Who am I anyway?
After 25 years as an
award winning
advertising Execu-
woman I'm on a
campaign to inspire
women to unzip their
inner joy through
my writing, paintings
and transformational
speaking. To find out
more about me
over here.

Do you know a Goddess
of Transformation?

Each month we'll honor
a woman who has
changed her life or
someone else's. 

Contact me to
nominate yourself or
another goddess
(and tell me why).

Hey, who turned the lights out in here?

So, has this ever happened to you:

Things start going really well.

But instead of basking in the light of your own joy, you start dredging up your deepest, darkest, dreariest thoughts.

Well, remember a couple of weeks ago, when all those great things were happening  to me? (The radio interview. The Goddess of The Week showcase. The Huffington Post article. )

So, after all that, you’d think I’d go out celebrating, right?

Uh, wrong.

Instead, I found myself lying in the dark (literally and figuratively), engaged in the following self-demolition derby:

“You still don’t have a published book.  And who says you’ll ever get one? Maybe you’re just imagining this whole goddess thing. And have you seen what a mess your desk is? And those closets? And your thighs?!!!!”

Well, fortunately, my book club just read  The Big Leap . And I learned I was doing what author Gay Hendricks calls “Upper Limiting.”

According to him, we humans have a ceiling on how much good stuff we’ll allow ourselves to take in before we find a way to self-sabotage.

Take Bill Clinton. According to the book, Bill toured the White House as a teenager and said “I’m going to live here.”  Well, he manifested that dream and was on quite a roll before creating an “Upper Limit Problem” in a blue silk dress.

Hendricks says that we receive messages as children “not to shine too much” or  do “too well” for fear of making others feel bad  or not love us. (I’m over-simplifying it but you get the idea.)

Well, I can’t speak for Bill.  But I do remember kids teasing me because I wore nicer headbands and got more A’s than they did. Later,  colleagues at work seethed when I got a bigger title or more perks.

Little by little, I learned to minimize my gifts and accomplishments.  And sadly started to dim my own light.

If this sounds familiar, here are a few things you may want to try:

1. Savor the good stuff. The next time something positive happens (even a tiny step in the right direction), stop and breathe in the good feelings, like you would the bouquet of a fine wine. Don’t guzzle it down with a “yes, but…” or “I still need to…”

2. Treat yourself like a friend. If something positive happened to your friend, (even a small something), you’d encourage and acknowledge her, right? You wouldn’t  torture her with all the things she hasn’t done. Well, be that kind of a friend to yourself.

3.Read The Big Leap. (Here’s the link to buy it on Amazon). Until you get it, start re-training your brain by saying this several times a day: “I expand in abundance, success and love everyday as I inspire others to do the same.” (It’s called the Ultimate Success Mantra. and it’s on page 145 with instructions on how to use it.)

4. Try singing “This Little Light of Mine. I’m Gonna Let It Shine.” Remember that childhood song? I know it sounds crazy. But I’ve been singing it when those dark, self-sabotaging thoughts start creeping in.  And I’ve found it zaps away the fear.  (For some inspiration, watch The Boss & friends shine).

5. Illuminate others . By sharing our stories, we light the way for others. So, tell us….do you challenging to bask in your own light? Is there any wisdom you’d like to share with the rest of us? Let’s help each other stay away from those dimmer switches.

Be Sociable, Share!

28 comments to Hey, who turned out the lights in here?

  • Jacquie

    I just recently discovered your site and blog and am thrilled to have found you. I can relate to so much of your experience. I too had an Execu-Woman job, lots of early success and found it very hard to be my authentic self in a corporate environment where I was the young, female, go-getter and constantly navigating the scrutiny and judgment of both paternalistic men and, sadly, other women.
    I left to go back to do a PhD, which I had always dreamed of doing, and have experienced a much more difficult transition than I ever expected. I thought everything would be roses and rainbows once I made the leap, but I didn’t realize that I would feel such a loss of identity, fear of a whole new world in academics and the peaks and valleys of what it means to love and define myself simply for who I am and not external factors.
    Thank you for your posts and your honesty. I too am learning to redress my inner critic and every time I feel the whip coming out, I try and remember to be my best friend and nurture myself with love and compassion. I will be spending more time with you. Thanks again.

    • Dear Jacquie,
      I am so touched by your candor and willingness to share. Yes, you and I seem to be kindred spirits. Following your heart isn’t always the easiest route.
      But I do believe that it’s the most fulfilling one. And the more we support and love ourselves, along the way, the more support and love we find in the outside world.
      I look forward to connecting more with you. To divine self be true, Wendi

  • tony patellis

    Hi Wendi, I think Janine is too busy with her new show to let you know how cool she felt when you mentioned her giving you the dragon-fly necklace. We were both really happy to read that. We love the goddess/bloggess! And we love you…

    • Thanks, Tony…that little dragonfly touched my heart and so do both of you. Thank you for writing. And I hope her show is going beautifully.
      Love to both of you…and St. Anthony too!

  • Good Stuff love the book recommendation!
    and this little light of mine LOL just thinking of it makes me 5 years old for a second good state changer

  • Thank you so much for this great post- it really resonated with me. Best wishes!


  • Wendi,
    I love this community. It’s sharing and compassionate just like you are. I have so many of those “lizard brain” stories! The one I hold onto is this pivotal moment in my life way back in high school. I played the role of Emily in the play Our Town. Afterward, a gentleman asked me whether I could do that performance again. I immediately thought of how my mother would want me to answer the question and this is what I said. “I….uh….don’t even know what I ….uh….did tonight.” Couldn’t own it and hence missed an opportunity to be recommended by Reginald Rose. One of the great writer/producers of all times. (New York). Oh, how differently I would answer it today. And…still…then I’d perhaps have lingering doubts about being too shiny….egocentric….I’d worry that I’d lose my friends….But, at least I’d grab the moment.
    Excuse me now. Must get back to your mantra.

    • Linda!!! Sadly, I totally relate to that story. It would have been such a shorter route to our truth if we felt we were loved for the radiance of who we really are. But then, our mothers didn’t know how to teach us that because they didn’t feel that about themselves. It’s such a genetic chain. That’s why I love having a goddess like you in my life who I can remind and can remind me. You have always dazzled me with your inner shine. xoxoxo

  • Susan Doty

    From the mouths of babes – when my husband had a very successful CD release concert and the entire audience was standing and cheering, he was high on the feelings, but in the car ride on the way home, I watched as his energy started to wane and his spirits drop. However, our son, 12 at the time, said: Pop, after tonight, you can never be cranky again. The best reminder my husband ever got, and words we both use to this day, no matter the circumstance. When we start to tear ourselves down after experiencing a high, one or the other of us says, AFTER THIS, YOU CAN NEVER BE CRANKY AGAIN.

  • Be-you-tea-full! I call it ‘pissing on the fire’ when things are flowing effortlessly or I receive praise for something. My agnoxious inner critic pipes up with “Well….if you’re so creative, intelligent, loving, beautiful, wonderful….whatever people say you are, then how come…. you aren’t making the amount of money you want, have not yet created the kind of relationship you desire, are still working at a job that is draining intead of writing and speaking full time?”….ad naseum): Even when 2 years ago, I lived a 20 year journalistic dream of interviewing His Holiness The Dalai Lama, imposter syndrome kicked in and I found myself dousing the flame a bit by saying “What if you really aren’t that good a journalist? What if you can’t speak when you finally meet him? What if you let people down who believe in you?” As my friend Karen Drucker sings so powerfully: “I’m teaming my inner critic. You’re not welcome here anymore. I’m taming my inner critic. Allow me….to kick you out the door.” <3

  • Krikit

    I love this one, Wendi! Especially (like Dale) #2. I call it, “Be my (your) own BFF.”

    Due to a lot of “life” happening to me (as it, of course, does to everyone), I’ve been spending quite a few years now learning to be my own champion, my own cheerleader, my own best friend forever.

    As you know, I’m in college now and it’s been good, no, GREAT for me! But, there have been some of the old shadows that still try to creep in and dim my enthusiasm and fun.

    What I’m practicing is child-like behavior (just like your song encouragement here); sometimes I literally skip through the hallways I’m so pleased about an excellent mark received on an assignment. I tell my friends/family of my accomplishments with gleeful abandon. I read them my essays, I share my happy feelings with them and they, in turn, continue to give me encouragement back. It’s a vicious cycle. ~;)

    Little kids know something about being happy with themselves. I say we all could do well to be more like them. ~:)

    • Yes, I agree, Krikit. It like that saying I love: “it’s never too late too lat to have a happy childhood.”
      I’m so glad that you are giving that to yourself. I love hearing from you and your wise whimsical comments.

  • Wonderful, encouraging post, Wendi! I’m working on breaking through my ceiling right now. Congrats on the wonderful things that are happening for you. You go, girl!

    • Thank you, Karen. It’s such a great feeling to realize how connected we all are and that whatever we’re working through is supporting someone else. I know there’s a great big beautiful blue sky on the other side of that ceiling!

  • Wendi, you are too cute! I love singing “This Little Light of Mine” to myself! ;)

  • Dina Shulman

    You are so right…unfortunately, i totally understand!! And, I’m so bummed that i had to miss that book club…but i’m going to pull that book back out right now! thanks wendi!!

  • Fiddy

    Fun article. You hooked me! I wanted to know what was going to happen next, and enjoyed the read.. Thanks

  • #2 strikes a chord and thank you. That is a wonderful way to look at things. I often compare childhood friendships to adults. When they are no longer fun to play with or be with we should go our separate ways. Do not let anyone take your joy or dreams. Let humility be a power in itself.
    Oh and a “And those closets? And your thighs?!!!!”. Hilarious. Plus I have now accomplished this impersonation (according to my kids) “I did not have sexual relations with that young lady”.
    Thanks Wendi. The 2 week wait was worth it.


    • We’re all in this together. We often remind others of things we need to hear ourselves. So glad this resonated with you. You’ve been such a divine supporter. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.

  • Thank you Wendi for this great reminder. You truly are expanding and inspiring others every day! Keep going , keep shining

Leave a Reply