Tag Archives: wonder

Stuck In A Suffering-Healing Cycle? Here’s What’s Really Going On

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I advocate for taking 100% responsibility for our realities and relationships.

However, this belief has sometimes had the interesting effect of causing me to accept behavior that feels truly emotionally abusive and narcissistic.

In fact, these “spiritual” beliefs, when misunderstood, can actually disempower people and encourage them to stay in relationships that are unhealthy.

Our “conscious” wisdom tells us we should stay in partnerships that trigger us because they are good for us.

Because through them we can heal our primary caretaker wounds, our attachment issues, our childhood traumas, our [insert your favorite self-help term here].

Because we should be able to accept and love what’s showing up for us, and if not, well—we’re not “doing our work.”

(But wait—don’t say “should!”)

I am here to say: Fuck. That.

Elizabeth DiAlto speaks to this more eloquently when she distinguishes between resistance vs. dissonance.

“In the self-help and personal development world, there is so much emphasis on owning your side of things, noticing your triggers, etc. And we sometimes internalize and put pressure on ourselves to get okay with things or to lean into things that just simply aren’t healthy for us. And we override knowing better for ourselves,” she says.

“Whereas resistance begs inquiry, dissonance does not. Dissonance says: ‘not for you, move on.’ When something is healthy for you, it’s useful or productive in some way. Which means in no way is it punishing, self-sacrificial nor does it constantly trigger you into coping or dissociative behavior.”

So, guess what.

You don’t have to suffer to heal your issues.

Hardship? Sure.

Feeling and inquiring into your pain? Of course.

Conflict that results in discovery and deepening and doesn’t diminish your light and life? Yes!

But, staying in continual patterns of suffering to “heal your wounds” is simply another form of self-punishment.

This can be threaded back to unhealthy societal patterns we learned through religion, our parents, instilled “martyr” syndrome, etc.

You might think you’re being super spiritual and strong, but you’re actually buying into the same Type-A, aggressive, overly masculinized culture we were raised in—your ego has just tricked you to think it’s for the sake of “evolution.”

It’s a trap.

You don’t have to suffer to heal your issues.

Unless you believe that you do.

Then, fuck. You definitely do.

P.S. This is something I have to relearn over and over again. Sending you hugs if you’re in it. 💜 Let me know if I can help get you out of it.

The Flourishing Feminine’s Morning Routine: ENJOY

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I recently stumbled on Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning technique through my partner, who was on the hunt for a morning routine he could stick to. One of the main takeaways he received from Hal’s book is the concept of SAVERS to start the day.

SAVERS stands for: Silence, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. The idea is that you do each of these six things for 10 minutes every morning, for a total of an hour of activity.

Many people love it (including one of my heroes, Pat Flynn), but when I tried it, I found it to feel too rigid.

“DOMINATE YOUR DAY BEFORE BREAKFAST” is just not my flow, y’all.

Being the creative feminine that I am, I wanted to design a morning routine that felt more… Open. Flowy. Receptive. Yin.

So, allow me to introduce you to ENJOY.

ENJOY is my feminine answer to the morning routine.

It’s a gentle, nourishing practice you can do in 30 minutes to ground you in your body, activate your mind, tune into your heart and feel your soul’s cravings.

It even has two tracks, depending on how you’re feeling and what kind of day you’re having (a work day vs. a play day, perhaps, or an ambitious day vs. a wandering day).

  • E is for Embodiment
  • N is for Nourishing
  • J is for Journaling
  • Y is for Yielding

However, O can be modified.

  • O can stand for Organizing or Orienting

If you’re hungry for more, read on!

E is for Embodiment.

Embodiment gets me so creatively juiced up, and I believe it is truly an important way to access stuck emotions and unblock new, creative information that wants to get through to us.

This might mean simply getting on your yoga mat and doing some stretches or downward-facing dog; if you’re on your menstrual cycle, it can be doing slow, hip-sip movements on the floor or massaging your womb. If you’re feeling really vibrant, you can jump on your goddess pole (what, not everyone has one?), play with hula hoops outside or do a more hardcore workout blitz.

The main intention? Wiggle parts of you around, and see if they have any information for you.

Let your hands flow all over your body if you like. Personally, I usually find I need to liberate my pelvis and lower back in the morning, so doing cat/cows, bridges and just moving my hips in slow circles while kneeling on the floor works really well for me.

Kathlyn Hendricks says that by simply moving, we can free up space for expression and conversation. “Deep, delicious embodiment,” she writes, “is not only pleasurable, it contributes to better health, a longer life, stronger relationships—and even more creativity!”

Ask your body what it needs, and let your movement be the response.

Models for inspiration: Elizabeth DiAlto, Lara Catone, Kathlyn Hendricks

N is for Nourishment.

This step is about nourishing the digestive system to get it working optimally for you.

Step into your day with either a mug of hot lemon water or nourishing tea (I love a combination of nettles, red raspberry leaf and oatstraw, as they all build blood and contain so many nutrients for the body).

In the hot days of summer, I love the practice of squeezing half an orange and half a lemon into a 24 oz. mason jar and filling it with fresh mountain water.

Nourishment can also mean noticing and digesting what came up for you during your movement practice. How do you feel today now that you’re connected to your body?

As you make and sip your morning elixir, notice if you’re feeling lighter about your day, more free in your body… or if you just aren’t feeling your morning practice today and want to rush through it. It’s all okay.

Models for inspiration: The Conscious Cleanse ladies, Marysia Miernowska, Kimberly Snyder

J is for Journaling.

This is essential for me. It’s so essential that, when I get into an avoidant, downpressed state, this is the #1 thing that I avoid.

And yet, writing just for myself—not for a blog or magazine—is what allows me to access the deeper discoveries I need to continue living a path that’s most authentic to me in my work and relationships.

Writing helps me drop into a soft, still space inside myself from which to pull gems or ashes or weeds, depending on the day.

I recommend dedicating a specific journal to your morning scribbles, deep-dives or conversations with yourself. Find one that sings to you and make music with it.

If you want to cultivate journaling in a consistent way: Be aware of your Writer Life as an entity. Writing is a practice in the way that worship, yoga or religion can be. You can go to your place of worship or practice—you have the faith, you believe in the deity or guru. But, you also have to perform little rituals to keep the faith: put on your Sunday best, pray, meditate, do half-moon pose. These daily practices help you maintain the faith, connection and fire.

(Want more on this subject? I was interviewed on a podcast with the exquisite Raquel Alexandra where we talk in-depth about the connection between embodiment and writing.)

Models for inspiration: Amber Rae, Julia Cameron, Susannah Conway

O is for Organizing or Orienting.

Now we begin thinking about our day ahead.

If you’re orienting, you might simply ask: What direction would you like today to go? What do you have on your plate that you really want to keep there? And: What do you have on your plate that really doesn’t nourish you, but keeps being served to you anyway?

Keep your journal handy for this one (or your to-do list if you’re organizing). A question I love to ask is:

What are three things that will make today magical and memorable?

If your day is jam-packed and ambitious and you’re really needing some space to drop into it all, organizing your day (notes, to-dos, creating space in your calendar for you, etc.) might feel better to you. 

Models for inspiration: Holistic Day Design (my way of planning)

Y is for Yielding.

If you have time for nothing else, make sure you do this final step.

Yielding is surrendering to the divine. This can look like meditating, sitting in silence, visualization or just sitting in a wonder-space, dreaming up what feels right.

Yielding is what we do when we ask the question that matters, which is: “What do I want to come through me today? What would my highest Self have me do today?”

Here are the various ways I’ve practiced yielding:

  • feeling all the love in my heart expand
  • admiring whatever song is playing
  • visualizing what I’m craving as something I already have
  • breathing and focusing on where I can move breath in my body

Models for inspiration: Marianne Williamson, Julie Dickinson

Music for your 6-minute intervals:

I find that the timing goes much more smoothly for me if I’m not setting five 6-minute alarms on my phone. Just set up a playlist of songs that are close to 6 minutes; then, it’s easy to choose the ones you like that day and move them in the order you desire (or else let it be random!) and hit Play.

6-minute (ish) songs I have on my playlist:

  • Angel by Massive Attack (6:20)
  • Egyptic by Beats Antique (5:50)
  • Secrets by Goddess Alchemy Project (6:11)
  • Between Two Points by Glitch Mob (5:33)
  • Light by Dr. Toast (5:34)
  • Cinder and Smoke by Iron & Wine (5:44)
  • Rondeña by Antonia Gomez (5:45)
  • Timelapse by Ludovico Einaudi (5:32)
  • Saraswati by Desert Dwellers (6:39)
  • Hayling by FC Kahuna (6:48)
  • Up All Night by The Waifs (5:53)
  • Slip by Elliot Moss (5:04)

Combine some of the short-of-6-mins ones with the longer-than-6-mins ones and you’re golden.

This isn’t about being a stick in the mud to the 6-min rule, either. If you’ve got more time, do each for 8 mins for a 40-min practice. Not a lot of time? Do each for 3 mins for a 15-min practice.

Let me know what you think over on the public Facebook post!

Photo credit: (1

3 Things I Need in My Workday: Making, Managing & Magic

There are three things I need in my workday: making, managing and magic.

Here’s how I weave them all in—or better put, how they weave together to create me and my expression every day.

1) Making

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Making something every day is vital to my life force, health and sanity.

Continue reading 3 Things I Need in My Workday: Making, Managing & Magic

How Lara Catone Lives All of Her: Revitalizing Sex Education Through Embodiment

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This is part of the Live All of You Interview Series! For more on what this is all about, head over to the intro post and make sure to sign up to find out who I’ll be interviewing next.

When I first heard of Lara Catone, I was about to head out on a road trip to connect with my gravity-bound self again. I had been traveling by plane way too much, and I’d been feeling a deep need to commune with the earth.

I wanted to root, not route. I wanted to flow, not fly. I wanted to be humbled by gravity, not scanned for metal, put in metal and spit out in a different time zone.

And I wanted to touch in to my divine feminine—my creative force, my inner Shakti, my innate wisdom. And so, I headed to Shakti Fest, a festival that honors the divine feminine.

I spoke with Lara briefly via email beforehand, and I felt very called to attending her workshops at the festival. She defined the divine feminine to me as pleasure incarnate, as a dancer, as holy and irreverent. She is deeply well studied and interested not only in the spiritual aspect of things, but the scientific and historic. These dual aspects of her nature resonated with me.

Having experienced her exquisitely strong, soft, wise nature in workshops multiple times now, I am so happy to introduce you to her in the Live All of You Interview Series.

Lara is a somatic sexologist and sex educator who supports women in healing and coming into wholeness. As the founder of The Artemis School, the first and only educational institution weaving sex education with embodiment and nature-based mystery traditions, Lara believes that our sexual energy is the vital life force behind everything we create.

And… I have an announcement!

Finally, after having this in my heart for months… I’m delighted to share that in 2016, I’ll be attending The Artemis School!

I feel spellbound thinking about this journey toward becoming a sex educator and practitioner of women’s holistic sexuality—and even more so, about connecting more deeply with my self and other women in this context.

And now, I present to you: Lara Catone.

Continue reading How Lara Catone Lives All of Her: Revitalizing Sex Education Through Embodiment

Movement as Meditation: An Homage to My Yoga Practice (and An Announcement)

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I attended a Zen Buddhism class once in which the instructor said that yoga was “not a great form of meditation.” We were in a yoga studio.

But for me, yoga is embodied meditation.

Author and Conscious Lover Kathlyn Hendricks once told me:

We start by whatever door we come in.

For me, movement is not a distraction. It’s a vehicle for me to move in more deeply.

Continue reading Movement as Meditation: An Homage to My Yoga Practice (and An Announcement)

Turn On Your Explorer Mind

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This week, I’m headed to World Domination Summit in Portland, where I’ll meet 2,999 like-minded people—but, I’m flying sola, which is a thing I don’t do very often. My partner in crime is long distance (or what we like to call “medium distance,” since we’re blessed to see each other so often), and the reasons we have for 95% of our travel are intertwined with seeing each other.

This week, it’s just me. Especially today, before the conference starts, as I write this in a beautiful café in SE Portland—it’s really just me.

A different part of our brain is activated when we’re in a new place wandering around, finding our way by ourselves. It isn’t turned on so easily at home unless we’re highly intentional about it. So often when we’re home, we operate on autopilot.

Even though I appreciate my favorite roasters and restaurants, my watery routine flows purely in the trench etched by repetition—and it requires some swishing around to shift the current.

Continue reading Turn On Your Explorer Mind

What to Bring (and Not to Bring) to World Domination Summit 2014

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For the solopreneur, the inspired creative, and oh right everyone who’s coming to WDS—you might, like me, be wondering what to bring. Business cards? Obvious (actually, where are mine… ::opens moo.com::). Notebooks? Check. Pens? Yup.

But, what could you be forgetting? What object lying on your bedroom floor will haunt you on the airplane, personifying itself in your head and chastising you for your forgetfulness?

(No one else has an inner critic that intense? Ok, I digress.)

Let me help.

Here’s the heat I’m packin’—plus, I asked WDS alumni the #1 must-have they brought in prior years. Take it or leave it (but at least leave it intentionally).

What to bring to WDS:

Continue reading What to Bring (and Not to Bring) to World Domination Summit 2014

Ignore Your Ego? Maybe It’s Worth a Listen

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I went to an intense yoga class with my teacher two days ago. Everyone felt it; I know this because he said toward the end: “Seven more minutes of class, guys.” And everyone laughed. Because damn, we were all wondering.

In the beginning of class, he shared with us something that resonated with him via one of his teachers, Erich Schiffmann:

In every moment, you’re either connecting to Source or reiterating the ignorance of the ego.

It danced over my skin when he said it.

Throughout class, I thought about it. I thought about how much I was seeing the appearance of ego in my own life lately, and in particular my relationship.

I had been making everything about me. I pointed out to my partner that even the simplest thing he was saying—she’s really really smart, for example—was triggering me. Wasn’t I really smart, too? Yes. Do I want to crawl into a shame hole for even admitting to thinking this way? Yes.

Continue reading Ignore Your Ego? Maybe It’s Worth a Listen