This past year individually and collectively we’ve experienced some incredible highs and some unprecedented lows.
The lows as witnessed in Charlottesville, the Dakota Pipeline and in the worldwide violence and oppression targeting people because of race, religion, gender and sexuality. Yet, at the same time we witnessed the resiliency of the human spirit in spite of these acts of violence. Strangers became family as people of all colors and creeds rallied together in the name of love, equality and justice.
Navigating these dark times have challenged us to surrender, search our souls, and face long hidden shadows.
From clients to colleagues to friends to family, I’ve witnessed that we’re all being called to rise as soul embodied leaders.
The outdated patriarchal paradigm of leadership asserts that we…
- Have to have it all figured out before we begin
- Be male, white, of a certain age and pedigree to be a leader
- Maintain an air of perfection
- Let others take the fall for our mistakes
- Wear a poker face and never show vulnerability
The “new” soul embodied paradigm of leadership asserts that we…
- Lead by “feminine” qualities such as compassion, vulnerability and generosity
- Put ego in service of soul
- Embrace imperfection
- Take radical responsibility
- Face the dark in order to be the light
This is our initiation.
No one is immune.
To rise we must all come together.
In the spirit of transparency + vulnerability, two qualities paramount in soul embodied leadership I wanted to share the highs and lows of my past few months (in mostly chronological order).
I lead powerful retreat in Tulum, Mexico for an incredible group of powerhouse women. The experience was pure magic, filled with divine synchronicities, major breakthroughs and upleveling and lifetime sisterhood.
Isaiah has had so many wonderful firsts! He’s met lots of family and friends for the first time! He said Mama and Dada for the first time! He’s taken his first steps! My heart expands every day I’m with this little one. I always knew that motherhood would be a gift but to what extent that’s what I could’ve never imagined.
We moved back the East Coast! It’s a decision that was made by following our light and soul. What started out as an exploratory trip East led to the final decision to move. We’ve reconnected with family and life long friends. This summer has been filled with picnics, barbecues, graduations, baby showers and all sorts of beautiful celebrations. Our hearts are full.
We bought a gorgeous old house and it happened at light speed and in a miraculous fashion. It’s a dream come true, but the best part is our new neighborhood. We are so grateful to live in a progressive, socially and environmentally conscious and artistic community. We regularly see rainbow flags posters that say “Black Lives Matter”, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and “We The People” in support of religious tolerance. Our neighbors have welcomed us with open arms and on our first day there one neighbor brought us over flowers picked right from her garden. We are blown away by the love we’ve received in our new community!
I launched a gorgeous new website with brand new offerings that are aligned with my unique magic and medicine. The Liberation Sessions is over a decade in the making and creates profound internal and external shifts. It was a labor of intense love + my gift to the world.
Our move happened so quickly. Even when good things happen, it’s a tough process. In our case, we didn’t get to say proper goodbyes to everyone we cared about.
Isaiah had to be rushed to the ER. My husband was out of town on business and it was the scariest night ever. The great news is after being monitored he’s completely fine!
Renovations to our home have taken much longer than expected so we’ve been pretty much living out of suitcases. We’re grateful to have a roof over our heads for sure. However, my husband is staying closer to the house while the baby and I are staying with family. The distance on top of adjusting to being new parents is tough.
Dakota Pipeline happened. Charlottesville happened. Spain happened. Houston happened. Enough said.
August was rough. One of my family members who is like my second mother is very ill. By the time she went to the hospital we found out the illness was much worse than we originally thought. We are in shock and are rallying together as a family. If you have a moment please say a prayer for healing.
The highs had me soaring and some of the lows had me feeling completely devastated, while others were only disappointments that I know will pass in time.
If you’re like the sensitive, intuitive, open-hearted individuals I’ve spoken to you might feeling a little lost and confused about how to navigate the dark times in your life and in the world. It’s hard work to be the light and be the change when you’re feeling raw and reeling from the state of affairs.
However, true light and soul embodied leadership requires that we show up as we are, even when the world is falling apart.
What can get you through these dark times?
Here are anchors that can help…
ANCHOR #1: NOURISH YOUR SOUL
You can’t change the world if you’re running on empty. When I worked in both the non-profit sector and corporate America, I was shocked to meet so many amazing world changers and brilliant minds whose self-care was in shambles. They not only worked long hours, they also ate lunch at their desks while staring at their computer, and some people even slept at the office.
Your case might not be as extreme however, I’ve never met someone who didn’t need some deeper soul nourishment. One of the ways to nourish your soul is by examining the ways that you disconnect from the present moment. For example, when you eat do you take time to really enjoy your food and connect with the people present or do you check out mentally by checking your phone or thinking about something else?
To get back on track ask yourself:
What does your body need right now?
Is it rest, sunshine, a brisk walk, yoga, play, pleasure or something else?
This question will pivot you towards soul nourishment and it’s also essential when navigating the dark. Dark times are when we need to up our self-care so we can be of service. I ask myself this question sometimes multiple times a day to in order to remain present and aligned.
So, what does your body need right now?
ANCHOR #2: FIND YOUR GUIDING LIGHT
Your guiding light is your engine. It’s the why that drives you to do what you do. It’s the deepest reason you wake up in the morning even when the world seems to be falling apart. One of my favorite TED Talks is by Simon Sinek who goes further in-depth in discussing the importance of your why.
MY GUIDING LIGHT…
I’m super passionate about our individual and collective liberation. I believe to get there we must commit to living and leading from our light. When you liberate your light, you liberate your life and liberate the world. Because ultimately…Liberated people, liberate people. Imprisoned people, Imprison people. Click To Tweet
The sum of what we’re seeing and experiencing today stems from misguided and hurt people inflicting violence on others.
I want my son to live in a world where he knows that without a shadow of a doubt that the power within him is greater than the power in the world. I want him to live in a world where he won’t be defined and targeted by the color of his skin; a world where he won’t be automatically labelled as dangerous; a world where Charlottesville can never happen; a world where our leaders won’t cower in the face of hate. I will use my voice, my platform, and the freedoms I’m fortunate to have to ensure that he and every child live in a world where they are truly free.
This gets me up every single day. No matter how dark it gets, this is my guiding light.
What your guiding light?
ANCHOR #3: PRAYER + MEDITATION
I’ve had a lifelong prayer practice that’s only deepened and become more refined over time.
I was lucky that from a young age my family instilled in me the power of prayer. To this day they still have prayer marathons. Yes, they’re hard core. Ultimately, prayer to me isn’t about begging an external deity to save us but creating the space for miracles by connecting with our divinity.
I practice Affirmative Prayer which is a non-denominational form of prayer that I learned from Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith leader of Agape International Spiritual Center. I spent a decade learning that and so much more from Rev. Michael who is a modern day mystic and powerful spiritual teacher.
I’ve also had a solid meditation practice for over a decade.
Mediation has given me perspective, connected me to a greater sense of love. It’s allowed me to be “in the world but not of the world.”
It can be challenging to show up day after day however, it’s through showing up we reap the rewards. One of the forms of meditation I practice is Vipassana meditation. About 10 years ago, I spent 10 days in the desert learning this form of meditation. For 10 days straight it was complete silence, no eye contact, and diving deep. It was intense. It was transformational. It was life-changing and soul affirming.
Prayer and meditation combined reminds us of the truth of who we are in spite of the dark. It will bring you back to center.
What spiritual practice can you commit for 10 minutes a day that will bring you back to your center?
ANCHOR #4: SHADOW ALCHEMY
True liberation is about wholeness.
In order to stand brilliantly in our light we must face the dark parts of ourselves that keep us imprisoned in our smallness. Shadow Alchemy helps us do that.
I credit this work to helping me and the soulful people I am honored to guide create some of our biggest shifts and successes. Exploring the shadow is something that has existed in spiritual traditions throughout time and submerging oneself into the shadow was considered a rites of passage.
Coming from a lineage of healers and spiritual teachers, I learned about the shadow through ritual and ceremony and later studying it formally. Shadow alchemy is one of the core components of the work I do because it allows you to truly uncover and transform the patterns, beliefs that have been holding you back. It’s deep soul work and necessary during challenging times for our personal and collective evolution.You can’t be the light, when you’re afraid of what lies in the dark. Click To Tweet
To harness the power of the dark and stand radiantly in your light I recommend exploring my program The Liberation Sessions.
ANCHOR #5: HONOR YOUR SEASONS
Cycles are evident in nature. Similar to the seasons, we too experience fall, winter, spring and summer in our lives and work. Throughout my pregnancy last year, and even in the first months after giving birth I was experiencing what I consider my personal fall and winter where I slowed down and rested a lot. If at any point I tried to fight this directive from my body all hell would break loose.
At the Sisterhood Rocks retreat we discussed the importance of honoring our individual seasons as it relates to our lives and leadership. Honoring these seasons are also an important tool to navigating the dark times.
We’ve been taught to fight, suppress, and ignore our seasons. We’re told that we should experience a perpetual spring and summer where we’re constantly creating, entertaining, and in go-go-go mode. We’re taught that the times when we desire to turn inward, reflect and hibernate is bad and anti-social.
However, forcing yourself to have an everlasting spring and summer is the perfect recipe for burnout, just like hibernating for too long leads to disconnection, and lethargy. Neither is sustainable.
Dark times represent an opportunity to examine the ways we are out of alignment in our lives and in our global community. It’s an incubation period where we give ourselves the space to sort out our ideas and feelings so that when we enter our spring and summer season it’s with focus and intention.
If we try to bypass the our winter season by glossing it over with positivity or denial we miss the gifts and the opportunity to heal and grow.
What season are you currently in and how will you honor it?
Ultimately, leading through dark times requires…
Compassion + care for ourselves and others – we’re all human.
Commitment to the greatest vision for ourselves and the world.
Navigating the dark so we can be the light.
Honoring our bodies, intuition and natural cycles.
I learned the phrase, “Anicha, anicha, anicha,” close to 10 years ago at the meditation retreat in the desert. This phrase serves as a reminder of The Law of Impermanence, which tells us that even as we navigate the murky waters of the dark times, it too shall pass.
>>Let’s help one another rise: In the comments please share an anchor that gets you through dark times or riff on any of the questions asked above.<<<
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With Love + Liberation,
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