Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

2018…My Year of No

Over the past couple of months I have realized something about myself.

I still have the propensity to say YES to things without taking the time to think or feel them through.

Sometimes it is my old people pleasing patterns rearing their ugly heads. I don’t want to disappoint the other person, so in the moment it seems easier to say yes and agree than to say no or ask for time to sit with it.

Other times I have SOS…aka Shiny Object Syndrome.

Whatever it is that I am saying yes to seems wonderful in the moment. Fun. A great opportunity. Something that definitely needs further exploration. I follow the new creative whim without second thought.

But then what often happens later down the road is that I begin to feel tired. My energy feels pulled in a hundred different directions. I feel assailed by my various obligations and responsibilities, left wondering, “Why exactly did I say yes to this?”

I find that I am unable to give my time and devotion to the projects, people, and pieces of my life that are in complete alignment because my time and energy is spread all over the damn place. A little bit here, a little bit over there…and just a smidge in that far corner!

Scattered. Ineffective. Frustrated.

That is how this pattern feels in my body.

Let’s be clear: This is NOT how I want to feel.

That is why I have named 2018 The Year of the Sacred No. This means getting really clear on what serves my soul AND the greater good, establishing how I wish to show up and be of service in this lifetime. It means more solid boundaries. Less Little Girl, more Sovereign Wise Woman.

It means taking the time to be discerning.

Because this process of saying no and releasing isn’t always as clear-cut as it would seem.

What does serve your highest good AND the highest good of all?

That is the question that we each must sit with. Because things can serve our ego and feel really good temporarily. Or they can serve our patterns and complexes and feel comfortably familiar for a while.

But that doesn’t mean they serve our souls or our sacred work. They are little more than pretty, glittery distractions.

The more aware I have become of my own energy and how I use it (or abuse it or leak it or nourish it), the more I own my responsibility in caring for it. Because I know that when I am depleted I cannot serve anyone fully.

Likewise, the more devoted that I have become to my purpose and my sacred work, the less I tolerate being pulled in hundreds of different directions.

I feel less potent. More watered down. And that scattered energy does not feel good in my body.

My invitation for you as 2017 comes to a close is to consider what role your Sacred No could play in your life in the upcoming year.

If you said no to things that you really don’t want to do, that aren’t fully aligned, what would that make space for in your life?

What would you be able to say HELL YES to if your energy and your time weren’t going out all willy-nilly in every direction?

If you released the maybes and close enoughs, allowed them to fall away like leaves off a tree in autumn, what would their energy transform into?

2018 is the year to claim your sovereignty. The creative power in your own life. This can be difficult to do on your own, as your ingrained patterns will prevent you from seeing where there is room to change and grow. If you feel pulled by the desires of others, and uprooted and detached from your own desire and sacred ground, I would love to speak with you about my Wise Woman Mentorship. To guide you back into yourself and into your fullness.

Visit my online calendar to schedule your initial 30-minute consult to see if this intimate mentorship would be a good fit for you.

Deepening My Devotion and Getting Crystal Clear for 2018

For me this fall has been about slowing down. Grounding. Allowing that which no longer serves to fall away with grace.

Though I am still in the midst of this process (which is sometimes less graceful than I intend…), something is coming through with more clarity than ever. My sense of purpose in my sacred work is both deepening and simplifying.

Sometimes I feel like I DO a lot of things, especially on the surface. But I have realized that all of my work stems from the same underlying energy and desire.

I am devoted to helping women to turn towards their wildly feminine soul.

I want to hold sacred space and help guide you to unearth, embody, and express your essence, your deepest truth.

The “wild” in wildly feminine alludes to the part of you that is innate. Natural. Primal. Before you were domesticated or told who you should be or what you should want or how you should act. It is your instinctual truth. Your natural rhythm.

The feminine refers not only to your womanhood, but also to your underlying state of being. Below the labels and the identifications. Underneath all those boxes that you check. Below your actions, your thoughts, and even your beliefs. THAT state of being.

In our busy, modern, western world it is easy to lose track of both: our wildness and our feminine. I know I did.

I excelled at doing what I was supposed to. Straight A student. Decent job. Money in the bank. Lots of friends. And yet my life felt a bit hollow. It lacked richness. Texture. Embodiment. Feeling.

It lacked SOUL.

Specifically, it lacked wildly feminine soul.

Finally I heard the call to come back home to myself and I could no longer ignore it. I answered and have devoted the last several years of my life to this journey. To reclaiming the lost or forgotten parts of myself, to growing into sovereignty and wholeness.

Now I am honored to be able to guide and hold space for other women through this rite of passage.

Through Qoya…By finding, exploring, and dancing with the physical sensation of truth in your body. Setting that as true north on your compass. Living life from the inside out. Embodying. Trusting your inner wisdom.

And through my Wise Woman Mentorship, my one-on-one coaching offering, where I help you become aware of and unhook from patriarchal patterns and programming.

Programming that may show up in your life in unhealthy little girl energy. People pleasing. Needing external validation. Over-functioning. Taking responsibility of other people’s emotions. Concern. Need for control. Never feeling ready. Overall insecurity.

Or it may show up in a need to be constantly busy. Never slowing down. Never allowing yourself to feel fully. Relentless pursuit of goals. Constant productivity. Pushing. Hardening. And beneath it all…an overall insecurity.

Instead we explore what it means to embody the Wise and Wild Woman. She who is rooted in her body and her feelings. She who sources internally and doesn’t rely on external validation. Who trusts in herself and her truth and the cycles of life. She who has turned toward and unearthed her wildly feminine soul, and embodies that energy, expresses that energy, through her very being.

All I can tell you is that when women begin to turn toward their soul, when they find the courage to dig in the ground of who they truly are, it unleashes a magic that cannot be described. Only felt.

If you feel called to embark on this journey, don’t ignore it. Don’t turn your back on your soul’s call. For more information on the Wise Woman Mentorship, visit my website. To learn more and see if the Wise Woman Mentorship would be a good fit for you as we move into 2018, schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Session via my online scheduler.

ALSO, if you desire to move into 2018 with greater clarity on your sacred work, both what you are devoted to in a big picture sense AND how to make that devotion manifest in manageable, actionable steps, join me and my friend Alyssa Johnson on December 18th for the Winter Solstice Soulful Strategy Virtual Workshop. In this workshop, and the Soul searching questions we will send you beforehand, you will get clear on your devotion and how to take aligned action in the coming year. For full details, click here.

 

 

This Question Drives Me Crazy…

Who are you without your story?

Ahh. A favorite question of life coaches everywhere. I have to be honest…it drives me crazy.

It didn’t always. I liked it for a while; it felt so freeing.

Who am I without my story?? I can be ANYONE! I am here in this body, in this place, and in this moment, anything is possible. My story is all that was holding me back!

And it’s not necessarily untrue; it’s just not the entire truth.

Stories that we tell ourselves can hold us back when we see ourselves solely as the main character, acting out a predestined script written by someone else. Especially when that script sucks and we believe bad things keep happening TO US. Then we allow past events to determine to our present and our future, as if change and evolution and growth are some kind of pipe dream.

In those instances our growth edge is claiming our part, taking back our creative power, and owning that we are responsible for parts of that story. Or at the very least the meaning that we make out of that story.

BUT, it can be easy to delude ourselves into the thinking we are the sole writer.

Yes, we get to write our stories.

But we are also written by our stories.

We are back at the paradoxical nature of wisdom. Our ever-evolving dance with life, where we are co-creators. At times taking the lead and other times being swept off our feet. Simultaneously in our creative power and surrendering to what is being created.

But the answer is not to shed our stories entirely. They give life context, texture, and meaning. Every scar carries a story…where we have been and what we have been through.

Stories tell the tale of a soul’s journey, both in external conquest and deep inner exploration. Without story, there can be no journey, and that robs us of some powerful soul medicine.

Story-less we are here and we are free, but that type of freedom is ungrounded.

It is a freedom that lacks embodiment because stories are not just mental constructs; they are imprinted in our cells.

Each and every experience in your life – trauma and joy alike – has left an imprint on your flesh, your bones, and your soul, regardless of what you “tell” yourself.

The reason it is easy to fall prey to ditching our stories is that it sounds and feels good. Lighter somehow. Blissfully familiar for many of us. It tastes of freedom because it tastes of transcendence. Our light and spirit obsessed society loves and longs for transcendence. It fits in nicely with our ideals of perfectionism, allowing us to transcend the whole, messy human experience.

So we jettison the stories in which we feel soft or dark or weak or heavy or contradictory, not wanting to take ownership of our wholeness. To own that on some level we are still the same person that we were when those stories were written.

The question then becomes not “who are you without your story?”, but rather, “who are you when you integrate all of your stories into the greater fabric of your being?” When all parts of you have a place and are not shamed into repression and external projection?

To reclaim your story is to reclaim your power, truth, and compassion, integrating the medicine of the past in the present and transforming it into nourishment for the future.

The Wise Woman Mentorship is not your average life coaching program. It is a sacred container that holds space for you to unearth your wildly feminine soul. To not just do what feels good or easy, but what feels TRUE. To honor your wholeness and the complexity of your being as a woman. To schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Call now, visit my online scheduler or email me at singingbirdhealth@gmail.com.

Feel Like You Have Lost Your Path?

Embracing THE IN BETWEEN…

First, I have to come clean that the title/theme of this post was totally inspired by Stranger Things. Season 2?!? I mean, come on.

While not as terrifying as the upside down, the in between can also strike fear in the hearts of many. Myself included.

The in between is that liminal space. Metaphorical dusk. Where night has not quite fallen, but the day has come to a close. That magical time. The witching hour.

It is the bridge from one state of being to another.

No longer here and not yet there.

This is the creative feminine space. The dark and fertile space. The field of potentiality. The unknown.

It’s many beautiful and poetic sounding names allude to the inherent possibility of being in this space, but in reality it can also be really uncomfortable.

I will give you one example from my own life and from the women that I work with.

Many creative, spiritual, and/or wellness solopreneurs like myself shape their work around their own journey. You heal yourself and then take that knowledge out into the world to share with others. Your story itself becomes part of your sacred medicine.

But during that time, you also continue to evolve and grow and deepen.

Inevitably at some point, that thing you were teaching, the part of your story you were sharing that felt like your life’s work, no longer holds the same juice. (This happened to me with health coaching and speaking with people about food and body love.) There is less energy around it. Terms you used feel outdated. You develop new understanding. The medicine deepens.

And boom. You are thrust into the in between. You have outgrown the old, but you don’t have a solid handle on the new yet. You can sense it on the periphery; you feel it’s energy, but you can’t see it clearly yet.

The in between is like getting to the end of a path and finding that it opens up into a large meadow, and you have no idea where the new path picks up.

You have a few options.

You can always go back the way you came. Forget about finding the next leg of the path and opt to hold on to the old, the known. Our logical mind loves this because it has a firm grasp on it, and it will shoot a plethora of facts that support why this is the best idea. In our example of shifting or deepening your sacred work it may say things like “you built your whole business on this, you can’t change it now” or “you have taken so many courses to develop this knowledge, you don’t want that to be money down the drain” or “you have a whole library of books devoted to this topic, you better just stick with it”.

And while this path makes all the good, rational sense, a part of you feels like it’s dying when you think of choosing it. It feels like being slowly constricted to death. The old skin is too small to house the new awareness. And eventually the soul rebels. The body throws up red flags. Despite outward appearances, this old, trodden path suddenly reveals itself to be a lot less “safe”.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ― Anaïs Nin

Another option is that you can begin frantically looking for where the path picks up again (key word: frantically). All you know is that you need to get out of this meadow, stat. You have to keep moving. You see what looks kind of like a path and you begin to follow it, but it peters out and you are surrounded by wilderness. You make your way back to the meadow, feeling discouraged and even more afraid. You try this over and over, with dozens of starts and stops, desperately searching for the one “right” path.

Eventually, you just pick one and go for it. Despite the fact that this way is full of brambles and thorns and obstacles impeding your progress, you push on. Determined to make it work because ANYTHING is better than being back in that big, open meadow.

Or, there is a third option. You greet the unexpected meadow with surprise, and maybe even a little glee or joy. You see it as an invitation to slow down. You close your eyes and bask in the sunshine on your face. You feel the breeze on your skin as it rustles the leaves of the trees at the meadow’s edge.

There is no fear or insecurity. No need to immediately pick a path, because even though you can’t yet see it, you KNOW the path is there.

Instead you relax. You lay down, surrendering your weight into the supportive energy of Mother Earth. You embrace this sacred pause on your journey with all of your heart, because you trust that the path will appear when it is time.

What would it feel like in your body if you could embrace the in between times in your life in this way?

Maybe it is because you have gotten to that point in your business where your old messaging feels stagnant or out of integrity, but the new messaging hasn’t solidified yet. Or perhaps it is a job or industry that is stifling, but you don’t know which other way to turn or what you really want to be doing. Or maybe multiple parts of your life feel out of alignment and stuck and it’s too overwhelming to even consider making a change.

What would it feel like if you trusted that it was safe for the old to die away, and that it was necessary in order for the new to be born?

What if you could relax into that in between space instead of running yourself ragged in circles trying to find your way out?

The in between is the witching hour. The magical, liminal space. Where the alchemy happens. It is a crucible of inner transformation that leads to outer manifestation…but only if you allow it to.

The Wise Woman Mentorship holds safe and sacred space for you to enter the crucible. To question and unravel the old – old thought patterns, habits, beliefs, and ways of being – and to make space for the new to emerge. To unearth and embody your wildly feminine soul. To schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Call now, visit my online scheduler or email me at singinbirdhealth@gmail.com.

 

 

I’m Embarking on a Sacred Experiment…

Wanna join me?!? 

I am embarking on what I am calling a sacred experiment, and I would like to invite you along.

As women, we are cyclical beings, like Mother Nature and the moon.

Every month we cycle from our own dark moon, waxing to fullness, and then waning again. Birth, death, and rebirth, every 28 days or so.

This rhythm mimics our life cycle as well, from girlhood to young Maiden to Mother and Queen and finally to Wise Woman and Crone.

But we live in a modern and masculine world, where we have lost touch with our feminine instinctual nature. That part of us that is primal, in sync with the world around us.

We have attempted to wedge our cyclical selves into a linear culture, expecting that we will show up the same, day in and day out.

But as every woman knows, try as we might, that just isn’t the case.

Some days we are super extroverted, ready to take on the world, excited to go meet friends. Other days all we want is to curl up in a blanket and watch Netflix all day with some takeout. Our energy waxes and wanes. Our moods shift (and let’s not buy into that being a “bad” thing). Our bodies feel different.

And what energizes us, what we desire, becomes a moving target as well.

Because we have become detached from our feminine nature, it’s easy to find this frustrating.

The days when I cannot seem to write a freakin’ sentence that makes coherent sense, much less has that poetic ring that I love, drive me crazy. Often I find myself pushing through, trying to create even though it clearly feels like the creative well has run dry.

There are times when I cannot wait to shower what feels like ENDLESS love and care and energy on the people in my life. And other times where people (and creatures) annoy the shit out of me and I just want to retreat and sit in a quiet, dark room.

Because we live in this masculine, linear society, we have made our feminine nature out to be WRONG. We fight against it. We do everything in our power to OVERCOME it. And as a result, our bodies rebel. Periods become more painful. “PMS” unbearable (I use quotes there because once again this part of our cycle that is often misunderstood is labeled as a “syndrome”, a medical malady to be overcome).

But what if there is another way? What if instead of fighting our feminine, moon-like nature, we aligned with it? Respected it? Approached it with great love and reverence?

THAT is my experiment. So often, we are out in the world learning about all things EXTERNAL to us. What if, instead, we directed that focus back inside? What if we become as curious about our bodies, our nature, and ourselves as we are about politics, sports, and pop culture?

For the next three months I will be tracking my cycle day to day. Charting how I feel, what I desire, physical symptoms, where my energy wants to go, etc.

Instead of picking up a book to tell me about my cycle, I will become curious about my own body. I will pay attention. I will see how it feels when I align with my nature and my body’s cycles, and when I don’t.

At the end of the three months, I will go back and look for clues and patterns. To see if there is a natural rhythm to my writing, my creative output, my desire to see friends, go to networking events, make extra time for soul nourishment, and give more room to my instinctual self.

From that place I will begin to align my schedule, as much as possible, to my findings. To what my strengths are at specific times during my cycle. Is it a good time to take an important meeting? Also knowing my own cycles of creative ebb and flow, times of production and times of fallow, will allow me to relax and trust myself at even deeper level.

I want to invite you along on this sacred journey. Tomorrow I am releasing the Reclaim Your Sacred Ground workbook in my online Facebook community, Wildly Feminine and Free. So if you want to participate and are not already a member, click here to join today. If you are not on Facebook and still would like to participate, just send me a reply to this email.

Also, if you are past the bleeding time in your life, you can still participate! Instead of tracking your own cycle, track the cycle of the moon and notice the shifts that occur within you.

Then, after our three-month sacred experience is complete I will host a live call or Zoom where we can each speak about and reflect on what we have uncovered. We will also come together to explore how we can take what we have noticed about our feminine nature and apply it in our lives to live in greater alignment.

Join the Wildly Feminine & Free community to access the Reclaim Your Sacred Ground workbook. I will also be sharing some of my own noticings there on a weekly basis.

 

I am not very dark or mysterious…

I write frequently about navigating big feelings, embracing the Dark Goddess, and dancing with mystery. I love shadow work. I have always been enticed by all that is dark and mysterious. Sultry. Intense. Witchy. (See picture below for evidence.)

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But one thing became very clear to me while I was at the Qoya intensive this fall…

I am not particularly dark or mysterious. Of course I have some darkness and mystery, as we all have a bit of everything within us, but when others spend time with me what they see and appreciate most about me is actually my light. My goofiness. My energy and zest for life. My spunk.

Hearing what others saw in me, something within me clicked.

I saw how I have been stuck in a “grass is always greener” situation, wanting more of what I am not and not fully appreciating who I am.

Teaching Qoya over the past couple of months I encountered several instances where I feared that I was “too much” when I let my full self out. Too energetic. Too upbeat. Too downright dorky.

I was afraid that my energy and optimism bowled people over.

But it doesn’t. It’s actually one of my core strengths, and I have been reining it in. Keeping it carefully contained so as to not be “too much”.

Perhaps you can relate?

Do you have a tendency to believe that you “should” be something other than how you are? More outspoken? Less outspoken? More serious? Less serious? Bigger, smaller, lighter, darker, softer, stronger, you name it?

It is something that many of us struggle with and sometimes we can’t even see where we are hemming ourselves in.

I didn’t see how I was dimming my light by playing in the shadows, how it had become a convenient way to downplay my innate strengths and stay relatively hidden.

But I am coming into a time in my life where I am being guided to claim my gifts and my strengths and what I am here to offer more fully. I feel like many of us are hearing a similar call. That means letting our whole, wild selves come to the party. It means actually claiming our power and standing firm in our essence of Self.

But owning and standing in our strengths can feel so uncomfortable. Supremely vulnerable. Personally, it makes me want to squirm in my seat.

That is precisely why I know that it is something that I need to do.

I tried to wiggle out of sharing this, always having some excuse or other article that needed priority.

But how can I stand for other women fully owning and embodying their gifts if I am not willing to fully claim my own?

So with that said, here are a few of my top strengths…

I am intuitive and I read people and situations quickly. I am good at getting to the heart of the matter, and am comfortable diving to the depths.

I am highly optimistic. I may rage against the patriarchy from time to time (okay quite often), but it is because I have a strong belief that we, individually and collectively, can do better. I know we can do better.

I love to learn.

I am curious about damn near everything (except for really practical things…like how to change a tire or invest in the stock market, there I unfortunately couldn’t care less…)

I am energetic.

I am wickedly good at animal noises. My dolphin sounded a bit like a sick goat for a while, but I am happy to report that Flipper is back in full force.

I love making people laugh (especially with said animal noises).

I love to play and have fun.

I am great at listening and holding space for others.

I am a good writer. I love to communicate the underlying truth, that deep inner sense and experience, through words.

I am good at seeing the best in people and guiding them to embody their gifts.

I search for the Truth with a capital T, and seek meaning, richness, and depth in all that life has to offer.

I see connections between things. I LOVE that no matter how zigzaggy a coaching session may be, or how many disparate topics we delve into, it almost always comes back around or has a central theme. I don’t know what it is about that, but it’s SO SATISFYING.

There we have it. A few of my strengths.

I wrote and shared this mainly for myself, because it was something I clearly needed, but I also want to offer it to you.

What are your strengths?

Journal honestly about them. Ask people in your life what they see in you and love about you. Ask those close to you what one word pops up when they think of you. I promise, it will be enlightening.

Are you letting those strengths fully shine, in every area of your life? Where are you holding back, and more importantly, WHY?

If you want support in this area, I am here for you. Like I said, one of my superpowers is seeing people. Hearing them. Getting to truly know them so I can reflect their light (and their dark) back to them. I believe that each and every one of us has this special magic that only we can offer to the world, but we LOCK IT UP. We tuck it away.

It is time to RELEASE IT. EMBODY IT. BE IT. LIVE IT into existence in the world.

 

Standing Strong Isn’t Enough…

Let’s talk authenticity, hardening, and the quest for wholeness…

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I recently devoured Brené Brown’s new book Braving the Wilderness.

It was ALL good, but one line in particular resonated with me: “Strong back, soft front, wild heart.”

My own personal journey, and the work that I guide other women through, is deeply rooted in the feminine soul.

Unearthing the wild essence. Giving birth to the wise woman within. Embracing the wholeness of your being.

Shedding layers of patriarchal programming and good girl patterns like perfectionism and pleasing, to get to the root of what is you. What is really you. Who are you?

While that question is a lifelong exploration in itself, it is only part of the work.

It is not enough to unearth your wildly feminine soul; you must also embody and express it in the world. Take her out for a walk. Have coffee with a friend.

Practice what it feels like to be truly authentic. To come from soul. To stand in your truth. To say what you actually believe. To be honest about your feelings.

For recovering pleasers, this is very difficult. There might be conflict. Someone may not like you. They may get angry or upset. Pulling back our responsibility of another’s emotional state makes us want to squirm.

So there is a lot of strengthening the back that needs to happen in order to share what is true for us, especially when it means many people may not like or understand what we have to say.

Personal boundaries need to be honored.

We practice saying no.

We walk tall and stand firm in who we are.

This too is a lifelong learning in itself. And yet the work still isn’t done.

Because then there is this softening piece. The soft front.

It is easy to think of authenticity as simply shouting your truth from the rooftops. Not giving a shit what other people think of you. And that is authenticity, and yet…

There is still this softening piece.

Softening the front can be equally as hard or harder than strengthening the back.

Sharing creatively from our truth moment to moment means being really honest with ourselves about how we feel, and then choosing to share that truth with another. Even when those feelings make us feel vulnerable or small or weak.

It is allowing someone to see the sadness that lurks behind the anger.

The doubt that exists right alongside the trust.

The love that feels so tender and searing that letting it penetrate you fully opens you up to a whole new depth of emotion and vulnerability.

This softening happens right along with the strengthening. You can’t have one without the other. We need to integrate them both.

This is the path of the wise and wild woman.

Leading with our wholeness.

Embracing and owning our light AND our shadows.

Getting to know ourselves really well, and being okay with what we find. Accepting our inherent contradictions.

Then practicing intimacy in relationship by allowing another to witness and experience the full range of who we are. Allowing another to truly know us as well.

The deep dive into unearthing and embodying your wildly feminine soul is the work that I do with clients in my Wise Woman Mentorship. I will ask you the questions that you have been afraid to ask yourself. I will introduce new ideas, perspectives, and practices to breathe energy into your soul life. I will challenge the beliefs that do not serve nor belong to you. I will hold sacred space for you to explore all facets of yourself, to excavate the bones of who you are, and to embody your truth and the wholeness of your being in your life.

If you are interested in the Wise Woman Mentorship visit my online calendar to set up your free 30-minute consultation call or email me at singingbirdhealth@gmail.com.

Me Too.

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When I logged into Facebook yesterday morning and scrolled nonchalantly through my feed I came upon a seemingly endless string of “Me too” status posts from my female friends. I scrolled until I found the explanation, but I had a sinking feeling of what it was referring to.

“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

As I read those words, my heart grew heavier and the fire in my belly hotter, but I couldn’t say that I was surprised. I don’t think any women were surprised.

Sexual harassment and assault are so commonplace in our culture; it’s the air that we breathe. It’s like how if you live in a city with high air pollution you don’t realize how blue the sky really is until you leave. Sometimes it’s hard to see the shit when you are in it. When you have been living and breathing in it your whole life. You believe that’s just “how things are”.

But more and more we are beginning to wake up to that bullshit. Questioning how it got this way and how we change it.

#Metoo calls reference to the news that came out about Harvey Weinstein this past week. Story after story came out of the women that he harassed, assaulted, and raped over the last 30 years. Courageous women stepped forth from the shadows, one after the other, whispering or shouting “me too”.

Nearly one year ago to the date (in October of 2016), I published a post on “locker room talk” after Donald Trump (the man who but a few weeks later would be elected the president of our country) was caught on a hot mic bragging about exactly this same thing: How his power gave him permission to grab women by the pussy. How they “let him do anything” because he was a “star”.

Let’s make one thing real clear here: these two things are RELATED. Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump are cut from the same cultural cloth. This is a problem that runs like an undercurrent beneath our surface politics.

This is patriarchy. This is rape culture.

Here I am, writing about it again, a year later with hands shaking and tightness in my chest. I don’t want to write about this. Who wants to rehash old stories of victimization? Who wants open themselves up to further criticism and shaming?

To claim the “victim” label feels uncomfortable and weak.

And yet, it’s a part of me. A part of my story that gets shunned into the dark and disowned. A part that when revisited is accompanied by voices of shame that tell me “You should have said no, you should have kicked him in the balls, you shouldn’t have laughed it off, you should have told someone…”

Because as the victim, you internalize that YOU were the one who did something wrong.

But true power doesn’t come from disowning our stories or pieces of ourselves that feel vulnerable; true power rises from the reclamation of our wholeness.

So with that said, here are a few excerpts of my “me too” story that I feel comfortable sharing…

When I was in high school, I worked as a hostess and QA person at a restaurant. I wore loose khaki pants and button down shirts to work (not that it matters, but many men AND women sadly still seem to believe that what you wear somehow determines whether you are harassed/assaulted or not). One day, I was cornered by a cook in the walk-in refrigerator who asked me how I was doing. Grabbing a giant, several-gallon tub of tartar sauce, I responded, “Good.” “Really good?” he countered and walked closer, pushing me into the back corner of the freezer, his body uncomfortably close to mine. Leering. “No, not really good!” I answered hastily, dropping the tartar sauce, and running past him.

I laughed it off later when telling friends and family. A fellow co-worker told me she never went in the walk-in fridge alone. It was common knowledge. I was terrified of that cook after that day and always watched my back when I had to get something from the fridge.

Years later, I had a boss who routinely called me “babe” in emails and asked me to feather-dust the conference room. I was a marketing administrative assistant at the time.

I had my ass grabbed by the head of a department of corrections at a work conference while standing in a circle of laughing men. Some of which I still called “friends” back then. I tried to laugh along, feeling embarrassed.

The examples above all happened at my place of employment. Where everyone had to sign off on all that beautiful paperwork on sexual harassment is wrong. I am not even going to mention the times when this happened while out at bars or clubs.

And I still consider myself one of the lucky ones, because I know that it could have been worse. What does that say about our society?

It says that a woman’s body does not belong to her. That our humanity is somehow worth less. That our bodies are commodities. Objects. That someone else has a right to them just because they want to.

If you happen to be drunk or wearing a short skirt or low-cut shirt, the impetus to stay quiet is strong. As a woman you know your character will be called into question. Someone will say “she was asking for it”. Why is a woman’s personhood determined by our inebriation level or our clothing choices?

My body belongs TO ME, whether I am dressed like a nun or butt-ass naked.

I am SO OVER these old stories of how men cannot control themselves and it is the responsibility of women to not stir “impure” thoughts within them. By wearing yoga pants. Or going bra-less. Or swinging our hips when we walk.

Patriarchy’s answer to rape culture is always to make women even smaller. To contain and take ownership of the feminine. Don’t want to get raped? Don’t wear that. Don’t go out by yourself after dark. Don’t have that last cocktail.

But women aren’t the problem here.

THE MEN WHO ASSAULT AND HARASS US ARE THE PROBLEM.

Patriarchy is the problem. Imbalance of power is the problem. Hierarchy is the problem. “Me over you” mentality is the problem. Objectification and dehumanizing others is the problem.

The same holds true for the treatment of women, people of color, the LGBTQ community…anyone who is considered “less than” when measured up against the yard stick of the straight, white male.

We need to do better.

We need to do better by both our daughters AND our sons.

I want our daughters to grow up feeling safe, able to enjoy life in and through their feminine bodies. Knowing their intrinsic value as human beings. Boldly embodying their truth and their gifts with confidence and vitality. Relishing in what it means to be a girl and a woman.

And I want our sons to grow up with heart. To stay connected to that soft core within themselves, that vulnerable part that connects them to all the other people and souls on this planet. That allows them to feel the effects of their actions on others. And the courage to stand up for what is right, even when it’s not popular or easy.

Though I wish this wasn’t the case, it seems that because these patterns have gone unseen or unsaid for so long, this unraveling starts with those who are not at the top of the hierarchy. In this particular case, women. This means revisiting painful memories and sharing our truth openly and unapologetically and vulnerably, if that feels right and true for us. Stories of weakness and strength, love and hurt, victimization and power.

Standing up, standing together, and whispering “me too”.

 

 

My Issue with Social Media

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Before I left for the Qoya intensive in North Carolina I made myself a promise: to allow myself to fully be there, to be present in the experience.

I was an art major in college who specialized in digital photography. My friends often commented how it was funny that I was a photographer who rarely took any photos.

That is because I knew something back then that I forgot (or overlooked) when I started my coaching business…

Taking photographs is one way that we step ourselves out of our own experience. Via the camera lens we detach from the moment and from our lives.

As a business owner though, I bought into the commonly accepted story that in order to run a successful business I need to post on social media at least once per day. The more the better!

Occasionally this left me grasping for content. I put this pressure on myself to say something profound every single day. I would no longer take a nature walk simply for my own enjoyment, but rather to photograph and share it with my followers.

Right before I left for the intensive, my body began to reject this paradigm. I longed for presence. For experience that I could hold simply for myself.

After sharing this insight with a few other women, I realized that I am not alone, particularly among entrepreneurs.

So if this resonates with you, whether you are a business owner or just a social media maven, I have an invitation for you:

Give yourself the gift of PURE EXPERIENCE.

Just for you. Allow yourself to sink into the moment, to be fully immersed.

I have noticed, both within myself and within the collective, three common ways that we separate ourselves from simply having an experience. Practice awareness of when you do any of the following and experiment with how it feels different in your body when you let go of these behaviors (at least temporarily).

  1. Taking pictures. Okay I know we all love to take pictures, especially of beautiful scenery or sacred moments. But by documenting the experience, we take ourselves out of it. We position ourselves as an observer as opposed to the person within the experience itself. Play with leaving your camera or phone at home. Trust that even if you don’t have photographs, you will remember.
  1. Making meaning out of the experience. Again, I love to make meaning out of everything. With that said, when we try to make meaning out of the moment while we are still in it, we remove ourselves from the pure experience of the moment. We move into the left half of our brain, where we judge and analyze what is happening as opposed to experiencing what is happening. Allow moments to simply be what they are. Enjoy them. Be in them. Afterwards, go back and dig into the underlying meaning.
  1. Share the experience. This often goes along with the other two. In our fast-paced culture, we document and then make meaning of every moment so that we can share them with others in real time. This forces us to view our experiences in a specific light. We step out of ourselves and out of the moment and begin to frame it for someone else. Our perspective shifts from having the experience for ourselves and becomes about how another person views and interacts with our experience.

So put the camera away. Leave the phone at home. Stop drafting your facebook post in your head while you are walking on the beach feeling the Divine breathing in your cells.

Wherever you are, be all there. – Jim Elliot

Pure experience is a gift. You are worthy of it. And only you can give it to yourself.

Is the way that you have been living not really working for you? Have you followed what you thought you were “supposed” to do, and yet aren’t feeling the deep level of fulfillment that you are yearning for?

Unearthing your Wise Woman means unhooking from the “shoulds” and “supposed to’s” of patriarchy. It means taking your compass back and placing it firmly within yourself, where it belongs. It means questioning what have you learned to truly discern whether it resonates with your heart and soul.

It is not for the faint of heart or those set in their ways. You must be willing to be curious about yourself and the world, to look at both with fresh eyes and a seeking heart. If this is you, and you know who you are, I would love to speak with you about my Wise Woman Mentorship. Click here to view my online calendar and schedule your free initial Discovery Call today.

Are You Afraid of the Unknown?

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Our masculine, goal-oriented, fact-focused society doesn’t do so well with the unknown. The darkness. The pieces of life that are wholly and utterly outside of our control.

The unknown is the realm of the Goddess, the realm of the feminine, which the dysfunctional masculine desires to define and conquer.

She is mystery. The unconscious. The magic of that which the logical mind cannot comprehend.

She has the power to be awe-inspiring or terrifying. In reality, those emotions aren’t all that different. They feel quite similar in the body. It is the story the mind tells that set them apart from one another.

Awe is rooted in trust, reverence, and love. Terror is rooted distrust and fear.

That is why when we move from fear into a space of love and trust, those very same pieces of life that frightened us can begin to inspire us.

When we dance with the feminine, when we take the darkness by the hand, we find that the unknown approached from a place of love and trust is ripe with potential.

It holds all of the options.

Understanding this intellectually and truly embodying it are two different matters entirely, though. The UNKNOWN when seen through the objective eyes of an observer, from a distance, feels much less threatening than facing the unknown in our lives. When it is deeply personal. When we are smack dab in the middle of the darkness and we have no idea which way is up.

When we are unexpectedly let go from a job.

When we don’t know where rent is coming from next month.

When a loved one is diagnosed.

When a relationship comes to a sudden end.

The unknown comes to us at certain points in our life, bidden or not. When we approach it from a place of distrust and fear, we often try to grasp onto control anywhere that we can find it, which only leads to greater anxiety (I may have tried this approach…several times).

Because when we are in the unknown, thick in the darkness, we cannot think our way through. We can’t analyze our way to a solution or develop a strategic plan to plot our path out. Our usual reference points are removed.

We can only drop into our bodies and feel what is true for us. Discern the next right step and trust that after we take it, the one thereafter will appear.

If we allow ourselves to surrender to the power of the unknown, to stop fighting it or orienting ourselves in ways that have worked in the past, we begin to see that it is actually the true creative space. The past and the future both become obsolete. We see them for what they truly are…a mental construct. And we cannot rely on them.

We must rely on what is present and true in the moment. Deeply trusting the wisdom of our bodies, our own capacity to remain grounded despite external circumstances, knowing that we are divinely held and supported.

When we can sink into that truly confident space, there is no gripping or freezing, no fight or flight. We no longer need to rely on our limited reserves of control. Instead we are grounded and open, and allow life to flow with grace and ease.

On December 2nd, I am partnering with equine therapist Kelly Jones to bring you DANCING WITH THE UNKNOWN. In this full-day retreat featuring mentoring, Qoya, energy work with horses, sacred community, and quiet time spent in nature you will explore and shift your relationship to the unknown.

What does it feel like to embody trust, confidence, and leadership in the face of any situation?

Versus what does it feel like when you approach from fear, insecurity, and a need for control?

What would be possible in your life if you shifted your relationship with the unknown from one of fear to one of possibility? What heart longings would you follow? What would blossom open in your life? What would fall away?

These are but a few of the questions that we will be exploring and unearthing during Dancing with the Unknown. And we won’t only explore them mentally; you will go home with a visceral, embodied understanding of what this does and doesn’t feel like in your life. You will know what is possible because you have experienced it. While held in sacred sisterhood. Surrounded by wild nature and energetically in-tune creatures.

There are a limited number of spaces and we are currently offering a limited early bird registration. This event will likely sell out, so don’t wait! To reserve your space today, click here.