Weaving together the strands of my heart’s work

Are you afraid that your deepest, lushest, most heart-centered you is too big for your audience?

I’m a lifelong spiritual student and practitioner. In the last twelve years, since I’ve been working with women as a coach and supporting them in their branding, my commitment to spirituality has deepened in many ways.

Yet, for many of those years, I found myself keeping some of my more arcane sacred practices veiled from my business interactions and offerings. Looking back now, it makes sense… I came from years of corporate graphic design work, and there were few to zero models for authenticity and transparency among my colleagues and clients.

In the last year or so, as I work more and more with my own heart-centered business coach, and study with teachers who live and work with transparency, I have come to realize that it’s time for me to step out from behind the veils. I know that I can best serve my own clients by parting the veils and sharing myself 100% as I am.

“A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”
— Dalai Lama

What held me back from an open expression of my spiritual path

Although I am not looking to enroll anyone in any of my spiritual paths or practices, I carried around a fear that some revelations might be too big, too woo-woo for people to take.

I was operating under a belief (that I no longer think is valid) that my business offering and my spiritual path should be separate. No overlap. With walls and moats between, please. This was because I simply didn’t know — hadn’t seen, hadn’t imagined — that there could be a way to bring my open-hearted most loving spirituality into my business in an integrated way.

I thought that my coaching and design clients would resist and misunderstand suggestions to deepen and broaden their connection to spirit. Ummm…. not true!

“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”
— Mother Teresa (1910–1997); Founder of the Missionaries of Charity

Transparency

I have always talked about having a big toolbox full of practices. Now I’m upending my own toolbox and sharing with you the spiritual awesome that makes up what I deliver from my heart in my work.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on July 16th, 2014. Posted in these categories: biz dev, transparency, women's spirituality. 6 Comments

Gratitude redefined.

Pretty much everything redefined.

gratitude-redefined

I have learned some life-changing lessons over this time that I’ve been sick — life-threatening sick — and convalescing.

I have experienced some profound changes, and I’m doing everything I can to hold on to them as I slowly return to health.

Three weeks ago I wasn’t strong enough to scramble an egg

And it took me two days to eat the egg my sister scrambled for me.

Overnight, I stopped multi-tasking (I could barely single-task) and I started experiencing mindfulness in an entirely new way. Since my energy was so massively compromised, I had to choose every action with intention. I no longer had the bandwidth to watch TV and play games on my iPad at the same time. I had to plan every trip to the kitchen. When I grabbed some food to eat, I sat down and ate it. No reading, no iPad, no TV.

Priorities had changed. This is a gift. When would I — when would anybody — even think to sit down and review every single habit?

Many of my habits have dropped away or completely changed. I no longer drink strong green tea round the clock. In fact I no longer seem to be dependent upon caffeine. I’m having a cup of green tea today, by choice, not habit. What? One more: I now drive around with my windows open, something I never ever did in the 20 years I’ve lived in California. I have no idea how or why this happened.

I resisted being sick, and going to the hospital, partly because I didn’t want to rock the boat with my clients. (That’s fear, yo.)

My clients and my partners — without exception — have held space for my illness, and my healing. Talk about gratitude redefined.

Remember, I had just come back from a month’s vacation, and I ended up in the hospital four days after I got home. It had been really difficult for me to take the break. This is the second time in my career that I had taken a long vacation. By the time I got home I was eager to get back to work. And then — oops! — to have to tell my clients that I’m out of commission, and to have it last so long!

I couldn’t have made it without the love and loving (and sometimes stern) admonishments my clients and colleagues kept heaping on me. What a gift to be able to surrender to what is.

What gratitude redefined really means

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on July 6th, 2014. Posted in these categories: gratitude, healing. 12 Comments

The healing journey, accepting what is, asking for help

Learning to heal, a deep dive into a healing journey

healing journey

I have watched myself on this healing journey.

I watched myself resist what was happening. How could this be happening to me? (Oy, I have such inflated ideas about myself, superhero solopreneur, single woman who lives alone and takes care of herself!)

In the five days between hospitalizations, as I got sicker and sicker, I finally began to shed the layers of denial and resistance. And when the moment arrived when I needed to get back into the hospital, I allowed a friend to come and take me.

No matter what I think —what I like to think — about my self-care, my strength, my health, I had to get humble, the sooner the better. Humility and acceptance allow me to surrender to the moment, as it is. That’s where the healing can really begin.

Such hubris! To think that I would never have a ruptured appendix. Or that I was somehow above sepsis and c diff.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on June 18th, 2014. Posted in these categories: gratitude, healing. 8 Comments

Sacred journeys

And unexpected turns

You know I meant to get back to work — back to you — after my road trip with so much to show you of California’s breathtaking views and vistas.

I planned to share inspiring interactions, road stories, humbling lessons learned, the love and joy of deep connections made. Really I did.

I planned to get back to my by-now very patient and generous clients, who were kind enough to bless my journey in the first place and who have been nothing but loving since I got sick. I thought I knew what was next, that it was time to start our active collaborations again.

And then, my sacred journey took an unexpected turn — sharply inward

I have just a few thoughts to share with you today, from my big grateful heart. I write so much about gratitude because I’ve learned what a huge game changer it is. For me, it is so good to express gratitude — so I can stay connected to my path even in [ahem] slightly trying situations and so I can be a useful participant in my own care team.

  • Every sacred journey is an inner journey. This is what I’ve learned. Go out, drink up the experiences, bask in the beauty of this earth, take what you learn and transmute it into joy and wisdom. Bank it. Share your gifts and your passions, do the work you are meant to do — do the work you are meant to do. Whatever change you are meant to make, make it. However you are meant to heal, open the channel. Whatever your vision, share it. And then, when life happens in a way that brings you inside, follow this path too, connected to the ever present love of the divine.
  • Let those who are here to help you, help you. Hospitals challenge cheerfulness, I find. Makes sense, I guess. I don’t come by good cheer naturally. I have developed access to love and good cheer by having a committed spiritual practice — prayer and meditation; by being of grateful service in the world; by giving freely of my time, treasure and talents. The access to that wellspring of cheer gets a little kinked up in here, like an occluded IV tube. So I set myself, and reset myself, and keep working on meeting people where they’re at, remembering they are here to help. The same tools I use in the world. Asking people’s names, making eye contact, many pleases and thank yous.
  • One more and I’ll go back to my main job today, healing. It’s hard to manage a business from this position. (Part of me is laughing hysterically just writing those words.) So, my solopreneurial sisters, I feel you. When unexpected stuff happens for your clients, you use love, and flexibility, and generosity to help them manage their changes. I find the same principles apply when the tables are turned. I’m telling my clients everything that’s happening to throw our work off. I’m letting them know how much they mean to me. And I intend to include some gifts to them as part of celebrating my return to health. Sshhh! Don’t spoil the surprise.

Signing off, for now

My plan of the moment is to resume my New and Full Moon posts once I’m home. Just too technical for here in the hospital. Even a short blog like this takes hours, because I’m writing in code, no WYSIWIG.

I invite you to comment! let me know how this lands, share your story. This is a great opportunity for our conversation to be deep and healing. Thank you!

Posted on June 4th, 2014. Posted in these categories: healing, journey, Uncategorized. 14 Comments

How do you know when life is really happening?

Hah!

20140527-235152-85912424.jpg

  • From my hospital room I send you New Moon blessings and promise you the Moon posts (that I love to create so much) will resume soon. At least that’s the plan, so sit down darling, get comfy and join me on this journey, please. Isn’t it great? We aren’t doing this alone!!
  • My plan was to do my usual New Moon post, full of stories about my trip, bringing the sacred everywhere, and share travel altar tips. You’re gonna love that!
  • I’m setting my passionate artists’ finickiness aside to send this short message of love and gratitude out tonite. For fuck’s sake, I don’t even have wifi(!) tonight, and I am blogging by iphone. On strong drugs. Being careful not to sit on the drain tube that comes out of my left ass cheek. So much more to tell you!
  • Okay. Enough. Back to healing. Testing. Draining. Accepting. Breathing. Being grateful. Kissing you!
  • Talk to me. I love hearing from you. If you’re glad I’m back, in one piece. Now minus an exploded bit. If you’re happy I didn’t die, here or on the road. Leave a comment. And if you know someone who is just gonna zing with recognition, send this along. I can feel myself slipping back into marketing language after the break. But since marketing language is just about sharing what I know, with she who just craves to hear it, there’s never really a difference anyway. That’s the topic for another article. For now, good night beloved.
Posted on May 27th, 2014. Posted in these categories: astrology, gratitude, Life, New Moon. 8 Comments

How to be gentle with self love even when it’s challenging

I’m off on a holiday retreat, a sacred month-long journey, and a writing break.

Propelled and inspired by the energy of the recent Cardinal Grand Cross and eclipse season, I am taking the crazy audacious step of an entire month away from work. I know I will be coming back spiritually recharged and ready for inspired action. Are you interested in getting help with your business, with defining and manifesting your passion, mission and purpose in everything you do? Are you feeling called to find out more about Astrology for Your Business? Send me an email, or fill out the form on the Share Your Magic page here on the website, and I will get back to you the last week in May.

By the magic of technology, I get to schedule these guest posts for you, one each week that I’m gone. Enjoy!

This is a guest post, by my friend Caroline Kirk. I am always inspired by and grateful for her wisdom. (Another overseas writer; I’ve left her spelling and punctuation untouched.)

 

selfloveDon’t allow all you’ve learned to become yet another stick to beat yourself with during times when it’s challenging to put those lessons in action.

I’ve been lost for a while. From loving what I was doing, what I was building, the connections I was making with amazing women all over the world, I suddenly, or so it seemed,  lost belief in myself, in all I was creating. 

who am I to be writing about spirituality, self love and owning our purpose when I am yet again back in a place of limited self belief, of fears & doubts? Who am I?

You’d think that after decades of learning about Divine connection, universal energy, how thoughts create our experiences and how we get to choose how we feel in each moment I’d know how to shut off that voice, to snap out of the feelings of doubt and despair when I start sinking into the old patterns of thinking and lose sight of the passion I feel about life, about writing, about making a difference in the lives of us women, about creating a business I love and believe in.

You’d think!

The thoughts circled….

  • I should know better.
  • I should just make an internal switch.
  • I shouldn’t be back here yet again.
  • I should just give up on all this because I’ll never ‘get there’.
  • I should have it all sussed out by now.
  • I shouldn’t be saying ‘I should’

I was drowning in a sea of should and shouldn’ts.

I realized I was using all that I had learned previously, all the wisdom I’d been blessed to encounter as an added stick to beat myself with. 

Each day I’d set goals and each evening I’d feel  a failure as yet again, nothing was achieved.  I stopped setting the goals as I couldn’t bear adding insult to injury.

Underneath all this ego-fuelled turmoil ,I became aware of my inner knowing……my silent observer of all that is…..the part  of me that has an unyielding acceptance of life, as it is in any moment, all unfolding perfectly.

Whispering without words… Accept. Embrace. Trust. Let it pass.

It was the lifeline I needed, no amount of striving was inspiring positive change.

I decided to

  • accept this is how I feel; to stop forcing myself to feel different
  • accept I don’t have to do anything
  • trust ‘this too shall pass’
  • honour myself in the process; to believe there was something deeper at work here
  • Let go of the guilt that surrounded my current need to opt out of life as I knew it for a while.
  • love myself regardless during this period of diminished creativity, of diminished motivation, of diminished self belief
  •  trust in Divine timing and know even if I never returned to writing or building my business, that all is still well
  • give gratitude for all the life blessings I hadn’t been acknowledging while stuck in this negative cycle

Yes, this too shall pass and I love myself regardless of my perceived faults & failings.

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”  Eckhart Tolle

Quite quickly after that, I realised I was beginning to feel better. I picked up a spiritual book again, I replied to some emails. I accepted an invitation to get out and about.  I began to read the wise words from the many wonderful women I’ve come to know since I began this journey into writing & teaching about us amazing feminine creatures J, of self empowerment, spirituality and self love.

I began to feel like me again. Connected to Divine Source.  Perfectly Imperfect.

I received an email from Sue reminding me of our agreement to swop blog posts.  It was the push from the Universe that I needed.  It felt daunting, it brought up the fears again but it was ok. I was ok. I can do this. (Thanks Sue xo)

We will sometimes lose our way. We will sometimes not feel as positive as we once did. We will have periods of self doubt and fears will arise. We will feel despair.

Over and over. Such is the ebb and flow of life.

The key is not to beat ourselves up for these natural aspects of living, of building a business, of putting ourselves out there, of being a woman, of being human.

The key to getting through these times of uncertainty and despair is acceptance; of self, of life.

Acceptance that life is always unfolding exactly as we need it to and we are always doing the very best we can in each moment. Even when it doesn’t feel as if we are. Especially when we feel we’re not.

Acceptance that sometimes we will feel on top of the world and at others as if that same world is crushing our very existence.  And that “this too shall pass”

Acceptance that no matter what we decide or don’t, we are worthy of love, including and most especially, our own.

It is this love that will see us through life’s storms; that will move our perceived mountains and carry us on the winds of change to the new us… more weathered, more wise, more in touch with who we are.

Pure Love.

Perfectly Imperfect.

Here to experience all the dips and highs of the rollercoaster that is Life.

You can download my two free eBooks here if it resonates; “Self Love Rocks” & “Lessons in Self Love” A collaboration of women’s stories around the world who are changing their world by finding their worth.  With love from me to you. Namaste.

How do you gently love yourself through the storms? Please leave a comment and let me know how it is for you.

 

headshotI’m Caroline Kirk, and I guide women towards self love, soul connection & freedom, to happy & healthy harmony of mind, body & spirit, which I believe provides a platform for deep inner growth, positive authentic living & the courage to pursue our greatest passions and way of being.

Life Coach, Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant, NLP & Reiki Practioner, Personal Trainer, Personal Development Trainer.

Happiness, Freedom & Self Acceptance are innately yours, let’s rediscover it.  

You can find me on my blog or on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

I invite you to join me and amazing women in a private Facebook group, women supporting women on our journey to self love.

Posted on May 18th, 2014. Posted in these categories: guest post, self-love. 18 Comments

Three ways to find your own voice

I’m off on a holiday retreat, a sacred month-long journey, and a writing break.

Propelled and inspired by the energy of the Cardinal Grand Cross and eclipse season, I am taking the crazy audacious step of an entire month away from work. I know I will be coming back spiritually recharged and ready for inspired action. Are you interested in getting help with your business, with defining and manifesting your passion, mission and purpose in everything you do? Are you feeling called to find out more about Astrology for Your Business? Send me an email, or fill out the form on the Share Your Magic page here on the website, and I will get back to you the last week in May.

By the magic of technology, I get to schedule these guest posts for you, one each week that I’m gone. Enjoy!

This is a guest post, by my friend and website client Ann Brown. Her website is beautiful (I do say so myself!) and shows her beautiful heart. She lives in England, and she brings so much heart and tenderness to everything she says and writes; you’re in for a treat. (I’ve left her spelling and punctuation untouched.)

 

singer-own-voiceOwn your own voice

As an introvert, I’m more comfortable writing things down than speaking ‘live’ to a group of people. Yet until 2 years ago, I was terrified of offering my opinion even in writing. I would freeze and be unable to even gather my thoughts, let alone write them down for others to see.

What made the difference?

For me, it was finding an online forum where I felt safe and could practice adding my thoughts, and where I trusted that people would respect what I had to say.

I learned that what I have to say is actually valuable to others and
that my ‘take’ on something is worth expressing because other people might not have thought of it.

I’m not comfortable being the centre of attention. Yet, because I want to get my message across and help the women I’m here to serve, I know I have to find a way to make my voice heard in a way that fits who I am.

Do you sometimes feel stuck with what to say or write when it comes to expressing yourself?

With social media statuses swirling all around us, and marketing messages getting ever louder to grapple for our attention, is it any wonder that we sometimes struggle to find our voice?

The vital thing to remember is the world needs you exactly as you are. Your words, your message, and your essence are deeply valuable and much needed in the world.

How can you begin to find your own voice?

Stop comparing yourself to other people

How many times have you heard someone speak, or read something, and made a snap judgement about them compared to you?

“Oh I could never speak as well as them….”

“They’ve got it all worked out and I haven’t ….”

I’ve done that. (And I still do sometimes … I’m human.)

But the important thing is to catch it when it happens. Remind yourself that you know nothing about their life, what goes on behind the scenes, or how many years of repeated mistakes and failures they went through to get where they are.

Because each time you compare yourself to others, the ‘real you’ shrinks back a little further,  undermining your real voice, and making it harder to speak up.

Consciously choose to be on your own path instead. Move one foot in front of the other, knowing you’ll get where you’re going in your own way, because that’s the only way you CAN get there!

It’s OK NOT to have an opinion

I used to cringe and shy away when people started talking about politics or the economy. I would worry that there was something seriously wrong with me that I couldn’t speak eloquently on these topics. And I would wonder,  am I somehow backward ? Is there an essential part of my brain missing, that I cannot have an intelligent conversation about certain things?

Err, no.

I’ve now come to realise that there are certain topics (politics and the economy being two of them) that I just don’t have an opinion about. Is it that those topics just don’t interest me ? Perhaps (because that’s certainly true).

I’ve given up sweating that I’m not ‘in the race’ and not able to debate the pros and cons and ins and outs, or even give my opinion.

I’m becoming more comfortable with saying “I don’t have an opinion on that”.

You too can choose to quit the worry about certain subjects and decide that you just don’t care to discuss certain things.

And that’s that.

That leaves you more open to finding the things that DO interest you and that you would really love to discover your opinion about.

Listen to yourself.

In the bath, in the shower, when you’re driving, walking, cooking, whatever you’re doing, I’ll bet my dog’s dinner that you’re talking to yourself and giving your opinions quite freely.

You know deep down what interests you, what you think and feel about things and what your heart wants to share with the world. I wrote another post on this topic last year.

It’s important to catch those words before they’re swept away with all the other stuff that passes through your mind.

Try writing your thoughts and feelings out first thing in the morning (in the form of Morning Pages, coined by Julia Cameron). It will help bring your true feelings to the surface. Morning Pages can help you realise what you think about something and get comfortable expressing it without have to share it publicly.

Whichever way you do it, keep trying different things and keep doing it. Listening to yourself is a lifelong habit that will really help you to align with your highest purpose.

Among all the noise in the world today, it’s important for you to find your voice because your words, your message and your essence are deeply valuable and much needed.

When you begin to find your voice, you’ll be more comfortable with what you say and write, and your words will flow more freely, giving you a way to get your important message out in the world!

I’d love to hear from you, please share in the comments — what helps you to connect with your voice?

 

headshot Ann Brown wants to live in a world where women feel confident expressing their unique selves, and are able to live their lives full of purpose and meaning. As an intuitive coach and NLP practitioner, she’s appeared on the Heart of Business blog.

When she’s not helping women recognize their needs and get them met, you can find her walking her dog in the forest, baking (and eating) double chocolate muffins, and watching the clouds float by in her hammock.
Her latest program — Express Your Real Self — is waiting to help you do just that! Learn how to re-connect with the deepest parts of yourself on her Happy Being You website.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/haagsuitburo/
Posted on May 11th, 2014. Posted in these categories: find your own voice, guest post. 4 Comments