I've been a bit quiet on the blog front, but rest assured that you, my readers, are always on my mind especially when I'm tinkering away at something new which I am 🤗 🤓.
A Look Behind-The-Scenes
I figured that instead of just showing you my finished products and writing ––the-above-ground parts of my "tree" aka the flowers and fruit ready for picking –– I thought it may be fun and useful to reveal some behind-the-scenes and below-ground composting, messiness, and shapeshifting during root growth while I'm in thick of it.
I said "my tree" above because, as those of you who work with me know, my central nature spirit and all-encompassing guide is a sacred tree that helps me to align, protect, alchemize, and grow my life energy into a mature, supportive, and sturdy mother tree within an inner soul sanctuary. Connecting to a tree guide and the elements within this protective sanctuary is one of my signature teachings and offers me much delight when I see others benefit from these same valuable teachings.
Organic Tree Growth
What often happens when deeply connected to guides is discovering that our guides have other ideas for our growth than we do. Our agility vs rigidity makes all the difference. For example, trees help me to envision a growth trajectory that isn't just linear and unidirectional (good-bad, success-failure, light-dark) as it tends to be in modern Westernized society. For a tree to grow taller above ground toward the light, its roots must also dig deeper into damp, dark soil to support its growth. And at one point, it stops growing up, and starts to round out, and become richer, wider, stronger, and more generous because of the amount of biodiversity it supports above and below ground.
This new logo I just created gives an idea how to envision the powerful support and guidance tree guides have offered my clients and me around grounding, surrendering and trusting cycles and seasons of growth, having an as above - so below holistic mindset, and occupying our radiant truth vs trauma bodies during continuous change.
A Holistic As Above-So Below Mindset
Practicing a holistic, as above - so below, paradoxical mindset is so crucial to our wellbeing and healing because it's the best antidote to the cultural conditioning we were all subjected to. Many of our inner splits and traumas heal as a result of these teachings. If a part of us was afraid to expand and is still an unrealized seed, the energies (Air, Fire -sun) from Father Sky (sacred masculine) must intermingle and work together with the energies (Earth, Water) of Mother Earth (sacred feminine) for the seed to sprout and take root. The seed needs to get vulnerable, soft, watery, and learn to trust again. It needs to be okay with bursting open, receiving support and nourishment, and allowing new growth to change its form.
Even as adults, we can still have unsprouted seeds and potential in our energy field that hold us back and mess with our sense of self, causing us to feel damaged, broken, stuck, or not good-enough. No one is immune to widespread cultural and societal messages that misinform us about our true nature, self-worth, and the natural healing process.
Re-naturing and Clearing Stuck Energy
A lot of our modern-day blocks are around the lack of guidance and support how to re-nature ourselves, set empowered energetic boundaries, ground, compost, and streamline our pain and energy into our boldest and biggest missions. One of the ongoing and hardest lessons that I keep learning is patience and making more time and space to do the nitty-gritty, mundane, tedious underground foundational work to support greater growth. If it were up to me, I'd do fun digital art, play with creative ideas, and design the store front aspects of my business all day.
Adulting: Me, an Entrepreneur?
You'll laugh if I tell you this. I've been in private practice since 2002 but only started to think of it as a business in 2017 when my memoir was about to come out. I had a regular referral source of clients (mostly from UC Berkeley, a few from other UC's and state universities) and it felt no different than working at the counseling center on campus or at a mental health agency. A steady flow of clients called, were scheduled, came in, and paid. I was happy as a clam.
All that changed even before my memoir came out. Alice in Wonderland appeared in a shamanic journey with legs and arms sticking out of doors and windows. It reflected me outgrowing my magical crystal cave / dungeon office. I would have remained in it forever without any qualms if it weren't for the demands of my new baby, my book! It didn't have little legs and couldn't just sell itself (as I thought- didn't books just pop up in stores and people buy them?). I wasn't prepared to "sell." All kinds of hang-ups about my spiritual and shamanic services and selling came up but since I was only dealing with "a book" that I needed to help sell, it felt do-able.
Nurturing and Scaling my Business & Impact
Long story short, in just four years, I learned about cultivating a social media platform and an email list, and built an online presence. I now have followers and offer guidance to an online fb group. Once I got the hang of this, I started to see more possibilities and learned a few things from online entrepreneurs. Before and during Covid shelter-in-place, I taught four Heal Love Lead with Soul Authority™ online courses, two Own your Natural Genius Zone™ masterminds, and one Advanced Ancestral Healing course.
The interactions with my students and their transformations were incredible. I felt in my element, and really knew in my bones that I was onto something that could help many other empaths, sensitive wise souls, holistic healers, therapists, creatives, writers, and caretakers who were struggling with compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, emotional triggers related to past trauma, and other signs of porous energetic boundaries and undigested PTSD.
My Biggest Why
North Atlantic Book’s publisher agreed that my program needed to be more widely shared and that it made sense to do this through a book. A book deal provided me an outlet to tease apart my Soul Authority system on paper for a greater audience. I integrated the key nuggets of all three programs, and after it was done, my Biggest Why became crystal clear:
The mystery of nature is the well spring, gold mine, and holy grail that we've been after in our quests, big and small, for centuries. Sadly, it's been hiding right under our noses all along and we keep ignoring its sirens and wisdom. I believe that only by rediscovering our true nature and sharing our buried gifts with one another that we will be able to leave the world in a better place than we found it for our children and future generations as well as embody and enjoy the pinnacle of well-being and joy we are seeking and yearning for.
The time of reckoning is now and here, and I want to support empaths and closeted climate warriors who also hear the call become unstoppable in fulfilling their social and eco-justice missions.
My Splits and Root Imbalances
But . . . .I needed to hold my horses. During the last weeks up until my book’s deadline, the part of myself driven by urgency and worry powered through (and bypassed) anything at full speed. When all was said and done, the short-circuited part of myself that had felt ignored, overloaded, burned out, and in physical pain dug in her heels.
My shoulders, neck, forearms, sit bones, and hips were hurting because of the weight that I was carrying on my shoulders (see the icy hot ointment and Advil in picture below). This imbalance and the lack of regular movement and circulation in my legs caused my feet and toes to feel numb and cold - in the summer! (See the heat pad in the floor). Instead of thinking of my hunger as good incentive to take a break, I stocked up on snacks so I could keep going (in the bag on the floor). I left my desk area in this state of chaos for a few months until my body and mind came back into balance with the help of yoga, pilates, walking and biking. I did one of these things almost daily and was able to heal 95% of my physical issues. When finally ready to clear my physical space and laptop, I participated in an online decluttering challenge and won!
By realigning mind-body-heart-soul in my daily routines and doing shamanic journeys and meditations with my tree guide and dreamteam of spirit guides, I uncovered the deeper energetic patterns (most very old) and imbalances that created this mess and self-imposed urgency (I met the deadline just fine with time to spare). It was driven by a desire not to feel pain and fantasizing that by working harder and doing more, we could heal ourselves and the planet faster. While some growth may get accelerated with this method, it will most likely be misaligned, painful, not sustainable and not in support of root growth.
Making Space for Healing
This is an area where most of us run into trouble and need to make more space to heal and clear our energy. Urgency and lack of grounding are familiar patterns among us empaths, caretakers, and old souls. We feel the pain of the Earth and the world, and because we can easily dissociate and leave our body to transcend the pain, we want to fast forward to our blissful visions of wholeness and love.
But without fully digesting old pain and patterns, we end up bypassing and sabotaging the healing process. Slowing down teaches us that we can't practice compassion and love that doesn't include us. By reconnecting to my body and pain, I was able to get clarity that the how was as important as the end product – which is why I'm being transparent about this process that many entrepreneurs refer to as “a new devil at every level.” It's nothing to be scared of. The devil is just the shadow and holds gems and fuel that we can use for our journey ahead.
Amy Porterfield, the Queen in digital course creation, just released podcast episode #398, The Uphill Battle of Being Your Own Boss and How to Keep Moving Forward, where she very openly and gingerly talks about recurring struggles with anxiety, depression, and emotional eating and the need to make space for our feelings, needs, grieving, and healing.
Being Present and Aligned
Those of us with a tendency to go fast need to slow down so others can catch up and we're not falling back in caretaking, rescuer, or super hero roles. We slow down, not just so that others can catch up, but also so that we can reset in the now as well. When we are rushing and powering through anything, we are most likely ignoring a pain point and overcompensating for that block. What we need to do instead is provide more water and fertile earth so an unsprouted seed can crack open and grow up.
I realized that my unhealed seeds still had to do with the political censorship, selective mutism, second language anxiety and public speaking terrors that I thought I'd worked through. I did, for the most part, but the thought of selling my courses to a cold audience during a live webinar (one of the key ways to scale your online courses and offerings) was really scaring the poop out of me and holding me back.
Rushing to a finish line prevented me from asking what about this growth edge felt so scary and undoable. Did my feelings make sense in terms of what I stood for and were there aspects about conventional marketing practices that didn't work for me? Yes, there were. A 4-day challenge with much more natural interaction, less fake urgency and pressure, and genuine support in helping people decide whether or not my program was right for them felt much better to me than a 1-hr live webinar. And the idea of an evergreen prerecorded
video series also sounded appealing. Once I cleared this bottleneck roadblock, I had more mental and heart space to embrace and learn about the tech, SEO, and business strategies, funnels, and streams (that wouldn't stick in my brain before) that could help me scale.
They started to make more sense and it became very clear how much my prosperity and growth on all levels of my functioning and well-being would be supported by this deeper work and clearing of old stagnant energy.
Reflections and Activities to Consider
What unsprouted seeds and energy blocks are holding you back and need to soak up and soften a bit? Receive more nourishment and support from Mother Nature so you can ground and root your energy and emotions with greater stability?
Spend some time in nature and make space for your true nature to emerge. Art, talking, journaling, yoga, walking, writing, meditating, and shamanic journeying are some of the whole soul techniques that I use as well as connecting with mentors, wise souls, and teachers in body or no longer here (through books, shamanic journeying, etc) for guidance.
For EMPATHS: Get your FREE RENEWABLE ENERGY POWER GRID here
Recognize when your energy flow and emotions get short-circuited and learn how to reset them with the elements AIR FIRE EARTH & WATER
and with the power of nature