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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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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.
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 15, 2016

Unsigned Mail: Healing From Infidelity

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Can a relationship recover after infidelity?

Dear Unruly Woman,

Yes, a relationship can recover after infidelity. Plain and simple: Yes, you can do this. But YOU means both of you and no one person is “enough” to heal this kind of betrayal on their own.

Deep down in the core of my being, I believe that two people who are in love and want to be together can heal any wounds that have come between them. You two will need to listen like you’ve never listened to one another before. You’ll need new tools. You’ll need radical honesty. You’ll both need to fight for your future.

(You’ll may even need professional support. I’m here.)

You’ll need to open your heart and share all of what you left unspoken in the past, the very things that left your relationship vulnerable to The Other One is now what you most need to share.

This affair — whether it was a one time sex act, an emotional betrayal, or a full-on scandalous affair — is not The Problem. And although it certainly feels like it, The Other One is not actually The Problem either.

The Other One simply occupied space that appeared between you and your beloved. The space is The Problem. Your sleeping-bags-zipped-together-in-a-cozy-tent-for-two partnership changed over time. It’s not a crime. All relationships evolve, because the people in them evolve, and if we are not careful, we grow apart while we’re growing up.

The untended heartbreaks and unresolved conflicts left you two feeling cautious, retreating from the battle lines and into the safety of your own inner worlds. Instead growing up together, you pulled away a little at a time and soon home had two distinctly different sides. Retreating cultivates more conflict, which all too often makes you want to retreat even further from the one you love.

Infidelity can be the thing you blame for destroying your relationship but it can also be a wake up call, the life-altering reality check you needed to heal the old wounds. The Other One can be the final grain of sand tumbling into the lower half of the hourglass to tell you that it is time to flip your relationship on its head and begin again.

Again, the space is The Problem that exists between the two of you and The Other One is but a mere distraction. If both you and your beloved want to have a future together, evict the distraction and get busy building a new life.

This is a deeply shattering time. Allow yourselves and your old broken relationship to be completely destroyed.  And then, be bold enough to bring your true self to the table and brave enough to allow your partner to do the same. Speak the unspeakable.  Forgive like you want to be forgiven. Open your heart and invite the love of your life to enter once more. Touch. Look into one another’s eyes like there is no such thing as time.

Say yes to today, to a beautiful new way of being together, and then recommit to your togetherness every morning when you rise. And if you rise and yes doesn’t feel true for you, you owe it to one another to speak into it. Yes, ask every single day. If you both choose to embrace this invitation, you can give birth to a brand new love.

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.

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 21, 2016

10 Surprisingly Honest Reasons To Make Home Your Happy Place

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Space healing isn’t about making your place pretty or zen or whatever else “they” say a home “should” be. It’s about making your home your happy place.

Here are 10 surprisingly honest reasons my space healing graduates say yes to this workshop. We hope it helps you decide if this path is right for you. (FREE book giveaway at the bottom! Keep reading…)

1. My space makes me sick to my stomach.
Because I literally feel sick (nauseated) when I open my eyes and really see the disarray, disorder and discord in my home and I feel like it’s all my fault. Doing the 27-things thing and listening to and participating in the calls quells that. Basically you are my Alka-Seltzer. – N.D.

2. My space is kicking my ass.
Because I’m tired of feeling like my things control me. – M.L.

3. Healing my space heals my heart.
Somehow my space is a virtual mirror of my spirit or inner life, I think. When I do even small things to fix/heal my physical (outer) space, it has a magical way of healing or easing some tension internally. I know that I am not my space, but seeing that I can improve even part of it gives me hope for improving my inner things that need healing. Plus, it makes me happy! – T.W.

4. Sanity is more important than stuff.
Because I feel better when my efforts can go into taking care of me instead of stuff. – L.S.

To bring clarity and calmness to a chaotic life. – D.B.

5. I need a fresh start.
Right now, it is to begin again. When I relocate, what do I want to take with me? P.D.

6. I want to feel better.
It just feels really good. Kind of the difference between a sunny day and an overcast day. – A.M.

7. I need to be more productive.
So that I can have the work space to get done everything I want to get done – L.W.

Because it’s not about expectations or clean, it’s about creating a space I can walk into without feeling bad about all the stuff I wish I did. – S.M.

Because otherwise it’s non-functional. I can’t find things I need when I need them, I waste time looking, it’s frustrating. I deserve support. I deserve to be able to do what I want to do in the house without having to wade through a pile of clutter and not be able to find what I need to do it! Because I deserve to be in a beautiful home that reflects what’s important to me. Because I deserve to be inspired by my space. Because I don’t want my energy dragged down by an environment that I trip over every time I try to thrive. Because I want to thrive. Stop me anytime… – T.H.

8. I want love, not stuff.
To make room for relationships in my life that matter – A.C.

9. This is a righteous act of rebellion. I want to heal my space because making it happen will be the best way to say, “F*CK YOU!” to the people who say I can’t do it! Those are the same people who criticized me until I was totally depressed, which is how things ended up a mess in the first place. These folks think I can’t be healthy and get my stuff in order. I have already proven them half wrong by coming out of the depression – I am literally happier than I have ever been! Now I am going to reward myself by getting rid of the junk that depression forgot to take along when it moved out, so I have a welcoming place for myself and the people who have loved me all along. – L. R.

10. I want to be me. . . the real me.
Because I know it’s not the real me, and I’m tired of hiding behind the clutter. Because it’s exhausting… mental, physically, spiritually. By the way, I’m making great progress (greater than the past). It’s not completely visible to the naked eye yet, but it’s getting there! – M.M.

Now, it’s my turn.

When I started this space healing journey, I knew it was important but I could not have conceived of the radical ways this work would change my life. Looking back, it’s as though I emerged from childhood with the jigsaw puzzle of my identity filled with pieces I’d acquired from the world around me. Parents, peers, the education system, media, and the rest told me who I was and what mattered and how I was supposed to act. It wasn’t all that bad, it just wasn’t true. Not for me. But I didn’t know to challenge any of it, so I stumbled through early adulthood without  an authentic connection to myself. My life was full and chaotic but I had no real relationship with myself to guide me.

Space healing allowed me to unpack the assumptions and dig into the truth of who I am.

It continues to allow me to recognize and challenge the things, thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and relationships that no longer serve me. And now that I have the confidence and tools to release what’s untrue, I make space for the beautiful, dynamic, unconventional experience that I came here to live.

And with all of that bullshittery out of the way, I feel free to live my truth… to live my dream. Every day, when I say yes to this journey, I make space in my life for me.

WORKSHOP NOTICE: The current “Is Home Your Happy Place?” workshop is free to anyone who is ready to free themselves from the bullshittery. We’ve already begun but there’s still time for you to join us before registration closes on Friday, January 22, 2016.

BONUS: All participants will be entered into a drawing for your very own signed copy of my new book, “Is Home Your Happy Place? The Unruly Woman’s Approach to Space Healing.” Say yes to you today! Click here for workshop details and see the FREE registration instructions at the top.

Image: Corie Howell via Flickr

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
January 13, 2016

House Rules

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Every now and then, two people hire me to support them both through a tender time in their relationship. We work on whatever feels true for them and the intentions vary a great deal. One topic that almost always bubbles up is conflict resolution. Recently, I “heard” to ask one couple to work with me to create a list of rules to help them make better choices during times of conflict.

What I love most about this list is that these aren’t my ideas about what’s best for them. I asked each of them to write me their (unedited) wish list of ways to bring their collective best at times of conflict.

Partner #1’s ideas

  • Be nice, not hurtful.
  • If you’re feeling hurt, tell me.
  • If you’re done, be done. Don’t get in a parting shot.
  • Operate on good faith
  • Give the benefit of the doubt
  • Don’t assume a fuck up is part of my character. Ask. Explain how I hurt you.
  • Recognize your own limits in a discussion and own them – communication isn’t your strong suit. What you think isn’t always what comes across.
  • If I ask for clarification, I’m not trying to beat you. I’m trying to understand you.
  • Don’t assume that I should know something. Check.
  • Acknowledge me. Out loud.
  • I understand that you’re mad. But don’t stay mad because you think you should.
  • Be open to my efforts (and recognize them as such)
  • Be open to your affectionate feelings toward me. Let them flow when they want, and don’t ever feel like you need to force it (fake it til you make it is ok, though)
  • De-escalate at every opportunity. Talk through, not over/around
  • Be intellectually honest. See that you may have not had the info you needed/missed something, and be willing to change accordingly.

Partner #2’s ideas

  • Assume all interactions / feelings are based on good will.
  • Communicate as clearly as possible. If an interaction changes quickly, consider a trigger being at play. Try not to snap back (escalate) but to call it what it is.
  • Check in with your own feelings. Own them. Maybe even disclose them proactively if you might need a little more space / gentleness / whatever.
  • Keep the ego in check. Everyone has different needs and wants, it’s not a personal attack if someone wants something different than what you hoped they wanted.
  • Clean up after yourself as much as possible. Don’t make yourself crazy about it but maintain the basics (dishes, wrappers, etc. to sink or trash). Paying attention to bigger things and helping out when able is really appreciated (vacuuming, organizing avalanche of kids’ toys, refill soap or paper towels).
  • Respect privacy. I am a more private person and don’t want to talk about tender things with just anybody. It feels unfair and hurtful when you share my more personal issues with others (in my presence or not).
  • Don’t drink directly from the milk container. Sometimes I use milk in cooking and it’s just gross to have crumbs floating in the milk.
  • Don’t yell at the kids or each other. As much as possible let’s really STOP.

These 13 house rules are the final product of our work together:

HOUSE RULES

  1. Be nice or leave (the conversation).
  2. If you’re going to leave, leave respectfully.
  3. Assume the best in one another.
  4. Bring the best of yourself.
  5. Seek understanding instead of right and wrong.
  6. Remember your partner may not know or understand what has happened or is happening.
  7. Ask questions and be open to receiving questions.
  8. Be as open to one another as you can bear to be in each moment. (Disclose feelings, reach out, reveal self, etc.)
  9. Be willing to recognize and disclose triggers. (Clues: Yelling, hateful words, disrespect, dragging up old stuff, always/never, etc.)
  10. Do “The Work” together and individually. This may mean returning to find resolution on previously “left” matters.
  11. Ask for what you need or desire.
  12. Take care of your own shit and the family’s collective shit.
  13. Respect one another’s privacy. If you’re not certain, ask first.

Are you bringing your best self to the conflicts in your home? Do you think a process like this could help? What do you need from your partner? What do you need to remember when the going gets tough?

Image: Andrius Petrucenia 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.
November 10, 2015

We Still Can’t Buy Happiness: An Open Letter To Oprah Winfrey

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If you’re hunting for the perfect sofa to nap, lounge and roll around on all weekend long, go for the couch with a depth of 36 to 42 inches. – Joann Pan, How To Make Your Home Your Happy Place on Oprah.com

Oprah, this article makes me want to pull my hair out. This is 2015 and you are still talking about how buying more stuff is the way to cultivate happiness in our lives. Still. STILL. 

How is this even possible? Look around.

We’ve been buying more stuff (and the containers and systems to try to live peacefully among it) for years (MANY YEARS) and the search for happiness continues. Most days, it feels like we are further from it than before.

If stuff could make us happy, we would have long ago burst into flames from the intensity of it all. We are overloaded with stuff. Still, not happy.

No, it’s not the extra deep couch, nor is it the layered rugs, or even hotel room bedding trickery that can make home a happy place. And it’s damn sure not the hard corners that will make or break us.

And yes, plants can bring a place to life as little else can but please — for the love of all things glittery — please bring me the person whose home was wildly happy EXCEPT for their crappy lighting. Please. Because I want to meet the person who lives one set of recessed lights short of conquering their happy threshold. Bring them to me and I’ll buy the lights myself!

Now, I’m not saying that these six tips are completely useless. Who doesn’t love a little softness thrown into nice square space. But is happiness what you’re pitching here? Because it feels more like pretty or warm or welcoming, or even  magazine-ready.

Oprah, is this what the women you came to this planet to serve really need to know about cultivating happiness in their lives? 

Maybe it’s time for you to hop back into that sweet bus and tour the humble homes of some of the regular folks in this country? 

Too long, O. It’s been too damn long. 

While you were holed up at HQ making advertising deals with Stuff manufacturers, I’ve been out here trying to pick up the pieces with the women who are drowning in this bullshittery. And let me reassure you, we’ve got ourselves the makings of a crisis here.

They are up to their eyeballs in dishes and laundry, carpool and co-op, homework and holding their families together.  Paper is kicking their collective asses. They are numbing with trips to the mall and Target and the thrift store, convinced it’s nothing like when “addicts” do whatever they use to attempt to feel better.

(Lots of them are numbing with the stuff “addicts” use, too, so don’t go thinking this is not a big deal.)

These women are struggling. Like *really* struggling. They turn to you for guidance because you’re OPRAH. And you keep giving them one more round of buy-more-shit-and-then-you’ll-feel-complete.

I’m dying here. We’re all dying here. Our planet is dying here.

Please just give me one issue about releasing what no longer serves us. Show us how to discover the real reasons why we keep doing so much harm to ourselves and our planet, and then show us how to heal those wounds. Show us how to reconnect with ourselves so we can see what’s true for us, and how the rest is simply holding us in old patterns of the people who no longer want to be. And please, really please, help us figure out how to keep from teaching our children that Stuff will make them happy or this is never going to end.

Oprah, you can do better than this. Let’s have the courage to get REAL with one another. Let’s admit that what we’ve been doing is not working. Let’s admit that we’ve already bought the stuff that was supposed to fix us and we are not yet fixed.

Call me, or read this. We need to cultivate a real solution. Together.

As always, if you need support, I’m here.
November 5, 2015

Recycled Heartbreak

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Do you ever show up in your life in a way you vowed you never would?

Most of the time, when tender situations arise between me and someone else, I feel equipped to do what I can to tend it. After assessing the situation, I figure out the unmet need or desire, and do what makes sense. It’s not always a party but it’s doable. The situation and the action I take in return work well together. Usually, I have what it takes to take care of my business.

At other times, I seriously feel like I’m going to lose it. An old, violent, wounded part of me rises up and tries to take over.

I feel like yelling and the words that fill my mouth are hateful and unproductive. I want to hurl them, like hot coals, at the source of my rage. It feels like my blood is boiling inside my veins. My thoughts are dark and angry, the life that was dreamy just a few minutes ago suddenly feels hopeless. The anger tries to consume me. 

But anger is not the only emotion that becomes extremely intense when I’m triggered. Fear can literally take my breath away. Sadness threatens to swallow me whole. I’m sometimes completely paralyzed by uncertainty. 
When the feelings are so big we can’t bear to experience them — pushing us to unleash that intensity on someone else or simply run away from it all — it is because regular every day emotions are being over-amplified by our old wounds. Suddenly, the actions we are tempted to take are way out of proportion to the situation at hand. 

When we are triggered and we release that toxic energy back into the world, we are perpetuating the very same violence that created the wound within us.

Is it hard to feel that surge and not release it? Hell yes, it’s one of the hardest things we will ever do.
But if we don’t do the work — find a healthy way to process that trigger and heal that wound — we allow that addictive cycle to level up again. We, the ones who were once the wounded child, become the abuser and the people we love become our victims.
Far too often, the violence we perpetuate is against ourselves.

We must take a stand. We must do this work. We must cultivate healing and open our own hearts. Otherwise, we keep giving birth to more of the same damned heartbreak.
 
THIS is what’s happening in the Trigger Happy Holidays workshop. We will learn how to identify triggers and we will learn the HEALTHY ways to process them and heal our hearts. We begin on Saturday. Click here to learn more and join us. You deserve the support it takes to heal. 
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Newsletter love from 11/15/15. Click here to join the mailing list!

Nicole Pierce via Flickr
As always, if you need support, I’m here.
October 22, 2015

Free Yourself

Mala LOVE.
Mala LOVE.

“You deserve to heal and it’s completely unacceptable for your healing journey to be held hostage by a person who will not do The Work with you. Those who broke our hearts cannot be trusted to heal them.” – Christy, to a client, today

The Unruly Woman is a safe space for you to heal old wounds, discover your truth, and open your heart. Are you ready?

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!
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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.
July 22, 2015

Workshops: Say Yes To YOU!

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Reclaim Your Space & Take Back Your Life!

The Tame Your Space workshop is a great option for those who are new to The Unruly Woman’s clutter-clearing/space taming ways or anyone who wants to begin again. Go here to learn more and register…

Details: 6 weeks, private sessions optional, begins August 29, 2015, fee $99, group calls at 9:00 am Central on Saturdays.

Trigger Happy Holidays!
More soon…

Find Your Purpose!
This new workshop will help you discover (or rediscover) and move into alignment with your life purpose. We will explore purpose and passions, and the ways that you can harness yours to bring more joy, energy, health, and abundance into your life.  Go here to learn more

Details: 4 weeks, includes one private session, begins January 2016, fee $99, group calls at 10:00 am Central on Saturdays.

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.