from fear to love in marketing
Much of the marketing we're surrounded by today sp...

Much of the marketing we're surrounded by today speaks only to the pain, fear and problems people are experiencing. Most marketing appeals only to our base level, survival instincts for personal preservation.

One of the most extreme examples I’ve ever seen popped onto the screen recently - an offer to learn more about making videos for online marketing. Normally, I wouldn’t even glance at blaring, bold, red 24 point type promising to solve all the problems of the world (or at least all my financial issues) but this particular program was recommended by a colleague I respect. From the initial landing page there were several pages to click through before gaining access to the free course material promised. Several pages of offers I wasn’t interested in given I didn’t yet have any relationship with the person selling the thing and hadn’t yet experienced the quality of their work. Then finally, the last screen came along and there was an invitation to gain access to "my" free course by clicking on a giant button that read, “No thank you. I already have high-end image editing skills.”

I had to admit to my own ignorance to gain access to the "gift" I was promised. I had to either lie to myself and to this expert or acknowledge my own stupidity, utter skill-lessness, total incompetence and blatant inadequacy.

And, even though I was disgusted, I clicked the link.

The above is an extreme example granted but this is the online marketing we're rapidly becoming accustomed, immune and numb to. These methods and the energy behind them are also making their way into healing realms and the promotion of spiritual practices like yoga. I’ve seen them and maybe you have too.

These energies are present because they work and many soft-hearted, sensitive souls are tired of being undervalued in a society focused on me, me, me and tangible outcomes to end problems and solve painful issues (i.e. how to make more money, lose weight and laser off all that pesky hair). There’s a sense we have to know how to use these techniques so we can be "abundant" and earn the right to stand on the same stage as others deemed more financially successful than us. We need to learn how to use these techniques to be seen or for anyone to take us seriously. As a subculture, we're emerging from years of fluffy, flaky hippie disregard placed on creative and spiritually oriented people by a cold, logic-driven structure and perhaps using the harsh and powerful weapons of that structure is the wisest thing to do. It makes sense after all. Keep doing what works and leave everything else behind.

Is that what's needed though? What consciousness and society has that kind of marketing spawned for our children? What consequences do these messages of consumption and self have on this planet on a mass scale? Do we want to perpetuate fear-based, scarcity-driven marketing simply because it works better?

I wonder what else is possible.

What if we instead appealed to each other's higher nature. Used messages of inspiration and love to touch the heart and liberate action based on our inherent generosity and desire to help each other as fellow humans. What if we spoke directly to wholeness, oneness and the deeper truth of the love we are.

First we have to untangle this conditioning within ourselves. Look closely at all the ways fear currently motivates the choices we make, the impact online marketing has on us and especially, how and why we choose to spend our money.

This is a meditation to look closely at the process of desire that arises within the self. The wanting of a thing... a service... a healing .... of more training... a holiday... a new car... and ask where is this desire coming from. Am I looking for a way out of pain and suffering by investing in this thing? Am I looking only for a solution to my problems? Do I want a guarantee of success with this 5 step model from this expert and the 6 figure income promised? What makes me click a big, red flashing button and what does that feel like inside my body? How much of the time am I acting from fear when I separate myself from hard-earned dollars? Have "money" and "happiness" become entwined and interdependent in my mind?

Beneath that, how is my relationship with fear and money showing up in my daily life? And do I want my clients to have that same experience with the promises I'm making them through the marketing I use? Is my desire for "more" and bigger, brighter and better influencing the way I serve my community?

This is a tender enquiry. And a confronting one that’s deeply personal. We have to come to it of our own accord. We can't be forced into looking at our relationship with fear and money by anything outside ourselves.

There's no one right answer. It happens in the heart of the individual or not at all.

Love, Mirror
creativity + the sacred space
The most sacred spaces come unbidden. Undesigned, ...

The most sacred spaces come unbidden.

Undesigned, uncultivated, unwanted, unwelcomed.

These spaces are not conjured by prayer, priest or process. There is no purification ritual required to open this door. You don't set an intention or ask permission to enter with bowed head, sweet scents, songs on lips and offerings in hand.

They come when life tears you apart, when love itself is lost or death or failure is at hand. When who you are in this world is taken away and you can no longer believe principles held close for an entire life or hard-won truths that once upon a time, made everything make sense.

THAT is the moment you stand closest to the great mystery, the heart of god, the unknown. When speech is insufficient and blood is leaking through crusted bandages barely holding together a broken heart. Emptied of everything you think you know. Bereft of solid ground, expectation, agenda, thought, attachment, desire and will.

Behind the fear paralysing mind and forward motion, behind the destruction of body, household relics and future dreams, behind the painful story who’s end has not been written yet, there are moments of the veil lifting to reveal this space.

If we are still, we can see behind the mechanics making up the moving parts of life often taken for granted. On days steeped in normality, these cogs are so loud, robotic, and dense with rhythm and reason they drown all possibility of the real being heard. If we've been lucky enough to live a life of curiosity and some silence, we know about this machine and though we may become intimate with it’s workings we rarely, if ever, see it stop.

Now the bolts are loose and the foundation is swaying. A timeless pause with no faith in the pulse beginning again. Naive to what comes next.

There’s a sense of privilege in this, an awareness of the rarity of this experience and how very blessed it is to feel the cool, blankness of the slate we scribble across so blithely each day. The slate no one taught us was not ours to write upon.

In this sacred space, nothing is real, the past no longer applies, who you are is irrelevant and you are no longer in control. Rather, you see through the illusion of control and self-determination. Chaos is closer, undeniable and inexplicable.

In those moments of grief, loss and despair, you watch the self dissolve and are powerless to care or prevent it from occurring. You grow quiet.

You are closer to innocence, the true source of creativity. The human story has crumbled.

And then, if you can bear it, you come out the other side with a spark of this substance from beyond. And you share it.

You give.

Love, Mirror
authentic marketing manifesto II
In the movement of authentic marketing, the journe...

In the movement of authentic marketing, the journey is as important as the end result and the world is a reflection of who we are.

This movement is not to further the prison of duality that makes up existence. This is not a pushing against what we see as “wrong” with the world, wrong with money, wrong with marketing, wrong with personal gain or wrong with ourselves for no longer being able to engage whole-heartedly in a system that serves the few. This is not a judgement to fortify the sensitive soul in a world that seems harsh and uncaring and rewards only those who know how to play the game. This is not an “us” Vs “them” or a call to arms to join the fight to save the planet and destroy ignorance wherever we may find it (because if we look for it, we will find it in spades).

This is a different kind of social activism. One based in a willingness to seek a deeper understanding of the actions of others, to ask questions before reaction consumes and informs behaviour, to not condemn or pull down or make oneself superior because you have a different way of seeing or a different set of values. If we do not seek oneness and unity, doubt will continue to tug at our heels.

We recognise that the seeking of outcomes and results changes us in some way. Inevitably, it brings into question the motivations behind our actions. When we notice this, we do not make ourselves less worthy for being a product of society. Rather we take a breath, let go and choose again if we find an urge to hide any aspect of what we’re doing, bringing false confidence or find ourselves acting in a less than whole-hearted way.

There are no rules, no absolutes on this path. It exists in a moment of connection to something greater and sometimes the only step forward you can see is the one you’re in the middle of taking right now.

There is no end goal. Or there is, yet we know we are not in charge of whether or not we ever get there. It’s not in our hands. The only requirement is a hearing of a call to something better than you have now and the willingness to feel your own vulnerability.

There are no guarantees in authentic marketing. The seeking of security is seen to be for the illusion it is. Instead we put our trust in each other, in Life itself, in the innocence and divinity within the human heart.

We act not for accolade or recognition (although the smaller parts of ourselves may sometimes convince us otherwise). What we do, we do for love and the children and for all who come after.

Enlightenment is a group journey. Let’s hold hands and jump.

authentic marketing manifesto I
Authentic marketing is a movement: from mind to h...
Authentic marketing is a movement:
from mind to heart.

from masculine to feminine.

from force to flow.

from abundance to enoughness.

from me to we.

from accumulation to generosity.

from competition to co-operation.

from soul-less to soul-full.

from manipulation to integrity.

from secrecy to transparency.

from urgency to depth.

from infinite growth to sustainability.

from blaring loud messages to unfolding relationship.

from intellectual property to ownership by all.

from control to trust.

from logic to intuition.

from what can I get to what can I give.

from immediate survival to leaving a legacy.

from making things happen to gratitude for what Is,

from going it alone to humanity shared.

from profit at any cost to profit with principles.

from short-term gain to visionary leadership.

from separation to global awareness.

from consumption to community.

from personal achievement to knowing we are breathed by something far, far bigger than the small self.

from world domination to deep connection to the one who stands before us.

from absolute rule of numbers to a world where relationship is valued above all else.

from future outcomes to now. Now. Now. Now.

from the seeking of security to living in service.

from fear to being love in action.

>> read more in the authentic marketing manifesto II

go to the source
“I don’t need a mirror to show me what I look ...
“I don’t need a mirror to show me what I look like. I have seen who I am without a mirror.”

What do you mean?

“Let me put it this way.”

“Imagine looking into a pond and seeing the reflection of a flower. Your ability to see the reflection is dependent on many influences, the movement of the water, the light and weather to name a few. One day the clarity of the water may be murky so the reflection appears dull (you’d prefer it clear). The next day the water may be moving so the reflection looks distorted (you’d prefer it calm). The next day the lighting is bad so the reflection is dark (you’d prefer bright). You are never happy with your view of the reflection. It’s never perfect.” I agreed. She continued “Let’s assume finally the day comes when all conditions are right. You are able to see the reflection of the flower in ALL it’s glory. The reflection is perfect.” “Can you smell and experience the sweet fragrance of the flower from the reflection?” No. “Are you able to touch and experience the delicate structure of it’s petals from the reflection?” No. “Can you hold the flower in your hands, marvel at it’s beauty and experience it’s innocence from the reflection?” No. “Why not?” Well, because it’s a reflection, an image only. It’s not the actual flower. It has no life of it’s own. “Yes. The only way to behold the flower is to go to the source of the reflection.” “You’re so obsessed with the reflection you have forgotten the source. There and only there can you experience the beauty of the flower and all that is. The flower is a living thing for you to embrace. Go to the source.” “You are concerned with your own reflection; this will not reveal your true beauty, only the source can do that”. “Finally, when you have gone to the source and seen what is there, would you then need to check the reflection in the mirror?” No. Concern with the reflection is only present because the source has not been seen. “And so it is with YOU. Go to the source of you. Not the reflection. It is the only way to experience your true beauty.” But how do I go to the source? “Stop being concerned with the reflection. See it for what it is: a reflection.” “When you turn away from the reflection only the source remains.”

(adapted from a story in The Barefoot Indian by Julia Heywood.)
the seeking of money
The seeking of money is not an unnecessary thing. ...
The seeking of money is not an unnecessary thing. It’s just that none of us stepped onto this path because of money. Rather we’re here through our desire to help people. To contribute, to make a difference and to heal the Earth. The nature of seeking money itself can make us forgetful at times.
green mountains
Beside you I’m fragile and small, Beside you I...

Beside you I’m fragile and small, Beside you I’m nothing at all.

Beside you we are like children, Beside you we’re innocent.

Waiting for us to return, Waiting for us to unlearn.

Waiting for us to stop speaking, Waiting for us to let go.

Love me till these bones become you, Love me till this body’s through.

When my heart can learn to trust, When all I am turns to dust.

A hundred thousand million years A hundred thousand million more.

the social experiment of the gift economy
Being Love In Action exists to support yoga teache...

Being Love In Action exists to support yoga teachers, healers and artistic souls create enoughness doing what they love in the world. Most of my work is given away to those who need it but may not be in position to pay for it.

This work is a social experiment in the gift economy. It asks the question, is it possible to create community and fund an enterprise from the generosity and giving of community members, clients and patrons without being a registered charity or not-for-profit organisation? If I don’t charge you money for my work and say instead, “It’s entirely up to you” and you recieve genuine value, support and inspiration from the writings and sessions offered, will a natural desire arise in you to give in turn? If you see art, integrity, excellence and usefulness here, will you want to support this work so others can also benefit?

I don’t know. We’re exploring it together. The nature of altruism, trust and the memory of communities that were once interdependent, interwoven, rooted in the Earth, whole and deeply connected. Communities we were part of in which we didn’t need money in order to live. We had each other and the land.

Back then, the space between two people was not defined or dictated by the presence or absence of money but instead there was faith in each other’s intentions and an unshakeable knowing our needs would be provided for by Nature and our neighbours at some point in the future, that it would balance out in the end and that we were doing this together. Our very survival depended on it.

What if we could taste that once again in the midst of the hustle and pressures of the first world and the separation inherent to how we live in the west? How much connection could we generate?

A gentle opening that honours the way things are but questions if this is the way things will always be.

 Love, Mirror
being love in action: a meditation
Being love in action is a container that holds the...

Being love in action is a container that holds the questions that make life more meaningful and alive. It’s a forum for discussion on the topic of what it requires to create from a pure space of connection to what is, to channel love and take action every day. This is a place for conscious reflection on how we live our lives as spiritual, earth-bound, physical, angelic and economic beings. Here we celebrate difference and honour the courage it takes to choose the path with heart and become love in action.

In essence, it’s about the asking of deep and silent questions and what those questions seed within us as individuals in service of a more beautiful world. Money may or may not be involved. There is no wrong way or right way of doing this. Only your way.

An enquiry for being love in action:

What do you know to be true about the beauty you make possible in the world?

What does it mean to have an enlightened relationship with money and the Earth?

Would you still want to do what you’re doing even if it’s destined to “fail” by societal standards or within the limited amount of years you have allotted to you?

Would you still do what you’re doing even if you don’t benefit directly?

What’s the intention behind your offerings and can you feel that intention alive, already complete and perfect within what you’re creating now?

What would you give to your community, to make the lives of those around you better, without payment, just because it’s needed and only you can give it?

The questions do not point to finite and absolute outcomes and answers will change as we do. Our responses may lead to awareness of internal conflict, contradiction and the weight of habit and security. They will also lead us to find each other and a new form of safety gleaned from trust in community. The questions are doorways and invitations to reveal the presence of heart in daily life and the small awakenings that come from that calling us to act, move, create, share and love because there's nothing else to do.

Love, Mirror
people are hungry
This is not the age of information. This is not th...

This is not the age of information.

This is not the age of information.

Forget the news, and the radio, and the blurred screen.

This is the time of loaves and fishes.

People are hungry and one good word is bread for a thousand.

Loaves and Fishes by David Whyte

the dream of money + happiness
We know money’s not the most important thing in ...

We know money’s not the most important thing in the world. We know it can’t buy us love or happiness yet that’s not how most of us live our lives. Almost every single relationship we have is monetised apart from our relationship with families and friends. If it weren't for money, many of our relationships would cease to exist.

And many of us sense just under the surface, this is behind the isolation and loneliness we experience. Without doubt it's behind much of the stress and busyness we face daily.

The first time I lived in Asia I had an awakening. I understood what it meant to be a privileged white woman, to be rich in material wealth, comfort and choice. I got on a visceral level, the reality of 80% of the earth’s population living on less that $2 a day. Shoved in my face was the impact of inequality and poverty, low-life expectancy and healthcare only for the affluent.

And I felt guilt and shame that I was one of the "lucky" ones.

Yet the local people I met who welcomed me into their homes were the happiest people I’d ever met in my life. There were homes where children were dying of dengue fever, permanently disfigured people because they couldn’t afford medical care. People with no electricity. People with dirt floors.

Yet they were the happiest people I’d ever met and they had nothing.

They were happy because they had each other. They were happy because they were together. Their peace and security came from that. They survived because of their dependence on each soul's generosity and willingness to share.

I came back home to Australia and could no longer believe in the dream. I no longer believed I would happy if I was successful in my work and had all things I wanted and dreamed of. No longer believe that my level of physical comfort and ability to make free choices independent of another could dictate the level of peace and love in my life.

The connection between you and I does that.

Happiness comes from our ability to trust each other, to no longer see ourselves as separate and isolated beings. Happiness comes from community, in each other’s presence, simple connection and bonds that connect us through time. It comes from our ability to show up, be vulnerable and to ask for help. To put our trust in each other and not in money, to see ourselves beyond the economic measures of value and worth we’ve been taught to believe in and to ask the question, what else is possible?

Will you join me?

Love, Mirror * photo: me with the kids of Mablad, Panay, Philippines early 2014.
trust the action that calls
Being love in action asks us to trust. That we hav...

Being love in action asks us to trust.

That we have a role here even if we don’t know what it is or get only vague and fleeting glimpses of certainty.

That intuition is enough.

That physical needs will continue to be provided for as they always have been before this moment. That emotion, sensitivity, excruciating pain, grief, darkness, shadow, doubt and perceived lack of the small self are also here to be loved.

That little things matter, little things make a difference and little things are perhaps the most important things we could ever do and do well.

That there is a divine thread and purpose running through the fabric of life not made to be spoken or understood.

That we are an integral and imperative part of the new story but we ourselves may not be the beneficiaries of the action we take.

That there is nothing we need do to be more worthy, worthiness is not granted to us by how deserving we are or how much action we take, worthiness is not here to earned.

That our contribution is already perfect.

And that we are not alone.

Love, Mirror
failure, origins + the birth of authenticity
I’ve struggled with being in this world enormous...

I’ve struggled with being in this world enormously. For the majority of my life I’ve looked around and seen nothing but insanity and ignorance. For many years I’ve opted out, run away, lost myself in substances and lived on top of mountains searching for conscious community and enlightenment – some attempt to find a place where I feel OK about myself and OK with being in a world that seems focused on money, achievement, what’s in it for me and on doing, doing, doing… All this while mixed up in the ultimate search for Self, my sweet soul and purpose…

I’ve fuddled my way through business somewhat reluctantly initially, working as a sub-contractor in the wellness industry and on my own from clinics, retreats, health centres, markets, meditation halls, hotels and homes. I’ve loved my job. I’ve refined my skills over many years. I’ve invested time and money into a decade of learning. I’ve helped people.

I’ve gotten the odd tip. I’ve traded my time for money. I’ve bartered. I’ve offered my services by donation. I know the elation of a job well done, of feedback so touching it’s brought tears to my eyes. I know the joy of a referral and the satisfaction of a fully booked week.

I also know the crushing weight of failure, worthlessness, putting all my energy into something and seeing nothing come back. I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed, out of place, uncertain, helpless, desperate and crippled by doubt. I know what it’s like to have my entire sense of fragile self-worth dependent on the ability to make money and be “successful”. I know what it’s like to never have “enough” and angry that I’m in this position in the first place – I didn’t ask to be here.

Not anymore though.

In 2010, I walked away from my first business. It had "failed" spectacularly and I was in a very dark place. Despite my daily meditation and hard earned stillness of mind, extraordinary level of awareness, good karma, purification rituals, devotional prayer, angels, guides, gurus and healers… and despite my quest for ever higher levels of consciousness and Truth, I was deeply depressed.

I had started my own business in health and wellness and I was failing. I watched myself move from extraordinary peaks of elation when I had a “good” month to pits of despair when no matter how hard I worked, how much expert advice I paid for and diligently applied, no matter how many hours I put in, I still wasn’t making any money. I tried everything, read every book, attended every seminar and educated myself madly. I found myself obsessed with work, comparing myself with others and always coming up lacking. I was neglecting my man, neglecting my body and neglecting my Self in almost every possible way. I was hard, shut down, cynical, divorced from my senses and seeing only the external world. I knew this wasn’t who I really was but I couldn’t seem to turn it off. I had no time to honour the unseen, no sense of reverence for the mystery and magic of life and no connection with what was natural and authentic to me. Every day was filled with trying and effort to be something I was not, to be “successful”, to be something.

But then something changed. I started to open and hold myself more gently despite my “failures”. I began to form a relationship with myself as someone who was far more than what she was DOING in the world, something beyond goals and achievements, validation and recognition. Lightness and laughter began to bubble up from within and the knowledge of the impermanence of all things returned. I realised that if I couldn’t come from the heart and my own truth to be “successful” in the world, maybe I didn’t want to be “successful” at all. I had peace and perspective and finally a beautiful sense of surrender. I had come home to myself.

It was time to step back and take a support role. Time to stop being the centre of attention, to let go of my leadership dream and learn what it really takes to come from a place of humility and love while creating financial enoughness. I wasn’t even sure if it was possible – to run a business from the heart without compromising in ANY way?? Surely, I had to at least look the part – put on a collared shirt, bra and makeup and use all the “right” words… Surely I had to play the game just a little to be “successful” in the big bad world out there…?

Nonetheless, I picked up my wounded pride, put on my pyjama pants and went to work. I took a deep breath and let go. I took another one. I approached the owners of two yoga studios (one in Brisbane, one in Melbourne) and offered my services for their marketing, copywriting, tech support, website design, administration and systems development. I wanted to serve them with the skills I had amassed so they could focus on what they really loved doing in their businesses. I did up a contract and named a price. They said “yes”.

The results I got for them were clear. Before my eyes I watched tiny pieces of action bring in outcomes that transformed their experience of sharing their gifts. I honed their marketing messages, developing low-cost and easily maintainable marketing strategies that worked, designed their campaigns, doubled and tripled the sizes of their focused databases and doubled and tripled their incomes. Working with the owners, I created buzz, momentum and financial flow in their businesses – I created tribes and communities around them that loved what they were doing and wanted more.

I did all this coming purely from my heart – checking in constantly that I was using results-focused methods with integrity and authenticity, methods that empowered the clients, the wider community and supported the owners to open and flow with their own hearts. I was blessed to work with them; blessed to have such an intimate relationship with their dreams and blessed to finally understand, with complete clarity exactly how to use energy and love to create a successful business from the heart.

Thank you for being here. It's a wild path we're walking together.

Love Mirror August 2012

*Image: promotional shot from my corporate health speaking days 2009.

**In 2012, I "officially" launched Business From The Heart, authentic marketing for yoga teachers and healers.  It continues to support me financially and be a nourishing journey of business as spiritual practice. This new space of Being Love In Action is emerging with no idea what it wants to become yet... there's just the practice of patience, being in the not-knowing and becoming still enough to listen.

need = desperation
It’s not OK to say "I need your money". That's a...

It’s not OK to say "I need your money". That's a little too honest. It's not OK to say I need you unless you and I are lovers, parents, employers or governments. It doesn’t feel good to receive that kind of need. There’s a desperation in it and we detest desperation in all it’s forms. It makes skin crawl, noses wrinkle and bodies shy away. We take a wide berth around desperation when we come across it lying on the sidewalk. We perceive it as weak, the ultimate of crimes in western culture.

Until we are comfortable with our own need, we cannot be comfortable with another’s and will hold some kind of judgement. We’ll hold ourselves apart, look down upon and reject.

But it’s true. I need you. I need community. I need clients. I need money.

Until I can say that with no shame, no guilt, no fear, no hint that to need you makes me somehow less, it will feel dark and sticky.

I need you.

Until I can feel that as simple truth, like the fact this body needs air to survive, you won’t feel the love in it, the beauty in our mutual necessity, the potential contained in this shared human experience.

I need you.

Until I can rest in that and believe that maybe you need me too.

Maybe you need me as much as I need you.

Maybe we're the same in that.

Love, Mirror
remembering quiet again
Remembering quiet again, the embodied kind you can...

Remembering quiet again, the embodied kind you can rest in. The type of stillness that asks for and needs nothing. It arises in available and uncomplicated moments replete with appreciation.

Mind doesn’t know how to do this thing called “Life”. Or “Work”. Or "Business". Or “Marriage”. Or “Family”. Or “Death”. It doesn’t have the answers anymore.

The story of it’s own supremacy has become see-through.

Now, mind is able to bow it’s head a little and take one. Single. Step. Backward to allow something else to speak.

It is learning, beginning to recognise it cannot approach the vast task of creativity directly. Instead it shies away, hides in the shadows of inadequacy, doubt and the physical tremblings of terror. It’s not up to the job and may never be ready regardless of how much preparation is dictated.

There’s other work for mind to do perhaps but in purity of expression beyond agenda, goals or gain, mind is destined to fail and fail again.

Tenderness sneaks up sometimes, a teary nostalgia for the way things used to be. The certainty that this is how the world works, this is what’s required, this is who I am and this is why I’m here. There’s a strange, vacant yearning for the comfort contained in security, an emptiness that doesn’t know what to do with itself. A pining for the time when answers were a 5 step process away guaranteeing iridescent results. It misses the heady excitement, the thrills, the ecstasy of personal ownership, pride and righteous achievement.

Mind doesn’t want to hear this. It watches as old parts, familiar parts, pre-loved and well-oiled parts and sticky habits of controlled self-determination fall into disrepair. It watches itself grow rusty with misuse and doesn’t like it. The obviousness of it’s own demise blatant and crude. It offends sensibilities.

The stone walls are crumbling. What remains and is there anything worth salvaging? What stories are worthy enough to be recycled and re-purposed anew?

What do the ancestors whisper in the gaps between words spoken only to fill silence?

Mind wonders what would it be to live without any story at all. To exist solely in the not-knowing, making a soft and wide bed within the awkward discomfort and periodic shivers of fear for the future.

Making no decisions. Saying yes to everything. Being breathed. Bending our knee to reality.

To be empty, filled by giving. To be love in action.

Love, Mirror
blogging challenge anyone?
Do you ever feel like a gentle kick up the bum is ...

Do you ever feel like a gentle kick up the bum is exactly what’s needed to get moving on something you really want to create in the world? I’m having one of those moments. The train wreck of my life this year has generated some apathy, some avoidance, a decrease in confidence and um… er… what was I talking about again...?

O yes, FOCUS! That seems to have become rather hazy also with things like writing and being present online regularly fading in the background.

If any of this is sounding familiar, come join me in a 14 day blogging challenge! Begins this full moon, Monday 28th September

The challenge: Every day for 14 days, write and publish a blog post (aim for around 400 - 600 words. Longer if you like! Don’t have a blog yet? No worries, use facebook notes.). Then send that blog post’s link to me and I’ll collate everyone’s contribution and email them out to our group of 14 Day Bloggers (been scratching my head all day to come up with a sexier name but alas, the creative well is dry. Perhaps at the end of the challenge?).

It's not about perfection or becoming Ernest Hemingway’s, it’s just about holding each other in a space of kindness and support and taking small steps to find and strengthen your unique voice. 

The process: No facebook group or big, consuming conversations. Just daily life, you writing and one email a day to keep us focused and on track. During this time, send through any questions you’ve got about authentic marketing of your blog and writing and I’ll give everything I can to answer it in a brief video response that will be sent out in the following day’s email so we all benefit. At the end of that 14 days, we’ll check in and see if anyone wants to keep going for another 7 days. Accountability and focus in small, loving chunks of time.

The cost: Offered in the spirit of the gift. Suggested donation $30 (Please note if you are in a place of genuine financial hardship and cannot afford the suggested donation amount, you are still welcome to participate. This work is supported by the generosity of others.)

Sound good? Then drop me a line here with a “Yes please! I’m in.” Also send through any initial questions you might have about blogging and let me know if your creative soul can come up with a sexier name than "14 Day Bloggers" to call ourselves :-P


Love, Mirror

practicing directness
Inhale. I need money. I don’t need all the money...


I need money.

I don’t need all the money in the world. Not all of it. I don’t need to accumulate it, store it, invest it or make it grow. Perhaps another does but not me. I don’t need money to buy things I want but don’t need. I can grow food, get around via kindness of strangers and do without. I don’t need money to own land or purchase large cars or designer clothing. I don’t need money to go on retreats or sign up for education programs (sure it would be nice, there’s some incredible things happening in the world, but I don’t need it. Not really.).

I don’t need your money if you have so little that to give it would cause pain and suffering. I don’t need all your money. Perhaps I don’t even need money from you personally, perhaps it will come from someone else, another inspired soul who sees value in this work and feels connected to these words and writings. Someone who's blessed enough to have a little extra.

I need money to provide this work. And I need money to provide a simple, pared back life of enoughness for this physical form.

I need you.

Underneath a lifetime of bland inadequacies and the need for validation, something simpler is emerging. I need you to see me. That’s it. To see me. I don’t need you to know me, like me or be interested in who I am (if those things happen it would be nice but I don’t need it. I’m not dependent on it.). I don’t need you to resonate with my personality or agree with the things I say. I don’t need you to fix or heal me. I don’t need you to put me on a pedestal or worship me as teacher or guru. I don’t need you to understand, get, engage, listen, approve of or accept me. I don’t need your interest or positive regard (again, it would be nice but it’s not a prerequisite for us to relate or share a tear and good belly laugh together).

In minute proportions, I am learning how to not need me to like you.

I need you to see me. And if you don’t, that’s OK. That’s all part of it too. We have only a finite amount of energy and we may slip through each other’s cracks on any given day. If you look through me or fail to respond to a smile, that’s OK, I’ve been there too.

I don’t need you to love me. Perhaps you already do and don’t know it yet.

I need community.

To remind me a more beautiful world is not only possible, it's happening now. To keep me honest, to see the self reflected and to know what family is. I need community to give focus, meaning and higher purpose to contribute to, something much, much bigger than me. To acknowledge and affirm this path is a difficult one, to quiet the “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” that get loud.

I need community to sanction fear and tell me I’m not alone in feeling it, that you feel it too and with tenderness and great respect, not allow that fear to come between doing what’s right and necessary.

I don’t need community to validate earth-loving ways, musical taste or non-conformist points of view. I don’t need community to protect or shelter me from the challenges of life, go to battle for me, tear down the world or attack the evil corporations to make ourselves feel better about being different. I don’t need community to feed or provide for me or tell me I’m OK. I can do that myself (sometimes).

I’m not even sure I need community to want me. Or to want what I most want to give.

I need community to show me what humility and service mean and to entice the heart from those self-focused, contracted, anxiety-filled, narrow spaces it slips into.

Over and over, I need community to show me what trust is and how vulnerability is a synonym for freedom and innocence.

Exhale. Love, Mirror
practical intuition in business
When my first business failed spectacularly 4 year...

When my first business failed spectacularly 4 years ago something fundamental awakened that has never gone back to sleep - a commitment to be in business from a place of love, patience and trust in the infinite. This awakening has been an ongoing dance with intuition ever since, some days it’s grounded, tangible, connected and visceral, other days it’s more of a concept, intuition feels distant, the noisy mind is a strong, clenched fist.

Next Tuesday, I’m blessed to be having a conversation with an amazing woman and teacher of intuition on many of the unanswered questions and challenges that arise when approaching money, marketing and action in an intuitive way. Grace Bubeck’s clarity and presence is a gift and her insight and gentle wisdom has touched me powerfully in the time we’ve known each other.

In this class on practical intuition in business, we'll look at:

- How to tell the difference between emotional fear + resistance Vs intuition - Practical ways to use intuition to shift overwhelm + stress - The embodied experience of intuition in the act of conscious creation - What’s really going on when intuition appears to lead us off track - The true work of intuition when the pressure’s on with money + results

Tuesday 1st September (Australia) 9.30 am - 11.00 am AEST Monday 31st August (North America) 7.30 pm - 9.00 pm EDT / 4.30 pm - 6.00 pm PDT Register online here

Offered in the spirit of the gift. Suggested donation $8 USD (if you cannot afford the suggested donation amount, you are welcome to attend. This work is supported by the generosity of others. Register above.)

The class will be recorded if you can’t make it but live attendance is highly recommended! There’ll be time for the personal sharing of your biggest challenge and questions around using intuition in your work. If you're not sure of your local time for the class, check here.

A bit about Grace... Grace Bubeck is an intuitive bodyworker, counselor and group facilitator with a doctorate of Philosophy and Master in Psychology. She’s taught intuition for many years and has had deep conversations with many of the world’s leading spiritual teachers in the Living From Love series She's also an artist who created the painting used in this post.

I’m thrilled about this upcoming conversation on practical intuition in business! A juicy topic to dive into...

Love, Mirror

P.S. If you’re called to go deeper, Grace has a 4 week course on Intuition For Heart-Based Businesses starting in the 2nd week of September. I’ll be there and you can register online and find out more information here.

the quiet ones in business
Guilt’s been a constant companion for a while no...

Guilt’s been a constant companion for a while now as I haven’t been doing much marketing (read: nothing). I’ve been quiet, withdrawn, introspective. Personal upheaval’s had external expression and regular communication not high on the to-do list in 2015. I’m even (egad) on an open-ended facebook sabbatical with only vague and minor intimations of going back (thank you to those who've reached out to say you've missed me! It's meant a LOT).

Today, in the midst of all this unkind flagellation and shoulding all over myself it occurred to me I haven’t exactly been idle during this time. There’s been new referrals and interviews with colleagues and entire days spent writing from the dream space. There’s been a handful of clients I’ve done everything I can to support from afar. There’s been new coaching customers and new projects birthed, new websites designed and quiet invitations to a few to taste new offerings.

Looking at it written down like this, I’ve actually been quite busy. I just haven’t told anyone about it. And in the world of internet marketing and facebook, being quiet is almost the same as being dead.

You may as well be invisible.

Is that the truth though or just an assumption our busy lives and ready access to information has created? An illusion that becomes easy to see through when we widen our vision and feel the heart and human experience connecting us.

The reality of building something beautiful and extraordinary is this: it’s not all launches and loud announcements, grand exclamations and blown up pronouncements of Important Things Our Clients Need To Know To Be Happy, Healthy, Successful And Abundant.

There’s the quiet work of business too.

The behind the scenes, the late nights, the emails and phone calls, the creative slog and preparation and private knee-shaking moments of fear we work so hard to overcome. There's the work itself plus the slow, the plodding, the regular, the doing without attachment, the one thing at a time, the thousand details seen to with tender patience, the mundane, the dull, the everyday, the humble and softly spoken.

For those of us who work one on one, there’s the laughter, grace and shared tears that no one but you and your client will ever know about. Those intimate moments of gratitude that remain long after the client leaves the room. And the silence in the thorough and rare gift of praise given freely but mostly well-recieved.

I wonder what depth in community is possible if we started looking past the voluminous, highly visible and easy to digest messages to see the quiet ones lingering (and there are many) just beyond the limelight who are holding up the world? What if we looked for the quiet moments in our own work and acknowledged them as wholly and rightfully necessary?

What would it take to became aware of those who work in the background, doing what’s there to be done without needing anyone to know. What would we sense if we looked for the ones who are too busy working at their craft to be seen or be on facebook. Those practitioners soundlessly supporting 30 clients a week who have outdated websites with garish colour schemes, ancient photos and old-fashioned branding. Are we willing to look beneath the bright impressions and polished appearances and the stories we tell about what they mean?

Perhaps we’re being asked to become quiet ourselves so we can recognise the real from the unreal and bring our spiritual practice deeper into the digital space for kinder, more complete communication that sparks evolution.

What if we looked for the quiet ones. What if we gave space to our own quiet moments.

They hold wisdom too.


Love, Mirror

How do you handle the quiet and introspective moments in your work? What wisdom have they revealed? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

overwhelm + the little bird
The little bird sat on a branch looking sad. Aroun...

The little bird sat on a branch looking sad. Around him lay the pieces of the nest he was trying to build, the scattered remains of what he wanted to create. Everywhere he looked he saw broken sticks, hard evidence pointing to his failure. A tear rolled down his face.

A passing red squirrel saw him and stopped to ask, “What’s wrong little bird? Why are you crying?”

The little bird said “I’m too overwhelmed. I can’t do it. There’s too much to do. I don’t know where to start.”

The squirrel said, “You can do it little one.”

“No I can’t.” the little bird said. “I’m failing. I shouldn’t be finding this such a problem. Why is it so hard for me? Look at all those other birds doing it. I’m just not good enough.”

“You can do this little one.” The squirrel said again, gently.

The little bird cried “But they’re not struggling! They don’t have a problem! There’s something wrong with me! I can’t do this!”

“Look, little bird. Look at them. Use your eyes.”

And the little bird looked. All he saw were finished nests, comfortable homes lined with soft moss and grasses ready to be used for the purpose they were created for. Some of the nests he saw were already finished and inhabited. He caught glimpses of Mama birds nesting in new homes… and in others, young chicks crying for food with their mouths wide open, alive and noisy.

“It’s too much, I can’t do it. They’re too far ahead of me, I’ll never be good enough to make these pieces stay together. I just can’t do it.” the little bird whispered with his head down.

And the squirrel said, “Look again little bird. What do you see? Use your mind. Look closely.”

And the little bird looked. Not at what was in the nest. Not at the finished designs or the way they came together but at the parts of each nest. He saw how every one was slightly different. This one had string woven in. This one used grandfather’s beard. There was a piece of blue plastic threaded in that one. The next used leaves to dramatic effect. No two patterns of weaving were the same. There were various sizes and shapes too, some more the traditional round shape, others oval or uneven and built up on one side. Some were built close to the main trunk of the trees in obvious nooks, centred, others were way out on the edge, resting on delicate limbs that looked too fine to hold the weight of a nest let alone the family that lived there. Some were empty, abandoned homes left to decay, fall and return to the earth in their own time.

The little bird said, “They’re all different.”

“And what else do you see?” the squirrel asked.

The little bird looked and he looked and after a time, he saw something new. “The trees still hold them all.” he said.

tribal shame + authentic marketing
If you read one thing today, make it this post by ...

If you read one thing today, make it this post by Elizabeth Gilbert on Tribal Shame.This is what each of us are facing in marketing our creative soul work. This is the underlying fear of what people will think of us if we’re seen in the world sharing our services with courage, grace and patience. This is what comes up when we sabotage our own success or dissolve into overwhelm. THIS. Tribal shame. Mind-blowingly profound.

the space between stories: a manifesto of us
More than 900 people have signed up for The Space ...

More than 900 people have signed up for The Space Between Stories, an online course with Charles Eisenstein and other visionaries to explore the not-knowing. I was blessed to be given a scholarship to participate and spent the afternoon today volunteering - reading the responses from 400 people to the questions asked upon registration for the course.

There’s been quite a few tears throughout this process (as usual). Moments of connection, nostalgia, child-like glee, bliss, recognition, sweet sadness, understanding, hope and a few laugh out loud moments at just how seriously we tend to take ourselves on the messy human ride we’re sharing.

The universality of the struggle, the questioning, the doubt, the pain of witnessing a dying earth, the fear and uncertainty and a coalescing into a shape more solid than previous moments have revealed a desire underneath it all: 

We’re here to know what it is to be proud of the life we choose to live and to be humbled by our bravery. To know that despite it all, we did the best we could and that we’re OK and will always be OK. To have known love and all the ways in which we are the same, to know how to trust a stranger, trust the process and trust ourselves whole-heartedly. We’re here to lean into the discomfort and no longer be afraid of vulnerability. 

Below is a summary of the themes and experiences currently bringing many of us to this enquiry of how do we live consciously on this planet. The questions invited us to speak to our close family, our friends and respected colleagues, to our future dying self, to the Earth and All That Is. I’ve taken some poetic license and paraphrased somewhat but have attempted to capture the essence and felt energetic inside my body as faithfully as I could as I read many of the profound and heart-opening responses.

The answers paint a story of our shared pain and wonderment at this more beautiful world we know is possible. The answers made me feel safe, held and stronger somehow as I hope it does you. They read like a manifesto of the world we’re calling in through our actions and the story we’re telling collectively right now.

Some of the responses that touched my heart the most, “I know our world is broken and I want to know what's inside of me that is contributing to that.” and “I refuse to hold my breath any longer. I refuse to rush. I refuse to hurt or create damage.” “It's time for me to wake up and discard that which I know is wrong and embrace the new real me. Not sure who that is... just going to get lost and find my way” and “(I want to) transcend the personal pain I'm in, so I can do and be what I came to this life to do and be.” 

To Gaia herself “I know you so intimately and well through prayer and meditation. In the silence I feel you through my body, you speak through my dreams, in my daily actions I often came from a point of view of how I could do least harm to you. Yet I have subtly held back from you, too preoccupied with my self. I now feel my understanding has changed into if I don’t do this for you I don't do it for myself either.“

And my personal favourite response (tee hee), “I signed up for this course because I am a flake and because this is what flakes do.” :-P

(If you recognise your comments in any of the above, come say hello!)


We’re here for community. We long to collaborate and co-create. We’ve experienced loneliness, isolation and a lack of support leading to doubt and anxiety. We’ve realised we need each other, we need connection, we need to be seen by those who share similar values and we need help from others to focus. We give each other hope, validation and reassurance to keep going. We’re here to not be alone in the asking of difficult questions.

We’re here for the love of learning and education, the gift of inspiration, new ideas, the absorption of life-changing information, to drink in stimulating views and to consciously, with purpose and presence, reflect on how we live our lives.

We feel the pain of separation, the impoverishment of disconnection and isolation in how we live and question if this is the way it’s meant to be. We’re tired of the bad news and negativity from the media, the pointless destruction of the planet, the terror, fear, injustices and inequality. At times we feel a sense of uselessness, futility and despair over the vast oceans of work needed to be done to make any difference at all. Many times we’ve felt the pain of failure, the loneliness of the pioneer and wayforger and being ahead of our times. We’re here to transcend lifetimes of cultural wounding and practice compassion for self and others.

We’re here to embrace new tools and new language to speak to the shift required. We’re here to give up the fight, the pushing against, the need to dominate and control and judge the supposed ignorance of others. We’ve been shut down by other’s criticisms in the past from choices made to embrace paths outside the norm. Or we’ve offended or evoked anger in others by speaking our views. We’ve felt the heavy fatigue of stories and structures alive in our families that tell us we have to earn the right to exist, be deserving, conform and prove value to some external authority. We’re here to know beyond doubt we are not hapless victims or refugees escaping from a cold, cruel world destined to misunderstand, abuse and take advantage of sensitive and soft hearts. We’re here to know how to communicate to our loved ones who may not agree with our values without getting on the soapbox or forming hard armours of protection and defence. We’re here to practice compassion for self and others.

We’re here via the journey of healing from life-changing illness, chronic health issues and recovery from total physical collapse. We’re here to practice self-empowerment, self-responsibility and self-forgiveness. To be awake and aware and walk the path of an evolved human being.

We’re here for right relationship with the Earth and land beneath our feet. To learn how to listen to the Mother, to honour Her and all beings, animal and plant life that reside here. We want to leave this place in a better condition than in which we found it, slow down, get off the treadmill and no longer contribute to exploitation. We’re here to live in harmony with natural rhythms and cycles of creation and be worthy protectors and custodians who know what it is to care well for all we’ve been entrusted with.

We’re here to taste oneness and know we are inseparable cells of the Earth's body, a single heart beating, interconnected, interdependent and whole. We’re here to bow down, sink to our knees, ask for grace and mercy as we whisper, “I’m sorry for what we have done to you, Mother. I love you. Please forgive us.” and finally, the only words remaining to fall out in open-mouthed wonder “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” and “How can we ever repay your generosity and patience?” 

We’re here to form a connection with our selves that cannot be threatened, to live in alignment with personal truth, to honour intuition, listen to the inner voice of gut feelings and be who we are on the inside. We’re here to have the courage to act in ways that are congruent with our close-held values even if it means looking crazy or being judged by others. We’re here to stop living from guilt and for other’s expectations and to finally give up worrying about what people think. We’re here to live authentically and dance to the beat of our own hearts.

We are here because of a calling to serve something bigger, to act on a vision, give back, contribute in a positive way, share our gifts, be midwives for change, guiding lights for others and to make a difference in the world. We’ve got a fire in the belly and we’re up for the thrill of a challenge well taken. We’re here to participate fully in life and take our place here as social and planetary activists, advocates for change, creators of beauty, artists of the soul, teachers and healers.

Some of us come from the corporate world, leaving well paid, secure but unsatisfactory jobs that caused emptiness and unhappiness in our lives. In current careers, we’re noticing things aren't working the way they used to, the prescribed medications and standard treatments for the depressions and maladies of life aren’t helping anymore. We’re questioning the value of what we do and how we choose to spend our time. We are redefining what it means to be “successful” because the current definition of “success” no longer fits. We no longer fit.

We feel lost, stuck in old and unsustainable ways of living and being and looking for direction and purpose, some higher vision to devote ourselves to that feels right and real and necessary. There’s desire for integration on every level as we transition into what’s coming. We’re here to be in the not-knowing and to be OK with fear and uncertainty.

We’re building and growing conscious businesses based on service, community, generosity, reciprocity, sustainability and trust. We’re building a more conscious relationship with money itself, actively working in alternative economies and untangling lifetimes of unquestioned beliefs around what it means to give and receive and the interpretation of value, worth, exchange, equality, obligation, debt, survival, gratitude and the gift. We’re exploring the tension between doing work we love and doing work that pays, looking directly at the starving artist archetype and finding powerful and personal ways to keep going that resonate and feel peaceful.

We’re here for our children and to become better parents, to show them a more enlightened way of living to model than what’s been taught us. We’re here to feel supported in the parenting and schooling choices we make the world would tell us are incorrect yet our hearts know are the only way to do this.

We’re here to embrace duality and the tension between doing and being, human and spirit, masculine and feminine, light and dark. From time to time we fall back into old paradigm thinking of the self at the centre of it all, cut off from the whole and fall back into destructive habits of mind and behaviour to cope. We’re finding ways to be with paradox, ways to be with the conflicts and contradictions surrounding us as we try to live yogic wisdom in a western world. We’re finding new levels of acceptance and embodied wisdom as we do this, new ways to love reality.

We’re here to use our time remaining in the most valuable way possible and to know it’s never too late to begin. We’re feeling a sense of urgency because of age and entering the final stages of life. We want to know what it is to live fully and die well and leave behind a legacy of love, connection and meaning.

We long to go beyond individual ego, to find more joy and lightness, spiritual connection with the void and reconnection with the freedom and innocence we are. We want to know what it is to trust life and each other, feel pure again and revel in our creative nature, be held by something bigger, strap on our angel wings, be guided and directed and know we too, are being breathed and moved through.

We’re here because we’re in the space between stories and we don’t have any answers.


Sometimes I think it would  be easier to live a life that conforms more to societal norms but the more I learn how to listen, feel and see my reflection everywhere, the more I taste oneness and connection, I see another life, a better life is an illusion. I only think those on the other side have it easier because they’ve got more money, fancier cars and houses or more apparent choices and freedoms. We all struggle in our own way. There is no life better or worse than the one we’re leading right now.

To put it another way, from the words of one still very-much-in-the-closet-singer-songwriter (er… me):

We’re in this together,  no way out it’s happening whether or not we can see it or believe the One great plan to make us lead.

    Love, Mirror
karma yogini in… cambodia!
Exciting news just in. This year, I’m heading to...

Exciting news just in. This year, I’m heading to Cambodia! Another trip of service, to give hands and heart to something far bigger than my small self. To find a way of being that feels more real and immediate than the safety and comfort of my immediate surrounds. To be broken open once again and loved awake.

I have this tiny dream, to spend one month every year in a third world country giving all I can. Last year, it was 4 months in the Philippines with permaculture aid work after the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda. This year it’s Cambodia with a beautiful organisation called Wide Open Wings dedicated to supporting education in a country still recovering from horrors I can’t even imagine and a genocide that left 90% of all school teachers dead.

The more I see of poverty in the world, the more I understand there are no simple solutions. The problems are so complex, so multilayered, so seemingly impossible that to my cynical mind it can seem pointless to even try to help. Arrogant even. But the fact remains, we are the wealthy ones. We are the ones with access to information and resources to create better lives for ourselves and for our families. We are the lucky ones.

And $50 or $100 is not a lot of money here. Nothing really. But over there, it can go a long way. Send a family to school for an entire year. Pay for medical treatments that would leave someone permanently disfigured. Save a life. Make a difference.

Last year, people just like you in this amazing community raised a total of $6339.00 for the cause and the trip and I am slowly (very slowly) working up the courage to ask for help once again. To give what money you can in support of me and Wide Open Wings. 

I was blown away by how vulnerable it felt to ask for money so directly. I mean, don’t I have to give you something in return? Every day I was confronted with story after story of my impudence and worthiness. Every day my heart broke open again to have been given so much by so many people. Every day I wondered how I could ever repay this gift.

The campaign will be launching soon and any amount you can give would be incredible. And if you have nothing to spare right now, any help you can offer in sharing the message with your friends, your family and community would be greatly appreciated.

With love and gratitude,

transformation by the task we least want to do
To be transformed by our work is a practice of rec...

To be transformed by our work is a practice of receptivity. A softening into the moment in which the task and “I” both appear simultaneously. A breathing into presence of what needs to be done now without attachment. A curiosity.

Here I am task I least want to do. Here I am conversation in which I know boundaries will be pressed. Here I am phone call, awkward email, spreadsheet of income and expenses.

Show me.

I’ll do my best to be still and patient. I’l do my best to listen. You’ll tell me precisely what to do in practical and direct terms. I’ll show up for you as completely as I am able and you’ll wait, with infinite patience through all manner of clever distraction, excuses and procrastinations for me to approach.

Can I be present to the task I least want to do in such a way that there’s an opening, a questioning of what else is possible? What if I took this dread, annoyance, frustration, boredom or resentment and simply showed up for it in a way that felt open instead of resistant?

What if I wasn’t so busy believing I had to feel like doing this thing in order for it to be done?

We can be healed by our reluctance. There’s opportunity here to understand the nature of ego and attachment. Suffering and freedom.

Do I believe that or do I just want to keep choosing to avoid the task I least want to do that nonetheless, has to be done? Am I pushing it away, judging it unworthy of my time, attention and labour? And if this job is unworthy of my own time, attention and labour, what makes me think it is worthy of another’s time, attention and labour? Is some vague part of me desperately hoping to be emancipated, rescued from the need to do this horrid thing?

I am not a victim of you, dear job I least want to do.

We are equal partners in co-creation.

You exist to serve some vital part of my life and my business. The need for you to be done would not be here if it weren’t for me.

We have a deal yes? Let’s shake hands and do this thing together. You are welcome here.

Because always, no matter how wealthy I become or how many employees and outsourcers I hire there will be tasks I don't want to do, conversations I would rather not have, difficult situations every part of me wants to run and hide from.

The mind may think the answer lies in getting someone else to do this job or removing the need for it altogether but inevitably another will appear in the not too distant future. Another job we don’t want to do, another task we perceive as sucking our life-force energy and wasting our precious time.

When we open to what is before us, no holds barred, give up all resentment that this job even needs to be done in the first place, something new appears. A clean energy to do the thing we least want to do, some fresh ability that propels us forward to completion.

That process itself is a mystery (perhaps even a miracle?) and all I need to know is how open am I to being transformed by this task. How open am I to it becoming my teacher?

This annoying, frustrating, stupid, boring, pointless, meaningless, overwhelming, confusing, ridiculous and endless task will show me everything if I let it.

Action purifies.

Maybe doing this job, the task I least want to do will turn me into the person I am becoming.

  Love, Mirror
a love poem to business from spirit
Dearest baby creation, Empty me of all preconcepti...

Dearest baby creation,

Empty me of all preconception. 

Feed me and clothe me. Shelter me with your boundaries. Let me lean against your container. Expand with me to rupture walls of resistance formed aeons ago. 

Do with me what you will. What the stars decree.

I watch, with infinite patience and kind eyes as you stretch one delicate limb out at a time.

Tender, agile limbs tasting new moments and opening to what sweet morsel of experience is laid before you via perfect drops of conversation and synchronistic movement away and movement toward.

A hundred thousand things aligned to make this moment possible. To birth you and me.

I often wonder what people think, watching this dance unfold the cup falling endlessly in slow-motion from the table to perhaps shatter on tiles splintering in all directions. Or to bounce, some freak occurrence.

There is no plan, only the gift of your grace. Some would say this is wrong, some would say it is small, ineffectual, wasting potential. Some may even hint at droplets of apathy regarding ultimate purpose, dreams, vision, goals and 5 step models.

But you call strongly, and directly to hold you with an open hand and have beginner’s mind always.

To listen in silence so I can hear what you want to become.

Some say size does matter, if the game’s not limitless expansion and growth for growth’s sake then there’s nothing here. It’s a hobby of small fish in a big sea.

And we all know what happens to small fish in a big sea. They are not long for this world.

But I’m quite sure I no longer care.

Here in this space, quality matters more than quantity. This is my art.

I am not here to compromise, settle for momentary fleeting achievement and award. Nor move constantly from one desire to the next. I am not here for another’s definition of success.

I want to find something clean, unburdened by dogma and concept and yes, I’ve read that book too.

I am here to know the face of the other as my own and feel your torso warm against my cheek.

Hands awakened.

I know when to rest. Not always but I am learning.

This path I’m on could be any yet here it is. Show me the baited juicy traps of mind, the silver cords around my lion heart that trap the ability

To receive.

Let me get the joke so hilarity bubbles up, up, over and spills making me tipsy friends with sea creatures, winged ones, men, women and children I’ve yet to meet.

Allow me to sustain you, bring you warm meals and tuck you into bed at night, whispering in your ear,

“You’re OK. It’s OK. It will be OK.”

And “I love you.”

One thing I know, this is meaningless. All we create will turn to dust.

There is no meaning here except for what we make.

  Love, Mirror


the gift economy: is it working?
“Is it working?” is the oft unspoken question ...

“Is it working?” is the oft unspoken question behind the eyes of the curious in the gift economy. Is this radical and non-conformist movement to redefine our relationship with money and each other, the earth and community actually working?

A client and I were chatting the other day about a cafe in Melbourne that fed folks by donation with the energy of “pay it forward” to benefit another. It recently had to close it’s doors and she was speaking of her sadness that this occurred, that the dream wasn’t supported by the many folks who utilised the cafe’s services and low-cost meals. How so many people could take advantage of the gift and not pay the suggested amount of $12 per meal. How the average amount given was only $2.97 per plate of food.

This is an undercurrent of the gift economy, the worst fear that our gifts won’t be valued in the world and people will abuse them if they can and the whole thing will wind up in the big ol’ fail bucket. People are too stingy and cheap, too out for themselves, too what’s in it for me me me me me me me me. Folks are struggling too much financially to be able to give or to even believe in the beauty of the vision behind the gift economy. We’re too suspicious, too jaded, too used to being manipulated. We’re too afraid, too cut off from each other, too isolated to get even the vaguest sense of what community means let alone understand what it takes to create it. We’ve all been ripped off too many times in the past. We’ve all been taken advantage of so there’s no space to believe in the goodness of human nature anymore because if given the half the chance, we will always take what we can for as little as possible.

There is only money and money talks louder than anything else. There is only the safety of how money defines our relationship to one another in society and the apparent security it creates.

For sure, that’s one way of looking at the situation.

I see something else. Something below the surface level, standard definition of “success”. How did this experience enrich the lives of those who ate at the cafe? How did this business transform the owners and their families and what good came from that journey? What is only possible now in the world because of their experience of failure? What fleeting moments of profound recognition occurred in a customer’s mind who watched as he/she reached into their wallet and bypassed the $20 bill to choose the $5 note? What happened in their hearts when they knowingly gave as little as they could but were still recieved with gratitude and respect anyway? What new self-awareness did that spark? What people in genuine financial need found support and safety and sustenance there? What tiny seeds did the idea of the gift economy plant in the minds and hearts of all those who walked through the door or heard about the cafe?

These things cannot be measured. Nor can they be valued in money. They’re beyond price and will never be known or even fully understood by any of us. Perhaps we’re not meant to understand, measure or evaluate them.

When I try to answer the question “Is it working?” with my mind (and my mind’s been asking that a LOT lately) it all starts to feel rather futile and hopeless. I get fixated on the numbers and results and then attach meaning to those numbers and results. My soul sinks into confusion.

The act of asking “Is it working” is itself a symptom of the mind that created this world of separation, quantification, structure and mind’s domination.

“Is it working?” is the ego’s attempt to control what cannot be controlled: the future.

Seeking to assess the outcomes of a gift freely given also changes the gift for what I choose to give is literally beyond measure. I will never know the impact my work has in your life. I cannot say if this has value for you, these words, this coaching session, this conversation, this gathering, this moment of connection. It is not up to me what is received from my work. It’s immeasurable.

When we try to capture the gift in terms of measurement, comparison and analysis we are destined to impact the quality of the gift itself. Can you put a price on the sun? Or a great work of art? Or a life-changing practice? Or the birth of a child? Or love?

When we view the gift economy through standard lenses of justification and rational thought we invariably end up feeling disappointed and empty.

The mind cannot define the indefinable. “Is it working?” is the wrong question.

All I can do in answer is tell you of my struggle and the doubts that assail me. The sheer amount of self-love, validation and gentleness it takes to keep showing up to the one person before me and not correlate the time and energy I put into refining my craft, writing, preparing and doing the work with the results that come back.

And how always (thus far anyway), the heart finds a soft place to land and the energy to keep on going, keep giving, keep receiving what’s here to be received and affirming my commitment to exploring the gift economy.

All I can do in answer is to share with you my life situation, what it looks like, how I survive, tell you where I shop, what it costs me to live and what makes the roof over my head possible. Tell you the numbers in my bank account and speak of how I relate to money in a way that allows me to celebrate life and feel abundant and humbled by the gifts I’ve been given so freely.

Then I leave it to you to decide whether or not it’s working. And you may judge the way I live as “not working”. The numbers and measurements given may mean something different to you than they do to me.

All I can do is answer with another question, the better, more pertinent and potent question, “How does it feel?”

Are my relationships more real and immediate? Is there more gratitude in my daily life? Do I feel connected to the people around me in deeper and more beautiful ways than I ever have before? Do I feel free?

Yes, yes , yes and yes.

It’s working. And I love it.

All I know is I’m still here, laughing, crying, feeling, doing, working, breathing, dancing and flailing about on this human journey we’re sharing. Just like I always have been.

Only now, I’m asking, giving and receiving in a thousand different ways that have less to do with calculations of value and worth and more to do with those indefinable moments of peace, happiness, trust and love that are just as real, if not more so than anything else we could ever seek to measure.

  Love, Mirror
the paradox of authentic marketing
There was a time when I felt uncomfortable about a...

There was a time when I felt uncomfortable about all marketing. I resented billboards and the energy they stole from me. I shut my eyes each time I drove past the golden arches. I couldn’t stand trashy celebrity magazines (or magazines of any kind filled with advertising), avoided all popular radio, stopped watching television when I was 14 and then promptly proceeded to look down at those who got their information from the TV on a daily basis.

In a sense I was pushing against what I arrogantly perceived as injustice and ignorance and small mediocre lives lived in quiet desperation by making radical, left of field choices that put me so far outside the mainstream I could no longer connect with my family or most of the people I met. I didn’t want to be brainwashed and be just another mindless drone working for the Australian dream of owning my own home and squeezing out 2.4 children. It just didn’t do it for me.

I was telling a story of separation and my own superiority.

And underneath that, I was telling a story of inadequacy. There was something wrong with me. I was lacking in some vital ingredient. Missing a piece of the puzzle that would allow me to go out, get a job, save money and actually believe in the values those around me seemed so unshakeably sure of.

At a certain point, those stories stopped serving me. They’re deep rooted of course, tricky tentacles that make their way to the surface upon occasion via tightly wrapped pockets of self-doubt. And I’m working on them. The more I work on them, the more stories there are to see. Good stories. Bad stories. Stories of joy and bliss and freedom and expansion. Stories of pain, war, abuse and neglect. Stories of excitement and newness. Stories of love and fear. Stories of past and future. The story of what it means to have a body and the story of what this body apparently needs.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the stories we tell. They create our current reality. All we’re doing is living out the stories of our lives: the beginnings, middles and endings, the adventures, romances, thrillers, dramas, new age philosophies, spiritual truths and tragicomedies of life.

That’s all. Just living out our stories.

On another, perhaps higher realm we are beyond all story, all concepts, all language, all definition of Self, meaning, body, sex, purpose and spirit.

And we can tell that story too.

But it doesn’t give us much to do here on earth, maybe in some ashram somewhere contemplating our navels in silence but here in the city, in the western world…. in the land where “stuff” must be done in order to live, work, play, make money, make love, make music, make art, grow a family, grow a business, grow food, grow relationships, build community and more… this is the realm of personal and societal stories. This is where we share humanity.

And isn’t that what we’re trying to do in authentic marketing as yoga teachers and healers? Share our humanity? Connect real needs with services that can help bring more light and love into a person’s life?

We’re finding the place where our two stories meet. Yours of having this particular problem that you’ve tried this way or that way to solve and mine of having this particular skill set, training and experience with that problem. Yours of seeking a solution, mine of having lived through that very same issue and of finding something that works.

What’s the story stopping you from speaking about your work to people you’ve just met? What’s the story stopping you from giving someone a business card or picking up the phone or inviting an interested soul to join your mailing list? What’s the story you’re telling about the economy, money and technology? What’s the story you’re believing about your skills and your worth and the value of your services in another’s life? What’s the story you’re telling about marketing you engage in yourself or see out there on the internet and around you as you go about daily life?

The ability to be authentic in marketing all comes down to the stories we tell and if our current stories aren’t working for us, we have to find other ones. Stories that celebrate innocence, that create child-like excitement, passion that radiates and open and honest sharing. Stories that allow us to listen to feedback without defence or reaction. Stories that honour our own wisdom and insights. Stories that reflect oneness and a deep trust of each other and this human journey.

What is the story that allows you to be love in action in this perfectly imperfect neck of the woods? What is the story that will help you grow your business in this world as it is now, not as you would like it to be?

If I don’t look deeper, underneath the surface of what appears to be a society in which I don’t belong and am poorly equipped to deal with, if I don’t find another story I’ll most likely wind up huddled in the corner of some heavily padded institution, rocking and drooling unintelligibly. Then, I’m no use to anyone. I’m not shining my light at all or contributing anything to the planet. A hapless victim of my own (questionable) intelligence.

I sometimes find myself judging other people’s stories. Telling a story about their stories. Perhaps I find them dull, unentertaining, simplistic or lacking depth. Perhaps I find the majority of marketing used in the world slimy, shallow, ignorant, loud, inauthentic and based on fear and the very conscious manipulation of some rather clever psychology.

Then I ask myself what would Love do? And I find that Love is OK with my stories of judgement. I am (after all) human and it’s OK if I judge others’ stories and marketing methods as manipulative and shallow and ignorant. It’s OK to judge.

As long as I don’t believe it.

As long as I don’t forget I’m only ever seeing a small part of the story from one perspective.

As long as that story isn’t stopping me from being the love I am or taking action in my business.

There are no absolutes here in this plane. Everything’s true and equally, none of it is true. There is just the story that serves love in the moment. And that story could change at any time catapulting us into a new story invisible from within the current tale we're telling. Are we open to our stories of marketing and business changing?

  Love, Mirror
gratitude means less in pixels
It seems pretty clear that most of us in this spac...

It seems pretty clear that most of us in this space struggle to receive. We’re much more comfortable giving of our time and energy then taking it from others. We know receptivity changes from moment to moment. At times, we’re wide open infinite, other times there’s a questioning of the right to exist, not knowing our entitlement.

A lot of writing’s been gushing forth from the celestial muse over recent weeks and there’s been a ton of gorgeous, inspiring and celebratory expressions of thanks coming back. And I’ve been watching my mind busily discounting it. Not receiving it. Not truly valuing it or believing it because it’s on facebook or via email. I’ve been skimming over words, firing off quick replies of gratitude and moving on to the next ten thousand things.

I’ve been watching my mind devaluing words and devaluing the energy behind those words because of the medium of communication through which it is offered.

There’s been this apparent hierarchy of connection shared between human beings that’s been the measure of value received from any interaction when I am busy. Here it is from highest to lowest: 1) face to face 2) telephone/skype 3) personal handwritten note/card/letter 4) text message 5) email 6) facebook.

It’s quite funny seeing it written out this plainly. I’m almost embarrassed. The boxes mind seeks to put things in to know how to respond appropriately and how much time to dedicate to that person, that response and that exchange.

There’s an element of logic and necessity in this filing system. It’s highly efficient and it gets the job done. It helps us to discern utility and use the limitations of time and energy to our advantage. We can also work out all sorts of fancy and intelligent systems and pie-charts to prioritise, leverage and interact productively in our business from the information this yields.

But are we merely fancy and intelligent systems? Are we just another job to get done? Is that what we mean to each other and how best to relate online? Is relating online that way truly working for us expanded beings and sensitive souls?

Emphatically no.

We are so much more than that. We are community. We are family and friends. We are neighbours. We are each others clients. We are students. We are teachers. Star beings. Earth guardians. Seekers. We share humanity.

So I’m taking my number 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s and 6s and reshuffling the whole questionable. dodgy carton of categories. Chucking it all in the air, lighting a match and blowing it up regardless of how busy I think I am.

The next time someone gives me feedback, gratitude and love via pixels on a screen I’m going to pause. Breathe it in. Take a moment to welcome the sacred.

I’m going to value it. Acknowledge and feel in my body every possible aspect of this person’s gift to me.

They read it. They were interested in what I had to say. They took the time to comment. More often than not giving consideration and depth to their words. They had to stop something they were doing in order to connect personally. The conversation had value to them and they proved it by engaging.

In the pixelated world we prove our value to each other by our desire and willingness to engage. We prove our value to each other by leaving our busy lives, even if just for a moment to say “Thank you.”

Behind every dot on the screen is a real, live human heart. There is substance and sweetness.

Can I feel that? Feel the life making your heart beat right now - the same life that’s in me? That place where there is only Love recognising the presence of Love, reflecting it back instantly.

Can I go way down, down deep under the surface of the noise, volume, pace, trashy sales stuff, clickbait, brilliant articles, videos and things I want to learn, boredom, distraction, annoyance, 57 emails in my inbox and the weight of the ten thousand things where it seems like everyone, including me has an agenda?

Yes. I can do that. I want to do that. To honour quality over quantity despite just about every business coach out there speaking primarily to the numbers game we’re all supposed to be playing.

Then I can feel it. Your heart and my heart.

Receive your gratitude and know I am worthy of it.

  Love, Mirror
cancellations from the universe
A conversation with a friend recently led to a pud...

A conversation with a friend recently led to a puddle of perspective on the internal energies of cancellation. We were sharing our observances of an unprecedented spate of cancellations in our businesses and wondering what it was all about. Wave after wave of last minute clients who could no longer make appointments, people cancelling in advance leaving large spaces in calendars, folks who’ve booked and don’t show up, customers pulling out because of weather forecasts and just generally, a lot of mad scrambling to make things work on majorly reduced resources and money and a majorly reduced vibe of engagement and interest.

Plus a lot of deep-soul-searching and depressing circular questioning.

We discussed what it was like to watch our minds come up with answer after answer as to why this was happening, why people were cancelling. It’s the Aquarius supermoon.... mercury retrograde... folks are overwhelmed... they’re too busy... there’s something else on that weekend competing for attention... it’s just the wrong the time of year... the market is saturated... it’s the location... the parking... the venue... its the bad weather... it’s... blah blah etc etc.

Then tuned to just above inaudible levels in the background... this must be my fault... I’m doing something wrong... people aren’t getting any value from my time and services... people don’t want what I have to give... my marketing isn’t good enough... I’m not good enough... I’m failing... this isn’t working... blah blah etc etc.

The fact is, it’s all of these and none of these. We will never know the real reason people cancel appointments or don’t show up for events they’ve registered for. We’re not meant to know.

And in our quest for embodied divinity, some small part of us knows that blaming and judging ourselves only adds to confusion, creating more self-doubt, anxiety, frustration and powerlessness.

Asking why is an endless loop doomed to dissatisfaction and defeat. Getting lost in the beautiful mind trying desperately to find a way of controlling this from ever happening again. Getting lost in attempting to prevent future suffering by nailing down a definite answer so we can put it in a box, hammer shut the lid and feel safe again (preferably an answer that comes complete with 6 easy steps we can apply right now in our business and life to guarantee massive results and success!).

Asking “Why aren’t people coming?” is the wrong question.

It’s none of our business why people aren’t coming.

There’s nothing we could have done to prevent it. Not one single thing.

For whatever reason, it was a decision made by that person in their own best interests. They used their free will to make a choice to honour something else they deemed more important in the moment. This is exactly how it should be. It was right for them to cancel. It was right for them to not show up.

And it has nothing to do with us.

When I notice patterns of cancellations occurring in my business, I become really still and ask myself the following questions:

1.  Where am I not showing up in my own life? Where am I not showing up for myself?

2.  What is that I really want?

3.  and finally, am I going to stop doing what I love just because people aren’t showing up for it right now?

The first question is an invitation to reflect on each aspect of our experience as projection.

We look at the reality of clients cancelling and ask, where am I doing that exact same thing? For example, after my own recent wave of cancellations, I realised I’d been making appointments with myself to bush walk... to dance naked in my kitchen... to play guitar... to write songs... to catch up with friends and reconnect over long and delicious phone conversations... and I wasn’t showing up for any of those appointments. I’d been justifying cancelling things I love to do for myself and with friends in order to work, email, facebook, research, design, do the dishes, clean, be busy and do for others. There was an imbalance. Too much time spent focusing on the external and the iron fisted control of my great and sacred to-do list. I hadn’t been showing up to myself on an internal level. I was failing to set regular appointments and missing the appointments I did manage to make with myself. I was late often and demonstrating clearly I wasn’t committed to the relationship with myself. What’s even worse, I haven’t even bothered with a quick phone call or SMS to my higher self to apologise for not being able to make it!

I had been doing a “no-show” on my own heart and my external reality was reflecting that perfectly.

The second question is one we need to ask regularly to make sure we are living our own truths and haven’t just taken on a version of the truth we think we should want. Your life and your business is a work of art with you the artist, brush in hand. Are you too close to the canvas to see the bigger picture? And has your bigger picture changed since you last checked in with yourself and entered a conscious dreaming space? Do you still want what you wanted last month or last year? If I get honest with myself, I may be surprised at what I find. Is running a business still what I want to do? If it's a yes, then it's vital I embody the inevitability of cancellations in my business and welcome them in with an open and enquiring mind.

This naturally then becomes an acknowledgement of the kind of clients I most want to work with. I want clients who care enough about our relationship to let me know they can’t come. They don’t necessarily need to explain their reasons why they can’t make it - life is life after all and shit happens but a phone call of apology, a text message - something that lets me know they respect the connection between us. I also want to work with clients who understand their cancellation not only has an impact in my life but also affects my other clients. I want that kind of deep and valued relationship with every person I work with and sometimes it doesn’t happen and that’s OK too. That may mean quite simply, they’re not actually my client. I can then breathe, say a prayer of blessing and let them go knowing something more perfect will open next for both of us.

I also want my clients to make decisions in their own best interests always. I want clients who are empowered and self-responsible. I would never, ever want someone to put off their own needs to come to a session. How wonderful is that! Now I can celebrate their cancellation and give them full permission to do what they need to do for themselves and what’s most important to them. And get out of my own way long enough to not take it personally.

The final question takes us directly to the integrity of our intention and the real depth of our dreams. This can be confronting and challenging.

Will I stop doing what I love just because people aren’t showing up for it? If the answer is yes, then it’s up to me to make some changes pretty quickly because my happiness, freedom and joy are now on the line. Those of us here are a different breed of entrepreneur and as a general rule, money does not motivate us (if it did, we might perhaps have chosen a different profession...?). So if we find ourselves looking at our clients as dollar signs and stressing, it’s likely time to recalibrate and remind ourselves of the beauty of the reasons we stepped into business in the first place.

Deeper still... if people aren’t coming, does that mean I should step away and let go for a while or is my commitment to sharing my work stronger than that? Can I validate myself in this space or do I need others and the presence of money to prove that what I’m creating in the world is worthwhile? If the answer’s no, then I can rest in that clarity. There’s a sense of peace and all I need to do is figure out how to keep going, how to keep being available, how to juggle my finances and make do with less in order to continue providing for myself and my clients in the present moment. Gone is the big story of failure and helplessness. Gone. Welcome to a taste of our own glory and absolute freedom of choice. We are no longer victims of our clients not showing up. We are understanding partners in the co-creative journey of life who now have even more time to prepare for the works of art to come.

  There’s a million and one influences inside every second we’re alive. It’s time to stop doing a number on ourselves about our inability to control or understand those influences. It’s time to stop asking “Why?” and let go of needing to know the answers. It’s time to make an appointment with ourselves, show up for it and be on time. And if we miss that appointment for whatever reason, to be gentle, forgive ourselves and know this is the work of an entire lifetime.   Love, Mirror

What do you do when clients cancel or don't show up? What soothes your heart and re-inspires your energy? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

i am an activist (and i am afraid).
I'm feeling sad, silly and naive right now. Also a...


I'm feeling sad, silly and naive right now. Also afraid.

A recent article I wrote reached the biggest audience of any of my previous work on the gift economy and the feedback is coming in spades (Why You Should NOT Work In The Gift Economy originally published on Tad Hargrave's brilliant blog). One beautiful soul took the time to tell me that people are using my words as a proof of making the gift economy wrong and dismissing it. My heart sank to know it could be read that way - out of context and removed from the original audience of yoga teachers and healers new to business it was written for. Another couple of souls shared they disliked the title, they found it misleading and designed as click bait.

I had no idea my words could be interpreted that way. NO IDEA.

The all-knowing self can see that if I'm taking this personally, then clearly I've got some work to do - there's truth to that absolutely. It can also see perhaps this is a natural side effect of having a wider audience? Or of having a message that many feel so passionate about? It will polarise response. It will elicit strong opinions and maybe that's exactly what it's meant to do. After all, this was the strongest opinion piece I've ever written so why should I be surprised when the same energy of strong opinion and polarisation comes back?

I am though. Surprised. There's a sense of lost innocence. Embarrassment. Feeling tender and humbled. Misunderstood. Wiser to the ways of the world.

Part of me could take this as a message to stop, tone it down, be less inflammatory and opinionated, gentler, more fluffy. The me of yesteryear would have. Retreated to my cave in the hills for months to lick my wounds in silence before feeling brave enough to get back on the horse. Or moulded my self so completely to other's perceptions, I become this vague shape, an ephemeral, translucent figure with no opinions whatsoever just kind of... floating.

I'm not so sure anymore that me doing that would help - myself or anyone else for that matter. And I want to help. I want to be of service. I want to give in any way I can.

Perhaps this is the first minuscule step to raising my voice a notch above the gentle, dulcet tones I've spent so many years cultivating. So much energy invested in loving communication and not offending, not bothering, not agitating, not impacting, not saying what I really mean.

Maybe this is the moment I (quietly) declare what's here: I am an activist. One who doesn't condone violence and aggression but knows it may be unavoidable or even an appropriate response at times. One who's much more comfortable in non-physical, angelic realms and does her best to live in timeless communion with the divine but an activist nonetheless.

And you may not like me.

And even though I'm afraid of that (belly dropping, scared shitless in fact), I don't know what else to do right now.

I am clumsy, I am learning, I will make mistakes. I may even offend. And for that I'm am deeply sorry for it is not my intention.

But maybe that's how it has to be for now. My incomplete and unpolished edges rubbing against your incomplete and unpolished edges, watching our conditioned responses, observing fear and acknowledging uncertainty creating friction.

Then warmth. Then a few sparks. A small flame even.

Maybe the flame will feed the fire within. Maybe the fire will help us get to our feet and use every resource we have available, every cell in our body to love more, to make a difference in one tiny patch of earth, to change things in our lives we know are not for our benefit, to breathe into being the vision of beauty we want so badly to believe is possible underneath our layers of insulation. To take action. Even if the results of that action are never guaranteed. All we have to do is trust the process and let go into the fire.

Maybe the flames themselves will smooth our edges.

  Love, Mirror
how to build a business from a place of peace and inner alignment
Below is an interview with the very gorgeous Nata...


Below is an interview with the very gorgeous Natasha Senkovich for her podcast Adventures In Spirit and Entrepreneurship. I still feel tender in conversations like this - out of my depth and clumsy with those I consider more successful than I am.

It's like, do I have to right to be here? Does anyone really want to hear me speak about surrendering to the mystery, enoughness and the spiritual practice of business? Does me working in the gift economy disqualify me from conversations of entrepreneurship?

I don't know. What I do know is this path seems to be one of an ever-expanding ability to be with fear and discomfort. That just because I doubt doesn't mean I'm broken or doing it wrong. What I do know is this isn't about the small self anymore, it's not about me. It's about us, the collective, community and the more beautiful world we're creating together.

or click here to download the interview audio .mp3

A summary of excerpts and best suggestions from the interview by Natasha...

Best advice:

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to grow a business from a place of desperation.

When we have a sense of time and spaciousness, we will find a way that works for us to create a structure that brings us enough income doing what we love.

It’s about the inner alignment and what peace we can find now. Then we can take action from that place.

Best excerpts:

Ok, universe, ok, divine…if I am meant to be in business, than help me.  Maybe this is partly your place as well.  It’s not all about little me. I am fallible, I am human, and I have failed.  If I am meant to be here, show me the way.

It hasn’t left me ever since, this ability to play with the energies of life and not to take everything so personally.  To not believe that because things don’t seem to be working, that they are not working.

Building community around what we do, to because it is a marketing strategy, but because we have a real human need of connection, and because it combats our western condition of lifetimes of isolation and separation.

Natasha's reflections: My conversation with Mirror was so thought-provoking.  She is so right, we desperately need more connection and community here in the Western world, and yet we use our social media to market and sell.  Now, I do not think that there is anything wrong with conducting business and promoting yourself and your message via social media, but there is something missing in our culture and mindset.  Something that we are lacking and causing so many of us to be lonely and isolated.  I think that I will start reaching out more to old friends, and truly valuing the people in my life.  The kindness shown to me from my clients and from my neighbors at my local coffee shop, the love I feel from my family and friends….that is where the real treasure lies.

reflections on the gift economy: 6 months in
It’s been 6 months since I began offering my ser...

The first Conscious Business Circle in Brisbane, October 2014

It’s been 6 months since I began offering my services in the spirit of the gift and it’s been one non-stop ride. Heights of exhilaration, profound connections with Love, feeling like I’m being held so utterly I’m floating on marshmallow clouds of light, purity, trust and the witnessing of miracles occurring daily. There’s also been depths of fear melting marrow in my bones, paralysing self-doubt, contraction, mental wormholes that go nowhere, murky confoundment, frustration, panic, obsession, despair and helplessness.

And a sense of awe for the amount of continual, rabid and scintillating creativity needed to open and comprehend each experience on this path to walk it with integrity.  Every day, ways have to be found to be with the untangling of generations of programming around money, fear, the future, possession, time, enoughness, work, exchange, earning, approval, deserving, worth, value, ownership, structure and the universe of my own wavering clarity and emotional ups and downs.

To honour human relationships above all else and embody the gift.

During the last 6 months of working in the gift economy I have:

  • worked one one one with more clients than ever before
  • been given a car by a friend (!!!)
  • been given venues to run events and effortless support in promotion by those inspired
  • made public all my expenses, what it costs me to live and run my business
  • lived closer to the edge financially than I have in a very long time
  • connected with an amazing woman, Kathryn Dixon who also offers her work in the spirit of the gift and inspires me from afar
  • met Charles Eisenstein himself!!! (and yes, I’m slightly embarrassed to say I went more than a little rockstar ga-ga and literally threw myself at him. You can read more on my reflections of meeting him here)
  • learned to fall in love with my own cynicism and meet the world as it is without any story at all

I have not:

  • become enlightened or managed to solve all the problems on the planet
  • made more money than I ever have before
  • managed to stay unshakeable in my connection to the vision that drew me to the gift economy in the first place
  • felt infinitely fulfilled by every single client (most but not all)
  • figured out all the answers
  • been without fear

Instead, I am learning to speak less and love more, explain less and allow the gift to speak for itself.

I am learning to let go of control once gift the gift has been given and wait, with infinite patience for what will come back, whenever it returns and from whomever is the vessel.

I am learning to not let the presence or absence of a return gift define, wound or confuse me. To not let it be a reflection on the quality of my work and my soul’s utility. I am learning how to measure the “success” of a gift well given to just the right person at just the right time (and it’s not in dollars).

I am learning to acknowledge I am deeply, deeply human. Flawed and imperfect. And that I will fail sometimes. It has been my journey to love this as completely as I would a child learning a new skill.

I am learning to receive the abundance already here. To look someone in the eyes as they hand me money and truly open to the presence of Love standing before me, to honour everything it takes to give a gift: the life-force energy it represents, the time, the commitment, the trust, the mutual respect and willingness.

And to fall into relaxation again and again with the discovery always new: there is no right way or wrong way to do this. No right way to walk the path of working in the gift.

There is much gratitude for those who’ve watched my stumbling and stunted path unfold, everyone who’s given feedback, asked powerful and profound questions to deepen this enquiry. So much gratitude to everyone who’s had the courage to step into working with me in this way.

Your gift to me is priceless and cannot be measured. Thank you for your trust, your support and your love. We are pioneers creating a more beautiful world together.

  Love, Mirror
to build community and grow a tribe
(This piece appears in a deeper and more complete ...


(This piece appears in a deeper and more complete form on elephant journal here)

Building community is a common wisdom of teachers in the realm of heart-based, authentic marketing. But it’s the motivation behind the building of community, the purity of the underlying energetic that dictates how deep the journey will become and what lasting impact your work will have in individual lives.

The intention behind building community and growing a tribe around what we do is paramount. It asks us to enter into a higher level of communion with the sacred gift of life, each other and the earth we share. It asks us to honour relationship above all else and (I believe), is the next stage of evolution and the only permanent antidote that exists for lifetimes of isolation experienced in the west. In a nutshell, growing a tribe will save the planet.

Actively engaging in community is not meant to be easy (enter massive amounts of vulnerability, judgement, comparison, frustration and crippling bouts of inadequacy and self-doubt) but it's the easiest and most direct route to knowing your message, mastering the ability to speak clearly about what you do, understanding value and worth and celebrating uniqueness. It leaves nothing behind but gratitude and a deep knowing of the finite nature and beauty of this human existence (no matter how messy or scattered it may look from the outside at times).

Community polishes the soul and makes us cleaner channels of light for what's asking to be delivered via your heart and hands.

Building community in this way is a process of surrender. A mystery. You never know who will show up, who will join, who will be called to contribute or what new inspiration and seeds will spark. You never know what love will come and be made possible in the lives of every person your work touches.

This kind of community creates a fundamental shift in the way we give and feel our connection to all that Is. 

We build community not because it’s a method of growing a business or ensuring “success”. Not because it's a branding tactic or an easy way to filter those interested from those not. Not because it’s a means to meet and fulfil our own personal ends, goals and desires. Not because it creates a sure market for selling products and services in. And not because we’re told to as any kind of technique or marketing strategy.

We build community because it meets a real human need: connection.

We build community because showing up and being seen is spiritual practice. We build community because facing the crippling fear, anxiety, doubt, awkwardness and self-worth issues shoved in our faces when we do, transforms. We build community to learn once and for all, we have a right to exist despite not fitting into the heavy concrete moulding of mainstream canals. We build community to solidify and refine our body of work so we can create something that makes a real difference in the world. We build community to heal the core wounding of separation endemic to our culture. We build community to experience humility and what it means to bow down and release every idea we may have about what Love is. We build community to soften the ego enough to see the grace we take for granted each moment. We build community to be held by something Infinite and to know what it is to live in service. We build community because it teaches us compassion. Community allows us to know we are One.

And that’s why we’re here.

  Love, Mirror
one word.
This time between solstice, christmas and new year...

one-word-authentic-marketing-for-yogaThis time between solstice, christmas and new year feels sacred. There’s an opening. A pause between one ending and another beginning.

An invitation into the unknown with the question, what is being asked of me?

Intuitively a process has arisen over the past several years to be with one thing at a time, one word, one gentle focus for an entire year. There’s been words for me like “now” and “simplicity” and “give”.

One word to be with, sit with, journey with, create, laugh and love with. One word to bring form to the formless through the heartbeat.

One word to breathe in and breathe out in everything we do for an entire year.

Recently the little book One Word That Can Change Your Life landed in my lap and there it was, my intuitive process laid out step by step! How to find your one word, short stories of it’s impact and asking for guidance from source to confirm and reflect what your word is.

In meditation, in great silence and space, ask what do I need, what’s in my way and what needs to go? See what themes repeat and allow the heart to guide you deeper. Give time for your word to emerge. Wait. Dream into it. Offer a prayer. It will come.

The one word that speaks loudest will take you to your edge.

It is asking something new. Trepidation is natural on the path to embody energies we haven’t previously. Wait. The fear will soon change to courage and joy.

We can’t get this wrong.

Love, Mirror

(If you're inspired by the profound simplicity of this process, I'd LOVE to hear your one word for 2015! In the book, the authors talk about creating support circles - telling friends and family your word so they can easily remind us to make choices that honour it in all we do. Love this. My one word is "do" and yup, there's definitely some edge there! I'm much more comfy in non-physical realms! I need all the help I can get :-P )

alive in the gift: meeting charles eisenstein
It’s a Sunday summer afternoon in Byron Bay and ...


It’s a Sunday summer afternoon in Byron Bay and 12 of us sit on cushions around a low table. Lovers, dreamers and people of the heart gathering to meet a visionary master. The tin roof expanding and contracting with the sun. Rainbows bounce from hanging crystals, butterflies dancing, lush gardens, bright flowers, green vegetables, fruit trees and space. Love has been made on this land. Abundance is everywhere. We slurped fine Chinese tea from tiny cups and listened.

Today I sat with a man whose teachings changed my life. I cried. I gushed. I went a little rock star ga-ga and literally threw myself at him (apologies for any bruised ribs, Charles!). I clutched my dog-eared, broken-spined, highlighted copy of Sacred Economics awaiting an autograph.

Meeting Charles Eisenstein was a reality check for my pie-eyed visions of what working in the gift means and what it could look like. He speaks to our shared humanity firmly grounded in the stuff of life and the truth of the world as it is now. He does not teach people to work in the gift economy or tell folks to give away their houses and all their belongings to throw themselves on the mercy of the benevolent universe. There are no illusions here of what it will take to achieve the critical mass possible to tilt the balance of power from selfish survival to Oneness.

There is no fantasy in his teachings, just a vision of what could be and what may be possible in the more beautiful world we’re creating together. And a gentle invitation to let go of needing to know.

I told him how much his work had touched my life, opened it and blessed it with a profound newness that enabled me to keep going in business, to have faith and know it’s not all pointless when existential doubts threaten to suck me under.

“I wouldn’t be here if not for you. I would have quit long ago. Your work changed my life”, I said.

“Thank you.”

I put some money into his hand.

“I don’t want it,” he said.

A momentary shock. A beat. I watched thoughts flip flop. How could he not want it? Did I do something wrong or offend him by giving him money? Does Charles not need money too?

I pressed, tears in my eyes, “Please. I want to give. I wish I could give more. It’s not enough. It’s not enough for what you’ve given me.”

“I find it hard to receive.” he said.

We looked at each other. We waited together. A pause, a doorway opening into something sacred. A moment that felt holy and timeless. Beyond all measurement.

We waited. Words silent. No questions left needing to be asked.

Grace delivered. The gift. Whole, complete and perfect.

I walked away from this exchange transformed, floated the entire 4 hour drive home in fact. My heart softened and healed in some indefinable way. Clearer on the path than ever before.

The gift is more alive in the realisation that there’s nothing we need do to earn this. That’s the mind’s game. The play of the one who seeks to control how, when and what gifts are given and received.

It’s already done for we are born to give and we are made to receive.


Love, Mirror

A huge thank you to my beautiful friend, Yollana Shore of Soul Business for inviting me!

feeling like a fraud: doubt and shame in marketing
Three and half years of teaching authentic marketi...

feeling-like-a-fraudThree and half years of teaching authentic marketing for yoga teachers and healers has led me to one inexorable truth: we doubt. Regularly, sometimes constantly, occasionally cripplingly, we doubt. Ourselves, our actions, our decisions and our ability to make money doing what we love.

Doubt exists for many reasons but mostly it’s because our flow skews diagonally off from the main stream current. We may have spent a lifetime (perhaps many) making choices that stand in sharp contrast to the torrent of messages we receive about the way the world works, how things are, what success means and what’s truly important in life (i.e. security, the future, superannuation, insurance, religion, structure and order, vaccinations and vacations and owning a house with a white picket fence).

Our values are different, more internal, less practical. We’re motivated by feelings, insight, inspiration, creativity and love.

In essence, we’re all like this - big hearted, compassionate, innocent beings of light. It just doesn’t seem that way on the surface. Instead, we’re told daily we need to do more, be more, buy more, learn more, grow more, work more and have more.

So where does that lead us in a world that seems driven by different values, by achievement, money and material success?

To doubt.

Specifically, to doubt we know enough to actually help people through the sharing of our gifts.

This is the single most common belief I come across in my clients. We don’t know enough. We’re unqualified frauds. Inadequate, out of our depth, unskilled, uncertain, insecure, helpless and convinced that yet another workshop is the answer.

Underneath this dynamic is often a deep sense of shame about who we are. This can lead to either of the following opposing scenarios (sometimes both energetics are present simultaneously or a there’s a rapid swing from one behaviour to the other):

1. Hiding and withdrawing avoiding talking about what we do, resistance to marketing activities and taking consistent action, not making offers, coming up with excuses about why we’re not doing a particular thing, doing only what feels safe, nervousness, fear, worrying about what people will think if we put ourselves out there, feeling inferior or envious of others who appear to have it together... It is almost impossible to market our services and speak authentically from this place. 2. Big noting oneself speaking as if we have all the answers, boasting about our skills, degrees, diplomas, teachers and lofty spiritual experiences, becoming pushy or loud, almost bully-like about how amazing the work we do is, a sense of arrogance, criticising others, lying about how many years we’ve been dong a particular practice, losing sight of our customers as real people, making oneself superior or taking on a guru persona to reaffirm that clearly we really do know enough... This can result in marketing that feels egoic, money hungry, shallow and is all about me, me, me.

I’ve done both of these things in the past. Shame thrives in the dark and unseen places of mind.

So what do we do? Practice radical honesty. Resist the urge to hide or pretend that’s everything all right. Speak about and name those difficult places that influence us instead of carrying on regardless. Allow ourselves to be witnessed, to be seen, to shine light on the shadow. Ask for support from each other, from our community, our families, from our spiritual practice, our mentors and even from our clients.

This liberates an enormous amount of energy. The acknowledgement of our own imperfect humanity. We no longer need to be the Enlightened Healer or Yoga Teacher Who Knows All.

I role played with a beautiful client recently the following conversation in her experience of “not knowing enough”:

(Client walks in / on the telephone)

You: ... How can I help?

Client: You’ve been recommended to me by so and so as someone who may be able to help me. I’m having a hard time with (insert rare condition / entire medical history / major injury / phobia etc). I’ve tried this, this and that before and nothing’s worked. I’m feeling quite desperate but I really need some help with this problem.

You: You know I know very little about (that particular problem), I have no experience with it and haven't done formal training in it yet. But I do know that (yoga / your healing modality) will show you the wisdom of your body. It contains all the answers and I have absolute faith that if we show up in this space something new will come of it for you - a greater sense of clarity, ease and power. Would you like to come on this journey with me?...

Acknowledging the truth without getting lost in the story of what we think it means to “not know enough” (that we’re inadequate, under qualified etc. etc.).

Open. Direct. Clean. Real. Authentic.

And the best way to connect to the heart - both yours and your client’s.

One thing certain in the sea of doubt that threatens to consume from time to time is this: you would not be called to do this work if you did not belief in the integrity and power of your chosen modality. You would not be in this space if you didn’t have enough faith in the purity of your desire to help and your ability to contribute positively to the planet.

You would not have started a business if you did not know that you could make a real difference in the life of another human being.

There are easier routes. Working at a job for one or continuing in a career that doesn’t satisfy the soul yet pays the bills.

But you didn’t choose that way. You chose this way.

Do you need to know more than that?

  Love, Mirror
the great and sacred to do list
You breathed your way into the rainbow-coloured vo...

the-great-sacred-to-do-listYou breathed your way into the rainbow-coloured vortex of business because of an awakening. Through some universal alignment of the stars you were blessed enough to have an experience that proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that perfect love and perfect presence exist within. Your life was permanently changed for the good via certain experiences, practices and processes and now, there’s nothing to do except give this love and possibility back to others who may be going through the same stress, physical pain, limitations, darkness and fear in their own lives.

So you start to give as best you know how and realise pretty quickly on you don’t know enough to communicate the benefits of what you do effectively. You’re not sure how to put your direct experience of peace, freedom and bliss in grounded terms that people can relate to. You’re asked to niche yourself, do research, interviews, create marketing plans and budgets and understand your client’s problems and demographic. You’re asked to set goals and take large amounts of action consistently and regularly.

At first this is revelatory and profoundly enlightening. It transforms and empowers. Crystalline clarity emerges on exactly what we need to do to bring our gifts to the world and share it through our marketing. It’s heady, stimulating and thrilling. It’s so simple. All we have to do is create an action plan and start working through it step by step. All we have to do is sign up for this course, read that book, attend this seminar or do that coaching program. We just have to learn a bit more.

And so we start educating ourselves. We’re dedicated, committed, keen students of a path that many of us were unfamiliar with until now preferring instead more relaxed, open, fluffy and receptive ways of being.

And it works for a while. Things are happening. It’s exciting. Actions are creating results we can see, taste and touch. We’ve got long to do lists and crave the dopamine rush that flows when we cross things off. It’s addictive. After all, dominance of mind is something our culture has celebrated for thousands of years. The small and separate self, the ego, the thinking, doing, breathing individual striving to make a difference and contribute.

Then we start to get overwhelmed. And stressed. Or we notice our action isn’t satisfying us on a deeper level. Or we’re doing all the time but not much is happening in the external world in terms of income and clients. Or we become obsessed, anxious, pushing ever onwards. Or our spiritual practice falls to the wayside because we no longer have time to get on the mat and breathe.

So we do more. And more. Believing that achieving and getting results in business is the answer to our unhappiness. Forgetting what put us on this path in the first place was not a path of doing.

It was an inner experience of perfect peace, perfect presence and perfect freedom. An experience of mindlessness, thoughtlessness, painless, action-less being without a need to know or dictate the future.

This is the spiritual practice of conscious business. To show up every day, arrive at your action plan, that Great And Sacred To Do list with an open hand and lightness of being. To act and yet know in reality, there’s nothing that needs to be done for we are already whole and perfect.

In this way we live closer to that long ago miracle that opened and awakened the heart to the desire to give and be in service. In this way you are held and supported, no longer one lone individual striving to make something happen.

We live closer to the mystery of life, closer to the truth of existence. Closer to gratitude and celebration of the abundance that’s already here.

For we do not know where this is going or how things will turn out. Nor are we meant to.

We act because there’s work of great beauty to be done.


Love, Mirror

becoming comfortable in the not-knowing
Every day in my business I get to look at fear, eg...

Every day in my business I get to look at fear, ego and mind’s judgement. Every day I get to choose to be in the not-knowing, choose to be in the spaces between thought. To be fully present to what is. Alive. In this moment, now.

This is not how business is supposed to be. This is not how marketing is taught. It’s not a logical, linear 5 step process guaranteed to create a 6 figure income and an AMAZING business and life you love. This is not the one-sided radiant smiles, shallow and urgent messages and hand-picked stories of fantastic success designed to sell  you the key to your dreams in high-end programs and make you Buy Now! Buy Now! Buy Now!

Or it is… until you awaken to the possibility of something else and be blessed enough to cross the path of someone who agrees to honour the unseen and supports your view of a more beautiful world, until you find teachings that bring sub-conscious resistance to marketing and being seen into clear-eyed focus and names things for what they really are. Until you find community.

We’re drawn to this work because we can feel the impact unintegral marketing has on our soul. We can see what’s going on. We know what it’s like to be manipulated or pushed into something, ripped off or feel like a fraud, inadequate in a loud and blaring supermarket world that says we have to do it THIS WAY to make money and be happy. We vow to be more honest and real.

The tiny moment of recognition that a particular action is unintegral is an invitation into another way of being. Those intuitions and undercurrents are asking to be known, identified, spoken to directly and gently questioned or they will continue on subtle and gross levels to define us and drive us in our business and marketing.

For we are human and money is a powerful force that can pull us, almost inevitably from balance and away from the pure desire that put us on the path of service in the first place.

The seeking of money is not an unnecessary thing. It’s just that none of us stepped onto this path because of money. Rather we’re here because of our desire to help people. To contribute, to make a difference and to heal the Earth.

We’re here because our lives have been so deeply touched and transformed by love there’s nothing to do except give it back.

We do not know how this will turn out. We’re becoming comfortable in the not-knowing.

Supported by the breath of angels.

  Love, Mirror

What do you find inauthentic in marketing and how does it affect you? Have you ever noticed it creeping into your work? What brings you back to balance or helps you remain connected to the heart? I'd love to hear from you below!

supported by the breath of angels
Every day feels like falling. Supported by the bre...
Every day feels like falling. Supported by the breath of angels.
surrendering to the heart in business
The heart never takes. The heart never reaches out...

The heart never takes. The heart never reaches out and grabs. It receives by giving. But it can’t just receive by giving. It must receive by giving and then relaxing, knowing it will receive. - Guru Singh

Can one run a business from this place? From the not knowing, not holding, not controlling, not doing, not achieving, not striving, not making things happen…? 

Only the giving and receiving… pumping out, breathing in. 

Effortless. Deep relaxation.

When I go within Mind squirms. There’s much habit of attachment to outcome and linear progression. Mountain upon mountain of evidence proving determinism. Memories of ecstatic dreaming into what do I want my life to become? How do I want my life to look like? Choosing positivity. Embracing law of attraction. Cultivating layers of beautiful thought and magnetic emotion to open, flow and receive from a pure space utterly supported by the Universe. Living the Secret. Surely this path is one of accepting full responsibility for everything I create in my business and life?

Surely movement dictates results and I can decide each day to take action that determines whether or not I “fail” or “succeed”. 

For who am I if not a product of my achievements? Who am I if I haven’t earned the right to exist and be here? Who am I if not contributing to the lives of those around me through a visible representation of making the world a better place? Don’t my actions prove my worthiness and doesn’t the power of my conviction influence others to also stand up and make a difference? Isn’t that the path of ascension and flying on the bliss of conscious entrepreneurship and how it works here in third dimensional reality?

Isn’t it my birthright to choose to be a powerful creator of my own experience?

Underneath that… isn’t the accolade of a job well done, of much praise and glory mine for my accomplishments? Don’t I deserve that? I worked hard for this. For years. I did it alone. Faced the hardships. Sacrificed. Suffered. Went without. Did my spiritual practice. Haven’t eaten flesh in 10 years. Struggled with karma and past lives and some future vision of nirvana and worldly success to finally “make it”. I am responsible for the circumstances of my life.Me. I'm doing this. 

In control of it all. 

Like I can make my own heart beat. 

Underneath that… the pulse of life. The mystery. 

Where control is irrelevant. 

We are being breathed. Being moved. Part of a bigger picture beyond imagining. 

And it has to be this way. Because if it wasn’t beyond our comprehension, we would think we were in control of it all. 

Then we’d blame ourselves for not being able to fix our own pain and suffering or the pain and suffering of the planet. Or we'd blame ourselves for not being able to secure happiness through the accumulation of enough money, enough clients, enough time, enough yoga, enough recycling, enough positivity, enough equality, enough love. And then we’re not shining our light on anyone. We’re stuck, hiding.

It has to be this way so we can see we’re not in control.

There is only the heart giving, then relaxing, knowing it will receive.

  Love, Mirror
saving the last bee on earth
This morning a bee flew in through my open window....

This morning a bee flew in through my open window. I had thrown the doors wide to usher in a day of spring beauty and new warmth and this little one came in with it.

First I was annoyed. It was making much loud buzzing and distracting me from finer contemplations and writing.

At a certain point, the noise increased in volume and became urgent, frantic. The bee had flown into one of the many cobwebbed corners of my little home (I like to let them grow to ridiculous proportions to raise happy spider families that manage the midges, flies and mosquitoes who share the forest where I live).

No longer able to ignore the buzzing, I put down my pencil and went to investigate.

Wary of the sting, I grabbed a tissue to help extricate the bee thinking it would be easy – I’d pluck him softly from the web, release him and watch him fly happily out the window and continue upon my merry way, picking up my book where I had left off.

It was not to be.

The web was sticky and had wrapped itself around four of his six legs. I held him and watched as he struggled to free himself, the tangling getting worse, his legs sticking together in an even larger mess.

Slowly and with great care I began to remove clumps of web with my huge fingers. There were wispy grey threads adhered to his tiny body, wrapped many times around belly, his head, under the tail.

I succeeded fairly well, pleased I could perform such a sensitive operation with clumsy hands without removing one (or more) of his legs in the process.

Despite my labours, his movements were getting weaker. He had stopped buzzing and the silence was heavy. There was now only the occasional twitch of a leg or a shifting of furry body position. I continued to remove what web I could with no tweezers or microscope but still he lay dying. What if this was the last bee on earth? To what lengths would I go to save it?

Perhaps he would have freed himself by now if I’d left him alone. Perhaps my ministrations, no matter how tender, had shocked his system and quickened his death. I may have made things worse by attempting to help. My lazy housekeeping responsible for the demise of an innocent life.

I took the bee outside and placed his body gently down, green sunlight coming through the blade of grass shading him. Small. Delicate. Perfect.

I murmured a simple prayer and came back inside.

Is this what being human is about? Wanting to help but frozen due to primitive and insufficient tools. Noting our own inadequacies and powerlessness to do more in the face of another’s suffering, feeling as insignificant and helpless as the lives we hope to save. Doubting action, less than heroic motivation, questioning purpose and utility, losing ourselves in distinctions and details, believing in the supremacy of self-determination and control.

Forgetting to notice the beauty of what Is and how even we are part of the whole that led to this very moment. Small. Delicate. Perfect.

I’m sorry little bee I couldn’t do more.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

is authenticity authentic?
Considered a thought leader in marketing, Seth God...

is-authenticity-authentic-seth-godinConsidered a thought leader in marketing, Seth Godin has written many beautiful books and has a wild tale of blogging daily for more than 10 years. In a recent conversation with Matthew Sloane of Soulful Brand, he mentioned his response to an article of Seth’s, “Is Authenticity Authentic?” It’s a super quick read (go read it now!) and (surprise, surprise...) I had a response too.

Pondering authentic marketing brings much the same realisations as Seth’s: there is no true authenticity, nothing original left. It’s all been said before as Robert Smith sang.

Spiritual practice distances us from Mind to where we can actually see the torrential flow of thought, the river of voices, mountains of concepts, acres of barbed-wire boundaries, truck-loads of conditioned expectations that arise in each segment of time and any given situation. An endless loop on replay. 

It’s true. That’s how it works here on the human plane. The art is getting comfortable with that and still finding a way to make the journey unique.

Where Seth and I diverge is on the idea that consistency is more important than authenticity.

Consistency asks us to separate from the totality of who we are. It asks us to disconnect from the complex, interwoven matrix of our lives ignoring the impact of stars, moon, children, family, jobs, emotional tapestries, past relationships, past lives, workload, physical health, energy, wellbeing and more.

Consistency asks us to become robots, divorced from the human condition. It also continues to recreate the almost universal addiction to control we have and it’s grand-baby of illusion - if I take consistent action every day, I will achieve my goals. 

Not necessarily so.

Granted, we’ve got to take action (we are 3 dimensional beings after all). Granted, consistent action is better than no action but is it the only thing that matters? 

For yoga teachers and healers in spiritual marketing, the opposite is equally true - no action can lead to astonishing results and effortless flow of income and clients... magical synchronicities of wondrous proportions... profound experiences of faith and being so held by the Universe we become pure light... 

Many say those moments of receptivity to true abundance arise only in the absence of control. 

It’s not something we can make happen with our action, consistent or otherwise.

Sometimes consistent action is effective (yay!). Sometimes, despite all the consistent action in the Universe, we fail (not so great). What then? What if there’s no bigger picture or faith in Love to support us? We’re back in the game, isolated, striving for personal achievement and control. Cut off from the Earth and the beauty and chaos of the surrendered life. 

Alone with the distorted view of ourselves as being the only force impacting results in the world.

The other point Seth makes is it’s better to be consistent because authenticity cannot be measured.

He’s right. It’s 100% an internal, subjective experience. Only you know how authentic you are being in any moment.

Authenticity cannot be measured from the outside but results can, numbers can, clients can, dollars can.

As if numbers and measurements of action are the only things that matter. As if our lives are nothing more than definitions of “success” determined by society. As if one human life is more worthy than another because of what they can do.

Many times I’ve tried to live a consistent life. Alarms to get out of bed. Spreadsheets. Action lists. Business plans. Accountability partners. Strict consequences and self-discipline. These are all excellent, logical and powerful things to do yet I’ve failed at them repeatedly. Sigh.  I guess I’m just not meant for this world. Maybe I should go live in an ashram where someone else is responsible for the consistency of my actions and schedule? The fantasy persists in tiny seconds of self-doubt though - surely I would be happier if I could just be consistent, could force this body to submit and conform on a more regular basis? 

I’m not so sure anymore. I’m delicately liberating myself from these ideas. It’s a long process :-P

Now, there’s more celebration of the scattered, unfocused, driven by fickle waves of connection and inspiration, occasionally inactive (read: slothful) way of going about things. 

I play and create according to the moon. I make dates with others for deadlines. I’ll pull all-nighters to make said deadlines. I post on facebook only when moved by something far beyond. Email communication is irregular. Some days I don’t answer the phone. I take mental health breaks with no rhyme or reason apart from I just bloody well feel like it. I seek others out to give permission to stop when I’m stressed, stuck in believing more work and more action is the answer... 

And I get on my mat and breathe. Breathe.

Just because consistency can be measured doesn’t mean it’s better. Some people are naturally inclined toward routine. Some people are here to question the pertinence and relevance of any habitual behaviour whatsoever. There are night owls and morning people. Disciplinarians and rebels. Your heart and mine. The only question is, what world are we creating together? One that honours and welcomes all approaches as valid and necessary to the whole (including yours), whatever that may look like? Or one interested only in the superiority of measurable outcomes? Only in what things look like from the outside?

How extraordinary is it that we get to choose.

And in so choosing for ourselves, to taste authenticity.

How do you balance authentic action with consistency? What have you found works for you?

from abundance to enoughness
In the Philippines, the kids would sometimes come ...

In the Philippines, the kids would sometimes come into my tent to play. One little girl, her eyes wide as she stepped into my tiny orange 1.7m x 1m  hiking tent for the first time exclaimed, “OoooOOOoooo, you have so many things!” 

There was my 50L backpack in the corner, my sleeping mat, pillow, sheet, light blanket, a candle, matches, a few books, tissues, toiletry case, my essential oils and bandaids, pens, paper and probably some clothes strewn about. 

I thought I had enough. Just the right amount in fact. Everything I needed to be comfortable. 

She saw abundance. She saw more belongings than anyone she knew owned. She saw great wealth.

I used to teach how to create abundance doing what you love. I no longer believe abundance is the goal of business. Not sustainable and heart-based business anyway.

We can’t create more abundance. The Earth has already done that and it’s everywhere. Perfect, whole and complete as is. 

Abundance (and whether or not we have it) is not something we can control or make happen. It’s a state that arises naturally in the presence of love and gratitude.

It is pure. Sacred and holy. It comes from the Divine. Our only job is to notice it. To receive the abundance given, well… so abundantly to us.

Enoughness on the other hand is the human journey. Practical. Grounded in reality. Work. Play. Business. Family. The stuff of life. It's about needs: food, water, shelter, clothing, survival. Enoughness is the tale of the interconnectedness of all beings on this planet and how we choose exist in our current reality.

It's a practice that unhooks the mind from the pressure to be more, do more, learn more, have more, see more and grow more.

Enoughness asks, do we actually NEED more? Or do we already have enough? Not just enough things but enough experiences also? Is there a craving, a greed for more transformation, more growth and consciousness, more travel, more choice, more ecstasy, more freedom, more everything?

When we seek more, we no longer see the abundance that’s here. We’re cut off from the fact we already have enough to meet our needs.

I cannot teach abundance anymore for that is not my domain. 

Now I teach enoughness. And how to make enough money doing what you love.

For just like the abundance here now, given so freely to every person alive, we always have enough. Always. Even if it doesn't feel like it, we do.

And maybe… just maybe… we are enough too. Perfect, whole and complete exactly as we are. Even if we don't always feel like that either.

And then, like the little girl at the beginning of this story, if we could see all the things we think are enough for the gifts of abundance they really are.   Love, Mirror
online addict: angelic soul lost in internet land
I have come to realise, I am powerless against the...

I have come to realise, I am powerless against the endless flow of the internet. An addict helpless to curb reckless and harmful behaviour. An innocent babe, a victim of the age of machine drowning in efficiency and the urge to be more, see more, hear more, know more, earn more... and do more.

Everywhere I look lately I hear healers and teachers, evolved souls and spiritual beings speaking about the dangers of technology. They’re talking of a desire to be on facebook less (or not at all and delete accounts entirely). They’re talking about making other choices with their time and going back to old Nokia mobile phones. They’re talking about conscious decisions to be online less and create a life more real and grounded here in 3D reality, non-pixelated nowness. They’re talking about freedom.

(And oh the irony of sharing this on facebook or via email newsletter! But let’s shuffle along regardless in a hopefully enjoyable moment or two of distraction shall we?)

My four months in the Philippines was the longest period of time I’ve had offline in the last 5 years. And for the first time in my life, I met children (and adults) who had never seen a screen before - no television, no computers, no laptops, mobiles or smartphones.

Sounds like freedom to me. And I needed a wakeup call to remind me how far away I’d drifted from it.

Prior to the trip I was working up to 10 hours a day online. Not eating. Not exercising. No desire to have a social life. Avoiding phone calls and interaction with other real live human beings, Working with clients online over Skype or Zoom. Running facebook campaigns for my courses. Designing websites. Developing community. Answering 20 - 50 emails a day, writing, blogging, trying to move forward on a thousand things at the same time feeling crazy, stressed, busy busy busy and never getting anywhere.

Somehow, somewhere along the gobstopper, fluffy marshmallow path I managed to put “the internet’ into the same pot of “essential to life” ingredients like food, water and clean air. I forgot how easy meeting my needs really is without online noise. I forgot that a feeling of internal pressure is not my natural state. I began to wake up remembering my dreams again.

A computer with internet access has become anathema to free-range, creative play and thinking for me. It has an agenda attached. It wants something. A great snarly beast sitting quietly in the corner drooling over the life-force energy it knows I will feed it sooner or later, again and again, draining spirit to keep it alive.

Attachment to utility and purpose is sucking me dry. I’m a puppy in need of some training.

Since having this realisation I've put some rather drastic measures into place.

Last week I asked my man for some help at home - this was a desperate measure as all attempts to limit my own internet access had failed miserably. He logged into the modem software online and limited all my devices’s internet access to between 7 - 9 pm only each day. He has also deleted facebook and all browsers from my iPhone and blocked the ability to install apps. He laughed at me (with love) not understanding how I could feel so out of control with technology, how I could have so little discipline or why it was affecting me so much.

But he did it and since then my ability to focus and relax has increased 100%.

No more am I waking up thinking about work, about the weight of 57 unanswered emails sitting in my Action folder. No longer thinking about the constant, undying, overwhelming pressure of the 10 000 things I could be doing RIGHT NOW to grow my business and in fact I really should be doing them, all the experts say I’m a bit of a dolt for not doing them and they (apparently) have a boat-load more self-esteem and boundaries a million fold stronger than I do.


I have cooked a healthy meal every single day. I have baked a cake and muffins. And apple strudel. I made a very yummy turmeric and ginger honey bomb for us and as a gift to a friend, I made pickled galangal and lime and chili from the garden, I am fermenting my own coconut yoghurt. I have gone for walks, danced naked in my living room and made love with my man more times in the past week than in a prior standard month of internet obsessed life. I am tapping into the endless flow of my own creativity and it feels amazing.

cravings and withdrawal

But O… O O I can feel the pull! Greedy eyes gobbling his iPhone potential whenever we leave the house together… I grab it when he’s not looking to check facebook or how many more views my latest youtube video has gotten in the past like um hour… I sneakily hope he forgets to put his computer to sleep so I can get online when he’s not looking (it’s password protected). And I'm considering finding an old mobile non-smart phone to use so the ever-present allure of social media is not calling, enticing, seducing me every time I send a text message or pick up the phone when it rings… got to check…. got to check… got to check... Arrggh.


But thank god I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing this space and being willing to ask questions that matter for sensitive souls and expanded beings online. If you’re an addict like me, I hope this article has given some ideas or inspiration on how technology can help create structures if we’re not too good at doing that for ourselves. There are others out there feeling the same weight of pace, pressure and technology. We're not alone. And there is hope.

We may just need another 20 000 years to evolve to cope with all this noise, that's all.

What's your experience of internet dependency / facebook addiction? Seen anyone go through this? Got any tips to share?

permaculture aid in the philippines: homecoming
Hi everyone, Aaah. Deep breath and exhale... It’...


Hi everyone,

Aaah. Deep breath and exhale...

It’s been 6 weeks since I arrived home and I’m finally rebirthing my self back into the world. Bit messy perhaps. Covered in afterbirth. The placenta’s still coming out but I’m sleeping through the nights now. And I’m just about ready to start answering the telephone again when it rings and (gulp) taking the auto responder of my email.

This is a note of gratitude, celebration and summary.

There’s also 2 important questions for you later in this note and your response is invaluable to me.

Snapshots from life in the Philippines

  • Falling face first into the river, feeling brain cool down and come alive as body writhes in watery ecstasy and weightlessness and I very-nearly-almost-just-about feel cold.
  • The bald trisekel driver careening through the streets of San Jose pointing at me and yelling loudly to every person we pass, “I’ve got a beautiful passenger! I’ve got a beautiful passenger! Hey, are you single? Are you single?”
  • Realising that actually I’m a pretty good cook
  • Going from “Meh, the men here are a little small and delicate for me” to a month later thighs squirming from the physical beauty of EVERY person I look at - giggling and saying to my husband when I next saw him on skype, “Baby, you need to get a TAN!”
  • Watching the other volunteers break down in a matter of days, succumbing to major infections, tinea, mosquitoes and tummy troubles and one wise wit quipping - “they should call us the GANGrene Warriors!” as we roll around on the floor laughing ourselves silly
  • Witnessing the reality of environmental destruction - real, in my face, direct result, pollution, landslides, typhoons... Then, gratitude for the body of work of permaculture and permaculture aid, knowing the answers are here, there’s no mystery. The land teaches all. We can grow our way out of poverty in both developing and industrialised countries now. With a bit of hard work. And community. And love.
  • Trudging and slipping in rain and wet mud up to my knees through fields of rice paddies to say goodbye to 3 families - the sweetest images of mum, dad and children standing in their dark bamboo doorways waving at me, all of us crying together.
  • The first time a little girl took my hand when she was scared.
  • A moment later her sister took my other hand.

I will miss all these things and more: the interest in each other, the connection of relationships and extended family, the love and generosity in every pair of eyes, the instant politeness, the profound and simple pleasure of eating fruit picked straight from the tree, endless trips to the river with the kids, the deep relaxation, sleeping close to the Earth, feeling abundant with $25 in my pocket and family, family, family.

I will not miss this: the heat, the sweat, the baranguay fiestas, the heat, the sweat, the insanely loud techno music, the heat, the sweat, the heat, the sweat, the flies, the mosquitoes, the heat, the sweat, the heat etc.

Looking back at these words I wrote in February perhaps 3 weeks after my arrival:

I came here to be of service, to use my heart & hands & be of real help in the lives of others who are struggling. But I can't see the struggle. I look around & I see people getting on with it, doing what they need to do. Yes there's poverty here, yes there's jealousy & small minds & comparison & what can we get from these rich white people (just like home. And we ARE rich!). Yes, there's malnutrition from heavily processed cheap food & poor environmental & farming practices. Yes there’s unemployment, government corruption & cockfighting. But I can't see a problem. I don't think I can be of service here. In fact, I'm envious. The simplicity of life, the beautiful ready smiles, the honouring of family above all else, the willingness to give & share always no matter how little one has. No one ever goes hungry here despite the fact there is no welfare, no pensions, no support programs apart from insufficient emergency aid & many NGOs with big plans but little practical, lasting action. They are each other's back up plan.

Love is all that’s needed. And clean water.

And ear plugs :-P

I want to do this again. Every year. Spend one or two months in a third world country being of service, getting my hands dirty, going crazy with the heat and seeing love everywhere I look.

Two important questions for you:

  1. Do you feel like your financial gift to me has been useful, of benefit and helped to make a difference in the world? Has the gift you’ve given touched and inspired a part of your life?
  2. Would you support me again?

(Pondering Varanasi in January of next year volunteering with slum kids.. then Cambodia in 2016... somewhere in Africa 2017... What do you reckon? I’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback and suggestions!)

Life as normal & the gift economy...

The return to my usual life has been anything but and after seeing the beauty of the gift economy in action, of feeling the trust and absolute support that giving creates in community, I made the decision to move my business 100% into the gift economy. Scary. Experimental. Many deep breaths required. (Here’s a short video of the big news and each week, the plan is to record the journey - the reality of working in the gift economy.)

I am in awe of the gift of life I’ve been given so freely.

I want my life and work to be a celebration of that gift.

Who am I to be deserving of this beauty and magnificence? Who am I to live in such abundance and comfort? Who am I to feel eyes burning as tears of gratitude slip down my cheeks? Who am I to be so free?

And be loved so much?

No more words.

Just thank you.

permaculture aid in the philippines: april / may
Hi Everyone! (I must not mention the heat. I must ...

permaculture-aid-philippines-april-may-updateHi Everyone!

(I must not mention the heat. I must not mention the heat. I must not mention the heat. I must not mention the heat...)

OK. This might be a 2 cup of tea read...

Firstly, thank you for your ongoing support across the oceans - I have received some beautiful and inspiring notes of confirmation and love from many of you who supported this journey so generously - some have offered to send physical items and there have been several additional (and very welcome!) cash donations gifted to my bank account for the cause. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Ever since I've arrived I've been lost in some kind of dissolution of the self that hasn't quite yet reached the delightful stage. I'm emotionally very messy and all over the shop - ranging from the sweet bliss of not needing to know anything outside this present moment to pitiful valleys of self-doubt, extreme frustration, depression and heavy descent into my own peculiar brand of fuzzy, tongue-lolling, exhausted, self-pitying lethargy. I've been sick with the flu 3 times in 3 months. I cry pretty much every day.

We've been camping now for 10 weeks and 2 days and mostly I've been giving myself a hard time for how hard I'm finding it - feeling weak and like I need to "toughen up princess" (I must not mention the heat. I must not mention the heat). There are bugs. Lots of them. All the time. Everywhere. Humidity is intense. Intermittent showers moving into the wet season now is birthing some vicious mosquitoes and Dengue fever - the kids told me the other day about an 11 year old boy who died recently of this so slapping on citronella like mad, feeling sticky. The rain is creating mould on the inside of our tents and yes indeed folks, I have learned - it is better to have zipped one's tent than not to have zipped regardless of dark cloud presence in the sky. The rain comes so quickly (blessed relief!) then is gone leaving soaring temperatures (and if one is unfortunate enough not to have zipped, soggy mats, soggy pillows, soggy clothes, soggy books, soggy everything) in it's wake.

The sun sets differently here (must be because of how close to the equator we are). There is no prolonged period of gradual withdrawal like at home, with the light taking it's time to leave the earth. Just a hot ball dropping into the sea like a stone before my eyes, then dark. Then stars.

Until last week (Tuesday 29th April, 11.37 am precisely, a haloed day that will go down in history as one of the greatest ever.) we had no electricity or refrigeration. I was making the trip to the markets 3 times a week (30 minute walk early morning, then 10 minute trisikel/motorbike ride, then walking back with grocery laden bag of food that had to be eaten within a day or else it would go off - fruit barely ripe, sweet potato, jicama (my favourite), tomatoes, greens next to impossible to keep. Then buying fish to cook immediately from the fish dude who brings it (sometimes) twice a day on his motorbike to sell or making the hot trip to L___'s place to cook something in domestic heaven (an actually bench and kitchen sink! Clean utensils, plates and cups not covered in dust or rain-dirt or bugs! Not cooking or preparing food squatting with ants getting in everything!). Hard work. Full-time occupation.

L___ and her family have been a godsend to the project - not only has she donated the use of the land for the Field School but also gifted the local knowledge and intimacy with community issues and how things are done here, her huge heart and the time and willingness to help us make this happen. L___ has offered me a bed when conditions have been driving me batty and I need some physical support. She's given much love, many giggles (one memorable day I made my very first joke in the dialect about someone having a small penis - she laughed till she cried) and her home to support us in cooking for ourselves and the local builders.

L___ is 46 and the youngest child of 10. She spent 8 years caring for her parents until they both died in her arms in 2008. This is a common story here - often the youngest has the role of looking after the parents while the other children support that financially in whatever work they are doing elsewhere, often the youngest child sacrificing the opportunity to marry and have children of their own in order to do this. She has 2 university degrees (BSc and Nursing) and has lived in the UK with her sister working as a low-paid elderly care assistant. She misses her sisters enormously (one in the UK and two sisters in the US with their families) and travels 2 hours (one way) to San Jose so she can Skype with them and hear their news every week.

L___ helps us all the time with language translations to ensure full comprehension and has been instrumental in helping us handle other tricky relationships (chats with the Baranguay Capitan to ensure our water supply is not diverted, a local woman with some trauma and mental illness who was acting inappropriately on the school site and with the mother of one boy who everyone believes stole our drill). And expert financial negotiations she has undertaken on our behalf for food, tools and more to get local pricing (vs quadruple inflated white person pricing) - her gorgeous smile with a tilt of the head asking sweetly, "Is there any discount Ma'am? What is the price if I buy two?"

Constipating self-doubt aside, I've finally found my little area of influence, my "niche" so to speak. I'm the cook for the team (HA HA HA! What a bizarre world this is... I'm still in shock every time I make a meal and people actually eat it! And then say how grateful they are! HA HA HA!). That and hanging with the kids of course. Steve jokes about "Mirror's babysitting services" but seriously, the kids are easy, it's easy for me to find energy for them. They listen. They're interested. 5 of them follow me around everywhere. They climb trees and pick fruit for me to eat. They take me to the river and teach me the language and they don't mind repeating themselves. I joke the kids are the "Mablad Tourism Bureau".

This is all very different to what I had envisioned before arriving here. I thought I'd be working physically, doing more stuff. I tried a few times to do some work in the sun (digging holes and chopping fallen trees into useable firewood) and each time felt nauseous and wiped out for hours afterwards so I've managed to arrange my daily routines around more umm... shady pursuits :-P

I'm continually amazed at the ingenuity born of necessity here - nothing ever gets thrown out. Things just keep getting repaired and repaired and repaired again - the opposite to my western comforts, consumer leanings. To me, if something is broken, you try to fix it, discover that it's more expensive to get it fixed than to buy a new one so you throw the thing out and then go buy a new one. I've been thoroughly entertained with my recent internal process after my computer died last Thursday (a sad and stressful day... I think it's the LCD screen gone kaput.) What started off as a funky new-age metaphysical analogy for my reticence to engage in the pixelated world soon became an analysis of needs:


Thought 2: What's wrong with it? How can I fix it? Maybe if I turn it on and off again like 10 times it will magically fix itself. Ooo. It must be too hot. I know! I'll put it in the freezer and see if that works... I'll just google it to find out what's wrong. Might be something really simple.

Thought 3: FAAARK!!! I can't google it!! My computer's BLOODY BROKEN!!!! FAAAAARK!!

Thought 4: I'm sure it would be cheaper to get it fixed here than at home.

Thought 3: O phew. I'm glad I have my iPad mini with me. I can use that.

Thought 4: FAAAAAARK!!! I have several big documents designed and written for Green Warrior on my computer that I need to print out for the course in May!!!

Thought 5: How can I connect it to another screen to access those documents? Get them onto a USB key or email them?

Thought 6: Bloody idiot for not storing them in Google Drive as soon as I created them.

Thought 7: OK. Have secured a TV screen I can use. Need HDMI Mac converter plug thing.

Thought 8: I wonder how I can buy a new one when I get home? I love those MacBook Air 13" with retina display... How much are they? Ooooo about $1300 AUD. Mmmm...

And thus with Thought Number 8, the game began again in ernest - meeting my needs with money and making decisions based on money and allowing the pursuit of money to dominate my thinking.

Then I started contemplating, well what if I took that option of the table for good? (I mean maybe still hold out some bright spark fantasy in a tiny corner of the brain that some angelic soul will give me one or my parents will be feeling generous for my birthday (it's June 25th) or I'll win the lottery ha ha ha.) No really. What if I took that option completely off the table?

I can borrow my husbands computer (when he's not using it)... I can use a bluetooth keyboard with my iPad mini... I can book a computer at the local library... I can ask if anyone I know has a spare old, laptop to giveaway... I can change my life completely and create a livelihood not based on the internet... I can save the money and aim to buy one mid-next year... I could even (gulp) get off my high-horse and look at a $300 PC...

The point I'm making (I think) is there are always many options available that don't involve money. I am free to choose. And I can adjust my life and expectations accordingly. There is no trap in reality. I don't have to play the game of more, new, fast, sexy, convenient technology and convenient life.

But I think we need a wakeup, a shakeup every now and then. It's so much the norm in our society and over-stimulating environment that we forget it's possible to exist with only a tarpaulin over one's head, a dirt floor, no mattress or furniture and a open fire to grill on with foraged wood. 

Here, things aren't convenient. Tiny, inconsequential things take a LONG time. I often have to adjust my to-list from an ambitious 4 things to accomplish in one day to 1 job, one task only. There is walking and waiting... and waiting... and waiting involved in EVERY thing.

(These realisations aren't unique or profound. In fact, I'm pretty sure you've had them too or you wouldn't be reading these words right now. It's easy to forget though. Easy to sink into amnesia and take the abundance and freedom we have for granted. Easy to think this is the way it "should" be or this is the better way or that we HAVE to have these apparently essential things and rarely even ask ourselves what other options are there. Or to not realise we are sacrificing our precious time for convenience. At least it has been for me over the past year.)

The thing I've enjoyed most thus far (apart from the children) is the beauty of being in one place for an extended period of time and being open to whatever that place reveals in the moment. Complex relationships unfolding (with such large families, everyone is family here in some way and always there's the conversation between new people to figure out how exactly they're connected to each other). Also because of poverty, people don't tend to travel much unless they're young and going to work in Manila or Cebu. There is deep, ongoing history and stories in everyone's immediate surroundings. Lifetime relationships with neighbours. Very different to home.

And community. I am discovering much I can't even put into wispy thought-forms yet. I have craved this my entire life and understood it has to be based on real, genuine need of each other. In theory. To experience it is another thing altogether...

My western mind's conditioned value of independence, strength and solidarity has birthed separation.

And from there, loneliness and isolation.

And over-dependence on money to meet my needs (and all the stress, suffering, cruelty and insanity that money is responsible for on this planet).

Here (and in most developing countries) is the gift economy in action. Needs cannot be met by money (because there is no money to meet those needs). Seeing in my own direct experience the love and trust it takes for a neighbour to ask to borrow my cheese grater, then to send a child back with a plate of taro pancakes made with said cheese grater, I am understanding how it works. The natural sense of easy obligation that comes with any gift freely given. There's an amazing, effortless flow. I like it. I love it. I want to create this.

And I'm also getting a sense (as much as I can from here) of the courage and willingness to be vulnerable this will take in western society not naturally bent in this way because these needs cannot be pretend. They cannot be cultivated. They must be real.

I must be prepared to go without, to have less comfort in my physical existence, to have more "needs" so I can approach you, my neighbour, my friends for help (Can I borrow your computer? Your cheese grater? Use your internet connection? Mobile phone? How attached am I to these comforts and how necessary are they for me to "own"'?) Mmmm...

I hope this insight remains and never leaves me. This gift is the one I want to take home the most. And love too of course. How available am I to watch small and narrow thinking of fear of loss if I share... and give... and share.... and let go of ownership all together?


Accounting & such things...

Now that things are clearer and momentum is flowing at an amazing rate, I wanted to give you a detailed overview of what your donation has helped to achieve thus far:

  1. plane tickets, initial visa and accommodation in Manila in transit - $1500
  2. monthly visa extensions $300
  3. travel and cheap hotel accommodation within Antique for essential supplies (5 trips) $1000
  4. personal living / food expenses for 16 weeks @ $50/week - $600
  5. tent, sleeping mat, first-aid kit, travel essentials (purchased in Australia) $500
  6. bicycle (I bought it to get around and to go to the ocean when we were staying in town when I first arrived but it is now the single best present I have ever given! To see the pleasure 8 children get in riding the bike, racing the bike, sharing the bike, running after the bike, attempting to get 3 people on the bike at the same time and just generally loving the bike is ENORMOUS. It's red.) $100
  7. camp kitchen set up for volunteers (hose for water supply, plumbing fixtures, mat to sit on, cooking pots, gas stove, utensils, cups, plates, broom etc) On a side note, at first it felt strange, wrong somehow to buy all this essential living stuff brand new but then I realised there is no other choice - there are no second-hand stores here - no St Vinnies or Lifeline. People are too poor to throw things away. - $200
  8. 2 x large water storage containers and buckets (for drinking water, bathing and washing laundry) $100
  9. full-time employment of 4 local expert, bamboo builders for 6 weeks to build the school's first structure - $750 (Egad. Humbling. Average wage is 2000 pesos a month for farmers and labourers. That's $50 a month. I loved that we could support them and their families well for excellent work during this time.)
  10. 400 bamboo pieces for construction - $400
  11. assorted tools (shovels, hoes, nails, angle grinder, machetes, hammers, rechargeable cordless drill) - $200
  12. food for the welcome party to cater for 50 people and lunch for the builders (Lucy and I made this in her kitchen each day. Employers often provide lunch for their people here.) $100
  13. 3 x gravel loads - $50
  14. 300 pieces of nepa thatching (woven, sturdy mangrove palm) for the roof - $50
  15. 6 x 40kg bag cement (for the floor - a cool combo of clay dug from the earth, rice husks and a little cement to hold it all together. Very natural and earthy feeling) - $50
  16. 3 x 40 kg bag lime - $60

Project Updates...

On the third-dimensional plane much is unfolding (I'm laughing at myself big time right now. I'm with a team of very action-oriented folks who aren't um... overly concerned with deep inner journeys or self-enquiry so I feel like a fish out of water mostly around them - as you can see by the voluminous writings above, I'm far more interested in the journey than the outcome of any action. Heh heh. Sigh. O goodness me. Such a hippie.):

  • The community meeting we held late April was a huge success with more than 60 people from the local community turning up for free food and to hear about the Permaculture Aid plans for the future.
  • Two influential team members have left due to core value differences (a shocking and sad situation for me to witness and be part of - the abridged version involves a permaculture clash of reality with extremist animal activists wanting to convert a country of meat eaters to veganism and me attending a cockfight and sharing my experience on facebook. It was violent. I was crazy. It really knocked Steve around a bit. It's over.)
  • The kitchen is almost done! The kitchen is the heart of every home and watching it go up everyday has been inspiring and a powerful affirmation of what committed people with vision can make happen. And a testament to these amazing bamboo builders who were shown a simple design on paper then made it happen even though it's building like none they've built before - I love watching them work.
  • More garden cells have been built that are chicken-proof and planting has begun! Lots of fence post holes have been dug. The next composting toilet site has been located and dug. 84 pineapple plants have been relocated (mosquitoes breed in them in the shade). The kids built me a zippy-do clay and rock double fire pit for grilling and the learning circle - where the classroom will be has been cleared, blessed, marked out, the floor dug and prepared and tarpaulins hoisted.
  • The inaugral Peramaculture Aid Design course is happening very soon! 19th May - 2nd June. This will be first official course taught to locals at the School. We've been handing out Scholarships left right and centre to Baranguay Capitans, school teachers, farmers and anyone who expresses interest! We've got some international students coming and other's ferrying in from other parts of the Philippines! Very exciting. I'm looking forward to this immensely. Hard to know for sure yet but I'm feeling 30 people for this world-class training and to start the ball rolling for permaculture in Panay.
  • We have had 4 volunteers come over the last 2 months - Ray, nutrition master extraordinaire from the US stayed for 3 weeks, Ruby, costume designer in the film industry from Australia is here now and planning to stay for 5 months, Chris, Hong Kong university student from Germany and Elsa, a visionary German/Philipino visting from France for one week. Every time a new person comes it's a cool new groove, new dynamic to settle into. So many passionate souls working hard, caring for the earth, caring for the people and creating fair share for everyone.
  • We've had two more offers from people wanting to gift land to us to use for development of organic farming in Antique - people who understand the vision and value a greener, more earth-honouring way of being for the Philippines. Land is abundant and inexpensive here (as Steve says, the people are poor but the land is rich). The plan is for interns to develop specific community aid projects here - live permaculture aid work in the field, making a difference.
  • The new website is completed - check it out for future updates and a heap of blog posts of what's been happening here and past Permaculture Aid projects.

In other news, I'm coming home in early June. When I first decided to go on this trip I had no clear time-frame. I just knew I had to go and everything else was a mystery. It could've been one month or 2 years! But the time is now. I am making some gentle, open plans to return later this year with Charles and feeing my way into the relationships I want to nurture and honour from this time in the Philippines and how to continue doing that once I am home. It feels like I've seen out the first and hardest stage of this project from the ground up and leaving just after the course is a completion and celebration (I made it despite wanting to go home every second day! :-P ).

Have a squiz at the Karma Yogini facebook album that gets updated when time and internet connection allow.

Love and kisses to you all and see you soon!

look up – a poem by gary turk
When I first saw this video, I cried. Then went lo...
look-up-gary-turk-poemWhen I first saw this video, I cried. Then went looking for a written text copy of Gary Turk's "Look Up". I couldn't find one so I ventured into the real world to write it myself. One more piece to consider for all conscious souls in business using the internet today...  

Look Up 

  I have 422 friends yet I am lonely I speak to all of them everyday yet none of them really know me The problem I have sits in the space in-between Looking into their eyes or at a name on a screen I took a step back and opened my eyes I looked round and realised This media we call social is anything but when we open our computers and it's our doors we shut All this technology we have it's just an illusion Community, companionship, a sense of inclusion When you step away from this device of delusion You awaken to see a world of confusion A world where we're slaves to the technology we mastered Where information gets sold by some rich, greedy bastard A world of self-interest, self-image, self-promotion Where we all share our best bits but leave out the emotion We're at our most happy with an experience we share But is it the same if no one is there? Be there for your friends and they'll be there too But no one will be if a group message will do We edit and exaggerate, crave adulation We pretend not to notice the social isolation We put our words into order till our lives are glistening We don't even know if anyone is listening Being alone isn't the problem let me just emphasise If you read a book, paint a picture, or do some exercise You're being productive and present not reserved and reclused You're being awake and attentive and putting your time to good use So when you're in public and you start to feel alone Put your hands behind your head, step away from the phone You don't need to stare at your menu or at your contact list Just talk to one another, learn to co-exist I can't stand to hear the silence of a busy commuter train When no one wants to talk for the fear of looking insane We're becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies To engage with one another and look into someone's eyes. We're surrounded by children who since they were born Have watched us living like robots and think it's the norm It's not very likely you'll make world's greatest Dad If you can't entertain a child without using an iPad When I was a child I'd never be home I'd be out with my friends, on our bikes we'd roam I'd wear holes in my trainers and graze up my knees Or build our own clubhouse high up in the trees Now the park is so quiet it gives me a chill See no children outside and the swings hanging still There's no skipping, no hopscotch, no church and no steeple We're a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people So look up from your phone, shut down the display Take in your surroundings, make the most of today Just one real connection is all it can take To show you the difference that being there can make Be there in the moment as she gives you the look That you remember forever as when love overtook The time she first held your hand or first kissed your lips The time you first disagreed but still loved her to bits The time you don't have to tell hundreds of what you've just done Because you want to share this moment with just this one. The time you sell your computer so you can buy a ring For the girl of your dreams who is now the real thing The time you want to start a family and the moment when You first hold your little girl and get to fall in love again The time she keeps you up at nights and all you want is rest And the time you wipe away the tears as your baby flees the nest The time your baby girl returns with a boy for you to hold And the time he calls you Grandad and makes you feel real old The time you take in all you've made when you're giving life attention And how you're real glad you didn't waste it by looking down at some invention The time you hold your wife's hand, sit down beside her bed. You tell her that you love her, lay a kiss upon her head. She then whispers to you quietly as her heart gives a final beat That she's lucky she got stopped by that lost boy in the street But none of these times ever happened. You never had any of this When you're too busy looking down, you don't see the chances you miss So look up from your phones, shut down those displays We have a finite existence, a set number of days Don't waste your life getting caught in the net because when the end comes, nothing's worse than regret I am guilty too of being part of this machine this digital world we are heard but not seen where we type as we talk and read as we chat where we spend hours together without making eye-contact So don't give in to a life where you follow the hype Give people your love, don't give them your "like" Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined Go out into the world, leave distractions behind Look up from your phone, shut down the display Stop watching this video, live life the real way.
permaculture aid in the philippines: march
Hi everyone! OK so this is a bit of a long email s...

Hi everyone!

OK so this is a bit of a long email so sit back & put your feet up...

Where to begin...? I'll stick to familiar peregrinations first. Sigh. I'm still struggling with the heat here and lack of respite from it (and it's not even Summer yet!).

Fighting against it. Thinking I "should" be able to function normally despite a sticky, gumby mind that can hardly string an intelligible sentence together and slow moving, sluggish thoughts that flop their way across my consciousness with no shape, no direction and no connection toanything (I write these words from the air-conditioned comfort of a hotel room in Iloilo where we've come for 3 days to get supplies not available in the village).

Addiction to thought is slowly dying (but not without a fight ha ha!) - there's a distinct lack of desire, no inspiration and no motivation. I'm getting an opportunity to see my attachment to the outcomes of action because on the surface, I'm doing very little it seems. The first month in particular I was questioning everything, feeling useless and inept, clumsy and irrelevant.

Just faffing about really as I tried to enforce MY will, MY vision, MY plans. Now though, there's a return to faith in the present moment, a knowing that purpose is simpler and easier than anything I could have imagined.

This makes my big plans to save the world look quite hilarious in comparison!

Perhaps my highest use is to make friends with the local women, to be company for a mother who's husband won't allow her to travel alone, to camp at the field school & put energy into the land, to make the locals laugh at my attempts to speak the dialect one stumbling word at a time, to take a photograph of the kids (like in the west - they see an iPhone and are captivated instantly!), to cook lunch when I can rouse myself from the shade of the mango tree, to be a kana (white woman).

Just under the surface something beyond control is emerging. I'm sure of it. Some timeless plan, a natural rhythm that's moving my body and working it's way through every conversation and unfolding situation.

A different pace in which I am aware I am being done.

Last Wednesday "I" made the decision to release my business, to let go of my attempts and dreams of continuing to grow Business From The Heart as I travel - easy access to the internet is simply not possible at the moment living at the Green Warrior School site in Mablad (ma blood). There is no mobile phone reception and no satellite internet. We don't yet have power, a kitchen or a bathroom (construction starts next week woo hoo!)

I'm a little scared about this decision - will I lose everything I've worked so hard for, so tirelessly to create over the past 3 years? Will I watch it become as the dust permanently lining my throat here in the dry season and return to nothing?

I don't know. But I can't change it and I'm not sure I even want to. There's an invitation here, a call to jump off the cliff into the unknown and I'm falling. Flying. Falling. Flying.

It's funny... I always think I have a choice whether or not I surrender... that's it's something I can make happen. Heh heh. Methinks this won't be the last time I have learn this particular lesson :-P

Project updates...

The Junior Green Warrior school projects are pumping! The kids love learning about organic gardening and are super enthusiastic about learning in general. It's quite different to schooling at home with each grade having kids of many different ages. Families send their children to school only when they can afford to and each child begins at Year 1 no matter what their age. See the short video attached for a little snapshot! And a pic of me and Honey who won the year 4B Junior Green Warrior achievement award.

Every day at the farm, the local kids come and hang out. I am touched by their openness, their complete lack of fear and guile (I once had 4 of them follow me into my tent and just sit there looking at me - it was very beautiful but a little confronting as concepts like personal privacy and space are irrelevant here). Children raised without television and internet are so different... these kids know how to entertain themselves and roam all over having a ball climbing trees, chasing each other, making fun of adults and conquering rice hay stacks.

This is the 3rd highest region for malnutrition in the Philippines and I'm beginning to catch a glimpse of the multi-layered complexity of poverty. Last week we went to the closest large town (San Jose, 1.5 hour bus ride away) and the supermarket was filled with stuff I can barely called food. Aisles and aisles of nothing but the cheapest available - highly processed, packaged and tinned food full of genetically modified corn and oil, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, msg (yes, it comes in packages all on it's own!), preservatives, food colourings aluminium and not much else. There were 3 entire rows dedicated to 2 minute noodles (I kid you not). And an entire aisle of skin whitening cream. A whole section for chemical laundry powders (like most poor countries, cleanliness of clothes and body is paramount here) and a tiny row of withered, soft apples and okra.

I could not find olives. I could not find coconut milk. I could not find brown rice. Truly, the cheapest, nastiest pretend "food" gets shipped off to third world countries and people have no other choice but to buy it. It is this we're hoping to change.

I've seen men and women with goitre. I've seen young and old with horrible, uncovered wounds, school children with permanently runny noses and babies that don't walk till they're almost two. The average life span is 69 years old in the Philippines (in Australia it's 79 for men and 84 for women).

Here's to an organic home garden in every house for the entire family... Here's to every school being able to provide a healthy lunch every day with organic veggies the kids have grown themselves.... (Did I mention there are a LOT of schools here? The average family has 6 - 9 kids so we're talking about a huge, bright shiny, blessed ripple affect radiating into the future!)

There's sooooooo much more I could say but I've prattled on for long enough!

Next week we're putting on a little do (with some healthy food) for all the local people to introduce the Green Warrior permaculture school. We have more than 20 scholarships to give local men and women who are wanting to learn about organic home gardening, nutrition and how to get the most from the crops they are growing. The mayor is coming, the pastor is going to say a prayer, we'll all introduce ourselves and talk about the projects and there will be music :-)

Have a squiz at the Karma Yogini Facebook Album for some more great photos and news and updates of what's unfolding.

What you've helped to make possible...

permaculture aid in the philippines: february
Hi everyone! I haven't had much energy to connect ...

Hi everyone!

I haven't had much energy to connect apart from the odd scattered facebook post as my body gets used to how hot it is here, culture shock & the strangeness of being stared at because of the colour of my skin. 

Never traveled in a developing country before, never come face to face with poverty & what it is to live with basic needs like food being met only on a day by day basis. Many here earn just enough today to enable them to eat tomorrow. 

Each morning, roosters wake the neighbourhood. There are lots of small scrappy but happy looking dogs around & a few rather mangy cats slinking in & out of doorways. The stillness of night is often broken by said dogs in the following manner:

Dog 1: bow…. wow wow wow…. bow…. bow wow wow wow wow 

Dog 2. bow wow wow wow wow wow… bow…. bow… wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow…. 

Dog 1: bow…. wow wow wow…. bow…. bow wow wow wow wow wow… bow… wow… bow wow wow…. bow

etc etc etc for many, many, many long minutes.

There is no running water in any of the houses here in Barbaza, Antique (pronounced an-tee-kay). A bucket & scoop are in every shower, toilet & kitchen.The occasional hand pump drawing water from underground springs supplies the needs of neighbours & their families. There are a few homes made of cement indicating that a family has a son or daughter who works overseas. All other homes are made of bamboo, wood & tin metal. There is no garbage collection & every day around dusk the air is filled with the smell of burning plastic as people get rid of their rubbish the only way they can.

There has been only one moment thus far that the poverty got to me - a little girl in one of the schools we're running the Junior Green Warrior program at had a nasty gash below her knee with puss & weeping down her leg. I went to the first-aid cabinet & there were no bandaids, no antiseptic cream, nothing I could use to treat & clean this wound with for her. No running water at a school with more than 200 students. First-aidsupplies are expensive & hard to get in rural areas. I felt helpless & frustrated - that something so simple like a clean bandage for a wound could be so inaccessible. (But now aloe vera is growing in the new garden with the children being taught about medicinal plants so this will be less of a problem in the future  )

There is not much visible damage remaining after Typhoon Yolanda as people had to repair homes immediately in order to have shelter. There is rubble, occasional huge trees fully uprooted, some bamboo homes leaning precariously & a few blocks of torn up land interspersed between the houses. You can also see in the foothills many denuded trees. The damage is worse on other levels - Yolanda (like every natural disaster) was a wake up call bringing to light major problems that already existed - poverty, fears around food security, isolation, poor farming & fishing practices & doubts around self-determination has been brought into question.

It took more than a month for power to be put back on after Typhoon Yolanda. For 6 weeks, no communication with the outside world was possible & until 2 weeks ago, there has been no external aid for this province at all. The Red Cross came & delivered tents then & many now use them to store things in or as a children's cubbies as they have already fixed their homes enough to live in.

Small motorbikes (125cc) are the primary mode of transportation & I can catch a tricycle (a motorbike with a side car) anywhere for 8 pesos (about 20c). I love riding on the back of motorbikes (I used to have a Yamaha SRV 250 years ago) but I'm not yet confident enough to get on one here by myself (there's no clutch on any of the bikes - need a lesson & some soft ground to land on for a while methinks!).

J___, the local agricultural officer & his beautiful family has given his house for us to stay in. I am hot but comfy & well looked after with much love & hospitality being rained down every day.

The internet is OK. There are "rush hours" where nothing works. Videos take a long time to download, photos take a long time to upload & it drops out often but it's OK. J___ takes the wireless router into work with him each day at the mayor's office & brings it home in the evening where we all hook up. The mobile 3G network is dodgy - sometimes excellent, sometimes stubbornly mute.

I've been finding myself missing physical touch & affection enormously - I'm a 5 hug daily minimum kinda gal. Found the perfect solution though… spend time snuggling the baby every day to fill the love tank up!

I'm slowly understanding more about the vision of Permaculture Aid & my role here, more about the consciousness of love in action, what is to walk lightly on this planet & to be a warrior (in my own gentle way).  

More project updates coming soon!
to adventure & a year of riding the yang wood horse ahead
In November 2013, category 5 Typhoon Yolanda rippe...


In November 2013, category 5 Typhoon Yolanda ripped through many parts of the Philippine islands, destroying lives, families, homes & economies. Later that same month, I made the decision to go there & give heart & hands in service to something far bigger than myself.

Permaculture Aid is about rebuilding homes and communities in sustainable ways. It's about focusing on self-sufficiency & resilience, claiming the future in ways that equally value human needs like food, water, shelter, health & education with community & the Earth. I'm joining the Green Warrior Permaculture team on a world-first project in Barbaza, Panay &... there's even going to be a documentary made of the journey by the Paradigm Shift Project!

I've cried a bucket of awed & grateful tears in the last 2 months, asked for help in more ways than I knew existed, dived into adventures with crowdsourcing funding plane tickets & more by donation, wrote & had published my first ever press release (Typhoon Makes Mirror Reflect I spose when one's name is a noun one must expect the piss to be taken out of oneself) & given away belongings all in the ongoing exploration of the question: what is true livelihood & love in action.

As the journey unfolds I'll continue writing on spiritual marketing & conscious business for yoga teachers & healers (I've got a ton & a half of inspired musings backed up!) & (if internet permits) continue to connect with you via 1:1 sessions & free monthly trainings in The Abundance Sessions

You are part of a community of powerful souls creating a new consciousness on this planet through business. Thank you for being here. Thank you for listening. Thank you for believing it IS possible to be open-hearted & authentic, to be completely yourself in this world & make enough money doing what you love.

Here's to adventure & a year of riding the Yang Wood Horse ahead!

Love, Mirror

how to be authentic on facebook: social media as spiritual practice
WARNING: Deep and meaningful sharing number (um) o...

WARNING: Deep and meaningful sharing number (um) one.

Yup, it's true. I don't do that here. In the 5+ years I've been on facebook, I've never once used it for "personal" stuff.

I have friends in this space who are more than happy to say it exactly as it is, "I'm having a fucking shit day" or long explanations of love lost and the pain of loneliness or immediate questions like "Can you please help me move?" Sometimes I read these snapshots of other's lives and judge them as inadequate, desperate or needy - something I would never want to appear as.

When I feel down, I withdraw, I don't want to share. I think I can't contribute anything worthwhile so I don't contribute anything at all. Or I visit the space on facebook, scroll lackadaisically through my newsfeed hoping for some moment of relief or distraction and instead wind up feeling more miserable.

I don't ask people for help on a personal level on facebook, believing it's (apparently) more evolved to leave those discussions for in the flesh relationships.

Instead I share only excited proclamations of the bright, shiny, polished and clean parts of my life and business (with not one but THREE exclamation points). Sometimes I'm crippled, fingertips paralysed on keyboard or touch screen, agonising over skewed ideas of the many possible perceptions of a single status update. (I prostrated myself at the feet of the facebook faerie queen, drooling with gratitude for an entire week when I discovered the new post "edit" feature.)

I post only the good, the pre-approved, the politically correct, the stuff that will get the most engagement at the "best" times of day (and I've done the research. I know what "works" on facebook to nudge the numbers).

Last year I came across two posts that deeply inspired: ("The Innovation Of Loneliness" ) and "In 2014, I'm Going To Stop Lying On Facebook") In essence, though we're more connected to each other, we have less actual depth and meaning in our relationships. More = less. Head shaking, sad state of the world, love/hate relationship with facebook etc etc

But maybe we can change that. Create a space here where benefits FAR outweigh the risks. Use how we relate to each other online as a way to raise our individual capacity to love. Honour those times we take personally an apparent lack of response or words on a screen perhaps misunderstood and use them as portals to truth.

Choose to adjust our values. Be in control of our destiny and the way social media is shaping us by being more awake.

So my friends, I'm going to start saying more often how it really is in the moment. To create a world based on authenticity online and honouring of ALL relationship.

I'm no longer going to ignore event invites or messages just because they come from people I've never met. I'm no longer going to use facebook only when I'm "in the mood". No longer going to disregard those posts (disregard people) I find boring looking only for excitement and stimulation.

How we engage on facebook is reflected in our lives off-line. How we engage on facebook is the consciousness we're creating more of in the world.

We've all got an agenda in this space. We all want something, it's true - that's just the ego's way. We're all presenting something in every word or photo or link or video we share that has some spin on it (no matter how subtle or how honest we think we may be).

We all wear the mask of personality.

Many of us here are on a spiritual path. One dedicated to love, connection with Source and making a difference on Earth through inspired action. One dedicated to the dropping of all masks, all pretence, all disguise, attachment, ego and desire. So what if we started showing MORE of ourselves as light beings in physical bodies online? What if we gave a wider perspective on our shared humanity in every conversation? What if THIS was the spiritual path?

Perhaps here in this space, we can create some small shift in consciousness, some deepening into Reality rather than just deepening into what we want each other to see.

I don't think I'm ready yet for a blatant, noisy, short sigh of "I'm having a fucking shit day" but I'm going to try. I'm going to start valuing this relationship with you more by showing another, less pristine version of what's moving through me. Sometimes I may fail. I may revert to old conditioning unconsciously seeking the gold star of social approval to I know that I'm OK.

But I want to claim this space. Be creative in my approach. Continue to live on the crazy, tender, wild edge of transformation the internet makes possible on this planet today.

Do you want a world filled with only the brightest, shiniest, most polished aspects of you? A world full of shallow expressions of interest, pretention and social value counted in numbers of likes and amount of friends?

Or do you want a place where more Truth leads to more Love? Of freedom tasted and easy expression of who you are in this body now? An ocean of status updates that might just create a less self-consciousness world filled with kinder, more open and real hearts.

We are making it happen.

Right now. With every conversation, word, photo, link and video we share.

We are creating the future.


How have your experiences with social media shaped your spiritual practice? What have you noticed on the conscious and authentic path on facebook? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

to be innocent + unrestrained: a prayer
The other day I saw something beautiful. It was 43...

The other day I saw something beautiful.

It was 43 degrees and we (along with about 250 other people) decided to lounge the day away at a local rock pool. The sun was oven-like, the water cool. There were families cavorting, teenagers smooching, muscly young men standing in the water drinking beer. Laughter, bright smiles and much fun was being had.

Amidst this chaotic, busy, loud, frivolity I watched a woman stand by the edge of the pool and take off her clothes before slipping into the water. She swam and played with her baby and partner for about half an hour before nakedly stepping onto the rocks, wrapping a cotton sarong around her body and wringing her long hair out.

She went largely unnoticed. No fuss was made, no alarms went off or public outrage was heard. Just cicadas, splashing water, the sound of children laughing and the murmur of concurrent conversation.

The group of 3 said beer-drinking, gym-attending young men were completely unaware there was a nude woman swimming in the water not 2 metres from where they stood.

She was innocent, unrestrained and untouched by common expectations and the weight of 250 men, women and children of all ages covering bodies with swimming costumes, dividing our child-like, human expression into polite society, tummy-sucking-in self-consciousness and the sad separation of soul and natural sexuality.

Somedays I get a bit down about the state of the world and it’s perceived limitations and pressures but the reality is, what we want is already here if we know how to feel through eyes that are soft and loving enough. If we know how to open.

The conditioned mind is silent in response to such purity. An action without agenda of any kind. The briefest moment of Life and Love acknowledged and received in full.

This is my prayer for us. That we be innocent and contained with the safety of our own hearts.

To not be threatened or impeded by the apparent burden of societal norms, family expectations, the weight of how others think things “should” be. To no longer believe we need to know more, do more, have more or be more than what we are in this moment to experience deep connection and abundance.

To be different, naked, pure and free.

To trust the goodness inside every one.

And to take action from this place.

karma yogini: birth
choose a path with heart
Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you ...

Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary.

This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path.

- Carlos Castenada

Recently I made the rather large decision to let go of everything in my life and travel to the Philippines to help out with disaster recovery after Typhoon Yolanda. It was an easy and light-filled decision and since then, there's been a sense of effortless flow, of complex relationships with "stuff" on all levels blissfully falling into place. Almost like I have no choice about it. That it's already done.

This calling to put my entire heart, hands, mind, body and soul into service without thought of outcome from my action comes from a deep and ongoing exploration into the question of what is true livelihood? What does it mean to honour our Selves, honour each other and honour the Earth with our work?

What is love in action? A feeling, a sense of certainty, the act of receiving nourishment from jobs and simple tasks, walking away from an exchange with a client or a meeting filed to the brim with gratitude and tears of joy. All that and more but for me, it's defined more by what it is NOT. Peak experiences are by their very nature transient. We cannot hold onto them and it's unrealistic to expect our business to be able to feed us in this way 100% of the time. Sometimes, we've just gotta "get it done" (well, till enlightenment anyway - that point where "chopping wood and carrying water" becomes perfection itself! I'm not quite there yet :P )

Below are 3 powerful questions to ask that may indicate we've wandered from our path with heart, have temporarily lost sight of love in action. These direct experiences can show up from time to time to give the possibility of renewal of intention for your business:

1. Are you experiencing a lack of inspiration and withdrawal? A feeling like you're just treading water, doing the bare minimum to keep everything going, doing what you "have" to without feeling connected to or part of the bigger picture. There's no organic desire to share, to be creative, to "put something out there". What was once easy and fun is now in the "too hard" basket. Resistance to answering the telephone or speaking to new people you meet about what you're building in the world. Noticing you're not expressing yourself. Feeling like you have nothing to contribute. Choosing to not speak or engage.

2. Do you have any resentment toward clients and doing the work? Any hint of aggravation, annoyance, reluctance, frustration and dislike of your clients is a definite indicator that somewhere along the way, we've stepped from love and purity of inspiration into "should" land… We're pressuring ourselves into action rather than it arising naturally from within. Perhaps we're coming from a place of fear, a reaction to perceived lack of abundance or financial stress and we're wanting something more from our clients. We have an agenda and it's not being met, our clients aren't moving as fast as we'd like, we're wasting our time or spending too much time on essential tasks in our business that don't bring us effervescent joy.

3. Are you questioning of um… every thing? Feeling far removed from clarity of purpose, the bigger "why" you're doing all this in the first place. Self-doubt. Restlessness. General dissatisfaction. Feeling of pointlessness. New ideas coming through but noticing that you're not taking any action. Feeling lost, in limbo, unclear, uncertain, foggy and distracted. Finding yourself tilting your head and shrugging your shoulders often with a lopsided questioning look on your face. Feeling a level of helplessness and vague anxiety about your lack of focus and direction.

As heart-based business owners, all we can do is pay homage to the energies that are moving through us in any given moment, to act from those places and give ourselves permission to have the occasional "off" day or week (a spiritual practice in itself). This is what it means to be authentic. But when the experiences above become the norm, the dominant way of being and approaching your work, it may be time to surrender, to step away, and look for the path with more heart.

There's nothing we can do to NOT be love in action - it's our essence. There's no right way or wrong way of going about this journey. Only a still and o, so patient listening to what's unfolding within. A gentle opening to response, a willingness to let go, to keep showing up fully, to ask the simple question "what else is possible?"

A choosing of the path with more heart.

And to know that path is only ever for NOW. That every choice you make will bring you to meet your own destiny in the moment. That's it's not possible to make a mistake. That maybe, just maybe, we're not the ones making the choice.

Love in action. Purpose already fulfilled.

Have you experienced any of the above dynamics in your heart-based work? How do you move through them? What have they taught you?

I'd love to hear your thoughts below! And can you help the cause too? Follow this link to donate - even a few dollars will make a difference.

how to fall in LOVE with your marketing
The essence of authentic marketing is finding your...


The essence of authentic marketing is finding your unique way to LOVE it and I was honoured recently to be interviewed by the rather potent depth of Catherine Jimenez-Spencer in Building Trust Online. We spoke about the Art of Connection in heart-based marketing and what it takes to build trust through an online community rather than an "in the flesh" one.

This is one of the most beautiful interviews I've ever done. I cried. She cried. We both cried and shared much wisdom on authentic, heart-based, spiritual marketing to stand strong in the world being utterly ourselves. I hope you enjoy it!

Or download and save the recording here

why bartering won’t create financial abundance in heart-based business (part three)
Writing this series has been fascinating as I’ve...

Writing this series has been fascinating as I’ve touched on distant memories, hard-earned insights and essential struggles of the past through my own business and marketing journey.  I'm fascinated by alternative pricing models and the questions that arise in ethical business. I believe with all my heart there are no rules in conscious business and authentic marketing - just an endless invitation into deeper truth and alignment with your own authentic expression. In part three of this series on bartering and trading in conscious business, we’ll explore structures and questions to bring more clarity and freedom to the choice of whether or not to offer services by barter.

Question 3. How else are you being supported financially?

Bartering as a way of life or as a way to grow your business only seems to work when we have a back up plan. Are you receiving weekly income from the government, child support, other parental payments, pensions, a part-time job or is regular money from past investments coming your way? Is this a hobbie for you? Are you semi-retired?

If yes, you have a stable base to share your services from in offering to trade. This is intelligent in many ways. Your rent, petrol, food and other basic survival needs are already taken care of and anything else earned in the capacity of your business is a bonus. This feels safe, secure and comfortable and it’s easy to take action from this supported place - free to create in your own time in alignment with natural rhythm and flow. I know healers who have been sharing their gifts in this way for many years - it’s working for them - it gives plenty of space to come from a supported place and although financially limiting at times, they’ve found ways to feel good about it.

On the other hand, having a back up plan can keep you small as your capacity to earn is limited if receiving financial aid from the government (for example)... or you may have to fudge the amount you declare... or work with cash only to avoid taxes.

For many years I was working as a healer “for cash” while being blissfully supported by the government financially. What I’ve seen since then through connecting with my soul and embodied sense is that I am out of energetic integrity if any part of my business is “under the table”.

How can I be authentic if I’m hiding something or conscious of the need to lie about my income when filling in forms? How can I create a business from the heart when there’s any sense (no matter how small) of shame, avoiding honest disclosure or taking advantage of the system? How can I be in integrity when I actively dislike the system that supports me, badmouthing it, bucking against it, resisting the bureaucracy involved just so I can “get my money”? On some level it feels horrible to tap-dance and play by rules we don’t agree with just to be paid. 

If however you don’t have a back up plan and are working on creating a business that can stand on its own, independent and free to be whatever it wants in the world, you have a different energetic inside you. There are no limits here but you're reliant on money earned via your business to cover basic living expenses - a beautiful workshop or healing session will not put petrol in the car, pay the rent or meet immediate needs no matter how powerful.

This reliance on money earned entirely through business is a powerful motivator - there’s no plan B here: your business is IT and the income generated through it feeds, clothes and shelters you. This is both scary and liberating, an experience of pressure and infinite expansion at the same time.  

Bartering, trade and swapping are valid ways to gain skills, expand knowledge and connect with tools you need on your journey as long as you come from a place of alignment with what you want to create. Before trading your services, slow down a little - it can be automatic for heart-based practitioners to give because love is so natural for us. Connect with that still, small voice of truth and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Am I honestly happy to give this away and would it bring me great pleasure to do so?  2. Is some part of me thinking about the future, about what I’ll get out of this? Is this offering free of agenda of any kind?  3. Is some part of me afraid the true value of my service won’t be seen or will be grossly undervalued or taken advantage of if I trade it for another?  4. Do I have a back up plan that is enabling me to give by barter? And is that really supporting me to create a business that will stand on it own, with no limits, in full integrity right now?

I have no back up plan with Business From The Heart. This is how I pay my rent. At this humble beginning saying to potential clients “I no longer share my work by trade. I’m happy to work out a payment plan with you to make it easier but I don’t do swaps” feels tender and a little clumsy.  As I breathe though, I am stronger, clearer and able to stand on my own two feet. My back up plan is the Universe and the love inside me.

As you shift and grow in internal abundance and confidence in sharing your gifts and being paid (with money) your alignment shifts. The question is no longer “what’s the least I can spend here” but rather “who is the best person I can work with right now?” We have a different relationship to perceived value from this perspective and what we’re willing to invest. 

Now when I make a decision to buy something I am uplifted by that choice. I value more the products and services I choose to invest in as I know that every dollar I spend is a dollar that has come through my business from my beautiful clients and the grace of the universe. I take nothing for granted, I have high-standards and it feels good giving money to skilled healers for their expertise. They too need at least some money to survive and through my valuing the money I give them for their amazing gifts, I encourage them to value their own work in return. This is how we support each other in conscious community and is the grounded spirituality of business from the heart.

What's your experience of having a back-up plan? Would you like one? How do think back-up plans impact our ability to make money doing what we love? Have you ever felt inauthentic around money in your business?

I'd LOVE to hear from you below!
having loved enough + lost enough
Having Loved Enough and Lost Enough by Mark Nepo H...

Having Loved Enough and Lost Enough by Mark Nepo

Having loved enough and lost enough, I’m no longer searching just opening,

no longer trying to make sense of pain but trying to be a soft and sturdy home in which real things can land.

These are the irritations that rub into a pearl.

So we can talk for a while but then we must listen, the way rocks listen to the sea.

And we can churn at all that goes wrong but then we must lay all distractions down and water every living seed.

And yes, on nights like tonight I too feel alone. But seldom do I face it squarely enough to see that it’s a door into the endless breath that has no breather, into the surf that human shells call God.

why bartering won’t create abundance in heart-based business (part two)
Since the official birth of Business From The Hear...


Since the official birth of Business From The Heart last year I’ve been approached by three different healers and asked to “do a swap”. Each time my heart contracted a little and a sense of uncertainty arose. Each time I wanted to sing out "Yes, I’d love to help you! And yes, some bodywork would nurture me so much right now!" Each time however, a cleaner truth arose within - I created this business to help people and to support my physical needs.

In Part 2 of this series on Bartering in Conscious Business, we'll explore many of the questions this issue raises. As you read, feel into your own experience and see what resonates. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Question 2. What is your perceived value of the trade?

Bartering and trading bring up some murky issues around perceived value and actual value. This is fine if you’re trading similar products - 6 potatoes for 6 bananas... 3 bunches of silverbeet for 1 bunch of celery and a head of cauliflower - all these products have a similar perceived value by both people in the transaction. The products are immediately useable and about the same amount of work has gone into the cultivation of the food. There is equality and everyone walks away happily to prepare a divine organic meal for dinner.

When services and products have an advertised dollar value in business however, it gets a whole lot murkier. When sharing our work through bartering, we’re often coming from a place of “I don’t have enough money right now to pay for that” so value becomes more about what am I, personally willing to pay? What am I willing to trade for it? What is that service worth to me in this exchange?

If the price someone is charging for their product or service is $100 (for example) but you personally wouldn’t pay that or think it’s only worth $60, you are out of integrity and out of alignment with abundance. Put the shoe on the other foot. What if the person you are swapping with has the same view point of your services? Your asking price is $100 but they think it’s only worth $50 - they are also out of alignment with abundance and this doesn’t feel good.

This model brings EVERYTHING into question - especially the value of the product or service that we’re trading - is it even worth anything at all? We may be willing to give it away for a service we perceive as worth LESS than our own, yet we expect our customers to hold that value in the world at the same time? Can you see the contradiction? 

It’s essential we embrace value and all it entails in our heart-based business (if a business is what we actually want - see part one of this series). If we require income in terms of money (which we do) then we must hold the value of that money through every interaction, transaction, promotion and communication to be authentic. We need to feel good about the prices we charge and come from a place of celebration and gratitude when sharing our work.

Any kind of energetic vagueness and lack of clarity around value results in that exact reflection of vagueness and lack of clarity from potential clients... they might book in.. they’ll maybe give us a call.. they’re keen to come to our workshops but... it’s not the right time right now... they really like this but... can they offer us a trade?

When there is fuzzy agreement around value in the trade, there’s also a tendency to not to take swapped services as seriously as paid for with money services. Often people you're bartering with may be slack, consistently late, cancel at the last minute or let down their end of the bargain in another way. This is not to pass judgement, more to connect with the realities of busy lives - especially busy lives where both parties involved in the barter are also working for money elsewhere to meet their material needs.

When contemplating bartering in your business, consider the following questions:

  • Do I really I need this service right now? 
  • Would I pay for this service right now?
  • What is this service worth to me right now?
  • How does my relationship with barter partners differ to my relationship with paying clients?

If any of your answers are unclear it’s time for you to step into a new way of being and relating to value and money in your business. It’s time to remind yourself what you want to create in your life and that you did say “yes” to the soulful journey of doing what you love and being paid for it.

When has bartering and trading not felt good to you and how did you deal with it? What have you learned from bartering and trading in your heart-based business?

I’d LOVE to hear from you below!
why bartering won’t create abundance in heart-based business (part one)
Barter: (v) to exchange goods or services for oth...


Barter: (v) to exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using money (n) the action or system of exchanging goods or services without using money. (synonyms) - deal - traffic - exchange - barter - merchandise - swap

Business: a person's regular occupation, profession or trade. An activity someone is engaged in. An organisation or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money.

Bartering, swapping and trading represent an ideal, a more beautiful and perhaps easier way of living in the world. They’re simple and intelligent ways that inspire us to look differently at how we perceive value, purpose, utility and community. And they CAN work - really, really well! At least in theory... or in isolated, small tribes of humanity where everyone honours and supports the same system.

This is a controversial topic - one that stimulates strongly polarised emotions and in this 3 part series, my intention is to stimulate discussion and bring this issue down to earth where we are so we can see through clear eyes all that may be stopping the flow of abundance, to find a new way of navigating truth as seen through the reflection of heart-based business.

Question 1. Do you really want to create a “business”?

It seems so logical and simple. I’m just starting up my business... I don’t have many clients and money isn’t flowing right now... If there’s a service or a product that I want or need, especially if it’s a service that will help me grow my business, why NOT swap my services, my time and expertise for something that I would buy with money (if I had it) anyway? Why NOT ask the question, “Are you willing to do a trade?”

For two main reasons: first it gives a clear message to the Universe - no thanks, I don’t want any money right now, I’m willing to accept this product or service instead. Energetically, it pushes money away and when we’re pushing money away, it’s impossible to attract more of it.

Second (regardless of the imperfections of capitalism), the reality is right now we need at least some money to survive. We cannot pay our rent with products and services that we’ve traded for our time and expertise no matter how pure our intentions or vibrationally aligned with our vision we are.

(I read a beautiful book recently - The Man Who Quit Money. Deep recognition, strong pull to drop everything and opt out again, hot tears rolling down my face of possibility and exhilarating freedom on each page. I recommend it. Not quite ready just yet to live in a cave and forage my dinner from garbage bins though.)

As spiritual beings we’re aware there are many different kinds of abundance to welcome in. When business is slow or we’re first starting out, we have an abundance of time for example so it seems easy and feels good to offer that in trade if there’s a service we need that will support us. But the question is - what do you want to create most in your life right now? Does your heart really want expression through the medium of business? Would you rather be seeing paying clients in the time that you have? What signals are you giving to the universe through your actions?

If you‘d prefer an abundance of time in your life, it’s important to ask the question, why am I running a business at all? Why not get a basic part-time job to take care of the day to day living expenses and do whatever your heart desires in the rest of your time? Why not continue to barter with your services in a way that enhances your spirit and feeds your soul? This is a far gentler path compared to the intense spiritual challenge of marketing and running a business and may be your deepest truth right now.

When we have a business, trading our services creates an energetic contradiction. On the one hand, we’ve taken the plunge, gathered our courage and said YES! I DO want to make money on my own terms doing what I love in a visible and receptive way. On the other hand, every time we offer to trade we’re reinforcing our lack of financial abundance.

The first step to welcoming abundance is knowing what you want to create in the world - your soul’s expression. You don’t need to know every detail of the bigger picture but you do need to know if you want a business that saves the planet, serves your community AND supports you on a physical and financial level. Saying yes to authentic business from the heart will bring you into alignment with your personal truth and will answer the question for you, “Do I or don’t I trade my services?”

As a long-term devoted hippie I’ve seen in myself how bartering and trading under the banner of “business” was a clever ruse to avoid addressing personal money issues and core self-worth. Choosing to barter, trade and swap can be another way of opting out of society - an egoic trip keeping us separate from the rest of humanity driven by consumerist greed and the urge to possess. We’re not like that. We’re more conscious and evolved, better human beings who exist far beyond the evils and ignorance of selfish money.

Bartering and trading is an essential step for many on the path to clarity in business. For myself it was vital in the beginning and has been key to finding my truth and authentic expression through business. Looking closely at bartering and trading as a way of life has shown me much about my conditioning around money, my heart and my connection to the earth. It’s unfolding still...

What does the word "business" mean to you? How can bartering be a part of conscious commerce in business? What does a successful bartering relationship feel like?

I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts below!

the easiest way to create abundance
The other day I received a bill from my bookkeeper...

easiest-way-to-create-abundance-conscious-businessThe other day I received a bill from my bookkeeper for $187.50. My first response when looking at the bill was a sinking in the belly, a sense of “oooh... that’s a little much”. Then as I gazed at the amount an incredible sense of lightness began to fill me. I felt overwhelmed with joy at the gift she’d given me. If she'd been in front of me at that moment, I literally would’ve bowed down before her & kissed her feet in gratitude.

As I bathed in this feeling a question began to arise: “What wouldn’t I pay to experience the sheer pleasure of not having to collate expenses, calculate income & do up a spreadsheet? What wouldn’t I pay to feel as good as I feel right now knowing I saved myself a task full of pain, angst, boredom, dreariness & drudgery? What wouldn’t I pay to rescue my soul from the frustration & anger at bureaucracy & the system that means I have to do it at all? What wouldn’t I pay to never have to do my own taxes again?”

Mmm... good question.

I felt into it some more.

Figures started dancing through my head. Would I pay $200...? Absolutely. $250...? Of course! $300...? Hell YES! $500...? Yes, yes, yes! $600...? $700...?

I got all the way up to $899 before my head starting buzzing... before I reached that point of “that’s too much, I may as well do it myself...” $899 before I started feeling uncomfortable.

I looked at the bill again. All of a sudden $187.50 seemed like a bargain, seemed like nothing, seemed like an easy decision I could make from the fullness of my spirit. At that moment another key fell gently into place on the path of creating enoughness through heart-based business.

the easiest way to create abundance

The Law Of Attraction holds that a practice of gratitude is the highest path to invite abundance into your experience -  a practice of gratitude is the peak state & the best way to draw to you what you want. The Law Of Attraction teaches that by opening up, noticing & consciously acknowledging the abundance & financial flow that is already present in your day to day existence, you become that abundance & the universe is then your able & willing servant.

I stumbled onto something here. One by one I started feeling into all my other bills - rent, food, mobile phone, internet etc... What wouldn’t I pay to live somewhere beautiful? What actual number is too much for me to pay for what I have right now? What wouldn’t I pay to eat certified organic & natural food? What wouldn’t I pay for the supreme convenience my mobile phone offers me each week? What wouldn’t I pay to access the divine & glorious matrix of the internet from home?

As I felt into my bills, a symphony of deliciousness of what these things do for me started coming - first a trickle, then a deluge of love & excitement. I was flooded with gratitude. I felt full, open & blessed to be exactly where I am right now. In almost every bill, I discovered I would happily pay more than twice what I'm paying now. I discovered I could afford more for the gift these things bring.

I discovered I am already abundant.

follow the steps below & repeat as necessary:

1. Choose a bill - particularly if it’s a bill you don’t enjoy or experience resentment or stress around receiving or paying. Either write down the amount or have the physical bill sitting in front of you or on your computer screen.

2. Look at the number. Really look at it. Whatever it is, let this number & all it represents into your awareness. Allow yourself to feel your natural response to it, just letting that experience be.

3. Then ask yourself the question “What wouldn’t I pay for this service/product?” What number would be too much to have this in my life? Sit with it. Slow down. Breathe. This is a question about the day to day minutia of living, the thousand tiny details of the “stuff” that surrounds you & makes up your physical experience. What is that service really worth to you? How much would you be willing to pay for it makes possible? Be still with the question.

4. You may like to make a list with pen and paper of all the choices this thing makes possible or simply be in the experience as images & feelings come through. Watch as the question continues to open & unfold. Watch as your connection to the freedom these services create deepens & becomes more evident. Relish the joy & lightness this clarity brings.

5. Choose another bill. Especially if there is any resentment or stress around receiving it or paying it. Continue steps 2 - 5 as needed or until you explode into a gooey mess of gratitude, happiness & bliss.

Having a practice of gratitude creates a vibrant sense of flow & love in our lives. It shifts perspective & internal feelings of not enough. And when internal feelings shift, our external experience of flow, love & abundance in business must also shift.

How do you nourish your internal sense of abundance? What’s your favourite gratitude practice?

please help! I’m drowning in adverbs.
To friends, family, lovers, creative dreamers, aun...


To friends, family, lovers, creative dreamers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, furry beings and people of the heart,

It has come to my attention of late that I am becoming both indolent and lazy in my approach to and usage of the English language. My speech and my written words are heavy with pointless and trivial absurdities that add nothing to either the rhythm or purpose of any sentence that falls from mouth, pen or keyboard.

With evil and deliberate intent, adverbs are hijacking independent thought cheapening it with absolutes and heavy lingual certainties where none exist.

I wish to become more intelligent, not less so and I can already feel the tendrils of apathetic adverbs dulling senses and leaving a cloying stench of monotony and meaninglessness in their wake.

The adverb has created in me an addiction to excitement and depression, to radical shifts from high to low and a craving for wild, swinging fluctuations of my poor, burdened psyche.

All experience that moves through the filter of Mind is made less magnificent and less desirable by the proliferation of this stealth agent of syntactic function.

I hereby do swear to you that from this point forward I shall seek to minimise or eliminate with gusto my flippant and tedious use of the adverb. I swear this to you softly now, gently even, solemnly, lovingly, honestly, deeply, desperately, resolutely and absolutely.

Adverbs be gone!

If you do catch me in an errant adverbial slip I implore you, please bring this to my attention post haste so I may remedy and reaffirm my commitment to a communication that is both clean, direct and acts as a potent sword of enlightenment on this watery orb we share.

Point thine finger clear and true and publicly decry me "Adverb! Adverb! Adverb!"

Love must, by it's very nature be tough in the beginning to crack open the hard shell of habit and unconsciousness.

Friends, let us light a tender flame of revolution in our temporal and parietal lobes an in the hearts of man and woman kind!

If these words touch you let us join together to cleanse the land of this cursed scourge of dim expression and narrow articulation. Let us liberate our children and generations to come from sloppy cogitations and restless thinking! Let us throw caution to the wind and share this post, tagging those you feel are wanting to create a new lexicon, a new consciousness on this planet.

Repeat with passion and prudence (out loud) the following vow:

"I utterly, honourably, sweetly, enthusiastically and permanently release my soul from the clutches of bad grammar, limited vocabularies and constricted beliefs. I am now FREE TO SOAR."

My words are my truth and my words shape thought & reality.

I really, REALLY mean it.

Love, Mirror
read this if you use email in your business
(also titled) Email Marketing Tips & GMAIL - W...

gmail-inbox-automatic-categories(also titled) Email Marketing Tips & GMAIL - What The New Inbox Changes Mean & How To Turn Off The GMAIL Automatic Categorising Function

If you use an email marketing system (or are thinking of using one in the future) to connect with your community, this issue will affect you and all your clients who currently use Gmail to access email. The recent changes will impact the email marketing of anyone running a heart-based business with the magic and potent support of technology. GMAIL now automatically categorises ALL emails received into separate, tabbed inboxes - "social", "promotions", "updates" and "forums". This affects you and me because every email we send (from a system like mailchimp) will be put into the PROMOTIONAL category. I seriously LOVE Gmail and I've been using it for more than 5 years. It's one of the most powerful and intuitive email systems there is and I recommend ALL my clients use it and make the transition to cloud computing rather than relying on computer based programs like Outlook and Mac Mail. Gmail is incredible with how it manages spam, it's search engine is extraordinary and easy to use, it handles labels intelligently and there's the very groovy google video hangouts, live chat and google+ connectivity function too. But aargh. My beloved Gmail, what have you done with this recent change?

To be automatically categorised as "promotional" is an interesting thought for any heart-based business... 

To be in the same place as coupon businesses, clothing stores, airline ticket specials & more does not make my heart go pitter patter with joy. All these businesses are 100% sales focused whereas the majority of emails I send to my tribe are not directly PROMOTIONAL - they're informative, uplifting and educational. Yes, there are some specific sales emails but this is not (and never will be) the primary focus of my email communication.

What will inevitably occur with this change is that people who use Gmail online will check their "promotional" section less & less often so our emails won't get seen as easily or readily. The reality is, out of sight equals out of mind and if our people can't see our emails, they cannot easily connect with our work or be invited to do so. Aargh.

So what do we do as conscious, loving community who want to bring more light to this planet through our work (as well as make money doing what we love)?

We educate, we bring awareness, we do what we can to inform Gmail users of what will happen when they say "yes, I want to hear from you & stay connected" and we keep taking inspired action every single day :) And there's few more ideas below for you too… How To Flow Gracefully With The New GMAIL Inbox Automatic Promotional Categories 1. Share articles like this one and 15 Best Ever Email Tips For Inbox Bliss: Email Management For Expanded Beings with your clients regularly. Practical tips given freely like this will make your clients feel supported and know that you understand the realities of email communication in their busy lives. 2. Share a little note from time to time through facebook or other mediums that encourage people to make sure they continue to receive your emails (a "haven't heard from us lately?" kind of thing… "Check your promotional folder if you're using gmail…" or "here's some instructions to return you inbox bliss"…) Also feel free to link to this article for your clients and the instructions below. It's not about trying to control how people use technology - that's an impossible task - we can only meet folks where they're at currently and share small reminders, hints, tips and action points that will make their lives easier and  enable you both to have a clear, open communication pathway. 3. On your "Thank you for signing up" page that appears after someone has opted in through your website, include specific instructions for Gmail users. Write a short and sweet note on how they can turn off this functionality and how to make sure they continue hearing from you. Also here include a word about making sure your emails don't go into spam folders and an invitation to follow you elsewhere so they can feel your energy and connect through other forums outside of email. 4. Ask yourself the question, how can this make me better in my marketing and communication with my people? How can I make my tribe want to continue connecting, to want to keep seeing my emails and seeing my name and face and tapping into my message? How can I make people miss me when they don't see me so they're drawn to take individual action to make sure they continue to hear you? How can this make you a better version of yourself and refine your voice to be even more powerful, potent and magnetic? 5. Most importantly, make sure you have an holistic, open and evolving approach to marketing in your business. Don't ever rely too heavily on just one method of sharing your offerings, creating connections and meeting the people who are actively seeking solutions to the problems that you and your work solve Be balanced in your marketing. Do many little things both online and offline simultaneously to authentically invite people into your work. How To Turn OFF The New Gmail Automatic Categorising Function In Your Inbox If you're a gmail user (like me) and you're unhappy with the new inbox categories thing from a user perspective, here's how to change it so you're back to only ONE inbox (rather than 3)...
  1. Go to "settings" (under the gear icon on the right side of the page)
  2. Go to "configure inbox"
  3. Un-tick all the tabs you DON'T want to display  (I un-ticked all of them!). This leaves you with the "primary" tab only.
  4. Go back to your inbox where you'll be returned to the simple clarity of only ONE inbox to manage.
  5. OR  drag emails from me or others that's don't really fit in the "promotional" category into your "primary" inbox. Then say YES when the alert pops up!
  6. It's party time!
  7. We still love you gmail.

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about being labelled "promotions"? What's the most integral & authentic way to use email marketing in business? How else can we share our message with the world & our customers? I'd LOVE to hear from you below!

(PLEASE NOTE: this recent gmail change does not affect you or your clients if you use Gmail via a computer based email system like Outlook, Mac Mail or Thunderbird.)
you don’t need to “resonate with” or “like” your marketing (say what?!?) in conscious business
OK. Strap yourself in. It's time for a deeply pass...
fear-based-marketing-spiritual-marketingOK. Strap yourself in. It's time for a deeply passionate discussion (read: rant) on authentic marketing truths and ideals… (I seriously had to constrain myself to only two question marks and one exclamation point in the title of this blog post!) I was on a free webinar recently. You know, one of those great learning forums with heaps of excellent info that abound in the internet marketing world...? This one in particular was from a coach who specialises in working with yoga teachers: very heart-based and authentically loving work. Or so I thought up to the moment I heard the speaker say these words:

"You don't need to resonate with your marketing. You don't need to feel good about your marketing. Remember, your marketing isn't FOR YOU…"

She continued to strongly suggest that what we needed to do to be successful in our business was to speak directly to the pain that our clients and students are experiencing… really put it out there, in their faces… call their attention to it in such a way that they cannot avoid it and are then drawn inexorably into our offer… To let pain be the biggest motivator for your clients to continue reading your sales piece, webpage, flier, brochure etc. This is not a new concept. This is copywriting 1.01. Not overly heart-based through. I squirmed a little (read: a lot). The suggestion that I don't need to resonate with or feel good about my marketing feels like a sellout… feels like I'd be playing the same old, big business games I've rejected my whole life… feels WRONG in every possible way and if this is the ONLY solution - to change my marketing to be fear based? then perhaps this business thing just isn't for me. But I took it in, open to all suggestions because this was an expert in heart-based marketing speaking - I wasn't listening to just any ol' internet entrepreneur here. As the universe is an infinitely kind place, I figured this information was given for a reason. Maybe I needed to hear it right now? Maybe this single piece would help take my business to the next level? With a deep knowing and trust I wrote down some ideas… I considered changing the name of my new Soul-full Business Training to a headline along the lines of:

Is Self-Doubt & Lack Of Clarity Crippling Your Yoga Business?

I just couldn't do it. I look at the words above and I get the heebie jeebies. A cold shudder. I cringe. Ick. NO WAY could I with any integrity use this as my primary marketing message. It just plain feels wrong... Granted - this woman is definitely making more money than me. She's definitely reaching a lot more people than I am currently. She's definitely more "successful" in worldly terms than I am. But heart-based people do not measure success in terms of financial reward - when we do, we get into trouble and become someone we're not. We put on a mask. We believe we need to change to do what we love and get paid for it and when that happens, a whole world of pain, self-doubt and uncertainty is born. Money does not motivate us. It's not enough to follow these basic marketing rules because more people will sign up, do my course, pay me etc… that is old school, old paradigm business. When we play this game, we cut off a part of ourselves. We demonstrate that we do not believe we are wholly worthy for who we are and what we offer. We compromise our spirits and die a little inside.

When you do NOT resonate with your marketing you create a manipulative dynamic. You hide a part of yourself & generate an internal shame response. This does not feel good.

It is this very dynamic that keeps us small in business. We are acutely aware of and sensitive to the energy of manipulation to the point that it consistently prevents us from selling and marketing our services. So we avoid it. We don't do it. We stop sharing. Or share only in tiny increments at irregular intervals. We don't want ANYONE to EVER feel manipulated by our marketing because we know how horrible that feeling is. No marketing equals no clients/no students/no income doing what you love and the world misses out on experiencing your incredible magic... and that is very sad indeed. Yes, there's a ton of big, bad business models, heaviness and influences out there. Yes, there's old school teachings that create doubt and confusion in our hearts. Yes, there's experts speaking to "conscious entrepreneurs" like you and me suggesting that we don't need to feel good about our marketing… This is what we face when we say "YES" to business. This is the spiritual challenge. It's a calling to walk this path and walk it to the beat of your own big, beautiful heart without compromise. We are agents of evolution on this planet. We are re-creating the entire world of business and marketing as we speak. We are Love in action.  

What are your thoughts? What do you think of my new headline?  Should I try it as an experiment? How does "fear-based" marketing make you feel? Does it work? So many questions! I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts...

P.S. I don't often give myself permission to go on a rant (let alone a public one). I recommend it. Highly therapeutic!

how to create abundance in your business: 5 ways to open & receive
Undercurrents of poverty consciousness, rejection ...
how-to-recieve-abundance-spiritual-marketingUndercurrents of poverty consciousness, rejection of worldly possessions and fear of failure / success are often present in a dark corner silently (or not so silently) sabotaging attempts to create abundance doing what we love. We may not even know this energy of resistance is inside us until we start marketing our work or speaking to people, sharing our offerings or putting a price and value on our time and services. This resistance results in a pushing against abundance. We've been taught that giving is more ideal than receiving - the more we give the purer, cleaner, better and holier we are. For many it's infinitely easier to give than it is to receive. The act of receiving can make us squirm with uncomfortableness and bring up sharp edges that force us to look at our own worthiness. Is it OK for us me receive this? Surely I haven't done enough yet to receive that? I don't deserve this. Anyone could have done what I did.  etc etc…  We smile, shake our heads humbly and push away the sweetness the Universe is bringing to our door.

One thing we forget in the act of opening to abundance is that there must always be someone who receives - without the receiving there would be no giving, no dynamic, no shifting of energy from one person to another, no magnetic pull attracting the circumstances, clients and income you want to you. To receive, you must first empty your cup.

For most conscious, aware and awake beings, receiving is NOT the default position. We have to work at it. Every single day. 

The tools given in this article are evolutionary and eternal. They are not a "to-do" list that needs to be checked off. They are invitations into a new way of relating to yourself, your body, other people and objects that create deeper connection and the ability to see clearly what's here especially for you. This is life as spiritual practice. No separation. No shearing away of any part of self. No need to heal or fix.  When you practice receiving you have an opportunity to reclaim your birth-right as powerful creator, free, expanded light on this planet. When you open to receive you know beyond any shadow of a doubt that you are blessed to be alive and that the universe is conspiring with you to bring ever more love and gifts into the here now… that you are an ocean of gratitude, that everything you could ever possibly need or want is available to you in this moment and that the answers you seek are not outside your own heart.

Learning to receive is a doorway to self-worth and self-love and from there, EVERY thing is available to you.

These practices have transformed me from someone who found it almost impossible to believe that she could have anything of value to contribute, someone who at times actively engaged in self-abuse, someone who struggled with being in this world enormously and wanted nothing more than to drop out completely… to someone who knows how to celebrate her own beauty and see the impact she has on any gathering of people and clients, someone who knows how to receive money, state her price cleanly and experience a level of pride in what she's managed to create while dancing wildly to the beat of her own heart. This woman has a solid connection with her own worth as a human being and a closer alignment with the innocent and playful spirit that shines out in everything she does. Sometimes I cry, deeply humbled, awed by the magnificence and constant, overwhelmingly HUGE river of abundance flowing my way. Other times I don't see it at all - too wrapped up in mind and doing.

It's always there though. This current of love is just waiting for us to take a breath, let go, look up and notice….

1.  Acknowledge every compliment, beautiful word of praise & outpouring of gratitude that comes your way We've been taught to be humble and gracious with praise and if you're in Australia, most likely to self-deprecate with a laugh and a grin on your face. We've been taught that being good at something or better at something than another is not necessarily a cause for celebration, that in fact it's uncouth, we're big-noting ourselves if we draw too much attention to our accomplishments. This is a life-long practice and we may move in and out of being able to fully receive the compliments and thanks that is coming our way delivered to our very door. When someone freely gives you acknowledgement, a compliment, praise and gratitude and you find yourself pushing away, glossing over, brushing off, thinking the other doesn't really mean it or they're just being polite or gesturing with a dismissive wave of your hand - slow down. Ask them to repeat it. Give this to yourself as much as it's being given to you from the universe. This kind of receptivity turns into a little dollop of self-love that blossoms within your heart and deepens connections in community. 2.  Pleasure your self. Regularly. To receive pleasure is one of the greatest gifts there is to experience in a human body. There's a intricate roadmap of pathways specifically designed for you to feel extraordinary sensations, orgasmic micro-explosions and radiant waves of somatic feeling that pulse with expansion to give a taste of heaven… Make use of these pathways. Often. Open to the pleasure that's here inside your body right now reading these words - the sensation of your bum against a cushion… the tingling in your fingertips. If you are sensitive and alive to pleasure, every breath can be ecstasy. Do you have an internal pleasure gauge that freaks out if the levels of bliss experienced get too much? A "this much and no more" energetic that plays out inside when receiving physical pleasure in your body? Do feelings of deep self-worth or shame get activated when you receive over and above that pleasure limit you've been taught to adhere to? What do you think would happen if you recieved too much pleasure? All these questions will shed light on your relationship to pleasure and your ability to receive in insightful, curious and sometimes painful ways - when looking at self-pleasure you get an opportunity to see how you limit yourself and how conditioning creates many of the subtle forces that determine your choices. You get an ability to choose again, to open to receive pleasure as if you are worth it (you are) and as if pleasure is your birth right (it is)... 3.  Practice mindfulness of food & objects. There's a deep state of receptivity that comes from acknowledging and feeling the physical reality you are immersed in. When seen from this perspective the level of support, strength, dependability and love that surrounds us constantly is extraordinary. In every single moment we are being supported by objects, furniture, floors, walls, buildings, food, air, water, earth, fire, electricity, gasoline, other people, skin, mind, muscles and more ad infinitum. Are you receiving this bounty or are you taking it for granted, not noticing it, ignoring it or assuming it will always be there for you to lean on and be supported by? Slow down. Feel your weight fully and effortlessly supported by the table you're leaning against or the chair you're sitting on. Sense the reality of every single object in the room you're in and how it serves to bring you everything you need. Slow down. Let your eyes receive the colours of your food. Breathe in the aroma. Let nourishment melt in your mouth and enter every cell. Slow down. See with clear eyes what exists 100% for YOU and because of YOU. 4.  Garden. Get out in nature as much as you can. The abundance of mother earth is ever-present. She asks nothing of us ever but just gives, gives and gives. We can tune into this energy whenever we feel to. Walk in a rainforest. Plant some kale. Watch the grasshoppers doing their thing. Take your shoes off and feel the ground beneath your toes. Stop on the side of the road and take in that magical sunset. Connect with the rhythms that govern us all. Nature just IS. Surrender to the new life death, destruction and rebirth going on all around. Become sensitive to it. Give something back to celebrate the earth. Start a worm farm. Compost.  Know your actions are sacred every time you make a conscious choice to bring your own shopping bags, recycle or catch rain water in a bucket. Feel gratitude for hearing this call to worship the Mother. We are her blessed children always. 4.  Start a physical practice that cultivates receptivity in your body. In the western world we've been taught that harder, faster, better, longer, stronger more, more, more is the way to go - to push through pain / no pain no gain / the harder it is the better it must be etc etc.. This has created a pandemic of stress and pressure and an undercurrent of the almost universal belief that we are "not good enough"… that if things aren't going the way we want them to then we must be doing something wrong, obviously we are doing something wrong… Gentle yoga and many modalities of ecstatic dance allow and encourage what's here now inside us to be felt, witnessed and moved through in respectful and loving ways. In gentle yoga, energetic movements and free-form dance, there is no right or wrong way of doing it - there is only learning to move from the integrity of your own direct experience - there is no pushing or forcing or achieving in the movements… there is just awakening to sensation and giving that expression.These physical practices make room inside us, they clean us out and open  body and mind to welcome in and receive every part of our experience. They move us away from rules and conditioned response - not valuing  "good" over  "bad" - not seeking to change our situation but rather to honour everything that's here now and give it voice to exist as a valid and valuable part of human experience.
  The more you acknowledge abundance, the more abundance you will attract. This is unlimited. The next time you're experiencing "lack" or "not enough" in your wallet or bank account, return to this list - rather than asking yourself what are you doing wrong, look for what you are doing right.

As your ability to receive grows so will your ability to know the true worth of the work you do in the world and speak with intimate understanding of the real value of your services. This deep knowing comes from within. You are unshakeable from this place, an open, warm, willing invitation to receptivity, grace and abundance as you do, act and breathe your business from the heart.

Anything else to add? What returns you to receptivity in body, mind & spirit? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

15 best ever email tips for inbox bliss: email management for expanded beings
Using email for communication can be incredibly ri...


Using email for communication can be incredibly rich and rewarding. It's lightning fast. We can connect, reach out and touch each other and clients regardless of where we're located on the planet. It can be a source of much pleasure, efficiency and achievement. It's potential is limitless. It's free and easy and can definitely bring more light and love to this world.

Email can also be an intensely wild ride through feelings of overwhelm, stress and futility… no matter how much we do we'll never catch up… it can prevent us focusing on what we actually want to do while giving the false premise that we are actually achieving something worthwhile… we can feel weighed down and pressured by the sheer bulk of emails constantly seeking our limited time, attention and energy. This form of communication can be excruciatingly frustrating.

Although initially reluctant, over the past 6 years of using email in my business I've learned a few things about reducing stress, pressure and overwhelm in technology. I seriously never thought I'd be running a business online or using email every day but currently, I have 8 separate email addresses coming into one inbox. I've had these same 8 email addresses active for over 5 years and have never had to delete an email account because of spam or had an account hacked or blocked. I've learned how to focus intensely and discovered many groovy methods to soothe my heart and transform my productivity and clarity.

I hope the following tips help you find your own personal path to embrace technology and use it in a way that enhances your life and business. When used liberally, they will give you a sense of ease, control, deep peace and reconnection with the source of your own power and freedom.

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below! Do you have anything more to add that you've found works for you to manage your emails? What else can create inbox bliss?

1. Be professional, clear and conversational always

This is a skill well worth learning for inbox bliss. Keep your emails short and sweet. Very few people really want to be spending long amounts of time on the computer reading lengthy emails  (do you?) so respect that in your words. But if you're like me (i.e. not the most succinct person in the world who uses writing as a natural form of creative expression) make sure you use the following tip profusely:

Boldunderline or highlight the important bits in your email - most folks who use computers a lot are scan readers and are likely to miss important info unless it's repeated or made super clear. Use this to your advantage and bold or otherwise highlight the most essential elements in your email. People will greatly appreciate your clarity and the time it saves them!

Email communication can be frustrating if there's a lot of questions or points raised. In your email responses, make sure you do actually answer every question raised (and then bold it). Also consider using bullet points, numbers, colour, headings and sub-headings to break up long paragraphs into easily digestible nuggets of information - this supports you and the person you're speaking with.

One more thing: make sure you do use paragraphs. Big chunks of text are overwhelming and vital information can easily get lost in the flow of words. This often results in additional and unnecessary emails back and forth. Using correct grammar, punctuation and spelling will set you apart as someone who cares and values communication and help you to feel clear.

2. Use an email system that handles spam really well

Spam is just a fact of life. We can't avoid it. But by using an email provider that filters really well, you'll relieve a lot of pressure on your inbox and energy. I also make it a point to delete all my spam messages every time I check my email as sometimes, a non-spam email that I don't want to miss winds up in my spam box. I highly recommend Gmail for tons of reasons - but here for spam, it ROCKS. Also make sure that if some emails do slip through the spam filter and appear in your inbox, label them as spam so the intelligence of the spam filter continues to improve and become more responsive and discerning.

3. Create an ACTION folder

This single tip revolutionised my entire usage of email and transformed my feelings of overwhelm and scatteredness whenever I opened my inbox to one of clarity and empowerment. Everything I put into this folder needs to be well… actioned in some way. I used to use my inbox as my ACTION folder but found I would get depressed and feel pressured when I kept seeing the same jobs day after day - particularly when I use an email as my reminder to do a big job that takes time to complete.

I started to see my inbox more as a pathway, a gate and entry point into conscious awareness of action in my physical work, the beauty of self-education and the nourishing social connection I really enjoy. For expanded beings, it's challenging enough to be in the tick-tock world so it's essential to have a way to gain some sense of accomplishment, to keep your desk and mind clear of clutter, to clean the slate each day and to have a process that allows you to feel in control, happy and at peace with Computer Land.

4. If things are easy to action, action them immediately

The beauty of email is it's an effortless and instantaneous mode of communication - it's often easier to shoot off a quick email than to pick up the phone. But, if things are NOT easy or you need to take some other kind of action or do more work before responding to an email, file it in your ACTION folder to get to when you have the time, energy and resources to come back to it.

5. Keep your inbox empty all the time

Every single email that comes my way is handled in one of 4 ways:

1. Deleted instantly (yes, there's a ton of irrelevant electronic communication that comes our way)

2. Responded to instantly then filed in an appropriate Folder or Label (gmail)

3. Moved to my ACTION folder if further action is needed

4. Moved immediately to an appropriate folder if I want to keep it for future reference (it may not require a response)

6. Set up an auto-responder / vacation message when you're away

If you know you're going to be away for a set period of time, set up an auto-responder or vacation message that lets people know when you'll be back and able to respond to their enquiry. You may also like to include an emergency number to contact you or a referral to another who is available during the time you're away. It's amazing how many small businesses do not do this, leaving potential customers feeling unvalued and disconnected. There are real people on the end of every email you receive (except for spam emails!) so it's important to honour this in your communication.

7. Use your email signature for relevant contact info

Set up an email signature that includes all the important bits that students and clients need to know to connect with you - your name, phone number, website, Skype details, studio/clinic address etc. I recommend not using images in your email signature as many people use email programs that don't display images by default so your email signature will appear as a box outline instead of a pretty picture. You might like to include an invitation to come play with you on facebook, connect through other social media or even a link to recent blog posts or articles you've written that showcase your work. You may also like to add a bit of unique personality and creative expression to your email signature by using colour or including a quote or something else that really resonates. I like to do this and change it on a regular basis whenever inspired!

8. Subscribe and Unsubscribe to lists often - as your heart and soul move you

Email for me is a constant flow and to be authentic, fully present (and unattached), it's essential that the information coming to me matters and is important in my life - it's not just stuff wasting my precious time and energy. There is SO MUCH AMAZING STUFF out there that we could easily devote the bulk of our existence to learning more and more and more!!

Here's the question though, is this information really serving you right now? Is it enhancing your life? Does it feel good? Or is the sheer volume dragging you down into overwhelm and stress?

When I become still and breathe into this question, often I discover that I actually don't want or need to know this information right now. I may find myself deleting everything from a particular source or simply feeling bored more often than not. If this happens, I unsubscribe from the list. I also manage my facebook notifications so I don't get any emails in my inbox unless it's from a group I really value and want to stay connected with. Practice discernment.

9. Always include a clear and relevant subject heading in your emails

This makes finding and filing your emails super simple. It can be confusing to try and track emails that have no subject heading or know what's important to open in your inbox. It also makes it easy to track and read all responses received from folks to the same conversation on the same topic. New topic = new email subject heading.

10. Have set times for checking your email

I haven't quite yet mastered this one but it's something many experts and internet entrepreneurs agree on - checking emails often can without a doubt, keep you from doing what you really want to do. It may work for you to only check your email once a week for example… or every day between 3 - 5 pm… or even twice a week. Try it and see if a more structured approach is useful for feeling in control!

Limiting your time spent checking emails is a great way to encourage and build your ability to focus on what's important in your life - if you only have 30 minutes to be on the computer, you can only respond to what is really essential - the rest is just fluff :) (fluff can be rather good though... we all need a bit of fluff especially if we've been checking our emails for too long! HA HA! Consider directing your "fluffy" emails to your personal account as per Tip #14 below.)

11. If you want to receive less email, send less email

Pretty simple and obvious really but I love the personal responsibility this creates - to be clear about what's working for us right now in our lives. I do not wish to create a life or business which is 100% dependent on the internet therefore I often choose to call someone back rather than rely on responding via email. (I also really like connecting with people… SO much better on the phone and in the flesh!) What kind of business will serve you right now? How do you want to be spending your time when you work?

Decide if you do want to offer email as a mode of communication connecting you with your clients. If you do, there are certain good habits to get into. If you don't want to be reliant on technology in this way, you're much better off not using email at all. Contrary to some experts, I don't believe email is essential for you to create a business you love - instead, it's about being truly authentic from the word go about what's in your natural flow and where your most radiant skills are (knowing this can change at any time).

12. Get clear on your personal ethics around what good communication means to you

If I'm sent a personal email, I always respond to it - perhaps not immediately (unless it's clearly urgent or very easy for me to action) but I always respond. On the other hand, some folks may not respond to most emails as a matter of course - it's simply not their way. What feels right to you? How would you like your emails to be treated? What does professionalism mean to you? Everyone uses technology differently - especially anyone born prior to like um… 1985 and it's unrealistic to expect that we all get on the same page with how we use email. Being comfortable with this fact can save a lot of angst down the road.

As someone who always responds to emails, I've been down many fascinating mental worm holes into taking it all very personally and being mortally offended by someone's lack of response to my emails ("They don't like me! I've done something wrong! They're ignoring me!!!). I've learned much from these self-flagellating meanderings:

1. That the reason someone doesn't respond to an email I've sent is none of my business

2. That if I want or need a response and I'm not getting one - I pick up the phone

3. I use the lack of response to re-adjust my approach to the task at hand (No, I don't rely on text messages either… Egad. I must be born prior to 1985.)

13. Sometimes a phone call is better

You may have personally experienced or are aware that sometimes tone can be a tricky thing in the written word. If a few emails are flying back and forth and there's any sense of confusion or uncertainty or you're sensing strong emotion, PICK UP THE PHONE. This can be a more effective (and rewarding) way to get things done and instantly resolves confusion and doubt. It's also really empowering for you and let's people know that you value their input and their presence.

14. Separate your business email accounts from your personal email

There is great, GREAT wisdom in separating your business email account from your personal email account. When I first started using email I was resistant to this idea - I didn't really want to be on a computer so wanted to keep things simple and direct. Why give myself even more to do? Why add another inbox to check? When I finally took the plunge though, the inner spaciousness and sense of focus that opened up was PROFOUND. I could consciously choose when to work and when to play, to be more structured in my day and in control of all the info that comes my way. Another excellent tip to add to the list and OMG… a dodgy poem too! :P

You may also like to start using filters in your inbox - to "filter" certain emails from a particular source into a particular folder so it's not in your face grabbing your attention. Rather you can choose when you look at this folder - you are in control. I use a combination of filters in both my personal and business accounts but there's one very important point to make here - make sure you actually do check those folders on a regular basis or you might miss something life-enhancing. Out of sight is often out of mind and it's easy to set up filters that we never return to. When you check your filtered folders and find that you don't need the information at all right now, unsubscribe to free up some space in both your mind and your inbox.

15. Experiment and see what works for you

Remember we are all completely different and unique in our motivations, expectations and computer experience when it comes to using technology for communication. Have an attitude of experimentation and discover for yourself what most enhances your life and email bliss! These ideas are intended to stimulate your imagination and bring you back to clarity and focus so you feel utterly in control - put just one tip into action or integrate all of them over time.

Anything else to add? What works for you to manage your emails for inbox bliss? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

how to find your purpose / live your purpose / and align with your purpose (or not…)
Do I really need a purpose to be happy, make money...


Do I really need a purpose to be happy, make money doing what I love and change the world?

I’m not so sure. I’m actually starting to get a little... well... annoyed at being told by experts in entrepreneurship and leadership that if we don’t have an ultimate purpose, a calling, we’ll just flounder around pretending to offer our hearts while actually being ineffectual and never reaching the critical mass of communication needed to cause a shift in consciousness on the planet. Every time I hear that I apparently need to “find my purpose”, “align with my purpose” and “live my purpose” to be happy, abundant and successful, I feel a creeping, malignant darkness enter my mind... a sense of doubt, unworthiness and fear. Frankly, I get depressed. I don’t know if I believe I have an ultimate purpose. I’m not saying I don’t have one (I suspect it’s already happening whether or not I believe I’m on the “right” path anyway), I’m just intimate with existential concerns that affect all thinking, breathing humans open to knowing truth (namely, that life is inherently meaningless). I was told recently when I met a well-known visionary leader that if I want to monetise my purpose it HAS to be clearly defined in common terms and equate to one or two words... teacher. speaker. healer. writer. entrepreneur. artist. etc. If I want to make money doing what I love, my “purpose” has to look like something in the world, an action that’s immediately recognisable and fits neatly into one of several, pre-defined boxes (that my target market currently wants, needs, is actively seeking and willing to invest large amounts of money in). Purpose is NOT a feeling. Purpose is NOT an internal experience. It’s an action and I need to clear my subconscious, process my resistance and remove any blockages preventing me from taking said action (to be successful, abundant, realised, happy etc). My rebellious heart moaned “NOOOOOOO”! I was disappointed - I expected something more profound from this genius, this expert, this wildly wealthy and successful man. I wanted a conversation to take me into new realms I hadn’t previously considered on the narrow route to understanding purpose. (I’d come across these teachings many times before, primarily from entrepreneurs speaking to a more conscious, heart-based audience selling programs designed to help us “find our purpose”...)

When I drop into the deepest, most silent part of my being, I find that nothing is needed. My purpose has in fact already been met simply by the fact that I am alive. THAT is purpose. Done. Nothing I can do to improve upon it. It’s already perfect. 

When we have a deep spiritual connection to all that is and conviction of divinity in every breath, it seems a little shallow to cage that in the world’s terms. When one has had the experience of being blissfully content, utterly at peace, overflowing with love and compassion and anchored in the present moment after a particularly beautiful yoga class, it’s a little ludicrous to believe that’s not enough... that actually, the higher purpose is to somehow package that state, call it some funky name, write a snazzy sales piece and send it out to a database of 20 000 people. It makes sense. It’s highly logical. Of course we have to have a purpose driving us, inspiring us, calling us forward to new levels of expansion, grace and creative expression if we’re going make the world a better place. It just doesn’t do it for me personally (and because I’m having this experience, I’m wondering if I’m alone?). I’ve questioned at times if my spiritual insight and multi-dimensional beingness have in fact hindered me on the path to creating abundance. I don’t actually believe that if I make a lot of money I’ll automatically be “happy” or that my life will necessarily be better. I don’t think you believe that either. Because of this, I’m much less motivated, determined and driven to push in my business. I’m not seeking happiness and contentment at some future point when I’ve achieved whatever it is that I’m here do and have accumulated “enough” of everything to never have to think about money again. The common teaching is that if I’m “living my purpose” there won’t be any suffering, doubt or fear in what I do. There will only be the universe affirming my abundance and showering gratitude upon me, my business and my marketing. But here’s the thing: I already experience this state. Almost everyday in my yoga practice. It’s available to me regardless of what I’m doing in the world - growing a business, washing my dishes, speaking to a friend on the phone, scratching my nose - this state looks like ANYTHING that’s happening in the moment. And it has no purpose whatsoever - it just is.

As a devoted yogini, I notice the only time I feel conflict or pain is when I think that’s not enough, when I believe I “should” be doing something more with my life or that I need to “find my purpose”.

I do think I’m here for a purpose. But I don’t know what that purpose is. I don’t need to know. I may never know. It’s in my heart beat, a smile, sun caught in a drop of dew, lettuce growing in my garden and grasshoppers trying to eat it, in my meditation cushion, purple carrots, clothes pegs. My purpose is anything I want it to be in the moment. I make it up as I go. My purpose is constantly shifting. And for now I’ve found my one word... love.

What's your purpose? Do you have one word to describe it? Is purpose an action or a feeling for you in sharing your business? 

the art of surrendering to spiritual marketing & divine timing: 4 questions for conscious business
Three and a half years ago when my business “fai...
Three and a half years ago when my business “failed” I was in a very dark place. I was hard, shut down, cynical, obsessed with my work, constantly comparing myself with others and coming up lacking. I was neglecting my man, neglecting my body and neglecting my Self in almost every possible way.  No time to honour the unseen, no sense of reverence for the mystery and magic of life and no connection with what was natural and authentic to me. Every day was filled with trying and effort to be something I was not, to be successful, to BE something.

I had fallen into the biggest trap there is for conscious, heart-based entrepreneurs: forgetting what life is really about.

The reality is sometimes, no matter how badly we want something, it just doesn’t happen. This is the hard stuff. The stuff rarely spoken of in public. The stuff we wouldn’t tell our children. Right before I made the agonising decision to leave my business, a spiritual healer told me that it “wasn’t the right time for me...” I could continue working 60 hour weeks and it still wouldn’t be the right time for me. It rang true. My heart broke. I laid down my soul and surrendered my ego completely to something far, far bigger than myself.

Thus began an intense period of grieving and inward journeying to rediscover my unique creative expression, my truth and my ability to love myself. Thus began a lifetime’s enquiry into how heart-based, conscious, spiritual and authentic business practices can change the world...

Slow marketing is one of those practices. It invites us into connection with Spirit, the bigger picture that powers the entire universe - the Great Mystery itself...  In business, this challenges us on the deepest level to breathe, take action, let go and breathe again. It asks nothing less of us than complete surrender, a release of tight-fisted control over the outcomes of our action. It asks humility of us and to trust the divine timing that right now is impacting our choices, relationships, business, customers and every situation we find ourselves in. This path is not for everyone. In fact there’s a whole world of big business and multi-national corporations out there based on ignorance, self-sacrifice, hard work and retirement dreams. It may even be working for them (I’m not so sure Mother Earth, divorce rates, developing nations and our ozone layer would agree though)... Some high-achieving folk actually thrive on being pushed and an internal sense of pressure. For many, deadlines and other’s expectations are the only things that ever spurn them into action...  And YES, some of us are here to leave a massive legacy, an international movement, something REALLY BIG and lasting that will serve the planet for generations to come... For those mentioned above, slow marketing may not be the most fulfilling and rewarding path to business salvation and success. For others though, heart-based businesses, yoga teachers, healers and lightworkers, pressure does not serve - it contracts. The focus on linear cause and effect, personal effort, striving and one dimensional achievement leaves us feeling empty, dissatisfied and depressed. We’ve seen through it. Instead, we trust in the cumulative effects of our efforts and the divine timing that flows through us. We believe in the Law of Attraction. We work firstly on ourselves so our external reality is reflected from an unhindered space. We live in expanded beingness and the eternal nature of who we really are. We have smaller dreams that are no less bright and worthy for their size. We simply want to be good people, enjoy our work, support our local community and make enough money doing what we love in the world.

To support us in abundance, embodying slow, spiritual marketing is about asking ourselves the really BIG questions; who am I, what really matters to me in my life, what is my purpose here and what would it take for me to die happy, knowing I gave it my best shot while I was here? 

When we meditate on the big questions, we find the answers are often profoundly simple and universal in their application. Below are my answers (please note, these may evolve and develop over time but I highly doubt they will journey far from the central themes given): Who am I?  I am love. Love is who I am. All that is not love is not really me. What really matters to me in my life?  Relationships. Conscious community. Love. The love that I’ve given and received in the world. What is my purpose here?  To experience love and this present moment as completely as I can. What would it take for me to die happy, knowing I gave it my best shot while I was here?  Knowing I have given love and made some small difference in the life of another human being. Knowing that love is the only thing I will leave behind me when I die. Without an awareness of spiritual marketing and the principles of slow marketing, our business runs us rather than the other way around. We lose sight of the knowing we are free to create every aspect our business to serve both us and the world. Are we choosing to be at peace, easy with the gentle unfolding of our marketing or do we seek success so badly we forget what really matters in life, becoming slaves to our work, victims of our own busyness?

Slow marketing attunes us to divine consciousness, the perfection of what is - a flower opening in timing aligned with the rhythm of creation. Slow marketing attunes us to the natural flow of energy moving through us and our business, trusting that opening and blossoming will occur in it’s own time - while we take inspired action every day.

How would you live your life from this place? What if your answers to the questions above informed every act you made in your business, every phone call, conversation or money exchange? How would it feel to use your business and marketing as a reminder of what you’re really here for?

 I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

how to be in energetic alignment with your marketing
Well. It took a wee while for inspiration to grace...
spiritual-marketing-for-yoga Well. It took a wee while for inspiration to grace me with her presence in 2013 but she visited last night at 3.37 am. My muse has finally arrived and I am her most humble and willing servant! The reason it took so long to write is that I myself haven't actually opened or read an email newsletter for pretty much the entire length of 2012. Beautiful notes and updates from services I love would arrive in my inbox by magic and I'd instantly delete them. I didn't have the mental energy or space to absorb new information or give anything other than the most cursory of glances… Something shifted though in the wee hours of this morning  - I moved into a place of integral action grounded in my own direct experience and… I opened and read an email newsletter :) My question for you is this:

Are you considering any marketing for the year ahead that you DON'T CURRENTLY USE to find information yourself?

And… what forms of marketing and media DO YOU MOST ENJOY learning from and hearing about new events, services and courses?

If you're on facebook often for example and that's your primary mode of hearing about events, then there's a good chance that facebook is your most relaxed, authentic, uplifting and effortless mode of speaking about your work. If on the other hand, you don't naturally gravitate to the social sharing and regular use of facebook to communicate, using it for marketing is clunky, awkward and out of alignment with who you are right now. (You may notice that I don't currently use facebook for business - that's because when I contemplate the commitment involved with social media marketing and posting excellent content 2 - 5 x every single day… my body is wracked by cold shudders, I gag, I freak out totally on the inside! This may change at any point in the future but right now, it's not the forum for me to be authentic in.) For heart-based healers, yoga teachers and those on a spiritual path, in our marketing we need to feel connected and deeply alive. The questions above are an invitation to step into what feels wholly good and right for YOU so that becomes action which draws abundance to you. When answered from the heart, these questions can create a sense of internal peace, confidence and radiate trust - exactly the energy that we want to express when sharing our business in the world! And… exactly the energy which attracts clients to us.

Effective and joyous spiritual marketing is about grounding and honouring your vision through your actions in the here and now - making sure that everything you do reflects the energy you want to invite people into. No one can do this but you. It's an internal job.

It's all about being in energetic alignment with your personal truth and speaking powerfully and naturally from that place. If ANY part of your business or marketing is out of alignment with what you know to be true, results gained are very rarely soul-nourishing or abundantly rewarding. If you're assailed by self-doubt, feeling overwhelmed or stressed you cannot be authentic in your marketing. And if you're going through the motions and doing things because you think you "should" (or an expert's told you to) there's an underlying, tangible energy of conflict and confusion present.

This is also about knowing that conscious business is an evolutionary path. As you change, so does your reality. As you expand and grow, more avenues of authentic marketing to create abundance doing what you love are revealed.

What if every part of your business and sharing your passion sustained and uplifted you? What if you allowed your heart to guide you in every decision you make in the year ahead and acted only when it felt good?

I'd love to hear from you below!
overcoming fear & shyness in your business
As a devoted yogini in love with all things of spi...
As a devoted yogini in love with all things of spirit and truth, authentic expression and embodied learning are very close to my heart. I believe the more authentic we are and the more we give ourselves permission to simply feel what is there for us without label or judgement, the freer and more abundant we become both in business and the entirety of our lives.

I came across this video recently and I highly recommend watching it if you feel any edge, nervousness or fear around sharing your message with the world, getting out there and being seen. They say that fear of public speaking is one of the biggest and most crippling fears on the planet and having integral and meaningful ways of being with that part of ourselves is essential to us succeeding in business as yoga teachers, healers and creative souls living from the heart.

I used many of these techniques in my years of public speaking and corporate health workshops and found that when I opened to the sensation of fear, the chaos of butterflies, dropping feeling in the belly, contraction in the heart and spine and fullness in the bladder... when I stopped putting it in a box or thinking it was a "bad" thing, when I stopped trying to change it, heal it, fix it or push it away - it actually made me better on stage. I noticed that those days when nervousness and fear were really vibrating inside me - I got the most pleasure from teaching and sharing my passion... the most joy, the most amazing, radiating, pulsating energy flowing through me that lasted for days...

I no longer believe that if I'm in alignment with truth, there will be no fear. That was just some dodgy, bright blue new-age pill I swallowed years ago. There is a place for fear and resistance inside us when we contemplate moving outside of our comfort zone and familiar actions. There is a place for fear when we're considering leaving behind all that keeps us small. 

There is powerful stuff inside every moment of our experience... whatever it entails - resistance, fear, nervousness, confusion, conflict, avoidance, shut-down, withdrawal, sadness and more. This information, the intricate play of mind and emotion is too important to disregard or push ourselves to "get over" or "get through" - we are too important to disregard that part of ourselves. But we can find another, more loving way of being with fear when it arises.

I hope you enjoy this video - it's message is profound. I'd LOVE to hear what it stimulated inside you in the comments section below!

spiritual name change: important (?)
To my friends, family and community, After much ex...

To my friends, family and community,

After much exploration of who and what I am, I have come to the conclusion that my name is changing.

I now have a new name.

Please know this has not been a hasty or light decision. Whatever your personal views on spiritual names and all they entail, understand I have given serious consideration to all of it, moving through narrow positions of pointlessness, ambivalence, pretentiousness, fear of your judgement and doubt around the purity of my own intentions.

After all, I have no Eastern guru. I have not sought initiation into any lineage. I have no particular resonance with any path save that of Love, Life, Death, Beauty and swimming naked in rock pools.

Am I my name? Are any of us our names? Yes. No. Perhaps. Not only.

I've never wanted to change my name before. Maybe it's having high speed internet for the first time in almost a year… Maybe it's radically reframing my marriage… Maybe the recent Pisces new moon finally pushed me over the edge of my self-container…

All I know is I'm turned ON right now. Plugged IN to the celestial powerpoint in the sky. Radiating OUT my tiny, tender light of recognition.

As others who've chosen this path before me have shared… I am being called from within.

Susan is a serious soul. Her primary motivation is Truth with a capital "T". She brings a level of intensity, heady intellect and solidity. Susan looks for certainty in all things and definitive answers to her many, MANY questions about why she is here. When she can separate herself from the consuming darkness of Mind, she occasionally thinks she's pretty groovy.

The woman who writes these words however is lighter. Her primary motivation is also truth (but no longer with a capital "T"). Equally important to her is pleasure, fun and laughter. She's not looking for so many answers, content with the constraints of mortality. She's found a level of peace with previously painful existential portentions. She's more connected with her own grooviness.

I have no frame of reference for this. I have never done this before. I expect a period of clunkiness, some awkwardness to follow this note. Perhaps 6 months to a year as you (and me) adjust the mind and memory to this name now attached to the familiar physical form of mine.

Perhaps not though. You may find yourself easily, joyfully, bouncing up and down with child-like giggles as you call me my new name.

To facilitate this period of adjustment for you (and me), please update my name in your address book, contact list and mobile phone :)

I greatly appreciate your support and love in this slow unfolding, wet and wondrous, earthly trip we're on together.

I am a mirror reflecting back to you, the love you are. You are a mirror reflecting back to me, the love I am.

Love, Mirror

finding your authentic voice
  In this interview with the beautiful Jacque...
  In this interview with the beautiful Jacqueline Pretty in her series on authentic marketing "Voice = Found, we spoke about my story of intense initiation into conscious business, about being in energetic alignment with our voice and brand and about how our own transformation impacts our heart and our authentic voice in business from the heart.

Download & save the interview to your computer here

universal truths learned from procrastination
Procrastination is not what it seems. …what look...

procrastination-in-businessProcrastination is not what it seems. …what looks from the outside like our delay; our lack of commitment; even our laziness may have more to do with a slow, necessary ripening through time and the central struggle with the realities of any endeavour to which we have set our minds. To hate our procrastinating tendencies is in someway to hate our relationship with time itself, to be unequal to the phenomenology of revelation and the way it works its own way in its very own sweet, gifted time, only emerging when the very qualities it represents have a firm correspondence in our struggling heart and imagination. Procrastination does not stop a project from coming to fruition - what stops us is giving up on an original idea because we have not got to the heart of the reason we are delaying, nor let the true form of our reluctance instruct us in the way ahead. - David Whyte

  One of my smallest and most golden dreams is to create passive income through authentic, heart-based spiritual marketing of sustainable and conscious products online. Not overly much (it's a humble dream), between $300 - $500 each week would be divine thank you Universal Manager! A few months ago, an amazing opportunity came my way to begin this project. I was excited. I was blessed. Deeply honoured. Overjoyed at the financial abundance possible through this work of  bringing incredible products to a target market I love. I found my mind mouthing the words enthusiastically, "Yes! Sure! Absolutely! I'd LOVE to be involved!" (with slightly more exclamation marks than that). I procrastinated. Weeks passed. I noticed that I would put off responding to emails about this job, then apologise for my lack of response, then again have huge delays in my replies. I noticed again my mouth affirming that "Yes, I do want to be involved. This is an amazing opportunity here and I know I have the skills to make it work" and yet my hands stubbornly remained still - I did not begin. I procrastinated. Months passed. At first I thought my reservations were mere ghosts haunting me with dodgy confidence and whispers of past failures… I could put in heaps of energy and time and yes, it may not work - no traffic, no sales, no list growing by the hundreds daily of a targeted, beautiful niche… All my fault - here I am, perennially constipated by my own well-adjusted, hyper-aware, yet debilitating fear of failure. I procrastinated. More time passed. I went deeper - what was this really about? Perhaps it was something energetic I was picking up from the other person involved? Perhaps it wasn't the right time for them either? Saturn wasn't conjoining Venus and the moon phase was 17 degrees off? I procrastinated till I woke to find an email requesting a clear action - YES or NO. I stopped procrastinating. I slept on it and responded with a "No" (albeit a very wordy, roundabout one with lots of options, solutions and other possibilities mentioned) and I got a "No, thank you" back in reply. I fell immediately into a very dark and familiar place. A distant memory of my father shaking his head "Ah Susan, could've been a brain surgeon…" to my 19 year old insecure self… Hearing him ask each time I visit "how much money are you making?" Feeling alone, aware of the little girl inside me wanting reassurance, someone to tell me everything's going to be OK and that I've done the right thing. Next my finely honed, new-age intelligence has joined the party and is getting out the big stick to detail my many tantric down-falls of not embracing the surrendered flow of the feminine and the folly of being sucked into culturally conditioned doubts and ideals of how much simpler Man would make this and just do what needs to be done…. Confusion. Depression. Agony. I slowly crawled my way on tender, muddy hands and knees back to the light…

I believe there are untold elements and miracles at play in each moment that are subtly (and not so subtly) influencing the outcomes. I believe these miracles and energetic elements are beyond my control and give a depth of meaning and mystery to the life force pumping through my veins and spilling out my chakras.

I believe I create my reality here and now through the story I'm choosing to tell about any given situation in my business or marketing - for some, this could be a story of immense stupidity, pointless procrastination and lost opportunity for no good reason… for others, it may be a story that invites the listener to a deeper connection with their own integrity and hard-earned insights and courage to love themselves no matter what.

It's up to me to give this to myself. No one else can do it for me. To know what it means to trust my personal inner process even though the most highly skilled analyst of existential neuroses would balk at me, throwing hands up in despair and turning her back in disgust… despite that inner process seeming idiotic, wildly insane, stupidly intense and ridiculously, unnecessarily, over-complicated from the outside… To love it just because it's mine. All mine. My way. My heart. My attachment to self (with a little "s"). No matter what.

This experience has shown me much about the tiny but tenacious fears that live inside just waiting to pop out and lull me to sleep with sweet words of comfort and stagnation. I'm learning how to love them, give them space to exist rather than push them away. This experience has shown me much about watching those moments when words are in sharp contrast with actions and enquire as to the buried reasons beyond what appears to be procrastination on the surface. I'm learning to be clear, celebrate and keep restating exactly what I want in my business - to make money doing what I love, through sharing and living my message of absolute authenticity in marketing, life and self no matter what. As mentioned in my story, I'm not sure this is even possible. Perhaps some compromise is always necessary to be in the world and to generate income through business...? Perhaps I do need to bite the bullet, get off my lofty, idealistic, spiritual, high horse and come down to earth to play with the smelly mortals…? It may in fact, be a higher path to see that if I need money (which I do), I will (at least occasionally) have to do things I don't want to do, (just for the money) without the deeper heart connection that motivates me in all other work…? I'm not sure yet… the jury's still out. What do you think?    
yoga and slow, spiritual marketing
I came across the Slow Marketing Manifesto recentl...
I came across the Slow Marketing Manifesto recently and it touched me deeply: such simple truths to live a life and grow a business by for sensitive souls, yoga teachers and healers. Slow marketing captures the core of a more spiritual approach to western life and creating abundance doing what we love. The heart of slow marketing is trust in the perfection of what is, knowing that everything has a set timing that is beyond our control - a sweet surrender to the great mystery itself. It’s about not forcing our own evolution, going with the natural flow and allowing our own unique gifts to shine in the way they want to shine (not necessarily the way we think they “should” shine). When I approach my yoga mat each day to practice, I never know what’s going to happen or what I’ll discover inside me. Some days it’s blissful, instant connection and other days it’s hellish and I feel like I’m being torn apart. Yet I have faith in the process. I trust that all is coming if I do my practice. I don’t need to know the end result. Here time is infinite, expansive and circular.

This is the gift that slowly opens within my conditioned mind... when I bend my head and take that first full breath, I don’t know how it’s going to turn out or when it’s going to happen... and that’s OK. I am innocent. Open to more than I could possibly imagine...

Slow marketing asks us to embrace the reality that we never know for sure what’s going to happen, there’s something unseen going on, an energetic play we can’t help but be in alignment with. Of course, I can have a clear and intelligent business plan, an outline of what I expect and every step by step action that needs to occur but... I may not actually be in charge of this process. I may not be in control of the timing. I may not be able to make this happen through sheer force of will or by all the hard work, elbow grease and burning of midnight candles in the world...

This can either be an utterly paralysing, bowel-dropping thought of fear or the most liberating thing we’ve EVER heard!

Control Vs Surrender. In charge of one's own fate Vs karma. Free will Vs destiny. Action Vs Attraction. Countless tomes of stimulating philosophical and theological discussion abounds on these topics but it’s up to each of us, in our own unique way to find what best resonates. For those who crave peace and actualisation the model below supports slow, spiritual marketing and the balance between surrender and control:

We are merely custodians of our business. Like a child we are birthing into the world, it is coming through us, it is made of us yet is not us... 

What if you could support and nourish your business with the essential letting go that comes with parenting any child? What if you were to feed, clothe, love, guide and protect your child while holding it with an open hand and placing your trust in the unknown? As loving parents we can only do our best with what we’ve been given - at the end of the day, the child (our business) has a mind of it’s own and has to be free to make it’s own mistakes, pursue it’s own evolutionary path and grow up in it’s own time. As custodians of our baby business, we are freer to take inspired action, breathe and let go into alignment with higher consciousness and abundance. When we are over-protective, controlling, dominating parents we smother our children and our business. When there is pushing or forcing in our marketing, when we hold tightly to a vision of how things “should” be or a strict timeline, we miss the opportunity to be awed, surprised and humbled by the majesty of what’s developing and the beauty of what’s before us as our business grows. As the great teacher Don Miguel Ruiz once said (or something similar)... the road to right manifestation is simple - to state clearly what it is you want while being easy in the knowing that it may not happen. This is a blessed invitation into the present moment and an honouring of the eternal NOW. This is a calling to return to peace and direct experience of the balance between action and non-action in marketing. This is yoga, surrender, conscious parenting, slow marketing and business from the heart.

What does your yoga or spiritual practice teach you about marketing and business? What does slow marketing mean to you?

the principles of heart-based, spiritual marketing
The guidance that comes through with these princip...
The guidance that comes through with these principles invites us to be gentle, connect with personal truth, expand consciousness and dream with our feet firmly planted on the earth. Like all spiritual practice, choosing to be conscious, mindful and heart-based in your business is an all-inclusive endeavour - it touches every part of us and influences every step we take. Spiritual marketing is a way of being in the world in a very grounded and real way and of surrendering to the great mystery itself. These principles, if applied authentically, lightly and lovingly will enrich your experience of  your business, your marketing and the beauty of this moment.

1. you CAN create an abundant business while living from your heart 

You are capable, intelligent and highly skilled at what you do. You CAN do what you love and be paid well for it. You have inside you everything you need to be successful. You don’t have to pretend, compromise, put on a mask, play a game or otherwise change who you are to create abundance in business. You and your unique experience is enough. There is nobody quite like you and the world needs needs your offerings desperately.

2. know what you want (but if you don't - that's OK too)

Having a clear vision, a dreaming of what you want to create in the world through your business is essential. This gives us something to focus on, to pour all our love and intention into…. This helps us to become clear magnets drawing to us more of what we want through the law of attraction… This gives us a direction to surrender into, to trust that it is coming into this 3rd dimensional plane of existence NOW…  But (and this is VERY IMPORTANT) if you don't know, or only know the next immediate step, act anyway - your calling will become clear and unfold as you do.

3. meditate but do the practical stuff too

Being vibrationally in alignment with your vision is vital: releasing negativity and cultivating a sense of openness, presence and trust. Getting the practical stuff right on this plane of existence is also vital. Understanding your marketing message, communicating regularly with your people in authentic and sustainable ways, having good organisational, admin & budgeting skills, being professional & grammatically correct in your emails & marketing materials and having some kind of big picture will make sure your inner vibrational work results in physical results in this third dimension.

4. too much practical stuff can be dangerous

When starting a business or researching new models of expansion, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel intimidated. Making long lists of things to do can lead to a sense of frustration and helplessness - the list just keeps on growing despite your hard work. It’s vitally important that you spend time nurturing your soul and feeding your heart with activities that have NOTHING to do with business. Indeed, it is in these moments of relaxation and freedom that some of our best ideas and creativity come. Don’t get sucked into believing that you have to do more and more to be successful. Don’t get sucked into believing that you haven’t done enough. Listen to your heart first of all, rest your body and mind and let the action flow blissfully from there.

5. everybody is not your client

You may have an amazing and profoundly powerful technique or modality behind you - one that you know can create world peace, radically improve the quality of life and relationships on earth or transform modern medicine completely. However, not everybody is looking for that solution - in fact they may be blissfully unaware that there’s even a problem. In business from the heart you are instead focused entirely on the people who are consciously looking for your help. They are out there - your tribe, your people. your community who loves you, respects you and needs you and YOU alone.

6. heart-based marketing is free and low-cost 

In this age of internet and electronic communication there is an abundance of easy to use and maintain marketing methods that are low-cost and free for everyone in business - we are blessed! You don’t need a huge budget to grow. You don’t need high-end expert advice. You don’t need to wait until everything is “perfect” to start sharing your message and attracting your people to you. You can start now. Today in fact.

7. though shalt be empowered by technology

You don’t necessarily need to have a fancy website with all the bells and whistles to make your business work but you do need to have a basic understanding and ability to use technology in some way to support your vision. Either through authentic use of facebook or simple email messages, know that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Using the internet in your business CAN be fun and come straight from your heart.

8. be prepared to look at all underlying issues, self-worth & fear that's stopping you from truly valuing yourself in your business & in the world

Creating financial success in business is not as simple as it appears. For conscious people, there is an entirely new set of rules that demands we let go of everything holding us back from who we think we are. This model of business will challenge and confront you often. The model of business will transform you, heal your heart and open the way for the universe to bring you everything you’ve ever wanted and more.

What principle of heart-based marketing resonates most with you? Why? What else have you found important in a spiritual business?

the curse of perfectionism (and how to take ourselves less seriously)
Welcome to the world of (occasionally) fearless se...

Welcome to the world of (occasionally) fearless self-inquiry through the playground of perfectionism. You may not relate to this blog if you’re not a perfectionist yourself (many have indeed been spared that particularly delightful cross to bear in this lifetime) and there may be other, more pertinent journals currently calling your name. If you are however, a perfectionist or have at least a passing relationship to that term, your answers to the following symptom checklist will make your self-diagnosis complete and certain:

1.   you experience a constant sense of internal pressure

2.   you are incredibly hard on yourself

3.   you have extraordinarily high standards and

4.   you think too much

If you answered “yes” to one or more of any of the above symptoms, I am honoured to make your acquaintance. You are not alone. Please come in, take your shoes off and make yourself comfortable. You have my undying support, commiseration, sympathy and understanding for I too, am of the brand of ceaseless self-flagellation, intense scrutiny of well, basically EVERYTHING and the somewhat senseless (?) yet seductive quest to get it “right”, do it “right” and be “right".

My most passionate prayer for you, dear reader is that in these pages you find a sliver of light, laughter and a tiny taste of what it would like to live in a state of love. What you will NOT find here are instruction manuals, recipes or nifty 3 step processes on how to “cure” perfectionism or “fix” your issues and anything else you perceive to be "wrong" with you. I’ve been approaching my own symptoms of perfectionism from that view for some time now: coming from the position of I’m somehow faulty and was born that way; destined to be (pardon the French) fucked up despite my years of self-analysis, meditation, keen insight, processes, healings, therapists, profound realisations, self-help books, workshops, courses and retreats. This is not a happy conversation and I do apologise - it leads nowhere but to an absolute conviction of my own inadequacies. I’ve had enough. I’m done with it. No more believing that there’s something wrong with me.

For both of us from here on out, I wish a revolution - a new freedom from the crushing weight and ever so lonely responsibility of trying to “fix”, “cure”, “heal” , "change" or “transform” ourselves in any way. 

What you WILL find in these pages is an utterly transparent view into the internal workings of a “perfectionist” as she hashes it out in the real world, attempting (to greater and lesser degrees of success) to pull it all together, make sense of it and love herself just a little bit more each day. What you will find here is the unfolding process of understanding if perfectionism really IS a curse or the greatest blessing of my life. I hope that you enjoy the journey along with me, dear reader and that it brings just the slightest shimmer to your own internal convulsions, peace-loving heart and beautiful mind.

In my enquiry this morning I noticed yet another all pervading glitch in the psyche - I have next to no awareness of the results of my actions, seeing only what didn’t work or what still needs to be done. For example, earlier I spent two hours cleaning the house - do I pause for a moment and appreciate the new sheen on the wooden floors, the lack of cat hair on the carpet and clean smell in the bathroom? No. I don’t even notice it. All I see is the washing basket still full of laundry, the stove top I forgot to scrub and the slightly smeary kitchen window. It’s as if I exist in some magical universe where things just appear out of nowhere cut off from the effort that birthed the result. Am I blind? Utterly ignorant of my affect on the world? Have I read too many Law Of Attraction books and thus put my entire emphasis on thought energy thus neglecting action's outcomes entirely? Taken too many psychoactive substances?? Where did this come from?

So many questions. How do I acknowledge my hard work? How do I give the same appreciation to myself as I would to others? How do I pause and reflect, take a deep breath and congratulate myself on a job well done (before moving onto the next thing to achieve)? (Careful, Mirror... WARNING!!! You are getting dangerously close to the realm of fixing yourself here!!!) Um... don’t know. Probably a good thing. Maybe tomorrow it will be clearer. But for now, I’m going to add one more symptom to the list of perfectionistic neuroses:

5.   inability to recognise and acknowledge the results, transformation and good that comes from one’s own actions.

It's a tough road to walk but someone's gotta do it. All things being equal, it might as well be us.

Love, Mirror

how to create community
To my beautiful friend, I don't know why it's take...

To my beautiful friend,

I don't know why it's taken me so long to write you - over 2 months since we reconnected. Fear I think. Fear that you won't want to know me as much I want to keep knowing you. Fear that if I call and speak to you on the phone we won't have anything to talk about or our conversation will be forced, stunted. Fear that what I felt when I was around you was nothing or meant nothing. Over 2 months since I saw you and met your son…

You were nothing but a faint shimmer to me before this reconnection. I hadn't seen you for almost 15 years. Life took us down different paths but now I find myself thinking of you often. You possess a beautiful presence in the back of my brain.

I'm not sure if words can adequately express my experience of seeing you again… so many emotions were stirred. I was thrown entirely - unaware that I needed to process our relationship in much the same way I've processed past lovers to reach a space of peace.

Take a deep breath, Mirror...

I keep up a strong front always. My defences are impenetrable. I am unable to let go or so afraid of what other's think I'm paralysed - comfortable to converse only on the most shallow and tepid of levels (despite the illusion and external appearance of deep conversation, touching moments and heart-felt expressions of truth).

But I felt a return of some kind of confidence around you that had been so shattered by my life experience it was non-existent. I feel infinitely safe around you; endlessly fascinated by the discovery of the parallel twists and forks we've meandered down together in separate places; completely relaxed like how I am around those who know me intimately (family and husband).

Reconnecting with you showed me that what I show others (who are NOT my family or husband) is only a watered down, sanitised, spiritualised and polictitally correct version of myself (despite considering ME to be the most honest and authentic person I know! HA!).

Um.. I feel like I'm flailing senselessly… the right words are alluding me… I'm blathering… getting off to a jerky start... self-indulgent... crying a little now.

Around you, I feel worthy - an equal, like I do indeed possess the ability to BE with someone while still BEING myself. With you I feel like I remember how to glow softly in the relief and freedom of connecting beyond my limited mind: that spaciousness I've only ever touched with lovers before, in deep meditation or ceremony - never with another friend in the world and never with another woman since you in high school.

So many of the relationships I have now seem polluted by subtle (and not so subtle) undercurrents of "What can I to give you?", "How can I help you?", "What am I getting out of this?" or "What are you going to do for me?" This is shadowed again by my lack of self-acceptance and my own anxieties. There is often crippling doubt that anyone could see anything worthy or loveable in me - and if they do (or say they do) they don't really mean it, they are saying it just to be nice or because it's polite…

I guess I shut down somewhere along the way - not really Breaking News there but I thought it happened sometime in early childhood, long before adolescence - You know, somewhere between the ages of 0 and 6 years old we get taught, conditioned or so shackled that our entire personality is carved in stone for the rest of our days...

Feeling you again, in the flesh, as a reality rather than a distant memory showed me clearly my moment of shutting down - you were the last real friend I let into my heart and loved from that place of absolute innocence and purity. I didn't know I could feel that way in this human plane, that it was even possible - I looked only to Truth and God and Love and The Universe to satisfy me and hold me so completely.

I am afraid of being hurt again, Cathy. I am afraid of my heart shutting down again. I am afraid of rejection. I'm afraid that you won't find me worthy or valuable enough as a person. Right now, after writing those words there is fear that I have said too much and will appear desperate, stupid or weak. I am embarrassed somehow, like I may just be making a fool of myself. I'm experiencing fear of what you will think, fear of how you will react, fear of your thoughts about this dreary, bleary and unsolicited confession from someone you hardly know in current terms… I'm in your business utterly. Crying a little still.

You are an enigma to me. As I mentioned when we were together, I think you are perfection itself.

I have no story about you, no judgement or criticism of your personality that I can lay blame at your feet, no problem with the way you've chosen to live your life and the decisions you've made. This is a rarity. Usually, I'm so full of the way things "should" be that reality eludes me completely or taunts cruelly from a distance.You said this was because I don't get to see those parts of you - that perhaps I'm not close enough to you, don't know you well enough or have been blessed or spared the insult required to knock you off the lofty pedestal you perch upon so gracefully in my eyes.

I don't think so though. I think you are my perfect reflection.

I love it and I love you.

I think you are here to show me what Self-Love really is.

I'm feeling something else now too - a reawakening of my ability to be vulnerable in relationship to another being - in this instance, YOU. A soft opening of my heart which has a sweetness to it I cannot fathom…  a simple trust…

I don't know if it's possible to be vulnerable without feeling fear on some level?? What do you think? Have you felt this same vulnerability before?

This is a rather long letter and I'm nearly done - I do hope you've enjoyed reading it as I've enjoyed tasting a little of the courage it took for me to write it to you.

So, yes. I would love to stay in touch with you for the rest of my life - wherever it leads us both. By phone, by Skype, by annual visits down south for a few days perhaps? Certainly in some profoundly deeper way than facebook and the black writing on the white background of my computer allows.

Wherever I am, you and yours are welcome ALWAYS.

conscious business and sacred economics
  You can't just have community as an add on ...

You can't just have community as an add on to a monetised life. You have to actually need each other… - Charles Eisenstein

I whole-heartedly agree. And as an independent, modern woman with a paralysing fear of neediness and all it entails making her way as best she can in this crazy world, the way I've always chosen to demonstrate my "need" of others is via energy exchange through money (plus hugs, grin). Cold, hard, cash. It just seemed easier, cleaner somehow that way.

But sacred economics, gifting and sharing all ask something quite, quite different of us.

an invitation to a higher plane: an evolution of consciousness

While my big heart screams "Yes! Yes! I want this more than ANYTHING! This is what WE WERE BORN TO CREATE ON THIS PLANET!" My small mind questions where it leaves us in conscious business doing our best to create abundance with awareness and love in this current economy that (like it or not) we are dependent upon for our survival… How do we navigate this contradiction - to grow, expand and experience freedom with the realities of paying rent, buying food, providing for our families, getting where we need to go and doing all the things we want to?

I don't know.

This video took me from the depths of dark despair and helplessness to tiny tendrils of truth and possibility unfolding within my heart. It brought up some big questions:

How can we as conscious community on an individual level transition gracefully from one way of being to another? And is a graceful transition even possible or do we have to be torn apart first? Can I, with all integrity continue to buy into this money based system every day while moving toward a personal, gift-based way of being in society? If not, what would I do? What would be my gift to the world that isn't about being paid for my contribution, knowledge and skills? Do I even have any knowledge or skills that I could take with me to this new world? How would I survive? What would I be missing out on? What if I wind up with nothing - no choices, no options, no freedom? And how can I, as just one person make any difference at all to the way things are?

Am I willing to walk away from everything, own nothing, let go of the ways of "making a living" I've so beautifully crafted through my business? Can I release my pride and small mastery of survival that has sprouted from my successes into an uncertain and completely undefined future?


But not now.

There is still much to learn here…

How about you? What does this discussion stir inside?

the 3 biggest problems yoga teachers & healers face in business
  Business is (next to conscious intimate rel...

Business is (next to conscious intimate relationships) the hardest and most rewarding spiritual path we can ever choose to walk upon. It will take us to the very depths of our beings and confront all we consider true in the world... it will ask us to directly look at our small concepts and how they prevent us from tasting our true potential... it will fully challenge our convictions, choices and self-worth.  And when we embrace this path with a full heart, our business will not only feed our souls (and our bodies) but touch the lives of all who experience it.

The 3 biggest problems that yoga teachers & healers face in business are chronic and debilitating. They represent a way of thinking that many of us have valued and even based our personalities, life path and entire way of being in the world on. For many the struggle is so intense that they pull away from business, from their heart-path choosing a “safe” job or career or even avoiding the issues by opting out of society completely.

1. inability to clearly define ourselves Those of us who work from the heart come from a place of endless expansion - we have tasted our true nature and know that place of oneness and Love. When we look outside ourselves at business in the world, we often see only row after row of little square boxes - this box for this product, that box for this service and so on. The thought of so clearly defining exactly what it is we do and exactly who we do it for feels like the antithesis of the truth of our experience: it feels like we are limiting ourselves and closing ourselves off from potential and endless expansion; it feels like by defining ourselves we are limiting the number of people we can help and the number of ways people can access our services: it feels like we are being forced to cram our limitless, expanded nature into a little, square box. In fact, the opposite is true.

What happens if we don’t learn how to clearly define ourselves is that from the outside, our business appears indistinct and fuzzy around the edges. When it comes to attracting clients who want to create change in their life by working with us, that fuzzyness leads to uncertainty and doubt and uncertainty and doubt do not encourage people to buy. We are conditioned to like and seek structure in our lives and in a very real way structure makes us feel safe and gives us permission to expand and explore our world. It’s essential that we learn how to give this sense of clarity, certainty and structure to our clients so they want to work with us and feel really good about paying us money.

2. inability to feel comfortable with money & fully embrace it Many heart-based people find it hard to be in the world. We’ve looked around us and seen pain, dishonesty, conflict and a world that appears to be motivated by the quest for more and more stuff - a world that appears to be motivated by money. Consequently, many of us have taken off in a totally different direction and created lives based around giving, love, truth and connection. In this direction, we found validation, appreciation, spiritual insight, profound moments and great peace. For most of us however, we haven’t found financial abundance on this path - never being able to accumulate more than $100 in any one place at any one time and living from week to week - having just enough to survive but never enough to be truly free in our choices... never enough to allow us to make decisions for our future. We may also have offered our services and our work by donation or trade or barter instead of money to avoid this issue. We may even believe that by eschewing money, we are choosing a higher or purer path. This way of living has given us an abundance of time and freedom but there’s an element of fear in it: a sense of lack and not-enough. Deep down it doesn’t feel good to us as expanded beings to be limited by this thing called money, our concepts of it and all that it represents but if we don’t feel comfortable with money, how can we attract it?

3. inability to value ourselves As heart-based entrepreneurs, when we offer our work we’re not just selling a product or an experience or a service. We are in effect selling a piece of our heart, our sweetest soul offering, the very essence of our being - we give this to the world every single day because that’s who we ARE and not just what we DO. Trying to put a monetary value on this, attempting to place an hourly dollar amount on our heart is once again the opposite of our personal truth and experience in the world - what we have inside us is within everybody. It seems wrong somehow and we can even feel guilty about even charging anything at all for what we offer. If we don’t however, hold the energy of the transformation we can create for clients through our work with a clearly defined and advertised monetary value, the world doesn’t know what to do with us - it’s confusing, it doesn’t see or recognise our work and our clients cannot find or support us in creating financial flow in our business.

When we look beyond the surface level, it is these “problems” that make us so sensitive, aware and committed to living from a place of Love and universal connection. It is these very “problems” that make us such amazing healers, therapists and teachers. These issues are the cornerstones of our spiritual journey through business and they stir the pot to take us to the very edge of who we think we are. When we dive in with our eyes open, our ability to make money doing what we love while living from our heart will radically shift for all time - we will finally “get” the dance between the two worlds and know how to live gracefully in both.

How do you work with these issues in your Heart-based business? What's your experience of them?

introduce yourself & your conscious business here!
Hello and welcome beautiful being! Business from t...

Hello and welcome beautiful being!

Business from the heart is all about deep connections - both your connection to source within and our connections with each other in our community. Indeed to stand in a place of effortless and easy connection within and without is the sweetest spot there is in sharing our business, working with clients, dreaming what’s to come and blissful surrender to all that is...

In this spirit, I’d love to meet you and hear all about what you’re doing in your business from the heart! 

Use the space below to invite us into your world, share with us your bigger vision and what you love about what you’re doing right now. Feel free to post links to your website and / or facebook page if you have one, talk about what you’re working on at the moment and what you’ve learned along the way! What makes your heart go pitter patter about your business? What’s really working for you? Use this space to celebrate and share the beauty of what you’re creating... Use this space to tap into and acknowledge the greater purpose behind your work... Let us see your radiant face too! If you don’t have one already, create a Gravatar here that will show up all over the internet whenever you share your thoughts on any blog. Also... I want to know the biggest challenge you experience in your work and business. What’s your sticking point? What’s painful for you? What resistance do you experience around marketing and creating financial abundance through your work? We’re all in this together and have much love, support and experience to offer one another. Use this as an opportunity to get clear about what’s not working for you right now. Use this an opportunity to be vulnerable, open, heard and truly authentic. Use this an opportunity to grow. I’ll go first :)

my bigger vision

Love is my purpose and being fully present to each moment is my deepest commitment. This is my website and my current vision is unfolding right here - to provide low-cost marketing support to heart-based business owners. Over the years I’ve met far too many amazing healers and teachers who are struggling financially: they share such profound magic with the world but they don’t know how to create clear structure in their work so they can be supported by the Universe with MONEY. This is heart-breaking and soul-destroying. I want to hold the energy of transformation I know is possible for every single healer, yoga teacher, bodyworker and therapist out there! I’ve done this myself, living and working from the heart (and I’ve struggled with money and being in the world more than anyone else I know!). This is flowing and evolving over time and I am open to wherever the journey takes me! You can also find me online at (corporate health and speaking), (the work of Byron Katie for women) and (fasting and detoxification focus on health).

my biggest challenge

Self-doubt. Crippling at times. As you know, I experienced a rather large “failure” in my business over 2 years ago (read my story here) and this is the first time that I’ve felt strong (and brave) enough to have a go again out on my own. Will this work? Does anyone want what I have to offer? Have I got the words right? Will anyone pay me to support them? Will anyone even read this or be interested in ANYTHING I have to say? What if I fail again? What if I put it out there, directly from my heart and I get no results, no feedback... no recognition. And what does that mean about ME? Big sigh. There it is. I’ve said it. I am now naked before you at this tender and sweet beginning of Business From The Heart. Oooh... I feel rather liberated right now! Quite excited too for I know not what will happen next. There is limitless potential everywhere I look...

Introduce yourself below & let’s play together as we explore conscious business & what it takes to run a business from the heart...

she let go
I love how words can bring you back to yourself. O...

I love how words can bring you back to yourself. One breath at a time, one delicious vowel and lofty concept floating on the breeze and I return again and again to the truth of my Self, lost in divinity for a timeless moment… Enjoy these words of great beauty and may they touch your heart and awaken your sense as they have mine!

She Let Go by Rev Safire Rose

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyse whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her.

And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

(I found this poem many places on the internet and it's usually attributed to Dr Ernest Holmes (1887 - 1960), an American healer, writer and founder of the Religious Science movement. However, I also found several entries on various blogs mentioning Rev Safire Rose - a minister at the Agape International Spiritual Centre as the author - one of which was the Rev herself confirming her authorship and copyright ownership of the beautiful words above. For another tiny poem of beauty, this time written by Dr Ernest Holmes, melt into these words of "Yourself"…)

i do take me
Self-love, to me is what it ALL comes down to even...

Self-love, to me is what it ALL comes down to eventually - all issues… all inadequacies… all judgements and criticisms of others and the world… all pain, confusion, fear and anger. Love is the one antidote that makes it all disappear. If I love myself enough (or let go enough to love) there are no problems - only life blissfully unfolding before me.

Self-love is the only thing that gives me permission to stop trudging wearily along path of fixing myself. Self-love is the greatest gift I can give the world and to all I come in contact with.

I'm not so much talking about "putting yourself first" or "looking after yourself" - passionate self-love goes deeper than that. Absolutely, the ability to consider your own needs above others and to take care of your physical body comes as part of self-love but it's not the full story. Rather, self-love is Self love - love of what moves us, love of that one luminous spark that animates, love of the unspeakable mystery inseparable from who we are...

I came across this beautiful poem recently by Astarius Miraculii - it speaks perfectly to the art and profundity of passionate self-love as a spiritual practice, indeed as the only practice really required. I'm reading it regularly to remind myself. Enjoy!

I Do Take Me by Astarius Miraculii

I Love myself with all my Heart Eternal knowing God impart No more hatred no more pain Legacy of Heaven mine to claim

Once I really hated me A self induced catastrophe Others began to hate me too Hate’s reflection became my due

When I look in any mirror Each reflection is my own If I dislike that which I am Rejection by others will be shown

In Self Acceptance let me grow To hereby let all others know I want them to accept me too They only follow what I do

I ask myself to Marry Me To thus fulfil my destiny I promise always to be true Self Love and Honour I am due

Sweet Self, I’m sorry for the pain Forgive and Love me once again I want Me for Eternity A better Lover then to be

Now every bond is Sweeter too For Loving Me is Loving You Within the Church of Heaven’s House I DO TAKE ME TO BE MY SPOUSE

a long walk from “me” to “we”
(or "58kms Of Hell" or "Together Everyone Achieve...

(or "58kms Of Hell" or "Together Everyone Achieves Magic")

Previously, in a different time and place, I once felt alone. Quite content really. I’d thought I’d made friends with the great existential questions that descended periodically: the realisation we’re born alone and we die alone and what happens in between those two events is essentially meaningless. I’ve always believed in utter self-responsibility for thoughts and actions, that the decisions I make moment to moment don’t really have the power to affect other people and if they think they do, well, that’s their responsibility, not mine. This may sound a little harsh and cold (or selfish) but to me, it seems simple, direct. This self-responsibility extends to every situation - from the joyous to the painful, I am responsible for my experience here. There is no one to blame, no finger to be pointed. Things just happen and if I find those things uncomfortable, that’s my responsibility. I am, after all, here purely for personal evolution, my own private journey to self-actualisation, one step at a time. Of course I knew I wasn’t here alone, everyone is on their own trip to truth but I honestly believed I didn’t need another human to be by my side, no hand-holding or encouragement or pats on the back required. Sure, those things are nice, all warm and fuzzy but not essential to the achievement of goals. I could always go within to find what I needed, within for stillness, strength and commitment, an island, free of all dependence on anyone and anything outside herself. I was “the strong one” in the family, the one you knew would be OK no matter what, the one that never cried. For many years (lifetimes perhaps?), I’ve placed enormous value on this sense of solidarity. I thought it made me different, special, perhaps even better than other people, more intelligent and enlightened maybe. Yeah, OK. Sometimes I felt so disconnected I thought no one could actually see me and honestly believed I missed out on some vital piece everyone else was given prior to birth. Emptiness and constant comparison came to dominated my approach to new experiences and friendships. I didn't know how to be vulnerable and never really asked for help with anything, never gave anyone the opportunity to help me. I didn’t want to be a burden, just another thing on to do in someone's busy world. I kept myself separate. The words “trust” and “other people” had a strange, alien-like ring to them. For sure, there were moments of relief, brief flashes of angelic harmony that uplifted the soul and proved that in fact, this path could only be walked with others - that through relationship, we get to see our blind spots, limitations and all our “issues”. We get a perfect reflection of our own beauty and presence. We get love and respect and laughter and stimulating conversation. We get community. We get purpose. We get worth. For all the reasons mentioned previously, I’d obviously never been much of a team player and it was with this attitude of fierce independence, complete self-responsibility, a healthy sense of superiority and more than a little trepidation, I approached this year’s Gold Coast Kokoda Challenge. Australia’s toughest team endurance event: 96 km of rough terrain and steep hills to be covered in 39 hours.

Not surprisingly (and I say this ONLY with the wisdom of hindsight), it didn’t work.

In the full five months of weekend training and preparation, I gave not a single thought to team dynamics. I mean, I knew it would be hard, I knew there'd be pain, I knew I’d struggle with fatigue and negativity at times but I was convinced my coping strategies and sense of commitment and dedication would be enough. I could do this on my own. I didn’t need anyone.

As long as I was fit and healthy, knew the route, was physically prepared with bandaids and a nightlight, a hat, poncho and warm jacket, mosquito repellant and sunscreen, first aid kit, bladder filled with water, adequate nutrition and a good pair of shoes, I'd be right.

Not so.

Not so at all.

I needed constant communication with every member of my team. I needed to reach out to them. I needed to be supported by the people I was walking with. I needed encouragement and congratulations from others. I needed cheering and phone calls and text messages. I needed someone to tell me to keep going, to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I needed permission to stop. I needed my Mum. I needed someone to make all the decisions when exhaustion threatened. I needed to be met with welcoming smiles from people I care about. I needed to feel like I wasn’t alone. I needed help.

And so, I am humbled by this treacherous, uneven, rocky, steep, slippery, slimy, smooth, sweaty, hot, cold, dusty, wet, dry, grassy, muddy, leechy, deceptive, dark, light, difficult, easy, blister-filled and looooooooooooooong journey (with some magnificent views on the way) we share together.

I cannot do this journey alone. But more than that...

I don’t want to.

I want to do it with you.