I want to share a metaphor that helped me move from overwhelm to having a generative vision for the world that I wish to live in. At the bottom of this week's letter, I've included a visualization to help you experience the old-growth forest. My hope is that it supports you in moving from overwhelm to saying yes to what is yours to do.
To create something new, we need hope and a vision. While reading articles and literature written by Black American luminaries for one of my master’s courses, a theme emerged – racism is a problem for white people to solve. This came through over and over again, prompting me to consider what I might contribute to equity in the world.
It was in contemplation that I realized I did not have a vision for what an equitable, sustainable society would even look like. My life (like most everyone in western countries) is dependent on, and benefits from, the very structures that perpetuate (and...
Do you remember when you were a kid and you were missing a tooth and you just couldn't keep your tongue out of the space where the tooth once was, no matter how hard you tried to just leave it be?
Well, I have been prodded and nudged relentlessly by ideas and issues in that same way throughout my life -- my thoughts straying back over and over again to an idea that just would not leave me alone. Like the proverbial tongue probing the gum.
The ideas that nudge me endlessly are usually things that scare the living shit out of me: getting sober back in my 20's, having a child, training to become a coach, starting a coaching business, living in Africa, pursuing a master's degree in my 40's FFS... the list goes on. I've been resistant and argumentative with most of the big decisions I've made in my life but in the end, I've never been sorry when I've said yes to those persistent nudges.
I believe most, if not all of...
Scarcity is a profound and painful experience of lack. There are people everywhere who experience the desperation of real scarcity - a lack of food, water, safety, infrastructure, money, health care, education, support, encouragement - you name it, it is possible to experience scarcity in almost any way. Having lived in Zambia and traveled throughout Africa, scarcity of material resources is evident everywhere you look. Though there are (too many) people who experience real scarcity in the United States, far more people have ample resources who still feel the painful clutch of scarcity. How can that be?
The scarcity wound refers to an inner experience of scarcity in the present moment that is based primarily on past personal, familial, and societal experiences and/or narratives. In other words, the scarcity wound leads to suffering in the present moment that isn't based on the current reality. Make no mistake, this fear...
At the same time, the general insistence (especially in the spiritual, healing, and personal development realm) that personal challenge = being stuck in a story is frankly, complete bullshit. It draws the attention away from what is truly being offered to you via your experience and instead, adds insult to injury via the subtle judgment that you are “stuck in a story”.
Seriously, though — isn’t it interesting that we never consider ourselves to be “stuck in a story” if it makes us feel good? If it bolsters our sense of confidence? If it brings us a sense of clarity about who we are and how the world works?
You can try and gloss over, ignore, or positive affirmation your way past the very real conditions of life that create confusion, uncertainty, and hurts of the present and the past all day long but stories: our individual and collective stories (and the sorrow, grief, anger, fear, shame, and guilt that...
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.
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 experiences 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...
And when I say big deal, I mean, a lot of women abhor asking for what they want. I note that If a woman has difficulty asking for what she wants, she will most certainly struggle with receiving.
If you are a woman who struggles with asking and/or receiving, if you are a woman who considers yourself a "giver" but you don't like to take from others or if you are a woman who is chronically underpaid or you don't have enough work coming to you in your business - you are going to want to consider learning the art of asking (and choiceful receiving).
From sex to asking men to step off and leave you alone, to asking for the raise, the job, psychic space - whatever it is you want, you really must ask for it and ask clearly. I know this from inviting the women I work with to strengthen the skill of asking and also from my own experience and discomfort around asking. I believe there are ways in which we've been told...
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.
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...
Somehow, we've gotten the message that fear must be avoided at all costs. However, I would say the point isn't to be fearless, but to heal and to learn from fear. SO many of the women I work with arrive with tremendous fear and a sense of scarcity in different forms and variations. So the time felt ripe to write a post about fear and how to work with it in a way that actually works.
Nope, it's actually going to be a lot more empowering than that. Because frankly, I think it's ridiculous to believe that we shouldn't feel fear or that we should try and be fear-free. Why? Well, fear is hard-wired into your limbic system. So working with your fear, not pretending you don't experience it, is far more transformative than trying to escape it.
I don't believe that we live in a world (or a body) where we can stop experiencing fear. The most powerful practice...
The depths and edges of our discontent, the tension we feel between how things ARE and how we want them to be, urge us toward transformation, toward change. Our pain shapes us into the people we are, and, if we choose to say yes, our pain will shape us into the people we are meant to be.
Saying yes to accepting suffering as a teacher and guide clears the path, moving us toward possibility, toward wholeness, and yes, toward joy - toward deep and abiding joy. This is a tremendous gift as well as a great paradox — no one asks for the trauma, the wounding, or the circumstances that create such profound suffering (yeah, no thanks). We wouldn’t wish it on anyone else, would we?
However, the pain and suffering we experience because we are alive and we are human is an invitation to a co-creative dance of becoming who we truly are and who we are meant to be.
But I do believe...
There is the risk of not making enough money to pay the rent.
The risk of leaving the corporate paycheck behind.
There is the risk of concept failure.
There is the risk that life will intervene and you will have to scale back your business.
And then there are all the risks that go along with saying yes and taking bold action.
There is the risk that you will be criticized, called out, judged, and disliked by some.
There is the risk that you will work so much that the rest of your life will fall apart.
There is the risk of reinvention and evolution.
The risks you will take to be in business (hell, to live a full life) are endless, and though that may take your breath away, imagine me telling you that while looking you straight in the eye, knowing you are fully up to the task.
Most good things in life are on the other side of...
I am dedicated to supporting you as you come into right relationship with money, heal the scarcity wound, and claim peace, power, and freedom. I can't wait to see what you do, sister!
Your time is now. Let's do this.