love rising

Part 2: How I Stay Organized | The Tools

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Last week I wrote about the mindset of staying organized, managing your time, making time for the things you value most, and reaching your goals. This week let’s get into the tools I use for time management, goal setting and staying organized, and next week in the final piece of the series I’ll tie it all together.

Number one tool I use all day e’rrr day is google calendar. If you want to be more organized or are confused or at a loss about how to make more time for yourself and the things you value and you don’t have a calendar system, get one stat. It will create healthy boundaries around your time, plus take a lot of the decision fatigue out of your days, so you save your precious brain power for the important stuff. I love using the digital system because then it can sync with other peoples’ calendars, people can send me invites to meetings or appointments, and I can edit it from any of my devices; so it’s always available. Key here is using it religiously; for everything.

I know this may not be for everyone, but I schedule EVERYTHING. I schedule my morning meditation practice, my workouts, my coffee dates with friends, entering all my expenses into quickbooks, and even date nights with the hubs. It doesn’t sound sexy, but it works, and it’s the only way I manage to be relatively highly productive while also never feeling like I’m “too busy.”

Now, of course sometime life happens and my schedule doesn’t go as planned, but that is the exception; not the rule.

The next tool I use the most is trello. This is a relatively new tool for me (thanks to Cass of the The Wellness Rookie for encouraging me to try it out). I used to use google sheets in a very similar way to trello, but trello is for sure more aesthetically pleasing and fun to use.

Trello works as a project management software. One key to being able to take consistent action on big, hairy projects and goals, is breaking down the big stuff into small daily tasks. If you want to write a book, you gotta write the first paragraph and the the first chapter, so it’s easier for our brains to focus on the small achievable tasks. I like to take my big goals or projects and break them down in to 2 hour tasks.

Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in a fun, flexible and rewarding way. Trello also syncs on all your devices so you can also refer back to your projects no matter you are. Again, accessibility is key to actually using it. I also love that no matter when or where inspiration strikes I can always make notes in trello so that when I’m ready to sit down and work I have all my notes and ideas in one place. This is incredibly useful for staying organized, but still tapping into inspiration which isn’t something that comes on demand.

For example, let’s say you’re committed to starting a blog and building an online following. You’ve read that putting out consistent content is a big part of attracting readers and search engine optimization. So you decide that you will spend one hour writing a blog post every Tuesday at 10am. You’ve got all sorts of ideas! But then Tuesday at 10am rolls around your mind is totally blank. Nothing seems exciting to write about. Now, if you had been keeping a list of topics every time inspiration struck you could look over that list and start writing away, Trello is a place to keep all the to-do lists and organize tasks.

We can’t talk about organization and time management without talking about how to arm yourself against the onslaught of distractions that is our daily life. You cannot be focused, responsible with your time, and intentional if you don’t have some sort of policy around email, texting, social media, etc.

The tools I use to make sure I’m not spending lots of time just scrolling or replying to emails are called “screen time” on my phone and “stay focused” on the computer.

Screen time is a feature available on all iPhones. This feature allows you to set time limits for certain applications. So, for example, I set a 30 min time limit for facebook and instagram so once my 30 min is up for the day the app itself is blocked off. Stay focused works the same way for websites on your browser. You can get similar programs for android phones as well.

These are the main “tools” I use for intentional time management and organization.

Next week I’ll be back with Part 3: How I Stay Organized | Life Design.

Non-Toxic Living

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If you saw my recent posts on social media you know I’ve deemed the month of May “non-toxic living” month. On instagram (@revolutionarylifestyle) and in my free facebook group (Self Love Community) I’ve been posting daily videos on how to detox your life and why you’d want to. All these tips are real life, practical things that I actually do. I’m also doing a pretty kick ass giveaway (free stuff!). Get all the details and follow along via facebook or instagram

 

Today on the blog I want to talk about non-toxic living and self love. We tend to separate the physical from the mental/emotional and separate the mental/emotional from the spiritual, but if you read my stuff, you know it’s kind of my thing to address all four of these aspects at the same time. I truly believe we can’t really talk about physical health without addressing mental and emotional health, and we can’t talk about mental and emotional health without talking about spiritual health. 

So what would using non toxic cleaning products have to do with our spiritual health, you wonder? 

Well… everything. 

 

We are incredibly intricate and unfathomably complicated beings. The way our cells function is affected by the vibrational environment our bodies are currently in. As I wrote about last week, we are not victims of our energetic environment, but we can take responsibility for giving our cells the easiest time of it. We also must understand that we are inextricably linked to the Earth and when we hurt or endanger the Earth we also hurt and endanger ourselves. 

When we shift into the paradigm of self-love we start to care deeply about what we put inside our bodies, what we put on the outside of our bodies, what we surround ourselves with, and the health of our precious Earth. The difference between selfishness and self-love is vast, and one of the most notable differences, is the fact that self-love has no limits and expands to include the entire Earth, whereas selfishness and materialism is limited and tends to hurt the Earth.  And this is how living a non toxic lifestyle, taking our own health into our hands, respecting the Earth, and self-love all tie together. 

 

There are variations when it comes to toxicity, as with all things. For example, red dye #40 is a known carcinogen and petroleum based substance, but 15 million pounds of it are used each year in our food. This is something we know for sure we should all be avoiding. But then there are things like artificial flavorings that can be perfectly harmless or toxic depending on what they are made from. Europe has banned 1,300 cosmetic chemicals and the US has banned 11. So there’s all sorts of opinions. There are variations in toxicity and we all have the responsibility to take on this process of learning about toxins and decide what we, at our particular phase of life and capacity, can prioritize. Choose your battles wisely. 

 

But.. a quote that I come back to again and again is, “How we do one thing is how we do all things.” 

I know that this quote can sound unfair, or unrealistic, but it can also be a relieving and simplifying idea to build your life around. 

When I allow my food to be toxic, my thoughts will become toxic, my emotions and my spiritual connection will be blocked. So why don’t I choose to leave out toxicity and focus on natural, whole, from the Earth, for the Earth, food (aka organic). Why don’t I decide to not support companies that make toxic cosmetic products and harm my mother Earth and create my own facial oils from certified pure therapeutic grade oils or buy products from companies that have similar values as me? Why don’t I buy the biodegradable, fragrance-free laundry and dishwashing soap so that there isn’t a disconnect between the way I treat my body and the way I treat the Earth? 

These are really small, little shifts, and in the grand scheme of things they may not make all that much of a difference when we talk about global impact. But how you do one thing is how you do all things, and when you treat your body well, you start to see your mental capacity for goodness expand. When your mental capacity for goodness expands, your emotions lighten up, and your purpose becomes more and more clear. 

So let’s all get on board with this non-toxic living month and start to detoxify our bodies, our minds, our feelings, and our spiritual connection. 

If you’re with me, comment below, join the facebook group, or follow along on instagram. Can’t wait to hear from you. 

Surrender and Ease: the Key to True Success

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Success and fulfillment are different, but they both require surrender. 

When we think of success we normally think of material things; a nice car, a big house, money, vacations, etc. But, when we think about fulfillment we normally think of something deeper. A job well done. A purpose met. A connection. Fulfillment is spiritual, where as success is more material. 

When we talk about either success or fulfillment we tend to refer to our profession or career. A career can definitely create success, but it also can bring a lot of fulfillment or un-fulfillment.

A lot of times when we talk about the success of our business ventures or careers, our health and wellness, or the fulfillment of our life's purpose we talk about all the “hard work” involved; all the struggle and pain we've had to endure or the time we had to “put in” to be where we are now. 

But right here; right now, I’m going to totally and completely disagree with this notion of necessary struggle; because in my life; I’ve always had the biggest breakthroughs, the most success and fulfillment when I let go; when I surrender. When I let things align. When I stop “trying” so damn hard all the time.

On some level we all tend to believe we don’t deserve good things to happen to us; that we need to or should be required to work super hard for all we desire.

But the truth is; the moment we focus on aligning with what feels good and let the rest go; is when true fulfillment happens.

THAT is when life gets good. 

You are good enough to have all you want.

You are deserving of all your desires.

You have permission to want what you want.

But don’t let the fact that you might not have it all right now make you play the victim.

The truth is you already have it all anyway. The truth is your true success and all the fulfillment you're looking for is already in your own heart. You've just got to re-member it. 

So I’m going to go totally against the grain and say that you will find true success and fulfillment when you let things be EASY.

When you find pleasure and joy in the work; not by banging your head against a wall and hustling until you squeeze the life out of your adrenals.

Life is meant to be fun, wild, and enjoyable.

Your work is your purpose; and that comes easily.

Stop the resistance. Make the choice. Stretch your heart open to fit whatever is happening inside of it.

Your only job is to breathe into whatever is happening right now; and appreciate it.

I’m with you.

The Importance of Pleasure (and the truth behind sugar cravings)

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Ever since the Love Rising podcast episode with Carli Jo  (listen to it here) I have been thinking a lot about pleasure and what it means, how I get it and why so many of us women struggle to experience and value it. 

I am not necessarily talking about sexual pleasure, although I'm also not not talking about sexual pleasure. The way we do one thing is the way we do all things. But for all intents and purposes we can just say we're talking about pleasure in a general sense. How much do we ENJOY our lives? Do we take pleasure in waking up? Going to sleep? In eating our food? In our body's movement? In playing with kids or pups? 

It's so funny how when something "pings" me, as the subject of pleasure did in our podcast conversation, it starts to show up everywhere. It's kind of like how you hear a word you've never heard before once and then you hear it everywhere. One of the lessons I've learned in the last couple years is to pay attention to these synchronicities as they normally lead me to healing breakthroughs or realizations. So.. as this synchronicity would have it, in my therapy appointment today, pleasure came up.

Without getting into too much detail, my therapist actually asked me, “where do you experience pleasure in your daily life?” 

And I stalled. 

I was left searching for a bit. 

When I did answer I said, "In yoga: when my breath, body, and mind, are all aligned." Once I can get my monkey mind to calm down and connect into the breath, yoga is a place that I consistently experience pleasure. There is a flowing grace that comes when you are internally present and aware of your body. There aren’t any stories going on in my mind; no threat of my phone buzzing or my computer dinging. When I know I am contained by the mat, the room, and the hour of time to just move and breathe and connect.

I am someone who takes the idea of pleasure pretty seriously already. This isn't the first time I've explored pleasure or flow. I've been wrapped up in that go, go, go lifestyle before and I know no matter what kind of success or astronomical levels of productivity you reach, if you're not enjoying it; it doesn't matter. So the fact that I have been so disconnected from my own pleasure lately is a little alarming and a great wake up call for me to tap back in to enjoying my daily life. Letting go of the masculine pushing/doing energy yet again and flow into that open receiving energy a little bit more. 

One thing that happens when I get pulled into that productivity equals worthiness mindset is that I start to crave sweets. And this totally makes sense. 

When we have a pleasure deficit in our lives we'll try to make up for it with quick shots of "junk" pleasure. Sugar, junk food, drinking alcohol, binge watching TV, etc, all these things give us the guise of pleasure and "taste" good at first, but leave us feeling disconnected and unfulfilled. Because what we really want is deep, juicy, wholesome pleasure. The pleasure that comes in ordinary moments of presence. The pleasure that comes from using all five of our senses in the present moment. 

I know that when I start to crave sweets or fall into my personal pattern of emotional eating.. I don't need more discipline. I don't need more "willpower", I actually need more slow, flowing, pleasure in my life. I need to turn inwards and notice the ecstatic pleasure of breathing, eating, BEING. 

If you find yourself always wanting ‘something sweet’ after dinner or having urges to go out and “let loose”, or just feeling generally ornery or lacking in enjoyment in life, in sex, in work; in everything; my invitation to you (and myself) is to go find something in everyday life that brings you pleasure and do it as much as you can. Try to find as much pleasure as possible in everyday moments. 

Find pleasure in savoring your coffee. Find pleasure in walking your dog. Find pleasure in driving to work. Find pleasure in eating your lunch. Find pleasure in the sun shine. 

Let’s all commit to more pleasure in our daily lives and I bet we’ll see some miraculous changes in our health and the health of the world.

5 Self-Care Practices That Are Working For Me Right Now

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I've been feeling pretty dang good, so good that I thought I would share my nonnegotiable self-care practices that are working for me right now, because I feel like I'm on to something... ; ) 


1. Drinking warm lemon water with a pinch of sea salt right when I wake up


This is an oldie, but a goodie.

It is my go-to advice. If you're a client of mine, I know you've heard this. If you're a friend of mine, I know you've heard this. If you're anyone that has ever stood near me, you've probably hear this... 

Here's why... 
There are four pillars of physical health in my mind: 

  1. Hydration 
  2. Sleep 
  3. nutritious food 
  4. Stress management 

We live in the real world though and it’s not very likely that you’re going to be able to do all of these perfectly all of them time. 

But when we have these four pillars in mind we can make sure we focus on what we can, when one isn't doable. 

This means, that when I know I’m going to be extra stressed or not going to be able to get as much sleep as I know would be best for me, I’ll up the hydration and I’ll up the nutritious food. Or when I’m traveling and I know I won’t be able to eat as well as normal, I’ll make sure I’m doing my stress management and drinking lots of water. 


Starting your day off with a large glass of water is one way to make sure you’re always getting a head start on the hydration. If you do the added lemon (I do the juice from half a lemon) then it helps with detox as well as kick starts your digestion. If you do the warm water, it just makes it a little easier for your body to absorb. Drink the water before coffee and you’re golden. 


2. Writing down 3 things I’m grateful for every day


Gratitude is literally the antidote to almost everything. 

If we can bring ourselves back to gratitude for what we have, we keep our vibe high and our minds focused on all the good things in our lives. If you read my stuff, you know that I’m all for accepting and loving those “negative” emotions, but dwelling on the bad in your life never made anyone feel good. 

Gratitude sets you free. 

Makes you feel good. 

Even in the most trying situations. 


I have a special little notebook I carry around with me and every morning I start my day by writing down 3 things I’m grateful for. 

Sometimes it’s as simple as, “I am grateful for my pillow,” and other days it’s bigger, “I’m grateful for my purpose.” 

The other awesome side effect of actually writing them down and making a habit of writing them down, is that throughout your day you’re looking for things to be grateful for and this keeps your thoughts and mind expecting the best. 
You’re asking yourself throughout the day, “What can I be grateful for today?”

Magic. 



3. Dancing every evening. (hey! Dancing DEFINITELY counts as self-care) 


This is something that is relatively new and seems kind of comical to actually have on my “to do” list. But here’s why I made it a nonnegotiable. 

First off, we all need more fun and play in our lives and dancing is freaking fun for me. It ALWAYS cheers me up. 

The second reason for my new dancing obsession is that I found I was getting really stuck in my head all day. All our professional work these days is very mental, cerebral, and that can make us disregard our bodies which leads to feelings of distraction, spacey-ness, feelings of disconnection and a decrease in our ability to be aroused and have sexual desire.


Dancing gives me that playful feeling and allows me to connect back into my body, allowing me to be more sexual, sensual and experience more pleasure. All good things! 



4. Check-Ins on the New Moon and on the Full Moon


I love the idea of cycles. 

We are cyclical beings. Especially as women. 

We need to remember that there is a time for planning; a time for resting and recuperating; and a time for doing.

 Our society tends to be very productivity and “doing” oriented and it’s not serving us well. People are stressed out, experiencing high levels of depression and anxiety, dis-ease. 

Connecting into our cyclical nature allows us to connect back in to nature, cycles, and gives us permission and regular intervals to reevaluate and take inventory and tap into what we need. 

The new moon ritual or check in is based around planting new seeds and intentions for the moon cycle to come. It’s a time for setting goals, getting clear about what I want, and how I am going to get it. 

The full moon ritual or check in is based around evaluation and shedding what doesn’t serve. It’s a time to be honest with ourselves about what is and isn’t working and create the space to allow what is not working to fall away and make space for something new. 

These new moon and full moon “rituals” typically are just an hour or so in the evening of the day of new moon and the day of the full moon.

It goes like this: My husband and I gather, put on some nice relaxing music, light a candle and a bundle of sage, and go through our check-in worksheets (linked below). 

We simply discuss and share what we wrote. Nothing more than that. 

This has also had a great unexpected side effect of providing time for my husband and I to connect on the state of our relationship and communicate on deeper levels than we’re normally prompted to do in every day life.

Life can get so “go, go, go” that a month can easily go by without us checking in with our families and our loved ones. These rituals have allowed us to carve out that time to check in with ourselves and each other. Priceless. 

Download my New Moon and Full Moon Ritual worksheets here


5. Using Essential Oils throughout the day


So essential oils are becoming a deep, deep love of mine, and you'll definitely be hearing a lot more about them. 

They have the ability to change your mood in an instant. They have the ability to change the entire feel of a room. 


I’ve started using them throughout my day in so many ways and they’ve literally changed so much about how I experience frustration, exhaustion, food cravings, mediation, sickness.. the list goes on. 

To keep it as brief as possible, here’s my typical daily essential oils routine: 

  • wake up, put water in the diffuser with wild orange and peppermint (hello bright shiny morning vibes!) 
  • during my morning meditation practice I’ll use rose, jasmine, or frankincense to ground me and clear my chakras. 
  • Apply the hormone balancing Clary Calm blend to my lower abdomen to keep hormones balanced and healthy throughout stressful days. 
  • Use passion blend throughout the workday when I’m feeling uninspired or sluggish. 
  • Diffuse balance, serenity, citrus bliss, elevation blend (all sorts! I can’t really say exactly what I use) throughout the day in my office to keep me feeling like I’m in a spa… ; ) 
  • Use on guard when I’m sick, imortelle on my face for anti-aging benefits, rosemary in my shampoo, deep blue with sore muscles, breathe when I do yoga.. Ok this is just crazy, but you get the point. It’s ALL THE TIME.
  • 30 min before bed I always start the bedroom diffuser with something relaxing like lavender and cedar wood or roman chamomile. 


**Interested in getting some medicinal grade essential oils? I am an essential oils educator and wellness advocate with doTERRA essential oils and would love to chat with you about how to use oils to address areas of your life where you need some self-care. Email me at revolutionaryhelpdesk@gmail.com to schedule a phone call. 

Ok, so those are 5 self-care practices that are working for me right now...

Now let me know, what's working for you? 

It's All Connected

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“It’s all connected. Your gifts, your circumstances, your imperfections, your destiny, your journey. It’s molding you. Embrace it.” 

I read this quote yesterday and it was one of those ah-ha moments. These moments sometimes hit me like a ton of bricks. Like someone’s been trying to explain something to me, and I’m kind of getting it, but then it all falls into place, and I see the tunnel of light leading me out of the darkness. 

You know what I mean? 

This clarity seems likes it’s never more than a split second, a little flash of Truth. Your head coming up for air, and looking around, and realizing that you thought you were drowning but you’ve actually been choosing to swim under water. 

But then, you dunk right back under and start the struggle again. Ah..so is life. The problem is, we’ve got so much momentum built up around our suffering, our struggles, our story, and staying in our heads. This momentum keeps doing things we know don’t work, just because we’ve done them before. Keeps us stuck, in a rut, spinning our wheels with the same beliefs and expectations for ourselves, because it’s “known”. 

However, these flashes of clarity, more and more leave me with a resonance. Even when I’m back under water, drowning in all the to dos, the need to’s, the plans, the expectations, I have this trace of remembrance, like something right on the tip of my tongue. A remembering that life can be sweet, simple, easy, and beautiful. A knowing that all is well and right. 

This quote gave me that flash of “I’ve got it!” 

An, “Oh my god!” moment. All of this struggle, all of this doubt, all of this uncertainty, it’s all part of IT. It’s sharpening my knife of capability. It’s strengthening my resolve. It’s molding me into who I need to be to be the best life-player I can be. 

How cool is that? That I can see all the challenges I’m being presented with in my life as opportunities to hone my skills. And trust that it is all happening FOR me and not TO me. How cool is it that we all get the choice to see our challenges this way, if we choose to. 

Another mantra I’ve been repeating to myself lately is, “My circumstances are not who I am, they are where I am.” Circumstances can change in an instant. The fact that you are 30 years old, living with your parents and jobless, does not make you a worse person than your friend who is the same age and makes six figures has designer furniture and a laberdoodle. 

Our circumstances do not define us. The help us. They lead us towards the lessons we need to learn to be the best possible us we can be. 

I know, I know, this might sound totally cheesy, but I’m writing this as much for myself as all of you. When we look at the hardships in our lives as stepping stones, leading us home, we can come up for air more often. 

We can bask in the luminosity of divine guidance and presence.

We can have trust and faith that we can choose to see this moment as an opportunity to come home. 

To remember our innate worthiness. 

To lighten-up. 

To get out of our head and back into our precious bodies. 

So, for anyone out there struggling to make sense of things, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, or to take care of themselves, remember: 

“It’s all connected. Your gifts, your circumstances, your imperfections, your destiny, your journey. It’s molding you. Embrace it.” 

The Difference Between Selfishness & Self-Love

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This week I had an email exchange with a client of mine that I worked with back in the “old days” when I was just offering nutrition advice and food-as-medicine coaching. She had reached out to send me a little Christmas update on her health and life, but also to see how my travels were going. 

(I LOVE my clients, they are seriously the best). 

In this email she wrote, “How is the theme for your book starting to take shape? I hope that it has something to do with foods, cultures, and/or longevity of life in certain environments.  I would be disappointed in a self-love book though since I have to say that I try to keep myself focused on doing for others. Getting all wrapped up in myself is never good for me.“ 

I’m not sure everyone knows this, but my book is absolutely about self-love practice. I did for awhile think I was going to write a type of cookbook, but as my own healing and thoughts progressed I shifted my perspective. I have consistently experienced that healing isn’t as much about food as it is about our attitude toward life. Having a heavy dose of self-respect and compassion as an aspect of that attitude is the MOST important part of True Healing. 

That being said, I think there is an idea (although I believe this idea is dying out) that self-love and selfishness are the same thing. There could be nothing further from the truth. Through this email exchange, however, I’ve realized I need to address the difference between these two concepts clearly and concisely if I’m going to continue to proselytize Self-Love. 

So here are the definitions of “selfishness” and “Self-Love”, as defined by google. 

Selfishness: (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.

Self-Love: regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

Ok, those give us some idea of the difference, but let me tease them out a bit. 

My belief, is that true Self-Love is a form of Universal Love. It’s tapping into that Love that is bigger and broader than anything we can imagine and allowing ourselves to be a conduit for that Love. I believe that we can never truly serve others unless we live from a place of an overflowing heart. We will never be in a state of overflow if our focus is outwards all the time. All outward energy and no inward energy makes us tends towards people-pleasing, indulging, lack of boundaries, and general disharmony within ourselves. 

Self-Love isn't getting wrapped up in ourselves, our “problems” or our egoic achievements, this is what I would call “selfishness.” Developing Self-Love means developing an unconditional love for ourselves so that we see, each moment, that we are a divine and holy channel for a Bigger Love. 

If we live our lives thinking that we don’t deserve our own Love, we are denying that we are Divine Love and we restrict our ability to channel it. By looking only outward for opportunities to “serve” and denying our opportunity to serve our Highest Self, we constrict the channel within us that brings Divine Love to the world through us

When we run ourselves ragged, and live from a place of lack and overwhelm, we will never be able to feel completely WHOLE and HOLY. I’ve seen it over and over again with my clients and very dramatically in myself, that when we focus on loving ourselves unconditionally, we heal ourselves AND the others around us, without effort. I'm being healed by offering these perspectives into the world, and in this way, my Self-Love, is feeding Bigger Love. 

 

How to be a Grown Ass Woman

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One of my friends said to me this week, "I feel like our world is in dire need of more grown ass people."

And it got me thinking... 

I would define a "grown ass person" as follows: 
People who say what they mean. People who take real responsibility for their actions, words and the effects those actions and words have on others. Not from a place is self-defacement or berating themselves for screwing up if they do, but from a genuine desire to grow and develop and expand themselves. 

Like a real grown up. 

I'm a firm believer in treating people as if they are mature, grown-ups who, when given the correct information, can weigh the pros and cons of any certain situation, and make their own educated decisions. 

I always choose mutual respect as my default baseline interaction with anyone I come in contact with. If someone shows me that they don't reciprocate this mutual respect I can always adjust my behavior accordingly, but, for me, it always seems to work out better to give people the 'adult benefit of the doubt.'

I barely ever have experiences with bad or rude customer service. 

It's rare for me to have someone road-rage at me. 

I sign up pretty much every potential coaching client I get on a phone call with that I would like to work with.

And my track record for friendly and lovely conversations with strangers is pretty much 100%. 

I would say most the people I encounter in my life, are decent, grown-ups. 


The expectations we go into an interaction with another person with determine a huge portion of what we get in return. If we expect people to be stupid, difficult, and mean, they will most likely be that. If we expect people to hate us and treat us like shit, they probably will. 

But... the same goes for the opposite. 
If we’re honest, real and vulnerable, people will most likely be honest, real and vulnerable with us.
If we respect people and their ability to make your own choices, they will do the same for us.
If I pay my bills right away, it’s more likely my clients will pay their invoices right away.

There is a certain reciprocity that happens in every element of interaction with another person; en energetic exchange that people read off you and mirror back to you.

I think sometimes we associate being an “adult” with chronological age like somehow we just become an adult as a result of an accumulation of years. But to really “grow up” we have to fully participate in the process of learning, dealing with consequences of our actions, learning about ourselves, deciding what we value and how we want to show up, and then actually acting on those values.


I want to live in a world where the people around me act like grown ass humans, who know who they are and what they want, and make trade-offs for upholding those values. And as I let this belief and expectation be seen, I will get more of exactly that.

I am not blind. I know there is a lot of childish rhetoric going around in the media, news, and the general conversation, but I truly believe that we have to start expecting more of people. We have fallen into the expectation that people will be polarizing, combative, and unreasonable. But the truth is, we have great abilities, in ourselves, to change this, and seeing and treating other people like grown-ups is a big part of making this shift to a more reasonable world.


So let’s all treat each other with love and like the autonomous, sovereign beings, we are. Let's expect people to handle themselves gracefully and fairly, and see what happens.

The Healing Power of Anger

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As a lot of women and men out there this week I’m sure, I’ve been thinking a lot about the #metoo phenomenon. The sheer amount of social media posts from friends, family members, online influencers, etc who have posted this message of solidarity against the objectification of women, doesn’t exactly surprise me but it has definitely required me to sit with some unpleasant emotions of sadness, outrage, hopelessness and anger. 

When our world is swept up into a movement like this there are always so many voices, wise and unwise, true and untrue, so many subtleties that go unaddressed or are spoken about to the point nonsense. I would never want to assume I understand or know more than I do about the uniqueness of every woman’s deeply personal experience of degradation or injustice. 

But, there are some things I do know for sure: I know that I have personally, on many levels, been harassed, exploited, and used by men. I know that I feel and carry with me the unspeakable wounds inflicted on my precious body and my sisters’ bodies and minds every day consciously and unconsciously. I know that when we humans hurt each other we are not just hurting the other person, we are hurting ourselves. We cannot give without receiving, and we cannot hurt without being hurt. I know that women have been raped, abused and mistreated for lifetimes and that this weighs on each and every one of our souls. 

I also know that to truly heal we must brave the sea of despair. We must look at the Truth of the abuse square in the face, and step into the darkness beyond it. That is why, I know for sure that outrage is part of the healing process. I know that for us to truly heal, as a society and as individuals, we must allow the cleansing power of our anger to wash over us, and give us the inner light to navigate the unknown territory of forgiveness. 

Anger reminds us of the Truth of our worth. To recover from being violated, personally and collectively, we must use the alchemical fire of anger to transform the hurt and pain into power. We use anger to realize and take action towards reclaiming our power, without apology. It gives us the power to sail on that sea of hopeless and trust that there is another shore, a better shore. If you feel sad, shocked, abused, mistreated, properly channeled outrage is the power that moves you through. 

As Bethany Webster said so perfectly: “Do what so few dare to do: Give your anger a safe, empathic space to be fully, completely felt.  Harness it, listen to it. Anger has so many gifts. Not indiscriminate, projected anger, but the energy of outrage, felt and placed where it truly belongs. Collective female outrage is a nectar that this world needs.” 

So be brave. Feel the anger. This is what healing feels like. 

What to Do When You Feel Out of Control

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I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’m feeling a little lost, a little out of control. I've been traveling for so long and now that I've finally got a significant amount of time in one place everything feels like it's going slow motion. Personally, there's been a slowing down. A refocusing. It's the feeling of a season change. Turning inward. It's melancholy, in a comforting way. 

In the greater world, there are so many things happening right now that feel out of control too. The flooding in Texas and the path of hurricane Irma. The earthquake centered in Mexico, of which the aftershocks woke me up in my bed in Guatemala last night (the date I’m writing this is 9/8/2017, just in case you're reading this later). The last two weeks I was visiting family in Montana and the wild fires left my clothes and hair smelling like a campfire for days. The smoke burning my lungs and darkening the sky.

To say all this in a way that lacks description but also encompasses the entirety I'm feeling is: It's a lot. A very easy time to fall into fear and depression. And when we feel like this, lost, overwhelmed and hopeless it can be really easy and comfortable to fall into the known mindsets of worry, scarcity, distrust, and lack. 

But, I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to live a life from the other side of those constricting thought patterns.

I live a life that leaves room for the melancholy, hopelessness, and sadness but isn’t defined by them. I made a decision to be a person who Trusts. Even when it feels like I’m floating off into space without any anchor, I Trust that it’s what I need. To feel alone. To feel sad. All feelings are gifts, little guides, brining me home. 

Even when I feel like I’m spinning out of control, I am committed to releasing my grip even further, because who says spinning is bad anyway? Self-love is allowing the feelings, no judgment because we respect ourselves enough to know have feelings for a reason, to guide us towards what we need.  

I want to live in a world where qualities like trust, acceptance, joy, space, allowance, are the default. Where challenges are seen as learning experiences that sharpen our minds, strengthen our characters, and stretch our hearts. Where we see difficult emotions as a sign that we need to do the difficult work of slowing down, turning inward, and giving ourselves space. And how to do we make changes in the world? We “be the change we would like to see,” as Ghandi says.  

So in the midst of a challenge of feeling out of control, let’s not harden our shells, or tighten our grip, but let the change come. Let’s focus on what we CAN do, not what feels impossible. Let’s focus on what is being washed away and let go. Let’s realize that for all new seeds to germinate and bloom there must a period of sowing. 

So let the change come. 

Let the falling away happen. 

Hold the change that's happening like a delicate flower in the palm of your hand, with tenderness, with respect, with love, until it's ready to be released. 

You are always more than enough. I believe you. You can let whatever difficult change is happening to you right now, happen. You can let the world hold you. Soften into it. Blur around the edges. Be swept away. 

As we meet our challenges with love, allowance, and tenderness, we meet ourselves with the same qualities, and self-love changes our lives and we change the world. 

Body Love Realization

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All the rules are off. 

No more required kale. 

No more required vitamins. 

No more guilt because I didn’t exercise. 

No more obsessive thoughts about ‘needing’ yoga each day. 

No more lists in my phone about my new commitments (that only make me feel bad the next day when I fail to follow through)

No more rules about the way my body should fit into denim, spandex, and cloth

No more worrying about the fact that my skin isn’t flawlessly smooth

No more hiding my tears when they start to flow in public (or in private)

No more shame around the size of my arms 

No more looking at my face and wishing it was more symmetrical 

No more looking at my lips and wishing they were more full

No more not wearing bright colored yoga pants because my cellulite might show  

No more denying who I am right now

I am finally ready to give into the pull 

To get lost in the depths of my soul 

How can I go deeper? 

My heart has been whispering me secrets for so long,

leading me along so lovingly; so gently. 

How could I have not heard? 

How could I have not listened? 

Us humans are funny beings 

Heads down.

Obsessively involved in the upkeep of our own suffering

But the voice telling us to look up is there; always 

Softly reminding us with the joy bubbling up inside, if we would only pay attention NOW

Where is joy trying to bubble up? 

It calls our attention, humbly, with flowers blooming, with sun shining, with grasses waving, with arms outreaching, with rain falling, with dogs wagging their tails at us, with laughter 

The under current of magic and mystery that pervades every moment. Every thing. 

This voice lets me know that there has been no mistake. 

There is nothing to be done, to be accomplished, to be gotten 

There is nothing I need to do to be more me. 

I am me. 

What a blessing. 

How to Use the Eclipse for Your Own Good

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Have you been feeling that eclipse energy? 

Maybe you’ve been feeling a little on edge? A little more emotional than normal?

A solar eclipse creates pressure. Necessary pressure, in our inner life as well as in outer society. A pressure that births new beginnings and change. This same pressure, pushes up old patterns, beliefs and sometimes, ugliness to the surface, to be healed and let go of. 

As Sonia and Sabrina Choquette say, ““A solar eclipse creates pressure to our inner and outer worlds. Scientifically, the solar eclipse creates a higher atmospheric pressure called the Atlas’s Effect. Pendulums behave differently as our air pressure is slightly elevated. Historically a solar eclipse has had a profound emotional and psychological effects on human beings. Astrologically speaking, a solar eclipse energy will trigger many of our subconscious fears as it awakens our souls' growth.” 

Yesterday (8/17/2017) I was feeling kind of off. The only way I can describe it was it felt like I was kind of humming inside my body. Nothing that would stop me from going about my daily routine, but a slight humming. Kind of how you feel after chanting, or a deep meditation or an awesome yoga class. 

I’ve had this feeling before. It’s a familiar kind of ‘off’, and pretty enjoyable really, but it is normally accompanied by something unpleasant or a period of forced introspection. I’ve come to view this humming feeling as an invitation to accept a “leveling up.” It’s the way my body lets me know, “OK. We’re going to rework some things, and it’s might have to get real.”I guess I think of it as my physical form is being invited into or to use a new frequency, a higher vibration. 

And today (8/18/2017)… I am sick. It's a shaky, achy, headache-y, kind of sickness. My whole body hurts and it is definitely making me stop my daily routine. I’m writing this in bed while lying down. It feels like being dizzy or carsick. Almost like this new frequency, I’m being invited into is giving me motion sickness. 

If this idea of “frequency” and “vibration” is new to you, I know this might sound kind of cray-cray. In the words of my husband, “Personally, I don’t connect with the idea that a solar eclipse has anything to do with someone feeling sick.” (do you see what he did there? He’s such a good communicator : ) ). 

That’s OK. I understand that sometimes these things are beyond the realm of understanding and/or belief for some people, but my point with this story is that we can use the extra pressure in our atmosphere and inner worlds for positive change if we chose to. Freedom is in the choice. This energy, pressure, event can give us a little extra push to make the choice to let go. To heal. To release. To change. 

Maybe you are super tuned into this high-pressure energetic time and you’ve got your sage bundles, crystals, journaled intentions, essential oils and meditation cushion all ready for the eclipse. Or maybe you have entirely different ways to celebrate it. Cool. It’s all good. 

Either way, right now, I invite you to get a little introspective about the last few weeks. Have you felt more intense than normal? Maybe sad, upset, angry, frustrated, sick? There have been some outrageous and ugly things happening in the world, but these horrendous acts have also been met with a huge upheaval of kindness, love, and life-affirming action. Have you been swept up in that? Do you feel the intensity? 

So what do we do with this intensity? This extra emotional charge? 

We hear the invitation to slow down. We start or restart our meditation/contemplative practice, or add a few more minutes on each day or second meditation. We hear the invitation to check in with our internal world and make sure that we’re on a path that brings us joy. We allow the feelings to come up without judgment so that they may be processed and let go. If we get sick we see the message in the sickness, “Slow down. Take care of yourself. Rest.” Maybe we go to a special yoga class. 

You may find that it’s more likely for you to have deep conversations with people during this pressed time. We can open ourselves up to totally new and previously unimaginable solutions to problems. We break down some of the self-imposed conditions and experience fuller and more complete joy. 

I invite you to use this extra energy in the cosmos and in you to “level up.” To experience greater and greater clarity. To allow the time and space that it takes to rearrange your inner world with the knowledge that when we’re open to healing our inner world, we heal our outer world as well. Send your roots down deep, so that you can rise up strong. It may be a bumpy ride. But, this is what healing looks like. 

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter To Anyone Who Feels "Not Enough"

I got a message from a tribe member of mine recently talking about how she was just so tired of hating her body, of that feeling of guilt every time she ate. She was so tired of constantly thinking she should be working out more, or less, or differently. She was tired of not feeling comfortable in her own skin. In it, she said how she knew, deep down, that she shouldn't feel this way, that there had to be a better way, but it seemed just out of reach. It came up over and over again just how exhausted she was with it all. How incredibly draining it all is. The constant worrying. The constant needing to be different. The constant anxiety around who she is. 

Women who are struggling with this exact issue are who I am talking to every time I write a post for social media. They are who I am thinking of every time I write a blog post. The constant aching that results from worrying so fucking much about what other people think about us is what I hope my words can be a soothing balm for. 

So… in the interest of extending hope, I thought I’d write a letter to anyone who feels this way. To anyone is feeling beyond exhausted by the incessant pull to be different than they are, the never-ending compulsion to do more, know more, be more: this letter is for you. 

I hope it lets you breathe a little bit deeper. 
I hope it reignites something that has been buried in the embers of your soul. 
I hope it brings you comfort. 
I hope it acts as a tonic for the part of you that’s been sick. 

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Dear powerful, amazing, incredible woman, 

I know you’re more than tired. 
I know you’re hurting. 
I know it seems like this grind of needing more things, smaller or more muscular thighs, a more toned stomach or arms, a straighter nose, bigger lips, more “will power”, and on and on, will never end. 

I have been there. 
I know exactly what that feels like. 
My bones are still vibrating with the reverberations of that frequency of compulsiveness. 
My eyes recognize your struggle. 
My ears hear to your pain. 
My heart hurts with yours. 

But… 

I’ve also seen the Light. 
I’ve seen the Truth. 

And the Truth is that you are worthy beyond your WILDEST DREAMS. 
The Truth is that you are Pure Love. 
The Truth is that this form, this body you so intensely think makes you unworthy is simply and beautifully the thought of Love in form. 
It’s the content of these heartbreakingly lovely forms (our bodies) that matter. 
This body, this form, that brings us so much strife, is an incredible and incomprehensibly intelligent communication device. 

I have been in the depths of perceived unworthiness
I have been in the space that feels like the self-loathing could never turn into self-love
And I am grateful for it
Because finally, it broke me open
I finally cracked and when I did, the pathway to the Light was opened. 

You won’t always look at your body and think, “You are so fucking sexy!” 
That’s not the point. 
But, you can get to a place where you look at your body and feel nothing but awe and gratitude. 
The self-negating Voice in your head won’t totally disappear or be replaced by only nice words. 
That’s also not the point. 
But, you can get to a place where that voice has no power. 
As one of my clients said, “The Voice is like a drunk bum on the street, yelling obscenities at you. You would never take what he says seriously. You know he’s mentally ill and belligerently drunk.” 


In other words, you can get to place where Love is what dwells in authority in your life, not Fear. 
You can get to a place where you have such a solid base of self-respect and self-compassion that nothing could ever topple you. 
Nothing could ever take away your own authority, your sovereignty, your self-respect. 
Not men. 
Not mean comments. 
Not food. 
Not exercise or lack of exercise. 
Not money. 
Not online comments. 
Not even a whole society that’s revolved around making you think you need to be smaller or need more or different things to be loved. 
When you re-member the love that lives inside of you, you are uncrushable, unshakable, unbreakable. 

The not-so-secret-secret is that this power to return to Love is already inside of you. 
You only have to re-member it. 

Don't ever forget that I am right there with you. 

Only Love, 

Clara


If this resonates with you and you are ready to re-member that Love inside of you, come join me in a journey back to yourself, a journey back home: an awakening of Love's authority. Revolutionize Your Life: twenty-one weeks to Self Love, is an online course I have birthed after taking the lessons learned from my deeply personal journey of healing and recreating and systematizing that process for hundreds of one on one clients. This online program is literally a twenty-one week journey back to yourself, to awaken that inner self-respect that is unshakeable.

How to Love Yourself When You Don't Deserve It

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This is something that I don't really want to share, but I am sharing it anyway because I think it's of utmost importance for me to be real. For me to be honest, even about things that make me look like I don't have it together (secret: I don't! Never have.)

I've also been thinking along the lines the Rumi quote, "Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious." And Danielle LaPorte's quote, "Risk being very, very misunderstood." 

I don't want for people to see my dark side. I don't want people to think I've done wrong. It's not safe. It's not reputable.

But... 

I think it's important that people see the way that life brings me to my knees (because we're probably on our knees together) as well as to see how (when we choose to see it that way) Life hands us opportunities over and over again to bring love where there was no love before, sometimes in the most painful ways. 

I'm hoping some will relate to this and find some comfort, and that's why it's worth being vulnerable, open and honest. 

As I wrote this it also felt so incredibly healing for me. Like a weight being lifted. So I also write and share this for me. Because I don't want to cover up. I don't want to lie. I want my inner world to line up with my outer world even if that means destroying my reputation a little bit. 

"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it could look like complete destruction." - Cynthia Occelli 

I messed up pretty bad recently. 

It hurt people. People I know and people I don't know. 

It made me look like a phony. It made me look like I don't stand strong in what I preach. 

It feels awful. 

There are parts of me that want to crawl into a hole. 

This isn't the first time something like this has happened in my life. I've lied. I've cheated. I've hurt people. 

Sometimes we do things that our higher selves would never, ever do.

Now, the question is always: why?

Why do we do things we know are wrong?

Why would we semi-knowingly do something we know has the potential to hurt a person/people?

In the case of my recent experience, I did it because I didn't take the time to stop and feel. Looking back on it, it was really an act of desperation. I got caught up in the deluded story of egoic ambition, 'lack' of time and just straight up carelessness. It felt wrong the whole time but I couldn't be bothered to notice that feeling. I had stuff that needed to get done! So I got it done. 

When we ignore our gut instincts, don't pay attention to the subtle clues, and fall into unconscious patterns we're bound to do things that don't align with our soul. 

I want to be clear about something: I am not a bad person. I am very, very committed to my work and my journey. I may have done many things in my life I am not proud of, but my heart is pure and it longs for belonging and love. I may be confused about how to get those things at times, and my ego may do things that seem obviously wrong to the rational observer, but I know it is all done with the intention of getting love and belonging. 

I believe the same is true for everyone on this planet.

As the Way of Mastery says: "Self-honesty is the greatest act of love." And I am only being honest with myself. 

I preach compassion and forgiveness but what happens when I'm the one who so desperately needs compassion and forgiveness? What about when I want so badly for the person I hurt to see my true heart and how sorry I am, but I hurt them so they're not interested? Guilt. Guilt happens. Overwhelming-gut-wrenching-heart-breaking guilt. 

Now, guilt can be constructive. It can give us a feeling in the moment that lets us know to never do that thing we just did again. When we've done wrong, we need to be aware of it. 

But, as Danielle LaPorte says, "If you can muster some tenderness for yourself when you think you’re at your worst—at precisely the time when you think you deserve criticism or punishment––then you’re on the way to stable self-esteem."

If you did something wrong, own it. Apologize. Do what you can to make amends. In this particular situation, I took complete responsibility. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing what I could to fix it. I expressed deep regret. I felt that guilt in the moment. And, I can honestly say it's changed me. I feel grateful for and humbled by the experience.  

Feeling the constructive guilt in the moment teaches our psyche not to do that again. But, we can't follow the story of the guilt ('I'm a bad person', 'I don't deserve love', etc) just FEEL the guilt. Is it a tightness in my chest? A gut punch? Notice the feeling. Make note of it, allow it. 

If we lie, cheat, steal, break promises, commitments, act like an asshole, it's so easy for us to fall into the self-loathing hole or we could get super defensive because we want to make excuses to make it hurt less or we could try to numb ourselves to the pain of it all with various distractions: eating, drinking, obsessing about the situation and how it could have gone differently. But this does nothing for us and nothing for the person/people we may have hurt or affected with our bad behavior. It just breaks us down. 

I'm so tempted to berate myself, feel sorry for myself, be totally depressed in a marinade of shame, and, honestly, I've given in to this a bit. 

But.... I can feel the part of me knows that this lesson will serve me. This part of me prays my suffering will be of service to the world in some way. And this part is getting stronger and stronger with each screw-up. And that's where the gratitude for a painful situation comes from. From knowing that each time I mess up, I get to bring love to a place where there has not been love before, and therefore increase the love in my life. 

"Immediate compassion for your missteps gives you the strength to take the next best step." - Danielle LaPorte

This part of me knew that I shouldn't have lied about the thing I lied about, but it also, in the background, knew that although this lesson would be painful, it would clear space for something better to take root. As Glennon Doyle Melton says, "First the pain, then the rising." This thing had to play out so that I can be where I am now, writing this piece and pouring love into a part of me that wasn't loved before. 

This experience solidifies my commitment to only doing what feels right, even if what feels right doesn't make sense in the "real" world. This experience makes so clear the ridiculousness of egoic ambition and acting out of a need for external praise. 

Sometimes the gunk, the darkness, the kept-underneath-the-rug must come to the surface to be healed. And that can look awful, messy, and a whole lot like your fault. But, it must come into the Light for it be let go. 

Whatever I did or have done, it is forgivable, but I am the only one who has to do the forgiving, other peoples' forgiveness is their own journey, which can be the hardest part of all. 

So into the Light with it all. To get through this, I'll give myself heaping doses of tenderness when I can, and when I can't, I'll pray that my suffering is of service. (Danielle LaPorte again!) 

To anyone out there struggling to forgive themselves for something they did, I'm with you. But I want you to know, no matter what it is: You have a pure heart. You can get through this and learn the lesson and become stronger for it. You are loved. You are loving. You are lovable, forever.