The Feminine Path of Mastery

I attended a yin yoga teacher training

I did the training to celebrate completing my breathwork healer certification and because Kari Kwinn is my favorite yogini as well as a dear friend, and because I adore yin yoga - it's pretty much the only style I practice with regularity.

As Kari Kwinn says, "Yin is an intention." which to me means it's not necessarily about choosing outcomes or what it looks like, but it's about how we show up for the practice - heart and mind open, willing to listen deeply and attune to our own wisdom.  This is the journey of my life. 

My yoga practice for many years reflected my beliefs and values that yang is preferable, always. The belief that action, movement, busy-ness and growth is what we should *always strive for is pervasive in our culture and it was evident in how I practiced yoga, how I moved my body, ate, engaged in relationships, ran my household and definitely how I approached my work for many years. 

Until I was exhausted, anxious and burnt-out. I had even managed to recreate the same environment of push, strive, and overwork when I started my own business. 

This ethos looks powerful, but it's fragile.

Which means it's weak.

About 8 years ago, life conspired in my favor and the old way of "business as usual" no longer worked, as happens for MANY people in our society driven by external measures and quick fixes. Life circumstance, wisdom from many teachers in my life and my physical body all put me on the path to begin changing my approach to life, to myself, and to my work -- to seek a more sustainable and rhythmic way of moving through the world.

"Yin is an intention..."

I view the work I offer to you as deeply rooted in yin energies which are sorely lacking and desperately needed in the world. I've found with my clients, and for myself, that as women, we must be deeply rooted in yin in order to express yang energy in a way that is in integrity, body and soul.

This is a feminine approach to mastery

Pushing harder is not the secret of success. Doing more for the sake of doing more is also not the secret. Being more and having more isn't going to being satisfying and meaningful either, taken out of context.

Instead, I advise the radical path of turning inward: listening and attuning to the action that is yours to take. Honoring the natural rhythms and flows of nature and the body as a path to sustainable energy and action. Engaging in delicious practices that deeply nourish. Embracing and feeling the depth and breadth of emotions as deep wisdom. And finally, turning toward oneself as the richest resource that you have to live into your vision of success in every arena of your life. 

You are invited

Nothing is more important to me than inspiring women to engage in ancient, but completely new ways to approach work, resources, themselves and the world.  For those of you who read, or work with me or land here by chance, I dare you to stop. To drop into your heart. To listen deeply for the wealth of wisdom that is available and to experience the wealth that is you.  

Follow the heartbeat of your wisdom. 

Tell me what you hear, sister, when you heed the call to the feminine path of mastery. 

To Know Life Deeply

My greatest desire is to know life deeply. For my life to be a prayer, for my hours to be spent awake to what's alive in me and what's alive in the world. 

I don't wish to simply observe. I want to participate, heart open wide. Forget stoicism or transcendence of the human experience. There is a whole range of experience that I hold and cherish as they pulse through my body - from grief and anguish to the fire in my belly to profound pleasure and joy. 

Maybe, like me, this idea of really living - of experiencing the rich pleasures of life: of play, laughter, fierce love and an open, tender heart - have been a little uncomfortable or completely off-limits. I didn't understand just how much I would hold myself away from engaging with life fully until we moved to Hawaii and even when I said hell yes to surfing, to hiking, to blissful enjoyment of living there was a niggle of uncertainty that I was really allowed to experience all of this goodness, all of this pleasure. 

We all deserve joy, pleasure and delight.

Here's what I discovered: I was holding a belief that somehow, because I'm not "beautiful" that I don't deserve pleasure - I felt like I was stealing those experiences, that only people who are beautiful are allowed sensual, playful and full-force life pleasure. 

This started unravelling when I was reviewing the incredible experiences of pleasure and joy I've had in my life - peak experiences. As I took myself fully into each experience and felt the joy wash over me, that voice (you know the one, we've all got one) boomed, "You don't deserve pleasure and joy because you are not beautiful." Fortunately, I had a moment of sanity and asked myself what beauty really is to me - defining what I find beautiful in myself and in others. 

Within 5 minutes, that ridiculous believe had dissolved in my tears of recognition that super-model, blonde, skinny or no - by my own definition, I am beautiful and worthy of the pleasure and delight of knowing life fully. 

I know among the people I know and work with, there are these hidden pockets of self-denial. These ways that we've let culture tell us what we can and cannot have, do or be. I believe that's why true pleasure can be so uncomfortable for so many people. The story may be different, but the result is the same - a whole slew of people who've shut down their own access to pleasure, bliss, love, play and joy. 

Fuck that, sister. No matter what your story, you can access natural and joyful states of pleasure. But you might have to walk through some really shitty stories to get there. 

Let me remind you why you should care.

We, as humans, are built for pleasure. We are built to enjoy life - with a capacity for great love and incredible sorrow. So when I say "enjoy life" I am not referring to numbing out with wine or food or endless TV shows and calling that "enjoyment" - I'm talking about living. Open-hearted and heart-breaking living that embraces the capacity for deep and abiding pleasure and the sensual, very alive nature of all our emotions and the experiences available to us. It's messy. And beautiful. And it's what you are made of and made for.

We are born whole and complete with a wealth of resources and skills that are instinctual. Play and pleasure and problem solving are instinctual - they also connect you deeply to creativity, growth and clarity, three things that 100% of the women I work with want to have access to at all times (because they are a rich source of abundance). So as many stories that may stand between you and claiming pleasure for yourself, it is totally worth it to wade through all that bullshit and let it go. 

Do you want to know life deeply, or what?

If you want it, it's so worth it to unravel the stories that make you "forget" to do the things you love or make you "too busy" or encourage you to go numb and stay asleep. 

I believe that you have the capacity to open your heart wide and say yes to life and to the world. I believe that you can let yourself have the experiences you wish to have, embrace it all, lean into life and love and pleasure. Your heart is vast enough to hold it all, sister.

It won't destroy you.

Or maybe it will, but it will be glorious - far better than staying numb or asleep or locked up, trying to stay 'safe'. No, it will be heart-opening, beautiful, passionate and utterly glorious. 

I invite you to consider whether you are allowing yourself the pleasure of living your life. I invite you to notice what you aren't doing that you heart-achingly want to do. You get to choose. My deepest wish for you is that you choose to say yes to yourself and to the whole, beautiful catastrophe of life. May you know the pleasure of your life and the world deeply, madly, truly. 



This is Home

Note: I've been cleaning out my virtual closets over here. The dearest work to my heart over the last few years was Surf Lessons (an eCourse I ran in Hawaii). The lessons are currently undergoing a transformation and are finding a new form, because it speaks so deeply to my belief in pleasure and blessing being our birthright and the most solid, soulful and spacious ground we can walk on as creators and purposeful women. I pulled out this essay from Surf Lessons for you today. May it inspire a deep knowing that you are home when you are deliciously present and in love with the moment that you find yourself in. --xoxo.nona

This is Home

Spending long periods of time in the waves reminds me at a cellular level that enjoyment, love, perpetual movement, creative response and play - these states are our natural home. We instinctually know this. 

One day, I was out at a favorite boogie boarding beach with Clara and Erick. Though we went to boogie board “because Clara loves it”, Clara spent the vast majority of the time digging in the sand while Erick and I stayed out on the waves nearly all day. 

Knocked down, flipped over, and crashed on happened. Effortless ease, perfect waves and long rides in to shore happened. Seemingly endless streams of snot and sea water from my nose, laughter and “oh shit, that wave is big…” yep, that all happened. Floating near my husband, waiting in silence, just feeling the water undulate underneath my body happened too. 

We are uniquely designed to grow through play.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that every single moment was delicious and welcome as I constantly played with, rode, dove into and responded to the water. Whether I'm walking on land, coaching a client or making dinner, this is Truth - we are designed for presence and creative response in playful and pleasurable ways. This. Is. Home. 

I love that when I spend time in and on the water I can still feel the ocean moving inside of me when I’m back on shore - it’s as if my cells sync up with the ocean and they maintain that rocking sensation long after I’ve stepped out of the waves. I treasure that sweet reminder of my true nature as long as it lasts. 

Your true home is delight, sister.

We ARE nature embodied - and nature, you, me, all of it - is divine. We are built for the ecstasy of pleasure and play… it is the heartbeat of creation - this ever-present, exquisite and delicious feast that is life. My experience is that the more I live fully in my body and allow myself to be in a state of delighted presence with the whole range of my experiences, the less I fear and the more I trust. My actions are more purposeful. My intentions are clearer, though sometimes getting to them is messier. My process is wilder, more meandering and far more organic but the results? Far more exquisite. 

Connecting with your true, divine nature through presence, through pleasure, and through play, forges an unshakable trust in yourself and in life. 

My deepest desire is that you find your way to that place in yourself.

You are Invited: Come Home

What do you love? Where do you find the greatest sense of pleasure? When do you allow yourself to play? I am so familiar with all work and no play as a model for success, but sister, it's not. You true home, the Source of inspiration, clear action and pure joy is more readily accessible when you allow yourself to sink, dive and be fully present to, the pleasure of doing what you love, what lights you up, what gets you in your body over and over and over again. 

So again, I ask, what do you love? Can you give yourself that exquisite gift? I promise, the ripple of energy into your life and your business will astonish and delight.