Weaving together the strands of my heart’s work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transparency

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

  • I am a High Priestess in a women-centered spiritual tradition. In this role, I facilitate women’s spirituality. I celebrate the wheel of the year, paying particular attention to the Moon and her cycles. I create and lead rituals. I support women in intentionally blessing and marking life’s transitions: births, deaths, partnerships, business ventures, new homes and offices, childrearing and child-releasing. I usher women into relationship with the Goddess, with she of 10,000 names.
  • I am twenty-three years clean and sober. I am a sober woman who knows exceedingly well what it’s like to be driven to obliterate consciousness 24/7, and who also knows what it’s like to let go of those destructive behaviors and change every single thing about herself and her relationship to life. Slowly. One day at a time. Because I’ve been there, I can hold space for balance and moderation in the lives and workings of my clients, and support all efforts to liberate one’s self from addictive behaviors.
  • For more than twenty-five years, I have not incurred any consumer debt. This means I spend the money I already have — I don’t use credit cards. As a cash-based woman, I am a resource for others who are ready to make a change and back off from our culture’s emphasis on over-spending and having more and more and more things.
  • I pay attention to astrology and I am a student of divination. As such, I bring reminders of rhythms and flow to women who are struggling with what is happening now.
  • I am an active participant in my health. I have a network of practitioners from various disciplines whom I use as part of my self-directed efforts to live long, with fitness and ease. I am a champion for anyone who wants to take a stand for her own wellness, who needs support in resisting our culture’s passive approach to health.

What you can do to free yourself from limiting beliefs and to express the full juicy spectrum of yourself in your work, in your business, in your life

  • 1. Be open to new and different possibilities and practices. Continue to learn. Expose yourself to teachings that are practical, and spiritual, and heart-centered, and useful. Have a nice variety in your toolbox. Integrate what works into your life, and change things up as you go — use what best suits you in this moment, in this day.
  • 2. Make time for practices that fill your container and put your heart and soul back in everything you do. The first time I took a business course that included meditation in the material (thanks Heart of Business!) was a big ah-ha! moment for me. Of course! Duh! There is so much value in the practices that restore and repair and renew our hearts and our consciousness. Without it, all the good work we put into our business lands in a leaky container. I did some gentle experimentation. I brought meditation into some of my coaching calls, and it resonates so powerfully with my clients! A few minutes of meditation establishes groundedness and purpose where a client might have been feeling scattered. It also changes the tone of the client meetings, and is a powerful antidote to pettiness and stress.
  • 3. Be gentle with yourself, get support, don’t do it alone. Set conditions of enoughness. Your ideal may be to meditate for ten minutes, seven days a week. Or go to the gym five days a week. And then what happens when you skip a day? Here’s how to avoid getting harsh with yourself: lower the bar. Free yourself, let five days a week of meditation, or three visits to the gym, be enough! Get support for yourself: Enroll a friend as a meditation buddy, or a walk partner. Or hire a coach, someone with whom you can roll up your sleeves, and dive deep into your business, your work/life balance, and the full expression of your juicy most creative self. [A touch of self-promotion:] I have room for one client in my individual coaching program. Have a look, see if it might be a fit, fill out the form on the page, and let’s talk.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April, 2012, and has just been completely revamped and updated.

 

How are you being transparent in your business and your life? What do you find when you share yourself — when you allow the vulnerability of being open and honest? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

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Sue

I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Lively conversation!

  1. Kay says

    I gotta tell, you Sue, you might have written this entire essay just for me. I am somewhat transparent at work–people know I’m into shamanism, buddhism, sound healing, etc., but I’m very conscious of playing it down and providing logical “left brain” explanations that make my interests more palatable. All the god*desses forfend that a physician be into something “woo woo…” No more. I intend to state what I really experience, whenever it is safe and non-self-serving to do so. It’s not woo woo, really, it’s more like woo HOOOOOOO!!! 🙂

    • Sue says

      Kay, of course I wrote this for you! And so glad it’s useful.

      Keeping an eye on the self-serving piece…very smart.

      Love and blessings,
      Sue

  2. Theresa says

    Thank you for this post. I am trying to start up a small consulting business and feel a lot of fear and doubt creeping up. Through my meditation and insight practices, I can see fear and doubt more clearly and don’t want them to interfere with my ability to be transparent and courageous in expressing my passions. I am always hesitant in fully expressing myself and my passions and don’t want to live like that anymore! I would be interested in setting up a session to discuss ways to live my heart’s passion. My website is http://www.fit-intuit.com.
    Thank you!
    Theresa

    • Sue says

      Theresa, thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughtful and honest comment.

      I would be delighted to set up a session with you. I will send you a private email in just a moment with the link to my online calendar so you can book a fee-free call with me. I’m looking forward to it!

      Love and passion,
      Sue

  3. Chrystal says

    I really enjoyed reading this. Transparency has been a tricky thing at times. Although it has its serves of protection it also leaves intimacy out of the question. So at the very time that you are protecting something one is also limiting growth. Sometimes when I share of myself people laugh, mock and criticize other times they share more with me and my knowledge and trust in a friendship grows. Depending on how honest the other person is it can be a make or break situation. Sometimes I don’t like explaining myself so I just omit it from conversation. If I were to bring it up in the future it will be more likely if I have a full understanding of what I believe and have developed a strong practice devoted to that. I like the not doing stuff alone part. I have been hesitant in the past to not asking for help when I needed it. At times as well, this has not been a conduit for intimacy. I am about to head into a very deep journey. I am going to reach out to my friends and community and be honest about what I am going through. It is my intention that by doing this I will get the love and support that I need to make me a better person to this life. Many thanks for you being you.

    • Sue says

      Chrystal, what a beautiful, transparent and loving comment. Thank you so much!

      It’s a wonderful thing when we can remember we don’t have to do anything alone.

      Your upcoming journey sounds deep and transforming. May it be nothing but a blessing.

      Love and magic,
      Sue

    • Sue says

      Shann, it feels so good to be connecting with you again as well.

      Thanks for the loving comment.

      Blessings,
      Sue

  4. Ralene Berry says

    I loved this post!! I spent today working on my personal brand and sharing my personal story noticing that I cannot be anything but me. Which is transparently Rae!!! She is a spiritual being!! It is hard to turn that off. I can speak in any area but my spiritual side will resonate from the rooftop because it is who I am. And that’s ok. I understand now what that means. This post helped me see that as well. Thanks for sharing!!! Hugs.

  5. Sue says

    Ralene, welcome here. Your awesome enthusiasm is inspiring. And your smile, in your home page photo is so beautiful, and such a beautiful invitation to lean into your knowledge and your gift.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

    Love and light,
    Sue

  6. Andrea says

    Count me as another who has missed you and your posts during your last “adventure.”

    Much of this post resonates with me… I know (hope?) that my spiritual practices & beliefs show up in all aspects of my life and as an “extreme introvert” really dislike talking about those beliefs in public. If someone is drawn to the material enough to make a personal connection and ask…. maybe. This is what feels correct for me right now.

    Welcome back.

    • Sue says

      Oh yeah, Andrea, that’s a hugely important distinction. I hope it didn’t read that I’m advocating spewing info unasked. What I meant to describe is the liberation and integration that comes from no longer feeling that I need to hide what’s true to be safe.

      Love bad gratitude,
      Sue

  7. Donna says

    Just in case there was any residual fear of sharing – with each ‘revelation’, I felt closer to you. Some of the things I knew, or had guessed…some, I had no idea…but each share made me smile, or think ‘oh, cool’. I love real authenticity, it’s so beautiful. Thank you for being the example. xxx

    • Sue says

      Donna, thank you; your words are resonating in my heart.

      Others have set the example for me, and I’m so grateful to be in a chain of setting this example for others. Woohoo!

      Love and light,
      Sue

  8. Tanja @ Conscious Introvert Success says

    “Set conditions of enoughness.”

    I found this whole post relevant and helpful, Sue, but this one recommendation really stood out for me.

    I’ve spent way too long in an all-or-nothing mindset – but I’m slowly moving away from it, and it’s doing wonders for my sense of balance (and achievement)

    Blessings

    TANJA

    • Sue says

      Tanja, I learned that concept — conditions of enoughness — from Jen Louden in one of her insightful workshops. A radical shift for me, to lower the bar to meet the exact place I am in any given moment. Liberation, yo.

      xoxox
      Sue

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