You never run out of money, you only run out of ideas

January 7th, 2013 by Jennifer Grainger

It has been an embarrassingly long time since my last edition. Please accept my profuse apologies!

Did you miss me? Or perhaps this is your first issue, which in that case . . . Welcome!

I’ve been traveling at warp speed for more than a year since I picked myself up from total failure in my previous entrepreneurial ventures, where I was, not so graciously, making every possible business mistake so you wouldn’t have to.

That wasn’t my intention, of course, but as my mentor says “what doesn’t kill you makes a great story from the stage,” which is only amusing in retrospect!

Your Marketing Essentials TIP for today:

There is something way more important to your success than whiz bang, latest and greatest, new and improved marketing strategies (let’s see, did I leave out any clichés?) and that is . . .

. . . the state of your mind set. If you are buying into the gloom and doom of mass media, and believing that there is something outside of you, like the economy or unfair competition or government regulations or whatever . . . as being the source of business difficulties you might be having, then you are missing out on the most powerful source of business success available to you this very minute!

Although it is absolutely essential that there be no unrecognized gaps in your knowledge of what it takes to create, market and run a business (because the most detrimental lack of knowledge is when you don’t know what you don’t know, because there is no way to remedy that), and if you are adequately exercising good business practices, and your products or services are providing the promised outcome, then there is one more thing, that if it is missing, none of the other stuff will make up for it.

No one told me what that one thing was. It just came to me one day in a “divine download.” I was wracking my brain as to why, after all the time, money, blood, sweat and tears I’d spent following various business gurus who promised I’d have the same phenomenal success they’d had if I just did what they did, how could it be that I was failing so miserably?

I tell you it was a slap-myself-on-my-forehead moment when I clearly “saw” it was not so much what the gurus were doing, as much as it was who they were being. It wouldn’t have mattered what road they took. They would have succeeded no matter what. It was their mind set and the willingness to do what it takes to succeed (and failure not being an option) that kept them on the train to success until they finally figured out a formula that worked for them.

This was one of those good news, bad news eye-openers. . . good news because it meant if I made changes to myself at the being level, I could leave failure behind and get on the success train, too.

The bad news was I would have to change myself at the being level, and I didn’t know how to do that.

But you know what? As soon as I had the realization that I needed to change from the inside out, and expressed my willingness to do thatthe Operator of the Universe immediately lined up the resources I needed and placed them squarely on my path.

Along with being led to filling in the gaps of what I didn’t know that I didn’t know about how to market my business and getting the (massively expensive) education I needed (which I now teach my clients), I also came across the book Spiritual Economics, by Eric Butterworth. That is where I learned that “you never run out of money, you only run out of ideas.”

And that changed everything . . . because every time I was stuck, either with “no money” or not knowing what to do next, I’d sit myself down in my meditation chair, and stay there until a clear direction revealed itself (which it always does).

BTW when I hear people say they have no money what they really mean is that don’t have as much money as they want in the moment. If you have even one penny, you do have money. So given that what we think about we bring about, saying we have no money invites the universe to match that thought which perpetuates being broke.

One time last year when I was really broke, I plopped myself down in my meditation chair and sat there ‘til I got the idea to clear out the garage to see what I could sell. I came across an old strongbox I’d forgotten I had. In it was a bag of quarters that had been given to me years ago that I had set aside to go through “some day” to see if there were any that might have collectible value. I took the bag of quarters to the coin store. There was one quarter that was worth $63. Wow!

Without a word, and with an impish smile, the proprietor dumped the rest of the quarters into a machine that looked like a giant coin sorter. Then she wrote a dollar amount on a piece of paper, and with the same impish grin on her face, handed it to me.

Seems these old coins had significant silver content, which I gladly traded for several nice sized piles of hundred dollar bills.

Double WOW!

Though that sort of event has not repeated itself, I have always received a worthwhile idea when I needed one.

If you have trouble quieting your mind to receive inspiration when you are in need of a good idea of what to do next, I invite you to download my guided meditation called “Sitting in the Stillness” that I recorded in the late 90s. It is still one of my favorites. You can access a link to download it in the P.S. at the bottom of this newsletter.

Because we live in an ebb and flow universe, we all experience unexpected expenses, sales revenue dry spells, and satisfied customers who get the results they were after and then move on, leaving a hole in the accounts receivable, just to mention a few of the financial challenges in the life of the entrepreneur.

So the idea came to me that maybe YOU could use a good idea right about now. If that’s true, I invite you to request a complimentary 30 minute telephone marketing strategy consultation with me. In the consultation I will ask you where you are now in your business and where you’d like to be. Then I’ll offer you some tips and suggestions on how to get there. Who knows, you might get one of those “divine downloads” for yourself in the process.

That happened just the other day in a client session. I got a “divine download” for my client that so intrigued her that she wrote a rough draft of an article that she thought she might use some day. Lo and behold the very next day a rep from a local publication dropped by her store to ask if she could write a column for an upcoming issue. When my client revealed the topic she had just written about, the rep’s mouth dropped open and her eyes got wide. “That would fit perfectly in the next issue!”

When I asked my client if it was OK to mention this story in my newsletter, she not only said “yes,” she said to mention her name and contact information. She thought you might be interested to hear what this intriguing “divine download” idea was, and she’d love to tell you.

So here goes . . .

Dr. Eunice Green

Green’s Nutrition and Health Food Store

1906 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA

209-464-5738

http://www.greensnutrition.com

regreen@comcast.net

Give her a call, or drop by the store. She said she’d love to hear from you.

And if you’d like to make an appointment for that complimentary strategy session with me, you can email me, jennifer@JenniferGrainger.com, or call me at 209-369-6188.

I’d love to see what insights show up for YOU!

BOTTOM LINE:You have within you the power to gain direct access to the Operator of the Universe who is always sending you guidance. It is just hard to hear through the static of constant distractions and busy-ness. Developing the ability to sit quietly and really, really listen is vital to your success in this rapidly changing world. If you want to be in the right place at the right time when the “shift” hits the fan, there is no better insurance than a clear channel to your divine guidance, whatever you may call it.

So that’s it for this issue. See you in my next newsletter on November 28th.

Joyfully,

Jennifer

P.S. Here is the link to the Sitting in the Stillness Guided Meditation. I am happy to have you share it, just please mention that it came from me. Thanks

So how is it going for you? Was there anything in this newsletter that triggered some thoughts, questions or comments? Click here to contact me. I’d love to hear from you.

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Don’t Make the Business Mistakes I Did!

January 7th, 2013 by Jennifer Grainger

I didn’t start out intending to make every possible business mistake so you wouldn’t have to, but that’s what happened.

Six years ago when my husband, Dave, and I reshaped our relationship from married, to good friends, we had an amicable parting, each of us coming away with a very tidy nest egg.

Though it would be the first time in 25 years that I would be completely responsible for my own financial well-being, I had no worries. I’d just graduated from coach training, internet marketing was just coming on the scene, and seemed like a perfect vehicle for me to build a profitable business doing what I loved . . . providing spiritual seekers who were wandering down the road less traveled to explore the metaphysical/mystical aspect of spirituality in a non-judgmental environment that respected their personal connection with the divine.

My “product” was the opportunity for them to experience more joy and less struggle as they let go of the false selves they were trained to be, while risking showing up as their authentic selves.

Always on the shy side, I liked the idea of attracting clients with a website rather than meeting people face-to-face through networking, which was just short of torture for me, especially when I was always at risk of coming face-to-face with someone who believed I was “dancing with the devil,” which, of course, I wasn’t!

Like a baby mesmerized by the whirly-gig suspended above her crib, I became fascinated with the big success stories of how easy it was to make big bucks on the internet. All I needed to do, said the 10 page sales letters, was follow the “simple formula” of that particular “overnight success,” and I’d be on my way.

Wanna’ know my BIGGEST mistake?

I didn’t know what I didn’t know! I had no idea how huge the gap was between inspiration and implementation when it came to building an internet business. I thought everyone was like me and would want what I wanted . . . more joy, less struggle and to be my authentic self. Fortunately (or not, depending on your perspective) I had a ton of money to throw at the challenge.

When my life savings were used up in the first two years, I had a lifetime of excellent credit from which to draw cash advances on a plethora of credit cards.

I had a team of web related experts to help me build a humongous membership site complete with online products, online classes, online programs, online forum . . . that fewer than a dozen people at any one time were attracted to.

Though I knew something was missing, I just didn’t know what. This made me easy prey for the next hypey “follow-my-formula-and-you’ll-have-the-success-I-had” crapola.

Then one day I hired yet another coach who turned out to be brutal with the truth. “No one wakes up in the middle of the night desperately worried about how to ‘become their authentic self,’” he said. “What’s the urgent problem you solve?” After two months of coaching with him, in which he made it crystal clear that unless I was Deepak Chopra or Byron Katie, I would never make a living as a Spiritual Coach.

Thoroughly convinced that I had nothing of value to offer anyone, ever, and completely devastated, I retreated into silence, listening intently for a whisper of what to do next.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m grateful for all I learned during the five years it took to spend myself into bankruptcy, while working my patootie off to make a living doing what I loved. And, after all, I did survive and recover!

The turn-around came about a year ago, when, through a series of serendipitous events, I was led to my current mentors who have a step-by-step program, complete with fill-in-the blank templates, that set me on the path to success. Just in time, I might add!

No, not as a Spiritual Growth Coach, but as a Marketing Coach to teach what I have learned to women who are going through what I went through . . . working too hard, making too little, and not knowing what they don’t know.

Almost without exception, all my clients have the same two problems that I’d had:

1. An ineffective What Do You Do statement (what you say when someone asks “so what do you do?”) that goes on and on about how they solve the problem, rather than three short sentences that highlight the positive results the potential client can expect to get.

2. No clue how to make it easy for an ideal client to buy when the client bumps into one of the three most common obstacles to buying what you have to offer:

a. Can’t afford it

b. Need to think about it

c. Don’t have the time.

BOTTOM LINE: It is very hard to succeed in business without adequate business training. The “do what you love and the money will follow” is only true if you have the business savvy to be able to turn a profit. As coach Suzanne Evans is famous for saying, “if you are not making a profit you don’t have a business, you have a hobby!” So many women entrepreneurs focus their efforts on gaining more knowledge about the process of what they do, when what they need is business training. As my mentors, Jesse Koren and Sharla Jacobs point out, many hardworking entrepreneurs have more letters after their name than they do clients. This would be really funny if it weren’t so true!

TIP #1: People don’t care how you produce results, they only care about what results they will get, so you must first do a market survey to find out what they perceive is their problem. People are more prone to buy what than want rather than what we experts believe they need!

TIP #2:,You must craft your What Do You Do statement, in three or four sentences at the most, to clearly state the problem you solve and the results they can expect to get from working with you. You can skip all the techno-babble about how you do what you do. They don’t care!

TIP #3: If you go into persuasion mode when the potential client with the exact problem you solve, who wants to buy your solution, says “I can’t afford it,” or “I need to think about it,” or “I don’t have the time,” you are missing a vital skill set. Knowing the respectful and heart-centered questions to ask that support your client in mustering the courage to say yes to their dreams is a learned skill, that along with your ability to be creative in finding ways to make it work for them, is the very foundation of having a successful business. The male-oriented tactics of the past of “overcoming objections” and “closing the sale” are distasteful. I don’t like being “sold.” And I don’t like being pushy or salesy. Do you? Well, neither do your potential customers or clients.

TIP # 4: Marketing is founded on getting really clear on who you are here to serve and then positioning yourself so they can easily find you. No one is born knowing how to do this, so getting educated on this is essential!

If you’d like a free 30 minute telephone marketing consultation to get crystal clear on where you are now, where you’d like to be, and then get some tips and suggestions from me on how to get there, please go to my online calendar and book an appointment by clicking this link:

https://my.timedriver.com/MF6TL

If you don’t find a time that works for you, email me your best days and times and I will do what I can to squeeze you in!

jennifer@jennifergrainger.com 209-369-6188

P.S. As Katherine Woodward Thomas and Claire Zammit co-founders of Feminine Power Mastery say, “You can’t grow yourself by yourself. We all need mentors to move us forward,”

If you have any comments about this newsletter, I’d LOVE to hear from YOU! Contact me at jennifer@jennifergrainger.com

I’ll “see” you in our next newsletter.

Joyfully,

Jennifer 

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Living in the Unfolding

May 9th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

It has been three months since my last newsletter! I have been in “the void” following a couple of intense marketing workshops that have had me dissecting what it is I do, and then attempting to restructure it into a crisp “What Do You Do” statement that succinctly describes “the urgent problem my solution resolves.”

I listened to the advice from the workshop leaders and my tribe of people I met at the workshops who are also honing their What Do You Do statements. With each revision I’ve trotted off to networking meetings to try it out.

Time just flew by as I focused all my attention on finding the magic statement that would clearly identify who I was here to serve: women secretly thinking about getting a divorce, and the solution I was offering: to either help them reshape their marriage by renegotiating it so there was room for them to bloom and blossom, or taking them through the process of dissolving the marriage in a heart-centered and compassionate way that didn’t cost a fortune or make an enemy of their spouse.

The strangest thing happened. Every new client I got, with the exception of one, had a more pressing issue they wanted help with . . . how to get more clients and make sufficient income doing the work they loved!

This left me grateful to be able to show my new clients how to change their mind set from “hating selling” to “being visible to the people who are looking for the solution they offer,” but it also left me confused about my purpose.

I was certain my purpose was to change the face of divorce in America, given the beautiful way Dave and I stepped onto different life paths, ending our 25 year marriage without severing the love we have for each other. But what I found after months of networking is that apparently most women don’t want to make an appointment for a free coaching session to assess their marriage. I am guessing they don’t want to think about divorce until they are sure how it will all work out if they do get a divorce.

Couple that with a tremendous willingness and capacity to suffer unhappiness for years on end hoping something will change (I did that!), and my “solution” is apparently not one women were looking for.

Back to the drawing board!

So this has left me in marketing limbo, not knowing how to take my basic message of “carving away the good girl you were trained to be, to reveal the woman you were born to be, so we can sculpt the life your heart and soul are yearning for,” which I LOVE . . . and integrate it into the niche of helping women market their heart-based business to get more clients and be abundantly financially self-sufficient.

Or maybe there is another niche I am destined to serve. I don’t know. So I am living in the unfolding . . . letting the puzzle pieces come to me, knowing that at some point, it will all fall into place. Since I don’t know when that will happen, I decided it was time to resurface and let you at least know what is going on with me. It is also an opportunity to share my “living in the unfolding” process in the hopes you might find it useful for your own “unresolved dilemmas,” if you have any (smile)!

Here is what I have learned in the last three months. Life is an unending series of dilemmas. And the choices I make are the blueprint for what comes next.

I’ve also become convinced that the Universe has my back (and yours) because every “catastrophe” has resolved in a way that nurtured my ability to trust life. In a light bulb moment I “knew” that everything that happens, no matter how it looks, is purposeful and for my highest good.

When I stay in present time, and let each situation unfold moment by moment, holding the truth that even though I can’t see how there can be a good outcome, I can trust that if I stay connected to my guidance, stay out of fear, and just do the next thing in front of me to do, it will work out in ways I might never have considered.

Actually, it is easier than you might think, once you get the hang of trusting that no matter what happens you will always know what to do (or not do) in any given moment. The key phrase here is “in any given moment.” That means not projecting disastrous scenarios into the future and then worrying that it might happen, but instead to keep a steady focus on how you’d like it to be and to ask High Quality Questions around the desired outcome. This way the power of your thought is on creating the desired outcome rather than the undesired, disastrous one.

This “living in the unfolding” is working really well for me and my clients, too . . . lots less worry, more trust, which results in a calmer, more serene day-to-day experience.

There is not a lot of cultural support for living in the unfolding so you need to have some people in your life who are wanting to live with more joy and less struggle, too; who are willing to exchange worrying about what they don’t want, to focusing on what they do want.

Simple, but not easy.

BOTTOM LINE: We truly do create our own reality by how we choose to view the circumstances of our life. We get to name it as “it shouldn’t be happening,” and create a lot of drama and story about how bad it is (or “they” are), or. . .  accepting “what is” and taking it one moment at a time, doing what is right in front of us to do, trusting that it is purposeful in some way.

TIP: The single most important thing you can do to have more joy and less struggle in your life is to surround yourself with people who have given up the role of victim; who refuse to play the blame game; who believe the Universe is friendly, and that everything that happens is for our highest good.

P.S. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for getting clear on what is not working, what your options are in any given situation, then helping you gently carve away what is not working, and soulfully reshape what remains.

I currently have three openings for Life Sculpting Coaching clients. To see if this is your next step, go here and fill out the contact form requesting a complimentary 15 – 20 minute telephone session to see if my Be the Woman You Were Born to Be Program is right for you.

I’ll respond with an email containing a link to my online calendar of available times for you to schedule a convenient telephone appointment time.

If you have that feeling that you want something different for your life, but not sure what it is . . .  you just know that what you’ve got isn’t it . . . consider a free introductory coaching call to get a clear next step.

If you have any comments about this newsletter, I’d LOVE to hear from YOU!  Leave your comments below or contact me at jennifer@jennifergrainger.com .

Joyfully,

Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, becoming conscious, expanding consciousness, marriage, midlife woman, spiritual practices, spirituality in relationships | No Comments »

If You Are Hanging By a Thread, Get Ready to Snap!

January 26th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

Do you know how miserable it is to feel trapped in a soul-deadening marriage or long-term relationship with no apparent way out except death . . . yours or the other persons?

Well, I am here to tell you, no one has to die for you to be happy!

Make no mistake I know all about silent tears into your nighttime pillow; about lying awake in the early dawn ruminating on how to make the emotional pain of having failed at making the happily-ever-after fairy tale come true; of feeling like you can’t stay another minute, and not seeing any way to leave, while being desperate to find a way to stop the pain!

I know what it’s like to be “stuck at the crossroads;” about “having it all” from the onlooker’s perspective, and feeling guilty and selfish for not being happy when I had so much to be grateful for!

But just because my pain and suffering did not come from bruises or broken bones, or economic hardship, or neglect, and even though I had no “good reason” to be unhappy, I was!

Know what I’m saying?

In retrospect I see that a lot of my pain came from:

1. being so far removed from my authentic self that I freely gave away my personal power, believing that my happiness would come to me from someone or something outside of myself if I just did everything “right,” as I was trained to do.

2. being ill-equipped to vulnerably ask for what I needed in a way that didn’t come across as making my husband wrong.

3. trying to get the emotional nourishment that I never got as a child from someone who wasn’t equipped to give it due to his own childhood traumas.

Over the years, to alleviate the pain, I slowly closed my heart, and brick-by-brick a wall was built between us.

The thing is, my story of the fairy-tale-gone-awry is the case more often than not. And how could it not be?

I mean, really, how many of us grew up with conscious parents who knew how to vulnerably speak from their hearts, and had the communication skills to easily ask for what they needed from someone who was well-equipped to give it?

Right! Not very darn many!

No wonder the majority of  women are having such a hard time getting their emotional needs met in a structure (marriage) that was never intended to be more than a practical way to survive the harsh realities of life on the earth plane!

Just as every other structure we have counted on for decades (if not centuries, in some cases) is coming apart at the seams . . . government, health care, economics, education, employment . . . you name it . . . marriage is undergoing restructuring too. No longer is mere longevity the marker of a good marriage. Today we want an equal partnership with our soul-mate; to be heard, understood and respected, with plenty of space to continue to grow and explore the myriad aspects of our being!

And when there is no more room to grow, like the full-term fetus in the womb, we must be born into the next stage of growth, or die! (At least from the soul’s perspective.)

One thing I know for sure is that the escalating daily pressures caused by uncertainty and rapid change are going to be the last straw for marriages that are not nourishing the heart and soul of the partners, and that have been hanging by a thread for quite awhile now!

I can assure you that no matter how much it has been looking like there is no way out, and that the safest thing to do is suck it up and make the best of it, sooner, rather than later, these compounding pressures are going to cause that fragile thread to snap. It has to happen. The old ways will not survive these new times.

Unless you get ahead of the curve, and take charge of your life by intentionally and consciously creating and following a plan to find the “third option” (the one you haven’t thought of yet, but is definitely available if you know how, and where, to look) here’s what will happen . . .

. . . some otherwise seemingly insignificant thing will be said or done, and the lid will come off the reservoir of swallowed anger, frustration, resentment and grief that’s been sitting in your belly like molten lava in the depths of a volcano. In a flash, the emotion takes over and . . . KA BLAM . . . truth spews forth in an uncontrolled eruption leaving devastation in its wake and a BIG mess to clean up.

If you want to avoid a costly and destructive divorce, you need to tap into the love that is somewhere in your heart, bring it to the forefront, then set your intention to have a heart-centered and compassionate reshaping of your relationship, whether you stay together or not, by carving away what is not working, and reshaping what remains into the life your heart and soul are yearning for!

Here are 5 things you must do to craft a heart-centered and compassionate soul-u-tion:

1. Get very honest with yourself about whether there is any real hope of saving your marriage or if you have passed the point of no return.

2. Know there are always more than two options in any situation. It is possible to maintain the love and leave the marriage.  Brainstorm with me as your coach, or a trusted friend, or in your journal, any and all “out of the box” possible soul-u-tions to your dilemma. You don’t have to act on any of them, but you do need to let the ideas flow without censorship to receive divine inspiration.

3. Take an objective inventory of what is right in the situation, what attracted you to your partner in the first place, and what you would want to salvage?

4. Take the position that you don’t have to be mad at your partner to declare your soul contract complete, and begin the process of moving on in a way that is a win-win for everyone involved.

5. And here is the most important piece. You must “own” your part of the dynamic that contributed to the disharmonies you have experienced. This will be the foundation for a healthier and happier next relationship, whether it is with your current partner, or another.

To be clear, I am neither advocating for divorce, or continuing to work on a marriage that you have outgrown. My passion is to help you avoid a costly and devastating divorce by getting clear on what your heart and soul are wanting from you, and mapping the strategy for a heart-centered and compassionate reshaping, whatever it is, that is a win-win for all concerned.

BOTTOM LINE: The force of the Universe is pounding humanity with the impulse to evolve into our authentic selves. The evolutionary forces are exposing our secrets, revealing our truths, and shining the light into every deep and dark corner of our subconscious minds, whether we like it or not. (I haven’t liked it all that much a lot of the time!). The good news is that the truth will set you free! Really. There is great freedom in having nothing left to hide!

TIP: For centuries humanity has been manipulated by fear, shame and guilt. When you get a flash of insight into a “dark” truth about yourself, it is easy to experience a “crises of recognition.” It takes great courage to face it squarely and embrace it with love. Being horrified only sends it back into the darkness to come out another time when you are more able to love all of yourself. I can assure you no one will judge you as harshly as you judge yourself!

P.S. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for getting clear on what is not working, what your options are beyond the “stay or leave” choice, then helping you gently carve away what is not working, and soulfully reshape what remains.

What deep, dark secrets are working their way into the light of your conscious mind? Hard as it may be to face them, loving them is the key to breaking free! To assist you in bringing your “darkness” to the light, feel free to email your experience to me at jennifer@jennifergrainger.com and I’ll zap it with love and light . . . POOF!

Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Joyfully,
Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, marriage, midlife woman, spiritual practices | No Comments »

Life is Miserable When You Are Stuck at a Crossroads

January 12th, 2012 by Jennifer Grainger

If you are not at a crossroads in your marriage or long term relationship,   and don’t know anyone who is, you probably won’t find this newsletter interesting enough to read all the way to the bottom for the solution.

On the other hand, you might want to keep a copy in the event that someone in your life may be getting ready to drop the news on you that they have been at a crossroads for a while and have finally gotten the courage to move on.

You see, 2012 is going to be a year when what hasn’t been working in people’s lives . . . what has been tolerated just to keep the peace . . . what’s been swept under the rug is going to become intolerable. What’s been unsaid is going to get said. What’s been on the back burner is going to boil over.

Here’s how I know. When people feel threatened or backed into a corner, they do the craziest things. And the more uncertain life becomes, the faster the insecurities pile up, until one day . . . BAM! The stuff hits the fan.

A look at the political arena demonstrates that craziness is rampant today, and a precursor to the falling apart that is happening in all sectors.

Take marriage, for instance. 50 years ago, if he brought home sufficient bacon, and she cooked it well, that qualified as a good marriage.

Wow! Times have changed. The centuries old structure of marriage is collapsing under the strain of expecting our partners to fulfill all of our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual needs!

Yet, that is what the fairy tale promised . . . your Prince would sweep you off your feet, and you’d live happily ever after!

Here’s the kicker . . . the fairy tale left out the most important component of a great relationship . . . a fully authentic YOU! If you have spent years attempting to make things work, doing all the things you have been told were the right way to do it, you have likely lost connection with your own true self!

It’s just a guess, but it makes sense that women who bought the fairy tale have greater expectations of marriage than men, which explains why men are seldom the ones who say “Honey, we need to talk!”

From my admittedly unscientific observation, it appears that it takes less for men to be satisfied in their marriage than women, which leads women to work hard to get to their husbands to change so they can get their needs met, whether they be emotional, physical or spiritual.

While you might be willing to settle for not having your important needs satisfied because you have been convinced that “that’s just the way it is,” your heart and soul won’t give up asking for what they need to feel nourished and alive. As the years go by your heart and soul become increasingly demanding (you feel increasingly unhappy) until the idea of divorce starts showing up.

If your heart and soul are dying of starvation, and you’ve tried everything you can think of to make your marriage better, and you want to leave, but feel you can’t because you . . .

. . . don’t want to hurt him

. . . don’t know how you’d take care of yourself financially

. . . might be worried about the effect on the children, if you have them (even if they are grown)

. . . could be afraid of what your family and friends will think

. . . have fear that you’ll never find love again

. . . are afraid of a costly and destructive divorce

you have the miserable dilemma of being stuck on the merry-go-round of wanting to leave and feeling trapped that you can’t. This misery drains joy out of life, stresses your immune system, and ages you faster than smoking cigarettes and too much sun!

It is the fairy tale that is the root of the misery. It promised a fantasy that no man can fulfill. Yet the needs of your heart and soul are valid, too.

Oh, what to do, what to do?!

1. Take your attention off the relationship and put it on yourself for awhile. Treat yourself like a new friend. Get to know what you like and don’t like. What you want more of. What you want less of. Pay attention to yourself. Do things to please yourself.

2. Start saying “NO” to what you don’t want to do. Only say “YES” when your whole body feels good about it.

3. Fire anyone who has an authority position in your personal life. YOU are the best judge of what is right for you. Your opinion of what feels right to you deserves the highest priority.

4. Take note of how many years you have been taking care of others. Note how many years you likely have left on the planet. Decide when it gets to be your turn to be #1 for awhile.

5. Get clear that it is not wrong or selfish for your needs to have equal importance with everyone else’s.

6. Get support to back you up when those who have had a free ride for way too long start complaining. No one grows themselves by themselves. It takes substantial support to excavate your authentic self, and step into being the woman you were born to be. From that place you become the final authority in your life about what is right for YOU! No one else’s opinion counts as much as yours does when it comes to making choices that affect your well-being.

Today it isn’t longevity that defines a successful marriage, but one in which space is made for each party to thrive and flourish . . . where compromise and sacrifice give way to taking the time to negotiate until everyone’s needs are met, with neither having to sacrifice their important needs “for the sake of the marriage.”

Perhaps you have hopes that your marriage (or long term relationship) can be “saved,” but you don’t know what to try next.

Or, perhaps you have passed the point-of-no-return in your marriage and absolutely know it is time to move on, though you’d like it to be amicable, you may not know where to start.

BOTTOM LINE: If things are not working for you, you can be sure they are not working for your partner! If you are miserable, so is your partner, whether they show it or not. Getting honest with yourself about where you stand is the first step in taking charge of your life to get off the merry-go-round of indecision. Wishing and hoping that things will change on their own doesn’t work. When you shift, others have to shift. Nobody has to die for you to be happy!

TIP: Getting clear on what you want without getting derailed by the not knowing HOW you could make it happen, is the very first step. Once you decide, whether it is to stay and work on it a little longer, or call it complete, the Universe steps in to bring to you all the resources you will need. All you have to do is recognize them and say “yes” to them.

P.S. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for gently carving away what is not working in your life, and soulfully reshaping what remains into the life your heart and soul are yearning for.

I currently have three openings for Life Sculpting Coaching clients. To see if this is your next step, go here and fill out the contact form requesting a complimentary 15 – 20 minute telephone session to see if my Be the Woman You Were Born to Be Program is right for you.
I’ll respond with suggested available times and we can set a convenient telephone appointment time.

Whether you decide to become a coaching client, or not, you can be sure you will receive a solid next step to break the stuck cycle in the no obligation, introductory Be the Woman You Were Born to Be coaching session. Go here now to request your complimentary session.

What crossroads are you facing? Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Joyfully,

Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, midlife woman, spiritual practices, spirituality in relationships | No Comments »

Are You Getting Splinters From Sitting On The Fence?

December 29th, 2011 by Jennifer Grainger

If you are getting painful splinters from sitting on the fence in some area of your life, what better time than now, the start of the new year, to resolve to free up the log jam. Prolonged indecision is a major source of emotional distress and mental misery that can only get worse. Life is dynamic, always in motion. You are either moving forward or backward.

As my friend, Patrice, says: “If you don’t tell the Universe what you want, the Universe will give you leftovers!”

Yuck!

In this historic time of accelerated change and escalating uncertainty, with every aspect of life in flux for all of us, you have the greatest opportunity to carve away what is not working in your life, and reshape what remains into a life that you will love; a life that has loads of space for YOU and YOUR dreams!

It takes courage to take charge of your life; to get off the fence at whatever crossroads you’ve been facing; to let go of what is not working and forge ahead with clear intention of what you want to create for yourself.

The things that can keep you stuck at a crossroad are numerous, but here are a few:

1. Confusion. You may not know what you do want. You just know that what you have isn’t it!
2. Fear of what will happen to you if you rock the boat
3. Afraid you will be thought of as selfish, or unreasonable, or ungrateful
4. Not wanting to hurt others feelings

Often your heart’s desire is buried so deep under limiting beliefs such as “it’s not practical,” or “what will people think,” or “I don’t know where to begin,” or “I don’t how I can take care of myself financially” or “I don’t want to disappoint, or hurt (fill in the blank),” and on and on, that keeps you paralyzed at the crossroads until the emotional pain becomes unbearable.

Unfortunately, waiting until the pain is unbearable sets the stage for regrettable conversations, self-sabotaging ultimatums, rash decisions, and destructive actions.

Here’s what you need to do:

1.    Be honest with yourself about what is not working.
The truth will set you free!

2.    Get clear on what you do want.
This is easier said than done, I know! If you don’t know what you do want, start with listing what you don’t want any more of. This will often bring to the surface what you do want.

3.    Create a step-by-step plan to carve away what is not working.
Start with the least volatile area and begin by saying “no” (without guilt or shame) to at least one thing you don’t want more of, and “yes” to at least three things you do want more of.

4.    Reshape what remains through heart-based renegotiation with the people involved in the areas that need to change.
Keep in mind that relationships never end (even with death), they only change. No matter how badly others may have behaved, it is in your own best interest to make the needed changes with grace and ease, rather than with acrimony and bitterness. (Your nervous system and your immune system will thank you!)

BOTTOM LINE: “The way things are, is the way things will be, until a change is made.”(Mary Kay Ash of Mary Kay Cosmetics.) Wishing and hoping that things will change on their own doesn’t work. And, being resentful and tolerating the intolerable ages you inside and out. You must be willing to change the energetic dynamics of a deadlocked situation by taking the first step in doing something (anything!) different. When you shift, others have to shift. It is not possible for things to continue as they have once you have shifted, even if the shift is a little one.

TIP: Ask yourself the question “if nothing changes, what will my life look like five years from now?” If you don’t like the answer, vow to begin the process of change NOW!

P.S. You can’t grow yourself by yourself. Life Sculpting Coaching is a powerful, fast track system for gently carving away what is not working in your life, and soulfully reshaping what remains into the life your heart and soul are yearning for.

I currently have two openings for Life Sculpting Coaching clients. To see if this is your next step, go here and fill out the contact form requesting a complimentary 15 – 20 minute telephone session to see if my Be the Woman You Were Born to Be Program is right for you.

What crossroads are you facing? Email your experience to me at jennifer@jennifergrainger.com or call me at (209)369-6188. I’d love to hear from you!

Jennifer Recommends
Surrendering to Yourself: You Are Your Own Soul Mate
“Once you come to know who you really are, you are ready for anything.” says author, Iris Krasnow in this autobiographical story of living from truth, uncovering who you are; beyond your parents, marriage, children, career; beyond the expectations of your peer; beyond social games.

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This Be the Woman You Were Born to Be blog is published on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. I’ll “see” you in our next post on January 11, 2012!

Happy New Year!

Joyfully,
Jennifer

Posted in at a crossroads, becoming conscious, expanding consciousness, instability, midlife woman, spiritual practices | No Comments »

Is It Selfish To Be Who You Were Born To Be?

November 28th, 2011 by Jennifer Grainger

 

By the time we were seven or so, most of us had bought into the “good girl” programming. Since our very survival depended on pleasing our caregivers . . . really . . . it was the most intelligent thing to do at the time!

And how did we know which behaviors were the “good girl” ones? Easy . . . the big people in our lives smiled and hugged us when we performed to their standard, and scowled, or shouted, or said things like “shame on you” to squelch behaviors they didn’t like.

Ouch!

Without being aware of it, most of us have an incredibly strong desire to avoid the psychological and emotional pain of shame. We don’t consciously think to ourselves “I am not going to do such-and-such because I don’t want to feel deep despair at the core of my being.” We instinctively, and unconsciously, resist our heart’s desires and soul’s impulses, by labeling these desires and impulses as selfish, just as we were taught to do!

We were told that nobody would like us if we were selfish. Or we wouldn’t go to heaven. Or we’d be punished. Or whatever . . . so we did our best to fit in and do life right.

End of story . . .

Sort of . . .

For awhile . . .

Until eventually the fairy tale life we were told would be our reward for being good, started getting ragged around the edges, and we noticed happily-ever-after just isn’t happening, no matter how hard we try to make it come true.

Then what do we do?

We blame ourselves!

Bummer!

So here is the dilemma . . . in order to carve away what is not working in your life so that you can soulfully re-shape what remains into the life your heart and soul are yearning for, you will have to face the fear of being seen as selfish, and neutralize the energy of shame.

It is not that hard to do when you are . . .

. . . curious about discovering your passion
. . . committed to shedding the burdensome “good girl” cloak
. . . willing to pay attention to what you like and don’t like
. . . claiming the right to get expert support in uncovering and trusting your inner compass of joy
. . . willing to do what it takes to make a place in your life for YOU to bloom and blossom

Ironically, in most cases, the person who will give you the most grief about following your heart is . . . YOU! Once you “get it” that your heart is your “inner compass of joy” that is always pointing in the direction of having a soul-satisfying life, you can quickly transform the fear of being selfish into the excitement of discovering your passion.

“Rewarding” doesn’t begin to describe the deliciousness you feel when you spend your days in alignment with who you were born to be, doing what it is that you came here to do! Believe me, the people around you will bask in your radiance, feeling your joy and love when you are living your life from the inside out!

Yes!

Neutralizing shame is a bit trickier than facing fear, because the programming of what is shameful is hidden outside of our conscious awareness where it runs our lives without our knowing it.

Two of my mentors, Katherine Woodward Thomas and Clair Zammit nailed it when they said “you can’t grow yourself, by yourself.” We all have blind spots that keep us from seeing the obstacles to having a life that works. That’s why every good coach, has a coach!

With me as your coach, I’ll be asking you inspired questions that will reveal your blind spots that were installed when you were a child, at a time when you had very little power.

Once you see what is holding you back, you are free, as a grown woman, to make conscious choices about what truths you will live by.

BOTTOM LINE: It takes courage to be who you were born to be. Having a trusted advisor with you on the journey makes all the difference. The reward for stepping into your greatness is a solid connection to that “peace that passes all understanding.”

TIP: Saying “yes” to yourself is a first step in becoming yourself. Ask yourself “What is one action I can take today that will move me in the direction of saying ‘yes’ to a heart yearning or a soul call?” It doesn’t have to be a giant leap forward. Each small baby step leads to the next, and the next, and the next. Each step taken reveals the next step to take.

P.S. You’ve heard it before, and I am here to tell you it is oh, so true . . . the joy and the juice of life is in the journey, not the destination. Living each moment in alignment with your heart and soul, in equal partnership with your rational mind, is a reliable formula for a life worth living!

P.P.S. A life of dull discontent, albeit often filled with the toys and glitter of things, is often the fate of those who choose to not answer the call of their heart and soul.

So, where are you in discarding the selfish label and neutralizing the shame energy? How strong is the unexplored desire to be a “good person” driving you to live your life in pleasing others instead of answering the call of your heart and soul?  Enter your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in becoming conscious, evolution, evolution of humanity, expanding consciousness, midlife woman, spiritual practices | No Comments »

Are Caterpillars Afraid to Become Butterflies?

October 14th, 2011 by Jennifer Grainger

Does a caterpillar experience fear and anxiety as it
enters the end of its life cycle when it begins forming
its own coffin (chrysalis)?

Does it know that the only life it has known,
crawling and munching its way through leaves,
is going away forever?

Does it have any idea that its earthbound caterpillar
body is going to completely dissolve into a mushy goo
and from that goo emerge a butterfly . . . free to fly?

What if you knew (without a doubt) that the complete
destruction of life as you have known it is a perfect
evolutionary process from which you will emerge as
a transformed being . . . one that is free to live the
joyful, abundant life that your heart and soul are meant
to live?

Wouldn’t that take the fear out of watching the obvious
daily disintegration of life as we have known it that is
taking place in every sector . . . education . . . health care
. . . government, not to mention the obvious world-wide
collapse of the monetary system?

Imagine what it would be like to trade in the fear and anxiety
for anticipation and excitement about the new that is emerging!
And there is plenty of great things rising up to replace what is
disintegrating . . . you just don’t hear about in mainstream media.

For more than a year my spirit guides have been telling us that
we have nothing to fear . . . to not struggle to hang on to anything
that is leaving, for it is making room for much greater joy and
happiness to enter.

We all needs reminders that we are co-creators in our lives.
Nothing is happening to us. Life is happening through us.

Granted there are monumental challenges ahead. Challenges are
how we grow. My spirit guides have told us we are co-creating
the future we are stepping into. What we focus on today is setting
into motion what we will experience tomorrow.

Here are 5 principles that will help you stay focused on creating
what you want, NOT what you DON’T want!

1. You always get what you think about, whether you want it or not.
(Yikes!)

2. What you focus on expands, what you are grateful for multiplies.
(Yay!)

3. Worrying is wishing for what you don’t want . . . and getting it!
(Say nay to worry!)

4. You never run out of money, you only run out of ideas.
(Get quiet, open your mind and heart and be prepared to be inspired!)

5. Every adversity has within it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.
Napoleon Hill said that. He also said “What the mind of man (or woman)
can conceive and believe, he (she) can achieve.”

BOTTOM LINE: You can’t think clearly when you are afraid. Right this
minute some divinely inspired person is setting forth on a project that will
serve millions and make millions!

In order for you to receive this always-available inspiration that
can turn your life’s lemons into lemonade, you must take control of what
you are willing to give your attention to.

Turn away from mainstream media that is based on fear, fear and more fear.
Evict negative people from your social circle. If you can’t make them go away,
then simply stop engaging in the “ain’t it awful” dialogs with them.

TIP: Take charge of what comes to your inbox. Replace the bad news with the
massive amounts of GOOD NEWS available every day, if you just know where
to look (it won’t be in mainstream, that’s for sure!)

Subscribe to Ode: the magazine for Intelligent Optimists! Check out
the Good News Network (http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org), Take a
peek at The Shift Network (http://www.theshiftnetwork.com) Listen to
some of the recordings from the recent Healthy Money Summit (http://www.healthymoneysummit.com)

Pretty soon you’ll be in “the loop” of the good news emails. Are you ready
to trade in doom and gloom for bloom and blossom? Then do it! Your choices
are creating your life, decision by decision. That is how powerful you are!

P.S. If you’d like to get on the fast track of living the life you were born to live,
take a look at my Be the Woman You Were Born to Be program. Just go to http://www.jennifergrainger.com and click on Life Sculpting Coaching and sign up for
the free 20 minute introductory session. If you are feeling stuck in your life, or
worse than stuck, running as fast as you can on a treadmill going nowhere, I guarantee that in our free 20 minute session I will open the doorway to your next step that will lead you in the direction of creating the life you’d love to live!

P.P.S. Keep an eye out for your email invitations to join me on the
1st and/or 3rd Thursday evenings each month at my home in Lodi, or the
4th Wednesday of each month in Stockton at Dragonfairy metaphysical store
for the Oasis in the Midst of Chaos gathering.

You’ll  hear an inspiring message from my guide and experience a guided meditation that will take you deep inside to connect with your own inner wisdom. These evenings are like a complete reboot of your energy systems. You’ll get realigned with your soul’s destiny and start again with a clean slate when you return to your everyday life so that you can surf the chaos and navigate the flow of this evolutionary leap all of humanity is taking.

Give me a call if you have questions. 209-369-6188.

OK. So what do you think? Where are you in the metamorphosis process in your life? Still “crawling and munching leaves?” Sitting in a puddle of “goo?” Working your way out of the chrysalis? Waiting for your wings to dry? Flying free?

Just click on the “comment” link below and enter your thoughts there. I’d love to hear from you!

This newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month. I’ll “see” you in our next newsletter on October 26th.

Love and light

Jennifer

Posted in becoming conscious, evolution, evolution of humanity, evolutionary, expanding consciousness, instability, spiritual experiences, spiritual practices, spiritual principles | No Comments »

The scoop from Occupy Wall Street

October 12th, 2011 by Jennifer Grainger
Here is a beautiful essay on the heart and soul of occupy wall street. Truly the new dawn is rising. Power to the people and hallelujah, cooperation is replacing competition, love is overshadowing fear. The storm before the calm (title of Neale Donald Walsch’s new book) is perfectly reflected at occupy wall street.
(Mic Check/Occupy Wall Street) Posted: 10/10/11 03:49 PM ET
I have been watching and listening to all kinds of views and takes on Occupy Wall Street. Some say it’s backed by the Democratic Party. Some say it’s the emergence of a third party. Some say the protesters have no goals, no demands, no stated call. Some say it’s too broad, taking on too much. Some say it is the Left’s version of the Tea Party. Some say its Communist, some say it’s class warfare. Some say it will burn out and add up to nothing. Some say it’s just a bunch of crazy hippies who may get violent.
I have been spending time down at Zucotti Park and I am here to offer a much more terrifying view. What is happening cannot be defined. It is happening. It is a happening. It is a response to injustice and inequity and poverty and Wall Street corruption and soaring college debt and unemployment and homelessness, institutionalized racism and violence against women, the murdering of the earth, fracking and the keystone pipeline and the wars that the U.S. has waged on other countries that have destroyed them and bankrupted us here. It is a cry against what appears to be scarcity and what Naomi Klein calls a distribution problem and, I would add, a priority problem.
It is a spontaneous uprising that has been building for years in our collective unconscious. It is a gorgeous, mischievous moment that has arrived and is spreading. It is a speaking out, coming out, dancing out. It is an experiment and a disruption.
We all know things are terribly wrong in this country. From the death of our rivers, to the bankruptcy of our schools to our failed health care system, something at the center does not hold. A diverse group of teachers, thinkers, students, techies, workers, nurses, have stopped their daily lives. They have come to gather and reflect and march and lay their bodies down. They have come from all over the country and the world. Some have flown in just to be here. I met students last night from a college in Kentucky who had just arrived committed to sleeping out for two nights in solidarity.
Occupy Wall Street is a work of art, exploding onto a canvas in search of form, in search of an image, a vision. In a culture obsessed with product, the process of creation is almost unbearable. Nothing is more threatening than the moment, the living breathing ambiguity of now. We have been trained to name things, own things, brand things and in doing so control and consume them. Well, the genius of Occupy Wall Street is that so far it is not brandable and that’s what makes its potential so daunting, so far reaching, so inclusive, and so dangerous. It cannot be defined and so it cannot be sold, as a sound bite or a political party or even a thing. It can’t be summed up and dismissed. What is also most unusual about Occupy Wall Street is that the evolving self-governing practices at the twice-daily General Assembly and the organic way the park is being organized, are literally modeling a vision of the desired new world.
A rotating group of facilitators, a constant check to make sure all voices are heard, timekeepers, free medicine and medical help, composting, learning groups, a free library, learning circles, workshops on human rights, arts and culture, history, extraordinary speakers at open forums.
I had the fortune to spend the night with a group of about 30 occupiers — the talk could have gone on through the early morning. The depth of the conversation, the intensity of the seeking, the complexity of ideas were startling. But, what moved me even more was the respect, the way people listened to each other and honored and appreciated each other. I would like to encourage another take on Occupy Wall Street. I would like to ask that perhaps we stop trying to define it or own it or discount it or belittle it but instead to celebrate it. It should make New York proud. It should make this country proud.
We say all the time how we believe in democracy, that we want the people to speak and be heard. Well, the people are speaking. The people are experimenting. The people are crying out with the deepest hunger to build a better world. Maybe instead of labeling it, we could join it. There is so much to be done.
Because the city has forbidden the use of microphones and sound systems, the group is using a human microphone. This system of communication is compelling and metaphoric. The group is forced to repeat the words of the speaker so the speaker is forced to talk slowly, with less words at once. The audience is asked to listen in a whole new way and to actually help transmit the message to others. Accuracy and transparency are the crucial elements. To make sure the human microphone is working properly the speaker calls out Mike Check and the crowd repeats Mike Check and by doing this it becomes clear if the voice of the speaker is being carried through the entire crowd. I think our media needs a general Mike Check.
So last night I committed to creating a column that would carry the stories of the occupiers at the heart of the park. There are certain hand signals that are used in the group to signify response. My favorite is the signal for agreement, or something you like a lot . People lift their hands and wiggle their fingers. This has come to be called Upsparkles.
I have seen the people at Occupy Wall Street be demonized in the press and belittled and misrepresented and ridiculed. I want you to get a taste of the diversity and commitment, too. The magnificent Indian feminist who outlined the history of corporations and colonialism in three precise sentences or the buff white man who I assumed was a long-time activist the way he spoke for the need for distribution of wealth and freedom and only later did he confess to me privately that he worked on Wall Street, and although he felt guilty, he was working to change it within. Or the Latino man who said it was the first time he ever experienced really looking at anyone in the eyes and them looking back at him and he had not paid attention to his next door neighbors brother who he had written off as a thug and he ended up going to Iraq and getting killed there and now he knew there was so much more to that boy if he had only been looking. Or the older Jewish woman who told me she was there when they shut down NYU during Kent State and she had waited all these years for this to happen and it was her legacy.
There was talk of poverty and war and but the most repeated theme or desire was connection, how we are all connected, to dissolve the illusions that divide us. So here is the first offering of Ambiguous Upsparkles from the Heart of the Park. Here are the words of the brave creative resistor occupiers in the act of art or the art of act: Melanie Butler Every day of the first week of the encampment at Liberty Plaza was filled with the excitement that this was really happening; every day in the space was lived with the feeling that it could be our last.
The Occupy Wall Street community survived many tests that first week — torrential downpours, dwindling numbers, people dropping out due to illness and fatigue, and of course, constant police violence and brutality. As #occupywallstreet tweeted: Building community at #OccupyWallStreet is hard, esp. when facing constant eviction threats. Now we know how so many Americans feel. On the one-week anniversary of Liberty Plaza I watched the heart of our community galvanize before me. After the police attacked and pepper-sprayed protesters at Union Square and followed us down to our home in the park, we all prepared for a showdown. Paddy-wagons lined the streets. Masses of police officers lined the perimeter of the park, hands poised on guns, orange nets, and reams of zip-ties, while hundreds more assembled at the ready on the adjacent blocks.
We gathered for a General Assembly (GA), as we do every evening, in a unified, determined group under an intense cloud of imminent danger, and asserted that we were not afraid. We developed contingency plans for when the police swept the square. People lined the park with small candles, creating a buffer-zone between the police and our central organ, the GA. Drums and brass instruments played. Messages on the projector screen read “Love is the New Fear.” “Feeling good.” “We shall not be moved.” “In it for the long haul.” Older members of CODEPINK and the local activist community checked in or came by to see what was happening — asking, but not telling, what we were going to do. “We’re staying,” I told them. Some lingered on the outskirts like guardian angels, patiently, silently watching. “We’ve got your back.” The Occupy Wall Street bike bloc slowly circled the square in solidarity. “We are watching. We are with you.” I attached a hot pink “Make Solidarity Not War” sign to my back — added armor to go with the “Make Bikes Not War” signs adorning my bike — and joined them to burn off nervous energy.
Putting on a brave face, I told the bloc how a cashier at a nearby cafe refused to let me pay for my sandwich earlier that day when she found out I was part of the demonstration. Other cyclists chimed in with similar stories. One guy struck up a conversation about what we were doing while in line for the bathroom at McDonald’s and when he came out, the stranger he had been speaking with gave him a burger and fries. As the night progressed, something incredible happened. The police started to pack up and leave. The bike bloc continued to circle until we were sure our home was safe, and then did a final victory lap, bells ringing, lights flashing, flags waving. The community had survived and we had won.
Daniel Levine: “My name is Daniel and I have a story from the heart. Today I was riding the F train home to Brooklyn and a man came through, asking for spare change and any help. He said he was a veteran who would seek shelter at the Montrosse VA. I’ve been coming to Occupy Wall Street every day since Wednesday when we had the huge march in solidarity with the unions. I’m pretty poor right now and basically waiting on a student loan check to be able to pay my bills and expenses. When I’m in Zucotti I usually eat some of the amazing food that’s been donated by people from all over the world! So I thought I should tell this man about what was available. But I hesitated. I didn’t want to encourage anyone to come just to take advantage of the resources in Zucotti that are feeding the protesters, many of whom have been working tirelessly, or have come from as far as Colorado (and everywhere!) I don’t know where that moment of doubt came from, but the moment of clarity that shattered it was invigorating.
“You should come to Zucotti Park!” I said. I spoke to him about it for a minute. He’d read about Occupy Wall Street in the daily papers, but didn’t know about how things really went down there. Growing up in New York City, on some level we train ourselves to be desensitized to homelessness, to separate ourselves from it. But the division is false. I realized we were both 99 percenters. “Wow, thanks for the info!” he said. I have a feeling he’ll get there and be as inspired as I’ve been at what’s happening at the park. Maybe he’ll pick up a sign or people with a similar cause to get involved in. Whatever attracts people, the intellectual environment, their anger at the system, the friendly festival atmosphere, or even the free food, I think people will stay because what’s happening here is meaningful and real. And if America can’t feed its hungry, at least we can!
Some people say we lack a coherent message, but I think Zucotti park is about inclusiveness, seriousness, and the right to come together for positive change. i guess that’s just coherent enough for me!”
Jordan Dann: “After returning from Israel on a project a few weeks ago, I checked my Facebook feed upon landing at Newark International. With embarrassment I will admit that that is where the majority of my news comes from these days, I believe that the friends I trust will post stories and news that I should take note of. I had a friend visiting from out of town and, after we deposited our luggage, I suggested that we take a run across the Brooklyn Bridge and down to Zuccotti Park to see for ourselves what exactly was taking place. Upon arriving I encountered a group of kids holding signs, and a handful of people occupying the park, and I quickly dismissed it as temporary.
However, the sight of this group stayed with me. I found myself thinking about them for days and wondering why they were there. I found myself wondering if they knew why there were there. Most of all I found myself wondering what I would be standing for if I returned. I didn’t return for two weeks. I have a busy and glorious full life.
I am graced with a bounty of creative projects, work opportunities, and friendships that keep me feeling busy and full. I don’t have space or time for a cause. I don’t have energy to participate in a movement. How would my voice help?
A few days later I mentioned the movement to my best friend David and his response was, “Whatever. It won’t last” and, despite my disappointment about his response, on some level my own was confirmed, but then, a few days later, he texted me: “I’m sorry I was pessimistic about what is happening here. It’s something.” I still didn’t return. I’m busy. How can my voice count? Last Thursday, as I finished class, I received another text from David, “I’m here with your Dad at the park. Come.” When I arrived I was given a tour of the plaza by David. He pointed out the Information Booth, the “People’s Library”, the Media Center, the kitchen, the “Sacred Tree”, the sign making station, and on, and on. Then he grabbed my hand whisked me away to an impromptu dance party at Rector Street where a bike with amplification blasted Le Tigre’s song “New Kicks” as a beautiful group of people gyrated and grooved to the chorus of people chanting, “this is what democracy looks like” and sound bytes of Amy Goodman saying, “It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe in it. It isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work at it. And we here today are working at it.”
” Garbage trucks stopped and lined up on the streets, honking their horns and pumping their fists in the air. Cab drivers got out and shouted “Occupy Wall Street.” Random passersby moved through the crowd of dancers and allowed themselves to be turned and spun by the dancers, shrugging to their friends saying “Why, not?” and “Come on. This is fun.” I am aware of the myths that I have unconsciously swallowed during my lifetime: that money is the most important thing to strive for and accumulate; that we are supposed to participate in the institution of marriage and be monogamous and procreate; that we are supposed to own real estate and go to Bed Bath & Beyond, and Ikea to purchase things to make a home so that we can invite friends into our space to show off what we have bought; and that we are supposed to dress in the latest fashion and be able to quote lines from popular television. Is this what makes a life? Despite my participation and acceptance of these myths this is not my American Dream. This is not my Human Dream.
I want a life that is based on my ability to authentically connect with other human beings and to offer goodness and health to the earth. I want to be a part of a world where people see one another, attune to one another, make space for ambiguity, and wait in silence for someone to find his or her words to articulate their individual and unique experience of life. I saw a lot of chaos at Zuccotti Park. I saw a lot of tarps and vagrants, and at many moments I felt like I was wondering around a sketchy Phish show lot, but beyond that I saw people connecting. People taking care of each other. People loving each other. People listening to each other and people talking to each other. I didn’t sleep that night. I lay awake wondering what a new world would look like. I had a restless night wondering what kind of world the other people occupying Zucotti Park wanted to create and what it would mean if my voice could be heard and I had the agency and power to shape a new world that I feel proud to be a part of.
Wendelin Regalado: I am poor. I learned this a few years ago when I left my block in Jersey City for college to pursue what my immigrant mother is still convinced (but less so nowadays, after having been unceremoniously fired from her job of 11 years) is the “American Dream”. There I also learned what it takes not to be poor and even if I were ever given the opportunity (there are quotas to fill everywhere) I would not take it. I will always be poor because I will never enrich myself at the expense of my people. Exploitation is the only way capital can be accumulated. There is something dehumanizing about this condition so that your soul screams an everlasting silent scream that only you can hear and can’t do anything about.
So I came out to face this contradiction: the dehumanization of poverty and the exploitation of capitalism. A block away from the park where the second General Assembly was being held, I heard the words “I love you.” The words were as swift as the man who said them, for when I looked back he was already five paces away. But they were as firm as those paces — heavy with determination, purpose, depth. His words permeated the air in Washington Square, and the air on the march, and the air in Zucotti Park. Love was EVERYWHERE!
This is the first in a series from Eve Ensler.

Posted in becoming conscious, community, community living, evolution, evolution of humanity, evolutionary, expanding consciousness, spiritual practices | 2 Comments »

Stop Following The Rules!

September 14th, 2011 by Jennifer Grainger

During the last week of August a major energetic shift took place on planet Earth. I just happened to be in Hawaii at the time visiting my friends Susana and Richard. Richard and Susana

I didn’t know there was a major astrological butt-kicking cosmological event taking place at the time, so I attributed the HUGE inner awakening I experienced to the fact that I was in Hawaii, which is known for its powerfully sacred energy, and also spending quality time with Susana.

I had arrived in Hawaii with an intact view of my life, but within a few days I noticed I had mentally accumulated a few additional puzzle pieces with no idea where they fit in. The word for this is confusion, a very high spiritual state of consciousness, so I am told!

Just because I know that my consciousness is always expanding doesn’t mean it is easy to dismantle what had been a perfectly good view of reality so I can make room for new information.

New information almost always means having to change something! Which means being in that void space for a while . . . no longer being where I was, and not yet knowing where I am going!

You see, Susana is one of the very few people I know who has made the evolutionary leap out of victim consciousness into complete self-responsibility for how she experiences life’s events. She views every less-than-wonderful experience as an opportunity for growth. She, and my daughter Kaydee, have been guiding lights for me in how to break free of the soul-sucking quicksand of victim consciousness.

Woven among our vacation activities of great meals, karaoke, touring North Shore delivering boxes of food to the less fortunate with the Hawaii Morehouse Community group, and taking an ocean dip at sunset, were very deep conversations in which Susana and I mirrored to each other unconscious beliefs and behaviors that were sabotaging our efforts at creating what we say we want.

Some of Susana’s perceptions of me painfully poked at cherished, heretofore unexamined values of what it means (to me) to be a good person. Her values seemed so at odds with what I thought a good person would embody.

I was shocked to recognize that my first thoughts were at the level of  “who is right and who is wrong.” (That is such victim mentality!) Worse I found myself labeling and judging Susana as being “wrong.” This only added to my confusion because my admiration for how fearlessly Susana walks her talk had led me to hold her in very high regard as a model for my own journey.

Once I was consciously aware of the labeling and judging I was doing, (and forgiving myself for such “lowly” behavior) I was lifted into a higher state of consciousness in which I was “told” that this was an opportunity for me to step more fully into my authentic self by turning inward, connecting with my own inner compass and sorting out what is true for me, what this event was asking me to become, and expanding my awareness/consciousness of how I interact with life.

I left Hawaii knowing I needed to sit with the confusion and allow the information to unfold in its own time.

It didn’t take long.

I “saw” how my mother and her mother, and all the women in my lineage for that matter, had navigated the centuries of the oppression of women through self-effacing behaviors that may have made their lives safe and tolerable, but which were BIG obstacles to me stepping into my authentic self and living my life On Purpose today.

These out-dated coping behaviors, buried in my subconscious mind as unexamined, limiting beliefs, showed up in my everyday life as “good manners” and “being polite.”

Wow! What hogwash when seen in the light of day!

When I fully saw how this had been operating in my life, I shifted. And as I shifted on the inside, my exterior life immediately shifted, too.

That’s how it works. The inner matches the outer. Change the inner, and the outer changes, just like magic.

Here is one of the big things that changed.

Some of you know that over a year ago I’d been guided to make space in my home for a housemate so I could develop community living skills. The space stood empty all this time, with not so much as a nibble.

Yet, as soon as I arrived home from Hawaii, there was an email from someone in my spiritual community who was looking for a room to rent. Wow! That space had stood vacant for a year and “all of a sudden” someone was interested.

I sent a reply saying I had a room for rent. That was at 10:30 on a Wednesday night. We met the following evening for an “interview,” and he moved in the following night.

Boom! Just like that. Apparently I needed to make this internal shift to be ready for this next phase of my journey.

BOTTOM LINE: It is our unconscious, limiting beliefs that are running the show. They are the source of what springs forth in our everyday lives. There are many ways in which we come to have these beliefs. Most have been programmed by our family, our culture, and the decisions we make about life as we experience upsetting events. And some people believe (I am one of them) that many of our unconscious, limiting beliefs are brought forth from past lives and the accumulated “wisdom of how life is” from our ancestral heritage. From these spring forth the Rules that drive our behaviors that create our lives.

TIP: Unconscious, limiting beliefs are nearly impossible to uncover on your own. Having a skilled friend who has transcended victim consciousness, and who is willing to hold the mirror for you, and whom you trust enough to hold your confidences, is a precious gift. If you don’t have someone in your life that fits that description, you can hire me as your coach and I will gently, but stalwartly hold the mirror for you, and then guide you through the shifting process and see you safely through to the other side.

P.S. The way you know if someone has transcended the hell of victim consciousness is that they no longer see life as happening “to them,” but as life happening “through them.” You will never hear them blame others, or life itself as the source of distress. They take full responsibility for how they experience the less-than-wonderful events in their lives. Blame and judgment are no longer part of their reality. They will have transcended the duality of “right/wrong” thinking into the higher state of oneness consciousness that harmonizes with life, rather than judges life as it unfolds for them.

So how is it going for you? Are you living the life of your dreams? How are you doing in transcending victim consciousness? I’d love to hear from you! Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear what limiting beliefs you are uncovering in your life!

Love and light,

Jennifer

Posted in becoming conscious, community living, evolution, evolution of humanity, evolutionary, expanding consciousness, spiritual experiences, spiritual practices, spiritual principles | No Comments »

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