When Your Good Life Makes Others Feel Guilty

I’ve been seeing a lot of those posts on Facebook, where a person apologizes for loving their life too loudly, and reassures everyone that it’s not actually perfect. They explain that they tend to focus on the good for their own benefit, but then they might rattle off all the things that suck to assure others that they are not trying to make anyone feel guilty. Continue reading “When Your Good Life Makes Others Feel Guilty”

Miracles Happen When I Get Out of the Way

That’s been my reminder these past few weeks. (Getting out of the way.) I have a tendency when funk hits the fan to get in there. To stress. To get upset, in the very charming woe-is-me-Life-is-out-to-get-me kind of way. (Really, you should see me some time. You’d probably have a lot more compassion for your own bad days. I know, you’re all surprised. I may have some wisdom and mindfulness, but I also still have an ego to work with and she’s a tough nut to crack.) Continue reading “Miracles Happen When I Get Out of the Way”

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”

Gratitude Is All That’s Left (when we stop trying so hard)

Very last page of my very first #artjournal.

It’s Thanksgiving week. Our little family of three is planning our dinner and a long weekend, disconnected from the ‘puters and connecting with the tangible world.

We have yet to finish building our table. We’ve yet to find a couch we love. So we’ll be eating our meal in a camping chair. And we’re okay with that. Continue reading “Gratitude Is All That’s Left (when we stop trying so hard)”

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”

My Retreat Turned Into Retreating

On my way...

I’ve got my feet up, my heart out, my head on. I’m not sure if I’m ready or just resolute, but I’m on my way. Confronting my resistance with 7 days of all day, every day meditation. It might blow my mind to bits. But that might be a good thing.

That was the photo and those were the words rattling around within me Friday. Right before I turned my phone off, handed it to my hubby, and arrived at the ashram.

I’m not sure how to describe the week that followed. People like to ask if I “had a good time”, but “good” is not exactly the word that fits. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t exactly good either.

Useful. That was the adjective I settled on.

It was a useful week. Enlightening. Challenging. Helpful in many ways. Heart-wrenching in others.

I knew I’d be confronting my resistance to meditation, but I had no idea what that resistance was. I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea how I was about to crumble. Shit, I’m not even sure where to start, how to explain it, to describe the gamut of internal movement I went through and where it has lead me, and where it might be leading me now.

I mean, I see it. I feel it. I just have so few words for it.

Five meditations a day (I had thought it was only four). The first one at 6:30am, to which I could barely drag myself out of bed for.

That was my experience the first 4 and a half day actually. Bone-fucking-tired and can’t drag myself out of bed (or off the couch).

I’ve never slept so much in my life. I’d be awake just in time for the first meditation (fall asleep during it of course), then wake long enough to eat breakfast and take a shower, head to the second meditation and fall asleep within 15 min after until the third meditaiton, then eat lunch and try to read until I fell back asleep again, wake up just in time for the fourth meditation, have dinner, and then either fall back asleep until the last meditation or fight to keep my eyes open until I did.

Sleep, eat, meditate, punctuated by reading and discussion circles (of which I often fell asleep during).

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I shouldn’t have been surprised actually. My body tends to put me to sleep when I’m moving through deep work. I’m pretty sure it’s my spirit’s way of making sure my head doesn’t get in the way. I just hadn’t planned for it.

I also hadn’t planned for the way in which I retreated into myself.

Or all the crying.

Cracking open is hard work. It’s messy and more than a little embarrassing. There are so many parallels drawn in my heart, so many images my mind showed me if where I was.

I went expecting to confront the things in my world that were challenging me but all those things fell away. Instead what manifested was my own bullshit, but reflected back by my immediate surroundings. Instead what I dealt with was the deep gorges held within me. (Meaning you can’t do work in your world by withdrawing from it. At some point you’ll have to step back into your world to apply what you’ve learned.)

And there were two main things I saw within me:

  1. Exactly who I am in this body, this mind, this personality, this set of needs, these emotions, this heart.
  2. How skillfully I’ve avoid it.

I saw patterns through eyes that have never seen so clearly. I saw my heart behind a brick wall – to protect it from the world, but also from myself. I saw what I’m capable of – both good and bad. I mourned the death of everything I wanted to see. I rejoiced at what I had long insisted wasn’t allowed in my world.

I realized that one of my greatest desires is to know myself, and then I realized with a sudden start that I did know myself, and part of that self was the desire to still search, to still learn, to experience the depths of myself, the parts that can never fully be known – that that is what makes me Tara. Digging into the depths with ease. Finding beauty in what others see as darkness or ugliness or fear. I realized how dangerous those very pieces of myself could be if not handled with care.

I saw a lifetime of my real self reflected in a thousand choices, a hundred styles, all the ever-changing parts of my chameleon skin pulling together to make a whole. How every varied place I’ve been in my life was really all aspects on the same spectrum I play on.

I think I went hoping to transcend myself and my ego, and instead I ended up fitting more snuggling into my own skin.

So much more happened. Things that tore my chest open and toppled me to the floor. But each time I try to write them out, they draw themselves back again.

Right now I’m unraveling what all this unraveling means for me back in the “real world”. I can feel a need to shift, to reclaim, to embrace myself (with a bit of a middle finger to the whispers in my head that I shouldn’t). I’m wanting to unravel how to hold onto this comfortable, settled place I found when I stepped away from the busy and the crazy and the push-pull of the world.

But until I get that figured out, I’ll leave you with this, because it makes me laugh…the cocktail and decadent meal I treated myself to after I left Friday night. Because every week at an ashram should be celebrated with alcohol, baby back ribs, and cheesecake, no? 😉

What? You don't celebrate a week of meditation at an ashram with a cocktail, ribs, and cheesecake?  #yesidid #keepinitreal

P.S. Synchronistically, we’re still talking about Self-Acceptance in the Sisterhood this month. Have you joined us?

Self-Acceptance Means Trusting Change

Self-Acceptance Means Trusting Change #carlrogers #quote

The Guiding Word in the Sisterhood for September is Self-Acceptance and it’s got my wheels turning hard-core.

I’ve been doing a lot of new inner discovery, noticing things about myself that make me laugh at how obvious it all is and making squirm at the same time.

Why squirm? Because for me Self-Acceptance is bringing up one very old story, one very old bullshit trigger: Can I? Am I allowed?

We all have our identities, subtle or not. We see ourselves as a set of traits, characteristics, things we’ve built into our personality or things others have defined for us. Identities can be as obvious as “entrepreneur” or “parent” or “partner”, the roles we play in our life and the lives of others. They can be based around the things we’re passionate about – “artist” or “hippie”. Or they can be as subtle as “the person who makes people laugh”, “the person who loves colorful things”, or even “a responsible person”.

These identities allow us to navigate this world, to give and receive, to learn and grow.

 But what happens when we want to act outside of our identities? When “the responsible one” suddenly realizes a deep aching to let go of those responsibilities and travel the world instead? When the parent suddenly realizes their deeper need for art that doesn’t include coloring books or interruptions?

I can’t tell you how many women I know – myself include – who pause or stop short of their/our whole dream for fear that it’s “not allowed”, too far outside their current identity, too scary to imagine how the world might respond (as if the world isn’t so wrapped up in its own bullshit to even notice).

But in doing so, we fail to accept ourselves fully – the constantly evolving self, the hidden self, the hungry self.

Often it’s fear of what others will think, that they will reject this person we are becoming (or wanting to become),
 that causes us hesitation or paralyzation. But in fearing rejection we guarantee rejection – of ourselves, by ourselves.

And then we wonder why we hurt, why we shrink, why we stagnate and suffer.

“The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.” – Mark Twain

Self-acceptance means accepting that we will constantly change.

It means accepting that our needs will change. That our ideas will change. That our ideas of Who We Are will change. And that constant evolution means never feeling done either.

It also means accepting that our world will change as we do. And that those in it will change as well.

And it means that in order to feel loved and accepted by the people in our lives, we must first BE our whole true selves – otherwise WE aren’t there to be love and accepted. Instead, we’re cast off in the corner before we even have a chance to experience the difference.

So yes, we will change. And our world will change. And it might mean people who aligned with one version of you might begin to fall away. And it might very well seem uncomfortable.

But as you become more aligned with you, and the world comes to know you as a person who evolves and embraces that evolution, and the right things and people for the real you start to fall into place, how can you feel anything but joy in that?

It’s Here! Introducing the all New Organic Sisterhood

The Organic Sisterhood

I’ve been dropping hints for a few weeks now, and I’m excited to let you all know that the new Organic Sisterhood is finally here!

I’ve loved watching the Sisterhood grow and change and shift (along with its members!) over the last couple years. But through it all, I’ve been searching, too – searching for ways to bring more to the Sisterhood, to provide you with a warmer, deeper, more supported community – all while maintaining the spirit and soul of the Sisterhood.

I had a vision of what I wanted, but wasn’t sure how to create it until I sat down to really listen. These were the exact words that poured out as I did:

We are women aching for community, for a chance to know ourselves, especially through the knowing of and connecting with others. We have a deep desire to see and be seen, to hear and be heard. However, we settle for less than what we most deeply need. We seek in conventional areas, and we find the common experience: a shallow installation of thoughts and ideas that bounce around from hand to hand quicker than we have a chance to integrate them and never taking us deeper than the surface small talk and personas we’ve learned to use (and abuse) to keep things comfortable.

We don’t have a space to take off the identities. We don’t have a space to share secrets and bring to light the places that need healing. We don’t have a space to be fully seen, fully heard, fully realized. We have circles, cliques of same-minded people. But they don’t feed us, stretch us, challenge us, nurture us, or teach us in the way we’re really needing. And because of this they can’t introduce us to the things we don’t even realize our life is missing.

The world has enough cliques. What we need is real community.

Community with women who think like us. Community with women who don’t, women who bring the wisdom and growth that can come only from connecting with others who see the world through a different pair of eyes.

The real essence of community is the coming together of many minds, many ideas, and many perspectives, from many stages of life, and many backgrounds. It’s that richness and diversity that feeds a diet of spiritual nutrients we can’t find in a box of labels and concepts. We need from this community what we can’t know we need until we bring the people and things into our life that will take us beyond what we already know, beyond our own boxes, and thus beyond our limitations.

And with this community, we need these underlying foundational principles navigating us:

…the acceptance to walk our own path;
…the support to explore our own life;
…the understanding that even in our differences, we are not separate;
…and the ability to use the assumptions of our so-called separation to better know and love ourselves and one another, so that we can work toward the same underlying hunger we all have: a shared experience of a joy-filled life.

That’s why I’m thrilled to bring you these new additions: new faces, a guided experience, and more tools and programs to help you no matter where you are on your journey.

The biggest and most exciting change by far is the addition of the Sisterhood Guides. Teresa, Jenn, Dani, and Christie bring not only their presence, experience, and warmth, but also a slew of new products.

And we’re also bringing a brand new guided experience to the table, co-created and curated by all five Guides. Plus, you get multiple coaching circles each month, more than 20 e-courses and products, and membership in a conscious community chock-full of love, support, varied opinions and ideas..and so much more.

So if you’re ready…

…to finally stop living the same year over and over
…to experience radical authenticity, instead of feeling out of place in your own skin
…to break through your ceiling of possibilities and create more with your life
…to overcome your self-doubt, fear of not being good enough, and deeper triggers
…to feel so deeply rooted, and vibrant that you light up the world around you

…then welcome to the new Organic Sisterhood. Welcome home.

sisterhood-cta

Questions about the Sisterhood? Click the button above for more details or contact me here and I’ll personally help you figure out if this is the right fit for you.