Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

My dirty little secret…

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I am a wild feminine life coach, but I want to let you in on a little secret. The truth is that I am terrified of my own wildly feminine energy. The last few months I have become more aware of the myriad of ways in which I have been subconsciously holding myself back this past year.

First, I want to acknowledge that this has been a tremendous year of growth for me. Last year at this time the thought of creating my own Meetup or Facebook group was so freaking scary. I was plagued by the “Who am I to do this?” questions all the time.

Now I love my virtual community and I have been hosting monthly women’s circles and salons for the last ten months. What once used to make me tremendously nervous, and I would spend a whole week preparing for, I now feel comfortable and confident enough to allow what wants to come through come through.

I say that because I want to honor this growth, and not belittle it in anyway, because without it I would not be able to see what I see now. As my good friend said, personal growth is like an onion and there is layer upon layer to peel back.

What has become glaringly obvious to me the last few months is this:

We teach what we most need to learn.

Often, what we yearn for is often what also scares the shit out of us.

A few weeks ago on my blog I talked about truth and how I would be sharing more of my personal experiences in writing. I love raw writing because you can sense the honesty in it. It has an edge that is capable of slicing your gut right open in the best possible of ways.

But I haven’t really been giving myself the chance to be raw. Or wild. Or say what is truly on my mind and in my heart.

The reason for that is because I was scared. It felt better releasing material that was more polished. That painted me in a more positive and put-together way. That gave me time to edit myself and make sure I didn’t come across as too angry or too negative or too preachy.

I have been toeing the line VERY CAREFULLY so as to not offend or disappoint or come across as too “out there”.

And let’s be real: there are reasons and massive societal benefits to this. I have reaped them, which is probably why it is a behavior that is so difficult for me to shed. It has helped me to fit in and be liked. It has felt safe. As women, we are rewarded for being everything to everyone.

But as someone who longed for WILDNESS, it has also kept me really caged in, unable to truly trust or follow my own intuition and instincts.

The further I go on my journey, the further I see that I have left. I am still terrified of embracing my wild fully. I am terrified of embracing my feminine fully.

With every new step I wonder, “What will people think? How far will this go? Am I losing my shit?”

But one at a time, I have to take that next step. I know when it is time and it appears in front of me. I don’t need to worry about how far “out there” I will be ten steps from now; I only need to focus on this one.

In this moment that step is owning the fact that I am not a perfectly wild specimen (an oxymoron if I ever heard one). With each layer of people pleasing and cultural conditioning that I shed, a new and more ingrained one is revealed.

And that has to be okay. I have to be okay with the mess, with the uncertainty, and with the fear that comes from unleashing my wildness more AND simultaneously be okay with the part of me wishes to stay curled up in the cage because that is where it feels comfortable and safe and polished.

 

 

When It Is Time To Let Go…

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I am in total fall mode over here, despite that the temperatures continue to creep into the 90s. Fall mode for me means slowing down, going within, and starting to take a look at this year that is soon nearing its completion.

This year feels like it has had a tremendous amount of internal growth for me, but when I sat with it, I am not sure if growth is the best word to use.

Growth to me is one directional. It’s up and it’s out. It is the potentiality of the seed to grow into and become an oak tree.

But much of this year, particularly the last month or so has not felt like an upward and outward kind of growth.

It has been more of a down and in type of thing. A stripping away. A laying bare. A getting to the root of things.

To me, that is really what fall is all about.

It’s allowing the leaves of your life that are no longer needed to fall away, whether those leaves are projects, relationships, patterns of behavior, or ways of being.

As humans, that can be really difficult for us. This letting go.

But here’s the thing to remember: the nutrients that those leaves contained, the energy and the learnings, don’t just fall away and get lost. They get pulled back to your core and integrated into your root system, to be recycled and renewed and rebirthed into something new come springtime.

A tree doesn’t think every autumn, “Oh what a waste of time it was to grow all those leaves only to have them fall away again”.

In our culture, we have been taught that we should all be evergreens. Stand tall and firm and hold onto those pine needles year in and year out, no matter the season. Evergreens are rewarded for finding their path and sticking to it. Holding on. Persevering.

On the other hand, the deciduous trees, those of us who shed our leaves on a regular basis, can be seen (and often see ourselves) as fickle, unable to commit, or perhaps like we just haven’t found our thing yet.

But really, both evergreens and deciduous trees are beautiful and magical and perfect in their own right. Us deciduous trees just tend to be a little misunderstood…

Because while our leaves appear to be new every year, they are born from the same energy as the old leaves; they come from the same root system. And as such they aren’t really new.

All of your metaphorical leaves come from the source material that is YOU, your soul’s expression, made manifest in new form, again and again and again.

So as we embrace this end-of-year energy, what would it feel like if you could trust in the process?

What if you knew, deep in your bones, that the leaves you bore this past year were perfect and beautiful for this season of your life AND that they were always meant to fall away?

 

 

Let’s talk about “locker room banter” for a moment…

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Let me start off by saying that this is not what I wanted to be writing about today. It’s not my previously scheduled programming. Before I get into this post, I want to say that I will be writing about sexual assault and it may be triggering to some.

I made a promise a few weeks ago to be more open and authentic about my own experience. To write a post that felt bright and fluffy and positive didn’t feel in alignment today because I don’t feel fluffy. I am still bright and unwaveringly optimistic, but I am also mad as hell.

Here is why: The tape of Donald Trump’s comments from 2005 where he is overheard telling Billy Bush (who is that anyway?) that he likes to kiss women and grab them by the pussy because, in his words, “When you are a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Afterwards we got a semblance of a bogus apology and then a rationalization that it was just “locker room banter.” Don’t worry y’all, he didn’t actually do any of those things; he just likes to go around bragging about them.

Let’s be clear: This is NOT locker room banter, and excusing this type of behavior and talk (and by talk I don’t mean that he said the word “pussy”, but rather what he said he does to women without their consent) serves to further entrench, normalize, and proliferate rape culture.

A culture where men think they have the right to a woman’s body, anywhere and anytime they choose.

I am going to tell you a little story. When I was working in the corrections industry in my mid-twenties, I went to a conference. Yes, there are entire tradeshows devoted to just the prison industry in this country (a whole other can of worms I won’t be diving into right now). It was the cocktail hour after the show and I was standing as the lone woman in a group of men, a few of which were my co-workers.

One of the men told everyone that I had a “great ass” and proceeded to spin me around to show it off to the other men in the group. The head of a state department of corrections took that as an open invitation and reached out and smacked/grabbed it.

All the other men laughed.

I said nothing. I did nothing. I swallowed it and laughed right along with them because that somehow felt less hurtful.

Like if I pretended that it didn’t matter it would cease to matter.

I even told myself that it was a compliment, though it didn’t feel like one.

That one incident, when I think back on it, is surrounded by so much shame and judgment mainly about why I didn’t say anything. Why I didn’t punch the guy in the nuts or give him a piece of my mind. That is always how I wish to have reacted in these types of situations, but fighting has never been my MO. When it comes to the fight, flight, or freeze response, I am firmly stationed in the frozen section.

My anger around this incident changes direction constantly, sometimes pointing towards the man that felt he had a right to my body, at other times towards the men who stood around and condoned it by saying nothing, and often pointing right back at my younger self who allowed them to make me feel small and demeaned.

There is also a lot of sadness, compassion, and grief for the girl I was then who was scared and shocked and stayed quiet.

I am not staying quiet this time.

Because I know that when compared to the other forms of sexual violence that plague women in this country every second of every day, this man believing he had the right to reach out and grab my ass is but one drop of water into a giant ocean.

This shit and much worse happens ALL THE TIME.

We need to see it and acknowledge it because it is all related. When we dismiss any form of sexual assault and its celebration as “locker room talk”, we negate the experience of every woman that has ever had a man violate her in any way.

This is what RAPE CULTURE looks like, and this is what it feels like to the women who live within it.

If you read my blog regularly you know I don’t usually like spreading around a bunch of white-hot rage like a fire breathing tooth fairy; I know we have plenty of that in the world already.

But I also know that I need to be angry about this, and that I need to allow myself to be angry about this. This is not just about Donald Trump or this one incident that happened in my life (of which there are several others); this is about an entire system and set of beliefs that operates so seamlessly in our culture that many men AND women don’t even notice it.

For a long time, I didn’t notice it. It was like I was asleep or had taken some magical pill that made all those things seem okay. Normal. Expected. Many others have seemingly swallowed that same pill.

But I am awake now and I can’t go back to sleep.

I know in my bones that underneath my anger and my sadness and my frustration, there is devotion and a deep commitment to bring about the change that we so terribly need.

And that means I can’t stay quiet anymore.

 

 

 

 

Why I am experimenting with going makeup-free!

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As I was finalizing the pilot version of Reclaim Your Wildly Feminine Body and speaking about it more publicly, I tapped into part of my own story that I had overlooked. I called it “conditional confidence”. It is basically confidence that does not come from within, it is not rooted in being innately worthy, but is dependent on meeting certain external parameters. Those specifics may have to do with your body and how it looks or what you achieve in your career or some other external benchmark.

Conditional confidence is confidence in yourself that needs to be earned.

As I was mulling this topic over, a recent event popped into my mind. A few weeks ago, my husband and I were planning to go to a friend’s party on a Saturday night. A few of my friends would be there and a lot of people that I did not know as well.

We had been out and about for most of the day and I was feeling lazy. I wanted to see my friends, but I kept waxing and waning on whether I wanted to go out or not.

“It’s so much easier for you,” I lamented to my husband. “You are ready, just as you are. I have to spend an hour showering, doing my hair and makeup, only to go out for an hour, and then come back home to take it all off again.”

I realized as I said it how much I had bought into this idea that I was required to have makeup on in order to go out on a Saturday night. It wasn’t just that I had bought into it; I needed it in order to feel good about myself.

Ummm, hello conditional confidence.

I have been super inspired watching Alicia Keys and how she has sworn off make-up. Seeing a natural celebrity face without makeup is so refreshing!

First off, there is nothing wrong with wearing makeup, and I continue to do so. BUT I am also experimenting with not wearing it at times when I usually would because I want to be able to feel good without it. I don’t want my inner confidence to be dependent on whether I am wearing mascara or not.

I desire for my makeup to be an expression of what I feel like inside (fierce, sexy, smoldering, cute, etc.), not a way to compensate for not feeling that way.

With that said, there are times I use makeup to bring myself back into a brighter state of mind. When I look like a schlub, I often feel like a schlub. So if I change how I look, it can change how I feel.

But the reverse is equally as true. When I feel like a schlub, I often look like a schlub. So the question I am playing with is, how can I not feel like a schlub even if I am not wearing any makeup?

Can I feel gorgeous and feminine and smoking hot with my hair in a ponytail, rocking my yoga pants and a t-shirt with a fresh face?

We shall see, but I have a sneaking suspicion the answer is yes.

Do you wear makeup? If so, do you experiment with going without? How does it feel different?