Unfiltered Thoughts on Creating the Business You Want

Hi, Everybody. Not long ago, I announced that I was re-launching my business under a new name. But, I have a confession to make: I have absolutely no idea what I am doing when it comes to creating a business.

I have made a couple of attempts. I have read mountains of literature, joined Facebook groups dedicated to Spiritual Entrepreneurs, talked endlessly with my husband and a few select friends about my doubts and misgivings, my hopes, and my ultimate dreams. Written pages and pages about what my ideal work day looks like. Visualized until I fall asleep in a stupor of delight at the images in my head. What I have not been able to do is get clients consistently.  (Should I even be wanting to “get clients”? If you read enough in those Spiritual Entrepreneur groups, you won’t think so. It’s almost as if getting clients is somehow nefarious and beside the point. It’s really difficult to have the time to help people, though, if you also have to work a 40 hour week and the boss gets to control your hours. What I want is to put out as much helpful material as possible and also be able to help one-on-one those women who need something more personal. It’s what I love and what I am good at. It’s what I have spent most of life learning to do.)

Perhaps this is my year. I like to think so. I have been steadily more and more successful at attracting what I want in almost every other aspect of my life, or else I have accepted that I need to leave it alone for now.  Not so with my work life. I feel the perpetual tug toward something beyond my 8-5, working-for-someone-else life. And I feel as though my dream is right around the corner, just waiting for me to notice it.

So, what’s the dream?

 

Ah, now that’s a good question! Here it is: I dream of lighting the way to joy for women who long for a deeper connection to themselves, their loved ones, and Source. I dream of doing that by teaching them everything I know, giving them every tool I have learned to use in my 25 years of reading, studying, practicing, and living.  I long to help them see themselves as beautiful, capable, brilliant, inherently loveable and worthy.  I long to see every woman relax into her own true self and strip away every single thing that does not serve her highest good. 

The other part of the dream is how I do that, which is the same way I stripped off my own depression and reclaim every day my own sense of loveability and worthiness: through finding and using the tools that are most helpful. For me, those are Reiki, working with the chakra system, meditation, journaling, using crystals, working with my Guides, my Higher Self, and other high vibrational Beings, and through talking with like-minded friends and teachers. I believe those same things can help everyone. I believe I can teach anyone to use them.

Where I get lost and bogged down into utter paralysis is the HOW. What do I do first? Am I just making too big a deal out of the How? Gardening is teaching me to start where I am.  Cut down the dead black-eyed susans next to the front door because driving up to my lovely home and seeing their blackened stalks every day makes me sad. So, clip, clip. Harvest tomatoes because they will rot if I don’t. Yummy salsa and tomato topping on beans and rice. Pull out the monster tomato plant because it is shading out my peppers. Out it comes.  My current dilemma stems from figuring out how to translate that to my work. Start where I am….Hence, this long and winding blog post, baring my heart and mind to the wide and wise world (wise was actually what came out when I tried to type wide… message there, I suspect.).

You might also ask what makes me so damn qualified to teach anyone anything? Yep, I have asked myself that one. But I have a great answer: What I teach has worked for me; it has worked for my husband; it has worked for friends; it is working still for all of us. And there is more that I know that you don’t yet know: the first time I tried to kill myself, I was 5 years old. in the kitchen, with a big bread knife that had a little hook on the end. That feeling never went away until 2014, when I was 40 years old. When it did, it was because I finally started actively using what I had spent over 20 years learning about. I started doing the work. And, in 3 years, I went from suicidal to full of joy, actively creating a life I want to LIVE, not die to get away from.

Even in my 8-5 day job, I have brought into my life a position where my co-workers are friends and connection with them feeds my soul in ways I never expected. But the work….the work is not what I am meant to be doing.  And we’ve circled back around to the current issue.

So, what to do? I know what I would recommend to a client.
1. Get Quiet: pull the plug on technological distractions like Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Disconnect from others so you can more clearly hear yourself.

2. Go Within: whatever your favorite form of meditation is, do that. Do it for as long as you can. Get your mind clear. And to that end…

3. Write: get out a notebook. Write at least 3 pages longhand with an actual pen whatever comes into your mind. DO NOT CENSOR! Write as fast as you can, not stopping until all 3 pages have been filled. Stream-of-consciousness writing pulls out all sorts of things you never knew were in your head.

4. If some kind of clarity is still not coming through by this point, you can either start over, talk to a trusted friend, or let it rest. Any of those options is perfectly ok. It can take more than once through this process to clear out enough of the built up junk in your brain – the clutter of to-dos, “news”, work and family obligations, and other detritus- for the good stuff to have room to come to the top.

So, here is my action plan, folks. Many, many deep bows and sincere thanks for letting me get that out there into the Ethers.  Lots of thank-you hugs and Reiki blessings for following along on my journey.

 

 

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Update and Marie Forleo’s Interview with Brene’ Brown

Happy Almost-Equinox, Everyone!
Life here in Goshen continues to settle down for Jason and I as we adjust to the much higher vibrational level of our new home, Jason makes his way back to work after an extended time off due to an injury, and I find my center once again amid all the changes. I am blogging a little less and my efforts at building my business are stalled because my laptop has undergone an injury of its own (a cracked screen with spiderwebs of dark blue bleeding out from the site of the injury). In spite of all the change and some challenges, our lives feel more gorgeous than ever. Working in the garden revives and restores me in a way I had only glimpsed before living here, and the house itself feels like both a fortress and a sanctuary. So many small shifts in our consciousness are happening on a daily basis just from living in this home. But that’s a different post.

 

In order to help restore myself and protect my energy, I have begun listening to music and videos on my phone while at work. Yesterday, I had a newsletter from Marie Forleo featuring her interview with Brene’ Brown, who has a new book out called Braving the Wilderness. For those of you unfamiliar with Brene’s work, here is an excerpt from the home page of her website, brenebrown.com:

The official line: I’m a research professor at the University of Houston where I hold the Huffington Endowed Chair. I’ve spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame. I’m the author of four books: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and Braving the Wilderness.

The bottom line: I believe that vulnerability – the willingness to be “all in” even when you know it can mean failing and hurting – is brave. I do NOT believe that cussing and praying are mutually exclusive. And, I absolutely believe that the passing lane is for passing only.

 

This interview really moved me and reminded me of my little-girl self, who campaigned bravely for kindness and believed it her moral duty to protect those who could not protect themselves, never name-call, and always try to see the best in others.  My grown-up self is a little more cynical and a little more hands-off, but I feel myself returning to that open vulnerability and it both frightens and excites me. I feel like it is the best of me coming back to the fore. That’s why I so dearly love people like Brene’ and Marie Forleo, and I follow their work more closely than others’. I hope you find as much value in this interview as I did. There are some vital insights here that are crucial for the times we find ourselves in now.

Home and Business Transitions

It has been 6 weeks since we moved into our new home, and I still have not processed enough to create a really coherent post on the subject. At some point, I want to share all the synchronicities and happy accidents that surrounded our move, all the energetic uplevelling that took place (and is still taking place!) for me and my husband, and the impact of a couple of significant losses.

I also began working with The Morrigan just before we moved, and she has made it clear to me that one of the things I am required to do under her tutelage is stop hiding and treat my business like the significant entity it is.  I have spent enough time dipping my toe in and backing back out of the business world. It’s time to follow my own advice and uncover my light. So, there will be an official announcement soon regarding the name of the business and my offerings.

Lastly, I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for reading and for supporting me along my journey. My intention for every post is to share my own experiences so that others who are experiencing something similar will know they are not alone.  I hope to offer encouragement, and maybe even some guidance, but at the very least, some reassurance that there is light in the dark, and that some sense of order may be found even in chaos.

 

I will leave you today with this photo from our moving day. It was taken in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, where I had gone to get some necessities for our first night in our beautiful new home. It had rained really hard as I went in, and when I came out, there was this:

double rainbow on moving day

…and I knew everything was, is, and always will be just right.

 

Goodbye to the Old Me

After yesterday’s post and the outpouring of love and support sent my way since I posted it, I have felt a profound shift inside myself. This song came into my head as I was thinking back over the last two years, and especially the last week. So, I wanted to take a moment and honor the woman I have been, the woman who carried my deepest soul so carefully to this new place.

Healing my Memories of Home

old brown trailer

Old trailer like many of those I lived in as a child

I bet many of you lived in a place like this, and you will be able to relate to what I am about to say. My family lived in several places like this; some in trailer parks, some not. But they all shared a smell, especially in the South: cockroach spray. All the places we lived in reeked of the stuff. I can still smell it in my mind. By the time we lived in them in the mid-80s, these places had seen way better days. They often had soft floors around places where water might accumulate, like the toilet, the shower, and the kitchen and bathroom sinks.  In one trailer, we had to be careful not to stand too close to the front of the shower because the floor under it was so weak, a 90 pound 11-year-old might go crashing, naked, through the floor on to the ground below.  In another place we lived, that actually did happen to my mother, and she had the scars on her right calf to prove it until the day she died.

We didn’t always live in trailers. A few times, we lived in apartments, but those proved to be no better. Another place we lived, an upstairs apartment, had one bedroom that was completely unusable because the previous tenant had had dogs who were kept enclosed in it and there was so much calcified dog poop on the floor that you couldn’t walk anywhere in the room without stepping on it. I got the thankless job of ripping it up out of the bright blue carpet and scrubbing the spots with a bucket of hot, soapy water. It never was a room we could use for anything but storage.

In that same apartment, we could not afford to have the hot water turned on. Bath water was heated on the stove in a large roasting pan and poured into the bathtub. I washed my waist-length hair in icy water from the tap in the kitchen.

Why am I telling you this? So you will understand the week I have had.

My husband and I have gradually improved on my experience of home, but I have never felt that I left it entirely behind.  In all the spiritual work I have done, particularly in the last two years, I have moved leaps and bounds beyond the idea that I somehow deserved to be hidden away in unhealthy, ugly places, but my belief has still been put to the test this week.

The home of a very dear friend is coming open for rent in just over a month, and I have loved it from the moment I stepped inside it. There is a magnificent garden attached that she has lovingly, painstakingly restored from a desolate, weed-choked wasteland to an oasis of peace and beauty. I long with everything inside me to take up Guardianship of this place that feels sacred to me. But, I have struggled with finding enough faith in myself  – and in the Universe- to seize the opportunity in front of me.

As I went back and forth this week, breaking myself down and remaking myself into a true believer in my own worthiness, all my old memories of home resurfaced, and I have faced them with as much bravery as I could muster.

I wanted to share these thoughts of home with you today because it feels important to me to acknowledge my struggle, for maybe you have struggled with similar growth along your journey, or are struggling now. We can be the support we need for each other.

As I work my way through this period of intense growth, I also feel within me a rising of something I cannot even name yet. I think it may be an entirely new version of myself. I see her as more fully embodied, able to bring the visions in her head down into the Earth to be made manifest in this 3D realm. I see a woman who feels at home in a place that has firm floors, hot water, sacred spaces, and healthy boundaries.  I see a woman coming fully into her power.

The part of me that is already the woman I see in my mind’s eye believes that I will be living in this beautiful place that feels like home by the middle of July. The part of me that is still hiding, seeking a place that is clean and bright and whole, is terrified that things won’t come together in time, and I will be forever trapped in places like the ones I grew up in.  I hold that child-me in my arms and rock her, whispering that she is safe, she is safe, she is safe.

And as I do, her tears dry, her smile blossoms, and she gets up and runs outside to play in the garden of her dreams.

 

 

Practical Optimism

To paraphrase Albert Einstein, in life, you can see everything as a sign, or nothing as a sign.

When I was younger, I always hesitated to admit that I liked or disliked something, believed or disbelieved. Like most of us, I feared ridicule, ostracization, being labelled “uncool”. I was nebulous to others and to myself, undefined, simply a mirror of whatever stood before me.

There came a point, however, when I got tired of that. I couldn’t even remember what I had loved before I started to hide it all. I wasn’t sure anymore what I truly believed or believed in. I didn’t know what I liked to eat, what I liked to wear, what I liked to do. So, I started stripping away all the things I knew I didn’t like, and gradually, my true self emerged. Pale, wobbly-legged, hardly able to extend my wings, much less fly, I kept on paring away, zeroing in, trying out and trying on. I am still in that process and I expect to be for the rest of my life, since people change over time. But I have a hell of a lot clearer idea than I did. And, one of the things I believe is that everything is a sign.

My worldview, spiritually speaking, is broad enough to include all sorts of Beings, seen and unseen. It brings me comfort to think that I have Guardian Angels, Spirit Guides, wise men and women who are physically gone from this life, but who have hung around to help out those of us still in body. People and Beings who are invisible to our third dimensional eyes, but who care about what happens to us and who are rooting for us to just relax into the truest versions of ourselves. And they send us little signs, nudges, winks from beyond to let us know we are -or are not- headed in the right direction. It’s like a cosmic game of Hot and Cold. We learn each other’s internal language and dreamscapes…that part of us that speaks in symbols, shapes, colors, smells, and feelings…and, as we do so, it becomes easier and faster to get our messages across.

Seeing everything not just as a sign, but as a sign from a loving, caring, compassionate Universe, makes life easier, happier, brighter. So, when I get stung by a bee, like I did on Saturday, I can hear the message that I am not working hard enough for what I have said I want. I am not opening enough doors for that abundance to come through, and I need to step it up. When I get laid off of my day job, I can see it as a push out of the nest, to go on already and fully commit to creating that business I have been pushing around for well over a year. And when my husband’s knee hurts so badly that he can’t walk and we are afraid of how he will make it through his physically demanding job, I can step back and see that here is an opportunity to find out what his body is trying to tell him.

And, you know what? It works for me. I am happy. Happier than I could ever have conceived I would be. My marriage is joyful and intensely intimate in all the ways a great marriage can be. I feel centered and fully present inside myself more and more of the time. And I am getting shit done that I have always said I wanted to get done. I am making friends who love me for the real, authentic me I am brave enough to show them.  I consider my life to be going splendidly, gloriously, perfectly the way it should.

There may come a time when this point of view is challenged by one thing or another, as most all points of view are. And I may fall back into the habit of feeling that the Universe is a cold, unfeeling void that pays no more attention to little, ol’ me than I pay to a passing cloud. I don’t think so, though. This brand of optimism just feels too damn good.

 

What It Means to Be Luminous

 

Last winter, I read a book called The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. I had seen it multiple times in the library, read about it in my Facebook groups, even had it recommended to me directly by a trusted friend, and I resisted its call until, finally, it literally fell off the shelf in front of me as I browsed my favorite section of my local library. I guess, somehow, I knew it would change my life. And it did.

The premise of the book is that, in setting goals, we are not really looking for that thing we want, whether it’s a new house, a successful business, our soul mate, or to travel around the world (although we may actually want those things). We are searching for the FEELING that having those things or relationships will bring us. So, instead of setting goals in the hope of achieving that feeling, The Desire Map guides us to first define the feeling we are looking for, then set goals that are in line with that feeling. Goal setting in this “backward” way achieves two things for sure: 1) It ensures you spend more of your time feeling happy, fulfilled, excited, whatever feelings are most important to your sense of well-being, and 2) When you finally reach that goal you have been working toward, you are not left with that let down feeling that the achievement isn’t all it was cracked up to be.

The heart of the book is identifying your Core Desired Feelings – those feelings that are essential to your happiness. You can do this once or multiple times (many people refresh their CDFs yearly as a substitute for New Year’s Resolutions).  You then use those words to guide all your goals, daily interactions and habits, even things as simple as your choice of what color sweater to wear. And you start to see an improvement in the quality of your life immediately.

When I worked through the journaling prompts, I eventually winnowed my CDFs down to 5. They have fluctuated over the last year, but one feeling has remained constant: Luminous.

let-your-light-shine

What does it mean to feel or be luminous?  Feeling luminous is being an example, showing rather than telling what it means to be gentle, kind, joyful, dedicated to helping where you can, teaching what you know to be valuable, listening when someone needs an ear. 

Being luminous, for me, also means serious internal growth. It means setting aside my own fear so that I can be of the highest possible service. It means being completely, honestly, truthfully myself. Because being inauthentic leads to shining less brightly than you could. I believe I have a duty to be as wholly myself as I can, just to show others what it looks like to live that way. If you haven’t seen it or felt it, you can’t emulate it!

I have a duty to myself, too, to be luminous. I incarnated here to experience as fully as possible what it means to be me in this time and place. What does it mean to be me in a world that is waking up to secrets, corruption, racism, misogyny, and fear? What does it mean to be me starting a business as a woman in this atmosphere? How does being part of the awakening of the Sacred Feminine influence that? What do I want to bring to the world through the channel of myself at this time? What is my unique perspective on things? How does that dovetail with the larger collective experience?

Ultimately, being luminous and feeling luminous are the same thing: an attempt to be as authentically myself as I can be, however that may shift and change with the seasons of my life, so I can be an example for others, to light their way out of the dark that I fought so hard to illuminate within myself, to show what it looks like and try to articulate what it feels like to be oneself wholly, freely, without apology or excuse. Because that’s what we are here for.

 

Quiet…She Sits

You never know, really, what effect your words and actions might have on another.

When I was in 10th grade, I moved with my family from Ohio to central Georgia. I was  very introverted, shy, self-conscious (because, who isn’t at 15?) and also very smart… the girl who sits in the front row and raises her hand to answer every question, but never, ever makes eye contact or speaks to the other students.9thgradelinette

The second month of school, my English teacher, who was an extraordinary teacher and became one of my favorite people, tasked us with creating a poem. I don’t remember why or whether it was part of a larger assignment. I have a vague memory of being divided up into groups for this.

A week or so later, a poem found its way to me. It was written by a classmate, a girl I really was drawn to, but, in my shyness, would never have dreamed of attempting to make friends with. She was tall, blonde, witty, and popular. Also, she was kind and compassionate and had a sweetness about her that tempered her wit and caused all who knew her to want to be near her. The poem, to my utter surprise, was about me.

 

Quiet…She Sits

by Leigh Coffee

Quiet and mouselike she sits.

Hardly ever speaking except when spoken to.

One must wonder what is going

On beneath the soft black curls that frame her face.

What kind of fantasies does she have?

What dreams? What aspirations?

They mock her and she

Stands strong, the only hurt feelings

Shine through her eyes.

Big brown eyes that see the world

Through the lens of knowledge.

She is brilliant, yet she doesn’t boast of it.

She smiles sometimes,

Though no on really notices.

Does she have her own little world?

Or does she just refuse to participate

In the selfish, immature world we know?

Angelic face, soft and pale, hiding

Behind the frames of her glasses.

I notice you. I admire you.

You are, in a way, my hero.

 

Nothing can really adequately describe how reading that poem made me feel. Seen comes close. Witnessed, observed, valued… all those things. It literally changed my life. To read someone else’s private thoughts about me that were so curious and so observant shifted my own view of myself so profoundly. I was left with a deep feeling of worth and value that no other person had ever gifted to me.

Over the course of my life, I have returned to that feeling again and again when facing hard moments. It gave me the courage to stand up for myself. It gave me the courage to believe that I am worthy of whatever I want from my life. It gave me the courage, finally, to fully commit to living, instead of riding the fence of suicide.

The author had no idea the effect her brave witnessing would have, but her vulnerability in letting her own soul be seen in the witnessing of mine has been a shining example of what it means to connect, to be kind, to be brave, and to own one’s own gifts.


So, if you have something nice to say, don’t hold back. Don’t be shy about enthusiastically expressing your love, admiration, respect, awe, or friendship. You never know if it could be the thing that makes the difference in the small moments, the wee hours, the critical split-seconds.