I Ching Moon Message {September 2017}

Making time for deeper reflection and working with oracle systems are two main tools that have helped me find more peace, get unstuck, and quickly create the changes I crave in all areas of my life. Full moons (and also new moons) are an especially powerful time to pause, go within, and gain the insight that will catalyze that peace, forward movement, and change you so deeply desire.

So each month at the full moon, I consult my favorite oracle system (the I Ching) on your behalf and ask, "What do we need to know about the current moon energy AND How can we best use it to move more powerfully along our path, and manifest what we desire most in our lives?"

This month the I Ching answers us with hexagram #27, "NOURISHING".

You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind...If you are satisfied, then continue your input habits, for they are producing the current situation. If you are discontent you must seriously alter your appetites.
— R.L. Wing, The I Ching Workbook

Major energetic shifts are going on all around you right now. Besides today's full moon, Mercury went direct yesterday, which means the chaos and intense emotions you may have felt over the past month will soon start to settle. We're also shifting seasons which means the fiery, fast-paced energy of summer is dying down, as the the slower more grounded energy of fall sets in.

The message for you now is: As you adjust to these external energetic shifts, it's especially important to NOURISH yourself at this time! This self-nourishment is what will help you make the transition with grace (rather than crash landing into the new season and energetic frequency).

Also remember you're made up of a BODY, MIND, and SPIRIT. So it's not enough to just nourish your body. You've got to care for all three parts of your being.

Another important aspect of "NOURISHING" to consider right now has to do with your relationships, because you also gain or lose nourishment from them. Specifically look at HOW you nourish others, and WHO you're choosing to nourish right now.

If a relationship is sapping your energy or you aren't getting what you need or want from someone right now, consider the following two things.

  1. Take a look at the quality of what you're giving to others. Do you offer inspiration or discouragement? Are you trying to be helpful or are you constantly being argumentative, judgmental, and defensive? The I Ching says, "The correct nourishing of those close to you is vital to your sense of well-being, for such supportive activity will ultimately come back to you in kind."
  2. Take a look at who you're choosing to nourish or give your energy to. Make sure that you're only giving your energy to those who are worthy of it. The I Ching says, "If you nourish people who are worthy and who will provide nourishment back to you and others, you will achieve great effects [in your life and the world]." But if you consistently nourish those who are unworthy of your support, you'll drain yourself and simply waste energy that would be better spent elsewhere.

Need help knowing who's worthy of your energy and nourishment? The I Ching has a tip for that too. Take a look at how others nourish themselves. Observe their character traits and habits.

If they are inferior traits, then she takes into herself inferior things and will have nothing to offer you. If her character traits are worthy of praise, that which she chooses to ingest is superior and she may have much that is worthwhile to give.
— R.L Wing, The I Ching Workbook
Me making time (and finding the perfect space!) to nourish my body, mind, and spirit while on vacation in San diego!

Me making time (and finding the perfect space!) to nourish my body, mind, and spirit while on vacation in San diego!

REFLECTION PRACTICE 

If the above message resonates with you, and you know you're struggling when it comes to proper nourishment of yourself and others, here's a reflection practice that'll help you gain the clarity you need to get back on track this month. Take 10-15 minutes to do it now, or create space for it in your schedule sometime this week. 

Find a quiet place you can sit comfortably, and take a few moments to ground yourself (try some mindful breathing).

When you feel calm and grounded, ask yourself the following questions. Optionally, you can journal on these questions too. And trust that your inner wise woman (or man) has the answers. 

  1. BODY: What does my body need this month to feel fully nourished? What habits do I need to release that are blocking my body from feeling nourished? Am I giving my body enough rest through proper sleep
  2. MIND: What does my mind need this month to feel fully nourished? What habits do I need to release that are blocking my mind from feeling fully nourished? (ie. negative thoughts; negative self-talk; etc.) Am I giving my mind enough rest by staying present with mindfulness?
  3. SPIRIT: What does my spirit need this month to feel fully nourished? Am I taking enough time to regularly disengage from my mind and connect with my spirit, through moments of mindfulness and reflection?
  4. OTHER PEOPLE: Am I nourishing others with inspiration and positivity? Are those I'm nourishing even worthy of my energy? Who in my life is serving as an "energy vampire", constantly taking much more than they give in return? And how can I adjust the relationship so it feels more nourishing and balanced?

I was speaking to energy healer Sweta Iyer last night, and she mentioned a period after mercury retrograde called the "mercury retrograde shadow period".  We are now in this shadow period (for about two weeks), and it's a really powerful time to implement change in your life. Those new habits you've had a hard time implementing during mercury retrograde, will feel much easier to embrace over the next two weeks during this shadow period.

So take look at your insights from the reflection above, and get to work! Don't waste this precious time!


If creating a consistent meditation practice (that fits easily into your daily life) is part of your self-nourishment plan right now, let's talk!

I've got a few spots left for the pilot round (aka. special introductory pricing + extra personalized support) of "The 30 Day Meditation Jumpstart Experience".

Just click below to book your free, no obligation, 20 minute discover session to see if the program is a good fit for you.

Full Moon Energetic Reading {August 2017}

Making time for deeper reflection and working with oracle systems are two of the main tools that have helped me find more peace, and continue to grow quickly to create the change I crave in all areas of my life. Full moons (and new moons) are an especially powerful time to pause, go within, and gain insight, that will get you closer to your desires.

Each month at the full moon, I consult my favorite oracle system (the I Ching) and ask, "How can we can best use the current energies to move more powerfully along our path, and manifest what we desire most in our lives, right now?"

This month the I Ching answers us with hexagram #38, "OPPOSITION".

The struggle between good and evil, life and death, and all such opposites may now appear to be simply the natural interaction of the great forces in the universe, as you develop the perspective of the sage [or wise person].
— R.L. Wing

The message this month is a reminder that the world we live in, is a world of DUALITY. So while it may be human nature to seek what's "good" and brings you pleasure, the "bad", painful, uncomfortable, and challenging moments are also just as natural. The ancient Chinese yin-yang symbol has represented this concept of opposition and duality for thousands of years.

yin yang.jpg

And not only are painful occurrences natural, but the opposition or dance between pleasure and pain is a very necessary one for your growth and the creation of your deepest desires.

Sure following your joy is a lovely path towards creating your dreams, but this month you're reminded that challenges, negative-feedback, and mistakes also guide you towards the creation of your dreams. And the more you can accept and embrace this as a natural and beneficial part of life, the more peace you'll experience and the faster you'll manifest your deepest desires.

Take a moment and think of one of your biggest lessons or times of growth, that you feel grateful for now. My bet is that it didn't follow a very peaceful or pleasurable moment of your life, but rather came after something painful and challenging. That is the natural power of opposition at work! 

So during this full moon phase, you have the enhanced ability to fully understand, embody, and utilize this powerful universal truth of "Opposition", for great change in your life right now.

So what does this "opposition" look like?

In order to use this power of opposition that we're speaking of here, it's important to know what it actually looks like on a day to day basis. Opposition will simply show up as anything that takes you away from your desired state of peace and comfort, into a more uncomfortable or painful state. This discomfort can be emotional (like anger, anxiety, fear, guilt, etc.), or it can be physical pain. Or it can simply be less defined as a general state of discontent or stuckness. 

And, how can you work with this "opposition" to get breakthroughs and growth?

  1. First, Pause and acknowledge the opposition is there: Do this by silently naming it when you notice it. You can be specific and say "anger", "fear", "guilt", etc. Or you can simply say "pain" or "opposition".
  2. Recognize the discomfort as guidance and lean into it. So often when we feel any sort of discomfort, we want to immediately numb it with something. We seek distractions in tv, alcohol, shopping, or other pleasure-inducing activities. To really uncover the growth opportunity through opposition, you've got to have the courage and strength to sit with and lean into your pain. 
  3. Notice if you're making yourself a victim and shift it: Victim mindset can show up as you blaming someone or something else for your pain. Or it'll show up as you sitting in self-pity and feeling sorry for yourself. Staying stuck in victim mode will simply prolong the pain and keep you from finding the lesson in it, and moving forward.
  4. Uncover the hidden growth opportunity in your pain or difficult situation. Do this by reflecting on one of the following questions, or come up with your own. Note: this may take some time and may unfold slowly over the next couple weeks of this waning moon. Just keep coming back to these questions until you gain some insight.
    • "What is the hidden lesson or growth opportunity in this?" 
    • "What does this pain make possible for me, that wasn't possible before?"
    • "How have I been feeding my own pain and keeping myself stuck? And how can I now stop and move forward towards the change I crave?"
  5. Relax, trust, and have faith in the process

One of my favorite quotes sums up what's possible when you really learn how to use the power of "opposition" in your life.

As we rise to meet the challenges that are a natural part of living, we awaken to our many undiscovered gifts, to our inner power, and to our purpose.
— Susan L. Taylor

Let me know in the comments below, how you're using the power of "Opposition" to create a breakthrough in your life during this full moon period! 

Full Moon Energetic Reading

Reflection (and working with oracles) is one of the main meditation techniques that has helped me find more peace and continues to help me grow and create the change I crave in all areas of my life. Full moons (and new moons) are an especially powerful time to go within, so you can uncover what will get you closer to your desires (especially if you've been feeling stuck lately).

Each month at the full moon, I consult my favorite oracle system (the I Ching) and ask, "How can we can best use the current energies to move more powerfully along our path, and manifest what we desire most in our lives, right now?"

This month the I Ching answers us with hexagram #40, "LIBERATION".

Once you finally dispense with emotional ruts or resentments from former times, you will have an excellent opportunity for personal advancement...When liberation is complete, when the tensions of the storm have passed, your spirit will be refreshed and stimulated. The ground will be cleared for new growth, and the future will appear promising.
— R.L. Wing, The I Ching Workbook

This hexagram is a reminder that so much of what holds you back from manifesting or creating the change you desire in your life, is YOU, and not some outside person or force. 

Your own habitual mindsets and behaviors play the biggest role in whether or not you're able to manifest your desires. States of chronic fear, stress, and anxiety all contract your energy and keep you from doing what you need to do to create the things you crave most in love, money, career, health etc. 

So if you find you've been feeling stuck in some area of your life, and not able to create the change you so deeply want, the message for you is: NOW is the time LIBERATE yourself from those self-imposed mental and behavioral shackles! 

I'm no stranger to creating my own inner-shackles. And in fact I spent years allowing my anxiety, doubts, and stress to hold me back (without even realizing I was doing it!). It wasn't until I discovered meditation that I began to see 5 very specific mental and behavioral habits that were constantly keeping me stuck in a stressed state and blocking me from moving forward in certain areas of my life. 

When I was able to liberate myself from these 5 "stress habits" (aka. manifestation enemies), and replace them with their opposing "peace habits" (aka. manifestation allies), that's exactly when I began to see positive shifts in every area of my life- from love, to money, to health, etc. 

So if you're feeling blocked from manifesting anything in your life, stop looking for what more you need to do, and start looking at what mindset or behavior patterns you may need to liberate yourself from during this full moon. 

And if you struggle with chronic stress, fear, or anxiety, below are the 5 stress habits that blocked me from creating the change I craved in my life for years, and are very likely blocking you too! Take a moment to sit quietly and reflect on the following questions to determine if you need to liberate yourself from any of the these stress habits, to begin creating what it is you desire most right now. (and if you prefer journaling, you can also use these as journal prompts).


5 STRESS-HABITS that may be keeping you stuck from creating the change you so deeply crave in your life

1) DISTRACTION from the present.

  • Reflection Questions: "Do I have a habit of allowing my mind to constantly wander from the present to dwell on the past, or worry/obsess about the future? Do I constantly feel overwhelmed from multi-tasking and trying to do (or think about) too many things at once?"

2) SELF-NEGLECT

  • Reflection Questions: "Do I often neglect my self-care by not honoring my own needs and boundaries? Do I often make excuses as to why I don't have time for self-care?"
    • **think overcommitting yourself, lax boundaries with others, not getting enough sleep, not getting enough mental rest (aka. meditation), not getting enough physical activity, poor eating and water drinking habits, overconsumption of coffee, alcohol, etc.

3) RESISTANCE to what is

  • Reflection Questions: "Do I tend to cling to pleasurable experiences and resist uncomfortable ones, forgetting that pain (physical and emotional) is a very natural (and often necessary) part of life and growth?"

4) SELF-JUDGEMENT

  • Reflection Questions: "Do I expect perfection from myself, and tend towards shame, guilt, or negative self-talk any time I make a mistake, don't reach my goals quick enough, or fall back into an old pattern?" 

5) Creating FALSE-STORIES

  • Reflection Questions: "Is there somewhere in my life I tend to take things very personally and often feel like a victim (of another's actions or a certain circumstance I find myself in)? Am I creating certain stories or meanings about this other person's actions or a circumstance, they may be untrue?"
    • For example when my boyfriend and I started dating, I had a tendency to take everything he said to me personally, and make it mean something about me and my self-worth. So if he was closed off or short with me, I immediately created a story in my head that his feelings for me had changed, or that I did something wrong. When in fact, there were many other reasons his energy and actions could have shifted! Turns out, it was usually work stress. 
    • So the key here is to realize you're making assumptions and stories up all the time! Start looking for them, because they're simply feeding your stress and keeping you stuck.

After you complete this reflection ritual, write down any breakthroughs or realizations you had. Then thank yourself for taking this time for self-care.

Happy full moon!

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Full Moon I Ching Wisdom {June 2017}

Full moons are always a potent time, ripe for bringing about great personal growth and transformation. They're also known for stirring up difficult emotions (as a way to help you see and release any blocks or non-serving patterns). And they're an especially powerful time to go deep within and gain insight to help propel yourself towards the creation of your deepest desires.

 My favorite tool to tap into the specific full moon energy each month is an oracle system called the I Ching. So here's what the I Ching has to say about how best to use this month's Full Moon energy to create the change you crave in your life!

After setting up my sacred space and grounding, I asked the I Ching,

"How can we use this potent Full Moon energy, to step more fully into our power, align more powerfully with our true-selves, and create our deepest soul desires and dreams that are ready to be manifest in this world now?".

(fyi: the I Ching speaks in a language called hexagrams)

And it answered us with Hexagram, #8 "JOINING".

As an introvert and sensitive, I have a huge tendency to isolate myself cozily in my home, especially when I feel stuck or when I'm experiencing the mental and emotional heaviness that can come along with growth. And I know a lot of you share these same tendencies!

The I Ching wants to remind us that while alone time is extremely powerful and necessary, so is leaving the cave and joining with others in community.

This is an especially powerful time to achieve your own transformation and dream manifestation, through the act of JOINING with others.

Without joining two pieces of wood we would have neither furniture or houses. Without joining with others, it is impossible to build any great endeavor.
— Deng Ming-Dao, The Living I Ching

So what exactly does "JOINING" mean for you? Well it's going to look differently for everyone. For me right now, it means saying "yes" more when my girlfriends invite me out (even when my introvert instincts react with excuses to go home and relax on the couch, lol). It means I push out of my shy shell to teach more, and I host more moon rituals to bring women together in spiritual community. And it also means I reach out more to connect with fellow female leaders, and I actively seek out opportunities to be interviewed by peers (I did a couple last month and they were fun!!).

"JOINING" for you may look very different depending on what you're working to heal or manifest right now in your life.

The key is to go within to uncover where you need to embody more of this "JOINING" energy in your own life now. For some of you, "JOINING" might simply be getting a cup of tea with a friend once a week, instead of isolating yourself at home because you're in a funk. Or it might be choosing to read or do work out of a coffee shop instead of from your home. For others, this could mean partnering up with someone on a project or enlisting other community leaders to help you get your work or gifts out in a bigger way. Or it could mean hiring a mentor or coach to help you reach some of your life or health goals.

FULL MOON REFLECTION PRACTICE:

Here's a simple reflection practice to help you uncover how the power of "JOINING" can help you step more fully into your power, align more powerfully with your true-self, and start to create your deepest soul desires during this full moon cycle.

  1. Take a moment to ground yourself with some mindful breaths.
  2. Think of somewhere you feel stuck in your life right now. Or you can think of something you deeply crave, but have had trouble manifesting.
  3. Grab a journal if you'd like to write down what comes up for you. (I recommend this since writing can help you tap into that more intuitive, creative part of yourself).
  4. Ask yourself "How can I invoke the power of JOINING now, to spark more flow with (insert stuck situation or desire)?" 
  5. And then just allow whatever comes up to surface. Don't sensor or judge yourself. Simply allow everything to flow with curiosity. And have fun with it!
Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.
— Helen Keller

7 Steps to Manifesting Your Desires

There are a lot of misinterpretations of this sort of woo woo concept of "manifestation". In many cases, those who have only heard the term casually often think manifestation advocates are claiming that all you have to do is think about what you want hard enough and it will magically appear. Not quite.

I'd like to introduce you to my own interpretation of manifestation. I see manifestation less as simply getting what you want and more as a personal growth journey. In my experience, the things I wanted most (more love and connection in my relationship, more money in my business, etc.) never ended up being the gold of the manifestation journey, but rather the motivation and fuel for it. And instead, the gold of manifestation has always been the self-discovery and personal growth that I was forced to undergo in order to manifest or create what I wanted.

If you want something and it manifests easily for you, wonderful!! But in order to manifest (create, attract, etc.) something that you're having a hard time manifesting, you've got to look deep within and see how you're blocking yourself from getting it or keeping it.

Just because something comes easily, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to hold onto it, or that it’ll make you happy.

I often think about those people who desire money and spend a lot of time and energy playing the lottery. You've probably heard the stories of them winning millions, only to lose it quickly and go into debt. And then they're no happier or better off than they were before they won. The point being, just because someone is able to manifest the money (love, etc.), does not mean they know how to maintain it, or that they'll be happier because of it.

You've really got to prepare yourself (from the inside out) to manifest and maintain your deepest desires. If your habitual beliefs, thoughts, and actions don't match what it takes to maintain your desires, you won't be able to maintain them. Just like those lotto winners that lose their money shortly after winning it. 

The 7 step process below is how you can not only manifest your deepest desires, but also prepare yourself to maintain them. Happy manifesting beauty!

1. KNOW WHAT YOU DESIRE

The first step to creation is to really take the time to dream into what you want.

Everything is created twice, first in the mind [as an intention] and then in reality [as a physical manifestation].
— Robin Sharma

The key here is to really imagine what it would be like to have what you want, and FEEL it as if it already exists. Think of this first step sort of as daydreaming or fantasizing. Your only job right now is to really allow yourself to feel and get excited about the WHAT.

One of the biggest blocks at this step, is being preoccupied with the HOW. Worrying about how you’re going to create what you want at this stage, will only serve to block you energetically from manifesting it.

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Carve out at least 20 minutes to get still, calm your mind (try some mindful breathing), and really visualize what it is you truly want to manifest most right now. If you find yourself worrying about the how or fearing it’s impossible try this. Imagine you have a magic wand and anything is possible! What would you manifest then?
  2. Have fun with this fantasy and visualize yourself as if you already have what you want. As you enjoy the fruits of your new manifestation, notice how you’re FEELING. Are you feeling confident, playful, at ease, purposeful, fulfilled, etc.? When you come back from that fantasy, write down your main feelings.
  3. NOTE: The FEELINGS are key because in most cases what you think you desire will shift over time, but the feelings your soul is truly craving will remain the same- which means you've got a much better chance at getting what you truly want if you follow feelings vs. things.
  4. Create a visual representation that will help you stay connected to your desired feelings, and keep it somewhere you’ll see it daily. I have a special table in my home where I set up an altar dedicated to what I’m currently working to manifest, and I stand in front of it to reconnect with my vision for a few moments each day (or at least a few times a week, when I feel like I start to doubt or fall off track). This “vision board” or desire altar, can be made up of words, pictures, or anything else that connects you to what it feels like to have what you desire.
vision board

2. RELEASE it, ASK for guidance, TRUST the process, and have PATIENCE

I’ve got some great news for you. 

When it comes to manifestation, you are not the sole creator of your life, but a co-creator with the universe (God, the divine, etc.).

Why is this great news? Well for one, you’re only human, so if you mistakenly ask for something that’s not in your highest and best, the universe can step in and help guide you to something more aligned. And secondly, sometimes you feel really stuck around how you’re going to get from where you are, to where you want to be (the how I mentioned above). In this case, the universe can step in and provide you with bread crumbs for you to follow towards manifesting your desires.

TAKE ACTION:

  • RELEASE IT + ASK FOR GUIDANCE: This is about letting go/ surrendering your vision (from step 1 above) to the universe. This means you stop trying to force it into existence and stop trying to control every single aspect of the creation process. Because let’s face it, if you could easily will it into existence, you would already have it. As writer Paulo Coelho says,
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”.

So simply declare, “Universe, I want ____, and I want to feel _____. Please help me create that, by
giving me guidance and clues that I can interpret.” (or create your own statement
with a similar intention)

  • TRUST THE PROCESS + HAVE PATIENCE: I know this is easier said than done, but again, it’s so important to trust the unfolding process and stop trying to force progress…especially if it doesn’t seem to be getting you anywhere. I’ve found that so much of my own growth, empowerment, and self-discovery have come from the experience of creating my desires (the manifestation process itself)….not from having whatever I want easily handed to me.
Ultimately manifestation is about personal growth and evolution, and this all takes time! If you try to rush it, or if you lose faith, you’ll slow the process down even more.
  • AFFIRMATIONS are a simple yet powerful way to shift your mindset any time you fall into the low vibrational mindset of “it’s taking too long”, or you lose faith that the manifestation process is still unfolding at all. Try this one or make up your own: “I trust that everything is unfolding in divine timing and for my highest and best.”

3. Practice MINDFULNESS and maintain a HIGH VIBRATIONAL energetic state

Once you hand over your desire to the universe, in most cases it won’t just magically land on your lap. Remember, I said manifestation is a process to help you grow and discover yourself on a deeper level (so you can receive what you desire). Once you declare it and ask for help, the universe will give you clues to help you create what you want. The challenge is staying open and in a high vibrational state (hope, optimism, faith, etc) so you can see and act on these clues. If you’re stuck in low vibrational states (fear, doubt, desperation, etc) it’ll be very hard to recognize the clues and thus create your desires.

TAKE ACTION:

  • As much as possible, stay grounded, open, and present so you can recognize clues. Practicing MINDFULNESS meditation daily will help you do this. Then, look for clues in the form of:
    1. SYNCHRONICITIES: meaningful coincidences that catch your attention and nudge you in a direction
    2. OPPORTUNITIES: things that excite, and possibly scare you. They can be random ideas that pop up or opportunities that seem to magically  land on your lap. In many cases they're just slightly out of your comfort zone, but are ultimately going to help you grow and create your desire.
    3. CHALLENGES/ BLOCKS: any resistance or difficulty that arises as you work towards creating your desire. Contrary to how it may feel, these are actually opportunities also. They’re opportunities to learn a lesson and/or shed any limiting mindsets and behaviors that are blocking you from receiving your desires.
  • And if you find yourself stuck in a low vibrational state (fear, doubt, loss of faith, desperation etc.), shift that shit!! 

Remember, ultimately you have control over your mindset and energetic state.

If you slip into a lower, fear-based state…which is natural and will happen…notice it quickly and do something to shift it. Tools I use to shift my mindset are meditation, affirmations, dance, getting outside in nature, acts of self-care, creating art,doing something fun, journaling, or even playing with oracles. Anything you can do to shift your perspective and find the faith and hope again will work!

4. RELEASE BLOCKS

Blocks are simply a general term for anything that makes you feel stuck on your path to manifesting your desires. Basically, they occur when you’re resisting a lesson or any change that wants to take place for your highest and best (and for the manifestation process to unfold). Blocks can show up as:

  • A challenging situation given to you by the universe to overcome in order to shape your character, help you grow, or learn a lesson.
Like school, life is trying to prepare you for what's to come (your purpose). And in many cases, lessons come through a bit of adversity.
  • Emotional discomfort indicating that something within you is out of alignment and needs to be released. In many cases these are things you’re clinging to that are keeping you from receiving your desires. These “things” can be entire situations or relationships that drain you and keep you in an energetically low-vibe state (and distracted from creating your desires). Or they can be patterned mindsets and behaviors that you’ve adopted but no longer serve who you want to become or what you want to create in your life.

TAKE ACTION:

  • First, simply acknowledge this block is not an attack from someone else or the universe, but actually an opportunity for you to grow. Many of us feel victimized by someone else or the universe when faced with an obstacle.
This victim mindset, where you blame others for your pain and misfortune, simply serves to disempower you from learning the lessons you’re meant to learn, and block you from creating the change you seek.

Instead, anytime you feel blocked and like a powerless victim of your circumstances, repeat this affirmation (or create your own). “All of my obstacles are opportunities. As I rise to meet these challenges that are a natural part of living, I awaken to my many undiscovered gifts, my inner power, and my purpose."

  • Second, do some REFLECTION to gain insight into what this block is trying to tell you. My favorite reflection practices, to help me understand the opportunities in my obstacles, are: using oracles (like the I Ching), journaling, and meditating on simple questions like, “What does this make possible, that wasn’t possible before?; What do I need to learn in order to grow from this?; What do I need to release that’s holding me back from receiving what I desire? How am I creating my own suffering right now?”
  • Finally, take action on the insight and release what needs to be released! As Picasso said,
“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction”.

So in order to make space for what you want to create, you’ve got to destroy/ release/ let go of something(s). Remember, if you were ready to receive what you desired, you’d already have it. 

Releasing takes courage and the trust that something better is coming along!
  • NOTE: Sometimes simply uncovering the cause of a block will allow it to release quickly, on it’s own. But in many cases the root of the block is a deeply ingrained thought or behavioral habit. And in this case, letting it go can be an ongoing process that takes time, patience, and perseverance. Think of it as peeling back the layers of an onion. You’ll keep doing it over, and over, and over again until you get that final layer off.
  • A meditation tool I love to use for releasing is VISUALIZATION. I write down all the things I want to release and imagine throwing them into a big bonfire, one by one. Then I watch them burn as I feel them being released from my body. I also sometimes invoke the power of goddesses. Kali is a very powerful energy for letting go of things no longer serving you. There are lots of meditation tools to help with releasing, but ultimately it's all about your intention. If you need help with this, you know where to find me :)

5. ACT on OPPORTUNITIES, SYNCHRONICITIES, INSPIRED IDEAS, and JOY 

Challenges are one way the universe guides you towards the creation of your desires. Fortunately, once you put your intentions out to the universe, guidance can also come in more pleasant packages. Look for these pleasant packages in the form of:

  • Exciting Opportunities: These are aligned opportunities that, after feeling stuck, seem to land on your lap as if by magic. If you set an intention and then something comes along that feels aligned with it, it’s a gift from the universe.
In many cases these new opportunities may feel a little scary. You may not feel ready for them. But growth is always just out of your comfort zone.

As they say, fortune favors the bold! So please don't waste an opportunity out of fear. Take action on it!

  • Inspired Ideas: The universe can also work as a muse delivering you new and exciting ideas. Many great artists like Beethoven and Michelangelo refused to take credit for their works, instead saying they were divinely inspired. So notice what new ideas start to pop up for you, and take action on them!
  • Synchronicities: These are what Carl Jung calls "meaningful coincidences". They're the coincidences that seem to catch your attention and gently nudge you in a specific direction. When you notice one, get curious and see where it leads you (aka. take action on it).
  • Joy:  Even if you don’t see obvious guidance, you can simply take it upon yourself to do things that bring you joy. Joy is always a great indicator you're headed in the right direction. Not to mention, joy is a high-vibrational state, which means you're much more likely to attract those other opportunities we discussed above.

So take a class, attend an event, create art, read that fiction book you’ve been saying you have no time for, visit a new coffee shop to work or read from, talk to that person that caught your attention at that event, etc.

It’s amazing how simply following the things that light you up, can lead you to your purpose and the creation of your deepest desires.

6. Have PATIENCE and ENJOY THE JOURNEY 

I know I’ve already mentioned patience in step #2, but it bears repeating. The only difference between success and failure is the ability to not give up. As Napolean Hill said,

“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”

Letting go of mediocrity in order to manifest your deepest soul desires, isn’t an easy journey. But it’s the most fulfilling journey for the human soul and will help shape you into the best most true version of yourself. Are you ready for this wild adventure?

7. Get SUPPORT

And finally, you don’t have to do it alone. Find a mentor, find community, get support. There are many people out there on their own journey of greatness. There’s a saying that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. I completely agree that the more you surround yourself with those who are also doing the work, the more empowered and inspired you’ll feel to push out of your comfort zone, and keep going too. Find these people, and keep them close!

If you enjoyed this article, sign up to get more valuable resources to help you along your manifestation, personal growth, and meditation journey!

 

Full Moon I Ching Wisdom {September}

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. They're also known for stirring up emotions, to help shine a light on your blocks, so you can release them and create more flow and alignment in your life.

This month, we've got a full moon and a lunar eclipse. So it's an especially powerful time to gain insight and more easily create any shifts you've been craving in your life! To assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy to create shifts, I asked my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, what energies are most potent now, and how we can best use them. (fyi: the I Ching speaks in a language called hexagrams)

And it answered us with two Hexagrams, #16 "DELIGHT" and #17 "FOLLOWING".

I've noticed a trend with clients and friends I've spoken to lately. They've got a clear picture of what they want. They're visualizing it regularly and working really hard to achieve it. They're putting in long hours, saying no to things that hold them back, and being mindful to uncover any mental blocks that could stand in their way. They're doing the work, but something just feels off.

And when they take a moment to reflect, they realize that while they're more committed to their dream than ever, they're not actually having fun creating it.

They've forgotten a very important and fundamental truth. They've forgotten that enjoying the journey is is an important part of the life, because life is the journey...not the destination.

You think that the goal is to be over there, and we say the goal is the journey over there. But the goal is the fun you have along the way, on your way over there.
— Abraham-Hicks

Too often we think some goal will bring us the happiness we seek, only to get there and find we're still not happy.

So you're now reminded to come back to what truly DELIGHTS you. What was it about your original dream or goal that lit you up?

When you close your eyes and picture yourself in your dream scenario, what are the core feelings you notice?

Do you feel Free? Advnenturous? Connected? Loved? Ease? Joy? etc.

And when you think about your journey thus far to create your dream scenario, what are the core feelings you've been feeling? Do they match the feelings above? Or are they more in the realm of Stressed, Overwhelmed, Fearful, or Anxious?

The I Ching hexagram of Delight, reminds us that if we're waiting for the manifestation of our dream scenario to feel those desired feelings, we've got it all backwards. 

Instead, it's by working to cultivate those desired feelings on a daily basis, that we'll get to our dream scenario with more ease.

By doing things daily that create those desired feelings in you: 

  • you'll enjoy the creation process (aka. your life) more,
  • you'll be in a more open energetic state to receive guidance and synchronistic opportunities,
  • AND you'll get "there" faster. Even if "there" doesn't look like how you originally imagined it would.

So get back to those desired feelings that truly DELIGHT you....on a deep soul level. For me it's adventure, freedom, and deep connection. I started this online spiritual business to connect on a deeper level with women, to create more freedom in my life so I could travel and feel adventurous. But after some time pushing forward, I realized I felt disconnected and confined sitting behind my computer working all day, and I felt bored and stale...not adventurous at all!!

Once I had that realization, I realized that I didn't have to wait until I could take regular trips to far off places to feel free and adventurous, nor did I have to wait until I was ready to lead women's groups in by business to feel deeply connected. If I chose to, I could create those feelings on a daily basis starting now!

Here's what I did, and what you can do during this full moon too.

  1. Visualize your dream scenario and tap into what your main feelings are in it.
  2. Grab pen and paper, and write down each feeling core feeling across the top of your paper (leaving space below each one to brainstorm).
  3. Now, go one by one, and brainstorm things you can do now that would cultivate that feeling in you. Be creative and be open to different possibilities.

So for me it was a vision of me working my dream job as a spiritual mentor and traveling the world to teach and meet new people. This vision brought me feelings of adventure, freedom, and deep connection. While I'm not at my dream scenario yet and was starting to feel stale and disconnected as I worked to create that vision, I knew I could start creating those feelings right now regardless of my current outside circumstances.

To create feelings of adventure and freedom, I began scheduling myself an hour to take a walk every day. I'll drive my car to a new part of my neighborhood that I'd never been, park, and just start walking (after dropping a pin to mark my starting point on my phone!).

I love the feeling of taking in new houses, new smells, and even of getting lost after wandering for awhile. Here are some pics from my adventure today. I even discovered a creek a couple miles from my house!

 

Images by Brandi Grooms, brandigrooms.com

Images by Brandi Grooms, brandigrooms.com

And to create the deep connection I'd been craving, I became a founding member of a new local women's networking group. I started working closely with other like-minded women to plan events and create a community of local high-vibe entrepreneurs.

It's been so much fun! And I'm now feeling that sense of  connection I craved on a daily basis!

 

 

 

 

If you stop pushing yourself kicking and screaming towards your goals, tap into those feelings that actually bring you delight, and allow them to guide you throughout your days, you'll find so much more ease, happiness, and success in your life. 

Give it a try and let me know how it goes in the comments below!

Full Moon I Ching Wisdom {August}

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. They're also known for stirring up emotions, to help shine a light on your blocks, so you can release them and create more flow and alignment in your life.

To assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy to our advantage, I asked my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, what energies are most potent now, and how we can best use them to create growth and change in our lives. (fyi: the I Ching speaks in a language called hexagrams)

The answer it gives us is Hexagram #61, "CONFIDENCE WITHIN".

Over the past few years of writing on this blog and working with clients, I've started to notice a unifying thread among those of you attracted to my work. Most of you crave personal growth and deep soul alignment. And even if you don't realize it yet, you're just not content settling for mediocrity in any area of your life. Sure, you may get stuck there from time to time out of fear or the need to feel safe....but eventually you hear your soul's longings to grow and finally seek out change.

This month's message from the I Ching is for you change seekers and personal growth junkies. Especially those of you currently hiding out in the safety of mediocrity. Like a snake shedding a skin that no longer fits, it is time to transform!

And one of the most critical traits needed for the path of transformation and achieving personal greatness is CONFIDENCE.

Not just any confidence, but that deep soul, confidence that grows through experience, wisdom, courage, and trust. The I Ching calls this, "CONFIDENCE WITHIN".

If you're serious about creating a life of deep fulfillment and becoming the best you can be, you've got to unlock that powerful quality of "confidence within". 

We can not do anything of significance until we believe in ourselves. You have to know what you can do, you have to be confident in your core values, and you have to be willing to act. Then there is Confidence Within. Accomplishments create more confidence, and more confidence creates greater success.
— The Living I Ching, Deng Ming-Dao

But how do you create confidence when you feel you don't quite have any yet?

This was a question I had not too long ago. I did google searches and bought books on "confidence" hoping to absorb some of that magical quality through the words on the pages. When that didn't work, I eventually realized that confidence was actually already within me.

Confidence is something we're born with that can lay dormant if we allow it to, through fear and hiding out in safe and mediocre circumstances for too long.

The path to awakening that dormant inner confidence is through ACTION. As the I Ching says, "Confidence increases when there is progress." 

THE POWER OF BABY STEPS

As a sensitive person who's struggled a lot with fear and anxiety, I realize that the idea of pushing out of your comfort zone to take action can cause even more fear and anxiety and stop you dead in your tracks.

So the key for me in awakening my confidence within, has been taking consistent baby steps over time. 

You don't have to transform your life overnight. For some of you, leaping off a giant cliff to create change may feel invigorating and exciting. But for others (like me), hopping off that stone may be all you can manage right now, and it's enough!

Any step outside of your comfort zone (no matter how small it may feel) will awaken more of your confidence within. With consistent baby steps your confidence will grow. And pretty soon you'll be hopping off boulders, and then eventually that cliff won't feel as scary!

TAKE ACTION (some questions to incorporate into your full moon ritual): 

  • Where in my life am I allowing fear to keep me stuck in mediocrity? 
  • Now visualize what you want instead. Ask yourself "If I had a magic wand and all the confidence in the world, what would be possible for me?" (don't forget to tap into the feelings of that picture)
  • Now visualize a baby step you can take. Something just out of your comfort zone to feel like a stretch, but not too far out that it causes panic, contraction, and shut down.
  • Visualize yourself doing it successfully with ease, confidence, and any other feeling you crave.
  • NOW GO DO IT!! You've got this!

If you need help doing a full moon ritual then this free FULL MOON RITUAL GUIDE is perfect for you!

And if you're still feeling stuck and can't quite stir up the clarity and courage to take that baby step, check out my personalized I CHING CLARITY SESSIONS. That's exactly what they're designed for, and full moons are a powerful time to gain clarity anywhere in your life.

Full Moon I Ching Wisdom {July}

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. They're also known for stirring up emotions, to help shine a light on your blocks, so you can release them and create more flow and alignment in your life.

To assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy to our advantage, I asked my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, what energies are most potent now, and how we can best use them to create growth and change in our lives. (fyi: the I Ching speaks in a language called hexagrams)

The answer it gave us is Hexagram #16, "Delight" or "Enthusiasm".

A big part of what I teach is that obstacles and struggles are your greatest opportunities to find your way back to your true-self, your purpose, and your deepest fulfillment. But I'll be the first to admit that, while extremely powerful, using your obstacles and shadow parts for growth isn't often easy. And sometimes it starts to feel so heavy that you get burnt out doing the work.

This hexagram reminds us that there are other, lighter ways to evolve and grow into your best self (when you need a break from the heavy stuff).

Following your "Delight" or enthusiasm is another path towards your purpose, truth, and happiness.

Proper enthusiasm opens every door.
— I Ching (translation by Brian Browne Walker)

Simply start noticing what what lights you up. What delights you? What brings you joy? And then follow that path!

There's a small caveat to this method. The I Ching points out that there is a difference between "proper enthusiasm" and "improper enthusiasm".

Proper enthusiasm is cultivated from your soul, while improper enthusiasm is cultivated from your ego.

So the key to using your "Delight" to guide you back to your true-self, is through learning how to differentiate between your ego's enthusiasm and desires, and those of your soul. Ego delights will provide temporary feel good, while soul delights will bring deep and long-lasting fulfillment and happiness.

Separating guidance from the ego and soul isn't always easy. The ego is tricky and likes to disguise its messages as soul messages. But there is a way to learn how to tell the difference.

The best way to easily begin to differentiate between the ego's and soul's delights is through a regular meditation practice. 

When I'm meditating regularly, I feel more directly connected to my inner wise-woman who isn't fooled by the ego. She sees right through that bs! And when I neglect my practice, ego guidance starts to slip through and lead me astray.

Take Action: Play with letting your delight guide you this month. Notice when ego delight leads you off path, and when soul delight guides you back. And notice what helps you differentiate the two easier, so you can do more of that.

And if you've been wanting to start or become more consistent with your meditation practice, I invite you to participate in the new 12 Day Meditation Challenge. It's Free and it's happening right here in my "Meditate with Ease" Facebook community, starting July 21st!

The Ultimate Guide to Starting and Maintaining a Successful Meditation Practice

So what exactly defines a “successful” meditation practice? Over the past 10 years of watching my own meditation ups and downs and speaking to others, I’ve come up with this. A successful practice is one that’s easy, enjoyable, enduring, effective, and makes you more you.

Let's quickly clarify those terms a bit: 

  • "Easy" meaning it doesn’t feel like an uphill battle each and every time you meditate.
  • "Enjoyable” meaning it doesn’t feel like an annoying chore on the to-do list every single time (although there will still be obstacles to deal with some days).
  • "Enduring” meaning you’re consistent with your practice and not just meditating sporadically or only when sh*t hits the fan in your life.
  • “Effective” is a bit more subjective. But to keep it simple for now, let’s just say you get the benefits you crave from your practice (whatever those personal meditation aspirations may be).
  • And finally, a successful practice will help you feel more aligned with your true-self (which will ultimately lead to a deeper sense of happiness, purposefulness, and fulfillment in all areas of your life).
The the thing about meditation is: you become more and more you.
— David Lynch

A quick google search will show you there’s no shortage of free meditation instruction or guided practices out there.

But just because you have some guided practices or basic instruction, doesn't mean your practice will be successful.

If you truly want to cultivate a successful practice that’ll bring you consistent and lasting benefits throughout your life, here are 13 things I wish someone had told me at the beginning of my meditation journey 10 years ago.

1. Connect to your MEDITATION MOTIVATION

When you lose your why, you lose your way.
— Michael Hyatt

Let’s be honest. If you think you don’t have time to meditate, you’ll never find the time. You’ve got to make the time. So with kids, a demanding job, a side hustle, a new relationship, or [insert excuse], how do you do make the time to meditate?!

Making time for your practice takes both a mindset shift and strategy. Let's start with the mindset shift.

Rather than viewing your meditation practice as a nice luxury you wish you had time for, you've got to view it as a self-care necessity that's important enough to become a priority. 

And the best way to do this, is to reconnect with your meditation motivation. The more you remember why you're meditating, the easier it'll be to allow other time-sucking, non-priorities to take a back seat to your practice. And the easier it'll be to allow yourself permission, to take time to meditate.

There’s always enough time to do what’s important to you. If you aren’t doing the right thing in life, it’s because it isn’t important enough to you [yet].
— Larry Winget

TAKE ACTION: If you’re having trouble prioritizing your practice, ask yourself "Why do I meditate?" or "What will having a successful meditation practice make possible for me?"

And then continue to revisit this question any time you lose your why and your way, in your practice.

2. SCHEDULE TIME

If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real.
— Marie Forleo

Once you make the above mindset shift and your practice becomes a priority, there's one more piece to making sure you do it. You need a strategy- a plan. Make it real, by scheduling it. We'll get into more detail on specific aspects of your meditation strategy, but for now start by simply adding it to your schedule. 

TAKE ACTION: Decide when you want to meditate, and write it in your schedule (if you're like me and still use a handwritten planner). Or add it to your online scheduling system (if you're like most modern folk).

3. Create a SACRED SPACE 

If you think about it, we have dedicated spaces in our homes for everything. Cooking, bathing, sleeping, eating, working, etc.

So why don’t more of us have a dedicated space just for being, reflecting, and reconnecting with ourselves?

The secret to a home meditation practice is to create a space where the busyness stops.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

Having a space in your home devoted solely to meditation (and other spiritual practices) is a very powerful way to establish a regular practice. It helps by both,

  1. Serving as a visual trigger to invite you to practice daily (we'll discuss this more in #9), and
  2. Creating an energetic area that can quickly help quiet your mind, and induce feelings of peace and calm whenever you enter it.

Your meditation sacred space can be as simple or ornate as you'd like.

The only non-negotiables are:

  • you can meditate comfortably (a cushion, chair, or some blankets can help with this), and
  • you won’t be disturbed during your practice. Although some outside noise from others is fine (we’ll address this more in #10).

Objects can also help amp up the energy of your space and meditation rituals.

I love decorating my space with pretty objects. Adding things like candles, gemstones, essential oils, goddess pictures, spiritual and personal growth books, etc., help me feel more connected to my space and make me want to spend more time there. 

My meditation sacred space

My meditation sacred space

Take Action: Take a moment to scout your home for a place you’d like to dedicate to meditation. And then decorate it as much, or as little, as you'd like.

4. Start with CONCENTRATION

Once you develop even a little concentration, which happens over a relatively short period of time, all other spiritual practices become easier.
— Ram Dass

One of the biggest obstacles I hear from beginning meditators is “I can’t calm and focus my mind", “I can’t concentrate”, “I can’t quiet my thoughts”, or something else along those lines. While getting rid of thoughts is impossible and not the purpose of meditation, you do need to cultivate the ability to focus your mind and allow distractions to pass you by (without getting swept away by them).

Anyone can can focus and concentrate with practice, no matter how noisy your mind may feel right now.

Believe me, if this anxiety prone over-analyzer can do it, so can you! All it takes is the desire, commitment, and the right tool. And that tool is "concentration meditation” (aka. one-pointedness meditation).

Concentration has been called "the root skill of all meditation practices". When I did my first ten day meditation retreat, they taught us a simple concentration practice that we did for the entire first three days (before ever introducing us to any other meditation technique). They did this because they knew that if we couldn't focus our minds in a simple practice, we would find all other meditation practices frustrating and likely give up. (yes there are many types of meditation and we’ll discuss these further in #5)

Here’s the simple concentration meditation practice I learned in that retreat, and the one I continue to practice to this day to keep my mind clear and focused. 

Take Action: Sign-up for the free guided concentration meditation below, and begin experiencing a calmer more focused mind.

5. CHOOSE the meditation(s) best suited to you 

Does one really have to fret about enlightenment? No matter what road I travel, I’m going home.
— Shinsho

In my 10+ year exploration of meditation, I've come to realize that there are many different types of meditative practices out there.

Not only are there different general categories of meditation like "Concentration" or "Mindfulness",  there are many different ways to practice each of these types of meditation.

I don't tell you this to confuse you, but rather to give you options so you can find a practice that feels best for you. 

If you've struggled with meditation in the past, or feel like you just can't meditate (Spoiler: anyone can meditate), you may not have chosen the practice best suited for you. 

If you're feeling overwhelmed and confused about where to start (or continue) on your meditation journey, here are 4 simple steps to determine which meditation type is best for you from moment to moment:

1. Start with CONCENTRATION

If you're a complete newbie or find it especially hard to calm and focus your mind during meditation, it's really important you start with a simple concentration practice (as we discussed above in #1). I've seen too many people (myself included) who skip this step, get frustrated, and give up when they can't focus during a more complex technique like "Mindfulness". 

Before all of my meditations (no matter which type I choose), I'll start off with a few moments of a concentration practice to calm my mind and firmly ground myself in the present moment.

2. Decide on your meditation INTENTION each time you practice

Are you meditating simply to feel more calm and relaxed? Are you trying to connect with your intuition to make a decision or understand why you’re feeling stuck? Are you trying to manifest or create something new in your life? Being clear on your intention will help you determine which type of meditation is best for you in that moment.

If you're just starting out and meditating to simply reduce stress and feel more peace and calm, that's absolutely fine. That was my sole intention for the first year or so after I found meditation. And the relaxation CD's and mindful breathing practice (yep people still bought CD's back then), did help me feel more momentary glimpses of peace. Back then, I had no idea meditation could be used for anything else and didn't realize there were so many different types of meditation.

But eventually I began craving more from my practice (and life), and found ways to take my practice beyond simple relaxation and begin using it to transform the stuck areas of my love life, career, health, etc.

I did this by expanding my practice to include four different types of meditation. Depending on my current intention, I'll pick from one of the four meditation types below. Note that each general type can be broken down further into many different practices. This gives you many options to choose from based on your personal preferences (which we'll discuss next). I've also created a chart below to help you better understand how they all fit together.

  1. CONCENTRATION (also known as one-pointedness): best to start with to cultivate more acute mental focus and quickly ground your awareness on the present moment.
  2. MINDFULNESS: builds on concentration and helps you cultivate a more expansive present moment awareness, equanimity (or non-judgement), and acceptance of what is.
  3. REFLECTION: best for connecting to your intuition to gain insight, understanding, and solutions to obstacles or stuck areas of your life (or to make tough decisions).
  4. VISUALIZATION: great for grounding and more actively creating transformation of stuck areas of your life (areas that don't naturally shift as you go through the first three types of meditation above).
*Incorporating these four meditation types into my regular practice has helped me create much more lasting peace and life transformation than focusing on just one. 

*Incorporating these four meditation types into my regular practice has helped me create much more lasting peace and life transformation than focusing on just one. 

3. Honor your meditation PREFERENCES.

I’ve seen so many people beat themselves up over not being able to meditate “properly”. Does an injury prevent you from sitting comfortably? Do you sometimes get too sleepy when you’re sitting or lying down? Do you find it really tough to sit still at all? Don’t beat yourself up or assume you just can’t meditate. Did I mention, everyone can meditate!?

Meditation can be done in several different postures like sitting, lying, walking, or even standing. And there are ways to incorporate meditation into other activities like dancing, yoga, etc.

So you have options. And know that your preferences can and will change based on time of day, mood, energy level, etc. So check in with yourself before you meditate, and decide what feels best.

4. EXPERIMENT

Some people get so caught up trying to decide which meditation to start with, they never get started. It took me weeks to decide which meditation CD to order when I first started out! Just choose one based on the steps above, try it out for a few days or weeks, and see how it feels. Remember, you can always try something else later. 

6. Take your practice OFF THE CUSION

You don’t need to forgive until you need to forgive. You don’t need nerves of steel until you need nerves of steel. You don’t need to call on your reserves of compassion, or fortitude, or faith until you’ve used up everything else. This is why we practice.
— Danielle LaPorte

Meditation can be practiced “on the cushion", in a formal scheduled session. And it can also be practiced more informally “off the cushion”, throughout your day, by bringing more mindfulness into your daily activities and experiences.

We often forget a successful meditation practice isn’t just about showing up to the cushion for those 10+ minutes a day. It’s about using those formal practices to cultivate the ability to show up with more awareness, compassion, and equanimity in your everyday life

After some practice, it’s relatively easy to find moments of peace, awareness, compassion, and equanimity on the meditation cushion. But it can be much harder to conjure those feelings in the midst of a hectic day or crisis. But these are the moments when you need it the most.

For the greatest success, set the intention to also bring your practice off the cushion and begin incorporating mindfulness into your daily interactions and experiences, as much as possible. This can be as simple as taking some deep breaths as you wait in the check-out line at the grocery store or heat your food up at work. Or if you know you're heading into a potentially uncomfortable discussion with your boss or partner, do some grounding and visualization right before hand. 

Adding informal practices into your day doesn’t have to feel hard or like it takes up all your time. In fact, the opposite is true. The more you practice on the cushion, the more natural it'll become to also practice off the cushion during your everyday experiences and interactions.

7. Be CONSISTENT

When it comes to meditation, frequency is more important that duration.

While meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, scientific research behind it is relatively new, and only focuses on a select few styles of meditation like Transcendental Meditation (TM) and Mindfulness. I won't go into details of the research here because that's not the intention of this article (and there plenty of good articles out there on that).

From what I've read though, while meditation has been proven to have many outstanding benefits, research hasn’t discovered an exact amount of time that’s optimal for it. And even suggestions from experienced teachers vary. 

But what does seem to be the consensus, is that consistency is key. Shorter (10-40+ min) sessions, more frequently (1-2 times/day), is ideal. 

Again, experiment, and find what works best for you!

8. Keep it SIMPLE and just start where you're at

One of the quickest ways to fall off your practice before it even gets going, is by trying to do too much too quickly. 

If you’ve never meditated before and have trouble sitting quietly, trying to sit 10-40+ minutes a day will likely feel like way too much. Maybe you just start out with a few minutes a day. Or if that feels overwhelming, start out with a few minutes, a few times a week.

The key is to choose something that feels doable, and commit to doing it. Aim for little wins to train your mind and body that meditation can feel easy.

Then add in a few more minutes or a few more days. Work your way up slowly. Experiencing little successes, will allow you cultivate the meditation habit (we’ll discuss this in #9) much easier than feeling like you’re failing by setting too lofty of goals out the gate and not meeting them.

9. Create meditation CUES

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
— Jim Ryun

After reading the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg a couple years ago, I began noticing how much power habits truly have to make life feel easier and more joyful (or, if they're undesirable habits, to keep us feeling stuck).

It turns out our brains are very efficient and don't like to waste any energy. So they love to form habits out of anything you routinely do (or even think). This allows them to switch into auto-pilot the moment they recognize a habit beginning, thus saving valuable energy that can be used for other important functions.

One of the key concepts of the book is something called a “habit loop” which is a neurological loop that automatically runs through your brain each time a habit is recognized.

Understanding and leveraging this natural brain process will help you transform your sporadic meditation hobbies into consistent meditation habits. 

Each habit loop is broken into three distinct parts- a cue, a routine, and a reward). The part I'd like to discuss here is the cue. What makes the cue so important is that it's what tells your brain a habit is beginning and triggers it into auto-pilot. So by setting up cues for each our your meditation routines, your practice can begin to feel as easy and automatic as brushing your teeth each day. 

Cues typically fall into one of 5 categories. Here they are along with some examples you can use as your own triggers for your practice. 

  • Location: a home sacred space (like we discussed in #4).
  • Time: a specific time of day. You can even set your alarm as a daily reminder.
  • Emotional State: stress, anger, grief, etc. Emotionally difficult states used to automatically cue undesirable habits like drinking, but now they cue me to pause....and meditate. 
  • Other People: Surrounding yourself with a spiritual community (or just having a friend who's also serious about meditation) is powerful when it comes to maintaining long-term meditation habits. Doing daily or weekly accountability check-ins via text or email can really help you stay on track.
  • An Immediate Preceding Action: Choose another daily habit you've already established, and do your practice right afterwards. My favorite is sitting to meditate right after I shower and brush my teeth in the morning!

Here's an example of the habit-loop of my morning meditation routine.

meditation habit loop

 

The reward is the pay-off for finishing the routine. And eventually, as the habit forms, you'll begin to notice that your meditation cues will automatically trigger you to crave the reward. Once that happens, your new meditation habit is born!

Take Action: Choose a cue for your daily meditation practice. 

10. PLAN for CHANGE

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
— Benjamin Franklin

Life isn’t static, so why should your practice be? 

If your weekend schedule is different than during the week, create different meditation habits on the weekends. If you go on vacation, take some time when you arrive to decide when and where you’ll meditate (even if you decide there's only time for a 5 minute shower meditation). Or if you stay at your boyfriend’s place a lot, create different cues and meditation routines there. Maybe when you have the "toothbrush talk" you can ask about keeping a meditation cushion in the corner of a room there too! A little bit of planning now, can save you a lot of stress or missed sittings, later.

Take Action: Take a look at your schedule. Do you need to create some other meditation cues and routines to account for regular changes to your schedule? 

11. EMBRACE OBSTACLES

Managing obstacles “on the cushion” will help you  better manage them “off the cushion” (in life).

Like life, your meditation practice will have obstacles. You'll have obstacles like busyness or lazyness that that keep you from showing up to your practice. And obstacles like boredom or distraction that get in the way of you staying focused and mindful during your practice.

The obstacles themselves are not the problem though. It's how you respond to them that causes you difficulty.

When you experience an obstacle during meditation like a busy or wandering mind, or a physical pain, or a difficult emotion, rather than resisting it or beating yourself up over it, lean into it.

What you resist persists.
— Carl Jung

By observing the difficult emotion that arises due to any obstacle, bringing compassion to it, and using it as part of your practice, you’ll ultimately be able to transform it.

We often see obstacles that arise around our practice as blocks or nuisances to the practice. But in fact, those obstacles ARE THE PRACTICE.

If you didn't have any obstacles you probably wouldn't need to meditate, would you?  And the more you can lean into and transform those obstacles on the cushion, the more you'll be able to do so off the cushion (in everyday life). Begin to think of your meditation practice as practice for life. 

Take Action: Anytime you're feeling frustrated by a busy mind or other obstacle during your practice, smile and remind yourself, “All obstacles are opportunities to practice”.

12. Maintain a BALANCED practice

A successful meditation practice requires a constant dance between the masculine and feminine energies.

We’re all made up of both feminine and masculine energies. While studying Chinese Medicine, l learned them as yin and yang. And also learned that states of dis-ease came when yin and yang energies got too far out of balance.

In the context of your meditation practice, yang (masculine) is the drive and commitment to show up, stay focused, and maintain dedicated consistency. While yin (feminine) is having compassion and forgiveness when you fall off track and the ability to be flexible and adapt your practice when you encounter obstacles or change in your life.

When the yang and yin of your practice are in balance, it will feel good and successful. When one starts to overpower the other, you’ll start to see the shadow aspects of one or the other show up. And you'll start to experience struggle in your practice. Here’s a simple graphic that'll help you diagnose when you're out of balance, and if you need to add more yin or more yang energy to your practice.

yin and yang of meditation

 

13. Find a meditation COMMUNITY

For most people who overhaul their lives, there are no seminal moments or life-altering disasters. There are simply communities-sometimes of just one other person- who make change believable.
— Charles Duhigg

In habit research, they found that those who interacted with communities interested in cultivating the same habit were able to develop and maintain those new habits more successfully. I’ve found that surrounding myself with others committed to their spiritual path helps me stay much more consistent in my meditation practices and personal growth. Here are a few ways I’ve done that over the years.

  • Local meditation communities: Find a class at a local meditation or yoga center. Or start your own in your living room!
  • Virtual meditation communities and live challenges: You can join my free "Meditate with Ease" Facebook community here where you can ask questions, get support, or join one of the free fun challenges I host throughout the year.
  • Meditation retreats and workshops: There are many places that host different types of meditation workshops. Do a online search to find one near you.

So there you have it- thirteen ways to start and maintain a successful meditation practice. You don't have to do these all at once. Just start with the ones you feel most drawn to- the ones that are keeping you from getting the benefits you crave in your practice right now. I'd love to support you as you make these shifts in your practice, so let me know in the comments below which tweaks you plan to make first!

And if you'd like to join my VIP tribe and get the guided concentration practice + other valuable resources to help you along your meditation journey, just sign-up below!

I Ching Summer Solstice Wisdom {June}

I Ching Summer Solstice Wisdom {June}

This month we're surrounded by both the full moon and solstice energies. I've been working with the I Ching as my oracle system of choice for almost a decade, and I still get chills at how magically aligned its messages feel each and I every time I work with it. Whether it's for myself or for a client. And this month's message couldn't be more appropriate. 

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5 Signs Your Meditation Practice is Successful

"How do I know if I'm meditating properly?" "Is my practice working, or am I just wasting my time?". These are questions I get asked quite a bit from newbie meditators or even those who've been meditating on and off for some time. I wondered this myself when I first started out.

Over time I realized it's much easier to first tap into how your practice FEELS in order to gauge success, rather than arbitrarily following any sort of specific meditation rules.

The following 5 signs are the barometer I use to measure if I'm meditating "properly" or if my practice is "working". And since awareness is the first step towards change, knowing which element(s) you're lacking will help you make the necessary tweaks to make your practice feel more successful.

One more thing before we dive in. I realize the term "success" is quite subjective. So I encourage you to take these 5 signs in with an open mind, and then use your own inner wisdom to take what resonates and put the rest aside. 

1. It's ENJOYABLE

Meditating shouldn't feel like an annoying chore every time you do it- another tedious thing to check off the to-do list. Sure, there will be obstacles. But if you don't enjoy your practice, it probably won't last very long. And then, what's the point? 

So, does your practice feel enjoyable? Or do you dread it most of the time?

2. It's EASY

Meditation shouldn't feel like an uphill battle each and every time you sit. It should feel relatively easy. Again, that doesn't mean there will never be obstacles in your practice. SPOILER ALERT: there will likely be lots of obstacles. But if you start seeing them simply as an opportunity to practice, and you learn how to manage them, obstacles don't have to make your practice feel so. damn. hard!

So, does your practice feel relatively easy? Or does it feel like an uphill battle most of the time?

3. It's EFFECTIVE

The benefits of meditation are broad. As are each of our personal reasons for meditating. When I polled my community on Facebook as to why they meditate, I got answers like, "to feel more peace", "to find love for myself again", "to connect with the divine", "to connect to my inner wisdom""to evolve into the best version of myself", "to uncover my purpose", "to calm my mind", "to feel more confident", "to attract positivity into my life", "to set an example of self-care for my kids".

So whatever your own personal meditation aspirations may be, is your practice helping you achieve them? If so, awesome! If not, then you likely just need to make some simple tweaks in your practice.

4. It's ENDURING

For a long time my practice looked like this: A stressful event like a breakup would make me feel stressed and overwhelmed > I'd start meditating daily > I'd start feeling better > I'd start skipping sessions and my practice would slowly fade out (maybe for weeks or even months) > I'd slowly start feeling stressed and overwhelmed again (or another traumatic event would happen) > I'd start meditating daily again. And so the cycle would continue.

Eventually I realized that if I just kept my practice up consistently, as part of my daily self-care routine, I was better prepared (mentally and emotionally) to handle the inevitable little stressors or "sh*t hits the fan" moments in life. 

So, do you meditate consistently? Or is your practice sporadic or often only triggered when something stressful is happening in your life?

5. It makes you more YOU

The thing about meditation is: you become more you.
— David Lynch

I love this quote, and I couldn't agree more. Throughout our lives we pick up beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors that are meant to keep us safe, but can ultimately distance us from our true-selves and cause us stress and unhappiness. Meditation has the capability of shining a light on those false beliefs that are keeping you feeling disconnected from your true-self, and fully fulfilled and happy.

When I first started meditating, I had no idea meditation could be so powerful in transforming my life. So I meditated mostly just to calm my anxiety and feel more peaceful.

If you're meditating to just temporarily reduce stress, you're missing out on the greatest potential of meditation- it's ability to reconnect you to your truth and help you become your best self!

So, how do you measure the success of your practice and know when you need to make tweaks to it? Which of the above signs resonate as something you'd like to cultivate more of in your practice? Or is there something else that's not on the list? Let's get this discussion going below in the comments!


And if you've realized that your practice isn't as successful as you'd like and want to know how you can make your practice feel more enjoyable, easy, effective, enduring, AND make connect you to your true-self, you're in luck! I'm working on a comprehensive guide to help you.

Sign up below to get "The Ultimate Guide to Starting and Maintaining a Successful Meditation Practice" delivered straight to your inbox as soon as it's ready to go out!

I Ching Full Moon Wisdom {April}

Hexagram 63 After Completion.jpg

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. They're also known for stirring up emotions, to help shine a light on your blocks, so you can release them. 

To assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy to our advantage, I asked my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, what energies are most potent now, and how we can best use them to create growth and change in our lives. (fyi: the I Ching speaks in a language called hexagrams)

The answer it gave was Hexagram #63, "After Completion".

This hexagram indicates that a situation or pattern (thought or behavior) you were previously struggling with has finally been transformed. You made it through the chaos to the light on the other side! Yay! Take a moment to celebrate your success and this new found peace and clarity.

But the key take-away in this hexagram right now, lies in the friendly, but stern, reminder:

Celebrate your new found ease and success, but do not become complacent and fall back into the old bad habits you've so painstakingly transformed.

If you revert to this sort of carelessness now, you will undo all that you have worked to build... One minute we dip our toe in incorrectness, the next minute we are swimming in it, and the next, we drown. Therefore it is wiser to simply keep our toes dry in the first place.
— The I Ching

Changing a stuck situation in your life, is not something that magically happens over night.

Transformation is a process that happens over time as you release non-serving thoughts and behaviors that keep you stuck, and adopt new ones that instead create the circumstances you desire.

So getting this hexagram with this warning message now, indicates that you have successfully released a thought or behavior habit that was keeping you stuck. And because of this, you are now enjoying more peace, ease, and flow in that area of your life (ie. love, career, health, purpose, etc). But old habits are quick to return if you're not mindful, bringing with them those old stuck circumstances.

When we have achieved success or are close to it, it is in our nature to want to relax and allow the ego to bask in glory.
— The I Ching

TAKE ACTION >> During this week of the full moon, take a moment to check yourself. 

What are some of the new and beneficial thought and behavior patterns you've adopted recently? Are any of your old, non-serving thought or behavior habits creeping back in and threatening to ruin some positive change you've achieved in your life?

If so, don't panic or beat yourself up over it! Remember, transformation is a process that takes time, patience, and a continuous determination (and tweaking of habits). 

This resurfacing of old patterns is actually a very natural part of the transformation process. 

The more you practice acknowledging them as soon as they come up, and continually replace them with the new thoughts and behaviors you've adopted (or desire), the more you'll solidify the new positive habits and transformations you've begun to experience. 

You're in a critical part of the transformation process! Don't get lazy now. Keep doing the work and you'll find lasting success and happiness around the corner.

Having a firm understanding of how the transformation process works and what stage you're in at any given moment is crucial if you want to actively and gracefully create change in your relationships, career, health, and life in general. Because if you're not actively creating change in your life, you're either staying stuck or passively letting outside circumstances dictate your life circumstances.

If you want to learn how to actively navigate the transformation process with more ease and grace, so you feel like you're in the driver seat of your life, then you're in for a treat! 

Next week I'm starting a FREE 4-Part Training called "The Art of Transformation: 4 Steps to Using Meditation to Create More Peace and Lasting Change in Your Life".

It's time to take back control of your life and learn to co-create it with the universe, rather than sitting back idly, staying stuck or letting outside circumstances (and people) create it for you!

Just sign up below to get all 4 parts of the training sent right to your inbox. 

The Power of Connection and How to Cultivate it as an Introvert

In the last month I've begun to feel a natural shift from the hibernation and introverted energy that Winter brings, to the more expansive and extroverted energies of Spring. As I watch the flower buds around my yard begin to open, I feel my own cravings to come out of my shell and connect, begin to over-power my natural introvert tendencies.

I've begun to deeply desire community once again and have naturally been planting seeds and cultivating more of it. Modern society has created a sense of isolation amongst us, so it's easy to forget that, at our core, we humans are tribal creatures.

We thrive and grow through connection and relationships with others, not in isolation. 

So while alone time to reflect and recharge is important, connecting with others is equally important. And by "connecting" I don't mean the superficial chit chat that seems to pervade most social environments (although chit chat does have its place too), but real deep, raw connection. 

If you too have been feeling Spring's pull to connect more and on a deeper level, here are some ways to cultivate more community and connection in your life (especially if you're a natural introvert like me). And also some things you may want to watch out for as an introvert getting out there again, after a long winter of hibernation.

1) Schedule "friend dates"

As a natural introvert, winters always leave me with extreme anti-social and home-body tendencies. I think I'd stay in every day reading, drinking tea, and watching movies if I could! And even when the spring naturally awakens my desire for deeper connection, I still often struggle with the introvert's desire to just stay in, alone or with my boyfriend. 

So I've found that scheduling "friend' dates" just as you would schedule a Dr. appointment or work-out session is so helpful to cultivating that regular connection. My favorites are connecting over a weekly hike or walk, cup of tea, happy hour, or even just a phone call. If you're anything like me, if it's not scheduled, you're much more likely to get a little too cozy on the couch, ignore calls, and just hang out solo.

Alone time is important, but won't satisfy your human need for connection.

2) Learn How to Manage Your Energy

Introverts have a tendency to be very sensitive. So it's easy to feel drained when you begin connecting and socializing more. This can lead to feeling cranky and possibly even lead you to make poor decisions or react out of character.

Beginning to notice when your energy is low and replenishing yourself is key to connecting successfully as an introvert!

My favorite way to do this is to have a consistent meditation practice. 

this is how i get ready to go out friday nights. a 10-20 minute meditation to ground myself and prepare my energy for lots of people.

this is how i get ready to go out friday nights. a 10-20 minute meditation to ground myself and prepare my energy for lots of people.

Beginning or maintaining a consistent meditation practice doesn't have to feel hard or take up a lot of time. Here's a free resource to help you get started > the "Meditate with Ease: Mini Course".

3) Be Mindful of Your Consumption of Mind-Altering Substances

This may or may not apply to you, but I feel that it's important to mention because I know it's a common struggle for introverts (particularly those who are sensitive).

Over-consumption of any mind-altering substance (caffeine, alcohol, etc.) can affect your energy and ability to connect mindfully and authentically.

I'm not saying to avoid these things, I'm just saying to be conscious of how you use these substances and how they make you feel.

For example while I enjoy social drinking, I can also have a tendency to use alcohol to help soothe anxiousness around connecting in groups or with new people. But often times it makes things worse. I'm also sensitive to caffeine and notice it can cause more anxiousness when connecting with others. So just be mindful of your usage habits and how they make you feel, so you can make more empowering choices.

4) Join a Women's Circle 

You can learn so much about yourself and grow, when you allow yourself to go deep, open up, and be vulnerable with others.

The best place I've experienced this is in women's circles. If you desire these types of deeper connections and don't really have relationships that satiate that craving (or are just looking for something more), women's circles are aaahmazing!

I discovered the power of women's circles when I moved across the country six years ago to finish up acupuncture school. I really didn't know anyone out there and found myself feeling pretty lonely and isolated, despite meeting people in classes. You see, as an introvert, I had a hard time taking the superficial friendships I made in class to a deeper, more fulfilling level.

So after trying out several meet-up and networking groups (which felt draining and still didn't help me cultivate the deeper connections I craved), I serendipitously discovered a women's circle. And it was transformational! 

Ever since then, I've participated in several in-person and online women's circles, and have even led my own. And each has been powerful and changed me in some way. Finding a group might take a little exploring. Here are some options:

  • Search for local yoga studios, wellness centers, meditation centers, or new age/ spiritual shops. Check out some of their events or ask the owner if they have a women's circle or anything like it. 
  • Join my private Facebook community here. It's an online community where you can connect with me and others who are on a spiritual path. We're a tribe of like-minded souls who strive to grow and create more joy and fulfillment in our lives (and support each other along the journey). Also by being a member of the group, you'll soon have the opportunity to attend a women's circle, hosted by moi, from the coziness of your own home!
  • Start your own local women's circle. If you have some friends who you think you'd like to do this with, you can even start your own group. Check out this book for inspiration and guidance.
  • And if you're a man, you could look for some local (or virtual) communities as well. Although I don't have as much experience with men's groups :)

I so look forward to seeing you in the Facebook community if it's something that resonates with you! And if you do join us, you'll also be the first to know when I start a virtual women's circle.

 

 

I Ching Full Moon Wisdom {March}

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. And also known for stirring up emotions, to help shine a light on your blocks, so you can release them. This month, during the full moon, we also have an eclipse which adds to the deeply reflective power of the time. This means that if you're feeling stuck or confused in your life, it's an especially easy time to connect to your inner wisdom and gain the insight for solutions and forward movement. 

Making time monthly during the full moon to reflect, has consistently helped me stay on purpose and shift difficult and stagnant areas of my life. A few years ago, I began combining my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, with my full moon practice and KABAM, the "I Ching Moon Wisdom" was born. 

So to assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy for transformation, I asked the I Ching, what energies are most potent now and how can we best use them. (fyi: the I Ching speaks in a language called hexagrams)

The answer it gave was Hexagram #62, "SMALL CROSSING".

"Small Crossing" has a couple meanings and lessons that you can benefit from right now. The first is "small crossing" as in "a slight excess". The second is "small crossing" as in  "a small step past a milestone" (aka. a baby-step). So what exactly does this mean for you right now? Let's break it down.

1) Small Crossing as "A SLIGHT EXCESS"

Taking firm control over our lives will inevitably lead to small excesses as we struggle for control over ourselves.
— I Ching

The lesson here is that as you journey in your life and grow, there will be times when you go too far. You go past your boundaries. You make mistakes. Maybe there's even a mistake you've made recently that's causing you guilt, regret, or shame. Or perhaps someone else has wronged you and it's causing you pain.

Take this as a gentle reminder to forgive yourself (or someone else) and move on.

2) Small Crossing as a "BABY STEP"

People never fully comprehend the full power of the small. For the wise, it takes only a touch to set a wheel turning– and then that wheel amplifies the power of their touch.
— I Ching

Grand actions or big life overhauls aren't needed right now. It's the correct little shift, the "baby steps", that will make all the difference in your life now. This is such a crucial lesson! The big dream is important and serves as a compass for all of your decisions. But sometimes your ideal relationship, job, or life in general seem so far out of reach that you get overwhelmed wondering how you'll get there. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and possibly giving up altogether.

So this hexagram is a reminder that once you see the big picture vision, just start by taking tiny baby-steps in that direction.

And if you don't know what the your ideal big picture looks like, or you're not sure what baby-step to take, now is a powerful time to go within and get some answers! 

::Try This>> (get quiet and meditate on these)

  • Where do you feel most stuck right now? 
  • Visualization Meditation: If you had a magic wand, what would that stuck situation look and feel like instead? Imagine it (in detail) using as many senses as possible. What are your main feelings in this ideal scenario? (ie. adventurous, free, connected, etc.)
  • Reflection Meditation 1: Ask "What is one small "baby step" that will bring me closer to [ideal scenario]?
  • Reflection Meditation 2: Ask "What is one small thing I need to release (think belief, thought, behavior, a person, etc.) that is blocking me from creating [ideal scenario]?
    • Visualize that small thing being released from your energy field and floating into a fire to be transformed.

Sometimes the best next baby-step is an action, but sometimes just a simple mindset shift can powerfully catalyze change.

For example a had a lovely client who came to me feeling depressed and stuck in her career (and other aspects of her life). After a 45 minute session (plus a few days to process the shifts), she had several aha moments and went from feeling exhausted and very stuck, to feeling hopeful again. We also discussed some meditations she could do to keep the energy flowing and the clarity coming. Nothing in her physical "stuck" big picture necessarily shifted immediately. But her mental and energetic state went from depressed (contracted) to hopeful (open).

She then received an email as if by magic (or coincidence, depending on your beliefs), from a friend recommending her for a great new job! Getting that email likely added to her hope and expansive feelings, which will likely attract more opportunity her way.

So when you're feeling stuck and overwhelmed, please do not underestimate the power of a little clarity and a baby-step!

If you're feeling stuck anywhere in your life right now, try the meditations above for clarity as to your next baby-step. If you're new to meditation or need help tapping into your inner wisdom to uncover your best next steps, you can learn more about my I Ching Clarity Sessions here.

The One Realization That Has Curbed My Anxiety and Brought Me Peace (even in the midst of chaos)

I had a really powerful sunset meditation last night where I just watched the sky change colors as the sun set (somewhere over my neighbors' houses since I'm on the east coast! lol). And it got me contemplating the idea of cycles and change.

I believe the root of a lot of our anxiety and lack of lasting peace, is due to our inability to accept (and flow with) the very natural occurrence of cycles and change in our lives.

Before I truly embraced cycles and change (on an experiential level not just a theoretical level), I never felt at peace for long. I'd have moments (during meditation, in nature, etc.), but the peace was always fleeting.

But then I began to learn about cycles and saw that they were happening all around (and within) me, all the time- no matter what I did or didn't do.

I began to realize that the beginnings and endings of cycles felt the hardest (which is why I tended to avoid them for as long as possible- even if it meant staying in mediocre or downright crappy situations).

I soon learned that the more I accepted and understood how to navigate these cycles, the more I could use them to my advantage. And the more peace (and less anxiety) I felt, even in the thickest of chaos. And then the more my life began to miraculously transform.

There are currently lots of cycles ending and beginning in the next couple of weeks. Which means energies are being stirred up, and there is great opportunity for some real insight and transformation (if you're willing to look within and do the work)!

We've got the Spring Equinox on Sunday (yay spring!!) and a lunar eclipse + full moon on Wednesday.

These shifting cycles can stir up some discomfort in us as well (to help us begin to see and release anything that's holding us back from growth and true peace and happiness). So if you're feeling really triggered or stuck anywhere in your life, these next couple of weeks are especially powerful to go within and gain insight to shift those blocks for good!

My greatest teacher on cycles and change has been something called the "I Ching" (aka. Book of Changes). It's an oracle and ancient Chinese wisdom book that has truly changed how I think and live my life. I've been working with the I Ching for years (studied it in acupuncture school), and it's been the most powerful tool I've found when it comes to connecting to my intuition, hearing guidance from the universe, getting unstuck quickly, and working with cycles and change like a pro! 

If you're feeling really stuck with some aspect of your life and are curious how the "I Ching" can help you gain clarity and forward movement (especially during this Equinox/ Full Moon/ Eclipse period), click here to learn more or to set up a free 15 min discovery session.

I Ching Full Moon Wisdom {February}

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. Taking time monthly during the full moon to reflect, has consistently helped me stay on purpose and shift difficult and stagnant areas of my life. A few years ago, I began combining my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, with my full moon practice and KABAM, "I Ching Moon" readings were born. 

So to assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy for transformation, I asked the I Ching, what energies are most potent, now and how we can best use them. (fyi: the I Ching speaks through something called hexagrams)

The answer it gave was Hexagram #35, "ADVANCING".

We are currently in a very fortuitous time! The I Ching describes this time as, outer fortune coinciding with inner power. And after practically a whole month of Mercury retrograde (which is more a time of holding for many), we now find ourselves in a time where flow and potential for progress is great. 

I am definitely feeling this energy right now. And in fact, there's this sense that the year is just getting started. January and early February felt a bit like trudging through mud. I had a lot of ideas for new projects but none felt quite ready to move forward. Then a couple weeks ago, one of my ideas (a meditation challenge) really started to take shape. I went deep into my "creative cave" and spent my energy creating and planning.

And when I emerged 6 days ago and put my creative endeavor out into the world, that feeling of trudging through mud was replaced by the sensation of flowing down a fast moving river.

And next thing I knew, there were over 100 people signed up!

This is what "ADVANCING" feels like.

Advancing happens when our own goals agree with the times.
— The I Ching

To make the most of this opportune time, here are some things to keep in mind:

1) Be careful not to overextend yourself.

You may be tempted to, given the current flow of energy, but this would be dangerous. Instead find a balance between taking advantage of this time of "advancing", and also accumulating your resources (time, energy, money, etc) for later. Focus on using this powerful energy to increase support systems and create connections that will be beneficial later. Because the time of "advancing" will not last forever.

2) If you don't feel this energy of flow and advancing in your own life, take some time to go within and reflect.

Are you blocking yourself from this energy in any way? Is fear or doubt holding you back?

To allow the outer "advancing" of this time to happen for you, it may be first necessary to allow inner "advancing" by uncovering and releasing whatever blocks you've subconsciously put up. And this is an opportune time to do that too, under the power of full moon.

Whether you feel the "advancing" energy and just need some insight on how to flow through with balance, OR you feel blocked from this energy, you can benefit from going within now. 

Meditation, especially reflection and releasing practices, are appropriate for all during the full moon. 

If you need help getting started or just creating more consistency with your meditation practice, I have a free challenge starting tomorrow! Click below to sign up.





I Ching Full Moon Wisdom {December}

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. Taking time monthly during the full moon to reflect has consistently helped me stay on purpose and shift difficult and stagnant areas of my life. A few years ago, I began combining my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, with my full moon practice and BAM, "I Ching Moon Wisdom" readings were born. 

So to assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy for transformation, I asked the I Ching, "How can we best use this year's final full moon energy to set us up for more happiness and greater alignment with our true selves as we shift into 2016?(hexagrams are the language of the I Ching)

And it answered with Hexagram #16, Delight (aka. Enthusiasm).

As I read through this hexagram, I uncovered 3 main themes that are important for us to take the time to explore over the next couple weeks. So grab a cup of tea, find a cozy nook, and dive into this month's wisdom to set yourself up for more happiness and success (however you define it) in 2016!

1. KNOW WHAT DELIGHTS YOU

In order to become more aligned with your true self and begin to cultivate more happiness in 2016, you must be tuned into what brings you joy. What is it that truly Lights You Up?!?

Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.
— Danielle LaPorte

Sometimes what we think will (or should) light us up actually doesn't. This could be because were basing what we want on others ideals, our own false ideals, or simply because our own tastes have changed. 

The plain truth is, what delights us changes as we grow older. We have to manage that change.
— The I Ching

The hexagram "Delight" is reminding you to take some time to re-clarify your ideas of what truly lights you up, before you start setting those tangible goals for 2016.

TAKE ACTION >> Take a moment to upgrade your ideas on what delights you, before you shift into 2016.

  • You can do this by sitting quietly and contemplating the things that truly light you up. Grab a journal, and ask yourself "What lights me up? What makes me feel expansive and joyful?"
  • You can also do this by being more mindful in your daily life. Start noticing what truly delights you over the next few weeks. What makes you giddy? What makes you feel expansive? Also start to notice what feels heavy or exhausting. What makes you contract? 

Personally, I've noticed some major changes in what delights me in my relationship. How I once loved to connect has greatly shifted over the year, and as I move into 2016 I'll have to account for these changes if I want to feel fulfilled and happy. I've also found that what delights me in my social life has drastically shifted over the year. And if I'm being honest, the shifts likely started years ago. But I never too the time to upgrade and came up against some major internal turbulence because of it.

Re-clarifying and following your delight is a wonderful way to align more deeply with your true self and set goals that will truly bring you more happiness in 2016. 

2. FOLLOW DELIGHT WITH PERSEVERENCE

Delight is volatile. Unless our spark begins a reaction, and unless we channel and amplify that reaction through hard work and perseverance, we cannot find a lasting path.
— The I Ching

This hexagram also reminds you that discipline and hard work are just as important as the spark of delight.

You're reminded to keep your initial excitement in mind while also maintaining your steady forward momentum (in any aspect of your life). Allow that spark of delight, your enthusiasm, to get your attention. That's what it's for! Enjoy it when it comes to you. But also be sure to keep persevering on that path, even as the initial excitement fades.

I've noticed a trend in myself (and others I talk to). I'll get a spark of inspiration that really lights me up. I'm giddy with excitement over it. I obsess over it, journal on it, talk about it, and then.......I stop. The excitement dies down or fear and doubt creep in and I Just Stop. Until another enthusiastic burst of delight pops up! And the cycle continues. 

This pattern of not following up bursts of delight with perseverance and consistent action can happen to anyone in any area of their life. And it's a surefire way to lose momentum and stagnate your growth.

Let delight be your compass, and hard work be your tools.

TAKE ACTION>> The next time you get a burst of delight or inspiration, make a plan to follow it up with consistent action.

Do you keep thinking about getting into better shape and then finally feel inspired to go out for a jog? Don't let that inspiration fade. Create a plan to take consistent action towards getting into shape. Join a gym; get a jogging buddy; hire a health coach; do whatever you need to do to insure consistent action.

3. ESTABLISH A DEEP CONNECTION WITH SPIRIT AND YOUR SOUL

So #3 may sound a bit random, but bear with me because it may very well be the most important aspect of this hexagram "Delight". The I Ching says,

Only one delight, delight in the spiritual, is lasting and ultimately satisfying. All other delights are external- mere entertainment and playing. The spiritual transcends our isolation, joins us with others, and leads our souls to dance to a music that resonates through the universe in a song of delight
— The I Ching

Many things will delight you and compete for your continued attention and energy in 2016 and beyond. It's only with the wisdom of the universe (spirit, source, god, etc.) and you're own inner wise woman (soul, intuition, etc.) that you'll know the difference between what will bring you farther on your path, and what will be a fun (but perhaps unfulfilling) distraction. Neither is wrong.

But if you're goal in 2016 is to more fully live your purpose and align with your true self, you'd benefit greatly from listening for whispers of the universe and your soul, as to which sparks of delight to follow.

TAKE ACTION>> If you'd like to strengthen your connection and gain more guidance from the universe and your inner wise woman, I highly suggest establishing a regular spiritual practice in your life. This has been key for transforming my own life. A "regular spiritual practice" may look different for each of you. And that's ok. As long as it helps you have a deeper connection with the universe and your inner wise woman, you're golden :)

If you're curious, my spiritual practice consists of regular and varying types of meditation, journaling, consulting the I Ching, and other regular rituals that help me feel that deeper connection with myself and the divine. 

If you'd like to learn how to make your own spiritual practice more consistent so you can more easily tap into your inner wise woman and guidance from spirit, sign up below for a free resource to help. It's a guide with 4 simple steps that will help you take your spiritual practice from inconsistent dabble to regular ritual in 2016.

Whether your spiritual practice is meditation or something else, this guide will help you make it more consistent.









I Ching Full Moon Wisdom {November}

I Ching Hexagram 3

Full moons are always an energetically potent time, ripe for bringing about great transformation. Taking time monthly during the full moon to reflect has consistently helped me stay on purpose and shift difficult and stagnant areas of my life. A few years ago, I began combining my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, with my full moon practice and KABAM, "I Ching Moon Wisdom" readings were born. 

So to assist us in utilizing this month's full moon energy for transformation, I asked the I Ching, "What do we need to know about this Gemini full moon to harness its power + powerfully and ease-fully move forward in our lives?"  (hexagrams are the language of the I Ching)

And it answered with Hexagram #3, Sprouting (aka. Difficult Beginnings).

Watching my dad try his hand at gardening this year taught me that growing fruits and veggies isn't as easy as I had assumed. I learned planting seeds doesn't guarantee a plant will grow, and if it does grow, there's no guarantee it'll be healthy and delicious. Our lives are a lot like this.

Throughout the year you've likely spent a lot of time planting seeds for what you want to create in your life in 2015 (through your thoughts and intentions). Like my dad's garden, every single seed you've planted will not go from energetic seed to physical plant. But the ones you've nurtured most, will eventually begin to sprout into tangible form.

Getting this hexagram "Sprouting" now, indicates some of your nurtured seeds are finally beginning to manifest from the energy realm of intention into the physical realm of form.

We are at the dynamic moment in which an inner world change is beginning to precipitate into an outer world change.
— The I Ching

And like my dad's garden, just because something sprouts, doesn't mean it'll survive to its fullest expression. So the time of sprouting, when you first begin to glimpse the fruits of your labor, is both magical and terrifying.

Difficult beginnings arise where there are a perfusion of elements struggling to take form. Because your new environment has yet to fully materialize, much confusion surrounds any attempt to master it.
— The I Ching

Despite this confusion, The I Ching wants you to know that this time of "Sprouting" or "Difficult Beginnings" is completely natural. For now, what will benefit you the most is to pause and surrender to all the chaotic energy swirling around you as these seedlings begin to sprout.

You see, seeds can be planted both consciously and unconsciously. 

Seeds consciously planted and nurtured will often sprout into situations or things you desire, while unconsciously planted and nurtured ones may sprout into something undesirable. 

So your job during this full moon is to sit back and take stock of ALL the seeds you've been nurturing and have allowed to sprout in your life this year. This is a great ritual to do as 2015 completes, so you can be sure to only bring what you truly want into 2016.

Take some time this week (while the full moon energy is still potent) to journal on these questions.

  • Are the seeds taking form in my life now ones I want? If so, how can I continue to nurture them further to ensure their full fruition?
  • If not, what can I do (or stop doing) to ensure they grow no further?




Meditation Beyond Relaxation: What's next?

The thing about meditation quote.jpg

I've always been a natural seeker, and I'm constantly working towards becoming the best (or truest) version of myself possible. And if I'm being honest, it's been a serious pain in the ass at times. But settling and mediocrity is just not in my DNA. 

Anytime I inadvertently settle (in love, work, health etc.), I get a gentle intuitive nudge to keep changing.

These gentle nudges first come in the form of internal struggle or general feelings of discontent. But the longer I ignore these feelings, the stronger (and less gentle) they become. Eventually nudge turns to shove and...you get the picture.

Growing up I didn't recognize these "nudges and shoves" as helpful guidance, but rather as emotional and mental crises that brought up a lot of anxiety and overwhelm. So while I may have appeared to be a normal teenager on the outside, internally much of those years were spent in a constant state of over-analysis and anxiousness. It wasn't until college that I realized living like that, while common, wasn't natural. So I looked for healing and found meditation.

As I dabbled in meditation for the first few years, I noticed the immediate benefit of relaxation.

My constant state of emotional and mental noise lessened, and I was content. But as I stopped having to constantly put out emotional fires (so to speak), I began to see areas of my life that felt lack luster or just plain crappy and stuck.

So I once again turned to meditation for answers.

I was ready to take my practice beyond relaxation and begin transforming all the areas of my life where I was settling or stuck in undesirable patterns (like my love life at the time).

And while I'd heard this sort of life transformation was possible through meditation, I wasn't quite sure how to achieve it. Well I'm happy to say that after years of study and trial and error, I've found some answers.

Here are some of the key things I've learned on my journey:

  1. Transforming stuck life circumstances is a process that happens in distinct steps. Knowing these steps is extremely helpful as you work towards changing your life.
  2. There are many different types of meditation, and each has its own specific benefits.
  3. Each step of the transformation process has meditation types best suited to it. Knowing what practice is best for each step will help you flow through the process with much more ease.
  4. There's a root skill necessary for all types of meditation. Constant distraction and frustration calming your mind during meditation (or anytime), may be a sign you need to cultivate this skill first.
  5. And lastly, change doesn't happen overnight! In order to achieve long-lasting transformation, commitment (and constant re-commitment) to create change is essential. This means, you've got to make your practice part of your daily life and not just something you turn to when shit hits the fan.

If you're ready to take your meditation practice from relaxation to transformation (or at least curious how it's done), then I've got special gift for you! I've created a blueprint that outlines each stage of the transformation through meditation process + the best type of meditation for each stage.

So if you feel stuck getting lasting change in any aspect of your life and aren't ready to spend hundreds of dollars on psychics, therapists, or healers for answers, download your free guide "Meditation for Transformation Blueprint: 4 Steps to Gain Clarity, Get Unstuck, and Change Your Life for Good"

I Ching Full Moon Wisdom {October}

rotten fruit.jpg

Full moons are always a potent time. Energetically ripe for transformation. Taking time monthly during the full moon to reflect and reassess your life can be a powerful practice. Having a full moon practice has consistently helped me shift difficult and stagnant areas of my life. A couple years ago, I began combining my favorite oracle and spiritual tool, the I Ching, with my full moon practice and KABAM, "I Ching Full Moon Wisdom" readings were born. 

So to assist us in harnessing this month's full moon energy for transformation, I asked the I Ching, "What is this Taurus full moon all about, and How can we best utilize it now that's in our highest and best?" 

And it answered with Hexagram #64, Not Yet Across. (hexagrams are the language of the I Ching).

This is interesting because the hexagrams are cyclical starting at #1 and ending at #64 before they loop back to #1. So #1 represents a new beginning while #64 is the moment just before a new beginning.

This time of "Not Yet Across" represents the moment just before we complete a cycle in our life. 

We are poised at the beginning of a new venture, and this moment when heaven and earth pause between inhalation and exhalation is sacred, terrible, peaceful, [fertile].
— The I Ching*

Getting this hexagram now signifies that there's an aspect of your life that's really ripe for completion or letting go. And once you let it go you will complete this cycle (or lesson) and begin a new one. Take a moment now to reflect on what that aspect is. Close your eyes and ask yourself (you may want to grab your journal and write it down):

What in my life is ripe for releasing now?

Is it a relationship with a friend or lover that's done? A job? Or perhaps it's a thought or behavior pattern that's no longer serving you?

Whatever it is, holding onto it is holding you back from evolving in that aspect of your life. Blocking you from allowing something better to come along....a new beginning to start. It's holding you back from realizing fully that lesson that's ready to be learned. 

Wisdom is to act in that measureless juncture between beginning and ending.
— The I Ching*

When we continue to hold onto things that are ripe for releasing, they begin to rot and stagnate us.

Letting go of things that we're attached to (even when they're ripe for releasing) can feel scary and even dangerous. But it's a necessary and empowering part of our growth. And it will always make room for something better and more aligned with our soul to come in. 

Crossing [between ending and new beginning] is dangerous. When we are not yet across, there is more risk than chance of accomplishment. We have to get to the other side before our plans can unfold.
— The I Ching*

So how do we know what's starting to rot and needs to be released?

First, you must trust that you have this knowledge inside of you (because you do!). Second, give yourself some time and space this week to reflect and/or journal on it. 

And if you still feel stuck knowing what to release, taking a look at your values can be very helpful during this Taurus full moon.

The Taurus Moon is shining a light on what you love and value. Your freedom and joy is in your ability to live authentically and in alignment with your core values.
— Kelley Rosano @ MysticMama

TRY THIS >> Grab your journal and reflect on these question.

  • What are your non-negotiables in life? What feelings do you strive to embody each day? 
  • Now reflect on one or two places where you feel the most struggle right now.
  • Now ask yourself: Which struggles are due to a disconnect in my values?
  • When you can start to see that a difficult circumstance in your life is caused by you not honoring your values (whether it's a relationship, an internal thought or behavior pattern, etc) >> THIS IS A SIGN OF SOMETHING ROTTING AND READY TO BE RELEASED FROM YOUR LIFE.

So on this full moon, I invite you to take advantage of this potent energy and feel for what's past its ripe date, ready to be digested into wisdom, and over due to be released from your life. And I ask you to give yourself permission to learn the lesson and LET IT GO.

Once you do, you'll shift from this hexagram of  "ALMOST ACROSS" to completing this cycle. And you'll allow the space and resources to nurture the seeds of something amazing and new to come along.