Honor the Longing

Holy Longing HIppo.png

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

 

Beginning with a Heart Wide Open

4:30 am. Darkness. 

I wake up with questions. Questions I know will become prayers that pave the path of my journey. The quality of the questions, I know now, determines so much of the experience. 

I've struggled with new beginnings. 

Do I need to recite every catalyst, big and small, like it's own form of prayer, rubbing the mala beads smooth as I mutter under my breath? Is it necessary to mark the countless ways life has held out her hand and asked me to dance and I've either abandoned myself to the dance floor or (most often) I've pulled back, clinging to the wall -- desperately wishing for a song I know by heart.

Change is the most constant companion I've known, outside of the skin I live in. I haven't been a gracious companion to change, as I mentioned. I've wanted solid ground, asked for life to stay fixed in one spot -- you know the one. That one day where your jeans fit perfectly, everyone you care about loves you, your business is prosperous and meaningful, your energy is up, the weather is just the way you like it, your children are at 'that magical age' and you and your beloved are at your unmessy best with each other. And, of course, your hair is perfect.

Hold it. That's it. Just the way I want it. 

I have such compassion for this desire to arrange life just so. It reminds me of the way my daughter and her friends used to set up the Playmobil sets and beg and plead, "Please can we leave it set up? It's perfect just the way it is!" Inevitably a little brother or an animal or parental impatience with small plastic figurines would intervene and the perfectly arranged scene would go back in the box, in a jumble, while my daughter would wail in protest. 

This urge is adorable and confounding.

"Honey, you can set it up again.... why don't you PLAY with it?" and her perfect response, "It won't be the same, " and, "I don't want to mess it up!" I would cluck and nod (I know it's hard honey) and then assure her it would be just as good next time as I scooped her up and kissed her tear-stained cheeks. 

I was staring in a small, curly-haired, olive-complected mirror and I barely saw the reflection in that moment, but hindsight is so clear, isn't it? Moving my fingers over the beads, I've completed my prayers honoring the past. Heart open, the hand of change catches mine, again and again as I look to the future. 

New beginnings start in darkness

Birth of babies, birth of plants, animals, birth of new projects, ideas, lives, communities, eco-systems and nations. From the personal to the collective, beginnings have their roots in darkness. I am in awe of how a seed, frozen into the cold winter earth, surrounded by dark soil, follows instinct and (as a human I imagine) faith, to sprout and shoot in the right direction -- toward the sun, toward warmth, toward life above ground. Toward fruition. 

We, as humans, we have that same instinct to move in the right direction, toward the growth that is ours to live into -- whether we choose the circumstance or whether it's chosen us. The more deliberately we honor this instinct, the more enlivened and joyful life can be, no matter what change offers us.  

I'm in the thick of darkness right now, the first light of the sun at the horizon -- that liminal space where change and growth and new life is stirring - within me, in our life and in the world. It feels delicious. Anticipatory, despite the challenges that we will most certainly face. Today, like the seed, I say yes because I embrace change and my instinct is to grow. 

My prayer is just beginning to take shape

I ask to listen. May my questions lead me toward living fully.
I ask for presence. May I live with my heart and mind wide open. 
I ask for adventure. May I be changed by my experience and be a force for good.
I ask to be a blessing. May I offer grace to those I meet along the way.

I ask for authenticity. May I listen to my own heart and speak wisely.
I ask to connect. May I attune to the heartbeat of Zambia and her people.
I ask for courage. May I walk in beauty and truth and wonder.
I ask to feel roots. May I feel the first threads of belonging and honor them accordingly.

These are my questions, my prayers, spoken into the future on behalf of what has begun. Your questions, too, become the prayers that pave the path of your journey. The quality of the questions will shape and mold so much of the experience. What will your prayer for new beginnings be?

xoxo.nona

The Ways of Wild Wealth

"Wealth" triggers strong reactions. 

Three years ago, when I began talking about my own path, and my work, as the path of Wild Wealth - a dear friend told me that she was completely turned off by the word wealth, which I found fascinating. We had a long discussion about what wealth is, and what it is not. 

(She eventually came around to my way of thinking.)

In our society, wealth is associated primarily with financial wealth -- but the root of the word wealth is "weal" which, according to Merriam Webster is, "a sound, healthy, or prosperous state." It also held strong ties to "commonweal" which is, "the happiness, health, and safety of all of the people of a community or nation."

So wealth in it's truest form is operating from a sense of wholeness to create and amplify prosperity for yourself and for others. Wealth is something that you already are and something that you can create more of -- it is not something to "have" or acquire. Wealth is innate and instinctual. 

Money is a front man. 

As I turned my attention toward understanding wealth, I realized some very important things. Namely, that society dictates that you should be focused on money as the source of wealth. Meaning you are encouraged to look to something outside of yourself to define your sense of worth and your state of wealth.

This is incorrect thinking. Wealth is, most simply, resources - both individual and shared. When wealth is realized as something that is innate (you are filled with resources just being who you are), it can be cultivated in sustainable ways. In that way, it amplifies wealth for everyone - not just a few people. 

That is why I believe so deeply in the work of The Wild Wealth Collective for women in business. When we are steeped in a sense of our own wealth, it supports a sound and sustainable business and a beautiful, joyful life that amplifies wealth personally and collectively.

Bring on the Wild Wealth

So if wealth is about resources, what is the wild all about? 

When I shifted my attention away from money as my primary focus, here is what I noticed -- the qualities within you and I that constitute the vast and abundant resources that we have to work with are most often disregarded and dismissed and trained out of women, in particular.

These are the exact qualities that need to be liberated, that are the very heart of your Wild Wealth: strong emotions, definitive opinions, an insistent voice, courageous integrity and tenacity, claiming the rhythms and cycles of rest and action and trusting yourself and what you know 100%. 

Wild is the untamed and the subdued, that which is not valued in polite society. I'm here to tell you sister, that the qualities of your Wild Wealth, liberated, are your currency - they are YOU, present and alive and engaged. They are the resources that amplify every area of your life because they are the hallmark of finally, blessedly, knowing you are (more than) enough and you ARE the embodiment of wealth in this very moment. 

Liberate your Wild Wealth

  • You step up and stop hiding your wealth of creative expression, even when it's scary. 
  • You are committed to being on your own side: taking care of your most precious resource, you. 
  • You create the work and the life that you truly want, not the one you think you should create. 
  • You stop apologizing and start speaking the Truth.
  • You seek out, and connect with, people and relationships that celebrate you and your authenticity. 
  • You connect with, and trust, your deepest soul knowing. 
  • You claim pleasure and desire and instinct as valid ways of moving through the world. 
  • You magnetize your right business and amplify your financial flow as a result. 
  • You cry. You get angry. You dance with joy. You are honest. You are fully engaged with the beautiful, and often messy business, of your whole life including meaningful work. 

Each of these things taken individually is amazing and transformative. I see the women I work with courageously living into their Wild Wealth every day, living with a fuller connection to the wealth that is theirs and creating work and lives with more joy, more power, more connection and more inspired, deliberate action that creates wealth for them and for those in their communities. It's beautiful. 

You are the embodiment of wealth. 

Right now. More than anything, I would love for women around the world, including you, to wake up and know this. I want you to know and celebrate your Wild Wealth - to live it and express it in all the ways. To appreciate the vast resources that are within you as a woman, as a creator, as a unique and beautiful human with free will. As a woman who has experienced hardship and great joy, who has felt broken and has felt completely whole. 

You - all of you and your experience - are gold. All of it is part of the Wild Wealth that you are, and is vital for your work and for the world.  

You are Invited. 

I would love to have you join me, and the amazing group of women who are gathering to explore the ways of Wild Wealth. We begin in less than two weeks. And if that doesn't speak to you, I would invite you to turn toward yourself with a fresh gaze and to look for the innate wealth of resources that you possess. I would love for you to live into appreciating and celebrating all that you are and to recognize your unique nature as the very heartbeat of wealth. 

Because sister, that's what I know to be true. 

xoxo.nona