Is fulfilling your purpose and passion selfish?

Is fulfilling our purpose selfish? No, it just takes us outside of our comfort zone. - www.theorganicsister.com

I got this question in my inbox the other day. The timing seemed to perfectly match the convos that have been floating around my circles the past couple weeks.

Could you guide me a little [in regards to] selfishness, and fulfilling a purpose. Is this a balance, or full out selfishness, or a little of balancing both. They say you can’t be half pregnant, so how does one live this life, with these two aspects drawing you into different areas?

I had to actually chew on your question a little bit. At first I wasn’t quite sure I understood it. I think that’s because I don’t relate to fulfilling one’s purpose as being something capable of being selfish. I think the selfish thing comes into play when a) we’re confronted by people who are scared when others upset “the way it should be” according to their limited perspective or conditioning, or b) we’re confronting our own inner voices telling us we’re not deserving of the things we love, value, and are passionate about.

I’m sure you can imagine my opinion on both those. 😉

Anytime we’re stepping outside of the parameters of mainstream we will stir up a little spiritual dust in ourselves and others. This is a GOOD thing. It gives us the opportunity for some internal housekeeping, sweeping away old beliefs we might not have realized were there and bogging us down, things that no longer serve us. It’s uncomfortable usually, but that’s where the magic happens.

That’s not to say following our purpose, passion, or dreams doesn’t create a balancing act…but it’s not a “me and my dreams versus [fill in the blank]”….it’s more of a “how do I meet my needs and help others meet their needs in a way that honors both of us” sort of thing.

It’s a subtle shift, but a life-changing one when we no longer view things as “versus” or “either/or”, but simply a matter of curiosity…”Hmm, how can I navigate this with grace and ease?”

This conversation lines up pretty well with what I was saying on Facebook the other day….

I’m not sure whether to find it tragic or funny that people are so closed off to or judgmental of those of us who work for ourselves. I’ve been snarked to, I’ve been told what I did would be more authentic if I did it for free rather than charge for it, and told it’s not okay to “make money from friends”. (Because it’s okay for strangers to support what you do, but if loved ones support you, well…you’re not deserving of that at all, right?)

Know what I say to that? Pfffffffttttttttttttttt. 😉

I let go of my money blocks, my feelings of unworthiness, and my desire to please others a long-ass time ago. I let go of the idea that I had to scrape by to make ends meet doing something I don’t love. I let go of the idea that I had to play small instead of make an impact in the world doing work that makes a difference. I let go of the idea that wanting to pay my bills in a way that fulfills me is somehow selfish. I let go of the idea that financial independence, security, and abundance somehow makes a person greedy. I let go of the idea that it had to look a certain way or be approved by the limiting beliefs and fears of others.

THAT is called freedom. And it’s a beautiful place to be. ♥

Organic Wisdom :: “It’s Just Not A Good Time For Me To…”

Every Friday I try to share some of the quotes I post on Twitter and Facebook, with some of my expanded thoughts and feelings on it here.

“Organic Wisdom” is what I have found speaking to me in those quiet moments, that guides me and that echoes Truth in my life. Please feel free to download, or share this image in any way you’d like.

Busy and “bad timing” are going to be the excuses we use for our entire life until one day we realize that “busy” is something we create to avoid the Big Dreams telling us it actually IS time.

  • “It’s not a good time to start eating healthier. I’m too busy to get myself feeling well.”
  • “It’s not a good time to follow my dreams. The market is crap right now.”
  • “It’s not a good time to talk about this. I have too much going on.”
  • “I’m just too busy, but when things slow down…”

But is that even possible?  Aren’t we “too busy” for things to slow down? 😉

Don’t wait for some magical day when the Universe reorders itself to create some impossible gap in your busy schedule to finally do what your heart, your family, your Life is aching for.

It’s not going to happen.

Instead the Universe is going to give you a dream and say “If you say you’re ready, I’ll support you. I’ll start by showing you what you get to let go of and what fears and ideas you get to examine, so that you can make a place for this in your life.”

Don’t get to the end of your life and wish you had started living years ago when hindsight suddenly shows you just how right the timing actually was.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

What have you been putting off?


The Organic Business Mastermind

This is a friendly reminder: The summer course for the business mastermind begins June 4th, just a little over a week away.

What sets this group apart? It includes:

  • The nitty-gritty, step-by-step, “How-do-I” coaching to simplify the process
  • Powerful built-in systems of support from like-minded sisters
  • And guidance to DIG IN, overcome your fears and blocks, and not get stuck in the paralyzing “Holy-crap-what-am-I-doing-what-will-others-think” syndrome

There are still spaces available but it’s filling up with just over a week to go.

If you feel that resonating pull, click here for all the details.


Officially Introducing :: The Organic (Blog to) Business Mastermind…Summer Sessions!

Do you ::

  • Work or want to work for yourself doing something you love that also makes a difference in the lives of others?
  • Have a current blog, business or Big Idea but have no idea where to go with it (or even where to start)?
  • Want the wisdom of 10+ personal years and 3 generations of entrepreneurial experience, coupled with powerful intuition and guidance, to help you strategize, design, and recreate your business into something successful?

Are you ::

  • A spiritual pragmatic, ready to lean into step-by-step actions, as well as the inner Wisdom found through meditation, EFT or your own inner work?
  • Wanting to keep your family and your values as your first priority, working in a way that is powerful, productive and authentic?
  • Ready to be accountable for your own dreams and commit to your other Mastermind Sisters?

Would you ::

  • Like to make $2,000-$10,000 a month working less than 20 hours a week?
  • Benefit from a group learning experience, where others may ask questions you forgot and where you can riff off one another to brainstorm incredible possibilities together?
  • Like to overcome your fear of putting yourself out there or not being good enough?

The summer Mastermind course is open for registration and is already filling up!

Masterminds are 8 week programs consisting of a small group of women looking to expand their dreams and ideas into something that will bring in a real, sustainable and organic income – something that will support their families, their lifestyles AND their values.

This is for you if you,

  1. have an existing idea and aren’t sure how to get started or what to do with it
  2. have an existing business in the beginning to mid-stages of growth (or stagnation) and,
  3. are ready to commit to your group, yourself and your dreams. This program most benefits those who have an online business (or want a stronger online presence), and/or offer services and information.

This is NOT a blogging e-course. This is NOT for the hobbyist.

This is for the woman who is ready to take her blog or her hobby to another level.

This is for the woman who is ready to start playing bigger, who has a voice, a message and a gift to share with the world and who is ready to say “Yes” to the possibilities of creating a real business on her own terms.

Doing OBM was intense, electrifying, staggering. It was a whirlwind of brainstorming, processing, and getting so clear and focused on why and what I wanted to do that discovering the rest of my answers became easy. – Jenn Gibson, Roots of She

What You’ll Get To Do

:: Move past your fears of playing bigger
:: Access the confidence AND ability to create a successful online business
:: Organically grow your income without burning yourself out
:: Experience the magic of feeding your dreams

Just Some of What We’ll Cover

:: The 3 most CRUCIAL steps you must take first (before you do ANYTHING else)
:: How to bring in the right readers, clients and customers
:: Which products and offers you can create and HOW to actually create them
:: Your website MUST-HAVES, including how to protect yourself against hackers
:: How to do it all in a way that feel authentic and fun
:: Tons and tons and tons more…

We’re talking my 10+ years of self-employment and nearly $10k of training in marketing and business foundations, sales funnels, target demographics, authenticity, freemiums, drip campaigns, search engine optimization, money blocks, time management, and all the nitty gritty details of what to do, why to do it and how to do it in the most powerful and effective way possible.

Basically, I’m going to give you the exact tools I used to go from making $200 a month with a blog to making nearly 6 figures in just over a year.

I honestly feel so much clearer about my business now, and I have focus and direction (two things I was lacking without even realising it). You’ve prompted me to DIG IN and get to grips with some fears I had about putting myself out there. I now feel armed and ready to move forwards. – Rebecca Mindful Misfits

Click here to see if a Mastermind of sisters is right for you!

Answering The Fear of “Who The Hell Am I To Think I Can…?” (Video)

I made this video a couple months ago (back when I still had hair), in answer to a client.

She was working on overcoming fear and self-doubt and building a sustainable online business (because those two go hand-in-hand, in case you’re wondering) and she was asking herself, “Who am I?”

“Who am I to think I can do this? To think I have anything of value to offer the world? To think that I can make a difference in this? To think I even have the ability?”

It’s a pretty pervasive fear, one I got to move through myself.

What I talk about in this video was the realizations that I came to, and that I hope you’ll come to also.

Because the question isn’t “Who do I think I am to…”

It’s “Who do I think I am to NOT?”

P.S. If you’re coming here via the newsletter, be sure to jump back there to read the special invitation I’m offering. Not a part of the newsletter? You can be. 😉

It really only takes one person to change the world. Are you going to let that person be you?

Nerves, Lyrics and Powerful Wahoos

So, Thursday night was the first Tribe call. 🙂

It’s taken me this long to really wrap my head around it and put it into words.

And apparently, I’m still not there because all I can say was it was Uh!Maze!Ing!

Oh, I was nervous. Speaking to a group (even as lovely a group as you all are) had me quite literally vibrating.

So I did my thing…some EFT to get me centered, some love from my coach and peeps, and imagined myself AFTER the call, with the feeling of connection I always feel when I do my thing, the elation I knew I’d feel, the laughter and wahoos I knew I’d make…

And with that…well, then I just had to dance.

15 minutes before the call I cranked up some Peas and let my inner hip-hop out to play. Because really…what burns off the adrenaline, gets you laughing and into that feeling of love, and reminds you of how much fun LIFE is like hearing the lyrics “follow your intuition” and “don’t worry ’bout it; people will walk you through it” while you bounce around your RV?

Perfect, I tell ya.

And then I got on the phone, lost my breath a few times (I talk fast when I’m passionate and I *had* just finished dancing, if you remember?) , totally messed up the technical stuff and still, I shared from the depths of my soul.

And it was Uh!Maze!Ing!

I just can’t begin to describe the feeling of connection I experienced with all the women who shared, and even those who just listened.

So, I thought I’d let them do it for me…

Thank you so much for last night! I don’t know what I was expecting but it was so much more! I have pages of doodles and arrows and notes and my own thoughts scribbled beside. its so amazing to have other people who are experiencing what i am, to share, to hear other opinions. It was so much fun. my mind has been swirling with so many thoughts. Making time to “dig deep” this weekend! – Samantha

My mind is swirling too! It was absolutely awesome. – Susan

I’ve got tears on this call already. I’m only 20 minutes in! – Jennie (listening to the recording)

Wow! It was so jam packed full of goodness! I really need this in my life. I think we all do, because we can be so hard on ourselves. The nurturing factor was extremely good. That is a vibe you can’t mute!….The call was marvelous. I was aware of such a sense of love & affirmation w/everyone, as I’m sure you were. Love safe places! – Rachel

Thank u Tara! U r an amazing inspiration! – Tracy

Tara you are amazing for doing this! I got off call and took a nice long shower and thought about everything I heard. I can’t wait for the forum! – Rebecca

Great call tonight lady! I had A LOT more to say but didn’t want to bulldoze people who hadn’t talked yet so I can’t wait for the forum. Glad I listened to my intuition and jumped on the call. – Brianna

And here’s one mama’s powerful revelation after we connected and worked through some things together in the Tribe: Embracing the Disgusting

 

And then I did what I imagined myself doing…

After the call, I let loose my whoops and wahoos, I had my running jump into my husband’s arms, I gave my kiddo a giant hug and of course, I called my mama and my sister to share my elation.

Cuz I did it! What I wanted to do!

I took my message out of it’s box, danced off those silly fears and boundaries and leaned into what I know I’m here to do…my part of inspiring the world.

And it feels Uh!Maze!Ing! :D

And then!

We celebrated with family rocking it on Sleeping Bear Dunes, feeling pretty “wahoo” about making it to the top of that bad boy and just being silly together.

Because life – and rocking it – is good like that.

hiking down sleeping bear dunes

we make our own fun

Next amazing thing to put into the world: the Sisterhood forums and the next Tribe call!

Wahoooooo!

Have you pushed through any inner boundaries lately?

How To Make Being A Practical Creative Not Suck So Bad

Today I’m hosting a guest post from the always inspiring, always hilarious words of Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach.

I asked her to write a bit about doing what you love, moving toward your ideal work and overcoming some of the blocks along the way. She never disappoints. 🙂 Enjoy her words on being a “practical creative”!


As the When I Grow Up Coach, I’ve worked with a ton of practical creatives. I’m one, my husband’s one, and, oh, 99% of my clients are one.

By “practical creative” I mean someone who yearns to have a passionate career (aka something that doesn’t feel like work!), gives them freedom (whether it has them working for themselves or someone else), lets them use their talents in a way that feeds their bank account, and allows them to have the stability they want as a grown-up without living their life for The Man.

In other words, something that we think exists only in our dreams.

Y’ see, to be a “ practical creative” , in a word, sucks. It seem so counterproductive, so ironic, so nonsensical to want the Life Of An Artist with the guaranteed paycheck that we think only comes with being a Corporate Drone. There sometimes seems to just be no gray area to live in, and we often wish that we could just be like everyone else, perfectly content to be a worker bee who comes home every night, has dinner with his family, watches TV and hits the sack at 10:30p day after day.

Instead we race from day jobs to practices, to rehearsals, to sewing machines, to classes, to canvases, to novels we’ re in the middle of writing. We beg off of happy hours and go to bed way past midnight to work our passions, our talents and our aspirations that make us so happy and yet torture us at the same time. It’s our blessing, our respite, and yet also – (pause for dramatic effect) – our curse.

We often don’t feel like we’re in control. We wear a mask in the office, 40+ hours/week, and spend the rest of our waking hours (another 60 hours/week, maybe?) feeling like we’re not living the life we yearn for. And that’s because, well, we’re not. We’re still on someone else’s terms, under someone else’s rules, in a life that doesn’t feel like our own.

So, where’s the grey area? Is it even possible to own your life when you’re a practical creative, needing to scratch that stability itch?

Heck, even as an entrepreneur I often don’t feel like I’m totally in control of my life. If I did, I’d be taking an improv class or writing a cabaret show alongside building my business, coaching my current clients, writing my book proposal, and being a worthy wife, daughter, sister and friend.

But here’s what we can put into practice right freakin’ now:

  • Track your time for an entire week. You can use one of these templates to help you out so it’s not entirely torturous. Make it as specific or as general as you want (i.e. 8-9a: get ready for day OR 8-8:15a: shower, 8:15-8:30a: make-up; 8:30-8:40: get dressed, etc), and don’t change anything that you’re already doing. Just go about your normal week. On the 8th day, do the math. How many hours did you spend at work, including the commute? How much time was spent in front of the TV? How long were you writing, or sewing, or rehearsing? This isn’t an exercise to beat yourself up for working too much or too little on your passions, but to really assess what’s working and what’s not. Which leads me to…
  • Be brutally honest. Pretend as if you owe nothing to nobody, you haven’t made a single commitment, you wouldn’t upset anyone by saying “ no” , and there are no such thing as repercussions. How do you want to spend your day/week/month? What would be fun for you? Make sure you turn off your brain for this one, just for a bit. Listen to your gut. Listen to your heart. See what they say and give that great stock. If that proves difficult…
  • Lay down on your couch or nestle in to your favorite chair and close your eyes. Envision YourNameHere Land, where you paint the scenery and decide on the laws and activities. The trees might be purple and everyone might have to sing instead of talk – who knows? Let yourself go to this place and live there for just a few minutes. When you see that scene and walked around in that universe for a while, open your eyes. What did you do? Who was there with you? What did YourNameHereLand look like? What made it so amazeballs? Write down everything you can remember, or at least what made a difference. Then, see what you can translate to The Real World. You might not be able to paint the trees purple, but you might be able to give yourself a purple fence in your backyard. And how awesome would a purple fence be?
  • Pick up The Artist in the Office, especially if your day job is killing you. This’ll totally help you not only have fun while you’re there (as much as possible, anyways), but might even help you appreciate the gig with new eyes. I know it sounds impossible, but just trust me on this one.
  • For the love of Pete, don’t bite off more than you can chew, and/or never leave time for yourself, and/or burn the candle at both ends. Nothing hurts the creative part of the practical creative then become a headless chicken. Trust me on this one, too. It’ s not a pretty sight.

Above all, try and remember that you’re not a human oxymoron. Who wants to be an accountant that does nothing but work, eat, sleep, and watch TV anyway? (Not us!)


Michelle Ward, aka The When I Grow Up Coach, works with creative people to devise the career they think they can’t have – or discover it to begin with! A certified life coach by the International Coach Academy & a musical theater actress with her BFA from NYU/Tisch, Michelle has been featured in “Newsweek” and “Metro News”; is a co-host on Spring; & encourages everyone to discover what makes ’em amazeballs on The Declaration of You, an e-course with Jessica Swift. She could be found coachin’, bloggin’ & givin’ away free stuff at whenigrowupcoach.com.

Susannah Conway: An Interview on Unravelling and Recreating

I’m so excited to bring you this beautiful interview with Susannah Conway.

Susannah is a photographer, writer and the creator of the Unravelling e-courses. A Polaroid addict and very proud aunt, she is currently hard at work on her first book, to be published in spring 2012, and collaborating with Jenifer Altman and Amanda Gilligan on a how-to book about Polaroid photography, also coming out in 2012.

Hi Susannah! Can you introduce yourself and tell me a bit about what you love and the work you do?

Susannah: I am a photographer and a writer and for the last two years I’ve been teaching a self-awareness e-course called Unravelling. The course has been the inspiration for the book I’m currently writing about healing and creativity, and I’m also collaborating on a book about Polaroid photography with Jenifer Altman and Amanda Gilligan. Both books will be published in spring 2012.

You have such a gorgeous creative style. How would you describe it and your inspiration?

Susannah: This is actually a really tricky question to answer! My home is filled with mid-century furniture and I shoot all my photographs with vintage Polaroid cameras, so I guess that vintage aesthetic filters through into everything i do. I’m also very inspired by simplicity – in colours, words, intentions and living. I own a lot of books, and way too many cameras, but everything else is kept to a minimum because i don’t like clutter, either in my house or on my website 🙂

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You talk a bit on your website about always having a hand in photography but rekindling that inspiration after the death of your partner. Can you talk a bit about those middle years…the years you weren’t as inspired, and why?

Susannah: Those middle years saw me pursuing a different path for a while. After art college I didn’t have the confidence to pursue my photography dreams so I worked a regular job before going back to university to do a journalism degree. From there I worked on several national newspapers before taking a job as a fashion editor – that lasted two years before I left to go freelance. Writing has always been a part of my world, but I am so grateful to have now come full circle back to photography. The two work together for me – a 50/50 even split that bounce off each other!

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I think lots of us have experienced that lack of confidence in pursuing our dreams. What do you feel was holding you back or bringing up that self-doubt? And how did you overcome it?

Susannah: Age and circumstance. When I left college I was 22 and back then (1995) the photography I wanted to do didn’t seem to have a place in the world yet. I didn’t want to be an editorial photographer, which is where most of my peers were headed, and I couldn’t see how I could make a living as a fine art photographer. I also didn’t own a computer and digital photography was still in its early days — i didn’t know how to find an alternative path.

What has changed for me now, aside from advances in technology and opportunity, is that I feel more confident in myself and my voice. As I healed in the years after he died I really got to know myself, a painful yet powerful journey which has changed everything for me — I guess this combo of being older, a bit wiser and feeling more ‘me’ has helped me to feel more confident in my work. I still have my bad days and lots of insecurities, but going through a bereavement like I did means I know intimately how short life is, and I just don’t want to waste any more time. We’ve gotta be brave and put ourselves out there, in whatever way that means for us.

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Wow! Such a powerful message to absorb, that life is short and we have to be brave, put ourselves out there and stop wasting time. Was it this message that inspired your Unravelling e-course?

Susannah: Unravelling started as an evening class I taught locally. I didn’t want to teach a regular photography class so I drew inspiration from my healing journey and how I’d been using photography as a way to get to know myself again. The class was a great success and as blogging was such an important part of my life it seemed natural to find a way to share the class online somehow.

Can you tell me more about your course, what kind of transformations it’s inspired in yourself and others, what are your intentions with it, etc?

Susannah: Unravelling is an eight-week course for women that I first led online in January 2009. It’s not a photography class in that I don’t teach any photo techniques or talk about processing — instead, I invite the Unravellers to use their cameras to look at their lives, almost like they’re looking for clues and documenting what they find. The writing exercises get them digging even deeper into how they view themselves and their world.

In week five we turn our cameras to our faces and time and time again it’s the Unravellers who didn’t want to share their face photos who end up making videos of themselves talking to camera! The magic happens when women gather together in a safe space and are willing to delve into their lives with fresh eyes — they support each other and the transformations are always so incredible to witness.

As for me, leading the class has taught me how to be brave on camera as I share a new video with the class every week; it’s given me the confidence to share my thoughts without being embarrassed. Going forward into 2011 I’ll be launching an Unravelling members’ site in June—it’ll be a cosy supportive space where people can hang out, make friends and nurture their hearts. As soon as I’ve delivered the manuscript for my book I’ll be starting work on the new site!

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I talk about unjobbing on my blog and I’m always fascinated with the creative ways in which people fulfill their life purpose while also paying the bills. Can you talk a little bit about fulfilling your own purpose with the work you do and some other challenges you’ve overcome (or are overcoming) in the past few years?

Susannah: In the years since the bereavement I have learned how to live on my own as an independent and self-supporting woman. It hasn’t always been easy— and I have the credit card debt to prove it! — but I got a first sense of my true purpose when I moved to a new city (by myself and not knowing anyone there) in the autumn of 2008. That was when I was invited to teach the evening class, and from that small beginning I discovered the work I feel most passionate about — holding a space for women to heal their hearts and reconnect with themselves. Helping them learn how to become their own greatest ally.

I always hated working in an office and have been self-employed in one way or another since 2002, but for the last two years I’ve been creating this online business of mine; there’s no how-to manual so every step of the way I am learning and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I’ve never considered myself to be a business-minded person so it still surprises me that i have a business at all – I guess it helps that it’s not exactly a traditional business 🙂

SO loving what you have to say here Susannah; so many tangents we could talk on. But I want you to leave everyone with one answer: If you had to sum up in a single short sentence one piece of advice you’d give to women, or even one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self, what would it be?

Susannah: Next time you stand in front of a mirror, smile at the woman you see there; she is your greatest ally and it’s time to get to know her.


Thank you Susannah for your beautiful, wise words!

You can read more about Susannah Conway’s shenanigans on her blog at SusannahConway.com and connect with her on Twitter. Registration for the next Unravelling class opens on Saturday December 4th.