We’re in This Together

hearts togetherI was just thinking about how different my life would be without any of you. I was thinking about what it used to be like before the internet and before blogging and before social media and before we had the ability at a moment’s notice to connect with each other — no matter where we were in the world.

Over the last few years, we’ve all witnessed a coming together that is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. We have the ability to communicate and connect with each other in ways that were impossible before — we get to connect so easily and quickly at the soul level, and we get to see just how alike we truly are. I see this as an absolute miracle — something that I feel grateful for each day.

Not so many years ago, the only friends that I had were those I had met in person — those either I went to school with or worked with or knew through other friends. And now, like most of us, I have friends from all over the world. This new way of living opened up vast possibilities and helped us find our soul tribe — those who are on the same vibration and who see the world in similar ways – those who feel like home.

Not only has my world expanded through these loving connections, but my soul has, too. I have stepped into who I always was because of these connections. I have learned so much about myself and our universe and others through these connections. I have created a career that I love because of these connections. And I am living my dream life because of these connections.

It’s sort of mind boggling to think about how much we’ve all changed in such a short amount of time, isn’t it? Not all that long ago I was working in an office editing documents that I didn’t really care about, and now I get to share from my heart and spread love around the world. And I owe a great deal of where I am today to each of you. I know that. And I never ever forget that.

It’s always been my heart’s desire to show up completely as myself here with the hopes that it will help another do the same in their own life. And it hasn’t always been easy — being vulnerable never is. But I do it because my soul has asked me to. And I do it because it feels so good when I see others sharing their truth, too. We are on the leading edge of an amazing world shift — I can feel it. We’re entering a time where love trumps hate and where collaboration trumps competition and where authenticity trumps wearing a mask. We’re already there in so many ways. We’re proving that we can run our businesses with heart and still be successful. And we’re modeling what conscious living looks and feels like — we’re showing that not only is it possible, but it’s completely wonderful to show up in the world in this way.

It’s pretty phenomenal to be right here where we’ve never been before, don’t you think? I am so excited to see where all of this connection and expansion leads. And for now, I’m just so grateful for each of you for continuing to listen to what I share and for continuing to show up here from a space of love.

We’re in this together, and I’m forever grateful.

If you would like to continue this conversation of Conscious Collaboration, please be sure to connect with my dear friend, Sue Kearney. We’ve known each other for years, and she has such a lovely soul and a huge heart.

She has two generous offers for the Soul Speak community – both of which are free!

free gift
ebookcover500Sue has created an ebook that she’s giving you for free!

It’s called Share Your Magic on Social Media: How to Grow Your Tribe, Your Connections, and Your Business Through Conscious Collaboration.

In it, she shares her three allies to help you grow your business through conscious collaboration: gratitude, generosity, and willingness — each of which help shift your mindset and improve the way your social media marketing works for you. It’s a great toolkit to have — whether you’re just starting out or have had your own business for a long time!

Click here to download this ebook for free!

 

community copyCC-FB-ad200Sue has created a new Facebook group for women who would like to connect and collaborate! It’s completely free to join, too!

It’s called Conscious Collaboration, and it includes a diverse group of women changemakers, healers, and business owners who are gathering to intentionally help each other to grow their reach, connect with ideal clients, and thrive in business.

Click here to join Sue’s group for free!

Here’s to each of us continuing to support each other through authentic collaboration and soulful expansion!

Hugs,

jodi

Loving Lessons from My Furry Friends (Plus an Invitation)

jodi and biddleIt’s no secret that I’m an animal lover. For almost 40 years, I’ve always had a furry pet friend in my life. And when I haven’t, I’ve felt like a piece of me was missing.

As a child, I used to dress up my cats (which I’m sure they loved) and push them around in a baby buggy. As a teenager, I would hold my cats and cry into their fur over one heartbreak or another. As a young adult, I received countless hours of joy from my ferrets – laughing at their silly antics. And as an adult, my furry friends have continued to help me get through life’s ups and downs. They are so wise and soulful and connected to the universe, and I have learned so much from them.

While I know that I’ll continue learning from my furry friends, here’s a bit of what they’ve taught me so far:

  • Life happens in the present moment. I’ve been a worrier for most of my life, and I’m constantly thinking about what’s going to happen in the future. Animals, however, generally don’t think about the past or the future. They are simply in this exact moment. They don’t hang onto hurt and regret, and they don’t feel anxious about what’s about to happen. Hanging out with them over the years has helped me be better able to embrace the present and really stay in it, which I’m so grateful for.
  • Having fun is what it’s all about. There is something truly heart-opening when you see animals enjoying themselves (which is often). Watching a dog run at full speed through the yard or a cat jump up to play with a toy or ferrets jump around on the bed and wrestle with each other brings such joy to my heart. I tend to be on the serious side, and seeing this unbridled joy really helps me be able to embrace my own joy and give myself permission to let loose and have fun.
  • It’s okay to trust. We’ve all been hurt before, and it’s perfectly natural to close our hearts a bit when this happens. I’ve had many animals in my life who came from homes where they were abused or neglected, and they still had open hearts and the ability to trust. I’m so inspired by this openness, and it’s helped me be able to keep my own heart open as well.
  • Self care is crucial. I have a tendency to put my own self care at the bottom of my priority list. Being around cats has helped me see that it’s okay to practice self care. They tend not to worry about anyone else. If they are hungry and someone else is eating from their bowl, they will chase them away. They don’t worry that the other cat’s feelings will be hurt or that they won’t like them or they will be mad at them. They simply act in a way that takes care of themselves. While I do think there is a happy medium where we can take care of ourselves while not hurting others, just seeing this example has been so enlightening.
  • Love is everywhere, and it’s unconditional. I have felt such unconditional love from all of the furry friends that I’ve been blessed to know throughout my life. They never judged me or wanted me to change in any way – they simply loved me for me. And that deep kind of love helped me see that it was possible to find it in my relationships with people, too.

I currently share my life with three wonderful cats: Biddle, Buncom, and Elsie. Biddle and Buncom are six-year-old brothers who were feral and born in the snow. A kind man found them and brought them in, warmed them up, and saved their lives. Biddle is our comic relief – he’s always making us laugh. Buncom is part thug/part baby. He definitely keeps us on our toes, and I love him fiercely. We found Elsie four years ago outside our home and are so glad she came into our life. She’s such a sweetheart.

Here they are:

biddle on table

monkey and toy

elsie

I have had to say goodbye to so many beautiful furry souls throughout my life. And what I know for sure is that love never dies – it just takes a different form. Each animal that I have ever loved holds a piece of my heart. I feel them always, and I know that we will forever be connected. I also know that they are watching over me and are helping to guide me along this Earth journey. And at some point (hopefully many, many years from now), we’ll all get to have a big reunion and celebration together.

Our furry friends add so much to our life, and I am so, so grateful that I get to wake up each day to my sweet babies. It’s a true blessing.

If you’re also an animal lover, I would love to invite you to this free challenge that my friend, Andrea Bryant, has created! It’s called the “Pet Love-Fest Challenge: 10 Days of Pet Love, Connection, and Celebration,” and it begins on April 8th! I’ve just joined, and I look forward to being part of it!

Pet Love Fest Banner 600x225

Andrea & BellaAndrea and I met through Soul Shakers (the online group that I co-facilitate with my husband), and I’ve gotten to know her really well over the past year.

We immediately bonded on how much we love our animals, and I just love her pure, open heart.

She has the cutest bunnies, Mr. Fergus and Phoebe, and I love how she is living her soul’s purpose by helping others connect with animals and through that be able to embrace their lives.

Here’s a bit of what’s included in this free challenge:

  • Daily emails with helpful suggestions to connect with your pet
  • A private Facebook group to connect with other animal lovers
  • Journaling exercises
  • A video tutorial especially for pet parents
  • PDF worksheets
  • A pet meditation

I love how each day during this challenge has a theme. Here are the details:

  • Day 1: Gratitude
  • Day 2: Bonding Fun
  • Day 3: Meditation Journey
  • Day 4: How it Began
  • Day 5: Flying Your Pet-Loving Flag
  • Day 6: Childhood Memories
  • Day 7: Celebration Time
  • Day 8: Love, Love, Love
  • Day 9: Photo Fun
  • Day 10: Lessons Learned

Andrea has put so much love and care into creating this challenge, and I hope you’ll join in the celebration! I know it will be fun, soulful, and heart expanding for you and also for your furry friends.

Click here to sign up for this free challenge!

I look forward to learning more about your pets (and you!) during this time together.

Hugs,

jodi

Just A Little Bit of Gratitude

gratitude copy

We’ve all experienced the ultimate crappy mood. If you’re reading this post, it means that you are human. And because you’re human, you will undeniably have access to (and utilize) the entire spectrum of emotions while you are here on Earth.

And while we will all have many beautiful moods that we wish we could capture in a bottle to be able to access any time, the reality is that we will have an equal amount of access to the darker moods – the ones that don’t always feels so good but ultimately have the ability to help us grow and expand.

So, back to the crappy mood. I’ve definitely had some of these lately. They are the kind where it feels like nothing will ever feel right again – the kind where you just know that you’ll never feel joy again – the kind where you can’t imagine ever feeling light and free. Yep, those kinds of moods.

And, what I’ve noticed is that when I accept these moods as a part of being human, they tend to not carry as much weight. When I am able to step away from them (just a tiny bit, even), I can feel how they will eventually pass. I am even getting to the place where I can embrace and feel a little bit of gratitude for the mood while it’s there because I know that it’s helping me learn more about myself and recognize how I’m feeling.

This awareness hasn’t come overnight. And it’s still something I’m working through, to be completely honest.

But  it is happening.

And the most powerful part of this is to know that if I am able to find gratitude (even the littlest bit) in such an emotionally rocky moment – and if I can feel and fully experience how that little bit of gratitude is helping me to embrace the mood, then I can find gratitude in any moment of my life. 

And knowing that has really helped me a lot lately. It’s helped me see that I truly do have access to gratitude in every single situation in my life – not just the happy, rose-colored, everything-is-absolutely-perfect experiences, but in the messy, dark, bleak experiences as well.

That feels SO good to realize! It’s absolutely wonderful and empowering and freeing and light.

Because of this awareness, I no longer fear or resist or run from my darker moods. I am able to allow them, reflect upon them, and feel grateful for them. 

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m welcoming them with open arms or inviting them to stay for as long as they want or seeking them out and looking for ways to feel them more often. :) It just means that if and when they show up, I might as well make the best of it and make them feel welcome rather than resist them or stuff them or do everything in my power to avoid them. I know that doing this always makes me feel worse, which oftentimes will prolong the bad mood.

Also, I’m not saying that when I’m in a bad mood, I instantly embrace it and feel grateful for it and go from a 1 to a 10 (where 1 is the crappiest mood of all and 10 is the best mood of all) in a few seconds (or even minutes). I’m just saying that if I look for even the tiniest speck or ounce or teeny piece of goodness in that bad mood – if I shine the smallest bit of gratitude on it – then I feel a bit of relief. And that relief turns into a little bit more. And a little bit more. And I have stopped the downward spiral from continuing. I have stopped the momentum.

That feels really amazing to know that I have the ability to do this. To know that we all have this ability.

It’s a choice that we get to make in each and every mood that we’re experiencing. We get to decide if we want to feel open or constricted. We get to decide if we want to feel unhappy or grateful. We get to decide if we’re going to accept or resist.

I’m finding that gratitude is the way toward complete acceptance and complete relief, which is a beautiful way to feel (bad mood or not). 

I wish that for each of us – to find some relief in each part of our life. Adding in even just the smallest bit of gratitude will help us do that. I promise. 

Hugs,

jodi

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Celebration – Soul Speak Turns 3 + A Free Meditation!

happy birthday soul speak final copyToday is a very special day. Soul Speak turns 3!

I am so happy to celebrate this milestone with each of you!

I had absolutely no idea how much my life would change because of this blog. I had no idea how my heart would open. I had no idea how my soul’s purpose would be discovered.

It has been a journey of soul discovery, soul listening, and soul connecting. And I’m so grateful that we’re on this journey together.

I thought it would be fun to do some sharing to celebrate 3 whole years of Soul Speak. So here’s what I came up with:

  1. I’ll start by sharing my first post from 3 years ago.
  2. Then, I’ll share some of the things that I’ve learned along the way.
  3. Next, I’ll ask you to share one way being a part of the Soul Speak community has helped you.
  4. And finally, I’ll end the post by giving you a soulful gift! 

So let the sharing begin!

first post

Imagine that you are climbing a very tall mountain. You are struggling to take each step, and all you see is the peak far, far away. You keep going though – one step at a time. And after awhile, it might feel that the peak isn’t getting any closer, and you feel so tired and aren’t sure if you can take another step. When this happens, look down for a moment. Notice how far away the ground is. Realize just now far you have already gone – how much progress you have made.

So often we focus solely on the goal ahead, which at times can feel overwhelming and so far away. Taking a moment to look back and realize how far you’ve already gone in your journey immediately puts things in perspective and does wonders for your self esteem.

So the next time you are struggling and running out of steam – take some time to think about or write down just how far you have come since you started on this path. You’ll be amazed by how far you have already gone.

 

what i've learned

I learned that I am a soul having a human experience. When I first began this blog, I was just starting to wake up after having been a skeptic for much of my life. I was barely in touch with my soul – barely even knew that I had a soul. But over the last three years, my heart has opened in such amazing ways – staying in this soulful space has allowed me to receive such powerful wisdom from my soul and also from my spirit guides and angels.

I have learned how powerful sticking with something can be. I have stuck with this blog because it’s my heart and because I love it. I have stuck with it because I love the connection and the community that has formed because of it. I have stuck with it because my entire life and business have become what they currently are because of it. I have stuck with it because I have found my soul’s purpose: sharing, writing, inspiring, connecting, bonding. All of that. This is truly it for me. And it doesn’t mean that I won’t keep growing and expanding, but it means that I’m on my path. I’m here, allowing myself to connect with the flow. And that feels pretty amazing.

I have learned to take baby steps and just show up. If I had known that my life would change in such a dramatic way because of this blog, I would have been terrified to start. If I had known that I would be completely different because of it, I absolutely never would have started – fear would’ve taken over and consumed me. My soul knew that and allowed me to take baby steps – one post at a time. One change at a time. One connection at a time. One aha moment at a time. (Which, by the way, is how my life is still expanding – I have no idea where I’ll be three years from now, and that’s a-okay with me. I’ll just keep showing up, saying yes, and trust that I’ll be exactly where I’m supposed to be.)

I learned that I am not alone. I truly thought that I was more powerful alone than with another. Boy, was I wrong! My ego was so afraid of letting others in, but my journey over the last few years has taught me that life flows much more easily when I let go of the reins and let others in. This includes others here on Earth and others beyond the physical realm.

I learned that being vulnerable is the way to go. Oh boy, this has been a tough one for me. I was so afraid to be seen – to be “out there.” And so this has been (and continues to be) an evolution for me. I have always been a “both feet in” type of person, and so I knew that if I was going to write this blog, I would have to show up as I truly am – no pretenses, no masks, no “everything is going really amazingly great” if it wasn’t, and no, “I’m so happy to have everything all figured out” when I clearly haven’t. There have been many posts that I’ve published where I thought I was going to throw up afterwards. Like Brene Brown says – I was in a serious vulnerability hangover. But I allowed my soul to speak, and I didn’t let my fear and ego delete those words. I trusted that someone else needed to hear them. And every single time I did that, at least one person wrote to say how that post was exactly what they needed to hear at that exact moment. This powerful confirmation is truly what’s kept me going during times when I wondered if this whole “putting myself out there thing” was worth it. It is. For me. For all of us. Showing up as ourselves and sharing from that honest space is absolutely essential.

I have learned that when I say yes to life, life says yes to me. Before I began to blog, I had gotten into this silly (but still powerful) habit of saying no to my life. If it scared me – even in the slightest bit – or pushed me out of my comfort zone in any little way, I wouldn’t do it. And so what ended up happening is my world became smaller and smaller until I felt like I was living in a dark box that was far too small for my body and my soul. This blog has shown me how expansive saying yes is. I have been able to break free of that box and spread my wings. Each time I said yes to an opportunity, I gained confidence that I would be able to say yes to another. And that’s exactly what happened. It’s been a magical ripple effect that continues to this day.

I have learned that people are good and have such beautiful hearts. I used to be a cynic, especially when it came to people. Like many of us, my heart had been broken and I chose to lump just about the entire human population in with those who had hurt me – assuming that everyone would eventually hurt me, too. Throughout this journey of inviting others into my heart, I have been able to have this belief shattered in such a beautiful way. I have seen firsthand (over and over again) how people are good, kind, loving, and nurturing. I now know this to be true. And I have attracted these people into this community where we’ve created our own love bubble. It’s pretty magical, and I now am able to see the world through such a loving lens. I have so much evidence that this is true. I feel it. I believe it. I know it.

I have learned that there are people out there who are just as sensitive as I am, and this space has allowed us to find each other. I used to feel so separate from others – almost wondering if something was wrong with me. I didn’t feel like a part of “them.” I have always been highly sensitive, and I have always felt like an outsider to a certain extent. I was great at faking it – pretending to fit in – but inside I felt so alone. This community has helped me see that I am definitely not alone. There are thousands of us here – and millions of us in the world – who are this way: extra sensitive and extra empathetic. We see the world differently – we feel everything so strongly. And we are here together, which makes walking through this life that much easier. I’m so happy to have found my soul tribe.

I have learned that you truly can make a living while following your soul’s purpose. This one has been huge for me. It feels so amazingly good to share that I don’t have any other source of income – that Soul Speak (and all that has formed from it) has enabled me to create a life where I am in the driver’s seat, where I get to live creatively and soulfully each day, and where I get to help others connect with their soul and embrace their lives. All of that is possible because of this blog. Because I’m still here. Because I trust my soul enough to say yes to what it asks me to do. We live in such a miraculous time – where the internet truly makes it possible for us to create the life we want to live and then actually live it. I’m proof of that. I’m such an introvert, and I was never meant to be in the world full-on at a “regular job.” I tried that years ago, and it was just too much for my sensitive spirit. I have found a way to share my gifts while still honoring my needs, and I know that it’s truly possible for each of us.

I have learned that it’s okay to set boundaries. I simply can’t do it all. In the beginning I was so happy with saying yes to everything and everyone. Now, I’m learning that saying no to another oftentimes means saying yes to me. And that’s becoming essential. Practicing self care is no longer an option for me – it’s become part of my daily schedule.

I have learned to trust my soul. Before I began this blog, I never even thought about slowing down and getting in touch with my soul. I wasn’t even sure I had a soul, to be honest. Writing Soul Speak over the past three years has helped me see how connected I am with the universe – with this infinite love.

I have learned that love is everything. It is. I know this for sure. At our core we are love. We are expressions of love. We are the embodiment of love. We are meant to share our love and receive love from others. We are love. And knowing that has changed the way I look at everyone and everything. It’s softened me. It’s helped me. It’s opened me.

I have learned that words are powerful. They change lives. My life has been changed by the words here on this blog. I have taken them in and let them soak into my being. And I hope your life has been changed as well. What we focus on expands and becomes our life. And it’s my hope that this space has become a positive refuge for you to connect with your soul and embrace your purpose.

your turn

I often receive emails from beautiful souls who share what the Soul Speak community has meant to them, and it absolutely lights me up and helps me truly see how powerful words are. How energy and intent are powerful. And how when we show up and see each other – really see each other – magic happens.

I would love for you to share (either in the comments below or by emailing me) what Soul Speak means to you. Has it helped you in some way? Does it add some positivity and grounding into your life? Has it connected you with your own soul? Has it supported you in slowing down and living authentically? However it has helped, I would love to hear your experience!

I’m thinking of putting your sweet words into a special section here on Soul Speak, and so this is a way to be included in that. (Although, please know that I will always ask permission before I share your words here – so no worries about that!)

For now, let’s just let the love flow and celebrate Soul Speak’s birthday by sharing what this space and this community means to you! 

 

meditation

guided meditation

I created my very first guided meditation to help each of us connect with our soul and honor our inner voice.

To celebrate Soul Speak’s 3rd birthday, I’m giving it to you for FREE! 

I hope you enjoy this sacred time tuning in and listening to your beautiful soul’s wisdom.

You can click below to download it!

order button copy

I am just so grateful for each of you! Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with me. When I first started, it was very rare to receiving a comment or have one of my posts shared. And I often wondered if this was worth it. If I should keep going. I’m so glad I did – it’s become a safe haven for me and hopefully for you as well. It wouldn’t be what it is without such a loving community behind it. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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

Hugs,

jodi

 

 

The Most Beautiful Gift

hearts together

As many of you know, my sweet dog-ter, Xena, died three weeks ago. And while she was 14 and had many health problems, I thought she would be with us for at least several more months. I was (and still am) in complete shock and complete sadness that she’s gone.

In this time of grief, I’ve learned so many things about myself and my life and my friends and my world.

I believe that there is a beautiful gift in every experience. I have always believed this. And while my heart has been completely broken open – because my heart has been completely broken open – I feel like I’m seeing everything more clearly. I feel like my senses are more connected. I feel like I’m able to step out of myself and look in and be able to find the gifts.

And while there are so many that have come from this sadness, the one that holds the most weight for me is learning that I can show up as myself and still be loved. 

Whew.

Seriously.

I’m used to being the strong one. The one who inspires and uplifts and supports and loves and helps and shares. And honestly, I just didn’t have it in me to do any of these things over the past few weeks. It was all I could do to get up each day and maybe take a shower. Maybe not spend the entire day crying. I couldn’t imagine writing something inspiring or sharing a piece of soul art on Facebook. I just couldn’t. It wouldn’t have been authentic.

And that’s the thing – I never want to show up from an inauthentic space. And so when I was feeling sad and in my deepest grief, I thought that I maybe just shouldn’t show up at all. I figured that I would just bring everyone down – that no one would want to hear how sad I was or how empty I felt.

But something inside nudged me to take the risk and share my truth anyway. And so I did – on Facebook, here on Soul Speak, and in private emails.

And in doing so, I received such a beautiful gift.

In all of my years of being the strong one and inspiring and supporting, I rarely allowed anyone to support me back. I rarely allowed myself to receive love back. I rarely allowed myself to accept another’s gifts.

And, in this space of my heart being broken open, I didn’t have the strength to push love away. And boy did it come pouring in. I didn’t have the strength to deflect it back to the giver, and boy am I thankful for that.

I allowed myself to show up authentically. And in doing so, I received the gift of love. So much love. From all of you. 

Your love poured in, and it continues to pour in. Your prayers, your cards, your gifts, your loving words, your energetic support. All of it. Pouring into my heart and helping me get through each day. Knowing that I am loved. Exactly as I am.

You have shown me that I don’t need to do anything or be anything in order to be loved. 

I don’t have to write a stellar post in order for you to love me. I don’t have to inspire you in some way in order for you to love me. I don’t have to give something away in order for you to love me. I don’t have to be positive and have a smile on my face in order for you to love me. I can simply be me – wherever I am and you will still love me.

And that feels amazing.

So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I am taking all of your love into my heart and allowing it to mend the break. And I’ll remember this gift the next time I feel that I need to show up a certain way or say a certain thing in order to be loved. Because I’ll remember that the best gift I can give to you is my true self – inspiring or withdrawn, happy or sad, giver or receiver.

You have shown me that I’m loved so deeply – me. Not me the inspirer or me the teacher or me the writer. Me. Just Jodi. 

And I thank you for that. So, so much.

Hugs,

jodi