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

Honor the Longing

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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

 

There is no "fix"

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Let me read this post for you {7 min, 14 sec}

You do not require "fixing"

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. 

I think I'm lucky. I have always been stubborn as a mule. When people who had my "best interests at heart" steered me toward the path of least resistance, I could only stomach that crap for about 14 years. It nearly killed me to drink my way through the darkness of trying to do what was expected of me (which is actually code for "continuous striving for perfection that will always fail"). 

Humanity is the light and the beauty

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 that was put on beautiful hardwood in a misguided attempt to beautify something that is incomparable in it's natural, stunning beauty. 

It's not a fix that you are seeking, it's restoration of your innate wholeness to your conscious awareness. A revealing of (and reveling in) your natural light and beauty, one sweet layer at a time. Your true nature, your soul, your Essence of beauty, truth, light, love and joy is intact. The luminous core of you is undamaged and on some level, you know it. You can feel it because no matter how much paint you might layer on, somehow the natural grain of the wood is still there, still visible. 

One layer at a time

With every fiber of my being I believe that we are, at our core, divine. That we are, in fact, embodied, divine soul. That our human experience is exactly what we are here for, not some hyped up idea of "transcendence" that is just another face of the impossible search for perfection. 

What our souls really long for is the messy, real and true experience of being human -- engagement with terrible and difficult challenges, experiencing the incredible joy of creativity, feeling our hearts break open again and again as we move through the world with countless other beings (some we love, some we like, some, well... great teachers), the awe and wonder of living in a world that is so alive, so beautiful and terrible in equal measure that it inspires us. The tears and pain, the laughter and joy, the triumph and yes, even the defeat. The list goes on. Our lives on earth are precious, our capacity and desire for aliveness, immense.

Please.

Drop any ideas of perfection. Stop looking for a "fix" (god, looking for a fix is like looking for a "fix" as an addict, isn't it?) Let go of the idea of attainment. Or being some kind of goddess. Strip away anything anything other that who you are: a unique expression of the divine living deep and wide in the human experience. Perfectly imperfect. Held and nourished by our great Mother Earth, celebrated by the angels and devas throughout the Universe, infinitely loved and supported by the Divine. 

Peel off the paint, reveal the luminous beauty at the core of your being; at the core of your humanity. Show me your quirks, your fears, your mistakes and your triumphs. Let me see the stains from the tears and the scars born from love, from play and yes, the incredibly strong scars from the wounds inflicted by others. 

This is how we belong to ourselves. This is how we belong to the world. One tender layer of Truth revealed at a time.

Show me the very Truth of your being

My sister, this is so much larger than you, than me. This is what you need. This is what I need. This is what we need, collectively, to reconnect with our Truest Nature as individuals and as a collective. We crave Truth. We long for radiance to be revealed. This is how we know ourselves, and each other. This is how we remember who we truly are.

When you reveal your True self you restore something precious to your own life, yes, but the ripples are infinite. Don't doubt the power your own healing and restoration has on the world at large, my sister -- don't doubt the power of knowing and celebrating your own wholeness. 

Hear me now.

You are brilliant, wise, and you shine so bright in your messy and oh so human experience -- embrace what you really, deep down, know is true: this brilliance, your brilliance, is the real deal. Stop. Trying. To. Fix. Yourself. You are not broken, you are beautifully and brilliantly and divinely human. 

And truly, I love that about you. 

xo.nona

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Photo credit: Natalya Letunova on Unsplash