Author Archives: Bonnie

Goddesses in Older Women

Many of you are familiar with Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, who revolutionized how we think about our archetypal selves in her blockbuster book, Goddesses in Every Woman.  As she has reached the s-aging part of her life, she wants us to know that we are STILL the goddesses we’ve always been…only now, we come with a wellspring of wisdom.  I could hardly put the book down this past weekend.

In her book Goddesses in Older Women, Dr. Bolen points out how we become invisible in our society as the years pass.  I’ve personally seen it in sales people, customer service representatives, and yes, even in the medical community.  If we are mindful, and we see this change in our place in society, we realize that we cannot buy into the hype of the stereotypic way we are seen (or not seen) in our world.  Our new role is to carry on as the magnificent mid- and later- life goddesses that we have grown to be.

In our Wisdom years, we find significant representations of who we were, and may still be, in many of the early goddesses .  Metis, mother of Athena, is swallowed by Zeus, as many women have been swallowed up by raising families, supporting a mate’s rise to success, or even being pushed aside by the patriarchy in business.  Athena, born from her father, Zeus’ head, is still ‘of’ him, and though she carries similar wisdom, she is not given the status that her intelligence deserves. Eventually, in her wisdom years, Athena sheds the desire for the goals of power and conquest, and gains her rightful place as a beacon of wisdom.

We are beginning to realize, at this stage of life, the fulfillment that comes from releasing ego and allowing our wisdom, our s-aging, to shine through.  We anchor our energies of compassion, giving, and joy, realizing that they are what really matters in the life we have always wished for.

Perhaps we must first become Kali (Hindu) or Sekhmet (Egyptian), to destroy the old belief system, the old status quo.  This is what Dr. Bolen calls the “enough is enough” archetype.  Then there is room to call on the Kwan Yin within us, the compassionate, selfless heart.  Alongside Kwan Yin is the archetype of the Virgin Mary, through whom the goddess is returning.  And, finally, Uzume, the Japanese Goddess of Mirth and Dance, takes her place as a crone-aged woman.  With Bawday Baubo, from Greek mythology, they create the axis of joy and humor.  For, what is our life, at this stage, if there is no humor, no joy?

It is the spring of our wisdom years.  We are beginning the connection to our goddess selves in the S-aging part of our lives.  Would you like to know more about replacing fear, disconnection, and doubt in your wisdom years?  I hope you will join me on Monday, March 31, for my FREE visioning session, S-aging Well:  Spirit-ed Living for Advanced Grownups.

Sage-ing: Spicing Up Your Life

sagingSage is such a versatile aromatic, especially at this time of year. Its uses are varied, from spicing up sumptuous holiday meats and veggies, to clearing out well-used sacred spaces. It’s a must-have for coaches, facilitators, and those of us who want to create sparkling energy fields.

But, sage is also a description of a discerning person, AND a noun expressing wisdom that goes deeply to the bone. When you SAGE, or are SAGE-ING, you are expressing your inner insightfulness, your truths gained from years of experience. YOU are a SAGE, SAGE-ING in a world that needs prudent and perceptive insights.

Many of us second guess our innate intelligence and thoughtfulness. We may fear judgment if we express our innermost guidance, and it is rejected. Or, we just don’t trust that the messages we carry are impactful enough! We may even feel that because these insights are a natural part of who we are, that they are not really special enough…we don’t recognize our gifts as such.

SO NOT TRUE!! . We fail to give credence to the impact of our thoughts on our family, friends, communities, and mass consciousness as a whole. Your energies influence the world!

In 2014, it’s my goal to help my clients dive into their pool of SAGENESS and step out into the energies of SAGE-ING. Your keen awareness is needed in our world tormented by fear, anger, and retaliation. Now is the time for speaking up and speaking out in your SAGENESS.

No matter how you celebrate this time of year, may it be peaceful, meaningful, and include a large serving of joy and SAGE-ING.

Where Are You in the Holiday Season?

I am convinced that we can reach the end of the holiday season feeling energized and renewed, rather than exhausted and out of sorts, bloated and fatigued.  This is, after all, the time when the Wheel of the Year tells us we are beginning to move inward, beginning the descent into ourselves.  Are we really compelled to run around, exhaust ourselves, and begin the New Year with more bills and more weight then we had anticipated?

Here’s a couple of suggestions that you might consider.  

The first one is what I am going to ask of my friends and family to do for me. Maybe you might consider the same:  Women all over the world, in developing countries, are fighting desperately to make their own living and support their families.  Organizations like Women for Women (www.womenforwomen.org), Kiva (www.kiva.org), World Vision (www.worldvisiongifts.org), and Heifer (www.heifer.org) give women  the opportunity to support themselves and their families.  You may consider donating to these causes in the names of friends and families rather than buying another sweater or kitchen gadget.

It is unconscionable that so many children in our wealthy country are going hungry.  Feeding America gives almost 98% of what comes in to them to feed the hungry in our own country, according to Charity Navigator, a highly rated, independent charity rating organization, and Feeding America has a 4 star (out of 4 star) rating.

If you give, you may wish to spread your holiday dollars around or choose one place to give.  Want to donate closer to home?  Consider your local food bank, a women’s shelter, or a friend or neighbor struggling to meet recent doctor bills.

You can handle most of these donations easily on line, or with a check sent to the organization’s headquarters.  Use the time and energy you save to find wonder in the holiday season, and in your own heart.  Send a loving letter to each person in whose name you have donated, and tell them why they have been important in your life.

Sound pretty good?

Oh, and while we are at it, here’s a quote from John O’Donohue, the award winning Irish poet:

May you be blessed;

And may you find a wonderful love

In your self  for your self.

And, so it is!

Coaching the Coach: Remember the Love

Stone HeartI’ve long known that, YES, coaches, teachers, and spiritual workers need a coach! As we expend our energies outward, we also need to feed the inner-ness in order to stay whole. I am feeling especially fortunate to have found my new coach. It’s been a serendipitous find for me. With all that I plan and hope to do over the next year, it was imperative for me to find someone who can help me keep my foundation strong.

Dr. Michael Scimeca has helped me in so many ways over the past couple of months. I wanted to share just one of the many ideas we have worked on together that is simple – and profound. It is about when things in my life become heavy, and I am saddened by loss or feelings of defeat, I am to ‘remember the love.’ This is a 2-way remembering: it is the love that I have for a person, a situation, my work, or an experience. But, it is also the love that has come to me from so many different directions and sources. It is the love of Spirit for us that I see in everyday things. It’s the love I have for Spirit and things wonderful that grace my life each day.

Over the next 3 months, we are all going to become extremely busy with plans for autumn experiences and holiday trips and company. We will probably begin to feel the beginnings of stress right about NOW. It’s my plan now to ‘remember the love’ that fills my life as I pick up the pace.
When I may find it challenging to remember the love, I can also ask Spirit to help me connect with what is there – has always been there, and will always be there – the love.

If you want to learn even more about busting the stress so you can ‘remember the love,’ join us either in Roswell or northeast Atlanta for time with Nancy Gnecco, and her Practical Magic, a free workshop to learn how EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can help you move through the holidays in peace and love.

I’m excited to also announce that we will begin a NEW Practical Priestess 100 group in January 2014. So many of you have asked for an opportunity to tap into the teachings of Nicole Christine that we are moving forward to make this happen. Interested? Click here to learn about our COMPLIMENTARY introductions and how this wisdom can intensify your connection to your inner wisdom and to your highest self.

Wishing you illumination during this time of Autumn’s Fire.

Being Bold : Standing Tall for Your Life Purpose

In my last 2 newsletters, we explored Principles on Purpose from  dailygood.org.  Many of us stand quietly in service to our Life Purpose.  Others are more outspoken and direct in stating what they are about.  Whatever your ‘stand’ as regards purpose, it’s time to be Passionate and Powerful in boldly following the Purposeful Path.

Here are the last 4 Principles of Purpose to consider:

  1. Bold Immersion – Come to really KNOW the work you have been called to do.  Read, research, study.  Then, meet others of like mind, connect with the ‘gurus’ in that arena, join the most helpful organizations.   Truly make this work yours!
  2. Fear Means Go – Are you holding back from being bold in your statement of purpose for fear of being judged?  Are you allowing your insecurities to hold you back?  Go TO the barriers holding you back, and move through them.  Imagine if the “what if” ends in “everything works out better than you could have dreamed.”
  3. Gall to Think Big – Each of us  carries that “inner knowing” that it is the touchstone of all the work we do here at Autumn’s Fire.  So, what if no one else has tried your approach, your tactic, your method?  You are probably the one on the cutting edge of new thought.  The article from dailygood.org states that if you haven’t failed in a while, you need to take on bolder challenges.  That’s how you learn!

  4. Think Like an Entrepreneur – You may be an entrepreneur, or aspire to be one.  Perhaps that is not your cup of tea at all.  However, WHATEVER you endeavor to do, make sure that you bring an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ to your Purpose.  What does that mean?  It means you apply focus, energy, excitement, and positivity to whatever you do!

Live your Life Purpose with in joy and delight in discovery.

Good for the World

ID-10016416In my previous article, I shared with you some interesting perspectives on Life Purpose , from dailygood.org, commenting on an article published by Echoing Green. This article was entitled 10 Principles of Work on Purpose.  

As promised, I want to share with you 3 more of their Principles on Purpose. These are entitled “Good for the World.”

4. ________ Is What Matters

By selecting a social problem (or more than one) that matters to you, and staying focused, these become focal points in your life. Then, it is easier to have the freedom to say no to those things that fill your precious time, take your energy, and do not bring you closer to fulfilling your own life purpose. For those of us working as helping, healing, or spiritual guides and advisors, it is all too easy to be distracted by sights and scenes around us. Find that problem that you want to solve for yourself and your clients, and stick with it.

5. Act on Moments of Obligation

Once you have determined the social challenge that is pivotal for you, find an aspect of that problem that you can, AND WILL, work with. Once you have identified it, find the small steps (or big steps) that you can take to make a difference. If you are working with clients who face obstacles, large and small, depending on life experiences, this is the time to take your message to them, and to the world to assist in shrinking the challenge, one person at a time.

6. Take Perspective – Someone Else’s 

Echoing Green challenges each of us to seek out and understand other populations. We often pay lip service to being ecumenical, but know little of the cultures, peoples, and customs of these populations.

Take time for a deeper study and make space for some new perspectives each week. Many other cultures are so rich that they will enhance your life, your work, and reaching your Life Purpose.

Do you think it’s time for you to really connect more deeply with your life purpose? Join us on July 24 and September 11 for Life Lift! (Click here for more information

Next time, we will finish these 10 principles with the section BE BOLD. Have a great holiday and see you soon!

Principles of Purpose

IMGP9263My visit to Lake Louise (and other amazing places in Canada, and its inspiration, brought me back to refocus my energies on helping my clients work with Purpose. Then, an article serendipitously showed up in my email yesterday, from dailygood.org, commenting on an article published by Echoing Green. This article was entitled 10 Principles of Work on Purpose.

The first 3 principles are labeled Right for You. The other 2 were What is Good for the World, and finally, How to BE BOLD in reaching out for purpose.

To summarize, you should seriously consider journaling with these concepts:

1. Heart + Head = Hustle 
Simply stated it’s critical to align your heart space with the ‘ideas’ you have for your life’s purpose. In Natural Rhythms, that’s aligning the masculine and feminine axes to make sure that your ‘doing’ doesn’t over shadow your ‘being,’ and that your heartfelt love and compassion permeate the ‘work’ you plan to do in the world. Where have you allowed your head to overrule your heart’s desire?

2. Know What You’ve Got – Know What You Need
Do you feel as though the knowledge, understanding and insights you possess aren’t enough, and that you feel lacking in what you need to accomplish what you believe your purpose to be? If so, partner with someone, gain a mentor, take a course. You’ll soon find that you know more than you think you do! Your wisdom goes deeper than you think. You just need to access it. Plus, you’ll have a sounding board with whom to bounce ideas around.

3. Mine Your Past
Dialog with your past to learn what motivates you, what your long buried dreams are, what you have forgotten you know how to do. Even your most difficult times yielded teachings and learnings that have helped you through those challenges and made you the person you have become.

Because we sometimes feel that memories are too painful to bring into present-day consciousness, we have set aside the meaningful teachings that are there to be gleaned. Then use journaling time to reflect on these and see how they affect and magnify the present moment. In this way, you never stray far from the present moment, the place where you find joy and transformation.

Building Your Emotional Money Muscle

MONEYNo question that each of us has a money persona when we talk to our clients, and others, about money.  In the early years of running my collection agency, I developed Delores Bell, my alter-ego, who would help me handle tricky money conversations that I needed to have to collect money for my clients.  So, Delores was born.  She gave me the strength to have sensitive dialogs with more confidence.

Now I coach entrepreneurs who face these challenges today.  Here’s what happens…

  • You develop an amazing, content rich program that is really exciting and can help your clients/prospects with important life or business challenges.
  • You share this passion and joy with those clients/prospects, and they are enthusiastic about working with you.
  • You outline the program in detail, and then it’s time to tell them what it costs and ask for the sale.

Who Do You Become?

  1. The Mumbler who covers her mouth and squeaks out an indistinct utterance that has to be repeated to be heard.   Outcome:  the client/prospect no longer sees you as the person in charge – the one who can be strong in helping reach their goals.
  2. The Chameleon – You manage to tell your client/prospect the price, but when they express inability to pay, you’re ready to lower the price to make the sale.  Outcome:  the worth of what you offer then comes into question.  Not just for the client, but you yourself begin to doubt what your services are worth.
  3. The Head Nodder – Your client is all in, but says that she can only pay a lesser amount.  You nod your head and go along with the new price point.  Outcome:  Once again, you have abdicated control to your client, making accountability difficult for you to control in your program.  The client feels an ability to ‘slide’ through the program as they were able to slide down the price.
  4. The Silent One – You are so uncomfortable discussing fees that you bury your head in the sand, and do not pursue the clients who will build your business and boost your confidence.  Outcome:  You are mired in insecurity and back away from the myriads of opportunities coming your way.  You retreat to the hills for safety.

Isn’t it time to step out from behind these personae and step into your prosperity and abundance?  Click here to learn more about how to build your Emotional Money Muscle through my program Transforming Creativity into Cash, and see if you will qualify for a 25-minute COMPLIMENTARY coaching session with me.

Do Not Spend Your Money

waltroy1928-mTimes are tough.  The economy is uncertain.  Bank accounts are slender.

The natural human response is fear. Fear of lack. Fear of suffering. Fear of going without. Fear of the unknown.

Thanks to the amygdala part of the brain (that performs a primary role in processing memory and emotional reaction), we begin to hear the monkey start talking over our shoulder: “You can’t afford that.” “Don’t spend your money! What if…” “Don’t do that! You don’t know what will happen!” “Hold on to every penny!” “Don’t take that risk!”

Thankfully, not all of us listen to the little monkey. Thankfully some of us hand him a banana, say ‘Thank you for sharing’ and go on about our lives, pursuing our Life’s Purpose and creating new and different things:

Three years after a major investment firm collapses – causing the NYSE to shut down for days and an ensuing financial crisis that lasts six years – a 29-year-old scientist opens a laboratory. Economic conditions would remain poor for another 20 years. Yet during that time, Thomas Edison’s lab at Menlo Park grew to occupy 2 city blocks, created numerous patents and in 1896, Edison’s General Electric Company earned a spot on the newly formed Dow Jones Industrial Average, and remains there today – the only remaining company of the original 12.

After living in his company office, then his firm filing bankruptcy, a 22-year-old man moved 1,600 miles away to join his brother in founding another company. The brothers worked out of their uncle’s garage for 3 years. Then, in 1929 – the middle of the Great Depression – the brothers reincorporated under the name Walt Disney Productions.

During a period of rising unemployment and inflation, stagnant GDP and huge spikes in the price of gasoline, two friends found opportunity in creating a company to sell operating software to the new market of home and personal computers. Have you ever heard of Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Microsoft?

Odds are, you are viewing this message and conducting your business on a personal computer of some sort, that is being powered by electricity, and at some point in your life you have found joy, laughter and entertainment from the Imagineers at Walt Disney.

Aren’t you glad they didn’t listen to their monkeys?

So what does this mean for you as a Third Act entrepreneur?

A recent article from USA Today notes that in the recession of the early 90s, 25% of downsized executives over 40 started their own companies. One might think that, perhaps, recession is a natural way to clean house and restart the economy anew, even if it can be very painful.

Maybe you spent years tinkering with a product in your garage. Maybe you have an idea for a special service or heart-based business from home. However, until now, you have been holding down a full-time job, raising children – doing the Done Thing. You have never had time to go ahead with your inventions or ideas.

Now, your children have moved out of the house, starting their own lives and careers. During this most recent recession your job status may have changed, that security net of stable employment and benefits is no longer there.

Welcome to your Third Act. Time to get serious about your business and why you are here. You have plenty of life to live and it is NEVER too late to open that laboratory, move 1,600 miles away, or create that next household product. Of course, creating your business does not always require such huge and drastic measures and yes, you can start, and even up level an established small business during a recession.

Do you realize that a business that YOU run will have the same struggles and the same issues that YOU have in your personal life? Can you look back and see perceived ‘failures’ and ‘issues’ in your business that parallel the same type of events in your personal life?

Darren Hardy shares: “This poignant distinction was once shared with me: Before you build your business plan, build your LIFE plan. Figure out what kind of life you want to have FIRST – where you want to live, what type of people you want around you, whether you want to work nights & weekends, how you want to dress, etc. THEN build your business plan around these criteria. I was once doing this all backwards… you?”

Ready to ignore the MONKEY??  Join us at The Nourished Soul:  Caring for Your YOUniverse, April 12-14, Atlanta, GA by going to www.thenourishedsoul.com.

Article courtesy of Heather Harmon, Event Coordinator for The Nourished Soul

 

3 Seeds to Plant for Your Prosperity ~ Changing the Profitability of Your Company

Money growthImbolc is just around the corner:  the time when we plant the seeds for what we wish to manifest in the growing season.  NOW is the time to consider the possibilities so you can be ready, on February 2, to powerfully seed the growth of your prosperity, through ceremony, ritual or words.

We’ve all heard it:  the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing and expecting to get a different result.

Where in your life AND your business, are you continuing to do the same thing, hoping beyond hope for a different result, only to watch as your plans fall apart AGAIN?  Perhaps you believe it is your struggle to create the PERFECT program to help your clients the most?  Or, maybe you believe it is the challenges in your marketing plan that are preventing you from calling in, and signing, the many perfect clients to make your business grow?  What is that magic bullet?

Alright – so you are finally are ready to look the truth in the eye.  It can be any and ALL of those things. HOLD THAT THOUGHT, AND add this one:

Would you construct your dream house on a cracked or crooked foundation?  Of course not.  So why would you take the steps to create a business without the underlying foundation to shore up the solo-preneur, the entrepreneur, the entrepreneur-in waiting,  of the business – YOU?

BEFORE you invest in your company image or your marketing plan!   BEFORE you design a program that is meaningful to your clients!  Before you believe you can make a difference for each of your clients, your family, your friends, you MUST plant these seeds in the FERTILE SOIL OF YOU!!

Here are 3 seeds to precede your business plans and marketing strategies:

  1. What have you uncovered about the TRUE wants and needs of your soul in this business?  There is a ‘soul voice’ within that may have been suppressed as you have gone about ‘doing the done thing’. That’s one of my favorite sayings as I spent most of my life ‘doing the done thing.’  Fulfilling the needs and expectations of others, and doing what I thought I expected of me.Reaching deeply inside, and excavating the truth of what your soul desires may take a while.  You’ve forced it into silence for many years.
  2. What are your strengths and your challenges, and how do they play into the business you wish to create? There are various tools, including the lens of Shamanic Astrology, that can assist you in reconnecting not only with your life purpose, but with the tools you have to reach that purpose!
  3. What is out of balance in YOU? As most of you know, my work revolves around the Elements of Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and always includes the support of Spirit.  If any one of these are out of balance, you are shaky in what you can offer your clients.  Here’s what I am talking about:

EARTH is the Physical Realm.  If you haven’t maintained your body’s health, created appropriate spaces for home and business, or honored Mother Earth your Earth energy is out of balance.  You must prepare these before you can develop a business plan.  Money is also a part of the Earth realm.  Isn’t it finally time to understand, in your body, that being in service does not require a vow of poverty?

WATER is the Emotional Realm.  If you have not cleared the emotional blocks keeping you from a successful business, you are not nourishing your creation.

AIR is the Mental Realm of thought and intention.  Have you truly set a strong, positive, affirming intention for your future, your business?

FIRE is the Action Realm.  How are you honoring your Qi, your life force, and keeping the fires lit as you move into your Third Act?

If you are ready to balance your energies AND hear about the ways to not only plant the seeds, but nourish them, tend them, and create the most abundant crop ever, join us on April 12-14 for The Nourished Soul:  Caring for Your YOUniverse symposium, at the magnificent Marriott Perimeter Hotel, for all the secrets, from tilling the soil to harvesting the crop!!

Wishing you a successful crop for 2013!