The field of coaching, guidance and personal development is a crowded one, full of promises and potential miracles. I get it. The best way to sell anything is to make it seem like an easy path to everything that people want.
But I’ve never been a fan of easy.
Rather than offering silver bullets, my work is about discovering and surpassing your own inner limits. It’s about distinguishing what holds you back and daring to go beyond it. It’s about recognizing some of your most deeply held beliefs and questioning whether they still serve you. It’s about discovering where you’re weak and choosing to become strong.
Doing readings with my clients enables me to address what lies beyond the surface of their stories and their circumstances. Recommending practices to my clients enables them to develop new habits that will help them see beyond as well. Loving my clients enables them to embrace those valuable parts of themselves they once relegated to the shadows.
I love tough, tenacious people. I love people who are so in love with something, so committed to it, that they are willing to let me be the grim reaper cutting down the limitations to which they are attached.
Clearly, my work is not for everybody.
But if you want to evolve, if you see a great reason to do so, a great purpose that will only be fulfilled once you are willing to look at yourself straight and give up your identity in favor of your soul, it may be for you.
Let me help you be the person you know you are inside.
In 2015, it will be ten years since I began my transition from a career in entertainment towards a life devoted to spirit and service. There have been many bumps in the road, many challenges, failures and sacrifices. And yet, look at that smile on my face!
Whatever your belief system, when you lead a life connected to something bigger than yourself, you avail yourself of a joy and a freedom that is impossible any other way.
In addition to being available for one-on-one consultations and coaching, this year I will be placing a greater emphasis on leading retreats, workshops and classes. This is a dream come true and I look forward to providing something that meets your needs as you cultivate a life of greater power, joy and freedom.
Here are just a few upcoming offerings:
- Come Home To Your Heart, Feb 20-22 Join me and partners Stephanie Fisher and Margo Wade Walsh for this weekend immersion in heart and soul. Together we will cultivate Connection, Peace and Joy while enjoying delicious food, gorgeous views of the Puget Sound and lots of laughter.
- Dream Circle, Thursdays – In this weekly call, we share dream time visions and explore the significance they have for our waking lives. Through dream work, you will discover spirit and meaning where you’ve never encountered it before.
- Mentorship Circle, Tuesdays – Mentorship circles provide the opportunity to explore what matters most in a safe and loving environment where challenges are met and triumphs celebrated. This is a perfect choice if you feel alone on your journey and seek a trusted community of like-,minded souls.
- The Path, 3rd Sundays – Whether you are just starting out on your journey or have years of practice under your belt, The Path provides a monthly opportunity to connect with a community of loving and wise souls. At The Path, we are all the teachers and all the students.
- For questions and more info, just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I look forward to hearing from you.
Recently I realized that, though I once believed I couldn’t make a difference, that time had passed.
It was a remarkable milestone for someone who grew up with a litany of reasons why I couldn’t make the impact I longed to make.
The process of giving up those reasons was a long one but I encourage anyone who recognizes such barriers in their life to make the effort to let them go.
Here is a list of the reasons I had for being powerless:
- I am too spiritual and don’t fit in.
- I am too sensitive and introverted.
- Nobody listens to me.
- I don’t have enough money.
- The world is a bad place and will never change.
- My opponents are too powerful.
- Other people are too selfish and don’t care.
- Not everyone agrees with me and I don’t have the facts.
- I lack credibility because I’m not successful enough.
- I have to put my family first.
Do any of these sound familiar or remind you of your own?
If so, write about them, talk about them, ceremonially purge yourself of them. Do whatever you can to let go of the limitations that stop you. And when one limitation arises to take the place of another, do it again. The reasons are not infinite and, one day, with patience and persistence they will be gone.
Just as several weeks ago, I was awakened to my own deeper purpose to work with activists on the front lines of environmental sustainability and social justice, I was also recently reawakened to my own path of dreaming and shamanism.
Once again, I am confronted with the possibility that, perhaps, I can only do my deepest and most powerful work when I embrace its duality – in this world with clients and activists and beyond it – in dimensions that cannot be apprehended with the senses.
For a sense of how I live and the guidance which I receive, I offer the following story:
Friday – I am in our local library picking something up for my son. As I stand on line to check out his Pokemon DVD, my attention is caught by a book on a nearby shelf – The Boy Who Died and Came Back. Just recently, I’d remembered an incident in which I almost died and was given the choice to leave my body or come back. Like the boy in the title, I’d also chosen to come back. I grab the book – a memoir by Robert Moss, an author I enjoy and who writes about dreaming.
Saturday – I indulge myself by letting the kids play on the computer all afternoon while I dig into the book. What I read resonates strongly with my own experiences of having left my body at age 20 and the long journey of awakening that followed. Surprisingly, the book also reminds me of my daughter’s life. She also left her body briefly when she was a baby and has continued to be a mysterious and complicated soul.
Sunday – My husband is hosting a community drum event and an old client of mine is there. She asks me “Are you doing a dream circle soon? I really want to come.” The synchronicity with my reading from the day before is uncanny. I tell her I wasn’t thinking of it, but since she asked I agree to put something together.
Monday – I announce I will be holding two dream intensives, one over the phone and one in person. Immediately, I have the three dreamers necessary to confirm the phone class. The in-person registration is more complicated. Despite the fact that it was a Tacoman who requested the class, I surrender to the ease with which the phone class came together and let go of any attachment to the in-person workshop.
Along the way, I do readings for myself and the potential dreamers, continue reading Moss’ book and writing down my own dreams.
While it has often been difficult to classify my work, increasingly I am less concerned with that and more inspired by the many purposes which my work appears to serve. And while I’ve often been concerned about expanding its reach, I’ve come to a place where I am thrilled and honored to contribute to the lives of those who seek me out.
You are the ones I do it all for and who make it all worthwhile.
As part of my recent work with The Pachamama Alliance, I volunteered to write an editorial reconsidering ColumbusDay for some local papers in Tacoma. It was a fun assignment and I enjoyed it, but didn’t think much more about it until this evening when I discovered my Op-Ed in The Tacoma Weekly.
Here is the complete text – co-written with the kind folks at Pachamama. And I am happy to say – even before the publication of this piece, the city of Seattle designated Indigenous People’s Day on the day traditionally reserved for Columbus.
Reconsidering Columbus Day
With Columbus Day approaching, it’s interesting to consider what we learned, and more importantly, what we didn’t learn in school about the holiday and the man. We can all probably still recite the names of the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, but what were we taught about the brutal legacy of Columbus’ venture and those that followed?
According to the late historian Howard Zinn, Columbus’ discovery initiated a time of mass killings and commenced an era marked by colonization, the tragic dispossession of native homelands – including those of my Taino ancestors – and a seemingly unending drive toward the accumulation of money and power. While much of our modern lifestyle is possible due to resources acquired this way – and much knowledge has been gained through interaction with other cultures – it’s time to consider the harm that has also been done.
Beyond the historical destruction of our natural world and the devastation of indigenous peoples, we would benefit by looking at the insidious impact these trajectories continue to have on contemporary lives as well. While the excessive development that ensued in the New World celebrated the notion that “more is better,” that belief has kept us all moving at unhealthy speeds to achieve an idea of success characterized by money, power and little else. With both human health and the health of the planet in jeopardy, it may serve us to question what values we celebrate in our modern culture and consider whether there are different values we should cultivate instead at this point in human history – values such as sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment. Something else we didn’t learn much about in school was the mutually enhancing relationship indigenous cultures have had with the Earth for millennia – and this may be a lesson we ignore at our peril.
Last month more than 300,000 people gathered in New York for the largest climate march in history. It was a plea to return to a more reverent relationship with the Earth. With Columbus Day approaching, it’s time for a reality check on what we’ve learned, a correction of what we haven’t and the cultivation of a relationship between ourselves and the Earth that’s more in harmony with indigenous wisdom.
Animal Medicine. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Perhaps you’ve seen a copy of Ted Andrews classic book Animal Speak. Perhaps you own one.
Animal medicine has been a tremendous influence in my life – animals have many great gifts to give – and yet I’ve continued to be bothered by how closely animal medicine is associated with Native American traditions.
The association bothers me not because I have any quarrel with Native North American traditions, but because it may prevent people who have no affinity or familiarity with those traditions from examining – and benefiting from – their own valuable experiences of animal consciousness.
Native North American Tribes did not invent the affinity of animals with human beings (such teachings are, in fact, likely present in all indigenous traditions) and yet, because their ancient cultures have held on to the belief in – and practice of – learning and healing with animals, culturally we assume that, somehow, animal medicine is a Native American Thing, an indigenous “cultural property.” We may also assume that, to do it right, we need to consult a book, a medicine man or a shaman.
This is not a difficult assumption to make. If you’ve spent your life identifying as a Jew, an Italian, or just a plain American, you normally wouldn’t say you “have a wolf totem” or are “a bear person”. People who generally say this have been introduced to certain indigenous traditions.
And yet…introduction to those traditions is not a necessity for sitting on a beach and connecting with birds. Familiarity with Lakota, Cherokee or Northwestern Tribal traditions is not necessary for being moved with awe at the vision of an eagle or the power of a salmon.
Animal consciousness is available as a teaching and healing tool for all human beings, of all ethnicities, religious backgrounds and belief systems. Wherever there are animals, there is an opportunity to rise above your own limited perceptions and approaches to life. Wherever there are animals, there is an opportunity to see from another’s pure point of view.
Books, medicine men and shamans can surely help. But, when it comes down to it, there’s nothing like the real thing – sitting face to face with another sentient being and letting it tell you its story and give you its gifts. And then giving gratitude, peace and acknowledgment in return.
In this way, we can all become a little more whole, a little more integrated and a little more conscious of what it really means to be alive on this planet.
The further I’ve delved into my practice and the more committed I’ve become, it seems there have been fewer and fewer words to adequately describe what I do and, especially, my experience of doing it.
When I discovered Rachel Pollack‘s Shining Tribe Tarot deck, I first became a tarot card reader. But the term – and its associations with gypsies, charlatans and basic chicanery – never held much charm for me. Over the years I toyed with Spiritual Counselor, but it felt too loaded. Coach felt too goal-oriented. Mystic – too ancient. And Oracle? Too obscure.
A few years ago, I started using the term intuitive. But I was still uncomfortable, as I never forgot hearing Caroline Myss say that pursuing intuition was barking up a wrong tree. “Successful criminals and con artists” she said, are some of the best intuitives out there. There’s nothing special, she said, about intuition. We all have it if we look closely enough and possessing it decrees neither wisdom nor trustworthiness.
Words have always been important to me. As a child, I was an avid reader. As an adolescent, I fell in love with The New York Times Crossword Puzzle and began to write. Later, through my participation at Landmark Education, I learned how powerfully the words we use to describe our experiences – and the stories we tell about ourselves – shape our lives.
So for weeks I’ve been walking around – half in jest/half in frustration – asking out loud: “What do I DO??”
Enter Terese Jungle, graphic designer, branding consultant, friend. Consciousness. she kept saying. Consciousness.
Ah, Consciousness. That thing we seek to expand. That thing we seek to raise. Consciousness, that thing between the perception of a problem and the revelation of its solution.
Consciousness. It encompasses the ever-expanding boundaries of scientific knowledge. It refers to the insights of Christ, Jung, Buddha, Joseph Campbell and Stanislav Grof. It addresses desires, emotions, intentions, trauma, dreams and everything in between. And it is informed by shamanism, nature, plant medicine, mushrooms and pharmaceuticals.
Consciousness is why my practice is effective, whether my clients are believers or non-believers, church-going or atheist, skeptical or gullible. Because the people who come to me, whether they are aware of it or not, have an inherent desire to evolve their consciousness. And so do I.
From now on, my new job title is Consciousness Consultant.
If you got beyond all your own crap, associations, fears, insecurities and doubts, what would your new job title be?