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Letting Life Be In Charge

Are you ready to stop letting your personal fears dictate your life and instead simply surrender to what life has in store for you? Are you tired of trying to control everyone and everything?

Despite your best efforts, life rarely unfolds the way you want it to! Although you don’t want to
face that you are not in control – it actually is self-evident! Life is the natural result of all the forces in creation, not just the way you think things should unfold for you. You are never powerless in how things do unfold for you; you use your will to chart your life course and to navigate what does come your way.

Interested? First, check your beliefs: do you absolutely believe that the Universe means you well, that the Universe wants you
to have what is highest and best for you? Do you believe that the Universe knows best as to when it can address your needs in the best possible way?

Are you aware how your thoughts and feelings derail your sense of peace and trust in the timing? Isn’t it shocking how the mind imprisons you with its fear, anxiety and tension? It seems that one minute, you are calm and confident and the next you disappear into the grip of the mind, no longer present or peaceful. Similarly, do you notice how your feelings can overwhelm you – that is, if you hold on to them versus letting them simply pass through?

When in the thrall of negativity that makes you feel you are not doing enough, realize that pushing through is not helping: the more you push, the more you push away the result you want and, even worse, the “push energy” goes into your work!

When you first begin practicing letting life be in charge, you quickly get in touch with your resistance. It is as if whatever the Universe sends, you find ways to reject it: it isn’t your preference,
the timing is wrong, it doesn’t fit your pictures.

I did this at first, with the invitation to write a monthly article for this magazine! Fortunately, I quickly recognized that my mind was doing its usual number of trying to create a problem! Then I had a profound realization that my resistance was controlling me! I learned to say, “yes!” and to see where saying, “yes” would take me instead.

Another area of concern revealed itself to me on this path: I got nervous when business slowed down. My agitation sent me spinning into activities that never went anywhere. I over-rode my intuition, my needs and my vision closed down, limiting my options. Instead, I decided to align with the ebb and flow of the Universe, allowing myself to rest and integrate while waiting.

READ THE FULL SIBYL MAGAZINE
(July, 2018 edition)

Integrating the Head and Heart

Have you ever been given feedback in such a gentle way that although you felt loved and cared for, you weren’t at all clear what was being said?

Or, perhaps conversely, you were crystal clear but didn’t feel seen or valued within the exchange?

It is important to Conscious Business Women that we are gracious and connected to our hearts and yet not blurring the lines of communication with our caring. I like to think about it as the integration of the head and heart. The heart wants to assure you that you are appreciated, cared for, and that support is available; the head wants to make sure that you know exactly what you are doing that needs improvement, that you are committed to finding a solution and that you are aware of the potential consequences of not changing your behavior.

From my own executive experience in Corporate America, the head was more honored than the heart. Being called, “soft” was not a compliment! And yet, those managers who, “called it the way they saw it,” with little regard for the feelings of those they were addressing, didn’t fare any better in the annual employee feedback survey.

Whether you are trying to improve the behavior of your spouse, your child, your employee, your colleague, or even yourself, protecting the person’s self-esteem is vital. If you cut a person down, they will stop believing in themselves; if you imply they can do nothing right – you will find yourself trapped in the role of constantly telling them what to do. And yet, if you are so intent on building them up, you will confuse them as what the actual issue is and they will see no reason to change!

The solution is to balance the input from the head and the heart.

The heart wants to make sure the conversation is held in private, and to ensure you understand that you are doing most things well; yet understand what needs to improve.

The head needs you to understand that this one thing is undermining the rest of your performance and that not fixing it will have specified negative consequences. Then, the head and heart want to work together to help you to resolve the issue and commit to it. The head wants the specifics clearly defined and the heart wants to offer whatever support is needed. The head wants to be sure that when the conversation is over, you walk away with a clear understanding: what the issue is, why it is unacceptable, how to fix it and the consequences of not fixing it.

This process works as beautifully for self-coaching as it does for coaching others. Some see the head as a masculine trait and the heart as a feminine trait, but actually we all have both traits regardless of our sex. What a beautiful modeling of the equality between the sexes and how working together in harmony yields a higher and better outcome for all.

READ THE FULL SIBYL MAGAZINE
(June, 2018 edition)

Letting Go of Control

Aren’t you tired of trying to control everyone and everything – it is so exhausting!

And, despite your best efforts, life rarely unfolds the way you want it to. As a conscious business woman, I didn’t want to face that I am not in control – but it actually is self-evident! Life is the natural result of all the forces in creation, not just the way I think things should unfold for me. Of course, I am not powerless, I use my will to chart my course through life and how to navigate what does, in fact, come my way. And, I absolutely believe that the Universe means me well, that the Universe wants me to have what is highest and best for me. It even knows when it can address my needs in the best possible way.

Yet, I am also aware how my thoughts and feelings derail my sense of peace and trust that all is unfolding the way it is meant to. It is shocking how the mind imprisons me with its fear, anxiety and tension. It seems that one minute, I am calm and confident and then suddenly I’ve disappeared into the grip of the mind, no longer present and certainly no longer peaceful.

Similarly, I noticed how my feelings could overwhelm me – if I held on to them versus letting them simply pass through.

When in the thrall of negative feelings and thoughts that make me feel I am not doing enough, I realize that pushing through does not help: the more I push, the more I push away the result I want and even worse the “push energy” goes into the communications I am sending!

When I first began practicing letting life be in charge, I quickly got in touch with my resistance. It was as if whatever the Universe sent me, I found ways to reject it: it wasn’t my preference, the timing was wrong, or it didn’t fit my pictures.

Fortunately, I quickly recognized that my mind was doing its usual number of trying to create a problem! Then I had a profound realization that my resistance was controlling me! I learned to say, “Yes!” and to see where saying, “Yes” would take me instead.

Another area of concern revealed itself to me on this path: I got nervous when business slowed down. My agitation sent me spinning into activities that never went anywhere except depleting me. I over-rode my intuitions, the needs of my body and my vision closed down, limiting my options. Instead, I decided to align with the natural rhythms of the Universe, ebb and flow, and to allow myself to rest and integrate while I was waiting.

Getting out of my own way, allows the Universe to bring me more and more of my heart’s desires, giving me integration time so that I can receive even more of what serves me.

Can you relate?

READ THE FULL SIBYL MAGAZINE
(May, 2018 edition)

The New Normal Includes Chaos

There is no denying that we are experiencing chaos worldwide. We are in the chaos years that have been predicted for thousands of years.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

This week during a client session Aimée and I were sharing how the current energy patterns are disruptive and creating chaos in order for each of us to do our deepest clearing work, or we will suffer even more. She exclaimed “haven’t you been talking about energies like these being present for years? When will it end”? We have been talking about this for years and it will not end, it will shift to another level yet will not end. When we are able to relax into the chaos that is presenting itself there is more peace even if for only a moment.

We experience chaos every day in large and small ways. The car won’t start, traffic is at a standstill causing distress that we will not make an appointment, sick children, aging parents with unpredictable needs, heartbreak, the list is endless. A new neighbor moves in that plays loud music and has parties that go late into the night, they own the house so nothing is going to change anytime soon.
Chaos IS good news? Chaos creates the openness where things fall apart and new creations arise. When you nearly crash your car or slip and nearly fall you are immediately thrown into present time and can experience open space. As a loved one is preparing to leave their body our experience of the now, one moment at a time, is a powerful experience.

Another way chaos is good news is that when things seem very bad, there is a big opportunity for something good to take place. It takes shifting your focus, asking, is this really true that I am holding this situation as bad can open you up to new possibilities.

The pain and confusion are now so vivid in the world that we have no choice but to acknowledge it. The possibility exists that we will all come to our senses and collectively discover and make higher level choices. Only by staring at the confusion and chaos while examining it will we discover a way forward. To enlighten means to “fully illuminate”, we see the problem and find a solution. Being unaware of the problem is not being enlightened it is being ignorant. Even on a personal level, when we have challenges in our life, the answer is already there; we just need to embrace it. If we are tired, rest, if we are overeating, stop and eat with moderation, if we are lonely make a connection with another.
Every morning we get to contemplate what we are doing in our life today and choose the energy we want to bring to it. Are we adding to the fear and anxiety or are we adding to the positivity, compassion and encouragement?

When we consider that chaos is good news, whatever comes our way -good or bad- has less power to throw us off track and obstruct our progress.

Chaos is in your midst, so be extra kind to yourself and others, you will be much happier if you are kind.

Love and blessings,

Karen & Aimee

A Conscious Business Woman Manifesto

When I heard the Dalai Lama say, many years ago, that it was the western woman who would save the world, I took it personally.

I had long been working in the field of business, first as a corporate executive and then, like so many other women disgusted with the corporate politics, I became an entrepreneur. The issue, I eventually realized, was that the current business model was written by men for men. This is not a criticism but a fact.

I resolved to do business differently, consciously and ultimately developed, with my business partner, Karen Halseth, a Conscious Business Woman Manifesto with nine tenets. We identified what made us uncomfortable in the male business model: for example, corruption, exclusion, competition, patriarchy, and greed. Our Manifesto would focus on such qualities as integrity, active listening, collaboration, inclusivity, sustainability and sharing the wealth. A Conscious Business Woman knows that women are her allies not her rivals.

When we introduced it at one of our monthly networking gatherings, Developing Alliances: Professional Gatherings for Extraordinary Women, our audience roared their appreciation. It was one our finest moments to witness 70 women standing, reading the Manifesto aloud and then sitting down to sign it. As Conscious Business Women, we hold enormous power; we choose who we do business with, invest with, and partner with.

Today there are almost 250 million women running businesses across the world and on average more than a third of global firms have female owners.

We realized that many business women have been trained by men in the art of manipulation, using bullying techniques such as shaming and creating false states of urgency to keep the pressure on. We committed to only bring in speakers who were aligned with the Manifesto, and to not reward those salespeople who were invested in the old model. As Conscious Business Women, we value developing a relationship with another business woman first, the “know-like- and trust” model. I want to know who you are, what you stand for, and to see if we can relate to each other before I sign up for one of your programs. Don’t you?

The heart has been trashed in the old model, it’s clear that the head rules when you look at decisions made by share-holders and governing bodies that are greed-based and demonstrate their disregard for the wellbeing of those less fortunate. And yet, it has been proven that the heart is actually more intelligent than the brain – no surprise there!

What if we all worked together for the good of all people?

Can you imagine a world like that?

We are seeing another powerful way that women are saving the world through the “Me Too!” and “Time’s Up” movements, by finding their voices and speaking out.

How are you playing your part? We’d love to hear from you.

READ THE FULL SIBYL MAGAZINE (April, 2018 edition) BY CLICKING HERE.

In Praise of Ease

Up until now, pain is seemingly a non-negotiable, but suffering is a different matter; it is a choice.

Instead of suffering and struggling, we could choose the path of ease and joy. Suffering comes from resisting what is happening. Ease and joy comes from flowing with it. Every time you experience suffering, it is a sign that you are off track and have stepped out of the flow. Suffering comes from pushing our bodies to perform beyond the balance point that preserves your wellbeing. Continuing to work in this “danger zone” further stresses, depletes and exhausts you.

With so many choices and responsibilities in life, you may find yourself pushed to your limit, unable to relax when you do have a moment and disconnected from the people and activities you most enjoy. What’s perhaps even worse is that you always feel stalked by failure, fear, anxiety.

One popular solution is to live a simpler life, but, what if there was a way to navigate your life in a way that allowed you to fully show up for the people and activities that truly matter to you, and let you refuel, reboot and rejuvenate along the way?

A few benefits: When your body is at rest, you are your most creative, powerful and strong. When stressed, vision closes down and reduces your options; when you are relaxed, vision opens up and you are able to see many choices. Stress creates more problems; you get to waste time cleaning up your messes, instead of getting it right the first time. Ease and joy become ways you navigate through life; course correcting each time you
recognize you have chosen off path.

I was lucky that in my late 20’s, I heard a term that really got my attention: restful alertness, the ability to be deeply at rest in the midst of activity. The teachers of this meditation practice were
peaceful and yet dynamic, and charismatic. Later, I explored the idea of being “comfortable in my own skin” through a process of grounding and centering. These two practices have become a way of life for me. My life partner added another, “Don’t hold unnecessary tension in the body.”

I keep my choice for joy and ease top of mind. My body is now a tool of discernment. I trust it completely. Its innate wisdom helps me determine what I want to do (my body opens, moves
forward, feels upbeat) and what I don’t (my body contracts, moves away from and feels overwhelmed). My body also lets me know when it needs a break; I lose the ability to focus, feel restless or start yawning. These breaks can be as short as 5-10 minutes, time for a walk around the garden, drink a cup of tea mindfully, or close the eyes for a few minutes.

If you believe that life is a struggle, remember that Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”

READ THE FULL SIBYL MAGAZINE (March, 2018 edition) BY CLICKING HERE.

Relationship Versus Relatingship

We are all familiar with the term relationships, we talk about them all the time. We talk about relationships with our loved ones, kids, family, friends and clients. We talk about the potential to improve our current relationships, while for some, the topic is finding the relationship of their dreams.

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

We have a relationship with our work, with nature, with time, the list is endless. The word, relationship, is used thousands of times a day without much thought.

The definition of relationship (noun): the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other: a romantic or sexual friendship between two people: the way in which two or more people or things are connected.

Even though we have contact throughout everyday in one way or another, many people are finding themselves feeling disconnected and unfulfilled.

What is it that keeps so many going through the motions of relationships and finding they have a longing for so much more? What is the missing piece? I believe it is relating that brings a deeper connection that leads to fulfillment.

The definition of relating-ship (yes, I made it up): The verb, relate, means “to make a connection.” If you can relate to someone’s story, something like that has happened to you or someone close to you. Relate also means “to give an account of something verbally,” like relating details of something important to you. That meaning of relate comes from the Latin word, relatus, meaning “to recount, tell.”

Here is a simple example of relationship vs relating-ship:

Recently a middle-aged man with two cats moved into the unit above me. When we passed, I would always smile and say hello. He would lift his eyes for a moment, mumble hello, and lower his gaze as he walked by. He was not unkind – only reserved, and I realize that not everyone wants to know their neighbors.

This went on for a number of weeks – it was our relationship. I wasn’t expecting anything, knowing that I will always say hello as I pass by. Recently a large new shiny silver truck replaced the sportscar in his parking spot. I smiled and acknowledged the change with “nice truck.” He responded with a smile and “yeah.” The next time we passed on the sidewalk, I said “good morning” this time he changed. He looked up, smiled and started talking about how cold it was. He was on the way to work at the Hyatt hotel where he is employed. I shared that I had worked at the Bodega Bay Lodge and Spa in the past – we were now relating. He shared that he may move to Tennessee and work at a Hyatt that is being built there. I commented that his truck would be perfect in Tennessee, and a big grin crossed his face. His last comment was “I have a heavy walk, I hope that I don’t disturb you when I am home, I try to be quiet.” Yes, we were relating.

To be in full disclosure, I often wish that he would take off his shoes when he came home. I wished he went to bed earlier so he didn’t wake me, I agree he has a heavy walk. After we had a relating moment, I don’t mind the noise as much; I have connected with the person, it made a difference.

To relate means to share, to relate means to love. To relate requires a certain level of vulnerability.
Using a nature analogy: two seeds cannot relate, they are closed and protected there is no space for relating. Two flowers can relate, they are open, they share their fragrances, they bask in the same sun and blow in the same wind.

We each have the opportunity to allow the seed to open and become a flower. It is your choice and each moment the choice has to be faced; each moment you are at a crossroads. Millions of people decide not to open or to only open within their comfort zone. How can they relate? It seems safer to keep a distance, at least to some degree. The flower is exposed, to the elements. Anything can happen to the flower, everything can happen to the flower. But to remain a seed is not to live fully, which is the price of staying secure as a seed.

Relating is a process, avoid doing relationships and go deeper and deeper into relating. Life is not a noun it is a verb, it is living. It is not a song, it is singing. It is not relationship, it is relating. It is not a dance, it is dancing. It is not love, it is loving.

To live your life consciously there is always an invitation to go deeper; if it was easy we would be doing it already. Look at what you say you want and may not have in the moment and ask how you are contributing to that outcome; it takes courage and vulnerability to look within. There is strength in vulnerability and it is essential for relating-ships.

Before you can relate with anything or anyone else, relate with yourself, find your center first. That is the basic requirement that needs to be fulfilled. With it, nothing is impossible. Relate with a flower, with the wind, relate with a child, relate with a friend or a lover, relate with laughter – yours and others – just relate.

I invite you to choose one area that you are willing to deepen and move from relationship to relating-ship.

Share your area in the comment section or email info@whattrulymatters.com. I look forward to creating a relating-ship with you.

Love and blessings,

Karen & Aimee

Living From Pleasure to Pleasure

Have you ever wondered why two people who face the exact same set of circumstances in life react in very different ways? One appreciates all that she does have; the other focuses on everything she doesn’t. One changes everything she has the power to change in her circumstances; the other complains bitterly about being dealt a poor hand.

Many years ago, I had a breakthrough in my thinking when I realized that the quality of life is all in how you hold it. We know that what you put your attention on expands and yet, many of us do not question the context of our lives. For example, do you believe that the Universe really does mean you well? That it is always partnering you by bringing you what you say you want through your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions? That it really does conspire to shower you with blessings? Or, do you spend your life living in fear, waiting for the other shoe to drop?

Growing up in England, I didn’t understand that I could choose again if I didn’t like the consequences of a choice I had made and that I could choose again and again until I did. I was taught that “Once you’d made your bed – you had to lie in it.” But, luckily, once on the spiritual path, I learned that you navigate your life through your choices, most of them unconscious.

Bringing my choices into conscious awareness was my first step and recognizing that the quality of my life was dependent on the quality of the choices I made was the second. I started weeding out or delegating what I didn’t love to do and releasing the people in my life that brought me down. I let go of should do’s and have to do’s. I replaced them with want to do’s. And, then a truly radical idea occurred to me: I could choose to live my life from pleasure to pleasure! What a concept! I saw how from the moment that I awoke, setting the energy of my day through meditation and gentle stretching, enjoying my morning tea in a beautiful cup and then nibbling on delicious fresh berries, I moved effortlessly from pleasure to pleasure throughout my day.

I could say that I am fortunate to love my work but more truthfully, I take responsibility for constantly redefining it, along with my client base, even my business partners – with each change increasing the quality and my pleasure. I am fully present with each activity and each client; before moving to the next one, I refresh my energy through grounding and centering so that I am always presenting my best self. In this way, I have energy left over for my evening with my intimate partner.

If I am not experiencing pleasure, I recognize that I must have made a wrong choice and simply choose again.

READ THE FULL SIBYL MAGAZINE (Feburary, 2018 edition) BY CLICKING HERE.

Reflecting On The Richness Of This Year’s Journey

Isn’t it amazing how fast the time has gone?

Photo by Sascha Berner on Unsplash

December is already upon us, ushering in the end of 2017 and the perfect time to look at what you want to complete or let go of, an essential component to align your energies for the New Year. I hear you groan, “How can I add one more thing with everything I already have ahead of me to make it through the holidays and this year.” Just for a moment, contemplate what it would be like to not only get through this month, but to actually thrive and enjoy it fully.  With the tendency to add more to do’s and pressure to your life, it is more important than ever to slow down and connect within. If you are overextending yourself and just getting through the days you will miss the opportunity for reflection. How you began the year was important and how you end it is just as important.

The past year has provided many challenges; no one has been immune, we have experienced energies that have never before been present. Each day became an adventure in learning how to navigate new territory. Along with the challenges, that at times were very intense, came miracles and breakthroughs in relationships, heart openings, in business and in every area of life; capturing these moments will show you the richness of this year’s journey.

You know where you started, so here are a number of questions for you to consider as you move toward the finish line of 2017. You may decide to walk with one question at a time, jot down insights that come up during the day allowing your inner guidance to direct you. Or, to block out some quiet uninterrupted time (my favorite tool) to deeply reflect. We often forget to reflect on what went well, where we were courageous, vulnerable and loving, only to focus on what didn’t quite measure up.

What specific results have you achieved so far, this year?

  1. Are you healthier, wealthier, (wealth comes in many forms not only money) and wiser? Describe in detail.

  2. Are you making progress towards your life’s vision or holding ground?

  3. What results are you committed to achieve by the end of the year?

  4. How have you grown and what have you learned this year?

  5. Is there any unfinished business that needs to be tended to in your life?

  6. Are you actively pursuing what’s most important on a daily basis? If not, what is holding you back?

  7. What habits do you need to change to ensure better results?

  8. What is the key issue that inhibits your ability to perform at your best?

  9. What is one thing that you conquered this year and would like to celebrate?

I suggest you give yourself the time to answer and honor the questions above. Make a list of everything you want to leave behind by December 31st and a list of what you want to have manifesting in 2018, because when it comes to the last days of the year, every day and everything you do counts.

If this article, touched you, inspired or motivated you, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to info@whattrulymatters.com.

Love and blessings,

CHAOS IS GOOD NEWS. WHAT?

There is no denying that we are experiencing chaos worldwide. On October 9th, wild fires broke out in Northern California spreading devastation, loss of life and at least 8,500 homes/businesses destroyed.

The fire was stopped 1 mile from my home, I was evacuated for 9 days. My story is a fairy tale compared to others and yet it was my own personal harrowing journey and there was trauma involved.

The collective trauma sits heavy in the air, grief, loss and uncertainty prevail. Many people lost their homes and their jobs at the same time, there was nothing to return to in either place. I hear stories of families needing to leave the area to stay with friends or family even if they have a job, there is no housing for them here. Our community is strong and determined to rebuild, and yet, it will be years, one moment at a time.

We experience chaos every day in large and small ways. The car won’t start, traffic is at a standstill causing distress that we will not make an appointment, sick children, aging parents with unpredictable needs, heartbreak – the list is endless. As I was getting ready to for my Developing Alliances in-person event, the power went out, while I was in the shower! Chaos is in our daily lives period!

Why would I say chaos is good news? Chaos creates the openness where things fall apart and new creations arise. When you nearly crash your car, or slip and nearly fall you are immediately thrown into present time and can experience open space. This space allows us to “wake up.” During any given day, we can see where we are just going through the motions, lost in the past or the future, doing what we always do. The fires provided an instant awakening; fearing for your survival will do that. When I went to bed, Sunday night, I fully expected to wake in the morning to accomplish my Monday schedule, as usual.  At 2:30 a.m. I opened the front door to witness utter chaos, and within 20 minutes I was driving away from flames moving quickly in my direction. What Truly Mattered was completely evident, picking up my dog at the pet sitter and getting the two people I love and treasure, and get us all to safety. In that moment, possessions meant nothing.

Another way chaos is good news is that when things seem very bad, there is a big opportunity for something good to take place. During my time of evacuation, staying in the downtown area of Santa Rosa, there was one directive I heard from people I passed on the street, simply, “stay safe.” Even as I write this it brings tears to my eyes; yes, let’s all stay safe. Hearts were open and love was flowing everywhere. My prayer is that this will continue.

The pain and confusion is now so vivid in the world that we have no choice but to acknowledge it. The possibility exists that we will all come to our senses and collectively discover and make higher level choices. Only by staring at the confusion and chaos while examining it, will we discover a way forward. To enlighten means to “fully illuminate.” We see the problem and find a solution. Being unaware of the problem is not being enlightened, it is being ignorant. Even on a personal level, when we have challenges in our life, the answer is already there; we just need to embrace it. If we are tired, rest; if we are overeating, stop and eat with moderation; if we are lonely, make a connection with another.

Every morning we get to contemplate what we are doing in our life today and choose the energy we want to bring to it. Are we adding to the fear and anxiety or are we adding to the positivity, compassion and encouragement?

When we consider that chaos is good news, whatever comes our way -good or bad- has less power to throw us off track and obstruct our progress.
When chaos is in your midst, be kind to yourself and be kind to others. JUST BE KIND.

If this article, touched you, inspired or motivated you, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to info@whattrulymatters.com

Love and blessings,

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