desire

You Can Be Satisfied AND Want More

"She was a bad egg." Click image for Veruca's video!
“She was a bad egg.” Click image for Veruca’s video!

Every time I think of “wanting it all”, I think of the petulant, spoiled-to-the-core brat of Willie Wonka fame, Veruca Salt. She’s an extreme example of wanting. Spoiled, recklessly self-absorbed, and we all know what happens to her. She faces her unfortunate demise when she falls down the hatch, trying to get her golden egg. “Bad Egg” the meter declares.

And we all chuckle, knowing she got what she deserved, the little brat, the subtle message planted: don’t want too much.

It’s unfortunate really, that we’ve equated desire with being spoiled, wanting more with ungratefulness, that somehow it’s more virtuous to not want, to just be satisfied with what you have, to be content.

So when the desires do stir within us, for more, for bigger, for better,  there is an emotional dissonance that occurs within us, a tear of sorts, a conflict. The apparent contradiction between what we’re “supposed to be”– grateful, content, happy with what we have,  and what we actually are, wanting, desirous creatures with longings and yearnings.

The notion of either/or is complete hogwash and I challenge you to ditch it!

I was talking to a sweet friend the other night, who can’t quite put her finger on it, but she’s restless, less satisfied with her work. “Uninspired” was what she called it.  “But…” she began to backtrack. She feels like she “should” just be happy, grateful. She’s got a fulfilling, successful career, cool apartment, great boyfriend, wonderful friends. Shouldn’t that be enough?

And yet, here she is, finding herself wanting more, and the shadowy underbelly of that desire is guilt and judgement, as if wanting more is some declaration to the bountiful Universe that we are greedy, arrogant and impossible to satisfy.

My friend dreams of traveling, of experiencing more of the world, having wild adventures in foreign places, doing what she loves while traipsing the planet, and when she allows herself to want more, her eyes dance, her face lights up, her smile spreads across her face, and it’s beautiful to behold. A desirous woman is frightening to some, titillating to me.

Of course, there is also that part of us that knows that if we want more, bigger, better, we will have to BE more, bigger, better, and, oh that’s a whole other blog, this idea of staying small so that we don’t have to live up to the grandness of our desires and dreams… You know what I’m talking about, right?

But the message I want to share with you today is that you CAN be both grateful and content AND wanting of more.  You are a co-creating your life, with a boundless Universe that is thrilled by your desires and dreams.  Your longings do not diminish your gratitude for what you have. Desire does not cancel out gratitude.

So go on, want it all. You will not fall down the chute. You are not a bad egg. Your dreams and desires have power and magic in them, and you can trust them. But ohh…  you might have to act on them, too. That’s the way it goes…

Feel grateful, yes. Appreciate what you have, yes. But don’t stop there.

Dream on, feel your longings, bask in your desire, let yourself want.

When It’s Time, You Know.

atlamak

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?

Somewhere Between

defaultA couple of months ago, I had a dream. In the dream, I was playing the keyboard and making music and experiencing great pleasure. In real life, I didn’t play any instruments. And I woke up with a longing. It wasn’t the first time I’ve longed to make music.
One time, around seventeen years ago, I wrote three songs in one late-night frenzy and worked with musician friends for a couple of pot-fueled nights after that to set them to music. We did, they were great, at least I thought so, though I can’t for the life of me remember any of the three songs. I blame it on the pot. Mostly, I’ve ignored this longing to make music that pops its head into my consciousness every now and then. Not this time, though.
Something has shifted inside of me, where it has become too difficult, too painful, impossible to ignore my longings. Hiding from myself is no longer an option. Denying myself of what I want and need has become unacceptable.
Not every longing is something I need or want to leap into blindly, mind you. Some come and go, like clouds in the sky, changing formation, or dissolving altogether. But I’ve come to believe that every longing deserves my attention, my curiosity, at the very least. And every longing has information for me, a message.
Back to the keyboard dream: That day, I could not stop thinking about playing the keyboard. I kept talking to Matt, my fiance, about it. “Buy a keyboard.” He said, jumping on Amazon to find one immediately. Guys are such problem solvers.
Two days later (thanks, Amazon Prime!) I met my new love, and she has 61 keys. And so, for the last couple months, I’ve been tinkering. I’ve watched tons of tutorials and pounded along on my keys, I have experienced true bliss and even deep meditative states while engaging my new hobby. I literally get high from it. It feels really good to have a new hobby. And I’ve written a couple songs.
It’s with great vulnerability and a little trepidation that I share this one with you. I’m a beginner, I’m teaching myself chords, I know pretty much nothing. I’m no Alicia Keys or Tori Amos. I know that I am at “kindergarten” level as far as skills go.
But I am proud of myself. I’m following a longing. I’m engaging my heart, mind and soul in a new way.
I listened. And that counts for something.
I wrote this song to express where I am right now. Major transitions (more about that next week!) happening in my life have me in a deep state of discomfort and mystery. I’m diving into the unknown. I’m scared. It’s hard to describe where I am right now, except to describe it as “Somewhere Between.” So I did. I hope you enjoy it.
And I’d love for you to ask yourself, is there a longing within you that wants your attention, your curiosity? I challenge you today to turn toward your longing and ask it “What do you want to tell me?”

Desperately Seeking Passion

Artist unknown

“I just want to feel passion… I don’t think I’ve ever felt it.” She said, looking at me with pleading eyes.

At that moment, I wished I had “passion wand” I could wave over my coaching client to instantly imbibe her with the ability to feel the energizing, intoxicating and empowering effects that passion has. But instead, it’s a private quest.

If passion is what we want, and we’re not experiencing it, we must dig, we must get to the bottom of whatever walls we have built that are in the way of the passion we so long to feel.

At lunch with friends, we discuss the waning and wavering currents of passion, of the longing to feel more, to experience more. Without it, we are dry, crusty, dull, like winter skin. The colors of our lives are dimmer, the texture may be smoother (easier to swallow, like oatmeal, or chicken broth), but the flavor is bland and tasteless.

In another conversation with my passion-seeking client, we come upon the topic of how she handles grief, pain, and how she has created a very structured and reliable way to get through any hardship or devastation. “I feel sad for a little while, then I tell myself, okay, that’s enough. It’s a waste of time to spend my energy feeling sad or hurt.” Bam, I realize. We have hit pay-dirt.

When you shut off the valve of feeling “bad” feelings, when you limit yourself as to what emotions you will permit yourself to feel or not feel, and for how long, when you are monitoring and controlling any feelings, you are also limiting your ability to experience the powerful and life-affirming juice that passion provides- extreme joy, intense desire, consuming sensuality, perhaps even mind-blowing orgasms.

When you disallow yourself to feel anything, you disable your ability to fully feel everything.

Imagine having a beautiful, large, crystal blue pool, with a ‘kiddie’ side, where the water is crisp, refreshing and shallow. You can hang out on that side all the time, lounging, floating on a raft, splashing around. But there’s so much more pool for you to enjoy.

Going deep, exploring the width and the depth of your beautiful pool is what makes life exciting and rich. Sure, the shallow end is nice. But you have so much pool to experience.

How do you experience passion? Some of us take new lovers and live for days of stolen moments and melancholic longing. Some of us create art. Some of us channel passion through our heart-centered businesses, or gratifying work. Some of us dance. I think it matters less how you feel it and more so that you feel it. Just feel it.

If you’re not experiencing passion, there is a chance you may have shut off a valve deep in your soul, to protect yourself from feeling painful feelings, and in doing so, you have cut yourself off from your very own life-blood, the power and beauty that passion creates.

You turned off the fuse box. No wonder the house is dark.

It’s also likely you are not plugging into the things that turn you on. Ever go nuts trying to figure out why your lamp won’t turn on, to finally realize it wasn’t plugged in? Or wander around the house flicking light switches when the power is out, and continuing to be surprised that the lights are not going on? Same thing.

Passion is fuel. It’s power. It gets stuff done. It can be intoxicating. It’s the best drug available to wo/mankind. It’s the electricity that lights your life, it gives you vision and courage and might. It flavors all areas of your life and transforms the mundane into artistry, magic, adventure.

If you want to experience more passion, you must do two things:

  1. Ask yourself “what makes me come alive?” and then do more of those things, whenever and where ever you can.
  2. Ask yourself “where in my life have I created a wall between myself and the depths of my feelings? Where have I cut myself off from the range of feeling it all?” Then do the work to deconstruct those walls.

These acts are not for wimps. The second one, especially. But even just one brick taken from that wall will create a path for passion to seep through.

You will feel more. That means the sting of rejection. The enveloping pain of sadness. The fiery fury of rage. Passion is intensity, and you can’t just feel some of the intense feelings. You’ll have to feel them all.

My life without passion is nothing. I don’t want any part of my life shut down or closed off. I don’t want any part of my experience limited by my fear of feeling too much.

It isn’t always easy. But it’s always worth it.

We have so much pool to experience. Let’s experience it all. Let’s dive and swim and play in the deep end. And watch passion come pouring in.

 

 

 

*************
Originally posted April 2014.

Jealousy & envy come bearing gifts… No, really, they do.

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“I know I should be happy for her, but I secretly feel green with envy.”

“I really do trust him, and I know I’m not supposed to feel jealous, but I do…”

“I’m trying not to feel jealous, because she’s my friend, but I can’t help it…”

These are things I’ve heard friends and clients say, and yeah, things I’ve thought or felt myself. Until I learned how to interact with jealousy and envy in a completely new way.

Maybe you’ve had moments like this…

… You’re on the elevator on the way up to your office, having a good hair day, minding your own business, feeling pretty good about the dress you’re wearing, when the elevator stops, and in walks a perfectly beautiful, put-together, poised woman, looking dazzling, and suddenly you feel deflated. You suddenly feel frumpy and plain, and you wish you could feel as confident and look as perfect.

… Your friend’s business has taken off in big ways, she just published her book, AND she has more clients than she can handle. You smile and congratulate her over a celebratory lunch, yet secretly you find yourself thinking “Why does she get all the breaks while I still struggle, year after year?”

… You’re trying to be a good friend, but as you spin your wheels trying to lose weight, your bestie is posting her impressive before and after pics, and dropping sizes like they’re hot. You find yourself harboring some resentment, and then resenting yourself for being such a shitty person. After all, envy is a deadly sin, and she’s your bestie, better than the restie, for goodness sake.

… You’re at dinner with some friends you introduced recently, and you find out over appetizers that they recently got together for drinks, without you! While you knew, and even hoped, they’d love each other, you didn’t expect to get left in the dust of their rapidly deepening bond.

While the words “envy” and “jealousy” are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction.

Envy is defined as the feeling of wanting what someone has. Jealousy is more territorial, and requires three parties, like you, your husband and his hot new assistant, or you, your best friend and her new boyfriend that takes up all her time now, or you, your dad and your younger sister, who he always loved more.

If the feelings themselves didn’t feel crappy enough, quite often, envy and jealousy bring with them another layer of crappy feelings, our feelings about the feelings, because we are judging our feelings and making ourselves feel bad about having them.

We “shouldn’t” feel this way, so we feel guilty and wrong and ashamed. It’s messy and yucky, and yet, if we peel away these layers of emotion, we can find some really deep wisdom and sparkling information. And we can grow.

Wanna know how? Let’s talk about envy first.

Part One: Envy

Next time you notice yourself having that twisty, prickly, uncomfortable feeling of envy, for example, your best friend just got another promotion, while you remain stuck in the same dead-end job, follow these steps…

  1. Notice and name. “What is this yucky feeling? Why did I suddenly get crabby after she shared her great news? Oh… I’m feeling envious.”
  2. Open. “I know that envy is informative and Lisa said it comes bearing gifts. Alright. I’ll open myself up to experiencing something different with this feeling. What gift do you have for me, envy?”
  3. Imagine. What do you imagine the object of your envy is feeling? “I imagine my friend feels proud, accomplished, successful with her new promotion.”
  4. Listen. Your envy wants to tell you something: Envy is wisdom, pointing you in the direction of your own unmet desired feelings. It’s not as much about what we want as it about what we want to feel. “Ahhh… yes. I want to feel proud, accomplished, successful, too.”
  5. Brainstorm. “What can I do today/this week/this month that will help ME feel proud, accomplished, successful? I can finally clean out my closet and donate a couple bags of clothes to charity. I’ll catch up on some bills. I can apply for that new position I’m lusting after at work.”
  6. DO. Do a few of those things and notice the rising feelings of pride, accomplishment and success in you. They’re yours to feel too, and they’re what you really wanted. Envy told you so.

Once you realize the feeling of envy is really just pointing back at your own unmet desire, and even more specifically, what you want to feel, your attention shifts away from your friend with the promotion, and turns toward you, your needs, your desires. Then you can choose to take some action to focus on cultivating what it is you want to feel.

That’s how envy is informative, that’s how you transform the feeling of envy, that’s how you receive its gifts.

Next week, we’ll dig into jealousy and discover what gifts it has for you.

In the meantime, let me know how you’ve used this process and what wisdom was on the other side, waiting for your discovery.

To be continued…

Calling Bullshit on Our Confusion

Role-Clarity

“The greatest risk is to risk nothing at all.”
– Leo Buscaglia

I see it all the time. I get it, because I’ve been there. Standing face to face with a fork in the road, at the precipice of a choice, a big decision, a leap, an opportunity, a burning dream that is no longer satisfied with being ignored, people will get stuck in a state of confusion.

I just don’t know.

Should I stay or should I go?

Should I take the job?

Should I take the trip?

Should I say yes? Should I say no?

What should I do?

I want to share with you what I have come to believe about clarity and confusion, and the dramatic gulf of difference between them. When you compare the two, it’s really no wonder at all that we so often choose to stay in the blurry, convoluted, diminishing, paralyzing and often soul-sucking land of confusion.

Think about it…

Confusion asks nothing of us. Clarity requires action.

Confusion risks nothing. Clarity is frightening, because once clear, we must risk.

Confusion is cozy and familiar. Clarity asks us to move into the unknown.

Confusion is simple. How can I act if I don’t really know? Clarity feels complicated. There is a plan required.

Clarity asks for our decisiveness. And decisiveness is so… decisive.

So yes, I get it when you tell me you’re confused. And then I might ask, when you experience those moments of clarity, however fleeting they may be, before confusion returns, what does clarity say?

And it usually turns out that deep inside, under the confusion, there’s our clarity. Waiting for us. Signaling to us. And eventually demanding from us that we acknowledge it. Even if we are unready to act, clarity would love to know we see it.

Then, I might ask you to respond differently to clarity, the next time it pokes its head, that instead of quickly deferring back to confusion, you stay with that clarity, just a little bit longer. Engage it for a moment more.

Before you scurry back to the safety of confusion, let yourself be in the clarity for just a little bit longer. What would it mean, to be clear?

But it’s complicated, you might be thinking. No. It’s not really. The steps and actions and path we take once clear might be. But clarity itself is as simple as can be, crystal clear like spring water. Alive and pulsing like a bubbling brook. And it will carry you.

Once we are clear, that’s when we begin to know what we must do. That’s when life asks us to risk more, play bigger, get out of the shadows, live our truth, drop the bullshit, solidify our yes, or our no, and make it a reality.

And that’s terrifying.

But here are some things that are even more terrifying. Living a life you have outgrown. Missing out on the fullness of your unlived dreams. Arriving at the end of your life wishing things would have been different.

And the harsh truth is, today, you are one day closer to your dying day. And while clarity is patient, most of the time, it’s very polite, and will not force its hand. It’s waiting for you.

So yes, I get it when you tell me you don’t know what to do. And I challenge you to come clean about the other truth, that deep within, you DO know what to do.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you will immediately be equipped to make your next move. There may be a dozen reasons why an immediate move into your yes, or your no, isn’t possible. Many of them are paper thin, and just by stepping through them will you move toward the life you crave. Many of them are excuses. Many of them are painfully difficult. But trust me when I say this, when you step into your clarity, She Who Knows, that part of you that is clear will also provide you with the strength and direction and ability to move forward.

Will it be easy? Not always.

Will it be painful? Quite possibly.

Will you be afraid? Most likely.

But will it be right? Of course.

Because She Who Knows, that part of you, deep within, where clarity lives… she knows. And she is waiting for you to let her lead the way.

You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t even have to make any sudden moves. But owning your clarity will give you access to a power and a strength that comes from the same source your clarity lives. This I am very clear on.

So what is it you’re confused about? And are you really confused? Or just avoiding clarity?

The first step, and the only step you need to concern yourself with, for now, is getting clear. Clarity is power in itself. And it’s waiting, patiently for you to embrace it.

 

 

******

I can help you get clear. Schedule a complimentary coaching session with me and let’s cut through the confusion together.

The Truth About Truth

truth

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.

 

 

—————

 

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

Do the Wild Thing.

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“Underneath it all, we are wild and we know it.”

– Reggie Ray, Buddhist scholar

 

From the time you were a little child they’ve been trying to tame you.

They told you how to sit, they told you how to behave. They told you what nice girls do and don’t and when you acted wild, they told you that “you should be ashamed of yourself.”

So you were.

They told you to sit still.

They told you to quiet down.

They told you to play nice and stop being bossy. They told you to not get dirty. To not be naughty.

You learned that if you were gonna get by in this world, your wild animal self would need to be trained in the ways of the world. You acclimated. You adapted. You shut her away.

You’ve spent your life trying to be good. They love you more when you’re good. But when good becomes false, your true self grieves. When playing by the rules becomes sacrificing your heart’s desires, death is slow and secret. You’re smiling on the outside and dying on the inside.

I declare a Reclamation Proclamation on your wild and fiery spirit. I dare you to untame yourself. Just a little bit. Or a lot.

What does that mean? I don’t know! It will be different for all of us.

For some of us the Reclamation will involve a complete purge of objects, relationships, old familiar ways, burning through the old, to grow new from the ash.

For some of us a Reclamation might be as simple as one single NO.

No I won’t be attending the event.

No I will not entertain this damaging thought.

No I will not feel guilty about taking care of myself.

No I will not work for a company that requires the women to wear panty hose every day.

 

For some of us, the Reclamation will be in the form of a YES.

YES this is what I want.

YES I will swim naked in the moonlight.

YES I will take a lover.

YES I will travel alone.

YES I will do the unthinkable.

Whatever your unthinkable might be.

 

You might stop shaving your legs, if that suits your fancy. You might go without panties for a week, to see how that changes the way you move and experience the world. You might quit your job. You might leave a marriage. You might start a marriage. You might parachute, para-sail, para-glide. You might release a relationship, renew a promise, set fire to the old.

Give birth to the new in you.

Dance. Sing. Scream. Run. Stay. Do the wild thing.

Your wild child is begging you to let her out. She needs to live. She needs to breathe. She needs your respect and adoration.

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. “

– Mary Oliver

Did you get that?

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Your wild one is calling out. Untame your spirit. How might your world change? How does your wild spirit want to reveal herself?

Do something wild. I dare you. Love what you love. Burn what needs to burn. Set fire to your tameness. To your jaded holding back, keeping it down, guarding your heart (as if.)

It’s not working.

You were born to be wild.

 

 

Originally published July 23, 2014

Undress Your Desires

There was a time in my life when I wanted nothing more than a pair of designer jeans.

I’m talking deep, red hot, burning desire.

I’m talking my whole-life-will-change-when-I-get-these-jeans desire.

I’m talking my life– my real life—will finally start once I get these jeans. I was about eleven, and I was really ready for my life to finally start.

I didn’t care if they were Sergio Valente, Vidal Sassoon or Jordache. Just give me the jeeeeeans.

I wished for them. I prayed for them. I asked Santa for them, even though I had my doubts about his existence by that time.

I never did get them. And I survived. I even forgot about this desire, for years, til I stumbled across this meme today.

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I even ended up having a pretty fabulous life without the jeans, after the horrors and traumas of middle school were far behind me, of course.

Desire is getting a lot of attention these days. We have The Secret, which tells us that by using the Law of Attraction, we can have anything and everything we want. We have teachers like Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, (I highly recommend) encouraging us to build our entire lives based on how we want to feel. We have no shortage of “desire-ology” available to us today. I love it. I think it’s important.

Yes, it is important to want what we want. But I think often, something important gets lost in all this wanting.

So what is the point of desire? Desire is a heat-generating power center in our bodies. Just desiring alone may be the point. Longing and desire are stimulating, energizing forces. Yes, contentedness feels nice.

Desire feels like fire.

When we cultivate desire, we turn up the heat in that energy center. It lives in our belly. It gets activated when we desire. You know what else gets activated? Creativity. Passion. Aliveness. Desire lights us up. And being lit up is a great thing to be, and will affect all areas of your life.

Desires change, just like we do. Things I wanted ten years ago I don’t want anymore. And I definitely don’t care about designer jeans anymore.

Allow for the fluidity of changing desires. Allow your desires to change, to give birth to desires that match newer versions of you.

Also remember when desiring, it’s not really about the thing, it’s about how we think it will make us feel.

Desire is informative. It tells us how we want to feel.

So what is it that I really wanted, underneath the desire for those designer jeans? I wanted to feel cool. I wanted to feel confident and self-assured and comfortable in my body, like the girls at school who wore them seemed to feel. What I didn’t know at that young and naive stage in my life is that jeans could not give that to me. A lifetime of inner work, healing, awareness and growth would be my path to those feelings.

YES, want what you want.

Allow yourself to feel that red hot fiery energy of desire.

Be curious with your desires.

Under every desire is another desire, and another, and they usually have less to do with the thing itself, and more to do with the feelings you think having that thing will give you.

So let’s say for example, you peel away the layers of your desire for a certain red convertible. When you peel away the layers, you realize, what you really want is to feel freedom. What you want to feel is fast, thrilling flow, adventure and exhilaration and wind through your hair.

Don’t wait for the car. How can you feel those feelings today?

Want what you want. Be unapologetic for wanting. Be brazen. So what if it’s “unrealistic”.

Feel the fire of desire. Allow that fire to fuel you, your creativity, your work, your relationships. Let desire light you up.

Feel it in your body. Locate it. Give it words. Let it become sensation. Lose the language. Feel the fire.

Undress your desires. Layer by layer, until you find yourself at the kernel of truth, of wisdom buried deep within it.

Be flexible with your desires. Rigidity is boring. Fluidity and openness and trusting in what is beyond your little human brain and its limited capacity for ideas and possibilities is way more fun.

What what you want, and know why you want it.

When We Wander from What We Want

18-People-Who-Have-Failed-At-2015-Already-new-years-resolutionsIt’s inevitable for most of us.

We start the new year off with the best intentions. Connected to our dreams, clear on our desires, fired up with hope, we come out of the pen ready to do this.

We chug along for a week or so, momentum building.

Week two, yeah we’re good, making progress.

Week three, week four… well, things come up. We get distracted, we get tired, we get bored, we get sidetracked.

By the time February rolls around, we have ditched the resolutions. US News reports that by February, 80% of resolutions have failed. EIGHTY PERCENT. The good news is it’s not just you! The other good news is it doesn’t have to be you anymore!

It is totally normal to wander from what we want. Life has a way of distracting us. We have a way of getting in our own way. We blow it. We shift and change and sometimes even forget what it is we truly want from our lives.

Then, to make matters even worse, we feel bad about ourselves for “failing.” We blame our lack of will-power or commitment. We feel ashamed that this year was no different than the year before, or the year before.

And then we default to “game over.”  We throw in the towel.

Can this year be different?

Here’s what I think.

I think we give up too soon. Getting sidetracked is pretty much inevitable.

Here are five important tips to keep in mind, so that this year will be different.

  1. Start with a passion-based plan. Make sure that the goal is REALLY YOURS, not just what you think you should want. Then take that desire and break it down into steps, doable, realistic, action-oriented steps. Plan them. Schedule them. Plot them. You rebels might hate reading this, but it’s the difference between roaming around until you find your destination and GPSing it.
  2. Connect to your WHYs. Again and again. On a day you’re feeling strong, committed and capable, create a list of all the reasons, large and small you are working toward this goal. Review it,daily. Connect to each reason. Feel it. Breathe it. Focus on the pleasures that await you on the other side of the goal, and all the beautiful, sexy, fantastic reasons for even bothering in the first place. And if there is no pleasure waiting on the other side, take it off your list of goals and desires.
  3. Don’t go it alone. Accountability works. Whether you hire a coach, join a mastermind group, or buddy up with a trusted friend, enlist someone to hold you accountable. Someone besides yourself. It’s way too easy to cheat, justify, and disappoint ourselves when no one else is looking.
  4. Be kind to yourself. Praise yourself. Reward yourself. Write love notes to yourself in your journal “I am so proud of you. You’re doing great.” Sustainable change rarely comes from a place of self-loathing and cruelty. Try a gentler, more compassionate approach.
  5. Anticipate the wandering. You are a human being, not a machine. The secret is to get back on track, as soon as possible. Just because you “blew it” doesn’t mean it has to stay blown. And when we anticipate something, it won’t throw us completely off balance when it happens. It won’t knock us down. And if it does, we get back up, dust of our sexy selves, forgive ourselves and pick up where we left off.

You can do this. I can do this. Let’s be the 20%. We got this.

 

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Let’s build momentum! For added support, planning and mapping, plotting and scheming, join me Saturday 1/16 in Richardson, Texas for my 2016 Planning Party. Getting your sh*t together was never this much fun! Find out more here.