When I was a little girl I fought tooth and nail for what was right.
I was the kid who spoke up (sometimes even shouted) in the classroom when the teacher didn’t treat all kids with the respect and love they deserved.
I was the kid on the playground who wouldn’t stand for unfair treatment or abandonment of anyone.
I was the child in my family who argued with my well-meaning parents (and other unsuspecting adults) every time they attempted to squelch the self-expression of myself or my siblings.
In Middle School, they called me “nice person” because took a stand for everyone as equals. I was the kid you couldn’t fit into any particular box because I had friends in each one.
In Graduate School, I quickly went from the wunderkind for whom my professors expected fame, to the black sheep that my professors despised for her unwavering ethics.
But then it all changed. In my 13-year career as a social worker and bilingual teacher I found that helping people was less about standing up for people; and more about giving people permission to access their own wisdom to stand powerfully for themselves. And in my last 11 years as an entrepreneur, CEO, and leader of leaders I’ve deepened in humility as I’ve grown to recognize that I and my company are not growing unless all of us get to grow with it. My team, my clients, my partners — if we’re not all becoming more powerful, my company isn’t aligned with the truth of power itself.
It’s simply not enough to stand for the change we can see possible and to try to get people to
“drink the kool-aid” about what we know needs to change. Shaking the world to wake it up doesn’t work if those around us aren’t waking up to their own truth alongside ours. Overcoming a fear of our power means overcoming a fear of the power of others, as well.
Deep down we’re afraid that power leads to an unlevel playing field. We fear that when people step into their power they won’t need us any longer. We fear abandonment of the support systems we count on.
When we choose to see everyone as powerful, however, our fears are given permission to transform.
Restoring people to their true power creates allies in change.
And restoring people to their innate wisdom — the first outcome of restoring people to their power — takes problems and creates immediate openings for solutions.
Creating change requires stepping back from the need to be seen in our own wisdom, and empowering others into theirs.
Creating change means letting leadership die, and something new take over.
The way I used to fight for others as a kid is no longer necessary, because now others are beginning to understand it’s safe for them to do the same (yes, not all of the world quite yet, but this is the trajectory we’re on and we’re not getting off of it anytime soon).
Leadership is dying because the innate wisdom of one cannot support the needs and fulfillment of many. Our needs and that deeper sense of fulfillment in our goals are only met when we each own the wisdom within ourselves and are given the opportunity to use it.
Leadership is dying because the guru-mentality has been cracked open and we can no longer lead with our fears or need to be seen.
Instead of leading with how much we know, we’re learning to lead with how much we don’t know. Leadership is dying because our egos can no longer stand at the helm of the ship. Our contributions have gotten bigger. The visibility of the suffering on the planet has become so obvious we can’t ignore it any longer. And scalability now has little to do with our ego’s wants, and a lot more to do with what the planet and its people require of us.
Those who choose not to see this are still welcome to play it safe with the old context of leadership. But for those of us who choose to see where the planet is headed and play a role in it, we cannot cling to the old paradigm of leadership any longer.
To make an impact of this size, we’re now required to learn how to channel the strength of the cosmos in order to scale our companies.
To “lead” today, each of us must hone our unique capacity to connect the dots between the physical and energetic worlds. And because of the uniqueness of the capacity to do this within each and every one of us, there can be many leaders to one process, rendering leadership itself — dead.
Death, however, does not happen to create emptiness or confusion. Death happens so that new life can come through. In the death of leadership, we are finding something new.
Leadership is dying so that facilitation can take over.
No matter what form our work takes on, we must learn to continually empty ourselves out so that the unique version of wisdom that wants to move through us can lead us.
We learn to co-create with that wisdom that both is, and is not of us, to create pathways that allow us all to be leaders — exponentializing the capacity we and our companies have to create shifts.
We learn to facilitate the process of those who are counting on our unique wisdom, to support them in the catalyzation of theirs.
We learn to proudly cultivate and own up to the truth that if we claimed to have all the answers, we’d be lying. Instead, we agree to cultivate our own power and wisdom so that together we can help those in our field cultivate theirs.
With facilitation, we learn that the wisdom of one person does not discount the wisdom of another, but build each other up.
With facilitation, we learn to open to the process itself and allow it to show us what we wouldn’t be able to see on our own.
A leader can command people to see them. But a facilitator can command people to see themselves.
And to cultivate the shift of an entire paradigm, it has to be about them, not about us.
As we were putting the finishing touches on “From Soul to Business: Love Letters & Lessons from Experts with Successful Businesses & Fulfilling Lives,” we felt something was off, that a piece of magic was missing. We soon discovered that the soul of Modern Day Sorcerer had something to say and was eager to speak directly to its participants.
The message below was channeled from MDS and it’s the first love letter included in From Soul to Business. We decided to share it with all of you, as well, because the energy felt powerful and pure and important for you to receive, regardless of whether or not you even have a business!
More than anything, this letter is an opportunity to anchor into the energy of what opportunities are unfolding in your life right now and an invitation to start dancing with your life in a new way.
We’re choosing to keep the language intact, so if you don’t have a business, we invite you to replace that language with whatever vocation, passion, opportunity, or purposeful work you’re called to do.
Here’s your special message from the soul of MDS:
Imagine walking up to someone on the street who appears to need your help, and jumping right in to help without asking any questions about what they actually need. That wouldn’t be true service – you’d just be imposing your intentions on them.
The same thing happens when we impose our intentions on the souls of our businesses: we stop being in true service to ourselves and our vision.
Business is an amazing dance. When we stop listening to the music, or when we keep trying to dance after the music stops or the rhythm changes, the dance ceases to be fun.
And business was never meant to be stripped of fun. It’s not intended to be a dry space where we force ourselves into exertion simply to make money or to be of service; it’s a party where you and your business and the people you serve get to dance til the sun comes up!
For most people, not learning to dance with the soul of the business itself is the missing key to what feels “off” in their business.
The soul of our business is intertwined with our own soul – it’s an intrinsic connection that exists regardless of what drove us to business in the first place.
Because these souls are intertwined, they lead each other and are equally invested in each other’s growth. It’s a reciprocal relationship, one that takes the visionary and the vision to the greatest depths and highest heights.
And while we are powerful creators and are meant to act as such, the souls of our businesses know who we are in ways that run far deeper. There is no need, then, to direct our business – there’s no need to push it forward or guide it blindly. When we learn to listen to it and dance with it, we get to become way more powerful than we ever conceived.
This dance is a choice.
We can choose to step into full alignment with our greatest potential – both the infinite version of ourselves that our businesses want us to become, and the fullness of our vision eager to come through in its highest form.
Or we can choose to continue with business as usual. There is nothing wrong with this – doing so will not necessarily stop us from making money or even from helping people. But it will put on hold the greater purpose brewing inside of us and that BIGNESS we’ve felt from a young age, the bigness we sometimes resist being open about because we’re afraid of sounding delusional. It leaves us with an emptiness inside that could be easily filled if only we would listen to, and learn to dance with, the soul of our business.
The soul of your business knows how to lift away the heaviness of the work you’re here to do for the planet. It knows how to guide you to the heights that look dizzying and the dreams that seems ridiculous but are actually more than possible when we’re truly aligned with our work.
This is why we at Team MDS listen when MDS itself speaks – this is how From Soul to Business came to exist in the first place.
There’s so much wisdom within the love letters (and videos and interviews and advice) included in this offering. That wisdom is inside of you and the soul of your business too, it’s simply choosing to come through in the words of other powerful beings and successful business owners who have been where you’re at and are eager to make your path easier.
Tomorrow, you’ll receive access to ALL of this content, and you’ll have a full week to play with it and incorporate it into your business and life. (Of course, if you’d love lifetime access to it, there’ll be an opportunity to get that before the week ends!)
There is one simple thing you can do to truly make the most of the magic available to you here. Tonight or tomorrow, before you dive into this juicy content, start to dance with the soul of your business in a new way. Turn on your favorite music and allow the soul of your business to speak to you through the words of the song or the beat of the music or a snippet of conversation outside your window or a voice you hear in your heart.
Find out where your business is ready to go and get ready to move in that direction with us as your guide. Share with us in our Soulful Brilliance Facebook group any questions or insights that come up for you after doing this. We’re so happy to support you!
You’re on a beautiful journey, and we honor you for showing up!
I think we, as a species, tend to complicate our lives because we don’t know what we want. Overthinking and overanalyzing become the norm, causing so much stress and anxiety in our daily lives.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Universe truly does speak to us in extraordinary and unexpected ways. We just have to listen… Listen with the heart instead of the mind. How? By paying attention to how something makes us feel rather than jumping to examine it cognitively.
It’s hard for me to believe that just a short time ago, I was still flustered and confused about what to focus on and which direction to go in.
I had heard my calling over a year ago but insisted on getting my brain too involved and that led me down the rabbit hole.
My ideas became stagnant, and nothing was in flow anymore. I was totally ready to give up, thinking that maybe I was delusional in thinking I was destined for great things or even worthy of it.
But as soon as I let go, ready to give up, things started to clear up again.
That’s because I had stopped ‘thinking’ about it. Once my mind was silenced, my heart was able to hear again, my eyes able to see.
I may not know my exact path, but that’s ok… I am clear on my next step and that’s all I need right now. I will know more when I’m ready to know more.
If you’ve been feeling lost or uncertain in your journey, I invite you to quiet the mind and let your heart lead the way. Ask your heart what truly feels best, and see if your body offers up any clues as well – do you get chills, for instance?
By setting aside the mind for just a bit, you open up space to create more magic – precisely the type of magic that your mind will work with you to build upon when the time is right. That’s a promise!
Even the nicest people can struggle with kindness sometimes, especially if they’re having a bad day.
Especially those moments when someone doesn’t seem ‘worthy’ of kindness…
Sound familiar? When it’s been a rough couple of days or even just a tough few hours, in the heat of the moment it’s easy to be horrible to ‘horrible’ people.
(Notice, horrible is in quotes!)
In the past, when I lived behind my ‘walls’, I usually came across as cold:
• If a stranger said hello, I would ignore them. I wasn’t meaning to be off-putting or make them feel ignored; it was a defense mechanism.
• If someone was rude to me, I would react immediately and almost viciously. It made me feel safe.
I’ve since learned a lot about myself, and about others.
When someone is treating others cruelly, it’s usually because they don’t feel good about themselves and/or they are having a bad day.
And when I reacted in a spiteful way when someone was rude to me, it was not out of pride… It was because I didn’t like myself.
I was subconsciously creating a cycle of negativity by reflecting someone else’s poor behavior back at them.
Now that I am aware of my own behavior and WHY I behaved that way, I find being kind on a regular basis not just easier than always being in ‘fight mode,’ but also healthier, less stressful. Plus, it makes me feel good.
Allowing myself to be present in the moment allows me to respond rather than react.
I recently had an experience at the pharmacy where there was a computer error regarding my prescriptions.
Before figuring out what the problem was, the pharmacist was quick to blame me, going so far as to raise her voice at me. Instead of reacting defensively, I was able to stay present and could see her frustration. I realized I had never seen her behave this way before and that maybe she was having a bad day.
Now, I’m not saying that makes it okay to treat someone badly BUT was she really aware of how she was treating me?
I stayed calm, and it all got figured out. I even wished her a good day with a smile when the transaction was complete.
Before leaving the store, she found me to apologize and to express her appreciation for my patience.
I still have days when I’m triggered.
We all will.
We’re beautifully human.
The next time you’re feeling defensive, ask yourself: what am I afraid of?
Remember that, just like you, everyone has their own story, their own pain, and their own fears.
When we act out of kindness, even when it doesn’t seem earned or deserved, everybody wins.
Feeling ready to dive into your own dose of vulnerability with a deeper sense of wonder and joy? Join us (& Tara) for our LIVE Embrace Your Darkness Challenge, starting February 13, 2017!
Here are just a few things Embracing Your Darkness can do for you:
• Improve relationships and communication
• Strengthen your leadership skills
• Overcome self-sabotage
• Increase authenticity to impact everything from your career to your love life
• Bring together your overly-brilliant mind and your deep feels so they can finally chill out and become one
Join our Embrace Your Darkness Challenge >>
I did something today that I’ve taken countless tries at, but could never seem to get right. Something I’ve tried in three different countries, with various people, and with plenty of “tips” from experts that simply didn’t seem to work.
I did it for myself. I did it for my business. I did it for the well-being of the world.
I stood up surfing. Finally, I caught a wave and rode it in standing.
As fun as it was to ride that wave, the exhilaration in my body came even more from knowing why I caught that wave.
Often, the need to know “why” only stops us from surrendering, from letting things work their magic.
But today the “why” was where the growth was. I needed to see what had been stopping me from doing something that always felt like it was supposed to be easy, but never was.
So what was my secret to suddenly catching waves?
I slowed the f#@% down.
Truly. That’s all I did. My instructor (who, in my defense, was only the second “real” instructor I’ve ever had try to teach me) pointed out how quickly I was trying to stand up… and how much more time I had than I thought to get up on the wave.
In that moment, everything changed. It became simple. Easy.
But one minute before, it wasn’t easy. I was running on only three hours of sleep and extreme jet lag, on the second day of my moon cycle (a day I would normally devote to internal practices involving plenty of stillness).
One minute before, I had a story made up that today must not be the day and that the circumstances just weren’t right.
And then I caught myself. I stopped and asked myself what I really desired to create. And I mustered up the courage to supersede my exhaustion and move forward, letting mother ocean guide me. I even said to myself out loud, “Okay mama ocean. Let’s do this.”
Before I knew it, I was riding a wave — and realizing that mama ocean had been trying to guide me the entire time. I just hadn’t been willing to slow down for long enough to realize it.
Before that, I wanted to believe I was listening. I could feel the wave rise up beneath me, and would immediately pop up, expecting it to be the right time because I’d felt it.
But our feelings aren’t necessarily meant to be acted upon instantly.
Yes, our feelings are our truth. Yes, they are a perfectly messy and beautiful guidance system to everything we truly desire.
But we forget we have time to go from a state of feeling to a state of action, and so as a society we’ve learned to act instantly.
Scarcity, fear, worry, insecurity, doubt, mistrust… the list goes on.
We have so many reasons we perceive deep down that we must act now.
But what if we never needed to act until we felt ready?
What if every time a feeling came on, we were to allow ourselves time to ride that feeling out until it brings the inspiration we had been thinking we’d found when we jumped at it?
The inspiration we think we’re acting on when we act before it’s time is a false sense of creation.
We become so dependent upon believing our enoughness relies on our perceived accomplishments, that we don’t even stop to ask what the milestone for that accomplishment is.
In the scheme of things, done is not actually done if the desired result isn’t reached. But for our fears, our doubts, our scarcity, our worries, our insecurities, and our mistrust, the result is reached when the thing we think comes next gets checked off of the list.
But checking things off a list never promises results. It’s aligning them with the inspiration, the desires, and the feeling of the moment that does.
Mama ocean taught me today that even when I think I am already doing that, I can always benefit from waiting that extra moment to feel whether it’s the right time to act. She taught me that in that moment I’m waiting, I’m actually creating.
Our creations don’t actually come from the tangible. We create the tangible through connecting to the intangible. That’s the joy of creation — and where the fulfillment comes from.
If I asked you to sit down and create something tangible with an exact prototype in front of you, and all of the physical pieces already in hand, would it ultimately be as fulfilling as creating it from scratch? As going through the journey of inspiration, trial and error, and, ultimately, making something amazing out of what looked like nothing?
For me it wouldn’t. Not one bit.
My joy in creating comes in my increasing relationship to how much of the intangible I can take from my heart, my mind, my soul, and turn into the tangible in the physical reality of my life and the world around me.
For the sake of my creations, for the sake of fulfillment, and for the sake of the world, I’m choosing to pause and listen for that extra moment.
Will you choose the courage to do the same?
The path is never-ending. You spend your days as an entrepreneur making decisions, innovating, and paving the way to new heights for your customers and your team. It’s an all-consuming journey — one you wouldn’t change for the world, but intense and exhausting, nonetheless.
You somehow find the time to keep yourself alive and, if you’re lucky, healthy in the process — but sometimes creating the space in your schedule to incorporate all of the things you know you need to feel whole can seem like a futile effort.
It’s easier to fuel your business than your body. What you do for your body seems to move on a continuous cycle of give and take that feels pointless, whereas your efforts in your business reap tangible rewards over time, each step moving you closer to the bigger vision.
So you do what you can to keep your body in alignment, but your business has to come first and there’s no debating that for you.
And that’s where most entrepreneurs go wrong.
We think our businesses come from our minds and, if we’re lucky enough to be mission-driven, our hearts. But we forget the key ingredient in leadership and business — our bodies.
But here’s what I’ve found. Ever since I’ve shifted my perception of my workouts, and all forms of the physical activity that I’ve always loved, from a part of my life to an integral part of my business’ success, my business has skyrocketed.
Everything within my business has grown more quickly, I’ve become far more relaxed and peaceful in dealing with the challenges of entrepreneurship, making decisions has become a piece of cake, I have felt far more supported, and the feelings of ease, flow, joy and fulfillment have infused my days on a much more regular basis.
This new awareness has made me eager to share what I’ve learned with you!
Behold, four reasons why it’s necessary to integrate your body into how you’re running and growing your business and, really, into all of the decisions you make and actions you take from day to day:
1. Your body is where the next steps in your business are meant to come from.
Most good entrepreneurs at some point realize that ‘gut feelings’ are just as important in decision making as business sense and strategy. You learn pretty quickly as an entrepreneur that not following your gut on things will hold you back.
So consider this – your body is your access to these feelings and gut instincts. The “spidey-senses” that you strive to become stronger in, which guide your business forward, are accessible in your entire body, not just your gut.
The more “in” your body you feel, the more you’ll be able to notice the subtleties of the sensations in your body that are trying to give you signals of what decision to make, what ideas to act upon, and how to move forward in your business.
2. Your feelings are there to guide your business.
One of the best parts about being human is our ability to create things – that’s probably part of what motivated you to become an entrepreneur in the first place. Another amazing aspect of the human experience is our ability to feel. This goes for men and women alike. Everything from the feeling of a soft touch, to joy as it rises up within us – anything we can feel is a gift of the human experience.
It is with this same awareness that we can begin to notice the extent to which our feelings have been trying to guide us in our businesses. Even the seemingly negative feelings, when ignored, are bound to fester and ultimately get in the way of our ability to stay present and lead powerfully. And at their core, all of our feelings serve a purpose in leading us toward more clarity and truth in our business.
So what does that have to do with your body? Your feelings are felt within your body, and nowhere else. By coming home to having an awareness of your body, you will be more aware of your feelings and their subtleties in the role of co-creation they play with your business.
3. An embodied leader is far more powerful than one who’s not.
Walking your talk is an important part of leadership. If we’re not walking our talk, we can’t expect anyone to listen to us, let alone want to be a part of our mission. But embodiment is a step beyond walking our talk. It’s demonstrating what we believe in through more than our actions – through feeling and knowing things so strongly in our bodies that our words and actions become aligned with our very state of being.
Embodiment creates trust and alignment, and it cultivates excellent leadership in your business. And the only way to become fully embodied is to get into your body – to inhabit it in a way that it’s not separate from your mind.
4. The best way to cure an overactive mind is through the body.
You’re undoubtedly brilliant – most entrepreneurs are. However, chances are that sometimes it feels like your brilliant mind gets in the way of making progress with your business more than it helps move things forward.
So how do you continue to cultivate your mind’s brilliance while keeping it mellow enough to stay focused and act on your brilliant thoughts? How do you prevent your brilliance from monkey-minding into an abyss of intellect that ultimately takes you nowhere?
The key is in your body. When we develop a practice of bringing our awareness to our bodies, the mind is able to slow down to a place of intentional focus and act as our ally, not our enemy.
It’s time to redefine the “hustle” typical of entrepreneurs to one of ease in movement — from the inside out.
And it’s time to take thing that you considered one aspect of your life — like a separate component you try to maintain — and realize it’s actually a part of every aspect of your life.
What commitment can you make to include your body in your business today?
In abounding love and joy,