What interesting times we live in. Being a student of woman’s history and potential, I find the dynamics of the president campaign fascinating. Some of the earlier missed takes of women’s empowerment are repeating themselves, but progress not perfection is how creation works. What is it to exercise power as a woman? What is it to be supportive as a woman yet still be true to myself? How can I live my precious life with integrity to my values and purpose and honor the roles I engage in my life as a woman?
We live in times most interesting, a time when so much of what we’ve been taught is true, is changing before our eyes. Truths such as what is power? what is family? what do we give authority to? are breath-taking in their change. And terrifying can feel the degree of change in what we once believed kept us secure and safe in life.
Even planned revolutions bring unplanned challenges to staying true and on purpose to the heart of the revolution. Women are being asked to heal the wounds of the historical rage within them while also birthing new forms of power and relationship with those who wounded them in the past. Yet, while all revolutions have their traps as well as their treasures, navigating the choices and changes showing up in your life simply needs you to live the grace and grit your birth as a woman bestowed upon you.
I don’t know about you, but 2016 is already requiring me to exercise more neutrality, wisdom, and courage for not freaking out in response to the challenges and changes life is sending my way. Now don’t get me wrong, freaking out has it’s place in life-not unlike how a good thunderstorm clears the air. But freaking out onto the people you care about (including yourself) does not end well. All that time and energy spent in emotional drama is sooo 2015!
The free Tele-class “Your Soul Medicine as Woman” I offered earlier this month offered me many reasons to freak out. Beginning with my assistant forgetting to send out the call-in numbers before going on holiday, to the recording function failing, my inner “you’re a screw up” dragon had a field day with me. Yup, 2016 began with great reasons for me to freak out and feel powerless, but this is not how I roll when I remember to engage my grace, grit, and gratitude as a woman.
As I shared in my tele-class, women need to call on their soul medicine for navigating contemporary life’s changes and challenges and keeping their happiness and purpose intact. “May you live in challenging times” is said to be a blessing, yet without engaging the tools and strength your soul offers you, the challenges life sends your way will seem overwhelming and have you feeling helpless. Learning how to receive and decipher your soul’s guidance changes feeling afraid and hopeless to living your happiness and purpose.
I invite you to CLICK HERE for a FREE phone session with me, for why feel alone with your worries, fear, or sleepless nights? Perhaps you already know what you want or need to change, but feel helpless or hopeless to make the changes. Woman are gifted with many strengths and skills, yet caring for yourself as well as you do others can be challenging. Take a minute and ask yourself if 2016 is the year you learn how to claim the grace, grit, and gratitude within you as a woman. Or if 2016 is the year you continue to feel helpless, hopeless, or unhappy with your life or relationships.
A little over a week ago, 9 people were killed by a man 21 years young, in the basement of their church. Outrage, anger, sorrow are some of the emotions people share feeling, and how to respond to their emotions and this tragedy, a struggle. I shared my initial thoughts in an article I posted on my website and one of the responses I received was “just breathe”. Now, I teach people I work with how to use their breathing for lowering anxiety and stress. So why did I find myself feeling irritated by this response to “just breathe”?
“Just breathe” seems a kind enough response to my feelings of outrage and pain, yes? Earlier in my life I would have thought so and ignored the feeling inside that more was needed. Yet my life experience’s have delivered priceless wisdom about the need for both inspiring words and conscious action. Too many women fall into the trap of talking and talking about what they don’t like yet fear speaking up or taking action for making things better. Women who then end up feeling badly about themselves and feel helpless or hopeless in their life or a relationship.
As Elizabeth Cady Stanton offered “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and not only hesitate to tell the truth within us but fail to act upon it, the divine floods of light and life flow no longer into our souls.” Women’s power emerges in large part through her willingness to give voice to the truths she feels within, to give voice to what is waiting for her to speak up for. Women’s power emerges when she owns the divine grace she is and engages her grace and soul for transforming the world.
The Reverend Clement Pinckney-one of the 9 people killed in Charleston last week-was both a minister and a State Senator. When asked why he chose to be both, he said he knew prayers alone would not help the people he served gain the jobs they needed for a better life. He said he needed to both serve his faith in God through his ministry and serve his underprivileged constituents through politics. “Both faith in the prayers he offered and taking action in the world he lived in were needed for making things better.”
I leave you with but one suggestion instead of my usual list of a few. A suggestion for when you find yourself in pain or despairing about a relationship or the state your life is in. Give this one suggestion an opportunity for you to experience the guidance and wisdom within you. Close your eyes, focus your breath into your heart, and say to yourself ”Divine Being of compassion and grace I am, bless me with loving myself and my life today”. Feel these words as they resonate within you and receive what comes forth when you offer yourself these words. Then commit to taking action with the power and presence of your grace as a woman.
I sit here on this Friday almost-summer morning, unable to attend to tasks I anointed for today. A practical list consisting of tending to my car’s need for an oil change, to weeding long neglected, and to tending my business. I spent yesterday in a similar sort of funk, telling myself it was due to a particularly challenging session with my mentor. Or due to my youngest child becoming a high school senior and the seismic changes ahead for us both. But in my soul, I know neither is why I feel so lost and in such deep sorrow.
9 people were killed in their church while in prayer group. 9 people were killed while tending to their faith and to each other. 9 people killed because of the color of their skin and being trusting souls with their killer. Just writing these sentences makes me cry, feeling such pain and sorrow I cannot attend to my day as usual. 9 people dead whose souls are calling out for me to respond, to take action on all our behalves.
We live in a time when children are killed in school and adults are killed in church. We used to believe childhood was sacred, that a church or a temple was sacred. How did this become not so? My youngest child grew up with children being killed in school and shared with me how being in school doesn’t always feel safe, despite their SWAT team drills and safe room protocols. She shares how she feels safer jumping her big horse over a 3 foot fence than sitting in her classroom some days.
Now you may be telling yourself how your church or your school is safe because can’t happen because of where you live. Yet my (white) daughter who lives in one of the best parts of Charleston less than a mile from the Emanual AME Church, doesn’t feel safe. I keep reliving being inside this church but a few weeks ago, feeling the sacred power of the countless numbers of prayers offered there. Only now, I’m wrestling with the image in my head of the blood stains of the 9 people killed within the sacred space I had offered prayers.
When did we agree that nothing was sacred no more? When did it become easier to distract ourselves from tending to the outrage of “never again” with the actions necessary for making it so? That nothing really changes in the aftermath of another act of violence against another human being? When what is sacred to us-childhood, church, life-is violated and we ignore the call from our soul to attend to it, to repair it, to mend the wound in what is sacred to us?
I don’t have an easy answer for the violence and racism rampant in our times. An easy answer will not suffice to change what is wrong and our tolerance for allowing it to prevail. What I do know is I seem unable to distract or ignore what I am feeling inside until it goes away. Something deep within me is stopping me in my tracks, waiting for me to respond, for me to take action on the pain and sorrow I feel. I do know our souls are calling for each of us to take better care of what is sacred again.
Most people place a great deal of importance and priority on what they know and on control. Yet as I help my clients realize, both knowledge and control-while valuable-are over-rated in their power to create happiness and peace in life. So if being in control with lots of knowledge doesn’t create the happiness and peace we are all seeking, what does? My answer may surprise you-it’s the wisdom to be a fool.
In the Tarot, “The Fool” represents the highest potential for your life; where each day is an adventure to be lived without fear and with trust in where the Universe is taking you. The Fool invites you to place your faith and trust in life and to embrace your courage for realizing happiness and success. The Fool believes in their heart and follows it no matter how crazy or foolish this may seem to others. The Fool is the spirit of who you truly are, expressed and experienced as wonder, innocence, curiosity and delight. You may not know what the future holds, but the Fool invites you to take a chance on yourself and life, with courage and faith.
We are discouraged from choosing the wisdom to be a fool for instead, being in control and in charge. I have learned how powerful being a fool is in most aspects of my life, but especially when it comes to love and happiness. For example, my choice to extend love and support as a parent, to a child who was being unkind to me, was said to be a fool’s choice by my parents. I must admit it was not always the easier choice to extend love versus being unkind back. Yet within me, I knew it wiser to be a fool for love than to simply talk about love but not back it up with my actions.
Being a fool for love, for a dream, for your life requires you know how to listen to your heart and soul as well as you take action on their wisdom. We are taught to entrust facts and figures for being safe and realizing our dreams in life. Yet information without heart, without being held to your deepest values, will result in choices harmful to your happiness and your relationships in life. The soul of your life requires your willingness to engage the mystery of your life for realizing happiness and love in life. The wisdom of a fool indeed!
So how can you embrace the wisdom to be a fool?
1. Choose to embrace the mystery of life more than trying to control life. We are taught our security and safety come from living by what we control and are in charge of in life. This industrial model of life requires a certainty and a consistency to each day and each person we meet, that simply is not realistic nor human’s nature. Instead, become curious again about each day and the people important to you versus constraining them by your expectations of them in your life.
2. Learn how what falls apart in your life is your soul calling, not the failure of someone or something. What falls apart in your life is life removing what does not serve you, making room for your soul in life. Be is a relationship in crisis, health under siege, or the despair which comes from living your fate and not your destiny, within the ashes of what has fallen apart is your holy invitation to your life’s magic and much bigger purpose.
3. Learn the difference between the facts you’ve been handed and your truth. While it is a fact your parents raised you through their beliefs and rules for life, the truth is once you leave their home you get to choose. Yet, every single client I have worked with has struggled with living their sovereignty, which requires they claim their own beliefs and rules for their life. When you do not claim what is true for you-updating the rules and beliefs you grew up with-you will find yourself blaming others for feeling unhappy in life. Claiming your sovereignty is simple to do with some guidance and support.
4. Learn how what challenges you is life’s invitation to create, not facts to resign yourself to. History is full of people who have made a better world through living this truth. Those who trusted their imagination and then took action, created the wheel, the airplane, the internet, etc. All were called fools first and brilliant second. By not being bound to information as truth, these fools made practical improvements from the mystery of their imagination. What might your imagination grace your life with, if you but trusted it and took action on it?
So where might your life be inviting you to live your wisdom as a fool?
Take a suggestion from me and take a chance on being a fool for love, a fool for happiness, a fool for your life. Believing the facts and figures of life will make you and your relationships happy is not wisdom. To realize more love and happiness in life will require you let go of control and take a risk for love. What is most valuable in life isn’t found in what and who you believe you control in life. What is truly most valuable in life is realized through your choosing the wisdom to be a fool for the mystery and magic of love and life.
Years ago I lived in a spiritual community important to the man I had married. Daily yoga and mediation formed the backbone of the community’s spiritual practice, along with learning Eastern wisdom and healing. The stated goal of the community-and the authority of the spiritual teacher-were for becoming “more conscious”. The gap between the community’s stated values and how the community functioned I chalked up to the nature of human beings and power. Until it became personal.
When I became pregnant, I was given information from the teacher’s tradition on being pregnant, giving birth, even raising children. I found much of the information interesting, some useful, and did my best to not make issue of what I disagreed with. I was trying really hard to be a good wife and a well-behaved member of the community. I was trying really hard to keep my then-husband happy with me and safe with the authority of the teacher. But my life had plans for me other than “staying safe by being good”.
My son weighed almost 12 pounds at birth (he’s now 6’ 4”) and he was hungry-a lot! But according to the spiritual teacher, to nurse closer than every 4 hours was to be a mother “catering” to her baby, insuring a neurotic child. My husband was adamant I follow the 4 hour rule, even if that meant our baby cried from hunger 3 hours after nursing. It was more important to him I behave than it was his son was hungry. My baby’s needs were in conflict with the teacher’s rules and I knew I was in trouble.
I prayed for clarity and the answer came back quickly, although not an answer I looked forward to honoring. I wrote to the spiritual teacher of my experience with nursing our large baby every 4 hours when he clearly needed to nurse every 3 hours. And while I intended no disrespect to him as a spiritual teacher, I needed to honor my integrity as my child’s mother. I wrote that I had chosen to answer not to his rules but to the god of mothers. Honoring what I knew to be true became more important than my fear of being judged lacking by people important to me.
My reluctant choice to become “more conscious” as a mother pleased neither the spiritual teacher nor my husband. Ironic? Yes, but as I tell my clients, irony is often present where life is calling for you to pay attention. My initiation into motherhood wasn’t easy-kinda like giving birth to being a mom-but the victory of choosing my integrity over my fears was priceless. Your heart and soul are waiting to help you to shake up your world for making it better.
The god of living your life by what others think, the god of being good and staying quiet for staying safe…..many are the false gods we give our precious life and our best to. That’s why when a woman comes to me reeling from a crisis of relationship or the despair of living her fate not her destiny, I tell her she is blessed for she can now reclaim her integrity and honor the gods true in her heart and soul.
What gods are you serving with your precious life? Are they gods true in your heart and soul or are they gods false in their promise of safety and security? If you would like to explore answering to a god more true to who you are and what your life is about, I invite you to sign up for your FREE Clarity Session. This one hour phone session is your opportunity to ask me your questions and receive answers for how to live with more happiness and peace in your life as a woman.
To sign up for a FREE Clarity Session simply CLICK HERE and follow the directions. I look forward to it!
Many women struggle with an injustice, a wrong done them by someone they love or by life. They believed being a good person insured them of good in life, yet now they find themselves struggling in an important relationship or their health under seige. “It’s not fair” or “why me?” are thoughts which hound them and their faith in life and people is badly shaken, including their faith in themselves.
I have great empathy for their pain and frustration for I too have felt betrayed by both people and my body. The betrayals felt devastating at the time and I remember feeling so lost as my rules for life had failed me. Who and what was I to trust? Certainly not people, and it felt as though God was on vacation at the very time I needed his help! When your world falls apart, it can be scary and confusing how to make things better….I know.
Life is not fair, at least not the way your mind tells you it ought to be. A crisis in life challenges our belief in life as fair as well as that life plays by the rules we’ve made up for control in life. If we were like machines, performing tasks as our life, our desire for life to be predicable and as we want it to be would be, well, logical. Alas, we are not machines, rather an alchemy of the temporary physical and the eternal spiritual.
Mystery rules life yet navigating life and creating happy and satisfying results does not need to be mysterious. People will disappoint you and life will challenge you, yet your happiness in life comes not from what and who you control, but through your responses with people and in life. Embracing your life as an offers you the opportunity time and time again for the mystery of your life to delight and inspire you.
When you find yourself in a painful place in life, you DO have the power to make things better. How?
1. Reach out for help even if you are afraid. Many a client has confessed to me how scared she was and how hard it was to email me for setting up their free Clarity Session with me. Their fear and lack of confidence in themselves fought with their deeper desire to enjoy more happiness in their life and relationships. Having the courage to change your life for the better does not mean you don’t have fear. Choosing the courage to reach out for help means your fears don’t win and you do.
2. Tend better to your emotions for becoming better, not bitter, in life. Let me give you an example. You’ve noticed your hubby seems unhappy and you are both irritated he’s unhappy and afraid to ask him why he’s so unhappy. What does he have to be unhappy about? No one seems to care if you’re happy or not!
Notice the bitterness creeping in? Your emotions are competing for your attention with caring about your hubby. Learning to tend to your emotions as a way you love yourself as well as others, prevents becoming resentful of those you love. Being a martyr is highly over-rated and bitterness is so yesterday!
3. Understand the difference between the false power of control and the true power of your responses. It is easy to become bitter when life bites you when you believe you are powerless to make things better. Learning you have within you what you need for victory with life’s challenges, makes both your life and the people in it, much more fun!
I trust life and I can teach you to trust yourself in life as well. Life wants you to be healthy and happy, and through engaging your holy, you can be. (Did you know that the words heal, holy, and whole all are from the same root word “whole”?) The grace in your life simply needs your grit to engage for creating a life you are in gratitude for.
“Have you forgotten the most important Valentine of all?”
We are heading into Valentine’s Day and I remember with fondness, decorating many a shoebox with glitter and paper lace doilies for my classmates to put their Valentines into. Making the choice of whether to give Scooby Doo Valentines or Mickey and Minnie Mouse Valentines was a ritual I eagerly looked forward to every February. And I smile when I pull out the old Valentines I made for my parents during art. Oh, the days of love being simple and fun!
Celebrating love became a bit more complicated as I grew older. Parents lost their luster and pledges of true love turned into betrayal. I watch sadly as people once happy in love, angrily rewrite their history as never having been so. Was love just a fool’s game or is there more to why love seems to have gone from fun as a child to risky as an adult?
Love suffers from a myth which can lead people in relationships to being hurt and becoming bitter about their beloved. The myth? That if a person loves you, they are to make you happy. So… if you are unhappy, the person you love is at fault. Recognize this myth? This myth has done so much damage in relationships that when I spot this myth operating in a client’s life, I call it out for what it is–a lie which hurts all involved.
The truth is that the job of being happy begins with you. Who knows better than you what makes you feel good, what tickles your funny bone, what makes you feel all is right with your world? Only when you learn to love yourself, to support and honor yourself, are you truly able to have a happy and loving relationship with another. Without loving yourself first, you are limited in the love you can receive as well as give another person.
So this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget your most important Valentine of all-YOU! Take some time for loving yourself just as you are. Like old movies? Then watch one this weekend instead of making excuses about why you can’t. Think a clean house is over-rated? Give yourself a day-hell a weekend!-of not telling yourself to tidy up and really enjoy a bit of mess. This Valentine’s Day weekend, shower some true loving on yourself, for loving others always begins with you.
I am truly blessed to work with women who courageously take up change for being happier in their life and relationships. They are tired of compensating for their unhappiness with food, or shopping, or by (always) complaining to their friends and family. These women have spent years being the good girls they were taught to be as children. But being a good girl hasn’t brought them happiness and tired of being unhappy, they reach out for help for being happy again.
Being a good girl can serve to make important adults happy when you’re a child. But being a good girl as an adult not only keeps your happiness at bay, it keeps the happiness of those you love at bay as well. The saying “If Mama ain’t happy, nobody be happy” is not a judgment about unhappy women, but a truth about the impact a happy (or unhappy) woman has in her relationships and life.
How happy/unhappy you truly are is felt by all you care for in life. Putting on a smile and pretending to be happy does not fool anyone but yourself. When I invite a woman to be silent less and share herself more with those important to her, fear of being rejected is often the reason she has not done so. Yet the price of not being authentic in your relationships erodes your self-respect and trust of yourself and others. The woman begins to realize how pledging allegiance to relationships or institutions which don’t honor her, are relationships and institutions she can ill afford for being happy in her life.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you no longer believed you needed to be a good girl for being happy in life, what would you change in your life or relationships?
- What would you stand up to-that you now only complain about or feel helpless to make better-if you had support?
- Would you be more willing to make different choices if more happiness and self-respect would be your result?
- If you could be happier if you reached out for help, what stops you?
The questions above are not meant for you to answer by yourself. Only recently have we embraced a belief of strength as being solitary. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty clear how that’s (not) working for us. Talk about these questions with those you trust and I’d love to hear from you!
This time of year can be tough. Lots of being pitched to for spending money as love, to feel only “happy happy happy!”, and a body that simply wants more sleep due to less sunlight. Add spending time with family you chose to move away from, lots of alcohol and sugar, and your holidays become less about peace and goodwill and a lot more like a marathon. Especially when the people you moved away from can still make you crazy!!
Family is the best and family is the hardest
Getting together with the people you grew up with can be like time-traveling to the past. You are no longer a child and the people you work with or are friends with consider you an adult. Yet getting together with the family you grew up with can give you a case of bad deja’vu and provoke some not so fun emotions in you. Heh! Wasn’t what you didn’t like about your family supposed to go away when you left home?
Behave like a grownup even if others are not
Leaving home is not the same as making peace with those you grew up with. While distance and a place of your own may allow the occasional visit with family to be pleasant enough, the double whammy of alcohol and your longing for a Norman Rockwell holiday can make holidays with family tricky. All it takes is a parent behaving as you hate them behaving and before you can say “world peace”, you’re screaming at them for being a jerk. ‘Kinda like a child having a doozy of a temper tantrum (gulp).
Tend to what’s unresolved with your family….just not while eating Thanksgiving dinner
Many adults haven’t resolved their childhood, limiting their ability to be a grownup with their family. You can choose to avoid your parents or spend way too much energy being angry with a sibling. You wish your parents would change how they treat you, but have you changed how you are with them? The difference between being an adult and being a grownup is one word describes your body and the other word describes your level of personal responsibility and maturity. Guess which one is which?
Commit to being a grownup with your childhood
Will this make your parents see the light and treat you as you want them to treat you? Or prevent a sibling from railing about God intending marriage as only between men and women? I wouldn’t hold my breath, but here’s a little secret about making peace with your past. When you release your past (including the people in it) from having the power to hold your happiness hostage, you release yourself from being bound to your past as well.
Lift your spirits and create a bit of peace of mind and heart
Peace of mind and heart comes from choosing to extend love to your family, even when they give you SO many reasons not to. Choosing to love when reason tells you not to, creates the peace we all seek, where reason does not. The person you hurt the most when you withhold love from others is yourself. Peace doesn’t come from not disagreeing with others. Peace stands a chance when grownups make agreements for keeping the peace. Realize the vast power within you called love, and then be the grownup making things better with your family and in your world.