Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

The Trick to Being Unflappable…

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My family gave me many nicknames growing up. One was Singing Bird, which as you already know became the inspiration and name for my business.

Another related, but perhaps less flattering version, one was “The Siren”. As in a police siren. Or something very loud that comes on suddenly and then fades out rather quickly.

This is because from my tender beginnings as a young girl, I have been a feeler. My whole life I have felt things very deeply, and when I was younger I expressed those feelings with wild abandon.

Joy, excitement, sadness, anger – it all came out.

But somewhere along the line, around my mid-teenage years, I didn’t like the feelings as much anymore. Especially the ones that felt painful or made me feel small or insecure. They began to seem overwhelming, and like a burden. I didn’t like that I couldn’t control them and they would arrive unbidden.

So I started developing ways to not have to feel them as much. I controlled what I ate. I numbed them with alcohol. I strove endlessly for perfection. These were all ways that I steeled myself against vulnerability because I wanted to be UNFLAPPABLE. I longed to feel strong and independent and in control.

Those pesky feelings were just getting in the way.

I saw life as being black or white, either/or. I could choose to embody my deep feeling nature OR I could be unflappable. And for many years I chose the latter because it felt like the safer (and more rewarded) option.

When I started down my path of embodiment and feminine awakening a few years ago, I came face to face with all those feelings that I had long tried to bury. No longer wanting to steel myself against them, I allowed myself to feel them, while secretly fearing that this would make me seriously flappable.

I still didn’t understand that I had the option of being able to feel deeply AND also be rooted, grounded, and centered. That emotions didn’t have to completely knock me asunder. That I could be BOTH.

It is through Qoya and working with my mentor on embodying my own Wise Woman energy that I have begun to see that our lives and our being doesn’t have to be either/or. We don’t need to choose one or the other. The work is to integrate two things that at first glance appear to be polar opposites and mutually exclusive.

For me, one of those paradoxes was feeling deeply AND being unflappable.

I love metaphors, and they can be so insightful. I have begun to think of my Wise Woman like a tree in a thunderstorm, where I am the tree and the thunderstorm is the emotion.

I, tree Linda, feel the water coming down on my leaves; my branches sway back and forth in the wind. I rumble right along with the thunder. I allow myself to feel the energy of the storm moving through and I allow it to MOVE me (now quite literally thanks to Qoya). I also know instinctively that each storm carries its own form of cleansing and nourishment.

And yet, I also trust that my roots are grounded enough, and my trunk centered, that this storm, no matter how intense, will not topple me over entirely. It will not uproot me. I can stand firm, but not brittle. Strong, but not hardened.

I can feel deeply AND be unflappable.

This is the work and the energy of the Wise Woman. Wisdom is paradoxical. It integrates. It has the power to hold truths that feel diametrically opposed to one another.

And that is how we begin to reclaim our wholeness as women.

The Wise Woman Mentorship is an ongoing one-on-one relationship where I work with you to shift into your own Sovereign Feminine energy. Moving from distrust and insecurity into confidence and trust. To schedule your initial 30-minute Discovery Call, visit my online scheduler. The Discovery Call is free and a time for us to connect and see if the Wise Woman Mentorship would be a good option for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am not concerned about you…

But I do care, and there is a BIG difference.

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This is a tough pill to swallow. I know, because I have had to swallow it and it took a while working with my mentor (the amazing Lianne Raymond) to get it down.

Here we go…

Caring and concern are not the same thing.

We live in a society where the most common way to show that we care about somebody is to be concerned about them.

We worry; we fret.

It is how we express our love: through concern.

But if we peek underneath the covers, we will see that this energy of concern is really quite murky. It is usually boiling in a lovely stew of fear, insecurity, and control.

When we are concerned, we are not grounded in the present moment, but rather broadcasting our fears into the future. It’s an anxious state. Then, in an effort to show our loved ones how much we care, we spew our own fears onto them.

Don’t be fooled, they are usually well disguised. When we are on the receiving end of concern, we typically accept it because we know it’s “coming from a good place”.

“They just want me to be happy and are worried I won’t have a good support network if I move to another state.”

“He is concerned that if I quit my job I won’t have financial stability or security in my life.”

“I know she just wants the best for me.”

We accept it even though it never feels good to be on the receiving end. We feel small. We take on fears that are not our own. We begin to worry that if we make a “wrong decision” in our lives we will disappoint someone we care about.

Because concern is also rooted in control. We subconsciously want to control someone else’s life because concern often comes up when someone’s life doesn’t go how WE expect it to. (This is especially true if that someone is making a conscious decision that we don’t agree with or can’t understand.)

We also accept concern as caring because it’s the only thing we know. Often, when I speak with women, they believe that they can either express concern or be cold and uncaring.

But there is another way to show our love, another way to empathize…

The Wise Woman Way.

The Wise Woman, the Sovereign Feminine, comes not from insecurity, fear, and anxiety but from presence, trust, and confidence.

I can be empathetic when you are going through a rough time, and still have full confidence that you will make it through. I can know that even though it is hard right now, everything will be okay. You will be okay. No matter what happens. I trust that you know what is the best decision in your life right now, even if you can’t access that space yet.

When you are on the receiving end of that Wise Woman caring it feels so different.

Instead of feeling small, you feel empowered.

Instead of stressing out about what the future may hold, you ground into how you feel and what you can do right now.

Instead of taking on new fears that don’t belong to you, you allow your own fears to take a backseat to your heart’s yearnings.

Caring about someone in the Wise Woman Way invites them into the energy of trust.

This is what that feels like:

Oh, you are thinking about making a huge life move that seems risky and everyone is questioning your sanity? Well then, let me say, yes, it is safe to trust yourself. Yes, it is safe to trust the universe. Is everything going to turn out sunshine and rainbows, or exactly how you expected? No, probably not. But I still trust you’ve got what it takes to handle whatever comes down the pipe.

And if/when things get hard, or life sucks (as it does occasionally for all of us…no one escapes unscathed), I will sit with you in the suckage. I won’t try to change it or say any version of “I told you so”. I will sit with you in your descent, and even then, in your darkest moments, I will trust in your power to rise.

My passion is to support women and to hold them in the Wise Woman energy throughout their journey. I am confident that you have the answers within you. I will not shower you with concern, but will be a loving guide as you unearth and embody your own Wise Woman – she who is grounded in her truth and is not afraid to walk the path that is truly hers. With confidence, conviction, and compassion.

The Wise Woman Mentorship begins with a free 30-minute Discovery Call (visit my online scheduler to schedule yours now).

To change the world, we must start by changing ourselves.

 

Why I am Dancing On a Mountaintop!

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In preparation for the Qoya intensive this week, I was asked to write about my experience tuning into my feeling nature through the practice of Qoya. I wanted to share my answer with y’all because I feel like it helps to explain why this practice is so meaningful for me and why I am spending a week on a mountaintop in North Carolina dancing and deepening. (Okay let’s be honest, they had me at “dancing” and “mountain”, but I digress…)

I also want to share it as an invitation for you to find a way that really resonates with your soul to come home to your feminine body and begin to honor your feelings.

My Personal Experience Tuning Into My Feelings Through Qoya

I am a feeler by nature. For a large portion of my life I wasn’t comfortable with that part of myself. My ability to feel things so deeply – whether it was joy, sadness, rage – would overwhelm me sometimes. I’d get lost in this vortex of emotion.

So Qoya for me has been less about tuning into my feelings and more about allowing them. Giving them space. Giving them healthy expression. My feelings no longer consume me, and because of that I am also no longer afraid of them.

Qoya taught me that it is okay to feel things deeply. And not only just “okay”, but that it is actually a strength.

As I have sunk deeper into my Qoya practice, I no longer use my old techniques of steeling myself against my feelings. I am a recovering perfectionist. I was uncomfortable with vulnerability. I tried to starve away my feelings. Numb them with alcohol.

I no longer have to do that.

In stark contrast to my old modus operandi of wanting to get rid of my feelings, Qoya gives me a way to honor them. Both the light AND the dark. I am now able to honor the full spectrum of the human experience, and see and FEEL the beauty and meaning in all of it.

I will give you an example. A few months ago, my dog (that word really does not even begin to encapsulate who this creature truly is and what she has taught me) got very ill. She was in and out of the vet. Refused to eat. No one could figure out what was going on with her. Western veterinary medicine was unable to find a cause of any kind.

This was a really terrifying, heartbreaking, and frustrating moment.

But instead of trying to numb myself from it or check out by watching TV or drinking, I danced with it. With all of it.

I danced my fear of losing her.

My anger at the doctors who couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

My desire to want to control the situation and my frustration of the reminder that many things are entirely out of our control.

I danced my hope and my prayers that everything would be okay.

And most of all, I danced my love. My love for her. My gratitude for everything we have experienced together and everything that she has taught me thus far.

It helped me to cry both tears of sadness and fear, but also tears of tremendous joy.

I am so grateful that I have this practice that helps me to stay present with everything in my life. That helps me to be in relationship to what is happening and how I am feeling.

So yeah, that’s been my experience with Qoya. Truly life changing in the best possible of ways.

If you are in Austin, I will be teaching weekly classes starting this fall and have several amazing workshops and retreats in the works! If you are hungering to deepen your relationship with yourself, your body, and your feelings, OR if you are looking for amazingly authentic sisterhood OR if you just love to DANCE and don’t do it nearly enough, make sure you sign up for my special Qoya email list to stay up to date on all things Qoya in the Austin area.

If you are NOT in Austin, check out the Qoya website to find a teacher near you!

 

My Beef with Leaning In…

LeaningInSquarePhoto by Jeana Marino

You know that book Leaning In that was really popular a few years ago? I must admit off the bat that I never read it. This article isn’t about the content though; it’s about the title.

I have beef with the title. I have beef with the underlying energy of the whole concept it conveys.

Much of my work is body-based. Paying attention to your body language, tapping into the ancient wisdom that often lies dormant, waiting to be recognized in our flesh and bone.

I was speaking with another coach a few weeks ago, and I asked her which way her body moved in a particularly triggering situation. Was she leaning back, afraid or not wanting to get involved? Was she leaning forward, wanting to get into it, pushing her way in? Or was she standing firm and confident in her own power, grounded in the earth on her own two feet?

She was leaning forward and we talked about what that meant, what the underlying pattern was, etc.

“This paints the idea of leaning in in a totally different light…” she said towards the end of our call.

We both grew quiet as we digested what this meant.

Leaning in, which was created as a way for women to rise to equality in the workplace, is predicated on women still being OUTSIDE. Like moths drawn to a flame, we are meant to lean in towards the men in power. Once again prove ourselves to the masculine power structure to hopefully get a little bit more of our fair share.

That’s not true feminine power, and the body language alluded to in the idea of “leaning in” says it all.

True power is standing up straight. Not leaning in or out, forwards or backwards.

But speaking, living, acting, and creating from a centered, confident place where you are the flame in your own life.

Where your power isn’t found by latching onto someone else’s, but sourced from deep within you.

For women to reclaim true equality we must cease to be the moths, circling from flame to flame; we must realize that the light we seek is already within us.

And it is time to start shining.

Woman, it is time for you to stand firm in your own power. Share your truth with confidence and conviction. Embodying your Wise Woman, your Sovereign Feminine, isn’t only important for entrepreneurs; it is crucial for every woman. It will shift how you show up at work, in relationship, in friendship, and most importantly, with yourself.

Schedule your 30-minute free Discovery Call to see if my Wise Woman Mentorship would be a good fit for you. To schedule your Discovery Call, visit my online scheduler. Cannot wait to speak with you!

 

Reclaiming the Dark Goddess

DarkGoddessBackBlack_VignettePhoto by Jeana Marino

For years I had this nagging fear, this felt sense of the darkness that brewed within me. A bottomless pit of despair. A torrent of grief. Rage that lay in wait like a dormant volcano.

I longed for the sweet relief of release.

I created fantasies around it, wishing for the straw to break the camel’s back so that I could let go of my tight gripping.

And yet, I was terrified. I feared that was within me, once unleashed, would swallow me whole. Take down anyone who was within striking distance.

What’s worse is that I thought I was alone in feeling this way, which only served to deepen the fear that there was something wrong with me.

That this darkness was NOT normal and needed to be kept under wraps and tightly controlled at all costs.

It seeped out every now and again in highly dysfunctional ways and I would be reminded of how it was not wanted. It wasn’t pretty or acceptable.

It was grief that had no home, rage that hadn’t found its place.

And it was stuck. Buried deep within my body where I tried to keep it contained.

Over the years of studying the path of the Divine Feminine, I have come to realize that I am not alone. I am not alone in the darkness. I am not alone with my yearnings for wholeness. I am not alone in my deepest and smallest fear that there is something terribly wrong with me.

Instead, I see now that this was the calling of the Dark Feminine. She who has been repressed and holds all that which we do not want to see.

She was inviting me to her. To look her straight in the eye. To not only feel her pain, but dive into it and not leave my body.

Of course her eye was my own, and the pain that she asked me to dive into was mine as well.

In order to unearth my own feelings, and with them, my feminine power, I had to come face to face with the pain that I had tried to push down. Starve away. Control to the point of oblivion. Numb out.

I had to face how many times I had betrayed my own soul. I had to hear and listen to those cries. Shed the tears. Bear witness to myself. Descend and dance with the darkness.

The feminine path to wholeness isn’t neat and pretty and clean and perfect. It’s not a straight line. It is not up and out of the body into bliss and transcendence.

It is crooked and gnarled. Down and in. Into the densest parts of our bodies, into the dark and fertile ground of Mama Earth.

It asks of us to dig and dig. Dig until our fingers are raw and there is dirt caked in under our nails. Dig till we have unearthed the truth of ourselves, the bones of the matter.

And by singing over those bones, by crying and dancing and wailing and raging over those bones, we slowly bring them back to life. Out of the shadows and into the world. Reclaiming the depths of our darkness as part of our sacred gift.

The gift of feeling deeply. The gifts of intuition and instinct. The gift of bodily knowing.

And with that, we can stop running. We can stop distracting or numbing ourselves, for we are no longer afraid of seeing the truth.

Of seeing ourselves in our totality. Giving both the darkness and the light reverence.

Finally giving our wholeness a safe haven, a home.

 

 

Getting Schooled in “Using” Gratitude…and other things

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Over the last couple of months I have been receiving a deeper level of education by Mother Nature and the universe, particularly when it comes to the energy of using and getting.

In the Western world, we are quite predisposed to this energy. It is so interwoven in our culture that it frequently flies underneath the radar.

This came up for me when I read the following passage from Martin Shaw’s Scatterlings:

“The spiritual seeker who seeks nature ‘to get some healing from it’ is, surely, a subtle manifestation twice removed of those who continually use it for financial gain. We have to give up ‘to get’. No river creek responds to ‘to get’. They’ve felt the lash of that tone before.”

It stopped me in my path because I felt the sting of truth. I saw how often I go out into nature simply to get something for myself, be it peace, healing, or inspiration.

When one party uses the other simply to get something for themselves it’s not a true relationship.

Recently I have been shown how this energy of using permeates how we interact with stories, dreams, nature, animals, you name it.

But today, I want to talk specifically about our proclivity to use GRATITUDE.

The dictionary defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful. I see gratitude as being an offering of our fullness, a sacred pause, a moment to celebrate everything that we have in our lives, and to express thanks for it.

Gratitude for this body that you have been given. The skills that you were born with and those you have acquired. Gratitude for that which you have overcome. Gratitude for all that you have in your life.

At its core, gratitude is an expression of FULLNESS.

But gratitude has become this “thing”, this buzzword, and is often wrapped up with the energy of using.

For example, when gratitude becomes a step in a formula for manifestation, then it can cease to be an offering of your fullness. Instead it can become a tactic that you use to get more.

Or let’s say you have a gratitude practice and you use gratitude to shift out of feeling crummy, or you use it just to shift your vibration, you are still USING it to get something. It’s not coming from a state of fullness or even acceptance of what is. Again, it becomes merely a tool to achieve a specific outcome.

Like I said, this is something that is recently unfolding and deepening for me in many areas of my life. I am becoming more aware and more conscious of how insidious this energy of using is.

Using things and people solely for our own betterment…

Using nature to get healing…

Using our dreams to get information or meaning about our lives…

Using stories to get people to like us, to put ourselves out there, to elicit a specific response, to get people to buy something from us…

It’s the old, profanely masculine hierarchy in a better costume. It’s not being in true relationship to the world around you. There is an inherent lack of reverence.

I’d like to offer you the same invitation that I have been sitting with myself: When you are expressing gratitude, check in with yourself and see: is it coming from a true place of fullness? Or do you have an agenda for it? Are you using it as a tool to get something else that you want?

See if you can approach gratitude with the intention of allowing it to exist for its own sake. Allowing it to be a sacred pause, an expression of thanks, an offering from your fullness, with no strings attached.

The Wise Woman Mentorship is a one-on-one coaching relationship where I will help you to reclaim your sovereign Wild Feminine energy. Become that woman who lives and breathes from her fullness. The one who knows what she stands for and is rooted firmly in her own truth. The woman who embodies her creative energy.

For more information on the Wise Woman Mentorships, click here. I currently have three spots available for the mentorships now through September (if you sign up before August 31st you are also eligible for a free 90-minute personalized Qoya experience with me). Or set up a time to learn more about the work that I do by visiting my Online Calendar to schedule your free Discovery Call.

 

Are You Afraid of Conflict?

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Some of my articles and blog posts seem to write themselves. My fingers dance across the keys and after a whirlwind 30 minutes I have a beautifully crafted article ready to go! This has not been one of those times.

It has been riddled with starts and stops. Multiple drafts. Getting up and walking away, and coming back days or weeks later.

Perhaps this is because for me personally, learning to creatively honor my boundaries has been one of toughest aspects of stepping into my Sovereign Feminine energy.

By “creatively” I mean standing up for them directly, in the moment. Brené Brown defines boundaries as “what is and is not okay” for us. To creatively honor your boundary is to say, “hey, that is not okay with me” in the moment when the boundary is crossed.

It’s not about staying quiet as your resentment silently grows. It’s not about pushing the responsibility onto the other party, as if it were their job, and not yours, to uphold your boundaries. It’s not about bitching to your friends later about how that one friend never values your time.

I mean, we all do those things. We do those things when we are stuck in our unhealthy Little Girl energy.

The reason that boundaries are such a sticky area for many of us is that they often involve direct confrontation and conflict.

Most of us know where our boundaries lie and know when they have been crossed. It doesn’t feel good! It feels like we are being used or taken advantage of or lack the ability to make decisions in our own lives.

Thus the biggest issue isn’t a lack of having boundaries, but rather the inability to communicate our boundaries to other people (aka the boundary-crossers) with confidence, clarity, and compassion.

Standing firm in our sacred no. Acknowledging our inherent worth, and the worth of our time and our energy, and living that truth through our relationships.

But to honor our own boundaries in the present moment goes against everything that we have learned about being good, nice girls, and the importance of pleasing others. Instead we take responsibility for other people’s emotions and feel guilty if we “make” them feel bad. We don’t want to rock the boat.

As Danielle LaPorte writes in White Hot Truth, upholding your boundaries inherently causes conflict, and that makes the Little Girl within us VERY uncomfortable. She doesn’t want others to be upset or mad at her.

And therein lies the conundrum.

Sometimes the Little Girl goes so far as to opt for the run and hide technique, choosing continual avoidance instead of the potential for confrontation. Meaning that she would rather allow the entire relationship to fall apart than to state what is true for her and communicate her boundaries.

Here you can begin to see the irrationality of this fear! If it seems like a tolerable (sometimes even inevitable) option that the relationship will disintegrate anyhow, what is the worst possible outcome of stating how you truly feel? What do you fear will happen if you clearly communicate your boundaries?

If the relationship is destined to end regardless, there is only one option where you get to walk out with your integrity intact and your head held high.

But maybe that relationship isn’t actually destined to end. Maybe that other person had no idea how you felt because you never told them. If you did, they would at least have the opportunity to show up differently.

It all seems so obvious when I write it down, and yet I know from personal experience how real that fear of conflict and confrontation is, and the great lengths our Little Girl will go to in order to avoid it.

Honoring our boundaries takes practice, and, like all aspects of stepping into our Wise Woman, is a continual process. It won’t be neat and tidy. You won’t always show up in your fullness. You will occasionally still cower in the face of conflict.

And that’s okay. We are all human.

But the first and most crucial step is this: Truly own what is your responsibility and let go of the rest. Taking on someone else’s emotional state is not your responsibility. However, communicating and upholding your boundaries rests firmly on you. No one else can do it for you.

I have found in my own life that even the smallest steps that we take in this area can be some of the most empowering. Because the most painful thing is not having someone else trample on your boundaries. The worst part is that you know, deep down inside, that you didn’t honor yourself or stand for your own truth.

And that is the most painful betrayal of all.

I have three spots remaining in my Wise Woman Mentorship program this fall. AND through the end of August, when you sign up for the Wise Woman Mentorship you are eligible for a free 90-minute personalized Qoya experience with me (can only be redeemed after completion and payment of your first month of coaching).

If you are a chronic people pleaser who is afraid of confrontation or conflict, and therefore have problems standing in your truth, owning your worth, and honoring your boundaries, the Wise Woman Mentorship is an amazing program for you. To learn more visit my website or to schedule your free 30-minute Discovery Call, click here.

 

 

 

 

Am I Creating Wise Woman Clones??

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“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise; seek what they sought.” – Bashō Matsuo

On our paths of becoming, in our seeking, in our growth, it is easy to become enamored by someone else’s journey. We see what they have and we want it. We believe that by following their path, we will get there.

Much of the work that I do in my one-on-one mentorships is helping women to move from Little Girl to Wise Woman. Embodying the Sovereign Feminine, the Queen.

But…are all Wise Women the same?

Aren’t I sharing my path of becoming with my clients and mentees? And in doing so, am I simply giving them footsteps to follow?

I sat with this question for a while. Integrity is very important to me in all walks of life, but especially in my work. It is an honor to help usher women over this threshold, and I do not take it lightly. And it is always a good idea to question yourself and your motivations from time to time. Here is what I have landed on.

The Wise Woman in each of us sources from within and follows her own truth, and because of that, no two embodied Wise Women will be the same.

My Wise Woman is not your Wise Woman.

My Wise Woman is on fire for raising the feminine energy on the planet. She longs for right relationship with nature, and to live an embodied and wild life. She loves to dance like no one is watching, and create in as many mediums as possible.

And this may resonate with your Wise Woman as well (especially if you are here reading this)!

Or your Wise Woman might have a completely different flavor. The Sacred Feminine may not speak to her at all. She might be Christian or Muslim or Atheist. Her soul might whisper to her of how we need to restructure education or save our oceans or get people more involved in our governance. She may want to work with children or animals or the elderly or in a lab all by herself. She may dream of standing on a stage speaking to thousands or living a quiet life by a lake where she can write from morning till night.

The expression your Wise Woman takes, your contribution to the world, is YOUR unique path. I cannot tell you or show you what that path is or where it will lead, and neither can anyone else.

BUT, as your coach I can help you clear away the clutter that prevents you from hearing your Wise Woman’s voice to begin with. And I can help you to see and let go of the thoughts and beliefs that prevent you from trusting that voice enough to follow it.

Because for each and every one of us, when we are stuck in those unhealthy Little Girl patterns of wanting to please others, making everyone happy, taking responsibility for everyone’s lives but our own, and deep down feeling insecure and not enough, we cannot embody our own soul.

We cannot discern or follow our own path.

We cannot do what we are here to do and we cannot be who we are meant to be.

We feel stuck and frustrated and uninspired.

Your soul’s Wise Woman journey is uniquely your own. There are no shortcuts or 10-step plans to become who you are meant to become. No one can give you that answer for you because it is already within you.

But you must work to unearth it. To dig in the ground of your being until you find what is true, what is authentically you, and to shed everything – thoughts, patterns, behaviors, belief systems – that stands in your way of embodying and living that truth.

I have three spots remaining in my one-on-one Wise Woman Mentorship program, and for this month only I have a very special bonus offering for you. When you complete two mentorship sessions you will be eligible for a one-on-one Qoya experience with me ($222 value). This 90-minute personalized class will be created for you to embody and literally MOVE THROUGH what is coming up in your life.

If you are ready to unearth your unique and beautiful Wise Woman, to embody your feminine soul, and move from fullness and creativity, I would LOVE to speak with you. Click here for more information on my Wise Woman Mentorships, visit my website. Or to set up your free Discovery Call, click here to access my online scheduler.

 

 

The Wild Body Reclamation

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Our Dysfunctional Masculine culture has caused a rift between the mind and the body, placing the former squarely and securely above the latter. This is especially true when it comes to female bodies.

Female bodies, we are led to believe, need to be carefully managed and controlled to keep their wildish nature in check. They can only be a certain size and shape. Hairless. Wrinkle free. Perky. Plasticized. All natural bodily functions are strictly taboo and typically met with an “eww, gross” when spoken about openly.

The body’s desires, wants, and appetite are not to be trusted, but rather overcome by the almighty power of the intellect. The mind will learn from outside sources what the body is “supposed” to eat to feel healthy, or how the body is “supposed” to move to feel good, and then we discipline our bodies into submission.

To waver is weakness; willpower is king.

Let’s not even get started on the topic of sex. As a woman you either want it too much (comes back to that whole need to control female desire and appetite) or too little. You compare yourself to some standard in your head that doesn’t exist in real life, measuring how many times you have sex in a week instead of trusting your own body’s response, turn-on, and cyclical nature.

To believe that, perhaps, our wild bodies know instinctively what to eat or how to move or what a fulfilling sexual relationship feels like is a foreign concept in our mind-dominated world.

The need to control and manage the female body is directly related to man’s desire to control and manage nature. Both feel unknown, unpredictable, and chaotic to the rational mind. We seek to impose our will upon both, changing this or tinkering with that, not grasping that all of the pieces are interrelated. That there is a sweet symbiosis and balance to the ecosystem as a whole.

In the dysfunctional, black and white, either/or mode of thinking, you either carefully control the wildness or are controlled by it. Domination of the wild or destruction of self? These are your only two options; take your pick.

But, what if there was another way for us to be with both our female bodies and nature alike?

What if we slowed down the chatter in the mind and listened to the ancient wisdom that wildness has to offer?

What if we allowed ourselves time to stop producing and doing for long enough to feel and to be? To sense what lies beneath the constant busyness?

What if instead of domination and discipline, we aimed for true relationship? Not placing humans above nature, or the mind above the body (thereby replicating the Dysfunctional Masculine hierarchy), but side by side. Interwoven. Honoring that all parts are simply different threads in the same tapestry.

As women, we are hungry to integrate the wild wisdom of the body, and the greater nature of which it is a part, into our modern lives.

We are tired of being exhausted. Numbed out. Unhappy and disgusted with our bodies. Trying constantly to morph them into a more acceptable shape. Slogging through workouts that bring us no joy. Afraid to honor our appetites and what our bodies desire. Contorting and crushing our cyclical nature so that it conforms to a linear culture.

We want our bodies back.

We want our wildness back.

Hairless and hairy. Curvy and angular. Thin and voluptuous. Soft and strong.

It doesn’t matter. We know that focusing on the exterior, on what our bodies look like, is a way to keep women small and self-conscious. Preoccupied. Stuck in outdated modes of judgment and comparison.

To reclaim our wild bodies we climb back inside of them, to live and experience life through them. We re-inhabit our creative center; we gaze out from within.

And we no longer attempt to transcend our bodies or our wildness or our very lives in order to be holy and the righteous; we know in our bones that we are the Goddess…

EMBODIED.

This is the reclamation.

I have a very special, limited time offer going on right now for those of you who are yearning for a more EMBODIED life. A truly loving and nourishing relationship with your body. When you sign up for the Wise Woman Mentorship and have completed your first two sessions, you will receive the option of a 90 minute Qoya experience with me online.

This private Qoya class, tailored to what we uncover in your first two mentorship sessions, is a $222 value. I am offering it as a bonus while I am still completing my Qoya certification. That’s why, come end of August, this free offer will be no more.

For more information about the Wise Woman Mentorships, click here. To schedule your initial consultation call, to see if working one-on-one with me would be a good fit for where you are right now, visit my online calendar.

 

 

The Magical Story of Sophie’s Mystery Illness

SophieVintage

When I was sixteen, about midway through my sophomore year of high school, I stopped eating. It perplexed me almost as much as it did those around me, and I still don’t fully know WHY.

I simply refused to eat. Refused to nourish myself. Became anorexic.

I have spent the last five years of my life healing from that experience. For the decade+ before that, my version of healing was pretending the whole thing never happened. (As it turns out, that is not super effective nor healthy…)

Much of my process as of late has been excavating that old way of being that I tried to bury, and seeing where it is popping up in my present life.

Where is it hiding in the darkened nooks and crannies of my psyche?

Where do I desire to control in order to assuage an inner anxiety? Where do I still hold those nagging and unloving beliefs towards my body or the feminine body in general? Where do I see restriction, in any form, as holy? Where am I afraid of appetite and desire?

My dog Sophie, who is my spirit animal and one of my greatest teachers, had knee surgery a couple of months ago. Without realizing it, I fell back into many of those old patterns when it came to managing her healing process.

Control.

Anxiety.

Lack of trust.

Not wanting my husband to walk her. Not wanting to leave her in the house by herself. Watching her every move. Managing every single facet of her environment and mitigating as many risks as humanly possible. I convinced myself that this was noble and necessary! And I had a whole team of western veterinarians who supported that belief.

A week before she was set to go in for her eight weeks post-operation x-rays (which would show once and for all that the surgery was a success and that she was healing nicely), she slipped when I was playing with her. Slipping was the biggest no-no. I had laid her ball down on the rug, afraid to throw it to her, and in her exuberance she ran towards it and her whole backend went out from under her.

My eyes went wide. My pulse raced. This couldn’t happen. She couldn’t slip now. Not this close to being cleared. Not on my watch. Not because of me.

She was fine. Her leg was fine. She wanted to continue playing, but I was overcome with concern.

“Is she okay? She’s okay, right?” I pestered my husband on and off for the next few hours.

“Babe, she’s fine. Stop worrying.”

Later that night we took her for a walk. The sidewalk was a little wet from the rain we had earlier (you know where this story is going, don’t you?). We walked around the block and at the end of our street, there was a little boy skateboarding. I crossed to the other side of the street because Sophie doesn’t particularly like skateboarders.

Out of nowhere, comes Devil Cat. Okay Devil Cat is a little much, I know, but it seemed an apt name at the time. Devil Cat likes to protect the little boy and strolls right up to Sophie and hisses. Naturally, Sophie freaks out. I freak out. I am yelling and trying to pull her away. She slips again. It’s a whole fiasco, as I am cussing at the cat and attempting to drag my giant and strong dog down the street.

When I get home, I am livid. There is no poetic way to say this…I completely lose my shit. I hate the cat. I am furious at the owner. How are aggressive cats like that allowed to be outside off-leash? I storm and stomp around the house. Eric goes to pick up Indian food and in the quiet, I am hit with a startling realization.

This feels really familiar. Fuck.

This is an old, old pattern of mine. Constrict, tighten, control, until…you can’t anymore. There is always that one thing that pops up unexpectedly, the X factor that you can’t predict or control. The proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. And that’s when I fly off the handle.

Because there is no room for it.

I try SO HARD, and yet I come up short anyhow. I hold on SO TIGHTLY, that eventually everything erupts.

Thank you, universe for showing me that. For the consciousness to see my pattern in new light. Gratitude and grace.

Except…the universe was not done with its lesson. And neither was Sophie.

Three days later, Sophie stopped eating. She vomited three times, and then refused to eat or drink. For seven straight days. I could tell how nauseated my poor girl felt by her excessive drooling, swallowing, and grass eating.

I took her to two different vets. They ran all the blood work, twice. They took x-rays. They did a full ultrasound. They recommended “exploratory surgery” (a definite “no” in my book). They tested her for Addison’s Disease. Everything came back perfectly normal.

I even spoke with an animal intuitive, something I have never done before.

“Parasite. I am getting parasite,” she said. “Western medicine is doing all it can, but it’s not working. It’s going as far as it is able to. Her condition might be more energetic in nature. You can and should be a part of her healing,” she told me.

I was at my wits end, and yet…somewhere a little voice in me said, “There is a lesson here for you.”

I could feel it, but I struggled to find it, like a light at the end of a dark tunnel.

Five days after the symptoms started, Sophie had to spend two nights at the emergency hospital hooked up to an IV for fluids. When I went to visit her in her kennel I couldn’t help but notice the sign on the glass, hand-written in purple marker:

“Sophie. Pit bull. Anorexic.”

Go figure.

That was Monday.

On Wednesday, a full week after she stopped eating, I spoke with the vet. They were still not having any luck with feeding her, and not for lack of trying. They attempted to give her every goody under the sun. She just turned her nose away.

Western medicine. It was doing all it could, and it was getting nowhere.

“I think I want to take her home,” I said, “and see if she will start eating there.”

The vet seemed uncertain (and to be honest, so was I), but we made a deal. I would take her home and see if she would start eating within 24 hours. If not, I would bring her back and they would put in an intranasal feeding tube.

We agreed that I would go get some rice, ground beef, and cottage cheese, and then come back to pick up Sophie. I also had a call with my coach that I was desperately looking forward to.

I told my coach the entire story.

“Do you find it interesting,” she asked, “that out of all the symptoms out there, Sophie stopped eating? Especially given the work that you have been doing around your eating disorder?”

“That is definitely not lost on me,” I replied. “AND, I have been seeing an acupuncturist over the last few months and one of the main things we have been working on is that my stomach energy moves up instead down. She has told me on several occasions that it surprises her that I am not nauseous more of the time…”

There was silence on the line for a few seconds.

“Linda, do you think Sophie may have taken on some of your healing for you?”

The goose bumps rose along my legs. The fact that the symptoms were so similar couldn’t be overlooked. And then it dawned on me.

The potential energetic parasite that the intuitive had mentioned…

Was it…? Could it be…?

ME???

Part of me sensed the truth of it deep down in my core, while another part (the rational part) resisted. How could this be?!?

Directly after my call with my coach, I went to pick up Sophie. My friend came over that night and did Reiki on her. She tested to see which of Sophie’s chakras were out of balance: heart and solar plexus. Then she tested me as well. At this point the results weren’t too shocking when my unbalanced chakras were identical to hers.

As Sophie slept (which she did for seventeen hours straight), I wept and petted her soft gray fur. I smelled her ears and her paws and expressed my gratitude.

“Thank you for holding this for me, baby girl. Thank you. But you can let go of it now; it’s not yours to hold. I am strong enough to hold it myself.”

I told her the story of how she picked me from the beginning. How I was meant to foster another pup in her litter, but that pup fell asleep on my co-worker while Sophie attacked my shoelace. How she got her name (it was my “French name” in 4th grade). How she has taught me so much and opened my eyes to the world of energy and magic. How I wouldn’t be who I am today without her.

How she is one of my soul mates.

How she is my guardian angel.

I ugly cried and snot ran down my face and I didn’t care. I just wanted her to be okay. I wanted her to know how much I love her and how much she means to me and how grateful I am for her.

I kept one hand on her lean body the entire night, feeling her breathing and listening to her rhythmic snores.

At noon the next day, I was supposed to call the vet and report back. At 11:30am, she still hadn’t eaten a single bite of food. Mostly, she had just slept.

I made white rice and ground beef, and fashioned them into little balls with cottage cheese. I did Qoya and danced while she lay on the futon watching me. The clock ticked away. I was conscious of every minute.

I picked up one of the balls, still dancing. My dance was my prayer. My hope.

“If you eat a single one of these rice balls, little girl, I will not take you back to the vet,” I told her. “I promise you that.”

With as much positivity and faith as I could muster, I tossed it to her.

She caught it. And chewed it. And swallowed.

I pumped both of my firsts in the air, and smiled bigger then I can remember in a long time. I tossed her another one. She ate that one too.

In that moment, I knew that she was going to be okay. That she had needed to rest. To be given permission to lay down what she had been holding. To roll in the grass and lay in the dirt and soak up the sunshine. To be in her home with the people she loves, sleeping in her own bed (aka our bed…). That too is a form of nourishment, and it should never be underestimated. And despite the best of intentions, that kind of nourishment can never come from an emergency hospital and a feeding tube.

I called the vet.

“She is eating. I won’t be bringing her back in.”

Whenever I tell this story, I can hardly believe it myself. It has such a ring of the mythic. The magical.

It feels as if one of life’s portals opened and revealed a layer much deeper than I ever knew existed. It makes perfect sense that it was Sophie who opened it. My sweet little creature has much to teach me yet.