“Fake It Til You Make It”

I heard that phrase a few times in the past 24 hours and since I watch for cues from the Universe on what topics to explore, I took the hint.

Stepping outside of the comfort zone

When we do something outside of our comfort zone, we do often lack confidence. Whether it is a presentation or a job interview, “fake it til you make it” is a common piece of advice. But before you take that advice, there are a few perspectives about it that you might want to consider.

“Fake it til you make it” is a just for now, temporary thing, to help you get through what you need to do. But even when it’s successful, there are always more challenges ahead. Getting through them with that temporary mindset can lead to a long road of “imposter syndrome” that lingers even with success. The line becomes blurred of where you no longer need to “fake it” because you have achieved success. Imposter Syndrome will rob you of the joy in your accomplishments. Faking who you are, doesn’t honor your soul.

So what’s the answer?

Life is a journey of learning. Seeking your success requires an unending amount of new experiences. A beginner’s mindset keeps you wanting to learn more, and no matter what field you are in, there is always more to learn. The energy you will give off of curiosity and eagerness for growth will take you farther in the long run than constantly focusing on tips and tricks for faking it. It will also give you the insights you might have missed while being anxious about “pulling it off”. It centers you on what you want, rather than your “performance” in doing it. As you grow and expand out of your comfort zone, your comfort zone itself expands.

Focusing on your why

Focusing on what it is you want to accomplish and the why of it will increase your confidence all on its own. Be excited for where you are going instead of how you look while doing it.

Be authentically you with your heart in all you do, and what’s meant to be will happen through you, and with you. Prayers are also a great way to be open to guidance. You have no idea of what amazing places your life is going to take you when you approach it with your heart and soul.

Thank you Rachael Jayne Groover for all you teach in empowering us to go after our dreams.

Written by Melody ✍️ Belliveau

The Emotional Side of Life

The Oscar Awards Moment

The buzz today around the world circles around opinions of what took place at the Oscar Awards when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage after an insensitive joke touched a deep nerve.

Violence is not the answer. But it can always serve a purpose when you cannot change what happened. It may not be the “Bucket Challenge” but hey, it’s an incredible opportunity to bring awareness into something most know nothing about. So can we stop focusing on the judgement of the slap and get into the good that can come out of it?

The Light Inside the dark

Most people have no idea just what Alopecia is. They have no inside view of how devastating it can be to a woman who has been given that diagnosis, especially when she sees her hair as an important part of her identity.

It seldom holds rhyme or reason when it develops and it can hit young or old, male or female. It can come and go at any point in life and can take as long as a few months to less than a week for all your hair to fall out.

The emotions of it

It often creates a tremendous amount of intense emotions, and a common one is feeling less than whole, fractured in who you are. That can be followed by feelings of guilt and shame, after all, you’re not fighting cancer – the most associated cause of hair loss. You’re not going to die – as though you have no justification for feeling devastated. You are not fighting for your life – but now hair loss is your fight.

The process

Chunks of hair fall out. Sometimes handfuls at a time. You wonder and worry at first if it’s all just your imagination. (Whatever you do, don’t go riding on the highway in a convertible with the top down without a scarf on, or you will not look the same when you arrive at your destination. A brush and mirror won’t help.)

Some that are close will notice, others will not at first. To wear a wig or not – for most it’s not really a choice if you need to be seen in public. And no, not everyone can rock the G.I. Jane look, definitely no pun intended. Being subconscious about your looks subtracts from your self confidence. That’s a stress that cannot be expressed in adequate words. And jokes, they cut deep when made in public.

Purchasing issues

Sometimes insurance covers wigs, but sometimes they don’t. The pandemic was hard on professional stores that fitted them and some had to close their doors. Purchasing online is often hit or miss and frequently look nothing like what is pictured. Finding the look that doesn’t make you feel stupid or fake is a difficult task of it’s own and takes serious perseverance. When you do, “make it last” is something that takes effort.

Wearing it

Winter is cold on the scalp and the wind cuts through it like it’s nothing – and the wind – ugh! Try focusing on what you’re doing when your biggest fear is having it blow away on you! But you feel even less whole wearing a hat and no hair. (A hat can slide the hair off – they don’t work well together.) It takes all you have to present yourself.

In the summer heat – you sweat under it, and it itches and boy can it hold heat when you don’t want it to! At home you wear a scarf instead and family warns you (when they remember) that someone is coming with them for a visit. It’s your cue to put your hair on.

Hair adhesives – ha! They are their own challenge, and when your head is hot and sweaty, add a prayer, it’s a necessity!

Sometimes a loved one will put their arm around you to introduce you to someone they know. You quickly pull back – and give the wrong impression. You felt it slide – oh no! Now it looks like a reflection on how you feel about your loved one – ugh! Do you explain to the person they just introduced you to? Nah, that’s way too much embarrassment for all concerned. Then you worry they think your love is fake.

Zoom calls are not a spur of the moment possibility and you have to decide if the uncomfort in the heat or cold is something you are willing to endure.

Only those closest to you see the battle you struggle with, and the subject will run with a reflection of pain. Jokes made from the lack of understanding are made at the expense of others and can bring emotional reactions. Would you come to the defense of a loved one in that circumstance? How would you handle it?

The Moral of the story

People say “Be kind out there. You never know what others are struggling with.” This is a perfect example as to why.

Let’s make something good come out of this momentous incident. It got global attention. It was the Oscars – seen around the world. What better platform to raise awareness?!

Like I said before, it’s not the “Ice Bucket” challenge, but sometimes we still become messengers of the Universe. This one’s a powerful message.

Written by Melody Belliveau

To Vladimir Putin

How will this end?

This war has multiple potential endings that could take place. Many see it as their worst fears. Others see the solution as ridding the world of your power.

I have a different ending in mind. You, finding the courage to turn this completely around. The equality of the darkness from you is the light of what you could become.

The ones that admire you and the ones that fear you would stand in disbelief and then question themselves with your example. The rest of the world would be in awe.

Will you be a great overcomer?

The inspiration of the world is in people who share their powerful stories of overcoming. Just think of the powerful story yours would be. Right now you are a spokesman of what anguish and anger can make you feel and do – and then how you can overcome even that.

The process

If you could feel, what you’ve been longing to feel, what would it be? Are you willing to do the work and take the steps it takes to get there? Not going to lie – it will hurt – but it will be well worth it if you keep going through the pain.

Yours will be different, for it will be displayed for the world. You chose to put yourself in that position with your actions. That takes guts but only from under the barrel. No one boasts of being cunning. It is not an admirable quality. But turning it around for good – that’s powerful and it would be true courage. True courage builds integrity.

The Actions

Pardon those who spoke out against you and were punished. They showed true courage to stand up for their beliefs, because it takes more to speak up against injustice than to go along with it. Eliminate the laws you created to silence those who speak their truth.

Cease fire and change your orders given to fight into ones that not only stop the attack but start helping to restore what’s been damaged. That act will take the most courage of all.

Choose

Each and every day and each and every minute of it, is your moment to choose courage instead of anguish and rage. They are simply the path to evil.

I believe you have it in you or you would not be in your position. I am speaking to the man – not the power behind him – because even though you have become a force that seems greater than life – you are still a man. You have vulnerabilities, guarding them as you do may be at your own demise.

Turn them around. Think about it – if someone like you could show that example – you would inspire others to turn their lives around.

The Challenge

I challenge you to step into a role no other dictator has accomplished. You have the ability to create a jaw-dropping ending that doesn’t have the world relieved with your demise. Do you have what it takes?

Do you? Only you can decide.

5 Minutes for Peace

If my spirit could fly, it would stand beside you. Then it would stand between you and your opposition. This is what I would say:

You don’t hate each other

“You do not hate each other. You are neighbors on the earth. At Christmas you may have both tucked your children into bed and felt the joy and love in their soul. You may have both cheered for your favorite sports team last month enjoying your weekend with snacks on the couch.

Did your children do their homework while you felt pride and love for your family? You are both human with hopes and dreams. Chances are, you have not seen each other before today. Would you have become friends if you had met on a train?”

The orders are your choice

Orders can be given. Hitler gave many. But peace is still a choice, you have the ability to choose. No wars can happen or continue without soldiers willing to fight. It takes a stronger soldier to make a friend in times like these.

5 minutes for love

Can you both stop and call loved ones? 5 minutes that you will always remember. Now what if you all did and showed each other the pictures you carry in your wallet as well as your heart? You could decide.

If you took these moments to talk, I have no doubt you would find you have more in common than you have differences. War solves nothing and as the quote goes “The best way to get rid of your enemy is to make them your friend.” Abraham Lincoln

The Reality

If this sounds too fairytale, then let me point out something – this is not a whole country hating another country – this is one man inflicting his past’s pains on others for destruction and power. You both have merely been caught in the consequences of his anger and hurts. “If you don’t heal your wounds, you will bleed on those who didn’t cut you” Putin is bleeding on you all. Don’t hate each other for it.

5 minutes

5 minutes to live. 5 minutes to love. 5 minutes to tell those you love how important they’ve been to you. 5 minutes to say the things you’ve always meant to say. 5 minutes to feel more than just the fear and the pain of this war. Those at home will always remember it, no matter what happens to you.

And then who knows, maybe together you can decide to expand the 5 minutes – in time and with others. This isn’t two countries hating each other. This is one man of Russia wanting it all.

“I don’t want this! My daughter just learned how to walk and I want to be with her.” This is in the heart of a soldier somewhere. You can be certain of that.

Prayers are with you

The world is praying for your peace. We hope you feel it in your hearts.

The True Gift of The Season

It was a difficult holiday season for many, for a variety of reasons. Even family gatherings, or the lack of them, has left some with a bruised soul. But there is something we need to spread that goes beyond a virus or a limited perspective, and that’s the true spirit of Christmas and the new beginnings of 2022.

No matter which you center on, whether it be Santa Clause, Hanukah, or even Jesus himself, there are two things they all have in common – love and the energies it contains. Some see it as magic. Whatever you see it as, it’s real according to what you put out there. Children believe in Santa when they are young because they are led to, from the part of us that sees magic in the world. We celebrate the message of Christmas, not in what we give to others, but what we give to others of ourselves. The energy we give off flows to everyone on our path and if we are feeling simply the stress of it, we miss the very meaning of it all.

Your presence is your gift

The holiday itself may be over, but the message can be brought into the new year in our presence, in the moments for each other. Let your presence be your presents that will last beyond the year. It’s how we create deep moments that become precious memories. That is completely in our control by how much of a connection we take the time to make.

Have those heart-to-heart conversations with those you love. Tell them how they’ve touched your heart and let them know how much they matter to you. It doesn’t cost money or even require being in their physical presence. It only requires your undivided time. May the peace and love of Christmas be with you into the New Year.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Do We See Them?

National school shooting threat challenge

Yesterday, December 17th, became a day of anguish when word spread of a TikTok school shooting and violence threat challenge. Police were on alert around the country and parents, teachers, and students had the threat of the unimaginable grip them for the day. Many did not attend school out of fear they would come to regret not taking it seriously. Some schools closed for the same reason.

Headlines quoted officials deeming it bogus or unfounded while others focused on being on high alert and adding more police presence. Students across the country did indeed post threats on their social media and investigations led to suspensions and arrests for some. Others were deemed unsubstantiated.

The day ended and the weekend began – what now?

We were Blessed to make it through the day without a school shooting in the news. The school week is over and the conversation dies down. But is that where we leave it? If we do, we miss some important insights we need to see. What was the impact and what do we do with it?

The Anguish…..

Of the parents…this is the world they are having to raise their kids in. Our society has gotten violent enough that it is in the schools themselves. They are no longer a “safety zone”. How do they keep their minds on the work they do, when something like this happens?

Some parents made the decision to keep their kids home. Some had to work and sent them feeling like a horrible parent. Others refused to give in to the “hoax” and forced their children to go not wanting them to be a victim of the fear itself. Others simply did not know when they sent them to school. Each choice having it’s own impact.

For those who decided to keep them home, your actions spoke to your child, but the conversation needs to be a center of honest connection. The reality of the danger now exists for your child or children and expressing fears can be important. Don’t let the topic fade, Monday will come soon enough and the fears may not subside. Talk it out, and make sure they know how much they matter to you. It’s better than regrets.

For those who felt they had no choice in order to work, conversation can mean everything in them understanding your position. They need to be reassured that they matter, and you need it for yourself as well.

For those who refused to give in to the “hoax” and made your children attend, do you know how they felt about it? Do you know the impact? Your purpose was to stand strong against fear, but have you taken the time to make sure it is not a reflection to them of a lack of caring about their safety? Those feelings wound more than the fear the threat brought out. They need to hear that they matter. They need to feel it. Now is the time to be vulnerably loving.

Of the students….who struggle to focus on spelling when their mind keeps running through the shooting drill practices. What type of stress does that make their bodies absorb? How do they define what’s important in their world? How do they feel and what do they do with it?

Some students knew the danger and refused to stay home to go in and help others they care about. That gives them a view of school as their potential battlefield for their life and they see themselves as a warrior wanting to defend. How well does that mindset work with understanding algebra or adjectives? Is this the new norm for them? What do they need to get through it?

Of the students forced to go that were suppose to stare down the fear they felt, did they wonder if anyone truly cared whether they lived or died? If the adult in their life didn’t see a risk the police and schools were seeing, how does that effect what they believe themselves about safety? Did the day empower them, because it didn’t actually happen, or was being the “sitting duck” for the day traumatize them? How do they sort out those feelings?

Of the students who found out while they were in school on Friday, how were they impacted by it? How did they spend the rest of the day having that knowledge? Who did they get to talk to about it? Have they been able to talk about it with anyone?

Family discussions are important when the topic is intense, and this is a big one in the impact it has. Long term damage can be reduced when there is a supportive and open family discussion and fears and emotions are safe to share. Love and connection are key components to healing.

Of the teachers….how do they give their full presence to a child who needs their attention when they can’t stop scanning the classroom like a parent at the beach knowing seconds will count if the worst were to happen? Their body has no choice but to absorb the stress. The next shooting drill will be painful. Who do they discuss their feelings with?

Of the ones who joined the challenge and put out the threats….

As well as the ones who considered it, what kind of anguish, hurt, and anger are they filled with? The why of it needs to be understood. They need to know they matter and their future can hold more than what they are currently feeling. They need our help in seeing light in their soul. They are sitting in a darkness we need to help them out of to prevent the tragedies of tomorrow. Don’t see them as evil, see them as tortured and learn why. In the world they are growing up in, we owe them that. They are not monsters, they are children that are hurting and they are part of our next generation.

News and social media posts need to be aware of the impacts of what is posted. Calling these threats unfounded, bogus, or not-credible minimizes the facts and impacts of the story. It’s insulting to those who went through it. The threats were real, even if they were not operational. Understand that as part of the story.

All of us can help by having a conversation with someone who really needs it. This threat was nation wide, you know someone who was affected. “Act as if what you do makes a difference, because it does.” William James. We are all in this together and we need each other.

Written by Melody Belliveau

The Actions Of Giving Thanks

Today is the day labeled Thanksgiving when many spend the day with family cooking, eating, and watching football. It is meant to reflect on what we are thankful for. For some, the tradition of going around the table, reflecting on what they are grateful for still stands. For others, even that has faded through time. We tend to take for granted just what we have in front of us. Sometimes we even sit around complaining and arguing over politics (this year vaccinations) and getting angry at others viewpoints that don’t match ours.

But you are Blessed….

There are many today without food, without heat, of a warm house, and many, in places all around, that live on the streets without food, shelter or the basics. Their bed is made of concrete and their blankets are made of cardboard and plastic. Today is no different than yesterday for them. There is no celebration.

There are government agencies and mayors considering and acting to remove tent cities of the homeless. Some make laws to prevent feeding the homeless in the parks, placing barriers in areas they sleep. They are viewed as an issue, or a problem. What if instead, we could ask on a case by case story of what do you need and how can we help you to help others? Even those still waiting would be given hope to hold on.

They matter….

They are people with a story. They have endured what most of us have not. They are families. They are Veteran’s, and they are people with a powerful purpose, because they are still here through it all. Being able to say “I have been there” is the beginning of an inspirational story that gives hope to others.

Moving these people so you can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They matter too. They are a part of our society, and the answer lies in finding the reason why and addressing it.

Support group administrators are usually those who have been there. Perhaps our public services such as housing and fuel assistance could use their help. It would be a position from the heart, since they know what the journey is like. It’s not just about forms and verifications, it’s about people and families struggling to survive.

Who are they?

They are from every walk of life. They come from backgrounds of bother rich and poor. Family, neighbors, coworkers, and those we have cared about in a season of their lives. They have talents and dreams. They have the strongest example of endurance and many are even Veterans. Don’t we owe it to our Veterans? Don’t we owe it to our society as a whole to help them? Or is our society really an “every man for himself” mindset? Let’s stop demonizing our homeless. Stop trying to move them out of sight or making it a crime to be one. They are fellow human beings. They matter and they are not even living a survival standard of life. Winter is coming and the cold is here. Some will not survive it.

Your part….

After reading this (thank you), and as you climb into your warm bed tonight, could you consider saying a prayer for those that don’t have a bed or a blanket in the cold? Then tomorrow, before you start your Black Friday shopping, perhaps you could try out a new perspective on those you consider a problem. Do one thing that can help one. There are links below to help one survive. There are also many organizations that need your help. Consider donating to fuel assistance, food share, homeless shelters, or a Veterans organization. Even sending an email to your government officials in support of the homeless. Anything you can think of in, or outside the box of ideas. Perhaps even share this with those you know. You never know who could be impacted from your actions.

So today may be a day of turkey and stuffing and pies, but there are those out there that could use your prayers when you’re giving thanks. They matter too.

sheltersuit.com

www.tcrmi.org

Written by Melody Belliveau

The Commitment of Suicide

The term “committed suicide” cuts some people because of the insinuation that the person who took his own life was guilty somehow. They are the ones we lost. Emotions without hope won over and took them away. They weren’t guilty, simply hurting, but they do leave suffering for others behind. It rocks those who knew them to the very core, and some, unable to get over the guilt for not preventing it, become a shell of who they were.

So how do we reach someone who is considering it?

How do we prevent it when we cannot take away their pain? Sometimes it’s not even that they want to end their pain but they want to stop being a source of pain and burden to others. So what can reach them if we can’t hand them self belief?

Perhaps a change of perception might help. We have all made commitments in our lives and we’ve broken some too. Life is all about change. Without being able to see the future, we have no idea what changes can take place.

The act of suicide is a commitment to never move forward with who you are and the possibilities that you hold inside of you. To never again change the trajectory of who you are. You will be remembered for that commitment above all others, and you will shatter more than just yourself.

Perhaps if we can spread this viewpoint and make it a focus of not “commit” but rather “commitment”, we can focus on what a true commitment it is, rather than a desperate act. For it is not an act of committing. It is the commitment of suicide. It is the no backing out destruction that one can never change, no matter how much hurt it causes.

Before you choose that commitment

Consider this:

“…Ladies and Gentlemen, you’ve got to understand that the reason that you are existing in this world right now is because you have things that must be done and only certain people are qualified, to take it to the level that it needs to be taken to…” Never Give Up featuring Coach Pain. You have a purpose that is unique to you. You have gifts inside you that you need to seek out. Your experiences in life give you an inside view of things that others need your help with. Even our pain can be a tool, and the bigger the struggle, the bigger the purpose. “Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministries will come out of your deepest hurts.” Rick Warren

If you find yourself in this place, and choose against the commitment of suicide, you have a powerful message for others. You have a message of life and death importance, and that truly matters. You matter. You have a powerful purpose. Perhaps… “You’re being called to anchor all of your presence, your personality, your soul and your spirit in the here and now. To fully commit to living this life, right now. To commit to putting two feet completely in.” Rebecca Campbell from the Starseed Oracle Guidebook. You are so much more than your wounds and its time to show the world all that you can be.

Make the commitment to your life to give hope to others who are hurting. We are in this together and if we can stop just one from making the commitment of suicide, we have helped spare a world of pain. Let’s do this together. The commitment of suicide desperately needs to be prevented.

For everyone

Check in on those around you, especially with the holidays upon us. Talk about the tough stuff and tell them you are here for them and ask if there is anything you can do to help. You never know who’s life you might save with your support.

Written by Melody Belliveau

A Kindness Challenge

Yesterday was World Kindness Day. Many posted the reminder to be kind. Perhaps the world was a little kinder yesterday because of it. Words, deeds, and gestures of kindness need to be done and felt every day, not just once a year when we put out reminders.

I would like to focus it on a more challenging emotional, “in your soul” can be difficult challenge. Because, the need is out there, in homes, in communities, and in places all around the world and I desperately want to blur the divide. It cannot be done without true kindness.

Where we are

For so many, a line has been drawn between the vaccinated and those who are not. Valued relationships have been ended and anger has been spilled. But we do not stand on one side of the line. We are all mixed together – by families, communities, workplaces and anywhere else our presence is. We are blended together whether we choose to be or not. For most at this point, a perspective has been chosen. You have little chance to convince.

What do you do with that?

“Be the kindness you wish to see in the world” is a challenge for those who see the other side is the enemy or the threat. Your belief does not justify the actions of being unkind. Not if you view kindness as essential. It just makes it more of a commitment. Both sides comes with a fear. Both sides come with some uncertainty. Both sides can be right and wrong – and it’s never a pass to be unkind.

So I ask you, now that World Kindness Day has ended, and the focus has faded, could you make a commitment to blur the line of an adversary perspective and simply practice kindness? Let’s not look at each other as enemies and instead understand that we are all in this together.

Advocate with your heart, but without an adversary approach. Use compassion, not contempt. How will you present yourself to the world? Kindness is up to us.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Indigenous People’s Day

Today is the holiday that gifts the ability to learn the healing of shadow work. It’s a day to give reverence to the true people of the land and acknowledge the consequences of our ancestors limited views. Ironic that we teach some of it to our children in Disney’s movie Pocahontas, (although the story itself is filled with untruths), yet as adults we dismiss the very concepts they speak of in the movie.

Mother Nature

The earth is not something to be owned, but respected. We are all in this together and are connected to nature and each other. Oh how we could have learned so much from them! Did you know that nature has elements of healing for us? From Qi Energy, plant and herbal remedies, to their respect for the moon and the sun.

Did you know Columbus brought with him an imbalance to the land he wasn’t able to see? He didn’t realize coming to this land was an opportunity to learn a new perspective of life that he was missing. Instead his people began the force of his only view on others.

Today, see if you can learn something new about the natives of the land, that you wish your ancestors had learned. Dig deep and then share it. Show people the gold nuggets of wisdom they hold in their heritage.

What I see

For me, they believe in the herbs of the land. It is not the prescription medications that made a difference in my health. It was simply an herb. Why don’t we look there first, instead of when nothing else works? There is so much to learn of Mother Nature’s healing ability to heal us when we align with it.

Mother Nature and the respect for her have been the greatest message I have learned from our Indigenous People, our true Natives. We need that message desperately, as even the scientists are pointing out.

You matter

And today, on your day of reverence, I see you, and I honor you. You have so much to teach us, and I for one, want to learn from you. We all need you to teach us the wisdom our ancestors wouldn’t listen to. Some of us are ready to receive it.

Written By Melody Belliveau