Many Different Roads

paths

I’ve been here, on this Earth, for long enough to have discovered that there is more than one way to do something, more than one way to get to wherever it is that we want to go, and more than one road to take.

Some of us will take the straight road – one that is easy and free of struggle – one that feels light and joy-filled. Some of us will take the road that twists and turns so much that we feel completely disoriented after being on it. Some of us will take the road that seems to have more dead ends than through streets. And some of us will take the road that is so steep and tumultuous that we fear we’ll never reach our destination.

Some of our roads will be freshly paved and smooth, and we’ll feel like we’re on top of the world when we’re traveling on them – effortlessly gliding across them with great ease.

And some of our roads will be filled with potholes and objects to watch out for, and we may feel like we’ve made a mistake – that there must be something wrong with us to have chosen such a horrible road.

But here’s the thing: there is always so much we can learn from any of the roads that we’re on. And being on a “hard road” doesn’t mean that we’ve made a mistake. It simply means that we’re gathering information that is helping to expand our soul and our experience here on Earth. It means that we have the opportunity to discover new parts of ourselves while in the face of difficult terrain. And it means that when we reach our destination, we’ll be able to keep all of these discoveries in our hearts and continue to learn more about ourselves and about this world that we live in.

Would it be easier if we always chose the smooth road that simply took us from A to B? Of course! But if we only took the smooth road, we wouldn’t get to experience everything else that’s available to us. And if we didn’t have the experience of these other, more difficult roads, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the smooth road nearly as much.

I’ve been on some really rough roads throughout my life. And I’ve also been on some really smooth roads. Sometimes (like now), I’m on several roads at once – each of which has a different terrain. For example, the road with my husband has been blissfully smooth for almost 14 years. I never knew that such a road existed before I met him, and I’m so appreciative. However, the road that I’ve been on surrounding my health has been really bumpy, difficult, and filled with twists and turns, dead ends, potholes, and obstacles. But being on this road is teaching me so much about myself and about life, and I know that when I’ve learned what it is I need to know, the road will become smooth again.

This is all part of the journey. And it’s a journey that we’re all on together.

If you’re currently on a smooth road, be sure to embrace it and enjoy it! And if you’re currently on a bumpy road, see if you can find the goodness that it brings as well – see if you can thank it for helping you grow. Because that’s exactly what it’s there for.

I’m sending love to all of us – no matter where we are on the journey and no matter what the ride currently feels like. It’s all good; it’s all valuable; and it’s all exactly right.

Hugs,

jodi

200 sale copyP.S. – There’s just a few days left to pay whatever you can for my Coming Back to Life ecourse! It normally sells for $147, but I have it set up where you can pay whatever you can this month!

If you’re tired of feeling numb and disconnected and are ready to wake up and start living fully, I hope you’ll sign up. This course comes straight from my heart, and it’s touched hundreds of lives so far. It’s my hope that it will be a healing tool for you as well. You can learn more here.

Shifting It

feel good copyThe other day, it seemed like a dark cloud was following me everywhere I went.

I woke up from a not-so-restful sleep to the sound of bulldozers shaking the entire house. An old neck injury flared up. We were surrounded by smoke from nearby forest fires, which was making me cough and feel altogether crappy.

I took the day off from work, and I wandered around the house not sure what to do with myself – I just wasn’t in the mood for anything, and I felt like my life was just passing me by.

I woke up in a bad mood, and I spent much of the day in a bad mood. I was frustrated and sad and felt completely powerless.

I went to my bed and cried, which usually helps me to feel better. I love crying – it’s such a great way to release all of my emotions that are boiling over and aren’t sure where to land. It’s usually very grounding for me, but this time it didn’t seem to alleviate any of my angst.

My soul kept asking me to get out – to leave the house – to shift it. 

But you know how when you’re feeling really down the last thing you want to do is summon the energy to get dressed and get ready and get out? That’s where I was. And so I stayed in bed and pulled the covers up.

But my soul is persistent, and it wouldn’t let it go. I could almost feel it pulling the covers back, taking my hand and brushing my hair, picking out some clothes, and pushing me out the door.

I knew from past experience that when going to my bed doesn’t do the trick, more drastic measures are needed. And getting out of the house and shifting my energy and being in a new environment always seems to help.

So my husband and I drove across the street and went into a couple of stores. We looked around, bought some things, and then came home an hour later.

Nothing really had changed externally, but so much had changed internally. My outlook changed. My demeanor changed. The dark cloud that had been over me since I woke up that morning had lifted.

I ate some cookies. I played a game. I snuggled with my cats. I chatted with my husband. And I smiled and felt at peace. I was back.

I don’t mind being sad. And I don’t mind being frustrated. I know that they are part of the human experience, and I always learn so much about myself when I’m in the midst of these emotions. But sometimes, they have a way of coming in all at once and taking over, and when that happens I don’t feel like I am learning from them – I just feel buried by them. So shifting is a great way for me to lessen their strength so that I am better able to understand them and grow from them.

I’m so glad my soul kept at it. I’m so grateful that I listened. And I’m so happy that I remembered to shift it all. It works wonders every single time. I highly recommend it the next time you’re having a “dark cloud” moment or are feeling underwater in any way. It truly doesn’t take much to shift, but the impact that it had is so powerful.

Hugs,

jodi

200 sale copyP.S. – I’m celebrating the Coming Back to Life ecourse’s 3rd anniversary by having a sale! It normally sells for $147, but I have it set up where you can pay whatever you can this month!

If you’re tired of feeling numb and disconnected and are ready to wake up and start living fully, I hope you’ll sign up. This course comes straight from my heart, and it’s touched hundreds of lives so far. It’s my hope that it will be a healing tool for you as well. You can learn more here.

Embracing Presence + A Gift for You

soulful-shout-out

I absolutely love the Soulful Shout Out series here on Soul Speak! I get to highlight and introduce you to beautiful people and their wonderful offerings!

dave

988890_10153587438362004_9206186701417908682_nToday, I am happy to introduce you to my friend, Dave Rowley from Welcome Presence!

Dave is a member of my Soul Shakers’ community, and I’ve had the chance to get to know him over the last year. Like me, he is a sensitive, introverted soul, and I just love his energy and his spirit. I feel blessed to know him, and I’m glad you’ll get a chance to know him better, too!

Dave is a presence coach, which is something that I feel is so needed in our fast-paced world. He has a very calming and grounding personality, which you’ll get a sense of in our interview below. Keep reading to learn more about what presence coaching is, why it matters, and how you can benefit from it!

Dave has also created a wonderful free ebook for you, which we’ll share below as well!

Welcome to Soul Speak, Dave!

I would love to start by asking you to share more about what exactly presence coaching is, especially for those who are hearing about it for the first time.

Presence coaching is a kind of life coaching that uses presence as the starting point.

When I say ‘presence’ I mean something like ‘mindful,’ but I prefer the word presence. Sometimes, the word ‘mindful’ comes across to me as a little clinical and detached. I like the term presence because it seems to invite more of me into awareness than just my mind. And there’s a real emphasis in our coaching sessions on inviting awareness of the body, and including emotion as well as thought. There is even some exploration of our surroundings as we explore being in relationship to the world we live in.

Working with presence can:

  • Encourage you to access your own inner wisdom.
  • Create a sense of spaciousness around the issue you are working on.
  • Help you disentangle from other people’s, or your own, misplaced expectations.
  • Make it easier to recognize your own habitual responses.
  • Make new and more skillful responses possible.
  • Give you a sense of belonging.

What excites me most about working with presence is that once you get a taste of being with yourself in this way, it creates a desire to be even more present to your life. That’s what makes this such a beautiful way to work.

In a typical session we probably spend at least half of our time doing simple experiments or explorations based on paying attention to our present moment experience. (I say “We” because I’m doing this along with the client, as much as possible.) We do this by giving attention to our breath, guiding our awareness to different parts of the body, interacting with our surroundings, and feeling what’s there right now.

It doesn’t take long for the client (and coach!) to start feeling more connected, grounded, and calm within themselves. This gives us a great starting point for the the other element of the session – working on the issue, or issues, the client has chosen.

As we work through the client’s issue(s) we keep coming back and checking in with the body, noticing our inner responses to what we have been discussing. This process of moving between the discussion and getting quiet and paying attention to the body yields some really interesting and useful information.

I would love to hear more about what led you to becoming a presence coach.

On the personal side, I walked into a meditation centre in Sydney over twenty years ago, sat down, and had a very uncomfortable first-time experience of meditation. By the time the bell had rung to finish I had already decided this was not for me. Luckily, I stayed for a cup of tea and the teacher was so gracious and kind, and spoke with me about my experience. She assured me that this was something I would be able to do. Two weeks later I arrived at my first meditation retreat.

Since then I have practiced and studied meditation. At times I have been so pushy and hard on myself, meditating for long hours, working with teachers, and doing retreats, while at other times I have completely fallen away from my practice for long stretches.

Right now, presence is my practice. The idea of pushing to be more present seems a little funny to me now. I practice presence as a way of caring for myself and feeling my own life more. Hopefully, that helps me to respond to things that happen with a bit more intelligence and care. There is a place in my presence practice for sitting meditation, and I also like to fold presence into more ordinary activities like walking, eating, gardening, or just being in my body and noticing what that’s like.

On the professional side, I worked for nearly a decade as a drug and alcohol worker, mostly in community-development projects and working closely with local artists. I loved working in this way, and I got to see people make amazing changes in their lives though accessing their sense of creativity.

When I made the switch to coaching, I first trained as a creativity coach. After a while I started to realise the aspect of creativity that really excited me was that sense of deep presence and peace you get when you’re completely absorbed in your creative work.

Over a period of a few years I moved towards ‘creative presence’ as the focus in my coaching and completed more training in ways of coaching that included mindful awareness of the body. And then, last year I realised that ‘presence’ is the heart and soul of what I am meant to explore for myself and with other people. I decided that would be the guiding principle for my coaching.

I am currently rebuilding my business to reflect that commitment to working with presence. I became sure this was the right decision when I got quiet during a planning session and asked myself: if this doesn’t work out as my livelihood is it still something I could see myself doing for the rest of my life anyway? The answer was a clear and strong yes.

Would you like to share some tips on how to be more present?

I would love to. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in trying to be more present was that I always put so much pressure on myself. And I’ve learned over time to prioritize self kindness and to approach this work with a light touch. So, with that in mind, here are a few tips that can help make it easier to begin.

Start small, and start with pleasure

Sometimes it’s easy to think that to be more present or mindful we need to sign up for a meditation retreat or a four-week yoga immersion class. That kind of thinking is an easy way to get discouraged. It’s so much kinder and easier to start small and to start with something pleasurable.

Stop for a moment and drink a glass of water or juice. Feel the glass where it touches your fingers, notice the coolness of the fluid as it moves down your throat. You might go outside and stand on your lawn in bare feet. You could eat a single square of dark chocolate and notice all the sensations and thoughts that brings up. Whatever small action you can think of that gives you some kind of pleasure will do.

Taking this approach makes it easier to stay in awareness as you give yourself to the activity.

Cultivate curiosity

It really helps to be curious about what you might discover through being present. Whenever I am paying attention to something I like to wonder what will happen next.

If I stop writing right now and pick up my coffee, I might feel the warmth of the coffee through the mug. I might wonder at the difference between the temperature of the mug in my hands and the temperature of the coffee as I drink it. Do they feel the same? Is one warmer than the other? (Yes, I just tried it.) If I move my hand away from my mug, how long does my hand stay warm? Can I track that if I pay attention?

When we cultivate a sense of curiosity it often encourages a sense of playfulness. That sense of playfulness makes it easier and more fun to maintain a sense of presence.

And there is so much to be curious about. Every moment is fresh and new, and both our selves and the world around us are constantly shifting and changing in response to each other.

Use your hands

Your hands are highly sensitive. They are a great tool in helping you to be present.

My first move when I wish to be more present is to place one hand over the center of my chest. Through that simple act I can feel so many things: bone, skin, my breath moving through me, the warmth of my chest, I even get a sense of my emotional state. As soon as my hand makes contact I drop into a state of deeper presence.

Exploring different areas of your body with your hands can be a great exercise: cup them over your eyes, rest them on your head, place them over your belly, hold one of your feet. What do you notice? Because our hands are so sensitive, when we use them to check in on our body we get so much more information and that helps cultivate a sense of curiosity and the urge to explore.

gift


noticecoversmallI’m so happy that you’ve created a Notice Your Life Ebook that you’re offering for free! I would love for you to share more about it!

Sure! Noticing is a writing meditation practice I’ve been developing for a few years that simply involves noticing sensations, our surroundings, anything that comes up in the moment, and writing all that down as we notice them.

It’s a simple practice, but it is so powerful. I use it a lot when I am feeling anxious about writing something as it gets me into my feeling body and helps me to feel grounded before I start on whatever writing project I’m working on. I’ve found it’s a really useful exercise to do for a few minutes if I’m feeling anxious before a writing session or if I’m about to make a difficult phone call. It’s also a wonderful practice for people who like to keep a journal — it’s like a writing prompt that never fails to get you started.

While the practice is very simple I have developed a few different approaches and guidelines which can help you to make the most of it. It gives you all the information you need to try your hand at ‘noticing’ and, hopefully, will inspire you to make it regular practice.

I love sharing this practice and hope those in your community will benefit from it.

Click here to receive Dave’s free ebook!

What does your soul want you to know?

My soul wants me to know that going quiet and listening deeply to what is happening in my body will always give me the wisdom to determine the next step I need to take.

When I offer attention to my body, I find more spaciousness, ease, and quiet strength to deal with and appreciate whatever is happening for me in that moment.

When I am still and become present to my body and the circumstances of my life, it reminds me clearly how much I belong. And the more deeply I know that fact, the more deeply I sense it is true for everyone.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am currently working on some exciting new courses that I will begin offering in the next few months. The first is a re-invigorated version of the self-care course I offered last year that was such a pleasure to work on. The second is an embodied writing e-course that will look at ways to access the wisdom of both our body and mind through the act of writing. (If you enjoy the noticing ebook you will love this!)

Thank you, Dave, for sharing your heart with us!

Please spread the love and share this post on Facebook and Twitter!

Big hug,
jodi

Free Soul Clarity Message + Pay What You Can Ecourse

***Thank you to everyone who participated! I’ll be back next month with more readings!***

Happy August! It’s that time again where I’ll pull one Soul Clarity Card for each person who leaves a comment below!

I do this on the first day of every month, and it’s always so much fun to offer these messages straight from my soul to yours.

Before we get started though, I wanted to share this month’s special, which is very close to my heart.

Monthly Special

250 sale copyI’m celebrating the Coming Back to Life ecourse’s 3rd anniversary by having a sale!

It normally sells for $147, but I have it set up where you can pay whatever you can through the end of the month!

While I love all of our ecourses, this one will always be closest to my heart. It’s the first course that I ever created, and it’s helped hundreds of people (myself included) embrace their lives again. Because it’s so powerful, I wanted to offer it at this pay-what-you-can price so everyone would be able to sign up!

If you’re tired of feeling numb and disconnected and are ready to wake up and start living fully, this course is for you! 

In this course, we will spend six weeks together journeying back to our soul. We will start right where we are and begin to peel away the layers of gunk that have kept us from shining our light as brightly as we would like to. As we remove each layer, we will begin to feel lighter and freer.

Your journey starts exactly where you are – right now in this moment. Throughout this journey, each week you will receive a bundle of love in your inbox. Each email contains helpful guidance from me and other dear hearts who know what it’s like to be in this space of feeling disconnected from our soul and want to help. Each week will build upon the last, guiding you back to yourself and helping you come back to life.

Our light shines so brightly within us. That all-knowing part of us never fades – it just gets covered up by pain and fear. Throughout this course, you’ll be uncovering this pain and allowing your light to shine. You’ll be reconnecting with your soul – your deepest, truest essence. And you’ll be saying yes to life again.

Click here to learn more and sign up!

And now, it’s time for your free message!

The Soul Clarity Card deck includes 48 cards to help you get clarity on what your soul wants you to know. They come wrapped up in an organza bag and include an amethyst gemstone (which helps you connect with your soul).

My soul speaks to me in concise phrases, and so these cards were created with that in mind. Each card contains a guided action for you to consider – something to help you live soulfully and mindfully.

I believe that the answers are always within us, but sometimes our light gets covered up by life – all of the to-dos and the shoulds and work and errands and hurt and anger and all sorts of gunk. And it can be hard to sift through all of that and find our way home – back to our soul. These cards are a tool to help you on your journey back home.

Each card contains words that your soul needs you to hear. And whichever card you choose will be exactly the one you need in that exact moment. That’s just how it works!

Here’s how it works: I’ll pull one card for anyone who leaves a comment at the end of the post by 11:59 pm pst today (8/1)! If your comment is posted before then, I promise I will pull a card for you. Each month when I open this up, I receive hundreds of requests, so please be patient with me. (If you happen to miss this deadline, please know that I’ll do it again on 9/1.)

All you have to write is “Yes, please!” or something similar. Please don’t feel that you need to share what you are looking to heal or what you would like guidance for. You are more than welcome to, but it’s not necessary. I know that this can be very personal, and your soul and the universe already know what you need. (If you are reading this via a reader or email, please click here to be taken to the post.)

A technical tip for you: To be able to find your comment and not receive a barrage of emails by subscribing to comments, you can go to the comments page and do a search for your name. (On a PC, you press the “control” button + the “f” button.) This makes it super easy to scroll to your name and your reading. :)

Big hug to each of you.

Please spread the love by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter! 

P.S. – Be sure to click here to sign up for my Coming Back to Life Ecourse! You can pay what you can for it this month only! 

A Note from My Soul

believeI’ve had a really tough week, and so I’ve asked my soul to write this post to all of us when we’re feeling disheartened and defeated. I know that we’ve all found ourselves here at one point or another, and so if you’re also feeling this way, it’s my hope that this will be as helpful for you as I’m hoping it will be for me.

***

 

I want to start by saying that no matter what has happened or hasn’t happened, you are loved. So loved. And, even though it may not appear as such, everything truly is happening for your highest good.

I know that you’re disappointed and that you wanted things to go in a different way than they did, and that’s perfectly understandable. I love how invested you are in your own happiness. I love that you care so much about feeling good and wanting to do things to create a life that will help with that.

Please remember that while you are only able to see what’s right in front of you, I am able to span out miles and miles and miles ahead. And because of this, I can see how each decision will impact the next. And because of this and also because of my love for you, I want to do everything I can to insure that the path you’re following is a healing one and a loving one that is always in the interest of your highest good.

That means that there will be times when you will feel like things just aren’t falling into place – that no matter what you do, you can’t seem to find the light. And when that happens, I ask that you go back to love and faith. I ask that you shift your focus towards something bigger than what’s right in front of you and place your energy on trusting in something bigger than you: me, the universe, and all that is and has ever been. Believe, really believe, and know, really know, that everything – absolutely everything – is happening for your benefit. Everything – absolutely everything – is happening to support you and is coming from a place of love.

I know that while things seem bleak now, as you move down your path, you’ll be able to see why things didn’t go according to how you wanted them to go right now. And you’ll be able to see why this had to happen in this way in order for what’s coming next to happen and what’s coming after that to happen (and so on and so on). You’ll see how it’s all going perfectly. It truly is.

But for now, please give yourself permission to grieve the path that you thought you would take that is no longer. Be okay with feeling sad about what will never be. Allow yourself to go to that desolate place that feels so hopeless. It’s so important that you keep your heart open and continue to feel everything – the feelings that feel good and also the feelings that don’t feel good. You are here to experience life – all of it. Not just the easy parts, but also the parts that help you expand and grow.

Remember when things didn’t go the way you had hoped in the past. Think of one of those moments right now. Think of how upset you felt and how deflated you felt. And now, remember how grateful you became (after you had the benefit of perspective) when you realized how lucky you were that things didn’t go your way. Think about what your life has become because of that experience and what it wouldn’t have become had you not gone through it. And take some time, right now, to really take in this appreciation for the loving universe that you are a part of that truly only wants to see you soar.

There are so many great experiences and moments just waiting for you – they are just out of view. But they are there. And having this not-so-great experience will make these good ones that much sweeter.

You are so strong. You are so loved. And you are exactly where you need to be.

Always remember that.

***

Hugs,

jodi

 

 

 

400x400 giveawayP.S. – I’m having a giveaway to celebrate over 8,000 friends in the Soul Speak Facebook community! You can enter to win one yearly membership to the Soulful Life Sanctuary!

To enter, click here to go to my Facebook page and then click on the Giveaway Tab at the top! Good luck to all!