The #1 Tool for Expanding Into Greatness

I awoke today with this feeling that it is time for expansion on all levels!  Expansion across all 6 life energies: Time, Money, Physical Vitality, Relationships, Creativity, and Enjoyment. I believe for me and most people the main thing that keeps me from really diving into the process of expansion is what Julien Smith refers to as The Flinch.  (His book about this phenomenon is currently free on Amazon.)  It is that moment when I am nearing the edge of my comfort zone and all the chatter from my lizard brain comes flooding in as to why this next “risk” step outside of the “Comfort Zone” is either not a good idea or “should” be put off until later… (Insert logical reason/excuse here…)

When I think of the breathing cycle, I can see that I have been in the pattern of exhale for most of earlier life and what is needing to happen now is not only for me to really devote myself to the daily process of inhaling life on every level, but to embrace all parts of the breathing cycle (literally and metaphorically).  Of course this includes both then inhale and the exhale process but also the beautiful pause moments in between where the lungs/body are either completely full to capacity or are completely emptied out of everything.

This is the rhythm of life on every level and it is the rhythm that is so simple to tune into, in theory, but in this day and age it does take both devotion and constant focus to bring oneself back to the breathe.  With a million and one potential distractions to pull me off my center this is the one strategy that can keep me anchored into my truth, my beauty, my power, and my grace, with the greatest ease.  And yet it is often the thing my lizard brain most wants to resists with everything its got.

What strategy do you use to bring yourself back to center, to the breath, to your inner point of stillness and centered power throughout the day?  I would to hear the approach that works best for you in the comments below.

Trusting the Inner Voice and the growing seeds of the Graceful Warrior

photo by zstheday

There is definitely something afoot that feels a bit different from where I have been for quite awhile.  Perhaps it is all of the signs of Spring swirling around me.  The blossom buds on the trees, the baby ducks following their mother around the pond, the new shoots that are springing up from my flower bed.  Each of these natural signs is whispering … “grow, grow, grow… now is the time for taking action…” Yet I continue to struggle with discerning the voice between fear and intuition when it comes to taking ANY action vs. public action.  Because I know part of my bigger purpose/passion as to why I am here, in this life, is to make an important impact with serving others, I am always feeling the pressure to be seen and to “go public” in order to be making an “impact”.

For so long, that “need” to be seen was driven fear that was looking for recognition, approval, and validation outside myself. So the very act of “being out there” was an act of fear in order to convince myself of my worth.  (And the slippery part was that I received lots of accolades and validation.) So now, since spending the last year on my own – mostly not visible to others beside my family in order to focus on my BEing and to really lean into the truth that not only do I have worth simply from who I am BEING – but when my primary focus starts with my BEING then my deepest gifts can really rise to the surface.  It is through the outer DOingness of the past that I continued to keep my most potent gifts buried out of fear of being rejected/judged.

Even now as I write this, I can see that there are kernels of truth and experience of a journey traveled that could be of value/support to another – yet the idea of needing to write for an audience immediately has me start to censor myself.  And start to take inventory as to what I have said – how I have said it – how to package it in order to “get it consumed” by others.

Another parallel aspect of this current theme of cultivating self-trust is… waiting for the resonant YES!  For a long time I did everything I could to avoid getting still/quiet enough where I could even hear my inner voice, let alone trust it.  And over the last year, I have made strides in getting still and befriending the silence… this has been huge because I am now able to hear /feel so many more messages from within – versus merely being bombarded with constant messaging from outside of myself.  Yet I am now at the stage where I get to shift my focus from not just hearing the messages, but trusting the information that is coming through.  And one of the messages that has been coming through is that it is still not time yet for me to be focusing my energies on formal public endeavors.  Now is still the time of building my foundation.  This voice assures me that this is very much an act of DOing – for every day that I continue to DO – my BEingness activities I am building the essential prerequisite muscles that are needed in order to eventually carry the powerful message that I have inside me out into the world.

Mine is a message of a new kind of strength and power – a strength and power that is germinated from within in a New Way.  A new feminine strength and power that lies at the heart of everything that is being created in my life right now.  And without this rock solid inner foundation, the road I am to travel and the message I am to carry will feel too great/challenging/scary.  This is a path for a true graceful warrior who has fought the inner battles and made peace with her perceived inner enemies of the past.  This is the time to be DOing the inner work of integrating my Shadow and my Higher Self – in order to BE the BEing that I am here to be.  So that I may operate in the world as a Resonator with ease rather than struggle.

What is the message that your inner voice of intuition has been prompting you to trust more?

(I share this with you as an act of sharing my writing voice more publicly, yet I have not re-edited the original draft that was written as a personal journal entry.)

Fire Walking Anyone? Anyone?

Sri Lanka Firewalking
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: davida3 via Compfight
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
Brene Brown

This morning as I was waking, I had a conscious flash that revealed a very real rage… I have been hearing about this rage – that so many of us women supposedly hold.  And although I have worked through many layers of anger and grief related to specific traumatic events in my past, the glimmer of this flavor of rage that I was tapping into felt both comprehensive and collective.  It was a rage felt for a life lived in denial of my True Self.

With just over 40 years to reflect on, for the first time, I was able to tap into how penetrating and constant this rage has been… although almost entirely unconscious until now.  So this raises another question – So what do I do now?  Now that I can see it…what do I do about it?  How do I process through it, feel into it, release it, grieve what has been lost because of it in order to arrive at acceptance?  All of these are steps that I know I must take yet the path through the dark is still unclear.  (Intellectually I can see the end point, yet I know that the feeling work MUST be done… it is non-negotiable.)

I once heard the Truth from a very wise woman who said, “The path to Freedom is messy… meeeeeeessssssyyyyyyyy.”  I know this to be true… the path to Freedom, for me,  requires walking through the fire of vulnerability.  In the past, I had hoped there was a handy secret passageway around the fire pit.  Now I know that searching for those fantasy secret passageways is only a distraction from the real task at hand.  Looks like I have some fire walking in my future.  I do love an adventure… I imagine this will be an Adventure with a capital “A”.

How about you?  What Adventure tips or tools have served you well on your own path to Freedom?

Diving in deep with the Many Faces of the Goddess

Photo Credit: Shannon Kringen via Compfight
The current stage of my life is about continuing to deepen my reacquaintance with the powerful energies of the Goddess.  This has been the most exhilarating and terrifying journey of my life.  For many decades, I was almost completely cut off from her life-giving power.  And although that part of my path presented many painful obstacles, I now find myself deeply grateful for every moment along the way because it is only in reflection of the pain that I can fully appreciate and be deeply present to the rich aliveness and fulfillment that comes with living fully embodied in my conscious feminine power.

And although my commitment to walking this path is deeply rooted, I continue to learn how diverse, mysterious, and expansive the power of the Goddess can be… for she is anything but predictable.

In fact, she has many faces, all beautiful, yet some much easier for me to step into than others… this is where my work continues.  I have attempted to capture a fraction of her vastness in the poem below.

The Many Faces of the Goddess

She is the Great Nurturing Mother… rich, fertile, grounded, earthy, abundant
She is the Embrace of Compassion… forgiveness, mercy, allowance, acceptance, empathy
She is the Devoted Stillness of the Priestess… flow, silence, intuition, signs, ceremony
She is the Bold Creator / Destroyer… change, creative chaos, transformation, catalyst, liberation
She is the Lady of Communion…intention, sovereignty, integrity, independent, resourceful
She is the Playful Muse…inspiration, spontaneity, wonder, magic, joy
She is the Goddess of Love… beauty, harmony, sensuality, intimacy, self-love
She is the Primal Gypsy… wild, passion, freedom, instinct, body wisdom
She is the Initiator of Truth… clarity, authenticity, challenger, breakthrough, risk
She is the Heart Knowing Wise Woman… guide, wisdom, humility, medicine ways, confidence
She is the Visionary Dream Weaver…synchronicity, oracle, connections, synthesis, myth maker
She is the Queen of Death… completion, surrender, trust, peace, rebirth
She is the Graceful Alchemist…wholeness, union, transcendence, triumph, glory
She is She
She is Me
I am She

Which of the many faces of the Goddess is calling most loudly to you today?

10 things you probably don’t know about me

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Chrystian Guy via Compfight

  1. I have an uncanny knack for remembering faces.
  2. I have had a celebrity crush on Johnny Depp that goes all the way back to his 21 Jump Street days (and I am not afraid to admit it.)
  3. I wish, during my senior year of high school, I had chosen to feed my delight with drama and photography, instead of feeding “it will look good on your transcript” with AP Physics and Calculus. (Yet instead of regret I am choosing to fully serve my artist self now.)
  4. In that vein, I have always had a desire to pursue painting and this past year I dove in.  I have taken several online classes like this, this and this, and have created over 10 paintings.  This has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone in a “Heck Yeah” fun kind of way.
  5. Although my taste for sugar has declined over the last year, I cannot say the same is true for really good bread…yummmmm!
  6. I am an eclectic music fan crossing both decades and genres) yet I have a particular passion for the music of the 80’s and have seen the local 80’s musical comedy review MiXtape here in San Diego seven time in less than a year (I’m shooting for at least a dozen by the end of the year… it is my current guilty pleasure.)
  7. I have always had a deep love of and connection to nature.  My favorite spiritual songs are those found in the whispers of the breeze, the crashing of the waves, the call of the hawk, and the buzzing of the bees.
  8. That first cup of coffee in the morning brings me a unique kind of joy that I have yet to find a substitute for.
  9. At this point in my life I am clear that money is a potentially powerful resource, yet without a foundation of love infusing my choices related to it, money alone cannot support my true peace and joy.
  10. My favorite form of exercise is dancing to the insistent pulse of vibrant music… the kind of music that takes me out of my head and transports me to another place, back to  my true essential self!

This post was inspired by both the prompting from Susannah Conway via Blogging From The Heart, and her mention of this post by Corbett Barr.

What can you do today to express more of your True Self with the world?  Maybe it’s by writing a post of your own like this one.

The road to an Amazing Technicolored Life is paved with Shame

This morning I experienced a physical “click” that I was finally “getting” the concept in my bones of enjoying the Journey of this life, rather than being so focusing on the Destination. The last two years have been a roller coaster of unfolding that I would certainly define as “challenging”, yet when I look back on the miraculous process that has occurred I can see it for what it really has been… a whole cornucopia of “Heck Yeah, High Five, Holy Guacamole” kind of fun.

The unfoldment of the soul from fear to love is quite a technicolored ride and one that forces the waking up of every fiber in my being. It requires the stretching of myself to the world of possibility that most people never even get to the starting line of exploring. I am really starting to feel that the work of this internal journey truly is the path to a truly Alive Life – which is exactly what I signed up for this time around.

Watching Brene Brown’s most recent TED Talk on “Listening to Shame” offered another “Aha”moment because it zeroed in on the Big Enchilada epic drama that is at the bedrock core of what has kept me small and scurrying for safety… the active role that shame continues to play in my life. It is a certain flavor of fear that has a decaying effect on my sense of self, my worth, and my ability to lean into all of the possibilities that being anchored in love has to offer.

I can see it is my most wounded child that most needs the compassionate response from my internal parent. It is this child that has been marginalized and lives from that place of doubt and fear and is desperate for the inner parent to come in night after night and tuck her in safely to sleep and remind her of the truth that she is loved, she is kind, she is worthy, she is significant, she is valuable just because she is here and her experiences and stories are of value and need to be heard because they are part of the human quilt of evolution and empathy and compassion building. And it is through the sharing of my vulnerable stories of imperfect exploring and adventuring that I continue to contribute to the knitting of the collective fabric of unity that connects all of us.

I need to tell my stories for myself because they affirm my role in the collective experience of unfoldment and they allow me the channel of creative self expression that brings me delight and wholeness.

I need to tell my stories for you because they serve as a beacon to all of my other selves that we are not separate and we are not alone and that the dance between love and fear, courage and vulnerability, inner being and outer action is a delicate dance that we are all living into and the choices we are making each and every day are the threads of what is spinning our collective future towards love.

If I can serve as a consistent voice that shares towards that collective loving vision, then I am doing my part to embrace and serve and love the whole of humanity through the lens of the moment-by-moment choices I make in how I spend my days with my family and with my creative self.

What is the story that you need to tell for you, for me, for us all?


How To Change The World With A Circle

photo by xlordashx

As I peer out my window, the sun is rising in the East, ready to warm my patch of the planet on this Halloween morning.  As children eagerly await the darkness to fall, in order to don their costumes and collect their candy treasures, I am left reflecting on the vitalizing power of another aspect of this day.

Last night, I had the pleasure of gathering in community with an amazing group of powerful, vibrant, courageous, open, and authentically beautiful women.  We came together to mark the passing of Samhain.

Although this was my first time gathering with a group of women for this particular celebration, it is not the first time I have gathered in circle with women in this very powerful way.  Over the last two years, I have experienced increasing opportunities to come together in community with other women in a whole new way.  This is the way of collaboration, unconditional acceptance, celebration of each others’ unique gifts, and deep compassion for each of our human challenges.  The circle becomes place where we women come together to create a safe and sacred space to honor all aspects of who we are and what we are evolving into.  It is a place where our voices are honored and nurtured and acknowledged for sharing our Truth.

I recently saw the important film Miss Representation, which examines the current and disturbing portrayal of women in our media.  The picture is not a pretty one.  There is so much in our current cultural climate that portrays a very contrasting and damaging image of women and our role in society.

This disparity creates a critical opportunity for each and every woman to begin to define who she is for herself, what she truly believes in at the core of her being, and to start speaking it with the power of her voice.  It is when all the woman on this planet are able and willing to move towards these three things, that the world will begin to mirror the vision of vibrant possibility that I am holding.

When His Holiness the Dalai Lama proclaimed, “The world will be saved by the western woman.”, I believe he was referring to a similar vision.  And I believe this begins with women making the choice to practice coming together in circle. There is magic that is born within the circle which is then carried with each one of us out into the world.

What has been your experience of coming together in a circle of women?  What might you do to create more of these opportunities for yourself?


When Things Fall Apart

photo by Zanthia

I have been observing the inner and outer landscapes of my world and it is fascinating to see how mirrored they have been.  With the falling of foreign regimes, the growing backlash against the financial establishment on Wall Street, and the repercussions of bottoming-out local governmental budgets… it would appear that things are indeed falling apart.

Upon first glance, it can appear rather alarming and down-right scary to see all of these institutions, that have been foundational elements of the world I grew up in, starting to crumble and fall away.

What will happen next?  What will rise up in its place…this is the gap where trust and faith live.  If I bring my attention back to the cycles of life than I am reminded that in order for something new to be born, the old must first whither and fall away.  That is the process we are in right now…the death and dying of those things in the world that no longer serve.

The new way, the way born of love and unity consciousness, the way of collaboration and partnership, the way of service to others via loving service to ourselves is being ushered in.

I can feel this same falling away process happening within myself.   Over this past year there has been a dismantling of a complex structure of protections, safeguards, and safety nets that were all constructed during my early years to “keep me safe” from additional harm.  There were wounds that I acquired via “life” and the result was the building of walls.  These walls became so tall and thick that their original purpose of “keeping me safe” was actually keeping me from really living.

So in a committment to greater love of myself and love of the miracle of life, I have been on quite an experimental journey of deconstructing these walls, these protections, layer by layer.  In the beginning, it was terrifying because I only knew how to view life from behind the protective layer of these walls.

Yet through the beauty of baby steps I have continued to be willing to risk chipping away the inner fortress, brick by brick.  Even though the process has been long, often exhausting, and the immediate process of “the work” has been uncomfortable, I continue to collect convincing evidence that doing “the work” will not kill me as I previously believed it might.

I can feel the truth of the Anais Nin’s words flowing through my inner and outer daily experience.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

It is worth the risk of blossoming, even when it feels temporarily excruciating.  It is worth the risk of living into the fullness of my life both inside and out.  Yet it is a choice that I alone must make for myself.  And it is my hope that each and every other person that I share this planet with is in the process of making a similar choice.  What will the world look like then?

What choice might you make today that will lead you further on your journey toward blossoming?

My Stories Are Calling Me To Tell Them

photo by Brent Buford

The pull of my stories is really ramping up. I think about all the possibilities.  Powerful resources for transformational story-telling keep floating leisurely across my path and there is a bubbling up of courage within me to reach in and claim the value and wisdom of my stories, not only as a source of satisfaction and love for myself but with an inkling that there may be a tribe member or two who may find value as well.  If I continue to be committed to honing my ability to tell my stories in a way that captures my heart.

There are many rich elements that go into writing a truly captivating story.  Yet the simple act of being willing to begin is also a captivating act of courage on its own.  Just this morning, I saw a headline cross my desk of the 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great.  And although I chose not to read all 106 of them, I quickly saw the theme that my mind is brilliantly capable of creating an exhaustive list of excuses as to why my dreams cannot be pursued today…but only if I let it.

I keep coming back to the whisper of wisdom that the reason I am really meant to write is to “learn”. Write to learn, write to learn, write to learn.  So much of what I read today online is written from the perspective of writing to explicitly teach “others” something “out there”.  Yet when I pause to consider the writers that continue to captivate my attention and inspire me to see more clearly the brilliance in myself that is hiding in the shadows, they are the writers who are committed to the practice of writing as a vehicle to learn more about themselves.  They are committed to making sense out of how they view the world around them and their place in it.  This is the kind of writing that sparks the Firemaker, The Motivator, and the Pioneer in me.  It is the kind of writing that I am committed to. It is the kind of writing that I want my daughters to experience.

How about you? What is the story that is whispering to you to be told?

What Big Story Are YOU Committed to Telling?

photo by Jeremy Brooks

I am feeling more strongly than ever that I am hear to be courageous and tell my own stories and the stories of others who are diving deeper into their own path of self discovery in order to bring more love into the world.

The content of the film, Miss Representation really hit home for me and has actually caused a bit of a feeling of overwhelm.  I know it is my role to be a part of the conversation and the solution to changing the status quo as to how women are portrayed and represented in the media, yet it seems almost dizzying as to where to start.

One tool I will keep at the ready is to ask the question,  “Does this action/project bring me greater growth and joy?”  If so, than it makes the cut as to action I am willing to lean into.

I often feel the discomfort of making the commitment to sitting down to write the thoughts and words that are swirling around in my head.  Yet I am finally getting that it is not about me or the brilliance of (or lack thereof) the exact words that come out…it is actually more about my commitment to opening my channel and being willing to look at and listen to the things that are in my heart and mind.  And to allow myself (the compassionate space) to practice building my unique voice muscle and the confidence to follow where that voice (whether in shouts or whispers) wants to take me.

This all begins with my willingness to believe that my own stories are worthy of being told, that I do have something of value to share with others, that it is worth the commitment to publicly practice developing both my written and spoken voice, and that I can receive both fulfillment, enjoyment, and financial abundance from following this path of serving myself while serving others using my voice.

So these are a few things I am willing to practice:

  • I am willing to practice continued awareness that my voice is valuable and needed in the world.
  • I am willing to practice developing my voice and sharing my stories with others
  • I am willing to practice connecting with myself and others in my efforts to develop and share my stories and wisdom.
  • I am willing to practice compassion for myself as I continue stretching outside my comfort zone in order to share my stories in their beautiful imperfection.
  • I am willing to hold myself accountable for sharing my voice with myself and others daily.
  • I am willing to practice capturing the magical story nuggets that are going on all around me in every present moment.
  • I am willing to practice surrendering to exactly who I am and exactly what is right now.
  • I am willing to practice being open to the possibilities that can be created for me and others through sharing my voice.
  • I am willing to practice holding the intention that the writing and telling of my stories help me to tap more deeply into my own inner wisdom.
  • I am willing to practice trusting myself and others through this process of sharing my voice and stories with the world.
  • I am willing to practice identifying and speaking about more of the things that fuel my passion.
  • I am willing to practice all of the above in the pursuit of cultivating greater love in my life and therefore the world.

These are the things I am committed to practicing.  What are you willing to practice that will move you closer to what you want to see and feel and experience in the world?