HOW GRIEF SILENTLY OPENS THE COLLECTIVE HEART
Last Wednesday started off as a normal morning - I turned the tea kettle on, rubbed my eyes and pet my anxious puppy as he nipped at my toes for attention. I was gearing up for a full day of coaching sessions when I got the call that a dear family friend had very suddenly passed away. He was the younger brother of one of my best friends. He was someone I had grown up with, an extension of my family. He was a light in our world, gone too soon at the ripe age of 35. I dropped the phone and fell to the floor sobbing. Total shock.
As the week progressed, this shocking tragedy brought together my expansive "chosen" family from adolescence - an entire multi-generational community of friends and families who have known one another for over 25 years. We hugged, we wept, we remembered, we honored, we ate, we laughed and more than anything we grieved as we said goodbye to our beloved loved one together.
Many of us have experienced the death of a loved one, or perhaps felt the impact of loosing someone we may not have even known that well at all. The death of my friend fell during the same week as the death of Robin Williams which devastated people all over the world. Around the globe, hearts were ripped open as people mourned this unexpected loss. Death seems to give us pause. Somehow it softens us. It puts things in perspective and startles us into remembering how precious life can be. It seems to say to us: "Wake Up!"
As we search for meaning during the time of tragedy and grief, I cannot help but be struck by a sense of healing that has the potential to emerge in these heart-open moments. As much as I cannot fully digest what has happened to my friend, his family and our community, I somehow also cannot shake a simultaneous sense of profound peace that feels present to me at this time. How is it that something so terrible can give us access to something so reassuring?
The answer is simple: LOVE.
Despite the struggle in the Middle East, random shootings in the Midwest and the heart-wrenching depression that swallowed the life of a comedic icon, I still believe that in our truest state we are made of love. I trust fully that we are actively evolving our human consciousness and that on a soul level, we are more familiar with the light than the dark.
Could it be that grief opens our hearts just enough to remember LOVE as our truth? Could it be that grief is clearing out Humanity's old story of separation, judgment, danger and lack as it silently softens the Collective Heart?
Grief is a profound teacher if we let it be. If we let the title waves of sadness pour through us, then they can awaken and cleanse our hearts. Death is a reminder of impermanence and is one doorway to re-awaken our ability to BE with what is in this moment. Death is here to remind us about LOVE. It invites us to connect to our soul's path and to one another right now, in this life. It disintegrates our walls of judgement, story and constriction that have kept us small and cocooned away from the authentic connection we so deeply desire. How come it takes the shattering of life for us to remember how precious and vulnerable we truly are? It's as though the grief over my friend's death has on some level cleared some out-dated residue of isolation, contraction and smallness in my heart. While I feel immense sadness, I can tell that I am more open. I am somehow more loving today. I am seeing through a renewed pair of eyes that offer compassion, tenderness, trust and peace towards myself and those around me. This is the gift of those who have left us. They afford us the blessing of loving more in this life, allowing our collective consciousness to evolve. Their departure opens the door for our healing.
As I process the meaning of these events, I begin to wonder how we might all soften ourselves to love a little bit more. What would it take to pick up the phone instead of feed our isolation? What would it do if we practiced receiving love in moments of tender vulnerability? What does it take for us to truly surrender?
I am reminded that each of us is whole. Each of our souls has an innate wisdom and is on the perfect path. Each of us is invited by forces greater than we can ever imagine to return to our natural state of love. To SHOW UP and nourish our sacred connections to ourselves and each other. Each of us is OK. We can handle our pain, we can lean into our fear a little more today than yesterday, we can stretch ourselves out of the darkness of comfort back into the light of love in some way today.
Personally, I feel changed, and in this change I have recommitted myself to live vulnerably, lovingly and in connection even more. We are made of love. We are here to love ourselves and each other. We are asked to do it now. And to ask for help doing it.
My invitation to you is that you courageously honor your soul's longing for connection, peace, joy, purity, liberation and love. It's safe to do so. It's time to do so. It's our responsibility to do so. You are fully blessed and always supported by the Great Mystery that seems to somehow always bring us back to love.
May you Shine On.
What makes this sabbatical radical is not the length of time off, although a month is truly a delicious amount of space to reconnect and rejuvenate. The radical element comes into play because I've chosen to insert this radical pause smack dab into the middle of my very busy, successful, fulfilling life. It's radical because I'm being wildly intentional and devoted to my highest good. I can sense that there's something deep below for me to access that only has the chance to come forward by my complete honoring of self. I am committing to totally slowing down, and more so, I am committing to receive divine inner guidance by practicing true integrity and ultimate deep listening. Totally radical.
As I prepared myself for this pause, I realized two important things. First, I was aware of how infrequently we give ourselves permission to be utterly spacious. We are trained in our society to fill up every ounce of free time on our calendars and push forward. Or our fear stops us and feeds us the story that we can't afford to pause. These tendencies rob us of our ability to experience our true nature, to face what's here and to access the brilliance of our inner stillness. It truly is radical to choose the awakened response over the reaction; the stillness over the stimulation; the sabbatical as a doorway to the next phase of our life's work and offerings.
I invite you to really think about this. In my own career, society feeds me messages that the next step of growth or success is for me to host a tele-summit or start my own TV show. Go bigger! Become famous! It's a massive paradigm shift to choose to PAUSE in the face of these dangling carrots and listen instead to my inner knowing that reaffirms my truth. I know that my inspiration and brilliance emerges when I have the space to dance through life. I know that something deep within me is coming forward and that it will solidify in the sanctuary of my own quiet and nourished depths. There is massive richness in the quiet deliciousness of the radical pause. Feel it?
The second thing I became very clear on in the process of preparing for this sabbatical is that I don't want to be the only one who is radical. Why should I be the only one who benefits from this indulgence? What if we all embraced the energy of radical intention in the coming month? I asked my clients what they wanted to be radial about in July and I was blown away by their answers. One of them is committing to radical self love. Another has the intention of radial deep listening and gratitude. Another is choosing to be radically free through adventure in July. Wow! We don't need to take time off to fulfill our deepest desires. We can be radical about aligning with our dreams and our truth right now, in between everything else.
So I invite you to join in. What would your life look like if you focused your energy on radical rest? Or radical authenticity? What paradigm shift and liberation is possible for you when you embrace radical fulfillment - only engaging in those activities, jobs, foods and people that totally bring you alive? How can you better serve our world by practicing radical generosity or radical tenderness towards yourself? What is here to access that otherwise would be missed?
As I step out into the vastness of my deliciously amazing Radical Sabbatical, I invite you to join me. Well, you're not invited to come to Hawaii with me next week... but you are invited to evolve into this new paradigm of purity, integrity and full permission to radically put yourself first. This is what feeds our ripple effect and our ability to pay it forward full on. Yes: the ultimate form of service comes when we serve from a place of connection to our highest, most joyous selves; from our fullest capacity and over-flowing hearts. I truly hope you'll consider this and that you'll join me in living a radially authentic, nourished and liberated life this month... and way beyond!
I'm looking forward to sharing my insights with you in August. Until then...
MY NEW INSPIRATIONAL BOOK ANTHOLOGY BECOMES AVAILABLE ON AMAZON THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH!
In just 3 days, the book anthology that I co-authored, In Pursuit of the Divine, will be released on Amazon. I was invited to participate in this incredible, inspiring and impactful collaboration by my friend and the book's compiler, Krista Gustavson who asked that each of the book's 30 co-authors share our stories of empowerment and transformation more truthfully, vulnerably and courageously than ever before. The result is a collection of stories that is incredibly real, totally inspirational and packed with tools to empower women around the globe. This is our time. This is YOUR time. To be utterly and gloriously YOU and to shine your light fully for your sake, the sake of your loved ones and the sake of our world. This book will empower you to do so. Stay tuned for the Amazon link which will become available on Friday so that you can purchase the book for yourself and all the other women who are important to you!
The purpose of this book is to inspire and empower Women all over the world to reclaim their Feminine Power and align with who they are so they can fully express their deepest truth. Each co-author invites you to witness their own Transformational Journey, one that empowered them to be who they are today as the Feminine Rising. Each chapter reveals the truth, what they discovered on their path to cultivate healing within themselves. Each story reveals the beauty already inherent in each one of us, a unique journey where a time of darkness initiated deep feminine wisdom of spectacular threads woven together in a tapestry of courage, bravery, trust and triumph In Pursuit of the Divine.
MEET THE CO-AUTHORS!
I joined forces with 29 other healers, coaches, visionaries and thought leaders from around North America and the U.K.
Each co-author will touch your heart and speak to your soul, giving you greater awareness, clarity and inspiration. You will learn that losing yourself in the midst of pain, grief and loss can be a portal to strengthen and empower ourselves. I invite you to step into your own story so that your true purpose can be revealed. When we are completely aligned with our Purpose, we are the greatest contribution to the world.
Our Purpose is to inspire and empower Women all over the globe with our transformational stories. Every Woman has experienced some form of disempowerment in her life leaving behind traces of her pure essence; she then becomes hidden from the world. Our purpose is to expand your awareness, acknowledge you and provide a sanctuary to reclaim your own Feminine Power. Women now more than ever are being called upon to come together as a collective entity. With our unique offerings, we have a desire to support you and guide you in activating your own inner wisdom so you can align yourself with the greatest expression of who you are and know your purpose in the world.
WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT MY CHAPTER TITLED "WHEN SPIRIT CALLED ME HOME".
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.
When we can begin to honor what our true feelings are inside, then we open the door to an ocean of untapped potential, vitality, power and joy that is waiting to be unleashed and experienced within. What type of people do you truly long to spend time with? If money wasn’t an issue, how would you spend your waking hours and what would you contribute to our world? What activities, places and people naturally light you up at this time?
Identifying Energy Drainers & Energy Enhancers:
Before we can fully consider this, it’s important to define what an energy drainer is and what an energy enhancer is. Energy drainers are activities, people, thoughts, habits, environments, foods, etc. that DEPLETE you of energy or that feel draining to you. After engaging in an energy drainer, you may feel slightly down, you may feel tired or be second guessing yourself; you may be full of doubt or feel as though you need to go for a run or take a shower to “wash” the bad energy off of you. Energy enhancers are commitments, activities, people, thoughts, habits, environments, foods, meditations, etc. that ENHANCE your energy or make your feel more alive! After spending time with an energy enhancer, you will likely feel inspired, you may feel more light or stronger in your body, you may feel more awake and refreshed and you will believe in yourself and your dreams more whole heartedly. Energy enhancers restore our faith in ourselves and in life. They give us a sense of inner peace or add an extra hop to our step. You may find yourself smiling or singing after spending time with an energy enhancer.
To identify your energy drainers and enhancers, I recommend the following exercise:
Make two columns on a piece of paper. On the left hand side write down energy drainers and write down your energy enhancers on the right. Make a list right away of people, situations and things you know deplete you and those that you know energize you. Then, throughout the week notice: Did that food I just ate energize me or deplete me? Did that meeting I had with that person energize me or deplete me? Did that walk through the park energize me or deplete me? Really take a look at how you are feeling during each activity, interaction or choice that you engage in. Make sure to add to your lists throughout the week.
Follow The Energy!
Now, for the real challenge, practice following the energy! Follow those things that bring you alive and restore you. Be relentlessly committed to following through on the energy givers in your life and practice saying no to all that drains you. If it’s an energy drainer and it’s not aligned with your higher vibration and dreams, then don’t put your energy towards it. Preserving our energy for only things that bring us alive will ensure that we are living in alignment with our dreams.
Following the energy is similar to following your intuition, yet it’s more dialed in. It’s about really feeling into what brings you alive and following through on that even if you’re afraid. My invitation to you is to be deliberate about what you’re putting your energy towards in your life. This doesn’t mean letting go of responsibilities and not paying our bills because we don’t enjoy that task. Rather, this is about practicing discernment. This is about practicing self love and self respect. This is about honoring what you long for deep down inside and taking the risk to make it part of your life for real so that you can create a bridge that will take you from where you are now to where you wish to be.
The Thing That Stops Us Short:
Here’s the deal. We always know what’s best for us and what brings us the most joy and vitality. The problem is that we’re afraid to own it. We’re afraid to rock the boat, to offend someone, and most of all… we’re afraid that we’ll end up alone, broke or bored.
Yet living a life that is rich, full of energy, abundant and wildly fulfilling requires that we take risks. It requires that we follow the energy even if our knees are shaking and we are so stuck in our own drama of how it might be risky to do so. It’s your job and responsibility to be the pioneer of this new path in your life. You get to be the pioneer who follows the energy by coming out of invisibility, speaking your truth, following through on what you know is best for you and making resonant choices that bring you alive. We are building a new muscle here. It’s time to only say yes to all those things that bring you closer to your dream, that take you to the experience of life that you long for.
On A Personal Note:
As we shift into the winter months and near the holiday season, there can be a lot of pressure to stay busy, extroverted and outwardly focused. Personally, after a wonderfully prolific and successful 2013, I found that this fall, as the days shortened and the temperature dropped, I experienced a profound need to go inward. My desire to be quiet and internal was so strong that it actually surprised me. After putting so much energy out in the form of my life’s work this year (did you check out my awesome course ALIGNED or my transformational Reignite Your Radiance Retreat?) and enjoying thoroughly, I suddenly needed to restore my energy. Instead of the usual social activities, projects and group programs that typically invigorate me, I found that what energized me most was curling up on the couch with a good book and indulging in the occasional afternoon nap. I even took a 4-day personal retreat to some natural hot springs all by myself in October. On one level it felt risky to do this as I always want to provide great content for you and stay engaged with those of you who take my classes regularly. Yet I chose instead to trust that following the energy in my life would lead me to the right path. I know that these days my energy enhancers are coming in the form of yummy, home cooked meals, cozy nights on the couch, quiet walks alone and taking a break from holding space for others. I know that following this inward desire will lead me to yet another prolific, exciting and creative phase in my life that I’ll get to share with you. Following our true energy ALWAYS leads us to a healthy, loving, abundant and fulfilling place. Guaranteed.
My Invitation To You:
My invitation to you this season is to tune into yourself even more. Practice discernment and follow through on your energy enhancers. Honor yourself and what you truly long for. I promise it will lead you to the place you want to be… and if you’re lucky, it will take you even further… to the place beyond your wildest expectations.
Here’s to your energy!
SAY YES TO YOUR TRUTH BY LEARNING TO SAY "No"
Last week, we enjoyed a glorious full moon in San Francisco where I live. The fullness of the moon represents a time to go inward towards ourselves. It's a potent reminder to nourish ourselves fully and bask in our wholeness. Did you see it? Did you FEEL it?
Recently, I've noticed my own desire to go inwards more. After expressing my life's work so much this year and putting on a phenomenal Reignite Your Radiance Retreat! at the end of August, I know it's time to refuel my tanks and bask in my inner creativity again. It's felt wonderful to slow down and practice RADICAL self care. Just like the ocean ebbs after it flows, we too are called to go inward and swim in our own creative oceans of True Self after periods that are more dynamic and externally focused. By allowing ourselves to go inwards, we become so full up that we can't help but express and birth projects and LIFE itself through us.
In honoring my delicious journey inwards right now, I notice how important it's been for me to enforce more boundaries than usual so that I can truly create the restorative and creative space that feels so right for me these days. It's been a while since I have enforced a good "No!" in my life and let me tell you, it feels AWESOME to honor myself so deeply and share my gracious and loving "No" with others. It feels great because I've learned that by saying "No", I'm actually saying YES to my truth; saying YES to my fulfillment, my purpose, health and happiness. Saying "No" becomes fun and easy when we approach it in this way.
For many, especially women, setting boundaries can be terrifying. People often fear that by saying "No", they may disappoint another, be deemed selfish, potentially destroy an important relationship or even be left alone and broke. You may even feel powerless and voiceless in the face of needing to exert a boundary with another. It's SO critically important to know how to set boundaries with an open heart and how to honor the YES in our life by learning to say "No" graciously.
Ready to say YES to your ultimate life? Ready to say YES to freedom, authentic connections, joy, purpose and love? Start aligning yourself with all you want by learning to say "No!".
I wish you an abundant, juicy and restorative fall season. Stay tuned because I know this replenishing phase of mine is going to yield TONS of exciting new material and opportunities from me. I'll be excited to share it all with you!
Happy boundary setting!
Whatever we focus on becomes our life. This is especially important and noticeable during times of change. Are you manifesting what you desire by focusing on what's working or are you remaining stuck by focusing on all that is not going your way? In this video I share the Tale of Two Wolves to teach you how to focus on what's working so you can get maximum results in your life! View it on my YouTube Channel HERE.
FINDING THE COURAGE TO CHOOSE HAPPINESS
Our society is on the perpetual hunt for more happiness. As a Transformational Coach, I encounter a LOT of people who want to be happier in their lives. Just this morning, a client expressed to me: "I just want to be happy!". Happiness has turned into something that people believe is outside of themselves as if they play no role in creating it, like something you can buy at the store.
What I see more than anything is that people are longing for deep fulfillment, not just happiness. People want a sense of richness, depth, purpose, direction, contribution, freedom and joy in their lives. What's amazing is that in every state of "unhappiness", nearly 100% of the time people know what it is that is making them unhappy. And they KNOW what they need to change in order to become more fulfilled in their lives.
HAPPINESS ISN'T THE ISSUE.
The issue then may not actually be happiness or unhappiness. The issue really becomes about the courage and willingness to do what it takes to make yourself and your life "happy". The feeling of living a miserable life arises when we are too afraid to acknowledge or own what we need to change. The feeling of boredom, dried up, I-don't-even-know-where-to-begin, emerges when we are living out of alignment with our truest nature. The fear of changing the status quo keeps us stuck in our misery; in our small, old, habitual way of the familiar, yet suffocating "comfort" zone.
In our society, we are terrified of disappointing others, we are terrified of the unknown and of rocking the boat. It is the loyalty to this fear that keeps people stuck, miserable and playing small. It is your lack of courage to change that is making you feel "unhappy". To be truly fulfilled in your life, you must allow yourself the sheer pleasure, the gift and the responsibility of structuring your life so that it is in alignment with your most authentic truth inside. If you are someone who needs space in your calendar to be creative and thrives when you experience collaboration and variety, then most likely you will be unfulfilled in an administrative job that requires you to work rigid hours. If you are someone who loves to talk about current world affairs and marvels at the rich experiences of your life, then most likely you will be unfulfilled at a dinner party where people are focused on fashion and reality TV. If you are someone whose truest nature is to be visionary, inspired and playfully express yourself, then most likely you will be unfulfilled in a romantic relationship where your partner is threatened or uncomfortable with you in the spot light. You can begin to see where living out of alignment with your truth is actually the thing causing your unhappiness. Under different circumstances that reflected and celebrated your truest needs and authentic nature, I'd be willing to bet that you'd be radiantly HAPPY. Our true nature is happy... and it's simple. We allow fear, assumptions, worry and lack of trust to overcomplicate things for us.
FINDING THE COURAGE TO CHANGE.
So how do we obtain and strengthen the courage to change? Here are 5 key steps that will help you muster up the courage to change things in honor of living your most radiantly juicy and deeply fulfilling life:
1. Acknowledge your dream. I have a question for you: What do you OWE to yourself? What will you regret at the end of your life if you do not make it happen? What is the dream inside of you that you have buried so far down below that you can't remember what it even is? If you want to have the courage to create more happiness, then you need to be willing to look under the bed, dust off the boxes and take your dream out once again. You need to put that dream in the light and tend to it daily, watering it with your loyalty and intention, caring for it by making it a priority once again. The first step to finding the courage to change is admitting that you actually desire happiness and to clarify what that looks like for you. You will not be able to develop the courage to change if you're not willing to admit that you want something different than what you've got now. You must let your dream live. Let it shine!
2. Make your dream more important than your fear. Are you going to feed your desire for happiness or feed your fears? Are you going to prioritize your dream life or prioritize your sense of obligation to others? If you are not living your dream than you are living someone else's, and in all likelihood, that's keeping you miserable. So you're at a moment of choice: you can choose to stay stuck, stay small, stay co-dependent, stay worried or you can choose to honor this amazingly radiant, loving and authentic truth and knowing within you. You can choose to let your fear drive the bus of your life or you can step into the driver's seat yourself. It's your life and it becomes whatever you choose to make of it, so the choice is yours. The time is now to choose a new direction of loyalty to your happiness. No more loyalty to your fear and tiny comfort zone.
3. Step into Radical Responsibility. As Katherine Woodward Thomas says, "Life happens through us, not to us". You are not a passive victim in your life. In order to live the life that you truly desire, you must be willing to accept Radical Responsibility for your circumstances and all aspects of your life. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner landscape. If you are focused on what's not working then not much will work for you. If you are tending to your happiness and taking responsibility to change yourself then change and happiness will happen. The good news is that taking radical responsibility puts you in a wonderfully empowered position. Own the fact that YOU are the one who will change your life and you'll be much more excited to jump in and do so.
4. Be willing to say NO. One of the biggest roadblocks that people have when trying to create a truly fulfilling and rewarding life is their fear of disappointing others. I'm going to give it to you straight: I guarantee that you will disappoint at least one person in your life by choosing to walk down the path of YOUR truth and happiness. AND... that's a really great thing! It means that you're beginning to honor what's true for you instead of just going along with others or with whatever is presented to you. It means you're starting to be intentional and give energy to those things and people that light you up instead of pull you down. When you say NO to one thing, you say YES to something else by default. (You can read my full blog article about that HERE). So let yourself say NO. Say NO to the job that is sucking you dry. Say NO to the relationship that isn't what you actually want. Say NO to the incredibly lucrative, sexy, potentially delicious opportunity that is being offered to you but doesn't feel right somewhere inside. This will fill your courage tanks to FULL. I promise you that you'll be OK (actually, I bet you'll be more than OK - you'll be HAPPY) after you enforce boundaries with others and choose instead to follow the energy of your YES. I promise you that you'll be happier by taking the risk of leaving behind what so clearly isn't working for you. Let yourself step into happiness by practicing saying NO to all that isn't working for you.
5. Shift your perspective about the unknown. Many people in our society are more comfortable when there is a plan and when the future is "secure". I am guilty of this myself at times. The unknown can be a wildly scary land to explore and yet, it's the only guarantee we have as we cannot predict the future. Thank goodness we cannot predict our future - can you imagine how boring life would be without any mystery at all? I invite you to embrace the unknown and instead of seeing it as a daunting, threatening thing, start to view it as a yummy, juicy place where you can anticipate and taste your happiness growing and growing. The whole point is to experience what you haven't known before because what you've known thus far hasn't been fulfilling for you (if it was, you wouldn't want more happiness). So let yourself step into the unknown with delight, curiosity, trust and yummy anticipation for all of the wonderfully new and fulfilling things you are creating. See it as a journey to the best place you've ever been.
Change is risky. There is always a risk, no matter how you slice it - leaving your current situation for hopes of a better one doesn't come with a guarantee. What you know in this moment is that you're unhappy. So I invite you to take a risk. Take that leap of faith that feels so right and tingly inside even though you're so afraid that your teeth are chattering. Take the risk of walking towards your happiness and creating a totally NEW way that is actually freaking amazing and unknown. Take the risk of allowing life to provide for you once you own your YES. The day will come when the risk of playing small is greater than the risk of shining. I invite you to seize that day, jump in with both feet and GO FOR IT! Your utterly happy dream life awaits you.
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!
This is the most HONEST blog I’ve written to date. I’m putting my truth out on the table in an act of radical self love. Here you go...
Happy Valentines Day! To all of you who are in love and those of you who crave love, I wish you a happy day of honoring how love can show up even more in your life. In recent years I’ve begun to consider Valentine’s Day the day of practicing more Self Love. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be having a special evening with my honey tonight and I’m very grateful for that. But I’m also clear that I wouldn’t have gotten to this point of dinner and music with my husband if it wasn’t for self love.
As the Universe would have it, I'm being given yet another opportunity to practice profound self love these days. After getting married and going through what felt like a major spiritual portal of self growth and evolution a few months ago, I became ready to birth my life’s work. Truly. I’ve had a few ideas and dreams brewing in me for close to a decade now and I am finally ready to share them with the world. (Ironically, I needed to go through some major dark times and undergo a process of intense physical healing and restructuring of my life to become ready). The birthing of my dream is coming in the form of ALIGNED, a revolutionary 7-week transformational program that begins on April 3rd. You’ll be hearing all about it in the coming weeks :-). This is the culmination of everything I’ve been through, all that I’ve learned and integrated, as well as how I coach my clients towards living their ultimate lives. I really believe in this work and stand fully behind this process. It's how I live.
WHAT'S SELF LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
I became ready to offer these teachings because I love myself enough to commit to being the person I wanted to become. That person is living the dream that has been brewing in my belly. That person is humbly and courageously offering her own teachings based on her experience of walking the path of truth and reaping it's rewards. That person knows that all she can really do is walk her own path fully and by doing so can model the option to others of doing the same for themselves. I OWE it to myself to birth this dream of ALIGNED and the other offerings I'll be sharing this year. I can’t not do it anymore and in doing so I have to practice Self Love more radically than I ever have before. The old me who used to cut corners and step over her intuition and body occasionally is not the woman leading these courses. The old me who was an amazing film and photo producer because she handled every detail, burned the midnight oil and put others first is not the woman who models embodied truth by honoring the pace of her spirit and surrendering to what she cannot control. The old me who over scheduled herself and remained in her head instead of living and loving from her body is not the woman who will balance career, partnership and family rooted in simple pleasures and generous love. The continued fruition of my dream depends on me loving myself enough to gently put down another layer of my old skin yet again and become again and again who I'm meant to be.
WHO IS THE NEW YOU THAT YOU'RE BECOMING?
When I work with my clients on who they are becoming, we often give a name to the new them. This allows them to really identify and personify the charicteristics of their future self. Luckily for me, I’ll naturally be changing my name this year since I recently became married. My new name is Rony Reingold, which so wonderfully means “Pure Gold”. I’ve seized this as my opportunity to really slide into the skin of the me I am becoming. I am Rony Reingold and it's been very fun to define exactly what that means for me. It creates a new land to live in and an opportunity to step fully into my highest self.
So who are you becoming? And if you’re not sure of that yet, who do want to be? Who is that person within you that you owe it to yourself to become? How do they live their life? How do they dress? What car do they drive? What music do they listen to or do they choose instead to sit in silence? What is their body like when they sit at the computer? What is their relationship with food like? What is their relationship with themselves , their children and their soul mate like? How do they respond to situations that trigger them or situations that fulfill them? What brings them ALIVE?
THE RAW TRUTH: A DANCE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW
When my husband catches me in my old mode of being driven and over-extended, he calls me "The Producer". It's kind of a joke, but more of a gentle reminder to check myself and remember my new definition of what it means to produce and create from within. There’s no room for my old ways if I’m going to truly fulfill this dream and embody Rony Reingold and all she means to me. The new me produces and creates, in fact it brings me alive, but I do so from the center of the goddess within me; of the humble teacher and the person who fully and joyously dances down my own path of empowered self actualization for the sake of personal evolution and inspiring others.
I’ll be honest with you, there are days when I get consumed by the old anxious and controlling producer in me – she lures me into working late, getting disconnected from my body and stretching myself thin. This is my deepest self sabotaging pattern and at times it feels that the new me and the old me are engaged in quite an arm wrestle, each trying to prevail! However as I’ve experienced through evolving beyond other patterns in my transformational journey, when we practice radical Self Love, slowly but surely the new way prevails – in a peaceful and effortless, simple kind of a way. It’s beautiful. And I know that I’m already here. The new me embodies such a deep love of self that when I catch myself in an old way I simply stop and take a breath. I put my hand on my heart, I go for a walk outside, I sing or do a yoga posture to get back into my body. I ask for a hug. Within minutes or sometimes hours, I’m back to embodying Rony Reingold. It feels incredible. This is the path. This is the work. This is what it means to Embody our Truth.
ARE YOU IN?
When we have a dream on the line, we can’t afford not to step up and love ourselves radically. We just can’t. So... what do you OWE to yourself? What is the dream that it’s time to get back in touch with and who do you need to be to make that dream a reality?
Ultimately, the question I'm asking you is: Are You IN? Are you willing to jump into the land of BEING the You You Are Becoming right now? Are you willing to check yourself and bring awareness to yourself when you get stuck in your old ways? Are you willing to take responsibility for those moments when you take things personally and act like a victim, when you react instead of respond, when you feel defeated but know you must continue? Are you willing to gently and simply catch it and choose the new way instead? What will open up for you if you begin to retrain yourself in this way?
I can tell you from my own experience and from the growth I see in my clients that a whole new world of peace, empowerment, connection, freedom, joy and purpose is available to you if you’re willing to start truly LOVING yourself. When you put yourself first and fuel your tanks, speak honestly, take risks in honor of being fulfilled and allow yourself to be seen I guarantee you SO much will open up for you.
You may be afraid to love yourself this radically out of fear that you’ll be deemed selfish, you’ll have to leave your job or you’ll end up alone. If this is how you feel than I invite you to check the story you are telling yourself in your head – most likely there’s a nice, sneaky Saboteur here for you. It’s natural for our saboteurs to show up when we start practicing self love because it threatens their way of being. It threatens the life of the small, shrunken, fearful, accommodating, burnt-out old way. Of course your saboteurs will put up a fit to get your attention when you're about to grow and love yourself majorly. But you’re at choice. You can get sucked into that propoganda in your head or you can simply practice having awareness in the moment and choosing yet again your new way. You can be the you you are becoming.
GO FOR IT!
I cannot wait for April 3rd to come around! It will be the deepest and most profound expression of my truth thus far and I am giddy with excitement to share it all with you. I’ll be teaching you the exact step by step process that I put myself through to walk through the portal of physical, emotional and spiritual transformation. I’ll be sharing with you how I found my truth and what I had to do to reorganize my life to align with it, leading me to my soul mate, my dream career, a healing body and lovely home. It’s the same process I take my clients through and I’m blown away by the inner peace, clarity, deepening of heart, power and spirit that they are experiencing.
As you go about this Valentine’s Day, I invite you to practice more Self LOVE today than you’ve ever practiced before. Become the witness of your own experience and practice catching yourself in the old pattern and shifting into the You You Are Becoming instead. Start to notice the difference in behavior, habits, patterns and response to life in general between the old or current you and the you you are becoming. How does your future self show up in conversation? Is he/she generative and constructive or reactive and small? How would the new you handle this situation? What does the new you want for lunch?
I’m here with you, standing for you, stretching myself as you stretch yourself beyond what you’ve known thus far and into unknown lands of gloriously rich and fulfilling new territory! Your pool of Self Love awaits you. Ready to jump IN?