Making Holy-days of the Holidays

Enjoy this old episode of a podcast I did on called Wednesday Wisdom Radio. And this particular episode was called Making Holy Days of these holidays. 

Welcome. This is Deborah LeeAnn and this is our Wednesday wisdom radio show. Today’s topic is about holidays, versus holy days. It feels ironic that when we celebrate. 

We go to all this trouble, to have all kinds of gatherings and we bake and we have special breads and special meals and maybe not the gatherings this year that we’ve had in the past but we arranged to take time away from the office, which creates either more backlog, or more stress around getting more stuff done before the end of the year. 

It doesn’t feel very holy. 

What we’ve done right to cram so much into these last few weeks of the year, year after year after year. So, to honor ourselves and our spirits during this very spiritually invoked time. 

Let’s just drop in and get present with who we are, what we’re here to do, and what our body wants to talk to us about and what our soul wants to whisper in our ear. So as we drop in and feel our feet, very heavy on the floor, connecting in a way that is like lovers embracing after not seeing each other for a while. That really pulls our energy down, and allows that gravity to do its work for us, and pulls our energy back into our bodies. 

It almost reminds me of the Peter Pan thing where they have this shadow that they have to tack on to their bodies when they lose their shadows. There’s something very mystical for me to feel the grounding again, and to remind myself that this is the physical body, that I am in this time around in this lifetime. And I’m just curious for you in terms of how it feels to be back in your body, and not scattered all over. 

So let’s just allow our feet to feel heavy and allow the connection to Mother Earth to happen naturally and gracefully. And then focus down on our lower belly and into our pelvic bowl. Feeling our hip bones and our sits bones in the chair, being held so beautifully in the lap of gravity of Mother Earth. 

You can kind of move your hips back and forth to feel that energy down there and feel again, almost as if we have a grounding cord heading straight down into the root chakra and into the center of Mother Earth. Just tugging us gently, letting us know that she’s got us, right, like a belay person makes us feel safe when we’re climbing. 

The next part is to just be still enough and shut down any of the places where we’re multitasking, whether it’s virtually multitasking, or physically doing so. For me, that meant I needed to just go sit down and stop trying to control the noises that are in the house. Which is what happens when you have other people around, and the animals that don’t want to be outside because it’s raining or cold. So, just be still, closing off all of the other places where our attention has been sent to put out fires, or to manage relationships, or to control our schedule, our time and space schedule that is anything in the past. We can let go of because we can’t do anything with it anymore. 

Anything that’s coming up later today or tomorrow or the next day. During the rest of these holidays. We can’t do anything about that in this moment, either. So let’s just be here and give us a treat of being present. 

We’re going to breathe into that and allow that to settle into our system. And then, calling in our connection to our divine light, we’ve celebrated solstice, and that is the celebration of light. It’s the celebration of the days getting longer and how beautiful it is to allow that light to just be this golden, or silvery, shimmery piece. It’s calming influence, its connection to all of that beautiful energy that we very often forget that we’re attached to and can call upon at any time. 

So we’ll just let that flow in us around us, and fill our inner and outer self with that additional energy charge. And now to keep that charge up as that’s all working. Let’s take a breath, receive a breath and settle into your system, pulling your energy and my energy from way out in front of me. Back in, and settling down into this beautiful temple of a body. We’ll start from here. 

So this conversation around holy days, the original celebration of this time of year was around the days getting you longer and looking forward to the warm weather that would be coming, the planting season, and the warmth that comes with that. The misconstruing of so much that’s gotten into this time of gift giving and decorating and baking. It all started with really lovely intentions of wanting to create a beautiful space. create homes that welcome family members. Create a time for sharing our love with all of our friends and family. In many cases, it’s gone too far. And what I want to say is that the meaning underneath it all has very often been lost. 

It was this time of year most years that I would choose to get sick. This was a way of my body knowing that there was a break during the holidays. And this was a good time to get sick. So, this was the time that I would choose, because I could get away from work and hide away from family, whether it was during college on break or actually in my early career days when I was a workaholic. I knew it was a safe time to get in bed and be sick. I knew I would not be able to see my family that way. I also knew that somebody else could feed me, and I could relax and do what my body was asking for rest. 

We’re still in the dark enough days where our bodies do need rest. And just because the light is getting more and more each day doesn’t mean that we’re at the end of, we’re ready to plant seeds. We’re still in the germinating phase. We’re still in the darkness of the wild winter night where we get a chance to be still. Many times during this time of year we don’t have time at all to be still. My own meditation schedule, my own eating schedule, very simple routines and rituals in my life have been disrupted. And I can’t blame anyone else. But, in trying to be there and take advantage of opportunities to spend time with loved ones, or to see friends right now virtually for morning for coffee or to fit in work around what I probably need to be is quiet time. 

And let what has happened in this year germinate and percolate in the inspiration of what’s going to happen. Come to me, instead of forcing things to happen. This is where I feel very much right now is that we’re in a time where we have to do lists, and we’re so busy doing that we’re disconnected from our imagination, our inspiration, our intuition, and even just being still enough to listen to any guidance from any of those parts of our beautiful, creative, self. So as we look at what are ways that we can celebrate and be true to ourselves and be our holy whole selves. What would that look like? Can we plan to make smoothies on Christmas morning versus jumping right into coffee and mimosas, which is what my family will be doing. What if we started off with a green smoothie that morning, you know, what if we could introduce new ways of going for a walk. Just to get everybody outside and into nature. 

What new kinds of rituals can we introduce? Mine is, I don’t really necessarily like giving and receiving gifts that are all wrapped up or in paper bags and need to be recycled and, or get used again. But I have drawers and drawers of those bags. 

I would much rather use that time to do fun things with my family. And yet, anything I go to right now it’s expected that you bring a gift, you know, for a round robin or just to bring something and you exchange or for the host or hostess. There’s a group of my girlfriends where we have a great time gathering. And what’s called a white elephant party. And we bring all the things that we got that were gifted to us that we then choose to wrap up again and give away. I don’t get many of those because I’m not in a position of receiving or giving gifts as much anymore. And a lot of people get these ridiculous things. Makes me wonder, because so many things are never going to get used. So we bring those wrap them up beautifully. And we play a game and we laugh hysterically at some of the things that we’re given and what people might do with them and how much we fight over these wrapped presents to see what’s really inside. It’s a great time. And one of my favorite times of the year, because I don’t think I laughed that much in one evening, any other time. So much fun, the appropriate gift giving the appropriate not going into debt to get things for people and honoring ourselves is what feels right. 

You know, if somebody says you’re required or you’re expected to bring a gift to this thing. Honor yourself. Is that what you want to do, how can we go along with culture and family traditions and be the odd man out. 

I’m learning right now that I don’t have to hide anymore, because I’ve been little by little letting my family and friends know who I am. And in fact, invited some friends over for the solstice the other night and shared my tradition with them. A couple of the friends got that, they understood. They’ve been following me and they know my traditions and rituals, a couple of the others not so familiar and didn’t really want to talk about what they wanted to let go of. 

We got a good laugh out of that finally because somebody said, we can let go of denial, that there is nothing to let go of that was brilliant. It broke the ice and everybody ended up sharing. And for me it was a coming out party of sorts, you know, with some friends that I’ve not shown all of my pagan or priestess side two more and more. I am putting myself out there. I am showing all of my sides and inner and outer selves. And I am asking others to do the same. So far, you know it’s not changing too many of my relationships, it is moving us into a different level of intimacy, which is good. And if we weren’t that good friends before, it’s not going to change things, and my family, they’ll always love me and my weirdness. That’s true. Now, I am enjoying the fact that my sister will act. What essential oil should I use with this situation with my son. You know, we’re starting to talk about alternative ways of being and choosing a word to focus on for the year that we want to grow and aspire to have more of just little practices that are not your typical denying of what is and what wants to be. So as we move forward through the rest of these holy days and holidays. I am going to pose a challenge to you. If you’re listening, and you catch this before the end of the year. How can you bring more of you into these days. How can you bring more of your rituals, your beauty and inspired ceremony, whatever it is that you want to create during this time. 

How can you begin a new tradition and honor yourself and your spirit and your heart, more and more. At this time, intellect, even you know, do we really want to watch the news, or would we rather listen to music, that makes us happy. What is it that we can change in our schedule? When I looked at my calendar for today and saw all of the things that I had set up today. I wondered. Okay. Is there something that I don’t have to do this afternoon? When I can find time to make peppermint bark, or check in with my daughters, because that to me is a holiday memory that I am ready to create. 

And that is what my challenge is to you. Do you need to be at each and everything that’s on your calendar. Is there something that if you sat down and gave yourself 15 to 20 minutes now and lit a candle and just sat still and asked that you would like to learn about yourself going into the next year. Is there a way to create more rituals, more beauty, more joy, more openness, more spaciousness for you. 

I will leave you with these questions and wish you a very merry. Happy Holi-day season, holiday season, light, bringing season, and a beautiful, beautiful end to the year, and a beautiful beginning to next year. I look forward to staying in touch. Talk to you soon. 

Saying Yes to Receptivity & Resilience, and No to Resistance

What we Resist persists…not a big fan of the phrase, yet it feels in sync with the Times, eh?

It’s been a wild and wooly kind of ride these past months, literally and figuratively. Colder than normal temps have brought out the scarves, hats, and sweaters and the daily barrage of media, political ads, and Covid transmission numbers and climate-related devastation continues to flood us.

And how are you managing all of it?

Please don’t pretend you are above it all, or that it doesn’t bother you, you’re taking self-care measures to a new limit to cope or that you don’t feel it, deeply, in your heart and soul.

This is the work I’m continuing to unravel within and am inviting all of those I’m in connection with to dive in with me.

Let me back up.

We are all about Love and Light, right? God is love, love is all around us and we are here to spread the Love. Love is all we need…as the song goes.

AND, we can only reach into the Cosmic or Higher Dimensions of Love, (Universal Love I call it) by loosening the constrictions or resistance we have put into place to help us feel like we belong, we matter, we have a place in this world. We are so tightly wound in our reactive strategies from old wounding that we actually aren’t open to receive the Beauty, Love and Grace that is also flooding us at this time.

Hence the saying, “Yes” to Love, “Yes” to Pleasure, “Yes” to stillness and sacred space to BE. 

The old stories tell us that if we just DO more, push more, keep busy, or numb out in our spiritual meditation or eating/drinking/drugging/sleeping habits, we are more valued. If we just serve more, take care of more things, add to our overflowing mind more learnings and news, we’ll be loved, good, valued, needed. 

My practices of shadowy self-care include snacking (on organic stuff, but still not necessary extra calories) drinking more coffee or wine than my body actually wants, but my mind feels it needs, filling my calendar with to-do items, or sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing in defiance of it all, but from exhaustion.

All good habits and routines, but when used as a way to RESIST what needs to be felt, what is calling my attention or creativity, or to actually push away the fear or pain, it’s counter-productive. It allows the pain or fear or thought pattern to get louder.

How do you play the resistance game? Where is your life flow constricted due to pushed away fears, grief, pain or unacceptance? 

Where do you hold grudges? What are you simply tolerating that is keeping you stuck in old places of a no-longer fitting paradigm?

This month I’m deeply experiencing letting go. The Making Space for new. The Allowing and Receiving more of the bounty and beauty that is available. And, to do so, it’s taken a hard look at where is my mind closed? Where is my heart closed? Where in my body am I holding tension? How can I s o f t e n and open my mind, heart, body to more of ME? To more of the Grace, Love, and Light that I AM? And is currently circulating around us all if we choose to feel it?

Only when we open up the old, tightly wound, patterns will we be open to more Love. And, that is truly all we need. And what we ALL want. 

So no matter the outcome of this election or what this winter brings upon us as we close out 2020, let’s open, receive, find the resilience to be fully present. Fully centered in our purpose. Fully accepting of our gifts and awesomeness and the darkness as well. We are here to Shine now, more than ever. The world needs each of us to declare it, open to it, and accept the gifts of our Light.

Join me? Say yes to what is. Feel what is up with you. Allow the beauty to come in. Notice with gratitude what is happening in our bodies at the moment. Center. Get present. Call in your Divine Connections and Life Purpose to nourish you and guide you. And for support, it’s all there. 

Thank you for being YOU. We’re all in this together.

Self-Leadership

Self-Leadership

Self Leadership is essential if we are leading anything or anyone else. Whether as a Corporate executive, a business owner, a team leader, a parent or the committee chair of a community project. 

Every new moon brings me to a deeper Inner Awareness and the reminder of how I manage my energy.

Self-awareness, self-management, self-Leadership, includes this inner landscape check-in.

Part of my check-in includes an assessment of where my energy is flowing. Where is it leaking? Where is it being nourished or regenerated? 

Where are my boundaries loose? Or non-existant? 

Where am I pushing? Where can I be more R E C E P T I V E? (yes, another deep topic for another day!)

Where is YOUR energy flowing?

Right now, it’s easy to be leaking, or losing, energy to all kinds of world issues, climate change created fires and storms, political drama, pandemic unknowns and speculations, not even counting what’s going on with our businesses or career and our own family and circle of friends.

Not very sustainable. Where’s the renewal? Where’s the filling back up?

I learned the hard way after decades of exhausting myself to the point of adrenal fatigue or lying on the couch all weekend to catch my breath, or finally falling into bed sick on the holidays.

One of the leadership competencies I coach women around the most is their Sustainable Productivity.  Another is Balance, and yet another is Integrity or Wholeness.  

Each of these have in common the tendency to put others first, to believe they are only valued or worthy if they are over-giving, extremely busy or selfless in some way.

So what’s underneath that? The need to Belong, to feel Safe, to feel in Control. Or some other pattern or learned tendency that keeps us from looking at OurSelf. Our needs. Our wants and desires. And our anger, broken heart or sadness or …. What is your’s?

Mine was if I could just keep all the balls in the air I would be superhuman, praised, loved, and valued. If I could do so much to not have time to look within, I could ignore that mess. (Like having really messy closets, with everything looking neat and organized in the public spaces!)

And, it took a while to “find time” to be with the Inner Landscape. To look around, clear some space, breathe into it some of my own Life Force and Love and Light. 

Wow. It’s the space created by Centering. Being. And, Presence.  To appreciate and know that daily practices of Inner Check-ins are a powerful practice for my soul, physical/emotional health, and business and relationships.

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!

Moving Past the Collective Fear of the Unkown

Just like all of the spring flowers and budding trees, I’m coming out of hiding. 

I’m coming out of a self-induced sabbatical. After an intense last couple of years where I was deep in the process of becoming an evolutionary entrepreneur. (Which is funny, because I’ve been “Becoming one” for a few decades, but this was a different kind of entrepreneur…) This felt like a spiritual and personal and professional and deeply heroic journey.

This was to a place of truly feeling like my gifts were in service to the world. And this was, and felt, different. I wasn’t doing this work for money, as much as I was doing work I loved; sharing my gifts and being compensated for it. 

And this type of growth, for me, was profound. 

It was something I had been asking for decades prior, yet it took me the experience of knowing my value, sharing my worth, being and living from my truth, and having the opportunity to see others as they realized their opportunities, their growth, their truth, by me walking with them. 

It was then that I started feeling validated, in my gifts. And that growth is what I want to bring forth for other women, it is such an empowering. (we all used to use that word too much.) However, now, this feels truly empowering. 

I felt like it has prepared me to Trust in me, my gifts, in the universe, in everything that is happening right now to bring all of it forth in service to other women. 

The opportunity to model leadership, to model feminine leadership, to model feminine and spiritual leadership. And this is another growing edge for me. 

So, I firmly believe that this time is giving us an opportunity to slow down and learn to appreciate who we are, honor our gifts and discern how we are to be in service using those gifts. 

It is also a time to deepen into radical self-care; into taking care of ourselves first so that we can take care and connect and be in service to others. 

The fear, the collective fear, of the unknown is very stressful for all of us. I find myself waking up with my teeth and jaw clenched, and my hands balled up into fists. And I realize that I’m still clenching and holding on to something. Something that is old, that needs to fall away. Some old patterns, some old ways of being, Reactive Tendencies to use the leadership development terms that we use. 

Yet, these are being pulled out of me now. 

We don’t have a choice in these changes. We can move forward in this evolutionary path of global change, or we can fight and struggle and try to paddle our boats against the current, which is so exhausting. And it doesn’t support us in our immune systems, our stress levels, our ability to stay at our peak health. 

This pandemic is scary. It is creating chaos and uncertainty and volatility. And I’m not doubting that everyone is feeling it on some level, these fears of the unknown, the stresses of living with not knowing what next week will look like, or next month, or goodness gracious next year. And I’m not saying that we ‘spiritually bypass’ or that we just pretend like it’s not happening and stay in a place of positivity because that isn’t supportive, either. 

What is going to help us through this is to know, truly, what is going on within each of us. Know fully that we have the gifts and the resources to be of service during this time. And also know that this is a growth experience for every single one of us. And it’s bigger, because this sense of deepening into our purpose is on a global level, for each of us in truly owning our gifts and sharing them with the world. 

This purpose and desire to live from our truth has to be called forth from our hearts. And is strong enough to not allow the temptation and fear take over and send us curling up in a fetal position or stay in bed all day. (I mean who would know if we’re alone at home?) 

Since we’re in our small pods, it’s easy to spread our emotional energy levels as well as the virus. Instead of closing down, I’m asking you to go out, go outside, see the sky, know that there’s something bigger going on that we can’t see. And that is what we get to play with, trusting in that… deepening into a belief or faith that is beyond our understanding. I keep telling myself, “I have everything I need in this moment.” And, most of the time that is true for the majority of us. We probably have at least a roll of toilet paper on hand. We probably have a can of food in the cabinet. And we probably have electricity and a roof over our heads. If you have a cell phone or technology to even be able to read this or listen to this, then we’re way ahead of the game. 

Yeah, we tend to look at what we don’t have. We tend to miss our old life, even when we weren’t happy in that old life. 

So let’s play with this. 

Let’s see if we can find ways to laugh every day. Watching a comedy show. Sharing silly videos. Reading a children’s book. Lately, I’ve been watching old DVDs from when my kids were little. And I try to remember to play – from a place of innocence. When I get my crayons out and a coloring book or I dance around and sing silly songs. No, nobody really needs to see us, and I get to feel the space and opportunity to lighten up my heart. 

So, whatever brings you joy. Whatever allows you to play and whatever allows you to center back into your body, as we did as children. 

That’s the important thing to remember now, remembering our gifts, remembering our truth, remembering who we are. Then in a moment of contemplation, discern where and how to be of service. Is it to make masks? Is it to make extra food and take it to a neighbor? Practicing social distancing and safe habits of course!

I’m just wondering if there’s a way that you can learn about yourself. And remember something about yourself that will add to your own sense of self-worth and value. 

I’m here. If you want to reach out and ask a question, if you want to do some type of assessments to really learn what your strengths are, or what your leadership competencies are or how you’re getting in your own way of your already brilliant strengths and competencies. That’s what I do. And that’s what I’m passionate about. And that’s how I am making a difference right now. 

During these VUCA times (volatile, uncertain complex and ambiguous times), let’s not be afraid of growth. Let’s embrace it, to the best we can. And let our hearts open to the possibility of where we could go, where this could take us, and how to connect in a way that we’ve never done before. It’s truly possible, with expanding our self-awareness, self-trust and self-compassion, we can grow a deeper interconnectedness on this planet. 

Please breathe deep, wash your hands, stay safe, and take excellent care.

My gift to you this month is a guided meditation to help you stay grounded during this time of chaos.

What’s Calling You Forward?

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The Fall Equinox is upon us.

It’s time to take an assessment, an honest look at where we are. Where we want to be.

Who we are. Who we are Be-Coming.

What needs to end? Begin?

What do we want more of? Desire less of?

The Autumnal Equinox is a great lesson in Nature of balance. Light and dark. The changing into a new season. The continuing of the cycle of seasons.

As the leaves fall, it reminds me that I need to clean out, let go, release. The old patterns that are not serving. The foods that don’t make me feel good. The people or clothing that no longer “fit”.

It’s also a wonderful time to review the abundance of what we have created this year. The fruits of our harvest. Sharing in thanks-giving and community.

So what do you want to stop doing?

Start doing?

Stop being?

Start BEing?

A great place to take stock is in your surroundings. Your bank account. Your circle of closest friends and those you spend the most time with.

Are they reflective of you in your Highest and Best?

If not…who would be in that Circle?

Maybe it’s time to create or join a group that reflects You back to YOU. In all your glorious imperfect Perfection and Beauty.

There are Moon Circles. Masterminds. Power Networking groups. Collaborative business meetups. Conscious Leaders convergences and conferences. Coffee connections and social activist breakfast clubs.

What are you looking to be more of? What support calls you forward into the next up-leveling of YOU?

Lots will be generating underground in the coming months as I revamp in my 2018 offerings. Share what you are looking for, chances are I know a group that just might be a great fit.

Or, let’s co-create something together. I’m all about manifesting and generating what you want to dream into being!

©️2017 www.DeborahLeeAnn.com
#SHINE
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