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.

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?

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.