The Wisdom of Life’s Immoveable Objects

How to handle life's immoveable objects via theorganicsister.com

(This was originally shared on another lovely blog which has since been taken down. I’m reposting it here, as a reminder to myself as well.)

We all have our paths to walk down in life. As we walk we experience the things we tend to experience – the valleys, the marshes, the darkness of the woods. Sometimes we travel alone. Sometimes we travel with others for a time, and then our paths diverge again. Continue reading “The Wisdom of Life’s Immoveable Objects”

There is NO Excuse for Neglecting Yourself (let me show you)

selfneglect

Your idea of self-care might be as simple as showering when you’ve got little ones crawling the walls. It might be as basic as drinking enough water or remembering to eat. It might be as nurturing as a massage or some quiet time to yourself. But how it looks is inconsequential to your willingness to make it happen. Continue reading “There is NO Excuse for Neglecting Yourself (let me show you)”

Essential Oils for the Soul {and a free workshop}

Old Frankie and I are off to meditation. Cuz Mama needs all the help she can get this morning.

You know, I’ve gotten some serious flack for my love of essential oils. Some people can’t believe I’m involved in any sort of direct sales (which I get – I used to feel the same way until I realized how beautifully anti-corporatism this model is) and some just can’t believe I like this brand (which I get – we all have our personal faves). Continue reading “Essential Oils for the Soul {and a free workshop}”

Granny, Life, and Breaking Open

Let me just lay it out for you: Life is speaking loudly to me and the bedrock is shifting drastically beneath my feet. I can’t see it all, but I feel it and I just want to let you know. It’s going to change me.

We got the text last Tuesday that Granny (my great-grandma) may not make it to her 99th birthday at the end of this month. That my grandparents were flying out, my aunt’s already there, my mom making plans. It’s funny how often we can second-guess our instincts in some times and how easy it is to see and understand in others. This moment I knew quicker than instantly that I was going too. Continue reading “Granny, Life, and Breaking Open”

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.

There is No Such Thing as Square One

I connected with a sweet, beautiful, wonderful client recently who was feeling overwhelmed and set back by life.

It’s a frustrating feeling, to set your heart and soul on a goal, or even just a new perspective…to feel the shifts happening in your life, the forward movement finally taking place. And then to experience an upheaval, a new challenge, a serious trigger, the whole of your world throwing up in your face.

Then to feel yourself losing all that ground.

If you're gonna fall, you may as well fall with pizzazz. #jazzhands
(If you’re going to fall, fall with pizzazz!)

Three steps forward, two back again…or four back it can seem.

We experience that backward slide in our own inner work and then we couple it with stories about What That Means. And the stories we tell ourselves about it SEEM true.

Our big, desperate, self-deprecating emotions like to tell us it’s real, we’ve just lost out again, Life is against us, this is proof we’re not good enough, and all our deep and meaningful (and hard) work has been thwarted by fate or circumstance or someone who just wants to watch us suffer.

And so we cry that we’re back to Square One, and we suffer for it.

But it’s just nonsense, you know?

There is no such thing as Square One.

You can’t get set back to it. You can’t even really start from it.

It’s like eating.

You go to the store, find the perfect ingredients, spend 30-60 minutes making a meal, 15 minutes eating it, 30 minutes cleaning it up…

5 hours later you don’t shake your fist at the sky and yell, “DAAAAAAAMMIIIIIIT! I’m hungry again! All that work for nothing! I’ll never get ahead! I’m going to be hungry forever!

Instead, what do you do? You just eat again.

Maybe you eat better food this time if you got hungry too soon. Maybe you eat different food if you ended up with cramps and as the lovely, Christie Inge recently said to the Sisterhood, “the roaring shits”. Maybe you ask for support if you need help getting good stuff on the table.

But you don’t give up on eating.

That would be suicide by starvation.

Such is the process of Life.

The cyclical nature of growth, of moving forward and seemingly back again, the leaps and bounds and roadblocks, the coming back around to what we want to think is Square One…it’s just your appetite for Life bringing you back to the table.

Offering you more opportunity to grow.

To fill your belly again.

To realign yourself.

So eat it up.

Get better tools. Get support if you need it. But please don’t go hungry today because you’ve just eaten yesterday. And please don’t hate all over yourself because you think you’ve somehow failed at filling your belly.

Because that job will never ever be complete, so long as you wish to truly live.

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

IMG_4285

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.