Monthly Archives: July 2016

New Moon in Leo

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Night sunrise landscape with the moon, trees silhouette, starsThis continues a series of posts on working with Moon energy. Each New Moon and Full Moon, I will post suggestions for working with that archetype and harness the energy of the Moon’s cycle.

New Moon Energy

The new moon is a time of new beginnings, a time when you plant the seeds you wish to harvest over the next month. Yet, do not neglect to let go of what no longer serves before you plant those seeds. It does no good to plant seeds in a barren desert. So the night before each new moon, in the dark of the moon, I like to hold a release ceremony. Some questions to ponder might be:

  • What do you need to release before moving forward with this new moon cycle?
  • What patterns have you been holding on to that no longer serve?

Once you have let go of the old, it’s time to set your intentions for this moon cycle. I do this on the night of the New Moon. Some questions to ponder might be:

  • What do I wish to create over the next month (from New Moon to New Moon)?
  • What do I need to allow my creations to come into light?

 

New Moon in Leo

The lion: “I am fierce. I am courageous. Hear me roar!” When I think of Leo, I think of Katy Perry’s song, “Firework.” (If you’re not a Leo, but are trying to play off of Leo’s courage; in that case I recommend Katy Perry’s “Roar!”) Leo is a fire sign. Leos are the flamboyant ones of the zodiac group. They like to show off and be noticed. They light up any room they walk into as you can feel the energy rippling off of them. Because of this, their motivation is off the charts and they tend to succeed at whatever they put their minds to. The downside is that sometimes Leos appear prideful or egotistic because they believe in themselves and don’t care what you think, thank you very much! Fortunately, Leos are also known for their generous and expressive nature, so shine your light on those around you so that all can benefit during this New Moon window.

What does this mean for working with the New Moon energy? You can add the energy of Leo to your New Moon reflections by asking yourself the following reflective questions:

  • What is my relationship to my fiery side? Have I been reining in my passions? If so, why?
  • What do I think about people who live in the “limelight?” How might my response be my shadow-self talking or my ego?
  • Where have I been hiding my light? Not shining? Not allowing myself to find and express my true potential?
  • Where has pride or ego gotten in my way and prevented me from living my Soul’s Purpose?
  • How does my creativity want to be expressed right now? What wants to be created/birthed through me?

Enjoy working with the New Moon energy in Leo! It should be a spark-filled, creative time for all of us.

 

I Am So Much More Than Enough

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Buntes Supernova HerzI'm getting tired of the word “enough.” I'm pretty enough. I have enough. I do enough. I am enough. It's not that those things aren’t true, it's that the word “enough” still feels at the surface like something is lacking; like you have the bare minimum you need to get by. Just enough.

In fact, when you look up definitions and synonyms of the word “enough,” you get the word “adequate.” I guess that's the real problem: I'm tired of feeling adequate. I want to be more than adequate.

“Tired of trying to cram her sparkly star-shaped self into society’s beige square holes, she chose to embrace her ridiculous awesomeness and shine like the freaking supernova she is.”- Unknown

Yes, that’s it exactly. I lived most of my life feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Then several years ago I was journaling and I wrote the statement “I am enough” in my journal. Immediately the little voice inside my head (my inner critic) said, “No you aren’t. You’re broken and need fixing.” That day changed my life because I decided to confront my inner critic and figure out why she believed what she believed.

Although it may sound simple, it wasn’t. That day I embarked on a journey. I spent the next few years healing my “enoughness” issues, trying to convince myself that I was, in fact, enough. After all, at that point in my life, any day I felt like I was “enough” was a success. And maybe that’s where you are right now. If so, that’s awesome. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. After all, you have to feel like you are good enough before you can feel like a freaking supernova!

But what I’ve come to realize on my 2-month long retreat this summer is that

Granted this statement is the very statement that started the ball rolling for me, the statement that made me the woman I am today. That simple little statement, “I am enough,” made me confront my inner meal girl and challenge my long-held beliefs. For that, I am forever grateful. But, I feel like I’m now evolving into a new version of me.

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine a few weeks ago about labels and roles. We work so hard to get to a certain place in our lives, and sometimes once we arrive, it can feel stifling. For example, I’ve spent the past 20 years of my life conducting research on and teaching about body image and eating disorders. I am a Body Love expert. It’s what I do and I’m good at it. However, that doesn’t mean that is all I do. I also teach about self-love, self-trust, and self-care. I teach women how to become their own best friend instead of their own worst enemy. How to forgive themselves and others for past mis-takes. How to be Goddesses and Queens of their own lives. How to tune into the Wheel of the Year, the moon’s phases, and their body’s and the Earth’s cycles and rhythms. Am I a Body Love expert? Can I help you heal your Body Shame? Absolutely. But to say that I am a Body Love expert sometimes feels like saying “I am enough” because I am so much more than a Body Love expert. I am so much more than enough.

I fully admit that I am not 100% sure what is unfolding for me. At the beginning of the summer, I had a long talk with a Spiritual mentor and friend. I told her about my frustrations, that I felt like my “enoughness,” my current roles and labels were somehow limiting me. She told me, “I want you to put an empty cup on your altar, to represent that you are open to receiving what is next for you.” And so I did. Two months later, it still sits empty on my bedroom altar. I am beginning to get an inkling of what this unfolding will look like, but I also know that it’s not quite ready to birth itself yet.

So I’m waiting. I’m journaling, processing, allowing whatever wants to unfold to do so in its own time. This hasn’t been an easy process, mind you – I am still a recovering Type A control freak, so all of this uncertainty has been unsettling to say the least! But this has been a lesson in patience as much as it has been a lesson in breaking free of my own limiting beliefs.

What I do know is this: whatever is coming is going to be big. Life changing. It’s going to break me out of my rut. That’s both exciting and scary at the same time. But that’s okay. I’m allowing myself this summer retreat time to introspect, to incubate, to unbecome what no longer serves so I can become who I am meant to be. After all, I’ve got a ridiculously awesome shiny freaking supernova inside of me. And so do you.

This no so little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…

On Boundaries, Expectations, and Letting Go

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Old FenceI've been having a lot of conversations lately with clients and friends about relationships. Stories of heartbreak, breakups and miscommunications seem to be the norm as of late. While it's easy to blame the sun sign, the full moon, or planets in retrograde, at the end of the day, most of us blame our partner – or whoever we are experiencing the relationship issue with. 

But it takes two to tango. And while I am not advocating self-blame, judgment or criticism, if you're unhappy, it is important to look in the mirror and see how you may have contributed to your situation. 

I like to think that life happens for us, not to us. Every “mis-take” is just an opportunity for growth and a re-take after you've learned your lesson. Relationships are no different. Yes, people lie, cheat, and steal, but I think a vast majority of issues could have been prevented if one party or the other had initiated a conversation right when he or she first noticed the potential for a problem. But we don't. We hold back, reassess, put our walls up, and bide our time until the molehill becomes a mountain. As a result, we don't get our needs met, our feelings get hurt, and little issues become insurmountable ones.

Although there are often many factors involved in any relationship issue, I think doing the following would certainly help prevent or minimize many relationship issues:

  1. Set healthy boundaries and enforce them – as a recovering codependent, boundaries didn’t used to be something I knew I should be setting, let alone enforcing. But as I have healed my codependency, I have realized just how important boundaries are. We are not meant to be walked on, taken advantage of, drained. We are meant to be loved, cherished, and taken care of – and that must start with you loving, cherishing, and taking care of yourself. Part of that self-care involves setting limits around your time and energy. The limits that you set for yourself – for your own sanity, really – should not be taken lightly. It’s fine to test your boundaries, especially if they are limiting beliefs in disguise, but that should still be on your terms.
  2. Letting go of expectations – one might think this is contradictory to setting boundaries. After all, shouldn’t you expect your boundaries to be respected once you have clearly set them? Absolutely. But here I am talking about a different set of expectations: expecting the other person to meet your needs when you haven’t clearly stated what they are. For a relationship (romantic, friendship, or even work-related), you have to let the other person know what you need. Because relationships involve a party of two (or more), you should be clear about what you need for the relationship to be successful. You must then be able to communicate your needs to the other party – after all, no one is a mind reader. You cannot expect them to know what you want unless you tell them. 
  3. Realize that no relationship is without issues – when I was a kid, I wanted to be Cinderella. I kept waiting for my Prince to come save me so we could live happily ever after. Here’s the reality: there is no happily ever after. Relationships take work, and it’s so easy to take each other for granted. On the plus side,

    As Crystal Andrus said, “When you feel yourself becoming angry, resentful, or exhausted, pay attention to where you haven't set a healthy boundary.” Or other issue. If you’re upset, that’s a sign that there is an issue that needs to be resolved. Whatever this issue may be is just as likely to be your issue as your partner’s issue (refer to it takes two to tango above). We feed off of each other. If you are upset with your partner for doing – or not doing – something you wanted him or her to do, ask yourself where there was a breakdown in communication. Did you actually ask them to do whatever it was or did you just expect them to, but failed to communicate your needs? Even if it seems so simple to you that they “should have known,” communicate it anyway. Trust me on this one. It would have saved me a lot of grief several times over!

  4. Don’t sweat the small stuff – There are going to be issues (see #3). It’s your job to figure out which issues are your deal breakers and which ones, at the end of the day, really don’t matter all that much.  For the former, those are big deals that shouldn’t be taken lightly (see #5 below); for the latter, as hard as it may be sometimes, you have to let it go. Before I got into my current romantic relationship, I had a heart-to-heart with myself to figure out what I really wanted and what mattered to me. (I find it’s easier to do this when you are not in a relationship because you aren’t thinking of anyone in particular when you make your list, but even if you are in a current relationship, give it a go – just make the list about you and your needs and not your partner’s faults.) Every once in a while, I go back and look at my list. It’s a good reminder of what’s most important to me and that some of the little things that I fret about really aren’t worth ‘sweating over.’ 
  5. Listen to your intuition – I once dated a man who I knew – on our third date – was the wrong man for me. But for several reasons, I chose to ignore that inner voice of wisdom and got into a relationship with him anyway. 6 months later, I was broke and heartbroken. Here’s the deal: You are the best authority on you. Not your ego, but your intuition. You know what you need and what you want. You know what your deal breakers are and what matters less to you. You know in your heart whether this relationship is the right one for you. If it’s not right for you, then by all means, get out. But if it is the right one, then your relationship is worth fighting for – as long as both of you are willing to go “all in.”

What’s worth fighting for and what can you let go of?

 

Create Sacred Space to Nourish Your Soul

By | Goddess Wisdom, Walk the Path, Wisdom Blog | One Comment

Beautiful woman sitting in meditation in lotus pose with her hands raised up in summer and spring colors with cosmic space in her heart illustration, banner or poster idea, watercolor style

As I get summers off from teaching, Summer is usually the time I ramp up my online business. I go into “get things done” mode. I host telesummits, create new products and services, and revise my business plan for the remainder of the year.

But after a long and stressful Spring and Summer semester, I declared June my month of Self-Care. I worked 4-hour days, rediscovered painting in the Woman Unleashed Online Retreat, and spent quite a bit of time journaling. I thought that by the end of June, I would come out of my slump and know which direction I wanted to take with my online business.

Yet, when I checked in with myself during my New Moon meditation, I got the following message:

“You need to keep coming back to you. You need this Sacred retreat time to ground and center. Take as long as you need. There is no rush. Allow this unfolding to happen on its own time.”

Huh. Guess I won’t be charging ahead with my business plan this month after all.

As I’ve been participating in Woman Unleashed, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I learned that, to some extent, I’m still a people pleaser. I’ve been listening to the advice of others rather than my own intuition. I’ve been following someone else’s definition of success rather than focusing on what makes me happy. I’ve been holding myself back for fear of stepping on someone's toes or offending someone. It’s like I’ve been waiting for someone to give me permission to be myself. But none of that is honoring me. So I started asking myself some tough questions:

  • What do I consider to be my greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
  • How have I been hiding/not be-ing true to me?
  • Who do I think I need permission from and why?
  • What is my Soul calling me to do? What is my Mission?
  • What am I afraid will happen if I answer my Soul’s Calling? If I walk firmly forward in my Mission?

I don’t know that I have all of the answers to these questions yet. It is, after all, a process, an unfolding. What I know is this: my Soul is calling for me to continue my retreat. To create sacred space and nourish myself. As I allow this unfolding to occur, the next steps – for my business and my life – will appear.

June was my month of self-care. July is about self-trust and listening to my intuition. It’s about re-birthing me. The funny thing is that I do I reading for the entire year every January. I write down the cards I’ve pulled – one for my business and one for myself – for each month and then refer to them again at the beginning of that particular month.

After I completed my New Moon meditation and received the message that I need to stay in retreat mode, I referred 2016-07-05 09.46.42back to the reading I had done for July at the beginning of the year. I had pulled Nemetona from Doreen Virtue’s deck for my business and Transcend from Ariel Spilsbury’s 13 Moons Oracle Cards for myself. Huh. Quite prophetic, isn’t it? It’s funny how that works out. Over 6 months since I did the reading or even thought about it, and yet, my Soul knew even then that I would need this Sacred healing time to recover, replenish, and fill my cup.

The inner woman is the source of healing. The inner woman is the source of silence. The inner woman is the source of love. The inner woman is the source of belongingness with life. Embracing the inner woman is to discover our inner roots and wings.” Swami Dhyan Giten

It’s time to create Sacred Space to nourish my Soul.

Are You Open to Receiving Love?

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Woman walking on sandy beach leaving footprints in the sand.In the Sacred Circle, we just finished our month of learning to receive, but some of us found it wasn’t as easy as we thought it would be to open up to receiving, especially when it comes to receiving love. The act of receiving love can lead to all sorts of blocks when you have a guarded heart. I think this question summed it up best:

“How can you possibly let love in if all you do is surround yourself with walls to keep it out?”

That’s a great question.

We’ve all been hurt; we’ve all had bad relationships. Yet, some people find it relatively easy to forgive and forget after experiencing a hurt or, if the relationship can’t be saved, dust themselves off and optimistically begin searching for the next friend/romantic partner/etc. Others have been hurt deeply enough (usually in early childhood) or by enough people that they have learned through their experiences to guard their heart.

What’s the difference between these people: the ones who can dust themselves off and the ones who build a fortress around their heart? It all boils down to trust.  Those who have experienced or observed healthy relationships often find it easy to get close to others and are comfortable trusting and depending on them. However, those who have been hurt repeatedly or experienced abuse or neglect in childhood may find it uncomfortable getting close to others. They are leery of trusting, much less depending on, someone else to meet their needs. Those are the ones who have a guarded heart.

I think Brendan Burchard unknowingly described it best in one of his talks about creating the life you want:

When we're around people, we're not being ourselves because we're being protective. But sometimes in our self-protection, we block out the very thing that we want so much, which is connection with people. – Brendan Burchard

Yes, that’s it exactly. I believed for over 40 years that those walls I had meticulously and carefully built around my heart were my protection. It was disconcerting when I finally understood that those walls did not protect me at all – I still got hurt; I still grieved love lost. The only thing my walls seemed to do was to make it almost impossible for me to truly receive love – not from others, and not from myself. The day I realized I was the most common cause of my own pain when it came to love was the day I knew I had to make a change.

How can you open yourself up to love when you don’t really trust yourself?

You must allow for the process of love, and self-trust, to unfold for you, but it must be an active unfolding. First, I had to learn to love myself again and accept myself for exactly who I was. (I explain exactly how I did that in my free gift: Self-Love: The Path to Inner Happiness audio and workbook. You can grab yours here). Next, you must make a commitment to yourself to work on self-trust, for it will always be difficult to trust others when you do not trust yourself. While relearning to love myself required a lot of inner work and healing for me, self-trust required that I take action. Every. Single. Day.

I had to prove to myself that I was trustworthy. How did I do that? Every day I created a little challenge for myself that stretched me beyond my comfort zone. The more I stretched myself, the more my comfort zone expanded. The more my comfort zone expanded, the more I began to trust myself. Day by day, little by little, I learned to trust, to ask for what I needed and allowed myself to open to receive it.

She set out one day on her journey. She didn’t look back and she didn’t rush. She just kept taking one step at a time. And opening her heart to the possibilities. – Shiloh Sophia McCloud

If you’d like support on your journey of opening your heart, I invite you to join us in the Sacred Circle, where this month, we are working on cultivating our self-trust.