5 Life Changing Lessons I've Learned the Hard Way
On Being a Woman
1. I'm worth it
I'm worth it, not because I've earned it, just because I am.
I came into this world filled with a sense of primal worthiness and I'm going to leave it that way too.
2. I can say "No"
I am not a superhero. I have limits and setting boundaries honors those limits.
I choose a cape of self-love and self-care.
SPRING CLEANING THE MIND
Being a woman extends beyond biology and physicality.
It’s an energy.
An undeniable, powerful, necessary energy.
Womanhood is magic.
Being a woman is filled with fight.
It’s a daily battle to be seen as more than a body, more than an acquisition.
It’s a fight to maintain self-worth, dignity and value.
The Universe is so funny… it loves a good dose of irony to teach us what we need to know to become our highest selves. Here’s proof: I sat down to write this piece on decluttering your mind hours ago… actually, in truth, days ago… my page has been filling with words and ideas, but the flow keeps getting interrupted by thoughts like, “Did I order a big enough jumper for my son’s party? What’s in the fridge for dinner? I wonder if people will like my last social post.” And on and on. My problem isn’t lack of thoughts, it’s just the opposite… thought overload! I swear if you cracked open my skull right now, it’d probably look like an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink pot pie. A jumbled mess of chaotic thought.
Our words are powerful.
With every word we think and speak, we are creating our life scripts. Our words give our cells direction and such that they truly are the building blocks of our reality. All too often, we speak carelessly, without giving thought to how words are creating vibration within our own bodies, and also energetic transmission to others.
But here's the thing... we are NOT slaves to our automatic word choices.
HOW I Do Scary
Letting ourselves be loved on can be hard. It's the most simple, most natural, most pure exchange between two people but we easily become our own worst enemy and deflector of love. When someone offers to help and we say, "No".... When someone offers a compliment and we reply with a refusal (i.e. "This old thing?!").... we are putting up love armor. And this love armor interrupts the natural flow of love that the Universe wishes for us.
We have been conditioned to believe that receiving is associated with either weakness or arrogance but that couldn't be more wrong.
#metoo: An Open Letter to Charlie Walk
Last week I did a scary thing. With an open, courageous, vulnerable heart, I shared my #metoo story. I shared a private piece of my life that was unknown to all but a few souls. I did it because I no longer felt like it was mine to keep, to keep in a locked up space of shame and confusion. It felt like a story that was ready to be released in the hopes that I could feel a smidgen of liberation and along the way, possibly help others feel understood and validated.
I received hundreds of messages. Mostly supportive, mostly kind. And many with the question of, “How did you get so brave?”
Dear Charlie Walk~
I remember the day you called and asked me to work for you. I was in shock. I couldn't believe a music mogul like yourself wanted ME to come work for YOU. And not only did you want me to work for you, you wanted me to start my very own department. You said it would revolutionize the way the record industry worked. You said I would change the game. You said I had raw talent. You said I was bright, savvy and necessary. You said a lot of things that I wanted to hear. You made me feel like a Unicorn. And you promised me a lot of things. And you were true on your word. You took me as a young trend forecaster and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. The opportunity to help shape the industry that I loved, which was crumbling at the feet of digital downloads. You introduced me to other music moguls like Donnie Ienner and Lyor Cohen and my ultimate (now fallen) hero, Russell Simmons. You gave me a fancy office, an assistant and a budget. You took me backstage to shows and got me private meet ‘n greets with the likes of Prince. You gave me opportunities beyond my wildest imagination.
But you also made me feel sick to my stomach almost everyday.
The energetic shift on our planet is undeniable. I felt it most strongly twice this month. Once at a sobering art installation called Into Action in DTLA, and secondly as a participant in the LA Women's March. Across the globe, there is a cry for healing, a cry for love and a desperate need for community. When we come together, when we commune, when we create a sacred space to show our hearts and honor our voices, we allow for healing individually and collectively.
To Do vs To Be
Imagine yourself nestled in the cocoon of your bed. You are in a state of blissful coziness, deep in dream state... and all of a sudden you are awoken by your alarm clock, your partner, your kid, bright light shining through your window. What's the first thing you typically think? If you are like most, it's somewhere in the "It's too early" or "I'm so tired" neighborhood.
If you are like me, you live by your To-Do List. Evernote is your church. Post its are your favorite desk accessory. A line through a list item feels nearly orgasmic. Well, not exactly, but you get the idea.
It's a pervasive struggle in our fast-paced, high demand, endless possibility, competitive and comparative world. And even harder if you lean towards Type A tendencies (so says me, a perfectionist in recovery). But here's the thing, in all of the doing, we lose sight of the doer. We lose sight of ourselves and in that loss of sight, there are noticeable disconnections, resulting in emotional and spiritual discord.
And no amount of doing can undo that.
We are ginormous believers in the power of conscious language. The words we choose to speak to others, and to ourselves, are literal instructions... instructions for our brains and for the Universe. So this year, take time to put more care into your words. Release words that are wrapped in lack (won't, don't, can't, shouldn't, never, etc) and replace them with words that inspire you to take action and that encourage the Universe to help you on your way.
Here are a dozen starters for you.
The Irony of Perfection
If you were at LEAP last week you may have noticed that my 5-year old son was snoozing in the Zen Den during our event. That wasn't part of the plan. It was a result of a no-show sitter at the literal last minute and a quick decision to lean into what was happening and make a choice.
That's the art of Agility.
Being agile is about being able to let go and shift with grace, courage and faith. Whether it's letting go of ideas, beliefs or wishful outcomes, agility allows us to tap into and trust our inner knowing... our faith... the voice that says, "This is what it is... and it's leading me somewhere else." Agility is the ability to GO there, to go to somewhere else.
Just For Today
I was three strokes in on my first attempt at a giant Mandala painting on my living room wall. If you've drawn Mandalas, then you know they are all about symmetry. There's even a protractor involved which is awesome for the Type A part of me. Anyway, three strokes in and my hand slipped and I was quickly taken off my pencil lined roadmap. I was initially bummed, feeling defeated, with a lil mind gremlin coming over me saying, "How could you think you could get it right?! You're not an artist!" And then I pulled back...
Big changes happen in small steps.
Start with this moment... start with Today:
Just for Today... be complimentary of your body.
Just for Today... let a worry drift off into the protective sphere of the Universe.
Just for Today... cross off a to-do list item you haven't done.
We all strive for Acceptance. But when we feel that all too familiar, wildly uncomfy, biting feeling of Resistance, so often Acceptance seems as distant as the stars in the sky. That's because we need a Bridge. A bridge that safely carries us from Resistance, the home of worry and fear to Acceptance, the home of peace and tranquility.
The bridge... is Curiosity.
WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS
I always say, "When life shakes us, it shapes us." But in between the 'Holy f*&k, what is happening Universe?!' moments and the peace on the other side, is your Rest Stop. Not to be mistaken with the side of the road spot you go to grab a bite, a tinkle and a stretch on a long drive, a life Rest Stop is work.
The comfort zone. A place of safety and security. A place of predictability and sure-bets. A cozy place that minimizes happiness and typically guarantees outcome you can live with. It's not a bad thing. Or a good thing. It's just a behavior thing. But it is a limited thing.
Asking for What We Need
People ask me all of the time, what was the inspiration behind Life Lab? While the answer is of course multi-layered, it really comes down to Connection. The thing is, the more life I live, the clearer I am that the reason we are here is for connection. Love and Connection. That's it. It's really that basic. The rest... just doesn't really matter.
The Quarter Trick: Listening to our intuition
t’s hard to know what you need sometimes. Sometimes we just decide that we don’t need anything because it seems like not needing anything is easier than figuring out what we need… or even worse, asking for it.
But it’s not.
It’s harder. It’s isolating and lonely. It weakens us. It keeps us quiet, small and insignificant.
I have a not very clinical technique I use to make decisions. It's called the quarter trick. Like a typical coin flip, I assign one side to option A and the other side to option B. And then, like a typical coin flip, I throw it up in the air. While it is soaring up and before it hits the floor, I make a wish. I wish for what I want… A or B. When it lands, if it’s what I wished for, then game over; if it’s not, I’ll do best out of 3. The quarter trick is simply a way of unearthing and validating my intuition. I’ve made A LOT of decisions this way including cities to live in, schools to go to, trips to take, paint colors to choose, jobs to take, jobs to quit.