You ARE Worthy of Love

You ARE Worthy of Love

What if you woke up with the snap of my fingers and believed, truly believed, without question, YOU were Worthy of Love?

Pause for a moment and imagine that.

In Karen Casey’s book Worthy of Love, she writes, “There is probably no expression in my life more difficult to feel, develop, offer, accept or maintain, than Love. And I have so desperately wanted to revel in it, certain that if only I “knew” Love, I’d forever be happy, content and serene every moment, never tragedy’s victim.

Karen also says, “Of course, the irony is the harder we look for Love, the more blurred our vision. Only when we become quiet and trust that Love is our birthright do we discover its friendship has enfolded us”.

Karen Casey’s book, Worthy of Love, Meditations on Loving Ourselves and Others was a gift to me I will always treasure. I offer this blog as a gift to you, on Love, and in Love.

What would it feel like to Love yourself unconditionally and be comfortable in your skin with no need to do any number of the things we can come up with to NOT feel our feelings?

  •    Check our email
  •    Grab a snack
  •    Find a project
  •    Phone a friend
  •    Workout

One thing that can be an obstacle to self-love and very self-damaging is Self-Criticism. The inner critic is often experienced as negative thoughts about our behaviors or ourselves. We think being extra hard on ourselves will somehow motivate us to change.

  •    Don’t ask for any help
  •    Struggle with body image
  •    Play the blame game
  •    Don’t forgive, keep punishing
  •    Get down on yourself
  •    Difficult decision making
  •    Comparing ourselves to others
  •    Thinking I’m Never enough
  •    Overanalyzing
  •    Worry/Fear

We work so hard to be more, better, fixed, but perhaps that is the problem, and the simple solution is accepting we don’t need to be fixed.

It is only when we accept ourselves for who and what we are, and no longer require the acceptance and approval of others, we start to achieve our inner sense of peace and security.

Self-Compassion and kindness offer us encouragement, support, and the Love we long for. It aligns us with what we truly want and desire.

  •    Acceptance
  •    Trust
  •    No judging, blaming or criticizing
  •    Forgiveness
  •    Peace of I’m enough
  •    Faith Hope and Love

Both self-criticism and self-compassion are ways we protect ourselves. They can be healthy ways to achieve personal growth; however, self-criticism can also be a barrier to our peace of mind.

Here are 3 Powerful Ways to Promote Self-Love and Awareness

  1. MINDFULNESS-maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts turn inward into what we are sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.
  1. JOURNALING-a way to explore our emotions, channel our feelings, and explore outcomes. Writing is a vehicle that allows us to slow down and pay attention to everything that is going on in our lives. One beneficial exercise is journaling your self-critical thought paired with a self-compassionate response. Give it a try.
  1. HAVING A MANTRA/S-a mantra is a sacred utterance, a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration. It is believed to have spiritual and psychological power. It is said to be a tool of thought, a way to focus the mind. Just for fun, why not try Mirror Mantra’s with Crayola ® washable makers.

SELF-Acceptance ask much of us, but I promise the journey and reward are worth it

SELF-Compassion and kindness are powerful skills we can lean into more deeply each and every day to support ourselves.

SELF-Love is a process, a practice for all our lives. The goal is to grow in it.

No matter where you are on the journey, the most important thing we can do is to be ourselves, love ourselves, and celebrate our unique and miraculous authenticity. Then, we can contribute to the ripple effect of LOVE throughout this world.

Remember Always, or remind yourself with a quick snap of the fingers,




Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others,

Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others approval

Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts her.

~Lao Tzu

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Feeling Stronger and More Confident About Your Money

Feeling Stronger and More Confident About Your Money

Are you satisfied with your relationship with money?

Many of us would say that we’d like to be more confident with our finances, yet we don’t know how to gain that confidence.

Experts recognize that we each have a money personality which guides our unique approach to managing our finances. Our money personality develops through observation of others and education. For many of us, the most impactful lessons are learned the hard way, through real-life experiences. The good news is that we can change our money personality if it’s not serving us well.

Like anything that we want to change, we first need to assess where we currently are. With honest self-awareness, we can then choose thoughts and behaviors that we want to modify to achieve different results.

Some of us think of money in terms of status, believing that our net-worth equals our self-worth. Others tend to worship money and engage in wishfully thinking that if we had more, our problems would be solved. Some of us tend to avoid money matters entirely and still, others vigilantly guard and protect their money.

You may have been each of these at some point in your life or find that you’re a combination of them now. I’m curious to know what it would be like to apply our unique strengths to mold our money personality into a form that consistently serves us well.  I have been experimenting with this idea, using myself as a test subject, to see what I could learn.

Using Gallup’s Strengths Finder assessment, I learned that my leadership style is one of relationship building. In short, I’m a people person and my natural approach to leading is through connection with others. When I look at how my leadership style impacts my approach to money, I can easily see times when it works well and times when it doesn’t.

For example, in my shopping, I choose to support local businesses over big box stores whenever I can, even if it’s inconvenient. I believe that it’s important to encourage entrepreneurs and small business owners and do my part by spending my dollars with them. My Developer, Empathy, and Belief strengths feel fulfilled when I purposefully shop local. The dark side of those same strengths appears when I purchase something that I really don’t want or need in order to be supportive.

I good-naturedly recall a delightful trip through the NY wine country with my husband and another couple. We spontaneously stopped into a cider works distillery to taste their products. We were their only guests and received the owner’s full attention as the four of us respectfully tasted each cider sample. In the end, we agreed that we were not fans. As the three of them politely thanked the owners and started to leave, my heart took over and I grabbed a bottle of cherry cider to purchase from the grateful proprietor. I received plenty of ribbing afterward from my friends and the bottle sat in our cupboard for over a year before I finally gave it away to someone who would appreciate it. My heart led the way into that sympathy-buy. I can laugh about it now, but I wonder how many times I let my relationship strengths lead the way financially, and if that serves me well. Does my concern for others supersede practical purchasing decisions?

Another strength in my top 5 is Positivity. It serves me well in having a fundamentally positive outlook on life, including my finances, however, at times it may not work to my benefit. How often do I charge an item to my credit card thinking (positively), I’ll pay that off when the bill comes in? Only I don’t. And the balance increases when I do that repeatedly. My positivity could sabotage my financial goals if I don’t catch myself and ‘dial it differently’. You may wonder what I mean by dialing it differently.

I like to picture my top 5 strengths as individual pots on a stove, each with a dial ranging from 1 to 10. When my positivity is too high, I can turn it down and turn up another strength that would get the results I’m after. In the above situation, I could dial up my Strategic strength and ask myself important questions such as Will this purchase get me closer or further away from my financial goals? Will I honestly pay this charge off when the bill comes in? Do I really need this item? By turning down my overly optimistic tendency and balancing it with my thoughtful planning strength I can then make a well-formulated purchasing decision. My heart-centered leadership style can be effectively managed by increasing my other top strengths.

I’m curious to learn more about the ways my individual strengths and leadership style impacts my spending and saving. Increasing my knowledge will help me be more conscious of my default tendencies. I can then contribute those insights to the conversations that my husband and I have about our financial decisions. Knowing his strengths and leadership style will further help us to understand ourselves better and fine tune our joint money matters.

Gallup has organized their list of 34 strengths into four leadership styles: Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, and Strategic Thinking. I’m delighted to partner with Financial Coach Jane Helm to learn more about the ways in which our strengths impact our money personalities. Ladies, if you’d like to learn more, you’re invited to join Jane and me for an evening retreat entitled Be Prosperous on June 26 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Learn details about this Wholistic Woman Retreat program here.

Grow more confident about your relationship with money with us!

Today’s author: Carol deLaski, PCC, is a strengths-based executive leadership coach who guides individuals and businesses to be their best. For more information about her coaching services, and her book Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith, visit or email her at [email protected]

Love Over Fear – A New and Growing Superpower!

Love Over Fear – A New and Growing Superpower!

Are you one of the people that have a tendency to be fearful and hard on yourself? It’s like an automatic default to the land of negative thinking and feelings of unworthiness. Others tell you to stop being so hard on yourself, and you wonder how? If you knew how to do that, you would certainly have done that a long time ago to stop the suffering.

Over the years I began to realize this was a real problem for a lot of people and me. I now see it as an opportunity and blessing in the pursuit of wholehearted living. I learned all about distorted thinking and the lies we tell ourselves and automatically believe. It was a real awakening. I read a book titled Ten Days to Self Esteem by David Burns, and there I found a breakdown of the many ways we can distort our thinking.

  • All or Nothing thinking – Looking at things in Black & White
  • Overgeneralizing – Viewing an adverse event as a never-ending pattern of defeat
  • Mental Filter – Dwelling on the negatives and avoiding the positives.
  • Discounting the Positives – Insisting that your accomplishments or positive qualities don’t count.
  • Jumping to Conclusions – Concluding things are wrong without any conclusive evidence. (Mindreading) or (Fortune Telling)
  • Magnification or Minimization – Blowing things way out of proportion or shrinking their importance.
  • Emotional Reasoning – Reasoning from how you feel. You feel like an idiot so you must be one.
  • Should Statements – Criticizing yourself or others with should, shouldn’t, must, ought’s, and have to.
  • Labeling – Instead of saying I made a mistake. You label yourself a loser or stupid.
  • Blame – Blaming yourself for something you are not entirely responsible for or blaming other people and overlooking the ways you may have contributed to the problem.

What I initially believed is that we feel the way we think. So, I thought to myself, just think positive! But as my default would have it that led me back to… I am thinking positive but still feeling negative so this must be my fault. Not knowing if that was self-centered or reality-based, I kept searching for answers.

That’s when I discovered Brené Brown. This quote of hers spoke directly to me:

(Love over Fear and growing a new superpower was in the works but it would require more explanation and understanding).


One leg represents Thinking.

 One leg represents Feelings.

One leg represents Behavior.

Incorporating all three would then equal our wholehearted living and loving selves.

FEAR thinks-I’m not good enough, or I’m no good at this, how frustrating, I’ll numb out with some of my favorite comfort food.

WHOLEHEARTED LOVE thinks – I’m going to work on this, I feel good about having a goal, and I will take it one day at a time and strive to build on that.

Wholehearted living and loving are about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness, being brave, putting love over fear and knowing we are enough.

While some argue that you can change your life by changing your thoughts, Brené has seen no evidence of this in her research. She says, “Real transformation doesn’t happen until we address all three parts as equally essential parts of a whole, elements that are inextricably connected to one another”.

If being wholehearted makes us whole, then the opposite of that is to be broken, fractured, or in disarray. So many of us are moving thru life this way. The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness actually depends on the integration of All of our experiences.

Remember… the three-legged stool shows the way you THINK affects the way you FEEL which then determines and will have a direct impact on your BEHAVIOR and what you DO.

So what then do we do?


Be willing to open a line of inquiry into what’s going on with you, and why?

  • Why am I being so hard on myself? Or others?
  • What is setting me off?
  • How did I get to the point of no return and wanting to punch something?
  • Why am I so overwhelmed?
  • Why can’t I shut my brain off?
  • Why am I reacting so emotionally?
  • What is going on?

Since we respond to EMOTIONS FIRST, and they often direct us to shut down or disengage. This is why we need to train ourselves to get curious about our emotions and develop a desire to learn more about why we feel the way we do. Although we don’t want to feel our feelings, this is the starting point to growing our superpower.

Brené says “The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we reject our stories and disconnect from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead,

“They own us, they define us”!

Our job then is not to deny our feelings in fear of feeling them, but rather to explore them with love, grace (My One Word for 2019) and curiosity, teasing out the distorted thoughts and getting clear on our truth (My One Word for 2018). Being open to the daily Wholistic  (heart, mind, body, and spirit) practice of consciously choosing our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and living and loving as a whole person, growing and strengthening our Love over Fear Superpower!!

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Be Savvy!

Be Savvy!

Be Savvy!

Let’s face it, being savvy means having a clear vision and mind. What’s behind those glasses? Are you stepping out into the world being the real you – the best you? I chose the word Savvy for my focus this year but have been searching to live a more savvy self for years. Some might think I am talking about being tech- savvy – I am not. I am simply talking about being sharp with yourself and others to have a better grasp on your personal and professional life. Now, if that includes tech equipment in your life, go for it, but don’t forget to remove the sunglasses and make eye contact… savvier for sure!

In the process of being on point, we save valuable time and make our days count. My savvy process:

  • Clear the Clutter
  • Be Real
  • Listen and Respond, Lead with Value
  • Look on the Bright Side

When you have too much stuff on your mind and around you, it’s hard to be focused. Clear the clutter. This process can take time but it’s worth every minute and you will enjoy the minutes that follow. Being mindful – clearing your mind and getting organized – are two important steps. In order to be more mindful, I have enjoyed doing yoga again after many years and recently I spent the weekend cleaning my office and I feel like a new person. I also have a wonderful calendar with themed days I use to help me stay on track, like Mindful Monday and Task Tuesday. It helps create the mindset. What do you practice to be mindful or more organized?

Let’s be real! Really! What are 3 words that would describe who you are or how others would describe you? Usually I hear words about myself, like positive, kind, and funny. Those words work and fit who I truly am or at least I try and make people laugh. My style is happy-go-lucky and what can I say, I’m in hospitality, a kind-centered business. These are a few words I work with professionally, too. In business, it can be hard to boast about your talents. I like the book Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, by Peggy Klause. Being quiet about your success usually leads to being underappreciated, so a savvy brag approach will help you shine and sparkle, in a more humble way.

How you communicate your message or listen to someone else’s message takes skill. Listen and respond to show you have paid attention and have a savvy planned approach that is thoughtful in your discussions and presentation. When responding to a friend or colleague, it’s important to use positive body language and show empathy to make the best connections. My favorite interaction process tool is from Development Dimensions International, Inc.  I use it for basic communication and challenging counseling sessions to get savvy results. Sometimes less is more in communication, so having a communication model to follow keeps you on track. Lead with value is important to keep others engaged and tuned into your conversation. You might have heard about the 30-second commercial in business – this is when you have seconds to make an influential impact. We hope for buy-in when we are communicating, so it’s important to know your audience and remember WIIFM – what’s in it for me. This is important personally and professionally. Sometimes the shorthand version is what’s needed, not the whole story to make the connection.  What tools have you used to be a better communicator?

We all need more positive energy, right? My savvy approach includes looking on the bright side. Most people are attracted to positivity. I like to look at the glass as half full and this has “served” me well. Let’s fill up that happy glass. At the end of the day, we want good vibrations in life. My hope is you feel filled up with more savvy in your life. Just put on the sunglasses and enjoy the brighter side, the best side of being savvy you. Please join me for my Be Savvy session on September 26, 2018 at Brewer’s Alley. We will put the Savvy approach to use and practice building up your confidence.

Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website:

If This Isn’t It, What Is?

If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, then I’m sure you have wondered from time to time about whether this is it. All our lives we are made to believe that the definition of success is a big house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, an SUV in the garage, and of course a stable job to pay for it all. If you are sensible, you don’t spend all your money and put some aside for retirement.

But retirement is far away. What about the here and now? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t save for later on, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of missing out on the moment. Live a little on the way.

Having a lot of stuff is what the consumption industry wants us to strive for, and many of us do what is expected. Until one day you get a wake-up call like being laid-off, or a big move to another country, or you just have that nagging feeling that you “have it all” but something is missing – except you don’t know what that something is.

I was lucky in that I knew what that was. I always wanted to paint and it changed my life in many ways when I finally embarked on that journey. In 2000, we had moved from Düsseldorf to Maryland. My son and daughter started high school that year, my husband worked and traveled a lot, and I was home. Alone. No job, no friends. It was culture shock. The American way of life was foreign to me. My in-laws lived just outside New York, where my husband was born, so we had been on vacation here many times, but as my daughter once said: “Mom, it’s a nice country to visit, but not to live.”

Wow! She was born in Hamburg and had been enrolled in German schools. It took her quite a few years to adjust. And it took me five years to finally make a few friends. That was a first. I had moved many times, from country to country, to different cities with different languages and jobs. Every time I lived in a new place, I gathered a group around me, but not here.

In 2005, I finally gave in to my passion. I signed up for a painting class and that changed everything. It felt like coming home, and soon I started to make friends. A whole new world opened up. It was a little scary to walk into that first class. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know how to paint. I also knew that I had lots to learn, that I would fail many times, but I could do it if I worked hard. And I did. I ended up with stacks and stacks of some pretty ugly paintings, but I was not discouraged or embarrassed. On the contrary, with every brushstroke I got better, and I loved the process. Slowly I was making some pretty decent paintings and even won awards.

This was not the end of the journey. There was still something missing. But this time around, it was not apparent what I needed. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to combine painting with coaching. I became a coach because I was missing a tribe, like I had in all those other places where I had lived, and I wanted to help others to experience what it feels like to come home. What it feels like when you are doing what you were meant to be doing all along.

Find your passion.

If you don’t have a clue what you are passionate about, ask your friends. During my training as a coach, all my coaching friends told me that every time I talked about my painting, I lit up. I had never noticed that, but there it was. When people talk about their passion, and they do so often, they lighten up. Their eyes are on fire, eyebrows are pulled upwards, the whole body is energized, hands and arms start moving.

Pay attention to your own body when you talk about something you feel strongly about.

Body language is an amazing thing. Try sitting slumped over and talk about a passion of yours. I guarantee you that you cannot do it. Not in that position.

In 2011, I founded Quality Within. I chose that name because I am a firm believer that we all have beauty and a unique quality within us. The challenge is to find it. It is something that comes naturally. Something that is so easy for you that you think anybody can do it. But just because it comes easily to you doesn’t mean that it is the same for everybody else. I’m not saying that painting came easily to me. I had to work on it. But I had a drive from within. I didn’t have to push myself, I was pulled toward it. What does come easily to me is combining color and reading people, and reading intuitive paintings.

If you have no idea what your quality within looks like, start by getting organized. Make space and clear your mind and clutter in your home. Finish projects that you have been putting aside.

Once you have cleared your mind, start making a list with all the things you would like to do even if you think it’s impossible. Take your time with it. Then pick one theme that jumps out at you and start pondering, collect information, find out what you need to learn, talk to as many people as you can, and listen to their feedback. Pay attention to your own body, your gut, your energy. Trust your intuition. In my case, thirteen years ago I had no friends, no job. I couldn’t even paint. But paint is my favorite medium. I love working with groups. No matter how tired I am starting a workshop, I always go home fully energized. People ask me all the time: “And what are you going to do when you retire?” I think you know the answer.

Tap into your quality within and show it to the world. A precious gift you can give yourself is helping others with what comes so easily to you.

Last but not least: Don’t give up your day job right away, but learn to deal with your inner critic who might say that it’s too late to change. Believe me, it never is.

Welcome home!


Today’s author: Elisabeth Vismans is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), an Award-Winning Artist, and founder of Quality Within, helping women in transition to find their life purpose. She developed a unique coaching program using the visual language as an extra modality. She is also an Art Instructor and conducts painting and coaching workshops. Learn more about Elisabeth at her website:, or from her Facebook page.

Intuitive Painting

Intuitive Painting

Intuitive Painting

What exactly is that? Who came up with that?

Well nobody came up with it. It exists since human mankind. Remember those cave drawings? Aren’t they fascinating? Humans have always been driven to be creative. It’s part of who we are.

We are all born creative geniuses. The educational system dumbs us down, according to the results of a test developed by Dr. George Land and Beth Jarman to measure the creative potential of NASA scientists. The test was very successful but the question where creativity comes from remained. They subsequently used the test for school children. They tested 1,600 children between the ages of 4 and 5. The tests looked at the ability to come up with new and innovative ideas to problems.

The results shocked them: 98% fell into the genius category of imagination. Wow! The same kids were tested again five years later and only 30% fell into the same category. At age 15, it was only 12%, and as for adults… How much are we in touch with our creative thinking after years of schooling? Only 2%.

What happened? Years of schooling, that’s what happened. Learning how to pick A, B, or C to pass test. How creative is that? Right … not very much.

It’s safe to say that most of us adults have lost our creative touch. We don’t dance, sing, draw, paint, or sit around the campfire telling stories anymore. We are trained to follow rules and work hard. As an art instructor, I hear often from my adult students that they stopped painting when they were six years old. Around that age we start to judge and compare ourselves to others and when a teacher tells us that the kid sitting next to us made this wonderful painting and all the other classmates think so too, we look at our own painting and come to the conclusion that it’s not good. Not good enough. And that we definitely don’t fall into the category of the anointed ones oozing with talent, so the notion of being creative is abandoned.

It took the joy away. And sheer joy helps us to get into deep play, as Martha Beck calls it. It’s about losing yourself, forgetting about time and being a child again. That’s how we learn. We learn new skills. We learn how to deal with what’s in front of us and afterwards we feel accomplished. We all have seen puppies and kittens play. We love those. How many hits do those YouTube videos get when there is a puppy chasing its tail? So funny and charming.

It’s not all play for that puppy though. Being playful is preparing it for real life, for dangers, how to get food and all those things it needs to know. The same goes for us humans. We come into the world and have to learn all those complicated skills. We play, we are being silly, and we don’t care. People even encourage us with gestures, big smiles and telling us how great we are. Until …. yes until our sixth birthday or thereabout. That’s when we start to compare ourselves to others and start questioning our actions. We stop being silly—most of us, anyway. We stop wondering and if our parents tell us we ask too many questions, we stop that too.

Over the years, we lose our sense of wonder. We lose ourselves and many of us feel down and out. We have lost ourselves. Intuitive Painting will get you back in touch with your playfulness. Deep play is what we are going to do in the Intuitive Painting session.

You will get all the freedom you need to unlock your creativity using a brush, your fingers or a paper towel. Just play and have fun. It cleanses your mind like meditating. The only instruction you get is:

Get in touch with your inner child and ENJOY!!

Come experience intuitive painting with us at the Be Creative retreat at the beautiful Turf Valley Resort on March 3! Register soon – we’re getting very close to the event and we would love to see you there!


Today’s author: Elisabeth Vismans is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), an Award-Winning Artist, and founder of Quality Within, helping women in transition to find their life purpose. She developed a unique coaching program using the visual language as an extra modality. She is also an Art Instructor and conducts painting and coaching workshops. Learn more about Elisabeth at her website:, or from her Facebook page.