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.
Did you know that #teamMDS has a resident Pleasure Sorceress? If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you already know – that’s me!
The team bestowed that title on me because of my commitment to learning from pleasure, finding the pleasure in the painful moments, and allowing others to recognize and emphasize how pleasure plays a role in their own growth.
All of this means I’m constantly exploring the edges of my own relationship with pleasure and how I prioritize it on my personal growth journey. (I call this the Pleasured Path.)
We’re used to learning from pain. Life is so full of difficult, painful moments that we immediately try to find the meaning: “There must be a lesson in here. There must be something I can do with this pain.” The pain has to be “worth it.”
There is tremendous power in pleasure, and the potential for growth and healing within it is almost inconceivable.
I know this because I’ve spent the last two or three years exploring the depth, breadth, and potential of choosing the pleasured path through conversations, observing my own experiences, and even looking into scientific research.
It turns out that learning from pleasure is tricky because it’s so outside of what we’re used to.
When something amazing and magical happens to us, we don’t think, “There must be a lesson here. There must be something I can do with this pleasure.” Not only do we not think the pleasure has to be “worth it,” we rarely think it’s worth much of anything at all.
Instead, there are so many ways we ignore or bypass the pleasure. We don’t even stick around long enough to ask what the pleasurable experience taught us because we’ve moved on to gratitude or calm or finding the meaning in the next painful moment.
It’s also uncommon for us to do something simply because it feels good. And this, I realized recently, is where my current edge is.
Even knowing how much value there is in choosing pleasure, even with all the research and anecdotal evidence – I was still afraid of fully trusting pleasure, exploring, and deepening pleasure in my own life.
I was still getting caught up in the old stories I had about pleasure being frivolous, play being pointless, and success being meaningless if it did not come from suffering and sacrifice.
Given how much darkness has surfaced recently all around us, I suppose it was natural for me to reconnect with those stories in such a big way. And yet, moving through all this darkness requires an even stronger commitment to the light. How can we return to the light if we forget or refuse to acknowledge that it’s there?
So now what? What can we do when we see that we’re pushing against a personal edge in our growth and development?
Usually we know we’re at an edge because things start to feel uncomfortable around that particular area of our life. Perhaps it’s earning more money, receiving more love and attention in a relationship, or simply how we experience something in our lives – like me with pleasure.
These are often the areas where we do the most “work” in our personal development, and while they can leave us feeling frustrated (“Didn’t I do this already? Haven’t I been here before?”), there’s usually pure magic on the other side of it. I’ve started to think of it as the calm before the pleasure explosion, because, why not?
I’ve identified three key things I love turning to when I’m pushing against an edge. These three steps keep me feeling empowered along my pleasured path.
- Get to the core of what’s happening – no matter how ugly or painful it might be. In order to grow through any edge, you need to become clear about what’s going on. Why is it an edge? Where is the opportunity to connect more deeply with yourself and your truth? What stories have you wrapped up in this area of your life? For me, freewriting and EFT/Tapping are the most powerful tools to get to the bottom of all of this. Both of these have the ability to provide an easy access point to reveal all the crap festering inside of you. Once you’re clear on what’s going on, you can move on with more confidence and clarity.
- Say yes to any opportunity that gently pushes against that edge. Usually, once you’ve come up against an edge, opportunities that push you even more into it start to pop up naturally. This is happening so that we can choose a new way forward and grow through whatever that edge is. So, if earning more money is the edge, a new opportunity might manifest that causes you to say, “This feels amazing and so fun! But how on earth will this work?!” In my experience, saying yes provides the opening you need to explore the “how.”
- Stay curious and open… and keep choosing pleasure. Everything happens in layers, of course, so it’s not as simple as, “Well, I learned that lesson forever. Go me, I’m done!” I’ve found that if we approach every experience as a learning opportunity and approach things with childlike curiosity rather than judgment, we open ourselves up to a more pleasurable and impactful experience. In that way, we can honor our growth and continue to expand as easily and naturally as possible.
Is there an edge you’ve been coming up against lately? I’d love to hear how you deal with these growth opportunities.
And, if one of your edges has been affected by all the tumult of this year, be sure to check out our upcoming online event, Turning Darkness to Light: Shifting the Pain & Suffering of the World When You’re Only One Person. It’s going to open you up to the magic and power within you in a beautiful, supportive, and pleasurable way. 😉
One feverish, sweaty night. Two hours of sleep. A racing mind, heart and body that, despite physical and emotional exhaustion, won’t let me sleep.
When I finally awoke this morning, exhaustion immediately set in and my body begged for more sleep, but my daily responsibilities and soul were calling me to get up, so I rose.
My first thought of the day?
Damn. What a message from the universe.
My mind began connecting the dots, the way you see lines connect the stars in a constellation, creating a meaningful shape and symbol in the night sky. While I don’t understand the image before me yet, I am clear that something shifted inside me the night before.
I’ve been going through some major transformations – emotionally, physically, spiritually – and it’s all making me feel a little off kilter.
I was just starting to feeling like I “had it all figured out.”
As my mind began connecting the dots, our posts from the last few weeks popped into my awareness. We talked about planning (from our pleasure sorceress) and how to use confusion as a tool for growth.
But the truth? No number of tips in the world help us avoid the unknown in our lives; it’s a necessity for us. It’s a necessity for our growth and journey.
Yet, it’s really fucking uncomfortable.
The commonalities and parallels that you can experience when you’re amidst it all can make it hard to access the most basic core feelings we can easily tap into on a typical day.
But we’re in the journey, what can we do?
How can we feel into the unknown without being absolutely terrified? How can we sit in the unknown with confidence? How can we muddle around in the unknown without losing our identity? How can we have an identity when we feel we have no self-definition to claim?
- Reminder: you’re made of many layers.
Remember to not isolate each individual behavior as a judgment for your whole human. While this doesn’t mean shy away from holding yourself accountable, it does mean give yourself the benefit of the doubt.Being made of many layers means you’re always discovering new things about yourself. Don’t yourself for those things; just get curious. Ask yourself what a behavior is about, especially if it’s an old bad habit or something “out of character.”
- Drop into your body.
When you’re amidst it all, don’t fight it! Drop into your body and feel & swim with the unknown. Hey, it might be uncomfortable at first. It’s like not being able to see the bottom of the ocean you’re swimming in – you have NO idea what’s down there.Drop into your body and check in with yourself about the unknown. Does it feel scary? Safe? Exciting? What’s at the core of the unknown? Journaling or just sitting with the feeling will help you get acquainted with it once you can get past the judgment.
- Don’t stop living!
Often when we experience the unknown surrounding us, it makes us question everything going on. It feels similar to an existential identity crisis, because you thought you had things all previously figured out.Don’t let the unknown shake you to your core. Instead, live alongside it and go about your day. Treat it like a new companion. This will help you remember that you haven’t lost your identity! You’re just going through a transformation, and the unknown is there to aid you through the process.
And hey, we get it: this shit isn’t easy.
We’re constantly doing the work, getting vulnerable and having conversations we don’t expect to be having or even want to have.
My own lack of sleep and panicked, racing thoughts last night were all just the universe trying to tell me not be afraid to voice how I’m feeling: Scared to leave my comfort zone.
Because there’s so much happening in my life – can I pull this off? A full-time business? A sick cat being taken care of by friends? Multiple launches and responsibilities on my shoulders? And spending time with family?
To be honest, I still don’t know if I can pull it off.
But it’s less scary now that I’ve said it out loud. I’m going about my day. I feel more at rest (even though I’m exhausted from lack of sleep). I still have no clue if I can do it, but I’m feeling better.
No one is asking you to be comfortable in the discomfort, but you don’t have to lose yourself in the process of expansion and transformation.
You’re still you. Beautiful. Evolving.
You’re just experiencing some growth.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how things just don’t seem to be going according to plan.
For the last couple of years, it seems that many of my goals – big and small – have been unfulfilled. This is a far greater source of frustration than you can imagine.
Growing up, planning was one of my absolute favorite things to do. There was a time when I misunderstood my childhood motives and thought it might have been my way of trying to control things around me. More recently, I realized I just really love to plan.
I love planning weddings, themed parties, weekend excursions, anything, really.
Life, of course, doesn’t always honor our plans. Making a dinner reservation for four at your favorite restaurant is not quite the same as deciding that 2016 will be the year you make six figures.
So I’ve always had an interesting relationship with planning. I found it fun and light and easy and full of joy. But at the same time, I was putting so much pressure on it.
I used to have backup plans for my backup plans, both because I was so good at planning and also because I was terrified of the unexpected.
Because the truth is, of course, that our plans can often get derailed.
There’s no way we can account for everything, and there’s always something else at play – a lesson to learn or a new thing to explore.
Even your plan to make dinner reservations can be thwarted.
Back then, I thought that if something happened outside of my plan, I’d be frozen, I’d stop moving forward.
And that was the bigger fear, really: Standing still.
I was afraid of remaining stagnant, and I was convinced that having things go “wrong” would bring me to a standstill.
I live for forward movement. My passion for travel, my commitment to personal growth, even my creative projects, all of my biggest driving forces are just that: forces that drive me forward, that make me move.
I’m afraid of a wasted life, one without evolution, one without a legacy. And this fear gets so wrapped up in my love for planning that it’s hard to pull them apart.
So now what? What do I do with these realizations and with the reality that things are not at all shaping up the way I thought they might when I went into business for myself a few years ago, or when I signed up to work with one of my favorite coaches just a few months ago, or when I decided to make a home in Los Angeles, or when I made every tiny decision that brought me to this point?
I take a breath.
I remember I have a world of support.
I allow myself to feel gratitude for all the magic I have in my life.
I move forward.
My first step is to re-evaluate how I’ve been relating to planning. I know now what it’s like to ditch the plan entirely and to hold on to it too much, and I’m ready to find a happy medium.
Once I do that, I know I’ll be able to come up with a new set of goals and a new plan that gives me room to breathe, one that feels expansive and joyful rather than limiting and small.
Even when things derail – know that everything is going to be okay.
We wake up as new beings every day, and I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to embrace that in a whole new way.
I’d love to have you share in the comments below: What do you do when things don’t go according to plan?
I’ve put writing this blog off, even through loud and clear guidance to do so, until the very last on-tap item of the day because I’m that frightened.
“What if he reads this? Nah he knows better than to read your stuff. But what if? Would it freak him out? Or anyone else for that matter? And should you really be divulging the weird, magical, and unconventional details of your personal life to the public? I mean, you serve entrepreneurs and business people and people of age groups and walks of life that might prefer to have a more subdued perception of your love life. Do they really need to hear this, Jordanna?!”
If I didn’t recognize those words running through my head as coming from the very same thing that led me to writing this for you in the first place, they could have stopped me.
Do they sound familiar?
They’re the kind of words that render you speechless through the mixed emotions of your heart and spirit, leaving you feeling void of clarity, but filled with feeling.
Is the feeling enough to fill you up? Do you even need the clarity anyway?
Three months ago, I broke up with someone. It wasn’t just any relationship or any man. It was a man I had had visions and dreams of for 3 years prior; a man who I recognized the moment we first locked eyes; a man who I had no trouble moving to a different country with, without a word; a man who soon after, woke up to the same realization and did everything in his power to prepare himself to be ready to commit to me.
That is, until our connection led him down rabbit hole of growth that catalyzed a shattering of his sense of self into a million pieces.
At which point, we both became clear and surrendered to the recognition that he had to walk his path alone.
I’m quite familiar with the Pandora’s box of grief and joy, sadness and trust, anger and gratitude that a loss like this can create. And so I embraced the flow and processing of deep feels, and I soon found myself feeling free of any confusion or question of “why” around our experience.
I soon found further peace when my visions began to gently sweep back in. Only this time, though they looked and felt like the same man, it was clear to me they were someone different — the “beloved” I’ve known in my heart would eventually be there waiting. Not because my mind wanted to create one, but because he was the one that had always been there; had always occupied this space within my heart.
“Ahhh so I’ve been seeing two different men for the last 3 years?!” I realized. “It all makes so much sense!”
I am the farthest thing you could meet from the type of woman to crave a puffy white dress, a white picket fence, or a happily ever after. I have, however, always stood in complete and utter clarity around aspects of future layers of time in my life that, for whatever reason, I can just sense clearly are a part of my path.
I know better than to try to figure out why I need to know these things, but I can stand powerfully in my awareness of their truth as much as any other part of my past or present.
And I’ve always found so much peace in surrendering to these “knowings” for my life.
Until last week — when my world began to be rocked.
On Wednesday, I had a beautiful conversation with said previous partner, in which we both felt even more gratitude for each other and an increased sense of closure and peace with where we’ve been and where we are now. And on Thursday, my perception was cracked wide open.
Over the course of 3 days, with 3 separate people, in 3 very different situations, I received guidance, messages, and flat out in-your-face signs that maybe, just maybe, my beloved to be is not a new man, but a 2.0 version of the very same man I released 3 months ago.
I found this interesting. And at first, I had no trouble just being with the possibility of this as a, “maybe yes, maybe no, but right now I’m just so not concerned about it” scenario.
Until today. Today, when I was stupid enough to look at his Facebook feed — only to find pictures of him that show how quickly he’s growing and changing, how much more he’s already beginning to look like that 2.0 version of himself that just so happens to look freakishly like the man from my most recent and most powerful visions.
I was thrown for a loop. It took me into an emotional tailspin of confusion, sadness, curiosity, grief and loss. One that seemed completely counterintuitive to the peace and trust I had felt before it all hit.
As I sat with the confusion today, I was reminded of the perfection of confusion itself.
In confusion lies curiosity. It cracks and holds us wide open. It takes us up to the face of a big old sense of “hmmmm” that, when truly surrendered to, lets us dive deeper into the ocean of possibility that will grow and shape us.
And that’s what it’s all about — the growing and the shaping. So today I bring to you four tips to use confusion to shape you, instead of driving you batty.
1. Just let it be.
It’s not the mind#%&@ of the confusion that’s the hard part. It’s what happens when we allow our minds to run rampant with the ifs, ands, and buts that it gets difficult.
Allow the many thoughts and feelings within the confusion be exactly what they are, and nothing else. It’s when we try to make them more than that, try to “solve” them or make sense of it all that our minds run wild and we become overwhelmed with thought.
2. Feel, and feel some more.
When our bodies get overwhelmed with feeling, they tend to shut down. But you have the power to grow your capacity to feel, and through doing so, your capacity to heal old wounds you may not have even been aware were still there. So the best thing you can do for yourself when hit by overwhelm is to slow down and feel it all.
We sometimes mistake the physical feeling of contraction as a sign to stay caught in the wound-up-ness — feeding into it with a wound-up mind or wound-up behaviors or actions. But most often, your body’s contraction is just a sign that it is being hit by rampant fire of feeling receptors, one after another, going off like a firecracker of feels.
3. Forget about the future and focus on the now.
Overwhelm is more a state of mind than anything else. Though you may feel it in your body, it is the perception of it in the mind that makes it so hard to be with. When you’re faced with confusion, it will do you no good to try to predict the future, or get caught up in various possibilities of it.
The only place you have to feel is in the present moment. The only place you have to find peace is right here, right now. So leave the future to show itself to you in due time, and come back to the gratitude, presence, and relishing of this present moment that’s available to you right now.
4. Feed the future with love.
Being in the present doesn’t prevent you from being able to intentionally and consciously create the future. Once you are completely at peace with what you have now, and completely unattached to anything, especially as it pertains to the original onslaught of confusion, you’re ready for this step.
In this peace, allow yourself free reign to dive into intention setting, journaling, visioning, or whatever helps you consciously create your truest desires. Bringing yourself back to the purity of your desires will help you to see beyond the original confusion and into the perfection of your divinely co-created present and future.
Our egos can do a really great job at convincing us we are separate and disconnected from others. It’s what lets us slip so deeply into heartache, loneliness, feelings of not being seen, financial frustration, disillusionment, day-to-day overwhelm, and even bigger bouts of depression and anxiety.
In moments of pure inspiration and love, we know this is total bullshit. But how can we remember that when everything feels like it’s falling apart?
This is what I was contemplating recently as I struggled to integrate that massive expansion I had in Peru at MDS’ Become Retreat. It seemed like everywhere I turned, there was a door shutting in my face. I was longing for opportunities to reconnect with my greatness and felt like all I was getting was a series of, “nope, you’re not good enough; you’ll never receive this desire.”
In the past, this might have led to a downward spiral of shame. I might have lashed out or numbed out.
What happened instead reminded me of how far I’ve come in my evolution:
1. REFRAMED. I started reframing some of the things happening to me through a lens of love. For instance, instead of panicking about the various commitments I have on deck for August, I thought to myself, “I have so much love in my life! So many people to support and spend time with!”
Yes, sometimes it can feel false to go there, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more you truly believe it.
2. SUPPORTED OTHERS. I made sure I was of service. I remembered how good it feels to support others through my work, and I allowed myself to do just that. I replied to emails from my clients asking for help and I offered it up willingly and lovingly. When you don’t think you can give love to yourself, it definitely feels powerful and good to give it to others.
3. TOOK A BREAK. I gave myself permission to take a break. Not a numbing break or one that made me ignore what I was going through; but one that made me reconnect with my heart.
For me, watching this season of So You Think You Can Dance fills me with tremendous life, awe, and love. When I view it with that intention, I’m able to get grounded again and remember that life is a miracle. It might seem like a big leap from watching kids dance hip hop to experience life as a miracle, but that’s what it does for me every time I let it.
I can’t lie and say that these three steps made everything feel like rainbows and roses again, but maybe that isn’t always what we need. Maybe sometimes all we need is to make it to the next moment, to keep stepping forward and remembering that we are still alive, and that’s an amazing gift in and of itself.
It’s in these small moments that we can renew ourselves and remember that life is worth living.
And as long as we remember that often enough throughout a seemingly bad day, there can be joy and lightness and connection.