Rise Up, Sister.

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Too many of you have been held down

In large and small ways, in direct and indirect ways, too many women are dismissed, diminished and held back from their own greatness when, in an ideal world, we would all be lifted and supported by those around us, those who came before us.

Recently, I was talking to my daughter about ancestors. I was explaining to her how we stand on the shoulders of those who go before us in the best of circumstances. We are held up, we are lifted high. Our ancestors offer us a springboard by which we fly. 

To See, and live into, the Possibility Horizon

I told my daughter that my deepest desire, my most fervent prayer is that her father and I lift her high above our own shoulders so she reaches greater heights than we have. Tears stung my eyes and I realized once again, that is also my deepest desire for the women who seek inspiration through my writing and for the women who choose to work with me individually and through programs like The School of Sacred Practice: I want to lift you up so you can see to the horizon of infinite possibility in your life. I want to offer you space to heal and to know the support of someone who deeply believes in you and your capacity to realize the infinite possibilities that are calling you into the future.  

To be the Woman You Are 

Not many women I know were actively lifted up by their ancestors. I certainly wasn't, nor were my immediate ancestors. I would say that through sheer stubborn will and an abundance of inner fire I clawed my way past being actively held down by those around me. I am grateful for my warrior's heart. I am grateful to the people and the unseen forces and allies who believed in me and supported me.

In personal development, and Western culture in general, there is a damaging idea that we stand alone and that we, alone, control our destiny. But rest assured; circumstances, culture, violence, ancestors, genetics, the nature we have access to, our access to education -- we control very little of the outside forces that either help, or hinder, our capacity to rise, to lift others and to be lifted. Living in Zambia has amplified this truth for me -- any idea of singularly manifesting our destiny is faulty reasoning - it isolates us from seeking true support and opening to receive.


Whatever your work is, in whatever way you are called to lift others be it through raising children, working in a corporate setting, or running and building an entrepreneurial venture, it requires that you allow yourself to receive support. That you allow time for your own nourishment and healing. That you stay filled up to the brim to keep your spiritual strength.

I want you to feel the deep support of being lifted up, too, because wholeness and enlivenment begets the same. This is the foundation for the world that I want for every person, for all of us together.

There is Time.

This call to lift others can sound impossible if you are tired, if you feel unworthy, if you feel there isn't even enough for you. This can sound impossible (and actually, wildly distasteful) if you haven't been offered strong shoulders to stand on or time to tend the wounds of your own climb if your ancestors refused to let you stand on their shoulders. 

It may seem there is no time to "waste" -- our bank accounts, our communities and the world need strong women who know themselves and their power to create positive change. However, that is only possible when you have given yourself the space to receive what you need. It only comes when you've given yourself time to heal fully.  There is time for you: for your healing and from there, to vision and act on a new future born of your innate wholeness. 

For you. 

Please know that your voice, your heart, your vision -- all are necessary facets of creating an enlivened wholeness individually and collectively. Acknowledge what you've moved beyond. Acknowledge the ancestors you may still be climbing past and yes, honor the ancestors and the people who have supported and lifted you. Let yourself rest and heal. Give yourself the gift of someone, many someones, who will lift you up, who will celebrate your rise, who will help you see the horizon of possibility and help you take the steps to create that world. 

May you feel the support of many hands lifting you and in turn, offer your hands to lifting others in your time.

xo.nona

The Art of Dwelling in Worth

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"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

 

The Feminine Path of Mastery

I attended a yin yoga teacher training


I did the training to celebrate completing my breathwork healer certification and because Kari Kwinn is my favorite yogini as well as a dear friend, and because I adore yin yoga - it's pretty much the only style I practice with regularity.

As Kari Kwinn says, "Yin is an intention." which to me means it's not necessarily about choosing outcomes or what it looks like, but it's about how we show up for the practice - heart and mind open, willing to listen deeply and attune to our own wisdom.  This is the journey of my life. 

My yoga practice for many years reflected my beliefs and values that yang is preferable, always. The belief that action, movement, busy-ness and growth is what we should *always strive for is pervasive in our culture and it was evident in how I practiced yoga, how I moved my body, ate, engaged in relationships, ran my household and definitely how I approached my work for many years. 

Until I was exhausted, anxious and burnt-out. I had even managed to recreate the same environment of push, strive, and overwork when I started my own business. 


This ethos looks powerful, but it's fragile.
 

Which means it's weak.

About 8 years ago, life conspired in my favor and the old way of "business as usual" no longer worked, as happens for MANY people in our society driven by external measures and quick fixes. Life circumstance, wisdom from many teachers in my life and my physical body all put me on the path to begin changing my approach to life, to myself, and to my work -- to seek a more sustainable and rhythmic way of moving through the world.

"Yin is an intention..."

I view the work I offer to you as deeply rooted in yin energies which are sorely lacking and desperately needed in the world. I've found with my clients, and for myself, that as women, we must be deeply rooted in yin in order to express yang energy in a way that is in integrity, body and soul.


This is a feminine approach to mastery


Pushing harder is not the secret of success. Doing more for the sake of doing more is also not the secret. Being more and having more isn't going to being satisfying and meaningful either, taken out of context.

Instead, I advise the radical path of turning inward: listening and attuning to the action that is yours to take. Honoring the natural rhythms and flows of nature and the body as a path to sustainable energy and action. Engaging in delicious practices that deeply nourish. Embracing and feeling the depth and breadth of emotions as deep wisdom. And finally, turning toward oneself as the richest resource that you have to live into your vision of success in every arena of your life. 


You are invited


Nothing is more important to me than inspiring women to engage in ancient, but completely new ways to approach work, resources, themselves and the world.  For those of you who read, or work with me or land here by chance, I dare you to stop. To drop into your heart. To listen deeply for the wealth of wisdom that is available and to experience the wealth that is you.  


Follow the heartbeat of your wisdom. 


Tell me what you hear, sister, when you heed the call to the feminine path of mastery.