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VS. Play Through Pain
This week, I was acutely reminded that taking care of my body, especially during stressful times, is paramount to all else.
I grew up hearing, "Play through pain." How about you? Any other "tough it out" mantras that are in your programming? This isn't a sustainable or healthy mindset. Compromising your physical health by "just pushing through" can bring one injury that leads to another—that can take years to reverse.
But in the last decade, I've learned to listen to my body better, rest when needed, and feed it what it needs to stay strong and vibrant.
Both in the 3rd Insight of the Celestine Prophesy and in the Way of the Peaceful Warrior, we learn that food truly IS our medicine, and eating what makes you vibrant is very important.
What triggered this awareness for me this week was the 6 very long and physically enduring days of building our bath house between the yurts, ending with a day of finishing our "punch list" by myself, wielding the 8lb. nail gun while up on a ladder, leaning over the wall, while holding up the last of the siding.
I could NOT have done that at the beginning of this summer. I was not in shape, and my upper body strength and endurance was non-existent. But all summer, I've been eating clean, as you know I've cut out the temptations, and I've been doing the farm chores day in and day out—whether that's turning the compost pile or flipping pallets—each day it's different, and each day it's challenging--but over time, it's made me strong.
In fact, I hadn't even noticed my body changing, BUT my clothes feel looser and when I stepped on the scale a few days ago (I hadn't seen it in months and had to deep clean after the bathroom build, and there it was!), I was 12lbs. lighter than my last logged weight in May.
Don't get me wrong, my body HURTS after this weekend—some of it in a good way, some not so much (hands are NOT happy after that nail gun day), but I listened to my body all weekend, and didn't do what didn't feel right, and did do what did feel right.
So, listen to your body, let go of outdated programs like "play through pain," and start cutting out things that lower your vibration, and if you don't know what those are, meditate on it, ask your guides or higher power, muscle test, or get a session with me and let's figure that out.
Fear can be a wonderful servant, but a terrible master...
This week we're unpacking a topic with notable author and lecturer Dan Millman, where he debunks fear and why it's more than just an abstract emotion, but a visceral sensation that is quite literally part of the human experience we are all going through today.
He begins with a question: "How do you know when you're afraid?"
Your tells when you're afraid: Affected breathing pattern, level of tension, ability to act and move...
There are some people who are unable to experience fear, and they don't generally live long lives (I know, crazy, right?). For both man and animals (insects and even sea creatures combined), fear serves as a warning to avoid a situation. Fear helps us prepare well; to rise to an occasion. But what happens when fear becomes our master? We begin to automatically avoid any situation that makes us uncomfortable or produces anxiety, whether it's trying something new, or diving off the three-meter board, or speaking to a group, then our world grows smaller and smaller and smaller...
When do we listen to our fear and when do we cut through it? The answer is pretty straightforward: When our fear is objective—if it involves an action that could bring physical injury—then we can heed its guidance to prepare well (such as a gymnast on the balance beam) or even to avoid a situation (when someone is approaching us at night on a dark street and we get a bad feeling and decide to cross the street or go into a store). But when the fear is subjective—we're afraid of feeling embarrassed or of looking foolish--cut through it and do it anyway! Face your fear and charge through it!
Remember: Courage is not the absence of fear, it's the conquering of it. In fact, we can only demonstrate courage while feeling afraid.
Before Dan closed his talk, he told a fun little parable about the subject of fear, and it went:
Long ago, in Tibet, a ceremony was held every hundred years. Buddhist students, Tibetan priests and the Dalai Lama would line up and begin the ceremony by saying:
This is the Room of one thousand demons—a ceremony that occurs only once every hundred years. To help you decide whether to enter the room, here is what the ceremony involves: You open the door and walk in—the room is not very big.
Once you enter, the door will close behind you. There is no doorknob on the inside of the door. To reach the exit, you'll have to walk all the way through the room, find the door on the other side, open the door (which is unlocked), and simply exit—then you will be enlightened.
But be aware: The thousand demons will take the form of your worst fears as soon as you enter the room. If you have a fear of heights, it will appear as if you are standing on the narrow ledge of a tall building. If you have a fear of spiders, you'll be surrounded by them. Whatever your fears, they will seem very real.
No one can rescue you. If you enter the room, you must leave it on your own. Some people, paralyzed by fright, never leave; they die. If you wish to return home, that's fine. You are not obliged to enter the room. You can wait until you are incarnated again, perhaps in a hundred years, and to try again.
If you decide to enter, I offer two hints: First, as soon as you enter the room, remember that what they show you is only a reflection of your mind—it's an illusion. Few people can remember this basic fact. The second hint has helped some to exit the room and became enlightened—so once you enter the room, no matter what you see, no matter what you feel, no matter what you hear, no matter what you think, keep your feet moving. If you keep moving, you'll eventually get to the other side, find the door, and emerge into the sunlight.
Keep your feet moving and you will emerge into the sunlight and, perhaps, this is the best advice for facing your fears.
Huge thanks to Dan Millman for inspiring this week's Sage!
As above, so below...
The heavens are opening a mighty Piscean portal for us right now, an opportunity to clear out the old and welcome the new. This is a double transit—Neptune and Saturn are in Pisces together from March of 2023 to February of 2026. If you have Pisces in your chart, it's been an even more intense spring and summer for you already. We're all connected though, so even if you don't, you'll be wanting to use this time wisely.
Neptune has been in Pisces for a while—since 2011 actually. But this is significant, because the last time Neptune was in Pisces was just before the Civil War. He is the Great Blue Dreamer, the pipeline to pure essence, and in Pisces, he heralds the time of BIG cycles coming to an end. Pisces is his native sign, and so it feels natural to have him here, it's an easy end.
But Saturn entered in March, and he is the reality gatekeeper, building your reality ring by ring—the "I'm here, you're there" boundaries and building blocks of identity and persona. He builds like an architect of the world around you, asking you why? Are your rings for defense? Protection? Identity? Entitlement? This is a time of recognizing boundaries, and In Pisces, he brings an emotional flow to this building. But he cautions against building walls around your emotional self. Instead, focus on clearing them, letting go of emotional triggers and auto-programs that no longer serve you.
The last time he and his brother planet Saturn were in Pisces together was from 1847 to 1849. This was a time of great exploration, scientific and political shifts and upheaval, unpredictability and opportunity. Sound familiar?
For us now, this is time to dream the biggest dreams possible before the cycle starts all over again. We have 2 years to do this, so use this energy wisely. What is it you seek for yourself? For humanity? We will see more of the above (upheaval and the world on its axis, and opportunity for growth and change) in these coming years.
Sister Moon was also in Pisces this week, through her full, blue, super moon phase midweek. She brought a deep emotional clearing and release from Tuesday to Thursday (and it's still moving), and she brought us back to center for this Piscean phase. If you haven't set your intentions for this yet, I urge you to. Check out this ritual, you have until Sept 9 to lock in the energy. We did it on Wednesday here on Shambhala and it was profound.
During this 2+ year cycle, our Sun enters Pisces twice, and next year, she has a Solar Eclipse in the middle of it. The release we will have during this phase will be profound, coming out of winter's reflection to clear out the old and again, wipe the slate clean for what's new as we enter Aries. So this winter, begin to really focus deeply on your intentions, repeat them day in and day out. Harness the power of the Full Moon each month, and focus on what you want to see during that time. Meditate on global peace, environmental care, old patriarchal paradigms falling, new ways of thinking and doing arising. Together we can make change. Together we can heal the polarity.
A lot of this knowledge comes to me from my annual reading with Star Sister Marcia, whose astrology gift is one of depth and profound wisdom. I love her monthly readings and Facebook page, so start there. She unpacked how what's going on in the heavens relates to my destiny, how it intertwines with Shambhala and my mission, how it's connected to my lifelong love of all things nature and Mother Earth, and likewise connected to my Gatekeeper Spirit Guide Merlin—the Merlin Asteroid conversation we had was hair-on-end accurate and enlightening.
Remember, sweet one, we are all in this together. Reach out to your elders, teach your young, stand up to the BS, and be intentional with your words and heart. Together we will ride this out, and together we will come out of the other end. How that looks is up to you, but without the Western pressure—because it always is just exactly how it's meant to be.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” — Albert Einstein
What are you drawing to you?
Recently, I had a few readings from my new friend Jennifer (amazing! Check her out!) and the biggest takeaway and lesson that I seem to be working on right now is clearing up the path to my desired destination. I've worked very hard at manifestation for a very long time. I can keep my vibration high, but I'm human, so it dips... I doubt, I worry, I ruminate. Negative mind creeps back in. I reset, take a break, practice self-care, journal, and let go. All the things.
But right now, she said, I'm at the precipice of something major, and I don't feel like I'm the only one.
If you, too, are ruminating with some drama, that maybe brings you a little anxiety when you get into your quiet place, the "I wish I didn't have to deal with this," kind of energy, then getting clear on what you need, and what energy you want to surround yourself with—i.e. setting boundaries around the drama, the discordance, and the mistrust--a new sense of trust and inner safety will come in.
As soon as you let things flow at a natural state, you will amplify the power of attraction. The collaboration, the networking, the clients, the connections will increase—you'll then see clearly, like it's all coming together. It's that simple.
NOW is the time to get to the point where you're wide open and connected to the divine, the I AM presence. You have to choose yourself first, be one with yourself—your higher self.
Because otherwise, whatever other energy you're sitting in (or who's energy!) that's what you're drawing to yourself, remember. The language you use, the vision you have, the trust you create--it all must come from a positive place, a loving place, a peaceful and self-aware place, and it takes work to stay there, and not let anyone else's control drama or limiting belief stories enter into your sanctuary.
BE THE KEEPER OF YOUR OWN SANCTUARY. And the only way to do that is with clear and present boundaries, like fencing around your garden to keep the wildlife out.
Only then, will manifestation feel like a breeze.
"That was easy!"
Shine on, my friend. Shine on.
The 3 decisions
Last weekend, I was "in the room" with Tony Robbins. He was our closing speaker at a personal growth event I attended, and even though I've heard a lot of what Tony has to say, it always lands hard like a *whack* to the head, with a resounding YES!
What stuck with me this time was the concept of your "emotional home," meaning, when things get tough, what emotion is most present for you? Anger? Shame? Guilt? Worry? Fear? Shutdown?
We all have one. My first teacher called it "your basic assumption," because it's one of your first programs, and the one that dug its claws in the deepest and sticks to your field the most.
To find this emotional home, ask yourself: What is the first "decision" you make when someone's 30-minute late to a date with you? Pissed they're wasting your time? Worried they've been in an accident? Self conscious that you may have gotten the date and place wrong?
When we make these assumptions, we are filled with the emotion that is our "normal" response, and we often don't notice where it settles, but it also usually has a home—anger in the core (2nd or 3rd Chakra), worry in the heart (4th Chakra), or maybe the mind (6th). Where ever this lands and sticks, we also often have health issues—gut issues, heart or lung problems, headaches...
So it goes without saying that we need to clear these emotions. Release and refresh!
The question is: How?
Tony brought us a simple message.
3 decisions that control your quality of life:
First, it's always best to find the advantage in everything—look for the positive, the lesson, the gift. You can focus on what you have vs. what you don't.
Then, choose a meaning that empowers you—hear yourself, and honor the small mind for a moment if it's saying something like, "because bad things always happen to me." But Higher Self knows that isn't true. It's only true because you have claimed that story. Instead, choose a different meaning. Like... "this is happening to show me a better way."
Last, decide to do something productive about it.
People react based on their emotional home, and this is the ultimate emotional mastery--to recognize it, honor it, and release it.
So, when you hear a pattern over and over again, you may think it's you, or something's wrong with you. But it isn't. Bottom line: This is a software issue, and you need your software updated!
To do so, the best answer is simple:
✎ Focus on what you have, on what you can control, and the present moment.
✎ Choose a different outcome, and set the compass to get there.
✎ Take action by taking steps in that direction, doing your affirmations, talking with someone who's positive, releasing the things that cause you stress, etc.
The time is now, to clean your emotional home.
Be the light that is always within you,
Yeah, you read that right...
Have you been told you're a perfectionist? Or do you know one?
(Yes, to both.)
Have you caught yourself micromanaging a situation? Or ever felt micromanaged?
(Yes, to both.)
This new word combo came out of my mouth as I watched my sister-in-law putz around the beach, trying to find a spot for the speaker that wasn't too loud, too quiet, or too something else.
I offered a suggestion, which she didn't take, and I backed off, remembering that I said I wasn't going to make a single decision on this trip, because I need a break and that's the biggest thing I need a break from.
And then I turned to my husband and said, "You can't micromanage perfectionism." And we both looked wide-eyed at each other, and he replied, "that's your big TED Talk."
Not that I care to give a TED Talk. But if I were, this may be my breakthrough.
I'm still chewing this tangy concept, but it seems worth a deeper glance. So ask yourself, as I have, "where are you micromanaging your own perfectionism?" Or someone else's. Or both. Because...
✎ 1. Micromanaging is exhaustingly unnecessary and futile.
✎ 2. Perfectionism, same.
Yet, we all do it.
Both types (or are the Micromanager and the Perfectionist one and the same?) second guess ourselves and don't trust others to do IT right. Which creates stagnancy, procrastination, indecision, and in general and simple terms, SLOWS THE ENERGY, like thick molasses that can't move through the channels of abundance and manifestation.
So the lesson--and the solution--is to recognize it when it rears its ugly head, ("Aha! I see you, you 8-eyed monster!") and first, ask why. Then ask for a script-flip, and then practice (as always, multiple times daily!) said flip.
Not that helping my sister-in-law place a speaker is seriously halting my flow... But the energy of it—the getting sucked into her own perfectionism of not just putting the speaker somewhere and letting go of whether all 15 people can hear it equally—isn't an energy of ease, flow, or relax. (The energy I needed on vacation!) But I saw the mirror of this clearly—where I do this myself, and how often.
And my point here is that someone else's (and/or your own) unhealthy need to make IT perfect—whatever IT is—is never going to be something you can solve with a suggestion, meddling, or management. The solution is always surrender the outcome and expectation.
Without expectation, there is nothing to GRIP onto. (Aha!)
I feel a workshop coming on!
Don't white-knuckle the road trip, practice non-attachment.
Are you hearing this?!
I'm hearing a lot of whining lately. I'm not judging, it was coming from my mouth, too! When a friend called me out on it, I started to listen. . .
Then another friend called, spiraling into the depths of despair. I saw a post about all the bad luck. I'm hearing sob stories. Is it in the stars? What are we collectively clearing? Old wounds? What dramas are repeating? Is it our past lives?
Are we collectively tired from the past 3 years? Stuck in a cycle?
Every time I hear it—the whining, the begging for prayers, the spiraling downward, I want to scream:
STOP! Your thoughts create things!
What you focus on expands! What you resist persists! And I hear in response:
"How can I NOT focus on it. It's everywhere!"
Positivity, joy, delight, good fortune. . . It all takes persistence, consistency, and vigilance! The mind is a naughty monkey. The ego is both a blessing and a curse.
So, listen closely. Observe. And shift:
Don't hang around people who bring you down.
Don't watch the news.
Don't click on the sob stories. Don't even respond.
Instead, get a new mantra (e.g. It always works out in a positive outcome for me!) and repeat it often. As often as you hear the negative track, and immediately.
I like the phrase, "cancel, cancel." I learned this from Cordelia, the old woman who ran the crystal shop in Steamboat, in 1999. If she heard herself or anyone else spout some negative track, she'd say, "cancel cancel!" As if to wipe the chalk board clear and start over.
But, you have to listen to be able to do that. People spout all sorts of crap without listening, and it just perpetuates the drama--over and over. And they wonder why their kid crashed their car, the dog got sick, and the hot water heater flooded, all in the same week.
Crap tracks include:
"When it rains it pours."
"I'm a terrible mother."
And even shorties like "not again!"
When you expect the worst, and reinforce it with "see, I told you so" kind of energy or words, the energy aligns to show you what you're looking for.
Look for the best, even in the little things. Approach the day with gratitude. Paste notes around the house to remind you. Do your affirmations 3x/day, and if it has to be a WHOLE deck that takes you 5 minutes, do it.
YOU are in control.
Stop the whining, and not just to "be a good sport" or "play through pain," but to manifest your very best life. Enough is enough.
A second confession, another realization, and more science. . .
Last week, I unpacked a confession — that I've broken my 11-year sobriety in an effort to mitigate my stress with the move to TN. It didn't really work of course... but it was an interesting experiment. To catch up on it if you missed it, you can read that here.
We spent my 50th weekend at a 3-day run with the band Phish, after 2+ weeks of "vacation" on Shambhala, drinking nearly daily. It didn't feel good. I didn't love it. I was going with the flow because being around people who drink can be tiresome and depressing. You can't convince someone into sobriety, and I've been playing the game of "if you can't beat them, join 'em" for over a year, much to my own chagrin. It was fun while it lasted (kind of)... (not really), and then I had a major realization:
I've been struggling with my brain. My brain has felt limp, un-reactive, slow, sluggish, confused, and foggy. I blamed it on the "decision-making fatigue," the stress — the continual marathon we've been on with building Shambhala.
I was finally able to connect this to the work of Dr. Amen's work, and the disservice I've been doing to myself. Amen's scans show that even just a drink a week can create holes in your brain (among other things mentioned last week). I began to wonder how long it would take to heal my brain from the damage I'd done. So, I began to study Dr. Amen's work even more.
Sidebar and Confession #2: I was not only using alcohol. I'd gone back to smoking marijuana. It started with CBD for sleep. Harmless right? I hear the supportive arguments: "It's just one of God's plants, we have receptors for it." Science is linking some pretty severe claims to marijuana these days, including psychosis, depression, anxiety, and memory loss. Although I'd begun using it for anxiety, I noticed the next morning my anxiety was 10-fold.
I could go a week without either, no problem. The first day or two might be tricky—literally—the brain would trick me, and before I knew it, I was stoned or had a drink. But once I got past that first 3 days, I was good for the long haul. Yet, something would tempt me — a show, a dinner out, a reason to partake, and I would. The cycle would repeat.
Luckily, according to Dr. Amen, it can take just a few weeks for the brain to regrow itself, miraculously, thankfully. But until the brain has recovered, which can take months depending on the damage, the temptation to drink is still there — the body craves what it's made of, just like your gut health. You eat sugar = you crave sugar.
After the weekend of Phish, I came home sick. I spent 48 hours in bed, and the next few days taking it slow. My lungs hurt, my head hurt, my body felt poisoned. I was not only drinking and smoking, I was surrounded by cigarette smoke. I was also thinking some dark thoughts.
But a synchronicity happened on the 2nd night. The group of people who chose to sat in front of us all had a badge on that said "one show at a time." I finally had the nerve by the set break to ask one of them if it referred to sobriety, and it did. They told me about their journeys and why they're all together, and I thought, yes, I can get behind this. There's even a group at set break that meets for a "sobriety meeting." So cool. So inspiring. So synchronous.
While in bed, I thought of Dr. Amen, and I thought of Shambhala. When we wrote our guidelines for this magical place, we declared Shambhala a place of sobriety and clarity, intention and light. This declaration comes from many different philosophers' impressions upon us. From James Redfield to Dan Millman, Joe Dispenza to Mike Dooley, Louise Hay to Wayne Dyer. They all declare alcohol (and any mind-altering drug) to be a detriment to the mind, body and soul.
So, onward I go. From 3 days, to 10. Milestone upon milestone I will rebuild the 10 years, I know. Because I remember now why I quit. Because I'm smarter without it, and I like being smart. Because I'm happier without it, and I like being happy. Because I'm brighter without it, and I like being bright.
Don't dim your light for anyone or anything. Keep shining. And if you're struggling to clean up, reach out. You're not alone.
One show at a time,
A Confession and a Realization...
For 11 years I was relatively alcohol-free. I drank on only very special occasions—that I could count on one hand in 11 years. A taste of champagne on our visit to the Loire Valley in France. A polite, but tiny, glass of table wine in Italy when my cousin said it was from his very own vineyard. But never more than a few sips, never at home, nor even at a wedding. Just to actually appreciate the craftsmanship of the product.
But let me back up. I quit drinking in 2011, at the age of 38, because I felt it no longer suited me. I remember the night of my last drink, it was my mother-in-law's birthday, August 1st, and my parents were also in town. We were at a fancy restaurant in Steamboat called Cafe Diva, and I had a few too many chocolate martinis. A few days earlier we'd been at a wedding, and I'd also had (more than a few) too many dirty gin martinis. Enough so that I'd blacked out and didn't remember the end of the night. I'd been contemplating letting go of alcohol for months, in fact, I'd quit once already—for all of 2009.
It was easy to walk away from for me, I never had an addiction to alcohol. I felt it had a darkness I didn't want in my body—something I realized in college. So, when I made the decision to "go sober" / "get clean" it was more about the health of my body and spirit than it was about the booze.
That said, even though the decision was easy, the social aspect wasn't. It seemed to make people uncomfortable, and they loved to pressure me to drink. But I stuck to my guns, and one thing that helped was counting time. Once I'd made it to the year-mark, I used that as my bargaining chip: Why drink now? I'd come so far. Then two years, then three. Before I knew it, I was celebrating my 10th anniversary. I would post my "sobriety date" on Facebook and get all the back-patting comments, inspiring some to do the same, but it felt a little false. I wasn't an alcoholic. I was just a health-nut. And alcohol wasn't healthy. At least for me.
Then my world changed on a dime. Selling most of our stuff, our home, starting from scratch, and build build build build build (still building lol) in TN. No one knew me here, so they didn't know I'd had a commitment, and what I realize now is that what it boils down to--I didn't have accountability. The drinking started small—at a meetup, I had a cider. Then on a build weekend, I had another. It was rare, until it wasn't. One drink led to two. A weekend led to daily.
Even though it seemed harmless, every time, I asked myself why. The answers I got sounded like someone else, someone I was coaching, not myself. "Because I'm stressed." "Because I deserve it." "Because everyone else is." "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." None of these sounded like the mindset and health coach I knew I was.
Side bar: Several months ago I watched the famous TED Talk from Dr. Daniel Amen, a leading psychiatrist who's been using neuroscientific testing to study the brain—over 10,000 scans—on alcohol. What I learned was not surprising, yet it was shocking.
In summary, drinking just 1-2 drinks per day:
✎ Shrinks the brain
✎ Creates holes in the brain
✎ Reduces blood flow to the brain
✎ Reduces brain cells
✎ ... and increases the risk of dementia
So why do people still do it?
This was always a big challenge when I was sober—frankly, being around the stupidity. No matter the age of the person in front of me, alcohol seemed to make them unpleasant to be around. Because their vibration dropped, their neuro-functioning was immediately and quite evidently decreased, and our conversation was often meaningless, tiresome, and impotent.
Did that change once I started drinking? A little. Only that it was tolerable to be around everyone else. Only that the pressure of what we're doing seemed to decrease (albeit temporarily). But I'd always wake up with regret, a sense of self-betrayal, and a fog I couldn't shake, sometimes for days.
What I have come to accept: This been an interesting experiment, and it's run its course.
In order to keep this (relatively) bite-sized, I will again split this in two.
To be continued...
Self-reflection is paramount;
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