Conscious Business

Reclaiming My Original Medicine

Original Medicine, Part 1/4

About a month ago, I experienced a profound shift back into myself, which reconnected me with my Original Medicine in a way that I hadn’t even realized was missing. I’ve been keeping quiet about this as I integrate and process, but I’m finally ready to share. This is the first of four installments in the story of Original Medicine that I will share with you during the month of July.

As part of a mentorship weekend with my cohort, I had the pleasure of receiving a session of Equus work from Jesse Johnson. I had looked forward to this for the entire six months leading up to the weekend. I have always felt very connected with horses (both through riding them as a kid and working with them as part of my practice in recent years).

In Equus work, the horses serve as the guides and mirrors of the person receiving the session. I knew that whatever energy and emotion I was feeling would be reflected in the behavior of the horses. These horses in particular were all wild mustangs that had been rounded up by the BLM off federal land in Oregon. Their first contact with humanity had been incredibly traumatic (think helicopters and lassos), but they had since been rescued and gentled under the compassionate care of the ranch owner. I felt simultaneously honored to work with the horses, humbled by their powerful presence and reverent of their pure energy.

Horses.png

Our exercise consisted of working directly with the horses in pairs. My partner and I elected to go first and were matched with a gorgeous black gelding named Kett. My intention for this practice was to simply enjoy myself, to embody and emit my heart light and to connect with my Original Medicine. Our goal was to silently/nonverbally communicate and connect with Kett and with each other. There was no particular agenda to this exercise, but to simply play with the dynamic.

I immediately dropped into my heart space and felt resonant with Kett. I stood next to him and placed my hand on his withers, then issued a silent invitation and started walking. He paced next to me, turning as I turned, stopping and starting again as I walked. I felt completely present, joyful and aligned.

After a minute or two, I felt my thoughts shift to my partner and my desire for her to have an experience with us. Instantly, Kett stopped walking beside me. I tried to gently encourage him to resume our engagement, and even tried to amplify the energy to elicit a bigger response, but he stood resolutely still. I attempted to shift my energy back into my heart but found myself wrapped in thoughts like, “I really want my partner to have the experience she wants,” and “I hope she doesn’t think I’m monopolizing the exercise.” At this point, my partner stepped forward and formed her own connection with Kett. He began to walk with her, just as he had with me.

As I witnessed their interaction, I felt my energy return back into my heart and connected with my partner. I relished feeling her enjoyment of the experience. I then felt our collective three-way energy as both my partner and I connected with each other and with Kett. Together, my partner and I amplified our collective connection and made our energy bigger. Kett began to trot, then to canter around the arena as we silently urged him with our energy and intention.

As we brought Kett back down to a walk and closed the exercise, Jesse asked me what I had noticed and what Kett and my partner represent in my life. I shared, “Kett represents my connection with Spirit and my authentic light… My Original Medicine. My partner represents my Earthly support and physical structures. When all three (Self, Spirit and Earth) are aligned and connected, amplification and movement happens. When I tried to amplify the energy with Kett by myself, it didn’t work. When my partner and I worked together to amplify the energy, it worked and we got to run together. In order to create movement with my light and with Spirit, I need to bring in the Earthly support. Then we had momentum and it was easier to keep it going.”

Since this experience from last month, I’ve been sitting with that question. How am I living in alignment with my Original Medicine? How am I bringing this into balance in all three realms of Self, Spirit and Earth? Are there areas where this is incongruent?

You may recall that, a few weeks ago, I told you that I was remodeling my work and I asked you what you would like to see from me and my offerings. I have taken your feedback to heart and have made adjustments accordingly. This new direction feels far more aligned between Self (what I’m excited about and lit up by), Spirit (my authentic agreement with Source and my Original Medicine) and Earth (how I am offering and expressing this work, and what my community is asking of me). I will be sharing the result of this inquiry in two weeks (on July 18).

In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from July:

July 4 (today): Reclaiming Original Medicine (story and context for you)
July 11: What Is Original Medicine? (information and offering for you)
July 18: Introducing the I AM Project (special offer for you)
July 25: Introducing I AM Medicine (special invitation for you)

Sacred Finances (Are you in right relationship with your money?)

Let's talk about money!

...did you just cringe? A year ago, I probably would have. Or at least given a reluctant sigh.

However, over the past year, I've been diving deep into my relationship with money, the financial side of my business, learning to love profit margins and paying myself a salary. Since practicing some very specific things over the past year, I have noticed a very significant change in my finances:

So far in 2018, I have grossed an equivalent income to the entire year of 2017, and I have netted almost triple what I netted by the end of last year.

I feel like I can't overemphasize this. Let me say it a different way. So far, in 4 months, I have grossed the SAME amount of money and netted almost 3X the amount of money as I did during 12 months last year. This means I'm on track to triple my income.

Why am I sharing all of this? After all, talking about money is generally taboo. However, I have a few very specific reasons for speaking so openly about a crunchy topic:

  1. I believe that the more we avoid discussing something uncomfortable, the more power we give it. Every time we avoid talking about money, we become more afraid of it. Therefore, by bringing it out into the open, we can become more comfortable with it.
  2. Healers and people working in the spiritual/personal development field especially tend to have wounds around money. "I don't deserve to be paid for what comes naturally to me." "How is it fair for me to charge someone to help them?" "My teacher didn't charge for healing work so neither should I." Sound familiar? All of these block us from owning our prosperity.
  3. Finally, if there is anything that I did to help myself that might support you on your path, I want to share that with you! It is my mission to empower other people through my own life and choices. If some of these tools, techniques and resources might be helpful, I want you to have them.

In no particular order, here are some of the things that I have done in the past year to come into right relationship with money: (All of this is to the best of my memory... honestly, there's a lot of this that has been happening over the past few years in my internal work.)

  • I consciously claimed that I wasn't happy with my current financial situation. (This might seem too obvious, but it's an important step. If we're settled into complacency, or a belief that we're "getting along okay," nothing will change.)
  • I talked to money. I treated it like an entity with a unique consciousness, had conversations with it, wrote letters to it, and got to know it as a specific frequency, rather than an abstract.
  • I took $3500 in hundreds out of the bank and meditated with a stack of cash. I held it in my hands, went through the stack and thanked every bill, set them out on an altar and acknowledged them every day for a month (read more about that here).
  • I journaled about money. A LOT. I wrote about my beliefs around money, my relationship to receiving, my understanding of my own worthiness, and my place in the global economy.
  • I moved to a new space that enables me to comfortably work from home. I now have a gorgeous office that is a 20-second commute.
  • I made a living prosperity altar. I asked the tree outside my office window to be my "Prosperitree." I placed crystals around the base, hung a beautiful bird (squirrel) feeder to bring traffic to the Prosperitree, and I water it regularly with prayers and nutrients.
  • I listened to Fredric Lehrman's Prosperity Consciousness. Repeatedly.
  • I quit my part-time job as a substitute high school teacher and tutor. This job was barely bringing in any money, but I kept it around as a subconscious safety net. As long as I had it on the side, it meant that I had a fallback in case my business wasn't thriving (read more about that here).
  • I released parts of my work and my offerings that were no longer lighting me up. It meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant disengaging with old energies to make room for the new.
  • I got very clear about who I wanted to serve and how I wanted to do that. This also meant "leaving money on the table," but it also meant that the clients who I did choose to take on were far more aligned with my work and my practice.
  • I started looking at the longevity of my business, and building in practices that would allow me to do less, but be more effective in what I was producing.
  • I got over my fear of selling people into my work by practicing it a bajillion times.
  • I started working with a new mentor who has a healthy relationship with business.
  • I started tracking and paying attention to all the nitty-gritty financial parts of my business, rather than just the big picture of income/expenses.
  • I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. Repeatedly.
  • I shifted from my bank to a credit union. This served to work with a financial institution that was way more in alignment with my values, but also enabled me to actually practice the techniques in Profit First and Prosperity Consciousness.
  • I practiced seeing my business as the thing that would fuel and fund my lifestyle, rather than my life fueling and funding my business.
  • I started honoring the actual value of my time, and asking for that level of compensation.
  • I started budgeting for travel, for self-care and for financial independence.
  • I got really good at being uncomfortable. ***This process started way more than a year ago, but it has served me so much in my financial work that it deserves a place on this list. The better you can get at being okay with being uncomfortable, the easier it will be for you to sort through your finances.

My best advice to you (if you want to come into better relationship with your finances) is to steel yourself, sit down and actually start looking at this stuff. Looking at your financial situation won't make it any worse, I promise! But it WILL help you feel more empowered to actually know what's going on with your money.

Here are some of my favorite exercises I did that I invite you to practice:

  • Talk to money. There is no particular quantity required for this. Get a dollar bill out of your wallet and hold a conversation with it. Ask it questions.
  • Journal prompt: "What beliefs do I have about money? What does that say about me? How do I want to feel about money?"
  • Make a prosperity altar. It can be a living altar like mine (a tree or plant that feels especially abundant), or an interior altar of your choosing.

Here's to our prosperity!

The Acualization of a Vision

How can a little, gold matchbox symbolize so much?

This past weekend marked the first of three retreats with my I AM Alchemy students. This initiatory weekend involved a fire ceremony, and as part of the ritual items I provided, I had metallic gold matchboxes custom printed with my I AM Alchemy program logo and a special quote.

I love them SO much.

I AM Alchemy

It feels almost over-the-top how much I adore these little matchboxes. I mean... it's just a matchbox, right?

When I shared these sentiments with my mentor, she asked what else the matchboxes might mean to me. I considered for a moment before replying that these matchboxes were the first physical, tangible items produced in relation to my program. Everything thus far has existed as digital material or ideas in my head. In a way, these matchboxes were the first time that I AM Alchemy has had a "body."

As someone who provides the invisible (Spiritual Mentorship and Mastery is a service-based business with almost nothing tangible involved), opening the box to see these beautiful, shiny matchboxes left me feeling a sense of joy, giddiness and childlike pleasure. I took one out and admired the gleam, the quality of the matches, the perfect printing of the logo, the saying I carefully chose...

I AM Alchemy has been in the creation process for at least three years. I have produced various pieces of the material, called it a few different things and generally kept it small as I continued to learn exactly how it wanted to be born. Now that it has finally begun as a year-long, deep-dive journey, these sweet matchboxes feel like a kind of "proof" that it exists! To me, they symbolize the years of inquiry, study, investigation, writing, trying out material, channeling, planning and TRUSTING that this body of knowledge needed to be shared. These matchboxes symbolize every moment of doubt I overcame, every time I wanted to quit and didn't, every tear I shed wondering if I could ever actualize the vision I had for so long. They are evidence to me that I am capable, that I have created something of value and that finally, this program has truly made its way into the world to initiate others into the path.

Yes, they are "just" matchboxes. But it feels SO good to hold the box, admire the golden sheen, and with childlike enjoyment, strike a match and witness a spark igniting to actualize a dream.

Are you interested in participating in I AM Alchemy next year? Get on the wait list for 2019, and you'll be the first to know when I open applications this fall! Plus, receive an Early Bird Bonus!

Journal Prompt:

What vision of mine is ready to actualize? What does it need for that to happen? What do I need for that to happen? What validation do I need to receive to "know" that my vision has truly been born?

"What if...?" (Releasing the Safety Net)

I did something yesterday that is kind of scary, but ultimately empowering... a vote of confidence in myself, if you will.

I released my Safety Net.

Joy of Energy (my wonderful business, passion project and the entrepreneurial face of my life purpose) officially opened in May of 2009 when I registered with the Oregon Secretary of State. In other words, I have been in business for over eight years.

...and for that entire time, I have had some additional form of employment, until yesterday.

My Safety Net was born when I graduated from college with no business plan, no business training and no idea what it took to run my own company. Naturally, I did what more and more young adults do these days when they want to enjoy a new experience, and I took off to live in a foreign country for a year. I worked at a language school in Spain, traveled all around Europe and perfected my Spanish. It was great!

When I returned to the US and started to think about considering building my business, I applied to a couple of local high schools as a substitute teacher and private tutor. After all, I figured it was a good idea to have a Safety Net as I tried to bring some clarity to the nebulous idea of what I was doing with my company.

During the first couple of years of Joy of Energy, my Safety Net paid to keep my business alive. I didn't make a lot of money as a substitute teacher and tutor, but it was a lot more than I earned from my business, and it allowed me the time and freedom to continue to grow personally and professionally.

The ratio of my sources of income gradually shifted, and for the last couple of years, I have been spending much less time working my second job. But even as my business grew more and more profitable, I still kept a couple of spaces open in my calendar to meet with high school students and teach them Spanish. I would explain myself to someone, listing the fact that I love speaking Spanish (true), I enjoy working with teenagers (true most of the time) and that I viewed it also as an opportunity to offer some mentorship and life skills to students who spend all day in their brains and out of their hearts (definitely true). But the hidden reason that I continued to hold onto my second job--the reason that I just discovered yesterday, when I felt a twinge of fear as I let it go--is that I have been afraid to lose my Safety Net.

This had been the plan all along: my business would eventually grow to booming success (still working on the booming part, but it's getting there) and I would get to devote myself completely to the work I love the most. I knew at the end of the school year this past June that I was done with my second job, and yet, I still felt a little jolt of fear yesterday when I informed the school that I would no longer be available.

I listened with a compassionate ear to all the concerns raised by my Fear Body (which is, after all, only trying to keep me safe). Here are some of them:

  • What if I have a really slow month (or a few really slow months) and I can't pay my bills?
  • What if all this amazing progress and momentum I've achieved stops?
  • What if I really need those extra few thousand dollars a year I was making with my Safety Net and then I don't have it?

You get the idea. All of these fears essentially boil down to the core Fear of Failure. If I fail at my business, I no longer have a backup source of income.

In response to all these doom-and-gloom What If? questions from my Fear Body at the idea of releasing my Safety Net, I played my own What If? game with my Heart:

  • What if my business continues to grow and become more profitable?
  • What if the extra time and energy I have from not working a second job gets to go into my own work and creative projects instead?
  • What if I trust myself enough to know that my business is already succeeding, and will continue to do so?
  • What if my enjoyment of speaking Spanish, working with youth and offering mentorship gets to be met in a more fulfilling way than working with bored high school students?
  • What if I allow my expertise and established work history speak for itself, and trust that more and more people will want to continue to work with me?
  • What if I get to be paid lavishly to love my life more every day?

This second What If? game is way more fun, and ultimately more indicative of all the work I've done to get here. During these last 8+ years, my company and I have been growing up together. My Safety Net provided not only a financial airbag, but an emotional cushion that I am finally ready to release.

I no longer need the idea of a backup plan. I fully step into radical trust of myself, of my work, of my darling business (basically my 8-year old child) and of my ability to continue to grow and thrive.

Here's to soaring without a net! What If...?

I invite you to play your own game of "What If?"

We are all fairly accustomed to the version of this game played by our Fear Bodies, where the What If? questions usually end in worst-case scenarios.

But what if we were to use this same inquiry to imagine a healthy and positive outcome? (See what I did there?)

I introduce you to "What If? Up-Thinking."

Rather than using our What If? to give voice to all the ways in which something could possibly go wrong, let's use the power of What If? to up-level the perceived possible outcomes into eager anticipation, rather than anxiety.

Here's how to play the game:

  1. Begin by choosing your own adventure: You know that thing you've been holding onto some resistance, fear, anxiety or concern about? Yeah, that one. Breathe this situation into your awareness.
  2. Allow your Fear Body to voice their What If? concerns around the situation. Remember that your Fear Body exists to try and keep you safe, so it's trying to be helpful and keep you from getting hurt. Sit with compassion and allow it to do its job, and make a list of all the What If? worst-case scenarios it offers up for consideration.
  3. Thank your Fear Body.
  4. Read through this first list of What Ifs? and try to identify the core theme(s). What is the root of your Fear Body's concern?
  5. Take a moment to close your eyes and breathe.
  6. Drop into your Heart and invite it to share its wisdom with you.
  7. Allow your Heart to voice its What If? hopes around the situation. Remember that your Heart exists to inspire and propel you forward, and that part of its magic comes from dreaming bigger than you might otherwise allow yourself. Sit with whatever emotions arise as your Heart offers you its list of What If? best-case scenarios.
  8. Thank your Heart.
  9. Read through your second list of What Ifs? and try to identify the core theme(s) there. What is the root of your Heart's hope?
  10. Sit with these core themes from each list and notice how they inform each other. What do you feel as you contemplate the beliefs associated with each What If?

This game invites us to not only up-level our thinking, but to go deep into identifying the root of our hypothetical beliefs. The clearer the relationship we have with our What If? scenarios, the easier it is for us to create new patterns of thinking and choosing.

I'm curious to hear how this game goes for you! Feel free to let me know how it goes, or contact me for a consultation if you would like some support.

Healing the Money Story

MONEY MEDITATION

Following Tuesday's episode of Shaman Sister Sessions in which we discussed healing the archetypes (catch this and other episodes here), I decided to do some of my own work on my inner "Impoverished Healer" and my Money Story today.

In the way that the Universe works in perfect timing, I received some immediate feedback that this was the perfect thing to do. One of the ridiculously synchronistic signs was this journal prompt I received in my email today:

"What do my thoughts, fears, believes and desires about money say about me? How do I want to treat money? How do I want money to treat me?"

Here is my 10-minute flow journaling entry:

I am intimidated by Money. It has a cold face. It is dispassionate. I can't hear it the way I hear Life. The current of Money exists outside of me. It feels mechanical. I don't want to be a part of a mechanical, cold system. I do not see/feel the life in money.

I would like to understand the life force of money. I want to appreciate it as I appreciate living things. I want to feel its pulse and discover its warmth.

"Cold, hard cash." :(

Money is sovereign, it is not a servant. It has its own soul contracts and agreements. Money knows its own value.

I want Money to be attracted to my vibration. I want it to feel nourished in my presence--swoop in like a flock of sparrows to receive some admiration, appreciation, a handful of seeds, then fly out again to continue on its way.

I want to be friends with Money. I want us to be allies, partners, co-creative visionaries who conspire to bring Joy to all.

I want Money to be on board with my vision and show up to support me in its actualization. I want to honor the life of Money and view it as an equal--it is an entity in itself.

I want to understand its movements.

I want to invite Money to make itself comfortable with me and let us get to know each other. I want to offer it a cup of tea and look at crystals together. I want to thank Money for all that it has already offered me. I want to express my gratitude to this friend and ally who has grown with me and enabled me to invest in myself and my vision.

~~~

I followed this by sitting down and individually thanking a stack of $100 bills, then inviting them to get comfy on my meditation cushion. They seem to like it there.

Sacred Finances Conscious Business Money Meditation

Turning Down Clients: A Practice in Devotion and Discernment

IT IS OKAY TO TURN DOWN A CLIENT.

I just turned down a potential client who was interested in working with me because it felt like the wrong fit. When he described the kind of coach he was looking for, I knew that we wouldn't be a good match. I referred him to a colleague of mine who I felt would be a much better fit, but he was reluctant to contact this amazing practitioner because he was very attached to the idea of working with a woman.

In the past, I might have told him that we could work together, happily accepted his money and then struggled through a series of sessions that may not have served either of us. There can be a bit of ego, savior complex and/or scarcity mentality that comes into play when healers/coaches/practitioners are learning that IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO TO WORKING WITH SOMEONE. I have definitely fallen into this category before.

"Sure, I can do that kind of work." "This person really needs help!" "I could use the money." These were some of the arguments with which I would convince myself to take on a client that didn't feel quite right. And, invariably, something would be a bit off in our work together, and I would end up referring them to someone else. Fortunately, I only needed a few of these clients for me to fully learn this lesson.

Turning down a client is a practice in devotion and discernment. By holding the specific vision of the kind of client you want to work with, you attract more of those people to you and get to go that much deeper into the kind of work you love the most. Think of it as refining the agreement you have with Spirit about the way you want to show up in the world. If you're a generalist, you will continue to receive a broad spectrum of clients coming your way. The more you narrow it down and get specific about what you are here to do, the more your potential clients will align with that frequency.

As long as we're on the subject, let me practice being very specific:

My mission is to fully embody and express my Divinity/God Self on every level through my Joy, Love and Purpose, and in doing so, catalyze other people to do the same, thus bringing Spirit to full, grounded actualization on the Earth plane. I work with people who are in the process of awakening to their own Divine nature--those who hear the call to step fully into claiming their power and offering their Sacred Work to the world. I work with Warriors of the Light who are ready to be initiated into the full unfolding of their Soul's Mission. I work with Divine Embodied Beings who, every day, are committed to living fully expressed lives of Joy, Love and Purpose.

...Is that you?