Start Bringing Your Magic Deliberately

Here are a few questions to contemplate as we move into late summer …

  1. Do you know what unique energy you bring into a space?

  2. What are your special gifts? How are you using them?

  3. What are the unique aspects of your soul self? If you don’t know, how will you begin to identify these aspects?

  4. How will you nurture opportunities to bring your gifts and your unique magic?

  5. How will you cherish relationships with others who support you nurturing your magic?

Want to share with me? Post a comment down below …

When you know what feels good for you ...

When you know what feels good for you, it’s time to do it.

In speaking with one of my clients, we reflected on her fall and planning for the spring. We discussed unhealthy practices and habits that had developed last year and changes that she was seeking to make this year.

As we spoke, she struggled to see how she could balance fun and be focused on her work. She reflected on feeling overwhelmed and the need to unwind which often led to choices that did not serve her well. She thought about the friends and community members who promoted more of her healthy habits and those that promoted more of her unrestricted & unhealthy habits.

But … when we talked about the good moments last fall she led the sharing with “I had time to reflect …” So I highlighted for her, “You realize that for each of the moments where you felt good, you had time with yourself and time in meaningful solitude. Can you cultivate that time every day? Even 5 minutes to be with yourself?”

It’s so easy, isn’t it, to gloss over what really serves us? It’s easy to forget what helped us to make wise choices for ourselves and to feel reconnected with our internal compass. She reminded me of the need for quiet reflection, which also works for me, but mostly she reminded me of how important it is for us to take time and look at our lives, asking ourselves “what felt good for me and why?” And then, when we hear the answer, actually making time to do it.

Clearing Out and Catching Up to this Chapter of Life

I have been thinking a lot about clearing out and catching up as we settle into the new year.  I love metaphor, and am trying on a new one: looking on my life stages as chapters in a book.  This current chapter includes mama to a toddler, balancing life demands as a working parent, as an artist and as a cis-woman in a committed marriage.  I told my husband that our house carries all of the chapters of our previous and current lives in it: our Bay Area life together, our NYC life, our Ithaca life pre-baby, and of course, our Ithaca life post-baby. 

What this means for me now is that we have to clear out.  Clear out the stuff, the ideas, the systems that don’t actually fit for or work in this time of our lives.  I am considering what remains from old chapters that really does not make sense or actually serve us well.  I am in the thick of this right now.  Can you relate?

 Self-care requires honest inventory and reflection to see what actually is working and what is no longer working, in particular what is serving you to be healthy, engaged, inspired and present to your life and to the lives of those in your community.  I see several examples of what has remained in my life, but in reality needs a shift.  Old thoughts that no longer work.  Old beliefs about myself that don’t translate to me now.  Old hobbies that collected and reminded me of who I once was, but not in a good way … in the “I used to be a _______” way.  Old clothes that don’t fit or work well in and with my body.  Old books that I used to love or that spoke to a different chapter of my life but collect dust now.

If I take the metaphor as my life is a book with many chapters, then I need to outline this chapter.  What is the focus of this chapter?  The lessons learned?  The arc of this story?  What do I need to highlight and cut out completely?  Who is this book of life for anyways, the answer I hope will be for me, or for you.  The book of our life is for us.  So ask yourself, what makes sense for now?  What doesn’t make sense for now?  Are you willing to clear it out?  What will you need to put in place to clear it out?

The Audacity of Our Dreams

As I have been planning my 2019 for Nourish, I find that I’m running head long into the inner critic and inner doubt. Have you experienced this? You have a big dream, one that you have had for years perhaps, and when you are making real and concrete steps towards making it happen: BOOM. Your own doubt and negativity creeps in …

  • “Who am I to do this?”

  • “What do I actually have to offer?”

  • “Who would want to pay me to provide this service?”

Very real and very important questions for us to ask ourselves as we venture into a new territory. But, as I can tell you from my work with Michelle Ward and Caroline Kim Oh, don’t stop at the questions and the doubt.

Answer them, and see what wisdom is available for you. It might not be the best time to do the thing that you want to do. But approach it with a sound and clear mind and heart, not from fear. When the doubt comes forth, ask yourself, what could I do in response to this fear? Caroline taught me to write the saboteur statements and then respond, “So I will …” And Michelle taught me to map that shit out, lay it out and assess what you can do - step by step, day by day.

What big dreams are you working on? What do you want to make real but have to wrestle the self doubt to make it happen? I welcome your thoughts.

Season Shifting, Late Fall Reflections

As we move deeper into fall in upstate NY, I am feeling the cooler air and seeing the beautiful fall leaves slowly drift away. I find myself thinking of winter. Preparing for the icy chill and the passing of another year, I am moving into the reflection time that often calls me at this time of year and asking what I’ve learned in 2018. In particular, asking what has been important for me to wrestle with this year, struggle with and embrace. Of course, as our son gets older, my husband and I are deep in cycles of letting go and embracing the new. The shift from infant to toddler time came fast and what it has called out in us as parents and as partners has required us to go deep in our emotional wells. I am learning, and I realize that as I prepare for my upcoming birthday, I am ready to recommit to the practices that serve me so well and encourage me to nourish myself: dancing, writing, meditating, visioning and praying. These are anchor practices for me. They remind me of who I am and what I am about, when I’m not doing these I find myself feeling adrift and unsure. I feel grateful for the pockets of time that allow me to reconnect and remember through these anchor practices. And I am grateful that I am looking squarely into the end of another beautiful and complex year on this earth and in this body.

Self care looks like ... Sharing your dreams with your people

When is the last time you asked your closest people about their dreams and their big life goals? Do me a favor: identify those folks who are positive and encouraging in your life, lift them up and yourself up by asking, what are your big visions and goals? And, how can we support you in bringing them to life? Let me know what happens!

With love and light …

Why self care in the midst of such suffering?

I find myself thinking about why self care in the midst of global suffering.  It's not to be lost on most of us that this is a challenging time in the history of our planet, of humanity, of animal and plant life.  I don't know what it is to come.  What I do know, however, is that it's my job to run my leg of the race, to do what is in my power to do.  

In my power, is to remind myself and remind you, that you matter.  Your life has meaning.  You feeling connected to your feelings, needs, and life vision matters.  You feeling nourished and supported matters.  This is not to say that other peoples' needs, feelings, visions do not matter.  On the contrary, I believe that our self care is connected to our community care, and our community care is connected to our self care.  We cannot have one without the other.

For today, may you connect to a vision of wholeness, peace and shared humanity.  May you remember grace and love, may you spread love and receive love.

I see you.  I know this is not easy.  Keep trusting.

With love,

Steph

On prioritizing: what self care looks like for me this week (early summer)

As I work with incoming freshmen on their priorities and time management,  I'm reminded once again of the importance of scheduling time to do the things that fill my tank.  It can never hurt to be reminded about this and have the value of planning the self-care stuff.  This week, self-care looks like ...

  • 10 minute runs around our block
  • morning pages at the end of the work day followed by mountain meditation on insight timer 
  • crafting with jenafer joy of cosmic cowgirls on "rebel rules" 
  • tracking my feel good moments in my monthly passion planner