Personal Power

Same damn thing over and over again

Do you bump into the same issues over and over again? Have the same fights with yourself or others, struggle with the same problem that you thought was resolved?

“Why the hell is this happening again!?”

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While you may feel like you’re going in a circle, consider re-framing it as a spiral taking you upward. Each time you come around the spiral and you encounter the same issue, you are back in the same place, only above it this time. You have a chance to tackle it differently (or the same) but regardless, you are moving higher and higher up the path of the spiral.

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The higher you get (that is the more times you must deal with the problem), the better your perspective. The more learnings you have. The more wisdom you gain to know what works and what doesn’t. The more strength you build to tolerate it – and you can start to make new choices about it.

Tackling a problem takes training and time. Just like strength training in the world of fitness – you need resistance to get stronger. With each press and curl, you build your tolerance, stamina and ability to push yourself farther than last time. In time–not overnight–you see gains.

This is why we run into the same big issues over and over again – God is like a personal trainer in the gym. Our biggest pain points and sources of struggle are training us to be stronger, wise, more tolerant – and ultimately, healthier and happier in our skin.  : )

You are so much bigger than any problem in front of you. Next time “it” rears its ugly head…remember, “I’ve done this before… I’ve trained for this a million times.”  Source your own strength, and see if you can’t breakthrough to a new level.

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Even small gains are a victory. Celebrate the little wins and keep going up.

Uncategorized

When Life Doesn’t Fit Anymore

Kids feet grow so fast! I feel like I’m buying new shoes for my kids every other week. At some point, our feet stop growing. And there we are, destined to be a size 8 our whole lives.

And while our physical growth reaches it’s peak, our psychological maturity keeps developing. And so, metaphorically, we get used to life in size 8 shoes. It works great for awhile as we find our way in the world, but eventually (I’ll even be bold enough to say inevitably) you start to feel the squeeze. The shoes (a.k.a. job, relationship, social circles, hobbies, etc.) aren’t as interesting, fulfilling, or meaningful as they used to be.

Walking in shoes too small is a phrase that Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung used to describe our propensity to ignore the calling to something bigger. Unlike our literal feet, which grow to a certain size and stop, our metaphorical feet—the drives, challenges, callings, yearnings of our careers and lives—never stop growing. Each stage of life, from infancy to old age, presents new opportunities and challenges. But often we fail to respond to the call for growth and wind up walking around in shoes too small, traveling boring roads, working jobs that do not challenge and striving for goals that do not excite. Invested in illusions of security, we are afraid to leave our old ways: the good salary, the good position, the dead but familiar relationship, the old dream long fulfilled.” -John Becknell

If you’re feeling this – You’re not crazy. You didn’t make bad choices on your way to adulthood. You are simply HUMAN. And the good news is that you’re a maturing human which means you’re growing up (consciously) and want to take control of your own life, instead of living someone else’s version of it.

Some people, when they hit this point, go through the dreaded “mid-life crisis” because they suddenly freak out when they realize they are not immortal, they don’t have limitless time, and their old life isn’t working anymore. So, I’d better fulfill every pleasurable desire of my ego possible before I die. I’ll (1) blow up my marriage. (2) Change careers. (3) Become a physique athlete. (I’ve tried # 1; now I’m trying 2 and 3…you fill in the blanks for yourself.)

I was so relieved to find out (thanks Carl Jung) that everything I’m feeling and have been feeling since about 35…is normal. The stages of human existence. We are born, and like the path of the sun, we follow an arc across the sky until we die. Mid-life (35-50 ish) is “mid-day” when the sun reaches its apex point in the sky and begins its descent.  In the first half of life as we are rising and we cannot see the ground—only wide open blue sky before us. Then, in middle life, our vantage point changes and we can see the ground, the finitude of life. Perspectives, literally, begin to shift. Values change. More soulful questions arise like: “What do I really want? Who am I? What am I here to offer?”

If you don’t know the answers to those questions, don’t worry. Most people, honestly, can’t answer those questions. It’s super hard to know who we are at the deepest level, what we’re doing, where we’re going, and what we’re in service to.

James Hollis, in his book What Matters Most: Living a Considered Life says: “Only rarely do we realize that somewhere along the way we lost psychological ‘permission’ to be who we really are.”

Instead, we have become what we have adapted to, what we have had to become to survive as a human on this plane

You were born to outgrow your shoes! Don’t be afraid to take ’em off and go barefoot for awhile. Let your toes experience the grass, the sand, the water, the mud…You don’t have to give up everything and change your whole life RIGHT NOW. That could cause more pain and suffering than is necessary. Let it be gradual. Be in the flow of this natural process of “growing up” and growing out of your old ways. Give yourself permission to experiment with soulful discovery and exploration of who you want to be—on your terms!

TIPS TO SHED THE SHOES (LIFE) THAT DOESN’T FIT ANYMORE

  1. Honor What’s Happening. Recognizing that things aren’t working, aren’t fun and fulfilling anymore, that life is feeling kinda dull, outdated and flat is a good thing. It means your soul is breaking through, working in your favor to bring something new and better into your life. Take a deep breath, know you’re not crazy, be gentle with yourself, and don’t feel pressured “to figure it out.” Adding more mental energy to the game won’t help. This is a matter of the heart and soul.
  2. Simplify Your Life. Sometimes, we gotta cocoon a little. Get in our comfy pants and stay home. Say no to social commitments (unless they nourish you.) Stop subscribing to so many e-newsletters for free things. Stop reading self-help books. Stop being a busybody to avoid feeling the fear and pain underneath it. Simplify as much as you can. Life doesn’t stop – let’s get real – but the more you can calm your outer world, the more energy you’ll have for the inner work.
  3. Spend Time in Nature. Reconnecting to our natural selves involves quiet, restorative and reflective time. Reclaiming your connection to the wind and sun and trees and animals will support your process of unraveling and restoration. The sun, especially, is a life-giving, animating force. Feel the heat on your face and recommit to a life that is uniquely, unapologetically yours. (The moon can teach you about cycles of light and dark, letting go and rebuilding. And the stars! Oh, the stars…!)
  4. Lift Heavy. Literally and figuratively. Being strong in your physical body is just as important as being strong in your mental and emotional bodies. If you’ve never lifted weights before – or are intimidated, find a coach. Start with push ups in your living room. Just get in your body and make it strong. It’s the temple of your soul. Feeling strong physically will boost your confidence and creative power. Guarantee it. And it will give you the energy to lift off the “heavy shit” that you’ve been carrying around for far too long (other people’s beliefs, ancestral wounds, cultural norms, societal pressures, etc.)
  5. Find an Ally, a Mentor. When we’re on the quest, it’s so supportive to have someone to process things with – especially a brilliant one that can reflect your own brilliance back and help you see things you couldn’t see. Be on the lookout for that person for you–someone you resonate with, or intuitively feel a connection with. Don’t be lured into self-help traps and flashy programs though. This is a time to shed other people’s concepts and return to what is yours and yours alone. (Depth psychology, Jungian analysis, Gestalt therapy, and Human Design has been good for me, for what it’s worth…)
  6. Trust the Process. Your soul is connected to a Great Creative Force. There is a love that is holding you during this time … like a sweet old grandmother making soup–she’s adding ingredients, tending to the flame, stirring, tasting, adding more of this and that, letting it simmer til it’s just right. You’re the soup. You’re simmering. You’re being created. 

 

 

 

Personal Power

5 Ways Paddle-boarding is Like Life

1 | Stability – If you’re not stable, you’ll fall off – or have a very stressful ride. Different people need different boards. Make sure your board provides the stability you need to enjoy your ride. You might have to try a few out to find the perfect fit. Find the thing(s) that bring ease and stability into your life. A strong, stable foundation will help you feel more confident to try new things. It will also help you ride the waves more gracefully when things get rough.

“A truly stable system expects the unexpected, is prepared to be disrupted, waits to be transformed.” – Tom Robbins

2 | Falling – It can be scary, at first, to think about falling in the water. Cold. Deep. Fish. Wet. How will I get back on my board? But once you fall and realize you’re not going to die, the next fall seems less horrible. You’re forced to take a big invigorating breath – get the blood flowing/heart pumping a little, maybe even laugh at yourself, and get back on your board. You adjust. Learn. Go out even stronger than before. Next time you feel scared of failing, er, falling, take a deep breath, splash some cold water on your face, look yourself in the mirror and remember You Were Born for This.

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

3 | Awareness – You have to be aware of yourself and your surroundings, and your relationship to them. If you’re getting too close to an anchored boat, you need to navigate around it. If you see a speed boat coming, you want to be sure it sees you and you don’t get hammered in its wake. If you see ominous clouds and the wind is picking up, better be sure you’re not too far away from shore/safety. You have to look up and around. You have to be aware of the world around you. You have to be agile and willing/ready to make a move or change direction. It’s like dancing with life. It moves, you move – and vice versa. Having awareness of your internal state and the state of the external world–and your impact upon/relationship to it–helps you become the master of your life, the creator of your experience.

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom … the power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen Covey

4 | Kneeling – It’s OK to get on your knees and paddle. You’re not a failure. You’re not weak. If we gave ourselves permission more often to “kneel,” and not have to have it all together, it would take a lot of pressure of ourselves – and others! Lead the way with your authenticity and humility. It’s refreshing and life giving. Also, kneeling is a prayerful position, an age-old symbol of devotion, reverence, and surrender. Consider how often you actually get on your knees and ask for help? Or pray in gratitude? Doesn’t matter your relationship to religion or how “spiritual” you may be, getting low might give you knew perspective and peace to get through the turbulence!

“To ascend the mountain, we must descend to our knees.”  – Craig D. Lounsbrough

5| Balance – Strong core. Athletic stance. Bend in your knees. Paddle in hand. You’re ready for action. Being able to keep your body upright and be in control of your body movement is a key fitness skill – and one that will keep you on the board and happy and dry : ) But balance obviously applies to other areas of our lives, as well. Work/play balance. Kid/husband balance. Family-life/professional-life balance. Friend-time/alone-time balance. Salad/Ice Cream balance. Are you feeling burnt out, resentful? Good chance something is out of balance. Re-calibrate. Say “no” more. Say “yes” more. You’re smart; you know what you need to let go of, and what you need to embrace more of. Find your happy balance.

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” – Rumi

Personal Power

Do You Dare?

Last week I had the opportunity to take a group of awesome #liongirls to a local Ropes Course. Our theme: Be brave, do bold things! Take a risk and go for it. 

We read the safety rules, got harnessed in, and took to the ropes. We each set out for the challenges that appealed to us – high slackline, wobbly barrels, swinging poles, teetering planks, etc. We screamed on some, held our breath on others, laughed at ourselves and each other (nicely), dug deep and found our courage when we got a little freaked out that we might actually fall, and cheered each other on.

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.” — Soren Kierkegaard

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Separate But Together

I loved that we were each doing our own thing (having our own unique experience), but we were all on the ropes course at the same time, intimately aware of where our friends were at all times. Tackling the same obstacles.

Helping Others Suceeed

If we were the first to do a challenge, we would share our tips for success and what to watch out for with the person coming behind us. “Be careful, those things spin! I almost fell” and “It helps to pull the ropes, like this…”

Celebrating Ourselves and Inspiring Others

It was totally OK to celebrate our victories! “Wow, did you see me do that?”  Genuine acknowledgement of our accomplishments feels good, especially when we do something hard that pushes us beyond our comfort zones. In healthy communities, we should be able to express our pride and have others reflect back to us how amazing we are! “Yeah, that was awesome! I’m going to try it now!”

There are so many great life lessons on the Ropes. See for yourself! We have more Ropes Course events planned this summer. Come play the LIONGIRL way and experience your power like never before.

SUMMER OF POWER Aerial Park Adventures – More Info and Sign up Now!

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Personal Power, Uncategorized

5 Most Common Regrets of the Dying

My friend Beth is a hospice chaplain. She has the honor of being with people and their families at the end of life. The other day she posted on her Facebook page “The Five Most Common Regrets People Express When They Are Dying.”

I’ve seen lists like these before; and they always make me pause because living #regretfree is big for me. I want to make the most of this #oneshot I’ve been given, and I hope to inspire others rise to a bigger, bolder, happier life, as well.

This time, I was particularly struck by this list of regrets because (1) they came from someone I know and deeply respect and (2) they all burn with the truth of why I started LIONGIRL.

#1 Wishing they had been more true to themselves

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LIONGIRL stands for, above all, reclamation of personal power. Knowing who you are and what you’re about, believing and trusting yourself, and boldly expressing YOU in all areas of your life.

We learn at an early age that we need to fit in, align with the majority, etc. to stay alive. Rejection from our tribe, getting thrown out of the village is certain death! We begin to look for ways to fit in, slowly forgetting OUR WAY. Dress this way. Think that way. Look this way. Vote that way. Live your life this way. It’s OK for awhile. Then, it starts to feel bad, things stop working, and you begin to wake up out of the trance and wonder how the heck you got here.

The journey toward a truer version of yourself is one of the most rewarding adventures – certainly a quest I’ve been on for awhile. I used to think that shedding the layers of what’s NOT YOU takes time, patience, and that it has to be painful and serious.

But, LIONGIRL is showing me it can happen like lightning – and it can be fun! Why not? LIONGIRL knows one of the surest ways to access the truth of who you are is through the wisdom of your body. Through physical fitness, especially high energy, heart pounding, sweat pouring activities, we can more easily bypass our mental blocks, trick our “habit to conform,” and literally come alive inside of ourselves. So the next time you feel confused or uncertain about a choice or feel swept up in the river of status quo, get in your body and get in your power. Your body is where your truth resides. Put on your workout clothes, crank up the music, and see what it has to say.

#2 Wishing they hadn’t worked so hard

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Lions sleep, like, 20 hours a day. We think of them as all noble and mighty and fierce (YES AND…) let’s face it, they PLAY and LOUNGE and SLEEP a lot. Such good reminders for those of us who think life has to be hard and success requires maximum push all the time.

#3 Wishing they had been brave enough to say how they really felt

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Roar! Feel it, embody it, express it. LIONGIRL aims to inspire girls and women to be bold in their self-expression. Your greatest power comes from knowing who you are, owning it fully, and sharing it bravely with the world.

#4 Wishing they had kept in touch more with people they cared about

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Our pride. Our people. Connection. Life is better together, with people we love and who love us back. LIONGIRL cares deeply about the community we are creating and the connections we make with each other.

#5 Wishing they had let themselves be happier

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Why does suffering, fear, negativity, and misery have to be the default? Why do we deny ourselves happiness? LIONGIRL believes we are all POWERFUL creators and that we all have the ability to create happiness for ourselves – regardless of the wacky world around us. LIONGIRL believes in personal responsibility – that is, taking responsibility for your own life and happiness. Our birthright is JOY. Let’s reclaim it, like the royal souls we were born to be.

Archetypal activation, Conservation and Causes, Personal Power, Uncategorized

See the World Through a Lion’s Eyes

Man must make two connections. He must reconnect with the earth and he must reconnect with the stars. 

– Credo Mutwa, lion priest and guardian of Africa’s sacred knowledge

I cannot pretend to know what it’s like to be a lion. I cannot pretend to know what they think, how they feel, or how they see and experience the world.

But I can imagine.

And it starts by reconnecting with the earth and with the stars, as high priest Crudo Mutwa explains in the quote above.

The earth and the stars will always bring us home to our hearts — to that place of peace and surrender and humility, where joy is imminent and everlasting.  The place where time stops racing, anxiety and fear cease. Where audible exhales give our overloaded nervous systems permission to relax.

Your inner lion (or lioness), who is deeply connected to the earth and stars, is longing for a relationship with you. Will you step in a bit closer and get to know the world through his/her eyes?

LIONGIRL has created a free, 8-week virtual SOUL SAFARI to help you reconnect with the earth and stars and, in turn, awaken your brave, courageous, and oh-so-powerful lion heart. As we roam the inner wilds of our sacred pridelands with other lionhearts, we will begin to activate a new kind of spiritually-grounded power that will most certainly open up a new world of possibilities – for your own life and for the world.

Warning: You may never see the world in quite the same way again! Let’s journey together! Click here to get more details and save your spot in the Land Rover.

Developing a beloved relationship with one’s inner Lion enables you to see, feel, touch, intuit and imagine the world in a deeply connected and sacred way. I believe this is how we save the lions…by first saving the lion in us.”

– Adrian Sparrow, found”her” of LIONGIRL

Archetypal activation, Personal Power

To Grow You Must Let Go

“To grow you must let go.”  This was my 3 a.m. wake up call. From somewhere in dreamland, my higher mind was busy.

I knew it was good, and I wanted to remember it…But it was 3 a.m. and I didn’t feel like crawling out of bed to find a pen and paper to write it down.

The dream voice kept going…”The bigger your dreams, the bigger your surrender.”

Lordy, that is good.  Groggy, I stumbled to my office, found a pen and paper and jotted down these messages.

With each letting in, with every vulnerability, there is a contraction, then a release. ..

When you are approaching a greater expansion and expression of your true essence, there is that moment of terror, that moment of “what will people think?” You’re opening up risky territory…there’s a chance for rejection. A chance for failure.

I felt this yesterday when I published the LIONGIRL Company Facebook page. I was inviting friends to the page and felt part of myself resisting. I felt the contraction, the terror of exposure. The terror of being seen (and maybe not liked, God forbid).

This morning at 3 a.m. I wrote, “It’s OK. Be willing to risk it. You’ll never know if you don’t try.”

Letting people in, letting people see the REAL YOU is kinda scary sometimes. Bless the fear and contraction that comes and then let it go like a giant gorgeous exhale. In, out, in out. This is the natural way, the only way perhaps.

As if this middle-of-the-night-full-moon revelation wasn’t enough, my little girl who was sleeping in bed with me sweetly mumbled to me when I came back to bed, “Face in toward me for awhile, mom. (I had been sleeping with my back to her). This is how I will live my life. In for awhile, then out for awhile.” She literally said this and then blissfully went back to sleep. 7 years old. 3 a.m. Who is this child?

Guess I’m being called to “face in” for awhile. To let go, to grow, to surrender big.

When I visited the royal White Lion pride in Timbavati, South Africa last November, I remember seeing them look up a lot. Maybe they were watching vultures soar overhead…but there was something about their surrender and connection in that moment. Something more mystical and beautiful. As if they were releasing every part of their experience in that moment to their Divine Source and filling up with new energy, new power, new light.

Thank you LIONGIRL for helping me grow beyond myself, so that I can step into a life of service and leadership–and for showing me what true power feels like. It’s not big. It’s not showy. It’s subtle and natural and humble. It’s looking up and exhaling. And then doing it all over again, except from a higher place of freedom.

looking up To grow, you must let go…

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Archetypal activation, Conservation and Causes, Personal Power, Uncategorized

Part of Me Remains in Africa

I’m back now, but not completely.

Part of me remains in Africa.

If you look in my eyes, forgive me if I seem aloof, distant – I am still seeing the red earth of Mother Africa under my feet, heavily pregnant zebras carrying the promise of summer and a new life, herds of antelope and wildebeest sharing holy ground with the lions—intimately aware of every movement, every sound…white-backed vultures perched in leaf-less trees and circling high, high above—sacred alchemists purifying that which is dying and done.

Part of me remains in Africa.

The radiant golden sun rising and setting, rising and setting, rising and setting over the bushveld time and time again. Time passes. Time stands still. It is all the same. I remember this now.

I rise with the sun, I sleep with the stars. I am one with the Earth. She is me, I am Her.

If you ask me how it was or what we did, forgive me if I have no words. There are some experiences so intimate, so soulfully-rich, so mind-blowingly mysterious that to explain them would strip the meaning and purity away. I can only offer you a new experience of being in my presence. Perhaps you’ll feel it. Perhaps not. I’ve surrendered that, too.

I am less than I was before I went. Lighter. Dreamier. Quieter. Softer. So much of ME has been dissolved, allowing for so much more of WHO I AM to shine through.

Unraveling, dismantling the parts of ME that clung so tightly to life, to timelines, to responsibilities, to stories about what’s important and how things should be done. I have forgotten why those things mattered so much. I have forgotten why I was so stressed out. I have forgotten why I was so resentful and angry. I have forgotten why I pushed so hard.

I have remembered peace. I have remembered beauty and the perfection of stillness, of patience, of not needing anything from anyone, not needing anything from myself. Contentment.

I have remembered my place in the whole of Creation. I have remembered the song of the stars. I have remembered what it is to love deeply, untethered to expectations, unattached to outcomes. To Love for the sake of Loving.

I have remembered that it will all be okay.

I have remembered how to dance–barefoot around the fire under a full moon–to the primal pulse of my own heartbeat. A new rhythm, a new pace, a new blueprint unfolding…

I can see the Lions’ tracks in the dusty red Earth, they’ve been here through the ages and will be here forevermore. They are here to stay. They will not leave us, and I will not leave them. I will walk beside them into eternity…together, we will weave and dream and dance and roar a New Earth into being.

Diamond stardust tracks in red earth. A river of gold flowing underneath and above and within.

Part of me remains in Africa.

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