Posted on 4 August 2012
In yoga class today, I entered in a fog. I have nothing to complain about and everything to be grateful for. And I am. Yet, this conscious life I wake up to every morning has been feeling hard, real world activities have been feeling uncomfortable, and the work of being human has felt exhausting. As I can’t point to any particular reason or circumstance to explain my feeling states, I’m simply observing and being myself as best I can be. A healing guide told me last week that I have some tears coming and that my heart is opening even further; like a weather forecast predicting a storm front coming, I feel the truth in that. In fact, watching a TED talk this morning I sobbed, and felt relieved to be able to let a wave of grief out of my heart. The TED speaker, Daphne Koller, shared about how crowds of people wait outside of South African universities to register for the few spots that open to the general public each semester, and recently in a stampede to register, 20 people were injured and one mother was trampled to death. She lost her life in an effort to register her son for college. Such love and sacrifice and hope! It overwhelms me. And even though it’s not my pain or experience, I’m feeling particularly sensitive to the pain and struggle of being human and being alive. I mostly want to be in the ethers of sleep and meditation, and I’m feeling the energetic shifts of consciousness and awakening so deep inside me, it defies my ability to articulate.
And so today, walking into the Kundalini yoga class at the YMCA I recently joined, I entered with a knowing that I needed to be there, despite the fact that I really wanted to go back to bed. I sent out a quick plea to the Universe: “Please send me some help. Today feels like too much to walk through.” I know I can make such requests, vague and hopeless as I might feel when I make them. And I know to expect a response.
Feeling like static on a receiver set to a station far out of range, I rolled out my mat, relieved that there was a spot in the back row. I set up next to Jack, and the campsite he’d erected for class. He had a thick mat under a thin mat, shoes, a big black bag, some personal items, and props. Jack is an older man, speckled with age spots, and crooked in his body like a broken wooden puppet. His teeth are black, his ability to get up and down is extremely limited, and he can’t straighten his spine, his legs, or his head. Yet, his eyes are bright blue and he welcomed me with a warm voice. I introduced myself, he introduced himself, and then he offered me a lollypop. Aww, a lollypop! I teared up.
In cat and cow, I glimpsed Jack struggling to turn his body around to approximate a hands and knees position. While lying on my back for leg lifts, I could hear him still efforting to get to the floor. In standing poses he leaned against the back wall to hold himself up. Yet, when we chanted Sat Nam at the end of class, the deep resonance of his voice filled the room and led the chant.
After class he told me about the two accidents that had left his body in it’s broken condition, his recovery time in nursing homes that left him motivated to stay in shape enough to not have to go back, and his now regular schedule of coming to the Y six days a week. Even though he struggles with the simplest of movements, he takes life one day at a time, and makes it his goal to talk to people and listen. The bright yellow smile-face button pinned to his sweatshirt reminds him and others to be happy, and he hands out lollypops, because it’s a gift that makes people smile.
I asked for some assistance and the Universe sent me Jack. And I’ll accept him as my angel. I am grateful. Even in a low state, I can still connect with others. I can cry and feel deep grief, while also appreciating the life that I’m experiencing. I can feel like I’m moving through quicksand, and yet, keep breathing and smiling at the beauty I see around me. One energetic state does not eradicate or contradict another. I am complex enough to be both happy and sad – or to find more specific vocabulary, I can say that today I was sensitive, overwhelmed, open, confused, appreciative, miserable and inspired. Yes – there is space for all such feelings within me, and this complexity, this is what it means to be human and awake.
Blessings on Jack. Blessings on myself. Blessings on this human experience. Blessings on you.
Posted on 11 July 2012
I’m calling for a Divinely Selfish Revolution! That’s right — a radical movement of people re-prioritizing their lives and putting themselves first. A revolution of people who are willing to claim that they matter and who structure their lives in such a way that they are at the top of their own list of to-dos. That kind of selfishness is golden!
Martyrdom is not a virtue. Sacrificing your own needs and desires for the sake of a job, a relationship, or a reputation, only leads to exhaustion and an inner suicide.
So many people I talk to are so exhausted by their life that they can no longer even remember what lights their fire or floats their boat. Most are just going through the motions of busy-ness — inhabiting their lives in body, not in spirit.
Absenteeism in spirit is not a gift to your job, your loved ones or the world. And if you don’t even remember what it feels like to feel like yourself, I can tell you, you are NOT showing up as much of a gift to anyone.
The deal is, the law of love never contradicts itself. If you do what is most loving for you first, it will always be, in the grand cosmic scheme of things, the most loving thing for the other. We are interconnected, never separate, a unified field, and as the stewardess will tell you, you’ve got to put on your own mask first.
Somehow, in the drive to succeed, climb the corporate ladder, or keep up with the Jones’, a legacy of self-sacrifice has been created that doesn’t serve anyone. It’s a legacy that leaves us forgetting to even take care of ourselves.
Putting yourself first will fill your well. It will leave you with the energy to deal with any emergency that might appear (and truly, if you’re not in emergency, stop your crazy making!) and it will allow you to experience that kind of juicy passion and love of life that will overflow in your work performance, your friendships, and your romantic life.
To put yourself first means you take care of yourself. The most basic of self-care routines involves moving your body, quieting your mind, and eating healthy food – daily! Those simple daily actions in themselves would be revolutionary in the average person’s life. Yet, to put yourself first ALSO means that you dream your dreams, energize them with time and action, and nurture them. If you love to write, it means you write! If you love to read, it means you read. If you love to dance, paint, or invent, you do it! Because doing it is expressing what is in you to be expressed, it’s being your full self authentically, honestly, and passionately! And, Sweet-Heart, that’s what you’re HERE to BE!
And no, this is not about escapism – it’s not about diving into some other endeavor to avoid what you are ‘supposed to do’. That can look like selfishness, and yet, it’s not. That’s the behavior that comes up when you’re so denying yourself full expression that the only defense left is to refuse to participate in your life. Skip that!
Go to the heart of it. You know you’re there when you’re enlivened by what you’re about. And if you’re really out of practice in meeting your needs, you just may have to go on a passion quest to find yourself again. And though it could take days or months to spark yourself back to life, it’s a most worthy quest to uncover your passion because your passion is your gift to the world. Your greatest service will come from finding and unleashing it. So will your greatest joy.
You matter. Your joy matters. Your passion matters. Put yourself at the top of your priority list. Honor and care for your needs and see what happens in the rest of your life.
Posted on 26 June 2012
I’m sitting at my new white desk on my new swivel chair in my new OFFICE! It’s a bit messy and chaotic in here, and yet, it’s a space that’s full of potential! I’m surrounded by my favorite books, a vase of flowers, the cork board with my to-do lists and affirmations, pictures of loved ones, and my favorite paper lamp.
I haven’t had an office before. I’ve been really good at working in all kinds of locations — I’ve liked the flexibility and freedom of couch, coffeeshop, kitchen table, or lawn chair. And yet, in recent months, I’ve been craving an office of my own. It’s time to grow! I could feel it even before it came.
And here it is.
This office comes as part of a new home. This month I moved in with my Sweetie, in the home we’d envisioned together. We made a mind map of this new home last summer, a vision board over the winter, and we looked at an amazing number of places in last seven months – none of which matched our desires. And, so we kept saying “no, thank you” and walking away.
This place, however, is everything on our list, and more. And it came in perfect timing.
This is what I know – over and over life proves it to me – what I am seeking is actually seeking me. Together, we were seeking a home to rent in South Pasadena, my favorite little small town in the big city of LA. We were seeking a home that felt big and spacious to the two of us, while also feeling warm and cozy. We wanted carpet, a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, outdoor space, a tree-lined street, unique details, and a big dose of beauty! And, in the midst of our months of looking, I knew that if this is what we wanted, that someone was also out there wanting to find us. Someone was looking for people, just like us, to rent to! And that as happy as we were going to be to find the place, some landlord was going to be happy to find us.
That’s how manifesting works. Nothing in life is created in isolation. I am the solution to someone else’s desire as much as someone else is the solution to mine.
Our new landlords like us. We fit the profile of the kind of people they wanted to rent to, and when we met, that click of relief on both our parts was satisfying. They greeted us with a bottle of wine and a sweet ‘welcome to the neighborhood’ card on the day we moved in. And daily, our hearts fill with gratitude for the gift of this home.
Everything we wanted, and more.
A double manifestation: us for them, them for us.
This is life. It’s how life wants to unfold. Not just for me in this one instance – this is how life seeks to unfold in every area for everyone. My clients manifest me, just as I manifest them. The people who sold me this office furniture were happy I showed up to buy it as I was to find the exact pieces that I was looking for. My cat was happy to find me just as I was to find her.
And the way I cooperate, and the way you cooperate, is by trusting that: not giving up, not compromising, not taking over and forcing something into being. We cooperate by feeling the yes, claiming the highest good, and waiting for it to appear.
If it’s hard, if it doesn’t feel good, if it is not a match or an even better surprise to what you were imagining, let it go. Whatever it is, (a job, a love, a new couch, a friend), it belongs to someone else.
You’ll know yours when it arrives. It’s everything you imagined it to be, or it’s an even better surprise. It’s easy. It’s a win-win for all involved.
And here in my new office space, right off the kitchen with the sun shining in the window and the palm tree waving to me outside, I’m thanking my own soul for whispering the desire for this space to me before it even seemed possible. This space was waiting for me. And I’ve arrived!
Posted on 8 May 2012
When I was young, I wanted to feel God and know what was true. I also wanted to be a clown to make people happy, an archeologist to uncover ancient secrets, and an ambassador to help bring peace where there was conflict. True story!
My career path took a different turn than I imagined, and yet, when I think of those dreams, I smile at them. Those intentions are still present in my life. I believe in happiness. It’s what we’re here for. I’m fascinated with remembering and uncovering buried truths – it lights my fire like nothing else! And I still have that desire to enter the ‘hot spots’ of conflict to bring peace. In fact, that’s a pretty good description of what happens in every coaching conversation I have with my clients.
Even that big yearning desire to know God – well, that’s stuck around too as my definition of God and Truth has expanded and broadened. It’s inherent in my knowing that I am more than a body and a brain – I’m a spiritual being having a human experience and knowing myself as always connected in the unified field of the All that is—that’s foundational to everything else in my life.
I was a smart kid. I knew stuff.
I’m pretty sure you did too.
The means of conveying your knowing of what you’re came here for may have been hard to articulate, and yet – when you were a kid, I dare say you remembered something about yourself and your mission on Earth that probably came out in your imagination and your ‘when I grow up’ dreams.
What did you dream of doing? Being? Experiencing?
One of the problems in growing up is that we acquire a form of tunnel vision as we get oh-so-practical. We think in terms of what is ‘possible’ (as if we know!) and we limit ourselves. And yet, what if you had a dose of the innocence, hopefulness and enthusiasm that you naturally had before you got initiated into ‘reality’? What boost could that give you in your adult life?
Do you dare?
Try this: Find a photo of yourself as a kid and gaze into your eyes. See how adorable you were (still are, you know!). Now imagine taking that little Self up on your adult lap for a chat. Give yourself a squeeze and ask yourself, “Who do you want to BE when you’re as old as me?” Listen, then ask yourself, “What do you want to DO when you grow up?”
Yes, yes, this requires imagination! You used to be pretty amazing at imagining! And you haven’t lost the skill!
Suspend your disbelief. Love yourself big. And embrace this young and wise Child that’s still with you. Then listen and remember.
Posted on 28 March 2012
One of the muscles I’ve built as a life coach is a highly sensitive B.S. meter. Another way of saying that is that I’ve cultivated a sensitivity to hearing what is true and what is not. This is what people pay me for. Because sometimes it’s hard to hear your own B.S.
Here’s the thing – we, as the wonderful, always thinking human beings that we are, are continually processing, making meaning and dialoguing. Even when we aren’t talking aloud, we’ve got an internal dialogue going almost constantly. (Thus, the continual recommendation to meditate. Stillness is a soothing balm!) And in our continual processing, sometimes we’re not even thinking our own thoughts. Sometimes we’re picking up on the big collective processing of societal anxiety. Sometimes we’re replaying our mother or father’s interpretations of the meaning of life. Sometimes it’s our teacher’s philosophy, our friend’s opinions, or our worst critic’s voice that is running the show in our head. These voices run like programs. They’re interesting. They can be insightful. Or instructive. Or downright false.
Distinguishing your OWN voice of truth, however, is mighty important in the creation of a life that has more substance than illusion. Want to give up a limiting belief, heal a heartache, let go of a resentment, choose a direction, or receive a brilliant creative idea? Then listen for the truth.
Truth cuts through that which doesn’t serve you. Truth sets you free. Truth has an energetic ring to it, like the clear pure chime of a bell. Untruth doesn’t resonate in the space of the heart.
My clients could use their own heart as a B.S. meter, and yet, we’re so programmed to live from our heads, it’s hard to even remember how to check in with the heart. Add to that the fact that we live in a world in which B.S. is elevated as more important that the truth, and it’s no wonder we forget how to tell the difference. Think advertising. “Reality TV.” Photoshop. Falsehood surrounds us, and if you’re not careful, you’ll forget that life is not about the illusion.
Have you ever been told a lie and experienced a knowing in your body that it was a lie? Our body is sensitive. When our heart receives something that is false, a reaction runs through us – unease, discomfort, contraction. Hear a truth, and you’ll feel it in your body too. Truth is solid, it’s clear, it’s unquestionable. Even if you don’t like the truth you hear, you’ll know its resonance as something you can lean into.
Perfect your own B.S. meter. Listen to what you’re saying (internally and aloud). Ask yourself, “Is that true?” The question creates space. Space enough to feel the resonance of whatever you are saying. When you start giving your body permission to guide you, it will speak.
Sometimes there are so many layers of untruths, half-truths, and tricky lies, it can take a while to get to truth. That’s okay. Truth is profound, and doesn’t need a lot of words, or a great elaboration. One simple knowing of truth cuts through mountains of falsehood. Let it emerge. When truth speaks, everything else falls away.
Posted on 1 March 2012
What you say and how you say it is important, and I’m not just talking about your tone. I mean the words you choose to define and articulate your meaning. Words are powerful. They’re alchemical. They create beyond their literal definitions.
Words embody our consciousness.
In the last five months I’ve been changing my language. I’ve been taking out words that don’t speak what I know to be true. I’ve also been taking out phrases that have habitually reinforced my own disempowerment.
For example, I started to notice just how often I said, “I DON’T KNOW…” I’ve had a pattern of using that phrase to be gracious. I might make a suggestion and then qualify it with, “… I don’t know” so that I seem less intrusive or authoritative.
How does that serve me?
I’m willing to know what I know. I’m willing to speak from my own knowing and admit my truth. My truth might change – that’s fine. I can always speak again. The truth is, I want to live a life of knowing! I want to reinforce the truth that I do. And so I am — by saying it: ‘I KNOW.’
Here are some more examples: I’m not saying “SHOULD’ anymore. The truth is, I can. You could. Anything we do is a choice, not an obligation. That feels better, doesn’t it? And, it’s more true. I’m not saying ‘TRY’. I either do or I don’t. Try is a pretty easy way to let myself off the hook for not doing. Out with that! And, ‘HOPE’. I ‘HOPE’ this or ‘HOPE’ that? Nope. I know this or I know that. That’s a biggie! It means I’m allowing myself to actually know stuff in a broader, more powerful way.
The biggest change I’ve made in my language involves the word ‘BUT’. ‘BUT’ is a negator. It’s a tool of contradiction. I’m committed to living in a consciousness of AND. I don’t need to negate anything. All things exist. All feelings, all reasons, all experiences. All can be acknowledged. And all can be added to. I’m someone who adds in, embraces all, and creates with inclusion. The world I am helping to create is a world of AND, a world of acceptance. And so, ‘AND’ is my most accurate conjunction.
What I’ve noticed, is that even my sentence structure has to change sometimes to accommodate these changes in my language. I’m a little slower to speak, and more careful. I’ve also been aware that there are some kinds of conversations in which these changes are harder to make. It’s much easier to have a self-deprecating, judgmental or critical conversation with the word BUT. Try having one without that word – it’s tough! And, that’s the point! My language embodies my consciousness. The words and phrases I choose to use create my world, my feelings and my life as much as they reflect and define my experience.
And so, it’s a process of discerning, of choosing my words with awareness, and of being awake to what I am creating in myself and in my world with my language. I am an alchemist, crafting reality from my articulation. AND, so are you!
Start to notice: Are there phrases that you say often that don’t serve you? Words that are not true to the experience of life that you desire to create?
What words and phrases DO positively create your experience and define your life most powerfully?
The more you pay attention, the more you’ll feel the vibration of your articulation. You’ll notice when you’ve said something that wasn’t true or wasn’t in line with your conscious intention. And then, simply choose again. Speak again. Create again.
Speak your world into existence, consciously.
Posted on 14 February 2012
Here’s what I know about Love: it’s magnetic! A person who loves people, has a lot of people in their life. A person who loves life whole-heartedly is a person whose life is full of fulfilling experiences. A person with a passion is a person who intensely loves what they do or create, and their creativity overflows and abounds. Love draws in.
We’re here to love. We’re here to BE love, and when we walk through our world as embodiments of love, the giving and receiving of love is simply what occurs.
We may have a lot to learn about how to do that – worthy lessons show up in every corner and every relationship if you look for them! And that’s okay! Mixed messages about love abound, and yet, I know that love is clean, love is clear, and love is always renewing itself. It doesn’t run out, it doesn’t have an expiration date, and it powers our energy.
Think for a moment of a time you felt that kind of clean, clear, whole-hearted Love. What do you feel?
I think of holding my niece, Abri, a few minutes after I watched her be born. Or being at my father and step-mom’s wedding and watching them joyfully exchange their vows. Or even sitting on the northern California beach with a best friend, watching big baby elephant seals roll around in the sand. Love. Awe. Expansion. Those are the feelings I feel when I enter each memory.
What do you feel as you remember a time that inspired your heart to open? Notice. And breathe into those feelings. Let them expand within your chest. Continue breathing. Let them expand even more. Let your heart breathe deeply — front and back. Let it soften and notice how your body softens. Let it expand, and notice how your whole energy field expands.
Now THAT feeling – that’s magnetism. Right now, you’re attractive! You’ve just powered up your radiance, and you’ve become attractive to even more experiences that will continue to match those feelings.
This place of love, this is a place to visit often. It’s a place to live from. It’s a place from which to vision and to ask questions about direction, purpose and action. It’s a place that nourishes, heals and regenerates.
It’s always present, this place. It’s in you. It is you. Remember.
Posted on 6 February 2012
I’m an optimist. I’ll claim that. I look for what’s right first. It’s something that I’ve learned to do – a choice – because I KNOW that what I’m putting my attention on is energized BY my attention. If I look for what’s wrong, I’ll energize what’s wrong. If I look for what’s right, I’ll energize THAT!
I also know that it’s important to see clearly and to have discernment. I’m not interested in sticking my head in the sand and ignoring anything – especially because I know that being willing to see the truth of what is occurring guides me in knowing what to stand for. It also helps me to see how to contribute in clearing the way for the highest good to reveal and express.
And, so I keep track of what is going on in the world – in politics, in right’s movements, in the food system, in education, and more. I enjoyed visiting Occupy LA and hearing the call of the Occupy movement for the greater responsibility of corporations and government on behalf of the planet and its citizens. I pay attention to what’s happening in regards to legislation that limits or expands the rights of all people to marry. I am interested in the food industry, and I’m watching what’s happening with Monsanto, GMO’s and organic farming. I watch, not to get angry… I watch to get inspired and to get behind the shifting paradigms that are occurring now within our big systems.
Positive, generous, expansive change is occurring right now as our individual awareness increases enough to make new choices for the highest good. And, I’m happy to fuel that wave of change with my individual attention, because, overall, I am quite clear on what I stand for, and I’ll stand for it – love, equality, the care of Mother Earth, health care and access to healthy food… the list goes on.
I’m interested and willing to stand FOR something, not against anything.
Standing against something actually energizes it. The most amazing and impactful activists we have seen on the planet stood FOR a principle or a value, and these leaders maintained a high vision for it’s expression that was far beyond what seemed possible at the time. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t stand against racism or racists. He stood FOR love and equality. And that’s no subtle distinction – it’s powerful!
Notice that. Notice in your own life where that distinction in being FOR, not AGAINST, can cause powerful shifts in your relationship to what matters to you. Notice how standing for something energizes it. Notice how your attention on what is already occurring, that is positive, healthy and generous, actually brings those quality-feelings into your body and spirit.
And then take action in the direction of what you are for. What action to take will come intuitively from your optimism. When you are BEING what you are for, your action is a natural extension of your true identity.
As simple as it is, this optimism is revolution. This is radical living. This is being a powerful presence on the planet.
On this note, I highly recommend the movie Thrive. Foster Gamble and his wife, Kimberly Carter Gamble are for ALL people on the planet Thriving. Gotta love that! They’re idealists and optimists for sure, and their big vision led them to a big investigation. Stream it for $5, browse their extensive website, and “play it forward” to friends.
Posted on 31 December 2011
I LOVE the turn of one year into another. I love the clean slate feeling that comes as one year ends and another begins. I love reviewing the last year and setting a clear and concise theme or intention for the next. For 2011 my chosen theme was “Full Permission” and let me tell you, I took that permission in 2011 to edges of expression I couldn’t have imagined. What a year of expansion this last year has been for me!
Taking an inner inventory of gifts and gems from the last year is important to me. It’s one way I stop to know myself. It’s important to pause and appreciate who I’ve been and what I have created as my life. This reflection also allows me the perspective of seeing with the eye behind the eye, glimpsing what is now emerging out of who I have been being. Then, I can anchor in a Divine Vision for myself in the next year.
Here are some of the questions I like to ask myself. I share them and encourage you to pause and ask them of YOUR self. Honor your year with time of reflection and then out of your reflections, receive some insight into a new theme that’s worthy of the next year of your life.
Cheers to you and to your next journey around the sun! You are here on purpose and as a great gift to the world. May you know yourself as the gift that you are. May you love yourself and others. May you BE who you came here to be.
Light a candle. Curl up with your journal. Breathe and relax. Know that your last year was perfect and that every experience you had was good. Now, ask and listen:
Who were you one year ago? What were your intentions for 2011?
What happened in your relationships in 2011? Did new people enter your life? Did some of your relationships change or transform? On the whole, what qualities characterized your relationships this year?
How did you grow and expand in 2011? What challenges did you experience? What limiting beliefs did you give up? What new lessons did you learn? Who were your greatest teachers?
What are you most grateful for having experienced in the year? What joyous experiences did you have? What light-hearted moments do you remember fondly? What gifts did you receive?
What legacy did you leave behind? What did you give? What impact did you make in your community? In the world?
What was the bravest thing you did in 2011? What did you do that was directed by your intuition? When you look at all of your accomplishments, what are you most proud of?
After all this review, what’s the final message/takeway of 2011? And from that, what do you see next year naturally being about for you? What do you want to release in 2012? What qualities do you want to embrace?
What theme word or phrase comes to you as an anchor for your highest intentions for 2012? Who are you committed to being in the next year? What are you committed to expressing?
Posted on 22 December 2011
I’ve got LOVE on the mind. I’ve got a yearning to learn more about what Love is. I’ve got a desire to be even more open-hearted and Loving. I want to BE Love like I’ve never been Love before. And out of that desire, I’ve got questions. I’ve got questions for LOVE and about LOVE. And so I’m asking:
How does Love want to express as me? What actions does Love want to take in my life?
Where can I make a little more space in my awareness for Love? How can I make Love even more welcome in my life?
How can I be even more Loving in my work? How can I hold an even greater space of Love for my clients? With what words and expressions can I infuse Love into all of my conversations?
Who wants more of my Love? Who needs my Loving right now? How can I spread broad messages of Love, beyond my current circles? What communities can I serve with my Love? How can I be a greater force of Love to a greater number of people in my life today?
Where can I be more open to receive the Love that is given to me? What messages is Love sending me? In what ways can I be more attentive to Love’s gifts?
What Loving acts can I perform today? What Loving words can I speak today? What Loving message can I convey with my life today?
How can I express Love with everything that I am? In what ways can I show more Love to myself? Where can I allow Love to grow? Where can I allow Love to express? Where can I allow Love to create?
Where in my life do I need to practice Love? Where in my life can I let Love have free reign? What would happen if I let Love flow freely?
And as I ask, I feel Love. I feel it well up. I feel it emanate. It takes me over and has it’s way. It is what I am. It is what I experience. It is all that is.