May 27, 2011

Linedraw’s Oprah Winfrey Quote

Oprah Winfrey ended her 25 year run and her powerful words reverberated deeply. And I cried. Cliché, but true.

Here’s the thing about Oprah’s journey. When we started out watching her she was on a personal (albeit public) path to discover what life, love, god, and purpose was all about. And she did. Yes, she’s still a student, but in the last few years those who watched got to see her find true spiritual awakening and the grounding that comes with that. She came to know her truth about these big ideas and her relationship to life.

While many of you saw her final episode, there are also many who didn’t and I wanted to recap the big lessons she shared which I quickly scribbled down on the back of my week’s to-do list between wiping my eyes.

Each of these is an important reminder for us and a powerful guidepost for how we choose to lives our lives:

1. You are responsible for your own life. No matter what your mother did or father didn’t do. You alone are responsible for your own life.

2. Everything is energy. You are energy and you are responsible for the energy you put out and bring it other’s lives.

3. Worthiness is your birthright. By being alive you are enough.

4. Everyone wants to be heard, validated, and know that what they say matters – even if you disagree with what they say.

5. Everyone is called. Your only task in life to realize what your calling is and be about making it happen. It may or may not align with your profession.

6. Be still and know It. ‘It’ being god or the one or the universe or divine energy. It is always there in stillness. Whispering to you. Whispering to you about your life. What is it saying?

7. It or God or Life is love.

8. There are no accidents.

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Did you watch the final episode? What was your take away? Is there a lesson I didn’t include here? Whether you watched or didn’t, which lesson resonates most strongly for you?

May 19, 2011

Faith is a choice
to believe
during the moments we feel less than
that we are not experiencing the truth
a choice to believe
in the moments we feel disconnected
from ourselves
from me
from you
and them
from this moment

we’re just not seeing clearly.

Faith is the bridge
between a false sense of emptiness
and the truth of our oneness
the truth of our being
and faith
is knowing that even when we can’t see it. feel it. taste it

the truth remains.

Faith is knowing
we are each a mighty and unique wave in the ocean of godalmightymotherspiritholydivine (or whatever you call It)
and
that if we look around and appear to be a muddy puddle

faith is the knowing we’ve just lost our way
and what we see is simply not so.

Faith is knowing the dwelling that is eternally home.

Faith is knowing.

Faith
is
knowing

And through faith we return again and again to the reality of love.

May 13, 2011

To forge our lives into works of art, to master the craft of living, to work patiently with the force of life, and to become ourselves in action requires courage and genuine commitment. It is both an inner commitment–to accept who we are and what we stand for–and an outer one–to take that into the marketplace. In short, we are challenged to make our lives into statements of that which we believe in. This sounds like a tall order, and it is. To touch our authenticity we will have to walk through the fires of ordeal not once but many times. But gold is borne of this fire. Our work in this world is the way in which the base elements are transformed.

So start with an hour. Move to a day. Go for a lifetime.

: From Rick Jarrow’s Creating the Work You Love: Courage, Commitment, and Career

May 11, 2011
Molly Mahar, at her wedding, being joyful as ever.
Some people are put on earth as beacons for the rest of us.

They shine. Like glitter shine. They steer us. They light the way.

Molly Mahar is a sparkly beacon…a beacon of sparkly joy. And yes, she is the woman behind the aptly named Stratejoy.

Molly is not the cloyingly sticky sweet, Hallmark card kind of joyful though. Molly is the real deal. She is complex, wise, savvy, sassy, and simply emanates joy from her very being.

I admit that often I want some of whatever she’s drinking in the morning.

Turns out it’s Joy Juice…no it’s not some nutraceutical supplement for your green smoothie, thank god. Joy Juice is a year-long series of journal prompts she’s created to help us get connected. Speaking as someone who sees a lot of e-programs, I gotta say this is a pretty special one. The questions she asks are thoughtful and soul-stirring and the year-long plan is a rich journey into self-connection and discovery. Delivered right to our inboxes. Check. It. Out.

It goes without saying that Molly embodies The Well-Fed Woman: she’s self-reflective, full of love for herself and others, and taking the world by storm, and most importantly, she doing it in her own authentic way. Read on for her joyful answers to my questions…

What are you TRULY hungry for?

For pleasure. For expressing and indulging joy just for the hell of it.  I want to allow time for whimsy and wonder.  I’m craving pleasure born from a ramped up connection to what turns me on now, as a newly married 30-year-old, instead of remnants of what turned on my cleavage-baring-power-flirting 23-year-old self…

For a home. An expression of my life in physical, tactile form—we’ve been so nomadic and free and “for now” that I’m excited about being grounded.  This hunger is for both an the actual house to place my collection of carried beautiful (All my books! And favorite dessert bowls!  And my paintings from around the world!  And my perfume!) and in the experience of establishing the communities I’m craving: a spiritual home, a place to be of service, and a circle of close friends.

For connection, of all types.  This is something I’m always hungry for!  I desire an electrified open line to my higher power.  I’m completely curious about people…

I want more juicy conversations, more sparkling moments of recognition, more soul-to-soul unveiling.

What’s a craving that you previously denied that you now happily satisfy? How has this impacted you?

Full Self Expression.

I grew up learning how to bottle my feelings and needs.  I was an ace Ice Princess, the type that would fight by shutting down completely, only saying, “I’m fine” with narrowed icy eyes and then giving you the silent treatment for days.  I took care of myself a lot of the time, never realizing the power of asking for what you need.  I kept it all inside and suffered for it.

Now, I feel (almost, almost!) fully expressed. I talk out loud to myself all the time, as if I’m practicing checking in with myself and expressing my opinion of the world around me.  Yes, this drives my husband batty!  I journal and talk and blog about my true feelings on the world, success, sex, money, compassion, comparison, whatever.  I’m not scared to ask or answer the hard questions.  I do what feels “good”, those things that feel connected to my personal integrity. I do my best to avoid doing things that feel like “no’s” even if they’re expected of me.

Satisfying this craving has allowed me to settle happily into my own skin, my own world.

It’s amazing what simply embracing yourself, with all your messy and lovely and wacky bits, can bring about in your life.  I feel more like myself than ever.

What are you a conduit for? What comes through with ease, meaning, and spark?

Enthusiasm.  Helping others see their worth.  Asking big juicy questions. Total acceptance–I’ve always been one of those people that others tell their secrets to…

I’ve used these skills my entire life, but it wasn’t until I took the risk to do indulge them on my own terms that they’ve really gelled for me.  I feel insanely grateful that I get the opportunity to channel these gifts every single day.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

Oh, I’ve got an entire story about this one!  Quick version: Nepenthe in Big Sur.  A white wine blend and beet salad with chevre and pea sprouts.  A lovely afternoon of sunshine and serious amazement.

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posted in full living / interviews
May 7, 2011

Itsastich’s Bicep Embroidery

I love typologies.

I love how they help us get to know ourselves better and when we know ourselves better (our strengths, weaknesses, tendancies, and orientations) we become better citizens of the world in turn.

While no one typology can tell us all we need to know about ourselves (and some tell us nothing) I think that when you put them together, collectively, they help us begin to map our unique constellation.

I highly recommend finding out your Enneagram type, Myers-Briggs is a must, Numerology is nifty, and yes you should have your full astrological chart read. As of late, I’ve been really fascinated by the Clifton StrengthsFinder.

Named for “the Father of Strengths Psychology” Donold O. Clifton this assessment is based on the premise that we are better off developing and leading with our natural strengths than trying to improve our natural weaknesses.

With StrengthsFinder “the goal was to start a global conversation about what’s right with people.”

That’s a conversation I want to be a part of.

Some of the assessments I mentioned above are free to take, Clifton StrengthsFinder is not. While I think it’s money well spent, in order to take StrengthsFinder you’ll need to purchase the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 which includes an online access code. [Note: Don’t buy the book used because the one-time use access code will most certainly have been spent.]

When you take the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment you are given your five strongest strengths from the 34 strength themes or common talents. Of course we each have many more than five strengths, but your results will be your strongest strengths and where it is encouraged you focus.

For full descriptions of all 34 strength themes you’ll have to get the book.

My strengths are connectedness, strategic, activator, ideation, and futuristic.

To give you a sense of what these mean here are excerpts of Gallup’s descriptions of my strengths [Oh and there’s some good stuff below these lengthy excerpts, so if you want to just scroll on down, you’ve got the green light to do just that]:

Connectedness
Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in your soul you know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others may label it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated from one another or from the earth and the life on it. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries.

Strategic
The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path — your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.

Activator
“When can we start?” This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You may concede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that “there are still some things we don’t know,” but this doesn’t seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your next. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can’t. You must put yourself out there. You must take the next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.

Ideation
You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.

Futuristic
“Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests — a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world — it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits. You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People will want to latch on to the hope you bring.

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After I took the assessment I started to wonder what the strengths were of other people I knew and worked with. I wondered, if two coaches would share many of the same strengths? I wondered if I surrounded myself with people who brought the same strengths to the table or if I had diversified my tribe. I wondered if by looking at the results for someone I knew I’d say “Of course, that makes total sense!” or “Hmmm, that doesn’t seem like them at all.”

The following is a little round-up of some women I admire and in some cases, am lucky enough to get to work with. Perhaps you appreciate their work as well and will enjoy getting to see them from this new perspective.

Danielle Laporte: Achiever, Relator, Intellection, Futuristic, Strategic

Lianne Raymond: Woo, Ideation, Input, Strategic, Learner

Dyana Valentine: Activator, Futuristic, Ideation, Individualization, Relator

Alison Gresik: Empathy, Learner, Intellection, Developer, Connectedness

Molly Mahar: Positivity, Input, Empathy, Activator, Communication

Jennifer Lee: Maximizer, Futuristic, Strategic, Empathy, Developer

Andrea Scher: Empathy, Woo, Developer, Activator, Connectedness

big thanks to these incredible women for sharing their StrengthsFinder results with us.To learn more about what these strength themes mean and to take your own assessment you can purchase StrengthsFinder 2.0.

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Have you taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment? If so, please share your strengths in the comments. Do you think it’s accurate? What other typologies do you use? What typologies do you think are total bunk?

Hi, I'm Rachel

I am a life coach and fierce advocate for women feeding their truest hungers. I'm also a curator of inspiration and this is where I share the wisdom I've gained, words that trigger deep reflection, and resources to help you live your most well-fed life. Feast onward.

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