Moon Wisdom

divine feminine, Moon, Tarot

Last week while we were dancing in the temple, the full moon rose over the hills. We who noticed it wandered closer to the windows and bathed in her light. The music got faster, more energized. We spun and gyrated and moved through the room, my movements taking on an almost frenzied pace. I stopped in front of the altar, seeing the moon shining on me, I threw back my head and howled. Answering howls echoed through the room. I started laughing, completely delighted by this moment and these women dancing and howling together.

There is something so elemental about women and the moon. The moon is seen as feminine and there are moon goddesses in many cultures (eg., Diana/Artemis, Cerridwen, Ix Chel, Yemaya). The moon rules the earth’s tides and women’s flow. It’s also seen as scary, shadowy, and crazy (the word lunacy comes from the latin word for moon luna).

Birth of the Moon card from the Triple Goddess Tarot

In the tarot many see the Moon as a dark card indicating that the person receiving the card is going through a hard and confusing time. However, when you use a women-centered deck like the Triple Goddess Tarot (in the above picture) a different take emerges. The light of the moon illuminates things differently, it gives us a changed view of the world around us. In this light the Moon card is about the inward journey, connecting with intuition and the unconscious. This realm is the place of the Divine Feminine, the Moon Goddess who takes compassionate care of the mystery of the soul.

Moon card from the Wild Unknown Tarot

Many moon cards, such as this one from the Wild Unknown Tarot (pictured above) show the moon appearing between two pillars (or trees above). The Moon here is the gate to the unconscious, to willingly pass through is considered an initiation of sorts. I feel that way about my own journey into my own spirituality and how to manifest my gifts in the world. In leaving psychology I felt like I was entering the void, a scary and unknown place. I was terrified and yet I knew I could not go back – I had to learn to trust my gut and go forward. This description by Michelle Tea in her book Modern Tarot fit my journey perfectly:

“The Moon dares us to make friends with what scares us, to get familiar with our bogeymen, shake paws with the monster under the bed, look ourselves in the mirror at our most emotional, and love ourselves. … The Moon requires you to be patient and to trust.”

Today the Moon card came up for me in a spread in the spot indicating the way I was to share my gifts with the world. It’s so fitting really, guiding others into the shadowy realms of intuition, inner wisdom and the Divine Feminine – it is the journey I have undertaken and continue to walk every day. By facing the monsters under my bed I found the Divine Feminine and the moon, I found myself.

 

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Otter Medicine

animal guides, blogging, Intuition, Oracle Cards, Uncategorized

 

The Otter card from the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck

If you read my last post (see it here) you will know that I am in the midst of a deep spiritual clearing out. Letting go of old stuff, old patterns, old limiting beliefs is hard work and today I woke up feeling heavy with it. I am also feeling so much with all of the intensity in the world right now, the naked racism, the events in Barcelona (one of my happy places), and now the devastation in Texas. My dreams last night were full of disaster and Houston and raging at misogynistic white supremacists. Yikes, no wonder I felt like a lead weight this morning!

I’ve committed to blogging weekly and today’s the day, but I sure as heck didn’t want to lay down all of that heavy negative energy here! So I did what I always do, pulled a card for some guidance. But before I did that, I did some breathing and stretching to feel into my body. I feel so much more connected to my intuition when I am grounded in my body first. I am planning an e-course focusing on guidance from animals so I used the Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck, and this sweet otter popped out of the deck! What a benevolent and loving guide!

Immediately tears came to my eyes and I wept. Otter is a water card (connected with feelings), and the first message I “heard” was to let it flow – I had been holding on so much to my feelings about the world and my own life that they were weighing me down. It’s totally appropriate to have all of these feelings, my problem was that I was stuffing them down and not actually feeling them. I’m not saying that it’s a picnic to feel the hard feelings – sorrow, grief, and rage. But it is necessary to feel them, to let them flow, or they get bottled up inside and drain our energy.

The second message I received from otter was to remember to have joy in my life – to dance and sing and play! Life has to have some balance. If I am so dragged down by what is going on around me how can I be the mother, wife, daughter, friend, spiritual guide that want to be? I want to be able to direct my resources, time and energy towards conscious change on this planet, which I can only do if I am living a balanced life and actually have energy. I need to fill up my own tank first.  And this morning once I felt my feelings, and gave them some space, I had room and energy to dance and play. I danced around my living room to this, and then this. I feel much better now, otter gave me the medicine I needed.  I’m going to make some time and space to play with art today as well (and you know how much that fills me if you’ve read this)!

I’m leaving you with a little video of the sweetness, intelligence, and loving qualities of otters. I hope you can also receive the medicine you need from these wonderful creatures!

I would love to connect with you on Instagram (here) and Bloglovin’ (here).

Intuition Rocks!

Art, art journal, creativity, Intuition, journaling, Tarot

 

Playing with the Connected and Free Oracle deck to connect with my intuition

Playing with the Connected and Free Oracle deck to connect with my intuition

A few years ago I was talking to a prospective client about how I work with people. She was wanting to “go with her gut” more often in her life, she noticed that her gut was always right but she more often went with her head instead. I told her that I look at our gut, or intuition, as a muscle – the more we use it and follow it the stronger it becomes. She then said “what you offer is like pilates for our gut-intuition!” I still laugh at that analogy (having never done pilates!), and I will never forget it!

One of the easiest and most fun ways for me to connect with my intuition, that wise voice inside of me, is to play with tarot and oracle cards. Sometimes it’s a five minute process of simply pulling a card and letting its message filter through me during my day. Other days I create more of a ritual around it; I may journal about the card and even use the card as inspiration in my art. In this post I thought I would take you through my ritual from lighting a candle to a finished art journal spread inspired by the card.  I’ll be bringing you along on my own little intuitive journey in the hopes that you will also see that intuition rocks!

  1. 2017-02-08-12-22-46

    Creating ritual with my tea, candle, palo santo, journal and the Dark Goddess Tarot

    The set up – I will be guest teaching about the Divine Feminine in Pull Pen Paint, an online course that begins in a couple of weeks, so I’ve been using my goddess-themed oracle and tarot decks a lot lately. I love the energy of the Divine Feminine in all of its permutations! I chose the Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince (now available as an app) on this day. I made sure I had my cup of tea, journal, and candle all ready. I burned a bit of palo santo to begin – I use this to cleanse the energy in my space and to breathe deeply and settle my thoughts. I also love the way it smells. Creating a little ritual and calming the mind help me to hear the inner voice of my intuition. I usually say a little prayer or intention – Help me learn what I need to know right now for my highest good.

2.  Pulling a card – I usually just shuffle and let the card choose me (it 2017-02-08-12-28-06-1almost always falls out of the deck and that’s the one I use). People have lots of ways they like to choose a card, and all of them are good. You can fan them out and choose one, or shuffle and choose the top card (or bottom or from the middle). This is your practice, you get to make the rules.

I got the Priestess card, it’s one of the 22 Major Arcana cards in a tarot deck. It’s also the card most associated with intuition. Whenever I get a major arcana card it’s a sign to pay extra attention. Before I read the book I like to spend a few moments looking at the card and writing down my first impressions. I ask myself: what is the energy of this card? How does it make me feel? What do the images on the card mean to me? Here’s what I wrote: “calm, quiet meditation, looking into her bowl, looking into herself. Dark violets and blues – the Mystery. Surrounded by the serpent – wisdom, knowledge, divine feminine.”

3. Making meaning – After doing a bit of journaling I then look at the book to glean more information. I was struck in reading about The Pythia (the goddess associated with The Priestess card in this deck), that the name refers to a sisterhood and not a single woman/goddess. I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of the groups of women that I belong to and the unique healing that comes from being loved and accepted in a group. I’ve also been thinking about creating an online group of women to go deeply into goddess energies and archetypes, and this card feels connected with that. I knew I’d be writing this post about intuition and cards before I picked the card, so I was a bit blown away to get the major intuition card in the deck. Here’s a quote from the book: “Believe in your own intuition. You know more than you can explain, so do not let wordlessness get in the way of knowledge. Recognize knowledge may arise through any avenue of your being.”

After I wrote some more, I went later that day to my women’s Transdance circle led by Heather Munro Pierce. We’ve been dancing the chakras, and this week we danced the 6th Chakra – the third eye. Of course, this is the center of intuition, inner vision, inner knowing – all of the things I was journaling about with my card. Even this chakra’s colors are the same, indigos and deep blues.

Laying down some color in my art journal

Laying down some color in my art journal

4. Making art – I pulled out my altered book art journal (that I made with this amazing woman) and began laying down some color with acrylic paint and pearlescent acrylic ink. I had roughly gessoed the page ahead of time and you can see how that made the grey/blue color all uneven – which I really like. I used the colors and images on the card as a starting point, and then I worked intuitively finding images and using colors that spoke to me.

Materials include: journal/altered book, gesso, Golden Fluid acrylics, Daler Rowney FW pearlescent acrylic ink, magazine and book images, Stabilo All pencil, Stencil Girl Stencils, Paper Artsy paints, Uniball white pen, Seth Apter stamps, stamps of unknown origin.

My page with images and words collaged onto it with glue.

My page with images and words collaged onto it with glue.

After adding more colors, stenciling, stamping, some marks, and a border with more acrylic ink my page is done.

After adding more colors, stenciling, stamping, some marks, and a border with more acrylic ink my page is done.

A closer look, I love this weird witchy tree woman

A closer look, I love this weird witchy tree woman

A close up of the word Transform over the swan

A close up of the word Transform over the swan

What I loved about this intuitive process of working in my art journal is that I could really play with image and color and shape. Yes, I am showing this page to you, but really it’s for me. It has brought me deeper into the messages from this card and what my intuition wants me to know.  One of the messages is about my transformation into becoming my own oracle and that my intuition is the perfect guide. I truly did not plan this card, it literally jumped out of the deck as I was shuffling, and it is really so crazy perfect – perfect for this post and perfect for my life right now. Do you see what I mean now? Intuition Rocks!!

Interested in going deeper with the cards, journaling and art with me

Pull Pen Paint class

Pull Pen Paint class

and a host of other awesome teachers? Join us in Pull Pen Paint, it begins February 26th: http://bit.ly/2artjournaltarot

 

I’m giving away a free spot in Pull Pen Paint for those on my newsletter list. Sign up for my newsletter here for a chance to win! You will also receive my tarot and oracle deck primer – Wild Adventures Through the Cards.

Coming back to center in a f’d up world

center, self-care, Uncategorized
Connecting to my center with tarot and oracle cards

Connecting to my center with tarot and oracle cards

This post is about the dance of losing my center, and coming back, losing it, and coming back again. I don’t believe it’s possible to stay in our center, not now and maybe not ever. Just one glimpse of social media and the frenzy around our political situation right now throws me right into fear and anxiety. One tense parenting moment (and with an adolescent there are plenty) or one financial discussion with my husband and there I go again. (Makes sense why Pause was my word of 2016, right?!)

My practice is now to recognize this uncentered and off-kilter state, to hold myself in compassion for being there, and then to do what I need to do to reconnect with my center – that wise place inside of me. Simple, but not easy!

Why do this? What’s so important about being centered? For me, being centered means that the chatter of my mind is quieted down and I can hear the wisdom of my inner knowing. This centered place helps me respond, instead of reacting, to what life throws my way. In this place, fear is not in charge, and anxiety takes a back seat. From here I can parent from a place of love and listening, and move forward in my life in a calm and grounded way.

How do we notice we are off of center, that we are caught up in the craziness of the outside world? There might be physical symptoms – breathing is shallow, tension builds up in the neck and shoulders – or I may not feel connected with my body at all. My thoughts might be racing, the mantra of “do it, fix it, control it” rushing through my brain. Anxiety is high, and I feel as if time has sped up. I feel like my daughter’s hamster running around his wheel. My practices help me notice when all of this is going on, which is the first step to slowing down.  Having regular places to stop and go inside myself during the week help me monitor when I’m caught up in frenzy and worry. And through those practices I am able to stop the hamster wheel and begin to come back to my breath, my body, and being present here and now.

Here are some of my practices:

  1. Pull a card and journal.
    My daily practice with tarot and oracle cards

    My daily practice with tarot and oracle cards

    You knew I would start here, didn’t you? Taking a few minutes to light a candle, sometimes burn sage or palo santo, breathe deeply and pull a card is a very grounding practice for me. It helps me to slow down, feel my feet on the ground, and then listen in for divine guidance. Spending a few minutes writing in my journal allows me to receive the messages I need to hear.

2.  Play with art supplies! 

Playing with stencils on a piece of scrap copy paper

Playing with stencils on a piece of scrap copy paper

This one is so fun and connects me to my imagination and creativity. The emphasis here is on PLAY. Play and fun are essential to plug into that wellspring of joy that always resides within us. When I am off center it can be tough to dive into play and creativity. In those moments I purposely take a piece of old cardboard, scrap paper or junk mail and use that as my surface for creating. What supplies will I use? Anything I have at hand, I love to cut up an old magazine and slap pieces down with a glue stick. Or I’ll take some stencils and go to town with different colors of paint. Really anything goes, and it really helps me slow down my thoughts and connect with myself. This really works best if I have no agenda for what I’m working on and no plan for it afterwards.

3. Meditation. Now I know that this is a tricky one for a lot of people. Many have told me that it just doesn’t work for them. Yeah, I get it, we’re supposed to be all relaxed and our minds are supposed to be quiet and most of the time they aren’t. Meditation really clicked for me after reading Jack Kornfield’s books “A Path With Heart” and “After the Ecstasy the Laundry.” I got it that the practice of meditation is noticing how busy our minds are and then coming back to the breath, noticing thoughts and coming back to the breath again. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes excruciatingly challenging. I’ve found though that it’s always worth it and it brings me back to my center and my heart. For those who want to try it and are not sure where to begin, I recommend the app Insight Timer. Not only does it have a handy timer, there are also hundreds of guided meditations available which are helpful for busy minds.

The beauty of nature brings me back to my center

The beauty of nature brings me back to my center

4. Be in nature! This is a big one for me. Every time I can spend some time with redwoods, or gaze out at the ocean I feel the hamster wheel of my mind begin to slow down. Mother Earth is our greatest healer, and I do feel her healing essence when I give myself the time and space to tap into it.

5. Connecting with others in a class or circle. Sometimes we need help,

Connecting in with my fiery broken open heart at Chris Zydel's studio

Connecting in with my fiery broken open heart at Chris Zydel’s studio

sometimes we are so knocked off course that meditating or painting or pulling a card is not enough. I paint regularly at Chris Zydel’s studio. This practice helps me go deeper into myself for connecting and healing, and I am able to do this because of the container of safety that Chris creates. I also dance with a circle of women lead by Heather Munro Pierce. The work I do with Chris and Heather, and with other coaches and therapists and healers throughout my life, is not work I do alone. The power of the circle of women and of the wise guide who holds the space with love and safety is deep medicine. This is also what I do for my clients, hold the space with love and compassion so that they can connect with their inner guidance.

Now more than ever our practices for connecting with our own inner wisdom are essential. For those interested in jumpstarting their own practices to support themselves in moving through these challenging times, there is a wonderful month-long class by Kiala Givehand coming up called Pull Pen Paint.  I will be a guest teacher and will hold a sacred circle for one of the live sessions. The circle will be a beautiful dive into the divine feminine with tarot and oracle cards. I think the best thing about this class is that you will leave with a practice to help connect you with your center: pulling a card, journaling, and creating art. It’s also going to be so much fun!

Pull Pen Paint class

Pull Pen Paint class

I would love to hear from you, what are some of your practices? What helps you get back to your center?  I will be giving away a free spot to Pull Pen Paint later in February to my newsletter subscribers so make sure you are signed up if you are interested. Click here to sign up!

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Shake, shake, SHAKE!

Dance, Uncategorized
Dance and heal the world

Dance and heal the world

by Jewel Mathieson

We have come to be danced
not the pretty dance
not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
but the claw our way back into the belly
of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
the holding the precious moment in the palms
of our hands and feet dance

We have come to be danced
not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
the slap the apology from our posture dance

Dance the spiral

Dance the spiral

We have come to be danced
not the monkey see, monkey do dance
one, two dance like you
one two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
tearing scabs & scars open dance
the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance

WE have come to be danced
not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
the strip us from our casings, return our wings
sharpen our claws & tongues dance
the shed dead cells and slip into
the luminous skin of love dance

Dance under the full moon

Dance under the full moon

We have come to be danced
not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
the mother may I?
yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
the everyone can come to our heaven dance

Dance for pure pleasure

Dance for pure pleasure

We have come to be danced
where the kingdom’s collide
in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
WE HAVE COME

Moving through a funk with belly love

Dance, self love, Uncategorized
I was featured in a spotlight  after Amethyst Wyldfyre's interview

I was featured in a spotlight after Amethyst Wyldfyre’s interview

I had a big month in March! I was featured in my business coach Jennifer Lee’s Right Brainers in Business Video Summit, and it was amazing. I made so many new connections and the month flew by like a bullet train at top speed. And today, several weeks later, I was sitting here with a to-do list a mile long and feeling that oh-my-goodness-there-are-a-million-directions-to-go-in feeling. Those old friends overwhelm and confusion had come a-calling.

Join the Belly Love challenge!!

Join the Belly Love challenge!!

Luckily, today is also April 1st and the opening of the Belly Love 30-Day Challenge. So instead of stressing over my to-do list, I spent some time with my hands on my belly, saying “I love you.” Feels kind of revolutionary to love a part of myself that I am used to berating for being too large and having too many stretch marks. When I sent that love to my belly I felt my whole self softening, and suddenly I was no longer in a fog of confusion and overwhelm. My belly said very clearly – dance with me.  I had forgotten that dance is what moves energy through my body, it helps me open up to my inner wisdom.

Jen Young, who created the Belly Love Challenge and is our wise guide through the process, thinks that belly love just might change the world – and I believe her.  It’s not too late to join the this amazing healing journey (click here) and participate in the revolution of loving yourself and your body.

And, don’t forget to dance!!!

5 Ways to Channel Your Emotions

Emotions
Use the power of your emotions for good in your life

Use the power of your emotions for good in your life

 

Growing up I always felt that emotions were in my way.  They made me feel vulnerable (a bad thing in my mind back then), especially when the tears wanted to leak out all over the place.  I spent a lot of time – and energy – pushing them down, telling them to be quiet, feeling that they were stopping me from what I needed to do.  How do you think that turned out for me? I had a lot of stomach aches, and the emotions ended up popping out at even more inconvenient times. We live in a time of logic, science, and rational thinking – and yet we are still often ruled by emotions – what to do?

Wanting a card for the general energy of today that I could share with you I pulled the Ace of Vessels from the Wildwood Tarot Deck.

Emotions are the Waters of Life

Emotions are the Waters of Life

 

The Wildwood Tarot - based on pre-Christian mythology of the British Isles

The Wildwood Tarot – based on pre-Christian mythology of the British Isles

The Ace of Vessels asks us to accept our emotions and use their power in our lives instead of pushing them down inside where they fester and drain our energy. Emotions are powerful motivators – passion, desire, excitement all move us in the direction of fulfilling our dreams (there pretty much are no dreams without emotions). Emotions give us so much information – anger tells us when someone has breached our boundaries, sadness lets us know that we need to pause and be with ourselves because something big and meaningful has happened.

So how the heck can we use the power of our emotions to help us in our lives? Well first, we have to give them some time and space. I will say that again we need to give our emotions some time and space. Once you have committed to that, you can use any of the 5 suggestions I have listed below for channeling that energy into creativity and forward movement (or make up some of your own!):

5 WAYS TO CHANNEL YOUR EMOTIONAL ENERGY

1.  Write: Sometimes when we feel swamped with emotion, there is information in that emotion we need that we can’t always access right away (because we’re swamped!). So putting pen to paper helps get out all of the overwhelming stuff so we can get to the heart of the situation and decide how to move forward. Here is a link to a great exercise for when we are angry, angry, angry.

2.  Make art and stuff: Emotions fuel creativity – think about every great song you know, the great literature, amazing paintings and sculpture. Artists use their emotions in their work to inspire their works and heal their souls. So what if you aren’t an artist! Twelve years ago after a couple of miscarriages, I grieved those losses by learning to knit baby hats. I recently began painting at Chris Zydel’s PaintingWild Heart Studio where I can pour my emotions out onto the paper. From there I get a new perspective and I feel flow, movement, and creativity enter into all areas of my life. I have clients who are musicians, poets, and photographers who all use their mediums to move through their emotional blocks. If you were going to dive into making something, what would it be?

3.  Go and Be in Nature: The pictures on the Ace of Vessels card above are no accident, connecting to the earth (even just putting your feet on some warm grass), being near water, breathing in the air of the mountains – all of these are powerful ways to access our emotions and the information they bring to us. Most of us have a park, a creek, a mountain nearby that we can go to for healing and rejuvenating.

4.  Dance, Sing and let Music Heal You: I have written before in this post about how dancing helps me move through the intense energy of emotions and so that I can access the messages and guidance they bring. Even just turning on some meaningful music and swaying around the living room on your own can be freeing and liberating – so can belting out a song (this one is an old favorite!). And sometimes the most productive days I’ve had have been after I’ve put on some sad music and let the tears flow first. What are some of your favorite “emotional” pieces of music?

5.  Talk to Someone Trusted:  Of course! You may want to warn them first that you need to do some emotional dumping and you simply need an ear. After a while, you may notice the lightness that comes as you begin to feel into what the emotion is telling you that you need to know. It helps if the person you talk to is someone you trust to be objective and to listen and ask illuminating questions. For me, my coach is often the person I can work out the toughest and stickiest emotional situations with. And this is what I love to do as a coach with my clients, help them channel their emotional power into new perspectives, creativity, and forward movement in their lives.

 

I would love to strategize with you about ways to channel your emotional energy!  Click here to contact me!

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Bang your drum, shine your light

Coaching, Dance, Uncategorized
The TransDance journey from Heather Munro Pierce

The TransDance journey from Heather Munro Pierce

Fall is in the air as the days get shorter, the nights cooler, and a new season of Transdance Circles with Heather Munroe Pierce begins.  In the past few months she has added a Thursday evening option, and that is when I have danced – and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. (Check out my post here about it, although the circles I am now doing are a much deeper and even more wonderful experience than the class I used to take at the Y.)  This season, there are still a few spots open on Thursday nights and so I put the word out to my friends about it and several are in contact with Heather now about joining the circle (you can contact Heather here if you are in the SF Bay Area and are interested in dancing too, but hurry as circles begin this week!)

The moon, shining a light in the darkness.

The moon, shining a light in the darkness.

This got me thinking, every time I am involved in something I love – something that gets my energy, passion, and juices flowing – I tell everyone I know about it and usually others try it too.  I am often getting calls or emails from people thanking me for referring others to them or helping to fill their classes.  I do this over and over again for others, and not so much for myself.  There is something about tooting my own horn, banging my own drum that makes me shy, hesitant, squirmy.  Not only does this stop me from reaching out and connecting with those who I could really serve, it dims my own light – hey, that’s my whole mission, helping people shine their light, I’d better shine mine!!

I am going to experiment here, with you all, and bang my drum.  First with a word cloud I made when I asked people to give me words they felt described me and my gifts.

How others see me and what I bring to my work.

How others see me and what I bring to my work.

Another way to bang my drum is to tell you my deepest belief that underpins all of the work I do – I don’t have all the answers, you do.  I believe this so strongly, that each one of us has our own guide, right inside of us – call it soul, connection to God (or any Divinity of your choice), spirit, Source, intuition, gut instinct or any other name.  What I can do is help you connect with that guide inside of you.  I listen closely and deeply, ask you intelligent and insightful questions, rely on my own intuition and deep knowing to help you find and rely on yours.

As you can see from this and previous posts, I’m no expert in banging my own drum or shining my light.  We are all works in progress.  One way I’ve learned is essential for me to grow and bloom is to work with others in the growing and blooming process, this is how I shine!

Dahlia, blooming in strength and beauty - shining!

Dahlia, blooming in strength and beauty – shining!

Come and shine with me – contact me for a free 30-minute session to see if working with me is right for you.

Interested in hearing more from Monica Garcia of Divine Light Coaching?  Sign up for the newsletter The Seeker.

 

Sign up for my newsletter - The Seeker

Sign up for my newsletter – The Seeker

Dance Like No One is Watching

Uncategorized, Vulnerability

Recently in preparing some materials for a class on coaching mastery I read the question, “Are you willing to dance like no one is watching?”  It struck me that I had not long ago asked a client if she was willing to do just that.  Now the tables were turned, and I had to ask myself, am I willing?

A picture of TransDance from my teacher, Heather Munro Pierce

Every Tuesday evening, I head over to the Berkeley Y to my Transdance class where I mostly dance like no one is watching.  The teacher, Heather Munro Pierce, describes it as a moving meditation, and when I pay attention and tune into my body and the music it mostly is (I admit to sometimes being hijacked by my thoughts).  Sometimes I wave my body around like a frond of kelp in the ocean; other times I jump, hop, and skip around like I did when I was a little girl.  It feels so good, liberating, with a sense that I am following what my body wants without my mind censoring me.

So, if I wanted to, I could answer the question “are you willing to dance like no one is watching?” with a resounding “Yes! I do that every week.”

Actually, the question was asked in terms of my coaching, and how I bring my coaching and my services out into the world.  In those terms, well, I am squirming a bit, wanting and wishing I could say yes, and knowing the answer is more of a “maybe.”

SQUIRMING  present participle of squirm (Verb)

Verb

  1. Wriggle or twist the body from side to side, esp. as a result of nervousness or discomfort.
  2. Show or feel embarrassment or shame.

In coaching we have a term which is called “hold the squirm,” which calls for a coach to wait while the client is in an uncomfortable space, to sit with them there and let them feel their way into that discomfort and find the message therein.  We all have places that feel squirmy.

One of my squirms is that while I am comfortable dancing like no one is watching in my class, where we are expressly asked to do that (i.e., a safe and comfortable space for me), when I am in other spaces… not so much.  Dancing in front of others can be a vulnerable experience:  people are looking! Will they see my missteps, will they see my imperfections? Yes, they will, and it’s important to allow that to happen.

While Perfectionist Me cringes at the thought of it, Essential Me (who is the essence of who I am and knows the truth) is confident that my showing my vulnerability and imperfections connects me to every other person out there, and makes me HUMAN.

I am still trying to figure out exactly what dancing like no one is watching looks like outside of my dance class.

Maybe it looks like this:

What I do know is that every time Perfectionist Me comes out and says “oh no you don’t,” this is probably a sign to say “Thanks for your concern” and then do it anyway.  It happens every time I sit down to write an entry here:  the essence of this blog is authenticity, and speaking from the heart – I guess it’s an exercise in dancing like no one is watching.

I’ll leave you with one of my heroes, Brene Brown – watch her dance!

How do you dance like no one is watching? Click here to contact Monica for a FREE 30 minute consultation for how to bring the spirit of this dance into your life.