A Sacred Pause

September 23rd, 2014

This past weekend I enjoyed a wonderful program, Time’s Sacred Flow, offered by Eremos, a Center of Contemplative Life. One of the perks of being the Executive Director there is that, as host for the morning, I get to experience some soul-nourishing, life-enhancing programs like this one.

What hour of the day invites you to pause and acknowledge where you are in the seasons of the day?

What hour of the day invites you to pause and acknowledge where you are in the seasons of the day?

Our facilitator, Cathey Capers, gently guided us into a new awareness of the seasons of the day. That’s right — seasons of the day. As we reflected on the ancient wisdom or themes associated with different hours, I intuitively understood the value of being present to the flow of the day. Yet, I realized the challenge for me was in pausing to honor those hours I associate with being hard at work, such as mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

As Cathey described pausing for a moment at Terce (the Third Hour) or mid-morning to acknowledge our blessings, joys and the nobility of work, I found myself wondering how to trust that this kind of pause right during the most productive time of day for me was beneficial. Then Cathey reminded me of the power of a simple pause. Just a pause. Just a moment in time to take a deep breath and acknowledge where I am in the day. A simple pause. I can do that!

As we wrapped up the morning with a short time of reflection, we were asked to write what a renewed relationship with Time might look like. For me, I followed her writing prompts and out flowed the following:

It doesn’t have to be hard to engage in a deeper, more loving, nourishing relationship with Time.
It could be easy.
It could be as simple as pausing to breathe and sense where I am in the day.
Time – nourishing and supportive? All this from a pause? Hallelujah!

I’m diving in and trusting this wisdom that flowed to me this past Saturday. I may forget a day or two, but as Cathey reminded us, the hours return each and every day, giving us another chance to honor their sacred wisdom.

What might your life be like if you were to trust in Time and pause to acknowledge your presence in the sacred flow of time? What benefits await you?

There’s a Crack in Everything

September 16th, 2014

Part of the lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem have been circulating in books, on websites, and in social media for the uplifting support they offer to so many when they feel broken and in pain from mistakes made: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Spectrum CrackWith deep respect for the wisdom shared by Leonard Cohen in numerous beautiful pieces of music, my experience tells me these two sentences should read: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets out.”

Both in myself and in my work with coaching clients, what I witness is the Divine spark in each of us being more and more revealed, as we face and embrace the gifts that painful experiences bring — especially the mistakes we make.

As we listen to our inner wisdom’s compassionate call to learn from and move on from any mistakes, the hard shell we’ve put around our hearts starts to soften and more of our inner light is allowed to shine through.

When we allow that inner light to break through, we strengthen our ability to handle whatever comes our way, expand our ability to show compassion towards others who make similar mistakes, and we make it easier for others to allow their inner light to burn bright.

Each time I now experience a painful crack in the image of who I thought I was, I feel all that I need to feel about the circumstances and then breathe into those cracks and imagine the Divine breathing back out Light from within me to inspire and help others. Is this something that might support you or a friend? If so, I urge you to take an inspired leap and give it a try.

What Is Worth 30 Years Of Your Dedication?

June 24th, 2013

When they hear the name of my business, “Inspired Leap,” people often assume it means galvanizing individuals to make cataclysmic changes in their lives or careers. However, a small, seemingly insignificant, decision can be the pivotal shift – the inspired leap – that brings about positive transformational change. It’s just not a change that can be noticed immediately. It may take months or years before the true power of that small decision can be seen. That’s why we must trust our inspired leaps and stay true to them even when they seem foolish to others and often ourselves in the short term.

Here’s how a little decision to follow my inspiration is impacting me right now: This past Saturday I was flipping through The Austin Chronicle and came upon the Free Will Astrology column by Rob Brezsny (www.RealAstrology.com). I’ve never read this column before, butI quickly scanned the message for my sign, Aries. Then, a thought popped into my mind to check out the message for Pisces (my rising sign), something I rarely think to do. I was blown away with how powerful this statement was for me:

“For over three decades, a man in Assam, India has worked to build a forest. When Jadav “Molai” Payeng started planting and tending seeds at the age of 16, the sandbars bordering the Brahmaputra River were barren. Today, almost entirely thanks to him, they’re covered with a 1,360-acre forest that harbors deer, birds, tigers, rhinos, and elephants. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you could launch a comparable project in the next 12 months, Pisces – a labor of love that will require your persistent creativity and provide you with sanctuary for a long time.” [p. 94, Emphasis added]

Can you imagine the impact on the world a lush forest has where once there was only a barren sandbar? I visualize trees bowing in gratitude every time Payeng walks through his forest. I love the notion of “persistent creativity” ultimately providing you “with sanctuary for a long time.” The gift you give blesses you in return.

Pondering Payeng’s story and Brezsny’s call to launch a comparable project, I’ve been sitting with a few questions. Whether you enjoy astrology or you think it’s a joke, I encourage you to allow your imagination and intuition to lead you to the answers to these questions too:

 

  • What are you so committed to or passionate about that you’re willing to dedicate 10, 20, or 30 years of your life in order to see it come to fruition?
  • What inspires you enough to dedicate even a few moments everyday toward even if you’re unsure how it will end?
  • What have you told yourself was too big for you to take on and so dismissed the dream out of hand? Is it time to take a long term view and reawaken that dream now?

If no answers come when you ask these questions, I invite you to ask the Divine for a passion or dream so grand that you’re inspired to make the kind of commitment Payeng did. Remember, it’s a commitment and a labor of love–not a sacrifice, so don’t be afraid to open up to the answers that have been waiting for you to seek them out.

These questions are dancing within me now too and glimmers of the answers are beginning to reveal themselves. How exciting…and all because I ‘accidentally’ turned a page and followed an inspiration to read a paragraph. I wonder what small inspired leaps await you this week. Trust your inspiration and find out!

Note: This small inspired leap for me not only led to asking myself these powerful questions, it inspired me to begin writing my blog again after a long (and needed) hiatus. It feels good to be back!

Are You In Need Of A Different Path?

July 11th, 2012

A conversation with a dear friend yesterday reminded me of the courage it takes to walk away from what you’re doing now in order to allow what’s meant to happen next to awaken and unfold.

Kevin (not his real name) realized six months ago that the banking career he loved for 30 years was no longer fun and was causing increasing levels of stress and physical issues he could not ignore.  A conversation with his brother got him thinking about what mattered to him and what he wanted his legacy to be.

I’m not sure where he found the courage, but deep within something called to Kevin to take an inspired leap and leave his job at the end of June. He’s now taking time off to relax, reconnect with friends and family, and regain his health.

Walking away from a steady paycheck, even when you have enough in savings to handle it, is not an easy thing to do– especially when you have no idea what you’re walking towards. Sometimes a long vacation is all that’s needed. But, if like Kevin, you’ve taken those kind of vacations and still have lost your zest for work and witnessed your stress skyrocket, your soul could be calling you towards more.

Do you need to pause before deciding which direction to go in your life?

Are you being called to take a new road in your life’s journey? Consider taking time off to discern what’s right for you. Kevin knew he needed some serious down time and had the savings to leave his job to give himself that gift. If you can’t do that, can you create a series of pauses via weekend retreats, a day or more of solitude, sessions with a spiritual director, or meetings with a life coach?

Give yourself permission to rest and reflect on what you might be called to in the next phase of your life. The new path doesn’t have to be walked on immediately. Perhaps a pause…a rest is all that’s needed now.

Kevin experienced a profound gift in confirmation that he was on the right track. When he arrived home after his last day at work, Kevin’s neighbor and his neighbor’s brother were waiting for him with a few beers to celebrate. That led to the creation of a wonderful 4th of July gathering and many opportunities for storytelling and connections with this neighbor and his brother that week. Last Friday, at the end of the week, Kevin’s neighbor’s brother went in for some serious surgery. He didn’t come out of it and died at the age of 49.

Hearing this story brought tears to my eyes, as Kevin relayed what he received from this intense week and the support and friendship he is now able to offer his neighbor and his family during this time. We never know what will unfold when we take a big inspired leap. Often the gifts are more profound than we can even imagine.

What treasures await you from heeding the inner voice that’s calling you toward a time out or a new path? Take an inspired pause this summer to discern what’s next for you.

Moments of Spaciousness

June 7th, 2012

Rich conversations over the past few weeks have all had a common thread: the transformational gifts that space brings. Whether you call it ‘breathing space,’ ‘holding space for another,’ or ‘making space’ for the new in your life, magic begins to happen in our lives, our relationships, and our communities when we acknowledge the need for space.

Breathing Space

Where is your favorite place to allow breathing space in your life?

Space to hear, see, or feel on a deep level what someone else is trying to communicate to us might come in the form of a pause before responding, or a short break before resuming a discussion. It might also involve a walk in nature or sitting on a park bench to shift perspectives and allow hearts to engage as well as heads.

Giving yourself space to ‘hear yourself think’ is really allocating time free from distractions, so you can allow your heart, mind, and spirit to discern what’s right for you. A ‘time out,’ can be the most profound and priceless gift when you’re in the midst of making important decisions.

Then, there’s the sacred gift we give others of holding space for them to expand into their next stage of greatness when they’re not able to see or sense it right now.

And, of course, there’s the physical creation of space that clearing clutter brings and the benefits to your body that giving yourself space away from others or space to move that can open up new possibilities for you too.

I think the secret to the magic that spaciousness creates is that it allows room and time for your powerful heart to work its magic in reaching out and connecting and then sending or receiving intuitive wisdom.

How do you create space in your life? Are you in need of more spaciousness in some areas of your life and work?

I’ve experienced so many blessings these past few weeks from acknowledging the power and gifts of the simple act of creating space physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for myself and others.

What gifts do you receive when you allow more space in your days and conversations? What can you do today to bring moments of spaciousness into your life and the lives of those you love?

Feel For That Spark of Recognition

March 5th, 2012

Have you ever read a book everyone has been raving about and wondered, “What do they see in this?” Or, have you listened to a speaker feeling nothing while everyone around you was taking copious notes and then running out to implement exactly what the speaker said?

If these experiences resonate with you, the next question is, “Did you honor what your gut – your intuition – was telling you?” If not, you probably have a story of frustration or worse to tell about the ensuing experiences resulting from your focusing on something that wasn’t right for you.

Your Spark of RecognitionTo avoid those painful experiences as much as possible, I remind myself to feel for that spark of recognition or resonance. If I don’t have it, I set aside the book or the ideas being shared, for now.

Trust your own gut or intuition to generate a spark of recognition or the opposite sick feeling in your gut if something is right for you or not a good fit. Don’t let others drown out the voice of your inner wisdom, especially when they’re using fear tactics like, “You’ll be left behind if you don’t join my bandwagon.”

You don’t have to make others wrong by making a different choice. In fact, their ideas might be perfect for you later, just not now.

Simply feel for that spark of recognition and if it’s not there now, stay open to it arriving later (or never), with no judgment either way.

This same process can be followed when making big decisions. I wrote about trusting your gut in discerning whether or not the entrepreneurial experience is right for you in the March issue of Austin Woman Magazine. You can read it HERE.

Or, if you’d like some support in developing more trust in your intuition and using it to take inspired action, then consider joining me on April 16th for the Jump Start to Inspired Action program (early bird pricing ends March 31st). Find out more HERE.

Wherever you are on your journey to trusting your intuition, start challenging yourself to pay attention to how you feel about ideas being shared before you make the decision to incorporate them as your own.

Make a commitment to not abandon yourself – your inner wisdom – regardless of how many others are trying to convince you to do so. Feel for your spark of recognition and honor it or the lack of it, then move on to the next great idea.

You Can’t Get It Wrong

January 4th, 2012

I received a precious gift of an inspiring story from a guest at the Lake Austin Spa last week. I recognized her and was honored that she showed up to hear me speak a second time. She could hardly wait until the end of the program to let me know how my work had made a difference in her life. May her story remind you, as you jump into this new year, that you really can’t miss the important messages about your life – - you can’t get it wrong.

About a year ago, Lisa (not her real name) participated in my weekly talk at the Lake Austin Spa. When it came time to do my aha-generating activity of asking a question and pulling one of 60 images to intuit what that image has to tell you about your question, Lisa didn’t hesitate. She’d lost her father three months earlier and was still deeply grieving his absence from her life. Her question was about how she could heal and positively maintain her closeness to her father.

The image she selected was of a puppy looking into her eyes (the viewer of the photo). Lisa’s immediate reaction was a complete rejection of the value of the image, as she disliked dogs, had experienced allergic reactions to them, and didn’t want the responsibility of one. Needless to say, her overwhelming response was “This is clearly a mistake and NOT the answer to my question.” Her daughter and mother, who were with her at the time, laughed and got it, as they knew about her dislike of dogs.

What gift or Aha! Moment have you resisted receiving?

Weeks later, Lisa was volunteering at a large community event when her teenage son interrupted her and asked for $5.00. She thought he was asking for it to buy some food and handed over the money. Less than an hour later, her son raced up to her screaming “Can we keep it? Can we keep it?” Completely flustered, Lisa had no idea what he was talking about, but saw many eyes focused on her and heard an announcer’s voice over the public address system asking what her son’s decision was about the dog!”

“What dog?” Lisa asked. It turns out her son used that $5.00 to buy five chances to win a dog. With over 1000 entries to compete with, Lisa’s son was the lucky winner of a puppy! Pressured by her son and the people around her, Lisa caved in and said, “Yes, you can keep the dog.”

After bringing this darling beagle home, Lisa’s mother told her stories she’d never heard about her father’s beagle. Apparently he’d had a beagle he was crazy about before he married her mom, and she shared how much he loved that dog. Then, her mother reminded Lisa of the image she’d selected during my talk weeks before!

Each time Lisa tells this story, she says she gets tears in her eyes because it reminds her how much she is loved by her father and how she is truly guided every step of the way. And, yes, her beloved beagle is now Lisa’s best friend…and her son gets to enjoy the dog too!

Sometimes the biggest Aha! Moments come days, weeks, or months later after we miss the first one. And, then — when we remember — we begin know on a deep level that we can’t get it wrong. If something is important and for our greatest benefit, we’ll be reminded of it again and again until we get ‘it.’ Or, we’ll be led directly to what we need.

Have you experienced any profound Aha! Moments like Lisa’s? I’d love for you to share it with me and others on the Aha! Moments facebook wall. Sharing your experience will remind you of how powerfully you’re being guided right now and will inspire others who need a boost. Please take a moment to share your story.

Aha Moments Book Facebook Wall

One of my passions is helping people step into their greatness by reminding them how to access their intuition and generate more Aha! Moments. I’ve got two exciting group coaching programs beginning on January 31st to help you do this, so 2012 will be your best year yet. Check them out and trust your gut to lead you to the program that’s right for you!

If you live in the Austin area and would like to take part in the next in-person Aha! Austin Coaching Circle, Click Here.

To find out more about and to register for the next tele-conference version of the Aha! Coaching Circle,  Click Here.

Keep Your Creative Expression Channel Open

December 7th, 2011

On Monday I shared a Martha Graham quote with friends in a mastermind group, as it felt appropriate for all of us. On Tuesday my coaching clients’ reluctance to trust what they’re being called to express reminded me of the rich wisdom within the late Martha Graham’s words. They’ve inspired me repeatedly in the past few years (so much so that I quoted her in my book).

In this time of transition from one year to the next, it behooves all of us to be reminded to trust our intuition and not to wait for permission, perfection, or expertise before unleashing what’s yearning to be expressed within each of us:

Creative Expression Via Leaping Dancer

Take an inspired leap and allow your creative expression to flow.

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this creative expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost.

The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.” —Martha Graham (emphasis added)

I love how Graham said “the world will not have it.” Feel the power and the stomping of the feet of the world in that statement. We must keep expressing, no matter how imperfect that expression may be. We have no idea who will be touched, changed, and served by what we’re called to share.

Your inner critic and doubter can serve a vital purpose to slow you down in order to wait for the synchronicities or the support, but it should never block you from beginning to express your creativity.

Be assured that anyone who steps in to judge and criticize your creative expression is either: a) throwing up their own inner demons that have blocked them from expressing themselves; b) acting as a mirror for you to come to terms with the harsh judge within; or c) providing guidance (perhaps a bit clumsily, but with loving intent) to simply evolve your creative expression into something that will be even better. It’s up to you to discern which it is, glean from that criticism what you need to, and continue expressing yourself.

What have you been yearning to creatively express? Keep in mind that ‘creatively’ doesn’t mean artistically. It can be a form of artistic expression, but your creative expression might be to fully step into being the leader, manager, or entrepreneur you know yourself capable of being.

How will you give yourself more space to create, express, and evolve in 2012?

Will you do what it takes to keep your creative channels open? The world needs you – - fully expressing and sharing your gifts. Just say “YES!” to whatever your inspired to create and watch how you begin to thrive and to inspire others. Aha!

Join me for my Winter Solstice One-Day Retreat in Driftwood, Texas on Thursday, December 22nd to reclaim your light and re-open your creative channels! www.inspiredleap.com/retreats

Or, join me in January for a Visioning 2012 Webinar or Half-Day Workshop:

http://www.inspiredleap.com/classes/visioning.html

*Photo courtesy of Big Stock Photo

 

 

 

A Small Act of Self-Care: Oh So Empowering!

September 21st, 2011

After an inspiring, challenging, and fun Nia dance class my friend Dr. Deb Kern leads ( http://drdebkern.com/daring-diva-dance/ ), I ‘floated’ to the grocery store to pick up some needed items. As I walked in, a cacaphony of construction and remodeling sounds greeted me.

What small act of self-care can you do for yourself today?

What small act of self-care can you do for yourself today?

I initially ignored my reaction to the noise and picked up a shopping basket. As harsh sounds continued to reverberate throughout the store, I stopped and asked myself if I really needed any of the items on my list immediately. After a clear no, I honored myself and my energy, dropped the basket back where I found it, and walked out of the store.

Yes, I’ll need to go back (to a different store) later today or tomorrow, but that slight inconvenience was so worth it. My body feels like it’s smiling in deep appreciation for my willingness to stand up for and take good care of it. I feel empowered and loved.

The queen of self-care, my friend Renee Trudeau, will be happy to know her message is getting through to me even when I’m temporarily inconvenienced by honoring my need for self-care.  ( www.reneetrudeau.com)

Self-Care. Self-Compassion. Self-Acceptance. Self-Kindness. Self-Love. Whatever you call treating yourself the way you’d treat a much-loved, much-respected, and honored guest, my sense is none of us care for ourselves the way we deserve often enough. What small act of self-care can you do for yourself today? Perhaps it’s simply giving yourself a hug, blowing a kiss to yourself in the mirror, grabbing a few moments for a walk in nature, or mindfully and with great love rubbing hand lotion into your beautiful hands.

Whatever pops into your mind, take the time to do that act of self-care or self-love. Then, take one extra minute to notice how you feel afterwards. Let that wonderful feeling inspire you to moments of self-care more often and witness the positive changes that result. Aha!

**Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo & Elena Ray

Fresh Start Part II

September 6th, 2011

Last week, I declared today “Fresh Start Day.” With all of the fires in and around Austin these past few days, I had no idea how devastatingly real that would be for those who have lost their homes.

A fresh start requires room to breathe and expand into your dreams. What can you let go of in order to create wide open spaces for your dreams to expand into??

A fresh start requires room to breathe and expand into your dreams. What can you let go of in order to create wide open spaces for your dreams to expand into??

I pray that your fresh start is more like mine — a psychological shift or small physical shift — rather than a dramatic start over. And, may those who find themselves rebuilding their lives in a new space receive all of the love and practical support they need.

If you’re able to contemplate creating a positive fresh start, take a moment to consider what you’re ready to let go of physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually in order to make room for and experience the life you desire.

Contemplate a worst case scenario like some around Austin and other parts of Texas are dealing with:  if you had 15-30 minutes to pack a car with your most treasured possessions, what would you take? What if that car could only take the most treasured parts of your personality, your skills, your memories, your habits, and so on?

What would you consciously choose to leave behind? Why not start to leave it behind or let it go now? Why not forgive yourself or others for ‘stuff’ that is just taking up space and energy?

Make room for your dreams. Embrace your chance for a fresh start.


If you’d like support with your fresh start and feel you’re ready for a powerful transformation, join the next Aha! Coaching Circle. We begin on Tuesday, September 13th. Are you being called to complete this circle?

*Picture courtesy of Big Stock Photo