The 4 Top Growth Inhibitors AKA The “Just” Wars


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Is there such a thing as a “just war”?  A right war? A moral war?  A needed war?  There are some who would argue YES.  What about the war inside?  The war of the mind that affects your  heart light and keeps you from authentically manifesting your magnificence.

Today we’re discussing growth inhibitors.  Unlike fertilizer, inhibitors include thoughts, phrases and behaviors that hold us back.  The stories we tell ourselves and the language we use even in our thoughts affect our action or inaction.

The top 4 growth inhibitors:

I just. . .

I just often precedes a statement that reflects conflict and internal struggle.  A dissonance.

For instance:

When discussing a friend who chooses to make decisions that may or may not be in his or her best interests:  “I just don’t want to see _____ homeless and unable to have _____. “  Even though we know that we have no control over the situation, we want to be able to influence another’s behavior.  We don’t have that power.

“I just want them to understand.  I just don’t want to be the outcast” for setting healthy boundaries and taking care of one’s own well-being.  You can’t do both, dear one.  Personal growth requires sacrifice and self-preservation.  That often means leaving situations or people that have become toxic behind.

 Yeah but. . .

Yeah but often precedes a statement in which a person knows what he or she needs to do or that the advice or facts are true but isn’t yet ready to take action.

For instance:

When discussing healthy boundaries with family or friends:  Yeah but they’re family and I have to put up with them or there won’t be a relationship.  Yeah but if I don’t do what they expect, they won’t provide babysitting, etc.  Yeah buts come up in situations where we’re afraid of the outcome if we hold our ground.

 But it’s haaaaaarrrrrrdddddd. . .

Did that sound like a whiny 2 year old?  Good! It was meant to because that it is exactly what we sound like when we use it.  But  it’s haaaaarrrrrddddddd often precedes a statement in which change has either begun or is about to be embarked upon.  It is a reflection of inner resistance to change.

For instance:

The need to take time for oneself to study, meditate, do art or simply recharge.  “But it’s haaaaaaarrrrdddd to set aside the time.  I’m sooooooo busy, stressed, etc.”   The REALITY:  We all get the same 24 hours, dear one.  We each make the time for what we consider important.  Why can’t YOU be one of those treasured things?  Even 20 minutes to do what you love will make a difference in your outlook.

OR “I know I need to eat right/stop smoking/exercise etc but it’s haaaaarrrrrrrdddddd.”   Of course it’s hard.  Changing habits requires commitment.  Are you willing to commit to loving yourself enough to change?  You can’t punish yourself into self-love; you have to love yourself with affirming action.  Baby steps are fine but move yourself forward a little at a time.

I Can’t.

Intended to shut down uncomfortable conversations or thoughts, I can’t implies that you are infinitely limited.  But the word impossible contains the words “I’m possible.”  Trite, I know yet internalizing that truth is powerful beyond measure.

Reframing the “I justs, yeah buts, but it’s hards and I can’ts”.

I have a few journaling exercises to turn those thoughts around and manifest ACTION.

I JUST.  Take a moment to think about what you really WANT from a given situation.  Look at the change that needs to happen and identify YOUR needs.  Do you need peace, acceptance, self-love?  Identify how you can remove the toxic and create what you want.  Can you take a walk, make art, say “I choose not to entertain that thought/energy”?   When you have identified what you need, practice saying silently or out loud (in the instance of people who may be emotional vampires) “I choose not to entertain that.”

YEAH BUT.  Write down what is the worst case scenario.  Then decide what you really want from the situation and write down what is the BEST thing that could come from the situation.

Make a list of the difficult things you have done in your life.  What are the traits that you exhibited that allowed you to handle those situations.  You still carry those traits, dear one.  They may have fallen dormant for a period of time, but you have everything you need to make necessary changes right there inside your phoenix soul.

I CAN’T.  Write down your list of I can’ts.  Then in another column make a heading that reads BUT WHAT IF I COULD?  List what would happen if you could.  Then list small steps that you can take to turn the can’ts into I CAN and I DID!

You are a Phoenix Uprising!  You are stronger than you can imagine and you have the power to be anything you dream of.  Vulnerability is power, strength and might.  Strength is born from vulnerability – from being vulnerable enough to be uncomfortable and to walk through the fire to emerge a Phoenix of your own destiny.

A Gift For You – Open It And You Will Never Be The Same


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The fact that you are still here and still being a Phoenix rising shows that you DO value yourself. ~ Paulissa Kipp Tweet This!  It takes courage to face challenges, survive and to want to make a change. Maybe you don’t value yourself as much as you would like, but the spark is there and will be fanned into a flame that will burn brightly.

It has to begin with you – with offering your unique gifts. You weren’t meant to fit in amongst the mediocre, you were meant to SHINE. We are given a box of gifts at birth, it is our job to hand that box back at the end of our days and say “There is nothing left – I used it all up.”

When we do our me-work (self-development and self-awareness) because we are worth it, we learn that through vulnerability comes strength. We break ourselves down and get rid of the crap that no longer serves us – negative views of ourselves, habits that perpetuate cycles of defeat, relationships that no longer affirm our worth and we act from of place of love. You’ve beaten yourself up long enough.

I challenge you to do some mirror work. There is a very specific reason: By looking into the mirror, we see ourselves as we are: human. Each day I would like you to look in the mirror and say the following ( a paulissaism that helped me tremendously in my path and perhaps it will help someone else):


You may feel funny at first and that it is OK. You may feel phony or feel lots of resistance and that is OK too. The most valuable lessons are found when we are uncomfortable. That is where the growth happens. Fake it until you make. Say this until you believe in your heart of hearts that you truly are enough, in the state in which you are now because you are a Phoenix and you are rising!

Don’t be a yeah but either. . .you know “Yeah but it’s hardddddddd”. Yes it is hard but you are worth every effort. Mega hugs and lots of love.

Here a few questions to get you started:

1.  What do you need to BE enough?

2.  What can you do to create enough?

3. What would happen if you accepted that right now, in this moment, you are enough?  How would your life change?

Sound off in the comments.  I can’t wait to hear what you learn.

PS.  Share this post with a friend who could use a pick me up.

Phoenix Song


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Phoenix Song

Sing to me of dreams realized
And love fulfilled
A glass half full and a joyful life
Of rainbows after the rain
Of a reason for the pain
The heart is loyal, the mind betrays
The embers burn, the ribbons fray
A cup of courage
Fresh courage take!
Drink long, drink deep
Phoenix, you are only asleep
Awaken!  Rise and take your place!
The sun is shining, show your face
You are love and love is you
Enough you are, ENOUGH are you
Phoenix song on strands so thin
The harp is playing from deep within
Release your fire; let it burn strong
Phoenix rise!  You’ve been asleep too long
© 2013 Paulissa Kipp (April 4, 2013)Image



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In honor of National Poetry Writing Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I offer this from the soul of a survivor.




THAT GIRL is not a flying nun

With habit flying so,

THAT GIRL is a soldier, not too scared to go

THAT GIRL is a daughter, shot, left naked and alone to die

THAT GIRL is a wife, carjacked at night

THAT GIRL is a mother, bound and tied

THAT GIRL is a grandmother, hear her cries

THAT GIRL is a student who didn’t lie

THAT GIRL is a human, just riding a bus

THAT GIRL, that girl – she’s one of us

THAT GIRL in the burqa

THAT GIRL on the street

THAT GIRL in the short skirt, not being discreet

THAT GIRL in the bar, dancing just so

THAT GIRL in the video, dragged and drugged – an unwitting part of the show

THAT GIRL was raped

Did anyone know?

Did anyone care or did they just say “She deserved it, she flashed skin today.”

Did anyone tell her it wasn’t her fault?

When she flinches and angers

Do you call her a slut?

THAT GIRL needs love and she needs you to care

See her heart and her body, they were laid bare

Men claim we’re sexist for that which we share

It’s not MY fault, why should I care?

Caring does not require guilt on your part

It requires a conscience and it requires a heart

It requires saying “Not on my watch!”

It requires asking “Why do people rape?”

Not “She must have looked hot.”

See that girl, she is us and we are she

The daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers, wives and grandmothers

Life depends upon these

Duty calls, the bells peal loud

Over the roar of the venomous crowd


Shall rape be allowed.  © Paulissa Kipp


Breathing Lessons


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Not so long ago, I needed to learn how to breathe.  What?!?  What self-respecting person doesn’t know how to breathe?  Well, I have learned that there is breath and there is breathing.  Think of all the ways in which we can breathe – rapid, panting, sighing, gasping – and slow, conscious inhalations and exhalations.  I needed to learn to do the latter.  I needed to learn how to just breathe.  To listen to my heart, my breath and my life force.

As an artist, my soul needed to create.  Life had dealt some harsh blows – financial struggles, medical concerns and the resulting mental burdens were like a yoke around my shoulders, thorn by thorn pressing into my heart and psyche.  Art was my safe place. 

Serendipity knows when we need her the most.  Looking for a creative release that would allow me to focus only on breathing while I created, I discovered art journaling and in particular, tangling.   Tangling is a form of creative meditation that focuses on making intricate patterns one line at a time.  For more information on the tangling process and to see beautiful examples, follow this link:

With each line, my love flows.  The process of not knowing what I will end up fosters trust and confidence in myself.  Deciding which color or whether to use color at all reminds me to breathe in beauty.  There are no mistakes, I cannot do this wrong.  It is all learning. The gentle beating of my life force reminds me to let go of my need to be perfect with each exhalation and to absorb my magnificence with each inhalation.  With each breath, I heal.  Each line, color, form, symmetry or asymmetry is a part of the journey within and the journey is beautiful.

Breathing is more than merely the rise and fall of our chest; it is the tour de force that is our authentic selves coming to bear.  Breathing lessons are important.  What will your breath teach you?

© 2013 Paulissa Kipp, The Creative Link .  All rights reserved.   

Untangling The Soul Through Art


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© 2013 Paulissa Kipp  The hearts and butterfly are the dreams of the heart taking flight, the jester hat is for mirth and joy, the mask around the eyes represents the way in which we shield ourselves, sometimes even from ourselves, the sun with the stitch marks is a labyrinth representing the uneven paths on which we sometimes find ourselves, the blue on the left side is the ocean, the blue on the right is the night sky, the goddess in the middle is mother earth protecting us and the red flowers at the bottom are poppies.

© 2013 Paulissa Kipp
The hearts and butterfly are the dreams of the heart taking flight, the jester hat is for mirth and joy, the mask around the eyes represents the way in which we shield ourselves, sometimes even from ourselves, the sun with the stitch marks is a labyrinth representing the uneven paths on which we sometimes find ourselves, the blue on the left side is the ocean, the blue on the right is the night sky, the goddess in the middle is mother earth protecting us and the red flowers at the bottom are poppies.

Pain and confusion are often looked upon as bad things; things to avoided at all costs.  Yet the creative process responds to pain and confusion by drawing us in (figuratively and literally) and asking us to play with it.  Mold pain and confusion into clay, direct it in the form of a line, paint it and release it with letters, symbols and voice.

Our art provides a safe place to examine our hopes, fears, dreams, joys, disappointments and self-image.  Line, color, form, placement, symmetry and asymmetry provide a voice that transcends our current circumstances to teach us about ourselves.  Those lessons are the most valuable.  What has your art taught you?  Leave a comment below and tell us how your life has been changed by creative expression.

Create love!


The Guidebook for Loving Communication with a Mentally Ill Person


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  • Don’t tell your loved one that how he or she feels is “selfish”.  You wouldn’t tell someone that he or she doesn’t deserve to feel ______ amount of happiness.  It’s the same concept, really.
  • If your loved one asks you to stop a behavior because it is causing anxiety, is a trigger, etc, STOP immediately.  Your failure to do so speaks volumes about your love for the sufferer.  Not immediately stopping the behavior ramps up the anxieties even more and when your partner believes you cannot be trusted, all bets are off.  The mind wanders to self-doubt, lack of self-worth, wondering why am I not important enough to respect or protect, suicidal thoughts, thought of self-harm and more.
  • Do not mock your partner when he or she asks for you to stop talking and listen, when told that your noise (radio, voice, etc) is overwhelming.  Do not be facetious.  Do not say things such as “Do I need to send up a flare every time I enter a room because you startle so easily?”  That is not helpful and merely drives a bigger wedge between you and your partner.
  • Do not feign ignorance and say “I didn’t know ______ was a trigger for you” if your partner has clearly communicated that it is.  Your partner isn’t buying it.  Forgetting is understandable from time to time, but your partner will pay attention to pattern and frequency.  Forgetting and do a behavior once in a month or less frequently – you are more likely to be forgiven or believed.  More frequently and it seems like a choice and recklessness with your partner’s feelings and wishes.
  • Beginning a statement with Why? Can be a trigger for your loved one.  We want people to treat us with kindness, even if they don’t understand our actions. Having to explain to people solves nothing and has the effect of making your loved one feel judged, thereby adding to stigma and anxiety.
  • Beginning a statement with “just” as if it the desired behavior is simple to achieve and your loved one isn’t making an effort to change or cope.”Just think positive.”
    “Just get over it.”
    “Just think about something else.”
    “There are poor children in Africa/people who suffer from cancer/homeless people who are worse off than you.”
    “Stop complaining.”
    “Come on. It cannot be this bad.”
    “Cheer up.”
    “You are making it up.”
    “You don’t have a reason to feel that way, just stop.”
    “You are only focused on yourself. Come back when you’re not so selfish anymore.”

“So you don’t know a reason for your feelings? Then stop it.”
“All you want is to get attention.”

  • Comparing one person’s circumstances to your loved ones’.  If your loved one needs inspiration for succeeding with a mental illness, he or she will find it on his or her own.  Your attempts, while possibly well-intentioned, only create further overwhelm.
  • If offering self-help books, frame your offer in terms of “You may find this information helpful.”  If your loved one refuses, graciously allow that to be the end of the conversation.


  • Ask what you can do to help.  At times your loved one may need silence, sleep, a massage, music, a hug, a mug of tea, etc.  Do what you can to facilitate that.
  • Offer affection.
  • Let your loved one know that you are concerned FOR him or her, not scared OF him or her.
  • Communicate to your loved one that his or her challenges do not affect your love for that person.  Many sufferers worry that their challenges will lead to abandonment by friends and family.

©Paulissa Kipp, 2013.  Please share freely with a link back to this blog crediting me as the author.

Poverty – Is It In Your Mind?


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Poverty. . .Is It All In Your Mind?

It has been said that he who is grateful never knows poverty.  Yet we often think we are poor – financially, spiritual, socially, on an educational level or in terms of skills.  We think we don’t have the tools we need to succeed so we read articles, we take classes, we save, we hope, we pray.  We do everything but DO!  Sound familiar?

When we give power to the poverty mindset, it looks something like this

poverty² = inaction.  So often, overwhelm leads to the poverty mindset.  Our dreams are big and so are our fears.  Fear clouds reasons to the point that resources are overlooked.  We forget that we don’t have to do it all alone.  If we merely ask for help, admit what we don’t know and set out to dare to fail while learning, we move past poverty thinking into richness of experience.  In every trial, there is a blessing.  Yes, even when it does not immediately reveal itself. 

What do you have going for you?

  • friends?
  • teaching skills?
  • contacts in areas related to your desired industry?
  • life experience?  Don’t downplay your experiences.
  • mentors?

The list could go on and on.  The important thing is to evaluate what you have so that you can build on what you want to create.  You are rich, dear ones, and oh so loved.




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© 2013 Paulissa Kipp

Fraud.  Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fraud as a : a person who is not what he or she pretends to be : impostor; also : one who defrauds : cheat or b : one that is not what it seems or is represented to be.  The word has such negative connotations that most of us wouldn’t dream of being one.  The idea of being fake, putting one over on others or being deceptive is repulsive.

Yet when it comes to being our authentic, creative selves that is often what we think or fear we are.  Our souls burn for us to write the stories that can only be penned by our own hand, to create what only our unique way of seeing can create and for us to give voice to what only we are able to sing.  So what holds us back from changing passion to action?

Often, we feel as though we don’t have what it takes.

  • We haven’t spent years and hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars on classes and degrees.
  • We don’t have credentials to be a “REAL” artist so how dare we think we can sparkle and share anything of value?
  • We listen to the voice that tells us that saying “I AM” is merely an avenue for someone to discover what we DON’T know and reveal us as a fraud.
  • We don’t have a large portfolio of work, so we “aren’t there yet” and haven’t earned the right to call ourselves creative, an artist or anything else that our souls call us to be.

Want to know something very powerful?  You don’t need no stinking pedigree to be real!  You are real because you live, dream, breathe and exist.  You don’t need anyone else’s permission to shine.

The biggest truth?  No one is “smarter” than anyone else, we only know different things :~) Remember that every expert was a beginner at one point in time and likely felt exactly what you are feeling.  Brave hearts move and doubt their doubt.  Brave hearts move out of the groove that threatens to keep them paralyzed and comfortable.  Brave hearts learn that by climbing out of the box one leg at a time that the universe holds blessings and they will be richly rewarded.

Being a brave heart is choice, not chance.  It is a conscious act to heed the calling and be who we are.  The most powerful thing we can say is I AM.  Say it, do it and be it.  The universe needs what only you can provide.

A New Year and Renewed Focus



Whew!  Sherrie and I took an extended holiday break and are rested and ready to take on a brave new year.  We have new posts in mind to share with you and new ways to encourage you to be brave and boldly dance into you life.

What do you want to learn this year?  What does your heart tell you to do?  What steps will you take to make it happen?  I’d love to hear from you.

This year I want to learn more art and photography techniques, do more shows, finish more of my required classes for my degree and get graduation on the fast track and travel out of the country at some point.  To that end, I am participating in mentorships and themes on Google+, creating more art and have moved from working full time to going to school full time.  This will be another amazing year of growth.  I hope you will join me.