BELIEF SYSTEM

Written by Natasha Burke, February 23, 2018


What are your core beliefs? Are you beliefs formed based on other people’s beliefs? Does your belief system enrich your life or cause you pain and suffering?

Belief systems come from external influences such as religion, political system, society, family, parents, relatives, friends, peers, mentors, employers, media and others. Your belief system is fundamentally how you approach your life.

 

Think back as far as you can at something someone said that you continue to hold as part of your belief. Is this belief something you truly believe about yourself? Is this belief something that gets in the way of living your life to it’s fullest?

I invite you to go within and discover where some of your beliefs stem from and if they don’t resonate with the you, then it’s time to replace with a new belief in order to live the life you really want.

Check in with yourself and see how this belief makes you feel. How does this belief work in all aspects of your life?

Secrets and Silence

Secrets and Silence

How many of you have held a secret that causes you pain and suffering? How many of you have been silent? Why do you continue to be silent? I invite you to ponder these questions if you have secrets and have been silent. Giving the secrets a voice is FREEDOM!

I am one of those women who have been silent most of my life. I have carried this burden. As a result of it, for years I questioned what is wrong with me? I always had this lingering hole in my being. I never knew what it was.

It was my 60th birthday that prompted me to get back into therapy and dig deep and figure out what was truly going on. I didn’t want to numb, drink, eat my feelings, or anything that I thought would make me feel better. None of it ever made me feel better. It was always a temporary fix.

As I began my journey unveiling my secrets, I realized there is nothing wrong with me. There were things that happened in my life that I could never share with someone because there was FEAR, SHAME, JUDGEMENT, and ANGER, around my secrets. I felt less than, not whole, not good enough, certainly not in my power. I lived life small.

Was it hard to tell someone my secret? Absolutely. I remember thinking about the emotions that went with having to share my secrets. I felt fear, shame, guilt, blame, afraid that others would judge me. I felt sick to my stomach when I thought about sharing my secret.

I thought about who I trust enough to share my secrets with. Once I opened up to one person, a person whom I trust, then I was able to share with others, people whom I trust. It’s very important that you share with someone who will listen to you, who will support you to feel safe enough to share.

This was a huge burden lifted up. One by one, I released my secrets, put a voice to them, and released them. Knowing that as I do this work, I am more empowered. I am stronger, and I no longer live little. I live life BIG! There is so much empowerment doing this work.

Women, it’s important that we use our voice! We speak our truth! We honor and love ourselves enough to open up and release the secrets that we hold. Together we will rise!

 

 

Written by Natasha Burke, January 18, 2018

What Makes A Woman Powerful? by Jane Powell

A powerful woman doesn’t have to prove she is powerful.

Women who feel the need to prove their power usually deep down don’t feel they are powerful. They try to prove something to themselves and others. The more you continue down this path, the more doubts you will have.

 

Women know their power. We are tough yet tender daily. We remain strong with our loved ones through rough times. If they stumble or need support, we are there with soft sensitive words, and open our hearts to them and comfort them with our arms.

Be proud of your ability to be strong and gentle. Let your power make it known, through your quiet, calm confidence and the respect it surrounds you.

If you find yourself trying to prove your power to others, please stop. True power doesn’t need to shout to prove itself. It can whisper and still be heard.

Be proud of your ability to be both strong and gentle. Embrace these different sides of your personality and exercise them in equal measure. Show your strength and determination.

YOU ARE A POWERFUL WOMAN! I AM A POWERFUL WOMAN!

 

 

 

 

 

Being Your Authentic Self

Be YOURSELF. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. JUST BE! Thich Nhat Hanh

The day you were born, you were a perfect miracle! You were pure, perfect, innocent, beautiful, precious, amazing, alert, joyful, loving, peaceful, happy, wondrous, trusting, and a divine presence. The list goes on. This was your authentic self! This was your true ESSENCE.

As we got older, we inherited belief systems from others. We become cognizant of what others thought about us, told us what we should be or shouldn’t be. We began to put on a mask, one layer at a time until we forgot the true essence of who we really are. We forget our true authentic self. We lived as our “fictional” self, living through the lens of how the world sees us.

Being authentic means being true to one’s own personality and spirit despite pressures from external forces and influences. It is hard not to be influenced by those external forces. All of the things that make you unique and need to be expressed are the core of who you really are.

Most of my life I have blended in, hid, suppressed my authentic self, and had a lot of self-doubt and fear. I inherited belief systems from people in my life and too wore a mask. I had images of myself that were false and yet I believed in them. I identified myself as a mother, caretaker, people pleaser, wife, student, writer; the list goes on and on, but then I started questioning WHO AM I if I am not just a mother, a caretaker, people pleaser etc.

I started my journey and began to dig deep. I questioned every aspect of my life. Layer by layer I started removing my masks. I began to know myself. I began to love all parts of myself. I began to see the true essence of me.

I invite you to take the journey to discover your authentic self. You may ask; where do I begin?

I did this exercise to help me see my authentic self. I found a picture of myself as a baby. I taped it to a piece of paper and wrote all the things I could see in this baby picture. Of course they were all the authentic things about me.

I found a picture of myself as an adult and did the same exercise. I put both pictures side by side and it was astounding to find out that I listed things that were not my authentic self but indeed my fictional self on the adult picture. I slowly one by one removed the belief systems I inherited. The gift to myself was to find all those qualities I saw in my baby picture back into my adult life. It didn’t happen over night and there were a lot of tears and letting go only to find the true authentic me! I am grateful that I took this journey.

Questions that you can ponder are, when you do this exercise:

Was the description of your baby self and adult self the same? If not, what was different? Do you see yourself through the lens of others? Are you afraid to show the world your authentic self? If yes, why? Do you have masks that you want to shed? If so, give yourself the gift in taking the journey of rediscovering who you really are. Unveil your mask and discover your true essence. It’s vital to your happiness.

Enjoy your journey! YOU ARE WORTH IT!

 

 

Written by Natasha Burke

March 30, 2017

 

 

 

FORGIVENESS

 

Forgiveness is something that we all need to do. I invite you to think about people in your life that you haven’t forgiven. Do feel resentment towards those people because they hurt you? Do you need to forgive yourself? I have found that it’s hard to forgive myself.  Is forgiving easy? It may not be. You may ask how do I forgive? Truth, we are all human and we make mistakes.

You may ask yourself why should I forgive? What do I get out of forgiving someone that hurt me? Is it my ego that is stopping me?

If we don’t forgive, we resent and when we resent we are poisoning ourselves by holding onto the past. This resentment is TOXIC! If you are having a hard time forgiving a person or yourself, perhaps you can say, “I am willing to forgive. I don’t know how but I am willing.”

Perhaps the person who you have not forgiven isn’t in your life anymore. That is okay; your forgiveness is still needed. I believe if there are deep wounds, you will not forget them but you can forgive. The person that is hurting is YOU!

Through forgiveness you are releasing the pain and the past, which no longer serves your highest good. Forgiveness brings you freedom. It’s freedom from being controlled by the past. It’s freedom from the emotional ties to that person. It’s freedom from the continual inner conflict of bitterness and hate. It’s freedom to become whole and enjoy the fullness of life. Does this sound like something you want in your life? I certainly do!

Until you forgive yourself, until you forgive the person, until you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. I know that it takes time. It takes courage. It takes strength. It takes digging deep. In practicing forgiveness you are removing the armor around your heart.

I invite you to ponder these questions. Go deep with them. Sit with them. Feel them. Breathe through them. It may not be painful but remember the hurt is already done. You have survived it. You are still here. It’s time to forgive and let it go!

Here is an exercise that you can start the process of forgiving. I invite you to journal. Journaling is a powerful tool. This exercise a great way to release old hurts from the past and to heal through forgiveness Sit in a place where there are no distractions. Where you can be by yourself and go through this process. Maybe put on some soothing music or just take some deep breathes. You can meditate before writing. Do what feels right for you. Bring yourself into the now. Continue to Breathe. When you are ready, you can begin journaling.

 

Make a list of people who you have not forgiven. Take your time. As you write you may feel uncomfortable. It’s okay, go with it. Unlock the door from the prison you have been in and confront those who hurt you, and who you have hurt. You don’t have to do it all in one sitting. Just begin the process. Be compassionate with yourself. This is a courageous thing you are doing. The reward, FREEDOM!

Before you write, try to visualize the person and the situation. Begin the writing process by telling the person what they did or said that hurt you. What you did or said that hurt others. What you said or did that hurt you. Take as long as you need. It’s in the writing that you are releasing. Don’t over think it, just stream write. Let it all out!

Once you feel complete and you are ready, tell the person that you forgive them. Forgive yourself. Write it down. Say it out loud. Perhaps you can tell the person. Maybe you can write a letter and then burn it. The past will keep you hostage if you don’t forgive!!! Release it!

Did you like this exercise? What did this exercise feel like? Did you feel anything in your body? What emotions came up? Feel it all!

When you forgive, you give yourself the gift of emotional, spiritual, and mental freedom. You heal yourself.

THIS IS AN AMAZING GIFT FOR YOU!!!

Written by Natasha Burke, March 3, 2017

POSITIVE BODY IMAGE

Body Image is the way you view yourself and how you look. Having a positive body image means that most of the time you see yourself accurately; you feel comfortable in your body and you feel good about the way you look. It’s also how you imagine other people see you.

FACT: Research suggest that 80% of adult women are dissatisfied with their bodies, and this problem starts at a very early age. In 1st-3rd grade, 40% of girls want to loose weight and 80% of 10-year old girls are afraid of being fat. Sad facts here ladies!

You are labeled “overweight” or “underweight.” This label is stamped into the consciousness of your mother. Every time you were brought to the pediatrician for a routine checkup, you were compared to the statistical data and national charts. Your mother was indirectly taught how to feel about the size of your body.

We receive strong messages about body image from magazines, television, films, and other social medial. Most of the beliefs we have about the way women “should” look like come from models and celebrities we see in magazines and the media. Models and celebrities do not look like most women.

FACT: Models weigh 23% less then women who are not models.

Look around you. Notice women’s bodies. In the real world women’s bodies are diverse not what we see in magazines and social media. Each body is unique!

Our bodies are amazing. They are what makes us alive! We can do amazing things with our bodies. Let’s honor each part of our body and what it does. In doing this, it will help you honor your body. It will help you honor all of the girls and women’s bodies. It will help you honor all shapes, sizes, and the different stages of life such as puberty, menopause, and aging. There is no need to compare. Our body is unique!!!

Treat your body with respect and kindness. Love your beautiful body!

An exercise you can do is to look at yourself in the mirror. Look into your eyes. Say the words, “I love you.” Say it multiple times. “Say I love you (use your name)”. If you have never said this before,  take some deep breaths and say  “I can learn to love myself”. When you are ready scan your body. Tell your body parts you love them. Tell them what you love about them.  Do this exercise at least once a day for 30 days. After 30 days ask yourself,  “How did this exercise help me?” “Do I love myself more?” “Do I have positive body image?”  Be compassionate with yourself during this process.

 

Written by Natasha Burke, Feb 13, 2017

I AM ENOUGH

I used this exercise in my women’s group this week. On the worksheet, “I AM ENOUGH”, put a check mark next to the words that convey you are enough! You can add words to the list.  The second component  to this exercise is to draw a sunflower or any type of flower with lots of petals. In the middle of your flower write the words, “I AM ENOUGH”. On each petal, write down the word from your list that conveys, “I AM ENOUGH”.  Color it. Make it beautiful like you are! Have fun!

I AM ENOUGH

___ Playful ___ Loving ___ Honest
___ Courageous ___ Generous ___Thankful
___ Encouraging ___ Comforting ___Leader
___ Successful ___ Curious ___ Happy
___ Responsible ___ Wise ___ Unique
___ Caring ___ Positive ___Confident
___ Focused ___ Patient ___Giving
___ Active ___ Creative ___Helpful
___ Adventurous ___ Peaceful ___ Friendly
___ Resourceful ___ Emotional ___ Safe
___ Winner ___ Important ___Limitless
___Growing ___ Social ___Potential
___ Conscientious ___ Self-Made ___ Infinite
___Genius ___ Open ___Self-Love
___ Proud ___Powerful ___Original
___ Motivated ___ Flexible ___Nurturing
___ Champion ___ Complete ___Authentic
___Proud ___ Expressive ___Abundant
___ Intelligent ___Magical ___Amazing
___ Explorer ___Reflective ___Visionary

I am a dream unfolding

I am a shining star!

Written by Natasha Burke, January 28, 2017

BIRD IN THE CAGE

 

Are you a bird in a locked cage?

Are you a bird in a cage with the door open so you can fly in and out?

Are you a bird that is free to fly without a cage? I invite you to ponder this powerful metaphor. Where is your bird?

In 2013 I had a life altering experience that was the catalyst to open my cage and fly freely. I was the bird who was in a cage. I was in prison. I had a spiritual breakdown! I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what I wanted. I didn’t know what my purpose was. It was a very profound moment in my life. Once I realized this, the deep work began. I started my journey of discovering who I was. What a ride it has been!

I took this opportunity to evaluate every aspect of my life. I was scared. I was excited. I was entering unfamiliar territory. I knew I was on a journey to the unknown. Exciting, right?

The truth is I wanted to know who my authentic self was. I wasn’t living my life being authentic. I was living my life through the lens of others belief systems. I was living my life the way I thought I should be living. I wasn’t being true to me.

Was this journey simple? No. I had to dig deep. Dig deeper and deeper. Sometimes it was painful. Sometimes it was invigorating. I had to let go of people. I upset people who didn’t understand the journey I was taking. I knew I had to do the work so that I can let go of what no longer served me to allow what does. I had a love affair with me! It has been the best love affair!

As I let my armor down, and it was a very slow process I began to see who I really am. Like an onion, I began peeling the layers of lies, wounds and beliefs. I began to sing like no one was listening. I danced like no one was watching. I began to soar high and higher. I am a bird who is free!

The first time I used my voice, I was scared. Each time I spoke my truth, it got easier. Not speaking my truth isn’t an option today. It should never be an option.

What an amazing journey I have been on. I never knew love like the love for myself. Everyday I am grateful that I am being my authentic self. I show up living life big!

So if you are a bird in a cage, I invite you to open it up and fly out. You may return but keep going out. When you are ready you will leave the cage forever, never to return. You will be free!

Give yourself the gift of finding out who you really are. Open your heart to the process. Be compassionate as you take this journey. Share with others who you really are! We all have a voice, and we need to be heard. We all need to sing beautiful notes like a bird.

 

 

Written by Natasha Burke, January26,2017