Boundaries are Key

You can do this! Take it from a reformed people-pleaser that saying no can become a response you give with love, kindness and clarity. It's also essential to learn how to deal with others who have a hard time taking no for an answer. Building a life you love involves learning to become a skilled boundary setter - with others, with your time, and with your energy.

Share your tips in the comments below for setting boundaries with love and kindness, but also with firmness and clarity - we want to know!

Progress, not perfection

Have you ever felt like you aren’t doing enough?

Or how about feeling like you’re constantly moving to the next thing?

Well, sister  - if you answered yes, you are not alone and I am right beside you.

This life is so funny - even this journey of self discovery feels funny at times. I made a goal to meditate and journal daily while taking part in the Live Your Inner Power program. Within the last few weeks I’ve held true to that goal and made it happen (with the help of Laurel’s guided meditations) and I feel so grounded and at peace each day as I start my day in this way. It’s pure magic.

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Truth be told, I’ve fell a little “behind” in the course at times (or what I consider behind cause I’m always on time… hence the air quotes). I’ve been meaning to jump back into the content - learn, grow, expand and uncover more truths behind my heart. But lots of travel over the last few weeks has taken precedence. We had a group check in just the other day and I told the ladies that I’d been meditating daily but ended my update with “just that, nothing big to report...maybe I’ll have more next time after I get back into the content.”

And in that moment, I completely discounted my progress.

I was focusing on what felt like “not enough” that I wasn’t “doing enough” or I wasn’t where I “should” be. Always looking ahead at what needs to happen next instead of being right where I’m at and appreciating progress.

There is so much irony here. I’m trying to be the best version of myself and reach my highest potential, right? But that feels as though I’m not appreciating where I’m at and focusing on a goal/moving to what’s next. The journey along the way is just as important! It’s so critical that we don’t forget that, because then we’ll miss the whole point!!

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This life, this personal development work - all of it is progress.

I listen to my heart and love myself for where I am and how far I’ve come. I love myself so that I can see my truth in it’s messy, imperfect entirety - to have fun with it all and not worry about making things perfect. Do what feels good and forget about the details.

The ups and the downs, the “not enough”, the race against time - I can’t say it’s going to stop and that everything is going to be peachy because I know the real truth. Oh hell no.

The truth is there will be days where I still feel like I haven’t done enough. When I use my awareness to see how far I’ve come, I return to progress, imperfection and truth. That leads to gratitude, joy and love. Love for myself and love for who I am and what I have to give. And that’s all there really is folks. Radical self-love.

Today, I invite you to write down three things you’ve accomplished and three things you are grateful for.

When you look at that list, feel the love fill your heart. And if you’re willing to share with me - I’d love to celebrate those victories with you. Comments invited right here :)

All my love,
Cass

How to Live your Dream

How does a dream actually show up in your life? Usually not the way you thought it would.The universe often delivers way bigger than you imagine. That's if you can truly let go and surrender.

Your job is to dream from your heart. Your work is to get through the doubts and negativity that will show up as you start working toward that dream. Your mission, actually, is to serve your dream.

How does that feel when I say that to you? Is your dream important enough to you for you to surrender, bow to it, and then get to the business of aligning your inner state with that dream? 
 

Remember, your dream is something that comes to you, through you, usually without effort but definitely with attention. You must claim it and commitment.

Align your inner life with your dream or vision, doing the necessary work of releasing all limitations, doubts and judgments so that you can produce that dream through you.

Surrender, commit and serve your dream. If it's important to you then you must align action and your heart and your voice in service to that dream.

What is your dream - what feels like it's in the way of aligning with that reality? Post your comments and let me hold your dream with you.

A Technique for Developing Presence

Use a timer to make this technique even more impactful ~

Use a timer to make this technique even more impactful ~

How do you clear the slates of your mind to become present to what you are encountering – right now? This is the key to being present, to living fully in the now, and to being truly available to those with whom you are spending your time.
 
Are you frustrated, like I am, with people looking at their phones instead of into your eyes?

We live in a world where many of us are distracted by social media, what’s popping up on our smart phones, and the on-going feeling of never getting enough done. Presence– or the lack of - is a real problem for relationships and for communicating effectively.
 
Say hi to “What’s On Top?”! I love this technique for purposefully making yourself available for life in the moment. We used this strategy in group process at our womens centers, and I have carried it through in the groups I lead today.
 
One of my recent program participants used it in our phone conversation today and I thought, “This is a great share for the blog!” Everyone could benefit from this simple but powerful communication and presence technique. 
 
This strategy for cultivating greater presence is called “What’s On Top?”
 
Here’s how it works. Before you actually get into the agenda of what you came together for, each person takes a turn to share what’s on their minds. Think of it as a quick mind dump. In groups, we use a timer so that it’s a structured, intentional way to release what’s occupying your mind. And then, focus on what’s in front of you. With practice, you’ll find it easy to let go of the distractions and be more focused in the moment.
 
In a world where we are being bombarded with more information and “stuff” vying for our attention, you can intentionally create ways to re-focus. Developing strategies to become present to those you love and with whom you work gives you more credibility, deepens your influence, and allows you to experience the intimacy you naturally crave and often miss out on. 

Let's give what we want to receive. Are you willing to invite others into more fulfilling commutations and connections with you, to create them together? 
 
Try this technique, share it with your peeps and enjoy the gift of really listening and truly feeling heard!
 
Feel free to forward this blog to a friend or significant other with whom you want to try out “What’s on Top”. Together you can experience deeper and more meaningful, effective and more productive, conversations and connections.
 

Saying Good-bye and Thank You to An Icon

What a week of holding space for devastation and loss. How are you holding up? I'd love to offer you a bit of inspiration today. Even though it's a loss, there is inspiration to experience here.

Lousie Hay, one of my heroines, passed away this week. She was 91 years old, and to many, she was considered the founder of the self-help movement.

 
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Louise was involved in her company until very recently.  I felt surprise the day I read that she would no longer be writing her weekly messages. At her age - still sharing from her heart! 

I had the delight in meeting Louise several years ago at a conference. I was able to say hello and thank her for her  inspiration and light - she actually greeted many of us at the entrance. She signed a book for me later that weekend and I will treasure that now.

Why was she an inspiration to me? Because she followed her heart and soul. She dedicated herself to her mission and lived her talk. Who isn't impressed by a woman who remakes her life at 40 after going through an unexpected divorce?

She followed a path of healing inwardly and then went out to help others. Louise conducted her own research project by tracking those she counseled as to their emotional symptoms, physical imbalances and determined how "affirmative" thoughts could heal their lives. She published the results of that data in a book that eventually became, You Can Heal Your Life. This book has sold more than 50 million copies and helped countless people understand the mind body connection. I use it all the time with clients.

In a time when so many are suffering and moving through devastating circumstances, I like to think that Louise is on the other side now, being the light that's needed. I feel confident her spirit will be watching over us.

Who inspires you - who raises you up with their light? It's important to look to those who shed that light as we do the difficult work of holding space for a world that's hurting. Inspiration is a healing balm, especially during a time when loss can become debilitating. 

This week I'll be lighting my candle in honor of Louise, and so many others who are suffering. If you aren't familiar with Louise's work, take a moment and read about her life, filling your cup with inspiration. 
 

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What can we do in difficult and chaotic times?

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How have you held up this week in the wake of all the pain and suffering? 

My Monday morning started with a client sharing the question she poses to herself as she drives to her appointment with me.

She asks herself, "What is heavy in my heart right now?"

I bowed to her, internally, acknowledging the wisdom in her question as well as her courage to face her heaviness and seek healing, rather than turning away and living in anger and frustration.

And so I ask you - "What is heavy in your heart right now?"

What happens when we are hurting? When we don't address what's wounded, we often act out in anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment and other damaging ways.

We are watching the chaos of the results of unhealed wounds running rampant, striking out at the world at large. We are watching ourselves struggle with how to respond and what to say that will unite us and comfort us. 

It's important to seek the leadership that lives in light; leadership that represents the highest values we aspire too. Be comforted by those leaders and let them ignite the leader in you so that you use your voice well. 

Leaders come in all forms. Some are front and center. Many more quietly influence others to open their minds and reorient their inner compasses toward love, compassion, tolerance and respect. We need you, now more than ever, to use your voice of love and respect as we move through the chaos. 

It's easy to lash out at the ones we see as at fault and a problem. It's not as easy to lead conversations that lift us all into more thoughtful, open and collaborative places.

What can you - we - do to serve in a way we desperately need right now? 

Stand for what you believe in. Be quietly resolved - march through each day in service to your heart.

Learn the language of collaborative dialogue. This is a must for our survival.

Strengthen your ability to grieve well without being lost and weakened by all the tragedy of the world.

Be inspired by leaders who uphold your most precious values - lead
your life well each day.

Heal your wounds so you are not blinded by them and unconsciously acting on that pain. Commit to this and get the help you need to really do the work. I am here to help you with this work.


My heart cries with yours as we move through this time of chaos, seeking higher ground, struggling to evolve into a more enlightened human race. 

I send you light and love this and every day.

 

Do you want to live a magical, mystical life?

Have you ever given yourself the gift of sitting with someone who's psychic?

How about an animal whisperer?

Do you know the feeling of Divine?

What happens in you when I ask these questions? Do you want to explore the magical and mystical?

I do - and so I do. I act on it. I invite it in. I seek it. I love it all. And it's pure joy. 

When I lived in Massachusetts my life began a big make-over the day I headed off with my mom to a psychic reading. This is a story for another time, but suffice it to say, it was a day that literally heralded in experiences that changed countless women's lives through what is now known as Authentic Women Circle in Ogunquit, Maine. If you live in Maine, hop online and see what's going there.

Then there was Ilana, who told me in 2000 that a "grandfatherly" man would keep me living here in the USA when I was wondering where the next chapters of my life might be played out. Her talent for sharing information came to her in videos as she looked into my hands. That grandfatherly man is the love of my life. Yay me.

If I were to be completely honest, and I am :), I turn a little green around the gills and wish my gifts were psychic like that at times. 

(Pausing as I write to say deep thanks for the gifts I do have and share in my circles. We all have perfect gifts for us!)

This week I had the honor of meeting and spending a little time with Kim Thalken of Love First . A mutual friend connected us months ago and we finally got together to connect about life, work and all things healing. We had an immediate connection. I recommend anyone living in Richmond to book a session with her if you love this stuff too.

Kim is a psychic medium. So cool right? Just before we parted after a lovely hour of chat on my deck enjoying glorious weather, she asked if she could share a message with me. After profusely (almost apologizing) she assured me she wasn't reading me but rather that she had a message that was really wanting to be delivered. 

A photo of the labyrinth at Wild Springs Habitat in Port Orford, Oregon visited during my summer travel

A photo of the labyrinth at Wild Springs Habitat in Port Orford, Oregon visited during my summer travel

"Write the book". Oh my goodness. And I had just announced to my Mastermind circle that I was putting that on hold till next year. I had just determined this week as I looked at my business that there were tasks that if accomplished I would feel much better about and more in control of things. I had decided, now is not the time. So much for being in control. I love it when the Universe laughs with me.

And here were my spirit guides telling me - now is the time.

Do you believe in the Divine and all things mystical? I do. 

Writing my book (that was started earlier this spring) is back in my schedule. I trust my spirit guides implicitly. The message came in the perfect way through a woman I know I will consider a friend and trusted other. Thank you Universe for bringing us together.

I end my week blissed out with gratitude for living in this world and also of the world all things Divine and mystical.


You can open and receive, to ask and have it granted, to seek the magical and mystical and come face-to-face with it. 

How about you - are you open to raising the vibration of your life experience and listening to the messages that call you into your best and most magical life? How open are you to receive if you are want this kind of life experience? 


 

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!
 

How to Stop Pretzeling and Live Authentically

What have you done this week that is in complete alignment with who you truly are and what you deeply want?

Rachel and I had a great talk on Monday’s FB Live at Noon about “pretzeling” versus living authentically. It brought on some big Yeses from our community. Women resonate with the reality of twisting and turning inside and out to please, avoid and accomplish.

Do you get a creepy crawly feeling when someone you love is sharing themselves and you disagree with what they are saying, or you want something different, or you feel hurt by it inadvertently?

How about when you look at your to-do list and want to head back to bed?

Or do you know the feeling when you are in a conversation and you want to say what you think, what you feel, what you want and instead you clam up, shut down, or push aside that truth because it’s too scary, intimidating or anxiety-provoking to just day it?

Zap! That’s how pretzeling happens! Instead of courageously speaking up, you become a pretzel, modifying, withholding, or sidestepping. Along with all that comes emotions - maybe hurt. Maybe anger. Maybe guilt. Or all of them in bits. And then the inner pretzeling starts as you accommodate that inner energy.

And let’s face it, that’s just not healthy for your digestion, your state-of-mind, or your heart. And inner peace, forget it.

How can you stop pretzeling? As we suggested in the FB Live, start by tuning into yourself and recognizing what your doing. Pretzeling does not feel good – it’s downright uncomfortable in your body. Then tell yourself the truth. Say it in your head, write it in your journal, and say it out loud when you’re alone. Practice the truth.

The next best steps are finding a safe place to share – a relationship or circle where you can say it all and not be judged. A place where you can be you and be loved. In that circle you build your courage and confidence. With more of the big C’s – courage and confidence – you start saying and claiming your truth in the more challenging spaces and relationships.

Building a life that’s in alignment with your truth and your wants happens one conversation and one decision at a time. Living authentically makes getting up each day an adventure.

Let's keep the pretzeling on the yoga mat where it belongs :)

 

What’s your favorite non-yoga pretzel move that you’re ready to stop so you can live more authentically?