When I was a kid, we played the game 'Giant Steps'.  In the game, we would all line up evenly and then one of us got to be the leader.  The leader would move further away and call out to each of us telling us how many giant steps or baby steps we could take away from the line.  We would make the most of our giant steps and try to get next to them because the object of the game was to reach the leader.  The baby steps had the same objective, but were smaller steps that we self-regulated to be considered 'baby steps'.  When the leader called out to you and gave you the command, if you forgot to say 'may I' before you moved you stepped backwards.  I remember the exhilaration of moving forward towards the all powerful leader and the disappointment and the anxiety of not moving forward fast enough or heaven forbid, away from them.   I asked myself lately, if we are still asking 'may I' and limiting ourselves in some ways.  Are you asking 'May I' and taking only the steps that someone has prescribed for you and stepping back when told to without question even when you know it is not right for you?  Where might this game be playing out in your life?  It's time for 'may I...no more'!




May I ...No More!
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Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other. -


Ralph Waldo Emerson 



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'May I...no more' is not about rebellion.  It is about perspective.  As adults, we may not make a verbal ask if we can move or not.  It may be a silent conversation that we have with ourselves that says someone else has the power or decision over our next move and we can't make it without their opinion or head nod.  It may be driven out of a need to ensure that our next move is secure and does not upset our finances, relationships, careers or our lives in general.  There could be many reasons for asking 'may I', but the end result is the same.  Our personal power is in hibernation.  It is not working at its best looking out for our best interests. 


When your personal power is at its best, you have a sense of self-confidence that you can meet the challenges of your life and live by your terms.  You can create a life that is in alignment with your goals and gifts.  You have the ability to manage difficult relationships and conversations.  You can speak your truth assertively, authentically and mean it.  You make decisions without thrashing over what you decided.  It's not perfect, but it's good and it feels right, authentic. How do you know if you are in the 'may I' mode?  If you:

  • Avoid confrontations with people because you don't want to upset them even when you know it's the right thing to do.  
  • Question your own abilities/talents - feel better when someone has affirmed your gifts even when you know you have them.
  • Lack confidence in your own judgment - challenged when defending your ideas, thoughts.
  • Suffer from good girl/good boy syndrome - need to be viewed as the good one.  Looking to please.  
  • Hesitate to try new things without it confirmed as a good idea. Afraid someone is not going to like it.
  • Don't take risks or chances - need confirmation or permission of others.
  • Find yourself doing stuff you have no business doing AND someone else is telling you how to do it!  You do it resentfully.

If this is you, do not feel distraught or shamed!  Feel empowered because you are informed, aware and ready to make a change.  You are ready to reignite your personal power and move to 'may I, no more'.  If I could make a trumpet sound right here I would! How?

  • Start by making a list of all the things you have done right.  It does not matter how long the list is.  Give yourself credit!  The point is to show you that you do and can make good decisions.
  • Be kinder to yourself.  Examine your own self talk and be aware of the messages you send to yourself.  Be sure they are affirming, supportive and constructive. Everyone is a work in progress.  
  • Be discerning who you ask for opinions and why you are asking them.  Stop seeking the opinions of those you do not respect or do not respect you.  
  • Don't go for a good girl/good boy high! I know, I know.  It feels good, but only for a short while because you will be at it again.  Stop it!
  • Understand that failure is a natural part of good change.  It brings lessons so you can change course.  It shows you that you are willing to move forward and dare.  Don't be embarrassed by it, use it.
  • Get a vision of yourself that is positive - "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." - Aibeleen Clark (The Help)
  • Get whatever help you need to move to 'may I, no more'! 

My hope for you in this beautiful month of May is that you recharge and come up strong, refreshed and ready like nature does at this time of the year.  It is not afraid to try again and again.  Follow its lead.  Allow your true brilliance to come to the surface unscathed by the opinions, wants and needs of others. May I no more!

Plant an Inspiration Garden...
Why not create a garden (size doesn't matter - really) dedicated to inspiration?  Plant what you like and place inspirational messages, stones and plaques in the garden. Dedicate certain plants to inspirational people.  Label the plant with their name and why they inspire you.  Post inspirational words that mean something to you.  Install a solar fountain.  Make it your own little sanctuary and visit it daily and go to your garden when you you need moral support.  Most of all, give your garden a GREAT name. Post pictures of your garden on my VERVE Facebook page.

Contact me for a free 40 minute coaching consultation.  This may be the first step to making the change from 'just thinking about it' to 'doing it'.  Select the 'More Information About Verve Life Reinvention Coaching' link on this newsletter or call.  

Karen Senteio
VERVE Life Reinvention