The Power to Choose: An experiment in freedom


One way to experience any soul quality – power, love, gratitude – is to play with it. Be curious. Create lighthearted experiments to explore how this quality shows up in your life.

Here’s an experiment to explore how the power to choose shapes your life and your story around giving and receiving. Play with it; share your discoveries here, if you wish:

Pick one day this week – Monday! Or Thursday! Or any day, really — and declare it a transaction-free day. Announce it out loud: “Today is a transaction-free day!” Write it on your bathroom mirror. Declare it to your beloveds.

Today is a transaction-free day!

What does this mean? Well, it’s your experiment. You get to choose what it means for you.

The essence of it is this: Make this a day when you experience your power to choose, fully and freely. Without any agenda beyond your own desire to play with unconditional giving and receiving.

Declare this a day when you’ll give freely, just because you feel like it. No expectations, no intended outcomes, just free play — to see how you feel, who you are, and what happens, when you give just because you want to.

Make this a day when you’ll receive fully, just because you choose to. No guilt, no shame. No holding on or holding back or holding in. Just receiving — fully, honestly, because you have the power to do so.

My 3-year-old granddaughter is masterful at this. She admires herself in the full-length hallway mirror, turning this way and that, looking over her shoulder at her reflection, lost in wonder. She pats her sparkly new birthday dress, strokes her arms, flashes her rainbow-colored fingernails, her blue eyes shining with delight.

Enthralled by her own beauty, she is oblivious to the grownups hovering in her vicinity. Nothing exists for her but her own joy. I’ve never given a birthday gift that was received so fully.

And when she gives, it’s with the same unconditional delight. “Would you like a bite of my sandwich?” “Do you want to come and play with me?” She doesn’t much care whether the answer is yes or no. She’s immersed in her choices, acting on her desires, and oh, she is a powerful little girl!

So, play with this if you wish. If you’re at your local farmer’s market buying a bag of produce, offer the vendor your money as a gift, freely given. Receive the food you’ve chosen as a gift, with delight and gratitude.

Let yourself experience the essential truth of life – it is all a gift.

Notice when transactionittude creeps in. When you’re choosing to give because you want to be admired, or loved, or approved of, or because you believe you should, or are afraid of what will happen if you don’t.

Notice when receiving is fraught with contingency. Fear that you’ll have to reciprocate; doubt about what you deserve, and why, and how. Shyness about expressing your joy, your gratitude. Notice when you contract away from the gift, the compliment, your reflection in the mirror.

Breathe. Return to your chosen declaration. Return to your transaction-free day.

What happens when you exercise your power to choose what and how you’ll give, what and how you’ll receive? When you give without hesitation or expectation? When you receive everything as a gift?

Who have you become, at the end of your transaction-free day?

If you want to explore the nature of power, and its essential role in shaping your story and the story of your business, please join me for a free teleclass, Create With Power, next Wednesday, September 3rd, at 10 am Pacific Time. Get a taste of energy alchemy in action, and learn more about my 12-week program, Become Your Own Business Adviser, which begins on September 15th.

Story Power

holding power

Anytime you face a situation in which you feel powerless to effect change, remember this: You are a sovereign being. You have the power to choose.

You may not have power over the weather – rain, sun, storms – but you have the power to choose how you will respond to the prevailing winds; how you will think and act in the face of whatever blesses or assails you.

Power is a quality of your soul. It is always available to you. You carry within your very cells the memory of power, the energy and experience of power. You can tap into it at will.

Think about the stories you tell yourself and others. Stories about powerlessness: I can’t help it, this is just the way I am | just the way things are. He did this to me, she did that. If only I had | he had |she would. How could they do this | act this way | get away with this?

In the midst of telling your story about powerlessness – even if it’s a story about someone else’s powerlessness, the massacres in Palestine, or the murder in Missouri – stop. Check in with your body. How do you feel? Check in with your breath, your pulse, your heartbeat. How is this story affecting your biology?

Then, ask yourself: By telling this story in this way, am I contributing to healing and restoring wholeness? Or am I projecting onto this situation, onto these people, onto myself, the shadow of fear, victimization, helplessness?

Your thoughts are powerful. Your stories are powerful. Tell a story about power and agency, see yourself and the people in your world as powerful, able to participate in miracles that transform themselves and their world, and you lend them your power. You help them access their own power. Most important of all, you act to mobilize the immense powers of wholeness on their behalf. You act to change your world.

Tell a story about victimization, and you weaken yourself, and the central nervous system of everyone involved in the situation, even if you never meet them or live halfway across the world from them.

Develop the habit of power and the capacity to hold and use power effectively, and you can use your creative resources to shape a world of kindness, peace, provision, safety and sufficiency for everyone.

I’m looking forward to talking with many of you on my live preview teleclass, Create with Power, on September 3rd. For now, pay attention to the stories you tell about power and powerlessness in your everyday life. Be mindful of how they affect you and your ability to create what you truly want, in your life, in your business, in your world. And then, change the stories you tell. Use your power to choose a new story, and serve your deepest, truest desires.

Habits & Creative Play

We are adventurers at heart. Our souls love to splash around in newness, to explore and discover the wondrous worlds that lie beyond the safe shores of home.

Yes, we have fundamental needs for security, home, belonging. Without the foundation of safety and protection that these give us, we never feel fully free. But our needs for discovery, play, and creative exploration are just as essential, if we are to live joyfully and flourish.

You can meet these needs most easily when you create containers – sandboxes, art studios, writing corners, red-clay riverbanks – that hold and nurture your creative energy.

Habits have an undeserved reputation as unconscious, rigid patterns that stifle creative flow. But, consciously cultivated, habits can be the protective riverbanks that guide the effortless flow of your creative energy.

By cultivating habits that support your creative process, you align your power with your soul’s deep desire for exploration, discovery, and ongoing evolution.

Consciously cultivated habits are the engine of momentum. With the right habits to support you, you won’t have to make a new choice each day to overcome inertia and play freely, creatively. You’ll add color, richness, texture and depth to your life. And you’ll have great fun doing it.

My own creative habits are eclectic, chosen as much for their capacity to delight as for their ability to hold my creative process. And, they change and evolve. Crafting them is fun, a lighthearted response to the call of my soul, which dances gleefully over shifting terrain.

Variety keeps the structures of habit fresh and interesting.

Mostly, my creative practices arise spontaneously from a life-long spirit of curiosity, play, adventure and exploration, anchored in a container of time and space, energy, presence and attention.

Some of these practices are as constant as breath – I’ve practiced them all my life; they are the mainstay of my world. Others are inspired by an image, a feeling, a word or phrase that brushes fleetingly against the skin of my attention. Or by a deep communion with Nature that leaves its fingerprint on my heart.

These creative explorations are internal, but they are rooted in my relationship with the world around me. They have their own rules of engagement: They command my presence, my love and willingness to explore with an open heart, to learn what they have to show me.

Most of all, they call me to be changed by my encounter with Otherness – to discover who I become, as a result of my relationship with the people, places and energies I meet along the way, and to embrace whatever emerges from our play together.

The container of habit itself is simple enough.

Mornings are my most creative time, so I keep them free for adventuring. Sometimes, I stay in my pajamas – a signal to my whole being to remain as softly receptive as when I first wake from sleep. Others, I shower, dress, light a stick of incense and a candle, and attune to the Deva of Love, or the spirit of Blessing, or whatever soul quality I want to embody, explore and play with that day.

Some mornings, I stretch out in my favorite chair, drift into the vista across the bay to the blue mountains at the horizon’s rim, sip a cup of herbal tea, and day-dream.

Day-dreaming is a vastly underrated activity. Most of us are really good at it, as kids, until it’s shamed out of us, or we succumb to the metronome of busyness that doles out time like assembly-line aspirin.

Me, I choose to play in ways that slow me back to heart time, pulse time. I read poems whose rhythms are heartbeats. I write longhand in an unlined 5 x 7 spiral-bound sketchbook. The thick-textured paper, the open white-space of the page, feels expansive, generous – as spacious as free play.

It’s a bowl of habits designed to invoke and hold the rich broth of feelings in which my creative energy feels most at home.

What happens next depends partly on serendipity, and partly on the particular practice I’ve crafted to explore something I’m curious about.

For the past several months, for example, my daily practice has been to let myself have all of what I truly want. To notice when I hedge, hold back, make-do, or otherwise shrink from my desire. And to observe who I become and what I create when I say a full and wholehearted Yes to everything my heart desires.

The results have been both interesting and delightful. My days hold more spaciousness, more fun and play, more connection with my world, more travel, more engagement. More of what I want now — very little of anything that doesn’t feel right for me in this moment.

More trust in my creative capacity. Trust in the gifts of Grace, in Divine Timing. A rich flow of abundance to support it all.

This experiment has also yielded a deep vein of wisdom in daily writing, a new collection of poems, and two other projects that will serve you and my world in ways that make my heart very happy.

If this sounds good to you, take a daily swim in the river of your own radiant, powerfully creative life. Shape habits that suit you, ones that work well with your own natural rhythms and temperament.

The habit of creativity serves you and your world – it helps you craft a life and business you love, and contributes to a world that supports the perfect unfolding of all forms of life.

What habits and practices do you already have in place, that nourish your creativity, day to day? Celebrate these. Refine them. Bring them up to date.

If you’re feeling creatively stagnant, begin by shaping a container in which your creative energy loves to play. Set up a space and time that’s just for you — one where your allegiance is to your creative self alone; where you can play undisturbed. Buy or borrow tools that feel perfectly balanced in your hand, and keep them close. Use them with love and delight.


Ask yourself – where does your energy and attention naturally want to flow? What awaits you, just beyond the harbor of routine and familiar thoughts, feelings, ideas, grooves of attention?

What structures and habits can you create, to hold this play time, this exploration of freedom?

Get support, to get started. Check out resources close to home – friends to play with, classes or workshops in your community. Dance, sing, draw, paint. Make music. Write or sculpt or cook. Make love. Make waves. Make your art.

Trust your heart’s deepest, most compelling desires – especially the ones that seem whimsical or frivolous, frothy beyond all reason. See where they lead you. Discover who you become, when you say Yes to them.

You are an incarnate soul. Creativity is in your DNA. Nurture it, and you nurture Wholeness.

Your creative exploration is part of the Divine Play of the universe itself.

And, you’ll have the time of your life!

Here we go…!

If you want to explore, grow, play, and shape the world of your business using the powerfully creative tools of energy alchemy, please join me for the Fall, 2014 session of Become Your Own Business Adviser. This session of the 12-week program begins On September 15th.

Word. To take advantage of the best early registration discount, register by September 8th.

To learn more about the program, join me for a free preview teleclass, Create With Power, on September 3rd at 10 am Pacific Time. If you can’t make it to the live call, you can download and listen to the call recording in your own timing.

Details and registration here.

Holy Yes and Deep Devotion

beach sunrise

It begins simply enough. A tug in your belly. A longing in your heart. Restless feet aching for the grit of the road. The call of…something.

It pulls you out of your warm bed, your tangled sheets, just in time to glimpse the stars dissolve, the sky reveal its morning face. You stand barefoot at your window.

Next thing you know, you’re breathing sea air. Eager, thrilled, bewildered, you stumble towards the tideline. The ground under your feet gives way to crumbling sand, to shell-pricked tidal flats. Mud squishes through your toes. Salt stings your legs as you wade through foaming waves.

Ahead, a shimmering horizon. You can’t see any details yet – not from this far away. A rim of violet mountains squats at the edge of a pewter sea. A pale sky, breathtaking in its simplicity.

Spaciousness. Freedom. Beauty. Joy. The call of wild geese, high in the sky. The call of the unknown, echoing all around you.

Your heart lifts, soars across the bay to those mountains, to that glimmering horizon, in a single swift breath.

Oh, yes! With all your heart, you say Holy Yes! This. This is where you belong!

But then…Your feet in the shallows, covered in seaweed…You’re still on this shore.

How will you get from here to there?

How will you cross that immense body of water undulating between you and the place your heart knows intimately, but where you’ve never been?

You can’t swim there, it’s too far away. You don’t own a boat, though the bay is dotted with craft of every kind – white sails and little red dinghies, Crayola colored kayaks, hulking oil tankers, sleek cruise ships. None of them belong to you. You have to find or buy or build your own boat. You’ll figure out how to navigate it later, once you’re on board, engine started, skimming the waves.

You contemplate the distance you’ll have to travel. You veer between delight, determination and despair; bright faith and lurking heartbreak. Notebook and pen in hand, you make plans, sketch out schemes and strategies, write impossible lists.

You gather supplies, roll up your sleeves, fling yourself into action — and the horizon that beckoned so compellingly dissolves in a flurry of screen-time and Facebook updates, to the staccato soundtrack of barked orders from that little fascist voice in your head: Do This! Do That! No, Not That!! That!!!

Every time we create something new, we hold in our hands the crackle and zing of that current between Here and There. It arcs between the horizon of our heart’s desire and the shore on which we stand. Deep devotion holds us steady throughout the journey.

Without vision and bright faith we’d stay asleep, or we’d shuffle dreamily along the familiar shore, ignoring the call of our true desires until we fall ill, or the safe harbor we’ve so diligently clung to collapses in some inexplicable way.

Without the Holy Yes of deep devotion, we would never take the risk of making art or raising a child. Building a business, abiding by our true desires, growing an intimate relationship, growing ourselves – each of these demands love and courage, grit and grace, power and the humility to listen to the voice of our hearts.

Our Holy Yes summons our intelligence to learn new skills, our creative genius to lead the way. It calls on our willingness to live true stories and abandon hollow tales. Our deep devotion feeds our determination to do the work, to build that boat, to cross that sea, to give ourselves, body and soul, to the task at hand.

Devotion also holds us steadfast for the long haul. There are no shortcuts to this journey. It won’t all be transcendent bliss and angel wings wafting us home, though both angels and bliss will reveal themselves when we do the work of clearing our vision of the scrim of beliefs, patterns, stories and pictures that obscure the view.

We are accompanied by all the evolutionary forces of the universe. We don’t make this journey alone. And, no-one else can do the work that’s ours to do. Our Holy Yes is ours to declare, not just at the start of the journey but every step along the way.

Our Holy Yes launches us out of the safe harbor of Here. Deep devotion keeps us moving towards There, towards our heart’s horizon, where the emerging soul of wholeness lives.

Holy Yes, deep devotion — these are the gifts we offer our world, the gifts that accompany us on every evolutionary journey.

If there’s something calling you now – a new horizon in your business, a vision that won’t go away no matter how often you dismiss it as impossible or impractical – try softening into the Holy Yes that sings in your heart. Listen for the pulse of deep devotion.

If what’s calling you is a new horizon in the world of your business, please join me for a free, 21-day e-course — Unfold the Miracle of Your Business: A 3-Week Experience of Energy Alchemy for Entrepreneurs. It begins July 14th.

I offer this e-course with the wish that it will lead you to your emerging Holy Yes and Deep Devotion to your heart’s horizon. You can read more about it and sign up here.

On Communication and Communion

Hand weaving

This morning, I’ve been re-reading the transcript of a conversation between poets Allen Tate and Stanley Kunitz that took place in 1966. The excerpt quoted below is from their riff on communication and communion.

“If you’re reading a poem, you are not receiving a communication, you’re participating in a discovery, and as a reader, you participate in that discovery as a collaborator. We use communication; we participate in communion. Any genuine work of art…is a discovery of a kind of knowledge about the human condition that we did not have before. On the contrary, the mass-medium commentator is trying to move us toward some course of action, which may be deplorable or of uncertain consequences. We had better beware of these people who communicate. I think it’s best to go off and sit by ourselves alone and read Shakespeare.” –Allen Tate, 1966. From: Communication and Communion, A Dialogue between Stanley Kunitz and Allen Tate.

To me, both communication and communion are necessary elements of culture and relationship. Both play a part in how we, as entrepreneurs and artists, meet and participate in shaping our world. But, when the exigencies of communication override or outweigh the soul’s deep desire for creative communion, we lose something essential — not just in our own lives, but in the life of our culture and society.

How do you weave the warp of communication and the weft of communion into a seamless work of art, a beautiful whole, in your business? How does the tension between these elements inform your marketing, your relationships with your readers, clients and customers? If participation and collaboration are essential values in the world of your business, how do you make a place for these in your offers, and in the culture of your business?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories and experiences around this.

Cheek to cheek: Partnering with your Business Deva

dreamstime_xs_2830376 tango couple

The single most important element in the world of your business is you. Your energy, vitality, and creativity, your vision and heart, give birth to your business. Your love supports the life of your business.

You partner with the Deva of your business to unfold the miracle of its pattern in the world. You, and the relationship between you and your Business Deva, are the central elements in this creation that is your business.

Your life is your kingdom to shape — to cultivate, to nourish, to grow. The more skillfully you care for yourself, the more fully you access your soul and all of its qualities, including creativity, grounding, abundance, wisdom, strength, clarity and purpose. The more you embody these qualities in yourself and in your business, the more successful your business will be.

Your soul encompasses the whole ecology of your being. It holds your uniqueness — that which makes you who you are.

This includes your personality, your history, your family, your lineage, your likes, your dislikes, your strengths, your challenges, your physical body, everything that makes you, you. Everything in your personal ecology is the particularity of your being.

This is the realm of what we think of as the real world, the three-dimensional world. It is bound by laws of nature, of time, space and gravity. It is a world of differentiation and opposites — of light and dark; day and night; male and female; positive and negative. That aspect of your soul that is incarnate encounters all of the polarities and contradictory realities of this world in which we live.

But your soul also includes, in its ecology, the dimensions of subtle energy and of unity. In this aspect of your soul’s ecology, you are one with Source and with all of Creation. You are one with all that is, was, or ever will be.

Time and space function very differently in this portion of the soul’s ecology. There is no gravity or resistance—the laws of nature in our 3-D world don’t apply to the subtle energy worlds. This means that you can transform patterns very quickly here.

This is why energy technologies work so brilliantly. It is also the reason why, when you know how to work with the subtle energy realms, you can create things very quickly, and in seemingly magical ways.

To bring those creations into manifestation you have to engage the powers of your incarnation — your particularity, which lives in the 3-dimensional world. You have to create structures and forms that hold the essence of what you want to bring into the world.

When the pattern and form of your business — its shape and structure — flow organically from its essence, the world of your business is elegant and whole. This makes your business irresistible to those who truly want what you have to offer. In order to shape it in this way, you have to know how to bring your business into the world of form, skillfully and effectively.

There’s a difference between creating things on an energetic level and creating things on a physical level. There is great creative power in knowing how to navigate the whole ecology of your being so that you can use the skills and capacities of every aspect of your soul, including its subtle and physical energy realities.

On the 3-D end of the spectrum there are a limited number of things you can create. You have a limited amount of time, you have a limited amount of energy — that’s the nature of physical reality.

It’s important to make the very most of your capacity by knowing your true desires, and anchoring them in a clear and concrete intention. Because once you set something in motion in the subtle-energy dimensions, you begin gathering around you a vast array of allies and powers to help you bring your creation into form.

If you set things in motion randomly you will waste an enormous amount of energy and you will end up either creating things you don’t want, or not having the resources you need to carry your creation to completion.

Being clear about your intention helps you align your desires with your soul’s purposes. Partnering with your Business Deva helps you fulfill your intention with the help of all the powers of wholeness.

Take some time each day, to connect with your Business Deva. Deepen your relationship with it. Together, you can develop a unified vision for your business. Your Business Deva can help you with everything from envisioning the world of your business to shaping an effective business model, to creating a winning campaign for your signature offering. It can help you with both planning and implementation.

Like any relationship, your relationship with your Business Deva will deepen and flourish if you nourish it with your love, appreciation, willingness to listen and to communicate. Devas do not impose themselves, so ask for help when you need it. Then follow through and act on the guidance it offers you.

Your relationship with your Business Deva is a partnership. You are no less sacred or powerful than it is. You each have your own spheres of power and influence. So use your discernment. Feel free to say No to anything it proposes that doesn’t feel right to you, or that isn’t in right timing for you. You are sovereign in your own life.

Once you’ve called on it to collaborate with you, pay attention to the people, places, situations and experiences that show up in your life. These will be responses from your Business Deva to the help and partnership you have invoked.

Dream Team : Hiring for your Soul Business

ice climbers

This past month I’ve felt spring burgeoning in the world of my business, even as winter storms blanketed our part of the world in ice and snow. My business is growing, and I have been in the process of hiring essential new members of my team.

A great working relationship doesn’t just happen. It requires work on both inner and outer levels. Like a good marriage, it is based in a clear vision of what is truly important to you — those qualities, values, skills and ways of being in the world that are essential to you and your business.

So, if you’re getting ready to hire, start by making a list of all the qualities and characteristics that are essential to you, in a co-worker and collaborator in the world of your business. You’re not seeking perfection, here, but rather those qualities, skills and attributes that are both necessary and sufficient to grow the world of your business in harmony with your vision and values.

Think right fit for the job, rather than Mother Teresa!

Once you’re clear about the essential qualities this person must have, make an organized, itemized list of everything their job encompasses. Structure this into relevant categories: project management, team management, website design, writing, and so on.

Add to this a list of all the major systems, software and processes you use in your business, that this person will need to know in order to function effectively in the world of your business. Obviously, if you’re hiring an operations manager they will need a different level of skill with your systems than if you’re hiring a copywriter, so keep this list focused on the requirements of the job.

Based on the above, generate a list of skills and experience that are essential — and a sub-list of skills that would be nice to have — in candidates for this position.

Now that you are clear about the qualities and characteristics, as well as the skills, knowledge and experience this person must have, create an ad for your ideal person. Speak directly and compellingly to them. Tell them about your company and your team: Who you are; what you value; and whom you would love to hire. Let them know how to apply, and if it is relevant, provide an online form with a skills list that they can check off and submit, along with their application.

Give them enough concrete information so that they can discern whether this job might be a good fit for them, and vice versa.

Now, call on your allies – your Business Deva, other members of your team, your friends and colleagues, to help you connect with the right person. Share the link to your job ad with your tribe – online, and in person. Post it on your Facebook and LinkedIn pages, on your business Twitter feed, on your blog, and on any forums to which you belong.

Have a process in place for handling applications. As they come in, divide them up into categories – Definitely not. Maybe. Yes, I want to talk with this person.

Stay open to serendipity. You might connect with the right person because someone you know knows someone they know, and they help you make the connection. Or they’ve been on your team for a while, but are now ready to take on more creative responsibility.

Do your homework. Meet with people on your short-list, be receptive to the quality of their presence, and be guided by your intuition about whether, where, and how, they belong in the world of your business. Look for chemistry, ease, flow — and trust your gut.

When you talk with them, ask questions and listen for how they respond. Give them the opportunity to ask you questions as well. Share your own heart and hear theirs in return. An interview is a place to connect and explore, to discover if there is enough common ground for a fruitful relationship to unfold.

Ask for and check references — talk to people they’ve worked with. Here are some things to consider, as you talk with referees. Has your candidate done similar work for them, or are you comparing apples and oranges? Are the referee’s standards for his or her business comparable to yours? Are there things the referee might hesitate to ask your candidate to do, because they aren’t sure of their ability to do them? What do they love/find challenging about the candidate? What can they tell you about the candidate’s working style, their learning style? If this person is no longer working for their organization, why and how did the relationship end?

Use your discernment to sift through all of this information, while paying close attention to your intuition. Inner and outer work go hand in hand, in this process.

Attune to the soul essence of your short-listed candidate, as well as to their personhood — everything that makes them who they are, unique and irreplaceable. Consider the alignment between them and the soul of your business.

Throughout the process, ask yourself a few fundamental questions: If I hire this person, how will I feel? Check in with your body, to get a felt sense of your response to this question. Ask yourself: Will this person add to the sum of harmony, wholeness, creative power, and coherency in my business — or not? And, can your business offer this person what they need to truly flourish? Will they be happy in this job? How will you help them grow into the job, but also how will you support them in becoming more fully themselves?

There is an element of serendipity and magic in connecting with the right people for your co-workers — those whose vision and values, skill, knowledge and experience are in harmony with the world of your business.

Business — like any creation — is an ecology of relationships fostered through love and devotion, clear communication, integrity, willingness, reciprocity and partnership, generosity of spirit, and a host of other soul qualities.

Different people in your business’s ecology may embody these qualities to greater or lesser degree. We are all individuals, and we bring our souls as well as our personalities to work with us.

If too many essential qualities are missing, if the person you’re considering isn’t sufficiently mature or skilled, doesn’t have the skills and knowledge you need, or if there’s a large energetic discrepancy between you, it will cause friction and difficulty in your business.

On the other hand, if the person has the practical skills, genius, and experience your business needs, there’s sufficient resonance and alignment between you, and you have clear agreements and strong systems to support you, your business and everyone in it will flourish.

To summarize, here are some essential elements to consider, in crafting a soul-centered business relationship:

Is there harmony and resonance — a good energetic fit — between you and the person you’re considering as a potential ally and co-worker.

Do you have the means, capacity, willingness and structures in place to support each of you, so the relationship serves both of you and your business in becoming more whole, integrated, creative and joyful?

Is there clear and honest communication between you? What are your expectations, needs and responsibilities towards each other, towards your business? What is your reporting and accountability structure? How do you negotiate differences? What process do you have in place for handling challenges?

Once you’ve hired someone, offer them welcome, appreciation and hospitality. You are making a commitment to their well-being, and you contribute to the quality of the relationship by your own attitude toward them.

Give them time and support to find their place in the world of your business. Hold qualities of flexibility, appreciation and patience, as you build trust and negotiate the differences between you. Be clear about expectations and responsibilities, and demonstrate that you hold everyone on your team — including yourself — to the same standards of impeccability and excellence.

The best business relationships are those in which each person feels safe, cherished, and encouraged to grow according to the inner pattern of their being; where boundaries and agreements are clearly delineated and understood; and there is a foundation of love, flexibility, trust, humor, good will and clear communication.

A soul business hires by committing to the well-being and fulfillment of everyone involved. Wholeness embraces everyone and everything in your business’s ecology and provides a container for everyone’s perfect unfolding.

Hidden treasure: When what you long for seems out of reach


The light of our souls veils from us that which we are not yet ready to receive or to participate in.

If you’ve ever wondered why that thing you so want remains just out of reach, or why a particular project doesn’t yield the results you had hoped for — even though you’ve done everything you know of, to make it happen — it may be because your soul is waiting patiently for you to grow into the person you must become, in order to have the thing you most desire.

The interesting thing is that during that journey of growing yourself, you encounter a wider horizon of Desire. So that the thing you thought you wanted reveals itself to be an aspect of the Sacred that is so much vaster and more profound than anything you could have imagined.

That product you thought would help your tribe write more efficiently, or would help them create winning graphics for their next ebook, turns out to be an invitation to express the power and generativity of the Source within. That goal of speaking at a glittering gala to a rapt audience finds its true expression in your soul’s desire to illumine and awaken the pathways of grace.

This process unfolds in Divine Timing. What we think of as stuckness, failure, or procrastination is often an evolutionary process through which you and your desire both grow into your soul’s pattern, until you embody the power and presence necessary to co-create what’s next.

Money & Me: A tale of romance & lasting love

dreamstime_xs_7608870 raining gold coins

Last fall, my dear friend Bari Tessler Linden invited me to share the story of my relationship with money with her Art of Money community. The insightful questions in the interview, below, are hers. The responses, and the unfolding story, are mine. I share them with you because our stories have the power to heal and transform. My wish is that this post will invite you to explore your own money story, and move you to discover the rich possibilities of a deeper relationship with the Deva of money.

1. How would you describe your relationship with money?

My relationship with money is an intimate relationship between sovereign, loving, co-creative partners. Together, we shape a life, a business, a body of work and a world that serves wholeness, kindness, generosity and love.

The Deva of money has its own pattern of unfolding, as I have mine. I participate willingly and gratefully in its activity in the world, and it supports and nurtures my life and my creations.

We are soul-friends, sovereign and free, and devoted to each other. We love, support and nurture each other. Together, we are committed to shaping a world that serves and supports the perfect unfolding of all forms of life.

2. What are your strengths around your relationship to money? What really works for you in this area? Where do you rock with money? What are you proud of?

My greatest strength lies in my relationship with the Deva of Money. I love and appreciate the soul-essence of money, as well as its presence and activity in the world. I foster a culture a wholeness, integrity and sustainability in relationship to money through my own business practices, and through my writing, teaching and mentoring.

I’m proud of creating a body of work that helps conscious entrepreneurs transform their stories around money from tangled, painful patterns to clarity, belonging, right relationship and radiantly sustainable prosperity. I’m delighted to see my folks thrive and serve vibrant communities with their soul’s work.

It thrills me to see my folks welcome a consistent flow of money into their lives, and to develop ease and a sense of being at home with money.

I am grateful for the ways in which money nourishes my life. I honor its soul-essence, which is love, and am fascinated by its pattern and form — the ways in which it functions in the world.

My earliest experiences with money left me feeling outraged, shaken and powerless – they impelled me to understand and evolve a generative relationship with money. I was born and raised in India, where the uneven distribution of wealth distorts the lives of generations of people who have no hope of ever fulfilling their potential because their growing bodies don’t have the basic nourishment they need to survive, let alone to thrive.

In Bombay, the rich live in mansions or – increasingly – in luxury high-rise apartments, while outside the walls of their compounds, entire families are born, raised and die under makeshift shelters cobbled together from hammered tin cans and sheets of cardboard. Money, and the lack of it, shapes lives – profoundly — in ways that broke my heart over and over again as I was growing up.

How we approach money, individually and as a society, determines the kind of world we help to shape. On its own, money cannot create a just, generous and abundant society. But, with conscious human partnership, it can contribute to a world that provides beautifully for everyone.

To me, money is a creative force with the potential to help manifest any vision. The more holistic, expansive and generous the vision, the more positive the effects that money can have. I partner with the Deva of Money to give concrete shape to my values, and to support and nurture the people, places and causes that I love.

My gift is the ability to partner with money to create containers for deeper connection between soul and the incarnate world. With the help of the Deva of Money, I have created a home, a life and a business that offer spaciousness, ease, prosperity and beauty; delight, safety and support – as well as knowledge, skill, and creative mastery to everyone who enters my world.

3. I believe everyone has money shame. What is the Money Shame story you tell yourself? How does this show up in your life and business?

I honestly don’t feel shame around money. Even when I was young and surrounded by so much inequity and injustice, I was outraged and heartbroken, but not ashamed.

However, my stories about money have been shaped by my life experiences, and have evolved over time.

My dad used to say, “Money is like the dirt on your hands — brush it off before it clings to you.” Inevitably, he made and gave away several fortunes during the course of his entrepreneurial life. He was the first businessman of his generation to offer ownership shares to his workers and staff. He was incredibly generous with money, did not value it much, and played with money like a fish on a line – reeling it in, releasing his catch, casting again.

I don’t think it ever occurred to him that his ambivalence about money affected his family. Growing up, I never asked him – or anyone else — for what I wanted, because I knew that sometimes we were wealthy, and other times we were not. I didn’t want to embarrass my dad, or add to the tension that pervaded my parents’ marriage each time he gave away everything he had to a friend in need.

Instead, I turned to my Source for what I truly needed. I knew from a very young age that my provision, safety and security came from the Sacred, rather than from my family. This has been both a great blessing and an ongoing challenge in my life.

When my dad died, dozens of people came forward with stories about how he had paid for their children’s education from kindergarten through graduate school, through medical school, through law school and beyond; how he’d helped them build a home for their family, paid their medical bills, covered the expenses for their mother’s funeral; how he’d supported their work as artists so they could sculpt, carve, paint, make their art.

I understand his generous nature, because I share it. And, I have learned — through my life’s experiences, through my relationship with the Deva of Money — to temper generosity with discernment.

For a time, my money story was colored by my dad’s money story, until I reshaped and refined it to reflect my own truth.

Until I was in my thirties, I thought that right relationship with money meant detachment from desire. That I should not want it; that I should give it away freely when I had it, and be content with whatever came my way. I strove to live in a state of surrender and grace, trusting that what I needed would be provided, so long as I continued to do my soul’s work.

Like most stories, this one holds the nectar of truth in its heart. I did receive what I needed. And I was indeed provided for in miraculous ways.

But as I have grown in sovereignty, power and agency, my money story has changed. I understand now, what I had intuited at a very early age — that money is part of the activity of the Sacred in the world. And that right relationship with money is a dance of flow, of giving and receiving, of power and choice, of generating, creating, dissolving and birthing. It is grounded in love and respect, harmony and sovereignty, generosity and discernment, and co-creative partnership with its Deva.

My money story continues to evolve. For now, it is this: The more fully I embrace money — enjoy it, love it, appreciate it, and participate actively and generatively in its unfolding — the more fully it supports me in doing my soul’s work and contributing to the creation of a world I love. When I am in right relationship with money, I am able to joyfully support the people and causes dear to my heart, be generous and generative, and share the fruits of divine abundance with others.

4. What was a really tough money experience you went through? Please share the gory details. What did you do to get yourself through this time? What did you learn from it, and what are you doing differently because of it?

About 15 years ago, I was badly injured in a car crash which left me with several fractured vertebrae, damaged muscles, joints and ligaments, a traumatic brain injury, loss of vision in one eye, and excruciating, unrelenting pain, among other things.

My life as I had known it was changed forever.

I had a flourishing business, at the time, with a full complement of staff and an educational facility that served hundreds of students. I also had a young son still at home, a large house and gardens that were expensive and time consuming to maintain, and a husband who had recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness, and who wasn’t able to share in the care and support of our family.

It became increasingly clear that I could no longer continue to run my business at its existing scale, nor support the complex life we were living. I didn’t have the stamina to do more than the barest essentials – provide for my family, take care of my children, and heal my broken body. My husband was adamantly opposed to downsizing our home to something more manageable.

Faced with the truth of my body and its greatly diminished capacity, I ultimately made the difficult decision to close my business, end my marriage, and move to a small, rented condo with my younger son, who was just entering his teens at the time.

The next few years were a slow burn of intense, often painful healing and recovery. I struggled to work in the face of constant pain, to raise my son and to deal with the financial chaos that followed in the wake of my separation and divorce.

I emerged from that time with a deep respect for the true nature and power of boundaries and limits. I also deepened my practical understanding of how to transform obstacles into resources, and co-create my day-to-day world with the help of Devas and other allies.

The energy alchemy skills and inner patience and stability I had developed over a lifetime held me safely when there was little external safety to be found. My friends helped put ground under my feet, as did the kindness and skill of my physician, osteopath, massage therapist and other healing practitioners. Slowly, I rebuilt my health, my business and my finances.

This experience blessed me with a deeper, more loving and intimate relationship with the Deva of Money. I have experienced the loss of everything I thought was mine, and learned that nothing that is truly mine is ever lost – and that I cannot hold onto anything that does not belong to me. Loss opens the door to clarity, faith, and the life of the soul.

I know that abundance takes many forms. I recognize and honor its rhythms and cycles. I’ve learned how to stay calm in the face of adversity; how to remain financially fluid and flexible; how to feel safe and supported, no matter what. I know how to celebrate and appreciate the goodness that life brings me; how to hold the brimming cup of enthusiasm and expectancy, prosperity and support, without tipping it over by clinging to specific outcomes.

In many ways, these experiences have helped me refine and embody more fully everything I’ve learned and taught over the past forty years. Our souls create every experience to grow us – mine created a crucible in whose fire my money story was completely transformed.

5. Do you have a money practice? What does this look like for you? (e.g. Do you attend to your money relationship through a daily, weekly, monthly, and/or yearly practice? Do you have money dates? Do you use a bookkeeping system? Do you have a ‘budget-plan’?)

I take care of my money much the way I take care of everything else in my life – with daily care, attention to detail, a system that works for me, and the support of skilled professionals.

Since I have an ongoing, intimate friendship with the Deva of Money, we spend time together each day, usually in the early morning, when I do my inner work. I connect with the Deva of Money in a more focused way when I’m working on a specific project, or holding space for clients or colleagues to bring greater prosperity into their lives and businesses.

I pay all my bills online, as soon as they come in. And as I make each payment, I bless the payee, and the services and support they provide.

My system for tracking business income and expenses is homemade and low-tech — I’ve used it for over thirty years, and it works well for me. I print out and file all invoices, receipts, bills and so on in pre-arranged categories, as soon as I receive them. My assistant pulls detailed monthly banking reports, which are added to these files.

At the end of each quarter, my book-keeper enters all these into her system, and prepares quarterly statements and reports. I use these reports to track the shape of my business, to plan the quarter or the year ahead, make decisions about hiring and staffing, budget for marketing, business development and other business investments, and make strategic choices about when to create and launch new programs, product offerings, and so on.

My accountant prepares my corporate and personal tax returns at year end. Periodically, I meet with my accountant to clarify some aspect of my business’s finances, or to create a tax plan for the year ahead.

I also have an excellent lawyer who handles my business’s corporate reporting requirements, and who makes sure my will, power of attorney, medical representation, and other legal documents are up-to-date so that my executors can make financial decisions quickly and easily, if I should die or become incapacitated.

All of this is good governance, part of right relationship with money. It creates a stable financial foundation for me and my business.

6. I believe our money relationship is never “handled”. We’re always evolving, upgrading, tweaking and expanding our money lives. What are you working on right now? What’s new for you emotionally, practically, or spiritually with money? What’s the next level for you?

September is my birthday month, so for me, the New Year begins in September. This year, my mantra is: Make my life a celebration. A celebration of the beauty of this world. A celebration of sacredness and delight, community and profound relationship, abundance, prosperity and creative boldness.

Financially, this means enjoying the abundance I’ve created, letting myself rest in it, feeling the shifting boundaries of my money world, and being willing to show up and engage with what’s emerging there.

Right now, I’m adding to my team — providing my business with more solid, reliable, skilled support so it can keep growing sustainably, with wholeness as its central organizing principle, and serve even more of its right people.

The Deva of Money gently invites me to expand my understanding of the pattern it holds, for the unfolding of money in the world. And to participate in its work in a new way. In my program, Become Your Own Business Adviser, I offer energy alchemy skills for developing a deeper, more honest relationship with money. Now, I feel the call to explore and extend this work in partnership with others who are also working to create wholeness in relationship to money. It’s one of the main reasons I said yes, Bari, to your kind invitation to participate in this beautiful process of sharing our money stories.

As we heal our relationship with money, and shape new stories about its role in our world, we act powerfully to shape a world of sustainability, kindness, support and prosperity for all. I’m looking forward to how this journey unfolds, and what form my own contribution to this work will take.

7. What’s the most important nugget of money wisdom that you would wish to pass on to young people? What is the Money Legacy you would wish to leave?

Even in the narrowest of places, there lives a spirit of spaciousness, generosity, kindness, abundance and love. Money is an expression of the Sacred incarnate in the world. Meet it with curiosity, openness, respect, and love.

Your unique genius, gifts and talents are essential to the well-being of our world. Money gives you the support to cultivate your genius, and to express it in service to your community. Make it your sacred work to discover, honor, and express your soul’s gifts. Use them to co-create a world that is infused with the qualities you cherish. Develop a loving partnership with the Deva of Money, and become a generative, creative source of goodness and blessing.

The 2014 session of The Art of Money begins on January 15th. Although I haven’t personally experienced her program, I have enormous respect for Bari, and am honored to be a guest teacher in her program this year.

This is NOT an affiliate link — if you choose to take Bari’s program, I do not benefit financially in any way. However, I believe that healing our relationship with money can be the portal to healing so much else in our world. May you discover true love, and the deeper meaning of abundance, through your relationship with the Deva of money.

Yes, No, Maybe…The power to choose is yours


Registration for this September’s session of Become Your Own Business Adviser closes tomorrow. I know some of you want to join us on this adventure, and are feeling the pinch of indecision.

In the past week or so, I’ve had a flurry of emails from people asking me some variation of this question: Should I take the program now, even though ___________ (I am super busy; getting married; having a baby; haven’t yet launched my business; can’t afford it; etc.) They ask: Will the program be offered again? Will I miss out if I don’t take it now?

If you’re asking yourself these questions, consider this: If you trusted yourself completely, what would you choose? If you knew there were no wrong choices to be made, what would you choose?

For some of you, this session of the program comes at just the right time, and the voices of doubt and hesitation arise naturally because you are considering a journey that will change your life forever.

For others of you, the timing simply isn’t right. Your life is layered with other desires, needs and priorities right now.

To all of you, I offer this: Any time you’re faced with a decision, choose the invitation offered by love and true desire, not the overheated demand of urgency or fear of missing out.

Become Your Own Business Adviser is offered twice each year. So, if this isn’t the right time for you, there will be other opportunities to play, grow, and create within the container of this community.

And if it feels right for you to join us now, but you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list and not sure if you’ll have the time to dive into the program as deeply as you wish, remember: You have the power to choose. The program materials are yours to keep, forever. You can work at your own pace, during this session, work and play with the course lessons once the session is over, and join us again for a future session.

In any case, before you make a decision, breathe and rest in the spaciousness, ease, love and abundance of your heart. Your best choices will always emerge from there. The power to choose is yours — and nothing that is truly meant for you can ever be lost.

  • 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.