Sacred Anger

Feeling too much? Like your nerve endings are on the outside of your body and the slightest sensation or incoming news can ignite or trigger or send you into an emotional spiral?

I am with you.

One client recently called it feeling the “collective rawness.” Yes, collective internally and as a global society.. 

And with no break since March, it’s been quite an onslaught. 

The chronic news of Black people being killed by the hands of law enforcement (over and over) is one thing. Add the pandemic and all of its societal changes and fears and mixed news from science and conspiracy theories, another. Add to that the political craziness and hate-mongering and divisiveness AND the continual destructive storms, wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes, and we are tired. 

Cognitive exhaustion, physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, and even spiritual exhaustion are all real.

Our lives are not the same as before March of this year, and we wonder when, if ever, we will resume something that feels “normal.” Our minds are searching for some way to “solve” these problems or our hearts want someone else to “save” us from this mess.

Steven Covey wrote years ago in the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, that it is never a good idea to try to teach or learn when we are tired or emotionally upset. 

Guess what? Most of us are both. 

And, I’m here to say that Anger is our invitation to create, innovate, move us out of the stuckness and towards what’s emerging. It’s a doorway. How?

Anger has gotten a bad rap. Especially for women. We aren’t shown, for the most part,  models of what it looks like to be an angry woman, on purpose, who is still loving and guided by Spirit.

That’s because we haven’t had many. Neither Mother Theresa, who bore her pain silently and alone, or feminists who came across as anti-men and angry. Not the working mother who is worried about her children while taking care of her community and planet and Self (not in that order) while holding down a job. Not women who have chosen not to have children (for their own reasons, because they have a choice) while marching or actively supporting Earth, Gender and Sexual Equality, Racial Justice and healthcare access for our marginalized citizens, nor for those who quietly go about their day-to-day, signing petitions, learning about their role in racism, finding ways to discuss and grow as conscious individuals while making a difference in their own circles by choosing Love over discrimination or hate.

So many ways to be activists. Even by choosing the food we eat, and how we spend our money. 

AND, it starts by being Angry. Allowing the fire in the belly to be stronger than the fear of staying silent, standing by, or choosing the status quo for comfort’s sake.

Anger is the beginning of a spiral of emotions and truly helps us become innovators and creators and impactful leaders (and activists). 

Years ago, a wise teacher and friend helped me learn about my emotions in this way. Begin by choosing a specific issue that is troubling, that you hate, or that made you angry.

Allow yourself to feel the emotion, speak out loud about it, write it, dance it. 

It tends to fade after some focused attention.

Below is something different. Sadness, grief, or fear. Each could come in their own wave.

By asking ”What about this makes me feel sad?” we can get deeper. Feeling the sadness, the grief may be, and letting it be expressed (again through writing, dancing, speaking/crying out loud) allows it to be expressed, felt, and transformed.

Next is probably fear. “What am I afraid of?” Asking over and over till you start feeling the fear, start knowing its source, and focusing on it, even for a few minutes. Sharing out loud to a trusted friend, who is only observing with compassion, not speaking at all, can be cathartic. Letting it out through words, written or prayed, screamed, or softly whispered brings light to the shadow and gets some space around it.

“What do I want/need?” is next. What do I really want to change this? What do I need? It may be that you want the political divisiveness to end, but stay with what’s under your control. What is it that I want to feel instead of this? Expressing it through dance, writing, drawing, imagining then sharing it in some way with the Universe/God/Source is very beneficial.

Then we get to Forgiveness. What can I forgive myself or another for? Again, expressing it orally, through another format is your choice, but put it OUT THERE.

Appreciation/Gratitude is what follows. Express it. To yourself first, then to another if need be and you are called to.

Last is LOVE. It’s the natural progression of following our emotions down to their Source. Our essence is LOVE and when we fall away, step too far from it, feel disconnected, the other emotions are there to help guide us HOME. 

Let’s not fear Anger. It’s sacred and needed. The more we try NOT to be angry, the more we can make ourselves sick. It’s like trying to imagine we can shake a can of soda or sparkling water and then open it and it won’t make a mess. The anger WILL explode one way or another unless we guide it back Home. Back to Love. 

Want a safe space to do this process? I’m here.

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!

The Importance of Structure and the Need to Destroy it at Times. 

The Importance of Structure and the Need to Destroy it at Times. 

One of the ways that we can integrate our rational and intuitive sides, or our spiritual and physical sides, or whatever duality that we play in, is to recognize each for their gifts and their shadows.

Actually I think we dwell in more of a quadrality.  I believe that we have distinct heart, soul, mind, and body versions of ourselves, as well as many personalities of different ages, or versions of selves brought out during different situations and people. The uniqueness of who we are, the truth of who I am at least, tends to show up when I’m stressed, tired, or emotional.

This last month has been tough, we’ve not only had worldwide pandemic, but we’ve also had change. We’re seeing change. Finally. And lots of ways of Being are shifting, becoming more open, more visible.

Some changes that we’re seeing is around the way law enforcement (and our world as a whole) treats people of color. 

Racism is getting the national stage and has a voice in the Black Lives Matter movement.  And, the world is listening.  It’s become a mainstream theme, and no longer can we ignore the history of how white people have systemically used racism to better themselves. So, we are seeing long-established beliefs and systems beginning to change, evolve, involve everyone to create new solutions that benefit the entire community. 

Along the lines of change, and on a personal note, I have just come off of two weeks of being with family during my mother’s hospice and passing.  The time with her those final days was beautiful and peaceful, especially towards the end.  AND there’s all the family dynamics. 

Our family is diverse in that we have almost every skin tone, belief system, and political view represented. And noticing who I feel comfortable with, and who I retreat from, which conversations attract me and which ones feel so uncomfortable I want to leave, and all the spaces in between. All were ‘growth-full’ for me.

The other thing I noticed is that this time, unlike in the past, I avoided managing intellectually, controlling, running the show. I pushed through my typical role as Big Sister and took a backseat. This allowed my sister to step up, and my middle brother to take on the logistics while staying calm and sane. Everybody has their own way of grieving, I realize now, and there’s no right or wrong. Allowing everyone, including myself, to be: absent, involved, avoiding emotion, feeling deep emotions, it was all acceptable to me. 

What I’m noticing is I’m allowing myself to really FEEL it this time. The heaviness, discomfort, and roller coaster of grief is sitting with me, riding through me, knocking me down with wild waves, and then holding me aloft in a swell. And I’m not trying to pray it away or force it away, but BE with it. 

Also noticing that when I most need my practices; my physical practices, my spiritual practices, and my emotional practices, I haven’t been drawing upon them. I know they would provide a larger bank of Resilience and firm grounding to support me and all my different levels of awareness.

Yet I’m aware that although these deeply held and true support systems that I have built throughout the years were tossed aside, and I threw myself into the storm in the waters, without any safety net or lifeboat.

I really left it all behind!  

As I pack up to head out to our little river place, I realize I wouldn’t leave to go on a hike or camping trip without necessities like food and water…so why would I do that to myself, emotionally, and spiritually, throw myself out there without any of my backpack-full of tools and goodies?

What I appreciate now is my awareness of how I abandon myself. 

And how I don’t always take advantage of the systems that are in place for me.

The beautiful practices, and awareness, and music, and all of the things that soothe me. I’ve gotten much better at accepting love and care and affection from others. That’s a big one, as opposed to pushing them away and pretending like I didn’t need that. And where I want to go back to is getting my journals out. Putting the music on tap, so at any time I can just bask in it. 

And remembering to go sit outside, I did do a lot of that in the last week. Just go sit outside and look at the sky and appreciate the breeze whether it was hot and humid, or cooler, and we’ve had everything in the last week ( it’s been a very interesting week, hasn’t it?). So, noticing, I can take advantage of just looking at nature and remembering. Oh, where am I feeding me? Where am I not feeding me? Where am I starving me? What nutrition is important for me? And getting back on track with those support systems, those structures that allow me to access my strength, my power, my creativity, and capacity to be with all of this. 

This is when I’m not easily knocked off of center by others in my family or outside of my family or in the news. 

And also, allow me to soothe, and be with, and hold, all of the pain and the grief. All the beauty and the joy that life is. 

Here’s to expanding and opening and softening at the same time as holding the structure and the practices, the routines, and the rituals that support me, and you, and all of us. 

Balance | Allowing Receptivity and Taking Inspired Action

Balance | Allowing Receptivity and Taking Inspired Action

For me, these past few months have been quite a ride. Deep into the netherworld of shadow, grief, and depression, mixed with highlights that were blissful, serene, and overflowing with gratitude and loving connection.

It’s been about sitting with all of me. The whole messy, radically human Me. The beautiful, creative, and wise Me. And all of the in-between parts as well.

So, entering June is going to be my foray into a new sort of Balance. Not completely 25% Heart, 25% Soul, 25% Mind and 25% Body…more of a sense of a grounded weeping willow tree, waving in the wind, dancing with the sun, and sharing my branches with wildlife…being in service as a beautiful shade tree.

Balance for me is what my chiropractor said was the problem when I had my first visit with her last week. Starting with an old injury that was brought back to life from my car accident last December, the pain in my left should shot up into the base of my skull, and down into my sacral and hip joints. So yes, physical balance was called for to allow me to soften and unwind the tightness and inflammation stored in my body.

Then she mentioned that there was emotional trauma there that had made it deeper and wound more deeply into my psyche. I had been angry and sad, felt guilt and shame for looking away from the windshield to turn off the news that was upsetting and missing the split-second chance to that could have allowed me to brake and stop before the impact.  I blamed myself for being irresponsible, not paying attention, hurting myself, and causing so much trouble for myself and the others involved. That didn’t help…

Spiritually and energetically, I’ve been so deeply in the depths of lots of emotions these past few months, feeling out of control, distrusting of self and the Universe, and God to support me through this evolutionary time and wanting desperately to feel in control. Which, of course, I am not able to stop thinking or feeling the anxiety when I spend time there.

This put me into overly masculine, logic-brained mode…which cuts off connection, compassion, and creative inspiration. Or, I would fall into the old paradigm of feminine helplessness, despair, and feeling unable to do anything…

So, hence the desire to focus on Balance. A way of aligning and grounding into the wholeness, the integrity, the strength of Who. I. Am. Right. Now. And, guess what? That is a beautiful blend of intellect/intuition, relational and interdependent connection, spiritual Oneness and my own Light, and physical strength and wellness. 

It feels more resourceful. I feel more resilient. The world appears my hopeful. And Life is more beautiful and flowing with Grace. 

Yesssss…

Join me?

If you are unable to tap into the Center of Presence, Peace, and Purpose, here’s a centering practice you might try…I’m looking to practice this a few times a day until Equanimity feels more the norm instead of the exception. I invite you to find that practice for yourself and let’s keep shining our Light! The world needs us all now. Especially when we are integrating our whole and brilliantly complex selves.

Sacred Success

Sacred Success

What if Success was as sacred and singular, as each and every one of us?  What if there is such a way of being seen And being safe?

Very often there’s a polarity, that we tend to jump in between.

I’m confident.

I’m out there I am letting people know who I am and what my message is, and what I’m here to do in the world.

And then there’s the other.

Oh my gosh, what if they see me? What if they know me? What if they don’t like me?  I’ll just go back and be invisible…being invisible is very much my story.

And, for many reasons I don’t need to go into here, Invisibility was the safety mechanism that I developed as a child, and it became protocol. It was my routine. It was my pattern and reactive tendency when things got uncomfortable. Whenever I began feeling expansive, and open, and allowing, for love and life and grace to flow through and to me, it felt unnerving. It still feels scary. It feels uncomfortable. And that is where I want to take you today.

We cannot do our greatest work unless we are ready and able and trusting that it’s okay to step out of our comfort zone and speak up and share our light and our truth and our wisdom.

So, which one do you do? Go out anyway, put on the false bravado of I’m doing this because I have to do this because my business coach told me to do this because that’s what the men do or that’s what the successful people, women I know do. And the only way to grow my business is to continue doing this uncomfortable…(fill in the blank): networking, speaking, writing (whether it’s a blog or a book), videos, sharing on Facebook, showing up on LinkedIn. And I don’t believe that has to be the case. I feel that the more that we do and we allow, and we show up in our truth and own our value and worth and brilliance, that’s when we’re seen.

And it doesn’t mean that we have to do 70 posts a week to make sure people remember us.  Of course, we want to watch our social media or our digital media numbers, it’s kind of helpful to know where we’re showing up and where our clientele, or potential clientele, might be. But the other piece is very much around, “How do I just show up and trust?” And if that means doing video blogs, which I did for five years, with no one watching, or whether that means I host a zoom call, and maybe only two people show up, does that mean I’m less worthy? Less valuable?

I don’t think so.

I believe that every time we speak our truth, whether it’s to our friends, our family, our clients, or potential clients, when we show up in our aligned and authentic self, we are modeling, who we are in our work in the world.  We are our own biggest billboard if you will. And how do we show up with that presence?

Well, that’s a deep one. And that’s where knowing how to blend our doingness and beingness, our feminine and masculine traits, our intellectual and intuitive wisdom, and our emotional and somatic brilliance, all of those things make up our “secret sauce”. Our SuperPower.

So that’s what we’re going to do in the next month as we move into June. We’re going to operate from a place of receptivity and activity, of beingness and doingness, of physical and somatic wisdom, as well as emotional intelligence and spiritual wisdom. All of those forms of who we are, those different versions of us, if we integrate them and align them, that’s when we have a presence. 

That’s when people see us. It’s not about having the perfect lipstick color. Believe me, my last video did not have the perfect lipstick color. And it’s not about wearing the right clothes. (We’re all learning that during this time of working from home. Many of us in our sweats or yoga pants.) It’s about grounding in deep trust, centering into our purpose, and our value, and our worth, and dropping down in a way, from our brains – our beautiful, fantastic, and powerful brains. I don’t mean to do them a disservice. However, when we use that as our only guiding sense of direction, we can go way off our path. So dropping down into our heart space and dropping down even lower into our power center in our lower abdomen. connecting on all of those different levels, energetic, physical, divine, emotional.

Then our voice comes through with clarity, with an authority that people can hear, and those who are attracted to what we have to say, are ready to come and reach out. And I’m all about that. I’m all about letting the people make the decision if they’re ready. They might have a niggling fear of I’m not sure I’m ready, and that’s fine too. But they know in their hearts if it’s time to be seen, to be held, to be supported in their inner landscape journey, in their deep dive into their becoming. And that’s, that’s where my passion is. That’s what I have done for myself and numerous others,  allowing them to experience transformation from their old self to their new version of self to the next best. And they’re continuing to grow with a little less fear, I might add. So that’s my thoughts for now, and I look forward to spending some more time with you and sharing some more musings in June. 

Take excellent care of yourself, now, and as we move forward into these uncertain and ambiguous times.