Something interesting happened on Saturday. Instead of going to a concert, I ended up at a bookstore.
Over a month ago, I'd bought myself a ticket to go see India.Arie, one of my favorite singers. A lot of her songs feel like music therapy to me and have helped me through many tough times. So, when I saw she was going to be in Edmonds, just a short drive for me, I was a YES.
This wasn't just any ticket purchase, though. Originally it had looked like there weren't any tickets left, like I had missed my chance. But then, I checked back another day, and there were just a couple of seats available. It was meant to be! Or so I thought....
Fast forward to this past weekend. On Friday night, I got back from a week in California, where I met my newborn niece and spent a lot of quality time with family. The next day, Saturday, I thought I'd be going to this concert in the evening.
But when it was getting closer to the time to go, the truth was that I didn't feel like going.
And I didn't feel like making myself do something I didn't want to do, especially something that was supposed to be fun, something I though I'd be happy to go do. My body was just saying no. Loud and clear. It didn't make sense, not really, but I had to listen.
It took a little while, though, to fully listen.
First I made myself get ready to go out. I put on some nicer clothes, found some earrings, re-applied some eyeliner, thinking maybe if I got ready to go and got in my car, then I would want to go. Maybe it was just about getting myself out the door! That does happen sometimes...
So I got myself out the door and into my car. And within a couple of blocks, I still didn't want to go. I thought maybe I'd just go grocery shopping. Woo hoo! But that's not really what I wanted to do with my Saturday night. I considered just making myself go to Edmonds, but then I felt another no in my body, so I turned right instead of left. I knew where I was going now, and it wasn't to the concert.
I drove to Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park.
And it felt good.
That clarity of decision and freedom of choice felt good. Invigorating, even.
I'm sure some of what felt so good was what felt like saying "you're not the boss of me" to my concert ticket. ;-)
That freedom of choice felt so good, it almost felt worth the $70 I'd paid for the ticket I wasn't going to use and was too late to sell!
And then I walked into Third Place Books, was surprised and delighted to hear live music playing and to see a bunch of older folks partner dancing. And then it felt totally worth it.
I got a cup of tea and sat down to enjoy the music and dancing. I thought about how much I'll probably really love being a senior citizen some day. And I thought about texting a friend to see if he wanted to meet me there, but wasn't sure how long I'd stay. So I just enjoyed my tea, the music, my silly thoughts, and the dancing. And then I walked around the store, looking at all sorts of things while still enjoying the music.
I hadn't done anything like that in a long time. And I do believe it was the best choice for me that night. And that's part of why it felt so good. I followed my feelings. I listened to my gut. It didn't need to make sense. I just needed to trust myself and see where that took me. And it resulted in a really unexpectedly delightful Saturday night.
Of course there are times when we really do have to do things we don't feel like doing. That's part of life. But this wasn't one of those times. So I'm glad I didn't force myself to go to that show. Who knows? Maybe something bad would have happened on my way there or back? Or maybe I just wouldn't have had as good of a time.
One thing is for sure: I wouldn't have experienced the kind of magic that comes from letting go of shoulds and instead going with the flow. It was so entertaining and so much fun. I felt free and alive, instead of like a prisoner to my original plans.
So, I'll wrap this up and just say that listening to your body is important. Choosing what's authentic, what's really true for you and in alignment with your greatest good, with your true desires, is important. Even when it comes to things that seem little, like what to do on a Saturday night, our choices shape our lives.
I've been thinking a lot about "choice" lately, so perhaps all write more about it some time. But for now, I choose to end this here and to leave you with an image that made me laugh on that night: when I realized what kind of tea I was drinking...
It's official. I've started. 108 days of yoga. 108 days all in a row. Yoga every day for 108 days. Haven't regularly practiced yoga in over a year. But I'm doing this. And it started today.
The best I ever felt in my body was when I was attending yoga classes at least 4 times a week. It's been a long time since I was in that routine. And over the past few months in particular, my body has been crying out, yearning for it, begging for it, whispering in the mornings: "yoga. you need to get back into yoga." And I kept saying, "yeah, yeah, I know, I know," but never doing anything about it. Until now.
Thanks to someone I met a few weeks ago-- let's call him my yoga angel-- who recommended this Ultimate Yogi Program with Travis Eliot. A few days later, I ordered it as a birthday gift to myself. And I chose today as the start date. This means, if I did my math right, I'll complete the 108 days on December 30. Feels like a good way to close out this year and prepare for a new one. Feels like a good way to take care of myself and be the healthiest and happiest I can be.
So last night I set the stage: I unrolled my mat. Put a block next to it. I rolled out the cart with my tv/dvd-player. And this morning, I rolled out of bed and onto the mat. Popped in the first DVD, the one for Day 1. Got into the flow. And it felt like coming home.
I smiled. I cried. And a few times I even roared; the twists are what brought those out, and it felt like Kali working her magic.... It felt good to let whatever emotions and sounds come out that needed to move through me as my body delighted in moving and stretching again in these familiar ways.
I'm not sure how much I'll be sharing "from the mat" over these 108 days. But considering I'm also in the midst of a 21-day Kali Ma Sadhana, I have a feeling some insights will be had and will wish to be spoken and shared here. Time will tell though; it always does....
Until next time, I'll just ask you this: What's something your body has been asking you for, that you haven't been giving it? What can you start doing that will make your body say, "thank you! thank you for loving me."? And when will you begin? Then mark your calendar. Commit. And enjoy.....
I woke up to an email from Chameli & The Awakening Women team, with today's practices and was pleasantly not surprised to see that today's practices were heavily focused on wants.
Over the past month or so, I'd been getting more practice than ever in clarifying and asking for what I want, especially in difficult situations. From requesting an face-to-face breakup do-over to stating my terms for allowing an early lease termination, I have been on a roll.
And to top it off, yesterday a hypnotherapy session ended up revealing a need to focus on knowing that not only can I ask for what I want, but guess what! ....I can get it. ;)
And it's true; pretty much everything I've asked for lately, I have received.
So this morning I sat at my altar for Kali again. I lit a candle. I chanted. I stood up and energetically rinsed myself in Bhairavi Kali's fire. And I asked, "what do you want for me?"
Freedom, flow, openness. I want you to step into your magnificence.
I want you to have all you want,
to stop holding back,
to stop playing small.
"Bhairavi, what do you want for me?" I asked again.
I want love, passion, and pleasure for you.
An abundance of peace, ease, and joy,
As well as rage, sorrow, and wild storms.
Bhairavi, what do you want for me?
I want you to hold yourself in the highest regard and treat yourself like the queen that you are.
I want you to drop the veils of separation and illusion.
I want you to be fierce in your pursuit of Truth and in telling it like it is, no holds barred.
Bhairavi, what do you want for me?
I want you to stop with the nonsense, the distractions, the time sucks and energy drains.
I want your focus laser sharp; you have important work to do.
I want your energy clean and strong.
I want you to trust yourself, especially when it comes to walking away.
Bhairavi, what do you want for me?
I want an end to anything that's stopping you.
I want you to fly.
I want you to roar.
I want you to remember, and do, what you came here for.
As I went through my day, I felt a sense of strength and this fiery energy within me. A few things happened that pissed me off or threatened to stress me out, but I kept my cool as this fire burned inside. I knew the right path, the right words and actions to take. I also continued asking for what I want and even landed myself a new meditation teaching gig! All in all, today was a pretty amazing day. Thank you, Bhairavi, for wanting what you want for me.
My conversation with Bhairavi this morning set the stage for tonight's self-inquiry and Sankalpa Shakti activation. But it's late. And I'm tired. So perhaps more on Sankalpa another time....
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a.... drum roll, please: housewife.
I wanted to be a housewife. I also wanted to be Madonna, or like Madonna; I wanted to dance and sing and wear short skirts and lace. And then I wanted to be a soap opera actress and then a sitcom or movie actress, maybe a director, and then a writer-- books and screenplays. As I got a little older, pre-teens, I thought about becoming an herbalist, or a witch. And in high school and college, it was back to wanting to be a writer and perhaps a psychologist, or music video editor. I also had some dreams of one day learning CranioSacral Therapy and studying nutrition with Paul Pitchford. And then I ended up married and in law school, before dropping out and getting divorced of course.
But I never stopped also wanting to be a housewife. Until my divorce, and then I started to question it all.
Who am I? What am I doing? Do I even want to be a mom? And then for several years I focused on getting to know myself, learning how to be happy on my own, building a career, traveling the world, etcetera etcetera. I gave up this vision of being married with children until a few years ago, when I met a sweet little angel who touched my heart and brought that dream back to life. She helped me realize I do want to be a mom, even if "just" a step mom. And that leads to what came up today.
And what came up today was this question: What do you wanna be when you grow up? It was meant to be an innocent, playful, light-hearted question. A joke even. A question I asked the new man in my life this afternoon. But when he turned it back to me, I felt thrown off by the very first thing that popped into my head. I even felt a little embarrassed or afraid to say it out loud.
I laughed before saying it, and then provided a disclaimer that it must be the little girl in me who was saying this, since I grew up seeing my mom model this stay-at-home-to-take-care-of-the-kids-and-house-and-dog-and-husband (not neccesarily in that order) type of life. But why? Why did I feel the need to "blame it" on my inner child?
Partially because it's true; I saw my mom living a lifestyle and having these roles that appealed to me. But also because of fear. The fear of it being a turn off. Aren't men turned off by women who say things like that? The fear of it not happening. The fear of it just sounding like "not enough--" I mean aren't I this independent, empowered, entrepreneur woman? Shouldn't my response be something more like, "I already am grown up," or "I'm already doing it," or "When I grow up, I wanna be a successfully published author who coaches her readers and students and also leads women's empowerment and Sheng Zhen retreats and classes, and that's right where I'm headed!"?? Hmmm....
So I said it. Sheepishly instead of boldly. I said the h-word and then went on babbling about other things I envisioned for my future, almost as if to cover up or make ok what I'd just revealed. I suppose I forgot that who I am and what I want is inherently ok regardless of what anyone, including myself, thinks. I forgot that I really, deeply, truly want this man to see and know the real me. And I suppose I forgot that answers to questions like this are complex, that it's not so black or white, not so either/or; I can want it all and have it all as both a housewife and an "independent, empowered, entrepreneur," but I also don't have to want it all. I can also change my mind.
And as I drove home, I realized that none of my ramblings about the future even specified any of the things that I'm currently doing-- like being a writer or a teacher or a coach. Oops! ;) But I decided not to read into that. Instead I decided I'd just need to ponder this question a little bit more. And perhaps even more importantly, I needed to ponder those fears, especially that first aspect of my fear, that fear of my honesty turning someone off, especially someone I like. So I took all of that with me into a Rebirthing (breathwork) session, and here's what came out:
When I grow up, I just wanna be me. And discovering what that means more and more, what that looks like, is part of the journey, part of what I'm here to re-member and step in to more fully. When I grow up, I want to feel happy and free and spend lots of fun times with loved ones who accept me and love me as I am. I want to spend lots of time out in nature. I want a life full of laughter and a life that has made a difference in other people's lives. That sounds a lot like how my life is now. But when I grow up, I wanna be even more fully me than I am today. What does that mean? That means I want to keep growing and that despite how far I've come, despite how confident and authentic and in alignment I am at times, and all the self-knowledge I already possess, I'm also well aware that there are still fears and doubts and old patterns holding me back, getting in my way, clouding my vision and affecting my behavior. And so when I grow up, I wanna be as crystal clear and truly me as I can possibly be. And from there, from that place of presence, authenticity, and alignment, everything will fall into place.
So, my dear reader, here are some questions for you:
What do you wanna be when you grow up? ;)
Where is fear, rather than Love, running the show?
What's one step you can take this week to feel more aligned with your Truth?
Back in January I was selected as an inspirational, independent woman, to be interviewed by Angelina Zimmerman of Effervescent International! Topics include confidence, independence, life lessons, and self-love. You can watch the video at https://youtu.be/K2oo5RUcJC0 or here in this blog entry. I've also included a transcript below. Enjoy!
Transcript of Interview:
Angelina: Welcome to Ms Independent TV. I’m talking with Rebecca Clio Gould from Seattle in Washington. Welcome, Rebecca.
Rebecca: Thank you. Hi.
Angelina: Hi. It’s good to have you with us. I just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the incredible things that you’ve been doing. So in 2005, you dropped out of law school. What happened there?
Rebecca: Well, I had finished 1 year of law school, and I was doing an externship for a judge, and I was also in the middle of a failing marriage. And I remember one day, being in the judge’s chambers, doing a bunch of research and thinking, “this is not what I want with my life.” I just felt like I was on a conveyor belt. I did well my first year of law school, and I knew that if I just kept doing what I needed to do, I could get a good job. But it just felt, like a said, a conveyor belt, and I wanted off.
Angelina: Fair enough, fair enough. I’m sure a lot of people could relate to that. So after law school, you moved to Sedona, Arizona to find yourself, and then you moved to California to study Asian Healing Arts and Healing with Whole Foods. Tell us a little bit about that time.
Rebecca: Well it’s interesting because I had been really interested in alternative healing and specifically healing with whole foods before I ever went to law school. I even thought I’d go to that program later on. Most people go to law school and think they’re going to work for a long time with that degree. But I had actually planned to only work for a few years and then go to this program. And part of that had to do with what was going on with my marriage and needing to be in Seattle.
So when I left law school, I knew I might end up going to the healing arts program, but first I needed a little bit of time to just go away. And I went to Arizona and did a bunch of writing and crystal harvesting, like looking for crystals and rocks out in nature, and just had a bit of healing time.
Angelina: Beautiful, beautiful. And what I found really interesting as well, you’re part ofCCFL Global Academy as a Sacred Energy Exchange Specialist. What does that exactly mean?
Rebecca: That’s a great question. So that’s a relatively new part of my life. The CCFL Global Academy, that stands for Creating Champions For Life, and it’s primarily for parents, but really anybody can join. There’s a lot of great content. But basically the founders of it contacted me saying that they wanted me to come on as their Sacred Energy Exchange Specialist, knowing not only that I was teaching Qigong, which is all about energy , but also studying to become a Sexual Awakening for Women Facilitator, so also getting more into sacred sexuality too.
Angelina: Wow, that’s beautiful. Absolutely lovely. Ok, so let’s talk about being an independent woman. What was that moment in your life when you felt like you were really coming into your own, really living your life as an independent woman? When would you say that was?
Rebecca: Great question. When I first thought about the independent woman question, I actually thought of something that my parents told me about when I was a little kid. When I was just 2 or 3, I said, “you’re not the boss of me!” So I always had this kind of independent streak and didn’t want people to tell me what to do. And I think in terms of growing up and becoming an independent woman, I’m thinking when I left law school. When I left my marriage and left law school, I really had to go out on my own and figure out how I wanted to live my life based on what was really best for me, and learning how I could make my life be the way I wanted it to and being on my own. And not just being on my own in terms of being divorced, but also having independent thought. Not being too influenced by the main stream or social conditioning. And I really looked a lot at my programming or social conditioning over the years.
Angelina: Yeah, that’s a really good point. It’s so easy for us to be conditioned by what’s in the media, what society expects of us. So how would you describe the journey so far in terms of being able to reach your independence, being an independent woman? How would you describe it?
Rebecca: I’d describe it as a bit of a roller coaster, actually. There have been ups and downs and all arounds. There have been things that have been exhilarating and things that have been scary. I’ve often said that my life has taken a lot of detours, but I’ve recognized that those detours are actually the path. So, you know, there’s been a lot of trial and error, and just recognizing that it’s all part of my learning and growth process. Times of feeling really excited and confident, and times of feeling like “What am I doing?” or “I don’t know how to do this.” But always continuing, always moving forward.
Angelina: Excellent. Would you say you’re always a confident person? Or when do you feel most confident in your life?
Rebecca: Like I just said, there are times that I don’t feel confident, to be totally honest. I mean I’d love to say I’m confident all the time, but I’m human and I do get setbacks. I do feel like in general I am a confident person though, in the big picture, most of the time, and I feel my most confident when I’m, first of all, taking good care of myself, when I feel my best whether it’s confidence or other positive feelings. And then the other time that I really feel confident is when I’m teaching, when I’m teaching qigong or meditation. And more recently I’ve been leading these sacred sexuality classes, leading women’s groups. And I really feel confident that I’m doing what I’m here to do, and it feels really good.
Angelina: Yes, and nothing feels better, does it? When you’re living your inspired mission, so to speak.
Angelina: You kept bringing up about the teaching of Sexual Awakening for Women. What is that? Just to give the audience an understanding.
Rebecca: The words “Sexual Awakening for Women” that’s actually the name of a book, and program, that my teacher wrote, and leads. Shakti Malan. She’s a teacher based in South Africa and California too. So Sexual Awakening for Women is her book, and then she put together a facilitator training too. And I enrolled in that. And it’s really about empowering women to deepen their connection with their own body, their own femininity, their own sexuality. And for me, personally, I just feel really dedicated to helping women move through any feelings fear or shame or inhibition, to feel fully alive and to feel safe and more comfortable being a woman and being a sexual being in the world too.
Angelina: What would you say has been your biggest lesson in life?
Rebecca: Hmm, I’ve had such a sort of non-traditional life, and it’s been so full of growth that it’s really hard to pinpoint 1 lesson. But one of the things that comes to mind that was kind of like a catalyst for a lot of it is the car accident I was in as a teenager and just learning about how everything that I go through in life is teaching me and making me a better person, and all the growth and resilience too. So to just learn how to go with the ups and downs of life. And kind of related to that is learning about self love and how to open the heart and live a happier, more joyful life.
Angelina: Yeah, that’s beautiful, Rebecca, definitely. Getting on to the topic of self love. How old were you when you got to that point, when you felt like you loved yourself whole heartedly?
Rebecca: I love this topic, because it was after my divorce. A year after, I actually discovered this amazing qigong practice that I now teach, and it’s all about opening the Heart and unconditional Love, and it’s called Sheng Zhen, which means Unconditional Love. And so that practice actually really helped me recognize the ways in which my heart had been closed and I wasn’t loving myself fully. And so it’s been now like 9 years that I’ve been very dedicated to living with an open heart and loving myself more, and it’s been a huge part of my life. And I feel like even when I have times of not feeling confident or going through a rough time, I always know in my core that I love myself and that I just need to amp up the self-love practices or self-love vibes.
Angelina: Beautiful. So in what ways do you demonstrate self love? Do you do that daily? Is it a daily practice for you?
Rebecca: Ideally the qigong practice is done daily. Sometimes I don’t practice the movements every day, but there is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about Sheng Zhen. It’s more than a movement practice; it’s really a philosophy, a way of life of living with an open heart. So every day I’m practicing Sheng Zhen. I’m always thinking about loving myself and how I can love myself more. And in terms of how I demonstrate it, I am very committed to my self-care routine. I have a list of stuff that I do. I feel my best if I do this stuff every day, so its really a priority.
Angelina: Yeah, that’s wonderful. I think sometimes we get so busy it’s not a priority; people are trying to juggle family, career and other commitments, and they put that one last unfortunately, and it weighs you down and you don’t’ feel like yourself at all. So it’s great that you put that as a priority in your life. So what advice do you have for our beautiful viewers watching today, to become an inspired and independent woman? What’s your tips?
Rebecca: My tips are, I was just writing about this today. Feeling your feelings is one of the main things I tell people to do. We have all these things that come up in life and all these emotions, and to feel empowered and inspired in life, we have to have this energy flowing freely in us, and when we try to suppress our emotions or deny them, it creates energy stagnation, so that’s one big tip that I usually give, to feel your feelings. And then prioritizing self care. I think that’s really important too. And I’m trying to think if there’s something else. That’s such a good question. I think self love and acceptance is really key, and that kind of goes along with feeling your feelings, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Face your fears. Face your shame. Ask for help. Oh, learn how to receive help too. I think a lot of women have a really hard time asking for help. I used to have a hard time with it, but I’ve learned how, and now I love to receive. And to lighten up and have fun too. Not to be too serious. And I think the final thing too is to implement-- we all have inner masculine and inner feminine, so to implement masculine support structures in your life so that your feminine side can actually feel safe and supported to work its magic.
Angelina: I love it I love it. Thanks so much for your time this morning. It’s been lovely talking to you.
Rebecca: Yeah, it’s been such a pleasure.
Yesterday I sent the following email to the members of my Living Turned On! Meetup Group:
Hello, Turned On & Alive Beings! I'm so excited that in less than 2 weeks Marcia Baczynski will be back in Seattle offering 3 amazing events! Sexy Games on Friday the 13th, Asking for What you Want on Saturday the 14th, and Deep Desire on Sunday the 15th. Last time Marcia was in town, I attended Asking for What You Want, and I highly recommend it. This time around, I'm looking forward to seeing what Sexy Games and Deep Desire are all about. ;) If you're interested in any of these, or all of these, be sure to sign up via the registration links; RSVP'ing on Meetup will not secure your spot! And check out this video about Deep Desire; it's gonna be good! http://vimeo.com/askingforwhatyouwant/dd
Now, why am I sharing this with you?
First of all, because if you're in Seattle, I encourage you to check out these events.
Second, and actually the primary inspiration, because of the questions I posed in the subject line: What do you desire? Do you even know?? Big questions, right? Right. And they make me want to ask you another question: Did you have a clear and immediate answer? And another question: Did you tense up and/or stop breathing, or did your heart skip a beat or thump extra loud, when you read those words: What do you desire?? And do you even know??
If these questions excite and delight you, awesome! If they freak you out a little or stump you, be gentle with yourself. Take a deep breath. For some people, the answers aren't clear and/or the word "desire" is triggering, and that's ok. Just be aware of it. And know that there's nothing wrong with not knowing or being out of touch with your desires. And there's nothing wrong with desire itself; it's attachment to the outcome that is problematic. Desire though, getting clear on what it is you deeply desire, and stating it in writing and/or out loud-- that's where the magic happens.
So, what do you desire? It's important to consider this, to clarify it for yourself: take some time right now, or schedule it in to your calendar. At least 10 minutes. A quiet place. A private space. Drop into your body. Listen to your body; listen to your Heart. Explore your desires. And write them into being.
And if you want help clarifying your desires and/or support in coming up with, and sticking to, action plans to move in the direction of your dreams, I am here for you. All you need to do is ask.
Happy February! Or is it?
Here in Seattle, February may not feel so happy. This month, from my perspective, can be a bit challenging emotionally and energetically. It's grey and cold and wet and blah. Plus, sometimes by now the momentum of January-- the "it's a new year, and I'm gonna kick ass doing all the things I said I'd do this year"-- has reached a temporary pause or plateau. And this particular February, with Mercury retrograde in full effect, some of what we were giving our attention to in January is now up for reconsideration and revaluation. Am I right? Have you been feeling any of that?
Now if you're feelin' great and still chugging along just fine, congrats! But if you're feeling a bit down or discouraged, frustrated, or like things are sort of on hold or up in the air or not falling into place, not clear, here are a few tips:
1) First of all, feel your feelings. All of them. Do not get sucked down into the abyss, but don’t spiritual bypass here either. I used to be a big fan of spiritual bypassing, such as by "choosing joy" and trying to only focus on the silver linings. Now I know that it's essential to honor and feel the pain and the hurt as well. It’s essential to feel into the depths of your sadness, anger, frustration, fear, and shame, to cry your tears, to yell and scream (not at others, but in a private and safe space), and to let yourself simply feel like crap for a bit if that's how you feel. Allow, allow, allow, and feel. To heal. And trust in the process as it unfolds. Be present with the process, with the ebbs and flows, the highs and lows. Know everything is going to be ok, already is ok, and about to get even better, one way or the other. Feel your feelings, and keep on breathing.
2) Commit to starting your day off right. Did you know that spending 10 minutes, or even just a few minutes, in the morning to think about who and what you love, to envision your goals, to think about what's good, what you're grateful for, can set you up for an awesome day? Trust me. This works. When you first wake up, before getting out of bed, give yourself several minutes for focusing only on all the yummy, juicy, goodness in your life. And as long as you’re also allowing yourself to feel your feelings as they come and go throughout the day, this doesn’t qualify as spiritual bypassing. Since the human brain has a tendency to focus more on the negative, we must retrain it with techniques such as this, to redirect your attention and mindset to focus more on what’s good, to remember what’s good. So go ahead and try it!
3) Morning pages. First thing in the morning, WRITE. By hand. In a notebook. 3 pages. Non-stop. Write before you are awake enough to really think or censor yourself. Just let it flow. Write honestly about how you feel, what your stories are, what your fears are, what your truths are, what your questions are. Be open to the answers coming through. Ask for them to come through. Then listen as you continue to write. Not only will this be like a detox, getting it out of your system, but clarity and peace and healing can come through this process. You just might write yourself out of that rut or bad mood!
4) Move it or lose it. Exercise. Dance. Run. Hike. Whatever gets your heart rate up. I could write much more on this, on why cardio is so helpful for stress and especially for anxiety, so stay tuned for more. But for now, just get moving. Break up the stagnation. If you're feeling physically depressed, it might be hard to get started, but as soon as you do start moving and breathing and sweating, you're going to feel better. Even if only in the moment.
5) Be in the moment. Speaking of the moment, yes, be in it. Be in the present moment. Distract yourself from any nagging or tape loop thoughts about the past or the future by being fully present with what's happening in this moment, with what's right in front of you. I mean that; look at what's right in front of you. Look at an object in front of you. Focus on it, and if possible, pick it up. Look at it closely. Allow yourself to be mesmerized by it. Take in every detail. If you're touching it, feel how it feels. Be here now. And delight in the simplicity. Relax into the peace of presence.
Alright, folks. That's all for now. So give these a try, and comment below on how it goes. I'd also love to see if you have any other tips. What works for you? What doesn't? If you're willing to share, please comment below.
 Spiritual bypassing, a term first coined by psychologist John Welwood, is the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with our painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs.
 Morning pages is a practice from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.
For years I've felt like what I could best describe as "a woman on the verge." So close, but not quite there.
On the verge of what though? Not quite where?
I don't know.
Or do I?
On the verge of take off, of full expression, of fully stepping into myself as a woman, as well as into my passion and purpose. And now, that's what I'm doing. It's a process though. So I still sometimes feel that anticipation and anxiety, and impatience, of being just on the verge...
So yesterday, during an Akashic records consultation, when I asked why I've been feeling so abnormally tired lately, what I was told didn't surprise me.
I won't share all that was said, but the most striking thing was that it's because I'm right in the middle of a take off, like an airplane taking off. Ah, yes. As soon as I heard those words, I heard those other words: woman on the verge.
And then something was said about how for a while I may have been feeling sort of wobbly, or shakey, or ungrounded. Yes. "You know the feeling of how during takeoff it just feels intense. You're very aware of every emotion. And theoretically, takeoff is probably the most dangerous part of a flight. It's a time when everyone and everything is adjusting to this new, higher way of being."
Yes; that made sense too. And it all goes along with "feeling on the verge."
The verge is an edge or a border, and in addition to pushing my edges over the past several years, I've often had this feeling, this image, of standing on the edge of a cliff. Not to jump off to my death, but to take off in flight.
The thing is, to fly, something has to die. Many somethings have had to die over the years to lighten my load so that I could take flight. And in some ways I could see how metaphorically jumping off of that cliff, down into an abyss, is the only step left to take. So maybe this image of standing on the cliff actually is an invitation to jump and fall. It's time to kill off and release anything still holding me back or weighing me down.
No more excuses. No more distractions.
It's time to leap.
It's time to fly.
I woke up today yearning to write and write and write and write. I have a couple of topics in particular just waiting for a blog entry. But as the clock ticks, and Tuesdays are full of appointments, I've decided to share with you something I've written before. Not just because I don't have time for fresh content this morning, but because as the holidays approach and the days get shorter, I know I'm not the only one feeling a little stressed. So below is a reminder of what to do when feeling crappy, from a newsletter I sent out in October. Enjoy...
Some days are tough.
And sometimes those rough patches come when least expected.....
On Saturday night I decided to experiment with scheduling a week's worth of these early morning inspirational, start-the-day-off-right kind of posts for my Facebook page. Normally I like hopping online and posting what comes to me in the present moment, but I wanted to see how this would go. Little did I know that on the first day of these pre-scheduled posts, I would be starting my day off with the loss of a super close loved one.
I'm not talking about death here. Nobody died. I'm talking about changes in relationships here, how they come and go, and how sometimes the loss of a friendship, or really any type of relationship, is dragged out over time, but sometimes it happens out of the blue, quickly, and in a way that really hurts.
So when I realized that these posts were going to be going out during my grieving and adjustment period, I suddenly felt like a phony. It wasn't intentional. It was just timing. Strange, ironic, awful, yet perfect, timing. Here's what that first one said:
Did you know that spending even just a few minutes in the morning to envision your goals, to think about what's good, who and what you love, what you're grateful for, can set you up for an awesome day? Go ahead and try it!
That's nice, right? Right. I never would have written that at 7 a.m. on this particular Monday though. But the truth is, it worked. My own post cheered me up by reminding me of what's good.
I still spent a lot of the day crying and being present with a vast array of emotions, but my seemingly "phony" post, followed by the truly authentic glimmers of Love, Light, and Joy it stirred up in me, were just as real and as necessary to experience yesterday as my pain and tears.
So here are today's top 5 tips for getting through a rough patch:
1) Feel your feelings. All of them. Don't you dare spiritual bypass here. I used to be a big fan of spiritual bypassing, such as by "choosing joy" and trying to only focus on the silver linings. Now I know that it's essential to honor and feel the pain and the hurt, to cry your tears, to yell and scream, to let yourself simply feel like crap for a bit if that's how you feel. Allow, allow, allow, and feel. To heal.
2) Balance solitude and self-reliance with reaching out for support and spending time with friends. It's so common to isolate when we feel bad, when we're going through a rough time. Maybe because we're tired or truly want some alone time, but it can also come from a place of shame or feeling like you don't want to impose on others. You don't want to be that person who's moping and bringing others down. But here's the thing: people who love you want to be there for you, and they will be there for you. So reach out and touch someone. Literally. Touch is good. Ask for hugs. Ask for cuddles. Take a friend's dog for a walk. Go to a pet store if human contact isn't available. Interact, connect, and allow yourself to feel loved and held by others.
3) Morning pages. First thing in the morning, WRITE. By hand. In a notebook. 3 pages. Non-stop. Write before you are awake enough to really think or censor yourself. Just let it flow. Write honestly about how you feel, what your stories are, what your fears are, what your truths are, what your questions are. Be open to the answers coming through. Ask for them to come through. Then listen as you continue to write. Not only will this be like a detox, getting it out of your system, but clarity and peace and healing can come through this process.
4) Spend time outside. Ahhhhh, fresh air. I'm sitting in it now. Out by Lake Washington, listening to the waves, feeling a cool breeze. I don't care what the weather is like; when you're having a tough time, go outside. Breathe fresh air. Connect with nature. Let Mother Earth nurture and recharge you.
5) Trust in the process as it unfolds. Be present with the process, with the ebbs and flows, the highs and lows. Know everything is going to be ok, already is ok, and about to get even better, one way or the other.
That's all for now, folks.
Much Love and Light and Peace to you all,
Rebecca Clio Gould
Women's Holistic Health & Empowerment Coach
Sheng Zhen Teacher
Have you ever been going about your day, feeling great, and then an interaction with someone leaves you feeling depleted? Maybe even sick to your stomach? Or gives you a headache?
That recently happened to me. Not the headache, but total depletion and nausea.
It happened after my neighbor told me all sorts of "scary" stuff about my house, the house I bought and moved in to last month. And I even thought I was following my own advice while talking with her, creating a good energetic and emotional boundary.
I amped up my inner light and expanded my own protective "happy bubble." I listened to what she had to say, and even responded pretty positively, with a sense of calm and perspective, no worries, no fear.
But as soon as I walked away? I felt sick and tired. And totally freaked out and upset about some of what she had said.
The first thing I did in response to noticing this? Well, first I actually looked in the mirror, said "what the fuck?," stuck out my tongue along with a "bleh" while shaking my body for a few seconds like a traumatized animal. Then I sat down and took a deep breath.
Next? I called my real estate agent, who is also a good friend and knowledgeable about all things related to not only home-purchasing but home ownership and maintenance. And he helped me see what I already knew: don't worry about it-- there's always a solution; and.... my fear-based neighbor had just zapped me.
Don't get me wrong; my neighbor is sweet, and her intentions were good. Plus, it's important to have the information and some of the warnings she provided. My concern though was how it affected me energetically and emotionally.
Although I was able to shake it off pretty quickly, it was intense while it lasted. And part of the intensity for me was actually the surprise of it. I was surprised to be feeling so affected. But I was. I'm human. And sometimes, despite our best efforts to prevent them, energy drains happen; energy zappers get us.
What to do when that happens? Here's what I suggest:
1) Surrender to it; rest. Resisting takes even more energy, so admit to the depletion. First, give in to the reality of the energy drain so that you can then go beyond the reality of the energy drain, to the reality of that there is an infinite supply of energy; you can and deserve to reclaim yours.
2) Voice it. Calling my friend, speaking about what had just happened, helped lighten up the heaviness and shine light on the darkness. It's a way of getting it out of your system, brushing it off, releasing it. If you don't have someone to talk to, or prefer to keep it to yourself, write it out. Using your voice in speech or in writing is a great way to let go of what you don't want and welcome in what you do want; it's a great way to get your power, your energy, back.
3) Shake. Literally, shake.it.off. Jump around, move around, whatever it takes. Moving your body will also help break up stagnation and bring in fresh, pure, vital life-force energy to revitalize and restore you.
Drinking water and getting some fresh air will help too. Standing in the earth with bare feet is a wonderful thing to do.
So when all else fails to prevent energy drains, try the above suggestions, and then report back here with a comment. Other tips are welcome too! What's your favorite way to regain, to reclaim, your energy when it's been drained? Comment below or email me; I'd love to hear from you.
Rebecca Clio Gould is a Certified Sheng Zhen Teacher and Holistic Wellness Coach. Her specialties include self-love, embodied joy, women's sexuality, spirituality, surgery preparation, and trauma recovery. She is also a Supreme Science Qigong Instructor, Essence vs Form Coach, and Award-winning Author of "The Multi-Orgasmic Diet: Embrace Your Sexual Energy and Awaken Your Senses for a Healthier, Happier, Sexier You."