Are you familiar with the term "brightsiding"? It's kind of like gaslighting.

It's when a perfectly nice and well-meaning attempt to offer you comfort turns out to actually be kind of toxic. It's when you're going through some shit and someone says something to you like, "it could be worse, just look on the bright side!"

Has this happened to you before? How does it make you feel? Honestly, for me, it kind of makes me want to punch that person in the face. In reality, Positive Patsy, is just at a higher vibrational frequency and at the moment she has access to gratitude and those higher vibration emotions.

However, depending on what you're going through, and where you're currently at, that gratitude just might not be accessible to you right now.

Why it's so hard.

Our thoughts are very powerful. They are what trigger the emotional response, which then leads to a physical response.

So, yes, would it serve you to adopt a more positive mindset about your situation? Absolutely, BUT that doesn't mean it's the next logical step for you right now.

Let's say you're in a GREAT mood, maybe you got a raise, maybe you got a little action, I don't know, whatever, you're feeling good. Then all of a sudden, oops! You spill a glass of water all over the floor. Your response might be like, "It's ok, it's just water, no worries. You know what, I needed to wash the floor anyway! Thanks, Universe!"

But on any other given day, maybe you lost your job, or had to put your dog down, or you're just really upset with how things are in your life right now. You spill that same glass of water in the same spot, on the same dirty floor and, "Goddamn it! Are you serious? Of course this would happen to me right now. I don't have time for this. Who even left this water here? GAHH."

In Scenario A, gratitude was accessible because you were already in a higher vibrational state. In an otherwise shitty situation, like in Scenario B, if you told me to find gratitude in that moment, you'd likely find a foot up your ass.

Now, back to the good intentions of Positive Patsy. She is right about something; staying in those negative, low-vibration emotions is going to eventually manifest in your reality in a way that does not serve your Highest good.

The physical consequences of chronic low vibrational emotions manifest into those mystery illnesses that your doctor can't diagnose, or make you so anxious you can't leave your house. Or so depressed you can't even do the simplest thing that will make you happy right now.

So, yeah, we do want to figure out how we can feel better, BUT we have to consider how to do this based on where we're at now.

How to shift your low vibrational state.

Like I already mentioned, sometimes gratitude or looking on the bright side isn't available, or you try, but it just feels forced and not authentic.

What we do here is reach for the next best thing to what we're feeling right NOW, and that is how you move forward in a way that flows more naturally for you.

I'm going to go be going into stuff like this in a lot more detail in my new program that's going to be launching in January, but for right now I'm going to keep it simple so you have an action step you can take right now.

If you're not already familiar with this concept, essentially every emotion has a different vibration, and there is pretty much a spectrum.

  • Step 1 - Where are you at right now?

  • Step 2 - What is the next best thing that is available for you right now?

  • Step 3 - What is the easiest, most logical thing that you can do right now to support and nurture yourself?

I know it sounds crazy, like, "Lady, are you really telling me to feel 'jealousy' and that's going to help me get out of 'depression'?"

Yup, it is going to get you a step in that direction because otherwise where are you going? You'll either stay where you are, or you're going to find out if it could get any worse.

So let's start taking those little steps. Recognize that on some level, you know it's going to be ok - some way, some how, at some point - but you have to give yourself the permission and space to elevate.

If you're interested in support with what you're currently working through, schedule a consultation.

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Coming up on the end of the year here, I want to talk about expectations. Every year around this time there is a lot of hype around New Year's resolutions and making plans for the year ahead.

After a year like 2020, now more than ever you might be hoping and waiting for something "better".

Learning how to manage your expectations can help you bring them into alignment with your highest good - so they become another tool rather than a pain point.

The most common question I get around the topic of expectations is: "Is it better to have low expectations, high expectations, or NO expectations?"

Having your expectations is one thing, but what you do with them is another. Let me explain...

First, let's define expectations.

Essentially, your expectations are what you are anticipating from the future. They're tied in to your subconscious beliefs, such as I have to work hard and suffer to make a decent living, therefore I expect my job to be grueling.

How you anticipate your life will play out has a profound effect on your energy, emotional state, and consequently on your physical well-being.

The thing is, we have expectations for just about everything in our lives — our partners, relationships, work, and so much more. These anticipated outcomes influence our reactions and responses to situations.

Pause and take a moment to think about what expectations you have around these things.

  • Do you expect work to be boring and suck?

  • Do you expect to be so busy with the things that have to get done that you won't have time for the things you want to do?

  • Do you expect your partner to disappoint you? Your kid to disobey you?

  • Your coffee to spill on you on your way out the door because, "Of course that would happen to me."

The cool thing about expectations is that you have a choice and complete control over them, BUT you have to choose to take it.

Expectations have the power to paint the picture of your reality. This can obviously go one of two ways: by the laws of attraction you can invite in the energy of a joyous life experience, or you can create the pain that you fear is inevitable.

What I really want you to consider here is: are your expectations helping you grow, or are they limiting your life experience?

Expectations can be limiting when they cause more anxiety than they do motivate us.

Let's explore "High Expectations"...

Like I said above, your expectations are not all bad - they can help you manifest the reality you want to create, and they can also serve as important life lessons.

They can motivate you to do better and work a little harder when it's in alignment. It can also be really rewarding when you achieve that outcome you were so desperately hoping for.

When you are aware of your expectations, you have insight into your subconscious beliefs (more importantly your self-limiting beliefs) that you're holding onto that need to be addressed.

Is your high expectation a realistic one based on truth? What happens if this anticipated outcome is not fulfilled?

The emotional response in this case usually isn't super pleasant. Perhaps frustration, disappointment, anger, regret, and/or depression creep in. Consequently, on a physical level you'll begin to contract, which will affect your flow of energy.

Now for the "Low Expectations"...

When you're expecting a "negative" outcome from a situation, you're absolutely setting yourself up to live in that reality.

You've likely heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy, which is the process through which an originally false expectation leads to its own confirmation. In a self-fulfilling prophecy an individual's expectations about another person or entity eventually result in the other person or entity acting in ways that confirm the expectations.

Why does this happen? You restrict your energy flow by holding onto any fears and negative beliefs, thus lowering your vibration.

You might be coming from a place of prior pain, trauma and/or disappointment, and you don't want to set yourself up for that again. Remember, unfulfilled outcomes can lead to some low vibrational emotions.

With that being said, to me, it's more important to approach a situation with an open mind. Learn to trust that it will work out for your highest good.

If, from your perspective, it didn't work out in what you believed to be your favor, is there a lesson in that?

Can we effectively "manage" expectations?

Expectations, whether they be positive or negative, inherently rob us from the experience of the present moment. When you're focused on the anticipated outcome, you're missing out on what's happening right now; you can't be focused on both at the same time.

The most meaningful example from my own life is from the pregnancy I lost earlier this year. As a parent who already had a normal, easy, healthy pregnancy prior to this experience, when I got pregnant again I was definitely expecting a positive outcome.

When the first red flag came up at the 8-week ultrasound, I was really torn. Do I try to stay positive and hope for the best? Do I start preparing myself for the worst now so I'm not disappointed if this doesn't work out? But what if that somehow becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy? I'm not gonna lie, that was a really hard place to be in.

I ultimately took the position to just try and trust that however it worked out, it would be for the best. Did it work out how I wanted at the time? Ask me then and I'd have given you a solid, "fuck no." Ask me now and I will tell you that it worked out exactly how it needed to.

By being mindful and staying connected to my internal compass, I was able to learn the lesson - that I don't have complete control over every aspect of my life, and that is something I needed to surrender to.

Could I have done anything differently to produce a different outcome? Nope. Was it still painful and full of emotion? Yup. Remember guys, this is not about escaping difficult situations or feelings, it's about learning to live through them while staying in flow.

Releasing expectations allows you to live in the moment and embrace experiences without judgement.

Once you can release and let go of hindering thoughts, fears and beliefs, you are able to think with more clarity and make more positive, creative, loving and healthy choices for yourself and your life.

What you can do to avoid falling into the trap of expectations:

Take a step back from a consistently disappointing experience and looking at whether or not you're starting from a realistic place. This will help you adjust your perspective in such a way to more accurately match reality and potentially get a different outcome.

Reflect on some key questions:

  • Do I have an expectation about this person or situation?

  • Where is it coming from?

  • Is it motivating me to be better, or is it causing me stress and anxiety?

  • What will happen if this expectation is or isn't fulfilled?

  • Take a few steps back from your situation; can you see it through a different lens?

Learn to navigate unmet expectations.

The nature of reality is that things change, straight up. Sometimes an unexpected circumstance will come along to shift the scope of a situation, and expectations will need to be adjusted.

The key is to recognize that when this happens, you have a choice. You can:

A. React emotionally, with anger and resistance, or

B. Apply mindfulness, pause and consider your options before making a decision about how best to proceed.

This doesn't mean ignore or suppress emotions that arise - you want to consciously note your frustration, accept it and respond rather than react.

With mindfulness of your feelings, you can calm yourself down and start problem-solving about how to handle the implications and manage expectations accordingly.

So does that mean you don't want to set some goals for the upcoming year and kick 2021's ass? Of course not!

But be more committed to the process than the outcome, and incorporate regular mindfulness practice so you are equipped when things inevitably take you by surprise because you know it will.

Does the idea of managing your expectations feel far-fetched for you, or even a little overwhelming? I'm here to help! These are some of the many things we work through in the Integrative Healing Sessions. Start with a free 15-minute consult and we'll go from there :).

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I want to continue the conversation I started last week about establishing personal boundaries and taking control of your energy (you can catch a replay of the live video here). The cold hard truth is, this shit is hard for a LOT of people, myself included -- and for good reason!

Self-limiting beliefs are what have you meeting resistance, when what you really want is to be in flow. These are exactly what the sound like - beliefs that limit your self in your growth and happiness.

We learn from a young age that achievement (in one form or another) begets approval, and that approval makes you successful and deserving of joy. Therefore, if you don't continuously receive outside confirmation of success, you kind of feel like you suck.

Or, to avoid feeling like you suck, you keep chasing something outside of you to reach the point of feeling happiness and joy.

On a subconscious level, you adopt these as a self-limiting beliefs which might sound something like this: "The wants and needs of others are more important than my own."

These LIMITING beliefs result in you taking action for the sake of serving others. Chances are, those actions probably are not in alignment with your Higher Self, and they sure as shit are not serving your highest good.

To be able to set those personal boundaries that you need to for your own well-being, you have to love yourself enough and value your happiness as much (or more) as your most-cherished loved ones -- let alone that friend that you don't even really like anymore.

It might feel overwhelming to think about how to get yourself off of this hamster wheel, so let me outline a 3 steps to help you get started.

As always, I encourage you to write or journal what comes up for you as you go through each of these.

Increase self-awareness. Bring your conscious mind to the present moment and pay attention to your self-talk. What kinds of things are you saying to yourself and what beliefs are you holding onto that are self-limiting? These might sound something like:

"I'm not smart enough."

"To be worthy, I must achieve ___ (without making mistakes)."

"I'm not good enough."

"I don't have time."

"I need the love and approval of others to be worthy."

"This is just the way I am."

“That was stupid of me.”

Stay curious. One of the key aspects of mindfulness practice is not judging the present moment, but instead meeting whatever thoughts arise with a sense of curiosity. So when you catch yourself thinking or expressing a limiting belief, simply acknowledge it and ask yourself, "What is this?"

It's not that we want to over-analyze or look for a specific answer, but rather use the question to further bring yourself into the experience of the thought. This allows you to fully be in the present so that you can make a shift.

“Does this need to be taken up, addressed or dealt with? Can I let it be or let it go? Or perhaps it’s time to practice intentional avoidance.” When necessary, avoidance can be skillful or an act of self-care. If you're unsure, check in with your Higher Self.

Have compassion for yourself. Before you go beating yourself up as you work toward shifting this energy, remember that loving yourself is key to moving forward. One of these affirmations may be helpful:

"I accept all aspects of who I am."

"Change is never simple, but I am worth doing it."

"My 'mistakes' are simply lessons as I am growing and learning."

"Even thought I feel like____, I still love and accept myself."

"I release the habit of judging myself."

Keep following along to learn more about releasing these illusions! Join our weekly email list, our free Raise Your Vibration FB group, and schedule a consultation!

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