There is no "fix"

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Let me read this post for you {7 min, 14 sec}

You do not require "fixing"

You are not a machine. You are not a toaster with a faulty heating element. There is no final, steady state of perfection, transcendence or even plain old goodness to keep reaching for. You are brilliant, wise, and you shine so bright when I see you -- I wish you believed what you really, deep down, know is true: this brilliance, your brilliance, is the real deal. 

No matter how much I say this, no matter how much I repeat this, I know that it's hard to hear in the swirl and roar of airbrushed images, affirmations that attempt to elevate you above your flaws, and the subsequent hangover cures peddled to everyone who is trying to distance themselves from their lack of perfection. 

I think I'm lucky. I have always been stubborn as a mule. When people who had my "best interests at heart" steered me toward the path of least resistance, I could only stomach that crap for about 14 years. It nearly killed me to drink my way through the darkness of trying to do what was expected of me (which is actually code for "continuous striving for perfection that will always fail"). 

Humanity is the light and the beauty

And, I know firsthand how much work it takes to live into this truth, which can seem like you are trying to fix something in you that is fundamentally flawed. That's not it -- it's more like chipping away at old paint that was put on beautiful hardwood in a misguided attempt to beautify something that is incomparable in it's natural, stunning beauty. 

It's not a fix that you are seeking, it's restoration of your innate wholeness to your conscious awareness. A revealing of (and reveling in) your natural light and beauty, one sweet layer at a time. Your true nature, your soul, your Essence of beauty, truth, light, love and joy is intact. The luminous core of you is undamaged and on some level, you know it. You can feel it because no matter how much paint you might layer on, somehow the natural grain of the wood is still there, still visible. 

One layer at a time

With every fiber of my being I believe that we are, at our core, divine. That we are, in fact, embodied, divine soul. That our human experience is exactly what we are here for, not some hyped up idea of "transcendence" that is just another face of the impossible search for perfection. 

What our souls really long for is the messy, real and true experience of being human -- engagement with terrible and difficult challenges, experiencing the incredible joy of creativity, feeling our hearts break open again and again as we move through the world with countless other beings (some we love, some we like, some, well... great teachers), the awe and wonder of living in a world that is so alive, so beautiful and terrible in equal measure that it inspires us. The tears and pain, the laughter and joy, the triumph and yes, even the defeat. The list goes on. Our lives on earth are precious, our capacity and desire for aliveness, immense.

Please.

Drop any ideas of perfection. Stop looking for a "fix" (god, looking for a fix is like looking for a "fix" as an addict, isn't it?) Let go of the idea of attainment. Or being some kind of goddess. Strip away anything anything other that who you are: a unique expression of the divine living deep and wide in the human experience. Perfectly imperfect. Held and nourished by our great Mother Earth, celebrated by the angels and devas throughout the Universe, infinitely loved and supported by the Divine. 

Peel off the paint, reveal the luminous beauty at the core of your being; at the core of your humanity. Show me your quirks, your fears, your mistakes and your triumphs. Let me see the stains from the tears and the scars born from love, from play and yes, the incredibly strong scars from the wounds inflicted by others. 

This is how we belong to ourselves. This is how we belong to the world. One tender layer of Truth revealed at a time.

Show me the very Truth of your being

My sister, this is so much larger than you, than me. This is what you need. This is what I need. This is what we need, collectively, to reconnect with our Truest Nature as individuals and as a collective. We crave Truth. We long for radiance to be revealed. This is how we know ourselves, and each other. This is how we remember who we truly are.

When you reveal your True self you restore something precious to your own life, yes, but the ripples are infinite. Don't doubt the power your own healing and restoration has on the world at large, my sister -- don't doubt the power of knowing and celebrating your own wholeness. 

Hear me now.

You are brilliant, wise, and you shine so bright in your messy and oh so human experience -- embrace what you really, deep down, know is true: this brilliance, your brilliance, is the real deal. Stop. Trying. To. Fix. Yourself. You are not broken, you are beautifully and brilliantly and divinely human. 

And truly, I love that about you. 

xo.nona

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A guide to craft your Sacred Practice

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Embody your Truth in the way that you practice. Get the guide to creating a unique-to-you, supportive Sacred Practice.

You will receive a playbook with everything you need to get started, plus access to my monthly missives when you sign up below.

I would love to have you. xo

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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

The ongoing journey of self-worth

You were born with an intact sense of self. 

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Rather hear it? Listen to me read this post {9 minutes, 48 seconds}

However, early on, we are indoctrinated into ideas about worthiness that lead us to believe that worth is to be found outside of ourselves -- in how we are perceived and received by those around us: another’s assessment or gaze or our monetary value or the work we do or our beauty. 

This focus on recognition is the air we breathe.

Consider gender bias, not to mention racial and sexual bias — consider all the ways society narrowly defines who and what is worthy or most often, unworthy. Then there are the insidious ideas and lived experience of needing to “earn” your keep, needing to perform, being expected to be pleasing (or not), or to be quiet, having your ideas dismissed, diminished or worse, stolen. And the hits keep rolling, don't they? 

Let's not forget the ever-present societal focus on beauty: body shape, size and image, looks and fashion that keep many women from the very real work of speaking up, making a powerful contribution, or simply living fully out of a sense of shame and unworthiness. If you aren't beautiful or perfect by some nebulous standard of beauty, no one wants to hear from you. 

Every day reminders abound that to be worthy you must be something other than who you are. It's all such profound bullshit, isn't it?

This dynamic is changing and being challenged, thank all that is holy and good. Yet it is so important to remember and to recognize that it isn't just you. That alone, in my experience, can loosen the chains. Because often, self-worth (or lack thereof) is viewed as a personal failing, but, if you grow up in western society, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to have a real sense of your true and innate worthiness unless you’re willing to reject societal norms to some degree. 

Sad secret: NO ONE feels worthy in this system. 

Not even the people who think they are writing the rules of worth. Why? Because worth cannot be defined by someone else, by a society, or by what we accumulate or do.

Worth doesn’t need to be earned. It’s who you are.

The work that the women I know have done to heal from these damaging ideas and circumstances is breathtaking — and, I’ve not met a woman for whom it’s truly done and over. We continue to dance with healing self-worth on an individual and collective level, perhaps in perpetuity. At least for now.

Most people, for some period of time, try hard to meet those societal expectations. I know I sure did. Of course we want to believe that if all of the ever-changing requirements are met, then a sense of worthiness will magically be ours. Many people stay locked in this game their whole lives and my hypothesis is that this is why addiction runs rampant in our culture — because addiction is a reasonable response to wanting to be seen and celebrated for who we are, but not knowing how to cultivate those qualities because we are told our worth - and every good thing in life -- lies outside of ourselves. 

My guess is that you are beyond believing these lies.

That you, like I, discovered at some point that no matter what milestone you reached (more money, better hair, fixed teeth, the right weight, the big house, a killer wardrobe, the PhD, the job…. name your own) that any sense of worthiness and accomplishment was fleeting at best. But even knowing that, and moving past much of it, there are likely places where you experience a lingering lack of self-worth. In other words, you may still be pinning your desire for an embodied sense of self-worth on external validation. 

In any case, knowing that there is no external reference point for self-worth is very good news — because that means you are, and have been, moving closer to a living embodiment of the truth about self-worth: self-worth is something that you can only find within you. 

Your WHY is everything.

There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting the PhD, wanting to be strong and sleek, to wanting the job or to be fired up to be in the movie. In fact, I believe with all my heart we are here to create, to express ourselves, to master our chosen work, to move in the direction of our desires, hopes and dreams. To experience all that we are capable of and what is possible as a human. However, the difference in why you want something -- for external praise and validation or because it will bring you joy -- changes everything. 

The difference between wanting those things so you feel differently about yourself or so you get recognized by others versus doing it because you feel an impulse and a desire and an excitement within you -- those two motivations are worlds apart. The experienced results are vastly different as well: the former will leave you feeling empty and hungry for more while the latter is a celebration of you and all that you are. 

The Invitation: Choose yourSelf

I suspect you know first hand how it feels to do something to fill a sense of lack vs. something done because it is yours to do and you do it joyfully. Just off the top of my head I can name jobs, relationships, entire careers, ways I've shown up in public, and how I exercise and eat -- where I Intimately know the difference between showing up inspired and in alignment with mySelf versus doing it to fill a gaping hole in my sense of worth.

So get close to yourself -- what does it feel like? What is the difference for you between these two states of being? Embrace this vast range of experience with an open and compassionate heart. No matter how much you've done for glory, love or recognition vs. inspired action that is aligned with your heart, you have learned and grown. It is part of the journey. Those experiences and that wisdom is yours.  

And, you get to choose. I choose to practice aligning with my heart and soul. I've had enough of that aching empty feeling when the recognition and praise stops and I'm left with only myself. Maybe you are done with that, too. By acting in alignment with your own wisdom and your own sense of what you value and who you want to be and what you want to contribute to the world, you are guaranteed to amplify your sense of self-worth through your actions and feel good about the results no matter who else likes it or recognizes what you've done. 

Make no mistake, this is a powerful state of being in which to move through the world. Whole, sovereign, and worthy. Let's keep moving in that direction, together.

Tell me everything.

Where are you on your journey of self-worth? What are you noticing about the tension between seeking external praise and validation versus turning inward and seeking your own approval? What frontiers are you exploring on your journey to a greater sense of self-worth? 

xo.nona


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