Surrounded by boxes. Decluttering happens.

This week I’m moving house and I’m surrounded by boxes.

Moving day is this week! So much fun, so much change! So much decluttering!

I thought I’d look at where I was a year ago and share a post from then with you. Looks like I was thinking about decluttering then too.

Would you be surprised to see that you can apply the gift and magic of decluttering to more than just your things?

It can even apply to your brand.

Declutter your brand

Read on!

Posted on August 26th, 2015. Posted in these categories: decluttering, fun, moving. 2 Comments

Inspiration roundup in the middle of the move

45 boxes packed, 45 or so to go

I’m keeping (relatively) sane and here are some of the sources of inspiration, peace, patience, and laughter that are sustaining me.

I need many inspiration breaks. This shit is hard!

Surrounded by boxes

Here are five must-read teachers and bloggers who help me reboot my perspective.

Lucinda Williams quote

I wanted to find more stuff for you, that will make you laugh and fill you with joy.

Instead, since I gotta go pack some more, I’ll leave you with what I’ve collected here.

Seth Godin quote

I invite you to add quotes, and links, and whatever you’ve got in the comments.

Share what inspires you or makes you laugh — as you go through your own painful and challenging and just-plain-hard changes.

I’ll see you on the other side! xoxox

Helen Keller quote

Posted on August 19th, 2015. Posted in these categories: inspiration, moving. 31 Comments

A glacial pace is fine; it can be a good thing!

It’s time for me to stop worrying about the pace and enjoy the slow unfolding of my business.

  • I tend to worry — hard — about how slowly my business development proceeds.
  • I tend to conclude that I’m never going to get where I need to be, or meet my goals.
  • I tend to feel bad about the glacial pace that seems to rule my business.

developing my business at a glacial pace, and it's okay

I’m letting go of my deathgrip on these negative conclusions.

This crap I worry about is based in fear — it doesn’t serve me, which makes it harder for me to be of service to my clients and show up for my loved ones!

It takes a village, yo. I needed (and continue to need) a lot of help to shift here. It’s not easy. I am so skillful at operating from fear and negative projections that it makes it hard for me to let go and embrace compassion enough to begin to shift and change.

This question of my glacial pace became even more difficult for me when I got so sick in 2014.

Being down for so long helped me shift my priorities from work-work-work to work and wellness and rest and balance. So for over a year now I’ve been revising priorities and working a bit less than I used to, which slowed everything down even more. Even in the humility near-death can bring you, I was still able to find a way to feel fearful about taking care of me first, and then showing up for my business.

Lucky for me I have amazing friends and mentors in my business community.

Here are some of the jewels of wisdom that have been freely given to me.

First, what became the seed for the topic of this post:

Yes, you may be moving slowly, but remember, glaciers are powerful.

And these:

Your new programs are amazing, and it doesn’t matter that it’s taking you longer than you planned to launch them.

Your clients and meant-to-be clients are patient, and loving, and are ready to receive what you offer when you’re ready!

So I’ve let go.

A great deal. Maybe not 100%, but enough that these fears are not hurting me or keeping me from my work.

It feels so light and liberating to stand in compassion, to smile at my humanity, and to move on. Flawed and fabulous.

How about you? How are you doing with accepting yourself just as you are — your pace, your products, your offers, your everything? Let’s talk in the comments. Blessed be.

Posted on August 12th, 2015. Posted in these categories: business development, compassion. 25 Comments

Expectations cause pain and disappointment…

I have a mind full of expectations and it hurts.

My mind tells me I should do better, know better, be better — I can’t live up to these insane expectations and I disappoint myself over and over again. These expectations do nothing but cause pain.

Here is my top ten list of current expectations and disappointments. Ugh.

Top ten ways expectations cause pain

10. My revenue hasn’t increased to the goal number I set at the beginning of the year.

9. I haven’t launched my Deep Dive retreat yet; it’s written, beta tested, I have rave reviews, and all I need is the sales page, which I cannot seem to put together mid-move. What is wrong with me?

8. I’m reacting to the move with sleeplessness, exasperation, and impatience. I should be handling this so much better. I should be rising above my sadness, regrets, and fear — I teach this stuff!

7. I’m not getting rid of enough stuff as I pack, and I’m certainly not packing fast enough.

6. I’m worried about living with someone after living alone for so long. Many habits will have to change, starting with how I get up in the morning: my tried and true method of setting the stove timer as an alarm which forces me out of bed just won’t work any more, will it?

5. I’m scattered; I’m starting to misplace stuff as I pack. I should be much better at keeping track of stuff even through this major life change.

4. I don’t know how to handle myself around being attracted to someone. I expect myself to be cool and sophisticated. I am so not!

3. Moving to a house with a stove that doesn’t have a power burner and a wok burner means I have moved down in the world.

2. Same stupid story as #3 about moving from these blond bamboo floors to shiny pergo floors.

1. I’m too fat! I certainly should have dropped the extra pounds that have attached themselves to my midsection by now (why yes, even in the middle of a move I always have time to worry about how I look).

Who says any of this is true?

What am I doing and believing when I have these expectations and judgements of myself?

My thoughts are inspired by my friend and mentor Molly Gordon. She talks about expectations and how they keep us from being present simply with what is. Her eloquence and grace about this as she traverses her journey of a cancer diagnosis and mastectomy is powerful. You can see a recent video where she talks about this right here.
Top ten ways to release expectations

The only thing I know how to do is to turn these expectations into loving and compassionate affirmative statements. Let’s start at #1 and work down the list.

1. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am healthy. I take excellent care of this body, the vehicle of my consciousness and my loving heart.

2. Pergo floors = easy upkeep, and I don’t have to deal with carpet.

3. I love to cook on gas stoves, and I can make this one work for me.

4. I know how to be transparent and tell the truth, which I am doing and which is being well received.

5. Moving is hard! I am showing up for change and uncertainty and while I may lose track of things as I go, I can keep going.

6. I know I will find a way to wake up without hitting a snooze alarm. I trust myself.

7. I am a well-trained declutterer, and I keep decluttering and releasing as I go, here and in my new home.

8. I am gentle with myself, I take care of myself. I maintain balance and restorative self-loving thoughts and activities. I sleep well.

9. My clients are ready and waiting for me, and the work of the sales page proceeds with ease.

10. I am fed, housed, and my needs are met. I am well compensated for my work, and I thrive.

Can you relate? Did I miss anything?

Jump into the comments; let’s talk!

Posted on August 5th, 2015. Posted in these categories: affirmative thinking, disappointment, expectations. 30 Comments

Saving my ass by telling the truth

I learned a long time ago that I can’t save my ass and my face at the same time

So even though I would rather not reveal just how much I am capable of screwing up, and just how deeply I can dive into my anxiety and my chattering monkey mind, here goes….

Saving my ass

Saving my ass by telling the truth.

I slept about one-and-a-half hours last night.

  • I couldn’t stop thinking about the growing list of differences between me and my soon-to-be housemate. Thinking. Obsessing. Spinning. To the point that I was lying awake miserable about my certainty that I should never have signed this lease, and I was in for a miserable year.
  • I also couldn’t stop thinking that what started out as a feeling of community was turning into something else. Because I thought my housemate had negotiated something without telling me, I concluded that now she is showing her true colors and it’s everyone for herself.
  • I tried to relax, to ground myself in love, but I  just couldn’t. That question: “Is there room for love, even here?” rang hollow in my upset, self-pitying heart.

Not pretty. I know.

But I had to tell you. Because when I keep it to myself it just gets bigger. And louder. And worse.

What helped me restore myself (for now, anyway; I’m taking nothing for granted!)

  • I reached out to my sister. Lucky for me she’s in Israel, so at 2:30am here, I could get her on Skype and it was noon-thirty for her. She was loving and level-headed and didn’t judge me; certainly not as much as I judge me (and if she was horrified, she successfully kept it to herself).
  • I got on video call with my housemate this morning and revealed my anxiety. It was difficult, but very healing.
  • And I have let up on my tender self! Moving is hard hard hard! Thirteen boxes are packed, my house is already echoing, I have a month to go and probably another hundred boxes to pack. This shit is not for the faint of heart, and my heart went into a collapsed swoon last night.

I promised myself to keep this short today and try for a nap as soon as it’s done. I’m tired, and I certainly hope this article is coherent enough to be helpful to you. And of course I’d love to hear from you. Every comment and suggestion is so healing for me.

One more thing

Aquarius Full Moon on Friday at 3:43 am Pacific

You may have noticed that, for a while now, I’ve stopped writing my Full and New Moon posts every month. Turning my life inside out and planning this move has made me revisit a lot of my beliefs and routines. Although I still walk with the Moon, I also feel a big expansion in my approach to auspicious days to be grateful, or to be quiet, or to start something, or to end something. When something is ready to be started, or ended, or appreciated, any day is a good day to embrace the energy. Every day is a good day to be grateful. Every day is a good day to be your best self.

I am exploring this apparent contradiction, which doesn’t feel like a contradiction to me at all. You can help me by letting me know what you’d like me to include in my posts. I’ll take your requests into consideration as I continue to unfold and evolve.

This week’s Full Moon is the second Full Moon this month — what is called a Blue Moon. So if you feel it, take a look back and make note of what happened between the two July Full Moons.

  • What changes have you made?
  • What transitions have you weathered?
  • What audacious risks have you taken?

I think it will be about three years before the next Blue Moon month, enjoy it!

Posted on July 29th, 2015. Posted in these categories: love, moving, transparency. 29 Comments

The qualities that allow me to move through moving…

…instead of holing up with a book, taking endless baths, or hiding out at the movies

Not to mention stress and its friends sleeplessness, pain, and lack of balance

Yes, I admit it. This journey of moving home and office has been a bit much for my tender diva please-don’t-ask-me-to-change-anything self. Yesterday I got my second load of donated boxes and packing materials and nearly every square inch of my front room is now filled with boxes.

my labeled moving boxes

Here’s how last week went.

Let’s start with the stuff that didn’t go so well, when I was wrapped in qualities of sorrow, fear, and pain.

I’ll keep this down to five things (TBH there’s much more than that to choose from!)

  • I found my self-care slipping away. Eat an entire bag of cough drops like they’re candy? Yup. Stay up too late and get up too early? Yup. Worry much? Oh yes!
  • I convinced myself that focusing on packing and moving would result in losing my clients and any chance of getting more of them. Yes, that’s always fun.
  • As my to-do list began to grow and grow, I started to obsess about doing a perfect job of moving. Which makes me easily distracted and too easily irritated.
  • Now that I have boxes, I started to get really sad about packing. How am I supposed to be able to thrive when my house is being dismantled and deconstructed?
  • I couldn’t find any way at all to get started on the sales page for my new amazing retreat program. Sweaty and grimy from hauling boxes, I flopped into the belief that I couldn’t do it.

From Rumi:

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

I did some surrendering. I welcomed each of these dark thoughts, maybe not with laughter (see the poem), but with softening, and was able to shift some of these and welcome the qualities that support my ease, that allow me to be of service.

So here’s what shifted, and here’s what worked last week.

  • Welcoming the darkness, and the sadness, changed everything for me. I was able to make some lovely shifts. Even though I am about to start taking down all the beautiful things that makes this place my home, and pack them away, I will do that from gratitude, and wonder, and be completely prepared to smile with delight when I get to unpack them again in their new home.
  • I decided to take the sales page one week at a time. And to trust that the pace of my business development, glacial as it seems much of the time, is just where it’s supposed to be. I will try again next week to begin. And I will keep working on my clients’ new websites. And complete what’s needed on my to-do list so the move can happen in perfect time.
  • I did unplug most of the weekend, and I went to my synagogue’s retreat, and I went on a date, and I showed up for my sister’s airport ride. I had fun, I laughed, I tiptoed into the mystery of getting to know someone new, I had some down time.
  • I looked up on my walks, I expressed gratitude, and I listened to people. And when I noticed myself getting triggered, I worked on it. (My poor clients; my Jewish mother hen has been activated!)
  • Even after the cough drops day, I was able to return to mindful and wise food choices. I embraced and continue to embrace my wild imperfections, and I dare to forgive myself!

So precious you, what do you think? Any other labels I should add to my boxes? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Thanks to Havi Brooks for inspiring me, as usual, with her article about qualities.
Posted on July 22nd, 2015. Posted in these categories: moving, qualities. 25 Comments

I asked to be guided, and I was…

The power of affirmative thinking works a lot better without reservations or conditions

Makes it entirely different from kinda, sorta, conditional affirmative thinking

I prayed to be guided, and I was...

Even though I teach this stuff, and even though I understand it completely in theory, until just recently in this adventure of having to move and finding my new home I didn’t see the disconnect between what I know intellectually and how I was behaving. Which in moments of uncertainty (uh, which were pretty much all of my waking moments) found me behaving like an out-of-control ball of stress and fear. Pretty. Not.

  • Fear and stress leaking out of my pores; I bet you could smell it; for sure you could see it.
  • Fear and stress negatively impacting my work with my clients and my work on my business (distracted much?).
  • Fear and stress compromising my health, which is no great shakes to begin with.
  • Fear and stress affecting my looks (sleeplessness and nervous cuticle attacks make me so attractive!).
  • Fear and stress being bigger than my peace and happiness (to the point of being convinced can’t be peaceful or happy).

Yo, that was all choice. I know!

I chose to do what I know how to choose, because of course. There’s some kind of comfort for me in my habitual dark side. Instead of operating from knowing knowing knowing that I’m being guided — fear and stress come way too easily to me. In the process of learning to be a spiritual, brave, of-service woman, I have shed lots of resistance (and clearly have many more layers to go). I learned how to affirm my prayers, to ask to be guided. But in the face of uncertainty, spiritual certainty drops away and I lose my grip on the good. Oh Fear! I know you, I know how to hang out with you. So I choose to ignore/forget any affirmation, which immediately causes me to drop my connection to the Divine, and instead I walk around fanning the flames of my negative scenario of the moment.  I have plenty of them!

What was different this time

This time, I tried something new. In addition to saying and singing and painting and praying my affirmation daily, and more than once a day:

My perfect house at my perfect price at the perfect time is already chosen and ready for me now. All I need to do is keep walking in its direction.

In addition, I also started compassionately handling my fear and stress. It would still come in. Of course. But instead of freaking out (I’m not supposed to be fearful any more!), which only makes it bigger, or diving into that old dark and grimy neighborhood — the intersection of Stress and Fear — at the expense of everything (see those bullets above), I would welcome them, give them an imaginary little pat, thank them, and then gently move them out of the way so I could keep moving in the direction of my house.

From the time I started this combined method, it was less than 14 days until I was led to my new house and signed the lease. Just sayin’…

Peaceful, and quiet!

Which is awesome!

  • It’s right on the Bay Trail in Point Richmond — as in 20 feet from my door. Which although connected, is a much cleaner and quieter Bay Trail than the one I walk 13 miles south in my current neighborhood. It’s gorgeous.
  • The house has every feature on my wish list. Dishwasher. Washer/dryer. Gas stove. Wood (okay fake wood) floors).
  • It’s nearly 1,800 square feet. Plenty of room for me and my housemate and room for privacy.
  • It has vaulted ceilings so there’s plenty of light and air.
  • It’s about $500 per month less than comparable rentals right now. A bargain!

There are some things I don’t like. It’s not perfect.

  • The fake wood floors. But at least there’s no carpet.
  • It’s a development. All the houses look alike. I can’t decorate the front at all.
  • And there are what’s called HOA rules. Can’t do this. Can’t do that.
  • It’s far away from much of my life, far enough up a too often traffic-choked freeway to make me have to get creative about back roads and scheduling.
  • It’s not very diverse.

But hey, I could use the quiet and the beauty after 8.5 years of living in a very gritty edgy and unsafe neighborhood.

The lease was signed last night. I move in six weeks or (gulp!) less. The to-do list is already quite long and growing by the minute. I begin packing next week.

Now to come up with an affirmative prayer for this move!

Suggestions anyone? How have you done this big life change in a short timeframe and retained your sanity? Talk to me in the comments. Blessed be.

Posted on July 15th, 2015. Posted in these categories: affirmative thinking, guided, moving, willingness. 38 Comments