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 in equal measure. 

"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

Posted on March 5, 2017 and filed under Wild Wealth, Must-Read, Adventure & Travel, Innate Wisdom.

Hold the Vision

At two points in my life, I stopped drinking: first, when I was 18, sickened by my decisions and the hold that alcohol had on me. By ultimatum, I attended Alcoholics Anonymous and stayed sober for five years. My motivation was escaping the destructiveness I experienced in myself: the poor choices, the darkness, the desire to be numb. 

Sometimes, resisting something is enough. Certainly, it was enough to keep me sober for 5 years.

However, the second time I got sober I was again sickened by my decisions and the mess my life had become. But this time, I wanted something better. My motive wasn't to escape myself, but to become the person I knew myself to be. I didn't know what, exactly, that would look like, but I knew it existed, I knew in my heart I was better than my behavior. 

The ease with which I was able to stop drinking the second time taught me a valuable lesson: moving toward a vision is far more potent than fighting against what you don't like. 

The courage to see beyond the chaos

My sense is that we are standing at an opening-- in my mind's eye, it looks like a large cave with an opening to the light. Between you and I and that opening stands a dying system of power. What that means to me (and what it looks like) are people and structures making decisions that are creating chaos as they try and roll us back into an old way of being. 

This, and their ideas, are old news. Obviously. Look at the response of people around the world -- the strength of our conviction that black lives matter, that the environment matters, that women are sovereign beings who are in charge of their own bodies and their own voices, that immigrants are vital to our economy and welcome here, that separation of religion and state is desirable and necessary and let's not forget that the truth matters. The truth and actual facts matter very much to a majority of people. 

Ghosts

What you are seeing are ghosts -- they appear real, they appear solid but they are not. The reason they appear to have any power is the fear and anger and accusation that many of us are sending their way by buying into the chaos, and reacting to their unbelievably hateful and destructive actions. In my mind's eye, it appears that the more attention the old structure receives through fear and anger and disbelief, the more real it appears. 

It's so difficult to see what is happening, to acknowledge it and not react in a way that gives the ghosts more energy and power. However, when we react in kind with anger, disdain and us vs. them language and energy, we perpetuate the same dynamics over and over. 

I, for one, am ready for something different. Are you?

In Tension: the power of using tension for change

To have an intention is to be in tension -- to want one thing and to not be there....yet. To even know that you are in tension, you must have a vision for where you want to be. This is a most powerful and potent act. I believe that what is happening can clarify your vision: what do you see beyond the ghosts? What world do you believe exists beyond the opening where they stand guard?

And beyond the wall of ghosts? Beyond, I see light. I see equity, justice and Truth. I see respect for all beings and a world community working in partnership with the earth instead of against ourselves by trying to extract every single "valuable" particle from our beautiful planet. 

We have a choice in every moment that something hateful and horrible happens - to rail against it in anger, giving the ghosts more power or, we can see what's happening, acknowledge that this is an old story that very few people believe in and allow it to break our hearts open and clarify our vision. This in turn will strengthen our action on behalf of the world we wish to create beyond the opening. 

If you and I can hold the vision for the just and equitable and safe world that is possible for all; then the old paradigm and it's limited remaining power will, in time, dissolve. Like water against stone -- the water does not see the stone and become angry that the stone stands in her path -- the water flows around the stone and eventually dissolves any resistance as she continues to flow to her final destination.

Hold the Vision

What kind of world do you wish to live in? Hold the vision for that world, and move into action - the action that is meaningful for you. 

Stay rooted in the center of your heart -- now is the time to nurture your connections and your community. Commit to your work in the world with increased passion. Dance and sing and cry. Eat well, travel, delight in the world, and honor the earth. Make love to your life. As I watch us live fully, holding the vision and acting with the strength of our convictions, I see power and energy draining away from the ghosts, freeing up the opening. Your lived joy and commitment to the vision you hold weakens them and strengthens you - strengthens us all, which will help move us into the world we wish to create beyond the ghosts. 

It is in holding the vision with fierce love for the planet and for all beings on this planet, that our power becomes like the ocean - an unstoppable force for change.

Finally, let us be like water.

Flow around the obstacles and see beyond what is before you. Trust that in the power of flow, the seemingly immovable object is dissolved and becomes part of the water itself. We will move through the opening to a new world. 

Whatever part you are playing, I honor you. Thank you to the reporters and truth tellers, thank you to the analysts, thank you to the warriors. Thank you to those coaching and working with the traumatized. Thank you to the immigration lawyers and those who are standing tall for civil rights. Thank you to the water protectors and those who link arms between the bulldozers and the land. Thank you to those who are donating money and quietly making calls. Thank you to those of you who are drumming and dancing and calling your neighbors together to share a meal. I honor you. I thank you. 

I believe in you. I believe in us. No matter how long it takes. 

And I believe we can hold the vision and move over the threshold, together.  

xo.nona


The Ways of Wild Wealth

The word "wealth" can trigger some 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. 

What happens when you 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

Posted on October 18, 2016 and filed under Money & Worth, Must-Read, Women in Business, Wild Wealth, Trust Yourself Fully.