Andrea Leda
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Andrea Leda | Spiritual Leader for the Soul Seeker

 
 

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The question I asked 50 women...
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Any time I am invited to give a talk, teach something, or impart some wisdom I am always struck with two inner dialogues. The first is always excitement and says, "I can't wait!" But inevitably the second one that can't help but chime in is dismay, "Who am I to impart wisdom? I am not famous, popular, important..."

So I found the irony quite fitting that the very thing I would teach at the Superwoman Summit is also the very thing I continually need reminding of. That before we can change people's lives we have to be totally ourselves. 

Is it that simple? Well, sort of.
Is it that easy? I wish.

Don't get me wrong, we can't just sit on our yoga mat or write our morning pages and hope that our deep desire for positive changes in the world will magically happen. However, which part of you is moved to help progress those changes? Which part of you wakes up every day and decides where to spend energy, time, and effort? Are you embittered by what you see in the world or emboldened by it?

The tagline on my website reads, "Change more lives by being yourself." I do believe that before we can see a different world we have to SEE a different world. In other words, did you know that when you change the way you look at yourself, the way you look at others also changes? Changing the world is not just an inside job, but it is the starting gate.


"True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness. True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” 

― Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness


Read this quote again and then again. Read it until it really soaks in. We cannot change the world if we are not totally in contact with the part of us that desires change. We can not affect the world if we are unwilling to affect ourselves.

Here's the question I asked that room of women just a week ago. A question I ask you too. No matter who you are, this is a human question: 

What kind of world do you want to belong in?


Now, an equally important question - how do you fully embody that world yourself? This is where I urge you to begin.

The difference between interest in change and commitment to change is taking 100% responsibility for your life. And the decision to do so happens in an instant. Yes, even the things that happen to you that you don’t choose. Can you be a victim? Yes, of course. But when you hold on to your experience you are self-victimizing.

The more willing you are to go into the darkness, the more light you let in. Suffering is human. You will never not suffer. Suffering isn't the problem. Unintegrated and rejected suffering is the problem. And as Tony Robbins says, "Your problem is you think you shouldn't have problems."

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. Are you waiting for someone to see you come fully alive before you do? Are you waiting for someone to grant you permission to be totally who you are meant to be?

Whichever path you choose inward, what matters is that you head in that direction. That process is called many things but I often refer to it simply as, "the work." (Not to be confused with Byron Katie's process, "The Work.") 

The work is something all human beings come wired to do but it will challenge you, stretch you, and deepen you. You are wired for struggle but you are also wired for growth born from resiliency. It may not feel so big at first, but there will come a day, a totally ordinary day, when you look out into the world and realize you don’t see the same world – because you aren’t the same person.

This is the power of self-transformation: it has the ability to change our entire outlook, and in doing so, we actually change the things we’re looking at. 

In just one week I embark with a new cohort through Awaken Your Life. While this is a Master Life Coach certification program and we trek through 200 hours of content, there is something much bigger at play.

My students choose this program because they're ready to come home to themselves, but they don't have to search for their authentic selves - it's always there. Instead, they remember that they are allowed to change more lives by being wholly themselves.

Happiness + Joy, Intuition, Life Purpose, 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
"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
Lessons for my 33rd revolution around the sun

I like the number 33. A double number just feels like good luck. I've compiled a year's worth of life lessons in honor of my 33rd birthday. You can read last year's lessons here. I am struck by something I wrote last year, something I don't remember writing and am so glad I did...

"I wish for all people to have their entire life be their entire awakening. To get out of their own way and go for it. To answer their calling and turn their art into their purpose and to give their gift back to the world. Maybe this is a selfish want. But it's my birthday and this is what I want."

Well, I still want this ;) But something I learned this year is to not attach to whether this actually happens. And with that, onto my lessons...

I learned that I can want so much for others, perhaps too much, but I have zero say over what actually happens out there in the world and we'd all be fools to think we do beyond our own being.

I learned that success cannot be measured by our riches alone. That in business it can be so easy to assume success is best measured by your bank account, but what about the richness in a community, in how well you serve others, and in how well you treat yourself? 

I learned that expansion is inevitable and that I will never arrive. As Abraham says, "You can not get it wrong and you can not get it done." Every new thought is a new creation, which creates more contrast, which creates a new thought, and on it goes. 

I learned that sometimes good people make poor choices. And it's important to keep their humanity in mind because even a seemingly poor choice has a reason. Even if you don't know what it is or can't understand it, I assure you that it exists. 

I learned that we can not get it wrong and we will never get it done. Every new idea brings new expansion, new expansion creates more contrast and even chaos, which creates more ideas...and so the cycle goes. 

I learned that no one has it figured out. <--- period

I learned that I want to live at the beach. It may not happen soon but it is happening and someday I will spend the majority of my days overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

I learned that everyone's path is sacred. That comparison is a one-way ticket to pain and that we have to love others' paths as fiercely as we love our own. 

I re-learned that human beings are magical, weird, silly, full of it, powerful, prideful, scared and full of potential. You don't always know what you'll see when you look at humanity, which is why I also learned that the very best place to start and end is with yourself.

I learned that my home matters. What I wear is important to me. And that I love rosé.

I re-learned that it's important to spend time with the people who matter. It really isn't what you know but who, and the "who" I'm referring to are those that are near and dear to me. The people whom I love very much, who have seen me wayyyyyy up and wayyyyy down and their affection for me never wavered. To these people, THANK YOU. I couldn't do what I do without you.

Life Purpose, 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, solopreneursComment
You have two choices

I need to repeat this: it isn't actually up to us how things turn out, and our obsession with what we have, what we don't have, what we're missing, and what we're striving for is a big old distraction. You already are everything you could possibly be at this very moment and so to be awesomer...you simply be.

My clients are visionaries; they have these mega ideas not about how the world does work but about how it could work. To the outside world, they look like dreamers who live in fantasyland - people who are attempting the impossible with no real account for what “real life” requires. You know, work-hard kind of stuff.

To the outside world, my dreamers are banking on some concoction of faith, belief, and blind luck. But here’s what the outsiders don’t know about what my dreamers know. These visionaries know that they’re playing a game. That we all are. And the game is not meant for you to succeed or fail. It’s simply meant to be played.

So they are playing.

They are using their inner guidance and gut to follow their path of least resistance. To serve, seek, and find their joy in their dreams. And the successful dreamers know that we all have two options in life, and that one will yield significantly better results than the other. Can you guess which one?

Option A) They can use higher guidance to fulfill their goals.

Option B) They can allow themselves to be guided to fulfill their role in the unfolding of their life.

Dreamers succeed because they are following an inner dream, not an outer dream. They are on their path of least resistance and they know that there is no failure, because success is inevitable. This is what we call a calling.

It's an inner call that beckons you toward some great unknown that you can’t see but you can feel. And you can feel when you’re on the path toward your calling and when you’re on a path that’s taking you away from your calling. My purpose seekers understand this quote...

“No matter how hard a surfer works, the ocean is doing most of the heavy lifting. Because, the operant power behind any force of nature, is nature itself.”

Inside Out Revolution

I want to introduce you to a client. Her name is Jessica and she is a force to be reckoned with. The fist time I met Jessica, we met for an innocent happy hour. I knew right away that this was a woman with a purpose and a powerful path to fulfill. But the woman who sat across from me didn’t quite get this. She was playing small.

Now, I don’t mean she was doubtful of herself or that she wasn’t amassing a big following. I mean that she wasn’t living to the fullest extent of her path or allowing it to unfold from within.

The day she hired me I looked at her and said, “You are meant for big things. And I believe in a bigger vision for you, and I think you can feel that.” She looked at me and said, “I’ve felt this but no one has ever seen it in me also.”

Jessica is the founder of the Superwoman Project and has launched the first annual Superwoman Summit. All of this unfolded from within when she surrendered to her intuition and trusted that her vision wasn’t some crazy idyllic ideology or pipedream, but something she felt deeply called to fulfill. It had been there all along.

She chose Option B.

Before, when she was trying to make her work happen and "effort" her way there, she was attempting to convince herself that this calling was, in fact, tapping her directly on the shoulder. She tried with all her might to do anything but this expression of her work. Because it felt BIG, but in truth, it was also the path of least resistance.

In other words, she let the waves work their magic. And all she had to do was put her surfboard in the water and surf. All she had to do was let her intuition in the driver's seat and play.

It doesn't make sense to fight so hard, work so hard, or push so hard for what you already have. Quiet the mind for a moment and listen. Park your doubts for what you hear. Suspend your judgments of yourself for thinking you're incapable of this feat. Don't try to be the ocean and the surfboard. It isn't your job.

Your job is to fulfill your dreams, not from "out here" but in here. Your crazy, visionary, idyllic dream. Because - and this I can guarantee - if you can feel it, then the world needs it.

Soulpreneurs, 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, solopreneursComment
Why I retired at 32...

I retired on October 22, 2016. I am 32.

I am not super wealthy or exhausted. I am not bored and I still have plenty to give.

But on this particular Saturday, I had the sudden realization that to do my best work, to play, to give and to truly let go of attachment and help others soar I needed to first retire. So I simply made the choice and now my real work can begin.

I was immediately overcome with freedom - no more "have-to's" or "must's". No more chasing business or desperate attempts at being the next "it girl coach". I've retired and have found myself in a deep practice of profound play.

Play is not sitting on the beach or skiing on the weekend. It's dancing with the divine and perfectly orchestrated universe. It's listening to sacred silence and hearing the sound of joy everywhere. It's giving my absolute best and most tapped in self without any limited attachment to outcome. It's choosing complete flow. And it's choosing to serve from a place of complete expression.

No more ladders to climb or popular industry clubs to kiss up to. I've retired. Now my only "job" is to listen to what wants to be created and fall in love with it and give myself totally to that vision. I now co-decide what and when. No more vacations and no more work days. In Divine play, it's all the same. I'm totally free and completely full. 

Now before you get confused, I am not done "working." But I am done pushing. If you didn't need the money, need that client, need that person, need...need...need how would and could you approach life differently? Playfully? Freely? Fully? Intuitively?

Life is 100% what you make it be. We live in a culture designed around total comfort. Survival is not really the name of the game anymore. Neither is information or industry. We are living in an unprecedented time where the sole/soul purpose of your wild and precious life is to come home to your True Nature.

To heed your call is your only "job". And you can't do this on Facebook, you won't find it in your Twitter feed, or even on Instagram. You can't "like" your calling or take out an ad for it. You won't find it at that women's networking event or even on stage at the next Tedtalk. 

For a moment there I thought I needed to play the game. To work hard. To build more strategy into my work or start FB ads again. Until I went within to a place I have not visited before and FELT so clearly what a huge mistake this would all be! I am not playing this game, it is rigged to keep your head down and your heart closed. 

So I retired. And now I am FREE to BE the work. This month we dive into what this means, how you can practice your own version of retirement, and why this is the most exciting time to be alive. 

Light and love,

Andrea

P.S.

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Ready. Set. B r e a t h e...
Andrea Leda
Andrea Leda

Today I am giving myself permission to take a much-needed breath.

 I am taking a pause and some space to reflect and get ready for the weekend ahead. To put the things we create into the world is fun, scary, exciting, and full of unexpected twists and turns. No matter how organized, prepared or ready you think you are there's intention and

then there's life.

Today I need to make some space for life.

In less than four days I have people from all over coming to

Awaken Your Practice.

This thing that for whatever reason had to be born through me. And I am so grateful it did. Because, as much as I am its creator I am also its student.

In the last two weeks, I've been meeting with my guest teachers, finalizing the teaching schedule, ordering supplies, renting chairs, ordering coffee, stocking up on markers, printing forms, and putting some love into a few surprises for the students. This is the last push but the one thing I haven't done is b r e a t h e.

Because taking a breath isn't encouraged, is it? Hustle. Push. Drive. Create. Sell. Do. These things are encouraged. I get it, it's the actions you take that get you from where you are to where you want to go. Dreams require movement.

Movement without being centered is called burn out.

Movement from your center is called passion. 

Awaken Your Practice is certainly a passion project. And the people coming this weekend are working in their passion projects or at least they desire to be.

The AYP book opens with a return to your center and ends with a call to surrender and let go. Today I surrender. I am so proud of this teaching and the people who felt called to attend it. I have done everything I need to do. I've written, connected, shared, and created the space. And now all I have to do is show up and share.

Believe it or not, the actual teaching is the easy part.

We all know how to BE the thing we're called to. We know how to create, write, photograph, build, coach, design, stretch, and share. It's letting ourselves play big, ask people to show up, have the courage to say what we're brilliant at and dare to be seen that is the real work.

It's our contribution that defines us. When you answer your calling this is what you're really doing. Contributing. 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead

So here's to what calls you and whispers from your heart in the middle of the night. Here's to the silent knowing that tugs at you. And to you answering it for the world to bask in.

Now I am off to walk among the trees and take the most sensational breath.

Light and love, Andrea

Happiness + Joy, SoulpreneursAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, andrea leda wilborn, authentic power, awaken your practice, balanced living, best intuitive life coach, brene brown, can stress cause pain, Certified life coach, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, coaching for healers, Conscious Living, conscious living coach, create more balance, daring greatly book, effects of anxiety, effects of burn out, effects of low self-worth, effects of stress, emotional body, emotional pain, flight or fight, gifts of imperfection book, healer, how do I know my intuition is right, how to answer your calling, how to be a conscious leader, how to be balanced, how to be mindful, how to create more balance, how to improve my self-confidence, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, improve balance, intuition, intuitive coach, intuitive healing, intuitive life coach, is money spiritual, life purpose, meditation, mindful eating, mindful living, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness practice, note from the universe, note from your higher self, professional life coach, reptilian brain, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, soul coaching, spiritual abundance, spiritual business coach, spiritual coach, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, spiritual director, spiritual leader, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, the best leadership coach, wealthy healer, what causes chronic pain, what is worthiness, women entrepreneur coach, women’s success coach, worthinessComment
Good ol' Gratitude
Bend Oregon
Bend Oregon

These are a few behind-the-scenes from an early

(early)

sunrise shoot at Devil's Lake last weekend. Driving up Cascade Lakes Hwy with the orange sun just illuminating Mt. Bachelor, as the fog rolled over the lakes, is a sight I will never forget. There is something magical about dawn and the waking of a new day. I am hitting pause today to reflect and express some much-needed gratitude. As I round the corner and count down the final 11 days until

Awaken Your Practice

I need to take a deep breath. I have been traveling, adventuring, writing, and preparing for this weekend since March and as it comes near I'm really just in awe.

Gratitude. The remarkable practice of recognizing the good. Something we can all do more of, don't you think?

Just two weeks ago I was on a private vision immersion with a client and watched gratitude melt fear before my very eyes.

I felt gratitude for nature that can take my breath away looking out over Sparks lake as the sun set.

And I feel gratitude (beyond measure) for my Awaken weekend just days away and everyone who has supported me in making this possible.

After we wrapped the photo shoot we warmed up over chai and the best hot breakfast I've had in a long time. My dear friend and photographer, Jennifer Alyse, looked at me and asked, "how do you stay grounded?" To which I replied, without even thinking about it, "I just am."

Hmm.

Is that true? Where did that answer come from?!

But this is one of the ways when I am in the midst of coaching, teaching, writing, travel, speaking, and creating that I keep my feet on the ground. I say thank you. For all of it. Yes, ALL of it. Even the things that push me and challenge me (which is a kind way of saying the things that light my sh*t up). Because I am also human and not exempt from struggling.

My goal isn't to not suffer but rather to understand my suffering and be ok with it. One of the ways I do this is through gratitude. And I invite you to practice some today. Call it thankfulness, gratitude, acknowledgment, appreciation, recognition, or many of the other synonyms it doesn't matter what you call it. What does matter (and I mean literally manifests) is born from what you SAY matters.

Here is a quick, unedited list of things I am grateful for in this very moment. I hope you make your own list and then bask in the energy of that gratitude.

People My work Fall Hot coffee Blank journals Family Our puppy Yummy tea Mountains Birdsong Creativity The ability to read Books Home cooked meals Taking a deep breath Working for myself This space here YOU Water Funny movies Money My health A good bottle of wine

Deep chats with my Dad

My mom's health

My community

Intuition

Gutsy ideas

Music

Art Post-it notes (What would I do without a list?!)

Cards on my wall

Trees Travel Friends The ocean Hiking Meditation My coaches Lavender Red maples in the fall Fog in the morning Walks

and my beautiful, strong, inspired, supportive, powerful, loving wife.

I could keep going. This is the joy of gratitude, it has this kind of compound effect. Try it!

In light and love,

Andrea

Truth Nuggets for my Birthday
Listen to your life
Listen to your life

I love a birthday. They are a gift in themselves. Because YOU are a gift. To even be here is a gift. But it doesn't mean it's always easy. In fact, I hope it isn't because it's those moments that push against our life where we learn the most. This has been an incredible year. It was just two years ago that I was in the throws of a total life collapse. Nothing added up anymore and I was very lost. So to be here today on the other side of that experience and to feel as grateful and full as I do...in a way feels like a miracle and in a way just feels like life.

This is how it goes - we live, learn, live, learn, etc. Some lessons suck. There's no polite way to say that. Some learnings are brutal and make you question everything. Some are mildly uncomfortable. And others barely flag your life but they are all just as important.Growth happens in the contrast of discomfort and comfort.

We learn about love when we hurt. We learn about life when we're lost. We learn about happiness when we're sad. We learn about success when we're failing. We learn about what we want when riddled with things we don't want.

I believe this so much that I have made my work and my life a dedication to teaching this. And I am no exception! I am human. Isn't it a wondrous thing?!

To celebrate my humanity I want to gift myself space to reflect on a few things I really took to heart this year. It was a year of radical growth for me. Radical as in rooted and anchored. Growth as in painful and awesome, all at the same time. If you get something from these, great! If not. Well, it's my birthday and sometimes you just have to be self-serving. ;) #kiddingnotkidding

I learned that no one can show up until I do. If life is my mirror then no one can show up until I show up. This is true in my work, friendships, family, community, and partnership. If I long for something then it is the very thing I have to give. If I need for something it is the very thing I need to give myself. Last November I came out as a spiritual leader. It wasn't as painful as I anticipated and it still challenges the part of me that is terrified of being invisible. I learned that if I really want to be seen in this way I have to BE this way.

I learned it isn't about me. When people reject my ideas, it isn't about me. When I serve my clients, it isn't about me. And when I speak to the truth I experience in my own heart and life it isn't about me. I feel that the work I am doing is my calling and my purpose for being on earth. And it is so much bigger than me even when it affects me.

I learned that I want things. I want the world to change. I want less violence. I want cancer to go away. I want a big house. I want to live in the mountains. I want my family to be healthy. I want to live a long life with my wife. I want to publish a book. I want to be a 7-figure coach. I want to put myself out there. I want people to stop judging and start loving. I want people to go within. I want to enjoy every aspect of life. I want to go Home. I want to not hide the things I want. We all want. It feels good! It's about dreaming and visioning new life. And it's about honoring and loving right where you are.

I learned that I have learned a lot. Yup. Not just this year but all the years of my life are so packed with lessons it's incredible. Life really is handed to you on a silver platter and the moment you see this, you are free.

I learned that I am fiercely loved and appreciated. THANK YOU.

I learned that I really love life. Like a lot. I really do love life. I am in awe of life and it's magic. I used to live from beneath a dark cloud and I didn't see the purpose of life. You could have spelled out miracles for me and I would have said you were a liar. And today I see so much beauty, potential, joy, and possibility everywhere I turn. I wouldn't change where I've been or what I've experienced.

I wish for all people to have their entire life be their entire awakening. To get out of their own way and go for it. To answer their calling and turn their art into their purpose and their gift back to the world. Maybe this is a selfish want. But it's my birthday and this is what I want. 

Light and love, Andrea

P.S.

If you enjoy what I have to say subscribe below – each week I email graceful and gritty content plus journal prompts, quotes, books I am reading, updates, and other goodies for my readers.

Consciousness, Happiness + Joy, Intuition, Life Purpose, SpiritualityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, andrea leda wilborn, authentic power, balanced living, best intuitive life coach, brene brown, can stress cause pain, Certified life coach, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, coaching for healers, Conscious Living, conscious living coach, create more balance, daring greatly book, effects of anxiety, effects of burn out, effects of low self-worth, effects of stress, emotional body, emotional pain, flight or fight, gifts of imperfection book, healer, how do I know my intuition is right, how to answer your calling, how to be a conscious leader, how to be balanced, how to be mindful, how to create more balance, how to improve my self-confidence, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, improve balance, intuition, intuitive coach, intuitive healing, intuitive life coach, is money spiritual, life purpose, meditation, mindful eating, mindful living, mindfulness exercises, mindfulness practice, note from the universe, note from your higher self, professional life coach, reptilian brain, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, soul coaching, spiritual abundance, spiritual coach, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, spiritual director, spiritual leader, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, the best leadership coach, truth nuggets, wealthy healer, what causes chronic pain, what is worthiness, women entrepreneur coach, women’s success coach, worthiness Comments
I don't know if I'm supposed to admit this... 
breath
breath

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In light and love, Andrea

Dear Purpose Driven Beings, 
Purpose Driven Beings
Purpose Driven Beings

I’ve written this post three times and deleted it three times. I want to get this one just ‘right’. You know when you have something you really believe in and want to make sure you convey it with the right conviction and passion that people will hear you? This is like that.

Then I woke up early this morning and was sitting with my journal, listening to the birdsong outside my window and thought, "You know, a bird doesn't question her song, she just sings. How can more of us just sing?"

And I knew exactly what I wanted to write today. This is for my fellow purpose-driven beings.

Do we all have a purpose? Yes. Do we all want to act it out? No. But oh how I wish you would. So today's article is for those of you who do want to act on their purpose...but are terribly afraid.

You know who you are.

You can feel it brewing beneath the surface. Maybe you've had some experience of your purpose already or have seen it play out a little in your life. Maybe you're totally aligned with your purpose or are evolving it as we speak. No matter where you are with it, you have this unwavering feeling in you that you just can't shake and I urge you not to.

I'll be totally honest - I need to read this article today so I decided to write it.

My work has grown exponentially this year. Not just physically with clients and students but also in what I do, how I serve, what I write about, and what I dream about. <--- this is the one that really gets me.

What I dream about.

This is what I dream about... That all of my fellow purpose-driven, soulpreneur, passionate, aligned, open-hearted, conscious peeps would do two powerful things:

1) Get out of their own way 2) Play BIG

And yes, in this order. First, let's address getting out of your own way.

And because there is no quote that sums this up as well as this I give you Marianne Williamson -

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

Read this. And then read it again. And again. Pause on this - "It is our light, not our darkness that most frighten's us..."

Fear. Most of us equate purpose with fear.

What if I fail miserably at this? What if I can't see all the parts, where do I even begin? What if no one thinks my purpose is worthy or valuable? Who am I to pursue my purpose? 

Sound familiar? This was my narrative too before I turned toward my purpose.

We ALL have a purpose or a calling. Think of it as this truth embedded in the DNA of your soul. When it gets turned on you’re called to something in your life that, if followed, will lead you to the highest version you can live of your life.

This purpose can be many things. Here are a few examples:

  • More purposeful work
  • To become a parent
  • To move or travel
  • To start a non-profit
  • To write
  • To paint
  • To play music
  • To climb a mountain
  • To find God
  • To adopt
  • To forgive
  • And the list goes on…

Your purpose is already there – are you listening for it? 

It’s an unspoken thing you can feel in your gut. It’s a sense that you’re missing out on something big in your life. Oh, and it probably sounds terrifying to pursue. Clients often say to me, “How do I know what my purpose is?” And I always answer with this, “I know you know what it is. The better question is, what are you afraid of by turning toward it?

It isn’t likely that you just don’t know. You know. It’s the idea of actually doing something about your calling that is very scary. Of course it’s scary! Answering your call means…

  • Moving WAY out of your comfort zone
  • Accepting that your calling won’t fit into your life as it is now
  • Challenging what you believe to be absolutely true about who you are

It’s no wonder answering your call requires bravery!

Today I want to share a few stories of this kind of bravery. The kind of bravery playing big beckons from us. My hope is that these stories will act as little nudges to help you turn toward and even answer your purpose. One is about someone I haven’t actually met but admire her conviction. One is about a client who’s given me permission to share his story. And one is about me and what happened when I answered my calling.

“MAYBE THERE’S A WAY OUT OF THE CAGE WHERE YOU LIVE MAYBE ONE OF THESE DAYS YOU CAN LET THE LIGHT IN SHOW ME HOW BIG YOUR BRAVE IS

AND LET THE WORDS FALL OUT SAY WHAT YOU WANNA SAYHONESTLY I WANNA SEE YOU BE BRAVE WITH WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY AND LET THE WORDS FALL OUT HONESTLY I WANNA SEE YOU BE BRAVE”-SARA BAREILLES

There is a woman who answered her calling and it put her on a quest that challenged her entire life. Her name is Elizabeth Gilbert. You may know her from her book, Eat Pray Love or Big Magic. You might have a very strong opinion about her journey, her book, or her message. No matter your thoughts put them down for a moment and let’s look at the bones of what she did.

She felt something deep within her life that just wasn’t right. She hand picked her entire life, she was present for every decision. Her work, her marriage, and her dreams. Yet one night, walking around her home in the dark, she just knew it was all wrong. She didn’t know what was right just yet.

It’s easier to feel what’s out of place because we haven’t made space yet for what fits better. 

Then she did something even she couldn’t believe – she turned toward her calling and let it fill in the blanks. Although terrified, she left her marriage, left her home, and left her life as she knew it to embark on a year-long journey around the world. And she found the life that was perfectly designed for her already

THERE ARE ALWAYS REASONS TO DENY YOUR CALL. LEARN WHAT’S CALLING YOU, LEAVE THE REST TO THE UNIVERSE.

There is a man who is answering his calling one day at a time and he’s finding each day to fit just a little more perfectly. This is the story of a client of mine. I’ll call him John. When John first came to work with me he was in over his head. He had embarked on a business that felt right at the time but slowly it stopped fitting who he was. He wanted so badly to take care of everyone in his life that he never turned toward himself and asked what it was he really wanted.

Until it started to make him feel lost, sad, and sick. Answering your calling will feel oddly effortless.

John slowly started to peel back the layers of his ideal life and where he wasn’t living in alignment with his vision. It turned out what he really wants is to be motivational speaker and a healer. Opportunities were already knocking on his door (yes, this does actually happen) and he was turning them down out of fear that it would rock his current life too much.

Answering your calling will pull you in a direction you are not already headed. In other words – it will ask you to change directions. And fast.

The tipping point is when not answering your calling is more painful than just doing it. John let go of who he thought he was so that who he is could show him the way. In the end, it wasn’t as scary as he anticipated. In fact, it’s the easiest path he’s ever navigated. 

“WE MUST BE WILLING TO LET GO OF THE LIFE WE PLANNED SO AS TO HAVE THE LIFE THAT IS WAITING FOR US.” – JOSEPH CAMPBELL

This last story is about a woman who didn’t know she had a calling until it knocked her sideways. This is my story. I’ve shared bits and pieces here and here. Today I’ll give you a short summary that has taken me more than two years to comprehend. Sometimes you have to go with the flow, ask questions later. I had two wake-up calls 6 months apart to the day. The first, a spiritual breakdown, and the second, a life breakthrough. The thing is, I was pretty content before my calling came knocking on my door.

My life was good. Good job, good friends, good relationship. All things happy in their place. Sure I had questions and quiet wonderings about what life was really about. Was there a purpose I wasn’t fulfilling? Why am I here? What is the point?

Until you answer your calling these questions are crazy making. After you answer your calling these questions are irrelevant. 

I’ve always known I was intuitive and had a natural gift for hearing and serving people. When I see people hurting I can’t help but go to them. Then on January 8th, 2014 it all came full circle when God tapped me on the back. Growing up atheist this was a bit…alarming. It sent me into a spiral of questions, books, mentors, guides, and late night journal writing. Turning toward your calling will have you questioning so much. Let the questions come – just don’t get hung up on the answers.

This wake-up call set me up for my second calling when I realized I wasn’t working on purpose. After God said hello I knew I was meant to help others lean into their higher selves, reconnect with their soul, and let go of their fears.

Answering your calling brings a sharp amount of clarity we can spend our whole lives searching for. Just like that…there it is. 

It would be another 1 1/2 years before I was ready to really own this. Well, I’m still working on it. Each day I ease a little more into my calling. It’s still scary. Here’s the thing about self-enlightenment – once you see and feel the light, going back into the dark feels like dying. Even when scared, uncertain, or lost I keep going because life makes perfect sense to me now.

SO YES, I WANT YOU TO BE BRAVE.

There is no greater purpose for you than to answer your calling. That silent tug on your heart? Tune into it. Listen to what it has for you. Ask what it knows.

No one knows how it will turn out. You can't know. So put the desire to have all the answers up front aside for a moment and ask yourself the following - 

What do I WANT? For what PURPOSE? WHO do I need to BE? What is the ESSENCE of my purpose? (aka how could it make me FEEL?)

This is your business because no matter what purpose you're driven to create in the world or your world - it starts with you. Your heart. Your soul. What makes you come alive. The only how you need to worry about is how you CHOOSE to play big.

Don’t follow the easier path because you don’t know how to play big.Play big and watch yourself growth into the person you need to be TO play that big.

I promise you this – your purpose will not find the fullest expression it possibly can from a place of fear, lack, or scarcity. It can’t exist as its fully expanded self from your lower self.

Only your higher self can actualize your purpose. And your higher self deals in love.

Don’t pursue your purpose from the step you’re on today Purse it from where in your heart you believe you can go. I dare you to get big, be bold, grow, be a visionary, and love your life and work to the degree that it is the perfect expression of what it was always meant to be. And then…get out of the way.

In light and love, Andrea

My gift for you...

As a THANK YOU for being here this year, I extend a 45-minuteWake-Up Call to 8 of my readers every month.

*Please note: These spots have filled up so fast! My next availability is currently

June

 2016.

Now before you book let me tell you exactly what it does so you know it’s right for you. 

Here’s exactly what you’ll get during your

45-minute

 Intuitive Coaching Call:

**This call is for soul-preneurs who are ready to take their offering to a new level OR for those ready to take a leap and turn toward their purpose.

**Shift inner-limits. When you answer your calling your limits get lit up. Let's shift what you're capable of by shifting the stories keeping you stuck.

**Learn if my Awaken Your Practice is for you and how you can begin serving your calling today.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONE OF THE LIMITED 8 SPOTS

Click the link above, select 'Wake-up Call', and pick your time!

I will follow up in 24 hours with a short questionnaire for our time together.

From your higher-self: Just get started
2016-03-08_1457451062
2016-03-08_1457451062

Dear soul,

I do not give you ideas you can't realize. I give them to you because you're

the only one who can

realize them in the exact way they're meant to be. There is no great question I haven't already pondered. No 'how' I haven't already figured out. And no fear I don't see coming.

So, what then, are you waiting for?

That BIG idea you are sitting on...is not doing any good inside your head. It wasn't granted to you to be pondered. It was granted to you to be BUILT, CREATED, and REALIZED. Why, you ask?

Does it matter? OK...I will give you a tiny answer because your 'why' is a tiny question.

Because. Want more? Ok...

Because it's fun. It feels good. It's the pure definition of creativity. Creation. To create. To actualize some essence of an idea to something you can hold in your hands. To something you can experience with emotion like joy, gratitude, and reverence. Because, as your higher-self, I selfishly want to feel these things too through you.

So go now and create. Put it on paper. Sculpt it. Offer it. Build it. Make it messy. Don't get it right at first. I assure you, you can't get it right at first or you'd miss out on things like growth, desire, and the sheer thrill when you actually get it right. 

And if you get scared remember this -- fear and joy are two sides of the same coin. Just flip it over.

In light and love, Your Higher-Self

P.S.

Want help making this happen?

Check out Awaken Your Practice.

The L Word
Love
Love

I had something else planned for today and after editing and revisiting that article for three days I threw it away. Because something else was more ready to be written and it was staring me in the face this whole time (see the photo above!). This theme has also been presented to me by three incredible women over the course of a couple months. Three different people. Three different meetings. One single message - can you fall in love with what is?

Then the book I finally picked up (see below) confirmed these three separate occasions and their now BIG place in my life. So the answer is...I'm working on it. (I'm one day in so it might take me a moment...)

My initial answer was 'no way!' Hear me out...

How can I love hate? How can I love suffering? How can I love pain? How can I love disease? How can I love racism? How can I love poverty? And the list goes on....

If I love what is am I not just throwing my hands up in the air and saying, 'Sorry...can't help you.'? Because this simply was not an option. This is why I'm a helper. A healer. A guide. A teacher. And this list could also go on.

I know I am not alone in this - if I love what is then what exactly am I doing here? This was really the question I needed an answer to. Because I have navigated my entire life around the idea that I incarnated to serve. To help. To heal. So...does this mean I am out of a job? Well. Yes, in a way.

Let me back up to these three women and their three messages.

The first woman I met with is a fellow intuitive and healer.  We resonated right away - one of those conversations that I could have had for hours and hours. And in the midst of us talking I shared with her that as an empath I am often sick. That I walk around and 'see' so much pain and then I am in pain.

To which she replied - "How do you know they're in pain?"

And I said, "Because I can't imagine they're happy."

And then she said that thing that knocked me sideways - "You aren't absorbing their pain you are creating it yourself in yourself out of your judgment of what you assume someone else is experiencing. But what you're missing is this - whatever is being experienced in the world is the perfect expression of what it is. Can you love what is?"

The second woman I met with is also an intuitive, a teacher, and a writer. I shared with her a bit about my dilemma around allowing things to be as they are and then what does that mean for me as a helper? To which she replied, "You aren't here to save anyone."

And I, confused, asked, "Then why do I have these intuitive gifts? Why do I feel called to serve"

And she said the second thing that knocked me sideways - "You aren't here to help in the way you think. You can't hold space for people and 'take their pain away'. They are already being held. What holds the sun and the stars and the moon and beats your heart? You are here to simply BE. Be love. Be present. Be empathetic. Be aware. But fall in love with this human life because it is perfection as it is. Can you love what is?"

So....then I meet with the third woman. A woman who is my mentor and very dear friend. Someone I know came into my life to be a wise guide and support for my growth.  We were having a casual conversation about all of these recent revelations and my now major confusion. Is being enough? Can letting people fall on their face really be a good thing? But people are hurting and they don't need to, what of this?

Over the phone, I am asking these questions and she says so calmly the third thing that knocks me sideways - "Can you remember a time in your life of great pain? A time that really was difficult, a time that changed you?

"Of course", I replied. And then she says....

"If you could, would you change it?"

"Actually, no. That experience made me who I am, and in a way I am beyond grateful for it. It taught me compassion, awareness, love, patience, kindness, and self-respect...." I start to ramble, and then she says the zinger -

"What if someone had 'saved' you from something they felt 'you shouldn't have to experience'. Wouldn't they be robbing you of the very thing you needed to become who you're meant to be? Can you love what is?"

So here's where this all leaves me...life doesn't happen TO us. It happens FOR us. Is suffering inevitable? Yes, I believe it is.

For what purpose? To learn. To grow. To understand. To evolve our soul.

Being here is a gift and you chose it. You chose your life, your experience, your people, your teachers, and all that beautiful mess in the middle.

So my practice now, and I invite you to this as well, is this - get curious.

And my purpose? Your purpose? It is just as powerful and just as mission-driven as it always was. But instead of 'helping', or 'healing', I am here when you decide TO get curious. TO look at the labels, assumptions, and lessons of your life and look at what they point to. To support you in loving this splendid experience here.

And to help you ask yourself, "Can I love what is?"

In light and love, Andrea

Got power?
Authentic power
Authentic power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

Because - the outside cannot inform the inside.

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

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

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

How about you measure it by itself?

What if you measured joy simply because you felt joyful?

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

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

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

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

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

This is authentic power.

Light and love, Andrea

Let joy become your compass
action-adult-clouds-1583582.jpg

I was watching the season finale of 'Super Soul Sunday' this morning as Oprah interviewed Jack Canfield. His parting wisdom was this - "Your passions are your purpose and joy is your guide."Thank you, Jack Canfield. And I couldn't agree more. Joy is your guide. Or at least, it should be.

For me, joy is a resonance. It's a form of vibration and I can feel when I'm in alignment because I feel joy all throughout my being. A recent choice for me is that if it doesn't bring my joy I am not doing it. It's far harder to point at what brings us joy than it is to feel our way through it.

This is how resonance works - it's one form energy can take. When you resonate with something it means you're vibrating at the same frequency as that thing. It feels amazing.

I am asked a lot some version of this question, "how will I know I am on the right path?" Because it will feel good. Period.

And yet I see, more often than not, people stressing out, grinding it out, burning out...all in the name of following their bliss. This is a sign that something isn't quite right.

Stress in any form is an indicator, a signal, that you're applying a form of pressure to your life that isn't serving you. Anxiety is when you don't trust where you're headed. Stress is when you aren't en-JOYing where you are.

This isn't to assume there won't be challenges. There will always be a challenge of some sort because it's in the contrast of the challenge we grow and step into even more joy. But a challenge shouldn't make life feel hard. 

I see people making life far harder than it needs to be. Yes. Making - As in choosing to follow the difficulty rather than the possibility. Although this is often not conscious, it is still a choice.

Instead, ask bolder questions of your life. And really listen to what's there. You want to feel good. Your brain, body, and spirit are always in search of joy.

Ask yourself -

  • If I could live my ideal life what would I be doing?

  • What limiting beliefs or fears would I have to put down?

  • What dreams do I have?

  • How am I keeping my dreams from fulfillment?

This year, and all years, I invite you to think about what the essence is you're in search of. Why pursue more money? Why be healthy? Why love? Why answer your calling? Why search and seek the corners of your spirit?

I have immense hope that there will come a day, not too far in the future when we will all go within. When we will do the thing that creates joy in our life and in our soul. And that when we do we will stop looking outside ourselves for what is already inside.

Our worthiness. Our right to happiness. Wealth. Contentment. Pride. Forgiveness. Compassion. And understanding.

That when we do this we will stop seeing the world through scarcity or fear of not enough. We will stop competing and start collaborating. And we will start trusting our intuition and listen to the whisper of our heart. The voice that is sharing with us all day, every day, which step to take next.

For then, and only then. will we see what we're truly capable of. Then, and only then, will God/Source/Consciousness get to experience the fullness of It through the fullness of us. This is co-creation and it is built on joy.

Love and light, Andrea

Your Roots ARE Your Fruits
Fruits and Roots Andrea Leda

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

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

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

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

But you’ve been taught this, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does ‘playing big’ mean to me?

What great impact am I here to create?

What self-limiting stories are on repeat?

What does total fulfillment look and feel like?

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

What scares me?

What inspires me?

Even if you answer one question – answer it.

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

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

FRUITS AND ROOTS

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

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

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

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

Imagine totally trusting that money flows to you...

This happens in your roots.

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

Big promise, I know.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She organically and effortlessly grew her business…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you
Thank you

What makes gratitude so great? I think it's that in gratitude there can't be fear. I know for me that when I am expressing gratitude and feeling grateful all the things that cause me worry get really quiet. Even if just for that moment. I am reading a book that has been sitting on my shelf since 2011. It's titled, "The Soul of Money" and the author, Lynne Twist, has put on paper the most magnificent perspective on having enough. I highly recommend you read it.

Although this is a book about our relationship to money it's more a book about gratitude. She says that in our search for 'worth' we tend to find ourselves in the land of 'want'. But what if, she supposes, we are enough already?

Gratitude is the way to enough and sufficiency.

The moral of her book is such beautiful timing for me. As I come to the close of 2015 and the year that I coined the year of 'Faith' I can't help but be grateful for what's unfolded. This year I took many leaps of faith in my work and in my life. The greatest leap of them all was a surrender of sorts.

We can't know what's ahead of us. Yes, we can plan, and we can make pretty good guesses about what's to come. But really, we have no clue! If you had told me one year ago that in the months up ahead I would coach more than 30 people, host a life-changing retreat, partner with a coaching company, and 'come out' as a spiritual leader I would have give you a face that looked like, 'That's ridiculous!'

And yet..this is what my year had in store for me. 

And while I do spend part of my time setting goals and dreaming up the future I am also in this place of doing what brings me joy everyday. Feeling like I have enough and am doing enough is bringing me so much immediate joy. And it's from that place of joy that more of it can unfold.

Of course there are days when things just don't go as planned. But isn't that the whole point? Most of all, I am grateful that this year has taught me what it means to show up and let go.

I've made a commitment to doing this work and to find that place of resonance in me that feels so good I know I am on the right track. And then I let go of how it shows up. I am learning that the most incredible experiences are birthed from that place.

What would happen if you let go? What is ready to come through your life?

Thank you for being here, for reading, and for following your own journey! Happy Thanks-giving.

Much love, Andrea

You're kind of a Big deal
you're kind of a big deal andrea leda
you're kind of a big deal andrea leda

I recently re-found this photo from exactly one year ago. This photo is for each and every one of you.

I find it's wayyy(yyyyy) too easy to fold our greatness behind us and only share a little about what magic we're bringing to the world.

Well. #yourekindofabigdeal

I am growing my practice. In doing so I get to serve more people. Like you! Who I believe are showing up with something SO needed in the world.

Like flow, success, power, joy, and visions coming to life.

Whether you sit with people and help them strategize or heal them from afar you are SERVING their greatest good for the greater good of all.

As I said to my coach, Michael Knouse recently, "We have the best job in the world!"

To which he replied, "Oh yes we do !"

Which really got my thinking - WE know how great our work is and the people we SERVE also know...so then why aren't more intuitive & visionary entrepreneur's talking up their work??

Take my dear friend and colleague, Rachel Eva. Rachel founded Integrative Wellness Institute because she has this awesome vision that healers will rise up and do the work as a collective.

Or my friend, Toku. Toku founded Unexcutive.com and has this empowered vision of bringing enlightened leaders to the forefront of business.

My incredible wife, Chris...founded Aleda Fitness and has the vision that your health should only get better with age.

My mentor, Michelle Gay, who believes with her whole heart that not only are small businesses the backbone of this country that those same businesses cultivating nurturing teams helps everyone thrive. (And I agree with her!)

My Coach and firestarter Michael Knouse, founded The Startup Sessions and he envisions a world where all businesses bring their soul to the surface and work through heart.

My cousin and chef, Zachary Mazi created Lionfish Supper Club because he has a vision to feed the soul and reconnect you with yourSelf. (not a typo)

Fellow Conscious Success Coach, MaryAnn McNulty, believes it's time to support the world changers so the world can change.

My friend and guru, Riley Temple, who is one of the oldest soul's I've ever met and who see's honoring our experiences as the gateway to connection.

My fellow empowerment visionary, Jennifer Alyse who sees herself as a conduit for helping women to own their power and bring the intuitive age full circle.

And my new friend, Anabell Roberts, who sees life as a beautiful way back to the truest self.

I could keep going. I can sing the praises of purpose all day long. Because it's utterly amazing to me that we live in a time where we might actually have a chance to make world-wide change snow-ball.

As you start each day thinking about those you're going to reach who you haven't met yet and those you'll continue to serve...what do YOU need?

You. The one behind the business.

The heart that shows up everyday.

What are you ready to really share with the world?

I'll go first.

I believe there's a movement happening greater than we could ever express with words. I feel it in my bones and I will champion it all the days of my life.

My clients and students know they are meant to create something in this world that is greater than them.

My role is to help them see and clear any and all interference so what's left over is an allowance of their highest good to persevere and serve the world.

Your turn! Please go out and share with 5 people the magic you're here to create.

And today as you go out and do your thing remember:

#yourekindofabigdeal

Much love,

Peace of I,

Andrea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's what I have so far...

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

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

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

You want to know you matter.

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

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

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

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

Click to Fill me in!

In light and love,

Andrea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2 - Love those who love you

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

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

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

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

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

#5 - Just be.

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

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

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

In light and love,

Andrea