FIERCE Breathing – Your Best Friend Forever

Featured guest author, Carolyn Colleen, explains Breathe, Focus, FIERCE Action, part of the F.I.E.R.C.E process from her book, F.I.E.R.C.E.: Transform Your Life in the Face of Adversity, 5 Minutes at a Time! This method can be used to overcome adversity and anxiety in many situations, whether moving through an anxiety attack or moving forward through painful and tiring chemotherapy on a larger journey of beating cancer. I am a huge advocate of using breath to recenter ourselves, which is a large part of the process she shares.

She is an amazing human being, doing great and impacting work, which I am honored to share with you!

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A Path to Self-Love

I’ve been trying to understand self-love for a long time. I read a lot of articles and books and have written the words myself that we each absolutely deserve love and belonging, but they continued to be just words to me. The feeling of heaviness and self-loathing wasn’t really going away.

I realize now that there is a difference between self-care and self-love and that self-love has to exist internally to really evolve.

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Finding Your Inner Glenda the Good Witch

That gloominess that was enveloping me has been replaced by a light and joyful energy, and I continued to remain curious about this occurrence, how it happened, and what could've created this change. That night, just before my inner Glenda showed up, I had finally asked a question that allowed space for a new energy and different emotions. I was stuck in a cycle of anger and fear and wasn't allowing space for compassion and joy, so when I realized my energy wasn't where I wanted it to be and questioned it, invitation and space were created to feel something different.

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NOTICE How Your Mornings Begin: Six Steps to a Morning Routine that Works

How does your day typically start? Do you wake up with optimism, looking forward with anticipation to the day ahead? Or do you hit the snooze button, putting off rolling out of bed until the last possible moment? Consider that how you begin each morning determines the quality of your day. I’ve created a little action acronym to help develop a new morning routine to start your day with more enthusiasm, encouragement, energy, excitement, and expectations: N.O.T.I.C.E.

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Why I’ve Been Resisting Yoga

I had this expectation that yoga would be this incredible and joyful experience every time I practiced and was disappointed each time I got on my mat. I thought: I must be doing it wrong. This isn’t the exceptional experience I want. So I resisted. Then a month or two would go by and I would try again and repeated the experience. I was being really hard on myself for not wanting to practice yoga and getting quite angry with myself and not practicing much self-compassion.

Now, I am adjusting my expectations and embracing it and really feeling the unexected emotions as they come. Right now my practice is rather intense and that’s okay. This is what I need right now to heal and move through this transformation; whatever it might be. This is my journey, I can practice compassion, and embrace what is instead of what I expect.

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Disengaging to Self-Protect

Continuing to remain curious and explore our reactions to our vulnerability and fear allows for realizations that ultimately create transformation. Discovering my automatic easy button, allows me to notice that I use it whenever I feel afraid or uncomfortable, and now something different can be done. I don't have to automatically push that button anymore. I don't have to always feel afraid.

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The Process of Growth

If I’ve realized anything, it is that I am brave. And you can be too.
– Rachelle Niemann

I realize that I go silent here, sometimes for long stretches of time and I wanted to try and explain why that happens. I am a work in progress; I always will be. I am still learning and growing and honestly, I hope that continues forever. But sometimes during especially intense times of growth and discomfort, it’s all I can do is focus on the growth and lessons.

The truth is, for the past 3 years I’ve been in the midst of Act 2. Brene Brown discusses this as starting with an inciting incident. For me, this was the idea of becoming a parent and passing down my pain, fear, and shame to children and not being able to fully show up for them.

Spring has arrived; I’m here and I’m ready to create something real, something meaningful. If I can push through the darkness anyone can, and I’m here to support in any way I can.

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Respecting the Full Spectrum of Emotions

When we allow ourselves to accept and feel the whole spectrum of emotions, more space for happiness is available. Striving to only feel one emotion all the time is unrealistic and unsustainable. Let's instead try to really feel all of our emotions, so, in turn, we can feel more happiness.

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Re-framing Negative Emotions

In order to allow ourselves to feel all of our emotions, we need to rethink how we perceive them. Emotions are not good or bad, or positive or negative; they are just emotions. We feel emotions; we are not emotions, and we have a better ability to feel and manage our emotions when we reframe how we see them.

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