I’m sure you’ve been inundated with a bunch year in review” posts. Truth be told, I actually wasn’t going to do one this year.
But a few days ago, as I was casually sharing my year with a friend, she interrupted me to say: holy sh$t! You’ve GOT to share all of this stuff! You can’t make this up.
So here’s my own “lessons I learned this year” post on how I weathered & what I learned from:
- the largest fire in California history
- mudslides that wiped out half of my neighborhood and kept me home-less for over a month
- dealing with crazy, dark-energy people that had me locking my bedroom door at night in fear for my personal safety.
- negotiations to purchase a $3 million dollar property
- being rejected a LOT in all avenues of life
- my cousin being murdered (with an investigation that is still ongoing)
- somehow during all of this still managing to have the highest revenue and profits my business has had in all 9 years of operation
And if you want to know how ALL of these things taught me that the MOST important work you can do in your life is building your capacity… then you’re in the right place.
Here we go.
Lesson 1: Fires & mudslides
At the end of 2017, I had recurring dreams about wolves entering my home in California. In each dream, massive, Game-of-Thrones-size dire wolves would push the doors to my house open and walk right in, sniffing everything, but not destroying it.
In the dream I would tell myself, stay calm. You can handle this.
The wolves would come up to me, sniff my arm, look deep into my steady eyes, then leave without causing any destruction.
Then animals on my property began to act weird. Hummingbirds were flying up to my face closer than ever before. Insects I had never seen before somehow ending up in my bed at night when I pulled back the covers. I live on a mountain in a wilder part of Santa Barbara, so I’m used to finding spiders and lizards in my home — but this was next-level wild.
I began asking the animals: what are you trying to tell me?
A week later, one of the largest fires in California history broke out only 30 minutes away from my home. Armageddon-style smoke clouds closed in on my home. My cough from poor air quality increased. I decided to get out of there while it was still voluntary evacuation.
I drove 6 hours north to San Francisco. The air quality was so bad it was hours before I could take off my breathing mask inside my car. I spent the next 3 weeks living out of a suitcase in hotel rooms and relative’s houses.
All the while I was signing new clients. Filling my next program and selling out my high-ticket 1:1 coaching program in less than 3 weeks. Buying Christmas presents for loved ones. Watching my three godchildren at my home in Florida (where I had escaped to after hotel bills were getting ridiculous).
I was living in a paradox. I had no idea if I’d have a home to return to, watching the fire moving into my canyon on the fire maps online. Yet I was continuing with daily life.
The fires came right up to my property line, but my house did not burn. Everything around and in my home smelled of scorched wood. The mountains directly behind my house burned and bare. I felt the charred skin of the mountain on my own skin, my heart heavy with grief.
The very next day a huge rain and lightning storm mandatorily evacuated me from my home again.
This time the mountains came down on top of us. Fifteen-foot walls packed with mud, cars, trees, boulders the size of houses and debris. Most of my neighborhood was destroyed. Not everyone had received the mandatory evacuation orders – so children, adults, and animals lost their lives.
I managed to escape to a hotel outside of the disaster zone. The hotel was filled with people who had lost homes, had rescued babies floating in the mud, were missing relatives, and had narrowly escaped the mud themselves.
I came down with the worst case of bronchitis I’ve ever had. Holistic practitioners say the lungs are the center of grief. I know it was grief. The air was heavy with loss and trauma. My body was knocked out.
I spent another month at my home in Florida after the hotel rooms stopped making sense. In total I was evacuated five times between December 2017 and February 2018.
This entire time, I was running my business from hotel rooms and hosting conference calls while running away from disaster. I realized later, I had reached a new level of emotional capacity. Because my Structural Capacity (the structures of your life, business, family, or team) AND my Embodiment Capacity (emotional, spiritual, and physical health) was on point, I was able to navigate this intensely stressful time with confidence at every turn.
Capacity expansion allowed me to keep growing and meeting my goals, through disaster, sickness, grief, and uncertainty.
Life is hard. No business strategy or 2018 revenue plan would have helped me manage the immense amount of relentless stress I was under for three months. Stress that could have easily threatened my livelihood and my focus.
But – it was prioritizing my capacity that allowed me to not only get through it, but to thrive despite the incredible challenges.
Everything is changing. From business to personal, the WORLD is in transition. If you think this year was hard and are hoping 2019 will be back to “normal” you’re in for a rough decade. Many people will be surprised to find that 2019 is just as, if not even more, challenging.
Because the lesson we are supposed to be truly learning right now is NOT about slapping funnels, strategies, and one size fits all solutions into our highly diversified and complicated lives. The solution is NOT to escape into yet another perfectly curated Instagram account and fantasize.
The future requires from us higher levels of capacity. The next 5 years won’t be easier because of a perfect revenue plan. It will only be easier when you learn how to expand your capacity.
We can’t control stock markets, insane presidents, natural disasters, over-saturated industries full of suspicious buyers, Facebook ad costs, or even death. We cannot control transitions.
When we prioritize building our capacity, we think outside of the box during tragedy, thrive during tough months, and beat “market expectations”.
These things don’t just “happen” by reading an inspirational article or telling ourselves we’re going to get better at it. No “mindset coach” or “hack” can build your capacity.
Capacity building happens through prioritizing it, finding mentors who prioritize it and then being willing to stop chasing strategies and instead devote your time and resources to capacity.
Lesson 2: Entity possession & spiritual warriorship (get ready for a crazy story)
It was during the fifth time that I was evacuated from my home that I realized one of the womxn I had rented a room in my home to was not stable.
When I moved to Santa Barbara two years ago, I wanted to try living in a community, instead of living alone. I rented a room in a 3 bedroom home that was being occupied by two other womxn. Maggie was 54 and an executive coach. Laura was in her 40’s and was a scientist. (names changed to protect identities)
The first year went marvelously! We had regular dinners together and had deep conversations late into the night. But then Laura finished the her temporary work assignment and went back to her home in Palm Springs.
Maggie and I placed an ad for Laura’s empty room. A womxn responded and we met via phone. When she told me on our first phone conversation a very dramatic story about how she had been bullied by her previous landlord, I thought it was a bit of an odd share for our initial interview… But I also felt compassion for her and believed her.
Within weeks of her moving in, I knew something was off. Let’s just say that by the end of this experience I could have written a creepy thriller movie about it.
I had tried to be understanding and gave her many chances. Too many. I tried to sympathize with her constant ‘migraines’ that always had her walking around with a dark cloud. I believed her when she said her verbally abusive outbursts and lash-outs were happening because she was having a hard time at work. I even shrugged off the chill down my spine when she shared with me that she had been a follower of mine online for quite some time… yet somehow had failed to reveal this information when I had interviewed her.
During a trip to Portugal, I received another barrage of angry, off-kilter texts over something small and insignificant. I received SO many texts from her in a 3 minute period that I couldn’t use my phone to do anything else and I had to block her from my phone.
I reached out to my other housemate Maggie, who had recently moved out of the home to start a new job elsewhere. She had also gotten a similar barrage of texts after she had moved out. She didn’t want to tell me because she didn’t want to influence my experience with this off-kilter housemate.
A week later I spoke to a psychic. She asked me about a “womxn living in my home”. She told me the land I lived on wanted her OUT. That she had been taken over by negative entities and needed to leave. I knew exactly who she was talking about.
The psychic told me that it would be very, very hard to get her out because she was unhealthily attached to my home and it would be a great battle that I had to prepare myself for.
When I got off that phone call, I knew what I had to do. I sat her down 6 months prior to have a frank conversation about her behavior. I shared with her outbursts were a dealbreaker and that if she didn’t think she could stop lashing out at me every time she had a bad day at work, she would need to leave at the end of her lease. She cried and agreed with me and apologized for her behavior. I allowed her to stay another 6 months in my home.
Here’s when it gets both tough and expansive.
I realized that letting her stay another 6 months had been a huge mistake. And the only way to get her out was for me to follow my original plan when I had moved into the house 2 years ago — take over the entire lease by myself.
This was scary for me. Taking over the lease meant my rent was going to double. Even though my business made more than enough to cover it, I never paid that much rent before all on my own.
But I could feel in my soul that this needed to happen. This negative energy needed to be removed. I tried to proceed with compassion. I gave her 3 months notice. I gave her her security deposit a month before she moved out (out of my own pocket instead of waiting for the landlord to pay it back to her) so she could use it to put down on a new place.
But it didn’t matter.
The next 3 months became a battle royale with a negative entity. Her energy in the home was so hostile that I locked and barricaded my room every single night because I was afraid for my physical safety while I was sleeping.
She made it her mission to spread lies to my new neighbors about me. Before I even had the chance to meet them, they were giving me hostile glances every time I saw them and accusing me of having “horrible energy that casts a pall over the entire property” and verbally attacking me as a “fake life coach”, “bully”, “narcissist” and more. It was all my housemate’s language — she was projecting her own behavior onto me and painting me as that person to the neighbors. This was malevolent warfare of the psychological kind.
She lied to my landlord when she found out I was trying to negotiate to purchase the property from him and told him she also was interested in buying the property. She had no intention of doing so, but she did it on purpose to mess with and delay my dealings with my landlord. Just to fuck with me. No other reason. I marvel at how a person can hold that level of vitriol that they would use up their own energy and time to play such games.
It was three months of onslaught from every single angle. Energetic.Verbal. Relational. My biggest safe space, my home, my anchor for the last 2 years had turned into a hostile environment. And here I was, defending my home, the land, my space, and myself, digging into new levels of spiritual warriorship. I was learning how to navigate a person who has been taken over by dark energy with loving fierceness, yet still not allowing their dark energy to warp me out of alignment with my own values of love.
The entire time I was dealing with this I thought of two of the pillars of my capacity framework.
Sovereignty (being the ruler of your own world, regardless of what others think of you).
And Equanimity (staying calm and centered no matter what chaos swirls around you).
I also knew something even more important.
I wasn’t only defending myself as an adult. I wasn’t just defending this land I am so connected to and love. I was also defending the inner kid in me that got trampled on, gaslit, and mentally manipulated by my own emotionally and verbally abusive relative when I was growing up.
The off-kilter roommate WAS the perfect mirror of that relative who had abused me. The way she talked, the way she lashed out, her hysterical personality. The way she attempted to make me feel like I was crazy by triangulating the neighbors against me with lies.
She knew I refuse to gossip and used that goodwill as a weapon against me. She ran and told her side of the story to everyone around her, knowing I would never stoop so low. Just like my abuser did with other family members I was close with when I was younger to isolate me and break me into submission.
I could feel the abused kid in me wanting to go back to what she had done to survive all throughout her childhood — doubting myself and my self-perception. Allowing the abuser to overwrite my own identity so that I could survive. I didn’t know how to defend myself back then. Especially against an adult who was supposed to love and protect me.
This is what narcissistic abusers do best. They cast a pall of doubt over your own self-perception so that you feel like you have to depend on them to tell you who they are. A few times throughout this ordeal, this old trauma of self-doubt threatened to come up for me.
But I have done so much work to trust in my own discernment and inner knowing. We teach what we have learned. There is a reason I am so passionate about teaching YOU discernment and trusting in your own inner knowing above all.
Because I had that part of me violated repeatedly in my childhood and I had to learn how to build up that trust in myself once I was old enough to defend myself. That level of self-trust and discernment I teach from was hard earned and lived.
Yet even with all of that inner work behind me, I could feel my old trauma wanting to ask, maybe I am that horrible, awful, narcissist bully that she was telling everyone I was? What if I was and I didn’t see it?
And I could also see that, just like I had done with my abuser growing up, I had allowed my naturally understanding nature to excuse her awful behavior for too long.
But I have done enough of this capacity work now to be honest with myself about when I am wrong. And to know when someone is trying to gaslight me with manipulation, triangulation, and games.
I used my Boundary Capacity to set firm boundaries within my own mind and refused to entertain the “what if I am that horrible person she’s telling everyone I am and I don’t realize it” thoughts. I refused to allow myself to be gaslit. I held strong to the fact that I know who I am even if the entirety of my neighbors were turning against me by the lies of a master manipulator.
As hard as it was, it was the perfect opportunity to strengthen my own internal sovereignty, my equanimity, and my own values around how to treat humans.
And it was the perfect capacity expansion moment. Because the entire time all of this old abuse trauma was swirling around me, I was successfully running my business.
The day after she finally moved out, I woke up in my own home and I could feel every tree and animal on the property sighing with relief.
And a month after she moved out I heard a voice inside of me say “this chapter of your life, this last part of your trauma around doubting yourself, it’s over. This was the last face-off, the last remaining bit of this that you needed to release. It’s time for a new way of being now.”
Lesson? Trust in what you know about yourself. Don’t let people who are acting from their own trauma tell you who you are. Expand your capacity so that when tough trauma mirrors like this come up in your life, you can meet it head on and still keep moving forward with your mission.
Had I not been expanding my emotional and spiritual capacity (what I call Embodiment Capacity) for the last 10 years, I would have gotten distracted, my business would have suffered, and my body would have gotten ill from all of the stress.
And had I not been working on my Money Capacity, I might have:
a) let this toxic and ultimately dangerous person continue to live in my home because I wouldn’t have trusted in my ability to cover the rent on my own; or
b) had to leave the one place that has felt like the truest home of my life because I would have been too afraid to take on the responsibility of the entire rent for my home.
Thanks to Embodiment and Money Capacity, I was able to thrive through all of this AND gain a new “spiritual warrior badge”.
Are you able to deal with negative entities, WHILE still expanding and moving forward? Are you able to take on larger financial responsibilities in a way that expands you, instead of shrinking? If not, it’s time to work on your capacity.
Lesson 3: Knowing when NOT to fight
One of the biggest things I learned this year was NOT to fight harder for someone’s results or desires than they are willing to fight for them.
I already knew this, mind you. But I learned this on an even deeper level this year.
One of my best and worst traits is that I won’t give up on something or someone easily. I am loyal AF and one of the best cheerleaders you’ll ever meet. I will stick by you, whether client, friend, family member, or lover, no matter what.
I’ll walk beside you through the dungeons and I’ll weather the storms with you, all the while reminding you of who you are and what you are truly capable of. That’s one of the things that makes me an excellent coach, friend, or significant other.
The negative side of this is that I sometimes end up believing in someone harder than they are willing to believe in themselves. And this drains my energy in the long run. Because it’s like doing someone’s full-time job for them, while also holding down your own full-time job.
If we talk, and you say you’re signing up to work with me and then you ghost, disappear, make my assistant email you more than twice, or come up with an excuse for why you’re just not “ready”- in the past I would have sat there, written out a long heartfelt letter, maybe recorded a voicemail or personalized video for you. I would be devoted to reminding you of your desires, showing you the blind spots or how your ego is tricking you, connecting you to what you said you really wanted.
But now, nope. I’m not fighting for you if you aren’t willing to fight for yourself. I’ll happily do the above if you just need a little reminder but still are willing to overcome your fears. But not if you’re not willing to fight as hard for your desires as I am.
You can only do that when YOU are ready to. No matter how much I believe in you, it won’t happen until you’re willing to believe in you.
Same goes for friendships, love relationships, or any other kind of relationship.
If you’re on my team and you aren’t willing to push yourself to grow and expand, I’m not going to put my energy into doing that for you.
If you’re a love interest and you’re not willing to see how we can make this work, I’m wishing you well and moving on.
This year, a man I was interested in, told me we’d never “work” because we live in different states. I’m old enough to know that if you’re genuinely interested in someone, a different state isn’t going to get in your way. Plus, as a business owner, I’m location independent and travel all the time.
Bottom line: If you’re too mentally and emotionally lazy to figure out how to get and keep an amazing, high-caliber womxn that will rock your world and enhance your life in every way… then you don’t deserve my energetic devotion or my problem-solving skills.
If you’re a friend and you aren’t making an effort to keep our friendship alive through regular contact, I’m not going to keep texting you and initiating all on my own. If you say you want to chat, but never reply to emails with time suggestions, I’m not going to keep following up over and over. I can’t want the friendship more than you do. (I make exceptions to this when it comes to friends who are moms — yet some of my most “in touch” friends are overwhelmed moms, go figure).
This is a whole other kind of capacity to build — Boundary Capacity. But, it’s mostly boundaries with YOURSELF. Most people get caught up in setting boundaries with others and forget about self-boundaries. You’ve got to learn how to set boundaries with yourself around who and what you put your energy into, especially if it’s just going to go into a black hole of no return.
You have a world to change, you’ve got money to make, epic relationships to enjoy… putting your energy and fighting spirit into people who don’t want to fight for themselves, their goals, or YOU, is an energy drain. And ultimately it pulls energy away from where you most need it — your success.
When you have your Boundary Capacity on point, you believe people the first time they show you they won’t fight for themselves. Instead, you put your energy and devotion into people who do.
If you keep fighting for people who ghost you, don’t appreciate your loyalty or fail to notice it, then you have a Boundary Capacity expansion issue that is long overdue for some attention.
Lesson 4: Negotiating a $3 million dollar deal
The minute I happened upon the long, oak-shaded driveway of my home in California, I knew I had found my soul’s home. It was a chemical, spiritual, and otherworldly reaction in my brain, blood and bones. I had deja-vu moments, as if I had been here my whole life.
Since the beginning, this land has spoken to me. I know the names of every tree. I know every species of plant that grows in her soil. I hug the lemon eucalyptus in front of my home and tell her how beautiful she is. I feel humbled when the red-tailed hawk trains her baby right in front of me as I write. I know the exact time the sun comes over the mountain every morning and I schedule my morning around it.
This land has always been profoundly magical and healing. Clients who have come to do private retreats here with me tell me the land gets into their cells and accelerates their growth in the most gentle and nourishing way. Friends come to visit and tell me they feel like silk threads are gently caressing their face and arms.
During the off-kilter housemate situation, one of the other things the psychic told me was that the land I live on wants me to steward her and use her for healing retreats of a spiritual nature.
“Do you lead retreats?”, asked the psychic.
I laughed because, as you know, I’ve been leading retreats, whether in my mastermind or stand-alone, for the last 9 years. I’ve hosted 30-40 retreats (I’ve lost count at this point). The psychic’s words hit me like a lightning bolt to the heart.
There’s only one hitch, she said. Your landlord is going to put the house on the market soon. You need to find a way to buy it.
Shortly after, the home I live in went on the market. I was devastated at the thought of someone coming in and kicking me out. I didn’t want someone who didn’t know this land intimately to pave over it for a big mega-mansion that only gets visited once a month as an escape from LA.
And I also felt energized. There’s only one hitch.
No matter how well my business does, I don’t have $3 million dollars sitting around in a bank account. While the property generates enough revenue from rentals to pay for itself and still generate a profit every year, the bank won’t count that as income and won’t consider it when applying for a loan. And being an entrepreneur, I am considered too “volatile” to lend such a large amount to.
But that was NOT going to deter me.
Enter 3 months of the most intense Money Capacity expansion I have ever had. I seriously surprised even myself. I found myself with a plethora of womxn and colleagues reaching out asking if they could support me to come up with a plan on how to do this.
I found myself on the phone with entrepreneurial crowd-funding companies discussing selling shares of equity in the home to fund the property, talking about the different classes of investors, and hearing myself sounding like the big executives at the Private Equity firm I had worked in before I started my business.
The grown-ass-womxn conversations I was having were surprising even some of the investor-types I was talking to. I spoke to the top brokers in my area, even some private lenders. But that wasn’t the most expanding part of this experience.
The most expansive part of this experience was that in searching for a solution to not lose my beloved home, I expanded to see myself as the kind of womxn who is PERFECTLY CAPABLE of making something this big happen.
I needed to expand my capacity to HOLD the knowing that I was able to raise that amount of money in a short amount of time to fund this vision. In the time that I did that, I released a high-end program at a price point I had never had for a group program. It sold out.
I walked away from several deals where the money was being offered to me, but not in an easeful, aligned way. That’s also a form of expanded capacity around money — not taking a lesser deal because you’re desperate and don’t believe you can manifest what you really want.
I’m still working on manifesting the purchase of this property in the way that feels aligned and right. AND I also trust that if this place is meant for me, it will happen. So I’m not stressing.
But THAT is exactly what it is to expand your Money Capacity. To be able to feel perfectly comfortable and confident discussing multi-million dollar transactions, talking to high-level investors AND turning down deals that don’t feel aligned, even if they are easy money, because you are holding out for doing this the right way.
How about you? Can you discuss a $3 million, $10 million or $20 million dollar deals without breaking into a sweat? Can you move beyond fantasizing and instead actually ALREADY see yourself as the person that can generate and handle that kind of money? If not, it’s time to expand your capacity.
Lesson 5: Rejection is a capacity builder
Most of these year-in-review posts will share the wins. They’ll share a few moderate “lessons/losses”. But none of them will talk about their embarrassing, mortifying rejections.
I will, though. Because a lot of times, especially when we’ve built a certain degree of success already, we feel terrified of rejection. It can often feel like there is so much more to lose at your higher levels of success when you get rejected. Or it can feel embarrassing to admit that you had some people reject you like the cool kids do the geeks in those 80’s movies. What if it messes with your “cred”?
I’m here to tell you, rejection is an amazing capacity builder. Embrace it!
As outspoken and loud as I am… I can also be a pretty shy person. Especially when it comes to meeting new people who could be romantic interests. While I have no qualms asking for what I want clearly in my relationships, when I’m first meeting a potential romantic interest, I don’t tend to make the first move. And I have no shame about that nor do I think it needs to be “fixed”. That’s me and I love it.
BUT, I wanted to try something new this year: being upfront and honest about my attractions to see what would happen. Why not put myself out there more than I normally do, just for the fun of it?
Whenever I felt flirtatious energy, chemistry, or a kind of undefined energy between me and someone I felt attracted to, I was honest about it. I shared it with the other person.
And most of those times I was totally rejected! *cue red-faced emoji and hysterical laughing emoji*
Don’t worry, I think it’s funny and sweet. I laughed about it then and still do now. But in the moment of rejection, when I would get the “yeah but I’m not attracted to you” response… I could feel the part of me that was MORTIFIED and wanted to never be forward again!
Then there was the time that I worked my tail off for an opportunity to be introduced to someone who was close to one of my idols in my industry… and it went nowhere. They were just not that interested in what I had to offer. Welp.
Or the time I found out two good friends of mine were invited to a peer-led mastermind that I wasn’t even thought of for (which to me is worse than being rejected, to be honest).
In all three instances of rejection, I felt embarrassed and a little mortified/hurt. But I was able to quickly turn it around and not let it stop me from continuing to put myself out there.
Not because I’m so amazing and so much better at this than most people. Rather, because I’ve been working on expanding my capacity when it comes to rejection.
I recently read this quote by Pamela Madsen: “Rejection doesn’t have to mean you aren’t good enough; it often just means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer.”
And that summarizes it perfectly.
The men who rejected my admission of attraction or my request for a date — that doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful enough, thin enough, smart enough, or not enough in any way shape or form. It says nothing about my value as a person or a potential partner. Sometimes you’re just not someone’s cup of tea and they can’t see what you have to offer them.
The PR or media person who doesn’t think you’re anything special — that doesn’t mean that your work isn’t good enough or that you have to change who you are to be accepted in the “mainstream”. That is one person’s opinion.
In Fred Astaire’s first audition — the casting director who auditioned him wrote, “Can’t Act. Slightly Bald. Can Dance A Little”.
That was written about FRED ASTAIRE, for crying out loud! Can you imagine if he had taken those words to heart and stopped putting himself out there? The casting director who said he could “dance a little” just failed to notice what he had to offer. That’s not on Fred. That’s on the casting director.
And the mastermind you don’t get invited to, for all you know, it could be a shit show behind the scenes that the Universe was protecting you from. You could have ended up with a group of people who wanted to siphon all your good ideas and not give you credit. Or who appear to know everything, but are secretly falling apart behind the scenes. You never know.
If they failed to notice you, it says NOTHING about the impact of your work, your success or your importance. I know for a fact that many of the people who have rejected me or deemed me “not successful enough” to invite to their cliquish masterminds, often make way less money than I do (and they mistakenly assume they make more than me because I’m not constantly bragging about my “seven figure revenues” online), are stressed out and have no quality of life.
I don’t go around advertising my revenue as a way of proving myself to others. I hold out for the people who can see the diamond of a mastermind buddy I am and appreciate me for more than just how much money I make.
If you notice that you find new levels of “rejection fear”…
If you feel like there is some clique of people who don’t see you that you somehow have to prove yourself to…
If you erroneously think that men or womxn don’t seem to notice you or find you attractive…
And you tend to think any of this means something about you and your value or you let it get to you… then you need some support in your Visibility Capacity. Visibility Capacity is the ability to let yourself be seen FULLY and not take it to heart when some fail to appreciate it.
Instead of letting it affect your shine, you keep shining, knowing it has nothing to do with you.
Lesson 6: Profits go up when you cut off toxic relationships
I made the very difficult decision a few years ago to go “low contact” with a family member who has narcissistic traits and was abusive to me growing up… and who continues to be abusive to me whenever we communicate.
These decisions don’t get made lightly. They often take years to make. And often they get made when you finally love yourself too much to not allow ONE more abusive, soul-crushing, heart-slicing comment into your sphere.
I debated my decision long and hard, for many years. And I finally decided to do it four years ago.
I knew that things like my self-esteem, my levels of happiness, and my emotional health would benefit immediately. No longer having those attacks, the cut downs, the demeaning comments about appearance, weight or natural form of expression, the gaslighting, or the attempted manipulation, does wonders for your physical, emotional, and mental health.
But I never knew how much allowing in those little “slices” from toxic people because “I’m strong and I can handle it” were affecting my profits.
The graph of my revenue and profit starting the moment I went low contact with certain toxic dynamics/people in my life, literally goes straight up in one continuous line and continues to. Every year since I went low contact, our revenues AND profit margins have grown.
This year, our profits are way above most people in my industry’s. Our revenues broke records.
Cutting off those relationships and interactions FREED UP my mental, emotional, and spiritual capacity. It freed up my creative capacity. It freed up my mind and heart and directed the energy that was being drained by those toxic interactions back into my business and my work.
The results speak for themselves.
If you’ve been doubting going low or no contact with that person in your family or life, or you keep falling back into toxic dynamics — then you need some support in your Boundary Capacity, Embodiment Capacity and your Structural Capacity.
You have a right to have every boundary, relationship, and structure in your life supporting you fully so that you can step into a whole new way of being in the world.
Lesson 7: My cousin was murdered. Boundary & Embodiment Capacity got me through it.
I never thought I would get that call. Ever. You hear those kinds of reports on the news in the background. Some random person you don’t know has been killed at the McDonald’s at such and such street.
But this time, that random person was my first cousin.
At the end of July, I got a phone call from my brother in law.
Your cousin Nick has been shot. He was dead on arrival. He’s been revived but he’s very unstable and we aren’t sure he’s going to make it.
The grisly details began to come out. It wasn’t an accident. It was murder in cold blood.
I can’t discuss much more than that because there is a police investigation.
But as horrific and traumatizing as that event was, it taught me some surprising things about how capacity can get you through anything. Even the most unimaginable things. And it can also help you have greater compassion than you ever thought was possible.
The minute I got the call at 3am that my cousin had passed away at only 19 years old, I knew that I was going to be flying back to Florida to be with my family. But I also knew that grief amplifies toxic dynamics. And the toxic dynamics in my family were going to be flying EVERYWHERE in such heightened circumstances.
That’s when boundary and embodiment capacity kicked in and supported me.
I set boundaries with myself and with my family first. I booked myself a place to stay where I could get away from unhealthy dynamics if I needed to regroup. I also knew that I was there to support my Aunt in every possible way, and that this wasn’t about me. So I needed a place where I could show up strong for my Aunt, and then cry and do my own grieving process at the end of the day in private, so that I wouldn’t distress her or her kids.
Then I called ahead and ordered from the Whole Foods in Tampa, all the foods and supplements I would need to stay healthy and at my physical best during this stressful time.
I booked several early morning infrared sauna appointments and a gentle massage for the week I was there as well, as I knew my body would be grieving and under intense emotional distress. I made sure I got myself the most comfortable seat on the plane (I also got the business class seat so I could at least get some sleep on the long 6-hour flight across the country to my Florida home).
I got as many details about funeral plans, reception plans, and any other “family gatherings” ahead of time. This was to make sure I could come and go while avoiding family members I did not want to expose myself to, who I knew would be drinking heavily or lashing out at others, unable to process their own grief responsibly.
That was Boundary Capacity operating at its finest. And it helped tremendously.
But it was Embodiment Capacity that stunned me. Because it opened up a level of understanding and compassion that allowed for even greater healing to happen both in my heart and in the heart of my Aunt, who lost her son.
I have been working on expanding my Embodiment (emotional, spiritual, and physical health) Capacity for quite some time. It’s one of the top capacities I work on with my clients, too.
One afternoon, once we had found out who most likely killed my cousin, I found myself in a conversation with my Aunt about it. And we both, at the same time blurted out “you know, I want justice to be done. I want the people who killed Nick to face the consequences. But I also feel kind of sorry for and sad for them.”
We both nodded at each other. And then I continued, “Me too! I feel sad for Nick, I feel sad for us, but I also feel sad for those boys who killed him because when you kill someone you kill a part of your soul. You traumatize yourself when you kill someone. And those boys have to live with that trauma for the rest of their lives. They have to carry the weight of what they did. I can’t imagine the trauma that those boys must have been through to end up committing such a terrible act. Now that trauma has just been perpetuated back onto themselves, onto us, into the world. I can see the whole cycle of trauma and it’s sad.”
We both sat there feeling the same way. And to be honest, I was surprised that the first place my ego went WASN’T “I want them to suffer for what they’ve done for the rest of their lives!”. Mostly I just felt sad for everyone involved. That felt important to me.
This is not the same as spiritual bypassing — which would be glossing over this, not feeling my feelings and telling myself everything happens for a reason. I am angry about this. I feel my rage. I feel incredible loss. I have cried many tears. This was the worst thing that has ever happened in my family. I won’t mince words about that.
But moving through things with expanded capacity makes it a fraction more bearable so that you don’t completely implode.
And I think that expanding my Embodiment Capacity has allowed me to view the situation in a way that anger won’t consume me into a fiery ball of hatred and bitterness. It won’t eat at me so much that I end up perpetuating that hatred in the world, which caused this mess in the first place.
And that has allowed me to get through this.
A week after my cousin was murdered, I was back at work, serving my clients, meeting with my team and managing life. I was able to grieve, cry, and process, AND continue to show up for my purpose on this earth at my highest. AND know exactly when it was time to take a day off for mental health if I needed it, too.
I feel deeply grateful that capacity has enabled me to weather one of the worst things that can happen to a person’s family, without it collapsing me or my business completely.
As you can see, this was the year of capacity expansion.
There is NO funnel, blueprint, or strategy from a business consultant that could have gotten me through any of these situations. Not everything is about strategy.
It’s your capacity that matters most if you’re here to live and work in a way that most people in this world have never even stepped into. Capacity will ensure that you continue to grow, show up for your mission and succeed, even when you have one of the most challenging years of your life.
If you were to look at the list of things that happened in my life this year — you’d think “holy crap that’s got to be the most challenging year she’s ever had”.
But because of expanding my capacity, it DIDN’T feel like my most challenging year ever.
It felt challenging, yes. But the most challenging year I’ve ever had happened many years ago, when I was still prioritizing strategies, funnels, and blueprints over expanding my capacity. The worst year of my life financially, emotionally, and career-wise happened when I was investing the bulk of my money and energy into business coaches & methodologies.
The most challenging years of my life happened when I thought strategy was the answer when the key to everything I desired lay in my capacity.
If you’re ready to live life at this level, applications are open for my capacity expanding 2019 mastermind.
Click here to learn more, fill out the capacity discovery form to find out where your capacity sticking points are, and if I feel I can support you, I’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours to schedule a capacity expansion phone chat.
No weird shit or “pressure techniques”– just an honest assessment of how your capacity might be slowing down your mission and a plan for how we can use capacity to get you where you want to go.
There’s a reason why successful womxn who have hired all the business coaches, been to all the business masterminds, and tried all the strategies and funnels experience results like never before when they come to do the capacity work with me.
There is a reason why capacity has helped my clients save marriages that were breaking down due to their businesses/careers consuming their lives…
or go from $500k in revenue with no profits to $1 million in revenue with healthy profit margins…
or go from crazy overscheduled calendars and complicated business models to streamlined offerings and enough free time in the week to navel gaze if they want to…
…even after they had been to all the “top high-performance strategic experts” out there and STILL couldn’t solve their problem.
Because at a certain point, it’s not about your strategy. It’s your CAPACITY.
In love and capacity,