Andrea Leda
Change More Lives By Being Yourself

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Andrea Leda | Spiritual Leader for the Soul Seeker

 
 

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Do you dream about inspiring people?
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I love this quote from Henry Moore: "The secret to life is to have a task, something you devote your life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is — it must be something you cannot possibly do.”  

The first time I read this quote I had to make sure I read the last line correctly. "Something you cannot possibly do" seems like an odd thing to dedicate your life to, but herein lies the beautiful irony of such a challenge. The seemingly impossible things of your dreams become the very things you fulfill through the intentionality that success is not required — but effort is.

Coaching is like this for me. I used to coach because I wanted to help people be less stuck. Then I did it because I wanted them to find their joy. Then I coached because I wanted to save the planet. And today I coach because witnessing others do "impossible" things is awe-inspiring.

When I started to teach coaches I was hesitant. Would I be able to truly convey the power and joy in this art? Would the process of becoming a coach be as wonderful for my students as it has been for me? Then I just decided that whatever my students got from their own pursuit would be just as incredible for me as it is when I coach my clients.

If you've ever dreamt of adding masterful life coaching to your repertoire, join me for my third cohort of Awaken Your Life in May.

Becoming a coach was not my first choice. I wanted to help people. Help them do what wasn't exactly clear in the beginning. The only clarity I had was that I was built to be in service of others.

I've always been that girl strangers share their life stories with.

It doesn't matter if I'm in line at the grocery store or on an airplane, I often find myself as the person others tell deep and meaningful things to. I must admit, I like this. Someone choosing to divulge or share something that has depth with me as a total stranger kind of blows me away. 

Somewhere in my formative years, I was the "fix it" girl. The one who, whether others asked or not, was always mending people. I felt hurt when others were unhappy.

While I would learn to not take so much responsibility for others' life choices, to this day it is hard to witness someone turn away from their life no matter what it's costing them.

This was why I chose to be a social worker and then a counselor. But I left because keeping people beholden to their past is a waste of a life. You aren't meant to stay in your ordeals. You are meant to be shaped by them, carved out of the rubble, and given that inner flame that only you know why it wholly motivates you.

In many ways, coaching picked me. I was at a rehearsal dinner for my cousin and was introduced to the founder of a coaching school I would later go on to graduate from.

It didn't feel like a big leap. To be honest it didn't even feel like it was a real job. I did not become a coach to make a ton of money because I literally didn't know I could! I didn't become a coach to change the world because who was I to make such bold requests of the world?

No, I became a coach because it was somewhere between people's past and their potential future that a coach gets to play and I remember thinking, "Now that is a pretty cool gig."

Almost 10 years and more than 5,000 coaching conversations later it is far more than "a pretty cool gig." Transformational coaches, the really good ones, can change someone so profoundly that if you really knew the long term result of that change, it would astound you.

The really good coaches are change-artists. We take what isn't apparent and make it known. We are also known as "Someone Who Transforms Things for the Better." 

Some coaches hang out in plans and strategies: they use goal measurement and accountability to effort their clients to the next step.

Some coaches hang out in encouragement and energy: they use their cheerful excitement and belief in someone to motivate them to the next step.

And then there are the rare ones. 

The coaches who hang out with your potential, who use tools of the mind and quantum field to re-wire how someone sees the world — and in doing so fundamentally changes who they are in the world. Their clients don't effort or get motivated to their next steps. They become the very dream they've imagined.

I will be so bold to put myself in this category. Not because I am special or unique but because I am fascinated and slightly obsessed with this work. And my students are no different. They could choose any school, and there are thousands of coach schools to choose from. (Which is good, because I can only train and work with 8 students per 200-hour cohort!)

I am in this category because I want to be. I want my work to be more than something that feels good. If you are a coach or on your way to being one, then please find your place and choose the mark you will leave. I believe this is up to you and you alone.

My love for this work is confirmed through my studies and education, but my true understanding of it is unearthed in my daily commitment to live an awakened life. No one is born awake. It is through the diligence of practice and dedication we get to come home, time and time again, to our True Self and do the truly great things we are built for.

I’ve used the practices of coaching, journal writing, meditation, habit change, visualization, mindfulness, yoga, breath, NLP, and more to create a whole new life, to change my health, to heal depression, to create financial prosperity, to draw opportunities to me, and more.

I will always and forever be my first client and student. I will not ask you to do anything inside this work I myself am unwilling to do or have yet to do. Your path will not look the same, but the principles we use to create our very desires are universal.

I am a lifetime seeker, as are my clients. And while along the journey I know you will find the things you want, you will also continuously come home to your true self. Want to join me?

Learn everything you need to know here > 
www.awakenyourlifecoach.com

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, Spirituality, WorkshopsAndrea 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, 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, IWA, life coach guru, the life coach for successful people, the highest paid life coach, 6-figure coaches, life coach training, 200 hour coach training, master coach trainingComment
What's REALLY Possible?
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I used to think the word potential was too nebulous to have actual meaning in my life. The definition of potential is to "show capacity to become something in the future." By definition, you can never get there. And then, I read this book. I won't dilute this extraordinary read to a single sentence. The best I can do is urge you to read it. 

It reminded me of a life principle I've held true for many years now — that you don't interact with the world by how you see it; you create your world by how you see it. You draw to you the very experiences that uphold your beliefs, and therein lies the greatest opportunity of the human experience: you are not beholden to where you are today. But to live the life you feel destined for is going to take more than a desirous longing. 

It is going to take gumption.

My mom had gumption. During her life, she mothered, started businesses, became a writer, was an artist, drove across the country, fell in love with nature, and made a decision early in her life that her daughter would not know the tremendous pain she did as a child.

That her daughter would have the freedom, education, and opportunity to act on independent choices no matter what the world told her she was or was not. That daughter is me. 

I didn't fully appreciate growing up what my mother was doing. I didn't know any different. She was, in many ways, my first coach and mentor. But beyond that, she did more than cheer me on. She told me every day that I could do what I set my mind and heart to. 

But as an adult woman who spends her days riding the fine line with people between encouragement and unrolling the past, I bump into story after story riddled with reasons why someone must stay within the lines.

Why someone is bound to where they come from more than they are prepared to let it go.

This is the hard part of the work. Not untangling your stories or bumping into limiting beliefs or self-doubt. Put me in the ring with these parts of you any day. The hard part is watching someone who truly believes the fear and is choosing a life path that abides. A path that keeps the gremlins in play.

I'm not OK with this.

You see, I was also raised with one single rule. This was more important than our homework or weekend chores. This rule was paramount and respected. It came with no guidebook or instructions but it was pre-determined on behalf of me and my siblings that we would live by this rule.

The rule?

Follow your bliss.

Now, as a child, upon hearing this I remember thinking, "That sounds easy enough. I mean, it has the word 'bliss' in it. How hard can it be?" (This is where I insert an eye-roll emoji or several.)

Don't be fooled. While bliss is the thing that keeps you going, it is not a place you arrive fully. Thank goodness bliss dangles its light at the end of the tunnel or we'd never do the unfurling, untangling, or unhooking from our life in an attempt to reach it.

But to follow your bliss is an act of courage. 

Following your bliss is not about pursuing your passion. It is about going in search of the meaning of your life. I believe every human being has a bliss-point — a place within themselves through the pursuit of which they will discover the purpose of their life. 

You don't land in this meaning as a single revelation. As my dad told me once, "Andrea, don't go in search of the meaning of life. There is no ONE single meaning of life. You must CREATE the answer you seek."

In my own experience, this has meant walking through storms, sitting in dark nights of the soul, and crossing many plains of fear.

There are many moments where following my bliss feels lonely. Not because I am alone, but because along the way, I bump into so many people not following their bliss. People who choose their past as their default future and people who see bliss as the thing of fairy tales and child-like imagination. Certainly not a place to dedicate your life.

Well. I see things differently. I think the cost of us each of us individually and valiantly pursuing our bliss is precisely why we're suffering so immensely. Someone who is wholeheartedly dedicated to his or her life purpose and path isn't gleeful all the time or blindly happy. They are aware of something far more powerful.

They know their wholeness.  

And let me share a secret that you already know — when you know your wholeness you don't need to diminish the light of another. There's no competition, no battle, no lesser than.

From this place, abundance flows because you are literally enough, along with joy, contentment, trust, meaning, and the inevitable rise of the people you surround yourself with. 

The choosing of this, however, is where gumption comes in.

As far as I am concerned, I have only just scratched the surface of this work. I may be 9 years and 5,000 conversations in but it's just the start. However, in this time I can say one thing for certain — far MORE people will turn away from this than toward it. 

It isn't always for a lack of motivation or resource. Sometimes it is.
It isn't always for a lack of clarity. Sometimes it is.
It isn't always for a lack of desire or seeing what's possible. Sometimes it is.
It isn't always for a lack of gumption. Mostly, it is.

And if I want to see more people choose their PATH than not, I better also be prepared to go first. The thing about living your path is you get it wrong a lot. I get it wrong a lot. But it's my path, I have the right to fail at my own path! But I also have the right to get up, dust myself off, and keep going.

If I invited gumption to the table and asked her where it's time to dance what would she say? Well, per usual she did a mic drop last week. And I listened. 

The places I get to invite so many of you into are very meaningful to me. Places like this weekly practice space, our free community, my monthly classes, our weekend immersion, my coaching circle, and my coach training program. I do my best each day to bring my wholeness through my work and these are the expressions it currently wants to dance with.

And...

One was missing.

I was missing a sacred place in my work to see what the sum of my parts is capable of creating with someone. Isn't that we all want? When you really can step out of your way, stop dancing with fear, and start dancing with your potential what is available to you?

I was asking the wrong question. I've been asking of this work, "What is the least someone can do and still experience a powerful shift in their life?" Sometimes, less is more. And sometimes it's not nearly enough. It's a question that wasn't giving me the room to pour on the possibility. 

I changed the question and asked myself, "What is this work truly capable of and what is the REALITY of that?" This is a vulnerable question. Because the answer isn't convenient or for everyone. But when I meditated on the few people this would speak to it was exhilarating. It felt like the place I am finally ready to go.

I've created a year-long coaching experience and have begun inviting a few individuals to be part of it. I've put together a page about it but it comes with this request:

***This is not for everyone. I am currently interviewing those it is a good fit for and will take my time with a process that is sacred to me. You can check out the program here but you must input your name and email to view it.

Why? Discernment. 

If we are just getting acquainted...
If you are new to my world...
If you have never worked with a coach...
If you don't know what you're dedicated to wholly or working to fulfill...

Then I can tell you now this is not for you and I've created plenty of awesome places for you to get what you need. If you are in a place where a year of self-study, dedication, intentional creation, unfurling the past and questioning every belief getting in your way is for you then I invite you to learn more about this year together. 

I will be personally following up with everyone who opts in. I look forward to having a conversation! Get the details here: 
https://www.andrealeda.com/oneyear

Life Purpose, Money, Soulpreneurs, SpiritualityAndrea 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
10 Signs your calling is whispering to you
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I used to think callings were reserved for a special audience, and that certainly was not me. I was just a girl from a suburb of Seattle, why on earth would a calling decide to land in my lap? Until I felt like one came knocking on my door I also didn't give them much thought. I don't remember the word 'calling' being part of my common vocabulary or something I fretted over.

I share in depth about my own moment of awakening and the calling that slipped through the door here. We all have a calling. Sometimes it comes through loud and clear. Other times it's merely a faint whisper, and you feel crazy for even thinking something is speaking to you. (You're not alone!) In order to answer your calling, you have to let go. And risk the leap into the unknown. 

I answered my calling because I ached to return to my intuitive roots and use my gift to help people heal and radically love their life. But my work was just one calling and I can say that I've had hundreds of callings, maybe more and I bet you have too. Some felt like earth shakers - callings that asked me to change careers, move cities, marry the love of my life. Others were the smallest of nudges - to read a book, travel someplace, write a poem.

As Gregg Levoy says in his book, Callings -

“The purpose of calls is to summon adherents away from their daily grinds to a new level of awareness, into a sacred frame of mind, into communion with that which is bigger than themselves.”


What is the purpose of a calling? In short, I don't really know. If I sit with my own experience of them they feel like contractual nudges from the universe designed to crack me open so I may let even more life in. 

Before I began answering my callings, there was life with motion but it didn't move me. My callings have moved me to engage with life like an artist who is painting and being painted at the same time. A calling isn't someplace you arrive; it's the pathway to take you back to yourself, your whole self.

10 Signs your calling is whispering to you

1. Simple Joy
Before the fear sets in, the sheer thinking or reflecting on this thing that's calling you brings you simple joy. 

2. It gets your nervous system fired up
Thinking about it makes your heart race, maybe your palms sweat, and your breath quickens. It feels like anxiety but beneath this response is also a subtle knowing that this is something altogether different.

3. You get a lot obsessed with it
You think about it, journal about it, talk about it to only those you deeply trust and find yourself fantasizing about this thing constantly.

4. You think, "But everyone is doing this!"
The idea of following this calling feels silly because you assume everyone has already answered the same calling. You wonder things like, "Why me?" and, "How could I also do this?"

5. It scares you
This calling is scary and unnerving. This is the reason most ignore what calls them fiercely in an effort to also avoid having to do the scary, unnerving thing.

6. It emboldens you
Oddly, while it scares you it also emboldens you. The thought of answering your calling and it working brings more courage to your life.

7. It pulls you forward
Instead of feeling pushed or forced, there is a power that draws you in and pulls you forward. 

8. You question everything
A calling will beg you to question whole aspects of yourself. You may question your beliefs, your faith, your experiences, even your way of seeing life.

9. There's more doubt than certainty
There is nothing certain about a calling. They are risk-filled and will you challenge you. By nature, this makes them uncertain and not a guaranteed good choice.

10. It can't be ignored, quieted, or silenced (and you've attempted all three) Believe it or not, ignoring your calling is more painful than letting it in. And once in, it's best to let go. It's like letting a dam crack open. The sheer force will run its course -- let it. Whatever it takes down was not very strong to begin with.

And as that water churns and washes over the landscape of your life you'll wake up. You'll fully wake up and there will come a day and you'll say, "Oh. I get it now." And you'll get back to creating your life. Your simple, meaningful, call-filled life.

If your calling is also your purpose and has led you to a service-business then I invite you to join Awaken Your Practice Online - 12 weeks to help you find your true north, take the right actions for you in business, and make the impact you feel called to make.

The LIVE classes begin January 9th! The whole program is just 6 payments of $99.
> https://www.awakenyourpractice.com/online

Intuition, Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, SpiritualityAndrea 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 Weekly Practice
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I've fallen in love with two words through my work — awaken and practice. For me, they co-create in what feels like a mysterious but intuitive way, but perhaps it's all in how you personally employ them.

I don't feel like I went in search of these words so much as they found me both through experience and the longing to marry slowing down with a reminder so simple it came in the form of single words. Words that remind me daily that all of life is a constancy of ease, effort, and engagement, and when done with intention you get to see more, experience more, and understand more.

In short, awakening is a practice.

I used to think awakening or answering a call came in a burst of insight; some singular yet profound event that could magically land me in a whole new reality. And should this day come, I also wanted it to solve a bunch of problems for me such as worthiness, self-acceptance, trust, and how about making me more money while we're at it.

I thought if you were awake, then doesn't all of life get easier? Shouldn't that be the deal?

My favorite definition of awakening is "Coming into awareness." What awareness? It depends on what needs to be seen, noticed, or felt in that moment. What I love most about this practice of awakening is its never-endedness. It can't be accomplished. It is either present or not present.

But then the most profound thing of all happened in my life — loss. Significant, identity-altering loss. The kind of experience that did wake me up but subsequently required a daily practice or I would get lost down the grief rabbit-hole; a place it can feel all too easy to climb into.

In other words, awakening didn't solve my problems. Instead it seemed to create a whole host of new ones I was unprepared to manage. Emotions like sadness and longing, memories that just tap me on the shoulder when they desire to, and questioning more than I knew I was questionable.

However, these were not my only companions. I've been accompanied by gratitude, clarity, presence, faith, and even a splash of reverence. Some have asked me if my practices are now about mitigating pain but it couldn't be farther from the truth. Now, my practices embrace life more wholly. But here's why:

The whole of your life, the really good stuff that you will recount as having made up who you are, cannot be mentally chewed through. It requires space to converse with, to invoke you, and to guide you from a deep well already inside you. 


The space you create in your life for such a process is called contemplative practice. My favorite definition of this practice comes from Naropa University:


"Contemplative practice transcends the idea that knowledge arises in the thinking mind only. Instead, it invites students to embrace the immediacy of their interior lives as a way to fully integrate what they learn."


Over the past 18 months, I've come to long for this container that gives way to interior space. While my practices vary — yoga, writing, meditation, cooking, walking, art — their purpose has one constant:awakening. The purpose of a practice is a continuous exploration of the self which assumes there is always something to unearth.

A yoga teacher of mine recently shared this: "Don't break the body to meet the idealism of a pose. Build the pose to meet this moment of the body." Practice isn't about a life rehearsal in order to perfect or perform when the time comes. Practice means allowing the experiences of your life to give you a greater capacity for things like compassion, insight, grace, love, intuition, meaning, and purpose. 

In a world where accomplishment has become a harsh measurement for a successful life, the experience of loss has taught me a different rule book; one that beckons a different journey not as popular but, for me, far more fulfilling.

I made a choice when I lost my parents to only move toward my personal truth and continue to create a life I both take seriously and find immense joy within. This may not speak to you. You may be in search of more convenient answers that don't require stillness or sitting in open-endedness. If so, this may be where we part. 

However, if you're craving something similar, here's what you can expect from what I am calling the Weekly Practice:

  • Content to open you to your interior.

  • Personal stories to help you feel seen and not alone.

  • Resources I am currently reveling in such as podcasts, books, and writing prompts.

Thank you for being a reader and for committing to your own practices! Having this space has been a personal refuge and I am grateful to have readers such as you.

Spirituality, Life Purpose, Happiness + Joy, ConsciousnessAndrea 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
This is for mama
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Yesterday was one year since my mama passed. One whole year of holidays, birthdays, late night phone calls, silly jokes, letters, coffee dates, and missed mama advice. It wasn't a whole year of just missing her; while that is always top of my mind, it was also a year of remembering everything she taught me and prepared me for.

This is me and my mama on my wedding day in 2016. I actually didn't know this photo existed until I went to write today's newsletter and sifted through some forgotten photos - like a little nudge from beyond this image appeared. This photo probably means the most to just me but it's worth sharing. 

We subscribe to someone's list or email in hopes of getting something - new ideas, fresh insight, a solution we're in search of. Most of the time I am happy to give these things. I am simply grateful to have readers who show up with me each week. 

But some days, like today, I want to park all the need for "more" and invite you someplace else. Because even I don't hang out in the outcome-side of my industry all day. 

I feel this need today to remind you of our shared humanity. That whatever it is you get from reading these weekly notes or from following my work, I hope you remember that life is a complex and messy cosmic dance. Even we guides and teachers don't have a lick of it figured out. 

These past 12 months were a year-long practice in moving from looking for someone to graduate me into my life to me deciding that to wait any longer was simply too painful. But it wasn't a leap of faith I leaned into; it was more of a very quiet practice in trusting myself more and more.

Losing my mama was a big moment and radical experience. It shook me loose of looking for proof that I could fully be me before I was. This year became a practice in choosing the things I was called to, and not looking for approval from those around me.

The thing I least expected? That such a loss could bring me closer to life. I thought it would separate me, divide me, prove to me the unfairness of life or give me more reason to lose my most cherished resource: hope. Instead, I have come more alive in the last year than I can ever remember doing in my whole existence. But "coming fully alive" was also redefined.

To come fully alive to me is a practice in allowance and faith that you are more ready than you think you are to be living (or believing) the life you crave.

As a human being myself I can relate to that "stuckness" you feel when you just know in your bones you are not totally honoring your truth or speaking up for your life. It's almost too difficult for words because it's a visceral feeling, a sticky fear where you can see what's possible but not...quite...touch it. 

What if you did?
Where might you begin?
What risk are you avoiding that you might consider taking?

I can't help but share this quote by Norman Cousins:


"The tragedy of life is not death, it is what we allow to die within us while we live."


When I work with any client or student, this becomes the work: not just defining what would bring you to life, but also what would help you see yourself in a new and more accurate light that says, "That life I see is already available to me."

We move from waiting to live, to living. There's no right time. Space will not magically grant itself to you. Space appears when you show up and CHOOSE your life. As far as I am concerned, this is the only decision: to decide to choose more joy, or less. 

That joy may ride on taking a risk like leaving a career or standing up for something you believe in. But when the thing you're leaning into brings you congruency with yourself and with your soul, then you land in joy. Joy may ride in on fear at first – fear of what others will think and fear of having to explain yourself. But this can also lead to freedom. And what is more joyful than complete freedom?

When my mom passed it wasn't a thrust into living more boldly. I wasn't looking to move mountains, jump out of airplanes, or add more risk to my plate. This didn't feel like more life; these things felt like a poor substitution to jump start feeling like you're alive.

Instead, it was very subtle but enlivening in the deepest way. With potent clarity I realized that the life I wanted to live was already inside of me, but it would take my choosing to recognize this to embolden it. This is why I named my certification course Awaken Your Life. I can think of no three words that better define what this work is intended for. 

So, what makes you come fully alive? I invite you to make your life a dedication to not only answering this question but to living this question. It's not something you choose once, but many times. Daily, really.  

So quit your job. Build your business. Write your book. Go back to school. Move to the farm. Sell everything you own. Practice kindness. Travel to India. Sit still. Trust yourself.

Whatever calls to you is already a part of you. And only you can hear that call. I promise whatever you have to lose, you're meant to lose and experience that loss. Because it gets to be filled up with LIFE.

Beautiful, messy, uncertain, playful, full, unpredictable, and miraculous life. 

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 Best Practice
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I will never forget when I left my graduate program in counseling. Correction: when I left two graduate programs in counseling. I guess dropping out just once wasn't sufficient for me. ;) But in all seriousness, I did leave because the whole helping people mend what's broken didn't land for me. 

Do we need to help from time to time? Yes.
Do we need to remember that we are ok and capable? Of course.
Are there people who are in need of mental health support and recovery? Absolutely.

The thing is, it isn't that this kind of work isn't important it just isn't what I am here to deliver. And I can say with such honesty that for the first 7 years of my career I felt bad about this.

When I first got into coaching I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. Did I want to support people's goals? Help them heal? Show them how to live by their values? Or did I simply want a career I thought would be useful to others?

Perhaps all of the above.

Technically I am trained in these things but over the last 8 years as a professional coach, something I didn't expect to come through the work has emerged. I will get to that in a moment.

But instead of really heeding that call I assumed I was in the wrong. More so, I wondered what was wrong with me?

Why couldn't I just do what other coaches did?
Why couldn't I just follow the rules and guidelines that had so perfectly been crafted for me?
Do I simply like to make things more difficult or was it really not enough to satisfy me?

And then two major life events solidified that I didn't need to answer these questions. These questions had already been answered and I knew what kind of work I really did but I was the only one who could own it wholly. No one could give me permission. I had to grant it myself.

Before my dad passed away we had a conversation that will stick with me forever. We were standing in the kitchen and I told him that I had finally admitted to myself that I was deeply DIS-interested in helping people mend their lives. This may seem like a subtle realization but I had been banging my head against the wall (not literally) for years wishing this work fulfilled me.

I have no desire to help people "get better". I have no desire to help people slog through old memories and replay the things that have left their mark. Please don't get me wrong, I have been this client in need of this work. But that I myself don't want to be a dumping ground for the things we wish didn't happen.

I also have no desire to help people set big goals and inch their way toward what they believe is more happiness driven by some external need to see themselves in a place other there where they are right now. This is what most coaching is predicated on and while it's useful it is a micro sliver of the whole picture.

So, then, what DO I want?

I want to sit with you as you have the most life-giving conversation about your life and witness you coming home to your True Nature.

I want to hold space for you to go within and realize you are actually an active co-creator of reality and you have everything you need.

I want to ask those questions that not only get to the heart of the matter but open new worlds internally and allow you to fully own your soul path.

And I want to challenge the narrow viewpoint that you are separate, taking on the world when really we are a collective consciousness spinning through the cosmos expanding with every thought. 

Is this spirituality? I don't know.
Is it mental health? Maybe.
Is it emotional resilience? Perhaps.

Am I tired of trying to define it? YES.

So this is me, standing in a ground that I totally love but can't simply define and I am ok with that. I am ok with it because of what I see in the people I am lucky enough to talk to. And because of the students I am lucky enough to guide and teach.


I call this Life Practice.


Not practice as in a repeated exercise in life but practice as in the ongoing application of your personal dance with life.

I will leave you with this quote from Donna Farhi:


"The best practice can only be defined as the one that works. What matters is that whatever we do we hold to the intention and spirit of the practice, which is to bring together rather than to pull apart."


Scroll down for two powerful questions and journal prompts I hope bring these ideas home for you.

And if this kind of work calls you - the not mending and the not goal setting but rather the work of guiding others toward a life practice that brings them HOME to themselves, I invite you to consider Awaken Your Life.

Journal Prompts:

Who am I becoming through my life practice?
Am I becoming the world in which I wish to live?

Happiness + Joy, Intuition, SpiritualityAndrea 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
Awaken Your Life Master Coach Training
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It's finally here! Awaken Your Life is now open for enrollment. Are you ready to join the 2018-19 cohort? For those who have been asking about my work and how to coach like me, this is your chance to learn.

Awaken Your Life is the only 200-hour Master Coach Training that is also designed to change your life. Whether your goal is to become a full-time coach, lead retreats, facilitate transformative experiences, incorporate coaching into an existing career, or transform your own life by dedicating 9 months to walking inward, Awaken Your Life is for you.

 

Practitioners, leaders, professionals, and destined healers - It's your time,

 

I believe wholeheartedly in this work. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved helping others. Although I never believed it would lead to my calling one day - I simply saw myself as someone who loved people and truly wanted the best for them.

It's comforting to know there are so many of us out there who are called to service. Although it takes many forms I do believe we all have one thing in common - hope.

Hope is a powerful thing because no matter what we experience or endure, or what we watch others endure, we don't lose faith that at our core we are good and will move toward goodness if given the chance to do so. This gets me out of bed every day. I also believe that wholeness is our birthright.

Over the past 13 years I've chosen to explore people. First as a social worker, then as a counselor, and for the past 8 years as a professional life coach. I don't just teach this stuff, I am a practitioner in my own life and in my coaching practice.

Through more than 5,000 one-to-one conversations I can say that what we most desire is to know our life matters and that we are seen and heard. It isn't complicated and yet this simple desire seems to elude most of us.

No matter your goal in doing this work and following your calling to serve, I believe our common ground and role is to remind people of their innate enoughness and that they do in fact matter.

Ready to apply? Learn everything you need to know about the program below and I look forward to guiding you through not only this work but awakening your best life from the inside out.

> www.awakenyourlifecoach.com

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, Spirituality, WorkshopsAndrea 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, IWA, Coach training, life coach training, life coaching Portland, coach training portland, master coach trainingComment
A Big Ol' Dose of Permission
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My wife and I are big fans of the show "So You Think You Can Dance." There are so many reasons to tune into it, but for me it comes down to the positivity and encouragement of the show.

Their contestants are often young and yet through their performances they tackle things like acceptance, tolerance, human rights, injustice, and more. Last week there was a performance that had me in tears. You can watch it here.

There are many reasons to love this piece but what dug itself into my heart was the sheer courage to say, without words, so much about the power in being who we are, through and through, even when it's inconvenient for others.

After the piece was over, one of the judges commented, "It's incredible how difficult we've made it for people to simply be who they are, and trust that it's OK to be who they are . . ."

I found myself nodding emphatically.

No matter how many people I coach. No matter how many emails I send. No matter how many books I recommend or journal prompts I hand out...I can't solve this for anyone. I don't know if I can make the world a more tolerable place but I DO know I can help people trust their path wholeheartedly.

In just two months I will embark on another year of Awaken Your Life with a small group of students - students who are seeking more than just how to help people. They are also seeking how to be wholly themselves while helping people.

It sounds so simple . . . and yet what I find more often than not is that we are hungry for knowledge but starved for self-acceptance. 

We want to know "the" path but are quick to hide once we find it.

We want to help change the world but are quick to exempt ourselves from saving ourselves.

We are hungry to understand why things are as they are but we are also seeking simple solutions that may not exist.

As I said to a current Awaken Your Life student, "Mend what breaks your heart in the world by seeking wholeheartedness within yourself."

Is it that simple? No.
Is it remotely easy? Nope.
Is it a worthy quest? Absolutely.

When I first created Awaken Your Life, I followed a call to show my fellow wayfinders and life guides a more whole path to themselves and to serving others.

But even while I was writing the curriculum, planning beautiful retreats, and inviting people to apply . . . I hadn't yet given myself permission to really own this path. It was almost like I was watching myself do all of these things but wasn't embodying that I was allowed to do these things.

I mean, who I am to teach? Who am I to instruct? Who am I to facilitate? Perhaps your "Who am I to...?" questions are different but I know you have them. We all do.

I need to back up to this word - allowed. It wasn't that I needed allowance from others; I had been given that. It wasn't that I needed allowance from my students because they were showing up. No, I needed allowance from myself.

Allowance means how much something has been permitted. In other words, how much permission was I giving myself? How much permission have you given yourself?

These are powerful words because they open doors. 

Although I was hesitant to put this work out there, I did anyway. Because it ultimately wasn't about me. Sharing this work was and still is about showing others their own light. It's the ripple effect that keeps me moving through my own fears.

I will never forget at the end of the first in-residence retreat and more than 40 hours of teaching later I looked every single one of my students in the eyes and said, "Thank you. I get it now. I AM allowed."

And so are you. You are allowed. More than me telling you this, I hope you tell yourself this.

Ultimately, trusting what calls you has to come from within, and the permission to go after it when you hear your call also has to be your own. 

P.S.

> Want to see our new online home for Awaken Your Life? I am SO grateful to have launched this new space. Have a look around - And yes, applications for the 2018-19 cohort are open now!

www.awakenyourlifecoach.com

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, SpiritualityAndrea 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
I am going back to school
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I can't say that I ever stop learning or seeking but there are times in my life where my dedication to seeking involves a single book and times when it involves a year-long course of study.

The desire now is two-fold - I want to know myself in the deepest way possible and I want those who come to me who are called to also know themselves have access to tools to make this possible. 

However, there was a time in my life when I used education to prove something. That I am smart enough, worthy enough, or valuable enough to do the work I am called toward.

I took an unconventional approach to my learning. After I finished my B.A. I couldn't find a "traditional" track that encompassed all of the nuances I was fascinated by. 

Over the past 13 years, I have piecemealed my education together. I've picked up fragments and remnants as I go, each adding another layer of depth to something we call "transformational processes."

Which is really a fancy way of saying I want to understand and be skilled in helping people intentionally change. 

I haven't been in a classroom since 2015 when I completed my Master Practitioner of NLP training. That training kicked my butt. It was taught in 126 hours over 14 days. At the time, this level of intensive learning matched where I was and I welcomed it. But now, I crave something different.

The important thing for me is that I am not my tools. I watch so many individuals use their education to become their tool - a coach, a therapist, a yoga teacher, a healer, a trainer, a fill-in-the-blank. This misses something for me. While I can utilize my tools I want to always keep this question in mind:

For what purpose?

My clients don't purchase tools. That would be like a client looking for their dream home and I sell them a hammer. It's going to get lost in translation.

I am always asking myself, "What is it I am in pursuit of and what will I need to do the pursuing?" Notice, I don't ask what will get me where I want to go. Because whatever outcome I desire isn't the tool's responsibility, it's mine. It's in the quality of my questions, my intention, and what is driving me toward that outcome in the first place.

In the past year I've shifted my thinking from being a practitioner to building a body of work. A body of work which is neverending, full of complexity, and is teaching me so much. From this place I went in search of what I wanted to immerse myself in next.

As a practitioner I overly relied on my tools. As a builder of a body of work I have to set the tools down as what drives me and let a different kind of guidance lead the way. Then I get to pick a tool up as I go, as it's needed. 

From this place I looked into a full spectrum of opportunities - Equus Coaching with Koelle Simpson, Ph.D. in Depth Psychology and Integrated Healing Practices from Pacifica (although I'll admit I mostly wanted to be called Dr. Andrea), several schools on Yoga, and even Past Life Regression Therapy with Dr. Brian Weiss.

Here's where I landed - A few weeks back I was sitting in my 2-day coaching mentorship with my current cohort of clients witnessing them have breakthroughs, deep insights, and play with horses.

One of my clients asked why I wasn't participating in one of the activities? I told her that I can't participate and hold space simultaneously...and that I am often envious of my clients because I build experiences I would thoroughly enjoy.

*lightbulb*

I knew at that moment that more than a classroom what I need and want now is a slow process, embodiment, a small community, long-term engagement, and something that will encourage me to tuck inside for a while giving me new access and new language for where I am. 

I enrolled in the Yoga Conservatory with Kate Holly. While there are many reasons why among the many yoga teacher trainings I chose this one, the word 'conservatory' captured me. Right on the website is this definition:

"An immersive school for the arts, where students are able to master their craft in the safe container of support and nurturance built by their teachers.  Its a school that holds space for both rigorous dedication to practice, and encouragement to experiment, step outside the comfort zone and potentially fail."

"A rigorous dedication to practice..." Yes! Done. Sign me up.

A school that is actually encouraging its students to not merely learn asana but to immerse yourself in the study of life through the lens of yoga.

Am I shifting careers? No.
Am I going to move from coaching to teaching yoga? Not exactly.

As I've done with every school of thought I've dove into I hope to layer this new practice into my work. I hope to weave the history, tradition, energy, and practice of this science into what I am already doing - transformational processes.

This is similar to why my students enroll in Awaken Your Life because they are craving something more. They want to let their life experiences, their big questions, and their calling drive their contribution in the world.

I am no different. 

Life Purpose, SpiritualityAndrea 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
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.
 

The day I said "yes" to myself
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I had a spiritual awakening on January 8, 2014. A day that changed the whole course of my life but at the time it felt like an unraveling. It felt like something I wanted nothing more than to deny and hide.

And I did. I hid it from almost everyone for almost two years. 

Having a "spiritual awakening" sounds all good and fun but for me it threatened everything I knew to be true. I grew up an atheist and ironically a devout one at that. Logic was the name of the game and we prided ourselves on sitting around the dinner table and "discussing" (a.k.a. arguing) about philosophy, politics, science, feminism, education, and anything but god. 

When it felt like Source/God/Universe cracked me open on that January day, I was a lot confused. Questions began to pour out of my pen which I had never contemplated or given much thought to. Questions like, “What is consciousness? Are we infinite?”

I would spend the next two years in search of answers. What happened to me? What did I miss? Where do I come from? Why am I here? Is there a God? What is Source? How do I feel about religion? What is spirituality? What are the mystics telling us? What is my role in all of this?

I read every text I could get my hands on. I asked teachers, leaders, healers, intuitives, and mentors these questions. I wrote hundreds of pages in my journal. And slowly the answers began to flood from me. I knew what I believed…but I was terrified to say it.

So I hid. 

I thought if I hid it two things would happen.

1) It could be my secret little hobby and no one needed to be the wiser.

2) Like all great hobbies it would lose its luster and I could "go back" to being me.

Well, it turns out you don't have a profound spiritual awakening and then just return to "normal" life. **Insert eye roll emoji**

I was different whether I was willing to admit it or not. Or was I?

The truth was, this wasn't new. I wasn't simply "waking up" so much as I was remembering who I was. I've always been intuitive and tapped into things I can't see but know to be true. We live in a world where these things, which at one time were celebrated culturally, are questioned and criticized for their lack of "truth" and validity. 

I shared with my father recently how I see the world. We were comparing world lens notes and he sees the world very rationally. The left side of his brain is physically bigger than his right. No, really. You can feel it pressing against his skull. 

I shared with him that while I "get" the world rationally I see it through a very emotional lens. That when I walk around in the world I don't just see the world, I feel it. I feel all of it. Sometimes I can't tell which is mine and which is not mine because it just all melts together. One big emotional soup.

If I spend too much time in a hospital, large shopping mall, or in a large crowd I get physically sick. Sometimes just depressed or anxious. My favorite bookstore is as big as a city block and four stories. It's one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon but sometimes it makes me nauseous and queasy within minutes.

Upon sharing this, my father said to me, "That sounds awful." To which I sort of chuckled.

I don't know any different but is it awful? I had to sit with that comment for a moment. And I came to this conclusion...

It isn't awful. In fact, it's wonderful.

To feel the world isn't always easy or convenient but it's a gift. Emotions are the texture to our life. They give our life meaning and make our stories worth recounting. They tell us who and what is important to us. Even anger points the way to what's important in as powerful a way as sadness or joy. 

I’ve known since that January day that I am meant to be a spiritual leader and teacher, a healer and a guide. I am meant to use my intuitive gifts to hold space for others and help them heal and live their purpose. To gift the generosity of space to listen to your heart and hear your own intuition.

But it took me until November 2015 to admit it. I was scared that I shared my new found beliefs and the depth of my intuition I would be pushed out of the tribe. I didn't know which tribe just "the" tribe. I thought I would risk belonging in a world where I already barely felt like I fit in.

It took me almost two years to even write this sentence let alone make it public...
 

"I was sent here by Source (God, Universe, I Am, One) to help the world wake up from within. To remember that we are one, we are love, and we are incredible beings. To help you awaken your life from the inside out."


When I first wrote this with the intent of putting it on my "about" page on my website I think I wrote it cringed with one eye open as if I was about to witness my own train wreck. 

I remember I called my big brother to like, you know, warn him that it may appear as though I'd gone crazy. I wanted to reassure him (and me) that I was perfectly sane...I think.

But that hiding this was no longer an option.

Do you ever feel this way? That at some point it's simply too exhausting and painful to deny who you are to yourself and the world? I tell you though, telling my family I was marrying a woman was easier than this.

Answering our call can feel like life or death. And in truth, it's a kind of death. It's the death of who we thought we were, of the ideals that carried us this far, and of the things we used to believe to be true. 

In order to experience a spiritual rebirth, you have to let go. I had to let go. And risk the leap.

In November 2015 I published my new about page.

Sometimes when I get scared or feel "too" seen I want to delete it and replace it was a more convenient biography. A simple list of my accomplishments is anything but vulnerable.

But I can't.

Because it wouldn't just be deleting an about page. It would be me denying who I am to myself. This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. And yet I know with my entire being that I am finally home.

Life Purpose, Consciousness, SpiritualityAndrea 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
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
Faith when it matters most
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This article won’t go out for a couple weeks, but I am currently writing it from a bumpy bus seat as I commute back and forth for my family. Although this is a pretty tenuous time in my family’s lives I do my best to keep some things private. It’s important for the sake of my family’s privacy but also because the details are only important to those involved.
 
The lessons, however, are the very basis on which I practice my work and model possibility for those who choose to lean into me once in awhile.
 
It’s amazing how much perspective is available when the unplanned and unwanted things in life come our way - how trivial problems evaporate, how gratitude and grace land right at your feet, and how much space for BS shrinks. Well, I would say I am in the thick of it all.
 
There’s nowhere to be but right where you are. Even when you wish to be somewhere else. This reminder is the sweetest offering anyone could ever give you.
 
As a business owner I tread that line between appreciating what I’ve built, keeping it moving, and planning for what’s to come and sometimes I wonder if that planning for what’s to come gets in the way of what is actually here?
 
I wanted to post something on Instagram in the midst of it all but didn’t because I felt like no one actually wants to see or hear the truth, they merely want to doll it up and parade it around as self-propaganda. I am no exception. I do this too. We all do this. But for what purpose?
 
What good is promoting a beautiful life if you can’t feel your feet on the ground when life goes amiss - and I assure you it will go very amiss.
 
What good is doing the work if when it counts most, you can’t access a space inside yourself that actually feels like home and like it can all be OK?
 
I realize these questions are a bit rhetorical, but they're necessary. Every life experience is a doorway to something, but it doesn’t mean you always want to walk through it, and this is OK.
 
Sometimes we walk through with one hand covering our eyes. Sometimes we walk through glacially to get a grip on whatever is happening on the other side. And sometimes we downright refuse and slam the door shut - forgetting that we carry the door inside ourselves. 
 
We carry the door inside ourselves.
 
What does it mean to practice faith when it matters the most? In my line of work we talk about faith with an air of obviousness, like you just grab hold of it when you need a little. But faith isn’t a luxury or even a lifeline. When it really matters it’s more of a plea.
 
I believe it goes hand in hand with surrendering to the moment, and that can be the scariest experience of all. It’s admitting you don’t know what’s to come and you can’t control what’s to come, but maybe in the midst of it all you can conjure up just a tad bit of hope that it will be just as it needs to be. No matter how painful or inconvenient that is.
 
As I sit with my family right now I am struck by how little I can actually do. How little we can ever really do, when we want to the most. And how OK that is. It isn’t a blind acceptance of what’s unfolding and it isn’t a passive surrender to the chaos. But the sooner I surrender to the fact that life will continue to unfold the way it always has, the sooner I can be with what IS instead of what I wish could be.
 
This is all I ever want for my fellow human peeps. To be. I know that sounds so simple and maybe naively so it is. But so much of what we struggle with is anticipated or already gone.
 
We have this gift with every moment. The people who are right here, now. The opportunity that is right here, right now. And the dream that is in your mind, right now. Stay with that awhile even if it means slowing down or even stillness - because in the stillness there is so much truth.
 
More truth than most of us can sometimes bear, so I understand wanting to rush through it all, numb out, take radical action, or move quickly. But what is possible if you didn’t? What is possible if you let the slow present be exactly what it is?
 
Personally, I can breathe more deeply and appreciate more fiercely. I can see what’s actually there, and instead of rushing to sugar coat it or glam it up for social media, I see what really matters like never before. And in THAT moment all there really is, is grace.
 
A ton of beautiful, compassionate, patient, grace.

For the hopeful, idyllic, even naive visionaries in us all.
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Recently, my biz coach asked me what my fellow change agents had in common. It took only seconds before I started listing the things I see in my clients and students as well as the things I've experienced firsthand. The fear, doubt, excitement, ease, and then more fear...

In my experience, we all go through some variation of the following:

  • Disbelief that what we think is possible will actually happen
  • Hope that can sometimes feel naive or like we're missing something
  • An overwhelming sense of "imposter syndrome" 
  • If we fully go after our dream or vision we'll lose something meaningful in the process
  • No one will ever pay us to do what we love
  • If we reveal our fear people will walk away or not hire us
  • Everyone has it more "figured out" than me
  • Questions like: Am I making this too hard? Am I missing something? Has this been done before? Who is going to come along for this ride? And my personal favorite, what the f*$k am I doing?

I say favorite because it rings in my head almost every day - "What the f*$k am I doing?" What if my vision doesn't work? What if my belief that I have so much faith and conviction for steers me wayyyy off course? What if I'm actually not the one for this job? What if the other shoe drops and it all just dries up?

This is the part where I am supposed to switch gears and tell you that of course, it will work out! But I can't. Because your dream working out is not up to me. It's up to you.

Only you can decide if what you're aimed at, fighting for, and believe in is worth all of the above. And the sooner you decide this, the sooner you can roll your sleeves up and get to work.

Somewhere in the spring, I turned my back on my purpose. OK, that sounds a bit dramatic, but looking back it's how I feel about it. I feel like I got ahead of myself and tried to steer the ship. But what happened was the ocean dried up. Metaphorically speaking :)

I took space because I needed it and truthfully because I wanted it. But I didn't account for the world going on without me. And it will. The world will keep turning and evolving because that's what it does. If you aren't heeding your call, someone else will. It isn't because you don't deserve it or because you aren't "the one"; it's because we are our calling's stewards. And if you stop listening it moves on to the next steward.

Your calling has insight, creativity and a soul all its own. Sometimes I think my calling is simply using me because it is! Well, I took space and also turned off my call button. I stopped being the work.

And what happened next honestly surprised me: I got bored. Like, really bored.

I could feel myself on the outside looking in and it didn't feel so good. My momentum stopped because I stopped stoking the fire. I stopped showing up in the way I know I can. But in the moment it just felt like a funk, and I thought maybe I was just reacting to something. It never occurred to me that the universe really is following my lead...

It's following yours, too.

When I was finally ready to admit that I was done sitting on the sidelines I ate whole humble pies, washed them down, and called my coaches. Yes, plural.

One reminded me that we all need a pause even in the midst of the big game of our life to get reconnected to our mission and restore the energy to make it happen. The second reminded me that I was too good to sit on the sidelines but that I also can't confuse conviction with importance. Thanks, coaches.

And then I cried. A lot. And kept crying for weeks. And it felt so freakin' good. I cried about losing my purpose, about getting too full of myself, about being bored, I even cried about thinking I had it all figured out. What I did was release. Release. Release. And I remembered this potent truth that gets me out of bed every single morning:


I believe in people. I wholeheartedly believe in their ability to do good, love, and heal. I have a deep belief in the spiritual potential of humanity and I won't quit until every single human being inherently understands their true value and worth. 
 

Something tells me you feel the same way. In your own words, what gets you out of bed in the morning? What keeps you going when you have the question of, "What the f*$k am I doing?" buzzing around in your head?

If you need to pull over once in awhile and take a little rest, do. Maybe everything won't stop like it did for me, or maybe you'll reconnect to the deeper truth of why you risk yourself spiritually to fight for your vision. It isn't even about the world needing you. It's about YOU needing you and it's about YOU coming fully alive. I believe that for everyone this is the real mission. The rest are merely details.

But when you do connect with your vision, stoke your conviction, worship your belief in what's possible, and keep going...well I guess we'll find out, won't we? 

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, SpiritualityAndrea 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
The Three Waves...

Over the weekend I got to visit my coach who has four legs. His name is Kett and he’s a horse. The sun was out, a near impossible feat for a Portland spring day, so we worked in the outdoor ring. The ring was lined with grass and it seemed all Kett wanted to do was eat.

My intention for this particular session was to tap into a gnawing I can’t escape and for once, I don’t want to. This gnawing that my work is about to pivot, again, but this time toward a more central truth I’ve been blatantly ignoring for more than four years.

That I (gulp) work with entrepreneurs. 

Now for some of you, this is obvious and right now you are confused why I seem to be the only one who wasn't aware of this. But, alas, I wasn’t.

Yes, I am aware that I have an entire weekend immersion twice per year dedicated to this group.

Yes, I am aware that I have launched a year-long training to teach transformation to this group. And still, I’ve been doing the avoidance dance since I opened my private practice in 2010.

My primary reason for this is not that interesting and reveals something deeper about my personality – because everyone seems to work with entrepreneurs, I wanted nothing to do with it...

So here I am, working with my four-legged coach who just wants to eat grass and I can’t grab his attention. I am in the middle of this round pen and I say to my coach, “This is kind of perfect. He’s on the perimeter and I don’t know how to get his attention. Much like these visionary entrepreneur's, I am finally ready to acknowledge I love working with. They are distracted...”

The perimeter represents all the things we do to not do our real work. We measure things, we base our results on income, we stretch ourselves by trying to be everywhere but in our own hearts and minds. In short, we hang out on the perimeter and eat grass. Because it’s good at the moment and because we’ve been told it’s how to succeed in our work.

But what if there were an alternative?

Back to this book, The Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth. This book is about three waves of lightworkers sent here by the source to help our work heal from within. Sounds like sci-fi, right? It’s non-fiction.

The first wave included figures like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were focused on sending light into oppression and cultivating non-violence.

The second wave included the dawn of the metaphysical world, figures like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, and Deepak Chopra. They were focused on making the soul visible and have paved the way for the third wave.

Now, this is where things get interesting. The third wave was a tipping point of lightworkers. They are no longer contained to movements of non-violence and the woo-woo conferences. Now they are on Twitter and in your local bookshop writing and speaking about healing and the great awakening as though it were as easy to play a role in as using the #optout.

It's a trend that is trendy because it’s a paradigm shifter.

The third wave isn't comprised of your grandmother’s healers holing up in the vortexes of Sedona. Nope. They are also (gulp) entrepreneurs. 

The third wave of healers that will shift how we think, work, love, act, and activate are the very people trending on Instagram and are using conscious commerce to spread something more than consumerism – they are spreading harmony.

Not all entrepreneurs. But for those of you who want to activate more harmony, peace, possibility, fulfillment, and purpose in your fellow human beings through your work then I have a request for you.

Get off the perimeter and stop eating grass. 

Come play in the center of the ring where you can look up and see the sky. Where you can play and move and act with ease and magic. But a shift like this requires that you see the possibility of activating a kind of depth in your work you’ve only glimpsed in states of flow.

What if this were the norm? What if your day was a constant state of flow interrupted mildly by email and social media? What if instead of playing with the numbers, conversions, and results you played with the source of your soulful success? (YOU.)

What if your day were only about:

Intuiting your path

Playing with possibility

Deep stretches of time for thinking, reflecting, and attracting

Aligning and being energetically congruent

Working deeply

Focus on the few things that literally matter

To pursue and seek purpose and fulfillment

Being in nature.

And yes, getting off the perimeter.

When I got clear about this I decided that no matter what Kett wanted to do, I wanted to play and dance in the area. So I did. And then, this is the magical part: Kett followed and wanted to play, too.

So, do you want to play?

Light in the Dark

This is a photo from my Instagram. I posted it on January 20th. I was being cheeky and not at the same time. There is a disturbance in the force. Even if you've never seen a single Star Wars movie, I have a feeling you know this quote...and it seems pretty applicable given our current climate.

A disturbance in the force means there's an imbalance; things are out of harmony. You don't have to look far to see this. Just look at our declining rainforests and the current endangered animals list. For being such conscious beings, we don't respect others very much -- whether this "other" is a tree or a human. WTF?

And then we ask such blatant questions like -- how are we going to solve this? What are we really in danger of losing? How will we fix our current state of poverty, homelessness, racism, hunger, etc? And what is it we're really aiming to solve? Do we even know?

Sometimes the "it" is so big we lump it into one word. For example, hunger. Like this word can possibly contain all the complications and needs of the people who fundamentally don't have enough to eat on a daily basis. 

I'll never forget (and stop me if you've heard this story) one of my infamous discussions with my dad about life.


He asked me, "How come, if we can feed everyone, we don't?"

I replied, "Because we don't have a resource problem. We have a heart problem."


And therein lies our dilemma. How do we, especially those of us who live in the United States, open our hearts when our culture has taught us to independently rise? What is one to do when we're encouraged to be true to ourselves and climb the ladder -- even if it means stepping over someone on the way up?

Then, when you get to the top, you are genuinely confused why there aren't more of you up there. Do people just not want it bad enough? Are people not motivated? Are they just not as much of a go-getter as I am?

Heart Problem.


On January 20th, 2017 we swore in the 45th president of the United States of America. He is a president that has no doubt stirred the pot. He isn't the disturbance in the force. He's a byproduct of it.

On January 21st, 2017 more than 5 million people from 55 global cities and every state in the union gathered for one of the most peaceful demonstrations to date as an answer to this president. Or at least in hopes of starting a new conversation.

I keep thinking that this is a movie. That I can turn it off, sigh some relief and go to bed knowing it wasn't real. But it is real. And it certainly falls in line with this global ascension we just entered the ring with.

All the right characters are here: 

The Hero: You (the protagonist)
The Villain: The anti-you or everything that invokes anger in you (the antagonist)
The Theme: Can we create harmony?
The Climax: What will ultimately be tested on our way back to the middle?
The Payoff: (We don't know yet...)

But I can't turn this off! It's here. So what now? We have a major antagonist. Which means we also have a protagonist. Hesitant but present.

Here's the thing. When I ask you toward the end of this article to step into the light, know that you can't do so by eradicating the dark. It's still dark. It just has light shining on it. Where there's a shadow we have light, and where we have light we have a shadow.

We need to redefine what it means to solve "this." Harmony is not all light and it is not all dark. It is both/and. 

Since the election, I've found myself wondering if this all happened because we needed a grandiose call to adventure. Every hero has one. You've had many in this lifetime alone, some of which you've probably answered. This time it's different. I can't help but feel like this time it affects us all. 

How will we know when we've moved toward harmony? I'm not sure yet, because it doesn't seem to be human nature to move this way even within the self. So this is where we begin: because in the self is the only place your radical awareness can shift the planet. If nothing else, you can resolve the parts of you that are not in harmony -- and won't that feel more whole? Imagine 7 billion people who feel whole.


- My Invocation to be the light -
(Repeat to yourself out loud or write it in your journal)

That which I hate in you, I hate in me.
That which I love in you, I love in me.
I choose to love what I hate.
I choose to be what I love.
I choose to close the gap between "you" and "me" because the gap is in my mind.
When you fall, I fall.
When I fall, you fall.
We forgive one another. 
Only through acceptance can we find the middle.
I choose to practice this love with my words, my thoughts, my intentions, and my actions all the days of my life.
And so it is.

The answer I've been seeking

This is me and my dad. I am three and I am helping him paint what would become library bookshelves for our house. I use the term "help" loosely, as I have a bucket of water and a paint brush, but I am sure I added a little flair to those shelves.

My dad's book collection would grow to thousands of books by the time they sold the house 20 years later. These shelves covered every wall of one room, literally floor to ceiling. This may have something to do with my book obsession. (Note the obvious sarcasm.) 

We lovingly referred to the room with the books as the library as though we were 19th-century aristocrats. This was also where I spent almost every night discussing life with my dad. These discussions continue to this day, but now we text. Because it's 2017. 

I grew up in a family where inquiry was just as important as introspection. If you were going to ask a question, you better be prepared to also seek the answer. This may also have something to do with why I entered a field where I ask questions for a living.

I love a good question. The entire basis of a good coach is a good question. Really. That's all we're made up of: questions. (And coffee. Lots of coffee.) We don't actually have the answers to the things we ask. (Sorry.) But that doesn't mean these questions shouldn't be asked. 

A great question can be a guiding light. It can be the thing that transforms you. It can open new doors and close old ones. A good question can inspire action and motivate you for many years. But too many questions can make your head spin. 

A question I have been asking my dad for the past three years was, "What is the meaning of life?" You know, nice and light. Until five days ago when he mic dropped this statement --

"Don't look for the answer, create it."

"What? Wait...what do you mean, CREATE it?" I stuttered over this revelation. He replied, "Life isn't about seeking so much as it's about creating. You can't take your questions to some all-knowing source. YOU are the source." 

So there it is. Thousands of books, thousands of hours talking, one BIG question, and the answer was hiding in plain sight all along. They like to do that. 

Which, of course, opened a floodgate of more questions. I can't help myself. Questions like:

How do I know I am valuable?

What is a calling, really?

How do I know I am on purpose?

Am I really helping?

What is the meaning of my work?

If there's no one to tell me I am on the right course, how do I totally trust myself?

And still, the answer was all the same.

Create.

Create.

Create.

The glaringly obvious answer to the most asked question was there all along. So, of course, I feel a bit righteous for even thinking this is THE answer. But it's a pretty good one. Just think how liberating this is!

If you could create the answer to every question you're asking about your life right now, you could put down the seeking and just look in the mirror and see what's there. 

Who do you want to be?

What do you want to experience?

Where do you want to go?

What do you want to have?

How do you want to feel?

What kind of success do I want?

Why do I want to live? 

What is joy? What is happiness? What purpose does my pain serve?

More questions, I know. However, if you are the source of the question AND the answer, then you get to actually create a life YOU want to live. Because the truth is, no one can even pretend to answer these for you. Others can live their lives and you can see examples of possibility through them. But it doesn't make it true for you. Truth is relative to your own choices. 

After this conversation with my dad I experienced a really rich meditation and the symbol of a key came to me. Afterward, I wrote this in my journal, and I want to leave this with you as a kickoff to 2017:

"I want every human being, who is willing and aware, to discover their own key. To discover that they are their own key and they already have wholeness locked inside of them. The path of having access to their wholeness is personal and our only life purpose. So go now and create yourself with abandon and you won't just discover your key, you'll discover how to unlock your life."

Happy New Year!