Learning to be self-full by honoring the female voice.

I just learned a new word today: self-full. Self-full is when you are “true to [your] own perceptions, opinions, and needs.” In her book, A Woman’s Book of Life, Joan Borysenko asserts that when a woman is self-full, “she doesn’t have to fear being selfish.” (p.77)

Pause. Let that message sink in. Being self-full means not fearing being selfish. Can you imagine? Can you imagine how different your world, your life would be if girls were encouraged to be self-full? It boggles the mind.

If girls were nurtured to be self-full, then…

  • Your decisions would be viewed through a lens of win-win opposed to me vs. them. In other words, there is an inherent assumption in the me vs. them mentality that when you do something for yourself, you do not care about others. How often have you been told that it is “selfish” to make a decision based on your needs? The implication is twofold. The assumption is not only do you do not care about others, but your needs are less important than others. Baloney! When a women is self-full, she knows that taking care of herself is what allows her to take care of others. An empty well cannot give water.
  • You would easily relate to self and others with compassion. When you are self-full, you can acknowledge your feelings – both the pleasant and unpleasant ones – without judging them. Feelings are just that – feelings. They are not a sign of weakness or of strength, rather feelings serve as a teacher: a way to acknowledge what is happening and to help you make decisions. When you can appreciate the information feelings give, then you are able to have compassion for both yourself and others. Compassion, the ability to see another’s suffering and the desire to alleviate it, is the very definition of unselfish.
  • You would trust your intuition. Too often our culture sends girls mix messages: “Don’t talk to strangers but be nice and speak to this person whom you’ve never met,” or “Don’t let anyone touch you but go give so-and-so a hug.” These mixed messages are confusing and can make you question the veracity of your internal barometer. These messages also encourage you to shut down or ignore the little voice inside you which knows things without knowing how. When you are taught to listen and to honor that voice, you hone your intuition and learn to use it to keep you safe.
An empty well cannot give water. #selffull #femalevoice Click To Tweet

I, therefore, invite you to embrace your self-fullness as well as to encourage self-fullness in others. Our world needs you in all your infinite fullness. It is your self-fullness that powers your voice – that allows you to speak out for yourself and for others.

Ideally, we would learn this lesson in adolescence, and some of us do, but we are not the majority. For many of us, we do not reclaim our voice until our middle years. If you are struggling to find your voice or you want some simple strategies to support a young woman in finding her voice, then I encourage you to give the following practice a try.

Honoring the Female Voice

  • Ask yourself how you feel right now. Notice if you want to self-edit or justify your feeling. Be aware of phrases like: “It’s not that bad,” or “It could be worse,” or “Usually I don’t feel this way but…” Then say aloud or write down your feeling anyway.
  • Be aware of judgments. After acknowledging your feelings or listening to another person’s feelings, resist the temptation to judge the feeling or to fix them. Feelings are information. They are not something that needs to be fixed – even the unpleasant ones. Let yourself feel and notice if any judgments arise. More than likely a judgment is an old, old message you received from long ago. Judgments usually stem from someone’s inability to accept or to hear a feeling they did not like.
  • Acknowledge the feeling with a sense of curiosity, and if you can, compassion. In the beginning, compassion may feel like a tall order, especially if you are not used to giving it. You may find it difficult to sense your suffering or another’s without wanting to fix it, or even, deny it. If so, then stay curious. “That’s interesting,” you may say to yourself, “I feel scared when I can’t make a decision.” Then complete the following sentence: “I wonder if it is possible to…” See how many times you can complete the sentence, “I wonder if it is possible to…” Allow your curiosity to guide you toward compassion.
  • Most importantly, do not tell yourself or another what to feel. You feel what you feel. There are no “supposed to’s.” Notice if you attempt to correct yourself or another by telling them what to feel. If you do, then stop and identify what you are afraid of. Usually, when you fear something, you attempt to suppress it. This would be a great time to practice compassion and acknowledge your fear with lovingkindness.

May your voice be loud and clear.

Love,
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

Soul Garden Tending Guide

You’ve prepared the ground. The soil is rich and ready for planting. It is time to bury your seeds in the earth. You feel excited, for soon you will know if your seed will grow into a plant that bears fruit.

You also may be feeling some concern. You know not everything that is planted survives – that at any moment along the way something can happen. A seed cannot sprout. Disease and bugs can destroy. Animals can steal fruit. (The squirrels and I are in some intense negotiations over corn.)

Yet despite the challenges of growing food, many a gardener believes the benefits outweigh the costs. That even if you don’t get everything you wanted, you receive enough to keep doing it. In fact, one could argue that your very survival depends on not giving up.

The same is true for your soul garden: the place where you plant and nurture your hopes, dreams, values, and morals as well as connect with your divine nature and wise voice. You provide the best conditions as possible to produce the highest yield of fruit you can.

If rain and sun are the necessary ingredients to grow plants, then ritual and prayer are the primary ingredients to nurture your soul garden. To support and to encourage flourishing soul gardens, I’ve designed a simple guide to get you started in creating your own ritual and prayer. Feel free to incorporate existing practices from your faith or belief system. This guide is about honing in on where you are now and honoring what you need for the present. Give yourself permission to adapt or to completely change your ritual and prayer as your life circumstances evolve.

Soul Garden Tending Guide

  • Create an altar. Find a space, indoors or out, where you can place sacred objects. Allow your intuition to guide you. Depending on the time of year and/or life events, your altar may reflect a particular theme. For example, you may feel the need for more self-care, so you create an altar that reflects mothering. Or maybe you want to nurture a specific goal. Perhaps you want to focus on your health and create an altar that is a tribute to vitality and wellness. Because altars are living, breathing spaces that reflect what is happening within as well as without, your altar will change to meet your needs.
  • Design a ritual. Rituals are the steps you take to cultivate a certain mindset. A ritual for feeling energized will look very different from a ritual for seeking calm; therefore, be clear on your intention before designing your ritual. I typically want to be in a space of quiet and stillness when I play in my soul garden, and consequently, I use breath work as part of my ritual. You may also want to consider ways to engage all of your senses: music, movement, taste, scents, art. I like incorporating natural elements into rituals too. The sky is the limit. Try new things and see what fits for you.
  • Write a prayer. Prayer is a very powerful tool. Prayer asks you to be clear, concise and prioritize. Prayer is not a time to mince words. Be bold. Speak the unspeakable. Use your voice. I like to use the phrases “May I have” or “May I be” when I write my prayers. These phrases convey a partnership between me and the Universe: an agreement that I will do my part to make something happen. Ultimately you must decide what relationship you are cultivating with your soul garden.

Happy Tending!
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

How to let go of what no longer serves you.

I think we all go through these periods of time when unexpected change happens and we are left feeling a little lost and confused. I am not talking about cataclysmic events. Rather I refer to that feeling you have when you suddenly realize that things are no longer the same as they were: not necessarily bad, but definitely different, and perhaps a little uncomfortable.

When I’m in this spot, it feels like I’m in limbo: the space between here and there. Nothing feels solid. Since my direction is undecided, the next step is unclear. This is a very weird space to be in. It especially chafes when I put pressure on myself to make a decision.

Unfortunately, I’ve learned the hard way that rushing a decision is usually not in my best interests. This pressure typically comes from a desire to rid myself of the anxiety of not knowing, than because it is truly the right thing to do (as many a Good Girl knows).

What I am learning is to use this limbo as a soft space to land, to rest, to regroup. I honor this space as a sign that my original direction may need some tweaking, or even, a whole new path. If you operate under the belief that humans are constantly evolving creatures, and I do, then it would stand to reason that you need periodic moments of re-calibration, of adjustment.

To help you navigate this limbo and to diminish the anxiety that arise from not knowing, I have created a practice called “In the Gloaming.” (Gloaming is an old word used to describe twilight – that magical time between day and night.)

If you seek additional support, I invite you to go on retreat with me the weekend of September 9. The Dance, Play, Dream Retreat is a sacred space to rest and to reconnect with your holy purpose.

In the Gloaming Practice

In order for a seed to flourish – to sprout roots and grow, it must be placed in fertile soil and receive the sun and the rain. In other words, under the right conditions, a seed will develop into a plant that bears fruit. Our intentions are the same. For your intention to manifest, it needs fertile ground. This is what the gloaming is all about: the time to prepare your soil.

So before you set an intention, I invite you to:

  • Clear the ground. Make a list of all the things (thoughts, feelings, roles, habits, people, projects) that no longer serve you. Understand this list will change as you grow and evolve. Only focus on what is true for you in the moment. Give yourself several days (or even a week) to make this list. When the list feels complete, move on to the next step.
  • Break up the soil. Allow whatever feelings that are evoked by your list to come to the surface. It is not uncommon to feel sad, angry, hurt, betrayed, resentful, disappointed, scared, guilty, shameful, weak, embarrassed, anxious and vulnerable. To feel is not the same as to fix. Be with the feelings and watch them move. I often find that I start out feeling one way and quickly move – in a few heartbeats even – into another feeling. There is a natural flow to feeling and it shows that nothing is permanent, even unpleasant, unwanted emotions. (Thank Goodness!) To allow yourself to feel is to acknowledge your humanity. To feel breaks up emotional entropy and allows movement.
  • Compost. Design a ritual to release what no longer serves you. Here are three of my favorite ways to let go:
  1. Burn your list. Watch the fire turn your list into smoke.
  2. Bury your list. The paper will literally turn into compost.
  3. Immerse your list in water. Watch the ink dissolve off the paper.

However you decide to compost your list, make it your own. Notice how it feels to let go of what no longer serves you.

If the In the Gloaming Practice feels overwhelming or stirred up more than you expected, consider finding a counselor who can support you in the work of letting go. Having a safety net is a kind and compassionate way of loving yourself. I believe I speak for many counselors when I say that is an honor and a privilege to walk that journey with another. (If you would like my support, then please schedule a Hope Check – an opportunity to make sure we are a good fit.)

May your journey remind you that you are loved and needed.

Love,
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

 

Common Barriers to Experiencing Joy (and how to release them)

As I mentioned last week, cultivating joy is a practice. A practice you do every day, week in and week out. Even on the days when you don’t feel like it.

Does cultivating joy sound like a chore — like one more damn thing to do? If so, then it may be time to step back and listen to the messages you tell yourself.

Ever time I find myself in a funk — grumbling about being taken for granted and irritated with life in general – I know it’s time to stop, collaborate and listen. (Excuse me for channeling Vanilla Ice, the spirit moved me. Word.)

Below are three common barriers to experiencing joy. Check them out and then see which ones resonate with you.

Common Barriers to Experiencing Joy

• Your inner critical voice is on high.
You know that voice in your head that says things like: “What were you thinking?” or “You know you can do better than that.” or “Suck it up Buttercup. You signed on for this.” You know that voice? I do. She gets in my head when I am feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and tired. You may think this inner critical voice is a motivator and wonder how you will get things done without this voice in your head. I promise you there is another way. There are lots of other ways to motivate yourself without being cruel. Really.

• You have a scarcity mindset.
You worry that there is not enough: not enough time, energy, money. You view things in terms of lack. Perhaps you play the “if only” game. If only I had enough time, I would exercise. If only I had enough money, I would do something nice for myself. If only I was thinner, prettier, smarter… The “if only” game not only implies that there is not enough, but you are not enough. Your inner critical voice loves the “if only” game.

• You are afraid to be vulnerable.
Being vulnerable is scary. You can feel exposed, unguarded. Being vulnerable reminds us that nothing is permanent: that anything we love and value can be taken away from us. And vulnerability is necessary in order to feel. You cannot feel joy (or anything) without allowing yourself to be vulnerable. It is rather ironic that the most wonderful feeling to experience, joy, is also the one that feels the riskiest.

Now what?

Congratulations, you took the first step. You stopped and listened. You became aware of what is going on with you. Nothing changes without awareness. So pause and acknowledge your latest insight.

The next step is to cultivate practices that reduce your critical voice, challenge your scarcity mindset and give you courage to take risks.

Please know there is a rich body of knowledge in many different traditions which offer practices to increase your joy. Below I have offered a down and dirty practice to get you started. If you thirst for more, then I encourage you to come to the Dance, Play, Dream retreat for a full immersion experience. It is awesome.

Cultivating #joy sound like a chore? Try Kim’s Down & Dirty Release the Barriers to Joy… Click To Tweet

Kim’s Down and Dirty Release the Barriers to Joy Practice

1. Start a Gratitude Journal
Get a journal or staple some paper together. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Every night before you go to bed, make a list of all the things and people you are grateful for. I don’t care if this exercise sounds trite or lame. It works. Try it for 21 days and see if you notice a difference.

2. Create a Sufficiency Mantra
A mantra is something that you say to yourself over and over again. They are easier to use if they are short and simple. Sufficiency is the idea that you have enough. Sufficiency encourages you to reflect on and acknowledge what you do have instead of what you don’t. One example of a sufficiency mantra is: “I am enough.” Another example is: “I have what I need.” Pick an area in your life in which you feel a lack and then turn it around with a sufficiency mantra. Say this mantra when you first wake up before your feet touch the floor. Say this mantra whenever you feel scared, lonely or down. Choose what you want to focus on.

3. Find a Sangha
Sangha simply means community. Find a community where your values are shared and you feel safe. Humans are not meant to be in isolation. We need each other to learn, to love, to grow. A sangha should not be a collective that rubber stamps your every thought or decision. Rather a sangha is a sacred environment where you are allowed to cultivate awareness around your challenges and learn how to negotiate conflicts. A sangha is also a community where you feel respected and nurtured.

One final note. Just like with any new practice, remember, you got to make time for it. Put cultivating joy on your calendar. Set your alarm 15 minutes early or step away from all electronic devices for 15 minutes in the middle of the day. You pick the time and the place that works best for you. Just do it.

Then let me know how it went for you. Share your experiences in the comments below. I want to know.

Love,
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

 

Kim’s Simple Joy Kickstart Practice

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the Good Girl Syndrome: the mistaken belief that a woman’s worth is based on how well she responds to other’s needs, usually to the exclusion of her own.

During one of these conversations, I was asked the following: “What if you do not know what brings you joy? How do you go about finding your joy again?”

Please pause.

Take a moment of silence and reflect on the nature of the question. What does this question say about the way our culture raises girls?

It breaks my heart to know that you are so enculturated to anticipate and to respond to the needs of others that you lose sight of what makes you happy.

Unfortunately, there will be too many women who read this article and will be able to connect with that lost feeling of “What makes me happy?” Know that you are not alone. Your sisters grieve with you.

Your sisters also are here to support you — to help you remember what brings you joy — but ultimately you are the only one who can know what makes you happy. But how to do that is the question, right?

As you may imagine, finding your joy is a process with many paths. I encourage you to explore — sometimes it is trial and error — what works best for you. (I spend a lot of time in the work I do with women, both in counseling sessions and retreats, supporting their personal joy exploration. I encourage you to schedule a Hope Check, a free phone consultation, if you feel you want that kind of support.)

To get you started on your path to joy, I have included a simple practice that helps me reconnect with my joy. Please let me know what you discover as you put on your explorer’s hat and seek your joy. Not only do I want to celebrate your journey, I want to learn from you. We all have something to contribute to this conversation.

Joyfully yours,
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

Kim’s Simple Joy Kickstart Practice

  • Unplug. Turn off your news feed, your social media, your phone. This conversation is with yourself. Outside influences do not have the answers.
  • Pick an outfit. Wear clothes that feel good next to your skin. (I love soft cotton.) Wear clothes that do not pinch or any way constrict your movement. Pick out clothes in colors that you like. Sometimes I am in the mood for bright colors, sometimes earth ones, sometimes pastels. Go with what feels right at the moment. You can always change your mind later. Accessorize if you wish. A fun scarf, some funky jewelry, a flower in your hair or nothing at all. There is no right or wrong. Notice what you like.
  • Play music…loud. Okay, you don’t have to play it loud if you don’t want to, but I think it is fun. I like feeling the music vibrate throughout my body. Notice how you feel based on what type of music you play. Sometimes I find a random iTunes station to discover new artists and see what I like. Sometimes I pick music based on my mood. Remember this is an experiment. Mix it up.
  • Dance. Close your eyes, feel the music and then start moving. Do you feel like taking a flying leap? Then do it! Just want to sway in one place? Fine. Let your spirit move you. Try dancing in different venues. Indoors. Outdoors. In private. In public. [One time, while in college, my roommate and I did midnight grocery shopping. It was us and the stock boys. I started dancing in the aisle, pretending like I could not reach a can on a high shelf. Unbeknownst to me, a stock boy was watching my efforts, took pity on me and offered to help me get the can. I like to think I brought him some joy in that moment too.] Notice how you feel when you dance. Notice what happens when you dare to dance in public. Have a friend take pictures and send them to me. 😉
  • Create. Get out your art supplies or buy some if you don’t have any. Try different mediums. Paint, markers, crayons, colored pencils, clay, needle and thread, scissors and glue, yarn and hook, wood and nails, flowers and leaves. The sky is the limit. I now have art stations set up around my home and office. They are bright spots of color which are easily accessible whenever the mood strikes me. I have a big, bound, blank journal which I carry wherever I go. It is filled with mini-collages, pencil sketches, and colorful doodles. This journal is a source of happiness for me and I often look at it when I need inspiration. A lot of us have an art hang-up based on an old childhood memory. (Brene Brown said that over 50% of the people who reported a shame incident stated it was related to art!) If you notice a critical voice spouting off reasons not to create, compassionately tell that voice to “shut up” and do it anyway. You are not that kid any longer. You are an adult who can create if she wants to.
  • Rinse and repeat. Take time to kickstart joy as much as possible. Put it on your calendar. Take yourself on a date. Give yourself the same priority that you would give to anyone you love. ♥ —Kim
How do you go about finding your joy again?” Click To Tweet

 

I invite you to nurture what you want.

We are immersed in the heat of summer. Long days, strong winds, major thunderstorms, and high temperatures promote growth but also cause disruptions. Nothing is static right now. I see change in my home, in my garden and in my community.

Sometimes the change is welcome. Watching the plants in the garden get big and strong and produce delicious food is one of my favorite things about summer. Knowing that I had a hand in growing the food which nourishes me and others is soul-satisfying. So too is learning to identify and to use the indigenous plants that grow around me. This on-going education is empowering and encourages me to treat life with the reverence it deserves.

On the other hand, some of the change I have recently witnessed is staggeringly heartbreaking. Watching violence erupt in communities across the globe and hearing hateful words feels frightening, heavy and incredibly sad. I have struggled with not only how I’ve felt but how to respond. I do not want to contribute to the pain.

Fortunately, I received direction from a mentor who reminded me of two things:

1. That in order to heal what ails us, we must draw the poison out of the wound.
2. To change what we do not want, we must intentionally create what we need.

I believe that is what I am witnessing in the world: the festering wounds which come from intolerance, fear, and scarcity. When I, or anyone, believes that there is not enough — that I am not enough — then a paradigm of “us vs. them” is created. In this paradigm, no one wins. There is always someone or some group which is excluded. And as I am sure you have experienced yourself, no one likes or wants to be excluded.

Exclusion builds resentments and thrives on a scarcity mindset. When folks believe there is not enough, when people treat differences as an excuse to judge, then hierarchies are created. The end result is some people or groups are deemed “better” than others. Not only is this mindset dangerous, it causes the hyperarousal of the sympathetic nervous system. It means that everyone is on edge, ready for flight or fight because you never know when you will be on the bottom of the pecking order.

I, therefore, invite you to do two things.

1. Raise your awareness. Where do you feel wounded? When have you felt judged, excluded or hurt? How do your wounds contribute to the way you see your world?

This type of awareness is deep work. Carl Jung recognized this work as the result of the Shadow archetype. We all have a Shadow: the part of us we suppressed and oppressed because of shame and fear. Do not judge your Shadow, rather show your Shadow compassion. If you want to draw out the poison, if you want to heal your wounds, then treat your Shadow with love and kindness. By the way, when you can treat yourself in this manner, then you will be able treat others with kindness and compassion.

2. Create what you want. Identify how you want to be treated. Connect with how you want to feel and then make a plan for how to bring this idea into the world.

Too often our first response is to protest. I get that. Truly I do. I have spent much time and energy protesting. Here’s what I can tell you about protesting: it’s a short-term solution. Protesting doesn’t involve a plan beyond the protest. Protesting doesn’t offer solutions. In fact, protesting keeps the focus on what you don’t like, and subsequently, feeds the monster.

Instead, I invite you to nurture what you want. You want to see people treated with respect? Then make a plan for how you are going to treat yourself and others with respect. You want to see peace? Then create a practice for evoking peace in your life. (I recommend watching your language. How you speak to and about yourself makes a huge impact on peace.)

I extend this invitation because I want you to know that you are not alone. I imagine that a lot of us have felt overwhelmed by the festering wounds so recently witnessed in the news. I know I have.

But what keeps me sane is knowing there is a tribe of change agents who are ready and willing to create a world where kindness, respect and compassion abound. Please share your contribution to creating a peaceful world: your choice will inspire me and others, but more importantly, will give us hope.

Love,
Kim Bushore-Maki

Shatter the restraints of the Good Girl.

The Broadway musical Wicked, adapted from Gregory Maguire’s novel by the same title, is an alternative ending to the Frank L. Baum’s classic The Wizard of Oz. In Wicked, Elphaba, a talented but green-skinned girl is sent to a boarding school where her beautiful and popular roommate, Galinda, takes an immediate dislike to her. Eventually, the two girls become friends but only after some intense rivalry, misunderstandings, and life-changing events.

As you may have guessed, Galinda later becomes “Glinda, the Good Witch of the North” and Elphaba, the reviled “Wicked Witch of the West.” Neither label is accurate and does not come close to explaining the intricate personalities or motivations of either woman. But the labels do make it easier for the politicians and public relations managers of Oz to cover up citizen right’s abuses, inept leadership, and scandal.

Initially, Elphaba is courted by the school’s headmistress who recognizes Elphaba’s special magical powers. Elphaba is flattered and excited to develop her talents. However, once she realizes that the headmistress is in cahoots with the fraudulent and unethical Wizard of Oz, Elphaba decides to strike out on her own and correct the injustices she sees. Before she leaves, Galinda pleads with Elphaba to “just say you’re sorry” and not throw away her bright future. Elphaba responds:

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!
(“Defying Gravity”, Wicked)

I love that Elphaba acknowledges that it is “too late to go back to sleep.” She has woken up and no longer want to play “by the rules of someone else’s game.” The Buddhist teacher Ken McLeod calls this phenomenon “waking up to the messiness of one’s life.”

In his article, “Forget Happiness,” McLeod says: “Mess is part of life, not something extra that can be done away with if you just manage to live the right way.”

Elphaba instinctually realizes that playing the game is not going to resolve the mess that is a part of her life. As she tells Galinda,

I’m through accepting limits
’cause someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!
(“Defying Gravity,” Wicked)

At this point in the story, we witness the great divide. One girl, Elphaba, decides to chart her own course outside the bounds of convention while the other girl, Galinda, chooses to be “good” and adhere to the rules set by someone else.

Galinda’s choice perpetuates the myth that happiness is a result of taking control of your life and your experiences in life. McLeod calls this belief an “illusion of control” and redefines happiness as “how to be free and at peace in whatever life throws at you.” (McLeod, Forget Happiness)

As Galinda discovers, there is a high cost for being good. Yes, she eventually expels the Wizard from Oz. And yes, she does become the ruler of Oz. But she also loses her closest friend, Elphaba, as well as the man she loves.

Elphaba, on the other hand, learns to make peace with what life throws at her. She lets go of expectations. She works spells to save the downtrodden. She asks for what she wants. (True, Elphaba doesn’t always get wants she wants — her sister’s silver slippers, but she learns to use her voice.) And she uses her power to save the man she loves. Yes, she must appear dead to all the world (she really didn’t melt), but one could argue she had to die in order to create the life she wanted.

I think this is true for all of us. Our Good Girls (or boys) have to “die” in order for us to wake up to the messiness of life. Just like Elphaba, we have to defy gravity and take the leap in order to shatter the restraints of the Good Girl.

To stand in our power does not mean that we no longer have problems. Rather, to stand in our power means we are awake to the messiness of our own life and are willing to make peace with whatever life throws at us.

For the record, I do not think this is easy. I spend a lot of time and energy working on being with what is. Sometimes I find it’s not so hard, and other days, I look for an escape. But what I cannot do is pretend. I agree with Elphaba: it is “too late to go back to sleep.”

This is why I believe we need healing communities where it is safe to wake up. Because I’ve benefitted from being with people who support and understand me, I am committed to providing that space for other women to feel good.

If you would like to be a part of a healing community, if you would like to receive the tools and the love to heal, then I invite you to join me. It’s time for a revolution – a new way of being in the world. Click here to find your tribe and be a part of the revolution.

Wishing you much peace.

Love,
Kim Bushore-Maki

Kim’s Top Ten Reasons to Embrace your Inner Real Girl

Keeping in the spirit of reconnecting with the real you, I wanted to share with you, my Top Ten Reasons to Embrace your Inner Real Girl.

  1. She knows what you like and is not afraid to tell you.
  2. No one else understands you as well as she does.
  3. She gets your jokes.
  4. She will never leave you.
  5. She knows how to keep you safe.
  6. You don’t have to explain yourself to her.
  7. She will dance with you, jump in puddles with you and sing karaoke with you.
  8. She calls it like it is. You can trust her.
  9. You are her best friend.
  10. She loves you just the way you are.

Real girls become real women who know what they want. Real women can set limits, speak their minds and follow their dreams. They value their personal energy and power, and subsequently, do not give it away. Real women take responsibility for their choices and live with no regrets. Real women are powerful.

And as a free gift to you, CLICK HERE to download a pdf of this list.

Be a part of the revolution with me,
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

 

Women's Energy Revival

Are you ready to look at your story?

I am a huge fan of Brene Brown, the researcher, and storyteller who launched a public discussion about shame and vulnerability. (I encourage you to check out her TED Talks.)

I’m bringing up Brene Brown today because her most recent book, Rising Strong, has an important message that I hope will influence our nation’s response to the mass shooting last Sunday in Orlando.

In Rising Strong, Brown speaks of the power of story. She, like I, believe that each one of us owns a particular story: a narrative that we use to explain our current situation. These narratives can be conscious or unconscious. Regardless of our awareness, these narratives shape our thoughts, feelings and actions.

Depending on the story you tell yourself, you cast yourself in a particular role.

Because each role creates a different ending, it is important to:

  1. Become aware of your story and
  2. Make a conscious decision about which role you choose

Being aware of your narrative, however, is only part of the solution. Knowing the story’s arc – the various acts that comprise the plot – is key to understanding your options.

In Rising Strong (p.30), Brown outlines a Pixar’s 3 Act Story, the company know for the films Toy Story and Monsters Inc. (For those of you familiar with Joseph Campbell’s work, you will recognize Pixar’s 3 Act Story as an abridged version of the Hero’s Journey.)

These acts are:

1. The Call to Adventure

The protagonist accepts the call to adventure, learns the rules of the world and experiences an “inciting incident.”

2. The Lowest of the Low

The protagonist attempts to find a comfortable solution to her problem. By the end of the second act, the protagonist learns what it is really going to take to solve the problem. Hint: The solution is rarely the easiest or the most comfortable option.

3. Redemption

The protagonist learns the lesson and shows a willingness to prove it at all costs. The conflict is resolved.

Humans have a conflict to resolve. We need to figure out how to get along.

This conflict, unfortunately, is not new, and depending on who is telling the story, the roles of victim and villain change.

Instead of fighting over who is right and who is wrong, I propose the focus becomes: What can I do to make it better?

We are experiencing the lowest of the low. Losing people we love and fearing who will be next – it doesn’t get much worse.

We have looked for comfortable solutions. We have blamed, shamed and ignored. And when that didn’t work, we looked for a hero.

I am here to tell you that there is no one, absolutely no one, who can be THE hero. There is no politician, minister, police officer, scholar, soldier or social worker who can solve this problem. There is only us – the collective.

Do not abdicate your role. You are vital to the solution.

So I ask:

Are you ready to look at your story?

Are you willing to move toward another, even when they look different from you, worship differently than you, think differently than you?

You, me, all of us can change the ending to the story. Each one of us can be a hero.

You are vital to the solution. Click To Tweet

I offer this prayer of compassion to each and every person on this planet.

May you be free.

May you be safe.

May you be loved.

Namaste,
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

Women's Energy Revival

Are you willing to become a creator?

I’ve got a beef with what I call “passive spirituality.” The idea that if we just wish for something hard enough the universe will provide it. Passive spirituality is to enlightenment as fast food is to healthy eating: we think we are giving ourselves nutritious food but in reality we are reaching for the quick fix and expecting to get the same results as folks who eat food from the garden.

To attain the personal growth and transformation that you seek, you have to be willing to become a creator: someone who is willing to work toward a particular outcome. Yes, you can receive support and help along the way. Yes, sometimes it will feel like things are “just falling into place.”

I encourage you to celebrate and enjoy those moments of nurturance and serendipity. And…I hope you recognize that hard work, perseverance and surrender are also part of the creative process, even though they do not feel as good, and at times, can be downright painful and lonely.

Sometimes these painful moments are the necessary side effects of letting go of what no longer serves you. Relationships that no longer sustain you, lifestyles that no longer nurture you and mindsets that keep you stuck are just some of the baggage we must let go of in order to make room for what we are creating.

Knowing it is time to let go does not erase the pain of saying good-bye to people, habits and thoughts that you once needed. Giving yourself permission to mourn what is no longer is just as important as celebrating the wonderful things you are birthing. To both mourn and celebrate is to honor the cycle of life and death, the ying and the yang, the alpha and the omega. Both ends of the continuum need to be acknowledged in order to understand and to fulfill your role as a creator.

Being a creator means writing your own story instead of reading from a script that was handed to you. As the wise Brene Brown says in newest book Rising Strong, “When we deny our stories, they define us; when we own our stories, we get to write the ending.”

Through my counseling practice, retreats and online coaching, I encourage women to write their own endings: to create the life that they want. As you may imagine, this work is exciting and hopeful and joyous. I love seeing women shed the old stories which hurt and limit them. It is the same thrill I get when watching a live birth: I recognize I am in the presence of a miracle.

This work also means holding space for the pain and the shame and the fear which comes with acknowledging the old story – the one we did not ask for but got regardless. These moments are sacred and require us to trust and to be vulnerable: not easy, but necessary characteristics of a creator.

To quote Brene Brown again: “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

Innovation, creativity and change are not passive endeavors. They require us to be active participants in our lives: to harness our energy in such a way that we feed that which we are growing. This harnessing of energy, this commitment to change, is revolutionary because it means we are no longer giving away our power, we are no longer spending our energy on the old stories.

Innovation, creativity and change are not passive endeavors. Click To Tweet

Every time we say no to the old story, we take back the power that we gave to that story’s creator. Every time we say no to other people’s definitions of who we are or who we are supposed to be, we reclaim our energy. Managing our own energy and writing our own story is how we become well-adjusted people, community activists and thought leaders. In other words, we can write our own happy ending, but only if we are willing to do the work.

Tell me. How do you want your story to end?

Love,
Kim Bushore-Maki