“Love Being the Smartest Person in the Room”

A few years back while working with a marketing coach for revisions to my website, I expressed frustration at the conflicting advice I had received about website copy over the years. He laughed and said something which struck that “wisdom bell” we all have within us. “Never forget you are the smartest person in the room JaiKaur”. I laughed but then went back to pondering which expert I should listen to about how to make my website copy better.

I’ve never met a women who doesn’t feel she is somehow lacking. Whether not skinny enough, sexy enough, productive enough, the bottom line is she is “not enough”. Instead of challenging the truth of the insidious voice of where we are lacking, we purchase products marketed for this lack, or feel shame about that lack, or simply give up on feeling content and at ease with being as we are. 

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Your life contains a finite number of breaths and an infinite number of choices to celebrate your being and life. Yet all too often a woman’s experience of her life is a confusion of messages from people past and present about her purpose and worth. ‘Confusion clears and clarity reigns when you learn to receive the softer voice within you whose sole purpose is to illuminate your life’s true purpose and your worth as most precious. 

At the end of the day, the choices you make in your life and your relationships are yours alone to live and breathe. No matter how good someone makes something sound, no matter how much authority you give someone, you alone answer for the choices you make at the end of the day. Chances are good you already know what’s true for you, making you the smartest person in the room-about you! Now the only thing that’s keeping you from enjoying what you know is trusting and committing 1000% to what you know and taking consistent action towards your goals and dreams, inspired by your knowing.

So practice trusting yourself more, trusting what you like more, and taking action inspired by the wisdom within you, more. The more you practice the better you’ll get at loving yourself and the life you are creating. Learn to dial into the wisdom within yourself and to receive the softer voice as the voice you trust – not the voice which tells you how you are not enuf! Really own your choices, embrace your courage, and empower a love affair with yourself and with your life. For you truly are the smartest person in the room about what makes you happy and how to live your life on purpose.

 

“May You Live in Interesting Times”

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.

Why “Just Breathe”is not Enough

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.

“Why Your Presence Matters”

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In last month’s article “In a World Often Scary, Why Being Vulnerable is Essential”  I wrote about how critical courage, compassion, and choosing to be vulnerable is for realizing happiness and success in your relationships and contemporary life. In this fourth and last article on the art and science of contemporary life, I share how learning to discern, decipher, and delight in wisdom, guidance, and support from more than our 5 senses is essential as well.

Multi-sensory intelligence is the information we receive, transmit, and process through means other than our 5 physical senses. Here in the West, we consider our 5 physical senses the means for gathering and distributing information, whereas in cultures older, sensory intelligence includes information from the heart, the soul, and what is encountered in the physical environment. Shamans, medicine women and men, and healers of many traditions know we are more than our minds, and use their knowledge and skills with multi-sensory intelligence to create results not thought possible.

Every person I have worked with had multi-sensory experiences, yet has been reluctant to trust them although sheepishly admitting to them. So what is difficult about trusting information from other than your thoughts? Habit, belief, and conformity…..the habit of not trusting yourself, the belief in only thoughts being real, and the conformity to what has always been as what is possible. As my clients will attest, only when they trusted themselves and the information they were receiving from within themselves did they realize they had Lymes disease vs imaging symptoms, did they realize a happier marriage than ever before, did they realize their happiness through clarity in their choices.

Learning to expand what has power in your world, what informs, guides, and supports you, is essential for living in a world awash in information yet lacking essentials for all people. Your mind is fabulous yet it is but a fraction of the intelligence you have at your disposable as a human being, an alchemy of physical matter and infinite spirit. Accessing the greater range of your intelligence and creativity requires your willingness to trust your experiences, to discern your body’s wisdom, and to decipher important wisdom within your emotions.

Honoring the power of your multi-sensory presence (from Latin meaning “being at hand”) is essential in a world where technology is often confused for solutions. Your power of presence is not only your physical presence; power of presence is becoming conscious your presence is an essential (from Latin meaning “in the highest degree”) part of wherever, with whatever, and with whoever you find yourself in life. For life is not what happens to us as much as realizing life is a dynamic we are co-creating…an essential update for contemporary life.

“Learning to Trust Yourself and Life Again: Balancing Inner and Outer Authority”

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In last week’s article “The Trojan Horse Opportunity of Change, Challenge, and Transition”, I wrote about updating beliefs, habits, and choices for staying contemporary in your life and world. One of the updates I touched on was balancing the power you give authority outside yourself with the authority you allow your own self when crafting your happiness and life. Learning to trust yourself and life is crucial in creating happiness and satisfaction in life.

You’ve been taught to defer power to authority outside yourself-parents, teachers, experts, ministers, etc-and to adhere to common answers vs your own answers, as to what is right and what is wrong. You are taught to defer to the (mostly) masculine norms Western civilization is constructed upon, women feeling this imbalance most personally, and the potential of all people impacted. So it is any wonder you may not truly know yourself, trust what you feel, or have faith in life as on your side?

In time, your soul will initiate a process for evaluating your life, often through a crisis (from the Latin word meaning “to decide/decisive point) in your health, relationships, or happiness. This evaluation brings to light the balance between the facts of your outer authority and the truths of your inner authority. We are taught to fear change, challenge, and transition, yet the process of claiming more integrity and soul in your life only enhances the integrity of your relationships, happiness, and fulfillment in life.

In life contemporary, we make everything important except learning about ourselves. In response, life will often trigger events in life as opportunities for learning about more about yourself:

1. You live life by “shoulds, need to, have to’s” in your roles, your relationships, and your choices…..building resentment you blame others for, when you could be learning to respond with compassion for yourself and learn more about your feelings!

2. Your intimate relationships begin to experience escalating conflict, conflict based on expectations of what the other “owes” you….treating your relationships like commodities when you could be learning to trust sharing your imperfect self with another imperfect self!

3. Your body lets you know it is unhappy and demands your attention in ways painful or scary….. so you feel betrayed by your body when you could be learning how to discern and decipher it’s wisdom!

4. You realize you are spending your days simply trying to get through to the end of the day, day after day……indulging in drama or distractions when you could be committing to support, wisdom, and guidance on the skills, ways, and delight of self-discovery!

Contemporary life includes few traditions of mentorship or apprenticeship, yet our need for the care and guidance of wise community is more than ever. Power (from Latin meaning “be able”), secular or spiritual, historically passed through a conscious community tending to the awakening and learning of power. With the dismantling of traditions and the diminishing of institutional authority, we are being called to claim more inner authority yet challenged by not knowing how to do so, alone with only our facts.

 

“The Trojan Horse of Opportunity Change, Challenge, and Transition Offers Us”

My clients entrust me with helping them update their beliefs, habits, and choices for creating more joy, integrity, and health in themselves and their relationships.  We begin by building a foundation for learning to trust (again) themselves, life,  and their dreams.  And once they have done so “well enough”, there is little in life they cannot meet with confidence, creativity, and courage.  

One of the passages engaged when in the process of change, is realizing much of what you have been taught (or concluded) about life, needs updating. Not unlike how operating systems need updating for computers to serve contemporary needs, your operating system-your beliefs, your habits, your choices-need updating as well. Updating your operating system not only increases your satisfaction and fulfillment in life, it is a critical component to living your power, purpose, and your passions in life.

A software update I teach people is learning the difference between a conscious/pro-active choice and and a default/reactive choice.  There is much confusion, even with people who are committed to being conscious (from Latin meaning “knowing of oneself or of others”) of just where IS the line between acceptance and response-ability, between being passive and surrendering, between going with the flow and being in their default (from Latin meaning “failing, deceiving”) comfort zone. 

The answers you seek for crafting a life of purpose, lay not only in the facts you’ve been  taught about life, the answers awaits your living the truths within yourself as well. When you learn to trust your inner authority of knowing, you learn to trust yourself and life again, bringing balance to the authority of the facts outside. Challenging?  Perhaps, yet not as challenging as feeling you are living a life false of yourself, or devoid of truths your own.  Honoring your personal (inner) authority carries the price of sacrificing (from Latin meaning “holy”) the false comfort of your defaults in life for the delight and power of your living spirit in flow.

 Finding your balance between outer authority (from Latin meaning “giving power and control”) you default your power to, and living the wisdom of your inner authority, is a process rewarding and a process requiring community and containment.  Awakening to more of your power-as is told by myths young and old-carries with it risks and dangers teachers, guides, and mentors shepherd students through safely.  (Think Gandolf in Lord of the Rings). The Western mythology of the solitary nature of coming into wisdom and power, is simply that….a myth, not a truth.

 Look for the second article in my series on learning to trust yourself and life again. Human life is an elegant art and science, with delight (from Latin meaning “with light”) and integrity easing our journey.Or as ee.cummings put it so eloquently, “to be nobody but yourself,  in a world which is doing it’s best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight”. 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering You are Queen: The Emerging Leadership of Women’s Power and Compassion

In the Orient, ancient wisdom holds women as “The Adi Shakti”, Sanskrit meaning “the power which creates all”. Given how woman both contain and are the vehicle for all life human, this understanding of women’s powerful depth and dimension is indeed wisdom, even if wisdom not honored. At one time in human history, women’s powerful service as “the grace of god” was revered, and in our time, honoring women has disintegrated into the denigration of women as well as the destruction of the (feminine) Earth.  Now, as the Age of Separation ends and the Age of Illumination begins,  women’s partnership of divinity and destiny is being called forth for leadership, through empowered compassion, in tending the wounds of not only themselves as women, but their relationships with,  and men as well.

 A women carries within herself a lineage of pain and anger from centuries of her ancestor’s powers being feared by men, fueling not only the destruction of women, but men’s relationships with women and the Earth as well. The challenge for contemporary women is to heal the historical patterns of pain and anger they carry within as women, and to transform “power over” into “compassion with”.  What will make this possible?  When women choose again to be Queen in how they lead their life.  Claiming yourself as Queen is claiming the stage of mid-life power and service missing from the Western model of women’s role progression from child, maiden, mother (Queen) and crone.  (And for all mid-life women who have been reluctant to embrace crone as their next stage, high-five your inner knowing!).

 So how does a woman claim herself  (as Queen)?  Simple….she remembers she is Adi Shakti……the power that creates all.  A woman honors her unique wisdom, strengths, and leadership as fundamental to the happiness and health of not only her life, but all she serves as well.  She remembers tending to her heart and soul is not simply an entry on her to-do lists,  nor does she hand the sacred right of claiming “what is true” over to authority outside herself.  A Queen honors her body as the multi-sensory temple is it for receiving guidance and support from the sacred realms. A Queen remembers she is never alone, for within her is the presence of her heart and soul as well as all in the unseen realms that care and tend to her. And a Queen knows a community of women is critical for her well-being as well as for her role as the guardian for all life.

 Being born a woman is a destiny of leadership through inspiration, healing, and embodied compassion for meeting the challenges and changes of our world. Throughout the ages, the strength of a nation was known by how women were honored and the presence of women’s wisdom in guiding the nation.  The age we are entering is calling upon women’s leadership, powers, and compassion for guiding our world through challenges our minds alone cannot meet.  It is a time calling upon our deepest wisdom and power, heart and soul, with women’s mastery of mystery, leading our way.

“Women’s Evolving Relationship With Men”

Articles such as “The End of Men” and “Are Fathers Necessary” while provocative, trivialize and distort the seismic evolutionary changes between women and men. Yes, the relationships between women and men are being buffeted by strong evolutionary winds, whether the relationship is of love, work, or family. And while the facts of expanding choices, opportunities, and social mores may be held as cause, the truth is evolution is transforming power through the relationships of women and men.

The evolving power of relationship requires women embrace a form of power distinct from the current power paradigm, not simple assume it’s helm. The evolution of power requires the courage of women to take up their healing, to wield their power as women, and to commit as women to honoring all as sacred. Women’s compassion and love, our gift of vision, and our sacred inspiration and wisdom are critical for leading not only our life, but our world.

On my computer is a note where I have written the reminder “understand all through compassion or to mis-undertand these times”. Compassion is choosing to respond with the heart and soul of ourselves to another….essential when our initial impulse is to react at another. And while my emotions may dance me around and my mind may lead to me judgment, committing to compassion reminds me we are soul companions in the journey of life. And, choosing compassion requires the courage of our heart and soul.

So what does compassion have to do with the changes in women’s relationships with men? The relationships of women and men are changing from power of men over women to women’s independence expanding her choices in life. These evolutionary changes challenge not only the relationships of women and men, they also challenge women in how and what our newly empowered self serves. With power, will women dismiss men as we were once dismissed and denigrated or will we choose to heal and transform power? Without compassion as a guiding value, the distortions created from power without consideration for all of life will simply repeat itself.

So how do you begin to become aware of your power as woman in your relationships with men?

* Become aware of where you either diminish or elevate yourself in your relationships with men. Is your inner talk about men, yourself, and other women pivotal in your life inspiring?

* Become aware of your beliefs about women and men in relationship. Are these truths you want to continue fueling with your life or hand-me-downs in need of updating or discarding?

* Become aware of where you expect men to either rescue you or place them in the driver’s seat for your happiness. Are you willing to empower your own happiness, mproving the happiness with the men in your life?

* Become aware of where self-care is calling; self-care is essential for not only our body but our heart and soul as well. Where we lack self-care is often where we demand another cares, demands not constructive to happy and healthy relationships.

The invitation inherent in any crisis or challenge is the opportunity to improve what is. The invitation in the crisis in the relationships of women with men, of the masculine with the feminine, is to improve what is. A Cherokee wisdom says it well: “A woman, I go into the darkness to heal my wounding and as woman, I emerge from the darkness only then able to heal man”. As women, as the grace of god, healing our past is our sacred call to transform our future, serve our sacred destiny as women. My prayer is as women, we truly embrace healing into our power as women, for the benefit of all living.

Spring’s Call for Letting Go and Letting Grow

This week, while interviewing a perspective client, I had an ephiphany about why change-even when it would bring pain relief-can prove to be challenging. While the woman’s sorrow and pain were valid given the challenge of the situation, the expert opinions and studies she offered to support her despair were not. My epiphany was not how our beliefs keep us from the happiness we want, or how fear of the unknown (change) can be more powerful than the pain we are in.  My epiphany was how much faith we place in the authority of others and how little faith we place in our divinity.



People come to me with their trust and for my faith in their ability to create more happiness, health, or harmony in their life. Our process begins with assessing how they support themselves, how they care for themselves, and how they create their choices. Together, we discover where they claim their authority for creating their life and where they are blaming others for what they lack in life. Clarity of what to grow and what to let go begins the process of creating more of what they want in their life.

If you want more happiness, health, or harmony in your life, here are a few suggestions to begin the process:

“Learn the difference between the facts of your mind and the truth of your soul” Our mind loves information, control, being right, and fear feelings as unsafe. Our soul loves freedom, is playful and curious, knows feelings bring wisdom, and wants our vast magnificence to be expressed. A conscious relationship between our mind and our soul is the foundation to creating happiness and success in life.

“Become aware of where you give away your authority to experts outside yourself and where you discount your own truth and wisdom”. Life brings us challenges and questions in trust we will share and express OUR answers for creating our world. While information can be useful as a beginning, the answers to our challenges and questions in life rest in our heart and soul.

“Essential to successful relationship is the willingness to extend respect, compassion, and tolerance for understanding each other”. Being happy and successful in life requires honoring yourself as a dynamic relationship between earth and ether. As with a successful relationship between people, a successful human honors both their humanity and their divinity as essential to being human.

“Understand all through compassion or misunderstand the situation”. Our heart is where our soul and our Self meet, our infinite spirit and our limited lifetime. When we take our conflicts, our unknowing, our confusion “to heart”, we invite the resources and wisdom of both our divinity and our humanity for a creative alchemy for solution.

We are learning how to live our divinity for our humanity and how essential the soul of our life human. We are being called to no longer separate ourselves from our divinity, often through transforming what we call impossible into possible. Life does not set us up to fail, simply we need to learn how to reclaim ourselves as the experts of our life and honor the relationship we are as humans as the magnificent alchemy of heaven and earth.

In the words of Hafiz, a 14th century Persian poet whose wisdom is timeless:

“We have not come here to take prisoners of ourselves and others but to surrender even more deeply to love and joy,  We have not come into this exquisite world to hold ourselves hostage from joy and beauty,  Run run my dear from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings,  Shout to your reason “O please O please come out and play,  For we have not come here to take prisoners or to confine our wonderous spirits,  Rather to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine freedom, courage, and Love”.                                          

                                                                                                                     

The Power of Contemporary Women….Are You Exercising Yours?

Women have been given valuable social approval and currency for using their power to care for others first and tending to themselves second. This dynamic is partly innate and partly through generations of learning how being “nice” and “good” was preferred by others.  Changes initiated by increased access to birth control and financial created more choices and opportunities for contemporary women….and often our deepest integrity as women was absent in our choices and changes.

One of the challenging truths my clients-men and women-hear me offer is how avoiding exercising our power often derives from a case of the “pleaser first, me seconds”.  And while we may truly believe a lack of conflict equals safety for ourself or a relationship, avoiding conflict is avoiding exercising power.  Not knowing how to exercise our power constructively we often choose instead to suppress expressing ourselves with integrity.  And we all know how well THAT works as a strategy! Conflict is natural, necessary, and an invitation for our power (expression of ourselves) for informing, illuminating, and uplifting ourselves and the other.

So how do you know if you are challenged with exercising your power?

  1. You tell yourself it’s not a big deal when a friend or family member puts you down in front of others-again!-and you don’t speak up (for yourself) for that would not be nice. Instead, you spend the rest of the day silently seething and fantasizing about moving to where nobody in your family will ever find you!
  2. You long for more intimacy with your lover than watching TV together every night and tell yourself to be satisfied and not “rock the boat” as you pour yourself yet another glass (how many is that tonight?) of wine.
  3. You find yourself drawn to tending those at the end of their life, but finding a training program for hospice care that doesn’t interfere with the soccer carpool has been impossible.I mean, how can you ask others to put themselves out with helping you? What calls to you (heart and soul) will just have to wait until the kids are grown up and people don’t need you (never!).
  4. You grew up learning how important making others happy was for making those around you happy in life, so pleasing others is easy. But as you sit in a yet another meeting at a job you truly dislike, you wonder is this really as good as your life gets?.

There is not a woman alive who does not experience insecurity at times with exercising her power…..when to speak up, where to show up, when to stand up.  What creates security and certainly in our expressions of power is new (really old) learning, practice, and the courage to honor power inside as well as outside. Exercising power as contemporary women requires our time and care for listening, trusting, and taking action from wisdom of the silence within ourselves. This is not the power we learned of control over others ….this is the power of the clarity of our wisdom, the courage we commit to living our convictions, and the compassion we offer ourselves and WITH the others in our life.

We live in a time of rapid evolution, our gift of a lifetime for our souls to evolve the sacred marriage of life as human. Whether we live in fear or live in faith and trust depends on our choices of beliefs, skills, and integrity we engage as we navigate our days…..days calling for living our grace in ways practical and for honoring the grit of life as sacred.