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Time To Be Seen. Time To Lead. Time To Be Boosted. You’re Ready.

June 11, 2011

We all worry about being ready. Is the timing right? Are the circumstances optimal?

We all want to be seen, heard and recognized. When I journal about my visions and dreams for the future, the idea of being a beacon surfaces often. I want to shine a light, thereby giving permission to others.

I am incredibly grateful to Danielle LaPorte, Kelly Diels & Gala Darling who by being authentically and vulnerably visible encouraged me to do the same. I want to be that for others.

Being witnessed is an act of leadership. It is an act of courage and intentionality.

You, my friend, are at the cusp of a new dawn and we need you as a leader in this new day. We need a jolt of your power and a taste of your juice. We need you to bring forward new, crazy ideas. We crave your voice & vision.

Will you step up? Will you show up?

Tara Gentile

There is no perfect timing. There is only willingness. The willingness to accept the call and act.

We need you.

Just Play. Find Freedom And Possibility.

June 5, 2011

It is not because things are difficult

that we do not dare,

it is because we do

not dare

that things are difficult.

— Seneca

 

I recently rediscovered one of my favorite books from college, Life, Paint & Passion: Reclaiming the Magic of Spontaneous Expression. I highly recommend it for anyone who feels blocked and wants to tap into their intuition and own personal wisdom.

The Whale In Your Heart. Projects Begging To Be Born. That Thing You Can’t Avoid.

May 13, 2011

IMAGINE THIS, IF YOU PLEASE…

You are in your bedroom, sitting on your bed. You are cozy, surrounded by pillows and luxuriating in the softness of your duvet. You’re content, happy.

You are in a place that is at once comforting and familiar. You turn to look out your window and realize you are underwater. This shocks you for a moment.

But, you can breathe. You are ok. So, you rationalize, I am in my room but in an underwater complex. Like Atlantis. Like Sequest DMV. Okay, cool.

So, take a moment to understand that. Look around – make sure this is your room and that you are safe. You are.

In awe, still perched on your bed, you swivel your head to look out your window, which has been transformed into a porthole. Deep and mysterious ocean surrounds your snug habitat.

Then, you spot a whale swimming outside. Beautiful in its grandiosity. You marvel at his grace.

After passing by your porthole a few times, the whale takes a very large arc. He’s swimming out to sea. Away from you. You’re sad to see him go.

As if he senses your sadness, he circles back. This time, he’s swimming directly towards you. While he approaches you straight-on, you’re not afraid. There’s nothing menacing or scary about his approach.

Inquisitive, he swims up to your porthole. He aligns himself with his eye framed by your porthole window. You are staring into the eye of a beast so much larger and more powerful than yourself.

All you can see is that eye, but he can see your entire room. In this moment of communion, you feel like he sees everything.

You blink and stand in awe of the creature’s intelligence. You know, in your deepest core, that this whale is part of you now.

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THEN YOU WAKE UP AND THINK WHAT THE HELL?

This is a dream I had not so long ago. It was the early hour of the morning when I rest my eyes between the first ring of my alarm and the sounding of the snooze. Neither awake nor asleep, I linger between states of consciousness.

I woke up with an overwhelming sense of, What the Fuck?! Dude, I just dreamt about an enormous whale staring at me. I went to twitter, facebook and google to surmise the significance of this dream.

Almost immediately, I knew what was up. You see, days before I had a great idea. This compulsion and need to explore how businesses use vulnerability. Rolling on the high of my hypothesis, I reached out to a few bloggers and businesswomen I admire. I asked if they’d chat with me. I put it out in the universe and felt great. For about 12 hours.

After 12 hours, I began to wonder if my scheme was only half-baked. Would these people I admire take me seriously? Would they reject me? What happens if they say yes? I’ll have to level-up and really do this. Commit to this idea and project.

I got scared. I recoiled.

And, as responses started to come in from people who were lit up by my idea and wanted to participate, I dreamt about a whale.

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WHAT GIFT ARE YOU RECOILING FROM?

What whale is swimming in the living room of your heart?

The whale represents what I cannot avoid – what’s in my heart. I harbor the desire to use my intuition and analytic skills to create a book that is useful and transformational.

Even in the throes of fear, I am reminded that I have to pursue this no matter what. It’s begging to be born.

How I felt during the dream seems to be a legend – it is possible to feel unsettled and safe, magnificent and troubled. We can push forward in spite of fear.

I know I’m not the only person who is experiencing this. Right? What desire persists even though you’ve tried to turn away from it?

Are you ready to accept the call?

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If you want to be notified when I launch projects that are begging to be born, sign up for my newsletter.

The Beacon. The Epitome. The Woman I Hope To Become.

May 2, 2011

Solid and strong with a knowing voice, she speaks with conviction. No longer afraid, she allows herself to be seen and heard. Her words are rooted in her gut, a sign of age, wisdom and surrender.

She is nude. She doesn’t lay bare her skin and bones and breasts and hips, except for the right person. But her soul? She lets that shine.

She has cracked herself open in order to be seen because she knows that the only way to live is with vulnerability.

This doesn’t mean she’s always known this to be true. No, she had to willingly deconstruct her own protective crust. She had to accept her fears and shame and grief and not allow them to ossify or encircle her.

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Her wide smile and open eyes are an invitation. She tilts her head back in deep laughter, instantly putting everyone at ease.

She coaxes truth and beauty into existence. Commanding, yet gentle, she is honest with all her heart. She has mastered generous tough love.

She mines your inner soul to bring your gifts to the world. She sparks permission. She clarifies and pushes.

Equal parts shaman, visionary, and pragmatic, she has the skills of divination, perception and synthesis.

She knows, down to her very core, that difficult is not synonymous with impossible. Difficult is the center of juicy, explosive possibility. She dares to live and work on that edge, teetering on greatness and expansion.

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She is energetic, flowing but rooted. The tentacles of her heart reach down to her feet, radiate out through her arms, and rise to the top of her head. Her breath is settled in her fibers, grounded.

From this solid base, she knows she can surrender to the pulse of life. To the movement that takes her from A to B.

Unselfconscious, she throws herself into her work, her love, and her passions without abandon. She submerges herself wholly.

She neither celebrates nor berates her contradictions. With all the courage she can muster, she simply and powerfully allows herself to be. She wants the same for you.

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Speaking of my work, I’m throwing myself into a new and exciting project. I’m incubating ways to turn cannot & impossible into “I can,” and “I will!” If you’re ready to be pushed, beyond your wildest expectations and right out of your comfort zone, then sign up to be in-the-know come launch day. 

All-Or-Nothing Is Whack. It’s Your Resistance Talking. Stop Listening.

April 28, 2011

Like the “Go Big Or Go Home” mentality, All-Or-Nothing is a foray in extremes.

It’s clichéd conventional wisdom that tells you to take a bigger risk in order to experience a bigger pay-off, right now.

It belittles incremental steps towards a goal in favor for grand and sweeping gestures. While that’s awfully cinematic (imagine this great big leap in the montage of your life), it’s also excellently skewed.

Here’s the thing: I used to subconsciously subscribe to the all-or-nothing mentality. If I couldn’t excel immediately, then I didn’t try it.

I wasn’t into steep learning curves. I wanted it all, right away.

This is because I used to equate mistakes with failure. I took failure personally. Failing at one task (even a small thing) meant that I was, and would always be, a failure.

Ever since I became aware of my all-or-nothing attitude, I haven’t been able to shake what I experientially know to be true.

Instant mastery is impossible.

True mastery takes practice. Devotion. Training. Think of the young piano protégé who spends hours honing her skills.

The journey towards crazy-skilled level of genius is fraught with stumbles and breakthroughs. The learning process is, and will always be, deeply humbling.

Mastery requires vulnerability, openness and earnestness. It recognizes imperfection in order to move towards perfection. It is cumulative.

When given the choice, I go home. Going big isn’t my thing. It’s not that I’m risk averse, but rather that I know some big goals depend upon a series of small actions.

When all-or-nothing creeps into my consciousness, I recognize it for what it is: Resistance. A reason to quit before I start.

A Plea To Remain Open And Vulnerable

April 25, 2011

In the depths of night, we unveil ourselves. Comforted by the fact that it’s too dark to see, we peel back our masks.

We send compassion and love over the airwaves. We channel and pour our souls into computer screens and across the world.

Satiated, we fall asleep under the cover of night. Full on a cellular and solar level. Content in our bones.

Then, we wake to a sun high in the sky. Squinting against the glare, we feel vulnerable. As if the sunlight could illuminate our cracks and crevices, secret wishes and hopes.

Afraid of being seen, we constrict our desires to the safety of the night.

Between blissful slumber and reentering the world –in the bright light of day – we resume our shackles to combat the terror of feeling naked.

Imagine a healing salvealoe vera, lemongrass, tiger balm and lavenderbeing applied liberally to all of your deepest hurts. Slather memories of shame. Massage into fear.

Feel the terror and resist the temptation to close. Rise with excruciating vulnerability.

Remain open in the blare of the light. Channel the sun and radiate.

Allow yourself to be seen. 

Use Resistance To Unearth Your Fears Then Show Her The Door.

April 20, 2011

 “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” Steven Pressfield via the always-illuminating Danielle LaPorte.

Oh, I know this to be true Steven. My best friend Maria and I are currently in the throes of resistance.

How do I explain resistance? It’s different than stuck; it’s active, not passive. It’s a flat-out refusal. It’s the call to rage against the light and the admonishment to not go gently into that good night.

If stuck is quicksand, pulling you under inch-by-inch, then resistance is a linebacker tackling you and pushing you down. Over and over.

This morning Danielle’s How To Resist Success landed in our inboxes and we both felt like we’d been called out. And Steven Pressfield? Damn him and his insight!

So here we are: me closing out my Wednesday and Maria just starting hers facing the fact that we can’t resist forever.

Without realizing it, we’ve been trying to wrap our heads around resistance for weeks. Why do we feel it? What is it really about? Today, we dug deep.

Turns out, it’s very simple. Maria and I (and maybe you) share some common fears.

We are afraid to look foolish. We are afraid to fail. We’re afraid we might unknowingly look like frauds. We’re afraid of losing faith.

Are you wondering what’s fear got to do with it? Who needs a dream when a dream can be broken? (Yes, I am channeling Tina Turner.)

Having a calling is exciting but terrifying. If you feel compelled to do something, chances are you’re going to evangelize the hell out of that mission.

Once you put yourself on shout, there’s no going back. If I talk big about what I’m going to do next, then I can’t pretend like it was some small, inconsequential, meaningless task later.

So if I fail, chances are it’s going to be public. And public failure is an invitation for shame and embarrassment.

This leads me to wonder: is resistance an act of love? Is it our subconscious trying to protect us from potential hurt?

If so, then should we deal with Resistance the same way we’d deal with well-intentioned but misguided friends or family? The ones we thank for their love and support while gently reinforcing that everything’s gonna be ok.

What I’m dying to say is: “Hey Resistance! Thanks but no thanks. I’m willing to take a chance. I’m all in.”

Shame, Defined by Brene Brown

April 9, 2011

If you’ve been following along, then you know I’ve recently been exploring Shame. My own feelings of it and how I think it’s connected to fear.

Through serendipity, I found myself watching Brene Brown’s TedxHouston talk tonight. Brene is a social worker, storyteller and researcher who is fascinated by connection.

We’re soul sisters in that – I’m also obsessively interested in the interconnectedness of humanity.

For her doctoral research, Brene wanted to interview people and understand connection. But, something strange happened. Every time she wanted to talk about connection, people responded with stories of times they felt disconnected.

At this point, Brene came to realize there was an unnamed and elusive force that undermines connection. She wanted to figure it out.

I’m sure you can guess, but I’ll post the question anyway: What do you think unravels connection?

In her research, Brene found the culprit — Shame.

“Shame, which is easily understood as fear of disconnection. Is there something about me, that if other people know it or see it, I won’t be worthy of connection?”

Shame is the fear of not being good enough. Shame is universal. Shame is vulnerable. And vulnerability – allowing ourselves to be really seen – is necessary to form connections.

Brene has some crazy good insights on how to live with vulnerability. Please watch her talk below.

Scent Memory: Lemongrass & Peppermint Healing.

April 7, 2011

Three years ago, a dear friend took me to her favorite spa. I was hurting emotionally and in need of some spiritual renewal.

We both believe in energy and angels. We look beyond the visible. We know that touch is a powerful tool for healing. For shifting. For opening.

Before the treatment, the masseuse asked me about my well-being. I admitted that I was depressed and looking for hope. She was kind and generous. Her presence was comforting.

My friend and I changed into plush robes and drank tea in a Moroccan inspired lounge while waiting for our appointments. We curled up in the softest blankets on an oversized couch and watched flames dance in the fireplace.

I was escorted to my room where I undressed and laid down on the table. I exhaled deeply and prepared myself to be repaired. Touched. Comforted.

My therapist had created a special blend that was at once familiar and invigorating. The lemongrass soothed while the peppermint awoke my inner yearnings. I felt restored. I could see glimmers of possibility.

Before leaving, she took me aside. She told me to hold onto the memory of the scent mixture. She told me that when I felt myself being pulled under, I should try to remember the smell.

The combination of peppermint & lemongrass is now inextricably linked to hope blossoming.

I remember that massage often; lemongrass could be the national scent of Cambodia. I burn lemongrass incense and peppermint oil in my home. My favorite spa in Siem Reap even offers a lemongrass and peppermint aromatherapy massage.

I’m surrounded by a scent reminder that things get better.

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This post was inspired by a prompt from The Red Dress Club: For many of us a scent or a sound can bring back a rush of remembrances. Describe a sound or smell that reminds you of your past.

Shame Is Painful. Shame Is Powerful. Shame Is A Manifestation Of Your Fears.

April 5, 2011

Think back to the last time you felt ashamed or your most embarrassing moment. What happens?

If you’re like me, then your cheeks are probably glowing red. You feel like you’ve been thrust into a spotlight. You want to shrink away, but feel so visible. You might even try to make yourself smaller.

As crimson creeps up my neck towards my cheeks, I involuntarily lift my shoulders and curl them inward. I push my stomach towards my back. I create a concave space. Shoulders as close to kissing as they can be; I shield my chest and heart from view. I retreat into a protective shell.

Embarrassment has sense memory. Like listening to a song and remembering who you were when you first heard it, shame can transport you.

This afternoon I decided that today would be the perfect opportunity to review my most recent embarrassing experience.

You see, I had a free phone consultation with someone I admire. I wanted to talk to her about the new project I’m incubating. She asked me a few basic questions and I couldn’t answer. Much like an earlier experience with my mentor, I couldn’t find my words.

For three weeks, this call has been amplified and replayed in my head. Today, I sat down and listened to the recording. I readied myself, cringed and pressed play.

Sounds dramatic, yes? Well, it felt heavy. Pregnant with fear and expectation. I’m told that’s what happens when you put something off instead of dealing with it immediately. You wouldn’t know anything about that, right?

I listened to the call. All thirty minutes of it. While I did have a hard time articulating my thoughts, it wasn’t really as bad as I remembered it.

That disconnect –between what I felt at the time and what I heard today– got me thinking, Why did I feel so damn ashamed in the moment?

I was embarrassed that I couldn’t answer seemingly simple questions about my great new shiny idea.

I was mortified to be clumsy and awkward in the company of someone I admire.

That sounds so small. Like it should be easily dismissible. But, both are tied to fears and desires of mine.

I want to be “on.” I want to have the answers. I’m terrified that I’m not good enough for my dreams. I worry about what other people think of me.

Maybe you have the same fears. Maybe yours are a bit different. Doesn’t matter. I’m willing to bet there’s a link between your fears and that shameful or embarrassing moment you conjured earlier.

Shame is vulnerable; it lays you bare. It’s uncomfortable, often painful.

But, it’s also telling. If we can disarm shame, remove the sting, then I’m certain there’s a way to transform it into a tool. I don’t have the secret yet, but I know it must be possible.