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What To Do When Life Has Other Plans For You ~ Living an Authentic Life

I’m walking on a snow-covered path in a national forest in Minnesota. It’s mid January 2018 and the last day of my “snowcation.” In my mind, this walk in the fresh snow was going to be the beginning of a new period of renewal and creativity for me. I’ve wanted to resume creating content for my book and new retreats since before Hurricane Irma hit last summer.

My intention for this trip was to have time in nature, clear my head, and reflect. I was looking forward to returning home refreshed and inspired and to write about living an authentic life. But that didn’t turn out to be the case…life had other plans for me.

Instead an authentic life event happened. I took my phone out to capture a beautiful image of a natural ice sculpture in a stream, when all of a sudden I received the news that my beloved stepmother Patti had passed suddenly that morning. In that moment I had a full body visceral feeling not only of shock and sadness, but a deep knowing that my life had just changed forever. Instead of writing about living an authentic life, I found myself having to live into it

What do we do when we’re walking down one path and then life experiences point us in a different direction? Instead of feeling inspired to be creative, I found myself turned upside down, driving back and forth across the state of Florida assisting my dad in planning, getting settled, and re-organized after the passing of his beloved wife of 38 years. Although I was truly honored to be there for him and the rest of our extended family, I felt overwhelmed, ungrounded and thrown off balance. It brought me to a deeper understanding that although I can plan and have goals and aspirations, living an authentic life truly happens from moment to moment.

What does it mean to live an authentic life? Authenticity is defined as genuineness….the proven fact that something is legitimate or real. REAL LIFE HAPPENS! You just don’t one day start living an authentic life….it’s a series of experiences. Each life experience takes us deeper and gives us the opportunity to reflect.

I often tell my clients during their 1:1 Soul Play Healing Sessions to play with getting comfortable in their discomfort. I’ve found that growth and inner change can take an immense amount of courage and strength.

I had to really dig deep and go within to make the shift to where I was being led. I found myself struggling to try and be creative. I felt a pull to keep going down the same path I was going before Patti’s death. It was difficult to truly let go and surrender to the present moment. I was being guided to be of service. Period. No creating, no pushing, no doing. This was genuine…this was real….this was living authentically.

So how can our souls play with living authentically when life has other plans for us?

I’d like to share my “Soul Play” practices that supported me on this journey:

* I listened deeper and made stillness my friend
* I allowed myself to go deeper & deeper into the experience
* I wrote daily in my journal to keep me connected to my heart, and I allowed my heart to lead
* I practiced living in the moment and trusting the process
* I spoke my truth without letting the approval of others get in my way
* I set healthy boundaries even in the midst of disappointing others
* I reached out and asked for support
* I focused on my self-care (healthy food and lots of water)
* I let the tears flow
* I moved my body daily
* I allowed myself the time I needed
* I focused on appreciation and all I had to be grateful for
* I celebrated the memories I’ve shared with my family


Patti, My Dad, & I

I realized I didn’t have to look for content to write about, I was actually living the content… living the story so I could write about it later. As we go through life and fully participate, the content is always there.

Living the most authentic life possible continues to be a daily aspiration for me.

Even when life has other plans!

What does living an authentic life look like and feel like to you?
What do you do when life has other plans for you?

YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF IS YOUR SOUL MADE VISIBLE.

Authentically yours,

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The Gift of Connected, Courageous Conversations

I’ve learned throughout the years that what’s happening in my outside world, is often (if not always), a reflection of what’s going on in my inner life.

I’ve also learned to pay attention to the messages and reflect on the lessons being offered.  In the past, if I haven’t listened, I was presented with an even bigger lesson, warning sign or wake up call.  It’s not always a 2×4 knock over the head, but often the consequences are greater and require a bigger “recovery period.”

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Getting Back to Joy

I haven’t been home on a weekend in almost three months. Traveling to Minnesota, Norway, Chicago with side trips in between.  All of it really great stuff….just a lot of it.
I had intended to write a blog about traveling to Norway and my ancestral lineage, but it was coming out in bits and pieces and just wouldn’t flow.  I played with my resistance, got comfortable with my discomfort and then realized I was in my old pattern of pushing.  Instead of writing my blog and having it be fun, it felt like a “project.”  So, I consciously made the decision to abandon my “project” and lean into the tools that I teach ~ Soul Play.
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Staying Open Hearted In The Eye Of A Storm

I’m sending out a quick note to say hello and let you know that I’ve been thinking of you and holding you in my heart.
I had planned on sending out my monthly newsletter several weeks ago but Mother Nature had other plans for me.  Hurricane Irma came barreling through my home state of Florida.  Although I feel very fortunate to still have my house, the energetic chaos that occured is undeniable.  I am still in the process of getting back to center.
Not only was there Hurricane Irma…but Harvey and Maria, an earthquake in Mexico, fires in California and the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Whether or not you were directly affected by any of these tragedies, I believe, as humans, collectively we are. We are just wired that way.
My heart goes out to those who have been personally impacted. And even if you haven’t been directly affected, I sense that this feeling of fear and being unsettled may be touching you too.
So how does one stay calm in the eye of a storm?  How do we dig deeper to stay positive or rested or grounded? How does one regroup when suddenly, in the blink of an eye, everything looks different on the outside?
If there was ever a time to lean into Soul Play  ~ this is it.
Finding a way to keep our hearts open and stand united is a huge part of Soul Play.
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Getting support through the feelings of grief and fear and finding a way to take better care of myself enables me to be there for other people.
I feel like these are the times when I have to dig really deep in the spirit of Soul Play.  I create the space for love, compassion, companionship, support, and staying present.  Whether it’s donating to a relief fund, hugging someone you love and telling them that you love them or simply making eye contact with a stranger or offering someone a smile. Heaven knows we could all use some sort of support in weathering these storms of life.
Here’s a few suggestions of how to keep an open heart along the way through Soul Play:
*  Breathe into your body to stay in the present moment
*  Allow yourself to feel your feelings
Reach out to support another and lean in to support yourself
*  Tell the people you love that you love them
*  Practice self-care by tending to and grounding yourself
*  Stay open to possibilities
I invite you to practice one or more of the above suggestions or create your own version of open-hearted Soul Play.
With love and an open heart,
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My friend, Barbara Stanny (The Leading Authority on Women and Wealth), has created an event that will show you how to focus and train your brain to build your wealth. And, I’m SO excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at this amazing event! Rewire will take place this October in Chicago and it is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced where she will share her new approach on wealth building for women. There are still a few seats left. Will you join us? Learn more here: https://barbarastanny.com/rewire-2017

Traveling with Soul Play  ~ Igniting Your Inner Adventurer 

When I graduated from high school many moons ago, the most popular jobs for a woman were that of a court room reporter, a nurse, a teacher or a flight attendant (aka a stewardess back then).
Being a flight attendant was quite glamorous back in the day (it has many perks today as well). Although I loved to type, teach, care for people and travel, none of those positions was the path I chose.

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June’s Juicy Story

Wow!  How time flies!
It’s that time of year. Tomorrow is officially Summer Solstice and the first day of summer.  With this new season comes new energy AND more time to play!
School’s out for the summer
The days are long and steamy
There is a feeling of spaciousness
There is a sense of freedom and adventure

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Soul Refreshment

It’s been a challenging 6 weeks….I’ve found myself having to do things that I resist because they’re really not that fun for me. Taking care of tax stuff, calling around and shopping for health insurance, refinancing my condo and the learning curve that comes with the process. I’m glad I persevered because the process was actually empowering. I didn’t give up, I asked for and got the support I needed, and it was refreshing to stay centered and in flow throughout the projects.
The icing on the cake was when I received a call from one of my best friends from middle school. Her Dad just had a massive stroke. This man was such a big influence in my life and like a second father to me. Suddenly everything started whirling around and I found myself in between two worlds ~ one foot in real life and the other holding space for someone I cared about whose life in physical form was coming to an end.

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The Voice of Soul Play

When I was a child I was taught that if you held a sea shell up to your ear, you could hear the sound of the sea. This was fascinating to me! Since I was born and raised in Florida, I had a lot of opportunities to listen to the voice of the ocean.

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Living Outside The Box

 

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Last fall was rich with new growth and insights.
I had a conversation with a friend I have known for almost 20 years. She said, “Do you remember when I first met you … you muscle tested me and helped me get to the bottom of something that the Mayo Clinic could not. You were doing all of this healing stuff before it was popular.” I realized that I have always, in a sense, lived outside of the box….

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