Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

The Downside of Discipline

DownsideOfDiscipline

Discipline is defined as “control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior” or sometimes more simply as having “self-control”. As a culture we LOVE discipline, particularly self-discipline. It is how we get ahead. It is strong. Separates the boys from the men. It’s the key to self-mastery. In many ways discipline is seen as the ultimate human triumph.

So when my amazing coach Lianne Raymond said this on our call a few weeks ago, I had her stop and repeat it so that I could write it down. “Discipline is a poor substitute for relationship.” Whether it be a student-teacher relationship, parent-child relationship, or the relationship we have with ourselves, we rely more heavily on discipline when TRUST and true relationship are lacking.

DisciplinePoorSubstitute

Today I want to focus solely on the relationship between trust and discipline within each one of us. It all starts within and these are two forces that oftentimes pull us in opposite directions. Civilized society sets up a plethora of rules for us to follow in order to be deemed as “good” citizens, and we set up almost equally as many for ourselves to ensure that we are good, that we are worthy, in our own eyes.

We set up rules around food because we don’t trust our bodies to tell us what nourishment they truly need. Instead we go on strict diet after strict diet, following the rules outlined to us in some book, written by some person we’ve never even met and who has no idea who we are. And with each diet the rules become more and more rigid, as we must try harder each time to prove our worthiness after our previous “failures”. We never allow ourselves to even entertain the idea that maybe it was the diet that failed us, and not the other way around.

We set up rules around how to move and when to move, scheduling in specific times to go to the gym, establishing what we will be working out ahead of time. Monday is cardio, Tuesday is abs, etc. It doesn’t matter that we may be tired, that what Mary Oliver calls the “soft animal” of our body longs mostly to rest; we must push through at all costs. Because pushing through is what good people do.

We set up rules and schedules of how to work and when to work and what we should be doing because we don’t trust that our soul will put its sacred work out into the world at the perfect time and perfect place.

Add in rules around how to date, how to raise your children and properly train your dog, how much to read, what to read, when to watch TV and when to meditate. The list goes on and on. Life becomes more and more scheduled, increasingly concerned with how to become the “perfect” human.

With each new constraint, the box in which we carry our wildish nature grows smaller and smaller. The walls start to close in around her. The catch is that the better we are at being disciplined and obeying our own arbitrary rules, the more our wild self suffocates and struggles for air. She rebels. She tries to get our attention, and we clamp down on her even harder.

What we don’t realize is that the deck is rigged. The more rigid and complex rules we establish, the more we ensure that we will always “fail”. Then we use this failure as proof that we cannot be trusted, that we aren’t good enough.

The truth is that discipline isn’t rooted in godliness; it’s rooted in fear. Fear that if we begin to let go of these markers of self-control everything will crumble and fall apart. Discipline is the whisper of our socialized self to our wild instinctual nature that says, “I don’t trust you enough to free you.”

It prevents us from simply being who we are in any given moment.

So while we long for freedom and love, and speak of them as our birthright, we have deluded ourselves into believing that creating rules, boundaries, constraints, and systems of punishment are how we get there.

But there is another way. When we begin to reclaim our wildness, we begin to reclaim that open and intimate relationship with ourselves that renders discipline unnecessary. That is real trust, love, and freedom.

If you are ready to unleash your wild feminine, I would love to talk to you. Schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Session now by clicking here!!

The Day I Woke Up In Someone Else’s Life

FloweryDocMartensWeb

I am not a huge fan of the phrase “dark night of the soul” because I feel like it is a tad bit overused and very dramatic, but I wanted to write to you today about the moment that was really a huge turning point in my life and I guess it kind of was a dark night of the soul. It was the day when I began to wake up, and realized that I was living someone else’s life. Someone who I didn’t know and didn’t really like.

It was the very beginning of January 2010. I had driven back to Los Angeles from Dallas with my dad and my dog Sophie (who was still a puppy then!). I remember setting foot in my West Hollywood apartment where I was living with my boyfriend at the time. It was a mess. There was stuff everywhere. Looking around, I felt exhausted just being there.

The look on my face must have said it all. My dad looked at me and asked, “Linda, are you happy?”

Tears started rolling down my face; I shook my head. “No, I am not.”

“Then you have to change something,” my dad said, in his wise and logical dad-like way. Sometimes you have to love the directness of the masculine.

It seemed like such a simple moment, a basic statement, and yet it was the beginning of a whole new chapter of my life.

When my dad asked me whether I was happy and I answered him honestly, I wasn’t only speaking about my messy apartment. I wasn’t happy in the unhealthy relationship that I had stayed in too long. I wasn’t happy in my career, which I had fallen into…err chosen… and stuck with for too long. I wasn’t happy living in Los Angeles anymore and yet I had made no plans to move. I was drinking too much and not taking very good care of myself, and I was tired of it.

In that moment it was as if I started waking up from a long, unconscious slumber.

I had strayed so far from the life that I wanted, from who I really wanted to be (and knew in my core that I already was), that I woke up in a life I hardly recognized and as a person I didn’t want to be.

Slowly but surely, I started making changes and unearthing the real me, the me that had somehow gotten buried under limiting beliefs, self-doubt, and obligations.

I got out of the relationship. I moved (okay, I still stayed in Los Angeles for another five years…sometimes changes take time). I met my future husband. I enrolled in a health coaching program and started to ask questions of myself like “what would I do if anything was possible?” that I had never dared ask before. I read Women Who Run with the Wolves and the voice of the wild feminine called to me like a primal howl on a cold winter’s night. I read The Desire Map and was confronted with how much I truly disliked the job and industry I was in at the time. I quit, with one client and hardly any income, and started the wild ride of entrepreneurship. I moved again, this time with my husband and dog to Austin, a city that had been calling to my soul for years (apparently I was not the only one getting that call…). I started working with an amazing life coach, and signed up for Martha Beck’s life coach certification program. I finally allowed myself to dive head first into the wild feminine and stopped letting fear hold me back as often.

And here I am. Still on my journey of unearthing and reclaiming myself. I am fairly certain that I will be on that journey my whole life.

When I think back to that moment, that turning point, it doesn’t seem all that long ago. Six years. A lot can, or cannot, happen in that time frame, depending on what you do with it. Right now I am celebrating how far I have come, how different my life looks now, and how it feels soaked in love, joy, wildness, and trust more often than not. Most importantly, my life feels authentically like me. I feel authentically like me.

That’s why I love what I do and want to share the message of the wild feminine with as many women as possible. Many of us travel off our paths, lose trust in ourselves, and start settling for going through the motions, but it doesn’t need to be that way. Once we reconnect to and realign with our own internal compass, life begins to take on a magical quality.

No, it’s messy as hell, but we get to EXPERIENCE and FEEL all of it and that’s the true beauty of it. That’s what allows us to come alive again, and isn’t that the whole point of this crazy thing called life?

If you want to start living by your own inner compass and creating the life you secretly desire, I would love to talk to you. Schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Session now by clicking here. Your wild feminine is calling to you; are you ready to listen?

Are Women Asking to Be Objectified?

Beauty

I started a pole dancing and feminine movement class at the beginning of January after nearly a year’s hiatus, and hot damn, has it felt good.

First off, it feels amazing to move your body in that way. Unapologetically sexy. To truly embody what Sheila Kelley calls your “erotic creature”. Getting in and unlocking parts of the body has a way of beginning to unlock your heart and soul. We store so much pent up emotion in the body and it makes us stiff, literally and figuratively.

What I also realized is the inherent power in WITNESSING and BEING WITNESSED.

After taking classes in Los Angeles for nearly a year, I started in an upper level class here in Austin. What that means is that after the warm-up and a few partner and group exercises, we each dance. Separately. We pick a song, or the teacher picks one for us, and we get up and dance in front of everyone else in our class. Our sexy, soulful, playful, and challenging creatures are on full display.

Let me tell you, it’s super vulnerable, naked-feeling, slightly terrifying, and really empowering.

There are very few places in our society where a woman is allowed to stand in her full radiance as a sexually embodied being WITHOUT being objectified.

In our culture, sex and objectification go hand-in-hand. Don’t want to be seen as an object? Don’t dress like that. Don’t walk like that. Sure as hell, don’t dance like that. Because if you do, you are asking for it. Or so the logic goes.

When embodying your sexuality is seen as asking for objectification, we are telling women, we are telling ourselves, that we cannot be sexual and taken seriously. We cannot be sexual and intelligent. We cannot be of the body and of the mind.

In this either/or paradigm, I think we all know which one is winning out. We opt for the more “respectable” option and thereby cut ourselves off from a huge chunk of what it means to be a woman.

We shrink. We dull our full expression to make it less in your face, more palatable. We take responsibility for how other people see us.

And that’s bullshit. I can’t control whether someone objectifies me or not; that’s on them, not me. I might be wearing a suit and some random stranger may see me as an object. What am I supposed to do about that? But as women, we have been taught (and continue to be taught) that it is our responsibility to somehow control the thoughts of others, particularly men. Umm hello, girls not being allowed to wear yoga pants in school? It’s absurd. Some cultures go so far as to cover their women from head to toe. In either case, the impulse, and the ideology behind it, is similar.

A woman’s body, and especially her sexuality, needs to be carefully controlled and domesticated so as to not tempt or interfere with man’s higher purpose.

So to witness a woman standing boldly and moving unapologetically in her gorgeously sexy feminine body is a form of grassroots rebellion.

To have her remain firmly planted as the subject of her own life, as opposed to the object of someone else’s? For other women to see her and hold the supposed “contradiction” of her being sexually radiant while remaining an intelligent, whole being, without one negating or detracting from the other? Well that is nothing short of REVOLUTIONARY.

If you are ready to step boldly into your wildly feminine radiance, I would love to talk to you. Schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Session now by clicking here.

 

 

Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything I Say

Am I compulsive liar? No.

So why shouldn’t you believe everything I say?

Because I write about what is true FOR ME. Whether that is true for you, only you can decide.

Everywhere we look, someone is selling us answers to our problems.

Hey, you got a problem? I got your solution!!

But the truth is no one knows what is right for YOU, except for YOU.

I love to write about topics that I am passionate about, and I share them because they feel true to me. I hope they resonate with you, get you to think about something from a new perspective, or help you in some way.

With that said, I don’t want you to just believe everything that I say. What is true for me may not be true for you. Hell, what is true for me IN THIS MOMENT may not be true for me a year from now. Truth can be fluid like that. It has taken me a while, and a lot of unnecessary stress, to realize that and come to terms with it.

What I ask is that you run what I say and write through your own filter, your own body. She will help you determine what feels right and what doesn’t. Does she read something and relax open just a little bit more? Or do you feel constricted, with a queasy feeling in your stomach and a tightness in your chest? Does it strike that resonant cord within you?

Whenever I hear something that I know has struck truth deep within me, I get goose bumps on my lower legs. Weird, huh?

There is often a misconception that coaching is about giving advice, and that’s not really it. Okay, occasionally I offer a piece of insight or invite my clients to try something new, but mostly it’s about helping them access their own source of inner wisdom. Helping them cut through the socialized and mental clutter to get to the gold of the wild, instinctual nature that lies within. The feminine soul.

How do we get there? First, you have to show up willing to do the work. It’s not always easy. It’s not always pretty. You have to be ready to do the work mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You are the one who has to deep-dive; I am just there to guide you.

Second, you must approach yourself, your beliefs, and pretty much all of life, with openness and curiosity as opposed to close-mindedness and judgment. Well it’s less of a “must” and more of a “it’s gonna be a heck of a lot easier and more fun if you do!” Get curious about what’s going on, what makes you tick, and how the universe works. Open yourself up to simultaneously having a deep inner knowing and not knowing anything at all!

Life is a wild and messy and excruciatingly beautiful ride. What I definitely know as TRUTH is that you don’t want to waste it by sitting on the sidelines.

If you are ready to unearth your own instinctual knowing and start creating your life from your own inner compass, click here to schedule your free 30-minute discovery call today and find out if Uncage Your Wild Heart is right for you.