"When was the last time you felt really excited?
When was the last time you felt passionate? I'm not talking about sexual passion. Though that is what most people think about when the word is used. I'm talking about life passion. When you have passion in your life, you wake up excited about the day ahead of you, and you take projects on with enthusiasm. With passion in your heart, you become the woman who goes for it … even when you're going for daunting or difficult things.
A passionate you is a powerful you, but if you're like most women, you probably haven't felt the fire in a long time. (It's tough to feel passionate when you're drowning in your own life, isn't it?) If you're deep in the drowning part right now, you may doubt that passion is possible for you, but that's just not true.
Passion is possible, and you can claim yours TODAY.
(I promise. Keep reading.)
The topic of passion itself can feel tough to grasp. What's the big deal anyway? Who cares if you have it? What difference does it make? The thing is, it can make a pretty big difference. You see, a life without passion can turn you into a member of "The Walking Dead." (In case you haven't watched the popular show, those are flesh-eating zombies I'm referring to. Super fun to watch on TV. Super stinky to live like one.)
If you're stuck in zombie-land, living on autopilot, going through the motions, and just trying to make it through the day, this blog is for you. A life without passion is a life without joy. You deserve so much better than that! Let's light your fire. Like right now.
Step 1 – Name your strengths.
You were born with gifts. In the coaching world, we call these attributes strengths, which are natural talents you're born with. Strengths are things you do so easily; you're not even sure they're important or impressive. How could something so natural matter that much?
Hear me now. There is no mistake in you. Each strength you were born with was given to you by design, and when you connect with these gifts, you become more authentically yourself - which makes you feel more passionate.
You probably already know what your gifts are. They're the talents people acknowledge and rely on you for. Maybe you're a great listener, or you organize effortlessly. Perhaps you're a persuasive communicator or a brilliant teacher.
Write down three of your strengths right now. If you're not sure what they might be, ask a close friend or family member for input. (Positive people only please. Do not ask a critical person for feedback.)
Once you've got your list, start consciously bringing these skills with you into new situations. Look for ways to add value by offering up what you're good at. You'll be amazed at how much more enjoyable everyday activities become when you participate while using your strengths.
Ah, the passion is starting to bubble.
Step 2 – Define what you value.
In Western society, the term value refers to morality. We're not talking about that here. In the life coaching world, when we talk about values, we're talking about what you value.
What are you interested in? What lights you up? When you bring qualities that excite you into your daily life, you really start burning. (In a very good way.) As it turns out, the things you're interested in are clues to your values. You can start to uncover them with a few questions.
- When you go into a bookstore (physical or virtual), which section do you head to? Why?
- Which blogs or podcasts do you seek out each week? Why?
- If I could give you a free day (where all your stuff would get done just the way you wanted it to), what would you do with the found time? Why?
Your answers to these questions can help you name what you value. For example, I'm addicted to self-help books, and the first blogs I seek out every morning can be found on Swaay.com (who I'm lucky enough to write for). Why? Because I love to learn and teach, and I value wellness, growth, and the perspective of real women.
How about you? What do your answers tell you about what you value? Once you've got an idea, start trying your attributes on for size. When you've landed on an authentic interest, you'll know because it will feel right.
I've had clients tell me they feel more like themselves when they're in the realm of values. It's as if your square-pegged-self has finally found an opening that fits just right. (No more shaving those edges.) Authentic values invite you to engage with life, and all engagement stokes the fires of passion.
Now we're smoldering.
Step 3 – Live purposefully.
The greatest myth told about life's purpose is that it's some mysterious thing you're supposed to do or find. But thinking about it that way will actually keep you from finding it. Your life purpose isn't about any one thing you do. Your life purpose is about how you do everything you do.
You find your life purpose when you begin living with purpose.
Living with purpose is about approaching your experiences with a combination of service and intention. How will you add value? What can you offer to improve the situation at hand? How can you make a positive impact? When you meet life with this level of awareness, you do it differently, and if you want to feel passion, the way you do life matters.
Okay — it's time. Let's create your personal passion formula. Because that will help you do life on purpose. Your recipe has three parts. (We covered each part in our steps in this blog, so you're ready.)
Strengths + Values + Purpose = PASSION.
My passion formula is Teacher + Transformation + Empowerment = KIM ON FUEGO.
Your strengths____ + Your values____ + Your purpose____ = YOU ON FUEGO
Please don't read this passively. Roll your sleeves up, and craft your formula. Then start using it in real life. When you do, you'll be amazed at how things change for the better. You'll behave like your best self and start making choices that help you build your best life. You'll make contributions, focus on solutions, and start to meet your experiences with a new level of openness and intention.
No matter what's going on in your life right now, you can feel passionate again.
No more zombie living for you, okay? Start using your passion formula. Make a note on your smartphone and refer to it before you hop on social media. Write your recipe on a notecard, and carry it in your wallet or briefcase. Share your formula with our community and me in the comments below. I want to know what you!
My mission is your empowerment. That's why I'm here. If you haven't already joined my community, please do it by entering your email (www.kimberlyfulcher.com). Until we meet again, know that life is happening for you.
You've Got This!
Originally published at www.kimberlyfulcher.com
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For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."