Listen: For the past week, I took part in a small social experiment on Instagram and Facebook called #amplifymelanatedvoices and it has been powerfully eye-opening. The premise was to center, promote, and amplify the messages of Black activists and artists while simultaneously putting our own messages on pause and truly listening to what they have to say. Without the need to draw attention back to ourselves, our opinions, our perspectives, our excuses, our discomfort. Just… listen. And then, lift up.
Because the truth is that Black people in America have been telling us the same message, over and over, in every way imaginable for hundreds of years and by and large, it seems pretty evident that we haven’t really been listening.
As a long-time, dyed-in-the-wool social justice warrior, I thought that I had been listening, but I am seeing more and more clearly just how much I was only half-listening, and sometimes actively avoiding listening- deeply, reverently, listening– to the larger conversation around racial inequity and white supremacist culture. How often I was missing the message.
I’m in no way an expert in any of this. I can, must, and will learn to listen better. This is deeply personal work, and I know that I need the help, guidance, and leadership of the people who have been doing this a lot longer than me. Maybe you are someone who has been working at being an anti-racist for a while now, and maybe you are someone who is just starting to see, understand, and unpack what all of this means. Wherever you are personally in your own journey, know that there are people who are skilled and ready and willing to support your growth. I’ve included some links to resources below:
RELEASE– Let it allllll out! Spend some quality time with your therapist, your besties, your support squad, your spiritual teachers, and talk about what you’re feeling/experiencing. Name all the feelings and fears that come up to the surface. Release your messy inside stuff. Cry hard and ugly. Shout loudly. Do this with the people who you can trust to be supportive, who can hold space for you without judgement or shaming- NOT with hateful internet trolls (I’ve learned this one the hard way). Release expectations from yourself to do things perfectly, to get it “right” the first time, to have all the answers. Release the need to be right. Release the need for other people to do their work. What else can you release? What else do you need to let go of?
REFLECT– After you’ve had a minute to let your mess out, take the time to process it. Reflect on what it means to you/for you, or if there is any deeper meaning to be found. Note: there isn’t always a gold nugget hiding in a turd; sometimes a turd is just a turd. Reflect on what you want to have happen next, and what some of the steps are that you will need to take to move forward.
RESTORE- Take. Good. Care. Of. Yourself. Restore your whole self with lots of rest, body care, nutrition, art, laughter, music, and so much Love. Restore the relationships that are most important and nourishing to you (this is not the time to feed the drain). Pray and meditate. Build up your community.
I am a teacher and a healer, and I am also here to listen and learn. I look forward to sharing more tips, wisdom, and love with you in the weeks to come. Stay tuned, and stay strong. I am in this with you!
This week has been exceptionally messy, both for me personally in my healing from cancer journey, and in the much larger context of people absolutely fucking fed up with the cancer of continued mistreatment of our Black brothers and sisters in this country due to our inherently racist, white-supremacist systems of government, law enforcement, judiciary, and all the exceptional privileges that come with being born in a white-skinned body. Fed up with not being heard.
Still with me? Cool. Let’s go a little further.
I have taken my DNA test. I know that my genetic makeup is primarily Northern European, (48.5%) and the balance of my ancestry is Southern European (32.7%) with a smattering of Ashkenazi Jewish (.4%) Native American (5.8%) East Asian (.8%) and Sub-Saharan African (3.2%). The remaining 8.6% is scattered to the winds in traces and indistinguishable bits. Possibly alien, star-seed, angelic, or prehistoric. But if you didn’t know any of this, you’d look at me and just see another basic White person. Previously with gorgeous long platinum blonde hair, now with a shiny bald dome.
I don’t have to fear most of the places I visit or the daily activities I engage in because of the color of my skin. And if you are another basic White person like me, you don’t either. That’s the rule. That’s how this shit works. We know this, deep in our bones, even when we aren’t ready to admit it. Even when we can’t stomach what the truth of that means. Even when we wish and hope and pray that it just isn’t so, that we are the exception, that we really are GOOD, that we aren’t actually racist, that we “don’t see color” or that we are doing our work. We know.
AND… what if we want to do better? What if we want to see real change happen, and we want to see it happen in our lifetime?What ifwe are ready to face our millions of excuses head on? What if we are willing to focus on the Black people who are victims of our violence and our apathy? What if we are willing to be uncomfortable and ready to start GETTING MESSY and unpacking our culturally and familially ingrained biases, unearth our own seen and unseen racism, and actually create positive change? What if we are willing to put our ideals into action?
Healing from cancer is MESSY. The treatments, the recovery, are brutal and messy. I hope that you NEVER have to deal with it yourself, or watch someone you love go through it. If you have walked this road yourself, you know. I see you, and I love you.
Healing from racism is no less messy. The biggest difference is that every White person in the US has been infected with racism- think of it as a spectrum in which every damn one of us falls on, from ignorant & fragile to full-on White Supremacist. Some are completely poisoned and proudly rotting, while others aren’t even aware that they have been affected and go about their merry way, oblivious to the damage they are doing. Still others are painfully aware of their white privilege and are consciously doing the hard, messy, necessary work day after day.
It will be messy. It will be difficult. It will be awkward. It will be uncomfortable. It will be risky. We will make mistakes. Like, LOTS of mistakes. And, if we are willing to do this important and messy and necessary work within ourselves and within our families and within our schools and within our houses of worship and within our workplaces and within our communities and within our online spaces and within our law enforcement agencies and within our local and state and federal governments, if we are willing to make a phenomenal mess of the status quo- THEN we will begin to see the world change and become the beautiful, equitable-for-all utopia that we say we want it to be.
What to do next:
Take ONE action step towards becoming a person who is anti-racist. Then, take another. Repeat.
Here are some links to helpful resources that you can begin to use right away:
Thank you for reading and allowing yourself to be uncomfortable with this conversation. Thank you for being willing to face and unpack your unpleasant parts. Thank you for making the choice every day moving forward to do the hard, messy, necessary work of dismantling racism and the systems that uphold it. You’re not alone; I’m in it with you.
Whew! Well Loves, this has been an interesting month, hey?
We’re entering the New Moon phase, which is all about rest, introspection, and new beginnings. It has me wondering:
•What does Rest look like for you right now?
•What have you been learning about yourself in the past month?
•What new beginnings are you preparing for?
I’ll start: REST for me has been very much about allowing my body to recover from the first round of chemo. It’s looked like saying “No” or “Not Now” to everything that I can, instead of my usual recovering Type A habit of pushing myself through to the point of collapse. (Hello, that’s not healthy in any circumstance!)
INTROSPECTION has been teaching me some pretty cool things about myself. Qualities like resilience, courage, strength, joyfullness, creativity, and wisdom that I have tended to overlook or diminish for fear of “what people might think” because let’s be honest- being judged sucks, and… it’s going to happen anyway so you might as well be true to yourself.
NEW BEGINNINGS well hot damn, as corny and cheesy as it may sound every day really is a gift. I am grateful for each new day that I wake up alive in this body, and- I still sometimes have to remind myself this throughout the day. Today, for example, if things had gone to plan I would be in Australia for the start of an epic, around-the-world honeymoon with my gorgeous husband. Instead, I am writing from our dining room table for a change of scenery. It’s not quite the same! 😂 And, it’s still pretty fucking great.
Okay, your turn! Tell me what’s what in your world today. I miss you.
In this third part of the current series, we wrap up our look at the Second Pillar by understanding why serving with joy is directly tied to our connection with community.I believe that it is within the space of COMMUNITY that we learn how to best SERVE in our highest capacity and find true JOY in our soul’s purpose. (Please click here to read if you missedPart 1 or Part 2 of this series.)
Your Soul’s Purpose
Serving humanity from a place of deep Joy starts within your chosen community (online, in person, geographic neighborhood, professional, or common interest). You have a very special, unique, one-of-a-kind gift to share, one that can never be duplicated and one that only you can offer. That gift is You. You! Your story. Your passions. Your experiences. Your perspective. Your wisdom. Your voice. Your talents & hobbies. Your art. Your curiosity. Your discoveries. Your healing. Your peace. Your Past, Present, & Future. All of what makes up your personal journey, your own unique expression of Divinity in the flesh, is the whole point of coming to Earth and experiencing life as a human. Discovering, embracing, celebrating and sharing what makes you uniquely You- that IS your soul’s purpose. And the most beautiful thing? Once you realize that this precious, perfectly imperfect, one-of-a-kind life of yours IS your gift, you can stop wasting so much time and energy on the shit that doesn’t interest you and start connecting with your passion, your joy, your slice of heaven on earth and serving your community with it.
So, What Are You Passionate About?
Spending any amount of your time engaged in things that you are passionate about creates a wonderful sense of fulfillment and a layer of Joy to your life. But what if you’ve never had the time or opportunity to explore things that interest you, let alone spark the deep burning fire of passion?
If you’ve been feeling stuck for a long time and just can’t even begin to think about what you are passionate about, here are 3 of my favorite questions to jump-start your thoughts and maybe even rekindle a fire inside you. Take some time to journal on one or all of these prompts:
Name 3 highlight experiences in your life. What do they have in common? What does this tell you about yourself?
What did you dream about doing when you were a child? How does it feel to imagine yourself doing that now?
What are you most curious about right now?
That third question is probably my favorite because it takes the pressure off what can feel like the overwhelming “bigness” of trying to discover your passion. Especially true if you’re feeling depressed or find yourself using not knowing what you’re passionate about as a way to beat yourself up. Curiosity becomes a lifeline, a rope to pull you up, a trail of breadcrumbs to follow into a brighter, more hopeful frame of mind. Curiosity can lead you on a life-long path of discovery that will help you reveal more and more of what makes you so unique, what makes you the most happy, a path that opens up new friendships, support systems, and joyful connections to community.
If you recall from Part 2 of this series, I invited you to determine where the gaps are in your community. Now that you’ve started to explore the things that bring you the most Joy, ask yourself: Is this thing that I enjoy or am passionate about something that can help to serve my community? If the answer is Yes, then you are holding the missing puzzle piece. Bring your passions & interests forward and present them, filling in the gap in a way that only you can fill it. You may just look up and see a grateful new community unfolding around you.
In the first part of this article series, I wrote about the different types of community and invited you to identify what your current connections might look like. Then, I asked you to think about and make a list of the different communities you currently belong to. In order to begin to bridge the gaps in your community, you have to first look at your answers to the following questions:
How do I fit in to each space?
What are my roles in each space?
What are some of the ways that I contribute and serve in each space?
Are there any gifts, talents, ideas, strengths, or other resources that I can offer to better serve my community/ies?
Is there anything that I need that I am NOT getting from my community/ies?
Let’s take a closer look and break these down to see where you may be experiencing gaps:
1- How do I fit in?
After you’ve identified the different communities you are connected to, you will want to take a look at where you currently see yourself fitting in to each defined space. Are you newer to the group, or a veteran presence? Do you tend to be interactive and heavily involved, or more of an observer? Are you happy with how you fit in, or is there a more authentic and satisfying way that you would like to show up? Understanding where you are now is the first step in deciding if that’s where you want to remain.
2- What are my roles?
You’ve identified your communities, and you’ve recognized where you currently fit in. Narrowing down to define the different roles you play in each space is your next step. Where are you a Leader? Where are you a Colleague or Collaborator? Where are you a Supporter? Where are you a Student? Where are you a Contributor? Where are you an Enforcer? In any of these roles- how many of them feel right, good, comfortable, natural? Do any of them feel like they belong to someone else? Are there any of your current roles that you would like to let go of, or others that you would like to adopt? Understanding that you have some choice around the roles that you accept and reject can be liberating, and it can also require you to make some significant changes.
3- Ways that I AM serving and contributing
Make an honest and comprehensive list of all the ways that you currently serve and contribute to your different communities. [Note: Don’t censor yourself, and don’t discount or discredit anything as “too small” or insignificant.] What themes or patterns do you notice in the ways that you serve and contribute?
How do you feel when you review the different offerings that you’ve listed?
Are there ways that you are serving that don’t feel good to you, or that are draining you physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, or financially?
Is there anything that you would like to offer your community that you currently are not?
4- Ways that I WANT to serve and contribute
Get Clear: What is it that you REALLY want to do? What is it that you really WANT to be known for? Now make a list of your gifts, talents, ideas, strengths, skills or other resources that you can offer to better serve your community.
Is there anything else that you need to help you move forward with what you want to offer or how you want to serve, such as additional training, a mentor, community buy-in or other types of support?
This is where it gets fun. Now is the part where you can take the information you’ve gathered and create a bridge-building plan! Knowing that it doesn’t have to be perfect before you get started, how can you begin to use what you already have to do the things that you actually want to do?
5- Unmet Needs
By going through this process, you begin to see clearly where there may be any gaps between where you are vs. where you want to be, what you are doing vs. what you want to be doing. This next step is critical for recognizing and honoring what you need vs. what you are getting.
Ask Yourself, without judgement: Is there anything that I need, want, desire, enjoy, like, or am curious about that I am NOT getting from any of my current community/ies?
Are any of the things you’ve just listed available to you in any of your current spaces? If YES, then what will you need to do to access them? If NO, then what communities do you need to connect to?
If you have unmet needs in your current group/s, chances are that you are NOT alone and that there are others in your area, space, neighborhood etc. that would love to connect with you. What would it look like for you to create and launch a new community?
The 2nd Pillar of Transformational Positivity is Serving With Joy, which is about how we find connection within community. Let’s start by taking a quick look at what “community” actually means beyond simply being a group of people. There are 4 basic types to consider:
Common Interest: Communities of people who share the same recreational interest or passion.
Action Based: Communities of people trying to bring about change.
Place/Circumstance: Communities of people brought together by geographic boundaries.
Professional/Practicing: Communities of people in the same profession.
These 4 basic categories are not mutually exclusive, and there can be overlap (Common Interest + Place/Circumstance, or Practicing + Action Based + Place/Circumstance, for example). You might find yourself in one or more of these communities at the same time, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll run into a few of the same people in some of the other circles that you frequent.
A Closer Look at Your Connections
The Second Pillar: SERVING WITH JOY [Key Area = Connection to Community] Which communities do you most identify with? What are some of the various roles you have played or are currently playing in your different communities? What do you need in order to feel like you are seen, heard, and a valued part of your community? How are you contributing? How are you receiving? Where are you serving with the most Joy?
“Community” includes all of the other humans we interact with outside of ourselves. Some of these relationships are knit closer to us than others- family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues. While other relationship threads are going to be much thinner and stretched over a greater distance, it is important to recognize that in the most basic sense we are all connected in some way. If we can understand that the First Pillar is about Who We Are, then we can recognize that the Second Pillar is about Why We Are Here.
Whenever clients come to me looking for guidance in this area, it’s typically because they are struggling to find meaningful ways to connect their “Why” in ways that feel in alignment with Who they are and the people in their communities. They feel unfulfilled because their is no reciprocal Joy that they are experiencing. I help them to look for opportunities that they may be missing, shifts in mindset, perspective, and/or actions that they can take to create more positive connections in their various communities.
Desire to belong to a community of our choosing is a natural part of our identity. As people, we are inherently social beings and are hard-wired for human connection, a part of our development as a species that dates back to prehistoric times and served as a marker for safety and survival. In modern times, even the most introverted people and rugged individuals still need some form of healthy human interaction, even if their community is just 1 other person.
The communities we belong to can serve to provide a sense of belonging, safety, normalcy, education, support, inspiration, camaraderie, entertainment, joy, healing, purpose, personal growth & positive transformation. These are all important aspects of our human experience that we actively seek out, share, and receive through participating in community.
Think about and make a list of the different communities you currently belong to (include in person and online groups, common interest groups, action based groups, geographic groups, professional groups, etc.). Ask Yourself:
How do I fit in to each space?
What are my roles in each space?
What are some of the ways that I contribute and serve in each space?
Are there any gifts, talents, ideas, strengths, or other resources that I can offer to better serve my community/ies?
Is there anything that I need that I am NOT getting from my community/ies?
Now, take a closer look at your answers to the above questions. Do you notice any gaps? Do any of your answers elicit an emotional or physical response in your body? Write them down, this is valuable information for you moving forward.
To discuss your answers with me privately and work on solutions, reach out to schedule a 1:1 coaching session.
Next Week: Tips for Bridging the Gaps in Your Community
TRANSFORMATIONAL POSITIVITY is a set of healing tools and positive practices used to form a framework for manifesting, experiencing, and supporting our Deep, Personal Transformation within these 4 key areas: Self, Community, Nature, and Spirit. Each of these 4 key areas is supported by it’s own pillar.
The 4 Pillars- in a nutshell
The 4 Pillars of Transformational Positivity represent the most important relationships of our human existence, with each one relating to and supporting one of the 4 key areas. The 4 key areas are Connection to Self, Connection to Community, Connection to Nature, and Connection to Divine Spirit.
The First Pillar: WHOLE-SELF LOVE
[Key Area = Connection to Self]Who are you? How do you see yourself? How do you talk to and about yourself? What makes you YOU? Do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? How well do you take care of yourself? How do you relate to the body you live in? Do you know, understand, realize, accept, see, believe in who and what you really are at the core of your being?
Most of us get so tripped up in this first key area that we waste years, decades, lifetimes focusing the majority of our energy, attention, and hard-earned cash only on our physical appearance while neglecting to gain an intimate understanding, appreciation, and genuine Love for who we are inside, aka The Real Us. And/Or, we have to unpack so many layers of bad programming and painful lived experiences that the idea of “Self Love” seems like a bridge too far.
This is one of the first areas where many people meet me. Typically, they are looking for some Positivity tools & training to supplement the deeper healing work they are already doing with their therapist.
How Can I Help?
I’m not a therapist, or a psychologist, or a psychiatrist so I am not qualified to diagnose or treat any medical, mental, or emotional health issues. What I can do for my clients is provide additional support, spiritual guidance, and teach positive practices help assist in strengthening your relationship to Self.
[Key Area = Connection to Community]Which communities do you most identify with? What are some of the various roles you have played or are currently playing in your different communities? What do you need in order to feel like you are seen, heard, and a valued part of your community? How are you contributing? How are you receiving? Where are you serving with the most Joy?
“Community” includes all of the other humans we interact with outside of ourselves. Some of these relationships are knit closer to us than others- family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, colleagues. While other relationship threads are going to be much thinner and stretched over a greater distance, it is important to recognize that in the most basic sense we are all connected in some way.
If we can understand that the First Pillar is about Who We Are, then we can recognize that the Second Pillar is about Why We Are Here.
Whenever clients come to me looking for guidance in this area, it’s typically because they are struggling to find meaningful ways to connect in their communities. Their “Why” isn’t showing up in ways that feel in alignment with who they are and how they are seen by the people in their communities. They feel unfulfilled because their is no reciprocal Joy that they are experiencing.
How Do I Help?
I help my clients to look for opportunities that they may be missing. I guide them through shifts in their mindset to see a new perspective. We work on actions that they can take to create new, more positive connections in their various communities.
[Key Area = Connection to Nature]How do you most like to connect with Nature? Which of these natural settings makes you feel the most energized, relaxed, peaceful, or awestruck: Ocean, Mountains, Forest, Desert, Prairie? When was the last time you spent the night stargazing? Are you an animal lover? Tree hugger? Aspiring gardener? Rock-hound and crystal wearer? Where is your nearest green space, and how often do you visit?
The modern era that we live in with its many conveniences and high-level technology has in many ways caused us to dramatically disconnect from the natural world. On a global scale, the push for more more more shows that we have all but abandoned our stewardship of the earth and instead are continuing to consume her vast and varied resources at an unsustainable rate, wreaking havoc on ecosystems, pushing fragile and necessary plants and animals to extinction. Life does not simply begin and end with us; we are part of something much more and we all share a responsibility for the health of our planet.
When my clients are seeking help in this area, it’s typically because they have lost touch with ways to unplug from the daily grind.
[Key Area = Connecting with Spirit]What does your current connection to divinity look like? How does spirituality play out in your daily life? Where do you experience the Divine? Are you able to separate religion and doctrine from spiritual practices? If you could SEE your own Spirit, your life-force, your essence- how would you describe it? What does she/he/they look like? Do you know the guides and energies on your spiritual support team, your Spirit Council?
After all, we are so much more than just our physical flesh and blood, more than what we can see and touch;we are magnificent spiritual beings having a human experience. We ARE each an expression of divinity! This is especially powerful when you consider the positive characteristics that are commonly ascribed to the Divine:
This is probably the most “woo woo” area that people find me to begin work together, and I FREAKING LOVE IT. This isn’t about rules and religion; this is about exploring the ultimate in healing energy. Connecting with Spirit allows us to have a deeper understanding of the divine traits within ourselves, so that we can embody and express them in our human experience.
We get to do this today, in this lifetime- not just in some faraway afterlife. Whether it is connecting with and sharing messages from your Spirit Council during a Spiritual Clarity Reading, or helping you to create more positive connections with the divinity within and around you, this is some of my favorite work of all.
How Do I Help?
I support your exploration of sacred and spiritual practices, and help you to develop your own intuition. I help my clients to differentiate the freedom of spirituality from religion.
Positivity improves our connections to self, to community, to nature, and to spirit. When any of these connections are weak, damaged, or removed we experience collapse in the relationship. Therefore, it is vital to the health of our relationship to each of these 4 key areas that we do the work of examining where we are at, where we want to be, and what if anything needs to change.
For some of us, it means doing some deeper work of healing old wounds, rewriting our old narratives, and learning how to do Life in a whole new way- or even just a slightly different, more empowered, satisfyingly positive way. One thing is for sure- we won’t be engaging in any toxic positivity. No spiritual bypassing. And definitely no gaslighting.
Wherever you may be on your journey, whatever level of awakening you are in, you can find guidance and support from me that will help you to cultivate Positivity in any or all of these 4 key areas of connection.
How To Get Started
Soul-Mirroring Session & 4 Pillars Assessment
The way we begin our Transformational Positivity work together is through a Soul-Mirroring Session. This is a 1:1, deep-look together in which we talk about where you are, what you want, and where you want to go.
I have an incredible gift of being able to truly see YOU, and will share what I see from a spiritual energy perspective. We will do a 4 Pillars Assessment and create a plan for ways that you can begin to cultivate & integrate Transformational Positivity in the area(s) of your choosing.
During the month of December, my birth month, I set out to share one positive social media account each day. The goal was to introduce some of the people & organizations who have inspired me this year; 31 folx & groups who are examples of Transformational Positivity in action. I invite you to check out the work they’re doing to make the world a better place. I’ve included links to their websites, just for your convenience (I do not receive any commission).
I know this time of year can be stressful and emotional and sometimes tricky, but I also absolutely love the energy of POSSIBILITY. Standing now on the edge of a new month, a new year, and a new decade with all the hopes & promises that holds, it feels important to share supportive, inspirational resources- even ones as simple yet powerful as social media accounts. I hope that this is as inspiring to you, as it has been to me. I Love You & I am so grateful for you all.
#1- Together Rising is a non-profit organization that I have been following and supporting for a couple of years now. They are bold and courageous and non-discriminatory about who they offer tangible help to, anywhere in the world. Fierce advocates & activists, year-round givers & connectors, they embody LOVE AS A VERB as humanitarians and what it can look like to create & care for the global COMMUNITY.
“HOLIDAY HANDS UPDATE! YOU DID IT!!! Today, through our Holiday Hands program, you met the needs of 550 families in less than 2 hours. You are unbelievable. We at Together Rising are overwhelmed, filled up, exhausted, and mostly – grateful. Grateful for the courage of the askers and grateful for the character of the givers. Grateful that we are able to create the world we live in. Grateful that today, you showed up and created a more beautiful world.
Isn’t it wild? We spend so much time looking at the world with our hearts broken – wishing it were different. Wishing people cared for each other. Wishing people would be kinder, live bigger, think beyond themselves. And then one day we find ourselves jumping in and MAKING IT SO. These 550 families will go to bed tonight in a kinder, bigger, smaller, better world. THANK YOU!”
I want to introduce you to the amazingly powerful, deeply healing work of Tanya Markul aka @thugunicorn Over the past 2 years, her words have reached layers of my hidden (and not so hidden) pain with the precision of a surgeon and the love of a healing goddess. Her collection of poetry, The She Book, is my bible, and I had the great privilege of her as a guest on my Transformational Positivity Summit this year.
“I used to absolutely dread this time of year. The holidays would drop me off at the door of an intense emotional blackhole. I’d visit aunts and cousins for Thanksgiving, but I’d never stay for more than a couple of hours.
I was the odd girl out with a pocket full of worthlessness.
On the other side of the family, I’d meet my mom at my grandma’s for an hour, then I’d head back to school (she couldn’t stay either). I was alone. I’d stuff my tear-stained cheeks with Taco Bell in my car on the 3.5-hour drive back to campus.
During the holidays, I’d take every waitressing shift possible, and I’d return to my quiet apartment every night. I didn’t like living alone at all. I was scared and full of fear. (No one knew how lonely I was.) The holidays were hard. I have forever wanted intimacy, hugs, and conversation.
So now, and forever, there will always be a part of me that grieves this time of year, even though it’s different now, and I feel for all who are lonely and don’t have nurturing company this time of year.
So I want to reach out.
Today I’ll light a candle and it will be for anyone who wishes to have more warmth and company in their lives—for those who are calling in community, family, intimacy, and conversation into their lives. Join me if you’d like.
Blessed be. And so it is.
If you’re feeling it now and it’s tough this year, you are welcome to write to me. I’ll hold your message in a sacred space and I won’t share it. I may not get to write back, but I want you to know that every message I receive will be read and I’ll say a prayer for you.
To peace in all human hearts and to peace to all “
I am thrilled to get to introduce you to another remarkable woman. Tracy Neely is a healer who has overcome significant challenges in her life. Losing part of her jaw led to her finding her true voice, one that speaks incredible Strength, Clarity, Courage and Love. She’s not afraid of the dark anymore because she has faced it head on, unblinking, with a gentle determination and disarmed it.
I had the immense privilege of meeting Tracy as a guest on my Transformational Positivity Summit earlier this year. She is such an inspiration!
“To only welcome the light side of me is doing a dis-service to the mystery that lives in the dark. I welcome it all!”
I want to share the good work of @imperfectfoods (formerly known as Imperfect Produce). I have been a huge fan of their work and their mission to reduce food waste, support local farmers & growers, and help provide fresh, nutritious foods at greatly reduced cost to people with low income. I’ve watched as their network has grown and expanded across the US this past year, and feel good about supporting their work with each box of food we purchase.
I remember the times when I was too poor to afford enough food for my son and myself, let alone provide decent, healthy foods and fresh produce. I remember what it felt like to go to bed hungry and wake up hungry, sacrificing my own meals so that at least my kid could eat. I would have LOVED to have had something like this available at the time! The truth is that far too many people are going hungry, while far too much good food is going to absolute waste. I love that Imperfect Foods is doing SOMETHING to make a difference!
“We pride ourselves on reducing waste, but equally important to us is making nutritious food more affordable and accessible to everyone. One way that we invest in this part of our mission is through our Reduced Cost Box program. Anyone who qualifies for SNAP benefits can get a reduced cost box from us that amounts to getting groceries for 50% less than grocery store prices. We’ve delivered over 295,000 reduced cost boxes to date and are so excited to continue to grow this program. Your support is why we can invest in making nourishing food more affordable and accessible for everyone. Thank you!”
I love the passion & dedication of the brave young climate activist, Greta Thunberg. Her voice in the conversation regarding climate change is undeniably powerful, and her grace under immense pressure is the sort of thing that makes my heart stand up in awe. To hear her speak to heads of nations with crystal clarity & such conviction is magnificent, and to watch her live hr life with such high integrity is inspiring.
The fact that Greta is a person who is not neuro-typical is equally important, and draws attention to the sad truth that many people like her are far too often ignored, discounted, abused, bullied and targeted for being different, for speaking up, for existing. I find myself often heartbroken when I read some of the hateful comments directed towards her; people being the absolute worst. It reminds me of how cruelly my own sweet, non neuro-typical brother was often treated in public school and from neighborhood bullies when we were kids. Y’all, I got in lots of fist fights defending him. 👊🏻 #noregrets
We simply MUST do better. For the health of our planet, and for our very humanity.
“School strike week 68. They say more than 500,000 people showed up tonight in Madrid!”
Andrea Ranae is a gifted coach and facilitator of fostering positive change. I had the immense privilege of meeting Andrea and learning from her/them at an intensive retreat designed to increase my leadership capacity. She/they absolutely blew my ENTIRE mind. Trust this: their work is not for the faint of heart. It’s Deep AF. She/they have one of the most powerful presences I have ever encountered, and wisdom well beyond their earthly years. If you let them teach you, if you let yourself be opened up to their inquiry, they will reveal a space in you where your deepest Truth resides, and she will show you how to allow yourself to be at once broken apart by the terror of it and held together within the pure Love of it.
“1- Responsibility isn’t about blame, obligation, fault, duty or burden. It’s about being able to respond. 2- Questions that are more vital than “am I doing enough for the world?”: Are you doing what you want to do? Are you doing what you’re here to do? Are you tending to your needs? Are you using what you have available to you to create the life and world you want? 3- It’s not your job to carry the burdens of the world on your shoulders. But it is your response-ability to show up for the issues of our time with your unique gifts, skills and perspective.”
OMG, the Love I feel for Elephants! Did you know that these majestic creatures are sentient beings with complex family structures run by strong females? 🐘
Another strong and inspiring woman is Sangduen “Lek” Chailert, the founder of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She has been rescuing elephants from abusive captivity and giving them a life of love & freedom on her sanctuary. Read more by following the work of @elephantnaturepark and learn the rescue stories of these beautiful animals. I can hardly wait to visit this amazing sanctuary during my honeymoon!
“Our big girls really enjoy drinking the water from a garden hose. Look how much fun they’re having.”
From surviving cancer to creating non-sappy greeting cards to healing a whole lot of folx with her wisdom, people like Emily McDowell (@emilyonlife) are brilliant beings whose work teaches me, informs me, challenges me and lights me up.
“Personal growth! It sounds so fun! Who doesn’t love growth? TURNS OUT the process of growth is actually not that fun and in fact, often feels like: pain, confusion, failure, loneliness. It’s hard as hell to identify and dismantle all your defense mechanisms and habitual thinking and basically everything you believe has kept you safe for your entire life. It involves doing a whole lot of stuff you don’t want to do (which is the point, because what we think we want is often the thing keeping us stuck in a place of suffering). But! Eventually you start to feel the growth. You notice you’re triggered less. Your inner critic shuts up every once in a while. You make different choices. Your relationship with yourself begins to shift. That’s the good part. Keep going.”
The work James-Olivia of @inquisitive_human does is to help with understanding, cultivating, and living within Right Relationship. With Self. With Others. With the world we live in. Dig in, Loves, it’s juicy work.
“Every relationship you have is a relationship *you are in* …unless you aren’t. How do you diminish, hide, or avoid yourself to manage someone else? What would you rather do instead?
In Right Relationship, there is room for you.
The past week’s theme seems to have been how we try to manage other people’s perceptions, judgments, actions, feelings, accusations, opinions, emotional states, behaviors, and responses by making ourselves slowly (or quickly) disappear from our most important conversations and relationships.
What if you showed up as the real you—all of you—and trusted yourself to safely navigate the consequences of your authenticity?”
I cannot say enough about the beautiful, utterly transformative work of Tanya Geisler. She is a wonderful coach, to be sure, and so much more. When she is holding space for you while you are working through your own Imposter Complex issues, you are held in such grace, power, reverence, and deep caring. You are truly Seen. You are allowed to BE exactly, wholly, completely, YOU. And it is simply magical.
“I’m always amazed when a new client apologizes for being emotional in a session. Worrying about what I’ll think. It’s an epidemic – worrying about how we’ll react to each other. . People… I’m a professional. . THIS is what I do. This is what ALL coaches do. All that deep-listening and ideation and strategy and compassion are God-given gifts that I nurture and tend to. No doubt. SELF-MANAGEMENT is the skill I paid tens of thousands of dollars for and spent thousands of hours mastering. . So bring it. Bring the mess. Bring the tears. Bring what you think is a shit show. . I’ve got it all. I’ve got you. That’s my job. That’s ALL coaches’ jobs. . We’ll find your way forward. Because we are going to need your voice, at top level. We’re going to need your arms, your heart, your soul and all that you have got if we’re going to turn this thing around. . With only love and zero judgment.”
I know that I am not the only person who dreads conversations centered around food/exercise/health/bodies. When I began following accounts like @theunderbellyyoga it was such a relief to see all bodies normalized! As a queer, black, plus-sized yogi, Jessamyn Stanley’s work is so empowering and life-affirming for so many folx around the world. Soooo much Love for them.
“Stop assuming someone’s health based on the way their body looks 👏🏻👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿💯💯 #everybodyyoga” 🎨: @handsomegirldesigns
I am so happy to share my friend Chef Jeff with you! We met on a plane leaving Orange County for the East Coast sometime last year while we were both flying solo. He was just about to launch his own cooking channel and I was just about to launch my public speaking career. We became fast friends and I promised that I would look forward to being able to share his passion for cooking & wine pairing. Well hooray, that day has come! I hope you will check out all of his videos and try out some of his yummy recipes! I love how REAL he is. His tutorials feel like I have the nicest private chef teaching me how to make amazing meals. And, since he also has his own vineyard, he knows his stuff when it comes to great wines.
Cristina Mittermeir (“Mitty”) is an incredible photographer and activist whose images have been featured on National Geographic, Sea Legacy, and in fine art collections. Her work is both life-affirming & heartbreaking, all in one breath. She reminds me of the awesome beauty, power, and fragility of Nature and our place in it.
“When I set out to be a photographer, before the internet and social media, I simply wanted to share my experiences. Now, in the digital age that mission remains the same. The main goal of my work is to build a greater awareness of the responsibility of what it means to be human. The beauty of our planet is endless and knows no bounds. On every expedition something new takes my breath away and fills my heart with hope. My fine art is a culmination of my favorite emotions and experiences, and I am overwhelmed by the support and warm response you have shown it. As a thank you, I am gifting my book Amaze, as a special gift, with any fine art purchase in the month of December. For more information on my fine art work, please contact email@example.com”
This year I also became a big fan of Canadian digital artist Lindsay (Linzy) Kokoska, aka Infinite Mantra. I feel like I am stepping into another realm when I look at her artwork. It’s so mysterious and ethereal and makes my heart flutter. I love it! In fact, I love it so much that she and I are collaborating to embark on a special project: a gorgeous new Oracle card deck! YAY! If you’d like to know more about our project as it develops and be one of the first to own one of our decks, be sure to sign up for my Positivity mailing list.
I am happy to share the work of Yung Pueblo whose book “Inward” is a wonderful exploration of the journey of healing. Written with a very Zen-like perspective, I often find his words to be comforting in their simplicity and powerful in their precision.
“Moving forward with awareness. Sending love to all beings. May we all be happy and free.” -yung pueblo
I started following Stacy Nai’s work with Anapo Energy a couple of years ago and first connected with her over one of her gorgeous Reiki-infused malas. It’s still one of my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear. Later, I invited her to share her story on my Transformational Positivity summit earlier this year. So powerful! Now, she’s emerging as a healer and I’m here for it.
“So many times I get asked by Clients what their Purpose is. Actually every time. Every single Soul desires to know its Purpose. To feel something Bigger. To feel Connected. I’m here to tell you, I too was longing for this same feeling of Fulfillment. And that I have found it. But where might surprise you. It might shock you and you may dismiss it’s simplicity. And that is why it eludes you thus far. Because we’ve been led to believe it’s a Destination or somewhere outside of ourselves. A job or passion. Even a life of Goodwill. Yes it can be all of them. It can also be so much more. It is You. You are your Purpose.
Whatever that means for you, we can explore the nuances together. There is nothing bigger than You. Coming into yourself and the Truest You is the Key. The TRUEST YOU. Whatever your Truth is. That’s your Purpose. Occasionally we are disappointed by this Truth in a Session, for a brief human moment. Then it Arrives. The feeling of Peace, Calm, Release, Relief and Home. You are home. And then Know you can make Whatever you Want with it. Make it mean whatever, experience whatever, be whatever. So if you desire a life of Goodwill, be that. If you desire a life of Service, be that. If you desire a life of Exploration, be that. On and on. Be that. You can DO anything. As long as it is You doing it. And For You. Get it?! The True you and not what someone else wants or forces onto you. What lies in your heart and aches to be Lived. That’s your Purpose. Following You. This is how you Save the world and find your Purpose. Coming into YOU. “ -Stacy Nai
It should be no surprise that I have so many brilliant artists who inspire and influence me; so much of the world is in chaos and pain, and seeing & feeling it (deeply) every day can become overwhelming, debilitating. We must also be able to see what is Good if we hope to move together towards it. By sharing the beautiful art of some of my favorites, I feel an honor of helping to usher in some measure of healing along the way. For myself, this means to include the incredible Beauty found in Nature. Photographer Altug Galip, better known to his millions of Instagram followers as Kyrenian, captures to most stunning images around the world. Pure Beauty.
I adore the artwork of Lisa Congdon for all of its quirkiness, vibrancy, and honesty. Whether I am oohing and ahhing over one of her color family collages, or gently touched by a truthful sentiment like the one pictured here, I can always count on a moment of gratitude whenever her work comes across my feed.
“This time of the year can feel hard. Take care of yourself.” -Lisa Congdon
The next spotlight for my #hellodecember series is the AMAZING body-positive (actually, Body Neutrality) work being done by @i_weigh & @jameelajamilofficial
Jameela Jamil has created a space where a community in i_weigh that is springing up that is overflowing with positivity, confidence, acceptance, inclusion, and empowerment. It’s so inspiring and it lights me up every day. 💖🦋 #theblessingsbutterfly
“Amazing 👏🏼 Your weight does not define your value ✨. | Art by Manchester based artist @ferncooke #iweigh#bodylove
Please meet my friend Montine Rummel, the lovely, witchy soul behind Book of My Shadows (who is actually quite a brilliant, beautiful Light). I had the honor of meeting Montine earlier this year at an intense exploration of self & service in the South of France. She graciously gifted all of us with a copy of her Book of My Shadows, which is filled with astrological insights and self-healing wisdom practices. It’s magic, y’all!
This share is extra special. I want to introduce you to my soul sister, goddess, shero, mentor, chosen friend, business bestie and dearest cousin. Nicole Lewis-Keeber is Alchemy in action. Her work of healing and guiding folx through their shadows caused by trauma (and for us entrepreneurs, how that also shows up in our business) is nothing short of transcendence. She’s a no bullshit, “call a thing a thing” leader and incredibly gentle & loving at the same time. I love her so dearly. She’s changed my life for the best.
“This week in my Love Your Business School TM program we have been talking about the importance of values. We have gotten it down to 3 Values that we have that can be the anchor for our business. The discussion has been so rich and I know that this is such a hard exercise to do but they are really digging deep and getting clear. My 3 Values are Authenticity, Freedom, Consent. How about you? What values direct your business?”
Subscribing to Being Boss was probably one of the smartest, most-boss moves I ever made in getting my grown-up entrepreneurial feet wet. Following the work of Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon, the co-founders of the wildly popular podcast and co-authors of the book Being Boss led me to finding the confidence, skills, structure and community that a creative soul like mine desperately needed, all while giving me the permission to be exactly who I came here to be. Even watching their partnership and the business brand change, evolve, and weather some serious burnout this past year has been tremendously positive, and helpful in watching what it can look like to let go gracefully.
Emily Thompson of Being Boss is also the queen behind one of my favorite candle and crystal shops, Almanac Supply Co. I love how she has found the perfect way to support her passions of curating rocks & crystals, hand pouring amazing candles, and finding harmony with Nature by living more seasonally.
“To truly#embracetheseasons, you have to live a practice of work and rest. And since Winter is here, the season of rest, we’re settling down for a long Winter’s nap. What does that mean? We’re taking an Instagram break. You can still shop our website. We’ll still be around slinging candles and crystals. But we’re going to go quiet, until the quickenings of Spring emerge.” #livewithnature
One of my very favorite Instagram accounts to follow is Elizabeth Gilbert’s. She has been inspiring me with her work since Eat, Pray, Love (as she certainly did for millions of us) and I love how she continues to be curious, open, loving, honest, beautiful and bright. Thank you, Liz. Merry Everything.
“Here’s a simple holiday prayer that I made for everybody this morning, offering COMFORT (to those who are suffering) and JOY (to those who are celebrating.) However you are doing out there today, I love you all so much. ❤️LG”
One of my favorite uplifting feeds to follow is from the brilliant young creative light that is Donte Colley. It has been amazing to watch his star rise this year! His simple, effective combination of energetic dance moves overlayed with positive affirmations, hilariously empowering messages, and emojis has created an ongoing series of viral videos that spread hope & joy.
My next share is from @wildwomansisterhoodofficial and @taraisisgerris whose posts have helped me over the year to release some of my fears of being seen in my truest Nature: a wild, untamable and beautiful essence of Truth & Powerful Energy.
Over the years, I have resisted identifying with any of the goddess archetypes for fear that people would judge me, dislike me, avoid me, disown me… but honestly, some people are going to do those things anyway and the truth is that’s their shit, not mine. So this year I really began to look into WHO and WHAT really makes me, Me. She’s a beautiful weirdo, a badass, a goddess of love & abundance, and a keeper of wisdom, Magic, healing and mystery. I cannot wait to reveal more and more.
“Christmas is a state of mind. It’s not about the food or the presents. It’s about creating a loving and warm atmosphere. To cherish Peace and Goodwill. That’s the spirit of Christmas. – Tara Isis Gerris
Hopefully you had a Christmas that blessed your Heart♥️” WILD WOMAN SISTERHOOD Embody Your Wild Nature
I love the work of Tara Isis Gerris. Her teachings have been so beautiful to read this year as I have allowed more and more of my own unfolding, and my own deepening into the power of Transformational Positivity. You know I love a positivity ritual! 🙏💖🦋
NEW YEAR’S EVE RITUAL “I use to feel some kind of void on New Year’s Day. A shallow hollow feeling. I never quite felt that sense of new beginnings. I did not really feel the blank clean sense of a fresh and brand new start the way I wanted to.
But then, a few years ago when I was pregnant of my youngest son, I started ringing in the New Year with Ceremony and Ritual.
If you are open for and feel drawn to create your own simple Ritual to consciously wave the passing year farewell and intentionally welcome the New Year ahead, here is a personal guide for you.
1. LIGHT A CANDLE The flames of a candle unites us with our inner Sacredness. It symbolizes the power of light that burns so bright it drives out any form of darkness, even the most dark dusty corners. It takes only a moment to light a candle. Take all the time you need, your loving intention is what matters.
2. SAY FAREWELL AND EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE TO THE PASSING YEAR You can write a love letter to yourself and the passing year analyzing every single precious shift and gift this year brought you.
3. WELCOME THE NEW YEAR AHEAD You can keep it short and simple as opening your heart and arms or dive in the Ocean to experience a fresh vitalizing boost for body and mind or you can put your loving energy and focus into creating a New Year’s moodboard or writing a list of wishes and intentions for the New Year while building a ceremonial fire🔥 and dancing naked under the moonlight! Just let anything you do be motivated by one guiding question: “What would make my Soul dance?” The passing year and the New Year require nothing from you. They are here to support you and allow you to find whatever you need to find. They are your teachers and your guides, opportunities and time to evolve as a human being.” -Tara Isis Gerris
I absolutely adore all of the #fabfive stars of @queereye and the individual good work they each are doing. The irresistible and ultra-fabulous Jonathan Van Ness has a phenomenal podcast called GettingCurious with JVN and it’s brilliant. UGH. i die to see him live and in person on tour.
“As #2019 comes to a close, here at #GettingCurious we thank you all for tuning in, listening and staying curious! Special thanks to all the incredible guests and experts who joined. To #2020 and feeding all of @jvn ‘s curiosity!”
Few shows this year have had as much of a positive impact on me as the reboot of Queer Eye. The “Fab Five” offer SO MUCH MORE now than a physical makeover as they offer truly inspirational, transformative experiences that span culture, self-care, mindset, And yes, some great fashion & grooming advice too. Do yourself an enormous favor and binge-watch for a fully therapeutic ugly-cry.
I have to share the awesomeness that is The Sparkle Hour. This is the personal development podcast that my dear cousin Nicole Lewis-Keeber and I created and hosted for 3 years, in which we shared 10 seasons of amazing content, found our voices like never before, and interviewed some of the most life-changing badass womxn from all over the world.
“We have so Loved our time with y’all! Catch up on all of our episodes and get all of our free Sparkle School™️ materials by visiting our website.” -Michelle & Nicole
#31- Blonde Lady and Bald Guy
I’m getting MARRIED! My sweet husband-to-be and I created an Instagram account @blondeladyandbaldguy so that we can share the amazing AROUND THE WORLD trip we are taking for our Honeymoon. AS IF my life couldn’t be more amazing, suddenly, it is. Practicing Transformational Positivity has changed my entire life.
OKAY, that’s my 31! I hope that you have enjoyed this comprehensive list of some of my favorite social media accounts! If you haven’t yet joined my Positivity email list, I invite you to do it today and step into 2020 with me! I am excited to support you moving forward with Clarity and Confidence.
How many times have you been going through a difficult or stressful time in your life, and some (hopefully well-meaning) person comes along with advice like this: “Fake it ’til you make it!” “Just be more positive!” “No bad vibes!” “Smile, things could be worse!”
UGH. That’s just really NOT helpful! I have been so frustrated with the fake positivity like this that permeates social media and the damage it creates in it’s wake. Humans, even the most enlightened, awakened, spiritual among us all still experience the very real, very human emotions that constantly get labeled as “negative” [read: BAD]. The thing is? When we are being taught to stuff these down, ignore them, or otherwise bypass them, we deny a vital part of our humanity and we deny ourselves the ability to grow, get stronger, and heal our inner pain.
I decided that it was time to create an event that showcases strong women from around the world, women who are doing wonderful, healing, transformational work in all of the areas that seem to get us bogged down in actual negativity: shame stories, self-sabotage, body image issues, and a lack of love for our true self. I reached out to 24 of my favorite badass, bright light, heart-centered women leaders who are deep-thinkers, thought-leaders, and practical problem solvers and asked if I could interview them to share their stories. They said yes, and together we created:
The Transformational Positivity Summit: Generating a Ripple of Positive Change to Ignite Your Inner Light.
This amazing online event begins February 25th (and it’s totally free!)
With the Transformational Positivity Summit, I’ve brought together some of today’s most interesting & significant influencers in women’s empowerment – for the mind body and spirit. We will share with you some simple secrets for living your most authentic, vibrant, healthy, magical, sexy, spiritual and POSITIVE life!
I am so excited to share this with you. All of these resources, all this knowledge, will be in one place – you won’t have search and search – it’s right here, just for you, free. (VIP Package upgrade also available)
No matter where you are right now, I can assure you that the answers you are looking for start with just one click.
Don’t miss this chance to join me and my amazing friends including Tanya Markul, Dianne Bondy, Linda Joy, Kim Fuller, Dr. Debra Reble, Nicole Lewis-Keeber, Dr. Colleen Georges, Sarah Liddle, Bryna Haynes, Stacy Nai, Tamar Gail, Tracy Neely, Nikki Brown, Dumari St. Angelo, Erin Smandych, Mal Duane, Kelley Grimes, Marcia Mariner, Randi Johnsen, Victoria Crossman, Christine Marie, Angele Cristina, Christina Mathewson, and Annie Vonheim as we share all that we have learned about the Transformational power of Positivity to create a ripple of healing and ignite your inner light!
Once I realized that I am not just “weird” but that in fact I am a Beautiful Weirdo, well honey everything else just fell into place around me.
I stopped trying to be anyone other than my own self, in all of my wonderful weirdness, because THAT is my special sauce.
I own my sky-high optimism, and my self-searching shadowy moments of fear & doubt. I shit rainbows and hold space for people in my faerie dust, covered in golden Light and wrapped in unstoppable, unbreakable Love. I believe in believing in you, in me, and in our own immeasurable power to create positive change within and all around us, no matter how hard or challenging the path forward may be.
So cheers to you, my Friend, if in reading this you might see a glimpse of yourself, too. You can totally sit at my table. Know that you are not alone. Know that you are allowed to shine your bright, beautiful, Weirdo light.
Here are 3 Ways that we can continue the conversation: