What Monkey Business are you cooking up?

It’s the Lunar New Year — time for Monkey Business!

The Fire Monkey is…

  • …intelligent
  • …creative
  • …curious
  • …lively
  • …provocative
  • …imaginative
  • …a great communicator and teacher

What passionate, audacious ideas and creations are you cooking up as we enter the year of the Fire Monkey?

Monkey Business — the year of the Fire Monkey

Ready to get into some serious Monkey Business this year?

I’ve already begun. I’m upleveling and rebranding Magnolias West — I’m dancing with that fiery monkey.

I’ve gone back and re-immersed myself in every aspect of my business, my offers, my brand, and my marketing language. I’m kicking open the doors that have been stuck shut for years, the ones that lead to a deeper and truer and more honest presentation of the depth of my experience and skills; the doors behind which some aspects of my sovereign kickass self have been hiding. The year of the Fire Monkey a powerful invitation, let’s accept it together!

How can Monkey Business help you liberate and manifest your ideas, your gifts, your creations…?

I’m deep in the process of a complete upleveling and rebranding of Magnolias West — a process that I flirted with for over a year and then (finally!) began in earnest about six weeks ago. I admitted to myself how I had prettified and softened up my branding because I was scared, and how that prettifying and softening weakened my brand. This has happened before; fear has gotten in the way of my clear message, of trusting my gut and my instincts. It happened when I was raising my kid. I didn’t trust my intuition, so I told her and taught her what I thought she needed to hear and learn instead of telling her the truth and sharing what I learned and how I learned it. Yup. Trying to act and talk like some ’60s TV housewife worked just as well as it sounds like it would. As in not very well at all.

I did the same again with my business. When I finally agreed with the wisdom of marketing to a niche (back in the Magnolias West 1.0 days), I got really clear on who my ideal client is, what she looks like, what she craves, and what she needs. And then I backed off, made my descriptions softer and more general, and left some of the gritty truths, transformations, and teachings I have learned and that I know I’m supposed to impart behind closed doors.

No more, yo. While my brand will still be pretty (prettier than ever!) Magnolias West 3.0 will convey a clearer message than ever before, and speak to the hearts of exactly the women I’m meant to serve. My tribe will get smaller, and that’s fine. How many people do I need or want to help?

There’s a bit of the mischief maker in the Fire Monkey. How can this mischief maker help you uplevel your business, your work, your life?

Here are a couple of questions to help you dance into your own mischief, your own Monkey Business. Take some time to discern. Light a candle if that’s useful for you. Grab your journal, or some paper and a pen. Ask yourself:

  • What have I been holding back? What truth can I tell that I haven’t yet? How can I be more transparent?
  • What do you think/feel/know your tribe needs from you that has felt too scary to give?
  • What are you ready to create? Yup. Open up the door to the “someday I’ll share this” pile. Which one? Which one are you ready to step into?

Drop the momentum-killing idea that conditions have to be “just right” in order to take a risk. Take the risk. Dance with the monkey. Share your beautiful, audacious, provocative Monkey Business with the people who are gonna be so happy to see it!

What Monkey Business are you getting up to? What are you ready to start? I’d love to know. Let’s talk in the comments.

Posted on February 9th, 2016. Posted in these categories: branding, business development. 30 Comments

How many hats do you wear in your business?

As a spiritual, heart-centered entrepreneur, you may often find yourself wearing many hats, filling lots of roles.

How many hats do you wear as you grow and rock your business?

Especially if you’re starting out, or building (or re-building) your business, you may often find yourself taking on roles that are challenging, unfamiliar, and sometimes downright scary!

This is certainly true in my case.
How many hats do you wear in your business?

How many hats do you wear?

For me, with my business in a rebranding and rebuilding phase, I am doing much of the work on my own. I’ve cut down on paid help for now. Which means I get to do just about everything for Magnolias West.

Lucky for me I love learning new things.

This week I moved my website to a new host.

In the process I got to learn some new and way cool stuff. You might want to file these resources for you and your team; they can come in very handy. I love sharing what I’ve learned!

  • When you’re developing a new website and it’s not yet live, you can navigate the site by IP address so easily by using hosts.cx. Once you’re there, just put in the IP (which you can get from your host) and the domain name, and you can see everything! I was even able to log into the back end and copy over the new blogpost that hadn’t been there when the site moved over. You may be asking yourself why I didn’t move over the complete site, why I had a blogpost on the old site that wasn’t on the new copy. I blame Mercury retrograde for this. After getting off to a very bumpy start in this Merc Rx, I decided to wait before launching on the new host. Forgetting completely that I was due to write a new post. Which takes me to the next cool thing….
  • You can export content from one site and import to another really easily. I exported the post from the soon-to-be-gone version of my site and imported it to the new one. I did need to install the WordPress Importer, but I was led through step-by-step instructions when I clicked on Import. Easy peasy! Yes I had to re-upload the image. But the content and the comments came over perfectly.
  • Here’s how to know if and when your site has propagated all around the world after you change hosts. Go to What’sMyDNS, put in your site name, and look for checkmarks all around the world. You see, after pulling the trigger on the move last night, I wondered today if I would be writing this post to the old soon-to-be-obsolete copy on my old host, or if it would be on the new and live site. I didn’t know how to know! So I checked What’sMyDNS, and confirmed by calling my host.

I know that I don’t want to be the tech-y developer geek in my business. Not as my main focus.

But since I am wearing that particular hat right now, I’m saved by the fact that I love learning, and love troubleshooting (as long as the trouble doesn’t last too long!). Now that I’m back to wearing almost all of the hats, I’m enjoying learning, successfully implementing what I’ve learned, and sharing the info with you.

What are your favorite resources? What would you like to share? Let’s talk in the comments.

Changes are afoot at Magnolias West.

The rebrand and re–just-about-everything has begun. Big doings.

For now, I will be changing my blogging and newsletter schedule to something like every other week (instead of weekly). I promise to keep delivering consistently true, slightly audacious, and always juicy content. I will use the freed-up time to move my business development and rebrand along quickly and beautifully.

I want to thank Steve Lesnick for allowing me to use this wonderful photo.

Posted on January 26th, 2016. Posted in these categories: business, business development. 30 Comments

Upleveling is happening. Gulp.

Upleveling is happening. I’m transforming everything.

My body. My health. My business. My life.

It’s time, it’s past time, but upleveling is happening, despite the fact that I often move like a glacier.

Upleveling is happening. Gulp.

In the last few months upleveling has begun to happen for me in many ways.

  • Environment: I moved house and office (I work at home) in August, and everything about my working environment has changed and continues to change. I’m in month two of standing at my desk much more than I sit.
  • Health: The dance I do of taking better and better care of myself and my ongoing health projects invites me to do my upleveling best every single day.
  • My business: I finally pulled my head out of the denial sandpile and admitted to myself that what I was planning and doing for my spiritual, heart-centered business isn’t working. Hasn’t been working for too long.

My commitment now is to embrace upleveling and transform everything for the better.

A bit more about the business part.

There are some things that are working really really well. List growth, social media follows and connections, deep and deeper interactions with the people I’m meant to work with. But revenue is in a shambles, and it’s time to transform everything to a new way of being.

Just in case you’ve been going through anything like this, here are some of the things I noticed, and places where upleveling is needed.

  • The woman who was my ideal client when I rebranded three years ago is no longer the woman I’m meant to serve.
  • It’s time for me to speak more clearly about what makes me unique — my combination of sage wisdom and experience and mad branding, design, and coaching skills. Three years ago, my marketing stood out more than it does now. Now there are hundreds (thousands?) of people offering much of what I offer. I’m lost in a huge crowd.
  • What I’m planning to do is going to be challenging and rigorous. Raising the bar on my self-care will help me have the strength to meet the challenges.

Now, about that Gulp in the title and the image.

I read these words on Eleanor Beaton’s blog today:

You’re not just born once. Throughout your life you are continuously re-born. And each time you uplevel, you move through a dark and mysterious path to reach a new level of you. Darkness, confusion, uncertainty: this is the starting point for major growth and transformation.

I’m feeling confused.

What do I do first? What do I do second? What changes to make?

I’m feeling uncertain.

Am I too old? Too health-challenged? Is it too late?

And yes, the path does look a bit dark from today’s vantage point.

Murky, more like. I’m crystal clear on this: It’s time for me to manifest the changes and awarenesses that have taken root inside me about my work and how and whom I’m meant to serve.

I’m completely in the dark about how this manifestation will happen.

But I’m strapping in anyway.

My new Mastermind group begins this week, and this is what I keep hearing in my head:

Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you

(Thank you, thank you, David Bowie.)

I’m sharing this with you because sharing my truth is what I do, and because I know some of my clients are moving through upleveling themselves.

Is any of this happening for you?

  • You feel the call to act and serve in alignment with your passion and purpose, but feel afraid, unprepared, and overwhelmed at the prospect of change.
  • You are facing what doesn’t work in your life and relationships and work/business and are ready to make changes.
  • You are ready to release what is holding you back and keeping you stuck.

Where are you upleveling?

I’d love to know; please let’s talk in the comments.

Posted on January 19th, 2016. Posted in these categories: biz dev, chutzpah, upleveling. 32 Comments

Sometimes Mercury retrograde can be merciless

Mercury retrograde (Merc Rx) is a big pain in my ass today

Don’t get me wrong; I rarely complain about a Mercury retrograde.

In fact I have learned to love these periods, and celebrate them as times to rethink, recalibrate, recharge, renew, revise…. You see the theme, right? Mercury retrograde invites you to quiet down the outer activity and do some of the inner work (think words that start with “re-“) that will make the next actions you choose to take manifest with more ease, be more productive, and lead to more abundant rewards.

Usually, anyway.

But not today.

Mercury retrograde
Today I had a few things that I had to get done.

I got up early to go get my car smog-checked. My car registration is due this week. I left an hour before a client appointment to get this done. This happened:

  • I called the place I had chosen on Yelp. They don’t do smog any more but kindly told me where I can go to get smogged.
  • I looked to make sure I had my registration renewal form. I looked in my purse, where it should be. No form. I tore my office apart three times. No form. I looked upstairs in my bedroom (where I would never bring something like this). No form. Looked everywhere in my office again! Called Motor Vehicles, and while on a 20-minute hold looked in my purse again. Found the form!
  • I mapped the location of the smog shop, and Google Maps took me to the wrong place. They directed me to S. 23rd Street. The shop is on 23rd Street. Either the address was wrong online or I typed it in wrong. Two U-turns at long lights.
  • Goddess smiled, smog took eight minutes so I got to the client meeting in time.
  • Client didn’t show up.
  • Decided to grill some veggies before next client appointment. Ran out of propane mid-grilling. Changed out the tank.
  • Client was late for the call.

The lesson and the blessing.

The blessing:

I was on time (barely!) for everything. I had yummy grilled sweet potatoes to eat. I got everything done and will get my registration payment to Motor Vehicles on time.

Here’s the lesson, which I learned long ago:

I was on time because I leave more room than I need in my schedule for everything, and I do that all the time, not just when Mercury retrograde is in da house. In case I ever begin to think I’m leaving too much of a “shoulder” between events in my calendar, I will remember today, and keep doing what I do. This practice saved my ass today, has saved my ass many times in the past, and is a keeper.

Take that, Mercury retrograde!

How do you ensure that snafus (Mercury retrograde–related or not) don’t mess you up? What practices allow for your ease when shit happens? I’d love to know. Please share with me in the comments.

Posted on January 12th, 2016. Posted in these categories: Mercury retrograde. 25 Comments

Farewell 2015, an obituary

I’m writing an obituary to 2015 today.

Farewell 2015.

I’m inspired by Melanie Bates’s article, and especially by this line describing the crap year she had had: “You know how it goes. Everyone is always awesome in an obituary!”
Like Melanie, this one goes out to anyone who had a rough 2015, whether or not you overcame or are still in the dance.

Just thinking that I can see 2015 as awesome is a powerful shift to make.

A shift away from seeing the past year as another failure. A failure to earn enough — again. A failure to recover from a chronic illness — again. A failure to find the love of my life, at least one who thinks the same about me at the same time — again.

Farewell 2015Farewell 2015, a remembrance

Your twelve-month life was, as usual, all over the map. During our time together you brought me moments of peace and joy, moments of fasten-seatbelts jolts and surprises, discouragement, encouragement, and many points in between.

Here are the lights, high and low. They’re all noteworthy, and I list them in order of — I guess in the order of the impact made on my tender heart and seeking spirit:

  • The health front was still rough and rugged. Not content with conditions as they were, you decided you just had to have a big moment in April with a recurrence of appendicitis and a three-day hospital stay. The very good news: No surgery, I survived, things subsided back to baseline. Again, not enough for you because you decided you hadda have your year-end swan song. Seriously? Since November: flu, laryngitis, and then pneumonia. Enough already! Dayenu!
  • You inspired me to clean up my diet even more. I gave what’s called the Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) protocol a six-month try. Want some more mindfulness around eating? Try AIP for a while.
  • You opened up a door in my spirit that I thought was forever closed — the door to Judaism, the spiritual path into which I was born. And what a surprise that was and has been! A full year has gone by and I’m diving deeper and deeper into mystical and sacred Jewish practice and lore.
  • You gifted me with a new community of people I really like and love and with new and hugely fun ways to serve. That’s the big gift, for me, of joining a synagogue, one with as vibrant, passionate, and justice-minded a community as the one to which I was led.
  • You gave me the opening to have a week on Kauai, which was a week of heaven. Thank you.
  • You decided that another year of low revenues from my business was just the ticket! Thanks but no thanks. Not only am I most fervently saying Farewell 2015 to this financial snapshot, but I’m saying Farewell to the mindset I’ve worn like a box of rocks on my shoulders for the last couple of years. Each and every one of those boulders — consider yourself shrugged off, and I’m diving into the work I’m called to do to make 2016 a beautifully prosperous year.
  • You wove the threads between me and my daughter even more snugly, tighter, and close so that she and I could deepen and broaden our loving relationship. For which I am ridiculously and giddily grateful. Considering the tense and fraught and scary years of her first two decades, this is a big fat miracle.
  • You put some new and refreshing and interesting people in my path, some for the first time, some for a return visit. I am so glad that I’ve learned how to walk with my heart forward, my eyes up, and my hands open — all so I can see what’s in front of me. I am glad that I have learned to stop and connect, even when it’s risky. And I am very glad to see whom I am privileged to encounter, to know, and to help.

Farewell 2015

Thank you for everything you have taught me. As you hand me off now to young 2016, I go with an undaunted heart, a strong body, curiosity, passion, and the strongest sense of mission I’ve ever had.

How have you said Farewell 2015?

What have you seen? Learned? Released? What are you keeping with you and what’s gotta go? Let’s talk in the comments.

Posted on January 5th, 2016. Posted in these categories: remembrance. 26 Comments

What do you know you will do when you know you #WillNotFail?

There were some great questions in Quest 2016.

I think this one is my favorite: How would you do business as unusual if you knew you #WillNotFail?

These are the big-ass visions and dreams that came up for me when I participated in Quest 2016.

I mean, look at this question! —

How would you do business as unusual in 2016 if you knew — no matter what you chose — you would not fail?


Sit with this question for a minute. Stop reading the article, look at the question again, and suck it into your heart, your gut, every cell. Ask yourself the question.

Huge, huh? Huge! If you’re buzzing already with juicy, crazy ideas, go ahead and capture them — write them down, sing them into your phone and record them, type them into a note. It’s okay; come back and read more later. Don’t let these messages from the Divine get away!

Okay, you’re back, good!

Here’s what happened for me:

When I sat with that question up there, I realized that one of the first things I would do is share my wild almost-too-big-to-contemplate goals and ask for your help and support. Asking for support is a miraculous thing and so critical for changemakers and wisdompreneurs tio remember: We don’t have to do the work we do alone. I get to share my stuff with you, even the scary bits and ask for your recognition, empathy, comments, love, and support. And I get to support you in your journey. We are a circle and the more we connect, support, and love each other, the more we grow and thrive. ‪#‎WillNotFail‬

So here I go… I’m sharing my goals here, not just for me and the Universe to hear, but also for you, my community, to help me achieve them.

And maybe I can help you achieve yours too. (More about that, and the Conscious Collaboration community later.)

In 2016…

  • I will work one-to-one coaching differently, so that my coaching — Unmask Your Brand and Shine Your Light — would transform branding (personal and business) in a clear, juicy, audacious, and surprising way for twelve women, and for four of these women we’ll go on to do the next iteration of their branding, website, and social media marketing strategy. (BTW, if this is you or someone you know, may I suggest that you reach out to me asap? I have a feeling these spaces are going to go quicker than I thought this year!)
  • I will write, design, complete, and successfully sell my first info product that isn’t a freebie. (Have I told you about this? “Putting on your big girl panties and having a grown-up relationship with money and your finances” is the working title. I’ve been studying this, compiling information, and finding through practice what really works for over 25 years. I’ve already started writing and can’t wait to share this with you. If you like the sound of it, leave a comment to send me a Yay! for encouragement.)
  • I will continue to promote, refine, and promote some more my premium Deep Dive program and serve women who crave release, refreshment, rejuvenation, and recommitment. And I would work with eight or ten amazing women in the Deep Dive during the year.
  • I will work less and earn twice as much as I need to meet routine expenses.
  • I will have the bandwidth (time and money) to go deeper into my healing journey so that I will be vibrantly healthy!
  • I will take the month of May or October and travel!

Oh it feels good to be so daring and to share my heart with you!

So, what are your goals for 2016?

And do you have the courage to share them with us?

Of course you can leave a comment, I love comments! But…If you want to get even more support, I’m inviting you to my Conscious Collaboration Facebook Group. That’s where we can really get in conversation with each other. Check Conscious Collaboration out; it’s free and fabulous!

One of the things that holds us back from sharing our goals out loud is the fear that we will fail, or that things won’t turn out the way we hoped or planned. But the downside of not sharing them? You miss out on all the support and opportunity that sharing your goals in community can bring.

So, if you’re feeling uncertain about sharing, perhaps this will help — to know this truth that I’m still unwrapping:  I feel my visions and goals — as they have revealed themselves to me at this point —  very strongly, but I also feel that this is just a beginning, and that, like everything else in my life, they may grow and or change over time.

It’s okay if your goals change too. But don’t let that stop you from claiming them now. Try these four steps:

2015 Completion, Release, Intention#1 Complete and release 2015.

Last chance to grab the workbook here.

#2 Tune into your goals, dreams, and intentions:

Start from how you want to feel, start from that place that you #WillNotFail.

If you are creating goals and intentions to give you something — like more money or more security or peace or success — start by tuning into this #WillNotFail feeling directly in your heart.

And then discover your goals and share them bravely.

Power tip: If you want to affirm that you will not fail, turn the statement into one that’s in the positive present-tense. The universe pays close attention to your action words: Affirm #IEasilySucceed. Affirm #IManifestMyIntentions. Affirm your living breathing beautiful dreams, goals and intentions in the here and in the now.

#3 Be brave and share your goals, dreams, and intentions.

Jump into the Conscious Collaboration Facebook Group and join the supportive loving conversations. Listen for what you need and give generously of your heart and your kickass smarts. There are themed threads, and of course you can always post a request for support to the wall.

#4 Ask for help.

Take the time to think about each goal and how we can support you. Include these in your Conscious Collaboration posts (or in a comment below) where you can. Be specific. Example? My book — I asked you to leave a comment and send me encouragement. It’s a discrete, actionable step you can do.

Sending love and huge New Year’s blessings.

Posted on December 29th, 2015. Posted in these categories: goals. 11 Comments

Your theme for 2016 — are you open to receive?

Sometimes the theme or focus for the year ahead comes from unexpected places or prompts —  Are you open to receive?

I decided early on as we ramped up to the Solstice that I would not choose a theme or focus for 2016.

I’ve done this before, and each time I did I found myself forgetting my theme / focus by the time February rolled around. So no, I wasn’t going to do this divination this year. Instead I did my Completion, Release, and Intention Workbook that I sent out to all my subscribers (still time! — you can get yours here if you haven’t already) and I settled into healing from the flu and then from laryngitis which turned into pneumonia.

But sometimes life and the Divine have other ideas.

Some pretty unexpected threads wove together creating the tapestry of backstory for my journey of discovery and divination. Here’s what happened:

The first thread in the tapestry:

One of the members of my healing team, a brilliant woo woo md, told me to start working on my power chakra. The context was my chronic digestive problems and the point was, I think, to stand sovereign in my own power around my health. I revisited my favorite chakras meditation, giving extra time and attention to the power chakra.

The next thread:

I read Catherine Buck Clarenbach’s post, in which she asked these questions, inviting her readers and me to ponder and answer any time from three days before the Solstice to the upcoming Full Moon:

  • What happens when you listen intently for your own wisdom?
  • If you practice divination, what does it have to say to you at this time?
  • As we pass the Solstice, what are the powers, the strengths you can imagine taking up again? What have you laid down in the past, what has rested, that now can be renewed?
  • Or what are new powers, powers of age or circumstance, you didn’t have before, that you hear turning over in the close and holy darkness of Earth?

Catherine’s questions lingered with me…. I didn’t come up with any answers, but the questions themselves were resonant.

And then this final thread wove itself into the tapestry:

I got sick again, this time with pneumonia, and a very lovely friend suggested we come up with questions around which we could each do some art. When she made her suggestion, I came up with my own version of Solstice/Full Moon questions, riffing on Catherine’s prompts I had read a few days before:

  • As we move into and through solstice, what is lighting up your heart? Or…
  • What strength and power is building in you to be expressed with the return of the light?

Which brings us to now. Above you can see the image I created.

Oh wait, even the image has a backstory.

The piece of paper I pulled out had some notes written years ago when I was in deep despair having finally realized that the $22,000 I had invested with yes-too-good-to-be-true scammers was gone gone gone never to return. The bit on the bottom is a third-person suicidal poem, and I guess that face is supposed to be my imagined corpse. I was going to turn the page over to paint on a clean white sheet, but felt driven to paint right over that deep despair.

The piece turned out to be a representation of my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chakras:

  • passion and health
  • power
  • love

I used colors that represent those chakras to me and painted hearts and flames.

And then I realized I had come up with my theme for 2016 (bypassing my mind and plans entirely). Passion, power, and love.

What have you been discerning without even trying? What is coming to you?

If nothing yet, spend some quiet time during the rest of this week — I’m guessing this invitation will stay wide open until at least Sunday (two days after the Full Moon) — and just ask.

Ask with art supplies. Ask with a candle. Ask with your camera. Just ask. You might be as surprised as I was to find that your theme and focus are already in your heart and ready for you to open to them.

Let me know what arises in your heart. A theme for the year? A theme for simply this turning of the wheel? I’d love to know; talk to me in the comments. Solstice blessings.

Posted on December 22nd, 2015. Posted in these categories: love, receive. 4 Comments