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Fueling Your Passion

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Even in the middle of May, the forest stays cool. I always notice the difference when I leave town after resupply. While climbing (because it’s always uphill to get back on the trail out of town) with my freshly loaded pack, I can feel the sweat starting to line my spine, leaving that moist spot between my back and my pack, despite the best efforts of my sweat-wicking shirt.
 
But as I crest yet another hill on this mountain range of the Appalachian Trail, I can still feel the coolness of the forest.
 
I stop and make camp a little further on, in a relatively clear cove near a bend in a stream. Having water nearby when you set up camp is a godsend. Otherwise your tired feet may have another hike to haul your water bag at the end of the day.
 
I learned quickly on my extended hike of the AT that I wasn’t going to have the ample amount of time I originally thought for reading, meditation, yoga, and campfires. It was commonplace for hikers to walk as far as their legs could carry them in a day. Sometimes I found myself pulling out my headlamp as the sun went down, looking for a flat place to pitch my tent.
 
But tonight I hadn’t pushed it so far, and it was dusk. The forest was cooling off even more as I unloaded my gear.
 
The thought enters my head - I’m gonna light a fire.
 
I know it’s not necessary. I know I can just heat up my chicken and rice on my portable stove, climb into my sleeping bag, zip up my tent, and call it a day.
 
But I want to start a fire.
 
So I make a fire ring out of rocks on a flat area free of surrounding brush. I collect leaves, small twigs, and some larger sticks and set them up teepee fashion.
 
Then I take out my lighter and light my sacred pile.
 
A small stream of smoke swirls from the leaf I had touched the flame to. But not a flicker of fire.
 
I do it again, in a different area. Same result.
 
The forest in May is cool because it holds the moisture from the rain. It had been a particularly rainy spring.
 
After several more failed attemps and a scuffed thumb, I am about to call it quits. This seems futile.
 
But what do I really have to lose?
 
If it doesn’t light, it doesn’t light. Not a big deal, I’ll just call it a day. But if it does light…then by golly, I’ve got a bonafide campfire!
 
So I continue. I eventually get a small patch of kindling to persist and glow with red flame. The flame licks up to the small bundle of twigs above it. Seeing that take, I proceed to do the same thing on the other side.
 
Eventually, the flames are enough that I no longer desire to put my hand all up in it any more.
 
The bigger sticks and small branches at the top catch.
 
The fire has begun.

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We can’t give up on our dreams so easily. Our ideas to help others, save the world, and enjoy ourselves in the process, take time, dedication, and persistence. As well as a thoughtful laid out stack of branches.
 
I knew a hiker who started a fire in the rain. I rolled up to the shelter, tired as a dog, to be greeted by the warm flames and friendly faces gathered round. I later found out it had taken him hours to get it going.
 
Many of us had just spent the last several days in pouring rain through the Smoky Mountains. So along with our bodies soaking up the heat from his diligent project, our socks were also drying nearby.
 
Just get one piece of kindling lit.
 
It does make a difference.
 

Love Always,

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The 3 Pitfalls Visionaries Fall Into (and how to climb out of 'em)

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I heard the “popping” sound as I drove over the pothole.
 
I knew before I even looked that the tire had gone flat.
 
We were on a service retreat in New Orleans, repairing houses and yards of homes that had been damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
 
I had a car load – and I mean a car load – of other volunteers in the back of the car. There were people sitting on other people’s laps, with all our gear smushed in the back. Which, retrospectively, probably didn’t help the whole tire thing…
 
Similarly, I’ve found that there are some common pitfalls that visionary healers fall into when they are going out to save the world.
 
Ones I am also very familiar with, because I’ve found myself sitting at the bottom of them.
 
We fall into them because we are in the practice of going after our calling. That practice involves us not only doing a lot of new things, but thinking and being in new ways. Falling ain't just possible, it’s inevitable.
 
But falling doesn’t mean you’re stuck there. Just like potholes, if you know where the common pitfalls are, you can take a different path and avoid them. Or if you do happen to find yourself in one, you can identify a way to hoist yourself out of it.
 
Here are the 3 most common pitfalls visionary healers tend to fall into:
 

  1. Generalized Wishy-Washiness

 
Often when we first get our vision, it can be rather vague. So it’s no surprise that when we start taking action upon it, the message, actions, and therefore, results, end up being generalized and wishy-washy. In my experience, this happens because we are afraid to put our unique spin on what we are putting out there for others to see and engage with. 
 
To make matters worse, we often feel at this stage that we need to throw everything and the kitchen sink into and at our calling in order to make it lift off. But would adding more people and weight to an airplane make it easier to take flight? No. You need just enough to get that baby off the ground. (Oh, and a pilot.)
 
When we add so many things at once into making our vision a reality, the outcome is usually a murky soup of ideas combatting for our own attention...but not getting anyone else’s.
 
How to climb out of it:
 
Dig inside yourself and explore why you want to do what you want to do. What specific experiences have you had that led you down this path? What’s your unique story behind it? What aspects of your vision do you resonate with the most? The more you you put into it, the more specific, unique, and magnetizing you vision becomes.

  1. Too Woo for School

 
I definitely roll with a tribe of people who are into spirituality and the "woo-woo" world. They believe in Source/God/The Universe/The Great Whatever. They have faith and trust. They believe in miracles.
 
I believe this is crucial to actualizing your calling in the world. But onlystaying in connection with the spiritual realm can often lead to lots of ideas, positive intentions, and initial good feelings…but not a whole lot of grounded action or real results. The power is always in the present moment, and the present moment includes our physical world. 
 
What can happen eventually is feeling discouraged that you have these great ideas but no real world experience of seeing them happen.
 
How to climb out of it:
 
Keep connecting to Source…and ask for what your next steps are. Use your intuition to guide you into taking a real action step, even if that step is creating a simple plan for moving forward. Don't stop with the plan. Take the next step. Use spirituality as your source for joy that infuses the actions you take.

  1. Super Physical

 
I have also seen the opposite end of the woo-woo spectrum – the super strategist. This is when we plan out everything, post-it note our walls to death, take immediate action after immediate action, and disregard the bigger picture why.
 
The outcome of this is burnout – where we put out more energy than we are bringing in. Burnout can happen financially – more money going out than in, physically – getting sick, or mentally/emotionally – lacking motivation or feeling caught in an emotional roller coaster.
 
Ironically, focusing only on strategy can do the opposite of what you want it to do, and leave you in an exhausted mess to boot.
 
How to climb out of it:
 
Take a pause in the action. It doesn’t mean stop forever or give up, just come back to home base. Regroup. Take a breath. Ask some big questions of yourself and tune in to the inner answers. Let that drive your decisions and prioritize your actions, so you can work from a place of true inspiration.


The main takeaway of all of this pothole/pitfall investigation isintegration.

We can integrate our biggest version of our vision with inspiring Source and grounded, focused action to not only climb out of a pothole, but also to really lift off into how we want to live and show up in the world.
 
It ended up taking all of us piling out of the car and over an hour of collective head scratching, prayer, and direct action to change the damn tire on the side of the road. But we managed to do it because we worked together. It took a little bit of messing around, asking for a miracle, and reading directions. But we got the tire fixed and we able to complete our mission – pothole or not.
 
Falling into it just made it that much more of an adventure.
 

Love Always,

 

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The #1 Thing You Need LESS of to Be Yourself

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Ironically, I am about to give you the very thing I am also proclaiming you need LESS of in order to be yourself. 
 
To be completely honest, I walk a very thin and blurry line between two really strong beliefs I hold.
 
On one hand I believe that you are your own healer. That no one else can heal you.
 
On the other hand I believe that we all need support, love, belonging, and space to be our true selves. That others can help us on our journey.
 
You are strong as an individual. And you are still human.
 
But only you know what you need and what you don’t.
 
The #1 thing I believe you need less of is… other people’s advice on what you should or shouldn’t do. 
 
Yes, I am giving you advice about not needing other people’s advice.
 
Here’s why.
 
On my path (which is always evolving by the way – I believe we can be “healed” and still be healing as long as we live), I found myself looking to others for advice on just about everything: what to eat, how to eat it, who to date, what job to take, where to live, what kind of business to create, how to market, what to think, how to think… the list goes on.
 
Pretty much, I was looking for advice on who the fuck to be.
 
The result? I got massively confused.
 
I mean, how can’t you?
 
There are so many diets out there – from raw foods, to vegan, to paleo, to GAPS, to ketogenic, to juicing; the list goes on and on. I’ve tried them all. (So I started to eat what felt right to me).
 
I’d date guys that looked great on paper but I’d always leave the relationship because something was missing. (So I finally got back with the guy my heart had been with all along).
 
I tried all the social media tips: Post MWF. #hashtagthefuckoutofeverything. Keep your focus on your “business.” (So I finally just started posting pics of my dogs, what inspires me, and my, you know, real life.)
 
I moved around – a lot. Like over five times in one year. When I’d have to reset my password to some credit card or other, I’d cringe when they’d ask me “So what address is on file?” ...Because I didn't know. I didn’t know where to live. (So I finally just decided to live where feels like “home.”)
 
We need less of the bullshit of what other people, society, or made-up constructs are telling us to do, and more of us being in alignment with our choices and who we are. 
 
It’s not that advice or outside support is a bad thing. But the way I practice supporting others is asking them what they need – not shoving my ideas down their throat. Am I always perfect at that? No. I've got shit to work on too. But that’s why I love the work I do – it helps me be a more real me.
 
When we let the advice and opinions of others override what our inner voice is saying, we are blocking the very insight that allows us to be our most authentic selves.
 
The only way to reconnect with that insight is to learn more about yourself.
 
What do you really and truly need? 
What do you believe? 
What do you stand for? 
How do you want to live your life?
 
Consistently tapping into these insights leads to purposeful choices and actions, which lead to results you feel good about, especially the result of trusting yourself more. Self-trust can be here in an instant. It’s a practice to maintain access to it, but trusting yourself never fails.
 
Trusting yourself, and your own inner voice, will always bring you right where you need to be.
 

What do you REALLY believe?

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I consistently hear four main things that members of my soul family consciously crave and deeply desire. They are:

  1. Courage
  2. Clarity
  3. Congruency
  4. Community

We know we want these “things” – because they make us feel a certain way. We want to feel courageous, clear, congruent (feeling good being you), and in communion with a greater tribe and cause.
 
If we want them so bad, how come we can’t just snap our fingers and get em’?
 
What if you could?
 
Hey, I am not suggesting we can squeeze our eyes shut really hard and presto! There it all is. And yet, we really do have everything we need already in order to claim this as our own.
 
You just need to start at the beginning. With yourself…and what you believe.
 
Not only your beliefs about yourself. But your beliefs about the world.
 
It can be easy to adopt and regurgitate other people’s beliefs about why things are the way they are, how things operate, and what is really important in life. Which there is nothing really wrong with…as long as YOU actually, viscerally believe it.
 
Beliefs are kind of like food – they need to be chosen, chewed, digested, transformed, and come out the other end…
 
Well, OK maybe I took that metaphor a little too far. (But really, think about it, when you really truly believe something, isn’t that “the shit”?!)
 
If you had to choose just a few core “that’s my SHIT!” beliefs, what would they be?

Mine have gotten more refined over time. The more I connect, hold onto, and live by them, the better I am at my work, and the more courageous, clear, congruent, and in communion I feel. Of course, I believe many things, so I’ll just share what creates the foundation for my work.
 
My first core belief is: You Are Your Own Healer
 
This means that sickness, dis-ease, or feeling misaligned comes from not being who you are. We are “sick” because we are denying the actualization of our purpose. Only you can heal yourself and it starts by rewriting the core stories about who you believe you are.
 
My second core belief is: The World Needs the Real You
 
Healing isn’t just about you, because when we heal ourselves, we heal the world. We need less of trying to fit in and “doing it right,” and more of us being in alignment with our own choices, gifts, and who we are. You are the difference that makes the difference. We can do more good in the world by working together as our Real Selves.
 
My third core belief is: Accepting Your Calling Heals You Fully
 
In order to heal, we must accept our calling – because our calling is asking us to be who we really are. Healing and what you were brought to this earth to do are inextricably linked. Only when you choose to answer your healing calling and align with your Real Self will you heal inside and out.
 
When I really stand in these beliefs, I feel pretty gosh darn powerful.
 
Courageous…because I am willing to stand behind something that is bigger than me, even though I don’t always know “the answer,” but I’m willing to face my fear and bring it along for the ride instead of letting it hold me down.
 
Clear…because I’m dialed in to some sort of inner compass that these beliefs lead me to.
 
Congruent…because these beliefs are an extension of who I am, my own experience, and ask me to be the Real Me.
 
And certainly, in Communion…because your beliefs don’t just come outta your head, they come through your heart and soul, from God/Source/The Great Whatever. You are plugged in to the Real Deal. Plus, I get to share them with y'all and build a community around them.
 
I invite you to explore what you really believe, dig around, wrangle with paradoxes, make up new labels, and craft in your external world what really makes you tick.
 
You are up for it.
 
Believe me.
 

Love Always,

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Why There's No Such Thing as a Lost Cause

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I’ve always been idealistic, maybe even quite naïve. Sometimes it does cause me pain and suffering. But more often than not, believing that good exists and that more of it is coming has served me in huge ways.
 
There’s a concept called “The Great Eastern Sun.” The essential meaning of it is that there is always opportunity, or goodness.
 
Great = the discovery of our basic goodness
Eastern = realizing our goodness is always there
Sun = the illumination once that discovery has been made
 
What this translates to is that no person or thing is a lost cause.
 
I believe this is vital to remember as we engage with life. Even in seemingly everyday experiences, living by this teaching is powerful. Imagine if we treated each other as that basic goodness. Imagine if you treated yourself like this.
 
If you are going through an illness, making a major life transition, grieving from a loss, or even asking yourself which direction you want to go next, living by the Great Eastern Sun philosophy can help.
 
That’s because the Great Eastern Sun also means a mental conviction and whole-hearted prowess to engage with life with purpose. It’s not just lukewarm inspiration. It’s living your vision.

Your vision is what you believe in so deeply, it is inextricable with who you are. It's what you grab hold of, even when it may feel like your drowning and can't even see the sky.

To live life with this level of bravery, you need to not only know you vision in the intellectual sense, but also feel it in your very being. That vision is what stems from deep inside of you and radiates forth.
 
This is what heals you. The beams of your vision traveling through you to get out to the world heals you in the process.
 
The only time we feel like we are a lost cause is when we’ve lost sight of this vision.
 
I love this excerpt from Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul:
 
Your relationship with God is the same as your relationship with the sun. If you hid from the sun for years and then chose to come out of your darkness, the sun would still be shining as if you had never left. You don’t need to apologize. You just pick you head up and look at the sun. It’s the same way when you decide to turn toward God – you just do it. If, instead, you allow guilt and shame to interfere, that’s just your ego blocking the Divine Force. You can’t offend the Divine One; its very nature is light, love, compassion, protection, and giving. You can’t make it stop loving you. It’s just like the sun. You can’t make the sun stop shining on you; you can only choose not to look at it. The moment you look, you’ll see it’s there.
 
Now go back and read it again, only this time, use the word “vision” in the place of “God.”
 
Your relationship with your Vision is the same as your relationship with the sun. If you hid from the sun for years and then chose to come out of your darkness, the sun would still be shining as if you had never left. You don’t need to apologize. You just pick you head up and look at the sun. It’s the same way when you decide to turn toward your Vision – you just do it. If, instead, you allow guilt and shame to interfere, that’s just your ego blocking the Divine Force. You can’t offend the Divine One (or Your Vision); its very nature is light, love, compassion, protection, and giving. You can’t make it (your Vision) stop loving you. It’s just like the sun. You can’t make the sun stop shining on you; you can only choose not to look at it. The moment you look, you’ll see it’s there.
 
You can also use the words “purpose,” “Calling,” “True Self,” “Source” – really whatever word reverberates with you and feels like Truth.
 
Because when you are living in your Truth, you are standing in the sun. Trust in your basic goodness, and you will always find your way.
 

Love Always,

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Mastering Two Worlds

Your Hero’s Journey: Master of Two Worlds

 

“Part of me wants to do this, and part of me doesn’t,” she said.

 

“Well, what’s the part of you that does?” I asked.

 

I was working with a client facing an inner conundrum. It’s one we’ve all faced at some point or another in some similar fashion.

 

A part of her wanted to go all out, dedicate herself to the vision she had of helping others heal, and just enjoy the whole process. The other part of her, however, felt this was insensible, irrational, and believed she needed to buckle down and make sure the bills got paid.

 

“The part of me that does, well, she’s free-spirited. She trusts that everything is working out. She just feels loved and gives love.”

 

“And the other part, what about her?”

 

“She wants to make sure shit gets done. Like she doesn’t want to leave people hanging and she wants to make sure I’m taken care of.”

 

Through my own experience and working with others, I’ve come to believe that we have two worlds we live in. One is our Outer World and one is our Inner World.

 

Our ego, our conscious mind, our personality – this is the aspect of us that engages with the Outer World, or the Material World. There is nothing wrong with the material world – it is the very Earth we live in. The mind, by itself, wants to ensure our safety, our survival, and our needs being met.

 

Our soul, our unconscious mind, our higher self – this is the aspect of us that engages with our Inner World, the Spirit World. This world is no less real than our Outer World – it is the very vehicle by which we perceive our life. The soul wants to ensure our growth, our destiny, and our gifts being shared.

 

“What is the conflict between these two aspects of yourself? How is that a problem?”

 

She pauses, but only for a moment. The answer comes to her clearly.

 

“It’s a problem because part of me believes in myself… and another part does not.”

 

“What is her purpose – this part doesn’t believe in you?” I ask.

 

“To make sure I stay safe,” she answers.

 

“For what purpose?” I ask.

 

“So I can survive longer.”

 

“For what purpose?” I ask, not intending to be a parrot, but truly, the parrot’s got the right idea.

 

On we went, and I asked this same question, over and over again, of both parts.

 

I could start to hear the shift in her voice, the change in her energy, and even her physical body relaxing as she connected more deeply with these two seemingly opposing forces inside herself… that were really one and the same.

 

Turns out that both of these parts really wanted the same thing – to Be Love, Source, and to Enjoy the whole process of Life. At the surface, they were going about it in different ways. But just like two people reaching a heartfelt consensus, these two parts realized they were part of the same whole – who she was.

 

Integration really is a simple process, but it’s often the road less traveled. It can feel “easier” to engage with our problems on the surface level, never really digging down to uncover what the deeper issue really is.

 

In the Hero’s Journey, as the Hero Returns Home and achieves full integration, she reckons a balance between the material and spiritual world. Another way of saying this she creates an mending of her Inner and Outer world.

 

When we feel whole, our whole life feels whole. The next step becomes clear. Fear falls away because we are fully present with who we are.

 

We know exactly what to do.

 

At the end of our session, she thanks me profusely. I smile and say, “You were the one who did the work. I just sat here and watched.” Because, really, all I did was ask the question…

 

“For What Purpose?”

 

Love Always,

 

Rescue You, Rescue All

Your Hero’s Journey: Rescue from Without

 

How often do we secretly – or not so secretly – wish that someone or something would rescue us?

 

When I was in preschool, I remember playing this imaginary game with another little boy I had a crush on. Granted, I was in preschool, so I didn’t know what a “crush” was. I did know a lot about Disney princesses though. So I decided this dark haired boy was my prince.

 

We were out on the playground and I pretended that I was tied to a tree. I decided I was “Minnie Mouse” and he would be “Mickey Mouse.” I was yelling, “Mickey! Mickey! Save me! Save me! The train is coming and it’s going to run me over!”

 

Let’s just say Mickey got tired of this game pretty quickly and went to go play on the swings.

 

How often do we keep ourselves tied up so that someone else can save us?

 

But maybe a better question is…why?

 

As humans, one of our basic needs is for connection. Yes we need shelter, food, and basic necessities to physically survive. But as emotional beings we also require psychological support as well. We crave true, authentic connection.

 

Throughout our life, we may learn things that make us believe we are not capable. That we cannot trust ourselves. That life is scary and we are not enough.

 

Couple this with our basic need for connection and you’ve got a “Rescue Me” paradigm.

 

Sometimes though, in our effort to balance this, we can swing far into the opposite extreme. We can take independence to the max. We believe that we MUST do everything all by ourselves, in order to be “worthy.” This is just another way of seeking that authentic connection.

 

In the Hero’s Journey, there comes a time when the Hero truly does need a powerful guide, friend, or supportive helpers to bring her back to everyday life.

 

Think Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, when Glenda the Good Witch instructs her to tap her ruby red slippers three times and say “There’s no place like home.”

 

The Hero needs encouragement, but not because she is broken. She needs it because she has embarked on something major. And although she has realized the boon within herself, it does not mean she no longer needs support.

 

Where do you need support in your life?

 

And where are you (or are you not) asking for it?

 

The thing with support is that most people do not know 1) that you need help, 2) how to give you the help you need, or 3) believe that they are the ones that can help you.

 

You need to be clear with the Universe (aka ask the people around you) on the kind of assistance you need. Not everyone will want or be able to hold the space that you desire in order to heal and bring this gift into the world.

 

But it just takes one.

 

Find that one person who sees you as an empowered Soul, who believes in you, and who is willing to listen and love you unconditionally as you go through this journey. Be that person for others.

 

Like a chain of Light, we are linking to each others Power in an authentic way, a way that enhances our connection, rather than drowns it. A way that helps us realize we are our own rescuers. A way that helps us rise out of co-dependence and even independence into a state of interdependence.

 

In this way, when we rescue ourselves, we rescue the world.

 

Love Always,

 

What to Do when You're Falling Apart

Your Hero’s Journey: Road of Trials (Part 2)

 

On the Hero’s Journey, we all encounter our own Road of Trials. The funniest thing is, for some odd reason, we all seem to believe something is fatally wrong with us for experiencing these trials in the first place.

 

Not so, my dear!

 

If you feel like you are falling apart, you are not alone. The completion of a relationship, the sudden end to a job, the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies any sort of loss could all be a part of your Road of Trials.

 

What I’ve found with the empaths I work with is that they are highly sensitive to other people’s suffering… and can be quite unaccepting of their own. We can be very hard on ourselves. Which, added on top of already challenging situations, makes life feel damn near impossible.

 

When it feels like you can hold it together the answer is not to beat yourself up more for not being perfect. Yes, I know you are aware enough to recognize patterns you may be running that you no longer want to run. But criticizing yourself for not being “perfect” only takes you further along the roller coaster of fear and inadequacy.

 

There is something simple and powerful that CAN help you when you feel like you are falling apart – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

 

Acceptance.

 

Complete acceptance does not mean you need to “like” what’s happening or your behavior. It is simply observing what is happening without judgment. I say that like it’s the easiest thing in the world. We all know it’s not.

 

That’s why I believe it is important to fully allow ourselves to feel that our feeling are valid.

 

I was working with a client who experienced a huge personal breakthrough when she realized that her feelings – all of them – including the “ugly” ones – were totally valid!

 

She was able to use this mantra “My feelings are valid” in every scenario that had caused her suffering and unravel it from the root.

 

One practice I employ when I feel myself caught up in a shitstorm is the one below. It’s call “Experiencing Your Experience.”

 

1.     Experience Your Experience

Give yourself permission and space to fully feel your entire experience. This means emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations. If you can take space by yourself or express this aloud to someone who can hold space for you, this is ideal.

 

State aloud: “I am experiencing… (emotion, body sensation –aka breathing, hunger, etc. -, and/or thought)”

 

Ex: “I am experiencing Anger. I am experiencing wanting to cry. I am experiencing the thought that I don’t get why this happened to me. I am experiencing taking a breath. I am experiencing…”

 

2.     Clarify that You are Empowered

 

Once you feel the intense energy dropping and are experience more space and calm, State aloud: “I am the creator of my reality. I am the chooser. I am empowered to do what is best.”

 

3.     Take whole-hearted action

 

From this point of clarity, peace, and empowerment, you can then decide what is the best next step to take.

 

This process does require a few things. It requires your awareness that you are in the middle of the fire. It requires that you make a choice to give yourself some time and space to process and feel this. It requires bravery to be completely honest with yourself and others. And it requires that you be compassionate and courageous as you move forward in learning from this.

 

Although it is not easy, I find this process to be comforting every time I use it with myself or with a client. It’s amazing how something so seemingly small as really listening and giving permission to ourselves can create such massive healing and transformation.

 

Just know, if you are going through some major shit, you are not broken. You never were and you never will be.

 

You are whole.

 

Love Always,

The Road of Trials

Your Hero’s Journey: The Road of Trials

 

Have you ever gone gung ho into something, only to hit an obstacle (or several) when the rubber meets the road?

 

I ran my first ever marathon October 1, 2016.

 

I was super excited. I had trained for months. I had bought a new sports bra. I had fancy energy gel packs. I was READY.

 

And then the rubber hit the road. Or whatever material my New Balance minimalist shoes were made out of.

 

At mile 0.1, I encountered my first challenge. My running belt was bouncing around, since I wasn’t running with the water bottles I had been during my months of training. “This is gonna get old over 26 miles, but it’s really just annoying, nothing more,” I thought. “Just get in the zone and remember for next time,” I told myself. I trotted along with a great pace, according to my Nike+ Run app.

 

At mile 2, it started to downpour. Like not just a little sprinkle. A heavy torrent of rain that made me wish that I was wearing goggles with little windshield wipers. Every inch of me was soaked. On the plus side, it made everything stick to me, including the dang running belt, so it was suctioned in place. OK, it’s fine, I’ll dry out.

 

At mile 4, the possibility of dry seems like a distant memory. We were entering the section of the race that spans the historic C&O canal trail. And rain means, puddles. Lots of them. Funny enough, we were all trying to “avoid” them. I hear someone behind me say “This is going to be a long 11 miles.” That’s when I was like “Fuck it, I’m just gonna run down the middle of every single one.”

 

At mile 7 my left hip was starting to bother me again. Despite a regular regimen of chiropractic and massage appointments, the week before it had started to feel inflamed. I was hoping that resting would allow it to be back in tiptop shape, but I could feel that aching coming into my gait. “I can keep going though. It’s quite flat on the trail. And by the time I get to the hilly section, I’ll be totally in my groove,” I reassured myself.

 

Then, I devised a great plan! Normally, I run with music. Music seems to anchor me to really positive states and heightens my running experience. So I decided I would take a break from the music and listen to the rain and the forest for a bit, and at mile 13, the half way point, I would turn my music back on and Presto! It’d be like starting the race all over again. A perfect reset button for my energy.

 

Except the Universe had other plans for me.

 

My phone died.

 

Yep, the piece of equipment that I had been using to pace myself, keep me energized, and know how far I had come up and went kaput on me in the eleventh hour. Or mile 7.5.

 

OK, now I’ve had it.

 

This isn’t the fun time I thought it was going to be.

 

My inner privileged-white girl just wanted to go drink a pumpkin spice latte and be done with this.

 

Because of the rain, a lot of the mile markers hadn’t been put out. And because this was a grassroots, local race, there were water stations every three miles or so. And there ain’t a whole lot of smart people who decide they want to run a 26 mile race in West-by-God Virginia in an October rainstorm. So there weren’t many people around.

 

It was just me… and me.

 

The ultimate test. I knew this was more than just physical endurance. It was even more than mental endurance.

 

I had to remember and connect with WHY the flip I decided to do this...

 

***

 

The "Road of Trials" is a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals, that the hero must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the hero fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.

 

Think of the stories A Christmas Carol and the visits to Past, Present, and Future. The Triwizard Cup in Harry Potter. Aladdin’s three wishes.

 

The Road of Trials can feel like you are undergoing torture…I mean, transformation. It’s where you have to rely on your inner strength to keep you going, because all outer reserves have failed. It’s where you have to pick yourself up out of the dirt, again and again.

 

The good thing about being face down in the dirt is you don’t have anywhere further to fall.

 

Falling isn’t failing. Not getting back up is.

 

So when you find yourself hoofing it on the Road of Trials, take a deep breath. You are exactly where you need to be. You are strong enough.

 

And you will make it through.

 

Love Always,

 

4 Things that Keep us From Our Calling

Your Hero’s Journey: Refusing the Call (Part 2)

 

Even when we can feel it in our bones that we are called to move in a direction in our life, all heroes struggle with blocks that keep us from our calling.

 

Refusing the Call is another way of saying that a block has come up and has taken hold of us. Instead of beating ourselves up over it, we can face the block, and in doing so, we are already on our path of our purpose.

 

1.    Block 1: I am this way and I cannot change

 

This type of interpretation of a block is when something happens and we say, “This block is so REAL. I always attract this type of thing. I am not capable of handling this. I am this way and I cannot change.”

 

We pick this up and make it our story.

 

When we approach the block from this perspective, it’s like we’ve hit a brick wall.

 

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

 

When something comes up for you, another way to look at it is that this is SUPPOSED to happen. This isn’t to say that we are meant to be stuck in a negative state, emotion, or situation, but that baggage comes up because it needs to be healed.

 

And now is the time for healing.

 

The trigger or block can be seen as a mile marker. When you are driving down the road to go to your favorite destination, there are mile markers along the way. Experiencing a block is just that. It is an indicator that, yes, you are traveling further down the path and this is just what needs to be healed along the way.

 

Check in and see what the block or trigger brings up in you. Is there something for you to release or accept? What is your true intention? Reconnect with that. In doing do, you will find a way to move around, under, up, over, or through your block…if it’s even there at all anymore.

 

2.    Block 2: I’m not sure

 

This block is one of doubt. When we doubt ourselves or our path, we don’t know which way to go or what to do.

 

We may say to ourselves, “OK, I’m not totally sure, so I am just going to put one toe in and see how to proceed.” But when you just “test the water,” where is all of your weight? Behind you. The “one toe in” is indicative of not fully committing to yourself.

 

The way to handle the block of doubt is to decide. Decide first what decision you need to make. Then make that choice, and move forward whole-heartedly.

 

3.    Block 3: It Must Not be Meant to Be

 

This block happens is when we take our past or current experience as being some Sign from God that we are not meant to continue down our desired path.

 

What we are saying in this paradigm is this:

 

That the all powerful Creator, Goddess almighty who created everything and sees all decided one day, “Oh look! There’s little Danielle. I’m going to FUCK with her today and during her life.” And puts these challenging circumstances right smack dab in your path.

 

The way to move through this is a shift in perspective. At the deepest level of who we are we are Energy, we have encoding for perfection. We are part of this Universe and connected to all of it. The Universe is so abundant we will never run out. When we shift our beliefs to those that the Universe actually wants us to prosper, grow, and heal, this is what is so.

 

The Universe gives us experiences to help us learn and grow, and to realize that maybe there is another way than the past. That we can create a new path.  

 

4.    Block 4: Let me wait and see

 

This type of block is linked to analysis paralysis. We can hear our calling, but we don’t do anything at all.

 

We freeze internally. We look to someone else to do it for us. Or we use our conscious minds to analyze and wait until the perfect answer comes to do anything.

 

Everything inside of you is screaming “GO!” But you stop and think… “Is this the right time? Maybe I should just think about it.”

 

This brings the energy back up into the mental, instead of down into the physical.

 

The way through this block is tuning in to your sensation. When you think of moving in this direction, does it create a tightening, constrictive, shackles on sensation? Or does it create a freeing, expansive, shackle’s off sensation?

 

This is trusting your gut that you know it’s the right time, even if it doesn’t completely make sense.

 

The common theme in addressing all of these blocks is trust and self-acceptance.

 

Your intuition is your Soul speaking to you. Even if you don’t have the complete picture of where all this is going, simply facing these blocks and choosing to step forward will present a whole new perspective.

 

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

 

When you feel blocked, build a castle.

 

Love Always,