Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Being bullish with my business coach.

"Advice is what we ask for 
when we already know the answer
but wish we didn't." 
-Erica Jong

I recently started working with a business coach, who I initially resisted for a couple of reasons. He'd worked with my good friend and boosted her business beyond her expectations, so there was a bit of legitimacy there. Then, when I got on the phone with him, I realized that what he was saying he could offer was exactly what I needed. 

There's a catch.

A business coach can fire you from working with them, if you're not doing what they're saying. My coach is already full up and took me after an hour long conversation about whether we'd be the right fit. Now, here I am, realizing that while I initially thought I would be super stoked and my patterned-A+-student behavior, I'm turning out to be anything but. 

Why?

Because he's forcing me to look at the fundamentals of my business; he's not sugar-coating money or budget; and most importantly, he's having me redefine what I believe is my worth and my value. The reason that he says most clients don't succeed at coaching, is because they're drawn to the drama and want to keep it in their lives — the stress, the worry, the not believing that everything will work out and having something to complain about with people in their lives, the lack of living up to one's fullest potential. All of this. We say we don't like it, and yet we keep doing it all the time.

I'm stubborn. I've known that for a long time. Because there are two flip sides to every attribute, I've used this perseverance to my advantage to achieve goals that many have expressed are fairly impressive. In homeopathic medicine, you learn that the same thing that can cause you poison can also be your cure — it's just in the right amounts. And, that's much like the balance we're striving for in yoga, or the equilibrium we seek in life. Not too much, not too little, just right. Who thought that Goldilocks taught us from the get go one of the most valuable lessons we would have such a hard time wrangling as we grew up? 

Part of me thinks that I'm resistant to my coach's advice, because I think I know better. And, I have a hard time trusting that if I follow everything he says I should do, that I'll not only surpass the goals I've set, but that I'll be much healthier and happier for it. One of his biggest things is to "DO LESS." I'm writing down my revenue streams and his advice continues to be that you need to get one performing consistently, at least at 80%, before you add another one on. For me, because my careers and interests have always been so diverse, I have a hard time whittling things down and putting it on the back burner for later reference. Instead, like most of our culture today, I want INSTANT GRATIFICATION. 

Start a new yoga & Reiki business? Sure! 
Keep cultivating my freelance writing career? You betcha!
Start teaching online classes? No problem! 
Get to penning my memoir? Of course!

And the list goes on from there, because I haven't yet included all the things I personally love to do — surf, climb, yoga, hike, learn, etc.

My rational thinking mind believes everything my coach is saying. My heart and my soul? All of me genuine believes that he's right. But, my habitual patterns seem to have become a monster that are taking over the territory until I've reached a point where I'm now getting emails from my coach with the stern warning, "I've told you several times. Please take my coaching advice."

Okay okay fine, I'll give it a shot. It's not going to be easy, and I bet I'll continue to revert back to what I think I know, but for now, I'll acknowledge this barrier I've set up and spend a hearty portion of my consciousness breaking it down. 

Do less. Trust more. Live happy.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Who said you have to be perfect to be in a relationship?

"With every action or thought, 
we are displaying an open heart or a closed heart." 

In about a week, my beau and I are moving in together. This was not without fanfare or lengthy discussions, which many of my good friends can attest to and in fact, the final decision came when we had reached a crossroads in our relationship, where we were deciding whether it would be best to honor one another by being together or by respecting our individual paths in life.

A few weeks ago, my dear friend and former roommate encouraged me to sign up for the Enchanted Love Workshop that Marianne Williamson had recently recorded and I'm glad I did. Because I did not grown up with positive role models when it comes to love or marriage, much of what I've learned about these concepts has been through trial and error, hopeless romantic comedies and fables, and the types of relationships I've witnessed through friends and acquaintances. Ultimately, I have been pursuing a hodgepodge-constantly-shifting definition of what I wanted my ideal partner to be and how I envisioned my life with him would look.

And, I bought into the belief that I first had to learn how to love myself and be perfect, before anyone else could love me. Marianne Williamson's response to that idea is, "Bullshit. Who ever said that you need to be perfect to be loved? You learn more about your divine nature while being IN a relationship. That's why you're there in the first place!"

She emphatically teaches that you will meet the mate who inevitably is there to trigger your old wounds. The Universe is in perfect order, and it will continue to present opportunities where you have the choice of growing more or closing up. Your true partner will be that person who helps you reconnect with the divinity within and who encourages you to grow past your past — though the ways in which these lessons are learned may not always be pleasant. Simultaneously, you will be that same energy and impetus for them. Marianne believes that if you don't learn it this time around, the Universe will continue offering these chances until you learn what you're meant to. Mostly, she asserts that your ideal partner is not meant to be the shining knight who fixes all your problems with a swish of the sword or an act of valor. Instead, they are there to support you in becoming your own hero.

That is exactly what my beau is to me, which is what I realized so clearly on that night we were chatting on the wooden bench overlooking the ocean in the dark evening hours. We spoke and listened and asked each other, as well as ourselves, whether we had it within us to learn to genuinely love and unconditionally accept one another. It was then, after months of consideration and deliberation, that it became exactly the right moment to decide to move in together.

My beau shows me again and again how to love myself more, how this process of learning to do so not only inspires greater compassion for myself where I begin to accept the parts that aren't my favorite, but also how in turn, I learn to grow my heart bigger and include him and others with the same sun shower of respect, honor and care.

It's not easy to be with someone who triggers your old wounds. Just last night, we were talking about whether we wanted to have children, what gender roles and finances mean, what our ideal future would look like. And, all throughout it, old ideas and painful stories came up, giving us an opportunity to evaluate our present moment with a fresh pair of eyes, a different mind, a clearer heart.

It's also not easy to let go of the things you thought you had always wanted — the things you thought you had always needed — to make the past wrongs become right. But, as Marianne touts in her workshop, "You are born again in any moment where you do not bring the past with you."

I shake my head in amazement at times, when I realize that we truly were brought together to help elevate one another individually and as a partnership. It doesn't look the way I had scripted, but the Universe is wiser than my ego, and our higher selves knew exactly what they were getting themselves into!

In truth, when I'm okay with the vulnerability and not acting from a place of severe protection, I believe that my beau teaches me how to love myself more. He teaches me how to genuinely love others without expectations of things in return, without attachments or preconceived notions, without judgment. He shows me what an incredible impact I can make on those around me — including him. We are not without problems and there have been several times where we thought the challenges were insurmountable. But, through clear communication and a deeper ongoing learning about ourselves especially within the context of one another, we have created a unifying presence between the two of us that is real, a love with roots and seedlings and blooming flowers in all sorts of vibrant hues.

One of my favorite yoga teachers signs her emails, "Student of Life." And I am learning again and again that perfection is not only unattainable, it's an ever elusive goal that only serves to make me feel like I'm failing in ways minute and major, a driving tendency that keeps me from being in a state of pure bliss for the fact that I am whole just as I am right now.

I'm excited for the adventures ahead. I feel like there's a greater life than I could ever have dreamed of, one that opens up to me in each and every moment. Through grace, gratitude, love, and support, I am blessed and I wish for every one in this world to meet the person who will help them love themselves more, be it a friend, family member, confidante, partner, beau, or sometimes, even a complete stranger walking down the street...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy News: Hawk and Lily Inner Beauty Ambassadors

"Women are always beautiful."
-Ville Valo

I am always amazed by the caliber of people I have in my life who show me what humanity and compassion and love are all about. The women I know are the most phenomenal around! And, I'm blessed that they're willing to be Hawk and Lily Inner Beauty Ambassadors to share the joy of all of our heartmade creations on Etsy

Julia
Her accomplishments are incredible — Stanford alum, Editor-in-Chief at Triathlete Magazine, competitive athlete, adoring mom, and founder of Oeno Beauty — but that's not why I love her. I love Julia because she is phenomenally sweet, thoughtful, supportive, and strives to balance a professional career with a thriving family life. She's human, with daily concerns and to-do's just like the rest of us, but she takes it all in stride and continues to move forward with beauty and grace. And, woven throughout her approach to life, Julia truly knows how to laugh and have fun! 

Dee
From the moment you see her, Dee is striking. She's over 6' tall and has a wildflower head of dreads. What comes across even more astoundingly than her physical features is the fact that pure love emanates from everything within her. She is a successful entrepreneur with her business Kheya, where she helps people feel good on so many levels. Dee inspires people to find strength within and to allow themselves to be cared for in turn. She's independent in style and thought, and greets each day with a smile that begins from her heart. In every interaction I've ever had with Dee, I am always invigorated to grow to a fuller potential, because she believes the best in everyone. As a certified Labor Doula, she also helps to bring about new life into this world and how lucky these babies are to be welcomed by a glowing warmth that wraps you from head to toe.

Kathryn
There's a lot of info out there in the world wide web about why Kathryn's awesome — incredible yoga classes, exciting ToeSox spokesperson, devoted animal lover. One of her most endearing traits is her relate-ability, because she connects with people on simply a human level. Through her teaching, you get inspired by the fun of yoga and life, where students embark on a genuine discovery of all the power and pleasure we're capable of. She encourages you to believe that you can truly do that very hard thing that suddenly doesn't seem like it was that hard after all (even though it still was, she just makes you feel good about the journey!). Kathryn's committed to aiming true and encourages you to let that be your guiding light in life, so that you have a great base from which to start shifting things around. Plus, she's incredibly funny and gives you plenty to laugh about — including the lesson of learning how to laugh at yourself — and she loves food. 'Nuff said.

Roeshan
There's something about Roe that every time we're around one another, we get each other without having to say very much. Energetically, we feel that there's something special linking us to one another, and it's a beautiful journey to discover what that is. Roe is super sweet. (That pretty much encapsulates her essence.) She's also an incredible holistic healthcare practitioner and founder of Beacon of Light Therapeutics in Solana Beach. When Roeshan works on you, or is even around you, something feels happier because of it!


There are more wonderful women in the world who we're approaching to become Hawk and Lily Inner Beauty Ambassadors, individuals who represent all of the qualities Hawk and Lily believes in or embodies. (And, we know there are guys out there too who are absolutely awesome, so honoring you will happen in the near future, too!) If you'd like to share your story, so that we can celebrate who you are, and potentially receive a heartmade creation just for you, contact us today!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy News: Hawk and Lily's Etsy Store Has Launched!

"Think left and think right and think and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up
if only you try!"
-Dr. Seuss

I'm very excited to announce the launch of Hawk and Lily's Etsy store! It's such a wonderful opportunity to combine my love for creativity, arts & crafts, writing, photography, and celebrating people! This latter one is partly because my sweet friend will also be designing pieces along with me, as making jewelry has been a passion of hers for longer than mine. And, because it's an opportunity to celebrate each recipient. 

Here's what Hawk and Lily products are all about

Each heart-made piece is handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. Inspired by the Japanese Mahayana Buddhist philosophy of Wabi-sabi, we believe that true beauty comes from all that's imperfect. Essentially, the "perfection" lies in all the things we often feel are "imperfect" about ourselves. 
"Wabi" connotes a meditative understanding that the marks we acquire in life — be it on our skin or on our soul — add to the uniqueness and elegance of who we are. "Sabi" is the idea that serenity comes with age, where we learn about how the impermanence of everything encourages us to be in the moment and cherish it more. 
Together, Wabi-Sabi is the material representation of everything Zen. Rather than becoming lost in unnecessary thoughts and worries, we can choose to surround ourselves by what is natural, changing, and unique to connect us to all that's real and meaningful in the Universe. 
Every piece is also intended to be a celebration and a reminder of how beautiful each individual truly is — exactly as we are right now. It's an experience of truth! And, I personally infuse each creation with loving Reiki energy to ensure that you will always have something close to your heart as that's filled with unconditional healing care.
Eventually, our store will host a wide array of products that support and supplement our workshops. Please visit as often as you'd like and share the news! In the meantime, I hope you'll take a peek and purchase if you'd like. :)

May each and every one of us always love what we do, no matter how big or medium or small.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Do you believe in psychics?

"Faith is a passionate intuition." 
-William Wordsworth

The other day, my beau and I decide to go for lunch in a little Italian restaurant in Encinitas. It was late afternoon, so the only people in the restaurant were the cooks, the server, and a father and son in the back room chewing on spaghetti.

"You look familiar," the bubbly brunette waitress said to me.

"Do you take yoga classes here in Enci?" I asked. "I teach at the Soul of Yoga."

"No, that's not it..." she thought for a moment. "Have you been to Mozy's Cafe in Leucadia? I work there, too." 

I nodded, we smiled, and after she took our order, she said, "Y'know, there's a psychic in the back if you want to get a reading. He just did mine and it tripped me out! I mean, he writes something down on a piece of paper before he even starts talking to you, then balls it up and tells you to hold onto it. He reads your fortune, and at the end, tells you to unwrap the piece of paper. It's trippy! He had written down exactly my age and my boyfriend's age! And, I'm 21 — he's 38, so it's not like that's a likely guess."

My beau, ever the skeptical one when it comes to the "woo," as we call it, looked at her quizzically. I turned to him after she left. "Let's do it. You should go do it! It's only $20. C'mon." 

"Why me?!" he asked, reluctant yet slightly interested. "Because I know people who can do this any time I want. It's rare that you come across anyone like this. C'mon" 

After a bit of goading, he said, "Allll right," and followed me to the back room. The son, who had gorgeous blue eyes and longish hair that loosely covered his gaze, looked a little bored. The father, an Indian man with wide eyes and dark wavy hair got up from his seat and scooted over to the next booth, making room for us. 

As the waitress said, he immediately wrote something down on a piece of paper against his black leather Franklin Covey-esque organizer. He ripped it off the rest of the sheet, blew on it, then handed it to my beau and told him to hold it in his right hand. 

Throughout the next ten minutes, this complete stranger said an array of on-target things that he could not possibly have known. I could tell that my beau was startled, and letting it sink in, and when he was all through, the fortune teller told my beau to think of his wish and believe that it would come true. Then, he asked him to unwrap the ball of paper.

In it, was my age, my beau's age, and a random number that he had asked my beau to select — all were accurate. 

We went back to our lunch, walking on ground that now seemed slightly uneven for our shifted perspective. I was intrigued, so after we munched on a bit of chicken parmigiana, I told my beau I wanted to do it, too. 

Back we went, and this time, the son — quiet and polite — barely looked up from his pasta. His father scooted into a booth with me and my beau sat to my left, curious to hear what I would be told. As he did before, the fortune teller wrote something on a ball of paper, and asked me to hold it in my left hand. He then proceeded to tell me the years of my life that were challenging, what it was like growing up, what people think of me now. He predicted what the years ahead would bring, asked me what I wanted most in my life, and towards the end, even gave me the age range I was expected to live until. My beau got a hard number, I got a span of years, and I assume this was because he must have known that had he given me an exact year, I would've fixated on it for the rest of my life. 

At the end, he asked me what to pick a flower. 

"Lily?" I asked, because of course, Hawk and Lily. He asked me to pick another. "Peony?"

"What's your favorite number?" he asked in an accented tone. 

"I don't really have one," I scrunched my eyebrows in response. "Um, okay, I'll pick 8?" thinking in my head that it was a good default number since that's what Chinese people always say is lucky. 

"And you want good luck?" he affirmed.

"Yeah!"

"Blow on the ball of paper in your left hand," I did as I was told. "Now, think of your greatest wish, and I will pray for it, too." 

He then nodded to indicate I could unwrap the scrap of paper and as I did, my mouth dropped open.

On it, he had written: 

Lily
8
Good luck

"No way?!" I exclaimed. "No way!!" 

I showed my beau and shook my head in amazement. My eyes were as big as this newly expanded sense of unexplainable coincidence and fifteen minutes later, I was still in an amused sort of shock.

Fortune telling is a large part of Chinese culture — my parents and relatives were all highly superstitious growing up. There's a sense that if you do wrong, if you don't appease the gods, they'll invoke punishment upon you. 

Now, my idea of fortune telling has shifted into one where I believe we all have a sense of intuition, and it's a matter of how much we want to open a greater awareness of what's real, what's perceived and what's right for us. It's both empowering and a little frightening to know how much you can sense what's happening and where it will lead. I used to put so much stock in what other people told me for how my life was going to turn out. Over the years, I've experienced many "psychics" who've all offered different slants on what's to come. It's important to remember that the words are coming from someone else, who has their own life story and interpretations of what's good/right/bad/wrong. And, that though there are many philosophies which believe we are born with a certain destiny, this is a seed within us that needs our will to manifest and grow. We have the power to choose to change. When we remember that, regardless of what anyone else says, it's an amazing gift to be respectful of.

Years ago in LA, I was at a party at a bar and there was someone reading palms for free. She explained to me that your non-dominant hand is how you were innately born, much like the Prakruti we learn about in Ayurveda, while your dominant hand is how you actually live your life, similar to the Vikruti. She thought it was interesting that I was born with a very bohemian and free-flowing type of nature, but that that the way I lived my life — the way I feel I was forced to become because of the environment I grew up in — was one of rigid structure, rules, lines not meant to be crossed.

I'm happy to say that I'm returning to my own Prakruti and loving it. It's an ever-evolving process, one where you start to feel more comfortable in your own skin. And the less we can look externally for validation, then the more we start to feel it sprout up from our own hearts, minds, and souls. I love my life the way it is now, and all the opportunities that are ahead. I've worked damn hard to get to this point on many levels, and while I can't predict what the future will hold, it's always nice to hear that things will be sunny from here on out.

Our will is more powerful than we know. Honor your will and live true.

***

Have you had experiences with psychics before? Have they told you things that became self-fulfilling prophecies, because they planted a seed in your mind that you allowed to grow? What seeds can you plant for yourself, then water and nourish to see things flourish?