Life Without Facebook :: My 30-Day Social Media Fast


Last Saturday marked the final day of my 30-day social media cleanse. Both clients and friends have expressed curiosity around my experience, so I thought I'd share publicly. This article is lengthy compared to most; it feels that important. Advanced apologies to those of you who have to rally in order to read something longer than a status update. If that sounds like you, all the more reason to READ ON. ;)

The impetus to unplug (from Facebook in particular) had been building for awhile. Interaction with my newsfeed had become increasingly similar to my relationship with lattes and red wine. Totally a treat in small doses, still damn good in moderation, and pretty much toxic once dependency became the norm. Scrolling had become a chronic escape - laced with the subtle and superficial anxiety that characterizes any addiction. I decided it was high time to see what would happen if I were to quit cold-turkey.

30 Days without Facebook :: Here's what I learned >>>

The first solid day of my social media fast, I noticed an unfamiliar spaciousness in my schedule.
This surprised me, as I didn't think I logged that much time on the book of faces. But as it turns out... I. so. did. It was my go-to distraction more often than I cared to admit and as it turns out, it was taking up quite a bit of mental and emotional bandwidth. 

I'd check Facebook first thing in the morning, scroll my newsfeed while having a cup of hot tea. Less than an hour later I'd be back at it, tracking post engagement via my iPhone just before heading in to teach a class. After my morning workout - still dripping wet with sweat and endorphins - I'd responding with Pavlovian-like obedience to message notifications and red alerts demanding my attention. On and on it went each and every day... five minutes here, ten minutes there... mindless scrolling... precious minutes devoured by an insatiable newsfeed. Results are now in: It added up to hours at the end of each day. And as a business owner I had convinced myself that all of this was necessary. Within 2-3 days I realized with emphatic certainty that it wasn't; I'd been under a spell. 

#1 ~ THE URGENCY of social media is a LIE (& I'm calling its bluff!).
This first realization was the most immediate and palpable - a reminder of something I learned in my first business course over a decade ago: what's urgent is rarely what's important. Business or not, the incessant accessibility of social media is misleading to our senses. We set up notifications as a convenience, but in reality they result in energy wasted. Not to mention, we become so reactive to external digital cues that it keeps us from being responsive to what it is we value in any given moment. 

I had attuned myself to a digital fixation... a little red circle inviting me to pop-on, peruse, post, process, and re-present my virtual self to the world.
And as soon as I was no longer chronically main-lining a perpetual content drip... once I abruptly quit... I felt the familiar relief and terror on the other side of any addiction. A vast expanse of unknown; the spaciousness of countless possibilities unattended to. What was "urgent" could no longer derail me from all that was important. Suddenly all that mattered was what mattered to me, now. And oh shit... what WAS that? [Cue: usual reach for phone as distraction from the answer; with Facebook disabled, my phone echoed with silence]. Suddenly I had no choice but to consciously attune myself to more internal cues. 

What would a sudden surplus of time and space amount to?
 The most immediate results weren't what I expected. I didn't work on my book or catch up on emails. I hardly touched my laptop for nearly a week, and my phone battery lasted three solid days instead of one. I nested and enjoyed the sensation of un-invaded mental space. My home transformed into a sanctuary as I used my free time to pour attention into my three-dimensional reality. There was greater stillness within my mind. I felt more content, stress-free and at peace in my heart. 

And though I wasn't trying to be productive (like, at ALL) I watched my to-do list dwindle before my eyes - primarily due to the fact that I wasn't perpetually adding to it. No longer did I have a dozen open tabs in my browser weighing me down with must-see articles, videos and limited time offers. I didn't keep up with him or her, decide on this or that, or chronically compare myself to every other woman/writer/coach/agent of inspiration within a million mile radius. I wasn't adding to my to-do list at all... I was free to source my priorities from within once I stopped concerning myself with others. Which led me to an even greater realization. 

#2 ~ POPULARITY isn't productive (at least for me it sure in the hell isn't!).
Must. create. online. presence. Must. gain. more. likes. Look!, says the ad box... so-and-so has x-many likes and followers. How many do YOU have? Social proof has become the new currency and divorcing the digital onslaught suddenly freed me from a self-imposed pressure to prove myself via online metrics. I won't pretend that this is true for everyone but in MY line of work, popularity doesn't pay the bills or align me with those whom I most want to serve. Resonance. Trust. Loyalty. Word of mouth. Those who genuinely want what I bring... they respond and spread the word organically. That's how lasting relationships with loyal readers and clients have developed over the years; and it hasn't really changed much, even in the new age of social media. 

Clients gained through product launches, social networking campaigns and/or Yelp! had rarely stuck around. I had been "buying" into the idea that online marketing and visibility was key... but the truth is, it had never translated into dollars and/or the quality of engagement that delivers meaningful results. I was gaining more "likes" and "engagement" but how is that productive when: 1) it doesn't create meaningful or lasting connections and 2) it continually keeps me from doing what I am designed to do. And even if heightened visibility via social media will somehow lead to long-term payoffs, it certainly doesn't feel worth the current full-time investment it's requiring. Not even close.

Upon logging off, my productivity did go way up... but with an unexpected twist. By sequestering myself from the incessant pressure of the online rat race, my priorities shifted pretty considerably. For a month now I've been doing what I feel genuinely called to do versus circumnavigating the maddening insistence of what so much outside influence would have me attend to. I'm being more deliberate in my choosing of who and what I want to spend my attention, time, and energy on. Which led me directly to another realization:

Too much social media makes me anti-social. Generally speaking, my empathic sensitivities can lead me to be somewhat resistant to social engagement. And sometimes I even use "introversion" as an excuse to justify what is something else altogether - emotional avoidance. Well as it turns out, Facebook had been giving me another convenient excuse to do just that - hold friendships and relationships at an arms length. About a week into my fast I noticed a largely-foreign desire surfacing in me. I yearned to see people in the flesh... to reach out for real-time connection. I called friends. I set up tea dates. I enthusiastically dropped in for eye contact and deep sighs of appreciation. Leading me to the most obvious of ah-hahs.

#3 ~ CONNECTION will never replace intimacy (yet it was certainly keeping me from it!).
Without a doubt social media offers us connection. When it comes to maintaining associations from a distance, I am a big fan of technology and its virtues. Real-time photos of far off family members, snapshots of other worlds, global exposure of social causes, and courageous ones who inspire me from afar... all of these are invaluable connections that I missed during my hiatus. Things I'll continue to enjoy moving forward. Having said that:

I'd saturated myself in connection and used it to bypass deeper levels of intimacy.
I'd been trading-in the rich vulnerability of one-on-one for the safe distance of virtual engagement. As we all know, intimacy delivers riches that digital connection could never afford us. To be intimate is to offer the gift of full presence and raw truth without diluted distraction, filters, or (and this is of utmost importance) the need for collective validation. True intimacy requires a level of confidence, courage and authenticity that online networking will never be able to replicate. 

All things considered in my own cost-benefit analysis of social media, Facebook is starting to become a cluttered wasteland of diminishing returns. And yet so many of us (me included) consider it utterly indispensable. When I shared with friends and colleagues that I was going social media free for thirty days, I heard the same thing again and again" "Wow, that sounds fabulous! I wish that I could do that. But I HAVE to be on Facebook. Ya know... for business." This I get; I've uttered those words verbatim. Yet now I'm starting to question this entrepreneurial assumption, particularly as the landscape of social media shifts. Times they are a-changin, and Facebook is no longer the grassroots marketing forum that it used to be. 

#4 ~ VISIBILITY isn't guaranteed (unless you wanna pay for it via engagement or dollars).
Social media has changed dramatically in the past five to ten years. It's reached a critical mass of dependency, leading to more advertisers and algorithm-directed content. More algorithms = less customization, resulting in a force-fed experience. For example, on my newsfeed (even my on Close Friends feed, supposedly customizable) I longer see an equitable sample of posts from people I've selected. I see posts seemingly at random or via avid junkies. Friends that post inconsistently aren't even visible much of the time, no matter how I tweak my settings or how far down I scroll. On my main newsfeed, space previously devoted to people of my choosing is now reserved for ads... featured posts from colleagues willing to pay for visibility. 

It is rapid progression toward an engagement-reward model where "being seen" on Facebook is reserved for like/share-happy addicts, corporate entities with marketing teams, and/or pay-per-click advertisers. It's an at-your-fingers digital slot machine that feeds on attention. Constant engagement is king. Therefore, for those of us who want a life outside of a newsfeed, Facebook's relevance is rapidly diminishing. We are slowly and incrementally being cast into the shadows while simultaneously being robbed of choice; and when choice is compromised a tool rapidly begins to lose potency. We no longer power it. It powers us. 

And yet having said ALL that, I'm not done with Facebook. Not yet anyway. Its benefits still weigh in heavily; and there are many things that I missed while I was away. People and opportunities that made me fall in love with social media in the first place... I'm not ready to give those up. My intention here is to share with you how exactly I will be more conscious moving forward. Engaging less and investing more in a life outside of the cries of hungry news feed. 

If you can relate to any of the above, I invite you to JOIN ME. Question the fallacies that drive social media addiction: a false sense of urgency, fixation on metric validation, trading connection for intimacy, and unconsciously giving your attention-as-currency to what is rapidly becoming a digital money machine. 

Social media doesn't have to be a fixating time-suck... it can be softer, more fluid and playful... and in support of everyday living in real life. Scrolling is a choice, not a necessity. 

When you feel a digital reflex kick in, here are 3 very simple steps at your disposal:
1. Move cursor, top right.
2. Drop down menu selection: "Log Off"
3. Scroll the newsfeed within that bold & beautiful heart of yours...
& share in real time.




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Growing Smaller

Last night I dreamt I was caring for a baby who grew younger by the minute. When the dream began, he spoke words to me... but in less than a minute's time he became infantile, shrinking in the folds of his blanketed bassinet. I grew frantic in my efforts to save him. Yet even as I pumped his small chest with my index finger to resuscitate his tiny heart, it grew smaller and smaller. Then I watched as his bright blue spirit rose up and out of a now fetus-like shell. 

Since waking, I've been reflecting upon the backwards beauty of his return. 

October crept and then leapt upon me. It's been unseasonably warm here in Portland, and yet even still... Fall. She knows her place. Autumn has always been my annual pivot point... I shed with her far more psychic weight than any so-called "new year" ever warrants. What exactly this next clearing will invite to die and bloom forth I won't pretend to know. Yet I feel myself slowing down... shaking my head no... backing away from the spotlight and the need to perform. 

We live in a world that is chronically expansive. One where we validate our existence through productive advances. As a result, we have vilified the sacredness of contraction. 

When did growing smaller become so unholy?
Be it an economy, a womb, or a long-term relationship... all things move through seasons of fear-laden tensing and tightening in order to generate the strength to push through with more integrity and greater power than ever before. This year I won't fight against autumn's love for me, nor she will have to wrestle me to the ground as she's done in so many years past.

I will settle in. I will allow. And await her naked and hearty contractions. 

When you feel yourself growing smaller

and it's not yet time to push
What will you do?


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Pity Party, Anyone?


Every now and then (like earlier today), out of nowhere life throws me yet another curveball and I feel the urge to fall into a why-me-self-pity-party-puddle. Yet lately, whenever I start to go there - IF I stay mindful and I don't get tangled in the lair of circumstance - a reality check zooms across my radar right around the same time and I'm instantly reminded that my "problems" are pretty benign compared to what so many face (profound injustice, heartbreaking losses, health crises, and so on). I'm deeply humbled and inspired to regularly see people who are exponentially more challenged than I am showing up with so much gratitude, humor, and grace. 

Seriously, y'all... lately I have more heroes than I can count.
In fact, some of you may even be reading this now.

The point is this: No matter the challenge we face, there's always someone out there who would trade places with us in a heartbeat.

Keepin' it real AND in perspective... that's where it's at. 

So now my overall take on today (and every day) is this...

Lucky me.


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"Like" It Or Not


First of all, I'd like to thank Danielle LaPorte for another refreshing & transparent peek into that gorgeous heart of hers. Yesterday she offered some radically-real food for thought on visibility, inspiring this post. (
read it here)

For years now, I've had some pretty mixed feelings about stepping into the online spotlight and "making a name" for myself in the virtual world. Recently, I've come to terms with the fact that my ambitions are far more understated than I once thought; my bliss much more simply had. For example, an ill-fitting notion I once allowed to drive me (incessant actioning fueled by the belief that success as a writer/coach equates with becoming an online persona) has become largely counterproductive to my overall well-being. Not mention it's inherently at odds with my bohemian sensibilities. As such, I regularly disregard online entrepreneurial conventions - ie: weekly blogs and editorial calendars make me wanna hurl.

Why box myself into promises today that I'll resent tomorrow?

So more and more
I'm allowing the soothing hum of my lusciously free-spirit to drown out the deafening roar of ambition (a steam engine train that once ensured my survival). I'm allowing for more S P A C E to live a life that offers reverence to my glorious inconsistencies and the more natural rhythms of my humanity.

I write/work/create best when I do so with organic integrity. Perhaps I'll set fire to my bus(y)ness plan and divorce the maniacal should-storm of productivity that is supposedly the precursor to visibility and abundance. Instead I'll exchange vows with what feels congruent in the ever-orbiting constellations of now. And why in the hell not?
The past two years have shown me that generating emotional wealth yields far greater returns than my workaholic tendencies ever did.

And yet, truth be told, I've gotta break out of an addictive pattern and consciously turn my attention away from the social media rat race that stares me down on a daily basis. I must stop scrolling; seek impact through immediate encounters versus "likes" on a feed. Witnessing a client come alive, editing pages for my book, laughing with friends, tending to my home... all of these carry a depth and magnitude of connection that a "share" button could never replicate.

No, I'm not trash-talking social media, and I won't be leaving Facebook anytime soon. I'd just like to create a healthier relationship to it. I'm challenging my own belief that popularity (aka: visibility) is a precursor to paying the bills. I don't wanna go back to high school sensibilities and continually clamor for your attention via the latest business trend.
I'd rather just do me and hope for the best.

Now don't get me wrong, there are many people I admire out there, lighting up my feed with inspiration and awesome goodness galore. And I sincerely admire the courage it takes to be noticed in a world where visibility all-too-often equates with celebrity status and the continual onslaught of projection contained therein. Hats off to those (such as Danielle) who navigate their success with grace and integrity. Yet I also applaud the courage it takes to show up for the innumerable uncelebrated and invisible glories that life has to offer. Those that can't be contained in a scrolling newsfeed: nurturing a loved one, speaking a difficult truth, laughter with friends, gazing into the eyes of an animal, or taking in the humble majesty a forest.

Facebook can be functional; it's a voyeuristic playground of connection that (at its best) allows for a more expansive expression of self. Yet it's no true metric of success or connection in real time.

When the reach for visibility trumps everyday pleasures.
When scrolling becomes an addictive pastime.
When approval is largely linked to the click of a cursor.
When we mistake a series of comments for a conversation.
When we no longer dig in the dirt, dabble, read, or knit....
It is then that social media no longer serves us; it becomes a distraction from the impact we are designed to have in real life.

Your attention is a privilege, not a commodity. And I will treat it as such.
Like it or not. I'm quite simply grateful if you made it this far.
Thanks for reading.


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Self Serving It Up


My best friend recently uncovered her authentic calling; it's been right under her nose all along quite literally looking her square in the eye. Caring for and communicating with animals has always been her personal salvation, it never occurred to her there was market value in it.

A client I spoke to a couple of days ago was feeling stuck about his next steps. Forty-five minutes into our talk I learned that he has a hidden stash of creative treasures he's never made public. I could feel him come alive, inspiration surging through the earpiece as he spoke of a secret passionate edge he's yet to fully explore.

Last week when I was visiting my mom in Kansas, she mentioned that she had discovered a few boxes of my things in storage. Plenty of goodies awaited: my first jewelry box, a dusty letter jacket that I was both shocked and delighted to discover still fit me, and loads of photos and writings from my youth. Tucked in between love notes and notebooks strewn with puppy-love proclamations there it was again, the one constant in my life.
Poetry. I was a bit dumbstruck realizing just how far back it goes; I've been comforting myself through the written word for near as long as I've been eating and breathing. 

As Elizabeth Gilbert reveals in her most recent
must-watch TedTalk"If you're wondering what your home is, here's a hint: Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself." In my experience, so-called purpose isn't discovered out there, through career counseling or job-hop trial and error. Knowing how you might serve is uncovered through everyday experiences and the many ways in which you naturally express yourself when there is no agenda other than love. 

Want to leave your mark on the world? Self serve it up.
Do & share more of what that serves the greatest purpose to you. 



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Transmute vs. Transcend


For me, creatively birthing anything means riding waves... passing through phases of brilliant clarity and inspiration followed by contractions, labor pains pushing me into the next expression yet-unknown. 

Darkness, self doubt, uncertainty, they are all with me today. 

And I am grateful because I've come to learn that the dark is nothing to fear; it's nothing to frantically rise above, deny, or apologize for. It is instead a resting place for a tender and vulnerable wisdom that can be gently and kindly coaxed the surface. 

Darkness can be just as sacred and glorifying as the light, if you are willing to bask in it.


What will you
do when darkness descends? Perhaps you don't have to seek escape from it; instead kindly pay homage by giving it a voice or vehicle of some kind. I suggest sharing your vulnerable truth in a trusted container and/or creating something that honors its place in your life. 

Case in point, today when I sat down to work on
my book & I was up against a WALL.  So I graffiti-painted it with this.

Got darkness? Transmute versus transcend.
No need to leave any piece of you behind. 


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Money. Is it a reason not to?


Money. Is it a reason not to
Some adamantly argue that it shouldn't be. They say that getting what we want is up to us; that it's a function of pragmatics and priorities. Others tell us to clean up our energies, unconsciously shaming us for not thinking or behaving more abundantly.

As someone who has experienced negative net-worth more than once in my life, I'd argue that both arguments are grossly oversimplified. While we can ALWAYS take greater responsibility for our choices, money itself isn't always fair trade. Work that satisfies the soul doesn't necessary leave a surplus in the bank account. For many of us, there are seasons in life that place basic needs at the forefront - transitions that require we tighten our belts a bit. Sometimes we simply don't have access to the support we desire and - look out new-age generalists - perhaps we aren't to blame for that. When did money become a metric for how spiritually or emotionally advanced we are? I'm not buying it.

I sincerely wish that Personal Development could be a viable line item in everyone's budget, but it's simply not the case. There are many times in our lives when we desperately need support, and we can't responsibly justify the expense (especially with necessary regularity). When our financial reality perpetually trumps our needs, we endlessly postpone what matters to us most.

That's why I'm rolling out a new offering. Each month I will be opening a handful of pay-what-you-can dates and times. Book one of these limited-availability time slots and you'll be able to name your price (whatever that might be) for one full hour of 1:1 coaching. You pay what you can safely and honorably afford. No more & no less. No strings attached.

PayWhatYouCanWide-email
If you're interested, act quickly. These limited timeframes are filling up fast! I've only got two openings left for July... August & September dates will be announced via Facebook soon (LIKE my biz page to stay in the loop). 

Existing clients, 
email me to inquire about dates. New clients are also very welcome following a short intake Q&A (to ensure we are a fit).

Coaching isn't a recipe for salvation; it's alliance with your potential. I offer depth of clarity, and the support & accountability you need to move toward what truly matters to you. And btw, I specialize in difficult truths. 

Contact me if you feel ready to take action around what's got you feeling stuck.
, Candice


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The Cleansing of Conformity


It's Day 11 of my 30-day cleanse, and I'm noticing how many people associate the term "cleansing" with fasting and/or extreme dieting. I'm getting a lot of wide-eyed wonder that may be a bit misplaced. There are oh-so-many ways to clear the body of toxins and countless detox plans out there... many of which require pretty hard core deprivation. It's a little crazy-making for many people to consider weaving a cleanse into their daily lives. So how have I been doing it? By educating myself and carving out a unique plan that works for me.

Admittedly, having a live-in partner in crime (& cleansing) does make the process easier. Thus far we've abstained from all carbs, grains, soy, gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and most sugars (disclaimer: we're allowing a bit of honey and raw cacao here and there - rebels that we are). We're still eating loads of veggies, many fruits, fish and lean meats. Next week we will kick things into hyperdrive a little, letting go of meats and doing a short stint of raw juicing... but only as long as our bodies respond willingly. Starvation isn't on our agenda. The final phase will add in the final elements: purging and clearing of physical space + a much-needed digital detox.

Now that I've passed through the homicidal hrrummph! of withdrawal... things are really humming along and I'm reminded again why I do this. CLARITY. No, not in some holier-than-thou kind of sense... but literal clarity. My mind is sharpening and opening up to new possibilities. My emotions are leveling out; way less irritation, way more joy. And my physical energy is buzz-buzz-buzzing at a natural high from the time I wake up until my head hits the pillow at night.

No more dramatic crashes or cravings throughout the day. Way less knee-jerk responses to the heart-hunger that gnaws from within. Just the space to ground and be me, without the perpetual interruption of chronic imbalance and need.

And yes, of course my body is changing too... a thick layer of chronic inflammation is dissipating, making me look and feel lighter. Add to that, my systems are already functioning more optimally; I'll spare you the gory details there!

Why am I telling you all this?

This post isn't only a shameless share of self-celebration (which I encourage us all to do from time to time!)... it's also a reminder and call to action for any of you out there who've been wanting to cleanse or clear - literally or metaphorically - but aren't sure you can do it. May this post be a reminder that in ANY arena of your life you'll be much more likely to take the leap and reach your goal if you take authority and personally author the steps along the way.

Be open to the knowledge of the experts; heed the cautionary wisdom of the experienced. Yet if outside perspective has you in a holding pattern, you might need to give them both the finger and chart your own course.

Just some clutter-free food for thought.
;)

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When The Masks Come Off


Today's a shit storm of emotion for me... my keep-your-shit-together dam is bursting at the seams. I'm on day two of a detox and for those of you who've never been through one, take it from me... it's not for the faint of heart. MY idea of a cleanse does not involve starving; only abstinence from substances that provide solace outside the realm of nutrition.

And so... all of the ugly I've been masking, all the feelings I've been stuffing, every deeper craving I've disowned in the past year is coming up like a surging fountain spilling at my feet. It's pooling there, creating a mirror for me to look into.

Let's just say I'm not really loving everything I see.

So why do it?...
This choice (what some might consider self-denial) is becoming my annual spiritual departure from just that... the daily denial of self. Without my habitual addictions there's nowhere to turn from the honest-to-god truth inside. No sweets to sooth an ancient anxiety. No caffeine to conquer my raging resistance. No grains to soak up the beautiful ugly messes I've made.

Just me, no longer running from self.
Seeing it all for what it is.

It's deeply uncomfortable.
And it's profoundly worth it.

Over the course of the next month, I know from experience that I will continue waking up to myself in ways that I have been avoiding. However uncomfortable it might be, burning through these early days of discomfort will do more than clear my body of toxins, it will clear the same from my heart and mind.

I get my courage from sharing with you.
So thanks for listening.

P.S. Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be in advocacy of cleansing as a right of passage, per se. It's in support of *whatever it is* you brave in favor of the truth.

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Intuition. Braving the Unthinkable.

In a recent session with a client (let's call her Sarah), inquiry and examination kept circling us back to heart-heavy sighs and four dreaded words: I just. don't. know.

When Sarah has clarity, she has an uncanny ability to make shit happen. So you might imagine her frustration that her typical precursor to bold action -
 knowing exactly what she wants - feels far from reach. How in the hell is she supposed to know what to do next when she doesn't have any clue where it is she is headed?

Eventually our discussion led us to a pivotal doorway when she off-handedly revealed a growing desire to trust her intuition. BINGO!... it was as if all the lights in the room went on at once. It suddenly became apparent that she doesn't "know" what to do because she deeply yearns to trust and tune into the intelligence and clarity that emerges when there's no clear and linear path in sight.

Life's most mammoth choices put us face to face with
not knowing. In such moments, a focus on certainty and know-how can keep us reeling in a sort of rational madness; frustration reigns as that which we seek remains unknowable. Intuition is how we navigate more subtle undercurrents that will invariably lead to the knowledge we seek. Far more nebulous than knowledge, intuition doesn't rely on (or even point to) certain pathways or known outcomes on the horizon. It instead haphazardly charts our course through uncertainty... guiding us one choice at a time toward unforeseeable experiences and alliances. 

Intuition often defies logic. Ungoverned by reason, intuition's laws operate more subtly. Ignoring intuitive guidance creates deep disturbances within. When we repeatedly refuse (or are afraid) to follow our authentic instinctual yearnings,
anxiety results. We remain stuck and feel perpetually out-of-sorts because we aren't willing to trust the honest urges that attempt to move us forward through an uncertain future. 

Gut sensations, instinctual hunches, and the endless ways in which "not-that experiences" nudge us to move in new directions... these are all intuition at work. Seem esoteric? It's really far from it. Honoring intuitive guidance
 is no lackadaisical walk in the park. It's scary shit... and it's the real and ultimate antidote to paralysis and fear. 

Honoring intuition is a fierce and authentic embodiment of your potential. Living authentically means being honest and responsive to what moves you (and what doesn't)... outwardly choosing in accordance with your truth, again and again and again. This requires tremendous courage as you take continual action in the face of irrationality and fear... openly owning deep vulnerabilities and inexplicable truths... and bravely being willing to risk expression in the face of confusion or seemingly insurmountable odds.


Intuition often requires we do the "unthinkable" simply because that rumbling
tremor within won't go away until we do. 

And yet we must also offer reverential allowance for reason. Feelings are multifaceted and constantly in flux; you can't build a life on the fluid foundations of instinct alone. When we rely solely on intuition, and refuse to yield to what-is-knowable or when we fight against the natural parameters of our physical reality, expression can become etheric and untethered to the world. If you habitually isolate yourself from reason and retreat into emotionality, 
depression results. To fully ACTualize your humanity, your expression must also be acted upon and grounded in something tangible. 

May you be brave enough to trust your instincts and your authentic sensibilities AND bold enough to take actions that stand to reason. 
~ Candice


Want more?
The Spill Your Truth 6-Week Program™ is only $199 through May 31st.
Click here to learn more or to get a free peek inside the program pretraining.

Join my tribe. Did you know I'm now offering FREE no-strings-attached group coaching for those who qualify? Apply to join now. It'll only take a minute ;).

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Sensitive Much?

Habitually feeling into what is happening around you can become exhausting. In fact, one reason why the more sensitive among us do not live our lives more boldly is because of our empathic connection to others. Spilling the truth can feel torturous when you feel into others to such a great degree. Feedback is too deeply internalized and so, on the surface, it just seems easier to live life without rocking the boat... therefore, we hold our truth hostage.

Ironically, those who have the greatest capacity for empathic connection are commonly the most debilitated by it.

Sovereignty is essential to clear, confident expression for this very reason. Tangible differentiation is the turning point when it comes to navigating a sensitive spirit. The more empathically tuned in we are, the more essential our edges become. Without sovereignty, we live a life of emotional extremes: martyrdom-withdrawal, infatuation-resentment, hopefulness-despair. With sovereignty we learn that empathy isn’t something that happens to us; it is an energetic allowance. Though at times it may feel like an inevitability, with practice it can become a conscious choice in the moment. Empathy is no longer a liability when it flows from the healthy space of sovereignty.

Rather than reluctantly riding our sensitivity into every interaction, we can become more discerning about when to infuse an interaction with empathy and its wisdom. Rather than forcing ourselves to connect, we learn to reach out without compromising our needs and edges. Similarly, we are able to stay present and open-hearted to deeper truths, even those that threaten to make a mess of our lives, without compromising our integrity. We are able to hold space for authentic compassion - inside and out.

MC4 Compassion The Spill Your Truth Program 6 Weeks to a More Authentic You $199 through May 31st

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Be Authentic. Learn to Respond vs. React.

Just as your fingerprint is yours and yours alone, your most authentic expression is an imprint one-of-kind and unique to who you are. Due to cultural norms and inherited insecurities, we spend a tremendous amount of energy fighting against ourselves. We follow others, trying to “make a good impression” on the world... sliding into other people’s grooves instead of carving out spaces of our own. You’re continually making an impression on the world around you. Authenticity means creating a mark that truly fits the shape of who you are.

Courage isn’t something we are, it’s something we do. It’s a habit (a responsiveness) that can be practiced and developed. Reaction is how we learn to express by watching others. It’s the knee-jerk expression we go to when we feel powerless or helpless to change some aspect of our lives. To react doesn’t require courage, it’s more involuntary... almost like breathing. Responsiveness however, requires that we embrace our uniqueness, rise above our woundedness, and take authority over our lives. It asks that we willingly express what’s brewing within (on the deepest level we can access) while also honoring and responding to the world around us. What we do in response to our fear is what defines our future.
- Excerpt from MC1 Courage, The Spill Your Truth Program

Earlier this year ten extraordinarily brave women helped me co-create a powerful heart-centered assertiveness training program called Spill Your Truth Without The Mess. As of today, you can tap into our journey and the wisdom contained therein for a fraction of the cost. Of course an online coaching immersion isn't for everyone. It's for women who are sincere about up-leveling their expression... who are courageous enough to be honestly vulnerable... who long to express themselves more authentically, more boldly, and more compassionately in all their beautiful-ugly glory.


Today you can find out if it's for you.  Get your FREE 15-page Digital PreTraining Playbook. My gift to you. No strings attached

If the journal questions contained in the free workbook speak to you, this program could be a total game-changer.

No printing required; just download & type your answers directly into your own private journal. Take inventory of your expression. Pinpoint key areas where you can up-level to a more authentic you. Set your own intentions. Revisit and update as much as you like. And if (and only if)
you decide you want more... consider joining our tribe. 

The Spill Your Truth Immersion 
6 Weeks to a More Authentic You
$199 thru May 31st. Payment plans available. 

GET THE FREE WORKBOOK: http://bit.ly/sytfreebie
VIEW 6-WEEK SYLLABUS: http://bit.ly/SYTsyllabus


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Gurus & Gimlets


Growing up as the perpetual "new girl," I developed a chronic habit of fragmenting myself. While I have come a long way around this: allowing my authentic voice to emerge, valuing my time and energy, learning to express my no, etc... today it occurred to me that I'm still for the most part living a double life.

I got to wondering... How many of you out there know that I work part-time as a cocktail waitress?

Probably not enough of you. And why? Because I've kept it a secret. Not consciously, mind you... but a secret nonetheless. Having this financial supplement to my coaching and writing endeavors is something I have kept largely under wraps. 

Why? I guess some part of me carries shame around the fact that my business isn't cash flow central. I love my work, and I want to keep on loving it. I purposefully haven't elected to fill my schedule with 1:1 sessions or constant deadlines. I like the rhythm of the unexpected and the freedom it allows me. And as such, my finances reflect this free-flowing spirit. 

Yet even the acknowledgment of choice hasn't been enough to fully turn the tides within me. Even now I feel trepidation in the overt admission to you all that I moonlight as a cocktail waitress. A stern voice in me warns me that my credibility hinges on you seeing me solely as my professional persona. That somehow my message will be watered-down by the truth.

Let me be clear here... I wholeheartedly believe that waitressing is just as noble a profession as any other. There's an art to truly great service and it's no small thing to be damn good at it. I hold servers in very high regard (just ask anyone who goes out to dine with me!). It's not about that. Not at all. 

As a coach, I have been greatly influenced by my peers - the countless empires of "experts" and self-help gurus that seem to emerge daily. Standard business practices put polished personas front and center, rarely if ever are there revelations of this sort. I suppose that I have inadvertently internalized the implication that, in order to be seen as coach-credible, I must continually project an air of financial abundance.

But the truth is this: after writing all day yesterday, I donned my trusty black apron and ran my ass off, slinging drinks until 1am. It was a pleasant and lucrative shift. I was surrounded by great peeps who have become like family to me. No pity party necessary; I enjoyed my after work gimlet with a wink and a smile. My double-life has served me well, thank you very much. 

AND yet, like every Sunday morning, I'm freakin' exhausted... not because of the "shameful" fact that my livelihood is complex and multi-faceted... but because I haven't been humble enough to own the tremendous significance of the big picture. Living with one foot in each world has led me to overcommit (likely in an unconscious effort to compensate for my shame) and repeatedly I fall out of integrity with the deadlines I set in my business. 

It's time to lay all of my cards out on the table. This is yet another opportunity to demonstrate what I stand for: the right to live transparently and express a life as you see fit. 

I'm betting that many of you rendezvous with a persona you largely keep hidden. Perhaps in some cases it is better that way. But what if it's not? What if "the secret" isn't to project anything at all. 

For some of us, the secret to happiness may just be not to have any. I have found again and again that something (anything) only appears dark when it is cast into the shadows.

Feel like exposing *your* secret double-life? You have my attention.
Pop me a message; I'm all ears.


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Go... Ready. Set.


Is there something you want to create or experience that feels perpetually unfinished?
Perhaps your mental or physical preparation is keeping you from the real action. 

An easy example? I've set aside today for writing my next eBook... and what do I have to show for it?
Nothing. Not a damned thang. Why? Because I've been so busy preparing, I haven't yet begun. 

We long to "feel ready" before we make our bold move.
We pace the starting line. We stretch. We wait for the gunshot to go off. But what if it never does?  

Expression is clarified through action.
The quickest way to get inspired is to start creating. The fastest way to get clear on what you want to say is to start talking. And the best way to determine where you want to go next is to start moving. 

Go... Ready. Set.
See you at the finish line, {{firstname}}.

xo

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An Unpopular Sentiment

Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday. It has been for years now.

No, NOT for romantic reasons; not at all. I was single for most of my adult life. I've always loved VDay because I honestly can't think of anything more worth celebrating than the expression of love.

Sound too cheesy for ya? Oh well. In a way, I feel that this holiday reveals my tribe to me... it poses the deciding question:

Is my heart half full or half empty?

Cynics will see the downside of this day... all the lonely hearts, commercialism, and false sentimentality. But I am an artist and lover to my very core... to me, seeing the opportunity and beauty in this day is a matter of perspective.

Perhaps how we love within is reflected outward. If you agree, join me by releasing the grip of rebellious denial. Instead, why not let this be a day to more boldly express the gratitude in your heart to ALL the people that you care for. Love them up! There is absolutely positively someone in your life you can pour your heart into. Your willingness to show up for them reflects a willingness to show up for YOU.

VDay can be about so much more than partnership and ooey gooey sentiments... it's an opportunity to practice more genuinely opening your heart to life itself.

And so... I you and this day, and there's no talking me out of it.

Here's a provocative love letter I wrote to you last year.
Give it another gander if you like.
(Another warning: it's no Hallmark card)

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The Edge of an Open Heart


Despite my best intentions, at times people just don't get me. And it's okay.
As I've recently discovered, in the struggle to be seen I often miss the point. 

It's easy to judge others for not aligning with our values; cloaking self righteousness in projective analysis. It's easy to shake our heads from side to side, to get angry, to point fingers. I've done it. Yes, recently. I've made others wrong when they aren't walking 
my talk... and I've been likewise condemned. It's a prickly dance to say the least. 

We're all guilty of this from time to time; projection distracts us from the real work.
It keeps us from facing the inevitable questions we are avoiding:  
Do I feel met here? Do our values align? Do we want the same things moving forward? Much better questions to ask when it comes to true understanding in our relationship to anything or anyone.

More and more I catch myself when I'm attempting to morph my values and expectations to mesh with those who I'm innately out of sync with. For years I gave my power away to large personalities; I would shrink in the face of their confidence. Later in life I learned to stand my ground. And now... NOW I'm seeing that I've really got nothing to prove. No need to fight or endure
unnecessary drama. No need to override my sensibilities to make others happy. 

Yielding to others, going against your gut... that's a slippery slope, my friend. Keep in mind, this can happen with friends or family members that you love deeply. It's particularly easy to compromise your edges for someone whom you meshed perfectly with at one time, but with whom your needs no longer align.
What does so-and-so need? How can I make it work for them? These are reasonable questions, as long as you are also honoring your own needs and what works for YOU. The reality is, sometimes you reach an impasse and the two cannot be compromised. Honoring lack of alignment doesn't add up to failure; at times it's an honest discernment that saves everyone energy in the end. Yes even if in the devastation of the truth, one of you wants otherwise. 

That's the thing about boundaries. You get to define yours. 
Anyone who tells you that yours are misplaced is projecting their truth. 

Black and white isn't. What works for one person won't necessarily vibe for another. What gets us into trouble is deciding FOR others. Telling another person how to hold themselves as sacred is a violation and a projection. Many people will come in and out of your life in order to help you define where to place the edges around your heart. Yet the way in which you choose to hold yourself is deeply personal, and it's ultimately up to you. 

As an example, let's consider a Portland hot-button topic: monogamy vs. polyamory. This is an arena where projection runs rampant in both directions. Right and wrong will never be compromised because what it really comes down to is personal choice. Healthy boundaries of any kind are permeable, yet intact. We magnetize those whose edges align with our own in any given moment; we repel those who don't. Say you interact with someone who is interested in openly engaging your heart and/or physical space... and that someone holds edges that are naturally a bit more porous than your own; you may feel yourself withdrawal or recoil from them. Is that wrong? I don't think so. Yet nor is it wrong that they want to engage. Not at all in fact. To someone who desires reciprocity of connection in that same manner, this might be a welcome advance. 

No need to make someone wrong in order to express your 
no. Nor must they take your edges personally. It's all about choice. 

There is no universal standard for how an
open heart should behave. 

Love and sovereignty work best when not confused. Your feelings AND your edges must line up in order for you to feel respected and honored in any relationship. Dominion is unique to the individual; thus, it is
essential that you are communicating your values and preferences to the people closest to you every step of the way. Own your truth. Ask for what you want. And be willing to navigate the choppy waters on the way to getting it... even if it means letting go of something or someone.

Often the so-called "high road" is the one that plucks you out of the drama and puts you face to face the most difficult truth. Love sometimes means honoring and navigating differences in order to make it work... and other times, it means graciously walking away. Fallout is never easy, but owning your truth is always far less messy for everyone in the end. 

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Illness, elasticity, & why I just fired myself.


Nothing puts life into perspective like illness. Nuthin. I can hardly imagine how much this rings true with those of you who have been up against debilitating, chronic, or life threatening ailments. I humbly bow to the vulnerability that must unearth in you. 

I've been sick on and off for six weeks now, the last of which was brutally unyielding, and I gotta tell you...
only what truly matters shows up when you're lying face down in your couch cushions, oozing muck out of your every orifice. In my experience, illness is a great energetic purger... nature's own shamantic cleanser and deliverer of realizations long-denied. My body puts me face to face with myself and wakes me the eff up like no therapist, religion, or vision quest could ever do. In blissful pleasure, and especially in times of pain. Thus, as I am on the mend I'm standing face to face with my own insanity.  

For years now I've been willing to break my back in order to deliver to others (both personally and professionally). As a teacher and writer, I've taken so many inspired creations and attached deadlines to them... lacing
something that could be truly great with the exhaustive and counterproductive energy of anxiety. Ironically, I am largely self-employed and am therefore my own boss. I'm thinking that I should be fired... I'm seeing now that I've been a real bully and a hard-ass, two qualities I find quite off-putting when working for others. So after consulting with the board of directors within (and approximately four boxes of kleenex), I'm changing things up. I am an artist, not a technician. I do my best work when I allow it to have a life of its own. So ELASTICITY is my new touchstone in all that I do. 

Elasticity turns me on. Big time. Nothing feeds my creativity like freedom. 


If this resonates with some part of you as well, I encourage you to ponder these questions:
  What lines are you holding yourself to that you could  s t r e t c h  in order to better suit your sensibilities? Who do you have to communicate with in order to request the spaciousness (or boundaries) that you desire? Are you holding yourself to lines that could possibly be blurred, re-sketched, or even dissolved?

Today I invite you to consider
every day an invitation to sketch & stretch each page to suit you. 



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