How to Rise Like a Phoenix {Part 1}

Several weeks ago, I posed a question to this tribe and the personal emails and responses were so touching. Stories of how many of you have overcome barriers, cleared everything by making massive changes, saying No to those things that no loner were serving you- I loved reading so many responses, and I have a feeling there are a lot more.

What was this question?

Are you willing to die over and over again to this experience of being truly ALIVE?

This phrase came flying out of my mouth a few weeks ago in the middle of a client session, where years of deep inner work had led her to a new edge in her growth- going beyond the mastery of self-love and into the realm of falling madly in love with Life.

After so many of you shared your story with me in response, I felt that today- with the powerful New Moon in Scorpio and Solar Eclipse bringing in the energy of facing our shadows and shedding the skins that no longer serve us- it’s time I shared a little more of what happened over here in the past year as I opened The Unbridled Life and said YES to The Call and adventure of Embodiment.

It has been- ahem- quite a walk in the fire.

And a total leap of faith- let me tell you, I certainly earned my wings by stepping fully into this fire- and I learned some amazing lessons along the way of what dying to this experience of being alive really means…

But before I start, I wanted to say- I TOTALLY resisted writing this- like up until the last minute last night resisted it. Why? Because it’s vulnerable. Because it’s admitting that some things worked, and some utterly failed. And it’s issuing in a new level of my work with the coming of The Heroine’s Odyssey (or as I’m calling it, Unbridled 2.0) and that’s the scariest- and most awesome- reason of all.

Before I begin, a quick tutorial in the mythology of the Phoenix. In Greek mythology, The Phoenix is pretty bad ass and would totally have been a part of our Unbridled tribe. She is a bird that lives eternally by constantly dying to herself in the fires of transformation & liberation, to be reborn again and again on the infinite loop of life known as Eternity- life on an infinity loop. This detail of the Cycles of Eternity and what that really means will be important in the coming weeks and months.

Rebirth. Resurrection. Dying to oneself so that you can live eternally as the most fully ALIVE version of you. This is the myth of The Phoenix. Her stage isn’t the easiest, but it can often be the most rewarding.

The power in this is in shedding the old skin, releasing the old stories, patterns and shadows so you can show up more in your truth and in further integrity in your life.

Sounds good right? So how can you harness this energy in your life?

How to Rise Like a Phoenix {Part 1}:

Step 1: Have Never-Ending Faith

A year ago, I was running a highly successful healing practice in San Francisco. We’re talking a 1-2 month wait list to even meet me, taking sessions as late as 8pm to get everyone in, turning down anyone who didn’t fit into exactly what I wanted to be doing. But I was tired. And sad. And so immersed in my work, I had no room for my life.

I wanted to reach more people with my message, do more of what I felt I was Called here to do in this lifetime, speak openly about spirituality and the ritual goddess work I’ve been doing for years… and most importantly, I was ready to stop living as if life was happening TO ME. I was ready to throw off those shackles, take off the saddle of a successful business that no longer fit me, and run free.

Hence- The Unbridled Life was born.

I whole-heartedly believed in it- but secretly I had no idea if it would work. I had no idea how it would be perceived. Or received. Or if anyone would ever sign up. Or even like it.

But I did it anyway. I stepped into the fire by shutting down my old business. I took down the old website, made the investments, set up the contracts. I prayed and I cried and I worried… and I moved forward anyway. And lo and behold… it worked. I signed one client, then another. And then a few more. I sent out emails. I wrote more articles. I talked to more people even when my Introvert nature wanted to hide. I kept praying. I kept writing beyond my edges- hoping my bills would all be paid and my newsletters read. And I tried this whole faith thing out some more.

Then I practiced this crazy thing called Surrender, and my whole world was blown wide open {You really should try it some day- it looks great on all of us}.

And I kept the faith that no matter what, I would be taken care of.

And I was. And am. And finally, for the first time in my life, know I always will be.

Step 2: Rest in the Wings of Community

This was a tough one for me. I’m Scottish and a Leo- I have a shit ton of courage, I like to shine and I know I can do it all on my own if I have to. My community used to refer to me as Braveheart- I was always willing to go into battle for the causes of my soul- at the front of the line, alone if I had to.

But all of that changed when I met a band of amazing women who taught me the art of leaning on them for support, of asking for help, and of being vulnerable when shit hits the fan.

When you are growing your own wings and rising like a phoenix, let me tell you- it’s WAY easier if you let in the wings of others to help catch you when you think you are falling.

Yes- you have your own wings. But you don’t have rely on yours alone. Sometimes, you’ll actually get further on your journey if you allow others to help along the way.

Try it on some time and see- the results may take your breath away.

Step 3: Look at the Big Picture and Simply Follow the Next Steps

Before we realize we are on The Heroine’s Odyssey or have the map to guide us it can be tempting to look only at where we currently are or even, more likely, where we have already been. It’s easy to get stuck in the present circumstances or make decisions based on how things have already happened.

But the real trick is to not only look at where you have been and where you are now, but also where are you going next for clues pointing towards the bigger picture.

You see, you can’t just dial up your destiny on the spot just because you’ve heard The Call. 

But you can take a look a few steps ahead to see where you want to be. And from there, in the power of stillness and silence, listen to the messages of what you need to do to get there.

Back in February, I still had no idea where this would all lead me. I had about 8 clients after 4 months and while things were flowing nicely, something didn’t feel quite right. The blueprint wasn’t working how I wanted it to, the ‘expert’ advice felt out of integrity for me. I knew I wanted to reach more people, that I had a message to send, but I just could NOT figure out the How’s.

So one morning, I stepped back and looked at the bigger picture. I saw I wanted to teach more about my goddess work in a really accessible way, but I hated the concept of webinars. I wanted to create an atmosphere of one big spiritual party, desired more 1:1 clients and I wanted to start really showing the world who I am- not who I used to be.

But- I was so deeply lost in the ‘present of how to’s’ to actually get anything done.

So I turned to my stillness practice- I closed my eyes, shut the fuck up, and went deep within to ask for the next steps. The answer came, and 10 days later Celebrating Abundance: A 40 Day Practice {} was launched. Fully branded and marketed. Over 500 people signed up for the program, I filled my 1:1 practice for the time, from it I launched an amazing group program that broke my heart wide open, and I created an entire new body of work that will soon be turned into an eBook and class in the next few months.

All from going inward, asking for the next steps, and- here’s the key- having the courage to follow them.

Step 4: Be Willing to Fall and Fail…. a lot

Then there is the flip side to this: Sometimes you hear the message to do something as a next step and it fails– miserably.

Technology doesn’t work. You hire the wrong person for the job. The coach gives you bad advice but you follow it anyway. No one signs up. People interpret it differently than you intended. No one reads that newsletter you were so excited about. People think it’s too expensive. Or it’s free and no one participates.

Yup- been there, done that this year as well. It hasn’t all been success and things working. Some has been downright hard. There were days of silence where I was ready to give it all up. Times where I released an offering and no one bought it. Money spent on ads that had no return. Interviews declined. Other entrepreneurs telling me I wasn’t big enough for their audience, or known enough to be seen. Weeks of No’s. Days of tears. Fights with Matt. Sleepless nights. Contracts unsigned. I even had someone out of the blue get triggered and ask me for a full refund in their last session of a long program- tearing me a new one for 30 minutes calling me every name in the book and proclaiming I should never be allowed to work again.

THAT was a tough day. That one almost led to me throw in the towel altogether.

Any one of the above plus numerous others I haven’t even mentioned could have- would have back in the day- destroyed me.

But back to this whole trust and surrender thing, I knew when each happened that they must have served a higher purpose. There were reasons why no one signed up for those programs. Why those interviews said no. Why I wasn’t meant to offer certain things. Why some people simply don’t like me or what I have to say.

And it’s all good. Perfect even.

Why? Because I was meant to feel the heartache of failure, so I could learn the art of stepping in the fire and knowing that even in it’s heat, I could rise again a new woman the next day, the next hour, and know that in the spirit of rising, I am eternally whole and complete exactly as I am.

No matter what happens. No matter how bad it is or how far you fall— you can always rise again in the alchemy of that fire. And rest in those wings of your community to soften the landing.

Step 5: Ritualize every moment of Your Life

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- A life without some form of ritual is not a life fully lived.

Ritual serves an important role in our lives- it gives us structure, it gives us peace, it gives us faith, and it gives us freedom.

For some people, ritual looks just as it does in church and services and in ancient books. For others, ritual is being in the woods and talking to the trees. Or sitting on top of a mountain and becoming one with it all. And then there is chanting, prayers, yoga, singing, surfing, climbing, writing, reading, brushing your teeth and walking in bare feet…..  And a billion variations and ways to get to the same place- one with God or the Goddess. One with yourself, your soul. Each variation may look different on the outside, but all are same at the core.

So if ritual is really just a pathway to access yourself, it’s YOU who has the power and the sovereignty to design it your way. Of course there are dogmas, pathways and traditions to guide you. But ultimately, your spirituality needs to work for you, created by you, with the rituals that feel right TO YOU.

And in this regard, if you can begin to make every movement, every breath and sound and creation a ritual, then there is no choice but to become one with all that is and all that ever will be.

It’s pretty amazing when you get there- when you realize that everything you do is divine and magic. So what if you took the chance to create more ritual in your life in any way you feel drawn, and see what happens?

I dare you <3

Jennifer BlackstockComment