Leadership

This is Me

How are you doing, Beautiful? If you read last week's post you know I was feeling a little low...I talked about "waiting it out" which is something I've really learned to do when things feel a bit hard.

I'm feeling much better! On the upswing! But now here's the rub--I've been sitting in front of my laptop for hours writing and deleting, writing and deleting...because basically I'm like, "What the f**k do I want to say this week???!!" It's not that I don't have any ideas! I HAVE TOO MANY IDEAS! Ha! And that is kind of freezing me up!

Curious what my ideas are? Here's a little brain dump for you:

  • Women's hormones and the patriarchy.
  • History of the Goddess and how the church systematically repressed positive female images through hundreds of years of propaganda (that lead to what many scholars call a gender genocide with the burning of "witches").
  • How women's obsession with our looks and our bodies is absolutely a tool to hold us down and hold us back--as if the value we bring to the world is how we look! (It was not always this way. There is another way!)
  • The fact that woman are told we are crazy and unpredictable but how that is total bullsh*t.
  • The rules we are taught as women (for example "Everyone else's needs are more important than yours") and how those rules are not even things we are aware of and yet they totally define our lives, rob us of our own personal desires, subjugate us, keep us feeling guilty, and absolutely hold us back.
  • How the construct of the patriarchy has diminished the feminine and that as a result the world is wildly out of balance and we are, in fact, destroying it.
  • Fear and love. We are either acting from fear or coming from love. This is everything.

So many other things. I need time to sort through them all and figure out how and even why I want to talk to you about them.

EVERYTHING in my heart is about busting out of these chains that bind us as humans, so we can BREAK FREE, LIVE FREE, AND HELP HEAL THE WORLD.

Who am I and what do I want to do with my life? This is a question that so many of my friends (men and women alike) and clients are asking. I mean, TRULY WHO AM I??? Are we even allowed to be asking that? I believe if we're not asking that, we aren't asking the right questions. Everything comes from that starting point.

So in the spirit of BREAKING FREE I'm sharing this with you today because, honestly, this video MOVES ME. I cry. It is such pure joy and freedom and busting out from the chains that bind us! I hope you feel the same way. The little speaking exchange at the very beginning just gets me in the heart.

This is Me with Kaela Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble

 

 

 

I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
'Cause we don't want your broken parts
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one'll love you as you are

But I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that's what we've become (yeah, that's what we've become)

I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh
This is me

and I know that I deserve your love
(Oh-oh-oh-oh) 'cause there's nothing I'm not worthy of
(Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh, oh, oh)
When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
This is brave, this is proof
This is who I'm meant to be, this is me

Look out 'cause here I come (look out 'cause here I come)
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum (marching on, marching, marching on)
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I'm gonna send a flood
Gonna drown them out
Oh
This is me

 

Love you,

Elijah

How to Make a Difference

Making a difference in the world is something I'm passionate about. I personally believe that in the heart of every human is a desire to make things a little better, whether we own that impulse or not. For some people, especially in today's day and age, the state of things seems so overwhelmingly impossible that they build a wall up around that impulse and become apathetic--but underneath it all, that drive and desire is still there.

My mom subscribed to National Geographic Magazine for pretty much my entire childhood. I vividly remember being exposed to some harsh realities of the world from a young age--it was easy to be drawn in by whatever the cover photo was for the issues. There's some really specific moments I recall. One in particular was learning about the Berlin wall and how families were separated...how people would try and escape over the wall and would be shot and left to die in the space in between East and West. I still cannot understand that kind of brutality but as a young kid it felt even more incomprehensible. And then, I learned about the Holocaust...

Since I was a kid and prone to magical thinking, I set to work trying to solve the problems of hate and war. My solution at the time was to find a genie and be granted three wishes. (Man. I wish it was that easy!) Then the problem became what exactly to wish for. Because my mom pointed out that "Wishing for peace isn't enough. Because what if the price of peace was that people were under a tyrannical government or dictator that oppressed people?" So my work was really cut out for me! The one wish I came up with that felt as fool-proof as possible was, "I wish that all people of the world held respect for the lives and way-of-life of all other people in the world." I still think that's a pretty good wish!

As I got older and continued to learn about all the ways that humanity can act in horrific ways, I became overwhelmed...and would teeter dangerously close to becoming apathetic. Or cynical. Can you relate? Anyone? Since I figured out I wasn't going to find a genie and get three wishes, I needed to reassess things!

When I got still and paid attention, what I truly understood is that we make a difference in the world EVERY DAY by being kind; by being good; by listening--truly listening; by witnessing--truly witnessing; by connecting.

In today's culture we are taught to GO BIG or GO HOME. And I see that extending into all aspects of our lives, including "making a difference." I hear people lament that they can't put a dent in the problems of the world and then promptly give up. Or worse--decide it is a dog eat dog world and they are just in it for themselves.

By misunderstanding what it means to make the world a better place, we miss out on countless opportunities to do just that. By incorrectly thinking we need to massively shift things in order to make a difference, we stop ourselves from seeing our true potential--to powerfully affect those around us (friends and strangers) every single day.

If you doubt me, simply start paying attention to how you are affected by others you come into contact with throughout the day. And not just people you physically see and talk to, but words you read (a book, a magazine, a piece of graffiti) as well. How about social media posts? Are you affected by those? Which ones make you feel good and which ones throw you into despair? How does that affect the rest of your day?

Now imagine the billions of people on this planet. So many of them -- far too many -- receive not kindness. They don't get a smile, they don't get a meal, their reality is invalidated, their struggles are minimized...practice your empathy by remembering the moments in your life when your real pain was trivialized or you were simply told your feelings are wrong. It's painful. Now imagine if you were validated, affirmed, smiled at, encouraged, shown kindness in your darkest moments...you would be different. The world would be different.

I believe it is a fatal error not to recognize that the power to make the world a better place lies within each and every one of us simply by making a difference one moment, one person, at a time.

If this feels empowering to you, please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

NOW!!! Soul Song Sunday!

'm definitely having fun with this one! On the theme of love and how it makes everything better, I was reminded of this song from the 80s. Oh boy. THE VIDEO. It's sooooooooooooo dated! I mean, the video alone makes me smile and giggle! But that doesn't take away from the general awesomeness of this song! I hope you enjoy it!

Love & Pride by King

 

 

Love & Pride by King

 

That's what my heart yearns for now - love and pride.
That's what my heart yearns for now - love and pride.

Start your journey early or maybe later
get your boots on

Look for rainbows
it's cloudy

Take your hairdryer
blow them all away.

In you I've found a story I want to keep hearing.
In you I see all colours
not just black or white.
In you I find a reason and hope for all dreamers

You are my fill
you're my supply of love and pride.
That's what my heart yearns for now - love and pride. . . .

Knowing
sensing
seeing
eating
sleeping
that's just being.
Touching
testing
loving
wanting and taking

more love and more pride.
In you I've found a story I want to keep hearing. . . .

I'm taking it round the world - some love and pride.
That's what my heart yearns for now - love and pride. . . .
That's what my heart yearns for now - love and pride. . . .

Women, Self Care, and Food.

Many people reached out to me a bit worried because I didn't write on Sunday. Thank you for your love :)

What happened was a mix of family craziness tossed in with travel combined to create a perfect storm of extra-busy plus a little overwhelm. And I decided it was okay to take care of myself first, which meant not writing the newsletter. It isn't that I'm not committed to reaching out--I'm SO COMMITTED. But my first commitment is to my self care. I've learned the hard way that if I don't honor my needs, things really go to hell in a hand basket quite quickly. And if I'm depleted, then I have nothing to give and my family, friends, and work and all will suffer.

Women, self care, and food. Women are incredibly hard on themselves. Our culture has carefully trained us to be this way. We are taught to believe our happiness is connected to the happiness of others. If our happiness is connected to the happiness of others that means we work tirelessly to take care of the needs of those around us and if we aren't doing this for even a moment, we feel GUILTY. Even the most aware among us fall prey to this guilt.

We work tirelessly for the happiness of others while posting social media memes declaring, "HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB" or similar sentiments. HA!

We post those memes and still don't recognize that our happiness is indeed connected to WHAT IS INSIDE US. What I mean by that is: OUR DREAMS, OUR DESIRES, OUR IDEAS, OUR PASSIONS. We are SO QUICK do dismiss our desires, dreams, and passions. That voice says, "Who am I to want that for myself?" or, "If I follow my dreams I'll be a terrible mom." or "I'll never know enough or be enough to follow that dream." or even worse, "I'm an idiot for even thinking about that!"

Guess what? When we are committed to the happiness of others and we deny our own brilliance, we live in a low level of apathy because "...none of it matters anyway." It keeps us in a place of not wanting more while simultaneously apologizing for wanting things.

When we give, give, give and go, go, go, we are depleted and we end up resentful. Because we feel guilty doing things for ourselves (and because, ultimately, we are not fully expressed as human beings) THE ONLY THING WE CAN RECEIVE FOR OURSELVES IS FOOD AND ALCOHOL.

We are so depleted, the only thing left are the Oreo cookies in the cupboard. The cookies are 100% there for us. They will ALWAYS fill us up. They never let us down. And, best of all, no one will fault us for eating them. They will, however, fault us for not being super thin (or even too thin--seriously, we cannot catch a break) but that's another topic for another email. The point is, EATING is about the only socially acceptable way women have of nourishing themselves!

No wonder we all have such disordered eating habits--disordered physical habits and mental habits, too. And this is yet another way that we are kept apathetic.Listen--this is political. All these stories we are told about what it means to be a "good" woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend in this world HOLD US BACK and KEEP US DOWN. And let there be no doubt--they are designed to do that.

Why? Because women are POWERFUL. I'm not saying we are more powerful than men and that men suck etc...if you're going there in your mind I invite you to simply stop thinking of others just for a moment and consider YOU. Consider YOUR LIFE. Your dreams, hopes, desires...and I mean the dreams and desires that you never even say allowed for fear you'll be judged.

Women are powerful and we have big dreams. We have big solutions to the problems we face. When we allow ourselves to be fully expressed, to own our power unapologetically, and to step into our dreams...WHOA. THE ENTIRE WORLD BENEFITS. Our families benefit. Our friends benefit. WE BENEFIT.

The fact that we feel guilty, the fact that we go, go, go without taking care of ourselves, the fact that really weird and crazy expectations on how we look, what we say, and what we do is something we have bought into is not our fault. It's not men's fault either. This system has been in place for thousands of years. We are the fish in the water--we don't even know we are in water because we don't know anything different.

To be clear, obviously many women and men know there's a different way. But even those men and women continue to understand the ways in which the current cultural paradigm has hurt us and holds us back in deeper ways. And, as you might be able to see, we are in the midst of a powerful cultural awakening in general. It is a very exciting time to be alive! But we all have stuff that we don't know that we don't know. Now is the time to learn a different way of being.

Where do we start? So many of us have not really taken the time to truly ask ourselves what it is we desire. It can be a scary question. It can also be challenging to answer because if we rarely ask it, that muscle is weak and we really aren't sure of the answers!

Here is an exercise for you to start working on this question. It's deceptively simple. I recommend using this as a journal prompt for 5 - 7 days in a row...just set a time and free-write what comes up for you every day. See how things change at the end of 7 days. Then keep up the practice as much as you'd like to--every day or once a week...trust yourself to know how often you need to do this.

EXERCISE: What are 5 things that you would like in your life?

Separate out what you would truly like from what you think is possible! Allowing yourself any feelings or emotions that arise out of the desires that you may have previously “failed at” or “succeeded at not having” for weeks, months or decades.

Exclude the things that you no longer want. You can still write them down, but just flip it so that you are replacing the unwanted state with what you would like to experience instead.

As always, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU! And I also invite you to join the Virtual Goddess Gathering, where like-minded women show up to support each other in creating change in their lives and the world.

Sending so much love your way,

ElijAH

Find Your Tribe

I am so excited for 2018! As you may recall, 2017 kicked my ass. I mean--I think it kicked a lot of people's asses, but with Scott (my husband) coming close to dying from sepsis...and then just as things were getting back to normal he severely broke his leg...and two of our dogs died. Anyway. I'M READY FOR 2018!

Sometimes life flows and sometimes it ebbs. Last year, in terms of Vibrant Living, things ebbed. And that's okay. I've still been coaching private clients every week which is good for my soul and means I continue to grow my coaching skills. And I also got really clear on who I am and what I stand for in this world. I feel like my business was a like a big ocean liner that I decided to make a U-turn with. It took time! But I did it and now the ship is moving in the right direction.

What are some of the things I stand for? Here's a short list:

  • Kindness above all. I truly believe that kindness is our Super Power.

  • Women are badass.

  • There's a lot of phenomenal men out there, too, and I love creating a new paradigm of equality and respect with them.

  • Women have been fed a load of shit around beauty and our bodies and we've bought into it. It's keeping us down and holding us back and whatever I can do to set us free from that oppressive model I'm going to do.

  • Health is much, much more than good cholesterol and low blood pressure. The concept of health must include mental well-being, emotional well-being, access to opportunity, sense of belonging, freedom from oppression...and many more things.

  • Our value is not in how we look. Our value is in how we live our lives and what we bring to the world.

  • Now more than ever, I believe women are being called to stand up and step up into their power. The world is dying for the feminine.

Over the course of 2018 I'll get into detail with you about all these. You may have questions! You may have thoughts! I'm excited!

If any of this resonates with you, then AWESOME! And if you're soooooo not into it, that's okay, too! Straight up: I'm going to be writing more about this stuff this year and if you feel you need to leave this mailing list because it's not your groove I completely understand (and I will be sad to see you go--but ultimately I want you to take care of YOU. Self-care!)

For those of you that are excited about any of this, I invite you to join me this coming Saturday, January 13th, for my first ever Virtual Goddess Gathering! WOOT WOOT! The purpose of this is my drive, passion, desire...and, yes, my obsession to bring like-minded women together to lift each other up and help us all SHINE. I'm going to be doing several of these throughout 2018 and they are all free. I know the power of coming together and it ROCKS. Women are unstoppable when they are in community.

DETAILS:

Date: Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Time: 10am PST, 12pm CST, 1pm EST

Place: Your cozy sofa in your warm home via Zoom video conferencing!

Click here if you want to sign up. And yes, please share this with other women you know looking for their tribe.

Here's to a new year of shifts and transformation,

Elijah