Posted in Business, healing, learning, self-love

Worth It

It is my belief that people are born inherently worthy. Worthy of love, worthy of respect, worthy of just taking up space and existing exactly as they are.

Almost immediately, we all start to unlearn this. We each have different experiences that help us form our beliefs about ourselves and what we are deserving of. Sometimes, these are good beliefs like, “Mom and Dad still love me even though I did poorly on my school assignment. My worth is not dependent on doing well in school.” But sometimes, they are limiting beliefs like, “If I hadn’t spilled my drink on the sofa, Mom and Dad wouldn’t be fighting right now. It is my fault they argue because I am always making mistakes.”

Obviously, we don’t usually form these beliefs in straight-forward, black and white sentences, and that is what makes them so sinister. We are constantly shaping the way we view ourselves without even knowing it! Then, we behave in a way that we think will make us more desirable, more lovable, more worthy, believing that worthiness is something that can be achieved.

We try to achieve worthiness through our jobs, our relationships, our belongings, and the way we present ourselves to others. We think that if our life just looks a certain way, if we could just obtain perfection, then FINALLY, we would be deemed worthy.

I created my business, Chariot and Charm, as a way to help others release the limiting beliefs they hold about themselves so they can rediscover their own self-worth. The modalities I offer (Life Coaching, Tarot and Oracle readings, and Yoga Nidra) allow clients to reconnect to themselves in a world that often encourages numbing and disconnection. By reconnecting to their truth, my hope is that individuals can become aware of how their beliefs effect their behaviors and then consciously decide which beliefs they want to keep, and which beliefs are no longer serving them.

In my dream world, all people would know they are valuable and worthy. All people would know they are here for a purpose and they would pursue that purpose confidently and passionately, knowing that they don’t have to be “perfect” to be good enough. My goal is to offer a safe and supportive environment for people to get to know themselves so that they can really, truly love themselves.

Posted in healing, learning, self-love

Please please please please love me

Hi, my name is Jordan, and I am a chronic people-pleaser. This has been the case my entire life. So much of my identity is built upon wanting others to like me (or, even better, LOOOOOVE me). I became so codependent (on everyone), so focused on being who I thought everyone else wanted me to be, that for a long time, I didn’t even know myself.

I believe this started in my childhood around the time my parents started to have problems in their marriage. I remember once, hearing them shouting at each other in our garage, I quickly drew a happy family portrait with my crayons and presented it to them. I was trying to “fix” whatever was broken (even before I understood how a marriage could be broken).

My sister was what you would call the “problem child” in our house. She struggled with school and often cut class. She had a hard time holding down a job. For a lot of reasons- some fair and some really unfair- my dad (technically our step-dad) had issues with my sister. Which meant our mom had issues with my dad. There were other problems, too, but a lot of it centered around the struggles my sister dealt with. Before I was even old enough to realize what I was doing, I made it a point to be the easy kid. I performed well in school, I got a job at 16 and worked hard at it, I didn’t really ask my parents for anything. I tried not to be a “burden.” I saw that they already had a lot on their plate (especially my mom) and I did my best not to add to it.

This translated into pretty much every relationship that followed. My first boyfriend would become distant and cold if I ever brought up concerns about our relationship. On one occasion, he didn’t speak to me for 3 days. I didn’t think my requests were unfair or unwarranted, but I also didn’t want him to leave me, so I apologized excessively and smoothed everything over. I internalized any discomfort or pain that I felt, because I felt it wasn’t safe to share; if I shared it, I could potentially end up alone.

In my early 20’s, I moved to Arizona to start fresh. I soon learned that you don’t just leave all your baggage behind. My people-pleasing, codependent ways followed me. I was basically alone in a new state where I knew exactly two people. I didn’t know who I was or what I liked or what I wanted. All I knew was I was afraid of being alone. I wanted to badly to be loved and wanted. If others didn’t love me, I knew it was beIMG_8400cause I was unworthy of being loved. I was unlovable. It was my fault.

These feelings weren’t reserved solely for romantic relationships, either. I was completely codependent on my friends as well. I did whatever they wanted to do. I never started an argument and I avoided conflict at all costs. I am an introvert by nature, but I was so afraid of being left out that I was constantly out partying and drinking. I avoided my feelings by being constantly in contact with other people; I could NOT be alone. Sometimes my friends would become upset with me or need space, and when that happened, I would spiral into my depression, even resorting to self-harm. I didn’t share any of these sad or bad feelings with my friends because I didn’t want to be a burden. I wanted them to like me and I thought that if I wasn’t “easy,” then they wouldn’t want me around.

(This photo is from one of my many drunken nights out. Don’t get me wrong, not every night out was bad, and I have a lot of good memories. But when I look at this girl, I see someone so lost, someone who didn’t love herself, and who was using alcohol as a way to fill that void.)

Of course, there is a rock bottom in this story (involving way too much alcohol and an interrupted suicide attempt). Fortunately, there were professionals there to catch me. I wound up in a mental healthcare facility off the Las Vegas strip. It was fucking real and fucking terrifying. It was also what I needed to open my eyes. I realized, I don’t want to die. What am I doing?

It was in a group therapy session at this facility that I first heard the term codependency. It resonated deeply and I wanted to know more. Codependency has traditionally been used to describe relationships with addicts, but more recently the definition has evolved and expanded. Codependency is a sort of relationship addiction based on an excessive reliance on approval from others. A person puts so much focus on keeping their partner around and filling their needs that they ignore their own needs. As I read, I was like whoa. This is me.

So, I knew that in order to crawl my way out of rock bottom. I needed to make some changes. It helped that now I had an idea of where to start.

The first thing that had to go was drinking. It wasn’t just unhealthy for me, it was dangerous for me in my current mindset. This meant I had to miss out on going out with my friends multiple times a week, which was hard for me. At first I felt left out, and was certain I would be forgotten. I wasn’t actually too far off. Pretty quickly I realized that there wasn’t much to these friendships beyond drinking. Most of these people didn’t reach out to me to see how I was, or invite me to other activities like dinner or the movies. I mourned the loss of these “friendships.” But this showed me who my real people were. The ones who stood by my side and helped me through my transition, who genuinely cared about my well-being. These people are still my best friends today.

Maybe even more difficult than quitting drinking was learning how to set boundaries. I had to fucking learn to say no, and it went against everything in my body. I learned that I couldn’t go to every event, I couldn’t take every late-night phone call, I even had to lessen my load at the community college I was attending. I had to slow down. I had to take time for me. I had to spend time with me, learning to check in with myself and pay attention if I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. It was uncomfortable, spending time alone. It was hard to be alone with my thoughts instead of out numbing and ignoring. But it got easier and I’ve become in tune to what I need for my mental and emotional health. Now I can make a decision to do something based on what I truly want, not how I think others will perceive me.

Finally, and this is I think a constant work in progress, I had to learn who the hell I am. What my likes and dislikes are. What my fears are and what my hopes and dreams are. What kinds of personalities I enjoy and want to be around. I was 25 years old and I didn’t know these things!! I had worn a mask for so long, I didn’t know what my real reflection looked like. This takes practice and discovery and trying new things and again, boundaries. I learned to listen to and respect my own opinion. Now, I am finally in a place where I know who I am and what I stand for, and this has been my greatest gift to myself.

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(Infographic by Sara Kuburic, @millennial.therapist)

Posted in goals, healing, hope, learning

F.E.A.R.

One of the things I love about Life Coaching is that it helps a person make an impact on their life right now. Unlike therapy or counseling, it isn’t necessary to know the whole story and all of the “why’s” in order to start taking steps forward.

I want to make it clear right now that I do NOT think life coaching should take the place of therapy/counseling. Some people may need one or the other, some people may want to have both. It is an individual’s choice to make sure their specific needs are being met. Life coaching isn’t about delving into past traumas or childhood experiences to discover why we act or feel the way we do. It is simply about coming up with a motivating plan to move forward from where you currently are.

That being said, life coaching does require a person to be vulnerable and honest. This can be really hard when talking about fears and insecurities, especially if you haven’t already been working your way through them.

My big fear is to live an unfulfilling life. A life with little emotional connection, no big-life talks, no exciting new experiences or travels to different places. A life where I am stuck in a comfortable but boring day job, feeling like I don’t make a difference in the world. A life where I don’t have a purpose. Essentially, I am just waiting to die because I’ve given up hope that life can be bright and inspiring and full.

The thing about my fear is that I have already lived it. I was trapped in a job, a relationship, a life that felt suffocating. I was filled with anxiety over the thought of never having something more meaningful to me. That is why I quit my job, ended a five-year relationship, and moved to a different state to start over. I had to leave behind the comforts of home and embrace the unknown in the hopes that things would work out for the better. And, so far they have.

I recently learned a new definition of fear in class:

F- false
E- evidence
A- appearing
R- real

How do we overcome fear?

F- face it
E- express it
A- acknowledge it
R- release it

One way of facing and expressing your fear is by turning it into a metaphor. Speaking of something metaphorically is sometimes easier than openly discussing a painful fear, and it can bring objectivity to a situation. Also, in your metaphor, you are entirely in control. You can overcome any roadblock that is set in your path.

My fear feels like a room with no doors. I’m in the room alone, and it is pretty threadbare. One entire wall is made of glass and I can see out into the world. People are constantly passing by, but they don’t pay attention to my little room. I try to get their attention but they can’t hear me. They are participating in life. They are making a difference in the world through work that they’re passionate about. They are embracing relationships and friendships fully and basking in the love they are giving and receiving. They are traveling, trying new things, finding new hobbies, new likes and dislikes, new ideas. 

My room is isolating and uninspiring, but it is safe. I can’t be hurt by others. I can’t fail or disappoint myself or others. I want to go outside, I want to live in the light, but I’m so worried I won’t be good enough, I won’t succeed, I won’t bring anything important to the world. What if I enter the light and fail? What if I am a burden to those around me? What if they were better off when I stayed in the shadows?

Still, my heart longs for adventure. I can’t stop thinking about what I might achieve. “Maybe I could succeed,” I whisper to myself, and a small crack appears in the glass.

“I have stories that others might relate to.” A snapping sound as another crack appears.

“I’ll never know unless I try.”
Crack.

My voice slightly louder, I say, “I’m a good listener. I’m thoughtful and caring. Others could benefit from having me around.”
Crack.

“Why shouldn’t I be happy? Why shouldn’t I dream big dreams?”
Crack.

“I’m holding myself back in this room. I’m playing small. I’m hiding from potential happiness and success.”
CRACK.

Taking a step back, I see the web of cracks connecting all over the glass. It seems precariously balanced, like one wrong move would send it shattering into a million pieces. 

“My voice is powerful,” I say louder.  
The glass shakes, every so slightly. 

Suddenly, I am so sure of myself. “I am powerful!” I shout. “I have the power to create any life I want!”

With this final declaration, the glass bursts into tiny, glittering pieces clattering to the ground. The dividing wall between myself and the world is gone. It is up to me what I do next. I step forward and feel the warm sunlight hit my skin. I smell the fresh, clean air. I hear laughter in the distance. My heart is so full. 

Looking over my shoulder, I see my small, dark room. Sunlight is streaming through the opening, brightening the corners. It doesn’t seem so threatening anymore. I turn back to the sun and take a step forward into the unknown. 

When I started speaking this metaphor to my classmates, I had no idea what was going to come out. I knew I felt trapped, but hadn’t realized the feelings of isolation and looking out at others. I sure as hell didn’t know my voice would be the tool I used to free myself. But with my eyes closed, deep in the visualization of my metaphor, I just knew. I knew that the power was inside of me. I just had to be brave enough to use it. 

What is your fear? What is it holding you back from? If you turned your fear into a metaphor, how would you smash it? 

Posted in healing, hope, learning, self-care, self-love, Uncategorized

Born Worthy

Last weekend, I took my first course in Life Coaching. While the creator of the course, K. C. Miller, was giving her introduction speech, I got really teary-eyed. I thought I was able to blink them back well enough, but K. C. locked eyes on me and said, “I appreciate that you are having a physiological reaction. Would you please share with us?” And then the crying hit my throat, and I knew I couldn’t speak even if I wanted to.

What got me so worked up was K. C. Miller’s philosophy that, “There are no extra people.” It’s simple and short. But the meaning is so potently beautiful, I couldn’t help but break into tears.

I am someone very familiar with feeling “extra.” I didn’t think I had a purpose or a reason to be alive; most of the time I just felt like a burden on my loved ones. I still remember the day I had an insane breakthrough with my therapist, Joy, when she told me, “You matter, Jordan.” It was the first time I had ever heard it, which maybe isn’t so unusual. It isn’t exactly the sort of thing you go around casually expressing to others. But for me, it was life-changing. Before that, I didn’t know if I mattered. In fact, I doubted that I did. In this pivotal moment, I realized that I didn’t have to earn the right to matter. I didn’t have to earn my worthiness. Every single person matters just because they exist. By extension, that meant I must have to matter too.

While in class, there was a lot of sharing (as is to be expected from a healing arts school). I listened intently to the stories of my peers. The boy with the mohawk covered in tattoos. The pretty young yogi. The blue-haired witch. The ever-giving mother. As I listened, I was brought to tears more than once. Throughout all of their trials- be it with addiction, abuse, grieving a lost loved one, low self-worth, poverty, and more- these beautiful humans still found their way to a school where they could learn to heal themselves so that they could then help to heal others. How amazing is that??

I thought, “There isn’t a person alive that you couldn’t love if you heard their story.”

Life Coaching isn’t really about giving advice or sharing stories. It’s about asking the right questions. The goal is to help your client discover their own answers through self-reflection. On the last day of class, K. C. asked us to contemplate, “What is the one most important question that we need to ask ourselves in order to heal and move forward?” Fucking intense, man.

Initially, I came up with, “Why do I think I don’t deserve to love myself?” You see, even with the important realization that I matter in this world, actually loving myself is still a work in progress. Some days it is so easy, I don’t even have to think about it. Some days it is so hard, I don’t want to think about it or I’m afraid I’ll break down.  While I meditated, though, another thought hit me. “Why do I deserve to love myself?”

Even speaking the question aloud, I felt insecure and undeserving. But I don’t believe that narrative anymore, so I am here to answer my question.

Why do I deserve to love myself?

  • Because I am brave.
  • Because I left home so I could spread my wings.
  • Because I lost myself, completely.
  • Because I tried finding myself in bottles of liquor, in strangers’ beds.
  • Because I have had my heart shattered by an ex-love.
  • Because I allowed myself to love again (and again and again…)
  • Because I am a Scorpio.
  • Because I put so much stock into astrology.
  • Because I’m a good ass friend.
  • Because I’ve been a bad friend at times, but my apologies are sincere.
  • Because I am the absolute best gift-giver you’ll ever meet.
  • Because I feel things so deeply, and it’s fucking hard.
  • Because I love learning.
  • Because I hate being told what to do.
  • Because I believe in love and equality between genders, races, and religions.
  • Because I can’t keep a hairstyle for more than six months.
  • Because I’m, like, really funny sometimes.
  • Because I’m an introvert to the max.
  • Because I have anxiety.
  • Because I’m so. goddamn. awkward. sometimes.
  • Because I won’t let my depression win.
  • Because I understand those who do, and I love them anyway.
  • Because I have zero sense of geography, even in my own neighborhood.
  • Because I’ve gotten too drunk and said too many things I can’t take back.
  • Because I’ve cried myself to sleep more nights than I can count.
  • Because I find answers in poetry.
  • Because I find meaning staring into the ocean’s vastness.
  • Because I keep trying to grow things, even though I have a brown thumb.
  • Because I’m a fucking dope wife and an even better fur-mom.
  • Because I know the world is mostly good.
  • Because I know the world is entirely deserving of love.
  • Because I am always striving, always expanding.
  • Because I was born worthy. 
  • Because we all were.