The Moments that Define Us

I just don’t know what it is with me and fire.

I grew up on a tale that my origin here in this lifetime started in front of a fireplace… and it’s been a love affair ever since. We all have our element that speaks to who we are and is a portal for transformation: For my partner it’s water, for my best friend it’s air, for one of my mentors it’s earth, and for one of my angels, it’s ether. Knowing what element is ‘home' can soothe us when our hearts ache and transform us when we need to get unstuck.

But for me- for me it’s that intense fire: time and time again.

Recently, I had a date with destiny in the form of a fire. It taught me a lesson about Joy, about Disappointment and about the Art of Asking. I know that my articles are often lengthy, but I am certain that this is one you will want to read all the way to the end, as it has medicine for every person on this planet. So come on in and get cozy.

Cut to a few weeks ago: I attended a retreat in Ojai, CA with 28 magical women who felt like soul sisters from many lifetimes and journeys together, though most of us had just met. On the Saturday evening of the retreat, most of the women decided to participate in a group gathering under the beautiful trees on the property and stars overhead. But I heard a very clear No that I was not meant to join them- I had other work to do.

Number one- this is not my normal M.O. I join everything, always scared I’ll miss something being a classic sufferer of FOMO {Fear of Missing Out}.

Number two- I was on the property of my now infamous fire-dancing photo shoot, and what I didn’t know at the time was that I had a date with destiny scheduled a few hours later.

So I hung around, entertained myself, tried to convince myself I was missing out and there was something wrong with me for not joining the group. Then I went for a walk and found myself at the fire pit. The same fire pit where my photoshoot took place. The same fire pit where I shed many tears that day after my partner Matt had been in a bad car accident that morning. The same fire pit where I felt my power in it’s fullness for the first time. The same fire pit where I finally saw who I am ( .

And here was that same fire, in front of me once again, having just been lit by one of the other women. I chose the seat that called my name and sat down, the only one gathered there.

For what felt like hours, I sat. {A funny thing happens when we have a date with destiny: a minute can feel like hours, and hours can feel like a minute}

But where I sat was the ‘problem’- you see, I chose the one seat where I was directly in the line of all the smoke coming from this huge fire. I was freezing, inhaling smoke, and miserable. But I couldn’t move. It was like my body was forcing me to learn a lesson about how I had been going about life for the past 6 months since the last time myself and that fire met.

Words such as pain, cold, I can’t breathe, and over and over again- Disappointment- flooded my head. I couldn’t cry even though my eyes were burning. I couldn’t speak when anyone came over to help. I was angry and in pain, yet refused to do a damn thing about it.

I believe in transparency, and here’s the truth- 2015 so far has been one of the toughest years of my life. Truths rocked me. Friends betrayed me. Mentors disappointed me. A car was totaled. Investments were lost. Loved ones shocked me. Any one of the events that happened would have hurt, but when compounded:

I allowed the experiences to shut down a corner of my heart and ultimately- shut out the help that I so longingly wanted- and needed.

Now it wasn’t all bad- these experiences showed me my strength, allowed me to get crystal clear on where I stand and what I am committed to, solidified my vision and mission in the world, helped me understand my clients on a whole new level, I found deeper levels of compassion, allowed me to experience embodiment in a whole new intensified depth... and sparked a creative frenzy like nothing I’ve ever experienced in this lifetime. Gifts- all of them- that I am extremely grateful for.

In fact, most of this year I’ve felt very happy. But a sneaky thing happened. As the dust settled and I moved on from many situations, I unconsciously chose to stay in the disappointment. I allowed my worth to be tied up in what happened. I became so comfortable in the discomfort, that I forgot a simple thing: there is always another way, all I have to do is choose what I wish to experience.

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you ever chosen to stay in the disappointment because it felt easier than choosing another way?

Back to the fire on this star-filled Saturday night:
Several women saw what was happening and came over to the fire to join me. Each offered me another seat. Each offered me a lending hand. Each offered me a bit of her magic.

And yet- I still couldn’t accept it. I didn’t want to admit that I needed them- that I had needed help in processing all that had happened this year.

And I certainly didn’t want to have to ask. I thought I could do it alone.

But they helped anyway. One held my hand. Another sang me a song. Another sat with me in silence. Yet another fanned the smoke away from me. {Have I told you I have amazing women in my life who get it?}. I wept in mourning for what had passed. I let go of the pain and hurt. I asked for forgiveness and finally forgave. I heard my next layer of truth and finally owned it.

And I prayed. HARD. To God and the Angels, Kali and Isis and all the Goddesses, Jesus and Mary Magdalene and all the saints I grew up knowing so well. I prayed like I have never prayed before- because you see, it was time to choose another way- and I needed help.

All of a sudden, it clicked. I stood up and simply…. walked to the other side. Sat in a chair. Allowed Joy into that shut-down corner of my heart. And began laughing. No longer sitting in the smoke of disappointment and grief, finally able to feel the warmth of the fire and see the faces of those who stood by me silently offering their support.

That night, my date with destiny allowed me to define who I am- a woman who chooses to face her shadows and still move further into the light. A woman no longer fearful of asking for help. A woman who can see the pain in the world and instead of take it on herself, helps others transmute it in the fire to be transformed.

Ahem: an Alchemist. Spinning metal into gold, experiences into epic legends and disappointment into joy and bliss.

{Sometimes the Sacred Myth at play is so obvious we just have to laugh at the divine comedy of it all. Here is me in January at the same firepit}

Of course, upon returning home the next night, life gifted me with Initiations to test how serious I am about owning this and choosing joy, bliss and compassion over disappointment and shame. She gifted me with several things that tested my will- strange occurrences, clients missing payments, silence on many fronts. All things that I could choose to be disappointed about- or get creative and choose another way.

Well- I chose another way.

I know I need to tell this story now, because I see so many women (and men) still choosing to sit in the pain and disappointment to convince themselves that they can go at it alone. That asking for help, reaching out, sharing the story, going it solo is more honorable or brave or courageous than saying:

“Can you help me?” or simply “I need help, and I don’t know anything more than that"

What this has created as far as I can see is a distorted view of reality where disconnection and disappointment are running rampant in our culture. You can see it on the news, in social media, in corporate culture, in counter-culture, and even in the realm of the personal development/ spiritual industry. Where the fear of being seen as less than, not as good as or weak has created a downward spiral of attacking others, violence (physical and emotional), not trusting each other, bad-talking and scarcity. It’s across our culture right now and in our tiny pockets of industries, and I believe- it’s time for this to stop.

It’s time to choose another way.

And there is help waiting just on the other side- if you can open yourself up and say Yes.

In terms of the system of embodiment I developed, The Heroine’s Odyssey™, what has been happening recently across our culture, in our economy, throughout many communities (and particularly in this spiritual industry) has followed a very specific mythological theme: The Fall To Grace.

Have you ever experienced a Fall to Grace? Are you maybe in one now?

For the first time ever to the public, I want to share the Level 1 framework of The Heroine’s Odyssey™ that is the basis for the work we are doing in Alchemy Rising ( : my open-enrollment, experiential course in living a fully embodied life.

As you can see, the Fall to Grace is a necessary stage in the overall journey that we all go through in this lifetime. The Fall to Grace can come in the form of financial, relationship, career, or any number of ‘hardships’ in life. It often comes after a time of huge expansion and growth- being a time of natural contraction back into the essence of who we are and what is ultimately most important.

Naturally, no one ever wants to experience The Fall to Grace, but it can be one of the greatest gifts if we allow ourselves to learn the lesson and take action to turn things around. When you recognize that A Fall to Grace is happening {or ANY stage you see above}, there are rituals and prayers, goddesses and myths, animals, body meditations and movement, music and other Magical Helpers that can help you understand why it is occurring, the deeper meaning, the lessons…. and move through it instead of being buried under it.

This my loves, is where you can begin to really create Alchemy in your life and let life live for you, instead of letting life control you.

Unfortunately, many people get stuck and never get out. But luckily, many have woken up to the reality that we have a choice to work with the stage you are in instead of against it- all we have to do make that choice. In fact, the Goddess you will learn to work with for The Fall to Grace is Dhumavati- the Goddess of Disappointment whose name literally means: The Smoky One in Tantric mythological tradition. Working with her can be some of the most powerful and transformative spiritual work you will ever do {which you will learn in Alchemy Rising for when it’s needed}.

As you can see from the diagram above, the way to move out of The Fall to Grace is by taking a Leap of Faith.

What Leap of Faith do you know you need to take right now, but have been holding back or scared to just do it?

I know for me, the Leap of Faith I’ve been called to take is reaching out, being vulnerable, and asking for help. It’s getting clear on my vision and taking the steps to make it possible- even when it doesn’t make linear sense, even when I have no idea where the money will come from, or even when it feels virtually impossible in the moment.

You see- in the midst of these fresh Initiations, I’ve chosen instead to initiate Leaps of Faith:
* Vulnerable tear-filled conversations held.
* Signed a lease on a live/work loft to bring my work into my local and global community in alignment with my mission.
* Edges crossed.
* And asking for help- everywhere I turn. A major edge that is getting easier every time I act.

And you know- something amazing began to happen. A small miracle occurred in a conversation with my dad. Then another miracle with a dear friend. And yet another miracle with a client. More and more, miracles have begun to trickle in and more Leaps of Faith have appeared- each easier than the last.

It’s actually pretty simple yet profound when it comes down to it- you just need the framework, tools and practices to support you along the way. 

It just might be the Moment that defines who you are- simply by stepping in and saying Yes to you.