September 4, 2013
kate.northrup.headshot

A Well-Fed Woman seeks to find harmony in her dance of giving and receiving. This applies to food, for sure, and relationships, without question, but it also applies to money. The epidemic of hungry women extends beyond the table and bedroom into our bank accounts.

When I work with hungry women they almost always have tortured relationships with their money. And I get that, it’s another area where we’re not given a healthy model, not in the least. When it comes to money, as it does to food and sex, we socialized to feel ashamed. Shame about wanting or having too much money and shame about not having enough. Shame about what we don’t know and shame about what we don’t do.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Money can feel good. Really good.

Enter: Kate Northrup.

Kate’s been there. She knows, intimately, what it’s like to feel all tied in knots about money. Not that long ago Kate was in $20,000 of debt, though from the outside you might not have known it. Can you relate?

She didn’t untangle herself overnight, but she did over  time and along the way she made sense of her own dollars and cents.

Lucky for us, she’s captured her wisdom in a brilliant new book, Money, A Love Story.

If this an area you crave being more Well-Fed in, I  highly recommend getting to know Kate and grabbing a copy of her new book. I’m honored to share her words in this latest installment of The Well-Fed Woman interview series. Read on…

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Kate, what are you TRULY hungry for? 

I’m truly hungry for a world in which men and women know that they have the power to create the freedom to have the choice to do what they want with their most precious asset, their time. When we have the kind of freedom where we don’t have to make decisions on how we spend our time based on needing to trade hours for dollars, we can show up and be more present to our purpose, whatever that may be. I’m hungry for this for everyone and that’s why I teach people how to create financial freedom.

What’s a craving that you previously denied that you know happily satisfy? How has this impacted you? (not talking about food necessarily)

I’m still working on giving myself the pleasure of dancing regularly. It’s always been a passion, but for some reason after college I started denying myself of it. I stopped going to class and just didn’t prioritize it. Every time I dance I feel free and more connected with myself and to the divine. Going to class, even if it’s a Zumba class, is one of the most nourishing things I can do for myself.

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

I’m a conduit for practical wisdom. When I write I feel like my fingers just type and I’m able to teach things that I wouldn’t have been able to teach if I weren’t writing it out. I recently read back through my book on a final round of edits and to be honest, I couldn’t remember writing large parts of it. Information that the world needs just kind of comes through and I trust that if I’m compelled to write it, someone needs to hear it.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

Delicious spicy thai veggies with friends, family style, at Fresh in Bridgehampton, NY.

posted in interviews
February 7, 2013

shannon.wilkinson

 

This past December I was fortunate enough to score a spot on a cozy couch at one of Alexandra Franzen’s Write Yourself Into Motion workshops (if you have a chance to attend one – GO!). Nestled next to me was Shannon Wilkinson, a life-coach that is all about making change easy and fun. I didn’t know she was a life coach when I sat down. What I knew was that she radiated positive energy and joy. What I knew is that she was delightfully grounded in her body and at home in her skin.

After talking (and laughing) with her over the two days we spent together I discovered that she has some very rare superpowers that we could all benefit from…and that make her a deeply well-fed woman. Using her training in coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and hypnosis (no she did not hypnotize me into writing about her…I don’t think) Shannon makes breaking through our mental conditioning (i.e. stories about why we can’t do something or why it’s too hard, etc.) and into the actions we want to be taking. You can find her at the fittingly named Perception Studios. I’m seriously considering hiring her and I don’t say that often. Enjoy…

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Shannon, what are you TRULY hungry for?

Connection. I hunger for connection with others. Seeing and being seen. I hunger for connection with nature, with things bigger than me. Mountains, oceans, skies, clouds, forests. I hunger for connection with myself. Ease and adaptability, knowing what I really want. 

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

Smiles and laughter. Encouragement. Perhaps that’s why many people feel comfortable with me and tell me things. They don’t know why these things are important, and these things often seem disparate and unrelated. But to me, they make sense. I understand the connections, see the possibilities. When I make these connections, I know how to untangle any unwanted patterns, where to make the shift with ease, bring hope and possibility back into the most difficult of situations. 

What’s a hunger you used to deny that you now happily satisfy? How has this effected you?


When I was little I loved trying to keep up with my older brothers. I liked pushing myself in school and sports. I liked working really hard and doing my best. But then something happened. I only wanted to do things I was pretty damn sure I could do well. I didn’t want to risk making mistakes. I didn’t want to do things that were too hard.Later, as I delved into the personal development field, the whole being gentle and kind to yourself thing pushed me further away from that desire to challenge myself and push hard.In my late 30’s, I rediscovered my love for pushing hard, for having an I-don’t-know-if-I-can-do-this, kind of challenge in my life. Since then I’ve done things I never imagined possible for me. More importantly, I do it with complete kindness for myself, without overdoing it. It may be uncomfortable, but I’m not hurting myself. I’m not burning out. Instead, I’m finding greater ease, and letting go of fears and worries that are irrelevant in the face of true challenges.

Favorite bite in recent memory?


The last slice of holiday pumpkin pie on the summit of Mt. Saint Helens on New Year’s Day. Everything tastes better when you’ve climbed a mountain before eating it.

 

October 15, 2012

You might not know Margarita Tartakovsky, but I hope you know her writing. She’s the Well-Fed Woman behind PsychCentral’s Weightless blog and she consistently puts out some of the best content, according to her, about:

:: “fostering a fulfilling body image and life, at any shape + size. It’s about well-being, not weight.

:: building a healthy relationship with food and yourself. It’s about transforming your self-care, and finding self-acceptance and self-love.

:: becoming a clever consumer and recognizing when women’s magazines and other mediums tout unrealistic and damaging tips and standards.”

It’s no question that Margarita has a spot at my Well-Fed Woman table and I’m happy to share her words with you today.

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Margarita, what are you TRULY hungry for?

I’m truly hungry to let my creativity out. To explore and express myself in different ways, whether that’s poetry or painting (which I’m honestly intimidated to try). I used to draw as a little girl, and I loved it. I’d like to get back to that playful place, again. That place where I can create whatever I want without feeling self-conscious.

(For instance, I’m considering creating an e-book of my poetry, ACK, there I said it, and yet my inner critic is roaring from the rooftops about all the reasons why I’m not cut out to do it.)

I’m also truly hungry to let go, tune into what I’m doing – instead of getting distracted 800 times — and travel the world with my honey (hopefully a Mediterranean cruise this summer).

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

Writing is many things to me. It’s my work, my passion, my loudspeaker, which lets my voice be heard. And it’s my way of connecting with others.

If I had to pick a theme that shows up in all of my writing – regardless of the topic – it’d be kinship. I write to let readers know that they’re not alone; to let them know that “yep, me, too,” because when I read writing like that, it eases my heart. It feels amazing and soothing to know that someone has been there.

I also write to help readers learn to be kinder to themselves and others. To share good information and resources. (That’s one of the reasons I love talking to different researchers, coaches and clinicians. And I definitely learn so much myself!)

What’s a hunger you used to deny that you now happily satisfy? How has this effected you?

I used to deny myself so many things – everything from dessert to compassion to authenticity. I used to think that I had to diet and lose weight in order to be likeable, worthy and confident. In other words, I used to think that I had to earn these things – and looking a certain way would be my currency.

Even if I’d eat dessert it was always with unease. I’d gobble it up or shove it in, as though it was my last meal. Inevitably a stifling kind of shame would wash over me, as though I’d just committed some injustice.

I rarely let myself off the hook for anything. Everything I did could’ve been better. Everyone around me was better. I filled my life with “shoulds,” – what I should like, what I should dislike, what I should wear, what I should do.

When I think about it I really just built a fence around all my hungers, whether it was a hunger for food, a hunger for care or a hunger for self-expression. When I was restricting what I was eating or bingeing on foods that didn’t even satisfy me, I didn’t realize that this colored my entire life. That this was basically a metaphor for the shaky relationship I had with myself.

Now I savor dessert (and a wide variety of foods…yum!). Now I try to be kind and compassionate toward myself. To understand that I’m human, that mistakes are OK. That flaws aren’t fatal. They just are.

I focus on activities that bring meaning and make me happy. I tune into my body’s cues, my needs. I try to live life with all my senses. I spend time with people I love who genuinely love me, too, and have my back.

Living this way has helped me to breathe better. I think that’s the best way to describe what’s changed. I know myself so much more today than I ever did. I believe in myself so much more than I ever did.

I still struggle. I still get super insecure. (That poetry e-book is a good example.) I still forget certain lessons. I still hyperfocus on my shortcomings and gloss over my strengths.

But now I can recognize these struggles. Now I know my mean thoughts are not facts. Now I bounce back faster, and I cope with them in healthy and respectful ways. But, mostly, now I feed my hungers.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

A medium-well steak smothered in Asiago cheese with a butter-and-sour-cream baked potato, grilled asparagus and a glass of Riesling at Ruby Tuesday’s of all places. Man, was it good!

September 25, 2012

I’m sick as a dog today. Wicked sore throat. Fever last night.

But the worst part isn’t how I feel, it’s that I had to reschedule my four clients today because I’m in no shape to coach.

I love coaching. I love my clients. I love my coaching colleagues. Waking up everyday that I get to do this work is the biggest blessing I’ve known.

While the coaching industry goes through a sort of boom, it’s common for people to think that becoming a successful coach is easy. It’s not. There are reasons that those of us who are making a real living and having real impact are doing it.

If you want to be a life coach or you are a life coach but you’re struggling, check out The Coaching Blueprint a wonderful program from my colleague and friend Kate Swoboda. You might know her as Kate Courageous – a moniker she embodies. It’s one of the few programs out there I fully endorse. It really is a product that over-delivers. I wonder where I’d be today if I’d had it when I started out.

Kate is wise, dedicated, and uber-engaged. She’s also one of my favorite well-fed women.

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Kate, what are you TRULY hungry for?

Authentic connection. For me, that means the type of connection where people really show who they are, even their rough edges, because that’s the truest gift of connection–being held exactly for who we are, where we are, as we are. I’m hungry for being seen in that space, too–for surrounding myself with the people who wouldn’t let one bad day or experience define me in their minds. I’m hungry for compassion and ferocious love of the highest order.

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

I have become a total hugger and a crier. I used to be one of those people who felt awkward around hugging. Now I’m like, “Can I GIVE YOU A HUG?” I also used to be one of those people who was so embarrassed by my crying that I’d get that terrible choked-up sensation in my throat to keep the tears from pouring forth. Now I’m fairly open about letting them flow.

The internal critic I had around those two would tell me that both hugging and crying were “Sappy.” BUT–the simple acts of opening to physical affection with others, and the vulnerability of being transparent when something tugs at my heart strings, has opened me up to so much love that I now trust the impulse. I understand now that being unwilling to hug and cry are walls that we erect between ourselves–we think we have to know someone “really well” to do those things.

Hogwash! Next time you see me at a conference, ask me for a hug (especially if you’re having a bad day, because my hugs are AWESOME). Cry with me and beside me, as needed.

What are you a conduit for?

Courage, especially of the truth-telling variety. I’m a conduit for working with fear differently, for re-defining your relationship with fear rather than trying to bat fear away.

I’m a big proponent of people having the lives they want to have. It’s that simple. If you’re my friend and you’re talking about something you want and how it would never happen, expect the next two words out of my mouth to be, “Why not?” And if you tell me a bunch of reasons why not, I’ll probably then say, “I totally hear you. But still–why not? Surely there’s a way. How can I help?”

Favorite bite in recent memory?

Oh, god–can’t do just a bite–it’s gotta be an experience. The two-taco plate with avocado added and cilantro-jalapeno sauce at Cafe Zazzle in Petaluma, followed by the gluten-free fig cake for dessert at Wild Goat Bistro, followed by a walk and lots of laughter and conversation with my gorgeous man along the Petaluma River. We do this a few times a month. It’s nourishment inside and out.

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Thanks Kate! To learn about what all she’s up to check out her wonderful website Your Courageous Life and if you’re interested in The Coaching Blueprint, I can’t recommend it enough. 

 

August 28, 2012

Tiffany Moore is like an Everlasting Gobstopper. Yeah, the Wonka candy.

When you first taste her she’s sweet, full of light, and love, like cotton candy. But you keep on tasting and then comes the sass, the wham-bam wit and the curse words (oh my!). Next you discover that she’s full of wisdom and life smarts (key coaching qualities). She’s a multi-course meal and delicious wow. And like the Everlasting Gobstopper, there’s always a new surprise that leaves you wanting more.

I’ve known Tiffany for several years and it’s been so fun to watch her come into her own as a life coach. Today is her debutante ball…her introduction into society…her new website has launched, her services are upgraded and polished, and her special Gobstopper-brand of wisdom, shared on her blog, is at it’s best.

If you’re in the market for a coach (other than you know who ;))…make sure Tiffany is on your radar. She’s one of a kind and oh-so-good at what she does. One thing she’s known for is asking big questions…like…BIG questions. And it’s because she does this in her own life that shes lived her way into being one of the most wonderful well-fed women I know.

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Tiffany, what are you TRULY hungry for?

Space, quiet, time to create.

It’s about accountability – what I’m truly hungry for is to be accountable to myself first, taking care of my own things before everyone else’s. This is something I’ve been working towards in the last few months. How do I unapologetically (that’s the key!) put myself first and make sure that I’m honoring what I really need in this life?

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

I have started being at peace with my instinct and what I really want, learning to tell the difference between what is right for my life and what is simply a good idea. I’m letting go of trying to make myself feel a certain way or get behind a specific idea when I know that it just isn’t right for me. Not being right for me is a good enough reason not to do something.

I’m consistently asking myself how do I own my truths – the things I know in my soul – even if they might not lead to the most popular answer? The key to my best life doesn’t involve winning a popularity contest. This has created some challenges for me in the immediate – people don’t like it when you buck the system! – but I know that it will ultimately do nothing but serve me.

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

Joy. Enthusiasm. Humor. Love. When I was younger, I used to be self-conscious about my smile and my good cheer. I was always “that happy girl.” Now I realize that it is one of the most amazing things about me – this is my spark. You can be happy and fierce all at the same time – they don’t cancel each other out.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

Can I say a sip? I had a delicious glass of champagne just last night at a friend’s housewarming party, surrounded by amazing people. It’s really all about the people.

August 16, 2012

 

10 years ago, when I began my journey to understand how we relate to our hungers, I was introduced to a then budding paradigm called Health at Every Size. This “belief system”, abbreviated as HAES, bucks the dominant view that weightloss and dieting are the path to health and happiness, instead offering intuitive eating and pleasurable physical activity as a more successful route. I’m thrilled that HAES is now back by solid scientific research and is increasingly considered the best approach to well-being and weight.

Leading the charge is Dr. Linda Bacon who pioneered some of the research that supports HAES and authored the book Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. If you want a basic primer on the tenets of HAES, Dr. Bacon has written an excellent (and free) manifesto that you can check out HERE.

Oh and if you’re interested in bringing the HAES approach to parents and young people check out The Body Positive.

I like fantasize sometimes about a high council of Well-Fed Women (think Knights of the Round Table) that brings together the leaders and lighting rods of this community. Let it be know, at least in my fantasy, I’ve saved Dr. Bacon a special seat at the table.

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Linda, what are you TRULY hungry for?

I am hungry for a world which values diversity and treats all bodies with respect.

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

Ice cream! I used to believe that ice cream was fattening, and that it stood between me, the body I wanted, and all the other good things I thought would come along with that body. Boy, was that loaded. I’m sure you can imagine what those ideas did to my ability to actually enjoy the ice cream! No longer buying into the value of dietary control, the belief that certain foods are “bad” and should be avoided, my own fears of being fat, and having confronted a host of other damaging myths has been tremendously freeing. Ironically, giving up on these ideas about dieting and weight loss helped me to settle into a comfortable weight, something I never achieved when I was resisting my ice cream craving.

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

These days, it’s words.  They’re just flowing out of me faster than I can keyboard. I’m enjoying jamming out another book.  It builds on the ideas of my previous book, Health at Every Size. It’s tentatively called Eat Well: For Your Self and the World, kind of a manifesto for cutting neurosis from our daily diets and, in the process, improving our health and the health of our world. It includes an in-depth look at nutrition, including the science and politics of food.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

I’ll get literal here again and talk about food because I just spent the afternoon making arancini.  Came out amazing.  Arancini, at least my version, are risotta/saffron/cheese balls that I toss in panko (bread crumbs) and bake, and then serve on a marinara sauce with fresh basil.  A perfect complement to roasted asparagus. I’ve been sampling along the way, but I’m trying to show some restraint until my family comes home for dinner. Not easy.

July 10, 2012

A few weeks back I invited my local coaching clients on a field trip.

We went to the Thursday evening Insight meditation sitting group at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery.

We went because several of them had mentioned during their sessions that they wanted to attend but were nervous to as they’d never been before. They wondered who would be there. They wondered what the protocol would be. They wondered if they would stand out at the “new kid.”

I’ve been there. Haven’t we all? Just wanting someone show us the ropes and energetically hold our hand so we can find our footing. For my clients, it was meditation. For others, it’s a dance class or online dating.

I love anyone who helps others feel safe, welcome, and at ease when trying something new and that’s a big part of why I love Anna Guest-Jelley.

Anna makes yoga accessible for many people who might not otherwise so easily find their way to the mat. As the founder of Curvy Yoga, she leads classes that are “inclusive, accessible & enriching for students of every size, shape, age & ability” and trains teachers across the country to do the same.

In a sea of intimidating limber and lithe yoginis she is just what so many of us need.

If you can’t get to Anna’s classes in Nashville or just want to explore yoga from a place of radical self-kindness you are going to want to snatch up Anna’s new book: Permission to Curve. I really do find myself squealing with delight as I share this. I care so deeply that everyone — absolutely everyone — be invited to feel at home in their bodies, on the mat, the meditation cushion, and the dance floor.

I’ve long wanted to interview Anna for the Well-Fed Woman series, but you don’t have to wait one more second…

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What are you TRULY hungry for?

Self-trust. I’ve received this message (usually the hard way) at least a hundred times the past few years. It’s become especially apparent as I’ve navigated my way from a lifetime of body loathing to body loving. As someone who has been on 65 diets in my life, I suppose this is most evident in how much more I am trusting myself to eat what I need, when I need it.

Perhaps more interestingly, though, it also shows up in several other areas of my life, including making career decisions (like deciding to leave my full-time job last year and transition to working with Curvy Yoga only). It has also affected my yoga practice pretty dramatically. I used to practice with the triple AAAs: ambition, angst and even aggression. I just pushed my body so far, too far. Even getting injured (more than once) wasn’t enough to stop me.

But as I began to listen to my inner wisdom and trust it, I realized that nothing positive was driving the AAAs. For me, they came from a feeling that I wasn’t a “true” yoga practitioner because my body didn’t look anything like most of those I saw in class. What self-trust taught me, though, is that the AAAs don’t have a place in my practice. But what does is self-trust: only from that solid ground can I get what I’m really hungry for — the knowledge that I’m okay, just as I am.

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

The middle way. I’m inclined towards the blacks or whites, eithers/ors. This is true for me in pretty much every part of my life. When I’m in, I’m IN. And when I’m out, well; I’ll forget I was in faster than you can blink your eye.

This passion has served me well in some aspects/times of my life, but mostly it left me anxious and unsettled.

So now I let myself have both/and — delicious food that doesn’t trigger my food allergies, strength and flexibility in my yoga practice, time with my work and time with my husband.

I used to think that only “selfish” people thought they could have both/and. But now that I’m happily partaking, I have to say it feels far from “selfish” (in its typical negative connotation). It feels deliciously whole.

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

I’m a conduit for empowerment. This is the thing I know for sure about myself, as Oprah would say. I’m able to help my yoga students find their internal strength and a practice that works for them. And I’m able to help the yoga teachers I certify to find their true voice — bringing forth their teaching in the way they really want.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

Watermelon. Nothing says summer more to me than that first bite of fresh watermelon.

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Thanks Anna! To find out more about Curvy Yoga, find a Curvy Yoga teacher near you, or to get Permission to Curve visit www.curvyyoga.com.

June 13, 2012

In my life I’ve been blessed to meet and work with some incredible healers. You know those people who you think of and say “If not for them, I’d be…”

Laurie Wagner easily finds a spot in this crew. A year ago I found my way to one of her in-person Wild Writing groups and came into contact with a practice I think I’d been seeking my whole life. Because of Laurie and her teachings I have a way into my heart and mind when they feel impenetrable and cloudy. Because of Laurie I have the most profound understanding that I am not alone on this journey. Because of Laurie I have a way to tell my truth and circumvent my perfectionistic filters that too often scrub the good stuff out of a story.

For a long time you could mostly only work with Laurie if you lived in the Bay Area. Earlier this year that changed and she launched her first e-course Telling True Stories. It was such a success (I heard first hand how great it was from some of the students) that it’s launching again next week. I don’t recommend e-courses very often, mostly because I don’t learn well that way AND it goes without saying that Laurie’s course gets my total endorsement. I know her teachings and how they can crack you open. The fact that you now have access to them makes me endlessly joyful.

You know what else makes me joyful? Laurie’s words below. I think you’ll see that she didn’t “phone it in” as they say. She shows up here so authentically and real, like she does, that this long overdue Well-Fed Woman interview jumps off the screen.

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What are you truly hungry for?

The freedom to trust, to move instinctively, to see openings and possibilities instead of boulders blocking my path. I’m hungry for a light step, a let’s-roll attitude that has me throw a little more caution to the wind, close my eyes, point my finger and go.

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

Honestly, it would be a lie to tell you that I broke down and bought a croissant or a muffin. It would be a lie to tell you about how every summer when I get back to Hawaii I indulge in an Ovaltine Froth – this frozen, muddy, chocolate concoction that my Dad and my kids delight in and which I’ve never had the courage to order, but have always secretly wanted.

I haven’t always been like this. I came from a wild place with food, with men, and with art. I was a girl who drove drunk, a girl who turned up the music and filled water guns full of paint and shot at large pieces of paper. I was the woman who picked strangers off the street and took them home. I was lonely and I was hungry as hell. And then at a certain point, after scraping my ass on the rocks again and again…after waking up in stranger’s beds, after gaining the weight and losing the weight, and ending up always alone and ashamed and hungrier than ever, I started tucking it in and living within the lines. I started making a lot of rules to live by that had me feel safe – not necessarily happy – but safe.

So your question frightens and delights me. Yes I’m hungry to follow instinct, to trust, to say yes – but not in the same way I did in my 20’s and 30’s.  And as hard as I’m trying to come up with a pithy answer that shows my growth in this area, I’d rather stick with what’s actually more true – which is that I don’t always know what I want in the moment. When I am not helping or serving or making something,  I am sometimes lost. I can tell you that I crave the truth – from you – from me – from my experiences. I would rather have two honest to goodness words with someone than to be at a fancy party with movie stars, caviar and small talk. When someone says, “I need to talk to you,” I am all ears, my heart opens.

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

When I’m with people – there’s something about me that has them want to tell me the truth about their lives. Maybe it’s my eyes – which are bright green – like little flashlights. Maybe it’s how when people ask me “what’s up?” I’ll actually tell them. Maybe it’s my innate curiosity and the questions I ask people that have them open up to a deeper part of themselves. Maybe it’s that I am a story maker at heart and am always intrigued by how the language we use says so much about what we believe about who we are and what is possible.

When I work with writers, it’s this deeper story that I’m always looking for, and which, as it arises, I help to lift out of them like new-born babies. And something about being in the presence of what feels essential…something about being able to finish the sentence, “this is a story about…” really feeds me and it feeds other people too. We’re not just writing stories, we’re laying breadcrumbs of understanding along our path – a way to find our way home to ourselves and what matters.

This happens for me when I’m with people, and also on the page when I teach virtually. I’m a “pull,” a “magnet” for what’s real, for what’s essential. It’s like bone marrow to me.

Best bite in recent memory?

Mmmm….in late April I had some incredibly exotic, creamy mushroom lasagna – at least I think those were mushrooms. My daughter, who had ordered the meal, thought she was eating soil and worms – for me it was like biting into spicy wild nature.

But by biting I hope you also mean sinking your teeth into something, which I do a lot – just not with food. I sink my canines in when I’m on the racquetball court and there’s a tiny little ball flying right at my face. I took a satisfying bite into this interview because it took me a few days to find the right words to express something that was true.

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To learn more about Laurie or to sign up for Telling True Stories visit 27powers.org

June 5, 2012

I’m like a moth to any lamp of genuine truth.

As spring is turning to summer, I find myself flocking to breezy white cotton, juicy blenheim apricots, salt-scrubbed skin, hand-written letters, and bursting peonies. I’ve been holding satsang with my own body. I want what’s tactile, what’s real, and what’s essential. These, I know, are key qualities in being a Well-Fed Woman.

My hunger for authenticity and for contact with what’s most basic in life is also why I flock to Susannah Conway, today’s interviewee.

You may know Susannah as the woman behind the wildly popular Unraveling e-course, or perhaps you’ve been inspired by her to look at your life through the magical lens of a polaroid camera, or maybe her own heart-spilled-on-paper writing has allowed you to find your way into penning the truth. This may be the first time you’ve ever heard of her and if so, what a wonderful day today is for you.

Susannah is simply a beautiful beacon for the rest of us and in addition to the wisdom she shares below, I am so happy that her soulful book This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart is available starting today!

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Susannah, what are you truly hungry for?

Love and acceptance. For myself. For my family. For others. For the world. The more I thought about this question the more I realised I’m not hungry for food, or any of the other pleasures I often convince myself I want. I simply want to love and be loved, and to channel all the good stuff that comes from that place into everything I do.

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

The sybaritic side of my personality rarely lets me deny myself anything, which isn’t always a good thing. I eat what I want and buy what I want and pretty much do what I want. Not to excess, you understand, but enough to mean I rarely feel denied. Part of it is because I’ve lived on my own for so long (it’s seven years since I lost my partner in 2005) — I’m single and a homebody so at the back of my mind I feel I deserve some ‘treats’. For the last three+ years I have focussed solely on building my business and writing my book, postponing a social life in favour of work. But in the last six months or so I’ve felt the need to be out in the world. To go on dates and drink too much wine and, basically, let my hair down. So that’s what I’m craving now, and that’s what I’m exploring. It feels good.

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

Truth and honesty. I’ll tell you exactly how I feel, even if sometimes it makes me cringe. I’ve had periods in my life when I felt very alone, when I couldn’t see my experience of the world reflected back at me at all, so now I make a point to be as honest as I can, knowing that when we share our stories with others we feel less alone. I hope that my transparency helps and encourages others.

Best bite in recent memory?

It was actually yesterday’s lunch. I smeared smushed up ripe avocado over two pieces of wholegrain toast, with a twist of salt and pepper. Really simple, really delicious! Followed it with a black coffee chaser.

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Thank you Susannah!

And for the rest of us, today’s the day! Go grab your copy of This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart. It is a stunning read for your summertime. 

May 23, 2012

Some people become a life coach because it’s trendy and they want the work/life flexibility it provides.

Others are just born life coaches. The kind of skill and wisdom it takes to truly help people live their fullest, most satisfying life is naturally in their bones.

Tanya Geisler is part of this latter category. She is a brilliant coach and, amongst those who know her, revered for her ability to give just the kick in the pants you need wrapped up in the most amazing motherly hug. It’s a wicked combination.

If you haven’t heard already, she’s just introduced her Board of Your Life program and I have to say that I think it’s genius. With these guides, Tanya offers and exciting new, and beautifully laid out, way to find clarity and momentum in our lives. Board of Your Life helps us to gather a circle (or rather an advisory board) of key players from our life to help us see ourselves better, remove obstacles, and move closer to what Tanya calls “the starring role of our life.”

I’ve seen inside the Board of Your Life guides and they, like Tanya, are pretty incredible. No doubt it’s the result of her own well-fed life.

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Tanya, what are you TRULY hungry for?

More. (Can you believe it? “More” she said!) I’ve become truly addicted to the belief that I can have it exactly as I want it. So even as my hands are brimming with goodness, here I am, looking for a bigger bowl to house the more-ness that I am hooked on and continue to hunger for.

Because here’s what I see. The more I heap on, the more I share. And the more I send out, the more comes back to me. {Things are pretty giddy around here.}

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

I’ve always been pretty self-aware, which has looked like knowing what I needed. And I could generally figure out how to get it OR make it OR claim it OR make do without it. What’s new is realizing that an easier way might be to ask for it from someone else. ASKING for what I need is new. Quite new.

I’ve had to uncollapse the distinction that asking for help was really asking for permission. {Hint: it ain’t…not by a long shot.}

My Board of Your Life program is deeply rooted in this truth: people want to see you succeed. You actually just need to ask for what you need. I see it every day.

And I work at making sure others are comfortable asking ME. When I notice that I’m so immersed in my own work that I’m oblivious to others around me, I pause and ask my circle: “What do you need from me? I may or may not be able to accommodate, but just ask and let’s see.”

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

Without reservation I know that I am a conduit for people to step into the starring roles of their life. Been doing that since grade school. My indomitable belief is that you are meant to shine. And I know that to do so, you must KNOW your gifts, your values, your strengths. And love them up but good. Then obey them. Devote yourself to them and they will tend to your heart, mind and spirit in ways you cannot even begin to imagine.

Favorite bite in recent memory?

A ridiculously sublime grilled cheese sandwich. (Old cheddar, vidalia onion and granny smith apple). There is precious little that cheese, fruit and bread can’t heal.