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.

Simple Abundance

Playing such a huge role in our world is the fallacy of scarcity. We steel ourselves and train ourselves and treat ourselves like there’s not enough.

We are not enough. (I am not enough _____, or too much ______)

There is not enough love. Or energy or time Or resources. Or money or food or ?

Who taught us that?  I believe it’s our culture of capitalism or materialism or unconscious consumerism.

So, the more I slow down, breathe slower, feel into Center, into Presence, and into my own body’s power center…I am finding more of everything.

More joy. More peace. More connection. More Love. More energy. More pleasure and satisfaction and, yes, even Time. 

All the things I used to spend a lot of time and energy and Life Force seeking. 

We’ve heard this before, right? Yet, the more intelligent, the more spiritual and the more successful we become, the less time we devote to this simple practice of cultivating our own state of prosperity, sovereignty and abundance.

In fact, the world has continued to show us ways to “play it safe”, disconnect from our own desires to serve others, or “suck it up and keep moving.” 

Playing it safe, keeps me hiding and pushing away all that I desire to flow to me.

Disconnecting from my desires keeps me from being available to love and connect with others or be of service to them authentically.

Putting up tight constrictions or boundaries to protect myself, is another way of protecting or pushing away the Beauty, Love, Joy and Goodness that is flowing toward me in my life.

So, in these unprecedented and wild times, how do we do this? How do we BE in the state of Simple Abundance? It’s about tuning in. Checking in. Noticing. Feeling. Being aware of what our body is needing from us. Being aware of our energetic state and what we are broadcasting to the Universe. Your energy is contagious…even more than the COVID virus!

When I tune in, really sit with what I am feeling, sensing, noticing and allowing, it wakes me up to ME. I feel into the pain or discomfort or pleasure. I let it wash over me. The sensation moves, and the state moves. I try not to name anything. Just BE WITH IT. When I want it to be different, that’s when it gets stronger and digs it’s heels in…just like a puppy or toddler wanting attention.

The allowing and listening and “BEING WITH” time is like having a cup of tea with a friend who just wants to be heard. While we sip the tea and she talks, the emotion is unpacked, looked at, felt and released. It’s quicker than if we analyze, take it apart, push it away, judge it or make it wrong. Asking “why” only creates a wall of defensiveness too.

This practice of unwinding the tension, slowing down and feeling the sensation or breathing simply and deeply opens our hearts, minds and souls in ways we aren’t even privy to yet. I know, for me, it’s meant a dropping into a bigger pool of Beingness. Which feels very connected to ALLness. and interBeingness. 

And, that brings us into the flow of Divine and Universal Love. 

That’s my purpose on this planet in this lifetime. More of the Simple Abundance of Love please. That’s worth asking for seconds during this time of gratitude (and smaller gatherings) of Thanks-Giving, don’t you think?

As always, reach out if you’d like to connect one on one. I’m available for video chats most Tuesdays and Thursdays and will be continuing to send out New Moon contemplations and gather in circle for Full Moon Contemplations. I’d love to sit in circle with you! 

Next month will be about Walking with Your Purpose…and I’ll be offering Wisdom Walk facilitations or self-guided ones through December and into January. More soon!

Where is Your Heart Guiding You?

I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, “What do you want, Deborah? Yes, and under that, what do you REALLY want?” 

My answers aren’t clearly written out for me or come in an image or picture, they are more of a group of sensations…a softening in my belly and chest, a relaxed jaw and neck/shoulders…an almost cloudy vision as even my vision softens and feels less strained.

Those sensations are my body’s way of telling me the answer. The deep desire within me is most truly felt, not “forced” mentally. It’s a lightening of my energy – and a relaxing into – the space of pleasure. 

Whoah, there she goes, getting into that uncomfortable place again!

Yep.

I’m trying to describe the indescribable (for me, at least). And the power it has to guide us, inspire us and fuel us with the purpose and hope for the future.

So, for many months now I’ve been playing with the mantra, “Open and Soften.” Knowing that the more I do that, I receive some type of guidance, inspiration, or energy to move toward something.

My mind has been screaming, “Open and Soften TO WHAT?” 

Yet, my Wise Inner Woman keeps assuring me that is it. That’s the full directive. Open and Soften into Beingness.

So, if you’re reading this, I may lose you here, yet, I truly believe that that is our Purpose. Our role in this wild and precious journey of Life.

Beingness, and a newer version of that I’ll call Inter-Beingness, is my Desire. It sounds simple. And it is not.

Turns out that according to my hologenetic profile from The Gene Keys by Richard Rudd, my Life’s Purpose is to be a Dancer of Beingness. Wow. Still letting that simmer as I contemplate it.

And, the shadow of this lovely state of Beingness, is Self-Obsession. Endless self-improvement, constant searching and learning, and desiring to figure out who I am, what I’m here for and how can I be a better ME?

The pathway of Naturalness finally opened, after exhausting that never-ending loop of searching and self-obsession.

A lovely therapeutic equine helped me to learn about Authenticity and my value in Being. (and that’s another story!)

Hence the beginning of the concept of Authentic Leadership Academy and Consulting. The birth of that name of my business has been a continual reminder to be ME. That, by modeling Authenticity, Deep Integrity, and Humility as a Woman and a Leader, I can serve other women wanting to be a fully, more true, and self-expressed Self and impactful Leader.

All the pieces began to fall into place. From my corporate HR experience to nonprofit consulting and the work with local teens and Native American children, The Leadership Circle certification and coaching, the somatic and embodiment practices of The Art of Feminine Presence™, all the various Strengths-Finder, Energy School, Joy of Goals©, Health Coaching even, all played a role in my Be-Coming. 

And now I get to play with ALL of these experiences. And who I am as a result of all that knowledge and wisdom.

So, my heart’s desire always steers me in the direction of growth and Beingness. Or back to Beingness. Or to the next level of Beingness, for me.

Where is your heart guiding you?

Your Heart’s Desire

After months of diving deep into all of my emotions and Reactive Tendencies (to use The Leadership Circle language I use in leadership development training), I’m ready to feel into what I want. What I’m allowing myself to dream, feel into, bring forth.

Sound selfish? Or out of touch with these chaotic and uncertain times? Or, what does it bring up in you? 

Most people’s answer to my question of how they’re doing right now is, “I’m grateful, truly I am.” “There’s so much good in my life.” 

And that’s great. To be happy where you are is wonderful.

To feel stagnant, or just “OK” with where you are, or feeling restless; like I do when I’m hungry and keep looking around for something to satisfy that feeling and nothing is quite meeting the need… That means I am, and possibly you are too, ready for something MORE. Yes, we can be grateful for where we are and what we have AND still want something MORE.

Our mind wants desperately to find a plan, to run from what’s uncomfortable, or to deny what we are simply tolerating, versus our Heart – which wants Beauty, Love, to run towards Joy or something that feels good, lights us up, makes it sing!

So, after deepening into and feeling what is truly in my space (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) I can then find the acceptance of “Yes, that is what is.” 

After pausing there, and really f e e l i n g, we can listen for, or find energy, that rises within.

It’s our heart’s calling. Our body or soul guiding us towards what is next. What do we want, given we are here right now?

This is essential work for any of us on the front lines right now.

The more we feel we don’t have time or energy to devote to finding our heart’s desire or inner guidance, the more we need to practice this inner work. To move towards our next expansion, expression, or growth, it requires an openness to allowing what the Universe wants for us. 

The more we can receive. And it begins with the beautiful Desire bubbling up like a wellspring within. Then “await what the stars will bring.”

Our heart is our own tuning fork or unique GPS that can invite divine inspiration, creative expression, or deep healing. Our businesses require us to be open to this channel. Our physical health does too. Artists rely on it to bring forth their heart’s desire onto paper or stage, or through images.

So, when’s the last time you sat and had a cup of tea with your Heart’s Desire? All that’s required is someplace to be still, listening to nature or inspirational music, and maybe a journal or your phone to record what you discover.

Discovering our heart’s desire is more important now than ever.

It’s time.

Let’s do this.

Here’s to developing the muscle to listen to and follow your Desire and see where It takes you!

Freedom to Let Go

It’s July.

And typically July for me has always had a theme of freedom.

And as I explore that whole topic of freedom. It feels like it falls into several layers.

There’s the actual reflection on what it is that I want to be liberated from.

Then there’s the action or allowing, of the liberation, of the letting go. 

Freedom feels like the final state. It’s the result of having reflected, having let go and now basking in this new state of freedom.

So let’s start with a question, or contemplation, about where are we? What are we holding on to that it might be time to let go of? And if you’re like me, it takes me a while, I have to ponder that thought for a day or two. In my case, it’s been the last two or three days of what runs me. What am I allowing to have control over my life?

And there are several feelings, thoughts, patterns, and stories in my head. I’ll play some suggestions out for you and see if they might help you with your self-reflection. 

I was running for a long time the story of money and scarcity. “I’m not secure without financial freedom, without the constant struggling and striving to make ends meet.” So my old story was that I had to constantly struggle, juggle, worry about money. 

Then it became: “Take good care of money. Be a good steward and invest it well. Place it or spend it in ways that I feel represent my values.” 

It’s been a long time coming. 

First, it was wrapped up in gender stuff, and that women need to be dependent and reliant on someone else to take care of them.  All kinds of things have been unraveling around that for decades for me. 

And finally, I can say that money is not something that runs me. AND, I know for several of my friends and acquaintances, it’s still at the forefront in their lives. 

Another one that still has a hold on me in some ways is TIME. 

I feel like I’m in a race for time; meeting deadlines, filling the calendar, or noticing the empty calendar and wondering how to spend my time creating and generating income and new clients. What does all that look like? Am I spending enough time taking care of me? Taking care of others?  Nurturing my relationships?  I look at how I spend my time as it’s my most important commodity. 

Maybe the pandemic times have brought about the concerns of our mortality, or not having enough Life Force. And, the importance of Breath.

What will happen to us as the pandemic continues? What will our lives be like? What will Time be like? How will I spend it? How will I invest in the use of this commodity in a way that brings me the most joy and be of the most service to the collective? 

So Time is still something I’m playing with, that I don’t feel fully liberated from.

Others are old stories of not being “enough” (what is that anyway?), not having enough support, not being loved enough, not being worthy of love, all kinds of good things like that.  Little by little, they’ve been chipped away by choices I’ve made, by risks I’ve taken, by moving forward in one area or another, despite the stories. Proving to myself that they really are not the Truth. 

The power of many of those old stories and patterns has diminished and faded.

So what is your self-reflection about what still has a hold on you? Still creates fear or anxiety or reactive ways that are keeping you small… keeping you stuck? 

Because that is NOT freedom. 

What we want to do this month is look at this reflection of what it is that has a constriction on us. Anything that keeps us from Breathing or holds us back. 

And then, with gentle, loving, self-compassionate, and from a safe self-observation place, allowing them to loosen their grip on us … and to Feel. 

Opening to the liberation of Life. On the other side. The Life where these do not strangle us from our truth, from our value, from our dignity. 

To our safety. Towards our sovereignty. That, to me, is Freedom.

Freedom, Liberation, Sovereignty

Freedom, Liberation, Sovereignty

How do you define Freedom? (let me know, I’m curious!)

I believe it has to do with a state that is felt after liberation. And a remembering that we are all Sovereign Beings.

Liberation from fears, tendencies, patterns, structures, and belief systems that no longer serve.

Sovereignty, for me, is a feeling that I try to re-member, embody, and KNOW deeply. It is the human right of us all to be sovereign. We are “at choice”, personally responsible, and valuable. In the Centering practices I teach, Dignity is embodied when we stand fully in our physical and divine Selves. Sovereignty also reminds us that we have the right to B R E A T H E. (and who do we think we are when we withhold another’s oxygen?)

And, getting back to Freedom, it has a price.

To let go of old patterns, reactive tendencies, and learned ways of being, we must go through some type of release, rejuvenation, renewal. It’s as if we had created vows to remain small, silent, people-pleasing, and high-achieving (stating mine here) so that we were seen, valued, and loved.  Those vows are deeply buried in our emotional body and need to be uprooted, loved, and held with compassion…for once they served us, and we’ve now outgrown them.

The price of Freedom comes in this internal self-reflection ( a centering practice around this process can be found here) and the pain or discomfort of moving into new territory of an expanded Self and open heart. 

The price of Freedom also may look like letting go of old relationships, old clothes, old jobs, old comfort zones. And this is difficult for most of us. We’ve created a circle of support that has helped keep us in these old ways of Being. And, will they want to support our new behaviors? Our new way of speaking up, speaking out, standing tall?

Some may leave. It’s a difficult reminder to them that change is coming and happening all around. And, that hurts.

Another price of Freedom is by standing up for ourselves and what we believe, we may not fit in with certain institutions, communities, or circles. I felt this strongly in my old gated neighborhood, where neighbors didn’t like my wild gardens, my disdain for chemicals on my lawn, and my proud support of public education and liberal politicians.

Ahhh, so after hearing enough of what I wasn’t doing to “fit in” with these folks, a perfect house came available 2 miles away that was as unique and eclectic as mySelf! And, this brought about the wrath of people, even my ex-husband, who didn’t like my choice.

So, Freedom, is it worth it? The liberating of Self from old ways, old clothes, and old patterns?

I say, unequivocally, YES!

The simple 2 swaths of a pair of scissors across a ponytail, on the top of my head, liberated me from several inches of hair…and the new-found saucy bob has brought another joy, and fun, and a new look to boot!