Andrea Leda
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Andrea Leda | Spiritual Leader for the Soul Seeker

 
 

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My word for the year
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I am not someone who runs at a new year with a massive quest for life changes. This has never been my thing. Mostly because, although we are returning to the light bit by bit each day, we are also steeped in winter; a time built into our life for solitude, introspection, quiet, and stillness.

New goals require the energy of fire which comes with the spring and summer seasons. By all means, create some new resolve for your year but also give yourself the necessary spaciousness for it to come in its own timing.

For the past few years, I've taken to choosing a word for my new year. Some have been spot on and quite helpful while others I had to abandon mid-year to make room for life happenings. I am not dogmatic about this word because it should help me move toward more life and I try to stay open to where that might come from.

When I conjure up this new word I take two things into account: everything the previous year brought and taught me and what I intend to stay anchored to in the next twelve months.

I take into consideration what I am interested in now, and if I dropped any need to prove myself in this new year, where would I give myself bountiful permission to go next?

I went in search of a word that balanced presence with growth, ease with effort, and that sweet spot I feel called to over and over that can look ahead but not mistake the future for potentially being better than this very moment I'm in. It would be easier to choose a sentence! But this is part of the challenge. 

It doesn't matter what the word is to anyone but me. The word could be cryptic or a metaphor so long as when I see it, think it, remember it, I know what it's reminding me of or inviting me to do. When I think back on the past two years it's safe to say a word that allows for the unexpected would be a wise choice.

For the past few months I've been a student in a 200-hour yoga teacher training; something I gifted myself to have my own container for self-reflection and quite honestly, healing. Not healing from something that can be fixed or mended, but healing parts of me that are still swimming around in transition and re-orienting my life without my parents. It felt only natural that my word would come from this space.

I sought out yoga because it's wise, symbolic, and a practice. Three of my favorite things. While movement is one practice of yoga there are several others I connect with even more. Practices of breath, clear seeing, presence, dharma, and not surpassing the human experience in search of something more "spiritual." It doesn't get more spiritual than accepting and embracing the human experience.

My word comes from a practice called Shambhala. As quoted from this book, 


"Shambhala teachings are not based on converting the world. The premise of the Shambhala vision is that in order to establish an enlightened society for others, we need to discover what inherently we have to offer the world...the essence of Shambhala or the essence of human bravery is refusing to give up on anything or anyone...We have the burden of helping this world but if we take this burden as a delight, we can actually liberate this world."

Chögyam Trungpa, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
 

My word is brave.


Brave in the Shambhala vision means not being afraid of who you are; yourself, your True Self, and that at your core you are goodness.

If I Google the definition for brave, I don't resonate with what pops up. And yet this word is all over my life. It is the thing I am called to be, demonstrate, create, and defend over and over but it isn't fearlessness, audacity, or gutsy. 

Brave is leaning in.

Brave is "Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process," as Brené Brown says.

Brave is not turning a blind eye or ear.

Brave is acceptance and compassion in action.

Brave is sitting in the muck.

Brave is choosing yourself.

Brave is knowing that, "What you love — what you long to do — is really, really important," as Tara Mohr reminds us.

Brave is saying goodbye before you're ready.

Brave is the burden and delight of liberating the world from unnecessary suffering.

And Brave is belonging wholeheartedly to yourself.

So yeah, my word is brave.

If this process inspires you then I hope you, too, will take some time to search for your word.

Happiness + Joy, Life Purpose, SoulpreneursAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
10 Signs your calling is whispering to you
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I used to think callings were reserved for a special audience, and that certainly was not me. I was just a girl from a suburb of Seattle, why on earth would a calling decide to land in my lap? Until I felt like one came knocking on my door I also didn't give them much thought. I don't remember the word 'calling' being part of my common vocabulary or something I fretted over.

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

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

As Gregg Levoy says in his book, Callings -

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


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

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

10 Signs your calling is whispering to you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intuition, Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, SpiritualityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
The Weekly Practice
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I've fallen in love with two words through my work — awaken and practice. For me, they co-create in what feels like a mysterious but intuitive way, but perhaps it's all in how you personally employ them.

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

In short, awakening is a practice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

  • Content to open you to your interior.

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

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

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

Spirituality, Life Purpose, Happiness + Joy, ConsciousnessAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
Awaken Your Practice Online is here!
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When I first created Awaken Your Practice in 2016 I had the idea of helping my fellow heart-centered business owners learn that they did have a place in business. I've run this program four times and have plans to host the live workshop twice in 2019. But to take the program online was a dream I didn't know if I was ready for.

I didn't want to take an experience known for connection, in-depth conversation, and big aha moments and dilute it down to something I attempted to convey over recorded videos and emails. It just isn't me. So, I am doing this in a way that speaks to what I love about this work — the people I get to spend my days with and the things they trust me to witness and support in their businesses.

Yes, Awaken Your Practice Online requires a computer but I will be teaching the weekly classes LIVE.

People find this course for many reasons but of all the ones I hear, what every student tells me is how ready they are to finally trust themselves and be seen in their work. If you're anything like me then you often wonder:


"Can I be my most authentic self, actually help people, and make money?"


The short answer? Yes. 
The more honest answer? Only to the extent you know and trust yourself.

I could create a business mentorship that teaches you my back-end systems, how I create my programs, how I find clients and a myriad of other things you think you need. I could also point you in the direction of business coaches doing this because it isn't really what I do.

If you're looking for another "done-for-you" business program then I am probably not your girl. If you're exhausted by this business thing and truly just want to change more lives by being yourself, then keep reading.

I don't do strategy. Period. Because finding the best strategy to grow your business is not the problem. Knowing which one is best for you — now we're getting warmer, but this is still not the full problem.

If you don't know who you are in business, then no matter what ideas you're handed, they get layered on top of a cracked foundation, and no matter how great the idea, it will invariably crumble. I support my business mentees in discovering what works for them after they come heart-to-heart with who that really is.

When you do this, you choose the right ways in business for you and get to cut out so much of the noise swimming around out there. As you've probably already seen, there is a lot!

While most conferences will teach you how to design programs, make more money, use social media, or become a marketing genius at Awaken Your Practice we begin with the most important part of your business — YOU.

At Awaken Your Practice, learn how to trust in your business by believing in and trusting yourself. By re-connecting with your original medicine you can help those who need you in the way only you are built to serve.


How you do business isn't like anybody else.


Your intuition and call to serve make you ripe for success, but most service-practitioners are keeping their biggest treasures hidden — generosity, compassion, positivity, and hope for what's possible on our planet.

If you don't fit into the typical success model, then this is for you. I want you to create a service-business that changes more lives and stays true to you at the same time.

I've opened 30 spots in the online course.

6 payments of $99
or save 20% when you pay in full - $497

>> Registration is open only until all 30 spots are filled. This will sell out! 

Life Purpose, Money, Soulpreneurs, WorkshopsAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
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
This is for mama
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Yesterday was one year since my mama passed. One whole year of holidays, birthdays, late night phone calls, silly jokes, letters, coffee dates, and missed mama advice. It wasn't a whole year of just missing her; while that is always top of my mind, it was also a year of remembering everything she taught me and prepared me for.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life Purpose, Spirituality, VulnerabilityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
Awaken Your Life Master Coach Training
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It's finally here! Awaken Your Life is now open for enrollment. Are you ready to join the 2018-19 cohort? For those who have been asking about my work and how to coach like me, this is your chance to learn.

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> www.awakenyourlifecoach.com

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, Spirituality, WorkshopsAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWA, Coach training, life coach training, life coaching Portland, coach training portland, master coach trainingComment
A Big Ol' Dose of Permission
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My wife and I are big fans of the show "So You Think You Can Dance." There are so many reasons to tune into it, but for me it comes down to the positivity and encouragement of the show.

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

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

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

I found myself nodding emphatically.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are powerful words because they open doors. 

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

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

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

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

P.S.

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

www.awakenyourlifecoach.com

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, SpiritualityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
Fall Coaching Circle Now Open
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"If not you, then who? If not now, then when? If not this, then what?" 


These words were gifted to me over a year ago and still ring in my ears. If not now, when? All we ever have is this very moment, and it's always the perfect one to do what we're all built for -
serve.

Coaching continues to be my fiercest gift to my fellow change agents, visionaries, and possibilitarians. 


Here's the thing - I believe wholeheartedly in the potential of humanity and was, for many years, apologetic for that hope.

Because at times, hope can feel naive and even ignorant. I am not unaware of the injustice in the world. But injustice isn't new. What we choose to do about it and how we choose to rise, is

Last year I wrote my most popular article to date about why I chose not to raise my prices in 2018, and why I actually decided to lower them. There's a trend in coaching to constantly be raising our rates, and I quickly fell into it.

By 2017 I was charging upwards of $2,500/month to be my client. I thought this meant I'd “made it”. Instead, I am sorry to say I lost something very dear to me. I lost my focus on the greater whole.

Coaching has quickly become an exclusive industry. As our prices rise, our exclusivity rises. As our exclusivity rises, we are no longer building unity and with it are fueling the very thing most coaches and healers claim to not stand for.

I sat down last year and had a heart-to-heart with myself. I remembered something a mentor told me. She said, "If a therapeutic process is inaccessible to any one person it is ineffective to all people."

This hit me hard then and still does today. If my work is not accessible then I am not congruent with my value of bringing more harmony to our world.

Enter, The Coaching Circle. A 1:1 private coaching experience that starts at $199/month. Yes, really. I wish I could work with all of you.

> What do you feel responsible for?
> What are you doing about it?
 

My new coaching circle is an invitation for 20 people and 20 change agents to come to life.

I am inviting 20 people to be personally coached and mentored by me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for 6 months. If you're someone who feels called to something bigger in their life than this is for you. It is my greatest gift to help you change even more lives by trusting what calls you and believing in yourself.
 

There are a few things you need to know about working with me. 

My coaching is not...


...strategy and planning. Your ideas are not something you can think your way through. Your stories are not calculated but are instead created from your need for love and safety. When they stop serving you and you decide to face them or untangle them, it’s time to come out of your head and into your heart. We go in with radical acceptance and self-discovery. You will take action, but first, you have to meet yourself where you are.

...just life coaching. Coaching is a powerful tool and one that I love. It’s a way of showing up with someone and using powerful, open-ended questions to inspire new action in them. I use a coaching container, but I fully understand that I can’t help you move forward and get you where you want to go without giving space to where you come from, first.

...guru-ism. You are your own guru and your own change agent, first. We can be guides for others, but all we can do is facilitate an environment where change is possible. I can't change you for you. Just as you can't change others. But you can walk your path with integrity and congruency. And that is the most effective path to change we can embark on.


Together, you will...

1. Say Yes


Before you can do anything in the direction of what calls you, you have to say yes to it. You have to trust your path AND fully commit to it. Tucked inside of you is a message and a purpose that is tugging at you big time, am I right? 


2. Be Yourself


Whatever you piled on over the years - old identities, other people's idea of success, limiting beliefs about yourself - shed these. We don't have to go in search of your authentic self, we only have to strip away what isn't authentic to you. 


3. Change more lives by being yourself


You're a giver; you keep hope alive in those lives you change, and you do so by being your most authentic self. I don't need to remind you that there is something big at stake. Maybe you're headed in a direction you never predicted but the world is waiting for you. This I know...


The Coaching Circle

20 Transformative People, 6 Months, Innumerable Possibilities
Each of these 20 spots is an invitation to an experience of waking up your conviction and your compassion through deep coaching and it starts at just $199/month.

 

How to Be Part of The Coaching Circle:

1. Read ALL the details here

2. Choose your level and complete your application no later than Wednesday, August 22nd

3. If accepted you'll be sent a personal link to schedule your first coaching session & to pay your $199 deposit to hold your spot. Your first payment won't be charged until September 10th.

4. There are only 20 spots. No waitlist. This is the only way to coach 1:1 with me this year.

*The next Coaching Circle opens March 2019.

All of life is an extension of how you see yourself and how you show up in the world. Imagine what is possible...

Life Purpose, SoulpreneursAndrea 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
What I wish I knew in the beginning
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When I first started coaching, it was a return to myself. Do you ever find that your life just keeps looping on itself? Mine does. I knew when I was 5 years old I was meant to help others, but I would reject this idea for more than 20 years. 

I think we're most in tune with who we are at a very young age and will spend most of our adult life getting back to that time of innocence and freedom to be ourselves. Just ask your inner child what she or he would do and bask in their answer. It just might surprise you.

At the beginning of my practice I was super self-conscious. Am I any good? Do people actually want to pay me? Can I really do this? These questions plagued me for the first 5 years. I don't know if that is short or long but that was my experience. No matter how many clients or friends would tell me, "You're really great at this!" I simply didn't believe them.

Until October 2015. That fall I rented a beach house I'd had my eye on for a year and invited 10 others to join me for my first retreat. I charged them $0. This wasn't about a business offering, yet. It was about seeing if I could stretch myself and do something I'd never done before. It was about deciding to take a chance on myself.

This event was lovingly named #retreat. And while I would go on to run it twice more, that first one has a special place in my heart. It's where I finally let it sink in that I am good at this work. That I have a right to be in my industry. And that I do, in fact, belong here.

Why am I sharing this story? Because we all will have that moment when for whatever reason, we come face to face with our goodness and our ability and allow ourselves to be the thing we were meant to be all along.

I call this moment the pivot.

No one can prepare you for the pivot; the particular event itself could be mundane like standing in line at the grocery store, or something more enlivening like having your first child. 

The moment isn't predictable but it's on your path somewhere. I like to believe it's already built in like a light bulb and when it's time, it just turns on.

Your job? Recognize it.

I was the same person in pretty much every way before and after this experience except for one major shift - how I saw myself was different. This changed everything.

Of all the things I've seen in my work and in close to 5,000 conversations, the thing I wish I knew early on is this:


It isn't what you do that matters.

It's who you are when you do anything that matters.


In other words, success isn't just in the action. Success is in who is doing the action. 

And there are many different "who's" inside of you at all times. For example -

Confident Who
Fearful Who
Inspired Who
Nervous Who
Doubtful Who
On Purpose Who

You get the picture. If I asked you to pause here and make a list of all the different versions of yourself that come through daily it would be quite long. We are complex and our emotions don't stagnate. They are fluid and move through us every day, telling us what to feel, how to interpret everything, and what to take action on. 

Before that fateful retreat I was operating my work primarily from my Small Who. The part of me that didn't think she had the right to be great as a life coach and so she kept herself purposefully small. Never taking compliments, never accepting accolades, and flat-out not believing people who were telling me I was good. 

I had to experience it for myself. From a place within. I had to come into contact with a new part of myself - my confident and proud self.

I don't know why or how, but she showed up for those 4 days at the beach and changed the game for me. She showed me I CAN do the work I long for. She showed me what I AM capable of. She let herself be great and it felt incredible.

The people who hire me know what to do. Most of them even know how they want to do it. But most of them aren't. They aren't stepping fulling into a new "who." They assume that the lens they have for their contributions in the world is permanent and unchanging. 

I will fill you in on a big life secret: you can always change how you see yourself. This isn't the real magic. The real magic is that when you change how you see yourself, the self you see also changes.

From this space you can't help but make different choices. You can't help but show up more boldly. You can't help but make bigger asks of yourself and others. You can't help but take a stand for something bigger than you. And you can't help but take a seat at the table. 

Soulpreneurs, Life PurposeAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
I am going back to school
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I can't say that I ever stop learning or seeking but there are times in my life where my dedication to seeking involves a single book and times when it involves a year-long course of study.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For what purpose?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*lightbulb*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am no different. 

Life Purpose, SpiritualityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
A Return to Living
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Last week my love and I took off for Bend, nestled in Central Oregon. Resting at the basin of more than 7 peaks including these three photographed above, this mountain town always clears my mind and resets my heart.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what if it IS the way?

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

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

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

Funny, that all sounds a lot like progress ;)

Life Purpose, Spirituality, VulnerabilityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACC, Integrative Wellness Academy, IWAComment
Awaken Your Practice is back
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This isn't your typical business program and it's not a “done for you” strategy weekend. In my experience, you don’t need more ideas or ways to implement things. You crave clarity, peace of mind, creativity, to play full out, to be seen, and most importantly you crave to share your soul’s calling with the world and be of service.

While most conferences will teach you how to design programs, make more money, use social media, or become a marketing genius, at Awaken Your Practice we begin with the most important part of your business - YOU.


Your intuition and call to serve make you ripe for success, but most empaths are keeping their biggest treasures hidden:

Generosity, compassion, positivity, and hope for what's possible on our planet.


I realized that I could succeed at business but it would require going my own way. It required sharing my voice, using my story to connect, giving, and radical transparency with my clients. The more I showed my empathic gifts IN business the more my business succeeded. 

I built Awaken Your Practice for those who are just like me. It's for empath entrepreneurs and business owners who want to work from their heart center and who are ready to uplevel their business, make more money, do work that is fully aligned with their vision, and create balance in their whole life. Oh, and who are ready to invite a little magic in :) 

But this isn't my first rodeo. 

This is my fourth AYP and I've learned a lot along the way, mostly because of the incredible students who have shown up. In no particular order, here are a few of the radical lessons I've acquired in my time with this program...

1) No idea is "too small"
It doesn't matter if your idea has already been created, will impact a single person, or feels "too small" to you. I assure you, there is no such thing as a small idea. There is also no such thing as a big idea. An idea is an idea is an idea and its power is in letting it move through your life. Let it shape you because while you believe you are shaping it...well, it is the one that is really doing the carving.

2) Value cannot be handed to you
The value you create won't be seen. You can't quantify it or box it up. It isn't the price you charge or subsequently the money you earn. It won't be found in your number of followers or "likes" on any social media platform. So, then, where might you discover your value? Within. It already exists in its full form as YOU. Now, what do you want to create with that value? Well, see number one again.

3) Sensitivity is not the problem
Being an empath is not standing in the way; it IS the way, but it will require that you let go of so much of that noise in the business advice world. You might be more sensitive to how you market, to sales conversations, to how you create and share your creations, and to how you work with and maintain clients. There. Is. Nothing. Wrong. With. You. Place your sensitive nature in the driver's seat and see what magic it leads you toward. For me, this has been the place for heart-driven conversations, really getting to see people, helping people see how much they matter, and more. 

4) There's no such thing as the "lone wolf success story"
No one does it alone. Nope. Sorry. It's a big ol' lie. Whether you work with mentors or coaches, join a mastermind, continue with your education, or form a group, I have yet to meet a single person who is doing well in their business who got there without some combination of these examples. And it's the one thing missing from business owners' lives who have been treading water in their work for years on end. I was lucky (and by lucky I mean I had the courage to invest in myself) to work with good mentors in the first 3 years of my business. They got all of my panicked emails and phone calls because I feared I didn't know what I was doing. They also taught me the business basics and held my hand through it all.

5) Comparison is what keeps you small
It isn't competition that will keep your work from being noticed, it's the compulsion to compare that will. It's so easy when we enter any industry to get into an "industry bubble" and suddenly it feels like everybody is doing what we do. I remember when I became a coach and I didn't know many other coaches. Then I started networking with them more, attending coach-only events, going to coach trainings and "suddenly" it felt like the only job anyone had these days was as a coach! Untrue. I had just stepped into the coaching arena and put my coach-blinders on. This is dangerous no matter your industry. Nothing will keep you small as much as comparison to your fellow service-providers. 

There are many more where these came from but for today these are top of mind. These are the lessons that I couldn't have anticipated because they unfolded over two years. But they are also the things my students come to AYP to move through and let go of.

In my experience the barriers between you and succeeding in your business are much smaller than you anticipate. But my students are also looking for success in all the wrong places. Online, passive income, funnels, social media fame, followers, bank statements, flashy websites...

Do me a quick favor. Pause reading this and go look in the mirror.

> Who do you see?
> Who is that person?
> Why do they care about their work so much?
> What scares them?
> What inspires them?
> What compels them to not give up?
> What encourages them to keep going, to figure this out?


THERE! There, in that mirror staring back at you, is where your success resides. 

Everything else is, well, just the details.

And while they matter a little (yes, you need to know what you sell and who it's for) the trends will evolve faster than you want and all that time you spent figuring out Facebook and click funnels becomes...irrelevant.

But what of your idea? Did it withstand the trends? Did it do its job? Did it honor your value? Did it respect your calling?

These and more are the questions we ask at Awaken Your Practice. We look at the principles of success so that no matter what you layer over it - programs, blog posts, books, e-courses, retreats - is formed on the basis of you at your most self-aware. 

You at your most loving.
You at your most trusting.
And you at your most accepting of your gifts and how to share them with the world.

If this experience calls to you check out your options for joining below! There are 5 spots left.
 

Ready to register? Click here >> www.awakenyourpractice.com/liveweekend
3 Payments of $365 OR save 10% when you pay in full ($997).

Not sure but are interested? Book a 45-minute call with me! 
>> calendly.com/andrealeda/awaken

Life Purpose, Money, Soulpreneurs, WorkshopsAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACCComment
"The Good Coach"
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Last month, a client posted this article titled, "What the good teachers teach." I have to say, it totally captured me. She gave me a mini dose of permission I didn't even know I was seeking about how I perceive and choose to play out my work.

Her article outlines five tips for choosing the right teacher or coach for yourself. She talks about things like not choosing someone with "all the answers" and knowing if that person is vetted to do the work they're doing.

It seems like simple stuff, but as I look at the current state of the coaching industry I am sorry to say these simple things aren't that obvious or easy to spot. Why?

During an Awaken Your Life class last week, a few of my students brought up that they don't know how to describe the work they're doing. Are they coaches? Transformation leaders? Guides? Practitioners? All of the above? 

I joked that I still don't know what I do. (Yes, even I still struggle with knowing what my "thing" is.) But that I also feel this pull to bring great coaching and the power of this work back into rightful perspective.

Is this my job or even my responsibility? Not really; no one elected me to but through all of my iterations of this work I come back to ONE constant over and over - I love being a coach. I love it fiercely. 

But what does it mean to be a "great coach"? Can we really define this?

Yes.

And we should.

I do my best to be lighthearted in this work and I am passionate about it. I am passionate about people and bringing as much unconditional compassion to the table as I possibly can. I am passionate about being a conscious coach, someone who knows her limitations and her strengths and has the courage to be transparent about both.

The word "unconditional" is important to me. It means that I am in constant contact with myself and if I'm ever overly invested in my clients' version of success.

It means not assuming that I know "the way" let alone the right way for a client to go. And it means letting go, big time. Despite our strong belief in healing, there is nothing wrong with the people I work with. Nada, nothing, zilch. 

It is common in our culture to assume someone outside of ourselves can solve our problem or fix us. Just look at the western medical system: it is founded on the idea that there are the ill and there are the saviors of the ill. 

This is prevalent in many areas of our life - finances, health, love, our job, happiness, and basically anything we want. It is so easy to assume getting it is an "outside job" or that someone has the answers to our woes. 

There are many (many!) coaches who fall into this category and who coach from the perspective that they themselves are the solution to their client's ailments. When a coach chooses this mindset they do one of two things:

1) They play God and present a perfectly scripted path for a client to walk down to be "magically" cured. 

2) Think they have to BE the solution and get attached to their clients having a specific outcome that is predetermined. And if the client doesn't get there, the coach assumes either they failed or the client just didn't want it bad enough.

As a coach I am a master of a process that a client can climb inside of to do the work, take personal responsibility, and be their own healing. And if a client comes to me who is working on something I am also in the midst of, I have to remember these two simple points:

No matter how similar it looks, it is not the same. 

This is an opportunity to convey empathy and compassion.


If we know what good coaching is not, then what is it? How do we spot it? When I posed this question about what makes a coach great to some followers on Instagram I got comments that said...

...shows up and meets you where you're at.
...listens.
...asks the uncomfortable questions, those questions designed to stretch you.
...creates safety.
...allows for someone's deepest and truest self to be revealed.
...really sees me and hears me.
...does their own work and is in touch with their own life.

I truly believe it is this simple.
 

Coaching is predicated on exploration. Exploration that is unpredictable, creative, and personal to the client.
 

This is why I fell in love with the process of coaching all those years ago and why although I've created other programs like Awaken Your Practice and the 52 Week Journal, I come back to the art of great coaching time and time again. 

To bring such simple tools to something like a conversation, and witness over time as that person sees more and more of their true self, believes in themselves maybe for the first time, and begins to love themselves -- it captures something for me.

It captures the raw truth tucked inside the human heart: that we all just want to be valued and seen. 

This is what a great coach leaves space for. So while I don't always know how to describe what I do and sometimes worry what someone conjures up if I say, "I'm a life coach," I also don't care. Because it isn't about my title or some definition that makes it easier for someone to "get me."

It is about the gift of unconditional and compassionate space at the moment someone decides they are ready to go within and awaken something that has been dormant. It never gets old. Almost 5,000 conversations later...it never gets old.

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

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

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

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

Let's consider the following myths around worthiness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the list goes on.

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

Am I allowed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- OR -

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

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

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

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

I invite you to consider this quote -


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

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

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

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

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

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

Life Purpose, Soulpreneurs, VulnerabilityAndrea WilbornAndrea Leda, Andrea Leda Wilborn, Certified life coach, professional life coach, Brene Brown, daring greatly book, gifts of imperfection book, self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, how to improve my self-confidence, worthiness, what is worthiness, effects of low self-worth, emotional body, what causes chronic pain, flight or fight, reptilian brain, emotional pain, can stress cause pain, stress induced pain, symptoms of burn out, effects of burn out, effects of anxiety, effects of stress, Mindfulness, how to be mindful, mindfulness practice, mindfulness exercises, meditation, mindful living, mindful eating, how to be balanced, balanced living, improve balance, create more balance, how to create more balance, intuition, how to listen to your intuition, how to use intuition, intuitive healing, intuitive coach, intuitive life coach, best intuitive life coach, how do I know my intuition is right, conscious living, conscious living coach, women’s success coach, women entrepreneur coach, coaching for healers, how to be a conscious leader, spiritual leader, spiritual coach, soul coaching, healer, spiritual director, spiritual abundance, authentic power, is money spiritual, life purpose, how to answer your calling, spiritual coach for entrepreneurs, coach for healers, coach for intuitive’s, wealthy healer, note from your higher self, note from the universe, the best leadership coach, spiritual business coach, soulpreneur, solopreneurs, business coach for women, ICF, PCC, MCC, ACCComment
The day I said "yes" to myself
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I had a spiritual awakening on January 8, 2014. A day that changed the whole course of my life but at the time it felt like an unraveling. It felt like something I wanted nothing more than to deny and hide.

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

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

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

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

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

So I hid. 

I thought if I hid it two things would happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

But that hiding this was no longer an option.

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

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

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

In November 2015 I published my new about page.

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

But I can't.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

-- BUT --

This shortcut is short-sighted. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was my final realization -- 

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

Inclusive, unified...harmony.

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

She gave me a great question --

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This isn't a post about cancer.

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

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

My mother was always present.

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

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

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


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

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

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

I am asking the same of you right now.

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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