I AM

My #1 Piece of Advice to Healers, Coaches, Practitioners and Fellow Seekers...

My #1 Piece of Advice to Healers, Coaches, Practitioners and Fellow Seekers on the Path

Nobody ever told me this.

In my 15+ years practicing Shamanic work, 12 years practicing Reiki and 9 years owning and operating my own business, not one single person ever gave me this piece of advice.

Which I find hilarious, because it's one of the most common pieces of advice that I'm offering to my Spiritual Mentorship clients.

As I continue to work with more and more people in a mentorship capacity (healers, coaches, practitioners, both those who are new to their practice and those who are well-established but wanting to serve more), one glaring commonality keeps coming up:

"I can't ____________________ until/because _______________________."

I can't start taking clients until I make a website.
I can't start offering sessions because I'm not totally clear on my niche yet.
I can't do healing work for other people until I've healed myself.
I can't take clients until I've practiced more and am really good at ______ first.
I can't _________ because I don't have a certification.
I can't quit my job because my healing practice isn't where I want it to be yet.
I can't shift the focus of my work because I'm known for __________.
I can't introduce this new practice I'm really excited about because it means I will lose clients who are used to me serving in a certain way.
I can't ___________ because the market is saturated and a bajillion people do that.

Do any of those sound familiar?

We humans are really, really good at coming up with reasons why we shouldn't do something that will stretch us, challenge us and move us in a direction of growth and expansion. I'm not sure if healer/coach/service-types are more prone to this (or if maybe that's just who I hang out with), but I can't tell you how many people over the years I have heard give all sorts of reasons why they can't offer their work.

Believe me, I do this, too! I have been through all sorts of my own versions of these statements over the years. They still come up, but I've learned to recognize them and move through them with a smile.

How?

Okay, so this #1 piece of advice actually comes in four parts. Here they are:

1. There is no "arrival."

Many of these "I can't" statements are conditional upon some sort of "arrival" or achievement--the idea that we must reach some sort of arbitrary finish line in order to finally offer our work or service.  Here's the kicker: the finish line keeps moving.

The more we know, the more we realize we don't know. (Or maybe that's just me.) We think that getting that certification will finally enable us to do this work, and then once we have it, we think we need another training on top of that, and then  we need to go study this supplementary practice, and then go train with XYZ expert in the field...

Guess what: we are never "done." There is no "arrival." There is no "I am finally qualified because I have all the certifications and know every little thing so now I can officially open my practice and start helping people!!"

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying, or has stopped growing, themselves.

You don't have to have all the answers to be a good healer/coach/practitioner/whatever. And while there might be some fields where certification or licensure is required by law, for the most part, you probably don't actually need to cross whatever arbitrary finish line you created for yourself in order to serve the people you want to help.

In fact, by waiting to offer your work until you've "arrived," you are making yourself unavailable to the people who need you.

Which leads me to...

2. Just do the thing!

Yup. It's that simple. Just start offering your work. Don't wait until you figure out exactly what you're offering, don't wait until you have a website, don't wait until you quit your corporate job, don't wait until you've healed yourself completely (see #1).

...because the best way for you to figure out what you're offering is to get immediate, direct feedback from doing the work.
...because the best way to make your website is once you already have a clear vision of how you are supporting people.
...because the best driver and inspiration for you to leave your corporate job to do the thing you love is doing the thing you love.
...because we are never done our healing journey. It is possible to be a phenomenal healer and still be on the path ourselves. In fact, it is impossible to be a phenomenal healer and NOT be on the path.

By simply doing the thing, eventually you will...

3. Master your craft.

Mastery comes from practice. There is no shortcut. There is no other way around it. Stop looking for a magic quick fix.

...and enjoy the journey of discovery! What happens when we treat the process and practice as the goal itself, instead of any imagined end result?

  • We allow ourselves to be fully present within the process.
  • We treat ourselves with more compassion, patience and generosity.
  • We treat others with more compassion, patience and generosity.
  • We are able to practice our craft with curiosity and awareness, as opposed to judgement and comparison.
  • We release attachment to outcome and take pressure off ourselves.
  • We usually enjoy ourselves more.
  • We get really freaking good at the thing we are practicing.

When we treat Mastery as a journey of practice, rather than any sort of state of enlightenment, it becomes more accessible to us and to our potential clients. I can guarantee you that anyone would rather work with you, the human who is practicing and mastering their craft all the time, than the all-enlightened-super-perfect-master-on-the-mountaintop. You've got this.

Which leads me to (most important part!!!)...

4. Let your I AM be your Medicine.

In other words, let your most authentic, fully expressed Self be your service. Yes. It's that simple. YOU, yourself, are the best Medicine you could offer.

As long as I'm making guarantees, I guarantee that there is someone out there who needs you, exactly as you are, to support them on their path. Not the version of you who looks cool on Instagram. Not the version of you who seems to have their whole life together. Not the version of you who has finally "arrived." (See #1.)

You, in your I AM, as your fully expressed Self, are ready to offer your Original Medicine to the world. Let that be enough.

Because it is enough.

Because you are enough.

This is one of the biggest challenges I have faced, personally and professionally: the idea that my Self, my I AM, exactly as I AM, is the perfect Medicine for me to offer. That it can really be that simple.

And the more that I have embraced my I AM and allowed my Original Medicine to come through in my work:

  • I trust myself more than I ever though possible.
  • I AM supporting myself and my clients through even bigger life challenges and changes with ease.
  • I have dramatically upleveled my practice and my business to greater degrees of alignment, effectiveness and grace.
  • My work is even more subtle, even more powerful and more enjoyable for me and my clients.
  • I AM experiencing more freedom of choice, time, resources and abundance.
  • I feel more authentically embodied in my life and my practice than ever before.

What would that version of your life be like? What would that version of your practice feel like?

Can you let your Self be enough?

If this advice resonates with you, I would like to offer you an invitation:

Next week, on Monday, August 13, I will open applications for I AM Medicine: the fall iteration of my Spiritual Mentorship work that begins September 4th. There is space in this work for you to explore your own I AM and claim your Original Medicine.

Are you ready to release any sense of "arrival?" Are you ready to just do the thing you have been waiting on? Are you ready to master your craft? Are you ready to let your most authentic Self be enough?

Any good mentor is walking the path with you, and I promise that I AM right here on this journey, too.

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)

To All the Changemakers: Do you trust yourself?

"I don't trust myself."

After having 20+ Personal Alchemy conversations over the last two weeks, this was the biggest theme I noticed across the board. I spoke with people in the personal development field, Spiritual seekers, coaches and healers. I spoke with people at the beginning of their journey and well-established practitioners. Almost everyone, when I asked what was keeping them from reaching the goals they shared with me, answered some variation on the theme of "I need to trust myself more before I can ____________."

Let's let that sink in for a moment.

Why don't we trust ourselves? If almost everyone feels this way, if this is so pervasive and universal, why aren't we talking about it more? Moreover, why do we feel guilty about it?

This was the other theme I noticed: almost every single time that someone shared with me that they did not trust themselves, it was followed by something like, "But I know I should," or "I'm working on it," or an embarrassed laugh.

It's like we think everyone else has it figured out. I could have told you before having all these conversations, and can 100% confirm to you now: nobody has it all figured out 100% of the time. That includes how we trust ourselves... or don't.

Every one of these people also shared with me beautiful dreams, visions that they had for themselves, their lives and their work in the world. I heard ideas about opening healing practices, writing books, starting nonprofits and opening retreat centers. And I also heard just as many people listing self-doubt as the reason for not fulfilling these dreams.

What is the cost of not trusting ourselves?

One of the pieces of advice I gave to a lot of people (that I'll share with you now) is that we can treat these moments when we don't trust ourselves as opportunities to remember who we are. Think about it: if you just met somebody and you don't know them, you're probably not going to trust them implicitly right off the bat. But by learning who they are, how they make decisions and live in the world, you can determine if they're trustworthy.

I invite you to go through that process with yourself. During those inevitable moments when we doubt ourselves, it's probably because we've forgotten who we are, we've drifted away from our center and are no longer connected with our core value system and way of being in the world. From that standpoint, we view these dreams and ideas as vague possibilities... something that exists only in a theoretical universe where we have it all figured out.

Slow down. Take a few breaths, call your energy and your power back to your core, and invite yourself back into your body. Create a sense of safety where you are fully connected with your highest self. If it resonates, offer yourself this affirmation:

I know who I AM.

I know what I Am.

I know how I serve

I trust myself completely.

After that, try asking...

Do I trust myself enough to__________________?

Calling All Changemakers: Last chance to apply for I AM Alchemy!

The Certification Training Course in the Art and Science of Personal Transformation
April 10, 2018 - March 30, 2019

Application Deadline: March 13, 2018

Through our I AM Alchemy work, you will:

  • Receive profound training in practical applications of magic, ritual and ceremony that will have a material, measurable effect on your life, your practice and your world through creating your reality and actualizing your intention.
  • Learn the philosophy, principles and practice of Alchemy from a modern, grounded perspective.
  • Become a magical practitioner capable of setting effective intentions, changing structures, altering reality and shifting the blueprint of your life.
  • Bring your I AM presence, your true Divine nature, to full actualization and expression.
  • Discover techniques to bring greater power and depth to your personal and/or professional healing practice.
  • Participate in practicum (facilitate Alchemical experiences for your fellow I AM Alchemists during the second half of the year).
  • Receive certification as an I AM Alchemy practitioner.

Are you ready to access the magic of I AM Alchemy?

Personal Alchemy

My Morning Practice lately has been largely a movement fusion of my own invention: DanYoCoGong (dance, yoga, core and qi gong). Here's a bit of the dance part to let the creative expression flooooow...

I had a mini Soul Map reading the other day with a new friend. One of the things that resonated most deeply was the confirmation she offered about letting the silly, funny and creative part of me shine through my work.

As I've been playing with this process of Personal Alchemy over the last several months, I'm noticing my internal objections that naturally arise. Historically, I haven't shown that side as much when it comes to my professional face. I think a lot of that has come from wanting people to trust me, think I am capable and qualified, and not too young to be guiding them through major life stuff (I started my business when I was 21).

However...

There is room for Divine Play in the healing process. There is room for laughter in the darkness. There is room for dancing and being funny, even when it feels like everything around you is heavy. It doesn't mean we're taking the work less seriously. It just means that we remember that all things are birthed from the void and that creation springs up where death has passed moments before.

It means we remember that we can exist simultaneously in grief and humor, rage and creation, heaviness and grace.

Let the creative expression flow.

Let the Alchemy of personal transformation unfold.

~~~

It's so easy for us to get stuck.

  • Have you ever taken a look at where you are in your life and had a sinking moment when you realized that you're in the same place you were a year ago? Two years ago?
  • Have you ever felt like you always get to a certain spot in your job, your life, your relationships... and then everything falls apart and you have to start over?
  • Have you told yourself over and over that you want to create a change in your life, but felt at a loss as to HOW that change was going to come about?

If you found yourself answering "yes!" to any of these questions, you might be stuck somewhere in one of the stages of the Alchemical process.

Alchemy is the process of change: even if we don't know it, we are moving through these stages in a continuous cycle throughout our entire lives. Most of us have no idea that we are living this cycle, and find ourselves washed around by the currents of change without any sense of direction or ability to consciously move through the process.

I have a gift for you.

I am offering eleven free one-hour sessions of Personal Alchemy! Here's the deal:

  • This is first come, first served: once they're booked, they're booked. No reschedules, no wait list. Yes, this is my gift to you.
  • We meet for one hour on my private conference line. I'll make a recording of your session, if you like!
  • We'll explore where you are in your life right now and discover which of the Alchemical stages you're currently in.
  • We'll look at the best way for you to get unstuck and continue to move through the cycle of Alchemy--get ready for personal practices and tools!
  • If it feels like a good fit, we'll talk about ways we can continue to work together in your process of change (I AM Alchemy or one-on-one with me).

Book your Personal Alchemy session here!

Last time I put out an offer like this, it filled within a few days. If you're interested, please book your session ASAP.

Once you're registered, I'll contact you with further details for our Personal Alchemy session! I look forward to diving in with you.

Self Mastery (Full Moon in Leo)

"Any Spiritual practice that I cannot apply to my lived experience is not worth my time."

You may quote me, if you like.

I enjoyed a tea date last week with a friend and colleague, during which she asked me if I thought that getting dressed up, wearing nice clothes, and in general indulging in personal, earthly pleasures conflicted with living in alignment with a Spiritual practice... Does living a rich, earthly, human life make us less spiritual?

My emphatic response, in short: No way!

There’s a term I came up with that I like to use with my clients and students to impress a certain idea upon them when discussing Self Mastery. The term is “Divine Embodied Being.”

I find this term very appropriate for a few reasons, but largely because it reminds us of the multi-faceted nature of our existence. The term “Human Being” is of biological origin and serves only to describe our physical and genetic makeup. How are we different from other beings? Well, we’re Human Beings!

However, we are so much more than our limbs and our brains and our genes. We are the embodiment of the Divine. Our physical forms provide the anchor for our souls to live on the Earth plane.

And so, we are Divine Embodied Beings. We are the physical manifestation of Spirit. We are Source and matter. If we wish to master one, we must master both.

It is so easy for us humans to use duality to separate and exclude: “If A, then not B.” Or, “If I am human, then I am not Divine,” or even, “If I am Divine, then I have no reason to pay attention to my human body.”

This last example is one that I see all too often, especially among people who have begun to realize their Spiritual awakening but have yet to balance it with the earthly aspects of their existence. Many clients come to me who are so focused on mastering the energetic part of their process that they haven’t bothered to bring the physical, earthly part of themselves up to speed yet.

Here are some examples of sacrificing our lived experience in the name of "Spirituality":

  • Having poor boundaries/allowing other people to walk all over us because we're afraid of being unkind or unconscious
  • Giving up things we love (that make us genuinely happy) because we are afraid of being "too attached"
  • Losing touch with our family/friends/community
  • Putting ourselves in compromising, potentially dangerous positions in the name of "spiritual growth" when any common sense would tell us to run away
  • Compromising our values for what we think is the "more conscious" course of action, even if it goes directly against our Truth
  • Avoiding healthy financial flow and structure because "money isn't spiritual"

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that, quite often, there is a period of adjustment when it comes to mastering all parts of ourselves as Divine Embodied Beings... and usually, the human parts of ourselves are on the losing end of the deal.

In order to honor all parts of our nature and live in the world as whole beings, it is of equal importance to devote care and attention to the parts of ourselves that are Divine AND the parts of ourselves that are Matter. Moreover, we must not treat them as separate facets of our existence, but as deeply interwoven and mutually necessary components of our wholeness. It is our bodies that offer a place for Spirit to live inside of us, and it is our Souls that animate our physical forms beyond the level of a biochemical machine.

True Self Mastery means living a rich life in all ways, and knowing that all parts of ourselves are of equal importance. Any Spiritual practice we adopt should uplift, improve and bring grace to our Human, embodied experience. Otherwise, why bother?

On the other side of the coin, any human experience or indulgence we offer ourselves should enrich and cultivate our Spiritual being. Otherwise, why bother?

Lunar Alchemy: Full Moon in Leo

I don't know about you, but I am so damn grateful for this upcoming full moon/ supermoon/ lunar eclipse. We live in a society that has collectively agreed to suppress, compress, categorize and diagnose us all into little boxes.

No effing thank you.

This Full Moon in Leo comes in with a roar to open up the biggest, most expansive container of SELF! How can we ever hope to know who we are if we can't see and fully experience all parts of ourselves? How can we actually be as big as we truly are?

Join me for a Full Moon journey of expansion, discovery and Mastery of Self.

Together, we will:
-Explore the themes of this Full Moon and discuss the magic of Lunar Alchemy
-Share our lunar intentions
-Receive a channeled transmission with information about supporting your intentions and placing our work in the global context
-Enjoy a group healing experience and embodied meditation practice to anchor in the energies
-Learn about the journey of I AM Alchemy

Sliding scale $44-22. Register to reserve your space. FREE for I AM Alchemy participants!

Here's my problem with the "New Year..."

I admit it--I'm a little bit of a grouch about the New Year. (In fact, I'm a bit grumpy about most organized holidays. My mom maintains that it's because I don't like being told what to do--I mostly just object to an arbitrary calendar.)

Don't get me wrong, I love honoring new beginnings. I actually celebrate the new year on the Winter Solstice--the point at which the days start growing longer with the return of the light here in the Northern Hemisphere. It feels great to acknowledge turning points, set intentions and enjoy changes in energy.

What drives me a little bit bonkers about the New Year is the "wave a magic wand" mentality that comes with it. The whole business of resolutions is just that: business. It's great marketing!

Most new year's resolutions are doomed to fail. People set completely unrealistic goals for themselves and abandon them after a few weeks, or set intentions for which they simply don't have the knowledge or skill set to fulfill.

So why, exactly, does this popular perception of the New Year frustrate the dickens out of me?

Because most people don't understand the nature of change and what it truly takes to create sustainable transformation.

I want people to succeed in the goals they set for themselves. Really, I do! I want people to feel empowered, enlivened and inspired to manifest the changes they most desire. More than just about anything, I hold in my heart the deepest wish for all humans to remember who they are and claim their role as the magical creators of their fabulous lives.

But it takes more than waving a magic wand to get there.

Among other things, it takes knowing ourselves, understanding our patterns, bring awareness to our choices, and being willing to feel uncomfortable. It takes being willing to feel, period!

It takes a willingness to master the cycles of power and come into right relationship with the nature of change.

Now, why don't we see that on a billboard?

Look below for my gift to you this January--the first step in mastering the cycles of change. Best wishes for a beautiful New Year!

"New Year, New You!"

...wait, what?

I've seen this marketing slogan all over the place every new year for as long as I can remember.

But what the heck does it actually mean? All of a sudden, the calendar flips and we transform into a different person? Some arbitrary day dictates a new chapter in our lives, where instantly we are capable of altering deeply ingrained patterns of thought, choice and behavior? That "New You" has been inside you all along, just waiting for the year to turn over so it can finally reveal itself?

Yeah, it doesn't work like that.

Of course we want the easy fix. Naturally, taking a deep look at the core of our identity structure can be pretty darn uncomfortable. But since we don't like to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced, it makes sense that we would rather hang all our hopes for personal transformation on a catchy slogan that requires no work or changes in behavior on our part.

"New Year, New You! Just make a wish, it will come true!"

Thank goodness it doesn't actually happen that way. We would be missing out on one heck of an epic journey into the center of our own Being... remembering your truest nature, the REAL you.

The only way we can actualize change in ourselves, our lives and our identities is by coming into deep, grounded knowledge of who we are--the I AM.

Join me for a master class on exploring your I AM, experience a guided journey and learn how to come into greater alignment with your Highest Self on every level.

Rather than the "New You," wouldn't you rather meet the "Real You?"

I AM an Alchemist

I have been working on developing an I AM Alchemy year-long training and certification program.

It's amazing how the core essence of who we are and what we're doing in the world can be right in front of our faces, and yet it sometimes takes years of practice, learning, falling down and peeling back the layers to see it properly.

I AM an Alchemist, and I have been one for not only this entire life, but definitely many lifetimes. Mentors and friends have reflected this to me over the years:

"Michelle, you're addicted to personal growth."

"Transformation is your THING."

"You work with the process of change better than anyone I know."

And yet, for most of my life, I was blind to the bigger vision of what I was doing.

I feared change because I didn't understand it. I submitted to transformation with gritted teeth because it felt beyond me, bigger than me and outside of me. I felt subject to the whims of the Universe and awash in a sea of energetic currents, and it felt as though every ounce of ground I gained took colossal effort.

Over the years, I softened my relationship with change. I learned to align with the Universal energy currents--the Cycles of Power--and to ride the waves rather than try to steer against them. I developed tools to bring ease and grace to my life. I learned to enjoy and look forward to the process of transformation with excitement, because I finally understood it. I had the tangible skills and embodied practice to become the magical creator of my life.

Alchemy is the art and science of transformation. For thousands of years and and for many devotees, the process of Alchemy provided the keys to undergo initiations of the spirit, burning away all that was heavy and impure in order to reveal the gleaming gold of an awakened soul.

In the year of I AM Alchemy, we'll be applying the magic of Alchemical principles and practices to master the process of transformation and create an easy relationship with change. We'll play with the Universal currents of energy and learn how to channel them into grounded manifestation of our intentions.

We'll explore our powers of self-transformation and actualization in order to come into the fullest expression of our I AM, bringing our God selves into existence on the Earth plane.

If you are interested in joining me on this journey, contact me and I will send you the information for the next steps.

Many blessings!