Look for the Silver Linings

It’s pretty nuts out there, isn’t it? I’m with you. Shaking my head. They are calling this the worst public health crisis of a century.

[And WHY are people hoarding toilet paper? I can see grabbing one of those Costco bundles, but …?]

Right now, as far as I know, all my loved ones are safe. But I know that’s not true of everyone, and quite a few people I know are immune challenged.

I’m not really sure HOW to respond … with prudence, certainly. And Grace. Kindness and Love, obviously.

The important thing is that we all work together to flatten the curve, though, so we don’t overwhelm our health system.

Cattening the Curve, Infographic credit Anne Marie Darling via Twitter

However, this pandemic also provides a few opportunities for us.

One of the potential benefits is an opening of precious time, a chance to take a collective pause. An opportunity to slow down, listen to the birds, take naps, and take care of a few things on your to-do list without the stress of all-the-things that have to be done in any given day..

What have YOU been saying you don’t have time for, for far too long?

Why not use this time to …

☑️Go for long walks in nature.
☑️ Read.
☑️ Draw.
☑️ Paint.
☑️ Write letters.
☑️ Sing.
☑️ Dance in your kitchen.
☑️ Rest.
☑️ Renew.
☑️ Take long hot baths.
☑️ Do sit-ups.
☑️ Organize.
☑️ Declutter.
☑️ Video chat with old friends.
☑️ Clean out the your closet.
☑️ Meditate.
☑️ Pet your dog.
☑️ Fist bump the children in your life. … or hug them if they’re your own.
☑️ Give your lover a massage.
☑️ Binge watch stand-up comedy.
☑️ Have leisurely dinners.
☑️ Nourish your body.
☑️ Drink wine.
☑️ Journal.
☑️ Reflect.
☑️ Learn something new.

☑️ Clear out your self judgments & release the old beliefs that aren’t serving you.😊

The world will probably be different after this.

That change can start with you.

Need help destressing?

This is the universe giving you time to step into the saying “be the change you wish to see” so you re-emerge renewed, refreshed, clear and ready to participate more fully in a better, simpler, more joyful world.

Use this precious time to connect to the truth of your deepest desires, make new discoveries, and grow into “being” the amazing women you are.

I’m also loving the poetry that is arising, and the beauty that is being shared.

Have you seen the Italians singing from their balconies?

Or this poem by Father Richard Hendrick?

Lockdown
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.
– Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFMMarch 13th 2020

Where else have you seen beauty arising out of this time?

Drop me a line …

Much love,

Kristin

International Women’s Day

I just read an email from Michelle Obama, celebrating International Women’s Day. It starts out:  “When I was growing up, my parents made it very clear: I could do anything my brother could do, from playing sports to going to college. That was one of the greatest gifts my family gave to me—a belief that, as a girl, my voice and my talents mattered.”

I have to say, that wasn’t my experience when I was growing up. My parents loved me, no doubt about that. But my sister and I were the ones who educated THEM about what girls could do. They “matured nicely” (as my dad would’ve said) as we proved to them over and over that women could do things that weren’t as … accepted … when they were growing up. And my nieces are reaping the rewards today.

For example, we played sports, but my coach had to talk my parents into allowing me to play basketball as a freshman, because when I begged as a 7th grader –and again as an 8th grader– they thought it was “too rough a sport for their little girl.” (Our team made it to state when I was a sophomore, and I was scoring 30 points / game by the time I was a senior.)

We were expected to go to college, but the “reason” was so that we could meet an eligible man to marry. (Neither my sister nor I met our partners in college.)

As a woman who was raised Catholic, I was taught in subtle ways over and over that my voice and my talents weren’t as important as those of men.

[“But what about honoring Mary!” (That’s my mom’s voice in my head. –I love you mom … she’s a subscriber and a huge supporter of my work.) That’s one of the best parts about Catholicism over other Christian faiths in my opinion, but I’ll leave that whole topic for another day. Forget the president, my mom wanted to be Pope when she was little, and is a fiercely strong feminist role model in her own way, although she might not call herself that. She still water-skis at 80, for example. And the times we missed mass when I was a kid, she played the role of priest. When my niece, Lily, was in 7th grade and racing the 800 meter relay against a boy’s team, her voice was right with me yelling, “BEAT THAT BOY!” and almost crying in pride as Lily did.]

I’ve been thinking about this whole women empowerment thing particularly over the past week as I’ve been finalizing my self-judgment detox and writing about the inner scripts that hold us back from becoming the amazing women we are born to be.

Plus:

  • Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race, leaving us with two old white men to choose from. (No offense to Bernie and Joe, both are WAY better choices than the godawful mysogynist dude in the office today.) But wouldn’t it be nice to have a woman president? Wouldn’t it be nice to show our daughters / granddaughters / nieces that it can happen in our country in our lifetime?
  • I learned about the awful sticker some Canadian oil company created “as a joke” that depicted Greta Thunberg being forcibly raped. (!!)
  • read a statistic that said that 90% of the world still holds a sexist viewpoint (57% in the US!)
  • And read that the # of witches (mostly girl children) being burned in the world is on the rise.
  • And then there is the on-going devastation of the planet, Mother Earth
To Honor International Women’s Day, art by Kristin Halberg

Each of these topics bears more attention than I have time for this morning. And all of them bring me to tears.

As a woman dedicated to helping change the story of women and the planet, on this International Women’s Day my call to you is this:

I am extremely grateful to all the women who have come before us, and done some amazing things to pave the way. But WE need to be the change we wish to see, and we haven’t yet done enough.

We need YOU to step into your full potential and take a stand for women and the planet.

I believe we women are uniquely positioned to shape the world’s future through our influence on our family, our community, our workplace and beyond. For most of us, to do this to our full potential we need deep transformation in the areas of self-belief, relationships, wellness, and purpose.

I believe I was put here on Earth to hold space for the part of you that yearns to unite your desire to belong with your ache to be authentically you, and to help you define, own, express and be appreciated for the gifts you bring to the world. My goal is to help you find your OWN way back to the part of you that knows EXACTLY what to do, and to listen to that wise inner voice that I call your Wild & Wise Heart.

I’ve dedicated the past twenty years of my life to learning about deep transformation, and spent the past twelve guiding women on this journey to step into their potential.

What’s holding YOU back from becoming the influential woman you were born to be?

If it’s that inner script than runs your thoughts, it’s not too late to join my 30-Day Self-Judgment Detox Challenge.

It’s so important that we ditch these inner critical voices, so that we can step into the most capable empowered versions of ourselves.

So I decided to open up the Self-Judgment Detox challenge throughout the month of March.

I’ve got new cohorts starting every Sunday.

Join today!
$27 gets you in

“My friends, do not lose heart.  We were made for these times. … Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but in stretching out to mend the part of the world within our reach.  … Any small calm thing you do makes a difference, but the most calming and powerful action you can take is to stand up and show your soul.”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

We need YOUR voice and YOUR heart and YOUR passion and YOUR most capable amazing self to STAND UP and SHOW YOUR SOUL.

XO

Much love,

Kristin

Are You Unknowingly Contributing to the Negativity in the World?

How often do you judge yourself in any given day?

Cat Judgment is the Best
Everything I learned about judging
I learned from my cat!

If you’re anything like me, it’s more often than you realize.

Last Lent, I chose to give up judgment. Going in, I didn’t think I was a very judgmental person. But I figured it was a good thing to do anyway. “Even a little judgment goes a long way, and the world is a better place without it,” I said to myself smugly, (unaware that I was already judging those people I know who are always judging others.) 

The challenge induced me to pay attention to all the different ways I judged. I was blown away by how often I really did judge other people, especially loved ones, and even more amazed by how often I judged myself!

Of course, judging in its principle form is neutral. You’ve just formed an opinion of something. “Judgment is a good thing, really,” I can hear you saying to yourself. “Without good judgment, people make poor decisions.” 👉 (I’m imagining a finger wagging lecture here.)

But (without going into the difference between judgment and discernment,) many times our opinions are toxic and mean, and they contribute to the toxicity of the world (even if we don’t mean for them to.)

We get a fix of self righteousness for judging others. And for a minute, it makes us feel better than them.

But what about what it’s doing to us after that first minute? What’s causing us to feel those feelings that come before we judge another anyway? Perhaps we feel hurt, or betrayed, insecure, disappointed, or vulnerable. After all, we’ve probably been judging ourselves all day.

According to research, all that negative self talk is the root of many of our other struggles.

“Self judgment leads to feelings of shame and unworthiness, and is the basis of many problems we experience with our relationships, careers, and creative endeavors.” –Clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Tara Brach

Hmmm. Self judgment could be the root cause of those areas where I’m still feeling stuck?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself 

  • Have you done tons of personal growth work, yet still feel like you’re hitting a brick wall in an area (or two?)
  • Are you tired of being single, but have trouble finding the trust you require in a relationship?
  • Or are you married but your relationship isn’t giving you the strength and joy you need?
  • Do you have an idea for the next phase of your life but feel afraid of letting go of the known to make that next leap into the unknown?
  • Maybe you’ve been thinking about trying something new FOR FOREVER, but stay frozen in indecision, unable to be sure it is right for you.
  • Do you want to feel supported, but struggle to ask for and accept help?
  • Do you have good solid friendships and a full life, but still feel alone?

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

See, here’s the thing: all these negative thoughts running through your mind turn into beliefs when they’re repeated often enough. And beliefs are the hidden scripts that run our lives.

“Your beliefs are THE master commanders of your behavior and your results. Beliefs control our bodies and how we respond to crises, criticisms and opportunities. They tell us what to notice, what to focus on, what it means, and what to do about it. “ –Marie Forleo, entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist

And on top of that, beliefs beget behavior.

Which is a fancy alliterative way of saying that the script running through your mind all day long can keep you stuck …

OR you can choose to interrupt those negative patterns and replace them with a new soundtrack.

Transform Self Judgment ~ Transform Your Life ~ Transform the World
I’m the Self Judgment Fairy Godspider.
Interrupt your negative patterns
and replace them with a new soundtrack.

I found the detox process so valuable, I put together a 30-Day Challenge so I could offer it to you this year.

Join me in the month of March for a 30-Day Self Judgment Detox Challenge.

Get in for $27, for a limited time.

This challenge will guide you through:

  • A six step detox process
  • Four + practices to honor and release old wounds
  • Meditations and creative practices for healing old stories
  • Self forgiveness
  • The principles of self-compassion

You will get:

  • Bi-weekly emails with specific instruction
  • Made for you matrixes and journal prompts to help you track your journey
  • Encouragement and inspiration
  • Optional Bonus: Personal check-ins from me via email or text

Join me.

I’d love to hear from you … when are you at your most self-judgmental? What have you noticed about how you feel inside just before you snap a judgment about someone else? What practice(s) have you found most valuable to curb your natural judgmental tendencies? Do you –like I did– think of yourself as a mostly non-judgmental person?

I Quit

Did that grab your attention?

I read a book this week (written about five years ago) that said that we have a NINE SECOND attention span before we succumb to distraction. I bet it’s down to five now.

😂

(Ha ha. Are you still here? 

Fairy Godspider helps you change your story

Then, I read an article that pointed out that WE (you and me, all of us) have the power to create change, especially in our culture in our interactions with each other, with friends and family members, with power and authority, online and professionally, in our businesses and our platforms. We can interrupt the cultural norms we don’t consent to, and we can create new ones. This wasn’t new to me, as it’s been an evolving part of my manifesto for years, but I liked the way the article was worded.)

Have you ever thought of yourself as a culture shaper?

When I was first learning the HeartMath tools (ask me more) I took a year long program called Heart Mastery, which taught me how to apply the basic tools to all the aspects of my life in order to live a more Heart Centered life. In one of those classes, we talked about the power –and the value of– our ATTENTION.

I’m writing this just days before the Super Bowl, so it’s very relevant. Guess how much it costs to run a 30-second ad? I wish I could make you guess a couple times before I just tell you, but:  $5.6 million for a 30-second slot!! Crazy, isn’t it? That’s how much your attention is worth.

50 years of superbowl ad costs

Think of that the next time you’re deciding what to do with it.

It’s true that we place more value on the things we pay for … and WE certainly don’t value our own attention that much, do we? That’s why it’s so easy to get distracted from the Things We Really Want To Do.

So this year, I quit a few things:

  • I quit binging shows on Netflix … and prioritized my “to-do” list instead.
  • I quit my negative self – talk. (Or at least cut it waaaaay back … ) My new mantra is “everything is figuroutable” –thanks Marie*.)
  • I quit isolating myself … and prioritized my friendships and connections instead.
  • I quit ignoring my inner wisdom and depreciating my woo* … and had some major break throughs just this week.

It’s your turn:

What things are you ready to quit this year? What will you do with your time and attention instead? Let me know!

Manifesting 101

Bridesmaid on Wheels
Bridesmaid on Wheels

In the late ’90’s, I called myself the Bridesmaid on Wheels. I kid you not, between the years of 1998 and 2000 ALL my friends got married. And I was invited to be a bridesmaid in SO MANY weddings!! Which was wonderful.

But in the year 2000, when my second roommate in two years moved out, I decided that I was going to buy a house. By myself. For myself.

The spiritual tools I used to help me manifest my dream house came from Sonia Choquette, my first self-selected spiritual teacher. I followed her guidelines through the book Your Heart’s Desire: Instructions for Creating the Life You Really Want.

The three main tools? Desire, Imagination, and Action.

My desire was very clear. I wanted a log cabin, on acreage, with mountain views, on water, in my price range. (Which was around $120,000 at that time.) I applied the tools of imagination and action and found and fell in love with a super cute, but very run down log cabin on the Raging River (near the town of Preston, WA) that was at the end of a dead end road about a mile from a friend. It backed up against DNR land and was PERFECT. Except that the banks wouldn’t give me a loan for it because it had to be a non-conventional loan and I didn’t qualify. Oh man. I was so disappointed. But I didn’t give up.

More action, more looking at houses. So many well meaning people told me I should give up on my dream –for now– and buy a house in Kent, because the prices were lower. But then … (did you know miracles are simply a shift in perspective?) I got a bigger than usual raise, at the same time that ANOTHER super cute, less run down cabin on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River towards the end of a dead end road with views of the mountains dropped its price significantly. I knew it was perfect before I even saw the inside –cathedral ceilings, amazing views– and on Memorial Day weekend 2000, I moved in.

Desire, Imagination, [Persistance], Action. And a great deal of love and appreciation for Sonia.

I’ve since followed that formula to manifest more amazing miracles in my life.

But a couple years ago, when I was struggling to make sense of some things, I decided to schedule a one on one appointment with Sonia. I felt stuck in my business and my relationship and wanted some insight to help me shake loose. Thirty minutes later my hope was rekindled and I had an action plan to move forward.

How about you? What are your desires? Do you feel like your imagination is rusty? Are you looking for more support? I have room for two new one on one clients this month.

Single sessions are $125 through February 1st, or you can purchase a package of four sessions for $475.

Shoot me an email to get on my calendar.

OR …

if you’d like to jump start your imagination, listen to my Sensory Meditation

Get my Sensory Meditation here

Did you miss the invite to join the 20 Days of Kindness to kick off the Roaring Twenties? (You’ll get one email with a kindness prompt every day for twenty days.)

Sometimes just following a prescription for action that makes you feel GOOD can shake loose the blahs and kick off fresh energy. You can subscribe here:

Much love,

Kristin

Begin the Roaring Twenties with Kindness

I’ve been watching everyone do the ten year share … and finally got inspired to dig up my own version. This photo, taken in October of 2009 with (the first set) of my youngest brother’s twins, was the first I came across.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was fit. Very fit. But recently unemployed and so stressed about my next steps I became a little manic. It was a couple years before I learned HeartMath (or Heart Magic as I’m calling my version now) and just a few weeks before I went to Shambhala meditation “camp” and learned to quiet my constantly running mind.

In contrast, here’s me this past November. I may not have changed that much on the outside, but in my inner life SO MUCH has changed.

How about you? When you look back at the last decade, do you see growth and wisdom? Do you see where you took that wrong turn? Or maybe you see where life threw you a curve ball that you haven’t QUITE recovered from … yet.

Either way, NOW is the best time to shine.

Start your year with eleven minutes of kindness: Click here for a Loving Kindness Meditation

OR

Click here to join the Roaring Twenties, 20 Days of Kindness Challenge (and watch for your first email.)

Much love!

Kristin

A Christmas Tale for You

Merry Christmas!

Yesterday afternoon, Justin and I went to Christmas Eve Mass with my mom, my sister, and her family. 

As is my practice since I was a kid, I zoned out during Father’s sermon. I have a special gift for this. Apparently, I’m so good at it that the priest generally thinks I’m paying rapt attention. (I know this because one of my favorite priests from my teen years told my parents he enjoyed giving his sermons when I was there because he could tell I paid avid attention. Ha ha. Not.) It’s my time during Mass when I allow my imagination to float away on its own. Who knows how many realms I’ve traveled during those sermons over the years.

Yesterday, I looked up at the mural of angels surrounding Mary, and began imagining myself into that scene, which reminded me of one of the spiritual practices I learned from Harry Potter and the Sacred Text. (See, I told you you’d be hearing more about this!) This practice is officially called Ignatian Contemplation. (You can learn more about Ignatian Spirituality here. Or under Resources in Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.) Vanessa and Casper (hosts of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text) tend to adapt the official practices a bit, which I love. In this practice, they invite you to enter the text through the eyes of any character you choose. 

I decided to imagine myself into the gospel reading — the one you all probably know, from Luke, that begins “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken …” And then takes you through most of the characters and scenes you associate with the birth of Christ, from the angels in the sky to the shepherds in the fields, and into the stable with the animals, Mary, Jesus and Joseph. 

I decided to imagine myself into the story, first as a shepherd, then as Mary. Before I could imagine any other characters, the congregation chuckled at Father’s second joke, which I missed entirely. (I was disappointed, actually, because the first one was pretty good.) So I popped back into the real world.

But, the practice made me feel more present to and added back a new level of sacredness to the story of Christmas that surprised me. 

I thought as it was appropriate for Christmas, I would invite you to do the same, and give you a taste for yourself of one of the reasons I get so much out of Harry Potter and the Sacred Text.

Sacred Imagination Practice

Step One: Choose any character you like. You can even choose other well-known characters not mentioned specifically in the text, such as the Wise Men or the Little Drummer Boy … or even imagine that you time-traveled and found yourself there as an invisible spectator.

Step Two: Once you have selected the character you wish to imagine yourself into, close your eyes and listen to the text. (I’ve recorded it here for your convenience.) Imagine yourself into the scene using all of your senses and emotions. What do you smell, taste, touch, see, hear, feel?

Step Three: Listen to it once more with the same practice. You can either switch up your character, or go a little deeper into the first character’s perspective.

Step Four: (Optional) In a true gospel contemplation, you would finish by speaking person to person to Christ, saying what comes from your heart.

I’d love to know how this went for you. What character did you choose? Did this make the scripture come to life for you in a way it hadn’t before? Did it change the way you relate to this well-known story?

Hope your final days of 2019 are wonderful.

Much love,

Kristin

PS) Looking for a beautiful way to set intentions and create a plan for 2020? 

  • Purchase one of Danielle LaPorte’s books or planners and go for the deep dive, infusing your goals and intentions for the year with how you want to FEEL first and foremost. 
  • Listen to Marie Forleo’s Decade in Review exercises.
  • Or follow along as I guide you through a sensory meditation. (Use discount code MerryChristmas at checkout.

What of your rushed and useful life …?

And you -what of your rushed and / useful life? Imagine setting it all down -papers, plans, appointments, everything, / leaving only a note: “Gone to the fields / to be lovely. Be back when I’m through / with blooming.”

Poet, Lynn Ungar, from “Camas Lilies”
get outside

February was an unseasonably cold and snowy month for those of us on the Olympic Peninsula. The snow started falling Sunday the 3rd of February, and we can still see patches of unmelted snow in the field behind the house.

The dogs and I enjoyed trompsing in it, but I’m grateful that my lifestyle allows me to limit my time on the roads .

Now that the Equinox and the frogs in our pond have loudly proclaimed it to be spring, I invite you to imagine setting down everything in your life, and writing the note described above. Do you even know what you would do if you could “go to the fields to be lovely”? And be back when you’re “done blooming?”

If you’re like most people, you’re too caught up in your “rushed and useful” life to imagine that it might be different. Until, that is, you’re forced to … through a threshold not of your choosing.

A colleague and I used to walk the waterfront trails in Seattle, to help us think more creatively as we brainstormed a workshop on living a vital life.

One day we got onto the topic of societal expectations: how so many of us simply set out into the world following the blueprint society created for us –go to school, get a job, get married, have children, buy a house, acquire things, raise children, retire –without thinking about whether those choices are suitable for our unique spirit.

In following this pre-subscribed routine, many of us end up with health problems, or become increasingly restless or burned out. If we’re not working in a job that utilizes our best skills, and the lifestyle best suited to us, we muddle along feeling frustrated. Over time this disconnection from our “best-ish” self –the one connected to our highest potential– can contribute to anxiety, depression and lowered self-esteem.

When either of these scenarios play out, instead of looking inside to our own inner intelligence for solutions, we tend to look outside for prescriptions or escape. We choose things like prescription drugs, substance abuse, or excessive entertainment which keep us stuck in the scenario of escaping, and watching / consuming other people’s lives rather than figuring out how to better live our own.

girl brushing teeth
Habits like brushing your teeth can be healthy.

There is nothing wrong with any of these choices as a temporary fix. But practices become habits when we do them over and over. Habits can be beneficial: the habit of brushing your teeth twice a day, for example, leads to good oral hygiene and prevents tartar build up, cavities, and bad breath.

Plenty of your habits may have served a purpose at one time in your life, but if you continue to follow these habits without listening to your inner voice –your spirit, or Wild and Wise Heart– eventually you lose the ability to connect with this part of you that is deeply connected to your own well-being.

So, what can you do instead?

Step One: Quiet Your Mind

You can google benefits of meditation and find hundreds of articles on how a meditation practice will benefit you, and plenty more that will teach you how. But I know that those of you who do not already have a meditation practice are skeptical. The good news is that if sitting quietly cross-legged on the floor repeating simple mantras to yourself doesn’t sound natural to you, there are other ways to quiet your mind.

Quiet Your Mind
Quiet Your Mind to find your wild and wise heart

A few are active choices –yoga, xi gong, trail running, hiking, fly fishing, knitting, collage, coloring, gardening– to list just a few. Quieting your mind, or mindfulness, is simply the ability to pay attention, on purpose, nonjudgmentally, to the present moment.

Honestly, this can be done anywhere and anytime, especially doing the things you already love to do. You simply need to be taught how, and then make it a practice, until it becomes a habit.

In my opinion, the easiest, most powerful way to quiet your mind is to leave it.

“In my opinion, the easiest, most powerful way to quiet your mind is to leave it.”

Author and Transformational Life Coach, Kristin Halberg

To do this, simply drop your awareness down to your heart. You can place your hand over your heart to add a physical component to this practice, but it isn’t necessary. When you drop your awareness into your heart, and breathe, just slightly more deeply than usual, imagine that your breath is flowing in and out of this heart area. This practice essentially creates a “time-out” for your mind, which enables you to let thoughts go.

Trees hugging
Intelligent and

Then ground yourself to the earth, by imagining that your awareness is dropping down into your hips, then down your legs to your feet, and connecting you to the earth with invisible roots, intertwining you with loved ones, like trees.*

Then bring your awareness back to your heart, and continue to breathe, imagining your breath is flowing in and out through your heart area for 30 seconds, more if you have the time.

I call this tool my inner sanctuary tool … everything else begins to drop away, and it’s just me and my heart, and the Earth. This tool helps to clear all the static, stories, and amplified emotions your mind creates on a regular basis and begins to reconnect you to what I call your Wild and Wise Heart.

As with all habits, this becomes easier over time. I tell my clients to practice this tool 20 – 25 x per day … but in the beginning, for only five – ten seconds at a time. Essentially, what you are doing is creating a new very simple habit, which will then serve you when you need it the most. You can use this tool in-the-moment and on-the-fly. Or you can combine it with any of the active mindfulness activities I suggested above.

Step Two: Reconnect with your Wild & Wise Heart

There are numerous ways to reconnect with your Wild & Wise Heart. Kicking off the Inner Sanctuary practice will help you jump start this relationship.

However, once you start to feel this reconnection, you will want to kick it up a notch. For this, you’ll need to set aside some time for yourself. Trust me, even though this might be hard at first, it will be well worth it.

Journaling in Nature, Write with the Heart
Once you start to feel this connection, you’ll want to kick it up a notch.
  1. Get out a journal or a piece of paper and begin by writing down five things you love to do.
  2. Next, write down three to five things that get in your way of doing these things on a regular basis.
  3. Now, do a time inventory. Think back over the past five days. Did you fall into any of your old “time quick-sand” habits, where you got lost in an activity that didn’t bring you as much value as the time you spent on it? (If so, don’t beat yourself up for this. Just bring awareness to it, write it down, and then drop your awareness into your heart, and breathe until you can feel yourself in your inner sanctuary again.)
  4. Next, do a mindset inventory. Did you fall into any mindset obstacles? (These are things like: I need to set aside hours to do this, I need more money to do this, I can’t do this because ….) Again, the goal here is simply to bring awareness to these thought habits, and then go back to your inner sanctuary.
  5. Release your attachment to all the obstacles. To do this, simply ask these questions, “I wonder where I could find 10 – 15 minutes in my day to do one of these things I love?” And “I wonder if there is some approach that belies these beliefs that I might be able to try today?” Write down your answers. (Try this: write your questions with your dominant hand, then switch to the other hand and write the answers. This is a trick to further interrupt your neuro-typical habits.)
  6. Then act. Follow through –for a minimum of ten minutes– on one of the suggestions you gave yourself.

I’d love to hear how this challenge goes for you. After you try it, please drop me a note in the comments below.


If you’d like further support and more tools to re-member your Wild and Wise Heart, join my 5-day spring challenge: Back When I’m Through Blooming.

*For more information on intelligent and wise hearted trees, watch Intelligent Trees, a documentary by German Forester Peter Wohlieben and UBC scientist Suzanne Simard.