Full Cold Moon

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As winter approaches, the ground becomes cooler and growth is halted. The full moon lights up the sky revealing what has grown and what failed to thrive. Not all seeds that are planted grow to maturity. Some things don’t need to grow and when that realization is made, it is time to just let it be.

This full cold moon is illuminating what needs to be let go of. Winter is only a season and this ground will bloom once more. I have been noticing the things in my life that failed to thrive. Things and ideas expire and it is okay to move on.

I started this year with the intention to learn to accept and receive. It has been a struggle for me throughout my entire adult life. I pride myself in my independance and receiving help is painful for me. However, I know that when I set an intention to learn something, the universe never fails to provide the lessons.

This year has been full of needing to ask for help, turning over control, receiving and realizing that my life is about to be shared with someone that I have been waiting for and has arrived. Business has taken several twists and turns that I resisted against at first. My resistance has caused anxiety and pain when all I had to do is let it be, open my arms and receive.

The beautiful thing is that when I lay down my armour of self-sufficiency, love and acceptance pours in. What is very scary, has become this deep transformational lesson where I can feel my cells changing. It’s amazing to release and feel years of tension fade away.

What has been highlighted are the following:

  • I am exactly where I need to be.
  • Everything I have ever needed has been provided.
  • Love lives everywhere and has the power to melt the hardest surfaces.
  • Letting go releases so much tension and is a constant practice.
  • Meditation and prayer are key to having a beautiful outlook on each day.
  • Nothing can be held onto too tightly because it doesn’t leave room to receive what’s on its way.

My hope is that whatever this moon is highlighting for you, that you are able to accept the message, let go of what is no longer thriving and find comfort in knowing that something new is on its way and it will be exactly what you need.

I let go of what is not working and open my hands to release my grasp. I accept the lesson that is being revealed and pray for strength to get through this time. I will ask for help and release control. I am open to learning and receiving the good that is on its way. I am grateful for this lesson and open my heart and mind to whatever comes next.

Grateful Reflections

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Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for years. I love the idea of getting together with family and friends to give thanks. One of my favorite traditions is friendsgiving which is a way to share the holiday with friends to reflect on the wonderful things that have happened, the trials that were overcome and the beauty of finding a group of likeminded people to share life with.

Family is also very important to me and in the past couple years, I have extended my family with a recent engagement. When I got specific on what I wanted in a future partner, someone who was close to their family was near the top of the list. It brings me so much joy that both of our families have welcomed each other with open arms. It feels loving, exciting and just right.

As I reflect on thanksgiving, I see that even though there were times of scarcity and sadness but there are so many joyful moments to celebrate. I am firm believer in the fact that my needs are always provided for. Even when it feels tight, I have everything I need and that is comforting.

Here are a few things I am celebrating this thankgsgiving (and always)…

Getting Engaged: For years, I didn’t think this would happen. I had dated and had my heart broken several times. But then, I decided to manifest my dream man. I sat down and got specific on what I really wanted and refused to settle for anything less. Little did I know, he was doing the same and the day we met, I knew he was my person. He proposed to me in June while we were on a hike (one of my favorite things to do). I am grateful for him and the journey and I can’t wait to marry him next year.

Collaborations with creative and soulful entrepreneurs: There are so many beautiful and creative minds and I am fortunate to have collaborated with a few this year. It is my desire to collaborate in this healing and creative space of coaching and it truly was an honor to be a part of a few awesome projects.

Seeing two of my favorite authors speak: I have been reading and following Shauna Niequist and Brene Brown for years. I was so excited to see them on their book tours for their amazing books, Present Over Perfect and Braving the Wilderness Seeing them speak was so inspiring and encouraging.

Holding my book for the first time: After years of trying to get published, it felt surreal to see a book with my name on the cover and my words inside of it. I still can’t believe it when I picked it up. It was crazy to see it in Barnes and Noble as well. Having a book published was probably #1 on my bucket list since I was 9 years old! I am so thankful for all the kind emails and reviews I have received and for each reader who has made Moonlight Gratitude a part of their nightly routine.

Seeing my family all together for the first time in years: I come from a big family and it is rare that all of us are together at the same time. Earlier this year, we all got together for the first time in 5 years. It felt so nice to be with my entire family and laugh like I only laugh when I’m with my siblings.

Watching clients start their own businesses:  I am so grateful for each of my clients! One of the most rewarding things about my work is when I get to see my clients take a step in a completely new direction and create something they love. My mission is to empower women to harness their bravery and go after what they really want. Here are a couple business I wanted to share because these women emulate bravery…Check them out and follow their journeys!

Andora Photography

Healthy Transformations by Hilary

Gratitude is a magnet for joy and I hope that as you reflect on the things that made your year shine bright, joy fills your heart.

Gratitude Heals

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Scarcity creeps in and grabs a hold with force. What may have been something that we are completely grateful for can turn into our greatest frustration. How does this happen?

Expectations — they create disappointment and rob the joy out of something that has the possibility to create excitement.

When frustration takes over, we start to notice all the things that could and have gone wrong. In fact, the more we focus on what could go wrong, we change the energy around the entire situation and actually attract negativity to the situation.

This is where scarcity takes over. It sees the perfect opportunity to sweep in and make a nice home inside the negative thoughts and emotions causing them to be augmented. Thoughts of not being enough, doing enough, having enough seep in and before we know it, we regret the thing that we wanted so badly.

This has happened to me several times. I place such high expectations on the things I want the most that I end up sabotaging their success. I have done this in relationships, at work, with family and even with working out. My perfectionist tendencies flare up and I get attached to outcomes that I deem are necessary for success and then POOF! it falls apart.

It took me some time to come to this realization. In the meantime, I would be a basketcase wondering “Why?!” “How did this happen once again?” and placing blame everywhere I could until I realized that I had control over the way I perceived each situation and the expectations I set.

It is hard to let go of expectations. We want what we want when we want it. Best laid plans are just that, plans. Nothing is set in stone and so many things can happen that are out of our control. When we decide that things need to be a certain way and leave little room for variety, we set ourselves up for disappointment.

But there is a way to replace scarcity with abundance. It takes some work, but with practice we can change the way we react and replace with positive feelings and reactions.

Release the expectation, attachment and need for control. Be fluid and allow things to occur as they will.

Reframe the negative thought or feeling with something positive. Ask yourself: What is going right?

Recognize what is going right with gratitude. The best way to go from scarcity to abundance is gratitude. Always look for the positive and be grateful. This tiny step will change your mind.

Since we are in the season of gratitude, it is a great opportunity to notice where scarcity has created frustration in your life and take the time to heal this wound. Our bodies have a physical response to this emotion. In terms of our chakras, the first chakra, our root, is the place where we crave security and fulfillment. When we are off balance in this area, we feel fearful, scarce and controlling.

This energy center is located at the base of the spine and when we are out of balance, not only do we emotionally feel pain, but our bodies will respond as well. We can hold the negative feelings and scarce thoughts in our lower backs, legs and feet. But we can heal with gratitude. Transforming the energy frees up the tension that we hold physically and emotionally.

Here are a couple exercises to help transform the negative energy and invite positive and grateful energy in:

  1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart and feel yourself grounding into the Earth. Hold your arms by your side, palms facing outward. Close your eyes and release any tension through your feet into the Earth and through your hands. “I release what no longer serves me and offer gratitude for the blessings that are in my life and trust that all my needs are being met.”
  2. Sit down with your back straight and feet on the ground. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Take big breaths from your diaphragm, extending your belly. Count to ten (1 -breath in, 2 – breath out…). Repeat until you feel the energy dissipate and find yourself in the present moment. Offer gratitude for your lungs, your breath, oxygen…
  3. Think about a time when you felt immense gratitude. Take a moment to feel that sensation throughout your body. Root yourself into this emotion and know that you always have access to this beautiful feeling and bring yourself back to it when scarcity takes over.

By creating the sensation of being grounded and present we can release the anxiety and fear that surrounds the situation. Trust that all your needs are always provided for. Find a way to reframe the negative thoughts and invite abundance. Bring yourself into the present moment and recognize that your fears are based on a projection into the future and distract you from right here, right now.

Gratitude can heal where scarcity once scarred.

Full Beaver Moon

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Tonight is the Full Beaver Moon, named after a creature that works hard to get their job done. With hard work, they can change the course of a river. By learning the flow of water and working with such a powerful force, beavers are able to use water to their advantage to finish their work. Even though a beaver works diligently it also spends quality time with its family..there is a lot that can be learned here.

It is easy to fall into the glorification of busy trap and I can’t remember how many times I have allowed my work to take over my life. I have lost balance on several occasions because I wanted to finish a task only to find myself a slave to my to-do list and ignoring those closest to me. There was once a time when I was home only 10 days out of the month and they were not consecutive.

I craved connection and balance, but didn’t know how it was possible with the demands of my job. There was a desire to settle down, find my person, have time to see friends and get back in shape. It felt impossible when I thought about how much time each of these desires required. It took me a couple years and learning to make necessary endings to find balance, but I am happy I did.

This is the time to make sure to spend time with the people who are important to you. Create the space to just be together instead of creating elaborate plans. Find the time to just be with yourself and others by putting down the phone and calendars and holding space for connection. The present moment is where connection thrives. There are enough parties and schedules to keep us distracted. The hard work is letting go of those distractions and learning to just be, which takes practice.

During this season, it is important to finish projects as the holidays approach. Make sure that you have created space to enjoy quality time where you are present and engaged. Work should never hinder the ability to focus on self care. It is important to ensure you are taking care of yourself in order to be available and present for the ones you love.

Tonight, think of ways to incorporate stillness, connection and self care into your busy life. Write down anything that does not serve you. Perhaps there are things that are just schedule fillers that can be released to create the space needed to be still. At first it may be uncomfortable, but stick with the practice. What will result is a deeper connection to yourself and the opportunity to truly be there for another.

Luscious Living Podcast: Harnessing Bravery

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Earlier this year, I made a goal to speak more. I wanted to reach a broader audience, but didn’t know how to put myself out there. Recently, I connected with the ladies at the Luscious Living Podcast on Instagram. I love their message and vibe.

Since goals require action, I decided to be brave and ask about being a guest on their podcast. They got back to me and we hit it off. We met over the phone to get to know each other and decide how I could contribute to their audience. A plan and date was set and the episode went live today.

I am excited to share this recording because it was such an honest and open conversation. If you feel anxious about moving forward or want to start a business or feel stuck in an area of your life, I hope this inspires you to take a step towards creating change. Just a tiny step can create great momentum.

Check out the episode here and share with your friends!

Full Hunter’s Moon

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October is such a lovely month. I just love it when the air becomes crisper and the leaves start to change color; like they are putting on their fancy clothes before letting go of each leaf. There is a bite to the wind that was once welcomed on hot summer days. Layers are added as we step outside. The days are becoming shorter as the sun seems to travel farther away.

Tonight’s full moon is called the hunter’s moon to commemorate the time of year right before the nights get longer allowing hunters a bit more light to hunt in preparation for winter. This time of year is full of reflection of what has been harvested as well as preparation for the winter.

We are all hunters in our own sense. Hunger drives us forward. There is a constant pull to go after new things and see new places when our hunger is alive. A hunter is never satisfied if he cannot satiate his needs. Each of us have needs that are begging to be met. The full moon is shining light on these needs and tonight is the perfect time to ask a few questions:

  • What are you hunting or searching for in your life? Sometimes it feels like something is missing and we need to go in search of it. Just as a hunter finds food to sustain his family in the winter, we too need to find things that will nourish our mind and soul as the cooler temperatures draw us indoors.
  • What do you need to get through the winter? Winter is a darker time of year and the cold draws us inside. Prepare your mind to go inward. Clear out clutter that may keep you from enjoying time indoors.
  • What shriveled and fell away? Reflect on all the things that have been harvested in your life and noticed what failed to thrive. Offer gratitude for the the things that took root and the things that did not grow, despite your best efforts.
  • Are there things that are still being held onto that need to be let go of? Finally, look to see if there is anything that you may be holding onto that needs to be let go of. If there is something that you are forcing to make happen but does not seem to work, it may be time to let go.

Gratitude brings things that need to be let go of into the light. There is usually an effortlessness to things that are meant to be. When we push, control, manipulate and become stubborn, we feel the pain of holding on. Our hands get tired from the grasp they have on something that continues to fade away. Pretty soon, we just hold on to nothing, yet our grasp remains rigid and our will bruised.

In order for things to enter our lives, we need to remove energy from the things that aren’t meant to be. Clear space for new things to take place. Don’t settle into the winter with old baggage, grudges and clutter. All these things can weigh us down. Feel your grasp loosen around what has dissipated allowing a place for what is waiting to be held.

Feed your hunger. Read, learn, communicate and stay open to new horizons. Even if you can’t see what is coming, all the energy you put towards actualizing your dreams will come back to you. Remember, the universe listens to your deepest desires. Your hunger will be fed, perhaps not exactly as you would think, but needs are always met.

Creating a Side Hustle

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Starting a business is one of the most exciting and terrifying things I have done. When I decided to go into business, I had no idea what I needed to do. I just knew I wanted to help people. The idea of coaching was presented to me by a stranger and when I asked those close to me, they agreed that he was right.

I didn’t know where to begin, but the more I thought about it, I realized it was where I needed to be.

One of the questions I ask my clients is “What is something people consistently ask or need from you?” There is a wealth of information in this answer. Each of us have talents and will find that we are asked to do the same favors or asked for the same advice time and again. When I answered this question, the answer was coaching, mentoring or training.

Starting a business was something I would think about, but was afraid to embark on because it seemed too difficult to navigate. There were so many pieces to the puzzle, and I didn’t want to take the time to figure them out, especially while I was working for someone else.

When I finally started my business, I realized that every job I had before gave me tools to help run a business. I noticed where the skills I acquired working for companies were coming in handy and helping me create a business. Each experience provided an outline for a process that I would need to create.

Now, I coach several women who want to start their own businesses. Many who want to start a side hustle before leaving their jobs. I love watching the progression from “I think I want to …” to “I am so happy I started …!”

If you are thinking about starting a business, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Get clear on what you want to do: make a list of all the things you would do if money wasn’t an issue. Ask yourself: what do people tend to come to me for or ask me often? Look at your list and notice where a potential side hustle could bloom.
  2. What problem do you solve?: Think about all the things that you are good at and think about the specific problem you will solve with your business.
  3. Who is your ideal client?: Write out the attributes, spending habits, specific needs and issues this client faces. This exercise is valuable to help you hone in on who you are speaking to and recognizing your market.
  4. How will I make money?: Decide on whether you will be offering a product or service. Make a list of what your potential offerings will be.
  5. What do I need to start?: Will you need materials, a website, social media, products, a certification, investors? Figure out what you need to do before you get started and make a list and timeline.
  6. Name your business: Once all of the above steps are completed, its time to name your baby! This can take some time and you may find out that someone else has the name. I always suggest making a list of words that emulate what you are trying to say with your business and working from there.
  7. Never stop learning: if you haven’t already, pick up books, take classes, watch videos and surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Owning a business is a never ending education and have resources and a network are lifesavers.

With these steps, you will have a great start to beginning your journey as a business owner. There are many intricacies to having a business, but clarity must come first. It is also important to allow your business to be fluid and change with you as you grow.

If you would like more help on how to make your dream idea into a reality,  check out my business coaching packages to help you get started.

Full Corn Moon

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Lately, there has been some tension in the air. Perhaps it was the eclipse or maybe because Mercury was in retrograde. Whatever it was, I have talked to several people who have been feeling like change is needed. Even people who have just embarked on a new venture, find themselves yearning for something different.

This past week, I also felt a constant itch for change. I searched for flights to anywhere, looked at maps and felt like I was the only person who was staying put. It grew and grew until I woke up one morning completely discontented and upset. I didn’t understand why I was feeling that way, I just knew it felt very real and was bringing me down.

Tonight is the Full Corn Moon. As with every full moon, the things we need to let go of are highlighted and are brought to the surface. This discontent is clearly being highlighted.

This full moon was named to celebrate the harvest of corn; a staple in the Native American diet and way of life. It was not just a source of food, but also used for making furniture, baskets and toys. This one crop created sustenance and became revered for centuries.

I have been reflecting on sustenance as I prepared to write this post. Sustenance is a source of nourishment, strength; something that maintains life. There are many things that are thought of as necessary to maintain a modern lifestyle, but I wanted to notice where my sustenance comes from.

So I asked myself, “Where does my sustenance come from? What do I need to maintain my life and strength?” I broke it down to mind-body-soul because I think all three need to be cared for. I honestly asked myself what was necessary to feel sustained. This is what I came up with…

Mind:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Meditation
  • Meaningful Conversations

Body:

  • Running
  • Healthy Food
  • Walking
  • Hugs

Soul:

  • Prayer
  • Quiet Time
  • Creating
  • Travel

I looked at my list and noticed that I already had everything I needed. This changed my perspective on the desire for change. Instead of needing change, I realized that contentment was the true need. Although I will always welcome change, it was necessary to reframe the story I had created around my current situation.

When I consciously pay attention to contentment, my focus moves from want to gratitude.

The beautiful thing is that the more gratitude you give, the more things there are to be grateful for. The universe hears our deepest desires and want to provide everything we dream of. But, we have to notice what needs are being met, where the gifts are coming from and be grateful first and foremost.

As the full moon shines its light on the areas that need refocusing, pay attention to where your sustenance comes from. Make a list and see where these things are already being provided. Then, offer heartfelt thanks for everything that is and will be. The Corn Moon teaches us that sometimes only one crop can meet so many of our needs and that its source should be recognized and revered.

May your month be filled with sustenance, gratitude and contentment.

Full Sturgeon Moon

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Tonight’s full moon was named for the time of year when sturgeon could be abundantly found in the Great Lakes. This is also a time of celebration and insight as things are preparing to ripen for harvest. Abundance is all around and the sun still hangs in the sky allowing for longer days. The sturgeon moon is about looking deeper and noticing the goodness all around.

If one looked at a lake early in the morning, it would seem tranquil with the sun just coming up. Boats have not made their way out. All is still. The lake mirrors the sky above, yet there is plenty of life thriving just below the surface.

What is alive below the surface for you?

This full moon illuminates things the things that we have either ignored or that are trying to make their way through into consciousness. All of the longings you have been feeling are signals to what is trying to grab your attention. Ask yourself: What are the messages that are trying to be delivered?

It is easy to bury our desires and needs in the midst of schedules and to-do lists. But, right now it is important to pay attention to what begs to be seen and heard. These things are asking you to be true to yourself.

Heed to the relentless call of your soul.

As harvest arrives, it reminds us that this is a time of great abundance. All the work that was put into change and growth is showing proof. Think back to January and notice what you wanted and needed at that time. See where you put attention and work. The fruits of that labor are about to be harvested.

What is abundant and ready to be received or given in your life?

In order for abundance to take place, we have to be open and willing to give and receive. Open your heart, minds and arms to whatever needs to take place. Let go of hoarding and replace it with generosity. Let go of the longing and replace it with gratitude.

Often times, we sell ourselves short because we don’t believe we are deserving. There can be an underlying guilt when goodness appears. Whether it is a promotion, kindness or a loving relationship we must be open in order to receive the grace and abundance the universe has to offer.

We live in an immensely abundant universe. If you have something to give, give it. If someone is trying to give to you, receive it. Don’t block the flow of energetic love. Pay it forward. Say thank you when it is your turn. Notice where you can spread your abundance whether monetary or emotional.

Gratitude and generosity are cornerstones to an abundant life.

Allow yourself and others to rise up and shine. We are both the fisherman and the fish with something to take and give. Reciprocity keeps abundance flowing.

So tonight, look past the surface and see what is deeper; waiting to be received and notice any places where you can be generous. The moon is highlighting these opportunities. Spend some time in a quiet place and be open to what lies beneath.

How to Align Your Career With Your Values

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One of the most rewarding feelings is changing from a career that no longer brings you joy into one that aligns with your purpose. Some careers have expiration dates and it is daunting to think about leaving the familiar into the unknown. But, if the idea continues to pop up, it may be something that needs attention.

Important decisions present themselves relentlessly.

I have worked with many people who have the aching feeling every day at work that they must leave. They aren’t sure where they are going next, but their soul tells them that it is time to move on.

One of the first things I do with new clients is work with them on gaining clarity on where they want to go. Before they start randomly applying for jobs, it is important to have a sense of direction. Clarity does not come without contemplation and reviewing what is important. If you are leaving one job just to go into another one randomly, the likelihood of finding fulfillment is low.

In fact, getting a job just for the sake of a paycheck does not bring the satisfaction that a job that aligns with one’s purpose does. This does not mean that finding a job to pay the bills in the meantime is not necessary. Most people hold a job while pursuing their passions. But the end goal should be to find a career that aligns with your purpose and values.

One of the exercises I do with clients who are seeking a career change is to discover and define their core values: Foundational beliefs and ways to think and act that are most important to you. These are the values we want to emulate in our day to day life — the non-negotiable feelings we desire.

In order to discover these values, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Why do I do the work that I do?
  2. What am I doing when I am at my best?
  3. What qualities do I admire in others?
  4. What are my greatest qualities?  (ask 10 people to name your top three)
  5. What are the most important things in my life?

After taking the time to answer these questions, I have clients come up with their top 5 core values. This is a living document that evolves as one learns and grows. There are usually 1-2 that stay the same throughout our lives.

  • In order to narrow it down to 5, look at your answers for questions 3, 4 and 5. These are clues to what is the most important. Make a list. Then sit down and find your top 5.

When your top 5 are discovered, you now have the framework to how your career should make you feel and act. If the career you are currently in is void of these values, see if you can infuse them. If the answer is no, begin looking for industries and companies that align with your values.

This is a key step in seeking alignment with your career and values. Be open to what comes up. Don’t force the answers to appear. Sometimes, we need to slough off layers of years of frustration in our career in order to truly uncover the answers.

If you would like more help, career coaching can help navigate the transition by finding clarity and figuring out what steps need to be made. This is not an easy decision and there is a lot of hard work to do, but when your soul prods you to move on, it is worth paying attention to.