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.

Planting Paradise

Sharing this beautiful post from my friend, Laura. Thanks in large part to her and her awesome husband, as well as several other friends, Jason and I will be making this place our home at the end of this month!
To say that this place is a dream come true for us just doesn’t do justice to our journey. I will write more about that once we get settled in to the new place, but for now, I leave you with Laura’s gorgeous photos.

Laura Bruno's Blog

The first summer we lived here — 2013 — this median facing an ugly view required a date with two batteries worth of weed whackers at least three times per week. We’re talking fast growing, out of control weeds on a strip of land with giant holes and rock hard, uneven soil, and an often flooded driveway. It crushed my soul to see this median as we approached our house.

I can barely believe the difference four years makes! This same strip is now a rain garden, bird and butterfly paradise, with serviceberry trees, Robinhood roses, sunflowers, lilies, milkweed, bachelor’s buttons, love in a mist, cosmos, and more. The fragrance alone is worth the trip. Last year, those roses bloomed from late May through the end of November with barely any care. Birds ate the hips this winter and spring.

Don’t ever doubt that you can change the world, one…

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Welcome, The Morrigan

morrigan21

I am not usually a fan of poetry which is too sing-song-y, but this one popped into my head almost fully formed and begged to be used as a prayer for the new moon ritual I am planning tomorrow night in honor of a renewed friendship and lessons to come.

Welcome, The Morrigan

The Raven wings, they suit her,
because the birds are quick and smart
Feared by ancients when her legend formed,
She took their spirit to heart.
Softly borne on blackened feathers,
She now wings into my life
to guide me deeper into my truth
and help me shine my light.
The Bear could be her totem, too,
for her ferocious guard of the land
and her gentle, nurturing other face,
her firm but loving hand.
And then, there’s the playful maiden form,
dancing in on faery winds!
She catches me up in her arms
and we giggle as we spin.
This goddess guide, The Morrigan,
a new and ancient friend,
your faces I remember now
from other wheres and whens.
I honor you and welcome you-
I’ve missed our moonlit meetings!
To my friend and teacher once again,
I offer love and warmest greetings.

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.

 

 

Joyfullness

It’s feeling like a joyful day! In that spirit, I’d like to share some photos from my Pinterest board, Joyfulness. These are images that make me feel light, uplifted, and filled with a sense of wonder. You can find the entire board here.

yellow-ranunculus

This is a ranunculus, or Persian Buttercup.  Ranunculus (ranunculi??) are one of my favorite kinds of flowers for their delicate, feathery leaves and sweet, layered buds. And they come in some of the loveliest colors in Nature.

 

 

group-of-dandelions

I love to see the first bursts of bright yellow dandelions in the spring. They are the first sign of color and cheer after what are often very dark and grey winter days here in northern Indiana. Dandelions get a bad rap, but they are so useful! I love dandelion root tea because it tastes good, but it also helps improve liver function. Here is some more about the health benefits of dandelions.

 

 

quiet-reverie

Just look at this one for a moment and breathe in that smell….  Now, sit down in that log, soak in the sun, and examine those delicate little flowers. Find a piece of moss and let your imagination out for a run.

 

moss-706391_1920

Speaking of moss, tell me you don’t want to sit down there and pet that stuff 🙂 Mosses are interesting plants. If you haven’t read Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things, I encourage you to do so. It is a novel about the daughter of a wealthy 19th century businessman who makes a lifelong study of mosses.  For a little non-fiction information, this site has a nice little overview.

 

fibonacci-fern

This little fern frond was the inspiration for my choice of Unfurled as one of my first core desired feelings, a concept introduced by Danielle LaPorte in her book, The Desire Map, which has been deeply influential in the last two years of my life.

 

I leave you on this Monday with the delicate and luscious (another core desired feeling) peony.

Have a joyful week!

Tree Blessing

January 17th is a traditional day for blessing the trees, as I have recently learned.

A little gentle encouragement to begin to wake up, stretch, and look toward the warmer months of growth can never go wrong.

In that spirit, and to bless the trees in my own life tonight, I wrote a short poem that you may feel free to read to the trees in your life.

Tree Blessing
When the Sun rises high in the sky
May your leaves feel the warmth of His regard.
When the Moon appears, regal, in the night
May your soul dance with Her music.
When the rains come and the soil is heavy with life
May your roots find water and nourishment.
When I come before you with my heart full of Love
May you feel it in my arms around you. 
Grow, lovely Tree, vibrant and strong
And spread your strength to your Grove-Mates.
May Sun and Moon, Water, Soil, and Love
Attend you for all of your days. 

Choose Your Illusion

white-cosmos

Some say that everything in this world is an illusion: the evil and the good. Perhaps so. I haven’t explored that for myself. One thing I do know, however, is that we can choose in each moment where we place our attention, and I believe our attention gives power to where it goes.

Today, I choose to empower beauty, gentleness, and courage in the face of what often feels like overwhelming cruelty, callousness, and intolerance.

Many thanks to my friend, Laura, for the lovely white cosmos that appear in this photo and for the peaceful, magical garden that brings joy to my heart all year ’round.