Tending Your Energy in a Chaotic World

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“Before helping others, put on your oxygen mask.”

How often do we hear this common flight instruction tossed around as a metaphor? We nod and agree, and then often, go back to throwing ourselves under the bus, doing the same things over and over, wishing for a different result. So, let’s be honest: this instruction is hard in the day to day doing.

It’s no simple thing.

When I said goodbye to corporate accounting many years ago, I left behind 80-hour work weeks, crushing deadlines and painful posturing.

The last year I worked in a corporate setting full-time, I consciously decided to bring some balance back into my life. I stopped bringing my computer home on the weekends or weekday evenings. I took a lunch break away from my desk. I worked out in the company gym regularly (and it was nearly always deserted). Most important, I stopped reacting to the false sense of urgency that kept everyone amped up and on edge and started asking clarifying questions about priorities before automatically signing up for a project or a deadline.

It wasn’t a popular choice. Without buying into the crazed pace and the hyper-busy party line of my company, I ended up shut out of decision-making and I was treated differently. It was painful. I felt caught between a rock and a hard place: I knew that working at that pace was not sustainable (or healthy), nor did I believe people were actually doing their best work and yet, it was the norm and the culture. However, if I didn’t buy into it, I was no longer part of the winning team.

I had to choose, and, as hard as it was, I chose me.

Fast-forward through leaving corporate accounting, the joy (and stress) of getting married, becoming a yoga teacher, having a baby, then choosing to pursue a career as a coach. When I started my coaching business, I found myself creating the same kind of hectic pace for my own business that I had experienced during my corporate career. Granted, I was doing work I felt called to, but still, I created an untenable work environment for myself.

When I realized what I had done, I was puzzled. And curious.

I can point to any number of facets of our culture, my own traumatic imprints (and the ensuing anxiety), and unhelpful beliefs that led me to recreate this framework for my own business: an unconscious coupling of “busy” and “money”, a deep feeling of scarcity and a need to overwork to feel (barely) equal, a truly driven work ethic passed down by many generations, the culture that I was educated in, and work environments that push on people in such a way that we believe we must keep going no matter what the cost to us personally.

The fact is, I, like many others, unconsciously agree to these terms and conditions believing we have no choice. We blatantly disregard the consequences this type of behavior has not only on our lives, but on our relationships, and society at large. To do it differently requires courage to challenge the status quo and culturally swim upstream.

Different choices are the path to new outcomes.

Only you know what it would mean for you to shift the paradigm and tend your energy, first. But discovering your Truth (and the subsequent actions) begins with two questions:

Who do you want to be?

How do you want to move through your life? 

I, for one, am in it for the long-game. I want to move with deliberate presence through my days and my world. This means I prioritize tending my energy first every day. I sleep 7 - 8 hours per night. I exercise most days and I focus on quality food that makes my body feel clear and alive. I don’t drink alcohol or use other substances as substitutes for real rest. I spend time outdoors. I journal daily to gather my thoughts. I minimize social media time and I take time to do things that light me up: breath, meditation, dance, and communing with plants and animals. I take time away with my family regularly to recharge and reconnect. 

Not only do these elements of tending my energy bring me joy, but I am more efficient, engaged and inspired when I am in a groove with my nourishing practices. Honestly, I get more of the right things done and I’m better in every way. I am more discerning. I am more empathetic, more loving and more connected to my own wisdom. 

It used to bother me that I felt present and filled up while others were complaining/bragging (you know what I mean) about how busy and tired they were. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I don’t want to live my life in a constant state of being behind: being in that draggy state of tired and wired is the ultimate embodiment of scarcity mindset. 

Choose you, today and every day.

Make no mistake, sister. Tending your energy changes the game on every level. It is an affirmation of your commitment to receive nourishment and to move into the world from a place of overflow. It is the strong foundation for the woman you, are the woman you are becoming, and the work you are here to do.

Tending your energy first allows you to be at your best. To be a force of good in the world from a place of abundance. If you need it, you have my full permission to offer yourself the depth and breadth of support that will nourish you, and leave you full. 

You are Invited

If you are a woman beginning, or growing, a business who lives and works with anxiety, exhaustion and a feeling of perpetual scarcity or you have experienced trauma and you are ready to create a foundation of tending yourself, consider joining me. Create a solid foundation for you, and your work in 2020: I am welcoming 6 women to a bespoke experience of The Trauma-Sensitive Business via individual coaching. I’m taking applications through mid-December.

xo.nona

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