Full Flower Moon

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I was 33 years old and terrified that I was leaving a career that was my dream 5 years previous. I wanted to work in the wine industry and learn everything I could about it. This job took me all over the world where I met amazing people and experienced culture and cuisine. For a wanderluster with a palate for pinot, this was a dream come true.

I was so grateful and in awe of all the opportunities BUT something just wasn’t right.

Deep down, I was miserable. I wanted to travel on my own terms and write. I knew that writing wasn’t going to pay the bills, but I knew I had to try it. This concept was terrifying. I had created such security and my soul was begging me to leap. I edged up to the cliff, looked down and went right back to work several times.

I decided to take 2 years off and calculated my freedom number; the amount needed to sustain my simplified lifestyle for my temporary hiatus from work. I saved until I had what I thought was enough to support myself. Then, I stepped back to the edge of that cliff and I still felt my knees tremble, unable to leap.

My soul was relentless and the misery transcended anything amazing that was happening. There were promotions, trips and raises but my resistance caused more pain and left me feeling helpless and depressed.

Then, I realized no matter how many times I crunched numbers or made excuses, this calling was going to pursue me until I let go of the security and resistance and opened to the unknown.

The day I quit my job, I was nervous and excited. I had prepared a letter and walked into the office of the company president. This man was responsible for all the great things that I experienced with the company as well as mentoring me along the way. I was sad to deliver this message to him. As we spoke, he was gracious and understanding. I was so grateful. That moment solidified that I was making the right decision.

Immediately following that conversation, I felt the resistance fade and relief took over. I felt light and happy and excited to embark into the unknown.

Suddenly, I had the freedom I had so badly craved but felt fear creeping back in.

I knew that if I didn’t squash the thoughts of scarcity and insecurity, I would not be able to enjoy what had happened. I combated the fear with gratitude. I sat in the feeling of relief and thanked God for helping me — prodding me — pushing me to harness my bravery.

This was a lesson in becoming. When resistance, fear and pride took over, I was not allowing myself the chance to blossom. I remained tightly closed for almost 2 years because I feared the loss of security. I needed to let go of certainty in order to fully open up to the beauty that wanted to unfold.

It wasn’t until I full released my grasp on the need to control and my craving for certainty that I was able to truly appreciate what was transpiring. When I let go, I felt my creative passion explode and writing became something I must do. I celebrated my bravery and embraced uncertainty like an adventure to a new land. My heart and soul opened and blossomed.

Tonight’s Full Flower Moon is the perfect opportunity to notice where abundance and gratitude are taking place in your life and confront and fear that may be holding you back. Address limiting beliefs and affirm your greatness. This is a time to showcase the beauty that has been carefully worked on and celebrate the growth that has occurred.

Open the floodgates of passion and infuse the areas of your life that have grown stale from neglect. Go after what you really want. Open up and bloom right where you are. Remember a time when you felt alive and excited and then ask yourself: “How can I bring that energy back into my life?”

Now is not the time to play small. Let go of anything holding you back. Celebrate all the goodness that is flowing into your life. Offer gratitude for the fruits of your hard work. This is the time to show off your big beautiful blooms and appreciate their glory.

It has been 3 years since I delivered that letter and I appreciate what took root that day and celebrate all that has blossomed since then.

“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  -Anais Nin

An Exercise in Acceptance

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Last year I had several lessons on acceptance. There were times where expectations weren’t met and I had the choice to struggle, fight and live with anxiety OR just accept the circumstances and move on. I’d like to say that I practiced the latter with ease, but no, I allowed the struggle to stay real in many cases. It was in these moments that I truly had to open my arms to the universe and cry:

 “I’m letting go now! Please help me move forward.”

I seemed to repeat this prayer often. And you know what?! It was answered each and every time. But the thing is, the way it was answered was not always how I envisioned and this is where I learned the beautiful lesson of acceptance.

The beautiful thing was at the other side of my resistance, was a new plan that I would not have envisioned. When I surrendered to the new reality, I felt everything inside of me relax. I could breath again and my thoughts were no longer hijacked by the anxious grip of control.

The less I resisted, the easier things became.

When you cry out to the universe, it hears you. In fact, it knows exactly what you need. Which is probably why such prayers are uttered from our core, in moments of desperation and anxiety. It is like we try to hold on with every last bit of control until we are left hanging, desperate to find stability once more.

And then, the answers come in; sometimes in a trickle and sometimes in a flood.

When the answers arrive, acceptance begins. In order to fully accept, there has to be an element of remembering where you were before the prayer was lifted. The ego tends to love this tender spot. It can take the temporary relief and decide to take over once again. This is not full acceptance.

One of the hardest lessons to learn is to accept things the way they are and let go of expectations. This is a struggle. It is easy to place expectations on the outcome. When expectations are set, they leave room for disappointment.

To accept is to receive. To receive is to welcome. There is no control here, only openness.

Imagine letting go of a worry and watching it float away into the ether, like a balloon. As you watch it fly higher and higher, you feel lighter. The weight of control is lifted and hands that once held on so tightly are now free to receive whatever is next.

This weightlessness is available on the other side of control. When the answers arrive, squelch the desire to control with gratitude and acceptance. Practice openness and when anxiety wells up, it is a cue that something no longer serves your soul. Release it. Accept whatever needs to enter your life. All will be well.

New Years Intentions

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It’s that time of year to reflect on the past year and plan for the year to come.

For many, 2016 was a year of great transition and change. There was an energy of control vs. surrender swirling about. Some plans failed and others never took off. This left many of us with the feeling of defeat. What started as the best laid plans, began to unravel as the plans were not meant to be.

2016 was a call of resilience and perseverance mixed in with immense joy. In some parts of life it was the best year ever and in others it was a struggle that seemed never-ending. There were beautiful happenings and courageous changes. Many emotions were had and lessons learned. There is beauty in such transitions and we all got through it and celebration is in order.

Winter has set in and new beginnings are on the horizon. It is a time to reflect and plan for a lovely and dynamic 2017.

Before the new year begins, spend some time thinking about what you would like 2017 to look and feel like. Create an intentional awareness by asking the following questions…

  1. What am I grateful for in 2016?
  2. What do I want to accomplish in the next 12 months?
  3. How do I want to feel next year?
  4. What can I let go of that no longer worked for me?
  5. What changes do I need to make in order to accomplish my goals?

After you’ve spent some time answering these questions, you can begin to create intentional goals for the coming year. Instead of creating resolutions that can fall apart as the year continues, setting intentions will take into account what you want to accomplish and how you want to feel. Intentions ask “why” as well as “what” when it comes to goals.

Finally, visualize each goal. See yourself accomplishing and feeling the way you desire. Spend some time each day visualizing each outcome. This is a powerful exercise and sends this desired energy out into the universe.

Remember, what we focus on expands. With a little focus through visualization, our intentions will expand and begin to take shape.

To help create momentum, I have attached a free download below. The intention is to think about different areas in your life where you may want to create a goal. Then, there is room for 1-3 actions steps needed to take to complete each goal.

2017 Goal Planning

May your New Year be filled with hope, happiness, health and love!

Saturn Return

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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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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

Embracing Ambiguity: The Beauty of the Unknown

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Ambiguity is like a fog where you can see the outlines of things, but nothing is really clear. When life is vague and answers are desired more than anything, it can lead to anxiety, restlessness and at times depression. Not knowing the outcome or direction is such a common theme; everyone has felt the anxious grip of ambiguity at least once.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to write a book. Writing has been in my life since I was a child. I would write stories, journal and read as many books as I could get my hands on, hoping one day to have one of my own.

When I quit my job in 2014, my goal was to travel the world and write. I wanted to write a book and try to figure out how to get it published in my free time. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I even had a coach put me on a writing schedule. When I felt like the book was complete, I started the process of finding a literary agent.

I created a book proposal with my writing ready to be submitted. I sent letters out to several prospective agents and waited and waited. It was painful to be so vulnerable with something that I had been dreaming about for 25 years. I knew that in order to make it happen, I had to put myself out there.

Then, the rejections started pouring in. The first one made me cry and I was used to them once the fourth one came in. One agent asked for my first 50 pages. “YES! That’s hopeful!” I thought and called my close friends to share and calm my nerves. I sent out the work and waited some more.

Eight weeks later, I received my final rejection. It hurt. I needed to take a break and revisit the book in a few months. I decided to solely focus on my business and let the book wait for its birthday.

In January, I set an intention to let go of my expectation of getting published. I was tired of receiving rejections and noticed that it started affecting my passion for writing. I thought that taking time off would bring clarity. Three weeks later, I received an email that rocked my world — an offer to write a book.

I let go and the universe delivered my dream in a way I would have never expected.

The email was from a publisher who had stumbled upon my website. It was unbelievable the way it all happened but the universe is mysterious, magical and amazing. It all made sense and the day I accepted the offer, I sobbed giant tears with gulps for breath. It was emotional, messy and very joyful.

There was a release that set in when everything came together. Grace kicked in and offered relief to the waiting and wondering. In that moment, gratitude overflowed and a feeling of astonishment enveloped me.

If I would have known this back when I started this process, the gratitude would not have been as great and the relief would not have felt as powerful. The anticipation was part of the joy. The ambiguity set the stage for amazement and wonder. In that moment, I realized the beauty of the unknown.

*stay tuned for more information on this book project later this year

On Becoming

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“You are becoming” was the final line of a poem a friend wrote for me during a particularly rough time. I had been striving for something, not sure what, but I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be. I felt lost and aimless.

I tried very hard to be successful in the traditional sense. I was managing large volume accounts for my company and customers were happy. I presented budgets and projections with ease. I was good at driving results and creating plans for my market. However, there was a sense of emptiness and I wanted to figure out how to change that.

When asked what I wanted to do, I replied “help people, travel the world and write.” But, I didn’t know what that really meant or how to make that happen.

The struggle to pursue traditional success alongside soulful contentment was becoming stronger the more I resisted it.

What you resist persists

– Carl Jung

When I decided to ease into the process of letting go, the tension that I created for myself began to dissipate. Soon, my goals started to match my soul’s desires. The feeling of ease and contentment surpassed the need to be traditional and understood.

I wasn’t sure how everything was going to pan out, but whatever was happening felt right. This is what becoming must feel like. How can one know what the metamorphosis will deliver? All I knew was that resistance felt more excruciating than surrender.

And then, one day, a man walked into a coffee shop where I was writing. I was feeling upset that my trip around the world was cut short. He sat down next to me and just unloaded a very heavy story. I listened for what seemed like forever, asked a few questions and gave him some insight. He then replied “You should become a life coach.” Words that changed my life.

He got up and left. I sat there perplexed. Was that even a thing? Can one become a life coach? That was the day I started my journey to where I am now. I don’t think I will ever stop becoming something. However, this showed me that sometimes, in the most unexpected ways, messages are delivered.

“Help people, travel the world and write”. I am doing that in my own way. What’s next is unknown, but staying open is key.

What are you resisting that persists? Are you facing blocks or fears that are keeping you from taking the next steps? Let me help you tackle these objections and fears. What are you striving to become?

* email me emily@soulsadventures.com to begin your journey of becoming

Reflection and Celebration

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The end of the year is a time for reflection and celebration. The end is also the beginning. Looking back can help create momentum for the year to come. This is one of my favorite times of the year because I can see where I was, where I wanted to be and the path I chose to forge.

When I look back on 2015, I see a lot of learning, letting go and growth. The year began with trying to figure out how to create a website and training for a race. I worked out my brain and my body as I was determined to complete both tasks. What I learned was that with focus and dedication, I can stretch my mind and body to do things I once thought was impossible.

The key to accomplishing these goals was through setting intentions. Every year, I look at where I would like to grow in several areas including: health, education, fitness, spiritually, relationships, career and creativity. I write down my intentions for the year and some action steps that I will need to take to achieve my goals.

After I have a clear picture of what I want to achieve, I meet with an accountability partner. I have had a friend, colleague and a coach as my accountability partners in the past. I let them know my goals and what I plan on doing to achieve them. They check in monthly to encourage and hold me accountable. During my monthly meetings, I revisit my intentional goals and make adjustments as needed. Accountability has proven to be important to successfully achieving desired results.

As I reflect on 2015, I want to celebrate these things:

  • Running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler with my super amazing running goddess friends
  • Learning to build a website and ditching the phrase “I don’t do tech”
  • Climbing Camel Back Mountain in the early morning before the heat took over
  • Taking time to explore more of America (road trips to Spring Training, Washington and Cape May, visiting friends in Chicago and Florida, boating adventure to Catalina Island and weekends in the woods)
  • Creating and facilitating Intuitive Painting Workshops
  • Signing on with The Muse as a career mentor
  • Learning to let go of relationships that no longer serve me and healing with love and grace
  • Failing forward with business and creative pursuits and learning valuable lessons each time
  • Seeing 2 of my favorite influencers (Elizabeth Gilbert and Lewis Howes) speak and getting books signed
  • Successful birthday fundraising campaign with Charity:Water
  • Meeting amazing people who have enriched my life and brought many smiles to my face and heart

This was a year of living intentionally with love, peace, freedom and compassion. I planted the seeds of vulnerability and reaped the fruits of bravery and resilience.

When you reflect on 2015, what are you going to celebrate?

Revamping Resolutions: Accountability Partnership for New Year Success

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Have you been making resolutions every year only to find yourself losing the will power midway or even a month into the year? Do you wish you had someone to hold you accountable and cheer you on through your efforts?

As we approach the New Year, I am partnering up with a health and fitness coach to offer a comprehensive accountability partnership for you. Participants will receive a 30 minute coaching session with each of us to create a personalized action plan, access to a private Facebook accountability group and email support throughout the month.

What could be better than an accountability partner with a personalized action plan??

Two accountability partners to support you and cheer you on. This is a gift you can give yourself; like a mini personal development team.

Making a change takes work and being held accountable is imperative to success. I started using an accountability partner when I made my resolutions in 2011 and it dramatically changed the results I was seeing from my efforts. I met with her monthly for the first couple years. We talked about what was working for me, revisited my goals and revised my action plan accordingly.

When I began my journey as a coach, one of my desires was to empower others to achieve their goals by being a dynamic accountability partner. It has been exciting to see the changes people have made including the way they approach their goals intentionally.

I met Lindsay earlier this year and have learned so much about nutrition and exercise from her. She is motivational and helpful. Her monthly challenge groups have taught me about different muscle groups and how to best target them. We started brainstorming on how to combine our coaching specialties to help people achieve their goals. I am excited to offer a coaching package with her and know this will be transformative for all participants.

With one investment, you can create goals in the following areas…

  • Fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Career
  • Finance
  • Personal Growth
  • Spirituality
  • Health
  • Diet
  • Education
  • Creativity
  • Travel
  • Family
  • Life

Package includes:

  1. Coaching session with each coach
  2. Personalized Action Plan
  3. Access to Private Accountability Facebook Group
  4. Email Support

For more information email me or sign up here! Let’s make 2016 the best year yet!

Dancing Alone: Healing After a Breakup

FullSizeRender (4)I waited for him to leave. He slammed the door, I stared at it making sure it really happened. Then without notice, my tears started to fall. Something inside of me told me this was the final time. We would never get back together. There would not be a reconciliation after a few weeks apart. Our time together had expired and my heart sank, even though everything inside of me knew it was time to part.

It took me some time to not cry about it. There were several people letting me know it was for the best, but my heart still felt broken and raw. I loved this person and now I would never have that extension of my heart back. I was tempted to contact him; an all too familiar pattern. I stopped myself. I distracted myself by taking a walk. I would walk until my sadness dissipated. One day, I walked seven miles.

A few months passed and I started to feel better. I was healing and working on letting go. I was determined to learn how to let him go once and for all. The back and forth proved to me that it wasn’t right, but my heart didn’t want to listen.

Finally, my heart and mind started to sync up and I started putting myself out there to meet new people and date; something I hadn’t really done since I had met him. Dating was awkward and brought up even more things that I needed to resolve. I had no idea how much work it took to heal, really heal, after a breakup.

These were a few things that really helped me heal and grow through the process…

  1. Forgive. I needed to forgive him and myself. There were things we had both said and done that were not versions of our best selves. That happens in a relationship and I wanted to grow from it instead of wallow in what went wrong. I wrote out everything that hurt and upset me. Then, I went down the list and consciously forgave him and myself for each offense. I had to do this a few times, but it helped.
  2. Let go of the expectation of “getting back together”: false hope kills healing. I had to remind myself that “it ended for a reason”.
  3. I looked for any co-dependant residue: after being in a relationship for a while, sometimes our identities can get wrapped up in the other person. I noticed where I may have “lost” myself in the other person and resolved to regain my sense of self back. This could not be done alone. I sought out help through a spiritual coach and that was when the healing really started.
  4.  Let go: Recognize the loss and release. I created a ritual to let him go. I needed a physical release along with the emotional one. Letting go happens over time and after I healed, I was able to finally release ceremoniously.
  5. Start dating. I very carefully dipped my toe back into dating at first. It was awkward and I felt like I was out of practice. But after time, it became fun again and I met some very lovely and some interesting people.

Time is important, but so is the mindset of healing. Only after I resolved to heal was I able to do the work. Each step was difficult in their own way, but I am grateful for the journey. I learned about myself, created healthier boundaries and opened my heart again.

The most important lesson was learning to love being alone. Embracing my true self and the love that comes through the process was the greatest lesson the breakup could offer. I learned to listen to my intuition and that dancing alone is liberating and creates the space needed for the right things to come.

*for more information on letting go or healing after a breakup, email me at emily@soulsadventures.com