The day my sister died it left a permanent scar.
I remember it like it was yesterday, though it was 21 years ago next month...
June 8th, 1999...
I was emotionally broken...
My sister was emotionally broken...
Both of us were in marriages in which we were experiencing infidelity.
My sister was getting telephone calls almost daily from people who "thought she should know" what her husband was doing.
I had listened to voice messages from two different women expressing their "feelings" for my husband.
That morning I told my husband that it was over and that I was no longer going to be with him.
That night my sister died... she permanently left her husband.
But she also left her 4-year old son, my mother and father, me, my children, her friends...
We both checked out that day but in different ways.
A Greater Purpose
My experiences of that day, June 8th, 1999, is profoundly connected to why I do what I do today... coaching women to RECLAIM their PowHER and Awaken to the Divinity of their Femininity.
Several weeks before my sister died she expressed to me in a conversation how tired she was... she was experiencing intense heartbreak and struggling with life.
Emotionally she was drained. Mentally she was drained.
I was drained as well but I was always the "rock" that everyone depended on to help them be stronger.
My strength IS my strength... it always has been. I've always had power within but I had to learn how to harness the power from a spiritual perspective so that I could walk fully in my purpose and Divine calling. Because to be honest with you there was a time when I didn't feel powerful at all.
Today, I am so passionate about what I do in helping women to come on the other side of rejection and grief because it's the nucleus of my story... It's my heart and soul story.
I'm tempted to wish that I could have played a role in keeping my sister here but her story, my story, the connecting of our stories and the lessons I have learned, are what propelled me to walk in my purpose powerfully...
To help women RECLAIM and walk in their Divine Feminine PowHER.
To teach women how to Awaken to the Divinity of their Femininity and transform pain into purpose.
To show women how to turn their story upside down and use it as a platform from which they can help themselves and others.
The Reality of Grief
I work with women who are struggling with grief and rejection:
Grief and rejection affect us at the soul level and are feelings that we will all experience at some point in our life time... it's inevitable and a part of the life experience.
How we process the grief will determine how we come through it.
Truth is some people stay stuck in grief because they don't know how to process it in a healthy way.
With grief comes varying emotions...
Anger, depression, sadness, fear, anxiety, un-forgiveness, loneliness, despondency, desperation, to name a few.
Because grief is a big part of my story, I know that the weight of loss is extremely heavy. Grief shows up on many different levels but it MUST be acknowledged, confronted and processed in order to be healed.
Eventually it's important to see grief for what it serves as... Sacred work for the soul.
Grateful for the Grief
My sister's passing ushered me fully into my willingness to connect with my spiritual, intuitive gift in a way that was no longer scary or overwhelming for me.
See, my gift of intuition and spirit connection was evident when I was a child, but to be honest with you, I was terrified of it.
I now embrace it fully and as a result have been able to help thousands of clients process their fears, rejection, abandonment, and limiting belief systems to come out victoriously on the other side.
Honoring my sister by walking in my PowHER and helping other women who are struggling mentally and emotionally to do the same, is the power behind what I do.
Today I live on purpose and I live with purpose.
This month, May 6th, would have been my sister's 50th birthday. She died at the age of 29.
Two weeks ago spirit mandated me to create a program to help women (and men) transcend the pain of grief by understanding how honoring our emotions, fears and doubts as spiritual opportunities can connect you to the lessons that the experience of grief serves as it pertains to your Divine purpose.
Grief is inescapable, it doesn't discriminate and is an integral part of our soul work.
How I Can Help You...
If you are struggling with grief, rejection, or heart break I want to invite you to schedule an alignment session with me.
My coaching sessions will support you in...
If you are struggling with mental and emotional turmoil over:
Then I want to invite you to connect with me. I understand the pain of grief and loss but more importantly I understand, and can teach you, how to process it to move through to the other side.
Life has knocked you on your a**!
Well there's two ways that you can look at this...
And how you look at this will determine what the outcome of this is.
But before I get into that I want to share with you some major life lessons that I have learned about myself through my knocked-down-by-life moments.
I appreciate that many people don't want to hear this but the truth is that with life comes challenges. Life and challenges are like a couple who can't decide if they should be together or not and yet something keeps pulling them to each other.
Speaking of a couple who can't decide if they should be together or not, our greatest lessons come through our more difficult experiences. Many of these difficult experiences come by way of relationships.
Just like the couple whose relationship serves as a major teacher for both participants, so is life a teacher for us as individuals.
I call our dwelling place the "earth school" because I firmly believe that we are all here to learn. Earth is a place for learning life lessons.
What's so great about this place of learning is that the lessons are on many different spectrums.
I have learned so much about myself through my relationships and ironically I have learned the greatest truths about myself through failed relationships.
I was at a place where I felt that maybe I didn't need to do relationships because they never worked out in my favor. But that thought was creating the very thing that I did not want to experience.
I AM a relationship person. I love beautiful, loving, powerful and great relationships. So why on earth would I even consider denying myself of that beautiful experience. And yet that's exactly what I was doing... by default.
I hadn't seen what I would call WHOLESOME relationships growing up. Yes, my parents obviously loved each other but they never seemed to achieve true happiness together.
As an adult, and a specialist in mindset development, I now understand why they never achieved it. It's because they were always so focused on what was missing that they were in a constant cycle of creating lack rather than abundance...
Lack of happiness.
Lack of wealth.
Lack of joy.
Lack of peace.
Lack of unity.
What happens when we are programmed with an idea or belief system as a child? We create it as an adult.
Once I discovered how I was creating lack in my relationships based on my faulty belief systems, I was able to turn my experience with relationships around.
What NOT to do
One of the GREATEST lessons that we have the opportunity to learn here in the earth school is what not to do.
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Thomas Edison
Why do some succeed while others stay in a place of failure?
It's important to understand that everyone has the same opportunities to succeed in life. We can all have what we desire to.
No, I don't live under a rock somewhere. I understand the power of the mind and how it will work for you if you use it for power rather than allow it to limit your potential.
Your destiny does not lie in anything or anyone outside of yourself. Believing that it does keeps you in a continuous cycle of limitations.
When you give yourself the opportunity to tap into the power within you, you open yourself up to every opportunity that is available to you.
When you constantly focus on what you can't do, be or have you give permission for the experience of lack to be your constant reality.
I saw finances as a major disconnect between my parents growing up. So I had a subconscious program running that "money caused problems". Who wants problems? We try to avoid problems at all costs, right?
So what was I doing? Avoiding money at all costs! But who the heck wants to do that, really?
I was repelling it because of my beliefs about what it caused (separation and problems) and I was doing this from a place of unawareness.
It was a struggle to get money.
It was a struggle to keep money.
It was a struggle to have money.
It was a struggle to talk about money.
I had created a struggle around money. So essentially I was resisting money at all costs, unknowingly.
I've had to do A LOT of inner work around Money Mindset. Through my years of study in this area I have been able to identify how I was creating the very thing that I didn't want to experience, which was struggle in the area of finances.
You have to first own it before you can disown it.
If not you, then who?
Why can't you do it? Why can't you have it? Why can't you be it?
Who is stopping you?
YOU... only you.
Whenever you declare, or accept, that something is hard you are essentially coming into agreement with struggle. You will always struggle in whatever is hard or difficult for you.
If you resign to having no choice, you relinquish your power to be the creator that you were designed to be. Rather than being the creator in your story you become the character in someone else's.
What do you think it means when we are told that God/Creator made us in their image?
What does God do? CREATE.
What do WE do? CREATE!
We are always creating. The sad, unfortunate reality is that most create in default rather than intentionally.
But what if you truly understood your God-given potential? What could you do?
You could be unstoppable!
If you weren't able to achieve it you wouldn't be able to think about it. What do I mean?
► If you think/wish that you had more money... you can achieve it.
► If you think/wish that you were more successful... you can achieve it.
► If you think/wish that you were happier... you can achieve it.
► If you think/wish that you had a better relationship... you can achieve it.
► If you think/wish that you were healthier... you can achieve it.
If you can think about it, you can bring it about. But...
You will experience what you EXPECT. Or in other words, whatever you FOCUS on is what you welcome in as your reality.
This is what I believe William Henley meant in his poem Invictus...
"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."
What you are within is what you will experience outside of yourself. You don't attract what you want, you attract what you are.
You alone get to decide, and create, your experiences.
So where do you want to go from here?
Stop Focusing On Others
Listen you don't have, nor will you EVER have, control over what others do. So stop wasting your time focusing on what everybody else is doing!
This was a huge life lesson for me that I am so grateful to have learned.
Your wealth, success, happiness, peace and joy doesn't lie in somebody else. The ability and potential for creating these lies within you.
However, you can allow others to rob you of all of it. (If you are having an "ouch" moment reading this then face it so you can erase it.)
Have you been guilty of giving your power away by being so focused on what somebody else was, or wasn't, doing?
Have you been denying yourself the thing(s) you desired most because you have been allowing someone else's comfort and happiness to be your priority instead of honoring your own?
They can't take it from you unless you make it available. And even if you believe they stole it without your permission, are you going to continue to allow them to rob you of it because it's all you think about?
Okay... GI Joe said that knowing is half the battle. So now you know where the problem lies. My question to you now is...
Where Do You Go From Here?
Do you continue to focus on the problem or are you ready to discover the solution? You get to CHOOSE, but you have to first make a decision.
TWO Points Of View
So what are the two ways you can look at this?
You can either continue to think about everything that has gone wrong or decide what "right" looks like for you.
You can either continue to ask the questions....
"Why did they...?"
"Why did he/she...?"
"Why did this...?"
"Why did it...?"
Or you can shift your focus from them to you...
"HOW DO I...?"
You can stay in the place of victim mindset... "Why did...?"
Or you can shift to victor mindset... "How do I...?"
Now that you know you have a choice, where do you go from here?
Do you want to remain a victim to external circumstances or do you want to walk in victory, RECLAIM Your PowHER and BEcome the Creator that you were designed to be?
You get to choose and you get to walk in your power.
Now, WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?
If you look around you, it’s easy to see everybody attaching his or her own meaning to the word "love."
Some people don’t feel loved unless they’ve seen some sort of thoughtful action from someone else.
Some need to hear empathetic words, while others only feel loved through revealing deeper truths about themselves.
And then there are those who wish to be whisked away on a romantic vacay, be pampered and treated like a King or a Queen.
But here's the problem...
99% Of People Don't KNOW What They WANT!
Trust me, I've been there myself.
There was a time when I struggled in relationships.
No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I showed love for my significant other, something felt missing. I just wasn’t authentically connecting to him and vice versa.
Something always felt unfulfilled.
Our "needs" weren't being met because we didn't fully understand what our needs were.
It was only when I realized that the love and deeper connection I wanted to have was actually something I can experience on my own that I had a shift in the love experience!
I realized the cold hard truth about having and making that ‘perfect relationship’ was just an illusion.
Where Did The Illusion Come From?
People are always looking for love and so they formulate an "appearance" of love in their minds. But how can you find what you don't recognize?
When I recognized that the love that I desired could only come from within me, was when I stopped searching for the "one" who would bring me love.
I woke up and saw how I had been wrapped up in the illusion of finding ‘true love’ instead of creating a love that was authentic within myself first.
How did I identify the illusion?
Because when I looked within myself and faced it I could see the root of the illusion, where this illusion came from. I realized that when we are born, the first thing we see is our parents and the happy relationship that they try to present to the world, the ideal relationship that they are striving to achieve.
And then we see our other family members and teachers around us doing the same. I recognized that I had grown up with this built-in idea of what a relationship should be. But there always appeared to be a contrast in the relationships I saw.
For example, we celebrate "Love Days" because we ‘should’; we ‘must’ have a Valentine’s Day date - just because everybody else does.
When, in reality, the only thing you SHOULD do is love yourself first!
Here's a good place to begin:
Tip #1: Love Is A State Of Being, So BE In A State Of Love
It has been said that if you do not truly love yourself, you cannot really love another.
It's about learning to give love to yourself, even when it's difficult, and receiving love even when you rather push it away.
Sometimes loving ourselves looks like doing the things we know we can do to make our lives better - even when it’s uncomfortable.
For example, when I first started to question the validity of my own illusions about finding the ‘perfect’ love, I realized that my search was an endeavor to fulfill a void within. I was lonely.
So how do you truly fill that void of loneliness?
By demonstrating love, not just showing it.
Tip #2: Demonstrating Love Means Creating Love
Unlike simply "showing" love to someone, demonstrating love means you are opening up to love. Opening up to love can sometimes result in opening up to pain, as in feeling the pain of what another feels through empathy.
We must love, even when it hurts.
First accept how you feel and that it’s okay to feel that way. It’s just a feeling. Don’t judge it.
Feelings come and go through an open heart. Really feel what the loneliness is about and be fully present with it. You’ll discover new things you could have never seen before. This discovery will lead to wisdom through an expanded perspective.
Acknowledge that you deserve to be loved because you are worthy and the better you love yourself the better you teach others how to love and treat you.
When you do this, something amazing happens.
You realize that you don’t need anything outside yourself in order to be happy.
You realize that loneliness, or that void, was nothing but a part of you, which you previously didn’t want to see as it was too painful.
When we are able to connect these pieces together we understand what LOVE TRULY IS and thus we magnetically attract it because we ARE IT.
Put simply... loves awareness and acceptance allows the void to dissolve. Like a light shining in the darkness, awareness is the key.
Tip #3: You Are Never Truly Alone When You Love Yourself
This is so true! If you are feeling lonely when you are alone, maybe it’s because you don’t like who you are with.
But you are never really alone, because you have yourself! Embracing this time can be an amazing opportunity for personal development and growth.
It is something that I myself have been connecting to for the past two years from a place of awareness. I used to say, I just don’t like being alone, but now I see the alone time as an opportunity to reflect internally on how I feel, what I want in my life and where I am going.
It gives me the chance to give to myself that much needed self-care I now accept that I deserve and am worthy of.
It’s showing me how to stop holding back in life and the importance of releasing the things that are no longer healthy or serving me.
If you are currently single, keep in mind this can be a good thing. This time is the perfect chance you’ll ever have to love yourself the way you deserve to be loved.
Tips And Tricks For Loving Yourself
Write It Down
Make a list of everything you would like to start doing for yourself.
Maybe it’s a morning meditation, daily smoothie, juicing, running, biking, yoga, eating healthier, hiking, exploring, reading, painting, or writing - whatever it may be, use this as an opportunity to get started!
Keep a journal and document how it felt to finally do the things that you have wanted to do for yourself.
Be creative. This is where you take priority in taking care of yourself and doing the little things that make you feel good from the inside out.
You may be surprised by how good it can feel to put yourself first, and hopefully it will inspire you to continue doing so in the future, when appropriate. Today can be the beginning of an incredible relationship with yourself, if you allow it.
Notice Your Body Language
This is a simple observation that doesn’t require any effort.
Your muscles always show you how you feel inside (beyond your mind) as you go about your day. So, at least 2 or 3 times a day, simply notice how you’re sitting, standing, walking, or interacting.
Then shift your body language to something that says you feel good, loving and worthy about yourself. But do it ever so softly and gently. When we slow down we can be fiercely strong and gentle at the same time.
Check In With You
If you simply check in with your inner state consistently, you will start to shape your brain wiring for a more healthy sense of love - thus you will be able to be loved deeper by someone else!
(Note: Again, the first relationship you have is with yourself. This is where ALL your other relationships stem from.)
Depending on how healthy your relationship is with yourself, how much you love yourself, how much integrity and worth you embody (through your actions) and how aligned you are to your inner truth, will be how healthy your relationships are with others.
Remember there is a huge difference between true love and transactional love.
When we exist AS love, it's through our perceptions and actions - including how we see ourselves - and we completely invite love into our lives.
When we treat love like a transaction, it comes down to love being something you must earn. Basically in transactional love we "use" objects, attachments, labels and purchases to convey our love, but it comes from a conditional place. As a result we feel at the heart something is missing in the relationship and things may seem disconnected with our partner in ways.
Receiving "things" may make you happy for a while, but nothing fills your heart like when someone shows you love through their very being. Someone who understands you, sees you, hears you...
Someone who notices the small things about you. Loves you and has your back even when times are difficult. Love that shows up even in the dark and shines the light on the already existing, yet unseen WHOLE.
This is true love.
So don't measure your worth based on if you are single or in a relationship.
Let every day be an opportunity for you to learn how to be loved bigger and better through embodying love yourself, in bigger and better ways.
There is nothing more powerful than the act of love through the state of being love.
Loving someone in the highest sense means to have an unselfish and compassionate concern towards your own highest good too. In this you can fully demonstrate and embody love in its truest sense.
We must love (and receive love) from a cup that is full, not empty. We must fill our own cup rather than depending on someone else to fill it.
Today and all days.... please remember YOU have the power to love. Starting with yourself.
Is bondage physical, mental or emotional?
The short answer is bondage occurs in all three of these areas and not understanding how it shows up will confine you to a place of bondage that feels very difficult to escape.
But where and how does bondage begin?
The illusion will have us believe that bondage is more of a physical experience but every experience that we have begins within the mind, is felt within the emotions and experienced in the body.
Our emotional experiences and our physical experiences begin as a process within the mind.
The Mind is a Powerful Thing To Waste
Over the past two months I have taken to bike riding. It's an activity that I thoroughly enjoyed as a child and I enjoy it just as much today at the age of 52. I discovered that doing what you love truly feeds your soul.
I have been experiencing major life lessons on my bike rides that I am compelled to share with my audience. Today the lesson came through on bondage and liberation.
Seventeen months ago my husband left our home with no explanation. Two months after he left he returned with no explanation or conversation. When I confronted him verbally he attacked me physically which resulted in the police being called to my home at 2am in the morning.
I told the police that I didn't want him there and they asked him to leave for the night. He took a handful of his belongings with him and never returned.
That was fifteen months ago.
There is much mental processing that I have done since that day to now and have had to face some very difficult truths about myself and the relationship that was my marriage.
The first truth that I had to come face to face with was that, in both of my marriages, I entered into the relationship from a place of desperation. I had desperate thoughts as it pertained to the relationships with both spouses.
Any time you enter into an agreement from a place of desperation you are truly setting yourself up to be bound in something that is unhealthy. The foundation of a thing determines the structure of it.
My mind was not in a confident place and my thoughts were all over the place when I entered into marriage eleven years ago. I realize that my state of mind worked against me rather than for me. How can you truly be comfortable in something that was founded on desperation.
Desperation is not comfortable or confident.
The Blind Eye
When you can't see clearly you can tend to make things up.
But I saw many things that I knew had an undertone of drama to them. From infidelity to insecurity to incapability to manipulation and control. But the truth is, as women, we have a tendency to pretend that we don't see what we see, excuse it, or convince ourselves that it's not as bad as it seems.
This is the first lie we tell ourselves and in turn we choose to turn a blind eye.
I'm a very strong personality (true Aires I am) and I can hold my own externally. However as an empath I feel emotions at a deep soul level and the feelings can never be denied. You can ignore others but you cannot ignore yourself.
As spiritual beings we are wired in such a way that gives us access to the truth. This shows up in what I call intuition. Our intuition is connected to our feeling sense and this is why it is so important that we DO NOT ignore our feelings. We have to feel what we feel and more importantly we need to understand what we feel and why we feel it.
The truth is... I felt. I felt much discomfort in the beginning emotionally but I was allowing myself to be driven physically.
He was good looking, he was tall, he was financially secure (or at least I thought he was), he was romantic, he was a great kisser. All external.
But he was also insecure, emotionally wounded, disconnected, dishonest, mean in how he spoke about others, negative, and a "victim". All internal.
He constantly talked about what everyone else did to him. That's the mentality of a victim. It's always about what someone else did.
And I was a victim to the story of what my father did to me or didn't do for me. So when you are blind to who you are you can't see clearly that you attract what you are.
Facing Your Truth
I realized on my bike ride this morning how free I truly am now that I am truly free.
I'm not just talking about physical freedom. Yes, I'm no longer in the relationship that I was really unhappy in for years. But the truth is that mentally and emotionally I was bound and didn't even realize it.
I went sky diving last year for my 51st birthday. I wanted to do it on my 50th birthday but he objected to it.
I now go bike riding through the forest, something that I know he would be opposed to.
I do the things that I love doing without the thought or worry about what someone else would think about it. It's such a liberating space to be in and I am so grateful.
But the truth is that he wasn't stopping me from being comfortable doing what I wanted to do. The truth is that I was allowing his comfort to be more important to me than my own. And deep down on the inside this was making me very uncomfortable.
A relationship that is healthy and functional is comfortable for all parties involved. This doesn't mean that you will always agree on everything but it does mean that even though I may not agree with your position, I honor the fact that you get to choose what is best for you. Once it is not diminishing what is best for me.
A relationship consists of two individuals... two INDIVIDUALS. Two people with different thoughts, different experiences, different understandings, different outlooks. And different is okay. Different is beautiful. Different is well... different.
Understanding differences, respecting and honoring them makes for healthier, more connected relationships. If you don't like it, you have the right to walk away from it. You do not however have the right to change it or insist that it change.
Escaping The Trap
Until you make the necessary steps to escape the mental trap, you will remain physically trapped. The entrapment to bondage always begins in the mind. Like the song says "Free your mind and the rest will follow."
Escaping emotional and physical bondage begins with a decision. It begins with coming face to face with those thoughts that you have allowed to occupy and consume your mind. If your thoughts are not free, you won't be free emotionally, mentally or physically.
I realized that I alone was keeping myself entrapped within the emotional bondage because I allowed fear of another failed marriage to keep me stuck in a place of discontentment and unfulfillment. I also realize though that deep down on the inside I had a desire to be free... to be happy and in a relationship that added to me rather than subtracted from me.
And the truth is that one door had to close... I had to walk out of the door (or in this case he had to walk out of the door) for me to be able to access the door that I deserve to walk through.
Life always presents you with opportunities to learn, to evolve and to grow. Your responsibility, and mine, is to learn, evolve and grow. Your present circumstances don't define you unless you allow them to. If your soul is calling you to it, know that you can connect with it.
Experiencing liberation requires three things...
Pay attention to what you see but more importantly to what you feel. Your ability to create the life that you desire to live is, and always has been, within you.
Here's to a liberated life! Cheers!
I am Denika Carothers, Life Coach, author, healer and Mental and Emotional Wellness specialist. I help my clients transcend the pain and trauma of rejection, grief, abandonment, loss and abuse.