Fierce Love: Why I March


Yesterday I attempted to reduce all that I was feeling into a FB post.
It was far too staggering an objective.

My newsfeed is a wildfire catching wind. I see it all: pleas for unity, Republicans high-fiving, resistance flags waving, and way way WAY too many instances of nasty sorts of name-calling (on all sides). It breaks my heart.

I am not a Trump supporter (and it's not because of his politics).
Bullies never get my vote.

& Yet THAT is precisely WHY I will not engage in the emotional repugnancy I stand against.

Feel free to cheer/jeer-sit/stand-react/respond-retreat/fight in whatever way feels authentic to you. I'm not here to tell you how to live.

But I am here to advocate for those of us who feel frustration at the fact that there are too many examples of them-mockery and you-fuckery, and not enough of us saying enough-with-the-ugly.

Enough of demeaning with righteousness.
Enough of raging in the face of anger.
Enough of making "them" the enemy.

Love is a verb, folks.
It's time we start acting like it.

In a few short hours, I will march with my sisters... not against anyone, but FOR a LOVE that is fierce in its insistence on the rights of every human being on this mother-loving planet. Because I for one don't think we have to drag anyone down in order to rise up (together).

The only way to forge true unity is to reach out heart-to-heart, versus blade-to-blade. THIS is the essence of divorcing the patriarchy for good - demonstrating that there IS another way to turn love into action.

#fiercelove #whyimarch





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When All You're Left With Is Righteousness


[Originally published at: rebellesociety.com on 2/13/16]

We live in a world profoundly divided by ideology. A world where we are continually exposed to extreme differences; differences that often result in conflict. In the circles I frequent, extreme conservative and right-wing sensibilities are a source of dissonance and frustration for many. And, I myself, can become offended and/or royally pissed off by the words and actions of others. News and social media offers me nonstop fodder to ignite this dissonance. At times I take the bait... rallying with others "together in favor" of this-and-that... and rising up "opposed to him or her".

And yet more and more I'm realizing that when we roll our eyes or condemn or grow frustrated with another human for not speaking or behaving in the manner that we would expect, we are missing the point entirely. Maybe it's not our politics or our beliefs that define how effective we are... perhaps it's the character with which we show up and navigate the realities of a shared humanity.

Consider this: When you are "offended" your psyche imagines it's been attacked. Yet in reality it's only a belief, a mental and/or emotional construct that is under fire. Something is rubbing up against what you "know" to be true and you feel a need to defend it.

But before you fire back, pause, and ask yourself:
Do you really want to wage a war? Even IF the cause you represent makes you feel 100% justified... is it necessary that you *fight back* in order to gain ground?

Maybe your answer is yes, but I challenge that. As human history has shown us, violence and divisiveness does not change minds; it destroys lives. If you are like me, and you don't believe in fighting wars, then check yourself as to how you approach everyday conflicts in your life.

We are on the brink of electing a giant bully as a nominee for president. And people on the left (and right) keep asking: HOW could this be happening?! How could someone like him be an option for so many? Yet the more I look around at the way so many of us handle conflict in our everyday lives, the less surprised I am.

Trump is a living-and-breathing representation of what happens when the human shadow is allowed to run amok. Left or right, when we point fingers, label others, and allow our ideology to keep us from being curious and willing... we are no different than him. Just because our labels are more flowery and politically-correct, it doesn't make them any less divisive.

Politically, it doesn't matter much if you swing left or right.
If you draw hard lines when it comes to difficult truths then there is a fundamental flaw in your aim.

Do you REALLY want people to open their minds?
Then open yours. Wider than ever.


Has rolling your eyes and/or shaming someone for their beliefs EVER worked to open a heart and ignite the love you hope to ins
pire?
I seriously doubt it.

Judging others for their ignorance reveals to them your arrogance, not your intellect.

Instead of wagging your finger in someone's face, why not offer up a nugget of wisdom?
TIP: Wisdom = vulnerability + personal experience. It's NOT the same thing as a political soundbite you read on the internet.

Tell them how you overcame *your own* biases and judgement. And ask them how they inherited theirs. Create a dialogue that has the potential for truth-telling, versus shaming them for a mental construct they most likely played little part in creating.

In a divided world, there is a desperate need for safe spaces where we can openly speak what is in our minds and hearts without fear of condemnation. Where we can practice owning our truth and saying... "Hey, I know this might not be popular, but here's where I'm at as of now."

Sidenote: this is not an argument for emotional or spiritual bypassing. It's not an invitation to turn up your headphones and tune out the troubles of the world in the name of good vibes. No. It's a call for honest to goodness human-to-human dialogue where hard truths are welcome and heard.

There are many ways to stand up for what you believe in... and I wholeheartedly believe that the world will become a peaceful place when we really get that "the-good-fight" isn't really a fight at all. It's a confidence firmly rooted in integrity and sovereign self expression.

And P.S. I'm learning right alongside you. So no need to knock me off of any high horse. ;)
We are all going the best we can. Let's all practice (& do better) together.







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The Dark Side of Passion

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I recently ran into this meme on Facebook, and it really got me thinking.

Passion. Sometimes it shows up as brilliant creative inspiration, yet it's invitations aren't always so gracious. I've found that - like most things - passion comes in all shades, and its darker impulses sometimes overwhelm me. When I feel lost to a yearning, my wounds and/or latent desires can unwind me from reason and lead me to project a zealous fixation onto someone or something outside of me. In these rare instances a passionate hunger envelops, consumes, and infatuates my senses. I lose touch with myself for the sake of latent desire's ravenous need to announce and full-fill itself.

Yet most news is good news if you know how to frame it.

I've come to believe that, even when we find ourselves bat-shit-crazy, passion is present because something within us has come alive. A potential has been sparked even if we may not be ready or fully equipped to own or express it. We are "out there" aching passionately for HIM/HER or IT or THAT because we are starved for an expression and/or change that is coming alive within and through us.

A few years ago, I had a wicked crush on a distant colleague. I mean it. I was dumbstruck by her presence, her beauty, and her unabashed embodiment of her sensual wow-factor when she danced. She seemed fearless and irreverently expressive, and I was drawn to her... enamored. I wanted what she had and therefore longed to know her and befriend her so that I could bask in her courage. I emulated her movement and attempted to forge a bond. Thankfully she didn't reciprocate my desire for connection, and I was left to seek nourishment on my own. What began for me as an echoing of the confidence she demonstrated, soon turned into my own brand of sexy-self possession. Once I embodied the potential she had helped to unearth in me, once I began to express it on my own, her presence no longer influenced me in the same way and her unavailability and disinterest in me no longer pained me the way it had early on. My passion found it's sovereign and rightful expression and the experience taught me a shit-ton about the how&why of SO many former infatuations in my life, both in friendship and in matters of the heart.

The point is this...
On the other side of our madness lies our truth.

Whenever I'm busy longing for HIM or IT or THAT, I no longer step forward. I take a step back and I take stock. I know now that a hungry passion longs deeply for an inner devotion to what is ripening with ME. It's inviting me to show up and express something in a way that I never have before. And when I am courageous and vulnerable enough to become responsive (vs. reactive), I'm emboldened by passion's dark and elusive callings as well as its more brilliant inspirations.

I've found that ALL shades of passion contain within them the potential to feed my creative advancement when coupled with sovereignty and the willingness to take my power back.

Own your bat-shit-crazy... & don't allow it to own you.



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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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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

Learn More >>
http://bit.ly/SYTsyllabus
Get Your Free Download >>
http://bit.ly/sytfreebie


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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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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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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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Watershed Moment


Today would have been my brother Tony's 39th birthday. Tonight I sit with a heavy heart, reading and reflecting upon the final email exchange that he and I had before his passing in the spring 2010... one in which he encouraged me around my ever-changing passions. He wrote to me:
"You have a wonderful way with audible and written words. Depth, clarity of purpose, and impact all describe your use of language." He used to love reading my posts and offering his reflections.

And as he knew all too well, it is when I am broken open that my words spill most authentic. Thus at this dark hour of the night in the shadow of his passing, I feel a familiar tug in my gut... urging me to express, promising the relief that awaits just on the other side of baring it all.  

I'm in the business of expressing change.
Constantly. It seems my path (and how I naturally reflect for those around me) has everything to do with honoring continual adjustments in life; allowing each external change of course to result in greater self-calibration. I specialize in watershed moments, but I gotta tell ya... it isn't always smooth sailing.

I've spent the past couple of weeks sick and a bit discouraged. Registration isn't what I had hoped for a new online program, even though it's jam-packed with value. To be honest, packaging my inspiration is a real drag. It's been somewhat of a buzz kill (
not because I have any issue with the making of money)... for me packaging sucks because selling my most heartfelt labors of love and tying my creative expression to "a promise" diminishes potential for the real return. The return outside of the money... the one that really matters most to me. It's what Tony highlighted back in 2009... that I'm only now really starting to get. Impact is the return that makes it all worthwhile. It truly pains me that only a handful of people will benefit from all that I pour into the next three months. Requiring people to "buy-in" in order to experience the return just isn't working for me. Not at all. 

Rest assured, I see that it is me who I created it this way. I am an impassioned writer... marketing myself as a coach. I want it to be the other way around. Creating programs (and even sharing with you all here) is more or less an excuse to write, an avenue for my greatest passion. I'm only now realizing that I've been missing the point.  

My writing and creative expression isn't mean to be a commodity, it's meant to be shared.


Nothing pains me more than feeling out of integrity; Tony and I most certainly had that in common. Which is why I am telling you all of this. I feel blessed that so many people seem to find value in my musings... and I plan to allow my faith in my writer self (and in the bigger picture) to propel future creations. I want to give of myself to the world, not hide behind a promise. Self publication here I come... and you'll be getting more from me in the year to come. 

Does this mean I will stop coaching?
Hell no... but I'd love to stop calling it that.

And I'm immediately adjusting the 
upcoming program to honor this shift... clearing away the coach-speak, technological fluff, and getting down to the REAL business of modeling expression. Currently there are only 6 women enrolled but I can promise you that these lucky ladies are about to get the very best of me. I'm going to pour my passion on the page (and into our live classes) more deliberately and fiercely than ever before. I will model through vulnerability... I will share and offer my own liberated expression without concern for bottom lines or delivery on packaged promises. Because neither of those motivate me to create. 

What motivates me? >>>  Sharing what authentically moves me and feeling it resonate.
Filling an honest-to-goodness need in the moment, without even trying.

Thank you for continually being my witness, {{firstname}}.

BTW if you'd still like too join in the
TribeNectar Immersion experience, it's not too late.  Message me directly to discuss whether it's right for you. 

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Zoom Out to Tune In


Early this week I had a major meltdown. Yep, it was a doozy. And it all surfaced just before I was headed out to teach class. Ahh... isn't timing divine? ;)

There was of course, a
circumstance... but the storyline that triggered me is of little importance. Very little in fact. Because we are rarely upset about what-is-happening around us; it's more often than not about what-is-stirring at greater depths. Nevertheless, in the moment I was caught in a web of emotion that spun me into full-blown tantrum

It wasn't pretty. Nope, not at all.
I pointed fingers, found fault. I cursed my sensitive nature. I shouted, sobbed, and snotted my discontent.

And then... even though my body was flooded with adrenaline and panic, I was able to zoom out. 

Change is a'rockin' my world. I mean November has been an up-leveling of grand proportions. 16 days ago I moved in with my beloved... a huge move for a single woman of 38. My independence has defined me for so long, it's an adjustment to allow the risk and the vulnerability of partnership, weaving my life together with another. 

Add to that, I've promised on the delivery of another
newborn coaching program. My creative process equals motherhood (it means that much to me). And, I feel the blissful pain-pleasure of birth pending. Daily I vacillate between exhilaration and anxiety (btw, the only difference between the two is all in whether or not I choose to BREATHE). I scribble down inspired ideas: yay! that's what I mean to say!... come face-to-face with doubt: oh holy shit, can I really pull this off?!... and mostly do my best to occupy the space in between.

Trust is up for me, on oh-so many levels.

Which brings us back to my major meltdown moment
ah-hah. I am actively learning how to trust myself. The ability to ZOOM OUT while while deeply triggered was a gift... it enabled me to know what I am really up against internally. The terror of taking a chance on me, my passion, and what I love most. I am learning to trust (not someone else) but ME. Overriding a practiced insecurity and risking the reach anyway. 

Once I began speaking to that, connection within (and thus, with my partner) was re-established immediately. 

YOUR TURN >>>


Are you projecting your pain onto a circumstance that has you feeling out of control?
Does the idea of actually feeling the weight of it all make you want to curl up or lash out? Are you creating more work for yourself by fighting against or pretending to be powerless? Are you focused on this&that, him&her... and ignoring the deeper work? (note: answer 'all of the above' if you've been feeling stuck for awhile)

I invite you to zoom out... which will enable to you tune IN:


1 ~ Zoom. Take a higher vantage point by stepping above the storyline.
2 ~ Admit what you're afraid of and/or what you're really fighting for/against.
3 ~ Stick to YOUR truth; take back what is yours to own (your feelings, needs, desires).
4 ~ Allow the pain and vulnerability to bubble up and access the deeper edge you are working.  
5 ~ Reframe this edge; create an intention that you commit to focus on moving forward.
6 ~ Communicate BOTH the vulnerability and the strength you're conjuring to establish more intimate connection.  

It was this basic process that enabled me to move from meltdown: 
I can't do this! It's too fucking much!... back to a place of center in just 15-minutes time. It should be noted that having a supportive partner as an ally (once I stopped pointing fingers at him! ;) and a witness helped move things along more quickly.

NEVER underestimate the power of entrainment. The people you surround yourself with matter more than you think. 

And embrace your meltdowns... they are opportunities for big-time bust through, if you are willing to stop spinning the story. 


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Truth vs. Tantruming


Why do so many shy away from spilling the truth?
Partially because many so-called "truth-tellers" express themselves in ways that leave the people around them feeling slimed. Deeply compassionate souls aren't really all that interested in contributing to and/or wading through all that muck... so they suck it up and keeping their truth tucked safely inside.

I recently read this quote on Facebook:
It's funny how everybody considers honesty a virtue, but nobody wants to hear the truth.

Hmm... I suggest you immediately give pause to anyone uttering these words. While I believe there is certainly something to that notion, more often than not this is used as a convenient excuse following ineffectual delivery. 

What if we were to take more responsibility for how our expression is being received by the world?... for the results that we are getting? Perhaps the truth doesn't always have to hurt... and speaking out doesn't have to mean alienating others, burning bridges, or mass rebellions. 

There is no such thing as perfect communication, nor is there a guaranteed sidestep for emotional triggers. Nevertheless how the world
repeatedly responds to us has more to do with what we are bringing than we are often willing to take ownership of. 

When it comes to communicating (that includes hearing!) what matters most, we often get derailed by our wounds. Our best intentions to own and express our vulnerability miss the mark because most of us don't have healthy models of how to do this. Instead, we end up "tantruming" vs. sharing, shrouding our pain in justifications and/or mature posturing.

We rarely get the results we want, because our deepest truth just isn't being conveyed. Sharing a story is not the same thing as sharing intimacy. In fact, it's more often than not a distraction from the connective opportunities stewing beneath the surface. Connection results from diving beneath the drama. It's learning to courageously expose and admit pain, especially when primal instinct urges you to lash out. It means owning protections and projections more fully... speaking directly about what it is you are most afraid to own. 

Save yourself the struggle and get to the heart of what it is you want to express to those you love. Let go of the storyline (ever-open to interpretation), stop pointing fingers (defense kills connection, ownership feeds it), and speak to the inarguable truths deep within (your own feelings, needs, and desires).

Want to learn how to do this effectively in the company of other women?
Join the tribe. >> http://bit.ly/182Pytx


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Nectar 101


Nectar 
is what call the distilled, refined essence of what it is you most want to express in life. It is what's being overlooked when you seek to offer your most genuine self, but the impact just isn’t there.

Knowing your nectar and expressing from the space of your deepest true leads to dreams fulfilled and genuine heartfelt connections. It's how you squeeze every ounce of juice from life that you can... guiding so much more than your words, your deepest true ultimately determines how you show up in life.

Words, gestures, and the choices you make, beneath every move lies the heart of what you mean to express. Your ability (or inability) to consciously tap into your deepest true is what determines how well you are received and what you get back from the people and circumstances in your life.

When you discover how to tap into your nectar and habitually distill expression to its core essence, when you deliver truth and make choices from that place, it saves you valuable time and energy. Drama is averted and conditions for connection are ripe.

TribeNectar and
The Spill Your Truth curriculum is about clear communication; yet it is really about so much more than that. It's about learning to more consciously express yourself with every aspect of your being. 

Heart-centered assertiveness is an empath's greatest training ground... offering countless opportunities to own and express compassionate truth, without taking anyone out. It's a practice that goes far deeper than tried-and-true communication techniques. 

I can teach you to speak up... but that doesn’t guarantee you will be heard. 

I can urge you to stand up for something vs. fighting against what-is... but that won't untangle you from the drama's seduction. 

Guiding you toward your most vulnerable truth and demonstrating how to tap into that and express yourself more authentically from that place... this is a tangible freedom that has the power to change your life. 

For good.

Want to learn more? Visit
TribeNectar.com. Act quickly. Early Bird registration ends Friday. 


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Being Seen. What Does It Mean?


A couple of weeks ago I was asked a pivotal question... my answer to it not only surprised me, it liberated me.

I was confiding to a friend and colleague that, when it comes to my livelihood, I've long been divided within. I've often wondered:
How do I compromise my bohemian sensibilities with my driving creative ambition?

In the past couple of years, I have spent time and money up-leveling my entrepreneurial skill set... and it's led to huge leaps in my business and in my life. Yet something just hasn't been sitting quite right within. My biz training repeatedly reinforces that "being successful" as an author and coach is directly related to exposure. As an online entrepreneur, how seen you are matters big time, and social proof has become the ultimate measure of success. 

But is it? Does it
really matter how many web views, likes, and shares you get? Can you do great work, have global significance, and make money without all the celebrity persona BS? Some part of me was buying heavily into this notion of needing to be an authority in my given field, while my inner artist wants to bare my soul only when I feel authentically-called. 

Either way, I felt had to confess something...
Red-faced with shame and vulnerability, I admitted aloud for the first time:  "I'm ashamed to admit it, but I guess I have a burning need to be seen."

In all her wisdom, she didn't judge... she merely pressed on:
"So what does that mean to you? WHEN do you feel most seen?"

Now this was a watershed moment for me... because suddenly it dawned on me that I wasn't ashamed of the need to be seen itself, I was held hostage by the way in which I was conceptualizing it. 

Celebrity status will never truly satisfy me; yet, experiencing the significance of my existence in the smallest of ways totally rocks my world. I know this because I have "been seen" for much of my adult life. I've taught and performed in front of literally thousands of people. Yet, in the avenues of great exposure I often felt the least revealed. Nothing has shown me myself as clearly as when I sit one-on-one with a client. 

Why is that?
Because I feel seen when my vehicle & voice have deep and measurable impact. 

When I listen with my heart and respond from my gut, only to then see a light that was once hidden ignite in a client's eyes. When the music tells my body what to do, and I offer its echoes directly to someone who falls in love with her luscious hips for the first time. When I risk and share the truth of my experience, and it's relevant to someone in the moment they need it most. When my self-expression means that life itself has been altered in some positive way. 
Boom. DEPTH. IMPACT. That's when I feel seen.

Perhaps
being seen is different for each one of us, and whether or not an audience is required depends up your unique way of touching the world and/or what it is you're after. It could be that the glowing possibility in your child's eyes is all the honest reflection you need. I'd like to offer that how deeply you connect with and influence the people in your immediate world is far more satisfying than how many friends/followers you have in a virtual one. 

What does being seen mean to you? I'd love to hear your perspective.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 


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Yesterday's Rant. Inside My Crazy.


Welcome to yesterday's rant. It wasn't meant for your eyes when I sat down to write it. And, that's exactly why it feels worth sharing. ;)

Today is a bitch. I'm feeling stuck and unclear. 
Wildly uncertain of which direction to move in. 

I sit down to write and stare blankly at the screen. I start working on a new project, only to half-ass it... my mojo drains so fast I hardly have time to push the save button. Yesterday and today combined, I've spent roughly 6 hours in front of my computer accomplishing next to nothing. Writer's block doesn't even begin to describe it.

My mind is a madhouse.

A couple of days ago, I made a commitment... it's a reach in a very positive direction, AND it is one that I'm crazy anxious about pulling off. My past track record has me feeling unsettled. Can I really make this happen gracefully? How will I make good on my promises? to me. my partner. my business. my bank account.

When will I begin to see a clear path from a to z? Can I really create a life that doesn't require me to work nonstop in order to live it as I see fit? Am I naive to think that I can really have it all?

And
oh holy hell, here it comes... the white wash of shame descends upon me, providing me with a detailed catalog of my faults, past mistakes, and deluded notions. My confusion completely blocks the flow of movement and creative expression. 

Or wait. Does it?

What if advancement forward isn't contingent upon clarity OR confidence? 
What if expression doesn't need be pretty (or figured-out) in order to have value? The voice that is most potent and meaningful is the voice that is REAL. 

My mind is forever changing; contradiction is its norm. The very same thoughts that yesterday built me up, may tomorrow leave me panting for air. 

And I know that 
once we see a way out, we can't un-see it. If we stay in a reality outgrown, we suffer. When we take the walk through the terror of the unknown, we'll likely discover something better than before.Eventually. I have seen it so. For me. For many.

Personal evolution isn't all about positive thinking and the reach for higher vibrations. So-called "negativity" is an essential indicator of dissonance between where we are and where we want to be. To reach our potential we must learn to harness the power of our own destruction. Life means willingly (and sometimes heartbreakingly) destroying what no longer serves us in order to rebuild a life anew. 

Negativity
can be a total mind-fuck OR it can show me what keeps me from my desires. The difference is in taking the note being offered and doing something with it, versus getting sucked into stories and emotional quicksands. I won't buy into my insecurities, nor will I hide them from myself or others. Any habit of thought that makes me feel like shit can be shifted quicker in the owning. I accept my crazy notions, and strive to build a live where they no longer have room to roam. 


Here's hoping that yesterday's emotional shit-storm (and the inevitable de-construction of an outdated-me) isn't for naught... it's a story worth sharing. 

Even if not. It's real. And that's good enough for me.

Yours in crazy cahoots,
Candice


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Sharing. How Much Is Too Much?

When it comes to sharing your truth, how much is too much? It depends on you. In this wild world of social networking, transparency isn't for everyone. 

Some are into heavy weightlifting, flexing their power to explore the edges of their physical prowess. I like to push the bounds of emotional exposure in order to build power and strength. It's a personal high of mine. And it helps me to walk my talk and serve my clients better. Not everyone digs it though.


Of course, at times I question my way in the world. Is it safe to so publicly share myself and my musings, given how they are prone to an endless evolution? Is it really wise to tell my clients about my own moments of raw rip-roaring pain? Is it naive or narcissistic to think that someone out in cyberspace might even care about my latest ah-hah?


Hell if I know. I can't be bothered with such questions. I've just gotta do me. 
Teetering on the edge of things-best-kept-private suits my sensibilities. If cultivating a willingness for shameless self-disclosure is a bit nutty... it's nutty in the same way as skydiving, painting a 20-foot canvas, or traveling to every country on the globe. Unfiltered expression for the sake of itself may indeed be my artistic madness; commit me if you must, just make sure I have a pen and paper. 

However, I can't help but notice that liberated voices foster a culture of acceptance. When any of us openly express ourselves and our unique take on the world, we indirectly advocate for the silent among our tribe.
I have come to believe that taking ownership over your own unique brand of crazy is how you can most effectively touch lives and affect change. 

Yes, you may feel vulnerable and sometimes pained when critics cock their heads, perplexed by the way you walk (and talk) in the world. But it's
way worth it when you discover that your exposed truth had the power to make another person feel less alien. One touched life will make it worth all the times you've risked (or shared) too much.

And when people just don't get it (or you)? . . . 
Thank them... for they call you toward greater clarity and power. Be humble enough to ask yourself why you are feeling unsettled by the response you are getting. Is it because your message isn't clear enough? Okay then... tighten that baby up!

Yet sometimes the opportunity may just be to leave things as they are. Perhaps your expression has led you to fall out of favor in someone's eyes. It is then you must ask: Does the path to their understanding require that I shrink or alter my truth in any way? If so, I invite you to reconsider the edit, my dear.
You are not responsible for how your YOU-ness makes others feel. 

In the same regard, being validated for your experience or perspective doesn't always mean others' agreement. In fact, far too much expressive energy is wasted trying to convince others... when in reality, the need beneath the need is to simply be seen and honored in a viewpoint. 


Practice honoring people in their beautiful ugly duality, even when it's not yours. Life expresses back at us what we most need to see within ourselves. Hold space for endless vantage points and perspectives, and allow for others to hold their truth apart from yours. 


Oh, and btw... someone out there thinks it's hella sexy when you act a little crazy. I'm just sayin'.
 



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This Is IT!... or is it?

A few days ago, I spoke with a client who expressed growing concern that she hasn't yet discovered her purpose (aka: the one thing she is meant to create and share with the world). 

She is hardly alone in this torturous search; many hold fast to the idea that we are destined for one vocation and/or creative outlet that will sustain us for a lifetime.

Back in the day, I used to make myself nuts trying to fulfill this collective prophesy. I've had my share of 
This Is It! moments; and each time, I would quite-naturally pour my everything into becoming masterful in the one thing I was sure I'd always love doing. Now as you know, loving something and being good at it are two different things - initially I'd kinda suck at my newfound passion... yet with devoted time and practice I'd develop a signature style of my own, a confidence, an ease.

And that's precisely when
IT would totally turn on me.  Each time, not too long after fluency set in, my mojo would begin to fade. 

I'd be wildly disappointed each time
the one thing I was tying my future identity to no longer fulfilled me. I would become confused and shameful, assuming that my built-in-purpose-mechanism (didn't we all have one?) was failing me somehow. I figured I had some serious issues with commitment - that I was just a fickle poser who couldn't get her shit together enough to just stick to one thing. 

I mean, that's what we're supposed to do, right? Do one thing and stick to it?

But is it? Is it 
really?!

What if we just let IT go?
What if our one reason for being doesn't even fucking exist? What if our purpose is self-evident and always changing, like us? 

Jobs, hobbies, infatuations, creative endeavors... they come and go. The only genius to track is the enhanced version of YOU that results, everything else is just process. 

In fact, your purpose may just simply be
to become more you... more genuinely {{firstname}}-like, if you will.... versus some vocational persona you hang your hat on until you earn your last buck.

There are certain individuals out there who appear destined for a particular action - singing love songs, tending to a small home or village, or even finding a cure for cancer. Yet not all of us are built to express ourselves primarily through one avenue. In fact, your purpose might just be
to not do that. Maybe it's not that you're indecisive or unsure... perhaps your purpose is meant to evolve as you do... through an evolution that is only loosely tied to your day job, if at all. 

Still skeptical? Try this on: If you were granted the power to embody and
feel something strongly enough that it would magically re-shape the entire world in an instant (all without being able to do a thing) what would you choose to put out there? How would you feel on-purpose

Sah-weet! That's more like
it. Now tie your dreams to the cultivation of that sensation, in everything you do.

Heads up! The PHP 2013 Launch Sale Has Been Extended Thru July 31st.
Don't put it off any longer... enroll and get clear on how your purpose is evolving.
Start immediately upon registration.


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Express to Get Clear


Earlier this week, I had a session with a gifted client who is yearning to more boldly liberate her voice in both her business and personal life. She admitted that she doesn't feel free to fully express herself to others when her message isn't quite clear or figured-out-enough. 

Boy, do I get it. AND I've recently discovered two things:

Expression IS the path to clarity. 
It's not about withholding expression until you find the answers... in fact, it's just the opposite. 

When we feel stuck - in need of motivation, clarity, or direction - that is precisely when showing up is most essential. In the same way that ritualized movement naturally realigns the body and restores wellness... ritualized expression naturally realigns us with our voice, revealing clarity. 

So what do you say when you don't know what to say?  

The clearest expression is the realest one. 
Expressing what's most-real in the moment (even if it's a muddled admission of sheer confusion) will many times serve your path to clarity far more than hiding out and/or presenting the false pretense of having it all figured out.

If you want to offer an idea or sentiment (be it to a loved one, coworker, or prospective buyer), you'll be far more heard... and far more credible in the long term... if you tell the whole truth vs. a version of the story that gives them only what you think they want in the now. 

Enduring relationships of any kind require the strength to speak to the truth of the moment,
especially when vulnerability and insecurity is up. Not sure what to say, {{firstname}}? Speak to exactly where you are, and clarity will find its way to you faster. 

Heads up! The PHP 2013 Launch Sale Has Been Extended Thru July 31st.
Don't put it off any longer... enroll and learn to be your own hero, starting now.



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Unfinished Business

It may look polished, but it is hardly done. My business is as unfinished as I am. 

Big Fat Confession: I don't feel right, calling myself a life coach.
I really dislike the title and the projections that can come along with it. Yet past attempts to author a distinction all my own felt pretentious and/or always ended up sounding like some sort of new-age mumbo jumbo - and that ain't me either. 

I'm an expressionist who makes a living sharing my experiences with others. I teach and mentor women who want to dance freely to rhythms that I know well - both literally and figuratively. I don't have all the answers or the right moves, I have only my experiences and an innate ability to hear, see, and reflect light... even in the darkest spaces.

Releasing a 
curriculum has been super edgy for me, because it comes off as formulaic. I absolutely love teaching, yet creating classes - where ideas might be held constant - is risky business to say the least. Thus, the PHP course is more than anything else a collection of reflections on my own path of self-revelation... along with shortcuts and detours that have helped others avoid making the same mistakes that I have. 

Radically-real expression penetrates us to the core. It's not a special power to possess. We all have it. Yet, for most of us, it is scary as hell to do. Why? Because what is most real has the most power to activate us and the people around us - for better or for worse. 

As a mentor, provocateur, and poet... I get this in a big way. With every click of the keyboard, I run the risk of evoking sleeping giants. I see things and stir them up with my words, it's a reality I've been avoiding for most of my life. And so, even today, I find myself breathing through the anxiety of being so seen... coupled with an insatiable call to write that's been with me every day as far back as I can remember.

With ANY expression comes the inevitability of mixed reviews, not to mention the fact that a new and more crystal-clear insight is always just around the bend to challenge all we've ever said before. 

Think you've figured it out? Think again.

Our business is always unfinished, same as it ever was.

Feeling afraid to risk exposure? Me, too.

But remember, nothing clarifies like exposure to light.

PHP Enrollment is Now Open
Includes TribeNectar™ Community Access



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Less Is More

If your inbox is anything like mine, it's overflowing with more than your life can rightly hold. I recently unsubscribed from nearly a dozen lists, simply because I couldn't take it all in. But you know who I couldn't let go of?... those rare bloggers who pack value into 3-5 sentences. People like Seth Godin; I read his emails,every single day. Zero fluff, he gets to the point right away, and I'm able to fully absorb his juice with little more than a blink and a scroll. 

From here on out I will write to you with the thoughtful-yet-reckless abandon that I speak in. Too many years as a copy editor have kept my fearless-writer-vixen pacing in her cage. I now aim to write with the flow-etic intensity that I bring to dance... I want to leave the page dripping with what's real. 

Yes, you'll be hearing from me more often; however, I promise to be concise and pointed... ripping the bandaid off quick... sharing coaching ah-hah's along with my own personal ugh's...  spilling my beautiful ugly out to you in order to be wholeheartedly me... and hopefully, inspiring you to do the same. 
Until soon.



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Bless This Mess - Humility's Gift


One of the things that most fascinates me about the human experience is its endless variations and vantage points. Even when we attempt to put our best foot forward, we step on one another’s toes simply because we each have our own rhythm to follow.

Conflict used to scare the shit out of me. In my twenties I fought the good fight only with myself, the emotional residue of my childhood left me paralyzed in the face of dissonance of any kind. So I morphed myself into someone who took great pains to please the people around me. It was an exhausting and relentless pursuit... all to avoid hurting anyone. Unfortunately, I was beating myself down in the process.

I have since learned that in order to lift the veils of protection, you have to be willing to take a hit from time to time. That is how you come to know your edges. We discover sovereignty and self-dominion by giving over our power, then reclaiming it again.

Tremendous growth can also happen when we are vulnerable enough to reveal something of ourselves that hasn’t yet seen the light of day; and sometimes that shadow truth shows up as a white hot mess. It doesn’t come out right. We feel exposed. Feelings get hurt. Some less than flattering aspect of ourselves is revealed. We wonder at the point of it all.

Yet regret is rarely helpful; it is powerlessness disguised. It often impedes self-empathy for what is done, is done. There is no point in holding yourself hostage to avoid facing the truth of what now lies before you. Accountability as an internal process contains within it the opportunity for needs to be revealed and a more honest expression of self to emerge... IF we are courageous enough to gaze upon ourselves and take the medicine being offered.

I can’t think of any greater power in my life than that of humility. When life knocks me on my ass, I may bitch and moan for a time... but I no longer stew in it for long because humility reminds me that pain has its purpose. It invites adjustment. Focusing on how to take the reach being offered is a far more worthwhile pursuit, as the mystery of growth reveals itself to us sooner when we are less resistant.

Particularly in the realm of relationship, sovereignty is key. I’m still learning how to love with an open heart, how about you? What to share... where to draw lines... and how to be present when wounds overlap and rub raw against one another. Join me as we dance this dance together... allow your pain points to show you how to navigate the world around you more consciously while healing your tender heart. Be humble to your own evolution, however bumpy the ride, and open to a larger vantage point beyond what you can see. Yet never surrender fully your core truth to the perception of those around you. When it comes to reality, we all see through a different lens. Seek not to convince others that your gaze reflects what is most real. Honor variance, tread lightly, and own what is yours (no more, no less).

And when you have no clue what to do, divorce your role as dramatic storyteller. Instead, find a safe container and tell the deepest truth you possibly can. If in doing so, you still make a mess of things, lean into the knowing that every dark explosion contains within it the potential for rebirth. Yet humility requires you to turn on the lights. Look around you; invite a new response to an old paradigm. And bless the mess that has revealed who you might come to be.


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Who's Your Hero? Why Isn't It YOU?

PowerHouseLogo


Do you know what kills my mojo every time? Shoulds. I hate those deceptive little suckers. That's why you haven't heard from me recently. I fell prey to the pressures of popular business models and began beating the passion out of my work. As I'm sure you know, it's easy to become distracted by supposed paths to success. Thankfully, creative sizzle-fizzle is always quick to remind me that
true fulfillment is a subjective pursuit tethered to the heart of its seeker. 

So after a very clumsy pas de deux with conformity, I have found my footing again. And, thanks to all of those missteps, I have learned a few things. Nutshell: 
I gotta be me. I am never really happy working according to someone else's formula. While I love to be inspired by those I admire, I promptly wither under the weight of convention. I prefer my creative containers be unique to my nature, elastic vessels that swell and eventually shatter under the pressure of my new growth. 

I believe many of us live out lives in soils that no longer feed us. We continue to squeeze ourselves into planters that are long outgrown or designed by others. We are barely able to breathe as our eager roots edge against walls that feel as if they are closing in. We lash out violently at the elements above and around us for relief from a pressure and pain that lies deep beneath the surface. 

Holy hot damn, I gotta tell you, ... there's nothing like the overwhelming relief of breaking out, into new rich soils. You don't have to leave it all behind; you bring with you the fertile compost of experience, designed by nature to ignite your new life. While it may be shocking to be unearthed from who you think yourself to be, it's beyond worth it once nestled deep within the expanse of new possibilities. Upon entering new ground, I always have to remind myself to breathe... as feelings of fear and exhilaration naturally surge at the wonder of just how far my roots are now able to stretch.  
w h o a...  Yep, that's why they call it bated breath, it's laced with the awe of an unknown finish. 

Which bring us to this moment...

I have just unleashed a labor of love that is so near and dear to my heart, it causes my pulse to quicken every time I think about it. This offering is not for everyone... it's designed for the countless women who - like me - have struggled with the expression of their truest voice and most authentic power in the world. Those who have too many times surrendered their will to something or someone else, hoping for validation or salvation. Let me be clear. This program  will not ensure you a perfect body or promise to bring you your next relationship. A bag of money will not fall from the sky. However you'll be astounded at the expansive glory of becoming your own personal hero.

You choose your life. Learn to choose wisely. This program will give you endless resources and insights to leverage your gorgeous and perfectly-designed imperfections for massive power to DO whatever the hell YOU want with your one precious life. 

And the best part... it's completely self-paced, offers 1:1 guidance, and can be experienced from anywhere in the world. Technology kicks some serious ass, dontcha think?

I will offer you context for the program's genesis in the coming days. But for now... 
Learn more about the first ever Powerhouse Program. Please be advised: SPACE IS EXTREMELY LIMITED so don't hesitate...  the wait is over. It's high time for you to GET YOURS...


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That's How I Art

FBquoteThatsArt


It has only recently dawned on me that, in comparison to most people, I am radically honest. I don’t just mean in terms of the words I speak. True, I totally suck at white lies, half-truths, and packaged promises.... so now I don’t bother. But nor do I like being boxed in by someone else’s convention or way of life... I pace like a lion if I’m out of integrity with what works for me.
I am willing to change everything if my life doesn’t sit right. That, I am finding, is a less common form of honesty. Truly authentic living.

I dare to live my life for me, which seems totally selfish to some people. I agree that, sometimes, humility can be found through sacrifice. But it can also be actively created by getting out of the damned way and simply living for your expression and your cause.
In fact, I think it is far more arrogant to be agreeable. To assume that the world needs us to tip-toe around, so as not to rustle any feathers is a very self-centered sentiment. Rock your truth. People will judge you for playing too small. People will judge you for playing too big. Which one sounds like more fun?

That’s what I thought. ;)

True, it’s a bit scary sometimes.
Not everybody likes it when I say what’s on my mind. But there are some of you out there that seem to love it... so I’m taking on more exposure. If you want to free yourself from the B.S. and dare yourself to live a life on your totally-kickass terms... you might be inspired by some of my recent realizations:

Doing One Thing Makes Me Nauseas
There’s a reality that’s dying-off in our culture... a myth fed by outdated stereotypes and student loan debt. It says: “pick one thing and stick with it.” Ugh. It kinda makes me wanna hurl. I hate to upchuck all over the American Dream, but I’ll never be able to do that shit. I’m simply not wired for it. I’d much rather juggle three balls at once... while skipping up a mountain... with a koala bear on my back... singing You Are My Sunshine at the top of our lungs. (yes, the koala beer can sing.... and you get the picture ;).

I change careers and creative pursuits almost as often as I change addresses.
I’m a chameleon with a cause. And I’m okay with that.
The “one thing” I love doing is me. And I like re-doing it over and over and over again...

Restless? Maybe.
I was born to move.
Some are. (mad love to all the ADHD peeps out there... may your restless leg find a drum pedal and/or a wise ally who sees the inherent magic in your medicine).

Why I Never Wear Makeup When I Write
Hey. I’m a huge fan of some shiny Mac lip gloss and sexy black eyeliner (mrowr!). But you won’t catch me wearin’ it when I hit the gym. Why? Because it’s not practical given my purpose. In the same way, I don’t want to get pretty when I write to you. I’m not interested in perfectly polished blog posts that ooze with flashy promises, because that’s not what my work is about.
I vow to uncensor my fiery fingertips, revealing my blemishes and scars. Yes, I am an entrepreneur... so I do have to present a case for my products. But really, the #1 thing I am interested in selling you is YOU. Not just you, but the you that is unveiled of all pretense. It is the possibility of your liberation that gives me the courage to run around these pages (and others) without mascara.

Heck, one of these days maybe I will reveal my metaphorical cellulite... and under florescent lights! yikes!
Yep, I’ve got it too! (P.S. I said “metaphorical” so all photo requests will be denied. ;)

Sometimes Really Good Advice Sucks
My recent business training with
Marie Forleo (which has been AHmazing) has really got my wheels turning. I have had more entrepreneurial ah-hahs in the past three months than I can count. Yet no matter who you elect as your guide or guru, I can promise you this... they can’t give you the perfect map for you. Ever. They can only offer suggestions based on what works for them. You’ve got to take what fits and leave the rest. (Side note: never take advice without making sure your source is walking the talk. Props here, Marie is da’ bomb.)

One example of a really simple piece of advice that had me tied up in knots for weeks: “create an editorial calendar and stick to it.” Um... please shoot me now.
That’s like telling me to take my favorite dark chocolate and dip in it dirt.

Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I understand the need for discipline; I get that you have to show up to write. But it makes me wanna cry, regimenting my greatest joy. I know it works for some people, but it’s not for me. I don’t create juice from that place. Yes, I am a professional. I could crank a little something out every week... but I don’t want to send you a bunch of fluff. My email box is overflowing with fluff and it makes me dizzy. I want to feel completely ablaze with a message when I write to you.

For over a decade I have been a dancer. And I have never fit convention. I don’t dance at home alone... and studio-time is not something that I do. I choreograph only in my head, and I dance only with others, when I love the song. And ya know what... it has worked for me.
That’s how I art.

And I muse only when I feel moved. So I’m crossing that editorial calendar off of my list right now. Boo-yah!

What are you forcing yourself to do that you can cross off your list?
Tell me about it in the comments below...



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People Taking Advantage of You? Think Again.

FBYouDontHaveTo


A few years ago I was teaching a class at Multnomah Athletic Club, a premier fitness club here in Portland. In a short break between songs, something caught my eye just out the side window. A female member wearing a body harness and dripping with sweat was moving across the floor like molasses, using her full physical strength to propel herself forward. She was near impossible to ignore, as she sweated and strained against whatever it was she resisted. Just as the other students in class turned to look, a man (her trainer) came into view. He was at the end of her rope, leaning back against her might... resisting her call to action.

Without even realizing it, I muttered aloud (but mostly to myself)... “wow, that looks a lot like my last relationship.” Just as I was about to blush with shame, the entire room of women erupted in laughter. I was immediately put at ease and smiled along with them. Apparently I wasn’t alone in that sentiment. ;)

Of course, there are a number of reasons why we choose to tie ourselves to relationships leave us panting for air (that’s another post). Yet, I am way more interested in HOW we can open our eyes and untether ourselves from unnecessary strain.

While a certain degree of tension is to be expected in our relationships, all too often we are pulling around more than our share of the weight and/or participating in a co-dependent tango with co-workers, friends, partners, and family members.

So... who’s at the end of your rope?

You may want to blame whoever it is for being there, but in truth you are at fault. YOU are the one trying to force them to get somewhere they don’t want to go. You aren’t straining against them... you are actively fighting against yourself and your innate desire to act as an independent entity.
While it may seem like a loving act to pull them along, you’re not doing anyone a favor here. While you might be getting stronger, sacrificing your power to a force that opposes the direction you want to go in inevitably breeds resentment.

Here are some examples of strapping on a harness and giving your power away...
(sigh) I have to pick up my friend at the airport.
I should go to the party because I will be expected.
I don’t want to do it,
but I said that I would!
My boss
always does this to me; he is such a bully!
I have to stay and work late
because nobody else is gonna do it!
I tried to get out of it, but
she just wouldn’t take no for an answer.
I really want to go on that vacation. I wish he was into it, too.

The reality is... it’s only true because you say it is.

You don’t “have to” do any one of those things.
You are NOT powerless. You are NOT a victim. Unless, of course, you choose to be.
You can take off that freakin’ harness any time you like.

How? Stop pretending to be without strength.
People can only take advantage of you if you believe that they have more power over your life than you do. And that, my friend, is very unlikely. It is high time for you to flex your true power. And remember, power is not a four letter word. It can be expressed with kindness and compassion.

Let’s turn the former scenarios around...
I’m so sorry, Mary... I’m super swamped. Meet me for a drink when you get into town?
As much as I would love to make it to your party, it’s just not a good night for me. Have fun!
No can do. Hope you find someone.
Thanks, Boss. I’ll get to that when I can. Probably next week.
If the work doesn’t get done, so be it. It’s not my business, so it’s not my problem.
I can’t do you that favor. Please don’t ask me again.
[sound harsh? yep! pushy peeps need clear boundaries]
Hey! What if I took that trip to Hawaii with my BFF? It would probably be more fun anyway!


You can do this! Turn your reality around. Put your power into your own words, and take of that harness once and for all. It works. I haven’t worn one in years, and I’m stronger than ever.

Still not sure how to untether yourself from a specific dynamic?
Ask me.


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Subject: To Change

letgo
feature article :: Subject: To Change
Candice Schutter :: News That Moves You :: April 2012


When things fall apart, it may feel as if it is you that is broken. When you finally let go, the life you’ve outgrown is allowed to drop and shatter at your feet. You are all that’s left standing, staring down at the debris. It’s easy to confuse the broken bits you once identified with... with the you that feels naked and vulnerable. Yet, remaining whole is a matter of perspective. Change is a bitter-sweet inevitability involving sharp edges. When we allow it, we are stripped naked... then chiseled and reshaped by nature's hand into something more honest and real. I have spent nearly three years in an unknown and barren landscape. Questioning everything, wading through the shrapnel of my former self in hope of finding some solid ground on which to build anew. I have felt everything from freedom to despair, mostly inhabiting the space in between. Some of you have witnessed me for years and it is safe to say, I am not the same woman who wrote to you then, or even a year ago. I am brand new; and my fresh skin is still wonderfully pink and tender to the touch.

I have asked the question... “So who in the hell am I
now?” so many times my eyes have crossed. Of course, at my very core, I am me still. But when you stop drinking the kool-aid and finally release the bars around your shadow self... the result is a blend of stark sobriety and wild exhilaration bound to shake life up a bit! And boy, does it ever. The most wonderful by-product of falling... falling... falling... and never hitting the ground is simple. Freedom. Lack of anchors leads to bolder questions and bigger truths.

Yet, I struggled with how to come out to you. I am a coach, an entrepreneur. How do you build a business without a big fat take-it-from-the-guru promise?! I’m not entirely sure... but I don’t aspire to be a guru. And I have little interest in a marketing hook to cast as bait. That approach feels fabricated to me; and, frankly, I think you deserve better than that. My business plan is to simply build credibility by telling you the truth... all of it. That being said, I have to be forthright and say that I will no longer be your personal growth correspondent. I won’t write to you about new-age (or old-age) formulas for getting what you want. I won’t allege to have answers to the questions that plague humankind. In fact, my primary message will be plain and simple: all things are subject to change.

Principles and perceptions will come and go. Roles will be assigned and outgrown. Skills will be necessary and will eventually become obsolete.
Capitalize on what is constant about you... and be willing to LET GO of the rest... because you will be asked to let it go at some point. Without question, you will have to let it all go...

One constant that I know I am good at - expressing change. I gain courage and strength through transition and self-expression. And I know how to help you to do the same. Is that enough? I am finally learning what I have been telling you all along... Yes. Yes, you and what you naturally bring is enough.

My Constants (my most innate impulses)?
Change. I change often. Incessantly, in fact.
Expression is my way and is therefore my gift.
Movement is my metaphor. For everything.

My natural impulse and temperament used to be what fought against. Stick it out; it’ll be impressive. Hold it in, you’re too expressive. Don’t say that, it’s too aggressive. These inner critics held me hostage for years. Now I am turning my back and throwing up my metaphorical middle finger to them. So long, suckers! (Note: I am not blowing them goodbye kisses on the wings of angels ;)... I told you, no more sugar-coating it... this is me... take it or leave it. Goodbye false prophets of principle... I will erect my own altars, thank you very much.

Why so demonstrative and brash? Because, though you may not know it, that’s how I really am most of the time. And I finally get that when we deny what is constant about us, we are denying ourselves happiness.

Nearly every instance of discomfort, dis-ease, and disarray in my life has been a function of holding back my natural aptitude for change, movement and self-expression. And as I work with client after client, I see that I am not alone in holding myself hostage. Stifled and/or fabricated self-expression is a chronic angst in our culture. Fear of change leads to falsified, muted, or stifled expression. And this chronic fragmentation of self leads to diluted progression (or movement forward). And, as nature proves in endless iterations... what doesn’t move gets tight, painful or stagnant... and it withers and fades with time.

Muted expression leads to muted outcomes. Tolerance of mediocrity is not your birthright. You don’t have to suck it up any more. You can finally exhale FULLY when you experience an honest release of who you really are. It doesn’t mean that you act/speak without regard to others and consequence... it means that you are honest about who you are and what you bring. Especially when it changes. It is the only way you will ever remain free.

You and I are aligned in our expression if you are open to embracing CHANGE as a welcome ally for growth... if you would like to experience true and honest EXPRESSION as an unfiltered affair... and if you look around you and can grow to accept nature’s promise: that MOVEMENT is as essential to our hearts and minds as it is to our bodies.

Do you want to liberate your vehicle and your voice?
I can help.
Let’s get moving....



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The 5 Myths of Self-Expression


5myths
Myth #1: Self-expression is narcissistic. False.
Expression is universal, constant and unavoidable. Self-expression is inevitable, and any attempt to deny it is futile. There is nothing narcissistic about living your life deliberately. Your life is constantly expressing itself, and you are continually demonstrating who you are through your choices in every arena: lifestyle, adornment, relationships, vocation, family life, etc. Your expression either affirms who you are at your best or who you are at your worst; therefore, you may as well become conscious of your choices. The difference lies in how honest you are able to be with yourselves and those around you. The most fundamental reason for shadowy expressions (jealousy, anger, vengeance, depression) is because a deeper expression is “dying to be born.” (more on this soon)

Myth #2: You have to be creative or artistic to be expressive. False.
Everyone is creative; intelligence and genius comes in many, many forms. Your personal brand of brilliance may be overtly expressive (through so-called “artistic” pursuits) or it may be a powerful form of expression through a medium that is cloaked in the mundane (ie: acting as a wife, mother, silent partner, or friend). It could even be through the continual shedding of labels altogether. Either way, it is never about the byproduct of your creation. It is about your expansion. Case in point: when we become lost in our expression - confusing it for who we are, or using it to win favor - it exhausts us.

Myth #3: Eventually I will find the perfect [expression] and be done with it. False.
You will never be done expressing yourself. This myth may be the most important one to dispel. The idea that we can be ultimately fulfilled by one perfect expression is a source of suffering for many. Certainly, if you pay attention, you will find IT [the expression you desire: job, mate, family, etc]. IT will fulfill you. IT will serve you. And then... you will outgrow IT. Such is the nature of your personal evolution. While our experiences and the people in our life are in no way disposal, all situations and/or relationships are mutable and our external realities must shift and grow alongside our interior world. You will always be reaching for more. Change is indeed a constant. Make peace with that, and it can change your life for good.

Myth #4: I need to master such-and-such before I take on that expression. False.
Expression outside your comfort zone is the fastest way to propel your life forward. The expression of a life is a funny paradox of sorts. Logic would have us believe that we need to become masterful at a certain something in order to claim it, and only then might it help to define who we are. I believe it is the other way around. I have found that the most profound shifts... the most potent successes... have come from people who are willing to take on something NOW that seems completely out of reach. Quickening self-expression is like planting a seed, diligently tending to it (ACTION!), and trusting it will flower in due time.

Myth #5: One expression can be “right” or more valuable than another. False.
Expression is for the sake of growth. Growth is a personal process that must occur in time and cadence with the individual. Certainly on a surface level it may seem that some expressions are more constructive or destructive than others. However, it is impossible to measure one life’s value over another for the value of any expression is measured in the growth it yields. Every expression has the potential to change a life. Whether or not that opportunity is taken is up to the individual. Judge not the expressions of those around you, rather use the contrast to help clarify your own personal trajectory.

movetowardstag
return to mission statement



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Move Toward What Moves You :: Explained

movetowardstag
My mission is to encourage self-expression through movement in life and body.
Expression is inevitable. Movement is inevitable. Together they shape your life.



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You inherently long to express who you are...
Regardless of what your life looks like, you are naturally compelled to share yourself with the world around you.
When you offer yourself, your truth, and your gifts unfiltered in the moment, you feel vital and alive.
When you repress your authenticity repeatedly, over time it festers and creates imbalance in body and mind.


You seek to be validated in your expression in some way, shape or form...
You are a relational being who feels more real and intentional upon contact with others.
Your creations (in love, work, family life, or even in solitude) help you to define who you are.
Witnesses (be they supportive or critical) propel you forward and remind you that your perspective has alliance, contrast, and therefore meaning.


You continually change and evolve in your expression...
The creation of your perfect life will never be a completed project because you are ever-changing.
Your discomfort and disconnection with what you once felt to be enough is a natural part of your evolution.
You evolve by changing and
MOVING THROUGH the various challenges/opportunities that come your way...


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Move Your Body
Movement is as essential as breathing. A physical outlet is the body’s natural way of literally or metaphorically moving through tensions without need for identification or processing. Whether you appreciate it or not, you are a living and emotive being that requires some movement in order to release and shed stagnancy. Moving your body can take care of a lot of emotional baggage and save you the drama of processing. But it’s not enough in and of itself. Your body can be a metaphor for your progression, but it is no substitute....

Move Your Life
There is a cultural myth that eventually we will get there. Where exactly, we aren’t always certain... but if we just get that one job, that one partner, that one opportunity, everything will fall into place. So we strive to reach our goals, and often we do. And we are satisfied for a time. Then the hunger consumes us once more. Why can’t we just get happy and stay happy? Because we are wired to desire, and the wanting for more is at the core of our evolution as a species. Our lives are meant to continually reach forward. A time of respite is healthy, but when we linger too long stagnancy leaves us feeling restless and dissatisfied. Your life is meant to move through seasons, as long as you live and breathe...

Move Toward What Moves You
And so we learn we must change again and again - ourselves, our circumstances. Reaching again for something that could offer us more. Letting go of something that once was enough. Too often we substitute addictions for the more profound changes that are being asked of us because we are terrified of this natural compulsion to move forward. We are wired to desire experiences that bring about an expression of ourselves that is more than we ever thought we could be. When we stop denying our nature, we will find we enjoy the ride, though bumpy it may be at times. You must allow for the small deaths that birth new experiences. It is the nature of all existence. We must continually move toward that which brings about sensations of aliveness, exhilaration, and the thrill of new life!

Read more. Learn about the 5 Myths of Self-Expression. What beliefs may be coming between you and your uninhibited genius?



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