The Co-Creative Path of Becoming

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Depths & Hard Edges

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.

The Path We Walk

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.

I don’t believe that life is suffering, as the Buddha said.

But I do believe pain and heartache is part of being alive and our suffering can show us the way home to our beloved selves. I believe that life is precious and that we have more capacity for joy than we can possibly comprehend — a joy that is not available until we can surrender to, and study under, the inevitable pain of being alive.

Deep, tempered joy and appreciation are the natural outcome of accepting pain, challenges and hardship as part of living (instead of pushing them away). Seeing beauty and love everywhere is inevitable when you know, at a bone-deep level, that the prerequisite for ease on the co-creative path of becoming is welcoming your whole experience.

You can kick and rail against it, pretend it isn’t there, but your suffering, and the heart-break of the world are waiting patiently for you to heed the call and step onto the co-creative path of becoming.

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” -Pema Chodron


Practice: self-compassion
Poem: The Guesthouse by Rumi
Flower Essence Ally: Star of Bethlehem
Tarot Card: Death

xo.nona

You are not stuck in a story

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Self-responsibility is powerful medicine.

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 judgement 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 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 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 we don’t want to experience), come to visit our consciousness and our body psyches again and again because they haven’t been truly heeded and heard.

Your “stories” seek your embrace

If you are anything like me, you wonder why in the heck you would possibly want to embrace a story with a guarantee that you will feel that kind of emotional pain. Here is why: because it is part of you. When you deny it, dismiss it, or diminish the relevance of these aspects of you or your life, you lose something precious. In the denial, you halt the clear flow of energy (because emotions are energy that carry profound wisdom). From a spiritual/energetic healing perspective, the energy becomes frozen within the body psyche, unable to be accessed until it is released, felt and integrated.

This energy, this life force that is denied — it is a source of power, presence and wisdom. It behooves us to learn to welcome all of ourselves, our emotions, and our experiences without a preference for what we deem “good”.

In fact, this energy, experience and emotion that we try so hard to push away and ignore actually holds the very wisdom and courage that will align us with the life that is ours to live. The life where we are most fulfilled and where we are contributing to the well-being of the whole in powerful ways.

And at the same time, truly, this process of embracing our whole experience can kind of suck. I won’t lie. I still don’t particularly enjoy feeling the full range of my feelings. I can still find myself doing All The Things to get some distance between myself and a hard understanding of myself or a circumstance.

And yet, this is life

I can make a strong argument that ANY preference or strong belief could be construed as “being stuck in a story” — anything on the continuum from “love, light and high vibes” all the way to the other end of the spectrum at “life is suffering”. Life is magnificent and life is brutally challenging. Life is beautiful and ugly. Life is all the things and if we desperately wish to lean in one direction, or another, we miss out on so much.

We miss out on the wisdom, the conviction, the clarity and the power that comes from courageously welcoming and facing our most challenging emotions and circumstances. We miss out on the true sense of joy and appreciation for life that is available when we aren’t denying parts of our experience.

Write YOUR story.

To write the story that is yours to write, you need access to all of your wisdom, energy and power. To be the woman you are requires you to hear and heed the wisdom that exists in the full range of your experiences and emotions. To be the woman you wish to be requires compassion and the courage to embrace, and to work with, the raw materials that you’ve been given. You are not stuck in a story. You are being called to reclaim your power. You are crafting a legacy, my sister.

It won’t be quick.

It won’t be easy.

But it will be real and human, and messy and absolutely profound.

No, you are not stuck in a story. Life is simply inviting you to craft a fuller, richer, more heroic story.

That’s all. And it’s everything.

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Hey soul sister

Did you enjoy this piece? Feel free to share on your favorite social media channels, like or comment below to continue the conversation. I love to connect with you.

xo.nona

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