Andrea Leda
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Andrea Leda | Spiritual Leader for the Soul Seeker

 
 

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A Return to Living
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Last week my love and I took off for Bend, nestled in Central Oregon. Resting at the basin of more than 7 peaks including these three photographed above, this mountain town always clears my mind and resets my heart.

I didn't go out there in search of answers - I truly went to be in silence and be near family. But just hours into our visit and my journal began to fill with so much....ideas, clarity, quotes, direction, and so much discernment.

I also fell hard into this book. It is as though the author was reading my mind when even I couldn't find the right words. Thomas Moore offered me this quote:

"You do not choose a dark night for yourself. It is given to you. Your job is to get close to it and sift for its gold...it may appear, paradoxically, as a return to living. It pares life down to its essentials and helps you get a new start."

It may appear, paradoxically, as a return to livingYes. These were the words I couldn't find. This is the thing most self-development misses for me. With the hyper-focus on improving and progress, we conveniently forget that most growth is rooted in deeply challenging moments. 

I don't believe joy, happiness, trust, or worthiness can be sought independently of a challenge, pain, hardship, or transition. But we seem to forego the latter, or do we really? I have never met a soul who hadn't endured (fill in the blank). 

As a coach, my clients primarily come to me for new possibilities; to stretch their current reality and make more space for more of the things they want. In some ways, coaching is the wild west of self-development. It promises brighter futures with fresh starts and the potential to not look back.

I used to love this. I mean, who doesn't like the idea of a clean slate?

It sounds good, right? But expansion without depth is going to be washed away when the flood of life catches up. Why? Because new horizons aren't usually where we seek them.

We think they're in our strategy sessions, our shelves of books, our outlines of plans, and our promise to do better tomorrow. What if we were wrong? What if your next horizon is tucked inside your current conundrum? 

Conundrums used to be pathologized, diagnosed, and medicated. For some, they still are. If all you seek is progress, then you know how inconvenient struggle in the midst of it is. It appears like a roadblock with no way through, and the default solution? To get busy moving the darn struggle out of the way. 

But what if it IS the way?

And thus I am back at the quote above - a paradoxical return to living. Could it be that the very things we want to wish away and have quickly removed from our vault of experiences are the very things that can rebirth our lives?

Sometimes in my work I feel a bit alone, because while my clients come to me to help them carve new horizons, I am far more interested in excavating what brought you here in the first place. And this simply isn't everyone's cup of tea.  

But for those who don't mind sitting with this for a moment, I can (almost)guarantee you'll find purpose, reverence, meaning, that you matter, clarity, peace of mind, direction, and ease. Yes, really.

Funny, that all sounds a lot like progress ;)

Life Purpose, Spirituality, VulnerabilityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
"The places we stop"
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This phrase was recently offered to me and I knew instantly I would want to reference it. I immediately grabbed my journal and wrote it down. We all have those edges in our life where we go right to the very brink but then...we stop. Maybe we stall or do that arm-flail thing keeping ourselves upright, metaphorically speaking.

When we want to lean in, so badly, we know it. We can feel the pit in our stomach light up, maybe our palms sweat, we know we are about to act in a new way and likely an uncomfortable way. And without any prompting, we pull back instead.

An uncomfortable conversation.
A situation you'd rather not be part of.
Something in the news. The "too close for comfort" kind of news.
Making a request of someone.
Facing your internal longing for something.
Saying "yes!" when you usually say "no."

The list goes on...

Last month my father's health took a poor turn. Which is really just to say it went in a direction I'd rather it didn't. A decline, a chronic "not coming back from this" kind of a turn. At first I rummaged through all the "poor me" statements. Why now? We just lost Mom, can't you wait? I can't do this...

You know the kind of statements I'm talking about. I basically threw a pity party in my head. Not because it was particularly helpful but because I was frustrated. And unbelievably sad. We canceled our vacation to Hawaii (then I added to my pity party) and I packed a very heavy suitcase and headed home where my dad had been admitted to hospice.

Pause.

This is where I wanted to stop. I didn't want to turn toward it. I didn't want to acknowledge this new reality and I certainly didn't want to be thrust into being his caretaker. This was a place I badly wanted to stop. Stall. Halt. Flail about. Anything but lean in. Because leaning in was going to be very (very) inconvenient.

Working from coffee shops and hospice waiting rooms. Navgating care, meds, and keeping a watchful eye on his health as it declined by the day. And the most glaring inconvenience of them all... knowing we had months left if we were lucky. 

Why do I describe this as "inconvenient"? Not because it interrupted my life or required a new level of flexibility, but because we often stop at the places that will make us really pause and look within ourselves.

I used to hold onto the notion that in times of distress the rest of my life could just go on as normal. But this wasn't the case. The part of me that was grieving this news was the same part of me showing up to coach clients and teach my classes.

It's the part of me that is on a retreat right now facilitating the power of letting your life be a model of transformation which requires you let all of your life in

This same teacher who offered me the phrase "the places we stop" also gave me this:

"When we're on the path, when we deal with what gets in the way, we refine our gifts."

In other words, it's the places we choose NOT to stop which offer us the most reshaping, the most accurate mirror, and opens us to more honesty about who we really are. 

Needless to say, this past year has changed me and my work more than any other to date. I used to want to go find all the answers and bottle them up ahead of time then get to work on helping others. I no longer feel this way. In fact, it would be to miss what matters entirely.

I work with so many people, people who love to serve like I do, who also attempt to perfect their life, their message, their meaning before offering it back to the world. My advice is this: don't.

Doing so is just another place you stop. You can't get it right first and apply it second. It's far messier than that. You get it right by applying the present moment to the present moment. 

By not letting the places you stop define you. But instead, letting the places you choose to lean INTO refine you.

Vulnerability, Spirituality, Happiness + JoyAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
Boundary Setting for Empaths
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"Won't people think I'm unhelpful?" "What if I come across rude or closed off?" "If I set boundaries no one will want to be in my life." These are a few of the common questions and comments I hear when I bring up setting boundaries with my clients.

I also happen to coach and support highly sensitive people who are givers. They spend their days with their arms stretched out wide, metaphorically speaking. These are women who feel giving is a way of life -- that it's not just something to "do," but something that's become part of their identity, their way of being in the world.

To set a boundary when you feel like you are built not to -- well, it rarely goes over well. Especially if we assume that setting boundaries are about closing off who you are. If we think setting a boundary requires that we don't give, help, or that we shut down, I wouldn't set them either.

We think of boundaries as these hard stops, as lines in the sand that give the impression of, "Do not come any closer. Do not come any further. You are not welcome here." We think if we set a boundary we are saying to people: "Do not trespass. Wrong way, do not enter. Beware." But the power of a boundary is it gives you space, respect. and clarity.

A boundary allows both you and others to understand what your actual capacity is. It isn't just the thing that keeps energy that isn't yours in check, it also keeps you safe. 

Before I get much further I need to insert a small disclaimer: I personally don't buy into the idea that we can cloak ourselves and be protected from "toxic people." I don't believe we can wear an energy shield or imagine that there is distinct separation between us. 

This may be unpopular thinking because as an empath it's common ground that we can "self-protect." But in the quantum reality, there is no separation. Zip. Zero. The lines aren't blurry, there simply aren't any lines!

Which means, as poetic as wearing an energy shield sounds...I want to offer a different perspective. One that empowers you and reminds you that setting a boundary isn't about protection. It's about being your fullest self and feeling safe to do so.

How do we create, uphold, and appreciate setting boundaries if we're just walking around in one big pot of emotional soup? With intention and self-awareness.

Saying “no”  or feeling "no" in honor of my boundaries is a daily practice. One I don't always get right. I never want to let someone down, but what I find to be true every single time, without fail, is this – when I say yes to something that crosses a boundary for me I end up feeling resentful, disengaged, and annoyed. And I don’t want to represent my work or my life from this place, ever. 

Boundaries are NOT a shield to keep people away. 
Boundaries ARE about authentic connection.


Setting a boundary is how we connect most authentically with people. If you take all your triggers and baggage out of the equation, what’s left over is your most authentic self. Your most authentic self can easily connect with others because you know where your line in the sand is and YOU don’t cross it.

Boundaries are NOT hoarding your time or being unavailable.
Boundaries ARE about sharing yourself freely.


Setting a boundary is letting someone know what congruency looks like and feels like to you. This is you honoring your needs – your energy needs, your emotional needs, your support needs, and your self-care needs. When we take away from our own needs to make space for others this isn’t a boundary, it’s being a martyr.

Boundaries are NOT designed to bolster self-importance.
Boundaries are about self-respect.


Setting a boundary is not about self-righteousness or self-importance. They are about honoring, respecting, and taking a stand for what helps you feel and act your best. Only when you put yourself first can you show up fully for someone else.

Intuition, Spirituality, VulnerabilityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACCComment
You (Yes, You) Are Enough
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I learned the hard way that self-doubt, fear, and not feeling like I was worthy of what I wanted were as alive as my desire to serve others. I've compiled a list of myths, five to be exact, that I hope can help you.

Encouraging women to simply "play big" or to "stop getting in your own way" isn't helpful. Advice like this means well, but we can't effort our way out of not feeling good enough. No amount of reaching will help us to feel inherently worthy. 

If you're like me and you have something big to share with the world and the call to give in some way, then feeling solid in your value is key. Let's be honest... putting your ideas out there in any way is scary! It's vulnerable, raw, and uncertain. It's hard enough as it is without questioning your value on top of it.

What if it's a sign that what you're about to embark on is important and comes from a part of you that is meant to give unconditionally? What if it's an indication that you're on the right path? 

Let's consider the following myths around worthiness.

Myth #1: If I grow thicker skin, I will feel good enough to do my big work in the world.

How many times have you been told to just stop being so sensitive and grow some thicker skin? I don't even know what this means, and it implies that there is something wrong with who I am. (Which is a super sensitive person! And to be honest, it's one of my favorite things about myself.)

In business, leadership, entrepreneurship, or simply in sharing your desire to do good in the world, it can appear as though you have to "cover up" and "protect" yourself if you want to feel worthy of your ideas finding their way out there. As if in order to succeed we have to tuck our heart away.

The truth is:
In addition to not feeling good enough, most of the women who come my way are also empathic and highly sensitive people. They feel their world and often tell me that they hold generosity, giving, and humility in their values. The last thing I want for you is to "toughen" up and in doing so shield yourself from giving from a place of radical empathy. The truth is, the traditional business world isn't built for people like me and you. AND it could sure use a dose of us, don't you think?

Myth #2: If I had a "normal" childhood I would feel like I am enough. 

I hear plenty of "enoughness" stories prefaced with how someone grew up. And while it would be easier to categorize not feeling good enough as a byproduct of a crappy childhood, it isn't a prerequisite to not feeling good enough.

The truth is:
It doesn't matter where you come from or how you grew up. I've coached women whose stories are filled with trauma and abandonment, and I've coached women whose childhood was made of fairytales—and still, no matter where someone fell on this spectrum, they didn't feel good enough. It doesn't matter how many women I coach who are starting a new incredibly personal and meaningful venture; the first thing 100% of them tell me is how plagued with doubt they feel. I went through it too.

Myth #3: If I make more money or learn more I will feel like I am enough.

Quite simply, "If I take that next course, read those books, finally make enough money, THEN I will feel like I am enough." Sound familiar? How many times have you not only thought this but acted on it? I remember just two years into coaching I was about to spend $50,000 and travel out of state monthly so I could complete another master's degree and finally deem myself "worthy" of the work I was already doing. 

The truth is:
The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. It's humbling to accept this truth—but then where and how does self-improvement fit in? I think growth is imperative to our personal success, but it shouldn't be the thing we use to prove how good we are. It should drive your desire to know more and constantly be in awe of what more there is to understand about life. Knowledge is a gift, but the truth is, it can't make you worthy.

Myth #4: When I'm successful I will finally feel worthy.

I thought that when I accomplished my goals, I would feel like I had "arrived" and all my self-doubt could finally melt away. For three years I had been climbing my own success ladder, and in some ways, the ladder others left for me without my questioning it. Early in 2017 I chose to stop climbing, to look up and down and see that there was no top in sight. And no matter how fast or swiftly I climbed it I could still see the bottom.

The truth is:
I realized that there is no end to the success ladder. Not only this, no matter how "successful" you become, you will always feel like you aren't worthy of where you're headed, because your goals will always be in front of you somewhere. There's distance between where you are and where you want to be; this never fades. What if we stopped thinking that in the "getting someplace else" we'll find more of us? What if growth didn't create us, but simply gave us more to love? More to explore? More to enjoy? What then?

Myth #5: Successful people naturally feel worthy and like they're enough.

It's easy to look at people who have "made it" and assume that they either got there because they felt worthy of what they are doing all along, or that success took that doubt away from them. But we don't actually know this. Oprah Winfrey interviewed guests for over 25 years and conducted more than 4,500 interviews by the time her show wrapped in 2011. She said once that no matter the guest or how famous they were, they asked the same question when filming would wrap. The question? "How did I do?" 

The truth is:
You become successful because you act in spite of your fear. Putting yourself out there, risking messing up, looking dumb, or getting it wrong is all a practice. You have to find why you're doing this and know that it is so much bigger than you.

What called you to this work? Why do you feel compelled to move forward in spite of the fear or doubt? If you never feel good enough, will you allow that to keep you from giving your gifts to the people who are waiting for them? Only you can decide this. I've come to believe that worthiness is a personal choice.
 

Do you know how brilliant you are?
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This is the wall in my office. You can only see a snippet here but on the right is a bulletin board where I hang all the notes, cards, and letters I receive throughout the year. I turn them inside out so I can see the writing and who sent it. At the end of the year, I spend a couple hours going through and re-reading each before tucking them away in a box. 

These cards mean so much to me. Not just because you thought to send them or because you took the time to think of me, slow down, and write with pen and paper opposed to an email. They matter to me because they are my mirror. 

We don't always see who we are clearly. We see ourselves through our lens which often comes muddied with stories and shame. There is good stuff in there too. Great stuff! But we like to zero in on what isn't working, where we don't feel expanded, how we don't feel like "enough". 

Then, like clockwork, when I need it the most one of these little gems arrives in my mailbox. It's a ritual in keeping an honest scope of myself and my work. And every year, it fills.

No matter how many notes I receive I still grapple with doubt. Don't get me wrong, I would prefer to ease through my job without going through the inevitable doubt cycle that creeps up when I create something new, have a radical new idea, want to share something deeply personal, and the list goes on.

Last year I created The People First Project. I ran it twice (it's coming back in March!) and had the opportunity to coach 60 people. In these 60 conversations I found ONE common thread or maybe it's a common truth? It came wrapped up in plenty of different phrases such as -

"I just want to feel confident in my direction."
"I want to trust myself."
"I want to know what I am doing and trust it!"
"I don't want to feel bad for my ideas and dreams."
"Will people actually want what I have to offer?"
"Who am I to do this amazing thing?"

And the list goes on.

From the project, I collected over 60 questionnaires and 3,600 minutes of coaching recorded that all captured one truth -

Am I allowed?

Am I allowed to succeed?
Am I allowed to be bold and courageous?
Am I allowed to charge for this?
Am I allowed to speak up?
Am I allowed...to be myself, be seen, be heard, and still belong?

The short answer? Yes. So why then doesn't this answer ever suffice? And even more, why are we asking this and feeling this way?

Every time a card arrives in the mail the first thing I think after opening it is, "I am allowed..." Every. Single. Time. So you see, I am not exempt but I am deeply curious about this.

How many of us feel this way? What do we have in common? Why are we compelled to continue looking for validation that we belong in the spaces we're drawn to? And so the questions pile up.

I am super biased in this but I think I work with the most amazing people on the planet. They are heart-driven, service-oriented, creative, resourceful, kind, and compassionate. They choose business or leadership because it can mean more reach and more freedom.

Yet, so many of us are getting tangled up in things we aren't prepared for. Things like self-doubt excessive criticism, and fear. Before we know it, not only are we not having more reach and more freedom we're also steeped in believing we aren't allowed to. 

I want to wrap every single one of you up who feels this way and remind you that you're not alone. That at every turn that stretches you or cracks you that much more open you will also discover a litany of uncertainty. When I looked up another word for 'fear' I found this word...chickenheartedness.

Are we chicken for getting scared? For doubting our selves? For needing constant validation?

- OR -

Are we trying to do something that hasn't been done before? 

What if it's a sign that what you're about to embark on is important and comes from a part of you that is meant to give unconditionally? What if it's an indication that you're on the right path? What if it's a sign you're heart is leading and this isn't chickenheartedness but wholeheartedness?

And if this is the case then maybe we aren't supposed to spend all of our energy trying to outrun, release, or let go of our tangle of doubts but hold onto it and let it guide the way. We automatically assume feeling bad is bad. It isn't.

It's illuminating the fact that you care a f*&k ton about what you're doing. Trust me, if it were easy or without struggle we wouldn't care as much when we DO succeed. We wouldn't be grateful or humble. We would just be successful. But the age of success for success sake is coming to a close.

I invite you to consider this quote -


"The awakened heroine becomes the best she can be to contribute what only she can to realizing human potential."

Guess how you wake up? Painfully. There is no awakening without grit. You won't find it and if you do I wouldn't trust it. Your best work is a demonstration of what we are capable of. We have to choose differently. We have to absorb not feeling like enough and be humbled by it AND get up every day and continue to put it all on the line.

Before you go asking for proof that you can do this, be this, say this...stop. Instead, remind yourself what is actually on the line if you don't. If it's your reach, your bank account, your fame I guarantee you aren't thinking wholehearted enough. Bolstering your success is easy. Defending another's is the real risk. 

Isn't this why it's so scary? And why we don't feel like we're allowed? Because who are we to believe we can solve, serve, help this planet of ours? Let alone how big a responsibility this is!

And it's sometimes the bigness that makes us ask the inevitable question, "Am I allowed?" You know how I know? Those who aren't called to serve don't even know this is a question that follows us around...

Be proud of this question. It will always point you in the right direction. A messy, gritty, wholehearted direction.

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, VulnerabilityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACCComment
Why I'm NOT raising my rates in 2018...
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And why I actually LOWERED my coaching rates.

There's a trend in coaching to constantly be raising our rates. When did it become unacceptable to charge less than $100/hour of coaching? Or even $250/hour? Or...even more?

Now, I fell into this and quick. It seemed like every few months within a single year I raised my rates until I finally tipped into the unicorn rate...$500/hour

"Ooooh, I've made it!", I remember thinking.  I was wrong. I hadn't "made it". 

Instead, I am sorry to say I lost something very dear to me. I lost my focus on the greater whole.

One of the ways coaches differ from other practitioners (ie. therapists, consultants, etc.) is we're trained to get to the heart of the matter and quickly. 

>> Therapists may take months and even years to peel back the layers. It's process driven.

>> Consultants may also take months and even years to implement a system. It's results driven.

>> Coaches take what's in front of them and help their clients use their strengths, their story, and their desires to move forward. This can take months. It can also take days. Sometimes it can take a single conversation.


One of the biggest questions I hear from coaches is - How can I make enough money and not burn out by over-filling my day with coaching conversations? In other words, "I only have so much time!"

One of the ways we bypass exhaustion is to make more money in less time. We default to high prices to re-balance our potential energy drain on our time...(I know because I did this. I got very good at doing this.)

-- BUT --

This shortcut is short-sighted. 

At what point are our prices a deterrent to the work we claim to be so dedicated to? 

At what point is our inflated belief in our value moving us away from service and not toward it?

Coaching has quickly become an exclusive industry but the reality is, money is an inhibitor even when we wish it weren't. The average annual income in the US in 2016 was $50,756. 

I used to believe that it was not my responsibility where my client's found the money to pay for my services. Which in hindsight is a super convenient way to turn a blind eye to a deeper truth.

And while I do love money and love teaching people how to shift their relationship TO money, money is a limited resource for the majority of U.S. citizens.

For the most part, it is none of my business. But it is my business that my clients feel safe and congruent about spending their money with me no matter the amount. 

Working with a coach is an investment of our three core resources - time, energy, and money - and each needs to be spent from a place of being OK. No exceptions.

But as our prices rise, our exclusivity rises. As our exclusivity increases, we are no longer building unity. We are now fueling the very thing most coaches and closeted healers claim to not stand for.

This was my final realization -- 

If my work is not accessible then I am not congruent with my declaration of bringing more harmony to our world. 

Inclusive, unified...harmony.

I brought my awareness to a dear friend and fellow master coach, Rachel, who founded the Integrative Wellness Academy. I told her about my revelation but that I also struggle with being too exhausted to take on more clients...so what is the solution? 

She gave me a great question --

"How can I have a thriving and successful business while staying true to my purpose of serving others and maintaining accessibility?"

I sat down this month in the wee hours of the morning and had a heart-to-heart with myself. I remembered something a teacher and fellow practitioner shared with me months earlier. She said, "If a therapeutic process is inaccessible to any one person it is ineffective to all people."

This hit me hard then and still does to this day.

See the social worker in me, the one who was trained to advocate for the WHOLE system, still believes in this. If a system that claims to serve humanity is in any shape inaccessible it isn't serving humanity. It isn't a whole system but only part.

And which part of humanity do you serve? I'm sorry to say that when money is our only discernment it's rather obvious who it serves...and it is not the majority.

Why are we so compelled to get more for less? Less time, less effort. And why do I feel like I'm breaking some cardinal rule by not only NOT raising my rates in 2018 but actually lessening them?

My oldest brother is a teacher. He works for an alternative school, a school that opens its doors to kids who don't feel safe, seen, or supported in our public school system. On a recent visit he gave me a tour. I was blown away...

They have classrooms and labs and a library. They have a lunch room and a gym. This isn't what blew me away.

What blew me away is that they also have a room with a shower and a washer and dryer because a fair number of their students are homeless.

And they have a nursery and daycare because a fair number of their students are parents.

Here's why I was so taken back -- we can ignore reality or we can meet it eye-to-eye and heart-to-heart and serve it.  

As a coach I've been given full permission by my industry to ignore reality but that isn't good enough.

"Charge your worth!"
"People only show up when risk is alive!"
"People will find the money if they value it enough."
"Your rates should make you uncomfortable!"

These are the most common rebuttal to "worth" I hear from my industry. I've even believed them and said them! Probably right here in this space. 

I can't go back but I can be honest in moving forward. We always have a chance to re-evaluate where we are and if our values change, that is ok. Let it be ok. 

>> In 2018 I've reduced my 1:1 coaching rates by more than 50%-70%.

Does this mean I'll have to serve more people to make the same income? YES. Think about this...really think about this. When and how did it become a bad thing to serve MORE people?!?! <----Sorry (not really), I am just really passionate about this.

Do I not value myself? Of course I value myself. I value my work and my skillset. I also value my client's livelihood and their financial well-being. I value long-term coaching relationships that unfold over time.

Am I a poor businesswoman? Nope. I love business. I love leveraging my time and systems to keep my income sustainable and my margins healthy. I track my numbers and I track my profit. I also love finding new ways to serve people without maxing out on time like my monthly coaching subscription and weekend-long programs. 

Ultimately, here's why I'm getting out of this high-price game...

> I value humanity over a business. If my business acumen ever comes at the cost of my integrity or of serving the whole then I am not successful. Maybe I won't be a 6-figure coach next year and maybe I won't ever amass millions but I can tell you this - I sleep very well and have peace of mind. 

> This work has to be accessible. Coaching is a wonderful thing to have in your life. It is supportive, playful, and challenging. It has drive and purpose but it's also a space to be seen and to practice things like vulnerability and self-acceptance. As much as I believe in the power of this work I don't believe it should cost you thousands of dollars or in some coaches case the equivalent to a downpayment on a house to get access to a coach or coaching conversations. 

> Money is scary enough as it is. Money is easily in the top 3 topics my clients often focus on in our work together. I am not a financial planner or advisor but I am equipped to support my clients untangle their money stories, fears, and generations of money wounds. Hiring a coach or paying to do this work shouldn't be one more experience that triggers your money stuff. It also shouldn't stretch you or your family to such an extent that it causes additional stress or pain. 

> If not now, when? The world feels a little uncertain right now. For many of us, 2017 was a trying and confusing year. Doing deep work like this can help us find our center amidst the uncertainty and keep us focused on how we can help ourselves and one another.

This work is healing, not just for the one doing it but for everyone in your community you effect. In order to help make that happen my doors need to be more open than ever before -- I need to be more accessible than ever before. 

If you've wanted to talk to me, hire me, or just connect with me but haven't because the cost was prohibitive, my door is open now.

Life Purpose, Money, Soulpreneurs, VulnerabilityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, how to know you need a life coach, how to let go of self doubt, how to answer your callComment
The practices that keep my head on straight
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There are consistent themes in my industry to "push on," "be passionate," and my personal favorite, "think more powerfully." I don't even know what that means! Does it mean you need to think with more energy? Does it mean you need to move more powerful thoughts through your head? What is a powerful thought?

See, I don't even know. But I do know this: What a load of hooey. 

OK, maybe not all of it. I like to be excited, passionate, and even a little powerful in life. It feels good. But the truth is, it only feels good when it's honest and when it's really how you feel.

I'm in the midst of a major life change. My family dynamic is changing, and fast. There's definitely some beauty that's come from it all, the silver lining stuff. But mostly it's been sad and confusing. Not every day or even all day, but I assure you it's there. 

"It" meaning the "I wish this were different and better yet not happening at all moments."  Before I go much further I'll share this -- choosing to bring really real life to this space is not something I take lightly. I've gone back and forth about whether or not this was "appropriate" or "too gritty," but when a friend told me that -- with this being my outlet to help, but to also be myself -- didn't I owe it to myself to continue bringing my truth here, even if it isn't always packaged prettily?

I decided, yes. Yes, I do owe it to myself.

There are plenty of things I don't share because they are private and personal to my family's process. But this stuff here, the nonsugar-coaching (not a typo) that it is all sweet and good all the time? That's not life, folks! And I am not exempt, industry professional or not. Being human gets the best of us all.

In the unfolding of all that's happened with family, these things were the first to disappear. In fact, this is how I sorted it through the first 8 weeks... #nojudgment

Bad news
Panic
Cry
Find strength and make inappropriate jokes
Be strong some more
Pretend I am OK
Realize I am not OK
Laugh at not-funny things
Drink wine.
Drink too much coffee, you know, to balance
Pray
Better news
Hope?
Cry a little less
Go back to work
Assure everyone I am OK
Drink more wine
Get angry
Get angry at the rain, cause that helps
Better yet, get angry at the cupboards being left open. More rational?
Surrender... a little
Drink less wine
Make more jokes, this time they're funny
Really go back to work
Breathe?
Breathe...

Just me? I don't think so. We all have our own cycle. I WISH it looked like this:

Bad news
Panic
Cry
See the good in it all
Write in my journal
Let go
Be OK

HA! Cute, right? Where was I? Oh yeah...the practices that keep my head on straight.

Now, this is MY list. This might not be your list. It doesn't need to be your list. But can you let it inspire you to make your own list? Because there will come a day when you'll need it and it'll quickly escape you.

After I got through the 25+ steps above I did sit down with my journal and asked for clarity. Who did I ask? Well, whatever wanted to move through my pen. I just wanted some peace of mind. I didn't even want answers. I just wanted some focus. 

At first what came through was a laundry list of things like Just be, sleep, stop eating bread, stop pushing, take a bubble bath every day, watch comedies, stop binge watching Grey's Anatomy, pray more, keep your channel more open, make peace with this, make it easier where you can...

I loved all of it and all of it I already knew. And then this came through:
 

"You're actually in the flow.
It may not always feel awesome or
exactly what you expected.
Your job now is to not resist the flow
or in other words...just be."
 

I tell clients all the time to just be and I swear I can hear their eyes roll through the phone but this is the first time this advice has landed so clearly for me. That, and it also came through a license plate, a magazine cover, two friends, and my wife (who is usually right, shhh). 

My first instinct was to resist (*Insert facepalm emoji*) and then I sort of GOT IT. All this stuff started to pop up that letting go of would feel simply amazing. It would free up some energy and anxiety. It would remind me of what really matters and leave more space for where I really need to be right now.

The things themselves are irrelevant to anyone but me. But I bet you have a list, also. The things that even just thinking about non-resistance brings to mind. Yes, THOSE things. See, you have a list too.

Don't get me wrong. Being in the flow doesn't bring my mom back or take away what's happening for my dad. It can't. But it can make it so much easier to be present for it. So no, it isn't always about thinking more powerfully or being uber passionate. Sometimes it's just about being fully here and being honest with yourself. 

Spirituality, Vulnerability, Life PurposeAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACCComment
"Steadfast and patient..." she said
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My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago. It's been a roller coaster I don't recommend to anyone, although I know far too many women who have been where my family is and who will be where we've been.

This isn't a post about cancer.

This is a post about what cancer cracked open between my mother and me. It's about the truth we seek when lives are at stake and time seems to be running out faster than "normal."

This photo above is her high school senior picture. I look just like her. I love that I look just like her. See, I am one of those women who knows she was not only well-mothered but was very lucky to be so. But it is something I took for granted almost my whole life. Not because I didn't appreciate her, but because when something is always present we don't think about it much.

My mother was always present.

After a year into her diagnosis, the holiday season was upon us. Shopping for gifts for someone who is sick feels odd. All material possessions lose meaning and there's nothing you can purchase that will make everything magically better. Trust me, I looked.

Instead, I gifted my mom a letter writing project. The idea was that I could write her a letter each month asking her about life, asking her for motherly advice that could go down in our history, and to wrap it up in handwritten letters because, in the "day of digital," a handwritten letter's vintage feel lends itself to saving for a rainy day.

We're just now a few months into the project and some unexpected turns with her cancer put the project on hold, but the last letter I received arrived on my birthday. In that letter she not only gave me phenomenal advice, she said the thing I didn't know I needed to hear. I asked her, "How did/do you trust in what life brings your way?" She replied --


"Be patient and steadfast in whatever quest you embark on. You create the life the way you want it to be. So, you're actually trusting in your "self" to make the right/wrong decision, deciding which road to go down and back up from and to believe in yourself to make the right choices for YOU. You always have the option to either act or react to any situation. In your core you know what is right at the right time -- trust in yourself."
 

Trust in yourself. Three little words with everything I needed to know wrapped up inside of them. The truth is, we don't always trust ourselves. Trust to do the right thing, to speak up, to look within, to stand still, to choose correctly, to let go, to go all in, or to even show up when we're needed most.

On Sunday I will get up in front of a couple hundred men and women and ask them to trust themselves to choose their path and trust that it's the right one in that moment. I will ask them to do good with what they know and to stop waiting for their neighbor to do it for them.

I am asking the same of you right now.

We're in an interesting time, but aren't we always?

Despair, pain, uncertainty, and life's storms are no stranger to the human condition. In the midst of grief these past two years and watching my mom deteriorate I've had moments that I don't want to be human anymore. I don't want to feel the sharpness of losing someone I love so dearly.

But if that were true I wouldn't get to feel the LOVE that leaves room for fear of loss. We don't get one without the other. 


What if our humanity is less about solving the world's "problems" and more about finding our ground amidst them? 


Some would say that's convenient to stand still, but I argue that there's nothing convenient about standing still and trusting yourself to be firmly planted right where you are. In other words, there's nothing easy about trusting yourself to be brave amongst this human condition.

Every generation will have its battle and every child will grow to see their own fair share of injustice. We all get to move through a fire in our lifetime. This isn't news nor is it new. I am less and less interested in the fire and more interested in our ability to let it transform us.

What gets you fired up?
What do you passionately care about?
What scares you?
What keeps your feet on the ground when certainty is more than an arm's length away?
What allows you to keep your faith when hope just won't suffice?

You are the only one who can answer these questions. You are the only one who can inquire for yourself and trust what you uncover within yourself. And oh how I hope that you do. They aren't convenient questions to seek, but why else are you here? 

These were the kinds of questions I was encouraged to ask as a child and as an adult. My mom taught me that you never know until you go in search of what you think you're looking for. And that you don't always know what you'll find but one thing will always be true -- you will always go along for the ride with yourself. 

Which makes trusting yourself the most daring part. And a threshold each and every one of us carry inside that can't be crossed by anyone but by our own volition. 

That's right -- you have to choose it. It can be frustrating when you're willing to walk through the fire and you see people to your left and right pulling the covers over their head or turning away. Don't let it distract you.

Your job isn't to wait for others to go first. Go. Now.


I wrote this article a few weeks back not knowing the events that would shortly unfold. My mother passed away on October 9th. I was grateful to be by her side and present for the whole thing. This is dedicated to her and to all the mothers who raise brilliant women. Mama, I love you and wouldn't be the woman I am without you. Wherever you are, you are with me always.

Confessions of a Recovering Life Coach
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I love people. I always have, and I’ve always wanted to help. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been an advocate for the underdog and have compassion for those less fortunate. The older I get, the more I’ve come to realize we’re all underdogs, and we will all have moments of misfortune in our lives.
 
When I found life coaching I was grateful – giddy, even. See, I was already a two-time counseling school dropout. I will never forget when, just a semester in, our teachers handed us the DSM-IV; a diagnostic manual to “help us” in assessing our clients’ ailments and mental disorders. I quit what felt like the very next day.
 
This was the first time I admitted to myself that I didn’t want to help people by first assuming they’re sick. When did the spectrum of human emotion and experience quantify people for the therapy couch?
 
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are absolutely people who need support in this way who are dealing with more than loss, trauma, or transition. I am not dismissing the therapy world, but I did feel like being a therapist wasn’t my path through which to serve others.


Enter life coaching - an industry I couldn’t believe was really an industry at first. I could serve others by helping them to see their strengths, their goodness, and how to actualize their dreams. I could work from anywhere in the world and charge more than the average therapist. It felt like a dream come true. My first day of life coach training I knew I was in the right place; I could feel that this was the path for me to finally help others.
 
I was enchanted by how fast the industry was growing and wanted to be at the top, within the top 1% of coaches. This meant I needed to make more than $100,000 per year, because as I quickly discovered, the one measurement most coaches use for quantifiable success is their bank account. And I was no different.
 
Over the next 7 years I quickly climbed the ladder, working with fewer and fewer clients, charging more and more money. I was making six figures, had a waiting list of clients, and was being sought out for speaking gigs and teaching. This is what so many coaches work so hard for, and I was no exception. I felt like I was at the top of my game. 
 
The coaching industry grossed over $1 billion worldwide in 2016 and is now the “fastest growing industry next to tech” according to the ICF’s global coaching study.  I had drunk the Kool-Aid. I wanted my piece of this billion-dollar pie.
 
But at what cost?
 
Life coaching, despite its popularity and mega growth, is an unregulated industry. This means there’s no federal- or state-appointed board to keep an eye on things. There are organizations, such as the International Coach Federation, that attempt to implement standards through accredited coach programs and required continued education, but there is nothing “official.”
 
Quite frankly, there is not even a slap on the wrist for hanging your coaching shingle and charging the big bucks, and many coaches have done just this. What I found from the inside is that many of the highest paid coaches in the world are not certified, some of the most enrolled coaching programs are not accredited, and the overall standard for “good coaching” is quite low.
 
The faster the industry grows, the more it seems to leave plenty of room for low accountability, unethical practice, and lack of professionalism. Great coaches are being looked over for coaches with bold tag lines, and even bolder sales tactics.


Guess what? People are starting to notice. We are getting a bit of a reputation, and I'm not surprised. Coaching has become a one-stop shop for pyramid schemes, sales funnels, upselling, and “over-promise/under-deliver” outcomes. 
 
What was one little coach to do? Well, leave, obviously.
 
I thought it was my time to move on, but really what I wanted was to no longer be associated with coaching - which made me sad, because I love coaching. I love what I know is possible and what I think being a coach still stands for.
 
But here's why I am so irked: we seem to be suffering more. And with all the brilliant solutions available, as pointed out in perfectly poised sales letters and funnels, we should all be buying our way to happiness with ease. So then, what gives?
 
Well, transformation cannot be sold on a website, or alluded to in a clever and colorful sales page.
 
Transformation is gritty and doesn't come dressed up in flowery photos of people frolicking through fields with beautifully scripted quotes that say something like, "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." 
 
We're totally missing the point. 
 
This work is gritty. I am all for dressing it up just a tad so you feel slightly better about cracking some of your most vulnerable stories wide open, but don't be fooled - once they are cracked open, anything goes. No cute quote or meme can ease the reality (good and bad) of seeking your truth from the inside out.
 
As we move from the "Age of Information" to the "Age of Authenticity," we need to update our approach to this thing called self-development. As Rich Roll so brilliantly shared on his podcast when he interviewed Danielle LaPorte:
 
"Efforts to divine truth from bullshit render imperfect results. Anxiety ensues. To cope, we double down on improving upon our self-improvement until we wake up one day and realize what began as a laudable quest for growth has suddenly become an obsessive malignancy — a sort of spiritual eating disorder gnawing away on our very soul."
 
Thank you, Rich, for capturing what I am trying to say.
 
An obsessive malignancy...yuck. And yet, he's right. Transformation is the new organic. But instead of overdoing the kale smoothies, paleo-anything, and pretending like raw cacao tastes like your favorite chocolate bar, we're macro-dosing on all things self-improvement. 
 
It's no longer about going to see the "head doctor." Now it's about every variety of coaching, energy healing, astrology, back-up astrology, oracle cards, past-life regression, retreats from retreats, burning sage, stuffing stones in your pocket, and, if you're like me, consuming books like they will be taken away.
 
To be fair, I have done everything I've listed above. I applaud the intention here to improve, to grow, and be more, and I support it. We've shifted from trying to function to wanting to thrive. But are we?


Self-development being trendy is great for business, but is it great for humanity? And what is the balance? I am afraid that we've sucked all the purpose out of these practices and we're drowning in shallow waters. There's nothing shallow about deep work, but how do you know you're diving in and not skimming the surface? 
 
I know the direction of this article sounds like I will land on some awesome singular truth and give you a few "steps" for truly doing the work. But that would be no different. Because there are no steps. 
 
I think we've defaulted to step-making, program creation, and yes, the perfectly scripted coaching sales page, because the truth is: if we didn't bedazzle the hard stuff, would any of us consume it?
 
Would we really take the raw action required to practice things like compassion, self-love, forgiveness, and joy? Would we willingly trek through our roots and untangle habits, generational wounds, stories, and strategies that are actually harming us? I don't know if we would.
 

Once you get on your path to radical self-discovery, that pretty meme and flowery quote on your Pinterest page no longer holds any function or meaning. You will see how diluted it is and how it disregards the ache of healing. It means well. All of my fellow change-leaders mean well. We want you to do the work and we want to invite you in with ease, because know it won't all be easeful. 
 
But would it be okay to use the truth as the invitation? To say, "Your shadow has much to teach you, and when you're in the thick of it, it won't feel that way. It will feel like you're failing and it's winning, like you're broken and can't beat this shadow. And then with a little grace, you'll invite in some light. Although the light can't take away the pain, it can reveal to you its purpose. In that moment, you will find compassion for yourself and for all humanity."
 
So here I was, on the brink of leaving it all behind, and my gut was screaming at me to take a second look at this. To not be so hasty and to slow down. To return to my roots - and if in the stillness of my heart coaching didn't ring true, then I could move on. But if in that stillness I remembered my fondness for this art, then I was not only to stay, but to stay with purpose.
 
See, here's the thing.  I am a really good coach. Not just because I've read a few books or lived through some experiences, but because I've dedicated myself to my craft.
 
I've graduated from two coaching schools, one accredited by the ICF. For almost 10 years I've coached more than 250 clients and over 1,800 coaching hours. I've spent more than 300 hours in the classroom learning how to do what I do. I know a thing or two about great coaching because I've been the worst coach...and I've worked diligently to be a master coach. Why aren’t more of us at the table? The coaching industry feels like a speeding train, and I feel powerless to stop it. The truth is, I don’t really have the answer. Except I can do one thing: I can choose to show up - and for my fellow coaches, you can choose to do the same.
 
Choose to dedicate yourself to your craft, not just the business of your craft.

Choose to spend time with mentors and in the classroom, and choose to represent what I believe is still good and right about our industry. Maybe we can’t change our industry, but we can give our clients real insight into what good coaching actually looks and feels like. Because the world doesn't need more coaches, it needs great ones.

Soulpreneurs, Vulnerability, Life PurposeAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneursComment
Write Your Own Rules

This photo was taken after a pretty epic but impromptu dance party at Awaken Your Practice just a couple weeks ago. My coach and fellow Awaken teacher decided to play a little game with us which evolved into a ridiculous dance fest which turned into epic laughter and of course, joy. 

After we all cooled off and got the giggles out, he sat us down for a teaching on Divine Play and reminded us that business (and I would add LIFE) doesn't need to be so serious. And he's right. Instead, he invited us to write our own rules. This was just one of many incredible moments during the weekend.

This immersion continues to surprise me and blow me away. I will share some testimonials shortly but for now, I am soaking it all up. Because Awaken Your Practice was just me writing my own rules and inviting people along for the ride. 

I shared at the Awaken weekend how I had been getting a massage, just lying there on the table getting some yummy self-care when the idea literally appeared in my mind. Out of nowhere. Or I should say, "nowhere." I could feel it brewing for awhile and on that particular day, I was ready to hear it.  

I remember spending the next morning pouring ideas into my journal about bringing coaches and entrepreneurs together and doing something radically different - not teaching tools but teaching truth. Not giving them more information but more intuition. It seemed like the most obvious thing to do and yet it would require that I wrote my own rules.

Rules like:

I have the right to write a book. 
I have the right to teach others.
I am worth sharing my ideas with the world. 
I have my own permission to teach about energy, intention, vision, and the purpose of business in this new economy.
I can bring the right people together at the right time.
I can be valuable to my own special brand of magic.

And so on they went. Before I knew it I was talking about this immersion with no "sales page" and nothing to show for it but some conviction that wouldn't seem to leave me alone.

Then I was enrolling people for the first immersion last fall before the book was fully formed. I rented a space. I invited teachers to join me. And bam...6 months after that massage I found myself in my first Awaken Your Practice weekend. 

Two weeks ago was the second time I taught this and it blew me away. This thing that I had intuited was fully formed and ready to go, it just needed me to write the rules for myself so I could show up and play full out on its behalf. And next month I begin enrolling for the third one. THIRD.

What rules do you need to write for yourself so that you can bring your ideas to life? Even more important - what rules are you currently following that are keeping you from bringing your ideas to life? No matter if I am coaching a visionary entrepreneur, a c-suite leader, or a mixed group of people I see the following 5 rules show up the most...

  1. The world defines my value for me.
  2. I am too small to make a big difference.
  3. I am waiting to be given permission.
  4. It has to be hard to be worth it.
  5. Others' needs come first.

No matter your title, you are human, first. And as a human, you are subject to your beliefs. Your beliefs are those bold absolute statements you have created to make sense of your life and the world. We are meaning-making machines -- this means we need to make sense of things. All things. I think this quote sums it up beautifully: 
 

"BELIEFS ARE AN ASSUMPTION ABOUT THE NATURE OF REALITY."
 

One year ago I stopped looking outside of myself for answers and I stopped listening to "marketing experts," "Facebook gurus," and "high-end coaches" and got very still. I listened to my heart by opening up a dialogue through my journal. Call it a portal, call it a channel, call it woo-woo, I don't care.

It didn't bring life to my business -- it brought my business TO life. I wrote my own rules for success. And I did so unapologetically.

I invite you to write new rules and erase some old ones. Beliefs are subjective and they're yours. So you may as well make them your bitch. Or something like that :)

Inspired and unstoppable? What happens with doubt...
Doubt Cleanse - andrealeda.com
Doubt Cleanse - andrealeda.com

Even in the midst of success, I am susceptible to doubt and I know I am not the only one.Let me back up. I have been pouring my heart into Awaken Your Practice and the workbook that goes along with it. When I started the writing process back in April I vowed to myself that I would not go looking for more "inspiration" (aka comparison) or the writing would never get off the ground. This must be, in part, why writers seclude themselves. Distractions = no writing gets done.

So, for three months I have been reading books but no blogs, articles, FB feeds, etc. to keep myself dedicated to what I wanted to convey. I must say - this was incredibly hard. I realized two things. 1.) When I go looking for inspiration all I really do is compare myself and 2.) I don't always trust that my ideas are enough.

Last week I officially submitted the workbook to my designer and I won't see it again until it's pretty and polished. (Thank you, Natalie McGuire!) So what do I do right after it's off my plate? I go back to all the blogs, websites and FB feeds and BAM....not even a week later I find myself in a full blown doubt hangover.

Bleh.

So I do what I do best - create a challenge out of it :) Enter the #doubtcleanse. Five days of not adding things to my awareness that make me question my brilliance.

But it didn't work.

It isn't working.

It almost made it worse. Like there is this big pink doubt elephant in the room and I put a big ol' tutu on it. And maybe some roller skates. You get the idea.

Before I knew it I was in a stream of self-inflicted insults....

Why didn't you think of...

You should have...

You shouldn't eat that...

You could have...

You need to...

You should change....

You get the picture. It's amazing how our own minds know just the right buttons to push, isn't it? So what did I do? I put on some roller skates too (metaphorically speaking) and danced with doubt.

The doubt exists because I believe in what I am doing with my whole heart and this is scary.

The doubt exists because I have this HUGE vision for the world and no real clue how to get there and this is intimidating.

The doubt exists because I love my work so much and some days I think the other shoe is going to drop and this is vulnerable.

It's vulnerable to be invested in something no one else can see yet. Or to stand for an idea that sounds idyllic or naive. It's vulnerable to put yourself out there and build a brand from your heart. So I guess, bring on the doubt!

Maybe it means I am really invested in this magical thing called purpose.

Maybe it means I am pushing my own edge. 

The thing is I will act in spite of the doubt because I have to. This is called conviction. It doesn't mean doubt won't creep in, it means you keep going. And my hope is, when it comes to your purpose, you will do the same.

Even when your doubt puts on rollers skates and gets your attention let it be. In a way, it just wants you to be ok and safe and sometimes our big beautiful ideas aren't safe but they are more than ok. 

In light and love,

Andrea

P.S.

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Coaching is not for everyone...
My Vision

Here we go...another edge I know I HAVE to lean into. And it goes a little something like this...

Really brilliant coaching is not for the faint of heart. 

It just isn't.

And truth be told, I felt bad about this which is why I've tried to coach everybody. Not literally everybody because that is just not possible. But I wanted my work to be accessible to everyone. And this is something I hear a TON of with new coaches - they want to be affordable, accessible, reasonable...but what they're really saying is I don't trust myself to be the boldest, most badass version of my work.

Because if they were, they would also find that is isn't for everyone.

I had a mentor once who said no one needed coaching. And he is right. What he meant was that coaching is a choice to self-actualize. And we don't need to self-actualize to survive. Most of the people on this planet will spend thousands of lifetimes attempting to get there and never quite make it.

He also said this, "Nor is it [coaching] for those who are not 100% serious and committed to their success and happiness (however they define those words in their lives)."

Really brilliant coaching will stretch you, challenge you, push you (gently and sometimes not gently), and help you see that in order to BE the most glorious version of your dreams you have to be willing to do what 99.9% of people are unwilling to do - question everything. And let go. 

I am sorry to say that most people are not committed to their success and happiness. Or they are until they have to...

Invest money in themselves. Invest time in themselves. Question their habits. Be uncomfortable. Or worse - decide that being unhappy, although awful, is less risky. 

Most people want to hold on to what they know and change at the same time. They want to take their stories with them. They want to be right. They aren't willing to take risks or lose anything. They want the experience to be totally quantified in advance. They aren't willing to let their ego-self die. But what's worse is they don't think they need to in order to change. This is what I call spinning your wheels.

You can't go up and stay where you are at the same time. 

This past weekend I invited the challenge and asked to be cracked up. I have a big vision of what's possible here on Earth and I see now that in order to remotely have a chance at succeeding with this vision I have to be unapologetic about my work. (ahhh!!!)  And this means accepting this isn't for everyone...

I still think everyone could use coaching. I still believe the process is powerful for just about anyone. But in my experience really brilliant coaching should not be used on just anyone.

Read books. Journal. Ask big questions. Look within. But don't enter coaching until you are ready to be cracked open. 

- Here's why -

Because it will crack you open! It asks you to step into a version of you that you've maybe only every thought about or doodled on a piece of paper. Because to ask BIG and POWERFUL questions of your life and to not answer them or lean into them...is a waste of a big, beautiful question.

I can't believe I just said that....don't delete it...keep it there...

Don't get me wrong. Coaching isn't for just taking action. In fact, I believe the majority of strategy building and planning done in coaching is a waste of time. (oh geez, I can't believe I am typing this). It's a waste because to take your BEING and expect action to out-run your beliefs is....crazy making.

And for those of you who coaching was BUILT for - Here is what I see in you...

You're a risk taker. You have BIG vision. You're gutsy.You act before you think (sometimes this is good, sometimes not) You don't play a wishing game. You would move mountains if invited to do so.

And my favorite - even when you are riddled with doubt, fear, and uncertainty you lean in anyways. Successful people are no less afraid than unsuccessful people. They don't feel the fear and do it anyways.

They aren't reaching through fear. They are acting in honor of their vision. Period. 

And so in honor of YOUR vision, I have a BIG request for you.

You see, these people I just outlined above are also pretty fiery. They are INSPIRED, PASSIONATE, ON THE FRINGE, maybe even a lot WEIRD in their thinking, and they are BOLD, AUDACIOUS, and UNAPOLOGETIC. 

They are like a big bonfire. They burn high and hot. Here's the problem in coaching fiery peeps - most of you go in search of how to DO more and HAVE more which is like taking gallons of gasoline and drenching your fire! You only burn hotter which makes it almost impossible to come near.

What if you attempted to BE?

Imagine what's possible if you took that FIRE into the heart and soul. If you went within. You would become the brightest beacon of light beckoning people to come close and see what you see.

And for you - I leave you with this.

There is an allowance that we as conscious leaders and visionaries don’t have enough of and that is the entire purpose of my work.

My intention for this experience is to give badass leaders with massive vision for what’s possible for our world a place to go within. We spend 99.9% of our time on the fringe and we have to, this is why we’re visionaries, we have to see what others don’t have the capacity to see just yet.

But to have that one place where we come together, connect, be seen, be vulnerable, and dive into what makes up our heart and humanity is a gift that gives back to us, yes, but also the people we serve.

My vision is to help the world return to its natural state of grace and love. The ONLY way to accomplish this...is to heal yourself. To take what lights your fire and turn that passion into a beacon of light for other's to follow. This is an inner journey and a pilgrimage for the soul.

In light and love,

Andrea

The 4 ways we ALL Suffer (unnecessarily)
The 4 Ways we ALL Suffer
The 4 Ways we ALL Suffer

This is me leaning into my edge even more. Why is it so difficult to stand proudly for what we know to be true for ourselves? I know this may not be for everyone. I don't need to it be. But this is my truth and how I perceive our world. For today at least. Here we go...Do I think suffering is inevitable? Yes. Absolutely. I have never met a single individual who hasn't endured at least one great suffering or pain. Have you?

Do I think most suffer unnecessarily? Yes. Absolutely. I also have not worked with a single individual who wasn't making choices for their present life based on pain or injustice that happened wayyyyy in the past.

Why does it matter that we talk about this? Well, technically you don't have to deal with suffering if you don't want to. It is ALWAYS a choice. And in the grand world of personal development, growth, healing, change, and possibility there will come a day when if you don't learn why and how you suffer unnecessarily you will pay a big price. Which....is also a choice. (I can't believe I just said that...)

Let me back up and share my personal definition for suffering. The word itself is only a label ad there are as many personal definitions as there are people. You don't need to adopt mine or even agree. I define suffering as experiencing pain.

And all humans experience pain. 

So then what is unnecessary suffering? Did you know that an emotional state can only last 90 seconds? That means the emotional reaction you have to any single stimulus (humor, sadness, rejection, etc.) only last 1 1/2 minutes.

Call me crazy but to take an experience that lights up emotional and fear-based reactions in the body for 90 seconds and holding on to them for....days, months, years, even decades seems unnecessary.

What, exactly, are we holding on to? Does suffering serve a purpose? Is letting go an allowance of that injustice?

Prolonged suffering is basically a decision to KEEP the awful, scary, dark, terrifying experience PRESENT in your life as though you can't survive without it.

There are 4 ways we ALL suffer and one of them sort of takes the cake. (I am sure there are more than 4 but here are the ones I see over and over and over..)

1.) I am not worthy 2.) I am not powerful 3.) I have no purpose 4.) I can't lose

Read number four again. I have an entire career ahead of me still so I don't want to make definite statements just yet....however I can say this with plenty of confidence - most unnecessary suffering is caused by LOSS.

Loss of a loved one. Loss of our sense of self. Loss of innocence. Loss of an identity. Loss of a thing or money.Loss of control. And the FEAR of loss in the future.

We basically hate losing. Which is why you hear over and over that the antidote to suffering is detachment or letting go. As well as...

Forgiveness. Release. Acceptance. Self-love. And my personal favorite - to own our place in our own suffering.

I want to share a story. This story is about a girl, a girl who had a pretty charming childhood. Plenty of love and support. She had a wild imagination and loved people. She could see the good in everyone and was always adopting stray cats.

Then one day her love for people was overshadowed by a fear that she didn't belong and she began isolating herself. She replaced loving people with fearing people. She lost her sense of self. And every time someone would leave her life she took it as proof that not only was she alone but she was unloveable.

For 10 years she would hide her ideas, creativity, and optimism in hopes people would take her under their wing and accept her. She fell into a deep depression and began identifying as 'the sad one' and 'the broken one'. She was horribly miserable but she knew how to play this role. She kept people around that proved this right. She took this out on others but mostly she took it out on herself and her body.

It would take a ton of support, inner work, and a total change in her environment to reconnect with the girl she once was. To be able to look out into the world and see and feel love again. It would take her totally accepting that she was creating her depression to seek love and there were better ways. Less painful ways. She took her lessons and returned to wholeness again. And when she did she found a kind of joy she didn't know was possible. Now she was thankful for her suffering for it taught her compassion. But she was ready to let it go, to let it die, so she could be reborn. Which is exactly what she did.

This is my story.

And although I can look back and remember what I went through I wouldn't change a thing. Yes, I suffered unnecessarily and when I was finally ready to let it GO my 10-year experience of depression was done. Just like that. It would take me a bit to mend relationships and pick up the pieces but when I was done suffering I was DONE. I had to lose my story of what it meant to be sad.

Did I suffer unnecessarily? Absolutely. Now I wouldn't take any of my experience back because I can't and because I learned so much about myself. I also know that level of depression would not serve me now or in the future. And hopefully I learned enough to pick a different strategy should there be a next time.

What suffering are you ready to lose?

In light and love, Andrea

I don't know if I'm supposed to admit this... 
breath
breath

But I am a bit of a rebel, so why not. I . Am. Exhausted. These past few months in my business have been radical. There's been growth and opportunities beyond my imagination. I am incredibly grateful for all of it. And there are two sides to every coin.

I am also totally exhausted. I promised myself I would slow down...6 weeks ago. Why I am tired doesn't really bother me. It's pretty obvious. I am exerting more energy than I am replenishing. The why behind that statement does interest me. A lot.

Why do we push past where we know we should stop? Why do we break promises to ourselves? How come when we get where we wanted to go it doesn't always feel like it's enough? And the story that is really getting me...how come I feel guilty taking some time to rest and renew?

The story I'm telling myself is because I don't want to take this magical thing called purpose for granted - ever. And if I get really honest with myself my fear is that if I stop pushing then my business will somehow, overnight, dry up and I'll have to start all over again. 

Is this true? No! But our emotions don't work in 'truth' - they work in interpretation and protection. Translation: our emotional body thinks the 'worst case - never going to happen scenario' is REAL.

So now what? It's a bit of a crossroad. I know I need to just BE for a bit. Enjoy what I've created and LOVE the work that's here, now. And it's like I have this one stubborn pinky that won't let go of the cliffside. It thinks I'm failing if I let go and BE for awhile. 

Between my speaking on Sunday and today I did ONE thing - I called in my fellow story-wranglers. My friends, coaches, and my wife to reflect back a better truth. One that allowed me to grow and CHILL OUT at the same time.

And here's what we came to - when we climb a mountain we have to get acclimated. We have to stop part way, set up a base camp, and literally catch our breath. So this is what I am giving myself permission to do.

This doesn't change anything for my business except my perception of my business. And frankly, that changes everything.

This means I can rest. And serve. And create. And grow. Or do absolutely nothing if I choose. Because I am acclimating. And taking a much-needed breath.

I don't share this to just tell a story.

I share this because we all have stories that are keeping us from actually nourishing ourselves. Stories that are like weeds in our life. UN-truths that are worth having a look at and getting rid of.

Call in your troops if you have to. Like Brene Brown reminds me, "Our stories can not survive being shared and talked about." Our stories thrive on staying in the dark.

Have you ever had that experience of saying the thing you were terrified to admit and then immediately felt SO much better?

I invited the women at the event to answer these three questions and I want to gift them to you as well -

What is the story I am telling myself? Is it true? What story do I wish to write instead?

The irony was that this event was all about what it means to be empowered and as I stood on that stage it hit me - to me, being empowered means loving what is, in this very moment, and allowing it to be enough.

I could wrap my exhaustion around me as proof that I am working so hard for my business...or proof that I am actually hurting my business. The choice is totally up to me. The difference is, one is freedom and one is not. One honors a need and one does not.

In light and love, Andrea

Got power?
Authentic power
Authentic power

Gaining power from outside yourself is like drinking from an empty cup. You will have to constantly refill to gain what you're looking for. Gaining power from within yourself is drinking from the source.  Because you're drinking from the source, it is self-fulfilling.

So then it begs this question - what is the source of your power?

I feel inspired to write about power today for two reasons. The first reason being that most of my client work center's around helping people navigate their life by, as Martha Beck says, their True North. And when someone aligns with that I see the need for external power or validation totally fall away. And peace land in its place.

The second reason is because in our attempt to feel like enough we can't think that external forces can inform our internal choices. In other words - if you want to feel like enough, if you want to trust your choices, if you want to live a heart-centered life then seeking power from within is the path.

But if we know this and we like this idea, why aren't more of us navigating our power by our own innate wisdom? 

The short answer is...I don't really know. Expecting something different? Well, I don't know just yet but I am exploring it. I do, however, know when we seek something outside ourselves to help us measure our joy we are losing a game with no end.

To measure our growth in tangible results means we have to be able to point to something externally and measure it. But, and here's where it gets a little twisty, if our external life (ie. money, status, education, community, health, etc.) are simply a mirror or a mark of our inner world, are we measuring the wrong 'results'?

I know very 'externally successful' people who are living in a shadow of misery. And I know very 'externally poor' people who are also living in a shadow of misery.

Why?

Because - the outside cannot inform the inside.

Something outside of us (ie. money, status, education, community, health, etc.) can not inform our feelings about life.

Our feelings about life inform our relationship with the tangible things like money, status, education, community, health, etc.

How you feel about something internally becomes the mark it wears externally. So how do you measure power? How do you measure joy? How do you measure success? How about peace, possibility, grounded-ness, love, or security?

How about you measure it by itself?

What if you measured joy simply because you felt joyful?

I believe the most powerful people are the people who know who they are and who they are is not dependent on anything or anyone. Period. Because this person has nothing to lose. And if you have nothing to lose you gain everything.

Because if something can be measured, it has a limitation. Money, status, education, community, health, etc. can be measured and they are limited. They have a finality to them. So if your power or joy is anchored to them they too are limited.

What would happen if your inner world, and your inner world alone, determined your power? I bet you'd find peace, clarity, abundance, space, worthiness, joy, and trust.

If I emptied your bank account tomorrow and stripped you of your current identity what would you be left with? I know this is a harsh question but I ask it for this reason - who are you really?  What are you really? 

Go into your depths and meet yourself. Bring him or her out into the world and watch what you used to measure yourself by feel insignificant compared to the light inside of you that can not be measured.

This is authentic power.

Light and love, Andrea

Your Roots ARE Your Fruits
Fruits and Roots Andrea Leda

I want to share an incredible story today about a woman I get to call a client. She inspires me every single week.

Not just because she shows up and does the work but because she reminds me what is possible when we dig into the depths of who we are…and open a new door.

Before I get to her story let’s talk about this a little - What does it mean to dig into our depths?

First, here’s a little myth I had to learn the hard way. Changing something that’s going wrong in your life isn’t about simply closing the gap.

But you’ve been taught this, right?

Me too. In fact I think this definition of change is even in the International Coach Federation’s description of coaching. Something to this effect – success ishelping you close the gap between where you are and where you desire to be.

Here’s the thing – change isn’t horizontal. It’s vertical. Let me explain.

Closing the gap is external. For example – trying a new strategy for growing your business or building a new plan for staying healthy. These are two things outside of you.

Now I agree that change can occur here. You can alter how you do something and experience a different result.

But I don’t think you want to merely alter something. I think you’re ready to experience a transformation in your life.

This might be a stretch but think about it – why do we hire a therapist? Work with a coach? Attend a life-changing conference? Read the trendy self-help books? Take classes on meditation and prayer? Build in rituals?

We don’t embark on these things to alter single habits like eating chocolate or fighting with our spouse.

We embark on these because we’re searching for an easier, more fulfilling, and peaceful way to live our life.

This isn’t a minor change – it’s a calling from the Self and the Soul to dramatically shift how we do life!

Something that radically shifts how you see yourself and the world, which creates, not just a new result, a whole new way of living.

Transformation is vertical. Transformation requires you to go into the depths of who you are and ask questions like:

What does ‘playing big’ mean to me?

What great impact am I here to create?

What self-limiting stories are on repeat?

What does total fulfillment look and feel like?

What is so compelling about the way I live my life?

What scares me?

What inspires me?

Even if you answer one question – answer it.

If you do this I can promise you that you’ll discover a glimpse of your depth - the things that make you, you.

I call this depth your roots. And this I know for sure -

FRUITS AND ROOTS
FRUITS AND ROOTS

The Roots you plant are the Fruits you reap.Most of us begin doing change work on the Fruits - we employ new strategies for more money, happier partnerships, more successful businesses, motivation and fulfillment.

But what's possible if you dug, just a little, into your roots?

Imagine what it would it feel like to be able to totally surrender…to be able to slow down, breath, and create a life that is meaningful and deeply satisfying...

Imagine if you could create a business from peace of mind and not begin with burn our or marketing strategies...

Imagine totally trusting that money flows to you...

This happens in your roots.

Here is what I believe to be true with the entire essence of my being and every fiber in my body -  Change your root, shift what you plant, and you’ll never have to struggle with the details again.

Big promise, I know.

Let me share this story now about a client. I’ll call her Lisa. Lisa is like so many women – her story is significant because it demonstrates the power in going into our roots.

Lisa came to me just before the first leaf fell this fall wanting to radically grow her business.

Lisa is a healer and a recovery coach. She is a single mom with two awesome children. She loves her work and is in her purpose lane. Success wasn’t new for her but she was in a rut. She felt something big was on the horizon…but how to get there?

I describe Lisa as on-purpose, intuitive, and curious. She's a go-getter, hard-working, independent, and intelligent. Lisa is an empath, a nurturer, and searching for something bigger than her.

She had talked to several other coaches about strategy and goals for making some big changes in the coming months.

Then she came to me. Here’s the thing – I don’t do strategy.

In our first two hours together I shared with her that no strategy or goal would compensate for a story that was no longer serving her.

This story was one of her roots and she was seeing the fruits of this every day.

The old root story: “It’s not safe to be on my own.”

This story may be so simple. But as we peeled back the layers she discovered how this story was not allowing her to be the incredible recovery coach and business owner she could be. It was keeping her business from thriving and ultimately her life from ease.

We never talked about action steps. We never coached around new ideas. We never discussed growth tactics.

We let go of the story and wrote a different one.She planted a new root. And then something that even surprised me happened.

She organically and effortlessly grew her business…

  • Lisa’s revenue increased by 400% in less than 90 days.
  • Her transformative coaching program received plenty of applicant’s and she had to turn people away.
  • She ended a toxic relationship safely and confidently.
  • She de-cluttered her entire home, painted furniture, and made her space a place that inspired her for the first time in her life.

The most remarkable part - She now practices the art of surrender and allowing everyday. She is at peace.

Here’s the magical part – we never talked about strategies for any of her new success. She created this 100% on her own because we planted a new root!

Her new root grew into fruits of money, collaboration, peace, and safety.

I’ve never met a single human being who doesn’t have a story that isn’t interfering with the greatest and grandest version of their life. A root that is not producing the kind of fruit you want -

If you want better relationships, more money, better health, successful business, happiness....Then let's dive into your stories, beliefs, habits, purpose, fear, and self-worth.

Most of us try pruning the tree when we need to have a look at what we’ve planted. What if you could create the kind of results Lisa did with one story, one root?

If you want me to help you do this see my gift for 10 of my readers below!

Much love and light, Andrea

P.S.  Feel welcome to download the 'Roots & Fruits' image here! Share it, save it, pin it up. Big Thank You to T. Harv Eker who originally introduced me to this concept.

The time for this is now...
How to change the conversation
How to change the conversation

"Once you willingly embrace that seemingly broken part - you become whole." - Tosha Silver

This quote found me yesterday as I was reading 'Change Me Prayers' (read it!) It hit on a question I've been pondering for awhile now - is it time for a different therapeutic conversation? And I think the answer is YES.

Just the other day my wife and I were perusing a bookstore and per usual I found myself browsing the 'self-help' section when something blatantly caught my attention. The section title on the top of the bookshelf no longer read 'Self-Help' and in its place was this - 'Living Your Best Life'. I did my best not to jump up and down in the aisle but I was really excited about this! So the conversation has already begun to shift.

Shift how? From a conversation about how broken you are to a conversation about how divinely human you are.Now it isn't as simple as speaking affirmations, praying, or embracing your strengths. All awesome practices but they forego looking at your roots or your personal truths.

I strongly feel we need something in the middle. We need something between embracing our traumas and cultivating our passion. We need something that blends understanding our past and simply moving forward.

We can't forget where we come from because it is quite literally how you see the world.

We can't just move on expecting things to magically be different.

Where is the middle ground? How do we do both/and? How do you give respect to where you come from and let yourself dream about where you want to go? How do you keep one from defining the other?

The traditional therapeutic conversation has one BIG wall - it assumes you're broken and need to be fixed.

The traditional coaching conversation has one BIG wall - it pretends you were born today and just want to move forward.

You can't live in the past. You can't just magically live a completely different life.

SO if you want to change your life, stretch your comfort zone, take a leap, heal, dream, or forgive - Where do you turn?

I don't actually have an answer for you. I more or less am just starting to ask this question myself. I bring this up because as I lean into the fullness of my work I'm seeing some pretty strong themes. I get to see the most incredible strengths in my clients and I get to be there to hold space when things are hard. It's an honor and it begs that the conversation support what's really needed.

Here's what I have so far...

  • You want a healthy, intentional, conscious, loving, and accepting relationship with your SELF.
  • You want to understand, heal from, and release any story, fear, resentment, or unresolved part of your life. You may never forget, and you don't need to, but you want to learn and bring your lessons to your life to serve your highest good.
  • You want clarity and direction around what it is you DO want for your life and to trust in yourself to make it happen.
  • You want to grant yourself permission to understand, try on, and play with the pieces of yourself you've kept hidden or quiet.
  • You're willing to practice vulnerability but it's a bit scary and you aren't sure how to stay safe in turning toward the more vulnerable parts of your life.
  • At the end of the day you want to be happy. You don't necessarily want to be defined by your wounds and you don't always want to strive for improvement.
  • You get that life is a constant ebb and flow and you want to move with the natural flow of your life. You see that it can't always be perfect and at the same time it doesn't need to hurt.

What do you think about this list? Doing the work and examining your life is SO fulfilling. I wish this for everyone. I mean a real, raw examination of your beliefs, your fears, your desires, your losses, and your plans. And I beg that you don't go through this alone.

I believe now after 5 years as a coach, hundreds of hours of education, and almost 1,000 hours of conversations with my clients this I know to be true - you want to be seen, heard, understood, and above all else, LOVED. 

You want to know you matter.

You want to do the work and sometimes you want to quit. I honor both because it's all part of the process!

I believe this is what is really means to answer your calling. It means to let all the contents of your life spill out before you. To keep what you love, to release what you don't, to trust and have faith in yourself, and to really explore why you're here. Explore who you are and what you are. Step into the pieces of you that terrify you AND inspire you at the same time.

This I can promise - when you do, you will literally be AH-mazed by life.

Changing this conversation can't just be done as your coach - it's a co-created experience. I invite you to help me change the conversation. I've put together a very short survey and I would LOVE and greatly appreciate your insight. Click the link below and let's do this!

Click to Fill me in!

In light and love,

Andrea

Happiness + Joy, Intuition, Life Purpose, VulnerabilityAndrea Wilbornandrea leda wilborn, anxiety disorder, anxiety symptoms, balanced living, best intuitive life coach, brene brown, burn out, burn out symptoms, can stress cause pain, center for journal therapy, center for journal therapy instructor, Certified life coach, Chronic pain, Conscious Living, conscious living coach, create more balance, creative journal ideas, daring greatly book, effects of anxiety, effects of burn out, effects of low self-worth, effects of stress, emotional body, emotional pain, find a life coach, flight or fight, gifts of imperfection book, healer Portland, healing coach, health coach, help from stress, help from stress and anxiety, how do I know my intuition is right, how to be balanced, how to be mindful, how to create more balance, how to improve my self-confidence, how to journal, how to know you need a life coach, how to know you’re anxious, how to know you’re stressed out, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, how to use your journal, I want to hire a life coach, improve balance, intuition, intuitive coach, intuitive healing, intuitive life coach, journal class, journal course, journal program, journal prompts, journal to the self, journal to the self class, journal workshop, journal writing, journal writing ideas, journal writing prompts, journaling, journaling ideas, journaling online, journaling tips, journaling topics, life coach portland, life coaching, life coaching Portland, living in pain, meditation, mindful eating, mindful living, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness practice, NW Portland Life Coach, panic disorder help, Portland life coaching, professional life coach, reptilian brain, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, stress, stress and anxiety, stress help, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, wellness coach, what causes chronic pain, what is worthiness, why hire a life coach, worthinessComment
5 Life 'ah ha's...from a puppy
5 life ahhas from a puppy
5 life ahhas from a puppy

My wife and I have wanted a dog for many years, but when do you find the time to actually go for it? I'm sure you could say the same thing about starting a family - is there really a good time? In April a dear friend who fosters shelter puppies brought Sabine for a visit and something in us just clicked. Adopting her made no logical sense but it made sense in our hearts. On April 23rd we became proud mama's of this 6 lb. puppy the shelter found wandering the streets....

Here's the thing about puppies - they are very cute. They are also fast. They chew things. They pee on...everything. And yet a week after adopting her we left for a short weekend we'd had planned and I cried being away from her. She had found her way into a piece of my heart I didn't know needed it. 

When someone asked why we decided to adopt her all I could say was this - we wanted to add more life to our life. 

I work from home so I now have a co-worker. Although while I coach and write she prefers to sleep or jump on my head. Yet I can't imagine not having her be part of our life. Getting to watch something that is so present is such a gift. Similar to my experience when I wrote this piece for Tiny Buddha.

Today I want to share 5 Life 'ah ha's from our puppy, Sabine. And I'm sure they are just the start to what she has to teach us.

#1 - Everyone is basically good, so go say 'hello'

Sabine loves everyone. Everyone. Any person who walks by gets a very excited tail wag and if you'll let her a face full of licks. It never gets old either. She thinks people are just swell and good. I have to agree with her. I think, for the most part, people are basically good. We may not always know how to show this but it's in there. She reminds me to look up at a 'stranger' and just say hello. We now know everyone in the neighborhood - you realize quickly that you aren't alone. Not even a little bit.

#2 - Love those who love you

I've heard that your dog will never get tired of seeing you and it's so true. Sabine is ecstatic when we come home, even when we leave the room for a moment and come back. Her tail wags so much that her whole butt goes with it. She can't get to us fast enough to express her total unfiltered love for us. Can you imagine if we greeted those we love with this much love? Only love? I find it's those we love the most that get the brunt of our stuff. Any anger, fear, resentment...it's easy to pour onto the one we love the most. Yes, our partners, best friends, spouses are there to hold space for us so we can go through such heavy emotions and learn, grow, evolve. Just don't forget to love first and love last. 

#3 - If you don't know, find out

As Sabine is still a puppy everything is new and therefore fascinating to her. Noises, objects, people, places, smells...they all peak her interest without hesitation. She's quite gutsy so she loves to check it all out. I love her interest in all of life. Imagine if instead of doubting what was possible you explored it? Instead of being afraid of what could be you just let it be? What if the world was only out conspiring for you to succeed beyond your wildest dreams - how would you approach life a little differently?

#4 - Why go it alone if you can go together?

As pack animals it's not in a dog's nature to be solo. We actually had to train her that she will be alone from time to time so it wouldn't cause unnecessary anxiety. Sabine can be totally invested in chewing her toys and I'll leave the room and she's at my side. Just as content. But the thing is - humans are no different. We are hardwired for connection, not independence. We pride ourselves on 'going it alone', 'being independent' and yet it's the moments we come together that mean the most. Why go it alone when you can go together?

#5 - Just be.

It doesn't get much more simple than this. Whatever Sabine is doing she is just being. As the Taoist say, "Grass doesn't intend to grow, it just grows." Now I realize that her brain works a little differently and she doesn't spend time pondering the past or worrying about the future. Yet, we don't have to either. This is mindfulness as it's best. Where can you just be in your life? Take right now for example - are you reading this, checking your phone, listening to music, drinking coffee? Are you engaged with what you intended to engage with or are you stretching your attention across many distractions? Just be. We get so caught up in thinking about doing something that we think that contemplation is action, but it couldn’t be farther from it. You're allowed to just be.

There is no anxiety without anticipation. And you cannot anticipate the present moment; you can only be in it.

Thank you Sabine for helping us to slow down, enjoy the little things, and love lots. And yes, that is her in the photo above. Big ears and all.

In light and love,

Andrea

12 Reasons why YOU matter
12 Reasons why you matter
12 Reasons why you matter

Of all the things I can do more my clients the #1 most effective tool I have is also the most simple. It's to remind you that you matter. Did you know this? If not let me tell you - of course you matter! More than you can possibly imagine. So why is it that so many are living as though they never mattered less? I invite you to take this post to heart today. Share it. Re-post is. Send it to those you love. Get on the 'I Matter!' bandwagon.

I can take TWO approaches to my work. One is to find out all the things that are going horribly. The OTHER is to remind you of all your strength and your core Self. I'm sad to admit this - the former can be easier. We all live in a 'woundology' culture. We all have PhD's in our wounds. We are the first to remind those we meet, those we've known forever, and those in between about everything we've endured in our life.

We relate based on our wounds and we connect through similar wound stories. What is a wound? Any trauma. All trauma. Accidents, breakups, abandonment, phobias, loss, grief, and fear. Now I have to say this - your wounds are valid. They happened and they're part of your story. Not because you endured them but because you learned something and you grew!

The problem is when we choose our wounds to guard, inhibit, or protect over us prohibiting our life from thriving and flourishing!

I have never worked with a client who wasn't using a wound to stay trapped. I've done the same thing. These stories are our comfort and although they are painful and awful to keep around we stop knowing how to be without them defining our life. 

So stop trying to forget them, let them go, or abandon their memory. They thrive on the energy and attention you give them. They stay alive to the extent you keep them alive. The solution? Turn toward your light.

Struggle is inevitable. Suffering is a choice. Do MORE of the things that remind you how much you matter and LESS of the things that keep you in pain. Yes, it is really this simple.

To help you do this I want to gift you 12 Reasons Why YOU Matter. These are based on my own life and my experiences. Please change or edit them to fit you perfectly. You know your strengths. Are you using them? It doesn't take any more energy to live through your awesomeness than it does your wounds. Only you can make this choice.

12 Reasons Why You Matter

I don't provide explanations because they really are this simple. All they require is acceptance.

Reason #1: You exist

Reason #2: You are here for a reason

Reason #3: You are love

Reason #4: You are part of the Whole

Reason #5: You are divine

Reason #6: You are energy

Reason #7: You are connected

Reason #8: You are wise

Reason #9: You have the truth

Reason #10: You are compassion

Reason #11: You're needed

Reason #12: You wanted to be here

My hope is that these 12 Reasons inspire you just enough that you see things differently today. Start there. Tomorrow when you wake up you can continue on the same path OR you can re-read these 12 Reasons....

In light and love,

Andrea

Happiness + Joy, Intuition, Life Purpose, VulnerabilityAndrea Wilbornandrea leda wilborn, anxiety disorder, anxiety symptoms, balanced living, best intuitive life coach, brene brown, burn out, burn out symptoms, can stress cause pain, center for journal therapy, center for journal therapy instructor, Certified life coach, Chronic pain, Conscious Living, conscious living coach, create more balance, creative journal ideas, daring greatly book, effects of anxiety, effects of burn out, effects of low self-worth, effects of stress, emotional body, emotional pain, find a life coach, flight or fight, gifts of imperfection book, healer Portland, healing coach, health coach, help from stress, help from stress and anxiety, how do I know my intuition is right, how to be balanced, how to be mindful, how to create more balance, how to improve my self-confidence, how to journal, how to know you need a life coach, how to know you’re anxious, how to know you’re stressed out, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, how to use your journal, I want to hire a life coach, improve balance, intuition, intuitive coach, intuitive healing, intuitive life coach, journal class, journal course, journal program, journal prompts, journal to the self, journal to the self class, journal workshop, journal writing, journal writing ideas, journal writing prompts, journaling, journaling ideas, journaling online, journaling tips, journaling topics, life coach portland, life coaching, life coaching Portland, living in pain, meditation, mindful eating, mindful living, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness practice, NW Portland Life Coach, panic disorder help, Portland life coaching, professional life coach, reptilian brain, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, stress, stress and anxiety, stress help, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, wellness coach, what causes chronic pain, what is worthiness, why hire a life coach, worthinessComment
Is staying stuck a choice?
HOW-IS-STUCK-A-CHOICE.jpeg

Is stuck a choiceIs stuck a choice?

I know what you're thinking - why would anyone choose to stay stuck? I encourage you to read this entire article and just let's see if stuck is a choice you don't even know you're making.

First I would like to share a personal story if that's ok with you?

Stuck looks different for all of us.

For some being stuck is a repetition of the same story or experience and it just seems to keep appearing in your life.

For some it's a desire to move forward but there's either a lack of resources or a lack of clarity in how to move forward.

For some it's hitting a glass ceiling and a repetition of a sticking point like your finances, your health, your business, or your relationship.

For me stuck is a desire to do big things while pouring my energy into small things.

It's a desire to play big but when you play big the stakes get higher and high stakes are scary. So being stuck is really an act of quitting. Have you ever done this? 

Last week I launched my first group coaching program in over a year. Then my server crashed.

And my email crashed.

And, randomly, my phone stopped functioning. No texts. No apps. I had to turn it off.

No computer. No phone. And I'm in the middle of enrolling you into a program I am stoked about. Hmmm.

Why would this happen?

More importantly than why was what am I to do with this?

This my dears is a beautiful lesson in lessons. I don't believe in random.

I asked for clarity in a dream. Something I do often when I need some guidance. And I got this symbol: a gas pump in a gas tank but the pump didn't go to anything. It was cut off.

I knew right when I woke up this meant I needed to recharge and to not give up. To not let myself empty into playing small.

I spent the weekend reading and writing. Taking long baths and having the best conversations with friends, clients, and my love. No computer. No phone.

And today everything is back up and running.

To be stuck would have been to cancel the course. To be stuck would be to choose not lean into a request to surrender and play big at the same time. To be stuck would have been a choice.

What message are you turning away from? What keeps repeating itself? Where are you playing small and want to play big? How are you choosing to stay stuck?

Despite the chaos I did enroll people and I can't wait to help them change their life. To stop being stuck and to lean in to the very things they've been avoiding.

In light and love, Andrea

P.S.

Are you ready to choose something other than stuck? If so read the details below!

Seat of the Shift

If you’re stuck, stalled, or at a crossroads in your life then this is for you…

Seat of the Shift is a Small Group Coaching Program to help you create intentional and sacred space within yourself so you can proactively shift your life by shifting your perspective.

I opened this course to just 11 people - there are just 6 spots left.

Read all the session details and enroll here.

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Money, Spirituality, VulnerabilityAndrea Wilbornandrea leda wilborn, anxiety disorder, anxiety symptoms, balanced living, best intuitive life coach, brene brown, burn out, burn out symptoms, can stress cause pain, center for journal therapy, center for journal therapy instructor, Certified life coach, Chronic pain, Conscious Living, create more balance, creative journal ideas, daring greatly book, effects of anxiety, effects of burn out, effects of low self-worth, effects of stress, emotional body, emotional pain, find a life coach, flight or fight, gifts of imperfection book, healer Portland, healing coach, health coach, help from stress, help from stress and anxiety, how do I know my intuition is right, how to be balanced, how to be mindful, how to create more balance, how to improve my self-confidence, how to journal, how to know you need a life coach, how to know you’re anxious, how to know you’re stressed out, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, how to use your journal, I want to hire a life coach, improve balance, intuition, intuitive coach, intuitive healing, intuitive life coach, journal class, journal course, journal program, journal prompts, journal to the self, journal to the self class, journal workshop, journal writing, journal writing ideas, journal writing prompts, journaling, journaling ideas, journaling online, journaling tips, journaling topics, life coach portland, life coaching, life coaching Portland, living in pain, meditation, mindful eating, mindful living, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness practice, NW Portland Life Coach, panic disorder help, Portland life coaching, professional life coach, reptilian brain, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, stress, stress and anxiety, stress help, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, wellness coach, what causes chronic pain, what is worthiness, why hire a life coach, worthinessComment