Archive for the ‘Coaching’ Category

The End of the Line- Stop seeking. Be.

Written by Kate • November 5, 2017 •
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End of the Line

Be Here. Now.

The End of the Line

There comes a point in each of our spiritual journeys that we know it’s time to stop seeking validation, knowledge, or input from any more external sources. No matter how enlightened the guru, skilled the expert, or inspiring the author, there comes a time when it’s time to just do the work.

The Work. Be Here.

Sit in stillness.

Listen to the silence.

Notice your thoughts and feelings rise up and float away.

No more seeking or fixing or trying.

Be here now.

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The Brilliance Of Adyashanti

Written by Kate • October 27, 2017 •
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Adyashanti

Many of you may know Adyashanti and I’ve periodically read his work/listened to his audiobooks. I’m currently reading his book, The Way of Liberation: A Practical Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. It was written in 2012 and I think it’s even more compelling and apt in today’s world.

As Adyashanti has said, (I’m paraphrasing) if you earnestly begin to chase God, God will begin to chase you. I am most certainly chasing the Divine, asking for the Grace of Enlightenment. It is becoming my singular intention in this life and a burning flame inside.

Below is an extended passage that caused a frisson of recognition in my heart. It utterly speaks to me and helps me make sense of the senseless. I hope you take comfort in it too.

The Question of Being

To remain unconscious of being is to be trapped within an eg0-driven wasteland of conflict, strife, and fear that only seems customary because we have been brainwashed into a state of suspended disbelieve where a shocking amount of hate, dishonesty, ignorance, and greed are viewed as normal and sane. But they are not sane, not even close to being sane In fact, nothing could be less sane and unreal than what we human beings call reality.

By clinging to what we know and believe, we are held captive by the movement of our conditioned thinking and imagination, all  the while believing that we are perfectly rational and sane.

Deep down we all suspect that something is very wrong with the way we perceive life but we try very , vary  hard not to notice it. And the way we remain blind to our frightful condition is through an obsessive and pathological denial of being– as if some dread fate would overcome us if we were to face the pure light of Truth and lay bare our fearful cling to illusion.

..a Truth that beings to disclose itself in those quiet moments when the ordinary routine of life suddenly becomes transparent to the sublime sense of meaning and significance unknown in common hours.

The question of being is everything. Nothing could be more important or consequential- nothing where the stakes run so high. To remain unconscious of being is to remain asleep to our reality and therefore asleep to Reality at large. The choice is simple: awaken to being or sleep an endless sleep.

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Be The Change You Want In the World- Compassion

Written by Kate • October 26, 2017 •
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Inner Child- Girl on swing at sunset

Enjoying Being A Child

I’ve long wanted to be more compassionate with others and while I can be quite judgy and critical, I usually feel more compassion for others than I often feel for myself. I have been so hypercritical of myself for so long that I wasn’t sure I could change such ingrained behavior patterns. I’m reminded of this at every yoga class, during the finishing minutes of every class, my teachers would speak of first having compassion for ourselves and then for others in discussing “right” feelings.

I rarely could find compassion for myself. If I did my best and I still guessed wrong, I spent far too long castigating myself about how I should know better. If I seemingly caused conflict, I went over and over how I could have phrased things better so as to engender understanding and acceptance on the other party’s side. Up and down. Right and left. If there was anything other than the smoothest of sailings in my life at any level, I went over how I could have done better, been better, spoken more clearly, been less angry, more angry, etc.  On and on- always expecting better of myself.

The Inner Child

And then I learned about the concept of the inner child. I’d long heard of inner child work but never understood how it applied to me. In listening to Tosha Silver, she’s mentioned the inner child and has given me some great insights on how to be loving and kind to my inner child.  Over the months that I’ve been working on this, I see the value and need for inner child work.

The way I see the inner child(ren) is that inside you there is a spin off version of you from your childhood from when you were deeply wounded by life, by your parents, or some situation. At some point of time, you abandoned yourself in order to emotionally or physically survive a situation. In other words, to survive, you abandoned yourself and now there is an internal version of you that continues to speak to you, mostly from an unconscious level, from the original wounding.  And you can have more than one.

Like most everyone, we have situations that trigger us. These situations trigger us and in those initial moments after being triggered, if you learn to listen to your thoughts, you can likely hear the same recording from your inner child bringing up the wounding and trying to apply it this new situation. But often, the triggered reaction is so habitual that it’s now at the unconscious level and you’re likely  no longer aware that the same thought pattern is rising up again and again from a childhood wounding.

Understanding the Inner Child

Once I became aware of my inner child, I’ve been able to hear her so much more clearly and been able to work with her. For a long time, I thought my core fear was not being good enough. But I’ve realized that the reason I fear not being good enough is that I fear I will be abandoned if I’m not. My past makes so much more sense for me, now that I understand my true core fear and past situations when I’ve been triggered and overreacted. Sometimes my reaction to a situation baffled me by its intensity.

As an example, one that is both trivial and perhaps understandable to everyone: Recently, I had some houseguests and I served a meal. After the meal, I asked what they thought of it and they were lovingly honest. They said, “it wasn’t my favorite”. The next day, as I mused on the meal and my guests’ reaction, I started to get angrier and angrier at the thought that they didn’t like the meal I served. After several hours of periodically thinking about the meal, I was pretty upset at a deep level.  Now the conscious me was quite aware that my reaction was over the top and not rational or appropriate to the situation. But that’s how I felt. Now that I am aware of my inner child (and my core fear), I went inside to find out what was going on to provoke such a response.

And I came out again with my fear of abandonment. How did I jump from someone not loving a meal I prepared to fearing being abandoned? My inner child went from had the following sequence of thoughts and reactions:

  1. My guests didn’t like the meal
  2. I’m not as good a host as I thought because I should have known they wouldn’t like the meal
  3. They didn’t like the meal so I’m not good enough
  4. If my guest didn’t like the meal, they’ll never come back
  5. I’ll be abandoned

Again, it’s a silly situation but I truly got bent out of shape over my guests’ reaction. Because my core fear of being abandoned we triggered by this situation, I got very angry over it.

How To Be Compassionate With Yourself (And Your Inner Child)

I no longer care to spend much time understanding how I got here. The truth of this situation is that my inner child is deeply worried about being abandoned, as any child would be. With this perspective, I go inside and speak with my inner child. I comfort her and hold her and acknowledge her fears. As the adult here, I let her know that it’s ok and even if we were to be abandoned, I can take care of us. I no longer dismiss her feelings out, ignore her, or tell her she’s silly for feeling any particular way. I accept what is, act lovingly to my inner child, and heal a little bit more of the original wounding.

Through honest inquiry, even as I saw how strangely overblown my reaction was, I was able to find deep compassion for my inner child who feels she has to be perfect or she’ll be abandoned.

Being The Change

As I started to be more compassionate with the myself, through my inner child work, I am able to be more compassionate with the world. By allowing myself, at a conscious level, to be less than perfect, I have more compassion for others as we muddle through life.

More Resources

Tosha Silver  Tosha’s amazing at surrendering to the Divine and she has a lot of experience with the inner child.

Matt Licata    Matt’s blog, as a psychotherapist, is so lyrical and so healing. I highly recommend his work in general.

Thich Nhat Hanh   The renowned Buddhist monk has a book on healing the inner child through reconciliation. This is an excerpt from the book.

 

How about you? I’d love to hear about your experiences with your inner child (and how it’s changed you!).

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How To Trust Your Own Inner Voice- Emotional GPS Using Your Body

Written by Kate • October 24, 2017 •
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Trust Your Body

Use Your Emotional GPS

You no longer know what you’re feeling at a conscious level. You keep choosing activities or situations for your life but once you’re in the midst of it, you realize you’re not happy and that you’ve made the “wrong” choice (again!).  As Martha Beck writes so eloquently in many of her books and in her blog, we have allowed the social self to rise to ascendancy without connecting to the essential self, our true self. When that happens, we can become disconnected to what we like, love, or hate. At its essence, it’s like the volume is turned down on what we really want, so we can’t hear what’s really going on within our own hearts.

This blog is meant to serve as a quick and easy guide about how to start peel back the social self so that you can start to hear the essential self, the real you under all the layers of social acceptability and conditioning you’ve acquired through the years.

Using Your Body as a Guide- Use Your Own Internal/Emotional GPS

The amazing thing is that even though you may be nearly totally divorced from your true, essential self at the conscious level, your body has been sending you signals and messages all the time. You’ve just been too distracted or untrusting or numb to tune in. But by using your own body’s signals, you have an exquisitely attuned GPS system that is ready to guide you through life. You just need to become aware at a conscious level about the signals your body is sending you.

Here’s how:

Get Quiet

The first thing you must do is start to actually listen in to the quiet whispering of your essential self. The real you, underneath it all, is still communicating with you. But the essential self’s quiet voice may very well be drowned out by the busyness of your life, by the distractions, by the commitments you’re keeping, the food or booze or TV you’re using to distract yourself.

Instead of watching more TV/Netflix/Amazon Prime or getting a snack after the kids have gone to bed,  just sit down and rest in silence. Do it for 5 minutes at first and then keep stretching it a few minutes every day until you can sit and pause in silence for at least 20 minutes at a time.

At first the silence may feel weird and it may even be deafening, but stay with it. This may take a few days or even weeks as you slowly wean yourself off the distractions.

Listen In 

After a few days of silence and stillness, you may find that your essential self is screaming at you with all the information you’ve been avoiding with your distractions and busyness. If so, just listen in without acting on any of it for a while. Just listen and get used to hearing what you’ve been avoiding for so long.

Act with Discernment- Take Baby Steps

Because it’s been so long since you’ve acted on your true self’s guidance, you may need a little help with remembering what’s true for you versus what you’ve conditioned yourself to accept.  So think of something trivial in your life and start to use make small choices based on your gut.

For example, you have two blouses in your closet. One’s blue and the other is red. Imagine them both in your mind’s eye. Hold up the blue blouse in your mind’s eye (or in actually in your hand if you’re having a hard time imagining it). What are you feeling when you consider the blue blouse?

Your body will give you a thumbs up or down somewhere. For me, it’s the pit of my stomach. I feel either expansive ease or a contraction, a tightening. The expansive ease is a yes and the contraction is a no, for me.

Next hold up the red blouse. What feelings or sensations arise in your body? Do you prefer the blue or red blouse? Whatever comes up, don’t push it away. Just feel the yes and the no. Keep at it with a few additional items in your closet.

By the way, it’s important to start this type of exercise with something that isn’t triggering for you because you may have too much tied up in getting it “right” of the choices are too important in the moment. So perhaps you don’t want to use food or other triggering situations at first.

Then move on to other things in your life. Pick two potential movies to watch. Or two new plants you’re considering planting in the front yard. or two different routes to your new weekend activity. Just silently consider each one and feel what your body is telling you.

Be Compassionate and Trust Your Body

You may try to judge yourself for having gotten so far off center. Try not to do that. Instead, be grateful that you’re here now, ready to listen to your body and what it has to say.

Act On The Guidance Your Body is Giving You. Trust Yourself

After several rounds of considering two options in situations (that aren’t’ triggering), you likely have a sense of what the yes and the no feel like in your body. When you do, start acting on it. Only go with your yes options. Put down the shirt that gives you the no. Follow the yes. Don’t choose the no.

As you start to listen in and trust your body, the signals will be stronger and you’ll be able to hear what your body is telling you faster and with greater ease. With repetition, you’re strengthening a new behavior pattern which will make choosing what makes your essential self happy easier and more automatic.

Remember be compassionate and trust your body. In a relatively short amount of time, you’ll feel happier and lighter and your outer life will start to resemble what your inner landscape looks like.

 

What does your inner guidance feel like? Where do you feel it? I’d love to know. Feel free to leave me a comment about you think!

 

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So You’ve Manifested A Bunch of Stuff. You’re Still Not Happy. Now what?

Written by Kate • October 19, 2017 •
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Divine BelovedLike many of us, I was introduced to the ideas of manifesting and co-creation through watching The Secret, learning about  Abraham-Hicks, and reading Mike Dooley (Thoughts Become Things). It makes a lot of sense to me, that our thoughts become things, that where are attention goes, so energy flows. It just clicked with me. So I was able to use it more consciously in my life for a lot of things (but, of course, not everything -which is another story). And here’s the thing. It appears I can manifest with the best of them. But I would not say that my life any better for it. As I write in my detail below, I have moved away from directly trying to manifest things and situations in my life and into surrendering to the mystery instead.

Examples of Manifestation

So that you know I’m not a talking head about manifesting, I’ll list a few of the things I have manifested in my life. As you’ll see, I say this without pride or a personal sense of accomplishment.

A Life of Travel

While at undergrad, I decided I wanted to live in another country. It took a few years but I was able to easily make it happen and ended up living in Paris my senior year. It definitely was a fork in the road for me and cemented my love of travel. From there, I joined Peace Corps and lived in West Africa for two years. I then found a job in international development where I traveled much of the time but realized I prefer to travel for pleasure. And I’ve kept at it. Just this year, I spent six weeks in Bali and a month in Italy (all with our 2 year old twins). It’s simply who I am (for now). I am a person who loves travel and I travels a lot.

New Jobs

Throughout my early career, as I cast around for what I wanted to “do” with my career/life, I was still unsure of what I wanted out of my work life. At one particular job, after having seen the Secret and understanding more about manifestation,  I asked “the Universe” for a new job and even wrote out a resignation letter with a specific date (which was about 4 months into the future) and saved it onto my computer. While putting out my resume and searching for the new job without a lot of effort on my part, I then got the offer for a job I thought I wanted and submitted that original resignation letter, having to only change the date from my original resignation later by about 3 weeks. I was amazed that it had worked.  But because I had asked for a job but hadn’t been specific that it was in a warm and supporting environment or that it feed my soul work or anything else that was supportive, I got what I asked for and disliked this “job”. So I put out into the Universe new resignation letters a few more times so as to get new and “better” jobs. My intentions each worked within a month of the date I used on the new resignation letters for each new job.

A House in the Country

In 2008, as my 93 year old grandmother had another stroke and her DNR was implemented, I flew out to be with my grandma and family as my grandma passed. I stayed with a cousin (Hi Robin!) during that week. As I laid in my bed in her guest room, deer and a flock of wild turkeys passed by my open sliding glass door. Something in me zinged. I told Dion, my partner, then, “I want this”. He couldn’t believe it because I was such a city girl up until that very moment. It took me about a year to line everything, including changing Dion’s mind about moving out of the city into the Virginia exurbs, but several  months later, we had packed up and were out in Purcellville on 3 acres. We’ve now settled another 10 miles west in Round Hill, VA on 6 acres. Wild turkeys, deer, and foxes are nearly daily occurrences here. I have the same view here as I did from my cousin’s guest room.

Becoming a Mom

I had two pregnancies each end at six weeks. I kept trying but it never happened naturally again for me. And then, while in India (love to travel!) with two new friends I met at an Ayurvedic retreat, they asked me why I never had kids. They were kind. It was genuine and caring inquiry. And I lost it- just cried and cried and cried. It was at that moment that I realized there was more here than I realized and I focused on the reality of truly trying to get pregnant or let it go. For many of the years prior to my trip to India, I hoped I’d get pregnant but avoided actually feeling my feelings. It was all too painful.  But after that conversation in India,  by sitting with the idea of living the rest of my life without kids, I realized I didn’t want to let the idea of being a mother go.

I didn’t want to bring children into the world unless it was the right decision. I was 45 and I was scared to do the “wrong” thing.  For one of the first times in my life,  I asked the Divine to only allow me to get pregnant and have children if it was in my highest good and their highest good. Please don’t let this happen if it’s not the right thing for the child(ren) or for me. We went in for fertility treatment. First try, it worked. It was not quite two years later from the chat with my friends in India that I gave birth to the most magnificent set of twins.

As a side note, while in India, the three of were discussing children and our desires for having a child. One of those friends gave birth a month after me, with her due date just 4 days after mine (if my twins had been a singleton like hers) and the other friend gave birth almost exactly one year later than us. Wondrous timing.

Astonishing Manifestations

The previous manifestations may seem like average changes, that with applied will and effort, it would be easy to manifest these types of life events. But the following is a partial list of astonishing manifestations that just could not have been planned and definitely meant that wheels were turning behind that scenes at a much higher level than I could ever imagine.

Work at Home Job Offer

I had been able to manifest new jobs seemingly whenever I needed to.  But because job after job was never satisfied for long, I started to realize that I needed to more specific about what I was looking for in a job. At my second to last job, I had become increasingly unhappy with the commute, the job, and the work environment. It was so toxic, and senior management was actively encouraging gossip, back biting, and criticizing colleagues and peers in closed meetings. After two years, Ijust wanted out.

At the time, I truly thought that what I needed was more time to devote to building my own business and I needed a job that allowed me to work at home so that I could free up the two+ hours  I was using to commute to my soul sucking job every day. (I laugh now at how narrow my request was. Why didn’t I ask for help with creating my business? Or the money to help me launch a business so I didn’t have to work? But no, I focused solely on working at home as my vision for what I needed next. Baby steps.) I didn’t know how I was going to get a work-from-home job but I again wrote up my resignation letter and included a date. But this time,  I wrote about how the opportunity to work at home was more than I could pass up and it was an exciting next step.  Because I couldn’t figure out how to even begin looking for a job at home, I simply wrote the resignation letter, dated it, saved it, and kept on visualizing about working from hoping an idea would come to me about what to do next.

A month or so later, I got a call from an ex-colleague who had gone on to work at another organization. I hadn’t seen her in a while and she certainly didn’t know about my visualizations or desire for a job working from home. She then proceeded to tell me that she knew of a small business that was in search of someone with my talents but the job was in another state. So I would have to work from home. I was absolutely astounded and amazed.  She couldn’t have known I wanted to work from home or even that I was looking a new job.

I met with the owner of the business and handed in my original resignation letter and only had to change the date by about two weeks. I never actually looked for the job and made no effort to secure a new job other than visualizing it with all my heart.

Additional Income

As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy traveling. I also want to give back  so early in my career I got a job  doing international aid work for a USAID contractor. I started traveling to Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. It was great and it was lonely. Over time, through not paying attention to my finances and by taking several trips and buying lots art from the places I was visiting, I had amassed a large debt on my credit cards, $5,000. I had no idea how I’d pay it off.

I started noticing that every time I planned a visit to see my family in either California or Indiana, a trip for work came up. (I know there is a larger point to the work trips coming up for the exact timeframe as my intended visit to my family but that is a different story. This is the story about the boost to my income.) I realized that if I took a trip and didn’t buy any “souvenirs” and ate locally, I would be able to save my per diem and start to pay down my credit card debt.  To test my theory, I started to tentatively plan a trip to visit my brother. I emailed him to see if he was available for a specific weekend and truly made plans to visit him by looking at airfare, flight times, and car rentals. Boom, the next day an urgent trip to Mali came up and I had to stay there for over a month. I ate well but on the cheap because I love local food and can eat it without worries (thank you, Peace Corps Benin!). I came home, submitted my expenses and I had over $2,000 to put toward my credit card debt.

I wanted to fully pay off the credit card so I decided to use this quirk again. I then planned a trip to see my parents and did the same thing with checking their availability, flights, etc. Immediately, another urgent work trip came up that I could not have predicted and definitely did not know about-  but my presence was absolutely required. This trip was equally as long as the trip to Mali so I was able to submit my expenses at the end of it, and voila, the credit card debt was paid off.

I have many other examples of these types of astonishing manifestations: Manifestations that occur that I in no way orchestrated other than putting it out there about what I wanted. It’s real and it happened to me so very many times.

The Next Level of Manifesting

As I say, it appears I can manifest my ass off. But is my life any better for it?

I’ve gotten the house, the jobs, the kids, the money. Once I got the job(s), it was exactly the wrong thing. I hated them. And sure I got the money but I didn’t feel abundant and supported. And now that I have the kids, the big wonderful house in the country is too far out. I felt like I kept asking for the “wrong” things and few of the things I asked for actually helped me feel happy. What is a manifesting, co-creator to do when many of the things we’ve asked for have turned to ashes in our hands?

Surrendering to the Divine

In working with Tosha Silver and others, I realize there is a better way. We are creating large parts of our life, consciously and unconsciously. (And I believe some part of our life is about fate and destiny and not at all in our control.  I don’t believe Syrian children chose to be born into a hellish conflict situation. But there are parts of our life that we can co-create and we’re doing it all the time). I see now that all of my machinations, all of my rational step by step ideas of how to get to some future state of happiness, fulfillment, wealth, family life, and more have never taken into account the astonishing and miraculous ways the Divine can make things happen.  And the Divine Beloved, as I call her, can do it without my worrying, stress, and willing something into reality.

The Divine Beloved takes care of the things that need to be done on her side and I’ll be shown what next steps are for me to take. I see that the Divine has her things to do and I have mine.

For me, that means wanting what I want. I’m human. I have my desires and dreams. But I now offer them to the Divine Beloved and surrender them over. For large parts of my life, I only want what’s in my highest good and the highest good of all. (And yes, I really want a million+dollars as my highest good but only truly if it’s my highest good. I don’t want to hurt others in getting my desires fulfilled and I don’t want anyone diminished in the act of manifesting). And when I wake up to where I am grasping desperately to certain situations or aspects of my life, I surrender that part over to the Divine Beloved.

Every morning before my prayers and meditation session, I ask the Divine Beloved to give to me and to take from me all that I need to be fully surrendered. And I mean everything, if that’s what it takes. It was scary at first but I see that losing what needs to go is the best thing for me. And getting what I need to have is also the best thing for me.

I want the magic and the mystery of the Divine’s in my life. I want to feel the happiness of being present in my life and stepping into the flow rather than desperately clinging to certain circumstance or status. Every day I surrender. And every day, life is that much sweeter even in the midst of painful lessons.

Some Resources

Tosha Silver is all about surrendering to the Divine Beloved. She’s done amazing work on this. David Hawkins’ Letting Go is also a great resource. And much of Steve Pavlina’s work is pretty amazing too.

How About You?

Do you have an astonishing manifestation story of your own? I love hearing about how the Divine works in our lives.

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