Honor the Longing

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Hey soul sister: listen to me read this post right here {6min, 2sec}:
 

My work is so much of who I am.

So much of who YOU are, too, I know. You are dedicated, committed and absolutely on fire to do meaningful work in the world. And you do -- in big and small ways, just by being you, you are changing the ecosystem of the world through your love, through your wisdom, through your magic. 

As joyful and fulfilling as work is, you need more.

You need time for deep sustenance. Time to rest. Time to think. Time for pleasure and play. Time to indulge your longings. I have learned, over lots of time, and many fumbles, that I am at my best when I weave deep and meaningful nourishment into my days. 

And I also need time to step away completely -- to honor my longings as fully as I can. I believe we all need that kind of spaciousness and I wonder... how many of us actually give ourselves that time? 

What I notice when I do give myself that time is that I return to work anew. I return to my pursuits with loads of energy and fresh ideas. As much as our culture pushes endless productivity, we simply don't work like that, do we?  

So, as I head out on a month long vacation home to the U.S., I fully intend to honor my longings. The longings I have (that you have) point to the ways that we are most deeply refilled, most fully nourished. The things that create the richest, lushest topsoil from which to create. 

The other day, I was writing with the prompt, "I long to be." and it made me think of you, and me, and meaningful work and how extremely important it is to honor the longings. As the northern hemisphere bakes in the heat of long days and short, summer nights and the southern hemisphere enjoys it's lovely and mild version of winter, may you know, and honor, your longings -- -- for me, it's undoubtedly the time I spend with earth, in wild spaces, as you'll see from my writing below. 

I long to be

I long to be wild,
to be bitten and scratched, hot and burnt, ravished in the space between earth and sun. 

I long to be dipped in the rushing river,
to be cleansed, letting the heat of my skin be swept away by the current. 

I long to be sun freckled by day,
and kissed by moonlight as I dream. 

I long to sling a hammock between two trees,
to be woken by lions on the prowl, holding my breath when the king's great mane brushes against my back as I hang in the balance. 

I long to be a kingfisher,
to hover -- like magic, really -- so gracefully before plunging into the water. 

I long to be a hippo,
fierce and mysterious in being made for both land and river.

I long to be a leopard,
pregnant, holding the future of my kind in my belly.

Oh let's face it, I long to be every animal at least once (some twice, please),
Even the warthog, who kneels in prayer and looks like she is kissing the earth when she eats. 

I long to live in a treehouse.
Hobbit-style or Robinson Carusoe -- it doesn't matter as long as the tree says yes and we can tell each other our secrets. 

I long to do more and be more and make more,
to make a deeper and wider contribution. A legacy. And then the pied crow catches my eye and I just want to go back home. 

I long to be home,
to go deep into the forest, to the ocean, to the wild places. 

I long for the places that I reMember,
I am simply one of many beings who share the ancient exhalation of our star, the sun. 

I long to be nothing more than the woman I am,
but let it be in a world that values life, and I don't mean just lip-service. 

I long for a time,
Maybe long ago or in a (not so) distant future when all beings, all life, will flourish and be celebrated for it.

I long (eventually) to be dirt,
to be rich topsoil that nourishes beauty and bellies alike, that connects the trees and cushions the fall of children who lose their footing. 

I long for the adventure,
To lean into life and to appreciate every inch, every mile traversed. To love it with all of my soul yesterday, today and tomorrow. 

May you honor the longing of your soul.

May this coming season offer you ample opportunities to hear, and follow, the longings. To feel deeply nourished. To fill your cup with pleasure so you can come back to what is important and meaningful in your work with fresh eyes and ample energy. 

xoxo.nona

 

The Art of Intentional Practice

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Practice gets a bad rap.

I've heard the gamut of responses to the idea of "practice"  -- from spiritual transcendence to athletic performance to dreadful, dull and boring repetitive action. 

In actuality, you are practicing every moment of every day. Consciously or unconsciously, you are practicing your responses, your actions and your reactions. You are practicing your best and your worst qualities by simply doing what you do, over and over. This ultimately defines the quality of your life.

However, done intentionally, practice can be a potent and reliable ally in real and reliable transformation. 

Intentional practice is the key.

Intentional practice is about making a different choice -- disruption of the status quo in your actions. Intentional practice has a vision. Intentional practice is also fluid and deeply connected to the present moment and what is working. 

Intentional practice means you are practicing something that is incredibly important to you be it abundance, peace, health, self-expression, connection, or success and, done right, you are practicing in ways that hold tremendous value for you and the woman you wish to be today and tomorrow. 

Who do you want to be? 

This is a valuable question, and, certainly you can be no one but yourself. There is nothing to fix or mend, intentional practice is about peeling back the layers of who you aren't to reveal and polish that diamond that you are. 

  • I want to be a woman who embodies generosity and abundance.
  • I want to be a woman who is strong physically, mentally and emotionally. 
  • I want to be a woman who speaks up and speaks the truth. 
  • I want to be a woman who uses and celebrates my innate gifts and talents.
  • I want to be a woman who loves deeply and lives close to my own knowing. 
  • I want to be a woman who makes a powerful contribution in the lives of others. 


These are examples of who I want to be each and every day and how I practice. And in showing up for this vision of myself and supporting other women over the years, here is the secret I've learned; if you want something (like YOU really want it, it isn't something you've been told you *should* want) it is already burning within you. It is already yours

All you have to do is practice. 

How to be intentional in practice. 

Value your practice -- elevate it's importance. The biggest objection I hear is that people don't have time. Yes, you do. I understand that this can feel like a monumental shift but it is critical -- you, and your intentional practice, is for you and you alone. It is time for you to affirm and embody your desires as a priority. This, right here, changes everything. Make the time. Put yourself first as a radical act of elevating the importance of who you most wish to be and how you most wish to feel as you move through the world. 

Be willing to fail. Let go of perfection. Failure is a part of any good process. To be great at anything means understanding and knowing the contrast intimately. Expect and welcome failure as the teacher that it is. We all know intellectually that failure is a powerful teacher. Welcome failure with grace, instead of beating yourself with the idea of perfection.  

You aren't there yet, so keep your attention where you are right now. Intentional practice is about having a powerful vision, but keeping your eyes and your attention fixed on getting to your vision of success is a recipe for misery. As badly as we might wish for an end-game and a final completion, it typically doesn't exist. We are constantly evolving and changing and until you die, I hope you will be engaged in your sacred practice. Yes, have a vision, but let your attention rest in the day to day doing. 

Appreciate how far you've come and how it feels in the doing. It is vital to take time to acknowledge how far you've come. Take time to take in how good it feels to take action that is aligned with the woman you know you are and that you are becoming. So yes, appreciate how it feels and acknowledge your progress. When I was learning to love strength training, I did not enjoy most of the sessions of strength training. But what I did enjoy was the feeling in my body afterwards. What I did enjoy was the growing sense of strength and the lessening of aches and pains. This kept my skin in the game while I was learning to enjoy strength training. 

Enjoy the process. If every fiber of your being hates what you are doing, evaluate your desires and intentions. It could be simple resistance or, it could be that you are under the spell of someone else's ideas and expectations and *shoulds*. To be honest, it could also be that you have ideas about how things should be -- sometimes, things are hard. That's okay. You are built for hard things. I trust you to know the difference between not wanting to do something hard and a true and deep NO from your soul. Trust yourself to know the difference and really, enjoy the fullness of your humanity as you choose to be more intentional in how you practice. 

I believe in you, and your practice. 

You are not here to elevate someone else's desires or ideas. You make your most powerful contribution to the world when you are committed to honoring your own desires and being the woman you are more fully until the day you die. 

May you practice with vigor being the woman you are and the woman you wish to be. May your practices be potent allies in real and reliable transformation. And, heart wide open, may you embrace the joys and the challenges of intentional practice and all that is has to offer you. 

xo.nona


The Deep Magic of Practice Awaits

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The Art of Dwelling in Worth

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Prefer audio? Listen to me read this post {7 min, 40 seconds}

"I don't want to do my workout." 

I woke up this morning and that was my first thought. Clara has been sick. I was sick. It was Clara's birthday. We are traveling next week. I'm in the middle of 2018 Medicine Visions. I'm preparing space for the women who are gathering for The School of Sacred Practice including answering questions, having chats and sharing my thoughts with women on why it matters to them. 

My workout seemed like a royal pain in the ass that I definitely didn't have time for. 

There is a time to honor that momentary feeling.

Like when I'm sick or physically exhausted -- but it wasn't today. When I thought about Clara being home sick and all the things that I want to do today, coupled with how I want to move through my day - I remembered (from experience) that despite my 'feeling' of not wanting to, today is the kind of day that I most need to create the space for my Sacred Practices in order to show up in my life the way I want to: fully connected to myself and feeling deeply cared for and enlivened. 

Sacred Practice is the very ground I build on.

My Sacred Practices: moving my body, feeding myself well, meditation and breathing, intention and planning for wise action, as well as energy work combined with connecting with nature and my guides - these are the banks of my proverbial river. These are the practices that, over the years, I've determined feed me deeply. These practices, whether I want to do them or not, offer me deep pleasure and connection to the full compliment of sacred resources that are mine to work with. 

But most important, these Sacred Practices are an ongoing personal affirmation of my worth in action - affirming that I matter as much as anything else in life. That my energy, my mood, my rest, my pleasure, my nourishment - it matters to me. Tending myself and my sacred resources is at the heart of my practices and practice, over time, creates lasting change and transformation. Living well, working well and being well -- these are functions of Sacred Practice. 

Practicing the art of dwelling in worth.

You might shake your head and say that this is a lot - too much, even. Yes, it is a lot. No, it's not too much. As a sensitive, intuitive woman who is a spouse of a diplomat, mother to a teenager and a woman who runs my own business - I need a lot of tending and care. Full stop, no apology. 

From years of cutting out one thing, or another, or ignoring my Sacred Practices altogether, here is what I know for sure: to ignore my Sacred Practice is a recipe for dysfunctional behavior. It's a recipe for trying to soothe myself with cupcakes or bites of frosting or cookies or shopping. It's a recipe for a disconnection from my truth that's so acute I don't notice until I'm in a resentful fury toward the people I love most. It's a recipe for staying "busy" doing work that isn't taking me where I really want to go. It's a recipe for feeling a sense of lack that makes my soul ache. 

I'm sure I'll be there again, but time spent in that poverty-stricken state is shorter every time. Because: transformation. My Sacred Practices have consistently changed me, over time, into a whole new person. I'm committed. 

So yes, it's a lot. And as much as I am worthy of that kind of care and attention, so are you.

You, too, are worthy.

Anything that you do with consistent devotion is a practice. What makes a practice sacred is the intention and energy we bring to it. So I never quibble with clients about what practices they choose if they resonate deeply for the individual - I'm not an expert on what practices might be ideal for you (though I could offer ideas).

The heart of Sacred Practice is about living in alignment with your deepest knowing and indulging in the true pleasure of being alive with consistent devotion - this provides deep nourishment, true connection, as well as great joy and increased energy. This kind of fullness makes you better at everything you do and helps you clearly define boundaries around traditional sources of "worthiness" (like money). Why? Because when you dwell in worth, you have less tolerance for being underpaid, less impulse to overwork, and a greater capacity to discern what your true material needs and desires are (which usually means more money in the bank).

Commit to a Practice of Dwelling in Worth.

A commitment to your unique constellation of Sacred Practice offers a pathway to being the woman you are, and the woman you are becoming by choice. I invite you to choose one Sacred Practice to do with devotion and intention, to show up for yourself and your practice each day and let it transform you. It will, I promise. 

There is nothing all that special about committing to Sacred Practice. You can do it simply by making a choice, each and every day. And, I know that creating time and shifting into a state of dwelling in worthiness can be a challenge with screaming self-criticism, not to mention others sly judgements. However, over time, your commitment amplifies your sense of worthiness and in turn, that sense of worthiness amplifies your commitment to the practices that support dwelling in worth.  

The School of Sacred Practice is enrolling now. If you loved this article, you will love The School -- our second intensive is a sweet dive into the very art of dwelling in worth. I would be delighted to support you and to create sacred space for the changes you seek to make in 2018. Join us. 

xo.nona