Trust

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?

Do I Trust Myself?

I had the most beautiful session yesterday with a client whom I have known for many years. We delved into some deep soul contract work (the subject of December's master class, in case you missed it! See below). As a part of this journey into her soul contract, we examined the idea of who we are in terms of trust.

How do we relate to the idea of trust and truth? How do we trust ourselves? How does that inform our identity, our I AM? In turn, how does that affect the way we live and the choices we make?

It can be easy to trust ourselves when things are going well. But the true test of our ability to ground in and fully surrender to radical self-trust comes when it feels like we have no idea what the heck we're doing. In those moments, we have the opportunity to pause, remember who we truly are, and say, "Yes!" to ourselves and our innate wisdom.

As I reflect on some of my major life events of 2017, I see plenty of places where I was able to drop into deep self-trust.

...and I also see some areas where it took me longer than I would have liked to get to that place, or where I didn't trust myself and my innate wisdom because I wanted something else to happen. In these moments, I ended up wishing I had just listened to that whisper at the core of my being that always tells me the truth.

All of these moments are important. I have learned just as much (more, actually) from those times of hesitancy and resistance as I have from my "easy" wins. As long as we can do so without punishing ourselves or spiraling into guilt, shame or blame, reviewing those times when we didn't fully trust ourselves can provide a tremendous opportunity to alter our patterns of behavior.

The more we can surrender into radical trust of our truest nature, the freer we will be to put it into action and show up the way we want to in the world. Here's to a 2018 full of opportunities to trust ourselves even more!

Journal Prompts:

As we head into the final days of 2017, I invite you to examine your relationship with trust--particularly how you trust yourself (or not):

When is it easy for me to trust myself?
When do I find it challenging?
What are the differences in those circumstances?
What does it take for me to bridge the gap?

"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.

What I Learned From Dancing With Angels

I'm feeling very tender and hypersensitive today.

But spending the weekend holding ceremony, communing with spirits, dancing with Angels and opening a Galactic channel will do that to you, I suppose.

I had the pleasure and honor of being invited to attend ceremony this past weekend with one of the foremost experts in Spiritism and Mediumship in the country. The weekend was a whirlwind of visions, healing, working in the astral plane and connecting with the Divine. I am being guided to share one particular message with you.

Part of the ceremony involved opening up the circle to practice Mediumship. For a more detailed discussion on the practice, please see this episode of Shaman Sister Sessions. In short, Mediumship is a process of opening oneself up to become available to connect with energetic forces, spirits, Angels, etc. In opening myself to practice Mediumship, I issued an invitation to Spirit to direct me in whatever way would serve the Highest and Greatest Good.

During a particular part of the ceremony, people were invited to come sit around the altar and open themselves to channel. I felt a nudge from Spirit to go to the altar, but the particular seat I wanted was already filled by someone else. I felt the nudge again, but still, I didn't move. Finally, I felt someone shove me in the back, making me fall forward out of my seat. Taking the hint, I went to kneel at the open space in front of the altar.

Immediately, I felt a rush of energy as my body began to move. I have experienced trance dance before, but never like this. I could feel beings moving my body to create a flow of energetic current, and I knew that they were Angels who had come to dance with me. After a few minutes, the song ended, and my body returned to relative stillness.

The music began again, and once more, the Angels started to dance my body. This time, I felt my mind creep in with its concern. "I'm only supposed to be at the altar for one song. I should go back to my seat and give someone else a turn." Immediately, however, the Angels responded with the knowledge that I was in exactly the right place, and they would release me when the time was right. I relaxed back into the dance, then felt that concern creep up in my mind again. I opened my eyes a tiny crack and saw that no one else at the altar was moving, and my mind seized upon the idea that not only was I hogging altar space, but I was the weirdo who was dancing while doing it.

Again, I felt the Angels calm my mind. They told me without words that I was in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing, and to continue to trust and be guided. Once more, I relaxed and allowed myself to be moved in the most beautiful dance, conducting the energy current through my body.

When the song ended the second time, I returned to stillness, and the Angels released me to go back to my seat.

What is the message from that experience? Drumroll, please:

As long as we practice trust and surrender to our guidance, we will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

That was one of my biggest takeaways of the weekend. I cannot overstate this, so I'll repeat it as a mantra that I invite you to say to yourself out loud:

As long as I practice trust and surrender to my guidance, I will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

Yes, our minds may creep in to make us doubt ourselves. Our human brains are very good at trying to keep us safe and make us question things that seem beyond reason or control. That is, after all, their job. But guidance exists beyond reason or control, and the Divine forces we invoke possess no human limitations or concept of shame or social correctness.

As I integrate the energies and messages from ceremony, I'll be asking myself the following questions (and I invite you to do the same):

  • Where in my life am I in alignment with my guidance?
  • Where in my life am I not in alignment with my guidance?
  • How can I more fully practice trust and surrender in order to bring myself into alignment with my guidance in all areas of my life?
  • What is required for me to show up differently to practice trust and surrender with ease and grace?
  • Where can I call guidance into my life in order to support me in embodying the Highest and Greatest Good?

And one more time, for good measure:

As long as I practice trust and surrender to my guidance, I will always be in exactly the right place, doing exactly the right thing.

Many blessings!

Walking Through Fire: Full Moon in Sagittarius

Full Moon in Sagittarius: Friday, June 9 at 6:10am PST.


"Elegant, curving lines, like the arching holes on the face of a cello, twist through the darkness. A reddish glow emerges from the depths, and the outline of pulsing embers becomes clear beneath my feet. The air crackles with heat and intensity, but I am calm and steadfast. I softly close my eyes and step onto the coals in front of me. The sound of shifting embers fades, and I can hear only my own breath as I continue to calmly walk forward into the unknown."

Fire.

Trust.

Surrender.

These were the themes that presented themselves when I received this vision about the energies of the upcoming Full Moon.

Sagittarius works in service to Spirit through the intuitive pursuit of Truth. This particular Full Moon creates a beautiful, luminous container for us to explore just how far we are willing to trust ourselves (and Spirit) along the way. Are we ready to surrender to the power of our intuition? Do we believe that we are held and supported in answering the call of our Soul's Mission? What is needed in order for us to fully trust ourselves?

These are questions to keep in mind as we enjoy the powerful energies of this Full Moon!

Lunar Ritual

If you would like to hold some ceremony for yourself (either alone or with community) to capitalize on the energies of the Sagittarius Full Moon, here is a ritual suggestion:

Light a candle and make yourself comfortable in front of it. Maintain a soft gaze at the base of the flame, imagining the burning ember.

Take a few moments to drop into your body and your breath.

Allow your attention to drift toward the questions posed above (you may journal about these if you like, or not):
-Do I fully trust myself?
-Am I ready to surrender to the power of my intuition?
-Do I believe that I am held and supported in answering the call of my Soul's Mission?
-What is needed in order for me to fully trust myself?

When you feel as though you are complete in your consideration of these questions, offer whatever you would like to release (blockages/beliefs/fears/etc) into the candle flame and commit your intentions to the Moon with the following affirmation:

"Moon, Luna, I release to you all that which does not serve me. Please assist me in dissolving away any blockages, beliefs, patterns, karma or anything preventing me from fully trusting myself and my intuition. I am ready to surrender to my own magic and live the fullest expression of my purpose. Thank you for the blessings."

When you feel complete, blow out the candle and trust that the work is taking place!

Even Warriors of the Light Must Work in the Shadow Realm

Originally published on Eagle Song October 1, 2015.

Between the Autumnal Equinox and the Lunar Eclipse, last week offered plenty of opportunities for review of the last few months.

I had a really challenging summer, and I know I’m not alone in that. Starting right around the solstice, I found myself confronted with manifestations of the Shadow Realm in every facet of my life:

I faced the fear of losing my home when the lease ended on my house and my landlord became completely unreachable.

I broke my heart ending a relationship with someone I love dearly, then faced the emotional turmoil of beginning new connections while still moving through the pain and sorrow.

I grew increasingly alarmed as I watched my savings account dwindle to almost nothing as I barely worked for three months.

I butted up against antiquated, dogmatic ideas that directly challenge my work and the manifestation of my life purpose.

I suffered two rounds of a dry, grief-based cough that lingered for weeks and drained me of my energy.

I spent sleepless nights feeling as though I was being shredded into millions of tiny fragments as the energy ripped through me.

And yet, throughout it all, I knew that I was fine. I was able to surrender to the Shadow work completely, knowing that every challenge was temporary and within my capacity. I am so proud of myself that I was able to move with grace through one of the most intensely difficult periods of my life thus far. And after all that, I still have my house, I am building new, loving connections, my calendar and bank account are filling up, my physical body feels healthy and vital and my conviction in my work and my path is stronger than ever.

This is truly the path of a Warrior of the Light: to move through the Shadows with grace while practicing radical trust. I know that every step I take for myself ultimately puts me in a better position to facilitate the same journey for others.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so happy and grateful to do this work, today and always.