I have a client who’s been working up the nerve to leave a painful situation for what seems like an eternity.  Every time she gets close, she looses her nerve and slides back down in to the trench.  While working together yesterday, I led her through a guided visualization to help her see that she was actually the one holding the shovel and digging the trench!Yes, there were some pretty awful things that happened to her in her childhood that compelled her to dig the trench in the first place.  She needed that trench as safe place to hide when things got scary.  But as a grown woman, the trench no longer protects her but, instead, just hold her back from all the goodness in life.This happens to almost all of us in some way.  We develop coping mechanisms to deal with a difficult or even traumatic situations as children but then never let go of the habit when we a no longer in danger.  Once that happens, what was once a coping skill, can turn into a very destructive habit.For me, the two biggies were food and alcohol.  I have struggled with my relationship with food for as long as I can remember.  Geneen Roth, author Women, Food and God, argues that, for women, all of our emotional/mental issues end up on our plates.  I started using food when I was a little girl to comfort myself and to make up for my father abandoning us after he and my mom divorced.Years later, I turned to alcohol as a way to numb myself to the stresses of raising a family and my corporate job.  Of course, the reason the family and the job were so stressful was because I told myself that they were.  And that I was not strong enough to handle them on my own.  And so I needed the alcohol just to survive.But that was only true as long as I believed it to be.  Once I began to question all those assumptions, everything began to shift.First, I had to stop telling myself that “I can’t handle this!”  Instead, I began to see that I was strong enough to take care and love and support my family.  God had given to me to take care of so that must be true.Second, I started to believe that there was life outside of corporate America.  It was only me who keeping myself stuck there.  And only I could set me free.Third, obviously my family wasn’t going anywhere, but I climbed out of the trench of feeling like I couldn’t take time for myself or put myself first.  I began to trips and go on retreats and visions quests…BY MYSELF.I know, revolutionary, right?  And you what else?  I began to really KNOW that it didn’t make me a bad mom to do it!  In fact, it made me a better mom than I ever was before.I can tell you with absolute certainty that since I learned to love myself enough to put myself first, I love my kids more than ever before.  Because my heart is finally wide open and capable of loving more.I’ve decided to share with you all the same guided visualization that I used with my client.  I showed her what it was like to be inside the trench…the physical impact it was having on her body…and that she alone had the power to get out.Before you click on the link below and listen, ask yourself where are you stuck in your life?  What coping mechanisms have turned in to nasty habits?  Are you willing to put down the shovel and learn to be free?Go here to listen:http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=55647741Until next week, xoxo, Jenni BPS – PUT DOWN YOUR SHOVEL!