Finding Calm + A Special Announcement!

want nothing copyI realized something today. It’s something that I’ve known for quite awhile. It’s something that seems so obvious.

It’s much harder to find calm in the midst of chaos than to find calm in a state of calmness. 

Duh, right? It seems so simple, and it is so simple. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean that we always easily embody and live this truth.

Here’s an example: For the last several days, I’ve been feeling extra stressed. I’ve been feeling tightness in my chest. I’ve been having a harder time taking a deep breath in. I’ve been resisting doing my daily meditation – thinking that I just didn’t have time. I’ve been feeling the weight of a too-long to-do list. I’ve been feeling scattered, overworked, and overwhelmed.

And then, just now, as I was logging into my computer to get some work done, I saw a wonderful visual that feels like the perfect metaphor for this state that I’m in. My computer desktop was filled with icon after icon – taking up the entire screen (and even going beyond it). Each icon related to work and represented something that I needed to do, projects I am in the middle of, things to remember, etc.

Underneath all of these many, many icons was a picture that I could barely make out. It’s a photo of a beautiful beach, which is my symbol for calm, serenity, and peace:

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This was such a perfect visual glimpse into my mind and into my life. Without even realizing it, my priorities have gotten way out of order. I have allowed work to consume me and take precedence over my own self care, my own needs, my own well being.

Instead of the expression, “The writing’s on the wall,” I can say that the icons are on the screen!

It was so helpful for me to see this in full color. It sunk in deep within my soul and helped me see that I’m just not okay with having my own inner peace be buried underneath all of these tasks.

My inner peace should take center stage. It should be at the forefront of my mind and my life and of everything that I do. Everything else must, must, must come after that. 

So I immediately began to rectify this chaos by cleaning up my desktop. And while I still have the projects that I’m working on, and I still have the long list of things to do, just seeing my beautiful beach uncluttered and front and center helped me breathe again:

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It’s my hope that this reorganizing will move off of the desktop and into my life. If nothing else, it will serve as a wonderful reminder for me to make sure my priorities are in check each time I open my computer.

I want to feel calm. I want to feel at peace. I want to feel like I am putting my own wellness and happiness at the front of the line in this life of mine. And seeing this beautiful beach front and center each time I go to work is a great way to make sure I continue doing exactly that.

How about you? What are some ways that you can remove some of the clutter so that you, too, can embrace a calm, peaceful life?

We all deserve that and so much more.

Hugs,

jodi

sale 250 copyP.S. – I have some VERY exciting news! Membership to the Soulful Life Sanctuary is on sale through the end of the year! And the next 20 people who join will receive over $1600 in welcome gifts (donated by fellow sanctuary members)! These gifts include intuitive readings, coaching sessions, numerology sessions, and so much more! You can see all of the gifts, learn more about the sanctuary, and sign up here: http://www.soulfullifesanctuary.com

 

Pulling Ourselves Up

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I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately.

I would love to say that it’s because I’m not sleeping well or because I am entering my third month of spending almost all of my time on the couch while recovering from adrenal fatigue. I would love to be able to sort of blame this funk on something outside of myself.

And while I’m sure these external circumstances are contributing to it, I know that it wouldn’t be accurate to point the finger completely at them.

There’s a reason why I’ve been moving fast for so many years. There are feelings that I’ve long been avoiding. I’ve known this, and I did my best to outrun them. But it seems that all of this running just made me extra tired and less resistant to feeling them.

I know that I’m not alone in this. So many of us are moving so, so fast: running away from one pain or another. And, now that I’ve had all of this time to slow down and sit with my feelings and really explore them, I’m seeing that it’s not all that fun, to be completely honest. There’s a reason why we run. Who wants to deal with mountains of hurt and anger and sadness? It’s normal to want to push these emotions aside or try to plow through them or attempt to ignore them completely.

I get it. I really do.

I’ve tried each of these methods for many, many years. And what I’m finding is that the only way to release them is to be brave enough to be with them. To slow down for long enough to allow yourself to feel them. To explore them and find out what you are meant to learn from them. To see how you can expand because of them. To love yourself extra as you move through them – one by one.

What we resist truly does persist. And this pain that I’ve been resisting goes back years and years and years. I feel like I’ve gotten myself into quite a dark place in many ways. And I’m realizing (as a result of all of this stillness that I’ve been practicing) that I’m the only one who can pull myself into the light.

I have the most loving husband, the most supportive mom, amazing friends, beautiful angels and spirit guides, and an entire support system who wants nothing more than to lift me up and help me soar. (And I’m so grateful for each of you – truly!)

But I am seeing that this is my pain. These are my emotions. And there are some things that I’m meant to move through on my own. At least for the first few steps. At least for now.

I want to feel whole again. I want to feel light again. I want to feel joyful again. I want to feel free again.

And I know on such a deep level that this stillness will bring me back home. I can feel it. And in order to get there, I have to actually be still, be silent, and be open to feeling whatever feelings come up. I have to be willing to explore them, to love them, to honor them, and to release them.

In case you’re in a similar place, I thought I would share some of the ways that I’m pulling myself up: 

1. I’m honoring where I am. I’m no longer resisting it or trying to sugarcoat it or mask it. I’m remembering that wherever I am is completely okay.

2. I’m making space to feel. I’m slowing down (not just physically, but also mentally). I’m allowing these old (almost forgotten) emotions to surface.

3. I’m giving myself permission to feel – really feel. I’m giving myself permission to explore what’s underneath all of the running.

4. I’m releasing these emotions – most of which are stale and outdated and are no longer a part of my present life anyway.

5. I’m remembering that I’m allowed to be happy. I’m remembering that I’m allowed to feel joy. I’m remembering that I’m allowed to be vibrant and at peace and completely elated about my life.

6. I’m allowing myself to return to the light – my home, my essence, my truest self. This is where I want to spend my time. And releasing these emotions is a beautiful way to get there. And knowing that feels really, really good.

I love knowing that I have the power to create my life. And it’s through this honest exploration that I am able to create a life that makes me happy and whole – that makes me feel alive. And that’s what I wish for all of us. We all deserve that.

By the way, I share so honestly and openly here on Soul Speak because it’s my hope that in doing so, those who are going through a similar experience will know that they aren’t alone. I also share this vulnerably here because I believe that if we’re going to truly connect, we have to connect from our truth – whatever that is. We’re all multifaceted, and we all go through phases of life – some more up than down and some more down than up. And I want each of us to realize at a deep level that each phase is valid and each phase is filled with so much wisdom. Each phase is meant to be embraced and honored and loved. Just as we are.

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – I’m filling in the Soul Speak advertising calendar for 2015 and am offering more than ½ off a sponsorship package – there are just a few spots left! The great thing about this is that you don’t even have to have everything ready yet – this is just to reserve your space. And that gives you time to create a product or an event or an opt-in gift that you feel great about! Becoming a Soul Speak sponsor is a great way to spread the word about what you’re up to with thousands. You can learn all about it and reserve your space here: http://www.jodichapman.com/soulspeaksponsor

Making Better Use of My Energy

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Today was an interesting day.

For months, I would look at the calendar and my stomach would sink. For months, I knew that I had to do something that I didn’t want to do – something that needed to be done.

And while I won’t get into the specifics of what that something was, I will say that I did it.

And all of the worrying beforehand and stories that played out in my mind about how it was all going to play out didn’t come to pass. Not even close. 

I have lost sleep over this. I have cried about this. I have gotten angry about this. I have felt anxious about this. All before it even happened.

I had worked myself up into a complete tizzy over this thing that I needed to do.

And when I actually did it, it was easy. It went smoothly. Everything was fine. Absolutely fine. No friction. No feathers ruffled. No hurt feelings or resentments or anything even close.

So basically, I feel a little bit silly now for wasting so much of my precious energy on this moment.

I started looking at other times in my life when I followed a similar pattern and found that this was pretty typical for me.

Before my husband and I started our business, we taught middle school for a semester. We quickly realized that our dreams of working for ourselves were ready to be brought to life, and we dreaded telling the kids that we were leaving so soon. While we became close with many of them, our souls were speaking so loudly to us and saying that it was time to take our leap of faith. I made myself sick thinking about telling them. I felt like I was abandoning them and that they would be devastated. What actually happened was that we told them (expecting tears and sorrow), and within five minutes whey were asking if that meant it was a free day and wanted to see if they could play computer games.

I was surprised at how well they took it, and I realized that I wasted so much energy worrying about something that never came to be. Fearing how upset they would be was something that I had made up in my mind – a story I told myself that had no basis of truth. A story that I had believed – even though it wasn’t real.

There are also times when I would expend tons of energy worrying about something that actually did end up with the outcome I worried about – such as having a root canal or being in a car accident or getting sick or getting divorced or losing a loved one.

But I’m realizing more and more that worrying is powerlessness at its best. Worrying didn’t change the outcome of any of the examples above. The outcome was going to happen exactly how it was meant to, regardless of how much energy I put into worrying about it beforehand.

What a wake-up call that is for me. If the outcome is going to be the same, then wouldn’t I rather be happy and positive and joyful and grateful leading up to whatever it is that I’m afraid of? At least then I would be enjoying my days beforehand, regardless of how the actual day that I had been worrying about went.

I am so tired of making up these stories in my mind. I am so tired of creating outcomes that rarely come to pass. I am so tired of working myself into such a tight knot because I’m positive that I know how something is going to turn out, when in reality I have absolutely no idea and never will until I’m actually in the situation.

And today’s situation helped me see how all of this energy that I expended could have been put toward more positive, uplifting, healing things. And that’s where I want it to go from now on.

So while I’m not sure if this is something that I’ll be able to change overnight, I am going to be much more conscious of it. I’m going to start noticing the stories that I’m telling myself and the worries that I’m fretting over and the thoughts that are circling in my mind about an upcoming situation that I’m fearing. And I’m going to give myself permission to breathe, to trust, and to do my best to stay in the present moment. This is where life lives – not somewhere in the future. And if I can focus on being grateful right here in this moment, then the rest just tends to work itself out. And on the rare times that the outcome isn’t what I had hoped for, at least I wasn’t completely miserable leading up to it.

It’s definitely worth thinking about. I am just not okay with giving away my precious energy to worrying about what may or may not come to be. I would much rather focus on joy and love and gratitude in this exact moment.

That feels much, much better. :)

Hugs,

jodi

P.S. – A new post is up at my new A Year of Silence blog! I would love for you to read them. This project officially begins on January 1st. You can learn more about it here: http://www.ayearofsilence.com.

Leaping into Silence

background for silence1 copyIf we’ve been connected for a while here on Soul Speak, you may have noticed a shift in me over the last year. I’ve been doing much less and reflecting much more. I’ve been listening to my soul more often and have been doing my best to take my ego out of the driver’s seat. I’ve been taking better care of my tired body by resting and disconnecting from the outside world as much as possible.

I’ve been remembering how important self care and self love truly are. And I’ve given myself permission to offer this care and love to myself in whatever way I most needed. It’s been such a healing journey of growth and going within.

For several years now, I’ve been very present and very visible in the online world. I wanted to reach as many people as I could in order to support them however I could. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to write loving words that helped others. But in 2010, this dream was rocket fueled by a beautiful experience that cracked open my entire world. Four years ago, an old friend who had recently died began communicating with me. I was a complete skeptic and didn’t believe this was possible. (Until then, I had spent most of my life on the left side of my brain – focusing on logic and proof.)

Thankfully, he was persistent and our conversations continued over the course of several years. (We even wrote a book together, which I am  hoping to finish and release soon.)

One of the messages that he shared with me was that it was time for me to embrace my life and help others embrace theirs – joyfully. I took this responsibility very seriously and put my own needs aside in order to fulfill what I saw as my soul’s mission. I didn’t want to let him (or the universe) down.

I thought I was doing everything right. I was sharing a loving message with others and helping them embrace their lives. I was pushing past my fear by saying yes to every opportunity that came my way. I was reaching out and connecting with others constantly. I was helping others see the beautiful soul that I saw when I looked at them. I was inspiring others to reconnect with their own inner light and embrace each day.

But eventually, all of this connecting and pushing and not taking care of myself in the process got the best of me. And I got tired. Really, really tired. And I ended up on the couch. My body had had enough of pushing and simply wasn’t able to get up. This was such a wake-up call for me.

During all of this DOing, I forgot to breathe. I forgot to trust in myself and in the universe enough to remember that I didn’t have to push so hard. I forgot that loving myself and easing up on myself must come before anything else. I forgot to implement into my own life everything that I had been teaching to others for years.

I kept hearing a whisper from within say that I needed a year of silence to reconnect with my soul. I’ve heard this same whisper for years, which I quickly pushed aside. Or I moved it to the “Wouldn’t it be nice?” part of my brain where fantasies spent their time.

Eventually these whispers would start again, and my heart would begin to consider that maybe it would be possible to do this. But my brain immediately would list why it wasn’t a good idea. I make a living talking to people – connecting with people – guiding people (which I love). How in the world could I do this while being silent? So I would shut it down and ignore it and try to continue living exactly how I was. But this message was persistent. And it started getting louder and louder until finally I realized that it wasn’t going to go away. I have been connecting with my soul for long enough to know when to pay attention, and so I decided to give it a go and see what happens.

So I’m taking a leap and declaring to the world that I will be honoring silence for the next 12 months starting on January 1, 2015.

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I have no idea what will happen during this time. I have no idea what I will learn or will experience. But I do know that this is part of my journey to get back to me. I know that I can’t keep up this fast, noisy pace. I know that my insides are screaming for quiet and solitude. And I know that in giving myself this time, I will have so much more to give to others moving forward. My cup will be full. And I can’t wait to feel vibrant and joyful and all filled up again.

Throughout this journey, I’ll be blogging here on Soul Speak and also on my new website: ayearofsilence.com – keeping you in the loop about what I’m experiencing and learning. And I would love for you to join me in whatever way feels right within your own soul. I realize that not everyone will be able to (or will even want to) be silent for an entire year. But maybe this experiment will inspire you to embrace quiet and stillness in other ways.

blog2If you would like to read the first post on my new A Year of Silence blog, please click here.

(You can also read the About page to learn more about what I’m planning.)

We are all so deserving of a life that nourishes us. It’s my hope that my journey of silence will inspire you to look within your heart and give yourself permission to live the life that you most desire. You’re so worthy of that.

I hope you’ll take this journey with me in whatever ways feels most right for you! Here’s to stillness and solitude and expansion and leaping into silence!

Hugs,

jodi

 

 

A Quiet Strength

truthI received an unsolicited email from someone yesterday that prompted me to write this post. In the message, a woman that I don’t know said that she had just watched my video for the Soulful Life Sanctuary. She said that my speaking voice didn’t match the voice that she imagined that I would have. She said that she had perceived me to be a “strong, dynamic, heart-ful, and powerful woman” and went onto say that she knew for a fact that my soft speaking voice wasn’t my “true, authentic voice.”

Wow.

At first, I was completely taken aback. I was pretty livid, actually. (I am human, after all.) Thankfully though, because of the love bubble that I’ve created, it’s very rare for me to receive emails such as these. And I knew that this email wasn’t meant to offend – it was coming from a place of wanting to help and be of service. And, I know that there is a gift in everything that happens to us – even those experiences that don’t feel so great at first.

There are a couple of gifts that this email brought. First, I am on the cusp of moving even more toward my authentic self – becoming even more quiet so that I can get in touch with my soul in deeper ways. And this contrast helped me anchor this longing even more. Second, it was the perfect catalyst for me to start a conversation around this notion of power and authenticity, which I’ve wanted to have here for quite some time.

So here’s what I know for sure:

Power comes in all forms. Authenticity shows up in many different ways. And assuming that someone hasn’t fully stepped into their authentic power simply because they are soft spoken is such a huge misconception.

I’m not sure where or how this myth got started (and I don’t even really care, to be honest), but it’s become pretty mainstream in our world to think that in order to be powerful and successful, we must be loud and hard and masculine (whether we’re men or women).

And I am here to say that this is just not true. I am a powerful woman. I have a vast amount of inner strength. And in my quietness, I am connected to the universe – the ultimate source of power.

I have loads of marketing experience. I know how I’m “supposed” to act if I’m going to be “successful” in this online world. And yet, I love myself enough to know that this seemingly calculated method of sharing my message isn’t for me. I just couldn’t bring myself to do something that didn’t feel authentic. And thankfully, I have evidence that when we show up as ourselves, we are supported in such loving ways.

For years now, I have shared from my own authentic, soft-spoken space of strength. I have created a successful life where I have followed my heart and stayed true to my soul. I feel very blessed that thousands of you are able to hear my words – soft as they may be (not just sonically but also energetically). I know that that those who are looking for someone to inspire them through a more outgoing and boisterous approach simply aren’t my tribe. Because I will never be that type of person – it’s just not who I am.

I have never been a loud person. I have always had a quiet voice and demeanor. I don’t say a lot, but when I do speak it’s because I think what I’m saying matters and is important and deserves to be heard.

There is such strength in softness and quietness and in not feeling the need to shout in order to be heard.

Yes, you can be powerful by getting in people’s faces and being domineering and shouting and using fear-based tactics in order to get others to submit to you.

But you can also be powerful by exuding a quiet confidence and showing up as your true self in the world so that others will feel your strength and will automatically be attracted to it – much like a magnet.

I love my voice. I love it because it’s a direct expression of my soul. It is my authentic self.

I do my best to share my most authentic self with the world because I feel that it gives each of us permission to do the same. It’s not always easy, and it definitely takes a leap of faith and a whole lot of bravery to show up from this space. But I will continue doing exactly that because it’s so important.

We all come in all shapes and sizes. And we also come with vastly different personalities – some loud, some quiet, some thoughtful, some playful.

Here’s what’s true: 

When we are brave enough to share our true authentic self with the world, we make room for miracles. When we remember that we’re all different and that it’s okay to not look like someone else or talk like someone else or share like someone else – it’s actually preferable that you are in your own lane doing your own thing following your own heart. Because that’s where the true magic lies.

If you are naturally loud, be loud. If you are naturally quiet, be quiet. Whatever you naturally are is exactly perfect. Because it’s YOU. And nothing could be more perfect than that.

I’ll continue to share in the only way I know how – softly and quietly and soulfully. And I trust that those who are meant to hear my voice will hear it.

And I hope that you’ll continue to show up exactly as you are as well.

Thank you, as always, for being such a loving community that makes it so easy for me to show up as myself. I’m so grateful for you all.

Hugs,

jodi

 

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