Vulnerability

The Power and Wisdom of Sensuality by Jenna Pfingston

In 2017, I awakened to the reality that I had lost connection to my sensuality as a woman.  Sensuality could be explored in many ways.  However, I want to explore sensuality within the vastness and curiosity of sensation within our bodies which has many layers.  Our feelings are meant to be felt and yet there are so many opportunities that we tend to tune out, numb out, or feel we shouldn’t feel a certain way.  Our world is within a deep and emotional shift.  The navigation into the Self exploring both masculine and feminine energy is an opportunity to recognize we need to cultivate a relationship with feminine energy.  When we are more in tune with the balance of feminine and masculine energy then we listen to the wisdom within and move from there, we magnetize what we want to bring into our life, we move from a space of authenticity, we awaken our intuition and strength, and we trust the flow of this wild human experience. 

I know so many beautiful women who are highly successful within careers, being mothers, wives, and the list goes on.  However, many of them have been slowly losing themselves through the expectations of society.  That constant movement of what is next, doing everything on the to do list, leaving no time for pleasure or the Self, being someone their not because they want to please others, and working until they no longer can feel. 

What I had realized within my journey as a woman that I had lost connection to my innate sensuality.  As I dropped into the Embodied Arts School with my teacher Jenna Ward I started to tap back into my feminine beauty and strength.  I invited my senses to reawaken and I started to explore pleasure in different ways. My practice of yoga has been a steady pillar but my other practice, Primal Embodied Wisdom has brought me back to feeling safe within my bones.  The invitation of awareness, sound, movement and breath. 

The Power and Wisdom of Sensuality

What is sensuality and how do we reconnect with the gift?   
I believe that once we can tap into sensuality, we can start to cultivate power and wisdom within our lives.  Sensuality is an opportunity to bring more authentic flow into your life and ‘Be within Your Body.’  To cultivate sensuality we must bring it into our daily lives as a practice.  Sensuality is pleasure and pleasure is always at our finger tips even when we are feeling pain.   By dropping into our bodies and feeling (somatic experience) beyond the labels we start to embrace an intimate relationship with the ‘felt sense’.  We connect to a higher frequency within our external and internal senses.  We start to trust what our body is telling us and intuition moves into a state of flow more often.  We start to look at life as a lover rather than a big to do list.  We start to magnetize what we want to bring into our precious lives. 

We can be highly successful women and also be sensual Goddesses! 
There are days that I am still disembodied and I find myself in the business of life.  However, I catch myself within the twirls and I take a deep sensual breath to anchor my body.  I take time for daily rituals such as; a cup of tea, meditation, baths, essential oils, pleasuring myself, primal embodied movement, primal sound, and just checking in with the Self. 

A sensual Goddess is an invitation to be vulnerable within your absolute truth be it messy, beautiful, or the in between.  I believe if we can reconnect within our innate sensuality, we will step more fully into who we are. Shall we dive in?!

Jenna invites you into a couple episodes of her podcast, A Cup of Tea with Jenna. 

Jenna will be joining in a panel discussion this Monday, November 16th, at noon. She joins the Power of WE Forum Series for women entrepreneurs.

by Jenna Pfingston,
Owner of jalaBlu Collective Healing. Primal Embodied Wisdom Coach, Yoga & Primal Movement Teacher, Spiritual Alchemist
Website – www.jalablu.com/
YouTube – Jenna Pfingston
Facebook – Jenna Pfingston Apple “A Cup of Tea with Jenna”
Spotify – “A Cup of Tea with Jenna”

#smallbusiness

Rural Small Business Paradigm Shifts and Methodologies by Delaney Keating

We think of paradigm shifts as forward-thinking, perhaps futuristic, or as part of an evolution into a new state of being. Though not always the case, especially in business, emergent paradigm shifts, in many ways, pay homage to roots in the past.

In 2015, I first took note of this when I hosted a speaker on the tenets of Conscious Capitalism at a remote, rural innovation center for small businesses. The audience response to Conscious Capitalist ideals of “people over profit” was “this is how we’ve always done business.” Rural participants didn’t see Conscious Capitalism as something new but rather a reflection of how they had always done business.

As a long-time rural resident, it was a proud moment to see this new corporate, or perhaps urban, set of ideals validate the ethos of something that was inherently rural. It made sense. Over the years, working with rural small business owners and innovators, I am in constant admiration of the commitment and motivation to positively impact their economies and environment. Rural entrepreneurs show many values of the earlier Conscious Capitalism principles baked into their DNA. They value their communities as stakeholders, sought to elevate people through higher-paying jobs, and, more often than not, if they weren’t solving for the environment, they factored their environmental impact heavily within their business plans. The biggest differentiator was the sense of community.

Community
Community is a core aspect of small business paradigms, whether it’s a desire to impact your community positively, foster a healthy work culture within your company’s community, or serve as inspiration for a community of industry. This return to a greater sense of community fosters a more collaborative spirit internally and externally. Not only does this community awareness and participation better serve entrepreneurs, but it also showcases a return to previous eras where humans operated with a greater sense of dependency within their given communities. A commitment to the community requires both trust and relationship within that group and, therefore, also fosters the emergence of agreed social contracts and behavioral norms.

A community becomes a support network and is built to help uplift the success of initiatives within that and can also be made strong enough to help weather uncertainty.

The benefits of community are many, and we see new founders seeking community connections and network support, ongoingly, as a regular aspect of “doing business.”

Trust
A core component for the success of any community, it the facet of trust. Trust creates a baseline or foundation for a community to self-manage based on shared values and expectations. Though not discussed often, trust is more than a facet of a healthy community; but is also central to economic prosperity. Next to the return to the community, the importance of trust is a catalyst for many other aspects of our shifting paradigms in business.

Beyond entrepreneurs and their relationships within their various modes of community, a company culture also depends upon trust. Company culture reflects the health and satisfaction of its employees and the relationship it has with its consumers. Trust is increasingly built upon human-centered leadership that upholds values for people, whether in employee engagement and well-being or customer service tactics. Trust is vast and nuanced but straightforward at its core. Furthermore, both transparency and vulnerability are stated parts of the rhetoric of trust when we are even casually discussing a company or leader.

With community and trust at the forefront of paradigm shifts within a business, whether located in a rural or urban environment, there is a catalytic ripple of other paradigms that continue to emerge. Many paradigms emerge as divergent forks in a road, but for many, they represent a spectrum of seeming opposites, and how we “teeter” or surf between them individually or within a company or society reflects how ingrained a paradigm becomes a long-term aspect or value of culture.

Join Monday, November 16th, to explore leadership and business paradigms with Delaney Keating at the next WE Conference for women entrepreneurs.

by Delaney Keating, Managing Director for Startup Colorado and a seasoned creative, entrepreneur, and change agent. She successfully owned, operated, and exited her first company and has since been dedicated to fostering ingrained cultural values for art and innovation.
Website –  https://startupcolorado.org
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/startupcolorado_/?hl=en
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/StartupColoradoOfficial/

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: by Heather Barron

Self-limitation, low self-worth, and other crippling beliefs come from the stories we tell ourselves.

Empowerment, capacity, and self-actualization come from the stories we tell ourselves as well.
So why don’t we just choose to tell ourselves empowering stories?

The stories that control our inner narrative may have been told TO us long before they became the stories we rehearse within and believe about ourselves. Beth Kurland, Ph.D, writes: “As children, we inevitably experience upsetting things that happen, whether the smaller hurts such as having a parent yell at us, or being called a mean name, or having an embarrassing moment, or the bigger hurts of loss or traumatic events. We do our best to make sense of our world, but because of our limited ability to see things from a more complex perspective, we can internalize inaccurate messages from these early experiences that lead us to believe that there is something wrong with us. The stories we tell ourselves about these situations can become beliefs about the very nature of who we are, about our worthiness, value and ‘enough-ness’.”

If we had a parent or guiding adult in our life who told us, “You are brilliant. You can do anything you set your mind to. You are made of infinite possibility.” We may have a very empowering inner narrative.

If, on the other hand, the role models and adult guides (and, to our impressionable, young selves, all it takes is one person we trust or look up to) in our childhood told us things like, “You’re stupid. You’re worthless. You’re trouble. You’ll never amount to anything.” You may struggle with feeling like you will never be good enough. You may even believe that you are broken or flawed in essential ways.

As adults, many of us tend to think that whatever our internal voice(s) say must be true about us because they present in the first person.

Do any of these sound familiar:
– I’m not/never good enough.
– I’m a fraud.
I’ll never be as good/talented/beautiful/funny as INSERT NAME HERE.
– I have to prove my worth.
– I’m not worthy.
– I’m not smart enough.
– I’m too fat.
– I don’t deserve love.

Many of us don’t realize that we have adopted external lies as our internal stories. The beauty of this? We have the power to CHANGE the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we have accepted as our own and as the truth about us. We have the capacity to, as Dr. Kurland says, “unhook” these limiting stories. 

We can change our inner narrative. 

So how do we do that? Here is a process that has helped me and the clients I work with as a Transformational Life Coach:
#1. PAY ATTENTION – BECOME AWARE OF THE STORIES WE ARE CARRYING

We have to observe and become aware of the stories bouncing around in our heads. These may be hard to identify at first because they are as close as our own thinking. Sitting down to journal – what beliefs stand in the way of me having the courage to live authentically. 

#2. IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT THESE OLD STORIES
In “The Work” by Byron Katie, there is a step in her simple and profoundly freeing process that asks us to imagine who we would be without certain beliefs.

Once you have identified the stories that are limiting your peace and keeping you hustling for your value and worth, ask yourself what life would look like without these stories.

Close your eyes and ask, “Who would I be without the story/belief that…” and then notice and record how you feel. 

#3. IDENTIFY THE STORY WE WANT TO LIVE
Without the old stories, what story do we want to claim for our life. Taking the lead of the last step, let us imagine what life looks like without all the tension, fear, concern of the old stories. What new possibilities can we perceive for our life as we write our new story? WRITE THEM DOWN and post them somewhere we can see them regularly.

#4. DISOWN THE OLD STORIES

Just because a thought comes to us in the “I” form does not mean we have to believe it or keep it as our own. A very powerful practice is to begin observing the thoughts that present themselves as “I”: 
– I can’t believe I did that. 
– I’m so stupid. 
– I should be ashamed of myself. 
– Well, as long as I look like this, I will never deserve love. 
– I will never be smart enough to own my own business. 
– I’m such a fraud and someday everyone will find me out.

Leo Babauta writes“… (T)elling ourselves stories is natural — we all do it, all the time. There’s nothing wrong with it. But if we’re not aware of the stories we tell ourselves, we can’t understand how they shape our happiness, relationships, moods, and more.

We can become aware of these aggressive stories. We have the right to start saying, “THIS IS NOT MINE.” We have the right to say, “I no longer choose this as my story.” And then REPLACE IT. “My story is…”

#5. CLAIM THE NEW STORY – AFFIRM & PRACTICE WHAT WE WANT TO EXPERIENCE
Affirmations are a powerful tool because they are a stepping-stone to filling the old space with the new. We cannot remove something without a better something to put in its place. For whatever reason, the old way becomes a sort of default (probably because that is what we have practiced for so long already). When we affirm the story we know is rightfully ours, or that we wish to experience, we are claiming, practicing and living our way into a new story of our life.

Perhaps the greatest challenge of this kind of work is that we have practiced the old stories for so long that it can feel challenging, and even impossible, to practice new, empowering stories.

Josh Becker says“Almost certainly there will be progress and setbacks. When the setbacks happen, don’t fall back into the same old story of ‘See, I knew I couldn’t do it.’ Tell yourself a new story, ‘I can’t believe I took a step backward! I was doing so well. I will start again tomorrow. I can do it.’”

What we practice, we experience. We can change the inner narrative we rehearse daily, one story at a time. And that, in turn, can change the way we experience ourselves and the whole world. 

by Heather Barron, Founder of Luminous Life, Inc. Heather is an Integral Life & Mindset Coach, Writer, Speaker. 
Website – www.luminous-life.com
Instagram – www.instagram.com/luminouslifeinc
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LuminousLifeInc

The Power of Story to Change and Transform

The Power of Story to Change and Transform By Laurie Benson

I’ve just returned from a trip to the border of Arizona and Mexico, where my personal experiences reaffirmed that not only is story powerful, but when our stories overlap with those of others – we are changed. 

I was staying in Ajo, AZ with the intention of visiting the Quitobaquito Spring in Organ Pipe National Monument, to see first hand how much it had been impacted by the border wall since my last visit in February.

I had my camera and equipment to gather more stories for my project, A Hundred Voices, which focuses on opening the doors to reconnection with ourselves, each other, and the planet. Simple enough. I knew it would be an emotional trip, but was in no way prepared for what I experienced.

Our border communities are truly sitting at the center of all of the issues plaguing our global communities right now. They are impacted by threats to endangered species and wildlife habitat, migrants and human rights, Indigenous rights and freedom, environmental destruction, and government policy and spending. 

Standing in the center of it all I realized that these issues do not exist in isolation, but are all interconnected. We are all interconnected.

On the second day of my trip, I witnessed two teenage girls and a baby getting picked up by ICE in Organ Pipe National Monument. The look of fear on their faces will stay with me forever. I rolled down my window and smiled, it was all I could do. One of the girls smiled back and then tears began streaming down her face. I have never felt so helpless in my entire life. I pulled over on the side of the road and joined her in her tears. 

After that experience, I found myself completely consumed with the question – What can I do? So I turned to my practice, the embodiment work I’ve been focused on for years. In this silence and awareness, I found my answer – I needed to stand in my strengths and put them to work. I would bring the voices of those on the front lines to the rest of the world. Shine a light on all that is happening here through story. So, I got to work and Larger Than Borders began to come to life. 

I know that we learn through story. Our experiences have shifted who we are, impacted the way we move though the world, and created incredible a-ha moments. It is through the sharing of these stories that we create opportunities for them to support others on their journey as well.

When you sit quietly, slow your breath, and feel into your heart space – what is there waiting to be shared? What story will be your gift to the world?

by Laurie Benson, Laurie was recently introduced as a Voice for the Voiceless and the title stuck. She has dedicated her life to opening doors to reconnection with ourselves, each other, and all living beings. The question, “What story, or deep wisdom, is living inside of you ready to be shared?” guides her work.

Focused on embodiment and the sharing of stories, Laurie believes these two paths lead us to our deepest inner truths, and create a path forward toward unity and compassion. Embodiment Work – www.InwardBoundWomen.com Story Projects – www.AHundredVoices.com and www.BorderCollective.com

 

Hearing Your True Voice Beneath the Noise by Heather Barron

There is so much noise surrounding us right now. Much of that noise is external – explosive headlines, the echo chambers of social media, election ads, constant coronavirus reports, news of wildfires, hurricanes, story after story of humans’ inhumanity to one another, and the constant demands for pivoting in our daily lives, our jobs, and our family needs.

But a lot of the noise is actually right inside our heads too. We have the myopic voice of ego and personality constantly shouting for us to react without questioning these thoughts.

Our inner Itty-Bitty-Shitty-Committee berates us with its sustained soundtrack of failure, not-good-enough, not-doing-enough, guilt, shame, lack of worth, need to earn love, striving for unreachable perfection. All of this noise exhausts us crippling our capacities and stealing our joy and energy.

With constant change, shifting requirements, national in-fighting, natural catastrophes and the many added stressors we are currently facing, the part of ourselves that is biologically designed to respond to emergencies is in overdrive right now. We can feel we have to “do something” with every shifting piece of news and life. Or we can feel we have to “choose sides” (“You’re either with us or you’re against us”), alienating loved ones and neighbors.

And these impulses can feel like our own true voice, dressed up in moralizing, self-righteousness, and a basic need to be liked and respected.

So, with all this noise, how do we hear the part of ourselves that is not just in reactionary, survival mode? How do we see all that is clamoring for our attention and then make healthy, life-affirming decisions and choices that feel like right action rather than reaction?

I have come to learn through the greatest times of trial and despair in my life that I have an active, ever-present “true voice” that is connected to a deeper well of wisdom than the kneejerk reactionary thoughts that are initially triggered by my ego’s reaction to what’s going on around me. But with all the noise in and around our heads, how can we access this true voice?

Here is one way I have found to tap into my true voice – I use the “power of the pause”.

Viktor E. Frankl, renowned Holocaust survivor who developed “Logotherapy” after living through imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp, introduced the notion of the space between stimulus and response. He said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

This space is the pause we can create in small moments throughout our day. And in that pause, we can hear our true voice calling us into right action or telling us to be still or filling us with courage, patience, and any other qualities that help carry us through our day.

When we shift into responding to life rather than reacting to every trigger or stimulus, we are able to discern what is truly our responsibility. This way of being lifts the heavy burden of false responsibility for saving the whole world all at once – freeing us up to meet the needs that are ours to care for. This pause can also mean the difference between feeling paralyzed by all the suffering, pain, hatred, despair, and grief that we are faced with on a daily basis right now, and hearing our intuition direct us into sustainable, courageous, loving action.

Here are a few steps I have found that help me. When I am in a state of strong emotional reaction, I PAUSE and do the following:
Step 1: I close my eyes (if I can), mentally saying, “I am safe to pause and listen.”
Step 2: I take three deep breaths. Breath one I say to myself, “I belong here.” Breath two, I say to myself, “I am ready.” Breath three, I say to myself, “I am not alone.”
Step 3: Then I continue to allow my breath to flow naturally and with my eyes still closed, I ask myself, “What am I feeling right now?” I name it: fear, anger, sorrow, shame, guilt, despair, rage, frustration, hopelessness, terror, etc.”
Step 4: I place my hands over my heart and ask a few questions: “What deeper wisdom do you have for me, Heart? What do you have for me to know about what I am feeling right now? Do I need to take action based on what I am feeling? Or do I just need to be still with this feeling, acknowledging it until it passes?”
Step 5: I ask my heart: “What is my next right action, my next right step?”
Step 6: I take 3 more deep breaths and open my eyes.

All in all, this does not take very long and has become a practice that surprises me regularly. It surprises me with how calm this helps me to become in the midst of chaos and conflict. And I have been amazed at the unlikely but vital answers that have come to mind in the midst of this practice – ideas that have given me a “Way out of no way”, helping me to find a solution I could not see before.
There are many wonderful spiritual, meditative, calming practices that can help us access this deeper heart-knowing. This is just the one that has worked for me.
Join us on Monday, September 21 at Noon Mountain Time where I will walk us through this process. And if you can’t make the webinar while it is live, register to receive the recording that will have this exercise in it for you!

Heather Barron is Founder of Luminous Life, Inc. Heather is an Integral Life & Mindset Coach, Writer, Speaker. luminous-life.com