Business GrowthPersonal GrowthSelf Care

Practicing What You Preach

By June 17, 2013 4 Comments


Last week I had a lot of opportunities to ‘practice what I preach’.

In the past I would have said something like “wow! I had such a sh**ty week!” (This is what we coaches call a reframe) 🙂

I’ll give you a couple of examples:

I was buying something in Miami airport and my credit card was declined. I know that had to be a mistake, so I said “impossible! Run it again”. (It was declined again) 🙂 I felt a whisper of shame as I pulled out another card and completed the purchase. I then got on the phone to the bank and “let them have it”. They had shut down my account and issued a new card as the security was compromised at a third party location. “That’s great” I said “but it would be nice if you informed me first!”

smiley-angryI’m livid and letting the customer service agent know how upset I am that: a) I had not been informed before it was shut down and b) that this was the second time in under a year they had done this, when she says: “well ma’am, I’m not quite sure what you expect me to do about it”. (Ok, so if I was upset before, I’m at defcon 3 level now!!!)

Then, I had a moment of complete clarity (facilitated by my allowing myself to feel and honor my anger fully without judging it). I realized that 1) she was completely correct (there is nothing she can do about it) and 2) my anger was simply a whiplash effect from the shame I felt in the store.

Here’s the truth, it was my judgement of the situation: what it means, what people may think, and a whole host of conditioned beliefs, that were driving my responses to the situation.

This is true for all of us every single day. Our subconscious mind is generating the response to any given circumstance based on beliefs formed by past experiences we have had, witnessed, been taught about, etc. (our conditioning).

Thankfully, I have been practicing conscious awareness and working with releasing limiting beliefs and judgement (of myself and others) so I was able to move through this quickly and without much stress.

It would not have been so in the past! I would have stewed for a few hours, fully playing the victim (probably being miserable and unpleasant for the next few hours), raising my blood pressure, creating muscle tension in my body and perhaps even attracting a few more unpleasant incidents because of my energetic state! Can you relate? lol!

On Saturday I went for my monthly massage at the spa and I was given a different therapist than the one I had booked with – without being asked if that was ok with me. It was not, but I rolled with it so as not to ’cause a scene’ and embarrass the massage therapist. While on the table, I had to breathe deeply and force myself to relax, to open and to receive as I found myself tensing up and resisting – because this was not who I wanted!


It’s quite a balance between being true to myself – asking for and receiving what I want – and opening to what the universe sends me. If I believe that everything I need comes to me exactly when I need it, and that the Universe is always conspiring on my behalf, then I must trust that whatever is happening is in my highest and best interest! I teach my clients to surrender and ask: “what’s right about this that I am not seeing?”.


So there I lay, relaxing and opening and had a pleasant massage.


When I was checking out, I asked to speak with the manager and calmly and quietly relayed my displeasure at not being advised beforehand that I would not be seeing my regular therapist. She was most apologetic and refused to have me pay for the appointment! I was blown away at the customer service! I not only booked my next appointment, I booked two!

In the past, I would not have said anything as I was taught not to “complain”. To be “nice”. However, having owned my own business for many years, I know the value of constructive feedback from customers who are not happy with their service. It is how we grow and improve.

Part of Being true to myself is honoring my feelings and desires and speaking my truth with love. Putting myself first – which is blasphemy in some circles!

We are conditioned to put others first, often making the opinions of others more important than our own. This can lead to living a life that is not authentic for you – which leads to unhappiness, dis-ease and pain. I have lived it and I see it with the clients I work with every day.

It’s time to wake up to your patterns of inauthenticity. Notice them. Change them. If you need help getting clear on what’s in your way or clearing some of your patterns, book a complimentary 30 minute strategy session with me and let’s talk about how I can help you!

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • There are different approaches people can take towards the idea of changing or improving how they function socially. The biggest one is the idea of being true to your natural preferences and tendencies and not trying to change them for other people. This article will talk about that.

  • Mohamed says:

    I read The Busy Trap a few weeks ago and it really made me think, it still does. Same for Sarah’s. I feel cotnnceed with these reflections on quality time, slowness, and valuable moments where pleasure, or simple insightful thinking, takes the place of making , doing, accomplishing. I try to put these principles into practice in my daily life and feel a bit alone in this fight, surrounded by people that give their whole selves for a job that isn’t theirs, but it is about working for the man , or for getting higher, sacrificing a big part of their being. I will always choose to spend and extra half hour with my husband than at work. I will always save one our for a reflective walk. Probably, I will always be as poor as I am now, and not good at many things, unable to focus and teach myself, but I will always feel on the right path, somehow.

    • Helen MacMillan says:

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. What if your ‘right path” could include everything your heart desires?

  • Years ago I went through a very difficult time. I suffered with illness, anxiety and was struggling with being true to myself versus doing what I was “supposed to do” or being how others expected me to be. My entire life changed when I made the decision that I was going to take charge of my own life and be myself in every single area of my life regardless of what anyone else thought. I am not going to lie to you and pretend it was an easy road, it wasn’t, but it was worth it. To this day, whenever I start to feel negative emotions or feel physical symptoms, all I have to do is stop and ask myself ”Ok Tonya, in what area of your life are you not being true to yourself?” I have become so in tune to listening to what my needs are, that I always find the answer within. I am in touch with my own feminine power and my own unique truth. It’s not a masculine kind of power, it’s neither aggressive or forceful. It’s soft, yielding, peaceful and accepting. To be in touch with their own unique truth and the sense of personal power that comes with it, is what I want every woman and girl on this planet to feel. This is the reason I became a Life Coach.

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