Receiving

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Listen to me speak it and today, I sing a little, too {8 min, 32 sec}:

The ocean refuses no river, no river
The ocean refuses no river, no river
hallelujah
halleluj, halleluj
— Origins: Sufi Chant

"The Ocean Refuses No River."

This beautiful chant was taught to me when I was becoming a yoga teacher at Kripalu in 2003. I have no idea what teaching our leaders were offering or the context, but I remember this morning more clearly than any other of my training. Our group sang this in rounds, with drums and it has lived in me ever since, surfacing in the days that I most need to deepen in my understanding of receiving. 

Recently, this chant has been waking me up in the morning. I've been humming it during my days. I sing it when I'm tending altars in the morning, considering, again, what it means to receive. 

Are you open to receive?

Or, do you struggle to receive? Maybe I should ask, do you struggle to receive the goodness that life has to offer? Most women, maybe you, too -- receive criticism, the other shoe, abuse, dismissal with a set jaw and an expectation that there is more of that to come. 

In my own life and in my coaching practice, I see a profound ongoing struggle with receiving. I often invite women to set an intention to open to receive. On an intellectual level, we may understand that when we ask to receive, we are opening to receive joy, ease, abundance, love, light, support and peace. But the shadow of the desire to receive is the fear of what else will arrive. What else must be endured in order to "receive" the goodness? 

Filtering seems like wisdom.

On some level (like most women I know, including myself) you may be trying to filter what you receive -- blocking out what you don't want to receive: the anger, the hard words, the judgement, the pain, the shame, the devaluing... whatever it is, you may be unconsciously struggling to suppress, or keep the negative out of your experience.

Another facet of resisting is only seeing challenges and hard stuff because on some level, you don't believe you can have the abundance, the joy, the peace, the support, the love that you want. Why? Perhaps it's the context of modern culture, or you don't want to be a bad citizen, or make anyone jealous or have too much good stuff come your way. Because as much as we, as a culture, have an aversion to so-called negative emotions or circumstances there is an equal and opposite judgement of those who have it really, really good. 

It's a lose-lose situation, no matter which way you lean.

Unfortunately, whether you are trying to block the negative or you are afraid to receive goodness for fear of judgement, It's a tight corner, it's uncomfortable. It's a brittle and exhausting space to be in. Goodness, joy and abundance are hiding in plain sight, but you aren't able to receive it and take it in because you are shut off from receiving in general or you've denied yourself the joy of receiving the good stuff. 

These attempts to filter become cages of numbness and misery that, in my experience, truly suck the life out of living. 

Becoming the ocean. 

As I've considered this chant, and what it might mean to be the ocean that refuses no river, I've recognized my own willingness to receive the challenges and work with them consciously. I've recognized deeper layers of resistance to really, truly, deeply receiving the abundance and the good stuff out of fear of judgement - both my own and others. 

So what would it mean to be the ocean? It is an exhalation. A softening of the entire body. It is a solid-gold awareness of the sacred resources that we have to welcome, and work wisely, with whatever life holds. It is a deep knowing that no one can choose the circumstances of life, but we can decide how we will respond. It is open arms, yes, but also a capacity to choose, to transform and to learn from what is here, right now -- both the exquisite and the challenging. 

Funny enough, when I become the ocean, I find that what is present more often than not is the joy, the abundance, the sweetness, the love, the connection[- and the sense of purposeful contribution that I deeply enjoy. Yes, the challenges definitely are there and, when I am the ocean, I know exactly how to address the challenges: I can speak up, I can say no, I can feel it all the way through, I can learn from it, I can let it go, I can protest... and I can also widen the lens to see the goshawk soaring above the neighborhood. I can lean into the love of my family and friends. I can step outside and feel my connection to the earth. I can eat an avocado fresh from my tree or spend time with the roses.

In other words, you and I can make as much space for the incredible goodness of life on earth as we do for the problems and the challenges we face individually and collectively. 

This is sanity.

In 12-step programs, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. It is time to collectively recreate our relationship to receiving as women -- let's sink into the idea of being the ocean that refuses no river.

Learn this chant. Sing it with me. Get off of your phone, or your computer, and step outside. Stop over-identifying with what is wrong and gently open to what is right. Immerse yourself in water. Become the ocean and, yes, acknowledge and work consciously with the challenges but please affirm the joy, the goodness, the beauty and the love. Let yourself be nourished by the abundance that is within you and all around you. 

Refuse no river, sister. Be the ocean.

xo.nona


Energy Medicine for You.

Medicine Vision is healing and clarifying support.

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In 14 days, I will open the doors for Individual Medicine Visions. 10 spots will be made available and I'll announce it only to my special, in-the-know, Medicine Vision list. Get on the list and you will not only be the very first to know when Medicine Visions are available, but you will also receive a 3-part series on energy medicine, which will help you decide if Medicine Vision is right for you. 

Want to be the first to know? I love that about you.

xo.

 

Photo by Jon Del Rivero on Unsplash

Befriend Your Demons

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Do you prefer audio? Listen to this blog post here {10:01 minutes}: 

How do you face your demons?

This may seem like an odd question, but many women struggle to look directly at their own suffering - let alone get support or share what's happening in the realm of their darkest struggles out of fear or shame or, in the hope, perhaps, that if they ignore their demons they will disappear. Rest assured that without facing our demons directly, they will bring us to our knees, insisting on our attention in some form or fashion that we will not like. 

The devil and I. 

When I was 4 or 5 years old, I had just learned about the concept of God's enemy, the devil. Knowing that God is pure love, I reasoned that really, the devil was the one that I wanted to cozy up to. I remember distinctly that I had taken a decision to pray to the devil each day so he wouldn't tempt me or make me do bad things. 

I also remember distinctly that I was learning to tie my shoes at the time and, one morning, sitting on the stairs of our porch, I was chatting with the devil and tying my shoes. I got my shoes tied by myself for the first time (woo hoo) and, running off to play, my Grandmother asked me who I was talking to. I explained that, since God loves me and wants to take care of me, I had decided to get on the devil's good side -- I mean, why pray to God, when it's the devil who is going to lead me into evil?? 

My Grandmother nearly had a heart attack and told me in no uncertain terms to NOT pray to the devil, but instead to trust that praying to God was going to keep me safe. Even at the time, I remember being puzzled by this idea of ignoring a fundamental aspect of life (evil, darkness, temptation, etc) and relying on God to keep me safe. 

Though this is an adorable story it also points to an essential piece of my character that has heavily shaped my own life and shapes my coaching. As a woman and a coach in recovery from alcohol addiction, as a woman and a coach who has struggled with money and finances, as a woman and a coach who has dealt with trauma, depression and anxiety, hell, as a woman and a coach who has struggled with so many darn aspects of life I can say with a lot of certainty that befriending the demons we grapple with is a far more effective, and kinder approach than denial, fear or shame.

Courage to befriend your demons. 

Though I'm no longer a church-goer nor do I believe there is an entity called the devil, on a metaphorical level, my 4 year old self was right: understanding and befriending our demons is wise. And, whether women know it or not, they tend to arrive into my circle seeking support in facing, and embracing, their own demons. 

This sounds so hard. It sounds so horrible. It sounds so.... unfun, right? 

In moments, yes, of course it's hard. But mostly, it feels like freedom and joy to be fully present and not only face your demons, but to consciously work with your challenges. Because really, let's consider how much energy goes into denying something. Even when you might not be actively thinking about something that you struggle with, the fact is, that somewhere in the background: in your energy, in your beliefs, in your day to day actions, that particular demon is draining energy and shaping the trajectory of your life. 

To make the choice to befriend your demons and work with the truth of who you are is the easier choice. That is ground truth, no matter what the fallout may be because the easier choice is the choice that frees up your energy and aligns your actions with your deepest wisdom.  When you choose to befriend your demons you are saying yes to living truthfully and committing to living into the woman you are meant to be: joyful, free, fully alive and beautifully human. 

We are built to handle this exquisite range of experience. 

The Role of Sacred Practice in Befriending Your Demons

We are always practicing - however, Sacred Practice is on purpose, with an eye to conscious choice and transformation.

So, imagine if you will, an infinity loop (an endless figure eight flipped onto it's side) - my experience is that there are two kinds of Sacred practice: like an inhalation and an exhalation, like expansion and contraction - there are inward-facing practices and outward-facing practices and they not only work in tandem, but are amplified by one another. This is the nature of Sacred Practice.

On one side of the infinity loop, you have the exhalation, the contraction, the proverbial stillness of the winter: you have Inward facing Sacred Practices. These practices bring you into a state of intimacy with yourSelf: your pain, heartache, demons, yes, but also your divinity, your wisdom and your light - however, without welcoming and working with the darkness, you will deny yourself the incredible potency of your light. Your demons and your divinity go together and, to access your full wisdom and therefore, a life of meaning, you need both. Welcoming the entirety of yourself and your experience in this realm is the very basis of self-trust and wise action in your outward facing Sacred Practices. 

On the other side of the infinity loop, you have the inhalation, the expansion, the blooming and the growth of summer: outward facing Sacred Practices are the actions that you commit to with your spiritual resources: the rest you give your body, the way you tend your money, marketing your business consistently, cooking nourishing meals for yourself, speaking the truth with loved ones, sitting down to write on a regular basis... these outward facing Sacred Practices are shaped by the clarity we receive and the healing we do in our inward facing Sacred Practice. Outward-facing Sacred Practices, done in alignment with our inward facing Sacred Practices, shape and mold the trajectory of our lives no matter what our circumstances. 

Both types of practices are essential - they feed each other and make our lives, our work and our experience rich and meaningful as they teach us to trust ourselves and our capacity. 

This is the heart and soul of conscious transformation. 

We know it's working when we see the results of our healing (debt being paid off, financials up to date, we wake up rested, our right clients begin arriving, our relationships become richer and more satisfying) and sometimes we know our Sacred Practice is working because situations and ideas and relationships crumble as we come into integrity and alignment with our own deepest truth. It may not be easy, but it is the easiest choice. It is the life-giving choice. It is the path of growth and transformation. 

In a world that rests on the false promise of instant transformation and instant results, Sacred Practice offers a reliable way to be your own healer and guide as you keep showing up with fierce commitment for the woman you are, and for the woman you are becoming. 

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Tiny Magic: Befriend Your Demons

The School of Sacred Practice is open for registration. In the first intensive, Tend and Mend, we will be focusing on the outward-facing Sacred Practice of tending and mending money, which can be tricksy and challenging for women in business -- I find there is always an element of healing,clarity and wise action to address here, don't you? 

And so, whether your demons are money related or otherwise, tune in to this Tiny Magic: to Bless and Transform your Demons into allies and wisdom - this is energy medicine that is amplified when you listen with your full attention and an open heart. I love this for you, for all of us.

If this Tiny Magic Sacred Practice calls to you, join me and the incredible community of women that is gathering for the deep magic of transformation in The School of Sacred Practice. 

I would love to support you in 2018. 

xo.nona

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

You are the magic

I do 'energy work'.

I believe in it deeply and use my understanding of energy and manifesting daily with clients, however, my perspective on what energy work is, and isn't, has changed drastically over the years. 

I used to believe that there was some kind of magic that energy workers had that I didn't. Maybe you do, too.

In reality, what was happening was that I often turned over my free will and my internal knowing of what is right for me to the energy workers that I hired, discounting my own direct experience of my energy in favor of someone else's opinion. When I began studying energy work, I honestly thought that I had somehow gotten a hold of some magic that others didn't have. Not true.

Don't get me wrong, I love energy work.

I still hire energy workers when I have an issue that I want an outside perspective on - or when I want a healing flow of energy and other's powerful intuition to support the work I'm doing. That is helpful - but it's also different than believing that energy workers have something I don't or believing that someone can tell me something that I don't already have innate access to about my own energy. 

In reality, every one of us is an "energy worker"

Every single human being on the planet works their energy on a daily basis. The way that you work with your energy - clearing it, tapping into the higher energies, focusing your energy, using it for good or not - may be conscious or not so much. 

For instance, my husband - the least "woo" oriented person on the planet? He is a skilled energy worker. He is incredibly wise about how he works with his energy and he gets better at it all the time. My husband sets very specific goals for himself (intentions). He writes them down, he reviews them, he thinks about them - he imagines the desired outcome and when it doesn't happen the way he imagines, he integrates the lessons, he expresses his feelings, clearing out any negativity around it, and he moves on - wiser than he was before. 

As he is moving through his days and making his intentions manifest, he keeps his energy attuned to the vibration he prefers through exercise, deep breathing and time outdoors. He has also recently started practicing yoga (which is shocking to me, but I'm thrilled) and he meditates daily on how he wishes his days to unfold. ALL of which move energy: intention, breath, movement, visualization, feeling, presence. 

He has optimized his process and it is a wonder to behold. He is one of the most focused and successful people I know. 

Energy work is aligning with what you want to create.

And then staying curious and present to the process of creation. 

That's it. You do it, I do it, everyone does it. Every single day. Now, you may not be doing it consciously, you may not be listening to your 'gut' feelings about what actions to take (also known as intuition or guidance) and you might be mired in stories and patterns that keep you from what you really want. Energy work from someone else can support you in cleansing, clarifying or shifting energy in your life - but you, you, you are the magic. Always. 

The first real energy worker I ever talked to was right after I miscarried a baby. She talked about chakras and how she was "breaking down barriers around my chakras". I cried. I felt tremendous healing and relief. Guess what? Crying moves energy. It's cleansing. Her language of "breaking down barriers" to me felt magic at the time, however, now it seems to me that the magic was actually her giving me space to grieve, making it safe for me to sink into tears and sadness so I could let it go and move the energy that sat heavy in my heart. I know now that SHE didn't do anything in my energy field, but she held me in the space I needed to process and integrate what had happened.

Potent magic, but shifting the energy, clearing it or focusing it? That is always our own doing. 

There are no shortcuts. 

You are magic. Once you decide you are committed to self-actualization, spiritual growth and healing, you are on the fast track. If you are a woman in business, this is probably you. But there are no shortcuts or fixes that anyone else can offer you. Sometimes, we want it to be really easy. We want someone to change the hard things for us or make things move a little damn faster, thankyouverymuch. I've certainly been guilty of wanting energy work to fix something that I didn't really want to deal with. What creates ease is knowing that you hold the key and if you stay with the process, things shift. Always. 

The gift of a talented energy worker is belief.

A belief that your heart-felt intentions change you and set your dreams in motion. Trust that when you breath into the truth, you are healing - you clear out what no longer works. A knowledge that you and you alone hold the key to changing what isn't working - through action or through letting go. A great energy worker is committed to holding sacred space for you to see and embrace the fullness of your own magic as you dance with the joy and sorrow drenched process of being human.  

You are invited... 

Consider how are you working with your energy. Are you harnessing your own powerful capacity as a energy worker? Owning it and moving it toward what you want in creating the ecosystem of wealth you desire? As we move quickly toward next year, you are invited to claim your potency and power as the number one resource to shift your energy, to know your truth, to operate from love, and create change in your business and your life. 

Ready? Let's go

xoxo.nona