nomad lovingly with gratitude for what she has given me, taught me, and taken me through.
What a beautiful adventure she has led and after 4 years of tipping around on her toes it is time to plant roots.
If you ordered and read my newest book, Talking to the Trees, you may have a better understanding what a deep soul connection I have to
San Clemente, California.
There's a specific patch of grass here overlooking the ocean I recognized in a visualization back in 2017 that awakened me to the fact that I needed to move here and I did so within a month.
From the moment of that meditation, I knew exactly where I needed to be: next to the ocean, under the Sun, on the side of a cliff.
Since that move, The Nomad still kept me on the run to Portland, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and more.
While these moves where all SO BENEFICIAL for my life experience, I can tell without a doubt that settling down is the next right step in my life.
While The Nomad is passing away, I can certainly tell you that the adventure has just begun
If you know and love me, you know how much I love working.
I could work for days and weeks on end and often do.
It can all roll into one because you know work ain't work when you love what you do.
I also love knowing the work that I do makes a difference in the lives of many.
I am grateful for my gifts and passions and I am also grateful to apply those gifts and passions to my own life too.
Last weekend, I celebrated the launch of my newest book Talking to the Trees and it reaching #1 new release in Educational Counseling and Crisis Management Counseling.
I had been working diligently for the past three months and things revved up the same time stay at home orders began.
People began prioritizing their mental and emotional health and I have been eager to answer that call.
Business has tripled since Feb and I have been working more than ever to support the transformation of many in the forms of books, book clubs, programs, courses, and coaching.
I have tears of joy and gratitude for the gift of being ready and prepared to support people through these times.
I have never felt more in my purpose than these last few months.
I legitimately wake up laughing.
I love what I do.
I love the ripple effect I get to witness.
I also must prioritize this vessel in order to keep doing this work.
Before 2019, I didn't know how to take a week off.
I would tell myself that I couldn't afford to take off.
For so much of my life, I functioned by the fear
'a break in action now, is a break in momentum later.'
Come to find out; the more I rest, the more I make.
The less I hustle, the less I stress.
The more relaxed I am, the more open I am to receive.
It's not magic.
Faith in your worth.
Faith in your deservedness.
Faith in your gifts being delivered when you are happy, healthy, and well.
Faith that you are loved, cared for, provided for, and guided.
Consider that you don't have to EARN your abundance, you have to learn how to ALLOW it.
Prosperity comes to those who can accept with grace and gratitude.
Nothing comes to an ungrateful heart.
Nothing attracts to a resistant mind.
Nothing flows through a constricted body.
I am sharing these breakthroughs because I have had them.
Over and over and over....
You must relax into your receiving.
You must lean into intuition.
You must listen to your being when it tells you to rest.
There is gold in your ability to listen and honor what you hear.
Consider that slowing down isn't slowing down at all.
Here are a few of the very few memories I captured by phone.
Most are just jotted in memory and journal.