Tree

dreamstime_s_48190414

Remember when you were a child, and a tree was a wondrous being of dappled light and swaying shadows on sticky summer afternoons? Remember the feel of barkskin and sap stinging the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet. The sharp green scent of leaves rustling all around you as you climbed the branching ladder of the tree’s many arms.

Remember how you loved that tree, how you loved who you were, curled in the nest of its canopy. Remember how you loved the world beneath you, a magic carpet undulant with promise, the wind swinging you high in your hammock of green and gold.

That tree was home and beauty, outlook and adventure, a sailing ship on a sea of sky. It was Tree. Its whispers lingered in your dreams, those fragrant nights of childhood summer.

When did tree’s glory dim and recede? It remains true to itself — taller, fuller, stouter, but still tree. What’s changed, in your relationship with it?

When did you slip into the story in which tree is resource, to be managed, cultivated, exploited for its timber or its bark? When did it become a precursor to paper, to firewood, to the frame of your house, the turned legs of your dining room table? Or one more thing you are responsible for — leaves to be raked in the fall, branches to be pruned in early spring.

When did you stop loving Tree for its tree-ness? When did you stop loving yourself for your self-ness?

Can you trace the pathways by which this happened? When did you slip into the story in which you — your beauty, your joy, your eager heart, your creative blaze — became a repository for desires not your own; a screen for the projections of society and culture.

When did you allow a half-blind world to describe you to yourself?

What strange, reverse alchemy transformed you from beloved to resource — to be exploited, tamed, cultivated, packaged? Even — especially — by you?

Stop. Turn around. Retrace your steps. Climb back into the tree of your being, feeling your own rough bark, your sticky sap, in the palms of your hands, on the soles of your feet. Discover the secrets of your hidden chambers, your musk and music, your seasons of longing, your surging desires, your shivering joys.

Who are you, O creature of love and music, of branching arms and sunburnt hair?

This is your journey. Back to yourself. Back to loving heartwood and sap, bark and leaf, ear-shell, blood-tide, breath-wind, galvanized skin on muscular flesh. You.

#ToBeSoul_DoSoul


Daily Practice # 31 | To Be Soul, Do Soul

dreamstime_xs_1143416SantaFe_home

Today’s practice: Be home

Attune to the guardian spirit of your home.
Invite her to grace your life today.

Her arms are filled with gifts for you–
welcome and peace, belonging and nurturance
Divine order, support, love, delight, sovereignty, joy.

Take the gifts she offers, as many as you can hold.
Feel them enliven your home, your heart
with beauty and power.

From the moment you wake until that last flicker of light
before you slip into sleep,
your home holds you in love and blessing.

She is the ground from which you rise each day.
She is the lap of the Sacred, cradling you in tenderness–
shaped by human hands, to grow your human heart.

Whatever your experience of home has been, in the past–
the spirit of home accompanies you now.

Rest in the peace of knowing you are safe–
you are home, you belong.

Move into your world
carrying the power and blessing of home with you.

Be home
for everyone you meet today.

‪#‎ToBeSoul_DoSoul‬

Daily Practice #29 | To Be Soul, Do Soul

dreamstime_xs_1713010_hula_dancers

Today’s practice: Play with your creative muse

Attend to the nature of your relationship with her. Do you dance joyously together? In syncopated rhythm, heart-to-breath-to-body, leaping, twirling, carving gorgeous shapes in the air through which you move?

Does her brilliance overwhelm you? Is she impatient with your slowness, your fumbling, human feet that stumble through the beat? Your need to repeat a step over and over to get its rhythm in your body?

Beguile your muse onto your own stomping grounds. Reveal to her the sweetness of the slow glide, the languid turn. Share the delight of raised dust and pounding feet.

Let her pulse entrain yours to quicksilver. Let the freedom of her limbs, her unfettered heart whirl you through the Milky Way — out to the crackling rim of the universe, into the unknown beyond.

This is the dance. You, squelching her through the glorious mud of pond, the green rustle of meadow. She, steering you in the glittering wake of the stars.

What do you discover, what is revealed, when you bring your worlds together in this way? What can you create together, when you each bring your genius to the dance?

#ToBeSoul_DoSoul

Daily Practice # 27 | To Be Soul, Do Soul

dreamstime_xs_2576776mountain_climber

Today’s Practice

Meet one of the looming, impossible-to-scale mountains within you.
Meet it face-to-face.

Notice its shape, its size, its adamant
vertiginous topography.

Place your hands and your feet on its slippery, scree-lined slope.
Notice the trackless paths you’d have to traverse
to climb its granite body.

Feel its dangers: those scimitar rocks that can slice open an artery–
the thin, unbreathable air that shivers at its peak.

Feel the tremble and lurch, the cold despair the mountain’s shadow
casts on your heart, in your belly.
Feel it.

Call your soul into this fragile communion.
As its sun blazes through, all is illuminated:
The mountain, your lurching heart, the space between you.

Notice your ferrous arms, your powerful, unyielding legs.
Breathe in the sky of your own levitation.

Discern the true shape of the mountain before you.
Feel its curves in the swivel of your hips,
its caves in the secret passages of your body.

Know your self, the mountain.
Know the mountain, your self.

Touch of fingertip on lip.
Intimate mystery.

#ToBeSoul_DoSoul

Being Human | Being Soul

dreamstime_xs_29390099

For the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing a daily practice on my Facebook page under the rubric #ToBeSoul_DoSoul. Because we evolve through action, being soul is an ongoing activity in our everyday lives. Mostly, the daily practices I craft as experiments in soulful living are brief — ways of playing as soul, reminders that our actions and choices matter. When we practice acting from our essence, we incarnate our soul’s potentials, develop our capacities, and function as agents of soul and wholeness in the world.

Today’s practice is a bit longer. Play along if you wish, and share your experiences with us here.

*

Today’s practice

Attune to the soul of Humanity, to the vision it holds for the evolution of our species. Why are we here? What is our role in the family of life on this earth?

Invite the pattern that the Deva of Humanity holds, in its energy field, into your own body, into your life.

What does it feel like, to be fully human? How does your embodied humanity embrace the multitude of other life-forms on our planet? What impact does a truly evolved humanity have, on our world?

Attune to our deep ancestors, who descended from the safety of treetops to the uncertain terrain of forest floor or savannah. They, who first walked upright 6 or 7 million years ago, didn’t know what their actions would mean, for us, their daughters and sons who have arrived here all these millions of years later. They couldn’t imagine what this shift to a vertical stance would mean for the history of the world.

To stand upright, to see the horizon eye-to-eye for the first time, when all you’ve ever known of the ground was a narrow negotiation between belly and grassland… Such courage! Such willingness to adventure in search of sustenance!

Where do these ancestors live, in your body? Get down on all fours and experience your world, for a few moments, from that horizontal stance. Belly low to the ground and protected. You are longer than you are tall. What do you know of the world around you? Which of your senses is keenest, most reliable in this horizontal orientation to your world?

Slowly, stand upright. Feel the shift in your body, in your primary modes of sensing and perception, in your relationship with the horizon, with your environment. Feel the flow of human evolution in the arches of your feet, in the way light enters your eyes.

Move through your day with the awareness that every choice you make today will reverberate through to your descendants. You are the activity of the Deva of Humanity. You are the ancestor of the generations to come. You are the blade of the knife that carves the shape of our world.

True Desires, True Stories

dreamstime_xs_42919120_dream_big

Over the past 35+ years, I’ve collaborated with thousands of clients and students to help them create lives and businesses that they love. Much has changed, in the landscape of our world, during that time. But this truth remains: No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, or what issues you face, the key to creating your heart’s deepest, truest desires is to reconfigure your inner ecology to unite it with your soul. 

The more skillfully you do this, the more gracefully your outer world takes on the shape of your soul, and harmonizes with the pattern it holds for your life. 



This is just as true of your business as it is of your life. When you make this ordering of your inner ecology and the ecology of your business the center of your daily practice, your soul and the Deva of your business together can craft stories that heal, transform, bless, and re-shape your world.

Business is a soul path. At every stage, it calls you to free yourself of whatever binds you – outworn beliefs, stories about who you are and what you can create, ancestral agreements about the nature of the world and your place in it. Anything that attempts to shrink the vastness of your soul into a story, template or pattern that is – inevitably — too small for you, must go.

This isn’t easy. When you’ve been immersed in a particular story or world view for much of your life – especially if your identity is shaped around it – it can be hard to see that it is just a story. Hard to look beyond it to see that there are an infinite number of other stories you could choose to shape and to live by.

And, not all stories bind you. True stories liberate you. Like true desire, they are the voices of your soul, calling you to a fuller, more creative, more abundant life.

Today’s Practice

Today, consider the effects that your stories have on your business. Often, these are stories you’ve shaped out of accumulated past experiences, layered over earlier, childhood beliefs. And, hidden in the life of your business is a treasure-trove of stories that holds a map for its becoming.

In your journal, explore these questions:

  • What stories of freedom, possibility and liberation can you tell about your business? What experiences, accomplishments and milestones line the winding road that is the history of your business?

    Draw a timeline of your business, from its inception to now. Mark these occasions and name them, on your timeline. No occasion is too small to celebrate. Draw or sketch an image or symbol, or add photos of these stories, if you wish. Create a story of triumph and celebration.

  • What essence or soul qualities gave birth to your business, and contribute to its present incarnation? If you aren’t sure what these are, look to your deepest, truest desires, which always express soul qualities.

    On your business’s timeline, mark those events, experiences and turning points when your vision and determination, your foresight, courage, perseverance and grit, your wise choices, your wiliness to take risks, your heart and generosity expanded the world of your business. Take some time to acknowledge each one. Embrace and celebrate each of these essence qualities. Celebrate the You who embodies them now and has done the work to plant them firmly in the world of your business.

  • What past dreams, projections, or fixed ideas about yourself or the world are you ready to release? Which fantasies would horrify you if they were to be fulfilled today? Which ones no longer hold any real juice or vitality for you?

    Mark these down (in pencil!) on the timeline of your business too, in the order in which they occurred. Thank them, and bless your past selves, who created and nurtured these stories. Then, release them with love, and erase them from your timeline.

I wish you the miracle of true stories, forgiveness, gratitude, and celebration.

Marketing Joy: The True Predictors of Sustainable Success

THG Contact page

Last fall, my son James launched his brand-new business, a comics and classic games shop in the university district of our hometown. He has been dreaming this business into being since he was in his mid-teens. And now, his dream has landed: An airy, light-filled, playfully funky space with painted wooden kitchen tables and comfy chairs for playing board games; a red couch in front of a grand old console TV where folks sit, intently playing video games; a gorgeous mural (see the image above!), painted by a local artist. And floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with comics, games, and game paraphernalia.

Eighteen months before the store opened, James decided it was time to act on his vision. I had the privilege of a front row seat over the next several months, as he clarified what he wanted to create, and why, and how. We talked, and talked, and talked. During working lunches and walks along the beach. Over dinners that grew cold as he sketched out on paper napkins the broad strokes, and then the nitty-gritty details, of what would become his new store.

James has always loved comics and games. And business. He founded his first business when he was eight years old…but that’s a story for another day. He delights in creating something that makes both him and his customers happy. He loves offering his heart, his creativity, his skill and compassion in service to others. He loves making money in a way that serves both his beloveds and his community.

His vision for his new store has always been a vision of community. A space where everyone feels welcome, feels included, feels at home.

“The gaming community can be cliquish, unfriendly. New people don’t feel welcome, so they don’t come out to tournaments and other events,” James said. “I want a place where nerds and geeks (like me!) feel just as much at home as anyone else. Where everyone who wants to play can be themselves, hang out, make friends, and have fun without worrying about whether or not they’ll fit in.”

With that central vision in mind, James went about the business of creating his store. It took hundreds of hours of focused, intentional work. Market research; hammering out and refining a functional business plan; applying for start-up funding; finding his ideal location; revising his ideal location, based on the amount of funding he was able to generate; negotiating a lease; managing the construction and remodelling of the new space; setting up accounts with distributors; learning the basics of book-keeping; learning what stock to order, and when, and in what quantities; learning how to manage cash flow, inventory, and so much more. He did all of this while continuing to work at his full-time job.

James is devoted to his vision. He created it with such heart and impeccability that within the first couple of weeks his store had become a neighbourhood gathering place. Now, five months later, people still line up outside the door each morning, waiting for the store to open.

The store is thriving. James continues to reach out to his community, finding creative ways in which he and his business can serve. After talking with teachers at neighbouring elementary schools, he’s arranged a weekly date when their kids come in to play Magic Card games, which help them learn how to read while having fun. A fundraising barbecue and silent auction netted several thousand dollars for a local women’s shelter. Community artists display their work at the store, and gain exposure and recognition as well as sales. James’s new business is a gift — to himself, his beloveds, his community, and our world. He’s exhausted, exhilarated, and happier than he’s ever been.

He’s learning so much about what it takes to succeed in business. And, because he grew up with entrepreneurial parents, he understands viscerally how to navigate the sometimes-treacherous shoals of entrepreneurship.

In a recent conversation, he said, “I’ve never worried about money, because I’ve always felt I could work more if I needed more. What’s scary is realizing that I’ve reached an upper limit – not because I’m not willing to work, but because there are no more hours in the day.”

Faced with the necessary limits of time, energy and just plain being human, he’s figuring out how to pace himself; how to hire and work collaboratively with staff; how to build time off into his schedule; how to nurture his marriage and friendships while staying focused on growing his business.

In one of our early conversations, he explained why he was choosing to locate his store in the university district, rather than in some other, more affluent area of town. “Low-income neighbourhoods have a greater need for, and openness towards community. When you don’t have much, you rely on each other for practical help, support, and encouragement. Everyone needs community, but when you don’t have a lot of money, you can’t pretend you don’t need each other.”

It delights me to see my son blossom into his genius. And to observe how he meets and makes use of the gifts and challenges of growing a successful, profitable and sustainable business.

At the heart of his success are the qualities of his being, his devotion to his vision, and his unshakeable commitment to the soul of his business.

So what are these qualities that account for the astonishingly swift success of his business, in a relatively stagnant economy?

  • First and foremost, James trusts himself. He trusts his vision, his intuition, his inner discernment. He trusts his ability to make good decisions, and to revise course when necessary. He trusts his ability to learn what he doesn’t yet know. He trusts his creative spirit. He trusts his capacity for meaningful work. He trusts that what he does makes a positive difference.
  • He has identified a need that goes beyond the products he sells — the universal human need to be seen, loved, celebrated, welcomed. And he meets that need with his own profound desire to create connection and community.
  • He is willing to do the work to bring his vision to life. And he knows that staying true to himself, to his values and his soul, is the best way to get there.
  • He views all of his experiences – even the difficult and challenging ones — as opportunities to learn, grow and discover what works and what doesn’t. When it’s necessary to correct course, he does it cleanly, without wallowing in drama, shame, or the sinkhole of self-doubt.
  • He is generous and open, without abdicating the responsibilities of leadership. His customers and staff know that they are essential to the ecology of his store – they help make it a welcoming, safe, fun and loving space.

    In some ways, the store functions the way a traditional martial arts dojo does, with everyone pitching in. Experienced gamers mentor and teach newbies. Customers look out for, and support each other. James fosters an atmosphere of good humour, playfulness, learning and generosity. When his sole full-time staff member was called away to a family funeral, several of his customers stepped in to stock the shelves, set up the tables for a tournament, manage the till, and help out in whatever ways were needed. They feel an ownership of the space, and they respond accordingly.

  • James sets clear boundaries and holds realistic expectations – for himself, his business, his staff, and his customers. This allows him to keep his heart open and his vision clear. He responds to situations as they arise, being spontaneous and flexible when it feels right to do so, and acting swiftly and decisively when the need arises.

It’s early days yet, but I’ve a feeling my son has a long and success-filled entrepreneurial life ahead of him. He’s one of the good guys. He makes the world a kinder, happier, more generous place by his presence, his actions, and through his business.

Whether you are just starting out on your own entrepreneurial journey, or have years of business experience under your belt, my guess is that you’re in business because it offers you a creative playground unlike any other. It’s an opportunity to grow into your soul’s gifts, to be a source of holy joy, to shape a world of love and prosperity, generosity and kindness, healing and transformation for everyone who wishes to participate in it.

I feel immensely grateful and blessed to have walked this soul path of conscious entrepreneurship for more than three decades. My business has helped me develop strength and compassion, wisdom and discernment. It gives me the opportunity to serve my tribe wholeheartedly, every single day. It supports me, and my clients and students, through sickness and health. It has been there for me in every kind of emotional weather, bringing me more joy and contentment than I can begin to articulate.

Sustainable success is grounded in reality, and in the willingness to shape your business and life in harmony with your true desires and deepest values. It’s predicated on self-knowledge, an understanding of the needs and desires of your customers, a heart spacious enough to serve joyfully, with love and delight. It calls for a playful, resilient spirit, curiosity, and the desire to learn, grow and evolve.

No matter what your circumstances, you can choose to bloom where you are planted. And through your business, you can create a garden in which others can flourish fully and freely too.

Soul-Powered Success

celebrate

There is a profound hunger for freedom, spaciousness, abundance and ease, among our community of creative entrepreneurs. We long to contribute our creativity, skills and heart to the task of building a world that works for everyone. We believe in business as a soul path. We also want to flourish, to build a foundation of wealth and prosperity for ourselves, our beloveds, our communities and our planet.

And yet, when we pursue success on terms that are not our own, we suffer. Ease and joy are lost in the daily grind of too much and not enough. Too many things clamoring for our time and attention. Too many responsibilities, demands, needs to be met. Not enough time, support, spaciousness, breathing room.

At every stage of business, we are offered these gifts and challenges: To meet our own needs and those of our businesses, with a full heart. To honor our true desires even when they seem to contradict each other. And to stay creative, playful, engaged and flexible while taking inspired action to fulfill our vision of what we and our businesses can be.

To explore what sustainable success looks and feels like, for you, please join me for a 7-day complimentary e-course, Sweet Success and the Soul of Your Business, starting March 6th. You can register for it here.

The true basis for abiding success, in life and in business, is presence and connection. When you are deeply connected with your soul, you know what’s right for you, and you act to fulfill your true desires. When you are deeply connected with the soul of your business, you have a clear vision of its life and purpose, and a powerful ally in bringing that vision down to earth.

Your definition of success is as individual as you are — and it will change over time, as your true desires, and those of your business, continue to evolve.

Your business has its own soul, its own essence and purpose, its own allies, life path and reason for being. In this 7-day e-course, you’ll meet the soul of your business, and learn how to partner with it to co-create the kind of success that nurtures your soul, builds a foundation of wealth, prosperity and provision for you and your beloveds, and makes a lasting and positive contribution to the soul of the world.

Sustainable success is anchored in clear intention, attuned to your own desires and those of your business, followed by purposeful action.

By the end of our seven-day exploration, you will have a direct experience of the depth and power of your own soul, and the soul of your business. You’ll get a taste of the energy alchemy skills and practices that are the cornerstone of my 12-week program, Become Your Own Business Adviser, which begins on April 4th. It is a business-building, life-transforming program unlike any other.

What’s Held In Your Biology Shapes Your Future

dreamstime_xs_16390246_Vitruvian_Man

Biology is not destiny. But what’s held in your biology shapes your future, and the future of our planet.

Release, forgiveness: these open up your cellular structure’s capacity to bear and radiate the pattern that your soul holds for the unfolding of your life. These are the companions of the great generative forces that alchemize bondage into freedom, fear into faith, entropy into evolution.

The price for clinging to decay in any form — thoughts, beliefs, fears, failures, successes, feelings, relationships, situations, stories, you-name-it — is supremely high. Understand this, and choose liberation, moment to moment, day to day. Choose over and over again that which makes your body and your incarnation a blaze of love, creative freedom and blessing.

Planting Wishes

dreamstime_xs_3217939 plant a tree

As we celebrate the return of the light, and welcome the New Year, stop a moment. Drop into your spacious heart. Sink down beneath the surface noise and chatter, to the deep truth of your desire.

Plant a wish, or three…

:: One for yourself. What do you most deeply long to be, to express, receive or create, in the New Year?

:: One for someone / something / someplace you love. What do you truly wish for, or long to give to your beloveds, in the New Year?

:: One for your world. What blessing does your heart want to offer your world, or to some specific place, situation or activity in your world?

Write your wishes on a piece of paper. Place the paper on your altar, or pin it up on the wall in your study.

Take a few moments to connect with your wishes each day. Feel your deep love and devotion, embodied in the shape of your wishes.

Check in with your heart. If your wishes were to come true right now, would you welcome them with open arms? Is there some part of you that’s afraid of who you’ll be, or what you’ll experience, when your wishes come true?

Gather all of your inner selves together, in the chalice of your heart. Talk with them about your wishes, and ask them to join you in devoting your whole self to bringing these wishes into the world. How do they feel, and what do they need, in order to wholeheartedly embrace this journey you’re invoking? Take care of every part of you, and bring it home into your wholeness, so you can receive your heart’s true desires.

Next, ask your wishes what they need from you, in order to make their way into the world. Make a plan. Break it down into its specific components. What resources will you need, to fulfill your wishes? Which of these do you already have? What additional resources will you need to access to fulfill your wishes?

What actions will you take, and in what sequence will you take them?

How will you know when each part of your plan is complete? Build in processes to evaluate the effectiveness of each piece of your plan, as it is completed, and to make adjustments as they become necessary.

Feel the power and support of your own soul’s presence. Call on the presence of your allies in every dimension to lend their skills and power to your wishes. Ask them to gather with you to create the pathways through which your wishes will enter your world.

Give thanks for the unfolding gifts that come to life through your wishes this year. Give thanks. Give thanks.

  • You are a sovereign being,
    a fractal of the Sacred,
    a fractal of Wholeness.
  • The flow of your life.
    The soul of your business.
  • Grow your business.
    Grow yourself.
  • Expand your life. Evolve your business.
  • The art of alignment. The miracle of action.
  • Trust in the power of your perfect unfolding.
  • Permission to grow, to flow, to know.
  • You learn about freedom by experiencing what it feels like to be bound.
  • Beyond your beliefs, beyond your drama — the truth of your life.
  • Success is becoming the person who can ask for hugs and holding when your own strength has deserted you.
  • Embrace the mystery at the heart of creation.
  • Your soul sends out tendrils of light and fragrance into the world.
  • You are the gift — and the giver.
    You are the Love, and the lover.
  • At the heart of all things — even limiting beliefs and painful programming — is wholeness.
  • Surrender is an act of will. It is aligning your will with the will of the Sacred.
  • You learn about sovereignty through the experience of being dethroned.
  • Love transforms.
  • Your soul's purpose is to participate in wholeness, to express wholeness.
  • True Desire is a messenger of your soul.
    It leads directly to your soul’s purposes.
  • Unfold the miracle of your life and business.
  • Business = Love in action.
  • Everything you need is already within you, waiting to unfold and express itself.
  • Your inner world shapes your outer world.
    Success is an inside job.
  • You are the story, and the story-maker.
    Your life is yours to shape.