What I am NOT Willing to Sacrifice as a Female Business Owner….

clear glass with red sand grainer

Photo by Pixabay

There is no doubt about it; running your own business, being an artist, creator, or your own boss, takes an enormous amount of work, and yes it takes sacrifice. 

Sacrifice means giving up something you want to keep in order to make room for doing or receiving something else.

So much of our lives revolve around sacrifice, which, when approached correctly, is actually a very beneficial, (and yes, potentially even enjoyable), practice that incites self-reflection and change.

Try as we might, the hard truth is, we can’t do it all. We simply can’t be everything to everyone, and fill every role we see in need of a leading lady.

Sacrifice.

Which path do you choose, when you can’t see where any end, and you know there is no turning back once you embark upon your choice.

Choose wisely.

What things in your life, right now, are you willing to give up in order to grow? In order to allow more abundance into your life?

As a woman, who as a girl child was put through the extremely structured public school system from the time she was 4 years old until graduating college, at age 21, I abhor any kind of schedule and rigid structure in my life.

While no one on the outside would have likely been able to see it, and my schooling career left it’s fair share of wonderful memories, especially in the younger, grade-school years…but the truth is, as time went on, the overall theme of my educational institutions became one of competition, judgment, and never-ending stress.

It left a sour taste in my mouth and I now shudder at anything that triggers that feeling of desperate inadequacy and having to scramble to live according to another persons schedule, standards, and way of being…with no sense of self, because I had not really been given the room within my educational or job opportunities, to explore and get to know who I really was and my place in the world as I matured.

As a result, anything that comes remotely close to encroaching on my consciously created freedom and day-to-day life is rather quickly dealt with, by that primal, untamable, high on life, inner wild woman.

The ability to be in control of my time, and how I choose to spend my day, is honestly something I am still getting used to, and up until now I have been unwilling to sacrifice an ounce of this new   found freedom. (Which is kind of an oxymoron of a statement since I, at other times, feel that as a  stay-at-home mother, I have extremely limited personal freedom and my daily schedule is at the mercy of the human beings I brought into the world! I think the difference is that I still choose them every day. I chose to have babies. I chose to be a Mother, and I choose to let them rule my life, I surrender myself to their demands willingly lol).  

However, I am beginning to see that there is a sacrifice I must be willing to make in order to be successful as a business owner.

If I truly want to help other people, and I do, (deep down, don’t we all?), I must be there for them. Consistently. Dependably. ‘

This means regularly taking time out of my day, away from my family and personal interests, to ask,

“How can I serve?”,

and doing so with an open heart. Ultimately, this means giving up a portion of my day, on a regular basis, to be there for others outside my immediate circle, something I have very much resisted in the past but realize now it is a sacrifice I truly want to be making.

Because there is another sacrifice I do NOT wish to make, one I think many of us make without being aware we are doing so before it’s too late;

Being with our children. Truly BEING with our children.

Not because they deserve our full presence and awareness, (and they do!), not because they need us and depend on us and model their beliefs and behaviors after our own, but because we  as parents need to understand how much we need them.  How much we owe it to ourselves to recognize the gifts we have been given in the innocence of our children. How blessed we are to have been given the teachers we need most in the tiny humans who call us ‘Mama’.

There is a magic, a wisdom there, in the pure state of childlike wonder, which they contain for everything, as it should be, that we need desperately as westernized adults.

There is a true and unconditional love there, a truth about the interconnectedness of all things in existence, that our children show us, and teach us about, if we are able to slow down and take the time to listen, and have the courage to feel.

These moments with my daughters, of playing and laughing, teaching and encouraging, snuggling and exploring….once they are gone they’re gone. There is only one way to preserve them;

To pay attention.

Pay attention to every little detail so that you can reexamine it later. Be present and observe with all of your senses so you can savor it and draw power from it, love, and joy from the memory, whenever and wherever you choose.

 

How does it make you feel when you are able to set work aside and crawl on your hands and knees through the garden, pretending to be wolves, with your young ones?

How does it make you feel when you keep blowing them off and interrupting them because you have something else on your mind, or because you really need to get some work done?

Pay attention.

I am willing to sacrifice some of my “personal time” to grow my business. I am willing to sacrifice the frivolous enjoyment of a well deserved beer and Netflix for the less glamorous work that goes on behind the scenes in the life of an indie author and Network marketer. (Clearly, I enjoy a good challenge and dash of the adventurous unknown ;p) .

I am NOT willing to sacrifice being present and relaxed with my children for any career or amount of money in the world.

Nothing is worth that sacrifice to me and there are so many arguments I have as to why, but I will not get into them because I feel most are pretty obvious if you just take the time to ask your heart and have the patience to wait for (and hear) the reply.

And so, I would much rather sacrifice some of my “personal time” to regularly showing up for my chosen community. It is through this work, that I also serve my children, and thank them for the magic they have shown me and the lessons they have taught me by doing my part to actively participate in the creation of a community I would be proud to pass on to them and confident to leave them within.

What this means is that growth is likely to be slower, yet more sustainable. Many businesses, especially in the beginning, require an abhorrent amount of time and attention every of the week in order to flourish. If you want success, you MUST make those early sacrifices. There is no way around it. You WILL loose sleep. Your spouse and kids WILL wonder when you went completely insane. You WILL want to rip your hair out and never know the meaning of the term “weekend” ever. again. Thats just the way it is.

Or so we have been told.

I am willing to make sacrifices, but I am unwilling to sacrifice the time spent with my daughters in order to do so. I am not willing to sacrifice my ability to stay present with them each and every day. For each and every day is a miracle, a gift, and I am well aware of how limited our time together really is.

Even a day spent preoccupied about this and that, (ultimately insignificant), business detail, is one day to many, and while it still occurs from time to time, I always mourn it’s loss.

For myself, I have discovered that I would much rather be able to devote a small amount of focused time and energy everyday into something, to have patience, to little by little watch it grow.

I am not willing to devote “a few short years” of “hustle”, running myself ragged, being detached from my kids and husband while I obsess over my business. No. Not I.

I already have the life of my dreams. I have a safe home, a loving, handsome husband, healthy happy children, and my own miraculous womans’ body that’s alive and full of sensuality and feeling.

I love my mind, (flawed and rebellious as it is) and the voice within my heart (which never steers me wrong).

I love the souls of the People (human and otherwise), I interact with on a daily basis.
When it comes to business, running my own successfully is simply a bonus. Icing on the cake.

Yeah, I want more money because more money equals more time with my man and obviously….more books, plants, and horses. I want to have my own business because I feel that I have an important service and message to share with the world and don’t see a damn thing wrong with being supported financially for doing what brings me joy and makes my spirit soar. But a business, no matter how genius or successful it is, (or even if it were to crash and burn), will never define me.

It will never take priority over my sense of connection with nature, and with my family. I will never sacrifice those simple, yet so incredibly full, moments of doing nothing but watching my daughters run and laugh together on the bare crust of the earth.

These are the moments worth living for, the moments that make me feel the most alive, the most connected and in the flow. And I will not be sacrificing them for anything in the world. Ever.

What about you. What are the hardest sacrifices you’ve had to make as business owning, mindful mothers, and what has and hasn’t been worth it for you?

Please share your own experiences in the comments!

Much Love- Sara

Advertisements

Moon Magic 101

afterglow avian backlit birds

Photo by luizclas

The moon is widely considered the most important heavenly body to women the world over. As the closest astrological body to our own planet, she affects the tides of our lakes and oceans, and influences plant growth, animal behavior, and our own sacred bodies and emotions. Her silvery-bright feminine energy rules over the life giving fluids within us, such as the cardiovascular system and our menstrual cycles. Like women, the moon is cyclical, and mirrors the stages of our lives; Maiden, Mother, & Crone. She inspires, guides, and illuminates. She is a mysterious and powerful shapeshifter.

As the moon travels across the sky she moves along a wheel which passes through each astrological sign. When the moon is residing within a particular sign, (I.E. “Moon in Aries”), she will be influenced by that signs magical attributes. Similarly, the energy surrounding her will change as she waxes and wanes, and certain phases of the moon are better suited for performing magic than others. The highest level of energy occurs at the full moon, which is the most powerful time for performing potent magic.

The New Moon is the second most magical moon phase. Additionally, the waxing and waning phases of the moon each have their own mystical attributes, so it may be wise to plan your magical crafting in accordance. Follow the inherent rhythms of nature. As you expand and grow your craft you will quickly come to understand that there is a natural time for starting things (planting), for maturing things (growing), and for reaping things (harvesting). Times of rest and planning are also crucial to overall well being and health. Above all follow your intuition and do what feels right when dealing with magic of any kind. Work in light, love, and harm none.

(*Hint: Remember that the moon is always present in the heavens, and that a moonrise can even occur during daylight. You do not need to restrict your self to the night time for working moon magic, although, for obvious reasons, night time magic holds its own special power.)

MOON PHASES

Full Moon Magic- The most powerful time for working moon magic, it is the perfect time for spells involving protection, prophecy, or anything that requires extra power, such as healing from a serious injury or finding a new home. Also great for rituals involving love or money. Many witches like to take this opportunity to “Draw Down the Moon”, (See below). Associated with ‘The Mother’ archetype.

New Moon Magic-  Also known as the “Dark Moon’, this is a very powerful time for working magic, especially when it comes to rituals of rest and rejuvenation. Spells that cleanse and purify the body and the mind, promote inner harmony and peace, and which designate a sacred space, are all extremely effective when worked under a new moon. New moon magic can be done from the day of thee new moon to three and a half days after. Excellent phase for meditation. Associated with ‘The Triple Goddess’ archetype.

Waxing Crescent Magic- The waxing crescent moon occurs from seven to fourteen days after the new moon. It is the period of time when the moon is growing, from darkness to an ever expanding luminous silver crescent. This phase of the moon is associated with constructive, or positive magic. Spells which draw things to you, or increase things, flourish under the waxing crescent. Perform rituals concerning fertility, growth, healing, and new beginnings. This is also  the best time to plant seeds or new plants. Associated with The Maiden.

Waning Crescent Magic- The waning crescent is the period of time in which the moon moves from full to dark, occurring from three and a half to ten and a half days after the full moon. This is the time to perform magic that deals with the unwanted and eliminations. Use for things you are trying to reduce, such as toxic people in your life or debt. Cast spells for banishing stress, bad habits, and disease. Use this phase to help you achieve smooth endings, such as with a relationship or job. Associated with ‘The Crone’ archetype.

*Hint: A seasoned witch usually always knows the phase of the moon at any given moment, but for those first starting out, it can be tricky to discern a waxing from a waning moon. A trick I learned as a child is to picture a line running down the center of the moon. If the curve of the crescent is bulging to the right , it forms the bow shape of a lower case “b” for “birth”. This means the moon is growing, aka, it is waxing. If the crescent is bulging to the left, it forms the bow shape of a lowercase “d”, for “death”. The moon is shrinking, moving from light to dark, aka, it is waning. Birth, death, and rebirth, the cycle of all that is, so beautifully displayed in the heavens.

How does the moon factor into your life? Does it influence your mothering? Business? Magical workings? What is your favorite phase and why? How are you taking utilizing the energy of the current moon phase? Let me know in the comments!

 

Much Love- Sara

 

Tis the Season…To Break Tradition

hernan-sanchez-172305-unsplash

When I was younger the holidays held a special kind of magic for me.
Although I was not raised according to any religion or particular belief system, the holidays were for celebrating family. All would come together in the spirit of love and gratitude, and it was a fabulous opportunity for all the cousins to run wild while the adults themselves let loose for awhile. And all this among beautiful decorations, fires, food, drink, and music. There was nothing not to love.

And then, despite my best efforts not to, I grew up.

And even though I promised myself it never would, the magic of the holidays slipped through my fingers like water through cupped hands, and I stopped giving a shit. But it wasn’t just me. It was life.

Cousins grew up, away, apart. Parents divorced. Family members died. Old relationships ended and new ones began. A thousand skins were shed by myself and those around me, but with no infrastructure in place to encourage and nourish change, transformation, death, and new growth, I struggled forward through these growing pains feeling isolated, as I expect many others did.

The older I got, and the more I began to open my eyes to seeking truth for myself, the more I began to recognize the perversion and hypocrisy of the holiday season in my life. (Disclaimer: this is the truth as experienced by ME, in my life, and through my eyes. It is personal, and I mean no disrespect to anyone’s opposing values, beliefs, or traditions, nor will I censor my own opinions.)

I realized I had reached a point where I felt nothing about the holidays. In fact if anything, I had begun viewing them as more of an inconvenience. Time consuming, expensive, phony. A great big pathetic sales pitch to get us to consume more and more and more, all to the tune of a Christmas jingle that starts playing several months too soon, reminding me that before I know it, I will have to be scheduling my time amongst too many divided families— never feeling like I spent enough time with any so that the gap in familiarity between us continues to grow. Feeling pressured to buy and accept gifts from people I don’t even talk to during the rest of the year, hoping the festivities don’t put too much of a financial strain on the beginning of a new year, all while attempting to feel merry and bright and recapturing the holiday joy I felt as a girl.

Bah Humbug. Why did I feel like I was turning into Uncle Scrooge? Then it hit me:

Why, on the Goddesses green earth, was I continuing to practice and celebrate the Christian holiday calendar and traditions, when I am NOT a Christian? I realized that celebrating this way was making me feel ill at ease around myself and family, through no fault of theirs, because I felt as though I was being inauthentic. A hypocrite. My outer lifestyle was not in alignment with my inner truth. Year after year it continued to make me fidgety and uncomfortable.

I’m not saying a witch or pagan can’t enjoy the western holiday system with their families, and enjoy all the same underlying messages of peace, love, and family that are present in many cultures this time of year. I am saying that for me, continuing to practice traditions which no longer held any meaning to the person I had become, just because it is how myself and those around me have always done it, seemed ridiculous.

I wanted to experience the magic of the holidays again, for my children, and myself.

I want this magic to infect those around me, to slow us down, bring us in, and draw us close. And not just at Christmas, but throughout the year. I want to voluntarily spend time in celebration (of life!) with my friends and family as a regular practice, and not feel forced together once or twice every 12 months. So what if the way we do it now looks different from the way I did it as a child? That’s ok. It worked back then. It doesn’t now. No big deal. Change is natural. Evolution is healthy.

Now we follow the Wheel of the Year. My children will grow up celebrating Yule not Christmas, and exchange handmade gifts with their friends and family rather than expensive, meaningless, store bought items. I want us to remember and honor the dead on Samhain, not make mockery of gore and violence while stuffing our faces with toxic junk on Halloween, and mark the witches new year as a new beginning, peacefully letting die what needs to die in order to make room for new growth.

I want for my family and I to live and celebrate by honoring the natural rhythms of Nature and ourselves, feeling the ebb and flow of the seasons in our environments and within our own bodies. THIS is what I believe in. Nature, rhythms, cycles, birth, death, and rebirth. The interconnectedness, diversity, and dynamic divinity, of everything in existence. Of All.

By honoring this, by celebrating this truth, the magic is restored to all holidays throughout the year, because I am manifesting in my environment a representation of the love and joy I feel in the deeper essence of myself and the greater vastness of the universe that you and I are a part of.

We’ve been in the process of restructuring our holidays for a couple of years now, and if I’m totally honest, we’ve still got some kinks to work out. We still go trick-or-treating and my girls say “Halloween” more than they say “Samhain”, ( and we all, especially me, eat too much crappy chocolate after the fact).

We still gather together and feast on Thanksgiving, (though I am clear in explaining to my children why we are gathering; to count our blessings and share abundance with friends & family. I’m leaving our countries historical atrocities out of it until they are a bit older…), and many of the gifts we exchange at Christmas/Yule are indeed store bought, and though we’ve gotten better at supporting local artists and small businesses, Amazon is still always there with all of it’s mega-convenience. We still anticipate a visit from Santa on Christmas Eve and sing our favorite carols. We still celebrate Christmas, AND Yule.

It’s harder than I thought to let go of old traditions, habits, and patterns. There is an easiness that comes with doing what has always been done, what is know. Especially when everyone around us still holds to these newer ways of celebrating the holiday. (I won’t call them the ‘Old Ways’, because they’re NOT).

Luckily, we have a few close friends and family members who support our efforts in making our own holiday rituals and traditions. Traditions based on spiritual earth centered practices that place us in alignment with the flow of nature, as a part of it, and not as a separate entity.

I feel that if we begin, as individuals, to live and act in accordance to our authentic selves, even if it goes against what mainstream culture is pressuring us to be, we will feel more peaceful, centered, and grounded during a notoriously stressful time of year. Not only that, but we will begin to build a tribe, a community, a family of both blood relations and cherished friends,who share similar values and peaceful, healing energy.

This is what I want our holiday celebrations to be about:

Family, friendship, peace, love, gratitude, generosity, health, fun, and magic. The kind of magic you feel when you close your eyes and allow yourself to feel the space that surrounds every cell in your body, recognizing that same space connects you to all that was, all that ever will be, and most importantly, all that IS.

How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you do something a little less “traditional”? I want to hear about it! Especially (but not limited to!) from those who follow a pagan calendar.  Please share your favorite holiday traditions in the comments. I am always looking for new and meaningful practices.

Happy Holidays. Blessed Be.

Much Love- Sara

The Magic of Essential Oils

kelly-sikkema-1077679-unsplash

What if there were a secret potion, that when taken regularly led to confidence, self-love, inner peace & serenity, greater abundance, joy, focus, and creativity? Not only that, telling other people about this magical substance, showing them how it worked and how they could enjoy its benefits for themselves, caused regular, exponential growth to your bank account?

Sounds like something out of a fairy tale doesn’t it?

Well except for it being a secret, the rest is true. (And if we’re likening this story to a fairy-tale, you could say that Young Living is the Fairy Godmother).

Thousands of men, women, and children have experienced, and now vouch for, the healing properties of pure, quality, essential oils.

Thousands of individuals have created thriving businesses that not only give them the financial freedom many of us have only dreamed about, but also allow us to be home with our families, not be bound to a geographical location (for those with a gypsy spirit), have the time + money necessary to pursue our passions, and feel good about the work we do and what we bring to the world.

This is real life.

When you welcome these oils into your world, your entire reality will begin to change. Its like adding natural fertilizer to a garden and watching the flowers burst forth.

Essential oils support the health and balance of every level of our being. They care for us during pregnancy, in childhood, as busy adults, and wise old crones.

My favorite power contained within each tiny glass bottle is the ability to instantly shift a mood or emotion. After all, for most of us, our emotions drive our thoughts in an almost habitual pattern. And our thoughts drive, well—everything.

Imagine having access to something that could easily aid in grounding, soothing, and centering triggered emotional wounds. An all natural, Earth charged substance that together with a few, deep, conscious breaths, could offer almost instantaneous relief?

Interested in learning more?

Subscribe to attend our free weekly webinars all about essential oil basics and, if you are thinking you may want to start a profitable, pleasurable, oil-based business of your own, be sure to catch our weekly Oil Empress Business Academy live class.

How have essential oils factored into your life? When were you introduced to these magical liquids and what was the catalyst?
Do you now use them regularly? For what? What is your personal favorite and if you have never used oils before, what is the one issue you wish they could help you heal?

The great thing about this business is that you never stop learning. You never stop being amazed, or tickled by the progress of science and its support of what mystics have always known.

This is a career and lifestyle which, like the oils themselves, gently, consistently, and effectively changes your faith from a tenuous hope to an inner knowing that miracles happen on the regular.

We simply need to open our arms and expose our hearts to receive.

How to Start a Community Red Tent in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 8.56.52 AMLearn what a Red Tent (also referred to as  Moon Lodge in some cultures), is.
  2. Let your heart pitter-patter with inspiration and a deep desire to gather with the other women of your community.
  3. Choose a date. Try to get it to land on the Full or New moon for the biggest magical punch. If not, something close to these monthly milestones works beautifully.
  4. Choose a venue. Your house, a friends house, dance studio, even a park or beach becomes a sacred space when women gather. Obviously, the more intimate the area the better, as it encourages openness and vulnerability, some of our greatest strengths as women.
  5. Make invitations. This can be flyers to hang around town, leave in coffee shops, yoga studios, salons, etc. It can be a text message you send to all the women you know, a Facebook update or invite, or a graphic image you post on your tumblr or instagram. Get those invites out!
  6. Prepare your space. Use the color red, the color of love, blood, fire, and passion, to decorate and set the mood. Red flowers, cushions, blankets, streamers, candles, and stones, all serve to designate our women sanctuary.
  7. Eat and drink red. Encourage participants to bring a dish or drink to share. Cherries, apples, strawberries, watermelon and pomegranates. Red chili, salsa, velvet cupcakes, cinnamon candies, red wine, and cranberry juice. These are offerings to your Moon-time, to your womanhood, your lifeblood.
  8. Decorate yourself. Wear red red RED. Satin, silk, cotton, velvet. Try to adorn your body with natural dyes and materials. Wear red flowers and ribbons in your hair. Rubies, garnets, and sunstones on your fingers, neck, and ears. The reddest lipstick you own. Red scarves around your head or hips. Encourage others to do the same. Your body is a temple. It is a divinely crafted work of art. Adorn it as such.
  9. Hold Space & Listen. Circle up. Begin with smudging to clear out any stale or negative energies which may have followed us into our sanctuary. Pass around some favorite oils to inhale before participants close there eyes and take a few moments to sink into full presence with one another. Pass around a talking stick or special crystal to share stories. Take time to share thanks and gratitude. Don’t be to rigid or dominating as hostess. Your job is to create the space, bring women together, and then listen listen and listen some more. Let the participants lead the group to where it needs to be. Don’t forget to share your own stories as well. Honest, authentic, vulnerability serves to create great trust and powerful intimate bonds that are not easily broken.
  10. Do what feels right. Then do it again. Dance. Sing. Meditate. Cry. Laugh. Drink. Chant. Howl. Craft. Create. Ask for feedback. Close with a final circle of gratitude. Ground our feminine power. Hug each other, thank each other, and set a date for the following month! Carry the magic with you as you move back into your daily routine. Know your sisters are always with you, that our struggles and victories are communal, no matter how different the surrounding details initially appear, we share the same essence, the same core desires, the same divinity and wish to know unconditional love, inside and out. All is one.

Women can and will change the world for the better. It starts with You. Me. We.

Please share your favorite tips and Red Tent experiences in the comments below and be sure to share this with your sisters!

Much Love- Sara

The One Thing Your Community is Lacking, But NEEDS

omar-lopez-296937-unsplash

The Red Tent.

For most of our history humanity has lived in tight knit, tribal societies.

When we lived this way something amazing happened each month; the women of the village would ovulate/bleed together.

Our bodies natural rhythms connected us in a very primal, earthy way to our sisters, and every month, during our moon time, we retreated from society, from our day today responsibilities and obligations, to recharge our energy stores, connect with the effervescent energies we were momentarily more sensitive to, and most importantly, to hold space for one another.

Together, in these sacred circles, we laughed, cried, chanted, screamed, and howled.

We shared grief, and collectively released it. We expressed anger, and together found ways to channel it into creativity and conscious action. We built foundations of hope, nurtured dreams, and shared in celebration.

We listened to one another. We recognized that each woman was a facet of the Goddess, a direct link to the wild nature we are each an expression of, and we truly opened ourselves to the stories she shared through each woman’s life experience.

We meditated. We prayed. We shared fresh life giving foods, sipped on healing herbal teas, and counted our blessings. We pressed our roots against the earth and our healing hands against one another. And then we danced, swaying our hips, rolling our belly’s, snaking our spines, reaching up to the heavens, letting our wombs and hearts move exactly as they felt called to.

These spaces served not only the woman who attended, but the entire tribe.

While men were most often the ones responsible for the protection, trade agreements, and hunting which saw to the tribes safety and security, it was the women who truly formed the foundation of society.

Women were (and  are), the life givers and nurturers. We were the wise-women, the ones who counseled about going to war, about when to plant and harvest and where to find the most potent medicinal herbs. It was the women who cared for each other in pregnancy and child birth, and who tended the men, women, and children who fell ill or sustained injury.

We taught the girls about womanhood and instructed the boys in what it meant to be true, good men; men who honored and respected their mothers, sisters, wives, and the Earth Mother. Who protected them and treated them with reverence, gentleness, and compassion, and in return received the spiritual teachings and guidance of their female companions.

The healing warmth of a womans attentions- be that the cleansing laughter of a girl-child dancing barefoot on the earth, the ecstatic embrace of a lover who offers herself up completely, or the wise, penetrating gaze of a grandmother as she listens silently to ones woes and offers up freshly brewed tonics and an ear to catch the burdens of the mind… each was valued as the treasure it is.

You want the honest truth, the one not talked about in the history books trumpeting about conquest and expansion?

Women not only make life, we make life worth living.

Our bleeding in conjunction with the ebb and flow of the lunar guided tides was once recognized as further proof of our intimate connection to nature and the more subtle energies that nevertheless exert tremendous influence over our lives and thus the state of the entire tribe or village.

We weren’t taught this in school. We have been systematically denied out heritage and our power.

Once, the whole village was able to recognize the importance of allowing women to step away from the day to day life and take the time needed to plug back into their wild and intuitive natures.

For a woman severed from her primal source is unable to fulfill her souls purpose, and each woman had, and continues to have, a unique brand of magic and creative talent that contributes to the overall health and prosperity of the tribe.

One cannot pour from an empty cup.

At a time when life’s most basic survival necessities and simple comforts required an immense amount of patience, energy, and cooperation to acquire, (things like food, water, clothing, transportation, tools, and shelter), it was readily apparent that it was within everyones best interest to ensure that each community member was living up to their full potential. Especially the women, who were responsible for cooking, growing, harvesting, preparing food, providing counsel, healing wounds and illnesses, delivering babies, providing the equivalent of hospice care, spiritual communication, marriage and parenting support, child care, and in short ensuring the next generation would be able to know how to survive and thrive in their environments.

The Rend Tent was a crucial element of our ancestors lives because it provided a place to release any damaging or destructive energy, to direct it out and away from the Self, the family unit, and the village- or to redirect it into something new and constructive.

It was also a place to raise energy. To share in successes, victories, and causes for delight and celebration. To infuse the heart with this healing energy of love, understanding, empathy, and selflessness.

There was a heartfelt desire to always help a sister in need because of the deeply felt gratitude for the sisterhood that provided each women a sanctuary and temple in which to develop and honor the divine feminine, the spark within each of us. Within this cocoon of wisdom and femininity we were able to evolve and discover exactly who we were meant to be.

What happened?

The short version is this: Colonization. Industrialization. Westernization.

The breakdown of the tribal structure into isolated households where the social structure was for the first time in history, every ‘man’ for himself and ‘survival of the fittest’.

In this country, sharing land with family or tribe members was actually made illegal. Of course, we all know it only got worse from there.
Competition replaced cooperation.

Bleeding in conjunction with the moon became a dirty and taboo topic. A source of shame rather than empowerment.

Our intuition and connection to Nature was demonized.

The Red Tent was abandoned. Women no longer gathered in circles under the moon.

We could be burned alive for doing so.

Look where that has led us. Look at the state of the Earth and her children.

Just for a moment, have the courage to allow yourself to feel it in your bones, your heart, your soul. If you are honest with yourself, you will feel something like a deep grief mixed with an unidentifiable pain. That is normal, we are, after all, very much a part of this Earth, despite our tendency to behave otherwise.

When we stopped gathering we stopped releasing the energy of our emotions. They stayed bottled up. They festered and poisoned. They turned from catalysts of change and growth, to shame, guilt, pride, and judgment. They stopped being an energy we could control and direct and instead started controlling us, our thoughts, and our actions.

When we stopped gathering we stopped raising energy together. We did not restock our reserves. We allowed the well to run dry and had nothing left to pull from. No stream of nourishment and support to sustain us, to heal us, to ease our passage through the hard times.

In life there are always hard times.

It is the love, joy, gratitude, inspiration, faith, and hope, raised, gathered, and shared with our fellow humans that gives us the strength we need to see these hard times through.

We cannot do it alone.

We’ve done ourselves a tremendous disservice by forgetting how to gather.

So let your heart remember. Its in your soul. Embedded in your DNA. Search your self and you will find it simply feels right. Like springtime sunlight on bare skin with the scent of wildflowers on the air.

Find your Red Tent.

If there is none in your city or town, make one.

If you live in a rural place far removed from neighbors or other female companions, see what you can do about joining a virtual Red Tent. Yes, they exist.

Visit the Mindful Mama Tribe to find a gathering in your area or to volunteer as a hostess.

Our Mindful Mama Tribe members empower one another, love each other, and see ourselves in our sisters- her struggles and her triumphs become our own, and we are made stronger for it.

Never forget, you are never alone.

Share this with every woman you know so that those who are searching may find their pack, and those called to lead can bring the power of the Red Tent back to where it is needed the most—

Everywhere.

This is about YOU, ME, WE.

Become a member of my Mindful Mama “Red Tent Mastermind” to join our virtual sisterhood, where you will learn to be a community leader and champion of women, and to have your events listed on the SIH calendar by clicking here.

Together, we rise.

Much Love- Sara

 

The Biggest Mistake You’re Making as a Leader

adolescence attractive beautiful blur

Photo by Matheus Bertelli 

Thinking it’s about you.

I don’t care how qualified, good-looking, rich, popular, and overall amazing you are, being a leader is not about you.

It’s about the people you serve.

A leader is a servant. An individual who serves the Greater Good.

A leader is all about considering others before they consider themselves, and knowing where the balance between each lies.

A leader does not lead for the sake of recognition, but rather because they feel an inner inspiration to maintain the harmony of Nature. Therefore, they do not seek or expect thanks, but remain gracious and humble.

A leader is perfectly happy to allow the ones they lead believe they are leading themselves. In fact, having that as an actual goal is a hallmark trait of an authentic leader! They seek to educate and empower. Liberate and inspire. Not dominate, control, hoard, gloat, segregate, or manipulate.

A leader is gracious, fair, and able to listen to all perspectives with an open mind.

Always remember; the crown of a true leader cannot be seized, only given.

Do you agree or disagree?

What qualities do you look for in those you consider leaders?

Which of those qualities do you yourself possess?

Why You Aren’t Successful

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers

Its in You. Photo by Andre Furtado

+ 10 Traits All Successful Women Share:

Try as you might, you just don’t feel like you’re succeeding at life.

You haven’t achieved the results you want and your dreams have not yet manifested.

Your confidence has been shaken and your sense of self is under attack by your counsel of inner (and possibly outer) critics.

What do you  do?

Fear not! Every woman has it in her to be successful on any and all levels. In fact, it is our birthright. Our destiny. It is only natural for us to blossom into our full potential the way the rose unfurls naturally under the warm kiss of the sun to add magic to the garden with her scent and beauty.

For the rose, it is effortless. She simply is, and follows the impulses of her inherent nature.

It is the same with us wild women.

If your are feeling stuck, frustrated, failed, exhausted, hopeless, afraid, know that you are not alone. These feelings are part of the human experience.

Just as it is part of the rose’s experience to push through the deepest, darkest, heaviest, weight of the earth from a small seed, having neither the experience or the ability to see any promise light and life as she begins her ascent, but compelled by intuition, faith, and unexplainable belief that she is meant to be something so much bigger, fuller, than she is now, to continue to fight for a higher state of being until all of a sudden, she burst through the crust of the earth and feels the embrace of the sunlight for the very first time.

Yet even then, as a new sprout, she knows it is her strong roots sinking into the depths from which she came, into the unseen darkness, keeping her grounded, holding her steady, giving her the life-giving nourishment from the Earth Mother to harness both the soils dark feminine energy and the suns’ bright, masculine, active energy, transmuting these polarities into life, vitality, and perfected growth.

The rose does not think about this. She simply allows it to happen.

Alas, we are women, not roses. We think about things. A lot.

So think about this; Success is not the luck of the draw. It is not a trait some people are lucky enough to inherit and others are not.

Success is boundless and available to everyone. There is enough of it to go around. It is diverse, and looks different for everyone.

It is limitless.

Like any art form, success can, with enough practice and determination, be learned by anyone.

If you are struggling in a certain area of your life, whether it be business or relationships, take a look at the following list and another honest look in the mirror to see which of these attributes you are currently not giving enough attention to. Perhaps there are even more than one.

I promise if you are able to consciously work on strengthening these characteristics for yourself, you will experience greater peace, gratitude, and abundance in your life.

You will be successful.

In no particular order, here we go:

#1) Patience- Success does not happen overnight. Get-Rich-Quick schemes are simply that; schemes. There are no shortcuts.

You must earn your rewards. This takes time.

It takes time to study, to practice, to integrate. It takes time to make mistakes and to learn from them. Do NOT rush the process. Always remember that the reward is in the journey and that the Alchemy Masters of the past recommended fledging alchemist hang one work above the entrance to their laboratories: “PATIENCE”.

#2) Consistency- Keep showing up. Find out what this means for you and stay consistent with it, even when you don’t feel like it. Yes, it takes willpower and self-discipline. No, its not always fun and easy. But this is how you build trust, both within yourself and within your community.

If you keep showing up, sooner or later, your cards are going to align.

#3) Thick Skin- Not every one is going to agree with you. Not everyone is going to like you. There are actually people in the world who are so broken and miserable there soul aim in life is attacking other people with hate and cruelty.

Other people only have the power we give them.
Don’t give them any.

Learn to hear and respect different views, beliefs, and opinions. Get comfortable being challenged and realize that each time you are is an opportunity to either A) Learn something new and grow in experience and wisdom from it, or B) Gain confidence in your own beliefs by honestly and unbiasedly comparing and contrasting them the those of the ‘challenger’, and determine them to once again prove superior to your own personal satisfaction, which will strengthen your confidence and your comfort with standing up for yourself with grace and integrity and being heard in your own right. Both of those seem like pretty awesome outcomes to me.

Nevertheless, some people are not in the debate to learn, grow, or fight for what they believe is the greater good. Some people are just mean and have no interest in reason, logic, common sense, or even acknowledging reality.

Develop thick skin by knowing it is not about you, so there is no need to take anything personal.

The words and behavior of trolls and haters says waaaaayyy more about them than it does about you.
Send them love and compassion instead. I mean it. They need it desperately.

#4) Confidence- Know your worth. Stay in your lane. You do you and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. You keep moving. Keep acting. Keep allowing time for rest, recovery, and reflection. This recipe will lead you to greater confidence every time.

If you are really working for the greater good, if what you do is really coming from a place of heartfelt desire to make the world a better place and to add value to peoples lives, you have every right to hold your head up high, with the confidence of one who wears a crown on her head, carries a holy grail in her womb, and has invisible dragon wings sprouting from her shoulder blades.

Know who you are.

***

#5) Endurance- “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming….”

I don’t care what all the haters say. Disney so often just gets it. I mean, its right there in your face, but you’re too distracted being insulted by everything, focusing on technicalities, and choosing not to see past the pettiness to the deeper truths. But I digress-

Its not going to be easy. Things are going be rough once in a while. You won’t want to continue. Giving up will seem like the best option.

But that is only because it is the easiest.

Life is many things, but easy aint one of them.

That just adds to the sense of wonder, awe, and appreciation for the blessings we enjoy.

It is soooo tempting to stay in the comfort zone of what we know, but this is one of the most dangerous and crippling places to be.

When you feel like giving up, don’t.

Remember your WHY. Remember who you are and why you started in the first place. Find your support system and stock your supply bag with everything you will need to support yourself when obstacles rear their ugly heads from out of nowhere.

Keep going, and you will succeed.

 

#6) A Generous Spirit- Give more than you take.

Listen more than you speak. Forgive more than you judge.

You will be blessed. You will be cared for. This is a Law of the Universe. And that’s all I have to say about that.

#7) A Team You Love- No one is asking you to do this alone. We aren’t alone. Ever. And if we feel like we are it is only ourselves we have to blame. Forgive yourself and figure out what to do about it.

Surround yourself with people who make you feel powerful and capable. Who care about you. Who aren’t afraid to be honest with you or disagree with you, but who always act from a place of love and a desire to do good, not look good. Who have qualities you admire and who mirror back your own best assets. Develop a team of friends and family members you trust, who make you feel motivated and inspired when you think of them or imagine their voices.
They say not to mix business with friends and family, but I disagree.

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

Any successful business is going to require a substantial amount of focused energy, time, and teamwork.

I want the people who are taking the journey along side me to be the people I care the most about in the world! The ones I always want to spend more time with and make  new memories with.

This is also a great motivator for always giving it your all. When the people you love depend on you showing up, and when you have absolute trust in their abilities and their love for you as well, success is guaranteed. Success is soooo much sweeter when you can share it with your soul-tribe. And when times are hard, they are made that much lighter by the shared compassion of the team you cherish.

#8) A Positive Attitude– Like attracts like. Smiles beget smiles. Frowns can spread like wildfire. One negative though can lead to a runaway train of mental negativity that derails your whole day, or worse.

Stay positive. There is always a silver lining. Even if thinks just can’t get any worse, at leas you know you can only go up from there.

When you learn to count your blessing, and focus on the positive, you actually change your energetic vibration. If intentionally sustained and cultivated, this energy field will strengthen and grow grow in magnetism, effortlessly attracting more of the same wavelength. Success and abundance will start to have a compound manifesting effect in your life.

Dark times hide within their frightening depths, the most valuable treasures.

The uncomfortable shadow work we all tend to avoid leads to a lighter, brighter spirit and sense of Self-Love. Focus on knowing there is wisdom in the darkness. Do not fear it. Move into it gently and with deep breath, and sharp senses.

STAY POSITIVE.

#9) Zero Need for Perfection- If your are waiting for perfection, you are doomed to die without accomplishing much. Be ready, willing, and eager to take imperfect action. Cultivate a “Fuck it and Go!” type mentality. Don’t feel embarrassed and ashamed to be imperfect.

Your greatest strength lies in your vulnerability.

Do what you can with the gifts you can and be proud of being satisfied with that.

This is so important. Pay attention. Let go of perfection.

#10) Passion- At the end of the day it comes down to this. You must love what you do. You must have passion for that which is driving you. When you feel tapped out, is remembering this love, this reason for your efforts, that will always give you the strength you need to take just one more step forward. And then another. And another.

If you don’t truly love and believe in what you do, if you aren’t truly being honest with yourself and living your souls purpose, you will fail. You will fail at life, and run the risk of not realizing you could have made it happen at any given moment had you only listened to your heart, but now you lie on your death bead wishing for more time which is not going to come.

Yes, this sounds harsh. It should. It should scare you a bit, as the risk for falling into apathy and inaction is very very real. The temptation to numb all sense of feeling just to remain comfortable enough to function decently enough in a life that is not in alignment with who you truly are can seem overwhelming, but it is not what you deserve. You are here for so much more.

You are hear to be YOU, and pursue that which makes your heart sing.

So what is it for you? What are you most passionate about?

#1 Tip For Spiritual Development

underwater photography of woman

The Power of Breath

My number one tip for improved spirituality is the one I like to remind people of when they are feeling especially disconnected from Spirit. When they feel alone and unsupported. It is something that initially seems so easy it’s laughable, yet in practice, takes an extreme amount of presence and awareness. The technique is breathing.

Would you believe me when I say most of us do not know how to breathe properly?

For many, this starts at birth. Rather than the soft, quiet, welcome of subdued lights and the whispering voices of our mother, father, and a few close loved ones welcoming us into the world, where our first moments of life are snuggled against our mothers breast, hearing the heartbeat we knew so well and feeling her skin as we learn to breathe on our own, the majority of us met with stress the moment we were born.

We were pulled, sometimes roughly, sometimes even cut from, our mothers wombs with rough, insensitive hands. Fluorescent lights blinded us. The umbilical cord was cut the instant we were out, before the placenta was delivered and before it even had a chance to stop pulsating, thus severing us from our life source, our oxygen, our very blood, a large portion from our tiny bodies still being contained within it, (thus increasing the likelihood we may experience infant anemia), we are passed from stranger to stranger while we are “cleaned” and bundled in starched blankets and then at last, we may be handed back to our mothers. In the mean time, our baby world has been rocked. We cry out in confusion without having a chance to properly clear and expand our lungs for the first time in a natural fashion. As a result, the first real deep breath we take is often associated with pain. Some times, this association stays rooted in our subconscious for life.

A baby who had a peaceful entrance into the world is by far the best teacher when it comes to proper breathing technique. Watch the way they breathe deeply, especially in sleep. The belly fills and expands. A slight pause, and full release. THIS is how we should be breathing. Slowly, deeply, expansively.

Most of us suffer from a  chronically short breathing pattern. The breath is restricted to the top portion of the lungs. We do not take in the amount of live giving air which we are capable of. We short-change our selves by depriving our cells of the optimal amount of oxygen. Blood flow is restricted, especially in the lower extremities and the ever important pelvic region.

When we take full, deep breaths, drawing the breath in and down, filling the lungs and expanding the belly like a balloon, it presses out against our core from within, giving us a pleasant, nurturing, internal massage.

Most of us adopt this breathing pattern early in life. We learn it from watching others around us. From constantly trying to hold in our gut. From feeling, even subconsciously, the stresses of our lifestyle. Alarm clocks. Fluorescent lights. Traffic jams. Low flying aircraft. Rigid schedules. Relationship struggles. The list goes on.

The dangerous thing is, once we’ve developed the habit of chronically shallow breath, we are subconsciously constantly signaling our bodies that we are under stress. Stress is the number one culprit in the majority of illnesses and disease and causes actual chemical imbalances within us that can lead to a host of issues from headaches, fatigue, and lack of focus, to insomnia, depression, and cancer.

The good new is, with a bit of awareness, this is something that can rather easily be corrected. It is free and available to everyone, regardless of economic status or whether or not you have medical insurance, and has incredible, lasting effects.

Every breath we take is charged with Universal Life-Force. Like food, water, and sunshine, there is no life for us without breath.

Consciously examining and working with your breath is a surefire way to take the fast-track towards greater spiritual understanding. Breathing deeply and slowing nourishes us physically from within, lets out body and mind know we are safe, secure, and relaxed, and allows us to immediately be transported from the future or past where many of us tend to often dwell, to the present moment, the most sacred NOW.

It is here, in this space of silence and stillness, carved out by the rhythms of full deep breaths, moving in and out like a tide, in which we connect to the voice of Spirit.

It is no coincidence that breath-work is the foundation of prayer, yoga, meditation, athletics, tantra, singing, and birth. The air we breathe quite literally links us to the rest of existence. We are exchanging breath with the trees, the mountains, the ocean, and each other. We are breathing the same air that the dinosaurs, saints, ancestors, wolves, tigers, dolphins and birds are breathing. We are in a constant state of energy exchange. We breathe each other in and out, filling our bodies and souls with a greater comprehension of what the phrase, “All is One” really means.

Do you value breath-work the way I do? If so, please hit the like button!

Now it’s your turn. I want to know YOUR number one all time favorite technique for connecting to Spirit and restoring spiritual balance. Tell me about it in the comments below.

I hope someone says “Connecting to Nature!” Because I had a hard time choosing between the two. For me, one links effortlessly into the other, but I’ve placed ‘proper breathing’ into the #1 slot because this is something that could and should be practiced wherever and wherever you may find yourself; In the home, the office, the car, under a waterfall, or atop a wind-swept mountain peak. From my experience thus far, it is often those who are the most disconnected from nature that need, and in turn benefit from, the practice of breathing the most. So grab your favorite oils, turn on the diffuser, love your air cleansing houseplants, and whenever possible, spend each moment you are able to, outside, in the embrace of wild Nature.

Now breathe deep.

Much Love- Sara

 

Number One Tip for Mental Well-being

amazing balance blur boulder

Stay Balanced.

My Favorite Tip to Improve Mental Health:

Meditation. 

Awww what? You disappointed? I can almost hear the groans from here.

“If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” – The Dali Lama

Meditation is a crucial keystone in the quest for inner peace and clarity. “Going Within”, as it is often called, opens doorways from our physical reality into other realms and dimensions. Not only is meditation extraordinarily beneficial for training the mind to remain centered and calm in any situation, but it can be one of the most magical and life changing techniques an individual can learn all on it’s own. Through meditation, we are reminded of what magic really is.

We discover how to be silent, truly silent, so that we may actually hear the whispered messages that the Universe is constantly using to guide us, complimented by the soft wisdom which rises from our own hearts.

We learn to direct and focus thoughts and energy, and then…. to let them go. Aside from enabling us to manifest our desires in the world we know, meditation, at it’s core, is about cultivating and creating inner change. It teaches us that we are far from alone, and that there is a whole diverse host of life forms out there just waiting to connect with YOU, including your authentic Self.

How often do you meditate and what are your biggest challenges? What have you done to overcome those challenges and have the results been worth it? Let me know in the comments.

Much Love- Sara