On Sovereignty, Abundance & Creative Freedom

dreamstime_xs_1381548 cactus

It’s that time of year, when the urge to be rid of the past, and to forge forward into a glorious future feels almost irresistible.

I’ve been hearing some variation of this from my clients, over the past few weeks: I’m so done with that pattern/that relationship/the Me That Was. It hurts, it feels awful — I never want to experience it again. 

And yet, inside every pattern, no matter how painful, frustrating, or debilitating it might be, is an aspect of you that holds your soul’s essence.

This inner self may be stuck in a story that she clings to, even as it fills her with pain. She may be unable to see beyond her drama, her dreams or nightmares, her version of how things should be, and aren’t.

He may be trapped in old stories of shame and blame. She did this to me. I always. He never. That’s just the way it is.

The seeds of pain burrow deep into the flesh of our stories, and sprout thorny thickets of suffering. The world around us becomes a desert in which only cacti can survive.

So we become cacti. All hard rind and prickly edges.

And the future that a cactus creates looks an awful lot like the desert. Just enough moisture, just enough shade, just enough nourishment to survive. Despite a hostile environment. Despite thin air and searing sun. Bleak survival.

What would your world look like, if you peeled away those stories? If the truth at the sweet heart of your inner selves is revealed?

The You that feels powerless holds in her heart the inner truth of Power. The You that is filled with shame holds the jewel of Sovereignty. The You that is humiliated knows the fertile essence of Humility.

The inner self who is so attached to her stories also holds, in her heart, the essence of your soul. In the jagged gape of your wounds she carries your treasure — that which greens your life and your world.

Your job is to remind her of the truth of her inner being. And to restore her to her rightful place in the ecology of your life, so you can create a future that emerges from your wholeness, from your true and sacred desire.

You can’t do this by getting rid of her. You can only do this through love and discernment, appreciation and more love.

Sweetheart, you say, show me what you know, deep inside you. Show me your true self.

 And she will show you. As soon as you ask the question, the enchantment of the story she’s been living lifts, and she remembers her true name.

Earth Angel. Radiant Moon Path. Truth Lightning. Thirsty Root of Deep Desire. Mistress of Tides.

And then you say, I need you. I need your enthusiasm, your power, your joy, your willingness. With you, life is a glorious adventure. Without you, my world is a desert; I am tumbleweed.

You fall into each others arms. Embrace. Cry joyful tears. You’re home!

Then you sally forth together. Arm in arm, heart in heart.

Your togetherness shapes the world around you, naturally, to fit the shape of you, to hold your wholeness.

Like the sand cups the shell of a moon snail. Like the sky curves her blue body around the mountains peak.

Your life flows into the shape that holds you — in love, in tenderness, in creative freedom, in the Earth’s rich abundance.

Marketing Transformation


You cannot market transformational services using traditional marketing formulae. I don’t think you can market anything effectively in that way, but it’s a mug’s game, trying to express the truths of sacred work in terms of pain points and other traditional marketing-speak.

You can, however, talk about benefits, because transformational work serves and benefits people. Those benefits may be ones that haven’t been valued, in the past, in the world of business and marketing, but most everyone understands the benefits of experiencing peace in their relationships, ease and clarity in making difficult choices, or fluency in communicating with their co-workers. 

To bring your work to the attention of those folks who need what you have to offer, begin with attunement, resonanace and empathy. You already know your tribe — they are the folks who come to you because what you offer is exactly what they need. You know what they long for, what moves them, what grieves them, what they desire, what they want to create. You know the particular forms their needs and desires take, and where these intersect with your own genius, the work you do, the programs and services you offer. You know how you can serve them, and serve their souls.

Begin there. Call on the Devas of communication, simplicity and service to hold the space for you, as you begin writing or speaking to your folks. Use the World of Your Business Playbook, to help you craft a language that speaks simply and eloquently to the folks who belong in the world of your business. Anchor the universal in the particular, the sacred in the everyday world in which we all live. 

Use language that is concrete, down-to-earth, rich in sensory detail. Use language that creates vivid pictures in your readers’ minds, that allows them to enter into the world you’re describing and to inhabit it so fully that they are breathing its air, and savouring its flavours.

Ask your allies — those clients and students who have benefited from your work — to talk about their experiences, and let their stories speak for you. You can do this by interviewing them, posting testimonials from them, inviting them to write guest posts for your blog, or in a variety of other ways.

And, tell true stories. Share your own stories. Share stories about folks with whom you’ve worked (with their permission, of course). Share the stories that show how the spirit of transformation works in the everyday world.

Our world has changed. Sacred teachings that at one time were available only to a chosen few, and only through arduous discipleships that often required a surrender of sovereignty to gurus and shamans, are now circulating far more freely. 

In some ways, this evolution is akin to the socio-political changes wrought by the invention of the Gutenberg press. Knowledge that had been available only to elites via hand-scribed and very expensive manuscripts that only scholars could decipher, became available to anyone who could afford the price of a printed book.  

There are dangers in the free dissemination of information. It can be misunderstood, misused, reduced to a cliche, or worse. But there are also incalculable benefits.

Sacred teachings were always intended to bless and serve the world. The energetic shifts that are happening on the planet now require each of us to step up into our wholeness and sovereignty, and to take responsibility for shaping a world that works for everyone. To do this, we need skills. It’s why I continue to teach transformational programs like Rule Your World From the Inside Out, and Become Your Own Business Adviser — to offer anyone who wants to learn them, a set of skills and practices with which they can be effective agents of the sacred in the world. 

Think about the deep desire that impels you to do what you do. Consider how your offers serve the folks in your world. Then, speak directly to them, from your heart, without jargon, abstraction, or obfuscation. Marketing is soul art.

Sovereign Partnership, Soul Business


We’re part way through the fall session of Become Your Own Business Adviser, and the discussions in our community this week are focused around this question: What does it mean, to love your business so completely that you want it to be itself, even if that makes you uncomfortable?

Does loving it in this way mean that you let it choose its own path and destiny, no matter what? What if your business morphs into something utterly alien to you and the values you hold most dear? What if it devours you, enslaves you, drives you into debt or drink, or worse?

These are practical questions. The fear that your business will gallop off in the wrong direction, dragging you over thorny ground and ripping you to shreds, can keep you from making those choices and decisions that are best for it, and for you.

Your business is a collaboration between you and the soul of your business. You and your Business Deva are both sovereign, within your partnership. The soul of your business can offer inspiration and guidance; it can lend its power and the power of its allies to help grow your business. But it cannot determine the direction that your business will take. Only you can do that.

If you’ve abdicated your sovereignty in this — or any other — relationship in the world of your business, that is a choice you’ve made. It may be an unconscious choice, one driven by unexamined stories or beliefs about power and powerlessness, among other things. Or it may, quite simply, be that you’ve misunderstood the nature of your role in the world of your business. 

In the collaboration between you and your Business Deva, you are the only one who can act in the physical world. Your choices shape the world of your business. While your Business Deva holds the pattern for the perfect unfolding of the life of your business, that pattern unfolds according to the choices and decisions that you make, day to day.  

If (for example) your business is expanding so rapidly that the quality of your service to your clients and customers deteriorates, or your marketing strategies make you uneasy because they slice across the grain of your values, then you have both the power and the responsibility to correct course. You aren’t helpless to effect change — you always have the power to choose the path that you and your business will take.

Your business doesn’t bolt headlong in directions that aren’t right for you — you choose its path; you guide its growth; you do what you believe is best for it. Since you’re human, you’ll do the very best you can, given the current state of your own skill and understanding. Your choices won’t always be perfect. They certainly won’t be immutable. You’ll change course, you’ll refine and reshape the world of your business throughout its life, and yours.

Your relationship with your business is much like your relationship with your child. Your child is a sovereign being. He is born of you, but he is not you. He has his own life, his own gifts and challenges, his own soul’s purposes. You honour his sovereignty. You pay close attention to his innate abilities, to the natural flow of his desires. You encourage and support him in becoming fully himself. You won’t do this perfectly, but you’ll do the best you can. Because you love him, and you want him to grow up to be himself, strong and tender, sovereign and free.

Because you love her, you won’t let your five-year-old play with fire, no matter how fascinated she is by the zip and flare of a match or the dance and crackle of flames. Nor will you allow your thirteen-year-old to drive just because she really, really wants to. Your job as her parent is to discern what choices she is ready and able to make — and to define and enforce the limits of her discretion. Your role is to nurture her gifts, the skills and knowledge that will help her step into her power, and the courage and confidence with which to choose her own path wisely, when she is ready.

Until then, you’ll guide her, provide for her, and set the boundaries within which she feels safe and secure enough to play, explore, and flourish. You have a particular role to play in your child’s life. That role changes as you and your child grow together. 

Similarly, you have a role to play in the life of your business. You are its leader and guide, in the physical world. You make the choices that shape the flow and direction of its life. And your role will continue to evolve, as both you and your business grow together.

If you’re feeling inadequate or powerless in relationship to your business, resentful of its demands, exhausted by it, or unhappy with it in some way, here are some questions to explore. Stay loose, in this exploration. Meet it with a spirit of curiosity and experimentation:

  • In what ways do you feel sovereign, in relationship to your business?
  • Where — and to whom — have you abdicated your sovereignty?
  • Are you allowing someone or something else — the marketplace, your own stories and fears, received ideas about what your business should be — to override your ability to make clear and sovereign choices grounded in love, anchored in the communion between you and the soul of your business?
  • If so, identify the places where you’ve relinquished your power to choose. Tune into your true desires. What do you really want? Choose that instead.

    Take stock of how the world of your business feels, right now. Then, take back your sovereign power to create a new story for your business.

  • On Divine Order


    The quality of your being is shaped by your choices. What you do, or don’t do, shapes who you become. Doing isn’t necessarily better than not-doing, though in our hyper-driven world, we sometimes confuse action with wisdom, or at least cede it the moral high ground.

    Wisdom lies in discerning what’s yours to do, at any given moment, and choosing that. Most often, the wisest thing you can do is bring your inner being into a state of greater wholeness and harmony first, before moving into action.

    Strategy is Soul’s servant — its job is to put ground under your soul’s feet. It cannot choose the destination, but it can build the path that will take you where your soul wants to go.

    That path winds through the ecology of your life. It leads you to your rightful place in the life of our world. Both are shaped by the hands of Divine Order, which is a quality of your soul, and of the Soul of the World.

    Divine Order is precise, and fluid. It is the organic pattern that underlies every form of life — including your life, and your business’s life. Divine Order shapes the raw soul essence of each being into its truest, most particular self. Just as the acorn holds the pattern for the oak tree, your soul holds the pattern for your becoming.

    There’s a perfect shape for your life, at every stage of your life — and this shape is flexible enough to express itself in many different forms. This means that you get to choose how your life will unfold. You get to choose how the life of your business will unfold.

    If that power to choose scares you, if you’re afraid of making the wrong choice, and paralyzed by the responsibility of making the right one — that’s part of the journey of too.

    You don’t have to make the journey alone. Your soul is your most potent ally. The soul of your business is, too. And you have a powerful ally in the Deva of Divine Order.

    When you’re standing in a maze of choices, bewildered, overwhelmed, not knowing which path to take — attune to Divine Order. Feel where it lives in your body. It thrums underneath the confusion, as steady and reliable as your heartbeat.

    Feel its presence in your life. Where is it strongest, clearest? Put your focus there. What you focus on expands. Let Divine Order expand within you. Let it guide you home.

    Feel the resonance between organic order, and your own true desires. Your desires are the voice of your soul. They are the playmates of Divine Order. Let your deep desires lead you home.

    Who do you become, when you embrace Divine Order? How do you feel? What flows naturally from within you, when you embody Divine Order?

    Feel where Divine Order is most vibrantly alive in the world of your business. Which aspects of your business embody it most fully? Which aspects of your business are closest to their true nature? Which project, which offer, which creation is most in harmony with its underlying pattern? Focus on that, first.

    What does your business, or your project, become, when it embodies Divine Order?

    Divine Order puts everything in its rightful place. It holds the fixed and the fluid together. It embraces tidal rhythms — ebb, flow — and the unyielding ocean floor. It holds, in its ecology, the shore where you’re standing, and the receding horizon towards which you yearn. It nurtures desert and oasis, wind and sun, mountain and valley, shadow and light — giving each what it needs to become fully itself, holding them all in harmonious relationship with each other.

    Trust the power of Divine Order, orient yourself to its regulating pulse, and the next step on your path appears magically by your feet. Step forward in faith, using only the effort it takes to make that one step — no more, no less.

    Each step you take reveals the next. Each step you take also brings you everything you need to take the next step. The right support, the right allies, show up, in perfect timing.

    By orienting yourself to the pulse of Divine Order, your soul regains its power to open the pathways through which miracles enter your life.

    You cultivate Divine Order by choosing it as the central organizing principle for your life — and for your business, if you have one. What and how you eat; what and whom you surround yourself with; the love, care and skill with which you craft your time; how you nurture wholeness in your clients; how you treat your staff; how you create wholeness in the world of your business — every choice matters. Each choice, made with love, brings you, your life and your business into resonance with Divine Order.

    Soul can act powerfully in your life when you care for yourself and your world in this way. A simple (and often overlooked) way to begin is by trusting and meeting your own needs first — no matter how frivolous, illogical, or contradictory they may seem. Your need to create. Your need to be still. Your need to play. Your need to rest. Your need for solitude. Your need for companionship. Your need for beauty, space, time, freedom, abiding joy. Meet these needs as they arise, and discover who you become when you trust your moment-to-moment desires to lead you home.

    Each need honoured and met with love, is a step into the dance with Divine Order. Each need met with care and tenderness brings you home to your body, home to your soul.

    When your inner being overflows with your soul’s presence, your creative energy returns as irresistibly as the incoming tide. Creative joy is an expression of your soul’s essence. It’s never lost, even when it seems to have receded out of sight. It’s just waiting for you to discover it, and give it its rightful place in the ecology of your life.

    Your body is your soul made flesh. Your business is its soul made flesh. Tend to them both. Tend to your feelings, your deep desires, your needs, as lovingly as you tend to your child. Tend to the soul of your business — its desires, its needs — as devotedly as you tend to your beloveds. Discover who you become, who your business becomes, when you embody the power of Divine Order.

    The tide, too, is Divine Order at play. It races to the far horizon. It returns to kiss your shore.

    Are We There Yet? The Soul Journey of Business


    Creating a business — especially one that emerges from your love, soul, devotion and deep desire — is like creating a world, or a child. It is your soul, pouring its love for this world into action. It is your incarnate being learning how to co-create heaven on earth, in partnership with the subtle energy realms and the 3-D world.

    Your business grows you, as you grow it.

    Too many of us get stuck because some part of us believes a business can be assembled like Ikea furniture, by following a blueprint: Plug in your USP here; your client avatar there. Attach A to B, to your marketing funnel, your sales pitch, your content development strategy, your offers, your whatchamacallit, and et voila! You have yourself a fully fledged, thriving business!

    Intellectually and spiritually you know this isn’t true. And yet, some part of you keeps trying to “get it right.” It’s a kind of magical thinking: If I just connect all of these moving parts properly, I will give the work of my heart wings, and it will fly.

    Of course, each of these elements is as necessary to building a business as the harmonic scale is essential for composing a symphony. But if that symphony were simply a collection of major and minor scales, it would not transport you into a world you’ve never experienced before. It would not open your heart, expand your mind or make its home in your cells and bones. It would not change you.

    Business is a journey your soul, and the soul of your business, take together. It is the hands and feet of the Sacred acting to shape this world closer to its true nature. It brings greater wholeness, reverence, beauty, love, respect, generosity and kindness into our world. You can’t walk this path without being profoundly transformed. 

    Each step we take, on this path of growing our businesses, is a step into our own becoming. Each step that is chosen, deliberate, makes wholeness out of raw inspiration, out of our soul’s desire.

    This means that we often have to act before we know what we’re doing. Because each step we take grows us into the person who is able to take the next step, and the next. And each step opens our hearts and our vision to whom and what we serve, how we serve, and how we express that which has no shape or form — the soul essence of our business — in the concrete, everyday world of our business.

    The journey takes time, and space, and the willingness to walk this path even when we can’t see what’s ahead. We have to love this journey enough to be willing to choose our deepest desires, to act on the truth of our souls, even when those choices seemingly make no strategic sense. Our souls, and the Devas of our businesses, have a perspective that is vastly more expansive than that available to our conscious minds, or even to our imagination. Yet that vision cannot come into being without the work of our hands and feet — one step, one action at a time. 

    So, we act. We make the path by walking it. To dream without doing is to remain forever at the foot of the mountain, the edge of the forest. It’s like dreaming your newborn baby’s life as a woman blooming into her greatness — and forgetting to do the necessary work of bathing her, feeding her, changing her nappies, cradling her wobbly little head while she spits up on your shoulder. You cannot get her there without tending to here.

    We’re all, always, dreaming in the dark. What makes a business work isn’t perfect clarity, or impeccable strategy, or angel investors. It’s our willingness to grope our way through, listening always for the unmistakable ring of truth, feeling for the shape of wholeness, staying attuned to harmony. We may wander in circles for a while, take a turn that leads nowhere, encounter dead-ends and change course over and over until we find our feet back on the path that’s ours to walk. In the process, we become intimately familiar with our businesses’ souls, with the very specific ways in which they want to express themselves.

    No matter where you are, in the life of your business, give yourself time. More than you think you need. Space. Support. Kindness. Love.

    Take one step, and then the next, and the next. The path is love. All the rest is mutable. The particular choices you make, the strategies you employ, the people and stories you play with, will all change and grow and evolve over time.

    Try things, in a spirit of curiosity and openness. If a particular strategy or offer doesn’t work, be curious about why. Refine, adjust, try other things. Along the way, you’ll develop a body of knowledge about your particular business, your particular tribe. The path is always love. Walking it brings you skill, knowledge, understanding and wisdom. And a business that is fully itself, sovereign and free. A living miracle.

    The Care & Feeding of Boundaries


    This morning, I’m honoring a profound desire to tend to my boundaries, which have become somewhat diffuse and hazy this week.

    Boundaries are not walls, but rather, those forms that create and hold the evolving shape of your life. When I tuned into mine this morning, they felt studded with — and in places, shredded by — bits and pieces of the world’s stuff, embedded into my energy field like shrapnel.

    As incarnate beings, we are both boundaried and boundless. We inhabit an ecology of being that includes everything from the unconditioned realms of unity and essence — in which we are one with all that is — to the pattern and form of our lives, which unfold in the conditioned realms of the 3-D world, as well as the subtle energy realms in-between.

    Incarnation is a boundaried state in which the boundless soul enters into a conditioned field, and takes on a particular shape and form — a pattern that makes each of us uniquely ourselves, a very specific and individual expression of the Sacred.

    Without boundaries, we would remain in the realms of formlessness. We choose to incarnate in the physical world because we love this earth, because we love the human family. Being here as incarnate beings offers us a richly creative environment in which to grow, serve the earth, serve humanity, experience and express our soul’s qualities within the form and pattern of our lives, and act as generative, co-creative partners to shape a world of love and blessing.

    On a practical, everyday level, it’s pretty simple. Boundaries help me be more fully myself. When I am myself, I’m able to share myself — the gifts of soul, the gift of my personhood — with my world. I can be loving, kind, funny, playful, generous. My presence blesses me and my world.

    When I lose myself — either by merging with someone or something else, or losing my sovereignty in some other way, by allowing that which is not-me to become stronger in my energetic space than my own soul — I become a blobby mess, unable to connect with my soul, and unavailable for true communion with anyone else.

    For me, there’s a rhythm of engagement and solitude that helps me stay whole and present. Too much engagement and I fray around the edges. Too much solitude and I lose connection with my heart. So it’s a dance rather than a fixed state of being.

    For the past 40+ years, I’ve had a daily practice of cleansing and restoring my body, energy body, and energy field. And, during that time, the world around me has changed, as have I.

    As I age, what I need to sustain the vibrancy and health of my body and energy body changes as well. As the world around us changes, those personal practices of cleansing, nourishment and restoration that were effective and powerful in the past, become less so.

    So, with my soul’s guidance, and in partnership with my Business Deva, the Devas of the Earth and Cosmos, the Devas of the Elements, the Devas of soul qualities, and my own embodied creativity and discernment, I devise new ways of harmonizing the elements of my energy body that are more skillful and responsive to the times in which we live.

    Today, I’m filling the boundary of my energy field with flexibility and strength; release; receptivity and discernment; love and power; radiance and completion. Each of these qualities helps differentiate my incarnate being from the world around me. And, through that differentiation, I become more available for true relationship with my world today.

    How about you? What is your relationship with your own boundaries today? How do you honor and care for them? How do challenges with your boundaries affect your life and business?

    Uncertainty: An Energy Alchemy Approach


    Yesterday I had an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon, who put me on a waitlist for hip replacement surgery. Here in Canada we’re blessed to have universal health-care, which means that the cost of my surgery will be covered by the modest health care insurance premiums I pay each month. The flip side of this is that surgical waitlists for joint replacements are up to a year long, and there’s no way to predict when the surgery will take place.

    When I returned home from the appointment, I called a meeting with my soul, my inner selves, and my Business Deva, to explore how best to integrate surgery and recovery into the world of my business, when the timing of these events is unknown.

    Holding the surgery/recovery in relationship to the ecology of my business, I invited both my soul and my Business Deva to harmonize these future elements with the pattern each of them holds for the perfect unfolding of my life, and the life of my business.

    I watched timelines dissolve, only to emerge in different shapes and forms in my business’s ecology. The pattern of my life and business is being reconfigured to include the surgery. Allies appeared, from many dimensions, to lend their power and support to this reconfiguration. I went to bed with a peaceful heart, feeling in every cell of my body, the great movement of Divine Timing.

    Over the next few days, I’ll do the things I can do now, to prepare for the surgery and its aftermath. Hire support. Talk with my family about what to expect, and what I might need from them. Arrange to buy or rent the equipment I’ll need after the surgery. But mostly, I’ll continue to harmonize the surgery and healing with the pattern that my soul and the Deva of my business hold, for the perfect unfolding of my life and my business.

    When you’re facing uncertainty in your life — whether it’s due to illness, a relationship gone awry, death of a beloved, financial constriction, or any one of a myriad possibilities that have the potential to derail you — energy alchemy helps you align with the powers and potentials that love and support your incarnation and the world of your business.

    It’s simple. It’s practical. It’s a profoundly relational way to take care of business.

    How do you handle uncertainty in your life, and its potential impact on your business?

    To Be Soul, Do Soul: Energy Alchemy at Work


    You’re lounging in your pyjamas on a deliciously slow Sunday morning, reading a new book that has you in thrall. Your fingers are slick with buttered toast. There are crumbs in your hair. Life is good.

    And then, the phone rings. It’s your friend, whom you love, and whose calls you’ve begun to dread because she’s become The Bad News Bear. She’s loving and kind and fun and you’ve known her forever and you can’t imagine your life without her, but…she kvetches. She complains. Endlessly.

    She tells you, in excruciating detail, every terrible thing that’s happened since you last spoke — not just in her own life, but in her friends’ lives too. She tells you about deaths, tragedies, disasters. Everything — from tradespeople who don’t show up when they say they will, to her neighbour’s cat who was diagnosed with cancer and her aunt who is losing her marbles — is parsed with equal woe.

    Your buoyant mood deflates as you slide further down your couch. Your toast grows cold. An hour later, you can’t feel your hand, or your ear. Your brain left the building somewhere in the middle of a long story about deadly aphids. You’re dying to get away, but can’t think of a kind way to end this conversation.

    By the time your friend finally hangs up, all you have the energy to do is stagger into the kitchen and drown yourself in a pint of Chunky Monkey.

    What you’ve just experienced is your energy field being flooded by a rising tide of your friend’s energy, along with her stories and fears, her feelings and thoughts. The Chunky Monkey? Sugar is one way your body gets back into present time, quickly. It has other, less salutary effects on your metabolism and moods, but it does restore you to yourself, at least temporarily.

    So, yes, this is an extreme example of a common phenomenon. And, in this case, it’s fairly easy to track the pathway from you, enjoying a peaceful Sunday morning, to you with Chunky Monkey the only thing between you and ultimate despair.

    And yet, we experience the effects of other people’s energy, their thoughts and feelings, and even of events that happen halfway around the world from us, every single day. All of these phenomena affect us, sometimes in painful ways.

    We get stuck in narratives that aren’t ours. We feel helpless, hopeless, unable to effect change. We feel inadequate, alone. We find ourselves abandoning our dreams, sinking into a morass of despair or slogging through swamps of inertia and what’s-the-use. We lose our joy. We lose connection with what inspires and energizes us.

    We are directly affected by the pressure of ambient events. We participate in the floating cloud of undigested feelings, incoherent thoughts, unintegrated energies that hovers around our world. Whether or not we’re aware of it, we feel the effects of all of these in our own bodies and energy fields.

    The fact is, we live in intricately nested energy ecologies. The more skillfully you are able to work with your own energy field, and navigate the complex energy ecologies in which you are embedded, the more successfully you’ll create what you want to, in your life and business.

    When you’re present and whole, your body and energy field are filled with the power and radiance of your soul, and of your incarnate self. Just as a healthy immune system keeps you from catching a cold — or any one of a multitude of virus-borne diseases that surround you at any given moment — a healthy energy body filters out energies in your environment that aren’t in harmony with your inner being.

    On the other hand, when you aren’t present, when your inner state is more jumbled and fragmented than harmonious and whole, the unintegrated stuff within you becomes a portal through which energies that aren’t your own enter your energy field. You absorb energies from outside of yourself and experience them as though they were yours. This can lead to confusion, lack of clarity and direction, indecisiveness, overwhelm, and more.

    Here’s a hypothetical example: You’re feeling kinda bored, maybe a bit lonely, so you browse your Facebook feed, or play on Pinterest, or dive into Instagram, feeling that familiar mixture of anticipation, overwhelm and increasing distance from your own body. Then, this happens:

    a) You read one of your favorite blogs, or a great Facebook post. Or a sublime image pops up on your Instagram feed. You come away feeling inspired, enthusiastic, and buoyant with possibility. The feeling stays with you for a while, brightening your day, perhaps even inspiring a post of your own. Then, it dissipates…


    b) You check out a link to a sales page or website. You find yourself feeling restless, dissatisfied with yourself or your business, convinced you need something. You don’t know what that something is, but you’re pretty sure you don’t have it. You’re also pretty sure you need to get it from out there — a book, a class, a retreat, a community, an experience. Maybe it will change your life. Maybe your world will morph from shades of grey to glorious color. Maybe…

    In each of these scenarios, you’ve absorbed or matched the energy of the site you’ve visited.

    The high you got from the inspiring post doesn’t last, because it isn’t your energy. It can reconnect you with your own soul, which is a powerful source of inspiration and enthusiasm, but if you don’t consciously shift your attention to the source of these qualities within you, the high will disappear sooner rather than later.

    The dissatisfaction and restlessness you feel after visiting that website is not your energy either. But it plugs — like a bulb in a socket — into your own stories and beliefs about not being enough, not having enough, not knowing enough.

    These stories and beliefs carry an energetic and emotional charge. So you end up feeling dissatisfied, restless, or empty, depending on how the energy interacts with your own stories. Or you feel suddenly angry, sad, thrilled or something else that you weren’t feeling before you began your Browse-a-thon. What you’re experiencing is the result of at least two things:

    a) the effects of energy that isn’t yours, which can leave you with feelings and thoughts that aren’t your own, yet that feel overwhelmingly, and sometimes painfully, real


    b) the prickle and zing of your own stories and patterns — your un-integrated stuff.

    You can’t do anything with energy that isn’t yours. You can’t process it, encourage it to flow, or integrate it into your wholeness. But once you’ve identified it as not-yours, you can release it. It doesn’t have to run your life.

    Discerning between feelings and thoughts that are your own, and those that are the result of energy you’ve absorbed, begins with knowing yourself. Be mindful of your own rhythms, your patterns, your loves and dislikes. Pay attention to the subtle movements of your own feelings, and get to know them. Know what your triggers are, and which patterns surface when your buttons are pushed.

    Get to know your inner selves, and make friends with them. Bring them home to the heart of your wholeness, where they belong, so your inner three-year-old isn’t trying to run your business, or your thirteen-year-old self isn’t feeling responsible for managing that high-stakes meeting.

    Develop an ongoing practice of centered awareness, and a daily practice of cleansing and harmonizing your energy field. This should be as simple and regular a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth. You are a physical, emotional, energetic, mental and spiritual being, so cultivate and nourish each of these aspects of your being-ness.

    Ultimately, you are an incarnate, embodied soul. You don’t have to do anything to be soul — soul is who you are. But you can experience your soul’s presence within you by expressing it in your life. You can strengthen your soul-ness by doing what soul does. To be soul, do soul. Be kind. Be generous. Be loving. Be powerful. Bless the people and places you encounter each day. Bless yourself, your beloveds, your business, your world. Partner with the Devas of your neighbourhood, your business, your country, the Earth, to make manifest the pattern that each of them holds for the perfect unfolding of the life in its care.

    The more you act from your soul-self, the more you will strengthen your inner radiance and become a source of soul in your world. And, the next time your friend calls and launches into a litany of woe, you’ll meet her with sovereignty, truth, kindness and love instead of burying yourself in that pint of Chunky Monkey!

    Choosing Matters

    dreamstime_xs_15921334 fork in the road

    Every choice we make has energetic consequences. Choosing matters. Who we choose to hang out with matters, because each encounter shapes us, and shapes our world. How and where we choose to spend our time, energy, resources and attention matters, because these choices shape our becoming, and shape the world in which we live.

    There are no inconsequential choices. The seemingly innocuous choices we make day to day are powerful.

    Receive the gift of choice with a discerning and grateful heart. Honour the choices that present themselves in each moment. Step into your soul’s light, and choose — choose from there.

    Unconscious patterns of thought, belief, and behaviour carve deep grooves along which we glide, riding a cushion of air, removed from the truth of our bodies, separated from the light of our hearts, turned away from the relational power of our souls. Unconsciousness obscures our vision, and leads us to destroy what matters most — our souls, the soul of the earth, and the life which it holds in its care.

    Consciously choosing that which is in harmony with our souls returns us to the heart of wholeness, where we belong. It restores us to the real. One precious, irreplaceable choice at a time.

    Choosing matters.

    Call Me

    swinging from the moon

    I grew up in Bombay, which, in the 1950’s, was a vibrant mercantile city of about 3 million people. It was a city of neighborhoods. The one in which we lived was a mish-mash of old Colonial bungalows, crumbling plaster houses, low concrete buildings and hole-in-the-wall shops. One corner of our neighborhood, which everyone called “the village”, was a small enclave straight out of Old Goa. This seemed a wildly exotic place, to us kids, who only went there when invited to visit our Goan friends in their tiled-roof cottages. We played hide-and-seek in an open courtyard, summer’s heat and dust rising off the pavement, until the sun quivered scarlet on the horizon, and it was time to go home.

    The city itself was a bewildering bazaar of the weird and wonderful. Scrofulous, smelly, dirty, crowded, it nevertheless brimmed over with color and beauty, the thwop of cricket played on the Maidan, the raucous conversations of crows, vignettes of love and beauty, cruelty and kindness in the slimy streets. And the shining sea all around. Bombay is an island.

    Summers, school holidays, and weekends, we took the train high up into the mountains of the Western Ghats, where my aunt was the principal of a boarding school in a tiny village called Khandala. It was almost entirely wilderness then — dense jungles where panthers still prowled, and where I hiked and climbed and explored alone for hours each day without ever running into another human being. This was home. I loved it as we only ever love as children — with my whole, unfettered heart. It was the world’s first fingerprint on me, and it claimed me utterly.

    The places we inhabit when we are very young inhabit us in turn, for we are newly incarnated then, and our souls are passionately present, brimming over with the love that brought us here in the first place. They shape who we are, as surely as the food we eat, the schools we go to, and the air we breathe.

    My calling — though I didn’t know that’s what it was, back then — felt like a great river of love that flowed between me and my two worlds. It found its creative expression in the things I loved to do — hike, wander, commune with the Nature Devas and other subtle energy beings who filled my world. I’d write; draw; paint; read; climb trees, climb mountains. I loved to learn; daydream; map the night sky, with its stars that felt like home, onto my skin, in the whorled shells of my ears. I loved to stretch across the far horizon to the wide world beyond, which I knew only from books and my own soul’s immense reach. And yet, I knew someday it would be my home.

    In Khandala, I experienced a kind of ecstatic union with the natural world and the Earth herself. I was as much a part of it as the sky, the mountains, the jungles and birds and waterfalls. It’s where I first met and loved the Nature Devas and other non-physical beings who were the architects and guardians of that wilderness landscape. Loving them, I wanted to be part of their activity, part of what they did to weave that magical place into being, to care for it and nurture it so it could be its exquisitely beautiful self.

    In Bombay, the human world called me to a more complicated love. It shredded my heart in ways that the wilderness never did. My family was middle-class, not fabulously wealthy like the families of many of the girls I went to private school with. But we lived in a city in which entire families subsisted on little more than chappatis and chili peppers, where hungry children and their malnourished parents begged on the streets or labored in the punishing heat to fill their bellies with a fistful of rice.

    When I was very young, before the Devas had shown me how to work with energy to alchemize suffering that I could not alleviate in any other way, my body was flooded every day with a wracked tide of love and despair.

    I wanted to help, with the kind of desperate, helpless love that is a child’s spontaneous offering. On family outings, enroute to the market, or on the trolley bus to school, I stopped and talked with beggars. I held the hands of lepers, stroked their crumbling fingers. And I yelled in outrage at my family when they hauled me away bodily from these encounters. I felt ashamed, helpless, furious in the face of so much needless suffering.

    Eventually, my soul told me it was time to say goodbye to India. To grow my capacity to serve, I needed to grow aspects of myself first, in a different culture and geography. I left India and moved, first to the U.S., and then to Canada, where I’ve lived all my adult life. Here, I’ve found home and belonging, raised my family. Here, I continue to do my life’s work.

    The needs in this part of the world are culturally shaped, and different than they are in India. Yes, there is poverty and homelessness, income disparity and social injustice here too. But there is also a bedrock of provision and support. We are blessed with prosperity of the sort that most of the world can barely dream of.

    The true poverty here is a poverty of connection, beginning with inner connection. Our lives are fragmented; we have forgotten our place in wholeness. Our focus has been so firmly fixed on the material world that we forget that our world is wholeness incarnate, a fractal of the Sacred — and we are too. We forget that our outer reality is a direct expression of a wholeness which we either contribute to or devolve with our thoughts and beliefs, our choices and actions. We are in thrall to things that can never fill us up. All the while, we are starved for that which matters most — our relationships with our souls, with our hearts, with our beloveds, with our communities, with our natural and human world.

    We have the opportunity, as a culture, to work together to create a world that works for everyone. The problems of the world remain intractable, its patterns of violence and poverty, hunger and degradation, seem impossible to change. Yet I have immense hope for us, as a species, as members of the intricate ecology that is life on our planet. Devas and other allies in the subtle energy realms work tirelessly to do their part in the reweaving of the world. We have the capacity to do our part, in partnership with them, in partnership with each other.

    Calling, to me, is a summons from the soul of the world to participate in the life of the world. Calling is my soul’s response to the world’s need, and to my own deepest love and desire. For me, that call has been, first, to be fully myself, to be whole. And then, to be an active agent of wholeness in my world.

    This is what impels everything I do. This is my calling. To love what I love, to offer all that I am and all that I have in service to the perfect unfolding of everything and everyone I am in relationship with. So I continue to write. I continue to teach. I share what I know, what I’ve learned, created and developed through over 40 years of doing this work. I share what I continue to learn each and every day: How to be in right relationship with the ecologies in which we are embedded. How to be in relationship with our own souls, the souls of our businesses, the soul of humanity, the soul of the world. How to partner with the non-physical world to make heaven on earth. How to protect, strengthen and serve the essence at the heart of the people and places I love, so they can be more fully themselves.

    As for what’s next: I don’t know. At this stage of my life, I’m seldom shown more than the landscape directly ahead of me. When I step into it in faith, miracles happen. What’s calling me next is greater relationship, collaboration, play. And more writing. All of it will show up in perfect timing, as it always does — in ways I almost never expect!


    Thanks to lovely Renu Murik for asking me the questions about calling that inspired this post.

    • 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.