That's not your dead body


At the end of my Alaska trip, I had a dream.  I was in medical school, but I hadn't attended any of the classes.  I found myself in the entry way to a room full of cadavers.  I needed to decide.  Would I go in and wing it, or would I walk away, sheepishly admitting I knew nothing about being a physician?   

At first glance, this seemed like a typical stress dream.  Many of us have them - we are unprepared for a test, not dressed properly for a party, don't have the book for our college class, or we have overslept and missed something important. 

However when I unpacked this dream and practiced the analysis technique I'd learned as a coach, I discovered something surprising. 

I asked the dream elements what they wanted me to know.  Med School said there was a good reason I hadn't been there - it wasn't a fit for me.  The dead bodies agreed. They said, "Carla, stop being distracted by things you're not interested in. We are not part of your story." 

 Ever since that dream, I've been looking at everything around me and questioning whether it's a "dead body" that I can peacefully release. So much doesn't belong to me.  So many interesting and worthy paths are not my chosen pursuits.  How freeing. 

I encourage you to look at your life and see where you've got cadavers stacked up.  Are you in "med school" and don't want to be there?  What in your life is completely out of alignment with who you are and what you want?  What is it time to shed?  Any holiday "dead bodies" that you can release and welcome peace and empty space in their place?

Are You Brave?

Are you Brave? 

Seriously.  Do you consider yourself a brave person? Or do you, like me,  save that terminology for firefighters and ER doctors? 

Recently, I’ve had several different friends tell me how brave they think I am.  They’ve called me brave for hiking the AT on my own.  For running my own business.  They’ve called me brave for something as simple as wading into a golden-colored, clay-bottomed creek on a hot summer day, unworried about the little fish nibbling at my legs.

I laugh.  

Me, brave?  

No, really, I protest.  

I’m a giant ‘fraidy cat.    There are millions-- billions!- of people so much braver than me.  Brave as defined by media and popular culture. Like soldiers.  Or Caitlyn Jenner.  Or like moms of kids with cancer, spending hundreds of days at St. Jude Hospital.  Or the kids themselves.  Or people who have it hard.  Who work hard.   Who have overcome trauma or genuine struggle.  So many kinds of brave. 

I’m just a regular person.  Doing my thing, in a mostly ease-filled life.  I don’t see myself as brave. 

Maybe you don’t feel very brave either.  Your mind might only be noticing all the things you aren’t doing because you’re scared, ignoring all the brave steps you’re actually taking. 

Truth is, it takes bravery to do so many things in this world.  To try something new.  To take a big or small risk.  As one of my clients recently said, to go ahead and “do it scared.” 

 Here are some ways my clients are being brave right now: 

Having a deeply honest heart to heart talk with their significant other about a topic both have been too frightened to bring up for years. 

Taking concrete steps to create a dream business even though it feels like such a distant possibility, and then feeling the possibility draw closer and closer. 

Making self-care something that actually happens in real life instead of just in their imagination. 

Leading their employees from a newly stable and compassionately focused position. 

Envisioning an ideal future that’s so beautiful, it brings tears to their eyes, then realizing it really isn’t that unreasonable to believe it could happen. 

Setting new and powerful boundaries with family and friends, and being surprised at how quickly those fresh boundaries are respected and even appreciated. 

Realizing that what they wanted when they were 30 is different than what they want now, and that’s ok. 

Discovering that there’s not one “right path” and that the one they choose will be the perfect one for the time. 

Realizing they’re not responsible for their family members’ happiness, and discovering how much this brings new peace and ease to their interactions. 

Deciding to stop watching television news because it’s upsetting and not actually helping anything, and there are other ways to stay “informed.” 

Being willing to tell or hear the truth even when it’s hard. 

Little steps of bravery that bring big rewards. 

Are you brave?  I bet you are.  And even when you feel like you’re doing something relatively easy for you, you’re inspiring someone else who sees you taking action they can’t quite yet manage, or being someone they aspire to be. 

Take a moment to think about this past week or month. Tell me a way you’ve recently been brave.  I would love to hear.  Mine are below. 

And when someone calls you brave, own it.  It’s true.

So my brave stories - Let's see. Well there was a week in early June out on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia with four amazing women- a lot of bravery happened on that trip!  Want to see what it was like in video form?  Click here to check out this sweet video compilation by Shutterbug,  one of the intrepid souls who joined my AT Sojourn - we had such fun and everyone reached at least one new personal best! 

Even braver for me lately is dancing - most recently performing at a fundraiser for hundreds of people with my dance group, Les ReBellles. That's me below, third from the left, in the Can Can portion of the song.  Cllick the picture to watch the video - there are even chairs involved!  The progress I've made dancing and performing this year has been truly life-changing, and the growth I've seen in myself boggles my mind. Not to mention the friendships I"ve formed with my incredible fellow dancers! 

I wish the same exhilaration for you this summer.  Step out and do something brave - something just for you. I can't wait to hear about it! 




What's your Nicole Kidman?

This week I saw this adorable segment from the Jimmy Fallon show where Nicole Kidman was his guest.  And she reminded him that they met about 8 years ago when she came to his apartment with a mutual friend. In the segment, on national TV, as they both recount their memories of this meeting years ago, Jimmy finds out that Nicole liked him and might have dated him.  It's a complete revelation.


Watch the segment here:

Seems that at the time even though he was on SNL, Jimmy didn't think he was worthy of the attention of a superstar like Nicole.  Even when she showed up on his doorstep, he couldn't believe it or take any action around it.

So here's my question for you:  What are you unaware that you're worthy of?  What kinds of amazing opportunities are showing up at your doorstep, literally or metaphorically, that you're missing because you can't see them?  What gifts is the universe bestowing on you that you haven't even noticed are there?  What's your Nicole Kidman?

I've been asking myself this question for two days.  I am doing my best to open my arms and receive, receive, receive all the good that's coming to me, and I encourage you to do the same.

You (yes, you!!) are worthy of fabulous opportunities, travel to exotic locales, happiness, awesome relationships, a daily routine that invigorates and inspires you, wonderful friends, and anything else you can picture.  That's the trick - you have to be able to picture it.

Poor Jimmy couldn't picture himself with Nicole back then and so it didn't matter that she was right in front of him, in living color.

(The good news is that today Jimmy and Nicole are both happily married to other people with kids of their own, so the universe has a way of working things out.)

But you? Right now?  Don't wait.  Start opening your eyes to the gifts and possibilities right in front of you.  They are there, at your doorstep, ready for you to receive.  How fantastic is that?