Intimacy and sexuality. Two things that are interlaced into one another and into every persons life. It is a human trait, we crave intimacy, and with some, that of intimate sexual experiences. Yet, openly communicating about intimacy and/or sexuality is taboo, something most are uncomfortable talking about.
I was recently introduced to the Set Aside Prayer (a practice regularly used in the 12-step program) by a close friend and mentor this past week. I have to admit, I am not one that really "prays" very often. I have my own relationship with what I see as a "higher power", and praying to the universe, nature, however I see it, isn't something I generally lean towards as a practice. Yet, something struck me about it and I decided to give it a try. It's a way to just let go of whatever I am holding on to so I can truly open up to what is real and in front of me.
The Set Aside Prayer (Original)
God, Please help me set aside
everything I think I know
about myself, my disease,
the 12 steps, and especially You;
So I may have an open mind
and a new experience
of all these things.
Please let me see the truth.
As much as I appreciate the original prayer, I knew in order for it to work for me, with who I am, what I believe, and how I view the word God I wanted to meld the prayer into my own. So I made it basic.
Let me set aside.... (fill in with: whatever is holding me back or creating a belief system)
Repeat as many times as need.
Simple. That's all it needs to be.
This prayer is something I plan to suggest to clients when wrapped up in whats holding them back. I work with people daily to help them shift their personal beliefs and to release barriers holding them back from truly making the impact they desire in the world. I am seriously blessed to get to witness these individuals make huge, yet subtle shifts in their perspectives and their lives. And surprise, surprise -- I get to do the same work with myself (with the help of my coach, friends, & partner). I have a lot of my own limiting beliefs that sneak into play and hold me back. So for the past week and moving forward I am playing with this prayer, to let go of what is holding me, be it "good" or "bad", and see what comes from really being open without any preconceived notions.
So, I share with you my prayer from the first day I practiced, it could be the same each day or different depending on my current barriers and views. Not all that I set aside is necessarily holding me back, some are huge successes in my life, and being in experiment with letting it all go -- thats where the magic of possibility really lies. We are all human, each having our own sneaky gremlin voices (inner-critic) chiming in... here is a view into some of mine -- both gremlins and my higher self.
Set aside what I think my business should be
Set aside that I have to make a difference, a great impact
Set aside being a coach
Set aside wanting to heal the planet
Set aside my success
Set aside being an entrepreneur
Set aside self-doubt
Set aside having to find clients that really want to make an impact in the world
Set aside having to figure it all out
Set aside being an outdoor/adventure enthusiast
Set aside having to save the world
Set aside all my fears of being a business owner/ entrepreneur
Set aside pragmatic/ logistical Lindsay
Set aside what I create isn’t useful/helpful/worthy
Set aside having to make it perfect
Set aside the details
.... and the list goes on.
Brining a voice to all the thoughts, beliefs, and barriers made it possible for me to get super clear on the project I was working on. It made me even more confident in who I am, what my business is, and what I want to bring to the world.
My journal entry on Ora Māia's work with clients, after I first practiced this prayer was:
I want to make your heart beat harder and faster, to remember what it feels like to be alive, to see how you can break through personal boundaries and achieve what it is that you want to achieve. I want your heart to light up with that crazy warm feeling, in a simple state of disbelief that you actually just did “that” – whatever that “that” may be. To live in a state of freedom, curiosity, and exploration of life. To never be dormant, but to erupt in the full you. As a professional, an individual, and as a unit within the whole.
I help people feel alive, to thrive in who they are and to adventure beyond their greatest beliefs.
Again, simple and the truth. I was clouded by all of those voices and stories within my mind that I couldn't clearly see or remember what my purpose was.
Give it a go. Let me know what it does for you.
It is overwhelmingly easy these days to get distracted. Facebook. Instagram. The news. Texts. Online shopping. The dog. Basically anything that isn't what you want or need to complete. From one distraction to another projects can go on for days, profound ideas can fall to the wayside, laundry can sit smelling up the apartment.
As with anything, awareness is the first step. For example, I sit at my desk, diving deep into creating a customized program for a client, fifteen minutes pass and then somehow I am on Facebook reading about how brushing your teeth is bad. How long have I been reading this? How did my fingers type in the url without a conscious thought? What the F? Or how about when the dishes are dirty, I look at them and walk away to the yoga mat or to sit outside (knowing that I like/love a clean home). Really, Lindsay? It would take two minutes!
It's real, at least it has been for me in the past and it will definitely happen again. Luckily I have picked up some helpful hints to get focused and move past the distractions. If you want to stop getting distracted and get focused, be it for house chores or saving the world, try out these simple tools.
As my dear friend and teacher, Coby Kozlowski, say's,
"If it takes two minutes or less, do it right NOW."
Yes, seriously, if it takes less than two minutes to wash the dishes, make the bed, write the email, call the person, mail the invoice... DO IT RIGHT NOW! Stop being lazy, just do it and then it is done.
And the super distraction distractor -- when a task is at hand...
Set a timer for 30 minutes (start small)
and do ONLY that task.
Sounds simple, because it is. And if you do it, I promise you will move forward faster with projects, ideas, initiatives, or the boring nitty gritty's of life. Each task gets a timer, do it for thirty, no distractions, no facebook, no NPR, no music if that pulls you away. Just you and the task.
Two simple steps. And, yes, it can actually be that easy. We humans are skilled at making things more complicated than needed. What if it were easy? What if it were simple?
So do it NOW if it takes less than two minutes & set your timer to commit to the task. Do it. Give it a try and see what happens. As the photo above shows, "Punch today in the face [sweetly]", let distraction go and get focused.
[Props to all of my teachers, random conversations, friends, and family that have taught me little tricks like these along the way. Tricks that have transformed my life. <3]
Journal Entry: February 16, 2018 Capitol Reef (Unedited from entry)
This is what I love. To be on some strange 4x4 road, overgrown with grasses, searching out a place to rest my head for the night. I walked through the desert rock abyss until 4:30pm, the sun drifting behind the sandstone. I am out here all alone, not a soul around, and no where in sight to camp for the night. I jump in my car with just little nerves fluttering within. Will I find the place, that idealistic, magical place that is away from others, feels secure, and has a view for dinner and coffee? I lucked out today. Happened upon some very old BLM road and went for it. the road hardly visible to the naked eye, left over tracks from long ago. The sun setting quickly behind me, I gun it and search for any small clearing. I see nothing for five minute, ten minutes, and then fifteen minutes I find it -- one small block of sandstone unearthed at an arroyo. The perfect size for my car and I to slide into (without crushing any crypto!).
I am quite comfortable alone in the wilderness and I get nervous. It's funny to reflect that I was just stopping any movement every time I heard a sound. I don't get the jitters about mountain lions or critters but about people. I keep listening for noises - is that a car? I stop moving, silence. No, it is just a plane, high overhead. There are a lot of planes. Taking in my surroundings, I remember I am safe, far from much of anything, and I breathe as I sit to take in the full sunset. So, my nerves are there and that’s one of the many reasons I love doing this. To stretch my comfort, my limits. To get a little scared and feel that thrill of the blood pumping through my veins.
I sit here in silence. Not even a bird singing, just the sound of my puffy swaying on the page as I write. It’s... well it’s indescribable. The only place I can find this peace (once my unnecessary nerves subside) is in the wild, be it car camping on BLM land or walking deep into wilderness. This is what I am. This view. The rocks. The silence. The indescribable feeling.
This feeling brings me back to what I am meant to do, to connect people (myself included) deeper to themselves, one another, and the natural world, for the sake of protecting these places, these experiences. It is rooted in everything I do, from my career, to adventure, to who I spend time with. It’s why I support people to connect deeper to themselves by connecting deeper with the natural world. It is about loving these special places and protecting them in the long run. It's these wild places, be it the desert, plains, oceans, or the mountains, that we, yes we, can all see, hear, taste, smell and touch the wonders of ourselves and the world around us. And I hope it gives others what it gives me, an overwhelming sense of who I truly am and what I want to fight for.
[What do you want to fight for?]
: To have a direct effect on
I was recently a part of an entrepreneurial “pitch fest” up in Aspen, Colorado with the organization Aspen Entrepreneurs. Think Shark Tank, but without the investors and the high stakes attached. Really, it was a great evening of local community members gathering and listening to some amazing businesses that are launching in the Roaring Fork Valley. With or without heavy hitters attending, I was a bit nervous to present my business, Ora Māia. Historically speaking, I have been more than comfortable in public speaking situations AND I have never actually publically spoke about my own work, it has always been for organizations I represent or work for, not MY company. Needless to say, the fear, nerves, and excitement about sharing my work and my passion was thrilling. This opportunity lit a fire under my butt to get really clear on what I want to offer in the world and how to express it fully.
I conjured up many different ways to talk about “what I do”. I didn’t feel like any of it was really me, it felt more like a marketing scheme as I babbled off the in’s and out’s of coaching and Ora Maia. I realized sitting at a desk with pen and paper is not my brainstorm method of choice. I sat thinking to myself, “come on, Lindsay, you literally take people outside to connect deeper to their self and potential, why not go do just that?”
I packed up and went to the river. Within a few minutes of practicing my “pitch” it dawned on me (again), IMPACT! This is all about impact. Everything I am craving to bring to the world through my business is impact. I crave to make a greater impact in the world and I know that my calling, the way I can make the greatest impact, is by helping others deeply know themselves, their gifts and talents, and break through personal barriers in order for them to also make a BIG impact. IMPACT IMPACT IMPACT! That’s my center point. My center of gravity.
This is why I pursued coaching and created Ora Māia. For years, I witnessed friends, family, colleagues, and especially myself, doubting possibilities, potential, and just living a “good” life. I support clients to get clear, to get confident, and to actively step forward in the life. And to actually do it!
I realized I wanted to make a greater impact, and my calling is to help people connect deeper to themselves, to one another, and to the planet as a whole. So I created it, and I am lucky enough to support, push, and witness people to grow into the person that makes the bigger impact in the world. To get clear with yourself in order to connect to you purpose
It takes commitment to yourself to explore and to grow, and courage to actually do the work and admit what you want. You are the only one that can give yourself that gift of commitment. What if you could be making a greater impact? What would that look like?
I want to create a ripple effect of impact throughout communities, be it big or tiny. So if any of this resonated with you or you may know someone that is ready to live life fully or make a bigger impact, reach out. I want to have powerful conversations with people ready to claim their full power.
Trust. It's a bitch sometimes. Self doubt has the ability to take the reins and wrap its way deep into daily life, impacting every decision, thought, goal, or choice. Self doubt can sometimes feel like the all mighty, all powerful force controlling each detail, each moment. It can slap you in the face out of no where, even simply picking your ice cream flavor for the day... "are you sure you want chocolate mint? Cherry could be so much better."
So, self doubt is a part of each of us. It's that inner critic that both wants to protect and destroy, it is the enemy and the ally. I would seriously be surprised to meet any human that could honestly say they had never once in their life doubted themselves. The Buddha doubted himself, as did Jesus and Gandhi. Self doubt has got each one of us to where we are today, again, the enemy and the ally. And there have been moments, maybe many, maybe none, where trust has won favor, conquered the doubt and brought action into being.
Trust lives within us. That is what my coach (Kathy Ball Toncic, wonder woman herself!), has continuously had to remind me through the years. I am the only one who can choose to trust, to give my trust, and to receive others trust. It is my conscious choice to allow trust to lead me. So in those moments that self doubt creeps its slimy, sneaky way to the forefront of my thoughts and actions, I can pause and make a choice. A choice to trust or not to trust.
And maybe it takes weeks, months, or even years to just notice that the choice can be made in those moments, to decipher if self doubt is at work and if trust can swoop in. Maybe it takes weeks, months, years to build that inner trust. And maybe, with each moment that it is noticed, a pathway could shift, just a little bit, and trust will grow stronger, more natural, more alive. Then maybe, just maybe, self doubt will take the back seat, it might chime in every so often when it thinks it's needed, but trust will be the driver. What would be possible in your life if trust was in the drivers seat?
Awareness seems to be the theme of the month for myself and a lot of my clients. It is really linked to how present in the moment someone is. Present and aware of the personal world, of others, and of what is going on in ones surroundings. It's as if every moment is a meditation, a chance to be so alive, in awe, and landed. For the eyes to open so wide they can see beyond what is right in front of them. It's about noticing what is happening within when the world is happening around you AND, at the same time, actually seeing all that is happening around you.
Maybe this circumstance will ring a bell for you... After going to an event with a friend, she's like, "...and did you see the giant clown in a hippo outfit in front of us?". You think to yourself, what hippo? What clown? How did I not see that?
t's like you were physically there but so wrapped up in whatever story was happening in your mind that you weren't really there. These moments can be frustrating or eye opening. Your choice. It's like someone is knocking on your door, WAKE UP, look around, get out of your head (or your phone), and look around. EXPERIENCE life. See life. Have an active role in life.
Trust me, I am no expert. As a constant student, I feel like someone is knocking on my door constantly. Although I am a hyper observant individual, I still catch myself missing those valuable and "invaluable" moments. And when I realize I didn't see the clown or the hippo suit, I try to get real with myself and reflect (even if it's frustrating). I literally pause, where ever I am in the moment, breathe, and choose to begin again. It's up to me how present and aware I am in this life. And to be honest, I want to see it all, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't want to miss any hippo costumes.
I, historically speaking, was never a procrastinator. In high school and college I would jump at once to dive into assignments. Researching, writing, and actively completing projects that I was either interested in or uninspired by. I just thrived on getting it done, studying earlier, and feeling prepared and ready.
As I have launched into creating my own business, working for myself, and setting my own hours and workload I have witnessed a little change in my habits. One characteristic that is worth sharing is my attachment to control. In the past, I relished on being in control, wanting to have it all times, in all parts of my life. In the last few years I have put forth energy to release my need and desire to control all the time. In all honesty, I still have the control factor and I enjoy that part of myself, and I really appreciate dissolving some of my attachment to the constant need of it. So, with that, I have let go a bit, and since I have started to work for myself I notice the thin line I walk on completing necessary tasks and releasing the need of control.
So, I have started to play a simple game with myself to focus, complete a task, and feel at ease. It is easy and honestly, quite nice. I set a timer for thirty minutes, during this time I am completely focused on this one task. No social media, no text messages or calls (I even put my phone on do not disturb), no house cleaning, no snacking. Just me, my glass of water or tea, and the project at hand. Once the thirty minutes is up, I evaluate where I am, how much more time I might need, and can give myself a few moments to do whatever it is I see necessary. Super simple, a timer and a decision to focus. It is helping and reminding me of my joy to complete things that matter.
How could you stop procrastinating and jump into action? Do you have any tricks to share that might inspire another? And what is possible if you stop procrastinating and start acting?
Looking out three large windows I see this broad white landscape. Juniper trees adorn the foreground while everything beyond is just a sheet of white, masking the valley and high peaks of Capitol and Garrets at the edge.
It's interesting, to be able to see the valley and mountains within my mind, yet I am actually completely blinded by the blizzard, no visual within thirty feet of the house. It's a perfect analogy to so many moments in life, what can I see right in front of me, or not see at all? It's like the moments when your keys are literally right there in front of you and they are the last thing you see. Or the times when the same lesson comes to you over and over and over in life, revealing itself and then alas, once again it is concealed by the blizzard.
Rhasaya, the Sanskrit word for the tantra yogic idea that things are concealed and then revealed, is a constant experience in my life, and at times it frustrates me, while at other moments I can't stop laughing. My lessons will continue to teach me until I don't need those teachings anymore. The blizzards will continue to roll in, cover it all up, and then BAM, suns out and teacher is back!
That’s what fascinates me with life, each moment can tap me in, it can slap me awake, and say - this moment, right here, right now, just looking out the window at the white abyss, this is real, raw, connected, and a time to see what is happening. It's a real moment! It could just be staring into the blizzard, looking at nothing, and it could be a time to pause, take in the teaching and experience the pure awe and wonder of this awareness. I thrive on both the nothing and the something, the times of being blinded in concealment and the times of being slapped with the revelation.
So, where is the blizzard in your life right now? What is right in front of you that you cannot see or aren't allowing yourself to see? What do you see through the white abyss?
Let it be revealed. Because it will probably be concealed yet again, then revealed, and concealed. That’s what makes it a mystery!
Are you daring enough to dive in and connect to yourself, surroundings, and possibilities? Join me in Costa Rica for an epic and intimate women's retreat February 13- 17th.