Who are you really? And how is your life demonstrating this?

Who are you deep inside? Do you know? Lately, I am reminded that life flows from this connection… so the flow you’re in will reflect how well you honor * the essential you*.

How do connect with the essential you - and then live into that true Self? First you must take time with you and get rigorously honest. I've been in that "space" lately and deepening my truth as I continue to learn and grow.

I've realized that I don’t want to build a "big" business that requires full-time attention. There have been points when I thought I did. I have big dreams and I love feeling successful. And I also want other things that are decidedly, for me, more important.

Coming to terms with wanting a thriving business that is the right size For Me - has been a huge breath of fresh air.

I Love My Clients. We do deep work. We have amazing transformational experiences together. This is what matters to me. The intimacy, the truth, the revelations.

I Love my Husband, my Family. At the heart of my being I know that I am a central figure for my family. My husband relies on me in important ways. I want to offer beautiful energy to our marriage and our business life together, to our deep connection, to Us. I want to be a mother/grandmother who has time for relaxed conversations, for offering my full self with each family member - I love them dearly and want them to know it. *Same with my dearest friendships.* In order to be that woman, I have to have the boundaries placed very delicately, very carefully, so I show up the as the woman I love being - the real Me.

Photo courtesy of Kira Marie Cline - thank you! 

Photo courtesy of Kira Marie Cline - thank you! 

Years ago I began a love affair with my soul.We meet every morning. I listen. I speak. I shed tears of gratitude… I feel the fullness of my life. I revel in the wisdom that brought me down this path of fulfillment and love. I would not abandon my time with this Higher Me for anything.

As you read this, are you thinking about your own life? Do you have the time you want for relationships as well as all the other things you want to experience? Are you feeling good about your priorities? 

We must take care as the rise of the feminine ensues all around us. We could inadvertently create new scenarios that aren't truly what we want but have been conditioned to believe we want. The only way to overcome this is "Know Thyself".  Spend time with Self. Tune in consistently inwardly.

What boundaries must you be cautious of so that you don’t overload your energy and find yourself in a trap of your own making? I'd love to know. 
 

Journaling to consciously manifest in 2018

Forget the new year's resolutions! Tune in to your heart and let's get real about your inner truth and the year you just lived.

A strong suggestion - directive really - would be to develop the habit of centering yourself and connecting to your heart and highest Self before you do this kind of review and intention setting. To be free of the clutter that your mind accumulates that drives you into more egocentric and self-limiting places, this journaling is best done when you move beyond any confusion of the mind. You will create much more impassioned and exciting intentions and goals which you can truly put all of your energy into when your intentions come from intuition and higher sense of who you are and your potential.

This meditation will be useful for centering, grounding and connecting this way. 

Grab your journal and pen and for this year’s review and next year in vision...

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What adversity did you encounter this year that has pushed you to learn something new?

How are you using adversity as your friend - a teacher about expectations, responsibility, planning, flow, resistance, openness and achievement? Think about what you struggled with and now what you know because of the challenge.

What have you learned and how will it impact your choices next year?

What are you celebrating from this year?

How did you grow this past year, what did you learn?

What progress did you make that you are embodying, sharing and cherishing?

What were the highs and lows and what made them that way?

Who do you want to become now?

How do you want to grow next year?

What's in your heart that needs attention and expression?

How will you create space and time for this? 

Tell us what you want most next year in the comments below! We'll be drawing names on New Year's Day from these comments and those on Instagram. We'll send a copy of my book, Courageous Woman to the winner!

Psychic or Intuitive and how do you live well in all this chaos?

Plant your feet on the ground! Time to get real about what living with awareness and devoting yourself to personal/professional growth is all about!

I am just tickled to share this interview with you. Kim Thalken of Love First and I have become fast friends and she has so much wisdom to share, both from her voice and those of her guides. 

What's it like to be psychic?
What do you do to take care of yourself when you are intuitive?
How can we live more consciously with self-love? 


These are just a few of the questions Kim addresses in our 2-part interview.


Part 1 - How to build your intuition and self-care for the sensitive - Kim shares her own self-care practices and her thoughts about psychic versus intuitive



Part 2 - What can we do today in our chaotic world to make it better? - Kim talks about how you can live well today despite all the chaos and fear that is so troubling to us. 

Grab a coffee, tea or cider, get cozy and be loved by us as you listen in! 

One woman’s journey through the Live Your Inner Power Program: Part 4

I’m here to fulfill my highest potential. Are you?

I’m seeking the fullest expression of myself and that is why I’m in the Live Your Inner Power program. I’m done letting fear stand in my way. I want to experience all that I am here to create and share with the world in the most abundant way possible.

I read a quote in Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes just the other night that said “I love my creative life more than I love cooperating with my own oppression.” Whoa. Got that one loud and clear. As I learn and grow into my fullest self I must choose to move forward in that direction towards creativity and authenticity. Those qualities don't fall into my lap while waiting ideally by - it is for me to claim them and embody them, once I grow the courage to step up and live my power. Instead of letting culture shape me and tell me what to do when (go to school, get a job, start a career, etc.), this life is for me to live, create and enjoy.

I have chosen consciously that I am ready for this. As I reviewed my habits and patterns this month I found that I could be using my time better. Seriously, so much of my days were spent worrying about doing everything on the to-do list and practicing yoga and spending time with friends and tackling a house project and on and on and on. Just thinking about that worry is exhausting. I am now seeking the opposite of my worry...patience. Focusing on not worrying about what I have to do but just doing the task right in front of me in that moment.

Understanding how I spend my time and looking at it through the looking-glass has made me realize that it’s my decision each and every moment of the day to choose how I use my willpower and my energy. When all the energy for the day is drained...that’s it, call it quits and relax. It doesn’t do anyone good to push past the limits of the energy I have to give others. It certainly doesn’t bring out my best in the projects I’m tackling.

Observing my choices allowed me to make better use of my time and relax into the fact that it will all get done. Maybe not this moment or this week. But it will happen.

This program has given me a deep awareness of both myself and my choices, which was not there before. Doing only what it is I want to be doing, taking away things that drain my energy, has become a new habit. This awakened awareness allows me to sink into enjoying the moment and release the worry I was fraught with for so long.

I’ll leave you with my latest intention that's powerfully influencing me right now and speaks directly to my constant worry. Maybe it will serve you as well…

There is time and space for everything I want to do

What emotion you are fraught with, and what may be it’s opposite that you'd like to consciously bring into your life?

Women, Business, Mothering, Healing and More!

I had a rich and honest conversation with Amber Lilyestrom on her podcast series, The Soul-Fueled CEO about women, healing, business ~ and so much more! 

 A few highlights include ~

  • How to approach releasing your fear of being seen and overcoming the conflict that holds you back
  • How to balance being a mother and business owner in a way that feels right for you
  • What you can do to deal with your attraction to “shiny objects”
  • How to manifest what you really want by looking at what you’re manifesting now
  • How to surrender to your truth by acknowledging what you’ve created

Amber coaches women into going bigger and bolder in their businesses all the while remaining authentically true to themselves. That's powerful stuff. This woman is a woman to watch - she's a force of nature and powerful at manifesting the life she deeply desires.

I loved our conversation and think you will too!


Stay tuned for what's coming next at Live Your Inner Power! Sitting with yourself is one of the most powerful paths to creating the life you most deeply want. We're getting ready to guide you through mastering that skill!
 

One woman’s journey through the Live Your Inner Power Program: Part 1

What do you want to change in your life?

Is there an emotion that’s holding you back?

Mine is fear. I want to get rid of the fear of judgement in my life so that I can live with more freedom, vulnerability, authenticity and abundance.

Before I get ahead of myself, I should probably introduce myself...I’m Cassandra and I’m a participant in this year’s Live Your Inner Power (LYIP) online class. I’ll be here each month sharing my experience with you as I move through the program and grow alongside a truly wonderful group of women.

Taking part in the LYIP class was something I wanted to do so that I could understand myself better and work through a “something” that was holding me back. Before starting the program I honestly didn’t quite realize what that something was that was holding me back.

Now I see the fear, and I’m consciously working through it everyday thanks to Laurel and her powerful wisdom.

I’ve only completed one month of the Live Your Inner Power (LYIP) program and it has already been filled with ah-ha moments. The first part of the program that I completed and brought into my daily life is listening to the wake-up call.  This module was all about observing my life and daily routine to find areas that are serving me best and others areas where I need to do some work and cultivate new habits that will bring about more of what I actually want in my life. Through this work I’ve uncovered areas of my life where I need to shed old patterns and habits that hold me back.

I’m already noticing more about myself than ever before. I’ve become a witness to my life in such a profound way, constantly curious about how I’m feeling, moving through the emotions as they arise and asking questions to gain more awareness.

I’m now able to tune into all aspects of my being daily, ask how I’m doing and without judging - simply accepting where I’m at and doing my best to move through my day with positivity and acceptance.

This is so hard. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m very aware and in tune with how I’m feeling but the accepting is really tough. I want to be at a certain point, I want to feel a different way, I want to achieve more - these are all things that play out in my head constantly. The acceptance is proving challenging but that’s the module I’m currently on so more to come on that!

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Here are a few reflections I’ve had while listening to the wake-up call...

I literally have to listen to the wake-up call (aka my alarm). I’m wasting time laying in bed, too lazy to get up and start my day off on a positive note, I’ll snooze there until I have to get up. Then I’m rushing to get out of the door - what is that about?!

When I do hop right out of bed I have time for all the things I prefer to start my day with - a morning meditation, some journaling, walking my dog, taking my time to make a delicious breakfast and ultimately setting myself up for a successful day. So many people always talk about this magical morning routine so here I am saying I WANT IN! And no, it’s not going to be easy for me, a perpetual snoozer, but I’ll try a little harder each day to get where I want to go. Is there anyone else out there that struggles with this?! If you have a morning routine - how’d you get into one? - I’d love to know (comment below!).

I have found I’m already more in tune with my emotions. When something starts to bubble up inside, I’m more able to put it into words as opposed to simply acting poorly and in ways that might affect others negatively. I really wanted those behaviors to change.

For example, one evening while I was in the kitchen I started to feel a little put off that my boyfriend wasn’t helping me. As my hanger began to set in, all I wanted was dinner to be ready and the dishes done, feeling like I had to just do all of that myself to get it over with. I stopped, noticed what was happening, and then when my boyfriend came in to see what was going on, I told him straight up. Usually I would snap or say, don’t worry - in a tone he knows means I’m not okay (he then would reply with “why are you snapping at me?”). I told him, this is how I’m feeling and usually I’d snap at you but here I am today acknowledging that this is happening and the fact that I wish you’d simply ask me if I need any help. We both learned something major in that moment and it’s truly stuck with me. This is the power I have to stop, reflect, and move forward with a clear head, in new behaviors that feel good.

Without this program, I’d still be living on autopilot and not reflecting on my actions and how they serve me - or don’t. I know that I want to accomplish big things, ultimately moving through emotional states and patterns that hold me back. This program is helping me do just that as I’ve been reflecting more and taking inventory of what is really going on so that I can move through it with intention.

This is some life-changing work and I look forward to sharing more of my process in a few weeks. Until then, be well my fellow courageous woman!

Cassandra is a Designer and Yoga Instructor living in Nashville, TN. You can learn more about her at www.cassandra-neece.com.

How do you know when you're living authentically?

How do you know when you're living authentically? And why does it matter?

It matters because when you live inauthentically you pay a price. Sometimes we don't even realize what those costs are. Those costs can be big -

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Always questioning yourself
  • Seeing the green grass on the "other" side 
  • Addiction


Other times the costs are less dramatic but still unfortunate -

  • Worry about the future
  • Guilt about the past
  • Feeling uneasy in your body
  • Feeling detached from your body
  • Overall boredom


When you live authentically, you look around your life and feel at ease - and hopeful. Even when you are in the throes of change and it's uncomfortable to be in the turmoil, your body will register that - this is okay. This is part of my life process right now.

You just need to keep moving through - and breathe.

One of the quickest ways to step into living more authentically is to gently own where you are feeling and living inauthentically. Begin the process of checking in with yourself in all areas, in all decisions. Does this feel right and true? Do I feel like I am in integrity? Do I feel good about who I am being right now?

A poppy is only a poppy :)



During my training on the Shamanic path I learned how to face my inauthenticity with love and grace. Questions I kept in the forefront were -


Where was I not speaking the complete truth?

When was I not willing to share my feelings?

How did I make choices that didn't align with my heart and inner truth?

Who was helping me be more authentic, who was hindering me?


No why's - they come later when you can see life in retrospect. The answers to the why's arise naturally when you've grown and time has passed.

Authentic living is being in the light. The light that let's you know - you can do this. 

Managing life in your head is troublesome. We know now that it's the stress producing path. And it's the path to chronic self-doubt. Sure, we need to think, but mental direction needs to come from an inspired place.

Instead of staying in the mental chatter of your mind, tune in to how your body feels when you make decisions. Learn your inner wisdom and how it speaks THROUGH you. Get friendly and well-acquainted with your signals, your pushes, pulls and pulses that know what's right, wrong, what's best, and what's off course for you. Learn the little details of those pulses that signal honesty, register truth, and the fear that accompanies living vulnerably.

The fear dissipates as you grow authenticity muscles and develop an inner wisdom practice. The truth and comfort remain. 

Living your authentic life is the pulse that's beating through your heart, calling you to your best life. 

Will you answer the call?

I'm here to support you in your authentic life. 

How are you feeling about your journey to authenticity? Leave a comment below and make authenticity a topic on the table!

Do you know anyone who wants to feel more authentic, more at peace in her skin? Share this message with her and spread the healing.

When I Met God by Pixie Hamilton

My life – although early dominated by alcohol, drugs, dysfunction, and familial abandonment - has been a series of  “God moments” and “divine intervention.” Even at the age of 17 when I was at a crossroads deciding my "next step" after high school graduation, I recognized the power of something “big” working in my life. I couldn’t name it or even describe it. I look back and now know that a spark (or pilot light, if you will) was always on.

The journey started to grow in intensity in 1996 when I picked up “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch. The words resonated and made my body tremble. I couldn’t get enough. I became fixated on reading, praying, meditating, journaling, and worshiping with others. I was a sponge, so thirsty for knowledge and understanding.

The words resonated and made my body tremble.

I began to think about and even rely on spiritual tools and “God” during the rough times of life during the pursuing years – which manifested in a brutal divorce, addictive behavior by close family, broken relationships, and deaths of dear ones. But I was still learning. Truthfully, my human nature and subconscious patterns prevailed a lot of the time, particularly during the challenging circumstances.

I gutted my way through a lot of life – as a fiercely independent survivor and visionary type-A personality – with God often on the sidelines…but thankfully never gone.

A pinnacle turning point was in 2013 when I suffered a traumatic injury that put me down for 8 weeks. Yes, like many people, one of my most enlightening experiences came through physical suffering. God picked the most perfect time and hit me with a 2x4 to really accelerate my spiritual path. During my long recovery, I had time to pray and meditate for months. I truly “felt” and “became” love, vulnerability, faith, peace, and total joy. An amazing, life-changing, trauma for which I am eternally grateful.

During my long recovery, I had time to pray and meditate for months.

I returned to work, and once again, was immersed back into the hectic, noisy, and multi-tasking pace associated with a professional career, family, and community. Fear -  in forms of anxiety, frustration, anger, doubt, overwhelm, judgment - often won out over my newfound peace and love. Regardless, I had changed and I realized that I could never step backwards on my spiritual path. The Light doesn’t go out, even though it may intermittently fade. Awareness sticks. I couldn’t deny or forget for long. Once Divine presence is experienced, one doesn’t settle for anything less for very long.

Fear -  in forms of anxiety, frustration, anger, doubt, overwhelm, judgment - often won out over my newfound peace and love.

In my craving for that Divine peace I decided to retire in early 2016. My sole (soul) purpose was to dedicate my days to my Divinity. I had (still have) no endpoint. My indefinite purpose is to “be” with God. My days are spent basking in the rhythm of rest, prayer, meditation, and activities that I choose, whether it is a long walk, a long swim, gardening, reading, journaling, biking, hiking, or communing with friends. I notice chirping. I gaze at the moon. I go out of my way for a sunrise. I feel the cold, the rain, and the sun. I smell the dirt. I sit, sometimes for hours. And in that silence, I have no past. I have no future.

And I am so grateful.

So, my times of resistance are minimal these days, in comparison to my previous 32 years of rushing, rushing, rushing and pursuing a career, raising a family, and serving my community. It also helps that I consciously choose to avert my eyes to that which doesn’t feel good, such as Facebook (and other social media), news, and happenings I can’t control. 

When those times of resistance do come – and sure, they still do because this IS a noisy, chaotic, and very contrasting world – I now have (take) time to pause and ask for Divine guidance to minimize the gap between my ego/ears and Source. I ask for Divine Presence. I ask to see this (now heavenly) world as Spirit sees it; to perceive without judgment. I lean into the resistance, feel the fear, and know that help is on the way. When I slip back into fear-based thinking, I no longer let it build and gain a momentum that becomes all-encompassing and overwhelming. I don’t beat myself up for slipping back. I remember that Source never left. I reach for the next best emotion and the next best thought, and Source lights the way. Always.

Sure, I realize that it is easy to be a monk on a mountaintop. 

And I know that at some point I will return to a different life with more “concrete” goals.

But I will let God guide me to that service and vision.

I am not hurrying anymore.

A Sure Way to Lose Your Zest for Life - Resisting, Clinging and Conforming

When we are growing up and being socialized, we learn how to adapt. This adapting involves three practices that many of us become proficient in – resisting, clinging and conforming. We adopt these behaviors to create relationships, to get through learning experiences, and to find our way to make a living in the world.

Unfortunately these very same practices that help us grow and make our way in the world when we are younger can stifle our fulfillment, peace and joy later in life. It takes awareness and persistence to break those limiting patterns. And the pay-off is huge! 

Resisting

When we are young we are simply alive. We eat, sleep and release. Then we add play and learning. As we age, we are taught how to resist our natural inclinations in order to become socially acceptable, like going to the bathroom, throwing a temper tantrum when we want something, and playing outside when it’s dinnertime. We were taught to resist these inner impulses and instead conform to the “rules” of our home life.  Resisting helps create environments to live in that allow for the collective “peace and orderliness”. This is a good thing.

Once you have learned how to be a “good” citizen (I use the phrase loosely), resisting your inner impulses automatically hurts you in many ways. Deep within your being, your innate wisdom knows what you want and need to create a life of adventure – of peace and joy. Unfortunately, if you become too disconnected from that inner impulse, habitually resisting the inner voice, you create a life of ongoing stress and tension. Your inner voice and impulse is not gone, it simply gets ignored, argued with or dismissed as unworthy of attention. For a fulfilling life, you must become strongly reconnected with your inner wisdom and guidance again.

This isn’t a guarantee that you will never experience stress and tension again. You will, but you learn to use it as a motivating energy to self-create a fulfilling life. Sure, there may be hard work, challenges and more growth when you follow that inner wisdom. But you also experience excitement, passion and joy! And inner peace becomes a steady state deep within- because you no longer resist what is pulsing through your body as Your Truth.

Clinging

Clinging is a form of extreme attachment. Attachment is a good thing because it helps us feel safe at a time when we need others to keep us alive and safe - literally. Think of how helpless a baby and a young child are! We all need trusted others to help us until we can do life more independently. Healthy attachments are formed when we feel connected in ways that allow us to flourish and thrive in the world. Forming healthy attachments requires healthy individuals who know how to let go and allow others what they need to have fulfilling experiences.

Clinging becomes habitual when we lack an inner sense of confidence and security. We aren’t confident that we can go get what we need for fulfillment and live a vibrant life regardless of the relationships we are in today. Relationships may contribute to our happiness and joy, but they are not the sole factor in feeling secure and excited about life. Healthy attachments are helpful, clinging hurts us.

Clinging to anything establishes an inner habit – and eventually a belief - that leaves you feeling like a victim to the very thing you are clinging to for dear life! If that “life preserver” goes, you are sunk. We become free and relaxed when we release our attachments to having to have anything, or having to having anything a certain way. We recognize that we are powerless over any “thing” - and we welcome it. Non-attachment is a spiritual practice in many faiths. Learning how to let go - not cling - is preparation for the big finish – death. Not preparing for the end sets us up for incredible suffering. A favorite teacher used to say to me, “ungrip”, when I was mentally struggling, or wanting to control an outcome of a situation.

Learning not to cling, grip or control allows us to find a security deep within and a faith beyond our individual experience.

Conforming

Being socialized means we conform to the rules of the environments within which we are raised. Those with a rebellious streak are often unconsciously controlled by their environment through the need to NOT conform. Conforming is a good thing when it allows us to feel a part of a community and enjoy the experience of nurturing and growing collectively.

The trouble with conforming, especially unconsciously, is that it controls your behavior and disconnects you from your inner wisdom, the wisdom that wants you to continue evolving throughout your entire life, finding new tribes and new environments to express the ever-emerging you.

Automatically conforming hurts us by stifling the creative energy that naturally wants to emerge through us. Our creative energy is essential to our wellbeing. Conforming is a sure away to tamp down that energy and dull your life experience. If you are bored with your life today, consider a thorough exploration of how you are conforming and how you might start to release these chains from your life so that you may experience the joy of authentically expressing yourself once again.

For resisting, listen to your inner dialogue or feelings like, I don't like that. See if you can alter it to something like, wow, that's different and see if you can develop a curiosity about it.

If you are clinging, tell yourself "ungrip!" like me :)

If you are conforming, try breaking a few little rules. There are plenty you can break without harming anyone. Do it so that you break the automatic stream of conforming.

If you’ve lost your zest for life, take inventory and start to break your habits of clinging, resisting and conforming. You might find yourself waking up one day and feeling the passion that’s always been there, waiting for your invitation to come forth

How Is Life Calling You – Don’t Resist – Be Present for the Truth

Life has been calling me ~ Grandmother. Elder. Crone.

I am looking in the mirror. Yes, I see her.

Inside I am still me, a young woman who wants to explore life with others. I want intimacy, I want truth. I want to love openly and with wild abandon.

Why was I resisting grandmother-hood inside? It was a subtle, deep and unwanted feeling, this resistance. It was there, I didn’t resist it or ignore. But I also was uncomfortable with it.

I discovered why. Suddenly. Without struggle, without being in the story of my life. It came as a quick ah-ha as I sat at the edge of the bay with my adoring husband sipping a glass of wine on my birthday.

I was resisting the experience because I was afraid of it. I was afraid of less free time. I was afraid of losing the ground I gained in my work life this past year. I was afraid of being ME. The Mother who loves babies and bonding, who wants to be there for her loved ones. Who will sacrifice herself for the child that needs her.

And now another one? Oh right, I am not this baby’s mother. But maybe my daughter will need me :)

How am I going to fit this new experience, this new pull, into my bulging life of goodness? Oh poor me. I know - you feel so bad.

But this is the truth of life. Life comes and we need to respond. How will I respond?

I will respond gracefully I hope. Now that she is here, she and my daughter are well, and life is flowing onward. I am returning to my centered self. It will all work out. I do trust life.

Fear visits in transitions, when we don’t know, can’t predict, when we have to learn and grow. It’s just life.

Be present for your truth today. Is there something you are resisting, something that feels uncomfortable, something that is really fear but is showing up with a different emotional face?

How will you respond to your uncertainty, your call to grow today? I’d love to hear what your being is working with and where you want to go with it. Post a comment below and let’s allow resistance and fear in to the light where we can transform them.