alignment

My Summer of Reinvention & Transformation

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Hey there, friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. And what huge changes my life has been experiencing this summer. You may have noticed and heard some things, I’ve shared some with you already.

I’ve been in reinvention mode this summer, allowing life to unfold, practicing surrender, learning new skills, “retiring” my relentless drive to hustle…  and changing, big time, in the process.

Here’s what’s different about me. As I’ve shared recently, I have made some big decisions to pull back from producing events and group programs, including the Burlesque Experience. I am still life coaching privately, working with several clients, and open to more! Coaching is something I love with a passion and hope to continue well into my golden years. As I grow, heal, shift and change, I also become a better coach. I’ve never loved the work as much as I do now, and I’ve never been this good at it! And I will keep getting better and better, as I continue to study and add skills and experience to my “toolbox.”

I’ve also been working on a new “side-hustle”.. you are not gonna believe this. I just obtained my license to sell life insurance as a part of the Dynamic Insurance Services team. Yep! Can you believe it? ME? A Life Insurance Agent? (I prefer the title Senior Benefits Advocate!) The path has been arduous (including passing a state exam and studying like crazy for the first time in 30 years!) Weeks of training and lots of learning. Lots of “rookie” mistakes and discomfort… and while I still have much to learn, I’m up and running and really enjoying it. This work is fulfilling and rewarding, and the part-time work-from-home hours fit in so well with the lifestyle I desire and the dreams I have for the future. If you need life insurance, let’s talk! (Can you believe I just said that?)

I’m trying to find my writing groove. I have books in me, that want to be written, and I’m coming up against what every single person I coach (and know!) comes up against when they begin to nurture a creative dream: resistance. Yep, I am not exempt or immune. My resistance has a favorite disguise: not enough time. Ideally, I’d love big old blank expanses of time to write, whole days, preferred. What is actually realistic is making time from the small pockets of blank space, an hour here, an hour there. And schedule the occasional writing day or weekend or week. In the meantime, I need to stop making excuses and start writing!

The final semester of the Burlesque Experience has begun, and we are off to an exciting start. I love these women, their courage, their inner and outer beauty, their desire to tap into parts of themselves and commit to themselves in new ways. They inspire me in so many was.

The wrapping up of such an enveloping, exciting part of my life is bittersweet and emotional. I have waves of “what the hell am I doing, letting this go?” yet on another level, I know that the next step of my life, the next chapter of my story, the next level of impact that I long to have in the world requires I create space for it. And so creating space is what I’m doing.

I’ve given myself permission to step back from weekly blogs and emails. I will be blogging and sending my Quickies more sporadically now, I’m allowing myself some slack there. Let’s stay connected.

If you’ve considered working with me as your coach, let’s set up a complimentary Discovery Session so you could get a taste of what it’s like to be supported in this way.

And if not, that’s okay! Either way, I want to hear from you. Let me know what’s going on in your life! What changes have you been making? What resistance are you moving through? What is your life asking of you? While you might be seeing “less” of me, it’s an illusion. I’m still here. I’m more ME than I’ve ever been, and I’d love to keep the conversation going.

It’s still my deepest commitment to be of support, inspiration and encouragement to women, continuing my life’s calling of offering women access to their innate magnificence, power and radiance. Some things have changed, yes. But that never will.

 

 

When It’s Time, You Know.

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Change is hard.
Especially big change.
Especially when that change will require us to restructure and redesign our entire lives, will demand that we disappoint, inconvenience or confound others.
I’m in the midst of such a redesign myself, as we speak. As you might or might not know, I made the decision earlier this year to wrap up my seven-year project, the Burlesque Experience, and to transition away from facilitating group events and programs altogether. This coming summer semester will be the very last B.E. session, after twenty-two incredible seasons.
This has been no easy decision.
I love the Burlesque Experience. I love teaching, and hosting and facilitating, and holding space. These aspects of my work have given me immeasurable joy, satisfaction, connection, creative expression, pride, glory, humility, and have taught me so much.
I’ve fallen in love, again and again, with hundreds of brave and gorgeous women I’ve shared my work with over the years.
“I am who I am because of the women I’ve surrounded myself with.” – Salma Hayek
For the last eighteen years or so, I’ve been creating and hosting programs and events for women in Dallas.  For the last couple years, I have been doing some major “inner” renovations. I’m not talking new curtains or throw rugs in there- I’m talking about knocking out walls, foundation repair, restructuring the whole place, room by room. As I’ve been changing, so have my drives, so have my desires. (Well, of course they would.)
One desire that has grown stronger than ever, accompanied by a quickening, an urgency of sorts, is the need to buckle down and write. And what I have recently come to understand is that I cannot create what I want to create when my creative energies are dispersed all over the gosh-darned place.
I described to a friend recently, my life was feeling like watery Kool-Aid. When you water down the Kool-Aid, to stretch it out, everyone gets watery Kool-Aid. I want to be potent. I want to be concentrate. I don’t want to live my life diluted.
The truth didn’t hit me in the head like a lightening bolt. It seeped in, little by little, subtly tossing tiny clues here and there, until the tiny clues became wisdom, became truth.
Until I was ready to acknowledge my truth.
One day, my feelings turned to knowing. My curiosity turned to clarity. I just knew, I was ready to close this chapter.
I had to look hard at all of the elements of my business, my brands, to really get clear about what it is I wanted to keep doing and what it was I wanted to stop doing. I realized I still am very passionate and devoted to my private coaching clients. That is very much alive for me. I feel like I could coach privately for the rest of my life, I love it so much.
And I also knew that in order to tap into the creative energy I needed to do my other work, and explore other aspects of myself, my purpose and my soul’s desire, I had to let go of some things.
I am ready to turn my attention to other desires and dreams. I am ready to shift and evolve into the next version of me.
It’s hard to point at any one reason or circumstance and say “that’s why”, though I’d love to be able to.
See, I love a compelling story. And I usually need one to motivate me to make any important change in my life. Yet one of the things I’m learning is that, in actuality, I don’t require a story to make a decision. I don’t need to explain or justify to others, or to myself, why I’m done with something when I’m done with something.
Something doesn’t have to go bad or fall apart or hit bottom or become painful before I am done. I’ve been there, too, many times.
But not this time. This has been so hard, because I hate disappointing people. But I’m also learning that sometimes choosing for me means you might be let down. Can I be okay with that? I’ll never be a person who “has no fucks to give.” That’s not my style. I have a lot of fucks and I give them freely. I care about what others think. I don’t like hurting people. And I also must choose what’s best for me.
Many years ago, a friend shared with me that the word “decide” actually means “to kill.” This has always stuck with me. Especially when I need to make a decision. Think about it. Genicide. Matricide. Suicide. Homicide…
When we decide what it is we want, what direction we want to go in, who we want to be, something else has to die. No wonder we avoid deciding.
As I move into these new directions, wrapping up one cycle, immersing myself in new endeavors and cultivating new desires, it’s bittersweet, indeed. But I know it’s right. I trust myself.
So what is it that you, my friend, are avoiding? What big change needs to be made? What are you pretending to not know?
It’s scary, sometimes, clarity. Because it requires us to do hard things. I think that’s why we’ve gotten so good at pretending not to have it. I have it now. And I will not pretend.
I’m leaping into the unknown in many ways, letting go of what I know, to explore what I don’t know. I’m willing to let go of feeling like an expert to embrace being a beginner. I’m once again in uncharted territory. It’s bittersweet, terrifying, exhilarating, promising.
What about you?

More, Please.

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Show me a hundred people and I bet I can show you 95 of them or so who will say 2016 has been a rough one. It came with its blessings and gifts, of course, but it also brought a seemingly higher proportion of loss, tragedy, difficulties, and pain than your average year. At times, it’s been brutal. And it’s ending.

I am ready to kiss this year good-bye.

I am ready to make some new commitments and strengthen the ones I have in place.

I am ready to be more, have more and feel more of what I want to feel.

I’ve decided. I want this brand new, shining year ahead to be My Year of More.

What about you?

There is much to kiss goodbye to as we wrap up this year.

And so much to experience more of.

I’m done with New Year’s Resolutions that feel forceful, like what I should be wanting or doing. Research shows us, they don’t work.

I’m done with New Year’s Resolutions that come from anywhere outside of me.

I’m actually done with the term “New Year’s Resolutions” altogether. I’m tapping into something different this year. My own, innate, personalized More-Core.

You have one, too. Deep within you, there lives a blueprint of what you truly desire, a solid and totally-unique, totally-YOURS, set of desires that point you in the direction of More.

You don’t have to search for it. It’s already there. You just have to turn to it.

Here’s how to access your More-Core. Grab a pen and paper. Answer these questions:

  1. What feelings do I want to feel more of?
  2. What experiences would support me in cultivating more of these feelings?
  3. What activities, choices, practices or people would support me in cultivating more of these feelings?
  4. What would I need less of, in order to create space for more?

And then, it begins. Once you get clear about what you want, you can’t unknow it.

Here are two misconceptions about wanting more that I come across often…

  • If I want more, it means I am dissatisfied with what I have, and what I have is enough.
  • It’s greedy, ungrateful or selfish to want more. I should concentrate on being content, instead.

It is possible to be grateful and content while wanting more. In fact, it’s imperative to our well-being to acknowledge and tend to our desires. Desire is fuel. Desire is guidance for your journey. Desire is data. And wanting more does not diminish gratitude! It’s quite possible (and a yummy place to live!) to be in both desire and gratitude. One does not cancel out the other. In fact, it’s our denying our desires that gets us into trouble.

You can love your life and want more. (I blogged about this very thing last year.)

Go on, want MORE. I dare you.

Find a buddy, a coach, a group, for accountability, for support, for love as you manifest MORE this year.

You do not have to be anything you aren’t. This isn’t about becoming someone else.

Let 2017 be the year you become MORE of who you are, the year you grace the world with MORE of what you are here to express, and experience MORE of what it is you want.

What do you say?

Ready for more? I know I am.

 

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Continue scrolling only if you want MORE…
Here’s a video invitation!

I’ve created three offerings to help you amplify your year of More…

Complimentary More Strategy Session

Your Year of More Day Retreat – January 14th, Dallas area.

Private 90-Day More Coaching Program

Re-Routing: Getting Your Life Back on Track

I’m hard at work on some brand-new stuff, so I hope you’ll enjoy one of my favorite blogs, originally posted in February of 2013. Enjoy!

 

woman-looking-at-gps-in-carFeeling lost or stuck? Have you taken a wrong turn and and are now feeling seriously disoriented or misplaced? Have you wandered away from what you want, who you are or what you know to be true? Maybe it’s time to re-route.

Our inner GPS system sure is something else, a genius technological feature… one that’s always been there. Just like our modern, fancy-pantsy, phone-guided systems, or our TomToms or Magellans, we have all the guidance we need within us to find our direction, to keep us on track.

Even when we get off track, we can always get back on. Our GPS system doesn’t lose our way, just because we do. “Re-routing…” she says. And she gets us there.

And you know what our car GPS systems never do when we make a bad turn? They never say…

– There you go, screwing things up again…
– Oh! GREAT job, dumb-ass…
– Figures you’d blow it, again…

What the inner GPS system is good at doing is sending us cryptic, subtle clues when it’s time to re-route.  Some include…

– isolating ourselves from others
– jealousy, irritability, bitchiness
– accidents, mistakes and mishaps
– back, head, stomach aches
– overspending, overeating, overdrinking, overanything-ing
– chaos in your home, life, car, purse…

Can you recognize when you are out of harmony, or heading in the wrong direction? Be a detective in your life and consider the signals your GPS system gives you when you’ve gotten off route.

There is a model for change that is used everywhere by coaches, therapists and other professionals that I find interesting. What I especially find fascinating about it is that  it includes relapse as part of the change cycle.

If you are beating yourself up for changes that haven’t “stuck” or new year’s resolutions that have already fallen by the wayside, if you have slipped, but you haven’t yet regained your footing, if you are being hard on yourself for not having perfected yourself yet, please, ease up.

Think of how your car or phone GPS system works… she gently says “re-routing” and then gets you headed back in the right direction, as quickly, safely and easily as possible. She doesn’t say “Stop trying.” She doesn’t say “Give up.” She doesn’t say “Turn back.” She doesn’t even make you feel stupid or shake her head and told you “I told you so.”

She simply and gently says “re-routing.”

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Ask yourself:

What are my own internal GPS system’s signals that I am out of harmony?

Are any of those signs happening now?

What one action can I take today/this week/this month to help bring me back, to re-ro

ute and re-orient myself, and get my life back on track, and in alignment with my desired destination?

If I can support you, let’s schedule a coaching session! Email me right away at lisa@sacredsexyu.com to see which session type is best for you.

The Truth About Truth

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It wasn’t so long ago that I felt, in most cases, it was safer to lie than to tell the truth.

Lies kept me safe. Secrets were my suit of armor. It was how I knew to live. Secrets and lies were my survival strategy, learned early and practiced to perfection.

This so-called survival strategy had also created a life of pain and separation. True intimacy was impossible, with myself or others.

My life was full of people, but I was alone, and in pain so deep and so familiar, it felt normal.

More than a decade ago, my therapist asked me: “What would it feel like to have a life without secrets?” I was stunned by his question, had never entertained the idea. It was almost absurd. Secrets were my second skin. My buffer between me and real intimacy. My “safe place.”

“Living a life without secrets would feel like walking around without skin.” I answered. The vulnerability, the rawness of living, speaking and choosing truth were so beyond my comprehension. Could I be that brave? That strong? Where to even begin?

Living your truth is not easy, nor is it for wimps or the faint-hearted. Living your truth requires you to do things that may shock or even hurt others.

Living your truth calls you, appoints you, assigns you to both large, radical acts of bravery and small, seemingly insignificant choices… ranging in depth and extremity from completely redesigning your life to sending your food back when it’s not cooked to your liking.

A truthful, authentic life does not happen all at once. It is more likely to be painstakingly constructed, choice by choice.

The biggest thing I had to do, in order to live my truth was the most painful thing I have ever done, and that was to leave a long, loving marriage and break up a family.

Who does that? I kept hearing, in my head, moving through the excruciating process.

Who does that? A woman finally determined to live her truth. A woman who is neither good or bad, or is maybe both, but is mostly a woman determined to experience her own wholeness.

What is truth calling you to do? Waiting for courage may have you waiting a lifetime. Wait not on courage. Sometimes it is only a breeze we need to step in the direction of courage, of our life of truth. Sometimes it takes a storm, sometimes an all-out tsunami. Courage is the reward we get, for taking these stands on our own behalf, along with power, with self-trust, self-esteem. Goddess energy.

I’ve taken many risks since that therapy session to speak, choose and live my truth. I am more committed to a life of truth than I ever thought possible. It’s not always easy. It’s sometimes painful and scary. But truth never fails. Truth always rewards. Always builds. Always heals.

Is your truth calling you to choose, speak or act on its behalf? The time is now. Step into your truth and you open up a new world within you, the universe responds, life becomes brighter, clearer, more real, more beautiful.

When you claim your reality and live your truth, everything changes, for the better.

And that is the truth about truth.

 

 

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Originally posted July 2013. Resharing with love, while I take some time to refuel from output-mode. 

Life is Smarter Than Me.

12368988_10153396512383473_3584647267137377978_nWelp. I had some plans, see, to hand over directorship of The Burlesque Experience so that I could be free, see… free to frolic, free to create new things, free to see what other adventures life had in store.

As it turns out, the adventure life had in store for me was not what I expected. It rarely is, really. We’ve all heard the John Lennon line “Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans…”

Let me rewind a little. After five years, 20 consecutive seasons and bringing over 200 women to stage, to say I was tired was an understatement. Frankly, I was burned out. I was fried. I was tapped out, empty. Even the fumes that I’d been running on were gone.

I hired a new director, with lots of fanfare and celebration, we began our training in between seasons, delegating, discussing details, all the while, I was making major life changes and committing to self-care, wellness, vitality.

I was getting my mojo back.

The new director also had some major life changes over those months. She accepted an awesome full-time job that kind of fell from the sky, that she loves passionately. With two babies, a full-time job, and after hours, a busy freelance business, designing, coaching and doing burlesque, she is one busy babe. My gut kept saying this was not the right move.

I struggled with apprehension… I hate going backwards. It brings with it some of my least favorite feelings like regret, embarrassment, sheepishness. Will people understand? I mean, I even gave a ‘good-bye’ speech in front of a couple hundred people. Do I really want to direct this again? Can I love and care for this baby the way it deserves?

But the train was moving, and I had wanted to be free, remember? And I had made that speech…

Then, this week, as Life would have it, as a series of minor events, conversations, feelings, and a hell of a lot of thinking snowballed, I knew what had to happen.

I mustered all of my superhero powers to stop a moving train.

One day before the new semester was to begin.

UGH! Can I really do this? Yes, Life answered me. Yes. You got this.

It knew 100% it was the right thing to do.

She and I talked, and it just makes good sense, all around. I continue to support her in her pursuits and endeavors and am happy that she will still be an important part of the B.E. program and community.

And here’s the most surprising part: I have fallen in love with the Burlesque Experience all over again.

It’s clear to me now that what I needed last year the most was a break. A real break.

Surrender. Stillness. Silence.

I needed to focus on me, on healing, on self-care, on making some drastic lifestyle changes. (I’ll tell you more about those in another blog.) I needed to realign with my purpose, my passion, my path.

And I have.

I’m excited, I’m charged, I’m taking impeccable care of myself, I’m grounded and focused and committed and holy cow, I’m thrilled about this group of women that will be BUSTING OUT on February 26th.

Someday, I still would like to transition away to allow other leaders to step in to the Dallas operations, so I can focus on growing and expansion into other cities through licensing. I have books to write. I have programs to create. I have things to do!

For now though, one of my primary priorities is directing my baby, The Burlesque Experience.

I’m not just “okay” with that. I’m stoked.

Sometimes, we think we know our paths. We think we have it all figured out, that we know what’s next. And then life says “Hey, I have a better idea. How about going THIS way?”

I’ve said it before and I firmly believe that Life is smarter than I am. Smarter than we are. Sometimes, we just have to throw up our hands and say “Life, I trust you.”

Life, I trust you.

 

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Photo by Dee Hill, HAMU by Vivienne Vermuth

Relapse

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Not very long ago, November 12th, just about a month ago, to be exact, I wrote a braggy blog about how I had kicked overwhelm’s butt, about how I had cured myself of stressful living and spreading myself too thin. You may remember it?

“I’m even getting stubborn and refusing to let myself feel the anxious, overwhelmed, heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping feeling that used to be my normal. I just can’t live like that anymore. Well, I “could”. But I choose not to.”

Want to find out how quickly you aren’t done with something? Write a blog telling the world how you’re done with it.

Month later-me is shaking my damn head at last-month-me’s arrogance.

Yep, I relapsed.

When I wrote “My name is Lisa and I am a recovering adrenaline junkie. I have spent a lifetime, decades, in a rush toward the ever-changing finish line, overloading, overextending, overwhelmed. That’s just the way I did life. I think I even made myself slightly late to everything so that I could get that rush, that rush that came from rushing…” I meant it.

The relapse into old ways didn’t happen all at once. Ironically, it happened the exact same way I had made the changes toward stress-free living in the first place… once choice at a time.

Saying yes to this and yes to that. Signing up for courses and RSVPing for events. Let’s throw in the holidays, a new program launch, four holiday parties in three nights, a terrible head cold and cough and a five-day trip. My new healthier, cleaner eating went out the window as I stuffed carbs and flour into my face because I was on vacation. (Before that, it was because it was Thanksgiving.)

And bam, there I was. Overwhelmed, unfocused, frazzled, exhausted, making mistakes left and right, coughing, sneezing, stressed.

I am not saying I don’t love my life, or that I’m not grateful to have a busy career, active social life and commitments that matter. These things matter greatly to me, and I cherish my life and all of its complications and adventures. What I am saying is that a watered-down version of me does no one any good, especially me. Driving on empty is dangerous. Stress kills. There is a better way. I am learning to do things differently.

Here’s the difference this time around. Here’s where I can confidently trust that I am making real progress on my path.

  • I caught myself (relatively) quickly.
  • I compassionately and lovingly evaluated my life, without beating myself up for being a “hypocrite,” instead, gently acknowledging my human-ness.
  • I’m bravely facing the truth about myself that there are still some aspects of me still in need of healing, and this is one of them. For me, still, busy-ness and overwhelm happen too naturally, and there’s some self-examination to do around the why of this decades-old pattern.
  • In the interest of transparency, I made the decision to come clean with you, instead of carrying on the ruse that I was “still clean” of my addiction to busy-ness and adrenaline.
  • I addressed the problem right away, choice by choice, getting myself back on track with my practices for centering, self-care and reconnecting with spirit, with myself.
  • I promised myself not to add any more commitments or events to my calendar this year (except one important one still unscheduled.) (You might have to hold me to this one, friends.)

I need more stillness.

I need to bring myself back to center. Again and again.

I need to get quiet.

I need to slow down.

I’m not “out of the woods” yet, when it comes to strong, consistent, solid practices to keep me out of stress-mode and living a peaceful life of ease and trust. It’s a practice. A daily practice.

And if I spend the rest of my life in practice (I probably will), I’m okay with that, because I love myself unconditionally, and I am always in process.

I am aware.

“Without awareness, there can be no choice.” It’s been said.

Where in your life lately have you “missed the mark” or taken a step or two backwards?

Where or how have you relapsed?

Can you offer yourself compassion for your slip?

Can you gently course-correct, without cruelty or punishment? Without beating yourself up?

Can you allow your imperfectly, perfect self some slack, because you’re very, very human after all?

I am humbled, and I am back on track. How many times will I need to get back on track? As many as it takes.

You?

Waiting Until You’re Ready?

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photo credit unknown

I want to tell you today, you will never be ready.

There will never be a perfect time.

That dream has been patient, that longing has persisted, yet there are still so many hurdles, so many shifts, so many decisions and actions and tasks and choices that will need to be made before you’re ready, or so you say.

And so the waiting continues. The dream may persist, or it may even get put on a shelf, growing dusty and forgotten, and you’ll find other things, so many other things, to distract yourself with.  There’s work, of course. Family, friends, commitments, car repairs, house repairs, moving, changing jobs, getting married or getting divorced, raising kids, and let’s not forget the PTA.

You’re just not ready yet.

Or perhaps you’re waiting until you get the confidence, feel brave enough, get strong enough, lose the weight, “get your shit together”, get the braces on or off, have the right computer, or the right software, “figure out the details” or find a new excuse… It’s just not time yet.

Is your dream persisting? Or has it ducked into the shadows, neglected and tired?

Your days of playing small are numbered.

You feel it, you know it. But you don’t know where to start. It’s daunting and terrifying, taking a dream, an invisible, intangible idea and pushing it into reality where it becomes a living, breathing extension of you.

So the excuses come in handy. And oh, they are abundant, aren’t they?

Like a box of tissues, you can pull out one, and there will be another one waiting right behind it.

Whatever your excuses are for not doing your dream, I’ve heard them all before. And I’ve also seen them smashed to smithereens by one thing and one thing only: Action.

Make one choice today. Just one little choice. Begin to move. Let your dream seduce you, engage you. Brainstorm. Take notes. Doodle your dream. Tell someone. Buy a domain. Schedule that meeting.

Something.

Anything.

Action.

I want to tell you today, you will never be ready.

There will never be a perfect time.

The only time is now.

You owe it to your dream. Your dream is your duty.

It is not an accident that you are the one that wants what you want.

You are the one with that particular fantasy. With that particular desire.

And guess what? You are also the one with the exact set of experiences, talents and abilities to make your dream happen.

It is not an accident it’s yours.

It chose you.

Now choose it back.

 

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If you’d like support with doing your dream, Live Dangerously with me. 90 Day program starts 9/14, and it has your name written all over it.

A Big, Bold, Brave and Slightly Terrifying Announcement

11133687_10152890231098473_328855266522384090_nI’ve always said I didn’t find burlesque, it found me. And in the same vein, I didn’t just create the Burlesque Experience, but in many ways, it has created me.

For nearly five years, four times a year,  a group of a dozen or so women have enlisted on their burlesque adventure, and Busted-Out the other side to never quite be the same. A team of leaders, mentors and teachers has risen from this, and gathered around to support and assist in magical ways. I’ve held countless workshops, helping women Unleash their Inner Bombshells. I’ve trained others to teach this same workshop, knowing that even just a two-hour taste can be a game-changer. The Alumni Community has grown into its own living, breathing entity, supporting, caring and creating with and for one another. A perfectly imperfect tribe of human beings with a thing for glitter and a heart for one another.

I have grown as a woman, as a business person, as a community leader. I have had some lows, but many more highs, in this wild, colorful, dramatic and always interesting celebration of femininity, support, passion and life. It’s been one of my life’s greatest honors and delights to do this work. And I have made so many of my dearest friends through it.

So the signs that maybe it was time to move on went ignored, for a while.

How do you walk away from something so alive, something that thrives with a heartbeat made up of over 200 alumni, and many more supporters, fans and friends?

I ignored the signs of burn-out, I ignored the still, strong voice inside of me that wanted me so badly to tune in. I continued to stretch, to grow, to push and pull, and spread myself too thin at times.

And  the time comes when one day your truth can no longer be ignored.

My truth, which had been trying to get my attention for many months with many signs, signals and situations, could no longer be ignored. But hell, it was worth a try. I found myself pretending. At times feeling so out of alignment with what I really wanted to do, and be, and say, and feel. ME… someone who teaches alignment and authenticity for a living was out of alignment and authenticity. Not all the time, mind you, but just enough to feel a certain low-grade crappiness almost all the time, under the surface, even infecting other areas.

When we are out of alignment in one area, other areas also suffer. Period.

I fell into a depression. I was burned out and empty. Getting out of bed was extremely difficult. i found myself taking three hour naps, falling deeper then into overwhelm and physical pain, triggered by overwhelm. I was numbing and escaping in as many ways as I could. Because to “walk away” seemed unthinkable. This work is so important. It has so much life in it, and joy, and purpose. I LOVE this community, and I always will, these women, their partners, families and the care and love we feel for one another has been my lifeline at times.

Yet, I was done. The time had come: I wanted to release the Burlesque Experience.

Many of you already know, but others may not, as of our next semester in January, The Burlesque Experience will be under new directorship as Sweet Darla Danger (Lisa Loving) moves into the role as I prepare it for sale. I know that her passionate and talented spirit will breathe new life and energy into B.E. She’s been an important part of the program since almost the very beginning. Our intention is that she become the new owner later in 2016. I would love to see that happen!

My heart wants to focus on other aspects of my business and my life, my relationships, my health, my writing, my private coaching practice and other programs I’m ready to create.

Ironically, my new program, Live Dangerously, kicks off September 14th, and what better way to lead a program that inspires acts of boldness and vulnerability, than to walk away from work that has become quite safe and comfortable and so rewarding in many ways, to practice my own leaping and lunging into a loosely-defined future. Because I have no choice. Life leads. I follow.

I’m learning the fine art of tuning in. I am no expert yet. But life keeps giving me opportunities to practice. To tune out the crowd, to turn down the noise, so that I can pay attention to my own Truth, my own desires and longings, so that I can follow my own drum beat. It’s exhilarating at times. Terrifying at other times. Mostly somewhere in the middle. But the Truth knows. It will not lead us astray.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made a painful decision, and I’m sure it won’t be my last, but I’ve learned to recognize and trust the Truth (eventually, after some hard core resisting, of course.)

The next few months will be ones of transition. I imagine some of it will bring tears, some stresses, some joys and exhilaration. On Friday November 20th, we are having a big Alumni Spectacular to officially celebrate  the last five years and the passing of the torch. I hope you will be there.

And I hope you’ll stick around to see what new creations come forth out of this transition. And hell, why not perhaps join me in surrendering to your own life’s Truth that has been trying, in subtle or not so subtle ways, to get your attention? We can Live Dangerously together.

While I transition, I have waves of fear, waves of sadness, waves of overwhelm. But even still, I trust this Truth. I know it’s what I need to do. It’s what’s next. No one ever said Truth would be easy. But Truth is right. Every time. That’s why they call it Truth.

And when you meet yours, you know.

“Me, Meditate? Pfft!”

“Me, Meditate? Pfft!”DOnt-Hate-Meditate-Image-294x300

That’s exactly what I used to think about meditation. But at the end of last year, when my mind had clearly gotten out of control, I knew I had to change course. I’d wake up with negative thoughts in my head, before I’d even opened my eyes. I’d go throughout my days feeling overwhelmed, scattered, unfocused. Insecurities were wreaking havoc on my self-esteem. I struggled to stay afloat without completely falling apart. It got bad.

So, among other changes I committed to, to lift myself out of the deep funk that I had been in, I decided to give meditation a shot.

Up until very recently, I’ve always considered myself meditation-incapable. My mind was just too busy. Busier than the average mind, I was certain. What I’ve learned is that everyone thinks that. My mind is no busier than anyone’s. It’s this being human thing. We all have busy, chattery minds. So what. Who doesn’t? Meditate anyway.

I considered myself only able to do meditative activities, like drawing, coloring, walking. This sitting in stillness and silence thing? Ummm… I don’t think so.

I had to let go of many of the assumptions and personal myths I had made up about what I could or couldn’t do. And then I found some tools. Headspace is an app you can download that has a free 10 minutes for 10 days challenge, along with cute little cartoons that explain meditation concepts in simple and fun ways. I found that guided meditations work very well for me. There are lots of great meditation podcasts too, with extensive archives and guided meditations for every single purpose you can imagine. A simple app search in your Play Store will offer you many free and inexpensive tools.

I began meditating three to fifteen minutes a day, depending on the tool I’m using. I’m nowhere near the “nirvana” I’ve heard about. I haven’t reached any “altered states of consciousness.”  But here’s what I AM getting from my new baby meditation practice…

  • As a chronic over-doer, over-extender, over-booker, sitting still with nothing to do, but just be, has been a powerful way to start my day. Before the chaos, before the ride starts, before I am wrapped up in this or that, I can just sit and be. Allowing myself this gift feels amazing. And my whole day is affected, in positive ways, by this little chunk of designated time to just sit in stillness and be.
  • I’m sleeping better. I’m waking up easier. Meditation may have something to do with this.
  • I’m calmer, more centered and more present during my day. As “centered” is one of my five Core Desired Feelings this year, I’m loving that. Feels great.
  • I experience more love, for myself, for others, I’m just operating from a more loving place.
  • Here’s the big one. My entire experience of the world is changing. When I’m meditating and my mind wanders (as it does constantly) I guide it back to the word, or the breath, or the light in my center, or whatever it is I’m focusing on. Learning to do this has strengthened my ability to do the same thing when I’m not in meditation, and just living my life.For example, I had an experience last week where I was triggered, my feelings were hurt, I was angry and my Pain Body was loving it. The Pain Body, if you don’t know, loves to be the victim. But I knew that victim-energy was not going to serve me. What would I rather think about? Whenever I’d find myself roaming back over to the feeling of victim, or re-hashing, or feeding those negative feelings, I’d redirect my attention to a dream I’m preparing to manifest. I’d rather think about this dream, it’s way more fun. I think about what it will feel like, when actualized, how awesome it will be, how wonderful it will feel.I get to choose my thoughts. And so do you. While meditating, you realize you can’t stop the mind or shut it down, but you can continue to redirect it, over and over. In or out of mediation.

My mind, when unsupervised, is a reckless, wild thing, unruly, like a feisty toddler that doesn’t get enough attention. When left un-managed, my toddler mind will wreck my day.

Meditation is revealing to me that I am in charge. That the toddler can be redirected. That the Me that is not my mind chatter can guide and redirect the busyness, the chaos, the negative thinking, and that, my friend, is what I call a game-changer.

So whatever excuses you have for not developing a mediation practice, I suggest you ditch them. Not enough time? You’re telling me you don’t have three minutes a day? Mind too busy? Join the club.

Hey, if I can develop a meditation practice, SO CAN YOU! I am now convinced that anyone can.

And what a difference it will make. I promise.

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Are you a budding meditator? Long-time cushion boss? I’d love to hear what works for you. Tools, techniques, tricks.

Let’s compare notes, and grow together!