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I Love You and Thank You

It's been three months since Michael died. When The Beautiful One returned from her last visit with him and his devoted life partner Jody, she knew much more intimately the . . . [Read More]

Unruly Books: Is Home Your Happy Place? (June)

We are going to read my book Is Home Your Happy Place? together. I know, I know. How exciting might it be to read a book about clutter? Well, it's not . . . [Read More]

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Unruly Rants

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There was this piece of me—a young, vulnerable, desperate piece of me—who begged for someone to finally just tell me who the hell I was supposed to be, or do, or what my life was supposed to be about. Every time life intensified, waves of hysteria would swell from deep within me, the fear that I’d get it wrong… that I couldn’t trust myself to know what was true for me. I felt terrified that, without external guidance, my life would be wasted.

But then I started to explore what one of my early teachers called “the spirituality of the self”. I studied the way I reacted to the world around me, the way I allowed certain relationships, circumstances, and experiences to affect me. I learned I was powerful, far more powerful than I’d ever imagined, and that I could change reality by changing the way I was showing up in the world. In time, I released what no longer served me and made space for my truth to become my life. The artist, the lover, the priestess, the mother, the healer, the dancer, the writer . . . one discovery at a time, I hosted a reunion of the pieces of my soul.

This transformation was possible because of the supports I cultivated for myself along the way.  My blog is an extension of my journals. I use it to share the lessons I’ve learned, powerful resources, and inspiring stories of my clients’ transformations. Dig in and find the information and inspiration you need today and keep coming back when you need another dose! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email me your question and I’ll see what I can find for you.

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April 10, 2017

Reclaiming Choice: Yes and No Workshops

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What would you say yes to if you had more time?

If you had more time, you would sleep and do more yoga. You’d read books and watch movies, spend more time outside and connecting with the people you love. You would breathe, create, and follow your heart.

There isn’t enough you to go around. I get it. Me, too, and my requests for minions, robots, or extra hours in the day continue to go unanswered. This means we have to find a better way.

It’s time for an integrity check around the way we are showing up in the world, the way we are showing up in our own lives. It all comes down to the way we spend each yes. If we want to say yes to what matters most, we need to reevaluate.

When we say no to that which is untrue for us, we make space to fulfill our own needs and desires. In a world that is far too willing to fill our lives with bullshittery, we must say no in order to say yes when it matters most.

It’s as though we’ve forgotten that our life is constructed of bricks made of yes — every door and window, the wide open transitions from room to room, the space between the place where we feed our families and the place where we make love. Those spaces, the space for much of what is most sacred in our lives, is made possible when we say no.

No isn’t a hard word to say. In fact, it’s one of the first words we learn to say when we are young. But we don’t say no, do we? We don’t say it often enough. Or at the very least, we are saying no at the moments when we most need to say yes.

Yes to health. Yes to love and deep connection with other human beings. Yes to new experiences and being brave. Yes to art and music and dance. Yes to the future, to a life filled with people, experiences, and things that are true for us.

This means saying no to old, tired habits that no longer serve us. And a no to more of the-same-because-that’s-what-we-used-to-do. It’s a no to putting everyone else’s needs first and a no to whatever old programing that says when something dings, blings, and flashes, it needs our immediate attention.

The No Workshop is first, of course, because we have to make space for Yes.

10 Days of No is about transitioning from someone who knows how to say no into someone who actually says no. It’s about reconnecting with your inner decision-maker and your right to respectfully decline the endless line of invitations to invest your time, energy, spirit, and money. It’s about being supported while you recognize and release what’s no longer true for you.

10 Days of Yes is creating opportunities for with each yes. It’s about moving more into alignment with the truth of who you are and using your yes-es to see that your needs and desires are met.

Both workshops will utilize a variety of tools to wake up to the power of every No and every Yes, including affirmation, art, written personal reflection, group exploration, story healing, etc. There will be daily invitations delivered by email, two group healing sessions by phone (per workshop), and a discount on private sessions if you wish to add them for more in-depth healing. 

No: April 24- May 3
Call times:
Monday, April 24th at 7:00 pm Central
Friday, April 28th at 12:00 pm Central
Wednesday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm Central

Yes: May 8-17
Call times:
Monday, May 8th at 7:00 pm Central
Friday, May 12th at 12:00 pm Central
Wednesday, May 17th at 6:00 pm Central

Note: The group sessions are to support you in reclaiming choice. You’re welcome to attend them all, great! If not, they are recorded and a link will be shared with you.

Cost: $45 each or both for $75

To register, click here and enter the registration amount. Or email info@theunrulywoman.com with questions or to request a registration invoice.

Discount: During the Reclaiming Choice workshop, private sessions are available at $75 (reg $125). Email me to schedule yours!

 

 

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
January 9, 2017

Choose Wisely

photo by leonelolimpio via flickr
There’s something we need to talk about. I feel afraid that the intensity has faded, the persistent rise and fall of the sun has rocked us back to sleep. Maybe it’s the cold that’s got us feeling sluggish, or the post-holiday sugar crash, but I can feel the vibration slowing down.
 
“Prepare them to travel lightly through what lies ahead by releasing attachments to things and old wounds.”
 
This is the call to action that haunts me. It haunted me at first because sometimes separating people from their stuff and old wounds is hard work. It’s deeply freeing but also very tender. There’s lots of emotion, resistance to the letting go. It means revisiting old heartbreaks, unproductive decisions, unrealized dreams, and even traumatic experiences. And when it’s not the heavy memories, we’re letting go of souvenirs of the best days of our lives.
 
I love this work–truly, deeply, passionately love it–but I’m holding hands with people while they let go of what’s been weighing them down and, like I said before… it’s tender.
Lately, I’m haunted by this call in a different way. I used to say that I
trust people to do this work when they are ready. Now, I feel like we’re running out of time. We’ve begun to move into the “what lies ahead” and it seems that, instead of releasing what no longer serves them, many are doing more of what they did before.
 
Too many of us are doing exactly what we did that cultivated this stuckness, this overwhelm, this state of being so heavy we can’t do with our lives what we came to this planet to do.
 
I have this one very dear friend who says, “This is just a really crazy time for me.” She’s been saying that to me, season after season, year after year, for the entire time we’ve been friends. That’s 19 years and counting. It’s always something. Something legitimate, of course, or rather some things that are totally legitimate–children with commitments, job pressure, relationship changes, moving, and on and on. She never has enough time.
 
There’s never going to be enough time to do all of the things. Period. End of story.
 
There is never going to be enough time to do all of the things. Time is the unchanging factor here, so we have to choose more wisely. We have to say NO to a great many invitations in order to say YES to the ones that matter.
Our lives are defined by the people, experiences, commitments, and beliefs that we choose.
 
We must begin to choose more wisely. We have already set aside the best of who we are, the most sacred and powerful aspects of who we are–the very brilliance that we can use to make the world a better place. We allowed our lives to be filled by decisions we made, or even ones other people made for us, years ago.
 
Everything is different now. WE are different now.
 
We must make space for what we ache to do and be in the world, so we can say yes to the call to action when it comes. We need to be able to move swiftly if the ground beneath us begins to break open. We need to be able to leave if our heart pulls us to another place.
 
Today, we need to release that which unnecessarily drains our energy, so we can say YES to the cause or person or movement or dream or unexpected invitation coming for us tomorrow.
 
If you’ve heard my invitation to prepare to travel lightly, know that it’s become urgent.
 
If you’ve heard it and responded “Yes… but not right now,” then stop RIGHT NOW and decide when you’ll say yes.
What day will the kids be less consuming? When do you anticipate work getting easier? When is the world going to feel your strain and politely release you from all of the pressure that keeps you feeling this way? When will everything fall away so you can face yourself, so you can free yourself?
 
I know women in literally every phase of life with practically every possible combination of commitments and strains. Unchecked, this whole being-a-grown-ass-woman-in-our-chaotic-modern-world thing will consume you, regardless of your particular details. If you want tomorrow to be different, you must choose something different right now.
 
And yes, simplifying our lives is my business. I have a handful of ways I can support you with this journey. I’m here if you need me, but this thing I’m saying to you right now is different. This is about you taking action. Somehow, some way, take action and take back your life. We are out of time.
 
Please tell me you understand what I’m saying to you.
 
Thank you. I love you.
 

Christy

photo by leonelolimpio via flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
November 12, 2016

The Time Is Now

Image: dawolf- via Flickr

“Prepare them to travel lightly through what lies ahead by releasing attachments to things and old wounds.”

(Slow down. Take a deep breath and read that sentence again. Maybe even a few times. This message is important. If it sparks something inside of you, keep reading, figure out what you need, and do it.)

I’ve been saying this for five years. Five years. This week is the beginning of what lies ahead. Yes, I said the **beginning** and I mean it. We must heal our homes and hearts in order to be free enough to be what we came into this world to be. We must prepare ourselves, so we can do what this election made clear we are going to have to do.

What is it we have to do? There are many, many wise ones who are prepared to lead us to the political and social action now required. I’m not them but they are rising up now and we’re seeing it all around us. We must find the ones who resonate for us and let them lead us to the action that is TRUE and purpose-aligned for each of us as individuals.

I’m writing today because I’m clear about my role in all of this. Many people are finding me and my ideas for the first time (and others who’ve been around are paying more attention). I need to speak into My Thing clearly, so that you will know if it resonates for you. (Because if it doesn’t, FIND YOUR PEOPLE!) If you know your purpose and you’re ready to roll, go do that. The world is waiting for you.

If you feel confused about your purpose in all of this, or if you feel too stuck to take action, then my gig is to help you release the barriers within and around you, so you can go rock Your Thing.

Here’s my way: We need space in our lives to figure out and move into alignment with the one we came to this planet to be. To connect with our tribe, to serve and support minorities and marginalized people, we have to feel FREE to be ourselves. To rise up and make our country a safe place for everyone, to be able to support ourselves and our families, we have to release our attachment (obsession?) to things. To be who we long to be, who we came here to be, we have to heal the thousand old heartbreaks that cultivate the emotional intensity that nearly consumed us this week

(These months? These years? I can’t even tell when all of this fear and hatred and corruption started eating us alive. Privileged, I know. Fear has been eating us alive since from the beginning of “us” and it took me too long to figure it out but I’m waking up, too.)

Our old way of life–the chaos and overwhelm, the extreme self-sacrifice, living in reaction instead of heart-centered action, the fear, and old wounds that keep us from living our truth–must be over now. This is the call to a personal revolution, a call to change the way we show up in our own lives, so we can be clear and confident and FREE enough to do what needs to be done for our selves, families, communities, country, and the world.

(I know. This is big. Focus. You were made for this.)

There is no more time for waiting. The time is now. We can feel the pressure in our hearts. The weight of misalignment turns our stomachs. We can no longer pretend that there’s time to tend to our bullshittery on a more convenient day, the never-gonna-come day after everything everybody else needs gets done.

SPACE HEALING is the first step, taking back our homes. It opens us to heal the HEART HEALING, releasing the emotional triggers tied to old wounds. That work frees us to say yes to our life purpose, the individual CALL to action that makes our hearts ache for a meaningful life.

I know it feels too hard but is not too hard. We are never called to be something we cannot be. I promise you that this is possible. There is a way, a healing journey, that you haven’t heard about before. I wrote it down, the space healing piece at least (below) and I’m writing the triggers book now. I teach workshops (also below). Hell, if we can figure out how to finance it, I’ll come to your house and help you myself.

This has to happen. We have to be able to say YES to our truth.

I believe in you and it’s time for you to believe in yourself.

Here are the ways I can support you:

1. Buy “Is Home Your Happy Place?” now and start reading.
www.theunrulywoman.com/happyplace

2. PM or email me through the contact page of the website above if you want in the next workshop. I’m working on dates for the next one, as I can see that this must happen again STAT.

3. If you’re a local in Minneapolis, Spirit Gatherings are a deeply healing and helpful place to begin. Attend a community SG or contact me about hosting one yourself. You can learn more here: http://theunrulywoman.com/pages/spirit_gathering.php

4. Schedule a private session for support with space healing or triggers or whatever else has you paralyzed. (We simply cannot stay paralyzed anymore.) I’m here. You deserve support.

5. Also, you can “like” (and choose to receive notifications) this page on FB for inspiration and information moving forward.

Also, thank you for sharing anything that resonates for you. Together, we are stronger.

**This is the beginning of an extraordinary transformation in our country, and in our own lives. I am not saying this to scare you. That is a marketing tactic that I deplore and I refuse to use it. In fact, I have some concerns that I’ve been too passive in communicating the importance of this work because I was afraid you would find me aggressive or sales-y. If I’ve given you the impression that it doesn’t matter when you do this work, I’m revoking that today. The time is now.

 

Image credit: dawolf- via Flickr

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
November 10, 2016

Why Does This Feel SO Bad?

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This is about reality of this situation (which is an actual situation that will need to be faced and dealt with) PLUS **triggers** from old unprocessed/unhealed wounds. This candidate and this election and those who voted in his favor have come to represent some of our worst old pain. He’s showing up in the energy of those who molested or hurt us, those who betrayed us, those who made us feel unloved or unsafe, those who put their own needs ahead of ours, those who oppressed us.

And those parts of us, because we were probably very young, may not have had the support to heal properly. This intensity is rising now, because of the election triggers, which allows us to feel what needs to be felt so we can heal.

We feel powerless today because we were powerless when we were little children but we are not powerless today.

We are adults now.

We can support ourselves in healing these wounds. We can support our country in learning and growing from the reality we created. We can support one another.

We can, and we must, extend love and support to one another at this tender time. This is how we bring love. This is how we perpetuate that light we are so desperately seeking.

If you feel afraid, feel it deeply, and then find a way to be shelter for someone with less political power than you. If you feel sad, feel sad. Feel it deeply and cry the big ugly cry. And then hold space for someone else who feels sad. If you feel angry, allow the anger to rise and find a safe way to get it out of your body. Lock yourself in the car in the garage and scream until you cannot scream anymore, punch the pillows on your bed, or swing a hammer over and over and over again into a tire or piece of wood, anything that can receive it without more pain. And then find someone whose anger threatens to consume them and show them how to heal without perpetuating more violence into the world.

We’ve been training for this. We are ready. Let us take space to heal these old wounds because we have a lot of work to do and we can no longer afford to be paralyzed by our emotional triggers.

If you need support, I am here. And don’t just “know” that I’m here. Reach out, schedule a session, read these messages from TVIMH, actively seek healing. DO something to get what you need. The world is waiting for you.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
August 9, 2016

I Love You and Thank You

Patrick Humphries via Flickr
Patrick Humphries via Flickr

It’s been three months since Michael died. When The Beautiful One returned from her last visit with him and his devoted life partner Jody, she knew much more intimately the nightmare that is dying the way Michael was dying. ALS had ravaged Michael’s body and stolen his ability to speak. He could no longer easily express his needs or desires. He was able to operate the machine that spoke mechanically for him but it was incredibly slow. Something to drink or eat was difficult to request, not to mention the challenge of getting it into his body if the communication went well, and I couldn’t imagine how far down the list of “things important enough to struggle to communicate” — requests like change the tv channel — had fallen.

We joked about how she’d be wonderful if it were me losing my ability to communicate because she knows me so well. She reads my mind with relative ease and often perceives my hunger or headaches before I even notice the signals in my body.

We agreed I would be disastrous at that aspect of care giving, the attempts to understand what she was thinking. I’d probably guess us both into fits of hysteria without ever coming close to what she really needed. My desire to give her the.very.best.care. would be desperate and I’d drive us both mad.

Suddenly, she sobered again, tears filled her eyes.

Me: What is it, love?

Her: There would be so many things I would want to say to you.

Me: I know. Me, too. I simply cannot imagine. 

(Tears poured down both of our faces.)

Me: Maybe we could go ahead and think about the things we would want to say and say them to one another. You know, in case we can’t later?

(Many more tears fell.)

Her: I would want you to know that I love you. 

Me: Yes, I love you. 

Her: And I would want to thank you. 

Me: Yes, I would want to thank you . . . for all of . . . for everything . . . for all of this. 

Her: And . . . I don’t know. I think the rest is okay. 

Me: I think so, too. Just that I love you and I thank you for everything. 

Her: I love you and thank you for everything.

So every night we say these things. I love you. And thank you for this day. Sometimes, in a moment of deep joy, we will say it in the middle of the day. And occasionally, we say it in a moment where life feels really, really hard. It helps us remember that it’s an illusion, the hardness I mean, because we are both still here.

____
It’s Find Your Voice* month here at The Unruly Woman and last night when I said these words to her I thought, “This is a moment when I truly covet the ability to use my voice.” I am writing to invite you to use your voice for something this important today. Because love.

*Registration closes Wednesday (8/10).

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
August 1, 2016

Where the Silence Once Lived

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desperately seeking self
truth pulsing, pounding
calling you into the storm
the past rises to meet you

old hurt churns and swells
pushing into the sacred space
where the silence once lived
be brave enough to let it leave

eyes burn and stomach turns
be still and open your soul
lean into the waves
sing the old, sad song

breathe in, breathe out
dive deep into intensity
surrender to the waves
as they crash within you

the little one cries
you taste her tears
her hurt echos in your ears
stay with her and witness

be the one she needs
hold her as the old tears flow
teach truth, love completely
gift her the magic of laughter

the storm rises now to leave you
it has come to free you
to allow you to be you, completely
united again with the little one

where the silence once lived
your heart now opens in the world
one truth, one voice, whole again
Find your voice and use it to speak
____
Once, our hearts were broken and we’ve carried those wounds inside us for many, many moons. When those old emotions rise up and threaten to carry us away, it is tempting to fight, or disconnect, or numb, but we are stronger than that now. We are waking up to our spiritual selves and learning to live in alignment with our integrity. We are ready to heal the old hurts, to free ourselves, to find our voice and use it to align with the truth of who we are.

In August, the Unruly Essentials theme is FIND YOUR VOICE. We have fallen silent for a thousand reasons — mostly old heartbreak from early abuse, sexual assault, abusive partnerships, etc. — but it doesn’t have to be this way. This month we will dig into the source of your silence and take back your power. If this feels true for you, if it’s time to find your voice again, join us.

Learn more and register here:www.theunrulywoman.com/essentials

Image Credit: Christina Xu via Flickr

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
June 7, 2016

Unruly Books: Is Home Your Happy Place? (June)

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We are going to read my book Is Home Your Happy Place? together. I know, I know. How exciting might it be to read a book about clutter? Well, it’s not actually about the stuff, so I believe you’ll find it all surprisingly enjoyable.

1. You’ll just have to join the private The Unruly Woman *Private* Facebook group since we’ll be having conversations between calls in the group (for privacy).

And make sure you turn notifications *on* during the book study to stay connected. I’ll pin the newest prompt to the top of the group so it’s easy to find, so click on “view pinned post” at the top of the group if you’re on a mobile device.

2. We will be having group calls on Thursdays at 1:00 pm Central on June 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2016. (Recordings will be made available to those who are unable to attend.)

3. And if you don’t have #happyplace yet, you’ll need to get it! You can do that here.

4. Please share this invite with the Unruly Women in your life. We are stronger together and I’d love to have your soul sisters join us, too.

5. If you haven’t yet found your way into my address book, I won’t be able to send you updates on the books we are reading. You can make it possible for me to send you love notes here.

Note: We made it through the introduction and first four chapters of Women Who Run with the Wolves last month and we are taking a little break from the intensity. We will return for another round in a month or two, so stay tuned.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
March 25, 2016

Unruly Confessions: I Have Not Been To The Dentist In 15 Years

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****Trigger Warning**** This post contains information about recovering from sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

“Going to the dentist cannot be part of my self-care because it triggers memories of being orally raped.  I have not been to the dentist in 15 years and I’m afraid my teeth are going to fall out.”

Dear Unruly Woman,

We all have our stuff, you know? Literally, every single person I know has something they’ve resisted doing because of old wounds. You are not alone in this struggle and you don’t have to be alone on the journey back to health.

If you were my friend, I’d grab your hands, lean in real close, and tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. I would promise you that there’s a way to make dental care feel possible if that’s what you want. We would talk about the trauma, how much healing work you’ve done, and what it would take for you to feel safe in a dentist’s chair.

I would ask if you know any dentists that feel safe. If not, I’d ask if  you would be willing for me to ask around to find one who is sensitive to your needs. (I have oodles of women in my community who are rocking life after trauma, so referrals like this are usually easy to find.) I’d make calls and find a list of just right providers to consider.

We’d meet again to talk about the list of options. I’d tell you how they responded to my inquiry, why I felt like they could be trusted, and what all they were willing to do to help you feel safe. If any of them resonated for you, I’d ask permission to make an appointment for us to visit them to talk about what’s possible. If it felt true for you, we would go check them out — share your concerns, ask questions about what lies ahead, and listen to their ideas about how to help you feel safe. If it went brilliantly and you felt ready, we’d make an appointment to have your teeth cleaned.

We’d make a plan for that day. I’d go with you if you wanted. Hell, I’d gather an Unruly village to go with you, if that’s what it takes to make you feel safe.  I’d go back with you. I’d hold your hand. The dentist would explain their every move before they made it. If at any point you felt even remotely unsafe, the dentist would stop and wait for you to be ready to proceed. If you were unable to continue, we’d leave and come back when you are ready to begin again. We’d do this as many times as it takes for you to heal these wounds and meet your dental needs.

(There’s also something called sedation dentistry, which allows you to be asleep while your dental work is done. If the trigger is so extreme that it couldn’t be released with less intense approaches — and assuming you could feel safe under those conditions — that’s another option we could explore.)

If you were my friend and you lived here in Minneapolis, I know exactly where I’d take you. Our family dentist and her extraordinary team would give you as much time and energy as necessary to help you feel safe enough to proceed with treatment. I know this because they held my hand off and on for the last year. Before we found them, it had been nearly 10 years since my last dental visit.

If you can make these calls and have these powerful conversations with dentists, do it. If you can’t, ask someone who loves you to help. If you can’t bear that, email me and I’ll help you figure out how to find a safe place to secure dental care in your city. I have no idea how all of this will land (or if you’ll ever even read it) but I want you to remember the most important part.

You deserve this. Yes, I’m sure.

You deserve to fully recover from this pain. You deserve to feel safe. You deserve to be supported. You deserve to release every single thing that keeps you from loving your body. You deserve to have your needs and desires met. You deserve to say yes to you.

I can feel that you have already healed hundreds of little pieces of the fallout from this trauma. When you’re ready to tend to this one, you will heal it too.

Love and truth to you,

Christy, The Unruly Woman

Click here to submit your Unruly Confessions & Unsigned Mail. Some Unruly Confessions and Unsigned Mail (with my responses) will be published in Incite, my (ideally) daily attempt to incite unruliness in our community via email. Go here and register to spice up your inbox or ask questions without the cloak of anonymity.

Alena Navarro- Whyte via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
February 19, 2016

Thin And Miserable: My Search For A Better Way

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I’m sitting here, fingers poised on the keyboard, knowing there’s a message about the workshop that needs to come through. As always, when it matters this much, it scares me to be the messenger. But I’m putting on my big girl pants because it’s just so damned important. Ask for guidance, wait, and type what comes. No judgement. Just type the freaking words. 

It’s been 10 years since I was last at a weight doctors say is healthy for a woman of my height. Even at my goal weight, I still had self-loathing thoughts about my body. I became thin by restricting my food, but could not bring myself even the most basic levels of self-love… things I would never hesitate to do for my children or spouse or friends.

I simply could not, not matter how much everyone told me it mattered, be loving with myself.

The control I gained over my food was not enough to turn my life into a place where I could live my truth. Everything inside of me was falling apart but others saw my shrinking body as a sign I was better than ever. I was not okay.

I was torn between the shell of the woman I’d been on the day I said yes to a new marriage, home, and family and the other woman, the real me, who was blossoming from deep inside.

Each new women’s studies class, self-help book, and therapy session fed the real me and it grew. Every time I spoke my truth, asked for what I needed, or stood up for myself, the real me got larger and stronger. My truth swelled against the the life I’d built when I didn’t know who I really was. The pressure nearly destroyed me. 

Once, while driving down the highway, I had a vision of driving my minivan into the concrete barrier. “I just need a break,” I heard in my head. That would let me take a break. That’s what the squeeze did to me. In that moment, I knew my truth had outgrown my shell. I needed to leave. I needed to leave on my own terms. I didn’t want to have to burn down my own life in order to escape it. 

What I’ve learned is that to love me is to hold me loosely enough to shed my self. A thousand times I will die and emerge again as a more true version of the woman I came here to be. 

Through each evolution, I am returning to myself and the days of disconnection are becoming more and more rare. When it aches, I lovingly tend my heart instead of stuffing the pain back down. When I feel restless, I support my body with the movement it craves. When I feel overwhelmed, I cultivate the quiet and stillness that help me find my way back to the truth of who I am. When I feel lost, I pause and ask my higher self for direction… and then I wait for the answer. 

I can’t love myself well when I am a stranger. Self-love becomes possible through self-discovery and self-acceptance. We have to figure out who we are, what we ache for, and we have to pursue it as we do for all of the other people in our lives. 

I’m not promising you a workshop about crafting the perfect body. It’s not going to be about strong-arming yourself into all of the things you “should” be doing. It’s not going to be about learning my super secret, trademarked method for making your body sexy enough to love. 

My qualifications include flossing my teeth almost every day, drinking nearly enough water, walking to client appointments at the coffee shop instead of driving the car, having my dream job, and doing physical therapy homework for not one but TWO injuries most of the time. Also, I breathe, deeply and repeatedly, to help myself calm down instead of throwing chairs (most of the time). I use water, movement, and laughter to wake up my body instead of sugar like I did for the first three plus decades of my life. I find my distinctly overweight body to be beautiful, sexy, lovable, and worthy of the time and energy it takes to treat it well. 

I’m not trying to fix you because you’re not broken. I want to help you reconnect with yourself so that loving your body will come naturally.

Learn more and register today…
Workshop: The One About Loving Your Body

PROstorebukkebruse via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
January 4, 2016

Unsigned Mail: Self-Care Affair?

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I’ve had affairs. 2 of them. They went on for a long time. I feel really bad about them. I needed to connect. I needed a connection without baggage or resentment. I have no excuse. I do feel bad about them. Except when I don’t feel bad about it. For a while, those moments were the only moments when I felt remotely ok about anything. Is there any way that an affair can be considered self-care?

Dear Unruly Woman,
We typically think of self-care as soul-nourishing, sanity-cultivating, inner-peace-supporting activities like eating healthy food, taking hot baths, meditating, or a having a night out with the girls. These kinds of activities leave us feeling rested, restored, and more ready to face whatever lies ahead. Self-care is important. It keeps a little bit of distance between us and the ledge. It helps us be at our best while we maneuver the realities of every day life. 

Self-care makes us feel better and when we are in crisis — trust me, you are in crisis if you’re in a committed monogamous relationship and are having an affair — self-care becomes even more vital. So at the time that you’re most in need, you’re choosing to fill that hole with behavior that will likely dig your hole a big bit deeper.  

When you are feeling so out of alignment that a lover’s embrace is the only place you find relief, you have a problem. Let’s just say that it is not so much “self-care” as an alarm system that is going off, loudly, over and over. Beep Beep Beep. Houston, we have a problem! 

Are there elements of your affair that make you feel better? Yes, the stone cold truth is that taking a lover is a damn fine way to feel better. But it comes with epic consequences and you’d be hard-pressed to find me a situation where it was actually the best solution. 

How easy it is to escape into those “moments” and ignore the reality of your life? Well, I can tell you that it’s too damn easy. And we must be conscientious about the choices we make at these tender times. We all know that in a period of darkness, an affair can bring back the light. But it’s like illuminating a warehouse with a box of matches — each one is way to short, they only let you see the tiny space right before you, and eventually you’re probably going to burn it down.  

Yes, an affair absolutely can be — in theory, at least — part of a self-care plan. But what’s it going to cost you? 

Do you have to lie to your partner to hook up with your lover? Is the affair creating more conflict at home? Are you telling your suspicious partner that he or she is out of their mind (because that’s a great way to earn my wrath) instead of admitting that things are not okay at home?

Are you talking to your lover when it’s your partner you really ache to be connected to? Is this person taking up sacred time you could be using to be honest with your partner about how you feel, and what you need and desire? Would you be more well served to use this time to respectfully leave the committed relationship that no longer feels true for you? 

Ask yourself how an affair truly affects you. Does being with your lover make you not want to go back to your real life? Does that fling feel so good that you’re pulling away from work, family, and home? Do you leave your lover’s arms feeling further from your truth? If so, then an affair may not be worth the cost, even in the name of self-care.

Self-care efforts need to leave us feeling more aligned with the truth of who we are, not less. Let us say YES when the benefits give us more it costs us. Give yourself TRUE support — not half-assed, backfiring, make-it-worse-than-it-was-to-start-with bullshittery. You deserve better. In fact, you deserve the best. 

So is a lover really what’s needed in these powerful moments? If yes, fine, do that. But if not, get yourself the support you really need to live your truth and stop fucking around. 

Love and truth to you,

Christy, The Unruly Woman

Click here to submit your Unruly Confessions & Unsigned Mail. Some Unruly Confessions and Unsigned Mail (with my responses) will be published in Incite, my (ideally) daily attempt to incite unruliness in our community via email. Go here and register to spice up your inbox or ask questions without the cloak of anonymity.

Image: Bogdan Suditu via Flickr

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
November 23, 2015

Love’s Invitation

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When I was young, an adult in my life explained the reasons she was leaving another adult in my life. She noted three qualities about him that made staying together feel impossible for her. The Voices In My Head (before I knew anything about them) noted that these were the three exact same qualities that made him attractive to her when they first fell in love. She’d grown to loathe and resent him for what was once desirable.

I’ve been in and out of love enough times in the last forty years to make sense of this. We are drawn to partners who embody that which we ache to have in our own lives. The one who doesn’t play picks a partner who is playful. The one who feels a little too carefree picks a partner with a strong work ethic who pays all of their bills on time. The one who holds back picks a partner who goes all in.

At first, it is exciting to be with someone who brings to the partnership that which we crave. We enjoy having a light shined onto whatever we’ve hidden away in the shadows. The fearful one finds out they are brave. The worker bee finds out that sometimes it’s really nice to just be. The talkative one learns to enjoy the sacredness of silence.

Our togetherness invites us to expand and grow.

In the early days, our togetherness is supported by the passion and excitement of falling in love. We lovingly explore one another. We patiently listen. As we bump into them, we joyfully embrace one another’s wounds. We respectfully analyze conflicts. We carefully hold our partner’s heart in our warm, gentle hands. We expose ourselves and protect one another. We are brave and united.

Love heals all things… until it doesn’t.

Time passes and things begins to get complicated. Our togetherness calls forward all of our old wounds, seducing us with illusions of our earliest heartbreaks, fun house mirrors projecting the qualities of those who hurt us decades ago onto the one we call beloved today.

We can allow our togetherness to heal us, or we can allow it to destroy us. We can accept Love’s Invitation, or we can close our hearts and alienate the one we treasure the most. We can celebrate our differences or we can make enemy of the very aspects that made us ache for our lover in the beginning. We can do our work or we can perpetuate against our partners the very violence we experienced when we were young.

Our togetherness invites us to expand and grow. Let us accept the invitation.

Bring the truth with love. Seek connection. Support one another in all of the ways that feel true. Play together. Take responsibility for what we bring to the table. Stay unless it feels true to leave. Laugh and cry. Learn one another. Touch with gentle hands. Make mad passionate love. Know what matters and do it together. Leave space for bullshittery. Watch the moon rise and count the freckles. Nourish the heart, mind, and body. Choose tenderness, even if we don’t understand. Ask for forgiveness and give it. Dream and remember but know that this moment is the only one that really matters. Say yes. Be brave. Open our hearts. Lay the stepping stones we can choose to walk together tomorrow.

Our togetherness is a choice we make every day.  Can we accept Love’s Invitation?

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
October 22, 2015

Staying Power

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Sometimes I find myself searching for more Unruly Women to “help” — someone who is suffering and is ready to heal. That’s a slippery slope and it’s too easy to drown in a the pool of desperation eagerly awaiting my fall.

It used to always be fear about not having enough money. Because every time a women says yes, I get to keep doing this work and if they stop, basically, I won’t! But I’m realizing that there’s something else… something much deeper at play here.

It is easier to be working with someone outside of myself than it is to work with what’s going on within. When I don’t have “enough” work (whatever that means), it means “The Invitation” at hand is mine to accept. In the space that appear in the lulls in my business, I get the opportunity to do my own healing work. When you add in the aforementioned rise in old, tired money fears, it catapults the potential for healing to record breaking new heights.

If I resist the temptation to numb and instead choose to stay in the tenderness of stillness, doubt inevitably begins to rise and unhealed wounds leap into action.

Am I doing what I came to this planet to do?
What if I can’t pay the bills? 
Is this line of work actually the best expression of my purpose and passions?  And what will I do if it is not?
Am I worthy?
Is there enough?
Am I enough?

The bullshittery spins into frenzied tornado with enough intensity to make me want to flee. It’s easier to do My Thing for someone else — to support your journey to heal, reconnect with your intuition, and align with your highest self — than it is to be that powerful force in my own life.

I had no idea that this any of this was true until the words came falling out of my fingertips just now. On one hand, I’m relieved to see that my fears about money aren’t the deepest, most paralyzing wounds. But on the other, where in the world do I go from here?

More stories, more processing, more healing… It’s more of the same journey home to the truth of who I am, only deeper. I love this work. Not just for you but for me, too.

For today, I choose to heal. I choose love. I choose to stay.
_____
Trigger Happy Holidays are coming Nov 1st! Learn more here.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
August 27, 2015

Manifestation Experiment Tip #2: Go Where You Can Get What You Want!

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“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” 

As a fiercely hardheaded woman, I grew up on a steady diet of that quote and requests for me to calm the heck down. Strangely, this post is about what appears to be the flip side of that coin.

If you want a drink, for the love of all things glittery… go to water. 

I recently mentioned that I’d been making my way through “E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality” by Pam Grout.  I’ve learned that I had a big black hole where my manifestation superpowers were being wasted. (Update: Yes, I got every single one of my 24 yeses in that 48 hours! That means both this and this are a go! ) Several of the women in my community asked to hear more about my journey through the book, so here goes.

The first experiment was pretty straight forward. Just show me a sign! Within the 48 hour experiment, I had a couple of positive work things come together, plus one breathtakingly lovely surprise. I was headed out to the grocery store for a bunch of things we needed but, at the moment, couldn’t really afford. When I checked the mail, there was an unexpected $200 cash gift from a beloved family member.

While I’d been working the professional angles for… well, seven or so years, we had no idea that love offering was coming. It was a huge relief and left me feeling incredibly supported. I believe that this was exactly the point of the experiment, to reconnect me with the knowing that we are all woven deeply into the fabric of the universe. We are held. Our needs and desires matter and when we express them, the universe (or Glitter or whatever) conspires to make it so.

The first experiment felt good and left me excited to continue but the second experiment was like taking a brick to the forehead.

My commitment was to look for green cars for 48 hours. I already knew that if tuned my attention in a specific direction, I’d find what I intended to find. Still, when I realized that the 48 hours had lapsed, I got out my notebook and reread my declaration.

Huge fail.

I hadn’t seen even a single green car in 48 hours. Not one. No green cars. For a fraction of a second, I was crushed. I felt like I’d failed. I was only on the second experiment and I hadn’t even remembered to look for the damn green cars! I thought, “Clearly, this was never going to work!” and I raced down a familiar path of self-destructive thinking at breakneck speed.

But then something wonderful happened. The Voices In My Head tackled me and whispered, “Don’t freak out. Let’s think about this. What happened? Why didn’t you see any green cars in the last 48 hours? What did you do? Where did you go?”

Wait.

Where did I go? Nowhere. That’s right, my friends. I didn’t leave the damn house for two days.

Now, before you get all distracted by that, remember that I work from home and live at home. Dyani goes to work and the children (who are nearly adults now) get themselves almost anywhere they need to go in the city on bus or bike or foot since the Jetta accident rendered it useless. But when we aren’t out and about as a family, I’m here with this laptop and phone working my magic and it’s easy (far too easy) for me to act like I’m snowed in all year around.

I wanted a metaphorical drink but I wasn’t even paying enough attention to notice the absence of water! 

Technically, that experiment was unsuccessful but the wake-up call was so real that I didn’t even take time to repeat it. Message received loud and clear! I’m moving on to the next one as we speak.

How many of us are wishing for stuff at the exact same time that we withdraw from the very experiences that might make our wishes might come true?

Can you see how that might be at play in your life? What can you do differently to give yourself a chance? Where do you need to be showing up, or with whom do you need to connect? Are you asking for what you need and desire? Once you do, are you giving yourself the opportunity for it to flow to you?

DixieHwy via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
August 26, 2015

Manifestation Experiment Tip #1: Be Sure To Notice When You Get It

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I’m reading a new book. It includes several manifestation experiments to help us see that much more is possible than we currently realize. For the fourth experiment, I declared my bold intention to get 24 yeses in 48 hours. It’s not the first time I had my world rocked by one of these experiments but this work is too important to not share. (Maybe I’ll share the first one, too.)

The first thing that I found worth noting is that it felt *so* scary to write down my intention!

I felt afraid that I would be disappointed if I didn’t get them and afraid I’d end up further doubting my own power/ability to attract what I need and desire. I felt especially afraid because it’s a big week here with the 4th Anniversary Tame Your Space workshop starting Saturday and I really, really, really want more people to join us. This work is crazy powerful and it means so much to be able to do it and people not saying yes has, in the past, been all manner of hard on my heart. Basically, it felt like I was backing myself into a corner with only one (really hard to believe) way out.

But I took a deep breath and committed anyway.

In my notebook–The Notebook, the one write in every day-ish, as opposed to an index card or piece of paper I could just recycle if the outcome was something I wanted to forget–I declared my intention to get 24 yeses in 48 hours and listed the numbers 1 through 24.

Then I stretched beyond my oh-so-tender-big-girl-pants commitment and boldly shared my intention with The Beautiful One (my partner, Dyani). I didn’t do that on the first three experiments. (Yes, that’s me admitting to being a closeted manifestation experimenter.) I wanted to share it with her because it  felt so intimidating and she’s masterful at holding space for me and my dreams.  I wanted to be seen and supported. It was a little push back against the bully in my head who was already whispering about the impossibility of all of this. 

Last night, nearly halfway through the 48 hours, Dyani asked if I’d gotten all of my yeses. I said that no, I’d only gotten two so far–one Tame Your Space registration and one commitment for a private Spirit Gathering for a group of girlfriends. 

She called bullshit. 

I said, “No, seriously. I only got two and I have only 27 hours to go!”

She called bullshit again. 

I paused, realizing I was missing something, and asked why she was calling bullshit. She clarified, “Are these only professional yeses?” No, I welcomed all yeses, both personal and professional. What follows is a copy of our conversation (via text because she was at work).

Me: Did I miss yeses?
Dyani: I said probably 10 today.
Me: Tell me one.
Dyani: You asked me if you misunderstood something. I said yes.
Me: That’s TRUE! And I asked if I could have a hug and you said yes.
Dyani: You asked if I was I ready for dinner.
Me: Yes!
Dyani: You suck at keeping count.
Me That’s true. I’m adding these to my list right now.

The second epic reality check for me is obvious, right?

I suck at keeping count! I didn’t even freaking notice YESES rolling in! 

It’s like that thing I experienced when I bought my first Jeep. Suddenly, I saw them everywhere. It happened again when I bought my Jetta. Every other car on the road was magically just like mine. When I bring something new into my awareness, all of the “like” things rise up from the land of invisibility and into my line of sight. I recognize what I know and now that I tuned my vision to see yeses last night, I’m seeing them everywhere.

In fact, when I started that late night conversation with The Beautiful One, I recognized only two yeses but by the time I woke up this morning, I had 12! I’ve received two more yeses to the Tame Your Space Master Class workshop while writing this blog post. And those are BIG yeses since I wasn’t even planning to offer that workshop in September but one of my graduates requested it in the night and three more grads immediately said yes! In seven hours, I had half of the eight people necessary for me to offer it.

So right now, I have sixteen hours and 10 more yeses to go. I no longer feel afraid of coming up short. In fact, it would be pretty easy to double my goal at this pace.

Once again, everything feels different now. I want to collaborate on a much larger scale and it’s clear that I get what I want. So look out, Unruly Woman! The various invitations have been extended and your YES has been requested. I’ll just be over here collecting my yeses until yours arrives!
___
Note: The book in question is “E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality” by Pam Grout. You can find it here on Amazon. I really enjoyed reading it and it absolutely shook up the way I see what’s possible. Mission accomplished. 

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
August 13, 2015

Desire To Dance: What Lost Love Can Passion Give Back To You?

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I have this belief that, plain and simple, people do what we want to do. And if we don’t do what we claim we want to do, it means that we must not actually want to do it after all. That might mean that part of us wants to [clean house, do yoga, live the dream, etc.] but a larger part does not and it’s winning the battle.

For example, I used to say that I wanted to lose weight and went on to not release the extra weight. It was reasonable to conclude–especially given all that I knew about calories coming in and being burned–that I didn’t actually want the weight off. Or at the very least, I didn’t actually want to eat less crap and move my body more which is what it was going to take to make it happen.

This mental position feels empowering. This “put your money where you mouth is or just stop talking about it” approach helps me hold myself accountable for the way my actions speak to my true intentions. And it works well. It helped me return to a regular writing practice because I was absolutely unwilling to stop saying I wanted to be a writer.

But there was something else, very possibly a deal breaker, something that I simply couldn’t fit into the “actions speak louder than words” model method of calling bullshit on myself.

My Dance.

I want to dance. I ache to dance. I’ve wanted to dance since I was a girl and forty years later, dance just keeps calling my name. My want to dance has a capital W. It might even be an all caps WANT to dance.

But I don’t dance. Not regularly, not anymore.

Two years ago, I danced wildly for several months. It was a very dark time and dance saved me. It helped me reconnect with myself and gave me the strength to end a difficult relationship that no longer felt true for me.

But then I stopped dancing. The light returned to my life, more light that I’d ever experienced before, and I stopped needing to dance to survive the darkness. It’s been more than a year since I strayed from my dance practice.

But the want to dance never left me. It continues to feel incredibly real.  I still haven’t had a day that dance didn’t matter to me, that I didn’t feel like a woman who needs to be dancing. I just haven’t been able to make myself dance.

One day last week, I played music while I wrote in my notebook and the urge to dance bubbled up. My regular impulse to throw my pen and notebook in a bonfire (which happens basically the entire time I’m writing most days) was replaced by the impulse to stop and dance. It had been months since I felt open to dancing and it thrilled me.

Blessedly, my too-long-without-dance paralysis was strong enough to allow me to be still and keep writing and the feeling continued to grow. I studied it, searching for the difference between what was happening inside me compared to my every day “want” to dance which resulted in nothing. I wrote for several pages trying to put words to the new sensations in my body.

I realized it went far beyond want. This was a deep, vibrating drive that pushed me into action. This was a true desire to dance. 

Desire bridged the gap between the flat, emotionless, mental “I want to dance” and actually dancing. The cognitive commitment of months’ worth of my most sincere want was dwarfed by the desire for my body to surrender to the music in that moment.

Instead of having to drag myself into dance, the desire was pulling me in! 

And then I danced. It felt incredible. The urge was actually impossible to resist. I was awakened, like a fire in my core fueled me into motion. After all of this time, I finally had enough energy to dance! My body responded to the rhythms like it was the most natural thing in the world and the barriers that had paralyzed me for nearly a year splintered into nothingness.

I finally freaking danced. 

Since that day, the more I dance, the stronger the desire becomes. I feel like I’ve been plugged back into the source of all divine energies. A whole new paradigm is being shown to me–making connections between passion and breath and movement and sex and art and health. It’s almost too much to digest. I hardly know how to begin to process it for myself, let alone how to share it, but I’m crystal clear it starts here:

Dance and write. Dance and write. Dance and write. 

And so I am… more to come.

 

Christiane Wilke via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
July 30, 2015

Wishing For Purpose (Another Crazy Personal Blog Post)

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“What if I take the workshop and find out there is no light in me?” – Anonymous Unruly Woman, just now

We weren’t talking about light, like good vs evil light, but rather her magic/purpose/call/whatever and whether or not it feels true to participate in my upcoming Find Your Purpose workshop. I paused for a moment, took a deep breath, and offered her my (scary) truth.

I understand feeling afraid you won’t find your purpose. (dramatic pause) Aaannnd I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little afraid, too. Sure, I’ve done this work with people one-on-one many times in the last seven years but not like this. I’ve made a big promise (insert mutual laughter) and I don’t know what will happen if someone doesn’t figure it out but I can tell you this: Every single person who has ever been willing to do this work with me has “found” it and recognizing it changed their life.

I could tell her that bit about it being life changing because I know it first hand.  In fact, the life I lived before figuring out my purpose basically sucked. Or (perhaps more accurately) I sucked the life out of life before I understood my purpose. Please bear with me while I stumble through an explanation of why I believe discovering my purpose in my mid-30s put a permanent end to years of deeply dysfunctional behavior.

More than anything, I remember the ache–the deep, insatiable ache–to be someone . . . worthy. I wanted to be worthy of love, security, and a good life. I wanted to be important in the world. Not recreationally important, not famous for the sake of being famous, but truly, deeply important. You know, the kind of important that allowed me to be useful in the world. I wanted to make a difference. I was desperate to make a difference.

There was this emptiness inside me and that big black hole affected everything I did for many, many years. It was a dark time. I was emotionally and physically (and yes, even sexually) hurling myself against anything/anyone I found roaming around in my (far too small) world. I was dying to find the person, activity, or thing that could make me feel whole.

But nobody could make me feel whole and not a single activity left me feeling like I was worth a damn. The search left me more empty with each “failed” relationship, job, and membership that was supposed to fix me. My heart was in a perpetual state of brokenness.

When the children were born, mothering gave me a taste purposefulness. My love for them (and my commitment to parenting them in a loving, connected way) got me out of bed every single morning. Mothering showed me how to be a better version of myself, but it was clear from the beginning that being their mom wasn’t the only thing I ached to do with my life. I knew that they would grow up someday and I anticipated having lots of life left to live.

The ache persisted.

Discovering my purpose profoundly changed the way I was showing up in my own life every single day. And it wasn’t that I figured out something new about myself and then decided to try to become it. I simply recognized a powerful aspect of myself that had always been there.  It was easy to believe this “self-discovery” that I was here to empower women (Those are the words that came to me during the exercise that first day.) because I’d always been driven to help women reconnect with their true power. I could see this thread woven throughout my entire life story.

I’ve had the makings of The Unruly Woman written on my bones the whole time–supporting girls and women as mother, friend, co-worker, neighbor, volunteer, teacher, professional organizer, etc. Each life experience (the fabulous, the devastating, and everything in between) allowed me to unfold into the woman I am today. This wild road helped me become the exact woman I needed to be to guide and support my clients as they step into their personal power.

Yes, the whole freaking time I was “suffering” with the longing for a purposeful life, I was actually being purposeful. But I didn’t know. I didn’t understand how purpose and passions worked and I didn’t know how to find mine.

(And even if I had figured it out, I damn sure didn’t know how to do it for a living!)

Once I had those words–a sacred label for my magic–they began to illuminate the darkness within me. And they radiated powerfully enough to see and experience my world as a place where I have a very, very important job to do with other very, very important people for whom the world is anxiously waiting.

Like a compass, my purpose helps me understand which direction is true for me in all areas of my life. 

Everything is different now. Everything about who I am makes sense to me. I know why I am this exact one–every heartbreak and misstep and “fail.”  Plus, I have the clarity to harness every ounce of this badassery to cultivate more love, healing, and magic in the world… one Unruly Woman at a time. These are the gifts of knowing my purpose and I am elated to spread that magic around.
_____

Wendell via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
June 9, 2015

Why I Keep Breathing

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Sometimes this healing journey feels impossible. One minute, I think I’ve got this and then it shifts again and (once again) I feel afraid. And I’m talking about deep fear, like all security is gone and I’m exposed… at risk in a way that makes it hard to breathe.

Part of me wants to run and hide. Another part scrounges around in the depths of my soul, searching for that knowing I held so easily only a few hours ago. Still another part is so fucking angry that I’m here. Again.

I’ve grown weary of feeling afraid.

I just want to feel like a grown woman who has her shit together and gets done what needs to get done.

This little girl inside of me has no use for anything that my adult self employs when I’m in crisis. Breathe, I say to myself, and I try. I go within and watch every single one of those hauntingly shallow breaths vibrate high in my chest. Deeper, I say, and the weight in my chest shatters into a million little pieces, splintering in all directions.

I keep breathing. Deeper, I say, and the little girl tells me to get away from her. It’s as if she doesn’t want to be okay, or she doesn’t believe it can be okay. I don’t know how to soothe her and the panic begins to rise again. Keep breathing… deeper.  Again and again and again.

This always goes one of two ways. Sometimes my throat tightens, tears fill my eyes, and the breaths become deep, aching sobs. Or I breathe myself back into human form and I figure out what action I can take. Either way, breathing through the release of the old wounds  or finding a way to move more into alignment with my truth, I’m cultivating a sense of security for that little girl inside of me.

That’s my job now. I’ve got to love her, protect her, and make sure she feels like my life is a safe place to be. This work is vital, not just to get through the paralyzing moments, but to the overall quality of my life. That girl is the one in charge of play, creativity, joy, and so much more.

When she’s afraid, everything stops flowing.

I don’t want to live that way, so again today… I breathe.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
June 4, 2015

Everything Felt Impossible… Even As I Was Doing It

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I had a *really* hard day on Tuesday, like who-the-hell-am-I/I’ve-never-felt-this-bad-before/something-is-terribly-terribly-wrong hard. I didn’t want to get out of bed, and by that I mean that I almost couldn’t get out of bed. My limbs ached and my heart hurt. All day. I didn’t have many words and was feeling far more deeply than is normal for me.

Deep gratitude for the picnic lunch and bike ride The Beautiful One organized for us gave way to deep feelings of disconnection, grief, and sadness as the day progressed. We went to bed at 10:00 pm which is at least two hours before our normal surrender schedule. I was barely able to walk myself up the stairs and when she offered to go back down to fetch my charger, I let her because I just couldn’t bear to do it myself. I felt like I was moving through wet concrete. Everything seemed impossible even as I was doing it.

If I would have believed what my brain was telling me, I never would have made it out of bed that day. The entire experience was surreal.

The Voices In My Head are telling me that is what depression feels like. When the kids were young, I took meds for depression and anxiety and although I can no longer recall what that version of depression felt like in my body, I can tell you it was nothing like what I experienced Tuesday. To be honest, I don’t know how people survive that feeling for more than a few days.

And now I understand how everything falls apart when this kind of depression hits. Perhaps that was the gift of Tuesday. I’ve recently had more people in my workshops and private sessions who either have spells of depression or love someone who does. Maybe I just needed to experience the impossibility of it for a day, so I could better understand how to support my Unruly Women.

Lately, every single learning opportunity comes back to the same thing: Support

When I was freaking out about the very fancy, very public ceremony around the completion of my year-long Priestess process, I spoke into it with my partner and with my Priestess sisters. They helped me unpack the resistance and release it. It’s support that helps me move through the maddening moments when my business isn’t cultivating enough income to do what I desire for myself and my family. It’s support that makes it possible to heal my body. It’s support that makes it possible to have healthy relationships with the people I love. And Tuesday was survivable because of support.

In fact, late Tuesday night, I laid in bed and wept and told Dyani that I didn’t know what was happening to me but I’d like to give it a little time to resolve itself. I told her that if I wasn’t myself soon that she shouldn’t believe me if I said I didn’t need to go to the doctor. She asked how soon. I thought for a minute and said I thought that Friday (at the latest) seemed reasonable. (Yes, it was that kind of serious.) I asked if she agreed and she thought it seemed fair.

I had her support, wholly and completely in that moment, but we both knew that if it didn’t lift, we would need much more support. We would need to call on other people and their expertise to figure out what was happening and help me heal.

The feeling came on so hard and so fast that I could both notice what was happening in my body and still remember how I’d felt just one day before. I knew that being able to hold space for both of these realities was short lived and someone (not me) had to be willing to take over if this thing was going to stick.

She wrapped herself around me for a long time, patient and loving, holding our shared intention that I’d wake up the next morning feeling like myself. She asked a few questions about what I was experiencing and listened to my confused rambling. She let me be–the sacred perfection of being allowed to just feel what I fucking felt–and gifted me exquisite gift of hope, holding space that whatever had come over me while sleeping the night before would leave me just as easily when I journeyed again.

Tears soaked my pillow, without me having any real understanding of their source, until I fell into the healing darkness of the dream world. Some time around dawn I woke up and took a deep breath to check in. I could feel that it was gone. I felt like me again.

Support makes it possible to face life when life feels too big to face on our own. I deserve support. You deserve support. If you need it, I’m here. It is my job to listen and help heal your stories, to co-create what’s next in your journey, to help you cultivate simplicity and peace in your head, heart, and home. When you can’t figure out how to get there on your own, say yes to support. You’re worth it. Yes, I’m sure.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
May 18, 2015

Turning 40: Coming Home To My Body

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I rented this body. I don’t really know much about it.

I find it endlessly difficult to use this thing that makes me human.

I don’t know how to explain it but I’m in this place where I love my body, I accept that this is my size, but I know this isn’t my truth. I know this is not the size or shape that is true for me. I want to be stronger. I want more energy. I want to feel alive in a way that I don’t right now. Right now, I feel like I’m underwater, moving oh so slowly. Everything takes longer and requires more energy than it needs to take. And not just my body but my mind too, leaving me accomplishing a fraction of what’s possible with each day I am gifted.

Plain and simple… this isn’t efficient. I can’t possibly accomplish what I came here to do if I’m operating at fraction of my potential. This has to change. It’s needed to change for far too long. Now is the time.

Now. Is. The. Time.

This is the season of my life when my relationship with body, food, and movement are healed. (I just heard that this shift will blow open my intuitive abilities, too, and my mind.)

But what does this even mean? Where do I begin? What must change? What gets to change?

Choice is everything. I am in choice.

It’s clear to me now that I wasn’t really in choice before. At least in that I didn’t have what was necessary to be here in this space having this awakening at this exact moment. I was choosing other things to heal, that which was accessible to me at those times.

This is deeper. This body is the aspect of myself of which I have the least understanding. I’m stepping into this space at this sacred time, as I enter the second half of my life, as I awaken my inner priestess, as I have the love I’ve always dreamed of and a profession rooted deeply in my heart. The children are nearly grown and all three of these beautiful people can be my teachers during this awakening, as each one of them deeply understands the body.

Food and movement–these are the aspects I know well. But also healing touch and strength and breath and the way that energy pulses through me. My mind is swirling with the pieces I know–Katy Bowman, massage, physical therapy, my DANCE, living foods, core muscle development, stretching, and reconnection to earth. So much to learn… the overwhelm tempts me to turn away but I want to stay. It’s time to stay and play. I wanted to host a reunion of all of the pieces of my soul and I did it. Now, it’s time to come home to this body, to occupy the temple that’s been gifted to me.

Deep breath… What’s next?
_____
Ready to Tame Your Space and Simplify Your Life? We begin soon… learn more here!

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
March 20, 2015

Confessions of an Unruly Mother

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“I am so grateful the children aren’t coming home this afternoon. You know… just the peace and quiet?” – whispered by me, just now

Dyani and I are working at our dining room table. She is shoulder deep in studies and I have priestess/journal/work/website vision/notes spread out in true mad scientist form. I’m creating something. A new website? A new life? A new me? The true versions of all of those bits?

I’m not really sure but either way, we’ve been at it all day and it is going brilliantly. I realize it’s almost time for school to end and was flooded with relief that both teenagers have plans and won’t be home until curfew.

To be clear, I love them. Endlessly.

But also… silence.

I ache for silence and stillness and the sacred space to do the deep visioning work that’s required today. I ache to connect with myself and with the one who has my heart. I ache to catch up communication with my clients and soul sisters.

I ache to tend to my heart and my truth and my business. And that’s hard to do when the children are here.

It scares me a little to speak it. Guilt starts to rise and I whisper, “There aren’t many places where it feels safe to admit that.” I feel flooded with gratitude that Dyani totally understands the sacred dance between my mothering and the rest of me. I add, “I suppose that means I should say it to the Unruly Women?”

She said, “Yes, it does.” I went to post it in the private Facebook group I created for Unruly Women to connect and support one another.

But why only a secret place?

I’m afraid people will judge me. I’m terrified my children would be hurt if they read it.

And so, I’ll share it here instead. Because truth. Bold ass, scary truth.

I’m saying (typing) it out loud (here on my blog) because… well, I am me and shining light on the oppressive darkness is what I do.

Much love, Christy

The Unruly Woman

——
Seth and Kira, if you ever read this, I hope you’ll remember these four things:

  1. I love you.
  2. All that I am I discovered because of you (and a couple of other really beautiful humans) and all that I do feels like it’s for you.
  3. I’m talking about the same kind of pleasure you get when you’re away from home being your brilliant, beautiful, autonomous selves.
  4. If you don’t understand today, please give me fifteen years of benefit of the doubt before flipping out. I promise, you’ll see.
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
January 3, 2015

Are Dr. Martens The Unruly Woman’s Glass Slipper?

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I fell in love with Dr. Martens when I was in high school. I’m now a few months shy of my 40th birthday. It’s been 24 years and I’ve never stopped loving them. I live in Minnesota now and just in the last couple of years, I’ve looked at hundreds of pairs of boots. Every single pair has been held up against the only boot I’ve actually ached to have on my feet.

When I met my children’s father, he wanted Docs, too. I bought him his first pair one year for his birthday and years later, I introduced my not-even-remotely-prone-to-wanting-Docs second husband to them. He learned to dig them, so I bought him a pair, too. While I was in my third marriage, I celebrated as my ex-wife bought herself Docs.

(There is an obvious temptation to wonder off into a conversation about my many former spouses and the variety of pronouns used to discuss them–two males and one female, if you’re counting–but that’s not the point of this blog post. Stay with me, people.)

Even with all of that boot giving, as you may have seen coming, I still never had a pair of Doc Martens to call my own.

The one who has my heart recently asked if I had brown Docs. I told her no, that I had no Docs, that I’d never owned a pair. I told her the story I shared with you above. As I was thumbing the ridiculous story into my phone, the series of texts made my heart ache.

Twenty two years of desire–frankly, regardless of what it was a desire for–remained unmet while was doing whatever I could to make sure that the people I loved had the exact thing that I desired.

I even spent about six years trying to teach my daughter to love them before I finally gave up because she grew frustrated with my persistent denial of her not-even-remotely-prone-to-wanting-Docs nature.

Seriously. What the hell was wrong with me?

Codependency.

Damn codependency. Again. It’s always Cody when the stories suck like this. (I’ve written a great deal on the subject. I can’t bear to go into it again here but if you need support around that, let me know.)

I spent two decades of my adult life (and many of the years of my childhood) obsessing about other people’s needs and desires being met. Or, worse yet, my perception of other people’s needs. Yes, I was not just helping people eat and have shelter and whatnot, I was making sure they had just about anything they want and what I wanted, too!

My love fabulously replied, “Wait. What??? I thought you sent me a picture of four or five pair?” Oh yeah, that.

Almost seven months ago, when we first reconnected,  we were exchanging war stories, lessons learned, and things we enjoy, and I sent her this picture… of my dream boots. Apparently, she thought I actually owned them.

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I looked back in my history and I still had the picture, still had a picture of boots that I hadn’t made possible for myself all of these years.

She replied, “Well, I know what you’re getting for Valentine’s Day.”

I actually wept.

The tears were not that I was finally getting the boots of my dreams. It was that I’d denied myself something so very accessible for such an incredibly long time. Dr. Martens were the metaphorical representation of all that I’d denied myself. And even in that moment, after that epic realization, it was hard for me to keep from telling her no. It was difficult to accept the gift of something I’ve wanted for more than half of my life.

The whole thing left me spinning. I felt overwhelmed by old stories rising from deep within about being unworthy, plus a flood of sadness and shame that I’d found all of this anchored so deeply inside me.

I’ve gone without so very much. Some of that sacrifice seemed… I don’t know… maybe more honorable? There were times when I honestly couldn’t do the things I needed and desired anfeed the children. But there were many, many times that I could have made those boots possible for me. (And clothes and dental work and… oh hell, never mind. There’s a list. It’s long. I’ll leave it at that.)

And then today. This conversation. This wake-up call. This invitation to check those old, tired, oppressive beliefs, thoughts, and actions. I promised to put an end to this madness.

Plain and simple: I am worth having my needs and desires met.

I laid down all of that martyr crap and declared that it is safe to allow myself to experience desire.  It’s okay to want that which will help me stay warm but also what helps me feel beautiful and strong and sexy. It’s okay to want Doc Martens, to want a freaking rainbow collection of Doc Martens… just as I have since I was a girl.

It’s okay to want this business to leave behind the “survival” stage and into a place of powerful abundance. It’s okay to want a damn near utopian relationships with these teenagers in a world that keeps saying it is not possible to respectfully co-exist. It’s okay to want to travel and invest in myself both personally and professionally. It’s okay to to want love that’s open and honest and breathtakingly beautiful every single day.

It’s safe to want to live my truth. It’s safe to want to really live.

Speaking of that love… before the sun could even set on the day that all of this unfolded, the beautiful one appeared with a most unruly love offering.

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And just like that, 24 years of longing comes to an end, and my codependency journey is suddenly reminiscent of a fairy tale from my childhood. You remember it, don’t you?

I am basically Cinderella. Except that in my story that prince charming is a beautiful, soulful, remarkable woman, our castle is a tiny apartment in the heart of Minneapolis, the mice are a couple of fabulous teenagers who can’t sew the first stitch of a ballgown… and those glass slippers are actually a perfectly badass pair of brown Doc Martens.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
September 27, 2014

Why You Aren’t Good Enough (To Undo The Past)

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“You can’t be a good enough mother to undo the pain of your own childhood.”

You can mother in a way that feels true for you. In some moments, you may even find it to be a deeply healing experience. But mostly, you’re going to be triggered. Just like when you partner, your old shit is going to rise. These intimate experiences are invitations to heal. That’s what’s beautiful about life. But there are no do-overs. Period. Being an obsessive mother will not make your childhood wounds disappear. It will exhaust you. It will erode your relationships with your partner, your community, and yourself. It will teach your children they cannot be whole without you. It renders them powerless. Trying to cover your pain with “good” mothering is going to perpetuate more pain in your life and the lives of your children.

The exact same thing is true about all of your relationships. You can’t be “good enough” to undo the pain of your past. Heartbreak has to be tended. Wounds have to be healed. Shadows must be released. Do your work and then you’ll be able to show up in the lives of the people you love in a way that’s honest and open and in alignment with the truth of who you are.

Christy Farr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
August 31, 2014

An Open Letter To The Boy Who Loves My Daughter (Or Any Wild One)

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Dear Boy Who Loves My Daughter,

She is a Wild One. She may not even realize it yet but she is. She comes to you from the womb of a woman who can not bear to be possessed.

She is not yours to keep.

She is her own possession, the center of her sacred universe. She belongs to only herself and the Mystery that flows through her veins.

Her spirit is intact and she has already fallen in love… with the truth of who she is. There is no hole for you to fill, at least not within her. Just walk beside her and enjoy the magical nature of wholeness.

She loved others before you. She loves others today, even as she is loving you. And she will continue to love wildly. Her love for her family, friends, learning, and herself sustain her.

Her love is a gift. Wallow in it for as long as it is true for her to share it with you but focus on your heart and your life and your future because her heart and her life and her future are hers.

She is a force of nature and she will not be tamed. Every day, she is in choice about all things… including you. Be wise enough to treasure her, but dare not try to own her. She won’t have it.

Most sincerely,
Me

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
July 30, 2014

Dig Deep Enough To Find Your Desire

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Tetanus Art: Dance

Since my separation/divorce, I’ve been disconnected from what was once a pretty solid relationship with my dance, my writing, and my time in my studio creating art. I wanted to do these things—activities that used to be the most sacred pieces of my daily life. I can’t claim that I was doing every one of them every day, but I was doing some combination of them on most days. Before everything imploded.

I simply couldn’t figure out what the hell happened. Until last night. When my (insert yet unidentified perfect title for the magical woman I’ve been spending most of my time with for the last almost two months) lowered a BOOM on me. (Swoon.)

She asked why I wasn’t doing these things, and what needed to happen for me to get back to them. I’d spoken freely about how much these things meant to me. Yet, she saw me not doing them most days. She wondered if there was anything she could do to support me.

We talked through it. And, as we did, I realized I had used my dance, writing, and art to escape. I had used them to retreat into my inner world because my outer world (including my marriage) no longer felt true for me. But I also used these things not just to hide, but also to process and to heal. I used these things to help me stay rooted in my truth when it felt that, in other parts of my life, I was slipping away.

But I don’t need to hide anymore. I feel absolutely free to be me—my whole self—at any hour of every day. (Much of that is still unfolding, but I have cultivated the space and relationships and courage to move in that direction.) There is still much to process and heal, but I’m processing and healing with my people, instead of doing it in secret with myself.

I realized last night that I need a new relationship with my dance and my writing and my art. (The art I already found. Co-creation in the studio rocks and produces inspiring results. Go see the new stuff at Bold and Earthy Goods: Tetanus Art – Minneapolis!) The low-hanging fruit of my heartbreak has been picked. Now, I need to climb a little higher on the ladder to find a more aligned inspiration.

Wait. That’s not quite it.

My dance is a ladder. My art is a ladder. And my writing is also a ladder. Each one is a rung on the larger ladder that guides me back to my wholeness, to the place where my head and my heart are working together, to a place where I am living as my true self.

I did so much of “the work” in the old ways that it’s no longer a useful motivation for me. It’s time for me to dig deeper, to find a new relationship with those sacred acts.

It’s time, as I’ve always said to you, to release what no longer serves me, to make space for what’s new. Instead of dancing to escape, I must dance (and write and create art) my way to what’s next. Instead of writing about what I was going through, it’s time for me to write about this phase in my ongoing journey of self-discovery. Instead of retreating to my studio to hide, it’s time for me to bravely go there instead to create what my new way of being inspires.

What about you? Do you still feel called to that which reminds you of who you are? If you find yourself disconnected from the truth of who are, can you dig deeper and find the new way to get there?

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
June 15, 2014

That Which Lies Between Us And Our Truth

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Some of the women in my world have begun to see the pieces of themselves that are missing. They are not lost, just hidden. We are not broken, just disconnected from our wholeness. Most often, it’s the most sacred and coveted parts of ourselves. It’s the parts that allow us to live our dharma—the one who creates, heals, writes, loves, dances, leads, etc.

When we are young, and these pieces of ourselves begin to emerge, our experiences greatly influence what comes of our relationship with those parts. How our parents, siblings, teachers, friends, etc. responded to their first glimpse of our sacred truths affected us. We grew either closer to, or further from, ourselves. Our childhood environment either supported our personal evolution or it made us feel doubt or fear.

All too often, our childhood landscape was not the nurturing garden from which we could blossom into our true selves. Few of us reached adulthood with our heart/mind oneness intact. We experienced heartbreak or insecurity of some kind in our childhoods. We experienced profound pain and trauma. We may not have had the inner resources and external support to process/integrate/release those experiences from our body, mind, and spirit.

So, those experiences are archived in the space between our hearts and our minds. They became the metaphorical baggage that left us operating from either the heart or the mind, sometimes bouncing back and forth between the two, but never a healthy union of the two. It created the one who searches for her truth in relationships—often relationships that are untrue for her—or operates solely from the thinking place. She may appear successful, but feels unfulfilled without the passion, love, and creativity that flow when she lives with both her heart and mind intact.

Blessedly, we have adulthood to journey home back to our true selves. That’s what this is all about. This path we have chosen—this thing I call personal evolution, this way we show up in our own lives—it’s a beautiful, mysterious journey back to wholeness. We are making our way back to that that place where our heart and mind worked together as one.

We watch movies, listen to music, read books, study the offerings of those who came before us, collaborate with therapists, healers, and intuitive guides (like me). We use essential oils. We receive Reiki and acupuncture and massage and other body work. We take to our yoga mats, running trails, and dance floors. We create—singing, painting, writing, drumming—or by collecting and assembling whatever paper or fabric or rusty metal needs to tell a story.

These experiences reach into the space between our heart and mind, the storehouse of a thousand old heartbreaks, and finds something we’re ready to release and carries it away. This release closes the gap within us. We grow more powerful with each step, each moment where we accept the invitation to release what no longer serves us. Every courageous exploration in this space heals us and allows us to reconnect with ourselves.

Yes, this journey is tender at times. Yes, we may be tempted to shrink back. But it is your truth that you ache to live. This is your art, your love, your sacredness. It’s your real life that is on the line. Everything you came here to do flows from this. Nothing else matters more. That relentless pounding in your ear—that’s the rhythm of your own heart. Lean into this dance.

rent-a-moose via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
May 18, 2014

Lesson Nine: Journey Back To Your Truth

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How do I find my way back to my truth?

Ask questions, even the simple ones that you already know the answer to, and notice how it feels to ask and receive those messages. Notice your breath, your heart, the feeling in your stomach. What does your mind do with the information once it bubbles up? How does the truth feel in your body?

Then, ask questions that are less obvious, but for which the outcome holds modest consequences. Do I want pizza or pasta for dinner? Should I call this friend or that one? Is it better to schedule this appointment for this week or next? Again, notice your body, notice how it feels to make these decisions for yourself, and then to follow through on them.

Watch what consequences arise from your decisions.

When you live in alignment with your truth, asking and acting on those intuitive answers, you are guided to choose more powerful experiences. An intuitively guided life is, quite simply, a more magical life.

When you’re ready, begin asking the big ones: Is it time to release this job? Do I want to have another child? Is this relationship true for me?

Don’t be afraid to ask, or to open yourself to the answers. This information does not command that you take immediate action, although sometimes that will feel true. Just ask, and then be still until you hear what’s true for you. Sit with that knowing. Action is a separate step, one that will be taken in good time, but you mustn’t allow it to keep you from asking.

Your heart will speak the truth, your brain will rise up to keep you safe, both always serving you out of love. Never let your brain disregard your heart from a place of fear. Never let your heart disregard your brain out of a place of fear. No true action is ever taken from a place of fear. Act from love . . . always.

Until your heart and mind speak to you as one again, be aware of their separateness, and patiently wait for a response from both. As you release and heal those old wounds, you’ll find that it’s easier to remember to ask for guidance. The answers that you seek will come to you more swiftly, loudly, and clearly. The self-doubt that used to settle over you, that would discourage you, will begin to fade away.

Most importantly, Wild One, remember this: The most effective way to increase your intuition is for you to honor its messages. When your gut says leave: leave. When you hear that it isn’t true: don’t do it. When it bubbles up that you miss someone, call them. When you feel called to take that class, go to that event, or connect with that particular individual—for the love of all things glittery—do it.

Take that action, for it is the sound of your heart and your mind guiding you home.

lost in pixels via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
May 13, 2014

Lesson Eight: Trust Your Intuition

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I want you to know that you are worth listening to. Your intuition, your gut, your higher self knows who you really are. It offers you guidance all day, every single day. Your only tasks are to ask, to listen, and then to act accordingly. You need only to believe that this is the truth when you hear it—your truth.

In the beginning, you were one. Your brain and your heart were intact, a true partnership, supporting you to make decisions, guiding you along the path that is most true for you. This is the truth. One whole, complete, and powerful creature is the way you were in the beginning.

But this isn’t the way that you are experiencing life right now. You feel uncertain when you’re faced with making decisions about your direction. You feel disoriented. You feel as if you can’t actually tell which option is true for you. You ache to live in alignment with what is true for you, but you feel overwhelmed by uncertainty.

Know this: Your truth is known by you—not by your partner or your friend, an expert, or a guru. Your truth is an endless natural spring that bubbles up from deep within you and nourishes you always.

Your truth lives and thrives within you. It’s there even if you’ve forgotten to listen to it or have turned away from its whispers for months or even years. It lives within you, even if you don’t believe it, even if it seems you’ve ever met it. You cannot outrun your truth, even if you try. She, who is you, will never give up on you.

It takes only setting your intention to return to her, to your true self, for your world to shift in that direction.

What interferes is the past. Because you didn’t have the resources to heal them properly, the old wounds have built up layers of scar tissue between your heart and your mind. The baggage occupying the space between your thinking self and your feeling self interferes with the communication between them, creating doubt and confusion.

You may have leaned too heavily on your heart, searching for your truth in relationships that did not serve you. Or you may have turned away from your heart, looking for answers in your mind, searching so logically and reasonably for that which could make you make sense. Alone, neither the heart nor the mind are enough to sustain you.

Fear not. This is not broken, or lost, to you forever. You will release that which no longer serves you and, in time, the gap between the two will be less and less. Answers will come with ease, for clarity is your nature. You are journeying back to the truth of who you are.

rent-a-moose via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
May 5, 2014

Lesson Seven: Cultivate Community

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Gather around you a small group of sane, deeply committed brothers and sisters. They needn’t be normal, but sanity that is anchored in the high end of the recovery spectrum supports all of you a great deal.

Find the courage that it takes to reveal your truth to them. It needn’t be your entire truth, at least not in the beginning, as you will not have access to any more of it than has been revealed on any given day. Once you know who are, though, show them. As you discover more, show them that too.

Ask them to mirror back to you that which you’ve already discovered about yourself at the times when you forget. Trust me, sometimes we just loose our damned minds. You won’t want to be reminded, but they will show you. Try your best not to behave badly.

If you do behave badly, allow them to take a few steps back and watch from the safety of the outer edge of your life. It’s cruel and unusual to ask them to stand in the fire with you. If you must once again dance at the hellish center of your fire, go on and do it, but leave them out of it. Your fire is yours. They have their own.

Do all of these same things for them. Do them to the best of your ability. Sometimes, this will be absolutely dreadful, because that’s the way it works. Sometimes we just suck at this. We’re too triggered or distracted or human to do the right thing. That’s okay. Do your best.

Laugh together. It may help to count the laughs when you’re going through a particularly challenging spell. Cry together, too.

You will each show up in whatever way is most true for you. Some will make their journey more publicly than others. That’s perfect. Balance is a magical thing. You cannot cultivate it intentionally, but if you allow into your heart those who are open and mostly sane, and who wish to be there, you’ll find yourself with a blissful balance of all of the things that you need to be for one another.

Love them and, perhaps even more important, allow them to love you. Consider yourself warned, though: It’s usually harder to receive love than to give it. Stick with it. Their love will heal you, and your love will heal them. It’s a beautiful thing.

This soul family will ebb and flow throughout your days. Accept that flow, even if it terrifies you. Release those relationships, even the coveted ones, when they no longer feel true for you and you will make space within your circle for those who resonate with your truth.

amanda.venner via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
April 22, 2014

Lesson Six: Simplify Your Life

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How far are you willing to go to make space in your life for your truth?

I think that if we could see how much we would ultimately release, we’d turn away from the personal evolution journey and never look back. Maybe everyone wouldn’t, but I’m standing here, watching yet another major transition in my life unfold. I’d bet the farm that if I’d seen this coming, I would have fled this path years ago.

This path we’ve chosen returns us to our true selves. It begins subtly—a hairstyle change or an interest in a new hobby. We take that step and think, “Ah, yes. That’s better. This is who I am.” That place is such a party. We can breathe there . . . and then the next thing is revealed.

Our relationship with food shifts. We visit a new place, fall in love with it, and long to live there. We make new friends, find spiritual teachers, or do something radical to take back our health. We write and we dance and we create. We do it because we must—because we feel the truth of it written on our bones.

Over time, a thread of courage weaves together these bits of truth, strengthening the fabric of our souls.

The intensity builds with every new layer. What is required of us to live honestly both shrinks and expands over time, welcoming more of what’s true and releasing that which is not. We must have the courage to both open our hearts to the new and let go of the rest.

Do we have the courage to let go of the love? Will we sacrifice the financial security of the safe and steady day job to pursue a true professional dream? Can we choose other than the perceived safety of modern medicine and lean into healing methods that hold more truth for us?

I don’t know if I have the strength to keep going, but I’ve come this far. It’s impossible to turn back now, and I wouldn’t if I could. I’m more of who I am now than I’ve ever been—and I love it. I love the way it feels to be me, to live my truth. I want more.

All of this takes space. It takes space to add a daily spiritual practice, movement, studies, connection, or explore ourselves and discover our truths. We need the time, energy, mental bandwidth, and the physical space to move into alignment with our truths. We must learn to let go, to release that which is no longer true for us, to make space for that which resonates, for that which will pull us into the future.

Ines Seidel via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
April 14, 2014

Lesson Five: Cultivate Support

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It is my sincere belief that most of us are doing the best that we can bear to do with our lives. It may not even be the best we know how to do, but there’s more than just cognitive capacity affecting how we are living.  We bump up against emotional obstacles, energetic blocks, restrictive beliefs, unsupportive environments, addictions, etc. In every moment, we contain the flow of several generations of thoughts, beliefs, and actions. They can either guide us to, or pull us away, from our true selves.

We get to decide how much of what flows through us is allowed to stay and define us.

We are in choice about how we show up in this life. The path we have chosen is about examining everything that cultivates our reality. We release what is false; we call in what is true.

In the beginning, we may feel like we are constantly sorting all of the sordid details of our life. It feels that way because that’s exactly what we’re doing.

When we hear our negative self talk, we will dig in and figure out to whom that voice belongs. (Our true selves would never speak to us with such fear and loathing.) When we have a relationship with food (or cigarettes or drugs or sex or whatever else) that doesn’t cultivate the kind of health and sanity that we desire, we get to explore what’s driving us. We get to heal. We get to find ways to meet our needs in ways that do not compromise the quality of our lives.

We must find the courage to look at the way we are showing up in the world. If we want to change our lives, we must begin with the willingness to own them.

We have to own who we became as a result of whatever circumstances led us here. Yes, those things happened. Yes, they were perhaps less than ideal. And yes, we may still be hurting from them. We may have more healing work to do around both new and old wounds. Yet, we are still responsible for who we’ve become.

Once more for clarity: We are responsible for who we’ve become.

If this is not the version of you that you intended to become, it’s time to dig in and cultivate your truth. Your true self still reigns, even if it is buried by the chaos and overwhelm. Your only job is to reconnect with your truth and move into alignment with it.

It’s a journey. This is your journey. But you don’t have to travel it alone. The people, systems and experiences that are available to support you far exceed the number of obstacles standing between you and your truth.

Read books, listen to music, study teachers whose work inspires you, ask hard questions and have the courage to answer them yourself, watch movies, move enough to make yourself sweat, seek non-medical healing for your body, clean up your food, spend more time with people who make you think and feel the way you desire to feel, do less of what feels untrue, recover from your addiction (including codependency), tell your story, allow life-changing experiences to change you, create, dance, write, and refuse to speak to yourself with anything less than kindness, compassion, and love.

You deserve to be the one you came here to be. Moving into alignment with that requires support. Yes, there are many forms of support available to you here at Camp Christy, but look around you, there are invitations everywhere.  Accept them. You are worth it. Yes, I’m sure.

Valerie Everett via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
March 9, 2014

Lesson 3: The Broken Bicycle and Winter’s End

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This is my first year living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I love the earth—she is easily my most influential teacher—and watching the seasons of life unfold in this new place has inspired me in ways that often defy words. In these moments, I take pictures and wait for the wisdom to unfold.

This bicycle has been chained to this post since I moved here last June. It happens all over the city. I don’t really understand why perfectly good transportation gets left out in the cold . . . but that’s another challenge for another day.

photo-3So, it took a little while for winter to hit this year, but once it did, the snow fell and the temps stayed low enough for what fell to stay. And then, more snow fell. It just kept coming and never really melted, although sometimes the people here relocate snow to make it more convenient for us to get about.

photo-4By February, I was pretty sure the bike would disappear before the snow stopped falling. I couldn’t really make sense of my fascination with this bike. I knew it had a message for me, but I couldn’t find it. Every time I stopped to take a picture, my family would laugh at me. There are many other bikes that offered more dramatic images, but this one just spoke to me. It called to me, again and again.

Yesterday it called to me again . . . and I found this:

photo-5It’s crushed. Someone came through with a big piece of equipment that cut into the snow to clear more sidewalk space for walking. They crushed the bike. The bike that had been so gently held in that bank of snow for months is crushed. My heart was aching. It felt ridiculous.  Well, it did at first, before I started writing this.

Now, I can see more. I can see this bike telling us a story about the winters in our lives.

Winter is the time to be still—to rest and renew, to integrate the learning that the previous seasons gifted us, and to prepare for what is ahead. We are moving into spring, a new beginning, a transition from what was into what will be.

Sometimes the winter’s shifts are subtle. Everything is so quiet and still that we don’t even recognize what’s happening. But then, the days get longer, and the bitter cold gives way to cold and eventually, warmth. When the snow begins to melt, sometimes we find lush, rested soil, and sometimes we find that something we once treasured is now broken.

The broken bicycle encourages us to pause to check in—to notice what’s happening in the many gardens that make up our lives—mind, body, spirit, home, business, love, and the rest.

What in our lives have we allowed to remain buried, is broken, or in need of tending? Are we going to hurl ourselves into the next season without doing what needs to be done before this one is over?

We can do this, but there will be consequences. This disconnected carelessness will ripple into the future seasons of our lives.

Let us have the courage to pause. Let us stay here for a time and do what must be done during these final hours of this winter. Remember, this is the only winter we have until the next one; it will never be ours again.

Let’s do this. Let us keep it clean and let us move forward with our integrity intact.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
February 17, 2014

Love Notes: To The Guy On The Sidewalk

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“Well hellooo, beautiful…”

Terror rises when you speak to me. I need this to stop.

It’s not that I mind you saying it. In fact, I want to be seen. I am a beautiful woman, the great light flows though me with a force that, at times, takes even my own breath away.

If I am living my truth, I will distract you. I’m a force of nature and when I meet you on the street, I want you to know I am here. I am here. This is my space. These are my streets. I belong here.

You see, beautiful stranger, my soul lives within what you see. It dances and loves and heals others because it is alive in these walls. It is my inner world that makes me shine. My soul is the reason you see me. My soul is sacred. And my body is sacred, too.

See the whole me. This is what I want from you. See my curves and the magical place where my neck and shoulder come together. See my strong thighs and my soft hands. See the smile on my lips and the light in my eyes.

See me.

See me and know deep down in the sacredness of your own being that this body is, that I am, divine… and treat me that way.

kohlmann.sascha via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
February 16, 2014

Lesson 2: Choose What’s True For You

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This morning—desperately searching for something meaningful in this day—I started with dance. After months dancing more and more regularly, I suddenly fell madly in love with the moment after the music begins that I just breathe and wait. I don’t know if I even have words to describe why it struck me so powerfully but it did. It was powerful, or rather empowering, to wait for the beat that was perfect for me. I said no, respectfully of course, to those who came before mine. They were lovely, just not mine. When it right for me to move, I knew and the movement that followed was everything I needed it to be.

The courage it takes to say no to what is not true for me is new. It still scares me when I think about saying no to a business opportunity—a not quite right potential client, a pro bono speaking gig that I already learned doesn’t cultivate new business, a barter invitation that isn’t for something I need. It’s hard to say no sometimes, but on some level I know that those choices are clearing the path to what is true for me.

Since that moment, old movies played back to back in the theatre of my mind. I’ve watched hundreds, maybe thousands of times that I consumed food that was convenient instead of waiting for what my body really wanted. I watched myself purchase clothes that “would do” because I didn’t have the courage to wait for the pants that help me feel both comfortable and confident. There were friendships and lovers, experiences and encounters, things and places and even thoughts… all that I accepted for fear that the truth–My Truth–would not arrive.

It’s a the kind of awareness that hurts the heart. So much of my most sacred resources—time, energy, and spirit–invested in that which carried me further from myself. So much clutter, so much pain, all because I couldn’t hear my own voice calling me home.

Blessedly, this is also a day for celebration. This realization cannot come without changing my life. Of course, it can. I just won’t allow it. No more. My choice is my power. What’s true for me is worth waiting for.

What about you, Wild One? In every moment, you have nothing more sacred than your choice. What ever will you do with all of this potential? Does this resonate for you? Are there times that you’ve settled for less that what’s true for you? What did it cost you? Are you willing to continue to pay that price, to sacrifice yourself in this way? How can you choose to be true to YOU?

Pick one thing, make space to cultivate that shift this week, and watch it spread into other areas of your life. Let me know how it’s going and remember that if you need support, I’m here.

Sam Kwan via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
January 9, 2014

Lesson 1: The Freedom Formula

Self-Discovery + Self-Acceptance + Integrity = Freedom

This is my freedom formula. It’s the foundation of everything that’s happened in the last six years at Seeds and Weeds Coaching. I’ve shared it hundreds of times during classes and private sessions but I hadn’t yet written it down. It’s by no means the only tool in “The Greenhouse” but it’s proven to be so remarkably true that I find myself coming back to it every single day.

Clearly, it’s not a mathematical formula, but let’s pretend for a moment that it is. Whether they use these exact words or not, everyone who comes into my world wants to live their best life. They long to realize the potential within them. They want to be “free” to be themselves and to use all that they are to make a difference in the world. If the life of a Wild One was a class at the university, everybody wants more than a passing grade. We crave mastery. We want 100%.

And we don’t just want it for us, for what we get out of it. We are in pursuit of our best selves so we can use who we are to make a difference in the world. We know that what’s possible for the world–our families, communities, and beyond–is exponentially affected by how masterful we become at being ourselves.

It’s important to remember that personal freedom isn’t something granted to us by our parents or politicians or societal structures. No, there are many people living in deeply oppressive circumstances that are still able to craft a strong sense of personal freedom.

Tetanus Art: Freedom

Tetanus Art: Freedom

This freedom comes from within. And while the beginning of the journey to it begins with a single, powerful, rather simple decision to free ourselves, we don’t just choose to be free. We cultivate freedom with our thoughts, beliefs, and actions every single day.

Those who desire this freedom must focus not on the freedom itself. Instead, we will dig into the gardens of our own lives, learn who we are, accept what we find, and live in alignment with our integrity. I believe that this is how we cultivate our freedom. This is how we make the most of our lives.

What is self-discovery?

Self-discovery is (obviously) just figuring out who you are. Imagine that you’d never seen a car before and I gave you one. You  wouldn’t have the cognitive understanding of it enough to hop it and drive, but somehow we expect human beings to just know how to be their best selves with little more than the example set by our families, communities, and the media. (Lions and tigers and bears! Oh MY!)

So many of us were taught to live our lives in reaction to others (see also: addiction and codependency) and we made it to adulthood without having a thorough understanding of ourselves. We have to take a step back and look at the machine we’re working with, learn how it works, and what it’s capable of doing before we can even think about doing (living/driving) it masterfully.

What is self-acceptance?

Once we figure out what we are working with, we have to have to accept what we’ve discovered. We have to make peace with who we are. In order to work with this machine, one has to accept that (hypothetically speaking) she is a they-call-me-hard-headed-but-I-prefer-tenacious taurus with a proven affection for unconventional people and most things addictive. She stands five feet and two inches tall, is quite curvy, freckled, and throws a football with surprising force but accuracy that leaves something to be desired. She is incapable of stillness when music plays and can’t speak without her hands. She loves the earth, produces children who are amazing but will most certainly need a good therapist, and making people laugh makes her feel like everything is going to be okay. She is a lesbian, an extrovert, and she cannot pick a favorite color.

If we are in denial about pieces of ourselves that have been revealed, we render ourselves powerless. We willfully diminish our potential. We sacrifice our own freedom. We must have the courage to accept what’s true about ourselves so that we can cultivate the freedom we desire.

What is integrity?

Merriam-Webster defines integrity as 1)  the quality of being honest and fair, and 2) the state of being complete or whole. I can’t do better than those definitions. Living in alignment with our integrity is the third critical factor in the freedom formula. It means that once we’ve discovered and accepted pieces of who we are, we get up every single day and do what we know to be true for us. As we continue to discover and accept more and more of our truth, and we move into alignment with those truths, we become more masterful versions of ourselves. With each evolution, we cultivate more freedom for ourselves and we become more positive, more powerful force in the world.

Take a moment to think about your life. Hold it up against the freedom formula. If your life isn’t as you wish it to be, hold it up against the freedom formula. Where are the holes? Where do you need to focus to cultivate a more powerful result with your energy every day? Is it that you don’t know enough about how you work? Are there important pieces of you that you haven’t yet accepted? Or is this a matter of integrity?

Remember that there is no need for shame about what you discover when you ask yourself these questions… just power. If you need support, I’m here.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.