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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]

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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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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.

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