Harvest Moon: Return to Your True Self

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harvest-moon

As we harvest the seeds that were planted in the spring, we can identify the intentions that thrived and the ones that needed to be let go of. Harvest is a time of hard work as well as reflection. Before the cold of winter sets in, we must complete processes and plans. There is also an element of rest and reflection to assess what is truly important.

Since the past two seasons focused on cultivation and growth, we are now drawn to focus on maturity and reward. What has grown and matured during the Spring and Summer? Revel in the fruits of your hard work and persistence. Harvest is a time of celebration. You created results and can now take in the bounty.

After we tend to what has matured, we can also notice what has remained. In essence, our true self. The parts of us that stay the same no matter what season is taking place. In the fall, trees reveal their true colors providing color and warmth to a cooler landscape. Spring and summer invited hope for new things which arrived and transpired, but there is an unwavering part of our soul that must also be celebrated. It is the place where authenticity and inner truth reside.

As the harvest moon lights up the sky, allow for illumination in your soul. Notice if there is anything that is keeping you from expressing your true nature. Release anything that is holding you back or keeping you stagnant. Embrace your true self and the road ahead with bravery.

With each full moon, there is an opportunity to set intentions for the month to come as well as release anything that no longer serves us. Here is a 5 step process that I cultivated a few years ago for setting full moon intentions…

How to Set Full Moon Intentions

  1. Meditate: sit quietly and meditate on what you want to achieve
  2. Write it Down: write down what you want to achieve, create, change or focus on
  3. Visualize: create a picture of what this looks like
  4. Let Go: release what no longer serves you and let go of anything that may be holding you back (physical, mental and spiritual)
  5. Offer Gratitude: the universe is constantly listening to our deepest desires. Offer gratitude for each gift and blessing and for the outcome of your new intentions as if they have already happened

Everything that happens in the universe starts with intention.

– Deepak Chopra

For a free intention setting worksheet  or more information on intentional living or spiritual life coaching, please email me at emily@soulsadventures.com

Quitting Time

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quitting time

You know it in your gut. Sometimes the head follows and then your entire body follows. It is tiring and feels like the energy is being sucked right out of you. You toy with the idea only to find yourself back in your comfort zone, once again complacent and dreading the day to day.

The decision to quit a job usually comes after several moments and thoughts of “There has got to be something else.” and “I can’t do this anymore!” It is scary to leave a comfort zone, but the brave know that it is also very rewarding.

Our gut will continue to plead with us to make decisions that seem uncomfortable. In the relentless pursuit for attention, the gut may become ill to the point where our only choice is to give in. There is relief and knowing when to trust your gut; your truth center.

Although quitting may seem like the answer, there are some questions you need to consider first…

  1. Is there a different approach to the way you are dealing with a certain situation or is it time to move on? Answering this question honestly can help you discover whether it is time to quit or learn new ways to deal or communicate in a certain situation.
  2. What are you willing to compromise in order to go after what you really want? Perhaps it is a few dinners out or maybe living a simpler lifestyle. If a sabbatical is on your horizon, it is important to think about budget and what you will be spending once income ceases.
  3. What is your time frame? Be honest. Decide how much more time you want to stay in your current position and when you would like to be in a new position
  4. Is it time to take a sabbatical or start applying for different positions? This is crucial when it comes to quitting your job. Determine whether this is a conscious break from working or a career pivot and where you begin looking for your next position.

Each of these scenarios will take a different type of focus and resources. Allowing yourself the space to process this transition will help zero in on the goal and purpose of the change. Talking it through with a non-biased party will help detach from and sort through feelings and emotions. This is where a coach or mentor can help. Friends and family are wonderful for advice, but at times, their advice can be biased based on their relationship with you.

Quitting is a bold move that can be quite rewarding. Taking the time to ask a few important questions can bring clarity and peace. Sometimes we must close the door to something that isn’t working in order to focus on which door to open next.

For more information on navigating a career change or sabbatical with clarity and focus, email me at emily@soulsadventures.com.

Surrender

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surrender

Imagine a fist held tightly. All it holds is the air and creates tension within the body. Then imagine the fist letting go. Notice the release of tension and free flowing air around each finger. Nothing fell out of the palm, because there was nothing to grasp.

Holding tightly onto something that isn’t there is useless and controlling. I have learned this lesson time and again. Perhaps it’s because I am Virgo or someone who does not like to feel out of control. But the minute I try to generate an outcome that seems forced, I create an unrealistic expectation, stress and anxiety.

Several years ago, I was going through a career transition and I remember thinking “I better get a job soon, I have bills to pay” as I wrote my check for my car payment leaving $23 to my name. It wasn’t for lack of trying to find a job, there just weren’t jobs available. So, I had to surrender and take a job as a courier.

I thought that I deserved a better position because of my background and transferrable skillset. My need for control was keeping me from moving forward. However, if I would not have accepted the position, I would have missed out on the opportunity that later resulted in abundant travel.

I was terrified when I let go. I thought that if I held on for just a bit longer, things would fall into place. They never did until I surrendered to the experience and the lessons that were begging to be learned.

When it feels like you are being blindly led, allow trust to take place.

The act of surrender is not giving up; It is an act of trust. This is a sacred place within the soul. A deep, vulnerable place to enter. To let the walls down around the heart and to open the soul to a possibility that can’t be seen is raw, yet absolutely exciting and brave.

There are several things I still need to surrender but each time I do and trust that everything will be alright; I am surprised by the grace of the universe. Situations that seem hopeless when in my control are completely turned around when I let go of the reigns. The universe lovingly allows me the time to realize I need to let go, and when I do, that’s where the miracles happen.

What we can’t see holds a gift if we allow it to happen. It is amazing when things are revealed after the act of trust. What I thought I needed or wanted is always replaced by something greater. With each act of surrender, I am learning that the universe really does have my back and listens to all the desires of my heart.

When a Friendship Ends

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Friendship

Our energies did not match any more. We were growing apart. After almost a decade of inseparable friendship, we no longer had the common ground that kept us on the same path. I had traveled continents with her, shared thousands of tears and laughs, we knew each other’s deepest darkest secrets. But that was not strong enough glue to keep the friendship together.

It had been clear for some time that we were growing apart. Our time together seemed almost forced. I had grown to love my friend dearly, but noticed a strange pattern of need growing between us. I felt the friendship had become one-sided and it started to hurt more than uplift.

At first I was devastated. I didn’t think another friendship could compare to our sister-like bond. Then, I became very upset “How could she treat me with such disregard?” I would repeat over in my head. It was painful to know that she was still hanging out with mutual friends. I just wanted everyone to be on my side; but it wasn’t their fight.

Confusion traded places with anger and I went back and forth between the two for a while. I wanted to let go and be okay. In the age of social media, clear boundaries have to be made when a relationship ends. It is easy to assume the other person does not hold any regard or brags in hopes to appear like moving on was easy and seamless. I had to let go of all assumptions in order to heal.

I came to a place of forgiveness after a year had passed. The wound was no longer fresh and I was able to unpack the pain and blame, allowing the openness to feel comfortable. I wanted the new space to be filled with friendship that was autonomous, loving and nurturing.

I got specific on how I wanted to feel inside a friendship and recognized what I needed to work on in order to propagate that.

The lessons that took place during the process of healing were hard. There were patterns that I had created in relationships that I had to recognize and amend. The pain created an awareness that was filled with a softening and grace. I went from “How dare you!” to gratitude.

When a friendship ends, it isn’t easy to forgive and forget. Allow yourself to feel the pain and process the lessons as they come. Healing and forgiveness are on their way. Grace makes sure of that–where that big gaping hole was created, friendship appears. Sometimes not in the same form or what we expect, but the universe loves space. When we give up what we think should fill the gaps, we can be surprised by what is intended for our hearts.

When a friendship ends, it hurts. Confusion, anger, sadness and frustration take the place where laughter, understanding and connection once thrived. In order to move forward, there are some things one can do to create a healthy environment in the heart and soul…

  1. Set boundaries
  2. Create an intention for how you want to feel in a friendship
  3. Release judgment and blame to create room for growth and healing
  4. Forgive yourself and the other for whatever happened
  5. Allow the space to be created for the universe to deliver likeminded friendships
  6. Offer gratitude for the friendship
  7. Send the other person love and LET GO

Whether there is a specific reason or several misunderstandings that lead to the end of a friendship, compassion, forgiveness and grace can heal a wound that runs deep. We may never know why the other person moved on, but we can take responsibility for our hearts and souls and fill the space with love. When we let go in love, more love can enter.

Forgive. Let go. Be Open.

Summer Reading Recommendations

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reading

The Light Between Oceans by M.J. Stedman: It is rare that fiction captures my attention but this was one that I could not put down. This is a riveting story of love, loss, adventure and the stories we tell to protect our hearts. There is a movie coming out soon, but I would definitely read the book first. The writer does a wonderful job of storytelling and painting the picture for the reader.

You are Here by Thich Nhat Hanh: Mindfulness is an important practice in order to be present and aware. It is a beautiful, short read that encourages being present, right here, right now. This is a powerful book to remind us that the present moment, the person you are sitting across from, the space you create for yourself is important to pay attention to, especially in a world full of distractions.

The Power of the Other by Dr. Henry Cloud: I strongly believe that we are the sum of the people we surround ourselves with. This book outlines how others affect our performance in all areas of life. Although we can try to not let others hold power over us, their influence can be quite strong. With interviews and research, Dr. Cloud demonstrates how our relationships and communication shape our performance, well-being and growth both personally and professionally.

The Crossroads of Should and Must by Ella Luna: This book was given to me by a friend and she proclaimed “You have to read this, it’s amazing!” I agree. It is artistic, inspirational and beautiful. The main theme of following your passion resonates deeply and is the perfect read for anyone who has ever gone through/going through a transition, created something or has struggled with taking a leap. If you want to harness your bravery, this will help and inspire.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: A beautiful manifesto for the creative soul, with the premise that each of us contain an inner creative spark that should be expressed. It encourages creativity in a ethereal yet practical manner. I gained so much inspiration from this book and reference it often when feeling stuck in my creative pursuits. It is like having your own creativity coach wrapped in a beautiful package.

Rising Strong by Brene Brown: Brave souls unite! If you have ever experienced failure this book shows how getting back up again and again. Rising strong is a sign of inner strength. Failures are inevitable, but the way we choose to deal with them sets us apart. As always, Brene Brown backs her beautiful words up with great research and by the end of the book, you will feel empowered to try regardless of possible failure.

What are you reading this summer?

Finding a Coach

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coaching

The growth of the coaching industry has raised the important question of “How do I find the right coach?” When choosing a coach, it is important to find someone who you jive with, is willing to hold you accountable and will help you achieve desired results.

There are several reasons to hire a coach….

  • Set goals and get results
  • Motivation to start, continue and finish
  • Accountability partner to drive results and keep you encouraged and inspired
  • Gain clarity on your life’s purpose, career path, relationship and specific goals
  • Grow spiritually, mentally and physically: There are coaches that specialize in spiritual growth, business/career, fitness and personal growth
  • Provide support and encouragement

When hiring a coach, it is important to know that results are obtained in time with dedication to the coaching plan. Although one session can be helpful, is just a launching pad to working towards desired outcomes. In order for coaching to be successful, scheduled meetings should be made and kept, this is where accountability can work its magic. Depending on your goals, packages can be purchased for 1-12 months with savings per session being greater the longer the time commitment.

A good coaching relationship will empower you, inspire you to go above and beyond what you thought possible, tell you the truth and ask questions to stretch you.

Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a coach:

  1. Offerings and Packages: What type of coaching do they specialize in? Do they offer packages that fit within your time frame and needs? Can you customize or upgrade? These are things to consider and good questions to ask a potential coach.
  2. References: Do you know anyone that has utilized a coach and achieved results? Does the coach have customer feedback on their website? Read the reviews and see if any of them resonate with you.
  3. Personality: Many coaches offer an introductory call or email where you can see if the energy is a good fit as well as map out a plan of action for the coaching relationship.
  4. Certification and Training: What type of certification does the coach have and what training was involved? Certification is important but so is ongoing training. Does the coach continue to develop their practice and stay on top of their own development?
  5. Pricing: Does it fit within your budget? Part of creating a successful life is staying within your means. Coaching is worth the investment and financial growth can be a goal, but make sure the services meet you where you currently are to propel you in the direction you envision.

A coach can be seen as part of your team of experts. In the effort to live at your highest potential it is important to have a team behind you, keeping you healthy, in tune, motivated and accountable. Doctors, therapists, personal trainers, spiritual leaders, chefs, nannies, teachers, mentors, CPAs, financial advisors, trusted friends and coaches are just a few of the possible people who can help you enhance your life.

If you have been considering coaching to help you move towards a goal, gain clarity or take your life or career to the next level, please contact me at emily@soulsadventures.com to schedule a complimentary 15 minute call. We can talk about how coaching can enhance your life and create a plan of action.

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

– Timothy Gallwey

30 Day Challenges

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30 day challenge

Living with intention is the cornerstone of my coaching practice. Whether I am working with a client on their career or spiritual journey, intentions are key to creating a life with desired outcomes. One of the tools that help are 30 day challenges. The fitness industry has greatly utilized this concept and a quick google search will result in several ways to get tighter abs, stronger arms and a sculpted physique.

All you need is the desire to make a change, the will to achieve the it, a plan and an accountability partner. Think about all the things that are on your to-do or wish list. Pick one of those things and see where you are in 30 days.

The key to these challenges is understanding that they are only a launch pad to healthier habits. Neuroplasticity is at work here and neural pathways are changing in the brain during these challenges. After 30 days, you will probably want to continue with the new habit or push yourself even further. Whether you choose to start a new habit or quit an old one, 30 days is a good time frame to build a foundation and you can then choose to continue to strengthen the new pathway or try something new.

I have had clients who wanted to produce more sales leads in their business, network with more likeminded individuals, read more, run more miles, spread more love and practice gratitude. Each challenge was tailored to their need and with some planning, accountability and encouraging vibes, results were created.

There are a few ways to be successful in a 30 day challenge:

  • Accountability: whether through a coach, group or trusted friend, accountability works and keeps you on track.
  • Check In Daily: send a text or email every day during the challenge to stay on top of the goal. This is a place to voice success and challenges during the 30 days.
  • Weekly Calls: Spend some time each week chatting on the phone about how the week went. Offer encouragement to each other and celebrate overcoming obstacles and milestones.
  • Reward: What is the reward for completing the challenge? Decide before starting. Reading for 30 days straight? Perhaps buy a new book. Love going to the gym now? Perhaps a new workout outfit.

Another month is just around the corner…such a great time to start something new. Let me know what you choose to challenge yourself with. If you need help creating a plan and want an accountability coach, email me at emily@soulsadventures.com.

Confidence: Interviews, Negotiations & Communications

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Confidence



One of the topics that consistently comes up in coaching is finding the confidence for a job interview, salary negotiation and in personal affairs. Asserting oneself can feel uneasy because we don’t want to rock the boat. We end up stepping aside for someone else to shine and get that job or risk not getting what we really want.

Confidence comes with clarity. When we can clearly define what we want, we can visualize the outcome and communicate with confidence. Clarity is the super power when it comes to negotiations and communication. A well thought out argument is more likely to be listened to. When we can paint a clear picture or scenario of what and why we want something, we can get the point across with ease.

I remember when I wanted to negotiate my salary and felt fear and doubt rising inside of me, thwarting my confidence and telling me several excuses as to why it would not happen. I chose to sit in that painful place for a moment, but knew that I was the only one that could be my own champion. I went back and forth on approaching my boss and after careful planning, I took the leap and approached him with my proposal.

I had numbers to back up my performance, customer reviews and a number in my head that I wanted. I had done my research on comparable salaries and wanted to feel valued and appreciated. In fact, after all my careful planning, I realized that the underlying reason for my request was because I wanted to feel valued.

This can be said in personal affairs as well. We all want to be seen and heard and most of all valued. Confidence in communication does not need to be paired with arrogance, it is better partnered up with clarity.

When we communicate with confidence, we can be seen as more vibrant, attractive, intelligent and calm.

So how to boost confidence? Here are a few steps to muster courage, grow your confidence quotient and harness your inner bravery:

  1. Make a list of what you want and why. (note: the why is very important)
  2. Ask 10 people what they believe your top 3 qualities/attributes are. Notice any commonalities. (trust me: we sell ourselves short and this is a way to learn how others view us and boost confidence)
  3. Back yourself up with examples, numbers, hard facts, etc… Show them you did your homework and know your stuff!
  4. Visualize and breathe: close your eyes and see yourself negotiating, discussing and receiving. Breathe into this feeling. Find your calm and replace the anxious thoughts with confident thoughts.
  5. Power pose. If you don’t know what I mean, watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk which has helped many people muster up courage right before the big talks/performances/negotiations.

Whether you are going in for an interview, negotiating a salary or having a hard discussion with a loved one, taking the time to find clarity and confidence will help ease the discomfort. Replace anxiety with anticipatory excitement. You are your own champion and we all want our superheroes to stand tall with confidence. Find yours within and embrace the bravery that lies inside.

For more information on coaching and a free 15 minute consult to customize a coaching package, email me at emily@soulsadventures.com

Saturn Return

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saturn return

It has been known as a quarter life crisis. Around the ages of 27-31 it hits and all of a sudden something must or just changes. For some it is a subtle nudge that doesn’t go away until addressed. For others it seems devastating, like everything that had been worked towards was a sham and the feeling of starting over is too much to bear.

This time is known as Saturn Return; a milestone of reaching adulthood. Saturn takes approximately 28 years to make a full orbit around the sun from the time of birth. With each occurrence, responsibilities change, thoughts mature and a shift in mindset takes place.

Each person experiences it differently. It is a time when life does a course correct. Some learn new skills that propel them in the direction that is now waiting to be explored. Others feel this time as a difficult transition, feeling like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. For some, it can be a period of hard work either physically, mentally or emotionally.

My Saturn Return hit me a month before my 28th birthday. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown. Anxiety flooded my days and I doubted my decisions as everything I had worked for seemed to just not fit any more. I knew I needed a change, but I didn’t know what I needed to do. I wanted answers immediately, but they took their time to arrive.

While I was in what felt like an endless loop of waiting, I learned some hard and valuable lessons. I started recognizing my core values and desired to live a life that aligned with who I wanted to be. This is where the pain set in: I had to give up ideas of what I thought I wanted and where I needed to be to align with what I really wanted. It was scary to think about starting over.

The more I resisted this new path, the harder things seemed to be. But, when I embraced the changes that were occurring, regardless of my attempts to control, a peace set in. I noticed that the amount of anxiety I experienced was in direct proportion to the amount of control I tried to exert. I released my grasp and a new career, friendships, cities and outlook appeared.

I had to make room for what needed to take place.

I noticed 4 phases of a Saturn Return:

  1. Humility: I felt embarrassed thinking that what I swore was my life path was actually wrong. Having to admit to myself and others that I was starting over was recognition that I did not know it all and that I still had some learning to do. OUCH!
  2. Growth: I had to learn new skills to move forward in a new career. I had to learn a lot about myself and grow from mistakes. Embracing my authenticity and bravery catapulted growth and helped me to move on and forgive myself and others.
  3. Emergence: After the inner struggle of control, I was able to emerge onto the new path. There was a new found confidence after I embraced the growth. I felt renewed and excited.
  4. Freedom: Finally accepting the end of where I thought I was heading and embracing the next phase brought a sense of freedom. There is a renewed sense of trust that occurs which feels free and lighthearted.

I have coached many people going through their Saturn Return. There are spiritual shifts, career changes, relationship and life transitions that occur. It can be scary and exciting to navigate. There is something beautiful on the other side of the struggle. It is quite lovely to see the transformations from struggle to freedom. These steps differ in time for each person, but at the end, freedom appears.

Like a caterpillar creating a cocoon, this a time of transformation. Don’t let preconceived notions take over and stunt forward movement and growth. Be open and allow the changes to happen. Celebrate each lesson and be grateful for the path thus far. Soon, the butterfly emerges and spreads its new found wings and soars into freedom.

You have escaped the cage. Your wings are stretched out. Now fly.

-Rumi

For more on coaching, email emily@soulsadventures.com

Career Coaching with Soul

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Image (3)

One of the main questions I am asked is “How do I successfully change careers?”  I have navigated two career changes and have been able to take sabbaticals where I could recharge and refocus. The more I coach, the more people have come to me for help in their careers. I have had former colleagues tell me that this was what I should be doing as they considered me as a mentor while we worked together.

When I began the journey of coaching as a career, my vision was to help people tap into their souls and to live more intentionally. One of the most important areas of life is career. Coaching seems to always tap into career whether intentionally or not. There are times to move forward, times to step back and learn a new skill and times to just rest and recharge.

Helping people find fulfillment in what they do comes from a soul level. It is more than looking for a job and hitting apply. Career changes take thought, planning and bravery. Going after something new can be daunting. I want to help you sift through options, create a plan and harness your bravery.

Below is a list of current career coaching options:

  • Resume Review & Revision
  • Cover Letter Review & Revision
  • Job Search & Networking Strategy
  • LinkedIn Profile Review and Revision
  • Sales Process Optimization
  • Confidence Building & Overcoming Blocks
  • Mindfulness at Work

For more information, please email emily@soulsadventures.com or visit here.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.

-Steve Jobs