The true meaning of (your) life
Many of us have wondered what the true meaning of life is. For several thousands of years, civilizations of all kinds have ventured into the pursuit of life's essence, only to extract the truest meaning of life reflected within their own selves.
The word "sonder", of German and French inspiration, is a neologism that everybody around you, even strangers, are living lives that are just as complex as yours. So, who's to say what and which is most important to you, what your definition of life (of being alive and living that life) is, and elect reasons of why you wake up in the morning. No one is able to do so but YOU. Yes, we may have a selection of educated and universalized definitions that the general public agree on, but at the end of the day, what matters most is your definition—the reason or reasons that is/are most closely related to you that affect the way you see your life and world/universe in the scheme of all things.
We are in constant pursuit of this, and we may never truly find peace if we don't rest on the knowledge that, perhaps, the reason of life – the meaning of existence – lies on the ability of it to constantly evolve, to take shape and to, hopefully, become better through the experiences and lessons you acquire throughout your lifetime. Therefore, these definitions are never fixed for the reason being that there is an enumerable amount of discoveries yet to be discovered. Why define something that's not finite? Simple. Humans like to make sense of things to create order and order for peace of mind. We aren't built to function properly in states of chaos. We must always find the calm within the storm before letting the storm pass.
Our lives go through seasons, and each season will cater to a fresh perspective. I used to think long and hard, wondering for years what that one meaning of existence is, not just for me but I wondered for the world as well (Lol!). I realized that I couldn't settle on one, or two, or few. It changed, rather, 'evolved' as I matured through life. The definition / meaning evolved with me and every time it did, I bask in the fact that I've grown. Growth is a sure sign that there is no ceiling to how high you can grow as a being in the journey of life that we all venture on in unison, just in different notes.
I encourage you to ask yourself right now what the meaning of life is to you and compare it to your definition of it six months ago, or a year ago, and see how much has evolved.
Let's all be in constant evolution – always growing. Always learning.
The Secret Sauce:
I am so grateful to bring this nugget to you today! This week I had the biggest blessing and reminder of HOW the Law of Attraction REALLY works.
GAH! I was asked to co-teach (double GAH! and then take over!) the Permaculture Design Course here in Knoxville, and I've only been here 6 months?!
When I saw the request from this teacher, I thought, how can I say no to this? I didn't want to, but at first it felt like too much too fast. YET, whenever we speak that out loud, it tells the Universe to SLOW DOWN. There is no SLOW ROUTE to our dreams. There is only YES, YES, YES at every turn until you get there (yet we know, it's not the destination, right?). If you say no, you will eddy-out of the flow, and I know you know what that feels like. It doesn't feel productive, fulfilling, or dreamy. It feels stagnant, frustrating, and, yes, SLOW!
So I said YES!
And immediately it came to me – and I'm betting you're wondering this too – so HOW did I manifest this dream so quickly?
It came to me in a flash! Because I have been stating that this is what we're doing – not what I want to do, not what I hope to do, but what we ARE doing here, over and over and over since early 2022. I have heard myself say it time and time again when people ask me, "Why are you moving to TN?" My answer is always, "To create a permaculture education center and intentional community." I have known in my core that this is what we're doing. I haven't had any doubts, fears, or questions. Now, I've had doubts and fears and questions about the "cursed hows," of course, like we all do! The Devil's in the details! But I haven't had a single doubt, and it hasn't crossed my mind once, that we wouldn't do this. The Universe has my back.
So that's how. That's the secret. It's not fake it until you make it – that line has always bothered me. I'm not faking it. I don't know how it's going to happen, I don't have to. I could have NEVER seen this coming, or planned for this. This is the "or better" scenario for sure, this is the "easy button!" Everything is falling into place! The teacher, the curriculum, the students, it's all falling in my lap! All I had to do was say yes.
That's all you have to do, too.
Shine on, dear one! Shine on! Your dreams will manifest. Just say yes!
I'm so excited for what is coming!
That said... does this new year energy feel a little bit different to you? Like the train hasn't quite left the station on 2023? If you read our Monday astrology reports (and we hope you do!) you'll remember that this January has a little big of a governor on its engine with Mercury in Retrograde and some resisting aspects to the Sun, our source of Vitality.
So how can we capitalize on the delay? Sometimes, starting slow is a good thing – our world is so fast paced and demanding, that we're programmed to go fast, start strong, capitalize on the now. But right now, that energy is different. It feels different, and therefore we should react differently.
What I've done for the past two weeks is a reassessment and brain dump – reassessing 2022 and brain dumping goals for the future (not just 2023). This process is one I've done for several years now and it works for me. I explain it fully in this training that I posted the recording of on our Vision Boarding Workshop page if you want to learn more! And if you haven't started yet, it's not too late! Spend the next week (or two!) and write 20 goals per day, then categorize them, prioritize them, and do a deep dive on them! (Again, all that explained further in above video and summarized quickly in this short reel we posted last week!)
All of these tools and methods help us refocus on the one thing that is constant in our world – the Law of Attraction.
"Whether we think we can, or we think we can't, we're right."
– Henry Ford
The Law is divine in its Simplicity.
Framed photo above the desk in my home office
What you focus on expands. So if you focus on all the ways 2022 wronged you, you will see more of that. If you focus on all the things you're grateful for (gratitude is the fuel for the engine!), and all the possibilities and glory that's coming your way, that's the magic your life will unfold in.
2023's train hasn't quite left the station yet, what will you do with this slow-motion period?
Here's to an amazing year!
Join us for Vision Boarding 1/11!
What a year it's been!
So many ups and downs, twists and turns, happen during our annual story – which really begins on your birthday, but we collectively turn of course a new year every year at this time. So what will you do to start a fresh slate? What is your 2023 word? What goals are on your heart for this year?
If you're still unclear in your vision, join us for a fun workshop on January 11th and create a Vision Board with us to anchor your goals into the 3rd Dimension so you can launch them into the 5th!
This isn't just your normal run-of-the-mill workshop where we gather, talk, and maybe do an activity or two.
This will be a get-your-hand-sticky kind of workshop, and we've already started posting preparations here:
One of those preparations is your 200 goals brain dump! Start now to be fully unloaded by the workshop, and listen to our short training on this in the Facebook group's feed.
Join us if live on January 11th, or watch the recording in the group!
If this sounds like a hoot, share it with friends, and invite your family to do this fun activity with you! The more accountability buddies you can have during the year, holding space for your big dreams and goals, the better!
Here's to a New Me in 2023!
P.S., if one of your goals is getting your physical health on track, join us for our first Shred10 of the year! Learn more here: www.shred10.com and then schedule a free session with me to unpack what that looks like for you!
The gift of staying centered in the NOW.
Last week I recapped my cruise to Jamaica, but one of the most recurring conversations we had was around staying present in the now moment. The yoga teacher, Nadine, who was our guru on the cruise with us (check her out, she's JAAHHHmazing – @universalempress / www.universalempress.com) really brought this home for me while in Warrior Two pose. If we are leaning too far forward, we are grasping at the future, if we are leaning too far backward, we are holding on to something in the past. If we are centered, and present, we can live fully in the NOW.
Wayne Dyer also talks about the Present Moment and Now reality quite a bit. There is only NOW. Now. Now. Now. Now. The future is a construct, and the past is gone. Stay centered in the now, and receive all the gifts of today's reality. Here. And Now. He also calls this "Getting in the Gap," the gap between thoughts, the gap between breaths, the gap between the chaos. If you focus on the gap, you'll be focused on the now.
To add to that, here are five tools I use to stay present:
1. Focus on your own mat
In yoga, this means don't compare yourself to others. Just stay focused on what you're doing, and the right things will fall into place. The minute we focus elsewhere, we lose our balance, wobble, maybe even fall. Keep your eyes on your own mat, and stay present.
2. Flip the script
You know I use this in every instance I can! So of course it's valuable here as well – the minute I catch myself worrying about how something is going to fall into place, working out the details on something I can't control, or ruminating on the past with regret or what if, I remind myself to flip the script, find the value in it, let it go, have gratitude, and bring the joy back to the present.
Gratitude keeps you present. By focusing on what you're grateful for, you can be present on the here and now. Having a practice of gratitude every morning to start your day reminds your heart and mind to stay present with yourself and the gifts all around you that life has given you.
I use many techniques for grounding – from yoga to crystals to earthing, it doesn't matter what technique it is, so long as it roots you into the present moment. When I'm feeling uncentered by the pace of life, I find that walking barefoot on the earth and feeling her solid presence beneath my feet is what brings me back to my body the best.
Just like with grounding, Breathwork is a practice that is both simple and effective. Bringing your awareness back to the constant of your breath, in and out, in and out, expanding it, counting it, witnessing it, always always makes the rest of the world melt away, leaving only the here and now.
Be present this holiday season, for yourself.
There is only NOW.
Musings from the Jamrock Reggae Cruise. . .
Hellooo my sweet one!
I'm fresh off JamRock Reggae Cruise and feeling the love – so much love! Without a doubt, the best thing about reggae music is the focus on love – universal love, acceptance, peace, equality and unity. It doesn't matter who's singing it – it's all about the love.
Baking in 5 days of that love and kindness brought me back to center, and to a peaceful place of existence – a slower pace, a gentler presence with myself, and a renewal of connection to an old version of myself I had forgotten about. The little rasta from Oregon, and how does she fit into my latest reality? I'm still processing that, but it feels like a golden nugget of awareness for certain – I think she's here to remind me to let go and let God (Jah).
So many synchronicities on this cruise – as always with life, but perhaps more so than usual because we had to disconnect from the matrix out at sea—no cell service, and we opted out of the wifi package. This disconnect gave me time to breathe, practice my yoga, eat good food, and rock out to the reggae.
The first and most powerful synchronicity we experienced was on day one, exploring the top deck, not even out of the port yet, and up rolls a couple that the husband is in a wheelchair. Turns out they're from Belgium, and have so many similarities with us. They invited us to their excursion to Bob Marley's home when we docked in Ocho Rios and we wound up sticking with them all cruise. I ALWAYS trust this kind of connection, knowing it will always lead me somewhere magical. Because after all, we are all connected, and with love and good intentions at the center of it, there's always a reason.
My favorite souvenir is this t-shirt, reminding me that no matter what name you use for source energy, it all comes down to love and connection.
If you're not familiar with reggae, give my Harper's Mix a whirl. It's recreated from a mixtape that my dreadlocked rasta friend Harper made for me in Oregon, with a few additions of my own. If the music doesn't move you, maybe the words will.
12 synchronous values we can all
live by. . .
As you know by now, we've packed up our life in Colorado and moved to Tennessee to start an intentional permaculture community and education center on 40 acres that we've named "Shambhala."
Some days it's harder than others for many reasons... we've had to be patient, meet new people, try new things, solve problems, reevaluate, pivot, and breathe. In those hard days, I am grateful I have the 12 Insights of the Celestine Prophesy to support me, but I have also gone back to the 12 Principles of Permaculture to see if I can apply these to whatever I'm going through, too. Because I'm starting to see, they are (OMG) very synchronously similar.
Permaculture was originated in Australia in the 1980s and the concept comes from the combination of two words: Permanens – to persist through time in everything we do, and Culture – an activity that supports humans. Permaculture was birthed at the intersection of Ecology, Agriculture, and Landscape Design, and LIFE is in the center triangle of the three.
These 12 Principles that the co-originator of the concept of Permaculture, David Holmgren, designed to unpack the movement itself. And I've found, they can be applied to everything we do.
I was first introduced to these concepts 30+ years ago, and when I worked for the Sustainability Council or took one or two-day workshops with Permy experts, I was reminded of the principles, but I hadn't actually started applying them into my life. This summer I have been steeping in them, and taking them into every one of my senses like an aromatic tea, and what I've taken away from this re-introduction and re-pairing with a long-slumbering version of myself is this:
Be slow and deliberate, don't jump to conclusions, have patience for the process and release expectations, make sure everything has a purpose and a practicality – multi-function is best; be a better listener than speaker, and appreciate the value of even the most seemingly insignificant.
This entry would be another 10 pages long if I unpacked all that sufficiently, but suffice it to say, we're just at the very beginning of our journey with Shambhala. The concept stems from the 11th Insight of the Celestine Prophesy, and we have a long way to go before it looks anything like that "mythical" community in the mountains of Nepal, but we know we're on the right path because all signs are guiding us there.
Permaculture and synchronicity are one in the same, and that just gives me goosebumps.
Mind your mind
We often overlook or underestimate the magical practice of gratitude. This season is muddied with consumerism and over indulgence. Our minds bathe in the shallowness of these two things and try and trick us into believing it's okay to join in the "season of giving," but it's so much more enriching to dial that back and focus on a few small fulfilling things that give us joy.
What brings you joy?
Take a moment this weekend to journal that, and my challenge for this task is to only write down non-physical things. Think of experiences, emotions, memories, places, people, causes, states of being.
Bonus points: Share your journal entry to our Facebook Page and get a free visualization from Andy for your 2023 goals! We'll reach out after your post to see what you'd like that visualization to include.
Mind your mind.
Don't let the monkeys run astray.
Give thanks, not just gifts, this holiday season.
Have you forgotten your power lately? Or given it away?
Don't forget you are the only vessel that can bring life into this world. YOU are the light being that gives life. YOU are the summoner of all things you can envision. YOU are the embodiment of life.
If you feel like you've let that cosmic power dip, I urge you to harness the power of this week's New Moon.
Our 12th Dark Luna of the year goes into free-spirited Sagittarius and it's just in time to help us let go of the very heavy recent eclipse season which brings about huge transformation, twists, and awakenings. This moon is kicking off a refreshing new cycle of celebration and expansion, and it's bringing a gorgeous new beginning. This is a time to expand your horizons, take risks, and break out of your comfort zone. It's time to try new things, let go of old beliefs and patterns, and drop the heaviness of life.
TIPS TO TAKE YOUR POWER BACK:
Set the intention to do so by just stating this as fact. "From here on I claim my power as my own, intend to use it for goodness and inspiration, and call in all my helpers to aid me in standing in my power!"
Add uplifting energetic movement to your morning ritual. Use Yoga, Tai Chi or Qigong practices to draw in the power from Mother Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, bringing their energy into your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies to give you life, health, focus, and anything else that would help you live your truth.
Burn the old. Write down all the things that no longer serve you – beliefs, patterns, habits, and any other negativity that perpetuates your smallness, and then stand outside in the new moon and burn them in a small contained fire pit or bowl, stating with intention that you are letting go of the old.
You can also program a crystal, infuse a tea, call in your dreamstate helpers, listen to our Chakra Clearing meditation, or book an appointment with an energy worker to help you take your power back. There are infinite ways to call back the fragmented pieces of yourself you have given away to others as you perpetuate the victimhood of powerlessness.
The time is now. This moon is your ally.
A peek into a whirlwind week!
What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been!
I've been to Europe and back – and time travel is no joke! – and we've rolled back our clocks as well as been through two major gateways! The Full Moon Eclipse and the annual 11-11 Portal!
How does that feel to you?
To me it feels like I've been through a washing machine, rolling, tumbling, soaked, spun, and wrung! I've had so many AHA moments I've lost track; but with all that industrial cleansing, I feel renewed, reinvented and remade! I feel like I've shed some layers of crust that were blocking my progress, and unearthed some crystalline layer of myself that was lying in wait – "the me that once was," the me that was excited about new things, the me that traveled to Europe by myself in 1997, the me that formed deep friendships with people around the world, the me that came here to help with the great awakening.
In London, I became the giddy, goofy companion of a giddy, goofy explorer who's still out there, reinventing herself on a 3-month sabbatical through the UK and Europe. We tore that city up – so much so that it tore our feet up – we should have taken stock in Mole Skin before we left. The best and simplest highlight - feeling like a local taking the tube from one end of that metropolitan to another!
Then in France, I joined my sister-from-another-mister on her beautiful expansive land in Provence, giving me a glimpse of what life will be like on Shambhala – the biggest takeaway was the closed-loop: meals made from the gardens and the kitchen scraps from those meals going into the compost bin and back out into the garden system. It also filled my heart to hear her four, sweet children playing and laughing outdoors around their big, 160 year old stone farmhouse instead of inside on their screens.
These small things on a short adventure gave me the strength to continue on this adventure that we embarked on in June, that can feel daunting at times, but is so rich with lessons and new friendships I wouldn't go back for all the tea in China (and that's some darn good tea!).
The very best things in life are memories and relationships, not things at all. Fill your life with those, and your heart and soul will be full through the end of your time, this time around.
Adventure on, my friend!
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