Action of non-action — the Pisces New Moon

Action of non-action, also known as “Don’t just do something, sit there”

This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my long journey as a seeker. I learned this from my t’ai chi teacher, and the concept is a lifesaver. I have written about the many lessons stillness and patience give you before, here and more recently here.

streamYou can think of action of non-action as “going with the flow.”

Picture yourself being in the stream grounded and ease, moving a bit without being overwhelmed and knocked over. Neither are you being rigid, trying to change the stream’s flow (we all know how effective that is!).

You know what I mean? I bet you do.

How is this a lifesaver, exactly?

Water yields, it goes over, around and through things. Yet, although water is soft and weak, it has the capacity to erode solid stone and move mountains.

It is said that this teaching — the action of non-action — came from Lao Tzu. In t’ai chi I was taught this as the central idea in effortless combat. There’s never a reason to go looking for a fight. Never. Let go of every piece of that ego that seeks to punish, or even to win. When someone comes at you with weight, or anger, each response of yours, each and every move, can come from you effortlessly, without conscious planning. This allows you to react and respond to everything that comes your way easily, expending just the right amount of effort, and without any harmful results (to yourself or anyone else!).

Like playing with clouds, yo.

This Pisces New Moon contains within it an action of non-action moment

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on February 27th, 2014. Posted in these categories: balance, New Moon, patience, surrender, t'ai chi. 18 Comments

Love bombing, boldly and imperfectly executed

lovebombLove bombing?

Yes, inspired by Fran Sorin — and modified by me — Love Bombing 2014 took place on Valentine’s Day, and it consisted of me handing out beautiful red roses to strangers around Oakland’s Lake Merritt, with each interaction captured on video by my volunteer videographer.

Bold?

You bet it was bold. Especially after the first two… I was turned down! The first two people I approached didn’t want to take a rose. I boldly kept going. Even though I was feeling daunted and self-conscious. I kept going, and it got to be so much fun!

Imperfect?

You bet my execution was imperfect! I forgot to tell my volunteer videographer to take horizontal videos, not vertical, never ever vertical! And here I am sharing my imperfect, bold, love-drenched beautiful interactions with you. As I’ve learned from my best teachers, as long as I’m in it, in action, in the game, I’m coming out ahead. Even if I fail, I’m failing in forward motion.

So even though the video is not what I wanted, even though…I’m sharing three of the short videos with you right here, and if you’d like to see the other four, you’ll find the playlist here.

 

 

I hope this lands for you, in you, in the way it was intended. This was an incredible experience, and I’d love to hear from you what brave, bold, expressions of love you’ve risked, perfectly, imperfectly, or anywhere in between. Please let me know in the comments!

 

And now for a little Sunday gratitude

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on February 22nd, 2014. Posted in these categories: gratitude, imperfection, love. 22 Comments

This Moon is an invitation to love, love and more love

Full Moon in Leo

Friday 2/14/14
26º13′ Leo
3:53 pm Pacific
6:53 pm Eastern

I love February, and its emphasis on Love!

This is the third article I’ve written about Love this month, and it’s a theme I’m seeing everywhere. I shared my Self-Love promise with you here, and talked about how loving thoughts lead us to loving actions — and vice versa — here.

Now…We have a Full Moon tomorrow, right on Valentine’s Day. Nice!

Fiery Leo ignites passion, incites loving thoughts, words and actions. Don’t hold back. Let the love out — loud, proud, and unexpected! We’re inching closer to Spring here in the north, and in most places, even the coldest places, you can begin to see signs of new growth. The color red is everywhere: red roses, store displays, red buds on the swelling new growth on bare branches. So while it still may be gray, and cold, and even frozen, celebrate. Accept the invitation: wear red and gold in a mid-Winter fiery burst of self-expression. Give out flowers and Valentine’s cards. Give them to those you love, or even better, give them to strangers. Give love, get a smile!

springblossommoonAs you bask in the light of this Full Moon, and look back at the previous month, expressing gratitude for what has come to pass, and setting your intentions for the coming lunation, ask yourself:

  • Where is the romance in my life today; who’s cheering for me and urging me to shine my light?
  • What different forms can my romantic expression take? What am I called to express today?
  • Who and what kindles the flame of my heart, and how do I want to let them know?
  • How can I express appreciation for this flame I see and cherish in others?
  • How can I acknowledge and celebrate those who mean so much to me?

For your business

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on February 13th, 2014. Posted in these categories: astrology, Full Moon, love. 26 Comments

Love starts with self-love

Inspired by Christine Arylo’s Self-Love Tree

self-love-tree

Yes I am inspired!

Love is in the air! Being immersed as I already am in the theme of Love these days, I was an instant Yes when Christine invited me to write a blog post about the branch of self love I want to grow this year and come up with my self-love promise (and to invite you to make your own self-love promise; more details at the end of the post).

I want to grow in each of these branches, so I’m going to share something inspirational with you for each one.

I went and found quotes for each branch of the tree, words of wisdom to guide me as I grow in love. And reading through these words helped me come up with my promise.

My self-love promise: focus on the good; take exquisite care of myself; be of loving and sacred service with every thought, word and action — and have fun!

Acceptance

Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
—William James

Care

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
—Swami Vivekananda

Ooh too many good ones, I’m sharing two!

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
—Buddha

Trust

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.
—Golda Meir

Awareness

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.
—Emily Post

One is definitely not enough here either!

Whether you call it Buddhism or another religion, self-discipline, that’s important. Self-discipline with awareness of consequences.
—Dalai Lama

Compassion and forgiveness

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
—Dalai Lama

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
—Mark Twain

Empowerment

Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need.
—Gillian Anderson

Honor and respect

The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.
—Socrates

Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.
—Laurence Sterne

Esteem

Self esteem comes from doing something and accomplishing something.
—Shari Lewis

Expression

A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears.
—Anne Roiphe

Pleasure

Close friends contribute to our personal growth. They also contribute to our personal pleasure, making the music sound sweeter, the wine taste richer, the laughter ring louder because they are there.
—Judith Viorst

How do these words land for you? What branch of the tree is going to get your feeding, watering, and nurturing this year? I  invite you to share your self-love promise with me, in the comments.

My self-love promise feels so good, I’m going to say it again!

My self-love promise: focus on the good; take exquisite care of myself; be of loving and sacred service with every thought, word and action — and have fun!

I want to invite you to join me (and Christine, and so many others!) as we blanket the world with love. You can do your own self-love pulse check and get the self-love promise kit right here.

 
Posted on February 13th, 2014. Posted in these categories: love, self-love. 4 Comments

Loving action improves thinking, loving thoughts lead to better actions

It works both ways2-way-heart

I learned an important lesson a long time ago, in one of those church basements I’ve grown to know and love in my 12-step career. It was a critical piece of learning for me, because without it I was very stuck. Here it is:

Right action will lead you to right thinking a whole lot faster than right thinking will lead you to right action.

This was the exact teaching I needed to get my transformation started.

I didn’t know I could be a loving person. I didn’t know I had it in me to transcend that baggage I was carrying around: the grief, the regret, the disappointment…

But I got it that I could pretend. I could kinda trick myself into being a better person by doing better things. I glommed onto this “Acting as if” tool right away, and it may have saved my life.

It was not a requirement for me to believe in my own loving heart in order for me to write a gratitude list. It was not a requirement for me to know that I am a good person in order for me to do something for someone else.

And I did. When I began writing 15-item gratitude lists every single day, when I pulled things for which I could be grateful out of me, despite my negativity, a space opened up inside me, a softening around the crust of my heart.

When I began to do things for others, asked and unasked, I could actually feel new pathways being formed, pathways to and from a loving space.

Try this, it can (it will!) change your life.

  • For the rest of this month, write a gratitude list. Yes, the big one, with 15 gratitudes. Start each line with “I am grateful for…” and write 15.
  • Also, for the rest of this month, do something for someone else Every.Single.Day. When someone cuts you off on the freeway, blow them a kiss. Bring some food or blankets to the homeless if you have any nearby. Smile at the person ahead of you in the express lane at the market who has more than 15 items in her basket. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Tip more than usual at a restaurant.

I want to hear how this experiment goes for you. Let me know in the comments how it feels to open your heart through your actions!

But that’s not all. Remember, I said it goes both ways.

I used to be very absolutist about this, and say to my clients and friends and loved ones that “You can’t think your way out of this.”

I was wrong.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on February 9th, 2014. Posted in these categories: generosity, gratitude, love. 32 Comments

Learning to see, hear and allow the blessings

crystalballAllow the blessings — I’m still working on it, still trying to figure them out!

I really wanted to bring a clear message today. And I don’t have one. My heart and mind are in a bit of a turmoil (like that swirly foggy crystal ball over there). There’s a distinct lack of clarity in the house.

I spent a day, nearly two, in the hospital this week. I got a transfusion which I really needed, but then left against advice because I was getting not-so-good care, and the only doctor available wouldn’t look me in the eye, told me I couldn’t possibly have had the experience I had, and made jokes instead of answering my questions. Plus I was hungry. No food after midnight for a test that was promised to happen by noon. Instead of feeling calm and clear, I feel a bit guilty and more than a bit stressed.

I know there is a lesson in this for me, one that will likely benefit you as well, but I don’t have it to share yet… I will share it with you, beautiful, just as soon as I know it!

 

New Moon in Aquarius

Thursday 1/30/14
10º55′ Aquarius
1:58 pm Pacific
4:58 pm Eastern

Lunar New Year of the  Wood Horse

Friday 1/31/14

Imbolc

Sunday 2/2/14

The Dark Moon is the time to reach into your own heart, your own sacred feminine depths, and state your intentions.

What are you beginning?

When the Moon is New, the Moon and the Sun are aligned in the same sign. A New Moon is always a time when something hidden begins to poke through to our awareness, allowing new growth to be nurtured.

This month, the alignment is in Aquarius, the fixed Air sign.

An Air New Moon is an invitation to communicate and inspire.  >>>This time around, best to focus your energy on ideas like these now because our friend Mercury is going retrograde on 2/7.<<<

  • Is there anything in your messaging to your tribe of prospects and clients that needs to be revised or retold?
  • This is a great time to launch something new, start a new campaign to grow your list, or begin a new joint venture.
  • Set aside time for your strategy and implementation sessions with your team. Move forward with your creative and inspirational workings.
  • How’s your technology? This is also a good time to upgrade your hardware and software.
  • Complete your negotiations, sign contracts.

Lunar New Year

The Chinese astrologers say that the Horse symbolizes speedy success.

The Horse loves to compete. In five-element theory the Horse is also connected to Fire, which helps Wood to burn, making your flame endure.

Imbolc

Here in the North, the ground is beginning to soften, and the milk is beginning to flow

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on January 29th, 2014. Posted in these categories: Imbolc, New Moon, women's spirituality. 24 Comments

Sister Circles — you don’t have to do this alone

The power of connection (watch out, tender truths ahead)

The last half of this past weekend was very challenging for me. Physical symptoms were flaring and I was too weak to walk a block without stopping to rest, and too much pain to sleep more than three hours.

A bit worrisome.

A lot exhausting.

I canceled everything I had planned to do — including postponing writing this article — and rested. Long soak, reading, napping (or trying), watching TV.

vacuumingAnd then I reached out — to my sister, my daughter, to my beloved precious friends on Facebook

My daughter

It’s still hard for me to expose my truth to my kid. Even though she will be 28 in a couple of weeks, I still have this old reluctance to be transparent. Because I think projecting some facade is going to protect her? I rolled that way for a long time — revealing what I thought Rose should see, telling her what I thought she should hear — but I finally gave it up. Thank the Goddess! Because the references I was using to tell myself how I should be were completely unrealistic and bogus. Seriously — Donna Reed and Barbara Billingsley? Some ’50s–’60s image of the good mother? As if I ever wore pearls or vacuumed in heels and an apron! As if I ever vacuumed at all! Oy!

It’s amazing where this shit comes from, isn’t it?

There’s a deeper truth here. Growing up as I did with a desperate, harsh and physically punitive mom, no wonder I reached to some model, any model but the one I was raised with, to base my own mothering on. And I thank the Goddess again that both Rose and I survived my lunacy long enough to grow as we have.

I’ve learned that revealing what’s true to my beloved Rose is the one of the most important things I do these days as a mother. I learned it late, but I’ve learned it, and it has not only changed my relationship with her, but I know in my heart that every uncomfortable truth I tell is giving her a reference for how she rolls, in her own relationships. Big and important.

And then there’s my sister

My reluctance to reach out to her is different. I don’t hold back on the details with her, I know she can take it, but I hold back because I don’t want to be a burden.

I get all up in my head about leaning on her too much. As the single sister, I’m a little sensitive about this, I start telling myself that I’m too much, too big, and why would she (or anyone) want to hear this?

In fact, I’m blessed. My sister wants to know, wants to support me and loves me.

And my beloveds on Facebook

The reluctance here is that I think I should appear strong, invincible, like I can take anything that comes my way with grace and still be useful. The facade here is not Donna Reed, or Beaver’s mom. It’s more like: “If I reveal my vulnerability, my fears, who will want to work with me or hire me?” The gift is that I know that every single thing I go through and survive, every healing, every tragedy, every loss, becomes part of the gift that I give, part of what I teach and part of how I can help others as they move through their own stuff — the good, the challenging, the bad, the really really really hard-to-endure stuff.

This Facebook community! Made up of people I’ve known for decades, some of whom I’ve recently reconnected with, and some people I’ve not yet met face-to-face but with whom I have deep and profound relationships: clients, colleagues, teachers, inspirers, sheros. People I love, and cherish, and appreciate, and support.

I posted yesterday afternoon that I was having a rough day. And I got waves and waves of love and support. Offers of calls. Offers of rides. Love and more love. From people I know, people I coach, people I serve, people who teach and inspire me, and people I don’t remember ever having met. I got and am continuing to receive oceans of unconditional support and love.

I feel held, and loved, and supported. I feel connected. I know I’m not doing this alone.

That’s a very big deal. As a woman in business — a passionate spiritual businesswoman with heart — it starts to feel natural to do everything alone. And beautiful you, you don’t have to!

SistersCircle2Introducing Sister Circle coaching — an opportunity to work with a friend (of yours) and a mentor (me) at a reduced fee

Is this you?

  • You have a coach, who gives you lots of support and lots of suggestions, but you feel a bit adrift between your coaching calls
  • You have a Mastermind group, but there’s only so much you can ask them to do as you move through your goals and your editorial calendar, and besides, they’re not intimately familiar with what you’re learning from your coach
  • You don’t have either of these in place, and you would so much love to give this gift to yourself! And even more, you’d love to have all the support you can!

Here’s how you can magnify and multiply the support you’re getting

If you and one or more other women are ready to sign up for three months (or more) of individual coaching, and you sign up at the same time, here’s what you’ll get:

  • Targeted individual coaching as described in my Share Your Magic program
  • A private Facebook page for you and your sister(s) and me so that you can get even more support than you get from me alone as you work through your powerful transformations
  • A 10% discount for each of you off your chosen package fee

I know the power of women’s circles, of Sister Circles

I know from years of working in groups of all kinds how the potency of your intentions and actions gets magnified and multiplied by group energy.

When we cast our circle, in our sacred space, your sacred intentions and actions are fed and watered in the most powerful way.

I have 9 openings in the next few weeks (until the end of February) for you to schedule a fee-free discovery session. I can’t wait to get on Skype or on the phone with you so we can look together and see what is meant to be for you and your beautiful business and if Sister Circle coaching is right for you! The call is free and here’s the link to schedule it.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on January 20th, 2014. Posted in these categories: gratitude, sister circles. 24 Comments