SHIFTING INTO THE POWER AND VULNERABILITY OF "WE"
Happy 2015 and Happy Chinese New Year to you as well!
While I cannot claim to be an expert in Chinese traditions, I am always interested and excited to learn about the meaning of the Chinese new year. Luckily, my amazing assistant is also a Feng Shui specialist and a Chinese astrologer. She's helped me to understand just how powerful of a year is in store for us if we allow ourselves to dissolve beyond the walls of individuality that we've cherished into a consciousness of collective harmony. (Click HERE if you are curious about Feng Shui or Astrology.)
This year, the Year of the Sheep, serves as one of our teachers, bathing us in the essence of gentleness, peace and calm. The sheep energy calls us into the grace of harmony that exists among the collective whole and invites us to consider how we might evolve beyond our individual truth into the power and potential of togetherness.
Sheep travel in a herd. Aside from the lone "black sheep", we tend to see sheep huddled together, working collectively to graze, move, live, etc. Therefore, the sheep energy allows us to nurture one another and to tend to our home, family and community in a way we haven’t experienced in years. The past three years we lived in horse, snake and dragon energy. All of these signs are very individualistic, and were powerful, charged and growth oriented, catapulting us forward into the truth and expression of who we uniquely are. They were rooted in the masculine, yang life force energy.
This year, in contrast, brings with it a reminder that we need one other. What good is our individual power and expression if we cannot balance it with our need for vulnerability, tenderness and quiet intimacy? The sheep represents the profound, transformational power of the feminine, yin life force energy. It is a time to practice being receptive, to nurture and be nurtured, to be inclusive and trust the greater power of the whole.
This sounds quite kumbaya, doesn't it? All of us getting along, loving one another... it's like a Woodstock hippie revival or something. Well, let me tell it to you straight: I'm a transformational coach. EVERY single client and workshop participant that I've ever had was afraid of intimacy on some level. ALL of us are. Most people in our society shy away from the power of vulnerability, seeing it as something that needs to be protected, something that makes them susceptible to hurt or danger of some kind. The sheep is here to guide us into the power of surrender and trust, teaching us that vulnerability is simply a way of being open to deeper connection.
When was the last time you allowed your heart to break open and ask for support in front of someone else? When was the last time you allowed your voice to quiver as you shared how you really feel with your closest loved ones or friends? Have you allowed yourself to melt into the arms of another, not because you are wounded, but because you embody the capacity to receive the purity of their love? What would it be like to dissolve the walls of facade that you've so carefully built around your precious self? What would it be like to nurture the deepest parts of yourself in community with others? What if you allowed your community into your personal experience so deeply that it allowed you all to deepen a bond that was previously superficial? THIS is the power of the sheep.
Recently, I had an experience with my husband that allowed us to experience a deeper intimacy than we've possibly ever felt together before. In the midst of a minor argument, where each of us was defending our positions, I allowed myself to be completely vulnerable and to share a substantial fear that I was facing in my life. In naming my fear and my experience without blame or judgement, I opened to the depths of my vulnerability and asked my husband, who may have been surprised by my outburst of tears, simply to hold me. In that moment, I chose to take the path of the sheep. I could have stayed closed off and defended, even in my vulnerability, feeling too stupid or foolish to ask to be held. I chose instead to drop into the power of "WE"; to lean on him and feel his partnership. He rose to the occasion so gracefully and held me in such a quiet power. A new, deeper trust emerged.
We are being called to dissolve. It is time to dissolve beyond the power of our individual truth and evolve into a new paradigm that is carried and supported by a larger whole. We are being called to TRUST. Trust, trust, trust. Trust in our partners, trust in our friends, trust in our loved ones, trust in our community, trust in humanity once again. The sheep invites us to fall back into the arms of the other and to watch in amazement as they actually catch us. What a stunningly magnificent balance to the part of us who knows how to handle it, who knows how to make it happen and rise to the occasion. In addition to our strength, we now get to experience our softness and our openness. In doing so, our softness and openness becomes our new strength.
So what does it look like for YOU to embrace the power of the sheep this year? How might you lean on your loved ones more to ask for help? What does it look like to open yourself to a new level of receiving - receiving love, kindness, abundance, blessings? How can you open your heart into vulnerability just a little more?
As we open to consider and trust the needs of the whole, we ironically nourish ourselves. Our interconnectedness will be our source of power, so it is a good time for partnering up with your cheerleaders - those people who hold you up and believe in you. If you are someone who likes to control everything and do everything yourself, or if you are a perfectionist, this year will serve as a huge growing edge and opportunity for you. It's your chance to learn to let go a little bit more, to allow others to participate and to surrender into being instead of doing.
I invite you to realize just how much actually has your back. Feel into your back right now as you allow yourself to rest on all that holds you and supports you in this life. All those people, the earth's gravity, the power of the Divine. It's all here holding you so you can relax back into it. Allow yourself to rest on the intervonnectivity that binds us together, the unified whole, a humanity based on love and light.
Here's to your open heart, your nourished self and the joy of feeling your abundant community. May you receive and receive and receive.
PS - I want to hear from you! How are you going to soften and open a bit more this year? What will be powerful for you in that? Please comment below and I'll respond! Happy new year!
TAPPING INTO DIVINE WISDOM
Is there a larger plan for each of us? How do we know where we are supposed to go and how will we get there? These existential questions are common on the path of searching for enlightenment and truth, especially when we find ourselves at an important cross roads.
A friend recently asked me: "How do I figure out what the Universe has planned for me?". Our ability to access the answer within may be more simple than you realize.
There are many theories around fate, destiny and the potential power we possess over our own lives. It can feel scary to ponder these unknowns and overwhelming to try to answer these questions in a concrete way. Regardless of our religion, upbringing or spiritual practice, each of us has the ability to sit with a question and to become open to receiving clarity or guidance in the form of an answer. The process of accessing such deeper wisdom begins with honoring the process of being in question in and of itself. So often in our society, people are looking for a quick solution. We want to get things done, feel accomplished and move onto the next thing. When a tough question comes our way that we don't have an immediate answer to or solution for, it can feel incredibly frustrating. I wonder however: what might it be like to simply let this question live in you? What begins to open up for you when you allow yourself to sit with the unknown? In coaching, we call this type of open-ended question an "inquiry". An inquiry is the type of question that you chew on for a while. It may have several layers to it and usually, simply by being with and exploring the question itself, an answer begins to emerge. I invite you to pause and sit still. Sit down next to this question of the path that is meant for you and notice what arises.
Here are some techniques that you can begin to use that will create a safe and courageous container for you to explore your deepest questions. These tools will allow you to be in conversation with the Universe. We are co-creative, meaning that we work in partnership with life, and therefore it's important to open up to life's wisdom and to learn how to commune with the forces way bigger than ourselves.
Tips For Accessing Divine Insight & Understanding:
1. Allow yourself to be in the question and in the process. Ironically, when it comes to the divine, the answer is often in the question itself. Notice the magic of your question. See if you can appreciate the question, the mystery and the unfolding of life such that the question becomes enough on it's own, without actually needing an immediate answer. Usually when we need to know something so badly, right away, we are acting from a mindset of fear instead of our true center. Because we are afraid of the unknown, of the Great Mystery that is life, we feel the need to attach to something concrete, and this usually comes in the form of needing to know the "plan", the route, the answer. What part of you is trying to control the outcome by needing an answer to an unknown in this moment? What becomes available for you as you let yourself honor the great mystery that is here for you to journey through? How can you practice non-attachment, surrender and vulnerability? Keep your existential question in your back pocket and take it out from time to time during the day. See how your circumstances inform you and how they relate to what you know inside and all that you don't.
2. Utilize your body's wisdom. Although we are each divine and are made of spirit, we come equipped with a living, breathing, tangible human body. Ironically, this body is our doorway to the divine. Begin to notice your body's signals. When is it comfortable and relaxed? When do you feel alive, vibrant, clear and connected to life itself? When do you feel shrunken, contracted, uncomfortable or in danger? Our bodies are wiser than we can ever hope to be. They are constantly speaking to us and when we can learn to decipher their messages and honor our body's guidance, then we instantly become connected to our intuition, our inner wisdom and the larger force field of life. As you bring forward your potential vision of your path, check in with your body. How does your body feel if you were to follow through on Potential Life Path "A"? What messages does your body send you if you imagine yourself following through on Potential Life Path "B"? Notice how your throat, belly, shoulders, legs and energy feel when you follow through on your gut instinct vs. when you choose to act out of fear. Notice how much wisdom is actually available to you there. The quickest way to become aligned with the larger divine forces or with the Universe itself, is to follow through on the divine wisdom inside of you. Your body will tell you when you are in sync with your intuition or not. Honor this guidance and watch yourself open to deeper and deeper awareness, clarity and connection.
3. Get clear on what you already know.
You know a lot more than you may think and you have more power than you realize, even if you aren't in charge of the divine mystery that is at work in the greater scheme. I don't know if there is a "plan" for us. I don't know if God, the Universe or our soul chooses on our behalf along the way. What I do know is that we are here to evolve and that we are here to help one another on this sacred path. Even if there is something larger at play, you are still at choice throughout the day. It is your divine birth right, and your responsibility, to take ownership of your life and your relationship to your circumstances. We are always at choice. So... what do you know? What are you clear on right now? What is your intention for your life and your legacy? This is yours to solidify and more importantly, to claim. We are not passive victims. As Katherine Woodward Thomas says, "Life happens through us, not to us". You get to co-create your life with the Universe by standing in integrity, being intentional, getting clear and living in alignment with your truth. Some questions you can ask to get clear: What is most important to me? What do I owe to myself and to my legacy? What do I long to create, experience and contribute in my life? If I took full responsibility for my life and my situation, what is the next step I would take? What do I want to feel at the end of my life and what will get me there? These are big questions in and of themselves. Take your time. Get quiet and get clear. You'll see the Universe back you up immediately!
4. Practice the art of prayer and deep listening. This is where it starts to get fun and this is where we truly begin to access not only the inherent knowing that exists within us, but also the divine wisdom that resides beyond. Begin by centering yourself. You may want to download my free Centering Meditation MP3 to help center and expand your energy. When we are centered and expansive, we can tune into ourselves more easily as well as more effortlessly access divine answers. From that space, simply ask. You may ask God, the Universe, whomever or whatever source you need to ask. Offer the question: What is the greater plan for me? What is the greatest path of highest good for me and everyone else involved? You may also want to offer the question of: What are my greatest lessons? What am I here to learn? What do I need to accept or take responsibility for? What is it time to let go of? I like the approach of humility within the sacred container of prayer and meditation. Imagine your questions rising up or coming out from within. And then sit. Simply sit in silence and be. Be open, be accepting, without attachment, and see what comes. You may want to say aloud (or quietly within) that you are open to accepting and receiving, or that you are open to answers and guidance. As you sit, really practice being open and unattached. Something may come or something may not. It's ok, don't get frustrated. Be open to answers coming in all times and forms - sounds, sights, feelings, senses, intuition, etc. Eventually, the answers and insights will come. I like to think of prayer and meditation or deep listening like the ebb and flow of the breath: In prayer, we exhale - we offer our question or our longing. In meditation we inhale - we open to receive the clarity, acceptance and guidance from beyond.
This blog is a sacred invitation to bask in the Great Mystery of all that is. It is an invitation for you to rise to your own occasion and claim your longing, your calling and your truth. Here's to the questions, to the clarity and to the divine unfolding of it all.
RADIO SHOW WITH CAROLYN CJ JONES
Yesterday I had the privilege of being interviewed by Carolyn CJ Jones, a "Forgiveness Coach", Best Selling Author and radio show host. She has a weekly radio show and asked me to come be a part of it!
I LOVE the topic of forgiveness. It shifts us from anger into acceptance, from illness into healing and from a closed heart to an open, connected life filled with possibility.
During this 50 minute show, I speak with CJ about how practicing forgiveness is a critical part of being able to live our truth. I touched on my own healing journey and the role that practicing forgiveness towards myself and others played in opening me up to live the life of my dreams. We spoke about anger, love, being the curious "Observer" of your emotional experience and so much more. It was a fun, rich and authentic discussion! I invite you to check it out and to get interested in what opening the gates of your heart can do for the rest of your life. It may just lead you to bliss!
AWAKEN TO YOUR TRUTH
On August 13th, I was interviewed by spiritual friend and radio host Jeff Daugherty of NC Kaballah radio. Hundreds of people tuned in to join the conversation and learn how simply BEING YOURSELF is one of the most potent doorways to accessing the divine.
In this juicy hour long show I share the following:
* How to identify what has meaning to you
* How to get in touch with and realize your dreams.
* Tips and small steps to easily bring spirituality into your daily life.
* How the right brain can be used to bring your dreams alive.
* The critical connection between nutrition and spirituality.
Here's what people have said about the show:
"Folks, this is one lady that GETS IT. She is the one you have been looking for to help you get to the next level." - Jeff Daughterty
"Amazing talk last night. It's insane how many of your messages have been completely in line with has been going on in my life. Thank you for the reminders. Look forward to reading/listening to more." - N.M.
"That was great! I listened to the whole thing and it really touched me because I have been feeling out of alignment lately. Thanks so much!" - M.P.
To listen to the FREE Replay, visit here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nckabbalah/2012/08/14/nckfriends
I'd love to hear your comments and questions after you've heard the show! Feel free to share below. For more information on Jeff Daughterty visit his website HERE. To read my personal story of awakening and how the Embodied Truth Coaching Program can change your life click HERE.
Thanks for tuning in!
WE HAVE A PRIMAL ABILITY TO MAKE SOUND.
WHAT IF YOU FREED YOUR VOICE TO FULLY EXPRESS YOURSELF?
At this time of change and general upheaval around the globe, it is clear that people long to use their voices to express themselves and claim their power.
In my own journey of self-actualization, I practice using my voice to express my truth, my passions and to release those parts of myself that no longer serve me. One of the most exciting ways I do this is through Sound Healing. Sound Healing is the art of using sound, both through drums, bells, tuning forks or other external sound-making objects as well as using your own voice to move stuck energy in the body. It is both powerful and gentle, and is an incredible modality to heal physical, emotional and energetic imbalances. Similar to the acupuncture needles used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Sound Healing utilizes the vibration of sound to create and move energy throughout the physical and energetic bodies. It is regarded as a proven, scientific healing modality and is becoming more popular these days. It is a safe, liberating way to really seize the power of your voice.
So what is so special about exercising our voice? I didn’t quite realize this until I began to use mine. In the past, I've enjoyed singing and had taken some vocal lessons, however it wasn’t until I started using my voice as a healing instrument as well as a vehicle to voice my true needs, beliefs and feelings, that I began to grasp just what making sound can do.
Making sound is not about sounding good or hitting the right notes of a song. It is not about performing for others. Making sound is PRIMAL. It is a basic human faculty and an innate part of our species. Sound is something that comes out of us from the first breaths that we draw upon when entering this world. Think how fiercely a baby can wail - full of power and resolve. Think of what uproarious laughter, cheering or whispering sounds like. Making sound can be anything from breathing, humming, singing, grunting, screaming, speaking or any other noise we can omit. It creates vibration and resonance. It can be gentle or fierce. It can come from the depths of who we are.
Yet in our society we are embarrassed of making noise. We fear saying the wrong thing, being rude, speaking at the wrong time, sounding bad if we sing or being inappropriate if we release primal sounds from our bellies in order to heal. When I first engaged in sound healing I would practice making different sounds that would acknowledge certain parts of my body that I was healing, such as my liver, intestines, etc., and I would balance my chakras (energy centers in the body) by practicing sound scales. I remember writing an email to my neighbors to let them know what I was doing so they wouldn’t worry and think a cat was dying in my apartment or something! I was so embarrassed! When I started taking voice lessons and joined a band, I used to sing in my bathroom with the door closed so no one would hear me – I felt incredibly self-conscious using my FULL voice. Over time, I grew to understand how freeing and healing it is for me to open my voice and I now joyously LET IT OUT regardless of who might hear. Perhaps it will even inspire someone as they walk by! More so, I began to realize how important it was for me to reclaim my own personal power through voicing my needs, feelings and beliefs to others - both verbally and in writing. It is incredibly empowering to speak your truth. What do you REALLY want to say to people?
There are many useful ways to use sound and when relevant, I utilize some of these techniques with my health and life-coaching clients as well as in the group workshops that I lead. Contact me to find out more.
Here are a few exercises to help get you started using sound for your own benefit:
* DEEP LISTENING & EXPRESSION *
Take a quiet moment and tune into yourself. Turn off your phone and computer and just listen. What do you hear?
Start by listening to what you hear outside. Take mental note of all the different sounds. What do you hear in front of you? Behind you? To your right and left? What does your breath sound like?
Now shift your focus inward. Start by focusing on your breath and tune out the thoughts that cross your mind. If you have a thought, just let it pass. Very slowly, scan your body starting at your head and working your way down to your throat, chest, abdomen, hips, thighs, calves, ankles and toes.
What do you hear?
How are you feeling physically and emotionally?
What parts of you are tired? In pain? Scared? Happy?
What sounds could you make to represent how you feel?
What do you need/long to express?
Take a moment and sit with all of it. Listen to your intuition. You can journal about your experience if you like. Now make some noise! Scream into a pillow or release a glorious sound of pride. Hum a gentle note. Recite a mantra or affirmation out loud to yourself. Tell someone how you really feel. It’s safe.
* CHAKRA BALANCING SCALES *
Each of the seven chakras (energy centers) of the body has a corresponding sound. The lowest, root chakra found at your sit bones, can be represented and balanced by making a lowwww, vibrating sound. Take a moment and try making the lowest humming sound you can make. (Ummmmmmm) Now shift the focus to your seventh chakra, or crown chakra on the top of your head, by making a very high pitched, squeaky sound. What is the highest sound that you can make? (Eeeeeeee)
The chakras can all be balanced by practicing scales. Start with the lowest note, focusing on your sit bones/hips and slowly move your focus up, through your sexual organs, abdomen, heart, throat, etc. aiming for the top of your head. Simultaneously, as you move up your body, slowly make your tone higher and higher until you reach your highest note at the top of your head. Then reverse it. See where you get stuck or are not fluid. That will inform you where you might be holding onto some stuck energy in your body. You can use sound to move through that and keep practicing the scales until they are fluid. This can be incredibly grounding, rejuvenating and healing!
* GROUNDING YOUR ENERGY *
If you have a lot on your mind, especially before you go to sleep, practice making the lowest sound you can make and shift your focus down towards your feet. This will shift your vibration and help get you out of your head.
So…. What do you need to express? What does it sound like? What would happen if it were totally safe for you to use your voice fully? What would you tell people if you had the courage to speak honestly and lovingly?
Tune in. Listen. And let it out - Wildly. Lovingly. Freely. Authentically.
May you sing your song proudly and march to the beat of your own drum!