Happy Fall, Lovelies! I know there is a strong chance you're not feeling lovely these days, but I hope at least you are finding some joy amidst the inevitable stress that comes with a pandemic and pivotal election.
Regardless of what this year has brought for you personally, we can all agree that 2020 has been a doozy. I'd like to share some news and meaningful learning as we slide into the last weeks of the year...
I recently finished a class on entrepreneurship with the fabulous Rachel Dorsey of Bone + Gold Production (@racheldorsey). An incredible community of women formed, showing up each week to learn, support each other, and plan. Delightedly, I discovered many salient themes from my personal life also emerged as crucial to our professional efforts: trusting intuition, transparency, consistency, sharing our unique gifts, the need for community, showing up with integrity and so much more.
Regardless of our individual background or work genre, a common denominator developed: underneath all of the goal setting and clear desire to make an impact was an undeniable human need for ONGOING self-care and heart-centered holistic health. This, my dear one, is what I have built my life around.
New home routines have brought some serious shifts for me, especially professionally, but most importantly: a doubling down on personal and professional development through diversity and equity trainings, endless study, and a full revamp of business plans. My personal projects and work have merged. This is both a blessing and a challenge. My work is deeply personal. It's supported by ongoing therapy and integrative study in the fields of neuroscience, education, creativity and consciousness.
Turns out that grieving-- the need for conscious healing-- while painful, also holds the gift of transformation. This is a truth that I have quietly been living for a decade. I've shared bits and pieces of my work, but I've almost entirely hidden the behind-the-scenes out of fear. I'm done hiding. I will continue to share it in hopes that I can encourage you to pursue the passions that tug at your soul, even if they feel disparate or irrelevant to others because the truth is: within the pieces of you lives gifts for us all.
No one can deny there is much collective work to be done, but too often we feel the burden of this weight without a clear idea of how we can help make change.
I offer: collective change begins with your willingness to show up for yourself first.
2020 marks my ten year anniversary of living in California. This particular California-versary (and my 33rd year on this Earth) has been a wild ride full of integrative learning... a test on nine years of study.
While the pandemic has been devastating in many ways, it also holds the gift of slowing down. With it, the need to revaluate our values. With much talk of mission, vision, and values in the entrepreneurial sphere, these terms can quickly lose their meaning. So to be clear: when I mention your values, I'm talking about those non-negotiable, day to day expressions of what matters most to you... and boy, these have haunted me.
Aligning with the rhythms of who you are at your core is no easy task. Society is lined with the encouragement of pit falls. But, if we pause for a second and look up, and within, it's easy to grasp how short our life on this Earth will be for the things that matter most.
What will you wish you had lived?
When I ran to California ten years ago, no part of my life was in alignment with the values that lived deep inside me. It was a nasty case of Cognitive Dissonance. I had ideas of who I wanted to be, but was stuck in a trauma loop so tightly wound, I couldn't tell up from down. It's been ten years of unwinding, uncovering, unlearning, and realigning to my true self... letting go of the trauma from rape, abortion, car accidents, and more.
As I reflect on ten years of focused personal growth and five years of running my own business, I wish I could impart all that I have learned to you to help you realize how wonderful and capable you are. I know we are all looking for a road map.
I offer: that your map is within.
The gold from my life is not my master's degree or my business plan (clearly COVID saw to that) or even losing 90 lbs, but in my relationship with myself and those around me. The magic is in the daily showing up for the work of learning myself, learning to trust in a higher power, and trying to understand the nuanced complexities of our astonishing species as I trust that my map will be revealed.
I wish I could reach through the computer to hug you, perhaps shake you or even slap you into taking action on those burning needs that we all too often shove down under our socially acceptable to-do's.
Are you prioritizing your mind and embodied soul?
There is a calling aching in your soul. Do you feel it or do you numb it with TV or social media or wine or weed? I've abused them all and more, but underneath it all has been a yearning to create and connect; to teach and learn. Above all, is a deep need to share love. What forms does your love take?
Yes, cuddles and phone calls and the simple to day to day first world pleasures as they are available, but there is something deeper still. I'm calling you out. If it doesn't apply, that's great. Move on if you've got it all figured out, but the stakes are too high to ignore what is real. And the reality? Most of us are spread too thin.
Up until March of this year, I channeled almost all of my love into CosmicKIDS. I could write a whole separate blog post on what CosmicKIDS is, or was, and what it is shifting into. I likely will, but here and now my point is that when all of my contracts abruptly ended, I realized that I'd been so caught up in rushing through all of the to-do's of growing a successful community service-based business, that I'd let my own soul's inner yearnings fall to the back burner.
I was so busy juggling all the pots on more stovetops than I could count, I'd dropped the sauce on on my soul work and was letting it casually cool like it wasn't a main ingredient in my life.
Here's a secret: soul work isn't one and done AND it's the foundation of your worldly success.
This season of shelter in place has brought heart-ache and tremendous change, yes, but it's brought us a chance to slow down for meaningful integration as we re-orient to a new world.
Our world is moving faster than ever. We are in an epic learning curve. So, be patient with yourself. Trust those little urges. No one is making massive moves right now. Cut yourself some slack and know that those little efforts will compound. We are each finding our way and every step counts. Even the missteps offer valuable learning.
If we can each take responsibility for what's unfolding in our own households, inside our own spirit suits, if we can learn to consciously steward our energy and align with the principles that we know to be true, well, this world will be moving in a better direction.
Our collective wellbeing lives in the health of the individual. Humans are complex little meaning-making creatures. We need love.
Diversify how you live your values and see what happens.
Experiment. Try something new. Pick up an old hobby. Clean out your garage. Leave a gift on your street corner for a neighbor. Write that poem. Take that class. Build your website. Make a mess and learn to have fun cleaning it up. Diversify your love and watch your spirit unfold in new ways. Each day is a new chance to unfold.
I've had the intoxicating experience recently of waking up excited each morning-- not every morning (let's be clear). After surrendering some minor pangs of guilt, it really hit me what a miracle that is for me. I should also share that I am NOT a morning person. My loved ones can attest. So, to wake up excited for a day of staying home in a pandemic has been a surreal blessing that is proof of the value of tending to our whole selves. This is what I hope to share.
You guys, if a highly anxious, deeply depressed, obese, drug-addicted/ alcoholic, co-dependent young adult can move to Cali, reinvent her life, and somehow help others along the way.... well, this gives me so much hope for the world. I hope it at least gives you hope and inspiration in your own journey.
In the age of social media, what you see is everyone's highlight reel, myself included (although I'm making an effort to keep it real). Don't compare that to your own journey. I want you to know is that the real, behind the scenes work is ten gritty ass years of therapy, shit tons of failure, and steady effort.
The pay off is that even after losing 80% of my contract work in a pandemic, I can still wake up happy because of a spiritual foundation and energetic awareness, that will continue to grow and evolve. That is my wish for you. You have so much love inside. Diversify it and spread a little. Watch what happens.