Capturing (and thus Losing) the Moment

Life is always walking up to us and saying,

I’ve been hyper-conscious of this in my own life lately. It’s been coming up in the Sisterhood, in my meditations, with friends, with Justin and Zeb. It even came up at the end of my post last week on Celebrations.

How often I am actually in the present moment and all it offers, versus trying to “capture” the present moment?

Over the past few months I’ve noticed how much tension is actually created when I’m not present to This Moment. It was so unnoticed before, when I was Anywhere But Here. Not only did I not see myself elsewhere, I didn’t see the affect it had on me either. The more I’m slipping down this Spiritual Rabbit Hole of witnessing and meditating and (you guessed it) Surrender, the more I’m noticing things I just didn’t get before.

Like, uh, how often I’d take a photo of something for Instagram, essentially inviting the whole world into my sacred moments. How can I call those sacred anymore?

I’ve been very conscious also of the fact that the truly sacred moments create pretty shitty photos. They don’t look magical or perfectly primped. And I can’t capture the real essence of their experience because the experience is happening solely within. Like when I am still and sitting in a dark parking lot and not really doing anything at all.

Dark parking lot contemplations

Even taking that photo broke the magic of it for me. It took me out of the present moment. Got my mind thinking. Stirred up noise within the stillness.

I find my mind wanting to take photos though – photos of my meditation, photos of my yoga practice, photos of my quiet contemplative walks, photos of my great conversations (the one where I’m actually connecting with this wonderful person in front of me) – and then hearing very clearly that Organic Wisdom speaking, asking me why the hell I would take myself out of this moment, why would I break the sacredness that is happening?

Am I bragging? Trying to capture something that I’m afraid of losing? Am I really truly present? Obviously not, if my mind is taking me to something other than this right here, taking me away from this person in front of me that I’m deeply engaging with, even when that person is Me, and inviting in the whole world instead.

And then, of course, the question to play with is this: How do I find that sweet spot between being present in this moment and still capturing the moment forl ater? How do I create these little snippets that we love to look back on without missing the very thing they are offering me – Presence?

This Presence thing is a life-changing thing. I didn’t get that when I thought I was being present, when I was really only present to my thoughts about the past or the future or what I need to capture (or just simply what I need to do tomorrow).

Presence has allowed me to hold a vision for my work brighter and bigger than I ever would before, something that has the potential to freak me out if I allow myself to go out of the present moment and into the past What-If’s or future How-the-Hell’s.

Presence has allowed me to diffuse (because what do we bicker about without drudging up the past or projecting into the future), allowed me to experiment and play and enjoy others because I”m nowhere else but here with them.

Presence has allowed me to say Yes! with enthusiasm and without doubt, without worrying if I could or should or have enough time.

Trusting that each present moment – whether its a parenting moment, a business moment, a partner moment, a self-care moment – will take care of itself if I just continue to show up fully present to it.

P.S. Interestingly enough, I wrote this post two weeks ago, long before we decided in the Sisterhood that Presence would be our Guiding Word and theme for August. I love those kind of synchronicities, don’t you? The word was chosen to allow us to move into August, traditionally a month of transition, with more mindfulness and presence to the moment and what it’s offering. If you’d like to join us through this experience, we’d love to welcome you.

Wisdom for the Newly (or not so newly) Self-Employed

by Scott Biersack

I’m over on the always wonderful, Kind Over Matter, sharing some words of wisdom for those newly self-employed sisters.

I find that business – like relationships, like parenting, like our health, like Life – comes into our world for one true reason. Not to make us money. Not to make us happy. But to make us grow. To show us what we get to learn.

I got (and still get) to learn a lot. In all my adult years, I’ve only been self-employed. This means 13+ years of Spiritual Growth coming at me masked behind the costume of Big Ideas. It’s been intense, exasperating, liberating, enlightening, exhausting, exciting, and mind-blowing (depending on the day or the lesson or the way I approached it).

Anytime someone is starting a business, they tend to ask questions like “How do I find the right business name?” or maybe “What do you think about this color scheme for my branding?” Necessary questions, for sure.

But what I really want to do is invite them in for tea, show them to the nearest cushy seat, and share some hard-earned sisterly wisdom. Not to freak anyone out, or turn them off from business. But to help them see through the easy parts – the excitement and fun of getting started – to the real gift of self-employment: the ways in which you get to expand. And also to share with them the wisdom I wish I had had from the very beginning so they can move through it with more grace and fewer bumps or stalls along the way.

Where would I start? With these three words of wisdom:

Click here to read more.

 
 

The Spiritual Type-O-Meter: Which one are you?

What's your spiritual "type"?

Have you ever noticed certain spiritual “types” – ways in which people approach or navigate or experience their own personal development or philosophies or beliefs? I’ve been playing with this idea – not as another flipping way to create a label for ourselves – but as a tongue-in-cheek way to notice our own tendencies. Don’t take it too seriously, k? 😉

Type 1: The Spiritual Doer

The Spiritual Doers are easy to spot. They take their drive in business and in life and apply it to their spirit. Their energy never stops. They devour Life and all its experiences with an insatiable hunger for more. They aren’t easily daunted by what they perceive to be their own work. They delve in, swim in it, play in it. They do the same with all of Life. They are most often the adventurers and I think they may be the ones to take the most inspiration from many different cultural beliefs, creating their own understanding of the Universe. Their curiosity helps them to explore and thus see the Truth in anything. They go after Enlightenment with a Bring It On approach. They are energetic, find the joy in Life and every experience it offers, and are contagious in their desire to release the negativity. They don’t have time for the bullshit; the Universe is too good, too breathtaking, too inspiring to get caught up in their fears or struggles for too long.

I find that most Spiritual Doers are attracted to the Law of Attraction, wanting to create their abundance and awakening through sheer will. I also find that many Spiritual Doers are hiding an inner control freak inside, and LOA appeals to that control freak by being misinterpreted as “If I DO this, I can get what I want”. (Come on, admit it. It appeals. 😉 ) This probably means it can become very easy to miss the bigger picture: that all of it is impermanent. Spiritual Doers are often challenged by the idea that even joy and happiness are impermanent human states of perceptions, especially if we go after them as something we can create or do.

Surrender is the biggest challenge of all, though. It feels like giving up, defeat, becoming passive and allowing anything (anything meaning “the worst”, naturally) to happen. With surrender, comes Trust which goes against the genetic makeup of a doer – doers often do because of what they fear might happen if they don’t. (“If I don’t grasp the opportunity, it’ll never come again.”) Or dammit, they just like to be in control! 😉 Letting go is almost sacrilegious to those of us doers, until we’ve learned to confront that part of our self that moves unconsciously from our head, instead of our hearts, our core, our Truth. I find most Spiritual Doers are very, very, very challenged by the practice of meditation. Being still, “doing nothing”, makes us itchy to move. We think of a hundred things that need doing and so our meditation can quickly turn into a planning session with a To Do list on the floor beside us.

What Spiritual Doers Can “Do”

Cuz I know you’re asking. 😉

Stillness is probably the most important practice for you if you find yourself to be a Spiritual Doer. With it will inevitably come what Spiritual Thinkers are so good at – self-inquiry. DIG IN and examine what is truly compelling you to move and what surfaces within when you consider the idea of not moving. Essential oils (Lavender, White Fir) may help you find physical stillness, calming the autonomic nervous system. While practicing this quiet space each day, also practice what comes naturally to a Spiritual Feeler – tuning in to your heart (another essential oil, ylang ylang, is really good at helping with this). Don’t just spend time noticing the emotions that arise, though. Instead, notice the way the air moves across your face. Notice the sensations in your hands. See if you can feel your eyelashes. And do a lot of observing – observing when you move, why you move, how you move, and from where. This will allow you to slow down enough to tune in more deeply and your movements will then be attuned to the natural flow and grace of the Universe.

Type 2: The Spiritual Thinker

Spiritual thinkers are obviously deeply thoughtful. They approach spirituality rationally, because it just makes sense. They devour books and ideas, and like Spiritual Doers are often curious about other cultures and beliefs, although they make not feel as adventurous or action-oriented. They simply like to learn, and everything and everyone carries a lesson for them. Spiritual Thinkers also tend to be very articulate, and can often help others through their own spiritual process by saying what that person might not be able to articulate, or offering the same wisdom in a new way that allows another person to sink deeper into the understanding within themselves. I see Thinkers as most often being spiritual guides for this reason, and we often love it because it furthers their own spiritual growth in the process. They are also very self-aware and can identify their core beliefs and triggers easily once they know how. This can lead to a lot of freedom from within, very quickly.

However, and I hate to break it to you, but of all the spiritual types, if you’re a Spiritual Thinker you might have the hardest time maintaining that freedom. That love for helping others can easily turn into your own persona-creating and ego-stroking identification. You can get lost in your own ideas and most especially get lost in your own thoughts or daydreams (which quickly turn into worries and fears). Inner fears (you know, the ones that sound silly, irrational, or embarrassing when you say them out loud) are thicker for you, because you tend to live in your head more than most, which can unconsciously feed your primal thought processes (think: survival, fear). You can easily drive yourself to the brink, just as naturally as you can drive others back from it. (I often wonder if Spiritual Thinkers and really Spiritual Doers without all the physical energy. We just do it all in our heads.)

Something for Spiritual Thinkers to Think About

Your job is to get out of your head. When you do DIG IN, do so carefully and with intention, and don’t stay in there too long. Only self-examine to bring about a new awareness; never to turn the same damn thought over and over. Take on the motto, “It’s just a thought” and practice assigning less value to them. Spend more time in your body. Go for a walk, practice yoga (which will move your body in order to still your mind), cook a meal, watch a light-hearted movie, smile and really feel the sensations of it. Say things out loud that you’ve been dwelling on in your head to diminish some of the enchantment they seem to have when you keep them hidden. Plant a garden and make it a daily practice to hand-pick the bugs (talk about meditative). And every time your mind starts to spin into its bullshit, immediately stop it in its tracks and state the Truth as you know it (even if you’re not feeling it). Practice connecting to Love and Trust in meditation, using ylang ylang or marjoram to pull you out of your head and into your heart. And practice moving from your heart – volunteering time at a shelter, performing random acts of kindness, anything to get you into that presence of beauty all around you.

Type 3: The Spiritual Feeler

Spiritual Feelers tend to be the most deeply convicted in their values and beliefs. How can they be anything else when they sense and experience things on such a deep, instinctual, and emotional level? These are the people who deeply feel their Truth, down to the bone, to the cell. They don’t often argue or debate about it, because that would be as strange to them as arguing about the color of the sky. They just believe. They know. And they know what they know because they’ve experienced it in a way that surpasses the understanding and limitations of the mind or the eye. It simply IS.

Spiritual Feelers have the greatest capacity for empathy and compassion. They are the ones wrapping their arms around the wounded and show them their own value. They see, they understand, and they feel a deep draw to be present for others in order to show them what they need to see in themselves. They can connect most easily with their own Presence, with a residing sense of Love and peace, with Spirit. Meditation start to come easier because it feels so good.

But Spiritual Feelers have an easily tragic pitfall. They tend to feel everything deeply, including what they perceive as pain and suffering in the world. Feeling the violence around them, sensing the disconnection, touching the sorrows of the world, they can often fall into their emotions so deeply they don’t find their way out. Nonattachment feels like an insult to them, heartless and cold. And that inability to be unattached can lead to feeling overwhelmed, too small, hopeless, depressed, maybe even angry, and often eventually apathetic and shutdown. In fact, I often wonder if this currency of apathy and vacancy we see in our culture is the effect of Spiritual Feelers becoming so overwhelmed with the state of the world without the tools to navigate it safely that they are left with no other option but to shut it off completely. When they become too overwhelmed with the world, or too battered by the experience of it, they disconnect from their own heart, or they get so lost in their emotions that they can no longer feel that overriding Presence they used to in meditation, and that’s if they even find themselves in meditation or prayer at all anymore. They shutdown to Love, shut down to their own gifts, and at worst, the only thing they feel is a dull ache from what they’ve buried.

A Practice for Spiritual Feelers

Spiritual Feelers are probably feeling every word written here, and hopefully feel this wave of warmth and love I’m sending, too. If you’re a Spiritual Feeler, it might be your practice to create boundaries around yourself, and time in your day (yes, every day) in which to simply breathe. Don’t call it meditation, especially if that feels too big right now. Just take a walk, watch the birds hopping around for seeds, and let yourself find some stillness away from the world. You need some time to reconnect to something bigger than your own desire to help heal others, something that whispers to you that it’s okay to Trust the process of Life.

Movement and choices – like the Spiritual Doers – are going to give you a little more space from everything you feel so acutely. Try applying some essential oils to your solar plexus or heart, like Frankincense essential oil (to help you ground yourself – especially when everything is overwhelming and leaving you feeling scattered) or Wild Orange or Lime essential oil (to raise you up out of the depths when it all seems too heavy). And try breaking the heavier energies with water. Drink water, take a swim, take a shower, wash your face (maybe not take a bath if it just ends up feeling like you’re stewing in your own stuff).

I’d also recommend you try on the role of a Spiritual Thinker and DIG IN, examining some of the emotions you feel – especially things like obligation and hopelessness. Ask where it comes from and how you can best do what you’re called to do. Most importantly, spend time with the spiritual principle that the only way you can make an impact on the world is through nonattachment, by not seeing and judging something as “negative”. Stop watching the news. At least for awhile. Practice viewing the world through the eyes of deep awareness, and viewing the Light in others, instead of viewing only their hurt and darkness. Lastly view your own reactions with some distance as well. Step back and simply observe yourself. Create some space between You and your emotional perceptions so you can see the world and those in it from that love-centered, grounded place again.


You are here.

Whichever type you are I can almost guarantee that reading all this brought up a myriad of conflicting responses – laughter as you recognized yourself hopefully, indignation or resistance as you recognized yourself perhaps, and quite possibly, self-judgment or even a sense of self-doubt, as though you think you’re stuck in this place.

The truth is our Spiritual Types change constantly. Each is an experience we move through to allow us to have the fullest understanding of Who We Are. But Who We Are is none of these things. You are not truly a doer, a thinker, or a feeler. Those are more like “habits” we can identify ourselves as having.

If you noticed, the practice is similar for each: self-inquiry, observation, stillness.

When you can allow yourself the practice of quiet observation of these traits, they will begin to fall away and the You that is true (not to sound like Dr. Suess or anything) will be all that’s left. And that’s where the freedom and joy is truly found. In Being and allowing your actions, thoughts, and emotions to organically move from that Being.

 

I’m shutting some things down (and blaming the White Rabbit)

Don't wait for the world to supply you with some magical elements for stillness. Just get still and you'll experience it within any world. - TW

Surrender sounds like what you do on the battlefield when the enemy has you surrounded – like admitting defeat and accepting some impending doom.

And I can’t say this Guiding Word for ’13 has been completely painless. Step-by-step it has taken me through each and every bloody aspect of my life, shaken the death grip of my ideas and sense of control, and changed damn near everything I thought I knew.

But the pain came only from my fighting it.

When I took a deep breathe and exhaled an admission of trust for the process of Life, I was met with nothing but love and ease and utter, synchronistic perfection.

Things I thought I had to do showed themselves for the nothingness they really were. Things I thought I’d never do revealed their wisdom. Things I couldn’t have imagined took me down a rabbit hole of joy.

Down the rabbit hole….

That’s been my prayerful meditation, “Life, take me down this rabbit hole. I’m ready to go – scared outta my ever-loving pants, but ready. Be gentle please, and let’s fall.”

And I have been falling, little by little. For six months, I’ve been shown depths and aspects of this experience we call Life that I’m still working to understand. But the one thing Life knew I wasn’t ready for stayed still – this website. I knew it was coming. I could feel it, sense it, taste it…but I couldn’t describe it, couldn’t see it, and quite honestly wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready to examine what was no longer a fit here on The Organic Sister, and what needed more light and what it was time to evolve or surrender. (Thankfully Life works at our own best pace, so it took its sweet-ass time with me.)

Now I am ready and Life has met me here.

I’ve (we’ve?) made the decision to begin deconstructing and reconstructing this site and what I do here – Digging Deep and replanting if you will.

To start, I’m going to be removing several things by the end of this week.

I’m sending this email to give you a heads up to grab what you might have been thinking about grabbing before it comes down on Friday. Here’s what’s being removed:

Come Friday you’ll only find these things in the Organic Sisterhood, so if you were planning to grab them individually, you still can for a few more days.

In the coming weeks you’ll also start to see other shifts and changes. These are things that Life is showing me to align and release and bring in. They may not even seem like big shifts to you – it’s quite possible it’s only shifting in my own head instead. 😉

But you also could find these shifts may not be your thing, and so if you feel you’ve outgrown this space we’ve shared together, I completely honor that. You can unsubscribe at any time at the top or bottom of each email and I’ll still have the utmost love for you.

In the meantime, if you were planning to grab those offers above, this will be the last week to do so.

With heart and soul and twinges of excitement,
Tara Wagner

P.S. Big, giant (((hugs))) to you.

The Ricki Lake show airs NEXT week!

I really don’t have time to write a proper blog post.

I thought the show was going to air June 3. Then last week I was told I had 2 weeks to prepare.

Official date of Sustainable Baby Steps on Ricki Lake: Wednesday, April 17th!

(You can find your local airtime here, or subscribe here or here for an email with info on the where to watch the clip online.)

So I’m preparing like a madwoman. And I have to admit, I work well under pressure. I’ve been getting some long-awaited work done to spruce things up over on Sustainable Baby Steps that is only getting attention because of the tight deadline.

Light a fire under my ass and watch me burn, baby, burn. 😉

And I am on fire. But that means no time for proper blogging right now.

So I’ll leave you with a little Instagram love from some wisdom that made me laugh this morning instead.

Ha! That we are!   #mooji #quote

On Showing Up and Rocking It (The Ricki Lake Recap)

The whole story is up on the blog in about 5 minutes (link in profile). @ecowomb #rickilakegreenshow

It’s Saturday, two days after the show, and I’m still not totally with it. I’ve slept umteen hours and am still finding my footing, but I wanted to get this whole experience down before I forget it.

To answer the most frequently asked question first: The airdate is April 17th on Fox, and you can signup here or here to get a reminder or watch the video we capture of it.

The overarching vibe of the entire experience: amazeballs.

I realized long before the show that this wasn’t about being on TV, or connecting with the beautiful Ricki (whose work I admire anyway).

This was about me.

It was about making a declaration to myself of self-approval and nonjudgment. About surrendering my desire to control and perfect, and instead forgiving myself my perceived shortcomings and “not enough-ness” by allowing myself to just own Who I Am.

It felt like years of Digging Deep all culminating in front of a live studio audience.

And it was magical.

Of course I did. So did my mom. #rickilakebitches

Ahem. My driver. Armen from Armenia. He was awesome. So was his car. #rickilakebitches!!

Curled up in a bathrobe. #DiggingDeep and swimming in Balance EO. Feeling so ready for this gig. Heart and soul all in. The taping is at 12:30 Pacific but I'm accepting good vibes all morning! #rickilakebitches!!

Continental brekkie, #paleo style. And there's a Lyfe Kitchen and a Chipotle nearby. Perfection. #rickilakebitches!!

 

I knew going into this that my shit – some really old shit, too – would surface. I knew I’d have the opportunity to be nervous, scared, and self-deprecating. I knew I’d hear some old stories in my mind, way too much criticism, and a lot of negativity from my mouth.

Because I knew this as a very real possibility, I made up my mind to go into it full of intention and awareness. I spent an hour or more every day with those stories and voices. I embraced this as the opportunity it was to step into my Self. I turned off the habit of keeping myself outside of things, keeping my focus on the outer, or keeping myself busy in the superficial, and I allowed myself to turn inward completely, to own what surfaced, and to spend the time necessary to make peace with it.

And I’m damn proud of myself for it.

Sometime last week the words came to me: “I am not doing this for anyone else. I am up there for an audience of two – my Spirit and the Spirit. This is for us to celebrate my own ability to love and live. This is a milestone in the agreement we made for this life.

I know it probably makes little sense, but this whole thing was not really about sharing green living or what we do. Those were just the bonuses, the icing on the cake.

This was about me celebrating Life and embracing self-approval.

I had voices rise up, and I chose to answer each one with love and affirmation.

I had fear surface, and I chose to respond with a reminder of my Truth.

I had doubts pop in, and I surrendered each thought that didn’t come from Spirit.

Surrender.

Surrender surrender surrender.

If it hadn’t been the work I’ve been doing with that Guiding Word this year I may not have gotten up there and rocked it so thoroughly and completely.

Surrender didn’t mean giving up, or saying no, or taking the easy way out. I wasn’t surrendering my desire to feel confident and calm and excited on the show. I wasn’t surrendering this wonderful opportunity.

I was surrendering every negative thought or expectation.

I surrendered every idea that I was going to sound like an idiot, every worry that I’d mess something up, every thought that I had to be some conventional idea of perfect (as well as every after-thought that because I can’t possibly be perfect I might as well not even try). I surrendered every idea that I knew what needed to happen, I surrendered every expectation to perform or force it to come together, and I surrendered every temptation to be something or someone I wasn’t.

I showed up fully. Fully in my body, fully in my heart, fully in my spirit. I did so without apology for what I need and without trying to fit a box. I owned Who I Am and what I do without backpedaling or making excuse. I felt confident and comfortable just Being.

And it felt amazing. Which meant I was free to experience some amazing things.

It meant jumping on the bed in excitement.

Again, of course I did.  #rickilakebitches!!

It meant wearing clothes that felt good on me and doing my own makeup, so I could get up there in my own skin.

The hair and makeup crew.  #rickilakebitches!!

Me and the mama. Represent.  #rickilakebitches!!

It meant laughing and being silly with friends backstage.

Chillaxin with the EcoWomb crew! @ecowomb #rickilakebitches !!

It meant dancing behind the stage to get myself ready and doing a little strut-dance as I walked out to greet the audience.

It meant smiling big, and cracking stupid jokes, and not really remembering 90% of what I wanted to emphasize, and still rocking my socks off.

It meant hearing my name from across the restaurant later that evening and looking up to see it was Ricki waving to me, and getting another opportunity to hug her tight and thank her for everything she’s done (and is doing) in this world.

End of the day, me and my mama decided to go have tea while we waited for our car back to the airport, and we hear someone call to me from across the restaurant. The beautiful earthy mama @rickilake was there just when i was lamenting not getting her phot

It meant CELEBRATING and JOYFULNESS and FUN.

It meant being damn proud of myself.

Me and Angela after the show

I had nerves and I surrendered them. I had fears and I released them.

I had self-judgments and I freed myself from them.

I walked-strutted-danced onto that stage in total confidence and self-approval, without any fear or butterflies. I instantly forgave myself for my mistakes and imperfections and I just loved all over myself for having the courage to say Yes to this opportunity and the openness to work through all that Life gave me the opportunity to DIG IN to.

I didn’t share much about green living, really. It was all over too fast.

But I shared the whole of my heart. I allowed my light to shine, and I shared myself.

And that’s what makes this thing a wild success in my book.

That’s why I know I rocked it.

The 6 Tools I’m Using to Move Through the Ricki Lake Jitters

Whoa. Made my belly jump to see this on my calendar. Only two weeks away.  I've been #diggingdeep like a mofo for this one. By the time this comes around I'm gonna feel fucking amazing.

Sorry to leave everyone hanging. I’ve had a million well-wishes and a million questions, but Life has been keeping me dancing to about 14 songs at once and I haven’t had the time to jump back on here before now.

There is so much happening in our world. So many new developments and opportunities keeping us on our toes. And this one. This one is one of the biggest.

It feels really silly to say that. It’s a daytime talk show. It’s not Barbara Walters. It’s something I wouldn’t have even considered had it not been Ricki Lake, a woman I admire and respect for the work she’s done in the birthing community. Because of that I get a sense of her heart and her intentions and I’m not worried about sensationalization – this isn’t Jerry after all.

So it both is and isn’t a big deal, and my spirit is kind of sorting that out.

To answer your questions:

I’ll be speaking on the show about Sustainable Baby Steps, my green living site. This is a site we started many years ago to share our passion and the knowledge my hubby and I have been collecting along our years. It’s one part business, one part labor of love, something I’ve done mostly in my spare time, something that we’ve only been pulled back into this year.

It’s funny when you set an intention. Justin and I set an intention to put a little more energy into SBS and began to work on that. Two weeks later the Universe answered with an email from Ricki. (Thanks, I am paying attention.)

They don’t want an expert (thank goodness, cuz I ain’t one). They want an advocate. Someone who is passionate but doesn’t make this whole “green” thing seem like it’s only accessible if you have a lot of money, and can reassure other that you don’t have to jump off the deep end and start naming your kid Moonbeam or anything. And that’s pretty much what SBS is about – showing people how you can take small steps in a greener direction, how you can live healthy and happy, and how it’s going to actually save (or make) you money and improve your life. So yeah, that I can do.

Reading the email invitation, accepting the phone interview, I pretty much knew what my answer was going to be.

I knew it as soon as I asked myself, “Will you regret not doing this?”

I didn’t want to admit the answer was yes. I wanted to say “I’m just too busy. It’s not the right time. I’m not expert enough. I’m not advocate enough. I don’t know what I’d say. I’ll choke up on stage. I’m no good at public speaking. It’s just not a good fit. It would be totally impractical.”

And on and on the excuses went…

But would I regret not doing it anyway?

Fuck yes I would.

So I said yes before I would allow myself to say no. I made the condition that the fly me carbon neutral and then I got busy.

The first person I told was my mama. One quick text and she called me about 2 minutes later with plans to meet me there. Thank goodness, because I may be in my thirties but a girl still wants that grounding presence of her mom. Justin and Zeb are staying back with the RV. They are talkers and don’t want to be. I’ll be flying out alone, meeting my mom, and some other friends and family who will be in the area, and forging through this with a lot of bravery.

My mind is swirling between what the hell I’m going to wear (no jeans, no small patterns to make the camera stabby, nothing white) and what the hell I’m going to say. Can I write notes on my hand? Am I going to vomit?

It’s only daytime television for craps sake. But that first week of saying yes was an intense one. Every time my mind would wander to it, or I’d see it on my calendar my stomach would lurch or clench. I’d start trying to picture what the hotel room will look like and whether the car that picks me up from the airport will carry my bag so I can look especially pompous (cuz you gotta go big or go home).

Over a year of my thoughts have swirled out of my head and onto this paper. #diggingdeep My very last words written on the very last page with the very last of a drained pen, "I'm awake and I intend to stay that way." And so it is.

For a good few days, I artfully avoided anything real and deep that was surfacing for me.

But you all know how long that lasts for me. Not long. So I started to DIG IN and do my internal work. Here’s what that looks like for me:

  • Digging Deep: Hardcore. Many hours spent pouring every random thought my brain wanted to throw at me onto the page and into the process. I’ve been doing this daily, every morning. That notebook up there wasn’t all done in the past week but it sure felt like it. I’m not censoring anything. I’m letting all the Crazy and all the Shadow and all the Ego-fear out. I’m getting really comfy with the old, old stories that I didn’t expect to surface; we’re having lots of long chats on why exactly they don’t have precedent here, how I appreciate their offer of assistance, but really….I’ve got this one covered.
  • Essential oils: Grounding oils are still my fave. I’ve been using it over my solar plexus because of those stomach lurches and clenches. It’s helping me to stay grounded when those old stories want to tell me I should run and allowing me to release the attachment to old fears. I’m also doing some work with marjoram and frankincense, which I’m just called to and am trusting my nose there.
  • Yin Yoga: This is my lover, my secret-whisperer, my soul-friend. So different than any other yoga I’ve done (and never fell in love with). Saddle is by far my favorite pose for grounding and opening me to that sense of trust in the process of Life.
  • Stillness: This one is hard. There is so much going on telling me I don’t have time to hold still and be at peace. I want to move into action, even though I know that movement isn’t what actually moves me.
  • EFT: I use the work I do in Digging Deep to guide this one. Sometimes I follow one of my favorite videos from Brad*. Sometimes I let Spirit guide my words. (Be careful if you’re new to this one. Tapping can stir up a lot of stuff. Be sure you have time to move through it and don’t get started if you’re going to be in a rush.)
  • Mooji: Mooji has been something of my guru. His words are exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear them to remind me to surrender all control, all fear, all stories, all ideas that I know, all attachment that it even matters, and just fall in love with the peace that surrounds me when I’m not creating chaos.

After a week of this, I am feeling soooo much more ready and excited.

I’m excited to hug Ricki. I’m excited to share what I know and make any impact on the lives of others that I can. I’m excited to get a new pair of shoes. I’m excited to spend an evening in a historic hotel and see my girl Angela (who might also be ON the show) and hang with friends and family. And as weird as this might sound, I’m excited to fly on the plane by myself and have a layover each way and relish in all the quiet space to write and breathe and watch the world pass by me.

Yes, oh yes yes yes, I still have nerves to calm and stories to examine.

I still have work to do.

Life is always going to offer me work to do. It asks me to show up before it tells me where, asks me to trust it before you tells me what I’m trusting, asks me to put my energy in first…and then it tells me why. It shows me the big, crazy opportunity it had in mind for us only after I commit. And from there Life tells us what work we get to do again.

It’s inner work, met with outer work, met with inner work. This is the cycle of Life.

This is the job we have. This is the work we all do.


P.S. If you want to know more about what we’re talking about on the show, you can subscribe to updates through SBS here (you also get a free ebook for signing up on the newsletter). We’ll have the recording of the show up on that website as soon as it airs!

* Totes an affiliate link!

I Have This Whole Other Side (And It’s Going on the Ricki Lake Show)

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I can really trace this all back to embracing (I can’t quite say “choosing” cuz Life wasn’t exactly giving me much of a choice) my Guiding Word of Surrender.

Life has walked (is still walking) me through a long series of examining and releasing and realigning. It’s been a quiet, still sort of process, like quietly watching a movie screen flitting across the inside of my eyelids, asking me to view with openness the areas in which I was not listening, the expectations I had that were not working, the personal dogma I was walking on a very long leash, the ducking out of the banquet I was doing before it was my turn to make the toast, the ways in which I was battening down the hatches of my lips and not allowing myself to just speak in real terms about Who I Am and what I do.

The ways in which I was compartmentalizing and segmenting and segregating the different parts of myself under the old, old story that no one would want to hear it all, see it all. Treating my own heart as though only certain parts of it were warranted in certain situations and the rest needed to wait outside in the rain.

You’ve gotta be ready when you say Yes to what Life is asking of you, because it will always take you somewhere you never expected.

Like the Ricki Lake show.

I am going on the Ricki Lake show because I said yes to Life when it asked me to share more of my practical side with the world. Because when I started sharing it, they took notice.

Some of you know my practical side.

But most of you don’t.

Most of you have no idea that we have a green living website that we write on and are creating guides for and are passionate about.

Most of you don’t know we love and use and advocate so passionately for essential oils through that green living site of ours.

And Life has been calling me out on that.

Why do you hide something that you love?
Why do you keep to yourself something that has made life easier for you?
Why are you tucking away a part of what you do that makes you Who You Are?

In the past month, Life has pulled me to align those parts of myself with this part here. Realigning the practical work with the deeper inner work I advocate through my coaching.

Because what the hell is all that deep inner work without some practical application?

I have no idea what this really means yet. I doubt anything will really seem like it’s changed from the outsid – from the outside. From the inside everything is shifting. The cubicles are being dismantled and this open, spacious work space is developing to create that organic flow that I so value in everything else I do but couldn’t see I was damming up here.

And I’m starting with this: A live Q&A call to talk essential oils.

I want to share exactly how I use these essential oils for the practical like health and wellness, as well as how I use them in the Digging Deep process, in coaching, in working with the principles of trust or Surrender, in releasing fear.

And mostly I’m going to answer your questions. I’m gonna not hold back my Inner Woo-Woo or my Inner Pragmatic when they both want to share why they each love these oils. And I am gonna help you decide if these are something you might want to try.

I’m especially going to see if you want to join me in using them.

Because there is too much magic and growth happening. There is too much abundance being created and health goals being met and healing taking place. There is too much support and fun and excitement among new and old members.

Why would I wanna hold that back?

Why have I held that back?

Oh yeah, for the same reason I have been outrageously fucking nervous about the Ricki Lake show. Because to get up in front of people in a new way brings up some really old shit, stronger than I’ve ever had shit come up before.

Because to get up there and share my values and my techniques and my strategies and my beliefs, even if it’s something as “benign” and simple as sharing green living in front of a live studio audience, stirs up some massive shivers in my body and some really old voices that tell me all kinds of things.

You’re too loud.
You’re too much.
You have no idea what you’re even talking about.
You’re going to mess up.
You’re going to talk too fast and get tongue-twisted and look like a major dork.
You would be better off if you just sat down and shut up.

And I’m practicing replying to those really old voices with something more akin to, “And that’s okay. I’m going for it anyway. Cuz why the hell wouldn’t I?”

I’m not playing bigger. I’m playing authentic.

 

P.S. I’ll have more info on Ricki Lake in the coming weeks, I promise. You’ll likely get really freaking sick of me recounting my butterflies and how I’m working through them.

Retiring One Program and Changing Another

Cold mornings, hot tea, and capturing moments from the road I will want to remember on #vine. #thesimplethings #gratitudes 32/365
Grab a cup o’tea and pull up a seat with me. Lemme tell you where my heart
is taking me and let’s see if your heart wants to come along.

Hello sweet sisters,

Some of you already know but for those that don’t, one of my intentions for this year is to make my work and the Organic Sisterhood more dynamic, more connection-based, more ME.

I lost a bit of that me-ness last year, and although it was a necessary experience to shape my spirit, I’m ready to come back to my center. I want my “business” relationships to reflect my personal relationships. I want more of my voice and intentions to be reflected, not just when you coach with me, but anytime you connect with me. And I want to pour my heart into this community and see just how flourishing and rich and comfortable I can make it.

I’m also transitioning away from the traditional entrepreneurial work I’ve been doing.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE talking shop. But this past year showed me that my heart belongs to coaching women through the personal, inner work they get to do in their life.

I don’t want to talk “parenting” or “business”…I want to talk about how parenting or business or Life is shaping and stretching and growing us as women.

But…the questions keep rolling in from women wanting to know how to create their business, and I do still love talking the nitty-gritty. (I can’t help it. It’s my slightly nerdy, pragmatic side and it needs love too.) But not in the formal way I have been in the Masterminds.

So I’m embracing the shift Life is nudging me toward and letting go of the Masterminds for now.

Instead, I’ll be turning the program into an ebook that anyone can get their hands on and work through in a more DIY way. (No, I don’t have a date for that yet.)

And I’m taking that most gorgeous part of the Mastermind – the connection and support and brainstorming and magic-making and co-creating that happens when we connect over the phone – and turning it into something else…something that will augment the DIY ebook version I’ll get out in the future:

The Bizness Brainstorm sessions.

They are casual, comfortable, come-as-you-are group tele-circles. They are for hard-core business owners and hobbyists alike – anyone who wants to bounce questions and ideas off a group of like-minded sisters.

They are 4 weekly powwow sessions and they are only found within the Organic Sisterhood, making them a free part of the membership.

Yup, no charge.

And you get shitloads of other stuff with your membership. (Forum full of support. Digging Deep ebook. Organic Parenting ecourse. Mini-toolkits and other goodies only found in the Sisterhood. Yup, shitloads. 😉 )

I don’t know all the details yet – like how many times a year we’ll do them or even exactly how they’ll look – I’m kinda considering this first one a trial run and am hoping for lots of feedback from all of you Sisters on how to make them even better and how often you’d enjoy them.

But here’s what I do know:

  • I want to answer your small biz questions directly and personally
  • I love helping women get clear (both on what they’re doing, and of what’s holding them back)
  • I’m a pro at calling you on your bullshit and pointing out those blind spots that trip you up – and trust me, we all need that
  • I’ve got over a decade of REAL business experience – not part-time hobby stuff, not fluffy stuff. I’ve managed employees and big corporate contracts as the owner of a massage therapy business starting at the age of 20. I am the sole income provider for our family, allowing my hubby to be a stay-at-home dad and us to travel the country full-time. I’m not some internet sensation; I’m a born and bred and trained entrepreneur who knows the mistakes that can be made, how terrible business can be and how to make it yours – wonderful and real and whole – again.
  • And if you can’t make the calls, I want you to email me your questions so I can answer them anyway. (Members also get the recordings from each session.)

We start this Saturday, the 9th, and run for four weeks.

If this resonates as a circle of conscious, self-employed* women you need in your life, I hope you’ll join us.

* P.S. Not everyone in the Sisterhood is self-employed. Most are mamas with kids from newborn to adult. Many are not working, some work outside the home. Some homeschool, some unschool, some traditional school. Some are vegetarian, some are vegan and some are omnivores. This isn’t about finding the exact type of women to fit Who YOU Are…this Sisterhood is about finding a diverse group of women who love and accept what makes you YOU, all while supporting you, encouraging you, nudging you, stretching you. If you’re not into radical acceptance of others and yourself, if you’re not into being compassionate while asking the tough questions, if you’re not into embracing the diversity in each person, if you’re not into deep and meaningful and sometimes raw and uncomfortable conversations, if you’re not into the many unconventional ways Life gets to look for us women, then this group is likely not going to be for you.

Honoring My Own No (It’s Not Always Easy)

Waiting for journal words. And she is just calling out for a monster pair of sunglasses that I can't seem to find. #artjournal #alteredbook #mixedmedia

I’m in a rather interesting place in Life. “Surrender”, my guiding word for the year (but really since last fall), has seeped deeply under my skin. It’s ironic that it’s such a seemingly passive word but so very forceful in my compliance to it.

I simply can’t NOT surrender.

Life and this current path is not allowing me to do anything that is not in total alignment, that does not come from my core, (that does not challenge the shit out of me in my ability to trust and allow and accept).

I begin to pull myself back into habits or “Well maybe just this once” and it snaps me back to me center like a brand new rubberband – sometimes including the sting.

Paradoxically, it’s been challenging and easy. It’s been all flow and simplicity, but with up-bursts of fear and panic and WTF.

And every single time my head starts spinning, I brought back around to Surrender.

In that Surrender has been a practice of self-acceptance – surrendering to Who I Am, what I need, what is a fit for me and what isn’t.

I’m letting go of things, releasing what I was once excited about, admitting that it’s not the ideal I assumed it was. My work has changed. Our family has changed (radically and in hard and beautiful and humbling ways that I can’t fully process and articulate yet). My perspective has changed.

My self-communication has changed.

I like to say Yes! – in fact, I sometimes find myself jumping in and committing before I’ve really sat with it. I have caught myself many times ignoring that Echoing Stillness within whispering that the answer is, in fact, a No.

Case in point: Speaking at conferences.

I knew about a month ago that speaking is out for me. I don’t enjoy standing in front of a crowd, talking TO them. I want to sit within a circle, and speak WITH them. I want to dive in together, to create and hold space for deeper communication to take place, to guide and ask hard questions and receive hard questions that have no answers.

So when the request to speak at this year’s Rethinking Everything conference came in, I was already quite comfortable saying no to speaking and yes to facilitating a circle.

But just as I was about to say “Yes, I’m in!” Life and its little instigator, Surrender, snapped me back to my core, my spirit, my center so I could hear that inner guidance that won’t let me go astray.

It ached a little to admit it was a “no”. To sit with the thoughts and fears that arose, of sitting out instead of standing out. To acknowledge my Highly-Sensitive nature would be at its worst with two birthdays, an anniversary, a family reunion, and air travel already in August. To honor my needs for quiet and white space in the months ahead.

To honor my heart as it whispered a tender no.

Honoring what is a no for us doesn’t always feel wonderful.

Sometimes there is a pang as we release what we wish would fit in order to practice or embrace what actually does.

Sometimes we don’t want to say it aloud, afraid of what it will say about us (that we can’t hack it, that we’re not good enough, that it means XYZ), afraid of the stories running in the background of our mind, afraid what will come of it if we miss an opportunity or back out of the party.

Sometimes honoring our No will mean listening to all those stories that arise with our answer. Examining them with self-compassion and gentleness (without buying into the idea that their presence is somehow saying something terrible about us), so we can release them.

But honoring a No also means noticing the Yes we are honoring in ourselves too.

By my saying No to a conference (my favorite conference, I might add, one we all freaking love) means saying Yes to a month of celebration without stress or overwhelm. It means saying Yes to down time and deeper connection and the slower pace we nomads have been craving. It means honoring the Yes to self-love and self-acceptance, a Yes to allowing my highly-sensitive nature the environment in which it thrives.

Ask yourself: What do I need to say “No” to, and what am I saying “Yes” to at the same time? Part of the Sisterhood? Share your thoughts on the forum.

P.S. The above journal page? I knew I had some stuff to DIG IN to and process but had no words for them. I had no idea what was going to come out but am falling in love with the way art journaling has added another tool to my own Digging Deep process. As soon as I started creating it, I could tell I was putting down on paper exactly where I am in surrendering to the work-life balance shifts that have been happening in my world. If you’re working through the Digging Deep process yourself and ever feeling stuck because the words won’t come, I can’t recommend enough the power of playing with color and texture. The words will often come later (as these ones are – I’m filling in that page above with the words now).