The Life You're Meant to Live

img_6632Somewhere along the road of childhood into adolescence, a belief is transmitted that says: Follow the roadmap that culture presents and you will find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This roadmap looks like: Graduate from a 4-year university, land a corporate job then climb the ladder, get married, buy a house, then have a couple of kids (in that order). There are a thousand other assumptions along the way: Marry someone of the opposite sex (who is also “the love of your life”); marry someone of similar background; don’t move too far away from your parents or your hometown; have your babies in the hospital; send your kids to school; don’t do your own thing; don’t have your own life, I could go on and on.

Very few people question this assumed path. Instead, they follow its implicit formula and then, years down the road, wonder why they feel unsettled inside. Or they don’t follow the formula and mistakenly attribute their restlessness and anxiety to the the fact that they’ve “failed to comply.” It’s a one-size-fits-all model that renders everyone miserable.

The antidote is to learn to chart your own course, and the only way I know to chart your own course is to connect to your innate and intrinsic sense of self-trust. Your self-trust is the compass that says, “Too far North, veer East” and “Moving too quickly; slow down.” In real terms, it’s the compass that says, “I don’t want a corporate job. I want to work for myself” or, conversely, “I’m tired of working for myself. I want a corporate job” or “I don’t want to have children despite the implicit and explicit message that equates a woman’s worth with her fertility.” The compass of self-trust is the only reliable source-point for navigating through this busy, complicated, confusing world and moving more fluidly through your internal landscape. When your self-trust is intact, you can chart the life you’re meant to live (which doesn’t mean you’re lifted above pain but that you’re in alignment with your Mother ship).

My family lives about as far out of the mainstream as a family can live short of moving off the grid in the middle of the woods. We’ve made choices along the way that less than 1% of our population make (including two homebirths and homeschooling our kids, to name a couple of them). Over ten years ago, in a bold move that left our family quaking for a few years, my husband walked away from a lucrative corporate job so we could move from Los Angeles to Colorado and create a life of more simplicity and balance. Now we both work at home and run our own businesses while raising our boys on the land and creek that runs through it.

Our life works for us, but it’s certainly not a path that works for everyone. The work of self-trust is to carve the life that makes sense for you. When I’m counseling women who are deciding where to birth their babies, for example, my role is to help them connect to where they feel safest as that’s where their bodies will open. For some women, that means giving birth at a birthing center. For others, it means giving birth at home. And for the majority, it means giving birth in a hospital (often with midwives). Carving your own path doesn’t mean chucking everything the mainstream culture suggests as the “right” way. Rather, it means listening to your inner voice that lives in your well of self-trust that says yes to this but no to that.

As Morrie Schwartz says in the beautiful little book, Tuesdays with Morrie:

“Here’s what I mean about building our own little subculture. I don’t mean you disregard every rule of your community. I don’t go around naked, for example. I don’t run through red lights. The little things, I can obey. But the big things – how we think, what we value – those you must choose for yourself. You can’t let anyone – or any society – determine those for you.” p. 155

Living the life you’re meant to live doesn’t mean living the life of the culture’s dreams. It doesn’t mean living the life of your parents’ dreams or your grandparents’ dreams. It means connecting deeply enough with yourself so that you can make important decisions that stem from the juicy and alive place inside of you that quivers and shakes in its own dance of YES. It means diving down into those rich waters so that you can discern what your dreams are, and then finding the courage to follow them. And I’m not talking about the lofty dreams that the current pop subculture espouses that say things like, “You have to branch out on your own and blaze a solitary trail in the wilderness (aka Cheryl Strayed) before you get married.” I’m talking about knowing yourself well enough so that you can follow your own trail of values marked by the breadcrumbs of yes and that’s right and know. That’s what creates a path of joy.

What I hear quite often among my audience are the questions, “How do I know what I value? How do I know if I’m with the right person? How do I know if I’m living a life consistent with my dreams?” Because we raise people to externalize their sense of self by training them to chase the next confirmation of their worth – from gold stars to raises – and brainwash them to follow the formulaic yellow brick road that leads to failed promises, most people have no idea who they are or how to connect with their innate sense of knowing and self-trust. They long to know themselves well enough to like themselves and, thus, trust themselves, but they don’t know how to get there. They long to drop down below the realm of thoughts and feelings, neither of which are reliable compasses, and connect to the well of Self, where the crystal compass of self-trust lives. There is a roadmap to get there, but it’s not the one taught in mainstream culture. There is an equation of sorts, but it’s not the one you learned in school. And when you learn it, you can answer the questions that stem from lack of self-trust and sit with the uncertainty that arises from the unanswerable questions.

It’s for this reason that I created my program, Trust Yourself: A 30 day program to help you overcome your fear of failure, caring what others think, perfectionism, difficulty making decisions, and self-doubt. There I teach the roadmap, information and tools that lead you into your interior realms so that you can learn to live life and make decisions n a way that honors who you are and stems from your true self. If you’re hoping to strengthen your sense of self and shore up your relationship to uncertainty, I hope you’ll join me for this next and final round of 2016, which will begin on Saturday, October 22. See you there.

70 comments to The Life You’re Meant to Live

  • Kate

    This was so what I needed today!

    I think my body actually wakes me up earlier on Monday mornings to read these (I’m in the UK).

    I’ve started the course and am really hoping that I’ll be lucky enough to find out it’s only relationship anxiety. So much of my anxiety is caught on following my souls path and my body always screamed yes about this relationship how I new in my gut it was exactly where I’m meant to be and I guess with anxiety you lose that and it feels like your free floating. So terrified my souls trying to tell me this isn’t right but I get sick at the thought of leaving and I really really don’t want too.

    I know you address heart pain a little on the course Sheryl but was wondering if you could just offer any pearls of wisdom. I often feel like I have an aggressive lump in my breast, and my heart feels full of adrenaline even when I chose to stay, the rest of my body feels calm but my heart races. I can’t connect to it as when I go to it it disappears, maybe it just wants acknowledgement but I’m too scared that if I stay it’s repressing my truth and I’ll get Breast cancer as I keep having dreams and thoughts about it, but I don’t want to leave this man, it would break my heart, I don’t even know which part of me wants to stay I’m just hoping I’m not clinging onto something I have to let go of, when it’s everything I could ever want.

    During your course I found the core belief “I am alone” so trying to figure out if that has anything to do with it, also is us thinking “what if our truth is we have to leave” a fear of loss?

    • Mia

      Kate, I can relate to your comment SO much! Especially the bit about free falling. I can’t offer much in terms of answers, just that you aren’t going through this alone and you need to remember to take care of yoursel and be kind to yourself. I’m going to start the course this week so let’s have faith we will get through this stronger!

    • I talk about feeling your feelings quite in depth in the course, so take a look at that section more closely. The key phrase in your comment is this: “I can’t connect to it as when I go to it it disappears, maybe it just wants acknowledgement but I’m too scared that if I stay it’s repressing my truth”. The work is to find the courage to breathe into the pain no matter what the outcome. The biggest reason why people resist feeling their pain is because they’re terrified to discover that they have to leave. While there’s no reason for that to happen in a loving, healthy relationship, it’s essential to dive into the interior realms even when you’re terrified of what you’ll discover. The pain needs your compassionate, gentle attention. It needs to be named and heard and seen. It needs to be released, often in the form of a good cry (or many good cries). Hang on. Stay with the work and the hardness around your heart will start to soften.

      • Kate

        Thanks Sheryl, I have to say your comment spiked me a lot as I was feeling braver to look within reading through the course knowing you mention the truth is we don’t want to leave or you wouldn’t be so terrified of finding out we did, & I feel your comment is the opposite, I feel it could be repressed anger but I’m unsure. I know I’ve always trapped my pain my parents never told me otherwise. My relationship is healthy and loving and he fully supports me on the spiritual path.

        • I think you’ve misunderstood my comment, Kate. As I said, there’s no reason to leave a loving, healthy relationship with a partner who fully supports you. This work is about healing our hardened places so that we can let love in, which does NOT mean walking away from someone with whom you share a loving and safe connection. In fact, meeting someone with whom you feel safe is often the catalyst for doing the inner work and healing the places that need our attention. Relationship anxiety is the projection; the real work is to heal from the past pain that hardens our hearts and prevents love from flowing in.

          • Kate

            Oh I see! Thank you very much Sheryl!

            My fear based brain read that comment!

          • Newly Married

            Oh thank god, I was reading the same and I misunderstood it too, that makes me feel so much better.. Yes the work is about healing all the wounds and your past pains so we can let love in, the projection is what we think it is, and that’s why we are so anxious and afraid. I sometimes fear that what if my truth is that I was not ready to marry, then I remember that I would had never been ready but I wanted to be with my husband and it was a loving choice and I still do want to be with him.
            Oh I am so thankful for this, thank you Sheryl.

  • Brooke

    Sheryl,
    Thank you for your wise words! I have been following your blog for many weeks if not a few months now after realizing my upcoming marriage was the last thing I was focused on. All I worried about was what flowers I had and how good my photographer was going to be. Recently I have felt the extreme weight of the vulnerablitty that allowing myself to fully love truly holds. Once I found your page I knew it wasn’t me making the wrong choice of marrying my future husband, it was me having a huge fear of loss of my fiancé. Thank you to everyone who comments and shareds their feelings and fears. I thought I was alone, I thought my uneasy feeling inside was my heart saying something was wrong and that I had to leave my loving fiance and best friend of 5 years. You all gave me the strength to hold on even tighter & dig deep inside to understand my own fears, rather than run away from them.

  • lalalove

    Oh I LOVE this.

  • Kristen

    As always, this seems to come at a time when I need it most. I have been grappling with decisions that I feel others want me to make, while setting aside what I think I may truly want. I always try to “do the right thing” by pleasing others and often ignore what I feel and want. Your newsletters are a weekly source of comfort for me. Thank you, Sheryl!

  • Sally

    I love your article: it can be very earth shaking to start looking deeply inwards and question long held societal beliefs.My partner has really supported me through all sorts of painful realisations these past 20 years (childhoods stuff), no judgements and no pressure to conform. Your comment as to projecting and relationship anxiety is very true.We have to be very careful and really sit with our feelings as uncomfortable as they might be, and not make the wrong decision about relationships. With practice, to learn to trust our gut feelings.

  • Luisa

    Sheryl, thank you so much for writing this post. I feel like I have just began a journey of self discovery at age 25. I don’t truly know who I am or who I want to be. I just ended my engagement to a boy I’d been with for 2.5 years. I bought your relationship anxiety course but didn’t make it through it because I knew that I wasn’t in a loving, healthy relationship with a partner who fully supports me. There were many things wrong with the relationship. I do plan to complete your course and learn more about myself. Now I’m just scared and don’t know who I am or how to deal with these emotions. I pray to gain a self understanding like you seem to have. I so wish I could talk to you in person. Thanks for everything you share here.

    • I strongly encourage you to complete the course even though you’re no longer in the relationship. The course is fundamentally about learning to navigate your inner world – thoughts, feelings, beliefs, actions – as that’s how we know ourselves and can then take action from that place of self-knowledge.

  • Sophie

    Dear Kate,

    Thank you (and all) for sharing.
    I’m in Dorset in England, if having someone in the same time zone is helpful and you’d like to connect?
    I really benefitted from the Trust Yourself course July 2015 (thank you again so much Sheryl and all participants), and the follow on dream month course, and am continuing to enjoy exploring myself and peeling those layers, using many skills and confidence learned in listening to me, soothing my hurting, abandoned, rejected, guilt-ridden, fearful, unworthy-feeling inner child, taking instead her hand and exploring and playing together, and quieting my inner critic and mean, judgemental, unloving self, to give myself the best opportunity to change, to shine, however challenging and however much I desire to buck my hooves and gallop away!

    Louisa, I didn’t finish all modules, I berrated myself for self-sabotaging, and learned to be kind to me instead; to accept I was/am doing my best, and in stopping blaming myself for not being perfect (the sense and view of perfect I’d learned was acceptable to the values and experiences of my upbringing), not apparently having the ‘perfect supportive relationship with a partner’ (I learned I had to be my best partner to myself first!!) I quelled so many fears, shed so many tears, and now wouldn’t trade my well of self-trust, however empty or muddy she may choose to incorrectly feel/appear sometimes – for that is my illusion of fear taking control temporarily) nor the time and space and yes and no I have created and earned for me 🙂

    Happy journeying everyone – how exciting the gifts within your heart, soul and well of self-trust are, just waiting for you to explore, uncover and embrace.
    Love and light to all xx Sophie X

    • Luisa

      Thanks Sophie, I’m going through a really hard time right now so reading about your own self discovery is very encouraging. I hope to be able to do the same and find happiness within myself before I seek happiness with a partner in the future. I didn’t realize I needed to do this until I almost married someone who was not right for me. I’m grateful for the emotions I felt that kept me from it. I hope to learn more about these emotions as well.

      • Sophie

        Dear Louisa, I so desire that you choose to feel proud of yourself for trusting your feelings and intuition re not marrying and following what instead felt right. You are doing great! I’m still in doubt when others act of react in ways that seem completely inconsiderate of my feelings, then I sink down, wash my face Let anxiety and tears flow u til all gone, and in that peace, I can fully submerge my whole self and for me journalling is often my best connection for further exploring what my body and soul and heart and mind in unity choose to say and guide me with. And I experience days of anxiety and stress too! Could describe my journey as work/self portrait wonderpiece in progress!! Colour by numbers where the numbers are in my well so I go there to choose/receive the next one and complete a picture which is part of a greater mosaic of pictures/life experiences/relationships, ultimately with myself xx

        • Kate

          Hi Sophie,

          That’s very kind of you thank you for your support, id love to chat and help and support any way I can my email is ked208@exeter.ac.uk if you want to connect.

          All up to you, and for anyone else needing support!!

          So many brave souls on this site! Truly admire you all.

  • Katelyn

    Ok, so I’ve commented on here before but I’m having a problem!! Yesterday was two years with my boyfriend. And Saturday I had to work a haunted trail and my friend, (whose a boy) and he’s cute had to go get his phone and didn’t wanna go by hisself so I walked with him and was holding onto his arm cause it was a haunted trail and it was dark but nothing was done. Like there was no holding hands or anything like that well I told my boyfriend and he was upset but not too mad. We got passed it. Well now I am overthinking that I don’t wanna be with my boyfriend but with my guy friend and I’m just having very unwanted thoughts about my boyfriend, my guy friend, and mine and my bf’s relationship. When we were walking it was like I had to stop myself from doing things. My thoughts make me feel like I really don’t wanna be with my boyfriend and it’s tiring. Someone give any advice??

    • Ashley

      Kate dont freak out! My boyfriend and i have gotten through similar things. Keep in mind you’re human and make mistakes, also that your attraction to other people won’t disappear once you’re in a relstionship! This is all OKAY. Hey if you ever want to chat email me on my secondary bashley0168@gmail.com

  • Ashley

    Yes yes yes. All my life I’ve been told “go to college” literally everyone wants me to go. And its been so forced upon me that a big reason for my RA was that i didn’t go to college and I’m not experiencing the single college life. But is that what I even want? No. If i can dip down to what I really really want I can feel ot. Its distant and extremely hard to connect with but it’s there waiting. I want to stay in my hometown (even though part of me wants to travel a bit) I want to own a little house. Get married. Have kids. Stay around my family and Erics family. Be around friends and stay around what I’ve always known. I read an entry in my journal from my senior year of high school and it specifically said that this is where I see myself in the years to come. That was before my anxiety so I know its there deep down.

    Thank you for your work sheryl.

  • Justine

    Hi Sheryl,

    Really this is a gratitude post. Every time I read your blog, something sits in my body that is calm and warm and secure and real and right. It is a sense of serenity. It is this feeling I want to encompass more. I completed your engagement course some years back, and after 7 years of relationship anxiety married the absolute most beautiful person ever. Marrying him was the best decision I have ever made in my life. 7 years of hellish anxiety, and now I can see this bliss I have with him. I am forever grateful for this gift. We have now been married a year and half and I just want more, more, more.

    There is still work in me though, different work. Reading your post helps me realign with self and refocus.

    Thank you so, so much for all your work Sheryl.

    xoxo

  • Sonja

    Hi Sheryl,
    Your blog has been such a beacon of light for me. Your words are medicine for my soul. I often reread your entries and have most of them saved on my reading list. I wonder if there is a way to make your blog easier to access and search. If I want to read your earlier posts, I have to go back several pages. It would be wonderful if you had a keyword search. I hope this doesn’t come across as petty. It’s just an idea.
    Thanks for all your love and light.

    • Thank you, Sonja. The easiest way I know to search for a specific post or topic on my blog is to Google “conscious-transitions + ______________”. Also, a book may be in the works at some point ;).

  • Sonja

    Oh, please do! 🙂

  • Sara

    I love that you used the word “formula” to describe wanting to follow a specific path in life. I wrestled with this idea after graduating college a few years ago and wound up creating a painting with the words “There is no Formula” written on it and hanging it where I would see it every morning. I think that realization and exercise helped me make the decision to marry and then to move away from a city where we both knew we didn’t want to stay. It seems like there’s pressure on both sides of the coin – pressure to “follow the traditional path” or pressure to “buck the system” and don’t do anything traditional. I keep reminding myself that both pressures are just that – pressures. I’m trying to remind myself to do what brings me joy regardless of where it falls on either spectrum.

    • I love that you created that painting! It sounds like you have a clear and strong inner rudder that’s helping you stay the course despite all of the various pressure.

  • Mary Bassie

    After another anxiety-filled day,reading posts like this makes it a little bit better…I’m in an unusual (age gap) relationship and suffer from anxiety. I can’t stop thinking things like “What about the future?” ” Am I making a mistake and wasting my life?” “Am I fooling myself?”Some days I feel so drained and sick…yet the truth is that this is my most loving and balanced relationship…I want to think it’s anxiety but what if it isn’t?

  • Sarah

    Hi Sheryl, thank you so much for your blog posts. I really don’t know what I would do without them. They calm me down. However this one spiked my anxiety a bit. I have a very loving, caring, kind partner but I have always been questioning the relationship. I love him and don’t want to leave yet I am torn about getting married and having kids versus being by myself and moving to a different city. How will I discover what my truth is. I don’t want it to be that I have to leave but I am unsure why that gut feeling is there? Any advise would be much appreciated.

  • Sarah

    Yes I have been doing the break free course. I have got much better during the day but I have terrible anxious dreams and wake up in a cold sweat. A lot of it is around commitment and whether it’s what I really want. Is there anything else I can do to calm down my mind while sleeping?

    • Yes, I would suggest journaling or meditating right before you go to bed to give your fears a chance to release before entering sleep, then journal your dreams as soon as you wake up. We do a lot of work with dreams in the Trust Yourself course as well.

  • Angela

    Sheryl, beautiful pic of your son, What I have noticed in the world, is there are so many married couples with kids divorce and there are married couples without kids stay married. I know there are important reasons to why divorce happens. Why is it so common these days? I find that commitment is challenging for alot of couples. Im too old to have kids now and i dont feel less of a woman, i just feel like i dont care anymore. The birthing process was what i most lived for over the years😔😔😔😔 I was meant to be a mother, it just didnt happen for me. Not my destiny. 😪😪😪😪

  • Angela

    Down stairs is still intact lol, Its what i was looking forward to. I think one of my painful things i have been carrying for so many years, why me? Heart renching, asking myself time and time again. Waiting and waiting.. and I have been anxious
    because Becoming a mother was so very important to me Sheryl. I have been greiving for such a long time. Not easy Sheryl always will feel like something is missing

    • It’s a massive grief, Angela, and the process of trying to conceive brings most women to their spiritual knees. Have you considered adoption? Sending you love.

  • J

    Excellent. I suppose this bit spiked me: “you can follow your own trail of values marked by the breadcrumbs of yes and that’s right and I know. That’s what creates a path of joy.” When I’m anxious I don’t feel ‘yes’ or ‘I know’, and searching after these breadcrumbs makes me more anxious. This is why I’m trying to learn to live according to my values and to disregard the (anxious) feelings. although when my feelings are those of fear it distorts how I see my values. But it is still nonetheless true that something deep in me is telling me that the path to my own healing involves staying committed to my partner, despite all the confusion.

    • Yes, that’s a spiky line for someone with relationship anxiety. But, you see, the values ARE the breadcrumbs. They are the arrows that point you in the direction of “yes” and “I know” that go beyond the realm of thoughts and feelings. Have you taken my Trust Yourself course, J? If not, it would be a great course for you at some point to support all of the wonderful work you’re doing on yourself.

      • J

        I haven’t taken ‘trust yourself’. I’ve taken Break Free and have bought (but haven’t yet had time to take) Conscious Weddings. I am also in weekly and very gruelling psychodynamic therapy and am ploughing through the very dense but very enlightening ‘When Love Meets Fear’ by David Richo. So one thing at a time for me, I think. I would like to take the course but there is resistance there – ‘what if I learn to trust myself and then…’. But I know you address this issue!

  • A

    Dear Sheryl,

    Your work has truly changed my life. You linguistically express emotions and thoughts I have in such a way that my deepest fears come to life in front of me in way that allows me to be curious about them.

    But of course, being that I found your page, I’m struggling. For me, it’s been very helpful to see and learn about my fears and beliefs and how they often guide me, and believe me, I know that what I am about to describe certainly has fear involved.

    Ok, so now that I see so clearly that I have relationship anxiety, I have been thinking about my previous relationships. My first one was intense and had so many wonderful elements. I could barely hug him without thinking how incredible it was that he existed and loved me. But I also couldn’t stand to be with him (or couldn’t withstand the doubts.) Looking back (painfully), many things make sense now.

    However, with relationship two I had a healthy and stable relationship with a really genuine guy. The doubts were there as well. But the connection wasn’t and eventually the relationship ended. When in the relationship, it was so hard to figure out whether or not to listen to the doubt, but a month after the break up, I felt good about leaving, and still do. I think about him fondly, but I did want more.

    Now I’m in my present relationship with a great guy. Our relationship is also healthy and stable, but we have differences in communication styles that I don’t love. (I feel most connected when conversing and he’s a man of few words.) I’m also very outgoing and family oriented, and he’s an introvert. I know my relationship anxiety is present, and therefore I have been trying to work through this, but it’s so difficult to tease things out when in my first relationship I had doubt and I wished I stayed, and in my second I had doubt, yet I’m glad I left. I understand that I’m not describing red flags, but I know that my friends who do not struggle with relationship anxiety have their “wants” in a relationship. How do you strike a balance between working through fear-based beliefs and honoring things you might want or crave?

    • An excellent and common question, and yes, you’re describing classic relationship anxiety in all three relationships. We can always find something “wrong”, some reason to leave, and when people walk away because “there’s not enough connection”, they usually feel good about it because they want “more.” But then they find their way to another partner and realize that there’s something “missing” there as well. There will always be something “missing” as we’re not meant to nor can we be with another human and have all of our needs met. The way I see it is that you could have stayed in that second relationship and learned to create more connection. And of course you could have stayed in the first and worked through your doubt (had you had this information at the time). And now you’re here, with the information, and ready to tackle your fears. It’s time to stay and work it through, wouldn’t you say?

  • Katelyn

    I commented on here before. But this week has been a long one. I have been doing so good on my thoughts but lately they’ve been bad.. I can’t have a guy friend without thinking I love him or want to break up with my boyfriend for him. It scares me because it really feels like it’s me and not my thoughts.. Anyone help?? I’ve had this happen before but it wasn’t as strong, it’s weird. I love to hear y’all’s stories 🙂

    • Katelyn

      It’s more like feeling than thinking this time, but I do have thoughts that upset me. But about my guy friend it’s more like a feeling than a thought. But I did have this happen before with anther guy friend but it just wasn’t as strong.

  • Hannah

    Hey Sheryl,

    I’m sorry this comment isn’t about the article above. I have been doing your concious weddings e -course for just over a year and I am so glad I signed up as it really helped me see the anxiety is about me and it helped me stay in this healthy and loving relationship:)

    Just recently I have recognised my progress and am no longer as anxious as I used to be as the work is FINALLY sinking in- yay! I know I love my boyfriend but I don’t feel those in love feelings. I know that doesn’t matter but I would like to feel those feelings again. I did the open your heart course last October but I’m not sure if I should do it again. Or would you recommend I go through the material from last year?

    Now I don’t have much anxiety and I am confident I love my boyfriend,I just feel kind of blah. And really flat. I’m not sure if this is part of the process or if I need more in my life to feel happier in myseld and not feel so blah and to also feel closer and more connected to my boyfriend. I understand that the loving feelings ebb and flow and that they aren’t necessarily essential for a healthy and loving relationship, I just would really like to experience them from to time. We are planning on having kids in the next 18-24 months so I would like to be able to get to stage where we both do the open your heart stuff as a habit so our kids can experience seeing a healthy and loving relationship from there parents!

    Your advice is greatly appreciated 🙂

  • P

    Hi Sheryl,
    It’s absolutely amazing how much your work and life experience speaks to me. It blows my mind.
    You almost just summed up my life :
    I quit my corporate job, left my downtown apartment and trendy lifestyle, became more religious, moved to another continent, got married, had 3 natural births, and my kids are all home with me, and I am wishing to homeschool. My problem is although I feel I am living the life of my dreams, lately I’m haunted with doubt.
    I miss my family, my comfort zone, I hate my present home (sometimes I wonder if it’s a projection!!!) and I am afraid my children are bored and lack stimulation, etc. I’m very confused.
    I’m taking your relationship anxiety class and it’s opened up doors I didn’t even know existed… Like every single one of my issues you address in that course!
    I’m thinking of taking your trust yourself course even though I haven’t gotten through the entire relationship course yet.
    Can you advise?
    I was also wondering if you give private therapy sessions. I know I read you are fully booked for regular spots … But maybe for 1 or two random ones it would be possible?
    Thank you! 💜

    • It’s quite common for women to long to return home and be closer to their family during childbearing years. That said, there’s no perfect place and certainly no scenario without blessings and challenges! You can absolutely take Trust Yourself before completing Break Free, and I do offer single coaching session if you’re looking for more individual attention. You can learn more here:

      http://conscious-transitions.com/coaching-sessions/

  • Jake

    Hi All

    Havent been on in a while. I have anxiety which focuses on my relationship with my partner (no feelings, attraction etc etc etc)
    In all other aspects of my life I seem happy thats when I start to question the anxiety. I just feel down about my relationship and nothing else.
    Can anxiety do that???

    • Katelyn

      That’s how I feel also, so it’s okay.. I also can’t have guy friends without feeling like I wanna be with them.

  • Just me

    I told here earlier that my clarity came and we divorced. We have now been separated for couple of months and my ambivalence has continued. I have been doing break free relationship course three or four times and it has helped me a lot. I have seen good dreams about ny husband while we have been separated, but last night I saw again a drean where I thought that I do not love him and felt totally indiference. Can intrusive thoughts and feelings manifest in this way in dreams? I do love my husband like a dear friend, but still missing passion and chemistry. We had last weekend a great vacation together and lot of laugh like while we were dating. I still have troubles to trust myself because of ambivalence and disturbing dreams. I just want now to save our marriage.

    • If you really want to save your marriage I highly recommend that the two of you do a round of EFT couple therapy with a local, EFT-trained therapist. You can find one here:

      http://www.iceeft.com/index.php/find-a-therapist

      It’s the most well-researched form of couples therapy with the highest success rate, and it’s an extraordinary, compassionate and highly effective model. I cannot recommend it enough. Others forms of couples’ therapy can be neutral at best and inflammatory at worst, but EFT gets to the root of the issues and helps couples find the passion and connection that they’re longing for.

      • Just me

        Thank you Sheryl! We will definitely try that. I hope that we will find that kind of help we are longing. Last weekend give me so much hope.

        • Britt

          I am really happy for you just me. I am also very proud of you. Your courage is admirable. It seems as though you are finding your way back home (your heart), keep going, don’t stop and never give up on you.

          Lots Of Love friend
          Britt

          • Just me

            Thank you Britt. Your comment made me smile! I hope all the best for you also.

            I am still wondering that if anyone else here are suffering from disturbing dreams? I have asked this question many times on the forum, and here on the blog, but I do not remember that anyone else has suffered from breaking up/ leaving dreams. My therapist consider that those dreams might me signs from my soul that I am not truly satisfied with my relationship. Everytime I dream about divorcing I loose my hope, eventhough I know that I do love my husband.

    • Britt

      Sander van der Linden is a doctoral researcher in experimental social psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He says, “Dreams seem to help us process emotions by encoding and constructing memories of them. What we see and experience in our dreams might not necessarily be real, but the emotions attached to these experiences certainly are. Our dream stories essentially try to strip the emotion out of a certain experience by creating a memory of it. This way, the emotion itself is no longer active. This mechanism fulfills an important role because when we don’t process our emotions, especially negative ones, this increases personal worry and anxiety.”

      “My therapist considers that those dreams might be signs from my soul that I am not truly satisfied with my relationship.”

      When your therapist speaks of a “soul,” what does she mean? If, when she says “soul,” she means your mind, I agree, however, if she’s expressing that, your “soul” is an unseen supernatural force, I’d agree to disagree.

      “I am not truly satisfied with my relationship”

      This (I am not truly satisfied with my relationship), is what your dreams are telling you. “Not being truly satisfied” never means leave, however, not being truly satisfied does mean, COMMUNICATE, SACRIFICE, and COMPROMISE; come to an agreement, do this until your basic needs are met. For example, if you’d like to listen to different music while riding together, try an ear bud rotation. I’m rooting for you, just me. I believe that this is a situation that you needed to learn from. Several people take dreams too seriously, (my mother is one) however, I am not one of those people, I’d never make a life decision based on a dream. I wish you lots of luck on this journey.

  • Britt

    It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. My partner and I have been doing wonderful. I still have GAD, however, I monitor and nurture it.Your continued work in helping others is inspirational Sheryl. Your heart seems beautiful and I am grateful that there are still kind humans on this Earth, that are willing to help others. Keep up the great work and may the universe be kind to you and your family.

    xoxo Peace & Love
    Britt

  • Angela

    We were considering adoption. Its just a long and frustrating process. We dont have the patience and most importantly the excessive amount of money that have the nerve to ask for. Its ok Sheryl the planet that we live in today is not a planet I want my children to discover. There is too much hatred, restrictions in the world that its better to be a free bird. Life isnt easy, standard of living is too expensive to bring up children especially in Sydney, Australia. I hate Sydney Sheryl, I want to be a bird thats freedom, being a pilot like your son thats freedom. I can go on and on.

    • I know from other clients in Australia how difficult and expensive the adoption process is there. Yes, the world is full of hated and violence, but there is also so much beauty, compassion, and hope. It’s important to focus there as well. True freedom is the space that we find inside of ourselves.

  • Angela

    I do agree there is so much beauty, compassion and hope and thanks to you Im discovering day by day the beauty, innocence, vulnerability, pure love and acceptance within me. I connect strongly with nature the wind the trees and water make me feel at peace because they are real like myself.