What Sources Your Happiness?

Do you wonder?
I’m curious about joy.

When was the last time you were deeply happy?
Take a minute now to remember!
You can enjoy it right now, if you like.

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If you let yourself,
even the memory will bring with it a visceral feeling in your body.
Notice how joy feels.
Likely, it feels good.

That bodily connection with an experience – past or present –
is my definition of intimacy.

I’ve felt it
…each time I held my seconds-old newborn children to my breast.
…in the arms of a new beloved encircling me for the first time.
…singing a soaring soprano line of Brahms Requiem with 150 others. 

These were some of the most extraordinary moments of my life.
Surprises of delight and wonder.

But I believe this intimacy – this deep felt connection – can also be invited.
We can choose it, if we decide to,
and even make it a practice.

You see, I don’t believe spiritual practice demands a certain posture
or particular location or somber attitude.

The essence of each of us — what some call the soul
longs for a connection that is deeply intimate.

But so often we believe we’re alone, separate from what we need,
and that robs us of a connection that’s more possible that we imagine.

In fact, we need that deep connection to our joy now more than ever.
Trouble is, for most of us unless we choose otherwise,
our neural pathways are grooved to notice what’s wrong instead of what’s right.

Blame it on our fight or flight, primitive vestibular brain
or early childhood patterning
or simply our preoccupation with whatever is occupying our mind at the moment.

Our day-to-day lives have the potential to be filled with far more joy than we allow,
regardless of what else is going on.
Unfortunately most humans are so out of practice attuning to their senses
that they rarely notice what’s also there to en-joy at any moment.

There’s the crescent new moon in the western sky at dusk.
The clarian call of a particular melodic bird song you can’t ignore,
or don’t choose to.
White splashes of blossom in a greening world.

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Our connection to the natural world ignites our joy
simply because we are OF Nature, not separate observers of it.
After 500 years of belief that humans are above nature,
here to dominate and control it,
As we realize what Joanna Macy refers to as “the greening of ourselves.”
There’s a connection we can only ignore if we numb our senses to the truth…

The beauty we sense in nature helps us remember a visceral connection to joy
that always exists.
And is always possible, if we allow it.

Weekly over the past month
I’ve been sharing a 5-step sense medication practice to help you reconnect to joy. 

By pairing the mind’s focus and intention with our senses’ awareness
we invite a deeper felt sense of connection with the world around us.
Then there’s more joy in any moment we choose.

Since you’re likely inside at this moment, look out a window.
NOTICE what catches your eye. That’s step #1.

Next, step #2, ask yourself WHY.
Why did your glance go there first?
Was it the color that attracted you, or ???
The more time you give this step
the more accessible the next will be.

Now, step #3, let yourself feel how fortunate you are
to have this glimpse of beauty.
Feel the THANK YOU of gratitude emerging in you.

If you allow yourself to recognize the fullness of this truth,
…if you give yourself permission to feel amazement for your good fortune
…to have sight in the first place, to live on a planet with beauty abounding,
…to have this particular instant of exquisite sight
you may also feel a WOW in your being!
Step #4 invites awe and wonder.
Appropriate reactions when we contemplate the miracle of our existence and this moment.

Step #5 is more a result than an action you’ll need to make.
When we feel this fullness, this intimacy with anything around us
it’s hard not to be aware of the truth of our interconnectedness with everything.

In this state, we feel open and welcoming.
We sense the beauty and connection with others and our surroundings.
We enjoy our differences and an interdependence that feels deeply intimate.

This sense of awe can feel numinous and quiet.
Or its very visceral power can drop us to our knees.

But as body and being unite,
we remember our connection to All That Is and feel whole again,
engaging our natural desire to reach out to help others.
The connection is so full it might be called Oneness… or Love.

Enjoy!

 

 

2 practices to remember your enough-ness

We’re a self-help culture,
but what if you actually don’t need fixing, Dear Friend.

What if the power and mystery of life force energy is always there within you,
even when you feel like you’re floundering?

You don’t need a research study — though there are any number out there
to tell you that most American women struggle
with an overwhelming sense of not-enough-ness.
Every day’s too-much-ness makes it hard to remember the essence of who we are.

That constant message of inadequacy settles into our bones.
Then our bodies, like every other animal’s,
constrict and contract as a natural reaction to danger.

Likely you do some version of this most every day.

Shoulders grip.
Eyebrows constrict.
Pelvic floor pulls up.
Breath shortens.
Jaw grips.

Sound familiar?

Every one of us builds our own distinctive configuration of protections to try to find a bit of safety in an anxiety-producing world.

That armor lives in the fibers of our bodies and deeper still in our very identities.

Then over time the intricate and beautiful way bodies and psyches were built to function is compromised.

We lose that life force vibrancy we were born with
and harden into rigid patterns that squeeze out our joy.

This is no way to live!
But most people make do with exactly that.

I doubt that you do, though!
You wouldn’t keep reading my blogs if you did.

You know what’s true.
And what every spiritual path teaches.

The essence of each of us is pure love.

But how do we come back to love
when our past traumas feel like they’re holding us hostage?

Most other animals have an inborn ability to shake it off, literally,
and move on, present moment to present moment.

But we humans seems to hold on.
Most of us find go-to strategies to numb the pain,
OR when we’re somehow more aware,
we choose ones that restore us back to ourselves.

Likely you’ve discovered your own ways
of trying to come back to your natural wholeness after a day’s difficulties.

Maybe you pour yourself a glass of wine.
Or you chill with NetFlix.
Could be you spend an hour scrolling through social media.
Or if you can and are attuned to the deeper needs,
you find the energy to get to a yoga class,
laugh with someone you love,
or take a walk in the woods.

It’s pretty obvious,
some options have better outcomes over the long haul!

But notice what really works!
Coming back to your body’s present moment wisdom is key.
Because it’s only the mind that has an opinion about your enough-ness.

Can I offer you a few of the practices that have helped to land me — and my clients —
back in the joy of being ourselves?

1. Keep your attention on just one thing at a time.
By doing only what you’re doing – like just taking a shower when you take a shower – instead of thinking about that tricky conversation from yesterday or fixating on what’s looming ahead, you set your mind toward the joy of the enough-ness of this moment.

2. Simply feel your feet on the ground as you walk.
For even 60 seconds with each step, feel your feet moving from heal to ball to toes.
Notice what you sense… the truth of your body.
Perhaps a few moments of this simple practice will help you find a center
more true than some negative story you’ve been telling yourself.

You see, we live in bodies.
We aren’t just walking heads.

We all want to feel our authentic wholeness.
The best way I’ve found to evolve through and beyond life’s traumas
whether large or small
is to incorporate some sort of embodiment practice into your daily routine. 

Try those two tomorrow morning
and then join me live for more this week on my Divining Beauties private FB group.
Click here to request to join the group.

Can’t wait to see you there!

Announcing My New Video on My Homepage!

 

Everywhere women are served up messages that say we’re on the downhill slope of life past 40.

Did you watch my video above to hear why that’s such a LIE?

When we believe that deception we fork over our time, money, and power just to try to feel good enough.

Somewhere deep inside — when you really listen — you’ve lived enough life to know what’s true.
Because that illusive happiness never lasts!

The truth is simple…
Every woman is a channel of divine love. 
It’s remembering that truth and living it that isn’t easy!!!

If you’d like to know — once and for all — how to live in what’s true AND possible, let’s talk.

I’ve just opened 5 spots on my calendar this week for conversations with 5 women who want more.

We’ll begin to discover what’s been secretly sabotaging your fullest joy, greatest wisdom, and deepest connection AND create a custom plan to reunite you with your divine essence that will bring real happiness — and act as a magnet to draw resources and people to you.

All in just 55 minutes. And for $49. That’s one fifth the usual cost of an hour’s work with me.

But I’m only offering this to women who are serious about their joy…and book a time today.

I know every woman alive can live her fullest life!
— no matter her circumstance, relationship, or fears!

I can’t wait to dive in with you, Dear Woman.

marysig

2 Keys to Every Transformation and 3 Ways to Make it Happen Over the Next 13 Weeks

suzanne-d-williams-794133-unsplashTransform… really?
Does your cynic scoff as much as mine at that overused word?
Can anything really change that much in just 13-weeks?

Celtic legend says that seeds do.
They rest in the dark for an entire season
Before stirring beneath the soil for their triumphant blossoming.
Imagine having an entire season to rest!

Winter is that season in the natural world.
We’ve been given 13 weeks of percolation
to take us from Winter Solstice to the Spring Equinox in March.
From longest night and shortest day to light harmonizing in time.
And it all begins next Friday evening.

But rest?!? Really?

The only way to let the dark time transform us
is to take matters into our own hands, Dear Ones.

In my last blog I suggested a very practical process
for creating a few precious minutes in this dark time for the next 13-weeks’ intentions.

One season isn’t much time really.
Or is it?
It’s enough for a seed to go from invisible to revealing its stunning beauty.

You see, every seed — and every artist of life,
no matter their medium —
must align with the natural forces that govern substantive transformation.

Creative flow can only happen if it’s held by some sort of structure.

If you know me even a little
You know that I’ve been rebelling against structure for most of my life.
Because it came packaged as rigid and punitive discipline.
Not really joy’s style.

Thankfully, fairly recently I’ve gotten a whole new take on structure…
(I’ll be sharing WAY more about that in the New Year, so stay tuned!)
And my life is flourishing as a result.

What I now know is
that it’s structure that holds the life of transformation I’m loving living!

See if this applies to you…

There are 2 kinds of structure absolutely essential for a seed to blossom
or a human to live a happy and satisfying life of beauty and artistry.

Obviously, the right circumstances or tools must be there
water and sunshine
paintbrush and canvas
pen and paper (or computer!)
inspiration and ideas

But something else is essential or nothing will really happen.

Every delicious creation reveals itself in structured time.
And showing up in time is what allows the creative process to be birthed.

So here is query #2 for your solstice season…
What tools do you need to let your next creative transformation happen?
And what sort of structure will you create to hold you in time

I invite you to use the next 13 weeks to bloom yourself into your next gorgeous revelation.

Dream into something you really want now…
(check out blog #1 for a bit of guidance) 

And then, over the next few weeks,
create a scaleable plan to allow for its inevitable growth.
This is how you make your desire — and your joyous life — real!

This dark time is made for inner exploration.
But that potent opportunity is only available if you make it happen in time.
I’d hate for you to fritter it away consumed by the season’s parties and busyness.
Your own precious life’s potential is too promising to waste.

I leave you with this question…
How will you value your fully-lived life enough right now to create a structure to hold its Springtime blossoming? 

Enjoy the quiet quest, Dear Loves!!!

PS… If you’d like a hand to hold for a season of transformation, here are 3 ways to be transformed in the next 13 weeks. Which one sounds more like you?1. Spend a season of intentionally structured time with me. Drop whatever’s standing in the way of the life you want and claim the joy and fulfillment that’s been waiting for you all along. 

2. Come with me to Haramara January 26-February 2. Because my retreat sold out in October (YIPPEE!), I’ve been given another casita and a dorm space if I want them. Is a Mexican deep dive into awakening the long-denied pleasures of body and soul calling, Sister?

3. AND if your desire is for more, I have one spot available in 2019 for a year’s pleasure exploration with me. Private. In-person, on line, (or both). Uniquely curated. My life’s worth of learnings, just for you. Hmmmm. Imagine!

If you’re not sure which one is you, click here to book a 15 minute convo with me.

What’s waiting for you in this darkness?

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It’s almost the solstice… the darkest time of the year.

Over the thousands of years before electricity made us forget what darkness gave, most folks weren’t going to twinkling holiday parties in mid-December.

Instead it’s likely they used this darkening time to rest, to take stock.
How was the harvest this year?
What grew well, and what should I do differently next spring year?

So many years later,
no matter how modern and productive we may be,
the season’s darkness is here
to do its work in us.

All those lights make it easy to avoid though.
I’m so busy, busy, busy during the holidays.
Not you, too, Kristin!?

The bah humbugs are bound to take over.
And all these flickering lights and ho ho ho’s just make it more intense.

Years ago I called my brand of late autumn struggle seasonal affective disorder.
And it’s true that sunshine helps.

But I’m discovering that there’s clarity waiting in the dark.

What if we haven’t evolved so far as we think.
What if, like our ancestors,
what we need most right now is time to take the year in?

To look back.
To be quiet.
To listen to our inner knowing.
To decide what needs to shift
so we’re ready for Spring and what wants to bloom.

Since the solstice is this Friday, here’s the question I’m asking now…
Where do I want to be 13 weeks from now?
How do I want to feel when Spring arrives this March?

Lately I’ve begun to ponder and plan my work and life over the 13 weeks of each season.
Instead of the pressure of a New Year’s resolution,
Before each equinox and solstice
I give myself the following powerful inquiry.

I create space for these precious few weeks of dark time to feed me.
Maybe I’ll find a few moments as the morning’s late sun begins to rise,
or I’ll make space just as it’s beginning to go dark outside.

I bring my journal,
light a candle,
And just sit, gazing out the window for a bit.

Then I ask into the darkness…

What change wants to come?
What’s begun that I want to feed?
What needs to drop away so I can live my joy?
What do I most want my life to feel like on the Spring equinox in March?

I wait. . . until the answers find me.

This is the time to make yourself the priority you need to be in order to move with purpose and joy into what’s really your deepest desire for the new year.

What if you gave yourself the gift of quiet darkness over the next few weeks?

Or, if you’d like, I can help.

If you’ve been doubting your light, Dear One,
I want to hold a candle to help light your way.
It’s not my candle though. It’s yours.
Together let’s reignite what’s always been within you.

Could This Day Be Just A Little Bit Better?

Do you have 10 seconds right now to find out?

I’m sure you’re as crazy busy as I am.

This morning
as I was running up my garden steps to the car,
(not noticing much of anything but my mind’s agenda)
the scent of my peonies stopped me mid-stride
and pulled me back down the stairs.

Those 10 seconds with my face in theirs made my day.

Last month it was my lilacs.
Daffodils before that.
Spring is a sensual feast I inhale in great gulps.

That’s why, now more than ever
— whether I’m thriving or feel totally overwhelmed —
I will not miss this wake up call to life.
It’s just too good!

I think that’s a big part of what our sensesare meant to do,
partnered with Nature’s abundance.

They’re here to wake us up
and turn us on again to the joy of living!

And with beyond-belief springtime bursting all around us,
all we have to do is give it 10 seconds.

This kind of sense pleasure does it’s own sort of shouting,
but only if we let ourselves be seduced.
It lays in wait to make us smile,
to ease the hard times,
and infuse our days with wonder!

What a shame we get lost in our thoughts
and forget to look up.
Turned off to the joy we were built to know.

Now THAT just wouldn’t do!

So… I’ve made you 12 days of reminders.
I’m calling it “Turn on in 12 Days”
Little emails to land in your inbox.
Snippets from my joy to yours.
My gift in honor of Spring!

Get yours here.

Making Self-Love the Real Deal on Valentine’s Day

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Hey There.

Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m wearing red. Maybe you are, too. Maybe you’re thinking about flowers and chocolate and other things to celebrate this day.

Whether you’re partnered or not, I thought I’d share with you what happened last night in my world. For 7 years my friend Pooja Karina and I have offered a pre-Valentine’s event for local women called “Adoring the Beloved of Yourself.”

It’s so easy to assume that Valentine’s day is for people who have partners. That’s the obvious conclusion. But what I know is that what’s most important thing about this day is LOVE. Celebrating this holiday that someone put on the calendar in February is really an opportunity to celebrate self-love.

So last night, with 20 women sitting in a circle we talked about what it is to enjoy and really live in the pleasures that are here in the moment… instead of denying ourselves, overworking, and then vegging-out into all sorts of things that are just not that reverent to ourselves.

Looking ahead, these women each made a commitment for the next 40 days. Just as Lent is a set period of time for letting go of pleasures, this is a time for prioritizing the pleasures that help us to enjoy every moment… not the pleasures that we have to buy, but those here, now.

Women decided to commit to enjoying the bird song every morning, now that the birds are returning. Others chose to promise to touch their bodies first thing in the morning before they get out of bed, appreciating how well it works and how beautiful it feels.

There are so many ways to prioritize the beauty and pleasure of life instead of suffering, instead of slogging through and then not really giving yourself what you need.

So I invite you to do this, too… to make a commitment to yourself for the next period of time. Would you devote yourself to one practice that honors in the beauty and reverence for your body and senses enjoying present moment pleasure.

You can write your commitment below and share it with us. My promise is to put on the calendar a 5-minute break to dance every day, just to enjoy music. I love to dance. And I get busy and just don’t do it.

Let me know below what pleasure you’ll promise yourself this Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy.

How 5 minutes by your window is like a week on retreat in Mexico

I arrived back home Sunday morning from a week in Mexico leading my women’s retreat, “Awakening Your Divine Feminine Self – A Deeper Turn-ON.” 

There’s no denying the pleasure of crashing surf, exquisite accommodations, and pristine nature all around you. Maybe you caught some of my shares on FB or Instagram.

When I got home I made the video BELOW because I want anyone to experience what we just lived in Mexico on retreat.

And sure, you can get this without traveling 3000 miles, but on the other hand, sometimes we need to break the pattern we’re stuck in — and then the best thing to do might just be to go really far far away in a totally different environment…  maybe like Costa Rica a month from now!

No matter where you are right now, here are 3 tips, 3 simple practices that can make your experience more powerful and delicious.

  1. Look out the window. Just look outside. Be here quietly. We did a sit spot – a practice I learned from Jon Young – for 20 minutes every day. But a breath, just a short minute, can hugely expand you awareness and pleasure. Just sit here quietly and experience what’s here in your environment.
  2. Watch your senses. Watch what you hear. Watch what you smell. Watch what you feel. Watch the experience of seeing what’s there, really noticing the contrasts, noticing the percussiveness of sounds. Just noticing what’s there. Don’t make it right or wrong. Just be in the moment.
  3. Feel your body. Feel where you’re sitting. Feel the sense of this being in this space… and not the thoughts that can go along with whatever you’re feeling. We’re so in our thoughts – and out of our body – so much of the time.

That’s it. Those are 3 of the simple practices that we landed in Mexico to bring presence, pleasure and delight, right here, right now, no matter where you are.

Take these tips into your life, especially if you’re in the chilly north. And let me know down below, right now, which one you’re ready to make part of your daily practices. I consider each of them a meditation, as fully as I do my traditional sitting practice.

And if your appetite’s been whetted, I’m off to warmer climates again in March – this time to Costa Rica with Katherine Miller, menopause expert and dear friend. Learn to expand your pleasure potential by establishing habits of reverent self-care. See more here or email at info@diviningbeauty.com for more juicy details.

3 Words to Live by in 2018

You might tattoo these words into your consciousness
for a more joyful,
peaceful,
and purposeful
2018.

 

Remember
your deep and innate connection to your feminine essence.

It’s inevitable that we overdo and work too hard in a culture that rewards abuse. When we learn to listen with compassion to our bodies’ messages, effort drops away and we’re revived.

 

Reclaim
your joy by prioritizing stillness and solitude.

Hearing your inner wisdom can only happen when you allow (and this means schedule!) centered, quiet space to listen. This is vital self-care and the one choice that can transform all others.

 

Receive
the ever-present blessings of beauty from the natural world.

In any moment, no matter where you are, there is at least the smallest bit of restorative transformative beauty waiting for you to notice it. Any day’s difficulties will melt if you’ll open your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin to welcoming this gift for your sustenance.

 

 

Is it intuition or wishful thinking?

How do you tell for sure?

For most of my life I was surprised when my wild guesses were on target.
And weirdly, they were, more often than not.

But I had no idea how I knew what I knew.

It was all kind of spooky – so I didn’t bother to notice the patterns.
I’d usually just toss it off as luck.

It’s what most of us do.
We have a hunch that we label as silly
…or maybe a gut feeling we just ignore till it goes away.

These days, though, it’s more than just my gut that sends signals.
My whole body sings! REALLY!

I don’t know how else to describe it…
But with every passing year, the signs are more indisputably clear.
This is how feminine wisdom works!

Then, as if I ever doubted,
last Saturday morning my intuition came on line
more powerfully than I can remember,
tingling to get my attention in every cell of my body!

But some background first…

I’m in Hawaii this month, soaking in the love of my new grandbaby, Hazel!
(Don’t miss us on FB.)

Last weekend I took a quick flight over to Maui to meet up with Tamara,
my dear friend and colleague of 10 years.
Laughing and reminiscing, I began to realize just how aligned we still were.
AND what a powerful duo we’d be!

Tamara and Me in Hawaii.04 2

In that moment, overlooking the surf from her balcony,
there was no ignoring the tingling in my face and chest.
Like every cell of my body was saying YES!
I’ve come to recognize this as my ultra-clear guidance for the next right step.

So right then and there,
I asked Tamara to join me to co-lead my Awakening retreat next month in Mexico.

And here’s why…
Tamara brings vast experience and skills in holding space for women’s transformation.
She’s cultivated a deep sense of determined, focused masculine energy
IN ORDER TO
flow in her gorgeous feminine beauty.
That… or course, is what this retreat is all about!

But what I love most about this dear sister is that
she knows how to revere the feminine!

She masterfully holds space for women to feel safe.
And that’s what every woman needs
to release all that blocks our radiance and brilliance.

I can hardly sit still as I write this,
feeling into how it will be — the two of us as a team
and imagining all that will be birthed
for every women who will be at Haramara this January.

So, Dear Sister, if you’ve been putting your own wishes on the back burner,
…too busy with the holidays to even consider what you really need,
…thinking a few New Year’s resolutions on January 1st will be enough,
STOP now, and feel into what’s true.

What do you most need to live your beautiful, full-out and joyous life?

My Awakening your Divine Feminine Self retreat in Mexico is just over a month away.
If this retreat might be your answer, please don’t wait.

A gorgeous group of women have already booked their flights.
But I have to give firm numbers to Haramara next week.
so take this little step right now…

Anytime you need to know your own truth,
(And for now, what your own wisdom knows about the retreat,)

Sit still for a moment.
Take three deep quiet breaths.
Place your hand on your heart.
And ask your question….
            Is now the time for me to more deeply awaken my beautiful feminine soul?

In this moment, notice how your body is responding?
You might have felt your torso pulling forward.
or a subtle tingling in your hands (or whole body – like me).
or maybe a lightness and fluttering in your chest.

How does your body say its intuitive YES?

Imagine how great it would be to know how each woman reading this
experiences her own unique intuition’s signals.
Can you tell us in the comment section below?

And if that YES was about the retreat
then click here to book a chat with me.

We’ll see if this is the next step for you right now.
(And only if it’s in perfect alignment with your inner wisdom.)
I may also be able to help you over the hump we all have
when we’re contemplating something big and important.

Now that was fun! Thanks for playing along.
And don’t forget to leave a comment down below!

I’m sending you big love, Sisters!

PS…So no matter whether Mexico is calling you
or you just need a bit of sisterhood guidance, I’m always here to chat.