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Fear Part I: How to use Fear to Find Your Gifts

Zip Lining in Zimbabwe near Victoria Falls

In Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, he defines one of the greatest tools in the arsenal of Resistance – the blocker of creative and spiritual growth – is fear. Resistance feeds on our fear. Not only our fear of failure and all the perceived ramifications that would entail, but also fear of success.

“Fear…that we can access the powers we secretly know we possess. That we can become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are…We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are….That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity.”

Why do we fear our greatness? Why do we shirk away from owning our gifts?

According to Pressfield, and I wholeheartedly agree, “We know that if we embrace our ideals, we must prove worthy of them. And that scares the hell out of us.”

I worked with a friend on her fear of owning her clairvoyance. When it came down to it, she was afraid that if she misinterpreted an intuitive hit, people would think she was a fraud. And worse, she would stop believing in herself and her gifts.

It’s the Pandora’s box that once opened, cannot be closed. Once we embrace who we are meant to be – that amazing, fabulous, glittering Self that we are – we have “come out” to the world. And that is scary. I know because I’ve lived it.

It took about a year, but I “came out” as a woo-woo spiritual healer after changing careers to become a Life Coach. I “came out” again to my husband and family as someone who can feel other people’s energy and physical pain as my own.

When I was at a friend’s birthday party, I shared with a new acquaintance about some mind-body connection tools that healed my chronic back pain. His response was, “Oh, so you’re the spiritual weirdo my wife was telling me about.” (And to think I didn’t even tell him about my new and full moon rituals!)

It didn’t bother me, because I knew he wasn’t my people. I’d already found my tribe!

As soon as I had claimed these gifts and embraced what that meant for me and my future, a whole new world opened up to me. All of a sudden, I was meeting new people who shared these gifts. More than I imagined was even possible.

I feel like Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense, except instead of dead people, it’s healers with empathic, intuitive and clairvoyant abilities. (Don’t get me wrong, I now have friends who see dead people, too…but I digress.) They’re everywhere and they’re wonderful!

Now it’s time to tackle my remaining fears, one of which is public speaking. The fact that Resistance is using my fear against me only means that it is something I must do. It fits into my purpose and is a step up in my spiritual growth (and potentially helping others with theirs).

Now is the time to act. To be brave. To be a courageous bad-ass. Using all the coaching tools in my arsenal, and asking others for help, I’ll beat Resistance – because I must.

What is your fear? Coaching can help you tap into your gifts and beat resistance! Let’s talk!

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Setting Intentions for the New Year

Purple Bloom

As we wind down 2018 and set our sights on 2019, I invite you to plant your intentions rather than set a resolution.

To be resolute about a goal is to limit yourself within a rigid construct. For example: to lose 15 pounds, cook healthy dinners in instead of eating out, hit the gym every morning, or quit smoking. They’re often focused on some future state that, if achieved, will somehow bring us more joy or acceptance. (Spoiler alert: joy and acceptance are states of mind, not a checklist to be achieved.)

While I appreciate the importance of setting measurable goals, if a New Year’s Resolution isn’t reached (and let’s face it, most don’t make it past January) we have a tendency to beat ourselves up about it. Then we become so disappointed in ourselves that we regress more than we progress. (I’ve never craved a pizza more than after self-deprecating thoughts about my weight.)

Whereas setting intentions can build forward momentum that lasts much longer. It’s taking an action toward a general direction that allows for hiccups and purposeful responsiveness to whatever comes up. It’s a state of being rather than pushing toward some future state of perceived perfection. For example: to be kind, to love one’s self more, to lead with compassion, to practice self-care, or to be present in conversations with others.

Here are a few questions that may help you find an intention or two for 2019 that just might stick the whole year…and onward:

  1. What do you want to invite more of into your life?
  2. How do you want to engage with others?
  3. How do you want to treat yourself?
  4. What characteristics would you want shared in your eulogy?
  5. What brings you joy?
  6. How do you want to show up every day?
  7. In what instances and environments do you feel most at peace?

Once you’ve written down the answers to these questions, notice any common threads or what holds the most zing. Then set an intention for yourself for 2019.

Write that intention down on two pieces of paper. Post one somewhere you look at often. Plant the other in your yard or a potted plant in your home. It will be the metaphoric seedling you’ll water often and watch it grow and bloom.

May your new year be full of joy, peace and growth!

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8 Suggestions for the Winter Solstice Transition

Friday, December 21, 2018 is the Winter Solstice. On the longest night of the year, we have an opportunity to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new. This day marks the sun’s return, and with it new life and new beginnings.

I invite you to consider participating in a literal or figurative (or both!) cleansing of what no longer serves you. This opening of space physically and emotionally makes room for what wants to enter your life in the coming year.

Literal Cleansing Suggestions:

  1. Organize your kitchen pantry and donate items that will be expiring soon to food banks or homeless shelters.
  2. Sort through your closet and donate clothes that you rarely (if ever) wear, no longer fit, or aren’t in style anymore.
  3. Weed through your desk or office to organize the clutter, throw away unnecessary papers (scan and save the important ones), and recycle or donate what you no longer have need for.
  4. Take a long bath to let the heat open up your pores and allow the steam to excrete toxins from your body. Play some music, light some candles and consciously release your stress and anxiety.

Figurative Cleansing Suggestions:

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half. On the left side, write all the emotions, thoughts, bad habits and personal baggage that you want to release. On the right side, write all the emotions, affirmations, and new habits that you would like to replace what was written on the left. (It’s as important to identify what you’d like to invite into your life, as it is to close the chapter on the old.)
  2. Fill out a Judge Your Neighbor worksheet and then do Byron Katie’s The Work on the thought with the most angst.
  3. What movie made you cry the most or hardest? Curl up in your most comfortable pajamas and blanket on the couch and watch it again with a box of tissue. We all need a good cry once in a while.
  4. Angry or irritated at someone or something that happened? Pound, and/or scream into, a pillow until the anger is gone or you’re physically exhausted.

When you’re done with any or all of the above, take some time to meditate on all the possibilities you’d like to invite into your life in the coming year. Then set an intention for yourself in 2019. Write it down and post it somewhere you can refer to it often.

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How to Build Abundance

Rainbow Assortment of Pebbles

Manifesting abundance is not necessarily a linear path. It’s not like you meditate and then your boss gives you a raise (although it could happen!). Abundance works more mysteriously and fortuitously than that.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve focused on shifting my scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset with a variety of self-coaching tools and meditations. And it’s working, although to the outside world it might appear that nothing has changed or that it’s sheer luck.

Like the time I was turning left at a protected green light and an oncoming car ran a red light and totaled my Honda. We had planned to sell it for about $4,500. Insurance gave us $7,800 for the car and an additional $500 to waive any future medical claims.

Or how I absolutely love to travel and three friends invited us on three different vacations. Each offered to pay for accommodations and activities if we covered our own flights. And since my husband has hundreds of thousands of miles banked from years of corporate travel, we fly for free. Hello Hawaii, Mexico and Tahoe!

Abundance is more than financial, though. We can manifest abundance in love, friendship/community, health, career opportunities, and playful activities; you name it! I personally love manifesting wild animal interactions. (And if you follow my blogs, you’ll know that I see an unusual amount of them!)

The key is to realize and acknowledge all the areas of our lives that are plentiful. We bring more of whatever it is that we focus on. If we spend most of our time thinking about what we don’t have enough of, we’ll get less. If we notice and are grateful for what we do have, we’ll get more. Simple as that.

Here are four suggestions to get you started:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. I begin and end my day with what I’m grateful for.
  2. Throughout the day, notice what you have a lot of. That could be coffee and tea options in the office break-room, blades of grass and leaves on trees as you walk from your car to your front door, or even licks from your dog if you hold your hand out.
  3. Practice guided meditations on abundance. This simple practice has allowed me to connect with my higher self and inner wisdom that knows I’m always safe and will always have more than I need.
  4. Give others what you want to receive. If you want more love, give love freely. If you want more time, give your focused time to others. If you want acknowledgement of your contributions, genuinely acknowledge others. (And do so without the expectance and pressure of reciprocity.)

May you feel loved. May you feel safe. May you know peace. May you live abundantly!


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Manifesting Miracles in Puerto Vallarta

Counting sea turtle eggs

I recently manifested a mini-version of my upcoming Healing & Hatching Retreat. It was a pleasant surprise and completely unexpected.

Everyone can (and does) manifest his/her reality each and every day. Most don’t realize it and chalk it up to luck. If we want it to happen, we call it a miracle. If we don’t, we call it bad luck. The likelihood of occurrence remains the same; all that changes is our outlook.

The formula is simple: Attention + Intention + No Tension = Manifestation.

When we focus our attention, we give energy to our thoughts. When we intentionally direct that energy, we transform it from thought to physical reality. The last step is where most people find this challenging: Surrendering and trusting the Universe/Source/God to coordinate the details.

About a year ago, my husband and I received an invitation to a destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta and promptly booked our room at the Hyatt Ziva from the couple’s hotel block. Leading up to this vacation, I had been focusing most of my attention on intentionally creating a retreat that brings together everything I’m passionate about.

The day before we flew to Mexico, I launched the registration to my retreat (ie: hatched it out into the world). Once we boarded our flight, I was in vacation mode and completely surrendered into enjoying a week of exploring a new destination and immersing myself into the local culture.

On the morning of the wedding, I woke up surprisingly early (especially given the 2-hour earlier time difference from home). While my husband lay sleeping, I made myself a cup of coffee and sat out on the balcony to listen to the waves and watch the sun rise.

I casually looked down at the mostly empty beach when I spied people digging a hole in the sand.

Couple Digging Up Sea Turtle Eggs
Spied from my balcony

That looks like they’re digging for sea turtle eggs, I thought.

I leapt up and ran out of the hotel room – in my pajamas without even brushing my teeth – to join them on the beach.

Counting sea turtle eggs
Removing sea turtle eggs from the nest to rebury at the hatchery.

I was beyond elated to watch this experience that I had only read about (and had been busily planning for my own retreat). I had no idea until that moment that the hotel had a hatchery on-site.

One of the hotel staff, Miguel, walks the beach every morning at 7 a.m. looking for mama turtle tracks. He then digs up the eggs, counts them, and gently places them in a plastic bag, which he carries and reburies at the hatchery.

Miguel invited those of us who had gathered to re-bury the eggs at the hatchery. I was deeply honored and excited to do so.

These eggs will hatch on Christmas morning and I can’t think of a better way or day to celebrate the manifested miracle.

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3 Simple Steps to Calm Your Frenzy & Slow Down

Whale Shark Snorkeling

Recently I traveled to La Paz, Mexico for the sole purpose of swimming with whale sharks. When we arrived, you might imagine my disappointment to discover that the wind was blowing too fast and strong to do it safely.

In fact, we read in the local news about a group of expats that went out against the coast guard’s advisement. Their boat sunk and 27 divers were rescued.

After three days of waiting on the weather, and on the morning of our departure, the winds died down enough to reopen the ocean sanctuary. We were elated, yet had a short window to experience it!  We boarded a small tour boat, camera gear in hand, ready for our leisurely swim with the gentle giants.

The waves were still fairly rough, the boat tossed about, and days of churned up sediment caused poor visibility. It took us forty minutes to spot our first dark shadow in the water. With many anxious tourists in a similar situation, a group of full boats followed the few whale sharks that were spotted. Each boat took turns with a maximum of five swimmers at any given time.

“I’ll bring you up in front of the shark,” our tour guide, Eduardo, said. “When I say jump, push off into the water and you’ll be on top of him instantly, so you need to immediately start swimming alongside him.”

“Got it!”

“OK, now get ready!”

We awkwardly maneuvered in our fins to sit over the side of the boat, each with a camera in one hand and the other holding tightly to the boat’s bars to keep from falling off.

“Now! Go, go, go!” yelled Eduardo. “Swim, swim, swim!”

I jumped off the boat and was immediately disoriented as to which direction the shark was. Until I looked down. He was under me! And HUGE!

I began furiously kicking my legs to follow him as I held my right hand out with the GoPro. Within milliseconds he blew past me and disappeared into the murky waters.

What just happened? I thought.

We swam the choppy waters back to the boat.

“You have to swim with him,” said Eduardo.

Yup, got that part. Thanks. I thought.

Back on the boat, I realized I was in such a rush to jump, I forgot to turn on the GoPro. Doh!

“OK, get ready,” said Eduardo. “I’m coming around him again.”

We returned to hanging our legs off the side of the boat. My heart was pounding and I was still out of breath from the first attempt.

“Go now! Jump! Go!” yelled Eduardo.

Jumping in, I looked down and he was right beneath me again. I held my arm out to capture a picture. Despite my best kicking effort, I couldn’t keep up.

Once back on the boat, I ditched the GoPro. I was here for the experience, screw getting any pictures. As Eduardo started to catch up with the shark for a third time, I told myself I needed to slow down.

As a fellow coach Terry DeMeo once told me, “There is always a leader in any energetic exchange.”

I was letting Eduardo’s frenzied energy and my own panicked fear of “missing out” spin me into a tizzy.

Thankfully, I have the tools to bring myself back to myself, the present moment, and that amazing experience.

As I put my fins back on and prepared to sit on the side of the boat, I focused on slowing down and deepening my breathing. I acknowledged the excitement I felt in my body and observed what that physically felt like and where.

“Ok now! Go, go, go,” yelled Eduardo.

Without my camera, I swam freestyle along side this beautiful creature. I intentionally kept my breathing long, slow and deep as I found a swimming rhythm.

Keeping pace, I admired and noticed the details on his skin. How his white spots looked like they’d been made by dotting a much-used paintbrush with the bristles creating smaller dots at the edges. I examined the way his five gills, that were the length of my arm, opened and closed. I looked down at his right fin, directly below me, and noticed it was the size of my entire body. I noted the ridges along his back like the ripples waves make on a sandy ocean floor.

As I admired this immense, elegant and gentle animal, I managed to slip into his draft stream. Swimming was no longer laborious. And I felt a connection to him…like we were one.

Time slowed down and it was nothing short of spectacular. I was in love with this whale shark!

Then my thoughts interrupted: You’re getting too far from the boat and your people.

As I popped my head up to see where I was in relation to them, the shark quickly moved out of sight. Connection lost. Sure enough, I was quite far from the boat and my husband, who had been yelling, “Come back!”

Neither my husband nor our guide had managed to keep up and had been bobbing in the waves waiting for me to lose steam. This experience is not credited to my swimming skill (although it helped to have free arms), it’s due to three simple practices:

  1. Slowing down my breathing
  2. Feeling into my body
  3. Becoming curious and watchful

If you’re finding that this holiday season has you feeling rushed and frenzied, it’s the absolute best time to become still and present. Practice the above three steps and my hunch is that time will slow back down to an even pace, and you’ll enjoy the magical experience of the holiday season more.

If you’d like one-on-one coaching on integrating these three steps into your daily life to relieve stress, let’s talk!

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Green Friday

Finding the Gifts Inside

There’s always been something that irked me about Black Friday. I finally realized what it is.

We go from giving thanks Thursday to shopping-gluttony Friday. From focusing on family and creating memories to insatiable consumption of stuff. All in a matter of hours.

I want to start a new tradition. I’m going to call today Green Friday, from the heart chakra color. I want this time of year to be focused on love, compassion, empathy and generously giving of my gifts, time and attention. I want today to be dedicated to opening my heart up to hold those who feel a lack of it in their lives.

To anyone who is feeling down, sad, or comparing-and-despairing…call, email, or message me. I’m here to support you, hold space for you and listen non-judgmentally.

For the month of December, I am offering FREE coaching to anyone in the U.S. who is unemployed and actively looking for work, U.S. Military/Veterans, or those who make less than $50,000 annually. If you or someone you know meets one of these criteria and could benefit from coaching, please submit your info with “Green Friday” in the “What keeps you up at night?” section.

From my heart to yours, let’s make this a compassionate time of year!

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Healing & Hatching in Costa Rica

When was the last time you felt such an energetic rush that your whole body tingled with goose bumps? That feeling your core recognizes as embarking on something amazing and magical. For me, that was envisioning my upcoming Healing & Hatching Retreat.

It brings together all of my favorite things: coaching, sea turtles, wildlife conservation, immersion in nature, international travel as well as building connections and community.

Ask anyone who has been inside my home, and they will tell you that there are sea turtles everywhere. Pictures of turtles on the wall, turtle statues as décor, turtle throw pillows, serving trays, mugs, salt-n-pepper shakers and even a sea turtle paper towel holder. I wear sea turtle jewelry and on my clothing. Our entire downstairs bathroom is done in sea turtles. There is not a room in my house that doesn’t have a sea turtle somewhere.

So to design a coaching retreat where folks can have a direct impact on saving baby sea turtles while vacationing in a remote, tropical, international destination – I am over-the-moon excited!! (And I’m convinced I’m not alone in this passionate pursuit. How often do you get to collect sea turtle eggs and release hatchlings into the ocean?!)

I also love retreats, both attending and hosting. There’s something special about bringing new friends that haven’t met yet together to share their struggles, passions and compassion with each other.

Plus, the Costa Rica rainforest is the perfect setting for tapping into spirituality and inner peace. Stepping away from distractions and immersing into a beautiful environment is the foundation for deep healing and fulfillment.

Then by adding in coaching tools that are healing in-and-of themselves, we have a recipe for a transformative experience at its most powerful.

If this sounds like an adventure you’d like to be a part of, please join me at Healing & Hatching June 4-10, 2019. Space is limited to 10 participants, so don’t wait!

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Integrity is Congruency Between our Inside and our Outside

Equus Coaching

I had the pleasure of attending an Equus Coaching workshop this past weekend. It was both fascinating to witness and personally informative to participate in. In essence, the horse is a mirror for your integrity.

If you’re not familiar with Equus Coaching, it involves utilizing your personal energy to invite, send and guide a horse around a pen. Think non-verbal horse whispering.

Horses, by nature, are extremely sensitive creatures. They pick up on every subtlety and will respond accordingly in an instant. If you’re nervous, they are and will bite on the fence or paw at the ground warily. Alternately, if you’re relaxed, they might roll around in the dirt or yawn.

There is no faking it with a horse. Despite what your outside may portray, he is reading everything your inside is doing. If these aren’t congruent, the horse doesn’t trust you. After all, it’s about survival of the herd.

As one of our instructors, Jennifer Johnson, said, “If you aren’t present and [your mind isn’t] in your body, how can they expect you to serve the good of the herd? How can you alert them to a predator?”

If you are scared and acknowledge that with honesty and awareness, without pushing it away or disassociating, the horse will trust and connect with you. Your outside matches your inside.

Going into this experience, I had an expectation that the hardest part would be convincing my horse, Smokey, that I was a leader and to follow me around the pen. I took horseback riding lessons as a child and genuinely love the species, so thankfully this part came easily. I was pleasantly surprised at how natural it was to invite Smokey to walk with me.

When it came time to shape my energy to guide Smokey around the perimeter by simply standing in the middle and shepherding him with my energy, I managed to do so. Where I became stuck was in getting him to increase his speed by adjusting my energy-volume.

Jennifer asked, “What are you feeling right now?”

“Excited and elated,” I said. “My heart is all tingly and swirly.”

“It doesn’t look like that from here,” she responded. “What is your behavior?”

“Calm and grounded,” I replied.

“So why aren’t you acting more excited?” she said.

“I don’t want to spook him,” I said.

“Where does that reflect in your life?” she asked.

Insight struck. “Marketing my coaching practice,” I said.

I have had a limiting belief that if I am too open with how much I love coaching, how beautifully amazing the coaching tools are for self-healing, and am not presenting a calm, cool and collected exterior that I’ll spook potential clients…or even my current clients, for that matter.

This is my new commitment to you: I will not hide my light and enthusiasm for coaching and life. If it’s “too much” for you, I accept that you are not my tribe and I wish you well on your journey. Namaste!

Photo Credit: Elicia Nicoll

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Six Suggestions to Honor the Dead

Flame of inspiration

As a child-free adult, Halloween hasn’t engaged me in years. The more I learn about Dia de los Muertos (October 31-November 2), All Souls Day (November 2) and All Saints Day (November 1), I’m shifting my perspective to that of remembering, honoring and celebrating those who have passed on.

If you’re like me, and not that into costumes and candy, I invite you to find a way to pay homage to your deceased loved ones. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Display their pictures, light a candle and reminisce about your favorite memories. Maybe you choose to update them on your life since their departure.
  2. Partake in an activity that you used to enjoy doing with this loved one. Bring to mind old memories of past experiences engaging in said activity.
  3. Cook this loved one’s favorite meal. Place their picture at the dinner table as you eat and remember past meals spent together.
  4. Visit a favorite hangout and bring a momento, or symbol of your relationship, with you.
  5. If you still have an accessory or article of clothing of this loved one, hold it to your heart while picturing their face and then wear it.
  6. Donate to a foundation that supports a cause this loved one believed in (or maybe would have benefited from).

I’d love to hear about any traditions you celebrate to honor the deceased in your life in the comments below!