Joy in the journey, even when you can’t see the path, or know the outcome

How do you own the joy in the journey when you can’t see the path?

Change happens, and sometimes we don’t know where we’ll end up. Sometimes we can’t even see the path!

The joy in the journey

When the steps you take, the decisions you make, and the outcomes are unclear, how do you stay grounded, how do you wrap yourself in ease, and how do you claim and own the joy in the journey?

There has been a lot of “even if” and “no matter what” in my teaching and writing these days. Because of course.

I’m in a transition. Change is happening — unexpected and unrequested. Big change. I have to move my home and office and I don’t know where I’ll end up or how I’ll get there.

I’ve been moving through the stages of change and it hasn’t been pretty. I’ve been significantly less than graceful. I admit it. Resistance. Anger. Sadness. Self-pity. Seeing this change as a heavy burden. When I began to take action, I did so with conditions. “It should be this way.” “It should look like this.”

It has taken some time (and I’m not fully cooked, this is a process!) to even consider embracing this change, and accepting the mystery of this journey with an open and joyful heart.

I’ve changed my relationship to this journey.

Here’s where I am today:

  • I trust that the right and perfect outcome is already written and my job is simply to keep putting one foot in front of the other with a positive attitude.
  • I am standing sovereign in the mystery.
  • In my spiritual practices, I ask for and receive compassionate and loving reminders that I’m not doing this alone — I am wrapped in the safety and love of the Divine.
  • I intentionally set aside time each week to joyfully do the tasks that move me forward in the direction of my next wonderful place to live and work. I choose the tasks and conversations that light me up; I don’t have to follow every lead!
  • I stay balanced and maintain — and even improve! — wellbeing as I go.

How do you handle changes in your business, your life, your livelihood?

Did I leave anything out? Are there any practices that have served you well in times of change? Please share in the comments!

Mercury retrograde is over, and the Gemini New Moon breathes freshness and change.

New Moon in Gemini

Tuesday, June 16th
25º07′ Gemini
7:05 am Pacific
10:05 am Eastern

This New Moon supports change and forward movement (phew!)

It can feel like the Gemini twins are pulling you in more than one direction. Here’s the good news: that same energy allows you to expand and consider different options — options that may seem baffling, even contradictory on the surface.

For me this manifests as being able to pursue these options (and these are just the ones I know about already!):

  • Finding another place here in this area on my own
  • Find a terrific share situation with a housemate
  • Research moving out of the area to a place that may be even better for me than my beloved Bay Area — Hawaii is the top contender so far.

Suggestions for your New Moon ritual and intention setting

Ask yourself:

  • What do I believe about change? How can I shift those beliefs so that I can embrace change with joy?
  • Am I open to receiving and acting upon unexpected and even unrequested input, changes, and invitations?
  • What is my relationship to change in my business, my life, and my livelihood? What stands in the way of standing sovereign and trusting the process, even when I can’t see the path or the outcome?

How will you intentionally shift away from what’s holding you back and begin to feel the joy in the journey, yes, even if….? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Posted on June 10th, 2015. Posted in these categories: journey, joy, moving, New Moon. 22 Comments

Gratitude even if, gratitude no matter what

Because of course.

Because when I stay connected to gratitude, I can keep moving through the fog and mist, I can (kinda sorta) embrace the mystery, I can surrender and I can be present.

It’s time for me to move from this place where I live and work, where I’ve been for eight-plus years. Although I didn’t choose this path, I am now so on it!

I don’t know where I’m going to end up, and that frequently (five or eleven times a day) fills me with stress and fear. I can’t see what’s going to happen. I am so far outside of my comfort zone!

One huge thing that grounds me in this now moment (and the next) is to connect with and express gratitude. Yes, even for this. Even though this calls for big-girl-panties gratitude. Gratitude even if. Gratitude no matter what. Conditional gratitude just doesn’t cut it in this situation. Actually conditional gratitude isn’t gratitude at all. As I keep learning, over and over and over again!

On a foggy path — can't see where I'm headed

I have written about gratitude for years and years now.

I’d guess that almost half the posts in this blog are about gratitude even when things are tough (just two examples: here and here). And here I am again! Gratitude even if, gratitude no matter what. Sometimes the fog I think I’m in on the outside also fogs my memory. Gratitude? What are you saying?

Luckily I am easily reminded, and 99% of the time, I can turn on a dime and connect with my gratitude again.

Right now I have options, options I would never ever ever have considered.

  • I can move into another unit here where I live in west Oakland, under a tenant who keeps the present occupants of the place I would take up every single night until past two in the morning. The owner says she will install soundproofing; the contractor says it could be about 50% effective.
  • I can keep looking for a rental house with another woman business owner I have now known for about a month. And if we find one I will be living with another person for the first time in 15 years. And I barely know her.
  • I can refuse to cooperate and get evicted (that might buy me another year, and that year of eviction will likely be very tense).

Gratitude on a very foggy path, even when I think I'm lost

And then there’s this!

I invested in a relocation astrology reading yesterday. Two hours and a big chunk of dollars later, I am still shaking my head; I’m still stunned.

This is so not what I wanted to hear! Moses told me what another relo astrologer told me five minutes into a phone call — there is no place in California — and certainly not the Bay Area — that is good for me to live. Cluless me! I was hoping to hear something about how important it was for me to find a place close to the ocean. Or that I should move up north closer to the first-growth redwoods.

(Overly?) practical woman that I am, I was skeptical about this information until we talked about the dates. I moved to Oakland in ’05. I got sick with the first three-year round of this serious digestive disease within two months of moving here. This coincided with my mother’s death and I always have attributed my illness to my grief. There are stressors in my Oakland chart that make health, life, and business challenges even more challenging.

The only western hemisphere areas that ease up the stressors are Austin, Ciudad del Carmen in Mexico, Kauai, and Maui! Like I said, stunned.

Difficult paths can lead to beautiful destinations

I’m such a tough girl! I’m hearing all this, thinking “Well, these challenges haven’t killed me yet.”

But — this is the truth — my tender heart is wondering what it would be like to live in a place where I could experience more ease, fewer challenges. Where I could be of more service, have more ease in my relationships, and thrive thrive thrive!

Today, I don’t think I’m moving directly to Hawaii or Austin from this spot. Today I think that I’ll move from here to another local place, continuing to meet challenges with serenity as best I can, and start planning the next, more intentional move.

That’s what I’m thinking anyway (ahhh, thinking!). But I remember that I don’t have to think my way to the solution, and I don’t get to see today what’s beyond the fog and mist, what’s at the end of the endless flights of steps. I don’t know, and maybe I’m just not supposed to know. Maybe I’m just supposed to give thanks and keep moving. Who knows? I’m just walking in the mist, and climbing the steps, headed for the next place to live on the journey of my highest good.

How are you meeting challenges in your business? How are you staying open and present when the path is foggy and challenging? I’d love to know; please join the conversation in the comments.

Posted on June 3rd, 2015. Posted in these categories: gratitude, surrender. 27 Comments

Release what’s holding you back — Full Moon in Sagittarius

What happens when you’re stuck?

  • Do your goals and vision seem inaccessible?
  • Do you keep taking actions but feel like you’re not making progress?
  • Do you wonder about giving up, or worse, do you find yourself in fear?

Release fire

Here’s where I am on my journey….

It’s time for me to find a new place to live and work. Not by my choice.

Wait, stop! Part of what holds me back is this insistence on stamping my foot and saying it isn’t my choice! That is the last time I’m going to think and express that thought, because that thought comes from the voice of the victim. And when I’m feeling victimized I am stuck stuck stuck. So…. reboot.

It’s time for me to find a new place to live and work. My landlady is selling this place I’ve been renting and I chose not to buy it. There! That’s better.

And here’s what I’ve been noticing.

I’ve been looking at possible places to move and bemoaning costs and what looked like unacceptable choices. Oy! I was starting to spend so much time stressed that I forgot what faith, trust, and spacious ease felt like. I was fearing that I’d have to take something that doesn’t suit me (a loud smoking and heavy-drinking neighbor overhead) because I wouldn’t be able to find anything else.

Then I released the fear and the discouragement. Which led me to:

  • Awareness (the noticing). I got honest with myself about how I was paying so much attention to the negative thoughts that I forgot what’s true. I copped. I lovingly laughed at myself (yo, people pay me to teach them how to do this!).
  • Acceptance (no self-judgement). I remembered who I am, I remembered that I am safe in the arms of the Divine, and I released what’s holding me back so I can embrace this journey with spacious ease.
  • Action (moving forward in humility and faith). And now when I take actions, make calls, explore sharing space with someone, I do it from this place of surrender. I dwell in the knowing that the right and perfect outcome is already happening for me, and all I need to do is to continue to put one foot in front of the other, eyes up, heart forward, hands open.

Instead of hanging out in dis-couragement, I am now able to again feel en-couraged.

It’s all a choice. When I choose surrender, humility, and faith, it is much easier to move through the tendrils of negative thoughts that want to wrap around me as I go. When I choose to be positive, I can’t get stuck.

I may forget. I may get stuck again before all is said and done but I’m guessing I’ll be able to release and reboot quicker this time. Or I won’t. The amount I suffer is only and entirely up to me. “Said and done”? That happens when I’m dead. Having to move is a thing, yes, it’s a big thing. But it’s not the only thing. Life keeps happening, dunnit?

When I took my morning walk today in my ‘hood — west Oakland — and I passed the piles of garbage and the homeless encampment I could feel in my heart an excitement. I could end up in a higher-vibration neighborhood, and wouldn’t that be wonderful!

Full Moon in Sagittarius

Tuesday, June 2nd
11º49′ Sagittarius
9:18 am Pacific
12:18 pm Eastern

Mercury retrograde in Gemini

continues through
Thursday, June 11th

The Mercury retrograde and the Full Moon in Sagittarius — what a perfect time to release!

How are you faring in this Mercury retrograde? I’ve been finding that conversations are more transparent and loving (what I give out and also what I receive), and that my research and preliminary negotiations are smooth. Of course, I’m without my desktop computer because the hinge that holds the monitor in place (27-inch iMac) died. So there’s that. Hopefully the repair will be done soon. And hopefully that will be the extent of Mercury’s trickster gifts for me this time!

Astrology for Your BusinessIf your journey during this Mercury retrograde has you thinking about where you are in your business and wondering what you might want to rethink, review, and release, this is an especially good time to get an Astrology for Your Business reading. I have time in my schedule for one, maybe two, before Mercury is done with this retrograde journey.

The Sagittarius Full Moon is a great time to release what no longer serves you in your business and in your life.

  • It may be something in the way you are connecting with clients and prospects.
  • It may be your thoughts and attitudes.
  • It may be a relationship or partnership.
  • It may be some behaviors that don’t match your values.
  • It may be a lack of self-care.

Suggestion for your Full Moon ritual

Sagittarius is a fire sign — release in the flames. Light a (safe) fire or get your cauldron. Write down what’s holding you back, and commit to releasing it as you burn what you’ve written. You can do this work on your own, or in a circle of trusted friends under the light of the Moon.

Where are you today? Are you stuck? Are you freely able to release what doesn’t fit or serve any more? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Just for fun, I’m sharing my Pandora Hawaiian station with you.

Yup, weeks  returning from Kaua’i, I’m still listening to Hawaiian music.

I get so much pleasure out of it, hope you will too. Here’s the link.

Posted on May 27th, 2015. Posted in these categories: Full Moon, release. 20 Comments

Foundation and Source

Without connection to Source, to the Divine, how do you know the foundation you build will support you and your business?

Foundation and source

I have been Counting the Omer this year.

It’s a practice in Judaism during which you spend time each day for 49 days contemplating different spiritual lessons, each one tied to different attributes of the Kaballah. I chose to get the lessons from Rabbi Yael Levy, who sends out an email every day during the Omer with that day’s focus, meditation suggestions, prayers, and intentions.

The Omer process (which ends this week) has been deep, transformative, and illuminating.

When you start a business, you think about all the things you have to do and put in place in order to create a foundation — and you put so much work into it You put in all that work so that you can create a viable, strong, and sustainable foundation.

  • A foundation on which you can stand — grounded, comfortable and safe
  • A foundation from which you can operate with ease
  • A foundation that will hold and support you and your business as it grows and thrives, allowing you to be of sacred service to your ideal clients

Many consultants and business coaches say you have to start with a business plan. I’ve never written one — for myself or with a client.

And yet I’ve helped many clients start and sustain their businesses.

Whether you write a business plan or not (some people like them), it’s critical for women healers and changemakers like you to have a strong spiritually connected foundation to your business, especially if you want to do the work you know you are meant to do for the people you know you are meant to serve. Without connection to Source, to the Divine, you weaken the possibility that the reality of your business match your vision. As Rabbi Levy says:

Take time to reflect on the experiences that have shaped you, the people who support you, and the values that you stand on.

She goes on to invite you to ask yourself:

  • What are my sacred values?
  • Where are my roots planted?
  • Who are my teachers?
  • What wisdom do I hope to pass on?

Whether you’re just starting out, or tweaking or taking time to review and recommit to your business (what a great thing to do in a Mercury retrograde, just sayin’…) please consider folding in a lot of sacred connection into your foundation, and then remember to feed and water that connection as you go.

Offer this prayer (or write one of your own) as you build and grow and thrive in your business:

May I be a source of healing and service. May I share peace, well-being, blessing, love, grace, gratitude, and compassion.

How do you stay connected to Source and the Divine? How did you ground yourself spiritually as you started (and continue in) your business? I’d love to hear from you! Talk to me in the comments.

Posted on May 20th, 2015. Posted in these categories: business, foundation, source. 23 Comments

Embracing the mystery

First, some beauty

I just got back from a week on Kaua’i.

After the first couple of disoriented days there, I finally really landed. Moved from wondering how to be on Kaua’i to being on Kaua’i. I was finally present, with my feet on the ground, feeling my grateful full heart. I basked in the sunshine and the rain and enjoyed putting over 500 miles on my rental car (how did this happen on such a small island?) and getting to snorkel three times on three gorgeous beaches. So much aloha.

Cliffs at Spouting Horn

I took a walk along the cliffs at Spouting Horn.

Heiau at Prince Kuhio Park, Kaua'i

Above is the heiau (ancient temple) at Prince Kuhio Park.

Sunset Kilauea Avenue

I was driving to see the Kilauea Lighthouse and drove past a dozen or so cars and thirty or so people watching the sunset. I stopped and joined them. Because of course. The lighthouse could wait.

Ganesh, Hindu Monastery, Kaua'i

Here’s Ganesh guarding the entrance to the Hindu Monastery.

Na Pali Coast from Ke'e Beach

The Na Pali coast from Ke’e Beach. One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.

Now, let’s look at embracing the mystery.

You like to think you know what’s going to happen. You like to think you can control the outcome.

Of course you do, it’s human to want to know.

But you can’t know. You can’t control outcomes. All you can do is show up, and put one foot in front of the other in the direction of your goals, your visions, your highest good.

I’ve been Counting the Omer this year, for the first time (I had never even heard of it before, which makes sense, since I’ve never paid attention to Judaism until this year). Counting the Omer is a 49-day spiritual practice that begins on the second night of Passover. There’s a theme for each of the 49 days based on the Kabbala. Each day I receive an email with the day’s lesson and meditation suggestion. The teachings have been just what I needed: The content has been all about embracing the mystery, about stopping and connecting to what is in and around me, and sinking into gratitude.

Embracing the mystery: just what I need — facing having to move from my home and not by my choice. A powerful reminder that when changes have happened in my life — and they just keep happening! — I have survived and thrived all the way through (even if I couldn’t always see it at the time). I have been told many times that I probably haven’t been brought this far to be dropped on my head now. When things get scary, and challenging, and fear beckons me, I forget these truths. It’s good to be reminded!

Embracing the mystery requires a whole lot of letting go. Scary, yes. Liberating even more. How can I help support you as you move through your own mysteries?

Mercury retrograde is coming. And the Taurus New Moon.

New Moon in Taurus

Sunday, May 17th
26º56′ Taurus
9:13 pm Pacific
12:13 am Eastern (5/18)

Mercury retrograde in Gemini

Monday, May 18th
Thursday, June 11th

Mercury rules Gemini; rules communication, research, and learning

  • I’m looking forward to it. The Merc Rx window is a perfect time for me to be looking for my new home and office. A perfect time to be finding out my rights in this situation where my landlady wants to sell this place I rent.
  • I’m prepared. I will sign no agreements about leaving this place until this retrograde is well and truly over. My landlady wants to sign a contract by June 15th. Since Mercury won’t be out of shadow until June 27th, I’m going to propose we sign on July 15th (then I can compromise on June 30th if necessary).
  • One more aspect of the mystery: What if I find a perfect place during the retrograde? It’ll have to be extremely perfect for me to sign a lease before June 11th, but I’m open.

The New Moon reminds me to stop and smell the roses, wiggle my toes in the dirt, stare at the ocean, lean on a redwood (and daydream of Kaua’i).

The fiery get-going energy of Aries mellows and melts into sensual, divinely feminine Taurus. This New Moon invites us into the moment, into the here and the now. It reminds us also to take care of business, to check and double-check finances, to think twice and then one more time about expenses and commitments. Goes perfectly with the energy of the Mercury retrograde.

Suggestions for the New Moon and the Mercury retrograde

  • Review your financial strategies in your business — what needs to happen next?
  • Experiment with ways to increase pleasure and joy in your life — have you laughed yet today?
  • Embrace personal sustainability — honor Mother Earth as you fulfill your sacred mission in your work.
  • Practice exquisite self-care — use that Taurus energy to turn your love into better health, improved strength and flexibility.
  • Feed and nurture your relationships — with your clients, your loved ones, your friends.

How are you embracing the mystery? What’s up for you as we enter this next Merc Rx? I’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation, leave a comment. Blessed be!

Posted on May 12th, 2015. Posted in these categories: mystery, New Moon. 30 Comments

How does the Scorpio Full Moon call to you?

I’m getting ready for my week away…

…guided by the intensified inspiration of the Scorpio Full Moon

How does the Scorpio Full Moon call to you?

It’s time for a break. And I am so grateful that it looks like I get to take one.

With the unexpected recurrence of appendicitis, and a couple of days in the hospital, and iffy health since, it’s been an act of faith to be buying sundresses and sunscreen, and getting my hair cut short, and otherwise prepping for my flight this coming Sunday morning. Setting some powerful intentions around here!

Full Moon in Scorpio

Sunday, May 3rd
13º23′ Scorpio
8:42 pm Pacific
11:42 pm Eastern

Scorpio Full Moons invite us into the mysteries in often unexpected ways.

Accept the invitation: embrace your own mysteries and dive deeply into what may have been simmering in your heart, in your dark interior. Here in my part of the world (northern California), we’ve planted our seeds, and the light is lengthening and warming. But we don’t know yet exactly what will come up from the seeds we’ve sown. We don’t know yet what we will reap.

  • What will success look like in your business?
  • What does your heart crave and how can you give it to yourself?
  • What can you do to nurture your own wild, dark, intense, majestic self?

I’ll be away next week — no blog, no newsletter.

I can guarantee photos, although I may be drawing more than taking pix — my colored pencils are my new passion (just have to figure out how many I can bring!). If I have any good photos, I’ll share, and put them on Pinterest, or Facebook, or Instagram.

Wishing you a joyous Full Moon. Let me know what lands for you. Let’s talk in the comments.

Blessed be!

Posted on April 29th, 2015. Posted in these categories: acceptance, Full Moon, inspiration. 19 Comments

Oil pulling — a resource for your holistic business strategy

Heal your mouth and brighten your smile by swishing oil around your mouth every morning.

Put your best smile forward in your business.

As I said in the post where I shared my tooth powder recipe, good health and exquisite self-care is such an important part of every smart woman’s holistic business strategy.

Oil PullingHere’s another in my occasional series of health and wellness tips that I use and that I am so happy to share with you!

The claim that oil pulling would whiten my teeth grabbed me.

Because of course. Vanity has propelled me to begin many of my wellness practices. I don’t mind. Left to my own devices, I am so lazy. If vanity can get me to create new healthier habits, I’ll take it!

I chose to use unrefined virgin coconut oil, even though sesame oil is the most traditional (the idea of sesame oil makes me gag, but that’s just me). A tablespoon in the morning first thing (before brushing or drinking or eating), and then ten minutes or more of swishing it around in my mouth. Here’s the article that got me started, in case you want to read more.

Here’s what I noticed first: After a few months of almost daily oil pulling I noticed that the color of my teeth was brighter, with less staining (and I drink gunpowder green tea every day, so this is definitely a thing!).

And then! A few months later, I realized that the deep and scary constant pain deep under a molar was gone. Gone! This has made me a convert for life. I have no clue about any of the other health claims connected to oil pulling, but if they are true, I guess I will happily find out!

Then I added the charcoal and now it’s working even better!

This article crossed my feed one day about four months ago. Adding activated charcoal makes perfect sense — I already use it in my homemade tooth powder (recipe here).

black oilHere’s my recipe

  • Soften a jar full of virgin unrefined coconut oil. You can do this in a double boiler. Me, I’m lazy and I’m okay with using my microwave. It takes a couple of minutes on low power to soften. For a container, I use a pint canning jar.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of activated charcoal to the oil while it’s still soft. Warning! Warning! I can’t emphasize the messiness of activated charcoal enough. When I used to open capsules, I learned to do so over the sink and even then the cleanup was challenging — it gets everywhere! Now I buy my charcoal in bulk, and when I open the container a cloud of granulated black powder gets released. Before I wised up, I was cleaning black powder out of the cracks in my blond bamboo floor for weeks. Now I add the charcoal to my oil pulling mixture and my toothpowder outside of my house!
  • I am going to add some organic lemon and chamomile oils to my mixture (I was just reminded about this in Elizabeth’s article).
  • Keep at room temperature. It will harden, but I seem to be able to stick a spoon in it, even on cold mornings.

And here’s my method

  • On awakening, get a tablespoon of the oil into your mouth. You want to do this before brushing, or eating, or drinking anything. Clean-up tip. I wipe the spoon down with a paper towel because the gunk clings to the spoon.
  • Spend about ten or so minutes swishing the oil around in your mouth. Gently.
  • Spit it out. Anywhere but down a drain. Remember it will harden again — could clog your pipes! I spit into a plastic bag in the trash and make sure the bag stays upright.
  • Brush your teeth. Enjoy your day. Smile big!

Tell me what you think.

Did I leave anything out? Have you tried oil pulling?

Let me know what you’re thinking in the comments. Blessed be!

Posted on April 22nd, 2015. Posted in these categories: healing, wellness. 22 Comments