Are YOU a Scaredy-Cat

Are YOU a Scaredy-Cat

Are YOU a Scaredy-cat?

 

What will you do when fear takes the wheel?

Okay, I am going to just say it: I am facing a big fear right now. I am on the verge of launching something very important to me, ready to put my neck on the line, and walk out on a tightrope to stand on a stage that feels too big for me…and that gnawing fear of failure is taking up residence in my gut.

 

I’m doing it anyway.

 

I am climbing a new mountain in 2020. I’m staring up at it right now and wondering…

 

How am I ever going to make it to the summit?

Folks, I am not kidding you. Climbing the Grand Teton in 2018 has changed my life profoundly. It catapulted me onto a dance floor where I now tango with my biggest fears. I want you to understand that I was the last candidate to volunteer for such an adventure. You know me, the scaredy-cat with a paralyzing fear of heights? THE. LAST. PERSON. Who would ever do something so radical to mend a wound in my life. A very big, open booboo that would not heal. I want to explain a bit.

Fear had always held me back from doing big things and risking failure. I have been plagued all my life with limiting beliefs and stories about myself that went something like this: I am not good enough. I am not pretty enough. I am not smart enough. I am not skinny enough. I am not bold enough. I am NOT ENOUGH. Every time I pushed the boundaries to shine my light I received a stronger push back. Those messages got louder and louder until they were screaming at me. Another voice inside would whisper, Stay small, Lisa. It’s much safer.

Someday I will share the reasons why I fell into this circular, debilitating set of beliefs, because those reasons are an important part of my development. What I will say now is that I accepted and internalized a lot of negative messages, messages that permeate every layer of society. Such messages are delivered in poisonous doses by men and women alike – countless, insidious, crippling messages about being female.

The overarching idea that screams the loudest in society is that women should be nice, compliant, and avoid making waves, while strong, fierce, intelligent women are dangerous and ugly. Those who aim to destroy such strong women are often referred to as Queen Killers in women’s empowerment circles.

 

Are YOU a scaredy-cat?

There it is. I’ve just shared one of my biggest hurts in life.  I am a complicated soul with a scaredy-cat fear of everything that seeks to crush my spirit, with a love for all things living, tossed into a blender with the nature of an idealistic-dreamer-artist who wants to change the world yesterday, and a dash of unlimited power. That strange ‘smoothie’ is me, Lisa Wilson Brumby, queen bee, lioness, formerly known as She Who Played Small. I have already begun my climb. Scared to death and doing it anyway.

 

Have you been a scaredy-cat about something for too long? Are you ready to break through and connect to YOUR power?

On March 2 we are FINALLY launching the CLIMB a MOUNTAIN program! I have been obsessing about it in a good way for weeks now, and we are both so excited to take you on this inspiring journey WITH US in 2020!

 

Until then…

Keep calm and Brumbylon. 

Thanks for hanging out with me – have a great week! 

~ Lisa 

  

 

“The seed that grows toward the light begins in darkness.”

Suit Up, Warrior

Suit Up, Warrior

Suit up, warrior. 

Welcome back!

 

Last week we explored the role of choice in building resilience, and made a commitment to be warriors instead of victims. Standing strong in our warrior power first requires that we recognize what is ours – that which lies within our realm of control. We then need to take responsibility for our own well-being – by actively engaging in the art of self-care. Today we will explore three ways to take meaningful and effective steps to expand vitality and wellness. Time to suit up.

Why is self-care more important NOW than ever?

 

Let’s start with the higher-than-okay levels of toxic stress so prevalent in western culture. Our bodies, minds and spirits are constantly under siege from environmental contaminants, fractious noise, and external messages and pressures…which we may erroneously adopt as our own.

Consider how many of us (particularly here in the U.S.) are consciously and subconsciously driven to engage in long, distracting hours of busy work and multitasking (which, according to neuroscientists, and contrary to popular belief, no one is good at anyway).

 

I disapprove of the hamster-wheel pathology. All too often I arrive home from my day job totally spent, with a brain that feels more like scrambled eggs, to seek a bit of respite in a glass of wine and the couch. Can you relate?

Three pathways to wellness

We know that building resilience – the ability to rebound in the face of adversity – first begins with a decision – a choice. After the choice is made, however, what actions can we take to reset and regain our vitality once we’ve been burned by toxic negativity? Here are three highly effective self-care strategies worth trying.

Self-care tip #1: Practice the art of saying NO.

 

This deeply empathic warrior has learned how to establish healthy boundaries with others. That does not mean I have put up a fortress of stone walls and sequestered myself to a life apart from everyone I know and love. Neither do I get drawn into other people’s dramas easily anymore. There is a happy medium.

 

Consider the virtues of allowing yourself to say no to friends, family members and coworkers whose energy is bringing you down – especially if they are lost inside the victim blackhole.

 

Negativity is a common trap for people to get caught in – we’ve all done it, right? Well, you don’t have to be a victim, remember? With a little practice it can become fairly easy to smile with kindness and walk away – no need to feel guilty, or believe that you must take on anyone’s problems in order to be a good friend or loved one. Their stuff is not your stuff.

 

Honor your personal boundaries by saying no. Experiment with being compassionate toward others without getting involved. The person who is caught in the victim trap may ultimately respect you for it, and perhaps even follow your lead, warrior.

Self-care tip #2: UNPLUG.

 

Having good boundaries does not end with people. We can reduce the amount of time spent on electronic devices. More importantly, we need to maintain strong boundaries with external messages – any stream of consciousness emanating through advertising propaganda, news feeds or social media platforms – whatever has the power to dampen your spirits or reduce the flow of positive energy in your life. It’s okay to unplug and go off-grid.

 

Truly, the world won’t end if you give yourself a break from the news for a few days. And you certainly don’t need to expose yourself to – or worse – engage in nasty soul-destroying, hate-infused conversation threads on Facebook or Twitter. These activities are not just toxic, they are 100%  counterproductive. Please turn that noise OFF.

 

While you’re at it, make every effort to dodge inflammatory political propaganda. Facebook is rife with disinformation campaigns tailored specifically to your ideological base. And people LOVE to share this stuff. FYI, it is highly toxic, and promotes division and hate-mongering. 

 

Choose instead to go for a relaxing nature walk, or listen to some restorative, healing music, or both. Music can change the landscape of your energy from the first transformative note. For me, music is a magic wand that I like to wave over all bad vibes…*Poof* (gone).

Self-care tip #3: Build self-awareness.

 

Try keeping your self-care focus front and center by being mindful. Become hyper-aware of what triggers you. Connect with your feelings. Take a bit of time to examine the internal and external conditions that promote negative thoughts and emotions. Are there any recurring self-limiting stories playing in the background of your psyche? What is their frequency? If these messages make you feel bad about yourself they are almost certainly untrue. Call them out. Challenge their accuracy. Rewrite those stories.

 

Take every opportunity to track yourself. Make a mental note of where you are, what time of day it is, who you are with, your energy levels and state of mind – any and all factors that may be contributing to disempowering, negative thoughts.

 

Humans are multi-faceted and complicated; therefore we must be analytical. Building self-awareness helps us expand our power by shining a spotlight on that which promotes dis-ease, arming us with the ability to make well-informed, intentional self-care choices.

 

Bonus tip:

 

On occasion, when are feeling totally depleted, it doesn’t hurt to call out of work and spend a day curled up with a good book, or indulge in a streaming marathon of your favorite series. Your workplace isn’t likely to fold, even if you dare to get off the hamster wheel once in a while!  

 

Do YOU have any self-care strategies that you’d like to share? Fire away! There is no such thing as too much good stuff.

Keep calm and Brumbylon. 

Thanks for hanging out with me – have a great week! 

~ Lisa 

  

 

“The seed that grows toward the light begins in darkness.”

What Does It Mean to be True

What Does It Mean to be True

What doe it mean to be true? 

 

Some common synonyms of the word true are real, genuine, authentic, sincere, faithful, dedicated, loyal. You can be true to your partner, meaning you are faithful. Similarly, you can be true to those who rely on you by honoring your commitments, or you may be true to loved ones by demonstrating loyalty. 

And yet, so many good people fail to be true to themselves, even while respecting and honoring the needs of others. It is very common. Have you ever wondered why? Are you caught in this mindset? Why is it so much easier to be true to others than to ourselves? 

Quite simply: a message. 

From infancy on, cultures and religions teach us values in the form of messages. These messages can be seen in every facet of our world. They are reinforced in the home and become embedded in our cultural institutions. 

What can be particularly baffling, however, is that in western society we receive messages that are often at odds. First, we are taught that individualism is good. Follow your dreams! You can be whatever you want to be! 

Sounds great. 

But then there is the confusing counter-message: If you prioritize your needs over others’ then you are selfish, and that’s bad. We might criticize and judge people who do just that, and maybe even feel a bit envious of them at the same time. How come they get to do it? 

At its most extreme, we even value martyrdom – the sacrificing of one’s own life or liberty for a higher cause or purpose. To varying degrees, we humans have been known to martyr ourselves to societal messages and external pressures that we’ve adopted, whether they are true to our heart’s purpose or not. 

Worse yet, we are frequently taught to suppress the acknowledgment and expression of our own value…we confuse the concept of self-value with arrogance. It’s super unattractive to brag. 

Seriously, we can be so messed up! 

Well-known contemporary Buddhist, Pema Chodron, said this: “In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.” 

She goes on to say that in Tibetan Buddhism there is a meditation practice called tonglen. 

“Tonglen reverses the usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure and, in the process, we become liberated from a very ancient prison of selfishness. We begin to feel love both for ourselves and others and also we begin to take care of ourselves and others. It awakens our compassion and it also introduces us to a far larger view of reality. It introduces us to the unlimited spaciousness that Buddhists call sunyata. By doing the practice, we begin to connect with the open dimension of our being.” 

Word. 

Just sit with that bit of wisdom for a moment. Let it settle in. 

What the Buddhists got right. 

Tibetan Buddhists will tell you that there is something very important missing in western societies: the fundamental concept of loving and honoring the Self. Buddhists are really into compassion – not so much the emotion or feeling of compassion, but the universal concept of compassion. Buddhists question the logic of subordinating compassion for Self to the needs of others. Are we not people too? 

When we are allowed to value ourselves equal to others, then we may honor our own gifts and desires unfettered by judgment. Our truth can be seen as both legitimate and worthwhile. 

The best part? When you are true to yourself you are likely to be on fire about life. You are your whole self, which means you have more of your goodness to share with others. By example, you also give permission to others to be true to themselves. In short, being true to yourself is quite possibly the most meaningful thing you can do for others. 

I’ve just got to be true to myself…because when I do, then I give the best of me to you. 

~ From the song True by Brumbylon 

Update: We are getting SO excited to tell you more about our CLIMB A MOUNTAIN workshop! We’ll be announcing it soon  on our Facebook page! 

Keep calm and Brumbylon. 

Thanks for hanging out with me – have a great week! 

~ Lisa 

  

 

“The seed that grows toward the light begins in darkness.”

Pack Your Bags

Pack Your Bags

Pack your bags and leave the comfort zone behind. 

Brumbylon is the core of our creative life where we share the belief that anything is possible if you are willing to nurture a vision and take the necessary steps to manifest that vision. 

This statement nails who we are at Brumbylon. It is the reason why I am writing this newsletter. 

Some news. I lost a dear uncle over the holidays. As I grieved with my family, I began to comprehend just how short a trip this life is. That is my uncle Billy on the left, my parents in the center, and Billy’s wife Marge on the right. I love, LOVE these people.  

  

Since our family tragedy I’ve thought long and hard about what I want my life to be, what steps I am going to take this year, what vision I am nurturing, what symbolic mountain I will be climbing. All of it will challenge and reinvigorate my life with fresh energy. It matters because I am here. We are here and alive right now. 

Have you been thinking about your mountain – your vision – and what it may require for you to make the climb? 

I’ll share one of my mountains: I am only a couple of days away from launching my Climb a Mountain program. At the center of this work is my desire to inspire people to be 100% themselves unapologetically, to do what they previously thought was impossible! 

Yep, that’s me dangling from a cliff.  Like then, I’m excited, probably more than a little  scared, and anxious to get rolling on the program once I’ve put the necessary technical pieces together – it’s a big learning curve that is pulling me way out of my comfort zone. 

Does it really pay to play it safe? 

There is a penalty, in my humble opinion, for languishing too long in the safety of the comfort zone. It may sound cozy enough…but after a while, playing it safe becomes costly on a number of levels. Without healthy challenges and vigorous movement life becomes static and lackluster. 

Once inertia takes up residence in our psyche, the body naturally follows suit. Inertia breeds inertia (or as I sometimes say, the less I do, the less I do). Without the support of fresh energy, both the mind and body begin to atrophy. We may wake up one day and ask the dreaded question, “Is this it?” 

My answer to that question has always been a resounding NO. Always, it motivates me to do something new, something meaningful, and with vigor. 

That being said, I periodically still need a push to get back into a state of flow again, as a river pushes through an obstacle to resume along its current. Change may feel a little forced at first, maybe even downright uncomfortable, until I am rolling along with a new routine …one of my own making. 

What’s the BIG takeaway? 

It is important to acknowledge that our greatest chances of success exist when we consciously, intentionally choose the destination and path of the current. I achieve at the highest levels when I follow MY own path, not someone else’s. 

After emerging from my inner cave, having truly thought about what I want, it’s a matter of ready, set, GO. I keep my eyes on the prize. A clear decision carries not only the promise of fulfillment, but a lot of adventure along the way! 

Well thought-out intention makes the push easier to deal with – it keeps you grounded in what you want. But that doesn’t mean you always know exactly where the decision will take you, or what the outcome will be. Depending on how big the challenge is, there may also be plenty of uncertainty. 

We looked at fear last week as energy that can be harnessed and re-purposed. It is not for the faint of heart or comfort-zone dwellers to work inside this framework. But ah, for those of us who choose to climb mountains – what fun it is to map a course through uncharted territory! 

Check out this bit of amazing wisdom that Brett sent to me from one of my favorite modern luminaries, Eckhart Tolle: 

There is a fine line between fear and uncertainty, and perhaps the distinction is mere perception. Whatever you want to call it, let it motivate you out of inertia and into ALIVENESS. That’s why we are here, folks. 

Here is a little Brumbylon gift for you today, something to always remember: You have to go further if you want to go Far 

Keep calm and Brumbylon. 

Thanks for hanging out with me – have a great week! 

~ Lisa 

  

 

“The seed that grows toward the light begins in darkness.”

What is Your Mountain

What is Your Mountain

What is Your Mountain?

 

It was August of 2018 when I did the unthinkable (for me). I climbed the Grand Teton, a ginormous mountain in the Rockies of Wyoming. We’re talking 13,777 feet of scary. Helmet, harness, ropes and all. I even rappelled from the summit! Who would have thought…this little ole ME. 

Some athletically-inclined people don’t think twice about climbing a mountain like that, but let me be clear, I am NOT one of those people. Lisa Brumby is a certifiable chicken. I am utterly, profoundly TERRIFIED of heights. When I look up at a tall mountain, or worse – down a steep slope or chasm, I freeze. My hands get clammy, my heart races, I hyperventilate, and I am gripped with paralyzing fear. Vertigo and nausea take over and I feel like I’m truly going to plunge to my death. Oh, and the countless nightmares of falling off mountains! 

So, what on earth compelled me to climb the TALLEST, ROCKIEST MOUNTAIN in Wyoming? 

FEAR. 

That’s right. Fear made me do it. 

If this seems counterintuitive, let me explain. 

Fear is ENERGY that can be harnessed. 

In reality, fear has often been the culprit that holds me back from pursuing what I want in this life. Can you relate? Have you ever been too afraid to do something you really, really wanted to do? 

A pivotal moment. Fear stopped me from going on a day hike up Cody Peak in Jackson, Wyoming with my bandmates in 2017. I was abysmally out of shape, and fairly certain that I couldn’t do it anyway. I was even trying to hide how out of breath I was. On the way up I suddenly got that sickening heights-induced vertigo and had to ground myself, shimmying my way to a safer place (on my butt, of course), heading down the mountain while everyone else was joyfully bounding up. I felt humiliated. The mountain had defeated me. 

So I went shopping instead.  For an oversized shirt to hide my bulging middle. Then I slinked off to drown my shame in a glass of red wine and a deliciously gooey pasta dish. I was depressed, angry, and jealous of them ALL. 

Fear can stop us in our tracks. OR it can be a mighty MOTIVATOR. 

How did that same fear become my ally? I’ll tell you a true story. That November in 2017 my friend and bandmate, Jim, offered to treat me and Brett to a guided climbing expedition up the Grand Teton (our band was booked to play in Jackson Hole that summer). It was a stunning opportunity – Brett was 100% on board. But scaredy-cat Lisa immediately dismissed it – NO WAY was I going to fall off any mountain. My friend Jim (a wealthy, confident, energized entrepreneur-risk taker-guitar player-mountain goat) wouldn’t have any of it. He made a series of compelling arguments to counter my reasoning, and ultimately convinced me why I could – and SHOULD – do the climb. 

As November came to a close I slowly began to realize that my worst fears were truly unreasonable – pretty much all in my head. I grudgingly, tentatively decided to accept the challenge, but only under one condition: I could back out at any time. Jim accepted. 

I needed to have that out. It was my escape valve. But what is most notable is that I also MADE A COMMITMENT, one that I increasingly took very seriously. And let me tell you, I was scared shitless the whole time! I had my doubts, my fear, but also hope…and a sort of vague underlying belief that maybe I COULD. And I had a lot of work to do. 

A decision turned into the biggest game-changer of my entire life. 

The bottom line is that Jim, a person who I hold in high esteem, believed in me. He mirrored my potential, helped me to believe in myself. Jim had done so many things outside of the box in his life, a true success story, and he was my role model and mentor. I needed that kind of guidance because I was so out of my own wheelhouse, and after a while I began to feel my wings. Throughout the winter and spring of 2018 I trained my body, mind and spirit for a four-day expedition: two days of training with the Exum guides followed by a two-day climb to the summit of the Grand, a feat I never thought I could have pulled off in this lifetime. It took me six months. 

Only six months…to change my life forever. 

Here is the point: Fear became my ally. I pushed through despite it, because of it. I wanted to prove to myself once and for all that I could do anything I set out to do, despite the fear. I knew if I could climb the Grand, then I could do ANYTHING. Anything under the sun. Brett and I were already dancing with the idea of launching Brumbylon – a seed that we had planted in the dark. I kept thinking, What if? 

Now I ask: What do YOU want to do that you have previously thought (or maybe even still think) is impossible? Is there a bit of FEAR when you think about doing it? If so, that’s actually GOOD. Fear can have many purposes: to protect us from harm, naturally, and also to energize and push us through seemingly impossible things. Fear is potent energy that can be harnessed. 

 

  

 

I assure you that whatever your mountain is…IT IS POSSIBLE. You CAN do it. I know this in my heart and bones. But more importantly do YOU know? Can you feel it stirring somewhere inside? Do you desire to push through your fear and that limiting self-talk to achieve something spectacular? 

This is a new year. A new DECADE. This is your LIFE. It is not the time to shy away from fear. It is the time to be bold – take the wheel and drive (thank you Incubus). 

  1. What is YOUR mountain?

 I invite you to CLIMB A MOUNTAIN with ME in 2020! Climb YOUR mountain. I will be right here beside you. We will do it together. I am actually going to climb a mountain – a challenging real mountain in 2020. I am not ready for it yet, but I WILL be. Six months, baby. Bam.

In summary: There is SO MUCH to be gained in facing rather than avoiding fear. Let fear be your ally rather than your enemy. It’s just an emotion. Ride it like a surfer – YOU are the master. 

Madonna once said, “If it doesn’t terrify me I won’t do it.” Ha. What does that tell you?

“The seed that grows toward the light begins in darkness.”