I am honored to share my recent interview featured on The Feminine Shift website. Check out the whole interview right here.
How has 2017 looked for you so far?
Lately it’s been feeling quite expansive with a lot of opportunities arising but the start to 2017 was challenging in many ways. This winter I was faced with my own darkness as California was having long cold days with so much rain. I felt called to be much more internal than I usually am.
I began the new year stepping out of a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat where I was able to be fully present with my inner critic, limiting beliefs and fears that were still lingering underneath the surface. I held all those places that arose in my mind with loving, gentle awareness.
A little background: For the past six years I have been writing a book, Just Be: A Search for Self-Love in India, which releases August 22, 2017. Over the winter I was taking the final steps of publishing – choosing the title, cover design, editing, inside page design and I was reading the manuscript over and over again, polishing it into the finished product it is today. There were a lot of big decisions to make and it often felt overwhelming.
But as spring and summer entered the picture, something shifted within myself and that darkness I was feeling began to lift. I launched a new program to support women in sharing their voices and gifts through online courses and I had a huge response to that. I began to more deeply trust my own voice and gifts and began really allowing myself to be SEEN.
Through it all I’ve discovered that those times of darkness (that we all go through) clear the space for our times of light. Life isn’t really about everything continuing to get better and better all the time, it’s actually much more cyclical, and sometimes we have to face the darkness to create that space for the light. At least, that’s what I’ve been discovering as I’ve opened more and more to honoring the sacred feminine in my life.
What exactly is it that you do?
I’m a women’s leadership coach, mentor and guide. I spend my days teaching yoga, writing, and coaching women over the phone, in person and over video sessions. I also host a podcast called Rising Women Leaders where I share other women’s voices and stories.
I often compare what I do to The Heroine’s Journey. So many mythological stories have followed a similar blueprint – where the character feels a calling, a deep feeling that there must be something more to life. But when it came time to set foot on their adventure, they often hesitated, until that moment they met a mentor or guide, someone who had gone through it before who could offer encouragement and support along the way. I see myself as that guide.
I support women to take the next step forward on their Heroine’s journey, and to return with the elixir of all they have learned. I help my clients to see themselves as the sovereign queens that they are, to claim their gifts + share their message with the world while honoring a feminine way of being and living.
What’s your big, bold mission in the world?
My mission is to support women to connect to love within and for themselves, to move beyond their fears and truly share their greatest gifts with the world.
I believe we all have a soul calling and a divine gift to give in this life.
I see self-love really as the place to start (seeking that love within rather than outside of ourselves) because when we allow ourselves to be as we are, and hold ourselves with loving awareness through our challenges, we begin to discover our inner callings.
It was through feeling my own pain that I opened to a bigger vision for my life and began taking courageous steps to get there.
How did you start doing what you do?
It’s a long story, and can be read about in my book, Just Be, But I’ll give you a little window into it.
In 2010 I moved to San Francisco, following a vision I had while lying in savasana in a packed New York City yoga studio. I had lived in New York my whole life and was following a masculine model of achieving and doing. I often found myself with stress, exhaustion with chronic pain and headaches.
Then I found yoga. Yoga provided the first experience for me to “Just be.” For the first time I learned to sit with the uncomfortable sensations in my body and breathe into them. I allowed myself to feel the difficult emotions of a break up, the self-consciousness I held around my skin breaking out, how inadequate I felt not being able to find stable work, and how difficult it was to be trying to fit into the mold of a society that I knew in my heart was not for me. It was in yoga class where I first discovered to ‘just be’ and without realizing it had my first encounter of the sacred feminine – what it means to be rather than do. In that space I reconnected to my intuition, and began seeing visions.
Through listening to one of these visions, I moved to SF and started a new life. Ten days after being in San Francisco a man walked up to me in a park and told me, “I don’t know why I feel the need to tell you this, but I’m going to see a saint this weekend, and I think you’re supposed to go…”
That saint happened to be Amma, an Indian guru who travels around the world giving people hugs.
Within a few months I cut off all my hair and found myself on a plane to India, on a quest to seek love within rather than outside of myself. I lived there for six months visiting spiritual teachers and gurus. Amma’s ashram was the first place I started.
My time in India is what I share about in the book. Afterwards, I came back to the States and began teaching yoga to help others breathe through their difficulties + challenges, and soon after finished a coaching certification to go deeper to support others in developing their business, honoring a feminine lifestyle and discovering their unique purpose.
What are the 3 biggest lessons you have learned?
Be fully present with myself in moments of challenge or difficulty
I remind myself to feel my pain – whether it be physical or emotional and experience it as pure sensation rather than attaching a story to it right away. When I allow myself to really feel what I’m feeling and hold myself with love, I soon after find my center and can move forward and make decisions from a grounded place.
If I feel fear + even just a little bit of excitement I should go for it.. Keep reading here