What is Sacred Success?

Sacred Success is the name of a book I read a few years back written by Barbara Stanny. And it’s been a guiding framework for myself and my life ever since. 

I’ll share what it means to me.

What it’s not:

Sacred Success is not defined by number of clients, amount of money in the bank or the size of my home or value of my car. It’s not the number of social media connections I have or the number of “likes” or hearts on my posts. 

It IS:

An integrated web of my Life working in ALL directions.

It IS:

Where Love is the reason for working, playing, connecting and creating.

It IS:

How I feel as I move through my day. Am I thriving? Am I moving towards my Heart’s Desire versus running from something? Is my body nourished, my soul nourished, my mind at ease?

It IS:

When I slept well, hugged my partner in the morning, and smiled at mySelf in the mirror.

It IS:

Creating in flow. Playing with synchronicity. Laughing with delight or surprise when I feel Divine inspiration guiding me. Or Nature singing to me. Or hearing birdsong so beautiful I tear up with joy. It’s even remembering to come back to Center where I can give myself compassion for falling down the spiral of self-criticism, judgement or acting from Fear.

Sacred Success or an Integrated Authentic Life is the full deal. Not where my mind is happily engaged and I have a surplus of money only, (as I used to believe) or when my Love Life and relational quotient felt like it was lit up, or when my calendar was full of important meetings and commitments.

It’s all of it. The whole enchilada as I like to say!

There’s a wheel of Life Balance that a lot of coaches use to help clients to see where their life is out of whack.

Here’s what mine looks like:

And I use it as a way to assess where I’m out of alignment. Or needing more care or attention.

Most times balance is not possible or even optimal. The bursts of Creativity, Beauty, Love, Flourishing Health tend to ebb and flow…and that is what makes it a ride, an adventure, a journey.

So, do you know what it FEELS like to be in the flow of Grace and Sacred Success? On your terms? The way YOU define it?

If you are in St. Louis or can travel here easily, I’m hosting a Sacred Success Solstice Retreat on June 18th. Just in time to celebrate the LIGHT and the longest day here in the Northern Hemisphere.

If not, let me know if I can provide you with a few exercises to enjoy on your own…wherever you are.

Here’s the link to learn more or to register: http://bit.ly/2021SolsticeRetreat

Here’s to defining and living from our self-defined Sacred Success!

All Will Be Well

Not knowing much more than her famous prayer “All will be well”, I was curious to learn more about this mystic priestess, Julian of Norwich, whose feast day is celebrated on May 13th.

After reading both Britannica’s and Wikipedia’s accounts on Julian, this writing caught my eye.

“All Will Be Well: The Radical Optimism of Julian of Norwich”

Mirabai Starr, HuffPost

In it, she uses the quote Julian is known for: 

“All shall be well and all shall be well and every kind of thing shall be well.”

Julian of Norwich

And continues to write a bit more about her radical teachings and beliefs.

She believed in the feminine aspect of God, and often refers to Mother God as Christians might to Mother Mary.

Additionally, her optimistic take on life was that there is no such thing as sin (for non-Christians, read shame, blame or karma here).

Hence, the Mother’s loving voice reassuring us the human child, that “All will be well.” Like our caregivers or Mothers might have said to us when we ran for nurturance or care after falling down and skinning our knee. “It’s gonna be OK” I have found myself echoing my own Mother’s words when my children were little, as they grew into teens and now young adults!

So, what a lovely view of Motherhood, love and the relationship to being humble and asking for nurturing. How often do you extend mothering, or loving care to another? And how often do you receive it? Most of us are big GIVERS, not so good at the RECEIVING part. 

For the past 15 years or more, I’ve adapted Julian’s words to my own:

All is well. All manner of things are well. Every kind of thing is well.” 

It helps me to ground into what is right with the world. What is beautiful. What is here right now that I may not be seeing and appreciating. 

So Mother’s Day Blessings to you! Mother God, Mother Earth, Mother Nature, are all to be acknowledged as well as all Mothers, StepMothers, WannaBe Mothers, Animal Mothers, Project Mothers, Garden Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts and All Women who are leading towards Love!

All is well. Truly it is.

Well, We’re Not There Yet…

Life, I realize is a continual work-in-progress. I AM a continual work-in-progress. 

And, part of my learnings from the past year has been that you don’t ever get “there.” We might go around and revisit the same places, each time with a new perspective, a new twist and new learning.

Remember when we were little people and we’d be on our way somewhere and we would be so anticipatory of “getting there,” we’d be impatient and drive our caretakers or the driver nuts?

I do, and I have been doing it a lot lately.  Still!

The thinking, “I’ve already been here.”  “I’ve already healed this.”  Or, aren’t we through this? Or, when:

Will it get better? 

Will I be more clear? 

Will the pain end? 

Will the storm pass?

Yep, or the comments, “when this pandemic is over…”, or “when things get back to normal…”, or “when we have a different leader in the White House… or City Hall…”, or “when… “, you get the picture.

And, all of these prayers, yearnings or complaints are keeping us from BEING HERE. Right Now. In the midst of Life. As it is.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to fix stuff. That’s why I was successful as a Recruiter, Human Resources Director, Consultant, Board Member, Coach. You bring me a problem, I’ll give you a solution, or 10 options for one.

And that worked well. Now, I’m learning that it’s not my job to fix other’s problems. Or give unsolicited advice to friends. Or tell my daughters, partner or ANYONE, what to do. What they ought to do. 

It’s a new way of growing and developing. Internally. 

Moving my own energy back INSIDE, where it belongs. 

I can still provide answers, share wisdom or facilitate trainings. However, it’s not my job to MAKE anyone take this information. It is my job to ask good questions, offer ideas or new ways to see the world.

When I operate in a space where there’s trust in the “other” to open, receive, learn, grow, shift and see things with new eyes, it’s my happy place. 

When there’s a curiosity to learn a topic, or I’ve been given an area to “unpack” and provide some understanding around, I can be a Light-Bearer, showing the next steps and inviting others to come along.

And, the best way for each of  us to learn? Is by listening to what our own internal guide/guru is saying. 

And, we need to listen constantly. Contemplate regularly. Ask questions and open our minds, ears, eyes, hearts and allow the answers to arrive. Not demand the answers. Or put a time limit on them. 

Trust. Learning to Allow. Accept. Then Embrace the constancy of Change. The continual Growth. The concept that we never cross a finish line. There’s always another “there” we want to reach. Or to shift our paradigm to “How do I want to FEEL right now?” And know that we are in exactly the right place, right now. And, that we will not ever be complete, finished, done. 

Last week I was in the deep dark of discomfort and resistance. Then I remembered I signed up for the Fast Track. And Growth means Change. Mother Nature shows me that over and over. New shoots, weeds and blooms and leaves springing up daily, remind me that this is constant work. This personal/professional growth thing. That’s why they call it Development, right?

In this moment, Life is Beautiful. Expansive. And my Heart is on Fire. Growing right here alongside of you…and allowing it be as it is. Celebrating how it is even on some occasions!

Thank you Nature for being such a great teacher. And Happy Earth Day too!

How are you?

Musings in the Midst of Growth and Change

Have you ever woken up in the morning and just wanted to cancel the day? Feeling off and not in the mood to talk to people, go about with work responsibilities, even go for a walk? All things I enjoy normally!

That was this morning. And, I had an exercise appointment, a blog deadline, incomplete and overdue responsibilities of editing some podcast episodes, and prepwork for a debrief! Ugh. It all felt too much. 

Having gotten the vaccine a few days prior, I wanted to blame it on that. And, not wanting to go to exercise (which I typically enjoy as a way to kick off my week and day) felt like honoring my physical system by NOT exerting myself. 

When I shared this with my partner, he replied, “you know you’d feel better if you go.” 

Not what I wanted to hear! I wanted sweet approval of my decision to listen to my body. Not to be called out for wanting to not feel the way I felt.

So, cranky and out of sorts, not getting the “approval” I was seeking externally, or a “pass” to stay in bed, I went back upstairs and sat thinking about what I did want. 

This is the process my mind followed:

  • I enjoy the process of getting the podcasts completed and published, learning the new software and the sense of creative accomplishment. 
  • I also enjoy sharing my musings by blogging. 
  • Guiding clients through their debriefs of their Leadership Circle Profile results is often very rewarding, though lately they’ve been sensitive and complex.
  • What was my body needing? That wasn’t clear. To NOT do anything?

That’s it. I realized. I am not allowing myself to be the complex and messy ALL of me. 

Just like the recent Equinox, I was the sum of all the inner turmoil of the growth and shifts I’m in the midst of. This feels awkward, like I’m not balanced, and my body is moving at a different pace than my heart and head.

So, a walk, in silence, is what I desired. It’s easier to hear when I slow down and tune in.

I got dressed, called the gym to reschedule for the next day and as I was putting on my shoes, informed John that I was going to go for a walk. In silence. I needed to allow my spirit to lead and inform me and help with this transitional discomfort. He agreed to go with me.

The deep need to be in silence has been calling me. I speak to it and emphasize it, actually, in the Equinox Contemplation I hosted live on YouTube, yet, what had I done all weekend? Focused on fixing, editing, publishing, connecting, sharing, learning, laundry, cleaning, etc. Not on downtime, slowing down, pausing to be in stillness and silence. To Listen.

I talk about dropping into the Schumann resonance, Mother Earth’s heartbeat, to receive the electromagnetic energy and be nourished. Yet, it’s so much easier to talk about, than do. Actually Be.

So, here I am, owning up to my own “need” to read news on my phone, play puzzle games or get lost in work-related reading or meetings. It’s an addiction, I believe. 

My phone is such an excellent tool, it reminds me to take walks when it’s been a few days since I’ve logged enough steps. It also now tells me how much I sleep and how much screen time I have each week. EEK!

That was a wake-up call. 

If I added the phone time to my computer time, to the streaming movie time on another screen, I’m not a very good example of walking the middle path…of being and doing. Of contemplating in silence to listen to the ultimate in creative entertainment and inspiration, Spirit. Of balancing the constriction or numbing that happens when I’m pushing away the Flow of Life and trying not to feel it.

So, back to the basics for me. Morning spiritual practices to tune in. More walks in silence to hear the birds sing and my footsteps on the Earth. A timer on my phone to track my reading and game-playing and scrolling through social media.

When I slow down I’m able to show up to life, fully. I know that. And I feel better too.

And, a huge hug of appreciation for the messiness of being Human. Gratitude for the hum of anxiety I feel both within and in the Collective, AND for the beauty of spring’s blossoms, the serenade of birdsong, and the warmth of the sun and the cool breeze of the season available to see, hear and feel. For the excitement of growth and new beginnings and the uncertainty and uncomfortable sensations of moving into a new phase. We are all BeComing. Re-Membering. Up-leveling, and expanding. And, it’s all good. It’s why we are here now. To lead, love, and live with all of the radical human emotions and thoughts and feelings. 

So here’s to growth, newness, holding it all, and allowing it to be as it is. First step is to ALLOW. Then I’ll work on ACCEPTANCE. Finally, getting to EMBRACING these uncomfortable shadows, reactive patterns, painful emotions as all reminders of my divine imperfection and divine perfection. All of me. 

Thank you for being you and for allowing me, holding me, as I am me.

I see you…I am you…I love you!

Dancing with Shadows

This February full moon is highlighting our brilliance. And as much as we are uncomfortable with vulnerable showing/sharing of our shadows, we are often equally uncomfortable with owning our Brilliance.

As we move from February into March the theme shifts to honoring ALL of us. Equally. 

In honor of the Equinox and equanimity, expansion and equilibrium, egalitarianism and equal rights for all. (Liked the alliteral play there?)

Easier said than done. 

We hide, especially as we begin to share from our heart and soul or expand in our visibility in our roles in the world. As our Great Work in the world grows, so must we. And often it can be too much for our system to handle.

So many women are finding, the more their impact and influence grow, their Shadows of insecurity, unsafeness, or gnawing doubt in their abilities create walls of Fear.

I capitalize Fear because it is currently at the base of our world’s issues: racial and social injustice, misogyny, economic inequality, political division, devastating effects of climate change, and a global pandemic on top of all that.

And, we are falling back into the “already healed, I’m done with that” space of old stories, patterns, reactivities, programming and tendencies. 

So, even though this was an area of clarity and spaciousness before 2020, you may find the revisiting of the anxiety or depression or sadness or anger that was tucked away nicely and neatly in the past. 

AND, it’s all good. The full moon this month reminds us to feel our brightness. Our wholeness. Our holiness. Our Beauty, Strength, Safety and Wisdom…all regained by tapping in and tuning in to our Divine Center. The Oneness that can help us reclaim these lost parts of Self, and sit gently and hold the brokenness, the grief, the anger, the Fear. 

Because many of us are very sensitive to the collective energies, we can feel the Desire to move into Love, the fear of the Fear, and our roles during these evolutionary times to be a bridge for these polarities. To allow them to co-exist. There is room for Love amidst it all.

And, no more sweeping the ugliness, brokenness, anxiety or fears under the rug…that helps them to grow in power. Facing them, with Love and Light, shines the truth onto these old ways of operating, many of which we’ve inherited through ancestral and cultural programming.

So, just like Spring Clearing and Cleaning, we’ll take out and examine each pattern, behavior, reactivity or story and ask ourSelves, “Do I love this? Do I need this? Does it bring me joy?” (thank you Marie Kondo!)

And after lovingly appreciating, holding it and seeing it as it is, (often a younger version of Self or an inherited story/pattern) we can thank it and allow it to be sent off to be recycled or reused elsewhere. I like to imagine it becoming the compost for new energy for creativity and play!

Let’s appreciate the Moon this month for shining her light on us. For helping us to remember our own Light…sometimes shadowed, but always there. 

And thank you for all of the enlightening and beautiful stories shared by my sisters and brothers of color who helped us to learn and grow through Black History Month…your sharings opened my eyes and heart over and over.